Jun 292022
 
 June 29, 2022  Posted by at 9:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Keith Haring Untitled 1984

 

The J6 Committee Went Full Jussie Smollett Today and It is Hilarious (CTH)
Trump White House Attorney Disputes Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony (ABC)
Hillary Clinton Can Rescue Democrats In The Midterms (Juan Williams)
NATO Tells Ukraine ‘We Do Not Want You’ – Zelensky Aide (Celente)
Behind the Tin Curtain: BRICS+ vs NATO/G7 (Escobar)
CIA Ops, Commandos In Ukraine: Can We Just Admit We Are Fighting This War? (RS)
Lavrov Compares European Union And NATO To Hitler’s Old Axis (Wilbert)
Russia Promises Nuclear Weapons on Finland, Sweden’s ‘Doorstep’ (Celente)
Johnson Warns Macron Not To Attempt Ukraine Settlement Now (Pol.eu)
Omicron BA.5 Prefers Hypervaccinated Masking West Germans (Eugyp)
Docs Show Pfizer Made Its Vaccine Appear More Effective Than It Was (Harper)
“Deceleration” and “Tipping Point” of the Raging Mania (WS)
South Africa Moving Towards A Total Blackout (Enca)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenwald: Sonia Sotomayor has worked closely with Clarence Thomas for 13 years — since she joined the Court in 2009 — and her description of Thomas from this month is the exact opposite of the ugly-trope-and-stereotype-heavy depiction Hillary Clinton spewed:

 

 

Clarence Thomas WaPo doc

 

 

 

 

She was 23 at the time, and had already worked for multiple Republican politicians?! All she said was based on hearsay. But there is no cross examination allowed. Still, she may well have committed perjury.

“He told me, that she heard from him, that she heard, from another guy, that she said he told her that she heard, that Trump may have said something, which was overheard, by her, about something, to the best of my knowledge.” -Cassidy Hutchinson

“BREAKING: Jan 6 Committee Video Shows President Trump was in an SUV after the rally, not the Beast.”

The J6 Committee Went Full Jussie Smollett Today and It is Hilarious (CTH)

Either J6 committee witness Cassidy Hutchinson is currently working for Donald Trump in a weird effort to make the J6 committee look absolutely silly, or Cassidy Hutchinson is the latest Jussie Smollett or Christine Blasey-Ford. Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony was so outlandish only the most intellectually deficient left-wing loons could or would believe it. Ms. Hutchinson claimed she heard a story from some unknown person that President Trump was so insistent on traveling to the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, that he assaulted his secret service detail and grabbed the steering wheel on the presidential limousine. She heard it from someone, who heard it from someone, and so Ms. Hutchinson was pushed in front of the J6 cameras to proclaim it. The claim is so silly, it was impossible to believe. Yet the congressional committee media ran with it, and the media promoted the story, because Trump.

Within minutes of Cassidy Hutchinson’s unsubstantiated claims, the secret service was refuting it. Even NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander was forced to refute it. “A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted, and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.” he tweeted. Whoops. Ms. Hutchinson also completely fabricated a story when she claimed she wrote a note with dictation from Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. ABC reported, “At Tuesday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney displayed a handwritten note which Hutchinson testified she wrote after Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows handed her a note card and pen to take his dictation.” Only there’s a problem, she never wrote it.

ABC News –” Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann is claiming that a handwritten note regarding a potential statement for then-President Donald Trump to release during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was written by him during a meeting at the White House that afternoon, and not by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.” As John Cardillo noted on Twitter, “Junior nobody Hutchinson testified under oath that Tony Ornato told her that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limo. Ornato, a 23-year veteran of the USSS is stating unequivocally that it never happened. Ornato is currently the Asst. Director of Training for the United States Secret Service.”

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They liked Herschmann’s testimony when it suited them…

Still, “we understand that she and Mr. Herschmann may have differing recollections of who wrote the note”? It’s handwritten, easy to find out…

Trump White House Attorney Disputes Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony (ABC)

Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann is claiming that a handwritten note regarding a potential statement for then-President Donald Trump to release during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was written by him during a meeting at the White House that afternoon, and not by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News. At Tuesday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney displayed a handwritten note which Hutchinson testified she wrote after Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows handed her a note card and pen to take his dictation. Sources familiar with the matter said that Herschmann had previously told the committee that he had penned the note.

“The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021,” a spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News Tuesday evening. “All sources with direct knowledge and law enforcement have and will confirm that it was written by Mr. Herschmann,” the spokesperson said. At Tuesday’s hearing, Hutchinson, testifying about the note, said, “That’s a note that I wrote at the direction of the chief of staff on Jan. 6, likely around 3 o’clock.” “And it’s written on the chief of staff note card, but that’s your handwriting, Ms. Hutchinson?” Rep. Cheney asked. “That’s my handwriting,” Hutchinson replied. Hutchinson, a former top aide to Meadows, said that Meadows handed her the note card and a pen and started dictating a potential statement for Trump to release amid the Capitol riot.

Hutchinson also said that Herschmann had suggested changing the statement and to “put ‘without legal authority.'” In response to Herschmann’s claim, a spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee said, “The committee has done its diligence on this and found Ms. Hutchinson’s account of this matter credible. While we understand that she and Mr. Herschmann may have differing recollections of who wrote the note, what’s ultimately important is that both White House officials believed that the President should have immediately instructed his supporters to leave the Capitol building.” “The note memorialized this,” the committee spokesperson said. “But Mr. Trump did not take that action at the time.”

The Jan. 6 committee has repeatedly relied on Herschmann’s candid and sometimes vulgar testimony throughout the hearings in June, including when the former White House lawyer testified that he shot down former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark’s plan to overturn the 2020 election. Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, also defended former President Trump during Trump’s first impeachment trial and worked in the West Wing as a senior adviser.

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Some savior.

Hillary Clinton Can Rescue Democrats In The Midterms (Juan Williams)

Democrats need a strong voice ready to fight to restore women’s rights, now that the Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade. There’s only one Hillary Clinton. Right-wingers on the Supreme Court rescinding the constitutional right to abortion is incredibly dangerous and it is not just about a woman s right to choose. It is about much more than that, Clinton told CBS News back in May, when a draft version of Friday s decision emerged. Any American who says, Look, I m not a woman, this doesn t affect me. I m not Black, that doesn t affect me. I m not gay, that doesn t affect me once you allow this kind of extreme power to take hold, you have no idea who they will come for next, she said. Go, Hillary.

Unlike most Democrats at a loss for a midterms message, Clinton knows how to deal with the far right’s bullying. The GOP’s media echo chamber long ago demonized her. She still beat Donald Trump in the popular vote in 2016. Now it is her turn to lash the GOP extremists for ending nationwide abortion rights, putting more guns on the streets, punishing corporations for supporting gay rights and dismissing history lessons on race as upsetting to white children. Clinton is exactly the right person to put steel in the Democrats’ spine and bring attention to the reality that “ultra-MAGA” Republicans, as President Biden calls them, are tearing apart the nation. The Supreme Court justices last week acted as political enforcers for extremist views that are far out of line with public opinion on abortion and gun safety.

They opened the door to women losing control over their lives without the right to have an abortion. They also gave a pass to more violent shootings on the streets by striking down a New York safeguard that required people who want to carry a firearm in public to demonstrate a specific need. These decisions amount to a political powerplay by former President Trump’s three nominees. Biden measures his words about the far right out of fear of being charged with further polarizing the country. So let Hillary roar her message to suburban white women who will be key to deciding the outcome of the midterms.

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Clear enough.

NATO Tells Ukraine ‘We Do Not Want You’ – Zelensky Aide (Celente)

Ihor Zhovkva, the deputy chief of staff for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in an interview Tuesday that Kyiv was told by NATO that it is “not a member because we do not want you.” Zhovkva made the comment shortly after the Alliance announced that Turkey agreed to allow Finland and Sweden to join. “NATO is telling us we are not giving you anything,” he said in an interview with a local news outlet in Kyiv, according to Bloomberg. Finland and Sweden announced that they would seek membership shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and were greeted with open arms by Alliance leadership. They were even told that they would benefit from security guarantees during the waiting period.


But Ukraine has not benefited from its “partner” status in the Alliance. Sure, the country received billions in aid and weapons, but Kyiv has been forced to stand up to Russia on its own. Some could argue that Ukraine was the victim misleading public statements from the U.S. and NATO prior to the invasion. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Moscow would be met with a“forceful” response if there was an invasion. Blinken went further and said the U.S. has a “sacred obligation” to defend its allies. [..] Under Article 10 of the 1949 Washington Treaty, NATO has the right to invite any willing European country into the fold. But Stoltenberg made it clear, before the invasion, that there is a distinction between a NATO partner and ally. Kyiv is a partner. NATO is compelled to only defend allies. NATO countries never embraced Ukraine as an ally because it meant certain war with Russia.

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“..by 2030, a quarter of the planet’s oil demand will come from China and India, with Russia as the major supplier.”

Behind the Tin Curtain: BRICS+ vs NATO/G7 (Escobar)

[..] there now exists what should be called a Tin Curtain, fabricated by the fearful, clueless, collective west, via G7 and NATO: this time, to essentially contain the integration of the Global South. The most recent and significant example of this integration has been the coming out of BRICS+ at last week’s online summit hosted by Beijing. This went far beyond establishing the lineaments of a ‘new G8,’ let alone an alternative to the G7. Just look at the interlocutors of the five historical BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa): we find a microcosm of the Global South, encompassing Southeast Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Africa and South America – truly putting the “Global” in the Global South. Revealingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clear messages during the Beijing summit, in sharp contrast to G7 propaganda, were actually addressed to the whole Global South:

– Russia will fulfill its obligations to supply energy and fertilizers. – Russia expects a good grain harvest – and to supply up to 50 million tons to world markets. – Russia will ensure passage of grain ships into international waters even as Kiev mined Ukrainian ports. – The negative situation on Ukrainian grain is artificially inflated. – The sharp increase in inflation around the world is the result of the irresponsibility of G7 countries, not Operation Z in Ukraine. – The imbalance of world relations has been brewing for a long time and has become an inevitable result of the erosion of international law. Putin also directly addressed one of the key themes that the BRICS have been discussing in depth since the 2000s — the design and implementation of an international reserve currency.

“The Russian Financial Messaging System is open for connection with banks of the BRICS countries.” “The Russian MIR payment system is expanding its presence. We are exploring the possibility of creating an international reserve currency based on the basket of BRICS currencies,” the Russian leader said. This is inevitable after the hysterical western sanctions post-Operation Z; the total de-dollarization imposed upon Moscow; and increasing trade between BRICS nations. For instance, by 2030, a quarter of the planet’s oil demand will come from China and India, with Russia as the major supplier. The “RIC” in BRICS simply cannot risk being locked out of a G7-dominated financial system. Even tightrope-walking India is starting to catch the drift.

At its current stage, BRICS represent 40 percent of world population, 25 percent of the global economy, 18 percent of world trade, and contribute over 50 percent for world economic growth. All indicators are on the way up. Sergey Storchak, CEO of Russian bank VEG, framed it quite diplomatically: “If the voices of emerging markets are not being heard in the coming years, we need to think very seriously about setting up a parallel regional system, or maybe a global system.” A “parallel regional system” is already being actively discussed between the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and China, coordinated by Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics Sergey Glazyev, who has recently authored a stunning manifesto amplifying his ideas about world economic sovereignty.

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“The Russians may not see the distinction and consider this news as further evidence that their war is more with Washington and NATO than with Ukraine.”

CIA Ops, Commandos In Ukraine: Can We Just Admit We Are Fighting This War? (RS)

The Central Intelligence Agency is operating in Kyiv and has been for some time, according to new reporting by the New York Times. So, while Biden has insisted on “no U.S. boots on the ground” in Ukraine, there are soft-soled operatives, otherwise known as American spies, providing intelligence and other tactical assistance to Ukraine in its war with Russia. Sounds like Americans are in this war, like it or not. The news, based on sourcing from current and former U.S. government officials, is part of a broader report about a “stealthy network” of U.S. and European commandos and spies in “cells” run by the Pentagon’s European Command “to speed allied assistance to Ukrainian troops.” Much of this is operating from military bases in France and Germany and elsewhere. But as the NYT points out, there are European commandos and CIA agents working on the inside.

The commandos are not on the front lines with Ukrainian troops and instead advise from headquarters in other parts of the country or remotely by encrypted communications, according to American and other Western officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss operational matters. But the signs of their stealthy logistics, training and intelligence support are tangible on the battlefield. Several lower-level Ukrainian commanders recently expressed appreciation to the United States for intelligence gleaned from satellite imagery, which they can call up on tablet computers provided by the allies. The tablets run a battlefield mapping app that the Ukrainians use to target and attack Russian troops.

As usual it appears that the administration wants to have it both ways: assure the American people that it is being “restrained” and that we are not “at war” with the Russians, but doing everything but planting a U.S. soldier and a flag inside Ukraine. The CIA, as you will recall, has increasingly had an operational combat focus since 9/11, running elaborate secret prisons overseas, engaging in enhanced interrogations (torture) and manhunting with armed drones and commando teams over the last 20 years. There may be a sliver of daylight between the CIA operatives there today and the U.S. special forces that left Ukraine after Russia invaded, but given the circumstances, is it a meaningful one? Is it all about who is pulling the trigger? The Russians may not see the distinction and consider this news as further evidence that their war is more with Washington and NATO than with Ukraine.

Gonzalo Sitzkrieg

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“They are creating a new coalition for fighting, that is, for war with Russia. We will follow this very closely..”

Lavrov Compares European Union And NATO To Hitler’s Old Axis (Wilbert)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on 06/24/2022 that the European Union and NATO appear to be carrying out a military coalition for a war against Russia. The statement was given in Baku in Azerbaijan during an interview. “They are creating a new coalition for fighting, that is, for war with Russia. We will follow this very closely,” the Minister rightly declared, because that is what has been happening anyway. But first let’s go to the archetypes of the entities mentioned. The European Union, in its initial design, may have come up with good proposals for the integration of Europeans, with some Balkan countries, for example, applying to be part of the economic and diplomatic bloc, but it so happens that few people pay attention to history, especially during World War II.

Hitler wanted a union of the European countries, what he called a “Pan-European Union”, a form of closer integration between countries that would naturally be against the Soviet Union and communism in general. No wonder Hitler set up puppet governments in some European countries such as Denmark, for example, which was under the tutelage of Nazi Germany during the period August 1943 until May 1945, after the success of Operation Weserübung. As for NATO for example, it is seen as a super aggressive military alliance that causes barbarism in various parts of the world, especially in the former Yugoslavia, which had its territory balkanized after an intervention in the country in 1999 where some war crimes were committed because those bombs would hit civilian buildings, such as the famous bombing of Serbian TV, which was not a legitimate military target, but turned out to be a Yugoslav “propaganda broadcast” (obviously) at the time.

So it didn’t take much effort on the part of some “non-aligned diplomats” (which is the case of Lavrov) to understand that the European Union and NATO act together to stand up to the former Soviet Union, now Russia. NATO even characterized the country as an “enemy” several times, emphasized by Vladimir Putin in his speeches. After NATO’s expansions into Eastern European countries, even after a verbal agreement made between Soviet and American diplomats at the time that they would not move “an inch east” in the early 2000s, the opposite was seen and this was stated several times before the start of Operation Z, and was characterized in various ways by Kremlin spokespersons that Ukraine’s entry into NATO was a criminal act. And it was.

And like any criminal act, the police power, even if governed by a country’s Armed Forces, needed to come into effect because after the NATO vs. Russia diplomatic rounds no documentary agreement of truth properly bound by international law was reached. And to make matters worse, Zelensky would state on 02/19/2022 in a speech at the European Security Conference in Munich (just 5 days before the start of Operation Z) that he would no longer ratify the Budapest Memorandum, which is a treaty that denuclearizes Ukraine since 1994.

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Before Turkey gave in.

Russia Promises Nuclear Weapons on Finland, Sweden’s ‘Doorstep’ (Celente)

Just hours before NATO’s General-Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announced that Turkey now supports Sweden and Finland’s bid to join the Alliance, Russia issued a stark warning for the countries. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said Moscow will have to strengthen its borders. “The Baltic region’s nonnuclear status will become a thing of the past, the group of land and naval forces in the northern sector will be seriously increased,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “No one is happy with this, not the citizens of these two NATO candidate countries.” It’s not the best prospect for them to have our Iskanders, hypersonic missiles, warships with nuclear weapons on their doorstep,” he continued.

Shortly after Russia’s 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden announced that they will begin the process of seeking NATO. Polls in both countries showed a palpable shift in public opinion about the two Nordic nations about joining the alliance. Finland has a formidable military although it only has a population of 5.5 million. The country has about the same number of reservists as Germany with a population of 83 million. Finland also shares an expansive, 830-mile border with Russia and was invaded by its neighbor during WWII, which resulted in a brutal confrontation that ultimately resulted in Helsinki and Moscow signing a peace treaty in 1948, which included Finland’s assurances that it will not join NATO. Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s foreign minister, said the security environment in the country has “dramatically changed.”

Haavisto told The Guardian that Russia has become “more unpredictable” and seems ready to take bolder risks than Georgia in 2008 and Crimea in 2014. He called those “calculated risks.” Stoltenberg said he is “confident” that Finland and Sweden will be able to join the Alliance after the agreement with Turkey. Ankara was seen as a roadblock in the effort by these countries to join NATO. Turkey accused the countries of harboring terrorists tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and it also sought to have an arms embargo lifted due to its incursions into Syria, DW.com reported. Turkey said in a statement that it “got what it wanted,” and “made significant gains in the fight against terrorist organizations.”

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Boris likes the war. Better than his own country.

Johnson Warns Macron Not To Attempt Ukraine Settlement Now (Pol.eu)

Boris Johnson warned Emmanuel Macron that to settle the conflict in Ukraine now would only cause “enduring instability,” according to the U.K. government. In a British account of the pair’s Sunday encounter at the G7 summit — disputed by the Elysée — Downing Street said Johnson had told Macron such a move would “give [Russian President Vladimir] Putin license to manipulate both sovereign countries and international markets in perpetuity.” In the lead-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the French president was one of the few Western leaders who maintained dialogue with Vladimir Putin, and has regularly spoken to the Russian president since the conflict begun. Macron has also warned that Russia should not be “humiliated” over Putin’s “historic and fundamental mistake.”


An Elysée official said Macron and the British prime minister had “reaffirmed their strong determination to support Ukraine in the defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to prepare the reconstruction of the country.” But the French side disputed Downing Street’s version of events. “No, the prime minister [Johnson] did not warn the president [Macron],” the official said. “They had a discussion about Ukraine, during which the president strongly reaffirmed his determination to support Ukraine.” Downing Street said Johnson and Macron had agreed now is a “critical moment for the course of the conflict” and that there is an “opportunity to turn the tide in the war.”

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“Vaccine failure in one map..”

Omicron BA.5 Prefers Hypervaccinated Masking West Germans (Eugyp)

This is the Omicron BA.5 wave in central Europe, and it is attended by a curious phenomenon: Every day, you can see more clearly the borders of the old DDR in the district-level data. I’ve traced these in green just to make the phenomenon clearer. Yes yes, there are systematic demographic differences between East and West Germans, and there are probably some differences in testing rates, but above all, there is an important difference in vaccine uptake. [..] East Germans have direct experience with government propaganda, and have proven more resistent to the vaccination campaign than Westerners. Their reward, after being much maligned by state media, is now higher levels of natural immunity and lower rates of BA.5 infection, which appears to prefer vaccinated populations. As the effects of vaccine failure grow clearer, you have to wonder how long the pandemicists will be able to publish even simple infection statistics, without raising extremely awkward questions.

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“No results from the trial have yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.”

It was true. The Phase 3 trials of the vaccine were still ongoing, but the vaccine was now approved for use in the UK.”

Docs Show Pfizer Made Its Vaccine Appear More Effective Than It Was (Harper)

On May 24th, the anonymous Twitter account JikkyLeaks claimed that data contained inside the massive Pfizer Documents release shows their vaccine had close to zero efficacy even when it launched. There is some correcting of the raw data required to reach this conclusion, but the raw data alone hints at an efficacy of 53%. The data contradicts Pfizer’s published claims the vaccine was 95% effective, a claim still published on gov.uk domains. The original data and specifically the “95% efficacy” claim was key to getting the vaccines onto global markets around the world. If Pfizer reached this conclusion dishonourably, there could be sizable implications. At least one other researcher has publicly reached the same results using data contained in the court-ordered Pfizer documents. I have already verified that the data exists, and using very simple public code, that the numbers add up to what Josh and Jikky claim.

[..] In November 2020, Pfizer started to make its successes with the vaccine known to the media. Towards the end of the month, they published a press release stating their vaccine was 95% effective. In the release, they said they planned “to submit within days to the FDA [and other regulators] for Emergency Use Authorisation.” With their guard down, the media didn’t hold these claims to account. Instead, and perhaps understandably, they choose to jump for joy. The regulators were pleased too; just two weeks after Pfizer’s press release, the UK regulator announced it had approved the Pfizer vaccine and that rollout would start within a week. Reporting the announcement, the British Medical Journal made note of something quite remarkable: “No results from the trial have yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.”

It was true. The Phase 3 trials of the vaccine were still ongoing, but the vaccine was now approved for use in the UK. The trials are still ongoing according to the registered protocol, which says they’re not scheduled to be complete until February 8, 2024. So how did the vaccine come to be approved before the full completion of Phase 3 trials? According to an FOI request, and a public article, the UK regulator addressed the question and said it had used a ‘rolling review’ process to approve the Pfizer vaccine. The review was done “as the packages of data become available from ongoing studies”. Whatever that regulatory process was, it wasn’t exactly public. To make matters worse, the trial had problems with impartiality and data sharing, which, two years later, is something that still frustrates Peter Doshi at the British Medical Journal.

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Wait a few months.

“Deceleration” and “Tipping Point” of the Raging Mania (WS)

The first “deceleration” and “signs of a tipping point” cropped up in the S&P CoreLogic Home Price Index, which was released today. But today’s data for “April” consists of the three-month average of closed home sales that were entered into public records in February, March, and April, representing deals that were made a few weeks earlier, roughly in January, February, and March, funded with mortgage rates prevalent at that time and earlier for home buyers with pre-approved mortgages with rate locks when they were pre-approved, so roughly based on the mortgage rates prevalent in December through March, ranging from 3.2% to 4.7% (green box):

Other indicators of the housing market that don’t lag as far behind have shown more advanced shifts in the underlying dynamics, including sagging sales amid a surge in supply in May, a sharp drop in mortgage applications in May and into June, and a surge in active listings in May. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index will gradually begin to reflect those dynamics over the next few months. Today’s release for “April,” looking back at a period earlier this year, when mortgage rates were a lot lower, still reflects the mad scramble to buy a home and lock in the mortgage rates at the time before they rise even further.


The National Case-Shiller Index still jumped by 2.1% in April from March, but that was down from the 2.6% spike in March. Year-over-year, the index spiked by 20.4%, but that was down from the 20.6% spike in the prior month. This suggests “further deceleration ahead,” said CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Selma Hepp said in a note this morning. “In particular, there is a buildup in overall active inventory as fewer buyers are rushing to make offers, resulting in an increase in the share of homes that have reduced their prices from the original list price,” Hepp said. “Also, there is a notable deceleration of monthly gains in the Western markets where a rush to lock in favorable mortgage rates pushed home price growth higher in prior months,” Hepp said.

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“Once we get to that level it’s going to be very difficult for us to reawaken the entire system we are sitting in a difficult situation as things stand.”

South Africa Moving Towards A Total Blackout (Enca)

Energy analyst Sampson Mamphweli warns that South Africa is heading towards a total blackout. Earlier, Eskom warned of the possibility of Stage 6 power cuts. In a briefing earlier, the power utility explained it had suffered significant losses overnight. It adds the current strike by employees also poses a serious challenge. “The strike itself came at the wrong time because it came at a time when the system is heavily constrained with more than 40 megawatts that’s not available due to a number of factors like breakdowns,” Mamphweli said. “So, it is quite difficult. The coal fleet isn’t performing. They gave details in terms of the backlog and the maintenance. “We are moving towards a blackout. Stage 6 is one stage away from total blackout. “Once we get to that level it’s going to be very difficult for us to reawaken the entire system we are sitting in a difficult situation as things stand.”

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Oct 102021
 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder Two monkeys 1562

 

“This Drug Will Be Incorporated In The DNA” (ZH)
One-year Sustained Cellular, Humoral Immunities Of Covid-19 Convalescents (CID)
Longitudinal Analysis: Durable, Broad Immune Memory After Covid Infection (Cell)
Iceland Stops Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For All Ages (RT)
Twitter Censors Thread From Entrepreneur Who Regrets Taking the Vaccine (GP)
Aspirin Lowers Risk Of Covid (JPost)
UCLA Doctor ‘Willing To Lose Everything’ Escorted From Work (SB)
Southwest Pilots Union Sues To Block Airline’s Vaccination Mandate
UK Study Shows Vaccine Passports Will Lead to Rebellion (CCTH)
The WEF and the Pandemic (Swprs)
Steven Donziger Was Imprisoned by the 1 Percent’s Favorite Judge (Jac.)
Facebook Whistleblower Testimony Should Prompt New Oversight – Adam Schiff (G.)
‘Global Stilling’ Is Blamed As Wind Speeds Drop Across Europe (DM)
Lebanon’s Electricity Crisis Plunges Beirut, Country Into Darkness (MEE)

 

 

No correlation between vaxx and mortality.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Promo material for the “documentary”

 

 

Masks

 

 

It doesn’t get much scarier than this. Changed for life. Are you then Merck property?

“This Drug Will Be Incorporated In The DNA” (ZH)

According to Barron’s, some scientists who have studied the drug believe that its method of suppressing the virus could potentially run amok within the body. Some scientists who have studied the drug warn, however, that the method it uses to kill the virus that causes Covid-19 carries potential dangers that could limit the drug’s usefulness. Molnupiravir works by incorporating itself into the genetic material of the virus, and then causing a huge number of mutations as the virus replicates, effectively killing it. In some lab tests, the drug has also shown the ability to integrate into the genetic material of mammalian cells, causing mutations as those cells replicate. If that were to happen in the cells of a patient being treated with molnupiravir, it could theoretically lead to cancer or birth defects.

In particular, Raymond Schinazi, a professor of pediatrics and the director of biochemical pharmacology at Emory who studied the drug while it was being developed, and published a number of papers on NHC, the compound that’s the active ingredient in the drug. He published a paper that showed the drug can produce a reaction like the one described above, and insisted it shouldn’t be given to young people – especially pregnant women – without more data. Schinazi told Barron’s that he did not believe that molnupiravir should be given to pregnant women, or to young people of reproductive age, until more data is available. Merck’s trials of molnupiravir have excluded pregnant women; the scientists running the trial asked male participants to “abstain from heterosexual intercourse” while taking the drug, according to the federal government website that tracks clinical trials.

Barron’s even shared a paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in May by Schinazi and scientists at the University of North Carolina which reported that NHC can cause mutations in animal cell cultures in a lab test designed to detect such mutations – something Merck claims it has tested for. The paper’s authors concluded that the risks for molnupiravir “may not be zero”. Merck told Barron’s that it has run “extensive tests” on animals which it says show that this shouldn’t be an issue. “The totality of the data from these studies indicates that molnupiravir is not mutagenic or genotoxic in in-vivo mammalian systems,” a Merck spokesman said. Still, scientists and doctors who have studied NHC say that Merck needs to “be careful,” and it’s not just Schinazi warning about the drug’s potential risks. Dr. Shuntai Zhou, a scientist at the Swanstrom Lab at UNC, said “there is a concern that this will cause long-term mutation effects, even cancer.” Zhou says that he is certain that the drug will integrate itself into the DNA of mammalian hosts. “Biochemistry won’t lie,” he says. “This drug will be incorporated in the DNA.”

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No pills or jabs needed.

One-year Sustained Cellular, Humoral Immunities Of Covid-19 Convalescents (CID)

The longitudinal antigen-specific immunity in COVID-19 convalescents is crucial for long-term protection upon individual re-exposure to SARS-CoV-2, and even more pivotal for ultimately achieving population-level immunity. To better understand the features of immune memory in individuals with different disease severities at one year post-disease onset we conducted this cohort study.

Methods We conducted a systematic antigen-specific immune evaluation in 101 COVID-19 convalescents, who had asymptomatic, mild, moderate, or severe disease, through two visits at months 6 and 12 post-disease onset. The SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, comprising NAb, IgG, and IgM, were assessed by mutually corroborated assays, i.e. neutralization, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and microparticle chemiluminescence immunoassay (MCLIA). Meanwhile, the T-cell memory against SARS-CoV-2 spike, membrane and nucleocapsid proteins was tested through enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISpot), intracellular cytokine staining (ICS), and tetramer staining-based flow cytometry, respectively.

Results SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies, and also NAb can persist among over 95% COVID-19 convalescents from 6 months to 12 months after disease onset. At least 19/71 (26%) of COVID-19 convalescents (double positive in ELISA and MCLIA) had detectable circulating IgM antibody against SARS-CoV-2 at 12m post-disease onset. Notably, the percentages of convalescents with positive SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses (at least one of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen S1, S2, M and N protein) were 71/76 (93%) and 67/73 (92%) at 6m and 12m, respectively. Furthermore, both antibody and T-cell memory levels of the convalescents were positively associated with their disease severity.

Conclusions SARS-CoV-2-specific cellular and humoral immunities are durable at least until one year after disease onset.

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This is from July. But just weeks ago Fauci said he didn’t know about natural immunity.

Longitudinal Analysis: Durable, Broad Immune Memory After Covid Infection (Cell)

Ending the COVID-19 pandemic will require long-lived immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Here, we evaluate 254 COVID-19 patients longitudinally up to 8 months and find durable broad-based immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 spike binding and neutralizing antibodies exhibit a bi-phasic decay with an extended half-life of >200 days suggesting the generation of longer-lived plasma cells. SARS-CoV-2 infection also boosts antibody titers to SARS-CoV-1 and common betacoronaviruses. In addition, spike-specific IgG+ memory B cells persist, which bodes well for a rapid antibody response upon virus re-exposure or vaccination.


Virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are polyfunctional and maintained with an estimated half-life of 200 days. Interestingly, CD4+ T cell responses equally target several SARS-CoV-2 proteins, whereas the CD8+ T cell responses preferentially target the nucleoprotein, highlighting the potential importance of including the nucleoprotein in future vaccines. Taken together, these results suggest that broad and effective immunity may persist long-term in recovered COVID-19 patients.

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Little reason to think Pfizer doesn’t do the same thing. Dose is a bit smaller.

Iceland Stops Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For All Ages (RT)

Iceland will no longer administer Moderna’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, with the country’s chief epidemiologist citing the risk of rare heart inflammations seen in other Nordic countries. The announcement was made by Icelandic health authorities on Friday. Officials stated that Iceland has been administering Moderna’s Spikevax shot over the last two months as a booster for those already inoculated with either two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one shot of Johnson & Johnson’s jab. Some 75% of Icelanders are fully vaccinated, and health officials maintain that there is a sufficient supply of Pfizer’s vaccine to continue the rollout without the Moderna shots. Pfizer’s is already recommended for under-18s in Iceland.

The decision to halt Moderna vaccinations was made after adverse effects to the shot were noted in several other Nordic nations, which have since restricted their own rollouts of the jab. “A Nordic study involving Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark found that men under the age of 30 who received Moderna Spikevax had a slightly higher risk than others of developing myocarditis,” Director of Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare Mika Salminen said on Thursday. Salminen announced that men born in 1991 and after would no longer be given Spikevax. One day earlier, Sweden stopped giving the Moderna shot to all of its population born in 1991 and later, while Denmark suspended its use on under-18s. Norway recommended that men under the age of 30 choose Pfizer’s jab instead.

The European Medicines Agency in July published findings urging the heart conditions myocarditis and pericarditis be added to the list of potential rare side effects of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna after reviewing over 300 incidences across the European Economic Area. According to the EMA, these cases are extremely rare.

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“..I am now fighting a T-Cell Lymphoma as a result of the degraded MRNA Protein Spike via dendritic reaction, called by Pfizer a waning immunity!”

Twitter Censors Thread From Entrepreneur Who Regrets Taking the Vaccine (GP)

Twitter has censored a thread in which Michael Robison explained that he regretted trading “my solid health, for a temporary freedom to travel and freedom from being criticized.” Robison — an investor, entrepreneur and the founder of SPARTN Monkey Rescue — had posted his personal story about his health declining after taking the COVID vaccine and warned people to “THINK, STUDY & BE AWARE” before getting it themselves. “I am not anti-vaccine… but I will caution…. Proceed with care!!! Police cars revolving light I am now fighting a T-Cell Lymphoma as a result of the degraded MRNA Protein Spike via dendritic reaction, called by Pfizer a waning immunity! It is not truly a safe precaution for #COVID19,” Robison wrote.

Robison continued on to say “the CDC, Pfizer, Moderna and J&J know that the instability of IVT use of MRNA is accompanied by the bodies clearing of the Inert 19 Protein Spike by the immune system. When it leaves the cell structure compromised after insertion & clearing…. It results in autoimmune issues….” “One such issue is the risk and causation of severe results such as Leukemia and T-Cell Lymphoma. Another common long term effect is autoimmune disorders that impact the skin…. And require life long maintenance and treatment…” the thread continued. “All such issues and cases have been consistently reported to VAERS which is co-managed by the CDC & FDA…. But no attention or research has been prioritized or funded for this repository of information!”

“My caution is this…. Be aware. As late as 2018 all of the groups involved were still convinced that MRNA was still far too unstable for use in vaccine distribution. This vaccine is the largest form of a clinical trial in the history of mankind,” Robison wrote. He concluded by saying, “my caution is this…. Be aware. As late as 2018 all of the groups involved were still convinced that MRNA was still far too unstable for use in vaccine distribution. This vaccine is the largest form of a clinical trial in the history of mankind.” Soon, the first post of the thread had amassed over 100 retweets — and was noticed by the censors.

First, Twitter slapped on warning on the tweet claiming that it is “misleading” because health officials say that the vaccines are safe for “most people.” They also took away the ability to like, comment or share it. Next, the platform made it so that if you clicked on the first tweet, the ones below it no longer appeared. Speaking to the Gateway Pundit, Robison said that “this stark, swift and harsh censorship by Twitter is a reminder that the ‘facts’ you read on any social media platform are not unbiased or unfiltered. Rather it is dictated by narratives that fit the political or personal gain of those in charge of multi-billion dollar platforms to which we have surrendered our lives.” “It’s good to be reminded that social media is nothing more than a highlight reel of life, managed by agendas, driven by money!” Robison continued.

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Deve Collum: “Aspirin helps. That’s humorous. Have they tried chicken soup?” “WD-40 and duct tape…”

Aspirin Lowers Risk Of Covid (JPost)

Over-the-counter aspirin could protect the lungs of COVID-19 patients and minimize the need for mechanical ventilation, according to new research at the George Washington University. The team investigated more than 400 COVID patients from hospitals across the United States who take aspirin unrelated to their COVID disease, and found that the treatment reduced the risk of several parameters by almost half: reaching mechanical ventilation by 44%, ICU admissions by 43%, and overall in-hospital mortality by 47%. “As we learned about the connection between blood clots and COVID-19, we knew that aspirin – used to prevent stroke and heart attack – could be important for COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Jonathan Chow of the study team. “Our research found an association between low-dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death.”


Low-dose aspirin is a common treatment for anyone suffering from blood clotting issues or in danger of stroke, including most people who had a heart attack or a myocardial infarction. Although affecting the respiratory system, the coronavirus has been associated with small blood vessel clotting, causing tiny blockages in the pulmonary blood system, leading to ARDS – acute respiratory distress syndrome. Israeli researchers reached similar results in a preliminary trial at the Barzilai Medical Center in March. In addition to its effect on blood clots, they found that aspirin carried immunological benefits and that the group taking it was 29% less likely to become infected with the virus in the first place.

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“But what they don’t realize is that I’m willing to go lose everything — job, paycheck, freedom, even my life for this cause.”

UCLA Doctor ‘Willing To Lose Everything’ Escorted From Work (SB)

An anesthesiologist at UCLA Health in California who has not shied away from airing his suspicions about COVID-19 vaccines was escorted out of his workplace this week for refusing to get vaccinated in defiance of a statewide and employer mandate, according to local reports and a video posted on Twitter. Dr. Christopher Rake is seen in a video appearing to record himself as another man escorts him out of the UCLA Medical Plaza in Westwood on Monday. “This is what happens when you stand up for freedom and when you show up to work, willing to work, despite being unvaccinated, and this is the price you have to pay sometimes,” Rake is heard saying in the video posted Tuesday by The Beverly Hills Courier staff writer Samuel Braslow. “But what they don’t realize is that I’m willing to go lose everything — job, paycheck, freedom, even my life for this cause.” Rake concludes his video with a message for viewers: “Be well. United we stand, divided we fall.”

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Lots of flight cancellations yesterday. Conflicting reports on the reasons behind those.

Southwest Pilots Union Sues To Block Airline’s Vaccination Mandate

In what appears to be one of the first cases of a union pushing back against the new COVID vaccination requirements handed down by the Biden Administration, a union representing pilots at Southwest Airlines is suing to stop the vaccine requirement from being forced until a lawsuit is resolved. Bloomberg reports that the union representing Southwest’s pilots has asked a court to grant a temporary stay against the federal vaccination rules until an ongoing lawsuit over what they allege are violations of US labor laws is resolved. In a court filing on Friday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association also asked for an immediate hearing on the request before a federal court in Dallas, claiming the carrier has continued to take unilateral actions that violate terms of the Railway Labor Act, which governs relations between airlines and employee unions.

The “unilateral action” in question is the company’s attempt (at the Biden Administration’s direction) to force workers to either get the jab, or be fired or sent on unpaid leave, Bloomberg reports. “The new vaccine mandate unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021,” the legal filing said. “Southwest Airlines’ additional new and unilateral modification of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is in clear violation of the RLA.” According to the guidelines set out by President Biden (and “voluntarily” embraced by most of the major airlines), Southwest has a deadline of Oct. 4 under the federal mandate for employees to get jabbed or have an approved medical or religious exemption. SW is affected by the mandate because it has contracts with the federal government (like many large businesses).

The union represents 9,000 pilots at the airline, and a strike could easily disrupt American air travel (remember the air traffic controllers strike in the 1980s?) For whatever reason, the airline isn’t backing down, insisting that the vaccination mandate (which airline CEOs have gone on TV to defend) isn’t an issue subject to labor-management negotiation, and that anybody who refuses the jab without an exemption will be fired. “The airline disagrees with SWAPA’s claims that any Covid-related changes over the past several months require negotiation,” Southwest said in an emailed statement. The carrier is committed to working with its unions “as we continue navigating the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic.”

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“..the available evidence shows us that there is absolutely no logical or legal basis for implementing these vaccine passports.”

UK Study Shows Vaccine Passports Will Lead to Rebellion (CCTH)

Instead of increasing vaccine acceptance, the implementation of vaccine passports could actually increase vaccine hesitancy. These are the findings of a recent study published as a pre-print in the Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine[1]. A summary of this study was written by Ken Macon and published on Reclaim the Net last September 1, 2021. The survey, which included 16,000 respondents, is the first quantitative assessment of the potential impact of vaccine passports on vaccination uptake. It was funded by the Merck Investigator Studies Program. The authors make the following conclusion in regard to vaccine passports: “We call for further evidence on the impact of vaccine certification on confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and in routine immunizations in wider global settings and, in particular, in countries with low overall trust in vaccinations or in authorities that administer or recommend vaccines.”

The survey was conducted in April 2021, as plans for the implementation of vaccine passports were already gaining traction. It was also around this same time when the first iterations of the (faulty) New York vax passports were being rolled out. We will remember that around this time, some publications were starting to talk about the ‘righteousness’ of vaccine passports while various health experts started raising their opposition to this plan. Was mainstream media starting to condition the masses to accept vaccine passports because they knew of this study? The vaccine passport or green pass has common goals: to limit the movements of those who will not submit to the injection and restrict participation in society. But the available evidence shows us that there is absolutely no logical or legal basis for implementing these vaccine passports.

1/ Vaccines cannot prevent infection and stop transmission. Even if everyone took the vaccine, infections will continue [indeed, we are already seeing evidences proving this, see Israel, once the model for beating COVID, now has one of the highest infections in the world; 75% of new COVID cases in Singapore are vaccinated; Countries with the highest vaccination rates also facing surge in COVID cases and deaths; World’s most vaccinated nation activates new lockdowns as cases rise, New COVID surge in 4 out of 5 top vaccinated countries in the world.] This means that COVID vaccines, if it works, cannot be used as a public health policy as it has no impact on public health.

2/However, based on the survey, there is a high probability of individuals from working classes of submitting to vaccine passports. It is not far-fetched to assume because they want to move around freely, especially those whose jobs require travel. CDC said on their website[2], do not travel internationally if you are not fully vaccinated, but why is Israel banned from other countries right now?

3/ Our immune system is robust, broad, and long-lasting. Immunity from vaccines pale in comparison to natural immunity.

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They just lost one of their “young global leaders” in Austria chancellor Kurz.

The WEF and the Pandemic (Swprs)

The Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) is a premier forum for governments, global corporations and international entrepreneurs. Founded in 1971 by engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, the WEF describes its mission as “shaping global, regional and industry agendas” and “improving the state of the world”. According to its website, “moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.” The WEF has been involved in the coronavirus pandemic in several ways. First, the WEF was, together with the Gates Foundation, a sponsor of the prescient “Event 201” coronavirus pandemic simulation exercise, held in New York City on October 18, 2019 – the same day as the opening of the Wuhan Military World Games, seen by some as “ground zero” of the global pandemic. China itself has argued that US military athletes may have brought the virus to Wuhan.

Second, the WEF has been a leading proponent of digital biometric identity systems, arguing that they will make societies and industries more efficient, more productive and more secure. In July 2019, the WEF started a project to “shape the future of travel with biometric-enabled digital traveler identity management”. In addition, the WEF collaborates with the ID2020 alliance, which is funded by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations and runs a program to “provide digital ID with vaccines”. In particular, ID2020 sees the vaccination of children as “an entry point for digital identity.” Third, WEF founder Klaus Schwab is the author of the book COVID-19: The Great Reset, published in July 2020, which argues that the coronavirus pandemic can and should be used for an “economic, societal, geopolitical, environmental and technological reset”, including, in particular, advancing global governance, accelerating digital transformation, and tackling climate change.

Finally, the WEF has been running, since 1993, a program called “Global Leaders for Tomorrow”, rebranded, in 2004, as “Young Global Leaders”. This program aims at identifying, selecting and promoting future global leaders in both business and politics. Indeed, quite a few “Young Global Leaders” have later managed to become Presidents, Prime Ministers, or CEOs (see below). During the coronavirus pandemic, several WEF Global Leaders and Global Shapers (a junior program of the Global Leaders) have played prominent roles, typically promoting zero-covid strategies, lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates. This may have been a (largely failed) attempt to protect public health and the economy, or it may have been an attempt to advance the global transformation agenda outlined above, or perhaps both.

WEF
https://twitter.com/i/status/1426753784315793411

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Both Assange and Donziger have heavily compromised female judges.

Steven Donziger Was Imprisoned by the 1 Percent’s Favorite Judge (Jac.)

The Donziger case isn’t the first time those connections created a conflict of interest for the judge. Back in 1995, three years after she had been approved for the court, Preska presided over a copyright case involving the Twin Cities–based West Publishing Company, despite her and her husbands’ connections to the firm. (Preska’s husband, Thomas Kavaler, is a nearly forty-year veteran of and partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, a top corporate law firm that specializes in the world of finance). It was only when pressed by one of the litigants, forcing her to admit relationships with two West employees, including a lawyer who was key to the case, that she recused herself.

Seventeen years later, Preska presided over the case of “hacktivist” Jeremy Hammond who was under trial for hacking into various law enforcement agencies and private security firms, including Strategic Forecasting Limited, or Stratfor, which counted the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security among its clients. As the hacking group Anonymous pointed out, and noted by almost no news outlets besides the likes of RT, Rolling Stone, or journalists like Chris Hedges, Preska’s husband was one of the Stratfor customers whose data had been hacked, and who would have been eligible for a payout from the multimillion-dollar class-action suit against the company that resulted. Sratfor had also spied on the Occupy Wall Street movement, a movement in direct opposition to Preska’s husband’s client base, and more than twenty of his firm’s clients had been caught up in the hack, including Merrill Lynch.

Despite this clear conflict of interest — and despite telling senators at her confirmation hearing decades before that “through my husband, I might be thought to have an indirect financial interest in the profits of the law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel” — Preska refused to recuse herself from the case. Doing so, she said, “would only encourage supporters of this defendant — or other defendants — to allege unsubstantiated conflicts of interest against any of my brothers and sisters of the Court until no judge remained qualified to hear his case.” With echoes of the Donziger case, Preska denied Hammond bail, leaving him in federal prison for a year, much of it spent in solitary confinement, before sentencing him to the maximum ten years in prison, citing a “need for adequate public deterrence.”

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This woman was obviously staged. By Schiff himself? He’s been silent since Russiagate, but now he’s got a book to sell.

“..harming children and destabilising democracy via the sharing of inaccurate and divisive content..”

“It’s just like cigarettes … teenagers don’t have good self-regulation.”

“..balkanising the public and deepening the divisions in our society”

Facebook Whistleblower Testimony Should Prompt New Oversight – Adam Schiff (G.)

Testimony in Congress this week by the whistleblower Frances Haugen should prompt action to implement meaningful oversight of Facebook and other tech giants, the influential California Democrat Adam Schiff told the Guardian in an interview to be published on Sunday. “I think we need regulation to protect people’s private data,” the chair of the House intelligence committee said. “I think we need to narrow the scope of the safe harbour these companies enjoy if they don’t moderate their contents and continue to amplify anger and hate. I think we need to insist on a vehicle for more transparency so we understand the data better.” Haugen, 37, was the source for recent Wall Street Journal reporting on misinformation spread by Facebook and Instagram, the photo-sharing platform which Facebook owns.

She left Facebook in May this year, but her revelations have left the tech giant facing its toughest questions since the Cambridge Analytica user privacy scandal. At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Haugen shared internal Facebook reports and argued that the social media giant puts “astronomical profits before people”, harming children and destabilising democracy via the sharing of inaccurate and divisive content. Haugen likened the appeal of Instagram to tobacco, telling senators: “It’s just like cigarettes … teenagers don’t have good self-regulation.” Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, said Haugen’s testimony might represent a “big tobacco” moment for the social media companies, a reference to oversight imposed despite testimony in Congress that their product was not harmful from executives whose companies knew that it was.

[..] Schiff was speaking to mark publication of a well-received new memoir, Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could. The Democrat played prominent roles in the Russia investigation and Donald Trump’s first impeachment. He now sits on the select committee investigating the deadly attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, by Trump supporters seeking to overturn his election defeat – an effort in part fueled by misinformation on social media. In his book, Schiff writes about asking representatives of Facebook and two other tech giants, Twitter and YouTube, if their “algorithms were having the effect of balkanising the public and deepening the divisions in our society”. Facebook’s general counsel in the 2017 hearing, Schiff writes, said: “The data on this is actually quite mixed.” “It didn’t seem very mixed to me,” Schiff says.

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Don’t think I’ve heard that term before.

‘Global Stilling’ Is Blamed As Wind Speeds Drop Across Europe (DM)

Industry experts are warning that climate change may have caused wind speeds in Europe to plummet this year in news that threatens to drive energy prices even higher. Long labelled as a saviour of the energy industry, wind farms have cropped up across the continent in recent years and have been billed a low-cost, renewable and dependable source of power. Increased dependence on green forms of energy has also been touted as a solution to Britain’s national gas crisis, amid soaring global prices and energy bills set to reach record-breaking levels. But weather modelling groups and academics appear to have quashed those hopes, as ever-increasing global temperatures are threatening to derail any prospective green energy revolution.

Experts are blaming a growing phenomenon known as ‘global stilling’ – whereby measurable wind speeds across the world’s continental surfaces have decreased by as much as 15 per cent since 1980. Atmosphere expert Professor Paul Williams, of the University of Reading, told the Financial Times that winds have ‘generally weakened over land over the past few decades’. He said one explanation for plummeting wind speeds could be ‘human-related climate change’, that would see poles warming ‘faster than tropics in lower atmosphere’ areas. Prof Williams said: ‘This would have the effect of weakening the mid-latitude north-south temperature difference and consequently reducing the thermal wind at low altitudes.’ Any significant fall in wind speed would be felt by Europe’s growing army of wind farms, as stronger gusts equate to more electricity being generated, up to a certain point.

With winds in the North Sea not blowing as they should, energy companies were left scrambling to source reserve gas to heat homes and businesses this winter. That rush caused energy costs to sky rocket, with British firms already warning they are having to slow production ahead of the winter months. As the crisis escalated, industry analysts suggested the current energy cap of £1,277 would rise by as much as £800, while energy firms slammed the cap as ‘not fit for purpose’. Compounding the issue, weather modelling group Vortex warned northern Europe has already endured speed decreases of up to 15 per cent in 2021. As a result, Britain’s wind-powered output as a total percentage of installed capacity hit just 11 per cent between February and March 2021. That amounted to the country’s longest spell of low wind in over a decade, reports the FT.

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No cooling: “Basic food items have now become a luxury..”

Lebanon’s Electricity Crisis Plunges Beirut, Country Into Darkness (MEE)

Wandering the streets of Beirut after sunset, car headlights are often the only thing breaking through the pitch-black night. The omnipresent sound of car engines during rush hour fades away at night, to be replaced by the buzz of generator engines, as if Beirut were a giant beehive. But instead of honey, the air of the city is thick with the smell of generator exhaust fumes. Like the rest of Lebanon, the country’s capital has been struck by acute fuel shortages, which have meant residents have had little, if any, state-supplied power for the past few months. Lebanon’s state electricity company, Electricite du Liban (EDL), warned in September that the country could plunge into a total blackout in October, amid dwindling fuel reserves, as the company is unable to generate the minimum 600 megawatts needed daily for the network to function properly.

On 3 October, EDL once again raised the alarm as the electrical grid shut down across the country – meaning residents of Lebanon are now entirely dependent on costly private generators for power, if they can even afford it. The electric grid shutdown comes amid an already devastating economic crisis blamed largely on decades of corruption and mismanagement by the ruling class, with the Lebanese currency losing over 90 percent of its value in less than two years. A new government was sworn in on 20 September, after more than a year of political paralysis, a development described by Prime Minister Najib Mikati as lighting “a candle in this hopeless darkness” – an ironic metaphor, given that the swearing-in process was delayed for several hours due to a power cut in parliament.

The dark nights, however, obscure the ways in which the absence of electricity transform daily life once the sun rises – and things are getting worse. Basic food items have now become a luxury, and what were once anecdotal details of life during the civil war have become a reality once again for many – with no end in sight.

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Rome

 

 

Paris
https://twitter.com/i/status/1446835091418796034

 

 

 

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