Jul 082023
 


Lawrence Alma-Tadema Women of Amphissa 1887

 

Ukraine – Biden Again Escalates (MoA)
US Giving Cluster Munitions To Ukraine In ‘Desperate Gesture’ – Envoy (TASS)
Germany To Refrain From Sending Cluster Munitions To Ukraine (TASS)
Austria Has ‘Clear Position’ On Cluster Munitions For Ukraine – FM (RT)
NATO Needs Ukraine Offensive To Succeed To Prove New Plans’ Viability (TASS)
NATO Allies Still Discussing What To Offer Ukraine At Vilnius Summit – WaPo (TASS)
Keep Ukraine Out Of NATO, US Experts Argue (RT)
G7 Justice Ministers Agree To Help Fight Corruption In Ukraine (Az.)
Baltic, Polish Leaders Warn NATO Of Threats From Belarus (Az.)
IAEA Experts Find No Indications Of Mines At Zaporozhye NPP – Grossi (TASS)
How To Create a Fake News Cycle (Pierre Kory)
Father of Our Country (Jim Kunstler)
The SCO Welcomes A New ‘Global Globe’ (Pepe Escobar)
Judge Says Trump Can Be Deposed in Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok Lawsuit (ET)
Musk’s Twitter Tells Zuckerberg’s Threads To ‘Cease And Desist’ (SN)

 

 

 

 

Caviezel

 

 

 

 

Meloni

 

 

Hunter prosecutors
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676957766920077314

 

 

 

 

Ugly stripper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676957919169089537

 

 

 

 

Rogan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676977672465809410

 

 

Tucker


https://twitter.com/i/status/1677381223784538114

 

 

 

 

“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

 

 

 

 

If there were any evidence of Russia using cluster munitions, it would be on every frontpage today.

Ukraine – Biden Again Escalates (MoA)

The Washington Post says that the U.S. will now give cluster munition to Ukraine.” President Biden has approved the provision of U.S. cluster munitions for Ukraine, with drawdown of the weapons from Defense Department stocks due to be announced Friday.” The munition will be 155mm grenades, Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM), that can be fired by ‘western’ provided artillery. The decision, likely illegal, was made because the U.S. and its allies have run out of other 155mm munitions: The move, which will bypass U.S. law prohibiting the production, use or transfer of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than 1 percent, comes amid concerns about Kyiv’s lagging counteroffensive against entrenched Russian troops and dwindling Western stocks of conventional artillery.

]It is accompanied by false statements that Russia has used such ammunition in Ukraine: “It follows months of internal administration debate over whether to supply the controversial munitions, which are banned by most countries in the world. Cluster weapons explode in the air over a target, releasing dozens to hundreds of smaller submunitions across a wide area. More than 120 countries have joined a convention banning their use as inhumane and indiscriminate, in large part because of high failure rates that litter the landscape with unexploded submunitions that endanger both friendly troops and civilians, often for decades after the end of a conflict. The United States, Ukraine and Russia — which is alleged to have used them extensively in Ukraine — are not parties to the convention. Eight of NATO’s 31 members, including the United States, have not ratified the convention.

It is well documented, by Human Rights Watch and others, that the Ukrainian military has used cluster munitions. There is nothing to support a claim that Russia has done so. The Pentagon has rejected claimed evidence of Russian cluster munition attacks: “Commenting on videos depicting alleged Russian cluster munition use, DOD officials stated during a March 1, 2022 press conference that “we’ve seen the same video that you have but we have not assessed that it is definitive with respect to the use of cluster munitions. So we are not in a position to confirm the use of cluster munitions at this time.” In a similar manner, a DOD official stated during March 3, 2022, press conference that DOD was still unable to confirm Russia’s use of cluster munitions.”

Psaki cluster

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We have left the civilized world behind.

US Giving Cluster Munitions To Ukraine In ‘Desperate Gesture’ – Envoy (TASS)

The US decided to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine out of despair, but the move won’t affect Russia’s determination to achieve the goals of its special military operation, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Friday. “Cluster munitions are a desperate gesture. This measure tells the story that the US and its satellites have realized they are powerless. However, they do not want to admit their own failures and the failure of the attempts of Ukrainian forces to conduct an offensive against Russian regions. Hence this latest madness on their part,” he said. The diplomat said he believes that by raising the stakes in the Ukrainian conflict, Washington is bringing humanity closer to a global conflict.

“The current level of American provocations is indeed off the charts, bringing humanity closer to a new world war. The United States is so obsessed with the idea of defeating Russia that it does not realize the gravity of its actions. They are only increasing the number of victims and prolonging the agony of the Kiev regime,” he went on to say. The ambassador stated that Washington turned a blind eye to civilian casualties, paid no regard to the concerns of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and shrugged of the objections from its allies.

“The cruelty and cynicism with which Washington has approached the issue of transferring lethal weapons to Kiev is astounding. The administration completely ignored experts, human rights activists, and lawmakers that voiced the theses that the move would be inhumane. It turned a blind eye to civilian casualties. Now there is a risk that the submunitions will be blowing up innocent civilians for many years ahead because of what the US is doing,” Antonov said. He said he believes that the funneling of Western weapons into Ukraine will not be able to affect Russia’s efforts to achieve the goals of its special military operation, “which aims to eradicate threats to the security of the Russian Federation, including Nazism that has been nurtured in Ukraine.”

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Not even Baerbock wants to touch them.

Note: the article mentions 2 foreign ministers. There’s only 1: Baerbock. Pistorius is Defence Minister.

Germany To Refrain From Sending Cluster Munitions To Ukraine (TASS)

Germany will continue to abide by the Convention on Cluster Munitions and refrain from sending the weapons to Kiev, Reuters quoted German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock as saying in Vienna on Friday. Her remark came a day after US officials said the Biden administration was planning to provide Ukraine with the munitions. “I have followed the media reports. For us, as a state party, the Oslo agreement applies,” Baerbock told reporters, when asked to comment on Washington’s plans regarding cluster munitions for Kiev. Germany’s top diplomat is taking part in the OSCE High-Level Conference on Climate Change being hosted by the OSCE secretary general in Vienna.

German Foreign Minister Boris Pistorius also opposed sending cluster munitions to Kiev at a news conference in Bern. “Germany has signed the convention, so it is no option for us. As for those countries that have not signed the convention – China, Russia, Ukraine and the US – it is not up to me to comment on their actions,” Reuters quoted Pistorius as saying. On Thursday, a number of Western media, including the New York Times, Reuters, and CNN, reported that a decision was made to send cluster munitions to Ukraine and that the announcement will be made on Friday, July 7. The Pentagon said later that the United States was poised to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions that pose the least threat to the civilian population.

When detonated, cluster munitions scatter dozens of small bomblets over a large area. If unexploded, these bomblets will present a threat to civilians for years to come. The Convention on Cluster Munitions was signed by 123 countries in the Norwegian capital in 2008 and took effect on August 1, 2010. By now, 110 countries have ratified it. In Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine have not signed the document. According to Human Rights Watch, the real dud rate of cluster munitions is often way higher than formally declared by the military, potentially leading to numerous casualties among the civilian population.

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“[They] can inflict immense damage to the civilian population years after a conflict..”

Uber weasel “Jens Stoltenberg said, however, that the military bloc does not have a specific position on the issue..”

Austria Has ‘Clear Position’ On Cluster Munitions For Ukraine – FM (RT)

Vienna strongly opposes providing Kiev with cluster bombs, as they can cause suffering to civilians for many years after the fighting is over, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told journalists on Friday. Schallenberg’s comments come amid media reports about Washington’s alleged plans to greenlight such deliveries in the near future. “We have a clear position,” the minister said as he arrived at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Climate Conference. “These are the munition systems that are banned at an international level,” he added, comparing cluster munitions to anti-personnel mines. “Cluster bombs are still lying around for years [after a war has ended]. We have seen this in the Middle East. [They] can inflict immense damage to the civilian population years after a conflict,” Schallenberg said.

The Austrian minister also warned Western leaders about the message they would send to the world by supplying Kiev with such controversial armaments. “As the West, we must pay utmost attention to what signals we are sending,” he said. He added that support for Ukraine was necessary, but insisted it “must be correct support.” Western media reports have suggested in recent weeks that Washington is preparing to bolster the Ukrainian army’s firepower with cluster munitions from its vast Cold War-era arsenal. According to the various reports, some US officials believe it could help Kiev’s troops breach Russia’s defenses, as Ukraine’s much touted counteroffensive has so far failed to achieve any significant results. The Pentagon said on Friday that the US was considering providing Ukraine with bombs that have a lower dud rate – the proportion of bomblets that fail to initially explode. The potential decision was criticized by some Western human rights NGOs and even some of Washington’s allies.

On Thursday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) spoke against the possible delivery, warning that it would “inevitably cause long-term suffering for civilians.” On Friday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also expressed a negative attitude to the idea, saying that Germany is sticking to the Oslo agreements that banned cluster munitions. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, however, that the military bloc does not have a specific position on the issue precisely because its members have different opinions on the matter. Cluster bombs carry smaller explosive submunitions that are released in flight and scattered across a target area, and are typically used against personnel and lightly armored vehicles. They also tend to leave behind undetonated ‘duds’ that can remain in former conflict zones for decades. This prompted more than 110 nations, including many NATO members, to ban cluster bombs under a UN convention back in 2008.

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They’ll just invent a narrative.

“..at least nominal success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is so important for the US and NATO..”

NATO Needs Ukraine Offensive To Succeed To Prove New Plans’ Viability (TASS)

NATO needs the Ukrainian offensive to succeed in order to confirm the viability of its new military plans, which will be presented to the alliance’s leaders during the July 11-12 summit in Vilnius and which will act as a basis for military spending planning, a representative of the Brussels military expert community told TASS Friday. “The Ukrainian counteroffensive uses the same equipment and tactics that the alliance’s military plans, prepared for the Vilnius summit, are based upon. For the first time since the Cold War, these plans prepare NATO for a large-scale military conflict in Europe instead of operations to extend power to remote regions via actions in limited theaters of war.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive, which started five weeks before the NATO summit, must tangibly prove the combat viability of the alliance’s military equipment and tactics in a real conflict with a most capable enemy,” the expert, who opted to remain anonymous, told TASS. “Should the offensive fail, the principles that lie in the foundation of the recently created military plans will be challenged.” The expert acknowledged that Kiev lacks “NATO’s main bargaining chip – powerful aviation and naval forces, which play a key role in the alliance’s military planning.” “However, in parallel to the Ukrainian offensive, Europe held the Air Defender 2023 exercise – the largest in the last 30 years – which involved up to 300 aircraft. They practiced large-scale air operations against a technologically developed enemy.

“Thus, NATO practiced the air component simultaneously with the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but in a training mode instead of a combat one,” the expert continued. According to the expert, a failure of the counteroffensive in Ukraine “will cause the participants of the NATO summit in Vilnius to understand that the recently developed military plans already require improvement, at least in their ground component.” Furthermore, “there are no guarantees that the air component, which was not tested in combat against an equal adversary, is just as far from being perfect.” According to the expert, this may lead to “a decline in NATO member states’ trust in the new ‘collective defense’ plans, developed by the alliance’s staffs.”

“That is why at least nominal success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is so important for the US and NATO,” he underscored. “Of course, the [NATO] allies have no room to maneuver right now. Whatever doubts they may have, they are unable not to adopt the new military plans at the summit, because NATO currently has no alternative paths for development right now. Therefore, the consequences of a failed Ukrainian counteroffensive will be psychological rather than practical. It will create numerous small tension points during the negotiations about the specific parameters of military spending increases, the assortment and volumes of military procurement, the level of support to Kiev, and will escalate the competition between US and European military-industrial complexes for future defense orders,” the expert noted.

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“Washington has reportedly been maneuvering for months “to lower Kiev’s expectations,” as it focused the conversation on “security guarantees, rather than a NATO expansion..”

NATO Allies Still Discussing What To Offer Ukraine At Vilnius Summit – WaPo (TASS)

Members of the North Atlantic Alliance are still negotiating what exactly to offer Ukraine at their Vilnius summit on July 11-12, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing diplomats. According to the newspaper, officials in the United States and its NATO allies have described evolving proposals for bilateral or multilateral agreements as “mutual defense pacts or security memorandums.” Others at NATO question Ukraine’s readiness for membership, with Kiev still having a long way to tackle its “chronic problem with corruption.”


Washington has been maneuvering for months “to lower Kiev’s expectations,” as it focused the conversation on “security guarantees, rather than a NATO expansion, WaPo said. The Biden administration sought “to shift the debate toward long-term security pact” as an alternative to membership, with no NATO ally apparently being “willing to send its soldiers to fight in Ukraine,” the newspaper explained. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on June 7 that there is a process for the admission of any member, including Ukraine, to NATO and that the United States is not going to get ahead of that. The alliance’s chief Jens Stoltenberg has said that Ukraine joining NATO “in the midst of a war” is not on the agenda.

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If “we” don’t do it, Russia will.

Keep Ukraine Out Of NATO, US Experts Argue (RT)

Welcoming Ukraine into NATO would force the US to choose between nuclear war with Russia or abandoning its security commitments to Kiev, two American analysts claimed on Friday. “The security benefits to the United States of Ukrainian accession pale in comparison with the risks of bringing it into the alliance,” Justin Logan and Joshua Shifrinson of the libertarian Cato Institute wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine. If Ukraine were to join the alliance amid the ongoing hostilities, Logan and Shifrinson argued, the US and all of NATO’s European members would immediately be pulled into open war with Russia, with the potential for a nuclear exchange. However, even if the conflict were to be resolved, Ukraine and Russia will still have competing territorial claims, and a membership offer would risk reigniting the conflict, this time with NATO as a direct participant, they added.

“Under these circumstances, an American commitment to fight for Ukraine would be open to question,” they continued. If Ukraine were a NATO member and US policymakers chose not to intervene on its behalf, the bloc’s entire collective defense principle would be undermined, resulting in “a true credibility crisis for NATO.” Furthermore, with the US protected by its nuclear arsenal and the vast Atlantic Ocean, the two analysts argued that America faces no direct threat from Russia, while Ukraine – due to its geography – forms “a bulwark” between Western Europe and Russia “irrespective of NATO membership.” “American time, attention, and resources are needed elsewhere,” Logan and Shifrinson wrote, concluding that “the United States should accept that it is high time to close NATO’s door to Ukraine.” Since the 2008 Bucharest Declaration, NATO’s official policy is that Ukraine will become a member of the bloc at an unspecified future date.

Kiev, however, is unhappy with this non-commitment, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky reportedly threatening not to attend NATO’s upcoming summit in Lithuania unless the US-led bloc offers “concrete” security guarantees or a roadmap to full membership. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has already ruled out a membership offer at the Vilnius summit. French President Emmanuel Macron, however, has called on the alliance’s leaders to offer Kiev bilateral or multilateral security guarantees, as well as a “path” to full-fledged membership. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace and a number of Eastern European leaders have called for Ukraine to be fast-tracked into the bloc without the usual “membership action plan” that prospective members must complete. The White House, meanwhile, maintains that Ukraine “would have to make reforms to meet the same standards as any NATO country before they join.”

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There is a bridge in Brooklyn.

G7 Justice Ministers Agree To Help Fight Corruption In Ukraine (Az.)

Justice ministers from the Group of Seven nations have agreed to support anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine to push forward reconstruction work in the country, Report informs referring to NHK World-Japan. They met in Tokyo on July 7. This is the first stand-alone gathering of the G7 justice ministers in Japan. They condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms. They agreed to work closely with Ukraine to hold Russia accountable for alleged war crimes, by supporting investigations and prosecution. The participants also discussed corruption in Ukraine. Cases include senior government officials being dismissed after they were accused of graft. Observers are afraid that the corruption could hamper rebuilding efforts in the country. The justice ministers decided to set up a Japan-led working group to analyze and propose what kind of anti-corruption measures would be effective.

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“..cooperation between Moscow and Minsk undermines the security of the region and the entire Euro-Atlantic area..”

Baltic, Polish Leaders Warn NATO Of Threats From Belarus (Az.)

Presidents Gitanas Nauseda of Lithuania, Andrzej Duda of Poland and Egils Levits of Latvia have sent a joint letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and member states’ leaders to warn them of the threats posed by the developments in Belarus, Report informs via LRT. The three leaders say that cooperation between Moscow and Minsk undermines the security of the region and the entire Euro-Atlantic area, Nauseda’s office said in a press release on Friday. The presidents note that Russia has been using Belarus’ territory and its resources for its illegal and brutal war of aggression against Ukraine, which shows increasingly closer military integration between the two countries.= “Its recent manifestation has been the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus. It presents an escalatory move in the context of the war in Ukraine and a direct threat to the security of our community,” the letter reads.

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Methinks Zelensky’s been told off.

IAEA Experts Find No Indications Of Mines At Zaporozhye NPP – Grossi (TASS)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts have checked a wider section of the perimeter of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant’s (ZNPP) cooling pond, finding no indications of mines and explosives, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement on Friday. “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts have received additional access at the site of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), without – so far – observing any visible indications of mines or explosives,” the statement reads. According to Grossi, the experts were able “to check a wider section of the perimeter of the ZNPP’s large cooling pond than previously.” They also “visited the isolation gate separating the cooling pond from what remains of the Kakhovka reservoir.” In addition, the IAEA experts “went to the gate separating the discharge channel of the nearby Zaporozhye Thermal Power Plant (ZTPP) from the reservoir.”


“So far, they have not seen any mines or explosives. But they still need more access, including to the rooftops of reactor units 3 and 4 and parts of the turbine halls. I remain hopeful that this access will be granted soon,” Grossi said.On July 5, IAEA experts requested additional access to the power plant’s facilities, which is necessary to confirm the absence of mines and explosives at the Zaporozhye NPP. Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of allegedly plotting a terrorist attack on the Zaporozhye NPP. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed Zelensky’s allegation as yet another lie. Renat Karchaa, advisor to the CEO of Russian state nuclear power corporation Rosenergoatom, said that the Ukrainian leader’s statement might be an indication that Kiev is preparing to attack the ZNPP in order to drag NATO further into the Ukrainian conflict.

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“Rolling Stone’s coverage took the cakes..”

How To Create a Fake News Cycle (Pierre Kory)

The report quoted a doctor claiming that patients overdosing on ivermectin were backing up rural hospitals. Supposedly people coming to the ER with serious injuries – even gunshot wounds – could not access care. The story was laundered through countless media outlets and blue checks, who were already skeptical of ivermectin because of its association with Trump and his supporters. In their eyes, a bunch of MAGA lunatics overdosing on “horse de-wormer” were killing grandma. Six days later, the hospital where the doctor worked confirmed that the story was a total fabrication. There were no ivermectin overdoses – none – and the doctor hadn’t worked at the hospital in more than two months.

This was easily the sloppiest and most brazen hit job the media pulled during the pandemic. But Rolling Stone’s coverage took the cakes. The outlet used a photo portraying people lined up outside wearing winter clothes – wrong season. As the saying goes, “A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” To this day, Rolling Stone still hasn’t taken the story down. It simply changed the headline and slapped on a disclaimer. The whole debacle presents a neat lesson in how to create a fake news cycle. It goes like this.

Step one: Identify a public tool, such as poison control centers, that are easy to manipulate. These organizations have a public hotline and email address that anyone can use to report a problem. The reports are logged as “adverse events,” but they are not easily confirmed and typically will be tabulated for public records whether or not they have been verified. This is exactly what happened with the Oklahoma story. The local poison control center was deluged with fake calls from people claiming they overdosed on ivermectin.

Step two: Deploy “independent,” seemingly credible voices to validate and embellish the false claims. Doctors are among the most trusted professionals, but having a medical degree doesn’t make you an honest broker. Many doctors struggle to earn a living practicing medicine, and sadly some – like the Oklahoma ER doc – will stoop to industry or political hit jobs if it pays the bills. And doctors willing to go on the record expressing concern about a health scare – ivermectin overdoses – are all a reporter needs for a juicy scoop.

Step three: Coordinate with institutional allies to add legitimacy – FDA, American Medical Association, and GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance) – to add credibility and fan the flames with outraged public statements and targeted ad buys. Reporters can pose questions to their representatives at televised briefings, which carried more significance during the pandemic.

Finally, step four: Activate the echo chamber in mainstream and social media. Twitter influencers who live and play in the Acela corridor can talk to each other in the green rooms of cable news studios and glitzy Beltway gatherings. They can pat each other on the back for exposing the crazies and conspiracy theorists.

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“Joe Biden,” the personification of a failed state.”

Father of Our Country (Jim Kunstler)

Consider for a moment, and be grateful for, how perfect “Joe Biden” is as president of this foundering republic. He and his family project the rectified essence of every depravity now driving the life of our nation to some murky bottom, where it may be forced to assess its sorry state, repent, and perhaps recover (or just give up and die). There he stands, without ambiguity or conscience: “Joe Biden,” the personification of a failed state. As a criminal enterprise, for instance, the Biden family influence-peddling operation among foreign powers reflects exactly the racketeering character of corporate America today — which is to say, making money dishonestly, and often for doing nothing. In America’s biggest industry, finance, this is absolutely the case.

You may have forgotten what finance is, and what it’s supposed to do: namely, to lend money for activities intended to produce things of value, useful things that people need and want, sometimes even public works that benefit everyone in society. American Finance now is in the business of receiving free money (loans at minimal interest) from government-chartered central banks (issuing “credit” from nowhere), that banks, hedge funds, private equity outfits, and sundry freebooters can roll into instruments such as interest-yielding bonds (loans back to government) and derivatives (algorithmic bets derived, abstracted from, and tuned to market movements) magically multiplying money that finally produces nothing of value — though it may translate into yacht purchases, alimony payments, luxury suites at ballparks, private Caribbean islands, and traffic in humans for use as sex toys.

The Biden business model also applies nicely to medicine and higher education, two endeavors saturated in prestige and pomp, like the doings in the White House, but which, similarly to that hotbed of policy and action, in the case of medicine, produces shocking amounts of unnecessary death (est. 251,000 a year from iatrogenic treatment errors), and in the case of higher ed, the production of specious and harmful Big Ideas — while both endeavors expand like turbo-tumors within the dying body of an expiring manufacturing economy.

As in the Biden model, dishonesty is now the keystone in both “Meds” and “Eds.” Our public health officialdom hasn’t stopped lying about the Covid-19 episode since it began, and in every aspect from the origin of the disease (if that’s even what it was), to the deaths statistically attributed to it, to everything about the “vaccines” cooked up to stop it. In turn, those officials coerced America’s doctors into withholding the best treatments (ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine) while applying deadly protocols (remdesivir plus intubation) guaranteed to kill hospital patients — which the government then rewarded with gargantuan bonus payments.

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“Lukashenko proposed total integration of the SCO and BRICS ..”

The currency’s almost there.

The SCO Welcomes A New ‘Global Globe’ (Pepe Escobar)

The 23rd summit of the heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), held virtually in New Delhi, represented History in the making: three BRICS (Russia, India, China), plus Pakistan and four Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan), finally and formally, welcomed the Islamic Republic of Iran as a permanent member. And next year will be Belarus’ turn, as confirmed by India’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Vinay Kvatra. Belarus and Mongolia took part in the 2023 summit as observers, and fiercely independent Turkmenistan, as a guest. After years of US “maximum pressure,” Tehran may now finally get rid of the sanctions dementia and solidify its leading role in the ongoing process of Eurasia integration.

Arguably, the star of the show in New Delhi was Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has led his country since 1994. Old Man Luka, unbeatable in the headline-stealing department, especially after his mediator role in the Prighozin saga, may have coined the definitive slogan of multipolarity. Forget the western-termed “golden billion” which in fact barely reaches 100 million; embrace now the “Global Globe” – with a firm focus on the Global South. As the clincher, Lukashenko proposed total integration of the SCO and BRICS – which in their upcoming summit in South Africa will be heading the BRICS+ way. And it goes without saying, this integration also applies to the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). The next step for the “Global Globe” – what the collective west dismissively qualifies as “the rest” – is to work on the complex coordination of several development banks and then the process to issue bonds linked to a new trading currency.

The main ideas and the basic template already exist. The new bonds will be a real safe heaven compared to the US dollar and US Treasuries, and will imply accelerated de-dollarization. Capital used to purchase those bonds should be used to finance trade and sustainable development, in what will be a certified, Chinese-style “win-win.” The SCO declaration made it clear that the expanding multilateral body is “not directed against other states and international organizations.” On the contrary, it is “open to broad cooperation with them in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the SCO Charter and international law, based on consideration of mutual interests.” The heart of the matter is of course the drive towards a fair multipolar world order – the polar opposite of the Hegemon-imposed “rules-based international order.” And the three key nodes are mutual security; trade in local currencies, and eventually, de-dollarization.

BRICS currency
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677477551579492352

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“This comes one day after the DOJ asked a final time to block Mr. Trump from being deposed..”

Judge Says Trump Can Be Deposed in Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok Lawsuit (ET)

Former President Donald Trump can be deposed in a lawsuit filed by former FBI agent Peter Strzok against the Department of Justice (DOJ), a federal judge ordered on Friday. Mr. Strzok’s lawsuit alleges wrongful termination following the debunked Russia collusion investigation and claims that he was fired at Mr. Trump’s direction. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, agreed with the request to depose Mr. Trump in a brief order on July 6. This comes one day after the DOJ asked a final time to block Mr. Trump from being deposed.

“Given the limited nature of the deposition that has been ordered, and the fact that the former President’s schedule appears to be able to accommodate other civil litigation that he has initiated, the outcome of the balancing required by the apex doctrine remains the same for all of the reasons previously stated,” Ms. Jackson wrote in her brief order. Under the “apex doctrine” in U.S. law, high-ranking government officials, such as the president, enjoy a degree of immunity from being compelled to provide testimony or evidence in legal proceedings. In May, Ms. Jackson ordered a stay on the deposition of Mr. Trump until FBI Director Christopher Wray was deposed in the lawsuit. DOJ lawyers previously argued that Mr. Wray, a lower-ranked official, should be deposed first as any evidence that he provided could mean that Mr. Trump would not have to testify.

Mr. Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who is also suing the DOJ and FBI, played key roles in the FBI Crossfire Hurricane investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mr. Strzok also played a role in the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information. Mr. Strzok reportedly changed key language in the conclusion of the Clinton email investigation from “grossly negligent,” which would have been a crime, to “extremely careless,” which may have exonerated Ms. Clinton. Special counsel Robert Mueller fired Mr. Strzok in 2018 after around 10,000 text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were discovered.

The messages sent between 2015 and 2016 revealed the pair expressed strong anti-Trump bias in critical comments about Mr. Trump and his supporters as the two were working on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. The messages also exposed an alleged affair between the two. The FBI special counsel probe ultimately concluded that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russian government to get elected. However, corporate media outlets aired several unfounded claims about Mr. Trump that came from what appeared to be anonymous sources within the FBI and DOJ. The DOJ had argued that there was no evidence Mr. Strzok was fired at Mr. Trump’s direction, contending that his deposition “is not appropriate.”

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“Twitter will seek “both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice to prevent any further retention, disclosure, or use of its intellectual property by Meta..”

Musk’s Twitter Tells Zuckerberg’s Threads To ‘Cease And Desist’ (SN)

Twitter has sent a cease and desist letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg warning that legal action will be taken in light of theft of protected intellectual property and trade secrets by Meta’s new Twitter clone Threads. Elon Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro delivered the letter which accuses Meta of “systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.” “Over the past year, Meta has hired dozens of former Twitter employees,” the letter continued, adding “Twitter knows that these employees previously worked at Twitter; that these employees had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information; that these employees owe ongoing obligations to Twitter; and that many of these employees have improperly retained Twitter documents and electronic devices.”

“With that knowledge, Meta deliberately assigned these employees to develop, in a matter of months, Meta’s copycat ‘Threads’ app with the specific intent that they use Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property in order to accelerate the development of Meta’s competing app, in violation of both state and federal law as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter,” the letter further asserts. Twitter “intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information.” Twitter will seek “both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice to prevent any further retention, disclosure, or use of its intellectual property by Meta,” the letter futher notes.


“Please consider this letter a formal notice that Meta must preserve any documents that could be relevant to a dispute between Twitter, Meta, and/or former Twitter employees who now work for Meta,” the letter also states, adding “That includes, but is not limited to, all documents related to the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding of these former Twitter employees, the development of Meta’s competing Threads app, and any communications between these former Twitter employees and any agent, representative, or employee or Meta.” Musk tweeted that “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swimmer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676969690864943107

 

 

Big Elephant

 

 

Friendship
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677140775115554822

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 282023
 


Ivan Aivazovsky Creation of the World 1864

 

Putin Wins – on All Counts (Pepe Escobar)
The Real Casualties Of Russia’s ‘Civil War’: The Beltway Expert Class (GZ)
‘Whole Logic of West’: US, EU Want to Weaken Russia ‘Through Ukraine’ (Sp.)
US Congress Urges Biden To Send Cluster Bombs To Kiev (RT)
Wagner Troops Are Still Inside Ukraine, Pentagon Says (Az.)
Wagner To Hand Over Heavy Weapons – Russian MOD (RT)
EU Attempt to Get Anti-Hypersonic Weapon in 3 Years Unlikely to Succeed (Sp.)
UN Documents Rampant Torture of Civilians by Ukrainian Security Forces (Sp.)
All Aboard The Gravy Train: An Independent Audit Of US Funding For Ukraine (GZ)
Audio Shows Trump Refused Decades-Long Push to Attack Iran (Sp.)
Biden Family ‘Lawyered-Up’ for Legal Battle After Incriminating Leak (Tweedie)
GOP Leaders Block Radicals From Impeaching Biden for Foreign Graft (Tweedie)
Canadian Military Members File $500 Million Lawsuit Over Vaccine Mandates (LSN)
EU To Consider Blocking Out Sun – Bloomberg (RT)

 

 

 

 

RFK Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673710581977686016

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673489886970535936

 

 

Tucker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673866669628727298

 

 

 

 

“..in the end the “coup” could turn out to be the Greatest Russian Trolling of the West Ever..”

Putin Wins – on All Counts (Pepe Escobar)

After the extraordinary events in Russia during The Longest Day, President Putin wins on all counts. Among other feats, he has made an absolute, inter-galactic ass of the whole collective West MSM – all over again. He rallied virtually every Russian to end the Special Military Operation (SMO) – or “almost war” (according to some business circles) quicker. He – and the FSB – amassed a formidable list of traitors and 5th and 6th columnists, which will be properly dealt with. And he now enjoys unlimited freedom to deploy de facto Counter-Terrorist Operation (CTO) martial law powers. As much as Putin helped perennial Lukashenko in August 2020, preventing regime change in Belarus, good ol’ Luka prevented Russia from sliding into civil war in June 2023.

A complex wide-ranging counter-terror op is now in effect in Moscow and beyond, while assorted Western sub-zoology specimens are stunned, dazed and confused: wasn’t that supposed to be Putin meeting his Czar Nicholas II moment? A first glance at the chessboard tells us that all the pieces seem to be falling in their right places. Prighozin gets a golden parachute in Belarus. Shoigu may be about to be sacked, perhaps even Gerasimov (yes, there are deeply dysfunctional layers inside the Ministry of Defense). The Wagner musicians will be incorporated as a regular Army Corps. They may keep doing business in Africa: demand is huge. So what really happened after The Longest Day? Hefty CIA funds may have changed hands. But in the end the “coup” could turn out to be the Greatest Russian Trolling of the West Ever.

Once again, facts on the ground prove Putin is the undisputed champion of Russia. After keeping a strategic silence for a few hours, his intervention gathered full support from the civilian population, the FSB, the Chechens, the Army, the Communists, everyone. The exact terms of the deal between Luka and Prighozin, with help from the governor of the Tula region, Alexey Dyumin, are still unclear. Prighozin said he was satisfied with the terms. Peskov confirmed on the record that a criminal case against Prigozhin would be dropped. A key Prighozin demand was the twin resignation of Defense Minister Shoigu and Chief of Staff Gerasimov. That may – or may not – happen in the immediate future.

And that brings us to the still fascinating possibility this was the Mother of All Maskirovkas. Prigozhin sets up all this circus just to get a meeting in Moscow with Shoigu and Gerasimov. Talk about an overkill just to go out on a date. The Mother of All Maskirovkas scenario also implies a move worthy of 5D chess. On Saturday, Wagner was 200 km away from Moscow. Yet on Sunday, Wagner was 100 km away from Kiev. Next level Sun Tzu Art of War, anyone?

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The level of misinformation coming from the experts is something else.

The Real Casualties Of Russia’s ‘Civil War’: The Beltway Expert Class (GZ)

When Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin launched a supposed revolt against Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 23, sending his forces on a march toward Moscow following a series of tirades against the country’s defense establishment, Washington’s expert class overflowed with an orgy of regime change fantasies. For just over 12 hours, everyone from former US ambassador to Russia and noted Hitler apologist Michael McFaul to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to neocon pundit Anne Applebaum exploded with seemingly libidinal excitement about a supposed “civil war” that was certain to feature “Russians…killing Russians,” along with “lots of casualties” and Putin “probably hiding somewhere.”

It was as though the Soviet Union was collapsing all over again, and Prigozhin, a character named on the FBI’s most wanted list whom the US government has sanctioned for leading what it described as a “transnational criminal organization,” was suddenly a white knight storming into Moscow to liberate Russia from “the Putin regime” on the back of a tank. Move over, Juan Guaido. Expecting a bloodbath and seismic political upheaval, corporate networks like CNN had budgeted wall-to-wall coverage of the coup that wasn’t, filling cable news green rooms with rent-a-generals, K Street think tankers, and war-hungry former diplomatic corps hacks. On the afternoon of June 24, however, news broke across the US that Prigozhin had struck a deal with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to end his protest and go into exile.

Thus ended a largely bloodless affair that ultimately saw fewer documented deaths than the January 6 Capitol Riot. Though the supposed revolt in Russia burned out faster than a Leopard tank on the way to Zaporizhzhia, we now know that a number of serious casualties were incurred inside the DC Beltway. The Grayzone obtained an exclusive look at the massacre some of America’s top Russia experts carried out against their own credibility. Ever since he was unceremoniously ejected from Moscow for apparently attempting to organize a color revolution in 2012, Ambassador Michael McFaul has waged a personal jihad against the country’s government. His hatred of the Russian leadership grew so impassioned that he once declared that Putin was morally inferior to Adolf Hitler, embracing a fringe view associated with Holocaust deniers that asserts the Nazi dictator “didn’t kill German-speaking people.”

When the events of June 23 kicked off, McFaul could hardly contain himself. The disgraced diplomat immediately took to Twitter to insist without a shred of evidence to claim that Putin “has ordered his army and others to destroy Wagner & Prigozhin.” “So there’s going to be a big fight,” he promised. As for the Russian President, McFaul confidently declared: “I am sure that he is no longer in Moscow.” Just after noon on June 24, he seemed to believe the Russian president’s demise was imminent. “Rats are jumping” from Putin’s ship, he effused, referring to oligarch Arkady Rotenberg taking a flight to Azerbaijan. “This is now a civil war,” the self-styled expert confidently declared.

But around 1:30 PM on June 24, the unwelcome news had made its way to Washington: Putin and Prigozhin had reached an agreement. There was to be no civil war in Russia, after all. McFaul was suddenly forced to reckon with the reality that his predictions of a coup were premature, and that virtually everything he had said hours before was completely wrong. “Can anyone remember a mutiny or coup attempt that lasted 24 hours and no one really fought or was killed?,” pondered the retired diplomat, seemingly coming to grips with the obvious. Then, like an alcoholic in denial after yet another blackout, McFaul whimpered, “I was wrong about this. Eager to learn why.”

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But the opposite is happening.

‘Whole Logic of West’: US, EU Want to Weaken Russia ‘Through Ukraine’ (Sp.)

Western countries continue to do their utmost to damage Russia by various means, Professor Stevan Gajic, a research associate at the Institute of European Studies in Belgrade, told Sputnik. Discussions on the expansion of military and financial aid to Ukraine topped the agenda of a recent meeting of EU member states’ foreign affairs ministers held on June 26 in Luxembourg. The US recently also expressed its readiness to announce a new $500 million military package to Ukraine, which is expected to include Bradley combat vehicles and Stryker armored personnel carriers. “The whole logic of the West and of these statements” pertains to the drive by the US and its allies to continue damaging Russia, not least by fuelling the conflict in Ukraine, Gajic said.

He insisted that “The United States wants to pull Russia into a series of internal conflicts and to inflict as much damage as they can through Ukraine.” He suggested that Western countries “eventually want a partition of Russia and [its] occupation through creating many invented puppet states similar to those that we’ve seen in the B or C category Hollywood movies.” He was echoed by US author and lawyer Dan Kovalik, who told Sputnik that the White House is interested in the continuation of the Ukraine conflict because they want to use it “to weaken Russia.” Touching upon Wagner’s aborted mutiny, Kovalik said that Western countries “smell blood in the water and therefore they want to speed up the process of, in their minds, destabilizing Russia.”

“So all of this is leading them to increase aid to Ukraine at a time when people in Europe, I think, are getting cold feet about this,” he added. The same tone was struck by Michael Shannon, a political commentator and Newsmax columnist, who told Sputnik about a possible “two reasons” regarding Washington’s drive to go ahead with providing Kiev with hefty military packages. “One, the long-awaited spring offensive hasn’t really gone very far. It doesn’t look much different from the winter stalemate. So, the vehicles are to replace what has been lost in the fighting so far. Two, they may believe the Wagner mutiny has weakened the Russian position in Ukraine — either physically or in morale — and they want to follow up as soon as possible,” Shannon said.

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No conscience. And they represent us.

US Congress Urges Biden To Send Cluster Bombs To Kiev (RT)

Washington should supply Kiev with artillery-delivered cluster bombs, a group of US Congress representatives told President Joe Biden in a letter last week, Foreign Policy reported on Monday. The lawmakers urged the White House to put what they called America’s “vast arsenal” of the highly controversial munitions to its “intended use.” Cluster bombs carry smaller explosive submunitions that are released in flight and scattered across a target area, typically used against personnel and lightly armored vehicles. According to Foreign Policy, the US-designed bombs, also known as dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICMs), can penetrate four to eight inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of armor. The munitions also have a tendency to leave behind undetonated ‘duds’ that can remain in former conflict zones for decades.

This fact prompted more than 110 nations, including many NATO members, to ban cluster bombs under a UN convention back in 2008. The US did not join the convention but banned exports of cluster bombs with a ‘dud’ rate of more than 1% in 2009. The ban covered most of its existing stockpile. Now, the lawmakers, who are all members of the Congress Helsinki Commission, which monitors human rights in 57 OSCE nations, push for their transfer to Ukraine to be used in a conflict zone. “During the Cold War, DPICMs were developed and fielded specifically to counter Russia’s numerical and material superiority,” the group, including the Helinski Commission head, Joe Wilson, wrote in the letter. “Now they can be put to their intended use in Ukraine’s defense,” they said, adding that it would serve US national security as well.

“Let us use this untapped, vast arsenal in service of Ukrainian victory, and reclaiming Europe’s peace,” the letter said. Kiev’s troops already received DPICMs, which can be launched through the NATO-supplied 155mm artillery pieces, from other nations. Türkiye sent such munitions to Ukraine in January 2023. The Pentagon has also recently spoken in favor of such deliveries. “Our military analysts have confirmed that DPICMs would be useful, especially against dug-in Russian positions on the battlefield,” Laura Cooper, the Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, said last week amid the ongoing Ukrainian offensive that had largely stalled without gaining much ground.

Moscow previously warned Washington against sending cluster bombs to Ukraine. Such actions would have consequences both for NATO’s own security and the normalization of bilateral relations between Russia and the US, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in March. Kiev has repeatedly asked the US for various cluster munitions. The Ukrainian troops wanted to get MK-20 cluster bombs, which they sought to drop on Russian forces from drones. The artillery cluster shells were also on its wish list. So far, US officials have said they are not “actively considering” sending cluster bombs to Kiev. Yet, Biden can potentially waive the export restriction at any time.

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They’re waiting for a guaranteed passage to Belarus. Where first camps have to be built etc.

Wagner Troops Are Still Inside Ukraine, Pentagon Says (Az.)

Wagner troops are still inside Ukraine after the weekend mutiny, according to the US Defense Department, Report informs referring to CNN. “But in terms of their specific disposition and whether they may or may not move be moving, I’m not going to speculate on that,” said Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder at a press briefing. Ryder added that the US did not make any changes to US force posture in response to the events in Russia.

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“The Wagner Group currently has many of the same weapons as regular troops, including tanks, anti-aircraft systems and attack aircraft..”

Wagner To Hand Over Heavy Weapons – Russian MOD (RT)

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced preparations for the handover of heavy weapons from the Wagner private military company to units of the national Armed Forces. A brief statement posted by the ministry on social media on Tuesday offered no further details on the arms transfer. The Wagner Group currently has many of the same weapons as regular troops, including tanks, anti-aircraft systems and attack aircraft. Some of them were used by the contractors during their short-lived mutiny last weekend. Last Friday, Wagner chief Evgeny Prigozhin accused senior Russian military figures of treason and sent his troops towards major cities in Russia, including the capital, with the stated goal of having the officials removed from service.


The mutiny ended the following day, when the businessman accepted a Belarus-mediated deal with Moscow, including immunity from prosecution for him and Wagner personnel. The insurrection was not bloodless, as Wagner soldiers shot down several Russian military aircraft, while their convoy rolled down the M4 highway. Details on those losses remain murky, but President Vladimir Putin acknowledged the deaths of military pilots during in his address to the nation on Monday. There have been unconfirmed claims that Prigozhin has offered to pay compensation to families of the slain service members. Putin has offered Wagner troops the choice of joining the Russian military or law enforcement agencies, retiring from active duty, or following Prigozhin to Belarus, which has agreed to host them.

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“Talking about lagging behind in certain aspects is the best way to increase defense spending..”

EU Attempt to Get Anti-Hypersonic Weapon in 3 Years Unlikely to Succeed (Sp.)

While European missile manufacturer MBDA recently announced its intent to “lead a consortium” for developing an interceptor capable of defending against “hypersonic threats” called the Aquila project, it remains unclear exactly how fruitful this venture is going to be. Military expert with independent Russian military affairs think tank Center for Military-Political Journalism, Boris Rozhin, told Sputnik that it seems unlikely that some MBDA prototype interceptor would be adopted in the next three years or so. As Rozhin pointed out, even the United States is currently experiencing serious problems with the development of an air defense system capable of dealing with hypersonic weapons, and Europe currently lags behind the US in that sphere.

“Some additional funds will definitely be allocated, additional research and development teams will be assigned,” he pondered. “But I don’t think that Europe will be able to acquire within the next two-three years more variants of air defense system that could effectively combat modern hypersonic missiles.” Rozhin noted that four countries – Russia, China, Iran and North Korea – currently have working models of hypersonic missiles, and that the United States may acquire a working hypersonic missile of their own within two or three years, but so far, no air defense system capable of effectively countering such a threat exist.

“Talking about lagging behind in certain aspects is the best way to increase defense spending,” Rozhin added. “That is, we say that we are lagging behind [our rivals] and so we need more money to develop something in order not to lag behind.” However, it is hard to say at this point, i.e. during the development stage, how efficiently this funding is going to be used, he remarked. Rozhin also observed that Russia currently surpasses the US and Europe in terms of hypersonic weapons development, and while he did admit that Moscow may be working on anti-hypersonic defense systems, the expert argued that any such research would be highly classified and not advertised to the public.

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They have similar files about Russia, no doubt.

UN Documents Rampant Torture of Civilians by Ukrainian Security Forces (Sp.)

The United Nations has recorded a significant increase in law violations by Ukrainian security forces since start of Russia’s special military operation, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said in a report on Tuesday. “Since 24 February 2022, OHCHR has documented a significant increase in violations of the right to liberty and security of person by Ukrainian security forces. Out of the overall number of such cases, OHCHR documented 75 cases 92 of arbitrary detention of civilians (17 women, 57 men and 1 boy), some of which also amounted to enforced disappearances, mostly perpetrated by law enforcement authorities or the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the report read. “Of further concern, OHCHR has documented the arrests of several civilians involved in distribution of humanitarian aid in territory ‘occupied’ by the Russian Federation,” the report read.

On May 30, a Russian law enforcement source told Sputnik that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has opened torture chambers to get testimony from people who had cooperated with the Russian authorities while the city was under Russia’s control between March and November 2022 The source said the torture rooms were created at two district police departments, Dneprovsky and Komsomolsky. While mostly Ukrainians work at the Dneprovsky department, locals are not allowed into the second one, as only foreign mercenaries speaking English, Polish and Georgian work there, the source said.

Vladimir Malina, a former business assistant who decided to stay in Kherson after the withdrawal of the Russian troops, died in the torture chamber of the Dneprovsky police department. “[He] was kept in the torture chamber of the Dneprovsky district department, [he was] brutally beaten, the next day, he died in the cell. In order to hide his death, for three days, two [former] employees of the Russian humanitarian center [in Kherson], Roman Gavrilyuk and Igor Gurov, who were detained with him, were tortured and forced to write an explanation that Vladimir Malina was released together with them,” the source said. Several people were tortured to death in these chambers, including a nurse and an investigator, the source said, adding that all of them are recognized as missing.

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“.. there is currently no limit to how much Washington can send to Kiev..”

All Aboard The Gravy Train: An Independent Audit Of US Funding For Ukraine (GZ)

During a recent discussion with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, touted her organization’s push to guarantee transparency for US taxpayer funds sent to Ukraine. “We are involved in funding efforts at ensuring judicial integrity, which is intrinsically important to building Ukraine’s democracy and its integration plans to get into Europe,” Power declared, adding USAID’s work in Ukraine was “also really important in terms of assuring the taxpayer, the American taxpayer, that they’re resources are well spent.” While innocuous on the surface, Power’s comments revealed a great deception the US government is currently waging against the American public.

In the roughly 16 months since Russia’s February 2022 escalation of the Ukraine conflict, the US government has approved several multi-billion dollar spending packages to sustain the Kiev military’s fight against Moscow. Though many Americans likely believe that US dollars allocated for Ukraine are spent directly on supplies for the war effort, the lead author of this report, Heather Kaiser, conducted a thorough review of Washington’s budget for the 2022 and 2023 fiscal year and discovered that is far from the case. US taxpayers may be shocked to learn that as their families grappled with fears of Social Security’s looming insolvency, the Social Security Administration in Washington sent $4.48 million to the Kiev government in 2022 and 2023 alone.

In another example of bizarre spending, USAID paid off $4.5 billion worth of Ukraine’s sovereign debt through payments made to the World Bank — all while Congress went to loggerheads over America’s ballooning national debt. (Western financial interests including BlackRock Inc. are among the largest holders of Ukrainian government bonds.) Though it is nearly impossible to calculate the total sum of US tax dollars sent to Kiev, Kaiser was able to perform an independent audit of Washington’s proxy war in Ukraine through a careful search of open source data available on the US government’s official spending tracker. Kaiser reviewed all the funding allocations in which Ukraine was listed as the “Place of Performance” for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

Additionally, she discovered supplementary funds were sent to Kiev by listing Ukraine as the “justification” for spending, rather than the location where the money was physically sent. Calculating the total dollar amount that the US has given to Ukraine is incredibly challenging for multitude of reasons: there is a lag in reporting expenditures; covert money given by the CIA (Title 50 Covert Action) won’t be publicly disclosed; and direct military assistance in the form of military equipment is not calculated in the same manner as raw cash. The Pentagon recently admitted to an accounting error revised up to 6.2 billion dollars. Despite this, Kaiser submitted a request to the Department of Treasury asking them to disclose the total dollar amount of US taxpayer support for Ukraine. Treasury has not responded at the time of publication.

Though Kaiser was able to search through pages of reported spending, the US government has yet to conduct an official audit of its funding for Ukraine. What’s more, there is currently no limit to how much Washington can send to Kiev.

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“He resisted the pressure from advisors who wanted to start a war with Iran, but he refused. He refused to go along with them. And that’s I think that’s really part of the anger directed at him as well.”s

Audio Shows Trump Refused Decades-Long Push to Attack Iran (Sp.)

A veteran of the US state apparatus told Sputnik that the most significant part of the story about former US President Donald Trump holding onto still-classified plans for war with Iran after he left office is that Trump refused to give in to pressure to launch such a conflict, which Washington has sought for decades. US media has obtained the audio of an alleged conversation between Trump and his aides in which prosecutors said he described showing them files he knew were still classified. The conversation, which allegedly occurred in the summer of 2021, was previously reported based on a partial transcript cited in a criminal complaint against Trump that was filed in a federal court earlier this month.

In the two-minute-long audio clip, Trump can seemingly be heard referencing top secret plans regarding an attack against Iran that he says were prepared by Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has become a sharp critic of Trump after the former president’s term ended. “These are the papers,” Trump is heard saying. “This was done by the military and given to me.” “See as president I could have declassified it,” Trump continues as others in the room laugh, adding: “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.” Trump faces 37 charges related to the classified files, which the FBI seized in a raid last August at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Many of the charges each carry a potential 20-year prison sentence, if Trump were to be convicted.

Larry Johnson, a retired CIA intelligence officer and US State Department official, told Sputnik that Trump’s administration was by no means the first to consider a war against Iran, and that the focus on the war plans conceals a greater truth: that Trump didn’t want to launch such an attack. “The war plans against Iran have existed since 1980, since the mullahs took power. And those plans exist and have been revised and updated over time. So I wouldn’t read too much into his discussing one plan.” “I think the key point is that Trump did not act on these plans,” Johnson asserted. “He resisted the pressure from advisors who wanted to start a war with Iran, but he refused. He refused to go along with them. And that’s I think that’s really part of the anger directed at him as well.”

However, Johnson said there was actually a greater chance of war with Iran under Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama. “During the presidency of Barack Obama, the United States was more actively engaged in supporting intelligence operations that were leading to the assassination of Iranian scientists. They were backing this terrorist group, the MEK, the Mujahedin-e-Khalq. So, Trump is really sort of a problem for the defense establishment in Washington, DC, who were eager for that conflict. Trump tried to avoid conflict. He was always looking to cut a deal as opposed to go to war.” Johnson predicted that if Trump manages to dodge the charges against him and win the 2024 US election, for which he has already declared his candidacy, that Trump would “cut a deal” with Tehran.

“He would find a way to de-escalate the tensions. But unfortunately, you’ve got a war party. There’s not just one political party. It’s bipartisan. We’ve got Republicans and Democrats alike who are promoting conflict, insisting on conflict. [US President Joe] Biden is not keen upon actually getting a real agreement with these guys. Trump was. I think Trump genuinely believed in and tried to promote those kinds of agreements,” the former CIA officer said.

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“Will this take Joe Biden off the ballot?” Wong pondered. “I’m not sure it will, but certainly it’s another thing he has to address and he can’t hide from this one.”

Biden Family ‘Lawyered-Up’ for Legal Battle After Incriminating Leak (Tweedie)

US President Joe Biden and his family are preparing for legal trouble after the latest revelation about his son Hunter’s shady foreign dealings, journalist Angie Wong has said. Last week it emerged that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent Gary Shapley blew the whistle on a WhatsApp exchange between Hunter Biden and Chinese businessman Henry Zhao in July 2017, in which Hunter demanded to know why their “orders” had not been carried out. “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” Hunter Biden wrote. The message has contradicted the president’s previous claims he had no knowledge of his son’s dealings with foreign millionaires, including payments he received allegedly in return for political influence.

Just days earlier, Biden’s son had avoided doing jail time for corruption and influence-peddling with a plea bargain for misdemeanor charges of tax evasion and illegal possession of a handgun. Angie Wong, who also serves as the president of the Legacy PAC, told Sputnik that Biden and son were “lawyered-up” and ready for battle. “They can’t keep trying to disguise what’s actually right there in front of everybody’s faces. And now they have to address it,” Wong said. “We’re going to expect some major legal moves coming up, I would imagine in days.” “When Hunter Biden got a slap on the wrist last week for a gun charge and for tax fraud, that really just fueled the sentiment that was going on in Washington and certainly in American homes,” she noted.

“It’s not that we want to necessarily get them. It’s just that it’s just so unfair. I think it’s prompted what’s happening right now, which is the release of this text message,” Wong stressed. “If you and I even lied to our government. That would be a felony. But when our government lies to us, well, that’s just politics.” The journalist said Biden was “finally worried” that his son’s dodgy dealings would come back to haunt his presidency, and “now needs to address it” because “these are real voter issues and this is an election season.” “Will this take Joe Biden off the ballot?” Wong pondered. “I’m not sure it will, but certainly it’s another thing he has to address and he can’t hide from this one.”

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Radicals? Like free radicals?

GOP Leaders Block Radicals From Impeaching Biden for Foreign Graft (Tweedie)

Republican Congress leaders are stymying attempts to impeach US President Joe Biden even as proof of of his shady dealings with foreign businessmen came out. Biden’s wayward son Hunter wriggled out of a jail sentence last week with a plea bargain that got him a slap on the wrist for tax evasion and illegal possession of a firearm. But Internal Revenue Service whistleblower Gary Shapley testified to a WhatsApp message exchange the president’s son had with Chinese businessman Henry Zhao in July 2017, in which he demanded to know why their “orders” had not been carried out. “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” Hunter Biden wrote — belying the president’s previous claims he had no knowledge of his son’s dealings with foreign millionaires, including payments he received allegedly in return for political influence.

Hunter’s attorney Chris Clark made a statement on Friday in which he blamed his client’s addiction to crack cocaine for the wording of the messages. Former Colorado state senator Ted Harvey told Sputnik that while the latest revelations of misconduct by the Biden family were “astonishing,” the Republican Party was playing its hands close to its chest on a possible presidential impeachment. “The leadership of the Republican Party is doing everything they possibly can to avoid any impeachment discussion, to make sure that they do not fall into the trap that every political party does when they have the ability to impeach a president and their party wants to go in that direction,” Harvey said. Republican in the House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy and others “are doing everything they can” to stop Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene or Colorado’s Lauren Boebert getting the ball rolling.

“But when you have this kind of stuff coming out, this is what the impeachment process is there for,” Harvey stressed. “But now that it’s getting to the point that Republicans are going to be have to throw their hand in.” Not only are the White House, Democrats and GOP trying to downplay talk of impeaching Biden, but the media are attacking the dissident Republicans who refuse to let go of the issue. “The reason why the press is being as direct and aggressive as they are is because they realize this rises to the level of criminal activity,” Harvey said. “But it also gets to the point of compromising our national security” since the Chinese government “can hold this over him” when disputes and conflicts arise “whether it be Taiwan or anything else,” he argued “Our national security is now compromised because the president of the United States.”

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“It’s dangerous in the military to have legal orders disobeyed,” he said. “It’s a very slippery slope.”

Canadian Military Members File $500 Million Lawsuit Over Vaccine Mandates (LSN)

Hundreds of members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) last week signed onto a $500 million class action lawsuit against military leaders over the imposition of “unlawful” COVID jab mandates. According to the legal challenge, the mandates “caused the Plaintiffs harm and constitute[d] a breach of the public trust.” A victory in the case could set an important precedent for all Canadians who have been pressured to get the experimental shots against their will. In the 137-page statement of claim filed with the Federal Court on June 21 and viewed by LifeSiteNews, 329 individuals who have served in the CAF argued that Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre “issued an unlawful order on October 25, 2021, in violation of established law and constitutional rights” by requiring members of the armed forces to get the experimental COVID-19 shot or face removal from the service.

On October 8, 2021, the CAF handed down a military-wide COVID jab mandate requiring all service members to become “fully vaccinated” against the coronavirus or be discharged from service. Hundreds of unvaccinated service members were subsequently discharged. The mandate was finally partially rolled back last year, though troops supporting operational readiness are still required to get the injections. Last year, military leadership said they would still discharge soldiers who chose to remain unvaccinated. In an interview with the Canadian Press in October 2022, General Eyre suggested that the refusal by service members to get vaccinated “raises questions about your suitability to serve in uniform.”

“It’s dangerous in the military to have legal orders disobeyed,” he said. “It’s a very slippery slope.” However, the June 21 statement of claim — which also names Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Lieutenant-General Frances Allen and Minister of National Defence Anita Anand, among others, as defendants — contends that the Canadian military “shirked its own purpose and rushed an untested product onto its members.” The plaintiffs claim that top members of the military “mislabeled this experimental gene therapy a “vaccine,” knowingly made false statements of safety and efficacy, and facilitated its mandate with no option to refuse except for mandatory permanent removal from service.”

The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages of roughly $1,000,000 per plaintiff and well over $1,000,000 more in other damages, coming to around $500,000,000 total. “This is not about COVID-19,” Catherine Christensen, an attorney with Valour Law who filed the class action suit on behalf of the plaintiffs, said in an email statement to LifeSiteNews. “This is about a corrupt Chain of Command that thinks they are untouchable and above the law.”“The Canada I want to live in has [the] Rule of Law and no person is above being answerable to the Court for malicious and unlawful act,” she said.

Read more …

Limitless stupidity.

EU To Consider Blocking Out Sun – Bloomberg (RT)

The European Union is looking into technologies involving large-scale interventions into natural phenomena like sun rays or the atmosphere, as part of its new strategy for tackling climate change, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing a draft document that might be made public later this week. The paper Brussels is reportedly about to release is aimed at assessing the consequences of rapid global warming such as water or food scarcity, and the risks of them triggering new conflicts or mass migration waves, the outlet said. It will also feature an assessment of the potential for studying atmospheric re-engineering technologies and the dangers associated with them.

Such projects might range from deflecting the Sun’s rays or blocking them from reaching the Earth’s surface to changing the weather patterns, Bloomberg noted. The EU would like to invite international discussions on the matter as well as on potentially creating rules in this field. “The EU will support international efforts to assess comprehensively the risks and uncertainties of climate interventions, including solar radiation modification,” says the document, which is still subject to change, according to Bloomberg.

The paper also admits that such technologies “introduce new risks to people and ecosystems, while they could also increase power imbalances between nations, spark conflicts, and raise a myriad of ethical, legal, governance and political issues.” The geo-engineering option is considered amid fears that the international community might miss its target of limiting global warming to 1.5C (2.7F), Bloomberg noted, adding that the EU might turn to more radical options like spraying stratospheric aerosol to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching earth. Bloomberg also noted that critics of geo-engineering have warned that such methods might involve unforeseen side effects like changes in rain patterns, without naming any names.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net zero
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673683916195086337

 

 

Bald art

 

 

Roseanne

 

 

 

 

ChatGPT

 

 

Unleash

 

 

 

 

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Jun 272023
 
 June 27, 2023  Posted by at 12:47 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  4 Responses »


Thomas Cole The Course of Empire – Desolation 1836

 

I’m still full of questions. Prigozhin and his men are now gathering 100 km from Kiev, instead of 200 km from Moscow. With Putin’s full approval. Lucky coincidence?

 

 

Andrew Korybko thinks he has a few answers. Again, fair enough.

 

Andrew Korybko:

The Wagner Chief Speaks

Prigozhin released an over ten-minute-long audio message on Telegram in which he shared his version of events from over the weekend. It can be listened to at his press service’s account here, while those who don’t understand Russian can read a rough automated translation here. Upon doing so, they’ll see that he predictably twisted the truth about his failed coup. In fact, one of the purposes behind his message was to deny that he had any such regime change intent, instead claiming that it was only just a protest.

Was Wagner Really Going To Be Fully Disbanded?

The Wagner chief started off by alleging that his group would have ceased to legally exist by 1 July after refusing to sign contracts with the Defense Ministry (DM) despite all of its accomplishments in advancing Russian interests across the world and especially in the course of the special operation. While that might have been the case in terms of the law, it’s doubtful that Russia would have fully disbanded the same fighting force that functions as the pillar of its African policy, which was explained here, here, and here.

Wagner members might have been prohibited from participating in the special operation and had their activities inside Russia restricted due to their group’s lack of legal status, but there are no grounds to believe that its African-based fighters would have been prevented from fulfilling their duties there. Considering the patriotism that characterizes most of their members, the vast majority would probably have redeployed to that continent in order to continue serving their country.

Prigozhin Admits To Russian Blood On His Hands

The next point that Prigozhin made was to claim that Wagner gathered their equipment ahead of time in anticipation of handing it all over to the DM in Rostov by 30 June in the event that a last-minute deal wasn’t reached to enable them to continue operating as before without signing contracts with the DM. He then claimed that the DM launched a surprise strike against them on Friday, resulting in the death of over 30 members, which is why the decision was made to march on Rostov and Moscow later that day.

None of the above can be independently confirmed, but the bombing was denied by both the DM and the FSB, for what it’s worth. A cynic might suspect that Prigozhin is just spinning a story to explain why Wagner gathered all that equipment in advance if it didn’t supposedly plan to carry out a coup. This narrative also presents his forces as acting out of self-defense, which is important when it comes to winning and retaining the population’s support, especially after what he soon thereafter admitted.

Prigozhin confirmed that his forces did indeed fire on the Russian Air Force exactly as was reported, which readers can learn more about in detail here if they aren’t already familiar, but said that they regretted it and only did so after bombs were dropped on them first. This detail discredits the popular conspiracy theory swirling around the Alt-Media Community claiming that the coup attempt was a false flag cooked up by President Putin, which some say was to secretly open a northern front against Ukraine.

There’s no way that he colluded with Prigozhin to kill their country’s pilots, especially since last weekend’s events attracted much more attention to Wagner than if its fighters quietly dispersed over the weeks and then gradually reassembled at a later date in Belarus and/or on Russia’s pre-2014 borders with Ukraine. It’s everyone’s right to believe whatever they want, but it’s beyond kooky for anyone to still insist on this after now knowing that Russian pilots were killed during the failed coup.

Why Wasn’t Wagner Stopped En Route To Moscow?

Moving on after debunking that ridiculous conspiracy theory, Prigozhin then claimed that his forces locked down and neutralized all military facilities along the route of their march to Moscow without killing anyone on the ground despite a few of their own suffering casualties. Like what he alleged about the DM bombing Wagner, this also can’t be independently confirmed but might be speculatively due to President Putin’s reluctance to have the military resort to force except as an absolute last resort.

Despite saying during his national address that “The Armed Forces and other government agencies have received the necessary orders” to have those involved in the events “punished” and “answer before the law”, those tasked with doing so could have been told to use their discretion when it comes to force. After all, the Russian leader also said during his address that “We will not allow [Russians killing Russians and brothers killing brothers] to happen again”, so it’s a credible possibility and not baseless conjecture.

In that scenario, those at the military facilities along that route might have decided not to resort to force to stop Wagner so long as that group didn’t fire first, instead calculating that it’s best to heed President Putin’s words as much as is realistically possible under those tense circumstances while waiting to see if the crisis will soon end on its own. As for Prigozhin’s next claim that his fighters knew the ultimate goal of their march and weren’t forced to participate in it, that might only be partially true too.

What Were Wagner’s Fighters Really Thinking?

Many might have truly thought that it was an “anti-corruption” campaign like their boss told them and didn’t hear President Putin’s national address until later since they reportedly had to hand over their cell phones before heading out. If what he said was true about their compatriots not stopping them along their route, especially for the reasons speculated above, then this impression would have persisted until they approached Moscow and realized that blood would definitely be shed if they didn’t back down.

At that moment, they’d have known that something was wrong and that the Armed Forces were willing to use force to oppose them, thus dispelling the illusion that they had the Russian leader’s tacit support for what they’d hitherto sincerely thought was their “anti-corruption” campaign. If Prigozhin didn’t intend to challenge the head of state, then he’d have called off their march the moment that the latter demanded this of him during his national address instead of defiantly continuing on to the capital.

This observation therefore contradicts the Wagner chief’s claim that this was just a protest aimed at bringing to justice those who he says allegedly bungled the special operation since Prigozhin already caught President Putin’s attention by the time of his speech yet still kept marching towards Moscow. Nevertheless, what he said regarding the support that his group received from some of the public is true since it’s backed up by video evidence, but all isn’t as simple as he makes it seem.

What Were Wagner’s Supporters In Rostov Really Thinking?

Anti-corruption causes and criticism of the military brass for their conduct of the special operation thus far are legitimately popular among a segment of the population, many of whom had up until this point assumed that Prigozhin had the support of people in the Presidential Administration. The very fact that he wasn’t apprehended or at least charged for violating the otherwise strictly enforced law prohibiting defamation of the Armed Forces was interpreted by them as evidence that he had powerful patrons.

Even after President Putin sharply condemned him for treasonously stabbing their country in the back due to his “Inflated ambitions and personal interests”, some might have thought that the Russian leader was a so-called “palace hostage” of the supposedly corrupt military and thus said this under duress. Placed in traditional historical terms, they could have imagined that he was “the good tsar surrounded by bad boyars who had to be freed by a good boyar for the sake of the country”.

The point is that it shouldn’t be assumed that all those in Rostov who publicly supported Prigozhin did so because they shared his thinly disguised intent to overthrow President Putin after he refused to make the personnel changes in the DM that were demanded of him. It should also be said that the number of people in that footage represents an insignificant proportion of the population, though as was earlier written, there’s also no denying that Prigozhin’s self-professed causes resonate with many more than that.

What Was The Real Reason Why Prigozhin Retreated?

What’s beyond dispute, however, is that practically everyone in the country regardless of their stance on this crisis was relieved that Prigozhin turned around after approaching Moscow and concluding that there was no way to continue his march without provoking enormous bloodshed. What he said about not wanting to spill any Russian blood isn’t true though since he himself earlier admitted in this same audio message that his side did indeed fire on the Russian Air Force, albeit out of self-defense he said.

Blood was therefore already spilled by his fighters regardless of their reason behind doing so, thus meaning that this explanation isn’t sincere and that he probably decided to turn around at that point since he thought that it would be a suicide mission to try to take the capital. The second explanation that he shared for this decision is that he’d already demonstrated his protest, which he insists was never intended to topple the government, though this also isn’t true either.

As was earlier written, he defiantly challenged the head of state by continuing onward after explicitly being told by him to stop, which leaves no doubt that his march had transformed into a regime change operation by that point even if one believes that it was only an “anti-corruption” campaign until then. In any case, he claims that this marked the moment when Belarusian President Lukashenko intervened to offer Wagner the option to continue legally operating by relocating to that allied country.

Can Wagner’s March Really Be Compared To The Special Operation?

In his closing remarks, Prigozhin said that this march exposed serious security problems in the country due to his force’s neutralization of all those military facilities along their route, though this was already accounted for in the analysis. The next part about them having traveled further during this march than the Russian Armed Forces did at the beginning of the special operation, and this supposedly proving that the latter could have ended right away if properly executed, is also questionable.

Even though it’s true that Wagner is universally regarded as an elite force that stands head and shoulders above their peers, they weren’t being fired at by their compatriots over the weekend, unlike the resistance that they’d have been expected to receive from their Ukrainian foes. This makes his comparison an inaccurate and manipulative one, especially when remembering that Kiev was able to muster enough meat to hold Wagner back from capturing Artyomovsk for months.

That’s not to imply that they’re equals since that battle ground down Ukraine’s capabilities and forced it to throw literally dozens of formations against that single one, but just that this example shows in hindsight that nobody should have expected a quick victory no matter how the special operation began. The point that he’s trying to make is obviously intended to score political points, redeem his reputation after last weekend’s failed coup, and also hammer home the harsh criticisms that he’s made of the DM.

Concluding Thoughts

Altogether, his first audio message since last weekend’s events saw him sticking to his demands for justice, still denying any intent to overthrow President Putin, and insisting that those pilots who his forces shot at and which reports claimed were killed had been targeted in self-defense. This fact-check proves that he’s twisting the truth in all regards, which is likely being done out of ego as well as the possibility that he still has some political ambitions that he hopes to revive sometime in the future.

 

 

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Jun 272023
 
 June 27, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  33 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Interior of a restaurant 1887

 

Putin: Mutiny Organizers Wanted Russian Soldiers to Kill Each Other (Sp.)
Western Experts Salivated Prospect of ‘Doom’ and ‘Civil War’ in Russia (Sp.)
Washington Expected More Bloodshed From Wagner Mutiny – CNN (RT)
Ukraine Failed To Exploit Wagner Coup Attempt – NYT (RT)
Biden Officials Worry That Ukrainian Offensive is ‘Behind Schedule’ (Sp.)
Prigozhin’s Farce Is Over And It Is Clear Who Has Won (MoA)
Prigozhin Mutiny Was Monster Acting Against His Creator- Borrell (G.)
Investigation Into Case Surrounding Prigozhin Continuing (TASS)
Prigozhin’s Gambit – Treason By Any Other Name (Scott Ritter)
John Kerry Says Iraq Invasion Was Based On Lie (RT)
Coup Coo (Kunstler)
Who is Lying? Merrick Garland or the Whistleblowers? (Turley)
‘Journalism is Not a Crime’: Experts Lambast EU Media Freedom Act
Germany Opposes EU Plan To Steal Russian Assets – FT (RT)
Germany, France Want To End Veto Rights In The EU This Year (RMX)

 

 

Prigozhin is in Belarus. Putin has given permission for Wagner fighters to move to Belarus as well. They will then be 100km from Kiev. The Chinese noticed this too:

Ukraine will need to deploy troops to guard Kiev.

 

 

Watters
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673479291315814401

 

 

General Mark Milley wanted to attack Iran and blame it on Donald Trump. This was “exclusively obtained” by CNN…

 

 

 

 

RFK vaccine

 

 

Brett Tolman
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673374501516591104

 

 

Dr. Fukushima
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673365972764196864

 

 

 

 

“Those who want to move to Belarus may do so freely, the president added.”

Putin: Mutiny Organizers Wanted Russian Soldiers to Kill Each Other (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has chastised the organizers of the recent aborted mutiny perpetrated by forces of the PMC Wagner Group, stating that these people betrayed not only their country and their people but also the men whom they duped into participating in this “crime.” In a speech delivered today from the Kremlin, Putin said that Russia’s enemies and the “neo-Nazis in Kiev” along with their Western sponsors wanted the same outcome as the mutiny organizers: an internecine conflict in Russia where Russian soldiers would have been killing each other. He pointed out that the mutiny organizers were well aware of the fact that their mutiny would have been inevitably crushed, and that their actions were ultimately aimed at weakening Russia.

At the same time, he stressed that the vast majority of the Wagner Group’s soldiers and commanders are “Russian patriots devoted to their people and state,” who proved their patriotism “with their courage on the battlefield, liberating Donbass and Novorossiya.” He thanked Wagner Group members who stopped before crossing the “final line,” and said that they can now continue serving Russia by signing a contract with the Ministry of Defense, or any other law enforcement agency, or to return home to their families. Those who want to move to Belarus may do so freely, the president added.

Putin thanked all Russian servicemen, law enforcement officers and special services’ members who “stood in the way” of the mutineers and “remained faithful” to their duty during this crisis, as well as members of the Wagner Group who did not participate in the mutiny. The Russian president also expressed his gratitude to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for “his efforts and contribution to the peaceful resolution of the situation.” Putin did add, however, that it was the “consolidation of the entire Russian society that played a decisive role” in resolving this crisis.”

Read more …

“Russians will be killing Russians, probably in large numbers, unless Prigozhin surrenders..”

Western Experts Salivated Prospect of ‘Doom’ and ‘Civil War’ in Russia (Sp.)

Western press, politicians, and “Russia watchers” prophesized “doom” and “civil war” in Russia upon the PMC Wagner Group’s mutiny, only to learn later that they were profoundly wrong. On June 23, Wagner PMC leader Evgeny Prigozhin announced that he and his 25,000 men were kicking off a “march of justice” towards Moscow amid the private military group’s feud with the Russian Ministry of Defense, prompting the Federal Security Service (FSB) to charge the Wagner chief with inciting an armed mutiny. While Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the PMC leader against irresponsible and treasonous actions, Prigozhin’s mutiny of June 23-24 caused nothing short of euphoria in the Western media sphere. Tom Nichols, a staff writer at The Atlantic, immediately projected on June 23 that the unfolding “crisis” could change the course of the conflict in Ukraine and lead to “a lot of bad things” in Moscow “in the next few days, or even hours.”

Eurasia Group scholar Ian Bremmer echoed Nichols on June 24: “Prospects for Ukraine’s counteroffensive – which hasn’t gone well to date – improving by the minute,” he claimed on Twitter. “In a slow, unfocused sort of way, Russia is sliding into what can only be described as a civil war. If you are surprised, maybe you shouldn’t be,” wrote Anne Applebaum, an American journalist and spouse of Polish MEP Radoslaw Sikorski, who thanked the US government for the destruction of Nord Stream in a later-deleted tweet last year. Former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, went even further by claiming that the “civil war” was already underway and promised a “big fight”: “Russians will be killing Russians, probably in large numbers, unless Prigozhin surrenders,” the American diplomat tweeted on Saturday.

The Hill joined the chorus, predicting “combat and potential doom”: as per the media, passions of ordinary Russians could be “enflamed” and “it’s conceivable that some Russian soldiers will defect.” “Much depends on how swiftly Putin can put down the rebellion, or indeed whether he can. Expect curfews and martial law in Rostov and possibly other cities,” the media forecast. The New York Times referred to Wagner’s “seizure” of Rostov-on-Don as a “grave threat to President Vladimir Putin’s government.” While security had indeed been heightened in Moscow and in Rostov-on-Don, there had been no signs of a gathering storm or a mounting civil unrest in the country. The Associated Press reported that in Moscow “downtown bars and restaurants were filled with customers.”

The media added that “at one club near the headquarters of the FSB, people were dancing in the street near the entrance.” An apparent cognitive dissonance with regard to the “civil war-that-never-happened” reached its apogee in the West after the news that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko struck a deal with Prigozhin and the latter’s announcement that the PMC Wagner Group was returning to its field camps. Some Western netizens couldn’t believe their eyes, claiming that “the odds of this being true are slim to none.” McFaul also seemed perplexed by the sudden turn of events which brought to naught the West’s “Russian civil war” fantasies: “I was wrong about this. Eager to learn why. There is so much to this story that we don’t know yet,” the diplomat tweeted.

Read more …

When Wagner took over the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don, not a shot was fired that I read about. Isn’t that weird?

Washington Expected More Bloodshed From Wagner Mutiny – CNN (RT)

The US expected more resistance to the coup attempt by the Wagner private military company as Evgeny Prigozhin advanced on Moscow, a source has told CNN, predicting that the aborted insurrection would be “a lot more bloody than it was.” The intelligence community in Washington claims to have had advance information about Prigozhin’s actions, according to reports in the US media, and also believed it would result in greater bloodshed. “I do know that we assessed it was going to be a great deal more violent and bloody,” the source told CNN. Prigozhin staged the coup on Friday evening in what he described as an attempt to oust senior Russian military officials, whom he accused of treason.


His forces, which are armed with heavy weapons, had faced little resistance in capturing the headquarters of the Southern Military District, one of territorial commands of the Russian Defense Ministry, in the city of Rostov-on-Don. They were moving unopposed towards Moscow when Prigozhin called off the insurrection on Saturday after accepting a deal with the government, which had been mediated by Belarus. He cited the desire to avoid bloodshed as his reason for stopping. During the brief uprising, Prigozhin claimed that his forces had shot down a Russian attack helicopter. There are uncorroborated reports of several more military aircraft being downed by the Wagner Group, and suggestions that the businessman agreed to pay compensation for the deaths caused by his actions. There was also some fighting along the route, with 19 homes reportedly damaged in Voronezh Region, according to local authorities.

Read more …

Blinken always gets it wrong. He’s sort of like Jim Cramer.

Ukraine Failed To Exploit Wagner Coup Attempt – NYT (RT)

Ukraine was unable to capitalize on the coup attempt in Russia by the Wagner private military company, the New York Times has claimed, citing unnamed US officials. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had earlier suggested that the events had created potential “openings” for Kiev to improve its position on the battlefield. In a report on Sunday, the NYT quoted anonymous “American officials and independent analysts” as acknowledging that “there did not seem to be any immediate defensive gaps to exploit” in Russian lines. The article noted that, “according to a preliminary analysis,” no Russian units in eastern and southern Ukraine abandoned their positions on Friday or Saturday as the attempted insurrection was in full swing.

It went on to emphasize that on Saturday alone, Russian forces reportedly fired some 50 missiles at various targets across Ukraine. American officials cited by the paper predicted that, at least in the short term, the “front lines in Ukraine are likely to remain unchanged.” The NYT added, however, that Ukraine is still likely to attempt to use the “chaos caused by Mr. Prigozhin” to its advantage. The article suggested that supposedly “weakening morale” among Russian troops could be one of the factors that potentially helps Kiev make gains. The paper concluded, however, that “it is too soon to determine the long-term implications” of the failed coup attempt. Speaking to CBS News on Sunday, Blinken described Wagner’s attempted rebellion as a “direct challenge to Putin’s authority,” arguing that it “raises profound questions” and “shows real cracks.”

The diplomat went on to claim that this “creates even greater openings for the Ukrainians to do well on the ground.” Blinken suggested that Wagner’s actions had created a “real distraction” for the Russian leadership, who will now have to “sort of mind their rear.” Blinken’s assessment appeared to echo that of other top US officials, as reported by Politico on Sunday. Wagner rebelled on Friday against Russia’s military leadership. The head of the private military company, Evgeny Prigozhin, agreed to end the uprising and withdraw his forces in exchange for “security guarantees,” as part of a deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday. The same day, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Ukrainian troops had mounted several attacks, which it claimed had all been repelled.

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“..the Ukrainian forces have so far demonstrated remarkable aptitude to losing that military hardware and taking heavy casualties without making any meaningful gains in the field..”

Biden Officials Worry That Ukrainian Offensive is ‘Behind Schedule’ (Sp.)

As the Ukrainian “counteroffensive” that started earlier this month now appears to be grinding to a halt, with Kiev troops failing to breach even the first Russian defensive line, US government officials have apparently become somewhat disappointed by this turn of events. According to one US newspaper, White House officials have been privately fretting about the progress of the Ukrainian offensive while publicly urging people to be patient, with one senior administration official describing its results as “sobering.” “They’re behind schedule,” the official reportedly said. The newspaper also notes that, despite failing to produce any meaningful gains on the battlefield, Kiev forces have already lost a considerable amount of military hardware that was supplied to them by the West.


Over 15 percent of the Bradley infantry fighting vehicles – at least 17 out of 113 – provided to Kiev by the United States have been destroyed or damaged during the futile attempt by Ukrainian forces to reach Russian defensive lines, if the media outlet’s information is to be believed. In the beginning of this month, Ukrainian forces launched what appears to be the much-anticipated “counteroffensive” that the regime in Kiev has been announcing for months. Despite being provided vast quantities of Western military hardware and weaponry by the US and its allies and receiving training from NATO instructors, the Ukrainian forces have so far demonstrated remarkable aptitude to losing that military hardware and taking heavy casualties without making any meaningful gains in the field.

Read more …

When Lukashenko called, Prigozhin already knew what was up. He had all of 3,000 men with him. Lukashenko offered him a way out that Putin had authorized. He didn’t have to convince him to give up, just offer the way out.

Prigozhin’s Farce Is Over And It Is Clear Who Has Won (MoA)

The Prigozhin’s insurrection farce is over. I had predicted that it would not take long to end: In twelve or so hours things are likely to have calmed down. About eight hours after I published the above Prigozhin had given up and left the scene. Prigozhin had launched his hopeless mutiny after the Defense Ministry had demanded that all his men sign contacts with the Russian army. That would have taken away the autonomy of his Wagner outlet and with it a large chunk of his profits. The run of his troops towards Moscow was a desperate attempt to get Putin’s attention and to make him reverse the ministry’s plans. To justify his move Prigozhin had claimed that Russian miliary forces had attacked a Wagner camp and killed a number of its troops. To prove that he published a video that shows some trash in the woods but no dead soldiers. It was an obvious fake.

Putin had already publicly agreed to the ministry’s plans and he is not the man who reverses his decisions on a dime, or under pressure. After Putin’s Saturday morning TV speech, during which he accused Prigozhin of treason without naming him, it was clear that there was no chance for the mutiny to have any success. Many of Russia’s governors and high ranking military soon assured Putin publicly of their loyalty. As far as is known none of Wagner’s military commanders and only a few thousand of its 25,000 troops had joined Prigozhin in his lunatic run. No one in Russia changed sides or supported him. When the Wagner troops entered Rostov on the Don the people who talked with his soldiers were critical of their presence. When Wagner were leaving without further bloodshed the people applauded. To interpret that as support for Prigozhin, as some ‘western’ analysts did, is false. The people were just happy that the whole stunt was over.

Finally the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, likely on request from Putin, got Prigozhin on the phone, used some very strong words and negotiated a deal. If Prigozhin goes into exile in Belarus he will not be bothered any further. But the Russian prosecutors will not close the treason case against him. Should he again make a hassle he will likely end up in jail. Prigozhin may be allowed to take some of his troops with him to Belarus. But the large majority will come under the command of the Russian military and will be transformed into some special unit. The French foreign legion may be an good example for such a force and its potential use. In previous years Prigozhin’s companies had made large profits by catering to the needs of the Russian military. The contracts they have will likely end and his personal fortune will take a big hit. The good days are over for him.

Read more …

Yes, yes, Josep. Go home now. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

Prigozhin Mutiny Was Monster Acting Against His Creator- Borrell (G.)

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny in Russia was “the monster acting against his creator”, the EU’s foreign policy chief has said. “The political system is showing fragilities, and the military power is cracking,” Josep Borrell told reporters in Luxembourg as he arrived for a meeting with ministers from across the 27-member bloc. Wagner group mercenary forces under Prigozhin seized control of military headquarters in southern Russia and began to move towards Moscow on Saturday before suddenly heading back to eastern Ukraine after a deal with the Kremlin. “The most important conclusion is the war against Ukraine launched by Putin and the monster that Putin created with Wagner, the monster is fighting, the monster is acting against his creator,” Borrell said.

Borrell said the instability in Russia was dangerous given its nuclear arsenal and would be top of the agenda at the Luxembourg summit, where ministers voted through a promise to top up Ukraine’s military funds by €3.5bn (£3bn). “Certainly it is not a good thing to see that a nuclear power like Russia is going into a phase of political instability,” he said. EU foreign ministers were scrambling to digest the fallout from the mutiny at their meeting. The German foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said Putin was destroying his own country with his “brutal war of aggression” in Ukraine. “We are seeing massive cracks in the Russian propaganda,” she added. Baerbock said the EU would focus on helping Ukraine in its fight to let its people live in peace and freedom.

The Swedish minister Tobias Billström said it was too early to do an analysis but that the weekend’s events brought Ukraine’s potential membership of the EU into sharp focus. The most important thing was supporting Ukraine so it could win back its territory, he added. “We will have a good opportunity to sit down and talk about the future policy with regard to Ukraine, when it comes to EU integration,” Billström said. “And when it comes to giving both political, military, humanitarian and financial support to Ukraine, until Ukraine has restored its territorial integrity completely.”

Finland’s new foreign minister, Elina Valtonen, said: “It’s too early to tell where this will lead to. But of course, it’s pretty obvious that the events of the weekend will have continued effect on how Putin is seen internally, but also on how Russia is seen to the outside world. “It is common for authoritarian states that everything seems to be very stable until one day, nothing is stable any more. And I expect such a development for Russia as well.” The ministers are also expected to approve the 11th round of sanctions against Russia, aimed at stopping Putin from circumventing previous sanctions by using third countries to ship crude oil and other products around the world.

Read more …

Prigozhin’s private jet was spotted in Belarus this morning. Reportedly, the probe is now closed.

Investigation Into Case Surrounding Prigozhin Continuing (TASS)

The investigation of the criminal case against Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC), accused of organizing an armed mutiny, has not been closed, a source in the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed to TASS on Monday. “The criminal case against Prigozhin has not been closed. The investigation is continuing,” the source said. Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday that as of the morning of June 26, the criminal case concerning the organization of the armed mutiny involving Prigozhin has not been closed and continues to be investigated by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).


On Saturday, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said that, on June 23, FSB investigators opened a criminal case against Yevgeny Prigozhin under Article 279 of the Russian Criminal Code for organizing an armed mutiny. The case was initiated after Prigozhin’s Telegram channel published statements that his units were allegedly attacked and appealed to supporters to come out against the country’s top military leaders. The crime is punishable by 12 to 20 years in prison. The Russian Defense Ministry denied information about Russian strikes on the “rear camps of the Wagner PMC.” Russian President Vladimir Putin made a televised address to Russian citizens, servicemen and law enforcement agencies, slamming the ongoing events as a stab in the back.

Read more …

Scott Ritter lagging behind the events.

Prigozhin’s Gambit – Treason By Any Other Name (Scott Ritter)

Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind—Yevgeny Prigozhin has become a witting agent of Ukraine and the intelligence services of the collective West. And while there may be those within Wagner who have been unwittingly drawn into this act of high treason through deception and subterfuge, in the aftermath of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Russian nation on June 24, and Yevgeny Prigozhin’s impolitic reply, there can be no doubt that there are only two sides in this struggle—the side of constitutional legitimacy, and the side of unconstitutional treason and sedition. Anyone who continues to participate in Prigozhin’s coup has aligned themselves on the wrong side of the law and have themselves become outlaws.

Having taken Wagner down this unfortunate path, one needs to examine the motivations—stated and otherwise—that could prompt such a dangerous course of action. First and foremost, Prigozhin’s gambit must be looked at for what it is—an act of desperation. For all its military prowess, Wagner as a fighting force is unsustainable for any period without the logistical support of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The fuel that powers Wagner’s vehicles, the ammunition that gives its weapons their lethality, the food that nourishes its fighters—all comes from the very organization that Prigozhin has set his sights on usurping. This reality means that to succeed, Prigozhin would need to rally sufficient support behind his cause capable of not only sustaining his gambit but offsetting the considerable power of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian Federation which, if left intact, would be able to readily defeat the forces of Wagner in any large-scale combat.

In short, Prigozhin is looking to create a so-called “Moscow Maidan” designed to replicate the success of the events of early 2014 in Kiev, where the constitutionally elected government of President Victor Yanukovych was toppled from power through violence and force of will that was orchestrated by Ukrainian nationalists supported by the US and Europe. The fantasy of a “Moscow Maidan” has been at the center of the strategy of the collective West and their Ukrainian proxy from the very start. Premised on the notion of a weak Russian president propped up by a thoroughly corrupt oligarch class, the idea of creating the conditions for the rise of sufficient domestic unrest capable of bringing down the Putin government like a proverbial house of cards was the primary objective of the sanctions regime imposed by the West after the initiation of the Special Military Operation (SMO) on February 24, 2022.

The failure of the sanctions to generate such a result compelled the collective West to double-down on the notion of collapsing the Russian government, this time using a military solution. The British Prime Minister pressured his Ukrainian counterpart to forgo a negotiated settlement to the conflict that was ready to be signed in Istanbul on April 1, 2022, and instead engage in a protracted war with Russia fueled by tens of billions of dollars’ worth of military and financial assistance designed to inflict military losses on Russia sufficient to trigger domestic unrest—the elusive “Moscow Maidan.” This effort likewise failed.

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“He actually voted in the Senate to authorize the invasion, however. When Rochebin pushed him on the apparent double standard, Kerry began speaking about “climate justice.”

John Kerry Says Iraq Invasion Was Based On Lie (RT)

The US-led invasion of Iraq was completely different to the current Ukraine conflict, Washington’s special envoy for climate change John Kerry has told French TV channel LCI. He appeared on LCI’s Sunday evening show hosted by Darius Rochebin, who had previously interviewed him for a Swiss outlet in 2017. Rochebin tweeted a video segment of the interview, in which he confronted Kerry about the West accusing Russia of aggression regarding Ukraine. The French journalist noted that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was an actual war of aggression, based on the lie that Baghdad secretly possessed weapons of mass destruction. “No,” Kerry replied. “Because there’s never even been, you know, a process of direct accusation of President [George W.] Bush himself.”

He added that there had been “abuses” in the course of that conflict, and that he “spoke out against them.” When Rochebin asked him directly whether the Iraq War had been a crime of aggression, Kerry repeatedly denied it. “No, No, No. Well, you didn’t know it was a lie at the time. The evidence that was produced, people didn’t know that it was a lie,” the former diplomat said, before telling Rochebin that he doesn’t intend to “re-debate the Iraq War” at this point. Kerry also claimed he was opposed to the war at the time and thought it was the wrong thing to do. He actually voted in the Senate to authorize the invasion, however. When Rochebin pushed him on the apparent double standard, Kerry began speaking about “climate justice.”

The Bush administration accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of having chemical and biological weapons, as well as being somehow involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. The ‘evidence’ for WMDs offered to the media and the UN Security Council turned out to be entirely fabricated, and no such weapons were ever found. Likewise, no connection between Baghdad and Al-Qaeda was ever established. The 2003 invasion and the subsequent occupation of Iraq was carried out without UN approval, by what Bush called a ‘coalition of the willing’. The US, the UK, Australia and Poland provided troops for the attack, though Washington later claimed 44 more countries had offered some kind of support. Kerry ran against Bush in 2004 but lost. He later served as secretary of state in the Barack Obama administration, and was appointed climate change ambassador by the current president, Joe Biden, in 2021.

Read more …

“..Mr. Zelensky might use some of his NATO missiles to zap it, but Russia has video surveillance and recording equipment at every angle around the joint and the world will know five seconds after how it was blown up..”

Coup Coo (Kunstler)

Let’s address one nagging question: why did Mr. Putin allow the Wagner Group private army to play the leading role countering the Ukraine offensive? Answer: because he was saving and building-up the regular Russian army to strength in the further event that NATO might finally jump into Ukraine with all its multi-national feet when all else fails. We’re left, of course, with the manifold mysteries of the coup’s hasty resolution. Mr. Prigozhin, we’re told, will be turned over to the custody of the Belarus president Lukashenko, to… to be done what with? To be put on the shelf like a bowling trophy? I’m sure…. If they can even find the bugger now. (I’d look in Africa, where sundry Wagner units have been operating — Priggy must have had a plane standing by in Rostov.)

In any case, we know the rest: Wagner troops who did not participate in the coup get folded into the regular army, and said regular army takes over duty along the front in Ukraine. Mr. Putin, despite all these insults, will continue to seek a diplomatic end to all this nonsense, and he might get it sooner rather than later. Germany and France, among Euro others, must be sick of these shenanigans. Can Ukraine even carry on much longer? President Zelensky, the comedian, seems to have gone mad-dog now. He just cancelled next year’s election, which makes him… what? Dictator? So much for America’s democracy export program. He’s also issued warnings to the effect that Russia is about to blow up the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest.

Such an act would supposedly trigger direct intervention by NATO, according to the policy promoted by war-hawk US Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal. The nuclear plant is under Russian control. Mr. Zelensky says they have set mines in it. The scenario is pretty absurd. Nobody believes it. Of course, Mr. Zelensky might use some of his NATO missiles to zap it, but Russia has video surveillance and recording equipment at every angle around the joint and the world will know five seconds after how it was blown up. From his latest photographs, it looks like Mr. Zelensky is in the terminal throes of a cocaine rapture, and his actions are consistent with that state of mind. He must know that he’s not long for this world. And our country, the USA, must know that this Ukraine gambit is another lost cause on our long march of military misadventures.

And if the government of our country doesn’t know, the people surely do. Have you noticed, the yellow-and-blue flags are not flying anymore? Even the most hardcore anti-Trump Democrats seem to understand what pounding sand down a rat-hole means when it comes to the many billions of dollars squandered on this stupid project while our cities rot and a whole lot more goes south in our own ailing homeland. Not to mention the parlous position of the American president himself, the spectral “Joe Biden,” skulking in his demon-haunted White House as evidence of his treasonous turpitudes mounts and mounts. Which leaves us to wonder whether our Intel Community may have stirred up the Russia coup as just another distraction from its own Biden-linked crimes against this nation.

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“[a]ny verifiable words or actions of my client in the midst of a horrible addiction are solely his own and have no connection to anyone in his family.”

Who is Lying? Merrick Garland or the Whistleblowers? (Turley)

“I’m not the deciding official.” Those five words, allegedly from Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, shocked IRS and FBI investigators in a meeting on October 22, 2022. This is because, in refusing to appoint a special counsel, AG Merrick Garland had repeatedly assured the public and Congress that Weiss had total authority over his investigation. IRS supervisory agent Gary A. Shapley Jr. told Congress he was so dismayed by Weiss’s statement and other admissions that he memorialized them in a communication to other team members. Shapley and another whistleblower detail what they describe as a pattern of interference with their investigation of Hunter Biden, including the denial of searches, lines of questioning, and even attempted indictments.

The only thing abundantly clear is that someone is lying. Either these whistleblowers are lying to Congress, or these Justice Department officials (including Garland) are lying. The response from both Hunter Biden’s counsel and the attorney general himself only deepened the concerns. Christopher Clark, an attorney for Hunter Biden, responded to a shocking Whatsapp message that the president’s son had allegedly sent to a Chinese official with foreign intelligence contacts who was funneling millions to him. “I am sitting here with my father,” the younger Biden wrote, “and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”

President Biden has repeatedly told the public that he had no knowledge or involvement in his son’s dealings. He maintained the denial despite audiotapes of him referring to business dealings, photos and meetings with his son’s business associates, as well as an eyewitness account of an in-person meeting. Clark did not deny that the above-quoted message had been sent. He only said that it was “illegal” to release the text (he did not explain why) and then added that “[a]ny verifiable words or actions of my client in the midst of a horrible addiction are solely his own and have no connection to anyone in his family.” Most of us expected a simple denial. Yet, after five years, Hunter has never even denied that the laptop was his. His team has continued with the same non-denial denials.

The transcript also details how investigators wanted to confirm the authenticity of the Whatsapp message through the company. The Justice Department reportedly shut down that effort. If Hunter Biden was evasive, Garland was irate. He denounced the allegations as “an attack on an institution that is essential to American democracy, and essential to the safety of the American people.” The statement bordered on delusion. Polls show that a majority of the public now views the Justice Department as politically compromised and even engaged in election interference. The level of trust in the department under Garland is now lower than it was under his predecessor, Bill Barr.

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“..empowering EU governments to install spyware on journalists’ devices under the guise of “national security”..

‘Journalism is Not a Crime’: Experts Lambast EU Media Freedom Act

The European Media Freedom Act envisages installing spyware on journalists’ phones for the sake of “national security”. Sputnik sat down with some international observers to discuss how the provision correlates with the act’s name and basic European principles. “There is no legitimate reason to spy on journalists,” Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist based in New York, told Sputnik. “Remember, this law targets people identified as journalists, not as spies or terrorists or criminals. Journalism is not a crime, unless Julian Assange does it. The real reason is to protect government officials from journalists reporting on officials’ misguided policies, abuses and corruption. It’s quite ironic in view of the EU’s self-congratulatory rules trumpeted as protecting peoples’ data from tech companies. Stealing data when a company does it is bad, stealing audio and written text when a government does it is just fine.”

The bloc’s new media regulation was proposed by the European Commission (EC) in September 2022. The initial draft stipulated that European governments could deploy spyware on journalists’ devices “on a case-by-case basis” to ensure national security or to investigate “serious crimes,” such as terrorism, human or weapons trafficking, exploitation of children, murder or rape. However, in May 2023, Politico obtained a document penned by French policy-makers who called to narrow journalists’ immunity under the new EU rules and strike what they called “a fair balance between the need to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources and the need to protect citizens and the state against serious threats.” According to the media, Paris’ argument was accepted by the EC. As a result, the draft legislation was amended to loosen safeguards for the journalists’ immunity.

The EC’s original list of “serious crimes” allowing surveillance on reporters was replaced by a broader 2002’s Council Framework Decision of the European arrest warrant consisting of 32 offenses. The development triggered a storm of criticism from European journalist organizations, NGOs and activist groups. In particular, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), representing over 300,000 members, denounced the EU’s move as a “blow to media freedom”. The EFJ warned that empowering EU governments to install spyware on journalists’ devices under the guise of “national security” would in particular have a “chilling effect on whistleblowers” and confidential sources. “Since the eighteenth century when newspapers began to circulate, the secrecy of sources has been sacrosanct,” Professor Ellis Cashmore, the author of Screen Society and an independent media analyst, told Sputnik. “Journalists have, over generations, respected this and steadfastly refused to reveal sources. As recently as 2005, Judith Miller, a New York Times journalist, was sentenced to prison for not revealing sources. So, it is an extremely important principle in the media.”

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“Germany’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann had studied the EU proposals for harvesting Russian Central Bank assets, and concluded they were legally unworkable.”

Germany Opposes EU Plan To Steal Russian Assets – FT (RT)

Germany has raised objections to Brussels’s plan to use frozen Russian Central Bank assets for Ukraine’s reconstruction, warning of the legal and financial risks arising from such a move, the Financial Times reported on Monday. The European Commission has been working on a plan to raise billions of euros by requiring financial institutions holding immobilized Russian assets to hand over some of the profits they generate. However, many lawmakers from across the bloc have pointed out that the EU legal system only allows the assets to be frozen, not expropriated. According to the FT, senior German government officials voiced doubts that the EU’s plan can win sufficient support, due to the legal risks.

A Foreign Ministry official reportedly said Moscow “will have to pay for the damage it has caused in Ukraine” and insisted that Germany was doing “everything it legally can” to locate and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian individuals and companies. The official, however, noted that the idea of using Russian funds for Ukraine’s reconstruction raised “complex financial and legal questions.” “It opens a can of worms,” another German official warned, adding that if the EU took money from the Russian Central Bank or reaped the profits from investing the funds, it would set a precedent for others to pursue, such as Poland, with its World War II reparation claims against Berlin. An unnamed official told FT that Germany’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann had studied the EU proposals for harvesting Russian Central Bank assets, and concluded they were legally unworkable.

At a meeting with the European Commission last week, several diplomats reportedly urged caution on the proposal. The EU and its allies have frozen hundreds of billions of euros of Russian Central Bank assets as part of the sanctions policy. Officials have so far rejected calls to confiscate the assets outright, and have instead looked for ways to harvest some of the proceeds for Kiev, FT wrote. The report indicated that one option is for securities depositories to be required to make a windfall contribution from the profits generated, when they reinvest the proceeds of frozen Russian assets. Kiev reportedly believes the EU could raise €3 billion ($3.2 billion) a year from Russian Central Bank assets.

According to a senior Ukrainian official, it was also looking at an alternative scheme, whereby the commission could use seized Russian assets as collateral against which it could borrow to invest for a return, which would be designated for Kiev. “The challenge is to try to work out what is legally sound and defensible,” according to one EU diplomat involved in the discussions, who added: “It’s more complex than anybody thought at the outset.” Foreign ministers from the 27-nation bloc are expected to discuss the issue at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, officials involved in the planning of the meeting told the FT. Moscow has repeatedly condemned the EU’s seizure of its assets as theft. While addressing the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the measure as “medieval.”

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The ultimate power grab.

Germany, France Want To End Veto Rights In The EU This Year (RMX)

In what may be the beginning of the end for European nations, Germany and France are determined to reform national rights, including the EU right of veto, this year. The debate has caused a stir in recent months, and in recent weeks, the measure has been put back on the agenda. France and Germany are convinced that a large-scale institutional reform of the European Union, including the abolition of the veto on European Council votes, could be achieved this year, French EU Affairs Minister Laurence Boone and German Minister of State Anna Lührmann told Euractiv. “This is one of the options we want to explore in order to maintain our position as a global player with the EU’s common foreign and security policy,” Lührmann said.

She added that “it would be an important signal in other policy areas if we were to move to qualified majority voting already this year” and expressed confidence that this would happen. The two ministers said that both countries consider it important to abolish unanimous voting in the European Council in areas such as foreign policy and taxation before the enlargement of the European Union. This could mean, for example, that Brussels would be able to implement a flat tax rate across the EU or even involve itself more deeply in the war, both moves that Hungary has rejected and in some cases even deployed its veto to stop.

Paris and Berlin claim abolishing the veto is a change that is possible without amending the EU treaties, a point hotly contested by a number of European parties, as it would not only give Brussels enormous power but also the largest states, such as Germany and France. This would subsequently allow for the EU to enact a liberal immigration policy, green rules and various other progressive goals without any hindrance from Hungary and other smaller, conservative nations. The introduction of qualified majority voting would remove the veto on foreign policy issues, which would mean that only 15 of the 27 member states — representing 65 percent of the EU’s population — would have to agree to make particularly important foreign and defense policy decisions affecting the EU as a whole. Laurence Boone told Euractiv that this would be “an important step toward greater integration and efficiency.”

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Mobula ray

 

 

Bat swim

 

 

 

 

1st steps
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673386327163674633

 

 

Throw in a donkey

 

 

Art
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673370199301537809

 

 


The oldest musical composition with musical notation still existing anywhere in the world is the Seikilos epitaph from Aydin (Turkey). The epitaphs’ Greek text reads:

“While you live, shine
have no grief at all
life exists only for a short while
and Time demands his due.”

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 252023
 


William-Adolphe Bouguereau Whisperings of Love 1889

 

US Knew Of Wagner Coup Plans In Advance – NYT (RT)
Prigozhin ‘Exiled’ To Belarus In Exchange For Peace, No Criminal Charges (ZH)
Russia May Ink Contracts With Some Wagner PMC Fighters – Kremlin (TASS)
Kremlin: Situation With Wanger PMC Won’t Affect Russia’s Military Op in Ukraine (Sp.)
US: Coup Attempt In Russia Provides ‘Opportunity’ For Kiev – Politico (RT)
Trump Cautions Those Rooting For A Russian Coup (RT)
Chechen Commandos Leave For Areas Of Tensions – Kadyrov (TASS)
DC Scholars: Ukraine Conflict Shows World Has Grown Weary of US Hegemony (Sp.)
Over 500 Excess Heart Deaths a Week in England Since COVID-19 Began (ET)
The Elite War on Free Thought (Matt Taibbi)
Millions Of Brits Could See Savings Wiped Out (RT)
Many Western States in ‘Critical Situation’ Due to High Public Debt – IMF (Sp.)
Rates, Inflation And Congress (Denninger)
Biden Allies Ignore Voters’ Desire For Primary Debates (Sp.)
The More We Learn About The 2020 Election (Tom Elliott)

 

 


Health expert, 67, vs Science denier, 69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too many questions. We will find out some things, but much more we never will.

A coup? Is that what this was? Apparently, while Wagner consists of 25,000-50,000 men, only 5,000 joined the march from Rostov to Moscow, a city of 12.5 million which is very well defended these days. How does that become a coup? Sure, Prigozhin may have counted on parts of the “regular army” to join in, but still.

Also, the Americans knew, but Russia did not? Really? I like this take:

“Plot twist: Prigozhin was approached by the US to do a coup in Russia for billions of dollars. He tells Putin about it, Putin agrees. They keep the money.”

US Knew Of Wagner Coup Plans In Advance – NYT (RT)

US intelligence agencies strongly suspected that Evgeny Prigozhin was planning a major move against the Russian government, days before the Wagner chief ordered his troops to march on Moscow, The New York Times reported on Saturday, citing sources. According to unnamed US officials interviewed by the paper, the administration of US President Joe Biden and military commanders were briefed on the Wagner preparations as early as Wednesday. As additional details came in, another briefing attended by a narrow group of congressional leaders was reportedly held on Thursday. The situation escalated only on Friday night, when Prigozhin accused the Russian Defense Ministry of launching a deadly missile strike on a Wagner camp, and vowed retaliation. The ministry denied the allegation, accusing him of an “informational provocation.”

In the following hours, Wagner troops captured military facilities in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, while Prigozhin announced that his forces were beginning a “march for justice” with a plan to reach Moscow. On Saturday, the Wagner boss agreed to halt his advance and withdraw his forces in exchange for “security guarantees,” as part of a deal brokered by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko. According to NYT sources, prior to the uprising, Washington officials were in no hurry to alert Russian President Vladimir Putin of an impending threat, as they feared that Moscow could accuse them of orchestrating a coup. Moreover, the US “had little interest” in helping Putin amid the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s stand-off with the West, the article says. Still, US officials were reportedly alarmed by a possible conflict between Prigozhin and Moscow, as they worried that Russia’s descent into chaos could create considerable nuclear risks.

The NYT report was echoed by CNN, which claimed on Saturday that US officials had believed Prigozhin was planning to challenge the Russian military “for quite some time,” but did not know what his ultimate goal was. According to CNN sources, Western officials had prior knowledge of Prigozhin’s preparations, including his efforts to accumulate weapons and ammunition. However, the outlet’s source noted that “it all happened very quickly,” and it was difficult to say whether the Wagner chief was serious about delivering on his threats to the Russian military. On Saturday, when the Wagner insurrection was still in full swing, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned the West that any its attempts to use the unrest “to achieve their Russophobic goals” would be futile. Meanwhile, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev noted that a coup in a major nuclear power could result in catastrophic consequences, and Moscow would never allow this to happen.

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“..Wagner’s fighters will not be persecuted, taking into account their efforts on the frontlines of the Ukraine conflict. Peskov explained that President Vladimir Putin’s team “have always respected their exploits.”

Prigozhin ‘Exiled’ To Belarus In Exchange For Peace, No Criminal Charges (ZH)

This entirely bizarre slightly less than 24-hour short-lived coup attempt has just gotten even stranger, given the terms of the truce which evidently caused Evgeny Prigozhin to announce his Wagner fighter columns would turn around and go back to their bases.= The Wall Street Journal has confirmed based on Kremlin statements that “As part of the agreement, Prigozhin will leave Russia for Belarus, and criminal charges against him will be dropped, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. His fighters will be allowed to sign contracts with the Russian military.” And Russia’s RT provides some further details as follows based on Peskov’s statement: “He added that Wagner’s fighters will not be persecuted, taking into account their efforts on the frontlines of the Ukraine conflict. Peskov explained that President Vladimir Putin’s team “have always respected their exploits.”

Those PMC contractors, who refused to take part in the mutiny – and whole units did not – will be allowed to sign contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry, Peskov stated. Can this even be called “exile”?… given that Kremlin statements at this point aren’t even so much as using the word which has a clear punitive implication. The irony remains that one can get a much harsher punishment for mere Cannabis vape pens in the country. In summary: • charges dropped against Prigozhin, who will leave Russia for Belarus • Wagner fighters who didn’t take part in the uprising will sign contracts with the MOD • Wagner fighters who did take part not charged • No word on potential MOD leadership changes What’s clear is that it does indeed look to be over, with no further immediate danger of civil conflict. Sputnik is further confirming Wagner has handed HQ/bases in Rostov-on-Don back to the regular military.

Despite the slap on the wrist (if even), the Kremlin is still talking “tough”: “The plotters’ adventurist aspirations are essentially aimed at destabilizing the situation in Russia, destroying our unity and undermining Russia’s efforts to reliably ensure international security,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The mutiny plays into the hands of Russia’s external enemies.” “The attempted armed mutiny in our country has aroused strong disapproval in Russian society, which firmly supports President Vladimir Putin,” the Foreign Ministry said. Regardless the speculation has begun, and is likely to continue for the coming days and weeks, over what precisely the world just witnessed here…

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It’s the end of Wagner.

Russia May Ink Contracts With Some Wagner PMC Fighters – Kremlin (TASS)

A part of the Wagner private military company’s troops, who decided against participating in an armed mutiny, will be able to sign contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. “An agreement was reached that PMC Wagner troops would return to their camps and places of deployment. Some of them, if they wish to do so, can later ink contracts with the Defense Ministry,” Peskov said. “It also applies to fighters, who decided against taking part in this ‘armed mutiny.’” The spokesman also said “there were some fighters in the military formations [of Wagner PMC], who changed their minds at the very beginning [of the armed mutiny] and returned immediately.” “They have even requested the assistance of the traffic police as well as other help to return to their permanent places of deployment,” Peskov added.


On the evening of June 23, the Telegram channel of Wagner private military company founder Yevgeny Prigozhin posted several audio records with his statements, in which he claimed that strikes had allegedly been delivered against his formations and accused the country’s military leadership of that. In the wake of this, the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia has opened a criminal case into a call for an armed mutiny. The FSB urged Wagner fighters not to obey Prigozhin’s orders and take measures for his detention. Russia’s Defense Ministry dismissed as untrue the reports that Russian forces had allegedly delivered a strike against “the rear camps of the Wagner private military company.” In his televised address to citizens on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the actions by the Wagner private military company an armed mutiny and betrayal and assured that harsh measures would be taken against the insurgents.

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“..the Belarusian leader has personally known Prigozhin for around 20 years..”

Kremlin: Situation With Wanger PMC Won’t Affect Russia’s Military Op in Ukraine (Sp.)

Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin ordered a halt to Wagner troops’ drive on Moscow and opted for de-escalation on Saturday, accepting a proposal mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. “Under no circumstances,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists when asked whether the events with the Wagner PMC would have an impact on the operation in Ukraine. “The special military operation in Ukraine continues, our soldiers at the frontline are demonstrating heroism, they are quite effectively and successfully countering the counteroffensive of Ukraine’s armed forces. And the operation will continue.” He stressed that Wagner troops engaged in the tensions won’t be prosecuted, adding that those wishing to sign a contract with the Russian defense ministry in the future would be able to do so.

Regarding Prigozhin’s status, the spokesman noted that the businessman would be allowed to leave the country. “A criminal case [against Prigozhin] will be terminated and he will leave for Belarus. If you ask, what is the guarantee that Prigozhin could leave for Belarus, it is the word of the Russian president,” Peskov told reporters. Peskov thanked Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for his mediation in talks with Prigozhin, which were aimed at reaching the “highest goal” of avoiding the conflict. “There was the highest goal of avoiding bloodshed, internal confrontation and clashes with unpredictable results. It is for these goals that Lukashenko’s mediation efforts were made, and President Putin made a relevant decision on that,” Peskov told journalists, adding that the phone call between the two presidents was sincere and “very constructive.”

The presidents agreed on Lukashenko’s brokering efforts since the Belarusian leader has personally known Prigozhin for around 20 years, the official stated, also noting that Lukashenko himself had proposed his talks with the Wagner head. Peskov stated that thanks to the agreement the situation had been resolved without further losses, with members of the Wagner PMC able to return back to their field camps.

Read more …

Well, no more.

US: Coup Attempt In Russia Provides ‘Opportunity’ For Kiev – Politico (RT)

US officials believe that the Wagner PMC’s insurrection in Russia will play into Ukraine’s hands, allowing Kiev to revitalize its much-hyped counteroffensive which Moscow says has thus far failed to gain any ground, Politico reported on Saturday. Shortly before the private military company’s leader Evgeny Prigozhin agreed to halt his advance on Moscow and withdraw his troops as part of the deal brokered by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, US officials held several meetings to assess the potential impact of the mutiny, the report says. In the end, they reportedly arrived at the conclusion that the insurrection would keep the Kremlin busy, providing Ukraine’s stalled counteroffensive with a window of opportunity.

“I don’t see how it could hurt them,” one senior official told Politico. Others opined that the development would likely help Kiev, pointing out that Prigozhin had taken control of the HQ of Russia’s Southern Military District in the city of Rostov-on-Don. However, Wagner members have left the city on Saturday evening, according to local officials. With Wagner drama unfolding in Russia, a US official told Politico that policymakers in Washington called their European counterparts, seeking to “reassure them” and tell them to “message neutrality.” “No one should be spiking the football,” he added. According to Politico, the general consensus between Western officials was that Kiev now had “an unprecedented opportunity to advance.”

Some US lawmakers supported this point of view, with Democrat Congressman Jason Crow tweeting that the Wagner insurrection “will almost certainly benefit the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the near term and [Kiev] should move fast to capitalize.” In the early hours of Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Ukrainian troops were attempting to take advantage of Wagner insurrection by reading two brigades for an offensive thrust near the Donbass town of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine). Later, however, it said that while Ukrainian forces tried to mount attacks along several sections of the front, all their attempts to breach Russian lines failed. Ukraine’s offensive, which had been talked up for months, finally kicked off in the early days of June but has so far failed to gain any ground, with Kiev’s troops suffering heavy losses, according to Moscow. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has also admitted that Kiev’s troops had been advancing “slower than desired” in the face of “tough resistance.”

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“This is China’s heretofore unthinkable opportunity – much bigger than Taiwan, which to President Xi can wait.”

Trump Cautions Those Rooting For A Russian Coup (RT)

Former US president Donald Trump has splashed cold water on Western hopes that this week’s conflict between military contractor Wagner Group and Russia’s top generals could lead to the toppling of Moscow’s government, warning that ousting President Vladimir Putin could have unintended consequences. “A big mess in Russia, but be careful what you wish for,” the former president said on Saturday in a Truth Social post. “Next in may be far worse!” Trump reacted to the unrest in Russia just before news broke that Wagner founder Evgeny Prigozhin had agreed to end his rebellion and halt his group’s advance on Moscow. Under an agreement with the Kremlin, the former Putin ally will leave Russia and be spared prosecution.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky cheered the short-lived Wagner uprising, but his Western backers refrained from openly rooting for an overthrow of Putin’s government. US President Joe Biden, who has previously called for regime change in Russia, was reported to be “consulting with allies and partners” on the situation in Moscow. Western media outlets were less restrained in touting the Wagner revolt as an existential crisis for the Russian government. Kurt Volker, former US ambassador to NATO, told CNN that the unrest marked “the end for Putin” and “the beginning of the end of Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

Trump took a shot at his successor, saying Biden would “do about Russia whatever President Xi [Jinping] of China wants him to do.” Alluding to allegations that the Biden family received bribes from business contacts with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, he suggested that the US president was beholden to Xi. “China and Russia, until Biden came along, have always been natural enemies, with China wanting large portions of largely unpopulated Russian land to have for their much larger population,” Trump said. “This is China’s heretofore unthinkable opportunity – much bigger than Taiwan, which to President Xi can wait.”

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This too got old fast. But would Wagner really want to fight the Chechens?

Chechen Commandos Leave For Areas Of Tensions – Kadyrov (TASS)

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has slammed the armed mutiny of the PMC Wagner as betrayal and said that Chechen commandos are on the way to the areas of tensions. “What is happening is not an ultimatum to the Ministry of Defense,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. “It is a challenge to the state. To counter this challenge, it is necessary for the military, security forces, governors and the civilian population to rally all around the national leader. Soldiers of the Ministry of Defense and Chechnya’s units of the National Guard (Rosgvardiya) have already left for the areas of tensions. We will do everything to preserve the unity of Russia and to protect its statehood!” Kadyrov wrote. He is certain Russian President Vladimir Putin takes decisions “in a balanced and scrupulous manner.” “Each of us sees only one part of the map, but he sees it all!


The president noted quite correctly in his address to the nation – this is a military mutiny! There is no excuse for such actions! I fully support Putin’s every word,” Kadyrov said. He urged the servicemen of the North Caucasus Military District not to yield to provocations. “Whatever aims some may declare and whatever promises some may give – at a time like this the security of the state and unity of Russian society is above all! Look at how our enemies in the West are taking advantage of this situation. How many insinuations, how many lies, how many false appeals that frighten our citizens and create the danger of a destabilizing situation are being used. These are the expected consequences of Prigozhin’s treacherous march,” Kadyrov wrote. He reiterated that the current events were a challenge to the state. “It is necessary for the military, security forces, governors and the civilian population to rally around the national leader,” he stressed.

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“..six nations in the Global South – namely, India, Brazil, Turkiye, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa – are set to decide the future of geopolitics..”

DC Scholars: Ukraine Conflict Shows World Has Grown Weary of US Hegemony (Sp.)

Despite having the largest military budget in the world and being the largest operator of military bases abroad, the US is far from being a global hegemon, argues a DC-based think tank Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Over the past decades Washington has demonstrated a capacity for mass destruction – in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere – but “it has won no more than Pyrrhic victories” which led to the erosion of trust in Pax Americana both at home and abroad, according to Responsible Statecraft scholars. The US military spending reached $876.9 billion in 2022, while the nation also operates a whopping 750 foreign military bases. Still, Washington is incapable of persuading the Global South to join anti-Russia sanctions over the latter’s special military operation in Ukraine, the think tank remarks.

“If hegemony means the capacity to get other countries to comply with one’s demands, the United States is far from being a global hegemon,” the report notes. Judging from the so-called Pentagon leak, even some US allies and partners demonstrated hesitance and unwillingness to provide the Kiev regime with shells, jets and armored vehicles. Meanwhile, most nations of the Global South shrugged off the US calls for slapping sanctions on Moscow as contradicting their national interests. US political observers emphasize that six nations in the Global South – namely, India, Brazil, Turkiye, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa – are set to decide the future of geopolitics and insist that the Biden administration needs to win their hearts and minds. At the same time, European commentators argue that developing nations have the right to remain neutral and non-aligned.

[..] Per DC scholars, the emerging trend was articulated by Brookings Institution fellow Fiona Hill, former Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States, in May 2023: “The war in Ukraine is perhaps the event that makes the passing of Pax Americana apparent to everyone. … [Other countries] want to decide, not be told what’s in their interest. In short, in 2023, we hear a resounding no to US domination and see a marked appetite for a world without a hegemon,” she said at a conference in Tallinn, Estonia. According to Hill, the Global South’s resistance to the US and the EU’s demands to slap sanctions on Moscow is nothing short of “an open rebellion.” She noted that “this is a mutiny against what they see as the collective West dominating the international discourse and foisting its problems on everyone else, while brushing aside their priorities on climate change compensation, economic development, and debt relief.”

Western observers also acknowledge that the world’s center of gravity is steadily shifting east, adding that the Biden administration has so far sought to avert this trend by trying to establish “a lasting technological lead over China” and beefing up the US military in Western Pacific. However, “most developing countries, including emerging powers in the Global South, are no longer willing to make zero-sum choices” between Washington and its geopolitical rivals, DC scholars underscore, urging American policymakers to accept the reality that the US is no longer “the indispensable nation.”

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Long waits for heart care, COVID, anything but vaccines.

Over 500 Excess Heart Deaths a Week in England Since COVID-19 Began (ET)

More than 500 additional deaths a week involving heart diseases have been recorded in England since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has said. Based on data from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, the BHF revealed in a report (pdf) that, since February 2020, there has been a total of 96,540 excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions—an umbrella term for a range of heart and blood vessel conditions, including heart attacks and strokes. “It is deeply troubling that so many more people with cardiovascular disease have lost their lives over the past three years,” BHF Chief Executive Dr. Charmaine Griffiths said. In the first year of the pandemic, COVID-19 infection drove high numbers of excess deaths involving cardiovascular disease.

While deaths from COVID-19 have since fallen year-on-year, the number of deaths involving cardiovascular disease have remained high above expected levels, the BHF analysis stated. Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, associate medical director at the BHF and consultant cardiologist, said, “COVID-19 no longer fully explains the significant numbers of excess deaths involving cardiovascular disease.” She said there may have been other contributing factors, including the disruptions to the NHS over the past few years. The charity said a major contributing factor has been the “severe, ongoing disruption” to heart care in the NHS. The number of people waiting for time-sensitive cardiac care was at a record high of nearly 390,000 at the end of April in England, according to NHS England.

Average ambulance response times for heart attacks and strokes have consistently been more than 30 minutes since the beginning of 2022. There has also been significant disruption to the detection and management of high blood pressure and other conditions that put people at much greater risk of a heart attack or stroke, the charity said. Babu-Narayan said: “Long waits for heart care are dangerous—they put someone at increased risk of avoidable hospital admission, disability due to heart failure, and premature death. Yet people are struggling to get potentially life-saving heart treatment when they need it due to a lack of NHS staff and space, despite cardiovascular disease affecting record numbers of people.”

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Address at Free Speech Event in London, with Russell Brand and Michael Shellenberger.

The Elite War on Free Thought (Matt Taibbi)

[..] Isn’t that a beautiful phrase, a “redress of grievances”? Great, memorable language. Like a lot of Americans, I know the First Amendment by heart. I’ve recited it to myself enough to know it doesn’t say the government gives me the right to speech, assembly, a free press. It says I have those things, already. As a person, as a citizen. This is a very American thing, the idea that rights aren’t conferred, but a part of us, like our livers, and you can’t take them away without destroying who we are. That’s why in other contexts you’ll hear some of us say things like, “I’ll give you this gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands!” Some people roll their eyes and think that sounds crazy, but we know that guy actually means it, and to a lot of us it makes sense. We’re touchy about rights, especially about the first ones: speech, assembly, religion, the free press.

But we’re not here tonight to debate the virtues of American speech law versus the European tradition. Instead, Michael and I are here to tell a horror story that concerns people from all countries. Last year, he and I were offered a unique opportunity to look at the internal documentation of Twitter. I entered that story lugging old-fashioned, legalistic, American views about rights, hoping to answer maybe one or two questions. Had the FBI, for instance, ever told the company what to do in a key speech episode? If so, that would be a First Amendment violation. Big stuff! But after looking at thousands of emails and Slack chats, I first started to get a headache, then became confused. I realized the old-school Enlightenment-era protections I grew up revering were designed to counter authoritarianism as people understood the concept hundreds of years ago, back in the days of tri-cornered hats and streets lined with horse manure.

What Michael and I were looking at was something new, an Internet-age approach to political control that uses brute digital force to alter reality itself. We certainly saw plenty of examples of censorship and de-platforming and government collaboration in those efforts. However, it’s clear that the idea behind the sweeping system of digital surveillance combined with thousands or even millions of subtle rewards and punishments built into the online experience, is to condition people to censor themselves. In fact, after enough time online, users will lose both the knowledge and the vocabulary they would need to even have politically dangerous thoughts. What Michael calls the Censorship-Industrial Complex is really just the institutionalization of orthodoxy, a vast, organized effort to narrow our intellectual horizons.

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“..the average variable-rate home loan in the UK has more than doubled from around 3% to 6.19% as of Thursday morning. This has affected around 4 million UK households..”

Millions Of Brits Could See Savings Wiped Out (RT)

British homeowners may have to pay 50% more on their mortgages by the end of the year as a result of the Bank of England’s (BoE) interest rate hikes, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) warned in a new report published on Thursday. According to the findings, higher mortgage repayments could wipe out the savings of some 1.2 million British families, bringing the total number of insolvent households to 7.8 million, or 28% of the total in the country. The analysts also calculated that the rising repayments in aggregate will erase 0.3% of the UK’s GDP and cost households with home loans a total of £12 billion ($15.2 billion) per year.

The warning from NIESR follows the BoE’s decision on Thursday to raise its base interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to 5% as the regulator tries to tame the persistently high inflation in the country. While annual consumer price inflation remained unchanged at 8.7% in May, core inflation, which excludes volatile energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, surged to 7.1%, its highest level since 1992. “The rise in interest rates to 5% will push millions of households with mortgages towards the brink of insolvency,” Max Mosley from NIESR stated. He explained that many families who took out mortgages with interest rates of 1-2% may be in for a rate surge of 4 percentage points.

“No lender would expect a household to withstand a shock of this magnitude, so the Government shouldn’t either. Some investment should be done in forbearance agreements, giving households and lenders the ability to create payment plans that work for each other,” he said. Since last year, the average variable-rate home loan in the UK has more than doubled from around 3% to 6.19% as of Thursday morning. This has affected around 4 million UK households that either have variable-rate mortgages or are facing the need to remortgage due to their fixed-rate deals ending. For a household borrowing £300,000 ($381,000) on a 25-year mortgage, monthly repayments have already been pushed up from £1,400 ($1,780) to £2,000 ($2,540), a nearly 50% increase, NIESR calculated, warning that with more interest rate hikes expected, these bills will only grow further.

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“Europe will gradually turn into a region with an average standard of living. This is a tragedy, but I do not see the ability of the authorities to allow pain,..

Many Western States in ‘Critical Situation’ Due to High Public Debt – IMF (Sp.)

Many countries around the world, including Western ones, are in a critical condition due to their high levels of public debt, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Director for Russia Aleksei Mozhin told Sputnik. “After COVID, there was a big recession in the economy; budget deficits increased and had to be financed by increasing public debt. Many countries found themselves in a critical situation in terms of public debt, including Western countries,” Mozhin said. Years of irresponsible budgetary and monetary policy, including pumping money into the economy to revive it, lie at the heart of the current debt crisis, he said. Mohzin pointed out that the example of Japan shows it is possible to kick the can down the road to avoid default for a long time, but at the cost of the Japanese economy not growing for 30 years.

This is the case with other economies as well, the Italian economy has not grown for 20 years, he said. “All these are consequences, first of all, of the skyrocketing level of public debt,” Mozhin said.Almost all European countries are now facing significant levels of debt, including Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, not to mention Greece and Italy, Mozhin noted, characterizing the situation as “simply awful.”At the same time, Mozhin said sick economies must experience pain to get better as there are no other ways to treat them. They must raise interest rates to reduce inflation but that kills economic growth and increases the cost of borrowing.”If there is a huge public debt, it means that ‘budget consolidation,’ achieving budget surplus, is required. This requires either an increase in taxes in order to increase budget revenues or a reduction in budget expenditures. Both kill economic growth,” Mozhin said.

The countries of the collective West cannot cope with these challenges because of the ruling populism there, he said.”The very political system of these countries leads to the fact that they have a complete fixation on short-term indicators,” Mozhin said. “Good growth and low unemployment must be achieved today at all costs, otherwise you may lose the upcoming elections. And elections are held there almost every year.”Mozhin noted that states that find themselves in a critical situation because of high debt are able to avoid defaulting by issuing new government bonds and forcing their own banks to accept the government debt. “Europe will gradually turn into a region with an average standard of living. This is a tragedy, but I do not see the ability of the authorities to allow pain,” Mozhin said.

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” If Congress does not stop deficit spending then the outcome is certain with the only remaining question being time.”

Rates, Inflation And Congress (Denninger)

Inflation will not return to the Fed’s Target, which itself is illegal under the Fed’s mandate for STABLE prices, until and unless Deficit Spending ends. The current price level for many essential goods and services — including housing, food, medical care, insurance of various sorts that are not optional (e.g. vehicle insurance in order to be able to legally drive or homeowners in order to have a mortgage) are impossible to afford across the general public at the present time; they were generated by artificial and impossible to maintain federal government subsidies such as paying people $600/wk to stay at home and get drunk or not having to pay back student loans.

Therefore even a complete halt to inflation is insufficient; the price level must drop to approximately, in income-adjusted terms, including for those on fixed incomes, to pre-pandemic levels and in fact likely to pre-2006 levels, because the gross subsidies via credit emission at the federal level has been going on and embedded itself into the American psyche for that long or even longer. Congress has been imbued with the idea that the Federal Government can spend more than it takes in plus the increase in productivity. Of course when productivity is negative this means the delta in spending must also be negative to retain balance, but Congress never does that, do they? The most-gross abuses are in CMS but hardly the only ones.

Markets appear to believe that there is no limit to this insanity either. You can somewhat explain that given the last 20 years or so of history but that externalizing your costs (e.g. by offshoring labor and production, thereby “hiding” the inflation by using an externality) appears to “work” but since this planet is finite in size, mass and resource there’s a limit to how long you can hide all that before it either stops working or worse, comes back at you.We’re seeing this now. This issue does not belong to The Fed; the Federal Reserve’s is only charged with, and in fact only can, respond to what Congress does. They do not have the power to alter what Congress does; that is neither in their remit or within their capacity. If Congress does not stop deficit spending then the outcome is certain with the only remaining question being time.

As I pointed out this issue is resolvable but doing it requires kneecapping the medical monopolists. No new laws are required to do that; only an Executive that will enforce existing laws. However, since Congress controls in every instance the purse that responsibility is in fact on Congress as well since they can demand that said laws be enforced or they will zero the budgets of any agency that refuses.We as Americans may not like these options but whether we like them or not isn’t part of the disucssion. This is about mathematics and whether or not we wish to have a peaceable nation or whether we will continue to play this game until civil society breaks down in catastrophic and possibly-unrecoverable ways. The choice is ours — not theirs.

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”There is nothing unusual about the incumbent not participating in primary debates: in fact, no sitting president has taken part in the event since at least 1948..”

Biden Allies Ignore Voters’ Desire For Primary Debates (Sp.)

Democratic strategists believe there is no need for President Joe Biden to participate in primary debates, but the US public thinks otherwise. Top Democrats have made it clear that Joe Biden won’t cross swords with his Democratic opponents, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, let alone third-party candidate Cornel West. There is nothing unusual about the incumbent not participating in primary debates: in fact, no sitting president has taken part in the event since at least 1948. Neither Donald Trump, nor Barack Obama held primary debates when they sought re-election.In addition, Democratic operatives claim that Kennedy and Williamson are “gadflies” who don’t deserve to debate a sitting president.

According to them, Biden’s “marginal” opponents could score political points by sharing a stage with the incumbent, while the latter is unlikely to gain anything. They also cite Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s controversial vaccine remarks and an unorthodox position on the conflict in Ukraine. Meanwhile, a number of surveys indicate that the American people want to see a series of Democratic debates during the 2024 campaign. Per the Suffolk University poll, eight in 10 Democratic primary voters share this stance. A Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey shows that 68% of eligible voters believe that the Dems should hold primary debates. The figure is even higher among those who voted for Joe in 2020: 79% of them have agreed that there must be a televised event.

During the 2020 election cycle Joe Biden did not hold large rallies, but took part in Democratic National Committee debates where his soon-to-be veep, Kamala Harris, pressed him on race issues. He also attended all debates with his rival in the general election, then-sitting President Trump. While it’s unlikely that Democrat top brass and Biden change their mind, some US media suggests that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not as “fringe” candidate as one might imagine. In early June it turned out that Silicon Valley moguls decided to throw weight behind RFK Jr., insisting that he could outperform both Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Furthermore, RFK Jr. commands a 15-20% support among Democratic voters and has a “media-ready image” being an heir to the famous political dynasty. As per Axios, Kennedy’s growing popularity may increase the pressure on Joe Biden to participate in a debate with the representative of the famous political clan. “Of course, there should be debates in a democratic system as a way to help voters choose the candidate that best represents their views,” a campaign spokesperson for Kennedy told the US media. “Debates can also help voters evaluate a candidate’s character.”

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Twitter thread.

The More We Learn About The 2020 Election (Tom Elliott)

The more we learn about the 2020 election, the more undeniable it becomes that Biden owes his “victory” to blatant political corruption. To wit:

1) An IRS probe into the Bidens money laundering payments from hostile nations — the normal outcome of which would have ended his candidacy — was instead given a stand-down order

2) The FBI & IRS wanted to search Biden’s house in September 2020 but were given a stand down order.

3) The FBI authenticated Hunter’s laptop a year before the NYPost first reported on its contents

4) Rather than use the laptop’s voluminous documentation of myriad felonies to initiate criminal investigations, the FBI hatched a plot to warn social media companies of an imminent “hack & leak” operation of what they heavily suggested was Russian disinformation

5) The FBI used its 2016 Russia collusion probe — which the Durham probe has since proven was essentially an extension of the Clinton campaign — to rationalize its meddling in the 2020 election.

6) The FBI also conducted an influence operation with various reporters at major newspapers to convince them that forthcoming damaging reporting about Biden that they knew was true was in fact not

7) The FBI was spying on Giuliani when he shared the laptop’s contents with the NYPost

8) When the FBI told Twitter & Facebook a Russian disinformation campaign was coming, they had already concluded Russia wasn’t trying to game the election

9) In their attempt to corroborate their own rumor of Russian electoral influence, the FBI became aggressive with its demands for user data from Twitter, eventually getting shutdown for seeking users’ private info without a warrant

10) Nonetheless, in the preceding years, the FBI established a beachhead inside Twitter, with an operations center of former agents who communicated via their own dedicated slack channel. These ex-agents included Jim Baker, the FBI’s former top counsel who played a central role in the FBI’s Trump/Russia scam, as well as Comey’s former chief of staff, Dawn Burton, who started the FBI’s Russia collusion probe.

11) The CIA, in collusion with the Biden campaign, seeded disinformation claiming the laptop was itself Russian disinformation. The major media used this as a pretext to avoid reporting on its contents and instead attack those who were.

12) The FBI also arranged a meeting with Sens. Grassley & Johnson about supposed Russian disinformation & Hunter Biden.

13) The FBI then used this briefing with the senators to justify quashing their own agents’ probe into the Bidens’ corruption.

14) When the story broke mere weeks before the election — one that polling later indicated would have altered enough Democrat votes to send Trump to a second term — Twitter & Facebook orchestrated an unprecedented & anti-democratic mass censorship campaign.

15) When Twitter initially resisted censoring the story, it was Jim Baker who convinced them to do so (despite the FBI having known for a year the informartion was true).

16) In December 2020, after the operation’s success and Biden’s “victory,” the FBI agents working at & with Twitter celebrated the outcome.

17) The FBI subsequently paid Twitter $3.5 million for the staff hours expended on their influence operations.

18) At the time Trump was being impeached for asking Ukraine to investigate Biden’s alleged corruption in Ukraine, the FBI & IRS already knew the Bidens had indeed laundered more than $10 million from Burisma, via fake companies and dozens of bank accounts, while at the same time VP Biden had used U.S. aid as leverage in getting the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma fired.

P.S. And that’s to say nothing of Democrats orchestrating a state-by-state campaign to change voting rules to enable the widespread adoption of voting boxes … Left-wing activist groups, funded in part by Facebook, facilitated the exploitation of these drop-off boxes on behalf of the Democratic Party. That part may not have been illegal since they simply changed the rules, but it’s especially shady since it was done alongside federal health agencies then-knowingly overstating the threat of Covid, which was used as the rationale for the change of rules in the first place.

P.P.S. And this is just what we know despite the feds’ best efforts. Imagine how much we don’t.

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QR

 

 


Image created by a Japanese neurologist. It stays still when you are calm. It begins to move when you experience a slight amount of pressure. It moves like a carousel when under a great deal of stress.

How are you doing?

 

 

Baby owls

 

 

Octopus

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 192023
 


Jusepe de Ribera A philosopher holding a mirror 1630

 

Ukrainian Forces May Be Temporarily Pausing Counteroffensive: ISW (RT)
Ukraine Sustains Massive Single-Day Losses – Russian MOD (RT)
NATO Chief Doesn’t Want ‘Frozen Conflict’ In Ukraine (RT)
Kiev Deploys Significant Military Forces Along Border With Belarus – CIS (TASS)
Russia’s Military Operation Virtually Turns Into Russia-West War – Kremlin (TASS)
Putin Does Not Rule Out That Zaluzhny Could Be Outside Ukraine (TASS)
Kremlin Promises Punishment For Threats To Kill Russians (RT)
‘No Chance’ Of Extending Black Sea Grain Deal – Kremlin (RT)
Obscure Results of Blinken’s Talks in Beijing Suggest Lack of Progress (Sp.)
Will Upcoming NATO Summit Launch Forever War In Europe? (Sacks)
Swedish Parliament Can’t Rule Out Russian Attack (RT)
United Nations Planning Digital ID Linked to Bank Accounts (SLAY)
Obama Calls For ‘Digital Fingerprints’ To Fight “Non-Mainstream News” (TPV)
Gang of Criminals Trying Trump – Paul Craig Roberts (USAW)
America on the Brink by David Ray Griffin (Paul Craig Roberts)
For Father’s Day, Hunter Negotiates 12% For The Big Guy (BBee)

 

 

 

 

McGovern

 

 

The last 10 years of the Donbass War. Watch!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670402271929069570

 

 

 

 

Barry Joe Don

 

 

RFK Gates
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670407776307224578

 

 

The Peter Hotez vs. RFK Jr Charity Debate Pot Is Now Over $2.62 MILLION!!

But Hotez is just a drug pusher. He won’t debate.

Hotez

 

 

 

 

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has emerged as the no. 1 NATO “think tank”. They claim it’s totally normal to take a break in a mass offensive after 2 weeks, in which no gains have been made.

The WSJ is a tad more realistic but not much: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine have suspended the offensive, summing up the results of the past two weeks and analyzing ways to break through Russian lines without huge losses, writes the WSJ. The Armed Forces of Ukraine faced a serious superiority of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the air. Russian aviation was able to strike at the armored columns of NATO equipment and stopped a number of attacks.

Kyiv “maintains an optimistic tone” and says that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have moved forward on a number of fronts. But these advances “do not pose a direct threat to the main lines of defense of Russia, built in a few months in the Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions,” writes the WSJ.

Ukrainian Forces May Be Temporarily Pausing Counteroffensive: ISW (RT)

Ukrainian forces may be temporarily pausing counteroffensive operations to reevaluate their tactics for future operations, Report informs, citing the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW). “Ukraine has not yet committed the majority of its available forces to counteroffensive operations and has not yet launched its main effort. Operational pauses are a common feature of major offensive undertakings, and this pause does not signify the end of Ukraine’s counteroffensive,” said ISW.

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Here’s the reality of the offensive:

Ukraine Sustains Massive Single-Day Losses – Russian MOD (RT)

Ukrainian military forces have sustained heavy casualties across frontlines during the past 24-hour period, the Russian Defense Ministry has said. Russia’s Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions have seen the most intense fighting, with Kiev losing more than 800 soldiers there alone. “Over the past day, enemy losses in the Southern Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions amounted to more than 800 Ukrainian servicemen, 20 tanks, four infantry fighting vehicles, [and] 15 armored fighting vehicles,” the military said on Sunday during a daily media briefing, without elaborating on whether its figures for casualties includes those killed and injured or related just to deaths. As well as these setbacks in personnel and equipment, Ukrainian troops also lost two US-made M777 howitzers and several Soviet-made artillery systems, the military added.


The immediate vicinity of Donetsk city has seen intense fighting as well, with Ukrainian forces losing over 200 soldiers on this axis, according to the ministry. The Russian military has destroyed multiple soft and armored vehicles on the outskirts of Donetsk, it also said, as well as two major ammunition stockpiles to the northwest of the city. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has intensified after Kiev launched its long-heralded counteroffensive in early June. Thus far, the Ukrainian military has failed to make any major gains, sustaining heavy losses in the process and losing large amounts of Western-supplied hardware. According to the estimates of Moscow’s military, some 7,500 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded amid the counteroffensive effort.

Putin Patriots
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670498776593702912

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Stoltenberg wants the slaughter to continue:

NATO Chief Doesn’t Want ‘Frozen Conflict’ In Ukraine (RT)

The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia should not be paused at the current stage, but rather a just solution must be found, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. He also expressed confidence that Kiev would one day join the US-led military bloc, adding, however, that this was not an immediate priority. In an interview with Germany’s Welt am Sonntag published on Sunday, Stoltenberg argued that, while “we all want this war to end,” only a “just” peace can endure. “Peace cannot mean freezing the conflict and accepting a deal that is dictated by Russia,” he asserted, adding that “only Ukraine can define the conditions that are acceptable.” Stoltenberg called for “credible” security guarantees for Kiev once the conflict is over, “so that Russia cannot rearm and attack again.”

Asked about the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, Stoltenberg predicted that this would happen at some point in the future. However, he said the current priority is ensuring that “Ukraine prevails as a sovereign and independent state.” He also revealed that current member states are planning to adopt an aid package for Kiev during the alliance’s upcoming summit in Vilnius next month. The goal is to help Ukraine bring its military in line with NATO standards over several years, he explained. Last month, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency that Moscow was “in solidarity” with the West to the extent that the conflict in Ukraine cannot be frozen. He said the only option that Moscow is currently considering is “completing the special military operation,” which means securing Russia’s interests and achieving its goals.

Peskov also expressed skepticism over the possibility of peace talks between the two countries at this point. “It is unlikely that we can talk about real negotiations with any of the representatives of the current Kiev authorities, because there [in Ukraine], any negotiations with the Russian Federation are simply prohibited now,” the Kremlin spokesperson explained. In May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said any peace talks could not aim to freeze the conflict in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Politico, citing anonymous sources, reported that US President Joe Biden’s administration was considering putting the fighting on hold instead of pushing for Ukraine’s victory. Officials in Washington have reportedly envisaged a situation akin to that in existence between North and South Korea.

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Keep an eye on this. And think: what troops?

Kiev Deploys Significant Military Forces Along Border With Belarus – CIS (TASS)

The Ukrainian army has deployed a significant military contingent along the border with Belarus and periodically tries to test the defense capability of the Union State. Head of the second department of the CIS countries at the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexey Polishchuk said it in an interview with TASS. “The information that we have and that has been repeatedly voiced in the statements of officials indicates that the Ukrainian army has indeed deployed significant forces along the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, periodically trying to probe the defense capability of the Union State in one way or another,” Polishchuk said.


The diplomat recalled that under these conditions, since October 2022, additional units of the joint Regional Group of Forces have been deployed in Belarus. “Their task is to serve as a deterrent from invading the territory of the Union State and to minimize the risks of infiltration by sabotage and reconnaissance groups. We proceed from the fact that the Russian and Belarusian means available in the area are sufficient to repel aggression from the territory of Ukraine or neighboring NATO countries,” Polischuk stressed. “We hope that the Kiev regime and their Western curators will have the common sense not to undertake military adventures, the consequences of which for them may be very serious,” he said.

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“cordon sanitaire”

Russia’s Military Operation Virtually Turns Into Russia-West War – Kremlin (TASS)

Russia’s special military operation started to defend the Donbass region and now it has virtually turned into a war with the collective West, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with RT commenting on the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine. “In fact, the special military operation against Ukraine, against the Kiev regime, was launched to ensure the safety of the people of Donbass. This is correct. Now it is practically a war between Moscow and the collective West,” the Kremlin spokesman said.


Recalling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement about establishing a “cordon sanitaire” on the territory of Ukraine if the shelling of Russian regions continues, Peskov said that as the range of weapons delivered to Ukraine expands, so will the buffer zone, “that is, the distance that we will have to move Ukrainians away from our territories.”

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Of course Putin knows where he is. There was a report in early May that Zaluhzny was gravely injured in a Russian attack, that he would live, but couldn’t re-take command. Since then he’s been missing, and no signal someone else has taken over. This is the Ukrainian Army Commander-in-Chief. Who’s in charge now?

As for the chief of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Kirill Budanov, reports say he died.

Putin Does Not Rule Out That Zaluzhny Could Be Outside Ukraine (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin does not rule out that Ukrainian Army Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny could be abroad, Putin said during a conversation with Russian journalists covering the special military operation in Ukraine. “I know. I think I know,” the president said in response to a question about Zaluzhny’s whereabouts. “I think he is abroad. But I could be wrong,” Putin said.


The media first reported Zaluzhny’s serious injury in May. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied the information, but Zaluzhny has not been seen in public for a long time and did not attend a NATO committee meeting at the level of chiefs of staff. Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin told reporters earlier that Russia was receiving updates on Zaluzhny’s condition, but wouldn’t disclose any details. Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar denied speculation that Zaluzhny had been wounded.

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“The members of parliament in those countries, they should understand to whom they are sending their aid – to de-facto murderers; people who declare their intention to kill..”

Kremlin Promises Punishment For Threats To Kill Russians (RT)

Any persons threatening to kill Russians are enemies who should be and will be punished for doing so, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov has warned. On Sunday, Peskov was asked by channel Rossyia 1 to comment on the words of Mikhail Podoliak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who said last week that Kiev’s long-awaited counteroffensive would be “the most brutal advance with the maximum killing of Russians on this route.” “That’s what our enemies say, and we have to fight them. You can’t threaten the Russians with murder. Russians should punish [them] for this, and we will do so,” the Kremlin spokesperson pointed out. He noted that Podoliak was “not a pioneer” in this regard, as the chief of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Kirill Budanov and members of the country’s Security Council have also “repeatedly talked about their desire to kill as many Russians as possible.”


According to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the headquarters of GUR in Kiev had been hit by Russian missiles in late May. The Defense Ministry said the successful strike targeted “decision-making centers” in Ukraine “where terrorist attacks on Russian soil were being planned under the guidance of specialists from Western intelligence agencies.” Peskov also said that he wanted the statements about killing Russian citizens made by Podoliak and other Ukrainian officials to be evaluated by Kiev’s foreign backers. “The members of parliament in those countries, they should understand to whom they are sending their aid – to de-facto murderers; people who declare their intention to kill,” he explained.

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A set-up. Russia will be blamed.

‘No Chance’ Of Extending Black Sea Grain Deal – Kremlin (RT)

The deal allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported via the Black Sea has “no chance” of being extended as things stand at the moment, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. Russia has “shown goodwill several times, made concessions” and extended the agreement, but what was promised to Moscow as part of the deal still hasn’t been fulfilled, he said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper on Saturday. “It’s hardly possible to predict some sort of a final decision here, but we can only state that – judging de facto by the status that we now have – this deal has no chance,” Peskov explained. “The deal implies deeds; deeds on the part of the contracting states or organizations. And one part of this deal was done, and the second part, which related to [promises made to] Russia, was never done,” the spokesman claimed.

The deal brokered by the UN and Türkiye was signed in July 2022, providing for the safe shipment of Ukrainian grain though Black Sea corridors in exchange for the US and EU removing obstacles to exports of Russian food products and fertilizers. The West has claimed that it never restricted those items, but Moscow has argued that it still couldn’t supply them to foreign buyers due to shipping, insurance and brokerage sanctions, which were imposed on Moscow over its conflict with Kiev. The initial agreement lasted for 120 days, but was extended several times since then. It’s now set to expire on July 17.

Speaking to a delegation of African leaders in St. Petersburg on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “the supply of Ukrainian grain to world markets doesn’t solve the problems of African countries in need of food.” Despite the West promising that the deal would help the poorest nations, only 3.1% of the shipments of Ukrainian grain have ended up in Africa, with 38.9% of them going to the EU, he explained. Earlier this week, Putin said Moscow “was thinking about exiting this grain deal” because nothing had been done to facilitate Russia’s food and fertilizer exports. He also said safety corridors in the Black Sea had been used by Ukraine to launch naval drones.

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No red carpet. Bloomberg reports this morning that Xi will see him after all.

Obscure Results of Blinken’s Talks in Beijing Suggest Lack of Progress (Sp.)

The ambiguity surrounding the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing and his talks with Chinese officials there suggests that little progress has been made in terms of Washington’s agenda, the US media reports. Antony Blinken arrived in Beijing on June 18 in what became his first visit to China in his current role and also the first US Secretary of State visit to Beijing since 2018. It took the Biden administration almost six months to put this visit back on the schedule as it was originally set for February. Blinken has already met with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who said on Sunday that China-US relations were at their lowest point.

The US media reported on Sunday that the ambiguity following the talks indicates little substantive progress on Blinken’s agenda items, which include concerns over Taiwan, jailed US citizens in China and Beijing’s stance on Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Blinken and Qin Gang are said to be “inching toward an off-ramp from months of rancor” but Beijing maintains its “stern” stance on key issues.

According to the Monday schedule published by the US State Department, Blinken holds talks with China’s Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi on Monday morning. The US State Secretary will then participate in a roundtable with exchange program alumni in Beijing and a separate roundtable with US business leaders. He also plans to meet with employees and families of the US Mission China in Beijing. It is notable, that Blinken’s Monday schedule does not include meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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“Polish or Ukrainian tails should not wag American dogs into World War III. ”

Will Upcoming NATO Summit Launch Forever War In Europe? (Sacks)

An article in the New York Times on Wednesday claimed that pressure is building on Biden to announce a timetable for Ukrainian membership in NATO at its Vilnius Summit next month. Supposedly Biden is “isolated” among NATO allies in his reluctance to do so, even though that claim is contradicted by the story’s own last paragraph (the one that Noam Chomsky once quipped should be read first), which acknowledges that “others argue more quietly” that NATO membership “could give Mr. Putin more incentive to continue the war, or to escalate it.” Indeed, since Moscow has already declared NATO membership for Ukraine to be completely unacceptable and an existential threat — the prevention of which is one of its chief war aims — a Vilnius Declaration that Ukraine will join NATO when the war ends will effectively ensure that the war goes on forever.

It will also take off the table the West’s central bargaining chip to achieve peace, which is a neutral Ukraine. It’s clear that the “pressure” on Biden is coming from Zelensky and some of the eastern NATO countries, specifically Poland and the Baltic States. Zelensky said two weeks ago that Ukraine would not even attend the Vilnius Summit unless given a firm signal on its eventual membership. Former NATO secretary general Anders Rasmussen, now a consultant to Zelensky, even threatened that “if NATO cannot agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there is a clear possibility that some countries individually might take action.” In particular, “the Poles would seriously consider going in,” triggering direct war between NATO and Russia.

The NYT article implies that the current secretary general Jens Stoltenberg agrees with the hardliners on the need for a concrete timetable for Ukraine’s admission into NATO, but he made no such promises during his joint address with President Biden on Tuesday. By Wednesday, Stoltenberg and NATO were making it clear that no specific timeline for Ukraine’s NATO membership would be on the agenda in Vilnius. He reiterated comments from April that “Ukraine’s future is in NATO,” and said there would be agreement from member states on a “multi-year program” to help Ukraine “become fully interoperable with NATO,” but wouldn’t commit to anything more specific than that. Apparently, it’s Zelensky and his allies along the Russian border who are “isolated,” not President Biden. Whatever Stoltenberg’s personal views may be, he knows NATO is divided on the question of admitting Ukraine in the near future.

Even the NYT name-checks three countries – Germany, Hungary, and Turkey – whose leaders would definitely oppose membership at a specific future date. Many more leaders have privately expressed concern, and Biden, to his credit, appears to be one of them. While his overall conduct and rhetoric has been hawkish (and I continue to maintain he could have avoided this war altogether with better diplomacy in the months leading up to it), Biden has been admirably consistent in his desire not to plunge America into direct war with Russia. The threats from Rasmussen underscore how easily a proxy war can turn into a real one in an alliance where all members are pledged to come to the military defense of any one member. The American people may begin to question the wisdom of making new Article 5 guarantees if foreigners like Rassmussen can use existing ones to blackmail the United States into reckless action.

Polish or Ukrainian tails should not wag American dogs into World War III.

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They smoke good stuff there.

Swedish Parliament Can’t Rule Out Russian Attack (RT)

A Russian attack on Sweden cannot be entirely excluded, Swedish public broadcaster SVT said on Sunday, citing a report prepared by the country’s parliamentary defense committee. “An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out,” the broadcaster cited the document as saying. “Russia has also further lowered its threshold for the use of military force and exhibits a high political and military risk appetite,” the document stated, according to SVT. “Russia’s ability to carry out operations with air forces, naval forces, long-range weapons or nuclear weapons against Sweden remains intact.” The report is due to be presented to the public on Monday. SVT cited an unnamed person who worked on the document as saying that officials intend to send “a clear signal to Russia.”


Last year, Sweden walked away from its long-standing policy of non-alignment and applied to join NATO, citing Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine. The application process has since stalled as Hungary and Türkiye have so far refused to approve the Nordic country’s bid. Sweden announced plans to drastically increase its defense budget earlier this year, and, in April through May, held its largest military exercise in over 25 decades. Stockholm has supplied Kiev with heavy weapons, and pledged to deliver its German-made Leopard 2 tanks and Archer mobile artillery guns. Russia has repeatedly said that military aid to Ukraine makes Western countries de facto direct parties to the conflict. Moscow also stressed that the continuing expansion of NATO would lead to additional escalation, and promised to adopt “countermeasures.”

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We need enough people to say no. Millions. This is just too tempting for the power hungry.

United Nations Planning Digital ID Linked to Bank Accounts (SLAY)

The United Nations (UN) is planning to introduce a global digital ID system that is linked to individuals’ bank accounts. The plan, which is similar to the system developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF), is outlined in three new policy briefs from the UN titled, “A Global Digital Compact, Reforms to the International Financial Architecture, and The Future of Outer Space Governance.” The goal of the briefs is to advance UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s “vision for the future.” Officially titled “Our Common Agenda,” Guterres’ “vision” should be given the green light in September 2024 during an event dubbed, “The Summit for the Future.” From the report:

“Digital IDs linked with bank or mobile money accounts can improve the delivery of social protection coverage and serve to better reach eligible beneficiaries. Digital technologies may help to reduce leakage, errors and costs in the design of social protection programmes.” Not unlike their unofficial counterparts over at the WEF, the UN also speaks about basically regulating the global digital future. The unelected organization uses phrases such as “international cooperation” and “many stakeholders” who will “advance principles, objectives, and actions” to describe this globalist agenda. The UN describes this goal as “an open, free, secure and human-centered digital future.”

The digital future as envisaged by these groups is going to be quite the opposite of open, free, or human-centric, however. As far as the UN’s “vision” for a future global financial system, it is supposed to be harmonized with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It would be governed by something called “the apex body” that is yet to be set up. The key actors here would be the UN chief, as well as the Group of 20, the Economic and Social Council, and “heads of international financial institutions.” Within this, the UN sees “visions” of “a Global Digital Compact.”

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“Obama infamously won Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 by telling Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it..”

Obama Calls For ‘Digital Fingerprints’ To Fight “Non-Mainstream News” (TPV)

Former President Barack Hussein Obama has called for “digital fingerprints” to be mandatory to help law enforcement agencies target and arrest users who read and share “non-mainstream news” online. In a new interview, Obama said the development of new tracking technology could help identify users who spread “fake news” online. Tracking those users and punishing them would help bolster mainstream news outlets on the internet, Obama argues. Slaynews.com reports: Obama sat down with his former White House senior adviser David Axelrod for a conversation on the latter’s podcast, “The Axe Files,” on CNN Audio. During the interview, Axelrod noted he’s seen “misinformation, disinformation, [and] deepfakes” targeting Obama.

[..] Obama then suggested “digital fingerprints” to discern truth from misinformation. “And the need for us, for the general public, I think to be more discriminating consumers of news and information, the need for us to overtime develop technologies to create watermarks or digital fingerprints so we know what is true and what is not true,” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of work that’s going to have to be done there, but in the short term, it’s really going to be up to the American people to kind of say.” Obama and Axelrod went on to say that today many consumers are only viewing information from sources they are predisposed to agree with and will likely believe what they see. “Obviously, we saw that during the vaccination stuff,” added Obama, referring to Covid shots. “So, I am concerned about it.

[..] Last year, Obama announced that his foundation would be launching a new initiative to combat misinformation. Days later, Obama angered conservatives with a speech at Stanford University warning of the dangers of “disinformation.” During the speech, Obama said, “All we see is a constant feed of content where useful factual information and happy diversions, and cat videos flow alongside lies, conspiracy theories, junk science, quackery, white supremacist, racist tracts, misogynist screeds.” Critics were quick to point out that Obama promoted the debunked narrative that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. Obama infamously won Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 by telling Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” referring to the Affordable Care Act.

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“The Department of Justice, which is a gang of criminals, is trying Trump, and they are getting away with it.”

Gang of Criminals Trying Trump – Paul Craig Roberts (USAW)

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (PCR), former Assistant Treasury Secretary and international award-winning journalist, is worried about freedom and liberty. PCR says with the latest arrest and prosecution of President Trump, freedom and liberty is dead in America. PCR explains, “What they do makes it clear they have no claim that they are representatives of justice holding lawbreakers responsible. They are the lawbreakers — they themselves. You go to trial and it’s the criminals who are trying you, and that’s what’s happened in the United States. This is happening to President Trump. This is exactly what is happening to him. The Department of Justice, which is a gang of criminals, is trying Trump, and they are getting away with it.

I can’t predict, but we are going to find out by the next presidential election . . . whether we are a country or not. What’s going to happen? Are people going to wake up and stop this? If this coup stays in place, the United States no longer exists.” PCR says, “What is being done is a lesson is being taught to all future political candidates. If you try to represent the people instead of the elite, we are going to destroy you – period. So, if they succeed in destroying Trump, and if the people permit that and don’t rise up and prevent it, then what you have from now on in the United States is tyranny. If democracy cannot put into office someone who stands for the people who elected that person, then there is no democracy and there is no rule of law.

If you have no rule of law, you have the rule of whoever is in power. In other words, it is the total end of any claim there is any freedom, any civil liberty or any accountability. This is extremely serious. This is an all-out assault. The elite are attempting to completely destroy any accountability that would ever get in the way of their agendas. So, this is only to be the agendas of the elite, and never ever any agenda of the people.” PCR also warns, “The United States is the Constitution. If the Constitution is destroyed, the United States is destroyed. So, if they destroy it, they have destroyed us.” PCR, who was an Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Reagan Administration, also talks about the coming collapse of the U.S dollar and extreme inflation that is not a matter of if but when. It could be sooner than you think.

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“The inability of America to accept its scaled-down position is leading to nuclear war.”

America on the Brink by David Ray Griffin (Paul Craig Roberts)

David Ray Griffins’s works represent the epitome of Western Civilization. Scholars of his distinction and commitment are no longer possible. The replacement mechanism has been destroyed by the criminalization of Western Civilization and free inquiry. In place of scholars, universities are now homes for Woke ideologues who hate Western Civilization and white people and carry on campaigns against both. Everywhere we see this. Monuments removed. Plaques taken down. Universities denouncing and removing memorabilia of those who founded the universities. The white ethnicities demonized beyond repair as racists, oppressors, exploiters. When I look at the Western World, I see the passing of truth as it leaves going to where? Where does truth go when it is no longer allowed? Does it simply cease to exist? Does it reappear elsewhere? If only I could have had this discussion with David Ray Griffin.

Professor Griffin gave us, if memory serves, 10 books or more about the 9/11 and anthrax deceptions that were used to commit the US to the utter ruin of its reputation with its falsely based wars in the Middle East. In his posthumous book, America on the Brink (Clarity Press, 2023), Griffin notes that America’s neoconservative foreign policy is bringing us to nuclear confrontation with Russia. Griffin points out that the neoconservatives’ notion of American hegemony over the world has origins in the 1845 idea of America’s “manifest destiny.” This destiny spread from the US where it destroyed the Confederacy and the Plains Indians to Mexico, South America, the West Indies, and Canada. In 1850 an American newspaper editor declared that the American empire extended to the “gates of the Chinese empire which must be thrown down.” Moreover, declared the editor, “the American eagle of the republic shall poise itself over the field of Waterloo” and the successor of George Washington must “ascend the chair of universal empire.”

So, Empire is the answer. But is it? When foreign policy is based on bribing and intimidating other countries, diplomacy becomes the application of force. For the United States to impose its hegemony on other countries and to be always at war raises questions whether the United States is a democracy, or whether the soul that the Founding Fathers attempted to implant in the new country was ejected early in its history. The neoconservatives justify US hegemony on the grounds of their claim that the US is “benevolent” and its imperial power is benign. But as David Ray Griffin points out, after Iran, Cuba, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Panama, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, and Ukraine, and, of course Venezuela, Julian Assange, and others, the world sees nothing benevolent or benign in Washington.

Instead, the world sees systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless crimes and has come to regard America as the greatest danger to the world. Indeed, America is seen as the embodiment of evil. This has eroded American leadership and has resulted in other power centers disengaging from the Washington-dominated Western World, leaving Washington with aspirations in excess of its capability. The inability of America to accept its scaled-down position is leading to nuclear war.

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“I literally handed the FBI a film of myself committing felonies, and not a peep. I don’t know how he does it, that doddering old weirdo!”

For Father’s Day, Hunter Negotiates 12% For The Big Guy (BBee)

In a touching Father’s Day gesture, Hunter Biden has negotiated for twelve percent of incoming bribes from foreign governments to go to his Dad. “It means the world to me,” said an emotional President Biden. “Well, more accurately, it means about $2.3 million in my bank account.” According to White House sources, Hunter wanted to do something extra special this year to show President Biden how much he appreciated being shielded from DOJ investigations. “Dad really came through this year,” said Hunter. “I literally handed the FBI a film of myself committing felonies, and not a peep. I don’t know how he does it, that doddering old weirdo! Anyhow, ‘The Big Guy’ has earned himself an extra two percent of my bribery — er, consulting money.”


Hunter Biden will also reportedly take his father out for a nice Father’s Day lunch at the Han Palace. “It will be nice to have a quiet lunch with just me, Dad, and several high-level members of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Hunter. “I did request they bring in some different waitresses for our lunch though. Last time it was super disappointing – nothing but yellows.” At publishing time, President Biden had declined a Father’s Day call from one of his grandkids, as he wasn’t sure if it was from the one he pretends doesn’t exist.

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Eagle

 

 

Firebird
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670356102360211456

 

 


The Oxford Electric Bell has been running for 180+ years thanks to a battery that no one knows what it’s made of. The exact composition is unknown, but it is known that they were protected with molten sulfur to isolate them and are believed to be Zamboni cells.

 

 

 

 

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Mar 292023
 


René Magritte Sixteenth of September 1956

 

Vax Report: $147 Billion in Damage, Tens Of Millions Injured, Disabled (ZH)
The Best Way to Protect US Troops in Syria (Ron Paul)
Global Security Dialogue Should Replace Arms Race – Belarus (TASS)
Bolton Issues Warning On Belarus (RT)
Zakharova: ‘Summit For Democracy’ Reflects US’ Neocolonial Practices (TASS)
Russia Knows Why It Fights In Ukraine, Russians Must Be Freed – Lavrov (TASS)
Serbian President ‘Very Afraid’ About Current Situation In The World (TASS)
Ukraine Being Obliterated – Trump (RT)
Drone Incident Hindered US Intelligence Gathering – CNN (RT)
Ukraine Struggles With Starlink Troubles (RT)
US Admits To Another Failed Hypersonic Test (RT)
Bellingcat & Mouse Game: Advance Russian Intel Of Nordstream Attack (Helmer)
Matt Taibbi Says Democrats Ditched Free Speech (ZH)
Jamie Dimon In Hot-Seat As Sworn Deposition Looms In Epstein Lawsuits (ZH)
The Great Food Reset Has Begun (Fazi)
Startling Rise In Testicular Injuries Among Woman Athletes (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Kherson Refugees Reject Western Media Claims of Russia “Kidnapping” Them

 

 

Tucker TikTok

 

 

Todd

 

 

 

 

Note: all these numbers are for 2022 alone.

Vax Report: $147 Billion in Damage, Tens Of Millions Injured, Disabled (ZH)

A new report estimates that 26.6 million people were injured, 1.36 million disabled, and 300,000 excess deaths can be attributed to COVID-19 vaccine damages in 2022 alone, which cost the economy nearly $150 billion. Research firm Phinance Technologies, founded and operated by former Blackrock portfolio manager Ed Dowd, Yuri Nunes (PhD Physics, MSc Mathematics) and Carlos Alegria (PhD Physics, Finance), split the impact of the vaccines into four broad categories to estimate the human costs associated with the Covid-19 vaccine; no effect or asymptomatic, those who sustained injuries (mild-to-moderate outcome), those who became disabled (severe outcome), and death (extreme outcome).


Data on vaccine disabilities and injuries comes directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while the excess death figures are derived from official figures on deaths in the US via two different methods. It’s important to note that people in one category (injured, for example) can move into latter categories of severity – which this analysis does not take into consideration. “We need to remember that not only are these groupings an attempt to characterize different levels of damage from the inoculations, they are not static and could interact with each other,” reads the report. “For instance, there might be individuals who had no visible effects after vaccination but nonetheless could still be impacted.” “Individuals with mild injuries from the inoculations could, over time, develop severe injuries to the extent of being disabled, or an extreme outcome such as death.”

https://twitter.com/DowdEdward/status/1640734879355682816

Estimating the economic cost: In analyzing each of the above categories, Phinance used absolute excess lost worktime to determine that the direct economic cost of vaccine injuries was $79.5 billion in 2022, and $52.2 billion for those with severe disabilities. For deaths, Phinace used the average yearly absolute rise in excess deaths since 2021, which was 0.05% for the 25-64 year-old demographic, which amounted to $5.6 billion in lost productivity. In total, they found a total “economic cost” of $147.8 billion in 2022 due to the Covid-19 vaccines.

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“Bring them home. Tomorrow. Do not wait another day!”

The Best Way to Protect US Troops in Syria (Ron Paul)

Last week saw a sharp increase in attacks on US troops occupying northeastern Syria, with a drone strike against a US base blamed on “pro-Iran” forces and a US counter-strike said to have killed at least 19 people. After the US retaliation, another strike by “pro-Iran” forces hit a number of US sites in Syria. It may be just a matter of time before there are more strikes against the 900 US troops based in Syria against Syria’s wishes. One US contractor was killed last time. Next time it could be many more Americans. What’s behind the sudden escalation? Fundamental changes in the Middle East over the past month have highlighted how indefensible is the continued US occupation of Syria and Iraq. Take, for example, the recent historic mending of relations between former arch-enemies Saudi Arabia and Iran which was brokered by Washington’s own arch-enemy, China.

US policy in the Middle East has long been “divide and conquer,” dating back at least to the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980s. US switching sides in that war guaranteed that the maximum amount of blood was spilled and that the simmering hatreds would continue to prevent any kind of lasting peace. Then the US invaded Iraq twenty years ago and turned Iraq into an Iranian ally. That’s neocon foreign policy for you: a 100 percent failure rate. So this month China, which is interested in creating a regional transportation corridor that would include Iran, came in and instead of bombing, invading, and occupying – Washington’s modus operandi – actually brokered the restoration of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Republicans and Democrats in the US both love to attack China, but China has achieved what the US has resisted for years: peace in the region.

Should we be surprised that the continued US occupation is not welcome in the Middle East? The United States occupies that huge chunk of Syria where the oil and agriculture is located and the goal appears to be producing profits for US multinational corporations from stolen natural resources and preventing the natural wealth of Syria to be used to rebuild that country. Is it any wonder why the US is so unpopular in the Middle East? How hypocritical is it that the Biden Administration has spent $100 billion of our dollars to expel Russia from occupying proportionally less territory in Ukraine than Washington occupies in Syria? And Washington claims to stand for the “international rules-based order,” while they decimated an Iraq and Afghanistan that did not attack us, and before that a Serbia that could not have threatened us if it wanted to.

The end of the US occupation of the Middle East is upon us and the sooner we realize that the better. We have no business meddling in their politics, occupying their territory, and stealing their resources. Americans joined the US Military to defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, yet they have been manipulated by corrupt DC officials into occupying foreign lands and stealing their oil. Maybe this is why the US military cannot meet its recruitment goals? Here’s an easy way to protect US forces in Syria from further “Iran-allied” attacks: Bring them home. Tomorrow. Do not wait another day!

Syria

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“..multilateral disarmament mechanisms, non-proliferation and arms control..”

Global Security Dialogue Should Replace Arms Race – Belarus (TASS)

Minsk is confident that the rhetoric of confrontation and the arms race should be replaced with dialogue on bolstering the architecture of global security, the press service of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry told TASS on Tuesday. “The Belarusian side is confident that to replace the confrontation rhetoric and the escalating arms race, a constructive and mutually respectful dialogue should emerge, directed at strengthening the architecture of global and regional security, multilateral disarmament mechanisms, non-proliferation and arms control, including in the nuclear sphere,” the diplomatic agency said replying to a question by TASS about the outsized reaction by a number of countries to reports on the prospective deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil.


“We have been urging and continue to urge all our partners to [do] this,” the Belarusian Foreign Ministry reiterated. On March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia, at Minsk’s request, would deploy its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, precisely the way the United States deployed its own nuclear weapons on the territory of its allies. Moscow has already handed over to Minsk the nuclear-capable Iskander system. According to the Russian leader, the construction of a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory would be completed on July 1.

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Belarus wants peace, but Bolton does not.

Bolton Issues Warning On Belarus (RT)

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned that the Biden administration may not be taking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pledge to move tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus seriously enough. Bolton added that he could foresee Russia and Belarus potentially merging into a single state. “[Putin] may not be bluffing here in the sense he may actually move tactical nuclear weapons into Belarus,” Bolton told CNN on Monday.Putin announced on Saturday that Russia will move some of its tactical nuclear weapons to facilities in Belarus as early as this summer. The Russian president said that he made the decision after the UK announced it would transfer toxic depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine, a move he described as “absolute recklessness.”

While Bolton is taking Putin’s words seriously, the White House has brushed them off. “We haven’t seen any movement of any tactical nuclear weapons or anything of that kind since this announcement,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday. Anonymous US and EU security officials told Politico they haven’t seen any indication that Russia plans on moving the weapons in the immediate future. Bolton’s concerns go beyond the stationing of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus. He told CNN that the possibility of Russia reabsorbing the entire territory of Belarus is “something I don’t think we’ve been paying enough attention to.”

Belarus was made a territory of the Russian Empire by Catherine the Great in the 18th century, and was subsequently united with Russia under the Soviet Union. Since declaring its independence from the USSR in 1990, Belarus has remained a close ally of Russia, with Minsk and Moscow signing the Union State treaty in 1999, establishing a customs union and granting each other’s citizens freedom of movement. Military cooperation between the two states has since deepened, with a 2021 doctrine establishing a joint group of forces stationed in Belarus to deter threats from the West. Russian and Belarusian troops have held multiple military drills since last year, and Russian forces pushed south into Ukraine from Belarusian territory last February. As a result, Belarus has been hit with many of the same Western sanctions as Russia.

Bolton is well known for advocating regime change and military intervention around the world, and last year called for the overthrow of Putin. However, he has persistently warned about the consequences of current US foreign policy. Before cautioning about the growing ties between Russia and Belarus, he warned earlier this month that “the Chinese, the Russians, Iran, North Korea and several others are moving to shore up their relations” amid an apparent lack of strategic objectives in Washington.

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Hungary and Turkey are not invited, but that shining model of democratic values, Ukraine, is.

Zakharova: ‘Summit For Democracy’ Reflects US’ Neocolonial Practices (TASS)

The US-conceived ‘Summit for Democracy’ is nothing but a manifestation of Washington’s neocolonial practices, as the summit seeks to legitimize American instruments of control, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday. “The so-called ‘Summit for Democracy’ is a clear manifestation of neocolonial practices in US foreign policy. Behind the efforts to organize the summit is the desire to update and legitimize the American instruments of external control and interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries, forcing everyone to see the world through the prism of the ‘rule-based order’ promoted to serve Washington’s global interests,” the diplomat pointed out in her commentary in connection with the “Summit for Democracy” organized by the United States on March 28-30 under the pretext of supporting democracy in the world.

According to Zakharova, the summit is all about forming an ideological platform for combatting those countries whom the American political elite labels as autocracies, primarily Russia and China. “Washington is trying to consolidate the Western community and bring its rivals over to its side under the slogan ‘combatting autocratic regimes’,” the diplomat stressed. “The US has decided to take thematic sessions to regional platforms and appoint co-chair countries to pretend that its pseudodemocratic summit is universal. At the same time, the whole process is controlled either by the Americans themselves or by large non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These NGOs supervise the compliance of member states with the obligations undertaken by them. Apparently, they know nothing about the principle of sovereign equality of all states based on the UN world order,” Zakharova pointed out.

The diplomat underscored that she regretted the decision of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to take part in such an “unworthy spectacle.” “On the whole, it is hard to expect from the American organizers of the ‘Summit for Democracy’, as well as from their ideological partners, anything other than pompous hypocrisy amid democratic messianism and certainly anti-Russian statements in the context of the Ukrainian crisis. Especially considering the fact that the tone of the summit will be set by a former comedian (Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky – TASS), not a democrat, who is the head of a criminal Nazi regime which deliberately violates all democratic values in his country. The fact that such people are invited to take part in the event clearly demonstrates how far Americans are from their declared goal of promoting democratic values,” she stressed.

As the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman pointed out, Moscow was against American democracy being imposed as “infallible, the only way.” “The US has no moral right to lecture others amid chronic domestic issues. This binary way of thinking in ‘black-white’ or ‘good guys vs bad guys’ does not work in real life. And it is in no way good for building long-term relations with sovereign countries,” Zakharova emphasized. The diplomat also pointed out that a multipolar world order in international relations was actively being formed with the help of the global majority. “Responsible participants in international communication must not engage in ‘democratization’ and division. The US and its allies have to return to complying with the norms of international law and get involved in creating conditions for peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation,” Zakharova concluded.

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“Now, this has all been thrown to the wind and to the Neo-Nazis, who now run the show in Kiev..”

Russia Knows Why It Fights In Ukraine, Russians Must Be Freed – Lavrov (TASS)

Russia is conducting its special military operation in Ukraine to protect Russians and the Russian-speaking population, which the Kiev authorities oppress in violation of all international norms. Russia wants to free these people from any threat to their lives, traditions and families, the country’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told TASS in an interview on Tuesday. “We <…> are conducting our special military operation precisely for these people who have been oppressed in violation of all possible international norms and principles, in violation of all these norms on which Ukrainian independence is based. Ukraine enshrined in its Declaration of Independence that it wanted to be a neutral, non-aligned state. It promised to ensure the rights of all Russians and Russian-speaking peoples, as well as other ethnic minorities. It was interested in living in peace, in the spirit of good neighborliness and harmony with all its neighbors. Now, this has all been thrown to the wind and to the Neo-Nazis, who now run the show in Kiev,” Lavrov said.


“And that is why we know what we are fighting for. We know that we want to free these people from any threat the current Ukrainian authorities can pose to their lives, traditions, and families,” the top diplomat stressed. Lavrov added that “history and geography cannot be chosen,” that is why Russia has “no right to leave these people to Nazis and racists.” Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address pointed out that the country’s special military operation was launched to protect the people, ensure the country’s security and eliminate the threat emanating from the Neo-Nazi Kiev regime.

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“As for our little Serbian ship, we will steer it with a firm hand to preserve peace and stability..”

Serbian President ‘Very Afraid’ About Current Situation In The World (TASS)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday that he was ‘very afraid’ about what is going on in the world. “I am not much of an optimist, I am a small leader of a small country. There are many leaders from big countries in Europe who know better about everything,” Vucic said at a joint news conference with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. “I fear that the consequences of this will be far worse than what we have seen so far,” he stressed. “But I am a small man from a small country, and I believe that the giants from other countries know better and can solve things. As for our little Serbian ship, we will steer it with a firm hand to preserve peace and stability,” Vucic stressed.


In February, Vucic opined that the conflict in Ukraine would only worsen over the next five to six months, eventually spiraling out of control. The president believes that after the decision to supply tanks to Ukraine, a decision to supply F-16 fighter jets will follow. On March 17, the Slovak government approved the transfer of 13 MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said. At the same time, it was stressed that the fighters were transferred for defense purposes, not for attacking. The country’s Defense Ministry announced that for the shipment of MiG-29 to Kiev, Slovakia expects to be paid back by the European Union in the amount of $900 million. Earlier, Polish authorities also said they were planning to supply MiG-29 to Ukraine.

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“possible we’d be in World War III with these idiots that are doing what they are doing.”

Ukraine Being Obliterated – Trump (RT)

Donald Trump has once again claimed that he would need just 24 hours to negotiate peace in Ukraine. Speaking to Fox News, the former US president warned of a possible nuclear escalation and urged the hostilities to be ceased immediately. “The key to that is that war has to stop now, because Ukraine is being obliterated,” Trump told host Sean Hannity in an interview on Monday. Trump compared footage from the conflict to “hundreds of these demolition sites” that he used to see as part of his construction business. “There was not a building standing,” the former US leader explained. Trump repeated his assertion that he could reach a peace deal in Ukraine within 24 hours if elected back into office. However, he declined to explain his strategy, claiming it would be “very easy” but would not work if revealed prematurely.


Trump suggested that the US presidential election might not even happen next year, arguing it was “possible we’d be in World War III with these idiots that are doing what they are doing.” Such a conflict would make the two previous world wars look like “patty cakes,” he added. The nearly hour-long interview with Hannity was Trump’s first appearance on Fox News since he announced his 2024 presidential run. The former president has a complicated relationship with the leading conservative US news channel, which he has criticized for its positive coverage of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his potential challenger for the Republican Party’s nomination. Hannity has been among the most outspoken Trump supporters on the network.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1640544019729252352

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“The new drone routes have kept the flights more than 40 nautical miles not only from Crimea but the Ukrainian coast as well..”

Drone Incident Hindered US Intelligence Gathering – CNN (RT)

A decision by President Joe Biden’s administration to reroute drone flights over the Black Sea to avoid provoking a direct conflict with Russian forces has curtailed intelligence gathering on the Ukraine crisis, a senior US military official has told CNN. Flying drones at greater distances from the conflict zone and at higher altitudes has reduced the quality of the intelligence that they can gather, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing the senior official without identifying the source. The rerouting was allegedly ordered earlier this month, after a US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone was forced down over the Black Sea by a Russian Sukhol Su-27 fighter jet on March 14.

Although the Pentagon was publicly dismissive of Russian complaints about the drone flight, declaring that the US will continue to “fly and operate wherever international law allows,” Washington began routing its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) further south, keeping them at a greater distance from the Crimean peninsula and eastern portions of the Black Sea. The rerouting was done to “avoid being too provocative,” CNN previously cited another US official as saying. However, the outlet said, there is already “an appetite” to resume flying the UAVs closer to Crimea. A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on how, if at all, the quality of intelligence gathering in the Black Sea has been affected. “We maintain a robust ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capability in the region and beyond,” he said.

The Pentagon accused Russian pilots of reckless flying, claiming that one of the jets clipped the propeller of the unmanned aircraft, causing it to go down. However, the footage purportedly shot by the drone, only showed a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet buzzing over it and allegedly ejecting fuel in the process. Russia denied hitting the drone or using weapons against it, and said the US aircraft was flying with its transponder switched off in a no-go zone declared by the Russian military. The new drone routes have kept the flights more than 40 nautical miles not only from Crimea but the Ukrainian coast as well, rather than the 12 miles normally recognized as the limit of a nation’s airspace, CNN said. Having moved the flights further south, it may be more difficult to return to the former routes and assert freedom of international airspace for US aircraft, the senior official said. US Navy vessels have stayed out of the Black Sea since December 2021.

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“The official representative office of Starlink in Ukraine can’t help anyone either, as it has not yet opened – although the Kiev authorities granted it the required license last summer.”

Ukraine Struggles With Starlink Troubles (RT)

Many Starlink users across Ukraine have seen their terminals stop working, the Kiev outlet Strana reported on Tuesday. According to experts who spoke to the outlet, the outage is not some nefarious plan by Elon Musk to harm Ukraine, but the result of criminals trying to scam Starlink parent company SpaceX. The typical scenario is that a terminal stops working and flashes the message “No active account,” Vladimir Stepanets, founder of a Starlink support group, told Strana. “When they contact SpaceX technical support, the terminal owners are told there were signs of fraudulent activity,” he explained. SpaceX provided the Kiev government with a number of Starlink terminals beginning in February last year, which Ukraine has used for military communications.

Musk has objected to the “weaponization” of his technology, and last month restricted Kiev’s ability to use Starlink for remotely controlling drone strikes. When one US senator complained, Musk replied that his company “will not enable escalation of conflict that may lead to WW3.” The current problem is not due to some kind of Musk censorship, experts tell Strana, but rather the consequence of scam artists exploiting the flow of Starlink donations to Ukraine. Because demand for Starlinks has always outpaced their supply, and equipment sold directly by SpaceX costs 30% more than in Poland or Czechia, many “enterprising individuals” buy the terminals there and then resell or donate them to Ukraine.

Stepanets and engineer Oleg Kutkov described the scheme by which the scammers use promotions and discounts to acquire the Starlinks, but then use “chargeback fraud” to not pay SpaceX. “Starlink can be stolen, bought for a promotion for one euro, or listed for return, and the router that comes with it is resold to Ukraine. Then the person who bought it installs the router, and the account is blocked,” Kutkov told Strana. Stepanets said “tens of thousands” of terminals were in effect stolen from SpaceX through chargeback fraud, including many operated by the Ukrainian military.

Ukrainian users have no way of knowing whether their terminal is legitimate or stolen – until it stops working. Because SpaceX blacklists accounts associated with stolen equipment, users also have no way of reloading their subscription balance, while the debt continues to accrue. Stepanets also warned users not to attempt any “life hacks” through the military or the Ministry of Digital Development. “This can have bad consequences not only for you, but for the whole country. And it definitely won’t work,” he told Strana. The official representative office of Starlink in Ukraine can’t help anyone either, as it has not yet opened – although the Kiev authorities granted it the required license last summer.

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It appears to be about the heat-resistant coating of the missiles at Mach 10-15. Only Russia found one.

US Admits To Another Failed Hypersonic Test (RT)

The US Air Force has revealed at least the fourth failed test of a hypersonic missile system made by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, suggesting that it’s more likely to adopt a competing system built by Raytheon. “The one we just had was not a success,” Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall told members of a US House committee on Tuesday. “We did not get the data that we needed from that test, so they’re currently examining that to try to understand what happened.” Kendall was referring to a March 13 test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), a hypersonic attack cruise missile, off the coast of Southern California. He gave no specifics on what went wrong with the launch. His comments may have come as a surprise to lawmakers because the Air Force issued a press release last week indicating that the ARRW test “met several objectives.” The release made no mention of the test’s failure.

The ARRW has been under development since 2018 and was delayed after three failed booster tests in 2021. The Air Force claimed the first successful launch of the missile last May, saying it reached speeds exceeding Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. US forces don’t yet have a fully operational hypersonic missile system, as Washington has fallen behind Russia and China in the race to develop such weapons. Hypersonic missiles travel at speeds over Mach 5 and are highly maneuverable, making them difficult to shoot down. In light of the latest ARRW test, the Air Force is “more committed” to its other hypersonic program, the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM), Kendall told lawmakers. A budgeting decision on whether to adopt the ARRW is expected to be made next year, after as many as two more test launches.

The Air Force reportedly received about $423 million in research and development funding for the ARRW in the past two years, and it has requested an additional $150 million in the budget for its next fiscal year. HACM funding totaled $423 million for the current fiscal year alone, and the Air Force plans an additional $1.9 billion in spending on the program over the next five years. The HACM program has been “reasonably successful” so far, Kendall said. He added, “We see a definite role for the HACM concept. It’s compatible with more of our aircraft, and it will give us more combat capability overall.”

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“The NATO intelligence publicity department known as Bellingcat..”

Bellingcat & Mouse Game: Advance Russian Intel Of Nordstream Attack (Helmer)

The NATO intelligence publicity department known as Bellingcat has just produced new NATO-sourced evidence of an elaborate cat-and-mouse game which the navies and air forces of Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and the US played against Russian forces in the Baltic Sea off Bornhom Island in the week before the detonation of explosives on the Nord Stream gas pipelines last September 26. Cat and mouse is also the game the NATO propaganda agencies are now playing. The aim of the intelligence, published last week by the quasi-state German media platform called T-Online, and in the Danish offshoot of Bellingcat known as Oliver Alexander, is to accuse the Russian Navy of the pipeline attack, using a mini-submarine and deep-sea divers.

This is based on NATO and US identification and tracking of a six-vessel Russian flotilla several days before the explosions – an intelligence vessel, a deep-sea operations vessel, two tugs, and heavily armed anti-ship and anti-submarine frigate and corvette. “It was precisely such mini-submarines that could have placed the explosive charges attaching it to the pipelines, experts suspected from the very start,” T-Online claims, using the hypothetical followed by a conditional plus three more hypotheticals. “If it was confirmed that the SS-750 was at the scene, the Russian Navy would probably be the prime suspect from then on. ‘It would make absolute sense to use something like the AS-26 for such an attack,” Danish corvette captain and military analyst Johannes Riber told T-Online about this matter.

‘That would be the most plausible explanation so far for what happened to the Nord Stream pipeline.’” T-Online concluded: “In official statements, the activities of the Russian navy in the days before the attacks have so far played no role. Neither the German, Danish or Swedish investigators, nor NATO or the armed forces of the Baltic Sea states wanted to comment on them when asked by T-Online. Thus, the criminal case remains unsolved for the time being, but a chain of evidence has been added. It does not point to the USA or Ukraine. Some tracks now are leading to Moscow.” [..] the evidence Bellingcat is presenting as suspicion of Russian culpability in laying the pipeline charges, should be interpreted as evidence that the Russians had advance intelligence of the pipeline attack operation, and they were investigating what they could at the time — after the charges had been laid, but before they were detonated on September 26.

Viewed in this light, the Bellingcat reports confirm how crowded the crime scene was before the crime was committed – how many naval and air force units were operating, all of them under NATO command coordination – Danish, Swedish, German, Polish, and American. A crime scene full of suspects but empty of the weapon.

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“The modern Democratic Party is not the same one that your parents or grandparents were members of in the past. It’s obsessed with starting World War 3 in Ukraine, eroding the First Amendment, dismantling the Second Amendment, and normalizing ‘woke’ culture.”

Matt Taibbi Says Democrats Ditched Free Speech (ZH)

Independent journalist Matt Taibbi – of recent “Twitter Files” fame – has exposed the fact that civil liberties are no longer popular among Democrats. Taibbi appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” to reiterate his perspective that the modern Democratic Party no longer represents the values of the everyday American. “About all of this — Matt, how do you feel about all of this? I know before you started discovering this bad behavior, you identified as a Democrat, and now you’ve got all of your friends, quote-unquote, in the media attacking you for exposing this,” Bartiromo asked.


“Yeah, it’s funny, I mean, I was raised in a traditional ACLU liberal, I believed in free speech all my life. That was one of the things, frankly, that attracted me to the Democratic Party when I was a kid, the idea that we were the party that believed in letting everybody have a say, and we’ll just make a better argument, and that’s how the system works,” Taibbi said. He continued, “Apparently, something very dramatic has changed in politics in America, and there’s been a shift. There’s no question about it anymore, that now the parties have had a complete reversal on how they read these issues.”

Taibbi leads a team of journalists, including Michael Shellenberger, who have been given access to Twitter Files, revealing a startling network of government agencies, think tanks, and Twitter personnel coordinating efforts to attack the First Amendment. What we’ve learned from the Twitter Files is the ever-expanding coalition of groups working with the government and social media to target and censor Americans, including government-funded organizations. Twitter files are chilling in the details and show how Democrats have weaponized government and colluded with corporations to wage war on the First Amendment.


The modern Democratic Party is not the same one that your parents or grandparents were members of in the past. It’s obsessed with starting World War 3 in Ukraine, eroding the First Amendment, dismantling the Second Amendment, and normalizing ‘woke’ culture. What caused such a significant shift in the party in just a few short years? And what kind of blowback will Taibbi get for telling these truths?

Shellenberger

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“This case was not just Jes Staley … there will be numerous documents that go far beyond his office to the executive suite.”

Jamie Dimon In Hot-Seat As Sworn Deposition Looms In Epstein Lawsuits (ZH)

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon will be in the hot seat, as he is expected to be deposed under oath regarding his bank’s decision to keep deceased pedophile sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein as a client despite public knowledge of his status as a registered sex offender, the Financial Times reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The sworn deposition – the latest development in two combined high-profile cases, is expected to take place in May behind closed doors. The lawsuits claim that JPMorgan, which banked Epstein for 15 years from 1998 to 2013, benefited from human trafficking and ignored several internal warnings about their client’s illegal behaviour. The lender has described the claims as meritless.

The pre-trial process unearthed communications between JPMorgan employees that contained a reference to a “Dimon review” into the bank’s relationship with Epstein. The bank has denied that Dimon had any knowledge of such a review. -FT The US Virgin Islands and a group of Epstein victims claim Dimon had knowledge of Epstein’s activities based on emails exchanged between the late sex offender and former executive Jes Staley using his JPMorgan email address. “Jamie Dimon knew in 2008 that his billionaire client was a sex trafficker,” argued US Virgin Islands attorney Mimi Liu during a March hearing in front of Manhattan US District Judge Jed Rakoff, referring to the year Epstein was first criminally charged with sex crimes, CNBC reports. “If Staley is a rogue employee, why isn’t Jamie Dimon?” Liu said during the hearing to discuss the bank’s efforts to have the USVI lawsuit against the bank dismissed.

“Staley knew, Dimon knew, JPMorgan Chase knew,” Liu continued, noting that there were several cash transfers and wire transfers made by the prolific pedophile (Epstein), including several hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to several women which should have been flagged as suspicious. “They broke every rule to facilitate his sex trafficking in exchange for Epstein’s wealth, connections and referrals,” said Liu, adding “This case was not just Jes Staley … there will be numerous documents that go far beyond his office to the executive suite.”

That said, a person familiar with the bank’s internal probe into what Dimon knew says there are no records of any direct communications with Epstein, or records of discussions related to retaining him as a client. Last week Judge Rakoff denied JPMorgan’s request to dismiss the lawsuits, and allowed several claims to proceed against the bank. He also ordered JPMorgan to hand over documents between Dimon and former general counsel Steve Cutler from before 2006, the year Epstein was first arrested.

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Excellent overview from Thomas Fazi: “For now, at least, there is still time to resist the Great Food Reset.”

The Great Food Reset Has Begun (Fazi)

France is in flames. Israel is erupting. America is facing a second January 6. In the Netherlands, however, the political establishment is reeling from an entirely different type of protest — one that, perhaps more than any other raging today, threatens to destabilise the global order. The victory of the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) in the recent provincial elections represents an extraordinary result for an anti-establishment party that was formed just over three years ago. But then again, these are not ordinary times. The BBB grew out of the mass demonstrations against the Dutch government’s proposal to cut nitrogen emissions by 50% in the country’s farming sector by 2030 — a target designed to comply with the European Union’s emission-reduction rules.

While large farming companies have the means to meet these goals — by using less nitrogen fertiliser and reducing the number of their livestock — smaller, often family-owned farms would be forced to sell or shutter. Indeed, according to a heavily redacted European Commission document, this is precisely the strategy’s goal: “extensifying agriculture, notably through buying out or terminating farms, with the aim of reducing livestock”; this would “first be on a voluntary basis, but mandatory buyout is not excluded if necessary”. It is no surprise, then, that the plans sparked massive protests by farmers, who see it as a direct attack on their livelihoods, or that the BBB’s slogan — “No Farms, No Food” — clearly resonated with voters.

But aside from concerns about the impact of the measure on the country’s food security, and on a centuries-old rural way of life integral to Dutch national identity, the rationale behind this drastic measure is also questionable. Agriculture currently accounts for almost half of the country’s output of carbon dioxide, yet the Netherlands is responsible for less than 0.4% of the world’s emissions. No wonder many Dutch fail to see how such negligible returns justify the complete overhaul of the country’s farming sector, which is already considered one of the most sustainable in the world: over the past two decades, water dependence for key crops has been reduced by as much as 90%, and the use of chemical pesticides in greenhouses has been almost completely eliminated.

Farmers also point out that the consequences of the nitrogen cut would extend well beyond the Netherlands. The country, after all, is Europe’s largest exporter of meat and the second-largest agricultural exporter in the world, just behind the United States — in other words, the plan would cause food exports to collapse at a time when the world is already facing a food and resource shortage. We already know what this might look like. A similar ban on nitrogen fertiliser was conducted in Sri Lanka last year, with disastrous consequences: it caused an artificial food shortage that plunged nearly two million Sri Lankans into poverty, leading to an uprising that toppled the government.

EvaVlaar
https://twitter.com/i/status/1640787139896942612

[..] Alongside healthcare, agriculture is the main focus of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which finances several initiatives whose stated aim is to increase food security and promote sustainable farming, such as Gates Ag One, CGIAR and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Civil society organisations, however, have accused the Foundation of using its influence to promote multinational corporate interests in the Global South and to push for ineffective (but very profitable) high-tech solutions which have largely failed to increase global food production. Nor are Gates’s “sustainable” agricultural activities limited to developing countries. As well as investing in plant-based protein companies, such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, Gates has been buying huge amounts of farmland in the US, to the point of becoming the biggest private owner of farmland in the country.

The problem with the globalist trend he embodies is obvious: ultimately, small and medium-scale farming is more sustainable than large-scale industrial farming, as it is typically associated with greater biodiversity and the protection of landscape features. Small farms also provide a whole range of other public goods: they help to maintain lively rural and remote areas, preserve regional identities, and offer employment in regions with fewer job opportunities. But most importantly, small farms feed the world. A 2017 study found that the “peasant food web” — the diverse network of small-scale producers disconnected from Big Agriculture — feeds more than half of the world’s population using only 25% of the world’s agricultural resources.

Traditional farming, though, is suffering an unprecedented attack. Small and medium-scale farmers are being subjected to social and economic conditions in which they simply cannot survive. Peasant farms are disappearing at an alarming rate across Europe and other regions, to the benefit of the world’s food oligarchs — and all this is being done in the name of sustainability. At a time when almost a billion people around the world are still affected by hunger, the lesson of the Dutch farmers could not be more urgent, or inspiring. For now, at least, there is still time to resist the Great Food Reset.

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“This new wave of testicular injuries to female athletes has really come out of nowhere..”

Startling Rise In Testicular Injuries Among Woman Athletes (BBee)

A new study indicates a disturbing trend as testicular injuries in women’s sports are increasing at an astounding rate. Researchers are baffled as these statistics have skyrocketed from literally zero reported testicular injuries among female athletes just a few years ago. “This new wave of testicular injuries to female athletes has really come out of nowhere,” said Dr. Ryan Kitchen of Boston College’s Institute of Sports Medicine. “Years ago, there were absolutely no reported testicular injuries that occurred during women’s sporting events. If only we could determine what led to this sudden rise. Such a puzzle!”

Institutions around the world have also noticed the disturbing trend and are pouring research dollars into discovering the cause, which is almost certainly a complicated issue with no easy or obvious answers whatsoever. Critics have argued that it’s not actually possible for a female athlete to suffer a testicular injury. “Yeah, that can’t happen,” said Dr. Adam Kinunen of the Restore Sanity to Sports research group. “Considering the fact that having testicles in the first place means a person is not a female, it would stand to reason that such an injury is impossible. In layman’s terms, these are dudes.”

Trans activist groups have come out in full force against anyone who dares to suggest women cannot have their testicles injured because women can’t have testicles. “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” said Sunshine Fluffsprinkle, spokesperson for Insanity Now, a trans rights group in response to the findings. “BLLRRRAAAWWRRRR FFFRRGGGTHTHTH!” At publishing time, concerned researchers in the field of sports medicine were consulting with athletic equipment manufacturers to design protective athletic cups specifically designed to protect female testicles.

Tucker trans

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This dog was spotted politely waiting by a pizza truck. He doesn’t have to say what he wants. They already know his order. It is pizza.

 

 

Ames window

 

 


There are whales alive today who were born before Moby Dick was written. Some of the bowhead whales in the icy waters off of Alaska today are over 200 years old

 

 

 

 

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Mar 202023
 


Hieronymus Bosch The Garden of Earthly Delights, centre panel, detail c1500

 

UBS To Buy CS For $3 Billion As AT1 Bonds Get Wiped Out In Record Bail-In (ZH)
Xi Jinping Sees Shift To Multipolar World As ‘Irreversible’ (RT)
Russian-Chinese Relations Remain Strong As Tested By Time – Xi Jinping (TASS)
White House Says It Opposes a Ceasefire in Ukraine (Antiwar)
Ukraine Ceasefire ‘Unacceptable’ – White House (RT)
EU Explosives Shortage Threatens Ukraine – FT (RT)
NATO Is Racing To Arm Its Russian Borders. Can It Find The Weapons? (Pol.eu)
Russia Has Hypersonic Weapons Now, But It Does Not Use Them – Putin (TASS)
Russian Files On Kiev’s Crimes To Provide Basis For Tribunal – Kremlin (TASS)
Poland May End Up ‘Joining’ Ukraine Conflict – Diplomat (RT)
Belarus Cracks Down On Pro-Ukraine Guerrillas As War Threatens To Expand (ZH)
Iraq 20 Years (Ray McGovern)
Elon Musk Fact-Checks Biden On Tax Claim (RT)
Germans Warned Of Energy Crisis Next Winter (RT)
Imran Khan Hit With Terror Charges (RT)
Total Weight Of Wild Mammals Less Than 10% Of Humanity’s (G.)

 

 

Xi Jinping arrives in Moscow today, and he means business. The US knows this, and refuses his ceasefire plans. Which he will sign with Putin tomorrow, and send them to Zelensky – after a short phone-call. Washington tells Zelensky not to sign. Not what Xi wants. What does he have planned after that? Will he cut exports to the US?

 

 

 

 

Nap/Macgregor The Russians have destroyed Three Ukrainian Armies

 

 

 

 

I Would Not Mess With Putin – Seymour Hersh + Rickards: Energy Armageddon

 

 

 

 

2017 Poroshenko Trump

 

 

Paris

 

 

Dinesh

 

 

 

 

The panic is tangible. Bypass laws, bypass shareholders… Credit Suisse must be in terrible shape. Will UBS survive being forced to buy them?

Egon von Greyerz: “THE CHF 16B WRITE DOWN BY SWISS REGULATOR #FINMA OF THE #Credit_Suisse AT1 BONDS WILL CREATE PANIC IN EUROPEAN AND GLOBAL DEBT MARKETS. BUY MORE PHYSICAL GOLD AND HANG ON TO YOUR SEATS.”

European bank stocks are plummeting.

UBS To Buy CS For $3 Billion As AT1 Bonds Get Wiped Out In Record Bail-In (ZH)

We finally have a deal, and what was at first a CHF1 BN acquisition priceof Credit Suisse by UBS, which then rose to CHF 2 BN, has now cranked up one final time to CHF 3BN (US$3.25 billion), or 0.76 per share, specifically shareholders of Credit Suisse will receive 1 share in UBS for 22.48 shares in Credit Suisse. As part of the deal, the Swiss National Bank is offering a 100 billion-franc liquidity assistance to UBS while the government is granting a 9 billion-franc guarantee for potential losses from assets UBS is taking over, i.e., this is a taxpayer-backed bailout. More importantly, however, the bank’s entire AT1 tranche – some CHF16BN of Additioanal Tier 1 (AT1) bonds, a $275BN market – will be bailed in and written down to zero, to wit: “FINMA has determined that Credit Suisse’s Additional Tier 1 Capital (deriving from the issuance of Tier 1 Capital Notes) in the aggregate nominal amount of approximately CHF 16 billion will be written off to zero.”


This wipe out, pardon, bail-in is the biggest loss yet for Europe’s $275 billion AT1 market, far eclipsing the approximately €1.35 billion loss suffered by junior bondholders of Spanish lender Banco Popular SA back in 2017, when it was absorbed by Banco Santander SA to avoid a collapse. AT1 bonds were introduced in Europe after the global financial crisis to serve as shock absorbers when banks start to fail. They are designed to impose permanent losses on bondholders or be converted into equity if a bank’s capital ratios fall below a predetermined level, effectively propping up its balance sheet and allowing it to stay in business. As Bloomberg notes, investors had been concerned that a so-called bail-in would result in the AT1s being written down, while senior debt issued by the holding company, Credit Suisse would be converted into equity for the bank. In retrospect, they were right to be worried… meanwhile equityholders get CHF3 billion; we are confident Swiss pensions will be delighted they are getting a doughnut while the Saudis get a not immaterial recovery.

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“The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order,,”

Xi Jinping Sees Shift To Multipolar World As ‘Irreversible’ (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has set the tone for his visit this week to Moscow by touting improving relations with Russia in the ten years since he took office and vowing that the transition to a “multipolar world” liberated from US domination won’t be stopped. “The world today is going through profound changes unseen in a century,” Xi wrote in an article published on Sunday by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta. “The historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation is unstoppable. The prevailing trends of world multipolarity, economic globalization and greater democracy in international relations are irreversible.”

Xi, who’s scheduled to arrive on Monday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, noted that the world faces “traditional and non-traditional security challenges,” as well as “damaging acts of hegemony, domination and bullying.” He added that countries around the world are “eager to find a cooperative way out of the crisis” as they try to get through a “long and tortuous global economic recovery.” “The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order. The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile.”

Xi made his comments amid escalating tensions with Washington over the Ukraine crisis and US interference in China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. Beijing has resisted Western pressure to condemn Russia over the Ukraine conflict, maintaining neutrality on the issue and promoting a 12-point peace plan to end the hostilities. Washington has dismissed the peace proposal and accused China of mulling military aid to Russia. “We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis, as well as a broad path toward a world of lasting peace and common security,” Xi said. He added that China’s plan takes into account the “legitimate security concerns of all countries.”

China and Russia have cemented mutual trust and fostered a “new model of major-country relations” over the past decade, as evidenced by a doubling of trade between the two nations, reaching $190 billion in 2022, Xi wrote. “We have been active in practicing true multilateralism, promoting the common values of humanity, and championing the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.” Xi called for increasing the quality and quantity of investment and economic cooperation between China and Russia, as well as stronger policy coordination. “We have every reason to expect that China and Russia, as fellow travelers on the journey of development and rejuvenation, will make new and greater contributions to human advancement.”

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Loud and clear.

Russian-Chinese Relations Remain Strong As Tested By Time – Xi Jinping (TASS)

Russian-Chinese relations went through tough periods throughout their history, but they had eventually proved to be strong, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said in an interview with Russia’s Rossiyskaya gazeta daily. “At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, I will soon pay a state visit to the Russian Federation. Russia was the first country I visited after I was elected President 10 years ago,” Xi Jinping said in the article published ahead of his visit to Russia. “Over the past decade, I have made eight visits to Russia,” he continued. “I came each time with high expectations and returned with fruitful results, opening a new chapter for China-Russia relations together with President Putin.”

“Looking back on the extraordinary journey of China-Russia relations over the past 70 years and more, we feel strongly that our relationship has not reached easily where it is today, and that our friendship is growing steadily and must be cherished by us all,” Xi Jinping said in the article published ahead of his visit to Russia. “China and Russia have found a right path of state-to-state interactions,” Xi stated. “This is essential for the relationship to stand the test of changing international circumstances, a lesson borne out by both history and reality.” “My upcoming visit to Russia will be a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace. I look forward to working with President Putin to jointly adopt a new vision, a new blueprint and new measures for the growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the years to come,” the Chinese president said.

“To this end, our two sides need to enhance coordination and planning. As we focus on our respective cause of development and rejuvenation, we should get creative in our thinking, create new opportunities and inject new impetus. It is important that we increase mutual trust and bring out the potential of bilateral cooperation to keep China-Russia relations at a high level,” Xi added. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are scheduled to hold negotiations in Moscow on March 21. Earlier, Moscow and Beijing announced that Xi Jinping would make an official visit to Russia on March 20-22. According to previous reports from the Kremlin, negotiations would feature discussions of “current issues of further development of relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China.” The sides also planned to exchange opinions within the context of deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation on the international arena. They are also expected to sign a number of important bilateral documents.

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The White House attempts to pre-empt Xi.

“Russia cannot be defeated militarily in a year, and the warrant of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on the “arrest” of Russian President Vladimir Putin deprives the West of the opportunity to negotiate with Moscow and will lead to an escalation of the conflict and new victims”
– Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic

White House Says It Opposes a Ceasefire in Ukraine (Antiwar)

The White House has come out against a ceasefire in Ukraine ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Moscow to potentially mediate between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his counterpart in Kyiv. Xi is due to arrive in Moscow on Monday and is expected to speak virtually to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky following his talks with Putin. Xi’s trip comes after Beijing released a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine that called for the two sides to cease hostilities and for peace talks to begin. Zelensky expressed openness to China’s proposal, but it was immediately rejected by President Biden. “We don’t support calls for a ceasefire right now,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday, according to Newsweek.

“We certainly don’t support calls for a ceasefire that would be called for by the PRC in a meeting in Moscow that would simply benefit Russia.” Kirby’s comments come as Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to battle in the Donbas city of Bakhmut, which has become known as the “meat grinder” due to the heavy casualties. Ukraine has been pouring in barely-trained conscripts to fight in the city, and the US thinks Kyiv is wasting too many resources in the battle. The US wants Ukraine to launch a counteroffensive in the spring, although a senior Ukrainian official told The Washington Post last week that Kyiv doesn’t have the resources to pull it off. Kirby’s reasoning for opposing a ceasefire at this time is that a pause in fighting could concede territory to Moscow.

Kirby said the ceasefire would, “in effect, recognize Russia’s gains, and its attempt to conquer his neighbor’s territory by force, allowing Russian troops to continue to occupy sovereign Ukrainian territory and, of course, it would be another continued violation of the UN Charter.” The US and its allies discouraged peace talks and mediation efforts that were conducted shortly after Russia’s February 2022 invasion. At that time, Moscow was seeking a deal that would have reverted to the pre-invasion territorial lines. But now, Ukraine stands to lose much more as Russia has annexed the territory it controls in the Ukrainian oblasts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and the breakaway Donbas republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

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Kirby about Xi’s visit: “State visit, if you will..”

Ukraine Ceasefire ‘Unacceptable’ – White House (RT)

Washington is firmly opposed to a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has said, branding any peace initiatives “unacceptable” in the current situation. The senior White House official made the remarks on Sunday in an interview with Fox News. Kirby touched on the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, stating that should any peace initiatives come out of their meeting, Washington would reject them. “What we have said before, and we’ll say it again today, that if coming out of this meeting, there’s some sort of call for a ceasefire, well, that’s just going to be unacceptable because all that’s going to do… is ratify Russian’s conquest to date,” Kirby stated.

Moscow and Beijing have been“increasing their cooperation and their relationship” lately, the official said, asserting that the two nations have joined to undermine and “rewrite” the so-called “rules of the game globally.” Russia and China “are two countries that are chafing against this international rules-based order that the United States and so many of our allies and partners have built up, since the end of World War II,” he said. Recently, China floated a 12-point roadmap for putting an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has been raging for over a year already. China has taken a neutral stance on the hostilities, repeatedly urging both parties to show restraint and stick to diplomacy in order to find a resolution.

While the Chinese roadmap has been welcomed in Moscow, it has received a cold reception in the West. Multiple top officials have brushed off Beijing’s efforts to act as a mediator, accusing it of siding with Moscow. US President Joe Biden, for instance, openly questioned Beijing’s motives and voiced suspicion over Moscow’s reaction to it. “Putin is applauding it, so how could it be any good?” the US president said shortly after the plan was unveiled.

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“If I want to increase production of gunpowder I need probably three years..”

EU Explosives Shortage Threatens Ukraine – FT (RT)

The EU defense industry’s ability to provide Ukraine with military supplies has been hampered by a deficit of explosives, The Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing sources. Several European officials and arms manufacturers told the outlet that the bloc’s military plants are suffering from scarce supplies of gunpowder and TNT, which could delay plans to boost shell production by three years. The sources also complained that this meant the defense industry would be unable to meet the soaring demand “regardless of how much money is thrown at the problem.” “The fundamental problem is that the European defense industry is not in good shape for large-scale war production,” one German official told the outlet.

These concerns were echoed by Jiri Hynek, who chairs the Defense and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic. He said, as quoted by the FT, that while building a new artillery factory “is very easy,” it is impossible to produce shells without raw materials. The official proceeded to point out that “it’s not possible to increase, in a short time, nitrocellulose” production, which is the basic ingredient in gunpowder. “If I want to increase production of gunpowder I need probably three years,” he added. To remedy the situation, the EU needs to find new sources of supply, according to Italian defense official Gianclaudio Torlizzi. He told the FT that the continent needs to approach countries that it had traditionally stayed away from. “Each European country wants to protect its availability of raw materials,” he explained.

EU officials have repeatedly voiced concerns about their dwindling arms stocks due to the bloc’s support of Ukraine. Last December, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell lamented that years of underinvestment had resulted in military stocks quickly running out. Against this backdrop, several key European officials have urged the bloc to switch over to a “war economy.” Meanwhile, on Thursday, the New York Times reported that the US and its allies were running out of ammunition for Ukraine, which is burning through thousands of shells each day in the battle for the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine). According to the newspaper, Western officials worry that this process is “unsustainable” and could jeopardize Kiev’s planned springtime campaign.

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The narrative is that Russia will attack beyond Ukraine. It’s just a narrative.

NATO Is Racing To Arm Its Russian Borders. Can It Find The Weapons? (Pol.eu)

Add NATO’s military planners to the list of those concerned about having enough shells. In the coming months, the alliance will accelerate efforts to stockpile equipment along the alliance’s eastern edge and designate tens of thousands of forces that can rush to allies’ aid on short notice — a move meant to stop Russia from expanding its war beyond Ukraine. To make that happen, though, NATO must convince individual countries to contribute various elements: Soldiers, training, better infrastructure — and, most notably, extensive amounts of pricey weapons, equipment and ammunition. With countries already worried about their own munitions stockpiles and Ukraine in acute need of more shells and weapons from allies, there is a risk that not all NATO allies will live up to their promises to contribute to the alliance’s new plans.

[..] It’s a challenge NATO has faced in the past, and one that experts fear could become a persistent problem for the Western alliance as Russia’s war drags into a second year. While the U.S. and EU are making plans to source more weapons — fast — the restocking process will inevitably take time. That could run into NATO’s aspirations. Military leaders this spring will submit updated regional defense plans intended to help redefine how the alliance protects its 1 billion citizens. The numbers will be large, with officials floating the idea of up to 300,000 NATO forces needed to help make the new model work. That means lots of coordinating and cajoling. “I think you need forces to counter a realistic Russia,” said one senior NATO military official, underscoring the need for significantly “more troops” and especially more forces at “readiness.”

There are several tiers of “readiness.” The first tier — which may consist of about 100,000 soldiers prepared to move within 10 days — could be drawn from Poland, Norway and the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), said Heinrich Brauß, a former NATO assistant secretary general for defense policy and force planning. It may also include multinational battlegroups the alliance has already set up in the eastern flank. A second tier of troops would then back up those soldiers, ready to deploy from countries like Germany in between 10 to 30 days. But the process could get tricky. Why? Because moving so quickly, even given a month, requires lots of people, equipment and training — and lots of money.

Some militaries will have to up their recruitment efforts. Many allies will have to increase defense spending. And everyone will have to buy more weapons, ammunition and equipment. Ben Hodges, former commander of U.S. Army Europe, said that “readiness” is “basically, do you have all the stuff you’re supposed to have to do the mission assigned to a unit of a particular size?” “An artillery battalion needs to shoot X number of rounds per year for planning purposes in order to maintain its level of proficiency,” he said. A tank battalion needs to hit targets, react to different situations and “demonstrate proficiency on the move, day and night, hitting targets that are moving.” “It’s all very challenging,” he said, pointing to the need for training ranges and ammunition, as well as maintaining proficiency as personnel changes over time. “This obviously takes time and it’s also expensive.”

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As NATO scrambles to arm Ukraine -and itself-, Russia has no such problems.

Putin was asked why Russia didn’t invade in 2014.

“There are other cutting-edge systems as well, though in 2014 there was nothing of the kind..”

Russia Has Hypersonic Weapons Now, But It Does Not Use Them – Putin (TASS)

Russia does not use hypersonic weapons in fact now, though it has them, same as other cutting-edge systems, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview for the “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” program on Rossiya-1 TV channel published by journalist Pavel Zarubin on his Telegram channel on Sunday. “Indeed, we have to do much, let’s say, for the development of land forces, but back then [in 2014] there were no hypersonic weapons, though they exist now! Yes, we do not use them in fact, but we have them. Do you understand? There are other cutting-edge systems as well, though in 2014 there was nothing of the kind,” Putin said. Asked whether it was worth starting the special operation in 2014, he stressed that the reality has changed since then: “Conjunctive mood cannot be used here!”.

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Two can play that game..

Russian Files On Kiev’s Crimes To Provide Basis For Tribunal – Kremlin (TASS)

Russia’s Investigative Committee thoroughly records all Kiev’s crimes, with those files to potentially provide a basis for tribunal in the future, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Sunday. “We know that the Investigative Committee is involved in this work. All crimes committed by the Kiev regime are thoroughly recorded. <…> The files will obviously be able to provide a basis for such a tribunal,” he said when asked how the Kremlin takes the idea of a tribunal on Kiev’s regime. Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin said earlier that Moscow should establish an international judicial body in response to Western countries, which are preparing similar structures for Russia’s prosecution.

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There we go…

Poland May End Up ‘Joining’ Ukraine Conflict – Diplomat (RT)

Poland may end up “joining” the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine should the latter fail to protect its “independence,” the Polish ambassador to France, Jan Emeryk Rosciszewski, has said. The senior diplomat made the remarks on Saturday while speaking live to the broadcaster LCI. Rosciszewski squarely blamed the hostilities, which have been ongoing for over a year already, on Moscow, stating that it was “not NATO, not Poland, not France and not Slovakia” that was ramping up international tensions, but Russia. According to the diplomat, the situation now is “either Ukraine will successfully defend its independence, or we will be forced, in any case, to join this conflict.” “Otherwise, our principal values, which are the basis of our civilization and our culture, will be in fundamental danger, so we will have no choice,” Rosciszewski stated.

The hawkish statement promptly made headlines in international media, prompting the Polish mission in France to elaborate further on the remarks made by its head. According to a message released by the embassy on Sunday, Rosciszewski’s comments were not actually an admission that Warsaw was ready to go to war with Russia, but merely a “warning” and a pledge to continue supporting Kiev. “Listening carefully to the entire conversation allows us to understand that there was no announcement of Poland’s direct involvement in the conflict, but only a warning against the consequences of Ukraine’s defeat – the possibility of Russia attacking or dragging into the war more Central European countries – the Baltic states and Poland,” the statement reads. The embassy also condemned the purportedly “sensational” reporting on the bombshell interview, suggesting that some unidentified media outlets may have acted in “ill will.”

The remarks received a poor reception in Moscow, with a top Russian senator, Alexey Pushkov, warning Warsaw of the potential consequences and questioning its presumed resolve to fight Russia on its own. “A very presumptuous statement by the Polish ambassador in Paris. For the first time, an official representative of Poland said what its leaders have long had on their minds. However, all the ‘courage’ of the Poles is based on the support of the United States. Is Warsaw sure that Washington is ready to fight?” Pushkov said in a Telegram post.

Poland has been among the most active supporters of Kiev in the hostilities against Russia, sending in assorted military hardware, including tanks and artillery pieces, to prop up Ukraine. Apart from that, Polish mercenaries have been directly involved in the conflict in significant numbers, according to Moscow. Warsaw has also announced a major military buildup of its own, seeking to greatly expand the ranks of its armed forces and procure large amounts of modern military hardware from overseas.

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Is Belarus being provoked by Ukraine to spread the war? You’d almost think so…

Belarus Cracks Down On Pro-Ukraine Guerrillas As War Threatens To Expand (ZH)

The Belarus government is implementing widespread measures to crack down on dissent as pro-Ukraine guerrillas attempt to sabotage railways and other logistics that could be used by Russia for a future offensive from the north. The move comes not long after the guerrillas, part of an organization called BYPOL, used two armed drones to damage a Russian Beriev A-50 parked at the Machulishchy Air Base near Minsk. The early warning aircraft was lent to Belarus for monitoring the security of their southern border. The attack failed to destroy the plane beyond minor repairs according the the Belarus government, but did garner BYPOL headlines in the western media.

What they did not report was that the primary perpetrator of the attack was apprehended along with 20 other accomplices. Belarus claims that at least one of the guerrillas has ties to Ukrainian security services, though this remains unconfirmed. Last month, President Alexander Lukashenko warned that: “I’m ready to fight together with the Russians from the territory of Belarus in one case only: if so much as one soldier from (Ukraine) comes to our territory with a gun to kill my people.” If BYPOL attacks continue within Belarus they may provide the very rationale that Lukashenko needs to justify joining military forces with Russia, which would open up the northern border of Ukraine to attack and likely deal a devastating blow to the nation’s defensive posture.

Acts of sabotage have already been used as fuel for civilian restrictions including the issuance of arrest warrants for numerous activists as well as at least five journalists, two of them now sentenced to 12 years in prison for a variety of charges including “Tax evasion, organizing activities aimed at inciting racial, ethnic, religious, or social hatred, and public calls through the media and the Internet aimed at damaging the national security of Belarus.” The Belarus government seems to have abandoned optics in favor of policies akin to martial law, which suggests a near term plan to join Russia militarily as well as to wage an anti-insurgency effort against BYPOL. Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik stated at the end of February that the accelerated militarization of the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) represents a threat to his country’s security.

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” This one was prepared not to determine the truth, but rather to “justify” a preemptive war on Iraq, where there was nothing to preempt.”

Iraq 20 Years (Ray McGovern)

C.I.A. Director Tenet suggested basing a new draft on the National Intelligence Estimate of Oct. 1, 2002, “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction.” That had immense appeal to Tenet and others who had been co-opted into “leaning forward” to facilitate a Bush/Cheney war on Iraq. Indeed, one can assume it had appeal to most of those involved in Powell’s speech preparation, given that the Security Council briefing was but a handful of days away. I have been referring to that NIE, advisedly, as The Whore of Babylon, wrong on every major accusation about WMD in Iraq. I speak from experience at the C.I.A. as a former chair of National Intelligence Estimates. This one was prepared not to determine the truth, but rather to “justify” a preemptive war on Iraq, where there was nothing to preempt.

To their credit, State/INR analysts had expressed formal dissent from some of its main conclusions back in September 2002. No, it is not possible that Powell could have been unaware of that. And it is not difficult to explain why Powell chose to spurn his own intelligence analysts, despite their relatively solid reputation. I will resist the temptation to guess at Powell’s motivation, even though I have had some considerable experience with him. Back in the day, we used to spend a few minutes comparing notes before my one-on-one morning briefings of his boss, Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, with The President’s Daily Brief. I am not surprised, though, as Draper quotes Powell explaining his decision to stay in place as secretary of state and to do what he was told: “I knew I didn’t have any choice. He’s the President.”

Draper adds that, “although Powell would not admit it, Bush’s request that he be the one to make the case against Hussein to the U.N. was enormously flattering. Cheney took a more direct approach: ‘The Vice President said to me: “You’re the most popular man in America. Do something with that popularity.”” Draper describes INR’s Director Ford as “heartsick” watching Powell on TV before the U.N. Security Council. Ford’s chagrin was widely shared among serious intelligence analysts — as well as by us alumni watching the prostitution of what had been our tell-it-like-it-is intelligence analysis profession. But there the National Intelligence Estimate was for plucking — an intelligence community-endorsed consensus already “on the books” — and with drafting time running out.

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“I also paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth for 2021 and will do that again in 2022.”

Elon Musk Fact-Checks Biden On Tax Claim (RT)

America’s richest man on Saturday took issue with President Joe Biden’s effort to sell voters on tax increases by claiming that billionaires get away with paying only 3% of their earnings, on average, to the federal government. Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed back after Biden posted a Twitter message arguing that the mega-rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes. “You know the average tax billionaires pay?” Biden asked, before answering the question himself with his 3% claim. “No billionaire should be paying a lower tax than somebody working as a schoolteacher or a firefighter.” Musk replied, “I paid 53% taxes on my Tesla stock options (40% federal and 13% state), so I must be lifting the average! I also paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth for 2021 and will do that again in 2022.”

He then invited Twitter users in the platform’s Community Notes program to weigh in on whether the 3% figure was accurate. Biden has repeatedly made the claim while promoting his effort to raise taxes on high-income Americans. When he made the same statement in a speech last month, PolitiFact pointed out that it was false. “Under today’s laws, the 25 highest-earning billionaires paid an average tax rate of 16%,” the fact-checking outlet said. The group added that most teachers and firefighters fall within an income range with effective tax rates of zero to 15%.

Biden’s 2024 budget proposal calls for raising tax rates on individuals with earnings of more than $400,000 a year and married couples making over $450,000. He also has demanded a 25% minimum tax on Americans with fortunes exceeding $100 million. “Look, I think you should be able to be a billionaire if you can earn it, but just pay your fair share,” Biden said. “I think you ought to pay a minimum tax of 25%. It’s about basic fairness.” Musk countered, “I certainly agree that everyone should pay taxes and not engage in elaborate tax-avoidance schemes.” Such schemes aren’t necessary for low-income Americans because more than 40% of US households pay no federal income tax.

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Nord Stream fallout.

Germans Warned Of Energy Crisis Next Winter (RT)

Germany has managed to avoid an energy crisis this year, but there is a risk that the next heating season will be more difficult, Klaus Mueller, the head of Germany’s Federal Network Agency said in an interview with the Rheinische Post, published on Saturday. According to Mueller, the country’s gas storage facilities are currently 64% full, and even if it the weather turns cold in the next few weeks, German energy supply for the remainder of the heating season is secured. He warned, however, that “we should not relax, as things could be different next winter.” “We cannot rule out a gas shortage for next winter. Risk factors are that the winter of 2023/24 will be very cold, that households and companies will save too little, that the LNG terminals will not work as planned – we would also have to help our neighboring countries with their energy problems,” Mueller explained.

Germany largely managed to avoid energy shortages due to unseasonably mild weather throughout the past couple of months, but Mueller noted that with respect to the next heating season, the weather poses the biggest risk. “We cannot rely on the fact that next winter will be mild again. When it’s cold, many households immediately stop saving. In warm October they saved more than 20% of gas, while during the cold snap in December – only 7%.” The official also pointed to another risk factor – the absence of Russia’s energy supplies, which made it possible for the country to fill up storage tanks in preparation for the heating season last year. While the EU did not ban Russia’s pipeline gas imports, their flows dwindled significantly after Ukraine-related sanctions and following the sabotage that disabled the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, one of the main routes for Russian gas to Europe.

As a result, Germany no longer receives Russian gas directly, and according to Mueller, energy prices will no longer be as low as they were when it did. “We don’t know what will become of Russia’s remaining gas supplies… We have to get used to higher prices, the time of cheap energy from Russia is definitely over,” he stated. Gas prices have been relatively low throughout the winter, helped by lower demand due to mild weather. Wholesale gas prices, which had soared over €300 per megawatt hour late last summer, fell to a level of around €50 in March. While that is far more than what natural gas cost in early 2021, it is “the new normal,” Mueller said, noting that in order to avoid further price spikes, consumers would have to continue efforts to conserve energy.

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Khan’s crime? He offended the CIA: “Khan built economic and diplomatic relations with Russia and China during his time in office..”

Imran Khan Hit With Terror Charges (RT)

Police in Islamabad have filed terrorism charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, after crowds of his supporters rioted outside a courthouse in the Pakistani capital. Khan was due to appear at the court on Saturday to answer corruption charges. Khan, along with more than a dozen officials in his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and scores of his supporters, were charged with a litany of offenses, including rioting, obstruction, assault on police officers, arson, intimidation, and acts of terrorism, Pakistan’s The Nation newspaper reported on Sunday. The charges stemmed from a riot outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex on Saturday, in which protesters hurled rocks and fire bombs at police as they waited for Khan to arrive at the building. A dozen police vehicles were burned, and officers responded with tear gas.

More than 50 officers were injured, and 59 of Khan’s supporters were arrested, the Associated Press reported. Police raided Khan’s residence in Lahore earlier on Saturday, shortly after he left for the court date in Islamabad. A crowd of the former PM’s supporters attempted to block police from carrying out the raid, leading to clashes and 30 arrests. The raid was not the first on Khan’s home, and the former leader previously accused authorities of attempting to arrest and execute him. Khan never entered the courtroom on Saturday. In a video message to supporters, he claimed that police fired tear gas at his vehicle, preventing him from stepping outside. The judge postponed his hearing until March 31.

A former cricketer, Khan became prime minister of Pakistan in 2018 but was ousted in 2022. He is accused by the state of unlawfully selling official gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries during his tenure. Khan claims that the corruption charges are politically motivated and aimed at preventing him from returning to power. Khan built economic and diplomatic relations with Russia and China during his time in office, and he has since claimed that his removal was orchestrated by the US with the goal of installing a more compliant leader. The PTI has been leading protests across Pakistan and calling for snap elections since Khan’s ouster. During a November rally in Wazirabad, an attacker opened fire on Khan, injuring him and eight others. Despite his ongoing legal drama, Khan is the most popular political leader in Pakistan, with an approval rating of 61%, according to a Gallup poll taken earlier this month. Current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif sits at 32%.

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“Their total mass is around 22m tonnes which is less than 10% of humanity’s [..] ..add all our cattle, sheep and other livestock, that adds another 630m tonnes..”

Total Weight Of Wild Mammals Less Than 10% Of Humanity’s (G.)

The total weight of Earth’s wild land mammals – from elephants to bisons and from deer to tigers – is now less than 10% of the combined tonnage of men, women and children living on the planet. A study by scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, published this month, concludes that wild land mammals alive today have a total mass of 22m tonnes. By comparison, humanity now weighs in at a total of around 390m tonnes. At the same time, the species we have domesticated, such as sheep and cattle, in addition to other hangers-on such as urban rodents, add a further 630m tonnes to the total mass of creatures that are now competing with wild mammals for Earth’s resources. The biomass of pigs alone is nearly double that of all wild land mammals.

The figures demonstrate starkly that humanity’s transformation of the planet’s wildernesses and natural habitats into a vast global plantation is now well under way – with devastating consequences for its wild creatures. As the study authors emphasise, the idea that Earth is a planet that still possesses great plains and jungles that are teeming with wild animals is now seriously out of kilter with reality. The natural world and its wild animals are vanishing as humanity’s population of almost eight billion individuals continues to grow.“When you look at wildlife documentaries on television – for instance of wildebeest migrating – it is easy to conclude that wild mammals are doing quite well,” lead author Ron Milo told the Observer.

“But that intuition is wrong. These creatures are not doing well at all. Their total mass is around 22m tonnes which is less than 10% of humanity’s combined weight and amounts to only about 6lb of wild land mammal per person. And when you add all our cattle, sheep and other livestock, that adds another 630m tonnes. That is 30 times the total for wild animals. It is staggering. This is a wake-up call to humanity.” The study, The Global Biomass of Wild Mammals, also reveals that those that do best – such as the white-tailed deer in the US and wild boars – are those that find it easier to adapt to the presence of humans. Both species can be found near settlements and are occasionally treated as pets. “Even within the wild, the fingerprints of humanity are obvious,” added Milo, whose team’s study is published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As part of the paper, researchers Lior Greenspoon and Eyal Krieger collected biomass data on about half of all known mammals and used machine-learning computational models on other zoological samples to calculate the other half.

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75yr old WYATT EARP – #botd in 1848 – at home in 1923.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephants

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 082023
 
 March 8, 2023  Posted by at 10:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Pollard willows at sunset 1888

 

US Spies Say ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’ Bombed Nord Stream – NYT (RT)
US Intelligence Now Says Pro-Ukraine Mystery Forces Destroyed Nord Stream (ZH)
US Media Leaks On Nord Stream Sabotage Intended Only To Confuse – Russia (TASS)
Russian Lawmaker Calls NYT Article On Nord Stream Sabotage ‘Red Herring’ (TASS)
Support For Aid To Ukraine Declines Across West (RT)
Ukrainian Loses Over 11,000 Troops In February, 40% Jump – Shoigu (TASS)
‘Black Hole’: Ukrainian Army Faces Nightmare In Bakhmut – DPR Adviser (TASS)
US Seeking To Contain China – Xi (RT)
China Staying True To Its Own Politics Amid Global Changes – Top Diplomat (TASS)
Ukraine Crisis Led By ‘Washington’s Hand’ Seeking To Continue Conflict (TASS)
Zelensky Is ‘Just Scum’ – Belarusian President (RT)
US-backed Attempts To Drag Belarus Into Ukraine War To Fail – Lukashenko (TASS)
WHO’s Unprecedented Power to Override National Sovereignty (CHD)
Oh Boy… (Denninger)
Fox News Hit With Election Complaint (RT)
US Lawmakers Call For Declassified Covid Origins Report (RT)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Julie Kelly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633281026742009857

 

 

 

 

Tucker questionnaire
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633290114842361856

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first significant known lead…..

The New York Times never reported on the Sy Hersh story, How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline. Instead, they come up with a whole new story, without even mentioning Hersh. You’d think that if they found anything untrue in his story, they’d run with that. They did not.

Their anonymous sources claim a private group of “Ukrainian or Russian nationals” hired a boat and did the deed. Even if right after the September 2022 attack, everyone agreed this would have taken a sophisticated state actor. Avoiding detection would have been hard enough, drilling holes into the think concrete wall of the pipes, placing over 1,000 pounds of “military grade” explosives, etc etc. But the purpose of the NYT story is not to prove anything, it’s just to sow doubt about Hersh’s story.

Hersh was adamant that it was the US -and Norway- who conducted the attack. Now there may be Ukrainians or Russians involved. And you don’t have to go into details (as Hersh did) to plant some doubt. But you can state that no Americans were involved. You don’t have to prove that either. You can just say it. “Anonymous sources”. Obviously the NYT has no credibility as long as it ignores Hersh, but the home crowd doesn’t mind as long as they …ignore Hersh. Mum’s the word. That Hersh guy spent months just making it all up, no use addressing that.

US Spies Say ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’ Bombed Nord Stream – NYT (RT)

Unspecified new intelligence “suggests that a pro-Ukrianian group” was behind the September 2022 attack on Nord Stream pipelines, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, quoting anonymous US officials. The Times’ entirely unnamed sources said they “believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two” and that “no American or British nationals were involved.” They further said they had no evidence Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky or his “top lieutenants” were involved, or that the “any Ukrainian government officials” directed the attack. The anonymous officials could not say who directed or paid for the “operation,” and said it was possible the attack “might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.”

The bombs that tore apart three out of four strings of the pipelines under the Baltic Sea were “most likely” planted by experienced divers, “who did not appear to be working for military or intelligence services,” but may have received “specialized government training in the past,” the anonymous officials claimed. They also said US President Joe Biden and his top aides “did not authorize” the attack on Nord Stream and that “there was no US involvement” in it. These statements directly address last month’s report by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who accused the US of ordering the bombing and planting the explosives. While Western European officials also believe the attack was state-sponsored, “US officials have not stated publicly that they believe the operation was sponsored by a state,” the Times noted.

Some officials see “Ukraine and its allies” as having “the most logical potential motive” to destroy the pipelines. It was unclear who they meant by allies; though Poland has been the most outspoken critic of Nord Stream, the US and the entire NATO bloc have sent more than $100 billion worth of weapons and other aid to Kiev over the past year. “Any findings that put blame on Kyiv or Ukrainian proxies could prompt a backlash in Europe and make it harder for the West to maintain a united front in support of Ukraine,” the Times reporters noted. The Nord Stream explosions happened five weeks after the Moscow car bombing that killed Russian journalist Darya Dugina.

Anonymous US spies told the Times last October they believed “elements” within the Ukrainian government – but not Zelensky – were responsible, but declined to name anyone. Kiev has officially denied any responsibility whatsoever. “After the Nord Stream operation, there was hushed speculation – and worry – in Washington that parts of the Ukrainian government might have been involved in that operation as well,” the Times reported on Tuesday. The anonymous officials who spoke to the paper said there was “no evidence so far” the Ukrainian government was involved, and that President Joe Biden’s trust in Zelensky “has been steadily increasing.” The Times did acknowledge that American intelligence has “limited visibility into Ukrainian decision-making,” despite Kiev’s “deep dependence” on the US.

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“The CIA alleges that 5 random clowns in a sailboat penetrated the most highly patrolled body of water on earth, drilled through concrete at incredible depths, and planted 1,000 Kilograms of highly unstable C4 plastique, then remote detonated it with pulse sonar.”

US Intelligence Now Says Pro-Ukraine Mystery Forces Destroyed Nord Stream (ZH)

Last month, Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh concluded that the United States blew up the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream natural gas pipelines last September as part of a covert operation under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise. Now, four weeks after Hersh’s bombshell report, anonymous US intelligence officials tell the NY Times that the saboteurs are likely ‘pro-Ukraine, possibly government-trained Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two,’ but that ‘no American or British nationals were involved.’

“U.S. officials said that they had no evidence President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine or his top lieutenants were involved in the operation, or that the perpetrators were acting at the direction of any Ukrainian government officials. [..] U.S. officials said there was much they did not know about the perpetrators and their affiliations. The review of newly collected intelligence suggests they were opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation. U.S. officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details of the strength of the evidence it contains. They have said that there are no firm conclusions about it, leaving open the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.” -NY Times

The perpetrators were likely “experienced divers who did not appear to be working for military or intelligence services,” US officials said, adding that “it is possible that the perpetrators received specialized government training in the past.” According to one European lawmaker briefed late last year by his country’s primary foreign intelligence service, over 1,000 pounds of “military grade” explosives were used. ‘But it wasn’t us!’ the US insists. The Times also notes that the implications of Ukrainian involvement in the attack “whether direct or indirect,” which could “upset the delicate relationship between Ukraine and Germany, souring support among a German public that has swallowed high energy prices in the name of solidarity.”

“Since the explosions along the pipelines in September, there has been rampant speculation about what transpired on the sea floor near the Danish island of Bornholm. Poland and Ukraine immediately accused Russia of planting the explosives, but they offered no evidence. Russia, in turn, accused Britain of carrying out the operation — also without evidence. Russia and Britain have denied any involvement in the explosions. [..] Any findings that put blame on Kyiv or Ukrainian proxies could prompt a backlash in Europe and make it harder for the West to maintain a united front in support of Ukraine. U.S. officials and intelligence agencies acknowledge that they have limited visibility into Ukrainian decision-making.” -NYT

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“First of all, we took notice of the fact that the mentioned article instantly got a ‘green light’ in the local information field, literally being all over the media in a heartbeat.”

US Media Leaks On Nord Stream Sabotage Intended Only To Confuse – Russia (TASS)

US media leaks from anonymous sources about the sabotage attacks on Nord Stream pipelines are intended only to confuse those who are trying to find out the truth, Minister-Counselor of the Russian Embassy in the United States Andrey Ledenev said. Commenting on an article in the New York Times, the diplomat said: “First of all, we took notice of the fact that the mentioned article instantly got a ‘green light’ in the local information field, literally being all over the media in a heartbeat.” “This is especially noteworthy given the attempts of the local officials and journalists to blatantly silence the resonant material of the Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh on the same topic. As well as the administration’s opposition to launching a comprehensive and independent investigation into this act of international terrorism against critical energy infrastructure,” Ledenev was quoted as saying on the Russian embassy’s official Telegram channel.

In his words, “it looks like local authorities have something to hide given the fact they openly threatened the operation of the gas pipelines, and afterwards overtly savored their destruction,” especially since mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Europe “has always been like a thorn in Washington’s side.” “We have no faith in the ‘impartiality’ of the conclusions of the US intelligence. We perceive anonymous ‘leaks’ as nothing more than an attempt to confuse those who are sincerely trying to get to the bottom of things in this egregious crime. Shift the blame from the statesmen who ordered and coordinated the attacks in the Baltic Sea to some abstract individuals,” the Russian diplomat continued. “We are convinced that in the end justice will prevail. We shall spare no effort for this to happen,” he added.

The New York Times reported earlier on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources, that US intelligence has so far been unable to identify the mastermind of last September’s sabotage attacks that targeted the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which transported natural gas from Russia to Europe. The anonymous officials interviewed by the newspaper said there had been no firm conclusions about those responsible, thus leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.” Meanwhile, Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper wrote that German investigators had allegedly identified the vessel used in the attack. The company that leased it was owned by Ukrainian citizens.

On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported unprecedented damage that occurred the day before on three strings of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipelines. On September 26, 2022, Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on the pipeline routes. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal case based on charges of international terrorism.

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“..leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force..”

Russian Lawmaker Calls NYT Article On Nord Stream Sabotage ‘Red Herring’ (TASS)

Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Russian State Duma (parliament’s lower chamber) Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Tuesday’s New York Times article suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group could be behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines was a “yet another red herring.” “The NYT article is a yet another red herring, aimed at distracting the public from real perpetrators by pointing to an abstract rebel group. But who would believe that an operation of this scope, which essentially is of military nature, can be carried out by a previously unknown sabotage group?” Slutsky wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. In his opinion, this article should become a wake-up call for the Kiev government and President Vladimir Zelensky, “indicating that he and his ‘rebels’ will be cast away when the heat is on in Washington.”

The New York Times reported earlier on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources, that US intelligence has so far been unable to identify the mastermind of last September’s sabotage attacks that targeted the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which transported natural gas from Russia to Europe. The anonymous officials interviewed by the newspaper said there had been no firm conclusions about those responsible, thus leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.”

However, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on February 8 published an article where he said, citing a source, that explosives under the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were planted by US Navy divers, helped by Norwegian specialists, under the guise of the Baltops exercise in June. The story stated that the CIA and Burns took part in the preparation of the operation, and US president Joe Biden personally authorized the operation after nine months of deliberations with the administration’s national security staff. On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported unprecedented damage that occurred the day before on three strings of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipelines. On September 26, 2022, Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on the pipeline routes. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal case based on charges of international terrorism.

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Time for a false flag? BTW, where is the western coverage of these polls?

Support For Aid To Ukraine Declines Across West (RT)

A year into the Russia-Ukraine conflict, public support for military and financial assistance to Kiev is in decline in the West, a joint survey by the Economist magazine and the YouGov pollster has shown. Even the most ardent backers of Ukraine are now less enthusiastic about supporting the country, the Economist said in a report revealing the poll results on Monday. Among US Democrats, support for financial aid to Kiev fell from 82% to 75% between April 2022 and February 2023, the poll revealed. Republican support for similar measures almost halved over the same period, from 67% to 39%, it added. Sending battle tanks to Kiev still appeared to be a popular option, as their delivery to Ukraine was supported by 70% of Democrats and just under 50% of Republicans between late January and mid-February 2023.

A poll conducted by the Associated Press in mid-February showed, however, that less than a half of Americans support military aid to Kiev. Public backing for further restrictions against Moscow that could increase the cost of living in Europe has seen a sharp decline in major European nations over the past year, according to the poll. In February 2022, 45% of Britons said they would favour such sanctions, but in December 2022 the level of support for the measures dropped to 35% in the UK. In Germany, it fell from almost 40% to less than 30% over the same period, while Spain, Italy and France followed a similar trend. Another poll published by YouGov two weeks ago, on February 24, showed that people in some European nations, including France and Italy, tend to favor a negotiated solution to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, over supporting Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

In Italy, 47% of respondents said they would like to see a negotiated end of the fighting, even if it means Kiev having to cede control over some territories it considers its own to Russia. In France, 38% of people supported this option. Only 29% of Italians and 37% of the French believed Kiev should be supported further, even if it means the conflict will last longer. Major European nations also saw a decline in support for almost all types of aid to Kiev over the second half of 2022. Most Europeans also believed that conflict had reached a stalemate, with Spanish citizens believing Russia was gaining the upper hand in it. The idea that Kiev is winning the conflict was shared by only a small minority in the European nations covered by the poll.

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“..it’s surprising how the Kiev regime doesn’t care about its people, tolerating any cost to human life to please its Western handlers..”

No problem, we’ll say the same about Russia…

Ukrainian Loses Over 11,000 Troops In February, 40% Jump – Shoigu (TASS)

The losses of Ukrainian troops jumped by 40% in February, surpassing 11,000 people, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during a conference call with top commanders of the Russian armed forces. “There’s considerable growth of losses among the personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces. In February alone, they increased by more than 40% compared with January and totaled more than 11,000 servicemen. In connection with this, it’s surprising how the Kiev regime doesn’t care about its people, tolerating any cost to human life to please its Western handlers,” he said.


The minister said it continues to be a priority for the Russian armed forces to preserve the lives and health of its personnel and civilians. Shoigu also said Russian troops will continue to perform missions as part of the special operation. The West, as part of the US strategy to “break Russia by force of weapons,” in ramping up arms shipments to Kiev but that doesn’t result in Ukrainian achievements on the battlefield, Shoigu said.

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“Zelensky has long called it a fortress city, the loss of which, in principle, would be tantamount to the loss of the frontline. This fortress city has now turned into a black hole that sucks in enemy manpower..”

‘Black Hole’: Ukrainian Army Faces Nightmare In Bakhmut – DPR Adviser (TASS)

The city of Artyomovsk (Ukrainian name – Bakhmut), which Kiev has for some time described as the Ukrainian forces’ impregnable fortress has turned into a veritable “black hole,” Yan Gagin, an adviser to the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said on the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock TV news channel. “He [Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky] has long called it a fortress city, the loss of which, in principle, would be tantamount to the loss of the frontline. This fortress city has now turned into a black hole that sucks in enemy manpower,” Gagin said. Artyomovsk is located in the Kiev-controlled part of the DPR. Fierce battles for the city are in progress.


According to the latest reports, the Russian forces have cut off or taken under fire control all paved roads to the city. Spring slush and mud greatly impede the delivery of supplies to Ukrainian troops in the city. On February 20, Zelensky vowed that the Ukrainian army would fight for Artyomovsk “as long as it is reasonable.” Additional units continue to be brought to the city. As retired Lieutenant-Colonel of the Lugansk People’s Republic’s militia Andrey Marochko told TASS, Kiev has even sent some under-age conscripts to the area of hostilities. On Monday, Gagin said that the Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk were trapped just like they were in Debaltsevo in 2015.

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“He compared the US government to an athlete trying to trip their opponent instead of giving its best performance.”

US Seeking To Contain China – Xi (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has publicly criticized the US and accused it of leading a Western attempt to “contain” his country. Foreign Minister Qin Gang also warned Washington to “hit the brakes” or risk “conflict and confrontation. “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our nation’s development,” Xi said in a rare verbal attack on Monday, as quoted by state media. The Chinese leader was meeting with industry and business groups during an annual gathering of an advisory body to the Communist Party. His speech focused on the national economy, with the remark about Washington’s policy illustrating what he called “uncertain and unpredictable factors” in the international environment, which also included the Covid-19 pandemic.

Xi normally refrains from targeted criticism of the US. Michael Swaine, a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told the New York Times that, to his knowledge, it was the first time the Chinese leader “has publicly come out and identified the US as taking such actions.” Meanwhile, another senior Chinese official accused Washington of using underhanded tactics on Tuesday. “The US claims that it seeks to out-compete China but does not seek conflict. Yet in reality, its so-called ‘competition’ means to contain and suppress China in all respects,” Foreign Minister Qin Gang said in a speech on the sidelines of an ongoing session of the Chinese legislature. He compared the US government to an athlete trying to trip their opponent instead of giving its best performance.

Washington wants Beijing not to push back when it is targeted by such action or slander, the minister suggested, adding that this was not possible. The US trajectory could lead to a disaster that no guardrails would be able to prevent, he warned. “If the US does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” said Qin, who previously served as the Chinese ambassador to the US. Washington has accused Beijing of undermining a “rules-based order” with its policies and imposed a number of economic restrictions, including last year’s ban on exporting certain semiconductors to the country. Tensions escalated further last month after Washington accused the country of flying a “spy balloon” over American soil, which China said was just a stray weather aircraft.

Mao Ning

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“Beijing will always contribute to maintaining peace on the planet and preserving the existing world order..”

China Staying True To Its Own Politics Amid Global Changes – Top Diplomat (TASS)

Authorities in China will stick to an independent policy course against the backdrop of the drastic changes underway in the international arena, China’s top diplomat Qin Gang said on Tuesday. “Major changes, unseen in the past 100 years, are taking place globally. Under the circumstances, China will pursue a peaceful and independent foreign policy and stick to mutually advantageous strategies,” Qin told a press conference during the annual plenary meetings of the country’s top advisory and legislative bodies underway in Beijing this week. Beijing will always contribute to maintaining peace on the planet and preserving the existing world order, Qin added.


The first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s parliament) kicked off on Sunday and it will end on March 13. It coincided with the work of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisor. This week, Chinese lawmakers and advisors are discussing key issues surrounding the country’s social and economic development, and coordinating domains for further reform. The sessions will result in the election of new top officials, including the Chinese vice-president and the premier of the State Council.

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No invisible hand.

Ukraine Crisis Led By ‘Washington’s Hand’ Seeking To Continue Conflict (TASS)

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov disagreed with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s opinion that the crisis in Ukraine was orchestrated by “an invisible hand.” According to the spokesman, it is the hand of the United States, which does not want the military conflict in Ukraine to end. “Here, perhaps, we can disagree with our Chinese friends,” Peskov told reporters at a briefing, commenting on the statement of the Chinese Foreign Minister. At the same time, the Kremlin spokesman made it clear right away that the disagreement was a joke.


“You know what the joke is? This is not an invisible hand, in fact, this hand is quite visible. This is the hand of the United States, the hand of Washington. Washington does not want this war to end, Washington wants and will do everything to continue this war. That is why this hand is visible,” Peskov said. Earlier on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said at the annual press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress session that efforts to promote negotiations between Russia and Ukraine had failed. According to him, “an invisible hand is pushing the conflict towards further prolongation and escalation and is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine for its geopolitical purposes.”

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“If you think that by challenging us this way you’ll be able to drag us into the war tomorrow… then you are mistaken.”

Zelensky Is ‘Just Scum’ – Belarusian President (RT)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has lashed out at his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky, accusing him of attempting to drag Belarus into Kiev’s conflict with Moscow. On Tuesday, Lukashenko told the media that a Russian A-50 surveillance aircraft sustained minor damage in a drone attack on the Machulishchy air base in Belarus last week, adding that the assault had been carried out by a “terrorist” recruit of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU). “There can be only one conclusion… President Zelensky is just scum. Just scum, as such operations are never carried out without the consent of the head of state and the commander-in-chief. I am telling you this as a president,” the Belarusian leader said.

The exact word that Lukashenko used was “gnida”, which is Russian for louse egg or nit. According to Lukashenko, Zelensky “has been making circles around Belarus” and talking about signing “a non-aggression pact” between Kiev and Minsk under the auspices of the UN, but “at the same time” doing things like this. “I know that they want to drag us into the war on the order of the Americans,” Lukashenko said. In a comment addressing Zelensky’s government, he stated: “If you think that by challenging us this way you’ll be able to drag us into the war tomorrow… then you are mistaken.”

The Belarusian leader first revealed that Ukraine had offered “a non-aggression pact” to his country in late January. Back then, Lukashenko said such an agreement would have been excessive, as Minsk had no aggressive plans against its neighbor. Belarus is a close ally of Russia, with the two countries creating a joint military grouping on Belarusian territory in the fall. According to Minsk, this was needed to address perceived threats from the West, which he said is eager to involve Belarus in the Ukrainian conflict in order to extend the frontline and stretch the resources of the Russian forces.

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“..if you think that having thrown down this challenge you will drag us into the war which is already underway across the entire Europe, you are wrong..”

US-backed Attempts To Drag Belarus Into Ukraine War To Fail – Lukashenko (TASS)

Kiev is seeking to drag Belarus into the conflict in Ukraine on instructions from Washington but will not be able to do so, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday. “If they plan to do it (and I know that they are seeking to drag us into the war on commands from the Americans), if you think that having thrown down this challenge you will drag us into the war which is already underway across the entire Europe, you are wrong,” the BelTA news agency quoted him as saying. Earlier on Tuesday, Lukashenko said that an agent of the Ukrainian special services and more than 20 of his accomplices had been detained in Belarus following an attempted act of sabotage against an A-50 long-range radar surveillance and control aircraft of the Russian aerospace forces. According to the Belarusian president, the plane did not sustain “any serious damage, but for, as they say, scratches and a hole in the hull.” Belarus has asked the Russian side to take this plane in for repairs and send another such plane instead, which was done.

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• “Empowering the WHO’s Emergency Committee “to override decisions made by sovereign nations regarding health measures.”

WHO’s Unprecedented Power to Override National Sovereignty (CHD)

Two World Health Organization (WHO) committees recently convened to discuss proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) and the “zero draft” of a new global “pandemic treaty.” Media have focused primarily on the pandemic treaty, with the Biden administration recently reaffirming its commitment to finalizing it, and with The Associated Press (AP) reporting the treaty would not threaten national sovereignty. However, some experts warn the public should be more concerned about the proposed IHR amendments — which are more likely to be adopted — as they would give the WHO unprecedented power over national governments and override national sovereignty. Experts also say there are clear differences between the proposed IHR amendments and the pandemic treaty, even though the two are often conflated in public discourse.

Previous versions of the IHR have been in place since 1969. The current version was first enacted in 2005, in the aftermath of SARS-CoV-1. IHR amendments a ‘clear and present danger’ According to author and researcher James Roguski, “It seems nearly everyone is having difficulty maintaining clarity between the proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations and the proposed ‘Pandemic Treaty.’” Roguski, who has extensively researched both proposals, recently wrote on his blog that the “Zero Draft” of the Pandemic Treaty “is a real thing” but is also “a skillfully crafted decoy” designed to draw attention away from the proposed IHR amendments. He called these amendments — which the WHO’s Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) discussed on Feb. 20-24 — “a clear and present danger.”

According to Reclaim the Net, the WHO, through the proposed IHR amendments, is “pushing to greatly expand its surveillance powers,” including requiring states to build “collaborative surveillance networks.” “The unelected health agency also wants increased influence over the targeting of ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’” via the proposed amendments. According to the Brownstone Institute, the proposed amendments would “expand the definitions of pandemics [and] health emergencies, including the introduction of ‘potential’ for harm rather than actual harm” and would change the recommendations of the IHR for states “from ‘non-binding’ to mandatory.” The WHO’s director general would be empowered to “independently declare emergencies, and would grant the WHO “control over certain country resources.”

A total of 307 IHR amendments have been proposed. On his blog, Roguski compiled a list of the top 10 reasons to oppose the amendments. These include:
• Changing the WHO “from an advisory organization … to a governing body whose proclamations would be legally binding.” (Articles 1 and 42)
• Removing language preserving “respect for dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people.” (Article 3)
• Giving the WHO “authority to require medical examinations, proof of prophylaxis, proof of vaccine and to implement contact tracing, quarantine and treatment.” (Article 18)
• Instituting “a system of global health certificates in digital or paper format.” (multiple articles and annexes)
• Empowering the WHO’s Emergency Committee “to override decisions made by sovereign nations regarding health measures.” (Article 43)

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“The Brady decision by the USSC makes clear that the prosecution must turn over all evidence they have which exculpates a defendant. It’s not optional and it dates to 1963.”

Oh Boy… (Denninger)

Well now there’s a problem. Tucker has released video that pretty-much blows a hole in the entire January 6th narrative. In fact, it blows it up, sets it alight and watches it burn to ash. This is a serious problem for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the number of people sitting in prison — or convicted on connived, false claims with no ability for their defense to access the evidence proving that in many cases they were escorted. At worst most of these people are guilty of trespass, but even there you likely can’t make it stick as trespass is voided if you’re invited or chaperoned, and its quite clear that at least in some cases — they are. There’s another problem too: The Brady decision by the USSC makes clear that the prosecution must turn over all evidence they have which exculpates a defendant. It’s not optional and it dates to 1963.


The violations here are severe and in fact it appears basically universal. Indeed the definition of malicious prosecution is to bring a case before the court where you know the exculpatory evidence is so strong you’d never win a conviction and you intentionally withhold it from the defense. That opens up the DOJ and even the individuals involved to personal liability. I have no idea how the DOJ thought they’d get away with this indefinitely, but apparently they did think they would. Well, not any more. Now the question becomes if the government will not live to its own laws, what remains? It’s not a pleasant question to ponder, but ponder it we must, and the implications do not just extend to January 6th. Unfortunately.

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They had the counter-attack ready on the shelf. Took just one day.

“MMFA has gone after Carlson numerous times, accusing him of everything from “election denial” to racism…”

Fox News Hit With Election Complaint (RT)

Media Matters for America has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Fox News, claiming the cable network has provided an illegal contribution to the Republican Party in the 2020 US election. MMFA’s head talked up the complaint on Monday, as Fox aired previously unavailable footage of the January 6 Capitol riot. Fox operates “more like a partisan operation than a news network,” Angelo Carusone told Democracy Now! on Monday evening, adding he anticipated “a lot more” FEC complaints going forward. The MMFA is basing its complaint on one of the documents produced in the ongoing defamation lawsuit against the cable network by Dominion Voting Systems, which is seeking $1.6 billion in damages. According to the discovery in that trial, Fox owner Rupert Murdoch gave then-President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, “confidential information” about a campaign ad for Democrat Joe Biden.

MMFA is arguing that the FEC “press exemption” would not apply in this case, and that Murdoch’s act amounts to “an illegal corporate in-kind contribution.” “If you try to get around that disclosure law… by giving something that is the equivalent of money, that you would need to spend money on, or that could be considered something of value for a political campaign, you’re either not supposed to do it or it’s supposed to be disclosed,” Carusone told Democracy Now! Carusone’s interview coincided with Fox News showing video from the 2021 riot at the US Capitol, which the new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – a California Republican – provided to Tucker Carlson, the most-watched evening news host in the US. The footage Carlson aired directly contradicted the narratives about the Capitol “insurrection” put forth by Biden and the Democrats.

MMFA has gone after Carlson numerous times, accusing him of everything from “election denial” to racism. The Republican National Committee has previously complained to the FEC that Twitter had given an in-kind contribution to the Democrats in the 2020 election, by censoring the New York Post’s factually true story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Biden, the Democrats and MMFA denounced the report – falsely, as it turned out – as “Russian disinformation.” The RNC filed their claim in October 2020, just weeks before the election. The FEC rejected it, without explanation, in September 2021.

Tucker 2
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633276073155674114

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“..urging for an international probe into the matter within the United States following similar investigations in the People’s Republic.”

US Lawmakers Call For Declassified Covid Origins Report (RT)

The US House Intelligence Committee has adopted its own version of a bill seeking to force the government to declassify all that it knows about the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, namely information that relates to a major virology lab in China, from which US officials have claimed the virus originally escaped. A Senate-approved bill moving through Congress was given a rubber stamp by the Republican-controlled intel committee on Tuesday, aiming to require Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to “make available to the public as much information as possible” about the beginnings of the virus, as well as “any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology” and Covid-19.

“The American public deserves answers to every aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic, including how this virus was graded and specifically, whether it was a natural occurrence or was the result of a lab-related event,” committee chairman Mike Turner said. “The intelligence community does have more information about Covid-19 than the public has seen.” The legislation was approved unanimously by the committee and will now head for a floor vote in the House, after which it would be destined for President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature. The GOP-led push to declassify information follows an updated assessment by the Department of Energy, which recently concluded the virus likely leaked from the Wuhan lab, though the department only endorsed that theory with “low confidence.”

Days later, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared on Fox News to declare that Covid-19 “most likely” emerged from the virology facility, citing a bureau report that has not been made public. Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Mike Braun initially proposed similar legislation in 2021, and though the bill was passed in the upper chamber, it was never enacted into law. It was reintroduced and passed again overwhelmingly last week. “The Senate already passed my bill with [Hawley] to make every bit of evidence we know about the Covid lab leak declassified for the American people to see the facts without corporate or government censors. President Biden needs to declassify everything we know today,” Braun wrote in a tweet in late February, soon after the Wall Street Journal was first to report the Energy Department’s revised conclusion.

Though the original bill never received the president’s signature, so far the White House has not given any indication it will veto the measure. Beijing, for its part, has vocally denied suggestions the pathogen escaped from the Wuhan virology lab, rejecting the theory as a way to smear China’s image abroad. On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused Washington of “spreading myths” about the origins of the pandemic, urging for an international probe into the matter within the United States following similar investigations in the People’s Republic.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Bamboozle

 

 

Chirodectes maculatus

 

 

Young

 

 


Crocodile with perfect camouflage – Jens Cullmann

 

 

Trolling

 

 

Arnie

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 252022
 


Salvador Dali Figure at a window 1925

 

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

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed (Lauria)

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

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

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

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

Read more …

Twitter “amnesty”. RT provides a factual story…

Musk Announces Twitter Amnesty (RT)

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Electric War (Escobar)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pentagon Dodges Ukraine Aid Question (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

Hungary Faces Pressure To Ratify NATO Expansion (RT)

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

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

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

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Pence and Buttigieg. What a waste of time.

Oddsmakers Favor DeSantis For 2024 (JTN)

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

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Want to use less oil? Stop making stuff.

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

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

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

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

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

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What on earth made them go public with this?

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

Meta Uncovers US Military-Linked Propaganda Campaign (RT)

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

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

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

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Death, taxes and getting robbed.

You’re Going To Get Robbed (Denninger)

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

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

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

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Steve Kirsch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1595893348035751936

 

 

 

 

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