Joseph Mallord William Turner The Tenth Plague of Egypt 1802
Highly appreciated Automatic Earth commenter TAE Summary presents another one of his series “A Tale of Two..”, and if only just for the obvious effort he put into it, let’s dig in. How do you feel about what each president has achieved? No wrong answers.
Biden is a Great President and Trump was an Awful President
• Appointed a diverse cabinet
• Signed executive orders addressing systemic racism and discrimination
• Passed the infrastructure bill to repair roads and bridges and improve internet access
• Reduced the deficit
• Led NATO in its support of Ukraine and opposition to Vladimir Putin
• Lowered the child poverty rate by increasing the tax credit for children
• Launched a program to protect earth from killer asteroids
• Officially recognized Turkish genocide of Armenians in 1915
• Sidelined the court-packing movement of the left
• Stepped up US support for Taiwan
• Announced a historic trilateral security agreement with Australia and Britain to counter Chinese hegemony
• Accelerate Covid vaccine delivery at home an abroad
• Improved the American economy by championing competition and reining in the power of big business which helped create millions of jobs
• Gave Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices and made the price of things like insulin and hearing aids cheaper
• Attacked hunger and fostered better nutrition in the US
• Funded opioid recovery programs
• Eliminated the statute of limitations for child sex abuse
• Tried to reform student loans
• Issued important cybersecurity regulations
• Chose humanity over politics when getting Brittney Griner released
• Colluded with the Russians to get elected in 2016
• Appointed unqualified family members to important positions in his administration
• Tried to ban TikTok
• Withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Accords
• Increased the deficit every year of his presidency
• Approved the Keystone Pipeline through native lands
• Disallowed transgender students from using the bathroom of their choice
• Attacked John McCain as a loser
• Ended curbs on auto emissions
• Cracked down on legal immigrants
• Impeded regulation against toxic chemicals
• Shrank the food safety net so that over 700K Americans lost their access to food stamps
• Suggested vaccines cause autism
• Accused Barack Obama of spying on his campaign
• Cut corporate taxes to the lowest level since 1939
• Oversaw the longest government shutdown in US history
• Acted as a racist and xenophobe when he implemented a travel ban from Muslim countries, blamed the Chinese for Covid, separated families at the US border, tried to build a wall between the US and Mexico and gave racist speeches
• Tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act which would have left millions without healthcare
• Inadequately responded to Covid, downplaying the dangers
• Use his influence as president to try to get Ukraine to provide damaging narratives about his political opponent
• Challenged the outcome of the 2020 election undermining democratic institutions and the public’s trust in elections which led to the events of January 6th and the deaths of 5 people
Trump was a Great President and Biden is an Awful President
• Negotiated three Arab-Israeli peace accords
• Fostered a strong economy and stock market by signing into to law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other policies
• Started the Space Force
• Attempted the first Defense Department wide audit
• Cracked down on unwanted robo-calls
• Attempted to build a wall on the border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration
• Helped American farmers with billions of dollars in aid
• Tried to fix health technology by removing rules blocking the sharing of medical information
• Rescinded rules for federal contractors that protected them from sexual harassment claims
• Made it easier to prosecute financial crimes like money laundering
• Renegotiated trade deals with Mexico, Canada and China which benefitted American workers and businesses
• Appointed three Supreme Court justices and many other conservative judges to federal courts leading to pro-Constitutional decisions like the overturning of Roe
• Passed the VA MISSION Act which improved healthcare access and services for veterans
• Oversaw the defeat of the Islamic State’s territorial caliphate in Syria and Iraq
• Kept us out of war
• Signed executive orders and laws combating human trafficking
• Opened the borders to illegal immigrants
• Discharged thousands of troops for refusing the Covid vaccine
• Opposed efforts to stop biological males from competing in women’s sports
• Lied about border patrol agents whipping migrants
• Claimed that January 6th rioters were a bigger threat to democracy than Confederates in the Civil War
• Described terrorism from white supremacy as the most lethal threat to the US
• Oversaw the disastrous withdrawal of American troops for Afghanistan
• Mis-handled the response to Covid mandating vaccines and dividing the nation on the basis of vaccination status
• Supported lockdowns and other pandemic polices which damaged the supply chain and the world economy
• Supported violent protesters instead of the police during the BLM riots
• Lied about Hunter’s laptop saying it was Russain disinformation
• Stated that election reform is the new Jim Crow
• Suppressed first amendment rights by influencing policies of social media outlets
• Supported the war in Ukraine and vilified Russia as our enemy
• Blocked American energy production
• Illegally attempted to forgive student loans
• Printed massive amounts of money causing massive inflation
I have one comment: I don’t think that “Joe Biden” (in Jim Kunstler language) only “supported the war in Ukraine and vilified Russia as our enemy”, “Joe Biden” did a lot more to poke the bear and instigate and fire up the war. But that’s just me. You can be the judge of that too.
Also just me: when Trump left and Biden came, we were at peace. Look at us now.
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The Year of the Tiger has given way to the Year of the Rabbit.
German MP, Petr Bystron: "This is an interesting approach that you are taking here. German tanks against Russia in Ukraine. Your grandfathers already tried that, by the way, back then with the Melnyks and Banderas, and what is the result?"pic.twitter.com/HcBE03hg6C
Well, more docs. And more obfuscation. Whereas Trump’s home was raided, Biden is said to have ”offered access to his home” (after more than 2 months. Lots of write-ups, here are two. I went to the CNN homepage, crickets.
BTW, it’s not “Six More Classified Documents”, but “six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials”. Yes, that could mean 1000 documents.
The Department of Justice found “six items consisting of documents with classification markings” during a Friday search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a Saturday statement by the president’s personal lawyers. Also found were notes from Biden’s time as a Senator, as well as his tenure as Vice President, according to a statement from Biden attorney Bob Bauer, which strategically leads with ‘we’ve fully cooperated!’ The search lasted from 9:45 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Friday, during which members of Biden’s personal legal tam were present along with members from the Office of the White House counsel, according to the statement. The DOJ also took materials “for further review.” The new documents mark the latest development in the scandal involving classified documents found at non-authorized locations used by Biden. The first batch of papers was discovered in early November, the day before midterm elections, at the Penn Biden Center. More documents marked classified were found at his Wilmington, Delaware home in December – and then earlier this month, an additional batch of papers was found at the home. “
The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Department officials earlier considered having FBI agents monitor a search by Mr. Biden’s lawyers for classified documents at his homes but decided against it, both to avoid complicating later stages of the investigation and because Mr. Biden’s attorneys had quickly turned over a first batch and were cooperating, the Journal reported this week. Some law enforcement officials had discussed the possibility of asking Mr. Biden’s team for consent to have the FBI search the property themselves. Officials didn’t immediately take that step in part to preserve their freedom to take a tougher line later, including by executing a search warrant, the Journal reported. Instead, the two sides agreed that Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys would inspect the homes, notify the Justice Department as soon as they identified any other potentially classified records, and arrange for law-enforcement authorities to take them. -Wall Street Journal”
So, Biden’s personal attorneys searched the house themselves, said they turned everything over to the DOJ, and yet more were found? When Trump’s lawyers did that he was raided by the FBI.
They did not find "six more classified documents". They found materials "including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials".
The Justice Department seized additional classified records from President Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home after an FBI search on Friday, Fox News has learned. “On Jan. 20, 2023, the FBI executed a planned, consensual search of the President’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware,” Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, an assistant U.S. attorney to U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, told Fox News Saturday. Lausch was the DOJ official running the investigation into Biden’s improper retention of classified records ahead of the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Hur. Fox News has learned Lausch is still playing an integral role in the probe as Hur gets up to speed. The FBI search began Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. and concluded Friday night around 10:30 p.m.
Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer said Saturday evening the search covered “all working, living and storage spaces in the home.” “At the outset of this matter, the President directed his personal attorneys to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice,” Bauer said. “Accordingly, having previously identified and reported to DOJ a small number of documents with classification markings at the President’s Wilmington home, and in the interest of moving the process forward as expeditiously as possible, we offered to provide prompt access to his home to allow DOJ to conduct a search of the entire premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material.” Bauer said that by agreement with the Justice Department, representatives of both Biden’s personal legal team and the White House Counsel’s Office were present for the search. Neither the president nor the first lady were present during the search.
Don’t be fooled by comparisons between Trump and Biden classified docs. Trump was president when he took them home, and the criminal probe will address the legality of that. Biden took them as Senator and VP. 100% illegal.
Ted Cruz: on Twitter “This says some of the docs are from his Senate service. Serious Q: how on earth did he do that? I’ve served in the Senate for 10 years. EVERY single classified doc I’ve read—100%—have been in a secure SCIF in the basement of the Capitol. What the hell??”
Note: chief of staff Ron Klain is leaving, and more Obama insiders are lined up for the job.
According to multiple media report [See Here and See Here] Joe Biden’s attorneys coordinated a friendly FBI search their client’s Delaware residence. Lawyers for Biden were present and overseeing the FBI review of the home, when additional classified documents were discovered. Interestingly, the Biden lawyers seemingly admit their client had been taking classified documents home for quite some time. According to their statement: “DOJ took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President. DOJ also took for further review personally handwritten notes from the vice-presidential years.”
That statement was written by Joe Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer. That’s interesting on many levels, including the fact that Bob Bauer is married to Anita Dunn. Mrs. Anita Dunn is one of the original people who helped put Barack Obama in the White House; and Dunn worked with President Obama throughout his terms. Additionally, Anita Dunn is on the short list to replace Biden’s outgoing Chief of Staff, Ron Klain. Many people have wondered if Joe Biden was being set up for failure over this classified document scandal. In my opinion, the entire operation is being managed – but not to remove Biden, simply to control him and ensure he doesn’t run again.
When it comes to the insurance of their ideological long-term goals, democrats play cutthroat politics much better than most imagine. Ask Bernie Sanders what it’s like to be viewed as an impediment to the ideological quest, and what lengths his party will take to cut you down. Now overlay Joe Biden’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer. Think about who exactly it was discovering these documents and why. If Obama is the silent partner in the background of the Biden administration, then Dunn is the operational manager. If Dunn is the operational manager, then her husband is very useful as the principle’s attorney. From the big picture, it sure looks like Bauer is playing the role of Brutus.
The world is teetering on the brink of the abyss due to an increased risk of nuclear war, failure to address environmental challenges, and diminished ability to tackle problems rationally, world-renowned philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky told RT on Saturday. During the interview, Chomsky, who is Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona, was asked to expand on his remark that humanity could be pathologically dedicated to self-destruction. The philosopher recalled that in recent years the Doomsday Clock, which reflects how close humanity is to Armageddon, has moved closer to midnight, which symbolizes the extinction of humanity. He suggested that in several days it could be set even closer to this mark.
According to the philosopher, humanity’s main concerns are “an increasing threat of nuclear war” and “a very severe and growing threat of destruction of climate.” The latter problem persists because “states are not doing what they know they must do to solve this crisis,” he said. The third issue, Chomsky continued, is “the deterioration of an arena of rational serious debate and deliberation” combined with “the collapse of democratic forces” around the world. The professor admitted that while it might seem that this point has nothing to do with the threat of nuclear war and climate change, rational debate is “the only hope for dealing with the first two.”
“All three have gotten considerably worse during the past year, and unless there’s a sharp reversal, we’ll simply be heading for a precipice, falling over, irreversible, and not in the long distant future,” he warned. His comments come after earlier this week, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said that those who want to see Moscow defeated in Ukraine, ignore the fact that “a loss by a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger the start of a nuclear war.” Moscow believes the Ukraine conflict to be a proxy war waged against it by the US and its allies. However, Russia has repeatedly said that a nuclear war should never be fought, with its military doctrine allowing the use of atomic weapons only if the very existence of the state is threatened.
“Russia’s Wagner forces have surrounded Bakhmut, lynchpin of ‘Zelensky Line’ [Ukr deployments in Donbass.] US media has begun backtracking on Bakhmut’s importance, anticipating its imminent fall into Russian hands & preparing opinion. A crushing defeat for US-UK axis in Ukraine.”
“The forces which are currently getting mauled in the Bakhmut area constitute 50% of Ukraine’s battle ready forces..”
The long expected Russian offensive in Ukraine has begun. The Ukrainian army, egged on by its U.S. controllers, had put most of its resource into the static defense of the Bakhmut (Artyomovsk) – Soledar sector of the eastern front. An insane number of Ukrainian brigades, though many partially depleted, were concentrated on that 50 kilometer long front. This left other sectors nearly empty of Ukrainian troops. I count the equivalent of some 27 brigade size formations in that area. The usual size of a brigade is some 3,000 to 4,000 men with hundreds of all kinds of vehicles. If all brigades had their full strength that force would count as 97,500 men. In a recent interview the Ukrainian military commander Zaluzhny said that his army has 200,000 men trained to fight with 500,000 more having other functions or currently being trained.
The forces which are currently getting mauled in the Bakhmut area constitute 50% of Ukraine’s battle ready forces. On the southern and northern sectors of the battle-line the Ukrainian forces have been thinned out and are only able to defend against minor forces. The Ukrainian forces in the north and south are in the same position Russian troops had been in when the Ukrainian army last year launched a blitz attack in the Kharkiv region. The Russian screening force of some 2,000 boarder guards and federal police retreated and used its artillery to destroy the oncoming Ukrainian forces. The attack ran out of power and came to a halt after progressing some 70 kilometers on a rather large front. But Ukraine no longer has, unlike the Russians at that time, the artillery that is need to stop a larger thrust.
The big Ukrainian concentration in Bakhmut is now in an operational encirclement. The Russian forces have progressed north and south of the city and their artillery can easily control the western exit roads of Bakhmut. This a Verdun like situation. Russian artillery is by far numerical superior and can slaughter the Ukrainian troops at will. Even the U.S. military is now suggesting that Ukraine should give up on that city. Should the government in Kiev agree to that it will be a retreat under fire with likely high casualties. Not retreating though will make things even worse.
Ukraine will struggle to make good on its promise to drive Russian forces out of its former territory, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley stated on Friday. While civilian officials in Washington insist that Kiev must keep fighting, Milley has repeatedly questioned the chances of success. “President Biden, President Zelensky, and most of the leaders of Europe have said this war is likely to end in a negotiation,” Milley said during a meeting of the US-led Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday. “From a military standpoint, this is a very, very difficult fight,” he added. The US alone has allocated more than $110 billion in military and economic aid to Kiev since last February – supplying Ukraine with progressively heavier armaments, including infantry fighting vehicles, anti-air systems, and more than a million artillery shells.
Although Ukraine’s NATO-trained troops appear on the cusp of receiving Western-designed main battle tanks, Russian forces have inflicted a series of crushing defeats on Kiev’s military in recent weeks. The strategically important Donbass settlements of Soledar and Klescheevka have both fallen to Moscow’s troops, and the key city of Artyomovsk is now facing Russian encirclement. “I still maintain that for this year, it would be very, very difficult to militarily eject the Russian forces from every inch of Russian-occupied Ukraine,” Milley said on Friday, referring to the four former regions of Ukraine that voted to join Russia in September, and Crimea, an historic Russian territory that voted to rejoin the Russian Federation in 2014.
“That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. But it’d be very, very difficult.” Retaking all of this land – including Crimea – is a stated objective of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. To that end, Zelensky has the support of the US, with President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowing to bankroll his military for “as long as it takes,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken declaring in December that “fundamentally, Ukrainians are making the decisions” about whether they want to attempt to capture Crimea or not. However, Milley’s public statements have been more tempered than those of Biden and his cabinet. Asked in November whether Ukraine stood a chance of retaking its pre-February territory, he said that the probability of this outcome “is not high, militarily.”
Russian casualties in Ukraine have hit an eye-watering 188,000 according to United States intelligence, Report informs via The Sun. Report informs via The Sun that the massive new figure of those killed or injured in battle was shared with allies at yesterday’s Western summit to drum up support for Ukraine held at Ramstein Air Base in Southern Germany. It is a significant increase on the publicly estimated 100,000 Russian soldiers killed, wounded, or deserted since last February’s invasion that the UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace outlined at the end of last year. Top US General Mark Milley said Russia has suffered a “tremendous amount of casualties” – but stopped short of revealing the exact figure publicly. He said: “They have really suffered a lot.. I would say significantly well over 100,000.” Yesterday ministers and military chiefs from around 50 nations took part in the talks convened by US defence secretary Lloyd Austin at Ramstein – the main US airbase in Europe.
Russia will keep a close eye on the US attempts to urge Latin American countries to hand over weapons to Ukraine, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. The Russian presidential spokesman thus commented on a statement by a Pentagon representative that Washington was working with nine Latin American countries to urge them to hand over available Russian weapons to Ukraine in exchange for the delivery of US equipment. Responding to a question about whether this news came as a surprise for Moscow, the Kremlin spokesman said: “In general, it is hard today to imagine anything that can be a surprise.”
“Here it is very important [to bear in mind] the legal restrictions of any deliveries to third countries. This is because any deliveries are, of course, conditioned by certain commitments of those countries that receive military equipment,” Peskov pointed out. “Of course, we will keep a close eye on this situation,” the Kremlin press secretary said. Commander of the US Southern Command General Laura Richardson announced on Thursday that Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and six other Latin American countries had Russian military equipment and Washington was working “to replace that with US equipment if those countries want to donate it to Ukraine.”
“Given the technological superiority of Russian weapons, Western politicians who have been making such decisions should realize that this may lead to a global disaster that would wipe out their countries..”
Weapons supplies to Ukraine by the United States and NATO for attacks on Russia would lead to retaliatory use of more powerful armaments, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin warned on Sunday. “Supplies of offensive weapons to the Kiev regime would lead to a global disaster. If Washington and NATO countries send arms that will be used for attacks on peaceful cities or attempts at occupying our lands, a threat they have been making, this would provoke retaliatory measures with the use of more powerful weapons,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel. The senior Russian lawmaker slammed as untenable other countries’ arguments that “nuclear powers never used weapons of mass destruction in local conflicts.” “Those powers never faced a situation where the security of their citizens or their territorial integrity was at stake,” he argued.
The State Duma speaker called on members of the US Congress, Germany’s Bundestag, France’s National Assembly and other European parliamentarians to realize their responsibility for humankind. “By their decisions, Washington and Brussels are pushing the world to a disastrous war – to military operations that will be quite different from what they have seen so far, when only military and critical infrastructure being used by the Kiev regime has been attacked. Given the technological superiority of Russian weapons, Western politicians who have been making such decisions should realize that this may lead to a global disaster that would wipe out their countries,” Volodin concluded.
The Russian public’s level of confidence in President Vladimir Putin fell by 0.3 percentage points to 78.1% on January 9-15, according to a poll released by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center on Friday. “When asked if they trusted Putin, 78.1% of the poll’s participants said ‘yes’ (a 0.3 percentage point drop from a rating referring to December 26-30, 2022). The share of people who approve of the way the president is handling his job rose by 0.3 percentage points to 75.2%,” the pollster said. A total of 50.5% of those polled said they approved of the Russian government’s work (a 0.6 percentage point increase) and 53.2% approved of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s work (a 0.4 percentage point rise). As many as 62.6% of respondents said they trusted Mishustin (a 0.8 percentage point increase).
As for the leaders of the parliamentary parties, 32.5% of those surveyed trust leader of the Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov (a 0.9 percentage point rise), 28.9% trust leader of the A Just Russia – For Truth party Sergey Mironov (a 3.5 percentage point drop), 8.2% said they trusted Chairman of the New People party Alexey Nechayev (1.7 percentage point fall) and 17.2% of the poll’s participants trust leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Leonid Slutsky (a 2.4 percentage point rise). The level of popular support for the United Russia party stood at 38.8% (a 0.4 percentage point rise). The level increased by 0.2 percentage points to 10.6% for the Russian Communist Party and fell by 0.2 percentage points to 3.9% for the New People party.
The number of employees at Twitter has decreased by about 80% since US entrepreneur Elon Musk’s multibillion-dollar acquisition. Report informs via foreign media that before Musk finalized the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October, 2022, the San Francisco-based company had about 7,500 employees, but that number has gone down to approximately 1,300 active employees, CNBC said on Friday. Twitter now has fewer than 550 full-time engineers and the trust and safety team includes fewer than 20 full-time employees.
Thanks to the revelations in the Twitter Files, there’s evidence that the FBI and other agencies worked to suppress “lawful speech,” and if this type of action is allowed to continue, the United States is headed for “totalitarian state territory,” Matthew Peterson, the cofounder of New Founding, said in an interview with Epoch Times–NTD collaborative program “Newsmakers.” New Founding helps people and organizations position themselves to avoid threats from Big Tech and “woke capital,” and Peterson has two decades of experience in digital media and political consulting. When asked what will happen if the country’s current trajectory continues for three to five years, Peterson said, “We’ll be in totalitarian state territory, there’s no question about it.”
“I mean, remember, this went so far as the government saying, ‘You need to find evidence that there are Russians influencing the election on Twitter.’ And Twitter saying, ‘No, that’s not happening.’ “And then [Twitter had] to be quiet about it and not even defend themselves when they knew that there wasn’t Russian interference that they could find,” he added. Peterson further explained that the U.S. government drove a narrative that it knew wasn’t true and was the “antithesis” of America’s founding principles. “[The government’s actions are] the antithesis of America. The American founding is basically contradicted by what’s happening here, over and over again. And if we don’t do something about that, we will not have free speech in this country,” Peterson warned.
The European Union passenger car market contracted by 4.6% last year to just 9.3 million units, which is the region’s lowest level since 1993, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported this week. According to the report, the slump was mainly due to the impact of component shortages in the first half of the year. The market, however, improved from August to December, with new car registrations expanding by 12.8% in the last month of the year. Overall, in 2022 only Germany managed to post growth (+1.1%) among the EU’s four largest markets. It was helped by the strong result in December, the ACEA said. The other three markets all performed worse than in 2021, with Italy posting the steepest decline (-9.7%), followed by France (-7.8%) and Spain (-5.4%).
Data showed that the number of vehicles registered in EU countries (excluding Malta, for which statistics are not available) rose to more than 896,000 units last month from over 795,000 a year earlier. Car sales by the Volkswagen Group (including Skoda, Audi, Seat, Porsche, and others) in the European Union decreased by 5.2% last year, the ACEA said. Automaker Stellantis saw its sales nosedive by 14.1%, while Renault Group sales fell by 4.3%, and BMW sales by 5.1%. Mercedes-Benz sales stood practically at the same level as in 2021, at 549,023 units. Meanwhile, South Korean Hyundai (including Kia) increased its vehicle sales in the EU by 2.6%, Japanese Toyota and Honda sales grew by 7.7% and 4.4%, respectively. Sales by American carmaker Ford decreased by 2.3%.
To paraphrase the Sound of Music song, “How do we solve a problem like Malhotra?” After receiving several complaints, the General Medical Council has decided not to investigate cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, who has become a thorn in the side of the medical profession. Professional regulators have been at the forefront of pandemic discipline, contributing to a culture of fear among practitioners. Severe action has been taken against registrants who criticise or do not comply with the official narrative. I know this from my experience as an officer of the Workers of England Union, representing members brought before the Nursing and Midwifery Council on charges of bringing the profession into disrepute. Apparently the public must be protected against nurses who don’t believe that masks stop airborne respiratory viruses, or who believe in informed consent for novel mRNA vaccines.
A significant strike against this censorial tyranny was by general practitioner Sam White last year. Dr. White was ordered, as a condition of maintaining his clinical licence, to delete his social media posts about COVID-19 and to refrain from making similar comments. Dr. White took the GMC to the High Court and won. The condition was overturned as a breach of his rights to freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act 1998. Whereas White was an early critic of COVID-19 policy, Malhotra is a relatively recent convert. Initially he promoted the vaccine, but when his fit and healthy father died shortly after receiving the injections, Malhotra changed his mind and began speaking out against the mass vaccination programme.
His personal loss came alongside his observation in clinical practice of a marked increase in myocarditis cases (as well as blood clots and other cardiac complications). Malhotra had a review paper published on this phenomenon, and his findings of iatrogenic harm are corroborated by other medical scientists. sMalhotra has repeatedly urged suspension of the vaccination programme until the risks are better understood. He became a darling of vaccine sceptics, with his charismatic and compassionate voice doing the rounds of alt media channels and independent-minded broadcasters working for more mainstream channels (such as Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, and Neil Oliver on GB News). However, he was ignored by the legacy media, and it was not until two weeks ago, when he took the opportunity of a BBC interview on statins, that his call was more widely heard.
Pfizer should compensate the vaccine injured says Cardiologist
‘The fines should be so large that pharmaceutical companies risk going bankrupt and senior executives should go to jail if they knew their medical intervention was going to cause harm’ pic.twitter.com/pTurhqtDhO
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan announced on Friday that he had instructed his cabinet to reclassify COVID-19, placing it in the same category as seasonal flu, rubella, and chickenpox in spring. “Today, we held a press conference on the discussion on revising the new coronavirus infectious disease into category 5,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday. “In order to further advance the efforts of ‘living with Corona’ and restore Japan to a state of normalcy, we will transition the various policies and measures to date in phases,” Kishida said. In Japan, Covid-19 is currently listed as “Category 2: Very Dangerous” together with tuberculosis, avian flu, and diphtheria.
“COVID-19 is currently classified as “equivalent to category 2,” requiring that hospitals and clinics report the names of infected patients and the details of their diagnosis before making recommendations regarding hospitalization. The soaring numbers of people infected in Japan’s seventh coronavirus wave have increased the administrative burden on the medical front line, leading to regional medical associations and the National Governors’ Association to repeatedly call for a review of the system,” Nippon.com reported. The outlet added that experts have proposed that COVID-19 be reclassified as a “Category 5: Diseases for which outbreaks and spread should be prevented,” similar to seasonal flu, which would restrict reporting to only those at high risk of developing severe symptoms or restrict data collection to only patients diagnosed at designated medical facilities.
At the present moment, the Ukrainians are not encircled, but the continued creep of Russian positions ever closer to the remaining highways is easily discernable. At the present moment, Russian forces have positions within two miles of all the remaining highways. Even more importantly, Russia now controls the high ground to both the north and south of Bakhmut (the city itself sits in a depression surrounded by hills) giving Russia fire control over much of the battle space. I am currently anticipating that Russia will clear the Bakhmut-Siversk defensive line by late March. Meanwhile, the denuding of Ukrainian forces on other axes raises the prospect of decisive Russian offensives elsewhere.
At the moment, the front roughly consists of four main axes (the plural of axis, not the bladed implement), with substantial agglomerations of Ukrainian troops. These consist, from north to south, of the Zaporozhia, Donetsk, Bakhmut, and Svatove Axis (see map below). The effort to reinforce the Bakhmut sector has noticeably diluted Ukranian strength on these other axes. On the Zaporozhia front, for example, there are potentially as few as five Ukrainian brigades on the line at the moment. At the moment, the majority of Russian combat power is uncommitted, and both western and Ukrainian sources are (belatedly) becoming increasingly alarmed about the prospect for a Russian offensive in the comin weeks. Currently, the entire Ukrainian position in the east is vulnerable because it is, in effect, an enormous salient, vulnerable to attack from three directions.
Two operational depth objectives in particular have the potential to shatter Ukrainian logistics and sustainment. These are, respectively, Izyum in the north and Pavlograd in the South. A Russian thrust down the west bank of the Oskil river towards Izyum would simultaneously threaten to cut off and destroy the Ukrainian grouping on the Svatove axis (S on the map) and sever the vital M03 highway from Kharkov. Reaching Pavlograd, on the other hand, would completely isolate the Ukrainian forces around Donetsk and sever much of Ukraine’s transit across the Dneiper.
The bird’s eye view of this conflict reveals a fascinating meta-structure to the war. In the above section, I argue for a view of the front structured around Russia progressively breaking through sequential Ukrainian defensive belts. I think that a similar sort of progressive narrative structure applies to the force generation aspect of this war, with Russia destroying a sequence of Ukrainian armies. Let me be a bit more concrete. While the Ukrainian military exists at least partially as a continuous institution, its combat power has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times at this point through western assistance. Multiple phases – life cycles, if you will – can be identified:
In the opening months of the war, the extant Ukrainian army was mostly wiped out. The Russians destroyed much of Ukraine’s indigenous supplies of heavy weaponry and shattered many cadres at the core of Ukraine’s professional army. In the wake of this initial shattering, Ukrainian combat strength was shored up by transferring virtually all of the Soviet vintage weaponry in the stockpiles of former Warsaw Pact countries. This transferred Soviet vehicles and ammunition, compatible with existing Ukrainian capabilities, from countries like Poland and the Czech Republic, and was mostly complete by the end of spring, 2022. In early June, for example, western sources were admitting that Soviet stockpiles were drained.
With Warsaw Pact stockpiles exhausted, NATO began replacing destroyed Ukrainian capabilities with western equivalents in a process that began during the summer. Of particular note were howitzers like the American M777 and the French Caesar. Russia has essentially fought multiple iterations of the Ukrainian Army – destroying the pre-war force in the opening months, then fighting units that were refilled from Warsaw Pact stockpiles, and is now degrading a force which is largely reliant on western systems. This led to General Zaluzhny’s now-famous interview with the economist in which he asked for many hundreds of Main Battle Tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and artillery pieces. In effect, he asked for yet another army, as the Russians seem to keep destroying the ones he has.
EU foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell said on Friday that the West must keep sending weapons to Kiev, warning those who think Russia has lost or is doing poorly that Moscow has a history of winning long wars. “Russia is a great country, a great nation that is used to fighting to the end, almost losing and then recovering,” Borrell said in a speech in Madrid, bringing up the 1812 invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte’s French empire and the 1941 invasion by Adolf Hitler’s Germany as historical examples of this. “It would be absurd to think that Russia has lost the war or that its military is incompetent,” Borrell added. He claimed that so far Moscow “has been losing the war but it still has enormous strength and capacity to continue [fighting].” Because of this, he said, “now is the time to continue arming Ukraine with the necessary material and military means to wage the kind of war it has to wage.”
He described this as “not only a defensive war but one that allows it to take the initiative and break fronts and prevent Russia from launching a new, very powerful and bloody offensive in a few months.” Borrell’s invocation of Napoleon and Hitler was unusual, as Moscow has repeatedly compared the current efforts by the collective West with the two invasions, known as the Patriotic War and the Great Patriotic War, respectively. Napoleon led a multinational army recruited from all across French-dominated Europe and reached Moscow, but failed to compel Russia’s surrender. The war ended with Russian cavalry on the streets of Paris two years later. Hitler’s effort, also aided by numerous continental allies and vassals, fell just short of Moscow. The Axis armies were savaged at Stalingrad and turned back at Kursk, with Russian soldiers taking Berlin in 1945.
According to Russian estimates, the US and its allies funneled almost $100 billion worth of weapons, ammunition and supplies to the Ukrainian military in 2022. Despite this unprecedented effort, Borrell on Friday continued to insist the West was not a party to the conflict, and that the EU did everything it could to avoid it. Former leaders of Germany and France, however, publicly admitted that the European-mediated Minsk agreements had been a ploy to buy Ukraine time to prepare for war. The EU’s high commissioner for foreign affairs spoke at Madrid’s Teatro Real, where he was presented with the New Economy Forum 2022 Award. One of the presenters was Javier Solana, Borrell’s predecessor at the EU post and NATO’s secretary general in 1999, when the US-led bloc launched an unprovoked war against Yugoslavia.
Is that a definitive nein on tanks? New German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius in fresh statements has confirmed that defense leaders gathered for a much anticipated meeting in Ramstein failed to achieve consensus on tanks for Ukraine. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was present for the meeting which reportedly involved top military officials from some 50 nations, most of them NATO, who met to coordinate the path forward in arming Ukraine. There’s been intense, uneasy back-and-forth this week between Berlin and Washington on the question of supplying Western-manufactured heavy tanks to Kiev, namely the Leopard as well as M1 Abrams. Hawks among the alliance have seen Berlin as essentially standing in the way.
“Today, we can all not yet say when a decision will be made about Leopard and what this decision will look like,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said at the end of the Ramstein Air Base meeting. Amid accusations that Germany is waffling and thus weakening Western allies’ resolve, Pistorius continued, “We are not really hesitating we are just very carefully balancing all the pros and contra [cons] — we are not talking just about delivering anything to anybody, this is a new kind of measure we would choose, so we have to be careful because we have a duty to look carefully and intensively at what might be the consequences for anybody in that conflict.” While there was agreement to boost military aid to Ukraine among the allies gathered for the meeting, CNBC underscores that “Germany wavered on further EU tank deliveries despite mounting calls from Kyiv and fellow allies.”
The German defense minister continued, according to the remarks translated by CNBC: “I must say there is very clearly no unanimous opinion. The impression that has occasionally been made that there is a closed coalition and Germany stands in the way of this is wrong. There are many allies who say we share the opinion that I explained here today again, there are good reasons for the delivery and there are good reasons against it.” Going into the meeting it was widely reported days ago that Berlin has told European allies that it will authorize Leopard tanks only if Washington first leads the way with supply its own Abrams tanks. But the Biden administration has shut the door on these heavy, advanced tanks for the time being.
The Polish prime minister has said his country would be willing to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without securing Germany’s approval if Berlin does not agree to their re-export at Friday’s meeting of western defence ministers at Ramstein airbase. Mateusz Morawiecki said in a radio interview on Thursday that “consent was of secondary importance” when it came to German-made tanks, because the key issue was to get military aid to Ukraine urgently. “We will either obtain this consent quickly, or we will do it ourselves,” Morawiecki added, heaping further pressure on Berlin to allow German made Leopard 2s to be sent to Ukraine in preparation for a spring offensive.
His comments came as the US Defense Department formally announced new military assistance for Ukraine valued at up to $2.5bn, including armoured vehicles and support for Ukraine’s air defence. The aid includes 59 Bradley fighting vehicles and 90 Stryker armoured personnel carriers, but not Abrams tanks. Poland, along with Finland, has said it wants to give 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, which would normally require German approval, but it is one of a number of countries trying to force the pace at a time when Berlin is still negotiating. Arvydas Anusauskas, Lithuania’s defence minister, said others could follow suit at the Ramstein meeting on Friday. “Some of the countries will definitely send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, that is for sure,” he said.
Lloyd Austin, the US defence secretary, met his newly appointed German counterpart, Boris Pistorius, in Berlin on Thursday, but neither mentioned the Leopard standoff in brief commentsbefore their meeting. Previously, German officials signalled Berlin was willing to break the logjam if the US would also agree to send over some of its own Abrams tanks to Ukraine. But the US said on Wednesday it did not want to do that, because the Abrams, which has a jet turbine engine, is fuel inefficient and so requires complex logistics support. Colin Kahl, the US undersecretary of defence for policy, said: “The Abrams tank is a very complicated piece of equipment. It’s expensive, it’s hard to train on, it has a jet engine – I think it’s about three gallons to the mile with jet fuel. It is not the easiest system to maintain.”
Nations providing weapons to Ukraine need to double down on their effort because the country is facing a make-or-break moment, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday ahead of a key meeting of military donors in Germany. “We need to keep up our momentum and our resolve, and we need to dig even deeper,” the Pentagon chief said in his opening remarks before a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the US Ramstein air base. He described this as “a decisive moment for Ukraine and a decisive decade for the world.” Austin touted the latest military assistance package announced by the Pentagon this week as an example of Washington’s leadership. The $2.5 billion commitment boosted total US military aid to Ukraine since hostilities with Russia broke out last February to over $26.7 billion, the US official noted.
He praised a number of NATO partners, including Poland, Canada, Germany, France, for their lethal aid to Kiev and urged further arming of the Ukrainian forces. “The Ukrainian people are watching us. The Kremlin is watching us. And history is watching us,” Austin declared. Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov will ask donors at the Ramstein meeting for more anti-aircraft systems, offensive weapons, including tanks, and “systematic ammo supplies,” his department said in a tweet. Whether or not Kiev will be given Western-made tanks has been a point of contention among NATO members. Poland and several other nations have said they were willing to provide German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks from their fleets, pending Berlin’s consent. The German government has reportedly conditioned its permission on the US leading by example.
The Pentagon declined to include M1 Abrams tanks in its latest package to Ukraine, citing “sustainment issues.” The tank requires jet fuel to operate and is difficult to maintain, so it “just doesn’t make sense to provide that to the Ukrainians at this moment,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told journalists on Thursday. Moscow has accused the US and its allies of prolonging the conflict in Ukraine by forcing Kiev to eschew the pursuit of peace and also pumping it with weapons. It has pledged to achieve its security goals in the conflict regardless of how much support its adversary receives.
Billionaire Elon Musk urged caution on Friday following reports that the US is changing its stance on whether it should assist Ukraine in attacking Russia’s Crimean Peninsula. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported, citing sources, that Washington is starting to concede that Kiev needs to have the ability to strike deep into Russian territory, even if this entails the risk of escalation. US officials are said to be “discussing with their Ukrainian counterparts the use of American-supplied weapons, from HIMARS rocket systems to Bradley fighting vehicles, to possibly target … Crimea.” The peninsula overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in 2014 following the Maidan coup in Kiev. Musk responded to a Twitter user who posted a link to the Times article by saying: “I am super pro Ukraine, but relentless escalation is very risky for Ukraine and the world.”
This is not the first time the tycoon has weighed in on the Ukraine conflict. In October, Musk came up with a peace plan to end the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev. According to his proposal, Russia should “redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision,” with Moscow withdrawing from these areas if this is what the people want. He was referring to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which overwhelmingly voted to join Russia last year. However, the Twitter CEO also suggested that Crimea should remain part of Russia, sparking outrage in Kiev. Ukraine’s former ambassador to Berlin, Andrey Melnik, told him to “f**k off.” Later, Musk noted that Russia views Crimea as an integral part of its territory, and attempts to seize it by a foreign power could trigger a nuclear war. “If Russia is faced with the choice of losing Crimea or using battlefield nukes, they will choose the latter,” he wrote at the time.
Negotiations regarding further sanctions on Russia with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky are becoming increasingly complicated with each new round, European Council President Charles Michel said during a trip to Kiev on Thursday. The statement came after Zelensky urged the EU to impose even tighter restrictions on Moscow. “Each debate on sanctions is much more difficult than the previous one,” Michel told reporters, as quoted by Bloomberg. “We have good debates with President Zelensky, and I will brief my colleagues on what are the Ukrainian proposals and we will consult. I’m confident we will be able to strengthen the pressure on the Kremlin.” Michel added that the EU will adopt a tenth sanctions package on Moscow. “We have to see which additional sectors can be targeted in the future,” he said.
The EU imposed sweeping restrictions on Russia after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Zelensky called on Brussels on Thursday to target Russia’s nuclear industry, including “all entities involved in the Russian missile program.” He also asked for a full ban on Russian energy exports. The bloc’s efforts to completely relinquish Russian oil and gas have been met with resistance from countries such as Hungary, whose economy is heavily dependent on Russian energy. Budapest has managed to gain several carve-outs that allow it to continue receiving supplies from Moscow. “Russian [energy] accounts for 85% of Hungary’s gas consumption and 65% of oil demand. This cannot be changed overnight,” Tamas Menczer, the state secretary for foreign affairs, explained last week.
The Hungarian government shared survey results this month indicating that “97% of Hungarians reject sanctions that cause serious damage.” It added that “the message is clear: the Brussels sanctions policy must be reviewed.” The Kremlin stated last month that the Russian economy has adapted to the sanctions and that it is impossible to deny that the restrictions are hurting the EU countries as well. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the West on Wednesday of trying to use sanctions to incite “a revolution” in Russia and assert “the dominance of the US by all means.”
US-Russia relations are at their lowest point ever amid the crisis in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. As the conflict deteriorates, the only way to reverse it is for Western nations to acknowledge their mistakes and change their policies, he added. Despite initial hopes that under President Joe Biden the US would engage Russia diplomatically, the last two years “have been very bad for our bilateral relations,” the official told journalists. They are now “probably at their lowest point, historically” he added, and “there is no hope for improvement anytime soon.” The Ukraine hostilities – the focus of the confrontation between Russia and Western nations – are in “an upward spiral” according to Peskov.
“We can see a growing indirect, and sometimes direct involvement of NATO nations in this conflict,” he stated. The nations that back Kiev are acting under “a delusion that Ukraine has any chance to win on the battlefield,” he explained. Asked how the vicious circle could be broken, Peskov suggested that the US and its allies had to mentally turn the clock back to the end of 2021, “when Russia was suggesting a discussion of its concerns at the negotiations table” only to be dismissed. Western repentance for its “cynicism” was also in order, he added. “Germany, France and Ukraine were playing a swindle game with the Minsk agreements. Now is payback time,” he said, referring to the roadmap for Ukraine reconciliation, which the three nations signed with Russia in 2015.
Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Pyotr Poroshenko, the leaders at the time of Germany, France and Ukraine respectively, have since stated that the deal they negotiated with Russia was meant to give Kiev time to rebuild its military. Moscow considers these admissions to be evidence that the negotiations were conducted in bad faith and that the Ukrainian government and its backers had always intended for the Minsk agreements to fail and for the Donbass standoff to be resolved by military means. Russia claimed that its military campaign in Ukraine launched last February preempted an offensive planned by Kiev with NATO’s help. Ukraine, Germany, and France “lied to the people of Donbass, as they had a terrible fate planned for them, which Russia prevented,” Peskov explained.
British consumers are indirectly buying Russian oil and petroleum products despite a Western embargo on crude exports from the sanctioned country, OilPrice reported on Monday, suggesting that the bulk of it may come from India. A ban on Russian seaborne oil exports, along with a price cap of $60 per barrel, was introduced by the EU, G7 nations and Australia on December 5. Another embargo banning almost all imports of Russian oil products kicks in on February 5. The UK, which has been among the most vocal advocates of abandoning Russian energy imports, has claimed to be one of the most successful countries in achieving this target. London committed to phasing out Russian oil by the end of 2022, slashing down imports to £2 million ($2.45 million) in October.
However, diesel accounted for 18% of its total demand last year, according to OilPrice, and a number of UK consumers may have replaced direct Russian imports with supplies from Russian-fed refineries. The outlet suggests that the UK has been using India as a “back door,” given a sharp increase in the country’s imports of Russian oil, which hit a record high of 1.2 million barrels per day in December. Prior to last year, India’s imports of Russian crude were insignificant, due to high freight costs. However, the volumes that New Delhi is now buying and re-exporting suggest that some of the refined crude from the sanctions-hit country may ultimately be pumped in UK filling stations.
High diesel prices in Europe and steep discounts on Russian crude offer “a window of opportunity” for Indian refiners, the outlet said. According to tracking data from Kpler, in 2022 the Jamnagar refinery on India’s west coast boosted, by a factor of four, its imports of oil and fuel oil from Russia compared to 2021. Meanwhile, the UK has purchased a total of 10 million barrels of diesel and other refined products from Jamnagar since the beginning of 2022.
I’ll never understand — and neither will you — how “Joe Biden” got propelled out of ignominious defeat in the earliest presidential primaries, to sweep the field on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Around the same time, all his rivals magically dropped out of the race for the nomination. Some kind of message must have gone out from Deep State Central. Who wanted this licentious old grifter in White House? Well, probably his old boss, Barack Obama, and just about everyone in officialdom connected to the shenanigans in Ukraine dating back to 2014, and then the RussiaGate illegalities that ensued from it, especially former CIA boss John Brennan and his cronies. Under Mr. Obama, the whole US government had become something like a rotten log infested with sowbugs of grift, deceit, and malfeasance. Installing the dotty old bird in the White House would give Mr. Obama a stealth third term. Mostly, it would prevent the dreaded Golden Golem of populism, Donald Trump, from bringing any harm to that cabal and its, ahem, interests.
We do understand how “Joe Biden” won the 2020 election: via massive fraud engineered by fraud-master Marc Elias, king of the Lawfare trolls, who fine-tuned the mail-in ballot operation during the likewise engineered Covid-19 public health ruse. That wicked election business, of course, is just another grave matter requiring the utmost protection to prevent any inquiry from ever gaining traction. And yet all of it, the monumental government crime spree of recent years is all unraveling before our eyes — even before Jim Jordan or anyone else has even said boo from a House committee chair.
It’s all falling apart — along with America’s economy, our institutions, and our culture. The Biden family’s cover stories are collapsing, the government’s censorship and propaganda machine has thrown a rod, the Covid-19 story looks day-by-day like organized mass murder, election fraud issues still stalk the land despite every effort to squash them — and the grim reality coalesces that Russia is going to clean up the mess we made in Ukraine, and, in the aftermath, probably produce a shit-ton of evidence of American corruption and villainy there.
“Joe Biden,” the phantom president, has entered the air-lock, waiting to be jettisoned into the deep space of ignominy, chocolate mint chip ice cream cone in hand. Kamala Harris watches the action offstage in a fugue of anxiety and depression. She does not want to become president — and, guess what, nobody really wants her to be, either. She won’t even have to be induced to step aside. Her hysteria will be so great that not even the hypnotists of the Intel Community will be able to calm her down. She’ll run shrieking from it back to California. The levers of control finally fail. By a caprice of history, and the genius of the founding fathers, Kevin McCarthy lands in the White House. A page turns. The coup is finally over. That’s my fantasy du jour.
[..] the “Forum” is harboring incredible influence, mostly with “useful” bureaucratic idiots on the left who are happy to take their cues on how to napalm individual rights for betterment of advancing their agendas from anyone who will help, regardless of their motivation. That’s right: gone are the days of joking about The Great Reset, owning nothing and liking it and shifting to a diet of mealworms and crickets.I’ve arrived at a point past that – a point of being sickened by watching people that in no way, shape or form represent me or the people in my life, yammer on about what my future will or won’t look like and what things I stand for are “right” or “wrong”.
It’s right in the WEF’s mission statement: “The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” The truth is no matter how much each narcissistic and likely psychotic guest would love to speak on behalf of millions, or even billions of people, they simply don’t. I don’t expect these people to understand the consequences of painting with a broad brush, nor do I think they care about them. Take the Covid vaccines as an example. Isn’t the idea of jabbing every single person on Earth, regardless of age, health status and lifestyle (lest we forget whether or not they consent to it reckless? Of course it is. But it doesn’t matter – because someone wanted it to be done…and, with that, it was put into action.
Wild, right? This unilateral implementation of mandates during Covid, regardless of what the individual may want for themselves and their families, was authoritarian catnip to the dingleberries that assemble at the World Economic Forum every year. I’m certain it has enabled many participants to think: we did it with vaccines – we cut them off from travel, we put their jobs and their livelihoods on the line and we even arrested and jailed them – now we can do it with anything else. I don’t need to be in Davos this week to understand how little I have in common with the people of the World Economic Forum. I know this because I was recently in Washington DC during the International Monetary Fund’s most recent circle jerk world conference.
“Maria Zakharova: [..] Should it be proven that the leading US media outlets “received money for adjusting their coverage, all US democracy could be wrapped up in their Constitution and thrown out into the garbage heap of history..”
Billionaire George Soros has links to dozens of prominent media figures in the US and beyond via organizations he funded, a conservative US watchdog claims. In the last report of a three-part investigation, published on Tuesday, MRC Business examined the ties of the Budapest-born liberal mogul, coming to the conclusion that he “cemented himself as one of the most powerful influencers in global politics through his incredible influence in the media.” MRC Business said that it had uncovered at least “54 major figures in journalism and activist media who are connected to Soros-funded organizations.” The list includes CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour, NBC News anchor Lester Holt, and Cesar Conde, the NBCUniversal News Group chairman, who oversees the outlets NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC.
Many of the 54 individuals play prominent roles in institutions funded by Soros. For instance, Amanpour is a senior adviser at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which received $2.75 million from the mogul between 2018 and 2020, while Holt is listed as a board member in the same organization. Conde is a trustee at the Aspen Institute, which received over $1 million from the billionaire between 2016 and 2020. According to MRC, in total Soros has funneled over $32 billion into his organizations in a bid “to spread his radical ‘open society’ agenda on abortion, Marxist economics, anti-Americanism, defunding the police, environmental extremism and LGBT fanaticism.” These efforts have paid off, allowing him to “help indoctrinate millions with his views on a day-to-day basis”, the group claims.
MRC has previously claimed that Soros has financial ties to at least 253 media organizations globally, funding them through his non-profit groups and enabling him to reach viewers and listeners in virtually every corner of the world. Commenting on the report, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted on Thursday that such revelations could be compared to a “nuclear bombshell.” Should it be proven that the leading US media outlets “received money for adjusting their coverage, all US democracy could be wrapped up in their Constitution and thrown out into the garbage heap of history,” she said.
President Joe Biden has something that he wants the public to know. After the discovery of highly classified material in Biden’s former office, his garage and library, the President wanted to make one thing (and only one thing) perfectly clear: “I have no regrets.” It was a moment that rivaled his disastrous observation that, while classified material was found in his garage, it is a locked garage that also housed his beloved 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. While Biden’s “corvette standard” for storing classified documents was baffling, his declaration of “no regrets” is downright infuriating. It is also remarkably moronic with a special counsel in the field. Either the President believes that Special Counsel Robert K. Hur will paper over the entire affair or he is doing his best to force his hand with a criminal charge.
Biden was miffed to be even asked about the matter after stonewalling the press for days. He ventured out of his White House bunker to tour storm damage in California and used the victims as a virtual human shield: “You know what, quite frankly, bugs me is that we have a serious problem here we’re talking about. We’re talking about what’s going on. And the American people don’t quite understand why you don’t ask me questions about that.” The problem is that recent polls show that, while the President has no regrets, the public overwhelmingly does. Most citizens view his conduct as negligent. Roughly two-thirds believe that Congress should investigate the President, including a majority of Democrats. Sixty percent believe that he acted inappropriately with classified material.
Nevertheless, after days to hunkering down with this aides and polls, Biden decided to stick with total and absolute denial of regret or responsibility. It was not a surprise for many of us who have following Biden and his family through the years. I wrote at the start of this scandal that Biden’s ” silence is hardly surprising. Biden has always been better at expressing revulsion than responsibility. Time and again, he has literally rushed before cameras to denounce others, often without basis, for alleged crimes. He has not waited for investigations, let alone trials.” When it has come to his own alleged misconduct, Biden will deflect, deny, but rarely declare responsibility.”
The comments on Thursday were classic Biden. He first deflected by using the California victims. He then denied any real responsibility. Despite the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his conduct, he shrugged off the entire matter as something akin to finding a neighbor’s borrowed hammer from 2017 in his garage: “We found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place. We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Justice Department …I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. It’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s no there there.”
Biden on hiding classified documents in his home, office, and garage for six years: “I have no regrets” pic.twitter.com/rBgDEgMOfv
The second study in two years shows Viagra might reduce the risk of heart disease in men. Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) found that men who took the little blue pill experienced a 39% reduction in heart disease. USC researchers gathered data from 70,000 men with an average age of 52 who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction within the last decade. They believe Viagra increases blood flow and oxygen into the heart and throughout the body. Viagra users also were 17% less likely to suffer heart failure and had a 22% reduction in developing unstable angina. All of those conditions are fatal if untreated. Men who used the drug achieved longer life and decreased the risk of early death by 25%.
“Viagra was associated with lower incidence of [heart complications], cardiovascular death, and overall mortality risk compared to non-exposure,” the researchers wrote. The last study, published in the American College journal of Cardiology and titled “Association of Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors Versus Alprostadil With Survival in Men With Coronary Artery Disease,” showed older men with cardiovascular disease who took the erectile dysfunction pill lived a healthier life. According to the American Heart Association, erectile dysfunction could be an early warning sign of heart disease in otherwise healthy men.
An Idaho pathologist who previously came under fireopens in a new tab or window for prescribing ivermectin to COVID-19 patients and spreading falsities about vaccines, is facing disciplinary actionopens in a new tab or window by the Medical Commission in Washington state, where he is also licensed to practice. Ryan Cole, MD, is said to have made “numerous false and misleading statements” during public presentations on the pandemic, COVID vaccines, the use of ivermectin to treat COVID, and the effectiveness of masks, according to a statement of chargesopens in a new tab or window issued by the Washington Medical Commission earlier this month. He also allegedly provided negligent care to a number of patients in the prevention or treatment of COVID.
“Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust,” the commission wrote in the statement. “That public trust is essential to effective delivery of medical care. Knowingly false statements or those made in reckless disregard for the truth, such as the medical disinformation statements by respondent … erode the public’s trust in physicians and their medical treatment and advice, and thereby injure public health.” Specifically, at all times relevant to the case, Cole, an anatomical and clinical pathologist, ran an independent medical laboratory that he owns, provided direct care to patients via telemedicine through the website MyFreeDoctor.com, and spoke at public and private forums, as well as on news shows and podcasts, the statement noted.
According to the commission, since March 2021, Cole is said to have made false and misleading comments during his presentations, including, “Children survive [COVID-19] at a hundred percent,” and “A hundred percent of world [ivermectin] trials have shown benefit.” Other public statements Cole is said to have made include that the COVID vaccine is “an experimental biological gene therapy immune-modulatory injection,” in addition to “a fake vaccine … the clot shot, needle rape.”
As the US govt prepared its secret indictment of Julian Assange, Amy Goodman, @NaomiAKlein, @allannairn14 and Democracy Now sandbagged him, painting him as a possible secret Trump-Russia info weapon who was helping to bring fascism to America. pic.twitter.com/AnDScE8OZp
Founded in 1971 by Schwab himself, the WEF is “committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation”, also known as multistakeholder governance. The idea is that global decision-making should not be left to governments and nation-states — as in the post-war multilateralist framework enshrined in the United Nations — but should involve a whole range of non-government stakeholders: civil society bodies, academic experts, media personalities and, most important, multinational corporations. In its own words, the WEF’s project is “to redefine the international system as constituting a wider, multifaceted system of global cooperation in which intergovernmental legal frameworks and institutions are embedded as a core, but not the sole and sometimes not the most crucial, component”.
While this may sound fairly benign, it neatly encapsulates the basic philosophy of globalism: insulating policy from democracy by transferring the decision-making process from the national and international level, where citizens theoretically are able to exercise some degree of influence over policy, to the supranational level, by placing a self-selected group of unelected, unaccountable “stakeholders” — mainly corporations — in charge of global decisions concerning everything from energy and food production to the media and public health. The underlying undemocratic philosophy is the same one underpinning the philanthrocapitalist approach of people such Bill Gates, himself a long-time partner of the WEF: that non-governmental social and business organisations are best suited to solve the world’s problems than governments and multilateral institutions.
Even though the WEF has increasingly focused its agenda on fashionable topics such as environmental protection and social entrepreneurship, there is little doubt as to which interests Schwab’s brainchild is actually promoting and empowering: the WEF is itself mostly funded by around 1,000 member companies — typically global enterprises with multi-billion dollar turnovers, which include some of the world’s biggest corporations in oil (Saudi Aramco, Shell, Chevron, BP), food (Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé), technology (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple) and pharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna). The composition of the WEF’s board is also very revealing, including Laurence D. Fink, CEO of Blackrock, David M. Rubenstein, co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, and Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. There’s no need to resort to conspiracy theories to posit that the WEF’s agenda is much more likely to be tailored to suit the interests of its funders and board members — the world’s ultra-wealthy and corporate elites — rather than to “improving the state of the world”, as the organisation claims.
The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland has kicked off on Monday with a number of top-tier leaders absent. US President Joe Biden is skipping this year’s gathering, along with French President Emmanuel Macron, and new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also passing on the event, along with the entire Russian business elite, which has been forced off the guest list by Ukraine-related sanctions. Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Chinese businessmen will also miss the forum following the aftershocks of a recent spike in Covid-19 cases and troubles on the domestic stock market, which saw some $224 billion erased last year from the fortunes of China’s wealthiest people.
Of the Group of Seven (G7) leaders, only German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to attend Davos this year, along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Despite the shrinking number of political leaders, this year’s attendance list is rich in top managers. Among 2,700 participants in the official WEF sessions, “we’re likely to surpass the old record from 2020 with 600 global CEOs – including 1,500 C-suite level overall,” according to WEF head of digital and marketing, George Schmitt. According to Bloomberg, a total of 116 billionaires are attending the WEF this year, a 40% rise from ten years ago. Representatives from the US will form the largest group with 33 delegates. Some 18 more billionaires are coming from Europe, and 13 from India, including industrialist Gautam Adani, the world’s fourth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Cynics of all persuasions may be excused for lamenting Mr. Zircon – currently on oceanic patrol encompassing the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and of course “Mare Nostrum” Mediterranean – won’t be presenting his business card at Davos. Analyst Peter Koenig has developed a convincing thesis that the WEF, the WHO and NATO may be running some sort of sophisticated death cult. The Great Reset does mingle merrily with NATO’s agenda as agent provocateur, financer and weaponizer of the proxy Empire vs. Russia war in black hole Ukraine. NAKO – an acronym for North Atlantic Killing Organization – would be more appropriate in this case. As Koenig summarizes it, “NATO enters any territory where the ‘conventional’ media lie-machine, and social engineering are failing or not completing their people-ordaining goals fast enough.”
In parallel, very few people are aware that on June 13, 2019 in New York, a secret deal was clinched between the UN, the WEF, an array of oligarch-weaponized NGOs – with the WHO in the front line – and last but not least, the world’s top corporations, which are all owned by an interlinked maze with Vanguard and BlackRock at the center. The practical result of the deal is the UN Agenda 2030. Virtually every government in the NATOstan area and the “Western Hemisphere” (US establishment definition) has been hijacked by Agenda 2030 – which translates, essentially, as hoarding, privatizing and financializing all the earth’s assets, under the pretext of “protecting” them. Translation: the marketization and monetization of the entire natural world.
Davos superstar shills such as insufferable bore Niall Ferguson are just well rewarded vassals: western intellectuals of the Harvard, Yale and Princeton mould that would never dare bite the hand that feeds them. Ferguson just wrote a column on Bloomberg titled “All is Not Quiet on the Eastern Front” – basically to peddle the risk of WWIII, on behalf of his masters, blaming of course “China as the arsenal of autocracy”. Among serial high-handed inanities, this one stands out. Ferguson writes, “There are two obvious problems with US strategy (…) The first is that if algorithmic weapons systems are the equivalent of tactical nuclear weapons, Putin may eventually be driven to using the latter, as he clearly lacks the former.” Cluelessness here is a euphemism. Ferguson clearly has no idea “algorithmic weapons” mean; if he’s referring to electronic warfare, the US may have been able to maintain superiority for a while in Ukraine, but that’s over.
[..] Nobody with an IQ over room temperature will expect Davos next week to discuss any aspect of the NATO vs. Eurasia existential war seriously – not to mention propose diplomacy. So I’ll leave you with yet another typical tawdry story about how the Empire – who rules over Davos – deals in practice with its vassals. While in Sicily earlier this year I learned that an ultra high-value Pentagon asset had landed in Rome, in haste, as part of an unscheduled visit. A few days later the reason for the visit was printed in La Repubblica, one of the papers of the toxic Agnelli clan. That was a Mafia scam: a face-to-face “suggestion” for the Meloni government to imperatively provide Kiev, as soon as possible, with the costly anti-Samp-T missile system, developed by an European consortium, Eurosam, uniting MBDA Italy, MBDA France and Thales.
Kiev’s adopted policy of hatred and intransigence towards Russia is inevitably driving it into poverty, a former Ukrainian opposition-party leader, who was forced from his home nation, has concluded. Now Kiev is teaching Europe the same approach, leading to the same outcome and to possible nuclear war, he added. Viktor Medvedchuk’s political party had the biggest opposition faction in the current Ukrainian parliament. The government of President Vladimir Zelensky launched a crackdown on the group and on its leader personally. A proponent of reconciliation with Russia, he has written a keynote article published on Monday in Russian newspaper Izvestia, explaining the roots of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Both Zelensky and his predecessor Pyotr Poroshenko had been elected after the 2014 coup in Kiev on a platform of peace, and each made a U-turn after getting into office, Medvedchuk pointed out.
He argued that this shows a pattern of betrayal of the Ukrainian people by its leadership and by what he termed a “party of war.” Being enemies with Russia is against Ukraine’s economic interest, Medvedchuk asserted. Not only is Russia a major market and source of raw materials from which Ukraine can benefit, the country’s industrial sector was mostly in the east and people there, who for historic reasons have emotional ties to Russia, were antagonized by Kiev. Economic ruination is an inevitable consequence of the conflict, the politician wrote. “It is no longer Europe that teaches Ukraine politics, but Ukraine that teaches Europe how to achieve economic decline and poverty with the help of a policy of hatred and intransigence. And if Europe continues to support this policy, it will be dragged into a war, possibly a nuclear one,” he warned.
He accused Western nations of giving the incumbent Ukrainian government “triumph after triumph, while no military breakthrough is observed,” referring to the parades that generals in Ancient Rome were given after major victories. Meanwhile, the “party of peace” gets no voice either at home or in Western nations, Medvedchuk lamented. “Those who stood for peace were slandered, intimidated and repressed on incitement from the West. The Ukrainian party of peace simply did not fit into Western democracy.” “This eloquently suggests that most US and European politicians do not want any peace for Ukraine. But this does not mean at all that Ukrainians do not want peace, and Zelensky’s military triumph is more important to them than their lives and destroyed homes.” he reasoned. Only when pro-peace politicians are allowed to make their case freely can there be hope to resolve the situation, Medvedchuk believes.
The West’s insistence that it won the Cold War and was entitled to the spoils at the expense of Russian interests is at the root of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the country’s exiled opposition leader has said. Viktor Medvedchuk was forced to leave his home nation under the threat of prosecution for alleged treason. His Opposition Bloc – For Life party had the biggest faction in the Ukrainian parliament and advocated reconciliation with Russia. However, the government of President Vladimir Zelensky cracked down on it and ultimately forced many of its members into exile or silence. In an article published by Russian newspaper Izvestia on Monday, Medvedchuk analyzed the causes of the current crisis, arguing that the origin of the conflict lies in the way that the end of the Cold War is perceived by Washington and Moscow.
“The West definitely considers itself as a winner and Russia as a defeated party,” he said. Consequently, it considers ex-Soviet territories as “legitimate prey for the US and NATO” under the “woe to the conquered” principle. From Moscow’s standpoint, it simply relinquished confrontation when it decided against pursuing communism. Since the 1990s, it had sought friendly relations with Western nations, as well as economic and political integration into the EU, Medvedchuk wrote. The US plan, as evidenced by the expansion of NATO in Europe despite the objections of Moscow, was at odds with opening the door to its Cold War opponent. Ultimately, it derailed EU-Russian engagement, he argued. Conflicts like the Balkan wars are further evidence that the West had moved to gobble up the former Eastern Bloc, he continued, since they helped to “make it easier for the winner to take it over.”
The West targeted Ukraine for absorption and saw the country as part of its rightful prize, but a lot of resistance had to be overcome in order to split it from Russia, considering Kiev’s historical ties with Moscow, and the economic interest in maintaining good relations, Medvedchuk explained. Kiev antagonized the eastern part of the country, which was both economically stronger and more pro-Russian than the nationalist lands in the east, he suggested. And even then, both Zelensky and his predecessor, Pyotr Poroshenko, had been elected on a peace platform only to become “war party” politicians after taking office. The current conflict can be resolved only if pro-peace politicians are allowed to make their case, and Western nations must recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine. Otherwise, it will “grow further, spilling over to Europe and other countries,” and has the potential to escalate into a nuclear war, he warned.
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has claimed NATO, a military bloc of which Zagreb is a member, is waging a “proxy war” against Moscow in Ukraine. He also dismissed sanctions against Moscow as “nonsense,” adding that he does not want to be an “American slave.” Speaking to Croatian reporters in the city of Vukovar on Sunday, Milanovic said, among other things: “Washington and NATO are waging a proxy war against Russia through Ukraine,” as quoted by media outlet Istra24. He went on to argue that “The plan cannot be to remove Putin. The plan cannot be sanctions,” adding that such punitive measures are “nonsense and we will not achieve anything with them.” “They go from war to war. And what should I be? An American slave?” Croatia’s president asked rhetorically.
Milanovic voiced his frustration with the US-led military bloc’s policies in the same interview in which he tore into Croatia’s prime minister, Andrej Plenkovic, over his latest Ukraine-related remark. Speaking to news channel France 24 on Saturday, Plenkovic said the Balkan nation’s lawmakers, who in mid-December didn’t support the EU’s program to train Ukrainian military personnel in member states, have “failed to be on the right side of history.” Commenting on the remark, Milanovic, in turn, slammed the premier for bringing “disgrace” to his country “and to its democratic representatives in front of others.” The Croatian president argued that this kind of behavior reaches a low that is “the bottom of the bottom.”
As for the EU’s mission, the Croatian president warned that it effectively means that “for the first time in its history, the EU is participating in a war.” This, according to Milanovic, is “against the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.” In December 2022, Milanovic argued that having Ukrainian service members train on Croatian soil would “bring war” to the Balkan nation. He also insisted at the time that “Ukraine is not an ally,” criticizing Brussels’ decision last June to grant Kiev candidate status as “cynical.”
“Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. [..] While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a “crime/fraud exception,” it adds a level of initial protection.”
The discovery of a fourth set of classified documents, at the Biden residence in Delaware, has further undermined the White House’s virtual mantra that the president “takes classified documents very seriously.” Putting aside the repeated movement of highly classified documents over six years, one curious element has emerged in this scandal: the use of private counsel. Not only did President Joe Biden enlist lawyers to clear out his private Washington office; he then used them — rather than security officers or the FBI — to search for additional classified documents. The initial use of lawyers is notable. While it seems a fairly pricey moving crew, Biden could argue a trove of documents might require a judgment on where they should be sent and whether they belong to Biden, the Penn Biden Center or the government.
But why was a legal team sent in six years after Biden took the documents on leaving as vice president? Were the lawyers specifically selected because they had clearances, an acknowledgment there might be classified material unlawfully housed in the office? After the fourth batch of documents was discovered this week (the third found in Delaware), Richard Sauber, referred to as the “special counsel to the president,” stressed that he has a clearance. Sauber admits the lawyers who found the first batch at the residence didn’t have clearances but says he found the later documents. It remains unclear which lawyers were involved in which discoveries, whether they had clearances and (if so) at what level. In fact, it seems to suggest Biden continued to use uncleared lawyers after his team found highly classified documents Nov. 2 in the Penn Biden office closet in Washington. That itself could be viewed as gross mishandling of classified information.
It’s strange Biden did not use security officers or the FBI to conduct further searches. The president has a host of people who regularly handle classified material. So why use the lawyers? The answer appears the same as in the case of Hillary Clinton’s emails: control. Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. Trump also used counsel, but eventually the FBI raided his home to search and remove not just classified material but documents found in boxes with that material. While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a “crime/fraud exception,” it adds a level of initial protection. It also allowed Biden to control the discovery and initial record of the discovery of classified information. The key to any investigation will be the chain of custody extending back to the documents’ removal in 2017 when Biden left office.
How these documents appeared in their discovered locations is known only to his lawyers. It’s a link in the chain of custody that Biden effectively controls. With Mar-a-Lago, the FBI was criticized for staging documents to be shown in the storage room. The photos were then leaked to an eager media. There will be no staged photos of documents alongside Time magazine covers for Biden. Nor were documents he housed with classified documents removed. Indeed, it’s not clear if the FBI will know what documents were stored in the same boxes. What was potentially lost is significant. Classified documents are generally supposed to be in folders with a thick, colored border and large printed classification warnings. Were some of those folders observable before they were moved? If so, anyone could tell a pile contained classified material, including the president and passersby.
Likewise, the initial discovery could show the context of surrounding material. The FBI at Mar-a-Lago carefully photographed that context and its search. Here, we’re relying on counsel to have kept such a record when most lawyers would be reluctant to do so given the risk to their client. The key is that unlike FBI agents, these lawyers are not acting on behalf of the public interest but for the president’s personal interests. If there are criminal charges, the key witnesses will be lawyers representing the president as an individual. They are more likely to minimize incriminating or embarrassing elements.
Turley’s comment on this: “Biden counsel continues to make statements seemingly against their client’s interests. Sauber said that the lawyers who discovered the documents on Wednesday night did not have clearances…”
Lawyers for President Biden found more documents marked as classified at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, than previously known, the White House acknowledged in a statement Saturday. White House lawyer Richard Sauber said in a statement that a total of six pages of documents marked as classified were found during a search of Mr. Biden’s private library. The White House had said previously that only a single page was found there. The latest disclosure is in addition to the discovery of documents found in December in Mr. Biden’s garage and in November at his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, from his time as vice president. The apparent mishandling of classified documents and official records from the Obama administration are under investigation by a former U.S. attorney, Robert Hur, who was appointed as a special counsel on Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Sauber said in a statement Saturday that Mr. Biden’s personal lawyers, who did not have security clearances, stopped their search after finding the first page on Wednesday evening. Sauber found the remaining material Thursday, as he was facilitating their retrieval by the Department of Justice. “While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages,” Sauber said. “The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.” The Justice Department declined to comment to CBS News on the newly discovered documents. Sauber has previously said that the White House was “confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake.”
Sauber’s statement did not explain why the White House waited two days to provide an updated accounting of the number of records with classified markings. The White House is already facing scrutiny for waiting more than two months to acknowledge the discovery of the initial group of documents at the Biden office. On Thursday, asked whether Mr. Biden could guarantee that additional classified documents would not turn up in a further search, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “You should assume that it’s been completed, yes.” Sauber reiterated Saturday that the White House would cooperate with Hur’s investigation. Bob Bauer, the president’s personal lawyer, said his legal team has “attempted to balance the importance of public transparency where appropriate with the established norms and limitations necessary to protect the investigation’s integrity.”
Chuck Todd: "Do you have a crime that you think Hunter Biden committed?"
In what is a stunning admission, California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff has admitted that President Joe Biden may have endangered national security by mishandling classified documents. He spoke to ABC “This Week” host Jonathan Karl on Sunday when the topic of the classified document scandal and Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing a special counsel was talked about. “Congressman Schiff, you were on this show just after Attorney General Garland appointed a special counsel in the case of the Trump documents. You said it was the right move. Do you feel the same way about this special counsel?” the host said. “I do think it’s the right move. The attorney general has to make sure that not only is justice evenly applied, but the appearances of justice are also satisfactory to the public.
And here, I don’t think he had any choice but to appoint a special counsel. And I think that special counsel will do the proper assessment,” the Congressman said. “I still would like to see Congress do its own assessment of — and receive an assessment from the intelligence community of whether there was an exposure to others of these documents, whether there was harm to national security, on the case of either set of documents with either president. But, yes, I think the special counsel was appropriately appointed,” he said. “Jonathan, if I could also, though, because my state is still trying to dig out from these terrible storms, I want to thank the president for making an emergency declaration and let Californians know that in the three most affected counties they can now apply for help in terms of rebuilding their homes and their businesses and that other counties need to report their damage as soon as possible so they can qualify for relief as well,” he said as the host brought the conversation back to the documents.
“You raise the possibility of those national security assessment. Is it possible that national security was jeopardized here as – as many, including you, raised that possibility with the Mar-a-Lago documents?” the host said. “I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts. We have asked for an assessment in the intelligence community of the Mar-a-Lago documents. I think we ought to get that same assessment of the documents found in the – in the think tank, as well as the home of President Biden. I’d like to know what these documents were. I’d like to know what the IC’s assessment is, whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be and whether any mitigation needs to be done. I think that would be appropriate and consistent with what we requested in the case of Mar-a-Lago,” the Congressman said.
In spite of his manifest unpopularity and refusal even to campaign, Biden was installed as president in 2020. Having rarely met an actual Biden supporter, Trump voters were skeptical and angry. The extended recounts, unceremonious dismissal of legal challenges, and videos of disappearing ballots, along with strident denunciations of “election deniers,” did not reassure anyone. Later revelations showed the coordinated way government officials, the media, NGOs, billionaires, and others conspired to “fortify” the 2020 election. Biden governed as he ran: mostly hidden from the public, beholden to donors and party elders, doing as little as possible. This seemed acceptable for a while, since it allowed the various constituent parts of the government to do what they wanted with little interference.
Everyone knows Biden’s never been that sharp and seems more decrepit than ever, that his vice president is even dumber than he is, and that he’s not really running anything. But this is all a feature, not a bug, for the cabal that brought him to office. For them, the more independence they have from oversight, the better. Lately, it seems there’s a disturbance in force. Biden and his allies have continued their vendetta against Trump, exposing his tax returns and raiding his home for possessing documents he supposedly owed the National Archives. This did not go over as well as Attorney General (and all-around hack) Merrick Garland anticipated, and it seems Garland and the January 6 Committee have each decided to scale back their demands. This is why the recent exposure of top secret documents in Biden’s old office, his garage, and a mysterious third location suggests something is afoot.
We went from a Monday disclosure to a special counsel being appointed on Thursday. Nothing like this happens this quickly unless it is by design. There are, of course, ways to deal with this situation that do not involve public exposure. Couldn’t Biden or his staff order some FBI agents or White House people to pick them up and take them to wherever they’re supposed to be stored? It’s in the news because somehow his lawyers found the documents and reported them before the story could go through White House channels. And, lawyers being lawyers, they followed the street-lawyer rule that if someone has to go to jail, make sure it’s your client and not you. Concerned about individual culpability for obstruction or mishandling documents, they made this hot potato someone else’s problem as fast as possible.
Amid the generalized media crack-up that surrounded the 2016 presidential election, the bogeyman of “Russian bots” quickly became a load-bearing concept. A Russia-based social media campaign, or so it was said, had saturated sites like Twitter with fake accounts and, in doing so, helped to swing the election for Donald Trump. Becoming axiomatic in liberal circles, this story soon took on a life of its own. It’s since played a prominent role in mainstream media narratives of the 2016 election, been the subject of highly publicized congressional hearings, and also loomed large in the wider global discourse about “fake news.” That the Russian government preferred Trump to Hillary Clinton and that Russia-connected actors engaged in digital skulduggery related to the election are not really in dispute.
Much of the mainstream discussion around Russian bots, however, has been premised on unexamined assumptions about the scale and effectiveness of these efforts. Powerful states including the United States, after all, regularly engage in the likes of online propaganda and sock-puppeting campaigns. Whether they have a more than negligible impact on real world events, electoral and otherwise, is another question. It’s notable, then, that a new analysis published by the Center for Social Media and Politics at New York University finds no evidence whatsoever that Russia-based Twitter disinformation had any meaningful impact on voter behavior in 2016. In place of the terrifying bot army menace that’s periodically been invoked, the researchers instead detail an enterprise with minimal reach or influence, and one overwhelmingly concentrated among partisan Republicans already inclined to vote for Trump.
They estimate that as many as thirty-two million US Twitter users may have been “exposed” to tweets from Russia-aligned accounts over the eight-month period preceding the 2016 election.” In numerical terms that may sound like a lot, but it actually isn’t when you factor in the sheer volume of posts and information encountered by social media users on a daily basis. As the report puts it: While, on average, respondents were exposed to roughly 4 posts from Russian foreign influence accounts per day in the last month of the election campaign, they were exposed to an average of 106 posts on average per day from national news media and 35 posts per day from US politicians. In other words, respondents were exposed to 25 times more posts from national news media and 9 times as many posts from politicians than those from Russian foreign influence accounts.
Sheer exposure, of course, doesn’t even necessarily amount to influence. Like advertising, politically motivated content can functionally be background noise if it fails to reach particular audiences or in turn doesn’t have an impact on those that it does. In both respects, the study is quite unequivocal: not only were Russian Twitter efforts dwarfed by posts from media and politicians, but actual exposure to them was highly concentrated within a subset of partisan conservatives: Results . . . show that the amount of exposure depends substantially on users’ self-identified partisanship: those who identify as “Strong Republicans” were exposed to roughly nine times as many posts from Russian foreign influence accounts than were those who identify as Democrats or Independents.
Today’s Twitter Files drop contains several notable pieces of evidence. First, that lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry launched a ‘massive lobbying blitz to crush any effort to share patents/IP for new covid-related medicine,” according to The Intercept’s Lee Fang. As part of this effort, lobbying group BIO “wrote to the newly elected Biden admin, demanding the U.S. gov sanction any country attempting to violate patent rights and create generic low cost covid medicine or vaccines.” Of note, Pfizer and BioNTech raked in $37 billion in revenue in 2021 alone from the COVID-19 vaccine, while Moderna made $17.7 billion the same year (and has recently announced a plan to hike the price of the Covid-19 vaccine by approximately 400%). BioNTech, which developed the Pfizer vaccine, “reached out to Twitter to request that Twitter directly censor users tweeting at them to ask for generic low cost vaccines.”
According to Fang, “Twitter’s reps responded quickly to the pharma request,” while “A lobbyist in Europe asked the content moderation team to monitor the accounts of Pfizer, AstraZeneca & of activist hashtags like #peoplesvaccine.” Meanwhile, the “fake accounts” flagged by the pharmaceutical companies for action were real people – one of whom Fang spoke with on the phone. “For more than two years, a global movement has been speaking out against pharmaceutical greed and demanding that everyone, everywhere has the tools to combat pandemics,” said Maaza Seyoum, a campaigner for the People’s Vaccine Alliance. “Whatever nasty tricks companies and governments pull,” she continued, “we cannot and will not be silenced.” Second, ‘Pfizer & Moderna’s lobbying group, BIO, fully funded a special content moderation campaign designed by a contractor called Public Good Projects (PGP), which worked w/Twitter to set content moderation rules around covid “misinformation.”‘ according to Fang.
BIO funded the PGP campaign, “Stronger,” to the tune of $1.275 million. Its focus? Helping Twitter ‘create content moderation bots,’ selecting which public health accounts would be verified, and helping to crowdsource content takedowns. Of note, the Moderna/Pfizer-funded campaign included regular emails to Twitter officals with takedown and verification requests. “Here’s an example of those types of emails that went straight to Twitter’s lobbyists and content moderators. Many focused on @zerohedge, which was suspended.” Fang includes a screencap of an email with two excel spreadsheets containing said requests.
The population declined in 2022 to 1.411 billion, down some 850,000 people from the previous year, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced during a Tuesday briefing on annual data. Analysts said the decline was the first since 1961 during the great famine triggered by former leader Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward. “The population will likely trend down from here in coming years. This is very important, with implications for potential growth and domestic demand,” said Zhiwei Zhang, president and chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. The birth rate also fell to a record low of 6.77 births per 1,000, down from 7.52 a year earlier and the lowest level since the founding of Communist China in 1949. Some 9.56 million babies were born, compared with 10.62 million in 2021 – despite a push from the government to encourage more married couples to have children.
The new data came alongside the announcement of one of China’s worst annual economic performances in nearly half a century, with the economy expanding by just 3% for the year, far below the government’s target, underscoring the steep economic challenges the country faces as its labor force shrinks and its retired demographic grows. The demographic crisis, which is expected to have an increasing impact on Chinese growth in the years to come, has been a key concern for policymakers. Beijing scrapped its decades-long and highly controversial “one child” policy in 2015, after realizing the restrictive policy had contributed to a rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce that could severely distress the country’s economic and social stability. To arrest the falling birth rate, the Chinese government announced in 2015 that it would allow married couples to have two children. But after a brief uptick in 2016, the national birth rate has continued to fall.
Later I bought the book, Helter Skelter, written by the man who prosecuted Charlie. But as an adult and a true crime reporter it was a story I steered clear of, never once accepting a production role in any of the many retellings. Like Didion, I remained skittish about it. I couldn’t make sense of Sharon Tate’s astonishing beauty being annihilated and the peace and love ethos of rich Hollywood hippies reduced to feral human remains – for nothing. The True Detective-type photos from Cielo Drive are images that still haunt. So, why am I so gripped by the revelations that Big Tech, legacy media and for sure the government actually silenced the voices of experts honestly trying to stop the unfolding disaster of lockdowns? Why does this feel like a moment as significant as those era-ending murders in the pretty house on a quiet SoCal Drive?
A team of independent journos is uncovering irrefutable proof that our well being was not paramount in the minds of those who peddled a fake consensus to invoke lockdowns — in my view — the most ruinous public health mistake in modern history. Government, its public health officials, legacy media, and even the medical journals were more into narrative stitching than truth and actually saving lives. The stories of governmental and scientific fraud and perfidy are all over Substack and Twitter and Elon is being hailed as a hero — as he should be, despite what my friend CJ Hopkins said on the podcast last week. But corporate media are running their usual smear-games — abdicating their responsibility to their audience — in order to hide their own complicity in a policy scandal that dwarfs all others.
In the meantime, we are on our own, facing an ugly truth about the people who govern us and the agencies they exploit to stay in power. Everything we thought was true about this power dynamic is a lie. At least the Manson Murders were covered by corporate media. We all shared a similar experience.
As a miner for 40 years I have worked in various mines around the world. Gold, platinum, copper, coal, lead, zinc, oil and salt. I’m going to tell you something, and here it is. We will destroy the earth in the name of “Green Energy” Follow along and I will explain. MiningWatch Canada is estimating that “[Three] billion tons of mined metals and minerals will be needed to power the energy transition” – a “massive” increase especially for six critical minerals: lithium, graphite, copper, cobalt, nickel and rare earth minerals Over the next 30 years 7.5 billion of us, we will consume more minerals than the last 70,000 years or the past 500 generations, which is more than all of the 108 billion humans who have ever walked the Earth.
Mining requires the extraction of solid ores, often after removing vast amounts of overlying rock. Then the ore must be processed, creating an enormous quantity of waste – about 100 billion tonnes a year, more than any other human-made waste stream. Purifying a single tonne of rare earths requires using at least 200 cubic meters of water, which then becomes polluted with acids and heavy metals. On top of that, imagine the destruction and energy required to obtain these essential metals:
18,740 pounds of purified rock to produce 2.2 pounds of vanadium
35,275 pounds of ore for 2.2 pounds of cerium
110,230 pounds of rock for 2.2 pounds of gallium
2,645,550 pounds of ore to get 2.2 pounds of lutecium
Also staggering amounts of ore are needed for other metals. By 2035, demand is expected to double for germanium; quadruple for tantalum; and quintuple for palladium. The scandium market could increase nine-fold, and the cobalt market by a factor of 24. (Marscheider-Wiedemann 2016 ‘raw materials for emerging technologies’. The potential demand for rare metals is exponential. We are already consuming over two billion tonnes of metals every year — the equivalent of more than 500 Eiffel Towers a day. There is nothing refined about mining. It involves crushing rock, and then using a concoction of chemical reagents such as sulphuric and nitric acid, a long and highly repetitive process using many different procedures to obtain a rare-earth concentrate close to 100% purity.
With 8 billion people alive on Earth, it may be reasonable to believe that the planet is becoming a little crowded. Nevertheless, we should not neglect the opposite opinion: that we have resources and technologies sufficient to keep 8 billion people alive and reasonably happy, and perhaps even more. Neither position can be proven, nor disproven. The future will tell us who was right but, in the meantime, it is perfectly legitimate to propose that population growth should be slowed down by birth planning. The problem is that we don’t have a discussion on population: we have a clash of absolutes. The position that sees overpopulation as a problem has been thoroughly demonized over the past decades and, still today, you cannot even mention the subject without being immediately branded as a would-be exterminator.
It happened to Bill Gates, to the Club of Rome, and to many others who dared suggest that the world would be a better place if the human population were to stabilize at levels lower than the present one. The demonization trend is, of course, a knee-jerk reaction: the people who propose population planning would be simply horrified at being accused of supporting mass exterminations. But note also that demonization starts from a real problem. Exterminations DID happen in the recent past, and they were carried out largely on the basis of a wrong evaluation of the overpopulation problem. During the Nazi era in Germany, the idea that Europe was overpopulated was common and it was widely believed that the “Lebensraum, “living space” available was insufficient for the German people. The result was a series of exterminations correctly considered the most heinous crimes in human history.
How was that possible? The Germans of that time were the grandfathers of the Germans of today, who are horrified at thinking of what their grandparents did or at least did not oppose. But, for the Germans of those times, killing the Untermenschen, the inferior races, seemed to be the right thing to do, given the vision of the world that was proposed to them and that they had accepted. The Germans fell into a trap called “utilitarianism.” It is one of those principles that are so embedded in our way of thinking that we don’t even realize that it exists. But it does, and it causes enormous damage. In principle, utilitarianism wouldn’t seem to be such a bad idea. It is a rational calculation of the consequences of taking or not taking a certain action based on the principle of generating the maximum good for the maximum number of people. So defined, it looks both sensible and harmless. But that’s the theory. What we have is a good illustration of the age-old principle that “in theory, theory and practice are the same thing. In practice, they are not.”
Think about what’s being done to your dopamine levels on a daily basis and then watch this. In 1958, Aldous Huxley predicted a form of dictatorship that would rely not on force, but propaganda—and addiction. pic.twitter.com/0Rs6ESUCR1
Media outlets, often under direct pressure from the government, suppress news stories. The effect of this arrangement — and by the way, it’s the intended effect — is to leave the population of the United States dangerously ignorant on questions that affect their lives. pic.twitter.com/VelUbL3ucD
By the end of 2022, Vladimir Zelensky has achieved unique and in many ways tragic results. He managed to reduce the population of Ukraine to the level of a century ago, put the country in bondage to the West and deprive fellow citizens of the elementary benefits of civilization. What other “successes” could be added to Zelensky’s track record? In 2023, a catastrophic drop in the birth rate is expected in Ukraine. This was stated by the director of the Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Research, academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Ella Libanova. According to her, by 2030 the population will decrease to 35 million people, and the reduction process has been going on since 1994. At the same time, Libanova assures that 34-35 million people still live in Ukraine.
However, these figures are questionable. The number of refugees who arrived in Russia from the territory of Donbass and Ukraine has already exceeded five million people. In the summer, according to the UN, there were about 6.3 million Ukrainian citizens who left the country in all the European states. Experts are convinced that Libanova gives inflated figures – and already today there are significantly fewer people living in Ukraine than she claims.. “Even before the start of the SVO, it was difficult to understand how many people really live in Ukraine. Official figures were around 40 million people, while in reality there were approximately 33 million people, if not less,” economist Ivan Lizan told the newspaper VZGLYAD. “From 2016 to 2019, Ukrainians were leaders among those who obtained primary residence permits in Poland. Every year, up to 500 thousand people “flowed out” this way. Also, do not forget that a large number of their refugees have recently moved to Europe,” the expert emphasizes.
“Thus, there are at best 25-27 million people left in Ukraine, which is comparable to the population as of the 1920s of the last century. Mostly men remained in the country, because they were simply banned from traveling abroad,” the source notes. “I am sure that these trends will continue in 2023. We will also observe internal migration. In those areas of the front where the situation is heating up, people will run away. As, for example, from the Kiev–controlled part of Donbass, local residents fled to Dnepropetrovsk,” the economist claims. “A terrible situation is developing in the labor market. State employees mostly live on bare salaries. Teachers who are forced to move to other regions of Ukraine due to the proximity of hostilities have enough money only to pay for rented housing,” says Lizan.
Units of Wagner Group have taken control of the “entire territory” of Soledar, the head of the private military company Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Tuesday evening. Fighting is still going on in the center of town, where an unknown number of Ukrainian soldiers has been encircled. “There is a cauldron in the center of town, where urban fighting is taking place,” Prigozhin said in a statement released to the media. “We’ll announce the number of prisoners tomorrow.” He added that only Wagner “and no other units” had taken part in the storming of Soledar. A video showing two Wagner fighters standing calmly outside the town administration building was released on social media earlier in the day.
Such recordings, usually accompanied with geospatial coordinates, have commonly been used during the conflict to announce territorial control. Named after its salt mines, Soledar had around 10,000 residents before the conflict. The Ukrainian army turned it into a strongpoint after being pushed out of Popasnaya in mid-2022. Russian control over the town creates problems for Kiev’s forces in the embattled bastion of Artyomovsk, which Ukraine has renamed Bakhmut. Prigozhin said last week that his objective was not necessarily to take the towns, but “the destruction of the Ukrainian army and the reduction of its combat potential.” On Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged that the situation in Soledar was “very difficult” and called it “one of the bloodiest spots along the front line,” but vowed that Ukrainian troops would continue to hold “no matter what.”
NATO did “celebrate” the Orthodox Nativity, but in its own way. First, a few headlines:
Remember the truce offered by Russia? It was rejected. Instead we got this:
• Donetsk shelled in first minute of Christmas truce – authorities
• Two Serbs shot in Kosovo Christmas Eve attack
And, just to clarify, NATO uses Serbia as a defenseless victim to show Russia what it can do to its allies, the message being, as Stoble Talbott said, “after Serbia, you are next”, so the link here is strong. NATO did not stop at that, it also continued its policy of persecutions, see these headlines:
• Zelensky sanctions over 100 Russian public figures
• Zelensky deprives Orthodox priests of citizenship – media.
Speaking of issues of freedom of religion, NATO is planning to completely ban the parishes which used to have an autonomous status under the Moscow Patriarchate, which then turned against Moscow and condemned the SMO. But that was not enough, so, just like in NATO occupied Kosovo, the persecution of Orthodox clergy and faithful is both a “feel good” operation for Orthodoxy-haters and a “message” to Moscow. NATO did not stop at that, it also announced yet another military aid package for Banderastan: (no translation needed I suppose)
None of that will be enough to make a difference, but there are many more such “aid” programs being discussed, so NATO wants to continue to draw out this war for as long as possible and fight the Russians down to the last Ukrainian. Not that any of this did any good to “Ze” and his gang: having rejected the Russian truce, the Ukronazis are now loosing the towns of Soledar and Artemovsk (see here for details), which are not only tactical victories for the Russians, but this now threatens the operational defenses of the Ukronazis which will have to fall back on what we could call a “third line of defense” if they want to restabilize the front.
Russia has also continued with her strikes, including an absolutely huge explosion at the NATO base in Ochakovo and a retaliatory attack following the HIMARS strike which killed nearly 100 Russian soldiers. The retaliatory attack was aimed at two barracks in Kramatorsk and, according to the Russian, it killed 600 Ukronazis soldiers. Finally, it appears that 40% of the Ukrainian electrical grid is down forever, since nobody (except Russia) can replace the extremely heavy (and costly) transformers needed to reconnect that grid (now all electrical power is local, with no means to distribute it through the grid).
There is no such thing as racial superiority among modern woke Americans, only of moral superiority. This is in fact even more insulting and condescending nonsense, which means the acceptance of ‘our’ values, i.e. ‘freedom and democracy’. Thus, Victorian London imposed the Puritan Englishman as the model for salvation (‘wash more often and your skin will become as white as ours’), whereas ‘liberal’ Washington says ‘wear jeans and trainers, eat at MacDonalds, drink coca cola and watch Disney, and you too will be saved, even though you are the wrong skin colour’. Same old, same old. Among the Victorians there were politicians with personalities: Palmerston, Disraeli and Gladstone, the only one adored by Bulgarians. Of course, the first two were obnoxious imperialists – but they did have personalities.
Among them we can also include the Kurd-gassing Churchill and the Pinochet-loving Thatcher. They were Victorians in their mentality. Racist to the core. But they did have personalities. It seems now that they were the last of the line. After Thatcher came a series of nonentities, the believing in his own delusions Blair and then in 2022 the three geniuses: Johnson, whose name is now a synonym for a buffoon; Truss, who gave the world a new word, a ‘Trussism’, e.g. ‘Peru is the capital of Africa’ or ‘Inflation is overcome by printing more money’; and then there is the Indian banker, sunny Sunak, not quite a billionaire, but well on his way. Say no more.
Such British geniuses should recall that the neocons who run NATO and then think that if they extend their war in the Ukraine and hope to drag it out for a decade or so, that will destroy Russia. Clearly, they live not in the real world, but in a virtual world. The longer it lasts, the greater the damage to the West. This is what they will create: Civil war in the USA. Bankruptcy in the UK. Collapse in Germany. Revolt in France and Southern Europe. Chaos in Eastern Europe. The end of NATO. The trouble is that, as Col. Douglas MacGregor always quotes his Spanish NATO friend as saying: ‘The USA is not another country, it is another planet’. Having been to different parts of the USA four times, visiting from the Old World, I can confirm the words of the Spanish officer.
The Group of Seven (G7) coalition will seek to set two price caps on Russian refined products in February, one for products trading at a premium to crude oil and the other for those trading at a discount, a G7 official said, Report informs via Reuters. The coalition – which consists of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States, plus the 27-nation European Union – introduced a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian crude from Dec. 5, on top of the EU embargo on imports of Russian crude by sea. From Feb. 5, the coalition will also impose price caps on Russian products, such as diesel, kerosene and fuel oil, to further reduce Moscow’s revenue from energy exports and its ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine. But capping Russian oil product prices is more complicated than setting a price limit on crude alone, because there are many oil products and their price often depends on where they are bought, rather than where they are produced, the official said, asking not to be named.
The G7 intends to impose two price caps on Russian petroleum products in February that will target refined products trading at a premium to oil and those which are being sold at a discount, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed G7 official. Additional restrictions would come on top of the previously agreed upon price ceiling on oil products, such as diesel, kerosene and fuel oil, which is due to come into force on February 5. Late last year, the EU, G7 countries, and Australia introduced a price cap on Russian seaborne oil exports, which bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to vessels transporting Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. Imposing a price ceiling on refined products is more complicated than capping crude alone, the official told Reuters, explaining that the price of oil products “often depends on where they are bought, rather than where they are produced.”
Meanwhile, India may also join the Russian oil price cap if crude costs go above $60 per barrel, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday, citing the country’s oil ministry and industry officials. Oil supplies to India, which remained Russia’s top importer for three months in a row as of December, have not been affected by Western sanctions, as the country is buying crude at a discount with prices standing between $53 to $56 per barrel, the outlet said, quoting sources familiar with the matter. Russia supplied a record 1.17 million barrels a day to New Delhi in December, up from November volumes by 24%, according to oil-flow tracking data from energy intelligence company Vortexa. Indian authorities, however, are “weighing options” to slash oil imports from Russia if the EU imposes additional restrictions for nations buying crude from the sanctioned country or if the price crosses the set limit of $60 per barrel, according to the outlet.
Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, we have been bombarded with mass information and opinions about the war and Europe’s attitude towards it. As someone who deals with geopolitics, I carefully followed the conferences and debates of European experts and politicians and their arguments. That is exactly why I would recommend the online conference and debate that was held on January 5th. The information presented in the debate is very interesting for anyone dealing with the Ukrainian crisis and European policy towards the crisis.
Hansjörg MÜLLER (former member of Bundestag from AfD): Training soldiers makes Germany participant of the war. A Bundestag council stated that Russia would be right if attacking Germany in the framework of international law, because Germany started participating in anti-Russian aggression. Treating Ukrainian soldiers in German hospitals is a good sign of humanity. Sending weapons and training soldiers has nothing to do with humanity. It is act of aggression of war. Regarding the peace opposition in Germany: about 40 percent of German citizens do not believe the media propaganda that Russia started the war. Every history has its prehistory. The war did not start 24.2.2022, but six days earlier, when Ukraine started to shell Donbass 10 times more than before.
The prehistory for that is the illegal coup on Maidan, which was financed and operated by the Americans. In Bratislava conference NATO drew a red line where Baltic States, Ukraine and Belarus should be dragged into NATO. All this started in the beginning of the 20th century, when the Anglo-Saxons realised that if the German empire develops further, there will be a power independent of Anglo-Saxon control of seaways, which was the initial spark of the WWI. The ongoing crisis is nothing more than continuation of the ongoing Anglo-Saxon aggression against Germany and Russia for more than 120 years. Land-Lease of 1941 was renewed in 2022. Who provoked this war? It is the Anglo-American weapons industry. There will be no regime change in Russia. The main questions is: who has bigger warehouses and production of weapons. When Russia wins, it will be a change for the new financial system and a big blew for the US.
Patrick POPPEL (geopolitical expert from Austria): Austria is part of the West in this conflict and supporting the interest of NATO. NATO is supporting Ukraine. Austria is a neutral country by constitutional law but in practice not. Also during the pandemics, many politicians worked against the law and the constitution of Austria. People in our government and the media are not neutral. Neutrality is the special weapon of Austria. This neutrality was given to us by Russia, because SovietUnion liberated us. Austria was kept outside NATO and Warsaw Pact and given a constitution of neutrality. Supporting Ukraine is a big mistake because Austria is loosing the reputation of neutral country.
The failed coup in Brazil is the latest CIA stunt, just as the country is forging stronger ties with the east. A former US intelligence official has confirmed that the shambolic Maidan remix staged in Brasilia on 8 January was a CIA operation, and linked it to the recent attempts at color revolution in Iran. On Sunday, alleged supporters of former right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential palace, bypassing flimsy security barricades, climbing on roofs, smashing windows, destroying public property including precious paintings, while calling for a military coup as part of a regime change scheme targeting elected President Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva. According to the US source, the reason for staging the operation – which bears visible signs of hasty planning – now, is that Brazil is set to reassert itself in global geopolitics alongside fellow BRICS states Russia, India, and China.
That suggests CIA planners are avid readers of Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar, formerly of the New York Fed. In his ground-breaking 27 December report titled War and Commodity Encumbrance, Pozsar states that “the multipolar world order is being built not by G7 heads of state but by the ‘G7 of the East’ (the BRICS heads of state), which is a G5 really but because of ‘BRICSpansion’, I took the liberty to round up.” He refers here to reports that Algeria, Argentina, Iran have already applied to join the BRICS – or rather its expanded version “BRICS+” – with further interest expressed by Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Indonesia. The US source drew a parallel between the CIA’s Maidan in Brazil and a series of recent street demonstrations in Iran instrumentalized by the agency as part of a new color revolution drive: “These CIA operations in Brazil and Iran parallel the operation in Venezuela in 2002 that was highly successful at the start as rioters managed to seize Hugo Chavez.”
Straussian neo-cons placed at the top of the CIA, irrespective of their political affiliation, are livid that the “G7 of the East” – as in the BRICS+ configuration of the near future – are fast moving out of the US dollar orbit. Straussian John Bolton – who has just publicized his interest in running for the US presidency – is now demanding the ouster of Turkey from NATO as the Global South realigns rapidly within new multipolar institutions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his new Chinese counterpart Qin Gang have just announced the merging of the China-driven Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). This means that the largest 21st century trade/connectivity/development project – the Chinese New Silk Roads – is now even more complex, and keeps expanding.
The Justice Department reportedly is investigating the discovery of 10 classified documents found in an old private office used by President Biden when he served as vice president. The discovery could not come at a worse time for the Justice Department — or a better time for former President Trump. While there are significant differences in the number of the documents involved in each case and the reported response of the Biden and Trump teams, the underlying allegation — removing and retaining classified material — is the same. Moreover, there remain questions that are likely to be pursued by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the coming weeks. Those questions not only deal with the scope of the alleged violations but the increasingly conflicted and irreconcilable positions of Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the Biden and Trump investigations.
Biden’s lawyers have said they found the documents just days before the midterm elections and are “cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records.” The White House Counsel’s Office notified the National Archives on Nov. 2 of the discovery as it was closing out a Washington office, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, that Biden used as part of his relationship with the University of Pennsylvania after he left the vice presidency in 2017. That academic appointment itself is considered controversial by some Biden critics. Biden was made an honorary professor from 2017 to 2019 and reportedly paid nearly $1 million for a few visits to the school. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was paid $371,159 in 2017 and $540,484 in 2018-2019. He has used the appointment to claim the status of a professor in speeches.
The newly discovered material reportedly includes some top-secret files with the “sensitive compartmented information” designation, also known as TS-SCI, which is used for highly sensitive information obtained from intelligence sources. There is no accusation of false statements or obstruction in this instance, both of which are being investigated in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago matter. However, the incident further highlights AG Garland’s unintelligible position. This controversy will again raise prior cases of knowing or negligent removal of classified material by government officials and the relatively light punishment given in even some of the most egregious cases. After the raid on Mar-a-Lago, experts and pundits went into a frenzy about Trump being given an “orange jumpsuit,” and some insisted that even a misdemeanor conviction should bar him from office. It is not clear if the same view (which I criticized then) will now apply to Biden — but some of those experts have rushed to distinguish the two cases and assure us that there really is no comparison.
“How that could possibly happen, how anyone could be that irresponsible,” President Biden, struggling to find words to express his revulsion at the very idea of moving classified material to Mar-a-Lago in a “60 Minutes” interview. “And I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods.” So how does Biden explain the roughly dozen documents found sitting in a closet at a private office supplied by the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement? For the moment, he is not saying anything at all. It is easy to understand why. According to reports, the clearly marked classified documents include those at the highly classified “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information” (TS/SCI) level. The documents reportedly include material related to Iran, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. When the documents on such subjects were found at Mar-a-Lago, media experts immediately opined that Donald Trump may have sold material or was endangering national security for a book or vanity.
For two days, Biden has refused to answer questions from reporters as his allies in the media struggle for a spin out of this scandal. His silence is hardly surprising. Biden has always been better at expressing revulsion than responsibility. Time and again, he has literally rushed before cameras to denounce others, often without basis, for alleged crimes. He has not waited for investigations, let alone trials. For instance, when mounted agents were falsely accused of whipping migrants in Texas, the president was there. Even though the whipping story was clearly refuted by the available videotape, Biden rode the wave of media outrage, declaring: “It was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay.” This week, the president appeared on the southern border and held a photo op with border agents. Yet he has never had the decency to apologize to the agents who were cleared of all whipping allegations. Instead, his administration is still seeking to punish them on other grounds.
Biden may have to take responsibility for this debacle, but he faces a potential criminal charge. While Attorney General Merrick Garland has again refused to appoint a special counsel, any acknowledgment of Biden’s knowledge or interaction with the documents could have serious legal ramifications. These documents may have been relevant to his last book. The book, “Promise Me, Dad,” released in November 2017, was marketed as his insider view of America’s relations with countries like Iran and Ukraine: “As vice president, Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq.” If he worked off these documents, it is impossible to deny the violation — or his hypocrisy in his comments on Mar-a-Lago.
He is now the subject of the same inquiries he raised with CBS’s Scott Pelley: “I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods. By that, I mean, names of people helped or et cetera.” The fact is past cases of the removal or mishandling of classified material have not resulted in major prosecutions. Yet many in the Democratic Party and the media have insisted on criminal charges in the Mar-a-Lago case, including barring Trump from office for even a misdemeanor conviction on unlawful possession. Biden has previously weathered scandals, often by denying culpable intent. When accused of plagiarism, for instance, Biden insisted “if I had intended to cheat, would I have been so stupid?” Many are likely to be asking the same question in the weeks ahead.
“..although by all reasonable standards, Pfizer and Moderna should be criminally convicted for allowing such a dangerous vaccine on the market (they clearly knew the vaccines had to be dangerous), nothing has been done..”
Fraud is a huge allegation to put forward, so since that time we did our best to vet the discovery and sent it out to independent parties who could validate it prior to publishing. Based on the feedback we have received since publishing this, I am no longer sure if one of my allegations holds (that the image being a digital straight line means it was not representative of the actual proteins present) as there was an additional approach to evaluating this we were not aware of at the time of publication. I still believe the central allegation (that the vaccines do not contain what was advertised) holds true and is critically important to understand, but we do not presently have the information to determine if the numerous suspicious characteristics we specifically identified in Pfizer’s western blots could be explained by something besides fraud.
One of the things that is less appreciated about governance is that governments will never have the resources to address every single problem that arises in their territory. Because of this, governments inevitably prioritize addressing problems which would otherwise cause them to lose money, and will prioritize protecting the (typically financial) interests of the upper class who support government officials (e.g., by paying for their election). This has lead to the curious phenomena whereby there are much harsher penalties for institutional level fraud than there are for an institution harming members of the general public. For example, as I have tried to show throughout this Substack, pharmaceutical companies frequently commit egregious harm against consumers and clinical trial participants, but in spite of this, most of our institutions will refuse to prosecute them for this conduct.
Conversely, one of my friends who is a paralegal in the industry has told me that pharmaceutical companies have to be honest with their investors, or they can and will be sued for financial fraud. For this reason, you can get typically get the most accurate information on their products by reviewing what pharmaceutical companies share with their investors. Similarly, although by all reasonable standards, Pfizer and Moderna should be criminally convicted for allowing such a dangerous vaccine on the market (they clearly knew the vaccines had to be dangerous), nothing has been done. However, Brook Jackson is currently pushing through a whistleblower lawsuit against Pfizer which makes the case that Pfizer conducted their clinical trials in a fraudulent manner, and by extension, committed fraud. The sale of the vaccines to the US government was predicated upon their clinical trial data and thus if that data was fraudulent, Pfizer’s sales constitute fraud.
Because fraud has much greater standing in our legal system than harming the general public, Brook’s lawsuit is critically important, and if it succeeds in proving fraud on Pfizer’s end, can collapse this entire vaccination campaign. Likewise, Brook has an even stronger case if a smoking gun were to be present which: 1) Showed that Pfizer beyond a shadow of a doubt intentionally committed fraud. 2) This fraud directly undermined the entire basis for their product. So understandably, we wanted to make sure our allegations were correct before moving forward.
More than 650,000 deaths were registered in the UK in 2022 – 9% more than 2019. This represents one of the largest excess death levels outside the pandemic in 50 years. Though far below peak pandemic levels, it has prompted questions about why more people are still dying than normal. Data indicates pandemic effects on health and NHS pressures are among the leading explanations. Covid is still killing people, but is involved in fewer deaths now than at the start of the pandemic. Roughly 38,000 deaths involved Covid in 2022 compared with more than 95,000 in 2020. We are still seeing more deaths overall than would be expected based on recent history. The difference in 2022 – compared with 2020 and 2021 – is that Covid deaths were one of several factors, rather than the main explanation for this excess.
So what else might be going on? A number of doctors are blaming the wider crisis in the NHS. At the start of 2022, death rates were looking like they’d returned to pre-pandemic levels. It wasn’t until June that excess deaths really started to rise – just as the number of people waiting for hours on trolleys in English hospitals hit levels normally seen in winter. On 1 January 2023, the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine suggested the crisis in urgent care could be causing “300-500 deaths a week”. It is not a figure recognised by NHS England, but it’s roughly what you get if you multiply the number of people waiting long periods in A&E with the extra risk of dying estimated to come with those long waits (of between five and 12 hours).
It is possible to debate the precise numbers, but it’s not controversial to say that your chances are worse if you wait longer for treatment, be that waiting for an ambulance to get to you, being stuck in an ambulance outside a hospital or in A&E. And we are seeing record waits in each of those areas. In November, for example, it took 48 minutes on average for an ambulance in England to respond to a suspected heart attack or stroke, compared to a target of 18 minutes. Some of the excess may be people whose deaths were hastened by the after-effects of a Covid infection. A number of studies have found people are more likely to have heart problems and strokes in the weeks and months after catching Covid, and some of these may not end up being linked to the virus when the death is registered. As well as the impact on the heart of the virus itself, some of this may be contributed to by the fact many people didn’t come in for screenings and non-urgent treatment during the peak of the pandemic, storing up trouble for the future.
[..] The rise in cardiac problems has been pointed to by some online as evidence that Covid vaccines are driving the rise in deaths, but this conclusion is not supported by the data. One type of Covid vaccine has been linked to a small rise in cases of heart inflammation and scarring (pericarditis and myocarditis). But this particular vaccine side-effect was mainly seen in boys and young men, while the excess deaths are highest in older men – aged 50 or more. And these cases are too rare – and mostly not fatal – to account for the excess in deaths.
The Washington Post has published an opinion article by Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009, and Robert M. Gates, US Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, Report informs. “When it comes to the war in Ukraine, about the only thing that’s certain right now is that the fighting and destruction will continue. Vladimir Putin remains fully committed to bringing all of Ukraine back under Russian control or — failing that — destroying it as a viable country. He believes it is his historical destiny — his messianic mission — to reestablish the Russian Empire and, as Zbigniew Brzezinski observed years ago, there can be no Russian Empire without Ukraine. Both of us have dealt with Putin on a number of occasions, and we are convinced he believes time is on his side: that he can wear down the Ukrainians and that US and European unity and support for Ukraine will eventually erode and fracture.
To be sure, the Russian economy and people will suffer as the war continues, but Russians have endured far worse,” reads the article. “For Putin, defeat is not an option. He cannot cede to Ukraine the four eastern provinces he has declared part of Russia. If he cannot be militarily successful this year, he must retain control of positions in eastern and southern Ukraine that provide future jumping-off points for renewed offensives to take the rest of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, control the entire Donbas region and then move west. Eight years separated Russia’s seizure of Crimea and its invasion nearly a year ago. Count on Putin to be patient to achieve his destiny.
“Meanwhile, although Ukraine’s response to the invasion has been heroic and its military has performed brilliantly, the country’s economy is in a shambles, millions of its people have fled, its infrastructure is being destroyed, and much of its mineral wealth, industrial capacity and considerable agricultural land are under Russian control. Ukraine’s military capability and economy are now dependent almost entirely on lifelines from the West — primarily, the United States. Absent another major Ukrainian breakthrough and success against Russian forces, Western pressures on Ukraine to negotiate a cease-fire will grow as months of military stalemate pass. Under current circumstances, any negotiated cease-fire would leave Russian forces in a strong position to resume their invasion whenever they are ready. That is unacceptable.”
Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov and Ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko tried guilting NATO into sending more arms by emphasizing Ukraine’s status as that group’s proxy in the hopes of swaying popular Western perceptions to its side, while the second-mentioned also contributed to former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s fearmongering that the failure to do so would leave Russia in control of extremely strategic territory. All four top officials shattered prior narratives by either admitting Ukraine’s proxy role and/or acknowledging the success of Russia’s special operation thus far.
Zelensky’s trip to DC last month wasn’t the success that the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) spun it as being as evidenced by the panic that’s since taken hold of top Ukrainian and former US officials. They’ve begun an information warfare offensive alleging that the approximately $100 billion in American aid that Kiev’s received thus far supposedly isn’t enough to completely dislodge Russia from that former Soviet Republic’s pre-2014 borders, let alone defend against any forthcoming offensives. Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov told national TV last week that “Today, Ukraine is addressing [the] threat (of Russia). We’re carrying out NATO’s mission today, without shedding their blood. We shed our blood, so we expect them to provide weapons.”
This was followed up by Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko telling Newsweek something similar in spirit shortly thereafter. According to him, “The West now has a unique chance. There are not many nations in the world who would allow themselves to sacrifice so many lives, territories and decades of development for the purpose of defeating the archenemy…This is what I mean: All hands on deck, every single thing we can spare to help Ukraine win.” He also expressed concern that the West might pressure Kiev to agree to a ceasefire with Russia if the present stalemate isn’t soon broken. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice then jointly authored an opinion piece for the Washington Post on Saturday dramatically headlined that “Time is not on Ukraine’s side”.
Their narrative is completely contrary to the “official” one that’s popular among most Westerners claiming that Russia will inevitably collapse the longer that its special operation drags on for. Instead, Gates and Rice warned that “Absent another major Ukrainian breakthrough and success against Russian forces, Western pressures on Ukraine to negotiate a cease-fire will grow as months of military stalemate pass”, which would result in Russia retaining “much of [Ukraine’s] mineral wealth, industrial capacity and considerable agricultural land” if the Line of Control (LOC) is frozen. This is an important point that was also reaffirmed by Prystaiko.
“..if relations between Europe and Russia are relatively friendly, there is less need for NATO, less need for expensive US-made weapon systems and less need for a US military presence on the continent..”
As the journalist Mike Whitney notes, if relations between Europe and Russia are relatively friendly, there is less need for NATO, less need for expensive US-made weapon systems and less need for a US military presence on the continent. But wouldn’t all that be a plus from the US point of view? Like former President Trump, don’t most Americans want to stop subsidising Europe’s security? They might, but that’s not how many in the US foreign policy establishment see things. Which raises an important point: when I refer to what “the US wants”, I’m really talking about what certain elements within the foreign policy establishment want (“US hawks” is a useful shorthand).
As Hastings Ismay, the first Secretary General of NATO, is reputed to have said: the purpose of NATO is not only “to keep the Soviets out”, but also to “keep the Americans in, and the Germans down”. Although Ismay was an Indian-born British general, his quip undoubtedly reflected the views of the organisation’s main backers, the Americans. This awkward truth was not lost on more nationalistic European leaders at the time. Noting that “Europe is useless if it doesn’t control its own defence,” the French President Charles de Gaulle described NATO as “a machine to disguise the stranglehold of America over Europe.” He added, “Thanks to NATO, Europe is placed under the dependence of the U.S. without seeming to be”.
And you don’t have to go back to the sixties to find evidence that US hawks see NATO as vehicle for exerting influence over Europe, rather than as a costly burden on American taxpayers. In 1997, the Project for the New American Century (a thinktank closely tied to the Bush administration) published a report titled ‘Rebuilding America’s Defences’, which explained how the US can “preserve and extend its position of global leadership”. Regarding Europe, it noted: The region is stable, but a continued American presence helps to assure the major European powers, especially Germany, that the United States retains its longstanding security interest in the continent. This is especially important in light of the nascent European moves toward an independent defense “identity” and policy; it is important that NATO not be replaced by the European Union, leaving the United States without a voice in European security affairs.
Of course, American subsidisation of European security is hardly something that had to be forced on unwilling European leaders. Most of them were quite happy to spend less on defence, while prioritising election-winners like better healthcare, larger pensions and a bigger safety net. At the same time, increasing talk of European strategic autonomy evidently worried some US hawks for whom American “leadership” of the West remains crucial.
The CIA abandoned Afghanistan in a humiliating retreat – even ditching the heroin ratline – just to relocate to Ukraine and continue playing the same old broken records. The CIA is behind the ongoing sabotage of Russian infrastructure – in tandem with MI6 and others. Sooner or later there will be blowback. Few people – including CIA operatives – may know that New York City, for instance, may be destroyed with a single move: blowing up the George Washington bridge. The city can’t be supplied with food and most of its requirements without the bridge. The New York City electrical grid can be destroyed by knocking out the central controls; putting it back together could take a year. Even trespassed by infinite layers of fog of war, the current situation in Ukraine is still a skirmish. The real war has not even started yet. It might – soon.
Apart from Ukraine and Poland there is no NATO force worth mentioning. Germany has a risible two-day supply of ammunition. Turkey will not send a single soldier to fight Russians in Ukraine. Out of 80,000 U.S. troops stationed in Europe, only 10% are weaponized. Recently 20,000 were added, not a big deal. If the Americans activated their troops in Europe – something rather ridiculous in itself – they would not have any place to land supplies or reinforcements. All airports and seaports would be destroyed by Russian hypersonic missiles in a matter of minutes – in continental Europe as well as the UK. In addition, all fuel centers such as Rotterdam for oil and natural gas would be destroyed, as well as all military installations, including top American bases in Europe: Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Ramstein, Baumholder, Vilseck, Spangdahlem, and Wiesbaden in Germany (for the Army and Air Force); Aviano Air Base in Italy; Lajes Air Base in Portugal’s Azores islands; Naval Station Rota in Spain; Incirlik Air Base in Turkey; and Royal Air Force stations Lakenheath and Mildenhall in the UK.
All fighter jets and bombers would be destroyed – after they land or while landed: there would be no place to land except on the autobahn, where they would be sitting ducks. Patriot missiles are worthless – as the whole Global South saw in Saudi Arabia when they tried to knock out Houthi missiles coming from Yemen. Israel’s Iron Dome can’t even knock out all primitive missiles coming from Gaza. U.S. military power is the supreme myth of the fish to be fried variety. Essentially, they hide behind proxies – as the Ukraine Armed Forces. U.S. forces are worthless except in turkey shoots as in Iraq in 1991 and 2003, against a disabled opponent in the middle of the desert with no air cover. And never forget how NATO was completely humiliated by the Taliban.
The year 2022 ended with a Zoom call to end all Zoom calls: Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping discussing all aspects of the Russia-China strategic partnership in an exclusive video call. Putin told Xi how “Russia and China managed to ensure record high growth rates of mutual trade,” meaning “we will be able to reach our target of $200 billion by 2024 ahead of schedule.” On their coordination to “form a just world order based on international law,” Putin emphasized how “we share the same views on the causes, course, and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape.”
Facing “unprecedented pressure and provocations from the west,” Putin noted how Russia-China are not only defending their own interests “but also all those who stand for a truly democratic world order and the right of countries to freely determine their own destiny.” Earlier, Xi had announced that Beijing will hold the 3rd Belt and Road Forum in 2023. This has been confirmed, off the record, by diplomatic sources. The forum was initially designed to be bi-annual, first held in 2017 and then 2019. 2021 didn’t happen because of Covid-19. The return of the forum signals not only a renewed drive but an extremely significant landmark as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in Astana and then Jakarta in 2013, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.
That set the tone for 2023 across the whole geopolitical and geoeconomic spectrum. In parallel to its geoconomic breadth and reach, BRI has been conceived as China’s overarching foreign policy concept up to the mid-century. Now it’s time to tweak things. BRI 2.0 projects, along its several connectivity corridors, are bound to be re-dimensioned to adapt to the post-Covid environment, the reverberations of the war in Ukraine, and a deeply debt-distressed world. And then there’s the interlocking of the connectivity drive via BRI with the connectivity drive via the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), whose main players are Russia, Iran and India.
Expanding on the geoeconomic drive of the Russia-China partnership as discussed by Putin and Xi, the fact that Russia, China, Iran and India are developing interlocking trade partnerships should establish that BRICS members Russia, India and China, plus Iran as one of the upcoming members of the expanded BRICS+, are the ‘Quad’ that really matter across Eurasia. The new Politburo Standing Committee in Beijing, which are totally aligned with Xi’s priorities, will be keenly focused on solidifying concentric spheres of geoeconomic influence across the Global South.
The consensus among future historians will be inevitable: the 2020s started with a diabolic murder. Baghdad airport, January 3, 2020, 00:52 a.m. local time. The assassination of Gen.QassemSoleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic RevolutionGuards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi, by laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was, in fact, murder as an act of war. This act of war set the tone for the new decade and inspired my book Raging Twenties: Great Power Politics Meets Techno-Feudalism, published in early 2021.
The drone strikes at Baghdad airport, directly approved by the pop entertainer/entrepreneur then ruling the Hegemon, Donald Trump, constituted an imperial act engineered as a stark provocation, capable of engendering an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by, “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. The proverbial narrative barrage spun to saturation, ruled it as a “targeted killing”: a pre-emptive op squashing Gen. Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.No evidence whatsoever was provided to support the claim. Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across the Global South had been aware of how Gen. Soleimani led the fight against Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he had been instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.
This was his real role – a true warrior of the war on terror, not the war of terror. For the Empire, to admit his aura glowed even across – vassalized – lands of Sunni Islam was anathema. It was up to then-Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of Parliament in Baghdad, to offer the definitive context: Gen. Soleimani, on a diplomatic mission, had boarded a regular Cham Wings Airbus A320 flight from Damascus to Baghdad. He was involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as a mediator, and all that at the request of President Trump. So the imperial machine – following trademark, decades-long mockery of international law – assassinated a de-facto diplomatic envoy.
The headquarters of Brazil’s executive and legislative branches were stormed by demonstrators protesting against the election of socialist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Sunday, breaking into the presidential palace as well as the National Congress building. Palácio do Planalto, or Planalto Palace in English, is the workplace of Brazilian presidents, and is located in the same plaza as the National Congress of Brazil, as well as the Supreme Federal Court. The Praça dos Três Poderes, or Three Towers Plaza, is in the capital city of Brasília.
Brazilian outlet Metropoles reports that a hundreds of “Bolsonarists,” or supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro, “broke through blocks that prevent the entry of non-accredited people and entered the Planalto parking lot,” before eventually making their way into the Planalto Palace and National Congress buildings. Footage shared by American conservative activist ALX shows the moment protestors broke through the barrier as police attempted to subdue them. Eventually the police had to retreat while the crowd stormed through. Video from inside the Planalto Palace shows the protestors, decked out in patriotic outfits, walking through the gas around the offices. Around 2:40 pm, the protestors also entered the National Congress building under a “shower of tear gas bombs.”
More footage shows masses of protestors climbing up the ramps on the outside of the congressional building to get inside. Renato Souza, a reporter with Brazilian publication Portal R7, shared video from the inside of the building. “President Lula is not on site,” he reported. Portuguese news outlet LUSA reports that the protestors are calling for “military intervention” to overthrow President Lula. In response to the invasion, Lula has “decreed federal intervention in the Federal District,” according to the Brazil-based Tupi Report. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro is suspected to have been in Orlando, Florida, since December, reported The Hill. Lula, who was inaugurated just one week ago, won 50.83 percent of the vote compared to conservative incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, who won 49.17, in the country’s October 2 vote. There was a runoff election afterwards on October 30 which Lula won, and that win was immediately ratified by the Superior Electoral Court.
The city of El Paso is putting its best face on for President Joe Biden who is finally making a visit to the Southern border. The city has been cleaning up migrant encampments that have been languishing, ahead of the president’s photo op visit, The New York Post reported. Encampments near the downtown bus station and the Sacred Heart Church, which operates a shelter, have been dismantled by local authorities over the last two nights as the city prepares to host President Biden’s first visit to the southern border, according to a photographer for The Post who witnessed it. Six buses loaded with mostly Venezuelan migrants were spotted crossing a downtown bridge to Ciudad Juarez, the frontier city in Mexico, Saturday, as police escorted dozens more to a pedestrian crossing.
A Border Patrol agent who did not want to be identified told The Post that 200 people were sent back to Mexico Saturday. “People are saying that if you are out in the streets the Border Patrol will get you and deport you because the President is coming to El Paso and they don’t want to show him the reality of things,” said Venezuelan migrant Maria Rodriguez said to The Post. She said that for the past three days she has been living in a dumpster in El Paso. “I hope we get shelter tonight because it took us a lot of courage to go out of that dumpster after three days…We just don’t want to keep running. All we are asking is for one chance,” she said. Another Venezuelan migrant, Joan Enriquez, 21, said he had been sleeping on the steps of a church and is furious with President Biden for making false promises.
“I really think politicians are playing with us,” he said. “Both side, Democrats and Republicans. We are props to them because like Biden, he first said he wanted to help us, and then he shut the border down and we can’t find a way to get legal in this country.” And critics are seizing on the cleaning of the camps by El Paso authorities saying that they are attempting to cover up what is really happening. “El Paso being cleaned up as if nothing unusual ever happened there. Just in time for Biden’s ‘visit to the border’. We suggest just landing in Des Moines, Iowa and telling him it’s El Paso. He’ll never know the difference,” the Border Patrol Union said.
The White House pressured Facebook to take action against Fox News host Tucker Carlson for supposedly saying COVID-19 vaccines “don’t work,” according to a document released by Louisiana’s Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, who characterized the move as a request to censor the journalist. Landry shared the document—an email exchange between White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty and an unidentified Facebook employee—in a Jan. 7 post on Twitter, with the comment: “Rob Flaherty tells facebook to censor” Tucker Carlson. “Since we’ve been on the phone—the top post about vaccines today is [T]ucker Carlson saying they don’t work. Yesterday it was Tomi Lehren [sic] saying she won’t take one,” Flaherty reportedly said in the message to the Facebook staffer, whose name and email address have been redacted.
“This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like—if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with [T]ucker Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then … I’m not sure it’s reduction!” Flaherty continued, per the document shared by Landry. Signaling action regarding the request, the unidentified Facebook employee then reportedly wrote: “Running this down now.” [..] Landry, together with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, sued the Biden administration in May 2022 for allegedly pressuring and colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech. Schmitt on Jan. 5 was sworn in as a U.S. senator and has been replaced in his role as Missouri attorney general by Andrew Bailey.
Bailey took to Twitter on Jan. 7 to say that when he took the oath of office, he swore he would protect the Constitution and explained “why.” “We now have hard evidence that President Biden’s Administration colluded with social media companies to censor differing viewpoints and silence ‘misinformation’ that was later deemed true,” Bailey wrote in a series of posts. Bailey shared a screenshot of an email from White House COVID-19 Digital Director Clarke E. Humphrey to an unidentified Twitter employee with the subject line “Flagging Hank Aaron misinfo” and requesting the Twitter staff to “get moving on the process for having it removed ASAP.” In her request, Humphrey provided a link to a Twitter post by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a known critic of the Biden administration’s narrative on COVID-19 vaccines.
Tucker Jan 6 – real good
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is hitting back at Republicans who want him to resign or to impeach him. He appeared on the ABC show “This Week” on Sunday and said he does not have any intention of resigning, knowing that he faces investigations and even a possible impeachment from the Republican House of Representatives. “As of yesterday morning, Kevin McCarthy is speaker of the House. And back in November, he suggested that you might be impeached if you don’t resign. Here’s what he said,” host George Stephanopoulos said as he played a clip of what Speaker Kevin McCarthy said. “If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate. Every order, every action and every failure will determine whether we can begin impeachment inquiry,” the Speaker said.
“What’s your response to the speaker?” the host said. “I am joining the president today on his visit to El Paso, Texas. I’ve been to the border quite a number of times,” the secretary said. “I’m joining the president at the North Mexican Leader’s Summit in Mexico City to work with our partners in Mexico and Canada to address the security of the homeland. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m proud to do it, alongside 250,000 incredibly dedicated and talented individuals in the Department of Homeland Security and I’m going to continue to do my work,” he said. “So, you have no intention of resigning?” the host said. “I do not. I’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’re going to do it,” the secretary said. “Are you prepared for the investigations?” the host said. “I am. I will be. And I’ll continue to do my work throughout them,” the secretary said.
January marks the middle of summer in Australia. Unfortunately, despite “health experts” hoping that Covid is a seasonal disease and would go away in summer, Australia is in the middle of yet another wave of Covid. New South Wales, one of the Australian states, publishes “weekly surveillance reports.” Compared to November, COVID hospitalizations more than tripled, according to the latest report. Here’s the strange part: the unvaccinated comprise exactly ZERO out of 1,779 hospitalized people. If we are to believe that so many unvaccinated people die of Covid without ever being hospitalized (a phenomenon seen only in NSW and not anywhere in the world), only 6% of deaths in NSW are unvaccinated.
94% of deaths are in vaccinated people, but only 84.3% of all Australians are vaccinated. NSW health authorities want us to believe that unvaccinated people die of Covid without being hospitalized before dying! While people certainly do die without being hospitalized, the pattern I compiled from recent reports is odd.
The table shows that out of 27 dead unvaccinated people, only four were hospitalized before death. Not sure about you, but to me, this isn’t easy to accept. Are they counting any deaths with “unknown” status as unvaccinated to pad their numbers? I looked at persons over 16 in NSW and compiled hospitalization data (with known status) and percentages of the population with the respective number of doses.
While some of this is explained by age affecting the number of vaccines received, the NSW data shows the utter failure of Covid vaccines. A year ago, NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said at 2:12: There is no question that we will NOT get out of this pandemic without a very substantial portion of our population being vaccinated. Now this “substantial portion,” sadly, is quite sick as Brad is nearing his retirement – while no unvaccinated people are in NSW’s hospitals. NSW’s reports became so inconvenient for COVID vaccine promoters that NSW decided to stop reporting hospitalizations and deaths by vaccine status.
While the official data from China reports mild disease and low mortalities surrounding the latest COVID-19 outbreaks, Chinese social media is awash with reports of “white lung,” a form of pneumonia often seen in moderate to severe disease. Anecdotal accounts of deaths after infections, and overwhelmed hospitals and morgues, have flooded Weibo and Chinese short-form video platforms. Pulmonary critical care specialist Dr. Joseph Varon from Baylor University expressed his perplexity at the white-lung reports on Chinese social media. “It doesn’t make sense,” he said, referring to the official reports from China that state the dominant circulating strains as BA.5.2 and BF.7, both Omicron variants that cause mild disease.
Omicron in general, “[doesn’t] give you white lungs,” he argued. “Those images [on social media] suggest that you’re dealing with something very similar to Delta.” Whiteness in Computed Tomography (CT) scans is a telling sign of severe disease. “The whiter the lungs are, the more chances of dying you have,” said Varon, referring to a study he co-authored on disease prognosis. Omicron’s different surface markers make the variant more capable of infecting the upper airways rather than causing inflammation and pneumonia in the lungs. Pneumonia is more likely seen in patients infected with Omicron if they are old and severely immunocompromised.
The Swiss National Bank posted an annual loss of 132 billion Swiss francs ($143 billion) in 2022, it said on Monday, the biggest in its 115-year history as falling stock and fixed-income markets hit the value of its share and bond portfolio. A strengthening Swiss franc also had a negative impact. Monday’s provisional figure, which marked a reverse from a 26 billion franc profit in 2021, was far bigger than the previous record loss of 23 billion francs chalked up in 2015. It is equivalent to slightly more than the annual GDP of Morocco. The SNB will release detailed annual figures on March 6. It made a loss of 131 billion francs from its foreign currency positions – the more than 800 billion francs in stocks and bonds it bought during a long campaign to weaken the Swiss franc.
Global stock markets weakened and bond prices fell last year as central banks around the world, including the SNB, hiked interest rates to combat inflation. The strong Swiss franc – it rose above parity versus against the euro in July – led to exchange rate-related losses. The only positive was the SNB’s gold holdings which stood at 1,040 tonnes at the end of 2021 and gained 400 million francs in value during 2022. The 2022 loss meant the central bank will not make its usual payout to the Swiss central and regional governments, it said. Last year the SNB paid out 6 billion francs. Still, the loss is unlikely to have an impact on SNB policy. It hiked interest rates three times in 2022 as Chairman Thomas Jordan moved to stem high Swiss inflation, analysts said.
In 2012, John Unger was captured floating his dog to sleep in Lake Superior. His dog had developed arthritis & had weeks to live. John responded by taking 'Schoep' to the water every night to ease the pain in his final days. pic.twitter.com/ni4q4cgqky
"The mass vaccination program is by far the largest and the most precisely targeted gain-of-function experiment ever conducted in vivo … driving the virus in a very targeted way … that will end as a bio-weapon of mass destruction"
Passing through Austin, Texas, the other night, we had drinks with a distinguished observer of global affairs and took the opportunity to ask how he thought the war in Ukraine would conclude. It is a common question these days. While no answer can be definitive, it is always interesting to discover what wise heads see out front. “Either Russia prevails on its terms,” came the answer, “or there is a nuclear exchange.” I do not think this stark assessment would have necessarily held up even a month ago. I may not have agreed with it, in any case. But the war has escalated markedly over the past week or two. And our Austin companion’s either/or prediction seems now to be the terrible truth of new circumstances. There are numerous indications that Russia is preparing to launch a major offensive in coming weeks or months.
With Volodymyr Zelensky’s circus-like visit to Washington last week, the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress have drastically, recklessly increased their investment in the Ukrainian president’s regime — a good-money-after-bad judgment if ever there was one. This now shakes out as a war between rhetoric and reality. And the former, a war waged with immense volumes of Western weaponry in defense of ideological bombast, is far more dangerous than the latter, a war waged on the ground with clearly defined objectives. As John Mearsheimer and Jack Matlock, two astute students of this conflict, have argued, neither side can afford to lose in Ukraine. But what is at stake for Russia and the West — Ukraine being the latter’s proxy — is very different.
A Russian defeat in Ukraine would be a direct threat to its security, sovereignty, and altogether its survival. These are legitimate causes. What people would not defend themselves against such a threat — especially given Washington’s long record of subterfuge in nations, not least the Russian Federation, that insist on their independence. The Biden administration’s rhetoric since the Ukraine crisis sharpened prior to the outbreak of hostilities in February has cast this conflict as a near-cosmic confrontation between liberalism and authoritarianism. I do not see that this is very different from Bush II’s biblical baloney about Gog and Magog as it prepared to invade Iraq, or Mike Pompeo’s unhinged end-times talk when he was whipping up war fever against Russia and China while serving as Donald Trump’s secretary of state.
This irresponsible rhetoric has painted every breathing, walking-around American into a corner from which the only escape is capitulation. That is why it is dangerous. Russia can win battles and wage extensive artillery and rocket campaigns and remain open to negotiation at any opportunity conditions present. Putin made this point clear once again on Sunday. It is difficult to see, by contrast, how our addled president can find his way to talks given how he and the third-rate neoconservatives who control his foreign policies have cast this conflict. And it is too easy to imagine these people reaching for the nuclear buttons once their follies become evident.
“..an all-out nuclear exchange would send enough dust in the air to block sunlight resulting in “a period of chaos and violence, during which most of the surviving world population would die from hunger.”
A Swedish group that assesses catastrophic risks warned in its annual report this year that the risk of nuclear weapons use is higher today than at any point since the US dropped nuclear weapons on Japan in 1945, AFP reported on Tuesday. Kennette Benedict, an advisor to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists who led the report for the Global Challenges Foundation, said the risk of nuclear war was greater than during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The report warned that an all-out nuclear exchange would send enough dust in the air to block sunlight resulting in “a period of chaos and violence, during which most of the surviving world population would die from hunger.”
President Biden acknowledged the risk back in October when he said the chances of nuclear “armageddon” are higher today than at any point since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Despite his recognition of the danger of his policy of supporting Ukraine against Russia, Biden continues to escalate US involvement in the war, and there is no end in sight to the fighting. Ukraine’s war effort is entirely reliant on Western support, and the US is not just sending weapons but also providing training, intelligence, and other kinds of targeting support. According to recent media reports, the Pentagon now tacitly backs Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory, and the CIA is directing sabotage operations inside Russia.
Russian officials have made clear that they believe they are not just fighting Ukrainian forces in the war but also the US and NATO. This means Russia has the pretext to launch strikes on the US and NATO, although there’s no sign that such a decision has been made. If Russia eventually chooses to retaliate by using conventional weapons against NATO, the conflict could quickly spiral into nuclear war. If Moscow decides to use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, most experts believe it would lead to a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia.
Ukraine’s recently liberated southern city of Kherson suffered intense mortar and artillery attacks from Russian forces across the Dnipro river, while the Kremlin rejected a Ukrainian peace plan, demanding that Kyiv accept its annexation of four regions. Kherson has remained under bombardment from Russian forces which had retreated to the east bank of the river when the city was retaken in a major victory for Ukraine last month. On Wednesday, the shelling hit the maternity wing of a hospital, though no-one was hurt, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s deputy chief of staff. Staff and patients were moved to a shelter, Tymoshenko said in a post on Telegram. “It was frightening … the explosions began abruptly, the window handle started to tear off … oh, my hands are still shaking,” Olha Prysidko, a new mother, said. “When we came to the basement, the shelling wasn’t over. Not for a minute.”
On Wednesday it was revealed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government is prepping to participate in January’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, and that the Ukrainian leader is in talks with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink regarding rebuilding efforts following the war with Russia. According to Bloomberg, Zelensky said in an evening address to the nation, “Specialists of this company are already helping Ukraine to structure the fund for the reconstruction of our state.” Zelensky reportedly had a video call with Fink in September. He did not reveal whether he would be attending the WEF in person or virtually.
According to a Wednesday post on the Ukrainian President’s official website, Zelensky said, “In accordance with the preliminary agreements struck earlier this year between the Head of State and Larry Fink, the BlackRock team has been working for several months on a project to advise the Ukrainian government on how to structure the country’s reconstruction funds.” “Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Larry Fink agreed to focus in the near term on coordinating the efforts of all potential investors and participants in the reconstruction of our country, channeling investment into the most relevant and impactful sectors of the Ukrainian economy,” the post added. “During the conversation, it was emphasized that certain BlackRock leaders plan to visit Ukraine in the new year,” the post continued. “The President thanked Larry Fink for the work of the professional team that BlackRock has allocated to advise on structuring the reconstruction projects.”
No proposal that refuses to account for reality can pretend to aim for peace, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, responding to a question about Russia’s official position on a “peace plan” floated by the Ukrainian government. “No plan that ignores that reality can pretend to have peace in mind,” Peskov said. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s proposal, floated earlier this month, envisioned a UN-sponsored “Global Peace Summit” taking place in February 2023. According to Zelensky, the agenda would be based on his ten-point “peace formula,” which includes the withdrawal of Russian troops from all territories claimed by Ukraine, Moscow paying reparations, and holding war crimes trials for individuals that Kiev accuses of aggression.
Zelensky’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba brought up the proposal anew on Monday, insisting that Russia must face judgment by an “international court” before being allowed at the table. Moscow’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky dismissed Kuleba’s statement as “nonsense,” commenting that there can be no peace talks without Russia, while the actions of Ukraine’s government may result in such a meeting eventually taking place without their participation. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Kiev must recognize the status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye as parts of Russia as a prerequisite for any peace talks. In addition to the four regions, Moscow seeks to “prevent the creation and continuation of any threats to our security from Ukrainian territory,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Wednesday.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the 2014 ceasefire, brokered by Germany and France, to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” Moscow demands that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
“Russia will dare to use nuclear weapons if it is defeated,” Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto said in an interview with the local media, Report informs.He said that the use of tactical nuclear power is foreseen by Russia: “For us, it is inconceivable, but for Moscow, yes. But if Moscow understands that there is no return, it will go for it.” The minister assured that Rome will stand by Kyiv until the last Russian soldier leaves the sovereign lands of Ukraine: “We will help Ukraine to protect itself. Russia has crossed the border it should not have crossed.”
Boutique Ukrainian law firm T&M has launched an appalling new service allowing residents of Western European countries to “cleanse Europe of rashists,” a reference to the derogatory neologism used by officials in Kiev, which combines the words “Russian” and “fascist.” Titled “give in charge rashist” (apparently a bad translation of the Ukrainian title “turn in a rashist”), the webportal invites visitors who are “tired of potential invaders living near you” to “let us know and we will try to solve this issue in the legal field.” “We are a team of lawyers who decided to use legal methods to cleanse Europe of potential invaders,” the site explains. “No one will know who surrendered the rashist. It’s completely free. You pay nothing, but you get a bonus to karma. You are making a personal contribution to a peaceful future.”
Reporting a “possible aggressor” is said to be “easy.” Concerned citizens can easily use a form to anonymously submit the names and social media accounts of Russian citizens living in any European country, who may be “potentially dangerous” and a “carrier of propaganda and violence.” In return, the Lviv-based T&M “do everything to ensure that the relevant European authorities check the legality of such a person’s stay in Europe,” and “send a corresponding statement to the state authorities of the country in which the presence of a potentially dangerous rashist was reported.” The obvious desired end result is that the Russian in question will be arrested and deported, or perhaps even worse. A disclaimer at the bottom of the page states the service “is not intended to incite ethnic, racial, religious or other enmity,” and only serves to bring its stated targets “to justice.”
T&M has been operating in Lviv since 2014, specializing in sports law, road traffic accidents, IT and technology transfer, and corporate relations. “Give in charge rashist” is a sub-page of T&M’s main site and links back to it in its disclaimers section. “We do not collect your personal data in any way, and we use the personal data of rashists that you provide us exclusively for contacting state authorities,” it concludes. It is unknown if any “rashists” have been reported to authorities as a result of this abhorrent resource, or where they are located or what has happened to them if so. This is just the latest example of how a highly hostile environment for Russians is being created abroad, in which they are, regardless of their political leanings and beliefs, viewed as one and the same. The purpose is to ensure all Russians are falsely considered “the enemy within” by local citizens in their host countries, plotting misdeeds and wrongdoing in support of the Kremlin’s devilish plans for global domination.
Any business as usual with Russia is impossible in the near future due to the Ukraine conflict, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Tuesday. She also vowed that Berlin and its allies would intensify sanctions pressure against Moscow. Speaking to Romania’s Digi 24 TV Channel, the minister emphasized that “there can be no normal relations with this Russia” amid the fighting between Moscow and Kiev’s forces and the stand-off with the West. EU would prefer “a peaceful and democratic Russia that does not pose a threat to its neighbors,” Baerbock stated, adding that she harbors “no illusions” on the matter. “We are living in a different reality right now.” Against this backdrop, the minister noted that the West should be engaged in the “permanent strengthening of our common security in the face of Russia.”
According to Baerbock, as long as Moscow wages “the brutal war of aggression,” the West will gradually tighten its sanctions policy. However, she did not clarify what additional restrictions could be in the offing. She went on to add that Western capitals would support Ukraine “as long as necessary,” providing it with arms, as well as humanitarian and financial aid, because the nation “defends the freedom of Europe.” However, she struck a more cautious tone about Kiev’s aspirations to join the EU. While hailing the bloc’s decision to grant Ukraine candidate status in June as a “historic moment,” Baerbock admitted that “the road there will still be long and certainly sometimes difficult.” To pave the way for Kiev’ accession, Western countries are doing their best to help the nation harmonize its legal system with EU standards, she said.
Following the start of Russia’s military operation against Ukraine in late February, Germany has provided Ukraine with large amounts of weaponry and joined Western sanctions against Moscow. The restrictions targeted entire sectors of the Russian economy, particularly energy exports, while hundreds of senior officials were blacklisted, and about half of the nation’s foreign exchange reserves were frozen, a move that was denounced by Moscow as essentially “theft.” On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that the EU is waging a “hybrid war” against Moscow, arguing that Brussels’ policies have only hurt the interests of the bloc’s citizens while bringing its relations with Russia to their “lowest point.”
The January 6th special committee has formally withdrawn its subpoena of former President Donald Trump. “In light of the imminent end of our investigation, the Select Committee can no longer pursue the specific information covered by the subpoena,” wrote Rep. Bernie Thompson (D-MI) in a Wednesday night letter sent to Trump’s attorneys, which was obtained by CNN. “Therefore, through this letter, I hereby formally withdraw the subpoena issued to former President Trump, and notify you that he is no longer obligated to comply or produce records in response to said subpoena,” the letter continues.
Trump took a victory lap on Truth Social, writing: “Was just advised that the Unselect Committee of political Thugs has withdrawn the Subpoena of me concerning the January 6th Protest of the CROOKED 2020 Presidential Election. They probably did so because they knew I did nothing wrong, or they were about to lose in Court. Perhaps the FBI’s involvement in RIGGING the Election played into their decision. In any event, the Subpoena is DEAD!” As CNN notes, the committee has already dropped several subpoenas against other witnesses, and has wrapped up its investigation by referring Trump to the DOJ for potential criminal prosecution on four separate charges. The referrals, however, hold no legal weight.
Former President Donald J. Trump shared a campaign video to Truth Social providing a stern rebuke to the release of his 2015-2020 tax returns by the Democrat-led House Means and Ways Committee on Tuesday. He further called for the new Republican-led House to “immediately obtain the financial records of Joe Biden and his entire criminal enterprise.” The dramatic legal battle over the former president’s tax records ended in November when the United States Supreme Court declined to overturn an appellate court ruling that ordered Trump to hand over the records to Congress. The sole Republican candidate to announce for the 2024 presidential race denounced the move as “an outrageous abuse of power” from “radical Democrats” Friday.
“There is no legitimate legislative purpose for their action, and if you look at what they’ve done, it’s so sad for our country,” he said, after sharing the video with Breitbart. The former president called the action “unconstitutional.” “It’s nothing but another deranged political witch-hunt, which has been going on from the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower,” he added. “Although these tax returns contain relatively little information and not information that almost anybody would understand — they’re extremely complex — the radical Democrats’ behavior is a shame upon the U.S. Congress,” Trump added. He then called upon the House GOP to aggressively acquire Biden’s financial records, as reported by Breitbart:
“The new Republican House should immediately obtain the financial records of Joe Biden and his entire criminal enterprise because that’s exactly what it is. Biden is a corrupt politician who spent years selling out America all over the world, including to Communist China. Just take a look at his accounts, take a look at all of his homes, and take a look at what his son, Hunter, has contributed to the family. The American public deserves to know the truth. We should also get to the bottom line on how Biden, on a salary of a U.S. Senator, was able to buy one mansion after another, all these different locations. When I’m president, we will expose the Washington cartel, and we will Make America Great Again.”
Incoming Republican Chairman Rep. James Comer of the U.S. House Oversight Committee told CNN in November that Hunter Biden is expected to be subpoenaed about his father’s involvement in his business dealings overseas. Comer explicitly told reporters “This is an investigation of Joe Biden.” “This committee will evaluate whether this president is compromised or swayed by foreign dollars,” Comer added. He explained, as previously reported by Newsweek, that the investigation will have “evidence that the finances, credit cards, and bank accounts of Hunter and Joe Biden were co-mingled, if not shared.”
Elon Musk went on the Fauci attack on Wednesday, insinuating that the gain-of-function (GoF) work the doctor was advocating for was essentially bioweapon research. “‘Gain-of-function’ should be called ‘bioweapon’ research, as the function referred is death!” Musk tweeted. The Twitter CEO points to a Yahoo News article from last year that unearthed a paper that Fauci wrote a decade ago, where he argues that the benefits of GoF research outweigh the potential pandemic risk. GoF research consists of genetically altering an organism, such as a virus, in order to gain an increased understanding of its function, work that was taking place at the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. “In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?,” Fauci asks in his 2012 paper.
He goes on to say that GoF research is “important work,” clearly stating that the benefits “outweigh the risks.” Musk argues that “‘Gain-of-function’ in this context is just another way of saying ‘bioweapon.'” He also points out that Fauci’s wife, Christine Grady, is the head of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, where she is “the person who is supposed to make sure that Fauci behaves ethically.” There is mounting evidence pointing to the fact that the COVID-19 virus originated from a leak at the Wuhan lab, despite insistence from the government and from Fauci himself that this was not the case. It was revealed earlier this year that many scientists in Britain and the United States were more concerned about keeping “international harmony” than with opening the debate regarding the lab-leak theory.
The document explains that both the FDA and ATSDR have raised concerns about the negative effects of aluminum exposure in humans. Scientific studies have shown that small amounts of aluminum can interfere with cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system. Some of the most damaging effects of aluminum range from motor skill impairment to encephalopathy (altered mental state, personality changes, difficulty thinking, loss of memory, seizures, coma, and more). Studies have also shown that adverse effects of aluminum may not be restricted to neurological conditions.* A study referenced in the PIC document and published in Academic Pediatrics found that asthma occurred in 1 in 183 vaccinated children for every 1 mg (1,000 mcg) increase in aluminum exposure.
In the United States, up to 22 doses of aluminum-containing vaccines are administered to children, with 11 doses administered from birth to 6 months of age. “Overexposure to aluminum may lead to significant harm,” said Dr. Shira Miller, founder and president of Physicians for Informed Consent. “In California, where PIC is headquartered, since Senate Bill 277 (SB 277) was enacted in 2015, numerous doses of aluminum-containing vaccines are mandated for public and private K-12 school attendance — with no exceptions for religious or personal belief exemptions. PIC asserts that vaccine mandates are unscientific and unethical and a threat to public health. SB 277, and any other law that coerces vaccination, needs to be repealed.”
After the Florida Supreme Court accepted Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate mRNA COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, “health experts” fear the move “betrays decades of established procedure designed to ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, and only serves to stoke further immunization fears.” Brian Castrucci, president and CEO of public health group the de Beaumont Foundation, told The Hill that the governor “appears to be focused on creating fear around vaccines that have been shown to be safe and effective.” “These vaccines have been tested and scrutinized more than any other vaccine, and they continue to save lives. Vaccine safety is not a partisan issue and attempting to make it one puts lives at risk,” he went on.
At a roundtable earlier in December, DeSantis was joined by Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and other health experts telling their personal stories and experience dealing with adverse effects of the mRNA vaccines. Doctors warned that more research should have been conducted to weigh the risk and benefits for certain age groups and between men and women. For example, Ladapo’s Department of Health warn of a higher risk of cardiac death particularly among young males. “It is against the law to mislead and to misrepresent, particularly when you’re talking about the efficacy of a drug,” DeSantis said of the mRNA vaccine manufacturers. The petition to the Court argued it is “likely” the companies and those who benefit from the vaccines made misleading claims to consumers “for financial gain.”
It specifically points out Moderna and Pfizer’s claims about preventing the COVID-19 disease with “94.1% efficacy” and “91.3% vaccine efficacy.” Earlier in December, DeSantis also announced that a public health integrity committee will be established. The board will advise the public and provide oversight moving forward of the public health establishment. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at Johns Hopkins University and former principal deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told The Hill that DeSantis’ request is not a good example of a “legitimate avenue” for scrutinizing vaccine recommendations.
“This is turning a matter of health and science into a political wedge issue, with the likely consequence that many people will be misled into placing themselves and their families at risk of serious illness and death,” he said. At the roundtable, DeSantis slammed ‘experts’ for dismissing dissenting opinions. “Part of the reason I think it’s been a bad response is because from the very beginning, you had a lot of arrogance, that it’s our way or the highway, and anyone that offers any type of a dissenting opinion, and they were censoring from day one, people that would write anti lock down things in March of 2020, April 2020, some of those would get taken down off some of these big tech platforms,” DeSantis said. “Anything [the CDC will] put out, you just assume, at this point, that it’s not worth the paper that it’s printed on.”
A recent paper published in Science confirms what many of us have been saying for well over a year now: repeated injections with modified mRNA encapsulated by LNPs messes up your immune system. It messes it up in a specific way. We have evidence from this work that the fibrosis and organ destruction we are witnessing in countless numbers of folks post COVID injection, is due to the shots and more specifically, likely due to the eventual class switching to IgG4 and subsequent prevalence (perhaps dominance) of this antibody subclass. Just so that you know, the typical relative percentages of the four subclasses of IgG in the blood are the following: 60-70% IgG1, 20-30% IgG2, 5-8% IgG3, 1-3% IgG4. So if IgG4 percentages are much higher than 1-3% in the blood, then something is out of the ordinary.
It may even manifest pathologically. To reiterate from my last Substack article, the authors found a 48,075% increase (from 0.04% – 19.27%) in spike-specific IgG4 antibodies in test subjects between the 2nd and 3rd injections of the Comirnaty product, so I suppose this would translate to a presence of IgG4 in the blood at levels higher than 1-3%. Probably closer to 20%? In any case, the shift in IgG subclass ratios is notable following the 2nd and 3rd injections. Before I dig into IgG4RD, I want to make something clear. The role of IgG4 as a ‘tolerizing antibody’ is inherently linked to T regulatory cells (Tregs) – the immune ‘tolerancers’: IgG4 is not directly responsible for tolerization. This means that IgG4 is not so much the tolerizer, as it is a medium for tolerization via Tregs.
I think calling it a tolerizing antibody is appropriate. I have provided background on Tregs in a previous Substack, but I will give a very quick summary here of their role in immunological tolerance – and also what immunological tolerance is! Immunological tolerance is the process of making sure that your immune system doesn’t turn on you. Imagine if you didn’t have a system in place to ensure that your immune cells only recognized foreign antigens as bag guys? Imagine what would happen, therefore, if your immune cells recognized your antigens as bad guys? Maybe… autoimmunity? An antigen (Ag) is a molecule that can bind to a specific antibody or T-cell receptor. Antigens can be proteins, peptides (amino acid chains), polysaccharides (chains of monosaccharides/simple sugars), lipids, or nucleic acids.
Throwback to subprime. John Bird (smaller of the two Johns) died aged 86 yesterday.
Artist Guillaume Legros paints on grass and mostly on hill & mountain sides: he has to wait for sunny days, but when this happens, slopes become immense artworks. And his paint is safe for the environment
Representative Adam Kinzinger said on Monday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) could take out Russia in only three days. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long taken issue with NATO—a coalition of Western governments including much of Europe and the United States—raising concerns about the West’s expanding sphere of influence in the months leading up to the Ukraine war. Specifically, the Russian leader opposed the possibility of Ukraine joining the organization. Experts have raised concern the Russia-Ukraine war could escalate into a larger conflict with NATO in the nearly 10 months since Putin launched his “special military operation” on the Eastern European country. Should Putin attack a NATO member state, that country can invoke Article 5 of the NATO charter, which states that “an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all allies,” essentially meaning a military response from all members could be initiated.
Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, weighed in on what he believes a NATO-Russia conflict would be like, responding to a tweet questioning why NATO hasn’t defeated Russia yet. “I’m hoping this is a joke. NATO vs Russia would be like a real three day operation,” the GOP lawmaker wrote. Kinzinger has been vocal supporter of Ukraine throughout the conflict. In April, he called out members of his own party for focusing on attacking Disney despite the “genocide going on in Ukraine.””There is a genocide going on in Ukraine and the outrage is over what’s happening at Walt Disney,” Kinzinger said at the time, referring to the battle between Disney and Florida Republicans over the state’s anti-LGBTQ law. “You guys deserve way better.”
While many NATO member states have provided Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid throughout the conflict, they have not become directly involved. The international community largely believes sending their troops into Ukraine would likely lead to an escalation of the war. However, since Ukraine is not a NATO member, Russia’s invasion would not draw a NATO military response.In November, concerns about NATO’s involvement grew after a missile struck a village in Poland—which is part of the coalition—killing two individuals. Reports at first emerged that the missile was produced by Russia, but authorities ultimately ruled that it was accidentally fired by Ukraine in an effort to knock out Russian missile strikes on civilian infrastructure.
Giving Kiev all the weapons it wants might break NATO, US President Joe Biden said in a joint appearance with his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky in Washington on Wednesday. Biden added he was not worried the delivery of Patriot missiles to Ukraine might escalate tensions with Russia – as Moscow has warned – because they’re “defensive” weapons. Biden and Zelensky answered the questions of four hand-picked reporters after their meeting at the White House. The last one came from a Ukrainian journalist who asked why the West simply doesn’t give Ukraine “all capabilities it needs to liberate all territories.” “His answer is yes,” the US president deadpanned, pointing to Zelensky, who replied “I agree,” to laughter from the gathered press.
Biden then pointed out that the US “dedicated an enormous amount of security assistance to Ukraine” even before hostilities escalated in February – though in his prepared remarks he called the Russian military operation “unprovoked and unjustified.” “We’ve given Ukraine what they needed when they needed to defend themselves,” the US leader insisted, listing hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, and ammunition that Washington and NATO have handed over to Kiev. Doing more would have “the prospect of breaking up NATO, breaking up Europe, and the rest of the world,” Biden said, noting that he’s spent “hundreds” of hours persuading US partners around the globe to help Ukraine, but “they are not looking for a Third World War” by fighting Russia directly. “But I’ve said too much.”
Moscow is confronted by the military capabilities of “almost all major NATO countries,” the Russian president has said Moscow is well aware of the role that NATO is playing in the Ukraine conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. He urged senior defense officials to carefully analyze the capabilities provided to Kiev by the US-led military bloc. Speaking at an extended meeting of the Board of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Putin said that Russia is facing the “military potential and capabilities of almost all major NATO countries” in Ukraine, adding that this will not stop Moscow from achieving its objectives. He went on to say that “all information about NATO forces [and] the means which are actively being used against us during the special military operation, are well known,” and that all of this should be “carefully analyzed and used” in order to increase the combat capabilities of Russia’s armed forces and security agencies.
He also said that the Russian forces have acquired a great deal of combat experience during the conflict. He called on senior defense officials to “analyze and systemize it in a timely manner” in order to share what has been learned with military personnel. Earlier this month, Putin blasted the West’s policies of shipping weapons to Ukraine and accused the West of fueling “genocide and terror in the Donbass,” saying it is turning Ukraine into “a colony” and “is cynically using the Ukrainian people as cannon fodder, a battering ram against Russia.” NATO has claimed that while it supports Ukraine militarily, it is not a party to the conflict. In early December, however, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington and NATO of direct involvement in the conflict.
Russia’s first new silo-based Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) will be deployed into service next year, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of Russia’s senior defense officials with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. “Successful launches of the new heavy Sarmat missile system during state-run tests made it possible to begin work on its deployment,” Shoigu said. In total, some 22 new strategic nuclear missile launchers, including the silo-based Sarmat, as well as the Avangard and Yars systems, are set to be deployed to the country’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) next year, the minister revealed. Putin said that efforts would continue to improve the country’s SMF, adding that “the share of modern types of weapons in [Russia’s] strategic nuclear forces has exceeded 91% this year.”
“We will continue to maintain and improve the combat-readiness of our nuclear triad. This is the main guarantee for preserving our sovereignty and territorial integrity, strategic parity, and the general balance of power in the world,” he stated. The liquid-fueled heavy ICBM was first successfully test-launched back in April. The new system is ultimately set to replace the aging silo-based R-36M2 Voevoda missiles, the backbone of Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrence. Speaking with Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), the official newspaper of the Russian military, the head of Russia’s SMF, General Sergey Karakaev, said the new missile boasts vastly larger capabilities than its predecessor.“The missile system Sarmat has a wide range of capabilities for deploying various types of combat payloads and is based on principles that assure guaranteed penetration of any anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, both now and in the future,” Karakaev told the newspaper last week.
In its first reaction to widespread reports that the White House is moving forward with plans to send Patriot anti-air missile defense systems to Ukraine, the Kremlin said the move will only serve to aggravate the conflict and warned against it, while Putin in new remarks teased more advanced Russian weapons to be deployed, including hypersonic missiles. “Weapon supplies (by the U.S.) continue, the assortment of supplied weapons is expanding. All this, of course, leads to an aggravation of the conflict and, in fact, does not bode well for Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. A formal White House announcement confirming that Ukraine will get Patriots is expected Wednesday while Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is meeting with President Biden to discuss the war, and ahead of Zelensky’s expected 7:30pm EST address to Congress.
Ukraine sees the more advanced anti-air defenses as vital if it hopes to survive the now constant barrage of strikes targeting its national energy infrastructure, which has left millions without power amid freezing temperatures. At one point early this week, some 80% of the Kyiv region was without power, as rolling emergency blackouts continue nation-wide. The Patriot missiles could be a game-changer given they have a maximum range of some 100 miles and are capable of downing ballistic missiles. Zelensky has long demanded that the US and NATO help “close the skies” over Ukraine. Putin for his part in Wednesday statements vowed to see the military operation through until all goals are achieved in Ukraine, also pledging to continue giving the military anything it needs.
Just as headlines of the White House approving Patriots for Ukraine spread internationally, he indicated readiness to deploy the hypersonic Sarmat missile to Ukraine: “He also said Russia needed to take special note of the importance of drones in the 10-month conflict and said Russia’s hypersonic Sarmat missile – dubbed “Satan II” would be ready for deployment in the near future.” For Kiev, Putin’s new threats will only underscore the need to keep the anti-air defenses and longer range missiles flowing from the West. As a Wednesday Reuters headlines reads, Mr. Zelensky is coming to Washington seeking “weapons, weapons, and more weapons.” Meanwhile, given Zelensky’s dramatic D.C. visit is happening during the holidays, mainstream journalists and pundits are unironically encouraging more “Christmas presents” for the Ukrainians…
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu pointed to the presence of NATO staff officers and other specialists on the front lines in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, on top of almost $100 billion worth of pledged weapons and supplies from the military bloc countries.“Russia’s armed forces are presently facing allied forces of the West,” Shoigu said on Wednesday at a meeting of the top military commanders in Moscow. “The US and its allies supply the Kiev regime with weapons, train its soldiers, provide intelligence, dispatch advisers and mercenaries, and wage an information and sanctions war against us.” Shoigu said NATO countries have so far expended more than $97 billion on weapons deliveries, in order to make up for what he described as “considerable losses” inflicted on the Ukrainian military by Russian forces.
NATO “staff officers, artillery personnel and other specialists are present in the zone of combat operations,” the defense minister added. More than 500 satellites are working to provide intelligence to the Ukrainian military, of which only 70 are purely military and the rest are dual-purpose, according to Shoigu. Multiple Western officials, from US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on down, have said that they are backing Ukraine in order to weaken Russia and that Moscow must not be allowed to win – while insisting they are not a party to the conflict. The US military alone has committed $20 billion in “security assistance” to Kiev since February.
While the initial weapons shipments included small arms and portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, NATO countries have since sent Ukraine tanks, fighter jets, drones, rocket and tube artillery, as well as more complex air defenses. Russia has repeatedly warned the US and its allies that such shipments could lead to a direct confrontation between Moscow and NATO, and accused the West of prolonging the conflict and causing needless deaths in Ukraine.
Several unnamed European officials have privately acknowledged doubts over whether Russia is to blame for the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, according to the Washington Post. The two gas conduits crossing the Baltic Sea were ruptured by several powerful explosions in late September. In a piece published Wednesday, the paper quoted an anonymous European official as saying, “there is no evidence at this point that Russia was behind the sabotage.” The article said that assessment was shared by 23 diplomatic and intelligence personnel from nine European nations, whom the Post interviewed in recent weeks. Several of the sources expressed the view that Russia was unlikely to be behind the explosions.
Others, however, merely argued that it would likely be impossible to assign responsibility to any one country beyond a reasonable doubt, the paper reported. Some officials cited in the article referred to alleged interceptions of communications between Russian officials and military forces, obtained by US intelligence. According to them, Washington has so far not seen anything indicating Russia’s involvement. Following the attacks on the two pipelines, only one of which was operational, Western governments were quick to point the finger at Moscow. Just four days after the incident, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the BBC that it “seem[ed]” Russia was to blame.German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, in turn, said in early October that “Russia saying ‘It wasn’t us’ is like saying ‘I’m not the thief.’”
The Ukrainian government described the explosions as a “terrorist attack planned by Russia.” On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opined that “no one in the European Union is apparently going to objectively investigate” the blasts.In mid-October, the ministry released a statement saying that German, Swedish and Danish authorities had refused to let Moscow participate in their probes despite the latter’s requests. The statement said the Kremlin would view the refusals as proof that the countries “have something to hide or [that] they are covering up the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks.” It also warned that Moscow would “of course, not recognize any ‘pseudo-results’ of such an investigation, unless Russian experts take part in it.”
At the time of the incident, neither Nord Stream 1, nor Nord Stream 2 were pumping Russian gas to Europe. Exports via the older conduit had been halted by Moscow in early September, citing Western sanctions as the reason. Nord Stream 2, though technically ready, had failed to receive permission from German authorities and had never been in operation. While gas supplies from Russia to Europe have dwindled significantly since February 24, several pipelines crossing Belarus, Ukraine and the Black Sea remain in operation.
Alastair Crooke is a sage whose thoughtful writings pack vast breadth and depth of understanding of history and geopolitics. His analysis is free of the slightest hint of bias or narrow partisanship – a fact which seems almost incredible given that he worked for the UK Government for a couple of decades. In fact, the sage and his writings testify to a constant and priceless element of western tradition – namely, independent thought. It was therefore as a surprising and rare slip of the pen, that one read the following paragraph in an article written very recently by him: “But … can the West, which has been so deep in denial about both the incredible economic and military transformation that has occurred in Russia since 1998, and in such vehement denial too, of the capacities of the Russian military, simply slide effortlessly into another narrative? Yes, easily. The neocons never look back; they never apologise. They move to the next project …”
Reference in the first sentence is made to “the West”. One has to assume that the reference is to the ruling dispensation – or shall we say regime? – in certain countries, because clearly not every human being in these countries has been in denial about events in Russia since 1998. Later in the paragraph, however, the phrase used in place of “the West” – rather unconsciously, one must assume – is “the neocons”. Is that substitution not hugely surprising? The two phrases do not – cannot! – represent the same slice of human life! Equation of the two was surely unintentional. William Shakespeare, James Clerk Maxwell, Mark Twain, William James – these are just a few illustrious references from the English speaking regions of “the West”. These and many others – including of course Alastair Crooke himself – have not the remotest connection to “the neocons” view of life.
Possibly, “the neocons” are the newest version of the crazies who have always attempted to lord it over “the West” – as indeed over much of the world. Such people are always at the game of deceptively and cruelly acquiring raw power; but surely such wannabe power grabbers do not equate to “the West”. Indeed, that the two were thus equated – even if unintentionally – also proves that “the West” is no longer a meaningful phrase, if indeed it ever was. Of course “the East” and “the South” have already figured that out – as we sense clearly in the winds of change blowing through global political alignments.
Crooke also writes that the neocons do not look back or apologize. No power hungry crazies ever do that. Never. It is as if they drive a vehicle with faulty brakes, no reverse gear and a cracked and dirty windshield. Their judgement clouded by limitless greed for power, they lack understanding of the progress which in fact happens not only in Russia, but all over the world. Their every “next project” is therefore doomed to end worse than the one before. A crash is therefore inevitable, even though it will be denied by ideologues during – and even after – it occurs. What the rest of mankind see clearly as a crash will be written up as a victory, or a major engineered paradigm shift, or some such nonsense.
Few large countries laud their commitment to liberal values like democracy, human rights and the rule of law as much as the world’s fourth-largest economy does, but the first year of the new German government has been a “double-whammy” of double standards, Report informs via Euractiv. “We want to increase the strategic sovereignty of the European Union by making our foreign, security, development and trade policies value-based and based on common European interests,” reads the founding treaty of the incoming government from November 2021. Ukraine quickly felt what the new value-based German government policy amounted to. As more than 100,000 Russian soldiers amassed at their borders and an invasion was imminent, Berlin saw it fit to equip Ukraine with 5,000 helmets while blocking the Baltic states from sending Soviet-era artillery.
Lest we forget, as Russian soldiers were camped out miles from the border, leading German politicians continued to fiercely defend Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia throughout January 2022 – a pipeline designed to bypass Ukraine, deprive the country of gas transit income and further increase Germany’s dependence on the Kremlin. One “should not drag Nord Stream 2 into this conflict”, explained Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht at the time. Aside from Ukraine, when Russia began turning off the gas tap, Berlin handed its energy companies €15 billion to go on a gas shopping spree – resulting in an unprecedented spike in gas prices. In August, Germany’s panicked buying to fill its gas stores sent the price to a level twenty times higher than in January 2021.
Elon Musk on Tuesday night said that Twitter was on course for $3 billion of negative cashflow before he stepped in and nuked more than half the company. Twitter itself, meanwhile, is operating better than ever – with a significant reduction in bots, and increases in speed. “That is why I spent the last five weeks cutting costs like crazy,” Musk said during a Twitter Spaces event. “This company is like, basically, you are in a plane that is headed toward the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.” Since Musk acquired Twitter in October for $44 billion – financing the deal in part with nearly $13 billion of debt and interest payments of $1.5 billion per year, he has set out on a mission to cut costs and revamp the social media giant, which he said was losing $4 million per day as of early November, and was at risk of going bankrupt.
Roughly 5,000 of the company’s 7,500 employees have been fired, with the remaining workers agreeing to a “hardcore” work ethic, Bloomberg reports. Over the weekend Musk conducted a straw poll on Twitter asking people if they wanted him to resign as the company’s top executive. About 58% of respondents said yes and Musk has since confirmed he’d step down once an appropriate replacement was found, for a job he’s said anyone would be “foolish” to take. “In the Twitter Spaces event, Musk painted a dire picture of the company’s finances but suggested that he has managed to avert a total meltdown. -Bloomberg”.
In 2021, Twitter’s costs totaled nearly $5.6 billion, while Musk said the company was on track to spend around $5 billion next year. When combined with the acquisition-tied debt repayments, Twitter would be looking at around $6.5 billion in 2023 expenses had costs not been slashed so drastically. According to Musk, Twitter is now on track to bring in around $3 billion in revenue in 2023 – roughly $2 billion less than the $5.1 billion reported at the end of 2021, while the company has $1 billion in cash on its balance sheet. “I now think that Twitter will, in fact, be okay next year,” Musk continued during the Spaces event, adding that he thinks the company will “roughly” break-even, but that “this will be difficult.”
Correspondence between the FBI and Twitter staff revealing how the agency pressured the platform to suppress certain narratives is not evidence of wrongdoing, the Bureau said in a statement on Wednesday, blaming “conspiracy theorists” for presenting their activities in a nefarious light. The messages turned over to journalists by Twitter CEO Elon Musk over the last two weeks “show nothing more than examples of our tradition, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements,” the FBI statement claims. “It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency,” the statement concludes, reminding its critics that “the men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public.”
Messages appearing to show FBI agents pressuring Twitter staff to censor legitimate stories like the Hunter Biden ‘laptop from hell’ as foreign influence operations were merely innocuous examples of the FBI “provid[ing] critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers,” the Bureau argued. Internal communications among platform employees suggest otherwise.In messages published as part of the Twitter Files, staff repeatedly point out there is “no evidence” to substantiate FBI claims of foreign disinformation and express discomfort with the bureau’s meddling. Twitter’s former policy director observed a “sustained (if uncoordinated) effort by the IC [intelligence community]” to push Twitter to share more information against its own policies, while the FBI ultimately paid Twitter more than $3.5 million in taxpayer dollars to prioritize its censorship requests.
The White House has thus far refused to comment on the Twitter Files, referring reporters to the FBI, and the media establishment have largely ignored them. However, former Republican congressman Ron Paul argued they are proof the FBI colluded with Twitter to deprive Americans of their constitutional right to free speech. A lawsuit filed earlier this year by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana alleges that the FBI was not alone, and that officials from no fewer than 12 government agencies met with representatives of Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech firms weekly to decide which narratives and users to censor, with topics ranging from alleged election interference to Covid-19.
A corruption scandal that led to the arrest of former European Parliament VP Eva Kaili for allegedly taking bribes from Qatar is wrecking the bloc’s credibility at a time when it is already vulnerable, European Council President Charles Michel told Politico on Wednesday.The revelation that MEPs reportedly engaged in illicit lobbying on behalf of the Qatari government in exchange for millions of euros in cash and gifts is “dramatic and damaging for the credibility of the European Union,” Michel said, lamenting that the scandal was “making it even more difficult for us to focus on the economic and energy crises that impact the lives of European citizens right now.”
Michel suggested the bloc must act in order to prevent a repeat performance. “We first need to learn lessons from this and come up with a package of measures to avoid such things – to prevent corruption in the future,” he told Politico, complaining that the aura of impropriety would make his job more difficult.Kaili and her husband Francesco Giorgi were arrested earlier this month by Belgian law enforcement, along with former Italian MEP Antonio Panzeri, whom Giorgi identified as the leader of the bribery ring, and a fourth individual. All have been charged with “participation in a criminal organization, money laundering, and corruption.”
Belgian authorities seized more than €1.5 million in assets from properties linked to the four suspects. As many as 60 current and former MEPs may have been involved in the scheme, according to Italian media reports, with most hailing from the Socialists & Reformers parliamentary group.The European Parliament has temporarily halted all lobbying work related to Qatar, and recently voted to deny representatives from the Gulf state access to its premises while condemning the alleged “foreign interference” in its business. Doha has denied any wrongdoing and warned that the parliament’s “discriminatory” decision could disrupt the supply of energy to the continent, which has recently ramped up its consumption of Qatari natural gas to replace embargoed supply from Russia.
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer testified Wednesday during GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s election challenge trial that the individual polling locations did not tally the total number of votes cast in the midterm elections, a seeming violation of state law. Lake attorney Bryan Blehm asked Richer whether the county knew on Election Day the total number of ballots submitted by voters. One of the allegations in Lake’s lawsuit is that the total number of ballots the county reported in the election increased by nearly 25,000 from Nov. 9, the day after the contest, to Nov. 11. That number is significant because it exceeds Katie Hobbs’ approximately 17,000-vote margin of victory over Lake. “On Election Day it would’ve been easy for you to figure out how many ballots you received,” Blehm said to Richer.
He responded, “Well, we had to get them all in and it was quite a process throughout the night.” Blehm interjected, “You can look at the forms and add the numbers. Correct?” “They’re not counted at the individual loading locations,” Richer said. “They are counted when they get back to MCTEC and then they are recounted at Runbeck.” MCTEC is the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in downtown Phoenix and Runbeck is the company the county uses to process and scan ballots. “Does anybody know when those ballots leave the voting centers how many are in the bins?” Blehm asked. “When the early ballots leave the voting centers, no, they are not counted at the voting centers,” Richer answered.
Blehm followed up, “Nobody knows how many [ballots] are in the bins when they arrive at MCTEC. Correct?” “Correct,” Richer said. The Arizona Republican Party tweeted in response, “Maricopa County admits they do NOT count ballots at vote centers (which is required by State Law).” The 2019 Arizona elections procedures manual, which cites state law, requires an audit at each voting location of the total number of ballots cast. The results must be recorded in an official ballot report.The audit even requires accounting for the total amount of ballot stock paper on-site. The ballots cast must then be placed in sealed boxes.
Two weeks ago, when amid reports that the former CEO of Alameda Capital (which as a reminder was ground zero of the FTX implosion after it blew up $8 billion in FTX client funds on trades gone horribly wrong), Caroline Ellison, was spotted in New York just after retaining Clinton superlawyer, Jamie Gorelick of Wilmer Hale, which as readers may recall was the former No. 2 ranking member in the Clinton Justice Department, and in a recent interview, she referred to current AG Merrick Garland as her “wingman”, we asked if Caroline had rolled on Sam Bankman-Fried, who was also her former lover. Fast forward to today when we just got confirmation that Caroline Ellison has fucked Bankman-Fried one final time by indeed rolling on him, and “turning states” in the criminal prosecution of the corpulent “Hairy Plotter”, who commingled and stole the client money in his FTX exchange to fund a series of terrible crypto bets at his personal hedge fund Alameda, fund tens of millions in donations to democrats and buy up prestigious real estate for himself and his “altruistic” progressive lawyer parents.
According to a Manhattan Federal prosecutor, two of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s closest associates have pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to co-operate with US authorities investigating the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange. In other words, they took a plea deal to avoid even more prison time in exchange for serving SBF on a silver platter to the Feds. Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the guilty pleas and criminal charges against Caroline Ellison and Zixiao “Gary” Wang, the low profile co-founder of FTX, in a short video statement. His office had brought eight charges against Bankman-Fried last week.
Ellison pleaded guilty to seven counts, including wire and securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carry a maximum sentence of 110 years in prison, while Wang pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud, with a maximum 50-year sentence. The documents said prosecutors would not oppose bail requests from both defendants under certain conditions, including posting a bond and handing in their travel documents, as they awaited formal sentencing. Concurrently, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed civil lawsuits against the 28-year-old Ellison and 29-year-old Wang, accusing them of fraud.
“As part of their deception, we allege that Caroline Ellison and Sam Bankman-Fried schemed to manipulate the price of FTT, an exchange crypto security token that was integral to FTX, to prop up the value of their house of cards,” said SEC chair Gary Gensler. Furthermore, as CEO of the FTX trading affiliate, Ellison “used FTX’s customer assets to pay Alameda’s debts” and diverted billions of dollars of depositors’ money to the company to fill a hole caused by a crypto market crash in May, the SEC’s complaint alleges.
July 1981. Riots have broken out around Britain. Charles and Diana are about to marry. And backstage at Top of The Pops, The Specials are falling apart. In a few minutes they will perform their latest hit Ghost Town, which over the years, would come to be regarded as one of the greatest British singles of all time. It was a track which bottled the discord, racial tensions and societal breakdown happening in the UK that summer. There had already been riots in Brixton that April, over the increased use of a new stop-and-search policy, the so-called sus law, which was named Operation Swamp. Police were said to have mounted a campaign of harassment against the black community in south London.
Terry Hall is telling the band that he too has had enough. Worn down by touring, band infighting and struggling to deal with success, he wants out. It is too difficult to be singing about disharmony, while surrounded by it, both inside and outside The Specials. “We knew it was going to end as we were recording it (Ghost Town),” Terry Hall told Front Row in 2019. “It was bizarre. It took about eight months to record. I don’t think there were more than two of us in the studio at any point. Those weren’t good signs really. It finished up with me in a living room in Tottenham singing Ghost Town. It was all over the place. But it was a great way to bow out.” He was 22.
“Talk about zeitgeist. That one song suddenly captured so much,” remembered Specials fan and Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chada in the 2021 BBC Documentary 2 Tone: The Sound of Coventry. “If there is one song Margaret Thatcher wishes never got released, it’s probably Ghost Town,” she added.On 7 July 1981, Radio One announced that Ghost Town had replaced Michael Jackson’s One Day In Your Life at the top of the charts. That same day, newspaper front pages were full of reports about the first ever use of CS gas grenades by the police on mainland Britain, as they struggled to contain the Toxteth Riots. These were sparked by tensions between police and the local community in Liverpool. By the end of the week more than 20 towns and cities including London, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Leeds and Luton had riots of their own. The Specials were providing the soundtrack.
Humans self-organize around energy surplus (today, $ markers of) and thus expand nodes and networks globally. We are not alone in dominating the planet – in this clip John Gowdy explains how ants/termites are very like human societies. (The full episode explains the implications) pic.twitter.com/EX0k1UuUiQ
We have been discussing a series of false statements made by President Biden about election law, border agents, Second Amendment, gun capacity, and a variety of personal facts. Now, the Washington Post has awarded President Biden a “bottomless Pinocchio” for his repeating of clearly false facts. For those in the free speech community, it is a highly ironic moment given the President’s recent defense of censorship because citizens need “editors” to tell them what is real and what is not. Indeed, he asked, if we did not censor social media, “how will people know the truth?” President Biden is arguably the most anti-free speech president since John Adams. The President often sounds like the Censor-in-Chief, including claiming that social media companies are “killing people” by not engaging in more robust censorship.
Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler listed various examples of Biden spreading false claims that have been repeatedly and publicly debunked. You draw this rare rebuke if you repeat false statements more than 20 times. That includes his claim on meeting with the Chinese leader: “Folks, I spent a lot of time — more time with Xi Jinping than any other head of state. … I’ve traveled 17,000 miles with him.” The Post also noted how the president claimed that he is responsible for seniors getting an increase in their Social Security checks for the first time in 10 years: “On our watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are going to get the biggest increase in their Social Security checks they’ve gotten.” The Post noted “the reason Social Security payments are going up is because Social Security benefits, under a law passed in 1972, are adjusted every year to keep pace with inflation.”
The President has also continued to claim that the Republicans want to end social security, which the Post has previously declared to be false. Despite his own pattern of false statements (some might call it “disinformation”), the President seems most alarmed that the a single social media platform is moving to restore free speech protections. For years, Twitter has joined companies like Facebook in barring or removing dissenting views in some of these same areas like election reforms. Biden warns that the pubic will simply not know what is true without such editing of the material that they are allowed to read. The President could cite his own history of false statements are an example for his call for greater censorship to protect voters. Yet, despite his history as a serial spreader of disinformation, I would still oppose any effort to ban him from social media or even remove his comments. It is false that Republicans want to end social security but others can counter such bad speech with good speech. Readers can discern what is true and false from their sources and their support. As shown by the President himself, the governing principle remains “caveat emptor,” or buyer beware.
What will Biden not lie about? The death of his son, the circumstances in which his first wife died in a car wreck, the fantasy congressional vote on his student-loan forgiveness scheme? The number of states (Joe says, 54, Obama used to swear there are 57)? The very century we are now in? Where he went to college? Joe, our own Walter Mitty, has variously been a semi-truck driver, an arrested South-African street protestor against apartheid, a surrogate Puerto-Rican child, a black college enrollee, a Ciceronian populist orator, a coal miner’s scion, an honors student, a blue-chip collegiate athlete, a defender against inner-city Corn Poppers, and absolutely ignorant about the Biden family syndicate.
Recall that a non compos mentis Biden was nominated solely as the thin veneer to a hard Left agenda whose avatars were unelectable. Biden was to feign being the colorless, stand-in “moderate” who would “unify” the fractured country, tone down the Trump rhetoric, and let the Trump record sort of proceed on autopilot. Then when he played out that part and won, the leftist minders in this Faustian bargain took over to push through, on a one-vote senatorial margin, the most radical left-wing agenda in U.S. history. Biden, however, took his role too seriously. He reverted to the mean-spirited, pre-senile blowhard Joe—the obnoxious messenger thus now making the noxious message even more toxic. A retiring, silenced, good old Joe from Scranton was the script, not a doddering, incoherent, ”get off my lawn” old man shouting for the need of socialist policies that were the exact opposite of his previously supposed convictions.
The Left got their Biden. And yes, he turned over the reins of government to them. And yes, they got their neo-socialism for two years. And yes, they are destroying America as we knew it. But in doing this, the people had the rare occasion to see fully and experience the nihilist Left. And they are now about to express their loathing for what the Left has wrought. The problem with the ossified Democratic Pantheon is that they are of no use to the Left in the midterms because it is their own radical ideology over the past two years that was finally enacted and wrecked the country. And all the shrieks about abortion, semi-fascists, and democracy dying cannot put back together what they shattered.
The Biden administration is privately urging leading US banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup to continue doing business with strategic Russian firms despite sanctions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, people familiar with the issue told Bloomberg. Such requests have been made by the Treasury and State Departments as the US government is trying to keep pressure on Russia, but at the same time avoid “a global economic catastrophe,” the news agency reported on Monday. Washington has been asking for services such as US dollar settlements, payment transfers, and trade finance for Russian firms exempt from some aspects of the sanctions, including gas giant Gazprom and fertilizer producers Uralkali and PhosAgro, the sources said.
As a result, the largest American banks are currently being “caught in the push-pull” between the Biden administration and Congress, which insists on harsher measures against Moscow. The sanctions prevent US banks from providing services to blacklisted entities and people, with violations punishable with multibillion-dollar fines. Jamie Dimon the CEO of investment bank JPMorgan Chase was reportedly grilled at a congressional hearing in September over his company allegedly using loopholes in the sanctions regime to keep working with Russia. The banker responded by saying that “we are following the instructions of the American government as they asked us to do it.”
When addressed on the matter by Bloomberg, a Treasury spokesman said that it had issued guidance to banks, clarifying that activities in humanitarian aid, energy, and agriculture are authorized. JPMorgan and Citigroup have declined to comment. “Congress needs to understand this – the US government has not imposed a comprehensive embargo with Russia, there’s still pockets of business that are allowed,” Nnedinma Ifudu Nweke, an attorney specializing in US economic sanctions at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, pointed out. The Treasury “will continue to have meetings to educate banks on those pockets of allowable transactions, especially in the humanitarian space,” Nweke added.
The commander that oversees US nuclear forces delivered an ominous warning at a naval conference last week by calling the war in Ukraine a “warmup” for the “big one” that is to come. “This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” said Navy Adm. Charles Richard, the commander of US Strategic command. “The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested [in] a long time.” Richard’s warning came after the US released its new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which reaffirms that the US doctrine allows for the first use of nuclear weapons. The review says that the purpose of the US nuclear arsenal is to “deter strategic attacks, assure allies and partners, and achieve US objectives if deterrence fails.”
The NPR says the US “would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its Allies or partners.” The NPR was released with the 2022 National Defense Strategy that names China as the “most comprehensive and serious challenge” to the US and describes Russia as an “acute threat.” The document, as with the previous 2018 National Defense Strategy, makes clear that the US military is preparing for future conflicts with both China and Russia. As the head of STRATCOM, Richard had previously warned that the risk of nuclear war with Russia and China is a “real possibility.” He said last year that the US military must “shift its principal assumption from ‘nuclear employment is not possible’ to ‘nuclear employment is a very real possibility,’ and act to meet and deter that reality.”
The Nuclear Posture Review calls for the modernization of the nuclear triad, which could cost up to $1.5 trillion, and keeping tensions high with Russia and China helps justify the massive price tag. Richard said last week that the US needs to put more resources into competing with China’s military. Congress is looking to spend big on arming Taiwan, with a plan to give the island $10 billion in military aid included in the Senate’s version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. While done in the name of deterrence, China’s actions and rhetoric make it clear that more US support for Taiwan will make war in the region more likely.
Ukraine’s accession to the European Union will take several years, the European commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy said on Sunday. In an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Oliver Varhelyi said Kiev needs to do “extensive work” to prepare for “participation in the EU internal market and in many other important policy areas.” The commissioner predicted that “the entire preparations for accession will most likely take longer than a year or two.” Varhelyi also stressed that the accession criteria for Ukraine are the same as for any other candidate country. However, Olga Stefanishina, Ukraine’s European Integration Minister, told Welt: “Ukraine is not an ordinary candidate for accession.”
Stefanishina noted that Ukraine started integration reforms under EU supervision before it was granted accession status, and argued that the country can “proceed faster” in its membership bid, especially considering that some of its neighbors and the Baltic countries “have already signaled that quick accession is possible.” On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in response to Varhelyi’s remarks, wrote on Telegram that Ukraine’s accession will take “as long as the collapse of the EU.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier described the EU’s decision to provide Ukraine with candidate status “a part of the geopolitical gambit against Russia.”
Ukraine applied to join the 27-nation bloc shortly after Moscow launched its military offensive in late February. In June, Brussels granted Kiev EU candidate status, the first step in the accession process, and stressed that the country must continue structural reforms, fight corruption and reduce “the persistent influence of oligarchs.” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo made it clear at the time that granting Ukraine EU candidate status was an important “symbolic message” in support of Kiev amid its conflict with Russia. Actual EU membership, however, is still “many years” away, and the country must first meet European standards, he said.
“Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish,” Guterres told delegates gathered to discuss how to combat change amid an ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine and rising global inflation and energy shortages. Guterres insisted that the world’s richest and poorest counties must form a pact to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels, singling out China and the United States as two countries that have a “particular responsibility to join efforts to make this pact a reality.” “Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing. Global temperatures keep rising. And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible,” Guterres said, proclaiming that “we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”
The UN chief’s warnings were seconded by former US vice president Al Gore, who also emphasized the need to end the reliance on fossil fuels. “We must see the so-called ‘dash for gas’ for what it really is: A dash down a bridge to nowhere, leaving the countries of the world facing climate chaos and billions in stranded assets, especially here in Africa,” he said. Guterres also pointed out that the world must achieve net zero emissions by 2050 if the signatories of the 2015 Paris Climate agreement wish to achieve their long-term goal of keeping global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Last week, notorious teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg suggested battling climate change by eliminating capitalism, which she said was defined by “colonialism, imperialism, oppression and genocide by the so-called global North.”
For the past couple of months, MetalMiner frequently posted about the world’s dependence on China for raw materials used to make rare earth magnets. Aside from the US, countries like Japan, South Korea, Italy, and the Netherlands heavily rely on Chinese rare earth imports. It’s clear why. China boasts extensive rare earth reserves. As the world increases its demand for such products, China managed to develope a powerful monopoly on the global market. So, to prevent China from wielding too much geopolitical power in rare earth trading, it’s becoming crucial to find alternative sources. It’s true that most of the world’s rare earth processing takes place in China. However, many raw rare earth materials are actually extracted from other parts of the globe.
Common sources include Myanmar (Burma), the US, Canada, and Australia. And with demand for rare earth magnets expected to double by 2030, tapping into these supplies has become more important than ever. Fortunately, many nations continue to ramp up their own rare earth production. In Japan, miners have gone to impressive lengths to compete against China in the global rare earth magnet marketplace. In fact, researchers recently explored beneath the Pacific Ocean (right outside of the Ogasawara islands) at a depth of 6,000 meters to excavate materials for rare earth magnets. The Japanese government plans to start excavating these raw rare earth materials as early as April of 2023.
Japan isn’t alone. Australia, another nation abundant in raw materials for rare earth magnets, continues to step up its rare earth mining game. Arafura, a mining project located in Central Australia, recently announced plans to increase investments in its mining endeavors. Many of these take place in the hottest, most sun-parched areas of the nation. But according to Arafura it’s worth it. Apparently, the company sees a huge opportunity due to the large amounts of neodymium and praseodymium located in the region. These elements are frequently used in producing rare earth magnets. Currently, the company claims their mines could satisfy up to 5% of the world’s demand.
All This Mining for What? Whitney Webb Explains the End Game for the Electrical Vehicle Movement
If you ask people like Bill Gates … they say, 'All of the world's reserves of lithium, cobalt, and nickel must be completely mined if we even want to get close to the electrical ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/E5nuZcXpfi
The average retail gas price across the EU and the UK doubled in October compared to the previous month, when it amounted to €0.18 per kilowatt-hour, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing data from energy consultancy VaasaETT. Electricity costs for consumers have reportedly soared 67% to €0.36 per kilowatt-hour. The surge occurred despite EU governments’ latest attempts to protect households against spiraling energy prices by providing billions in subsidies. EU leaders have pledged more than €550 billion over the past year to help businesses and households tackle the energy crisis. According to Philip Lewis, chief executive officer at VaasaETT, it’s likely household bills would have been even higher if it were not for the financial aid.
On a monthly basis, the average unit rate for electricity reportedly increased 3.4% in October, while that for gas grew by 2.5%. The biggest monthly gains were recorded in Dublin, Ireland, where power rates climbed 44%, while the average gas price in Rome surged 97%. “If we were essentially to have the crisis more or less lasting for another whole year, or more than a year, that cost, of those measures for these governments, is going to be enormous,” Lewis said, as quoted by media. “Eventually customers will forget that those prices are not real prices – they will take them as the norm and then it becomes essentially impossible to remove them,” he added. The EU and Britain are facing a sharp rise in energy prices and record inflation amid anti-Russia sanctions and a policy of abandoning Russian fuel. The situation is expected to lead to energy rationing and shortages across Western Europe.
Ukraine’s threat to resume its nuclear program was one of the key reasons that forced Russia to launch its military operation in late February, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday. Writing on the Russian social media network Vkontakte, he argued that the Ukrainian authorities are now “crying bitterly” over their decision to relinquish the nuclear arsenal they inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kiev made this decision after caving in to “harsh pressure of their current masters in Washington,” Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, stated. He added that all Ukrainian presidents – from the late Leonid Kravchuk to the incumbent Vladimir Zelensky – described the step as a forced one.
However, according to the official, Kiev has made clear that it “would be diabolically happy” to use nukes against Russia and “their own citizens”. “They have been dropping explicit hints about this, threatening to resume the nuclear program. And that was one of the reasons for conducting the special military operation,” he insisted. Medvedev also drew a sharp contract between Ukraine and South Africa, the first country with a nuclear arsenal to voluntarily give it up. He noted that after the collapse of the apartheid regime, the nation’s new democratic authorities “took a responsible and sovereign stance towards their people, neighboring countries and the entire world community”. “And today they do not regret the choice made 30 years ago, they are proud of it and show the way for others by their example,” he added.
Under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine surrendered its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal in exchange for promises from the US, Britain and Russia that they would “provide assistance” to the country in case of aggression. The three states also vowed not to attack Ukraine themselves. However, Russian officials have repeatedly stated that this document was undermined by NATO’s eastward expansion, which threatened Moscow’s vital security interests. Moreover, prior to the start of the Ukraine conflict in late February, Zelenksy signaled that Kiev could give up its decades-old pledge to be a non-nuclear nation and reverse the decision it took to give up its atomic weapons.
Will there be a pivot, pause, or no pivot? This is the wrong question to be asking. The reality is the major stock market indexes have much farther to fall before the bear market is over, regardless of if the Fed pivots anytime soon. If you recall, the Fed began cutting interest rates in September of 2007. Yet the stock market didn’t bottom out until March of 2009. Similarly, the Fed began cutting interest rates in January of 2001. Still, the stock market didn’t bottom out until October of 2002. Thus, using these two most recent bear markets as a guide, once the Fed finally begins cutting interest rates, which would come after inflation has begun to abate and a period of interest rate pause, the stock market will continue to fall for another 18 to 22 months.
In other words, this bear market may not bottom out until well into 2025. What’s more, the entire dollar based financial system will likely blow up sometime beforehand. How’s that for a grim outlook? Investors, as you can see, are incredibly twisted up by the Fed’s money games, and how they’ve enhanced the peaks and valleys of the stock market. As for workers and voters, many don’t have a clue as to the ramifications for the real, Main Street economy. Here’s why… Fiscal policy, as opposed to monetary policy, is more readily understood by workers and voters. Income taxes, budget deficits, the national debt. These are all real things the average person of moderate means and mental capacity can grasp a hold of, should they care to.
The effects of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) or quantitative easing (QE), however, are less apparent to the casual observer. Politicians may make superficial remarks about consumer price inflation if they think it will score points with voters. But actual currency debasement policies are rarely mentioned.
Things change completely when you become a professional. At that stage, you must learn to consult many sources and sift good information from the bad. As a good professional, you listen to everybody and trust nobody. We can describe this attitude by the term “grokking,” invented by sci-fi author Robert Anson Heinlein to indicate the kind of in-depth understanding that professionals have of their field. In Heinlein’s fictional Mars, “to grok” also means “to drink.” You assimilate knowledge just like you assimilate the water you drink. [..] Universities don’t teach you how to grok. Probably, it is because the old saying is true: nothing worth learning can be taught. At least, not in the traditional way. Even good professionals often are completely naive when they leave their specialized field and are exposed to propaganda. Yet, it is not impossible to learn how to grok. It is a recursive affair: you must grok how to grok!
Nowadays, with a tsunami of propaganda submerging all of us, I am discovering that many people I know use the same grokking strategy. Typically, we avoid TV and mainstream media, and we use aggregators, feed readers, and similar ways to access multiple sources. Many people seem to have developed this learning strategy by themselves. Not long ago, my good friend Anastassia showed me how she does it: she has hundreds of telegram channels she follows. She clicks on the titles of posts that seem interesting to her, reading them if they turn out to be really interesting. She doesn’t trust any of them, but she listens to all of them. I have a feeling that there is some correlation between this style of learning and the fact that she is among the brightest persons I know.
Personally, I tend to use feed readers rather than Telegram (I described the method in a previous post), but it is the same idea. In addition, some blogs and sites are structured as aggregators and they will do a good job for you by linking to other sites and sources (a good one that I follow is Raul Ilargi’s “Automatic Earth.”). In any case, you want to be in control of what you receive: so, no Facebook, no Twitter, nothing like that, even search engines are biased. You don’t want others to decide what you see. You listen to everyone, and you trust no one. You want to be in control of the information you receive.
One obvious agent is George Soros, whose many NGOs operate at the fine-grained local level to elect district attorneys who won’t enforce the criminal statutes and state secretaries of state who won’t enforce election laws. Mr. Soros is also deeply implicated, through his Atlantic Council org, in the years-long program to destabilize Ukraine and light the fire for a completely avoidable world war. At least part of the time, George Soros lives in the US. Why his activities are not under investigation by the US Department of Justice probably answers your questions about his hidden influence at the higher levels of government. Bill Gates, the Microsoft tycoon, circulates at the center of the evil nexus where US public health shakes hands with the drug companies.
His money appears to be entangled in the biolab projects around the world engaged in weaponizing disease and then profiting from alleged “vaccines” to defeat it. The Covid-19 project went badly awry, especially the “vaccine” part. He’s been vocal about reducing the world’s population and now appears to have succeeded in helping to prompt a weird medical genocide. Other supporting outside players range from the barely plausible Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum, which has implanted leaders and managers all over Western Civ inculcated in his Great Reset effort to wreck what’s left of industrial society and its cultural armature; to shadowy figures in European banking chattered about but never identified; to the CCP, which has gotten huge benefits from its relatively penny-ante investments in the Biden Family.
On the domestic scene, where covering-up skeins of manifold crimes sets the political tone, Christopher Wray of the FBI must lead the pack of paper-hangers. Under his leadership, beginning in 2017, the agency carried out most of its RussiaGate crimes against a sitting president and did absolutely nothing to investigate the blatant ballot fraud of 2020 that sealed the deal. Even under the shelter of “Joe Biden,” who Mr. Wray helped elect, and the stooge AG, Merrick Garland, damning information about FBI crimes continues to leak out of the woodwork via whistleblowers, while the agency behaves more and more like an American Gestapo.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 4 released a more than 1,000-page report that details whistleblower disclosures about the alleged politicization of federal law enforcement. Specifically, the report focuses on the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Attorney General Merrick Garland and the FBI under Director Christopher Wray. Garland, Republicans said, has been “a willing participant of the Biden Administration’s weaponization of law enforcement.” The FBI too, Republicans assert, “has abused its law-enforcement authorities for apparently political purposes.”Republicans proceeded to cite a list of incidents and whistleblower reports showing how deeply rooted they say the politicization of federal law enforcement has become.
One of the most significant findings of the report showed that the FBI has been encouraging its agents to artificially inflate the number of domestic violent extremism (DVE) incidents. For years, Democrats—including President Joe Biden—have claimed that DVE is one of the greatest threats to U.S. national security. Specifically, Democrats have blamed conservatives and “white supremacists” for most such incidents. During the 116th Congress, Democrats even went so far as to propose legislation that would substantially bolster DOJ resources to combat DVE. “White supremacists and other far-right-wing extremists are the most significant domestic terrorism threat facing the United States,” the bill states.According to official FBI numbers, this could very well be taken to be the case. However, the Republicans’ report indicates that Americans may have some reason to pause before accepting the FBI’s numbers on DVE events.
Whistleblowers, Republicans say, “have described how FBI leadership is pressuring line agents to reclassify cases as domestic violent extremism even if the matter does not meet the criteria. ”That’s no mistake, Republicans assert, but instead a targeted effort by federal law enforcement to bolster Democrats’ claims about the threat posed by DVE. “At a time when the Biden Administration maintains that DVE is the ‘greatest threat’ facing the United States, the FBI appears to be complicit in artificially creating the Administration’s political narrative,” the lawmakers wrote.Whistleblowers have reported an environment that pressures agents to rack up DVE case counts. “One whistleblower explained that because agents are not finding enough DVE cases, they are encouraged and incentivized to reclassify matters as DVE cases even though there is minimal, circumstantial evidence to support the reclassification,” the report says.
Facebook parent company Meta is reportedly planning to lay off thousands of employees as soon as Wednesday after experiencing rapid growth during the pandemic. Meta, which had more than 87,000 employees in September, has already told workers to cancel nonessential travel starting this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. The workforce reduction would be the first large layoffs in the company’s history. A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment, but pointed to CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s statement that the company would “focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas.”
He said during an earnings call late last month that “we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today.” Meta was already planning to cut expenses by at least 10% over the next several months, the Journal reported in September. Meta had added more than 27,000 employees in 2020 and 2021 and added over 15,000 more during the first nine months of this year. Since the beginning of 2022, however, Meta’s stock has fallen more than 70%.
“It was good for woke adults who want to remain children, it was good for the national security-industrial complex, it was good for hiding behind, it was good for expanding societal power. It was not good for people.”
The actions taken by Dr. Emily Oster – who had the astonishing temerity to write the “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty” piece – and her many many over-credentialed, under-educated power mad brethren over the past 30 months cannot be given a pass. What happened during the pandemic was obviously more than a one-off drunken party moment. Having tee many martoonis does not compare to the whirlwind of destruction the COVID reaction caused. Massive educational degradation. Economic devastation, by both the lockdowns and now the continuing fiscal nightmare plaguing the nation caused by continuing federal over-reaction. The critical damage to the development of children’s social skills through hyper-masking and fear-mongering.
The obliteration of the public’s trust in institutions due to their incompetence and deceitfulness during the pandemic. The massive erosion of civil liberties. The direct hardships caused by vaccination mandates, etc. under the false claim of helping one’s neighbor. The explosion of the growth of Wall Street built on the destruction of Main Street. The clear separation of society into two camps – those who could easily prosper during the pandemic and those whose lives were completely upended. The demonization of anyone daring to ask even basic questions about the efficacy of the response, be it the vaccines themselves, the closure of public schools, the origin of the virus, or the absurdity of the useless public theater that made up much of the program. The fissures created throughout society and the harm caused by guillotined relationships amongst family and friends.
The slanders and career chaos endured by prominent actual experts (see the Great Barrington Declaration) and just plain reasonable people like Jennifer Sey for daring to offer different approaches, approaches – such as focusing on the most vulnerable – that had been tested and succeeded before. And still a million people died. And now Oster asks if everyone would just please move on and forget about it? Oster kept her job. Oster got famous. The pandemic was good for Oster. The pandemic was also good for bureaucrats, multi-nationals, putative experts, the mindless media, and internet scolds. It was good for woke adults who want to remain children, it was good for the national security-industrial complex, it was good for hiding behind, it was good for expanding societal power. It was not good for people.
United Airlines’ flights are shaping up to most comfortable coach seating in awhile.Between this month and April 30 of next year, the airline will block off up to six seats on its fleet of Boeing 757s, a company spokesperson told the “Live and Let’s Fly” blog.The decision was based on numbers gathered from the Federal Aviation Administration that indicated the average winter weight of female passengers — including their carry-on items — increased from 150 pounds in 2019 to 184 pounds in 2022. Meanwhile, the average male passenger’s winter weight went up, from 190 pounds to 205 pounds, over the same time frame.“The temporary change is a result of the increased average customer winter weights as prescribed by the FAA,” a United spokesperson said of the temporary change.
“To be compliant with the current B757 weight and balance requirements, United will block specific seats between November 1 and April, 30 2023,” it ended. Blocked-off spots will always be middle seats in rows 16 to 40 to equally distribute passengers’ weight on every flight, an official told the blog. A laminated sign will be placed on each seat that is off-limits. Passengers’ physical bodies aren’t the only contributing factor to the uptick in weight. The FAA calculated that people are stuffing more in their carry-on bags — which are not weighed in the United States — thus increasing the overall heft of the cargo. Seasonal items, such as winter coats, are also considered during the colder months. “Live and Let’s Fly” also noted that this policy was in effect last winter and was lifted by spring.
Solid German business sources completely contradict the “message” delivered by the German Council on Foreign Relations on the trip to China. According to these sources, the Scholz caravan went to Beijing to essentially lay down the preparatory steps for working out a peace deal with Russia, with China as privileged messenger. This is – literally – as explosive, geopolitically and geoeconomically, as it gets. As I pointed out in one of my previous columns, Berlin and Moscow were keeping a secret communication back channel – via business interlocutors – right to the minute the usual suspects, in desperation, decided to blow up the Nord Streams. Cue to the now notorious SMS from Liz Truss’s iPhone to Little Tony Blinken, one minute after the explosions: “It’s done.”
There’s more: the Scholz caravan may be trying to start a long and convoluted process of eventually replacing the US with China as a key ally. One should never forget that the top BRI trade/connectivity terminal in the EU is Germany (the Ruhr valley). According to one of the sources, “if this effort is successful, then Germany, China and Russia can ally themselves together and drive the US out of Europe.” Another source provided the cherry on the cake: “Olaf Scholz is being accompanied on this trip by German industrialists who actually control Germany and are not going to sit back watching themselves being destroyed.” Moscow knows very well what the imperial aim is when it comes to the EU reduced to the role of totally dominated – and deindustrialized – vassal, exercising zero sovereignty.
The back channels after all are not lying in tatters on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Additionally, China has not provided any hint that its massive trade with Germany and the EU is about to vanish. Scholz himself, one day before his caravan hit Beijing, stressed to Chinese media that Germany has no intention of decoupling from China, and there’s nothing to justify “the calls by some to isolate China.” In parallel, Xi Jinping and the new Politburo are very much aware of the Kremlin position, reiterated again and again: we always remain open for negotiations, as long as Washington finally decides to talk about the end of unlimited NATO expansion drenched in Russophobia. So to negotiate means the Empire signing on the dotted line of the document it has received from Moscow on December 1st, 2021, focused on “indivisibility of security”. Otherwise there’s nothing to negotiate.
Many ask how much longer will the US war against Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine last? Some say only another two or three months, others much longer, even five years and more. For my own reasons I say another eighteen months, until 5 May 2024. Whatever you think, it all depends on how much the American neocon/neoliberal elite via their NATO allies, especially the UK, the Zelensky sect and their hired killers (so-called mercenaries – for few Kiev nationalists are now left to fight) want to escalate their war. And they do, which is why it did not all end last March when it could have ended. In other words, how much does the American elite want their subject-peoples, in Northern America, Western Europe and the Ukraine, to suffer?
It appears that the US elite wants them to suffer until they are all dead. But that will not happen, for the worm will turn, long, long before that. Indeed, in today’s energy and water-restricted Ukraine, some worms are already turning. And even some cold and hungry people in Western Europe and Northern America are turning too. What the elite wants, and what the people, especially in the Ukraine, will put up with, are two different things. It could all be ended tomorrow, if the elite wanted. Much more likely, this is going to take quite some time, for the war is not between the Ukraine and Russia, but between the USA and Russia. The Ukraine is merely the battlefield. No, I repeat, wait patiently until May 2024.
International investment bankers are bullish about the Chinese economy despite worrying reports by the Western media, the chairman of UBS Bank, Colm Kelleher, said on Wednesday. Kelleher was speaking at the Global Financial Leaders Investment Summit in Hong Kong, which brought together more than 200 bankers and investors from 20 countries, after more than two and a half years of Covid restrictions there. Hong Kong is now reportedly seeking to boost its status as an international financial hub. “We’re not reading the American press, we actually buy the [China] story,” he said, as quoted by the Financial Times. “But it is a bit of waiting for zero-Covid to open up in China to see what will happen.
According to the FT, Kelleher’s reference to the media was “an apparent joke and a nod” to earlier remarks made by Fang Xinghai, the vice chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Fang, along with other Chinese officials, used pre-recorded video interviews to reassure international investors of the country’s economic strength. He told attendees: “I would advise international investors to find out what’s really going on in China and what’s the real intention of our government by themselves. Don’t read too much of the international media.” Fang’s comments, which came after a record sell-off of Chinese equities last week in the wake of President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power, prompted laughs and applause from the audience. “Don’t bet against China and Hong Kong,” he added.
Last week, the Chinese stock market had its worst day since the 2008 global financial crisis, with the yuan hitting a new 14-year low against the US dollar, as Xi secured his third term and undertook a major leadership reshuffle. The sharp selloff was triggered by concerns that a number of senior officials who have backed market reforms and opening up the economy were missing from the new top team. This sparked investor concerns about the future direction of the country and its relations with the US.
Russia has asked the EU and other Western nations to lift sanctions on state lender Rosselkhozbank, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing sources. According to the news agency, such a move would allow the bank to restore relations with its correspondent banks abroad and process payments for Russian grain and fertilizer exports. Prior to the introduction of anti-Russia sanctions, such payments were serviced by international banks and subsidiaries of Russian banks in Switzerland, the report says. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Rosselkhozbank is currently “servicing the lion’s share” of Russia’s fertilizer and food related transactions. The report did not mention whether Russia has received a response to its appeal. According to Reuters, the request was made during talks on the fate of the Ukrainian grain deal, which expires later this month.
As part of the agreement, reached in July, Western countries were supposed to ease restrictions on Russian agricultural exports. While the sanctions do not directly target these exports, certain curbs on payment processing, shipping and insurance have created obstacles for Russian exporters. Washington has taken steps to convince businesses that there are no sanctions on Russian food exports, a senior State Department official told the news outlet. The department reportedly sent out letters of reassurance to companies seeking proof that their deals with Russia would not violate restrictive measures. Nevertheless, Moscow has repeatedly said that sanctions make agricultural exports next to impossible and has demanded their cancellation. Rosselkhozbank fell under Western sanctions along with Russia’s other largest banks earlier this year, and its assets and correspondent accounts in US dollars and euros were frozen.
[..] say your goal is to legitimize the state takeover, or advance another step forward the state takeover, of an industry. Let’s use oil and gas for today’s lesson. The first thing you do is manufacture a crisis that will disrupt the supply of the product you want to takeover. In this case, it started with COVID-19, which disrupted far more than just the energy sector. More than 2 million barrels per day of refining capacity was lost world wide thanks to COVID-19. Given the current hostility to new refineres (more on this later), those barrels are not coming back. Don’t forget, that for a “Straussian Two-Step” this big you will have to brainwash and/or gaslight two entire generations into hating themselves for being rich, wasteful, spoiled, alive or worse, just plain white.
So, they are already primed to hate all the things at play here — capitalism, Big Oil, Banks, Old White Guys (rich or poor) — and enrage your useful idiots by pushing their already tenuous hold on reality to the literal breaking point. “I can’t even….” isn’t the most common phrase uttered on Tik-Tok for nothing. That’s the Thesis part. So, when the crisis hits thanks to natural gas disruption you forbid buying of from a particular country… — Hello, Vlad? We’re in a helluva pickle, would you mind invading Ukraine…? Nyet…? Well, we’ll see about that…. — MISSING PAGES FROM THE RETURN OF DR. STRANGELOVE WORKING SCRIPT. … you demonize not only Vlad but the industry itself for price gouging and preying on the widdle guy during a war. There’s a word for this… chutzpah.
Predictably, you then allow your fake political opponents … [enter Cocaine Mitch from Stage Right] … to produce the opposite argument. In this case, the counter is obviously we need free markets to produce oil and gas. The refiners are just responding to the market. That fake opposition, of course, also blames Vlad for this crisis to ensure the market’s champion looks not only patriotic but also suitably bought and paid for by Big Oil, Old White Guys, etc.
Yahoo News has identified a major beneficiary of the Russia-Ukraine slugfest: the US military industrial complex, which is reaping a windfall even as the bloody conflict causes economic havoc, energy shortages and a looming food crisis around the world. As the media outlet reported on Saturday, EU nations have committed to about $230 billion in new weapons purchases since the Russian military offensive against Kiev started in February. US defense contractors are poised to land the lion’s share of those orders, given their dominance as suppliers to European militaries, Yahoo added. Many European nations turn to US arms makers for more than half of all their weapons purchases. Yahoo cited data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) to show examples of US dominance in European arsenals.
For instance, US-made arms accounted for 95% of the weapons purchases by the Netherlands from 2017 to 2021. The ratios were 83% US weaponry for Norway, 77% for the UK, and 72% for Italy. European weapons imports jumped 19% during the five-year period as then-President Donald Trump prodded his NATO allies to meet their obligations for defense spending. The Ukraine crisis is set to create an even bigger windfall, as President Joe Biden leads an international campaign to flood Ukraine with weapons and the conflict triggers accelerated steps by European nations to bolster their own defenses. “This is certainly the biggest increase in defense spending in Europe since the end of the Cold War,” Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Center for European Reform, told Yahoo. The crisis in Eastern Europe dispelled the notion that war on the continent is no longer possible, he added.
“They’re waking up to the fact that not only is it very possible, but it is happening, and it’s happening not that many miles away from them.” Since Biden took office in January 2021, European countries entered at least the initial stage of negotiations for $33 billion in arms purchases, including $21 billion since February, Yahoo said, citing figures from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. US defense contractors will also benefit from Washington’s massive military aid to Kiev, as the Pentagon races to replenish stocks of artillery pieces, rocket launchers and other weapons. Biden has set aside more than $65 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine since the conflict began. Russia has warned that the influx of Western weapons will prolong the crisis while making the US and other NATO members de facto participants.
The “prime candidate” favored by Washington to replace outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is Chrystia Freeland, currently Canada’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, the New York Times reportedon Friday. The bloc reportedly aims to install a woman at its helm for the first time, with other likely contenders being Estonian premier Kaja Kallas, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, former president of Croatia, who was also Zagreb’s ambassador to Washington. The “strong contenders”list provided by the NYT corresponds with earlier media reports this year. The selection of a new NATO Secretary General, however, is still months away and “the names that surface first” may not survive the bargaining among the bloc’s members, unnamed NATO officials told the NYT.
Incumbent head of the bloc Stoltenberg was set to leave his post on September 30, but his term was prolonged to late 2023 amid the conflict in Ukraine. The NATO boss might ultimately end up having his tenure extended for another year, one of the officials reportedly suggested. Still, Freeland is believed to be the “prime candidate” for the post of NATO chief, favored by the US itself. “Where any of the candidates come down on support for Ukraine in the war against Russia will be a critical factor,” the paper writes. Freeland, whose mother was Ukrainian, is known to have a strong pro-Ukrainian stance. She is the granddaughter of Michael Chomiak, described by the NYT as a “grateful immigrant to Canada” who was during World War Two a “younger man involved with a Ukrainian nationalist movement that saw the Nazis as useful foils to counter the Soviets.”
The paper didn’t mention, however, that Chomiak was a prominent Ukrainian Nazi collaborator and the editor-in-chief of a Ukrainian-language propaganda daily Krakivs’ki Visti. The outlet, published between 1940 and 1945, was funded directly by Nazi Germany and described by Canadian historian – and Chomiak’s son-in-law – John-Paul Himka as a “vehemently anti-Semitic”publication. Freeland has been extremely ambiguous on her ancestry, not only refusing to condemn her maternal grandparents but somewhat endorsing them instead. In 2015 she wrote an essay called “My Ukraine,” stating that her Nazi collaborator grandparents “saw themselves as political exiles with a responsibility to keep alive the idea of an independent Ukraine.” “That dream persisted into the next generation, and in some cases the generation after that,” Freeland wrote in the essay.
A UN resolution opposing the celebration of Nazism and related ideologies has met with significant resistance from the US and other western democracies, with 52 countries voting against it on Friday. The draft resolution “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” introduced by Russia’s representative to the UN, was adopted with 105 votes in support. In addition to the 52 votes against it, 15 countries abstained from choosing sides.
The resolution expresses profound concern about glorifying Nazism, neo-Nazism and former Waffen SS members, condemning the construction of monuments and the holding of public ceremonies honoring the Third Reich. Introducing the resolution, the Russian delegate referenced an increase in xenophobia, anti-migrant sentiment, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, among other forms of discrimination, as necessitating it. The US and several of its allies attempted to explain their vote against the measure by claiming Russia was exploiting Nazi atrocities to justify its military operation in Ukraine, insisting that to join them in condemning the lionization of Nazis would be letting them get away with weaponizing the Holocaust to serve their nefarious ends.
The UK accused Moscow of “furthering lies and distorting history,” even while acknowledging it was using “legitimate human rights concerns raised by neo-Nazism mobilization” to justify its activities in Ukraine. The US went further, arguing that Russia’s “pretextual use of fighting neo-Nazism undermines genuine attempts to combat neo-Nazism.” And Ukraine claimed Moscow’s anti-Nazism message had “nothing in common with the genuine fight against Nazism and neo-Nazism,” which Kiev stressed it condemned in all forms. Australia, Japan, Liberia and North Macedonia proposed an amendment to clarify that while they were very much anti-Nazi, they were also profoundly anti-Russian.
Their addition “notes with alarm that the Russian Federation has sought to justify its territorial aggression against Ukraine on the purported basis of eliminating neo-Nazism,” reminding everyone that the “pretextual use of neo-Nazism to justify territorial aggression seriously undermines genuine attempts to combat neo-Nazism.” Russia opposed the amendment, accusing the writers of “trying to drive a wedge between states” by dropping it on the committee at the last minute. It was adopted with 63 votes approving, 23 against, and 65 abstaining. Moscow introduced a similar resolution last year, before the military operation in Ukraine had begun but after the US-backed coup had installed a government that allowed neo-Nazi groups like the Azov Battalion and lionized Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator whose Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists was responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of Poles and Jews during World War II. The 2021 resolution was opposed by just two states: the US and Ukraine.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are the CEO of a commercial bank involved in lending to businesses and with profit centres acting in a range of financial activities. As CEO, you are answerable to the board of directors for the bank’s performance, and ultimately the bank’s shareholders for maintaining and advancing the value of their shares. Furthermore, let us set this imaginary exercise in the present. These are the issues that should keep you awake at night: In common with your competitors, the ratio of your balance sheet assets to total equity is almost the highest in the history of the bank, in many cases for other banks over twenty times leaveraged. Official inflation, measured by the CPI is about ten per cent, and producer prices are rising somewhat faster.
Your central bank expects a return to the 2% target in two- or three-years’ time. But your contacts at the central bank have privately admitted to you that they cannot imagine the circumstances where this would be true without a deep recession. Bond yields are rising, and losses are beginning to impact on the bank’s investments. The bank has relatively little direct exposure to corporate bonds and equities, but they are commonly held as collateral against customer loans. How are higher interest rates impacting the quality of the bank’s loan book? The bank supported its business customers through the covid pandemic, which increased the indebtedness of them all. This exposes the bank to excessive default risk if rates rise further.
The mortgage loan book has been a profitable business for decades. But the bank is beginning to see a material rise in delinquencies. If loan guarantees are not forthcoming from government agencies, the bank may have to shut this activity down. What impact will higher interest rates have on the bank’s derivative exposure? What are the counterparty risks in derivative chains? Derivatives that involve inadequately capitalised counterparties should perhaps be sold on, or where the bank has the option to do so, closed down. The underlying problem is that the conditions that led to the bank becoming increasingly involved in diversified activities, such as investment banking, trading, and investment management have now changed.
Since financial deregulation in the 1980s, the bank has expanded into these profitable areas. The whole industry moved from dealing in credit into generating fee income. The growth in fee income can be directly related to the long-term trend of falling interest rates, which apart from interruptions such as the dot-com excesses and the Lehman crisis, stimulated growth in corporate finance, underwriting, investment management, and trading in financial securities. The expansion of these activities in turn led to a massive expansion of derivative markets, with new instruments being devised, such as credit default and interest rate swaps.
Some of the Democratic governors most associated with harsh and prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns are facing stiff electoral headwinds in the midterms, while Republicans who endured national scorn by quickly reopening their states are cruising toward reelection. Republicans were already in an advantageous position with voters on crime and the economy, particularly inflation, the top two issues in polling this fall. Education issues, which propelled Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to victory a year ago, are a leading concern in some races. And while elections tend to focus more on the future than the past, the starkly contrasting performances of lockdown lefties and reopen righties suggests that a reckoning on pandemic policies may be a stealth issue in major governor’s races.
The repercussions of lockdown policies are also felt indirectly in the top issues for voters, from supply-chain problems and inflation driven by COVID relief spending to plummeting test scores and parental outrage over school curricula resulting from remote learning. “Red wave is coming Tuesday,” freespoken sports show host Colin Cowherd tweeted Thursday. “Don’t mess w people’s kids. It lands differently — and they will hold a grudge.” “I lean mostly left, but data clearly proved kids 18 and under were safe,” and yet many were kept out of school, resulting in plunging test scores, rising suicides and “[c]haos for parents,” he continued. “A price will be paid and hopefully a lesson learned.” “Her Excellency the Queen of Michigan,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), “made it illegal … to visit friends, sell paint, mow grass, and golf” while flouting her own unilateral orders, The Spectator wrote in a recent list of “Eight Democrats we all hope lose this November.”
Bill Maher: "Woke culture… that's one reason why the Republicans are going to do so well in this election." pic.twitter.com/sQASkgpYQp
If Republican candidates do as well as expected on Tuesday, they can credit the new, widespread, and coordinated effort to begin securing U.S. elections, helping give candidates the best opportunity possible to win a fair fight in the new voting environment of mail-in balloting. The Republican National Committee, other party entities, and dozens of public interest election nonprofit groups built over the last two years a multimillion-dollar election integrity infrastructure that passed laws improving voter ID and other election security measures, defended those laws from legal attacks by Democrats, and sued states and localities that failed to follow the law. They also recruited, educated, trained, and placed tens of thousands of new election observers and other workers throughout the long midterm voting season.
And they did it all in one of the most hostile propaganda environments on record. The 2020 election was a massive wake-up call for many Americans on the right. In the months leading up to it, Democrats forced through changes to hundreds of laws and processes governing how elections are conducted. The rule-change scheme was run by Marc Elias, a Democrat election attorney who also ran his party’s Russia collusion hoax, which falsely claimed Donald Trump stole the 2016 election by colluding with Russia. Sometimes Democrats’ 2020 changes were instituted legally. Frequently, though, they were effected by other means, such as getting a friendly state or local official to change the rules unilaterally.
The 2020 election plan, some of which was admitted to in a flattering Time magazine story, sought to flood the zone with tens of millions of unsupervised mail-in ballots, historically understood to be riper for fraud and other election irregularities than supervised, in-person voting. The plan also involved the private takeover of government election offices to run Democrat-focused get-out-the-vote operations. Mark Zuckerberg, one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful men, financed the project, doling out $419 million to two left-wing groups that focused grants and assistance to government offices in the Democrat areas of swing states.
This radical change — “practically a revolution in how people vote,” as Time put it — included the widespread practice of placing ballot drop boxes predominantly in Democrat areas of the country, mailing out unsolicited mail-in ballots or applications for mail-in ballots, using well-funded teams of ballot harvesters both inside and outside of government, lowering and changing the standards for mail-in ballot acceptance, and fixing or “curing” ballots that were improperly filled out. Corporate media and other Democrats claimed the election was the best-run in history. In reality, it was a mess. Big Tech and the media ran coordinated disinformation campaigns to benefit Democrats by suppressing news that hurt the party. Big Tech also deplatformed effective conservative voices and media outlets, suppressed fundraising emails from Republicans, and elevated certain information to help Democrats.
Social Security, part 1 Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser in Pennsylvania last week: “On our watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are going to get the biggest increase in their Social Security checks they’ve gotten.” He has also touted the 2023 increase in Social Security payments at other recent events. But Biden’s boasts leave out such critical context that they are highly misleading. He hasn’t explained that the increase in Social Security payments for 2023, 8.7%, is unusually big simply because the inflation rate has been unusually big. A law passed in the 1970s says that Social Security payments must be increased by the same percentage that a certain measure of inflation has increased. It’s called a cost-of-living adjustment.
Social Security, part 2 Biden said at a Democratic rally in Florida on Tuesday: “And on my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks.” The claim that the 2023 increase to Social Security payments is the first in 10 years is false. In reality, there has been a cost-of-living increase every year from 2017 onward. There was also an increase every year from 2012 through 2015 before the payment level was kept flat in 2016 because of a lack of inflation. The context around this Biden remark in Florida suggests he might have botched his repeat campaign line about Social Security payments increasing at the same time as Medicare premiums are declining. Regardless of his intentions, though, he was wrong.
A new corporate tax Biden repeatedly suggested in speeches in October and early November that a new law he signed in August, the Inflation Reduction Act, will stop the practice of successful corporations paying no federal corporate income tax. Biden made the claim explicitly in a tweet last week: “Let me give you the facts. In 2020, 55 corporations made $40 billion. And they paid zero in federal taxes. My Inflation Reduction Act puts an end to this.” But “puts an end to this” is an exaggeration. The Inflation Reduction Act will reduce the number of companies on the list of non-payers, but the law will not eliminate the list entirely. That’s because the law’s new 15% alternative corporate minimum tax, on the “book income” companies report to investors, only applies to companies with at least $1 billion in average annual income.
The debt and the deficit Biden said at the Tuesday rally in Florida: “Look, you know, you can hear it from Republicans, ‘My God, that big-spending Democrat Biden. Man, he’s taken us in debt.’ Well, guess what? I reduced the federal deficit this year by $1 trillion $400 billion. One trillion 400 billion dollars. The most in all American history. No one has ever reduced the debt that much. We cut the federal debt in half.” Biden offered a similar narrative at a Thursday rally in New Mexico, this time saying, “We cut the federal debt in half. A fact.” There are two significant problems here. First: Biden conflated the debt and the deficit, which are two different things. It’s not true that Biden has “cut the federal debt in half”; the federal debt (total borrowing plus interest owed) has continued to rise under Biden, exceeding $31 trillion for the first time this October. Rather, it’s the federal deficit – the annual difference between spending and revenue – that was cut in half between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2022. Second, it’s highly questionable how much credit Biden deserves for even the reduction in the deficit. Biden doesn’t mention that the primary reason the deficit plummeted in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 was that it had skyrocketed to a record high in 2020 because of emergency pandemic relief spending. It then fell as expected as the spending expired as planned.
Critics of President Biden got a surprise on Friday, as the New York Times published a report grilling the 46th president for making exaggerations about his successes on the economy. Times reporters Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley published a piece on Friday titled, “As Elections Approach, Biden Spins His Economic Record,” which claimed that the president’s boasts about his economic achievements were not true. The report began by summing up the White House economic spin, “As President Biden and his administration have told it in recent months, America has the fastest-growing economy in the world, his student debt forgiveness program passed Congress by a vote or two, and Social Security benefits became more generous thanks to his leadership.” The piece declared, “None of that was accurate.”
The report also claimed, “The president, who has long been seen as embellishing the truth, has recently overstated his influence on the economy, or omitted key facts.” It then mentioned an erroneous claim recently made by the White House on Social Security. Quoting Biden and then correcting him, the Times said, “’On my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks,’ he declared. The problem: That increase was the result of an automatic cost-of-living increase prompted by the most rapid inflation in 40 years.” The piece added, “Mr. Biden had not done anything to make retirees’ checks bigger — it was just a byproduct of the soaring inflation that the president has vowed to combat.”
The official White House Twitter account made that same claim about Social Security this week, receiving a swift, community-based fact check from Twitter. The White House then took the tweet down. Further skewering Biden, the Times stated, “It is common for presidents to spin economic numbers to improve their pitch to voters,” yet “the president’s cheerleading has increasingly grown to include exaggerations or misstatements about the economy and his policy record.” The piece did insist that Biden’s “economic exaggerations generally pale in comparison to the tales spun by his predecessor, President Donald J. Trump,” though the very fact that a major liberal media outlet would go after Biden on falsehoods, turned heads on social media.
Conservative journalist Michael Caputo encouraged the paper to go further: “Go ahead say it, NYTimes, do it. You can say it: Biden is a liar.” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., tweeted, “I’m suspicious of NYT’s motivation for printing the truth about Biden. It’s out of character for them. Perhaps blaming him and his gaffs for the midterm results is the beginning of the left’s effort to replace him with a different nominee in 2024.” [..] National Review’s Jeff Blehar commented, “don’t blame this poor old man it’s not his fault.”
One week after Musk took over, and 4 days before the midterms, Biden accused Twitter of “spewing lies all across the world”. I don’t recall Biden having said this before, but he must have, right?! Because content moderation hasn’t changed at all yet, as per Musk. Oh, and 60 orgs call on advertizers to withdraw their money. But what exactly made Twitter toxic? Just that Musk mentioned free speech?
Elon Musk has not actually changed the “content moderation” policies at Twitter yet, but President Joe Biden went on a virtual rave on Friday over the prospect of free speech breaking out on a single social media site. As a type of censor-in-chief, Biden has led calls for censorship on social media, which have been largely heeded by companies like Facebook and Twitter. Now Biden is accusing Twitter of “spewing lies all across the world” by seeking to reduce one of the largest censorship systems in history. The President lamented that the influence of the media will be “de minimus.” He is a bit late on that front. President Biden has previously accused social media companies of “killing people” by refusing to impose robust censorship over a wide range of subjects.
Many of those banned or censored were doctors with opposing views on the data and the science related to the pandemic. Some of those doctors were the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates. Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdown as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination. Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others. The Great Barrington Declaration was not the only viewpoint deemed dangerous.
Those who alleged that the virus may have begun in a lab in China were widely denounced and the views barred from being uttered on social media platforms. It was later learned that a number of leading experts raised this theory with Fauci and others early in the pandemic. We are now seeing increasing evidence of back channels used by government and political figures to maintain a censorship system by surrogate in the social media companies and foreign allies. The President, however, was in full censor-in-chief mode this week, referring to censors as “editors.” He denounced Musk who “goes out and buys an outfit that spews lies all across the world.” He then claimed “There are no editors anymore. There are no editors anymore.” The President added “the ability of newspapers to have much impact is de minimis.”
That last statement seemed to lament the loss of a close and active ally for the Democrats. Neutrality is anathema if you have largely been able to control political and social exchanges on social media. What the President said next. however, was particularly telling and chilling: “How do people know the truth? What do they — how do they make — make a distinction between fact and fiction? There’s so much — so much going on. And we’re in the middle of this.” Indeed, perish the thought that citizens might be left to pursue the truth on their own without the government or surrogates in the media framing it for them. How could we possibly “know the truth” without our social media overlords?
I am amusing myself with watching the panic some people express over Elon Musk’s cleanup of Twitter. Yesterday 3,700 of its 7,500 workers were fired. That is not good, but the company was losing money and making money is at the core of the capitalist game. Of interest is what functions were eliminated. The Guardian provides this list: From news reports and terminated employees’ announcements, here’s what we know so far about the teams that have been hit by the layoffs of thousands of Twitter employees: • The human rights team has been laid off, according to a now former employee, Shannon Raj Singh, who said the team worked to protect those at risk in global conflicts, including in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. • The ML (machine learning) Ethics, Transparency and Accountability team is gone, according to a tweet of a laid-off manager. • The “internet technology team”, which helps keep the site running, has been cut to “a skeleton crew”, two sources told the Times. • An accessibly experience engineering team has been cut, according to a laid-off engineering manager. • The curation team, responsible for the Moments feature on Twitter, has also been cut, former employees reported.
Twitter’s communications department is almost entirely gone, according to the Verge. Other areas that have been heavily impacted, the Verge reported, include product trust and safety, policy, research and social good. What were these teams actually doing? The human rights team leader gave some hints: Shannon Raj Singh @ShannonRSingh – 17:58 UTC · Nov 4, 2022. “Yesterday was my last day at Twitter: the entire Human Rights team has been cut from the company. sI am enormously proud of the work we did to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, to protect those at-risk in global conflicts & crises including Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and to defend the needs of those particularly at risk of human rights abuse by virtue of their social media presence, such as journalists & human rights defenders.”
The human rights team was the ‘regime change’ force on Twitter. It intervened in conflicts where the U.S. preferred a certain side. Shannon Raj Singh had previously meddled in Afghan and other countries’ cultures: “Shannon Raj Singh is a Legal Counsel for SAHR, advising a Kabul-based team on sexual violence litigation in Afghanistan, which aims to end the invasive and discriminatory practice of female virginity testing. She is an international criminal law attorney focused on victim-centered responses to mass atrocities. Currently based in The Hague, she has experience working with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and a number of human rights NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa. She has also practiced as a litigator in the United States, appearing in both state and federal courts and assisting with overseas corruption investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The machine learning ethics, transparency and accountability team was also fired. Machine learning, also glorified as ‘artificial intelligence’, is essentially an (often lousy) pattern recognition system. It can be trained with categorized data and, after that, can categorized other data it gets presented. All one needs to know about its ethics, transparency and accountability is the old IT wisdom ‘garbage in garbage out’. If one trains the system with badly categorized data it will be badly categorize data. It does not need an extra team to learn that. I do not know what the ‘Internet technology team’ was doing but the function obviously still exists. It was merely downsized.
The SPARS PANDEMIC 2025-2028, published by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security in October 2017, is another of those amazingly prescient, yet “entirely fictional” scenario plans that ended up looking like the blueprint for the actual covid pseudo pandemici. It is in fact the prequel to that other freakishly coincidental pandemic wargame, Event 201, hosted in October 2019 (a few weeks before SARS-COV-2 hit the headlines) by the same institution along with the CIA and the World Economic Forum (WEF). What business does the CIA and its brainchild, the WEF, have going anywhere near public health strategy planning? Absolutely none, unless of course public health strategy is to be used as a nefarious special purpose vehicle for intelligence services and the global corporate oligarchy.
[..] It is a masterclass in absurdity which has its roots in the inherent contradiction in drafting a plan that purports to deal with the inevitable fallout of a manufactured crisis while pretending that the crisis is not manufactured. Its aim is to present failure scenarios to public health spin doctors, referred to as “public health risk communicators”, and invite them to “mentally rehearse responses” to these failures. But, in providing pitiful explanations for all the failure scenarios, it effectively exposes the Medical Counter Measures (MCMs) of a corrupt pseudo pandemic for the sham that they are. Instead of mitigating the consequences of a real pandemic, the MCMs are the very things that perversely create the necessity for narrative spin and psyops.
[..] It is undoubtedly sinister because of its prediction of all the ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’ that were made in the manufactured covid ‘pandemic’. In the latter sections of the document – the Reveal stage – the planners anticipate fallout from being unable to keep a lid on vaccine injury. Nevertheless, a somewhat happy ending for the pandemic planners is fashioned in their Pandemic Play. So, will they succeed in constructing the reality they desire? In the 2017 playbook, as “claims of adverse side effects beg[i]n to emerge”, the pandemic planners coyly suggest that the demands for the “removal of the liability shield protecting the pharmaceutical companies” will be deflected by the “emergency appropriation of [taxpayer] funds”. Because God forbid that Big Pharma, having siphoned off billions from the taxpayers’ purse for efficiently distributing poison, might then be subjected to the humiliation of footing the bill for the injuries caused by it.
The pandemic planners were also prepared for the ethical quandary of hastily mass injecting an experimental preparation with no long-term safety data. The ‘rare’ side effect rebuttal is alluded to by reference to “relatively few reports of neurological symptoms” while the problem is framed as an overblown social media response. Ultimately the blame is placed squarely at the feet of an ignorant public – those “demand[ing] proof that the vaccines [do] not cause long-term effects” are “displaying a fundamental misunderstanding of scientific research”! You just don’t get it, so let me spell it out to you on behalf of the pandemic planners. You, the entire public, the 5.3 billion people injected so far – you are the subjects of the experiment, and the experiment isn’t over until the CDC, FDA, MHRA et al say it is. You are the long-term data. You may die in the process but that’s science in the 21st century!
You know Turkish elections are around the corner when maps like this show up on tv. They claim that by 2050 the whole region and beyond will be under Turkish control. The best part of all this delirium is that a large number of Turks actually believe it, @RTErdogan relies on this pic.twitter.com/musnhCN1jj