Jun 262022
 


Caravaggio The Denial of St. Peter 1610

 

The Fantasy of Fanaticism (Scott Ritter)
US Commander: China’s ‘No-limits’ Support Of Russia Threatens Humanity (JTN)
G7 Face Battle For Unity As Cost Of Ukraine War Mounts (BBC)
Adding $37 Billion to Biden’s Military Budget (CD)
Russia On Brink Of Default As Debt Deadline Looms (BBC)
Germany Fears Russia Could Shut Nord Stream 1 Within Weeks (ZH)
Just 5% Call Abortion Top Concern (WE)
“It’s Infuriating”: DC Democrats In Chaos, Demand Biden Act On Abortion (ZH)
Democrats Lived Rent-free For 50 Years Off Roe v. Wade
The Dobbs Decision Unleashes Rage and Revisionism (Turley)
Biden Undermines Supreme Court In Ways Unlike Predecessors (JTN)
EU Renews Digital Covid Pass Despite 99% Negative Public Feedback (Kogon)
Birx Had A Tough Day In Congress (El Gato)
Ghislaine Maxwell On Suicide Watch, May Seek Sentencing Delay (R.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) “..the secretary general of the trans-Atlantic alliance responsible for pushing Ukraine into its current conflict with Russia is now proposing that Ukraine be willing to accept the permanent loss of sovereign territory because NATO miscalculated..”

2) “Russia just destroyed the equivalent of NATO’s main active-duty combat power and hasn’t blinked..”

The Fantasy of Fanaticism (Scott Ritter)

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior aid to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, recently estimated that Ukraine was losing between 100 and 200 soldiers a day on the frontlines with Russia, and another 500 or so wounded. These are unsustainable losses, brought on by the ongoing disparity in combat capability between Russia and Ukraine symbolized, but not limited to, artillery. In recognition of this reality, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg announced that Ukraine will more than likely have to make territorial concessions to Russia as part of any potential peace agreement, asking, “what price are you willing to pay for peace? How much territory, how much independence, how much sovereignty…are you willing to sacrifice for peace?”

Stoltenberg, speaking in Finland, noted that similar territorial concessions made by Finland to the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War was “one of the reasons Finland was able to come out of the Second World War as an independent sovereign nation.” To recap — the secretary general of the trans-Atlantic alliance responsible for pushing Ukraine into its current conflict with Russia is now proposing that Ukraine be willing to accept the permanent loss of sovereign territory because NATO miscalculated and Russia —instead of being humiliated on the field of battle and crushed economically — is winning on both fronts. Decisively. That the secretary general of NATO would make such an announcement is telling for several reasons.

First, Ukraine is requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom. In short, to keep Ukraine competitive on the battlefield, NATO is being asked to strip its own defenses down to literally zero. More telling, however, is what the numbers say about NATO’s combat strength versus Russia. If NATO is being asked to empty its armory to keep Ukraine in the game, one must consider the losses suffered by Ukraine up to that point and that Russia appears able to sustain its current level of combat activity indefinitely. That’s right — Russia just destroyed the equivalent of NATO’s main active-duty combat power and hasn’t blinked.

One can only imagine the calculations underway in Brussels as NATO military strategists ponder the fact that their alliance is incapable of defeating Russia in a large-scale European conventional land war. But there is another conclusion that these numbers reveal — that no matter what the U.S. and NATO do in terms of serving as Ukraine’s arsenal, Russia is going to win the war. The question now is how much time the West can buy Ukraine, and at what cost, in a futile effort to discover Russia’s pain threshold in order to bring the conflict to an end in a manner that reflects anything but the current path toward unconditional surrender.

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“..Jake Sullivan, said that a weak U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “would send a message to other would-be aggressors, including China, that they could do the same thing.”

For some reason he doesn’t appear to include the US in that group of “would-be aggressors”.

US Commander: China’s ‘No-limits’ Support Of Russia Threatens Humanity (JTN)

China’s assertion of a “no-limits” partnership with Russia has alarmed the Pentagon and risks endangering all of humanity should the two nations continue to grow closer, according to the commander of U.S. military forces in the Pacific. “From where I sit, the most concerning aspect of [Russia’s war in Ukraine] is that the People’s Republic of China has declared a no-limits policy in support of Russia and what that means to both the Indo-Pacific and the globe,” Adm. John Aquilino, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said on Friday. “If those two nations were to truly demonstrate and deliver a no-limits policy, I think what that means is we’re currently in an extremely dangerous time and place in the history of humanity, if that were to come true,” said Aquilino, speaking at an event hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think-tank.

In February, Chinese leader Xi Jinping met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing, where they heralded their relationship in a sweeping joint statement. “Friendship between the two states has no limits,” the two leaders said. “There are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.” The meeting came three weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine. China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion and has echoed Russian talking points about the war. Aquilino praised the Ukrainian people for defending their country and touted the efforts of the U.S. military and U.S. allies to help Ukraine defend itself.

“Globally what we see is that the world is certainly unwilling to accept a single person’s actions — illegitimate, unprovoked — to change the world order, the status quo, the international rules-based order through an unprovoked, illicit invasion,” he said. The commander’s comments came after President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that a weak U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “would send a message to other would-be aggressors, including China, that they could do the same thing.”

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“..Germany has invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit..”

That’s two BRICS members, and three potential ones.

G7 Face Battle For Unity As Cost Of Ukraine War Mounts (BBC)

The Russian war against Ukraine will inevitably dominate the summit of G7 nations in Bavaria. And the leaders of the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan face a difficult challenge. They are aiming to put on a show of unity and resolve over the war. In recent months, the Western alliance has shown signs of strain and fatigue. Some voices – particularly in France, Germany and Italy – have asked if it might not be better for the war to end, even if it came at the cost of Ukraine having to cede territory. A recent cross-Europe opinion poll suggested some voters put solving the cost-of-living crisis ahead of punishing Russia. Others argue about the need to salvage some kind of relationship with Russia in the future.

Countries like the UK, Poland and the three Baltic States have been resisting these arguments, saying that any peace deal with Moscow that is not on Ukraine’s terms would lead to further Russian aggression in the future. President Zelensky is likely to reinforce this argument when he addresses the summit virtually on Monday. So the G7 leaders are expected to try to use the summit to clear these muddy waters, promising more weapons to Ukraine and more sanctions against Russia. The idea will be to send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the West has the strategic patience to maintain its support for Ukraine, even if it faces domestic political pressure at home from voters concerned about rising prices. The problem for G7 leaders is they also face growing pressure to show they are tackling the global economic crisis. The soaring price of fuel and food is causing hunger and unrest across the world.

And some countries are pointing the finger at the West. Many countries in the global south do not share Western concerns about Russian aggression. They see the conflict as a European war and seem unmoved by Western arguments that Vladimir Putin is acting as a colonial aggressor. And they blame Western sanctions – as much as Russia’s invasion – for the rising costs of gas and oil, and the massive shortage of wheat and fertiliser. To try to resist this narrative, G7 countries are expected to use the summit to show they are acting to help countries round the world – with development aid, debt restructuring, climate finance, help finding alternative sources of energy and, of course, fresh efforts to get grain out of Ukraine’s ports. That is why Germany has invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit, to hear their perspective and show the rest of the world the G7 is listening.

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“If you’re supporting this amendment, you’re basically paving the way to a trillion-dollar defense [bill]..”

Adding $37 Billion to Biden’s Military Budget (CD)

Progressives expressed outrage after a House panel voted Wednesday to tack an additional $37 billion on top of President Joe Biden’s already gargantuan military spending request. The Biden administration’s March request for $813 billion in military spending for Fiscal Year 2023 already marked a $31 billion increase over the current, historically large sum of $782 billion. During its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the House Armed Services Committee approved by a 42-17 margin Rep. Jared Golden’s (D-Maine) amendment to boost the topline budget by $37 billion. “Today members of the House Armed Services Committee put the demands of the military-industrial complex over the needs of the American people yet again,” Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said in a statement.

“Granting $37 billion to a war machine that can’t even pass an audit while saying that we ‘can’t afford’ what American families and communities need is quintessential hypocrisy,” said Weissman. “Congress can still correct this misstep — rerouting that funding into investments like economic stability, climate justice, and affordable healthcare for all Americans instead.” The House panel’s increase comes less than a week after the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to add $45 billion to Biden’s $813 billion request, pushing the upper chamber’s total proposed budget for national military spending in the coming fiscal year to a whopping $857.6 billion — including $817 billion for the Pentagon, $30 billion for the Department of Energy and an additional $10.6 billion that falls outside NDAA jurisdiction.

During a speech Wednesday in which she explained why she voted against Golden’s “unconscionable” amendment, Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Cailf.) stressed that “there are simply not military solutions to every problem.” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) also voted against Golden’s amendment and explained his opposition in remarks delivered from the House floor. “If you’re supporting this amendment, you’re basically paving the way to a trillion-dollar defense [bill],” said Khanna. “Is that what we want in this country?” “I just want to be clear,” he added. “There is no country in the world that is putting over half its discretionary budget into defense and I would rather for us to be the preeminent economy of the 21st century by investing in the health of our people, in the education of our people, in the industries of the future.”

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“This whole situation looks like a farce.”

Russia On Brink Of Default As Debt Deadline Looms (BBC)

Russia is on the brink of its first debt default since 1998 as the Sunday deadline to make a $100m interest payment seems certain to be missed. Russia has the money and is willing to pay, but sanctions make it impossible to get the payments to international creditors. The Kremlin has been determined to avoid a first default since 1998, and a major blow to the nation’s prestige. The Russian finance minister branded the situation “a farce”. Russia has seemed on an inevitable path to default since sanctions were first imposed by the US and EU following the invasion of Ukraine.These restricted the country’s access to the international banking networks which would process payments from Russia to investors around the world.

The Russian government has said it wants to make all of its payments on time, and so far it has succeeded.About $40bn of Russia’s debts are denominated in dollars or euros, with around half held outside the country. A default would be the first since 1998, at the chaotic end of Boris Yeltsin’s regime. The $100m interest payment was due on 27 May. Russia says the money was sent to Euroclear, a bank which would then distribute the payment to investors. But that payment has been stuck there, according to Bloomberg News, and creditors have not received it. “They have not got it,” says Jay Auslander, a US lawyer who has worked on many government debt cases. “And the overwhelming probability is they’re not going to get it.”If this money has not arrived within 30 days of the due date, that is, Sunday evening, that will widely be considered a default.

Euroclear wouldn’t say if the payment had been blocked, but said it adheres to all sanctions. Default seemed inevitable when the US Treasury decided not to renew the special exemption in sanctions rules allowing investors to receive interest payments from Russia, which expired on 25 May. The Kremlin now appears to have accepted this inevitability too, decreeing on 23 June stating that all future debt payments would be made in roubles through a Russian bank, the National Settlements Depository, even when contracts state they should be in dollars or other international currencies. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov admitted foreign investors would “not be able to receive” the payments according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

This was for two reasons, he said. “The first is that foreign infrastructure – correspondent banks, settlement and clearing systems, depositories – ares prohibited from conducting any operations related to Russia. The second is that foreign investors are expressly prohibited from receiving payments from us.” Because Russia wants to pay and has plenty of money to do it, he denied that this amounts to a genuine default, which usually occur when governments refuse to pay, or their economies are so weak that they cannot find the money. “Everyone in the know understands that this is not a default at all,” RIA Novosti quoted him. “This whole situation looks like a farce.”

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Come -cold- winter, Europeans will not blame all this on Putin. They will demand their politicians make peace with Russia.

Germany Fears Russia Could Shut Nord Stream 1 Within Weeks (ZH)

The European Union has this week accused Russia of planning “rogue moves” regarding lowering natural gas flows to Europe, or in other words continuing to ‘weaponize’ its energy, to which the Kremlin has consistently responded with variations of ‘our gas, our rules’. This after Moscow has reduced Nord Stream 1 gas flows by 40% last week while citing technical issues, leading to a four- to sixfold rise in market prices, based on German energy officials. However, Berlin isn’t buying that needed maintenance on the key pipeline is all that’s happening here, instead seeing in it an underhanded Russian ploy to ramp up the pressure on Europe, giving way to fears that the saga could end in Russia halting its pipeline altogether.

“Gas is now a scarce commodity in Germany,” economy minister Robert Habeck said at a Thursday press conference while warning that his country is now approaching crisis supply levels which could see authorities turn to gas rationing. Habeck confirmed that the last days have seen a “significant deterioration of the gas supply situation” – following Gazprom’s Nord Stream 1 also having to now undergo what the Russian energy company has scheduled as “annual maintenance” for a period of ten days, from July 11 to July 21. Habeck was asked in an interview this week with German broadcaster ZDF about the negative scenario possibility of Russia artificially extending the repair and maintenance period: “I’d be lying if I said I’m ruling it out. In fact, Putin has gradually reduced the amount of gas more and more,” he responded.

According to the German language publication, the economy minister bluntly spelled out that Putin is trying to use energy to drive a wedge among European allies: Putin’s plan is to put pressure on the market to make prices in Europe more expensive. According to Habeck, it is mainly a matter of stirring up social unrest and breaking down unity. He wants to make sure that Putin “does not win,” the economy minister told ZDF heute Journal. Measures are also being taken to ensure the unity of society.

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“Only 5% said abortion was top issue. That might change a little, but not with people who can’t afford food or gas or rent or medical bills..”

Just 5% Call Abortion Top Concern (WE)

Abortion, the No. 1 concern in today’s media and politics, ranks nearly dead last among areas voters care about as they struggle with paying daily bills, soaring inflation, and interest rate hikes, according to a just-released survey. While the Supreme Court’s decision overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade right to abortion has dominated today’s network and cable coverage, the latest McLaughlin & Associates poll said just 5% of voters call it a top concern. Just below abortion, at 1%, is reviewing the 2020 election, over which the media are also obsessing. By comparison, 54% cited the economy. “Only 5% said abortion was top issue. That might change a little, but not with people who can’t afford food or gas or rent or medical bills,” said pollster John McLaughlin, referencing the court’s decision today.

He also told Secrets, “This was no surprise. The decision was leaked a while ago. Most states will not change their laws. Biden’s handlers are desperate to change the subject from the imploding economy.” President Joe Biden said today that he plans to dig into ways to continue the rights under Roe, but John and Jim McLaughlin said their data show it’s a desperation play to recover his base. In their latest survey, just 23% of Democratic primary voters said Biden was their first pick to run in 2024. “People are focused right now on inflation, gas, cost of living, public safety, and the disintegration of America,” Jim McLaughlin said. “You know you’re struggling when 77% of Biden’s primary voters are looking for somebody else.”

And while the media were suggesting that the question of abortion will help drive a bigger Democratic turnout in fall elections, the McLaughlins said it also stands to help Republicans. In an April survey, they found that 93% agree with this statement: “Every human being represents a life that is precious and has value.” John McLaughlin said, “If the Republicans stand on principle and defend human life, Americans are on their side.”

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“Behind the carnival tent curtain..”

“It’s Infuriating”: DC Democrats In Chaos, Demand Biden Act On Abortion (ZH)

Democrats are seething with rage over Friday’s 6-3 majority decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, sending the question of abortion rights back to the state-level. “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” read the opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito. Pro-abortion protesters sprung to action, deploying posters which read “Bans off my Body” and other slogans. Hours after the news broke, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called the decision “illegitimate,” and encouraged people to get “into the streets” to protest.


Her call for what we’re sure will be ‘mostly peaceful’ protests prompted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to accuse the Democrat of ‘launching an insurrection,’ adding “Any violence and rioting is a direct result of Democrat marching orders.” “I will explain this to you slowly: exercising our right to protest is not obstruction of Congress nor an attempt to overturn democracy,” AOC replied, to which Greene asked AOC why she won’t support pardons for Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, why she is “a shill for the MIC (military industrial complex) funding war in Ukraine,” or “are you too busy organizing baby killing riots?” Behind the carnival tent curtain, DC insiders are furious and are demanding that the Biden administration DO SOMETHING! “It’s infuriating. What the hell have we been doing?” one Democratic strategist told The Hill. “Why are we not talking about this every single day? Why hasn’t Biden made this the issue for Democrats? If we don’t step up, we’ve got ourselves to blame.”

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“..American liberals have lived rent free for 50 years on the Blackmun decision. They didn’t have to frame arguments. They didn’t have to persuade 50 legislatures…”

Democrats Lived Rent-free For 50 Years Off Roe v. Wade

Maybe it’s time everyone slowed down and looked at Roe for what it was. It was legal malpractice of the highest order that disenfranchised hundreds of millions of Americans by rationalizing that the Constitution had settled the question of abortion. An issue that rightly belonged in state legislatures where citizens could argue for and against was commandeered by the Blackmun court and settled. This is not merely a conservative view. Since Roe became law in 1973, a powerful consensus has been building among legal authorities left and right that Roe was constructed not on the breakwater of constitutional logic but on the seafoam of judicial activism. Here’s just a brief sampling from the left. And understand, I could easily add 20 more examples just like these:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justice): “The political process was moving in the early 1970 …not swiftly enough for advocates for quick, complete change, but majoritarian institutions were listening and acting. (Roe’s) heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.” Edward Lazarus (attorney, clerk to Roe-author Justice Harry Blackmun): “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose, as someone who believes such a right has grounding elsewhere in the Constitution instead of where Roe placed it, and as someone who loved Roe’s author like a grandfather. …(Roe) has little connection to the constitutional right it purportedly interpreted.”

Jeffrey Rosen (Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic): “In short, 30 years later, it seems increasingly clear that this pro-choice magazine was correct in 1973 when it criticized Roe on constitutional grounds. Its overturning would be the best thing that could happen to the federal judiciary, the pro-choice movement and the moderate majority of the American people.” Michael Kinsley (Opinion editor, Los Angeles Times; co-host of Crossfire): “Although I am pro-choice, I was taught in law school, and still believe, that Roe v. Wade is a muddle of bad reasoning and an authentic example of judicial overreaching. I also believe it was a political disaster for liberals. Roe is what first politicized religious conservatives while cutting off a political process that was legalizing abortion state by state anyway. Three decades later, that awakened giant controls the government.”

John Hart Ely (law professor; Yale, Harvard, Stanford; clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren): “(Roe) is, nevertheless, a very bad decision. Not because it will perceptibly weaken the Court — it won’t; and not because it conflicts with either my idea of progress or what the evidence suggests is society’s — it doesn’t. It is bad because it is bad constitutional law, or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”

On Friday, President Joe Biden ignored this consensus and railed against today’s justices who agree with it. “Make no mistake,” said Biden. “This decision is the culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.” To the contrary, I’ve presented above just a fraction of the counterevidence that shows Biden is wrong. Just to restate, as early as the 1970s when Michael Kinsley was chasing paper at Harvard Law, it was common knowledge in Cambridge that Roe was “a muddle of bad reasoning” and judicial overreach. American liberals have lived rent free for 50 years on the Blackmun decision. They didn’t have to frame arguments. They didn’t have to persuade 50 legislatures. The Blackmun court handed them the ball, the game and the whistle when it was only just beginning.


CA bar exam

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[n]othing in [the Court’s] opinion should be under- stood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

The Dobbs Decision Unleashes Rage and Revisionism (Turley)

In the aftermath of the historic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, politicians and pundits have denounced the Supreme Court justices and the Court itself for holding opposing views on the interpretation of the Court. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the justices “right-wing politicians” and many journalists called the Court “activists.” Most concerning were legal analysts who fueled misleading accounts of the opinion or the record of this Court. Notably, it is precisely what the Court anticipated in condemning those who would make arguments “designed to stoke unfounded fear.” Vice President Kamala Harris and others repeated the claims that same-sex marriage, contraceptives, and other rights are now in danger. The Court, however, expressly and repeatedly stated that this decision could not be used to undermine those rights: “Abortion is fundamentally different, as both Roe and Casey acknowledged, because it destroys what those decisions called ‘fetal life’ and what the law now before us describes as an ‘unborn human being.’”

The Court noted: “Perhaps this is designed to stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil those other rights, but the dissent’s analogy is objectionable for a more important reason: what it reveals about the dissent’s views on the protection of what Roe called “potential life.” The exercise of the rights at issue in Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawrence, and Obergefell does not destroy a “potential life,” but an abortion has that effect. So if the rights at issue in those cases are fundamentally the same as the right recognized in Roe and Casey, the implication is clear: The Constitution does not permit the States to regard the destruction of a “potential life” as a matter of any significance.”

Indeed, I cannot recall an opinion when the Court was more adamant in prospectively blocking the use of a holding in future cases. Only one justice, Clarence Thomas, suggested that the Court should reexamine the rationale for such rights but also emphasized that the majority of the Court was clearly holding that the opinion could not be used in that way. Thomas wrote: “The Court’s abortion cases are unique, see ante, at 31–32, 66, 71–72, and no party has asked us to decide “whether our entire Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence must be preserved or revised,” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 813 (opinion of THOMAS, J.). Thus, I agree that “[n]othing in [the Court’s] opinion should be under- stood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

Nevertheless, on CNN, legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers echoed the common claim that this decision could now be used to unravel an array of other rights and “criminalizing every single aspect” of women’s reproductive healthcare. However, Rodgers went even further. She suggested that states could ban menstrual cycle tracking: “Are they going to be able to search your apps—you know there’s apps that track your menstrual cycle. You know how far are these states going to try and go?”

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“Biden trampled his own promise to embrace government and the rule of law.”

Biden Undermines Supreme Court In Ways Unlike Predecessors (JTN)

Two months into his presidency, as he did often on the campaign trial, President Joe Biden asked America to embrace the legitimacy of government. “Put trust and faith in our government to fulfill its most important function, which is protecting the American people,” the 46th president implored his country in a March 2021 speech on the anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdowns. On Friday, after being stung by abortion and gun rights rulings by the Supreme Court that he disagreed with, the president changed his tune and launched a verbal assault on America’s judicial branch of government and its iconic marbled court of nine justices. The president took a blowtorch to the Supreme Court in language clearly designed to undermine its legitimacy.

He accused the justices of waging a “deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law” and decried their “extreme and dangerous path”, as he insisted the nation’s highest court had made the “United States an outlier among developed nations” by reversing the half-century-old Roe v. Wade decision. A day earlier, he slammed the court’s verdict that the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms extended to carrying in public, calling that decision “unconstitutional.” In so doing, Biden trampled his own promise to embrace government and the rule of law. He also veered from the civility most presidents and senior political leaders have shown the court, even when it ruled against their wishes.

Barack Obama, for instance, didn’t like the famed Heller gun ruling in 2008 that overturned DC’s restrictive handgun laws, but issued a statement that suggested good people could find common ground in it. “I will uphold the Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen,” Obama said. “I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws.” George W. Bush showed the same deference when the justices rejected his arguments that Guantanamo Bay terrorist prisoners didn’t deserve full rights in the courts. “We’ll abide by the court’s decision,” Bush said. “That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.”

Likewise, Al Gore upheld the legitimacy of the legal system after losing the 2000 election in an epic Supreme Court ruling: ““I accept the finality of the outcome … And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession,” the then-vice president said. Biden’s angry strike at the court’s legitimacy drew a rebuke from many corridors, including from a famed liberal law professor who voted for him. “I am concerned about that,” Harvard University law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told “Just the News, Not Noise” television program Friday night when asked about Biden’s reaction.

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“And so on and so forth through 385,191 responses.”

EU Renews Digital Covid Pass Despite 99% Negative Public Feedback (Kogon)

Acting on a proposal of the European Commission, the European Parliament, as expected, voted yesterday to renew the EU Digital Covid Certificate for another year. The vote was 453 for, 119 against and 19 abstentions. The certificate regulation had been scheduled to expire on June 30. Earlier this month, a delegation from the parliament had already reached a “political agreement” with the Commission on renewing the certificate, thus making yesterday’s vote virtually a foregone conclusion. The certificate regulation was originally adopted in June of last year, ostensibly to facilitate “safe travel” between EU member states. But the EU digital certificate quickly evolved into the model and sometimes infrastructure for the domestic “health” or Covid passes that would serve to restrict access to many other areas of social life over the following year.

The EU has opted to extend the covid certificate despite the overwhelmingly negative results of a public consultation on the subject that was launched by the European Commission under the heading of “Have Your Say” and that was open to the public from February 3 to April 8. The consultation elicited over 385,000 responses – almost all of which appear to be opposed to renewal! In a letter to the European Ombudsman that the French member of the parliament Virginie Joron posted on her Twitter feed, Joron writes: “I read hundreds of responses at random with my team. I did not find any in favor of extending the QR code [i.e. the digital certificate]. Based on this large survey, it seems obvious that virtually all the responses were negative.”

The overwhelmingly negative tendency of the responses was indeed evident from the outset. The first full page of responses, all of them dating from February 4, is available here. They are, of course, in a variety of European Union languages: French, German, Italian, and also one in English. To provide readers an idea of the tenor, here is a translation of just the first line or two of the first several responses (starting from the bottom of the page): “I am completely opposed to the establishment of this certificate given what is currently happening with the EU’s disastrous handling of Covid…” “I want this cst [probably a reference to Belgium’s “Covid Safe Ticket”] or vaccine passport simply to be eliminated… ” “There are claims made in the draft document that are not scientifically supported. For example, it is claimed that the Covid certificate represents effective protection against the spread of the virus – what data can support this claim?…

“Hello, I am shocked and disgusted by the freedom-killing decisions taken in the EU … as regards this “European certificate” … ” “The covid certificate or green pass SHOULD BE ABOLISHED immediately as discriminatory and unconstitutional and not supported by any scientific data, because it is exclusively based on PUNITIVE measures for citizens… ” “I am opposed to the extension of the green pass, which serves no purpose other than creating discrimination… ” “I never want to be subjected to a discriminatory certificate again…” “And, finally, the English-language entry: “The digital Covid certificate should end immediately. There is so much data that supports the fact that digital passports have zero positive impact on transmission rates and in fact in the most vaccinated and highly regulated countries, there [sic.] covid rates are insane…” And so on and so forth through 385,191 responses.

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“Digging further into this is going to get really good. It’s clear these people are neither smart nor informed. They hipshot and hoped. And all the carnage and calamity it drove is going to land on them.”

Birx Had A Tough Day In Congress (El Gato)

Leaders do not, mostly, lead. They follow the public mood. And as that mood is shifting, it’s becoming ok to ask the pointy questions and start getting to the bottom of things. Debbie had a tough outing here and gets pinned on a simple and vital issue: When public health officials and agencies stridently told america that the covid vaccines would be a “dead end for the virus” and stop infection and spread, upon what did they base that claim and how did they get it so wrong? Once Jordan gets a hold of her, this is like a tuna filled piñata in a tiger cage. jj: Was the government lying when they said this? db: i don’t know. i was not part of the taskforce discussions Strong start. Non-denial denial, offers up others for the trip under the bus. Both evasive and self-protective. Politics 101.

She then speaks of her family still using “layered protection” because she knew that vaccine immunity would wane like natural immunity. This is both inaccurate and deeply dishonest. If she and her compatriots “knew” that, they certainly were not saying it in public. And boy oh boy do we have the receipts on that one… Jj: when the government told us the vaccinated could not transmit it (covid), was that a lie or a guess? db: “i think it was hope” See, now that seems like a pretty poor pretext for pushing vaccination as social duty, mandating jabs, and endless campaigns of vilification, othering and claims to be on the “side of science.” “we did it cuz hope.” Digging further into this is going to get really good. It’s clear these people are neither smart nor informed. They hipshot and hoped. And all the carnage and calamity it drove is going to land on them.

It’s clear they lack basic justification for their towering, condescending certitude. This fallback to “and that’s why i think scientists and public health leaders always have to be at the table being very clear what we know and don’t know” is awe inspiring in its manipulative mendacity. Sure, the statement is true, but could anyone produce a standard that less describes what was actually done? They expressed as iron bar certainty that which they now admit was “a hope.” They attacked viciously anyone who dared call their narrative into question. I seriously cannot believe she just said that. That she did not actually burst into flame getting that out is near certain proof that she’s wearing asbestos underpants.

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“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournmen..”

You know who else is on suicide watch?

Ghislaine Maxwell On Suicide Watch, May Seek Sentencing Delay (R.)

Ghislaine Maxwell has been put on suicide watch at a Brooklyn jail, and may seek to delay her Tuesday sentencing for aiding Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls, her lawyer said on Saturday night. In a letter to the judge overseeing Maxwell’s case, Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said her client is “unable to properly prepare, for sentencing,” after officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center on Friday declared the suicide watch and abruptly moved Maxwell to solitary confinement. Sternheim said Maxwell was given a “suicide smock,” and her clothing, toothpaste, soap and legal papers were taken away. The lawyer also said Maxwell “is not suicidal,” a conclusion she said a psychologist who evaluated the 60-year-old British socialite on Saturday morning also reached.


“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournment,” Sternheim wrote. Maxwell was convicted on Dec. 29 on five criminal counts, including sex trafficking, for recruiting and grooming four girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Prosecutors have said Maxwell should spend at least 30 years in prison, citing her “utter lack of remorse.” Maxwell wants a term shorter than 20 years.

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Chicken Dog

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 252022
 


Arnold Böcklin Mermaids at play 1886

 

Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade (ZH)
What Progressives Get Wrong About Overturning Roe (Turley)
Biden Claims Abortion Ruling Makes US ‘Outlier Among Developed Nations’ (Fox)
Putin Suggests Way Out Of Global Economic Crisis (RT)
China Promotes ‘Non-Western Multilateralism’ at BRICS Summit (NI)
US Gov’t Body Plots To Break Up Russia In Name Of ‘Decolonization’ (MP)
Why The West Risks Condemning Ukraine To Slow Strangulation (G.)
Concurrent And Hyperinflation Will Ravage The World (von Greyerz)
Don’t Fear The Recession (Denninger)
A Lemming Leading The Lemmings: The Terminal Collapse Of The Anti-war Left (Cook)
Prepare For A Tidal Wave Of Evictions (ZH)
When the Wicked Try to Flee (Kunstler)
Austria Set to Retire Vaccine Mandate by End of August (Eugyp)

 

 

 

 

Trump 2016 Roe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First thing we need to do is to stop making this a black and white issue. There are many shades here. Many will claim that I have no right to speak, because I am a man. But you can’t just silence half the population on crucial questions. We are not done talking.

Biden: The Supreme Court ‘took away a constitutional right’. No, that never existed.

In Europe, abortion is much more regulated than in the US under Roe v Wade. The Mississippi law that the Supreme Court upheld today bans abortion after 15 weeks. France, Belgium, Ireland, Germany ban abortion after 12 weeks. Italy 13 weeks. France, Austria, Spain after 14 weeks. UK 24 weeks. In the US, I see many voices claim abortion up to 8-9 months should be legal. That makes me very uncomfortable.

Another point: the Dems could have codified Roe v Wade into law under Clinton, Obama, even Biden. They did not. Some suggest this is because they want to be able to keep bringing it up time and again because it is an issue that is guaranteed to get them votes. Codify it, and those votes are gone.

Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade (ZH)

The Supreme Court has overturned Roe vs. Wade, returning the decision on whether or not abortion is legal to individual states. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito in the Friday decision – the May 2 leak of which led to widespread protests and an attempted murder against Justice Brett Kavanaugh – the court overturned the 1973 case which guaranteed access to abortion nationwide. The case at issue – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization challenged a Mississippi law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks. Lower courts, citing a previous ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey preventing states from banning abortion within the first 24 weeks of gestation, had prevented Dobbs from being enacted – which the Supreme Court just reversed.

In response to the ruling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that Congressional Democrats would work to “enshrine Roe v. Wade into law” – while former President Obama said the ruling attacks ‘essential freedoms.’ Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted that “American women are having their rights taken by 5 unelected Justices on the extremist MAGA court.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the ruling is “courageous and correct.” Within an hour of the USSC Roe decision, Missouri ended abortion in the state. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said that there would be a “mini revolution” in November’s midterm elections if the landmark decision was overturned – insisting that overturning the law would be “ridiculous” and would drive Democrat turnout in November’s midterm elections.

“I don’t think the country will stand for it,” he said, adding “If in fact the decision comes down the way it does, and these states impose the limitations they’re talking about, it’s going to cause a mini revolution and they’re going to vote these folks out of office.” Earlier this year, Congressional Democrats tried and failed to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. Meanwhile, Biden said he was exploring the use of executive orders depending on the final Supreme Court decision. Biden also pushed voters to come out during midterms so that Congressional dems would have enough of a majority to codify abortion rights into law. “You gotta vote to let people know exactly what the devil you think,” he told Kimmel.

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“Now, it’s citizens who will decide.”

What Progressives Get Wrong About Overturning Roe (Turley)

With the release of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, politicians and pundits went public with a parade of horribles – from the criminalization of contraceptives to the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. In reality, the post-Roe world will look much like the Roe world for most citizens. While this is a momentous decision, it is important to note what it does and does not do. The decision itself was already largely known. It did not dramatically change since the leak of an earlier draft. The conservative majority held firm in declaring that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided: “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

In the end, Chief Justice John Roberts cut a bit of a lonely figure in the mix of the court on the issue. His concurrence did not seriously question the majority view that Roe was not based on a good law. However, he would have stopped short of overturning the decision outright. It is the ultimate call of an incrementalist detached from the underlying constitutional interpretation. The court now has a solid majority of justices who are more motivated by what they view as “first principles” than pragmatic concerns. From a court that has long used nuanced (and maddeningly vague) opinions to avoid major changes in constitutional doctrine, we now have clarity on this issue. It will return to the citizens of each state to decide. The court anticipated the response to the opinion by those who “stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil … other rights.”

The opinion expressly does not address contraception, same-sex marriage or other rights. That claim has always been absurd but has become a talking point on the left. After the leak of the draft opinion, the New York Times opinion editors warned that some states likely would outlaw interracial marriage if Roe v. Wade is overturned: “Imagine that every state were free to choose whether to allow Black people and white people to marry. Some states would permit such marriages; others probably wouldn’t.” It takes considerable imagination because it is utter nonsense, though it must come as something of a surprise to Justice Clarence Thomas, given his interracial marriage, or to Justice Amy Coney Barrett, given her own interracial family.

Nevertheless, politicians lined up to lead the parade of predicting horrible consequences. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that “with Roe and their attempt to destroy it, radical Republicans are charging ahead with their crusade to criminalize health freedom.” [..] The court held that “it is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” Much of course has changed since 1973 when Roe was handed down. At that time, most states restricted legal abortions. Now, the overwhelming majority of Americans have supported Roe v. Wade and 16 states have guaranteed abortion, including states such as California, Illinois and New York that hold a significant percentage of the population. States like Colorado protect the right of a woman to make this decision without limitations on the stage of a pregnancy.

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It’s not.

Biden Claims Abortion Ruling Makes US ‘Outlier Among Developed Nations’ (Fox)

President Biden remarked Friday that the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade made the U.S. an “outlier” in the West. “With this decision, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court shows how extreme it is, how far removed they are from the majority of this country,” Biden said during a speech at the White House. “They have made the United States an outlier among developed nations in the world. But this decision must not be the final word.” However, European nations largely have abortion laws that resemble regulations supported by many Republican-led state governments. The Supreme Court issued its decision Friday as part of a case regarding a Mississippi state law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Even states that ban abortion can’t make it illegal to travel to another state to abort a pregnancy, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his concurrence Friday. By comparison, abortion is only permitted in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger in Poland. In Ireland and Germany, abortion procedures are banned in the majority of cases after 12 weeks. Italy doesn’t allow abortions after 90 days, or just under 13 weeks. France, Austria and Spain have banned the procedure after 14 weeks. “Upholding laws restricting abortion on demand after 20 weeks would situate the United States closer to the international mainstream, instead of leaving it as an outlying country with ultra-permissive abortion policies,” the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life group, stated in 2014.

The report noted that the list of nations where abortion is legal past 20 weeks included North Korea, China and Vietnam. The Center for Reproductive Rights estimates that 12 countries now allow abortion up to 20 weeks, a legal adviser for the group told Politifact last month. The U.K. allows abortions up to 24 weeks, according to the nation’s National Health Service. In addition, there are more than 20 countries that have “flexible” laws that permit abortion procedures at 20 weeks or later under certain circumstances, according to Politifact. For example, the Czech Republic allows abortions after 20 weeks for mental health reasons and Japan permits abortions after 22 weeks for socioeconomic reasons.

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BRICS. I stopped quoting RT when it was banned all over, I want people to be able to click links and read the original articles. 1 exception here, also because this is the entire article.

Putin Suggests Way Out Of Global Economic Crisis (RT)

The West’s selfish attempts to blame the entire world for its own mistakes have led to the global economic crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Thursday, appearing via video link at the 14th BRICS Summit. “Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation is it possible to find a way out of this crisis situation that has gripped the global economy due to the thoughtless and selfish actions of certain states,” Putin explained.


The Russian leader stressed that today, as never before, the leadership of the BRICS countries is needed in order to develop a unifying policy for the shaping of a truly multipolar system of intergovernmental relations, and that it ought to be based on the universally recognized norms of international law and the key principles of the UN Charter. According to Putin, the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a truly enormous political, economic, scientific, technological and human potential. Their influence on the global arena is increasing with every year, he pointed out. “Russia is ready to continue developing close multifaceted interaction with all the [BRICS] partners and contribute to the enhancement of its role in international affairs,” Putin promised.

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The west is not the future. That time is behind us. And many countries recognize this.

China Promotes ‘Non-Western Multilateralism’ at BRICS Summit (NI)

China hosted the first day of the fourteenth annual BRICS Summit—a series of meetings involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—on Wednesday, amid a series of major shifts in the global world order and rising geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Chinese president Xi Jinping opened the summit on Wednesday, emphasizing the five nations’ “shared desire to meet challenges together through cooperation,” according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. The Chinese leader also urged the countries in attendance to “embrace solidarity and coordination and jointly maintain world peace and stability.”

The BRICS group comprises the five largest developing economies; together, its members constitute forty percent of the world’s population and one-fourth of global gross domestic product. The group includes the two most populous nations in the world, China and India, as well as Russia, the largest in terms of land. Chinese state media has praised the role of the five-nation grouping, claiming that ties between the BRICS countries had increased “multilateral cooperation with non-Western styles, forms, and principles [of government”—marking a positive contrast to the actions of the United States, which it accused of “pulling its Western allies to ‘rebel’ against globalization.”

Despite considerable internal differences within the bloc, including a decades-old rivalry between China and India, all of the BRICS countries have resisted full political alignment with the West. Of the five BRICS nations, only one, Brazil, voted in the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine in February; Russia voted against the measure, while the other three countries abstained. Even Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro refused to personally condemn Putin, whom the West has widely framed as the driving force behind the Russian invasion. In his remarks on Wednesday, Xi appeared to criticize the United States and NATO, describing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “wake-up call for all in the world.”

“Blind faith in the so-called ‘position of strength’ and attempts to expand military alliances and seek one’s own security at the expense of others will only land oneself in a security dilemma,” Xi said, repeating the controversial argument that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was mainly prompted by legitimate security fears rather than Putin’s personal ideology. A virtual meeting between Xi and his counterparts Jair Bolsonaro, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, and Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to take place on Thursday morning, followed by further meetings between high-level officials from the five countries. Analysts have predicted that Xi will defend China’s governance record and highlight the country’s successful development to the other attendees amid the lifting of strict Covid-19 lockdown measures in Shanghai and Beijing.

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War games.

US Gov’t Body Plots To Break Up Russia In Name Of ‘Decolonization’ (MP)

A US government body held a Congressional briefing plotting ways to break up Russia as a country, in the name of supposed “decolonization.” The participants urged the United States to give more support to separatist movements inside Russia and in the diaspora. They proposed the independence of numerous republics in the Russian Federation, including Chechnya, Tatarstan, and Dagestan, as well as historic areas that existed centuries ago such as Circassia. This is far from the first time that hawks in Washington have fantasized about carving up foreign countries. During the first cold war, the US sponsored secessionist groups inside the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, the US-led NATO military cartel successfully dismantled Yugoslavia. And Washington has long backed separatists in the Chinese regions of Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

After the overthrow of the USSR, neoconservative operative and future Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to slice up Russia into several smaller countries. Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski even published an article in elite Foreign Affairs magazine in 1997 proposing to create a “loosely confederated Russia — composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic.” Yet this Congressional hearing was one of the most high-profile and provocative calls for balkanization yet, held in broad daylight. Titled “Decolonizing Russia: A Moral and Strategic Imperative,” the June 23 briefing was organized by the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), known more commonly as the Helsinki Commission.

This commission claims to be “independent,” but it is a US government agency created and overseen by Congress. The event was introduced by Congressman Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee who co-chairs the commission. Representative Cohen claimed Russians “have in essence colonized their own country,” and argued that Russia is “not a strict nation, in the sense that we’ve known in the past.” At the virtual hearing, which was livestreamed on YouTube, the congressman was joined by veteran regime-change activists who have worked for an array of US government agencies. The event was moderated by Bakhti Nishanov, a senior policy advisor to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

He excitedly noted, “We have many, many participants. I think this is pretty much a record for a House commission briefing.” Nishanov argued that Western condemnation of Moscow’s war in Ukraine should expand to opposition to “Russia’s interior empire.” He added that the panelists hoped to “come up with ideas that will actually contain Russia.”

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“..although the EU may have won the information war on Ukraine in Europe, “a very different narrative” existed elsewhere..”

Why The West Risks Condemning Ukraine To Slow Strangulation (G.)

But it is the third theatre of war – the influence war – where the west is faring unexpectedly poorly. There is a growing awareness that the west’s narrative that Putin is fighting a colonial war and is responsible for its ripple effects is meeting indifference and even resistance in the global south. With more than 40% of wheat consumed in Africa usually coming from Russia and Ukraine, one of the key organisers of the G7 summit in Germany, Wolfgang Schmidt, said it was vital to prevent Moscow and Beijing dividing off the G7 from the so-called Brics countries by blaming western sanctions for the shortages. Germany had invited leaders from Indonesia, India, South Africa, Argentina and Senegal in part to prevent Russia and China succeeding in their goal.

Schmidt said: “When you talk to leaders outside Europe and the alliance at the moment then you will realise their perception of the [ Ukraine] war is completely different from ours. They might say: ‘Yes, we are not OK with a country invading another.’ But and then comes the big but: ‘It is your sanctions that drive up food prices, energy prices and have a devastating effect on our population.’” Ann Linde, the Swedish foreign minister, said that during her meetings with Asian and African ministers she also came across a narrative that the west was more engaged in Ukraine, than it has been in wars in the south. Her Austrian counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg, said in his recent travels in India and the Middle East he discovered that although the EU may have won the information war on Ukraine in Europe, “a very different narrative” existed elsewhere.

Outside Europe “we are the culprits. We are the reason for oil, seeds, grain and energy not being on the market or overpriced,” he said. “This is a war in Europe. But there’s another European war, because the shockwaves can be felt everywhere. It’s the first war since the second world war where you can feel the effects globally.” A massive battle is now under way to accuse Russia of using hunger as a weapon of war. The blame game could not have higher stakes. Largely due to drought in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, 16.7 million people in east Africa are already dependent on food assistance. That number is likely to increase by 20 million by September alone. The World Food Programme claimed the Ukraine ripple effect will mean a further 44 million people worldwide would be classified as “food insecure or at high risk”.

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FLATION. “Political turmoil and anarchy will be the rule rather than the exception as the people will blame the leaders for higher prices and taxes and deteriorating services in all areas.”

Concurrent Deflation And Hyperinflation Will Ravage The World (von Greyerz)

FLATION will be the keyword in coming years. The world will simultaneously experience inFLATION, deFLATION, stagFLATION and eventually hyperinFLATION. [..] With most asset classes falling rapidly, the world is now approaching calamities of a proportion not seen before in history. So far in 2022, we have seen an implosion of asset prices across the board of around 20%. What few investors realise is that this is the mere beginning. Before this bear market is over, the world will see 75-90% falls of stocks, bonds and other assets. Since falls of this magnitude have not been seen for more than three generations, the shockwaves will be calamitous. At the same time as bubble assets deflate, prices of goods and services have started an inflationary cycle of a magnitude that the world as whole has never experienced before.

We have seen hyperinflation in individual countries previously but never on a global scale. Currently the official inflation rate is around 8% in the US and Europe. But for the average consumer in the West, prices are rising by at least 25% on average for their everyday needs such as food and fuel. So the world is now approaching calamities on many fronts. As always in periods of crisis, everybody is looking for someone to blame. In the West most people blame Putin. Yes, Putin is the villain and it is his fault that food and energy prices are surging. Nobody bothers to analyse what or who prompted Russia to intervene, nor do politicians or main stream media understand the importance of history, which is the key to understanding current events.

In troubled times, everyone needs someone to blame. Many Americans will blame Biden who has both lost his grip on most US events as well as his balance. In the UK, the people blame Boris Johnson who has lost control of Britain since Partygate. In France the people are blaming Macron who just lost his majority in parliament, and in Germany people blame Scholz for sending money to Ukraine for weapons and money to Russia for gas. This blame game is only just beginning. Political turmoil and anarchy will be the rule rather than the exception as the people will blame the leaders for higher prices and taxes and deteriorating services in all areas. No country will be able to provide social security payments in line with galloping inflation. Same with unfunded or underfunded pensions, which will fall dramatically or even disappear totally as the underlying asset base of stocks and bonds implodes. As a consequence, many countries will be anarchic.

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Karl toots his own horn.

Don’t Fear The Recession (Denninger)

“Oh nos, there’s a recession coming!” CHEERS, say I. What, you say? You must be nuts! People lose their jobs in a recession and the economy stinks! Oh, so what’s going on right now doesn’t stink? Sky-high gas prices and a 50% inflation built into the PPI which has yet to work itself through the system — and won’t for at least another year even if all the crazy policies stopped now? Of course it does. The only reason to fear recessions and higher interest rates is if you, or your firm, is over-levered. To put not so fine a point on it you cheated to obtain what you claim as “prosperity” and now you’re staring down getting caught out while both unprepared and having done stupid things. Key to this is that you did the stupid things.


What was the smart thing to do in such a time? Live below your means and sock back capital during the good times. Why? Because then you have it, and its yours, when the bad times come — which means you get to pick on the people who did stupid things and, by doing so, get far ahead and you didn’t have to cheat in order to do so. Twice in my time running MCSNet I feasted on other people’s stupidity in regard to taking on leverage they could not service. Neither time was I personally responsible for the stupidity of said others, but both times I made out like a bandit — precisely because I had cash and, when the opportunity arose, could slap it on the table in exchange for what I wanted to grow the business at a ridiculous discount to what I would have otherwise paid.

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Noticed that.

A Lemming Leading The Lemmings: The Terminal Collapse Of The Anti-war Left (Cook)

Have you noticed how every major foreign policy crisis since the U.S. and U.K.’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 has peeled off another layer of the left into joining the pro-NATO, pro-war camp? It is now hard to remember that many millions marched in the U.S. and Europe against the attack on Iraq. It sometimes feels like there is no one left who is not cheerleading the next wave of profits for the West’s military-industrial complex (usually referred to as the “defense industry” by those very same profiteers). Washington learned a hard lesson from the unpopularity of its 2003 attack on Iraq aimed at controlling more of the Middle East’s oil reserves. Ordinary people do not like seeing the public coffers ransacked or suffering years of austerity, simply to line the pockets of Blackwater, Halliburton, and Raytheon. And all the more so when such a war is sold to them on the basis of a huge deception.

So since then, the U.S. has been repackaging its neocolonialism via proxy wars that are a much easier sell. There have been a succession of them: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela and now Ukraine. Each time, a few more leftists are lured into the camp of the war hawks by the West’s selfless, humanitarian instincts – promoted, of course, through the barrel of a Western-supplied arsenal. That process has reached its nadir with Ukraine. I recently wrote about the paranoid ravings of celebrity “left-wing” journalist Paul Mason, who now sees the Kremlin’s hand behind any dissension from a full-throttle charge towards a nuclear face-off with Russia. But I want to take on here a more serious proponent of this kind of ideology than the increasingly preposterous Mason.

Because swelling kneejerk support for U.S. imperial wars – as long, of course, as Washington’s role is thinly disguised – is becoming ever more common among leftwing academics too. The latest cheerleader for the military-industrial complex is Slavoj Zizek, the famed Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual whose work has gained him international prominence. His latest piece – published where else but The Guardian – is a morass of sloppy thinking, moral evasion and double speak. Which is why I think it is worth deconstructing. It encapsulates all the worst geostrategic misconceptions of Western intellectuals at the moment. Zizek, who is supposedly an expert on ideology and propaganda, and has even written and starred in a couple of documentaries on the subject, seems now to be utterly blind to his own susceptibility to propaganda.

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“..8.4 million Americans, or about 15% of all renters, who are behind on rent, are at risk of being evicted..”

Prepare For A Tidal Wave Of Evictions (ZH)

A tidal wave of evictions could be ahead. More than eight million Americans are behind on rent payments, and the CDC’s series of eviction moratoriums has long since expired. In other words, the government safety net to keep people off the streets is gone. With no federal eviction moratorium in place, 8.4 million Americans, or about 15% of all renters, who are behind on rent, are at risk of being evicted. The new figures were part of a Census Bureau survey conducted between June 1 to June 13 of households and was first reported by Bloomberg. The survey found that 3.5 million households were somewhat likely to leave their rented spaces (homes/apartments) within the next two months because of an eviction.


Most of these folks are of the working poor class and situated in large metro areas from New York to Atlanta, where the cost of living, including shelter, food, and fuel, has skyrocketed. About 6.7 million households said their rents increased, on average, $250 per month over the last year. The increase doesn’t sound like a lot but remember that many of these folks are being crushed under the weight of the highest inflation in four decades. Their credit cards are maxed out, and savings are drained as wages fail to keep up with soaring consumer prices. This shocking revelation is a reminder that today’s current economic backdrop, which some say is stagflationary, could quickly morph into recession and surging jobless. So who will the Biden administration blame for the coming tidal wave of evictions? He can’t keep blaming “Putin.”

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“The data tell us that people who got “vaccinated” and “boosted” are turning up with broken immune systems that leave them extra-specially open to repeated Covid-19 re-infection, and that each reiteration of the illness breaks down their immune systems even more..”

When the Wicked Try to Flee (Kunstler)

Dr. Anthony Fauci (White House Medical Advisor), Dr. Rochelle Walensky (CDC), and Dr. Robert M. Califf (FDA) are killing and harming Americans because… apparently, they don’t know why. As the old saw goes: they know not what they do. Or is that so? Is it even possible anymore? One must suppose it is possible if they are insane, which, you also understand, does not preclude them from being evil, too. Ms. Walensky says repeatedly that they are looking at or waiting on “the data.” No, she’s not. She’s just saying that, as if reciting a magic incantation that can deflect culpability. The data are in plain sight, not even hiding. The data are all over the world: this country, the UK, Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Portugal, Israel, Cuba, South Africa, Australia, name a country. The data are turning up now in respected medical journals, many news websites, substacks, and blogs, as well, even, here and there, in what we call mainstream media. A lot of the data until very recently were getting published in the agencies own collection organs, but they deliberately stopped it.

The data tell us that people who got “vaccinated” and “boosted” are turning up with broken immune systems that leave them extra-specially open to repeated Covid-19 re-infection, and that each reiteration of the illness breaks down their immune systems even more — which suggests that over time (think: the months ahead) more and more of them are going to die from all kinds of opportunistic viral and bacterial diseases, not to mention cancers, structural damage due to blood clots, heart tissue injury directly from spike proteins, and brain-and-neuro illness, ditto. Do you believe that the authorities somehow missed all this? Are they trying to pretend that they didn’t (take your pick): 1) fecklessly promote the biggest compound medical blunder in history? 2) conspire with pharma companies in a dastardly racketeering scheme? 3) carry out the orders of some shady, malevolent elite to cull the human population under a depraved, messianic, crypto-eco ideology? or 4) just…reasons….

Before too much longer they’ll have to tell us. At this point, resigning in order to just slink away from the scene of the crime is probably not possible. Francis Collins tried to step down from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) late last year, but we’ll know how to find him, and we certainly know what he did in enabling the creation of the Covid-19 pandemic and then its supposed savior “vaccines.” This is true, by the way, across the entire medical profession, including doctors, hospital directors, and, of course, the pharma executives. They’ll have to answer for why they continued vaxxing the public when caution was indicated (primum non nocere — first do no harm), and how come they stupidly and / or maliciously suppressed cheap and effective early treatment drugs.

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Austria arguably has the most damaging mandates.

Austria Set to Retire Vaccine Mandate by End of August (Eugyp)

Yesterday, Green Party health minister Johannes Rauch announced in a press conference that the Austrian vaccine mandate will be retired after 31 August. His announcement follows the decision in March to suspend the promised fines – as high as 3,600 Euros – for the unvaccinated, which were said to be “disproportionate” given the mildness of Omicron. Rauch explained: “The vaccine mandate has not increased the number of people getting vaccinated, and they have also opened up rifts in the population. I’m convinced that it won’t help us to achieve the goal of motivating as many people as possible to have a booster in autumn – rather the opposite. It’s time to close those rifts again. Abolishing the mandate is another step out of crisis mode, towards normalisation. We must learn to live with Covid-19.”

Of course Rauch also had excuses: The legislation was introduced at a totally different moment, in the midst of a Delta wave that had caused surging hospitalisations and brought intensive care units in Austria to their capacity limits. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, in a radio interview, concurred that the mandate “was not the appropriate measure to increase the vaccination rate.” It had instead caused social division, at a time when “We have to fight together against the virus and not against each other.” As recently as January, he had called the mandate “a way back to freedom” and explained that the unvaccinated would not have to pay heavy fines, as long as they showed “active remorse” and submitted to vaccination after all.

[..] I often hear that opposition to pandemic policies is hopeless and that we are condemned to accept nothing but loss after loss. That’s not true. This is a massive victory to Austrian opponents of mass vaccination, and it represents a serious defeat for the pandemicists, who can now only speak of their defunct mandate in apologetic tones and with vaguely embarrassed excuses. General vaccine mandates are dead all over Europe, and Omicron is only the indirect cause. The vaccinators were already at the limits of their strength even at the height of the Delta wave; improving disease statistics merely drained off enough of the ambient hysteria to make their battle wholly unwinnable.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo: Israel Provokes Russia

 

 

 

 

Birx

 

 


June 24

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 242022
 


Georges Seurat A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 1884

 

Frustration Grows In Ukraine, Casualties Spike, Russia Wins Territory (NBC)
EU Leaders To Grant Ukraine Candidate Status In Blow To Putin (G.)
The Third Incarnation of Russia since 1721 (Batiushka)
German Economic Minister Announces Restart of Coal Power Plants (CTH)
The Supreme Court Hands Down Major Gun Rights Victory (Turley)
Liberal Policies Have Killed Black Communities: Clarence Thomas (NYP)
Joe Biden Flashes Official Cheat Sheet: ‘YOU Take YOUR Seat’ (JTN)
Biden Is Hiding His Plan To Rig The 2022 Midterm Elections (Fed.)
Prosecuting Trump: Being A Jerk Isn’t Criminal (Turley)
The CDC Just Pushed Fake News on Covid Child Mortality
Study Finds mRNA Vaccines Lead To Increase Of Serious Adverse Events (TCS)
Alarming Levels of 29 Chemicals Affecting Fertility Found in Men’s Urine (CHD)
Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents (MPN)

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

“We are funding the Ukrainian government, if we stop funding everything would collapse, Mr Zelensky would climb on an airplane where he owns a mansion.”
– Colonel Douglas Macgregor.

 

 

 

 

No, no, NBC, this is not the official narrative…

Frustration Grows In Ukraine, Casualties Spike, Russia Wins Territory (NBC)

Russia’s invasion in February prompted a wave of public support for the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as millions of Ukrainians raced to help defend their homeland. Four months later — amid Russian advances and spiking casualties — anger and frustration over the handling of the war is swelling. In interviews with Ukrainians who have family members fighting the invaders, many said they were upset with the military leadership for deploying inexperienced people to the front lines, and at times sending them into battle without as much as a medical or a psychological examination. “I am ready to protest,” said Viktoriia Bilan-Rashchuk, 43, of Kyiv, whose husband, Volodymyr, a theater actor with no previous military experience, is fighting on the eastern front line in Sievierodonetsk.

Last month, she said, she raised money to send his unit protective headphones — standard military equipment used to prevent hearing loss for soldiers firing off rocket systems. “The government isn’t doing enough to support them. The longer this goes on, the more people will become upset,” Bilan-Rashchuk said in Ukrainian, speaking through a translator. Since Russia invaded in February, thousands of Ukrainians with no military background have volunteered to fight. To boost its war efforts, the Ukrainian government has also banned men ages 18 to 60 from leaving the country in case it needs to start a draft. In May, Zelenskyy said the country’s military had 700,000 service members, including women. Through a relentless campaign of appearances, interviews and statements, Zelenskyy has fought to keep morale high among troops and the general public and plead the country’s case to the international community.

But Russian artillery attacks have intensified in the east in recent months, pushing the Ukrainian military death toll to between 100 and 200 soldiers a day in combat, with another 500 injured every day, according to Ukrainian officials, the BBC reported earlier this month. In his daily address June 14, Zelenskyy called the losses “painful” but said Ukrainians “have to hold on.” Despite the high death toll, Ukrainian officials have maintained that troops are well taken care of, with sufficient training, food, equipment and rest. But as the war grinds on, what makes some Ukrainians especially angry is the lack of basic military equipment for those on the front lines. Some military families have been forced to organize donation drives to send medical supplies and military equipment to the front lines.

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It will be a blow to the EU.

EU Leaders To Grant Ukraine Candidate Status In Blow To Putin (G.)

European leaders are poised to grant Ukraine candidate status, in a historic decision that opens the door to EU membership for the war-torn country and deals a blow to Vladimir Putin. EU leaders meeting in Brussels are expected to approve Ukraine’s candidate status later on Thursday, nearly four months after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy launched his country’s bid to join the bloc in the early days of the Russian invasion. The move from applicant to candidate usually takes years, but the EU has dramatically accelerated the process, amid outrage over the brutality of the unprovoked Russian attack, and to show solidarity with Ukraine’s defenders.


“Ukraine is going through hell for a simple reason: its desire to join the EU,” tweeted the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, on the eve of the summit. The commission last week called on EU leaders to grant Ukraine’s candidate status. “Our opinion acknowledges the immense progress that [Ukrainian] democracy has achieved since the Maidan protests of 2014,” Von der Leyen said. Welcoming the expected positive decision, Zelenskiy said: “This is like going into the light from the darkness.” Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said candidate status would “draw a line under decades of ambiguity and set it in stone: Ukraine is Europe, not part of the ‘Russian world’”.

Read more …

Great history lesson.

“The break with the West and the ‘obsolete geopolitical illusions’ of its elite’s superiority complex, essentially a form of Nazism, is irreversible.”

The Third Incarnation of Russia since 1721 (Batiushka)

Until the whole of the Ukraine is demilitarised, and it is continually being remilitarised by the West, the liberation cannot stop. Moreover, with potential threats from NATO-armed Poland and Lithuania towards Kaliningrad and from Romania towards Moldova, from arms shipments from Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Lands and the Baltic States, especially from the US puppet-government in Lithuania, with threats from Sweden and Finland to join NATO, where will it stop? The West has to be freed from Nazism/woke liberalism (it is the same thing. As they say: there is nothing so intolerant as liberalism). True, Germany, France and Italy, their economies crippled by US-imposed, anti-Russian sanctions, are showing reason. This is unlike the laughable bluster coming from the militarily feeble Johnson-regime in the UK, which may well be toppled by popular internal discontent and a wave of strikes.

However, it is the economic aspect, with its international dedollarisation, of the Third Incarnation of Russia which is truly world-changing. In the light of the speech of Vladimir Putin at the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum of June 2022, we can say that Russia is returning to its historic path. It wants to leave aside the errors of the past, become a sovereign nation again and no longer be a Western colony. This is unlike the EU, which is clearly just a US vassal, both economically and politically. The future world order will be formed only by strong sovereign states, independent of the dollar and the massive debts of Western countries. These have been caused by their inflationary printing of money that is not based on real commodities such as cereals, oil, gas, minerals, metals, rare earth elements, fertilisers, timber, manufactured goods and gold.

The break with the West and the ‘obsolete geopolitical illusions’ of its elite’s superiority complex, essentially a form of Nazism, is irreversible. Russia will invest in internal economic development in microeconomic and macroeconomic terms, ensuring ‘technological sovereignty’ (which means for instance that Russia already has unique hypersonic missiles), encouraging free enterprise against bureaucracy, improving infrastructure, but also ensuring social justice, fighting against poverty and supporting the family, encouraging far more ‘families to have two, three or more children’. The ideal of social conservatism together with social justice is what is intended. Russia will also help nations in Africa and the Middle East to avoid Western-imposed famine. True, this is an ambitious programme for the future, but this Third Incarnation of Russia is beginning now.

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What a defeat. Trump warned them and they laughed…

German Economic Minister Announces Restart of Coal Power Plants (CTH)

To say the recent remarks from German Economic and Climate Minister Robert Habeck showcase the stupidity of the western sanctions would be an understatement. In a broad energy policy announcement to the German people, Minister Habeck has announced that natural gas is now urgently being stored and built up in order to survive next winter. Additionally, the German parliament is being called into emergency session to re-write climate laws allowing coal-fired electricity power plants to be brought back on-line. Essentially, years of German renewable energy investments and initiatives are now being reversed in order to maintain the commitment to NATO sanctions against Russia.

GERMANY – Minister Robert Habeck […] “The situation on the gas market has deteriorated in recent days. The missing quantities can still be replaced, and the gas storage tanks are still being filled, albeit at high prices. Security of supply is currently guaranteed. But the situation is serious. We are therefore further strengthening precautions and taking additional measures to reduce gas consumption. […] In order to reduce gas consumption, less gas is to be used to produce electricity. Instead, coal-fired power plants will have to be used more. […] That means, to be honest, more coal-fired power plants for a transitional period. That’s bitter, but in this situation it’s almost necessary to reduce gas consumption. We must and we will do everything we can to store as much gas as possible in summer and autumn. The gas storage tanks must be full in winter. That has top priority, ”said Habeck.

In order to unbuckle themselves from dependence on Russian pipelines, Habeck also announced that floating Liquified Natural Gas terminals will have to be created so they can source LNG from other nations. Currently Germany has no port system to offload LNG, they will be purchasing and leasing floating ships to act as LNG terminals. I am reminded of the prior warning to Germany from U.S. President Donald Trump. It’s worth remembering that U.S. media blasted President Trump for being so brutally honest in his NATO remarks where he warned about the danger of Germany being so dependent on Russia for oil and gas.

Read more …

JUSTICE THOMAS: “Nothing in the Second Amendment’s text draws a home/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, and the definition of “bear” naturally encompasses public carry.”

The Supreme Court Hands Down Major Gun Rights Victory (Turley)

As predicted, the Supreme Court handed down a momentous opinion in favor of Second Amendment rights today in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. In what will likely prove one of the most important decisions in his illustrious career as a conservative jurist, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 6-3 majority opinion that brought greater clarity to this and future challenges under the Second Amendment. In 2008, the Supreme Court recognized the right to bear arms as an individual right in District of Columbia v. Heller. Two years after Heller, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the court ruled that this right applied against the states.

This case concerned concealed-carry restrictions under N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(2)(f) that require a showing of “proper cause.” Lower courts upheld the New York law, but there were ample constitutional concerns over its vague standard, such as showing that you are “of good moral character.” New York wanted to exercise discretion in deciding who needs to carry guns in public while gun owners believe that the law flips the constitutional presumption in favor of such a right. Thomas rejected the two-part analysis used by lower courts and held that the presumption must be in favor of the individual right to possess a handgun in public like other rights in the Bill of Rights. The Court held “consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

Accordingly, “because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul immediately declared “Shocking, absolutely shocking that they have taken away our right to have reasonable restrictions.” The Claude Rain moment aside, it was shocking that Hochul would be shocked. Many of us were predicting a major loss for over a year and New York, as usual, litigated a bad case and made more bad law for gun control advocates. Gov. Hochul added ““This is New York. We don’t back down.” That may be welcomed news for gun rights advocates given the record in cases like this one in reinforcing Second Amendment rights. As previously discussed, New York has proven a fountain of cases strengthening gun rights.

Read more …

“We didn’t want to be right; we wanted to be wrong. It wasn’t about winning an argument. No, we wanted to lose the argument. We did not want the damage to occur..”

Liberal Policies Have Killed Black Communities: Clarence Thomas (NYP)

Michael Pack: You have talked a little today about how life in the black community has not been improved by many well-intentioned social programs. Do you think, in some sense, it is worse than when you grew up? Clarence Thomas: It’s a disaster. When I grew up, you had family, you didn’t have drugs, you didn’t have gang-banging. You could walk down the street. There was a change in our society. I think that these programs certainly had an impact. Just go back to Savannah and take a look around you. Our worst fears were realized. We didn’t want to be right; we wanted to be wrong. It wasn’t about winning an argument. No, we wanted to lose the argument. We did not want the damage to occur; that’s why we were involved. I don’t particularly like public life; I never wanted to be in public life. I’d like to go to football games.

“I’d like not to make decisions about other people’s lives, but what drags you into it is when you see these principles being undermined, which leads to such destruction. The policies destroy people, and, ultimately, I think, we’re going to destroy the very thing that allows us to have liberty and to have a free society. MP: So the heirs to those movements, like Black Lives Matter, focus on other things: mass incarceration, police brutality. What do you think of the current movements for racial justice? CT: I don’t really follow the movements du jour. I don’t quite understand them. It’s fascinating to me that the radical groups in the sixties, that we all were aware of and fond of back then, like the Black Panthers — that’s kind of mainstream now.

But we knew they were more marginal back then. I don’t know what to say about this. But if you look at some of the things that still are problematic, like bad education, unsafe neighborhoods, drugs, alcohol, breakdown in families, it seems like these are things that we warned about back then. We were told, basically, take a long walk on the short pier. And I understand that. I understand people not wanting to hear an opposing view. But at the same time, we’re not taking ownership of these policies’ having a significant role in the damage that’s been done.

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Guess it’s a good thing he can still read..

Joe Biden Flashes Official Cheat Sheet: ‘YOU Take YOUR Seat’ (JTN)

President Joe Biden on Thursday accidentally displayed an official White House card with specific instructions telling him, “YOU take YOUR seat,” and other similar reminders. Biden, 79, flashed the card to the cameras while at a meeting with wind industry executives. He spoke for nearly eight minutes at the event despite the fact that the sheet also instructed him to speak for two minutes. The “Sequence of Events” sheet also tells him: “YOU enter the Roosevelt Room and say hello to participants.” The card then instructs him to ask AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler a question.


“YOU thank participants,” and “YOU depart,” the instructions conclude. Biden’s mental fitness for office has been under scrutiny since before his election. CNN’s Don Lemon asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the commander-in-chief’s cognitive abilities earlier this month. “Don, you’re asking me this question, Oh my gosh,” Jean-Pierre told Lemon. “He’s the president of the United States. … This is not a question that we should be even asking,” she responded.

Read more …

Susan Rice works in the shadows.

Biden Is Hiding His Plan To Rig The 2022 Midterm Elections (Fed.)

President Biden really does not want the public to know about his federal takeover of election administration. Dozens of members of Congress have repeatedly asked for details, to no avail. Good government groups, members of the media, and private citizens have filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Not a single one has been responded to. All signs indicate a concerted effort to keep the public in the dark until at least after the November midterm elections. The lack of transparency and responsiveness is so bad that the Department of Justice and some of its agencies have been repeatedly sued for the information.

When President Biden ordered all 600 federal agencies to “expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about, and participate in, the electoral process” on March 7, 2021, Republican politicians, Constitutional scholars, and election integrity specialists began to worry exactly what was up his sleeve. They had good reason. The 2020 election had suffered from widespread and coordinated efforts by Democrat activists and donors to run “Get Out The Vote” operations from inside state and local government election offices, predominantly in the Democrat-leaning areas of swing states. Independent researchers have shown the effect of this takeover of government election offices was extremely partisan and favored Democrats overwhelmingly.

At the time the order was issued, Democrats were also hoping to pass H.R. 1, a continuation of the effort to destabilize elections throughout the country via a federalized takeover of state election administrations. Biden gave each agency 200 days to file their plans for approval by none other than Susan Rice, his hyperpartisan domestic policy advisor. Yet fully nine months after those plans were due, they are all being hidden from the public, even as evidence is emerging that the election operation is in full swing. There are several major problems with Biden’s secret plan, critics say. It’s unethical to tie federal benefits to election activity. It’s unconstitutional to have the federal government take authority that belongs to the states and which Congress has not granted. And, given that all 50 states have different laws and processes governing election administration, it’s a recipe for chaos, confusion, and fraud at a time when election security concerns are particularly fraught.

Read more …

“According to The New York Times, the hearings were framed with the intent to use the select committee largely to “recast the midterm message..”

Prosecuting Trump: Being A Jerk Isn’t Criminal (Turley)

“SECVNDINVS CACOR.” When those words were found recently on an ancient stone in Northumberland, England, there was great excitement about what might be revealed about Roman life in the 3rd Century. As it turned out, the painstakingly chiseled words (which were accompanied by the image of a giant phallus) simply said that a guy named Secundinus was … well … human fecal matter. The stone was an impressive effort just to establish for all posterity that Secundinus was a jerk. The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot is an equally impressive effort to painstakingly debunk election fraud claims and to show how former President Donald Trump refused to accept his electoral defeat. If the purpose were to proclaim “TRUMPUS CACOR,” it would likely get little argument, given the testimony about elected officials and election workers hiding out in their homes after being called out by name by the then-president.

The hearings have created a lasting, damning record leading up to Jan. 6. Yet, some members of the select committee have claimed they have established clear evidence of criminal acts by Trump. It has to be more than Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) insistence that the evidence would show Trump was not “an honorable man” on Jan. 6 — an assertion that even some Trump supporters might endorse. That claim is important to avoid confirmation of what was widely reported before the hearings. According to The New York Times, the hearings were framed with the intent to use the select committee largely to “recast the midterm message” and “give [Democrats] a platform for making a broader case about why they deserve to stay in power.” In other words, chiseling out “Trumpus Cacor” before the November election.

The fact is that this evidence is important for Americans to hear and see. Yet, the claims of established crimes this week seemed to run from the visceral to the recreational. On CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe declared that Trump can now be charged with the attempted murder of former Vice President Mike Pence “without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt, and the crimes are obvious.” In addition to declaring that he is certain Attorney General Merrick Garland will now charge Trump, Tribe said: “There are other crimes that have been proven. Those are plenty to start with.”

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“..babies and toddlers are 25 times likelier to die of an accident than of Covid.”

The CDC Just Pushed Fake News on Covid Child Mortality

Only because “an internet rando is more knowledgeable and paying closer attention than our top scientists and doctors” do we know that the CDC just publicized false information about the deadliness of Covid-19 to small children. This misinformation, presented at a conference among top experts, went viral and was promoted, notes Substack columnist Matt Shapiro, by dozens of well-known physicians and other media commentators and specialists, including CNN mainstay Dr. Leana Wen and a former surgeon general of the United States. Wen’s promotion of the false claim is still up on Twitter as of 6:45 p.m. on June 22. The CDC displayed a slide at a conference that falsely claimed Covid-19 was the fourth or fifth leading cause of death for all pediatric age groups.

A writer who is publicly known only by the name Kelley immediately saw that the claim was “completely and utterly false.” Among several errors, which are so blatant as to seem like intentional massaging of the numbers, Kelley discovered that all data from a 26-month period were being crammed into one year, and that deaths were attributed to Covid, regardless of whether the death was caused by Covid, if the disease was mentioned on the death certificate. The CDC slide, which cited a pre-publication British study that is now being re-examined, also bumped up the numbers by altering the definition of pediatric (ordinarily understood to mean under 18) to include 18- and 19-year-olds. The danger to children from Covid is very, very low. For instance, babies and toddlers are 25 times likelier to die of an accident than of Covid.

And all-cause pediatric mortality in the pandemic era for young children (up to 12) is 30 percent lower than it was a generation ago, in 1999. All-cause mortality for children over 12 has spiked in the pandemic era because of accidents, drug abuse, and other factors unrelated to disease. Covid barely registers as a cause of death for teens or small children. Writes Shapiro in his Substack column, Marginally Compelling: This is a massive data error, and yet it persisted through a supposedly rigorous data check from 11 authors and was selected by top-tier scientists for their landmark presentation to the most knowledgeable experts in the field. No one in any of these meetings recognized this error. This slide was presented uncritically to the nation’s top doctors and epidemiologists who are in charge of setting the national policy on COVID vaccines for children and no one even noticed it.

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“..mRNA vaccines pose a greater risk than the possibility of catching COVID..”

Study Finds mRNA Vaccines Lead To Increase Of Serious Adverse Events (TCS)

A new study has found that the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines were associated with “an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest” that likely outweighs any benefit of taking them. As per the study’s results: “Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest, with an absolute risk increase of 10.1 and 15.1 per 10,000 vaccinated over placebo baselines of 17.6 and 42.2 respectively.” “Combined, the mRNA vaccines were associated with an absolute risk increase of serious adverse events of special interest of 12.5 per 10,000. The excess risk of serious adverse events of special interest surpassed the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group in both Pfizer and Moderna trials (2.3 and 6.4 per 10,000 participants, respectively).”

The study was undertaken by American researchers at several reputable institutions, including Stanford University, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and the Navarre Health Service. When undertaking the study, researchers analyzed journal publications and trial data on the FDA and Health Canada’s websites to locate serious adverse event results tables. These stemmed from Pfizer and Moderna’s one phase III randomized trials. However, researchers found proper long-term randomization became compromised as many placebo recipients in the trials were eventually offered the actual vaccine. Thus, to preserve randomization and the accuracy of their findings, researchers used the interim datasets that were the basis for emergency authorization in December 2020, approximately four months after trials commenced.

As for what researchers considered a severe adverse event, the following were considered: death; life-threatening at the time of the event; inpatient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization; persistent or significant disability/incapacity; a congenital anomaly/birth defect; and medically important events, based on medical judgment. Overall, according to the researchers, who received no funding support, the excess risk of serious adverse events found in the study justifies future formal harm-benefit analysis, especially “those that are stratified according to risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes such as hospitalization or death.” Put simply, researchers found that mRNA vaccines pose a greater risk than the possibility of catching COVID and becoming seriously ill or dying.

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Just add an mRNA vaccine….

Alarming Levels of 29 Chemicals Affecting Fertility Found in Men’s Urine (CHD)

A study published last week in Environment International showed “alarming” amounts of 29 endocrine disruptors in the urine samples of 98 Danish men, EuroNews reported. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that affect human fertility by disrupting the normal functioning of the endocrine system. The team of researchers, led by Andreas Kortenkamp, Ph.D., professor of molecular toxicity at Brunel University London, conducted a chemical analysis of urine samples from 98 Danish men, ages 18-30. Prior research has shown a number of chemicals to be problematic for male reproductive health, but the new study was the first of its kind to measure the health risk produced by 29 total endocrine disruptors.


The researchers completed their analysis in three steps. First, they measured the amount of nine endocrine disruptors in the urine samples of the 98 men. Second, the researchers used existing data, mostly from the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA), to estimate the men’s likely exposure to 20 other endocrine disruptors. Finally, the team compared these measurements with exposure levels deemed acceptable according to the scientific literature. In doing so, the team was able to generate an overall risk measure — or “hazard index” — for the cocktail of compounds. The authors said they were “astonished” by their findings: The magnitude of the resulting hazard index showed exposure levels more than 100-fold greater than acceptable exposure rates.

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“..there now exists a “revolving door” between the FBI and the areas they are trying to regulate.”

Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents (MPN)

Twitter has been on a recruitment drive of late, hiring a host of former feds and spies. Studying a number of employment and recruitment websites, MintPress has ascertained that the social media giant has, in recent years, recruited dozens of individuals from the national security state to work in the fields of security, trust, safety and content. Chief amongst these is the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The FBI is generally known as a domestic security and intelligence force. However, it has recently expanded its remit into cyberspace. “The FBI’s investigative authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies,” the “About” section of its website informs readers. “The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence [and] cyber crime,” it adds.

For example, in 2019, Dawn Burton (the former director of Washington operations for Lockheed Martin) was poached from her job as senior innovation advisor to the director at the FBI to become senior director of strategy and operations for legal, public policy, trust and safety at Twitter. The following year, Karen Walsh went straight from 21 years at the bureau to become director of corporate resilience at the silicon valley giant. Twitter’s deputy general counsel and vice president of legal, Jim Baker, also spent four years at the FBI between 2014 and 2018, where his resumé notes he rose to the role of senior strategic advisor. Meanwhile, Mark Jaroszewski ended his 21-year posting as a supervisory special agent in the Bay Area to take up a position at Twitter, rising to become director of corporate security and risk.

And Douglas Turner spent 14 years as a senior special agent and SWAT Team leader before being recruited to serve in Twitter’s corporate and executive security services. Previously, Turner had also spent seven years as a secret service special agent with the Department of Homeland Security. When asked to comment by MintPress, former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley said that she was “not surprised at all” to see FBI agents now working for the very tech companies the agency polices, stating that there now exists a “revolving door” between the FBI and the areas they are trying to regulate. This created a serious conflict of interests in her mind, as many agents have one eye on post-retirement jobs. “The truth is that at the FBI 50% of all the normal conversations that people had were about how you were going to make money after retirement,” she said.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarke and Dawe

 

 

 

 

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Jun 182022
 


Paul Ranson Apple tree with red fruit 1902

 

Putin Claims New World Order, Blasts The West For ‘Insane’ Sanctions (ABC/AP)
Putin Says Sanctions Cost EU $400BN, Warns Of Severe Fertilizer Shortage (ZH)
Biden Told Secretaries Of Defense And State To Tone It Down (NBC)
Two Awkward Biden Moments Draw Online Scrutiny (JTN)
Macron Bends to Pressure, Now Says Ukraine ‘Must Win’ War With Russia (Celente)
Pro-Ukrainian, but Anti-Nazi (Batiushka)
How Low Can You Go? (Jim Kunstler)
Last Tango in Washington? (Brenner)
The Ukrainian Endgame: An Imperfect Peace Is Better Than Endless War (Bandow)
US Drone Sale To Ukraine Hits Snag (R.)
Stephen Colbert Staffers At House Office Charged With Illegal Entry (Fox)
Hunter Biden’s ‘Troubling’ Connection With Big-Name Hollywood Lawyer Probed (ET)
Deflationary Tsunami On Deck: Tidal Wave Of Discounts And Crashing Prices (ZH)
Britain Orders Extradition Of Julian Assange To United States (ABC.au)

 

 

 

 

Never sick

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..came to think of themselves as God’s own messengers on planet Earth..”

Putin Claims New World Order, Blasts The West For ‘Insane’ Sanctions (ABC/AP)

In one of Vladimir Putin’s most substantial addresses since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Russian President used his nation’s pre-eminent investment conference as an opportunity to lash out against his Western enemies. After a lengthy denunciation of countries that he claims want to weaken the Russian state with “reckless and insane” sanctions, President Putin used the stage at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum to lambaste the United States. “[The United States] declared victory in the Cold War and later came to think of themselves as God’s own messengers on planet Earth,” he said. In his 73-minute speech, he also said Russia was taking its place in a New World Order in which rules would be set by “strong and sovereign states”.


After sending troops into Ukraine in February, Russia came under a wide array of international sanctions, with hundreds of foreign companies also suspending operations or pulling out of the country entirely. But Mr Putin said these attempts to damage the Russian economy “didn’t work”. “Russian enterprises and government authorities worked in a composed and professional manner,” he said. “We’re normalising the economic situation. We stabilised the financial markets, the banking system, the trade system.” While Russia’s projected inflation rate has fallen marginally, Mr Putin conceded that the current projected annual rate of 16.7 per cent is still too high. Mr Putin also vehemently defended his country’s actions in Ukraine, as Russia has contended that its neighbour posed a threat due its desire to join the NATO military alliance.

Putin Spief

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From the PR team: “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.”

Putin Says Sanctions Cost EU $400BN, Warns Of Severe Fertilizer Shortage (ZH)

Ukraine just got a big boost for its EU membership bid on Friday, with the 27-member nation bloc’s executive giving full support for its candidate status. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced for the first time that the commission recommends “that Ukraine is given candidate status. This is of course on the understanding that the country will carry out a number of further reforms.” She said further while speaking from Brussels, “In the view of the Commission, Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the country’s aspiration and the country’s determination to live up to European values and standards.”

Von der Leyen included further: “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.” “Yes, Ukraine should be welcomed as a candidate country — this is based on the understanding that good work has been done but important work also remains to be done,” von der Leyen said. The day prior, on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi traveled to Kiev by train where they delivered a unified and “strong signal of support” to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion. They publicly backed Ukraine’s path to the EU, urging “immediate EU candidate status.”

[..] Russian President Vladimir Putin in statements issued the same day as von der Leyen’s EU candidacy preliminary approval announcement stressed the growing ‘cost’ to Europe over its intransigent pro-Ukraine position and anti-Russia sanctions. He estimated that the European Union will incur “losses of at least $400 billion” due to its multiple waves of sanctions imposed on Moscow thus far. He once again rejected responsibility for the global economic downturn, stating instead that inflation, energy costs and food crisis are all linked to the West’s policies. He further predicted a potentially disastrous development for the global food supply, already under threat, according to news wires:

“Putin predicted the fertilizer shortage could push food prices even higher, adding that Russia could boost its exports of fertilizer and grain. He also claimed that “gloomy forecasts” about the state of the Russian economy did not come true and that his government has successfully stopped the rise of domestic inflation.”

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Back in April.

Biden Told Secretaries Of Defense And State To Tone It Down (NBC)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had taken off on separate flights from southeastern Poland after their risky, high-stakes visit to Kyiv when they were conferenced into a phone call from President Joe Biden. During their whirlwind April trip, Austin appeared to expand the U.S. goals in Ukraine, saying publicly that the administration wanted the Ukrainians to win the war against Russia, not just defend themselves, and that the U.S. hoped to weaken Russia to the extent that it could not launch another unprovoked invasion. Blinken had publicly aligned himself with the remarks. Now Biden wanted to discuss the mounting headlines that resulted. Biden thought the secretaries had gone too far, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the call.

On the previously unreported conference call, as Austin flew to Germany and Blinken to Washington, the president expressed concern that the comments could set unrealistic expectations and increase the risk of the U.S. getting into a direct conflict with Russia. He told them to tone it down, said the officials. “Biden was not happy when Blinken and Austin talked about winning in Ukraine,” one of them said. “He was not happy with the rhetoric.” The secretaries explained that Austin’s comments had been misconstrued, another senior administration official said. But the displeasure Biden initially conveyed during that phone call, the officials said, reflected his administration’s belief that despite Ukrainian forces’ unexpected successes early on, the war would ultimately head in the direction it is now in two months later: a protracted conflict in which Russia continues to make small and steady advances.

U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that the trajectory of the war in Ukraine is untenable and are quietly discussing whether President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should temper his hard-line public position that no territory will ever be ceded to Russia as part of an agreement to end the war, according to seven current U.S. officials, former U.S. officials and European officials. Some officials want Zelenskyy to “dial it back a little bit,” as one of them put it, when it comes to telegraphing his red lines on ending the war. But the issue is fraught given that Biden is adamant about the U.S. not pressuring the Ukrainians to take steps one way or another. His administration’s position has been that any decision about how and on what terms to end the war is for Ukraine to decide.

“We are not pressuring them to make concessions, as some Europeans are. We would never ask them to cede territory,” one U.S. official said. “We are planning for a long war. We intend to prepare the American people for that, and we are prepared to ask Congress for more money.”

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“A staggering 47% of responders “strongly” disapproved of his performance.”

Two Awkward Biden Moments Draw Online Scrutiny (JTN)

Amid reports of record low approval ratings for his performance in office, President Joe Biden drew online scrutiny for two awkward moments which have fueled renewed concerns over his fitness to lead. On Thursday, Biden offered somewhat blunt condolences for the passing of Jo-Ann Stores CFO Matt Susz, who died suddenly the day before. In a White House speech addressing efforts to curb inflation, Biden ripped international shipping companies but paused briefly to address the head of the company, saying “and by the way, my sympathies to your family of your CFO, who dropped dead very unexpectedly.”

The ungentle “dropped dead” description of Susz’s death, prompted a torrent of jokes and criticism with many Twitter users disapproving of Biden’s tone and word choice while others made references to oft-repeated concerns that the president may be experiencing mental deterioration. In a Friday episode, first lady Jill Biden abruptly yanked her husband away from reporters as he attempted to answer questions about rising inflation. The Bidens, and first cat Willow, were on their way to their home state of Delaware for the long weekend. “It should not be this high,” he said to reporters, per the New York Post. “They’re making exorbitant profits, number one. Number two, I’ve contacted them, my team has, to ask what their plans are and to give any suggestions they have.”

“Number three, I think we’re going to be in a position where we’re gonna,” he continued before his wife pulled him toward the plane, firmly stating “we gotta go!” The Friday episode also attracted a flurry of mockery, with commenters taking the first lady’s assertive role in the moment as evidence of the presidents “cognitive issues.” Others took issue with Biden’s routine departures from Washington to his home state. Biden’s approval rating stood at 39% on Friday, per a USA TODAY/Suffolk poll. A staggering 47% of responders “strongly” disapproved of his performance.

Biden oil

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“Any world leader who does not vow complete loyalty to Zelensky’s effort to win back every inch of his country is met by anger in the Western media..”

Macron Bends to Pressure, Now Says Ukraine ‘Must Win’ War With Russia (Celente)

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday passed the litmus test during a high-profile meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv when he told reporters that Ukraine must defeat Russia in its war. Macron was joined by Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The three took an 11′-hour train ride to Kyiv. They were also joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. “We saw a devastated city and traces of barbarism. And also the heroism of Ukrainian men and women who stopped the Russian army when it went to Kyiv. Ukraine is resisting. She must be able to win,” Macron said after a a tour of Irpin. The French president came bearing gifts. He promised Ukraine six massive truck-mounted artillery guns so “Ukraine alone can decide its fate.”

Any world leader who does not vow complete loyalty to Zelensky’s effort to win back every inch of his country is met by anger in the Western media that has become nothing more than mouthpieces for governments that hate Russia. Macron felt the wrath when he said, “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means. I am convinced that it is France’s role to be a mediating power.” Dmitro Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, took to Twitter at the time and posted, “Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it.” Even after the visit by the four European leaders on Thursday, Ukrainian leaders still insisted on not giving up an inch of territory.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai told the Associated Press that the visit would not yield progress if the leaders ask Ukraine to sign a peace treaty with Russia that involves giving up territory. “I am sure that our president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is not going to make concessions and trade our territories. If someone wants to stop Russia by giving them territories, Germany has Bavaria, Italy has Tuscany, the French can concede Provence, for instance,” he said.


It’s the little people!

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Batiushka is an interesting writer. Here (s)he takes things a step further. Can we follow?

Pro-Ukrainian, but Anti-Nazi (Batiushka)

The problem has never been one of Ukrainians. The problem has always been that of the spiritual disease of Nazism. And that is what it is – a spiritual disease. Once the soul of the Ukraine has been liberated from this disease, in other words, once it has been denazified, a New Ukraine will be born. It may well take the form of a Protectorate centred around Kiev and speak a mixture of Ukrainian with Russian and Surzhyk (Ukrainian Russian). It will have secure borders and its people will be patriotic Ukrainians, not in some racist way that denigrates others, but in a positive way that respects others. Once freed of parasitic oligarchs and corruption, the naturally rich New Ukraine could have a brilliant future and take a positive part in the Concert of the Nations.

Once it has been understood that there is no problem with the Ukraine or Ukrainians, but only with Nazism, there may take place other Special Operations in other parts of the world. China may soon launch an Operation in Taiwan to free the ethnic Chinese there from the Nazism of its US-appointed elite. As for Russia, it has not yet finished the job in the Ukraine, where the task is constantly being extended because the Nazi West keeps sending long-range missiles and artillery to Kiev. As long as these weapons are in use, firing on Donetsk or anywhere else in liberated territory, the war will be extended and continue. Russia may physically have to liberate the whole country, mobilising more forces beyond the small expeditionary force it originally sent.

And then if Western aggression continues, it may have to launch other operations in Moldova and the Baltics in order to liberate those peoples too from NATO Nazism, from their corrupt US-appointed elites and EU exploitation. It may have to rebuild them, so that their peoples, economic refugees from corruption living now in Western Europe, can gratefully come home. Beyond that, as regards Western Europe in general, it too will surely one day find itself liberated one way or another from transatlantic tyranny and threats, safe under the Russian security and nuclear umbrella. Someone must defend Western Europe from the threats which for the moment are still coming from outside Afro-Eurasia, which is 86% of the world. Only Russia can do that. Russian troops once liberated Berlin and Paris. Will it have to happen again and maybe this time be extended to include Rome, Madrid and London?

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“..our Ukraine project “to weaken Russia” brought on an epochal shift in the balance of power to our enormous disadvantage.”

How Low Can You Go? (Jim Kunstler)

Lots of things are going south all at once: the stock markets and bond prices, Bitcoin is doing a vanishing act. The Colorado River reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, are so low that, by September, both water and electricity may run out for a vast region that includes Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Southern California. The housing market is tanking (suburbia’s business model is broken). Whole herds of beef cattle roll over and die out on the range. Fertilizer is scarce. Food processing plants get torched by the dozen. Shortages loom. The oil-and-gas industry is getting killed four ways: 1) our stupid Russia sanctions queered longstanding global distribution arrangements; 2) the industry is starved for capital; 3) depletion is seriously kicking in; and 4) “Joe Biden” and the knuckleheads running the EU countries are trying to kill it so as to usher in a Green New Deal that just doesn’t pencil-out.

The car dealers have no new cars on their lots, and pretty soon they’ll run out of decent used cars — which, these days, are often priced higher than the non-existent new cars. How’s that for a business model? Plus, the financially beaten-up middle-class can’t afford cars in either case, and increasingly can’t qualify for car loans. The airline industry reels with a sucking chest wound due to a pilot shortage (thanks to vaxx mandates) and the high cost of jet fuel. The trucking industry’s business model is also broken with diesel fuel over six dollars a gallon — the cost of delivery exceeds the value of the cargo. America runs on trucks and if they stop running, so does everything else. Replacement parts are growing scarce for every mechanical device in the land. It’s getting harder to fix anything that’s broken.

“Joe Biden’s” proxy war against Russia in Ukraine isn’t working out. It was flamboyantly stupid from the get-go. We deliberately broke the Minsk agreements for a cease-fire in the Donbas to goad the Russians into action. NATO didn’t have the troops or the political mojo to back up its US-inspired bluster. Our financial warfare blew back in our faces and actually benefited the Russian economy and its currency, the ruble. The billions of dollars in weapons we’re sending into the war are easily interdicted in transport, or else are getting loose in a world of non-state maniacs ranging from the Taliban to al Qaeda to drug cartels. Meanwhile, Russia steadfastly grinds out a victory on-the-ground that will leave it in control of the Black Sea and will reveal the USA’s lost capacity to impose its will around the world. In other words, our Ukraine project “to weaken Russia” brought on an epochal shift in the balance of power to our enormous disadvantage.

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“..you are stuck with the albatross of a truncated, bankrupt Ukraine hung around your neck.”

Last Tango in Washington? (Brenner)

Reality has a way of catching up to us. Sometimes it comes via a sudden shock — Sputnik or Tet. Sometimes it creeps up incrementally — as in Ukraine with each thousand round Russian artillery barrage and the steady rise of the ruble now 25 percent higher than at the onset of the crisis. Dim the lights, the party’s almost over. But that is not the end of the affair. Whatever the exact outcomes, there is no going back to the status quo ante — the world, especially Europe, has changed in fundamental respects. Moreover, it has changed in ways diametrically opposite to what was desired and anticipated. The West has been inhabiting a fanciful world that could exist only in our imaginations. Many remain stranded in that self-deluded mirage. The more that we have invested in that fantasy world, the harder we find it to exit and to make the adjustment — intellectual, emotional, behavioral.

[..] Necessity is the mother of invention — or so it is said. However, grasping what is “necessary” can be a very slippery business. An actual recasting of how one views a problematic situation normally is a last resort. Experience and history tell us that, as do behavioral experiments. The psychology of perceived necessity is complex. Adversity or threat in and of itself does not trigger improvisation. Even the survival instinct does not always spark innovation. Denial, then avoidance, are normally the first, sequential reactions when facing adversity in trying to reach an objective or to satisfy a recognized interest. A strong bias favors the reiteration of a standard repertoire of responses.

True innovation tends to occur only in extremis; and even then, behavioral change is more likely to begin with minor adjustments of established thinking and behavior at the margins rather than modification of core beliefs and patterns of action. Those truths underscore the American dilemma as the Ukraine venture turns sour on the battlefield and your enemy is faring far better than expected while your friends and allies are faring far worse. Russia has blunted everything thrown at them – to the shock of Western planners. Every assumption underpinning their scorched-earth assault on the Russian economy has proven mistaken. A dismal record of analytical error even by C.I.A. and think tank standards.

Off-the-charts forecasts on the country’s economy, and the global impact of sanctions, crippled Washington’s plan from the outset. Tactical initiatives of a military nature have proven equally futile; another 1,000 vintage Javelins with dead battery packs will not rescue the Ukrainian army in the Donbass. So, you are stuck with the albatross of a truncated, bankrupt Ukraine hung around your neck. There is nothing that you can do to cancel these givens — except a direct, perhaps suicidal test of force with Russia. Or, perhaps, a retaliatory challenge elsewhere. The latter is not readily available — for geographic reasons and because the West already has expended its arsenal of economic and political weaponry.

Read more …

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

The Ukrainian Endgame: An Imperfect Peace Is Better Than Endless War (Bandow)

For good reason, then, Americans worry about deepening US involvement in the Russo-Ukrainian war. While it is unsurprising that Kyiv and its Washington factotums advocate going all in, even risking escalation of the conflict, doing so is not in this nation’s interests. Unfortunately, President Joe Biden’s recent article in the New York Time did little to ease public concerns. Especially his promise not to “pressure the Ukrainian government – in private or public – to make any territorial concessions.” The US and Europe should focus on ending, not winning, the war. The longer the conflict goes, the more it will devastate Ukraine and undermine the Ukrainian state. The economic harm to the allies and beyond also will grow, weakening support for Kyiv.


An American attempt to carry Ukraine to victory is more likely to encourage Putin to double down, perhaps even using nuclear weapons, than meekly yield. Washington’s goal should not be to save the Russian dictator from personal humiliation, which retired diplomat Dan Fried deemed “risible,” but to forestall Putin from engaging in dangerous escalation to prevent personal humiliation. Life is unfair, President Jimmy Carter once observed. That is especially true when it comes to international affairs. In a perfect world Ukraine would recover its territory, including that seized in 2014, collect reparations from Moscow, and frame Putin’s written apology for invading. However, none of these should be Washington’s objective. The US should promote a stable, peaceful settlement, one that keeps the Pandora’s Box of nuclear war closed.

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“..reviewed higher up the chain of command at the Pentagon..”

US Drone Sale To Ukraine Hits Snag (R.)

The Biden administration’s plan to sell four large, armable drones to Ukraine has been paused on the fear its sophisticated surveillance equipment might fall into enemy hands, according to two people familiar with the matter. The technical objection to the sale was raised during a deeper review by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Administration charged with keeping high value technology safe from enemy hands. Previously the plan, which has been circulating since March, had been approved by the White House, three people said. The plan to sell Ukraine four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones that can be armed with Hellfire missiles for battlefield use against Russia was first reported by Reuters earlier in June.


The objection to the export of the drones arose due to concerns the radar and surveillance equipment on the drones could create a security risk for the United States if it fell into Russian hands. The sources said this consideration had been overlooked in the initial review but came up in meetings at the Pentagon late last week. “Technology security reviews are a standard practice for the transfer of U.S. defense articles to all international partners. All cases are reviewed individually on their own merit. Through the established process, national security concerns are elevated to the appropriate approving authority,” said Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough. The decision on whether or not to continue with the deal is now being reviewed higher up the chain of command at the Pentagon, but the timing of any decision is uncertain, one of the people a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

Read more …

Adam Schiff did it.

Stephen Colbert Staffers At House Office Charged With Illegal Entry (Fox)

The U.S. Capitol Police arrested a group of staffers with CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” after they allegedly illegally entered a U.S. House of Representatives office building on Thursday night, Fox News has learned. The group of seven people were arrested in the Longworth House Office Building after being escorted out of the Jan. 6 committee hearing earlier in the day because they did not have proper press credentials, according to sources. The same group resurfaced later on Thursday night after the Capitol complex was closed to public visitors and Fox News is told that they took videos and pictures around the offices of two Republican members of Congress, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif. and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

A senior source in the U.S House of Representatives told Fox News that seven individuals associated with Stephen Colbert’s show were arrested. The group was unescorted and charged with illegal entry to House office buildings after hours. Fox News is told that the “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” team applied to get press credentials for the Jan. 6 hearing, but the House Radio/TV Gallery rejected the request because they are not considered “news.” The issue didn’t go to the Radio/TV Correspondents Association, which usually handles credentialing. In addition to a regular Capitol Hill press pass, a special “overlay” is required for members of the press who want to be in the room for the Jan. 6 Committee hearings.


Members of Colbert’s team could have been in House office buildings if they were invited, which they were. Fox News is told that Colbert’s team conducted interviews earlier on Thursday with members of the Jan. 6 Committee, including Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. They also interviewed Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass. [..] “On June 16, 2022, at approximately 8:30 p.m., U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) received a call for a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building. Responding officers observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway. The building was closed to visitors, and these individuals were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day,” the statement says. “They were charged with Unlawful Entry. This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney.”

Tucker Colbert

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“We are investigating the domestic and international business dealings of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to determine whether these activities compromise U.S. national security and President Biden’s ability to lead with impartiality..”

Hunter Biden’s ‘Troubling’ Connection With Big-Name Hollywood Lawyer Probed (ET)

The ranking member of the House’s principal oversight committee has launched a probe into a Hollywood lawyer’s “sudden patronage” of Hunter Biden allegedly involving financial and pro-bono legal support. “We are investigating the domestic and international business dealings of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to determine whether these activities compromise U.S. national security and President Biden’s ability to lead with impartiality,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, wrote to Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris on behalf of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in a letter dated June 14.

“Your sudden patronage of the President’s son, enormous financial contributions to President Biden, and outsized role you are taking in defending against both congressional and criminal investigations raise serious concerns about whether you are providing in-kind contributions to President Biden’s re-election efforts,” Comer wrote. Morris is known for negotiating a $550 million licensing deal for the creators of “South Park” and has won a Tony award as a co-producer of the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon.” His law firm has represented Hollywood celebrities including Chris Rock, Scarlett Johansson, and Matthew McConaughey. Comer’s letter came after a New York Times report in early May that alleged that Morris has taken on a “financier, confidant and would-be avenger” for the president’s son.

The latter is under federal investigation into his tax payments and alleged foreign deals with entities affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, Morris donated $2,800 to Joe Biden’s campaign “Biden for President” in October 2019, and a total of $55,000 in 2020 to the American Bridge 21st Century Political Action Committee, which supported Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. The New York Times reported that these donations occurred before Morris met and developed a relationship with the president’s son. According to Comer, the oversight committee Republicans are “particularly troubled” in seeing Morris’s alleged role in “attempting to personally shield Hunter Biden from congressional and criminal investigation.”

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You won’t know what hit you.

Deflationary Tsunami On Deck: Tidal Wave Of Discounts And Crashing Prices (ZH)

Three weeks ago, we showed readers what happens when the infamous “Bullwhip effect” reversal takes place by presenting the unprecedented surge in the “Inventory to Sales” ratio for a broad range of US retailers covering the furniture, home furnishings and appliances, building materials and garden equipment, and a category known as “other general merchandise,” which includes Walmart and Target. Since then, this ratio has only gotten even more extended, and as shown below it is now at the highest level since the bursting of the dot com bubble! What does this mean for retailers and the price of goods? Three weeks ago we said “Think: widespread inventory liquidations” and added…

To be sure, not every product will see its price cut: commodities, whose bullwhip effect take much longer to manifest itself, usually lasting several years in either direction, are only just starting to see their price cycle higher. However, other products – like those carried by the Walmarts and Targets of the world – are about to see a deflationary plunge the likes of which we have not seen since the global financial crisis as retailers commence a voluntary destocking wave the likes of which have not been seen in over a decade. Today both Wall Street and the mainstream media have caught up, with both predicting unprecedented deflationary price cuts in the coming weeks.

We start with Morgan Stanley’s bearish strategist Michael Wilson, who in his latest bearish weekly note (available to pro subs) focused on shrinking margins in general, and on retailer discounting in particular, and wrote that while there is a modest pick up in over sales, the far more concerning issue is that “inventory across the sector is up about 30% YOY and sales growth is up about 0% YOY translating to approximately 30% YOY of excess inventory” and while mark down/margin pressure did not hit in 1Q it should hit June/July. Indeed, “store checks show that aggressive discounting has already started as of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Discounting pressure could accelerate through July.” And since more retailers are now discounting, “companies are having to offer even bigger discounts to compel consumers to buy, and it is a race to the bottom in margins in order to clear through inventory.”

It gets much worse, however, because courtesy of the delayed nature of the bullwhip effect, Morgan Stanley thinks it will be some time before retailers can cut back on forward inventory orders! Companies are no longer in a position to order 6 months in advance because of delays in the supply chain, and are currently working with about an 8 month lead time. Shockingly, this means decisions today to cut forward orders could begin to eliminate the inventory problem in 1Q23, but not likely before then.

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“The elected Prime Minister stated that it’s time for Julian to come home..”

Britain Orders Extradition Of Julian Assange To United States (ABC.au)

The British government has ordered the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, but WikiLeaks said it would appeal against the ruling. Home Secretary Priti Patel made the decision after Mr Assange was denied a Supreme Court appeal back in March. That case related to Mr Assange’s physical and mental health, and the US government won after offering assurances he would not be held in solitary confinement. The Home Office said in a statement: “The UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. “Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

The decision is a big moment in Mr Assange’s years-long battle to avoid facing trial in the US — though not necessarily the end of the tale. The 50-year-old Australian still has 14 days to appeal against his extradition based on issues like freedom of speech, arguing the espionage charges against him are politically motivated. “Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle,” Mr Assange’s wife Stella said. Ms Assange also called for Australian Prime Minister Albanese to apply some pressure. “Our expectation as a family is the Australian government will do whatever it takes to get him home,” she said. The Australian federal government says it will continue to offer consular assistance to Mr Assange.


“We will continue to convey our expectations that Mr Assange is entitled to due process, humane and fair treatment, access to proper medical care, and access to his legal team,” said a joint statement released late on Friday night from Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus. “The Australian government has been clear in our view that Mr Assange’s case has dragged on for too long and that it should be brought to a close. “We will continue to express this view to the governments of the United Kingdom and [the] United States.” Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has labelled the decision by the UK government to green-light the extradition as an “outrageous betrayal of rule of law, media freedom and human rights”. “The elected Prime Minister stated that it’s time for Julian to come home,” Mr Wilkie said, “enough is enough, that he couldn’t see what was served by Julian remaining in prison.

Stella Moris

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Jun 122022
 
 June 12, 2022  Posted by at 8:27 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Caravaggio The seven works of mercy (Sette opere di Misericordia) 1607

 

Pitchforks Soon In Europe? (Vilches)
No Ammo, More Casualties, Thin Lines, Propaganda And Passing The Buck (MoA)
Biden Throws Zelensky Under The Bus (ZH)
Ukraine Slams Biden’s Comments on Zelensky Not Heeding Warnings (NW)
Ukraine Fears It Might Lose Western Support Over ‘War Fatigue’ (Antiwar)
EU Will Likely Grant Ukraine Candidate Status To Join Bloc – Von Der Leyen (G.)
Pentagon Finally Admits Running 46 Biolabs In Ukraine (GGI)
The Warmonger’s Legacy (CGTN)
How The Jan. 6 Committee Undermined Its Own Legitimacy (Turley)
Comey Lied to Congress’ ‘Gang of 8’ Over Russiagate (Sperry)
Biden’s Homeland Secretary Lied Under Oath About Disinformation Board (ET)
Smoking (AGAIN): It’s NOT Transitory (Denninger)
Britain’s Dire Economic Outlook (O.)
A New Molecule That Kills Even The Deadliest Cancer (IE)
Headwind2 – The Debate – Malone and Vanden Bossche (Headwind)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stunt

 

 

 

 

“It´d be plenty enough for Russia to just shut off your nat-gas supply, period. And not even to the whole of Europe.”

Pitchforks Soon In Europe? (Vilches)

Dear Europeans For your own children´s sake — on my knees and with my saddened eyes humbly looking downwards — I beg of you to please stop the current self-destructive nonsense dead in its tracks by immediately demanding from your political class to import the bloody Russian oil normally once again as Europe had been doing for dozens of years. The impact that the ban on Russian oil has upon your daily lives now and for years yonder is such that at the very least a Referendum should have been held. But it was not, and without consultation, the EU leadership acted on their own. Please be advised that the EU un-elected brass simply does not represent you or your needs. They were all voted amongst themselves into their positions like members of a committee in a private country club.

If left unchecked, EU politicians will now continue misrepresenting you and, on your behalf — with your hard-earned assets and livelihoods – will keep on picking a most unnecessary and prolonged armed conflict with Russia, eventually forcing upon you a total war scenario where chances play out all very strongly against you, with Russia probably resulting unscathed. European leaders crave for their war, so they can´t think of a better way to provoke it than by applying ever larger and ´meaner´ sanctions on Russia as if (a) sanctions were effective and (b) as if Europe could win such war (not). Accordingly, we now have yet another set of spanking new EU “sanctions” in package No. 6 that will eventually backfire flat on Europe´s face – like all the others — such as banning the insurance and financing of oil tankers that carry Russian oil. Accordingly, the EU is now trying its very best to

(1) bankrupt the successful Western oil tanker insurance business by reducing the number of participants
(2) induce higher shipping and insurance costs worldwide by reducing the number of participants
(3) foster the development of yet another Russian import substitution service namely oil tanker insurance & financing
(4) seriously hinder the world´s economy by not allowing deliveries of any oil tankers carrying Russian oil anywhere (EU or non-EU) thus cutting off some 15% of the world´s oil supply from the world market and necessarily sending its price yet higher with yet more EU-induced inflation as if we had not had enough already, please brace for it.
(5) force the construction of a new Russian-Chinese-Indian oil tanker fleet leaving idle part of today´s fleet
(6) tempt Russia to embargo strategic value-chain upstream items with captive consumers cascading into multiple failures thru lack of nat-gas, rare earths, inert gases, potash, sulfur, uranium, palladium, vanadium, cobalt, coke, etc.

Russia does not need to fire a single shot or land a single missile on European territories to win such a total war. Think tanks in Europe and elsewhere know this but say nothing. It´d be plenty enough for Russia to just shut off your nat-gas supply, period. And not even to the whole of Europe. It could possibly be to only, say, some limited area in Germany. But you need not put up with any of this. Europe should already have learned from history books and its generals not to underestimate or discriminate against Russia. Let alone cheat on it repeatedly as Europe has done since the downfall of the former Soviet Union. Yet again, history will not be kind to anyone directly or indirectly involved, including yourselves.

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“Zelensky did not listen to us and he didn’t inform us how bad the war was going,” will become the standard line as soon as the Ukrainian army is on the run.”

No Ammo, More Casualties, Thin Lines, Propaganda And Passing The Buck (MoA)

To match Russia’s 50,000 rounds per day, with each round weighing 50 kilograms, some 2,500 metric tons of ammunition would have to be moved per day from Ukraine’s western border to the east. After reaching some railhead in the east they would have to be loaded on some 350 trucks to be distributed while being under fire from long ranging Russian weapons. This would have to happen each and every day. The U.S. has large depots of ammunition but even those would be emptied within a few month if no large scale production of new rounds would be happening. Munition production is usually done only on a small but steady scale of a few hundred rounds per week. The west would have to scale up production to allow for the supply Ukraine would need to match Russia.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense Ukraine’s artillery has lost 506 multiple launch rocket systems and 1,859 field artillery and mortars since the beginning of the war. The daily reported number of pieces hit have changed over time from 50+ per day to now single digits. The total numbers in the Russia report are too high (as they usually are in similar ‘western’ reports). They amount to more than what the Ukraine had at the start of the war. But we can safely guess that more than 90% of Ukraine’s guns and missile systems have been destroyed. Meanwhile the ‘west’ has promised the Ukraine some 200 gun and some 50 missile systems. Half of those are former soviet types. The other half are newer and need ‘western’ ammunition. They seem to arrive only in trickles.

The U.S. has send some 100 M-777 lightweight howitzers. Only a few have been seen at the front in the east and some were already destroyed there. Others are used to fire on non-military targets in Donetsk city. We can guess where the rest is. The M-777 is lightweight (4.2 metric tons) because it is largely made from titanium which has a ten times higher scrap value than steel. Some entrepreneurs in Ukraine’s west seem to have found that recycling the guns (or selling them elsewhere) is of more value than sending them to the east where they would surely be destroyed within a few days. Ten days ago the Ukrainian comedian and president Zelensky had admitted that some 60 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are getting killed per day. That number was highly qualified and an advisor to Zelensky has now doubled it:

“A senior Ukrainian presidential aide has told the BBC that between 100 and 200 Ukrainian troops are being killed on the front line every day. Mykhaylo Podolyak said Ukraine needed hundreds of Western artillery systems to level the playing field with Russia in the eastern Donbas region.” The real numbers are certainly higher than anything the Zelensky regime will ever admit. In a World War I like artillery dominated conflict (but without gas attacks) the number of wounded to dead is historically some 4 to 1 with one of the wounded additionally dying later from his wounds. This historic ‘sanitation deaths’ rate of wounded later dying from their wounds has since been halved by the use of antibiotics. But in Ukraine it may well be higher than usual in modern wars as its medical infrastructure is in a quite bad shape and as many medical personnel have fled the country.

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This is no coincidence. They’re looking to save face.

Biden Throws Zelensky Under The Bus (ZH)

President Joe Biden on Friday told a donors conference in Los Angeles, California on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky brushed aside US warnings saying a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent. He described of the situation ahead of the Feb.24 invasion and his communications with Zelensky, according to The Associated Press: “Nothing like this has happened since World War II. I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating,” Biden said, according to the outlet. He added the US had data that showed Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to invade. “There was no doubt,” Biden continued. “And Zelenskyy didn’t want to hear it.”

Biden in the fresh remarks admitted that the possibility of Putin launching a full-scale invasion may have seemed far-fetched at the time, acknowledging, “I understand why they didn’t want to hear it.” Top Ukrainian officials in the days and weeks prior to the invasion had pushed back against Washington, blaming the repeat warnings from US intelligence agencies for sowing “panic”. At that time, Zelensky had even personally told Biden to “calm down the messaging” on the invasion fears. Rarely does US intelligence take its classified assessments public in order to preemptively warn of action it predicts will occur. This highly unusual public stance also fueled widespread skepticism of the constant invasion warnings from the administration even among longtime Russia experts and observers.

It has since been revealed in recent testimony by US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines that Biden had taken the rare step of declassifying intelligence related to the prepared invasion in order to convince skeptical allies that it was likely going to happen. Down to the last days before the invasion, there was hope among many Western officials of an “off ramp” that might quickly de-escalate the situation amid the Russian and Belarusian troop build-up along Ukraine’s eastern and northern borders. Indeed this “off-ramp” might have come in the form of Ukraine and its backers pledging that the ex-Soviet state would never join NATO.

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“I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it..”

Ukraine Slams Biden’s Comments on Zelensky Not Heeding Warnings (NW)

Aides to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have responded to Joe Biden’s comment that the Ukrainian president “didn’t want to hear” American warnings before Russia’s invasion. Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Los Angeles on Friday, the president said that the U.S. knew before the start of the war on February 24 that Vladimir Putin was going “to go in, off the border.” “Nothing like this has happened since World War II,” Biden said, according to the Associated Press. “But I knew we had data” that showed Putin’s intent. “I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it,” Biden added.

Zelensky’s spokesman Sergei Nikiforov said the Ukrainian leader had “three or four telephone conversations” with Biden before the war started, during which they discussed assessments of the situation in detail. “Therefore, the phrase ‘didn’t want to hear’ probably needs to be clarified,” Nikiforov told Russian-language Ukrainian news outlet LIGA.net. “In addition, if you remember, the president of Ukraine called on partners to introduce a package of preventive sanctions in order to encourage Russia to withdraw troops and de-escalate the situation. “Here we can already say that our partners ‘did not want to hear us,'” Nikiforov said.

Meanwhile, Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podolyak told the same news outlet that Biden’s comments were “not entirely true” and that Kyiv had been “well aware that Russia was developing various expansion scenarios.” “[Volodymyr] Zelensky always had relevant analytics on his desk, based on high-quality intelligence,” he said. “The president also carefully reacted to all the words and warnings of our partners.” Podolyak said that Ukraine understood that Russia was planning an invasion and was preparing for it. The question, he said, was over its scale. “It is absurd to blame a country that has been resisting a superior aggressor for more than 100 days when key countries were unable to prevent the Russian Federation [from invading],” he added.

Although Zelensky has been hailed around the world for his wartime leadership, there are question marks over his preparation for the war, the AP reported. Weeks before Putin invaded, Zelensky took exception to warnings by the Biden administration about a possible Russian invasion, fearing it would harm Ukraine’s economy. On Saturday, Zelensky told the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit in Singapore that the war had consequences for the global order. “It is on the battlefields of Ukraine that the future rules of this world are being decided,” he said via video link. He also said that his country’s forces are facing fierce Russian attacks in the country’s east, particularly around the city of Severodonetsk.

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“Zelensky has made clear that his goal is to drive Russia out of the territory it has captured since February 24..”

Ukraine Fears It Might Lose Western Support Over ‘War Fatigue’ (Antiwar)

As the war in Ukraine drags on, Ukrainian officials fear that Kyiv might lose some Western support due to “war fatigue,” The Associated Press reported on Friday. The US and its allies have committed billions of dollars in weapons, but some Western European leaders have been calling for a negotiated solution to end the fighting, an idea Ukrainian officials have rejected. “The fatigue is growing, people want some kind of outcome [that is beneficial] for themselves, and we want [another] outcome for ourselves,” Zelensky said. The current situation on the battlefield is not looking good for Ukraine. An advisor to Zelensky said Thursday that they are losing between 100 and 200 troops each day as Russia continues to make slow but steady gains in the east.


Zelensky has made clear that his goal is to drive Russia out of the territory it has captured since February 24, which would require a massive military offensive. While there is some sentiment among European leaders for Ukraine to make concessions to Russia to achieve peace, top US and NATO officials are encouraging Ukraine to keep fighting. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week that Ukraine shouldn’t drop the goal of driving Russia out of all of its territory, including Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014. Stoltenberg also said last week that the Western military alliance should be prepared to support Ukraine for the “long haul.”

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Too much resistance. And it would end the EU if it incorporates such corruption.

EU Will Likely Grant Ukraine Candidate Status To Join Bloc – Von Der Leyen (G.)

The EU executive will next week make a recommendation on whether Ukraine should be given candidate status to join the bloc, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has said. Such a recommendation would be a preliminary step on a long road to full membership, and Ukraine would need the backing of all 27 EU governments before candidate status was given. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has been pushing for rapid admission into the EU to provide the country with more security since the Russian invasion. “We want to support Ukraine in its European journey,” Von der Leyen said in a joint press conference with Zelenskiy on a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday. Heavy fighting is continuing in the eastern Donbas region, where Russia has been making incremental gains.

“The discussions today will enable us to finalise the assessment by the end of next week,” Von der Leyen added, saying that the Ukrainian authorities had “done a lot” towards a candidacy, but that there was “still need for reforms to be implemented, to fight corruption for example”. Speaking alongside Von der Leyen, Zelenskiy said that the EU’s decision on Ukraine would “determine” the future of Europe. “It is now being determined what the future of a united Europe will be, and whether there will be a future at all. A positive response from the European Union to the Ukrainian application will signify a positive answer to the question of whether the European project has a future at all,” he said. “All of Europe is a target for Russia, and Ukraine is just the first stage in this aggression,” he added.

Since Russia’s invasion on the 24 February, senior EU officials, including Von der Leyen, who was making her second trip to Kyiv since the start of the war, have spoken in favour of putting Ukraine on a speedy path to the EU accession by granting it candidate status. And while a number of EU states including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have backed these calls, there are still doubts in Berlin and Paris and other western European capitals over whether it is possible to begin the formal process already. On Thursday, Bloomberg, citing a diplomatic note, reported that Denmark believed Kyiv did not sufficiently fulfil the criteria to apply to join the EU, saying that the country “would need to fundamentally improve its legislative and institutional framework”.

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“46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.”

i.e. they were already there when Yanukovich was president.

Pentagon Finally Admits Running 46 Biolabs In Ukraine (GGI)

In a recent document, the Pentagon admitted to running 46 biolabs in Ukraine but says they are peaceful efforts to improve nuclear and radiological safety and security, disease surveillance, chemical safety and security, and readiness to respond to epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19. According to the Pentagon, the US government has funded 46 biological research facilities in Ukraine over the last 20 years, but only as part of a peaceful public health endeavor rather than to develop weapons. Russia and China have been accused by the US military of “spreading disinformation and sowing mistrust” about its efforts to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In a document titled ‘Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts,’ the US Department of Defense for the first time revealed the specific number of such facilities its government has sponsored in Ukraine.

According to the Pentagon, the US has “worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health,” by providing support to “46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.” These programs have focused on “improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation.” The Pentagon insisted that the work of these biolabs was “often” carried out in collaboration with organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and that it was “consistent with international best practices and norms in publishing research results, partnering with international colleagues and multilateral organizations, and widely distributing their research and public health findings.”

Only three laboratories in Ukraine had the required safety criteria to undertake the type of research they were doing, according to the Russian military last month. Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, the head of the Radioactive, Chemical, and Biological Protection Forces, referenced Ukrainian government sources to point to a series of problems at one of those sites in Odessa, as an example. The Russian military has given evidence of the Pentagon’s role in funding laboratories in Ukraine in a series of briefings that began in March. Kirillov accused Kiev of carrying out “inhumane experiments” on Ukrainian patients and of launching a biological attack against the breakaway territory of Lugansk in early May. Other evidence suggests that when Russia moved soldiers into Ukraine in February, attempts were made to weaponize drones to spread pathogens and to destroy compromising materials.

Between 2005 and early 2022, the US poured more than $224 million into biological research in Ukraine, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee. According to Moscow, the conspiracy involved Western pharmaceutical giants, organizations, and even the Democratic Party of the United States.

George Webb

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From China.

The Warmonger’s Legacy (CGTN)

Six hundred and twenty thousand civilians died in the Vietnam War, yet they have never received justice… Iraq was invaded, accused of developing weapons of mass destruction, yet this has been shown to be a lie. And for 20 years Afghanistan was a battleground in the war on terror, yet ultimately the Taliban regained power. Lies, self-interest and profit have created a vast web of international conflict, devastating the lands and peoples caught in it. And the responsibility rests with one country alone. The documentary “The Warmonger’s Legacy” reveals the shocking truth.

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“..for 230 years, Congress maintained the need for bipartisan membership..”

How The Jan. 6 Committee Undermined Its Own Legitimacy (Turley)

In 1924, Lord Gordon Hewart famously declared, “Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.” The lord chief justice of England, he believed that even a small allegation of possible bias by a court clerk meant justice was not seen to be done and, thus, was not done. Lord Hewart’s quote came to mind while watching the opening night of the House’s Jan. 6 select committee public hearings. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided a year ago to break from tradition and blocked two Republican committee members selected by GOP leaders. In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pulled his other committee nominees, and Pelosi then seated two staunchly anti-Trump Republicans — Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois).

Congress has a long history of bipartisan investigatory and select committees. Many were formed during deep political rifts — yet, for 230 years, Congress maintained the need for bipartisan membership. That was the case with the Watergate committees, the House Committee on Assassinations, the Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions and other investigations. It would have been easy to stack the decks and limit the members by party on each of those committees, but past congressional leaders understood that the credibility of such investigations required balance, including opposing views. Pelosi’s decision to gut that process was something of a signature muscle play.

As a witness in the first Trump impeachment, I was highly critical of her insistence that the House would impeach before Christmas rather than conduct the traditional impeachment investigation with witnesses. Instead of building a more convincing case, Pelosi preferred to impeach with virtually no record, for a certain defeat in the Senate. In the second impeachment, she went one better: She held no hearing at all and pushed through the first “snap impeachment.” The Jan. 6 committee was similarly stripped of any pretense. It was as subtle a political move as Pelosi’s ripping up President Trump’s State of the Union speech. Asked what she hoped to achieve from the committee on the first day of hearings, Pelosi tellingly referred to it as a “narrative.” It is the difference between seeing and simulating justice.

According to The New York Times, that narrative is meant to “recast the midterm message” and “give [Democrats] a platform for making a broader case about why they deserve to stay in power.” It was packaged with the help of a high-powered media figure brought in to help stage the event. Much of the media touted how the hearings would be “must-see TV” and would force voters “not to look away” from Trump’s “coup.” Countervailing evidence was edited out. Thus, Trump was shown calling for the protesters to “march” on the Capitol — but not his additional words to do so “peacefully.”

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So many of these people have lied, where to begin?

Comey Lied to Congress’ ‘Gang of 8’ Over Russiagate (Sperry)

The FBI deceived the House, Senate and the Justice Department about the substance and strength of evidence undergirding its counterintelligence investigation of President Trump, according to a recently declassified document and other material. A seven-page internal FBI memo dated March 8, 2017, shows that “talking points” prepared for then-FBI Director James Comey for his meeting the next day with the congressional leadership were riddled with half-truths, outright falsehoods, and critical omissions. Both the Senate and the House opened investigations and held hearings based in part on the misrepresentations made in those FBI briefings, one of which was held in the Senate that morning and the other in the House later that afternoon.

[..] The talking points were prepared by Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer who later resigned from the bureau amid accusations of anti-Trump bias, and were used by Comey in his meeting with Hill leaders. They described reports the FBI received in 2016 from “a former FBI CHS,” or confidential human source, about former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Carter Page (no relation to Lisa Page) allegedly conspiring with the Kremlin to hack the election. Quoting from the reports, Comey told congressional leaders that the unidentified informant told the FBI that Manafort “initially ‘managed’ the relationship between Russian government officials and the Trump campaign, using Carter Page as an intermediary.”

He also told them that “Page was reported to have had ‘secret meetings’ in early July 2016 with a named individual in Russia’s presidential administration during which they discussed Russia’s release of damaging information on Hillary Clinton in exchange for alterations to the GOP platform regarding U.S. policy towards Ukraine.” But previous FBI interviews with Carter Page and other key sources indicated that none of that was true – and the FBI knew it at the time of the congressional briefings. The Lisa Page memo anticipated concerns about the quality of information Comey was relaying to Congress and suggested he preempt any concerns with another untruth. The memo advised Comey to tell lawmakers that “some” of the reporting “has been corroborated,” and to point out that the informant’s “reporting in this matter is derived primarily from a Russian-based source,” which made it sound more credible.

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Under oath. In the Senate. And he still has his job?

Biden’s Homeland Secretary Lied Under Oath About Disinformation Board (ET)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas misled Congress when he testified under oath in May that the Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) “had not yet begun its work,” two Republican senators claim. In fact—according to documents obtained from a DHS whistleblower by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)—planning, decision-making, and concrete work by senior DHS officials, including Mayorkas, had begun at least as early as September 2021. In addition, the documents provided to the senators show that Mayorkas was asked by DHS officials tasked with planning and establishing the DGB for his approval to proceed as early as January 2022 and that Mayorkas gave his approval for doing so in February 2022.

“On May 4, 2022, Secretary Mayorkas testified under oath to Senator Hawley that the Disinformation Governance Board ‘had not yet begun its work.’ “On May 1, 2022, the secretary told the news media that the board would be focused on disinformation ‘from foreign state adversaries [and] the cartels’ and would not monitor American citizens,” the GOP senators said in a joint statement. “At the White House on May 2, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that the board would be focused on ‘human traffickers and other transnational criminal organizations.’” Despite those claims by Mayorkas and Psaki, Grassley and Hawley said in their statement that the documents they were provided reveal a different picture of the DGB’s development.

The documents said the DGB was conceived from the beginning in part to monitor the domestic speech of U.S. citizens concerning “conspiracy theories about the validity and security of elections” and “disinformation related to the origins and effects of COVID-19 vaccines or the efficacy of masks.” They added that Mayorkas and his team sought a partnership with social media outlet Twitter designed to censor content unapproved by the DGB and planned a meeting with Twitter executives to discuss such a joint effort.

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“..what Biden has done since being in office is add another monstrous inflationary impulse which has not yet shown up in the general price level..”

Smoking (AGAIN): It’s NOT Transitory (Denninger)

I hope you like bad things and bad times; they’re coming. “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.0 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.6 percent before seasonal adjustment. The increase was broad-based, with the indexes for shelter, gasoline, and food being the largest contributors. After declining in April, the energy index rose 3.9 percent over the month with the gasoline index rising 4.1 percent and the other major component indexes also increasing. The food index rose 1.2 percent in May as the food at home index increased 1.4 percent.”

As Chief noted on Stocks-n-Jocks yesterday the monetary aggregates have stopped skyrocketing. What’s not being said is why they skyrocketed in the first place — which is that all spending bills originate in the House and all Fed Action when it comes to monetary aggregates are based there, and only there, because without deficit spending The Fed has nothing to operate against. It is also known that it takes time for inflation to go through the economy. And much depends on where government spending goes. If government spends money in deficit to build a highway, for example, and that construction causes efficiency in business to increase by more than the highway cost then there is no inflationary impact. But if the spending is direct to consumption, which all of the pandemic “relief” spending was then it is all inflationary impact.

Spending collapses are thought of as “bad.” They’re not; they are often good. If you as a business owner get out over your skis and go bust that means I can come in and buy up your assets for pennies on the dollar. This means where someone else has 10% of their operating capital tied up in a building for their employees I only have 5% of mine, which means I now have a 5% cost advantage against my competitors. That, in turn, means I get to take your customers and the consumer benefits with lower prices, better goods and services — or both. Allegedly “protecting” the economy from this is, on the other hand, often through of as “good.” But protecting bloated business cost structures is bad in the intermediate and longer term because while it may look “good” it protects pricing and that, in turn, is bad for the consumer.

Unfortunately what Biden has done since being in office is add another monstrous inflationary impulse which has not yet shown up in the general price level. It will. That M2 has stopped wildly expanding is good over time but that’s 12-18 months out into the future and it presumes that Congress will stop the wildly-excessive deficit spending. May I remind you that there’s an election coming up and Congress has to pass spending bills for the next fiscal year, which starts October 1st, before said election? What do you think the odds are that they won’t add yet another spike to M2 before November?

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“..the gloomiest of all developed nations..”

Britain’s Dire Economic Outlook (O.)

Britain’s growth prospects are the gloomiest of all developed nations. The OECD predicted last week that the UK economy would not grow at all next year, the worst outlook for any OECD nation. This follows warnings in April from the IMF that the UK will experience the worst growth out of the G7 nations in 2023. After a decade of stagnant wages, it seems Britons need to resign themselves to the fact that the buoyant growth of the 2000s is but a distant memory. Every country has suffered the shock of the pandemic, followed by the spike in oil and wheat prices triggered by Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. But other developed economies have proved more resilient, enjoying export-driven recoveries in the wake of Covid. Here in Britain, the economic malaise left exposed by the 2008 financial crisis is long term and structural.

This crisis was supposed to prompt a big economic rethink: a reckoning with Britain’s addiction to growth fuelled by rising levels of consumer debt enabled by rising house prices. The then shadow chancellor George Osborne pledged to rebalance the economy away from debt-driven growth to more productive development, driven by business investment and exports, underpinned with an expansion of the UK’s manufacturing base and a reduction in the huge regional inequalities between the south-east and the rest of the country. No such thing materialised. Instead, the least affluent areas of the country were forced to bear the biggest burden of cuts to public services, undermining their potential to attract investment.

Britain’s sluggish recovery from the financial crisis – average GDP growth in the decade after 2008 was a full percentage point lower than it was in the run-up to the year – was propelled by consumer spending and resurgent house prices. Productivity growth dropped substantially, taking Britain from second in the G7 for productivity growth pre-financial crash, to the second slowest post crash.

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ERX-41

A New Molecule That Kills Even The Deadliest Cancer (IE)

Recently, a tiny group of people with rectal cancer saw their disease vanish after experimental treatment. It was a very small trial done by doctors at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, wherein the patients took a drug called dostarlimab for six months. At the end of their trial, every single one of their tumors disappeared. Now, in another breakthrough, a new compound synthesized by Dr. Jung-Mo Ahn, a University of Texas at Dallas researcher, has been found to kill a broad spectrum of hard-to-treat cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer, leaving healthy cells unscathed. He exploited a weakness in cells that were hitherto not targeted by the other drugs.

The study, which was carried out in isolated cells, both in human cancer tissue and in human cancers grown in mice, was published in the journal Nature Cancer. Ahn, a co-corresponding author of the study and a UT Dallas associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has been working on small molecules that target protein-protein interactions in cells for more than a decade. Previously, he had developed potential therapeutic candidate compounds for treatment-resistant breast cancer and prostate cancer. In his current research, Ahn and his colleagues tested a new compound he synthesized called ERX-41 for its effects on breast cancer cells – those that contained estrogen receptors (ERs) and those that do not.

Now, there are effective treatments for patients with ER-positive breast cancer, but only a few treatment options for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) exist. It lacks receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor 2. TNBC is known to affect women under 40 and has worse outcomes than other types of breast cancer. “The ERX-41 compound did not kill healthy cells, but it wiped out tumor cells regardless of whether the cancer cells had estrogen receptors,” Ahn said. “In fact, it killed the triple-negative breast cancer cells better than it killed the ER-positive cells. “This was puzzling to us at the time. We knew it must be targeting something other than estrogen receptors in the TNBC cells, but we didn’t know what that was.”

Soon, the researchers discovered that ERX-41 binds to lysosomal acid lipase A (LIPA), a cellular protein. LIPA is found in a cell structure called the endoplasmic reticulum, an organelle that processes and folds proteins. “For a tumor cell to grow quickly, it has to produce a lot of proteins, and this creates stress on the endoplasmic reticulum,” Ahn said. “Cancer cells significantly overproduce LIPA, much more so than healthy cells. By binding to LIPA, ERX-41 jams the protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, which becomes bloated, leading to cell death.”

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Dr Malone and dr Vanden Bossche meet each other for the first time ..

Headwind2 – The Debate – Malone and Vanden Bossche (Headwind)

In this third episode of the Headwind documentary series dr Robert Malone and dr Geert Vanden Bossche debate on the pathway the virus will take, the new virulent strains the relentless vaccine boostering will produce and the crime against humanity which is the totally unnecessary Covid19 vaccination of children. Dr Malone and dr Vanden Bossche meet each other for the first time and debate on all these issues, with the stunning landscape of Southern Spain as a gorgeous backdrop.

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Ted Turner: Healing the planet for profit

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 252022
 


Vincent van Gogh Pietà (after Delacroix) 1889

 

America’s Ukraine Policy Is On A Collision Course With Reality (Moloney)
The Secret American Plan to Make Russia Great Again (Orlov)
Ukraine Official Blasts Kissinger Over Comment on Ceding Territory (Celente)
NATO vs Russia: What Happens Next (Escobar)
No Way Out but War (Chris Hedges)
Finland, Sweden Send Teams To Turkey After Erdogan’s ‘Don’t Even Bother’ (ZH)
Comey’s FBI Lied To Its Own Agents In Russia Hoax Cover-Up (Jarrett)
‘Fired Up’ FBI Leadership Pushed Trump Probe Despite Flimsy Evidence (JTN)
Individual Carbon Footprint Tracker (CTH)
Bill Gates Poured Millions into Dark Money Fund Attacking Elon Musk (BB)
One Billion People At Risk Of Power Blackouts As Global Grids Stretched
Biden Underwater On Almost All Issues Except Handling Of Covid (Hill)
Bayer Deploys Big Ag Buddies to Push Biden on Roundup Cancer Lawsuit (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Ricky Gervais is an absolute treasure
https://twitter.com/i/status/1529025826712391681

 

 

“..the holes in the upbeat Ukraine narrative have reached a point where the mainstream media no longer can credibly deny them..”

America’s Ukraine Policy Is On A Collision Course With Reality (Moloney)

If we accept the mainstream media narrative about Russia’s war in Ukraine, we are witnessing the emergence of the Biden administration’s greatest triumph to date. Under this roseate scenario, the Ukrainians are doing wonderfully well in their fight against Russia; the Russian troops are failing badly almost everywhere; NATO is enjoying a renaissance of unity not seen since the Cold War; and President Biden is being lauded globally for bold leadership and for proving once again that the United States is the world’s indispensable nation. Perhaps best of all is the narrative that Biden is delivering his long-promised bipartisan unity among Americans, as large numbers of Republicans sign onto his requests for more money and more weapons for Ukraine.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are among the luminaries who paraded to Kyiv for coveted photo-ops with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In stark contrast to these upbeat perspectives about the war, however, a far less pleasant reality is forcing its way to the forefront of American consciousness: The U.S. economy is reeling through a historic crisis in the direction of an almost certain recession, with inflation far outpacing wage gains; income inequality soaring, as elites continue to prosper and the working class is crushed by the cost of living; frightening levels of violent crime plague large cities; and unprecedented numbers of illegal migrants are surging across America’s southern border.

In light of these less palatable realities, it cannot be surprising Biden’s approval rating and that of his Democratic Party are plummeting to new depths — including among bedrock elements of the Democratic coalition such as Hispanics, Black voters and, perhaps, educated suburban women. Traditional liberals such as Democratic strategist James Carville clearly see the looming electoral disaster of this fall’s midterms, but it’s being ignored by Pelosi and the party’s progressive wing, which continues to influence Biden’s policy initiatives. The disconnect between these two realities has become evident as new complications arise in Ukraine and America’s domestic disorders worsen. In particular, the holes in the upbeat Ukraine narrative have reached a point where the mainstream media no longer can credibly deny them, as John Walsh described in a recent Asia Times article, “NY Times shifts pro-war narrative.” Walsh draws attention to two items appearing recently in the Times: a front-page story about Russia seizing much of the East, and an opinion piece entitled, “America and Its Allies Want to Bleed Russia. They Really Shouldn’t.”

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“After the Soviet collapse, very little was needed to speed along the collapse of Russia itself. But none of these steps have been taken, and the steps that were taken (with the ostensible goal of weakening and destroying Russia) have done the exact opposite.”

The Secret American Plan to Make Russia Great Again (Orlov)

It is generally a good idea to avoid ascribing nefarious intent to actions explained by mere stupidity. But this is a case where mere stupidity cannot possibly explain the long, steady procession of foreign policy errors spanning three decades, all of them specifically aimed at strengthening Russia. It is not possible to argue that a surplus of hubris, ignorance, greed and political opportunism and a deficit of competent foreign policy analysts can produce such a result, for that would be essentially the same as arguing that some monkeys armed with drills, mills and lathes can produce a Swiss watch. But the only alternative would be to claim that there is a network of Kremlin’s agents ensconced deep within the bowels of the American Deep State and that they are all working in concert to advance Russia’s interests while meticulously maintaining plausible deniability all the while and at all levels of the operation.

Ostensibly, the plan was to weaken and destroy Russia; but then, following the Soviet collapse, Russia was weakening and destroying itself very well all by itself, no intervention needed. What’s more, every US effort to weaken and destroy Russia has made it stronger; had there existed even a most rudimentary feedback mechanism, so vast a discrepancy between policy goals and policy results would have been detected and adjustments would have been made. Superficially, this may be explained by the nature of America’s sham-democracy, where each administration can blame its failures on mistakes made by the previous administration, but the Deep State remains in power throughout, and it would simply be forced to admit to itself that there is a problem with the plan to weaken and destroy Russia after a few cycles of this unfolding fiasco. The fact that it hasn’t detected any such problem brings us full circle, back to the suspicion that there are Putin’s agents toiling tirelessly deep within the Deep State.

But that’s pure conspiracy theory and we shouldn’t want to go anywhere near that. Suffice to say, there is at present no adequate explanation for what happened. After the Soviet collapse, very little was needed to speed along the collapse of Russia itself. But none of these steps have been taken, and the steps that were taken (with the ostensible goal of weakening and destroying Russia) have done the exact opposite. Why? Below are listed 10 of the most successful initiatives of what appear to be a US Deep State MRGA campaign. If you have an alternative explanation, I’d like to hear it. b

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Turns 99 on Friday. Terrible legacy. But today’s crop are far worse.

Ukraine Official Blasts Kissinger Over Comment on Ceding Territory (Celente)

Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, said Monday what The Trends Journal has been advocating since the start of the Ukraine War: President Volodymyr Zelensky should negotiate for a peaceful resolution and prevent thousands more from dying needlessly. “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome,” Kissinger told the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante.” The 98-year-old said pursuing the war “beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself.” He said Ukraine should be willing to cede territory in the peace process. Ukraine has said it will not stop fighting until Russia retreats from the country.

Kissinger saw some success during his time as the U.S.’s top diplomat with the Soviet Union and played a role in arms control treaties like the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. He told the audience in Davos that it would be “fatal” for Western countries to disregard Russia’s position of power within Europe. “I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom,” Kissinger said. Kissinger’s comments were mocked on social media by “journalists” who -two months ago- didn’t know the difference between Kyiv and a quiche. One even suggested that he should die. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky, was critical of Kissinger’s remarks and said he would as easily “allow to take Poland or Lithuania away,” Newsweek reported.

[..] Kissinger’s comments follow nonagenarian Noam Chomsky’s earlier statements about the dangers of a prolonged conflict in Ukraine. Chomsky, correctly, stated earlier this month that Ukrainian leadership’s cry for more heavy weapons is actually the Western “propaganda system.” Chomsky was criticized after saying in an interview that former President Donald Trump is the “one Western statesman of stature” who laid out a “sensible” solution for Ukraine. He said Trump spoke about facilitating negotiations instead of “undermining them and moving towards establishing some kind of accommodation in Europe in which there are no military alliances and mutual accommodation.”

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“Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.”

NATO vs Russia: What Happens Next (Escobar)

Three months after the start of Russia’s Operation Z in Ukraine, the battle of The West (12 percent) against The Rest (88 percent) keeps metastasizing. Yet the narrative – oddly – remains the same. On Monday, from Davos, World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab introduced Ukrainian comedian-cum-President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the latest leg of his weapons-solicitation-tour, with a glowing tribute. Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.” He means, of course, everyone except the 88 percent of the planet that subscribes to the Rule of Law – instead of the faux construct the west calls a ‘rules-based international order.’

Back in the real world, Russia, slowly but surely has been rewriting the Art of Hybrid War. Yet within the carnival of NATO psyops, aggressive cognitive infiltration, and stunning media sycophancy, much is being made of the new $40 billion US ‘aid’ package to Ukraine, deemed capable of becoming a game-changer in the war. This ‘game-changing’ narrative comes courtesy of the same people who burned though trillions of dollars to secure Afghanistan and Iraq. And we saw how that went down. Ukraine is the Holy Grail of international corruption. That $40 billion can be a game-changer for only two classes of people: First, the US military-industrial complex, and second, a bunch of Ukrainian oligarchs and neo-connish NGOs, that will corner the black market for weapons and humanitarian aid, and then launder the profits in the Cayman Islands.

A quick breakdown of the $40 billion reveals $8.7 billion will go to replenish the US weapons stockpile (thus not going to Ukraine at all); $3.9 billion for USEUCOM (the ‘office’ that dictates military tactics to Kiev); $5 billion for a fuzzy, unspecified “global food supply chain”; $6 billion for actual weapons and “training” to Ukraine; $9 billion in “economic assistance” (which will disappear into selected pockets); and $0.9 billion for refugees. US risk agencies have downgraded Kiev to the dumpster of non-reimbursing-loan entities, so large American investment funds are ditching Ukraine, leaving the European Union (EU) and its member-states as the country’s only option.

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“It will signal the death of Pax Americana.”

No Way Out but War (Chris Hedges)

The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses.

No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon. The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the US GDP of $ 24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $ 813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

We are paying a heavy social, political, and economic cost for our militarism. Washington watches passively as the U.S. rots, morally, politically, economically, and physically, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and other countries extract themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network banks and other financial institutions use to send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions. Once the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, once there is an alternative to SWIFT, it will precipitate an internal economic collapse. It will force the immediate contraction of the U.S. empire shuttering most of its nearly 800 overseas military installations. It will signal the death of Pax Americana.

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Arms embargo.

Finland, Sweden Send Teams To Turkey After Erdogan’s ‘Don’t Even Bother’ (ZH)

Finland and Sweden on Tuesday confirmed they are sending delegations to Ankara in hopes of resolving issues surrounding Turkey’s publicly voiced vehement opposition to the two countries’ bids to join NATO. They formally submitted their applications in a ceremony attended by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last week, which Turkey immediately sought to block. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the delegations will begin meetings with Turkish counterparts on Wednesday, even after days ago President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Finnish and Swedish diplomatic teams “shouldn’t bother coming” if they aren’t prepared to halt support for PKK terrorists.

Speaking during a panel discussion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Haavisto acknowledged, “We understand that Turkey has some of their own security concerns vis-a-vis terrorism.” He added: “We think that these issues can be settled. There might be also some issues that are not linked directly to Finland and Sweden but more to other NATO members.” US Secretary Antony Blinken and the Biden administration say they’re “confident” the issues will be smoothed over, despite Ankara officials still showing no sign of stopping the denunciations. Turkey has also demanded that Sweden extradite “terrorists” being hosted in its midst, along with the Nordic countries immediately lifting an EU arms embargo which took effect in 2019 in response to the Turkish military’s anti-Kurdish operations in northern Syria.

According to the latest statements from Turkey’s foreign ministry, Ankara is waiting on both countries to take concrete steps. “Sweden, which has applied for membership, is expected to take principled steps and provide concrete assurances regarding Turkey’s security concerns,” a statement said. “Since 2017, our country has requested the extradition of PKK/PYD and FETO terrorists from Sweden but has yet to receive a positive response,” it added in reference referring to Syria’s main Kurdish party PYD and the Gulenist group FETO.

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“Testimony has shown that the FBI opened its probe of Trump because Hillary’s lawyer warned the Bureau that the media was about to report on it.”

Yeah, because “Hillary’s lawyer” fed them the story. That’s how it becomes a story. And then a probe.

Comey’s FBI Lied To Its Own Agents In Russia Hoax Cover-Up (Jarrett)

As if the FBI’s gross misconduct couldn’t get any worse, we learned Monday in court that top bureau officials actively concealed from their own field agents that it was Hillary’s lawyer, defendant Michael Sussmann, who was peddling phony Trump-Russia collusion claims to the FBI. Instead of telling their agents the truth of the information source, FBI brass lied by wrongly attributed it as coming from the “Department of Justice,” thus giving it the imprimatur of greater credibility than it deserved. As Monday’s testimony showed, had agents been told that Hillary’s campaign lawyer was behind it they would have recognized it for what it was –a politically motivated smear and immediately discounted it as a lie.

Monday’s testimony also revealed that the FBI eventually concluded as early as January of 2017 –just as the new president was about to take office– that the so-called “Alfa-Bank secret back-channel communication” between Trump and the Kremlin was a hoax. Yet, Comey hid that critical information from Trump, congress, and the American people. As a consequence, the media kept up its false reporting in the same way it continued to flog the fabricated “dossier.” Comey and others at the FBI like Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok knew that “dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign was a collection of exaggerations and made-up stories that originated from her own people. Comey could have told the truth and refuted all of the false media stories, but he didn’t. He and his acolytes exploited it as a pretense to escalate their investigation of Trump to drive him from office.

It’s not surprising that CBS, NBC, ABC, and MSNBC have refused to report any of the stunning revelations in the Sussmann trial. They are shameless cowards. They spent the better part of three years obsessed with the collusion story with their non-stop coverage portraying Trump as a Russian asset. They were reckless and wrong. But now, they don’t want to draw attention to just how wrong they were by reporting on the trial. The Washington Post is worse. On Monday, the newspaper published a “news analysis” with the title, “Again: There’s no evidence Hillary Clinton triggered the Russia probe.” Like much of the Post’s reporting, it is completely untrue. Declassified CIA documents show that Hillary invented the hoax by approving a plan on July 26, 2016 to frame Trump. She also gave her personal approval to leak it to the media, according to her own campaign manager’s testimony in court on Friday. Testimony has shown that the FBI opened its probe of Trump because Hillary’s lawyer warned the Bureau that the media was about to report on it.

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“..not opening an investigation was not an option..”

‘Fired Up’ FBI Leadership Pushed Trump Probe Despite Flimsy Evidence (JTN)

In explosive testimony Tuesday in the Michael Sussmann trial, an FBI agent said “fired up” senior FBI leadership insisted on continuing the investigation into now-debunked allegations of a secret Trump back channel to Moscow via a Russian bank despite learning the story was unsubstantiated. FBI agent Curtis Heide was the co-case agent on the investigation into the allegation that there was a secret communications channel between the Trump Organization and Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. He testified on Tuesday in the Sussmann trial that the bureau’s top brass pushed for the investigation.

Heide was told in an instant message from FBI Agent Joe Pientka, who was the supervisor leading the Crossfire Hurricane investigation regarding Trump-Russia collusion allegations, that senior leadership was “fired up” about the Alfa Bank and Trump Organization email servers and not opening an investigation was not an option. He received this message two days after Sussmann met with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker to give him the underlying, allegedly pretextual data. Sussmann, a 2016 Clinton campaign lawyer, is on trial for allegedly lying to the FBI in his September 2016 meeting with Baker by saying he was not representing any clients in sharing information purportedly substantiating a Trump Organization back channel to the Kremlin through Alfa Bank.

Special Counsel John Durham has provided evidence that Sussmann was representing clients at the meeting — both the Clinton campaign and then-Neustar tech firm executive Rodney Joffe. Heide testified that he concluded the allegation was unsubstantiated based on the analysis by the FBI cyber division, review of the internet data logs, cybersecurity company Mandiant’s independent assessment corroborating the FBI’s findings, discussions with Spectrum Health about a TOR (The Onion Router) exit node, and his own training regarding previous Russian cyber investigations. By Sept. 26, 2016, Heide believed the allegation was a bunk report. In an Oct. 3 email, he asked to interview the anonymous source who relayed the allegation because he believed the investigation was reaching a logical endpoint as the claims appeared unfounded.

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“The 5G telecommunications network is designed to use geolocation and behavioral tracking that will connect your digital identity to your individual behavior and facilitate the carbon footprint tracing process..”

Individual Carbon Footprint Tracker (CTH)

It is important to remember the ultimate goal of the ‘climate change’ promotors (World Economic Forum) is not an energy system that changes the global climate. The goal of the ‘climate change’ group is to create a carbon trading system; a new financial mechanism (a global tax program) to control human activity on a world-wide basis. This system also needs a digital identity in order to work {hint-hint}. You cannot tax, or trade, things you cannot track. As a result, there was always going to be a need for an individual tracking and monitoring system that would connect to the global digital identity and determine the carbon footprint. The carbon taxing and trading system will be more financially lucrative than any stock exchange or monetary banking system. It is the ultimate human control mechanism, and the preferred way to redistribute wealth under the guise of global equity.


Of course, the system will beta test as a consumer demand product until the government steps in to take over the allocation and distribution equity part. In this video segment, Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans boasts at the 2022 World Economic Forum about the development of an “individual carbon footprint tracker” to monitor what you buy, what you eat, and where/how you travel.

The individual carbon tracker is the baseline for a global carbon trading system that involves everyone; at least, everyone connected to the outlook of western government. Carbon allocation creates the financial metric that replaces currency. You buy and sell carbon credits allowing you to engage in specific functions within society, like dining, traveling, home ownership and type, vehicle or transportation type, even the clothes you can purchase. Hence, “carbon trading” is the term most people are familiar with. In essence, you are a parasite to earth; therefore, you must offset your derogatory footprint on the planet by paying a fee to exist. If you cannot pay for the carbon credits needed to engage in the transaction (travel, home ownership, cooling, heating, etc.) you cannot engage in the regulated activity.


The carbon exchange process is at the end of the slippery slope created by a digital identity. The 5G telecommunications network is designed to use geolocation and behavioral tracking that will connect your digital identity to your individual behavior and facilitate the carbon footprint tracing process. We are already passed the “if” stage.

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“..a shape-shifting nonprofit group that uses aliases to push an array of left-wing causes from a shell office in Washington, D.C.”

Bill Gates Poured Millions into Dark Money Fund Attacking Elon Musk (BB)

Research exclusively shared with Breitbart News identifies hundreds of millions of dollars flowing from Bill Gates’ foundation to 11 of the 26 organizations that signed an open letter last month urging Twitter advertisers to boycott the company if Elon Musk restores free speech on the platform. Breitbart News’ report, based on research and analysis from the newly-formed Foundation for Freedom Online (FFO), analyzed public filings to trace hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions from the letter signatories back to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In total, 11 of the 26 anti-Musk organizations received funding from a Gates-backed entity.

[..] The open letter’s connection to the billionaire Microsoft founder is significant, as Gates is in the middle of a public feud with free speech advocate Musk. Last month, Gates revealed his $500 million short position against Musk-owned Tesla, prompting Musk to call Gates a “b*ner” killer alongside a meme of Gates as a pregnant man emoji. Gates is also an outspoken censorship proponent, frequently calling on tech companies to do more to stop “health misinformation” spreading online. Musk threatens to reverse Gates’ strongly desired censorship policies — and now faces the wrath of Gates-funded NGOs. Recently, Musk asked his 94 million Twitter followers to uncover the funding behind the 26 NGOs who signed an intimidation letter threatening to destroy the company’s advertising revenue if Musk reversed its censorship policies.

Musk followed up his request by highlighting one particular shadowy group, Accountable Tech, musing: “I wonder who funds them”. His curiosity was prompted by a Washington Free Beacon investigation into Accountable Tech, which sought to get to the bottom of the nonprofit’s financial sponsorship. The Free Beacon visited Accountable Tech’s corporate office in Washington and concluded the organization doesn’t “actually exist.” Rather, “Accountable Tech” was merely a “registered trade [name] for the North Fund, a shape-shifting nonprofit group that uses aliases to push an array of left-wing causes from a shell office in Washington, D.C.”

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A crisis created for the good of mankind.

One Billion People At Risk Of Power Blackouts As Global Grids Stretched

This summer, power grids worldwide won’t produce enough electricity to meet the soaring demand, threatening more than one billion people with rolling blackouts. Grids are stretched thin by fossil fuel shortages, drought and heatwaves, commodity disruptions and soaring prices due to the war in Ukraine, and the failed green energy transition where grid operators retired too many fossil fuel generation plants. Combine this all together, and a perfect storm of blackouts threatens much of the Northern Hemisphere. The power crisis, affecting a large swath of the world and top economies, could be less than a month away when summer begins on June 21. Regions that concerned Bloomberg are Asia, Europe, and the US, where there’s not enough power to go around when cooling demand is set to surge as households crank up their air conditions to escape the sweltering heat.

“Asia’s heatwave has caused hours-long daily blackouts, putting more than 1 billion people at risk across Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India, with little relief in sight. Six Texas power plants failed earlier this month as the summer heat just began to arrive, offering a preview of what’s to come. At least a dozen US states from California to the Great Lakes are at risk of electricity outages this summer. Power supplies will be tight in China and Japan. South Africa is poised for a record year of power cuts. And Europe is in a precarious position that’s held up by Russia — if Moscow cuts off natural gas to the region, that could trigger rolling outages in some countries.” –Bloomberg

BloombergNEF analyst Shantanu Jaiswal says the combination of “war and sanctions” disrupting commodity markets, “extreme weather,” and “an economic rebound from COVID boosting power demand” is a “unique” situation that he “can’t recall” the last time a “confluence of so many factors” happened together. As we noted in the beginning, it’s a perfect storm of factors.

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Ha ha ha!

Biden Underwater On Almost All Issues Except Handling Of Covid (Hill)

President Biden’s approval rating continues to be underwater on virtually every issue, with the exception being on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey from Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll. Biden’s overall approval rating sits at 41 percent in the survey, and the numbers are not much better when broken down by each issue. Only 35 percent of registered voters approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, 44 percent approve of his efforts to stimulate job growth and just 33 percent approve of his handling of inflation. Thirty-eight percent of respondents say they support his handling of immigration, and his approval rating on foreign affairs sits at 40 percent.


However, 52 percent of registered voters said they approve of his handling of COVID-19, the lone bright spot in the survey for the White House. Yet overall, his sagging approval ratings portend a political atmosphere this midterm cycle that will heavily favor Republicans — and warn that a 2024 reelection bid could be a slog. “Biden continues to struggle with the job and is particularly being slammed by the voters over inflation and immigration. No president has been reelected with numbers like these on job performance,” said pollster Mark Penn.

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Monsanto has real power.

Bayer Deploys Big Ag Buddies to Push Biden on Roundup Cancer Lawsuit (CHD)

Two weeks after a top Justice Department official advised the U.S. Supreme Court there was “no sound reason” for the high court to review a loss by Monsanto owner Bayer AG in nationwide Roundup cancer litigation, a coalition of large agricultural groups is demanding that President Joe Biden withdraw the opinion. Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, has looked to the high court as its last, and best, hope for putting an end to the ongoing litigation. Bayer has asked the justices to take up the case, which centers on allegations that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

But Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar advised the court in a May 10 brief that Bayer’s arguments for seeking Supreme Court review were “misconceived,” and said there was no valid dispute for the high court to consider. The agricultural groups responded Monday with a blistering letter to Biden, alleging Prelogar’s brief established a “new policy” that “poses great risks to our science-based regulatory system and global food systems.” The letter urges Biden to withdraw Prelogar’s brief and “consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the implications of this decision for food production, environmental sustainability, and science-based regulation.”

[..] Bayer filed its petition to the high court in August, asking the justices to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s May 14, 2021, decision that affirmed a district court’s judgment in Monsanto’s 2019 trial loss to plaintiff Edwin Hardeman. The jury, in that case, agreed with Hardeman’s attorneys that exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide was a cause of Hardeman’s NHL and that Monsanto failed to warn of its product’s health risks, despite decades of science showing links between the herbicide and cancer. Hardeman was awarded approximately $80 million by the jury, though the award was cut by the trial court judge to roughly $25.2 million.

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May 222022
 


El Greco La Pietà c1575

 

Revealed: Hillary Clinton’s Role In The Alfa Bank Scandal (Turley)
Hillary Clinton’s Trump/Russia Media Strategy Revealed (Techno Fog)
Biden Keeping Up Employment At The Gaffe Factory (Howie Carr)
Russia Rewrites the Art of Hybrid War (Escobar)
Is US Drawing Up Plans To Sink the Russian Black Sea Fleet? (Antiwar)
A Thread on “Azov” (RWA)
Gen. Milley Warns West Point Graduates Of ‘Increasing’ Risk Of Global War (Fox)
mRNA Vaccines Hurt Long-term Immunity To Covid (Berenson)
Once A Liberal Democracy, Canada Is Now An Authoritarian State (Arora)
American Farmer Warns Of Impending Food Shortages (ZH)
Labor Win Presents ‘Great Opportunity’ In Fight To Free Julian Assange (LE)

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd

 

 

 

 

Malone

 

 

Still waiting to see why Mook did what he did. After all, he knows all about the revenge of the Clintons.

Revealed: Hillary Clinton’s Role In The Alfa Bank Scandal (Turley)

The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name “Hillary Clinton” in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election. For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as “She who must not be named” in scandals. Yet, there was her former campaign manager, Robby Mook, telling a jury that Clinton personally approved a plan to spread the claim of covert communications between the Trump organization and the Russian bank. It was one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in American politics, and Mook implicated Clinton as green-lighting the gas-lighting of the electorate.

The mere mention of Clinton’s name sent shockwaves through Washington. In past scandals, the Clintons have always evaded direct responsibility as aides were investigated or convicted, from the Whitewater land dealings to cattle futures. Even when long-sought documents in Whitewater were discovered outside of the family quarters and bearing Hillary Clinton’s fingerprints, Washington quickly moved on. Clinton was not supposed to be the object of the Sussmann trial, because Judge Christopher Cooper, an Obama appointee, issued a series of orders limiting the scope of the trial and its evidence. The orders were viewed as “spar[ing] the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee … potential embarrassment.”

Yet, even after winning such limiting orders, it was the defense that called Mook to the stand — out of order, in the midst of the prosecution’s case, because he was scheduled to leave on vacation — and he proceeded to confirm that Clinton herself approved of the tactic. It was Washington’s worst-kept but least-acknowledged secret. On July 28, 2016, then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s alleged plan to tie Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” Obama reportedly was told how Clinton allegedly approved “a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

Thus, Mook testified that Clinton did precisely what Brennan warned Obama was being planned. The date of Brennan’s warning is important: It was three days before the FBI’s collusion investigation began. It also was a couple of months before Sussmann contacted then-FBI general counsel Jim Baker while claiming he was not representing any client. (He was counsel to the Clinton campaign and, according to prosecutors, billed the meeting time to the campaign.) There is a strikingly familiar pattern in both the Steele dossier — which became the basis for the Russia collusion investigation — and the Alfa Bank tale. Campaign associates developed both claims while actively seeking to conceal their connections from the public and the government, including reportedly denying the funding of the Steele dossier and concealing that funding as legal costs.

Information laundering

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“We authorized a staff member of the campaign to provide it to the media.”

Hillary Clinton’s Trump/Russia Media Strategy Revealed (Techno Fog)

Robert Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, also testified before the jury Friday. In his testimony, he stated that Hillary Clinton personally approved a plan to spread the lie that Trump was colluding with Russia via secret servers to the media. He also admitted to being briefed on the conspiracy.

Q: Okay. In connection with the general focus on Mr. Trump and Russia, did there come a time when you learned of potential links between the Trump organization, Mr. Trump’s business, and a Russian bank called Alfa-bank?
A: I did. Yes, I was briefed on that.
Q: Approximately when were you first briefed on that, if you remember?
A: I honestly can’t recall.
Q: Who participated in the briefing, if you remember?
A: Myself, Marc Elias, Jen Palmieri, Jake Sullivan, John Podesta. There might have been others, but those are the ones I definitely recall being there.

Mook also admitted that the Clinton campaign was focused on Trump’s relationship with Russia before Summer of 2016.
Q: In the Summer of 2016, was Mr. Trump’s relationship with Russia something that the campaign focused on?
A: Yes. I mean, it was frankly something we were focused on before that time. But absolutely.

Mook however did deny that the Clinton campaign directed Sussman to go to the FBI, despite admitting that Clinton approved the Trump-Russia allegations to be shared with the media.
Q: Were you aware that Mr. Sussman went to the FBI in September of 2016 to give them a heads-up about a New York Times story about Trump and Alfa-Bank?
A: No.
Q: Do you have any recollection of anyone talking to you about going to the FBI on behalf of the campaign on the Trump/Alfa-Bank issue?
A: No.
Q: Did you direct Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: Did you authorize Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign?
A: No.
Q: Did anyone else from the campaign, to your knowledge, direct or authorize Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign?
A: To my knowledge, no.

Mook also said the decision to push the debunked Russia conspiracy to the media was made by him, Sussman, John Podesta, and Palmeri, and that Hillary Clinton agreed with the decision.
Q: And once you learned about it [the Trump-Russia allegations], you started discussing with the campaign whether the campaign should affirmatively push it in the media, right?
A: Correct.
Q: And you had that discussion with Mr. Sullivan?
A: Correct.
Q: With Mr. Podesta?
A: Just to be clear. This is what – I recall those people, correct.
Q: Okay. You had a discussion with Mr. Sullivan?
A: Yes, I recall, yes.
Q: Whether to push it in the media right?
A: Correct.
Q: With Ms. Palmieri?
A: Correct.
Q: With Mr. Podesta?
A: Correct.
Q: But in any event, the decision to provide this to the media was authorized by the campaign, correct?
A: We authorized a staff member of the campaign to provide it to the media.

Regarding Hillary Clinton, Mook said:
Q: Mr. Mook, before the break you had testified that there was a conversation in which you told Ms. Clinton about the proposed plan to provide the Alfa-Bank allegations to the media; is that correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And what was her response?
A: All I remember is that she agreed with the decision.

Some final thoughts: while this trial is about Sussmann’s false statements to the FBI, it’s also more than that. This is Special Counsel John Durham telling the public the story of the Clinton opposition research machine, and how the campaign, through their lawyers and contractors (Fusion GPS), developed and spread lies to the media to influence the election. It’s the story of Clinton Campaign lawyers to using the FBI to further that strategy of deception. With that in mind, do not forget the Igor Danchenko case. Is it the case that Charles Dolan, a Hillary Clinton friend and supporter, was coincidentally feeding false information to Christopher Steele’s primary sub source? And on that thread, what are the odds that another Clinton ally – Alexander Downer – took his “info” to the FBI?

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“That’s how it works when leaders derive their powers from the consent of the government from from the consent of the governed.”

Biden Keeping Up Employment At The Gaffe Factory (Howie Carr)

It’s Weekend at Biden’s again, and Dementia Joe Biden has been pondering the dysfunction that plagues these fruited plains. Specifically, Brandon frets about mentally impaired people wandering America’s streets: “(People) who are just deranged, who are, who are susceptible, who are, who are just lost and and don’t know what to do, and they’re easily taken, they’re easily sucked in, and it’s gotta stop, we have to admit it, I don’t know why we don’t admit what the hell’s goin’ on. Anyway …” Got a mirror, Mr. President? As always, all dialogue guaranteed verbatim. Now Biden is in Asia visiting, among other places, South Korea and “President Moon Yoon” (his name is Yoon Seok-Youl). But before Brandon departed the assisted-living facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he warmly welcomed some visitors to the White House:

“I thank all of you for being here, and I want you to enjoy the rest of the recession.” Technically, Mr. President, the recession hasn’t even started yet. You said you’d have to be a “mind reader” to have seen the baby-formula shortage coming. But apparently you are able to foresee what economic calamities your policies are causing in the weeks ahead. FDR said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Now Brandon says, “I want you to enjoy the rest of the recession.” At the White House or on the road, Dementia Joe must sometimes introduce other people. It’s not getting any easier for him to remember who anybody is, or what they do. Just ask “President Harris.” Or the president of “Fine Finland,” whom he called “Nisto.” His name is “Niinisto.” He said Sen. Rick Scott of Florida represents Wisconsin. He called Raytheon “Ray Raython.”

[..] On the teleprompter, he misreads wages as rages, reflect as refect, eligibility as elibility. Wholly becomes holly, only comes out as swonly. The teleprompter says changes, he reads it as charges. Dementia Joe dares to ask questions no one else will: “How many police officers have multiple times and put a lion and had to do things that they’d have to think they’d have to do?” Good question, Brandon! Other than telling everyone to enjoy the recession, Dementia Joe had one other Freudian slip recently. He was discussing how well a system of checks and balances has served the American people, until … Democrats. “That’s how it works when leaders derive their powers from the consent of the government from from the consent of the governed.”

Herridge

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“Fully exposing the whole maze, from the start, was one of Putin’s stated objectives.”

Russia Rewrites the Art of Hybrid War (Escobar)

The ironclad fictional “narrative” imposed all across NATOstan is that Ukraine is “winning”. So why would weapons peddler retrofitted as Pentagon head Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin literally beg since late February to have his phone calls answered by Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, only to have his wish finally granted? It’s now confirmed by one of my top intel sources. The call was a direct consequence of panic. The United States Government (USG) by all means wants to scotch the detailed Russian investigation – and accumulation of evidence – on the US bioweapon labs in Ukraine, as I outlined in a previous column. This phone call happened exactly after an official Russian statement to the UN Security Council on May 13: we will use articles 5 and 6 of the Convention on the Prohibition of Bioweapons to investigate the Pentagon’s biological “experiments” in Ukraine.

That was reiterated by Under Secretary-General of the UN in charge of disarmament, Thomas Markram, even as all ambassadors of NATO member countries predictably denied the collected evidence as “Russian disinformation”. Shoigu cold see the call coming eons away. Reuters, merely quoting the proverbial “Pentagon official”, spun that the allegedly one-hour-long call led to nothing. Nonsense. Austin, according to the Americans, demanded a “ceasefire” – which must have originated a Siberian cat smirk on Shoigu’s face. Shoigu knows exactly which way the wind is blowing on the ground – for Ukrainian Armed Forces and UkroNazis alike. It’s not only the Azovstal debacle – and Kiev’s all-around army breakdown. After the fall of Popasnaya – the crucial, most fortified Ukrainian stronghold in Donbass – the Russians and Donetsk/Luhansk forces have breached defenses along four different vectors to north, northwest, west and south.

What’s left of the Ukrainian front is crumbling – fast, with a massive cauldron subdivided in a maze of mini-cauldrons: a military disaster the USG cannot possibly spin. Now, in parallel, we can also expect full exposure – on overdrive – of the Pentagon bioweapons racket. The only “offer you can’t refuse” left to the USG would be to present something tangible to the Russians to avoid a full investigation. That’s not gonna happen. Moscow is fully aware that going public with illegal work on banned biological weapons is an existential threat to the US Deep State. Especially when documents seized by the Russians show that Big Pharma – via Pfizer, Moderna, Merck and Gilead – was involved in several “experiments”. Fully exposing the whole maze, from the start, was one of Putin’s stated objectives.

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Whether it’s true or not, why would this guy expose it?

Is US Drawing Up Plans To Sink the Russian Black Sea Fleet? (Antiwar)

Shortly after Reuters published an exclusive story that the White House was looking to move advanced anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, an official in Kiev said that the US is making a plan to sink Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs adviser Anton Gerashchenko tweeted, “The US is preparing a plan to destroy the [Russian] Black Sea Fleet. The effective work of the Ukrainians on [Russian] warships convinced [the US] to prepare a plan to unblock the [Ukrainian] ports. Deliveries of powerful anti-ship weapons are being discussed.” Gerashchenko cited the Reuters report on Washington’s effort to ship Harpoon and Naval Strike Missiles to Ukraine. The missiles have a range of up to 300 km and cost $1.5 million each.

Three US officials and two Congressional sources told the outlet the White House was still working out the details for sending the advanced weapons to Ukraine. Logistical issues and the possibility the US would have to remove a launcher from one of its ships to send to Ukraine are current obstacles to completing the transfer. Responding to a question from Newsweek, the State Department did not deny it was working on a plan to take out the Russian fleet. “As the conflict is changing, so too is our military assistance to deliver the critical capabilities Ukraine needs for today’s fight as Russia’s forces engage in a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine,” a spokesperson said.

However, the Department of Defense issued a sharp denial of the claims made by the Ukrainians official. “I can tell you definitively that that’s not true,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday afternoon. The Pentagon denial applied only to the Ukrainian official’s assertion the US was helping sink the Black Sea fleet, and did not refer to the proposed anti-ship weapons transfer. Gerashchenko said the attack would help to open up Ukraine’s ports. Russia currently controls the Black Sea and maintains a blockade. The UN has called for an easing of restrictions in the sea to allow food exports from Ukraine to help alleviate global food shortages.

Moscow has offered a diplomatic solution to the Black Sea standoff. On Thursday, the Kremlin proposed lifting the blockage in exchange for sanctions relief. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the problem goes beyond the blockade and includes Western sanctions restricting fertilizer exports. “You have to not only appeal to the Russian Federation but also look deeply at the whole complex of reasons that caused the current food crisis. [Sanctions] interfere with normal free trade, encompassing food products including wheat, fertilizers and others,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said.

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Thread by Russians With Attitude.

A Thread on “Azov” (RWA)

The roots of “Azov” can be found in the Neonazi soccer hooligan scene of Kharkov. Andrei Biletsky was the central figure of the nascent movement for the longest time. A Kharkov native, he joined numerous nationalist organizations, e.g. the Lvov-based “Tryzub”. He also actively supported the Kharkov cell of the “Social-National Party of Ukraine” (nowadays “Svoboda”). In 2006, Biletsky founded “Patriot of Ukraine”, a nationalist organization that engaged in street violence & even terrorism. Biletsky’s patron during this period was Arsen Avakov, Armenian-Ukrainian “entrepreneur” & politician. In 2005-2010, Avakov was the governor of Kharkov oblast. During this period, “Patriot of Ukraine” was unofficially deputized by Kharkov police. Biletsky’s gang helped the police patrol the streets for illegal immigrants, & also to combat illegal businesses.

Aside from their political activities, they serves as enforcers for Avakov’s “business ventures”. That’s how they reached a significant level of political protection. Avakov, of course, also became Minister of the Interior after the Euromaidan coup d’etat; their fruitful relationship continued. Russian Neonazi Sergei Korotkikh aka “Botsman” is a personal friend of Avakov’s son. Botsman also leads a separate Azov unit, the “Botsman Boys”. In 2011, Biletsky and several of his comrades were arrested for organized robbery; in early 2014, Avakov became Minister of the Interior & had them released from prison. Even before that, Biletsky’s “Patriot of Ukraine” had joined the Euromaidan protests & the “Right Sector”. Biletsky’s men took part in the civil strife that followed the Euromaidan coup d’etat.

Then known as “Little black men from Kharkov”, they published threatening video messages to the Russian population; they rode around the country & engaged in political violence. They came to Odessa & participated in the May 2nd massacre; they attacked Anti-Maidan protests in Kharkov or straight up had pro-Russian acvitists “disappeared” with the help of Ukrainian security services. This is a long introduction, but it’s important. Soon after, the civil strife turned into civil war. The Euromaidan government in Kiev realized that Ukraine doesn’t have an army. Its elite military units were getting humiliated by coal miner militias in Donbass. That’s when, under the patronage of Avakov, the “Volunteer Battalions” were created. Azov, Aidar, Donbas, Tornado, Dnipro — these & many other Ministry of the Interior formations are infamous for their horrifying reign of terror in Eastern Ukraine.

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To infinity and beyond with Milley Mouse.

Gen. Milley Warns West Point Graduates Of ‘Increasing’ Risk Of Global War (Fox)

Gen. Mark Milley told cadets graduating from U.S. Military Academy West Point Saturday to be prepared for increasing risk of global conflict and a host of new weapons technologies in their careers. “The world you are being commissioned into has the potential for a significant international conflict between great powers. And that potential is increasing, not decreasing,” Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the cadets at the 2022 commencement ceremony in West Point, New York. “And right now, at this very moment, a fundamental change is happening in the very character of war. We are facing right now two global powers, China and Russia, each with significant military capabilities, and both who fully intend to change the current rules based order,” Milley said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is teaching the world that “aggression left unanswered only emboldens the aggressor,” Milley said. “Let us never forget the massacre that we have just witnessed in Bucha nor the slaughter that occurred in Mariupol. And the best way to honor their sacrifice is to support their fight for freedom and to stand against tyranny,” Milley said. The urban character of the war in Ukraine is something Milley sees as a characteristic of future battlefields, which will be “highly complex and almost certainly decisive in urban areas against elusive, ambiguous enemies that combine terrorism and warfare alongside conventional capabilities — all embedded within large civilian populations.” Weapons technology will also change dramatically in future decades, Milley said, and the shift will be as radical as the change from musket to the rifle, the rifle to the machine gun or from sailing to steam ships.

And the technological edge is no longer automatically in America’s favor. “You’ll be fighting with robotic tanks and ships and airplanes,” Milley said. “We’ve witnessed a revolution in lethality and precision munitions. What was once the exclusive province of the United States military is now available to most nation states with the money will to acquire them.” Artificial intelligence is “resulting in that profound change, the most profound change ever in human history,” Milley said. “Whatever overmatch we the United States enjoyed militarily for the last 70 years is closing quickly. And the United States will be, in fact, we already are challenged in every domain of warfare in space and cyber, maritime air and, of course, land.”

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Want to get Covid? Take a vaccine. Might work for monkeypox too.

mRNA Vaccines Hurt Long-term Immunity To Covid (Berenson)

Unvaccinated people are much more likely to develop broad antibody immunity after Covid infections than people who have received mRNA shots, a new study shows. The gap remains large whether people had mild, moderate, or severe Covid infections, the study showed – undercutting a crucial argument that vaccine advocates have made to defend the shots. The research draws on data from Moderna’s 30,000-person clinical trial for its mRNA shots. It may help explain why so many Americans now suffer multiple Covid infections, sometimes within months. Researchers already knew that many vaccinated people do not gain antibodies to the entire coronavirus after they are infected with Covid.

Unvaccinated people nearly always gain antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein, which covers the virus’s core of RNA, as well as its spike protein, which allows the virus to attack our cells. Vaccinated people often lack those anti-nucleocapsid antibodies and only have spike protein antibodies. Vaccine advocates claim the lack of nucleocapsid antibodies may occur because the mRNA shots prime people to fight off the Covid infections more quickly and have lower viral loads. In this view, the narrow immune response is a feature, not a bug – vaccinated people are less seriously infected and so do not need to generate anti-nucleocapsid antibodies. This study essentially demolishes that theory.

Scientists from the National Institutes of Health and Moderna quietly posted the paper a month ago as a pre-print, but it has received little attention despite its import. The researchers examined the development of anti-nucleocapsid antibodies in people who had been part of Moderna’s clinical trial and were infected with Covid. As they expected, the scientists found that the vaccinated people were far less likely to develop the anti-nucleocapsid antibodies. Only 40 percent of people who received the shots had antibodies, compared to 93 percent of those who did not. But they then went a step further. Because the infected people had been in the trial, their viral loads had been precisely measured when they were found to have Covid.

So the researchers were able to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated people who had the same amounts of virus in their blood. Once again, they found that unvaccinated people were far more likely to develop anti-nucleocapsid antibodies than the jabbed. An unvaccinated person with a mild infection had a 71 percent chance of mounting an immune response that included those antibodies. A vaccinated person had about a 15 percent chance.

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Few countries have fared as poorly as Canada.

Once A Liberal Democracy, Canada Is Now An Authoritarian State (Arora)

Two decades ago, when I was 4 years old, my parents immigrated to Canada from India in search of greater freedoms, autonomy and economic opportunities. They’re core Canadian values — enshrined in our national anthem, which gloriously heralds “The True North strong and free.” However, the past two years have seen a near complete erosion of the foundational liberal values that have attracted millions of immigrants like myself to this country. Under the once-righteous guise of COVID safety and online protections, the Canadian government has taken its power to extreme levels once only imaginable — let alone permissible — in a dissent-stifling authoritarian state. The control has extended to nearly every element of Canadian society, but nowhere more so than in our everyday personal lives.

Take my own case contending with Canada’s COVID bureaucracy a few months back. I was returning to Canada from the US when multiple Air Canada employees refused to let me on the plane. Although I had a negative COVID test, the government was suddenly requiring even returning citizens to be vaccinated (unvaccinated foreigners were already barred from entering). Since the most documented adverse effect associated with COVID vaccination — heart inflammation — is concentrated in young men ages 15 – 25, I chose not to get vaccinated. I am 21 years old, have already recovered from COVID and have no co-morbidities. I’m at low risk from serious COVID illness, which is why I remain unvaccinated. But this can make air travel difficult — especially in Canada. Minutes before my boarding gate was closed, a sympathetic Air Canada staffer “begged” his manager to let me board the plane.

“I just gave you a massive favor. No one else would do this,” he said as I finally made my way down the jetway. In the Canada of Justin Trudeau’s making, you must now go to extreme measures simply to be allowed to return to your own nation. And for what? COVID is just the beginning of the Canadian madness. The internationally recognized trucker protests earlier this year were the most flagrant display of political control ever witnessed within the ranks of the Canadian government. After trying to dismiss the truckers as a “fringe minority” of “swastika wavers,” Trudeau manufactured a National Emergency in order to justify truly outrageous tactics. Not only did he suspend the insurance of the truckers’ vehicles, he regulated the cryptocurrency transfers and froze the bank accounts of folks simply donating to the trucker cause.

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“We only have a short window of opportunity to give farmers funding.”

American Farmer Warns Of Impending Food Shortages (ZH)

NewsNation’s Leland Vittert asked one American farmer: “How close are we to the next food crisis?” The answer: “We are in a crisis right now as far as the food chain goes with the farmer in this country,” John Boyd Jr., the President of the National Black Farmers Association, said. Boyd points out some farmers are unable to plant because of adverse weather conditions. He said farmers in the Northern Plains haven’t been able to get tractors in the fields because of soggy conditions, and the war in Ukraine has knocked out an entire region of food production. He warned, “We’re going to see a lot of empty shelves and a lot more high food prices.” In his forty-year career as a farmer, Boyd said he never imagined he would be “paying $5.63 for a gallon of diesel fuel, $900 a ton for fertilizer, and all-time high prices for soybean seeds.”


All of the prices he mentioned are at record highs, pressuring farmers’ margins. He said the American people need to wake up to the crisis in the farming industry, adding, “farming isn’t Republican or Democratic, it’s food, the land is neutral … this is the time the American people need to support the American farmer and put pressure on the Biden administration to put things in place to help farmers.” He mentioned that banks need to provide emergency funding to farmers to get their crops in the ground. Out-of-control inflation has left some farmers unable to plant because of soaring costs. Boyd said, “We only have a short window of opportunity to give farmers funding.” He stated the worst-case scenario is “a lot of shortages” of food that could materialize later this year.

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New PM Anthony Albanese looks as inept as his predecessor, but he might have one advantage.

Labor Win Presents ‘Great Opportunity’ In Fight To Free Julian Assange (LE)

The father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the election of a Labor government is a “great opportunity” for the movement to free the WikiLeaks founder from imprisonment. Speaking at a Sydney Q&A screening of documentary Ithaka, which documents his efforts to free Assange, John Shipton said a groundswell of parliamentarian support was growing for his son’s plight and he was buoyed up by the prospect of an incoming Labor government. “Of course things would change [if Labor were elected] … this is a great opportunity for us,” he said. “A fresh parliament has a lot of room to move … I speak to many of them. They don’t want this hanging around their neck like an albatross.”


Shipton said he had had several lunches with Anthony Albanese, and had been assured the opposition leader would do “whatever he can” to free his son and “enough’s enough”. The 76-year-old said when he began advocating for Assange in 2019, two parliamentarians supported him – independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Greens senator for Tasmania Peter Whish-Wilson. “Now there are 29 and peripherally, there are other supporters,” he said. “The deputy prime minister while in the US … said publicly … that Julian ought to be charged if he’s done anything in the UK … other than that, send him home. “There’s a core in the Labor party, there’s a core in the National party, the Greens are all supporting [Julian] … it’s a popular concern and parliamentarians recognise that.”

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Rebel Davos

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 202022
 


Marion Post Wolcott Signboard along highway in Alabama 1939

 

Many Ukrainian Fighters Remain In Azovstal, ‘Operation Going On’ (R.)
Surrender “On Far Bigger Scale Than Kyiv Has Acknowledged” (ZH)
Biden Resists Ukrainian Demands For Long-range Rocket Launchers (Pol.)
When US Pivot Is Seen As An ‘Expansion’ Into Asia (Kukis)
US Aid To Ukraine Borrowed From China: Rand Paul (JTN)
US Adds $100 Million In Arms For Ukraine On Top Of $40 Billion Aid Package (PM)
Senate Blocks $48 Billion Aid For Restaurants, Other Small Businesses (Hill)
SpaceX Flight Attendant Said Elon Musk Exposed Himself (BI)
Half Of America Faces Power Blackouts This Summer (ZH)
Analysis of Hunter Biden’s Hard Drive (NBC)
How The Feds’ Civil Suit Against Steve Wynn Helps Hunter Biden (Turley)
Trump Lawyer Demands CIA Action Against Ex-agents on Hunter Biden Laptop (JTN)
African Nations Resisting Bitcoin Only Delay The Inevitable (BCM)
A Theory of Impossibility (Fred Reed)

 

 

 

 

George W. Bush prank call

 

 

Poso WHO

 

 

The ones that remain are those who have most to fear from Russia. But ‘Operation Going On’ is BS, it’s over.

Many Ukrainian Fighters Remain In Azovstal, ‘Operation Going On’ (R.)

Russia’s siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol stuttered towards its end on Thursday, with hundreds of fighters still holed up in the Azovstal steel works and some 1,700 who have already surrendered facing an uncertain fate. A full abandonment of the bunkers and tunnels of the bombed-out plant would end the most destructive siege of a war that began when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. It was unclear how many fighters remained inside. Russia’s defence ministry said 771 fighters from the Azov Regiment had surrendered in the past day, bringing the total of those who had given themselves up since Monday to 1,730. Ukrainian officials declined to comment, saying it could endanger rescue efforts.

Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy head of the Azov Regiment, released an 18-second video address on Thursday to say he and other commanders were still on the territory of the plant. “A certain operation is going on, the details of which I will not disclose. Thank you to the whole world and thank you to Ukraine for (your) support,” he said. Denis Pushilin, head of the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, which now encompasses Mariupol, said more than half the fighters had surrendered, and that the uninjured had been taken to a penal colony near Russian-controlled Donetsk. “Let them surrender, let them live, let them honestly face the charges for all their crimes,” he told an online video channel.

[..] Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Mariupol’s last defenders – regular soldiers as well as members of the National Guard, to which the Azov Regiment belongs – are national heroes, and that he hopes they can be exchanged for Russian prisoners. Moscow portrays the regiment as one of the main perpetrators of the alleged radical anti-Russian nationalism and neo-Nazism which it says threaten Ukraine’s Russian-speakers. read more The unit, formed in 2014 as a militia to fight Russian-backed separatists, denies being fascist, racist or neo-Nazi, and Ukraine says it has been reformed away from its radical nationalist origins. The Kremlin said the combatants would be treated in line with international norms, though some Russian lawmakers demanded they be tried for war crimes and one demanded they face the death penalty.

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Yesterday 771 surrendered, today’s number will probably be a bit lower.

Surrender “On Far Bigger Scale Than Kyiv Has Acknowledged” (ZH)

Russia’s defense ministry has now revised the numbers of Ukrainian fighters to have emerged from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol upward to more than 1,700 soldiers that have left the plant. A new Reuters headline has stressed that there’s ongoing “silence from Kyiv” as the surrender is on a much larger than expected scale: Moscow said on Thursday that 1,730 Ukrainian fighters had surrendered in Mariupol over three days, including 771 in the past 24 hours, claiming a surrender on a far bigger scale than Kyiv has acknowledged since ordering its garrison to stand down. Statements from early in the week by Ukrainian officials, including President Zelensky, attempted to downplay this as “surrender” – avoiding the word altogether and instead stressing the end of the “combat mission” and that its Azov fighters were “evacuated”.

Russian-backed separatists in control of the area, Denis Pushilin, has recently said many of Azov’s top commanders still remain inside the huge, cavernous steelworks facility. Reuters observes, “The ultimate outcome of Europe’s bloodiest battle for decades remained publicly unresolved, with no confirmation of the fate of the hundreds of Ukrainian troops who had held out in a vast steelworks at the end of a near three-month siege.” “Ukraine, which says it aims to secure a prisoner swap, has declined to say how many were inside the plant or comment on the fate of the rest, since confirming that just over 250 had surrendered in the initial hours after it ordered them to yield,” the report added. Meanwhile, a report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) suggests that indeed the number of fighters which were hold up at the plant for months is likely significantly higher that what was known. The Red Cross has thus far registered “hundreds”…

On Tuesday the ICRC started “to register combatants leaving the Azovstal plant, including the wounded, at the request of the parties,” it said in a statement from its headquarters in Geneva. “The operation continued Wednesday and was still ongoing Thursday,” it added. It was previously reported that the wounded are being transported by the Russian military to one of its administered hospitals in the Donbas, some 40km away. The Red Cross sought to stress that it is a neutral humanitarian organization which will monitor the transfer of the prisoners. “The ICRC is not transporting POWs to the places where they are held,” an official statement said. “The registration process that the ICRC facilitated involves the individual filling out a form with personal details like name, date of birth and closest relative.”

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I like the notion that Biden does anything at all. It adds comic value.

Biden Resists Ukrainian Demands For Long-range Rocket Launchers (Pol.)

Ukrainian officials are growing frustrated with the Biden administration’s resistance to providing U.S.-made long-range rocket systems, a weapon Kyiv says is critical to outgunning Russia in the heavy artillery duels raging across the Donbas. Officials across the Ukrainian government have pleaded with the U.S. for months to send the Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS. But three people familiar with the issue say the Ukrainians are concerned that the White House is holding back over worries the weapon could be used to launch strikes inside Russia, thereby expanding and prolonging the conflict. “There was momentum on it at Ramstein, but that seems to have cooled,” said one congressional staffer with knowledge of discussions last month in Germany, where 40 nations gathered to discuss the next steps in arming Ukraine.

“There’s definitely a frustration building” in Kyiv over these new caveats being placed on military aid, this person said. The weapon has been near the top of Ukrainian requests for months, and military and civilian leaders in Kyiv have made their case to their American counterparts directly on multiple occasions. A Biden administration official who asked to remain anonymous to discuss internal deliberations told POLITICO that the two countries remain “in active discussion” about the weapon, but that even with the $3.8 billion worth of military aid the U.S. has sent Ukraine since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, not everything Kyiv asks for can be sent quickly. “We have to make decisions about what weapons systems provide the biggest bang for the buck,” with the money Congress allots to the Ukraine effort, the official said.

Over the past several weeks as the latest funding package began to be whittled down, the administration decided “it was more effective and efficient to send the 90 M777 [howitzers] because you can send more of them” and more munitions for the price than a much smaller number of MLRS. The U.S. has quietly provided older, Soviet-era multiple launch rocket systems to Ukraine over the past several months after scouring the warehouses of allies who still operate the older weapons. But the more precise, more powerful American systems are what Kyiv is looking for to blunt Russian advances in the Donbas.

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Biden’s in Asia right now. Wonder what drugs they give him on these long flights.

When US Pivot Is Seen As An ‘Expansion’ Into Asia (Kukis)

Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders now more than ever have reason to feel encircled with Sweden and Finland moving to join NATO this week. Moscow’s persistent fear of Western military encroachment on Russian borders now stands as a stark reality in the wake of the war in Ukraine, a seismic development in European security all the more remarkable when taking a long look back at NATO expansion. Analysts and policymakers intensely debated the future of NATO in the early 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union left Russia with a hobbled military that was in disarray. Countries close to Russia cried for protection from a future threat they were sure would emerge once Moscow reordered itself. Others saw a different future, one in which Russia became a cooperative and largely demilitarized nation integrated with Europe. NATO had no reason to exist in such a world, they said.

Remembering what was foreseeable and what was not in that period is important now when looking at the actions of the United States and its allies in East Asia, where a potentially fateful military buildup is underway. In the 1990s, it was not clear whether Russia would renew its military ambitions. But Russian officials plainly stated again and again that they regarded NATO expansion as a security threat. And even a basic reading of Russian history reveals how dire such a threat looms in the eyes of Russians who consider it their duty to safeguard the nation. Similarly now, it remains unclear whether China harbors imperialistic military ambitions as many in Washington contend. But Chinese leaders have made their feelings about an expanding U.S. military presence in Asia quite clear.

America’s pivot to Asia, which continues despite events in Europe, represents an existential security threat in the eyes of Chinese leaders. A basic understanding of geography and economics underscores why. The tradeways of the South China Sea are vital lifelines to China’s economic development. Any foreign military presence in that region operating outside of cooperation with Beijing looks like a hand reaching for the throat of the Chinese economy. Military pacts like AUKUS add to the sense of encirclement China clearly feels, a perception very similar to the one Moscow held as NATO looked to expand roughly a decade after the end of the Cold War. Leaders in Beijing today have good reason to think and act like leaders in Moscow did back in the early 2000s, when Russia grew serious about developing modern military capabilities and taking action in line with explicitly stated security aims. The start of the road to a future war in Asia stretches before us today in much the same way that the beginnings of the war in Ukraine trace back to seemingly slow-moving events almost 25 year ago in Europe.

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“To borrow the money from China simply to send it to Ukraine makes no sense and makes us weaker not stronger..”

US Aid To Ukraine Borrowed From China: Rand Paul (JTN)

Congress needs to borrow money from China to send aid to Ukraine, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told “Breitbart News Daily” on Wednesday, one day before the Senate overwhelmingly voted to send $40 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine and its allies. “I think it’s important to know that we don’t have any money to send,” Paul, a fiscal conservative, explained. “We have to borrow money from China to send it to Ukraine. And I think most people kind of get that, and many Republicans will say that when it’s a new social program, but if it’s military aid to a country, they’re like, ‘Well, we can borrow that, that’s a justified borrowing.'”

Paul voted against advancing the bill along with ten other senate Republicans: Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, John Boozman of Arkansas, Mike Braun of Indiana, Mike Crapo of Indiana, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Lee of Utah, Cynthia Lummis of West Virginia, Roger Marshall of Kansas, and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. Rampant inflation is a major concern Paul said he has with the bill. “The problem is that it all leads to inflation, so it kind of hurts the Republican argument that Biden’s spending and Biden’s debt leads to inflation, except for when it’s bipartisan spending and that doesn’t really count,” he noted.

The United States is currently more than $30 trillion in debt. The U.S. owes China more than $1 trillion, Investopedia states. Paul temporarily blocked the Ukraine aid legislation from moving forward in the Senate, but he was overruled earlier this week. “To borrow the money from China simply to send it to Ukraine makes no sense and makes us weaker not stronger,” Paul said on the Senate floor about the aid package.

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Send them some more scrap metal, why don’t you.

US Adds $100 Million In Arms For Ukraine On Top Of $40 Billion Aid Package (PM)

The Biden administration has announced $100 million in arms funding to Ukraine on top of the newly approved $40 billion aid package. On Thursday, the Senate approved $40 billion in aid for Ukraine as the nation continues to fight back against Russia’s invasion. Just hours later, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States would be sending an additional $100 million in arms. In a statement, Blinken explained that Ukrainian forces have “remained firmly in the fight” against Russia, but are in need of assistance, namely arms and other equipment. “Pursuant to a delegation from the President,” Blinken said, “I am authorizing our tenth drawdown of additional arms and equipment for Ukraine’s defense from US Department of Defense inventories, valued at up to $100 million.”


“This brings total US military assistance to Ukraine to approximately $3.9 billion in arms and equipment since Russia launched its brutal and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. “The United States is committed to helping Ukraine continue to meet its defense needs and build its future capabilities,” he continued, “as well as to bolster Allies and partners across NATO’s Eastern Flank and the broader region.” The increasing amount of money has been criticized by Republicans, however only eleven voted against the recently passed $40 billion aid package.

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Sorry guys, we need it for Ukraine. Of course you support Zelensky from your closed store!

Senate Blocks $48 Billion Aid For Restaurants, Other Small Businesses (Hill)

The Senate on Thursday blocked a bipartisan bill to provide $48 billion to restaurants, gyms and other small businesses hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Senators voted 52-43 to hold a vote on the bill, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward. Just five GOP senators voted for the motion to proceed, with the bill’s opponents citing its impact on the federal deficit and inflation. The vote likely spells doom for the bill, which was crafted by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and backed by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) as a way to help struggling small businesses get out of debt accrued during the pandemic.

“Well, this was our best shot. Make no mistake about it, we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to get it done,” Cardin told reporters after the vote. “But you know, I’ll always fight for small businesses. I’ll continue to look for ways we can help.” Pressed after the vote on any potential plans for a similar measure in the future, Wicker told The Hill, “You know, time is a very fleeting commodity, so I just don’t know.” Advocates had argued that the additional funds were needed to prevent scores of debt-ridden small businesses from closing down. The bill would have provided $40 billion to a relief fund for struggling restaurants. Democrats provided $28.6 billion to the fund in their COVID-19 relief package, but the federal dollars quickly ran out, with only one out of three applicants receiving aid.

“Local restaurants across the country expected help but the Senate couldn’t finish the job,” Erika Polmar, executive director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, said in a statement. “Neighborhood restaurants nationwide have held out hope for this program, selling their homes, cashing out retirement funds, or taking personal loans in an effort to keep their employees working and their doors open.”

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You would hope for something cleverer than this. Business Insider should be deeply ashamed of itself.

SpaceX Flight Attendant Said Elon Musk Exposed Himself (BI)

SpaceX, the aerospace firm founded by Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018, Insider has learned. The attendant worked as a member of the cabin crew on a contract basis for SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet. She accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, according to interviews and documents obtained by Insider. The incident, which took place in 2016, is alleged in a declaration signed by a friend of the attendant and prepared in support of her claim. The details in this story are drawn from the declaration as well as other documents, including email correspondence and other records shared with Insider by the friend.


According to the declaration, the attendant confided to the friend that after taking the flight attendant job, she was encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse so that she could give Musk massages. It was during one such massage in a private cabin on Musk’s Gulfstream G650ER, she told the friend, that Musk propositioned her. After Insider contacted Musk for comment, he emailed to ask for more time to respond and said there is “a lot more to this story.” “If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he wrote, calling the story a “politically motivated hit piece.” Insider extended the deadline and reiterated the offer to Musk to comment on the claims. He did not respond.

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Sometimes I’m sure they do it on purpose.

Half Of America Faces Power Blackouts This Summer (ZH)

Tens of millions of Americans could be thrown into a summer of hell as a megadrought, heatwaves, and reduced power generation could trigger widespread rolling electricity blackouts from the Great Lakes to the West Coast, according to Bloomberg, citing a new report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a regulatory body that manages grid stability. NERC warned power supplies in the Western US could be strained this summer as a historic drought reduces hydroelectric power generation due to falling reservoir levels and what’s expected to be an unseasonably hot summer.

Compound the hellacious weather backdrop with grids decommissioning fossil fuel power plants to fight climate change and their inability to bring on new green power generation, such as solar, wind, and batteries, in time, is a perfect storm waiting to happen that will produce electricity deficits that may force power companies into rolling blackouts for stability purposes. The regulatory body pointed out that supply-chain woes are delaying major Southwest solar projects, while some coal plants have trouble procuring supplies because of increased exports. They said there’s also an increasing threat of cyberattacks from Russia. By region, the Midwest power grid will be extremely tight. Across the Western US, power generation capacity has declined 2.3% since last summer, even as demand is expected to increase.

Grids in the region may have to source power from neighboring grids as extreme heat will cause people to crank up their air conditioners. A situation of low wind speeds could trigger blackouts, according to NERC. They outlined how the Midwest could face power shortfalls due to the removal of power capacity from retiring fossil fuel power plants. NERC issued a similar warning last year, stating power grids that serve 40% of the US population were at risk of blackouts. One year later, there was only one notable blackout last June during a heatwave in the Pacific Northwest that left 9,000 customers without power. But with reduced electricity generation capacity outpacing new green power sources, the risks of blackouts are increasing this year.

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Ha ha ha, from the very same people who called it Russian disinformation when that was convenient. Credibility zero.

Analysis of Hunter Biden’s Hard Drive (NBC)

From 2013 through 2018 Hunter Biden and his company brought in about $11 million via his roles as an attorney and a board member with a Ukrainian firm accused of bribery and his work with a Chinese businessman now accused of fraud, according to an NBC News analysis of a copy of Biden’s hard drive and iCloud account and documents released by Republicans on two Senate committees. The documents and the analysis, which don’t show what he did to earn millions from his Chinese partners, raise questions about national security, business ethics and potential legal exposure. In December 2020, Biden acknowledged in a statement that he was the subject of a federal investigation into his taxes.

NBC News was first to report that an ex-business partner had warned Biden he should amend his tax returns to disclose $400,000 in income from the Ukrainian firm, Burisma. GOP congressional sources also say that if Republicans take back the House this fall, they’ll demand more documents and probe whether any of Biden’s income went to his father, President Joe Biden. “No government ethics rules apply to him,” said Walter Shaub, a former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics who is now an ethics expert with the Project on Government Oversight. Shaub added, however, that “it’s imperative that no one at DOJ and no one at the White House interfere with the criminal investigation in Delaware.”

Shaub had previously raised questions about Hunter Biden’s new line of work, selling his own paintings, which created the potential to purchase a painting to buy perceived influence, and also because the White House became involved in the transactions, arranging that none of the buyers’ names be known to Biden, the White House or the public. Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI’s former assistant director for counterintelligence, said there is a national security risk when foreign powers like China see an opportunity to get close to someone like Biden. “It’s all about access and influence, and if you can compromise someone with both access and influence, that’s even better,” said Figliuzzi, now an NBC News contributor. “Better still if that target has already compromised himself.”

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Civil case vs criminal case. Yes, how convenient.

How The Feds’ Civil Suit Against Steve Wynn Helps Hunter Biden (Turley)

The Justice Department this week sued former casino mogul Steve Wynn for allegedly working as an agent for China. The lawsuit under the Foreign Agents Registration Act is bad news for Wynn, but it may be a win for another potential target: Hunter Biden. By bringing this action as a civil lawsuit, the Justice Department may have undercut the ongoing investigation by David Weiss, the US attorney for Delaware, into Hunter Biden’s foreign dealings. This civil suit doesn’t necessarily bar Weiss, but Hunter’s team can now argue that criminally charging him with a FARA violation would be inconsistent with contemporary investigations.

I recently testified in Congress on FARA prosecutions and noted that the Justice Department had largely dropped civil actions under the act in favor of criminal charges. Special counsel Robert Mueller targeted various Trump officials with FARA, using the law to investigate, search or charge attorneys from Paul Manafort to Rudy Giuliani to Victoria Toensing. I testified earlier that “after ramping up prosecutions in the last decade, the Justice Department has created precedent for the criminalization of what were previously treated as administrative violations. From Paul Manafort to the current investigation of Hunter Biden, there remain questions as to whether Justice Department will operate under a single, coherent and predictable standard.”

Some in the administration may be hoping that this charge will compel a consistent approach that would effectively decriminalize any violations under investigation in Delaware. The feds sued Wynn over his effort to intervene in the case of Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, a billionaire real-estate magnate and critic of the Chinese government. Beijing wanted the businessman back in China and hoped to persuade the US government to deny him a visa. Wynn spoke to President Donald Trump about the case, a call that carried added weight due to Wynn’s position as the Republican National Committee’s finance chairman. Wynn has interests in Macau, and his intervention was allegedly appreciated by high-ranking Chinese officials. The Justice Department asked Wynn to register as an agent, but he declined.

What is most striking about this case is how serious it is, particularly compared with past criminal cases like the prosecution of Paul Manafort. Here, Sun Lijun, then the Chinese vice minister for public security, was allegedly organizing the lobbying effort in 2017 and contacted figures like Elliott Broidy, a former RNC finance chairman, and Nickie Lum Davis, a top Trump fundraiser. Both Broidy and Davis later pleaded guilty in prosecutions. The question is why Broidy was criminally prosecuted in 2020 under FARA, including for work on the Guo matter, yet the Biden administration suddenly decided that the Wynn part of the deals should be treated as a civil matter. This is coming at the very time a grand jury is reportedly considering charges against Hunter Biden that could include FARA violations.

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“I take special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump. You’re welcome.”

Trump Lawyer Demands CIA Action Against Ex-agents on Hunter Biden Laptop (JTN)

The attorney for former President Donald Trump is demanding the CIA take “immediate legal action” against the 43 former agency employees who signed a letter in October 2020 saying Hunter Biden’s laptop was not authentic and part of a Russian disinformation campaign. The laptop from President Joe Biden’s son and its contents showing questionable actions from the Biden family were proven to be authentic more than a year after the election. “Media outlets used this purportedly credible intelligence assessment as a justification to not report on the story. Some polls show that up to 17% of people who voted for President Biden would not have if they knew about the contents of the laptop at the time,” attorney Timothy Parlatore wrote in a letter obtained by Just the News to the CIA’s Prepublication Classification Review Board Chairman, John Hedley.


“It would not be an exaggeration to say that these former intelligence officials changed the outcome of the election through knowingly flagrant misconduct,” Parlatore said in his 12-page letter. One of the letter’s CIA signatories, John Sipher, said in March, “I take special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump. You’re welcome.” He quickly followed up that he was using “sarcasm.” Parlatore wrote the letter to Headley because his agency, the PCRB, is mandated to oversee the publication of letters such as the one signed by the 43 former CIA employees. “[I]t is beyond apparent not only that the letter did not undergo the mandatory PCRB review but that it further used violative behavior that could have threatened national security and attempted to play upon the nation’s trust in its intelligence agencies to support a political talking point,” Parlatore noted.

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Excellent argument for bitcoin.

African Nations Resisting Bitcoin Only Delay The Inevitable (BCM)

Doing business on the continent of Africa is very difficult. It is difficult to get payments in and very difficult to get payments out. For example, there is a black market exchange rate, and the government sanctioned exchange rate in Nigeria, meaning that there are two economies running in parallel, on top of the difficulty of moving money out. Bitcoin fixes all of this because anyone can send and receive bitcoin in any amount at any time, without permission, and its price is determined by the market, not the State. Saying “without permission” or “permissionless” as Bitcoiners do, is a phrase loaded with so much benefit that it is hard to describe to Westerners who have no idea of what it is like to do business on the continent of Africa. They take for granted that doing business and sending and receiving fiat money is a matter of pressing a button.

In Nigeria, for example, real life is not so. Moving money is fraught with difficulties and multiple ways of making a loss on a transfer. These piled up losses can make it impossible to earn a profit, and if you do, impossible to spend or recycle it where you need to spend or recycle it. Bitcoin makes all of this go away, as well as adding extraordinary speed to all transactions that are without precedent for Nigerians and many people living on the African continent. Given all of the advantages of Bitcoin, an intelligent person would ask, “Why then hasn’t Nigeria officially embraced bitcoin as a means of payment?” This is the correct question, and there are many answers to this, some cultural, that are preventing the Nigerian government from embracing reality and acting boldly like a leader nation as El Salvador and the Central African Republic has.

Trying to do any sort of Bitcoin business in Nigeria very often involves the invocation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has a stranglehold on all businesses and bank accounts in Nigeria. Bitcoin would abolish their societal status and the reign of terror that they’ve unleashed on the great people of Nigeria. It is a sure bet that this is one of the key reasons why they’re trying so hard to stamp out Bitcoin, rather than do their duty to serve the Nigerian people by embracing this new tool. That the most populous country on the continent of Africa is the number two nation on Earth for Bitcoin adoption (one-third of all Nigerians use it) in the face of withering and unethical restrictions is a testament to the powerful and resourceful character of the Nigerian people who are born futurists, natural capitalists and extraordinary entrepreneurs: highly intelligent, capable and motivated.

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This is delightful. Don’t miss.

A Theory of Impossibility (Fred Reed)

A problem of biology for years has been the inability of evolutionists to explain how life or many of its manifestations can have evolved, irreducible complexity and all that, the usual response being ok, we aren’t sure, but any day now we will have the answer. The check is in the mail. But in fact the inexplicability grows ever greater year on year as more and more complexity is discovered, such as epigenetics, and the more complexity, the less likelihood of coming about by chance. But we advocates of Impossibility Theory assert that not only can living things not have evolved, but also that they can’t function. Too many little gear wheels. Therefore life doesn’t exist.

Consider the retina, a very thin membrane consisting of ten distinct sublayers engaging in appallingly complex biochemistry, somehow maintaining position and function for, occasionally, a hundred years. These layers consist of millions of cells doing the impossibly tricky chemical dance mentioned above, more or less perfectly. In the rest of the eye you have the three layers of the eyeball, sclera, choroid, retina, and the five layers of the cornea, epithelium, Bowman’s membrane, stroma, Descemet’s membrane, and posterior lamina. And a lens consisting of a proteinaceous goop contained in a capsule, attached to the muscular ciliary body by suspensory ligaments, and an iris of radial and circumferential fibers innervated competitively by the sympathetic and parasympathetic subsystems of the autonomic nervous system.

No way exists of explaining how this purportedly evolved—or how it works for many years without the layers of intricacy, biochemical through mechanical, collapsing. (I know this stuff because I have eye problems connected with Washington’s foreign policy.) The intricacy of life is layered. We start with a zygote which, being a cell, is bogglingly complex. This little time bomb develops into a baby, which is impossible. If you don’t think so, try reading a textbook of embryology. The migration of cells, this control gradient, that control gradient, DGRNs, perfect inerrant specialization to form implausibly precise and complex things like incus, malleus, stapes, tympanum in the ear and (very) numerous other examples, all impossible individually and more so in aggregate. Impossible, at least, unless we can come up with an auxiliary explanation. Magic seems a good candidate.

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Oliver Stone: Vladimir Putin and War in Ukraine | Lex Fridman

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

Nate Hagens – The Great Simplification – full movie

 

 

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

 

 

 

Apr 222022
 


Hayami Gyoshu Tea bowl and fruits 1921

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Webb

 

 

 

 

Medvedev

 

 

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

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

 

 

And not a word about peace.

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

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

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

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

Scott Ritter

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

The Collective West Is Stumbling Towards Nuclear Armageddon (Doctorow)

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

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

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

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

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

New World Disorder (Charai)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Too late already?

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

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

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

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

Ryan Cole Cancer and T cells

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

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

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

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


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

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And Keith Olberman. But nobody takes him serious anymore.

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

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

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

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

Tucker Tulsi

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

Destroying Democracy To Save It? (Turley)

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

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

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

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

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Cancel Culture. As per the Guardian.

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

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

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

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

Obama

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

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And this is where Obama’s views lead:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Defund.

Black Lives Don’t Matter To BLM (Blaze)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Clinton campaign ad, October 15, 2016.

 

 

Haney suicide

 

 

Greeks eat lamb for Easter

 

 

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Apr 092022
 
 April 9, 2022  Posted by at 9:08 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Head and guitar 1927

 

“The Russians” Commit Yet Another “Atrocity” (Saker)
US Oil Imports From Russia Increase By 43% (AMD)
US Lawmakers Welcomed Georgian Warlord Who Boasts Of War Crimes In Ukraine (GZ)
Leviathan Floundering (Kunstler)
Worsening Food Price Increases Gain Global Attention (CTH)
833 Athlete Cardiac Arrests and Serious Issues, 540 Dead, Following Jab (DE)
Shanghai Reports 7th Day Of Record Cases
Billionaires Are Backing Bitcoin Over “Fiat Fraud” (ZH)
Durham Seeks to Force Clinton Campaign and DNC to Turn Over Evidence (Turley)
Hunter Biden Makes Watergate Look Like ‘Tiddlywinks’ – Rep. Tenney (NM)
French Elections: Marine Le Pen Gains Ground On ‘Feverish’ Macron (Exp.)
The Death of Representative Democracy (ITT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These things have numbers written on them. Should be easy to find out.

“The Russians” Commit Yet Another “Atrocity” (Saker)

The big news today is that those evil Russkies have fired a Tochka-U missile with a cluster warhead at the city of Kramatorsk, killing scores of innocent civilians. The “entire civilized world” is disgusted and immediately announced even MORE sanctions, MORE condemnation and MORE anti-Russian virtue signalling. Minor problem: Russia does not have Tochka-U missiles, which are 30 year old Soviet missiles which have been far surpassed by modern Russian missiles (of which Russia has plenty enough). How do we know that it was Tochka-U which was used? Because of the tail section which separates from the warhead during the flight. Here it is:

No Russian tactical missile in service with such a tail section, and only the Ukrainian Tochka-U have.


Tochka-U tail and control surfaces

How much of a problem is that for the Empire of Hate and Lies? Very minor, really. Remember that their PSYOPS are directed at two kind of people: • Those with low intelligence • Those who don’t care about the truth. Russia did not have the old-model Buk which allegedly shot down MH-17 either, which did not stop the Empire of Hate and Lies to instantly blame the shooting down on Russia. And Russia has long liquidated her chemical weapons stores, unlike the US or the UK, by the way. But who cares about that when hating Russia and Russians is all which really matters? In fact, this is straight out of the western PSYOPs book:


• Execute a false flag, then • INSTANTLY blame Russia and lean on all your colonies to do the same in the name of western “solidarity” Thereby make absolutely certain that no real investigation can take place or, if it does, it will be so far down the road that nobody will care. So we have a major false flag in Bucha, and now we have that Tochka-U in Kramatorsk. What will come next? God only knows, but the goal is to associate “Russians” with “atrocities” in what is left of the mind of the eagerly scatophaging serfs in Zone A.

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When you weren’t looking….

US Oil Imports From Russia Increase By 43% (AMD)

According to the Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Mikhail Popov on Sunday, the US increased its imports of Russian oil by 43% in the last week, totaling 100,000 barrels a day. Popov told Komsomolskaya Pravda news that “the US forced Europeans to introduce anti-Russian sanctions, while not only continuing to import oil from Russia but increasing volume of [oil] deliveries for the past week by 43% up to 100,000 barrels per day!” The Deputy Secretary also detailed that Washington imported fertilizers from Russia while listing them as essential goods. The US last month announced a ban on Russian oil, natural gas, and coal imports as a response to the Russian operation in Ukraine.


Former US colonel and Eurasia Center Vice President, Earl Rasmussen, said the European Union’s latest sanctions and economic retaliation against Russia will backfire and cause a massive recession in Europe. Rasmussen, who previously said that US troop deployment to Ukraine deters efforts to solve the conflict, said the European sanctions against Russia will throw Europe into a “historical recession”. The colonel stated that despite repeated assurances from Biden, Washington is in no condition to replace Russia’s plentiful and cheap supplies of natural gas to Europe with any alternative energy supply that is remotely comparable in either scale or cost.

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2017.

US Lawmakers Welcomed Georgian Warlord Who Boasts Of War Crimes In Ukraine (GZ)

Having taken up arms against Russia for a fifth time, Georgian Legion commander Mamuka Mamulashvili has bragged on video about his unit carrying out field executions of captured Russian soldiers in Ukraine. While Western media pundits howled about images of dead bodies in the city of Bucha, echoing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy’s accusation that Russia is guilty of “genocide,” they have largely overlooked the apparent admission of atrocities by an avowed ally of the United States who was welcomed on Capitol Hill by senior lawmakers overseeing congressional foreign policy committees.

Having fought in four wars against Russia, and despite allegations that he played a leading role in the massacre of 49 protesters in Kiev’s Maidan Square in 2014, Mamulashvili has taken multiple trips to the United States, where he received a warm welcome from members of Congress, the New York Police Department, and Ukrainian diaspora community. In an interview this April, Mamulashvili, was asked about a video showing Russian fighters who had been extrajudicially executed in Dmitrovka, a town just five miles from Bucha. Mamulashvili was candid about his unit’s take-no-prisoners tactics, though he has denied involvement in the specific crimes depicted.

“We will not take Russian soldiers, as well as Kadyrovites [Chechnyan fighters]; in any case, we will not take prisoners, not a single person will be captured,” Mamulashvili said, implying that his fighters execute POWs. “Yes, we tie their hands and feet sometimes. I speak for the Georgian Legion, we will never take Russian soldiers prisoner. Not a single one of them will be taken prisoner,” Mamulashvili emphasized Executions of enemy combatants are considered war crimes under the Geneva Convention. Western governments continue to block a Russian request for a United Nations investigation into alleged massacres in Bucha, where scores of corpses were photographed following the Russian withdrawal from the city, some with hands bound and shot execution style – as Mamulashvili described doing to prisoners.

While the events in Bucha have become a source of outrage and heated contention, a clear case of war crimes by Ukrainian forces which took place just five miles down the road on March 30 as Russian troops withdrew has received a more muted response despite coverage by the New York Times. The macabre footage shows Russian paratroopers dead or bleeding out in the road, some with their hands clearly bound — reportedly the handiwork of the Georgian Legion.

Zelensky Azov

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“..our broke-down Bretton Woods fiat money system becomes the new “barbarous relic” of global finance..”

Leviathan Floundering (Kunstler)

Is it true, as is hotly rumored now, that the mRNA shots lead uniformly to autoimmune deficiency syndrome? Ditto the alarming rise in cancer cases among the vaxxed… ditto heart damage, organ damage, grievous neurological damage? We’ll know a lot more about this in May and June, and it’s hard to imagine what the collective emotional reaction will be if all that turns out to be true. Never in history will so many face the prospect of an untimely death, and at the hands of such banal bureaucratic villainy. Will they just compliantly check out of this world, the same way they lined up for their vaxxes and boosters, or finally rage against that machine?

The latest venture in unreality these days spills out of Russia’s operation in Ukraine. The mind-fuckery over it sure seems advantageously amplified here as a cover for the tragic developments in the Covid-19 vaxx melodrama and other domestic torments. All the evidence suggests that our country’s leadership wanted this war to happen in the worst way. We set up the provocations in Donbas and let’er rip. Now we posture on the sidelines, crying crocodile tears, pretending to help while sabotaging peace talks. What’s followed in our attempts to punish The Evil Putin (the source of all our problems) is the most feckless fiasco of unanticipated consequences since Kaiser Wilhelm gave the go-ahead to Austria to punish Serbia over the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. Voila: a World War. Only in this case it’s looking more like a suicidal economic war by Western Civ on itself.

How are those sanctions working out? No fuel for German industry… no fertilizer for Iowa farmers… no nickel and other metals to make machine parts for Europe and America…. And suddenly, having kicked Russia out of the international trade payment clearing system (SWIFT), we’ve provoked them to resort to backing the ruble with gold, meaning that our broke-down Bretton Woods fiat money system becomes the new “barbarous relic” of global finance, leaving the West to pound sand down a rat hole, while the other two-thirds of the world do actual business for commodities that modern life can’t do without. The result of all that? America and its partners in Western Civ resign from modern life and go medieval. Everything about America is looking more and more medieval — our rough living conditions, our lawlessness, our violent entertainments, our Hobbesian racketeering, our occult sexual preoccupations, our depraved elites, our quack science. Our center has not been holding for so long that hardly anyone even remembers where the center used to be. And now the bottom is falling out.

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This is what topples governments.

Worsening Food Price Increases Gain Global Attention (CTH)

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reported on Friday they are recording the highest Food Price Index since they started recording thirty years ago. With record highs in prices for cereals, vegetable oils, dairy and meats. This issue has been a slow burning fuse toward the biggest powder keg in modern history, and it is about to get very serious. We have been warning about it since last fall {Go Deep}. In the most deliberate and painstaking ways possible, we have been urging everyone to take this issue seriously. The background cause is complex and started with the 2020 government response to the pandemic. U.S. and international government intervention in the food supply process has been FUBAR from the beginning.


Every action taken since early 2020 has been one bad policy after another; building failure upon failure, crisis upon crisis, bad decision upon bad decision, bringing us to a precipice summed up by saying “the absence of food will change things.” Some will say the food prices we are about to experience –and the crisis it will create– was deliberate. Others will say this was the cumulative outcome of major failures on the part of the government. At this point the former makes more sense, and the latter looks like a justification and excuse, because if government entities were really serious about food prices and shortages, they would be taking pragmatic steps to mitigate the problem; they are not.

There are simple things government could do, such as helping farmers offset targeted fertilizer costs, providing relief for diesel fuel and energy costs, and taking other simple steps that would help the agricultural industry. Instead of responding with the urgency this would demand, the collective government action has been to ignore the problem (talk soundbites), and give speeches about using subsidies to offset the end result (consumers) – without ever addressing the root cause. All this while fueling conflict in Ukraine and chasing radical energy policies under the guise of global climate change.


The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) keeps track of food prices and projections using a global index. What they are calculating, and what they are projecting based on the current calculations, is a major increase in food prices combined with a major increase in food scarcity due to the unaffordability of food products. The baseline of 100 is the monthly rate of change for a basket of food products using the period from 2014 to 2016. The current rate of change is indexing at 159.3, meaning the monthly increases in price are almost 60% higher than the base period. Trying to chart this rate of index is almost impossible, as it seems literally exponential. (red line in graphic) In 2020, the monthly rate of change increased to an index of around 110. In 2021, the monthly rate of increase went from 110 to around 135. In the first three months of 2022, the index has jumped from 135 to almost 160 (in three months), and there is no end in sight.

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“We’re doing this anonymously because we’ve seen people viciously attacked and threatened for doing things like this, so we’re not going to open ourselves or any of our contacts to that.”

833 Athlete Cardiac Arrests and Serious Issues, 540 Dead, Following Jab (DE)

A total of 15 players were unable to finish the Miami Open 2022 tennis tournament, including the male and female favourites. All of the players must be “fully vaccinated” to compete, the Liberty Daily wrote, “just as we’ve noted for several months, most major sports have been hit with ‘inexplicable’ medical conditions popping up in young and otherwise healthy athletes, including our report that three cyclists fell in March alone.” The so-called health professionals running the Covid “vaccine” programs around the world keep repeating that “the Covid vaccine is a normal vaccine and it is safe and effective.” But as of the end of last month, Good Sciencing has recorded 833 athletes, worldwide, who have had cardiac arrests or other serious issues, with 540 dead, post-Covid injection.

Post-vaccination injuries in athletes include cardiac arrest; blood clots or thrombosis; stroke; irregular heartbeat; arrhythmia; neuropathy; and, death. With most of the post-injection injuries being cardiac arrests. Good Sciencing is a small team of investigators, news editors, journalists, and truth seekers. They state on their website: “It doesn’t really matter who we are. What really matters is that we care carrying on an investigation and we’re presenting the evidence we’ve found, almost all of it documented in mainstream media publications. We’re doing this anonymously because we’ve seen people viciously attacked and threatened for doing things like this, so we’re not going to open ourselves or any of our contacts to that.”


As well as receiving new cases and updates from alert readers, they note that they are also receiving hate mail and death threats. Good Sciencing has a non-exhaustive and continuously growing list of mainly young athletes who had major medical issues in 2021/2022 after receiving one or more Covid injections. You can view the list HERE. “Initially, many of these were not reported. We know that many people were told not to tell anyone about their adverse reactions and the media was not reporting them. They started happening and ramping up after the first Covid vaccinations. The mainstream media still are not reporting most, but sports news cannot ignore the fact that soccer players and other stars collapse in the middle of a game due to a sudden cardiac arrest. Many of those die – more than 50%.

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“..the city reported more cases on Thursday than the entire country saw earlier in the week.”

Shanghai Reports 7th Day Of Record Cases

The better part of a week has passed since local authorities announced on Monday that they would be extending the lockdown in Shanghai “indefinitely”. But despite authorities’ best efforts (or perhaps, because of them) COVID case numbers have continued to climb at a record pace, with Shanghai recording another 20K+ COVID cases on Thursday, topping the 20K mark for the second day in a row. Authorities reported 21,222 new cases in Shanghai alone on Thursday, marking a 7th straight daily record. For context, the city reported more cases on Thursday than the entire country saw earlier in the week. The number of symptomatic cases has also increased substantially. Shanghai, the new epicenter of China’s latest coronavirus outbreak, has recorded more than 131,000 cases since the flare-up started on March 1.


According to the latest developments reported by the SCMP, the city has converted conference centers and public facilities into temporary quarantine and treatment facilities with tens of thousands of bunks, adding to the 77,000 hospital beds already set aside in the city of 25 million residents. Meanwhile, rumors have emerged on social media – sourced from unwittingly leaked military documents – that the military is taking over the city……and that the lockdown will persist at least until May. Should the lockdown persist for the entirety of April, China’s GDP could suffer a hit of more than one percentage point, as Goldman analysts determined that every four weeks of lockdown in the city would shave 1 percentage point off the country’s GDP, given Shanghai’s importance to the Chinese economy.

The city has recorded more than 131,000 COVID cases since the flare-up began on March 1. Health authorities are taking no chances, even if the vast majority of the infections – daily symptomatic cases were in triple digits – showed no symptoms, and there had been no fatality in the current wave. “The battle against the outbreak is still very tough,” according to a Thursday speech by Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan, who had been overseeing the anti-pandemic work in Shanghai since last weekend. “Any sign of relaxation or complacency is unacceptable.”

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“Unfortunately, it’s curtains for the US. Sell your shitcoins, and buy bitcoin.”

Billionaires Are Backing Bitcoin Over “Fiat Fraud” (ZH)

[..] while many crypto enthusiasts belong to the younger generation, millennials and Gen X, billionaires like Mexico’s third-richest man, Ricardo Salinas, have visceral memories of the failures of fiat – namely, hyper-inflation. And they shared this experience with his audience. “I have a big grudge against fiat, I call it the fiat fraud,” Salinas, the owner of Mexico’s Banco Azteca, said on Thursday. He then shared a story about how his salary as a young business school graduate in Mexico during the 1980s declined from around $2,000 a month to just $20 during a period of six years. “That’s hyperinflation,” he said. Echoing Peter Thiel’s controversial comments, Salinas also spoke to the religiosity of its high priests in his keynote address.

“This fiat religion has its high priests, and you can see them right there. And their religion is not tolerant,” Salinas explained. “They hate anyone who is a heretic. There’s a lot of heretics in this room right now.” Closing his thoughts, Salinas warned the crowd of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). “If the CBDC is issued these people will have full control over how you can spend your money,” he cautioned. Why does Salinas think they are so bad? Because you lose all sovereignty in the use of your funds. “They think it’s a bad idea, they close your capacity to spend your money,” Salinas predicted. That being said, Salinas noted that not all crypto is created equal: “Unfortunately, it’s curtains for the US. Sell your shitcoins, and buy bitcoin.”

Salinas added that 60% of his investment portfolio is now in bitcoin or bitcoin-linked equities. According to Bitcoin Magazine, that’s up from 10% in 2020. Salinas also denounced bonds as toxic and a “terrible investment” that he wouldn’t “touch with a 10-foot pole.” Of course, he’s not the only high-profile investor to say as much about bonds in the era of inflation (short-dated Treasuries just endured one of the rockiest first quarters in modern history).

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“..using attorney-client privilege to withhold evidence in a case where the former partner is accused of using his status of counsel to conceal information from the government.”

Durham Seeks to Force Clinton Campaign and DNC to Turn Over Evidence (Turley)

It is always good to have a “lawyer acquaintance” when things get tough. In “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the character Stanley Kowalski famously assures to Blanche DuBois that he has “a lawyer acquaintance” who will protect her. The same appears to be true for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. Special Counsel John Durham is fighting to get access to evidence related to his prosecution of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann. The documents are being withheld by the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Fusion GPS, and Perkins Coie. There are 1,455 withheld documents, but only 18 reportedly involved a lawyer. However, they are arguing that their “lawyer acquaintances” shield their communications from disclosure to the Special Counsel.

Sussmann’s defense recently took a body blow from Durham after the Special Counsel revealed that Sussmann did not just conceal the role of the Clinton campaign in pushing a debunked Russian collusion allegation but put that same alleged lie into writing. In both a text message and the later meeting, Sussmann is accused of lying about not representing any client despite billing the time to the campaign. Sussmann faces a single charge under 18 U.S.C. 1001 for lying to the FBI in a meeting with the then-FBI General Counsel James Baker. In the indictment, Sussmann is accused of “mak[ing] a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement or representation” in conversations with Baker. Durham argued that “the defendant provided the FBI General Counsel with purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and a Russia-based bank.”

That institution was Alfa Bank and Sussmann’s effort paralleled the work of his partner at the law firm Perkins Coie, Marc Elias, in pushing the Steele Dossier in a separate debunked collusion claim. The Federal Election Commission recently fined the Clinton Campaign and the DNC for hiding the funding of the dossier as a legal cost by Elias at Perkins Coie. The Clinton Campaign’s Alfa Bank conspiracy was found to be baseless but the FBI did not know that it was being offered by someone being paid by the campaign to spread the claim. Had they known, Durham alleges the department might have been able to avoid the investigation costs and effort spent on the Alfa matter.

Durham told the court that these sources (and tech executive Rodney Joffe) have refused to turn over documents as protected by attorney-client or work product privilege. Durham can use the crime/fraud exception to compel disclosure but he is first asking the court to review the documents in camera. Attorney-client privilege is generally raised by clients but can be raised in some circumstances by third parties under some circumstances. However, the exchange must be “for the purpose of obtaining legal advice from the lawyer.” Likewise, the work product doctrine protects documents that were “prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial” by third parties on behalf of the client.

[..] the campaign and Perkins Coie are using attorney-client privilege to withhold evidence in a case where the former partner is accused of using his status of counsel to conceal information from the government.

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“This is about the president of the United States potentially being involved in money laundering and RICO claims..”

Hunter Biden Makes Watergate Look Like ‘Tiddlywinks’ – Rep. Tenney (NM)

The revelations coming out about President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, reveal a pattern of corruption that makes “Watergate look like a game of tiddlywinks,” and censorship of the story by Big Tech and the mainstream media cost former President Donald Trump the 2020 election, Rep. Claudia Tenney said in a Newsmax interview Friday. “This is about the president of the United States potentially being involved in money laundering and RICO claims,” the New York Republican said on Newsmax’s “National Report.” “[He is] the ‘big guy’ as is defined in some of these authenticated emails, even by The New York Times.”

“Even Tony Bobulinski, who was a partner with the Bidens, said this is who it is, the big guy,” she added, referring to a story in The New York Post in 2020 when Bobulinski called Biden a liar and said he was the “big guy” referred to in one of his son’s emails that discussed payments. “Joe Biden got 10% laundered through his son,” Tenney maintained. “[That] was millions of dollars held by Hunter Biden so that they wouldn’t implicate Joe Biden, the president of the United States, the leader of the free world. This has to come out.” Biden has denied that his son has done anything wrong, and the White House is standing behind him on that claim, reports The Hill.

Meanwhile, Tenney on Friday said that after The New York Post broke the news of Hunter Biden’s laptop, where the incriminating emails were discovered, Facebook and Twitter censored the story, which came out shortly before the 2020 election. “Incredibly 51 former intelligence agents, people who are involved in inside information with our federal government, claimed that this was a clear case of rushing this information and they signed a letter saying that this should not be put out for public consumption, which is a bit of a form of censorship,” said Tenney. She added that, according to a Media Research Center poll, at least 10% of Biden’s supporters had said they would not have voted for him had they known about the allegations about his son.

“This election came down to about 42,000 votes when you look at the key swing states,” she said. “Big Tech oligarch Mark Zuckerberg put over $419 million in key swing state areas to prime the pump to move voters in the direction of Joe Biden enough to change the results of this election.” It’s critically important, she added, that such censorship not be allowed to happen through “Big Tech and Big Tech oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg to prevent us from knowing the truth before we get to an election as critical as 2020 was.”

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First round on Sunday.

French Elections: Marine Le Pen Gains Ground On ‘Feverish’ Macron (Exp.)

Voters in France will go to the polls on Sunday to elect a president for the next five years with the election taking place over two rounds. On the last day of campaigning before voters go to the ballot boxes, a poll had Marine Le Pen just two points behind Emmanuel Macron. Ms Le Pen was runner-up to Emmanuel Macron in 2017, and this time, she is once again his closest rival. There are 12 candidates taking part in Sunday’s election, eight men and four women. Of the six main contenders, three are from the right of French politics and two are from the left. A month ago, Marine Le Pen was trailing President Macron by 10 points and fighting for a place in the second round against him.


Now she’s seen as the clear favourite to challenge him for the presidency ahead of Sunday’s first round. If she does make it through to the 24 April run-off, opinion polls suggest for the first time that a Le Pen victory is within the margin of error. “Nothing is impossible,” President Macron has warned, as polls suggest his far-right rival is closer than ever before to winning the presidency. On Friday, Ms Le Pen took to the streets in Narbonne as she completed the final leg of campaigning. When asked by The Telegraph what she thought of her main rival Emmanuel Macron likening the chance of her victory to Brexit, the 53-year old nationalist reiterated a mantra from her final rally the previous night: “When the people vote, the people win.”

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History lesson.

The Death of Representative Democracy (ITT)

Democracy has nothing to do with voting to elect representatives. Democracy does not require that citizens are represented by anyone because the people make all political decisions themselves. Many national governments pretend that they value democratic principles. They often claim a right to defend democracy or promote democracy in other countries. None of the governments that make such claims are democratic. Their pretensions often result in war. Democracy isn’t currently practised in any nation state. Instead, we suffer something called “representative democracy.” In a democracy the people are the government and protect themselves, from their own potential errors and excesses, through the checks and balances inherent to the rule of law, which again, is judged solely by the people.

In a representative democracy the government claims the authority to “govern” the people, forming autocratic states. So-called representative government “allows” the people to select their political leaders once every 4 or 5 years. In the intervening years this tiny group of “representatives” exercise executive power and rule over everyone else. This is called an oligarchy and it is the antithesis of a democracy. Nonetheless, the people have been “educated” to believe that the oligarchy is a democracy and have become attached to the idea. The oligarchy, or “representative government,” supposedly honours some foundational principles which are, in and of themselves, worthy. These are often referred to as democratic ideals.

Democratic ideals have been shaped, over thousands of years, by political leaders, reformists and philosophers. In their modern form they were described by the British sociologist T. H. Marshall in his 1949 essay Citizenship and Social Class. Marshall described these ideals as a functioning system of rights. While democratic ideals are far from an adequate substitute for democracy, in a representative democracy they do at least suggest some protection for the citizen from the whims of the oligarchy they are permitted to elect.

Democratic ideals include the right to liberty, to free speech, freedom of thought and expression, the right to peaceful protest, to justice and equal opportunities. Apparently, these rights are essential because, without them, representative democracy cannot function. The oligarchs govern to protect and promote the interests of the establishment. This ensures that the wealthiest individuals and families, the multinational corporations they own, the non-governmental organisations they fund and the banks they control can rule.

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Elon Musk

 

 

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