Dec 102022
 


Saul Leiter Harlem 1960

 

THE TWITTER FILES: The Removal Of Donald Trump, Part 1 (ZH)
Twitter Files Unveil More FBI Collusion (RT)
Twitter Files Highlight the Mechanics of Controlling Platform Information (CTH)
How “Trust” Executives Misled Congress and the Public (Turley)
The Tool of Tools (Kunstler)
Putin Doesn’t Bluff (Jim Rickards)
Putin: West is Using Ukrainians as ‘Cannon Fodder’ (Celente)
US To Unveil New Military Aid Package For Ukraine – Reuters (RT)
Western Europe Caught In A Strategic Trap, Unclear How It Can Escape (Lukyanov)
The New Russia and a Prophetic Ballad (Batiushka)
Oil Price Cap Will Backfire, Warns Putin (RT)
‘Minsk II Was Agreed On To Arm Ukraine’ – Did Merkel Really Say That? (MoA)
How Big Are the Fed’s Losses and Where Can We Go See Them? (WS)
Dutch Farmers Battle Technocratic Forces Driving Them Into Oblivion (GZ)

 

 

Scott Adams has a hard time updating his list of hoaxes; there are too many.

 

 

Dr. Michael Vlahos & Col. Douglas Macgregor: Is the war in Ukraine entering its decisive phase? Pt.1

 

 

Child exploitation

 

 

 

 

Bhattacharya

 

 

 

 

Third batch. Much more to follow. Hard to keep up.

THE TWITTER FILES: The Removal Of Donald Trump, Part 1

The third installment of Elon Musk’s release of internal Twitter communications has been released, once again via veteran journalist Matt Taibbi. In this episode, which is a 3-parter, we learn what happened behind the scenes which led to the banishment of former President Donald Trump from the platform. 2. The world knows much of the story of what happened between riots at the Capitol on January 6th, and the removal of President Donald Trump from Twitter on January 8th… 3. We’ll show you what hasn’t been revealed: the erosion of standards within the company in months before J6, decisions by high-ranking executives to violate their own policies, and more, against the backdrop of ongoing, documented interaction with federal agencies.

4. This first installment covers the period before the election through January 6th. Tomorrow, @ShellenbergerMD will detail the chaos inside Twitter on January 7th. On Sunday, @bariweiss will reveal the secret internal communications from the key date of January 8th. 5. Whatever your opinion on the decision to remove Trump that day, the internal communications at Twitter between January 6th-January 8th have clear historical import. Even Twitter’s employees understood in the moment it was a landmark moment in the annals of speech. 6. As soon as they finished banning Trump, Twitter execs started processing new power. They prepared to ban future presidents and White Houses – perhaps even Joe Biden. The “new administration,” says one exec, “will not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary.”

7. Twitter executives removed Trump in part over what one executive called the “context surrounding”: actions by Trump and supporters “over the course of the election and frankly last 4+ years.” In the end, they looked at a broad picture. But that approach can cut both ways. 8. The bulk of the internal debate leading to Trump’s ban took place in those three January days. However, the intellectual framework was laid in the months preceding the Capitol riots. 9. Before J6, Twitter was a unique mix of automated, rules-based enforcement, and more subjective moderation by senior executives. As reported, the firm had a vast array of tools for manipulating visibility, most all of which were thrown at Trump (and others) pre-J6.

10. As the election approached, senior executives – perhaps under pressure from federal agencies, with whom they met more as time progressed – increasingly struggled with rules, and began to speak of “vios” as pretexts to do what they’d likely have done anyway. 11. After J6, internal Slacks show Twitter executives getting a kick out of intensified relationships with federal agencies. Here’s Trust and Safety head Yoel Roth, lamenting a lack of “generic enough” calendar descriptions to concealing his “very interesting” meeting partners.

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“This “smaller, more powerful cadre” of senior executives made decisions “on the fly, often in minutes and based on guesses, gut calls, even Google searches..”

Twitter Files Unveil More FBI Collusion (RT)

US federal agencies worked closely with Twitter moderators to clamp down on “disinformation” during the 2020 election, while executives went to great lengths to scrub certain content they deemed false and dangerous following increasingly frequent sit-downs with law enforcement and intelligence orgs, according to the third installment of the “Twitter Files.” Shared on Friday by journalist Matt Taibbi, the trove of files includes a set of messages from Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth. The executive reveals he was running out of “generic” names on the company’s internal calendar to hide the increasingly regular meetings with federal officials ahead of the 2020 election. “DEFINITELY NOT meeting with the FBI I SWEAR,” he quipped in response to a colleague who suggested calling it a “Very Boring Business Meeting That Is Definitely Not About Trump.”

Another missive speaks of Roth’s “weekly sync” with officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), suggesting he consulted with three-letter agencies to discuss “election security.” The message also mentions a “monthly meeting” with the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), a unit created to “identify and counteract malign foreign influence operations targeting the United States” in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential win. The FBI even went as far as to flag individual tweets thought to be problematic, in one case urging Twitter to censor a former Republican official – apparently on the basis of a Politifact article alone. The DHS, ODNI and “some NGOs that aren’t academic” were also involved in the process.

A special channel was created on October 8, 2020 for senior executives like Roth, Trust and Policy chief Vijaya Gadde and top lawyer Jim Baker – who previously worked as general counsel for the FBI – to coordinate election-related decisions, given the name “us2020_xfn_enforcement.” This “smaller, more powerful cadre” of senior executives made decisions “on the fly, often in minutes and based on guesses, gut calls, even Google searches,” while also “clearly liaising with federal enforcement and intelligence agencies about moderation of election-related content,” Taibbi wrote, dubbing the group a “high-speed Supreme Court of moderation.” In yet another exchange involving Policy Director Nick Pickles, a staffer asked if the site’s marketing team could say that posts are reviewed in conjunction with “outside experts” in promotional material. However, Pickles raised doubts, saying “not sure we’d describe the FBI/DHS as experts,” instead suggesting the term “partnerships” alone.

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Lawyer sundance has long said he doesn’t trust DeSantis, who he sees as representing larger forces behind the curtain. Since Bari Weiss supports DeSantis’ campaign, while also publishing the Twitter Files with Matt Taibbi, for Elon Musk, he doesn’t trust any of them either.

Twitter Files Highlight the Mechanics of Controlling Platform Information (CTH)

The latest release of information behind the controversial “Twitter Files”, comes from Bari Weiss complete with the strategic promotion of a new website [The Free Press] launching via the booster provided by their access to the internal Twitter documents. Curiously intelligent people will note the Weiss website is structured to support the 2024 presidential bid of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is, not coincidentally, riding atop a multi-staged booster guided by Elon Musk and fueled by Wall Street billionaires. For the moment, just note and I digress – but please do not miss the connections. As noted by the former New York Times journalist, Ms. Weiss states, “the [website] authors have broad and expanding access to Twitter’s files. The only condition we agreed to was that the material would first be published on Twitter.” [..]

Overall, the story as released walks through the process that Twitter used to control users and as a consequence control the flow of information on the platform. Accounts were subject to restrictions, manipulations and other inorganic engagement controls depending on the ideology of the content being provided. [..] To put it in brutally honest terms, The United States Dept of Homeland Security is the operating system running in the background of Twitter. You can debate whether Elon Musk honestly didn’t know all this before purchasing Twitter from his good friend Jack Dorsey, and/or what the scenario of owner/operator motive actually is. Decide for yourself. For me, I feel confident that all of the conflicting and odd datapoints only reconcile in one direction. DHS, via CISA, controls Twitter.

Wittingly or unwittingly (you decide) Elon Musk is now the face of that govt controlled enterprise. If you concur with my researched assessment, then what you see being released by Elon Musk in the Twitter Files is actually a filtered outcome as a result of this new ownership dynamic. And with that intelligence framework solidly in mind, I warn readers not to take a position on the motive of the new ownership. Put simply, DHS stakeholders, to include the DOJ, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), are mitigating public exposure of their domestic surveillance activity by controlling and feeding selected information about their prior Twitter operations.

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“..Dorsey insisted that “we don’t have a censoring department.” Dorsey also expressly denied under oath that there was “shadow banning” based on political ideology.”

How “Trust” Executives Misled Congress and the Public (Turley)

Calling executives the “Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust” (Vijaya Gadde) and the “Global Head of Trust & Safety” (Yoel Roth) doesn’t alter their status as some of the greatest censors in history. Yet the license for this massive system clearly came from Twitter’s very top. Shadow banning and “visibility filtering” are consistent with the policies of ex-CEO Parag Agrawal, who pledged 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.” So we now know that Twitter was not only banning dissenting voices on subjects ranging from COVID to climate change but was throttling or suppressing the traffic for disfavored writers.

Among those targeted was Stanford professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who wrote about how COVID lockdowns would harm children. He and others have been vindicated in flagging those worries, but Twitter secretly placed him on a “Trends Blacklist” to prevent his tweets from trending. It’s a telling list because it reflects an acknowledgment that such tweets would trend with users if the company didn’t suppress them. Some of us have been raising concerns over Twitter’s massive censorship system for years, including what I called the emergence of a “shadow state” where corporations carry out censorship the Constitution bars the government from doing. What’s striking is leading Democrats have been open about precisely this type of corporate manipulation of political speech on social media.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called upon these companies to use enlightened algorithms to protect users from their own bad reading choices. Even President Joe Biden called for such regulation of speech and discussions by wise editors. Without such censorship and manipulation, Biden asked, “How do people know the truth?” It is still early to determine possible legal implications of these files, but there are some areas likely to be of immediate concern for counsel. First, Elon Musk has suggested that some material may have been intentionally hidden or destroyed despite inquiries from Congress. Twitter was told to expect a congressional investigation into these areas. It’s not clear if this was material allegedly deleted as part of a regular process or a specific effort to destroy evidence of censorship or throttling.

Such obstruction cases, however, can be difficult to bring absent clear evidence. In 2005, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned accounting firm Arthur Andersen’s conviction for its destruction of documents under a standard record-management system. Second, destruction of documents could also prove relevant as part of an investigation into whether false statements were given under oath. Twitter executives denied such secret suppression efforts both in public and before Congress. Indeed, a recent federal filing revealed a 2021 email between Twitter executives and Carol Crawford, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s digital media chief. Crawford wanted to censor “unapproved opinions” on social media; Twitter replied that “with our CEO testifying before Congress this week [it] is tricky.”

At that hearing, social-media companies were asked about my prior testimony on private censorship in circumventing the First Amendment. In response, Dorsey insisted that “we don’t have a censoring department.” Dorsey also expressly denied under oath that there was “shadow banning” based on political ideology.

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“Is it a stretch to imagine Mr. Baker’s former employer, the FBI — which, let’s face it, operates as a sort of blood-brotherhood — purposely installed Mr. Baker in that sensitive job at Twitter..”

The Tool of Tools (Kunstler)

At what point in his arduous take-over of Twitter did Elon Musk realize that the package came with a joker in the deck: James A. Baker, formerly general counsel of the FBI? Did he wonder: what is this guy doing here? Were there any conversations between the two? Or did Mr. Musk just quietly observe his presence at a remove in nervous wonder, as one might, say, upon discovering a scorpion in the corner of his hotel room? Mr. Baker, you understand, was notoriously at the center of the FBI’s FISA court fuckery that got the ball rolling in the Crossfire Hurricane operation, Act One of RussiaGate, as well as the Alfa Bank caper concocted by Hillary Clinton (disclosed this year by special counsel John Durham), and probably every other sedition pie the FBI cooked in its oven in those years, considering Mr. Baker’s position as chief legal advisor to Director Chris Wray.

When the alt-news media caught onto Mr. Baker’s nefarious activities, he became inconvenient to the agency, was re-assigned to some nebulous task (polishing Mr. Wray’s cuff links?), and quit in May, 2018. He landed temporarily — or was he, rather, parked out-of-sight? — at the shadowy R Street Institute, an Intel Community cut-out, one of its countless PR channels in the DC Swamp. But then, mysteriously, Mr. Baker got hired by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in June of 2020 — the heat of a presidential election — to work under Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s general counsel (and chief of “legal, policy, and trust” [ha!]), where he remained until just the other day. Is it a stretch to imagine Mr. Baker’s former employer, the FBI — which, let’s face it, operates as a sort of blood-brotherhood — purposely installed Mr. Baker in that sensitive job at Twitter to help “moderate” the national conversation in the central forum that public debate had moved to in our time?

If so, he apparently did a crackerjack job, and just at the right time, too, after the FBI discovered, in emails they ripped off Rudolph Giuliani’s purloined cloud account, that Donald Trump’s attorney possessed of a copy of the laptop hard-drive of one Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate Joe Biden — said computer (the FBI knew full-well by then) being stuffed not just with pornographic photos of crack orgies and other personal infelicities, but also a trove of emails and deal memos laying out a bribery and money-laundering scheme that the younger Biden was running all over Eurasia as a family business.

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“..the upcoming counteroffensive would give Russia control of the entire coast from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea..”

Putin Doesn’t Bluff (Jim Rickards)

Much has been made of Ukraine’s retaking of Kherson, but Russia regarded it as a city of little strategic value. Rather than waste resources fighting for it, they withdrew. The Russians also let the Ukrainians have the open land, which will later become a killing field for Russian artillery. That’s the reality you’re not being told. In the words of retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor: “The Biden administration repeatedly commits the unpardonable sin in a democratic society of refusing to tell the American people the truth: Contrary to the Western media’s popular “Ukrainian victory” narrative, which blocks any information that contradicts it, Ukraine is not winning and will not win this war. Months of heavy Ukrainian casualties, resulting from an endless series of pointless attacks against Russian defenses in southern Ukraine, have dangerously weakened Ukrainian forces.”

In the meantime, Russia is preparing to launch a massive counteroffensive. It’s completed its 300,000-man mobilization, with over 180,000 of those troops now deployed behind Russian lines in combat formations. The remaining 120,000 troops will arrive soon. This brings total Russian strength up to about 30 divisions. Once again, Col. Macgregor: “The coming offensive phase of the conflict will provide a glimpse of the new Russian force that is emerging and its future capabilities…The numbers continue to grow, but the numbers already include 1,000 rocket artillery systems, thousands of tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones, plus 5,000 armored fighting vehicles, including at least 1,500 tanks, hundreds of manned fixed-wing attack aircraft, helicopters and bombers. This new force has little in common with the Russian army that intervened nine months ago on Feb. 24, 2022.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian strength has been greatly diminished due to high casualty rates and being stretched thin. Then What? If successful, the upcoming counteroffensive would give Russia control of the entire coast from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea. It would also give Russia control of the Dnipro River, which separates the western part of Ukraine from the eastern part and connects Kyiv to the Black Sea. Ukraine would be left as a rump state between Kyiv and Lviv. Almost all the industrial, technological and natural resource capacity of former Ukraine would be under Russian control.

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“If we are talking about a disarming strike, perhaps we should think about using the approaches of our American partners.”

Putin: West is Using Ukrainians as ‘Cannon Fodder’ (Celente)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, once again, accused the West of using Ukrainian troops as cannon fodder as some of the war’s most intense fighting rages in Bakhmut, an eastern city in Donetsk. Putin said the West is fighting for global domination but acknowledged that Russia will have to make a deal vis-a-vis Ukraine at some point. He said he is concerned that countries like Germany and France, which would likely help broker any deals, may not be trust worthy. “The question of trust arises. And trust of course is almost at zero… But nevertheless, in the final analysis we have to come to agreements. I have already said many times that we are ready for these agreements,” Putin said in a video message, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, the fighting playing out in the city has been compared to how forces used to square off in WWI.

The Financial Times described one of the scenes:“Then came the Russian infantry, charging in a first world war-style attack across a no man’s land of shredded trees and artillery craters. The Ukrainians popped up and mowed down many of them with machine guns and grenade launchers. Moments later, the scenes were repeated — although this time the Russian fighters had to navigate their comrades’ bodies. Again many were cut down by Ukrainian bullets. “It’s like a conveyor belt,” Kostyantyn, an exhausted Ukrainian machine-gunner who described the scene to the Financial Times, said of the Russian tactics. “For what? A fucking metre of our land.” The city is considered to be located at a valuable location and has been fortified by Ukrainian troops.

Both Russia and Ukraine have been tight lipped about their casualties in the city, but The Wall Street Journal said hospitals have been inundated with Ukrainian casualties. Ukrainian troops and civilians have taken to social media to post images from the city that show gutted buildings and charred homes. Sky News noted that Bakhumt has been called a meat grinder because of the “huge and growing number of casualties.”Putin also said in the video that Russia may look into updating its nuclear policy and take a new look at the possibility of a preventive nuclear first strike to disarm an opponent to its military doctrine, Bloomberg reported. “We’re thinking about this,” he said. “If we are talking about a disarming strike, perhaps we should think about using the approaches of our American partners.”

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One after another. Never stop.

US To Unveil New Military Aid Package For Ukraine – Reuters (RT)

Washington is about to send another security assistance package to Kiev, which will include anti-drone and air defense systems, Reuters reported, citing sources. The $275 million measure is expected to be officially announced on Friday. According to officials and documents cited by the news agency, the security aid will also include rockets for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm ammunition, Humvee vehicles, and generators. At the same time, there are no details on the air defense equipment, the report says. In addition to this, the contents and the size of the aid package may change before it is approved by US President Joe Biden.

The new measure is expected to be covered by the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows Washington to dispatch military equipment quickly and without congressional approval. Supporting Ukraine with air defense systems has become an “absolute priority” for Western countries since Russia began targeting the country’s energy infrastructure, according to the US Department of Defense. The recurring bombardments picked up steam after Moscow accused Kiev of conducting “terrorist attacks” on Russian structures, including the strategic Crimea Bridge. In early November, the Pentagon announced a $400 million security package for Ukraine, which included ammunition for the HAWK air defense system as well as four Avenger air defense systems and additional Stinger missiles.

The same month, Ukraine received two first National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), with Washington promising to send another six. Since the start of the conflict, the US has committed more than $19 billion in security assistance to Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly warned Western countries that providing heavy weapons to Ukraine risks both crossing Russia’s “red lines,” and could lead to their direct involvement in the conflict. Washington and its allies insist they are not a party to the hostilities, but continue sending arms shipments to Kiev. The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes on Ukraine’s power infrastructure were intended to degrade Kiev’s ability to transport troops, and Western-supplied weapons and equipment to the battlefield by rail.

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“Beijing will be Washington’s strategic rival for decades to come. However, it’s not a threat to Western Europe, and it’s not a challenge. Indeed, cooperation with it is advantageous.”

Western Europe Caught In A Strategic Trap, Unclear How It Can Escape (Lukyanov)

[..] the Democratic administration’s rhetoric was reminiscent of the Clinton era, which was arguably the golden era of US-European symbiosis. Back then, Washington regarded the continent as an important priority and made considerable efforts to beautify it in a pan-Atlantic spirit, which was then in line with the overwhelming European sense of what was beautiful. The current US president, Joe Biden, is an old-school politician, from a time when Europe was the center of American interests. But the old school involves a sober analysis of costs and benefits. And the ability to optimize the former by maximizing the latter.

After the Second World War, and especially the Cold War, Western Europeans abandoned strategic thinking and instead followed policies which ensured a comfortable existence. The US, on the other hand, has retained the ability, if not to think, then, at least, to feel strategically. Hence an understanding (or rather an instinct) of the changing geopolitical realities. Of course, gut feelings don’t guarantee the correctness of policy, but they do imply an alignment with current needs and circumstances. Ironically, Western Europe, historically famed for its rationalism, is now much less correlated with the consequences of its actions.

Whether Washington had a cunning plan to shift the brunt of the confrontation with Russia onto its European allies, we may someday find out. However, the behavior of the United States can perhaps be explained not by scheming, but rather by clever opportunism. The fallout from the Ukrainian crisis is spreading all over the place, with the US making decisions to manage the consequences or even to exploit them for the future. This causes consternation amongst the Western Europeans: the Americans can do it, but they themselves can not. Thus, when the Biden administration passes the Inflation Reduction Act, putting American citizens in a much better position than Europeans, it is perfectly in the interests of the US. So?

Western Europe is caught in a trap and it’s unclear how it can escape. Absolute solidarity with the US on the Russian question implies subordination to a stronger partner. That said, the EU and UK are ready for this, but it means (for objective reasons): 1) that they must bear most of the costs, and 2) they should follow a common strategic position on the other issues of principle for their patron. And the main one here is China. Beijing will be Washington’s strategic rival for decades to come. However, it’s not a threat to Western Europe, and it’s not a challenge. Indeed, cooperation with it is advantageous. But why should the big brother allow his little sidekick to help someone who is at odds with him?

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“..Western companies made a killing inside Russia, tens of millions of people were robbed of their savings and pensions and millions died of poverty, despair, alcoholism and in nationalist wars in the Caucasus..”

The New Russia and a Prophetic Ballad (Batiushka)

Tragically, instead of keeping the best of the old USSR, full employment, housing for all, free education, free health care, free culture and support for the exploited Third World, once the nouveau-riche nomenklatura had taken long-coveted power, they simply put in place a poor-quality imitation of the corrupt West, keeping only all that was worst in the old USSR, alcoholism, abortion and divorce on demand, corruption etc. It was the worst of both worlds. National assets were stolen (‘privatised’) by what were politely called ‘oligarchs’, tens of millions of abandoned Russians found they had become disliked minorities in new countries, Western companies made a killing inside Russia, tens of millions of people were robbed of their savings and pensions and millions died of poverty, despair, alcoholism and in nationalist wars in the Caucasus, which were directly provoked and supported by the West. It was one of the greatest thefts of resources and identity in the history of the world.

It is only since 2000 that Russian patriots have been able to develop something better to put in place of these monstrosities and despite them. This has been a generational project and could not be rushed. Only thirty years later, in 2022, was the project ready. The New Russia, purged of the parasites and traitors, is needed, but there are still institutions, like the Church, where the corrupt and infiltrators are present and so compromise them. These traitors are just like the aristocrats, generals, politicians and professionals who coveted power in 1917 and so brought the system down. Just like today’s aristocrats/oligarchs and bourgeois elite of traitors, they implemented the Western-planned February 1917 palace revolt and, once they had caused chaos, civil war and destruction, they irresponsibly ran away to the West.

Having rejected the corrupt and failed post-Soviet Russia and the bankrupted Soviet Russia (1917-1991), the patriots who wanted to form the New Russia had two past models to consider: the brief Imperial Russia (1721-1917) and the long pre-Imperial Russia (988-1721), whose ideal was ‘Holy Rus’. Interestingly the last Tsar, Nicholas II, seeing the appalling decadence of the upper class in Saint Petersburg, had looked back with nostalgia precisely to that pre-Imperial Russia and especially to one of its last rulers, Tsar Alexis (1645-1676). He named his only son after him, reconciling those who used the Old Ritual with the Church, worked towards the restoration of the Patriarchate, building churches in the national style of the previous age and reforming church singing and iconography according to that age’s standards

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“..specific steps to retaliate against the measure will be outlined in the coming days through a presidential order..”

Oil Price Cap Will Backfire, Warns Putin (RT)

The price ceiling imposed by the West on Russian oil exports will impact the nations adopting the measure rather than Russia itself, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. He noted that the cap is equal to prices at which the country is currently selling its crude. “We won’t sustain losses under any circumstances,” Putin said during a press conference following a summit of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. The price limit on Russian seaborne oil, set at $60 per barrel, was introduced by the EU, the G7 countries and Australia on December 5. It bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian oil, unless the cargo is purchased at or below the indicated price.


Russia is not planning to sell oil to nations supporting the price cap, Putin said, adding that specific steps to retaliate against the measure will be outlined in the coming days through a presidential order. According to Putin, Russia will consider oil production cuts if necessary, although no decisions on the issue have been made so far. “We have an agreement with OPEC + on a known production target, we will think of something additional if necessary,” he said. According to the Russian leader, introducing a price ceiling will inevitably reduce investments into the oil sector, and send global crude prices skyrocketing.

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“It was a serious defeat for her but there was nothing she could do about it. She therefore now comes up, ex post, with a Chamberlain excuse…”

‘Minsk II Was Agreed On To Arm Ukraine’ – Did Merkel Really Say That? (MoA)

Helmholtz Smith, Andrew Korybko and Andrei Martyanov have some thoughts about a recent interview the former German chancellor Angela Merkel gave to the German weekly broadsheet Die Zeit. Smith says it shows that the ‘West’ is not trustworthy. Korybko thinks it the interview will prolong the conflict in Ukraine. Martyanov says that Merkel is stupid. She isn’t. In the interview Merkel seems to claim that the Minsk agreements between the Ukrainian government and the Donbas region, which she negotiated and co-signed as guarantor, was never meant to be fulfilled. It was only meant to give time to build up the Ukrainian military. I however think that such an interpretation is wrong. Merkel is under very harsh critique not only in the U.S. but also in her own conservative party.

She is now out to justify her previous decisions as well as the current bad outcome in Ukraine. My hunch is that she is making things up. Unfortunately she also creates serious damage. The relevant passage of the interview is longer than the one paragraph Helmholtz Smith and other cite. The context is important. Here is my translation of it: “ZEIT: Do you ask yourself if the years of relative calm were also years of omissions and if you were not only a crisis manager, but also partly the cause of crises? Merkel: I would not be a political person if I did not deal with that. […some stuff about climate action …] Let us look at my policy towards Russia and Ukraine. I come to the conclusion that I made the decisions I made back then in a way that I can understand today. It was an attempt to prevent just such a war. The fact that this was not successful does not mean that the attempts were wrong.”

I think the above is genuine. The Minsk agreements were a serious attempt to prevent war by reintegrating Donbas into a federalized Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian president Poroshenko did not have the will and the political backing to fulfill the agreement. There was no chance that, under him, a federalization law would pass the Ukrainian parliament. Moreover the U.S., the only party who could have really pressured him, told him not to follow up on the agreement. But then came Zelensky who was elected by a large majority on the promise to fulfill Minsk II. He even made attempts to do that. But he soon found out that his own life was in serious danger if he continued to try. There was also U.S. pressure as it did not want Minsk fulfilled.

Merkel however can not say that out loud. By late 2019 she must have recognized that Minsk II was blocked forever. It was a serious defeat for her but there was nothing she could do about it. She therefore now comes up, ex post, with a Chamberlain excuse. The 1938 Munich agreement Chamberlain signed prevented Germany from immediately going to war and gave the UK and others time to arm up. The Minsk agreement, Merkel claims now, bought time for Ukraine to get its military into better conditions.

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“This shift from “weekly change” to “cumulative balance” is kind of a funny way of doing something?”

How Big Are the Fed’s Losses and Where Can We Go See Them? (WS)

The chart tracks the line item, “Earnings remittances due to the U.S. Treasury,” on the Fed’s weekly balance sheet (second “Table 6,” Liabilities). This is normally a line that tracks the weekly increase in the amount that the Fed estimates it owes the US Treasury as the year goes on. “Normally” means in times when the Fed is making money. Each week adds up. For example, in 2021, all the 52 weekly amounts, each in the range between $500 million and $4 billion, added up to $106 billion that the Fed would owe the Treasury Department. Close enough for an estimate of the $107.4 billion in remittance for the year. But when the Fed started losing money on a weekly basis in September, the account did a switcheroo. Instead of showing the “weekly change” as during normal times, it shows the “cumulative loss since September 2022.”

In other words, when the Fed started losing money on a weekly basis in September 2022, the account shifted from showing a weekly change of a positive balance, to showing the total cumulative negative balance. It now no longer shows the weekly change but its total loss since September 2022. This shift from “weekly change” to “cumulative balance” is kind of a funny way of doing something? But it sort of makes sense, and here’s why: In theory, if the amount that the Fed owes the US Treasury is negative, it would mean that the US Treasury owes this amount to the Fed and would have to pay the Fed. But that’s not their deal. Their deal is that the remittance is a one-way channel, from the Fed to the Treasury.

And when it turns negative, the Fed will just sit on the negative balance that will grow over the years as long as the Fed is losing money. And when the Fed is making money again, the Fed will not remit its net income to the Treasury Department, but will apply it to this pile of accumulated losses until the pile is gone. When the pile is gone, the Fed starts remitting its profits to the Treasury again. [..] The Fed calls this growing pile of accumulated losses a “deferred asset.” Storing losses on the balance sheet as an asset, rather than showing the loss on the income statement right away, is an old corporate accounting trick, encouraged by GAAP, and includes such infamous accounts as “Goodwill” and “Intangible Assets.” The Fed is sort of just sticking to devious corporate accounting 101 here.

[..] The Fed, which creates & destroys money, cannot run out of money. I mean, we knew this all along. The Fed is not Enron, though the loss-accounting might look similar. The Fed creates its own money. And the Fed’s losses – no matter how large – will not cause the Fed to run out of money because it can always create more. So we can take that off our worry list. For the Fed, a loss is just an accounting entry, not an existential crisis. The Fed won’t print money to pay for its losses — it won’t need to. But it’ll use some of the money from the QT roll-offs that would have been destroyed and pay interest with it. And so that money for interest payments goes out the door, and the balance sheet will shrink on track with QT.

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“..global bodies like the World Bank’s “Climate Smart Agriculture” program, the UN’s “protected area initiatives,” the European Commission and armies of well-funded NGO’s are executing a wholly-comprehensive platform targeting Dutch farmers..”

Dutch Farmers Battle Technocratic Forces Driving Them Into Oblivion (GZ)

Holland exports the most food on earth, behind only America, on a landmass roughly the size of Indiana. Farmers the world over come to study Dutch techniques. The country embraces what’s known as the Mansholt theory—a philosophy of ensuring food security and self-sufficiency that emerged from the second world war as a response to Nazi-imposed famine. To stave-off a similar tragedy, Dutch agriculture embraces the Haber-Bosch process, a method of infusing fertilizer with nitrogen to increase yield efficiency. Invented in the early 1900s by a pair of Nobel Prize-winning chemists, Haber-Bosch is responsible for the existence of half the world’s population today (and is known in Malthusian circles as “the detonator of the population explosion”), thanks to its ability to grow more food on less land.

But now global bodies like the World Bank’s “Climate Smart Agriculture” program, the UN’s “protected area initiatives,” the European Commission and armies of well-funded NGO’s are executing a wholly-comprehensive platform targeting Dutch farmers — restricting both organic and artificial fertilizer use — while asserting “biodiversity protection” as the pretext for snatching land from the productive. Dutch farmers, in protest, have driven tractors to the Hague, tossed flaming trash onto the roads and sprayed manure across government buildings. It’s worth reemphasizing that the Dutch government is carrying out the same radical experiment conducted in Sri Lanka earlier this year — eliminating nitrogen-based fertilizer, the basis of modern survival. In the southeast Asian country, it led to a famine that toppled the government.

The Sri Lankan “disaster” fronted a simple premise: replace something with nothing. And to eliminate Russian gas from the geopolitical scene. The Colombo declaration, signed in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2019, celebrated the end of food security and sovereignty, offering in its place a model for import-dependency and agricultural destruction now being imposed on the Dutch. “They are sweeping the culture from the land,” says Sieta Van Keimpema, a sturdy 6-foot Dutchwoman in her 50s with short, wavy black hair. She is head of the European Milk Board, and leader of the Dutch farmers’ de-facto political arm, Farmer’s Defense Force (FDF). “Our government has made laws and laws that put us in a corner that you cannot come back from,” she says. “If people cannot put food on the table you get riots. You get an unstable society. I don’t see the benefits to this.”

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If Harry Potter had been written by Dostoevsky:

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 262022
 
 November 26, 2022  Posted by at 9:08 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Sheperd and sheperdess in a meadow 1888

 

A Light in the Darkness (Jim Kunstler)
Twitter Has Lost 50 Of Its Top 100 Advertisers Since Elon Musk Took Over (NPR)
Antifa Plans To Burn Down Tesla Outlets Following Twitter Bans (Cheong)
Elon Musk: I’ll Make An Alternative Phone If Apple, Google Ban Twitter (PM)
Putin Expresses Regret Over Donbass (RT)
UK Urges Ukraine To ‘Maintain Momentum’ In Winter (RT)
Ending NATO and Correcting Stalin’s Mistake (Batiushka)
Ukrainian Troops Used As ‘Cannon Fodder’ – Putin (RT)
Moscow Won’t Declare Ukraine ‘Terrorist State’ (RT)
China Dissuaded US From Ukraine Warplane Plan – Spectator (RT)
The Ukraine Is Committing “Suicide By Cop” (Saker)
On Ukrainian ‘Refugees’ (Batiushka)
The Economist: Gas & Energy Prices To Lead To Surge In Deaths In Europe (RT)
J6 Staff Lash Out at Liz Cheney for Burying Parts of the Investigation (Turley)
Louisiana AG: Fauci ‘Can’t Recall’ Details Of His COVID-19 Response (JTN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 25th – Utter nonsense in Ukraine – Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think Elon Musk is right: the Mainstream News Media will now face a venue where its habitual lying is called out forcefully..”

A Light in the Darkness (Jim Kunstler)

It’s hard to overstate how damaging Twitter’s dark years of insidiously massaging public opinion have been to this country. Open debate could have clarified the fog of deliberate disinformation surrounding everything Covid-19. It would have been much harder for public health officialdom to gaslight America over the origin of the disease, and probably impossible to conceal the nefarious operations behind the Emergency Use Authorization, the suppression of effective early treatments, and the direct ties to drug companies’ profits. The result of that has been the broad deployment of dangerous and deadly pseudo-vaccines that have killed millions and disabled many more. The absence of honest debate has turned doctors into murderers and accomplices to genocide.

The scope of this bureaucratic crime is really outside the experience of most Americans, who never imagined that their elected and appointed leaders would act against them with such rank dishonesty, cruelty, and bad faith. But there it is. And if Twitter continues to open up, the more likely that the responsible parties will be held accountable. Likewise, the now-pervasive Kafka-esque program of political persecution carried out against citizens by government officials, including the many seditious schemes of RussiaGate; the ongoing, escalating mischief around elections; and the use of the FBI and DOJ as a combined secret police and kangaroo court apparatus.

You can add to all that turpitude, the wild irresponsibility of “Joe Biden’s” open border policy, our idiotic provocation of Russia in Ukraine, the surrender of America’s national sovereignty to the globalist Great Re-set cabal and its tools in the World Health Organization, and the domestic campaign by Woke Jacobins to sexually disorder the lives of American children. I think Elon Musk is right: the Mainstream News Media will now face a venue where its habitual lying is called out forcefully. You can already see The WashPo and CNN attempt to make small shifts in their coverage of events, which double as efforts to cover-up their past lying in the hopes that the public won’t notice that it happened.

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On a much smaller scale, TAE suffers from the same practices.

Twitter Has Lost 50 Of Its Top 100 Advertisers Since Elon Musk Took Over (NPR)

Half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers appear to no longer be advertising on the website. A report from Media Matters for America states that these 50 advertisers have spent almost $2 billion on Twitter ads since 2020 and more than $750 million just in 2022. Seven additional advertisers have slowed their advertising to almost nothing, according to the report, which was published on Tuesday. These companies have paid Twitter more than $255 million since 2020. Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Ford, Jeep, Kyndryl, Merck & Co. and Novartis AG all issued statements about halting Twitter ads or were reported and confirmed as doing so. The others ceased advertising on the platform for a “significant period of time following direct outreach, controversies, and warnings from media buyers.”

The report wrote that even with these hits to advertising revenue, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has “continued his rash of brand unsafe actions — including amplifying conspiracy theories, unilaterally reinstating banned accounts such as that of former President Donald Trump, courting and engaging with far-right accounts, and instituting a haphazard verification scheme that allowed extremists and scammers to purchase a blue check.” Twitter users like author Stephen King have criticized the new blue checkmark system. The symbol used to verify the identity of Twitter accounts, so it was easy to confirm a tweet’s source. Eli Lilly and Co. stopped showing ads on Twitter the day after an account impersonating the pharmaceutical company — complete with a purchased blue check mark — posted, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.”

Eli Lilly asked Twitter to take it down, but the tweet remained up for hours, because the platform’s staff was stretched thin due to recent layoffs and resignations. The tweet garnered hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes, and Eli Lilly’s stock soon took a dive. Endpoints News reported that 12 pharmaceutical giants soon stopped buying Twitter ads, citing Pathmatics, which collects data on corporate advertising and digital marketing trends. King quipped on Twitter, “Pretty soon the only advertiser left on Twitter will be My Pillow.” The pillow-manufacturing company is run by pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.

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“This is just a drop in the ocean of years of violent organizing on Twitter..”

Antifa Plans To Burn Down Tesla Outlets Following Twitter Bans (Cheong)

Following his takeover of Twitter, “Chief Twit” Elon Musk has quickly begun to address many of the platform’s problems. Musk, who intends for Twitter to be a platform for legal free speech, has moved to crack down on terrorists and violent far-left extremists who have for many years been a fixture on Twitter and used it to organize riots. Now Tesla, which Musk owns, has become the target of violent retaliation by far-left militants angered by the suspension of their accounts. This week, Musk moved to ban a pro-Palestinian “resistance” group called “Jisr Collective,” which promoted and celebrated terrorist acts against Israeli civilians. In a separate thread, Musk called for members of the public to report violations of the site’s terms of service against child sexual exploitation and far-left extremist violence.

Numerous self-identified Antifa militants including several prominent organizers have been banned for calling for violence against Chaya Raichik, who operates the popular “Libs of TikTok” account, and Daily Wire host Matt Walsh. “Incitement to violence will result in account suspension,” said Musk in response to journalist Andy Ngo, who explained that a large number of Antifa accounts operate on the website to promote riots and provide tips to each other on how to identify targets and commit violence. Ngo detailed how following his reporting on members of the loosely-knit far-left militant organization, he was chased down and beaten up, forcing him to seek refuge at a Portland hotel in 2021. “Antifa used Twitter to direct comrades to swarm me after I ran into a hotel following a violent street beating,” wrote Ngo.

“That is a disturbing story and very concerning that Twitter took no action, despite clear violation of ToS. Report in this thread for now,” replied Musk, prompting numerous users to provide him with clear examples of militants in violation of the site’s rules against threats and intimidation. Many of the users reported on the thread were banned several hours after being reported to Musk, suggesting that he took direct action to shut down their accounts. Hours after the bans, Antifa militants took to the social media platform to organize arson attacks on Tesla locations around the United States, posting the addresses of Tesla service centers and dealerships. “As revenge for [Elon Musk] suspending violent extremist accounts on Twitter, [Antifa] in Portland are organizing arson attacks on [Tesla] locations tonight,” reported Ngo, who provided screenshots of the calls to action. “This is just a drop in the ocean of years of violent organizing on Twitter,” he added.

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“App store fees are obviously too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly. It is a hidden 30 percent tax on the Internet.”

Elon Musk: I’ll Make An Alternative Phone If Apple, Google Ban Twitter (PM)

On Friday, Twitter owner Elon Musk, who also is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said that if Twitter is removed from app stores owned by Apple and Google, whose phones only use those systems, he would create an alternative phone. Liz Wheeler wrote, “If Apple & Google boot Twitter from their app stores, @elonmusk should produce his own smartphone. Half the country would happily ditch the biased, snooping iPhone & Android. The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly little smartphone should be easy, right?” Musk replied, “I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.” On Friday, Taylor Lorenz used her latest column in the Washington Post to call for Apple and Google app stores to pull Twitter from their stores.

This came after Musk announced that there will be a general amnesty for all banned accounts, following a poll of Twitter users.. Lorenz complains that Musk brought back conservative Christian satire site The Babylon Bee, who was banned by noting that Rachel Levine is a biological male. After Time Magazine awarded Levine “woman of the year,” The Babylon Bee awarded Levine “man of the year.” On November 18, Musk noted how Apple and Google through their vertical integration have a duopoly on the market and wrote, “App store fees are obviously too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly. It is a hidden 30 percent tax on the Internet.” Musk followed up and tagged the antitrust division in the Department of Justice.

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“If not for the coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, none [of this] would have happened..”

Putin Expresses Regret Over Donbass (RT)

The Donbass republics should probably have rejoined Russia sooner, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the mothers of troops involved in the military operation in Ukraine on Friday. In such a case, fewer lives might have been lost, the president stressed. “There might not have been so many casualties among civilians, there would not be so many children killed,” the Russian leader suggested. He maintained, however, that back in 2014, Russia did not have a full understanding of the situation in Donbass or of the true sentiments of the locals. “[We] believed that we might still be able to reach an agreement and … reunify Donetsk and Lugansk with Ukraine within … the Minsk Agreements,” Putin noted, adding that Russia was “genuinely working towards that.”

Commenting on the matter further, the president blamed the 2014 coup in Kiev for the subsequent crisis in Donbass and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. “If not for the coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, none [of this] would have happened,” he said. Brokered by Germany and France, the Minsk Agreements were first signed in 2014 in the wake of the ousting of then-President Viktor Yanukovich, which plunged Ukraine into a conflict between the post-coup government in Kiev and the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Having subsequently become the respective people’s republics, the territories declared their independence from Ukraine the same year. The accords were designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.

Yet, their implementation was stalled – something Moscow repeatedly blamed on Kiev. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the deal to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” In February 2022, 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. On February 24, Russia sent troops into Ukraine, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements. Putin spoke at that time of the need to protect the Russian-speaking population of Donbass. This autumn, four formerly Ukrainian territories, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.

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“..the international community” has provided Kiev with “300,000 pieces of arctic warfare kit.”

UK Urges Ukraine To ‘Maintain Momentum’ In Winter (RT)

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has called on Ukraine to “keep up the pressure” on Russian forces in the coming months, arguing that Kiev is well-prepared to fight in freezing conditions. Wallace made the remarks in an interview with The Daily Beast on Thursday. The defense secretary suggested that Kiev’s forces had the advantage “in equipment training and [the] quality of their personnel” over Russian troops. With this in mind, “it would be in Ukraine’s interest to maintain momentum through the winter,” he said, adding that “the international community” has provided Kiev with “300,000 pieces of arctic warfare kit.”

Wallace’s comments come after US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned that Ukraine might be about to face a “harsh winter,” as the country is reeling under Russian strikes on its infrastructure. Moscow has been targeting Ukrainian energy facilities since October 10, after accusing Kiev of attacking Russian structures, including the strategic Crimean Bridge. Due to these strikes, Ukraine has been experiencing rolling blackouts, with Ukrainian authorities saying that these attacks knocked out about 40% of the nation’s energy infrastructure. However, by urging Ukraine to push on, the British defense secretary is contradicting earlier statements made by General Mark Milley, who heads the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, as he warned that Ukraine’s chances of “kicking the Russians out of all” of the country were low.

The top US general also indicated that the upcoming winter was a diplomatic opportunity for Kiev. “When there’s an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it. Seize the moment,” he said. At the same time, US President Joe Biden said last week that he expected the ongoing conflict in Ukraine to “slow down” in winter due to the “inability to move as easily around the country”while vowing to continue supporting Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is open to negotiations with Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, however, has listed several conditions for any dialogue with Russia, including the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage,” and the “punishment of every war criminal.”

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“..today it is in the Warsaws of the ‘New Europe’, far from the North Atlantic, that you will find the most fanatical latecomer-devotees of NATO..”

Ending NATO and Correcting Stalin’s Mistake (Batiushka)

Judging by its name, NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was only ever about the USA and the UK, an agreement between Americans and the half-American Churchill. After all, what relevance does the ‘North Atlantic’ have to Baltic Germany or Mediterranean Italy, let alone to Aegean Greece and Black Sea Turkey? Even Spain and Portugal look towards the Caribbean and the South Atlantic, not to the North Atlantic. NATO is clearly an organisation that descended directly from the Atlantic Charter, made up by Roosevelt and Churchill in a bay off Newfoundland in 1941 (not even in the Atlantic), and then imposed on all the others.

So, whatever was the North Atlantic doing in the foothills of the Himalayas, in Afghanistan? Apart from the fact that that was its greatest defeat (so far), just what was it doing there? And what is the North Atlantic, or at least parts of it, doing in the South China Sea? Surely there is a clue in the name – China? It belongs to China. Whatever are the US Navy and others doing there? Surely, even the geographically-challenged Liz Truss, who wanted the whole world to be ruled by NATO, must have been thinking that it was time to rename NATO? Perhaps the Nazi American Tyranny Organisation? Like that you could keep the same initials. As the Saker has pointed out, the first NATO Secretary-General, the Indian-born colonial, General Hastings (1) Ismay, bluntly admitted that the purpose of NATO was ‘to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’ (2).

And as the Saker has explained: ‘Keep the Germans down’ means crush all Europeans who might be rivals to the Anglosphere’s control of Western Europe, and now control all of Europe, apart from the free Russian Lands. ‘Keep the Americans in’ means crush all European liberation movements, De Gaulle’s or any others. ‘Keep the Soviet Union out’ means destroy Russia, so that it does not liberate Europe from the tyranny of the Anglosphere. The latter is symbolised by the US and British flags that have been omnipresent, even on fashion items, T-shirts and jeans, ever since the 1960s. That is why true Europeans refuse to wear such items.

In reality, it is obvious that NATO should have been packed away on 1 July 1991, the day the Warsaw Pact was packed away. If it had been packed away in 1991, the NATO rout would have been avoided thirty years later in Afghanistan. Indeed, the fact that it was not packed away then is a tragedy which has cost millions of lives, especially all over the tragic Middle East, and today all over the tragic Ukraine. Interestingly, the answer to the aggression and bullying of NATO (the American elite always bullies), the Warsaw Pact was named after the Capital of Poland. Ironically – and there is nothing so ironic as history – today it is in the Warsaws of the ‘New Europe’, far from the North Atlantic, that you will find the most fanatical latecomer-devotees of NATO. What is the significance of NATO?

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“..we are dealing with a neo-Nazi regime, without any exaggerations.”

Ukrainian Troops Used As ‘Cannon Fodder’ – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia is not fighting against the people of Ukraine, but against those who would use them as cannon fodder in the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Speaking to the mothers of Russian servicemen on Friday, the president said that those who supply Ukraine with weapons and fund the Kiev government have no consideration for Ukraine’s losses. Meanwhile, those who do not fall in line with orders are executed on the spot right in front of their comrades, Putin added. “Our boys have seen this firsthand. The bodies of the executed are just left to lie there. Just recently there was another case – five people were shot right in front of the lineup, those who refused to go or left their positions,” the president said.

He appeared to be referring to an incident reported by Russia’s Defense Ministry last week, in which Kiev allegedly sent nationalist militants into the village of Belogorovka to “put things in order” and intimidate Ukrainian servicemen, a number of whom had refused to follow orders and were shot. “There is a completely different moral atmosphere [in Kiev’s forces],” Putin noted, adding that this once again confirmed that “we are dealing with a neo-Nazi regime, without any exaggerations.” The president said that in light of such a situation, Moscow is further reassured it is doing the right thing by protecting the people who live in the territories that have recently joined the Russian Federation. Last month, Russia incorporated the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the former Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, after these territories held referendums on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

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. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” In February 2022, 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.

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“The doctrine of ‘state terrorism’ is exploited by the US and other Western countries to justify interfering in the internal affairs of others, which violates the UN Charter..”

Moscow Won’t Declare Ukraine ‘Terrorist State’ (RT)

Russia will not designate Ukraine a “terrorist state” despite “outrageous” breaches of international humanitarian law by Kiev, Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov told journalists on Friday. Moscow rejects any doctrine that suggests a nation can be declared “terrorist” and sees no reason to adhere to this “flawed” policy that is used by the West, he said. The doctrine of ‘state terrorism’ is exploited by the US and other Western countries to justify interfering in the internal affairs of others, which violates the UN Charter, the deputy minister noted. It is also used to “legitimize their unilateral coercive measures violating the principle of sovereign equality of all nations,” Syromolotov added.

Russia has always considered such unilateral sanctions “unacceptable,” the high-ranking diplomat stressed. Terrorism as a criminal act always involves individual criminal responsibility of those involved in making attacks, Syromolotov explained, adding that only individuals and not entire nations can be held accountable in such cases. Designating Ukraine a terrorist state now would be “legally flawed” in nature, he explained. The diplomat also blasted a recent resolution by the EU parliament that called Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism,” saying this was part of an “information and political campaign waged by the West against our nation,” one which had nothing to do with the real fight against this international threat.

Amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly referred to Russia as a “terrorist” state and called on other nations – particularly in the West – to designate it as such. In mid-October, he asked the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly to do so before it adopted a relevant resolution. Zelensky once again urged the “world” to recognize Russia as a “terrorist state” earlier this week. However, Washington, Ukraine’s top military backer in the conflict, has been reluctant to meet Kiev’s request so far. On Tuesday, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack said that the country simply could not designate Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” as it does not meet the relevant criteria.

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“Warsaw announced that it would transfer the jets to US forces at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Hours after this announcement, the Pentagon stopped the transfer, describing the Polish proposal as “not tenable.”

China Dissuaded US From Ukraine Warplane Plan – Spectator (RT)

China pressed the US into abandoning a plan to supply Ukraine with Polish warplanes in March, according to a report in the Spectator on Friday. Throughout the conflict, Beijing has pressed both sides to de-escalate, the report claimed. Two weeks after Russian troops entered Ukraine in late February, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly stated that Washington had given its NATO allies a “green light” to supply Ukraine with Soviet-era fighter jets its pilots could use, and that it was working on a deal where Poland would transfer its fleet of MiG-29 fighters to Kiev. Within days, Warsaw announced that it would transfer the jets to US forces at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Hours after this announcement, the Pentagon stopped the transfer, describing the Polish proposal as “not tenable.”

China was directly responsible for this about-turn, The Spectator report claimed. Citing an unnamed Chinese source, writer Owen Matthews described how “an urgent and confidential back-channel initiative involving former European leaders” began. This initiative was “ultimately endorsed by the Chinese,” and Washington backed down. Nearly nine months later, NATO has still not provided Ukraine with fighter jets, despite intense lobbying from Kiev. China’s efforts to prevent escalation went both ways, the report claimed. While Beijing pressed the US into stopping the transfer of warplanes, its generals reportedly phoned their Russian colleagues for assurances that Moscow would stick to its long-standing nuclear doctrine: that it reserves the right to use atomic weapons in the event of a first nuclear strike on its territory or infrastructure, or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened by either nuclear or conventional weapons.

China’s position on Ukraine remains a neutral one. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared last week that Beijing stands ready to work with Russia “and other like-minded countries to promote the development of a multipolar world,” and according to Matthews’ report, Beijing and Moscow signed a limited mutual defense pact earlier this year. Nevertheless, China has not sold military hardware to Russia, and its diplomats continue to publicly call for a negotiated settlement to the conflict.

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“..now they are going to pay a horrible price for these delusions and, frankly, lack of decency/morality.”

The Ukraine Is Committing “Suicide By Cop” (Saker)

Yesterday I received an email from a Ukrainian friend of mine. By “Ukrainian” I mean that his culture and self-identity is Ukrainian, he loves his heritage, speaks the language and loves his country. In fact, he is what I would call a “real Ukrainian” as opposed to the Ukronazis in power in Kiev. We correspond regularly and exchange opinions on what is taking place. Here is and excerpt of what I wrote to him yesterday: “I am also heartbroken with the evolution of the war to liberate the Ukraine from NATO: while I have no doubts about the outcome, I am horrified at the thought of what this does to the civilian population. My sadness is even made deeper by the realization that to a large degree the people of the Ukraine did it to themselves.

Russia tried REALLY HARD to not have a war, then she tried REALLY HARD to save the civilians and the civilian infrastructure. But the people under Nazi occupation believed all the propaganda coming out of the regime in Kiev and the West and now there will be hell to pay. For 6 months these naive people thought the Ukraine was winning because they could not even fathom that Russia was only using about 10% of her forces and trying really hard to save as many Ukrainians. But no, they were celebrating the murder of Dugina, the attack on the Crimean Bridge, the attacks on the ZNPP and now they are going to pay a horrible price for these delusions and, frankly, lack of decency/morality.

As Douglas MacGregor said “the Russians are about to bring a sledge-hammer” to vaporize the NATO forces in the Ukraine. We did not want that. It was imposed on us. What else can I say? The Nazis will be crushed, but the costs of doing so will be needlessly high. Millions of refugees will be added to the millions who already fled. I feel utterly disgusted, sad and angry about this outcome As one Rock song I know (“Gates of Babylon” by Rainbow – see below) says: “sleep with the devil, and then you must pay, sleep with the devil and the devil will take you away“. I am sad to say that I believe that the people of the Ukraine did “sleep with the devil” (the West) and now comes the inevitable.

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“As for the Ukrainians, they call Russians ‘moskali’ (Muscovites) and the Russians call Ukrainians ‘khokhly’. A ‘moskal’ is also a bigoted Great Russian chauvinist with a superiority complex, who despises provincials in the Ukraine who used to have a certain hairstyle called a ‘khokhol’ (literally a forelock, a style revived by some hair-conscious Ukrainian nationalists today). However, as a very good half-Polish, half-Ukrainian friend explained to me years ago: ‘Ukrainians live in the Ukraine, khokhly (plural of khokhol) live anywhere they can’. What he meant by this is that the lowest sort of Ukrainians are not patriots at all..”

On Ukrainian ‘Refugees’ (Batiushka)

[..] most of the best Ukrainians, the real and honourable Ukrainians, have stayed in the Ukraine. Of all the ‘refugees’ I have met so far (and that must be over 100), I have not yet met one who is authentic. Whether by unintended consequence or by design, the Russian Federation is very successfully ‘dekhohklifying’ the Ukraine. Russia is successfully emptying the Ukraine of the lowest and most unprincipled layer of parasites, the khokhly. The population of the Ukraine is already down to fewer than 30 million – so far. More are leaving every day, streaming into Poland The khokhly go westwards. Let Western Europe take them, the rubbish. The good ones will stay. A few months ago I still thought that Russia would just free the Donbass, as it announced last February and also take the land-bridge of Zaporozhie and Kherson to protect the Crimea from the Nazis, who were turning off the water supply from there.

Then I realised that Russia would have to go further, simply because the West was supplying the Kiev regime with shells and missiles that were falling not just on the liberated areas, but even in southern Russia. Today it seems to me that Russia will have to liberate the whole of the Ukraine, even as far as Lvov and the border with Poland. Why not, if the trouble-making khokhly have gone and are bankrupting Western social security systems with their parasitic sponging? Why should the treacherous Poles get anything out of this? The Poles rejoiced when the UK blew up Nordstream and then tried to start World War III, blaming a murderous Ukrainian missile on Russians. Let them pay for the consequences. If the Nazis are either all dead or living in the EU, there is no reason for Russia to stop in the Donbass, or Kiev, or even Lvov.

Liberate right up to the Polish border, freeing freezing Non-NATO Moldova on the way and stopping only there, at the Romanian border. Maybe let the Romanians have back North Bukovina (Chernivtsy) and the nice Hungarians have (the to-be-renamed) Zakarpattia. As for the rest: Winner takes all. Russia may now take all of the Ukraine because all the Nazi khokhly will have left for stupid Western Europe. It will have a nice straight border then. It is not a question of how many Ukrainian ‘refugees’ will go back. It is a question of how many of them Russia will allow back. The answer is very few.

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“..the increase in deaths might be limited to 32,000 above the historical average (accounting for changes in population). A harsh winter could cost a total of 335,000 extra lives.”

The Economist: Gas & Energy Prices To Lead To Surge In Deaths In Europe (RT)

Rising electricity prices, bad weather conditions and epidemics will affect the increase in deaths in Europe this coming winter, Report informs referring to The Economist. Although heatwaves get more press, cold temperatures are usually deadlier than hot ones. Between December and February, 21% more Europeans die per week than from June to August. The relationship between energy prices and winter deaths could change this year. But if past patterns persist, current electricity prices would drive deaths above the historical average even in the mildest winter. Exact mortality totals still depend on other factors, particularly temperature. In a mild winter, the increase in deaths might be limited to 32,000 above the historical average (accounting for changes in population). A harsh winter could cost a total of 335,000 extra lives.

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“But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”

J6 Staff Lash Out at Liz Cheney for Burying Parts of the Investigation (Turley)

There is a deepening division on the J6 Committee as staffers turn on Liz Cheney over the final report on the January 6th riot. Angry rhetoric is flying with staffers accusing the Committee of becoming a “Cheney 2024 campaign” while both the Cheney spokesperson and Committee spokesperson lashed out at the staff members as “disgruntled” and producing shoddy or biased work. The underlying issue, however, is important and revealing. The Committee’s color coated teams include a “Blue Team” on the failure to prepare adequately for the riot. That part of the investigation is reportedly being dumped or reduced. Members of the “Green” and “Purple” teams are also reportedly irate. Cheney was soundly defeated in her primary in Wyoming and will soon leave Congress.

She is being pushed by some Democrats as a possible surprise candidate for House Speaker if they could get a few Republican votes. That seems highly unlikely. The Republicans are likely to end up with the identical margin held by the Democrats for the past two years. Alternatively, some Democrats want Cheney to run for president either to dog Donald Trump in the primary debates or to run as an independent to siphon off votes in the general election. That seems to be the suspicion for some staffers in the Washington Post story. Fifteen former and current staffers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, expressed concerns that important findings unrelated to Trump will not become available to the American public…

Several committee staff members were floored earlier this month when they were told that a draft report would focus almost entirely on Trump and the work of the committee’s “Gold Team,” excluding reams of other investigative work. Potentially left on the cutting room floor, or relegated to an appendix, were many revelations from the “Blue Team” — the group that dug into the law enforcement and intelligence community’s failure to assess the looming threat and prepare for the well-forecast attack on the Capitol. The proposed report would also cut back on much of the work of the Green Team, which looked at financing for the Jan. 6 attack, and the Purple Team, which examined militia groups and extremism.

“We all came from prestigious jobs, dropping what we were doing because we were told this would be an important fact-finding investigation that would inform the public,” said one former committee staffer. “But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.” If true, the report will largely track the virtual exclusive focus of the hearings with open references to the 2024 election as an overriding concern. Some of us have lamented that the J6 Committee could have been so much more than a one-sided, highly partisan investigation. House Democrats barred two Republican members originally selected by GOP leaders, who then boycotted the panel in response.

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“Wow! It was amazing to spend 7 hours with Dr. Fauci,” Laundry wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “The man who single-handedly wrecked the U.S. economy based upon ‘the science.’

Louisiana AG: Fauci ‘Can’t Recall’ Details Of His COVID-19 Response (JTN)

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the U.S. president, could not recall details of his COVID-19 response during a deposition. Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt deposed Fauci as part of their “lawsuit against the federal government for allegedly colluding with social media companies to censor speech.” According to a press release from Landry’s office, “Louisiana and Missouri filed this landmark lawsuit in May of 2022 and have since uncovered troves of discovery showing that the federal government and the Biden Administration have worked with social media companies to censor speech on topics like COVID-19 and other issues.”


Landry commented on Fauci’s deposition on Wednesday. “Wow! It was amazing to spend 7 hours with Dr. Fauci,” Laundry wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “The man who single-handedly wrecked the U.S. economy based upon ‘the science.’ Only to discover that he can’t recall practically anything dealing with his Covid response!” Prior to the deposition taking place, Landry said he hoped to “find out how involved #Fauci was in the censorship of the American people during the COVID pandemic.”

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CO2

 

 


The smallest bird in the world is the Zunzunito, or the bee bird.

 

 

 

 

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