Dec 012022
 


Pablo Picasso Coffee maker 1943

 

More Than 100,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Have Died In Conflict – EU (RT)
Von der Leyen’s Comment On Ukrainian Military Losses Retracted (RT)
Kiev Reacts To Redacted EU Assessment Of Its Casualties (RT)
The Global South Births A New Game-Changing Payment System (Escobar)
China Wants More Russian Gas (RT)
Russian Coal Exports Shift To China (RT)
Poland To Charge Ukrainian Refugees For Government-Provided Housing (Az.)
Congress Wants $45B Tacked on to Biden’s Military Budget Request (Celente)
Washington Goes to War Against Twitter and Free Speech (Turley)
Yellen Hints At ‘National Security’ Probe Into Twitter Purchase (RT)
EU Threatens Musk With Twitter Ban (RT)
Musk Says Twitter Clash With Apple A ‘Misunderstanding’ (AFP)
Ex-Twitter Safety Chief: Hunter Biden Laptop Censorship Was A ‘Mistake’ (Fox)
Eric Idle Insists He Wants To Be ‘Cancelled’ (DM)
Cryptome Founder Asks to Be Indicted With Assange (Lauria)

 

 

Brilliant T-shirt sold in Japan.

 

 

Reed Hastings

 

 

 

 

Tucker DealBook

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ursula didn’t get the memo. In 3 parts. First, she posts the number -with video. Then Zelensky protests. Then the video is removed and re-done. Finally, Ukraine reacts: if you post these numbers, we can’t manipulate them anymore.

More Than 100,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Have Died In Conflict – EU (RT)

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has presented the total number of losses estimated to have been suffered by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. “More than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far,” von der Leyen claimed on Wednesday, while adding that around 20,000 civilian lives have also been lost amid the fighting, which has continued since late February. The head of the European Commission didn’t reveal the sources of the information she provided. In late September, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that Ukrainian losses had to date amounted to more than 61,000 troops, which was ten times higher than those of Russia.


In her address, von der Leyen also proposed to set up a specialized, UN-backed court to investigate and prosecute what she described as “Russia’s crime of aggression.”She also said that a special structure would be created by the EU to manage and invest 300 billion euro (nearly $311 billion) in Russian Central Bank reserves and 19 billion euro of Russian business figures’ assets, which the EU froze after the outbreak of the conflict. The plan is to use the proceeds from those activities to rebuild and assist Ukraine, according to the commission president.

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Some people are convinced it was retracted after US protest. But Ukraine protest would have been enough.

Von der Leyen’s Comment On Ukrainian Military Losses Retracted (RT)

A claim about the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed during its conflict with Russia has been removed from a speech by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the executive’s official website. “More than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far,” she said during an address earlier on Wednesday, adding that around 20,000 civilians had also died in nine months of fighting. The source of this information was not provided. However, the reference to Kiev’s death toll soon disappeared from the text of the speech on the European Commission’s website. It was also cut from a video of the address on the website and on von der Leyen’s account on Twitter.


The editing was noticed by some media outlets and social media users, who compared the two versions of the statement online. The move was then officially confirmed by the European Commission. The EU executive body’s spokeswoman Dana Spinant took to Twitter to thank those who had “pointed out the inaccuracy” in von der Leyen’s speech. “The estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured, and was meant to show Russia’s brutality,” she wrote. In late September, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that Ukrainian losses had by then amounted to more than 61,000 troops, which was ten times greater than Russia’s.

Judge Nap Macgregor

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Oh yeah, she also talked about the stolen Russian assets.

Kiev Reacts To Redacted EU Assessment Of Its Casualties (RT)

A claim that Ukraine has lost more than 100,000 personnel in the conflict with Russia has been deleted from the Twitter account of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Kiev had objected to the figure, saying it was up to President Vladimir Zelensky and top Ukrainian officials to voice such numbers. Zelensky’s spokesman, Sergey Nikoforov, told Ukrainian media on Wednesday that such “sensitive” information should only be made public by the country’s top military commander General Valery Zaluzhny, Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, or the president himself. Earlier in the day, the head of the EU executive branch cited an assessment that more than 100,000 Ukrainian troops and over 20,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict with Russia.

The video statement has since been pulled from her Twitter account and replaced with a new version, which omitted the figures. Von der Leyen did not identify the source of the assessment. Earlier in the month, US General Mark Milley, who serves as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that over 100,000 soldiers may have been killed and wounded on each side of the conflict, with 40,000 civilians killed as collateral damage. Milley, speaking at the Economic Club of New York, said that the winter season would cause hostilities to go “static” and open “a window of opportunity” for negotiations. The call for diplomacy reportedly outraged officials in Kiev, who pledged to continue fighting against Russia until it fully regains pre-2014 positions. In her Wednesday address, von der Leyen urged the UN to convene a special tribunal to try Russia for its alleged crimes against Ukraine.

The Commission chief also shared the EU’s plans to invest seized Russian national reserves and “oligarch” money for profit that would later be used to rebuild Ukraine. She estimated Ukraine’s damage at €600 billion ($621bn) so far, which dwarfs the €319 billion ($330bn) of Russian funds blocked by the EU. The assets would only be unfrozen after anti-Russia sanctions are lifted, to be paid in compensation to Ukraine, the official stated. Top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have criticized the freezing of assets by the US and its allies, including the EU. At first, they devalued national reserves denominated in dollars and euros through inflation, and later “pawed and pocketed” them, Putin remarked in October.

Read more …

In the background, these preparations continue.

The Global South Births A New Game-Changing Payment System (Escobar)

The Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is speeding up its design of a common payment system, which has been closely discussed for nearly a year with the Chinese under the stewardship of Sergei Glazyev, the EAEU’s minister in charge of Integration and Macro-economy. Through its regulatory body, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the EAEU has just extended a very serious proposal to the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) which, crucially, are already on the way to turning into BRICS+: a sort of G20 of the Global South. The system will include a single payment card – in direct competition with Visa and Mastercard – merging the already existing Russian MIR, China’s UnionPay, India’s RuPay, Brazil’s Elo, and others.

That will represent a direct challenge to the western-designed (and enforced) monetary system, head on. And it comes on the heels of BRICS members already transacting their bilateral trade in local currencies, and bypassing the US dollar. This EAEU-BRICS union was long in the making – and will now also move toward prefiguring a further geoeconomic merger with the member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The EAEU was established in 2015 as a customs union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, joined a year later by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Vietnam is already an EAEU free trade partner, and recently enshrined SCO member Iran is also clinching a deal. The EAEU is designed to implement free movement of goods, services, capital, and workers between member countries.

Ukraine would have been an EAEU member if not for the Maidan coup in 2014 masterminded by the Barack Obama administration. Vladimir Kovalyov, adviser to the chairman of the EEC, summed it all up to Russian newspaper Izvestia. The focus is to establish a joint financial market, and the priority is to develop a common “exchange space:” “We’ve made substantial progress and now the work is focused on such sectors as banking, insurance, and the stock market.” A new regulatory body for the proposed joint EEU-BRICS financial system will soon be established. Meanwhile, trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and BRICS have increased 1.5 times in the first half of 2022 alone.

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Not using Russian oil and gas does nothing for climate. You don’t want it, others will use them. And you will be cold.

China Wants More Russian Gas (RT)

Russian gas export to China via the so-called eastern route, the Power of Siberia pipeline, should be steadily increased, according to Huang Yongzhang, Vice President of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The 3,000 kilometer (1,864 mile) cross-border pipeline started deliveries of Russian natural gas to China in 2019. Its capacity is 61 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year, including 38 bcm for export. Last year, Russian gas supplies to China increased by 10.4 bcm via the mega pipeline. “It is necessary to steadily increase gas supplies from Russia to China via the eastern route. The parties continue cooperation in this area, using all its advantages, strengthening and deepening business cooperation,” Yongzhang said on Tuesday at the Russia-China Energy Business Forum.


He also called for the strengthening of the scientific and technical cooperation between the two nations in order to improve the quality of joint work in the oil and gas sector, as well as in the field of green and low-carbon energy. The agreement on gas supplies via the Power of Siberia pipeline was reached in 2014, with Gazprom and CNPC signing a 30-year contract. The $400 billion agreement is Gazprom’s biggest deal ever and the Power of Siberia is the first natural gas pipeline between Russia and China. The Russian energy company is currently working on the Power of Siberia 2 project, which involves construction of a gas pipeline to China through the territory of Mongolia. The pipeline will be capable of delivering as much as 50 billion cubic meters of gas, once operational.

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You can hear the Chinese laughing in the background.

Russian Coal Exports Shift To China (RT)

Russia has this year become the second most important supplier of coal to China, the head of oil giant Rosneft Igor Sechin announced at the Russia-China Energy Business Forum on Tuesday.“Deliveries of high-quality Russian coal to China in [those] ten months of 2022 amounted to 53 million tons. This is about 23% of total imports to China, second place after Indonesia, which supplies 134 million tons,” Sechin said. According to the CEO, in order to further increase coal supplies to Asia, Russia is investing in the development of the Eastern Range of the country’s train-services supplier Russian Railways (OAO). The project is expected to increase transportation capacity to 195 million tons per year.

Russia has dramatically increased exports of energy commodities, including coal, to Asian buyers after the EU suspended coal purchases from the country earlier this year as a Ukraine-related sanction. Chinese purchases of the Russian fossil fuel, in particular, reached a five-year high in September, soaring to 8.54 million tons. It was a 57% year-on-year rise, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs. Beijing has also been stocking up on Russian oil. Total Russian crude exports to China in the period January to October jumped by 9.5% to nearly 72 million tons, slightly less than what Saudi Arabia, China’s largest supplier, exports to the Asian nation, Sechin said.

The head of Russia’s biggest oil company stressed that both Moscow and Beijing are looking forward to further developing trade relations, particularly in the field of energy. Sechin also noted that the overall trade turnover between Russia and China jumped 33% this year, reaching $153.9 billion in the first ten months. “If these rates are maintained, by the end of this year the trade turnover may reach a record high of $180 billion. We can expect that the goal of reaching $200 billion in trade turnover will be achieved even before the set target date, 2024,” he said.

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“More than a million Ukrainian refugees made a temporary home in Poland..”

Poland To Charge Ukrainian Refugees For Government-Provided Housing (Az.)

Poland plans to charge Ukrainian refugees for food and housing after four months of staying in state accommodation, the government said, Report informs referring to Reuters. More than a million Ukrainian refugees made a temporary home in Poland, Ukraine’s western neighbor, after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, relying on the kindness of strangers who opened up their homes and government aid. But after an initial outpouring of public support for refugees, resources are drying up and refugees are having a harder time finding flats and getting support with Poland facing a cost of living crisis and budget strains.


“Citizens of Ukraine who stay in Poland in collective accommodation centers will participate in the costs of housing and meals,” the government said in a statement. Those staying in such accommodation, for example government-funded hotel rooms or school dormitories, longer than 120 days will have to cover 50% of the cost up to 40 zlotys ($8.87) per day, per person. After 180 days it would be 75% of the cost up to 60 zlotys. Those unable to work because of their age or disability would be excluded, as would pregnant women, according to the plan. The government wants the new rules to apply from March 1, 2023. The bill will go to parliament where it is expected to pass comfortably.

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“..the deal would set the budget at $847 billion for national defense..”

Congress Wants $45B Tacked on to Biden’s Military Budget Request (Celente)

We have long noted that the one issue that can bring together the most hardened liberal Democrats, and the most conservative Republicans is the vote for war. After all, what other issue would you find Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Mitch McConnell agreeing on? It was reported Wednesday that members of the House and Senate Armed Service committees agreed to add $45 billion more to President Joe Biden’s already gargantuan 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, according to a newly released report on Wednesday. Politico, citing four people familiar with the negotiations, reported that the deal would set the budget at $847 billion for national defense, with the possibility of reaching as high as $858 billion.

We reported in July that the House voted in favor of an $850.3 billion national security budget that members say will help the U.S. respond to continued threats and surging inflation. The House passed the bill in a 329-101 vote. The “no” votes included 62 Republicans and 39 Democrats.“With inflation factored in, it is a good increase but it’s essential because of inflation and also the need to continue significant programs,” Sen. Jack Reed, the chair of the Senate Armed Services, said in an interview, according to Politico.As the global economies sink into recession, as world hunger escalates, as inflation spikes and people pay much more to buy a lot less, as world poverty levels increase and the middle class shrinks…countries around the world have increased their military budgets and built up their defenses since the Ukraine War began in February.

But the War Machine Always Wins. And Bill La Plante, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said months ago that he expected Congress—no matter what party was in control—would approve new weapons purchasing power at levels not seen since the Cold War. “They are going to give us multiyear authority, and they’re going to give us funding to really put into the industrial base,” he told George Mason University at the time. “And I’m talking billions of dollars into the industrial base—to fund these production lines. That, I predict, is going to happen, and it’s happening now. And then people will have to say: ‘I guess they were serious about it.’ But we have not done that since the Cold War.”

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“Despite a creepy Facebook advertising campaign to convince the public to embrace censorship, it has not worked. The public is not buying. They are buying Free Twitter…”

Washington Goes to War Against Twitter and Free Speech (Turley)

Washington this week is in full wartime footing. No, it’s not over the Russian invasion of Ukraine or North Korean missiles or even Chinese expansionism. It is about Twitter and the threat of Elon Musk to restore free speech protections to social media. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has emerged as the bellicose general rallying others to the “censor or die” pressure campaign against Twitter. The problem is that citizens are flocking to Twitter and signing up in record numbers. They want more, not less, free speech. The over two million new sign-ups per day represent a 66% increase over the same period last year, according to figures released by Musk.

A reporter this week was so alarmed that she asked the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the concern that millions are still signing up at Twitter and demanded to know who is “keeping an eye on this” for possible federal action. Unable to convince users to embrace censorship, Clinton and others are pressuring corporations and foreign governments to deter Musk from restoring free speech. Since users are embracing the new Twitter, the campaign has focused on preventing them from signing up by removing the app from the Apple and Google stores. In the meantime, Apple is joining the boycott by withholding advertising revenue to coerce Musk to reverse his free-speech pledge.

Musk, however, is sitting on the ultimate weapon to bring this war to an end: free speech itself. However, it will require more than rhetorical recriminations like Musk asking why Apple executives “hate free speech in America?” The fact is that these media and political figures are becoming more and more alarmed as Musk threatens to release files on the past censorship of stories like the Hunter Biden laptop. Musk has reason to wonder why Apple CEO Tim Cook would join this anti-free speech campaign. The reason is as obvious as it is craven. These boycotts are not about corporations or shareholders. If anything, they are more likely to diminish profits. It is about the executives themselves. Many are allies of figures like Clinton. Others are yielding to these demands to avoid being attacked or tagged by the left.

[..] If Musk carries through on his pledge, the public will have a free speech alternative and they are already speaking loudly by signing up with the company in record numbers. Despite a creepy Facebook advertising campaign to convince the public to embrace censorship, it has not worked. The public is not buying. They are buying Free Twitter. So, the only way to regain control is to prevent people from getting the app or threaten to force Twitter into insolvency. The problem is Musk, an eccentric billionaire who is not easy to intimidate. Musk now stands against a massive alliance of governments, corporations, celebrities, and politicians. He has only the public and free speech on his side. He needs to use both.

DeSantis

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Yellen is so out of her depth here, I suspect that’s why they let her do the talking.

Yellen Hints At ‘National Security’ Probe Into Twitter Purchase (RT)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said federal officials could seek to launch a review into billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter if it were deemed to carry national security risks, backtracking after she downplayed any chance for a probe. Speaking at an event hosted by the New York Times on Wednesday, Yellen claimed she had “misspoke” when she said there was “no basis” to investigate Musk or his finances during an interview earlier this month, now saying the government could take that step after all. “I’m not going to say specifically what we are looking at. We don’t comment on what’s in progress,” she said, but added the Treasury “does look at transactions that involve foreign investments in the United States to see if they create national security risk.”

While she stopped short of confirming that a probe was underway, Yellen said “if there are such risks it would be appropriate for the Treasury to have a look.” The secretary’s comments follow earlier reports that the Treasury had already requested approval to begin reviewing Musk’s Twitter deal, though sources told the Washington Post at the time that such actions are “fairly routine” and do not always result in a full-fledged investigation. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden also stated that Musk’s “relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” following reports that foreign investors such as Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal now hold significant stakes in Twitter. However, Biden stressed that he was not claiming the billionaire had done anything “inappropriate,” and did not indicate that he was under investigation.

Musk has faced pressure from abroad as well, with the European Commission recently threatening to ban Twitter outright should the platform run afoul of the EU’s digital regulations. According to a Wednesday report in the Financial Times, the bloc has presented Musk with a “checklist of rules” and demanded he submit to an “extensive independent audit” sometime next year, insisting Twitter must continue to “aggressively” police disinformation and hate speech. The billionaire has repeatedly vowed to make Twitter a bastion of free expression, even suggesting an “amnesty” for previously banned accounts so long as they did not violate the law or post spam. However, critics have argued the more hands-off approach will foster hatred, extremism and misinformation online, with some even urging major platforms like Apple and Google to remove Twitter from their app stores.

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“Musk replied that the DSA [EU’s Digital Services Act] was “very sensible” and should be applied worldwide.”

EU Threatens Musk With Twitter Ban (RT)

As Elon Musk pledged to run a more fair and transparent Twitter that won’t interfere in elections, the EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, on Wednesday demanded tougher censorship, reportedly warning that the platform might be banned if it doesn’t comply with the bloc’s laws. “Twitter has failed in trust & safety for a very long time and has interfered in elections,” Musk tweeted on Wednesday, responding to claims by former executive Yoel Roth published by Reuters that his takeover had made the company less safe. “Twitter 2.0 will be far more effective, transparent and even-handed.” Within the hour, Breton tweeted that he welcomed Musk’s “intent to get Twitter 2.0 ready” for the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), a law scheduled to come into force in 2024.

He added that the platform would have to “significantly reinforce content moderation and tackle disinformation,” among other things. Breton attached a short video from a call he held with Musk, though without any sound. According to the Financial Times, however, the EU commissioner actually threatened Musk with a ban unless Twitter complies with a list of demands. This includes not having an “arbitrary” approach to reinstating banned users, “aggressively” pursuing “disinformation” and agreeing to an “extensive independent audit” by next year. Failing to do so would infringe on the DSA, which could expose Twitter to massive fines or even a ban in the EU, Breton reportedly said. According to FT’s sources, Musk replied that the DSA was “very sensible” and should be applied worldwide.

Musk bought Twitter for a reported $44 billion and took ownership of the company on October 27, declaring “the bird is freed.” Within hours, Breton responded that “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.” The DSA was approved by the bloc earlier this year. It requires “content moderation” from major social media platforms, so they can swiftly censor “hate speech” or any information that Brussels deems false. The EU has already invoked these powers to ban RT and several other Russian media outlets, with most US-based platforms eagerly complying. The video hosting service Rumble, however, chose to turn off their service in France rather than comply with demands from Paris to censor certain Russian outlets.

Declaring “free speech” – as guaranteed in the US Constitution – to be his guiding principle, Musk has rolled back some of Twitter’s censorship policies and lifted the bans on many “permanently suspended” accounts, including former US president Donald Trump. The decision to reinstate Trump and declare a general amnesty for accounts that hadn’t broken the law was put to a vote on Twitter, with most users voting in favor in both cases.

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“Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.”

Musk Says Twitter Clash With Apple A ‘Misunderstanding’ (AFP)

Twitter owner Elon Musk said he met with Apple chief Tim Cook on Wednesday and “resolved the misunderstanding” that prompted him to declare war on the iPhone maker’s App Store. “Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store,” Musk tweeted. “Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.” Musk also tweeted a video clip of “Apple’s beautiful HQ” in Cupertino, California, noting that he had had a “good conversation” with Cook. The world’s richest person opened fire on the planet’s most valuable company early this week over fees and rules at the App Store, saying Apple had threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform.

The billionaire CEO had tweeted that Apple “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.” Apple, which has not issued a public statement on the matter, typically tells developers if fixes need to be implemented in apps to conform to App Store policies. Analysts told AFP the clash may have came down to money, with Musk irked that the App Store takes a commission on transactions such as subscriptions. Musk has delayed the relaunch of the Twitter Blue subscription tier intended to have users pay for perks such as account verification check marks. Twitter rolled out Blue early in November, but pulled the plug after impersonators paid for check marks to appear legitimate in what former head of safety and security Yoel Roth referred to as “a disaster.”

Both Apple and Google also require social networking services on their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or abusive content. But since taking over Twitter last month, Musk has cut around half of Twitter’s workforce, including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation, while an unknown number of others have quit.

Tucker Apple

Read more …

Musk has promised full disclosure.

Ex-Twitter Safety Chief: Hunter Biden Laptop Censorship Was A ‘Mistake’ (Fox)

The former head of trust and safety at Twitter recently admitted that the social media company’s decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 was a “mistake.” During a sit down with journalist Kara Swisher, ex-Twitter safety chief Yoel Roth said that despite concerns about the authenticity of the laptop story, it still did not reach a point where he wanted to remove the content — which was later censored anyway. Initial reporting suggested that Roth blocked user access from the October 2020 story, but the former Twitter division lead said the decision was not up to him. “We didn’t know what to believe, we didn’t know what was true, there was smoke — and ultimately for me, it didn’t reach a place where I was comfortable removing this content from Twitter,” Roth said.

“But it set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 hack and leak campaign alarm bells.” Roth repeatedly reiterated that despite Big Tech companies’ high-alert status and his personal feeling of responsibility to protect the “integrity of conversations” from foreign governments attempting to interfere in elections, it never rose to the level where he believed the story should be censored. “But — so it was a mistake?” Swisher asked. “In my opinion, yes,” he responded. Roth planned to meet with the Department of Homeland Security’s now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board, where the government was expected to ask Twitter to become more involved in efforts to monitor misinformation.

Both Roth and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed they were approached by the FBI prior to the 2020 election, warning the platforms about foreign propaganda and misinformation. When the New York Post’s bombshell report was first published with weeks to go before the 2020 election, Twitter and Facebook were quick to limit or block sharing of the story in an unprecedented display of coordination. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also admitted the social media platform was wrong to intervene in the Hunter Biden story. Last week, Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk said that he might release more information on how the social media company censored the Biden laptop story.

Read more …

‘I would like to be cancelled so I can go home and read a book and not have to make an a**e of myself all over the world..’

Eric Idle Insists He Wants To Be ‘Cancelled’ (DM)

Famed English comedian Eric Idle says he wants to be ‘cancelled’ for his comedy. The 76-year-old funnyman, who first rose to fame in the 1960s as a founding member of the Monty Python comedy team, is outspoken about political correctness. He says that there is a lot of bullying going on in the name of decency. ‘I would like to be cancelled so I can go home and read a book and not have to make an a**e of myself all over the world,’ Idle joked in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday. Idle, who is in Australia to perform a show in Sydney this week, explained in the chat that he thinks comedy is about saying the wrong thing at the right time. ‘You have to remember that Python was offensive when it started. We were not the cuddly old f***ers we are now,’ he told the publication.

‘It was very offensive. The point was absolutely to upset and insult the bourgeois.’ Idle, who is in Australia to perform a show in State Theatre on Thursday, explained that comedy is about saying the wrong thing at the right time, Pictured: Idle in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, a box-office smash despite offending audiences After debuting on the BBC in 1969, Monty Python earned a reputation for outrageous, surreal, often violent and sexual humour. Idle says the point of comedy is to test boundaries and say the ‘unsayable’. ‘And so who are the people saying you can’t do that?’ he says. ‘I don’t understand that. Who is the committee that does this? ‘It sounds a bit like the French Revolution committees, who said, ‘off with his head’. I think a lot of bullying goes on in the name of decency.’

Monty Python, who formally disbanded three decades ago, often attracted notoriety and scandal. Their films Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975), and Monty’s Python Meaning of Life (1983) became box office hits, while shocking audiences. But it was their 1979 smash Life of Brian, a parody of pious religious movie epics that created a storm of protest around the world. Set in the time of Christ, the film features a climax where the hero, Brian (Graham Chapman), a Jew, is crucified because he has been mistaken as a messiah by the Romans. As he and others hang on crosses, they sing ‘Always Look on The Bright Side of Life,’ a jolly sing along composed by Idle. Condemned by a diverse range of religious groups as blasphemous, Idle says the film would never be made today because ‘you don’t laugh at religion.’

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“Cryptome published the decrypted unredacted State Department Cables on September 1, 2011 prior to publication of the cables by WikiLeaks..”

Cryptome Founder Asks to Be Indicted With Assange (Lauria)

The founder of a U.S.-based website that earlier published the same un-redacted documents that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange was later indicted for has invited the U.S. Department of Justice to make him a co-defendant with Assange. “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 on Tuesday. “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.”

Assange has been charged with possession and dissemination of classified information, some of the same material that Young possesses and disseminated. Young founded Cryptome, which he calls a “free public library” in 1996. It was a precursor of WikiLeaks in publishing raw, classified and unclassified government documents on the internet. Young testified at Assange’s extradition hearing in London in September 2020. His sworn statement says: “I published on Cryptome.org unredacted diplomatic cables on September 1, 2011 under the URL https://cryptome.org/z/z.7z and that publication remains available at the present. … Since my publication on Cryptome.org of the unredacted diplomatic cables, no US law enforcement authority has notified me that this publication of the cables is illegal, consists or contributes to a crime in any way, nor have they asked for them to be removed.”

A cornerstone of the Justice Department’s case against Assange is that he recklessly published State Department cables leaked to him by Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning, which, the U.S. says, endangered the lives of named U.S. informants. Young is asking the Justice Department why he too hasn’t been prosecuted for publishing these names before Assange did. At Manning’s court martial, Brig. Gen. Robert Carr, testified under oath that no one was actually harmed by the WikiLeaks releases. Then Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the leaks “awkward” and “embarrassing” but said they did only “fairly modest” damage to U.S. foreign interests.

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Musk 2008

 

 

 

 

Parking

 

 

DogBrush

 

 

Holidog

 

 

 

 

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Nov 202022
 
 November 20, 2022  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Van Gogh painting sunflowers 1888

 

Musk Reinstates Trump’s Twitter Account After Millions Vote In Poll (JTN)
War On Everything (El Gato Malo)
Europe Warns Musk He Must Hire Hundreds Of Moderators (ZH)
German Public TV Compares Elon Musk to Goebbels (Kogon)
CBS News Suspends All Twitter Activity (NYP)
France Should Stop Backing Zelensky – Ex-Presidential Candidate (RT)
West Is ‘Pushing’ Kiev Toward Talks – Medvedev (RT)
Germany Warns Against Escalation Between Russia and NATO (RT)
Goodbye G20, hello BRICS+ (Escobar)
Ukraine Could Seize Crimea Before Year Ends – MOD (RT)
‘Harsh Winter’ Ahead For Ukraine – Lloyd Austin (RT)
Outcome of Ukraine Conflict Will Help Define 21st Century – Lloyd Austin (RT)
EU Leaders Accuse US Natural Gas Producers Of Profiteering (IA)
‘Laziness Epidemic’ Grips France – Study (RT)

 

 

 

 

Judge Nap- Macgregor MUST watch

 

 


Schwarzenegger

 

 

Old video

 

 

 

 

Tucker FTX

 

 

“If you don’t believe how powerful American propaganda is, they made Fauci and Zelensky the heroes..”

 

 

 

 

Musk Reinstates Trump’s Twitter Account After Millions Vote In Poll (JTN)

New Twitter owner Elon Musk declared Saturday night that former President Trump’s account will be reinstated. Musk made the decision after polling Twitter users Friday. More than 15 million people responded, with nearly 52% supporting the return of the 45th president to the social platform, “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted at about 8 p.m. ET Saturday. The former president’s account was suspended after the Jan.6, 2021, Capitol riot. Since then, Trump has launched his own social platform called Truth Social that has attracted millions of new users. Both Trump and Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes have said the former president plans to stay on his own platform. Trump reiterated that position on Saturday, even as he encouraged followers to vote in Musk’s poll. “Vote now with positivity, but don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere. Truth Social is special!,” he wrote.

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One of the last things Michael Moore said that made sense, was “You can’t declare war on a noun”. El Gato takes it from there.

War On Everything (El Gato Malo)

We live in the age of the war machine. The purpose of the war machine is not to produce victory. The purpose of the war machine is to produce war. War unending. War on everything. Permission to think the unthinkable and excuse to do that which is inexcusable. It is the triumph of the terrible and the tyrannical. The war on covid, poverty, injustice, drugs, terrorism: It’s all the same. War is the worst of humanity. It is the end of cooperation, the end of rationality, the abrogation of ethics. War is permission to “do what it takes to win” This cannot be the way. War is the end of good choices and the embrace of conflict, the end of citizens and the pursuit of subjugation. It is the end of humanity and the beginning of amoral destruction of the enemy. Perfect for politicians. Anathema to the free breath of we the people.

This is jingo as justification. It’s the supplanting of rights by righteousness. And this war machine will roll right over you and if it does its job well you will never even guess at the real reasons why. The facts and faces may change, but the war will not. It will take from you those most fundamental rights and choices and replace them with the fist, with violence, with taking. The war on drugs takes the free choice of free people and replaces it with 27 kinds of new statist intrusion breaking down doors with unaccountable no knock warrants and systems of international collaboration giving rise to vast police and surveillance states. Has it stopped drugs or even made headway? Nope. Does it have any ethical basis in a world where our own intelligence agencies traffic in the very narcotics our police profess to suppress? Nope.

It just oppresses you and takes the rights of peaceful people and shifts to unsafe and violent black markets that which was once free. It just tightens the net around you and the endless failure to win is right there in the design. The goal is not to stop drugs. The goal is to rule and to profit. The war on poverty is just the same. It seeks to take by force from some and give to others. Has it alleviated poverty? No. By most credible accounts, it has made it FAR worse among those it purports to help from the african american community in the US that was literally devastated by the so called “great society” programs to the african african community in africa where endless, meddling aid has made dependencies of countries while preventing real domestic industry and self sufficiency from emerging for who can open and support a store or a farm when trucks of free rice arrive daily and aid money is laundered into vast programs of profiteering by folks like the gates foundation? It has enabled 700 kinds of grift and grasping rapacity.

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Some two-bit little man trying to make himself look powerful.

Europe Warns Musk He Must Hire Hundreds Of Moderators (ZH)

At a time when Musk is cutting hundreds if not thousands of workers on a weekly basis, early on Friday Europe delivered some unexpected news to the world’s richest man: according to Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, Musk will have to increase the number of moderators in Europe, a continent which long ago gave up all pretense of having free speech. “He is in the process of reducing a certain number of moderators, but he will have to increase them in Europe,” Breton told Franceinfo in an interview, Bloomberg reported. Breton added that Musk “will have to open his algorithms. We will have control, we will have access, people will no longer be able to say rubbish.”

By “rubbish” he meant anything that Europe’s unelected technocrats disagree with, which these days is anything not endorsed by the World Economic Forum. Breton earlier warned that Twitter would have to “fly by our rules,” shortly after Musk closed his $44 billion takeover last month. The EU’s Digital Services Act gives governments power to enforce rules governing how tech companies moderate content and to decide when they must take down illegal content. The DSA specifically will also force companies to moderate content in the languages they operate in, according to Bloomberg.

If Musk doesn’t comply, Twitter will face fines of as much as 6% of annual sales and could even be banned. Breton said he had proposed establishing a “working relationship” with Musk to discuss Europe’s expectations of the social media platform. “He knows perfectly well what the conditions are for Twitter to continue operating in Europe,” Breton said, and he is right: Europe is one so-called “Democracy” where nobody even pretends there is freedom of speech even as it bashes authoritarianism in places like China and Russia; and sadly it’s a preview of what is coming to the US.

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It’s a German specialty after all. Meanwhile, that country is falling apart fast.

German Public TV Compares Elon Musk to Goebbels (Kogon)

After Germany’s “first” public television network, ARD, compared Elon Musk reducing Twitter censorship to “letting rats out of their holes,” Germany’s “second” public television network, ZDF, has now compared Musk to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels! (The network’s name Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen literally means “Second German Television.”) Thus, last Friday, ZDF’s would-be comedy program, the “Heute Show,” posted the below tweet and photoshop.. The Tweet reads: “Thanks to Elon Musk, you’re allowed to say anything again on Twitter! Total freedom of speech! #heuteshow.” The caption, whose color scheme and font invoke Nazi-era propaganda, reads “Do you want total tweet?”

It is an allusion to Goebbels’s 1943 speech at the Berlin Sportspalast, in which the Nazi Minister of Propaganda famously shouted, “Do you want total war?” – in response to which audience members leapt to their feet shouting “Yes!” and raising their arms in the Hitler-salute. The background image appears to show a Nazi Party rally with the swastikas replaced by the Twitter bird logo. Two smaller swastikas are still visible in the lower left-hand corner of the full-size image. Leaving aside the extreme mental contortionism required to associate freedom of speech with Nazi Germany, if ever there was a don’t-throw-stones-in-glass-houses moment, this was it. For, as so happens, during the Second World War, the founding director of ZDF, Karl Holzamer, himself served in one of the propaganda units that none other than Goebbels’s Ministry of Propaganda embedded with the different divisions of the Germany military.


Holzamer served in a propaganda unit of the Luftwaffe or German air force. As noted in a 2012 article titled “Goebbels’s Soldiers” in the German daily Die Frankfurter Rundschau, Holzamer was embedded with the Luftwaffe during its April 1941 bombing of Belgrade and was “the first” to report on the German subjugation of the Yugoslav capital. The online Lexikon der Wehrmacht, which also notes Holzamer’s service in the propaganda troops, cites Goebbels himself, who explained that “the Wehrmacht’s propaganda troops ensure the coordination between propaganda warfare and armed warfare in the theater of operations.”

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Musk inch perfect on Twiter: “Who made that decision?” “Oh, never mind, who cares?”

CBS News Suspends All Twitter Activity (NYP)

Fearful of the “uncertainty” surrounding Elon Musk’s management of Twitter, CBS News announced that it would be suspending its usage of the social media site. CBS News is one of first major media entities to flee Twitter in the wake of threats from many Musk critics to leave the platform once the billionaire Tesla CEO took over the company. The major news network confirmed the move during Friday’s episode of “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.” Coverage began with the network reporting on the mass resignations of employees offended by Musk’s “ultimatum” from earlier this week. In his quest to streamline the company, the world’s richest man emailed all employees asking them to commit to an “extremely hardcore” workload or leave the company.

The “ultimatum,” as many disgruntled folks called it, prompted backlash from onlookers who trashed the company under Musk, some calling it a “hellscape.” The ensuing chaos from Musk’s email, as well as the general vitriol generated by him taking over the reins of company, did not sit well with CBS News. During its segment, titled “Twitter Turmoil,” CBS News national correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti reported in a dire tone, “Tonight, as questions mount over Twitter’s future, Elon Musk offers little reassurance he has a permanent plan, tweeting, ‘What should Twitter do next?’” The story featured a quote from a disgruntled former engineer who was laid off, who claimed that the culture of Twitter under Musk was “definitely a culture of fear and uncertainty, of anxiety.”

Apparently, that anxiety made quite an impression on CBS News. In the middle of the segment, Vigliotti reported the outlet’s decision to pause its usage of Twitter. He reported, “In light of the uncertainty around Twitter, and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform.”

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“Let’s stop supporting this dangerous man. [We should] urgently make up a peace plan,” he added.”

France Should Stop Backing Zelensky – Ex-Presidential Candidate (RT)

France should stop supporting Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky after he almost incited a global conflict by alleging that a recent deadly blast in Poland, a NATO member, was caused by a Russian missile, former presidential candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan suggested on Saturday. Writing on Twitter, Dupont-Aignan, who heads the right-wing party Debout la France and has run for the presidency several times, said that “by launching a missile at Poland and accusing the Russians, Zelensky almost triggered World War III.” “Let’s stop supporting this dangerous man. [We should] urgently make up a peace plan,” he added.

Following up on his post, he claimed that the Ukraine conflict could be resolved only if Moscow and Kiev agree to a ceasefire and autonomy is given to the two Donbass republics, as the Minsk agreements were designed to do. Both the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics recently overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums. The politician also argued that any peace plan would have to include “Russia’s retreat” and “Ukraine’s neutrality.” On Tuesday, two civilians were killed when a missile landed in the Polish village of Przewodow near the Ukrainian border. Shortly after the incident, Poland signaled that it may invoke Article 4 of the NATO Treaty, which allows any member of the bloc to request consultations if it believes that its security is at risk. Western officials subsequently admitted that the missile was of Ukrainian and not Russian origin.

However, following the blast, Zelensky pinned the blame on Russia, calling the incident “a very serious escalation” and as an attack on NATO that demands a response. Later, however, he toned down his claims, admitting that “we do not know for 100%” what caused the explosion. The Russian Defense Ministry denied any involvement in the incident, saying its military experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified the debris as parts of an S-300 air defense system missile used by Ukraine. France, along with many other Western countries, has been providing Ukraine with military aid to support it in its fight against Russia. In recent months, Paris has sent to Kiev a number of Caesar self-propelled howitzers, MILAN anti-tank missiles, and other military hardware.

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“..if [Zelensky] does not accept the reality of Ukraine’s collapse, it is pointless to sit down at the [negotiating] table. And if [he] does accept it – he will be taken out by his own nationalists, who are intertwined with the army top brass.”

West Is ‘Pushing’ Kiev Toward Talks – Medvedev (RT)

The collective West is growing tired of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and is “pushing” Kiev into talks with Moscow, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in a Telegram post on Saturday. He added that the US and NATO don’t want to risk a new world war. The reaction to the missile strike that hit the Polish village of Przewodow on Tuesday, killing two civilians, has revealed a new “symptom” in this trend, with even “the most ardent Russophobes” in Warsaw refusing to blame the incident on Moscow, the ex-president commented. On Friday, Warsaw said the strike was an “unfortunate accident” that was “practically impossible” to prevent. Kiev has repeatedly tried to blame the strike on Moscow.

The Russian military, meanwhile, said it did not carry out any launches near the Ukrainian-Polish border at the time, while analysis of photos from the site showed that the projectile was an S-300 anti-aircraft missile operated by Ukraine’s military “Everyone is tired of the Kiev regime. Especially of the neurotic Zelensky, who is constantly whipping up tensions, whining, sniveling and extorting more and more money and weapons handouts. [He] acts like a hysterical child with developmental problems,” Medvedev stated. Fatigue with Kiev and its actions is prompting the collective West to “push” Ukraine into talks with Russia, the deputy head of the nation’s Security Council continued. “The US, NATO and the European Union do not want a complete rupture with Russia, risking a third world [war]. Hence, the frequent attempts to rein in Kiev and bring it to its senses, to push it to negotiate,” Medvedev wrote.

By refusing to talk with Russia, Zelensky is actually pursuing much more mundane and selfish goals, Medvedev suggested. He added that “if [Zelensky] does not accept the reality of Ukraine’s collapse, it is pointless to sit down at the [negotiating] table. And if [he] does accept it – he will be taken out by his own nationalists, who are intertwined with the army top brass.” The former president’s comments came as several leading politicians in the West, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have repeatedly called for direct talks between Kiev and Moscow. Recent reports have also indicated that Washington has been privately pushing Ukraine to drop its uncompromising rejection of the peace process with Russia. Last week, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, suggested that a Ukrainian military victory might be unachievable and that winter could provide an opportunity to begin talks with Moscow.

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Noted that Scholz, Sunak, Zelensky are all 1.70m (5’58”). That’s a lot of complexes to make up for. Even Macron is a whole inch taller.

Germany Warns Against Escalation Between Russia and NATO (RT)

The West should do its best to prevent an escalation between Russia and NATO, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday, while stressing that it is necessary to continue providing Ukraine with arms to fight Russia. Speaking at a conference of the Social Democratic Party in the southern German city of Friedrichshafen, Scholz admitted that many European citizens “are scared, and have reasons for it.” While highlighting the importance of supporting Ukraine militarily, he noted that Western countries should “be concerned that there is no escalation that could lead to a war between Russia and NATO.” “It is important to act prudently and decisively at the same time,” he added.

Scholz’s comments come after last month he warned against taking “careless steps” amid the Ukraine conflict. “There must be no direct conflict between Russia and NATO,” he stressed at the time. With relations between the West and Russia already having hit new lows after Moscow started its military operation in Ukraine, fears of a direct clash between Russia and NATO were recently triggered by a missile having landed in a Polish village close to the Ukrainian border. Shortly after the incident, the Polish Foreign Ministry claimed that the projectile was “Russian-made.” Later, the nation’s authorities signaled that they may invoke Article 4 of the NATO Treaty, which allows any bloc member to request consultations if it believes that its security is at risk.

Following the blast, Zelensky pinned the blame on Russia, calling the incident “a very serious escalation” and an attack on NATO that demanded a response. Ultimately, however, Western officials admitted that the missile was of Ukrainian and not Russian origin. The Russian Defense Ministry denied any involvement in the incident, saying its military experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified the debris as parts of an S-300 air defense system missile used by Ukraine. Germany, along with many other Western countries, has been providing Ukraine with military hardware, including Gepard anti-aircraft guns, MARS II multiple rocket launchers, and the IRIS-T air defense system. Moscow has repeatedly warned that weapons shipments will only prolong the Ukraine conflict.

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“..the recent record shows Xi has few reasons to take Biden at face value..”

Goodbye G20, hello BRICS+ (Escobar)

The increasingly irrelevant G20 Summit concluded with sure signs that BRICS+ will be the way forward for Global South cooperation. The redeeming quality of a tense G20 held in Bali – otherwise managed by laudable Indonesian graciousness – was to sharply define which way the geopolitical winds are blowing. That was encapsulated in the Summit’s two highlights: the much anticipated China-US presidential meeting – representing the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century – and the final G20 statement. The 3-hour, 30-minute-long face-to-face meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden – requested by the White House – took place at the Chinese delegation’s residence in Bali, and not at the G20 venue at the luxury Apurva Kempinski in Nusa Dua.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs concisely outlined what really mattered. Specifically, Xi told Biden that Taiwan independence is simply out of the question. Xi also expressed hope that NATO, the EU, and the US will engage in “comprehensive dialogue” with Russia. Instead of confrontation, the Chinese president chose to highlight the layers of common interest and cooperation. Biden, according to the Chinese, made several points. The US does not seek a New Cold War; does not support “Taiwan independence;” does not support “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”; does not seek “decoupling” from China; and does not want to contain Beijing. However, the recent record shows Xi has few reasons to take Biden at face value.

The final G20 statement was an even fuzzier matter: the result of arduous compromise. As much as the G20 is self-described as “the premier forum for global economic cooperation,” engaged to “address the world’s major economic challenges,” the G7 inside the G20 in Bali had the summit de facto hijacked by war. “War” gets almost double the number of mentions in the statement compared to “food” after all. The collective west, including the Japanese vassal state, was bent on including the war in Ukraine and its “economic impacts” – especially the food and energy crisis – in the statement. Yet without offering even a shade of context, related to NATO expansion. What mattered was to blame Russia – for everything.

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This kind of fantasy costs a lot of lives.

Ukraine Could Seize Crimea Before Year Ends – MOD (RT)

Ukraine could capture Russia’s Crimea by the end of this year, the country’s deputy defense minister, Vladimir Gavrilov, has said. In an interview with Sky New on Saturday, Gavrilov stated that what is known as a ‘black swan’ – or a sudden and unexpected event – could bring about Kiev’s victory. “I think Russia can face a black swan in their country, inside Russia, and this can contribute to [our] success with Crimea,”he said, adding that there was “also a military option as well with some kind of combination of forces, resources and something else.” “We can step into Crimea, for example, by the end of December. Possible? Possible. Not ruling out that it can be so,” Gavrilov added.

When asked what type of a black swan event could happen in the coming months, Gavrilov suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin could “disappear, for example, due to some reason, physical and political,” or that the Russian public could become “disillusioned” with the situation on the battlefield. Echoing a previous statement by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Gavrilov said that Kiev would resume negotiations with Russia “only when they’re ready to leave our territories.” Expressing optimism about Ukraine’s chances, Gavrilov stated: “My feeling is that by the end of spring this war will {be} over.” Crimea broke away from Ukraine and voted to join Russia shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev.

In July, Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said that the refusal “by Ukraine or any NATO state” to consider Crimea a part of Russia would be considered a threat. In early October, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Ukraine’s former Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, officially became part of Russia following referendums that saw the majority of local residents vote in favor of accession. Last week, Russian troops withdrew from Kherson, amid concerns that Ukrainian forces could destroy a nearby hydroelectric dam, thus provoking flooding that could cause the deaths of soldiers and civilians. Putin said in late September that Moscow would defend the new territories “with full force and all means at our disposal.”

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“..Austin claimed that Ukraine’s population would rather go without electricity and heat than have talks with Moscow..”

You asked them?

‘Harsh Winter’ Ahead For Ukraine – Lloyd Austin (RT)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned on Saturday that Ukraine faces a “harsh winter,” as Russia continues missile strikes on its infrastructure. Earlier, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, suggested that Kiev should take the opportunity to talk with Moscow. Speaking at the Halifax Security Forum in Canada, Austin praised the Ukrainian military’s efforts against Russia, but cautioned that “hard times lie ahead as Ukraine faces a harsh winter.” Although Ukraine has received tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons from the US and NATO, Russian drone and missile strikes have been pounding its command centers and energy infrastructure since early October. These launches have, according to Ukrainian authorities, left 40% of the country’s power infrastructure destroyed or damaged.

Amid the destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure, a split has reportedly emerged within the White House. Some top-level Biden administration officials are urging Kiev to keep fighting Russia “for as long as it takes,” whereas Milley has declared that Ukraine cannot win militarily and should instead seize “an opportunity to negotiate.” In his address on Saturday, Austin claimed that Ukraine’s population would rather go without electricity and heat than have talks with Moscow. However, he reiterated that the US would “not be dragged into [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war,” but would continue to funnel arms to Kiev.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. Earlier, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked. In early October, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, officially became part of Russia following referendums that saw the majority of local residents vote in favor of accession.

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Open. Door.

Outcome of Ukraine Conflict Will Help Define 21st Century – Lloyd Austin (RT)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin declared on Saturday that the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine will shape the geopolitical order of the 21st century. The West’s “stability and prosperity” is on the line, he stressed. “The outcome of the war in Ukraine will help determine the course of global security in this young century,” Austin told an audience at the Halifax Security Forum in Canada. “And those of us in North America don’t have the option of sitting this one out.” “Stability and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic are at stake,” he continued, asserting that Russia’s military operation “tears at the rules-based international order that keeps us all secure.”

“Rules-based international order” is a term often used interchangeably with “liberal world order.” It encompasses the web of Western-dominated institutions – such as the World Bank, World Trade Organization, UN, EU, and NATO – that have regulated global diplomacy, trade, and conflict since the end of World War II. Commenting on this approach before, Russian President Vladimir Putin has argued that, rather than benefiting the whole world, this order serves as an instrument of “unipolar hegemony,” used by the US to make the rest of the world its “vassals.”

“The West is insisting on a rules-based order,” he remarked in a speech in September. “Where did that come from anyway? Who has ever seen these rules? Who agreed or approved them?” “Russia is a great thousand-year-old power, a whole civilisation, and it is not going to live by such makeshift, false rules,” he declared. Putin has spoken on numerous occasions of building a competing “multipolar” world order, in which multiple superpowers balance and constrain each other, and disputes are settled in accordance with laws rather than Western-dictated “rules.” Earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared that Beijing stands ready to work with Russia “and other like-minded countries to promote the development of a multipolar world.”

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“It’s hardly a surprise he did not go into detail on how this affordable price would be achieved. …This is a free market, isn’t it?”

EU Leaders Accuse US Natural Gas Producers Of Profiteering (IA)

European leaders are unhappy with natural gas prices. Some leaders are insisting that the EU impose a price cap on all natural gas imports, regardless of origin, – notes Oilprice.com. France’s president Emmanuel Macron accused the United States of a “double standard” because of the difference between the price at which liquefied natural gas produced in the U.S. sells in Europe and the price at which natural gas sells within the U.S. “The North American economy is making choices for the sake of attractiveness, which I respect, but they create a double standard,” Macron said, also adding that “they allow state aid going to up to 80% on some sectors while it’s banned here – you get a double standard.”

He wasn’t alone among European national leaders in being unhappy about gas prices. In fact, as many as 15 leaders were unhappy, and they insisted that the EU imposes a price cap on all natural gas imports, regardless of origin. Now, the U.S. is striking back at the accusations. “What’s happening is the companies that hold those long-term contracts with US LNG producers, they’re marking that up and earning that margin in the European market,” Brian Crabtree, an assistant secretary at the Department of Energy, – told the Financial Times. “It’s not the US LNG company, it’s basically European-headquartered international oil companies and traders.” Indeed, producers of liquefied natural gas do not invariably sell their product directly to the consumer, in the face of a country in Europe, for instance, They work with commodity majors such as Vitol and Trafigura, or the supermajors, including BP and Shell.

This is not to say that LNG producers are not benefiting from the much stronger demand for LNG from Europe. And this is exactly the reason they have been benefiting, in the form of higher profits: demand has surged, and when demand surges, prices follow, especially if supply is not growing as fast as demand. In other words, Europe seems to want businesses to not act as businesses and take every opportunity to make a profit, which is what businesses are all about. Be that as it may, a Ministry of Energy analyst, told the FT that the U.S. was committed to helping Europe get enough gas “at a price that is affordable to the continent.” It’s hardly a surprise he did not go into detail on how this affordable price would be achieved. …This is a free market, isn’t it?

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“..prevents nearly half of the French population from leaving their homes..”

‘Laziness Epidemic’ Grips France – Study (RT)

Laziness regularly prevents nearly half of the French population from leaving their homes, a new study has revealed. The “epidemic of laziness,” which is affecting roughly 45% of the population, is a direct consequence of the Covid lockdowns, the researchers say. “This laziness to leave home particularly affects the medium age groups: 52% among 25-34 year olds and 53% among 35-49 year olds, against only 33% of those 65 and over,” according to the study by the International Market Research Group (IFOP) and the Jean-Jaures foundation think tank. The survey, which was published last week, found that “the appeal of the sofa seems to be very powerful,” and the word “bed” had positive connotations for 74% of the respondents.

According to the research, the pandemic and strict lockdowns have had “a profound impact” on the attitude of the French to work, family life, free time, and personal space. Some 37% of respondents said they were less motivated than before in their work, and 41% complained about feeling more tired. The increase in fatigue seems to occur regardless of gender, age, social background, and location and “affects the morale of the population,” according to the research. From a historical standpoint, the attitudes of the French to ‘work-life balance’ have changed even more dramatically, the study shows. In 1990, 60% of French people believed that work was “very important,” compared to only 24% in 2021.

In 1953, 54% of employed adults believed that they had a good work-life balance. Now, only 39% think that is the case, while 48% of respondents “consider themselves to be losers.” This “movement of tectonic plates,” as the study puts it, was exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, but its origins are related to the general “devaluation of certain business experiences.” Regular lay-offs of long-term staff and management focusing solely on financial achievement “have altered the relationship” between employers and employees, the research claims. Some 1,001 French adults took part in the research, which was conducted online between September 1 and 2.

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Anthrax Ukraine

 

 

 

Canada

 

 

 

 

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Nov 132022
 
 November 13, 2022  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Salvador Dali The three pines 1919

 

UK and EU To Try To Isolate Russia At G20 Summit (RT)
The New Candidate Countries For BRICS Expansion (SRB)
Surovikin’s Difficult Choice (Big Serge)
Tens of Billions Transferred to Ukraine and Laundered Through FTX (GP)
The FTX-Alameda Nexus (Coppola)
Up To $2 Billion In Client Money Missing In Crypto Giant FTX Collapse (NYP)
First Batch Of Blocked Russian Fertilizers Allowed To Leave EU Port (RT)
Showdown Slow Down (Jim Kunstler)
Crrraaaazy Wally -Street, That Is- (Denninger)
Ports Clogged With Containers As World Trade Stumbles (ZH)
Developing Nations Demand Rich Countries Pay For Climate Change (RT)
US Intel Report Vilifies Key Ally UAE – WaPo (RT)
La Scala Replies To Call To ‘Cancel’ Russian Composers (RT)
Elon Musk In Court Over $56 Billion Tesla Bonus (Telegraaf)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who will be isolated? The collective west.

UK and EU To Try To Isolate Russia At G20 Summit (RT)

The UK and the EU intend to coordinate their efforts and do “everything possible” to make the Russian delegation feel unwelcome at the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia’s Bali, a British media outlet has claimed. The Telegraph pointed out, however, that China, and possibly several other key players, is highly unlikely to follow suit. “We try to work with partners in order to show very, very, very firmly what the international community thinks about all these crimes, atrocities, and illegal actions by Russia,” a spokesperson for the EU’s foreign affairs service told the paper. The spokesperson explained that the bloc, together with the UK, will not only shun Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and stage walkouts during addresses by Moscow’s delegation, but also try to convince other nations to do the same.

According to the anonymous official, while the “UK is not keen on coordinating with the EU on foreign policy in general,” the concerted efforts to isolate Russia have proven to be an exception, as London and Brussels “have the same objective.” The report also quoted a French government source as saying that the meeting in Bali will not be “business as usual” and will center on the Ukraine conflict. “There will be a coalition and Russia is isolated,” the official concluded. The article noted, however, that the total isolation of Russia at the event is unlikely, as the country enjoys close relations with China. One unnamed EU official told the paper that Moscow and Beijing are expected to water down any joint statement calling for de-escalation in Ukraine.

The report also suggested that the likes of India, Saudi Arabia and Türkiye, which have not joined Western sanctions against Moscow, could break ranks with the EU and UK this time as well. Relations between Moscow and the West have hit an all-time low in the wake of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. However, Moscow has insisted that any attempts to isolate the country will fail. The key organizations that Russia is part of, such as BRICS, are also expanding. In fact, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed following a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month that Riyadh would like to join BRICS, which currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. On top of that, media reports claimed back in July that Türkiye and Egypt might also be interested. Since the start of the year three countries – Iran, Argentina, and Algeria – have officially applied to join BRICS.

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I’d say the list is pretty much endless. Once you have South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal, all African countries will want to join. Same in South America, Asia.

The New Candidate Countries For BRICS Expansion (SRB)

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov has stated that ‘over a dozen’ countries have formally applied to join the BRICS grouping following the groups decision to allow new members earlier this year. The BRICS currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It is not a free trade bloc, but members do coordinate on trade matters and have established a policy bank, the New Development Bank, (NDB) to coordinate infrastructure loans. That was set up in 2014 in order to provide alternative loan mechanisms from the IMF and World Bank structures, which the members had felt had become too US-centric.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was set up by China at about the same time for largely the same reasons and to offer alternative financing than that provided by the IMF and World Banks, which were felt to impose political reform policies designed to assist the United States in return for providing loans. Both the NDB and AIIB banks are Triple A rated and capitalised at US$100 billion. The NDB bank shares are held equally by each of the five members. In total, the BRICS grouping as it currently stands accounts for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. The GDP figure is expected to double to 50% of global GDP by 2030. Expanding BRICS will immediately accelerate that process.

Concerning a BRICS expansion, Lavrov stated that Algeria, Argentina, and Iran had all applied, while it is already known that Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt and Afghanistan are interested, along with Indonesia, which is expected to make a formal application to join at the upcoming G20 summit in Bali. Other likely contenders for membership include Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Senegal, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. All had their Finance Ministers present at the BRICS Expansion dialogue meeting held in May. We can examine the basic economic data of the proposed new BRICS members as follows. GDP figures given are nominal, 2022 growth rates are based on the first 9 months of the year from data issued by the respective Central Banks.

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Not fully convinced.

Surovikin’s Difficult Choice (Big Serge)

Here is what I think Surovikin decided about Kherson. Kherson was becoming an inefficient front for Russia because of the logistical strain of supplying forces across the river with limited bridge and road capacity. Russia demonstrated that it was capable of shouldering this sustainment burden (keeping troops supplied all through Ukraine’s summer offensives), but the question becomes 1) to what purpose, and 2) for how long. Ideally, the bridgehead becomes the launching point for offensive action against Nikolayev, but launching an offensive would require strengthening the force grouping in Kherson, which correspondingly raises the logistical burden of projecting force across the river. With a very long front to play with, Kherson is clearly one of the most logistically intensive axes.

My guess is that Surovikin took charge and almost immediately decided he did not want to increase the sustainment burden by trying to push on Nikolayev. Therefore, if an offensive is not going to be launched from the Kherson position, the question becomes – why hold the position at all? Politically, it is important to defend a regional capital, but militarily the position becomes meaningless if one is not going to go on the offensive in the south. Let’s be even more explicit: unless an offensive towards Nikolayev is planned, the Kherson bridgehead is militarily counterproductive. While holding the bridgehead in Kherson, the Dnieper River becomes a negative force multiplier – increasing the sustainment and logistics burden and ever threatening to leave forces cut off if Ukraine succeeds in destroying the bridges or bursting the dam.

Projecting force across the river becomes a heavy burden with no obvious benefit. But by withdrawing to the east bank, the river becomes a positive force multiplier by serving as a defensive barrier. In the broader operational sense, Surovikin seems to be declining battle in the south while preparing in the north and in the Donbas. It is clear that he made this decision shortly after taking command of the operation – he has been hinting at it for weeks, and the speed and cleanliness of the withdrawal suggests that it was well planned , long in advance. Withdrawing across the river increases the combat effectiveness of the army significantly and decreases the logistical burden, freeing resources for other sectors. This fits the overall Russian pattern of making harsh choices about resource allocation, fighting this war under the simple framework of optimizing the loss ratios and building the perfect meatgrinder.

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Money Laundering 101.
1. Foreign aid goes to Ukraine.
2. Ukraine invests in $FTX
3. $FTX donates back to the Democratic Party.

Tens of Billions Transferred to Ukraine and Laundered Through FTX (GP)

We have information that the tens of billions of dollars going to Ukraine were actually laundered back to the US to corrupt Democrats and elites using FTX cryptocurrency. Now the money is gone and FTX is bankrupt. Earlier today we reported that the FTX cryptocurrency appeared to be used in a ponzi scheme involving the Democrats and Ukraine. As reported earlier, the FTX crypto company gave at least $40 million to Democrat candidates and causes in the midterms. Sam Bankman-Fried is Biden’s second biggest donor. In addition to this, Daily Caller lists many of the lawmakers who Sam Bankman Fried was bankrolling who oversaw the institution that was supposed to keep on eye on companies like FTX:

“Sam Bankman-Fried, prolific Democratic donor and ex-CEO of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, funded the campaigns of members of Congress overseeing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), one of the key bodies tasked with regulating the crypto industry and the subject of Bankman-Fried’s aggressive lobbying. Bankman-Fried’s FTX is currently under investigation by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after Bankman-Fried allegedly moved $10 billion in client assets from his crypto exchange to his trading firm Alameda Research, and a liquidity crisis at his exchange which prompted the company to file for bankruptcy. However, prior to the agency’s probe, Bankman-Fried aggressively courted the CFTC – and funded several key lawmakers charged with overseeing the agency, pouring cash into their campaign coffers.”

FTX also happens to be related to Ukraine. The far-left Washington Post reported on March 3 that Ukraine was dealing in crypto. “The Ukrainian government has gathered more than $42 million in cryptocurrency donations since Saturday, plus digital artwork including a limited edition worth roughly $200,000, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The challenge is how the country cashes in on these assets to fund its war needs.” Then less than a week later FTX made the news for involving itself in Ukraine: “Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman Fried has come forward to help a crypto donation project. He humbly announced that FTX will be supporting the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance and other communities in collecting crypto donations for the country. The Ukrainian government has received over $60 million in crypto donations from all over the world.”

“FTX’s CEO, Sam Bankman Fried highlighted that the war in Ukraine has been dragging on. The country is in full need of humanitarian help and access to global financial infrastructure. He also called attention to sanctions and crypto during this kind of situation. He indicated that crypto exchanges should enforce sanctions announced by the government seriously. FTX has stressed across all of its regulatory and policy efforts, active coordination and communication with regulators and policymakers is crucial to ensuring that laws and rules achieve their intended outcome, reads a letter by FTXPointing out the urgency to help the nation Sam Bankman announced that the FTX team is honored to support the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance in simplifying the donation process.”

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Create you own token… “Customer assets deposited on the exchange are routinely lent to the hedge fund against collateral consisting of the exchange’s tokens.”

The FTX-Alameda Nexus (Coppola)

The young, dynamic, ambitious owner of a crypto hedge fund – let’s call him “Joe” – sets up a crypto exchange. To start with, this just enables his hedge fund can trade without having to pay margin or exchange fees. But Joe has larger ambitions. He wants to run the biggest and best exchange in the world. And he wants to make money from it. Lots and lots of money. Trillions of dollars, in fact. Now, his hedge fund can make money by taking risky leveraged positions, but it has to raise funds, and that’s not cheap. And his exchange can make money by charging fees on transactions, but although that can be a nice slow steady income, it’s not going to make him the trillions of dollars he wants.

But Joe’s spotted an opportunity. The exchange has lots of customer assets that aren’t earning anything. If he puts those customer assets to work, he can earn far more from his exchange customers. And he’s got an obvious vehicle through which to put them to work. The hedge fund. If he transfers customer assets on the exchange to the hedge fund, it can lend or pledge them at risk to earn megabucks. Of course, there’s a risk that the hedge fund could lose some or all of the customers’ funds. And the exchange promises that customers can have their assets back on demand, which could be a trifle problematic if they are locked up in leveraged positions held by the hedge fund. But this is crypto. There’s an easy solution. The exchange can issue its own token to replace the customer assets transferred to the hedge fund.

The exchange will report customer balances in terms of the assets they have deposited, but what it will actually hold will be its own token. If customers request to withdraw their balances, the exchange will sell its own tokens to obtain the necessary assets – after all, crypto assets, like dollars, are fungible. For this to work, however, the token must reliably hold its value. So the exchange creates more of the tokens than are needed to replace customer balances, and the hedge fund actively buys and sells them on the exchange, thus creating a market in the things and pumping the price. The price rockets, inflating the balance sheets of both the hedge fund and the exchange, and making $billions in unrealised profits for Joe and his investors – of whom there are suddenly a whole lot more, including some exceedingly respectable institutional investors.

It works brilliantly. So, this becomes Joe’s business model. Customer assets deposited on the exchange are routinely lent to the hedge fund against collateral consisting of the exchange’s tokens. There’s a massive and growing mismatch between the asset balances reported to customers on the exchange and the assets the exchange actually holds. But it doesn’t matter, because the token is highly liquid and the value of the tokens pledged as collateral comfortably exceeds the value of the missing customer assets. And the exchange can easily honour all withdrawal requests by trading out its own tokens. Indeed, the tokens are doing so well that even when the hedge fund suffers serious losses in a crypto crash, the exchange is able to bail it out. It’s completely self-sustaining. That is, until the token’s value crashes.

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“SBF and two FTX associates are currently being detained by authorities in the Bahamas, a source tells Cointelegraph..”

Up To $2 Billion In Client Money Missing In Crypto Giant FTX Collapse (NYP)

At least $1 billion of customer funds — and possibly as much as $2 billion — have gone missing in the implosion of the crypto currency exchange FTX, according to reports. FTX’s flamboyant founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, known in the industry as “SBF,” secretly funneled $10 billion of customer funds into his trading company, Alameda Research, sources told two media outlets. Alameda Research is run by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, Caroline Ellison. Two senior FTX officials claimed they saw the evidence that the money was missing in copies of financial records Bankman-Fried shared with company executives last week, according to Reuters.


On Friday, Bankman-Fried stepped down from his CEO position as the Bahamas-based FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after scrambling to shore up an $8 billion liquidity crisis that has left investors unable to claim their funds. A bid to save FTX via a rescue deal with rival exchange Binance didn’t work out, leading to crypto’s highest-profile collapse in recent years. In text messages to Reuters, Bankman-Fried, one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party, said he “disagreed with the characterization” of the $10 billion transfer. “We didn’t secretly transfer,” he said. “We had confusing internal labeling and misread it,” he added, without elaborating. “???” was Bankman-Fried’s response, when asked about the missing cash.

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“In September, he said that Russia was prepared to give these fertilizers to developing nations free of charge.”

So yeah, let’s block it for months…

First Batch Of Blocked Russian Fertilizers Allowed To Leave EU Port (RT)

The first batch of Russian fertilizers, which have been blocked at EU ports amid Ukraine-related sanctions, has been given permission to leave next week, the UN announced on Friday. The cargo amounts to 20,000 tons and is currently stationed in the Dutch port of Rotterdam. It is destined for the African nation of Malawi under the UN World Food Program. “The UN also briefed on recently issued General Licenses and shipments of fertilizer to developing countries’ destinations and its ongoing engagement with private sector and member states. It is anticipated that the first shipment of donated fertilizers will depart for Malawi in the coming week,” the UN said in a statement released after a meeting between senior UN officials and a Russian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin on Friday.

The meeting centered on Russia’s continued dissatisfaction with UN efforts to lift Western sanctions that pose problems for Russia’s agricultural exports. The organization pledged to assist Russia in the matter back in July as part of a UN-brokered Ukrainian grain deal, which unblocked the export of food and fertilizers from several Black Sea ports. Russia said it may choose not to extend its participation in the deal, which is set to expire on November 19, if the UN does not follow through on its promises regarding Russian exports. On Friday, the Dutch government confirmed that the Russian fertilizer cargo has been given permission to leave the port on the UN’s request. “The decision to release the fertilizer was made on the understanding that the UN would ensure that it is delivered to the agreed location, Malawi, and that the Russian company and sanctioned individual will earn nothing from the transaction,” the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

It did not disclose the name of the Russian company that owns the shipment. Earlier this month, however, TASS news agency reported that Russian fertilizer producer Uralchem-Uralkali was ready to donate 240,000 tons of its fertilizers stuck in EU warehouses for humanitarian purposes, with the first shipment destined for Malawi. Prior to this, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that a total of 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizers were stuck at EU ports due to Western sanctions. In September, he said that Russia was prepared to give these fertilizers to developing nations free of charge.

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“The opponents of Progressive-Woke-Jacobinism don’t need a circus ringmaster. They need a credible leader, especially one that can manage his or her emotions at least as well as Vladimir Putin does.”

Showdown Slow Down (Jim Kunstler)

The basic Democratic Party election strategy in recent decades has been to turn the voting public into so many millions of proverbial froggies in the pot of water set to slowly rise to boiling so that the froggies don’t notice they’re getting cooked until it’s too late to jump out of the pot. The Democrat’s Lawfare soldiers have slowly and systematically changed the methods of voting and counting the votes, especially to eliminate accountability for the massive scams and screw-ups that have occurred recently. The changes have been accepted as normal. One insidious change was shutting down the small local precinct polling places in churches and schools, where it was easy to get in, get your signature checked, and vote on-site, and where the precinct captains and workers were known and accountable to voters in the neighborhood.

Instead, Lawfare got states to consolidate all the action in huge impersonal voting centers — often sports arenas — where hundreds of election workers churned, and all sorts of frauds went unnoticed in the enormous shuffle of activity. It was also harder to get in and vote at such a giant venue on game day when thousands showed up and long lines formed — which made it easier for interested parties to justify the expansion of mail-in balloting. It’s just possible that Covid-19 was introduced in 2020 to make sure that Election Day in-person voting would look hazardous, with mail-ins becoming the dominant method. It sure helped get rid of Donald Trump.Among the conclusions of the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by (Democratic) former president Carter and (Republican) former Secretary of State James Baker, was that mail-in voting is the easiest way to invite cheating and fraud.

Apparently, no one listened except Lawfare’s Marc Elias, who saw that as a good thing. What we got starting in 2020 and continuing today are the creative refinements of that, as fraudsters apply their zillions of dollars to new ways of stealing elections — as Mark Zuckerberg did in Wisconsin, literally switching out local election officials with Democratic Party activists. Then there are the as-yet-unresolved issues with the Dominion voting machines and their software. Are the machines enabled to hook into the internet? It seems to me that this has been proven. Why is it so hard to admit that these machines are janky and unnecessary? A thousand voices have pointed out that many other nations, France, for instance, use only paper ballots and manage to report the election results the night of.

Arizona is a whole helluva lot smaller than France, and even Florida, which thoroughly reformed its election laws under Governor DeSantis and published the midterm results the same night. Speaking of Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Trump, the ex-President has been verbally laying into the Florida governor so viciously lately that he might have made a fatal error in his quest for electoral redemption. The opponents of Progressive-Woke-Jacobinism don’t need a circus ringmaster. They need a credible leader, especially one that can manage his or her emotions at least as well as Vladimir Putin does.

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“Anyone who thinks The Fed can ignore 32.6% of spending in the economy has rocks in their head..”

Crrraaaazy Wally -Street, That Is- (Denninger)

We call it…. “crazy Ivan” – Hunt for Red October. Except this is November, and the crazy came out of the CPI report. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same increase as in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.7 percent before seasonal adjustment. The index for shelter contributed over half of the monthly all items increase, with the indexes for gasoline and food also increasing. If you were short into this there was no getting away from what went up your backside; a literal 100 handles went into the Spoos within seconds and I’m quite sure if you’d been short you would have been gapped over, so a stop would have gotten you exactly no protection.

The problem in the “better than expected” report is in that bolded line and in fact that’s a high going back all the way through April on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Food away from home also was up at the seasonally-adjusted high, where it has been for the last three months sequentially, so there’s no love there either. Note that the latter is often subject to fairly long supply lines and contracts which delay the impact of movement both ways, and thus that it is lagging is no big shock. Food at bars and restaurants has been up less than food at home over the last 12 months and thus you can expect it to continue hitting the index for quite some time yet. The 900lb Gorilla in the room this month is fuel oil, which is, as many people do not know, #2 diesel.

It was up a stunning 19.8% on the month and stands at 68.5% up from last year this time. Anyone expecting the consumer experience to improve with that record has rocks in their head, never mind those who use it for heating that are about to get a visit from the proctologist this winter. Incidentally if you are one of them and your supplier is screwing you on price go to a truck stop (or any rural fuel place that sells to farmers for off-road use) and bring jerry cans. They sell dyed fuel for use in the refer units. Its the same thing and if its cheaper to buy it there than pay whatever the guy with the truck wants to bring it to the house your decision should be obvious. Piped gas relaxed some, which is good news if you use it, but its still up 20% on the year.

A huge percentage of people use that for heat, so there you go. Oh, and guess what is used to generate electrical power? Uh huh, which is why electricity is up 14.1% on the year. If you remember me talking about “Owner’s Equivalent Rent” and how it falsely stated that there was no inflation while home prices shot the moon you can see the inverse of that right now in the OER number which is up 6.9% on the year. That which held down inflation figures for years is now going to prop them up for years, like it or not. There is no evidence that rents, on the other hand, is relaxing at all. Anyone who thinks The Fed can ignore 32.6% of spending in the economy has rocks in their head; they most-certainly will not, and that’s what shelter comprises. Annualized its up 6.9% so no, we’re not “winning” on inflation.

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“Global trade is moving backwards this year..”

Ports Clogged With Containers As World Trade Stumbles (ZH)

The latest Bloomberg Trade Tracker reveals an ominous outlook for world trade due to soaring interest rates, the war in Ukraine, a slowdown in the US economy, and zero Covid in China. A shortage of containers has entirely reversed into a glut as crashing shipping rates and canceled sails gain momentum during what is supposed to be the busiest shipping period of the year. “The world’s two biggest economies are feeling glum about the export outlook, with both the US and China gauges in contraction in October and the American one in “below-normal” range on the Tracker,” according to Bloomberg. Earlier this week, we explained that economic storm clouds are gathering worldwide as some of the largest shipping companies warn about decelerating global trade.


US shipper FedEx and Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S have been vocal about emerging signs of a global slowdown. “Global trade is moving backwards this year,” Maersk’s chief executive officer Soren Skou told Bloomberg Television at the start of November. FedEx CFO Michael Lenz told an audience Tuesday at the Robert W Baird Global Industrial Conference earlier this week that his company parked planes cut costs in response to weak demand for package delivery. The Covid boom for goods has evaporated. Consumers have switched from buying computers and television to spending whatever money they have left on experiences. We predict in May that an inventory glut, i.e., the reverse bullwhip effect, would cool the booming freight market. It’s now peak shipping season — retailers have already canceled overseas orders as freight companies reduce shipping capacity ahead of Black Friday and Christmas.

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Yeah, but we’re broke…

Developing Nations Demand Rich Countries Pay For Climate Change (RT)

Leaders from developing countries have accused wealthy nations and the energy industry of triggering climate change and demanded compensation for the damage it has inflicted on their economies. While oil and gas companies are reaping the benefits, small island states are being devastated by ocean storms caused by rising sea levels, they say. Speaking at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt on Tuesday, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne noted that “oil and gas industry continues to earn almost $3 billion daily in profits,” while “the planet is burning.” “It is about time that these companies are made to pay a global carbon tax on their profits as a source of funding for loss and damage,” Browne added.

Poor nations point at the hypocrisy of their wealthier counterparts, which are the most vocal advocates of slashing emissions while themselves being the biggest polluters following a century of fossil fuel-driven industrialization. Developing countries are now asking how they will be compensated for the floods and droughts attributed to climate change. “I’m not here to ask any of you to love the people of my country with the same passion as I do,” said the prime minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis. “I’m asking what is it worth to you to have millions of climate refugees to turn into tens of millions, putting pressure on political and economic systems around the world.”

Meanwhile, Senegalese President Macky Sall admitted that his country’s economy is unable to shift away from fossil fuels immediately but said that poorer developing countries in Africa needed increased funding from wealthy nations in order to adapt to the worsening climate. “Let’s be clear, we are in favor of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. But we Africans cannot accept that our vital interests be ignored,” he said.

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Saudi, Iran, now UAE. No many US friends left.

US Intel Report Vilifies Key Ally UAE – WaPo (RT)

The United Arab Emirates, arguably one of Washington’s most trusted Arab allies, has gamed US foreign policy by meddling in the American political system using both legal and illegal tactics, intelligence officials have reportedly claimed in a classified report. The activities in question spanned multiple US administrations and exploited “vulnerabilities” in the American system, including reliance on political contributions and lax enforcement of laws designed to protect against foreign interference, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Some of the tactics “resemble espionage,” the newspaper added, citing three unidentified sources who have seen the classified report.

The report illustrates how the US political system is being distorted by foreign money, one Washington lawmaker told the Post, arguing that a “very clear red line needs to be established against the UAE playing in American politics. I’m not convinced we’ve ever raised this with the Emiratis at a high level.” Top US policymakers allegedly received briefings on the classified intelligence report in recent weeks. It’s an unusual advisory for US intelligence agencies to issue because it pertains to a close ally – rather than an adversary, such as Russia, China or Iran – and could be interpreted as delving into domestic politics, said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington, defended the oil-rich nation’s outsized influence in the US. “It has been hard-earned and well-deserved,” he told the Post.

“It is the product of decades of close UAE-US cooperation and effective diplomacy. It reflects common interests and shared values.” The UAE has spent more than $154 million on lobbyists since 2016, according to US government records, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars that were donated to American colleges and think tanks. Many of those institutions have produced policy papers with recommendations that are favorable to UAE interests. Those investments have apparently been fruitful, as Washington has approved sales of some of the most advanced US-made weaponry, including MQ-9 Predator drones and F-35 fighter jets, to the UAE. No other Arab nation has been afforded such privileges because US leaders have sought to avoid “diminishing Israel’s qualitative military edge” in the Middle East, the Post said.

Bordering Saudi Arabia to the southwest and Oman to the east, oil-rich UAE is a member of OPEC. Around 2,000 US soldiers and airmen are stationed at Abu Dhabi’s al-Dhafra airbase, and both countries supported Saudi Arabia’s war against the Houthis in Yemen, though the Pentagon ceased supporting “offensive” operations there in 2021, and the UAE withdrew its ground troops in early 2020. In early August, Washington authorized a $2.2 billion sale of 96 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system missiles, to help Abu Dhabi repel possible ballistic missile threats in the region. However, after OPEC+ members announced their decision to cut oil production last month, multiple US lawmakers accused Washington’s allies of “siding with Russia” and proposed withdrawing troops and missile defense systems from both UAE and Saudi Arabia as a punishment.

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“..discarding the works of Mussorgsky or poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin would be like discarding the works of Shakespeare or Dante..”

La Scala Replies To Call To ‘Cancel’ Russian Composers (RT)

Italy’s famed La Scala theater in Milan has insisted that Russian culture should not be “penalized” because of the military operation against Kiev. It defended its decision to include the works of Russian composers in its newest program after a Ukrainian consul called them instruments of Moscow’s propaganda campaign. According to Italian news agency ANSA, Andrey Kartysh, Ukraine’s consul general in Milan, sent a letter to La Scala CEO Dominique Meyer, as well as Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala and the head of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, asking to “review” its program for the 2022-2023 season in order to avoid “potential elements of propaganda.” The diplomat cited the “great disappointment and regret” of the Ukrainian community in Italy.

“Culture is being used by the Russian Federation to lend weight to its assertions of greatness and power,” he wrote, arguing that “the pandering to its propaganda can only fuel the image of the regime [in Moscow] and, by extension, its evil ambitions and countless crimes.” La Scala plans to kick off its newest season on December 7 with the opera ‘Boris Godunov’ by 19th-century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. The opera is about a Russian tsar who ruled during the Time of Trouble, a period of political upheaval and turbulence in early 17th century Russia. The program also includes ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet, whose score was written by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and a recital by Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. La Scala Music Director Riccardo Chailly defended the decision to show ‘Boris Godunov’ on stage.

“To remove a masterpiece… is to penalize the culture,” he argued, as quoted by the newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday. “Art should not pay for the havoc of what has been happening after February 24,” Chailly said, referring to the date that Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state. He added that discarding the works of Mussorgsky or poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin would be like discarding the works of Shakespeare or Dante. Chailly noted that the opera house expressed support for Ukraine early on in the conflict and raised €380,000 for Ukrainian refugees in April. Stage director Francesco Micheli, who sits on La Scala’s governing board, called the Ukrainian consul general’s request “reckless,” saying that he “ignores that the opera has no connection with the situation” in his home country. “I think La Scala sees the program as a way to show the unifying value of culture. That is why La Scala should be praised,” Italian Under Secretary of State for Culture Vittorio Sgarbi said.

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Google translation.

Looks like the “thrash metal drummer” is being used by much bigger parties. But Musk made a lot of people a lot of money, and “the proposal has been passed by a large majority by Tesla shareholders.”

Still, lawyers are looking at large fees, so they continue.

@JordanSchachtel:”Elon is blowing things up at Twitter because it is necessary to save the company. The old Twitter was a state-sponsored propaganda operation. Twitter as a private company will not have the privilege of unlimited resources.”

Elon Musk In Court Over $56 Billion Tesla Bonus (Telegraaf)

Elon Musk has to defend a billion-dollar bonus in a US court on Monday that was promised to him a few years ago at Tesla. That bonus could be so high that the Tesla CEO could recoup the entire $44 billion he recently invested in the Twitter acquisition. Musk was promised a package of stock options in 2018 if he could achieve certain goals with Tesla. Since then, Tesla’s stock price has increased more than tenfold and the company was briefly worth more than 1000 billion dollars. According to calculations, Musk could make up to $56 billion. The controversial package allows him to buy 1 percent of Tesla’s shares at a big discount every time certain targets are reached. Richard Tornetta, a small Tesla investor, thought the bonus was excessive and filed a lawsuit as early as 2018. At the time, there was immediately a lot of speculation that the Tesla stock price could rise to great heights.


Tornetta, who is also a thrash metal drummer and runs an audio equipment company, also finds it unfair that Musk was awarded the remuneration of a board that would actually be completely under his control. One of the directors involved was Kimbal Musk, the brother of the richest man in the world. Yet the matter is not so simple. Musk’s lawyers have pointed out that the proposal has been passed by a large majority by Tesla shareholders. Because of the bonus, Musk would have been focused on making Tesla better. And this is said to be the reason why the share price has soared, which is in the interest of all shareholders. The case is being heard in the state of Delaware by the same judge who recently dealt with the case between Twitter and Musk to force the latter to go through with its takeover plan.

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Cobalt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landing

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 092022
 
 November 9, 2022  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  86 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Portrait of Rembrandt with gorget 1629

 

Super-States in Core Eurasian Geopolitics (Straight-Bat)
Moscow Suggests How Many Countries Want To Join BRICS (RT)
US and Russia To Hold Nuclear Talks (RT)
Why Does The Western Narrative Sound So Stupid And Unrealistic? (Romatzki)
American Pundits Have Got It Backwards About China (Blankenship)
American Voters Don’t Need Russian Trolls To Tell Them How Bad Things Are (RB)
Russian Oil Exports Surging (RT)
Poland Draws A Line In The Sand With The EU (Remix)
EU ‘Sucking Gas Away’ From Poorer Countries (RT)
What Do You Run On….. (Denninger)
Germany Faces Sharp Drop In Real Income (RT)
Polish Ex-PM Links Low Birth Rates To Women Drinking (RT)
Will You Survive The ‘Tripledemic’? (Mercola)
COVID-19 Conspiracies Are a Gateway to Other Conspiracy Theories (SAlert)

 

 

It didn’t seem useful to address the midterms here and now, given the time it will take to count the votes. But at the same time, the voting sucks almost all of the air out of the media. A strange feeling. Nobody talks about Ukraine today.

What I did gather so far is that there was no Red Wave, and Trump endorsements did poorly. While Ron DeSantis won bigly. Which will lead to some head scratching. But overall, prepare for a lot of speculation and likely court cases. The country is divided like never before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Von Der Leyen is under investigation

 

 

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
~ Dalai Lama

 

 

 

 

“..rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral..”

Super-States in Core Eurasian Geopolitics (Straight-Bat)

I have been deliberating on the question whether core Eurasia could really be treated as the ‘heartland’, control of which is a prerequisite to exercise total control over the world? Before one could sincerely take up the issue for a discussion, he/she must be able to grasp the definition of ‘core Eurasia’. Geologically, ‘Eurasia’ is a tectonic plate that lies under much of Europe and Asia. However, there is no well-defined geographic boundary of ‘core Eurasia’ in international politics. The European (geopolitical) strategists and Asian intellectuals converge on this subject remarkably well — the landmass that lies between Pacific Ocean in the east and river Vistula plus Carpathian mountain range in the west, and between Arctic Ocean in the north to the line joining Arabian Sea coast-Himalayan mountain range-South China Sea coast in the south can be termed as ‘core Eurasia’.

This particular question has a definite answer – ‘core Eurasia’ indeed can be assumed as heartland because of two reasons. Firstly, the countries that dot the entire landscape of core Eurasia are not only home to 25% of the global population currently but has enough arable land, water, and forest resources for a healthy and continuous population growth. Secondly, the entire landmass of core Eurasia hold deposits of minerals, fossil fuels, rare earth, and gems in disproportionately high quantities compared to its share of total surface area of earth. Hence, the human civilization can grow, sustain, and flourish as a stand-alone phenomenon in core Eurasia even if civilizations in other regions of the world fail to sustain – this, in my opinion, is the single most important characteristic of core Eurasia why it may be considered as the ‘heartland’.

Readers who are conversant with the works of geopolitics pundits like Brzezinski will easily conclude that I don’t subscribe to Brzezinski’s thought on this issue which was centred around ‘exercising power to control the world’ as he noted, “The control over Eurasia would almost automatically entails Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent.”

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More than a dozen. Among them: Algeria, Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt, Afghanistan.

Moscow Suggests How Many Countries Want To Join BRICS (RT)

More than a dozen countries have expressed an interest in joining the BRICS group, which incorporates some of the world’s major emerging economies, as the bloc gains more global standing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. Speaking at a meeting with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Lavrov indicated that membership of the BRICS bloc is in high demand. “The interest in this global association is very, very high and continues to grow,”he said. He confirmed that “more than a dozen” countries are eager to join, including Algeria, Argentina, and Iran. However, Lavrov continued, before accepting any new members, BRICS intends to reach an agreement on criteria and principles for further potential expansion.


“Given that applications are already being submitted officially, we, of course, expect that harmonization of the criteria and principles for the expansion of BRICS won’t take too long,” he said. BRICS is an international socio-economic and political forum, which incorporates Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It accounts for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. The Russian Foreign Minister’s comments come after Algeria applied to become a member of the group, following applications by Iran and Argentina. Algeria’s bid came after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for stronger ties with Middle Eastern and North African countries, arguing that they are playing an “increasingly significant role” in the formation of the “multipolar system of international relations.” The bloc is also expected to consider adding Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt and Afghanistan.

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New START.

US and Russia To Hold Nuclear Talks (RT)

American and Russian diplomats will meet to discuss the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty “in the near future,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday. Earlier, Bloomberg and Kommersant cited sources to report that a meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC) may soon be held in Egypt. “We have agreed that the BCC will meet in the near future. Under the terms of the New START treaty, the work of the BCC is confidential, but we do hope for a constructive session,” Price said at a press briefing. The US believes in the “transformative power of diplomacy and dialogue” but is “clear-eyed and realistic” about what it can accomplish when it comes to Russia, Price added.

The conversations are “focused on risk-reduction” but Washington wants to ensure that the ability to pass messages back and forth with Moscow “does not atrophy.” “If there is, and it sounds like there will be, a meeting of the BCC, that is a good thing,” Price added, before correcting himself to say that the meeting will definitely happen. While Price would not name the venue for the meeting, Bloomberg mentioned Cairo as the neutral location more acceptable to Russia than Geneva, since Switzerland has joined the US and EU sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. The New START is the last remaining nuclear arms control agreement between the US and Russia, set to expire in 2026 unless renewed. The BCC last met in October 2021.

Moscow suspended the inspection regime under the treaty in August, citing Western sanctions that have prevented Russian inspectors from doing their work in the US, thus putting Washington at an unfair advantage. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the inspections would continue once the principle of parity and equality is restored. Inspections had previously been disrupted by lockdowns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“They are just towing the line, even selling their souls and reputations just to prevent their cancellation.”

Why Does The Western Narrative Sound So Stupid And Unrealistic? (Romatzki)

Reference is constantly made to WW2 , the Cuban Missile Crises, etc. However that was a different world and era where people and leaders still had Values, Religions was strong, Families were strong, where Integrity, Honour, Patriotism, etc. … had meaning ….. a proper culture. This has all been destroyed. By whom? That is a debatable point, but it did happen. Society has been transformed and the Western Culture has been destroyed. There is now very little left of the original culture of the 1950/1960/1970/1980 and before. The family concept is being destroyed. Fewer Children are born, people marry less, Feminism is pushed, Affirmative actions is pushed, Homosexuality is rampant and encouraged, Gender identity is driven to the absurd.,

Science is destroyed by money, etc. Religion has been destroyed by the introduction of other cultures and religions into society. Inter-race marriages have been promoted and encouraged. And then … Wokeness and Cancel Culture has become dominant. With the loss in a stable anchor, derived from one’s family and culture, who can resist these dominant forces? People have become isolated and vulnerable and easy to manipulate. Integrity is thrown out of the window and now everybody is for himself. Gone are the days were one would stand up for his values and deny a job, money or position. All of it has now become monetised and self preservation is the order of the day. Money has played the corruptible factor.

Money and wokeness has become the driving forces of the population. Cancel Culture and Social media have become the tools. Given the facts above, who can then NOT understand why the Western Commentators spew the fake news and ridiculous narratives? In my assessment I believe it is Selfish Interests, Lack of strong Values, Money, Fear of being Cancelled and a lack of proper Information derived from reality, that drives the Western commentators to create such “devoid of reality” narratives. They are just towing the line, even selling their souls and reputations just to prevent their cancellation.

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“The US is the most cartoonishly nationalistic country in the history of our species..”

American Pundits Have Got It Backwards About China (Blankenship)

In recent years, but notably in the wake of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) 20th National Congress that just concluded at the end of October, Western writers have rushed to accuse Beijing of becoming anti-Western. This is seen in several examples by Western writers, such as the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos or a quintessential China-blaming piece recently published by the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman. In his article, titled “How China Lost America,” Friedman says that there are four trends in China that have soured the US-China relationship: market manipulation, hyper-nationalism, aggressive foreign policy and Beijing’s “zero-Covid” policy. But he does not elaborate these points to any convincible degree and fails to acknowledge the extent to which Washington’s own policies are to blame for China’s perceived turn from the West.

First of all, a lot of what is called intellectual property theft (which Friedman mentions in his piece) is just ordinary intellectual diffusion. The FBI started an entire ‘China Initiative’ to investigate such instances in top US universities and companies – and it came up almost completely empty-handed to the point that it had to be shut down for devolving into a vehicle for anti-Asian racism. This also doesn’t even acknowledge the extent of the US’ own market manipulation, namely through the sheer influence that its multinationals have in creating trade and economic policy, or its promiscuous use of unilateral sanctions. The US also routinely violates its World Trade Organization (WTO) duties in its trade war against Beijing. The organization even allowedChina to impose duties on $645 million worth of imports over US trade malpractice in January.

For an American to call China hyper-nationalist is laughable. The US is the most cartoonishly nationalistic country in the history of our species: children in most public schools are required to swear a ‘pledge of allegiance’ to the flag every morning, Americans only know one language on average and the American flag is draped everywhere in the country. Chinese people are, on balance, much less chauvinistic and more open-minded. Likewise, it’s hard to take insinuations of Beijing’s supposed “aggressive” foreign policy seriously either. The People’s Republic of China has never started a war since its inception and has not been involved in a proxy war in decades. Compare that to the fact that the US has been at war for nearly every single year of its existence since 1776. It is actually America’s aggressive foreign policy that is prompting resistance from Beijing.

Finally, on the zero-Covid point, this is just sensible policy. Virtually every country in the world has caved into public pressure to relax Covid-related restrictions. That’s fairly understandable because of how ineffective they were in most countries. But that doesn’t change the fact that Covid-19 is an extremely deadly and debilitating disease that is continuing to kill many people and leave many more disabled. If one could choose to eliminate Covid-19 from society, then why wouldn’t they? Thankfully, China has effectively used its technology to do just this – and it works. A January report by Citigroup, based on three surveys conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce China, the EU Chamber of Commerce China and the Japan External Trade Organization, found that China is their favorite investment destination. Among the top reasons listed was the country’s supply-chain resilience and the effectiveness of its Covid-19 controls.

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Robert Bridge, published on RT and only RT. So for those who can’t access RT, the whole article.

American Voters Don’t Need Russian Trolls To Tell Them How Bad Things Are (RB)

As US voters head to the polls for the much-anticipated Midterms, talk of Russian trolls monkeying with US democracy is back in the news. But does the country really need Russia’s help in “stoking anger” among the electorate? If the hyper-liberal New York Times can be taken at face value just two days before an epic election, Russia’s underground army of trolls is, once again, attempting to seed the minds of malleable US voters to the Kremlin’s advantage. If those charges sounded outlandish in 2016, when the Democrats accused Russian ‘influencers’ of denying Hillary Clinton the presidency, they seem doubly so today. The Times reported that the goal of the reactivated Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg is to “stoke anger among conservative voters and to undermine trust in the American electoral system.

”Judging by the looks of things, the Russians are a bit late to the party. It would be hard to name another period in US politics when the level of anger and distrust has been so extreme, and that is something the Russian trolls, despite their supposed superhuman abilities, can’t take credit for. Take inflation, for example, the single most pressing issue among US voters. It doesn’t require any sort of Russian mind-bending operation to inform Americans that the economic situation is deteriorating before their eyes, and has been ever since Biden entered office. They only need to look at their food and utility bills each month, and the price at the gas pump, to feel fury for what the Biden administration has done to the economy in a shockingly short period of time. Any effort to blame these negative sentiments on “the Russians” is just another way of the Democrats saying that soaring prices is “disinformation”and unworthy of your attention.

The Times mentions another point of contention among US voters, particularly the Republicans, and that is the blank-check powers that have been awarded to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Citing the work of “cybersecurity researchers,” the article alleges that the Russian influence campaign “appears intended to undermine the Biden administration’s extensive military assistance to Ukraine.”Again, here is an issue that has already been undermined by the Republicans ever since the Democrats commenced with their proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, a massively hazardous venture where no expense is considered too great. On this point, the Democrats are able to claim, much like in 2016, that the Russians and the Republicans are working in collusion, this time against Kiev. The Russians are anxious to see US military spending on Ukraine come to an end as all of those sophisticated weapons are only prolonging the conflict.

Meanwhile, some of the Republicans campaigned on promises to terminate funding to the Zelensky regime and divert those billions of dollars to national security projects, like fortifying their own border and fighting crime. It would be a mistake to think that Americans are not acutely aware of the issues now dividing the country. Every day, social media users can see for themselves everything they need to know about crime, inflation, transgender issues, and the border, to name just a few of the hot-button issues dividing the country. To suggest that Russian trolls are required to “stoke conservative anger” is to grossly underestimate the political intelligence of the average US voter, who appears better informed than ever before. The fact is, the Democrats are afraid of being wiped out in a landslide come Tuesday. Conjuring up the ghost of Russia interference at the 11th hour reveals their insecurity and will provide them some partial excuse in the event of a blowout.

With regards to these latest accusations of election interference, Moscow is understandably losing its patience. It requires either a certain lack of self-awareness, or an astonishing excess of arrogance, for the United States to lecture any country on the question of meddling. After all, in the case of Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, we’re talking about a mere $150,000 spent on several thousand Facebook ads, many of which had no political message whatsoever. When it is considered that US presidential elections have turned into multi-billion-dollar pageants, with no expense spared on campaign attack ads, it is hard to imagine that Russia’s severely limited campaign had any effect whatsoever (it needs emphasis that not even Facebook is entirely sure where the posts originated from. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, would only say they “likely operated out of Russia”).

Now compare that to the way the United States “meddles” in the affairs of foreign countries, like Ukraine. In November 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovich opted in favor of closer ties with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union instead of the EU, protests broke out in the country. How did the United States respond? Not with internet trolls, that’s for sure. It dispatched high-ranking US officials to Kiev, like Senator John McCain and Assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, where they agitated the masses against the democratically elected government. On the question of who would ultimately govern the splintered country, Nuland was overheard in a phone call with the US ambassador to Ukraine handpicking the eligible candidates.

Once again, the United States proved that there are rules for itself and rules for the rest of the world, and increasingly it is the American people who must pay the price for that supreme arrogance.

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Seaborne, that is.

Russian Oil Exports Surging (RT)

Shipments of Russian seaborne crude surged to 3.6 million barrels per day last week, reaching the highest since early June, while the less volatile four-week average is the highest since August, Bloomberg reported on Monday. A total of 34 tankers were loaded with some 25.2 million barrels of Russian crude oil in the week to November 4, according to vessel-tracking data and port agent reports, as quoted by the media. That’s up by 3.2 million barrels. The exports were ramped up more than a month before the EU sanctions, supported by the G7 nations and Australia, kick in on December 5. The penalties will see Western companies banned from providing insurance and other services to vessels loaded with Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased below a yet-to-be-agreed price cap.


The biggest increase, in both volume and percentage terms, was reportedly recorded in shipments from the Arctic terminal of Murmansk. Cargoes carrying Russian oil are becoming more cagey about their destinations, according to Bloomberg. The agency noted a big jump in vessels showing their next destination as Port Said or the Suez Canal, and a drop in the volume on tankers indicating that they’re headed to India. The media highlighted that many more ships carrying crude are leaving Russian ports without signaling a final port of discharge. Russia’s revenues from crude-export duty reportedly rose by $16 million to $149 million in the seven days to November 4, with the four-week average income also increasing, gaining $6 million to $134 million.

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“The National Recovery Fund for Poland involves €24 billion in grants and €11.5 billion in loans, but it is just one type of fund that Poland has yet to receive from Brussels.”

Poland Draws A Line In The Sand With The EU (Remix)

The Polish government says it will make no further concessions to the European Union in order to unlock tens of billions in EU funding, arguing that Poland has fulfilled all its obligations and Brussels owes them the money. “Poland fulfilled all conditions set by the European Commission regarding the payment of the Recovery Funds it is due,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said. He added that “he does not intend to answer any comments from Brussels on the matter.” Brussels, for its part, has threatened Poland with catastrophic funding cuts totaling up to €110 billion; this would hobble the Polish economy, which has suffered due to the global economic downturn, inflation, and the refugee crisis from Ukraine.

In an interview for the conservative Sieci, Duda admitted that he does not believe that trying to fulfill the expectations of “the other side” could bring any results. “I believe that a lot of good will was showcased from the Polish side,” he stated. “And we know very well that there is a group from Poland there that has a policy of contradicting the basic interests of the Polish state and is content when Poland is being harmed by Brussels,” said Poland’s president. He also mentioned the liberal-left representatives who “have seats in the European Commission and want to change the ruling party in Poland at all costs.” According to the latest statements of the Polish authorities, Poland has still not sent a request for a payment of the Recovery Funds to Brussels.

Meanwhile, information has appeared in the public space that the Commission confirmed that Warsaw has fulfilled 15 out of 20 milestones necessary for the payments of the first tranche of funds. The National Recovery Fund for Poland involves €24 billion in grants and €11.5 billion in loans, but it is just one type of fund that Poland has yet to receive from Brussels. In June, the European Commission finally accepted the Polish plan, however, it made the payment of the funds dependent on the fulfillment of the so-called milestones. In the case of Poland, those milestones concern mostly the judicial system. Brussels does not recognize that Poland fulfilled its obligations, so the payment of the National Recovery Fund remains frozen.

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“We are borrowing other people’s energy supplies,” Vitol Group Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy told the media. “It’s not a great thing.”

EU ‘Sucking Gas Away’ From Poorer Countries (RT)

The EU energy crisis is inevitably leading to energy poverty in developing countries, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday citing an energy analyst at Credit Suisse. “Europe is sucking gas away from other countries whatever the cost,” Saul Kavonic told the media. Despite soaring energy bills, the EU is expected to survive the upcoming heating season, as the bloc members have purchased enough oil and natural gas. However, this comes with a high price tag for the world’s poorest nations that have been cut off from the gas market due to Europe’s ravenous demand. Emerging market countries are reportedly at serious risk of being unable to meet their energy needs. Factory shutdowns, more frequent and longer-lasting power shortages, as well as social unrests are the most likely consequences due to the energy security challenges.

Exporters across Qatar and the US are accepting bids from European buyers seeking to purchase as much fuel as possible to fill their storages. That leaves developing countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand unable to compete on price with Germany and other bigger economies. “We are borrowing other people’s energy supplies,” Vitol Group Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy told the media. “It’s not a great thing.” According to traders cited by Bloomberg, soaring prices prompted some suppliers to South Asia to simply cancel long-scheduled deliveries in favor of better yields elsewhere. “Suppliers don’t need to focus on securing their LNG to low affordability markets,” Raghav Mathur, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie said, adding that the higher prices they can get on the spot market more than make up for whatever penalties they might pay for shirking planned shipments.

“LNG will belong first to the ‘developed,’ with the leftovers for the ‘developing.’”the expert said, adding that this dynamic is likely to hold for years. The European Union is struggling with an energy crisis as a result of the reduction of imports from Russia. Earlier, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that it took the bloc eight months to replace two-thirds of Russian gas supplies. She added that the EU had significantly diversified the range of foreign suppliers, but that had “been costly.”

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“Biden claims inflation is not his fault and he’s bringing it down by spending more deficit money. This is mathematically impossible, incidentally.”

What Do You Run On….. (Denninger)

…. when you have nothing to run on? Let’s just be straight here, ok — neither party, when you get down to it, has anything to run on. But: When you’re in the left seat, and the plane crashes, its your fault. That’s just how the cookie crumbles. Just as an example the “authorities” won’t release the surveillance or body camera tapes from the Paul Pelosi assault. Why not? The only reason not to is that what’s there renders irrevocably false the story told thus far. In what way? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. If the footage documents the affidavit “as told” then there’s no reason not to release it as it will cement the case not only in court but in public opinion as well. Therefore it clearly doesn’t. Biden claims inflation is not his fault and he’s bringing it down by spending more deficit money. This is mathematically impossible, incidentally.

He either doesn’t know this or he’s lying. It matters not which it is; he ran on and promoted blowing more money around so he has no place to hide. Biden told us all that if you took the Covid shots you would not get covid. He said that conclusively. He lied; his top advisor, Birx, has stated in public she knew this was not true before he took office. Therefore either he hired her and is responsible or she told him and he deliberately lied. Either way: He’s in the left seat, he had opportunity to not lie, thus he owns it. On Biden’s watch Ukraine and Russia went to war. Biden has poured tens of billions of dollars and weapons not only in munitions into Ukraine he’s paying the salaries of their people with our money. The total at this point is well over $100 billion, which is a quite-material part of the fiscal deficit.

By what authority? Well, Congress appears to be ok with it, aren’t they? Indeed. Who controls Congress? Uh huh. Oh, spending more money than you take in causes inflation? Well, prosecuting this war over there is part of it then, on purpose. Again, sit in the left seat, you’re responsible when there’s a smoking hole in the ground and nothing larger than a quarter can be identified. There have been a couple of million people streaming into our nation illegally over the last two years. Inflationary? You bet. What’s worse? The guy who is accused of attacking Pelosi is here illegally and has been for years. How many others have been victimized by criminals who were here illegally? Remember “A Girl in Iowa” anyone? Sit in the left seat, it’s your problem, especially when you sue, as Biden has done, to block Arizona and others from sealing said border.

Biden has declared war on carbon-based fuels. Refiners are closing and have on his watch and will not restart because he has made clear that any investment in them is a zero. It is his expressed intent to destroy said investment so nobody will make it. Do you light $100 bills on fire for fun? Neither does anyone else, so if you think gas or diesel prices are coming down on a durable basis exactly how when there is no increase in refining capacity coming online to meet demand? You can’t build an electric car without carbon-based fuels and in fact to build and operate one requires more carbon-based fuel than just refining and burning the gasoline. This is fact and yet Biden does not care if you get screwed.

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Germany faces many problems. A drop in income is not the worst.

Germany Faces Sharp Drop In Real Income (RT)

The German economy is expected to lose billions of euros by the end of 2023 due to skyrocketing energy prices, the Ifo Center for Macroeconomics said in a report published on Tuesday. According to the forecast, real income loss will reach €110 billion ($110 billion) during the 2021-2023 period, which equals 3% of Germany’s annual economic output. “The only time this figure was higher was during the second oil crisis of 1979-81, when the loss in economic output was 4%,” said Timo Wollmershaeuser, senior economist at Ifo. The surge in energy prices is expected to take a heavy toll on the German economy this year, with an anticipated €64 billion loss, or 1.8% of the country’s output.


The estimated loss for 2021 exceeded €35 billion, and a €9 billion drop is expected for 2023, according to Ifo. German citizens will continue to feel the impact of the energy crisis over the next few years with a drop in real incomes, Wollmershaeuser warned, adding that losing Russia as the main energy supplier will result in long-term high oil and gas prices. He also predicted that Germany will not wean itself off energy imports “overnight” as the country has long been dependent on external supplies. In late October, Ifo predicted that the German economy would contract by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. According to an Economy Ministry forecast, Germany will see growth of 1.4% this year and a 0.4% slump next year.

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Stunning.

Polish Ex-PM Links Low Birth Rates To Women Drinking (RT)

The leader of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has claimed that women are choosing not to have children because they drink too much. The former prime minister made the remarks on Saturday during a trip to Elk, a city in northeastern Poland. Reflecting on the country’s low birth rate, Kaczynski said “cultural factors”contribute to a woman’s decisions on childbearing, and “it is sometimes necessary to say bitter things openly.” “If, for example, it is maintained that, until the age of 25, young women drink as much as men of their age, there will be no children,” Kaczynski said. “Remember that a man, in order to become an alcoholic, has to drink excessively for 20 years on average… while a woman has to do it for only two years.” “I say this seriously,” the conservative politician stated, adding that he knew a doctor who “managed to cure a third of his male alcoholic patients, but no women.”


“I really am a sincere supporter of women’s equality, but I’m not in favor of women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women because it is something completely different,”Kaczynski said. “This is a typical statement from a patriarchal grandpa during a traditional Polish wedding,” said Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, a legislator from the New Left party, dismissing Kaczynski’s words as “foolish.” Her fellow MP Urszula Paslawska said she does not know “whether to laugh or to cry.” Another New Left lawmaker, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak, argued that alcohol affects the fertility of both men and women. “In order to have children, other issues need to be solved, and Kaczynski is silent on them,” she said. “There is a shortage of two million housing units in Poland, so young people have to live with their parents.” She added that women, including mothers, need better protection in their jobs and in the labor market.

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RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] is the flavor of the day for Big Pharma.

Will You Survive The ‘Tripledemic’? (Mercola)

As predicted, “health experts” are starting to call for voluntary indoor masking again,(11) even though all the evidence garnered over the past three years confirms what we already knew in 2020, which is that face masks do nothing to stop viral infections. And, as before, in the absence of actual scientific evidence the narrative focuses instead on virtue. Masking up is said to be a way to protect everyone,(12) so just “do your part” and wear it, even though, in reality, it protects no one. The same goes for vaccination. Both the flu vaccine and the COVID shots are proven ineffective, yet the recommendation(13) to get them continues. And this season, you’re expected to get both! The fact that RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] is now being highlighted as a severe risk is understandable in light of the fact that the first-ever RSV vaccines are now in the pipeline.

According to CNN,(14) four different RSV shots are “nearing review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration” and more than a dozen others are in trials. This includes a “long-acting injection” specifically for babies, to be given “right after birth” to protect them from RSV “for as long as six months.” If that’s not a perfect example of how the media tries to change the perception of the basic meaning of a term, I don’t know what is. Six months is hardly long-acting! Historically, most vaccines have at least offered antibody-only “protection” for years, not months. Please recognize all vaccines fail to use cellular immunity to protect you, which is far more important than humoral antibody protection. This extremely short duration of antibody-only protection appears to be a hallmark of mRNA technology however, and indeed, at least some of these new RSV shots are mRNA based.

Moderna has announced it is working on an mRNA jab for RSV, which is scheduled for release in 2023.(15) They’re also working on a combination mRNA jab for COVID, RSV and the flu. (Ultimately, Moderna wants to create an annual mRNA shot that covers all of the top 10 viruses that result in hospitalizations each year.[16]) Janssen is also working on an RSV shot using an adenovirus vector, the same technology used in its COVID shot, while Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are testing “protein subunit” RSV vaccines for pregnant women and seniors.(17) According to Forbes,(18) Pfizer announced November 1, 2022, that it is ready to seek FDA authorization for its RSV vaccine. In clinical trials this shot was given to pregnant mothers and the efficacy was measured not by whether it prevented RSV, but by severity of the infection in hospitalized babies during their first months of life.(19)

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Pretend science. What insane nonsense.

COVID-19 Conspiracies Are a Gateway to Other Conspiracy Theories (SAlert)

Thinking that the COVID-19 pandemic is in some way a hoax could serve as a ‘gateway’ for individuals to engage with more complex conspiracy theories, claim a team of researchers from Ohio State University in the US. According to a recent analysis of two longitudinal studies that tracked participant beliefs in various theories, mistrust in expertise over real-world events can quickly bloom into a general acceptance of conspiracy theories that aren’t supported by robust evidence. The technical term here is conspiracist ideation, which measures someone’s confidence in explanations of events that rely on the power of groups to manipulate outcomes to an unlikely, if not near impossible degree.

For the study’s purpose, the researchers considered conspiracy theories to be beliefs that aren’t supported by any evidence – and which are actually contradicted by the evidence that does exist. These can be anything from believing the Moon landing was staged to thinking that legitimate elections are rigged. In the case of COVID-19, conspiracy theories include the idea that the pandemic was largely exaggerated by the government or the media, and the belief that the virus was released on purpose by a particular agency for sinister means. “It’s speculative, but it appears that once people adopt one conspiracy belief, it promotes distrust in institutions more generally – it could be government, science, the media, whatever,” says psychologist Russell Fazio, from The Ohio State University.

“Once you start viewing events through that distrustful lens, it’s very easy to adopt additional conspiracy theories.” Two different studies were the focus of the analysis. The first queried 107 participants about their beliefs in June 2020. In December of that year, a second study looked at how individuals who considered COVID-19 to be a hoax progressed in their conspiracist ideation. Statistical analysis showed that those who believed the SARS-CoV-2 virus was deliberately released or that the severity of the COVID-19 outbreaks was exaggerated were also more likely to distrust the official results of the 2020 US election. What’s more, members of the ‘conspiracy minded’ group also tended to show an increase in conspiratorial thinking between June and December.

The second study used publicly available data from 1,037 participants, surveyed between March 2020 and December 2020. Again, belief that the pandemic was a hoax predicted a rise in conspiracist ideation over the course of the year. “If you read interviews or forums frequented by conspiracy theorists, you see a phenomenon where people tend to go down the rabbit hole after something happens in their life that triggers general interest in conspiracy theories,” says psychologist Javier Granados Samayoa, from The Ohio State University. “With COVID-19, there was this large event that people could not control, so how could they make sense of it? One way is by adhering to conspiracy theories.”

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Chaplin

 

 

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”
~ Khalil Gibran

 

 

Marvin Gaye

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 012022
 
 November 1, 2022  Posted by at 8:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  73 Responses »


Vilhelm Hammershoi Woman Seen from the Back 1888

 

Leaked Documents Outline DHS’s Plans to Police Disinformation (IC)
“The Bird is Free.” Will Elon Musk Become Grand Duke of Mars? (Ugo Bardi)
How Elon Musk Should Shape Twitter — Sans the Sink (Turley)
‘Inflation Came From Nowhere’ – Lagarde (RT)
Putin Clarifies Position On Grain Deal (RT)
Russia Tells UN It Will Inspect Black Sea Ships (RT)
Israeli Finance Minister Added To Kiev’s ‘Kill List’ (RT)
Much Of Kiev Without Power & Water After New Russian Airstrikes (ZH)
From The Surreal To The Real To The Meta-Real (Batiushka)
Drone Attack On Sevastopol (MoA)
Comeback Kid Lula In The Eye Of A Volcano (Escobar)
Why The US-Saudi Relationship Is Withering (RT)
They Rule Over Dysfunctional Ruin, but They Rule (Crooke)
US Economic Decline And Global Instability Part 3 (Phillyguy)
Russia’s New Regions On Collision Course With Ukraine 100 Years Ago (Nepogodin)

 

 

“The less men think, the more they talk.”
~ Montesquieu

 

 

 

 

Nord Stream 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethical Skeptic 7:1

 

 

The Swiss National Bank just reported an enormous $142.6 BILLION dollar loss in the first 9 months of 2022, which is by far the largest loss in the bank’s 115 year history.

 

 

 

 

This is scary but not surprising. And it’s not about disinformation, but about anything that questions “official” info. “..the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”

It’s just partisan politics, flavored with a whiff of what both parties agree on, i.e. war. And it just so happens that the people who bring you this are the exact same lot that gave you Russia Russia, which was the biggest crop of disinformation ever.

Leaked Documents Outline DHS’s Plans to Police Disinformation (IC)

Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information. Though DHS shuttered its controversial Disinformation Governance Board, a strategic document reveals the underlying work is ongoing. DHS plans to target inaccurate information on “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”

Facebook created a special portal for DHS and government partners to report disinformation directly. “Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February. In a March meeting, Laura Dehmlow, an FBI official, warned that the threat of subversive information on social media could undermine support for the U.S. government. Dehmlow, according to notes of the discussion attended by senior executives from Twitter and JPMorgan Chase, stressed that “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.” “We do not coordinate with other entities when making content moderation decisions, and we independently evaluate content in line with the Twitter Rules,” a spokesperson for Twitter wrote in a statement to The Intercept.

There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use. At the time of writing, the “content request system” at facebook.com/xtakedowns/login is still live. [..] According to a draft copy of DHS’s Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, DHS’s capstone report outlining the department’s strategy and priorities in the coming years, the department plans to target “inaccurate information” on a wide range of topics, including “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.” [..] The inclusion of the 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is particularly noteworthy, given that House Republicans, should they take the majority in the midterms, have vowed to investigate. “This makes Benghazi look like a much smaller issue,” said Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., a member of the Armed Services Committee, adding that finding answers “will be a top priority.”

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And in view of DHS et al trying to control information flow, Ugo Bardi’s point is salient: Elon Musk understands that better than all the rest put together.

“The Bird is Free.” Will Elon Musk Become Grand Duke of Mars? (Ugo Bardi)

Some people absolutely love censorship. But many (perhaps most) users of social media didn’t like to be watched from over their shoulders by those overzealous nannies who pretended to know better than them what is true and what is not. That generated criticism, and some attempts to rein in the censors. But, so far, we only saw censorship increasing its reach and becoming more pervasive.Except for the news of the day: the bird is free! Elon Musk bought Twitter and promises to eliminate censorship.

What’s happening? There are several possible interpretations, but at least something is clear: those who rule us are not a monolithic entity, as the Communist Party was in the Soviet Union. There are several would-be world rulers who are vying for power behind the scene. Musk may actually be smarter than most of them and able to understand that you gain nothing by silencing those who disagree with you. Suppose he wants to become the next US president, or maybe the Grand Duke of Mars, then he has to think like the Grand Duke of Tuscany did. He needs to know what people think because he can rule only if people agree that he is the ruler. Ruling by force and oppression is inefficient and, often, the ruler ends up hanged by the feet. So, Musk may well understand that he needs to leave some space for people to express themselves. The bird may not be completely free, but it has to be able to fly.

We seem to be in a transition moment (we always are). The Internet is under pressure by the attempt of controlling it by the powers that be, turning it into a tool for a totalitarian government (in China, the government may have succeeded at that). But, at the same time, some members of the elites are realizing that the Internet is a much better tool if used according to its characteristic of a two-way communication system. The Internet may allow us to generate a new governance system that might be more effective and just than the old totalitarian systems. It might be part of a “new Renaissance” that could take some aspects similar to the way Cosimo the 1st ruled in Tuscany during the 16th century. Maybe. But, as always, the future will surprise us.

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But still, Musk would have to deflect the entire kitchen sink that will be thrown at him.

How Elon Musk Should Shape Twitter — Sans the Sink (Turley)

News reports last week seemed to start out like a bar joke: The richest man in the world walks in carrying a sink . . . Of course, it was a joke — a colossal joke. The question is whom the joke is on. For Elon Musk, the punch line was appropriately delivered on Twitter, the company he’s taking over Friday at an inflated price. Calling himself “Chief Twit,” Musk posted the video with the caption “Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!” For the Musk-phobic, it was as funny as a drive-by shooting. CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem denounced Musk’s taunt as “fundamentally cruel.” After all, when Musk was first reported to be buying the company, employees were so traumatized that leadership had to offer emotional support just to “get through the week.”

The reason is less the fear of Musk bringing bathroom fixtures than free speech into San Francisco headquarters. Twitter has created one of the largest censorship systems in world history — a system widely condemned for a pattern of political bias and viewpoint intolerance. Outgoing CEO Parag Agrawal is unabashedly hostile to traditional views of free speech. Soon after he took over, he pledged to regulate content and said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the Internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.” For employees who are true believers of this censorship scheme, the joke no doubt feels like it’s on them. The censorship skill set may not be quite as much in demand in a Musk-owned firm.

While Facebook, Google and other companies are still committed to corporate censorship, Musk has pledged to restore free speech principles to Twitter. But the joke may still be on Musk if he yields to Twitter’s corporate culture or the mainstream media’s unrelenting pressure. Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton have turned from private censorship to good old-fashioned state censorship. Clinton has called on foreign governments to step in and pass laws that would force Twitter to continue to censor opposing views. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently repeated this call for global censorship at the United Nations to the applause of diplomats and media alike. Musk may have to yield to such domestic laws, but he can use his platform to inform citizens of those countries they are being censored and controlled in what they are allowed to read.

The most important thing in America is for Musk to hit the ground running at Twitter. First, he needs to order the preservation of all records. There are well-supported examples of biased censorship, including the burying of The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story before the election. There are also allegations of back-channel communications from the government to manage a type of censorship-by-surrogate system to evade the First Amendment. Second, Musk should focus on the First Amendment as a model for Twitter’s content-management policy. It has become a mantra on the left that free-speech objections to social-media censorship are meritless because the First Amendment does not apply to private corporations.

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Lagarde should be fired for 1) making this statement, and 2) meaning it.

‘Inflation Came From Nowhere’ – Lagarde (RT)

The European Central Bank (ECB) has doubled its key interest rate to the highest level in more than a decade in an attempt to combat soaring inflation, ECB President Christine Lagarde has explained. In an interview with Irish national broadcaster RTE on Friday, Lagarde said: “We do it because we are fighting inflation” that had “pretty much come about from nowhere.” She pointed to a speedier-than-expected economic rebound from the pandemic as a cause alongside “the energy crisis caused by Mr. Putin who has decided in an unjustifiable way to invade another country.” The ECB chief added: “That’s what he [Putin] is trying to do, cause chaos and destroy as much of Europe as he can. This energy crisis is causing massive inflation which we have to defeat.”

She went on to say that “Anybody who is behaving in that way has to be driven by evil forces,” and that the “sick”Russian president is a “terrifying person.” Discussing her previous meetings with the Russian leader, Lagarde described him as an “unbelievably super-briefed person” with “flashing, freezing eyes.” After expressing her view, Lagarde however stressed that she’s “just a central banker,” and “shouldn’t be saying all these things.” On Thursday, the ECB announced another interest rate hike, taking Eurozone rates to the highest level since 2009. According to Lagarde, they are aimed at bringing inflation back to “reasonable levels so the cost of living isn’t as high as it is for people.” In September, inflation across the euro area hit 10%.

The EU has blamed Russia for the spiraling energy crisis across the continent. However, many economists point to the bloc’s fiscal policy responses as a major reason behind the crisis. Moscow has also criticized the “illogical and often absurd” moves by Western nations, saying that the sanctions imposed by the US, EU, and other countries on Russia have backfired and resulted in a sweeping energy crisis as well as record inflation across the West.

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This will cost Erdogan a lot of points. He negotiated the grain corridor, meant for Africa nations, but grabbed 34% for himself AND allowed Kiev to use the corridor to hide drones.

Putin Clarifies Position On Grain Deal (RT)

The grain deal between Moscow and Kiev has not met its stated goals, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Most of the Ukrainian agricultural products exported under the agreement have not reached the poorer nations they were supposedly intended for and have instead ended up in Europe and Türkiye, he argued. Putin said Moscow was suspending its participation in the deal, but not fully withdrawing from it. The deal was promoted to “secure the interests of the poorer nations,” he said, adding that, according to Russian intelligence, the real structure of Ukraine’s grain exports is vastly different. “We agreed to that [grain deal] precisely in the interests of the poorer nations,”the Russian president said.

“On the whole, it looks like 34% of [the Ukrainian] grain gets to Türkiye, 35% or even more is taken by the EU nations and only between three and four … or five percent, according to our Agriculture Ministry … goes to the poorer nations,” Putin said. His words came as the Russian military closed the Black Sea grain corridor used to export Ukrainian grain under the agreement reached in Istanbul in July. The agreement – mediated by the UN and Türkiye – was initially hailed as critical for easing the global food crisis and helping the world’s poorest nations avoid starvation. Russia has since repeatedly pointed out that the grain, in fact, goes to other destinations. Moscow decided to halt its participation in the deal following a massive drone attack on its naval base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol last week.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the naval drones used in the attack navigated through the grain corridor’s security zone to reach their targets. One of them might have even been launched from a civilian vessel chartered to transport Ukrainian grain shipments, it added. Earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was ready to compensate the missing Ukrainian grain export volumes from its own stocks. At the same time, he said that Moscow could not yet name the conditions that would make it resume its participation in the deal. In the wake of Moscow’s decision to suspend its participation in the deal, the UN has insisted that “food must flow”regardless of circumstances. Civilian vessels “can never be a military target or held hostage,” the UN coordinator for the Black Sea grain initiative, Amir Abdulla, said. Russia has previously said that it could not guarantee the security of the grain corridor if Kiev used it for military purposes.

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Inevitable. If Turkey doesn’t do it, Russia must.

Russia Tells UN It Will Inspect Black Sea Ships (RT)

Ukraine “grossly violated” the Istanbul agreement on grain exports via the Black Sea and forced Moscow to suspend it indefinitely, Russia’s envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council on Monday. The Russian Navy will inspect all cargo ships bound for Ukraine, even those unilaterally cleared by the Turkish-based coordination center, he added. “This subversive action of Kiev grossly violates the Istanbul agreements and, in fact, puts an end to their humanitarian dimension. It is now obvious to everyone that the Black Sea humanitarian corridor is being used by the Ukrainian side for military sabotage purposes,” Nebenzia said, referring to Saturday’s drone attack on Sevastopol. Russia “cannot guarantee the safety of civilian ships participating in the Black Sea initiative,” Nebenzia added, as “we do not know what other terrorist attacks Kiev is preparing with the support of its Western sponsors.”

On Sunday, after Moscow announced the suspension of the arrangement, the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul said it had greenlit 16 ships to navigate the corridor on Monday and “informed” Russia about the decision. According to maritime traffic data, at least two ships left the Black Sea port of Odessa in the morning, reporting Istanbul as their destination. “Decisions and measures taken without our participation are not binding on us,”Nebenzia told the UN. Moscow “cannot allow ships to pass without our inspection and will be forced to take independent measures” to inspect ships authorized by the JCC without Russian approval. Meanwhile, the UN coordinator for the Black Sea grain initiative, Amir Abdulla, insisted that “the food must flow.”

The UN and Türkiye mediated a deal in July under which Ukrainian grain could be exported via the Black Sea, while Western obstacles to the exportation of Russian grain and fertilizer would be removed. The US and its allies insist they had never sanctioned grain exports – but their sanctions on Russian ships and insurance made them impossible in practice. Moscow has criticized the West for not keeping its side of the deal and pointed out that the bulk of Ukrainian exports had gone to the EU and not the African nations most affected by food insecurity. Russia halted its compliance with the pact on Saturday, after Kiev launched a major drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet and civilian vessels involved in securing safe passage for agricultural cargo from Ukrainian ports. On Sunday, after studying the wreckage of the unmanned combat vehicles, the Russian Defense Ministry said that those behind the attack made active use of the UN-brokered grain corridor.

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Just making friends.

Israeli Finance Minister Added To Kiev’s ‘Kill List’ (RT)

Israeli finance minister, Avigdor Lieberman has been added to the database of the “enemies of Ukraine” on the controversial Mirotvorets website on Sunday. The authors of the site, which is believed to have links to the Ukrainian security services, described Lieberman as “Russia’s agent of influence,” who had been manipulating publicly significant information in favor of Moscow. They also blamed him for taking part in acts of “humanitarian aggression” against Ukraine. Among the actions that led to Lieberman being placed on the list, were his refusal to finance an Israeli field hospital in Ukraine in March and his neutral stance on who is to blame for the massacre in the Kiev suburb of Bucha in April. The website also shared a link to an article, claiming that he had ties with Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Ukrainian authorities have frequently expressed their disappointment with the level of support they’ve been getting from Israel during the conflict with Russia. The country has only provided Kiev with humanitarian aid and life-saving defense equipment, but not weapons and munitions. Israel also refrained from joining international sanctions on Moscow. Last week, Liberman said that Israeli assistance to Ukraine since the outbreak of the fighting between Russia and Ukraine in late February amounted to some $40 million. Liberman has been finance minister since 2021. He’s a veteran politician, who has occupied various high positions in the Israeli government over the years, including foreign minister, defense minister, and deputy PM. The 64-year-old is also the head of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home), which holds seven seats in the country’s parliament, the Knesset.

Liberman was born in Chisinau, Moldova when the republic was part of the Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel in 1978. The Mirotvorets website, translated as ‘peacemaker’, was launched in 2014, positioning itself as an independent database run by anonymous moderators to help Ukrainian authorities and “special services” apprehend pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, and war criminals, among others. However, some have branded the database a ‘kill list,’ which is backed by the government, after several individuals, including writer Oles Buzina, politician Oleg Kalashnikov, and Russian journalist Darya Dugina were assassinated shortly after their profiles appeared on the website. The most recent high-profile additions to Mirotvorets included Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters. There were claims that the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, was put on the database in mid-October, but swiftly removed from it. The alleged addition happened after Musk offered a peace plan, which envisaged Kiev giving up territories to Moscow.

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Slow grind.

Much Of Kiev Without Power & Water After New Russian Airstrikes (ZH)

Much of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev is without electricity or water, after the latest round of major Russian airstrikes on Monday. The Russian military announced ‘successful’ strikes on multiple of the country’s vital infrastructure facilities. “The Russian Armed Forces continued to launch strikes with high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons against Ukrainian military and energy facilities,” the Defense Ministry said. “The goals of the strikes were successful. All assigned objects were hit.” Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal confirmed direct hits on 18 sites – most of which were connected to the nation’s energy supply. These ramped up attacks have created a growing sense of panic with temperatures plunging and winter approaching.

“Missiles and drones hit 10 regions, where 18 sites were damaged, most of them energy-related,” Shmyhal stated on Telegram. “Hundreds of settlements in seven regions of Ukraine were cut off.” Facilities in Cherkasy and Kirovohrad also came under attack. Ukraine’s military said it intercepted projectiles over the Lviv region, which spared this western part of the country from damage. The Washington Post noted there are “power outages continuing in the Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions,” and others. The Post listed some of the below regions impacted by large-scale power outages and water supply disruptions:

• Kyiv region: Russian strikes damaged buildings, and rescuers are searching for victims, the regional police said. Attacks left 80 percent of the capital without water and are likely to cause sustained power outages, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
• Kharkiv: Two strikes hit critical infrastructure facilities in the eastern city, causing problems with the water supply and affecting the public transit network, the mayor said.
• Zaporizhzhia region: An infrastructure facility was struck by rockets, the local governor said, prompting warnings from officials in the southern region that energy supplies there could also be affected.
• Cherkasy region: Some of the region lost power after air attacks on infrastructure facilities, the military administrator said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned the attacks as more war crimes: “Another batch of Russian missiles hits Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Instead of fighting on the battlefield, Russia fights civilians,” he tweeted. Additionally Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on Telegram that these fresh strikes left 80% of residents in the capital without water and some 350,000 homes with no electricity. “Just in case, we ask you to stock up on water from the nearest pumps and points of sale,” he advised. The mayor’s office vowed that water supply to the effected parts of the city would be restored in three to four hours, with emergency utility crews working urgently on it.

Rescue teams in the capital are reportedly searching for possible casualties under the rubble of buildings destroyed or damaged from the new salvo of Russian strikes; however, at this point casualty numbers are unclear. The US ambassador said she and her staff had to take shelter in this latest attack on the capital: Already before Monday’s attacks, Ukrainian officials estimated that 40% of the nation’s electrical power systems had been severely damaged, and urged households to limit their usage, especially with non-essential large appliances. Ukrainians are further being warned to prepare for long-term power outages as a frigid winter is just around the corner.

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“The mirage is over. This Hell-begotten war must end.”

From The Surreal To The Real To The Meta-Real (Batiushka)

[..] the surreal continued when, on 23 October, with the Russian Defence Minister’s phone calls to his US, UK, French and Turkish counterparts about the Russian discovery of a Kiev/MI6 plot to use a ‘dirty’ bomb and blame it on Russia. Having outed the plot, Sergei Shoigu had alerted the US Establishment to the extremism of the now desperate Kiev elite (and their British MI6 operatives). The US put the Kiev crazies in their place, since, after all, the US are the string-pullers and puppets are not allowed to do anything without their express permission. The US duly stated that it has seen no evidence that Russia intends to use nuclear weaponry and President Putin stated that Russia has no plans to use nuclear weapons. The panic and hysteria of the Western media and of others was unfounded; though the mass media did not report the US admission. Panic and hysteria sell.

[..] Let us now come back to reality. The 87,5% of the world which either supports the Russian campaign to liberate the Ukraine, or else remains neutral towards it, shows the increasing isolation of the Nazi West. And it is now also crystal clear that ‘the West’ is in fact only the USA, just as NATO is only the USA, the Wicked Witch of the West. The rest is just camouflage, a mirage. In Italy, Germany, France, Moldova, the Czech Lands, Romania (the former Defence Minister), Bulgaria, Serbia, even in the UK, dissident voices are protesting. For God’s sake, negotiate with Russia! The Ukraine is their business, not ours, they’re all basically Russkies anyhow. We want gas and food! Who cares about the Nazi puppets in Kiev?

More and more all European governments, apart only from the Hungarian, are being seen as what they are – simply US puppet elites, who do not represent their peoples. EU or Non-EU Europe, there is no difference, apart from Hungary, which alone has, in every sense, a popular government. If Nobel Prizes were given non-politically, surely Victor Orban should have won one of them by now. Here the hypochondriac French are going crazy because China is sanctioning them by depriving them of paracetamol. Perhaps as many as 20% of Western Europeans have now realised that the whole Ukraine affair is a put-up job, arranged by the US, with its British poodle yapping at its feet. Same as Iraq, same as Afghanistan. Same old, same old.

The poodle is more papist than the Pope. Over the last two months it is notable that most Ukrainian flags have been taken down in Europe. It is rare to see one now. The working class were never interested, they always knew it was just another operation by the arms industry, but now even the conformist middle-class is taking down its Ukrainian flags. The mirage is over. This Hell-begotten war must end.

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UK was directly involved.

Drone Attack On Sevastopol (MoA)

This morning at 4:20 local time the Russian fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol was attacked by nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous maritime drones. Earlier a maritime drone that had run aground in Crimea and had been found and pictured. During today’s attack a large U.S. drone had flown circles south of Crimea. It likely relayed data from and to the drones. The maritime drones are British and Russia alleges that British specialists had trained the Ukrainian navy in using them. It also says that British soldiers were involved in the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline. The Ukrainians published two videos shot by the maritime drones while attacking. One of the video shows extensive gun fire impacts near the drone from a Russian helicopter that is attacking it.

The Russians say that all the aerial drones and 4 of 7 maritime drones were defeated before they could caused damage. They also say that one mine seeking ship was damaged in the harbor. It is possible that the damage is greater than Russia admits. As a consequence of the attack Russia declared that the deal which allowed for grain exports from Odessa has been suspended. That deal had already been in danger as the ‘west’ had not fulfilled its part of the deal which would have allowed for the export for Russian fertilizer to third parties. I find it likely that Russia will take additional measures to punish the Ukrainian navy for the brazen attack. Additional attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure is another possibility.

Meanwhile all recent attempts by the Ukrainian army to penetrate the Russian held lines have failed. It is notable that these are now much smaller in size with just a battalion or in some cases just two companies in the lead. It is now definitely mud season in Ukraine during which it is impossible to cross most farmland even on feet. This will hinder the attacking forces on both sides until winter sets in.

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Lula has strong ties to China and has been a driving force behind BRICS.

“..the next BRICS summit in South Africa, which will consolidate BRICS+, as an array of nations are itching to join, from Argentina and Saudi Arabia to Iran and Turkey.”

Comeback Kid Lula In The Eye Of A Volcano (Escobar)

Lula is one of the founders of the BRICS in 2006, which evolved out of the Russia-China dialogue. He’s immensely respected by the leaders of the Russia-China strategic partnership, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. He has promised to serve only one term, or up to the end of 2026. But that’s exactly the key stretch in the eye of the volcano, straddling the decade Putin described in his Valdai speech as the most dangerous and important since World War II. The drive towards a multipolar world, institutionally represented by a congregation of bodies from BRICS+ to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to the Eurasia Economic Union, will profit immensely to have Lula on board as arguably the natural leader of the Global South – with a track record to match.

Of course, his immediate foreign policy focus will be South America: he already announced that will be the destination of his first presidential visit, most probably Argentina, which is bound to join BRICS+. Then he will visit Washington. He has to. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Informed opinion across the Global South is very much aware that it’s under Obama-Biden that the whole, complex operation to topple Dilma and expel Lula from politics was orchestrated. Brazil will be a lame duck at the upcoming G20 in Bali in mid-November but in 2023 Lula will be back in business side-by-side with Putin and Xi. And that also applies to the next BRICS summit in South Africa, which will consolidate BRICS+, as an array of nations are itching to join, from Argentina and Saudi Arabia to Iran and Turkey.

And then there’s the Brazil-China nexus. Brasilia has been Beijing’s key trade partner in Latin America since 2009, absorbing roughly half of China’s investment in the region (and the most of any Latin American investment destination in 2021) and firmly placed as the fifth largest exporter of crude for the Chinese market, second for iron and first for soybeans. The precedents tell the story. Right from the start, in 2003, Lula bet on a strategic partnership with China. He considered his first trip to Beijing in 2004 as his top foreign policy priority. The goodwill in Beijing is unshakeable: Lula is considered an old friend by China – and that political capital will open virtually every red door.

In practice, that will mean Lula investing his considerable global clout in strengthening BRICS+ (he already stated BRICS will be at the center of his foreign policy) and the inner workings of South-South geopolitical and geo-economic cooperation. That may even include Lula formally signing up Brazil as a partner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in a way that won’t antagonize the US. Lula, after all, is a master of this craft.

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Saudi Arabia cannot pick the US over OPEC+ and BRICS. It’s not in their interest.

Why The US-Saudi Relationship Is Withering (RT)

As the Gulf States are ultimately concerned with preserving their own value systems and independence, they have increasingly diversified their relationships in recent years with tilts towards Russia and China. Beijing, with its enormous demand for energy, has also become a lucrative alternative to the West. Similarly, stable ties with Moscow also allow for cooperation in the common interests of oil-exporting countries, which has also had the effect of reducing Western influence and dominance over those countries. On recognizing this, why would Saudi Arabia and the states of OPEC voluntarily undermine their own oil revenue merely to suit the geopolitical interests of the United States?

The world is in the middle of an energy price crisis exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine. Saudi Arabia sees that the US and some of its allies want to purposefully try to lower the price of oil in a bid to try and hurt Russia. However, that is not how the market works and, by extension, such a move is also an assault on Saudi and OPEC interests. While the kingdom is officially neutral in regards to Russia-Ukraine, it also recognizes that the success of an energy price cap would embolden the West to push harder against Russia, which also serves to undermine the kingdom’s geopolitical independence.

In other words, if the US succeeded in dividing OPEC by unilaterally demanding a price cap on oil products, it would defeat the very purpose of the organization itself to protect the respective economic interests of those countries. The United States has been a useful partner to Saudi Arabia, but it is not a friend. It is not part of a ‘bloc’ or ideological coalition, as let’s say the UK is, but merely has seen the West as the most useful and lucrative partner to fulfil its own political needs. As those needs change, Saudi Arabia’s preferences are also subject to change. Washington is therefore learning that the kingdom is not a client state to be called on when needed, and thus this very close and often contradictory partnership is starting to strain.

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Nero comes to mind.

They Rule Over Dysfunctional Ruin, but They Rule (Crooke)

Since 2008, we have lived in a western world shaped by the ‘permanent state’ or by our managerial technocrats – label to choice. This ‘creative class’ (as they like to see themselves) is particularly defined by its intermediary position in relation to the wealth-controlling oligarchic cabal as ultimate big money overlords on one hand, and the dullard ‘Middle Class’ below them – at whom they sneer and deride. This intermediary class didn’t set out to dominate politics (they say); It just happened. Initially, the aim was to foster progressive values. But instead, these professional technocrats, who both had accreted considerable wealth and were tightly congregated into cliques in America’s large metro areas, came to dominate left-wing parties around the world that formerly were vehicles for the working class.

Those who coveted membership in this new ‘aristocracy’ cultivated their image as one of cosmopolitan, fast-moving money, glamour, fashion, and popular culture – multiculturalism suited them to perfection. Painting themselves as the political conscience of the whole of society (if not the world), the reality was that their Zeitgeist reflected primarily the whims, prejudices and increasingly psychopathies of one segment of liberal society. Into this milieu arrived two defining events: In 2008, Ben Bernanke, Chair of the Federal Reserve, gathered together in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, a room-full of the wealthiest oligarchs, ‘locking them in’ until they found the solution to the unfolding systemic bank failure.

The oligarchs did not find a solution but were released from their lock-up anyway. They opted instead, to throw money at structural problems, compounded by egregious errors of judgement about risk. And to finance the resulting massive losses – which were over $10 trillion in the U.S. alone – the world’s central banks began printing money – since when they have never stopped! Thus begun the era in the West where deep problems are not solved, but simply have freshly-printed money thrown at them. This methodology was whole-heartedly adopted by the EU also, where it was called Merkelism (after the former German Chancellor). Underlying structural contradictions were simply left to accumulate; kicked down the road.

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“To provide some perspective, from 2020- Q2 2022, US government debt increased over $7 trillion.”

US Economic Decline And Global Instability Part 3 (Phillyguy)

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading power. Since that time, US global supremacy has rested on unrivaled military and economic power, control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This relationship began to transform in the mid-1970s, as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, the proximate cause being the 1973-1975 recession [3], a consequence of increased competition from rebuilt economies in Europe- primarily Germany (Marshall Plan) [4], Japan/South Korea (Korean war) and more recently China. The US ruling elite responded to this economic challenge by pursing neoliberal economic policies (reviewed in [1]).

This included: 1) multiple tax cuts for the wealthy, 2) financial deregulation- repeal of Glass–Steagall legislation (1933 Banking Act) by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) in 1999 and Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000, that exempted over-the-counter derivatives trades between financial firms from regulation. It should be noted that both of these bills were passed during the waning years of the Clinton Administration and may have been a quid pro quo to spare President Clinton an impeachment conviction over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky [5]. 3) attacks on labor and the poor and job outsourcing to Mexico, China and other low-wage platforms, facilitated by passage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 [6].

The effect of these policies is vividly observed in the manufacturing sector. In 1960 the US produced 50% of global manufacturing output, accounting for 25% of GDP. Today, the US produces circa 17% of global manufacturing output, accounting for 11% of GDP [7]. 4) Spending vast amounts of taxpayer money (> $20 trillion) on post-911 militarization. The neoliberal economic policies outlined above precipitated the Global Financial Crisis 2007-2008 (GFC), the largest financial crash since the Great Depression [8] [9] [10]. None of the structural economic problems giving rise to the GFC (listed above) have been resolved; instead, the FED has used the US Treasury as a taxpayer-funded ‘piggy bank’ (the FED cannot print money) to pump over $40 trillion (this figure may be as high as $50 trillion) to support insolvent banks, inflate bond and equity markets and over-priced real estate, creating the ‘everything bubble’ [11].

Thus, since 2009, the US ‘economy’ has been sustained by continuous money printing to prop up financial markets and the Pentagon. Not surprisingly, this has been accompanied by an explosion of debt and rising inflation, further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russian energy, which has led to demands for even more money to support financial markets and the Pentagon. To provide some perspective, from 2020- Q2 2022, US government debt increased over $7 trillion [12].

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Must read history lesson.

Russia’s New Regions On Collision Course With Ukraine 100 Years Ago (Nepogodin)

When four formerly Ukrainian regions joined Russia nearly a month ago, the collective West tried to present the occurrence as treacherous, unprecedented, and lacking local support. However, the reunification was preceded by a century-long struggle by a large amount of the regions’ inhabitants for the right to be considered Russians. In February 2015, the deputies of the parliament of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) signed a memorandum declaring the continuity of their statehood from the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic, one of the numerous entities that emerged during the Russian Civil War. This quasi-state, which was created by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and aspired to become part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), included not only Donbass, but also the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions.


History may zigzag, but time puts everything in its place. Today, Russian Donbass is restoring lost ties with Russia and establishing new ones,” wrote Denis Pushilin, the head of the DPR, shortly before the start of Russia’s military offensive. In this article, RT explores the brief history of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic and explains why the residents of Donbass wanted to live as part of Russia even 100 years ago. Back in 1999, the famous Russian political geographer and theorist Vladimir Kagansky wrote a large article entitled ‘Ukraine: Geography and Fate of the Country’, in which he made a forecast: Ukraine will inevitably transform, and this transformation mainly depends on Russia. He concluded that its self-determination would inevitably be anti-Russian, citing the country’s “stretchable borders” as one of the main reasons. At a minimum, this would encompass just the right bank of the Dnieper, or even Galicia alone.

At a maximum, the borders would stretch to the southern Russian cities of Voronezh and Stavropol. “The USSR and the CIS are a semi-empire of republics around Russia, and Ukraine is the main link in this necklace, a geopolitical pendant. Ukraine divides the space of the former USSR into separate, geographically separated blocks, and connects three blocks (Belarus and the Baltic States – Moldova – the Caucasus). Ukraine is the only alternative to Russia as the center of the current CIS and the entire post-Soviet space. It is the only way to potentially bypass Russia – the main anti-Russian bastion, and Russia’s main partner in the arrangement of this space,” wrote Kagansky.

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Inflation As A Prelude To War

 

 

Rogan The Shining

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 292022
 


Pablo Picasso Head of a bearded man 1940

 

Everybody Wants To Hop On The BRICS Express (Escobar)
Russia’s Move Away From Dollar ‘Irreversible’ – Leading Banker (RT)
Erdogan: Turkiye Will Ensure Distribution Of Russian Gas To Europe (Az.)
Russian Gas Supplies To EU Almost Halved – Novatek CEO (RT)
Putin Explains Western Economic Model (RT)
China Will Support Russia In ‘Overcoming Difficulties’ – Wang (RT)
Russia Suggests Alternative To Suez Canal (RT)
NATO Set To Attack Tiraspol? (Sant)
Nuclear blackmail. Escalation scenarios – Konstantin Sivkov (Saker)
EU Approves Gasoline Car Ban In 2035 (RT)
World Is Moving Into Phase Of Confrontation – German President (Az.)
They Will Blame WWIII On Germany Too (Pattberg)
An Election, If You Can Hold It (Kunstler)
EU Commissioner To Elon Musk: Twitter Will Play By Our Rules (Pol.eu)
“The Gates of Hell Opened” As Musk Takes Over Twitter (Turley)
It Looks Like Credit Suisse Could Be Failing (NC)
If You Got the Covid Shot And Aren’t Injured, This May Be Why – Ryan Cole (BLN)

 

 

“The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you.”
~ Carl Jung

 

 

 

 

Free them

 

 

 

 

Tucker warming

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a number of articles that paint the picture of how the world is changing. No coverage in the west whatsoever. I hope those of you who come here regularly do grasp -part of- that picture.

Everybody Wants To Hop On The BRICS Express (Escobar)

Iran made known its interest to join BRICS even before Saudi Arabia. According to Persian Gulf diplomatic sources, they are already engaged in a somewhat secret channel via Iraq trying to get their act together. Turkey will soon follow – certainly on BRICS and possibly the SCO, where Ankara currently carries the status of extremely interested observer. Now imagine this triad – Riyadh, Tehran, Ankara – closely joined with Russia, India, China (the actual core of the BRICS), and eventually in the SCO, where Iran is as yet the only West Asian nation to be inducted as a full member. The strategic blow to the Empire will go off the charts. The discussions leading to BRICS+ are focusing on the challenging path towards a commodity-backed global currency capable of bypassing US dollar primacy.

Several interconnected steps point towards increasing symbiosis between BRICS+ and SCO. The latter’s members states have already agreed on a road map for gradually increasing trade in national currencies in mutual settlements. The State Bank of India – the nation’s top lender – is opening special rupee accounts for Russia-related trade. Russian natural gas to Turkey will be paid 25 percent in rubles and Turkish lira, complete with a 25 percent discount Erdogan personally asked of Putin. Russian bank VTB has launched money transfers to China in yuan, bypassing SWIFT, while Sberbank has started lending out money in yuan. Russian energy behemoth Gazprom agreed with China that gas supply payments should shift to rubles and yuan, split evenly.

Iran and Russia are unifying their banking systems for trade in rubles/rial. Egypt’s Central Bank is moving to establish an index for the pound – through a group of currencies plus gold – to move the national currency away from the US dollar. And then there’s the TurkStream saga. Ankara for years has been trying to position itself as a privileged East-West gas hub. After the sabotage of the Nord Streams, Putin has handed it on a plate by offering Turkey the possibility to increase Russian gas supplies to the EU via such a hub. The Turkish Energy Ministry stated that Ankara and Moscow have already reached an agreement in principle. This will mean in practice Turkey controlling the gas flow to Europe not only from Russia but also Azerbaijan and a great deal of West Asia, perhaps even including Iran, as well as Libya in northeast Africa. LNG terminals in Egypt, Greece and Turkiye itself may complete the network.

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The consequences of American overreach. Once Saudi goes, so does the dollar. And Saudi can’t stay away much longer, it’s very much against their own interest.

Russia’s Move Away From Dollar ‘Irreversible’ – Leading Banker (RT)

Russia is moving away from using the US dollar and euro in foreign trade, a process that is “irreversible,” claimed Andrei Kostin, the head of VTB Bank, one of Russia’s largest lenders. “Quitting the US dollar and euro is already an irreversible process for Russia. Taking into account the current trend, our main foreign trade partners in the medium term will be China, the EAEU countries, Turkey, India, Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. Switching to national currencies in trade with this particular group of countries is the top priority for us,” Kostin said at the Eurasian Economic Forum in Baku on Thursday.

Moreover, according to the banker, the decision made by the US and other Western nations to freeze Russia’s foreign exchange reserves earlier this year shows that no country is safe from such treatment, a state of affairs that will likely turn other nations away from the major reserve currencies. “No state can feel fully protected in the conditions of a dollar-centric global economy,” Kostin stressed. His words echoed statements made last month by President Vladimir Putin. In mid-September, while discussing measures for restructuring the country’s economy under Western sanctions, the Russian president called de-dollarization “an inevitable process.”

Russia approved a plan for the de-dollarization of the domestic economy back in 2018. A package of measures was introduced aimed at speeding up the process, with the goal of implementing the steps within six years. However, following the unprecedented economic sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of its military operation in Ukraine, Moscow accelerated the process of moving away from what it calls the “compromised” dollar and euro. A ruble-based payment scheme for gas exports was implemented and national currencies started being used in settling Russia’s foreign trade with its trading partners.

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We all wanted Turkey to gain influence, right?!

Erdogan: Turkiye Will Ensure Distribution Of Russian Gas To Europe (Az.)

Ankara, through the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, will ensure the distribution of Russian gas to Europe, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara, Report informs, citing Anadolu. “As a result of our negotiations with Russia, we will ensure the distribution of natural gas from Russia to Europe through the Turkish Stream,” Erdogan said. Earlier, the presidents of Russia and Turkiye instructed to work out in detail and quickly the issue of creating a gas hub in Turkiye, through which, in particular, the Russian Federation could move gas transit from the Nord Streams to the Black Sea region and Turkiye. During a speech to members of the ruling party, Erdogan also touched upon the country’s success in the field of energy, noting that Turkiye had discovered a field in the Black Sea with gas reserves of 540 billion cubic meters.

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“..Mikhelson suggested that the upcoming winter will be the easiest of the next three..”

Russian Gas Supplies To EU Almost Halved – Novatek CEO (RT)

Russian gas supplies to the EU dropped by almost 50% since May, while exports to Japan and South Korea remained at about the same level as in 2021, the CEO of Novatek, Russia’s second largest gas producer, said on Thursday. “Russian supplies to Europe decreased by nearly 50 billion cubic meters of gas (bcm) in the past four-five months. As of October 1, the slump has reached 47%,” CEO Leonid Mikhelson said at the Eurasian Economic Forum in Baku, adding that the EU has almost replenished the shortfall by boosting LNG consumption by 65%. According to his estimates, the EU has received a total of 43bcm in additional volumes of gas via its LNG terminals, with 29bcm arriving from the US.


Mikhelson suggested that the upcoming winter will be the easiest of the next three, given that the bloc has managed to build up its gas stocks. However, he warned that with restored demand in China, the global economy may need about 60-70 million tons of LNG in the next two years to offset reduced pipeline gas supplies. Mikhelson also pointed to the lack of new major projects until 2026. In his view, global GDP will struggle to grow amid skyrocketing energy prices, and the only way to rein in the inflation and stabilize the markets is to beef up investment in new large-scale energy projects. And this, according to Mikhelson, is only possible with international cooperation.

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” This is not progress, but enslavement, mixing economies to a primitive level..”

Putin Explains Western Economic Model (RT)

As soon as any market is opened for certain goods, the West seizes it along with all the resources, pushing away local manufacturers, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “They build relationships this way – markets and resources are captured, countries are deprived of their technological, scientific potential. This is not progress, but enslavement, mixing economies to a primitive level,” he stated on Thursday at a plenary meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. According to the Russian leader, Western countries lay claim to all the resources of mankind as they aim “to strengthen their unconditional dominance in the world economy and politics.”


On the topic of world trade, Putin said the beneficiaries of this should be the majority, not the super-rich corporations. “Together everyone will gain more than individually,” the president said. He also criticized Western companies who are leaving the Russian market and supposedly selling their entire businesses “for merely one ruble.” They are doing this while whispering in the ear of their management: “we will be back soon,” Putin added.

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“It is the legitimate right of China and Russia to realize their own development and revitalization, which fully conforms to the development trend of the times..”

China Will Support Russia In ‘Overcoming Difficulties’ – Wang (RT)

China has pledged to support Russia as it faces the combined power of the West, Foreign Minister Wang Yi reportedly told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during a phone conversation on Thursday, in which the two officials vowed to back each other in their geopolitical endeavors. Beijing will “firmly support the Russian side,” assisting President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to “unite and lead the Russian people to overcome difficulties and eliminate disturbances,” as well as realize “strategic development goals” to bolster Russia’s status as a major power on the international stage, according to the readout posted by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“It is the legitimate right of China and Russia to realize their own development and revitalization, which fully conforms to the development trend of the times,”said Beijing’s press release. “Any attempt to block the progress of China and Russia will never succeed.” The top diplomats reaffirmed their “mutual trust and firm support” and vowed to work together to take both of their countries to the next level in such a way that would not only benefit both nations but “provide more stability to the turbulent world.” Lavrov also congratulated Xi Jinping on his recent reelection as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

According the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov thanked Beijing for supporting Russia’s efforts to achieve a “fair settlement of the situation around Ukraine” and derail Kiev’s alleged plans to set off a weapon of mass destruction in a false-flag provocation that could be used to demand more pressure on Moscow and additional military aid from the West. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has been contacting his counterparts in the US, UK, France, Turkey, India and China about the possible Ukrainian provocation this week. The top diplomats of the US, UK, and France issued a joint statement on Monday rejecting Moscow’s claims as “transparently false allegations,”however. Their Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba also denied the accusations and blamed Moscow for waging a disinformation campaign that “might be aimed at creating a pretext for a false flag operation.”

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Not a new idea, but it gained urgency.

Russia Suggests Alternative To Suez Canal (RT)

The North-South corridor could become a safe substitute for the Suez Canal, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov said on Friday, adding that he expects the volume of Russian cargo via this route to double by 2030. Speaking at the Eurasian Economic Forum, he noted that the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and other alternative routes are gaining importance due to “global shifts of world markets” to China, South-East Asia and the Persian Gulf. Existing transport infrastructure which has been historically focused on the “East-West horizon ceases to meet global trends,” according to the Deputy premier, while the “North-South route may become a real competitor to the Suez Canal.” The route is currently the only deep-sea trade artery which connects Europe and Asia, and such “monopolarity” poses risks to the global economy, the official said.

He recalled an incident in 2021 when a container ship became stuck in the Suez Canal, triggering knock-on effects on global trade.The INSTC is a 7,200-kilometer multi-mode transit system that connects ship, rail, and road routes for moving cargo between India, Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe. Experts say the route could cut costs by about 50% and save up to 20 days of travel time. In an effort to build up new logistics chains and make the route viable, Russia has proposed establishing an international operator for the North-South corridor along with Iran and Azerbaijan, the minister said. The construction of the INSTC began in the early 2000s, but developing it further has taken on a new importance in light of Western sanctions, which have forced Russia to shift its trade flows from Europe to Asia and the Middle East.

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”If NATO desires to fortify Odessa against the Russian advance, or use Odessa as a base to engage Russian forces near Nikolaev, they have a serious logistical problem.”

NATO Set To Attack Tiraspol? (Sant)

Many years ago I was an officer in the National Guard sister Brigade to the 101st. Both Brigades are “air assault light infantry,” which was developed in the Vietnam War with the 7th Air Cavalry Division. “We Were Soldiers Once and Young,” tells that story. Though the 101st is called “airborne” in reference to its World War II days, today its soldiers are not trained to jump out of airplanes; the 82nd Airborne Division does that. The 101st deploys using UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. Each division in the brigade has an aviation battalion with three companies of Blackhawk helicopters. Their primary combat mission is to secure a bridgehead. When deploying, an air assault infantry battalion goes to a designated pickup zone, and a company of Blackhawks comes in to ferry them to the landing zone.

Although they are trained to rappel out of the helicopters in a hot Landing Zone, in practice the helicopters usually land, and the troops jump out. It is much faster and safer. Two minutes later the chopper is back in the air and goes back for another squad at the pickup zone. Thus it might take the better part of an hour with two or three round trips to move an entire infantry battalion from the PZ to the LZ, longer if the distance is longer. While an air assault infantry brigade can move 105 mm light artillery pieces via helicopter, the main supply and logistics assets of the brigade must follow the main force on the ground in trucks. Therefore, unlike the 82nd Airborne Division, or the Rangers, both of which are designed to jump into areas far behind enemy lines, an air assault brigade like the 101st is limited in how far it can leapfrog ahead of its support assets.

If NATO desires to fortify Odessa against the Russian advance, or use Odessa as a base to engage Russian forces near Nikolaev, they have a serious logistical problem. Supply lines from Poland on main Ukrainian highways or railroads must travel 700 kilometers to reach Odessa. The shortest supply lines to Odessa for NATO would be from Romania, which has two segments of border with Ukraine. However, the best paved route would be through Moldova, which is not a member of NATO. Romania has state of the art NATO air defense batteries which can cover most of the route to Odesssa. Therefore, assuming they are effective against Russian cruise missiles, which may be a bad assumption, it would be safer to supply forces in Odessa from Romania than from Poland.

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Video transcript. Konstantin Sivkov (Navy Captain 1st Rank, retired) holds a doctorate of military sciences and is the deputy president of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences.

Nuclear blackmail. Escalation scenarios – Konstantin Sivkov (Saker)

“Only the West needs nuclear weapons. Only the west. And the West needs them for the following reasons. Because winter is coming. Western sanctions brought not just .. not led to the collapse of the Russian economy, but on the contrary put on the brink of collapse the European economy. And in these conditions the Europeans … if Russia persists through the winter. Now, when the “greenery” withers and falls, cold weather comes, winter .. Ukrainians will have it much worse than now. It will be easier for us to attack and act. Therefore, under these conditions, Western elites are in a position where they are about to die as result of the revolution, actually, inside countries, their own countries. This is brewing there.

Especially against the backdrop of cold weather this will be inevitable, in the apartments, in the houses, when problems begin with food .. with food supplies, with other goods. When their factories stop, completely shut down as the result of the lack of gas shortage, or rather its absense. And they – yes, they need a nuclear war now. Because they have not been able to mobilize their peoples to go to war, yet. A regular war. But to unleash a nuclear war and against the backdrop of a nuclear war and the resulting threats of radioactive contamination to wide, large areas on the territory of Ukraine, on the territory of Poland, Germany, other countries in Europe and then mobilize the European population to a war against Russia, this may well be part of their plan.

Therefore, they are extremely interested in doing this. Now, a natural scenario can be suggested to explain how this may be realized and why they scream [in the media]. Because Russia will use nuclear weapons. There are two clear options here. The first option is that .. the Americans, the americans themselves fire a missile MGM-140 ATACMS in the direction from East to West, in this direction [showing with his hand] – from East to West, from one territory controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to a nuclear power plant located in the west of Ukraine, with it being destroyed. ATACMS missile. Not one, but several ATACMS missiles. As a result, a new Chernobyl is created .. Chernobyl is possible, by the way, Chernobyl might be hit. Cannot be completely ruled out. After that, Russia is blamed for this.”

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Due to the lack of sufficient cobalt, lithium, nickel, Europe (and California) will resemble Cuba with tons of old internal combustion cars.. And bicycles, mopeds.

EU Approves Gasoline Car Ban In 2035 (RT)

The EU has reached an agreement that would oblige carmakers to achieve a 100% cut in CO2 emissions by 2035. The measure would effectively ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-fueled cars in the bloc starting from that year. The deal was struck on Thursday between negotiators from EU member states, the European Parliament, and the European Commission, which all must agree when a new law is to be adopted within the EU.“The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached last night by the European Parliament and Council ensuring all new cars and vans registered in Europe will be zero-emission by 2035,” the Commission said in a press release following the deal’s announcement.


The agreement also included a 55% cut in CO2 emissions for new cars sold from 2030 against 2021 levels, which exceeds the existing target of a 37.5% reduction. EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said the agreement is a signal to all that “Europe is embracing the shift to zero-emission mobility.” According to the press release, the new regulation aims “to make the EU’s transport system more sustainable, provide cleaner air for Europeans, and marks an important step in delivering the European Green Deal.” The agreement is provisionary and now requires formal adoption by both the European Parliament and the EU Council. The timeframe for this is so far unclear.

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The German president is an absolute airhead. And that is scary. Telling his people they have no choice but to freeze and fight.

World Is Moving Into Phase Of Confrontation – German President (Az.)

The world is moving into a phase of confrontation, and harder years lie ahead for Germany, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday, according to Anadolu Agency. In a major speech, Steinmeier warned about the severe consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war, underlining that Germany will have to face new challenges, and calling for public solidarity in the face of ongoing crises. “The 24th of February was a turning point in history,” Steinmeier said, referring to the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine, adding that the war ended an era of peace and stability which Germans profited from greatly and reduced the European security order to “rubble.” “With his imperial obsession, the Russian president has broken international law, challenged borders, committed land grabs. The Russian attack is an attack on all the lessons the world had learned from the two world wars,” said Steinmeier.


Steinmeier said the consequences of the war, new security threats, the energy crisis, and inflation have greatly challenged Germany’s successful economic model. “I believe many of the concerns are valid. We are experiencing the deepest crisis since the reunification of Germany,” he stressed.Steinmeier underlined that Germany will cut its dependency on Russian gas and oil, and adapt to new challenges by taking the necessary steps, but will not end its efforts to promote international dialogue and cooperation.“A new bloc confrontation, a division of the world into ‘us against them’ is not in our interest,” he stressed.“Yes, we must reduce our vulnerability, reduce one-sided dependencies. But that doesn’t mean less networking with the world, but more,” he added.

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This is what you call a tirade.

They Will Blame WWIII On Germany Too (Pattberg)

Mr. Scholz will humiliate Germany in China so much, will offend the Chinese commentators so much, that all hell will break loose and hatred and bitter rivalry ensues. Hundreds of millions will suffer from lost trade, war, and poverty. Who gives. Scholzes don’t care if all goes to pot. As the Buddhists say: All life is suffering. Say the Germans: Done! Displacement, violence, and misery all equal eastward expansion, remember? If you are German, and you are already dead in 80 years, why not start World War III now while you can? The Americans arranged it, but they will probably say the Germans did it, because “Germany started World War I and II AND III”… is just the better story. The Germans are the perfect closet assholes because they have passion but no compassion. They lack empathy.

This lack of empathy passed on from generation to generation of surviving Huns and became the genealogy of Evil. Just read the archaeologists of Evil, from Hannah Arendt to Andrew Lobaczewski. The Germans are the world’s main source of Evil. Their own leaders say this much about themselves. Said former President of Germany, Joachim Gauck: “I feel ashamed to be a German” or “I am suspicious about the German language… because it breeds pride, hatred, and bestiality,” and… wait for it: “I hate and despise this country!” This is real, folks. It is what it is. We must deal with these murderous lunatics before they murder everyone or themselves. Evil oozes from their huge foreheads, streaking their oily white skin.

And if everyone says you are part of the historic Evil, you will probably turn out to be an asshole, just like Gauck and Scholz and the rest of them. Evil goes with German as the Devil goes with Dr. Faust. There is no Mao or Stalin in this world that could have existed without German Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche, verstehst Du?! The coming War will be blamed on the assholes in the closet. It is too awesome an award to be handed to the Russians, Chinese, or the Iews. “Germany did it once again,” will they all sing, the voices of doom. Or they’ll clap “The Death of Europe!” and all its rotten brains. Either way, the Germans will be the peons, the scapegoats, the blame race.

World War I and II kind of won our attention, remember? Blood, soil, women, and resources. If you are a small militant nation, you can always destroy more than you can build. World War III is the most progressive thing that could ever happen to Berlin and Europe. The world would be indifferent if China had never existed. But if the Germans had never existed, we would never have had Charles Bukowski, Klaus Schwab, or Donald Trump. Beijing knows that Evil always triumphs for the Europeans. This law of History must be obeyed. My God, what have the Europeans done! Why would China even cater to forgetful Mr. Scholz in Beijing where Germans murdered Chinamen in the past? Why would China tolerate another military German-Japan axis? Because Mr. Xi is wise and will go with the flow of History. That much attitude he shares with most world leaders: When World War III breaks out, it will be blamed in any way possible on Germany. You better believe it.

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“..it doesn’t have to resolve on the side of high-tech tyranny and super-centralized global governance by elitist maniacs. In fact, it can’t.”

An Election, If You Can Hold It (Kunstler)

Is there some penalty for running a shadow government, perhaps something in the sedition or treason folders of federal law? The degree of malign policy coordination throughout Western Civ also suggests that outside actors exert some heavy influence on our affairs. Is Mr. Obama running “Joe Biden” according to a WEF playbook, as appears to be the case with WEFfer implants Justin Trudeau of Canada and Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand? It would help explain how so many measures and actions outside our national interest have played out lately — the Gestapo-ization of the FBI, the overt censorship, the wide-open border, draining the strategic petroleum reserve, the drag queen shindigs, the foolish effort to “weaken” Russia in Ukraine, the climate change hysteria, the fiscal idiocy, and everything about-and-around Covid-19.

Of course, the rule-of-law has become a pitifully squishy thing in our time. Nobody is accountable for anything these days. The federal agencies can act however they like in the way of persecuting their political opponents, or inflicting immense harm on the public — like the CDC, FDA, and other public health agencies insanely pushing deadly mRNA vaccines on the public, despite massive evidence that the shots have killed and disabled hundreds of thousands. It’s likely that we will see aggressive hearings into all sorts or government misconduct come January, and it is important to determine who did what to drive America so badly off the rails, but that won’t mitigate the pitfalls and quandaries ahead. There is a re-set underway for sure with every teeter of industrial civilization, but it doesn’t have to resolve on the side of high-tech tyranny and super-centralized global governance by elitist maniacs. In fact, it can’t.

The bottlenecks of resources — energy, commodities, metals, all material things — plus the growing scarcity of real capital (as in representations of genuine wealth), guarantee that nothing organized at the gigantic scale will be able to continue — certainly not any global political administration. The WEF is a fantasy factory; all it can really produce is chaos and misery. Many national governments may not survive the great discontinuities ahead. Everything we do has to get finer, smaller in scale, and more local. Many, maybe most, of our high-tech systems will be crippled by energy shortages and supply line breakdowns. The business models for everything — from the oil industry to commercial aviation to running mega-cities — no longer pencil out. And as economist Herb Stein observed years ago: things that can’t go on, stop.

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A little man trying to puff up his little chest.

EU Commissioner To Elon Musk: Twitter Will Play By Our Rules (Pol.eu)

Elon Musk now owns Twitter but the EU is watching carefully lest the self-styled “free speech absolutist” turn the social media site into a platform for hate speech. After Musk tweeted “the bird is freed,” Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton responded with a wave emoji and “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.” Musk’s takeover — reported Thursday night — could have huge implications for the future of the site, especially if former U.S. President Donald Trump is allowed back on the platform, and if Musk loosens the rules to prevent the spread of hate speech and misinformation.


Musk promised Thursday that the platform would not become “a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.” Breton’s tweet was accompanied by the hashtag DSA, a reference to Digital Services Act — which requires providers of digital services to take swift action against illegal online content, such as hate speech. The commissioner also tweeted a video showing him and Elon Musk in May after discussing the Digital Services Act. In the clip, Breton tells Musk “I was happy to … explain to you the DSA, a new regulation in Europe ” and Musk replies: “I agree with everything you said.” “That’s what he said,” Breton tweeted Friday.

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“Today on Twitter feels like the last evening in a Berlin nightclub at the twilight of Weimar Germany.”

“The Gates of Hell Opened” As Musk Takes Over Twitter (Turley)

Led by President Joe Biden, Democratic leaders and media figures have demanded corporate censorship and even state censorship to curtail opposing views on issues ranging from climate change to election integrity to public health to gender identity. The Washington Post’s Max Boot, for example, declared, “For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.” Many of those same figures are now apoplectic at the thought that others may be able to express dissenting views on subjects ranging from climate change to election regulations to gender identity. Journalist Molly Jong-Fast asked, “Can someone make a new Twitter or is this a very stupid question?” In other words, a journalist wants to recreate a social media platform where others can be routinely silenced.

The answer is simple: Facebook . . . and virtually every other social media platform. The freak out from the Musk-phobic was triggered by the prospect of a single social media company offering greater free speech protections. Just one. However, they know that the effort to control political and social speech will be lost if people have an alternative. These companies are only able to sell censorship because they have largely been able to bar free speech competitors. Now there may be an alternative. The panic over free speech breaking out on a single social media site is shared by journalism and law professors. CUNY journalism professor Jeff Jarvis wrote “The sun is dark” and “This is an emergency! Twitter is to be taken over by the evil Sith lord.” He previously wrote, after news of the likely purchase by Musk, that “Today on Twitter feels like the last evening in a Berlin nightclub at the twilight of Weimar Germany.”

He is not alone. We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools. Writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.”

He rejected the notion that the journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” Likewise, in an article published in The Atlantic by Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woods called for Chinese-style censorship of the internet, stating that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong.”

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“..CS’s shares plunged a whopping 18.6% yesterday — their biggest daily fall ever.”

The too big to fail banks will be bailed out by central banks, governments and finally each other until that is no longer viable. And then think dominoes.

It Looks Like Credit Suisse Could Be Failing (NC)

Credit Suisse is one of 11 European lenders on the Financial Stability Board’s list of Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs). In other words, it is officially too big to fail, but it is teetering. Yesterday it disclosed a whopping third-quarter loss of $4 billion — almost ten times average estimates of $416 million. The loss was largely blamed on a reassessment of so-called deferred tax assets (DTA), which in turn was apparently a result of the company’s strategic review.* It is Credit Suisse’s fourth quarterly net loss in a row. So far this year, it has posted $5.94 billion of losses. Net revenue, at $3.8 billion, was up marginally on the last quarter but was down 30% from Q3-2021. Over the past ten quarters Credit Suisse has only managed to muster one quarter of actual year-on-year revenue growth. The value of its asset base has also shrunk drastically, from $937 billion in December 2020 to $707 billion today.

To steady the ship, the bank has presented a new strategic overhaul. It is the third attempt in recent years by successive CEOs to turn the bank around. At the core of the overhaul is a plan to raise $4 billion of fresh capital. The good news for CS is that it has already found a major backer: Saudi Arabia’s largest commercial bank, Saudi National Bank (SNB), which has pledged up to $1.52 billion of capital. That will give the SNB 9.9% of outstanding CS shares. Majority controlled by the House of Saud, the SNB (not to be confused with the Swiss National Bank) has also expressed an interest in participating in future capital measures of Credit Suisse to support the establishment of an independent investment bank in Saudi Arabia.

If nothing else, SNB’s participation will make for interesting boardroom drama given the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, a country that is locked in a diplomatic conflict with Saudi Arabia, has a 5% stake in the Swiss lender. The question now is whether or now CS will be able to secure the remaining $2.5 billion. The capital raise is already going to dilute existing CS shareholders, many of whom are miffed at having already poured $12.2 billion of additional capital into the lender — more than its current market value — since 2015. That was one reason why CS’s shares plunged a whopping 18.6% yesterday — their biggest daily fall ever. Those shares are now down an eye-watering 57% so far this year and over 95% since 2008.

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Pretty brilliant video. And a new angle for most.

“..5, 6, 7, 8, 9 years until you have a product pure enough..”

If You Got the Covid Shot And Aren’t Injured, This May Be Why – Ryan Cole (BLN)

Pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole, MD, explains why many vaccinated were lucky not to get injured by the dangerous Covid-19 mRNA shots during a panel discussion at the Better Way Conference in Vienna, Austria, September 17, 2022. Dr. Cole’s explanation came during a stellar panel discussion with other pathologists Drs. Sucharit Bhakdi, Arne Burkhardt and Andreas Sönnichsen, all speaking on the topic of Covid-19 “vaccine” injuries. Each participant gave an individual presentation before the panel discussion.

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Zuckerberg lost over $100 billion in the past year. But at least Paul Pelosi is being treated in the Zuckerberg hospital in SF.
Lots of people don’t believe the Pelosi attack story. Don’t they have security there for the 3rd in line for US presidency, who’s worth 100s of millions? How can a guy wearing no pants, swinging a hammer, just walk in? Was Paul Pelosi also wearing no pants, and swinging a hammer?

 

 

Died Suddenly

 

 

 

 

Rogan Musk Alex Jones

 

 

 

 

Puppy butterfly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1585777213416218624

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 212022
 
 October 21, 2022  Posted by at 8:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Salvador Dali Llane Beach, Cadaques 1919

 

US May End Aid To Ukraine After Midterms – Axios (RT)
Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)
Putin’s Gift To Berlusconi May Have Breached EU Sanctions (RT)
Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)
Zelensky Denies Kiev’s Role In Crimean Bridge Blast (RT)
Britain’s Stark Choice Ahead – Transformation or Collapse (Nafeez Ahmed)
US Slams Turkey-Russia Deal to Form a Natural Gas Hub (GR)
Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)
‘Peaceful Modernization’: China’s Offering To The Global South (Escobar)
Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)
Biden Admin Weighs Blocking Twitter Deal On “National Security” Grounds (ZH)
PayPal Faces House Inquiry On $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fine Controversy (JTN)
How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)
It’s Been 2 Years Since 51 Intel Agents Interfered With An Election (Devine)
One in Every 500 Small Children Who Get Pfizer Vaccine are Hospitalised (DS)

 

 

Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things.
– G.K. Chesterton

 

 

 

 

Terhes

 

 

 

 

Gaddafi

 

 

 

 

Zakharova

 

 

 

 

Amazon books Tucker

 

 

 

 

Will the GOP turn its back on Raytheon? Maybe they reckon this cannot be taken any further, that too many impoverished Americans will turn their backs on them. November 8.

US May End Aid To Ukraine After Midterms – Axios (RT)

The extensive assistance provided by Washington to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia may be cut if the Republican Party takes control of Congress in the midterm elections on November 8, Axios has reported. Even the harshest critics of Vladimir Putin among the Republicans now acknowledge that there’s been a “noticeable shift away from what was once a broad bipartisan consensus” on providing aid to Kiev, the outlet reported on Wednesday. It cited House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who told Punchbowl News earlier this week: “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it. ”Ukraine might be important, but it can’t be the only thing on the agenda of the US administration, he insisted.

Republican Congressman Don Bacon also said he’d “noticed” a decline in support for Ukraine. “You see it a little bit on social media, you see it with some of our members,” he said. Bacon’s colleague Kelly Armstrong told Axios that the mood swing was likely a result of the feedback that the lawmakers had been getting from their constituents. “When people are seeing a 13% increase in grocery prices; energy, utility bills doubling… if you’re a border community and you’re being overrun by migrants and fentanyl, Ukraine is the furthest thing from your mind,” he pointed out. The website also cited a senior House Republican, who claimed that “after the $40 billion [in aid package in May], there were a lot of Republicans saying: ‘This is the last time I’m going to support Ukraine funding.’”

In a comment to Axios, Congressman Jim Banks, who chairs the Republican Study Committee (RSC), pointed out that his party is going to focus on domestic issues after the midterms. “RSC believes you can’t lead abroad when you’re so weak at home. Our GOP agenda in the new majority needs to secure our own border and get America back on our feet by addressing energy cost and inflation,” he explained. Asked to comment on McCarthy’s remarks, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that the Biden administration would “continue to work with Congress, as we have these past several months, on these efforts and support Ukraine as long as it takes.”Jean-Pierre reminded that this was a“commitment” that Joe Biden made to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

White House aides told Politico on Wednesday that the Biden administration hadn’t warned Kiev about the possibility of US aid coming to an end in the event that Republicans take control of at least one chamber of Congress after the election. However, officials in Kiev are aware that this may happen, they said. The US has been Kiev’s biggest backer since the outbreak of its conflict with Russia in late February, providing Kiev with more than $16.8 billion in military aid, including sophisticated hardware such as HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, M777 howitzers, and combat drones. Moscow has been decrying those weapons deliveries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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Major threat to Meloni’s new coalition. Just because he’s right.

“Giorgia Meloni, who has been tasked with forming a new Italian government, stated that people who do not share a pro-NATO stance would have no place in her coalition.”

Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly claimed that Kiev triggered a conflict with Russia by reneging on a peace plan for eastern Ukraine, a tape provided to the media suggests. In an apparent response to the leak, Giorgia Meloni, who has been tasked with forming a new Italian government, stated that people who do not share a pro-NATO stance would have no place in her coalition. Speaking to members of his Forza Italia party on Tuesday, Berlusconi reportedly offered a viewpoint about the origin of the Ukraine crisis that clashed with the NATO-favored narrative of unprovoked Russian aggression against its neighbor.

Italy is an important member of the US-led alliance and anyone who disagrees with this position will be excluded from government, Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy party, pledged on Wednesday evening, as quoted by the newspaper La Repubblica. In the audio clip, Berlusconi can be heard accusing Kiev of failing for years to uphold a peace deal with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. When Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky came to power in 2019, he “tripled down” on attacking the regions, the politician stated. Donetsk and Lugansk asked for Moscow’s protection, he continued. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in the hope that Zelensky would be overthrown and replaced with “good people of common sense” within a couple of weeks, Berlusconi claimed. The wording resembles what he told the Italian public broadcaster RAI after the September election. During this week’s meeting, Berlusconi allegedly suggested that the conflict in Ukraine could last for over “200 years,”after the country unexpectedly resisted Russia and received money and arms from Western nations to continue the fighting.

In another part of the recording, which was published by the LaPresse news agency, Berlusconi claimed to have received a crate of vodka and a “nice letter” from Putin for his birthday. He added that he responded by sending Lambrusco wine to the Russian leader. After the clip was released, the former prime minister’s party claimed he had been referring to historical contacts with Putin and not recent events. Berlusconi has a long record of friendly relations with Putin, which stretched beyond his tenure as prime minister. The three-time former leader of the Italian government’s participation in the right-wing coalition has resulted in claims that the country could make a foreign policy U-turn and oppose the US-led anti-Russian campaign under Meloni. She repeatedly pledged her support for the EU and NATO after winning the election.

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“I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter..”

Putin’s Gift To Berlusconi May Have Breached EU Sanctions (RT)

A case containing 20 bottles of vodka that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly sent to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as a birthday gift may have violated EU sanctions, Der Spiegel reported on Thursday, citing an official comment from the European Commission to the DPA news agency. According to the statement, a spokeswoman for the Commission told the news agency that the April 2022 ban on goods imports from Russia to the EU includes spirits, namely vodka, and does not provide an exemption for gifts. The spokeswoman went on to explain that breaches of the sanctions can be reported to the competent national authorities of member states, or directly to Brussels. The news that Putin had sent the gift to Berlusconi was reported by Italy’s LaPresse news agency earlier this week.

The outlet released an audio recording of the former prime minister’s discussion with members of his party, Forza Italia, at a closed meeting. “I have reconnected with President Putin… He sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a really sweet letter for my birthday. I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter,” Berlusconi was heard saying in the recording. However, Forza Italia representatives later said that the former PM was not referring to his most recent birthday on September 29, 2022, but instead was telling “an old story to lawmakers about an episode that occurred years ago,” which means that EU sanctions may not apply at all. The party representatives added that “Berlusconi denies the news of alleged renewed relations with Vladimir Putin.”

However, later reports emerged, suggesting that the remarks were indeed made this year. The potential scandal comes just weeks after the 86-year-old politician returned to the Italian parliament, nine years after being forced out for alleged tax fraud. Previously, Putin and Berlusconi enjoyed a friendly relationship and often complimented one another. However, Berlusconi has lately been critical of Putin over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, saying he was disappointed with the Russian leader, who he always considered “a man of democracy and peace.”

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How much longer will Italy support NATO and its Ukraine attack?

Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)

Electricity tariffs in Italy saw record growth last month, exceeding 136% on an annual basis, according to a National Union of Consumers report on Tuesday. The report said that in September, electricity prices came out on top in the ranking of the most expensive goods and services, which the union regularly compiles based on data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). In the category of non-food products, electricity prices were followed by costs for air travel across Europe, which have risen 128% over the past year. Then came intercontinental flights, for which the prices almost doubled (97.4%). Gas tariffs increased by just under 64% in September.As for food products, the ranking was led by vegetable oils (with the exception of olive oil), up by almost 60%.

The prices of butter and rice rose 38% and 26.7% respectively. Other foodstuffs that saw price increases of more than 20% include pasta, canned milk, flour, and basic vegetables. “Only for food and drink, every single Italian family will pay an average of €660 more per year,” the consumer union’s president, Massimiliano Dona, said. He added that families with two children will have to pay €900 ($885) more, and those with three children, €1,075 ($1,057) more.Inflation in Italy climbed to 8.9% in September on an annualized basis, ISTAT data shows. Meanwhile, the ‘consumer basket’ saw a rise of 10.9% over the year. Such a high increase in the price of basic foodstuffs and personal goods has not been recorded in Italy since 1983.

The head of Italian energy think tank Nomisma Energia said this week that Italy, along with the rest of Europe, is experiencing an energy shock of unprecedented magnitude, as electricity prices have almost doubled. According to him, Italians should be ready for rationing during the coldest winter months. He also urged households to make use of alternative methods of heating, such as burning firewood and pellets, though he added that prices for these are also up.

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Russia knows who did it.

Zelensky Denies Kiev’s Role In Crimean Bridge Blast (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has denied “ordering” the bombing of the Crimean Bridge linking the peninsula to mainland Russia. The president made the remarks during an interview with the Canadian broadcaster CTV, aired on Wednesday. Asked to comment on the “spectacular attack” on the bridge, as the broadcaster put it, Zelensky said Kiev was not involved. “We definitely did not order that, as far as I know,” he told the reporters. The bridge was hit by a massive explosion on October 8, which severely damaged its road traffic section and killed three civilians, as well as setting a passing freight train on fire. Several top Ukrainian officials openly celebrated the attack, while the country’s postal service issued a stamp commemorating the blast, just hours after it happened.


Moscow has directly blamed Kiev for the incident, branding the explosion a “terrorist attack.” Russian law enforcement claims to have established how the bomb, which was disguised as construction materials, made it to the bridge from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, via multiple transit countries. Russian investigators believe the plot was hatched by Ukrainian military intelligence. Moscow has identified 12 individuals as suspected accomplices in the plot and has arrested eight of them, the FSB said. The list of people in custody includes five Russians and three foreign nationals, who hold passports of Ukraine and Armenia. A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence told the media that the FSB was a “fake structure,” and that the report was unworthy of comment.

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“..states begin to fail within 15 years of losing their main sources of energy and economic revenue..”

Britain’s Stark Choice Ahead – Transformation or Collapse (Nafeez Ahmed)

Five years ago, I warned in a study that Europe faces an increasing risk of state failure due to the escalation of interlinked environmental, energy and economic crises – and I found an intriguing pattern: states begin to fail within 15 years of losing their main sources of energy and economic revenue. Escalating crisis drives social polarisation, undermining national cohesion and resulting in outbreaks of civil unrest. Without a change of course, these outbreaks coalesce to undermine the functioning of key state institutions. At worst, they can lead to total government collapse and a state of permanent warfare. Gripped by multiple crises, Britain now appears to be following a familiar pattern of environmental, energy and economic-driven state failure.

Since the 1970s, the world has experienced a rising trend of civil unrest and societal breakdown – in correlation with three realities: rising inequality associated with the neoliberal age of globalisation; escalating economic overshoot of the Earth’s ecological systems; and intensifying decline in the quality of fossil fuel energy resources. Britain’s North Sea Oil production peaked in 1999. Fifteen years later, as its domestic oil production haemorrhaged, fringe right-wing nationalist forces had moved increasingly into the mainstream. They blamed Europe, immigrants, asylum seekers, Muslims and ethnic minorities for Britain’s intractable social and economic crises. Their success was arguably reflected in the 2016 vote to leave the European Union. During that period, the quality of the UK’s energy dropped by a third, if not more.

In 2000, a year after the UK’s North Sea Oil production peaked, Britain’s ‘energy return on investment’ (EROI) – a ratio capturing the amount of energy used to extract a single unit of energy – was around 9.6. By 2012, this had plummeted to 6.2. This is well below the minimum EROI benchmark of 11 considered necessary to sustain continued economic growth. As a study by the University of Leeds’ Sustainability Research Institute concluded, this means that “more and more energy is having to be used in the extraction of energy itself rather than by the UK’s economy or society”. What is happening to Britain now is symptomatic of a wider global phenomenon. Its dependence on oil, gas and coal is self-cannibalising. The scientific consensus shows that it is driving us towards climate catastrophe and, at worst, civilisational collapse.

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Only US LNG allowed.

US Slams Turkey-Russia Deal to Form a Natural Gas Hub (GR)

The U.S. expressed on Wednesday its opposition to the agreement announced by Turkey for the creation of a natural gas hub in cooperation with Russia. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that he had agreed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to form a natural gas hub in Turkey. Speaking to members of his AK Party in parliament, Erdogan said Putin had said Europe can obtain its gas supply from the hub in Turkey. “Türkiye will be a hub for natural gas as well. In our last meeting, we agreed with Putin on this issue. We will create a hub here with Turkish gas coming from Russia,” Erdogan said. The U.S. State Department fired back.

“We have worked closely with our allies and partners to impose severe and unprecedented costs on Russia, including through sanctions, export controls, visa restrictions. We have urged Turkey and all of our allies and partners that no one should have become a safe haven for illicit Russian assets or transactions, and we will continue to make that case,” Vedant Patel, State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson said. “And as it relates to the energy conversation, we have continued to urge our allies to take steps to diversify their energy sources, to reduce energy reliance on Russia. And in the case of Turkey, we are working with them closely to assist in their own efforts to enhance energy security in the long term,” he added.

Last month, on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in the Kazakh capital Astana, Erdogan held a closed-door meeting with Putin, who had proposed building a natural gas hub in Turkey. Putin has floated the idea of exporting more gas via the TurkStream gas pipeline running beneath the Black Sea to Turkey, touting the country as the best route for redirecting gas supplies to the European Union after the Nord Stream pipeline leaks. Erdogan previously said Russian and Turkish energy authorities would work together to designate the best location for the potential gas distribution center, adding that Turkey’s Thrace region, bordering Greece and Bulgaria, appeared to be the best spot.

Carrying natural gas from Russia to Turkey and further into Europe, the TurkStream was formally launched in January 2020. The pipeline, which allows Moscow to bypass Ukraine as a transit route to Europe, carries Russian gas to Southern Europe through the Black Sea and Turkey.

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About Xi’s speech this week.

Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)

Xi also did not mention the US by name. Everyone in the leadership – especially the new Politburo – is aware of how Washington wants to “decouple” from China in every possible way and will continue to provocatively deploy every possible strand of hybrid war. Xi did not enter into details during his speech, but it’s clear the driving force going forward will be technological innovation linked to a global vision. That’s where BRI comes in, again – as the privileged field of application for these tech breakthroughs. Only this way we can understand how Zhu Guangyao, a former vice minister of finance, may be sure that per capita GDP in China in 2035 would at least double the numbers in 2019 and reach $20,000.

The challenge for Xi and the new Politburo right away is to fix China’s structural economic imbalance. And pumping up debt-financed “investment” all over again won’t work. So bets can be made that Xi’s third term – to be confirmed later this week – will have to concentrate on rigorous planning and monitoring of implementation, much more than during his previous bold, ambitious, abrasive but sometimes disconnected years. The Politburo will have to pay way more attention to technical considerations. Xi will have to delegate more serious policymaking autonomy to a bunch of competent technocrats. Otherwise, we will be back to that startling observation by then Premier Wen Jiabao in 2007: China’s economy is “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and ultimately unsustainable”. That’s exactly where the Hegemon wants it to be.

As it stands, things are far from gloomy. The National Development and Reform Commission states that compared to the rest of the world, China’s consumer inflation is only “marginal”; the job market is steady; and international payments are stable. Xi’s work report and pledges may also be seen as turning the usual Anglo-American geopolitical suspects – Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman, Brzezinski – upside down. The China-Russia strategic partnership has no time to lose with global hegemonic games; what drives them is that sooner rather than later they will be ruling the Heartland – the world island – and beyond, with allies from the Rimland, and from Africa to Latin America, all participating in a new form of globalization. Certainly with Chinese characteristics; but most of all, pan-Eurasian characteristics. The final countdown is already on.

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The Ukraine conflict hinders China’s BRI. They want it to flow into Europe unimpeded.

‘Peaceful Modernization’: China’s Offering To The Global South (Escobar)

All over the extremely incandescent global chessboard, international relations are being completely reframed. China – and key Eurasian players at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS+, and Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – are all proposing peaceful development. In contrast, the Hegemon imposes an avalanche of sanctions – not by accident the top three recipients are Eurasian powers Russia, Iran and China; lethal proxy wars (Ukraine); and every possible strand of hybrid war to prevent the end of its supremacy, which lasted barely seven and a half decades, a blip in historical terms.

The current dysfunction – physical, political, financial, cognitive – is reaching a climax. As Europe plunges into the abyss of largely self-inflicted devastation and darkness – a neo-medievalism in woke register – an internally ravaged Empire resorts to plundering even its wealthy “allies”. It’s as if we are all witnessing a Mackinder-on-crack scenario. Halford Mackinder, of course, was the British geographer who developed the ‘Heartland Theory’ of geopolitics, heavily influencing US foreign policy during the Cold War: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World.”

Russia spans 11 time zones and sits atop as much as one third of the world’s natural resources. A natural symbiosis between Europe and Russia is like a fact of life. But the EU oligarchy blew it. It’s no wonder the Chinese leadership views the process with horror, because one of BRI’s essential planks is to facilitate seamless trade between China and Europe. As Russia’s connectivity corridor has been blocked by sanctions, China will be privileging corridors via West Asia. Meanwhile, Russia is completing its pivot to the east. Russia’s enormous resources, combined with the manufacturing capability of China and East Asia as a whole, project a trade/connectivity sphere that goes even beyond BRI. That’s at the heart of the Russian concept of Greater Eurasia Partnership.

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Critical mass.

Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)

At an interview on the South African Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramposa announced that Saudi Arabia is interested in joining BRICS, an economic cooperation organization made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed the kingdom’s desire to join the BRICS,” the South African president said, adding that other countries are also interested in joining this organization. “In 2023, the BRICS summit will be held under the South African presidency and this request will be studied. Several countries are in contact with the BRICS and we have assured them that the accession issue will be discussed and a decision will be made,” Ramposa explained.

Among the nations that have already applied to join this international forum is Argentina, whose President Alberto Fernandez asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to join the BRICS. Sabino Vaca, Argentina’s ambassador to China, stated that the BRICS constitute an excellent cooperation alternative for developing countries given that the current world order has shown that it only works for the benefit of a few nations. At their 14th summit in July, the BRICS countries discussed economic cooperation options related to the creation of a new development bank, the formation of a contingent reserve arrangement, an intercountry payment system, and a BRICS basket reserve currency. Seen from the perspective of the global financial system, the consequence of those actions would be the gradual weakening of the U.S. dollar as an international reserve currency.

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ZeroHedge: “Just as Musk wanted”, “And the thing is Musk will still end up owning it… just 80% cheaper under the next admin.”

Biden Admin Weighs Blocking Twitter Deal On “National Security” Grounds (ZH)

One month ago we joked that should the Delaware judge force Musk to buy Twitter, then none other than the US government would step in and prevent the South African from gaining control over the blue-checkmark echo chamber of record, the one social media network which congressional testimony after congressional testimony has argued it can manipulate the outcome of elections. Well, that prediction is about to come true, because according to Bloomberg, the Biden administration is discussing whether the US should subject some of Elon Musk’s ventures to national security reviews, including the deal for Twitter and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, citing people familiar with the matter.

In short, not only is the deep state government preparing to block Musk’s acquisition of TWTR on national security grounds (unlcear what that would achieve as the stock would crater to single digits, especially after today’s SNAP earnings, and so many of its employees have already quit), but it may “expropriate” Musk’s satellite pet project too, all for daring to ask a question about the US involvement in Ukraine, and what exactly the endgame there is. As Bloomberg adds, “US officials have grown uncomfortable over Musk’s recent threat to stop supplying the Starlink satellite service to Ukraine — he said it had cost him $80 million so far — and what they see as his increasingly Russia-friendly stance following a series of tweets that outlined peace proposals favorable to President Vladimir Putin. They are also concerned by his plans to buy Twitter with a group of foreign investors.”

The discussions are still at an early stage, the people familiar said on condition of anonymity. Officials in the US government and intelligence community are weighing what tools, if any, are available that would allow the federal government to review Musk’s ventures. One possible legal pathway is through the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review Musk’s deals and operations for national security risks. The CFIUS was used extensively in the Trump admin to block and undo numerous Chinese deals, arguing they could pose a national threat to the US. Now, it’s none other than Musk who has emerged as the deep state’s biggest nemesis.

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“..the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance”..”

PayPal Faces House Inquiry On $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fine Controversy (JTN)

House Republicans are launching an inquiry into PayPal after the payment processing company sparked major controversy for a policy that would fine customers for “misinformation.” The controversy began when news broke earlier this month that PayPal would fine customers $2,500 for spreading misinformation. PayPal quickly retracted the policy, saying it was a mistake that “went out in error” but not before “cancelPayPal” was trending and Twitter users boasted of deleting their accounts. The company’s stocks tumbled as the news unfolded. Now, House Republicans want answers. They sent a letter to PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman asking how the policy originated, who approved it, whether the Biden administration was involved, and more.

“As a leading financial technology company, it is concerning that a user agreement that contemplates the restriction of free speech was uploaded and disseminated to PayPal users – even if in error,” the letter said. “We understand your company is currently investigating this matter. Upon the conclusion of your investigation, we request that you provide a briefing for the Committees as soon as practicable.” [..] The letter requests answers by the end of the month to a range of questions, including whether any entities were affected by the policy change, when the internal investigation will be over, and who was responsible for the policy in question.

Critics also point out that while PayPal rescinded its misinformation policy, the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance” as the company chooses to define it. “The ability to transact without fear of retribution and political censorship is the foundation on which a free economy is built,” Emmer said. “We cannot afford to sacrifice these freedoms, and we must keep a close eye on any actions that erode them. The now-rescinded penalties outlined in PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy were deeply concerning, and the American people deserve answers about how these decisions are made and whether their speech will be protected on this kind of platform.”

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Dumping Treasuries.

How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)

All of this scheming, leverage and swapping boils down to not enough available (i.e., liquid) USDs in a global financial system in which nearly everything—from debt, to oil to derivatives—still has to be paid in increasingly scarce and hence increasingly expensive Dollars. In addition to this twisted, illiquid and over-levered swamp, the USD rises even higher on Powell rate hikes, all of which combine to force the world’s other currencies to fall. Why? Because other countries and central banks have no choice but to swallow/import USD inflation, monetary policy and American political self-interest. Indeed, with financial allies like the U.S., who needs enemies?

Whenever the Fed, for example, prints more of the world reserve currency or raises its interest rate, the rest of the world, which is tied to that currency, is forced to react—i.e., debase, hike and suffer. We remind that nearly $14T in USD-denominated debt is owed by both emerging market and developed market economies. As the USD rises in strength on the back of Powell’s impossible Volcker-revival and tangled derivatives, other Dollar-desperate nations from Argentina to Japan find themselves with not enough Greenbacks to pay their debts or settle trades, wires and oil purchases, which thus forces them to print (i.e., debase) more of their local currencies to make USD-denominated payments.

But Japan takes the cake for debasing its own currency all on its own, as no nation has ever loved a money printer and currency-debaser more. This might explain why Japan is leading the charge in dumping its USTs into the FOREX markets, which only adds more pressure to rising yields and hence rising rates. Thanks Kuroda—just one more central banker with a mouse-clicker gone mad… Perhaps he’ll be next in line for a Nobel Prize? But Japan is not alone, as other nations dump the once sacred UST just to keep their currencies afloat…In short: The strong USD is crippling the word, and that world, as we’ve written numerous times, will be de-dollarizing at a steady and irreversible pace.No shocker there. At some point, Dollar-indebted nations crack and this twisted global game ends in a credit crisis for the history books.

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“..they still won’t apologize..”

It’s Been 2 Years Since 51 Intel Agents Interfered With An Election (Devine)

Exactly two years ago, on October 19, 2020, one of the dirtiest tricks in electoral history was played on the American people by 51 former intelligence officials, who used the false alarm of “Russian interference” to stop Donald Trump winning a second term as president. Using the institutional weight of their former esteemed roles, they signed a dishonest letter to mislead voters 15 days before the election, claiming that material from Hunter Biden’s laptop published by the New York Post “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” In their expert opinion, “the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue.” Russia was “trying to influence how Americans vote in this election … Moscow [will] pull out the stops to do anything possible to help Trump win and/or to weaken Biden should he win.

“A ‘laptop op’ fits the bill, as the publication of the emails are [sic] clearly designed to discredit Biden … It is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy.” It was all a lie. Their letter was the culprit “interfering with democracy” in broad daylight. Not one of the 51 had seen any material from the laptop or bothered asking for it, but their letter, instigated by, signed and delivered to Politico by Democratic operative and former John Brennan aide Nick Shapiro, killed the story stone dead. It got candidate Joe Biden off the hook for the corrupt influence-peddling scheme his family had been running through the eight years of his vice presidency. The shameful letter was used by Joe Biden three days later, on October 22, to deflect Trump’s attack in their last debate.

“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan … Four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage … You know his character. You know my character. You know my reputation is for honor and telling the truth … The character of the country is on the ballot.” Biden dismissed as a Kremlin smear all the evidence that was on his son’s laptop of dirty money from China and Russia, of all his meetings with Hunter’s overseas business partners, and all the lies he had told about his involvement in Hunter’s business deals The letter, like the Steele dossier and Russia collusion hoax peddled by many of the signatories, has helped fuel a moral panic about Russia in recent years that now has heightened the risk of nuclear war.

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A three month study will not reveal the real damage done. That takes years. But already 1 in 500 is insanely high. And still the CDC is pushing it.

One in Every 500 Small Children Who Get Pfizer Vaccine are Hospitalised (DS)

One in every 500 children under five years who received the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccine were hospitalised with a vaccine injury, and one in 200 had symptoms ongoing for weeks or months afterwards, a study has found. The study published in JAMA included 7,806 children aged five or younger who were followed up of for an average of 91.4 days following their first Pfizer vaccination. It was a retrospective cohort study done as an authenticated online survey (response rate 41.1%) in spring 2022 which included parents or caregivers who registered children for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in outpatient care facilities in Germany. It compared the adverse events to those of the same children with other vaccinations in order to control for over-reporting.

7 year old boy

It concluded that the symptoms reported after Pfizer vaccination were “comparable overall” to those for other vaccines. Let’s see. • Any symptoms: 62% higher • Musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) symptoms: 155% higher • Dermatologic (skin) symptoms: 118% higher • Otolaryngologic (ears, nose and throat) symptoms: 537% higher • Cardiovascular (heart etc.): 36% higher • Gastrointestinal (stomach etc.): 54% higher. It calls these “modestly elevated”. In 0.5% of the children (40 of 7,806) symptoms were “currently ongoing and thus of unknown significance”. This is in a study with a 2-4 month follow-up period. That means 0.5% of children had an adverse effect that lasted for weeks or months. In two cases (0.03%), symptoms were confirmed to have lasted longer than 90 days.


Ten children were hospitalised with reported serious adverse events (SAEs), compared to zero with the other vaccines. This reported as 0.1%, as it is out of 7,806. However, the study also states that no hospitalisations were reported for children administered the low dosage of 3 μg. Since it also tells us that 6,033 children received at least one dose of over 3 μg. (or unknown dosage), the rate in the relevant cohort is closer to 0.2%, or around one in 500. Four of the hospitalisations were for cardiovascular injury; one child was hospitalised after both doses for this reason. Four were pulmonary (lung) related. Symptoms of the hospitalised children lasted an average of 12.2 days and a maximum of 60 days. None reported a myocarditis diagnosis. Mercifully, no deaths were reported in this relatively small sample.

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Knots

 

 

 

 

Denzel

 

 

 

 

Blue wave+

 

 

City over the river

 

 

Pillars of Creation, known from Hubble, now captured by Webb telescope. Each pillar is about 3 light-years (over 27 trillion km) in width.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 032022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Belshazzar’s feast 1635-38

 

Unicorns Are Real (Batiushka)
Soul Man (Jim Kunstler)
Physical Integrity Of Nuclear Plant ‘Violated Several Times’ – IAEA Chief (RT)
IAEA Nuclear Watchdog Should Be Mistrusted ‘By Default’ – Zelensky Aide (RT)
The Moment of Greatest Danger (Schryver)
Russia To Halt All Oil Exports To Countries That Impose “Absurd” Price Cap (ZH)
Gazprom “Completely Halts” Nord Stream Gas Supplies Due To “Unexpected” Leak (ZH)
EU Country Bulgaria Wants To Negotiate Gas With Russians Again (NOS)
Hungary Reveals What Weakened EU (RT)
Biden’s Hateful Rhetoric Presents The GOP With A Sterling Opportunity (AT)
US Economic Decline And Global Instability Part 2: Rise of BRICS (PG)
College-Loan Forgiveness Plan Reveals Biden’s Constitutional Cynicism (Turley)
The Pandemic Did This? New York Times Fails Fact Check (Lerman)
Only Nine Percent of Law Professors Identify as Conservatives (Turley)
Biden-Big Tech Collusion Suit Reveals ‘Massive, Sprawling’ Censorship (JTN)
Hunter’s Techies Funded China Bat Virus Researcher (McCormick)

 

 

 

 

I thought he was in jail.

 

 

UDUMBASS
https://twitter.com/i/status/1565441789871415297

 

 

The NIH sneaked back in ivermectin.

 

 

DeSantis War Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Quite simply, if you are very ill and you don’t have the money, this year you will die.”

Unicorns Are Real (Batiushka)

An autumn chill is descending on every European country, though in each country in different ways. Gas-dependent Germany and Italy are desperate for Russian gas. It is not just homes, but whole factories which face imminent closure in energy-intensive industries. The result of that will be mass unemployment. By ‘mass’, I mean 20% and more. In France there is popular rejection of President Macron who has told his people that they (i.e. not him) must suffer so that the Ukraine can ‘win’. September is the first month of the annual strike-season in France. French people do not like being cold. Expect some headlines. In Latvia the Russian minority are fearful for their future, but so is everyone else. Heating will not be an option this winter. With a pension of just over 100 euros a month, many pensioners are simply going to die of the cold.

From Slovakia we have received the following: ‘Thanks for your email. Just to give you some idea of the current manufacturing costs here in Slovakia and to be brutally honest throughout the upside down world, We paid last year 85,000 euros for electricity, this year it’s going to be around 500,000 euros. As of 1 Jan 2023 it’s going to be 1.2 million euros at best. So that’s just the electricity, never mind the gas, the increase in raw materials, salaries and all other manufacturing costs, This is a hard way of saying it’s impossible to reduce and every customer of ours has to accept it or not. Surprisingly we have never ever been as busy! You cutting margins down low is of course difficult, but at least you have margins. We simply do not have anything to reduce’.

In Moldova the crisis is profound. As in Latvia and Lithuania up to half the population have fled their countries after they were pillaged by the EU (even though officially Moldova does not even belong to the EU!). Previously medicine came from the Ukraine. Now that is unobtainable, they have to use medicine from Germany. Only that costs ten times more. Quite simply, if you are very ill and you don’t have the money, this year you will die. In Romania, which has lost a quarter of its population to emigration after the great EU pillage, and where a salary of 600 euros per month is considered very good, food prices are the same as in Western Europe, where average salaries are four to five times more, and diesel costs even more than elsewhere. In Ireland restaurants are closing because they cannot afford their energy bills, which have increased by 1,000% (yes, one thousand per cent).

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“The country is verging on an economic catastrophe more consequential than the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the harbinger of it, a financial market crash, is sure to occur before November 8th.”

Soul Man (Jim Kunstler)

“Joe Biden’s” guardian of the rule of law, the DOJ under Merrick Garland, is on a rampage, not just seeking long prison sentences on J-6 misdemeanor defendants, but now going after their very attorneys, officers of the court, for daring to represent them. There is the recent Mar-a-Lago caper, of course, in which the FBI snatched a bale of documentary evidence Donald Trump had collected detailing these agencies’ four-year campaign to overthrow him. And, having gotten their mitts on it, the AG declared all the material part of a bogus “ongoing investigation” in order to prevent the docs being introduced in Mr. Trump’s just-opened defamation and racketeering lawsuit against HRC, her posse of Lawfare ninjas, and most of the people who worked in leadership of the FBI and DOJ circa 2016-2021.

In short, the FBI stole evidence of their own prior crimes to evade prosecution. Something tells me that’s not going to work out so well for AG Mr. Garland and Chris Wray of the FBI. You realize, don’t you, that all of “Joe Biden’s” scripted maundering about “democracy” and “justice” and “the rule of law” is a smokescreen sent up to hide the many crimes committed by his shadowy managers just now breaking into disclosure, and they are running out of dodges and distractions to divert the pliable center of the voting public from seeing it all.

Following Mark Zuckerberg’s epic mistake telling Joe Rogan that the government used his company, Facebook, and Jack Dorsey’s Twitter, to squash the first amendment, the wheels came off any pretense that this was not direct interference in the 2020 election by activists in government. For a whole year, the FBI sat on evidence that candidate “Joe Biden’s” family was running an international grifting operation fronted by his son Hunter, and when news reports about the notorious laptop began to leak out, the agency used its considerable powers of intimidation to make the news disappear.

[..] Thursday night, “Joe Biden” heralded a US economy firing on a gazillion cylinders. “American manufacturing has come alive across the heartland, and the future will be made in America, no matter what the white supremacists and the extremists say,” he declared. Is that so? Of course not. The country is verging on an economic catastrophe more consequential than the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the harbinger of it, a financial market crash, is sure to occur before November 8th. Everybody and his uncle on Wall Street knows that. The shadow regime behind “JB” knows that. He didn’t dare mention the word inflation, as if no one has noticed it. (Anyway, white supremacists did that.)

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“We are glad that the Russian Federation did what it did to keep our inspectors safe”

Physical Integrity Of Nuclear Plant ‘Violated Several Times’ – IAEA Chief (RT)

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has confirmed that damage had been done to the Russian-held Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Ukraine, but refrained from naming the guilty party. “It’s obvious that… the physical integrity of the plant has been violated several times. By chance or by deliberation, we don’t have the elements to assess that, but this is the reality that we have to recognize,” Grossi told reporters after returning to Ukrainian-controlled territory on Friday. “I worried, I worry and I will continue to worry about the plant until we have a situation that’s more stable, that’s more predictable,” he added.

Grossi, who headed the team of IAEA experts that arrived at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Thursday, said that he “saw a lot”during the visit, personally inspecting some of the “key areas” at the facility, including emergency systems, diesel generators and control rooms. The atomic agency was “not going anywhere”from the plant now, he assured reporters, reiterating that the UN nuclear watchdog plans to establish a permanent presence at the facility. The official also said that some experts from his team will remain at the station until Sunday or Monday to “dig deeper” and collect more data for the report.

Russia said that Ukraine has shelled the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and sent commandos to storm it on Thursday in a failed attempt to use the UN inspectors as “human shields.” Grossi acknowledged that the security situation at the plant was “difficult” during his visit.“There were moments where fire was obvious – heavy machine gun, artillery, mortars,” he said, adding that on two or three occasions things got “very concerning” for the UN team. Zaporozhye nuclear power plant has been under Russian control since March, but has continued to be operated by the Ukrainian staff. The IAEA chief has praised the “incredible degree of professionalism” of those employees, saying that he saw them “calm and moving.”

Ukrainian attempt to hold IAEA team hostage

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Translate: If they say anything not positive about Ukraine, remember: they cannot be trusted. And translate that in turn: Ukraine is worried about what IAEA will find.

IAEA Nuclear Watchdog Should Be Mistrusted ‘By Default’ – Zelensky Aide (RT)

International organizations including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are “cowardly” and cannot be trusted, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said. “I don’t like international institutions and mediation missions in general. They look extremely ineffective, extremely cowardly and extremely unprofessional,” Mikhail Podolyak said in an interview on Thursday evening. This applies “not only to the IAEA”, but also to the UN, Amnesty International, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Ukrainian official claimed, adding: “By default, you should not trust them.” Podolyak’s remarks came as he criticized the IAEA mission to the Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which arrived earlier in the day.

He expressed his low expectations from the mission, based on the positive remarks that Director General Rafael Grossi made after touring the facility in Ukraine. The Ukrainian official said he was willing to give the IAEA inspectors the benefit of the doubt and wait for them make an official report that would “show the depth of their inner destruction”. He explained his concerns, citing several aspects of Grossi’s visit. They include its relatively short duration, which Podolyak assessed was too short for a proper fact-finding mission. He also criticized the willingness of the IAEA chief to talk to a representative of the Russian atomic energy body Rosatom, who, Podolyak said, “delivered a strange long speech” to the UN official.

The IAEA experts arrived at the station from Kiev despite continued military action in its vicinity. Kiev and Moscow have accused each other of being behind the shelling and of trying to derail the inspection. Some members of the mission stayed behind to monitor the situation, while Grossi and others left. Podolyak said the IAEA should blame Russia for attacks on the plant, and if their report fails to do so, only stating that inspectors witnessed evidence of strikes, his opinion about the organization will be vindicated.

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“..in 2007, at the Munich Security Conference, Putin delivered a landmark speech wherein he put the Empire on notice that Russia was drawing a line in the sand beyond which it would not permit further NATO expansion.”

The Moment of Greatest Danger (Schryver)

[..] this war has reached the stage equivalent to Nazi Germany in mid-January 1945: the war is lost; everyone knows it is lost, and all that remains is the positioning in advance of the inevitable surrender, the unrestrained looting, and the occasional harassment of the never-say-die snipers who will fight to their last round of ammo and last drop of blood. In other words, we’ve finally arrived at the most dangerous juncture of this conflict. You see, as I have frequently observed, this war, at its deepest root, has always been an existential struggle between Russia and the rapidly declining fortunes and dominion of the long-since irredeemably corrupted American Empire. Beginning with the fall of the Soviet Union, and continuing throughout the 1990s, the western vulture capitalists raced to divide, conquer, and despoil the unfathomable natural resource wealth of the former USSR.

And indeed, in ten short years, they managed to extract a massive pile of treasure at Russia’s expense, only to be prematurely thwarted by the unforeseen rise of the previously obscure Vladimir Putin. At first, the finely accoutered locusts believed they could manipulate Putin as easily as they had his immediate predecessors. But they were soon disabused of that fallacy. So then they began to pressure Putin and Russia by methodically assimilating into their “defensive alliance” all the previously unaligned nations that stood between NATO’s 1997 borders and the Russian frontier. This, of course, awakened in Russia a sober sense of their increasingly precarious position, and in 2007, at the Munich Security Conference, Putin delivered a landmark speech wherein he put the Empire on notice that Russia was drawing a line in the sand beyond which it would not permit further NATO expansion.

That line extended from eastern Poland to northern Armenia. Predictably, Putin’s declarations were first mocked and then summarily dismissed. I suspect this was the point at which Russia came to see that war was very likely inevitable in order to retain its sovereignty and security. Nevertheless, Putin exhibited extraordinary patience. While initiating an aggressive military upgrade and expansion program, he bided his time for the next several years. But with the threat to Russia’s strategic naval base in Syria and the US-orchestrated coup d’etat in Ukraine, he was compelled to act, albeit with considerable restraint, to alter the trajectory of events. He dispatched an expeditionary force to Syria to prevent the fall of the Assad regime at the hands of US-supported “moderate rebels”; he moved to reclaim historically Russian Crimea, and to much more aggressively support the ethnic Russian separatists in the Donbass region of Ukraine who were waging a tenuously balanced civil war against the US-installed regime in Kiev.

American designs in Syria were foiled. But the ongoing de facto NATO assimilation of Ukraine continued, as the US and its NATO allies set out to methodically construct what would eventually become the most formidable proxy army in history, with ambitions to lure Putin into a Slavic civil war that would sap Russian strength, mortally wound its still-fragile economy, and induce social unrest within Russia and discontent among its various loci of domestic power, and ultimately effect “regime change” in the Kremlin. But, at every juncture, Putin out-maneuvered them.

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“..companies that impose a price cap will not be among the recipients of Russian oil.”

Janet Yellen sounds especially thick.

Russia To Halt All Oil Exports To Countries That Impose “Absurd” Price-Cap (ZH)

It did not take long for the Kremlin to respond to the G-7 plan to impose price-caps on Russian oil, with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warning that Moscow will ban exports of oil and other petroleum products to countries that impose a cap on the price of Russian crude. Novak made the remarks to reporters in Moscow on Sept. 1, according to Russian state media Tass, which came as Western powers were preparing to meet on Sept. 2 to agree on a Russian oil price cap. “We will simply not supply oil and petroleum products to such companies or states that impose restrictions, as we will not work non-competitively,” Novak said, while denouncing the price cap as “completely absurd.”

“It will completely destroy the market,” Novak continued, arguing that interference in market mechanisms in a key commodity like oil would have a destabilizing impact on energy security in countries across the world. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took the opportunity of G-7 agreement to a nothingburger plan to take a victory lap: “The price cap will advance our two key objectives; The first, of course, is reducing revenues that Putin needs to continue waging his war of aggression. And the second is maintaining a reliable supply of oil to the global market and putting downward pressure on the price of energy for people in the U.S., in the UK, and around the world.”

But, echoing Novak’s remarks about a Russian oil export ban targeting countries that sign onto the cap, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a conference call on Sept. 2 that “companies that impose a price cap will not be among the recipients of Russian oil.”

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This will continue as long as the sanctions do. Remember, only one of six turbines were/are working.

Gazprom Completely Halts Nord Stream Gas Supplies Due To “Unexpected” Leak (ZH)

After a 3-day halt, Russian energy giant Gazprom was expected to resume critical supplies of nat gas to Europe via Nord Stream 1 tomorrow, but it appears that Putin is enjoying the game of cat and mouse a little too much, and gas flows won’t be getting restored any time soon, because moments ago Gazprom announced that it had “completely halted” transport of gas to Nord Stream until a previously undetected oil leakage is rectified. That could take hours, days… or months.
• GAZPROM ISSUES STATEMENT ON NORD STREAM 1 MAINTENANCE
• GAZPROM: TRANSPORT OF GAS TO THE NORD STREAM PIPELINE HAS BEEN COMPLETELY HALTED UNTIL FAULTS ARE RECTIFIED
• GAZPROM: DURING ROUTINE MAINTENANCE WORKS OIL LEAKAGE WAS DETECTED GAS SUPPLIES TO NORD STREAM FULLY STOPPED


That means that Europe will now be forced to rely even more on… well… Russian gas, in the form of much more expensive LNG resold by China. And after tumbling by more than 50% in the past few days, we fully expect European gas prices are about to go super parabolic and take out all time highs as soon as trading returns on Monday.

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Google translate from Dutch.

That makes Hungary, Serbia, Turkey, Bulgaria and some in Austria think of joining.

EU Country Bulgaria Wants To Negotiate Gas With Russians Again (NOS)

Balkan country Bulgaria has made a 180-degree turn towards Russia. The government supported Ukraine and subsequent European sanctions and was subsequently cut off from Russian gas. Meanwhile, there is an interim government in power that cares little about European solidarity. The government is even reaching out to the Russians again, it was announced in a television interview this week: “Talks are being held at the highest level,” Prime Minister Galab Donev said. That announcement – that negotiations are underway with Russia – is causing great concern in the capital Sofia. Hundreds of protesters blocked the main entrance to the government building in recent days. They demand the resignation of the interim government, which has been in power for less than a month.

[..] In the capital Sofia, gas is used for communal district heating. The winters are quite cold and residents in the working-class neighborhoods already have high bills. At the district heating office, Bulgarians walk in and out worrying about their payment. They have no problem with their country renegotiating with Gazprom. Pro-European Prime Minister Kiril Petkov came to power in December. He promised to end corruption and wanted independence from Russia. His government condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine and supported European sanctions. At the end of April, Gazprom turned the tap off for Bulgaria and Poland because of the refusal to pay in rubles. The two countries were thus the first European member states to be cut off from Russian gas. A difficult situation for Bulgaria, the country was 90 percent dependent on gas from Russia.

Prime Minister Petkov then signed an agreement with the United States to supply seven liquefied gas (LNG) tankers to “improve Bulgaria’s energy security”. An agreement mediated by the European Commission. But the Petkov government was overthrown after a vote of no confidence. President Radev appointed an interim government with an energy minister who was quick to announce that “it is practically inevitable that Bulgaria will enter into negotiations with Gazprom Export on the recovery of gas resources under the current contract”.

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“..EU leaders’ failure to “protect people in Europe” has resulted in citizens paying the price for a “war they are not even responsible for.”

Hungary Reveals What Weakened EU (RT)

The armed conflict in Ukraine has “catastrophically” weakened the European Union, Hungary’s Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, has claimed. Speaking at the ‘Open Balkan’ summit in Belgrade on Friday, Szijjarto argued that the Ukraine conflict along with its “economic influence and a ruinous energy crisis… has led to a catastrophic weakening of Europe and the EU.” The diplomat went on to claim that EU leaders’ failure to “protect people in Europe” has resulted in citizens paying the price for a “war they are not even responsible for.” The Hungarian minister stressed that talks are needed within the bloc to ensure that the consequences of the conflict are not “fatal to the continent.” Szijjarto added that food shortages in developing countries caused by the fighting in Ukraine have left “hundreds of thousands of people under the threat of famine,” leading to a “new level of migrants’ aggression” at Hungary’s borders.


The official also stressed the importance of the EU’s expansion in the Western Balkans. Unlike most other EU member states, Hungary has remained relatively neutral since the start of the conflict in February, refusing to provide weapons to either Ukraine or Russia. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has argued that such shipments could see Hungary getting dragged into direct military confrontation – which is not in the country’s interest. Moreover, officials in Budapest have repeatedly criticized EU sanctions against Moscow, insisting that the punitive measures hurt the bloc itself more than they do Russia. Hungary has also called for dialogue with Russia to put an end to the Ukraine conflict.

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But this writer fails to use that opportunity.

Biden’s Hateful Rhetoric Presents The GOP With A Sterling Opportunity (AT)

Never before have government institutions been hijacked and misused to target political opponents. Never before has a virus been misused to impose lockdowns that infringe on the right to freedom of movement and the right to earn a living. Never before have vaccines been mandated causing people to be fired from their jobs or suffer from health issues. Never before has the U.S. government demonized its own citizens, calling them domestic terrorists. Never before has the U.S. government set up a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ that sits in judgment of the utterances of citizens. Never before has the U.S. been subjected to prolonged disinformation campaigns, the Russian collusion hoax, the Ukraine call hoax, and now the insurrection hoax.

Never before has the U.S. had a president whose cognitive abilities are so impaired that he struggles to read off a teleprompter and causes citizens to wonder who is in charge. Biden continues by claiming that the Republican party is “dominated, driven, intimidated by Donald Trump” and his supporters, calling it “a threat to this country” because “they refuse to accept the results of a free election.” Perhaps Biden forgot the Russian collusion hoax concocted by the Democrats that baselessly attempted to delegitimize the results of the 2016 presidential election. It was the Democrats who refused to accept the results of a free election. Perhaps Biden forgot that big media and big tech suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal prior to the 2020 elections.

A recent poll shows that nearly four of five Americans believe that “truthful” coverage would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Perhaps Biden forgot about Mark Zuckerberg spending $419 million to infiltrate sacrosanct electoral infrastructure of the 2020 elections and push for mail-in voting. Perhaps Biden forgot that 69% of voters nationwide cast their ballot nontraditionally i.e., by mail and/or before Election Day for the 2020 elections. Mail votes are highly vulnerable to fraud. Biden also alleged that the “MAGA forces” are aligned with white supremacists, violent extremists, and other undesirables. Perhaps Biden forgot violent Democrat extremists threatening Supreme Court Justices, vandalizing Catholic churches, pregnancy centers, and the offices of pro-life groups.

McCabe

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“..Western media is in ‘lockstep’ with government on foreign policy to a degree that would make real dictators blush”.

US Economic Decline And Global Instability Part 2: Rise of BRICS (PG)

First Amendment of the US constitution- ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’ It is commonly stated that the press (aka the proverbial ‘4th estate’) in the US is ‘free’ and ‘independent’ and ‘essential for the functioning of a free society’, serving as a ‘watchdog’ on government actions and policies and vital to protect the ‘liberty’ of American citizens. As is often the case, things are not always as they seem. In a recent interview with Brian Berletic, Mark Sleboda commented that “Western media is in ‘lockstep’ with government on foreign policy to a degree that would make real dictators blush”.

While there is no doubt that Western (read corporate) media is indeed promoting US foreign policy, it is not the US government that formulates these polices, rather they are formulated and developed by the ruling elite, using corporate-funded foundations and ‘think tanks’, academic institutions and prominent politicians. These include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Rand Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, American Heritage Foundation, Atlantic Council, Brookings, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Academic institutions such as The Kennedy School (Harvard), Hoover Institution (Stanford), Walsh School of Foreign Service (Georgetown) and School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins) not only provide ‘experts’ and government officials, such as Wendy Sherman (Kennedy School) current US Deputy Secretary of State in the Biden Administration, they serve as training grounds for government officials and corporate management, some of whom are employed by above listed universities and foundations.

Once formulated, these policies are ‘sold’ to the American public by a compliant and well-disciplined media. Approximately 90% of US media is controlled by six large corporations- Comcast, Walt Disney, AT&T, Paramount Global, Sony, and Fox, with a combined market cap of circa $500 billions. Like other large corporations, media conglomerates have the same class interests as the financial elite, i.e., promoting policies which increase corporate power and profits and maintain US global hegemony. So called ‘public’ media, such as National Public Radio (NPR) and the BBC, in the UK, function in a similar manner. Corporate media is closely integrated with large financial interests and serves as a ‘cheerleader’ for the Pentagon and US foreign policy.

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“The idea of a president giving away such a fortune with the stroke of a pen should alarm every American.”

College-Loan Forgiveness Plan Reveals Biden’s Constitutional Cynicism (Turley)

In 1987, President Reagan reached a milestone in sending to Congress the first trillion-dollar budget. The size of it caused intense debate in Congress over the debt load, but an eventual “consensus” budget was reached. What is shocking today is not simply the size of the more than $4 trillion federal budget but that President Biden just wiped out what is estimated to be $1 trillion owed to the country — the size of the Reagan budget — without a single vote, let alone approval, by Congress. The idea of a president giving away such a fortune with the stroke of a pen should alarm every American. Not only will the massive payout likely fuel inflation but critics have objected to having working-class people subsidize the debts of college-educated citizens.

Others object that it is unfair to those who sacrificed to pay off their loans or those of their children. When one such father asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) whether he would get a refund after struggling to pay off his daughter’s college education, Warren dismissed him with an “of course not.“ Some Democrats in Congress have joined Republicans in condemning the plan. Biden knew he could never get Congress to agree to such a massive write-off, so he did not try. Instead, he acted unilaterally, and Democrats like Warren expressed euphoria, although Warren wanted five times more debt forgiveness. The former law professor saw little problem with a president giving away hundreds of billions of dollars.

As was the case under President Obama when he circumvented Congress, Warren and others are celebrating their own constitutional obsolescence. This is not supposed to happen in a constitutional system based on shared, limited powers: The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, but Biden just gave away the store. James Madison described the essence of our system of separation of powers in Federalist 51 as premised on the belief that “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” No branch is supposed to have enough power to govern alone. Biden just did, however.

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“What can a pandemic NOT do?”

The Pandemic Did This? New York Times Fails Fact Check (Lerman)

Yesterday, September 1, 2022, The New York Times had a front page story entitled: “The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading.”The first paragraph states that “National test results released on Thursday showed in stark terms the pandemic’s devastating effects on American schoolchildren, with the performance of 9-year-olds in math and reading dropping to the levels from two decades ago.” Further down, the article says: “Then came the pandemic, which shuttered schools across the country almost overnight” and “experts say it will take more than the typical school day to make up gaps created by the pandemic.”

The definition of a pandemic, according to the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (ref: Last JM, editor. A dictionary of epidemiology, 4th edition. New York: Oxford University Press; 2001) is “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.” According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, “an epidemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads rapidly to many people.” Thus, a pandemic is a disease that spreads rapidly to many people all over the world. Based on this pretty much universally accepted definition, a pandemic can do exactly one thing: it can spread disease to many people around the world.

What can a pandemic NOT do? A pandemic cannot impose mandates or lockdowns. A pandemic cannot block borders or force people to stop traveling. A pandemic cannot shutter schools – overnight or otherwise. A pandemic cannot impact math and reading. A pandemic cannot cause learning gaps. What can our response to a pandemic do? If we decide to shut down schools for months and years on end in response to a pandemic, then it is our response that has caused whatever educational deficits and devastation to children ensue. It is not the pandemic. In case there’s any doubt that the effects of a pandemic are separate and distinct from society’s response to the pandemic, we can take a look at Sweden, where schools were never shut down, and where there was no learning loss and much less devastation to schoolchildren than in countries that closed schools during the Covid pandemic.

Blaming the pandemic for anything other than disease and/or death is misinformation. The New York Times headline and article contain clear and uncontestable instances of misinformation. Here is the information from the article, stated in a factually correct way: US public health leaders and politicians mandated prolonged school shutdowns in response to the Covid pandemic, and these school shutdowns had devastating effects on schoolchildren, creating learning gaps and erasing decades of progress in math and reading.

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Disaster around the corner.

Only Nine Percent of Law Professors Identify as Conservatives (Turley)

A new study offers further evidence of the alarming decline of ideological diversity on our law faculties. A study by Georgetown University’s Kevin Tobia and MIT’s Eric Martinez was featured on College Fix that finds that only nine percent of law school professors identify as conservative at the top 50 law schools. Notably, a 2017 study found 15 percent of faculties were conservative. This is the result of years of faculty replicating their own ideological preferences and eradicating the diversity that once existed on faculties. When I began teaching in the 1980s, faculties were undeniably liberal but contained a significant number of conservative and libertarian professors. It made for a healthy and balanced intellectual environment. Today such voices are relatively rare and faculties have become political echo chambers, leaving conservatives and Republican students increasingly afraid to speak openly in class.

The trend is the result of hiring systems where conservative or libertarian scholars are often rejected as simply “insufficiently intellectually rigorous” or “not interesting” in their scholarship. This can clearly be true with individual candidates but the wholesale reduction of such scholars shows a more systemic problem. Faculty insist that there is no bias against conservatives, but the obviously falling number of conservative faculty speaks for itself. In racial and gender discrimination cases, this type of pattern of de facto hiring preferences is routinely the basis for lawsuits. Obviously, intellectual diversity is different from racial discrimination. This is no protected class and there is no statutory mandate to support challenges. Faculties know that it is near impossible to challenge their hiring decisions. However, the de facto result of years of biased hiring practices is reflected in the low number of conservative faculty at these schools.

When confronted, faculty will often shrug and say that they are open to promising conservative faculty but they simply have not found any. They will also question what is a conservative or a liberal — even though professors seem to have little problem in answering such polls with those terms. There is little sympathy for conservative and libertarian students who have few faculty offering opposing views — or liberal students who would like exposure to the full array of legal thought and interpretations. Having taught for over three decades, I have never seen a more intolerant and orthodox environment. Schools have reached an ideological critical mass where faculties are replicating their own preferences. The overwhelming composition of faculties then serves to replicate and promote the views of liberal faculty on journals and in conferences.

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“..a 711-page “joint statement on discovery disputes.”

Biden-Big Tech Collusion Suit Reveals ‘Massive, Sprawling’ Censorship (JTN)

Even as President Biden warns the nation of the “extremist threat to our democracy” from Republicans in this fall’s elections, new evidence suggests a much wider campaign by his administration to sic Big Tech on critics than previously thought, going so far as removing a parody of Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci. The First Amendment lawsuit by Republican attorneys general and a civil liberties group against Biden, Fauci and several other high-level officials has revealed a “massive, sprawling federal ‘Censorship Enterprise'” related to COVID-19 and elections, the plaintiffs said in a 711-page “joint statement on discovery disputes.”

“If there was ever any doubt the federal government was behind censorship of Americans who dared to dissent from official Covid messaging, that doubt has been erased” by what the defendants have already turned over, New Civil Liberties Alliance lawyer Jenin Younes said. The Justice Department cited its 15,000-page document production to oppose the “anything but reasonably tailored” discovery requests by Missouri’s Eric Schmitt, Louisiana’s Jeff Landry and NCLA, which DOJ called “grossly disproportionate” to this stage of litigation. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta, Google’s YouTube and LinkedIn provided information separately.

The “defendants’ position” left out the elephant in the room: the likelihood of even greater harm to Democratic prospects if sensitive communications including Fauci and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre are required to be divulged before the midterms. Schmitt is the GOP nominee for retiring Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat. The plaintiffs are keen to compel Fauci to discuss the “nature and content” of his oral conversations with Zuckerberg, who gave the long-serving public health bureaucrat his personal cell phone number in March 2020. They also want all Fauci communication with social media platforms related to the anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration and its authors, who are represented by NCLA, as well as Trump coronavirus task force member Scott Atlas, former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak and China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.

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“Mike McCormick was Joe Biden’s stenographer and witnessed Biden in action around the world. In a recent blog post he claims there’s much more to Hunter Biden’s involvement in the Wuhan lab and Biden’s meetings with President Xi in China.”

Hunter’s Techies Funded China Bat Virus Researcher (McCormick)

Mere days after he returned from his infamous Air Force Two trip to China with his dad in December 2013, Hunter Biden, along with his Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners pals, began a long, intimate, and lucrative business relationship with biowarfare contractor Metabiota — at the very same time its scientists were collaborating on research with virologists associated with Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance. [..] Also as an eyewitness to Joe’s dealings — I traveled with him to Ukraine and China — I will present further evidence that he and his staffers directed even more USAID and Department of Defense (DOD) funding towards his and Hunter’s investment in Metabiota for its activities in Ukraine and China. Joe Biden enriching himself and his family by lining up government funding Metabiota is malfeasance, an impeachable offense.

But in my opinion, impeachment hardly answers for his criminal affiliation with this pandemic “predictor.” But the question that must be asked, and it’s only me asking: Who had the idea for Hunter and RSTP to back Metabiota — Joe or Xi? And understand, the only people that can answer that question are Joe and Xi. Because given that prominent CCP virologist Shi Zhengli was leading the Chinese side of this research collaboration, it is entirely reasonable that Xi Jinping would have known about her project. It’s also reasonable that he knew a lot about her research partners, meaning it’s quite likely he knew Metabiota and its founder, Wolfe, were tied to the DOD and highly regarded by the WEF. Whether Metabiota was a biowarfare contractor or a biotech software company, there is no doubt the CCP was keeping close tabs on it, and thus so was Xi.

So now what to make of Joe Biden and his four-and-a-half-hour meeting with Xi Jinping as crude, cruel, and callous Hunter waited in the wings. [..] At this point in time, Xi, the deadly serious president of China, the world’s most “ascendant” nation, thinks he is scheduled to talk to Joe Biden, the often ridiculous vice president of the United States, for only about an hour. Boy, was he wrong. So what changed? What was Joe up to? And why did Xi tolerate it? The meeting took place in the Great Hall of the People, adjacent to Tiananmen Square. It was supposed to adhere to the traditional world leader bilateral formula of a one-hour meeting with advisors present, followed by brief innocuous remarks to the press. But that’s not how it went. I know because I was there … sort of.

Chinese security denied me entry to the building. No reason given. So I retreated to a van in the motorcade and waited and waited and waited. So no, I was not in the meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. But then, no one was. No senior staffers. Not a one. From either side. And based on reports from White House staffers who did get in the building, they spent four hours sitting on the hard floor of an empty hallway and were as put out as the Chinese by what transpired.Joe had all the advisors leave — Chinese and American. Not Xi, Joe. It was just him and Xi and interpreters — off script, off schedule, off plan. Most unusual. And Joe knew it. His remarks after the meeting began with an apology to Xi’s advisors for not only kicking them out of the room, but then monopolizing Xi’s time.

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Posobiec Dutch farmers

 

 


You don’t have to put on the red light.

 

 


Kingfisher in action. Photo Jaap La Brijn

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 262022
 


Pablo Picasso Dora Maar 1937

 

EU Should Brace For ‘Winter Of Great Suffering’ – Spanish Minister (RT)
Europe Branded ‘Third World’ Economy (RT)
UK Gov’t Warned of “Civil Unrest” Over People Unable to Pay Energy Bills (SN)
Four In Five Canadians Pinching Pennies (RT)
Greece’s Price Cushion Tops EU (K.)
Czech President Blames “Green Madness” For Energy Crisis (SN)
Dutch City of The Hague Seeks Exemption From EU Sanctions Against Russia (R.)
‘Absolute Deficit’ In Germany’s Weapons Stock – Foreign Minister (RT)
Medvedev Envisions Military Junta In Kiev (RT)
Russia and India No Longer Need US Dollar – BRICS President (RT)
“Reclaim America from Constitutionalism” (Turley)
Moderna’s New US Open Sponsorship: Marketing Push Beyond Covid Vaccine (Adage)
Drastic Increase in Non-Infectious Diseases in Military (ET)
No Quantifiable Benefits from COVID Drug Paxlovid for People Aged 40 to 65 (CTH)
FBI Warned Facebook Of ‘Russian Propaganda’ In Hunter Biden Laptop Case (OK)
Trump Campaign Turned Down Ashley Biden Diary (JTN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Harmeet

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I want to believe that the political forces will rise to the occasion..”

Just come out and say: look, this is not inevitable, it’s a political decision. Not from Madrid, but from Brussels. Or actually not Brussels either, but Washington. And Davos.

EU Should Brace For ‘Winter Of Great Suffering’ – Spanish Minister (RT)

European countries supporting Ukraine against Russia should brace for a full suspension of natural gas supplies by Moscow during the upcoming winter, Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles has warned. “We are going to have a winter of great suffering,” the cabinet member told Radio National on Wednesday, adding: “in Europe, we have to work hard to be ready to deal with it.” Robles claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is already throttling the supply of gas to the continent, apparently referring to the reduction in deliveries by Russian energy giant Gazprom. The company has blamed external factors for the loss of capacity, noting that Ukraine is refusing to pump gas through one of the routes running through its territory.


Gazprom has also pointed to the sanctions-related delay in returning a German-made turbine for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, following maintenance. European nations, meanwhile, have accused Moscow of reducing the flow for political motives. The EU, which has pledged to remove Russian fossil fuels from its energy mix within the coming years, in retaliation for Russia’s attack against Ukraine, is facing a severe gas shortage, with alternatives to proving more expensive and less accessible. Robles went on to claim that Putin “cannot win” in the gas standoff, but acknowledged that parties represented in the Spanish parliament may not support gas rationing, which the EU leadership has recommended for all member states. “I want to believe that the political forces will rise to the occasion,” she said. The minister pledged continued Spanish support for Kiev, and asserted that the unity of NATO and the EU were as strong as ever amid the West’s confrontation with Russia.

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By Forbes.

Europe Branded ‘Third World’ Economy (RT)

The fallout of the sanctions imposed on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine has turned Europe into “the third world of the Western world economies,” a senior contributor to Forbes magazine has claimed. “These days, the European stock market is the worst in the Western world,” under-performing the US by ten basis points, Kenneth Rapoza pointed out in his article on Tuesday. “The most significant headwind” for such a state of affairs has been the “Russian sanctions on energy as punishment for its war with Ukraine,” Rapoza insisted. Those restrictions “set off a massive commodity price spike that’s hurt the European economy the most,” he added.

The author advised investors against putting their money into Europe, at least until Brussels figures out how to compensate for the massive reduction in energy supply from Russia, and how to mitigate the harmful impact of its own sanctions. If there’s no ceasefire in Ukraine soon, chances are that “Europe becomes so desperate this winter and supply chains so stretched that it has no choice but to relax some sanctions or convince non-EU partners to relabel and transship Russian commodities to look in [compliance] with their own rules, but really doing an end-around,” he wrote. Until some solution is provided, Europe will remain “the third world of the Western world economies,” Rapoza stressed, saying that this was how one investor on Twitter had recently described the situation on the continent to him.

The author also asked Vladimir Signorelli the head of US-based consulting firm Bretton Woods Research to comment on the idea of Europe becoming “the Third World of Western economies.” “They’re certainly heading that way,” Signorelli acknowledged. “And you have the Greens still opposing nuclear in Germany. I just don’t understand them. They are on the fast track to a third-world energy program.” Only China is now “worse as an investment” than Europe, Rapoza claimed, citing Beijing’s “heated political fight” with Washington, internal struggle within the Chinese political elites and the country’s harsh Covid-19 curbs.

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“..unless the Government does take much more effective action to help people, there will be widespread civil unrest.”

UK Gov’t Warned of “Civil Unrest” Over People Unable to Pay Energy Bills (SN)

Energy executives in the UK have warned the government that the country faces the prospect of mass civil unrest as a result of people being unable to afford their heating and electricity bills this winter. The government is being asked to approve “radical” COVID-style bailouts for small businesses which face total ruination as a result of soaring energy costs. “Energy company bosses have warned ministers they fear civil unrest if nothing is done to cushion the blow of rising bills,” reports the Telegraph. One senior industry figure said that when people “realize how bad this is going to get,” they could take their anger to the streets in the form of violent demonstrations. The comments are similar in nature to those made by campaigner Tom Scott, who is urging people to refuse to pay their bills, and says social disorder is on the horizon.

“There was a major riot in London [in 1990],” said Scott, referring to the poll tax riots. “That’s not something I would like to see, but I think it’s almost inevitable that unless the Government does take much more effective action to help people, there will be widespread civil unrest.” Despite the warnings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to insist that Brits should maintain their support for ‘the current thing’ – by prolonging the war in Ukraine. “We also know that if we’re paying in our energy bills for the evils of Vladimir Putin, the people of Ukraine are paying in their blood,” said Johnson. “And that’s why we know we must stay the course. Because if Putin were to succeed, then no country on Russia’s perimeter would be safe, and… (that) would be a green light for every autocrat in the world that borders could be changed by force,” he added.

Even as many Brits struggle to pay for basic necessities, with food inflation also soaring, Johnson just approved a further £54 million of taxpayer money to be sent to Ukraine to buy new weapons systems. Energy bills are set to soar to £6,522 by next April, a level that threatens to push a third of the country into poverty. “Consultancy Auxilione said the price cap will be three times the current limit of £1,971-a-year,” reports the Daily Mail, with bills having been closer to £1,000 a year before the start of the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the UK continues to pursue disastrous ‘net zero’ green energy policies that are unfit for purpose while refusing to allow fracking, which would solve the country’s energy crisis in a heartbeat. Perhaps many Brits will choose to keep warm this winter by lighting fires on the streets instead of paying their heating bills at home.

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“..trimming their discretionary budget, delaying a major purchase, driving less, scaling back travel and charitable donations, or deferring savings for the future…”

Four In Five Canadians Pinching Pennies (RT)

As inflation piles pressure on Canadian budgets, people are spending less, market researcher Angus Reid Institute reported on Monday. The survey shows that four out of five Canadians have cut spending in recent months by either trimming their discretionary budget, delaying a major purchase, driving less, scaling back travel and charitable donations, or deferring savings for the future. This reportedly represents an increase from 74% of respondents in February. Over half of the nation (52%) said they could not manage a sudden expense of more than $1,000. For two in five Canadians, a surprise bonus of $5,000 would be used to alleviate debt pressure. For one in ten, it would immediately go towards daily expenses.


“Regionally, some parts of the country seem to be feeling more financial pain than others,” the report stated, pointing to Saskatchewan and the Atlantic area. Canada’s year-on-year inflation hit a 40-year high in June, with the Consumer Price Index reaching 8.1%. The annual rate of inflation cooled down to 7.6% in July, according to a Statistics Canada report issued on August 16. Inflation has been rising across the developed world amid the worsening energy crunch caused by tight supplies of oil and gas, a situation exacerbated by the sanctions on Russia, a major energy exporter.

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“Governments should focus on reducing energy demand wherever possible.”

Greece’s Price Cushion Tops EU (K.)

Among the 27 European Union member-states, as a percentage of gross domestic product, Greece spends the most on measures designed to mitigate the impact of the energy crisis, according to data by the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel published Wednesday by Bloomberg. The Greek government allocated €6.8 billion, or 3.7% of GDP, from September 2021 to July 2022, to keep energy prices low for households and businesses, ahead of Lithuania (3.6% of GDP) and Italy (2.8%). The four countries that spent the least in terms of GDP were Finland (0.5%), Sweden (0.4%), Ireland (0.2%) and Denmark (0.1%) The funding, as calculated by Bruegel, covers everything from subsidizing tariffs for small businesses in Greece to direct payouts to consumers in Belgium. Some of the money hasn’t yet been spent.

In total, EU governments have spent over €278 billion since last September, with Germany (€60.2 billion) and Italy (€49.5 billion) spending the most in absolute terms. But spending plans have been revised upward since July due to the explosive growth in natural gas prices. The €6.8 billion figure is close to what Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said in interviews last week. Even though Greece got out of an unprecedented debt crisis in 2018, with the end of the third austerity program agreed with its creditors, and still is the EU’s most heavily indebted country by far, it was also one of the biggest spenders on supporting professionals affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns. Staikouras mentioned the state has spent a combined €50 billion on the two crises.

It appears the crisis is far from over: “Prices will stay high throughout the winter and governments should work with the worst-case scenario assumption that they will not go away even after that,” Bruegel analyst Giovanni Sgaravatti said. “Governments should focus on reducing energy demand wherever possible.”

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“..The biggest consumers of electricity will be electric cars with a short range and a high price..”

Czech President Blames “Green Madness” For Energy Crisis (SN)

Czech President Milos Zeman has blamed “green madness” for the energy crisis and warned that the abolition of cars with internal combustion engines will only prolong the agony. Zeman said the primary cause of the crisis was not the Ukraine war, but “green fanaticism” that has left European countries dependent on energy sources that cannot meet demand. “Whether it’s called the Green Deal or whatever, I’m afraid. However, I won’t be here anymore when we find out where the green madness will take us,” said Zeman. “The abolition of cars with internal combustion engines will lead to the advent of far more demanding electromobility. The biggest consumers of electricity will be electric cars with a short range and a high price,” he added.

The comments were made amidst controversy in the Czech Republic caused by new government regulations which mandate schools, hospitals, and households reduce their temperature by up to six degrees Celsius to save energy. Owners of care homes for the elderly complained that old people cannot live in a 20°C environment without it posing a threat to their health. “It is not permissible for the elderly to spend 100 percent of their time in spaces at 20°C and below. It is life-threatening to bathe frail seniors in a room heated to only 20°C when they get cold quickly,” said Daniela Lusková, vice-president of the Association of Social Service Providers. However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health insisted that regulations were made in consultation with professional scientific opinion.

Similar rules have already been enforced in Germany, where thermostats in public buildings are being limited to 19 degrees Celsius, and in Spain, where at the height of summer, non-residential buildings can set the temperature no lower than 27°C. Back in May, Italy began rationing electricity to ‘support Ukraine’, with public buildings banned from running air conditioning at lower than 25°C or heating higher than 19°C.

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If they allow it for one city…

Dutch City of The Hague Seeks Exemption From EU Sanctions Against Russia (R.)

The Dutch city of The Hague on Thursday said it would ask for a temporary exemption of EU sanctions against Russia, as it struggles to find a replacement for its contract with Russian gas supplier Gazprom in time. Sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine order governments and other public bodies to end existing contracts with Russian companies by October 10. For The Hague, this means it has to find a new supplier of gas to replace its existing agreement with Gazprom. The city said it held an EU-wide tender in June and July, but failed to attract any bids from potential suppliers.


Individual talks with suppliers were certain to lead to an agreement, alderman Saskia Bruines wrote in a letter to the city council, but not before the Oct. 10 deadline. “We will ask for an exemption for our current arrangement until Jan. 1 2023 to guarantee the safety of supply and to facilitate negotiations,” she said. Bruines said she was confident the delay would be granted, as The Hague had fulfilled the condition of holding a timely tender without a positive result. However, she added that any new contract set to enter into effect on Jan. 1 would be significantly costlier than the city’s current arrangement with Gazprom. The Hague is one of many Dutch municipalities that have an energy contract with Gazprom, but is the first to indicate it will ask for an exemption to the sanctions.

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May have to read this twice:

“Scholz reiterated that Berlin had been sending “a lot of weapons” to Kiev and would continue to do so. However, the chancellor also insisted that his main focus was “ensuring that there is no escalation..“

‘Absolute Deficit’ In Germany’s Weapons Stock – Foreign Minister (RT)

With German weapons stocks running low, the country’s defense industry should produce arms specifically for Ukraine, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. During an interview with ZDF broadcaster on Wednesday, the German minister was asked whether Kiev could win in the conflict with Russia. “We don’t know that,” she replied, but promised that Berlin would “do everything possible” to help Ukraine. However, Baerbock acknowledged that supplying Kiev with arms had become increasingly difficult for Germany as its own military was suffering from a shortage of equipment. “Unfortunately, the situation here is such that we have an absolute deficit in our own stocks,” the Green Party politician said.

The German defense industry should therefore “produce hardware specifically for Ukraine,”instead of the country having to share weapons from its own arsenal. Baerbock said she understood the desire of Vladimir Zelensky’s government to receive more arms, but insisted that Berlin also needed to think of the future. They must be prepared for the conflict in Ukraine to continue in 2023, she warned. Germany’s Iris-T anti-aircraft missile system will be supplied to Kiev in the coming weeks, with more weapons deliveries expected by the end of the year, “so that the Ukrainians can defend themselves,” she stated.

Since the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine six months ago, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has faced criticism for his apparent reluctance to send weapons that were promised to Ukraine. Berlin has so far supplied artillery pieces, shoulder-fired rockets, and anti-aircraft self-propelled guns, but not the more sophisticated air-defense systems and artillery radar hardware desired by Kiev. Last week, Scholz reiterated that Berlin had been sending “a lot of weapons” to Kiev and would continue to do so. However, the chancellor also insisted that his main focus was “ensuring that there is no escalation” in Ukraine. On Monday, the German Defense Ministry said it had reached the “acceptable limit” of what it could deliver to Kiev without depleting its own stockpiles.

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“Kiev initially appeared willing to accept a neutral status, but was later emboldened by Western military aid.”

Medvedev Envisions Military Junta In Kiev (RT)

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev predicted that the Ukrainian military may stage a coup in Kiev to do what the civilian government refuses to do – negotiate peace with Russia. Medvedev, who is now deputy chair of the Russian National Security Council, outlined the scenario as one of two options that he believes to be viable for Ukraine. The other was if the government of President Vladimir Zelensky changed its tune and agreed to Russia’s terms for ending hostilities. Either way, Russia will get what it wants from Ukraine, the official said. Moscow declared the demilitarization and ‘denazification’ of Ukraine as the goals of its military operation in the country. Kiev initially appeared willing to accept a neutral status, but was later emboldened by Western military aid.


Zelensky now insists that defeating Russia on the battlefield and retaking all the land that was under Kiev’s control before 2014 is the only possible option for his country. The assessment by Medvedev apparently came in response to a Wednesday article in the Guardian, which made predictions for how the Ukrainian crisis could develop over the next six months. Dan Sabbagh, the British newspaper’s defense and security editor, offered five predictions that he considers likely. The expectations included a deadlocked conflict and a reduction in the intensity of hostilities, a campaign of sabotage by Ukrainian special forces and a renewed refugee crisis during winter. The Russian official said that any scenario for the conflict that would predict a victory for Kiev was “crystal-clear lies and demagoguery.”

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“..the BRICS countries are opening up to Russia, offering the opportunity for the country to overcome the consequences of sanctions..”

Russia and India No Longer Need US Dollar – BRICS President (RT)

Russia and India don’t need the US dollar in trade, having turned to national currencies to conduct mutual settlements, BRICS International Forum President Purnima Anand told reporters on Wednesday. “We have implemented the mechanism of mutual settlements in rubles and rupees, and there is no need for our countries to use the dollar in mutual settlements. And today a similar mechanism of mutual settlements in rubles and yuan is being developed by China,” she said. “That means that the BRICS countries are opening up to Russia, offering the opportunity for the country to overcome the consequences of sanctions,” Anand added, as quoted by RIA news agency. The BRICS president said mutual trade between India and Russia had grown fivefold over the past 40 years.


Moscow supplies a rapidly growing volume of oil to India, and in return gets large quantities of agricultural products, textiles, medicines and other products. Anand also noted that New Delhi considers itself a neutral party in the current sanctions war between the West and Russia, and despite sanctions pressure, will continue cooperation with Moscow “in any areas where necessary.” “When Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began, naturally there was pressure on India to stop importing Russian oil. But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to reject this pressure. The Russian side was assured that supplies would not be stopped and the sanctions regime would in no way affect the relationship between our countries,” the forum head stressed. BRICS an international socio-economic and political forum incorporating five member nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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“..Americans are “slaves” to the U.S. Constitution..”

“Reclaim America from Constitutionalism” (Turley)

It appears that we may finally to be coming out of the campaign on the left to “pack the court” with a liberal majority. That is good news. The problem is that many on the left have turned their ire on the Constitution itself as the root of all evil in our country. In a New York Times essay, law professors Ryan D. Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale are calling for the Constitution to be “radically altered” to “reclaim America from Constitutionalism.” In order to accomplish this dubious objective, they call for shifting from the “Pack the Court” to “Pack the States.” The attack on “constitutionalism” is chilling but these professors are not the first to lash out at our Constitution as the scourge of social justice.

The New York Times column called for citizens to view the Constitution as the real enemy and to push to “radically alter the basic rules of the game.” The attack on our Constitution has become something of an article of faith for the far left in recent years. Recently, Georgetown University Law School Professor Rosa Brooks drew accolades for her appearance on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” after declaring that Americans are “slaves” to the U.S. Constitution and that the Constitution itself is now the problem for the country. CBS recently featured Boston University Professor Ibram X. Kendi, who proclaimed that the Second Amendment was little more than “the right to enslave.” MSNBC commentator and the Nation’s Justice Correspondent Elie Mystal has called the U.S. Constitution “trash” and argued that we should ideally just dump it.

Mystal, who also writes for Above the Law, previously stated that white, non-college-educated voters supported Republicans because they care about “using their guns on Black people and getting away with it.” Doerfler and Moyn make the same case with a twist in seeking to pack the states. They insist that “The real need is not to reclaim the Constitution, as many would have it, but instead to reclaim America from constitutionalism.” Rather than recognize that this document has produced the longest standing and most stable democratic system in history, professors denounced it as a “some centuries-old text” because it stands as a barrier to their social and political agenda. The problem, they suggest, is that many liberals still believe in constitutionalism as opposed to raw majority power.

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Why Djokovic can’t play.

Moderna’s New US Open Sponsorship: Marketing Push Beyond Covid Vaccine (Adage)

Moderna is upping its marketing game with a new US Open sponsorship as the biotech company seeks to raise awareness about the mRNA science that powers its COVID vaccine. The goal of the sponsorship—and a new broader marketing push—is to educate people about how the company is using mRNA for other potential medical breakthroughs that could be used to treat people with cancer, metabolic diseases and other afflictions. Although Moderna has done other sports deals—including sponsoring a “Shot of the Game” promotion with the NBA and NHL to promote COVID booster shots —the US Open pact marks its most extensive sponsorship to date, according to Moderna Chief Brand Officer Kate Cronin. She declined to disclose financial terms but said the deal was signed for one year.


“We want to establish Moderna as a modern leader changing medicine and pioneering mRNA,” she said. And while that means moving the conversation beyond COVID, she said the timing of the US Open—right before the fall season when many people will be getting a COVID booster vaccine—marked the right time to push the broader message. The sponsorship comes as Moderna leverages a new endorsement from Billie Jean King. A new video starring the tennis great pays tribute to “Change Makers,” while referencing her pioneering feats, including changing the way women get paid. The approach ties into Moderna’s tagline “This changes everything.” The video will run as an ad during ESPN’s coverage of the US Open. It was put together by TBWA, Moderna’s lead agency.

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Edward Dowd talked about DMED a lot. He’s been banned/censored/silenced.

Drastic Increase in Non-Infectious Diseases in Military (ET)

A medical Army officer who discovered a sudden increase in disease coinciding with reports of side effects alongside COVID-19 vaccines—which the Army has dismissed as a data glitch—said he faces involuntary separation after being convicted but not punished for disobeying COVID-19 protocol. In January 2022, First Lt. Mark Bashaw, a preventive medicine officer at the Army, started noticing some “alarming signals” within the defense epidemiological database. The Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED), which tracks disease and injuries of 1.3 million active component service members, showed during the pandemic a significant increase in reports of cancers, myocarditis, and pericarditis; as well as some other diseases like male infertility, tumors, a lung disease caused by blood clots, and HIV, Bashaw said.

Several of these illnesses are listed in FDA documentation as potential adverse reactions associated with COVID-19 vaccines, Bashaw told EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program in an interview on Aug. 1. Seeing increases in cases of these illnesses as high as 50 percent or 100 percent in some situations, Bashaw stepped forward as a whistleblower to raise concerns about his findings. Bashaw’s whistleblower declaration, submitted to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) who is facilitating the sharing of information from early investigations of COVID-19 products with Congress, said he saw the increasing incidence of these disorders observed in DMED as “very troubling.” Specifically, the number of cancer cases among active service members in 2021 nearly tripled in comparison with the average number of cancer instances per year from 2016 to 2020, Bashaw said in his declaration.

Bashaw’s responsibilities as a preventive medicine officer, with a specialty in entomology, include “participating in fact-finding inquiries and investigations to determine potential public health risk to DoD [Department of Defense] personnel from diseases caused by insects and other non-battle related injuries.” A week after this information was brought out in January in a “COVID-19: Second Opinion” roundtable organized by Johnson, the data in DMED changed, Bashaw said, and all of these troubling spikes in diseases and injuries “seemed to have disappeared and been realigned with previous years.” Curiously, the glitch didn’t affect the data from 2021, which remained the same. Instead, the corrected data saw the data for prior years increased, which made the 2021 data look normal and in line with the running average, Bashaw explained.

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We should add that there are no benefits for anyone below 40. But always potential risks.

No Quantifiable Benefits from COVID Drug Paxlovid for People Aged 40 to 65 (CTH)

In April 2022, the Biden administration ordered 20 million doses of Pfizer’s antiviral Covid-19 treatment called Paxlovid.Now a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows the medication shows “no measurable benefit” for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients 40 to 65-years of age. WASHINGTON — “Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill appears to provide little or no benefit for younger adults, while still reducing the risk of hospitalization and death for high-risk seniors, according to a large study published Wednesday.


The results from a 109,000-patient Israeli study are likely to renew questions about the U.S. government’s use of Paxlovid, which has become the go-to treatment for COVID-19 due to its at-home convenience. The Biden administration has spent more than $10 billion purchasing the drug and making it available at thousands of pharmacies through its test-and-treat initiative.The researchers found that Paxlovid reduced hospitalizations among people 65 and older by roughly 75% when given shortly after infection. That’s consistent with earlier results used to authorize the drug in the U.S. and other nations. But people between the ages of 40 and 65 saw no measurable benefit, according to the analysis of medical records.”

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Zuck doesn’t sound good.

FBI Warned Facebook Of ‘Russian Propaganda’ In Hunter Biden Laptop Case (OK)

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook suppressed the distribution of the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 after a visit from the FBI. Zuckerberg told Joe Rogan that the FBI had been warning Facebook to beware of incoming “Russian propaganda” before the New York Post released the report on Hunter. Zuckerberg explained on the “Joe Rogan Experience” Thursday: “Basically the background here is the FBI, I think basically came to us — some folks on our team and was like, ‘Hey, um, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert. There was the — we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump of — that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”

“We just kind of thought, Hey look, if the FBI, which, you know, I still view as a legitimate institution in this country, it’s a very professional law enforcement. They come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something. Then I wanna take that seriously.” He says Facebook took a more judicious approach to the story than Twitter: “So our protocol is different from Twitter’s. What Twitter did is they said ‘You can’t share this at all.’ Um, we didn’t do that. If something’s reported to us as potentially, um, misinformation, important misinformation, we also use this third party fact-checking program, cause we don’t wanna be deciding what’s true and false.” To clarify Zuckerberg’s comments, Twitter briefly suspended the New York Post for sharing the story and deleted tweets sharing the hyperlink.

Facebook didn’t remove posts but instead placed the story lower in newsfeeds so that only accounts continuing to scroll could find the link. Meta calls the process “decreased distribution,” a practice critics accuse the company of enforcing on stories that run counter to certain political beliefs. In essence, Zuckerberg provides the defense that while Twitter banned the story, Facebook only buried it. Zuckerberg says Facebook wanted to wait until it could prove Russia did not plant propaganda before allowing mass distribution. Given the impact of the decision, his excuses are hardly valid. First, Facebook interfered in the 2020 presidential election by throttling the story. 16% of Biden voters say they would have voted differently had Facebook and smaller social media platforms not censored a credibly-reported bombshell. Second, it sounds as if the FBI is why Facebook put a specific report under a thorough review process. In that case, there’s another example of Facebook working on behalf of the government.

Zuck (The New York Post story broke in October 2020. The FBI had Hunter’s laptop since at least December 2019.)

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Didn’t she leave it in a hotel room? Doesn’t that make it “found” instead of “stolen”?

Trump Campaign Turned Down Ashley Biden Diary (JTN)

President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign refused to purchase the diary of President Joe Biden’s daughter and urged its would-be sellers to surrender it to the FBI, court filings show. Aimee Harris and Robert Kurtlander pleaded guilty on Thursday to stealing the diary of Ashley Biden and selling it to the conservative investigative journalism organization Project Veritas. Court filings from the Southern District of New York, which Just the News obtained, reveal that the pair first offered the diary to the Trump campaign but were rebuffed. The filings do not directly identify former President Donald Trump, but the details of the case have been public for months.


“On or about September 6, 2020, AIMEE HARRIS and ROBERT KURLANDER, the defendants, attended a political fundraiser in Florida meant to benefit the campaign of an individual [Trump] who was running for office against [now-President Joe Biden]. HARRIS and KURLANDER attended the fundraiser with the intent of showing the Victim’s stolen property to a campaign representative of [Trump], hoping that the political campaign would purchase it,” read the filings. “On or about September 10, 2020, a representative of [Trump’s] political campaign conveyed to AIMEE HARRIS and ROBERT KURLANDER, the defendants, that the campaign was not interested in purchasing the property and advised HARRIS and KURLANDER to provide the items to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (‘FBI’),” it continued. “KURLANDER texted HARRIS, “[Trump] campaign can’t use it. They want it to go to the FBI. There is NO WAY [Trump] can use this. It has to be done a different way.” The pair later sold the diary to Project Veritas.

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Cabot’s tragopan

 

 

 

 

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Aug 212022
 
 August 21, 2022  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Giambologna Colossus of the Apennines 1579-80 (35ft tall)

 

Car Blast Kills Daughter Of Russian Philosopher Dugin (RT)
Modern Empires Keep Taking What They Want From ‘Lesser’ Powers (Kovalik)
Russian Soldiers In Ukraine Hospitalized With Severe Chemical Poisoning (RT)
Two Lives: Victoria and Victorine (Batiushka)
Russia Continues To Stockpile Forex Reserves (RT)
UN Recruited Over 100,000 Digital First Responders to Push COVID Narrative (SN)
Houston, We Have a Problem – Part 1 of 3 (Ethical Skeptic)
Insufficient Vitamin D Linked To Fourfold Increase In Covid-19 Mortality (IT)
China Backs African Union Bid To Join The Group of 20 (SCMP)
Chinese Ambassador Outlines BRICS Vision (RT)
Millions Could Be Left Without Heat And Food In Winter, London Mayor Warns (RT)
Just How Bad Could Things Get This Winter? (RT)
Swiss Revolt Warning Issued (RT)
Amish Farmer Fighting US Government For Right To Sell His All-natural Food (RN)
Dutch Farmers Confront Billionaire ‘Green’ Elite’s Food System Reset Plan (GZ)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biden’s bribe tapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too early to say if the father was the intended target. But Putin can’t let cars be blown up near Moscow. He has to act.

Car Blast Kills Daughter Of Russian Philosopher Dugin (RT)

A powerful explosion ripped apart an SUV near Moscow on Saturday night, instantly killing its driver. According to preliminary reports, the victim was identified as Darya Dugina, the daughter of a veteran Russian political commentator Alexander Dugin, who is often painted in the West as one of the Kremlin’s “ideological masterminds.” The incident took place on a highway some 20 kilometers west of Moscow around 21:35 local time, with witnesses saying that the blast rocked the vehicle right in the middle of the road, scattering debris all around. The crippled car, fully engulfed in flames, then crashed into a fence, according to photos and videos from the scene. Emergency services said one person was inside the car and was instantly killed by the blast and crash – a female whose body was reportedly recovered burned beyond recognition.

Authorities have yet to officially confirm the identity of the victim, but multiple Russian Telegram channels and media sources reported that the victim was 30-year-old Darya Dugina (Platonova). Her father, Alexander Dugin, was spotted at the scene soon after the incident, visibly shocked, according to several videos circulating on social media. Preliminary reports suggested that a home-made explosive device might have been involved, but investigators have yet to confirm the cause of the blast, or any possible motive in case of a foul play. Earlier on Saturday evening, Aleksandr Dugin was giving a lecture on “Tradition and History”at a traditional family festival in the Moscow region, while his daughter attended the event as a guest. Some unconfirmed reports suggested that Dugin initially planned to leave the festival alongside his daughter, but later decided to take a separate car, while Darya took his Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.

Darya Dugina was a political commentator and daughter of Professor Aleksandr Dugin – a veteran Russian philosopher known for his staunch anti-Western and “neo-Eurasian” views. Western media repeatedly painted Dugin as one of the driving forces behind President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy over the past decade. Just in recent months, CBS dubbed him “the far-right theorist behind Putin’s plan,” while the Washington Post called him a “far-right mystical writer who helped shape Putin’s view of Russia.” n Russia, however, the supposed shadowy puppet master is largely considered to be a relatively marginal figure with some of his views deemed controversial even in nationalist circles. While he has served as an adviser to several politicians, Dugin never enjoyed official endorsement from the Kremlin.

Dugina

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“A child asks his parent, “Why are there pyramids in Egypt?” The parent answers, “Because they were too big to take to Britain.“

Modern Empires Keep Taking What They Want From ‘Lesser’ Powers (Kovalik)

There is an old joke which still has resonance. A child asks his parent, “Why are there pyramids in Egypt?” The parent answers, “Because they were too big to take to Britain.” Of course, many a true word is spoken in jest. Indeed, there is an apocryphal story that back in the day when Vladimir Lenin was in exile in London, he would enjoy taking friends to the British Museum and explaining to them how and from what far-flung lands all the antiquities there were stolen. One might have thought that these days of colonial plunder had ended, but one would be very wrong. Current examples abound. A notable one is, of course, the freezing by the US of $7 billion from the Afghanistan treasury – monies the US continues to hold even as it watches Afghans begin to die from starvation.

Apparently, the US believes that, after laying waste to Afghanistan through 20 years of war and, even before that by supporting the mujahideen terrorists, it is entitled to some compensation. This upside-down type of reasoning abounds in the minds of those in the West who simply believe they can take whatever they wish. Similarly, the US is now plundering Syria – another country utterly devastated in no small part by Washington-backed militants in a campaign to overthrow the elected president – of most of its oil, even as Syria suffers from severe energy blackouts. Thus, according to the Syrian Oil Ministry, “US occupation forces and their mercenaries,” referring to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), “steal up to 66,000 barrels every single day from the fields occupied in the eastern region,” amounting to around 83 percent of Syria’s daily oil production.

According to the ministry’s data, the Syrian oil sector has incurred losses of “about $105 billion since the beginning of the war until the middle of this year” as a result of the US oil theft campaign. Additionally, the statement added that alongside the financial losses incurred by the oil sector were “losses of life, including 235 martyrs, 46 injured and 112 kidnapped.” One of the biggest heists the US has carried out is against Russia. After the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the US seized an incredible $300 billion of Russian treasury funds which were deposited abroad. This was done, of course, without any due process, and to the great detriment of the Russian people – and with barely a critical word from Western pundits.

The US treatment of Venezuela abounds with other examples. As I write these words, the US is maneuvering to seize a commercial 747 airliner from Venezuela on the grounds that it once belonged to an Iranian airline which had some connection to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (which Washington has designated as terrorists) – which might sound like a tenuous justification, but the US really needs no reason. And this is simply the tip of the iceberg. The US has already seized Venezuela’s biggest single source of revenue – its US-based oil company CITGO – and is now in the process of selling off this company in pieces, even as Washington lifts restrictions on Venezuelan oil to shore up its own economy. The UK, meanwhile, has decided to keep over $1 billion in gold which Venezuela naively deposited in the Bank of England for safe-keeping. To add insult to injury, the US continues to criticize Venezuela for the hardships its people endure as a direct consequence of this plunder.

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Botulinum toxin.

Russian Soldiers In Ukraine Hospitalized With Severe Chemical Poisoning (RT)

Several Russian soldiers involved in the military operation in Ukraine have been hospitalized with severe chemical poisoning, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday. Traces of Botulinum toxin Type B, which is an “organic poison of artificial origin,” have been discovered in samples taken from the servicemen, the ministry said, accusing Kiev of “chemical terrorism.” The Russian troops were “hospitalized with signs of severe poisoning” after being stationed near the village of Vasilyevka in Zaporozhye Region on July 31, the statement said. “The Zelensky regime has authorized terrorist attacks with the use of toxic substances against Russian personnel and civilians” following a string of military defeats in Donbass and other areas, the ministry insisted.


Moscow plans to send laboratory tests from the soldiers to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Botulinum toxin, often called the “miracle poison,” is one of the most toxic biological substances known to science. Produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, it blocks the release of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, causing muscle paralysis. Botulinum toxin Type A has been used in medicine in small doses in recent decades, especially to treat disorders characterized by overactive muscle movement. It’s also well known in cosmetology under its shortened name, Botox. However, Botulinum toxin poses a major threat as a bioweapon due its ease of production and distribution, and the high fatality rate resulting from poisoning. Recovery is only possible after a lengthy period of intensive care.

Donbass residents

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“How does she sleep at night?”

Two Lives: Victoria and Victorine (Batiushka)

Victoria Jane Nuland was born in 1961 to Sherwin Nudelman, the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, and a British-born mother, Rhona Goulston. Already in his teens Nudelman had changed his name to Nuland in order to carve out a career. With the British-named Victoria, an Anglo-Zionist was clearly in the making. Indeed, she duly studied at an elite private boarding school in Connecticut, whose alumni include many US politicians. Then she went to Brown University, where she studied Russian literature, political science and history. She married Robert Kagan, the future leading Jewish neocon. Her worldview relects exactly the folly of the US since 1990 under the influence of the neo-imperialist neocons and Blairite-Clintonian ‘liberal interventionists’.

This has resulted in mass poverty in the USA, as well as 9/11, and millions of deaths in wars and tensions outside the US with the Islamic world, Iran, Russia, China and anyone else that resists US imperialism. From 2003 to 2005, during the US rape of defenceless Iraq and the theft of its oil and gas, Mrs Kagan was a foreign policy advisor to the notorious Cheney. She must have many deaths on her conscience from that particular mess. The Iraq catastrophe led to terrorism and counterterrorism and disastrous new wars in Libya and Syria. Meanwhile, her husband was demanding an ever more warlike foreign policy against the background of US fears of the coming multipolar world, a world which it would no longer be able to dominate.

So Mrs Kagan, who yearned for permanent NATO expansion and the encirclement of Russia, was deeply involved in the US ‘regime-change’, that is, the plot to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically-elected government by violence in 2014. This led to America’s responsibility for the ensuing civil war that had killed at least 14,000 people, women and children among them, even before 24 February 2022 and had left Ukraine the poorest country in Europe. Her $5 billion coup in 2014 in the wretched Ukraine, a strategic candidate for NATO on Russia’s border, was implemented through Oleh Tyahnybok’s neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and the new Right Sector militia. We do not forget that it was Tyanhnybok who had delivered a speech praising Ukrainians for fighting Jews and ‘other scum’ during World War II.

In February 2014 their protests in Kyiv’s Maidan Square turned into running battles led by neo-Nazis and extreme right-wing forces that the US had financed and orchestrated. A mob led by the Right Sector militia marched on Parliament and the President and others fled for their lives. Facing the possible loss of its naval base in Sevastopol in the Crimea, Russia accepted the overwhelming result (a 97% majority) of an internationally-observed referendum in which Crimea voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, of which it had been a part from 1783 to 1954. The Russian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, part of Russia until the terrorist Communists had given them away to the Ukraine in 1922, similarly declared independence from Neo-Nazi Kiev. This starting a bloody war between US-backed separatists in Kiev and the local Eastern Ukrainian people.

Mrs Kagan wants an ever-more dangerous War with Russia and China to justify her militarist foreign policy and Pentagon budgets. She relies on her mythical version of Russian aggression and US ‘democratic’ intentions. She claims that Russia’s military budget, one-tenth of that of the US, is proof of ‘Russian confrontation and militarisation’. She wants ‘permanent bases along NATO’s eastern border’ and sees Russia’s desire to defend itself after so many successive (and failed) Western invasions as an obstacle to NATO’s expansionism. In short, the deluded Mrs Kagan has with others unleashed intractable violence, chaos and the risk of nuclear war. How does she sleep at night?

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Feb 2022: $643.2 billion. Half of that was frozen. Now it’s back up to $580.6 billion. In assets that can’t be frozen.

Russia Continues To Stockpile Forex Reserves (RT)

Russia’s international holdings have reached $580.6 billion as of August 12, according to data published by the country’s central bank on Thursday. Moscow has been boosting its reserves as a shield against sanctions. The central bank regularly publishes updates on its reserves with a one-week lag. International reserves consist of foreign-currency funds, special drawing rights with the IMF and monetary gold. Total reserves surged by $5.8 billion from the previous week, the regulator said, noting that the 1% rise was due to a positive market revaluation.


The historical maximum of $643.2 billion was recorded in February 2022. Russia lost access to roughly half of its foreign reserves in early March after they were frozen by Western central banks as part of sanctions introduced by the US and its allies in response to the conflict in Ukraine. Despite this, the Russian Finance Ministry said the country would be able to cope with sanctions thanks to its abundant reserves.

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“..we’ve recruited 110,000 information volunteers..”

UN Recruited Over 100,000 Digital First Responders to Push COVID Narrative (SN)

At the height of the pandemic, the United Nations recruited over 100,000 “digital first responders’ to push the establishment narrative on COVID via social media. The revelation actually slipped out in October 2020 during a World Economic Forum podcast called ‘Seeking a cure for the infodemic’, although it is only going viral on Twitter today. In the podcast, Melissa Fleming, head of global communications for the United Nations, explains how the COVID pandemic and lockdowns created a “communications crisis” in addition to a public health emergency. Fleming acknowledged that in order to fight so-called “misinformation” about the pandemic, the UN tapped up 110,000 people to amplify their messaging across social media.

“So far, we’ve recruited 110,000 information volunteers, and we equip these information volunteers with the kind of knowledge about how misinformation spreads and ask them to serve as kind of ‘digital first-responders’ in those spaces where misinformation travels,” Fleming stated. That was nearly 2 years ago. It is not known how many ‘digital first responders’ have been recruited up to this point. Similar efforts to create astroturf campaigns to push a specific message are nothing new, but when entities such as oil companies engage in it, they are lambasted for rigging the discussion. However, when globalist technocrats at the UN or the WEF do it, apparently it’s fine.

Last year, it was revealed that the British government used “propagandistic” fear tactics to scare the public into mass compliance during the first COVID lockdown, according to a behavioral scientist who worked inside Downing Street. Scientists in the UK working as advisors for the government admitted using what they later conceded to be “unethical” and “totalitarian” methods of instilling fear in the population in order to control behavior during the pandemic.

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Epic from The Ethical Skeptic. “The following work is the result of thousands of hours of dynamic data tracking and research..”

Houston, We Have a Problem – Part 1 of 3 (Ethical Skeptic)

Seven of the major eleven International Classification of Diseases codes tracked by the US National Center for Health Statistics exhibit stark increase trends beginning in the first week of April 2021 – featuring exceptional growth more robust than during even the Covid-19 pandemic time frame. This date of inception is no coincidence, in that it also happens to coincide with a key inflection point regarding a specific body-system intervention in most of the US population. These seven pronounced increases in mortality alarmingly persist even now.

The following work is the result of thousands of hours of dynamic data tracking and research on the part of its author. The reader should anticipate herein, a journey which will take them through the methods and metrics which serve to identify this problem, along with a deductive assessment of the candidate causal mechanisms behind it. Alternatives as to cause which include one mechanism in particular, that is embargoed from being allowed as an explanation, nor even mere mention in some forums. At the end of this process, we will be left with one inescapable conclusion. One which threatens the very fabric and future of health policy in the US for decades to come.

On March 21st 2021, a longtime mentor, friend, and business partner of mine, an otherwise healthy 68 year old male, unexpectedly suffered an autoimmune cascade which ended up shutting down his pancreas, liver, kidneys, and finally heart. He had just received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on that Thursday prior. Carl quickly descended into a coma, and then died on March 26th.1

On May 29th 2021, a rather odd signal began to develop in my regular Covid-19 tracking models. The change which alerted me resided inside the magnitude of the ‘Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)’ ICD death code group. About this time and as a result of this observation, I began to track R00-R99 deaths, along with eleven other ICD-10 death codes, non-natural cause deaths (suicide, overdose, assault, etc.), and finally a statistic called ‘Excess Non-Covid Natural Cause Deaths’. As the reader reviews the calculated trends featured inside each of these death categorizations, they should note that this was indeed both a prescient and sound decision.

On December 1st of 2021, attending a business meeting at client’s medical complex, passing through the facility I took notice that their large oncology department waiting room was slammed full with patients. This queue of persons awaiting their oncology appointments spilled out into the hallway and finally on into the building atrium.2 While tempted at first blush to pass this off as a result of patients and their physicians ‘catching up on deferred screenings’ and/or ‘Covid-limited office days/hours effect’, my prior observational lessons suggested that I hold-off on such a knee-jerk inference, at least until the CDC – National Center for Health Statistics data (three bullet point sources below) proved out over the coming months. This as well, proved to be a wise decision.

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Is there even one country today with a Vit. D program? This article, too, does not define a satisfactory level. Why is it so hard?

Insufficient Vitamin D Linked To Fourfold Increase In Covid-19 Mortality (IT)

Covid-19 patients with low vitamin D levels are more likely to suffer severe disease and death, according to a study by Irish scientists. Unvaccinated Caucasian adults with low vitamin D have higher mortality due to Sars CoV-2 pneumonia, according to the small-scale study by researchers at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown and Technological University Dublin. This is not explained by confounders such as age or obesity and is not closely linked to inflammation, they say. Having an insufficient level of vitamin D was associated with a greater than fourfold increased mortality risk, according to the study, published in the journal Nutrients.

The study looked at the outcomes of 232 unvaccinated patients at Connolly hospital, all of whom had Covid-19 and required supplemental oxygen. Patients on steroid treatment were not recruited for the study in order, the authors say, to eliminate the effect their use might have on measures of both vitamin D and inflammation. The mortality rate among patients aged under 70 and who had “insufficient” vitamin D levels (less than 30 nanomoles per litre) was 11.8 per cent, compared to 2.2 per cent who had higher vitamin levels (greater than 30 nanomoles per litre). Among over-70s, the mortality rate for those with insufficient vitamin D levels was 55 per cent, compared to 25 per cent for those with high vitamin D levels.

“Unvaccinated Caucasian adults with a low vitamin D state have higher mortality due to Sars CoV-2 pneumonia, which is not explained by confounders and is not closely linked with elevated serum CRP (C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation),” the authors state. The authors say their data adds to a growing body of literature that appears to support a causal link between low vitamin D status and Covid-19 disease severity and death. Although the research was conducted only on unvaccinated patients, they say vitamin D supplementation may play a vital role in protecting both unvaccinated patients and patients in whom the effect of vaccination wanes. Vitamin D is available from sunlight and in foods such as fish, eggs and fortified cereals. About half the Irish population is deficient in the vitamin.

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As NATO tries to get Zelensky in.

China Backs African Union Bid To Join The Group of 20 (SCMP)

Beijing will support the African Union in its decades-long quest to join the G20, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday, as China vies with other powers for influence on the continent. South Africa is the only representative of the continent in the Group of 20 despite the African Union pushing for inclusion since its creation in 1999. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said last month he would invite the African bloc, representing 55 countries and 1.4 billion people, to the G20 summit in Bali in November to help the continent’s bid. The G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union. European Council president Charles Michel also voiced his support last month for the AU’s bid for the G20.

Wang’s pledge also came as Widodo told Bloomberg on Thursday that Chinese President Xi Jinping planned to attend the Bali summit in person, along with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Xi could meet US President Joe Biden, who is also expected to attend the gathering. If so, it would be the first in-person meeting for the two leaders since Biden took office last year. Beijing and Washington are at odds on everything from Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While the Biden administration has moved to expand its global alliances to counter China’s rise, Beijing has responded by focusing on shoring up ties with developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. A seat for the African Union at G20 is believed to be in Beijing’s interests in rallying support to counterbalance the US-led West.

Speaking at a virtual meeting with his African counterparts, Wang hailed African support for Beijing’s “one-China principle” and described their ties as “a pillar force” in defending the rights and interests of developing countries. “In the face of the various forms of hegemonic and bullying practices, China and Africa have stood with each other shoulder to shoulder,” he said. In a veiled swipe at US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Africa early this month, he also tried to present Beijing as an alternative to Washington and defend his country’s expanding presence there. “What Africa wishes for is a favourable and amicable cooperation environment, not the zero-sum cold war mentality. What Africa would welcome is mutually beneficial cooperation for the greater well-being of the people, not major-country rivalry for geopolitical gains,” he said.

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As the west disintegrates, east and south unite.

Chinese Ambassador Outlines BRICS Vision (RT)

Russia and China remain key pillars of BRICS, an international alliance also comprising India, Brazil and South Africa, the Chinese ambassador to Moscow wrote in a guest opinion piece for Russia’s TASS news agency, published on Saturday. The two nations are the major “drivers” behind the development of the group, which is gradually becoming a leading force in the international arena, Zhang Hanhui, added. The BRICS countries account for 42% of the world’s population and 25% of the global economy, Zhang said, adding that they account for roughly half of global economic growth, meaning that “the value of cooperation within BRICS is constantly rising.”

The group of emerging economies is increasingly attracting the attention of other nations, the envoy said, noting that representatives of 50 countries took part in various BRICS+ events in the first half of this year alone. He also welcomed the development of the BRICS+ format, which allows other countries to join the group’s permanent members in certain discussions. Three such events this year were attended by the leaders of 13 non-BRICS states, Zhang said. International challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict and rising tensions between major world powers, demand that Moscow and Beijing “strengthen their strategic cooperation,” the ambassador said, adding that BRICS should also “support efforts opposing hegemony and contribute to the establishment of real multilateralism” in international relations.

The ambassador pointed out that since the start of 2022, the BRICS nations have agreed on several initiatives in the field of economic digitalization and technology sharing. Beijing, which heads the group this year, has put forward a number of initiatives that would further enhance cooperation between members in the fields of innovation, he added. The Covid-19 pandemic also demonstrated the need for closer cooperation in medical research, the ambassador said, pointing to the need for sharing healthcare products with developing nations to help them overcome the pandemic. Zhang noted that in March, the BRICS countries launched a joint vaccine development center, offering joint research and development platforms to developing nations.

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Hey, Khan! Talk to Putin!

Millions Could Be Left Without Heat And Food In Winter, London Mayor Warns (RT)

Millions of people in the UK could find themselves unable to put food on the table and heat their homes this coming winter if the government doesn’t intervene, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Saturday. “We’ve seen nothing like this before,” Khan wrote on Twitter, referring to soaring energy prices and record inflation of more than 10%. “We’re facing a winter where for millions it won’t be about choosing between heating or eating but tragically being able to afford neither,” he warned. “This can’t happen,” the mayor insisted, adding that the British government “needs to step in so that people can meet their basic needs.”

He accompanied the post with a data from the Auxilione energy consultancy, predicting that energy bills in the UK could increase by 80% in October, exceeding £3,600 ($4,292) per year on average. For comparison, the cap set by energy industry regulator, Ofgem, in October 2021 stood at £1,400 per year. Khan also spoke on the same issue on Friday while visiting a warehouse that distributes supplies to food banks in one of London’s boroughs. He gave assurances that his administration is“committed” to providing support for struggling Londoners, but called on the government to work harder, as there is “no sign of this rise in costs slowing down”.

“Ministers must act now to help prevent this cost of living crisis becoming a national disaster,” the mayor said. Economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe have been further exacerbated by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent decrease in Russian natural gas supplies to the EU.

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“Europe really needs to act as a negotiator between NATO, Russia and Ukraine, and include China in the discussions..”

Just How Bad Could Things Get This Winter? (RT)

Natural gas prices across Europe have quadrupled this year. Looking ahead to winter and imagining the new heights energy values may hit, consumers are starting to opt for an alternative (old) form of heating – wood. Huge demand for combustibles, as well as for wood stoves, has been detected in several Western states. In Germany, where almost a half of homes are heated with gas, people are turning to a more guaranteed energy source. Firewood sellers tell local media that they are barely coping with the demand. The country is also witnessing a rise in cases of wood theft. Next door, in the Netherlands, business owners note that their clients are buying wood earlier than ever. In Belgium, wood producers are struggling with demand, while prices are going up – as they are across the region.

In Denmark, one local stove manufacturer told the media that, while demand for his product was on the rise since the start of the Covid pandemic, this year’s profit is forecast to reach over 16 million kroner (€2 million), compared with 2.4 million in 2019. A huge increase. Even Hungary, a country that didn’t support the EU’s decision to phase out Russian fossil fuels and agreed a new gas purchase with Moscow this summer, is making preparations for a tough winter. The country has announced a ban on the export of firewood and relaxed some restrictions on logging. The World Wildlife Fund Hungary has expressed its concern on the matter, declaring: “There has been no precedent for such a decision in our country for decades.” In fact, the conflict in Ukraine is not the only reason for the energy crisis. The increase in prices had already been observed in 2021.

“It was the effect of supply chain interruptions due to COVID, a very cold winter, very hot summer and China’s energy crisis, that led to [the] buying [of] huge amounts of LNG around the world,” says Professor Phoebe Koundouri, Director of the Research laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability at Athens University of Economics and Business, and President of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. When the conflict in Ukraine came about, the sanctions against Russia – followed by Moscow’s response to the restrictions – sent prices through roof. “Europe really needs to act as a negotiator between NATO, Russia and Ukraine, and include China in the discussions, in order to find a solution that is meaningful for the millions of people that are being affected by this geopolitical crisis,” Prof. Koundourisays.

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“It is conceivable that the population would rebel or that there would be looting..”

Swiss Revolt Warning Issued (RT)

Swiss people may revolt and resort to looting if the Alpine nation is hit by a severe energy crunch this winter, the police chief of one of its cantons told local media on Saturday. Fredy Fassler, the head of the Security and Justice Department in the canton of St. Gallen, told German-language daily Blick that a blackout would have “far-reaching consequences.” “Imagine, you can no longer withdraw money at the ATM, you can no longer pay with the card in the store or refuel your tank at the gas station. Heating stops working. It’s cold. Streets go dark. It is conceivable that the population would rebel or that there would be looting,” he said, adding that the country’s authorities should take measures to prepare for such extreme scenarios. According to Fassler, while he does not think such a disaster is likely, police have prepared for such an eventuality.


Exercises that were conducted in 2014 to prepare for a blackout scenario revealed major shortcomings, including lack of emergency generators for police, hospitals and other critical infrastructure and services, he said. “These shortcomings have been addressed in recent years, so the security forces are ready,” the police chief added, noting that his agency is even prepared to provide the Swiss with cash if they are unable to use cards in stores, given that relevant agreements with banks have been signed. Fassler’s comments come after Swiss authorities said last week that they may place restrictions on energy consumption this coming winter, signaling that “power shortages [are] among the most serious risks” for the landlocked country. Earlier, Werner Luginbuhl, the head of Switzerland’s electricity regulator ElCom, complained that electricity was being used “completely thoughtlessly,” and urged citizens to stock up on candles and firewood due to possible power outages in the country this winter.

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“..I think going through your regulatory process will actually hurt the quality of my food and that’s what I’m being paid top dollar for, it is this high quality food.”

Amish Farmer Fighting US Government For Right To Sell His All-natural Food (RN)

Miller’s Organic Farm is located in the remote Amish village of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. The farm supplies everything from grass-fed beef and cheese, to raw milk and organic eggs, to dairy from grass-fed water buffalo and all types of produce, all to roughly 4,000 private food club members who pay top dollar for high quality whole food. The private food club members appreciate their freedom to get food from an independent farmer that isn’t processing his meat and dairy at U.S. Department of Agriculture facilities, which mandates that food be prepared in ways that Miller’s Organic Farm believe make it less nutritious. Amos Miller, the farm’s owner, contends that he’s preparing food the way God intended — but the U.S. government doesn’t see things that way. They recently sent armed federal agents to the farm and demanded he cease operations. The government is also looking to issue more than $300,000 in fines — a request so steep, it would put the farm out of business.

“There’s this farmer named Amos Miller and he’s been farming for 25 years. No electricity, no fertilizer, no gasoline. He has really, really impressive crop yields using only the only the oldest of methods, totally organic. He has milk, he has beef, he has different types of sheep. He has chicken, all types of vegetables. And he has a private buyers club of about 4,000 people all across the country that pay him top dollar for his food. And the government doesn’t like this idea of a private buyers club. They have raided his farm with armed federal agents and they have said he needs to stop selling his meat until he gets regulated by the federal agencies whose job it is to, you know, regulate food.

And he says, “you know, the way you guys regulate it, it kind of hurts the nutrition of the food — you know, you wash it in these things, you’ve given these vaccines and the cows get all types of medicine, I don’t do any of that. So I think going through your regulatory process will actually hurt the quality of my food and that’s what I’m being paid top dollar for, it is this high quality food.” So they are fining him hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they’ve actually sent armed federal agents there to take inventory of his meat, of his dairy, and they visit him to make sure that he’s not selling anything and that he’s not ramping up his production in any way. So that’s where he is now. He’s figuring out how to fight the federal government, what he’s going to do. And you know, he’s been put in this really tight spot along with the people who, you know, look to him for this food. They’re not getting their meat and dairy right now because of the government.

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“No farms, no food.”

Dutch Farmers Confront Billionaire ‘Green’ Elite’s Food System Reset Plan (GZ)

Dutch farmers’ protests offer a preview of the resistance to come as transnational “green” billionaires advance a “reset” of the global food system. The elite agenda threatens to deepen an international cost of living crisis and spark unrest well beyond The Netherlands. Ingrid de Sain is a Dutch farmer who lives in the Northern Holland town of Schellinkhout, where she and her family tend to a 62 acre farm with about 100 dairy cows. Like thousands of fellow citizens in her industry, she now finds herself locked in an existential conflict with her government. “Farming is in your heart,” de Sain told The Grayzone. “And you don’t want to do something else. You’re a farmer or you’re not.” She says she will oppose any efforts requiring her to give up a farm that guarantees prosperity for future generations of her family.

The Dutch government announced plans to slash nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions in June 2022, enforcing an ambitious agenda in the name of protecting the climate. The imposed reductions could spell devastating consequences for the country’s farming industry and add enormous stress to already chaotic global food supply chains. Today, the Netherlands is Europe’s top exporter of meat and the second largest agricultural exporter overall in the world, right behind the US. The tiny nation’s agricultural success is the product of its traditional dependence on generously sized farms that use nitrogen-rich fertilizer to produce heavy yields. Such methods were encouraged by Brussels through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, which prioritized the growth of cattle lots, incentivized the use of chemical fertilizers, and pushed many smaller family farmers out of operation.

In 2019, a Dutch court order declared in 2019 that nitrogen-compound fertilizer was a top threat to the climate and biodiversity, and mandated a 70-80% decrease in its use. If implemented in the country, the proposed reductions could destroy a full third of its farming output and eliminate somewhere between 30 and 50% of Dutch livestock. The stage was set for open conflict. Once the pro-EU coalition government of Dutch PM Mark Rutte took steps to implement the restrictions in June 2022, local farmers responded immediately with ferocious mass protests that have blocked roads, airports, and grocery distribution centers. Since the outbreak of demonstrations, supermarkets shelves have gone empty as the farmers’ cry of “No farms, no food” reverberates nationwide.

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Same bike, same couple – 1955 and 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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