Dec 192022
 
 December 19, 2022  Posted by at 9:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Portrait de femme (Dora Maar) 1943

 

One Year Ago, Russia Gave The West A Last Chance (Lukyanov)
A Lexicon for Disaster (Scott Ritter)
EU Sued Over Anti-Russia Sanctions (RT)
Lawyer Claims Eva Kaili Followed EU Parliament Chief’s Orders In Qatar (Eur.)
Will the Fallout from “Qatargate” Splatter the European Commission? (NC)
Biden’s Latest JFK Document Dump Is A JOKE (OffG)
Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Linked to Blood Clotting: FDA (ET)
FDA Uncovers Yet Another Dangerous Side Effect of the Covid-19 ‘Vaccines’ (KB)
TWITTER FILES Supplemental (Taibbi)
Musk Asks Twitter If He Should Step Down (ZH)
Twitter Censorship Contributed to Destructive Pandemic Policies (ET)
Democratic Members Warn Facebook Not to “Backslide” on Censorship (Turley)
Democrats Like Adam Schiff Are Scrambling To Save Censorship (Devine)
Former FBI Agent Calls Assertion Oath Keepers are Anti-Government ‘Absurd’ (ET)
US Doublespeak Will Not Stop Gold’s Imminent Surge (Von Greyerz)

 

 

 

 

BRICS

 

 

 

 

Child vaccine

 

 

Red Balloon

 

 

 

 

 

 

“NATO and the Americans categorically refused to discuss the main political issue: a formal rejection of NATO expansion.”

One Year Ago, Russia Gave The West A Last Chance (Lukyanov)

It’s been a year since a Russian document outlining proposals (or demands, if you prefer) for long-term guarantees on European security was delivered to NATO and the US. This was the starting point of the major politico-military crisis that defines the global situation today. Was the Russian ultimatum (and that is how it was formulated) designed to be rejected, or did it envisage a path to negotiations? President Vladimir Putin probably reasoned along the following lines: after so many years of ignoring our wishes and convictions, let’s give it one last chance. Let’s put forward the maximum set of demands, everything that has been said before, but outline them in one place and in a concentrated form, and see what happens.

If they realize that this time that it’s extremely serious, and with that in mind, decide on a real discussion, we are ready. However, if they start to waste time again, then that’s it. Let’s cut to the chase. If the response from the West was not satisfactory, the military operation in Ukraine would be the next step. There was apparently no chance of avoiding it by then. After all, the logic behind the need for the offensive was outlined in Putin’s big article in the summer of 2021. That is, the security demands were made when the internal readiness for action was already in place. The scale of the consequences leads many to return to the question: Was what happened inevitable? The argument that “we had no choice,” often heard at the highest level in Moscow, is problematic because it effectively means that Russia’s previous policies were wrong. A policy which leads to no alternative solution, i.e. forcing one to act in a certain way and no other way, cannot be considered successful.

So an analysis of the long period since the early 2000s will at some point be an important lesson for the future. Was there an urgent need to make demands and initiate the military operation at that point in time? Based on what we know now (which is probably not everything), there was room for maneuver and an opportunity to prepare better. Strategically, a conflict over Ukraine was probably inevitable, but the specific circumstances and timetable could have been different. Is anyone in the West kicking themselves right now? An ultimatum can only be accepted by great powers, and even more so by superpowers, as a result of a military defeat. So there was, I think, no chance of the demands being accepted. I have to say that the consultations that took place in January 2022 showed that the US was ready for some concessions on specific issues of military security.

To a greater extent than they had indicated before the demands were made. However, this amounted to very little relative to the overall picture. Most importantly, NATO and the Americans categorically refused to discuss the main political issue: a formal rejection of NATO expansion. For them, this is unacceptable because the military bloc’s enlargement is the basis of the entire international security philosophy as it has been understood in the West since the end of the Cold War. But even beyond this, in the West there is a complete absence (or perhaps a disappearance) of reflection on the history behind current events.

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Arms treaties and diplomacy have been abandoned. They’re bad for business.

A Lexicon for Disaster (Scott Ritter)

With no common language, there can be no common vision, no common purpose. Russia continues to seek arms control agreements which serve to restrict the arsenals of the involved parties to prevent dangerous escalatory actions while imposing a modicum of predictable stability on relations. The U.S. seeks only unilateral advantage. Until this is changed, there can be no meaningful arms control interaction between the U.S. and Russia. Not only will the New START treaty expire in February 2026, but it is also unlikely the major verification component of the treaty — on site inspections — will be revived between now and then. Moreover, it is impossible to see how a new arms control agreement to replace the expired New START treaty could be negotiated, ratified, and implemented in the short time remaining to do so.


There is no trust between Russia and the U.S. when it comes to arms control. With no treaties, there is no verification of reality. Both the U.S. and Russian arsenals will become untethered from treaty-based constraint, leading to a new arms race for which there can be only one finishing line — total nuclear war. There is a long list of things that must happen if meaningful arms control is ever to resume its place in the diplomatic arsenals of either the U.S. or Russia. Before either side can resume talking to one another, however, they must first re-learn the common language of disarmament. Because the current semantics of arms control is little more than a lexicon for disaster.

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62 lawsuits. So far.

EU Sued Over Anti-Russia Sanctions (RT)

Dozens of Russians and Belarusians have filed lawsuits at the EU Court of Justice, to challenge their inclusion on the sanctions list, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Saturday. The Luxembourg-based court has reportedly received claims from one company and 61 individuals from Russia and Belarus, placed on the EU blacklist over their alleged support for Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. The business figures are seeking to challenge what they view as a violation of their rights, and the freeze of their assets by EU authorities. According to the media report, the plaintiffs in Luxembourg include Russian billionaire and former owner of the English football club Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, ESN Group owner Grigory Berezkin, and Gennady Timchenko, who owns Volga Group, a Russia-based company with interests in energy, transportation and construction.


Alfa Group co-founder Mikhail Fridman and Alisher Usmanov, the owner Russia’s largest iron ore producer, are also among those suing. The EU has adopted nine rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since February 24, when Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. Aside from business people, the penalties include measures against Russian journalists and companies. On Friday, the EU blacklisted 141 Russian individuals and 49 legal entities, including ministers, governors, judges, parliament members, singers and presenters, as well as five political parties. The latest measures also deprived four more Russian media outlets of their broadcasting licenses in the EU, introduced a number of export bans, and extended restrictions on three more banks. Export restrictions were extended to 168 additional Russian entities closely linked to the Russian military-industrial complex, bringing the total number of sanctioned companies to 410.

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Could be an interesting court case. Note Borrell’s involvement.

Lawyer Claims Eva Kaili Followed EU Parliament Chief’s Orders In Qatar (Eur.)

Qatar had no need to bribe socialist MEP Eva Kaili as the latter was implementing a wider EU plan and was getting orders from EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola, Kaili’s lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos alleged on Tuesday. Metsola’s office told EURACTIV that the president gave instructions on how to represent the institution’s position and “nothing else”. Last Friday, Greek MEP Eva Kaili, her partner Francesco Giorgi, and ex-MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, president of the NGO Fight Against Impunity, were arrested by the Belgian police on suspicion of corruption. On a political level, with an overwhelming majority, the EU House sacked her yesterday from the vice presidency.

In an almost unanimous vote, EU lawmakers removed Eva Kaili as vice president of the European Parliament on Tuesday (13 December), following the so-called Qatargate, one of the biggest corruption scandals in the EU’s history. On Thursday, Belgian courts will decide whether she will remain in jail until the adjudication of the case. In an interview with Greek MEGA TV channel, Dimitrakopoulos said Kaili has nothing to do with bribery from Qatar. “What the public opinion needs to know is that Qatar did not need to bribe Ms Kaili because she went to Qatar as a representative of the European Parliament, the speeches, the interviews she gave were after the agreement and order of the President Roberta Metsola,” Dimitrakopoulos said.

He added that documents prove this and explained that Kaili did not take any initiative or have an agenda. “Ms Metsola sent her to Qatar, what she was going to say had Ms Metsola’s approval […] Ms Metsola had also sent EU official Mr Roberto Bendini with her to watch all of Ms Kaili’s meetings”, he explained. “I am telling you the words of Ms Kaili, she was carrying out a plan that had started in 2019, High Representative Josep Borrell and Ylva Johansson [Commissioner for Home Affairs] had decided at the Commission level, to cooperate with Qatar, Kuwait and Oman,” the lawyer added.

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“..he resisted those calls and in 2020 was bumped up to the European Commission, as so often happens with scandal-tarnished domestic politicians in the EU…”

Will the Fallout from “Qatargate” Splatter the European Commission? (NC)

For the moment, it is far from clear just how far this burgeoning scandal will reach. One thing that is clear is that the reputational damage will be large and lasting. The European Union’s ability to lecture the misbehaving governments of Member States and third-party countries on how to govern will be further diminished. As Hungary’s Victor Orban said in a video uploaded to his Facebook page, “It is time that we drain the swamp here in Brussels.” And he is right. EU institutions need to get their house in order once and for all, and fast. And that is unlikely to happen. The EU ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said this week that Von der Leyen’s proposed plan for a new ethics body is likely to end up as “something with no teeth, something that will possibly sit there passively, wait for complaints to come in.”

What the body really needs, O’Reilly said, is investigatory and sanctions powers. But that might actually threaten to derail the gravy train Brussels has become. And the problem is not just illegal cash payments stuffed away in paper bags and briefcases; it is the vast lobbying apparatus that has built up in Brussels, which is now the second largest lobbying capital in the world after Washington. As in Washington, lobbying reaches into just about every aspect of governance. In its 2015 report, CEO reported that lobbyists representing businesses and trade associations made up 75% of all high-level Commission lobby meetings and more than 80% in certain areas such as financial regulation or the internal market. The inevitable result, as in Washington, is that policies are made almost exclusively in the service of vested corporate interests.

Sometimes corporate lobbies even draft the EU’s legislation. This is the business model of modern governance. Lastly, if Borrell is indeed caught up in this burgeoning scandal and, by some miracle, loses his job, it would be no great loss to the EU’s 450 million citizens. He is the least diplomatic of diplomats. Just about every time he speaks, whether on the wonders of European colonialism or the vast untamed jungle that lies beyond Europe’s borders, damage is inflicted on the EU’s relations with some other part of the world. Since long before the Ukraine conflict he has played a leading role in escalating tensions with Russia, the EU’s biggest neighbor and energy supplier. He is also no stranger to scandal, having been convicted, in 2018, of insider trading in Spain. That resulted in him being placed on the Spanish market regulator’s blacklist. The ensuing scandal triggered calls for his resignation as Spain’s then-Foreign Minister. But he resisted those calls and in 2020 was bumped up to the European Commission, as so often happens with scandal-tarnished domestic politicians in the EU.

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“..two days later and on a complete whim, he decided to sneak back into the police station carrying a gun and shoot a man he had never met for no reason at all..”

Biden’s Latest JFK Document Dump Is A JOKE (OffG)

Waiting for a government – any government – to release their “secret” files is a waste of your time, and reading anything they eventually publish is doubly so. If you didn’t learn that from the nothing-burger that was the 28 pages on 9/11, or the pathetic exercise in revisionism that made up the Afghanistan Papers…you should definitely have learned it today. Yes, Joe Biden’s administration has just released their promised “secret” JFK papers. Turns out that Oswald acted alone. I know, I was shocked too. Further, the release dials back on the (very slight) anti-Russia messaging of last year’s release. In December 2021, the previous batch of “secret” files revealed Oswald met with a KGB agent in the days running up to the assassination.

The latest batch reassures us that Oswald never worked for the KGB, and that the Russians thought he was “too crazy” to recruit. One gets the impression that has as much to do with managing propaganda positioning over the war in Ukraine as anything else. Either way, its a ridiculously transparent attempt to reinforce the “lone wolf” lie. “He was too crazy and unstable even for the Russians!” Laughable. Further, one particular “secret” memo claims… the Central Intelligence Agency has no indication that Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald ever knew each other, were associated, or might have been connected in any manner”. Yes, before Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald they were apparently “not connected in any manner”. He had never met Oswald before the assassination, and barely had any idea who he was when he shot him on November 24th.

This means the current “official story” is that Ruby randomly chose to attend the press conference where Oswald spoke on the evening of November 22nd, despite not being a member of the press. During this press conference, Ruby correctly pointed out Oswald had joined the “fair play for Cuba committee” (presumably an inspired guess, seeing as they did not know one another). Then, two days later and on a complete whim, he decided to sneak back into the police station carrying a gun and shoot a man he had never met for no reason at all, in the parking lot of a police station, while surrounded by police officers. That’s what these “secret files” tell us…the same ridiculous story as the very unsecret Warren Commission.

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While we have been talking about bloodclots fior at least two years, the FDA only just discovered them. But: “..still under investigation and require more robust study.”

This costs lives.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Linked to Blood Clotting: FDA (ET)

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been linked to blood clotting in older individuals, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA researchers, crunching data from a database of elderly persons in the United States, found that pulmonary embolism—blood clotting in the lungs—met the initial threshold for a statistical signal and continued meeting the criteria after a more in-depth evaluation. Three other outcomes of interest—a lack of oxygen to the heart, a blood platelet disorder called immune thrombocytopenia, and another type of clotting called intravascular coagulation—initially raised red flags, researchers said. More in-depth evaluations, such as comparisons with populations who received influenza vaccines, showed those three as no longer meeting the statistical threshold for a signal.


Researchers looked at data covering 17.4 million elderly Americans who received a total of 34.6 million vaccine doses between Dec. 10, 2020, and Jan. 16, 2022. The study was published by the journal Vaccine on Dec. 1. The FDA said it was not taking any action on the results because they do not prove the vaccines cause any of the four outcomes, and because the findings “are still under investigation and require more robust study.” Dr. Peter McCullough, chief medical adviser for the Truth for Health Foundation, told The Epoch Times via email that the new paper “corroborates the concerns of doctors that the large uptick in blood clots, progression of atherosclerotic heart disease, and blood disorders is independently associated with COVID-19 vaccination.”

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“The FDA said it was not taking any action based on the study because the findings do not prove the vaccines cause any of the four outcomes.”

FDA Uncovers Yet Another Dangerous Side Effect of the Covid-19 ‘Vaccines’ (KB)

A recent study drawing on over thirty million datapoints from the the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data system shows a heightened risk of pulmonary embolism, as well as the known elevated risk for myocarditis. “We evaluated 14 outcomes of interest following COVID-19 vaccination using the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data covering 30,712,101 elderly persons,” the international study in the journal Elsevier stated. “The CMS data from December 11, 2020 through Jan 15, 2022 included 17,411,342 COVID-19 vaccinees who received a total of 34,639,937 doses. We conducted weekly sequential testing and generated rate ratios (RR) of observed outcome rates compared to historical (or expected) rates prior to COVID-19 vaccination.”

The findings supply yet more evidence that the Covid mRNA shots should not be recommended without the standard risks of serious side effects. “Four outcomes met the threshold for a statistical signal following BNT162b2 vaccination including pulmonary embolism (PE; RR = 1.54), acute myocardial infarction (AMI; RR = 1.42), disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC; RR = 1.91), and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP; RR = 1.44),” the study found. The term RR [Risk Ratio] is an expression of the relative risk of the pharmaceutical product versus a placebo. An RR of 1.5 represents a 50% heightened risk for the given side effect.

The study couches the findings in the typical manner: Claiming that the benefits of the ‘vaccines’ outweigh the ‘risks.’ However, that would only be clearly the case if a patient did not have natural antibodies and was at increased due to risk factors such as age, obesity, or immunocompromisation. Seroprevalence data show that nearly every American in the United States has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The FDA said it was not taking any action based on the study because the findings do not prove the vaccines cause any of the four outcomes. The FDA claimed the findings “are still under investigation and require more robust study.”

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Musk has shaken the tree pretty hard. It’s now up to the rest of us.

TWITTER FILES Supplemental (Taibbi)

On Friday, I posted a series of exchanges between Twitter and the FBI. One that required a bit too much explaining was left out. But it’s an important document, because it clearly demonstrates that Twitter will not only take requests from the government, it will even act quickly to align its analyses with its “partners.” 2. In July of 2020, San Francisco FBI agent Elvis Chan tells Twitter executive Yoel Roth to expect written questions from the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), the inter-agency group that deals with cyber threats. 3.The questionnaire authors seem displeased with Twitter for implying, in a July 20th “DHS/ODNI/FBI/Industry briefing,” that “you indicated you had not observed much recent activity from official propaganda actors on your platform.”

4 .One would think that would be good news. The agencies seemed to feel otherwise. 5.Chan underscored this: “There was quite a bit of discussion within the USIC to get clarifications from your company,” he wrote, referring to the United States Intelligence Community. 6.The task force demanded to know how Twitter came to its unpopular conclusion. Oddly, it included a bibliography of public sources – including a Wall Street Journal article – attesting to the prevalence of foreign threats, as if to show Twitter they got it wrong. 7.Roth, receiving the questions, circulated them with other company executives, and complained that he was “frankly perplexed by the requests here, which seem more like something we’d get from a congressional committee than the Bureau.” 8.He added he was not “comfortable with the Bureau (and by extension the IC) demanding written answers.”

The idea of the FBI acting as conduit for the Intelligence Community is interesting, given that many agencies are barred from domestic operations. 9. He then sent another note internally, saying the premise of the questions was “flawed,” because “we’ve been clear that official state propaganda is definitely a thing on Twitter.” Note the italics for emphasis.10. Roth suggested they “get on the phone with Elvis ASAP and try to straighten this out,” to disabuse the agencies of any notion that state propaganda is not a “thing” on Twitter. 11. This exchange is odd among other things because some of the “bibliography” materials cited by the FITF are sourced to intelligence officials, who in turn cited the public sources. 12. The FBI responded to Friday’s report by saying it “regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities.”

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”..the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.”

Musk Asks Twitter If He Should Step Down (ZH)

Elon Musk, perhaps finally fed up with micromanaging twitter or just really drunk after partying with Qatari royals (and Jared) after today’s terrific World Cup Final… … has asked Twitter users and his 122 million followers whether he should step down as head of the social media site and pledged that he would abide by the result of the 12 hour unscientific poll. Four hours into the vote, with some 9 million votes cast, 56.7% of those polled said Musk should, in fact, stand down. It wasn’t clear what percentage of bots of mailed in ballots had been cast. Musk prefaced the vote by tweeting that “Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.”

Subsequently, in response to tweeted comments that Musk should “hire someone as Twitter CEO… that way when things go wrong you can blame that person, but you still ultimate control as the owner”, the billionaire responded that “The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.” Musk also clarified to prospective replacements that any new CEO “must like pain a lot. One catch: you have to invest your life savings in Twitter and it has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May. Still want the job?” Musk then stated that the whole exercise is a Catch 22 as “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.” Which then begs the question how Musk will abide by a poll that seeks his replacement if there is “no successor” in mind.

He then doubled down by paraphrasing Jack Handey and, of course, Gladiator:

Whether Musk was drunk or not when he sent out the tweet (early am Qatari time), the outcome as some cynics have noted, is unlikely to have any material impact on what happens at twitter. Musk’s pledge to hold votes on policy changes came after Twitter on Sunday announced it will remove accounts “created solely” to promote other social media platforms. Accounts promoting rivals and containing links to sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Mastodon will be taken down, the company said. A few hours later the tweet revealing that policy change was deleted.

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“When decisions were being made in 2020 and imposed upon the public, that’s when censorship counted the most..”

Twitter Censorship Contributed to Destructive Pandemic Policies (ET)

The recently revealed censorship that has plagued Twitter in recent years is “criminal,” according to former White House COVID adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, as it allowed “lies to be imposed on the public” during a pandemic that wrought untold damage worldwide. “When correct science policy is blocked, people die, and people died from the censorship,” Atlas, a special coronavirus adviser during the Trump administration and contributor to The Epoch Times, said in an interview. Atlas was speaking days after Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, released troves of internal files showing how the previous Twitter team built a blacklist to limit disfavored tweets’ visibility without the knowledge of those using the platform.

Among those flagged was Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford, whose tweet criticizing pandemic lockdowns shortly after joining the platform last August got him on the “trends blacklist” preventing the amplification of his tweets. But such revelations, Atlas said, are “only the tip of the iceberg.” “There’s a far larger story here that we need to hear,” he said, which he considers “far more nefarious and more systemic than isolated tweets being pulled down.” “This seems to be criminal behavior, and I think it needs to be investigated in the courts,” he said. Atlas wants to direct attention back to 2020, when health officials followed in the Chinese Communist Party’s footsteps to implement blanket COVID-19 lockdowns. In November of that year, while Atlas was still on the White House’s coronavirus task force, Twitter took down his post that argued mask-wearing was not effective in curbing the spread of the virus—a decision celebrated by some proponents of the measures, including fellow task force member Dr. Deborah Birx.

“One would think that the American public should hear what the adviser to the president is saying during the pandemic of 2020. Yet Twitter decided to simply block that discussion from the public,” he said. [..] Despite most states having a mask mandate until early this year, a number of studies found children and teenagers to be at a far lower risk of getting or dying from COVID-19, even with the emergence of new variants. But the “censorship of 2020,” be it deleting individual tweets, suspending accounts, or blocking the amplification of posts, had done its damage. “When decisions were being made in 2020 and imposed upon the public, that’s when censorship counted the most,” Atlas said.

“It created this illusion that there was a consensus among science and public health policy experts that lockdowns should be imposed; it created and perpetrated lies that if you were opposed to lockdowns, you were choosing the economy over lives, and that if you were opposed to lockdowns, you were somehow calling for letting the infection spread without any mitigation whatsoever,” he said. “They absolutely contributed to policies that killed massive numbers of people and destroyed children and low-income people, who are the most vulnerable. That’s why it’s criminal.”

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They will lose their powers when the new Congress is installed.

Democratic Members Warn Facebook Not to “Backslide” on Censorship (Turley)

With the restoration of free speech protections on Twitter, panic has grown on the left that its control over social media could come to an end. Now, some of the greatest advocates of censorship in Congress are specifically warning Facebook not to follow Twitter in restoring free speech to its platform. In a chilling letter from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Facebook was given a not-so-subtle threat that reducing its infamous censorship system will invite congressional action. The letter to Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, is written on congressional stationery “as part of our ongoing oversight efforts.”

With House Republicans pledging to investigate social media censorship when they take control in January, these four Democratic members are trying to force Facebook to “recommit” to censoring opposing views and to make election censorship policies permanent. Otherwise, they suggest, they may be forced to exercise oversight into any move by Facebook to “alter or rollback certain misinformation policies.” In addition to demanding that Facebook preserve its bans on figures like former president Donald Trump, they want Facebook to expand its censorship overall because “unlike other major social media platforms, Meta’s policies do not prohibit posts that make unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud.”

Clegg is given Schiff’s telephone number to discuss Facebook’s compliance — an ironic contact point for a letter on censoring “disinformation.” After all, Schiff was one of the members of Congress who, before the 2020 presidential election, pushed the false claim that the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation, and he has been criticized for pushing false narratives on Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election. (Schiff has previously pressured social media companies to expand the censorship of opposing views).

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“Dangerous and unfounded election denial content” must be kept off the platform…”

Democrats Like Adam Schiff Are Scrambling To Save Censorship (Devine)

Adam Schiff popped up on CNN’s “State of The Union” show Sunday morning to issue barely veiled threats to Elon Musk for trying to restore free speech on Twitter. Ostensibly, the lame duck chairman of the House Intelligence Committee joined Jake Tapper to crow about expected charges against Donald Trump Monday from his January 6 star chamber. But Schiff moved on to complain about the “big problem right now with social media companies and their failure to moderate content and the explosion of hate on Twitter, the banning of journalists on Twitter.” Then he suggested ominously that Twitter and social media companies may not continue to enjoy “immunity from responsibility and liability.” In other words, keep policing free speech as an arm of the federal government or watch your business go up in smoke.


Schiff is a calculated propagandist, who lies under oath as easily as breathing, and knowingly peddles misinformation to Congress and to media outlets like CNN and MSNBC, whose gullible hosts keep bringing him back on their shows to mislead their audiences. In the dying days of his powerful reign as overseer of the nation’s intelligence agencies, abusing his access to the nation’s secrets, Schiff’s final assignment is to preserve the censorship regime his side of politics entrenched across Big Tech. On Tuesday he, and three other Dems he roped in, wrote a menacing letter “as part of our ongoing oversight efforts” to Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta (Facebook’s new name), warning that, if the company went down Twitter’s path of free speech, the consequences would be dire. “Dangerous and unfounded election denial content” must be kept off the platform.

This is not 2 or 3 years ago, this is now

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“That is a far cry from overthrowing the U.S. government by force of violence.”

“‘Absurd’ To Call Oath Keepers Insurrectionists Or A National Security Threat, Former FBI Agent Testifies”

Former FBI Agent Calls Assertion Oath Keepers are Anti-Government ‘Absurd’ (ET)

The Oath Keepers did not try to overthrow the U.S. government on Jan. 6 and are not a threat to national security because the group is anti-tyranny, not anti-government, a former FBI agent and Department of Defense analyst testified Dec. 15-16 in Alaska Superior Court. John Guandolo, who handled counter-terrorism and criminal investigations during nearly 13 years as an FBI special agent, said he found “absurd” the idea that Oath Keepers tried to overthrow the federal government. Guandolo was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in a personal capacity. Some of the Oath Keepers might have broken federal laws on Jan. 6 for allegedly trying to delay the counting of Electoral College votes, Guandolo said, “but to conflate that to being the same as the entire organization wants to overthrow the U.S. government by violence … that’s absurd,” Guandolo said.

“And I think it’s an unprofessional assessment.” Guandolo’s testimony came on the third and fourth days of a state trial to determine if Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) should be removed from office under the Alaska Constitution because he is a life member of the Oath Keepers. Eastman won reelection on Nov. 8 by a 24-point margin. Alaska Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state of Alaska from certifying the House 27th District election results until the trial ends. Former GOP candidate Randall Kowalke—who left the Republican Party in 2019—sued Eastman personally in July, claiming a loyalty clause in the Alaska Constitution should bar him from office because the Oath Keepers allegedly advocate for the overthrow of the federal government.

Earlier in the bench trial before McKenna, two analysts from centers on domestic extremism testified that the Oath Keepers went into the Capitol on Jan. 6 and tried to overthrow the government. Testifying from his office in Dallas, Guandolo told the judge there is no evidence to support that accusation. He ripped the testimony of analysts Jonathan Lewis and Matthew Kriner as “grossly incomplete” and “wholly unprofessional.” Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III and Oath Keepers Florida leader Kelly Meggs were found guilty of seditious conspiracy on Nov. 29 for actions on Jan. 6, in a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Washington. Four other defendants were acquitted of seditious conspiracy, but convicted of other offenses.

“The phrase that I saw most often [in indictments] was that so-and-so intended to affect the government by stopping or delaying the congressional proceeding, which was to certify the election,” Guandolo said when questioned by defense attorney Joseph Miller. “That is a far cry from overthrowing the U.S. government by force of violence.”

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“$300 trillion of global debt and $2 quadrillion of quasi debt in the form of derivatives can only end in currencies going to zero..”

US Doublespeak Will Not Stop Gold’s Imminent Surge (Von Greyerz)

The clouds look extremely dark for 2023 and beyond. As I have pointed out above, there is no attempt to reach a peace settlement in Ukraine. Weapons and money are pouring in to keep the war going. And the sanctions forced upon Europe by the US are having a devastating effect for the citizens of most European countries. Energy costs are up 2-3X or more for many consumers and food inflation in Germany for example jumped 21% year on year in November. In the UK, many ordinary people cannot afford to keep their heating on or to eat properly. And this is before the cold winter sets in. The situation in Ukraine seems to deteriorate and with Russia and the US involved, as well as China in the periphery, it could easily escalate.

But as I have spelt out numerous times, $300 trillion of global debt and $2 quadrillion of quasi debt in the form of derivatives can only end in currencies going to zero and sovereign borrowers defaulting. A global sovereign default should be seen as an indisputable fact and it is only a question of how long it takes. These events are normally a process. As Hemingway said, you go bankrupt “Gradually and then suddenly”. The beginning can be a slow process and then at some point the shock comes so fast that no one will have time to react. So no-one must believe that there will be time to get out once the early “gradual” phase starts. Just to be clear, the gradual phase is here already although the world is in denial. The buy the dip mentality is still prevailing as evidenced by the partial recovery in stock markets.

Few realise that this is it and the next devastating fall in stocks is going to fool practically all investors. The majority will not get out but hope for a correction so they can exit at a higher level. And once the correction comes, they will be bullish again. Once everyone is back into the market it will fall again. Most of the investors will be fooled most of the time until their portfolio is virtually worthless. The Western world hasn’t experienced a real bear market since 1929-32. That time it took 25 years for the Dow to recover to the 1929 high. The generosity of Central banks has made stock investments a one way game since the early 1980s. But now the game is up and few will realise it until they have lost everything. So the “suddenly” will be like an earthquake seemingly coming out of nowhere. It can come in 2023 or it might take a few years.

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Oppenheimer

 

 

Boys keep swinging

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 092022
 


Salvador Dali Back the girl 1926

 

Second Wave Of Twitter Docs Reveal ‘Blacklists’ And ‘Shadow Bans’ (JTN)
Saxo Bank Predictions Warn Of A Wild 2023 (Spears)
Merkel’s ‘Confession’ May Be Ground For Tribunal – Moscow (RT)
US Trying To Make Ukraine Conflict Last For Years – Russia (RT)
Kremlin Explains When Ukraine Conflict May End (RT)
Bandera’s ‘Insurgency-in-Waiting’ (Robeson)
ADL: Ukraine’s Azov Battalion No Longer ‘Far-right’ (GZ)
EU Lacks ‘Critical Defense Capabilities’ – Borrell (RT)
The Russian Oil Price Cap Isn’t As Simple As It Seems (OP)
“People Are Losing Faith In This Institution”: ECB Staff (ZH)
FBI Sees ‘Threat’ In Apple Encryption Move (RT)
The Coming Purge of the China-Hands (Pattberg)
The Fixed-pPice Shopping Basket: Greece’s Answer To Cost Of Living Crisis (G.)
Daniel Ellsberg: Indict Me Too (Lauria)
Disinformation Down 92% As NYT Writers Go On Strike (BBee)

 

 

In 2018, Twitter was doing fine with the same amount of people they now employ. What was the rest doing? Just censoring?

 

 

Shadow ban

 

 

Zelensky

 

 

@CelineDion reveals she has ultimately been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome. This is a known vaxx side effect that Pfizer kept quiet until the court forced them release the side effects in the first Pfizer dump.

 

 

Tucker board

 

 

 

 

Christine Anderson

 

 

 

 

Interesting discussions on Twitter about Twitter. Much more to come. It’ll be hard on Elon too. For instance, he tweeted that Twitter doesn’t employ the Perkins Coie law firm. And then someone sends a Dec. 8 paper that says it does. How now?

Second Wave Of Twitter Docs Reveal ‘Blacklists’ And ‘Shadow Bans’ (JTN)

Former New York Times editor Bari Weiss on Thursday released internal documents on Twitter’s censorship efforts and detailed the creation of blacklists and use of shadow ban technique to throttle “disfavored” tweets. Last week, Musk released information on the company’s censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story via alternative journalist Matt Taibbi. Thursday’s dump came through a team of reporters Weiss led and to whom Musk granted broad access to the company’s files to investigate on condition they first publish their findings on Twitter. “[T]eams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users,” Weiss posted in the first of a series of tweets.

Weiss subsequently outlined how conservative personalities or individuals with “disfavored” positions would end up on internal blacklists to stunt the spread of their messaging. Talk-show host Dan Bongino was featured on a “search blacklist” while Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk’s account was set to “Do Not Amplify,” Weiss detailed. COVID-19 lockdown critic Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University wound up on a “trends blacklist” that prevented his tweets from featuring on the website’s trending section. Weiss then recalled prior comments from Twitter executives denying that the company used shadow bans to stifle traffic on accounts without their knowledge.

“We do not shadow ban. And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology,” said then Head of Legal Policy and Trust Vijaya Gadde and Head of Product Kayvon Beykpour in 2018. Weiss then outlined testimony from Twitter engineers detailing an identical process the company termed “Visibility Filtering” in which the platform would quietly limit the reach of specific posts. VF decisions would go through the Strategic Response Team — Global Escalation Team Weiss explained, which she said often handled up to 200 cases per day. She further asserted that a secret dubbed “Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support” included top-level officials who made the biggest decisions. Weiss asserted that former CEO Jack Dorsey participated in the group’s deliberations.

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‘If I was a strategic thinker in the non-western world I would be thinking about what to do with my US dollar reserves..’

Saxo Bank Predictions Warn Of A Wild 2023 (Spears)

From Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to a British prime minister being ousted after six weeks, it has been a year of shocking events. More volatility lies ahead if Saxo Bank — whose previous annual list of ‘outrageous predictions’ did not see those two coming — is accurate with its prophecies for 2023, which include the reversal of Brexit and the end of dollar dominance. Some of Saxo Bank’s predictions are more outrageous than others, admits Steen Jakobsen, chief investment officer, who has been overseeing the annual project for more than 20 years. He says the most likely prediction of Saxo’s 10 for 2023 could see the US dollar’s dominance assailed by concerted action among non-Western countries.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to the ‘US weaponising the US dollar,’ as part of the sanctions response, says Jakobsen. ‘If I was a strategic thinker in the non-western world I would be thinking about what to do with my US dollar reserves going forward.’ Oil-producing nations could agree with large consumers such as China and India to do deals in a new reserve asset, leaving the dollar behind. Saxo’s possible scenario sees non-US allied countries create an international clearing union (ICU) and a new reserve asset. Based on an idea by economist John Maynard Keynes after the Second World War, the idea would make the purchasing price for oil more stable in currency terms. ‘Why would Saudi Arabia and China do deals in dollars?’ adds Jakobsen. He believes it would be a natural move ‘at a time when the US has stepped back from being a world policeman.’

Saxo’s predictions suggest a splintering world in which national economies ‘shift into War Economy mode, where sovereign economic gains and self-reliance trump globalisation.’ But closer regional links are also foreseen, most notably in the UK, which votes to ‘un-Brexit’ and rejoin the EU in the wake of economic turmoil and political demonstrations. Jakobsen does not think Rishi Sunak’s more measured approach as prime minister will be any more effective than predecessor Liz Truss’s attempts to create a laissez-faire economy. ‘Neither is going to do anything for the debt or inflation (problems) in the UK,’ he says. ‘Maybe this leads to dissatisfaction, demonstrations and ultimately an election which will see Labour come in. Maybe the Liberal Democrats show up as a Europe-friendly party, (popular) with young people in particular.’

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Merkel made clear that the “collective west” spent years trying to create a war with Russia. It’s that simple.

A tribunal would have no effect. Because all tribunals these days listen to only one side. A “Russian war crimes tribunal” will exclude Ukraine war crimes. Useless. Or worse.

Merkel’s ‘Confession’ May Be Ground For Tribunal – Moscow (RT)

A confession by former German chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the true nature of the Minsk agreements – a roadmap for peace in Ukraine that was brokered by Berlin – could be used as evidence in a tribunal involving Western politicians responsible for provoking the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. The former German leader admitted in an interview with Die Zeit on Wednesday that the actual purpose of the Minsk agreements was to give Ukraine time to prepare for a military confrontation with Russia. “They talk a lot about legal assessments of what is happening around Ukraine, certain tribunals and so on in all sorts of ways,” Zakharova said during a media briefing on Thursday. “But this is a specific reason for a tribunal.”

She claimed that Merkel’s comments were nothing short of the testimony of a person who had openly admitted that everything done between 2014 and 2015 was meant to “distract the international community from real issues, play for time, pump up the Kiev regime with weapons, and escalate the issue into a large-scale conflict,” Zakharova added. She said Merkel’s statements “horrifyingly” reveal that the West uses “forgery as a method of action,” and resorts to “machinations, manipulation and all kinds of distortions of truth, law and rights imaginable.” The spokeswoman claimed that the West had known well in 2015, when it spent hours negotiating the second part of the Minsk accords, that it would never even attempt to fulfill any part of the agreements and would instead pump weapons into Kiev.

“They did not feel sorry for anyone: women, children, the civilian population of Donbass or the whole of Ukraine. They needed a conflict and they were ready for it back then, in 2015,” Zakharova said. Earlier this month, a number of Western officials called for the creation of a special UN-backed court to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Russia during its ongoing military campaign in Ukraine. The Kremlin has said the West has no legal or moral right to set up any courts to investigate or prosecute Russia over the conflict, which Moscow claims was ultimately provoked by the US and its allies.

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“She also said that Zelensky should watch his back, considering last week’s visit to Ukraine by Victoria Nuland..”

US Trying To Make Ukraine Conflict Last For Years – Russia (RT)

US arms procurement documents show that Washington intends to fuel the conflict in Ukraine for at least three more years, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky should take notice of it when assessing the future of his country, she added. “Washington plans to fuel hostilities in Ukraine at least till the end of 2025. That’s what their plans are, judging by documents, which they don’t hide from anybody,” the Russian diplomat told journalists during a briefing on Thursday. Zakharova was referring to a contract for Raytheon’s National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), which the Pentagon announced last week.

The US Army will buy $1.2 billion worth of hardware for Ukraine, according to the announcement, with an estimated completion date in late November 2025. The US, which pledged to provide military assistance to Kiev for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia, previously supplied this type of anti-aircraft system to Ukrainian troops. Advisors to President Vladimir Zelensky should tell him about the procurement timeline, Zakharova suggested, so that he didn’t promise his people that the conflict would end next year, as he did this week. “Washington has different plans. There is a lot of money to be embezzled” through Ukraine aid programs, she alleged. Zakharova claimed that Western assistance was “a corruption marathon” going from the White House to Kiev and back again and profiting grifters on a global scale.

She also said that Zelensky should watch his back, considering last week’s visit to Ukraine by Victoria Nuland, a veteran US diplomat, whom Zakharova called “a harbinger of tragic shocks, caused by the Washington-orchestrated bloody putsch” of 2014. “A new palace coup may be in the making or some other reshuffle. I believe the Zelensky regime, which has repeatedly tested Washington’s patience, has some things to consider,” she remarked, adding that the US didn’t care who was in power in Kiev. Nuland, who served as US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in 2014, was recorded discussing with then-US Ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, the composition of the post-coup Ukrainian government. The private conversation was leaked online by unidentified parties. Her preferred candidate for prime minister subsequently got the job.

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“Zelensky knows when all this can end, it can end tomorrow if desired..”

Kremlin Explains When Ukraine Conflict May End (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky knows that if desired the fighting between Moscow and Kiev could end at any moment, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said during a press call on Thursday. “You can talk about when all of this will end until you are blue in the face,” Peskov said in response to the Ukrainian president’s recent prediction that the conflict could be over next year. “Zelensky knows when all this can end, it can end tomorrow if desired,” the spokesperson added. In a recent interview with Politico – which named him ‘the most powerful person in Europe’ – Zelensky stated that Ukrainians “will be the most influential next year, but already in peacetime.”


Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine could turn out to be a “lengthy process” because achieving all of Russia’s objectives could take quite some time. Earlier, the Russian leader also said that it was wrong to talk about the timing of the special operation or try to adjust it. He noted that it was impossible to set an exact date for when the conflict could end because the fighting is still intense. “We are working calmly, the troops are moving, reaching the lines that are set as tasks. Everything is going according to plan,” Putin said back in June.

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“[Zelensky] can’t go forward with full peace negotiations with Russia, with Putin, unless America has his back..”

Bandera’s ‘Insurgency-in-Waiting’ (Robeson)

In early February 2022, a couple weeks before Putin’s invasion, Ragozin observed, “While downplaying the risk of a Russian offensive and even reprimanding the West for sowing panic, the Ukrainian leadership appears preoccupied with a different threat – that of a coup.” In the same article (“What is Zelenskiy afraid of?”), he described the “Capitulation Resistance Movement” as “a radical street force dedicated to toppling Zelensky” and “a paramilitary force associated with the nationalist opposition that coalesced around former president Petro Poroshenko.” Nationalists officially launched the “Capitulation Resistance Movement” (Rukh Oporu Kapitulyatsiyi, ROK) in October 2019 to sabotage Zelensky’s peace mandate after the political newcomer crushed Poroshenko and his political party in elections held earlier that year.

“No Capitulation” became the slogan of a broader, far-right-led campaign against Zelensky and his government, with protests typically spearheaded by the neo-Nazi Azov movement and the ROK. “Zelensky ran as a peace candidate,” and the hardliners vigorously opposed him, the late Russia expert Stephen F. Cohen explained to journalist Aaron Maté that month. “He won an enormous mandate to make peace. So, that means he has to negotiate with Vladimir Putin.” But there was a major obstacle. Ukrainian fascists “have said that they will remove and kill Zelensky if he continues along this line of negotiating with Putin… His life is being threatened literally by a quasi-fascist movement in Ukraine.” Peace could only come, Cohen stressed, on one condition. “[Zelensky] can’t go forward with full peace negotiations with Russia, with Putin, unless America has his back,” he said.

“Maybe that won’t be enough, but unless the White House encourages this diplomacy, Zelensky has no chance of negotiating an end to the war. So the stakes are enormously high.” That was three years ago. After Russia invaded, the ROK became the FURM, or the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement, which has mostly flown under the radar. After interviewing a representative of the FURM in early March, a neoconservative US journalist referred to the “Resistance Movement” as an “insurgency-in-waiting, one of many, no doubt, that plans to resort to guerrilla warfare in the event that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempted conquest of Ukraine turns into a prolonged occupation of major population centers.”

After keeping tabs on this “quasi-fascist” movement for a few years (although it mostly went dark after Russia invaded), I feel comfortable speculating that the ROK was partially responsible for making Zelensky feel that negotiating peace with Russia would be too dangerous for him. I also suspect that once Putin declared war, Zelensky as an actor felt his only choice was to become an action hero, not just to rally international support for his country, but to become so popular in Ukraine and the West to rule out a coup d’etat.

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“The New York Times has even referred to the unit as the “celebrated Azov Battalion.”

ADL: Ukraine’s Azov Battalion No Longer ‘Far-right’ (GZ)

A November 9 email from the Anti-Defamation League to The Grayzone provided a twisted defense of Ukraine’s Azov Battalion. Despite its self-proclaimed “anti-hate” mission, the ADL insisted in the email it “does not” consider Azov as the “far right group it once was.” The Azov Battalion is a neo-Nazi unit formally integrated into the US government-backed Ukrainian military. Founded by Andriy Biletsky, who has infamously vowed to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led untermenschen,” Azov was once widely condemned by Western corporate media and the human rights industry for its association with Nazism. Then came the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

In the months that immediately followed, Azov led the Ukrainian military’s defense of Mariupol, the group’s longtime stronghold. As the militia assumed a frontline role in the war against Russia, Western media led a campaign to rebrand Azov as misunderstood freedom fighters while accusing its critics of echoing Kremlin talking points. The New York Times has even referred to the unit as the “celebrated Azov Battalion.” Like the Washington Post and other mainstream outlets, the ADL ignored Azov’s atrocities this April in Mariupol, where locals accused the group of using civilians as human shields and executing those who attempted to flee. One video out of Mariupol showed Azov fighters proudly declaring the Nazi collaborator and mass murderer of Jews, Stepan Bandera, to be their “father.”

The Azov Battalion has long served as a magnet for the international white nationalist movement, attracting recruits from the terrorist Atomwaffen Division to a US Army Specialist arrested on charges of distributing bomb-making instructions. Back in March 2022, just a month before the battle of Mariupol, the ADL itself issued a report acknowledging that white nationalists see Azov “as a pathway to the creation of a National Socialist state in Ukraine.” Eight months later, however, the ADL has changed its tune, asserting to this outlet that Azov has rooted the fascists from its ranks. So did Azov change its Nazi ways, or did the ADL simply shift its messaging to conform to the imperatives of a Biden administration still intent on sending billions in military aid to Ukraine?

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Does Borrell work for Raytheon? His spending demands will make Europe a lot poorer…

EU Lacks ‘Critical Defense Capabilities’ – Borrell (RT)

Europe must begin to take more responsibility for its own security, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said, announcing that total expenditure by member states will grow by €70 billion over the next three years. Speaking at the ‘Investing in European Defence’ forum on Thursday, Borrell, who also heads the European Defence Agency (EDA), called on European nations to cooperate more on upping defense capacities in the common interest of bloc security. They should also look past the current conflict in Ukraine and anticipate “future threats.” Borrell said states’ spending on defense had surpassed the €200 billion-level in 2021 for the first time, though they’re still playing catch-up. “After the Cold War, we shrunk our forces to small-size armies without coordination … We lack critical defense capabilities,” he said.

“We have to compensate for years of underspending.” “Total defense expenditure that Member States have announced will grow by another €70 billion in the next three years,” Borrell said, adding that “people don’t fight with banknotes.” Borrell said Brussels faced a challenge to spend the money “in a coordinated manner” and that national decisions should not be focused solely on present needs, an apparent reference to the turmoil in Ukraine. If the focus remains only on current requirements, Europe will once again be faced with “a fragmented European capability landscape,” he warned. The top diplomat said a balance must be found between responding to current needs and preparing for future threats. Those threats are “close by and likely to get worse,” he said.

The EU has committed around $2.5 billion in weapons to Ukraine since Russia’s offensive began in February. Borrell’s pledge comes as European nations are running out of weapons to give Ukraine as they see their own stocks dwindling. The constant transfers of weapons to Ukraine has left most NATO nations’ stockpiles strained, according to a New York Times report last month, which said the bloc’s smaller nations had “exhausted their potential” and at least 20 of NATO’s 30 members were “pretty tapped out.” Politico reported last week that France unofficially admitted it has run out of weapons to send Kiev due to the state of its own supplies, while Germany also faces a €20-billion shortfall in ammunition.

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“..wondering how a fixed price would work in a market that trades oil on a forward floating basis against international benchmarks..”

The Russian Oil Price Cap Isn’t As Simple As It Seems (OP)

The $ 60-per-barrel price cap on Russian crude oil, which came into effect on Monday, looks pretty straightforward. Buyers paying $60 or less per barrel of Russia’s crude will have full access to all EU and G7 insurance and financing services associated with transporting Russian crude to non-EU countries. However, the physical oil market doesn’t usually see trades with fixed prices of crude – oil is being sold at a price premium or discount against the forward prices of the major international benchmarks such as Brent or the Oman/Dubai average. So, the price cap is much more complicated than a straightforward $60 per barrel ceiling. As a result, traders of physical oil cargoes are confused by the price cap on Russian crude, wondering how a fixed price would work in a market that trades oil on a forward floating basis against international benchmarks.

Physical oil traders, those who are willing to trade crude in compliance with the price cap, are also concerned that they could end up inadvertently violating the cap if, for example, the price of Russia’s flagship grade, Urals, with a discount to Brent, is higher than $60 per barrel weeks after the oil trade has been made. In such cases, traders would be stuck with above-$60 Russian crude that violates the price cap and would significantly limit access to EU/G7 tankers and maritime transportation services such as insurance and financing, oil traders tell Bloomberg. This could complicate the physical handling of Russian crude oil cargoes and hedging, they say. “Physical traders rarely trade on a fixed price,” John Driscoll, chief strategist at JTD Energy Services Pte Ltd, told Bloomberg.

“It’s a much more complex space where they trade on formulas and spot differentials to a benchmark crude for the trading of actual cargoes as well as for hedging that follows,” said Driscoll, who has more than 30 years of trading oil in Singapore. The price cap is not set in stone – it “is fixed for now but adjustable over time,” the EU said last week. A price revision would “take into account a variety of factors, which can include the effectiveness of the measure, its implementation, international adherence and alignment, the potential impact on coalition members and partners, and market developments,” the EU says. Even within the price cap, banks are generally wary of providing financing, industry officials told Global Trade Review this week.

Banks are concerned by the high compliance risk and fear they will have to increase scrutiny and due diligence to avoid being caught in a trade or deceptive shipping practices. Adding further confusion for physical oil traders is Russia’s position on the matter. Moscow says it will not trade its oil with countries that have joined the price cap. The EU says that “With the price cap, there are clear incentives for Russia, oil importing countries and market participants to maintain the flow of Russian oil. This will achieve both objectives at the same time.” But Russia says the price cap artificially limits prices—a mechanism Moscow will not accept.

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In times of plenty, incompetence tends to remain hidden. But today, almost everyone working in European institutions turns out to be incompetent. They’ve been selected not for their skills, but for loyalty to some ideology or another.

“People Are Losing Faith In This Institution”: ECB Staff (ZH)

This one is just too funny to pass by: having watched as their incompetent and clueless “leaders” sparked the biggest surge in European inflation since Weimar, crushing the purchasing power of ordinary people across the continent, it is only when their own purchases were suddenly threatened that the ECB’s rank and file decided to make some noises. According to the FT, workers at the world’s biggest hedge fund (or at least it was until the Euro hit parity), known as the European Central Bank, will discuss protest action and even potential strikes after rejecting a pay offer well below the rate of eurozone inflation, a union official has warned. The ECB’s proposal to increase pay by “only” 4.07% in January is – hilariously enough – consistent with the bank’s own opposition to deals that link wages to inflation that it believes risk fuelling a damaging wage-price spiral.

There is just one problem: its own employees think Christine Lagarde – herself a multimillionaire who barely avoided jail time despite being a convicted felon – is full of it and demand much higher pay… which if extended to all European workers will result without doubt in a wage-price spiral, as higher wages will mean higher prices, which mean even higher wages, and so on. The ECB’s latest pay offer, up from a 1.48% rise at the start of this year, is less than half what annual eurozone inflation is expected to be this year and will leave its staff with a significant pay cut in real terms (don’t tell them, but most Europeans won’t even get a 4.07% nominal wage increase: are they supposed to strike too). “People are losing faith in this institution,” said Carlos Bowles, vice-president of the Ipso union that represents ECB staff. “What the ECB leadership is telling us is ‘sorry we missed our own inflation target and now you, the staff, are going to pay the price’. “We really see an issue in the way the ECB stance is damaging the bargaining power of workers,” said Bowles.

“This is playing a role in increasing inequality.” Of course, that’s what we have been saying since 2009. But it was only when their own livelihood was on the line, did workers for Europe’s money printer figure it out too. A recent survey by the union found “the vast majority of colleagues are angry” about the ECB’s pay offer, he said. “The pay consultation is due to finish at the end of the year and we will decide in January if we protest.” The union reportedly met with the ECB’s ultra wealthy president Christine Lagarde – who doesn’t care what food costs, after all with the help of Bernard Tapie she embezzled enough to last her a lifetime – a few weeks ago and she made it clear there was no room for negotiation, he said. A strike, as happened at the ECB over pension reforms in 2009, was “not excluded” but it would only “come after an escalation curve”.

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“In this age of cybersecurity and demands for ‘security by design,’ the FBI and law enforcement partners need ‘lawful access by design.’”

FBI Sees ‘Threat’ In Apple Encryption Move (RT)

The FBI has issued a warning about upcoming security updates for Apple products, insisting the company’s plans to strengthen end-to-end encryption will interfere with efforts to track down criminals and terrorists. The agency sounded alarms soon after Apple announced several “advanced security features” set to be introduced in the coming months – including new protections for files stored in the cloud – telling the Washington Post it is “deeply concerned with the threat end-to-end and user-only-access encryption pose.” “This hinders our ability to protect the American people from criminal acts ranging from cyber-attacks and violence against children to drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism,” an unnamed FBI spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.

“In this age of cybersecurity and demands for ‘security by design,’ the FBI and law enforcement partners need ‘lawful access by design.’” US and allied law enforcement officials have long demanded tech firms to provide open access to all devices, with the FBI frequently citing the aftermath of a 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernadino, California, when agents were unable to get into an Apple phone used by the shooter. Though the bureau pressed the company to help it break in, Apple refused, leading to a lengthy legal battle centered on encryption. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, Apple received at least 11 separate court orders to help police access various devices thought to be involved in criminal activity, but objected to all of them. A New York City court would later conclude that Apple could not be compelled to unlock its phones on the basis of the 1789 All Writs Act, which the FBI had repeatedly cited in prior cases.

Alongside agencies in the UK and Australia, the US Department of Justice has placed similar pressure on other tech giants in the past. In 2019, the three countries issued an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg which argued that “companies should not deliberately design their systems to preclude any form of access to content.” Officials suggested encryption could interfere with investigations into “the most serious crimes,” effectively asking for the ability to crack any device at any time. Privacy advocates, including famed national security whistleblower Edward Snowden, have pushed back on the drive to undermine strong encryption, saying it is impossible to create a backdoor exclusively for law enforcement, and that any such security loophole will also be open to everyone, including bad actors.

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How our impression of China is shaped. Read!

The Coming Purge of the China-Hands (Pattberg)

There comes a time during or shortly after the academic training of every “Student of China” when he frequently runs into one of the many agents of Western anti-China state security. They are adverse hostile forces, they run a complete background-check on you, and then they‘ll make you a simple offer: You either produce anti-Chinese content for the West, or they‘ll mark you as anti-democratic and enemy of freedom, a traitor. In that case, you’ll never find work in the West again. And if you make a big fuss about it and cry coercion or blackmail, they are gonna start decomposing you. Like most young students back then, I, too, was completely ignorant about the inner workings of Western world hegemony. And, like the idiot I always was, I threw myself heedlessly into “China Studies” at a respective University in the United Kingdom, Edinburgh to be exact.

Immediately, the conceited profs and lecturers, they taught us the horrors of Han chauvinism, the horrors of Qing China and the horrors of the Maoists and the horrors against the poor people of Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan. When I looked it up, those were all former British colonies and/or places of interest to the British Crown. We were told LIES by the very British people whose soldiers raped, looted and colonized China, and were now angry that China somehow stood its ground and survived. I do not expect you to believe at first what I am about to tell you. I would not have believed it myself, back then I mean, before I joined some of the many “Studies” invented by the Western Empire of LIES. “China Studies” is not about China. It could be, but it is not. It is warfare against China. To keep China down. To sabotage her. To control her people and her history. In this war, it is the West or you perish.

Joining the enemy, China, is a capital crime. Have you ever wondered why there are no pro-China talking heads in the books, in the papers or on telly? It is because pro-China people in “China Studies” were the enemy. They didn’t make it through graduation, they weren’t hired, etc.. Our common sense is often betrayed by what sociologists call ‘the survivor bias’: We believe that since all we hear or read about China is negative, this must be sure proof that China is a very nasty place. What we fail to see, however, is that all the negative stuff we heard and read about China was the product of just 1 “China Studies” graduate for every 1,000,000 people or so of the general Western population. Nobody who was pro-China survived the selection process or came anywhere near central power.

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“For many it was not in the increased number of homeless on the streets, or beggars huddled around tourist sites, or eye-wateringly high energy bills – although all of those existed before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. ”

The Fixed-pPice Shopping Basket: Greece’s Answer To Cost Of Living Crisis (G.)

Even before the cost of living crisis was formally pronounced, it had arrived in Greece. For many it was not in the increased number of homeless on the streets, or beggars huddled around tourist sites, or eye-wateringly high energy bills – although all of those existed before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “It was there for everyone to see on the supermarket shelves,” says Panagiota Kalapotharakou, who heads the consumer rights association Ekpizo. “Eighteen months ago there were so many products with price labels that a great number of Greeks could not afford. Costs were going up long before the war in Ukraine.” It came as little surprise for consumer groups, then, that when talk turned to the need for relief measures to counter rising inflation the government chose to focus on staple goods.

What emerged was the novel concept of the “household basket”: supermarkets agreed with the government to sell about 51 staples – from flour to fish – at fixed prices. The measure, thrashed out around a long mahogany table in the ministry of commerce, went into effect in early November. Officials in the centre-right government intend the scheme, scheduled to run to the end of the winter, as a bulwark for the most vulnerable against the inflationary storm. No government subsidies are involved. “We spent weeks sitting around this table working on it with supermarket market representatives and our competition committee,” says Sotiris Anagnostopoulos, the ministry’s fresh-faced general secretary. “In politics you have to anticipate what is coming next. The cost of living crisis is a huge challenge, maybe the biggest we have faced since the adoption of the euro.”

Nationwide chains have signed up to the programme, selling products under blue household basket labels. With the country’s annual consumer inflation rate currently at 10% – down from a high of 12% in September – the government insists the initiative has succeeded in stabilising prices at a time of uncertainty and, in some cases, driving them lower. “What was never expected was the price war that we have seen among the big supermarket chains,” says Anagnostopoulos. “It’s been a surprise and a pleasant one because in general Greeks have much lower purchasing power.” Forced to survive on some of the lowest wages in the EU – at less than €1,200 a month, the average monthly salary is about a quarter of that in Germany – Greeks have felt the impact of soaring prices perhaps more than other EU nations.

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“Anyone who has downloaded a classified document from WikiLeaks, Cryptome or any other source, or posted it online is liable to prosecution under the Act..”

Daniel Ellsberg: Indict Me Too (Lauria)

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has told the U.S. Justice Department and President Joe Biden that he is as indictable as WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange for having unauthorized possession of classified materials before they were published by WikiLeaks and that he would plead “not guilty” because the Espionage Act is unconstitutional. Ellsberg revealed this week to the BBC interview program Hard Talk that Assange had given him the files leaked by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to keep as a backup before they were published by WikiLeaks in 2010. Assange has been charged with violating the Espionage Act for possession and dissemination of classified information and faces 175 years in a U.S. prison if he is extradited from Belmarsh Prison in London.

Ellsberg is the second figure this month to come forward calling on the U.S. government to indict them for the same reasons Assange has been charged. “Cryptome published the decrypted unredacted State Department Cables on September 1, 2011 prior to publication of the cables by WikiLeaks,” John Young wrote in a Justice Department submission form, which Young posted on Twitter last week. “No US official has contacted me about publishing the unredacted cables since cryptome published them,” he wrote. “I respectfully request that the Department of Justice add me as a co-defendant in the prosecution of Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act.” The 1917 Espionage Act does not exempt journalists from receiving and publishing classified information, which Ellsberg says is a clear violation of the First Amendment and should be challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Anyone who has downloaded a classified document from WikiLeaks, Cryptome or any other source, or posted it online is liable to prosecution under the Act, which would include millions of people around the world. Receiving and publishing classified information is routine work for journalists at major publications. Five newspapers partnered with WikiLeaks to publish Manning’s material in 2010 but only Assange has been charged. Those five newspapers last week called on the Biden administration to drop the charges on Assange because of the threat to the First Amendment. The Obama administration declined to indict Assange in 2011 because it understood that it would also have to indict New York Times editors and reporters for having published the same materiel Assange did. That is the only material Assange was indicted for.

He was not charged for releases exposing Central Intelligence Agency hacking activities in 2016, though that so infuriated then C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo that Pompeo later asked for plans to be drawn up to either kidnap or kill Assange while he was living under asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy. The Trump administration then had Assange arrested and charged under the Espionage Act in 2019. Despite being part of the Obama administration, Biden has refused to drop the case. When those plans were first revealed at Assange’s extradition hearing in 2020, Ellsberg said that the government was treating Assange worse than he had been treated and that it should have set Assange free.

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“..all other news outlets around the country reported feeling “lost” as they were so used to just copying and pasting from the New York Times each morning.”

Disinformation Down 92% As NYT Writers Go On Strike (BBee)

Researchers are reporting that disinformation on Twitter, Facebook, and mainstream news sources is already down by 92% in the wake of a 24-hour writer’s strike at the New York Times. “We always wondered where all this harmful disinformation was coming from,” said Darryl Ball, a researcher with the Center for Combatting Bad Things Online. “Turns out, it was all coming from those knuckleheads at the Times. Who knew?” Several studies indicate the country has seen a sharp decrease in hate speech, foreign propaganda, and shockingly dumb hot takes since the entire writing staff walked out of the building in New York City, which experts believe could lead to an outbreak of peace and harmony across the nation.


“All this time, the threat to democracy was us all along!” said NYT Union Boss Fuggs Crullers to reporters from other news organizations not on strike. “We have begun negotiations with leadership to pay us more money to never come back to work in hopes of saving America.” At publishing time, all other news outlets around the country reported feeling “lost” as they were so used to just copying and pasting from the New York Times each morning.

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Paul Marik

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker dreamers

 

 

 

 

Referee
https://twitter.com/i/status/1600902123486470145

 

 

Polar bear cub

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 182022
 


Vincent van Gogh Self-portrait with dark felt hat at the easel 1886

 

A War Russia Set To Win (Bhadrakumar)
Borrell Tells EU Members ‘Don’t Worry About Money’ For Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Can Retake Crimea By Next Summer, Former Top US Commander Says (ZH)
Turkish Hub May Solve Nord Stream Problems – Gazprom (RT)
US Poised For Slowdown In High-end Munitions Deliveries To Ukraine (Fox)
Musk Compares Crimea To Pearl Harbor
US To See Winter Spike In Natural Gas Prices (RT)
Ghislaine Maxwell Breaks Silence On ‘Special Friendship’ With Bill Clinton (CB)
American Inquisition (Jim Kunstler)
Devastating Report On PCR Test Covered Up (DAK)
Boston University Makes New Covid Strain With 80% Kill Rate (PM)
Cancer Is a Man-Made Disease – Controversial Study (LS)
Biden Export Controls ‘Wreaking Havoc’ On China’s Chip Industry (ZH)
Will Comey and Mueller Be Prosecuted for Lies John Durham Uncovered? (ET)
Why the Jan 6 Committee’s Timing is both Terrible and Telling (Turley)
The Dark Side of Nuclear Fusion (Pepi Cima)

 

 

Fmr. US ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock

 

 

 

 

Oborne

 

 

 

 

Bourla

 

 

 

 

“Contracted price for long-term Russian supply for Germany used to be about $280 per 1,000 cubic metres as against the current market price hovering around $2,000.”

“Russians will settle for nothing less than the ouster of the Zelenskyy regime.”

A War Russia Set To Win (Bhadrakumar)

Two massive terrorist strikes misfired spectacularly and a terrible beauty is born in the Ukraine war. These two carefully planned attacks in quick succession — on Nord Stream gas pipelines and Crimean Bridge — were intended as a knockout blow to Russia. According to President Vladimir Putin, people ‘who want to finally sever ties between Russia and the EU, weaken Europe’ are behind the Nord Stream blasts. He named the US, Ukraine and Poland as ‘beneficiaries’. India should expect the defeat of the US and NATO, which completes the transition to a multipolar world order. Last Wednesday, Russia’s domestic intelligence service FSB identified Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, as the mastermind behind the Crimean attack.

The New York Times and Washington Post also pointed fingers at Kiev, quoting ‘sources’. While Nord Stream-1 has been crippled, one of the strings of Nord Stream-2 remains intact. Putin said last week that the pipeline could be restored and Russia could deliver about 27 billion cubic metres of gas. ‘The ball is on the side of the European Union, if they want — let’s turn on the tap,’ he said. But mum’s the word from Brussels. It is a profoundly embarrassing moment for the EU. The triumphalism has vanished as Europe is threatened by years of recession caused by the blowback from sanctions against Russia, where the US insisted on the cut off of energy ties with Moscow.

The EU has now become a captive market for Big Oil and is left to buy LNG from the US at the asking price, which is six to seven times higher than the domestic price in the US. (Contracted price for long-term Russian supply for Germany used to be about $280 per 1,000 cubic metres as against the current market price hovering around $2,000.) Plainly put, the Europeans have been nicely played by the Americans. India should take note of the US’ sense of entitlement. Basically, the Biden administration created a contrived energy crisis whose real aim is war profiteering. The Crimean Bridge attack of October 8 is much more serious. Zelenskyy has crossed a red line that Moscow had repeatedly warned him against.

Putin has disclosed that there have also been three terrorist attacks against the Kursk NPP. Russians will settle for nothing less than the ouster of the Zelenskyy regime. Russia’s retaliation against Ukraine’s ‘critical infrastructure’, something Moscow refrained from so far, has serious implications. Since October 9, Russia has begun systematically targeting Ukraine’s power system and railways. Noted Russian military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia that if this tempo was kept up for a week or so, it ‘will disrupt the entire logistics of the Ukrainian military — system for transporting personnel, military equipment, ammunition, related cargo, as well as the functioning of military and repair plants.’

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Borrell is not a diplomat, even if they call him that. “Diplomat” and “diplomacy” are words that have an actual meaning. He fits none of that.

Borrell Tells EU Members ‘Don’t Worry About Money’ For Ukraine (RT)

The EU has enough funds to back member nations that send weapons to Ukraine’s military, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell said on Monday. His statement comes amid reports that the EU cannot fully reimburse states that are supporting Kiev’s forces. Speaking prior to a Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg, Borrell said “there is enough money, don’t worry about money” before walking away. Despite the diplomat’s assurances, last week, Politico reported that the European Peace Facility, a €1.5 billion fund meant to assist EU countries in replacing weapons sent to Kiev, was unable to satisfy more than half the requests that it received.

According to the report, this angered Poland, which is one of Ukraine’s main backers in terms of weapon deliveries, with Warsaw presenting a bill for €1.8 billion ($1.75 billion). Poland later backed down, agreeing to 46% compensation, the outlet said. Meanwhile, the US and Ukraine have both been pressing the EU to do more to support Kiev financially – and in a more expedient manner. Last week, in an apparent reference to Brussels, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged international donors “to keep stepping up” their aid efforts, stressing that assistance should go in direct cash payments rather than in loans. Speaking to the Washington Post, one former senior treasury official noted that “I know they’re very frustrated” about the slow progress of aid, adding that “US officials want to see Europe deliver far more quickly.”

Earlier this month Oleg Ustenko, a top economic adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called the delays in EU economic aid “unacceptable,” citing the “extreme high pressure” the finance ministry is under. Last week Zelensky said that his country needs as much as $38 billion to cover next year’s estimated budget deficit and another $17 billion to start to restore critical infrastructure. Meanwhile, Washington has committed $8.5 billion in economic aid to Ukraine, with another $4.5 billion slated to arrive by the end of the year. However, according to the Washington Post’s sources, the EU has pledged €11 billion ($10.7 billion) but has so far only handed over roughly one third of that, which was in the form of loans.

Green screen

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Any first year psychology student can tell you about projection.

“..they are doing everything they can to prolong the war..”

“..young men who are now being conscripted as cannon fodder..”

Ukraine Can Retake Crimea By Next Summer, Former Top US Commander Says (ZH)

A top US general, now retired, has said he believes that Ukrainian forces can retake the Crimean Peninsula by next summer. Ben Hodges is the former commanding general of the United States Army Europe, and he’s predicting that “Crimea will be free by summer.” He told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in statements published over the weekend, “When I look at the situation, I see that the situation of the Russians is getting worse with every week.” Hodges went on to explain that Ukraine’s military is likely to keep this momentum given “far superior” logistics and motivation to fight. “They say war is a test of will and logistics – and on both counts Ukraine is far superior,” Hodges told the German publication. “The Russians have to lose [the war]; otherwise, they’ll try again in two or three years.”

He said the Kremlin is betting big on its “one hope” that the West and NATO countries will lose resolve in their military support for Ukraine. The ex-top Army commander for Europe also said he expects to see more sabotage attacks against Russian assets and crucial logistics and resource hubs, such as with the recent bombings against the Kerch Strait Bridge and the Nord Stream pipelines: “So they are doing everything they can to prolong the war and spread fear and insecurity in the West. Any means will do: The young men who are now being conscripted as cannon fodder, as well as attacks on infrastructure in the West,” Hodges told FAZ. “I believe that we will therefore see more such acts of sabotage and attacks, or at least attempts, in the coming weeks and months.”

This comes as there’s been stepped up cross-border shelling and missile attacks against the Russian city of Belgorod, which lies just north of the Ukrainian border not far from the major Ukraine city of Kherson. But despite much of the past month witnessing headline after headline declare rapid advances of Ukrainian forces against the Russians in the east, the Kremlin on Sunday has announced significant new successes: Russia’s defense ministry says its forces repelled efforts by Ukrainian troops to advance in the Donetsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, inflicting what it described as significant losses against the enemy. A ministry spokesperson said that “during fierce fighting, units of the Russian army held the positions they held, inflicting significant losses on the enemy.”

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South Stream.

Turkish Hub May Solve Nord Stream Problems – Gazprom (RT)

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said on Sunday that it would be possible to redirect all of the gas supplies halted due to the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines through a Turkish hub. “We are talking about all those volumes that we lost due to acts of international terrorism at the Nord Stream pipelines, so it can be significant volumes,” Miller said in an interview with Russia 1 TV, commenting on the prospects of creating a major energy hub in Türkiye. Miller highlighted that the company’s experience in preparing the South Stream pipeline project could be valuable.


The project, which would have brought an estimated 63 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and onward to other countries in Europe, ended up being canceled and replaced by TurkStream. “Thus, even if we talk about the technical documentation for the route, everything has been done for South Stream back then,” the CEO said. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed building a major gas hub in Türkiye to handle supplies previously directed through the Nord Stream pipelines. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed the idea, adding that both leaders had ordered their respective governments to present construction plans as soon as possible.

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Running out. Raytheon is raising its Christmas bonuses.

US Poised For Slowdown In High-end Munitions Deliveries To Ukraine (Fox)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signaled this week that the U.S. and its Western allies are having trouble keeping pace with Ukraine’s demand for the advanced weaponry it needs to fend off Russia’s invasion. That signal reflects dwindling supplies for Ukraine and fear in the White House of escalation that could lead to war between the U.S. and Russia. The risk of reduced U.S. stockpiles of high-end munitions has been reported almost since the U.S. began contributing to Ukraine’s defense. Now, nearly eight months since the start of the war, experts interviewed by Fox News Digital say the U.S. is at or very near the end of its capacity to give. They agreed that Austin’s remarks indicate that the initial rush of high-end munitions like HIMAR rocket launchers, Javelin anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft Stingers and M-777 Howitzers is over.

These sources said there may be two factors at play that are contributing to this reality. One factor is the issue that Austin addressed directly this week – the U.S. is running low on equipment that it can hand over to Ukraine. At a press conference Wednesday, Austin was asked whether the U.S. and other nations are worried about running so low on domestic supplies of critical munitions that they can no longer help Ukraine. Austin dodged the question by stressing that the desire is there to get Ukraine what it needs, but he left unsaid whether Ukraine’s allies can actually deliver. “Well, it certainly is not a question of lack of will,” Austin replied. Austin had just concluded a meeting with officials from dozens of countries about Ukraine’s munitions needs.

As he described that meeting, he again talked about willpower but hinted at strained capacity to provide more for Ukraine, which is using up munitions faster than the world can deliver them. “We will produce and deliver these highly effective capabilities over the course of the coming months — and in some cases years — even as we continue to meet Ukraine’s most pressing self-defense requirements in real time,” Austin said of the most recent commitment to send HIMARS, vehicles, radar systems and other equipment. Mark Cancian is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic & International Studies who spent seven years working on DOD procurement issues for the Office of Management and Budget. His assessment based on inventory levels, industrial capacity, and information from the Biden administration is that the U.S. has “limited” supplies of HIMARs, Javelins, Stingers and M-777 Howitzers. “There are some areas where we’re basically at the bottom of the barrel,” he told Fox News Digital.

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“From their standpoint losing Crimea is like [the] USA losing Hawaii & Pearl Harbor.”

Musk Compares Crimea To Pearl Harbor

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk argued on Monday that Russia views Crimea as an integral part of its territory, and that Ukrainian or Western attempts to seize the peninsula could end in nuclear war. While Musk has previously backtracked on pulling his technological support for Ukraine, he has courted controversy for insisting that Crimea is Russia. “If Russia is faced with the choice of losing Crimea or using battlefield nukes, they will choose the latter,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “We’ve already sanctioned/cutoff Russia in every possible way, so what more do they have left to lose?” he asked, in response to a commenter asking him whether he reckoned the Ukraine conflict could devolve into a nuclear war.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly stated that he intends to seize control of Crimea, along with the four former regions of Ukraine that recently voted to join the Russian Federation. Crimea overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia in 2014, and as such falls under the protection of Moscow’s nuclear arsenal. As President Vladimir Putin has stated, Russia’s nuclear doctrine allows the state to defend itself with “all available means” if its existence is threatened.“Whether one likes it or not, Crimea is absolutely seen as a core part of Russia by Russia,” Musk continued. “Crimea is also of critical national security importance to Russia, as it is their southern navy base. From their standpoint losing Crimea is like [the] USA losing Hawaii & Pearl Harbor.”

Crimea was formally a part of Russia from 1783 until it was gifted to the Ukrainian SSR by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. Musk claimed earlier this month that Khrushchev’s decision was a “mistake,” and suggested that Ukraine abandon its claim to the peninsula as part of a future peace deal with Russia.Musk’s peace plan was condemned by Ukrainian officials and their supporters online, with Ukraine’s former ambassador to Germany, Andrey Melnik, telling the billionaire to “f**k off.”Musk then said that he would take Melnik’s advice and stop providing free Starlink internet access to Ukraine, which he said would cost SpaceX $400 million to run throughout 2023.

Elon

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“..the real problem isn’t shortage but pricing.”

This is how the Ukraine is financed.

US To See Winter Spike In Natural Gas Prices (RT)

Natural gas bills are set to increase in all regions of the United States this winter, with surging demand and colder temperatures potentially forcing Americans to pay nearly 30% more over the previous year, according to projections by the US Department of Energy. A forecast published by the department’s Energy Information Agency (EIA) on Monday predicted a significant price hike over the winter months, suggesting some US households will pay an average of $931 for heating during the cold season – a 28% increase over 2021. Nearly half of all American homes are heated with natural gas.The agency went on to note that the Midwest will see the greatest increase in retail gas prices compared to other regions, though the South, West and Northeast will also experience climbing costs.

While comparatively colder temperatures are expected to contribute to the rising prices, the EIA previously said growing “constraints on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe from Russia” were creating “strong international demand” for American gas. The resulting boost in US exports has used “almost all” of the country’s available gas capacity and driven prices upward, with the US reporting its lowest natural gas storage levels in three years last April. Efforts by some European states to curtail Russian energy imports in retaliation for the war in Ukraine have also prompted fears that residents will be unable to heat their homes come winter. In comments to the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Italy’s Energy Minister Roberto Cingolani warned the coming months could be “dominated by fear and uncertainty,” observing that “the real problem isn’t shortage but pricing.”

“Citizens may be unable to pay their bills and businesses risk closing down,” he said, though voiced hopes the continent will “get through the winter fine” barring any “catastrophes” such as exceptionally cold weather or a major spike in energy consumption. EU leaders are expected to meet later this week to discuss a price cap on natural gas for the bloc in an attempt to head off an energy crisis, with the European Commission reportedly planning to create a mechanism allowing it to intervene to force down prices when they surpass a “dynamic” maximum level.

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“..he is another victim, only because of his association with Jeffrey. I understand that he, like others, can no longer consider me as a friend..”

Ghislaine Maxwell Breaks Silence On ‘Special Friendship’ With Bill Clinton (CB)

Ghislaine Maxwell, the imprisoned former girlfriend of the late, disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex trafficker, has broken her silence on those who were close friends. Among those friends was former President Bill Clinton whose friendship she described as “special,” she said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Mail. “It was a special friendship, which continued over the years,” she said of her friendship with the former president. “We had lots in common. I feel bad that he is another victim, only because of his association with Jeffrey. I understand that he, like others, can no longer consider me as a friend. “I said in open court in my statement that meeting Jeffrey Epstein was the greatest mistake of my life,” she said.

[..] She also spoke about her former friendship with Prince Andrew. “Yes, I follow what is happening to him,” she said. “He is paying such a price for the association with Jeffrey Epstein. I care about him, and I feel so bad for him. [..] Earlier this month it was reported that Maxwell, may be getting set to talk and that could mean a world of issues for some famous people. “Bill Clinton should be sweating bullets,” reporter Kari Donavan said for The Republic Brief. “It has long been suspected by court watchers that a notorious list of clientele for Epstein, allegedly including Clinton, would eventually emerge, and they may be right, according to investigators and lawyers who have followed the complex case.

“The shocking warning came out of a new documentary that investigated the role of Britain’s Prince Andrew and his close ties as a client of Epstein’s, when the comments were made that there could be further revelations about other clients of Epstein’s because his madame- Ghislaine Maxwell – who was recently convicted for crimes associated with Epstein has until June 2023 to cooperate with prosecutors, in possibly overturning more names,” she said. In a new documentary, “Prince Andrew Banished,’ Florida-based attorney Spencer Kuvin, who represents some of Epstein’s victims, said that Maxwell has until 2023 to cooperate with authorities to get her free from jail quicker.

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“The board accused her of “fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation” in her practice, “conduct that evidences a lack of ability or fitness,” and being “an immediate jeopardy” to public health.”

American Inquisition (Jim Kunstler)

Case in point: the persecution of Meryl Nass, MD, in the state of Maine by its Board of Licensure in Medicine. Dr. Nass is an internal medicine physician and a recognized expert in bioterrorism who famously uncovered the origin of the mysterious “Gulf War Syndrome” as a reaction to the US Army’s own anthrax vaccine. She has testified before Congress and in many state legislatures about vaccine safety. After the emergence of Covid-19, Dr. Nass spoke out and blogged about the dangers of the new vaccines, and in favor of early treatment protocols using ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Her outspokeness attracted the ire of Maine Governor Janet Mills, and Mills’s sister, Dora Ann Mills, the “Chief Improvement Officer” at Maine Health, a huge network of twelve hospitals, 1,700 doctors, and 22,000 employees, deeply invested in the Covid vaccine program.

In January of this year, Dr. Nass’s license was suspended by the Licensure Board based on complaints by two “activists” that she was “spreading misinformation” and for her use of early treatment protocols with her own patients. The board compelled Dr. Nass to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation to determine if she was a drug abuser or suffered from mental illness. (Flag that, since it implies official defamation of her character.) The board accused her of “fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation” in her practice, “conduct that evidences a lack of ability or fitness,” and being “an immediate jeopardy” to public health.

For most of this year, the board refused to entertain any defense by Dr. Nass for her suspension until a hearing held last week, October 11, when she appeared before the Licensure Board with her attorney, Gene Libby. The hearing in its entirety can be watched on video at Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense website. (The first two-thirds the board prosecutes its case; the last hour Dr. Nass presents her defense.) Days before the hearing, the Licensure Board withdrew all the “misinformation” charges against Dr. Nass without explanation and now bases its case on Dr. Nass’s use of early treatment protocols.

The hearing was highly instructive on the tactics and strategies for defeating official persecutions against doctors in America (and broadly across all of Western Civ these days), since the Maine licensure Board acted with obvious ignorance and malice that is easily revealed. Dr. Nass’s attorney Gene Libby deftly got the Board on-record attesting to their own deliberate misconduct. For instance, he repeatedly invoked their charges against “spreading misinformation,” forcing the chair, an eye doctor named Maroulla S. Gleaton, to affirm that the charges had been precipitously dropped days before. There was also some lively discussion of the board’s imputations against Dr. Nass’s mental health and insinuations of drug abuse — Dr. Nass testified that she’d never been treated for mental health issues, had never taken pharmaceuticals for them, never took illicit drugs or been accused of it, and, where alcohol was concerned, enjoyed “about five drinks a year.”

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Google translate.

Devastating Report On PCR Test Covered Up (DAK)

Researcher Dr. Rogier Louwen of Erasmus MC concluded after extensive lab research that the PCR test as it is currently used is “pointless”. But the publication of his research is hindered and Louwen was fired by his employer. The ‘resurgence’ of the coronavirus is once again widely in the news. The number of ‘infections’ is rising, the media report daily. Millions of people are still regularly tested for corona. But how reliable is the PCR test? Since the start of the corona crisis, there has been considerable criticism of the test, as it is used, outside the hospital, without additional diagnostics.

This criticism does not only come from opponents of the corona policy. Marion Koopmans, member of the OMT and head of the virology department of Erasmus MC, acknowledged in November 2020 on NPO Radio 1: “You only test whether someone carries a piece of RNA that can be months old”. RIVM acknowledged on its website that large-scale testing of people with mild or no complaints has no added value. This leads to far too many ‘false positive’ results. Rogier Louwen, assistant professor who has been employed by Erasmus MC for 22 years, decided with a number of colleagues to test what a ‘positive’ result from a PCR test means. That research, subsidized by the EU, has been completed.

Louwen concluded that “indiscriminately using the PCR test in a population without too many complaints, and using it as the basis of the policy, is not useful”. He showed that the test is not only positive for pieces of SARS-CoV-2, but also for the presence of other viruses, bacteria and human DNA. However, Louwen was unable to get these interesting results published. According to him, this is due to active “opposition”. In fact, he was fired on the spot in June. That may also have to do with criticism he expressed about the vaccinations. According to Louwen, his situation is symptomatic of the one-sided way in which corona is approached. An open debate is not possible, he says. “People want to destroy you scientifically and personally.”

RFK: FDA is having an public meeting on Oct 19 to discuss adding COVID-19 Vaccine to the childhood schedule. This would give the pharma companies full liability protection and also likely lead to any school requiring it in the US.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1582112199635783680

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Why?

Boston University Makes New Covid Strain With 80% Kill Rate (PM)

Researchers at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories have created a new strain of the Covid virus, echoing experiments which many believe led to the Covid-19 pandemic. The variant is a hybrid of the Omicron variant which spread over the winter and the original virus that was discovered in Wuhan, with this hybrid killing 80 percent of the mice researchers infected, according to the Daily Mail. Researchers found that when infected with the Omicron variant, a similar group of mice all survived and experienced “mild” symptoms. The new research, which has not been peer reviewed, centers around the role of spike proteins in the pathogenic and antigenic behaviors of the virus.

Researchers extracted Omicron’s spike protein, which binds to and invades human cells, and attached those to the original virus that emerged in Wuhan. Looking at how mice fared against the new hybrid strain, researchers wrote, “In…mice, while Omicron causes mild, non-fatal infection, the Omicron S-carrying virus inflicts severe disease with a mortality rate of 80 percent.” Researchers said that while the spike protein is responsible for rates of infectivity, other changes to the virus’ structure determine its deadliness. In addition to looking at mice, researchers also looked at how different strains affect human lung cells that were grown in the lab.

Researchers found that the new strain produced five times more infectious virus particles than the Omicron variant. Researchers noted that the hybrid virus is likely to be less deadly in humans due to differences in the immune systems of mice and humans. Boston University’s lab is one of 13 biosafety level 4 labs in the US. These labs are authorized to handle the most dangerous pathogens, and conduct experiments that often involve working with animal viruses to advance treatments and vaccines.

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“There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer.”

Cancer Is a Man-Made Disease – Controversial Study (LS)

Is the common nature of cancer worldwide purely a man-made phenomenon? That is what some researchers now suggest. Still, other specialists in cancer and in human fossils have strong doubts about this notion. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for roughly one in eight of all deaths in 2004, according to the World Health Organization. However, scientists have only found one case of the disease in investigations of hundreds of Egyptian mummies, researcher Rosalie David at the University of Manchester in England said in a statement. The rarity of cancer in mummies suggests it was scarce in antiquity, and “that cancer-causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization,” researcher Michael Zimmerman at Villanova University in Pennsylvania said in a statement.

“In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases.” Zimmerman was the first to diagnose cancer in an Egyptian mummy by analyzing its tissues on a microscopic level, identifying rectal cancer in an unnamed mummy who had lived in the Dakhleh Oasis during the Ptolemaic period 1,600 to 1,800 years ago. David and Zimmerman also analyzed ancient literature from Egypt and Greece for hints of cancer, as well as medical studies of human and animal remains going back to the age of dinosaurs. They suggested evidence of cancer in animal fossils, non-human primates and early humans was scarce, with a few dozen uncertain examples.

As they analyzed ancient literature, they did not find descriptions of operations for breast and other cancers until the 17th century, and the first reports in the scientific literature of distinctive tumors have only occurred in the past 200 years, such as scrotal cancer in chimney sweepers in 1775, nasal cancer in snuff users in 1761 and Hodgkin’s disease in 1832. One possible reason cancers might have been comparatively rare in antiquity is that the short life span of individuals back then precluded the development of the disease. Still, the researchers did note some people in ancient Egypt and Greece did live long enough to develop such diseases as atherosclerosis, Paget’s disease of bone, and osteoporosis.

David and Zimmerman therefore argue that cancer nowadays is largely caused by man-made environmental factors such as pollution and diet. They detailed their findings in the October issue of the journal Nature Reviews Cancer. “In industrialized societies, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death, but in ancient times, it was extremely rare,” David said in a statement. “There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer.”

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“..Biden has forced all Americans working in China to pick between quitting their jobs and losing American citizenship..”

Biden Export Controls ‘Wreaking Havoc’ On China’s Chip Industry (ZH)

A Twitter thread translated by Rhodium Group China expert Jordan Schneider provides keen insight into the effects of the Biden administration’s new export controls on the chip industry. To review, the Biden administration last week laid out new rules on chip exports based on US concerns that China will use AI to improve military capabilities, support surveillance for human rights abuses and “disrupt or manufacture outcomes that undermine democratic governance and sow social unrest,” according to Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D. Rozman Kendler. The sweeping regulations will curb the sale of semiconductors and chipmaking equipment to its #1 geopolitical rival – which, as Bloomberg puts it, is “sending shockwaves through the $440 billion industry.”

In a Friday Twitter thread which he translated from Hedgehog Computing Group founder Xinran Wang (@lidangzzz), Schneider lays out the carnage in English: “To put it simply, Biden has forced all Americans working in China to pick between quitting their jobs and losing American citizenship,” Schneider writes, adding “One round of sanctions from Biden did more damage than all four years of performative sanctioning under Trump.” Every American executive and engineer working in China’s semiconductor manufacturing industry resigned yesterday, paralyzing Chinese manufacturing overnight.One round of sanctions from Biden did more damage than all four years of performative sanctioning under Trump. — Jordan Schneider (@jordanschnyc) October 14, 2022

Although American semiconductor exporters had to apply for licenses during the Trump years, licenses were approved within a month. With the new Biden sanctions, all American suppliers of IP blocks, components, and services departed overnight —— thus cutting off all service [to China]. Long story short, every advanced node semiconductor company is currently facing comprehensive supply cut-off, resignations from all American staff, and immediate operations paralysis.This is what annihilation looks like: China’s semiconductor manufacturing industry was reduced to zero overnight. Complete collapse. No chance of survival.

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That’s a lot of lies.

Will Comey and Mueller Be Prosecuted for Lies John Durham Uncovered? (ET)

While special counsel John Durham’s prosecution of Steele dossier source Igor Danchenko appears to be headed toward acquittal, Durham has used the trial to make public a number of revelations that cast the entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative in a fresh light. Most prominently, Durham revealed that on Oct. 3, 2016, the FBI had offered dossier author Christopher Steele up to $1 million to provide any information, physical evidence, or documentary evidence that could back up the claims in his dossier. But despite the huge reward on offer, Steele did not provide any such information.Crucially, despite Steele’s failure to back up his dossier, a mere 18 days later the FBI proceeded to obtain a FISA warrant against Trump 2016 presidential campaign adviser Carter Page.

In its application to the FISA court, the FBI used the Steele dossier—specifically, its claim that Page was acting as an agent of Russia—as evidence.Then, after Donald Trump won the presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016, the U.S. intelligence community, which included the FBI, began drafting an intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference in the election. The ICA was issued in early January 2017, claiming that Russia had helped Trump win the election.The assessment included a summary of the dossier, claiming that it had been partly corroborated. The inclusion of Steele’s dossier in an official U.S. intelligence community product gave the dossier the credibility it had lacked up until that point.

It also gave the media, which had held back from reporting on the dossier between July 2016 and January 2017, the excuse it needed to start doing so. For the next several years, the dossier and its lurid claims became the centerpiece of the media’s campaign against Trump. As Durham has now made public, the inclusion of the dossier in the ICA was based on a lie.Another major revelation exposed by Durham in a pre-trial motion was that Danchenko had been on the FBI’s payroll between March 2017 and October 2020 as a confidential human source (CHS). By bestowing this coveted status on Danchenko, the FBI was able to conceal the existence of Danchenko from congressional and other investigators.

This was crucial, as Danchenko had told FBI investigators in January 2017 that the dossier was based on rumors and gossip made in jest. The admission that the Steele dossier was nothing more than bar talk needed to be concealed if the FBI was to continue its investigation of Trump. Appointing Danchenko as a CHS had another benefit for the FBI. As Danchenko’s handler, FBI agent Kevin Helson, confirmed in court last week, because he was an incoming CHS, Danchenko was directed to scrub his phone. Conveniently, that also meant scrubbing evidence of Danchenko’s alleged lies to the FBI, evidence that Durham now lacks.

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“Why, then, wait until the last hearing, especially if the House may flip to GOP control in a matter of weeks?”

Why the Jan 6 Committee’s Timing is both Terrible and Telling (Turley)

The Jan. 6 committee had a noble mandate but failed to use it to offer a credible investigation for citizens across the political spectrum. From the first to the final hearing, it presented a one-sided narrative in a tightly scripted, packaged production. No defense or alternative explanations for key events or statements were allowed; witnesses were largely asked specific questions to get them to repeat what they said in previously recorded interviews, as members read from a teleprompter. The committee could have been so much more. It could have followed the type of balanced inquiry that pursued allegations tied to the Pearl Harbor attack or Watergate. Even without Republican-appointed members, it could have insisted on balanced hearings with witnesses and dissenting views.

Nevertheless, the committee revealed important, often disturbing details. It was important for Americans to hear from figures like former attorney general Bill Barr and White House lawyers who struggled to counter unfounded advice given to Trump by outside lawyers on challenging the 2020 election. There were painful scenes of Capitol police overwhelmed at barricades and members of Congress hunkered down in offices. Yet, the focus on a single approved narrative gave the hearings the feel of an infomercial selling a product that most of us bought two years earlier. Subpoenaing Trump on the final scheduled hearing only reaffirmed how the committee was driven by political rather than investigative priorities. Indeed, the timing was embarrassingly transparent.

While Trump could appear without a challenge or the Democrats could retain the House, few experts are predicting either outcome. For more than a year, the committee said its investigation was focused on Trump’s intent and actions. Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) explained that the subpoena was essential because “he must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions on Jan. 6. So we want to hear from him.” Why, then, wait until the last hearing, especially if the House may flip to GOP control in a matter of weeks?

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Via Ugo Bardi.

The Dark Side of Nuclear Fusion (Pepi Cima)

Reading what was written by the scientists who worked in nuclear fusion in the early years of the “atomic age” shows that the development of an energy source for peaceful use, energy “too cheap to meter”, is what motivated them more than anything else. The same arguments were brought forward by Claudio Descalzi, CEO of ENI, a major investor in fusion, addressing the Italian Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic (COPASIR) in a hearing of December 9th 2021: fusion will offer humanity large quantities of energy of a safe, clean and virtually inexhaustible kind.

Wishful thinking: with regard to “inexhaustible,” we cannot do anything in fusion without tritium (an isotope of hydrogen) which is nonexistent on this planet and most of the theoretical predictions, no experiments to date, say that magnetic confinement, the main hope of fusion, will not self-fertilize. Speaking of “clean” energy, Paola Batistoni, head of ENEA’s Fusion Energy Development Division, at reactor shutdown envisages the production of hundreds of thousands of tons of materials unapproachable by humans for hundreds of years. However, the problem I am worried about here is a military problem, mostly ignored, even by COPASIR, the Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic. There are many reasons to worry about nuclear fusion: the huge amount of magnetic energy in the reactor can cause explosions equivalent to hundreds of kilograms of TNT, resulting in the release of tritium, a very radioactive and difficult to contain gas.

On top of it, with the neutrons of nuclear fusion, it is possible to breed fissile materials. But the risks that seem to me most worrisome in the long run will come from new weapons, never seen before. To better understand this issue, let’s review how classical thermonuclear weapons work, the 70-year-old ones. Their exact characteristics are not in the public domain but Wikipedia describes them in sufficient detail. For a more complete introduction, I recommend the highly readable books by Richard Rhodes. There exist today “simple” fission bombs, which use only fissile reactions to generate energy, and “thermonuclear” bombs, which use both fission and fusion for that purpose. Thermonuclear bombs are an example of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), where everything happens so quickly that all the energy is released before the reacting matter has the time to disperse.

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Fetus heart

 

 

Canada GHG

 

 

 

 

Olympic

 

 

 

 

Free water

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 152022
 
 October 15, 2022  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Harbour scene, Dieppe 1883

 

Borrell: The EU Is A Garden, The Rest Of The World Is A Jungle (RT)
Borrell: West Will ‘Annihilate’ Russian Army If Moscow Uses Nukes (Antiwar)
Borrell: ‘Propaganda Is Our Battlefield’ (ZH)
EU Opens Probe Into Vaccine Deals (RT)
Putin Explains Why There Are No Peace Talks With Ukraine (RT)
Russia Courts Muslim Countries As Strategic Eurasian Partners (Escobar)
The EU Courageously Denounces Terrorism (Saker)
Merkel Defends ‘Very Rational’ Russian Gas Deals (RT)
German Leaders Care More About NATO Than Their Own People – Putin (RT)
Russia ‘To Repair Crimea Bridge Damage By July 2023’ (RT)
Putin Reveals Threat To Istanbul Grain Deal (RT)
The Western Empire Attacks Russia: The World Strikes Back (Red)
The Supremes Get It Right – Again (Denninger)
We’re Coming For You (Jim Kunstler)
Trump ‘Loves The Idea Of Testifying’ Before Jan. 6 Committee (Fox)

 

 

 

That got Elon on the list:

 

 

Kuleba

 

 

 

 

George Webb Black Sea

 

 

This got the cartoonist banned.

 

 

Dec 2016. Got everything right, except one detail.

 

 

 

 

Borrell must go. I can repeat that every day. He’s the EU equivalent of Lavrov, but can’t stand in his shadow . Embarrassing.

Borrell: The EU Is A Garden, The Rest Of The World Is A Jungle (RT)

The European Union is a “garden” that has the best combination of “political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion” ever known to humankind – and must be protected from the outside “jungle.” That’s according to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who made the comparison while delivering a speech at the inauguration of a pilot university program designed to cultivate the next generation of European diplomats. Addressing a group of students at the College of Europe in Bruges on Thursday, Borrell said “The rest of the world… is not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden. The gardeners should take care of it, but they will not protect the garden by building walls.”

He insisted that Europeans have to be “much more engaged” with the rest of the world and put their “privilege” to good use. The gardeners have to go to the jungle… Otherwise, the rest of the world will invade us, by different ways and means. Led by Borrell’s predecessor, Federica Mogherini, the European Diplomatic Academy is a brainchild of the European External Action Service (EEAS) launched this year with the stated goal of cultivating a “truly European diplomatic corps.” Some 42 students are taking part in the first year pilot, mostly candidates from various EU institutions, but also diplomats from the Western Balkans countries, Georgia, Moldova and Türkiye – as well as two candidates from Ukraine.

“You are the first generation. You are the trailblazers of a process, and I hope that many others will come,” Borrel told the group of future diplomats. “Keep the garden, be good gardeners. But your duty will not be to take care of the garden itself but [of] the jungle outside.” It’s not the first time Borrell has compared the EU to a beautiful and tidy garden surrounded by a chaotic, lawless jungle. Back in March he told El Mundo that “if we don’t want the jungle to eat our garden, we have to wake up.”

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Not a day goes by without some westerner telling us Russia wants to use nukes. Problem is, they’ve made very clear that they don’t.

Borrell: West Will ‘Annihilate’ Russian Army If Moscow Uses Nukes (Antiwar)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell issued a threat against Russia on Thursday, warning that Western powers would “annihilate” the Russian army if Moscow uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. “Putin is saying he is not bluffing. Well, he cannot afford bluffing, and it has to be clear that the people supporting Ukraine and the European Union and the Member States, and the United States and NATO are not bluffing neither,” Borrel said at a European Diplomatic Academy event in Bruges, Belgium. “Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer, not a nuclear answer but such a powerful answer from the military side that the Russian Army will be annihilated,” he added. The warning from Borrel came as NATO defense ministers held the second day of talks in Brussels, which included a closed-door meeting of the alliance’s nuclear planning group, the body that sets and reviews NATO’s nuclear policies.


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also warned Russia against using nuclear weapons, saying it would have “severe consequences.” But he said the chances of NATO using a nuclear weapon are “extremely remote.” When announcing a partial mobilization last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia could use all of the weapons at its disposal to defend its “territorial integrity.” Russian officials insist Putin’s comments were nothing new and fell within Russia’s long-established military doctrine, which says nuclear weapons could be used if the country faces an “existential threat.” But the warning was significant since Russia has extended its territory by annexing areas in Ukraine under its control, and other Russian officials have explicitly said they could defend the new territories with nuclear weapons.

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“What would have happened if, instead of [Joe] Biden, it would have been [Donald] Trump or someone like him in the White House? What would have been the answer of the United States to the war in Ukraine?”

Borrell: ‘Propaganda Is Our Battlefield’ (ZH)

“This is a perfect storm,” exclaims European Commission Vice President Josep Borrell in his opening speech to EU Ambassadors this week. Having noted previously his warnings to The Fed that it is “bringing us to a world recession,” Borrell went considerably further in a surprisingly frank and plain-speaking address. He began by warning that “the world we are facing is a world of radical uncertainty.” The speed and scope of change is exceptional. We should not try to deny it. We should not try to resist it. It would be a futile effort. We have to accept it and to adapt [to] it, prioritising flexibility and resilience. But uncertainty is the rule. Events that one could imagine that they will never happen, they are happening one after the other. At this pace, the black swan will be the majority. It will not be white swans – all of them will be black – because one after the other, things have happened that had a very low probability of happening, nevertheless they happened, and they had a strong impact and certainly they happened.”

The EC VP then goes on to try and summarize the extent of the European crisis and how they got there, admitting that they were entirely dependent on China (trade), Russia (energy), and US (security)… “I think that we Europeans are facing a situation in which we suffer the consequences of a process that has been lasting for years in which we have decoupled the sources of our prosperity from the sources of our security. This is a sentence to provide the headline, and I am taking that from Olivier Schmitt, who has been developing this thesis – I think – quite well. Our prosperity has been based on cheap energy coming from Russia. Russian gas – cheap and supposedly affordable, secure, and stable. It has been proved not [to be] the case. And the access to the big China market, for exports and imports, for technological transfers, for investments, for having cheap goods.

I think that the Chinese workers with their low salaries have done much better and much more to contain inflation than all the Central Banks together. So, our prosperity was based on China and Russia – energy and market. Clearly, today, we have to find new ways for energy from inside the European Union, as much as we can, because we should not change one dependency for another. The best energy is the one that you produce at home. That will produce a strong restructuring of our economy – that is for sure. People are not aware of that but the fact that Russia and China are no longer the ones that [they] were for our economic development will require a strong restructuring of our economy.

The access to China is becoming more and more difficult. The adjustment will be tough, and this will create political problems. On the other hand, we delegated our security to the United States. While the cooperation with the Biden Administration is excellent, and the transatlantic relationship has never been as good as it is today – [including] our cooperation with the United States and my friend Tony [Anthony] Blinken [US Secretary of State]: we are in a fantastic relationship and cooperating a lot; who knows what will happen two years from now, or even in November? What would have happened if, instead of [Joe] Biden, it would have been [Donald] Trump or someone like him in the White House? What would have been the answer of the United States to the war in Ukraine? What would have been our answer in a different situation?

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And Von der Leyen should go too, of course. In a normal setting, her position would long have been untenable.

EU Opens Probe Into Vaccine Deals (RT)

The European Union prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the bloc’s procurement of billions of Covid-19 vaccine doses, amid allegations of corruption and secret backroom dealings from several members of parliament. EU officials announced the probe in a brief statement on Friday, confirming an “ongoing investigation into the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines in the European Union.” They added that the case follows “extremely high public interest” around the issue, though declined to share any other details. While prosecutors were tight-lipped about the exact nature of the probe, the announcement follows allegations from MEPs that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen conducted vaccine negotiations with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in secret.

Despite requests from journalists, lawmakers and an EU watchdog, von der Leyen’s office has failed to produce personal text messages sent to Bourla during talks for nearly 2 billion vaccine doses, prompting accusations of corruption. Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakusic noted the new investigation later on Friday, saying the decision was made thanks to pressure from lawmakers. Though he was unable to shed additional light on the probe, Kolakusic has been highly critical of the EU’s vaccine procurement process, claiming deals for billions of doses were marred by “corruption” and secrecy.

“Today, 10 of us MEPs asked [von der Leyen] the following question: when will she present to us… the communication she had with Pfizer during the procurement of 4.5 billion doses of vaccines at a time when there was absolutely no proof of the effectiveness, and especially not of the harmfulness, of that product?” he said in a tweet earlier this week, calling the issue the “biggest corruption scandal in the history of mankind.” Last month, the European Court of Auditors said that it has asked the commission to provide information on “preliminary negotiations” for the EU’s largest Pfizer purchase – including “scientific experts consulted and advice received, timing of the talks, records of the discussions, and details of the agreed terms and conditions” – but added that “none was forthcoming.” The European Commission still has yet to make the information public, fueling corruption allegations from MEPs.

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“Those agreements were almost initialled. But as soon as the troops were pulled back from Kiev, the leadership in Kiev lost all desire to have talks..”

“[Boris] Johnson arrived in Kiev, “almost without warning” on April 9. He allegedly told the Ukrainian leader that Western nations would refuse to sign up to the security guarantees that Kiev wanted to receive under the proposed peace treaty.”

Putin Explains Why There Are No Peace Talks With Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine is refusing to engage in peace talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Friday, when asked about possible negotiations to end the conflict between the two countries. The Kiev government “had been saying that they wanted talks and ostensibly asked for them, but now they issued a formal decision that prohibits them,” he said during a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan. Earlier this month, Zelensky signed a decree forbidding any negotiations with Putin, saying Ukraine will only talk to Russia when it has a different president. Speaking to journalists on Friday, Putin remarked that mediation by nations including Türkey between Moscow and Kiev may be required, if Ukraine’s position changes. Putin recalled that Russia and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement which could have the halted hostilities, during Turkey-mediated talks in late March.

“Those agreements were almost initialled. But as soon as the troops were pulled back from Kiev, the leadership in Kiev lost all desire to have talks,” he remarked. The Russian Defense Ministry announced a withdrawal of troops from the Ukrainian capital after news broke that the negotiators in Istanbul had agreed on a draft treaty. Under its terms, Ukraine would have pledged to maintain a neutral status and not allow foreign troops and military installations on its soil, in exchange for security guarantees from foreign nations, including Russia. Days later, President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russian troops of committing war crimes, claiming that evidence was discovered in Bucha, one of the towns near Kiev that the Russian army had left. He declared that the Ukrainian people would not allow him to negotiate with Russia after the discovery.

Moscow claimed that the evidence was fabricated to justify breaking off the talks. According to Russian diplomats, Moscow wrote up a formal peace agreement based on Ukrainian proposals and sent it to Kiev, but never heard anything back. According to Ukrainian media reports in May, Zelensky was pressured into breaking off negotiations with Russia by Boris Johnson, then-prime minister of Britain. Johnson arrived in Kiev, “almost without warning” on April 9. He allegedly told the Ukrainian leader that Western nations would refuse to sign up to the security guarantees that Kiev wanted to receive under the proposed peace treaty. President Zelensky has repeatedly stated that his only goal in the conflict is to defeat Russia on the battlefield and retake control of all territories that Kiev claims to be under its sovereignty.

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Go east, young man.

Russia Courts Muslim Countries As Strategic Eurasian Partners (Escobar)

Everything that matters in the complex process of Eurasia integration was once again at play in Astana, as the – renamed – Kazakh capital hosted the 6th Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). The roll call was a Eurasian thing of beauty – featuring the leaders of Russia and Belarus (EAEU), West Asia (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Palestine) and Central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan). China and Vietnam (East and Southeast Asia) attended at the level of vice presidents. CICA is a multinational forum focused on cooperation toward peace, security, and stability across Asia.,Kazakh President Tokayev revealed that CICA has just adopted a declaration to turn the forum into an international organization.

CICA has already established a partnership with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). So in practice, it will soon be working together side-by-side with the SCO, the EAEU and certainly BRICS+. The Russia-Iran strategic partnership was prominently featured at CICA, especially after Iran being welcomed to the SCO as a full member. President Raeisi, addressing the forum, stressed the crucial notion of an emerging “new Asia”, where “convergence and security” are “not compatible with the interests of hegemonic countries and any attempt to destabilize independent nations has goals and consequences beyond national geographies, and in fact, aims to target the stability and prosperity of regional countries.”

For Tehran, being a partner in the integration of CICA, within a maze of pan-Asia institutions, is essential after all these decades of”maximum pressure” unleashed by the Hegemon. Moreover, it opens an opportunity, as Raeisi noted, for Iran to profit from “Asia’s economic infrastructure.” Russian President Vladimir Putin, predictably, was the star of the show in Astana. It’s essential to note that Putin is supported by “all”nations represented at CICA. High-level bilaterals with Putin included the Emir of Qatar: everyone that matters in West Asia wants to talk to “isolated” Russia. Putin called for “compensation for the damage caused to the Afghans during the years of occupation” (we all know the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder will refuse it), and emphasized the key role of the SCO to develop Afghanistan.

He stated that Asia, “where new centers of power are growing stronger, plays a big role in the transition to a multipolar world order”. sHe warned, “there is a real threat of famine and large-scale shocks against the backdrop of volatility in energy and food prices in the world.” He further called for the end of a financial system that benefits the “Golden billion” – who “live at the expense of others” (there’s nothing “golden” about this “billion”: at best such definition of wealth applies to 10 million.) And he stressed that Russia is doing everything to “form a system of equal and indivisible security”. Exactly what drives the hegemonic imperial elites completely berserk.

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“..Russia should simply forget about the West (at least for a decade or so)..”

The EU Courageously Denounces Terrorism (Saker)

In the meantime, the FSB has pretty much figured out how the explosives which were used by the Ukrainian GUR were brought into Russia: by using the Istanbul grain deal of course! [..] This would all be truly hilarious if it was not so evil, hypocritical and dishonorable. This is also very dangerous as the countries which participate in this farce are all showing either 1) their true allegiance to the AngloZionist Empire or 2) their total lack of courage. Which means that they are not only removing themselves from any real negotiations, they are also painting themselves into a political corner from which they won’t be able to get out again. To put it differently, the EU nations want to regime change Russia, which means that Russia will have to regime change them.

That is also what “denazification” and “demilitarization” means! Of course, the example of Serbia, which voted against Russia, shows that a comprador regime never represents the interests of the people it rules over. Besides, votes and declarations by non-sovereign states mean absolutely nothing. The only vote which counts is the vote of countries with actual agency and sovereignty. In conclusion, I will just repeat here what I have been writing for years and which I still believe to be true: Russia should simply forget about the West (at least for a decade or so). I mean, of course, Russia needs to be fully cognisant that the West will continue its total war against Russia in every conceivable manner short of a direct and overt military attack (and some hyenas and former empires are even capable of that!).

And if the West wants to buy something from Russia – by all means! Russia did not create these idiotic sanctions and she sure has no obligation or reason to enforce them against herself. But the future of Russia is in the South (Mediterranean, Middle-East, Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, etc.) the East (China) and the North (the Arctic, the Northern Route, the Russian Northeast). Russia is also making major inroads with various Muslim countries who, each for their own reasons, are really getting fed up with the infinite arrogance and incompetence of Uncle Shmuel and seek to collaborate with Russia. As for the West, it is turning itself into a pile of compost without any need for Russian assistance. Why interrupt it?

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“This is a turning point, and of course the new government has to deal with it. And that is what it is doing,” she said of the Scholz leadership.”

It is? You sure? Do we think NS2 would ever have been shut under Merkel, who initialled it?

Merkel Defends ‘Very Rational’ Russian Gas Deals (RT)

Germany’s former chancellor, Angela Merkel, has said she does not regret her decision to sign natural gas deals with Russia during her 16 years in power, arguing that Moscow has long been a “reliable energy supplier” and offers lower prices than its competitors. Speaking to reporters at an event in Lisbon, Merkel explained that Germany has long sought to move away from coal as an energy source, and that Russian natural gas was the best available option as Berlin aimed to eventually “arrive at CO2-free forms of energy.” “From the perspective of that time, it was very rational and understandable to obtain pipeline-bound gas from Russia, which was cheaper than LNG [liquefied natural gas] from other parts of the world,” she said on Thursday, adding that “Even during the Cold War, Russia was a reliable energy supplier.”

After taking office in 2005, Merkel presided over two major gas deals with Moscow, both intended to funnel energy directly into Germany from Russia through the Nord Stream 1 and later Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which bypassed transit states such as Ukraine and Poland.[..] After taking office in 2005, Merkel presided over two major gas deals with Moscow, both intended to funnel energy directly into Germany from Russia through the Nord Stream 1 and later Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which bypassed transit states such as Ukraine and Poland. However, Nord Stream 2 never became operational, as Merkel’s successor, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, paused the project’s certification just days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February.

American LNG exports to Europe have ramped up significantly in recent months as much of the continent seeks to distance itself from Russian energy supplies, nearly doubling sales recorded in 2021. Given that Russia previously covered about 40% of the EU’s gas imports, however, prices have seen a sharp rise, stoking fears that some Europeans will be unable to heat their homes come winter. Merkel, who has faced criticism for maintaining Germany’s dependence on Russia, went on to say that it was “right to accelerate the fight against climate change at the end of my term,” referring to the Russian gas purchases and efforts to end the use of coal, but added that Moscow’s “brutal invasion” of Ukraine had changed Germany’s calculus. “This is a turning point, and of course the new government has to deal with it. And that is what it is doing,” she said of the Scholz leadership.

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“I believe that it’s a mistake, and business, the economy, and the citizens of the Federal Republic [of Germany] are paying for this mistake..”

German Leaders Care More About NATO Than Their Own People – Putin (RT)

Berlin made a mistake by placing its obligations to NATO above the interests of the German people, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Now business, the country’s economy and its citizens are paying for this mistake, he told journalists on Friday. “Apparently, some kind of allied obligations have been placed to the forefront” by Germany “within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance,” Putin said at a press conference after the Central Asia-Russia summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. “Is it right or wrong? I believe that it’s a mistake, and business, the economy, and the citizens of the Federal Republic [of Germany] are paying for this mistake, because it has negative economic consequences for the eurozone in general and for the Federal Republic in particular,” Putin pointed out.

He was answering a question about Berlin’s role in the Ukraine conflict, where it has been among key backers of Kiev. According to the Russian leader, German authorities “should decide for themselves what is more important: the fulfilment of some allied obligations as they see them, or ensuring the interests of their own people, their national interests.” Earlier this week, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov announced that Kiev received the first unit of the German cutting-edge IRIS-T air defense system. His German counterpart Christine Lambrecht called the shipment an important contribution to the Eastern European nation’s ability to defend itself from “missile shelling.” That’s while the German military has so far not received a single unit of the ground-based IRIS-T system variant, which led to concerns being voiced by some politicians and media outlets, who believe that the country is depleting its own weapons stockpile by sending the arms to Kiev.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said earlier that Berlin will keep up its support for Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February, many Western states imposed unprecedented sanctions against the country. This has led to a significant drop in Russian natural gas shipments to Western Europe, including Germany, and resulted in soaring energy prices and accelerating inflation. Berlin has introduced a series of measures meant to reduce winter energy consumption. Meanwhile, prices for firewood and wood pellets rose by over 85% in August compared to the same month last year, according to a recent report by Destatis, the Federal Statistics Office.

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No hurry, security first.

Russia ‘To Repair Crimea Bridge Damage By July 2023’ (RT)

: Russia’s government has ordered contractors to finish repairs to a key bridge linking annexed Crimea to Russia by July 2023. The bridge was damaged by a blast last Saturday which officials say left at least three people dead. Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack but Kyiv has not said it was behind it. The 19km (12-mile) bridge, Europe’s longest, is a key supply route for Russian forces in Ukraine, but heavy goods vehicles are unable to use it. The explosion caused midway sections of two of the four carriageways of the bridge to collapse into the sea and also damaged the railway line. Currently, lorries are forced to queue for a ferry, in a process which is thought to take several days.


A document on the Russian government’s website said it had appointed the company Nizhneangarsktransstroy to be the sole contractor, tasked with the “design and restoration of destroyed elements of the transport and engineering infrastructure of the Crimean Bridge”. It sets “a deadline by which state contracts for the work are to be completed… of 1 July 2023”. The bridge was opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, four years after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

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“..if it turns out that humanitarian corridors [used] for grain shipments to the poorest nations… are used for terrorist attacks, it would put the very existence of these corridors in question.”

Putin Reveals Threat To Istanbul Grain Deal (RT)

Ukraine apparently transported the explosives used in last week’s attack on the Crimean Bridge by sea, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Friday, citing a report by the Federal Security Service (FSB). If it is proven that grain carriers operating in the Black Sea under the Istanbul grain deal were involved, it would have dire consequences for the agreement, he warned. Earlier this week, the FSB revealed that explosives disguised as a 22-ton shipment of plastic construction sheeting arrived at the Bulgarian Danube port of Ruse from Ukraine’s port of Odessa by sea. “It is not yet clear if grain carriers were involved,” Putin said at a press conference in the Kazakh capital of Astana. If it turns out that humanitarian corridors [used] for grain shipments to the poorest nations… are used for terrorist attacks, it would put the very existence of these corridors in question.

The president admitted that Russia still does not have any solid evidence confirming that Ukraine may be using grain exports for such activities. However, he warned that the response would be swift and tough if this is the case. “There will be a simple answer: We will shut down [the grain export corridors] and there is an end to it,”Putin warned, adding that Moscow would look for rock-solid proof first. The breakthrough grain deal between Moscow and Kiev was reached in Istanbul in July with mediation by the UN and Türkiye. It aimed to unlock exports of Ukrainian and Russian grain. The two countries are among the world’s leading grain exporters, but trade had come to a halt due to the protracted conflict between the two neighbors.

On Friday, Russia also warned that it may still quit the deal if obstacles to its own food and fertilizer exports are not removed. Moscow has been complaining for months that restrictions on its food and fertilizer exports linked to international sanctions have not been lifted, months after it provided conditions for the Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea. The developments also come in the wake of an attack on the Crimean Bridge linking the peninsula to mainland Russia. A truck explosion on the bridge killed at least four people and led to a partial collapse of the highway bridge section. Russia then declared the attack a terrorist act and blamed the Ukrainian security services. The Russian security services also detained a total of eight suspects, including Russians, Armenians and Ukrainians, in connection with the attack.

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“Jo Red is “lucky enough to be born in Italy: studied a lot, knows nothing”

The Western Empire Attacks Russia: The World Strikes Back (Red)

At this point, even Biden must be realizing that there were deeper reasons behind the Saudi prince’s decline of his phone call already in March, besides inflicting him and the American government the umpteenth humiliation on the world stage. Not only the US are finally given the brush-off in one of the most important regions of the world: the latter is actively being reshaped by the hatred of them. The Middle East connects three continents, including the two largest, not to mention oceans and seas, and by controlling its straits the Anglo-American have been able to choke the world economy for well over a century. Add the infamously rich resources of the region.

It is no coincidence that the same Raymond Geuss considers the British loss of control of the Suez strait in 1956 as the end of their empire, more than the independence of India. Let’s not forget this was “facilitated” by Khrushchev’s threat at the UN to resort to missiles in case the colonial powers did not withdraw from Egypt. The region continued to be torn apart by the West’s skillful exploitation of its ideological, social, national, and especially religious diversity: first of all, the conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims. These are behind the most dramatic – and almost completely ignored – humanitarian crisis of our time: the devastation of Yemen.

It won’t be easy, but if the interests of such opposite countries as Saudi Arabia and Iran were to align, with a little help by American hostile resentment against the independence of both, and perhaps a friendly nudge by Russia (and China), this would be a massive blow to Western hegemony. Much more than the temporary occupation of I don’t know how many soccer fields in rural Ukraine.

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“..Constitutional Rights, such as they are, attach at birth as being born is the delineating point for the purpose of the Constitution at a federal level.”

The Supremes Get It Right – Again (Denninger)

Oct 11 (Reuters) – “The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to decide whether fetuses are entitled to constitutional rights in light of its June ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had legalized abortion nationwide, steering clear for now of another front in America’s culture wars. The justices turned away an appeal by a Catholic group and two women of a lower court’s ruling holding that fetuses lacked the proper legal standing to challenge a 2019 state law codifying the right to abortion in line with the Roe precedent. The two women, pregnant at the time when the case was first filed, sued on behalf of their fetuses and later gave birth.”

This is a correct decision; the Constitution is clear. This doesn’t mean a state cannot go further. It can; that which is not under the view of the Federal Constitution can still be addressed under a State Constitution. It cannot be argued that at the time of the drafting of the Constitution or that of the 14th Amendment there was any question as to the significance of gamete fusion and creation of a zygote. That event was known to the drafters of both along with its significance; there is no reasonable argument possible otherwise. Therefore there is no “controversy” nor anything to be “clarified” as to the meaning of the words in the Constitution: The words are clear on their face; Constitutional Rights, such as they are, attach at birth as being born is the delineating point for the purpose of the Constitution at a federal level.

If someone wants to change this (and clearly plenty of people do) the proper way to do it is through a Constitutional Amendment, not running to a court and demanding that the court rewrite that which is there, or simply ignore what’s written and make something up. Going through that process is difficult, it requires large super-majorities and thus it requires overwhelming consensus and careful consideration by everyone involved including input from the citizens in each of the respective 50 States and their Legislatures. It should require exactly that and people on both sides who are trying to short-cut that process are wrong and should be slapped down because the only reason to short-cut the process is that you do not believe you can carry the debate when it is held in full.

In other words you insist on short-cutting the process because it is your expressed intent to cheat! I don’t care which side of a given argument one may be on for a given issue; either the Constitution is contained within the four corners of the page and the words are as-written or it is toilet paper and of no force and effect whatsoever. In the latter case all law flowing from same is of no force and effect and nobody has an obligation to adhere to any of it, whether at a state, local or individual level. Think long and hard about the implication of that before you advocate for what these jackasses tried to do — and which was properly rebuffed by the Justices.

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“The lamp-posts in the WalMart parking lots could be decorated with dangling local election officials..”

We’re Coming For You (Jim Kunstler)

Have you noticed, as the election looms, the Party of Chaos trips deeper into its own self-created chaos? Turns out that the effort to make Ukraine the fifty-first state is not going over so well with the voters. Nor is the campaign to convince children to switch sexes. Or the crusade to sell ever more mRNA “vaccines” that the CDC knows good-and-goshdarn-well is killing and maiming credulous citizens by the millions. Or the program for importing limitless alien “vibrance” across the open border with Mexico…. As the venerable Rolling Stones sang more than a half century ago: “Rape… murder… it’s just a shot away!” This is the kind of country that the Party of Chaos has been grooming you up for.

It’s not working. We are coming for you: leaders, mesmerized minions, and obliging tools of this Satanic faction that seized the levers of power in America and turned them into wrecking bars. After the nervous hiatus from November to January, we’re coming for you in 2023. You are going to answer for the decisions you took and the rules you made that drove our country to its knees and half out of it’s mind. We are storming you in your Kafka’s Castle of lies and malice, and we are going to drag you out of there kicking and screaming. Preserving your decorum will not be our first consideration, Rochelle Walensky, Tony Fauci, Alejandro Mayorkas, Merrick Garland, Christopher Wray, and the people who work for you.

There’s a lot of loose talk about some as-yet-unknown Party of Chaos’s ploy to stave off the November 8th reckoning — say, drag out the vote count for weeks and confabulate the results… declare some emergency to shut down in-person voting… or somehow postpone the vote altogether. Nothing like that will go over successfully this time around. The lamp-posts in the WalMart parking lots could be decorated with dangling local election officials who get caught churning phony ballots, tweaking Dominion machines, and taping-up the polling places’ windows with cardboard. You’re getting no help, meantime, from the folks who run the maundering flunkey you installed as president. They just flipped-off Sergey Lavrov’s invitation to negotiate some reasonable end to your $60-plus billion orchestrated fiasco in Ukraine. These are the people that party apostate Tulsi Gabbard identified lately as “an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness.” She got that exactly right, and at exactly the right moment in history, too.

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Nancy Pelosi had her daughter lead an entire film crew on Jan 6. Who happened to catch it “all”. Doesn’t smell right.

Trump ‘Loves The Idea Of Testifying’ Before Jan. 6 Committee (Fox)

Former President Donald Trump “loves the idea of testifying” before the House select committee investigating January 6th, a source close to Trump told Fox News Digital just after the panel unanimously voted to subpoena him. The source said that if Trump complied with the subpoena and testified, he would “talk about how corrupt the election was, how corrupt the committee was, and how Nancy Pelosi did not call up the National Guard that Trump strongly recommended for her to do three days earlier on January 3, 2021.” The source told Fox News Digital that it is unclear at this point if Trump actually will testify before the committee, but stressed that Trump “loves the idea.” The committee — which consists of seven Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans — voted Thursday to compel Trump to testify about his conduct leading up to and during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday, Trump slammed the committee and its investigation as a “witch hunt.” “The committee is a hoax, a sham, a partisan witch hunt which is a continuation of the witch hunt that has gone on since the great day for our country that I came down the golden escalator with our future first lady,” Trump said. “They have no case, they have no ratings, so they have to try to do this to get publicity.” Trump told Fox News Digital that the investigation has been “a partisan witch hunt, together with two Republicans that have been thrown out of the party — one not wanting to run because he couldn’t win; and another losing by a record number of more than 40 points.” sTrump was referring to Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who lost her primary earlier this year, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who decided not to run for re-election.

Trump told Fox News Digital that the committee “never covered the important subject of election fraud, or why Pelosi and the mayor of D.C. did not call up the National Guard — which I strongly recommended.” “They didn’t cover the reason for January 6 — the largest crowd — it wasn’t set up by me,” Trump said. “The committee didn’t cover election fraud, which was massive, and they didn’t cover why Pelosi didn’t call the National Guard.” Trump said that he had recommended that Pelosi and the mayor of Washington call up the National Guard on Jan. 6 because he “felt the crowd was going to be far bigger than anyone understood.” “They didn’t do their job. I believed the crowd was going to be bigger — just my instinct — and they had the chance to call up the National Guard three days before Jan. 6, and if they did, Jan. 6 would have been a very different day,” Trump said. “But they didn’t do it.”

Epps Pelosi

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Misinformation. Maddow

 

 

Winston Churchill and prohibition.

 

 

 

 

Where are we on the graph?

 

 

 

 

Smart dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1580540061245853699

 

 

Nosey

 

 


The Emerald tree boa is a non-venomous boa species found in the rainforests of South America

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 162022
 


Pablo Picasso Portrait of Dora Maar 1939

 

Fall Like A Thunderbolt (Schryver)
Don’t Listen To Those Asking To Stop Supporting Kiev, EU’s Borrell Says (RT)
US Openly A Party To Ukraine Conflict – Russia (RT)
Zelensky Guard Appears To Wear Nazi Insignia (RT)
A Turning-Point Once Every 500 Years (Batiushka)
American Patience With Germany Wearing Thin – Media (RT)
Pentagon Finds Hypersonic Research Partner (RT)
Moscow Responds To UN Nuclear Watchdog Resolution On Ukrainian Plant (RT)
Special Master Appointed, DOJ Bid To Delay Mar-a-Lago Ruling Rejected (Pol.)
Democrats Are Trying To Trump-Proof The Government (Lucas)
How Bill Gates And Partners Took Over The Global Covid Response (Pol.)
Tucker Carlson Notices the Missing Jubilation in Martha’s Vineyard (CTH)
Illinois Governor Declares Emergency Disaster As Migrants Bused In (JTN)
Switching To Renewable Energy Could Save Trillions (BBC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC reporting on DPRK (North Korea) overlaid on queen funeral procession

 

 

 

 

Ode to King

 

 

Lowkey @Lowkey0nline
“The British Crown legally owns 6.6 billion acres of land across the world. That is a sixth of the earth’s surface. Charles is now the world’s largest landowner, but I am sure that has nothing to do with colonialism…”

 

 

 

 

“Maskirovka is a Russian word meaning literally “masking” or “disguise”..”

Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Fall Like A Thunderbolt (Schryver)

[..] as the true nature of the events of the past two weeks comes into clearer focus, it is now possible to see that the Russians acted deliberately to provide the NATO commanders of this reconstituted Ukrainian force with some low-hanging fruit to blood their untested army, and provide it with a victory that would not only bolster its battlefield confidence, but more importantly serve essential political purposes at a time when western public support was flagging to a very discernible degree.More importantly, from the Russian perspective, providing NATO commanders a temptation they could not resist would draw this fresh army into the open field of battle where it could then be isolated and ultimately destroyed.

Therefore the Russians commenced, several weeks ago, to withdraw all but a token force from the area containing the towns of Balakliya, Kupyansk, and Izyum – thereby presenting an irresistible opportunity for the commanders of this NATO-trained, NATO-equipped, and NATO-led force to demonstrate, as they imagine it, the superiority of western combined-arms warfare. The subsequent attack achieved seemingly extraordinary success against the relative handful of Donbass militia and Rosgvardia troops left to defend Balakliya and Kupyansk. The Ukrainians and their “foreign volunteer” shock troops advanced mostly unopposed and occupied a fairly significant piece of real estate extending all the way to the Oskil River.

Relatively little soldier against soldier fighting has occurred. In fact, Ukrainian reports euphorically trumpeted the fact that the Ukrainian advance could not even keep up with the speed of the Russian retreat! The “glorious victory” of this quasi-NATO army has – at least for the time being – launched the western media narrative into an unprecedented spasm of triumphalism. Delusional reports of hundreds of abandoned tanks, thousands of casualties, and tens of thousands of captured Russian soldiers are circulating widely, willingly believed by those whose biases find them pleasing. Western think-tank monkeys and retired-generals-for-hire move from one mainstream news studio to the next spouting fantastical nonsense about next liberating the Donbass, then Crimea, followed by deposing Putin and hauling him before a tribunal at The Hague.

And if that were not enough, many have even begun to openly discuss the long-desired western pipe dream of dismantling Russia altogether; cutting it up into a dozen or more smaller republics that will then obediently fall in line with the rest of the “rules-based world order”. It’s all quite breathtaking to behold.

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Borrell has to go from Brussels, along with Von der Leyen. Their delusions are too costly.

Don’t Listen To Those Asking To Stop Supporting Kiev, EU’s Borrell Says (RT)

The EU must tackle elements of the public that want the Ukraine conflict to be over as soon as possible, and Kiev’s recent offensive in the northeast helped with that, according to Josep Borrell, the top EU official for foreign relations and security. “There is a temptation to abandon [Ukraine] in part of European society,” he told El Mundo newspaper in an interview published on Thursday. People “want to end the war because they cannot bear the consequences, the costs. We have to combat that mentality. The offensive on the northeastern front helps with that.” Borrell was referring to last week’s Ukrainian operation, in which Kiev’s troops pushed Russian forces out of large swathes of Kharkov Region.

Some US officials claimed credit on behalf of the American intelligence community for the advances. According to Borrell, the Ukrainian offensive was a “breath of fresh air” for Brussels since it serves as affirmation that its strategy was “sound.” He has stated on several occasions that Russia had to be defeated on the battlefield for the hostilities in Ukraine to stop. The official told the newspaper that the EU strategy to punish Russia required a long time for sanctions to act, and people should be prepared for it. “It’s like a diet. In a week you may not lose a kilo, but you have to continue,” he said, reiterating the metaphor he used on Tuesday during a speech in the European Parliament.

The EU joined the US in sending military aid to Ukraine and imposing economic sanctions on Russia. It came at a serious cost to European economies, which now have to deal with skyrocketing energy prices and potential shortages of natural gas due to the decision of their governments to decouple from Russian supplies. Borrell downplayed grim predictions that the upcoming winter could become a disaster for the EU. “There are political opposition forces that say we are going to freeze to death. Some of those people who say that are not ideological radicals, they insist that the way we are going is a crazy one,” he said. He suggested that the EU government had to do a better job of “educating” people about the situation.

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“Only naive, short-sighted politicians who know history poorly can talk about victory over Russia on the battlefield.”

US Openly A Party To Ukraine Conflict – Russia (RT)

It is cause for “deep concern” that the US government is “openly boasting” that Ukraine’s battlefield successes were achieved with the Pentagon’s direct involvement, the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said in an interview on Wednesday. “Against this background, Washington’s statements that the US is not a party to the conflict sound absolutely ridiculous and unfounded,” Antonov told RIA Novosti. “Facts and interviews of former and current politicians and generals say otherwise.” “Videos currently shown on Western channels clearly demonstrate that soldiers and officers who speak fluent English, many with pronounced British and American accents, are fighting against us,” the ambassador added.

The US has done everything to turn Ukraine into a dumping ground for its obsolete weapons, but also a testing range for new NATO equipment, Antonov said, pointing out the insatiable appetite of the US military-industrial complex for profits. By the Pentagon’s own admission, the US has sent Ukraine “more than $17.2 billion in security assistance” since 2014, and another $14.5 billion since February. Kiev’s patrons are “hungry for power and money” and not interested in peaceful solutions, said Antonov. There is little to no talk in the West about negotiations, only about sending more weapons to Ukraine, he added. “Their main main goal is to defeat Russia by any means, and subsequently prevent it from playing a key role in the international arena. And if possible, break it into pieces,” the ambassador said.

“They will not stop pushing Ukraine into further suicidal adventures, such as the ‘offensives’ that were doomed from the start.” Ukraine has claimed its recent advances in the Kharkov region are a “turning point” in the conflict. On Monday, the New York Times reported that the US and UK had been involved in planning the operation, including the admission by the Pentagon’s policy chief Colin Kahl that the US military “did do some modeling and some tabletop exercises,” which it shared with Kiev. “The current situation of Washington inciting Kiev against us is an indisputable, obvious fact,”said Antonov. If the Americans go along with Ukraine’s “insane” demands for long-range rockets, he added, “such a scenario would mean direct involvement of the US in a military confrontation with Russia.”

Even so, this will “not lead to real change on the frontline,” Antonov said, “Only naive, short-sighted politicians who know history poorly can talk about victory over Russia on the battlefield.” Russia’s mission is to “lay down the foundations of a multipolar world order and send the American ‘rules-based world order’ into the dustbin of history,” and Moscow’s diplomats “have no doubt that we will achieve victory,” he concluded.

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His own office published the photo. It appears to be gone now.

Zelensky Guard Appears To Wear Nazi Insignia (RT)

One of the armed guards of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has been spotted with insignia resembling a symbol of Nazi Germany unit used during World War II. The image shared by the office of the leader was made during his visit to the recently re-captured town of Izyum on Wednesday. The controversial skull-and-bones image was featured on the back of a heavily armed Ukrainian trooper, who appeared to be part of Zelensky’s security detail during the trip. It can be seen in one of the photos, which the president’s office released on social media. The symbol was the insignia of the SS-Totenkopfverbande units, the part of the Nazi paramilitary Schutzstaffel responsible for security at the death camps.

It was also adopted by the elite Panzer Division ‘Totenkopf’ of the Waffen-SS, which was formed from the death camp guards and fought on the Eastern front and committed multiple war crimes. In modern times, it was adopted by various far-right and nationalist groups in Ukraine, which got their inspiration from Ukrainian nationalist forces that collaborated with the Nazi Germany during World War II and fought against the Soviet Union. Organizations monitoring extremists consider it a hate symbol. In May, Zelensky’s office included a photo of a Ukrainian artillery trooper wearing a similar ‘death head’ patch on his chest in a selection posted on social media on the occasion of the Allied victory in the European theater of war. The same photo was also shared by the country’s defense ministry that day.


Russia cited the influence that extremists groups have in the Ukrainian national guard and military as one of the reasons for sending troops into the country in late February. Zelensky was elected president in 2019 on a platform of reconciliation with rebel forces in the east and normalization of ties with Russia. His initial attempts to deliver on the campaign promises were met with fierce criticisms and street protests by nationalist groups, which called for tougher policies and suppression of Donbass. The Ukrainian president has since reinvented himself as an uncompromising political figure seeking a complete defeat of Russia and its allies and rejecting any calls for peace talks.

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I cannot do Batiushka, the Orthodox priest, justice in the aggregator format. But I can point you to him.

A Turning-Point Once Every 500 Years (Batiushka)

I recall some forty years ago meeting an elderly English lady, a farmer’s wife called Mrs Dove, who had been present as a schoolgirl at the funeral of Queen Victoria. ‘When the old Queen died all those years ago’, she reminisced nostalgically, ‘everything was draped in black and everyone was dressed in black’. Now Victoria’s great-great-granddaughter, the new ‘old Queen’, is dead, the news announced beneath a rainbow over Windsor Castle. This is the town whose name the Queen’s grandfather, George V, had adopted as the family name, instead of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The Windsor name was officially adopted on 17 July 1917, just after the British-orchestrated Russian ‘Revolution’ of 1917, one year to the day before the Tsar and his Family were murdered in Ekaterinburg, on the very frontiers of Europe and Asia. The Russian Tsar had been betrayed by his look-alike cousin, King George V.

Whatever you say about Queen Elizabeth II, she personally had modesty, she had dignity, she had presence, she actually believed in something, she had all that her descendants seem utterly to lack. Perhaps her end was hastened by the behaviour of her son Prince Andrew, her grandson Prince Harry and the imbeciles who inhabit 10 Downing Street, the latest of whom she had to appoint Prime Minister only two days before she died. Why live any longer? She must have been fed up with it all. This is the final, final end of the Protestant Empire of Great Britain (1522-2022) (1), whose collapse began exactly three generations ago in 1947 in India. Perhaps the decline will go swiftly now under the disliked King Charles III (called in Russian Karl III) (2), who finds himself without Queen Diana, the only one who could have saved him. Expect the break-up of the UK to be rapid.

The 96 year-old Queen Elizabeth II died in Scotland, in Victoria’s castle at Balmoral, a relic of the 19th century and its British Empire. Her curious, clipped Germanic accent – no English people talk like that – betrayed the Queen’s foreign origins as the last of the rulers shaped by German Protestantism, imported by the City of London merchant and financial class just over 300 years before. However, it is not only her, it is the other leaders of the Western world, relics of the 20th century, who are dying out too. They are gerontocrats. In the USA Biden, born in the first half of the 20th century and soon to be 80, should really be in an old folk’s home. It is cruel to keep parading him in front of the media like that and asking him to remember things. As for Pope Francis, aged 85, he can hardly walk and says that he too might go early, like his predecessor, still alive at 95, a relic forced to serve in the Hitler Youth.

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“Washington has “doubts” about Germany’s fundamental loyalty to Kiev, questioning whether it wants Ukraine to “win” or just “not to lose.”

American Patience With Germany Wearing Thin – Media (RT)

Berlin appears to be increasingly out of step with its allies across the pond when it comes to arming Ukraine, Germany’s Die Welt daily reported on Thursday, adding that the issue is impacting relations between the NATO allies. The US allegedly wants Germany to take a more resolute approach towards military assistance for Kiev, it said. Last Sunday, the US ambassador to Berlin, Amy Gutmann, told the German broadcaster ZDF that she expects Germany to “take on a greater leadership role.” She acknowledged Berlin’s military assistance to Kiev, but said her expectations are “even higher.” “So far, Germany has done what we asked for,”a US official told Die Welt on Thursday, adding that Berlin could be moving “faster.”

The paper reported that Washington has “doubts” about Germany’s fundamental loyalty to Kiev, questioning whether it wants Ukraine to “win” or just “not to lose.” On Tuesday, the German tabloid Bild claimed that US officials allegedly sent a diplomatic note to Berlin, in which Secretary of State Antony Blinken supposedly said Washington would “welcome” a decision by Germany to send battle tanks to Ukraine while stopping short of directly asking for such a step. A spokeswoman for the US embassy in Berlin, however, denied this claim, telling Bild that no such outreach was made. “It is not true that we told Germany that they had to supply tanks,” a US official also told Die Welt on Thursday, adding that the US would rather see Germany take a greater leadership role, which now “means helping Ukraine.”

Last week, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told journalists that Berlin would not be the first to send Western-made tanks to Ukraine when no other nation had done so. The reports of Washington’s dissatisfaction with Germany’s response came as Lambrecht announced a fresh weapons package for Kiev. The new batch will include two Mars II multiple rocket launchers and 200 missiles for them, as well as 50 Dingo armored personnel carriers, she told journalists on Thursday.

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I still haven’t seen anyone explain how the US got so far behind on hypersonics. Spending 10x what Russia spends, and still be 10 years behind.

Pentagon Finds Hypersonic Research Partner (RT)

The Pentagon has agreed to work with Japan to find new ways to defend against hypersonic weapons, as the US rushes to produce a missile to compete with similar platforms under development in China, and already deployed by Russia. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Japanese counterpart, Yasukazu Hamada, at the Pentagon headquarters on Wednesday, where they discussed future military coordination between the two nations and focused on China’s “coercive actions” toward Taiwan in recent weeks. “The ministers concurred that Japan and the United States would further accelerate cooperation in the area of equipment and technology to ensure technological edge of the alliance,” including “joint analysis on counter-hypersonic technology,” the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry noted that Washington and Tokyo would “cooperate closely and seamlessly” to prevent any “unilateral change in the status quo” in the Indo-Pacific region, where American warships frequently conduct ‘freedom of navigation’ missions through contested waters claimed by Beijing. Both Austin and Hamada “strongly condemned China’s ballistic missile launches in early August,” with Tokyo claiming some of the projectiles landed within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The two also accused Beijing of provocative military drills near Taiwan – which China considers part of its own territory – following a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month. In the Pentagon’s readout of Wednesday’s meeting, Austin vowed to “modernize the US-Japan alliance, bolster integrated deterrence, and further cooperate with like-minded partners to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” though the release made no mention of hypersonic technology.

While various hypersonic missile designs have long been under development by the US defense establishment, no platform has been adopted into service. Following a test of the hypersonic AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) last May, the Air Force declared it a “major accomplishment,”though the missile failed to reach its theoretical top-speed of Mach 20 (or 20 times the speed of sound). China, too, is working on a hypersonic munition, which it has test-fired on a number of occasions, while Russia’s hypersonic Kh-47M2 Kinzhal has been in service for several years, seeing its first real-world operational deployments during the conflict with Ukraine.

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The IAEA cannot choose sides. But it does. Next they’re going to call for Russia to withdraw from the plant, though they know that will never happen.

Moscow Responds To UN Nuclear Watchdog Resolution On Ukrainian Plant (RT)

Russia has criticized the resolution adopted by the UN nuclear watchdog on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The document passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is “anti-Russian” and does not say a single word about the Ukrainian shelling of the facility, Russian diplomats have said. The facility, the largest of its kind in Europe, is located in Ukraine but currently controlled by Russian forces. On Thursday, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a document demanding Russia “immediately cease all actions against, and at, the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant and any other nuclear facility in Ukraine.” The text also said the board “deplores the Russian Federation’s persistent violent actions against nuclear facilities in Ukraine.”

Russia’s mission to the IAEA responded by saying that the document was “pushed through” by the West, while “the majority of humanity refused to support it.” The resolution passed with 26 votes in favor. Russia and China, which are also on the board, voted against it, while seven nations – Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Burundi, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan – abstained. Those supporting the document mostly consisted of the US and its allies in Europe and elsewhere. The Russian diplomats also blasted the fact that the resolution fails to mention the shelling of the station, the evidence for which Moscow had provided several times. The officials also accused Western nations of “supporting and shielding” Kiev in “every possible way,” while blaming Ukraine for the attacks.

The document was passed in the wake of the IAEA mission that visited the Zaporozhye plant in early September. On Wednesday, in a phone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the IAEA’s work, which is contributing to the safety of the facility. This was the second resolution adopted by the IAEA amid the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The first one was passed in March before Russian forces had taken control of the power plant. The documents are similar in nature and in both cases were introduced by Canada and Poland on behalf of Ukraine, which is not on the agency’s board, according to Reuters. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the grounds of the plant. Kiev has denied the accusations and instead blamed Russia for the incidents, despite the area already being under Moscow’s control.

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George Webb – Investigative Journalist @RealGeorgeWebb1: “Dearie is Special Master. yep, the Carter page FISA guy.”

Special Master Appointed, DOJ Bid To Delay Mar-a-Lago Ruling Rejected (Pol.)

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday rejected a Justice Department demand to let federal prosecutors continue their review of records marked classified that were recovered from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. In her ruling, Cannon refused to accept department officials’ contention that the records they are trying to review as part of an ongoing criminal investigation remain highly classified or contain extraordinarily sensitive defense information that could damage national security if released. “The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion,” Cannon, a Trump appointee, wrote in her 10-page ruling denying the Justice Department’s request to essentially exclude about 100 documents marked classified from the special master process.

Cannon instead appointed Raymond Dearie, a senior federal judge in New York, to lead an independent review of the seized materials. He was one of two potential special masters proposed by the Trump team, and prosecutors said they found him acceptable even though he was not one of their initial picks. In a signed filing released by the court on Thursday night, Dearie accepted the task. Cannon urged him to complete his review by Nov. 30 — more than a month after the Oct. 17 deadline the Justice Department had most recently asked Cannon to set. While Cannon’s timeline appears to extend Dearie’s review well past the November midterm elections, she did instruct him “to prioritize review of the approximately 100 documents marked as classified (and papers physically attached thereto),” meaning it’s possible prosecutors could regain access to some or all of those materials before they get another look at the other records seized in the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of the Trump’s Florida estate.

Last week, the Justice Department appealed Cannon’s order to appoint a special master and indicated it would seek relief from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals if she did not agree to delay aspects of her ruling by Thursday night. The ruling is another setback for federal prosecutors, who have expressed alarm at the extraordinarily sensitive records they found in boxes intermingled with Trump’s personal items in his Mar-a-Lago storage room, as well as some recovered from his office. The Justice Department has warned that Cannon’s Sept. 5 order — which enjoined the department from furthering its criminal review of the documents seized by FBI agents — had also disrupted a parallel risk assessment of those documents by the intelligence community. Though Cannon allowed that review to continue, the Justice Department emphasized that her order had sown confusion within the executive branch.

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“The silliness of it all is that Trump might be the only Republican–at least top tier Republican–who could lose to either Joe Biden or Kamala Harris in 2024.”

Democrats Are Trying To Trump-Proof The Government (Lucas)

Trump Derangement Syndrome is clearly real. To be clear, it’s not necessarily better or worse than Trump sycophancy. Americans–whether serving in public office or everyday working stiffs–should never base their life around idolatry of or seething hatred for one prominent leader. But, of course, that has happened with Trump. I suppose polarizing is a shorter way to put it, but that term seems so trite. Anyway, the anti-Trump side is presently being more ridiculous and pettier. If Trump sycophancy becomes a legislative agenda, I’ll reconsider that judgment. The silliness of it all is that Trump might be the only Republican–at least top tier Republican–who could lose to either Joe Biden or Kamala Harris in 2024.

While that’s questionable, House Democrats are advancing bills through committee as if they think he’s a sure thing come January 2025 – or water down a second Trump term as much as possible by weakening presidential authority. Also, some of the bills are based on silly anti-Trump conspiracy theories. The bills would effectively politicize executive branch agencies that shouldn’t be. HR 8326, dubbed the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act would make it more difficult for a president to fire a Census Bureau director, while also granting the director broad new authorities to conduct statistical sampling. It would expand the number of Census Bureau employees with civil service protections. It also constrains future censuses from inquiring about citizenship–which could favor Democrats for enumeration and apportionment.

When the oversight committee advanced the bill in July, committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., complained about the “Trump administration’s illegal efforts to weaponize the Census Bureau for political gain.” House Oversight Committee Democrats Reps. Gerald Connolly of Virginia and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania co-sponsored H.R. 302, dubbed the Preventing a Patronage System Act. The theory is that if Trump is elected, he would eliminate the civil service system and return to a spoils system. The press release for the bill references Trump’s final months in office, when he signed an executive order creating a “Schedule F” category of federal employees.

The order determined that career employees with civil service protections involved with “policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating” positions that are “not normally subject to change as part of a presidential transition” could be more easily removed for insubordination, which was a problem during the Trump administration. This would affect a maximum 50,000 federal employees out of the 2.2 million federal workforce. That’s far from a patronage system. The Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act, or H.R. 2988, certainly is a more innocuous sounding name, since many Republican lawmakers love whistleblowers that rat out Democrats. But this bill practically encourages bad actors in the federal workforce to simply engage in meritless accusations–thus abuse the legal whistleblower protections.

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Filling a vacuum with money.

How Bill Gates And Partners Took Over The Global Covid Response (Pol.)

When Covid-19 struck, the governments of the world weren’t prepared. From America to Europe to Asia, they veered from minimizing the threat to closing their borders in ill-fated attempts to quell a viral spread that soon enveloped the world. While the most powerful nations looked inward, four non-governmental global health organizations began making plans for a life-or-death struggle against a virus that would know no boundaries. What followed was a steady, almost inexorable shift in power from the overwhelmed governments to a group of non-governmental organizations, according to a seven-month investigation by POLITICO journalists based in the U.S. and Europe and the German newspaper WELT.

Armed with expertise, bolstered by contacts at the highest levels of Western nations and empowered by well-grooved relationships with drug makers, the four organizations took on roles often played by governments — but without the accountability of governments. While nations were still debating the seriousness of the pandemic, the groups identified potential vaccine makers and targeted investments in the development of tests, treatments and shots. And they used their clout with the World Health Organization to help create an ambitious worldwide distribution plan for the dissemination of those Covid tools to needy nations, though it would ultimately fail to live up to its original promises.

The four organizations had worked together in the past, and three of them shared a common history. The largest and most powerful was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the world. Then there was Gavi, the global vaccine organization that Gates helped to found to inoculate people in low-income nations, and the Wellcome Trust, a British research foundation with a multibillion dollar endowment that had worked with the Gates Foundation in previous years. Finally, there was the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, the international vaccine research and development group that Gates and Wellcome both helped to create in 2017.

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Martha’s Vineyard finally gets diversity.

Tucker Carlson Notices the Missing Jubilation in Martha’s Vineyard (CTH)

A strange thing happened. After lecturing the nation on the virtues of mass migration, the white liberal democrats on Martha’s Vineyard did not celebrate the arrival of the non-white immigrants they have been demanding for years. Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted in his monologue that Martha’s Vineyard famous nimby residents, including former President Barack Obama, did not welcome the people of color as one would expect. Instead of celebrating the new diversity, oddly the residents quickly moved to find alternate off island locations to accept the arriving immigrants.

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“Border officials have seen more than 4 million encounters with foreign nationals attempting to cross the southern border since Biden first took office.”

Illinois Governor Declares Emergency Disaster As Migrants Bused In (JTN)

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday issued an emergency disaster proclamation in response to several hundred foreign nationals being bused to the state from the southern border by Texas’ governor. Pritzker activated about 75 members of the Illinois National Guard “to ensure all state resources are available to support asylum seekers arriving nearly daily to Chicago from the state of Texas,” the governor’s office said in a news release. It also “enables the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and other state agencies, in close coordination with the City of Chicago, Cook County, and other local governments, to ensure the individuals and families receive the assistance they need. This includes transport, emergency shelter and housing, food, health screenings, medical assessments, treatments, and other necessary care and services.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing foreign nationals who crossed the border into Texas illegally to Washington D.C. in April, to New York City this summer, and then to Chicago beginning late last month. All three cities are so-called “sanctuary cities” that proclaim to welcome illegal immigrants and not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. “Today, I signed a disaster proclamation allowing the state to speed up the procurement of the immediate resources needed to help Chicago, Cook County, and other jurisdictions provide humanitarian assistance to the asylum seekers who are being sent to our state with no official advance notice by the Governor of Texas,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Let me be clear: while other states may be treating these vulnerable families as pawns, here in Illinois, we are treating them as people.”

Abbott argues the crisis at the southern border was created by President Joe Biden’s open border policies and has called on the mayors of these sanctuary cities to demand that Biden enforce U.S. immigration law. Border officials have seen more than 4 million encounters with foreign nationals attempting to cross the southern border since Biden first took office. Texas has had to deal with the majority of them. The administration has released hundreds of thousands of them into Texas and other border state communities.

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“probabilistic” modelling..

Switching To Renewable Energy Could Save Trillions (BBC)

Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as $12tn (£10.2tn) by 2050, an Oxford University study says. The report said it was wrong and pessimistic to claim that moving quickly towards cleaner energy sources was expensive. Gas prices have soared on mounting concerns over energy supplies. But the researchers say that going green now makes economic sense because of the falling cost of renewables. “Even if you’re a climate denier, you should be on board with what we’re advocating,” Prof Doyne Farmer from the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School told BBC News. “Our central conclusion is that we should go full speed ahead with the green energy transition because it’s going to save us money,” he said.

The report’s findings are based on looking at historic price data for renewables and fossil fuels and then modelling how they’re likely to change in the future. The data for fossil fuels goes from 2020 back more than 100 years and shows that after accounting for inflation, and market volatility, the price hasn’t changed much. Renewables have only been around for a few decades, so there’s less data. But in that time continual improvements in technology have meant the cost of solar and wind power have fallen rapidly, at a rate approaching 10% a year. The report’s expectation that the price of renewables will continue to fall is based on “probabilistic” modelling, using data on how massive investment and economies of scale have made other similar technologies cheaper.

“Our latest research shows scaling-up key green technologies will continue to drive their costs down, and the faster we go, the more we will save,” says Dr Rupert Way, the report’s lead author from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

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Water man

 

 

 

More hands

 

 

 

 

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Aug 242022
 


Eugène Delacroix Liberty Leading the People 1830 (French Revolution of 1830)

 

 

As I read through the multitude of daily news articles about Russia, Ukraine, NATO and EU, it’s getting ever harder to escape the idea that there is a controlled demolition of the continent happening. And that neither its “leaders”, and certainly not its people, have any say in this. All we get from those “leaders” are NATO or World Economic Forum talking points. The only independent voice is Victor Orban. Who is either silenced in western media or painted as fully insane.

But Orban’s Hungarians won’t freeze this coming winter. He just signed a new gas deal with Russia. The main reason that is provided for all the others not doing that is of course Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. Which is as insane as Orban is, and “totally unprovoked”, say the western media. Noam Chomsky summarized that best: “Of course it was provoked. Otherwise they wouldn’t refer to it all the time as an unprovoked invasion.”

And no, it wasn’t just Russia/Ukraine, way before that Europe had already screwed up its economies beyond recognition -if you cared to look under the hood. But why make it worse? I get a very strong feeling that those EU “leaders” have alienated themselves far too much from the people they purport to serve, and they’ll regret it. For now it’s obvious among farmers, for instance, but when people start freezing, they will want to know why. And if no answer is forthcoming that is both honest and satisfactory, many “leaders” will have it coming for them.

The entire energy and food crisis is being sold as “inevitable”, but it is nothing of the kind. They are the result of choices being made in Brussels, Berlin, Amsterdam etc., about which nobody has asked your opinion. Something I jotted down a few days ago:

 

Is the west using Ukraine as an excuse to commit mass economic suicide? And, you know, fulfill some WEF-related goals? Why else would they cut off all economic ties to Moscow, at a time when it’s obvious they have no alternative sources for much of what they import from Russia? Moreover, why does a country like Holland aim to close 10,000 of its farms when it’s crystal clear that that will exacerbate the coming global food crises?

If you don’t like Putin, that’s fine, but why should your own people suffer from what you like or not? And of course you can ask whether it’s a good idea that a country the size of a postage stamp is the world’s no. 2 food exporter. But it is. And if you try to change that by doing a 180º, also on a postage stamp, it is very obvious that is not going to go well. And all the so-called leaders know this. But they still do it.

Prices for heating, petrol, as well as food, are set to go much higher than they have already, mitigated only -perhaps- by the fact that ever fewer people will be able to afford the ever higher prices. But now it’s starting to look like this was all scripted. Because “we” could have kept communication channels with Russia open, “we” could have negotiated for peace for the past 6 months. Not doing that was a deliberate choice. A choice that you and me, another “we”- had no voice in whatsoever.

The Dutch could have negotiated with their farmers, and slowly addressed their perceived problems with nitrogen oxides, while keeping food production going. And we could have found a way to keep Russian and Ukrainian crops available on world markets too. But it doesn’t feel at all like “we” wanted that.

Someone made a list of what EU won’t get anymore with the Russia boycott.: “nat-gas, rare earths, inert gases, potash, sulfur, uranium, palladium, vanadium, cobalt, coke, titanium, nickel, lithium, plastics, glass, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, ships, inks, airplanes, polymers, medical and industrial gases, sealing rings & membranes, power transmission, transformer and lube oils, neon gas for microchip etching, etc., etc.”

And that’s not all. Fertilizer!! Why they do it, I don’t know. Do they WANT to kill their own economies? It makes no sense. And this will not be over soon.

 

Reuters of course seeks to blame Putin. But he’s not the one who introduced the sanctions. He’s offered to let the gas and oil exports continue.

 

Putin Bets Winter Gas Chokehold Will Yield Ukraine Peace – On His Terms

Cold winters helped Moscow defeat Napoleon and Hitler. President Vladimir Putin is now betting that sky-rocketing energy prices and possible shortages this winter will persuade Europe to strong arm Ukraine into a truce — on Russia’s terms. That, say two Russian sources familiar with Kremlin thinking, is the only path to peace that Moscow sees, given Kyiv says it will not negotiate until Russia leaves all of Ukraine


“We have time, we can wait,” said one source close to the Russian authorities, who declined to be named because they are not authorised to speak to the media. “It’s going to be a difficult winter for Europeans. We could see protests, unrest. Some European leaders might think twice about continuing to support Ukraine and think it’s time for a deal.”

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wants Europeans to be obedient little critters, and take the punishment for the policies he and his ilk have carved out. Because “we” are destined to win. Mr. Borrell is planing to do just fine this winter, mind you. With the best steak your money can buy, real fine wine, to be consumed in comfortably heated homes, restaurants and offices. A picture of Marie Antoinette pops up in my brain.

 

‘Weary’ Europeans Must ‘Bear Consequences’ Of Ukraine War As Putin Will Eventually Blink: EU’s Borrell

EU high representative and foreign policy chief Josep Borrell gave a surprisingly blunt assessment of the Ukraine war and Europe’s precarious position in an AFP interview published Tuesday, admitting that Russian President Vladimir Putin is betting on fracturing a united EU response amid the current crisis situation of soaring prices and energy extreme uncertainty headed into a long winter. Borrell’s words seemed to come close to admitting that Putin’s tactic is working on some level, or at least will indeed chip away at European resolve in the short and long run, given he chose words like EU populations having to “endure” the deep economic pain and severe energy crunch. He cited the “weariness” of Europeans while calling on leadership as well as the common people to “bear the consequences” with continued resolve.

Borrell explained to AFP that Putin sees “the weariness of the Europeans and the reluctance of their citizens to bear the consequences of support for Ukraine.” But Borrell suggested that Europe will not back down no matter the leverage Moscow might have, particularly when it comes to ‘weaponization of energy’ – and called on citizens to continue to shoulder the cost. Who will blink first? …appears to be the subtext here. He urged: “We will have to endure, spread the costs within the EU,” Borrell told AFP, warning that keeping the 27 member states together was a task to be carried out “day by day.”

And yet, as some like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have consistently argued since near the start of the Feb.24 invasion, it is inevitable that some will be forced to bear the “costs” much more than others. Already this is being seen with initiatives out of Brussels like rationing gas consumption, which has further led to scenarios like German towns and even residences being mandated to switch off lights or resources for designated periods at night. “More cold showers” – many are also being told. As we round the corner of fall and enter the more frigid months, we are likely to only see more headlines like this: “German cities impose cold showers and turn off lights amid Russian gas crisis.”

Talking of Marie Antoinette. Emmanuel Macron is the little man of grand vision. He foresees the ‘End Of Abundance’, a veritable “tipping point” in history. And he’s just the man to lead you through it. I’ll give him this: he’s got good speech writers. But speech writers don’t keep the people warm and fed.

 

Macron Warns Of ‘End Of Abundance’

France is headed toward the “end of abundance” and “sacrifices” have to be made during what is a time of great upheaval, President Emmanuel Macron told his cabinet on Wednesday upon returning from summer break. The country has faced multiple challenges lately, ranging from the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine to the unprecedented drought that has battered the whole European continent this summer. Yet, Macron believes that the crisis is actually of a much bigger scale and that structural changes are imminent.“

Some could see our destiny as being to constantly manage crises or emergencies. I believe that we are living through a tipping point or great upheaval. Firstly, because we are living through… what could seem like the end of abundance,” he said. The country and its citizens must be ready to make “sacrifices” to meet and overcome the challenges they are facing, he continued. “Our system based on freedom in which we have become used to living, when we need to defend it sometimes that can entail making sacrifices,”Macron added.

“Faced with this, we have duties, the first of which is to speak frankly and very clearly without doom-mongering,” Macron stressed. The president called upon his cabinet to show unity, be “serious” and “credible” and urged ministers to avoid “demagogy.” “It’s easy to promise anything and everything, sometimes to say anything and everything. Do not give in to these temptations, it is demagoguery,” the president said, adding that such an approach “flourishes” today “in all democracies in a complex and frightening world.”

There is a pattern in the messages of today’s Marie Antoinettes. Borrell wants you to take it lying down, Macron wants you to do that for a long time (like the rest of your lives), and the Belgian PM makes it more concrete: you’ll be freezing for the next 10 years. After which, supposedly, renewables will have been built to keep your kids warm. Spoiler: they won’t be.

 

Belgian PM: “Next 5-10 Winters Will Be Difficult” As Energy Crisis Worsens

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo might have spilled the beans about the duration of Europe’s energy crisis. He told reporters Monday, “the next 5 to 10 winters will be difficult.” “The development of the situation is very difficult throughout Europe,” De Croo told Belgium broadcaster VRT. “In a number of sectors, it is really difficult to deal with those high energy prices. We are monitoring this closely, but we must be transparent: the coming months will be difficult, the coming winters will be difficult,” he said. The prime minister’s comments suggest replacing Russian natural gas imports could take years, exerting further economic doom on the region’s economy in the form of energy hyperinflation.

From Greece, even more concrete: energy subsidies. €1.9 billion in one month. To keep the hordes out of the streets. Wait, that Belgian guy said this will last 5-10 years. How is the country going to pay for that? One thing that comes to mind is Greeks will vote for anyone in the next election who vows to talk to Putin ASAP, restore the countries’ good relationships and sign a gas deal.

 

The Electricity Subsidy Shock

A significant rise in the price of electricity announced by state-controlled Public Power Corporation (PPC) for September forced the government to raise its electricity subsidy for September to 1.9 billion euros, from €1.1 billion in August. The subsidy level inevitably follows the PPC’s pricing policy, since it is the dominant player in the market, with 63% of consumers choosing it. While PPC had the lowest price of all electricity providers in August (€0.48 per kilowatt-hour) it raised its September price to €0.788 for those consuming up to 500kWh per month and €0.80 for heavier consumers. In order to stick to its commitment for an actual charge to consumers between €0.14-0.17 per kWh the government had to adjust its subsidy level accordingly, raising it by over 72%.

How long will this last, you said? Well, according to AP, “Washington expects Ukrainian forces “to fight for years to come.” “Included in the package are advanced weapons that are still in the development phase..”

 

‘Months Or Years’ Before US Arms Reach Ukraine – Media

Years could pass before some of the weapons in the upcoming “largest ever” package of US military assistance to Kiev actually reach Ukraine, according to Western media reports. On Tuesday, a number of mainstream media outlets cited anonymous US officials as describing the impending announcement of a $3 billion package of military aid to Ukraine. If confirmed, it would be the largest of its kind so far. Washington is by far the biggest supplier of military hardware to Ukraine as it fights against Russia. However, some of the promised equipment “will not be in the hands of Ukrainian fighters for months or years,” according to NBC News, one of the outlets that reported the upcoming package. Included in the package are advanced weapons that are still in the development phase, it explained.


The same caveat was cited by the Associated Press, which said that it may take “a year or two” for the arms to reach the battlefield, according to its sources. Washington expects Ukrainian forces “to fight for years to come,” US officials told the AP. The AeroVironment Switchblade 600 drone is an example of a weapon system that was promised to Ukraine months ago but has yet to be delivered. Defense News said this week that the Pentagon plans to sign the contract necessary for sending 10 of the so-called “kamikaze drones” within a month. Last month, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov called on foreign suppliers of arms to use his country as a testing ground for new weapons. He pledged to provide detailed reports about the experiences of Ukrainian soldiers with the prototypes provided to them.

This is not going to go well. Not for the European “leaders”, not for the EU, not for Ukraine, and not for Europeans. We could start a little bet as to how many leaders will still be in place by spring, and I bet you Zelensky won’t be one of them. Putin will. As for the rest, Rutte, Macron, we’ll see. But don’t underestimate the wrath of people with hungry and cold children. It feels like almost an alien image for 99% of Europeans, but it no longer will be.

And there is no logical reason for this, there is only the ideology of a few handfuls of little men with grand visions. Hate of everything Russia has kept the west going for 100 years or more. And these little men feed off of that. They can only do that by refusing to talk. Because that’s exactly what Russia does not refuse. Only, they want to talk as equals.

 

 

 

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