Aug 012023
 


Claude Monet San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk 1908

 

‘Nothing Is Enough’ For Ukraine – Zelensky (RT)
Mexico Refuses Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia (RT)
Russia Is Making Its Biggest Geopolitical Shift In 300 Years (Trenin)
Syria: A Tale Of Plunder And Resurrection (Pepe Escobar)
Gonzalo Lira Resurfaces, Talks Torture (RT)
Ukraine War Is A Long-term Danger (Maté-Mearsheimer)
Devon Archer Shows ‘Real Quid Pro Quo’ In Ukraine Was Joe Biden – Comer (JTN)
The Biden Presidency Is Unsustainable (Victor David Hanson)
Will Hunter Biden and Devon Archer ‘Get Last Laugh’? s(Sp.)
Blobulation (Kunstler)
“There Must Be a Reckoning” (Trump Op-Ed)

 

 

 

 

Twitter Files

 

 

 

 

 

 

That comes very close to saying you might as well stop helping us.

‘Nothing Is Enough’ For Ukraine – Zelensky (RT)

The assistance that has been provided by the US and its allies to Ukraine is not enough, President Vladimir Zelensky told Brazil’s Globo News broadcaster in an interview last week. As long as Kiev’s conflict with Moscow carries on, no amount of help will be sufficient, he added. “As long as the war continues, nothing can be enough,” Zelensky told Globo, as reported by Russia’s RIA Novosti. According to Zelensky, Ukraine does not only need weapons. It also needs assistance in what he called an “information war” and more humanitarian aid. He called on Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to supply Ukraine with demining equipment to clear the farm lands he said had been “mined” by Russian forces and later re-taken by Ukrainian troops.

He also suggested Lula could help Kiev by organizing a meeting between Zelensky and Latin American leaders in which they could “talk.” Zelensky admitted he would never ask Lula for weapons because he knew the Brazilian president would “not provide it” to Kiev. The US and its allies have sent Ukraine over $100 billion worth of weapons, ammunition, and equipment since hostilities with Russia escalated in February 2022, while insisting they are not actually a party to the conflict. The total amount of Western aid to Kiev added up to €165 billion ($185.6 billion) by early summer 2023, according to data from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). Some of Kiev’s Western backers shouldered additional costs due to the need to accommodate refugees coming from Ukraine, the IfW reported.

Poland, which spent 0.6% of its GDP on bilateral aid to Ukraine, had to spend another 2.2% on Ukrainian refugees, according to the data. The accumulated costs of helping Ukraine exceeded 2% of GDP in Latvia and Estonia as well. Last week, the Pentagon announced another security assistance package for Ukraine worth $400 million, including air defense and anti-tank missiles. Kiev’s constant need for more aid from the West has led to some tension between Ukraine and its Western backers. Ahead of the July NATO summit in Vilnius, Zelensky lashed out at the US-led military bloc on social media, blasting its “indecisiveness” on Kiev’s membership bid and calling it a “weakness.”

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace then told journalists on the sidelines of the summit that allies “want to see gratitude” from Ukraine for the military assistance that has been provided. He also recalled how he told the Ukrainian officials during his visit to Kiev last year that Western nations “are not Amazon.”

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“Discussions are expected to be based on the ten-point “peace formula” proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which in practice amounts to Russia’s unconditional surrender.”

Mexico Refuses Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia (RT)

Discussing peace in Ukraine makes sense only with the participation of both Kiev and Moscow, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday. Because that is not the case with the upcoming talks in Saudi Arabia, he added, his country does not intend to participate. “If both Ukraine and Russia agree to seek options to achieve peace in this conflict, we will participate, if the parties in conflict agree and convene for that purpose,” the president, known as AMLO, said at his regular press conference. “We do not want the war between Russia and Ukraine to continue,” AMLO added. “It is very irrational, people suffer a lot, people are dying, and the only benefits go to the war industry, the makers of weapons.”

High-ranking officials from some 30 countries will meet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on August 5-6, to discuss peace in Ukraine, according to the Wall Street Journal. Russia was not invited, however.The Journal described the Jeddah event as a follow-up to a similar meeting held in June in Copenhagen, where Kiev and its Western backers attempted to persuade countries that had so far chosen to remain neutral to support Ukraine. Discussions are expected to be based on the ten-point “peace formula” proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which in practice amounts to Russia’s unconditional surrender.

Russia has laughed off Zelensky’s “formula” as unrealistic and delusional. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Moscow intends to negotiate with the US, which he described as pulling Zelensky’s strings. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that any attempts to contribute to a peaceful settlement “are worthy of a positive assessment,” and that it “remains to be seen” what happens in Saudi Arabia, however. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Monday that talks in Saudi Arabia “will not be useless” if they “help the West understand that Zelensky’s plan has no prospects.”

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Africa. On top of BRICS.

Russia Is Making Its Biggest Geopolitical Shift In 300 Years (Trenin)

Last week’s Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg was a landmark event in Moscow’s foreign policy concept and practice. Not so much because it brought scores of African leaders and senior officials to the country. The first summit, four years ago in Sochi, featured even more African heads of state. Also, it is not solely because its agenda expanded beyond economics and included a humanitarian dimension: this is important, but this isn’t all. Essentially, the meeting, with the bureaucratic preparation and the wide public coverage it has received within Russia, testifies to a sea change in Moscow’s worldview and international positioning toward the world’s rising non-Western majority, as laid down in the recently adopted Foreign Policy Concept. St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in the early 18th century as a ‘window to Europe,’ and last week, it served the same purpose for Africa.

Eurocentrism, of course, is still deeply embedded in the Russian elite’s thinking and aspirations. Nevertheless, the failure of Russia’s long travails of Western integration in the wake of the demise of the Soviet Union has now exploded into the proxy war against the United States and NATO in Ukraine. This has produced a historic shift in Moscow’s policies, comparable to the time of Peter the Great in its significance, though in a wholly different direction. For the foreseeable future, the universe of Russia’s foreign policy will remain divided in two large parts: the house of foes including Europe, North America, and the rest of the Anglosphere, and the house of friends elsewhere. The dividing line between the two is a country’s position in relation to the sanctions regime against Russia.

Africa, in this regard, is largely on the right side of that divide. 49 nations out of the continent’s 54 were represented in St. Petersburg. True, only 17 of them participated at the top level. No longer a curious and skeptical observer, as during the Sochi summit four years ago, the West this time made a determined effort, advising, cajoling or threatening African leaders against going to Russia and dealing directly with President Putin. As a matter of fact, Western pressure scored some points (the number of top leaders in St. Petersburg was about half of what it was in Sochi), but failed to undercut the event. What was lost in the status of representation was compensated in intensity of interaction. The amount of time Vladimir Putin personally invested in the event – that actually lasted three days rather than two – was impressive and noteable.

The need to counter Western accusations of Russia’s responsibility for the spike in food prices following Moscow’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal (while conveniently ignoring the fact that promises to Moscow to end the Western blockage of Russia’s agricultural exports were never kept) made the Kremlin go beyond the usual verbal rebuttal. At the summit, Putin not only promised to deliver grain free of charge to five of Africa’s poorest nations, but announced plans to expand commercial shipping and to build logistics by sea and air linking Russia to Africa, create a hub in Africa for Russian trade, and expand Russia’s share of African food imports. As for dealing with Western propaganda, Moscow envisages a major expansion of the Russian media presence on the continent. The idea is that Russians and Africans need to have the means of learning about each other directly, rather than through non-neutral intermediaries in London, Paris, or New York.

Traoré
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685741711786479617

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“..more than 80 percent of Syria’s daily oil production was stolen and smuggled by the Americans and its proxy “democratic” forces – only in the first half of 2022.”

Syria: A Tale Of Plunder And Resurrection (Pepe Escobar)

[..] Russia remains excessively diplomatic on the issue. Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, recently told al-Arabiya, “Washington uses the pretext of combating terrorism to be present east of the Euphrates in economically important areas, where crude oil and strategic natural reserves are abundant.” He highlighted US troops deployed at al-Tanf in southern Syria and American “support” for the SDF in northern Syria. Yet that’s not exactly a ground-breaking reveal that would light a fire under the Americans. According to Damascus, Syria’s energy sector as a whole was robbed by an astonishing $107 billion between 2011 and 2022 by a toxic mix of US occupation, “coalition” bombing, and theft or looting by terrorist and separatist gangs.

There are no less than a dozen US military bases in Syria – some bigger than the proverbial lily pads (less than 10 acres, valued at less than $10 million), all of them de facto illegal and certainly not recognized by Damascus. The fact that 90 percent of Syria’s oil and gas is concentrated east of the Euphrates in areas controlled by the US and its Kurdish proxies makes Empire’s job much easier. The de facto occupation hits not only energy-rich areas but also some of Syria’s most fertile agricultural lands. The net result has been to turn Syria into a net importer of energy and food. Iranian tankers routinely face Israeli sabotage as they ship much-needed oil to Syria’s eastern Mediterranean coast.

Complaining does not register a whit with the Hegemon. Earlier this year, the Chinese foreign ministry urged the Empire of Plunder to give Syrians and the “international community” a full account of the oil theft. This was in connection to a convoy of 53 tankers transporting stolen Syrian oil to US military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan in early 2023. At the time, Damascus had already revealed that more than 80 percent of Syria’s daily oil production was stolen and smuggled by the Americans and its proxy “democratic” forces – only in the first half of 2022.

Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh, has repeatedly denounced how the Empire of Plunder’s “theft of resources, oil, gas, and wheat” has plunged millions of Syrians into a state of insecurity, reducing a large part of its population to the status of displaced persons, refugees and victims of food insecurity.The prospects for Syrian reconstruction are slim without expelling the western marauders. That will have to happen via detailed, concerted cooperation between Russian forces, the Syrian Arab Army, and the IRGC’s Quds Force units. By itself, Damascus can’t pull it off. The Iranians constantly attack the Americans, via their militias, but results are marginal. To force the Empire out, there’s no other way apart from making the human cost of stealing Syrian oil unbearable. That’s the only message the US understands.

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Good luck in Hungary my man.

Gonzalo Lira Resurfaces, Talks Torture (RT)

Chilean-American blogger Gonzalo Lira, arrested by the Ukrainian intelligence in May on charges of pro-Russian sympathies, reappeared online on Monday and told a sordid tale of beatings and extortion while awaiting a show trial. “I was tortured in two of the four cells I was in—by the other prisoners,” Lira posted in a 25-tweet thread on Monday evening, noting that all the torture in the pre-trial detention center (SIZO) was outsourced to the inmates. “I got a cracked rib in my first cell, but it wasn’t too bad. The worst stretch was in my fourth cell. From 1pm on June 21 until 7pm the next day—30 hours” two inmates tortured him and at one point “used a toothpick to scratch the whites of my left eye, while asking me if I could still read if I had just one,” Lira wrote.

One of the torturers was allegedly reprimanded for bruising the 55-year-old blogger’s chest, because the instructions were to leave no marks. Lira posted photographs of the documents laying out the charges against him, suggesting that he was being imprisoned over social media posts and YouTube videos. He said the one video in particular that got the authorities’ attention was “Ukraine: A Primer,” his explanation of the background of the current conflict with Russia, which blamed Kiev for provoking it. According to Lira, he was beaten and tortured because the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) figured it could extort him for all his savings – amounting to some $100,000 when factoring in the confiscated computers and phones.

Told he would be found guilty and sentenced to 5-8 years in a labor camp at his upcoming trial, Lira decided to flee Ukraine and seek asylum in Hungary. “I’m posting this thread just as I’m getting to the border checkpoint,”he tweeted. “If you don’t hear from me in the next 12 hours—whelp! I’m on my way to a labor camp! Wish me luck.” He credited the Chilean embassy for any care he received in jail, noting that the US embassy “called me three times, but gave me nothing but ‘support’—empty bromides.” He also suggested that the US would extradite him back to Ukraine, because Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland “hates my guts, or so I’m told.”

The SBU detained Lira on May 1, accusing him of “producing and distributing materials justifying the armed aggression” of Russia. A judge ordered him to stay in jail pending trial. The first time the SBU detained Lira, in April 2022, he was released without charges after a week, presumably due to public pressure.

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“I think that we believed that if a war broke out, we had trained up the Ukrainians and armed the Ukrainians up enough that they would hold their own on the battlefield..”

Ukraine War Is A Long-term Danger (Maté-Mearsheimer)

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: [..] The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, made it very clear that Ukraine would not be admitted into NATO until it had prevailed in the conflict. In other words, Ukraine has to win the war before it can be brought into the alliance. Well, Ukraine is not going to win the war, and therefore, Ukraine is not going to be brought into the alliance. This war is going to go on for a long time. Even if you get a cold peace, it will linger right below the surface and there will be an ever-present danger that a hot war will break out. And in those circumstances, I find it hard to imagine the United States or any West European country agreeing to bring Ukraine into NATO.

And the simple reason is that if you bring Ukraine into NATO in the midst of a conflict, you are in effect committing NATO to defending with military force Ukraine on the battlefield. And that’s a situation we don’t want. We do not want NATO boots on the ground, or to be more specific, we don’t want American boots on the ground. So, it makes perfect sense for Stoltenberg to say that Ukraine has to win. In fact, Ukraine has to win a decisive victory over the Russians within the borders of Ukraine. That is not going to happen, in my opinion, and therefore, as you were saying, Ukraine is not going to become part of NATO.

AARON MATÉ: So, given that, I mean, do you think it’s fair to speculate that the US policy in Ukraine was even more cynical than it appeared? Because basically this war was largely fought because the US refused to agree to neutrality for Ukraine, saying that, ‘Well, we have an open door for NATO; we don’t take people’s membership off of the table.’ But yet, when given the opportunity, the US won’t commit to granting Ukraine a road map to joining NATO, which leads me to conclude that, possibly, what if the aim was never to actually admit Ukraine into NATO but just use the future pledge of NATO membership to de facto turn Ukraine into a NATO proxy, without the obligation, the part of the US and its allies, to actually defend it?

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: It’s possible that’s true. It’s hard to say without a lot more evidence. I have a slightly different view. I don’t think it was so much cynicism. I think it was stupidity. I think you can’t underestimate just how foolish the West is when it comes to the whole question of Ukraine—and all sorts of other issues as well. But I think that the West believed—and here we’re talking mainly about the United States—that if a war did break out between Ukraine and Russia, that the West plus Ukraine would prevail, that the Russians would be defeated. I believe we thought that was the case.

If you look at the run-up to the war in early 2022, what’s really striking to me is that it was quite clear that war was at least a serious possibility, yet the United States and the West more generally did virtually nothing to prevent the war. If anything, we egged the Russians on. And I find this hard to imagine. What was going on here? And I think that we believed that if a war broke out, we had trained up the Ukrainians and armed the Ukrainians up enough that they would hold their own on the battlefield. Number one. And number two, I think, we felt the magic weapon was sanctions, that we’d finished the Russians off with sanctions, and the Ukrainians would end up defeating the Russians, and they would then be in a position where we could admit them into NATO. That is what I think is going on. I don’t think it’s really a case of cynicism as you portray it. It may be. Again, this is an empirical question. We just need a heck of a lot more evidence to see whether your interpretation is correct or mine is. But my sense is, this is worse than a crime. This is a blunder, to put it in [French diplomat] Talleyrand’s famous rhetoric.

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Comer should have much more.

Devon Archer Shows ‘Real Quid Pro Quo’ In Ukraine Was Joe Biden – Comer (JTN)

Devon Archer’s explosive testimony to Congress could further unravel a narrative about Ukraine corruption that was first cemented during the impeachment case against former President Trump in 2019, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer tells Just the News. Archer, Hunter Biden’s former business partner, reportedly revealed in the closed-door testimony Monday that Hunter Biden was being pressured back in December 2015 to do something about Viktor Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma. In the same month, Hunter’s father, Joe Biden, had helped get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired while Biden was serving as vice president. Archer also said Burisma would not have survived had it not been for the influence of the Biden family.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Comer said Monday, after Archer testified, on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV program. “We’ve brought forward, a few weeks ago, an FBI document that alleges that Joe Biden was involved in a bribery scheme for this very scenario,” he also said. “Now we know, despite Joe Biden saying he never had any knowledge of any of this, that he regularly spoke on the phone with the owners of these companies.” Comer also said: “When in American history has a vice president ever taken an active role, and demanded that a prosecutor be fired in a foreign country for simply investigating a business that was domiciled in that foreign country? Never. The evidence continues to mount that the real quid pro quo pertaining to Ukraine in Burisma was Joe Biden.”

Comer argued that Biden helped get the prosecutor fired because “he was closing in on his son.” “I think that was basically what we learned today and, you know, more and more people are going to come forward now,” he said. Biden said on the campaign trail during the 2020 election that he never discussed foreign business dealings with son Hunter. Archer testified that President Biden, the vice president in the Obama administration, was on the phone about 20 times with individuals that Hunter was doing business with at the time, according to a lawmaker in the room. Democrats in Congress in 2019 argued that Trump had no basis to ask Ukraine’s president to investigate Hunter Biden over his ties to Burisma and the firing of the prosecutor.

“President Trump, he was impeached over what the Bidens actually were doing,” said Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington, while also appearing on “Just the News, No Noise.” “Just think of that: a perfect phone call and here we have 20 phone calls, at least, of Joe Biden being involved with, obviously, his son’s business dealings because Hunter, by his own admission, had no business being on the board of Burisma.”Harrington predicted that Trump would eventually be “completely vindicated.”

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Only reason Joe’s still in office is Kamala.

The Biden Presidency Is Unsustainable (Victor David Hanson)

Imagine if Gavin Newsom was currently Vice President amid the final meltdown of the Biden family consortium. Does anyone doubt that Biden would then either be forced to resign by Democratic politicos (for reasons in addition to his escalating dementia), or would be impeached and perhaps abdicate Nixon-style? The presence of the now predictable mediocrity of Kamala Harris and the impossibility, given her race and gender, of removing her, for now is about all that keeps a cognitively declining Biden still in office. The Left fears what she could do as president to the Democratic Party; conservatives are terrified of what she could do to the country.

Joe Biden’s bewilderment exempts his embarrassments from accountability in the way that Hunter Biden’s addictions excuse his past serial criminality. But the passes granted to both father and son would be now unsustainable with a viable Vice President in waiting. Indeed, the Harris problem explains some of current Democratic strategy. Backroom leaks and growing insider rumors of Biden dementia confirm the portrait of an often befuddled president whom the public by now knows all too well. The aimless House Democrats’ “how-dare-you-even-consider-an-impeachment inquiry” furor, coupled with their half-hearted efforts, along with the media, to refute the actual charges of corruption of the Biden family, suggest that he will not run for reelection—but also not be impeached much less convicted or removed under the 25th Amendment.

So the Harris dilemma explains a lot: finding a way to keep her out of current power until Biden somehow finishes his first term, and thus letting the Democratic 2024 primary candidates organically abort her presidential aspirations. There are a few problems, however, with this strategy. One, can Joe Biden finish his first term? That would require his staff to shorten his already truncated workday for the next 18 months to about 2-3 hours of work per day. He would have to be kept away from photo-ops with young (especially female) children, lest he turkey-gobbles the cheek of another victim to a worldwide audience. He can no longer read off a teleprompter without slurring his words, losing his place, or going off extemporaneously on to topics such as “Vladimir” Zelenskyy, the “Iraq” war in Ukraine, or relief over the curing of cancer.

He cannot hold half-hour press conferences given his incoherence and his angry prevarications. He still insists incredulously that he never discussed the Biden family business with Hunter, although we may soon see transcripts, recordings, and affidavits that he was in fact intimately involved in and profited from it. Hunter is toxic and capable of leaving behind incriminating evidence or engaging in surreal behavior anywhere and anytime. Why would a former crack cocaine addict be brought into the White House, after which a bag of cocaine was for the first time in presidential history found abandoned in the West Wing? (Partial answer: why and how would an addict leave an incriminating crackpipe in a rental car, simply abandon a laptop at a repair shop with evidence of his own felonious behavior on it, or allow his illegally registered handgun to turn up in a dumpster near a school)?

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“He has an opportunity to be a hero, like the two whistleblowers were, like the judge in Delaware was, who rejected the sweetheart plea deal from the Department of Justice to Hunter Biden..”

Will Hunter Biden and Devon Archer ‘Get Last Laugh’? (Sp.)

Devon Archer, a long time business partner of Hunter Biden, is expected to testify before Congress on July 31 about President Joe Biden’s apparent knowledge of his son’s dealings. On the eve of the hearing, the US mainstream press released a text exchange between Devon and Hunter dated November 15, 2018 concerning Archer’s conviction for his role in a conspiracy to defraud a Native American tribe. Having been convicted in June 2018 by a jury, Archer saw his conviction quickly thrown out by a federal judge in November 2018. “The judge threw out my conviction today,” Devon wrote to Hunter on November 15. “Thank f***ing god! First good news in way too long my friend. I am so happy for you. I know its (sic) been a living hell but put it behind you now and take great steps forward,” responded Hunter, referring to the DoJ as “motherf***ers”. “I swear to god we’ll have the last laugh,” Hunter added.

However, in 2020 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reinstated Devon’s conviction. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in February 2022. Per the US press, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York on July 29 requested that the judge schedule a date for Archer to report to prison. On July 31, Devon is due to appear before the House Oversight Committee. Archer has a long record of cooperating with the Bidens. He and the younger Biden co-founded investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners in 2009 and later established BHR Partners in 2013, a joint-venture between Rosemont Seneca Partners and Chinese investment firm Bohai Capital. Both had also worked on the board of directors of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma. The timing of their business success coincided with Joe Biden’s vice presidency.

Between 2009 and 2014, Archer visited Hunter’s father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, at least twice. Devon played golf with Biden and Hunter at least once in August 2014 in the Hamptons, just months after he and Hunter joined Burisma. All in all, Joe Biden is believed to have met at least 14 of Hunter’s business associates during his vice presidential tenure. It is expected that Devon would shed some light on Joe Biden’s apparent knowledge and even involvement in his son’s business dealings. The elder Biden has repeatedly denied being aware of his son’s financial and business activities. “I don’t want to put words in Devon Archer’s mouth, but I’ll say this: He has an opportunity to come tomorrow to the House Oversight Committee and tell the truth,” House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer told a US broadcaster on July 30.

“He has an opportunity to be a hero, like the two whistleblowers were, like the judge in Delaware was, who rejected the sweetheart plea deal from the Department of Justice to Hunter Biden. Devon Archer could be in that category of Americans that just come and tell the truth. That’s all we want.” As per sources of independent US media, Just the News, Devon would be neither a GOP “hero” nor “Biden protector,” but just a “fact witness” who would answer questions as precisely as he could. “And that makes the line of questioning and follow-ups key to the value of the interrogation,” award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon highlighted in his op-ed concerning the matter. Per the journalist, House Republicans may get “a bonus in the weeks ahead if they can acquire, via subpoena, a cache of documents the FBI gathered from Archer during his 2016 arrest that are currently sitting in a digital storage firm.”

The House GOP’s probe into the Bidens originated during the Trump presidency. In October 2020, the Republicans obtained the so-called “laptop from hell,” a hard disk with a copy of all materials and documents found on Hunter’s laptop abandoned in a Delaware repair shop and then handed over to the FBI. The damning documents raised questions about Joe Biden’s apparent awareness of his son’s business dealings. Some message exchanges even suggested that the then-vice president got hefty bonuses in various pay-to-play schemes. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has recently assumed that the congressional Republicans may kick off an impeachment inquiry into the elder Biden based on the emerging evidence.

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“Really? Him? This ghastly load of damaged goods?”

Blobulation (Kunstler)

So, Saturday night when the lights were supposedly off at the DOJ, and much of America was tuned out — getting new tattoos, arguing with the re-po man, watching the Orioles — the Blob told a lawyer from the Southern District of New York, one Damian Williams, to send a letter to Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams asking her to set a date for one Devon Archer to report to prison on a bond fraud conviction that Mr. Archer is appealing on the grounds of DOJ sentencing misconduct. Like, can you hurry that up, please? Devon Archer, you recall, was the college room-mate and later close business associate of R. Hunter Biden, First Son, who is in a bit of trouble for laundering money from foreign companies and governments through a score of shell companies that then made large payouts to Biden family members, including the so-called Big Guy currently living in the White House.

Mr. Archer, who has been in hiding (wonder why?) is scheduled to be deposed by the House Oversight Committee today. It is believed that he knows a thing or two about the Biden family business doings, enough, say, to corroborate the shit-ton of documentary evidence already in the Committee’s possession that lays out a pretty stark template of bribery with adumbrations of treason. Sounds serious, a little bit, especially since it’s become ever more obvious that the whole federal law enforcement apparatus has been aware of the Biden family’s activities since well before “Joe Biden” was selected to be elected president.

Of course, Mr. Archer’s testimony would only be the cherry on a well-baked cake. Chairman James Comer (R-KY) of the Oversight Committee says his investigators have rooted out new banking shenanigans on top of the over one hundred suspicious activity reports already in their files, despite obstruction and obfuscation from the Blob’s IRS and FBI arms. He seems determined to press forward and I daresay the Blob will find it very difficult to stop him. Speaker Kevin McCarthy declared last week that all this roguery was “rising to the level of an impeachment inquiry.” D’ya think? What I wonder is: would such an inquiry begin to unravel the secret of who has been running “Joe Biden” lo these many months of face-plants, preposterous utterances, morning “lids,” and other indications that the commander-in-chief of the USA is not much more than a media apparition? One might also ask: was this really the best that Blob could come up with? Really? Him? This ghastly load of damaged goods?

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The Real Victim of the Russiagate Hoax Wasn’t Me. It Was the American People

“There Must Be a Reckoning” (Trump Op-Ed)

“The report by Special Counsel John Durham makes clear beyond a shred of doubt that the Russia Hoax was the most atrocious weaponization of our government in American history. It was a crime like no other. Seven years ago, I ran for office taking on all the most corrupt forces and entrenched interests in our nation’s capital. My agenda was an existential threat to a Washington establishment that got rich and powerful bleeding America dry. I vowed to stop mass illegal immigration, terminate globalist trade deals, end the sellout of our country to Communist China, stand up to the permanent bureaucracy and the corporate media, and break the neocon addiction to endless foreign wars.

In response, an unelected cabal in the senior ranks of our government, in concert with their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, and their allies in the media, launched the de-facto coup attempt known as the Russia Hoax. Their goal was to prevent my election, and failing that, to throw me out of office or sabotage my presidency, undercut my agenda in Congress, block my domestic reforms, and interfere with my foreign policy. For nearly three years, they carried out a massive disinformation campaign and lawless persecution based on the monstrous lie that I was a traitor to my country. These Deep State plotters spied on my campaign. They forged false evidence to get illegal surveillance warrants and smear innocent people through leaks to the media.

They offered $1 million for a fictitious dossier written by a foreign spy to try to frame me with treason. They shattered countless lives. The Durham Report proves that the key figures involved knew from the start that the Russia Collusion conspiracy theory was a lie. The FBI launched their witch hunt without a scrap of legitimate evidence—and when they came upon exonerating information time after time, they covered it up and kept the hoax going forward. The sickness was driven from the very top. FBI Director James Comey constantly pressured agents for more surveillance and warrants, demanding to know over and over “Where is the FISA, where is the FISA?”

Barack Obama and Joe Biden were in on it, too. They were briefed in August 2016 on reports that Clinton planned to “vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian Security Services.” They knew the truth, yet they put our country through hell. As savage and cruel as the Russia Hoax was for me, my family, my staff, and so many innocent bystanders, the real victims were the American People. [..] There must be a reckoning. Accountability now lies in the hands of the voters. The Durham Report has made the stakes abundantly clear, and now the choice is ours: either the Deep State destroys America, or we destroy the Deep State.”

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Reef

 

 

Beach cows
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685855457955532800

 

 

Gecko

 

 

Gallenkus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685775177559179265

 

 

Chongqing

 

 

 

 

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Nov 012020
 


Getty Images Sean Connery RIP

 

Going Full Orwell (Jim Kunstler)
National Security Nightmare Of Hunter Biden’s Abandoned Laptop (DM)
Donald Trump Leads Joe Biden By 7 Points Among Iowa Voters (MSN)
Arizona Polls: Trump vs. Biden (RCP)
Democrats Uneasy About Higher Republican Turnout In Miami-Dade (CNN)
A Biden Presidency Means The Return Of The Blob (Escobar)
Fauci Praises Biden’s Covid Precautions, Says He Avoids West Wing Due (F.)
Study: 20% Of Grocery Store Workers Had COVID19, Most Asymptomatic (CNN)
A Second National Lockdown Would Be Catastrophic (Sun)
Anti-Lockdown Protests Grip Spain (RT)
Europe Increasingly Toughens COVID19 Restrictions Amid Fierce Protests (RT)
Netherlands Puts KLM Bailout On Hold After Pilots Reject Wage Freeze (R.)
Why China’s Official Data Don’t Add Up (ATF)
The Great Reset for Dummies (Tessa)

 

 

BADAKATHCARE! Biden’s a one-man meme machine

 

 

“Mr. Trump has overcome every adversity thrown in his path for four years, and I believe he will get through this final tribulation, beep-beep. And then the games can begin in earnest.”

Going Full Orwell (Jim Kunstler)

The now infamous “Laptop from Hell” left behind brainlessly by Hunter in a Delaware repair shop apparently contains a parallel trove of photos and videos self-chronicling the scion’s sordid private life — sex, drugs, etc. — suggesting that he has set himself up as the perfect target for blackmailing operations. And goodness knows what Chinese intel on its own initiative recorded him doing in the hotels there (with amenities supplied) on his many visits to their land. Said laptop was also, it turns out, in the possession of the FBI as far back as the impeachment preliminaries in Adam Schiff’s House Intel Committee, fall of 2019. Since it was full of material counter-evidence about the issue at hand — the president’s phone call to Ukraine’s President Zelensky vis-a-vis the Biden family’s shady doings in that country — the question arises of how deep was the FBI’s complicity in the impeachment ruse?

Could FBI Director Christopher Wray not have known of the laptop’s existence when it came into the agency? I doubt it. Could Mr. Wray have concealed the information from Attorney General Barr? Yes, quite possibly. In the meantime, Mr. Barr has not said a word about the entire Biden pay-for-play / laptop extravaganza. I imagine he’s chewing the office furniture at Main Justice in a fury over it with the election pending, and his duty to avoid influencing the outcome. Mr. Trump has felt a little freer to share the wicked business with the public in his campaign appearances, setting the table for a banquet of consequences when the election is over.

If it can be gotten over, since the Democrats have made no secret of their elaborate plan to confound the results with post November 3 ballot harvesting and Lawfare shenanigans in the swing states — to be accompanied by riots staged by their Antifa and BLM shock troops. I think the idea is to provoke Mr. Trump to call out US troops to quell the riots, thereby opening him up to accusations of being a tyrant. I suspect the Dems will overplay their hand on that trick, since a sizable portion of the public that has not collectively lost its mind is good and goddam sick of riots, arson, destruction of property, and the looting capers that go with them. Mr. Trump has overcome every adversity thrown in his path for four years, and I believe he will get through this final tribulation, beep-beep. And then the games can begin in earnest.

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Hunter02.

National Security Nightmare Of Hunter Biden’s Abandoned Laptop (DM)

The son of the man expected by many to be America’s next President abandoned a laptop containing a treasure trove of top-secret material, including his father’s private emails and mobile phone numbers, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. In an astonishing lapse, Hunter Biden chose to protect his MacBook Pro computer – crammed with what an IT expert last night described as a ‘national security nightmare’ and ‘classic blackmail material’ – with a single, simple password: Hunter02. Remarkably, the 50-year-old businessman and self-confessed drug addict took the machine to a back-street IT store in Delaware in April 2019 to get it repaired – yet never returned to collect it. Its existence was revealed by the New York Post last month, but the staggering scale and sensitivity of its contents – easily accessible to a hacker with a modicum of skill – is only revealed for the first time today.

The material, none of which was encrypted or protected by anything as basic as two-factor authentication, includes:
• Joe Biden’s personal mobile number and three private email addresses as well as the names of his Secret Service agents;
• Mobile numbers for former President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary and almost every member of former President Barack Obama’s cabinet;
• A contact database of 1,500 people including actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, former Presidential candidate John Kerry and ex-FBI boss Louis Freeh;
• Personal documents including Hunter’s passport, driver’s licence, social security card, credit cards and bank statements;
• Details of Hunter’s drug and sex problems, including $21,000 spent on one ‘live cam’ porn website and ‘selfies’ of him engaging in sex acts and smoking crack cocaine;

While Hunter has been accused of using his family name to help with deals with Ukrainian and Chinese firms, there is nothing on the laptop to implicate Joe Biden in any wrongdoing. One email relating to a failed Chinese deal refers to a payment of ten per cent to ‘the Big Guy’, which some have suggested is the presidential hopeful. However, Mr Biden has insisted: ‘I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.’ Last night, IT expert Chris Greany said it was ‘staggering’ the laptop had not been encrypted.

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Will the shift be strong enough?

Donald Trump Leads Joe Biden By 7 Points Among Iowa Voters (MSN)

Republican President Donald Trump has taken over the lead in Iowa as Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden has faded, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows just days before Election Day.The president now leads by 7 percentage points over Biden, 48% to 41%. Three percent say they will vote for someone else, 2% aren’t sure and 5% don’t want to say for whom they will vote. In the lead-up to the 2020 election, all eyes are on Iowa. Get updates of all things Iowa politics delivered to your inbox. In September’s Iowa Poll, the candidates were tied at 47% to 47%.The poll of 814 likely Iowa voters was conducted by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines from Oct. 26-29. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.


J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., said while men are more likely to support Trump and women to support Biden, the gender gap has narrowed, and independents have returned to supporting the president, a group he won in 2016. “The president is holding demographic groups that he won in Iowa four years ago, and that would give someone a certain level of comfort with their standing,” she said. “There’s a consistent story in 2020 to what happened in 2016.” But, she said, “Neither candidate hits 50%, so there’s still some play here.” Trump carried Iowa by 9.4 percentage points in 2016, but his chances at a repeat 2020 win here appeared to be in doubt in recent polling. The June Iowa Poll showed Trump leading by just 1 percentage point before Biden climbed into the September tie.

Trunalimunumaprzure Mary Poppins
https://twitter.com/i/status/1322386786916749312

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Look at some of the leads Biden had recently.

Arizona Polls: Trump vs. Biden (RCP)

Key 2020 Races: Senate | AZ-1 | AZ-2 | AZ-6 President: 2016: Trump +3.5 | 2012: Romney +9.1


Final 2016 RCP Average: Trump +4.0, Results: Trump +3.5 (Trump -0.5 Behind the Polls)

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“..the county is seen by Democrats as a region former Vice President Joe Biden must win by wide margins..”

Democrats Uneasy About Higher Republican Turnout In Miami-Dade (CNN)

Republicans in Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, are turning out to vote at a somewhat higher percentage than Democrats — causing uneasiness among some Democratic operatives. Nearly 63% of the 428,000 registered Republicans in the county have voted so far, whereas about 56% of the county’s 634,000 registered Democrats have voted to date, according to state data. About 225,000 people with no party affiliation have also already voted in the county. While more Democrats than Republicans have voted overall in Miami-Dade, the county is seen by Democrats as a region former Vice President Joe Biden must win by wide margins in order to offset voting in the state’s predominantly red regions.


Democratic worries come as both President Donald Trump and Biden vie for Florida’s 29 electoral votes, with each candidate holding a rally there Thursday as CNN’s Poll of Polls shows Trump lagging in the state at 46% to Biden’s 49%. Politico was first to report the concerns among Democrats. Steve Schale, a veteran Democratic Florida strategist who runs a pro-Biden PAC, said, “I’d love to see Dade County jump up this weekend and I’ll feel better if it does.” But Schale added that Black voters in the county tend to vote in-person closer to Election Day, so he expects a bump in turnout over the coming weekend. He added that Democrats have had strong turnout in neighboring Broward County. State data show about 61% of registered Democrats in Broward have voted so far compared to about 56% of registered Republicans in the county.

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“Taking a cue from TIP, let’s game a Dem return to the White House – with the prospect of a President Kamala taking over sooner rather than later.”

A Biden Presidency Means The Return Of The Blob (Escobar)

The Dem strategy is crystal clear, spawned by the gaming of election scenarios embedded in the Transition Integrity Project and made even more explicit by one of TIP’s co-founders, a law professor at Georgetown University. Hillary Clinton, bluntly, has already called it: Dems must re-take the White House by any and all means and under any and all circumstances. And just in case, with a 5,000-word opus, she already positioned herself for a plum job. As much as Dems have made it very clear they will never accept a Trump victory, the counterpunch was vintage Trump: he told the Proud Boys to “stand back” – as in no violence, for now – but crucially to “stand by”, as in “get ready”. The stage is set for Kill Bill mayhem on November 3rd and beyond.

Taking a cue from TIP, let’s game a Dem return to the White House – with the prospect of a President Kamala taking over sooner rather than later. That means, essentially, The Return of the Blob. President Trump calls it “the swamp”. Former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes – a mediocre hack – at least coined the funkier “Blob”, applied to the incestuous Washington, DC foreign policy gang, think tanks, academia, newspapers (from the Washington Post to the New York Times), and that unofficial Bible, Foreign Affairs magazine. A Dem presidency, right away, will need to confront the implications of two wars: Cold War 2.0 against China, and the interminable, trillion-dollar GWOT (Global War on Terror), renamed OCO (Overseas Contingency Operations) by the Obama-Biden administration.

Biden became the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1997 and was the chair in 2001-2003 and again in 2007-2009. He paraded as total Iraq War cheerleader – necessary, he maintained, as part of GWOT – and even defended a “soft partition” of Iraq, something that fierce nationalists, Sunni and Shi’ite, from Baghdad to Basra will never forget. Obama-Biden’s geopolitical accomplishments include a drone war, or Hellfire missile diplomacy, complete with “kill lists”; the failed Afghan surge; the “liberation” of Libya from behind, turning it into a militia wasteland; the proxy war in Syria fought with “moderate rebels”; and once again leading from behind, the Saudi-orchestrated destruction of Yemen.

Tens of millions of Brazilians also will never forget that Obama-Biden legitimized the NSA spying and Hybrid War tactics that led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff ,the neutralization of former President Lula, and the evisceration of the Brazilian economy by comprador elites. Among his former, select interlocutors, Biden counts warmonger former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen – who supervised the destruction of Libya – and John Negroponte, who “organized” the contras in Nicaragua and then “supervised” ISIS/Daesh in Iraq – the crucial element of the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy of instrumentalizing jihadis to do the empire’s dirty work.

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Fauci the politician. No credibility left.

Fauci Praises Biden’s Covid Precautions, Says He Avoids West Wing Due (F.)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top figure in the federal government’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, offered praise for the Biden campaign and a mix of criticism and plaudits for President Donald Trump and his administration in an interview with the Washington Post. Fauci told the Post that the Biden campaign “is taking it seriously from a public health perspective,” while Trump is “looking at it from a different perspective” focused on “the economy and reopening the country.” While the comments are some of Fauci’s most political yet on the pandemic, they are not entirely shocking given Fauci and Biden’s relative alignment on issues like mask mandates, and Biden has committed to listening to scientists and keeping Fauci in his role if he wins the presidential election.

By contrast, Trump and Fauci have frequently clashed, with Fauci warning earlier this month that Trump’s tightly packed rallies pose a coronavirus risk and Trump calling Fauci a “disaster” and stating he would oust him if it didn’t cause a media frenzy. Taking aim at the administration, Fauci told the Post “the public health aspect of the [White House coronavirus] task force has diminished greatly,” and he said he avoids the West Wing of the White House due to “all the infections there.” Fauci claimed neuroradiologist Dr. Scott Atlas – who he said “doesn’t have any real insight” into the virus – is the only medical expert Trump meets with on a regular basis, but he praised White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for saying the administration is “not going to control the virus,” stating “I tip my hat to him for admitting the strategy.”

Fauci has been increasingly vocal in recent weeks as cases have risen rapidly across the country moving into the winter. His outspokenness also comes against the backdrop of an executive order Trump signed earlier this month reducing protections for government civil servants, like Fauci, and in effect making it easier to fire them. Trump and Fauci have disagreed on the severity of the pandemic, with Trump claiming the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on the virus on 43 of the last 61 days – including every day since Oct. 12 – as Fauci warns the U.S. may not return to normal until 2022. “At one point during the interview, Fauci said he needed to be careful with his words because he would be blocked from doing appearances in the future,” wrote Post reporters Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb.

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The study is from May. Fill in the blanks.

Study: 20% Of Grocery Store Workers Had COVID19, Most Asymptomatic (CNN)

Grocery store work puts employees at serious risk for infection, a new study found, particularly those who have to interact with customers. These workers likely became a “significant transmission source” for Covid-19 without even knowing it because most in the study were asymptomatic. The analysis, published Thursday in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is the first to demonstrate the significant asymptomatic infection rate, exposure risks and psychological distress grocery workers have felt during the pandemic. In the study, 20% of the 104 grocery workers tested at a store in Boston in May had positive nasal swab tests. This was a significantly higher rate of infection than what was seen in the surrounding communities, the researchers said.


Workers who dealt with customers were five times as likely to test positive for Covid-19 as colleagues in other positions. But three out of four of those who tested positive had no symptoms. “We were definitely surprised to see that there were that many people that were asymptomatic,” said Dr. Justin Yang, an assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine and a researcher at Harvard School of Public Health who worked on the study. “This is definitely very alarming as it means that retail grocery store employees are exposed to customers and sort of serve as a middleman for the virus – like a super spreader almost.” Workers in the study had tried to take precautions. Nearly all, 91%, said they wore a face mask at work and 77% said they also wore masks outside of work. Yet only about 66% said they were able to practice social distancing consistently on the job.

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“We see why government scientists want a five-week lockdown: they’re up to their eyes in grim Covid predictions.”

A Second National Lockdown Would Be Catastrophic (Sun)

A second national lockdown would be catastrophic. Thousands of cancer sufferers have died since the start of the pandemic as a direct result of missed surgeries and screenings. London ambulance crews now attend an average of 37 suicides or attempted suicides per day, compared with 22 this time last year. And it’s beyond reasonable doubt that the Stay At Home messaging led to a rise in heart attack deaths between March and July. That’s before we get to the long-term health effects of plunging thousands into unemployment.


And what would it be for? Yes, Sage modelling paints a stark picture. But real, current data from the ONS suggests Covid cases have NOT “spiralled out of control” — and deaths remain normal for this time of year. We see why government scientists want a five-week lockdown: they’re up to their eyes in grim Covid predictions. But we worry that, in their panic, they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. The virus is dangerous. But lockdowns are too.

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“This is Spain’s third extension to the state of emergency during the pandemic and will be in force until May 9..”

Anti-Lockdown Protests Grip Spain (RT)

Spain has been gripped by violence as anti-lockdown protesters clash with police in multiple cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, over the state and regional governments’ move to toughen Covid-19 restrictions. Protesters torched garbage containers and erected makeshift barricades on Gran Via, and reportedly smashed several store fronts elsewhere in central Madrid on Saturday night. When police moved in to clear the unruly gathering, they were pelted with stones and flares, and reportedly fired blank bullets, forcing the protesters to disperse into nearby streets. Meanwhile in Barcelona, police officers were pelted with stones and other projectiles, as they tried to disperse a smaller-scale anti-lockdown protest for the second consecutive night.

The regional government of Catalonia approved a new package of measures this week, including the perimeter confinement of each municipality, limiting people to their own district on weekends. Clashes also took place in the Spanish city of Logrono, where protesters burned trash containers, smashed windows and looted several shops. Heated protests were also reported in Granada, Malaga and Bilbao. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez urged Spaniards in a Saturday night tweet to show patience and demonstrate “responsibility, unity and sacrifice” to defeat the global pandemic, while condemning the “violent and irrational behavior” by a “small minority” of the population.

Spain’s parliament approved a six-month extension of the national state of emergency last week, granting regional authorities more power to tackle the country’s second wave of Covid-19. This is Spain’s third extension to the state of emergency during the pandemic and will be in force until May 9, but with an option for it to be lifted on March 9.

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Politicians don’t act, they re-act.

Europe Increasingly Toughens COVID19 Restrictions Amid Fierce Protests (RT)

Portugal has become the latest European state to announce new coronavirus restrictions, as Austria and England also prepare for lockdown, amid public backlash in other states forced into quarantines by the second wave of Covid-19. In Portugal, people were ordered to stay home except for work, school or essential shopping, while companies will switch to remote working wherever possible. New lockdown measures are set to take effect on November 4 and will immediately impact nearly 70 percent of the population in 121 municipalities. Prime Minister Antonio Costa, however, warned that even more areas could be added to the list if the rate of coronavirus infections continues to soar. “We have a very tough month ahead of us. It is more likely we will add more municipalities than we drop from that list next time.”

While Portugal has recorded a relatively low 2,507 deaths so far, the daily number of new infections soared over 4,000 in the recent days, with a total of 1,972 people hospitalized and the country slowly running out of intensive care units. “If nothing is done, the rise in infections will inevitably lead us to a situation of failure of our health system,” Costa added, echoing the reasoning behind the lockdown in England that was announced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson just hours earlier. In England, from November 5 to at least December 2, people will only be allowed to go outside for specific reasons, including education, work, exercise, shopping for essentials or caring for the vulnerable.

Pubs and restaurants will be shut down and only allowed to sell takeaway. All non-essential trade will also stop. However, essential shops, schools, and universities will remain open. In Austria, a mass lockdown kicks off on November 3, with a curfew in place from 8pm to 6am every night until December. All restaurants, bars and cafes will be closed except for the delivery and takeaway services. Theaters, museums and gyms, as well as kindergartens and primary schools, will also close, while high schools and universities will switch to distance learning.

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The future of travel.

Netherlands Puts KLM Bailout On Hold After Pilots Reject Wage Freeze (R.)

The Dutch government on Saturday put on hold its plan to bail out KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM, after pilots rejected a wage-freeze until 2025, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said. KLM had been due to receive a 3.4 billion euro ($4.0 billion) package, including 1 billion euros in direct loans. from the government to help it cope with the damage from the coronavirus pandemic.”I find it very disappointing, but this way we cannot move forward with the loan now,” Hoekstra told journalists. The pilots’ union argued that it had already agreed to a freeze until March 2022, and could not now change that agreement at the last minute.


Ahead of the government announcement, KLM CEO Pieter Elbers had said that “without this loan, KLM will not make it through these challenging times”. In a statement, he said KLM would not immediately go bankrupt but that its reserves “cannot last more than a few months”. In a letter to parliament, Hoekstra left the door open for the bailout if all KLM employees agreed to the five-year wage freeze. “It is up to KLM and the unions to ensure that they meet the government’s demands after all,” he said, adding that the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic had changed expectations about how soon airlines could bounce back. “The outlook is sombre, that makes it all the more important to have a good restructuring programme in place to work towards KLM’s long-term recovery,” he wrote.

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Creative bookkeeping.

Why China’s Official Data Don’t Add Up (ATF)

Last week China released it’s much anticipated third quarter GDP, and along with it came fresh concerns of data accuracy. While the 4.9% print missed rather exuberant market expectations of over 5% growth, the real head-turner was Beijing’s announced revisions to its fixed asset investment (FAI) data for September 2019. The revised numbers depressed last September’s FAI by 2.8 trillion yuan, thereby boosting this year’s growth figures as well as the Q3 GDP. China’s National Bureau of Statistics explained away the change in a short footnote, stating that historical data were adjusted on the basis of the “fourth national economic census unit inventory.” In August, China had reported its first positive retail sales growth of 2020 on the basis of a similar adjustment, which depressed year-ago figures by 50 billion yuan.

Predictably, this latest revision came under immediate scrutiny. The core statistical problem here is the sample’s changing characteristics and size. The NBS has a longstanding practice of only surveying firms above a minimum annual revenue. Any firm that falls below the threshold is dropped from future surveys and its results removed from past data. Alternatively, if the number of firms meeting the revenue threshold rises in a given year, the sample then becomes larger than last year’s by thousands of firms. This cherry-picking approach — which can produce trillions of yuan worth of adjustments — invalidates any claims of random, representative sampling. Furthermore, it creates a constant stream of revisions to official statistics without details on methods or the release of underlying numbers. The more fundamental challenge it underscores is that investors cannot rely on official data to reliably capture economic conditions, especially when the economy is under pressure.

[..] First, despite the announced on-year rebound in official GDP growth, CBB’s recent third-quarter data show no part of the economy registering growth anywhere near year-ago levels. Despite sequential quarterly improvement since the Chinese economy emerged from its Covid lockdown, every sector, sub-sector, region, and growth metric remains in contraction year-on-year. Second, our surveys of over 3,300 firms showed a two-track recovery in Q3. For large firms and companies based in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangdong the economy is accelerating. This is the recovery much of the West sees and what has become the public-face of Beijing’s rebound narrative. In the rest of country, however, the climb back is far more uneven and beset with reversals.

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“The king’s world feels far more predictable and relaxed when the chaos of human subjectivity is contained for good.”

The Great Reset for Dummies (Tessa)

The Great Reset is a massively funded, desperately ambitious, internationally coordinated project led by some of the biggest multinational corporations and financial players on the planet and carried out by cooperating state bodies and NGOs. Its soul is a combination of early 20th century science fiction, idyllic Soviet posters, the obsessiveness of a deranged accountant with a gambling addiction—and an upgraded, digital version of “Manifest Destiny.” The mathematical reason for the Great Reset is that thanks to technology, the planet has gotten small, and the infinite expansion economic model is bust—but obviously, the super wealthy want to continue staying super wealthy, and so they need a miracle, another bubble, plus a surgically precise system for managing what they perceive as “their limited resources.”

Thus, they desperately want a bubble providing new growth out of thin air—literally—while simultaneously they seek to tighten the peasants’ belts, an effort that starts with “behavioral modification,” a.k.a. resetting the western peasants’ sense of entitlement to high life standards and liberties (see awful “privilege”). The psychological reason for the Great Reset is the fear of losing control of property, the planet. I suppose, if you own billions and move trillions, your perception of reality gets funky, and everything down below looks like an ant hill that exists for you. Just ants and numbers, your assets.


Thus, the practical aim of the Great Reset is to fundamentally restructure the world’s economy and geopolitical relations based on two assumptions: one, that every element of nature and every life form is a part of the global inventory (managed by the allegedly benevolent state, which, in turn, is owned by several suddenly benevolent wealthy people, via technology)—and two, that all inventory needs to be strictly accounted for: be registered in a central database, be readable by a scanner and easily ID’ed, and be managed by AI, using the latest “science.” The goal is to count and then efficiently manage and control all resources, including people, on an unprecedented scale, with unprecedented digital anxiety and precision—all while the masters keep indulging, enjoying vast patches of conserved nature, free of unnecessary sovereign peasants and their unpredictability. The king’s world feels far more predictable and relaxed when the chaos of human subjectivity is contained for good.

Read more …

 

 

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Guardian Greenwald Assange

 

 

 

 

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