Andy Warhol Mick Jagger 1975
Shanghai – Kids taken away
Shanghai lockdown… pic.twitter.com/xe1lTWvXav
— Zola (@betterworld_22) April 16, 2022
Persistence of message ribonucleic acid fortified with synthetic 3' and 5' nucleoside analogue caps in the body for months resulting in excess and prolonged production of Spike protein is the explanation for cumulative toxicity and death after doubles, triples, and quadruples. pic.twitter.com/q0jVydjLUh
— Peter McCullough, MD MPH (@P_McCulloughMD) April 16, 2022
Russia executes what it has been saying for a long time.
Mariupol, the last stronghold of Ukrainian troops in the south-east of the country, is very close to falling. Russian troops have given Ukrainian soldiers in the area, a chilling ultimatum to “surrender or die”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted the situation in Mariupol remains “extremely severe” but has not acknowledged that the city could fall. He warned Moscow that peace talks would be scrapped if the city’s remaining defenders were killed. Despite Russia’s assurances that its offensive would focus on the east of the country, the sinking of the Moskva missile cruiser, which Russia attributes to various non-combat causes, has led to new attacks on targets in the capital, and in western Ukraine.
“The elimination of our troops, of our men, in Mariupol will put an end to any negotiations.- Zelensky”. In Kharkiv, continued Russian shelling is leaving the city in ruins. More and more people are trying to escape to the west, perhaps with the ultimate aim of leaving the country. Ukrainian authorities say that Fridays attack by russian forces has killed several and wounded over 50 people.
Good Friday in Rome
Good Friday procession in Rome, Italy
The Cross is being carried by two representatives of the Russian & Ukrainian diaspora – much to the criticism of Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican, Andriy Yurash.
Orthodox Easter this year is on 24 April, following the Julian calendar pic.twitter.com/2frPL6XplQ
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) April 16, 2022
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed Saturday it had cleared Ukrainian forces from all urban areas of the besieged city of Mariupol, Russian news agency RIA reports. Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said in a statement the only remaining Ukrainian troops were a few fighters blockaded in the Azovstal steel works plant, RIA reports. The Guardian quoted Konashenkov as saying in the statement that the few remaining fighters’ “only chance to save their lives” is to surrender. Konashenkov claimed more than 4,000 Ukrainian troops had died in Mariupol, and nearly 1,500 had surrendered. Forbes could not independently verify Konashenkov’s figures, and Ukrainian officials did not immediately respond to the Russian Defense Ministry’s claims.
Troops from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade fighting in Mariupol reportedly broke through Russian lines earlier this week to join up with soldiers from the Azov Regiment who have been fighting from the Azovstal plant, a sprawling compound where the defenders have been able to find cover to weather Russian assaults. Mariupol, a port city of about 400,000 near the Sea of Azov, has faced heavy bombardment by Russian forces in a siege that has lasted for weeks. Capturing the city has been a key priority for Russia, as it would consolidate a land bridge between mainland Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. The city has struggled to evacuate civilians and receive basic supplies due to damage to critical infrastructure by Russian forces. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko told the Associated Press more than 10,000 residents have died and that he predicts the true death toll could double.
Deliberately posting some MSM coverage here.
Russian forces renewed missile strikes on Kyiv and intensified shelling of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in an apparent strategy to hobble Ukraine’s defenses in preparation for what is expected to be a full-scale Russian assault in the east. These attacks and others scattered across the country were an explosive reminder to Ukrainians and their Western supporters that the whole country remains under threat. With the port city of Mariupol under siege, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia “is deliberately trying to destroy everyone who is there.” He said Ukraine needs more heavy weapons from the West immediately to have any chance of saving the city.
Each day brings new discoveries of civilian victims of an invasion that has shattered European security. In the towns and villages just outside Kyiv, authorities have reported finding the bodies of more than 900 civilians, most shot dead, since Russian troops retreated two weeks ago. After the humiliating loss of the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, Russia’s military command vowed to step up missile strikes on the capital. The Russians said they hit an armored vehicle plant on Saturday, a day after targeting a missile plant. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko advised residents who fled the city earlier in the war not to return. “We’re not ruling out further strikes on the capital,” he said. “If you have the opportunity to stay a little bit longer in the cities where it’s safer, do it.”
The mayor said Saturday’s strike killed one person and wounded several. It was not immediately clear from the ground what was hit in the strike on Kyiv’s Darnytskyi district. The sprawling area on the southeastern edge of the capital contains a mixture of Soviet-style apartment blocks, newer shopping centers and big-box retail outlets, industrial areas and railyards. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said an armored vehicle plant was targeted. He didn’t specify where the factory was located, but there is one in the Darnytskyi district.
At some location, they load them onto Ukraine planes, then fly them into the country.
In what appears Moscow’s “answer” to the US and NATO countries continuing to supply major weapons systems to Ukrainian forces, state agency TASS is claiming that Russian forces have brought down a Ukrainian military transport plane that was transporting Western arms. It would mark a massive battlefield development if confirmed, potentially escalating conflict more directly with the West, now that Russia is actively targeting Western arms shipments. The alleged shoot down occurred outside Odessa via anti-air systems, says TASS, while citing Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov. Though remaining unconfirmed, China state media has also picked up the report, citing the defense ministry statement, which reads:
“Near Odesa Russian anti-aircraft defense forces have shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane, which was delivering a large shipment of arms supplied to Ukraine by Western counties,” Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said Saturday. However, there’s nothing in the way of independent or outside sources confirming it, and Ukraine’s military has not issued any statements, nor are they likely to admit that their military aircraft were transporting Western weapons shipments, even if accurate. Days ago, the Kremlin repeated its threat to attack any inbound shipments of weaponry or supplies coming from Ukraine’s Western backers. The military also said it would hit “decision-making centers” – and on Saturday long-range missiles reportedly struck weapons depots in Kiev. Meanwhile, the Pentagon and US State Department have continued positively boasting that more weapons are en route, in a continuing escalation…
Zakharova (also) talks about German involvement in Ukraine biolabs. Don’t think I heard that one before.
Question: Are there any additional details about Germany’s military biological activities in Ukraine?
Maria Zakharova: For you to better understand the situation, I will cite the following facts. Since 2013, under the auspices of the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Government has been implementing the German Biosecurity Programme (GBP) which includes partnership projects with government agencies and research organisations in focus countries, which Ukraine became part of in 2014, the year of Maidan. German specialists from the Institute of Microbiology of the German Armed Forces (Munich), Friedrich Loeffler Institute (Greifswald-Riems Island), Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (Hamburg) and the Robert Koch Institute (Berlin), which specialise in research of deadly biological agents, are engaged in practical activities. According to the German Federal Foreign Office, the third phase of the GBP will be implemented in 2020-2022. We can infer from the publicly available materials that the GBP’s stated technical goals include, among others, the gathering of epidemic intelligence in third countries, including with the use of big data technology, and developing the infrastructure of partner countries for handling dangerous biological agents.
The Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Kharkov has been the Institute of Microbiology of the German Armed Forces’ main Ukrainian counterparty since 2016, which we know from its own data. The two institutes cooperate under the Ukrainian-German project titled “Initiative on Biological Safety and Biological Defence in the Management of the Zoonotic Risks at the Outer Borders of the European Union.” The fact that its official goal is to “improve the biological defence and security situation” in Ukraine, “particularly in the east of the country” gives rise to the rhetorical question of which border the German military biologists consider an outer border for the purposes of their professional interests. Is it the Russian-Ukrainian border?
The Institute of Microbiology claims in its materials that the project is related to the “potential threat of biological terrorism” in Ukraine amid the unending hostilities in eastern regions of that country. It is crystal clear that this is a way to send a subtle message about the DPR and LPR s possible involvement in hatching plans for the use of internationally prohibited biological weapons. In so doing, the German military have been deliberately intimidating their Ukrainian counterparts for a long time and have, in fact, been psychologically pitting them against the Donbass republics. Ukrainian biological safety experts invariably participate in the medical biodefence conferences that are regularly held by the Institute of Microbiology of the German Armed Forces.
“If Russia had that objective or was intentionally killing civilians, we’d see a lot more than less than .01 percent in places like Bucha..”
Biden’s “genocide” and Zelensky’s “our enemies want us to cease to exist”: hyperbole rules.
Earlier this week, President Biden appeared to veer off script in the middle of his ‘blame Putin, not our idiotic policies, for your collapsing cost of living’ speech, when he dropped the ‘g’ word… “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away.” As the world waited for another rapid walk-back by White House staffers of another Biden gaffe, the 79-year-old doubled-down… “Yes, I called it genocide. Because it has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of being able to be Ukrainian.” The comments sparked reactions from around the diplomatic world. French President Emmanuel Macron was the most outspoken, refusing to back Biden’s claim that Russia is committing “genocide” in Ukraine.
The French leader instead warned that an escalation of rhetoric wouldn’t bring peace. On the same day Biden accused Russia of genocide, Newsweek published an article quoting a senior official from the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency who said the civilian casualties in Ukraine are typical of modern warfare and “hardly” amount to genocide. The DIA official: said “I am not for a second excusing Russia’s war crimes, nor forgetting that Russia invaded the country.” “But the number of actual deaths is hardly genocide. If Russia had that objective or was intentionally killing civilians, we’d see a lot more than less than .01 percent in places like Bucha,” the official emphasized.
Lots of ruckus about Chomsky saying negotiations are necessary.
Well, I would not criticize Zelensky. He’s acting with great courage, great integrity. You can understand and sympathize with his position from where he sits. However, the Pentagon has a wiser stand. Yes, we could enter the war. We could provide Zelensky with jet planes and advanced weapons. Pretty soon Putin would be radically escalating the attack on Ukraine, would wipe it out which he has the capacity to do. He would be attacking the supply chains that are providing advanced weapons. And we’d be in a war, which would be a nuclear war, which would wipe us all out.
So I’m not criticizing Zelensky; he’s an honorable person and has shown great courage. You can sympathize with his positions. But you can also pay attention to the reality of the world. And that’s what it implies. I’ll go back to what I said before: there are basically two options. One option is to pursue the policy we are now following, to quote Ambassador Freeman again, to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. And yes, we can pursue that policy with the possibility of nuclear war. Or we can face the reality that the only alternative is a diplomatic settlement, which will be ugly—it will give Putin and his narrow circle an escape hatch. It will say, Here’s how you can get out without destroying Ukraine and going on to destroy the world.
We know the basic framework is neutralization of Ukraine, some kind of accommodation for the Donbas region, with a high level of autonomy, maybe within some federal structure in Ukraine, and recognizing that, like it or not, Crimea is not on the table. You may not like it, you may not like the fact that there’s a hurricane coming tomorrow, but you can’t stop it by saying, “I don’t like hurricanes,” or “I don’t recognize hurricanes.” That doesn’t do any good. And the fact of the matter is, every rational analyst knows that Crimea is, for now, off the table. That’s the alternative to the destruction of Ukraine and nuclear war. You can make heroic statements, if you’d like, about not liking hurricanes, or not liking the solution. But that’s not doing anyone any good.
“So far Israel has refused to supply Ukraine with weapons or join the West in waging economic warfare on Russia..”
The Israeli government has been trying to keep as low a profile as possible over the war in Ukraine, but Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, seems determined to drag Israel on to centre stage. Zelensky made a direct appeal to the Israeli parliament last month, ostensibly asking for weapons, especially the Iron Dome interception system Israel uses to stop short-range rockets fired out of Gaza by Palestinians trying to draw attention to Israel’s 15-year siege of the enclave. But rather than being flattered by the attention, many Israeli politicians objected to Zelensky’s speech. In it, he compared Russia’s treatment of Ukraine to the Nazis’ “Final Solution” for European Jews. Zelensky, who is Jewish, hoped the parallel would strike home.
To most Israeli ears, it sounded offensive. So far Israel has refused to supply Ukraine with weapons or join the West in waging economic warfare on Russia. It does not help that major Israeli political parties and religious communities have strong geographical and emotional ties to Russia. Or that Moscow is a major actor in the Middle East, not least in neighbouring Syria. Israel coordinates closely with Russia over regular air strikes in Syria – themselves in violation of international law. Israel has been trying its best to tread a difficult diplomatic path over Ukraine. On the one hand, Israel is a regional client state of the United States, under Washington’s protection, and wishes to keep its patron happy. And on the other, Israel’s military interests are to maintain good relations with Moscow.
Furthermore, Israeli leaders are worried about reinforcing the consensus that what the Russian army is doing in Ukraine amounts to war crimes, thereby creating a very public precedent that could be turned against Israel over its own abuses in the occupied territories. Adopting an early role as mediator, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett even urged Zelensky to accept a Russian ceasefire proposal. Nonetheless, Zelensky is intent on tipping the scales in Ukraine’s favour with Israel. He understands that his country’s plight has captured the western media and western public sympathy. He has every incentive to weaponise that sentiment to press-gang Israel into more openly supporting Ukraine. In his speech to the parliament, he appropriated a quote from a former Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, who claimed that “our enemies want us to cease to exist”. Russia planned to do the same to Ukraine, Zelensky warned.
“We made clear to the Russians that we were willing to talk to them on issues that we thought were genuine concerns they have that were legitimate in some way..”
A senior Biden administration official recently admitted that prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States made no effort to address one of Vladimir Putin’s most often stated top security concerns — the possibility of Ukraine’s membership into NATO. When asked on a podcast published on Wednesday by War on the Rocks — a U.S. foreign and defense policy analysis website — whether NATO expansion into Ukraine “was not on the table in terms of negotiations” before the invasion, Derek Chollet, counselor to Secretary of State Antony Blinken replied that “it wasn’t.” Chollet’s remarks confirm suspicions by many critics who believe the Biden administration wasn’t doing enough — including offering to deny or delay Ukraine’s NATO membership — to prevent Russia from launching a war against Ukraine.
“We made clear to the Russians that we were willing to talk to them on issues that we thought were genuine concerns they have that were legitimate in some way, I mean arms control type things of that nature,” Chollet said, adding that the administration didn’t think that “the future of Ukraine” was one of those issues and that its potential NATO membership was a “non-issue.” “This was not about NATO,” said Chollet, who contradicted himself moments later, saying, “In perpetrating this totally unjustified and unprovoked war, [Putin’s] goal was to try to divide the U.S. from Europe and weaken NATO.” Of course Putin himself stated publicly many times before the invasion that indeed, Ukraine’s potential NATO membership was a key security concern for Russia.
Weeks before Russia launched its war against Ukraine, Putin claimed that Russia’s concerns about NATO enlargement were being ignored. “We need to resolve this question now … [and] we hope very much our concern will be heard by our partners and taken seriously,” he later said. War on the Rocks’ Ryan Evans told Chollet that he takes Putin’s claims about NATO “seriously,” adding, “I’m a little struck by the refusal to even talk about the issue of NATO expansion.” “We talked about NATO in saying that NATO is a defensive alliance. NATO is not a threat to Russia,” Chollet said. Before the Russian invasion, Quincy Institute senior research fellow on Russia and Europe Anatol Lieven wrote that as part of a broader package to stave off war, the United States should propose “the declaration of a moratorium on Ukrainian membership of NATO for a period of 20 years, allowing time for negotiations on a new security architecture for Europe as a whole, including Russia.”
Energy policies are being decided by people who understand very little about energy. That will become a very big problem.
This is an amusing headline…. “California regulators unveiled a plan to ban the sale of new gas cars by 2035 on Thursday, the state’s latest effort to combat greenhouse gas emissions. The plan from the California Air Resources Board calls for 35% of new car sales in the state to be battery or hydrogen-powered by 2026, according to CNBC. The board will vote on the proposal in August.” I’m looking forward to this insanity. I hope Vegas has figured out how to do without most of the roughly 25% of the people who come there from Southern California since most of them come by car. The trip is, on the shortest path, 270 miles — which is materially beyond the “safe” distance you can go in an EV on one charge assuming no traffic that slows you down while, of course, you’re baking in the 100+ degree sun and have the A/C running.
While LA -> San Diego is doable (~120 miles) San Diego out to Vegas is definitely not at 332 miles; you will run out of power if you try it in other than excellent weather – with no traffic. Good luck on that “no traffic” thing. In-state travel? Ha! Never mind interstate personal travel. Oh, and have I noted yet (checking notes; nope) that California lacks the electrical grid and generating capacity to deliver the power to charge said vehicles? Sure, with a few percent of the total they are pulling it off. But – and this is important – their cost per kilowatt-hour is ~80% higher than the cost in place like Tennessee or Florida and will go higher still with the new demand. Never mind that at so-called “public” charging stations (e.g. Superchargers, etc.) the rate is typically two to four times – or more – that of your residential rate.
So much for “saving money” too; no you won’t! Oh, and what are those people who live in apartments or other higher-density places without garage space, which means no power connection going to do? I presume the answer isn’t to leave unguarded but metered connections out in the open as doing so is basically-certain to invite wholesale theft by others with….. electric cars. Unlike a gas vehicle which requires actual vandalism to steal the fuel (never mind the risk of blowing yourself up doing it) stealing power from an open receptacle is simply a matter of plugging into it. Yeah that’ll work out well too, especially in California. Go ahead and do it – this is going to be fun to watch.
Not a single word even about the option that vaccines could be involved. No longer acceptable.
A string of severe hepatitis cases in children has doctors across both sides of the pond spooked. Dozens of children in the UK and Europe, as well as some in the U.S., have come down with symptoms of hepatitis not currently explained by known causes. Theories for the outbreak include the resurgence of an existing but usually quieter germ, complications of covid-19, or even the arrival of a novel or mutated virus. Hepatitis is most often caused by a group of five unrelated viruses (hepatitis A through E), but it’s actually a formal term for any kind of liver inflammation. Various infectious diseases, heavy alcohol use, toxins, and even certain medications can all cause hepatitis. Symptoms range from fever and fatigue to jaundice (yellowed skin and eyes), nausea, abdominal pain, and dark urine. In severe cases, it can lead to liver failure and death.
Since January this year, UK doctors have reported a concerning rise of severe, sometimes life-threatening hepatitis cases in children—above the normal baseline rate of incidence. At least 74 cases documented in the country seem to fit the bill, with children not testing positive for any of the known hepatitis viruses. In a case report by doctors from Scotland published Thursday, the authors noted that three children became so sick that they were evaluated for a possible liver transplant. At least six children in the UK have received a liver transplant, according to a recent summary by the World Health Organization.
This week, health officials in Spain reported three of their own cases, including one child who also needed a transplant. And in the U.S., health officials in Alabama have reported at least nine hepatitis cases in children dating back to October 2021 that similarly elude a simple explanation. A public health alert issued by the Alabama Department of Public Health to doctors in February alluded to one possible case in another state but provided no further details.
“..the company is “not to be bound by the First Amendment” and will regulate content as “reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.”
Twitter’s board of directors gathered this week to sign what sounds like a suicide pact. It unanimously voted to swallow a “poison pill” to tank the value of the social media giant’s shares rather than allow billionaire Elon Musk to buy the company. The move is one way to fend off hostile takeovers, but what is different in this case is the added source of the hostility: Twitter and many liberals are apoplectic over Musk’s call for free speech protections on the site. Company boards have a fiduciary duty to do what is best for shareholders, which usually is measured in share values. Twitter has long done the opposite. It has virtually written off many conservatives — and a large portion of its prospective market — with years of arbitrary censorship of dissenting views on everything from gender identity to global warming, election fraud and the pandemic.
Most recently, Twitter suspended a group, Libs of Tik Tok, for “hateful conduct.” The conduct? Reposting what liberals have said about themselves. The company seemingly has written off free speech too. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was asked how Twitter would balance its efforts to combat misinformation with wanting to “protect free speech as a core value” and to respect the First Amendment. He responded dismissively that the company is “not to be bound by the First Amendment” and will regulate content as “reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.” Agrawal said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”
Not surprisingly, selling censorship is not a big hit with most consumers, particularly from a communications or social media company. The actions of Twitter’s management have led to roller-coastering share values. While Twitter once reached a high of about $73 a share, it is currently around $45. (Musk was offering $54.20 a share, representing a 54 percent premium over the share price the day before he invested in the company.)
Travel in groups
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