Nov 072023
 
 November 7, 2023  Posted by at 9:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  70 Responses »


Hieronymus Bosch St. John on Patmos 1489

 

Hamas Political Wing Offered ‘Clemency’ for Hostage Release – Sy Hersh (Sp.)
US to Transfer $320 Million in Precision Bomb Kits to Israel (Antiwar)
US Diplomats Condemn Israel Policy – Politico (RT)
Israel To Take Over ‘Security’ In Gaza – Netanyahu (RT)
The ICC Must Investigate The Crime Of Genocide In Gaza (Jeremy Corbyn)
Arab States Condemn Israeli Minister’s ‘Nuke Gaza’ Threat (RT)
The Four Wars (Jim Kunstler)
Trump: “I’m The Only One That Will Prevent World War Three” (SN)
Judge Tells Trump’s Lawyers To ‘Control Him’ (RT)
Jack Smith Could Be on Shaky Ground in Trump Charge (ET)
Legacy Media Readies American Public for Ukraine’s Defeat (Sp.)
‘Rational Actors’ Ready To Take Power In Ukraine – Moscow (RT)
Ukrainian Army Has ‘Run Out of Cannon Fodder’ – Former US Envoy (Sp.)
Demographics Is Destiny (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

Habba

Alina Habba response to the Judge saying I’m not here to hear what he has to say: “Then why exactly am I being paid as an attorney and why exactly are taxpayers dollars being used in this court room. The answer is very clear. Because Ms. James… ‘wants to’ make a name for herself. She said this morning that the numbers don’t lie and it won’t lie in this case. Ms. James I have a message for you. The number didn’t lie when you ran for Governor and that’s why you dropped out. And the numbers don’t lie when President Trump runs for office in 2024 and those numbers are loud and clear. This country is falling apart and if we don’t stop corruption in court rooms, where attorneys are gagged. Where attorneys are not allowed to say what they need to say to protect their clients interest. It doesn’t matter what your politics are. Everyone has a right in this country to get up and put a defense. “

 

 

 

 

Right to defend
https://twitter.com/i/status/1721516768659714477

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We’re holding out clemency for the Hamas political leadership – giving them a chance to surrender the hostages and cling to life by moving them to the hospital..”

Hamas Political Wing Offered ‘Clemency’ for Hostage Release – Sy Hersh (Sp.)

Israel, whose military claimed it has encircled Gaza City, and was poised to press on with its attack on Hamas despite widespread calls for a ceasefire or temporary pauses, has estimated that over 240 hostages are being held by the militant group. In secret talks with Israel, the political leadership of Hamas has been offered “clemency” in return for a release of the Gaza-held hostages, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in an article on Substack. The offer was extended to the group’s political wing, who claim to have not been directly involved in the planning for the October 7 Hamas attack, sources told the journalist. “The thought was that if they agree to try their own people and order them executed, they will be given their lives while also exonerating Israel for the war,” an American official was quoted as saying.

As the Israeli military and political leadership hunt down members of the Hamas military “in the tunnels and rubble of Gaza City,” they have “orders are to shoot to kill on sight,” wrote the journalist. At the same time, the fate of the remaining hostages in Gaza has prompted Israel to come up with incentive for the Hamas political leaders to “save their own lives by arranging for Israeli hostages to be transferred to a basement in the besieged al-Shifa hospital.” Israeli military has insisted that the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip is a stronghold of Hamas. It earlier released 3D-rendered footage showing the alleged extent of a Hamas headquarters it says is burrowed deep underneath the Al-Shifa Hospital. Some Israeli officials “fear that time is running out” amid lack of understanding as to “how long the air in the tunnels will be breathable,” wrote the journalist, adding that there were hopes Israeli hostages could be moved to “safer, drier, and healthier quarters below ground in Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital.” “I was told that water and food would be available,” added Hersh.

“We’re holding out clemency for the Hamas political leadership – giving them a chance to surrender the hostages and cling to life by moving them to the hospital,” a source told the Pulitzer Prize-winner. In a “significant stage” in Israel’s war against Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have claimed it has encircled Gaza City, and divided the besieged enclave into two. It touted its looming operation to destroy the tunnels and Hamas’ military and civilian institutions. At the same time, it is estimated that militants are holding hostage over 248 soldiers and civilians, including foreign nationals. “Thirty-one of the hostages are seventy years and older—one is said to be a Holocaust survivor, and two are infants, aged four months and eight months, with no mother or father, and twenty-three under eighteen years of age,” an Israeli was cited as telling Hersh. The source added that the International Committee of the Red Cross “has not been pressuring Hamas to grant them access to the hostages, although it did seek almost immediate access to the two hundred Hamas prisoners in Israeli custody.”

Sy Hersh recalled that “a possible breakthrough” concerning the hostages “emerged in secret talks between Israel and Yahya Sinwar, a onetime prisoner of Israel who now directs the political wing of Hamas.” Sinwar issued a statement on October 28, that said: “We are ready to conduct an immediate prisoner exchange deal that includes the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for all prisoners held by the Palestinian resistance.” Since then, the Hamas leader and his colleagues have been informed by Israel that if they want to survive, they must “release the Israeli hostages and agree to begin holding immediate war-crime tribunals.” Sy Hersh underscored that the Israelis were seeking the death penalty “for those Hamas combat leaders who encouraged and then did nothing to stop the war crimes of their fighters.”

There has been growing global condemnation of Israel’s retaliatory bombing of Gaza, with the Palestinian Health Ministry saying 10,022 people have been killed since October 7, including 4,104 children and 2,641 women. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Washington, London, Berlin, Rome, Santiago, other cities, demanding an immediate ceasefire, with many perceiving Israel’s actions as a “war crime.” While the “concept of an Israeli-instigated war-crimes tribunal amid a bombing campaign that has flattened much of Gaza may seem out of a bad novel,” wrote Seymour Hersh, he cited an Israeli expert with insider knowledge of the hostage talks as insisting that Yahya Sinwar “could be open to a deal.” “He is a fanatic and an ascetic… Dedicated to the cause. No family, very religious but got very friendly with Shin Bet [Israeli internal security] guys while in prison and was seen as not irrational. He will want a chance to give service to the cause. He will be open to a door,” the expert said. It was added that Sinwar and some Hamas officials “now in Qatar,” would hold out for a deal “to include a commitment that Israel would not come after them if a deal is made.”

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“..the Pentagon has refused to say how much weaponry, equipment, and other types of aid it has provided Israel since October 7..”

US to Transfer $320 Million in Precision Bomb Kits to Israel (Antiwar)

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the Biden administration is planning a $320 million transfer of precision-guided bomb kits to Israel, a show of support for the Israeli onslaught despite the growing civilian death toll. The report said the administration notified congressional leaders on October 31 that it intended to transfer Spice Family Gliding Bomb Assemblies, which turn unguided bombs into precision-guided munitions that can be fired by Israeli warplanes. The bombs will be transferred from weapons manufacturer Rafael USA to its Israeli parent company, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It’s unclear what funds will be used for the transfer or if Israel is purchasing the equipment.

Israel receives $3.8 billion in annual military aid from the US, and the Biden administration is looking to provide another $14 billion to support the Gaza campaign. In the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, the US began immediately shipping new military equipment to Israel. According to the Journal, the Pentagon has refused to say how much weaponry, equipment, and other types of aid it has provided Israel since October 7. Besides the material support, the US is flying drones over Gaza, has special operations forces in Israel, and has deployed an enormous amount of firepower to the region. The news of the $320 million bomb transfer came as the death toll in Gaza surpassed 10,000, including over 4,000 children. US officials claim they are pressing Israel about the civilian casualties, but the administration refuses to condition military aid or use other leverage it has.

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“When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values..”

US Diplomats Condemn Israel Policy – Politico (RT)

Lower- and mid-level diplomats at the US State Department have called on the administration of President Joe Biden to condemn Israel’s bombing of civilians and demand a ceasefire in Gaza, according to a leaked memo seen by Politico. The memo is the latest sign of division within the department over Israel. The memo calls on Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other senior diplomats to publicly demand that Israel agree to a ceasefire, and to align their public and private statements on the conflict, Politico reported on Monday. Criticizing Israel in private but not in public “contributes to regional public perceptions that the United States is a biased and dishonest actor, which at best does not advance, and at worst harms, US interests worldwide,” the memo reportedly states.

“We must publicly criticize Israel’s violations of international norms such as failure to limit offensive operations to legitimate military targets,” the message continues. “When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity.” The memo was marked “sensitive but unclassified,” Politico noted, adding that it is unclear how many people signed it, and whether it was submitted to the department’s ‘Dissent Channel,’ which functions as a soapbox for employees to question policy decisions.

Several similar memos have been circulated since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, and Blinken met with a group of dissenting staffers late last month, the Huffington Post reported. A week before the alleged meeting, the State Department’s arms-transfer chief quit his job in protest, writing in his resignation letter that Washington’s rush to arm Israel was “shortsighted, destructive, unjust, and contradictory to the very values that we publicly espouse.” While Blinken has criticized incidents of violence against Palestinians by Jewish settlers, he has spoken more vaguely about the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza. “We’ve engaged the Israelis on steps that they can take to minimize civilian casualties,” he said on Monday, after the Gaza Health Ministry reported that more than 10,000 people had died in the enclave since Israel’s bombing campaign began a month ago.

Despite an overwhelming vote in favor of a ceasefire at the UN General Assembly late last month, Blinken has repeatedly rejected calls for a halt to the Israeli operation. Any pause in the fighting, he argued last week, would give Hamas time to “regroup and repeat what it did on October 7,” referring to the group’s assault on Israel that left around 1,400 people dead. Blinken’s aversion to a ceasefire was echoed in a memo sent to US diplomats at the outset of the conflict. The State Department email urged diplomats and communications staffers to steer clear of phrases such as “restoring calm,” “end to violence/bloodshed,” or “de-escalation/ceasefire,” and instead to emphasize the Jewish state’s right to “self-defense.”

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“President Joe Biden said the move would be a “big mistake.” “It would be a mistake… for Israel to occupy… Gaza again..”

Israel To Take Over ‘Security’ In Gaza – Netanyahu (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country will have to manage “overall security” in Gaza for an “indefinite” period of time after the current war with Hamas ends. Speaking to ABC News for an interview published on Monday, Netanyahu was asked about Israel’s long-term plans for the territory should it succeed in dismantling Hamas, suggesting the need for a lengthy deployment. “I think Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility [in Gaza] because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it,” he said. “When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine.” The comments appear to contradict past statements from senior Israeli officials.

In announcing a major ground assault on the Palestinian enclave last month, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant emphasized that Israeli troops must not be responsible for “day-to-day life in the Gaza Strip.” While the official said Israel would establish a new “security reality” in the area after the current war, he suggested it would seek to hand off post-conflict governance to a third party. Even while vocally supporting Israel’s military operation against Hamas, Washington has warned of the perils of another Gaza occupation. During a recent interview with CBS, President Joe Biden said the move would be a “big mistake.” “It would be a mistake… for Israel to occupy… Gaza again,” he said. “But going in… but taking out the extremists, the Hezbollah is up north but Hamas down south, is a necessary requirement.”

Israel first occupied Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day War with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, and only withdrew its troops and settlers nearly 40 years later. It has maintained a tight blockade over the enclave in the years since, and has launched periodic bombing campaigns against Hamas since the group took control of Gaza in 2006. The latest round of fighting erupted last month on the heels of a Hamas terrorist attack which killed around 1,400 Israelis. The IDF has launched weeks of retaliatory airstrikes and gradually escalated a ground attack on Gaza, leaving more than 10,000 Palestinians dead, according to local officials.

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No Jeremy. The ICC lost all credit when it charged Putin for kidnapping children.

The ICC Must Investigate The Crime Of Genocide In Gaza (Jeremy Corbyn)

My last visit to Al-Shati refugee camp was early 2013. Located on the Mediterranean coast in the north of Gaza, Al-Shati was otherwise known as “Beach Camp”. Vendors sold fruit under multi-coloured parasols. Cats slept in the middle of narrow alleys. Children jostled over skipping rope in the shade. Beach Camp was established in 1948 after 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced in the Nakba. Initially, the camp accommodated around 23,000 refugees. In the following seven decades, that number grew to 90,000, cramped inside 0.5 square kilometres (0.2 square miles) of land – 70 times more populated than London’s city centre. People in Gaza have been living under a blockade for the past 16 years and the Israeli occupation controls most of what goes in and out of Gaza.

Beach Camp was no different – and people there largely relied on aid and services from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to survive, including a health centre, a food distribution centre and several school buildings. Beach Camp Primary School was beautifully maintained. I was allowed up onto the roof, where I could see the fence with Israel on one side. Out to sea were several Israeli patrol boats keeping Palestinian fishermen from sailing more than six nautical miles out. The school was run by inspiring and hard-working teachers, whose philosophy was to create a calm atmosphere for discovery, music, theatre and art. Some of the students showed me their work. Many were drawings of planes, fences and bombs. But there were other drawings too: of their parents, their brothers, their sisters and their friends.

All of the children, obviously, had underlying trauma, but they also had a desire to learn, share and play. On October 9, two days after the deplorable attack by Hamas in southern Israel, there were reports of an Israeli air strike on Beach Camp. This wasn’t the first strike on the camp. In May 2021, at least 10 Palestinians, eight of whom were children, were killed in an air strike. Nor was it the last. Beach Camp has been repeatedly targeted in the past three weeks. When I hear news of bombardment in Gaza, I think about that school at Beach Camp. I don’t know if it is still there. I don’t know if those children and teachers are still alive. I don’t know.

The Israeli army has dropped 25,000 tonnes of bombs onto a tiny strip of land, populated by 2.3 million people. There is no meaningful sense whatsoever that they are trying to avoid civilian deaths. More than 9,900 people in Gaza have been killed, including more than 4,800 children. Survivors still under siege are running out of the basic means of survival: water, fuel, food and medical supplies. Doctors are performing surgery without anaesthesia. Mothers are watching their babies fight for survival in incubators running out of electricity. People are being forced to drink seawater. More than 1 million people have been displaced from their homes.

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“The Israeli military has dropped more than 25,000 tons of explosives on Gaza since October 7, equivalent in power to two of the nuclear bombs used on Hiroshima..“

Arab States Condemn Israeli Minister’s ‘Nuke Gaza’ Threat (RT)

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other Arab states have all denounced Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu for suggesting that his country drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza. Eliyahu was suspended, but not fired, for his remarks. Speaking to Radio Kol Berama on Sunday, Eliyahu said that using nuclear weapons against the Palestinian enclave “is one of the possibilities,” after his interviewer said that this would “flatten” the area and “eliminate everybody there.” Eliyahu, a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, was indefinitely suspended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Sunday. The minister’s comments “show to what extent extremism and brutality have penetrated the Israeli government,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The fact that Eliyahu was not outright fired, the ministry continued, “reflects the Israeli government’s disregard for all values of humanity, morality, religion and law.” “These statements constitute a violation of international law, as well as incitement to commit grave violations of International Humanitarian Law, such as war crimes, and raise grave concerns of an intent to commit genocide,” the UAE said. Jordan released a similar statement describing Eliyahu’s comments as a “call for genocide and a hate crime that cannot be ignored,” while the Qatari Foreign Ministry said that it “strongly condemns the threat made by an Israeli minister to strike Gaza with a nuclear bomb and considers it a serious incitement to a war crime.” Eliyahu’s remarks revealed that “Israel possesses nuclear weapons, which is an open secret,” Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit declared.

The comments also “confirm the truth of the racist view Israelis hold against Palestinians,” he added. “This is the true face of the occupation government.” Despite Eliyahu defending his comments as “metaphorical,” he faced heavy criticism within Israel. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant condemned his “baseless and irresponsible words,” while opposition leader Yair Lapid called on Netanyahu to fire the minister for causing “harm to the families of the hostages, Israeli society, and our international standing.” The Israeli military has dropped more than 25,000 tons of explosives on Gaza since October 7, equivalent in power to two of the nuclear bombs used on Hiroshima, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor NGO said in a press release on Thursday. More than 10,000 people have been killed and 25,000 injured in the strip as a result of the Israeli bombardment and ground offensive, according to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry.

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“..We emerge from this catastrophe a nearly medievalized society with a steeply-reduced population, unable to resist China’s attempt to colonize us. Pretty scary, huh? Just let’s keep doing what we’re doing.”

The Four Wars (Jim Kunstler)

Bringing us to War No. 3: The US Government’s war against its own citizens. This has been going on since Mr. Trump stepped onto the scene, and has included a semi-successful war against Mr. Trump personally — except that not only has it failed to put him out of business as a politician, it has substantiated many of the claims he made about corrupt and perfidious government that resulted in his election in 2016. All of that has only enhanced his polling numbers. And the lawless, bad faith court cases lodged against him have demonstrated the US government’s grievous fall into willful malfeasance that has the DOJ arresting and unfairly persecuting hundreds of innocent Americans that support Mr. Trump.

A big part of the government’s war against US citizens has been the bizarre Covid-19 episode and the long-running effort by public officials to deceive the population about it, including lockdowns and destruction of small businesses, the dishonest suppression of viable treatments, gross censorship about the harms of the mRNA vaccines, and trickery around the origins of the vaccines in the back rooms of our Department of Defense. Another front of this war is the wide-open Mexican border, a lawless state of affairs created as deliberate policy by our cabinet secretaries, and done at a time when there is tremendous animus against the US from many other nations who send thousands of sketchy young men into our country with no attempt by our border officials to determine who they are.

It looks like “Joe Biden’s” hash will be settled shortly when the House, reorganized under a young and vital new speaker, reveals the Biden family’s bank records and begins the process of impeaching the president for bribery. “Joe Biden’s” party pretends that this is not happening and appears to have no plan to deal with consequences. For the moment, they still stupidly tout him as their candidate for the 2024 election, another arrant falsehood you can add to the thousand-and one affronts against the public that this party has tried to put over. Many Americans suspect there will not be a 2024 election, specifically that whoever is president in the coming year will invoke yet another national emergency order to postpone it on spurious grounds. Many are also far from persuaded that the 2020 election that installed “Joe Biden” was honest and legitimate.

Which brings us to War No. 4: The American peoples’ war against a government gone rogue. Obviously, it is not underway yet, but it’s easy to see how it might develop. I think it could commence in the aftermath of a financial calamity that is visibly brewing in the debt markets. The net result will be a collapsed standard-of-living for everyone in the USA, the breakdown of supply lines and daily business, and a very sharp loss of legitimacy for the people who have been in charge of anything in this country. We emerge from this catastrophe a nearly medievalized society with a steeply-reduced population, unable to resist China’s attempt to colonize us. Pretty scary, huh? Just let’s keep doing what we’re doing.

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“..we have unbelievable technology. It can shoot a needle out of the air, it is incredible.”

Trump: “I’m The Only One That Will Prevent World War Three” (SN)

During a speech at the Florida Republican Party’s “Freedom Summit” in Kissimmee Saturday, Donald Trump declared that he is the only candidate who can prevent World War Three, warning that “we are closer than anyone understands” to “obliteration.” Trump also told the crowd that “When you think of it, how important elections are, you’d have millions of people alive right now if the 2020 election was not rigged. They would be alive. Ukraine, Israel. The attack would have never been made. All of these people would be alive, the cities would be thriving.” Trump pointed to the global chaos that is now further unfolding, noting “For four straight years, under the Trump administration, I kept America safe, I kept Israel safe, and I kept the entire world safe.”

“I kept my promise and recognized Israel’s eternal capital and opened the American embassy in Jerusalem,” Trump continued, adding “I also recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and really, probably most importantly, but they did nothing with it, I withdrew from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, but they were supposed to do something with it. And you could have because Iran did not have any money.” “What is going on. What is going on now is shocking,” Trump urged, adding “All over the planet our enemies knew that if you tried to kill our citizens we will kill you. If you spill a drop of American blood, we will spill a gallon of your blood. That is what it was, and it was not a threat, that was just the way it was going to have to be. And we do it because we want to make sure we are not starting wars. We did not have to start wars.” Trump further noted, “In the debate with beautiful Hillary Clinton, she said, ‘Look at him. Look at the way he talks. He is going to get us into wars. He is going to start World War III.’

And I said, ‘No, no, it is the way I talked that will keep you out of World War III.’” He continued, “To every American is petrified that Joe Biden’s catastrophic weakness will bring our country to ruin, which he has a great chance of doing, he is close to that anyway. He’s close to economic ruin, I make you this promise, as your president, and nobody else can say it, I will restore peace through strength, and, yes, I am the only one that will prevent World War III, because we are very close to World War III.” Trump further warned, “this will not be a First World War or a Second World War. This will be obliteration, because the level of power, of weaponry of power you have never seen anything — you do not want to see it. When they talk about global warming, because in 250 years our ocean will be one inch higher, and they never mention the power of nuclear weapons, where one madman can do damage the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. It is just crazy. It is crazy to see it, it is crazy to talk about it.”

“But I will stop it, and it will happen very quickly. There will not be a World War III, and we are closer than anyone understands. To protect our citizens from foreign threats, I will build a state-of-the-art missile defense shield. We will build that. We will build that,” Trump vowed. He continued, “And it will be jobs for America. It will be built in America. We developed the technology, nobody else, by the way. A lot of people said we developed the technology. The technology was developed by us, and it works. You see it. Ronald Reagan wanted to do it, but at that time they did not have the technology. The concept was good, but we have unbelievable technology. It can shoot a needle out of the air, it is incredible. Would you feel a little safer, a little more comfortable if we can do that? And it is jobs, jobs in America.”

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“When another Trump lawyer stood up to argue that Trump should be allowed to answer the questions in his own way, the judge shouted, “Sit down already. Sit down.”

Judge Tells Trump’s Lawyers To ‘Control Him’ (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has taken the stand in the New York civil fraud case against him, angering the judge by criticizing the court and arguing that he is being attacked by politically motivated prosecutors around the country. The trial resumed on Monday with Trump testifying for the first time to rebut allegations by New York Attorney General Letitia James that he and other executives in his real estate organization fraudulently inflated the value of key properties to get favorable loan terms. James is seeking $250 million in damages in her lawsuit, which comes at a time when the ex-president also faces felony charges in four separate criminal cases against him. While being questioned by state attorney Kevin Wallace, Trump said, “You and every other Democratic district attorney, AG, US attorney were coming after me from 15 different sides – all Democrats, all Trump haters.”

He accused James of perpetrating a “political witch hunt” and claimed that Judge Arthur Engoron was biased against him. The judge repeatedly interrupted Trump’s testimony to complain that his answers were not directly responsive to the questions and veered off into political speeches. “This is not a political rally,” Engoron told Trump’s lawyers, suggesting that they “need to have a talk with him right now.” As the ex-president continued to offer his opinions on the case, the judge said, “I beseech you to control him if you can. If you can’t, I will. I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.” At stake is the future of Trump’s real estate empire. The judge, who has already found Trump and his co-defendants liable for “persistent and repeated” fraud, will decide on penalties at the end of the trial.

He has said that he will dissolve some of Trump’s companies, which could result in the ex-president losing some of his most prominent New York properties. Trump, who is polling as the leading Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential race, has called Engoron a “deranged, Trump-hating judge.” The loans related to the disputed property valuations have already been repaid. Trump testified on Monday that although he lowered the valuations on two of his properties, his holdings were actually worth more overall than claimed on the financial statements given to lenders. “The most valuable asset was the brand value,” he said. “I became president because of my brand.”

Christopher Kise, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Engoron that it was only fair for the American people to hear the ex-president’s views on the case. “This is a situation where you have on the stand a candidate for president of the United States,”Kise said. “The court needs to hear what he has to say about these statements.” Engoron shot back, “No, I am not here to hear what he has to say.”When another Trump lawyer stood up to argue that Trump should be allowed to answer the questions in his own way, the judge shouted, “Sit down already. Sit down.” Undeterred by the judge’s interjections, Trump said, “This is a very, very unfair trial – very — and I hope the public is watching it.”

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“..everyone in this election is going to be talking about these cases,” the law professor said, “except one person under this gag order and that is Donald Trump.”

Jack Smith Could Be on Shaky Ground in Trump Charge (ET)

Two analysts have noted that special counsel Jack Smith might be on shaky legal ground in his federal election-related case against former President Donald Trump. Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, said that the Trump charge of corruptly obstructing an official proceeding hasn’t been “extensively litigated” over the past several decades, adding that a ruling could come on whether it is appropriate in the former president’s case. Multiple defendants who were charged in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach have “argued that Congress certifying the electoral votes was not an ‘official proceeding’ and courts have universally rejected that argument,” she told Newsweek last week.

“This bigger question is, what satisfies the ‘corruptly’ requirement? Is it any criminal conduct, such as trespassing in the Capitol building or submitting fake electors? Or does the corrupt conduct have to relate to the other subsections of 1512, which prohibit destroying or concealing evidence?” she asked. She continued: “If the corruption requires consciousness of guilt, then Trump can argue that he genuinely believed the election was stolen. Either way, this issue will likely end up before the United States Supreme Court because it is a novel issue that affects hundreds of criminal defendants, including the former president.” Lawfare’s Roger Parloff wrote in a recent article that the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently won two “fragile” victories in two cases involving Jan. 6 defendants, and Mr. Smith has “relied on [a] statute” that was used by other prosecutors to charge at least 317 individuals in the Jan. 6 case.

“Smith has relied on that statute and its conspiracy equivalent, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k), for two of the four counts in his indictment against former President Donald Trump for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the 2020 election,” Mr. Parloff wrote. “Those counts, whose legal sufficiency Trump challenged in a motion to dismiss this week, are the most serious leveled against Trump in that case, carrying a maximum 20-year term of imprisonment.” Three appellants in a Jan. 6 case are now petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review a recent appeals court ruling that favored the DOJ, he noted, but he said that the D.C. appeals court judges “can’t agree about its holdings, and its holdings determine the viability of a 20-year felony that an ex-president and major presidential candidate now stands charged with violating.”

“Moreover, at the appeals court level, judges’ acceptance of the Justice Department’s interpretations of that law have been 100 percent correlated with the political party of the judge’s appointer,” he wrote. “If that trend continues, and if either case climbs one more rung up the appellate ladder, the department (and Mr. Smith) faces bleak prospects indeed.” The comments come as constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley warned that the gag order targeting President Donald Trump is “unconstitutional” and said that an appeals court ruling to rescind the order last week was a “quite significant” development. Several weeks ago, District of Columbia Judge Tanya Chutkan placed a gag order on the former president in the Jan. 6-related case, saying President Trump cannot speak about potential witnesses, court staff, or prosecutors. An appeals court in the district froze Judge Chutkan’s order late last week, with oral arguments being set for Nov. 20.

“They could have left it to continue, to continue while they reviewed it, but they decided perhaps in an abundance of caution to order this stoppage until they can give it a full review,” Mr. Turley, a professor for George Washington University, said on Fox News on Nov. 3. “The reason I think this could be quite significant is because I think the order is unconstitutional.” He added that it is “very odd” to issue the order because the same court “insisted on having this trial before the election, sort of shoehorned it in before Super Tuesday,” referring to the key GOP presidential nominating date. “And everyone in this election is going to be talking about these cases,” the law professor said, “except one person under this gag order and that is Donald Trump.”

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“Russian victory in Ukraine would be a terrible blow to US interests, but not terrible enough to risk nuclear war.. ”

Legacy Media Readies American Public for Ukraine’s Defeat (Sp.)

A visibly agitated President Volodymyr Zelensky defiantly denied on Sunday that the NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine had entered a “stalemate,” assuring in an extensive interview with US media that Moscow has not “checkmated” Kiev, and that Ukraine still has many “different plans” to maintain the initiative. “Our military are coming up with different plans, with different operations in order to move forward faster and to strike the Russian Federation unexpectedly,” Zelensky said, in stark contradiction to Zaluzhnyi’s comments about the counteroffensive’s utter failure to penetrate Russian defenses. “As far as the situation on the front is concerned, of course I cannot provide all the details to you but nevertheless we are holding the initiative in our hands. You can imagine what over two years of a full-scale war is like.

Everybody gets tired. Even the iron gets tired,” Zelensky said. “I don’t think that this is a stalemate…We have done a lot,” he assured. Zelensky stressed that Ukraine could not proceed with its operations “barehanded,” “without relevant, proper weapons,” calling for more aid and assuring that money sent to Ukraine is “not aid to Ukraine,” but support for the US and the EU themselves, because Kiev is “defending our joint values.” The Ukrainian president rejected any possibility of negotiations with Russia, saying he didn’t “want to make any dialogue with terrorists,” and dismissing former President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to end the conflict in “24 hours.” Instead, the Ukrainian leader suggested, it would take him “24 minutes to explain [to] President Trump that he can’t manage this war.”

Western media have taken note of Zelensky’s shift in rhetoric, with one outlet pointing out that while the Ukrainian leader once assured the West of a speedy victory, now the message seems to be geared toward asking for more support to prevent the conflict from dragging on indefinitely, playing on the West’s fears of a protracted conflict with Moscow that cannot be won. But some observers have come out ahead of Zelensky, kicking off what seems like a carefully crafted campaign to prepare Western publics for defeat, or a least a “rethink” of what “victory” in Ukraine looks like. “Ukraine today finds itself worse off than it was last November. Its troops are exhausted and depleted, its weapons stocks are running low, and Western publics are more polarized over further support,” one pundit writing in a major US newspaper wrote.

“Ukraine’s counteroffensive was supposed to sustain political support for Kiev by proving that it could reconquer lost territory. Now, supporters of Ukraine might need to make the inverse argument: Ukraine is not reconquering substantial territory, and aid is needed indefinitely to forestall a devastating defeat.” Washington “might need to pivot from dreaming of victory to preparing to live with a stalemate,” since “there is virtually no appetite in the United States for direct war with Russia. Russian victory in Ukraine would be a terrible blow to US interests, but not terrible enough to risk nuclear war,” the observer stressed.

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“The government in Kiev treats its own people as something “alien”..

‘Rational Actors’ Ready To Take Power In Ukraine – Moscow (RT)

Not all Ukrainian elites and politicians agree with Kiev’s current belligerent stance against Moscow, Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said on Sunday while speaking at the ‘Russia’ exhibition in Moscow. “Rational actors” do exist in Ukraine but are currently “suppressed” by the Kiev government, he added. These forces are already “standing in the wings” and are ready to take power when the time is right, the former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) chief said, without elaborating who exactly he may be referring to. Patrushev also said that the Ukrainian governments after the Maidan coup, including the current one led by President Vladimir Zelensky, are “bound to answer” for all the atrocities committed in Ukraine since 2014, including the years-long persecution of the Russian-speaking minority and the people of Donbass, as well as the attacks on Russian civilians, public figures, journalists, and infrastructure.

“They will not be able to hide from a just people’s court like the former SS member Yaroslav Hunka,” Patrushev said, referring to a Ukrainian SS veteran hailed by Canada’s parliament during a visit by Zelensky in September. The incident sparked an angry reaction from Poland, Russia, and several Jewish organizations, and led to the resignation of Canadian House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, who claimed that he was unaware of Hunka’s past. Russia has made it clear that it is not waging war against the Ukrainian people. President Vladimir Putin has said that Ukrainians have become the victims of Western political games and their own government’s policies. The government in Kiev treats its own people as something “alien,” Putin said during his annual address to the Russian parliament in February.

Ukrainians have been turned into “cannon fodder,” he argued, adding that the country had been pushed towards war with Russia since 2014, when Kiev sent military forces to confront the Donbass militias in the wake of the Maidan coup. “Responsibility for the incitement of the Ukrainian conflict, for its escalation and an increasing number of its victims rests fully with the Western elites and with the current Kiev regime,” he stated at the time. Earlier this week, Zelensky once again declared that Kiev will not talk to Moscow or make any concessions to Russia. He also denied reports that Western nations are pushing Ukraine towards peace talks with Russia. He did admit, though, that the country’s media and Ukrainians themselves were speculating about the idea of talks with Russia, adding that he was “surprised” by such sentiments.

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“..Putin said that the West no longer has enough Ukrainian cannon fodder and they are thinking about Lithuanians and Poles.”

Ukrainian Army Has ‘Run Out of Cannon Fodder’ – Former US Envoy (Sp.)

The Ukrainian Army has run out of cannon fodder for an offensive, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman said in an interview with the YouTube channel Dialogue works. “Ukraine is out of cannon fodder, and so NATO is out of cannon fodder too. If the whole program was to fight to the last Ukrainian, and you are running out of Ukrainians, you don’t have a policy,” he said. In his view, Ukraine “could lose” even more territory. As Freeman noted, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ failures on the battlefield have exposed “serious disagreements” within NATO. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the West no longer has enough Ukrainian cannon fodder and they are thinking about Lithuanians and Poles. In early October, Putin said that Kiev’s offensive had failed, that the enemy’s attempts to advance had failed, and that the Ukrainian military had been halted and pushed back to its original positions, with Ukraine suffering an estimated 90,000-plus casualties.

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“Run those fiscal deficits and you’ve told all the thinking adults that child’s standard of living, when they reach adulthood, will be one quarter of yours today assuming your children are as competent and intelligent as you are.”

Demographics Is Destiny (Denninger)

Let’s face facts folks: Nobody who you want to have children will bring said children into a world where they believe said kids will get screwed. That doesn’t mean kids won’t come anyway; they will, for some. Some adults don’t care what happens to their offspring, some actually use them as meal tickets and more. Some people are also always going to be eternally optimistic and therefore none of this will factor into their decisions. And some will have “accidents” and for personal or religious reasons decide to bear and attempt to raise said kids. But none of that changes the basic facts: People who are of decently-competent intellect and of good character, in a world of technology where one can choose when and whether to reproduce, will only do so voluntarily if they believe it makes sense AND their offspring will get a fair shake.

Destroying the fiscal health of the nation by emitting 8% of GDP in unbacked credit via deficit spending is the exact opposite of such. Simple mathematics tells us that this results in you losing half your standard of living in less than ten years and it takes about 20 years to decide to have a kid, have said kid and raise him or her to adulthood. Run those fiscal deficits and you’ve told all the thinking adults that child’s standard of living, when they reach adulthood, will be one quarter of yours today assuming your children are as competent and intelligent as you are. Would anyone who has two IQ points to rub together have children in that situation, when the options facing said kid 20 years hence are privation to this degree or civil war (and the attendant risk of being dead!) to overthrow said government? NO.

Importing millions of unskilled workers who then drop kids who have parents with no skills, and thus no realistic means of learning much from said parents yet are citizens in the gambit to cheapen labor screws the next two generations sequentially. Oh sure, in two generations or so those kids having their own kids will “outgrow” that but then they are able to compute the same odds and they won’t have children either! Think I’m wrong? The data says I’m not; within two generations those who were the children of illegals stop having lots of babies too and its for the same reason, I’ll wager: They’re convinced their children will get screwed and have one quarter of THEIR standard of living — and they remember living eight to a one bedroom apartment!

You think all those glorious “vacation venues” bringing in H2 workers, and all those “tech” places with H1bs, mean parents have a great experience for their kids at lower cost? Maybe, but in addition they have seen the destruction it wreaks on said kids. Please explain how many of Americans you saw of college age working scooping ice cream or similar this summer to make enough money to go to college in the fall. Zero — or nearly so — right? That’s what I saw all over the country. Now if I’m 20, and thinking about making some kids, where are my kids going to be in 20 years? Unable to get a summer job and unable to afford college too. Many see this, keep their pants on and both Trojan and the birth control pill companies keep having decent quarterly reports.

Good jobs with nice pay tend to be concentrated around cities. How’s Chicago doing these days? Yeah, getting mugged while walking around North Michigan Avenue (assuming you don’t get shot, which is of course even worse) is great. Do you want to expose children you might have to that risk? Hmmmm….. probably not. Oh, and speaking of which how are you going to afford a place to live with said kids when the cost of housing and property taxes have skyrocketed by more than double over the last decade or so — and there’s a new round of screwing headed for you in this upcoming year’s bill, all so you can be a “sanctuary” for a bunch of Venezuelan fighting-age men who illegally came to the US! All of this is very conducive to choosing to bear children, right? I mean its not like you’re going to have to pay those property taxes at an ever-escalating rate for the next 20 years if you choose to have kids, right? Oh, wait…. you are!

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“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

 

 

Cashew

 

 


The Olive tree of Vouveson on the island of Crete, Greece, is one of the oldest olive trees in the world. Scientists from the University of Crete have estimated it to be 4,000 years old, which means that, when it sprouted, the last mammoths were still walking on Earth, someone in China was discovering bronze casting and the seventh Egyptian dinasty was declining.

The Minoan civilization was thriving and its monumental architecture was adorning the island of Crete. The first stones of the Palace of Minos at Knossos which inspired the myth of the Minotaur were laid. This tree saw the humans deeds for thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the artificial intelligence and, possibly the most amazing thing, it continues to produce olives at every season.

 

 


Rangers discovered a one-year-old hippo, whom they have named Owen, alone and dehydrated near Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast after he became separated from his herd in 2004. They took him to a wildlife sanctuary in Mombasa, where he soon found a male tortoise with the same dark grey coloring as adult hippos. The tortoise initially hissed at Owen, warning him to stay away, but according to park officials the pair have since become inseparable.

The Aldabran tortoise, called Mzee, or “Old Man” in Swahili, now eats and sleeps beside Owen. Rangers say they could not have placed Owen with another herd of hippos as he would have been killed by an adult male. The park’s tourism manager, Pauline Kimoto, told reporters: “Since Owen arrived on 27 December, the tortoise behaves like a mother to him. The hippo follows the tortoise around and licks his face.”

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 232023
 


John Atkinson Grimshaw Battersea Bridge 1885

 

Russian Army Gets Enough Recruits To Form Regiment Per Day – Shoigu (RT)
Ukraine Expands General Mobilization (RT)
‘No Way to Recruit People’: GOP Seeks to Codify Pentagon Drag Show Ban (Sp.)
Putin Says Western Countries Seem to Be Ready to Fight to Last Ukrainian (Sp.)
NATO Trainers Knowingly Sent Ukrainian Troops To Their Deaths (Scott Ritter)
Demilitarization, Denazification: A Sanitary Zone For Ukraine (Helmer)
US/NATO Are Playing ‘Russian Roulette’. Do They Want A Nuclear War? (Trenin)
Zelensky Bans Russian Books (RT)
On Horseradish & Nuclear War (Scott Ritter)
New Catastrophe Looms In Kosovo As West ‘Toys’ With International Law (TASS)
Global Financial System Exhausted, Not Up to New Challenges – Macron (Sp.)
Biden Sends Sullivan, Nuland To Turn BRICS War Skeptics Against Russia (ZH)
The Greater Eurasia Project: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (Pepe Escobar)
CIA Vet Warns US Intel ‘Will Do Everything’ to Help Dems in 2024 Race (Sp.)
New Bombshell Evidence Against Bidens, DOJ, AG Garland (ZH)
US Justice is Blind – Unless Your Name is Hunter Biden (Tweedie)
Tucker Calls Out ‘Media Hysteria Typhoon’ Over RFK Jr. (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK Who we are

 

 

 

 

While Modi is in Washington, Obama, visiting Athens, tells Modi what to do at home.

Obama

 

 

The submersible imploded on Sunday, killing all on board. We were not allowed to know until now.

 

 

 

 

“On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours..”

Russian Army Gets Enough Recruits To Form Regiment Per Day – Shoigu (RT)

The Russian Army is recruiting enough new personnel to complete the formation of its reserve force, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday. Enough applicants are signing formal contracts with the ministry to form a new regiment every day, he added. A total of 114,000 people have joined the Russian Armed Forces as contract servicemen to date, Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin at a Russian National Security Council session. An additional 52,000 people have joined the military ranks as volunteers, he said. “On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours,” Shoigu said, adding that “we de facto get a [new] regiment every day.” Russia is now actively forming a reserve force that will include a new corps, a field army and five new regiments for the existing field armies, the defense minister said.

A field army in Russia includes several army corps and accounts for more than 40,000 servicemen on average. A Russian army corps has an established strength of between 20,000 and 40,000 servicemen and includes several brigades and regiments depending on its composition. “We are about to finish the formation of a reserve army by late June,” the minister said, adding that almost 3,800 military equipment pieces have already been supplied to the troops and will be used to outfit the newly formed units. According to Shoigu, the volunteers are “eager to join the fight” on the frontlines, where the Russian troops are currently repelling a Ukrainian offensive, which was launched earlier in June. The minister said that Moscow has no plans to send them into the fray right now. “There is no urgent need for that,”he said, adding that the fresh recruits should “undergo serious training first and that is what they do.” He still praised the “highest motivation” of the Russian troops.

In mid-June, Putin told military correspondents and bloggers that Russia sees no need for another military draft campaign right now. At that time, he also said that over 150,000 people had signed a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry since January. Shoigu’s report comes as Ukrainian officials in some regions take drastic steps to ensure the inflow of recruits to the Ukrainian army. Kiev declared general mobilization back in February 2022, when Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine. This week, several Ukrainian media outlets reported that authorities in western Ivano-Frankovsk Region barred local healthcare providers from carrying out planned hospital treatments of any patients eligible for conscription without prior coordination with the local enlistment office. Putin has also stated that Kiev should not be able to replenish its manpower indefinitely even with the West’s military aid. “It seems Ukraine’s Western allies are indeed prepared to wage the war to the last Ukrainian,” according to the president.

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What a difference. It’s now everyone. Want to become a doctor? Too bad.

Ukraine Expands General Mobilization (RT)

Residents of the Obolonsky district in the Ukrainian capital who are eligible for mobilization must report to the military recruitment offices within ten days, even if they do not receive a personal notice, the local draft commissariat said on Thursday. The document, signed by commissar Alexey Privala, was posted on social media, as well as reprinted by the Ukrainian newspaper Strana. Responding to the outlet’s inquiry, Privala’s office claimed the order was nothing new and that such notices were being posted regularly. What is a precedent in the district, however, is the blanket call-up of all draftees. The western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankovsk has already enacted the same measure. Their orders, dated June 13, also refer to the mobilization of vehicles and forbid residents from moving without the explicit permission of the draft commissariat.

The Ivano-Frankovsk notice set a ten-day deadline for all men subject to the draft notice to report for service. The Obolonsky district commissariat has also referred to the same ten-day deadline. Its orders apply not only to the men registered in the district, but even those residing there temporarily, according to Strana. Ukraine’s Chernigov Region reported on Wednesday that it was struggling to meet its mobilization quota. More than 20,000 people have not reported following their summons, regional draft commissar Oleg Goncharuk has admitted. The expanded mobilization measures come as the long-heralded “counteroffensive” on the Zaporozhye front fails to dislodge Russian forces after more than two weeks of fighting.

The attack was “not meeting expectations on any front,”Western officials told CNN on Thursday, while President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged on Wednesday that progress had been “slower than desired.” According to Russian officials, Ukraine has suffered up to 13,000 casualties since June 4, and is in the process of regrouping its brigades to try again. National Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu briefed President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that many Western-supplied vehicles were among the 246 tanks, 152 infantry fighting vehicles, and 443 armored vehicles Ukraine lost during the attempted attacks.

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Should Ukraine follow US example in mobilization? Zelensky would be an excellent drag queen.

‘No Way to Recruit People’: GOP Seeks to Codify Pentagon Drag Show Ban (Sp.)

After a drag show advertised as a “family-friendly” event was canceled at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in early June, at the start of Pride Month, the Defense Department issued a statement to say that such events were “not a suitable use” of resources. After a de-facto Pentagon ban on drag shows in the military went into effect at the start of June, Republicans at the US House Armed Services Committee have urged seeing this codified in law. An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was put forward by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to bar funding for such performances. “I think it’s time for us to do something to make our voice known that we will not let this happen in the US military – woke ideology and the drag queen shows have no place in our military, zero, bupkis. That is not the way to recruit people,” Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) said about the provision, which was passed 33-26.

The NDAA, the annual defense policy bill, passed the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday night after a session that considered over 800 amendments. The Committee also passed a provision put forward by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) to suspend a contentious initiative called the Navy Digital Ambassador Program. After the Navy had opted to select sailor Joshua Kelley, a TikTok drag queen known as Harpy Daniels, to reach out to potential recruits on social media, it had triggered a flurry of criticism. The current move by the House Armed Services Committee comes as Matt Gaetz wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and “demanded answers” on “why these drag shows are still occurring” despite the two officials having testified in March that the Department of Defense did not endorse them.

Both Austin and Milley had claimed that they were not aware of such performances on military bases. According to US reports, drag shows have been hosted at Nellis Air Force Base both in 2021 and 2022. The event cancelled by the Pentagon at the military base in Nevada had been advertised ahead of the scheduled performance as a “family-friendly” one, involving three artists, including a former contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” “As Secretary Austin has said, the DoD will not host drag events at US military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DoD resources,” Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary for the department, had stated in early June.

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“[Military] equipment, of course, can be supplied additionally. But the mobilization reserve is not unlimited..”

Putin Says Western Countries Seem to Be Ready to Fight to Last Ukrainian (Sp.)

Ukrainian troops launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the South Donetsk direction on June 4 but failed to achieve their goals, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. It looks like Western countries are ready to fight until the last Ukrainian, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “[Military] equipment, of course, can be supplied additionally. But the mobilization reserve is not unlimited. And it seems that Ukraine’s Western allies really decided to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian,” Putin said at a meeting of the Security Council. Kiev has already lost over 13,000 people during its counteroffensive, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said. “As for the personnel … it [Kiev’s loss] is more than 13,000 [persons],” Patrushev said at a meeting with members of the Russian Security Council held by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Moreover, Russian forces have already destroyed 246 Ukrainian tanks, including 13 of the Western type, as well as 42 multiple launch rocket systems, two anti-aircraft missile systems, 10 tactical fighters, four helicopters, 264 unmanned aerial vehicles and 424 units of motor vehicles, which Kiev has used during its counteroffensive, Patrushev added. The figures are based on the generalized data for the period from June 4-21, provided by various departments, the Russian official noted. Ukrainian troops have slowed down their activity after 16 days of hostilities and are regrouping, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. “After 16 days of active hostilities, having suffered significant losses, [the enemy] is regrouping and re-equipping, gathering parts of battalions at the moment,” Shoigu said during a meeting of the Russian Security Council.

The Russian armed forces will complete the creation of a reserve army by the end of June and of an army corps in the near future, with the formations scheduled to receive over 3,700 pieces of equipment, Sergei Shoigu added. “We are forming reserves as part of the army corps, the army, plus five regiments of the 20th tank army. Everything is going according to plan. In fact, we will complete the formation of the reserve army by the end of June and finalize the formation of the army corps there soon,” Shoigu said at a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council. As for now, these five regiments, both in terms of personnel and equipment, are already formed by 60%, the Russian defense chief added.

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This is what “cannon fodder” means.

NATO Trainers Knowingly Sent Ukrainian Troops To Their Deaths (Scott Ritter)

Ukraine sent one of its best brigades into combat earlier this month as part of its long-awaited counteroffensive aimed at retaking areas controlled by Russian forces. Leading the charge near the town of Orekhov, in Zaporozhye Region, was the 47th Mechanized Brigade, armed with NATO equipment and – most importantly – employing it using the US-led bloc’s combined arms doctrine and tactics. Prior to the operation, this brigade spent months at a base in Germany learning “Western know-how” in combined-arms warfare. Helping them prepare for the fighting to come was KORA, the German-made NATO computer simulation system, designed to allow officers and non-commissioned officers to closely replicate battlefield conditions and, in doing so, better develop ideal courses of action against a designated enemy – in this case, Russia.


If there was ever an example of how a purpose-built Ukrainian NATO proxy force would perform against a Russian enemy, the 47th Brigade was the ideal case study. However, within days of initiating its attack, the group was close to literally decimated, with more than 10% of the over 100 US-made M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles destroyed or abandoned on the field of battle, and hundreds of the brigade’s 2,000-strong complement dead or wounded. German-made Leopard 2 tanks and mine-clearing vehicles joined the Bradleys as wrecks in the fields west of Orekhov, having failed to breach the first line of Russian defenses. The reasons for this defeat can be boiled down to the role played by KORA in creating a false sense of confidence on the part of the officers and men of the 47th Brigade. Unfortunately, as the Ukrainians and their NATO masters found out, what works in a computer simulation does not automatically equate to battlefield success.

[..] One of the things I’m most proud of in my military career is the fact that the Marine assault breaching operations done during Desert Storm unfolded almost exactly as my team and I had predicted in the JANUS simulation. After the war, General Caulfield credited my team and I with playing a major role in designing the successful Marine attack and, in the process, saving hundreds of Marine lives. We achieved this result by adhering to basic principles of professionalism and integrity, refusing to cut corners for the sake of expediency and being realistic about the amount of military combat power that would be needed to be applied over time to achieve the desired result.


If only the NATO trainers, who knowingly sent the men of the Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade and scores of other Ukrainian brigades to their deaths, adhered to such standards. Instead, they sent those troops in a futile attempt to breach defenses that were impossible to overcome, given the disparity in training and force composition between the Ukrainian and Russian forces. Had they been diligent, there would be far fewer Ukrainian widows and orphaned children mourning the loss of their husbands and fathers. This, more than anything, is the primary lesson to be derived from the Ballad of KORA and JANUS – neither NATO nor the United States cares about the lives of the Ukrainians they have undertaken to train in the horrific art of war.

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”..that leaves nothing of the Ukraine except the territory which the Poles and Hungarians might not be bold enough to take.”

Demilitarization, Denazification: A Sanitary Zone For Ukraine (Helmer)

What follows is the first detailed discussion in the open in Moscow of how the map of this territory should be drawn when the Ukrainian offensive reaches its end, and the Russian advance begins. Left out of mention is who in Moscow will be drawing the new map. This is because Putin has annonced he is delegating to the General Staff. “Russia’s military leadership,” he said on June 9, “is realistic in its assessments of the situation and will proceed from these realities as it continues to plan up our actions in the short term.” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had already said the same a year ago. “Now the geography is different,” he concluded an interview in Moscow on July 20, 2022. “Take the HIMARS. [Ukrainian] Defence Minister Alexei Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition.

This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.” “[Question:] How can this be arranged, technically? This is our territory. Then there are the republics that will accede to us. In fact they already have – the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. … Further west, there is the territory controlled by Vladimir Zelensky. They have a common border. So either there should be a 300 kilometre buffer zone or something between them, or we need to march all the way to Lvov inclusive.” “[Lavrov:] There is a solution to this problem. The military know this.”

“Comrade servicemen,” Lavrov added last week on a visit to the 201st Russian Military Base in Tajikistan, “they are getting ready, in earnest, to supply the F-16 jets. Some say they will make two squadrons available, others say eight. They are gearing up to continue the escalation of the war against us. There’s an ongoing debate about where these planes will take off from. Our armed forces and the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces are well aware of ongoing developments and report to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. We must keep in mind that one version of the F-16 can carry nuclear weapons. If they do not understand this, they are worthless military strategists and planners.” The General Staff have no reason to speak publicly on this point.

Privately, a source in a position to know says: “the General Staff are not satisfied with the Dnieper [line of defence]. It will run from a small town on the border with Belarus to Transnistria. They will solve that problem as well. But mainly, Belarus has to be protected from the south. And most importantly, that leaves nothing of the Ukraine except the territory which the Poles and Hungarians might not be bold enough to take.”

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“The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation.”

US/NATO Are Playing ‘Russian Roulette’. Do They Want A Nuclear War? (Trenin)

In principle, nuclear weapons have been “on the table” for Russia from the very beginning of the Ukrainian conflict precisely as a means of deterring the US and its allies from becoming directly involved. Nevertheless, repeated public reminders from Putin and other officials about Russia’s nuclear status have so far not prevented a growing escalation of NATO’s participation. As a result, it has become clear that nuclear deterrence, on which many in Moscow have relied as a credible means of securing the country’s vital interests, has proven to be a much more limited tool than they expected. In fact, the US has now set itself the task – unthinkable during the Cold War – of trying to defeat another nuclear superpower in a strategically important region, without resorting to atomic weapons, but instead by arming and controlling a third country.

The Americans are proceeding cautiously, testing Moscow’s responses and consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of arms supplied to Kiev, as well as the choice of targets for them. From starting with anti-tank ‘Javelins,’ to eventually cajoling allies to send actual tanks, the US is now apparently pondering transferring F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles. It is likely that this US strategy is based on the belief that the Russian leadership would not dare use nuclear weapons in the current conflict, and that its references to the nuclear arsenal at its disposal are nothing more than a bluff. The Americans have even been calm – at least outwardly about the deployment of Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus. Such “fearlessness” is a direct result of the geopolitical changes of the last three decades and the change of generations in power in the US and the West in general.

The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation. The practical conclusion is clear: there is no need to be afraid of such a Russian response. This is an extremely dangerous misconception. The trajectory of the Ukrainian war points to an escalation of the conflict both horizontally (by expanding the theater of military action) and vertically (by increasing the power of the weapons used and the intensity of their use). It must be soberly acknowledged that this momentum is heading towards a direct armed confrontation between Russia and NATO. If the accumulated inertia is not stopped, such a clash will take place, and in this case the war, having spread to Western Europe, will almost inevitably become nuclear. And after some time, a nuclear war in Europe will most likely lead to an exchange of blows between Russia and the US.

The Americans and their allies are truly playing Russian roulette. Yes, so far the Russian response to the bombing of Nord Stream, the drone attack on the strategic Engels airbase, the entry of Western-armed saboteurs into the Belgorod region and many other actions by the Washington-backed and controlled side has been relatively restrained. As Putin recently made clear, there are good reasons for this restraint. Russia, the president said, is capable of destroying any building in Kiev, but will not stoop to the methods of terror used by the enemy. But Putin added that Russia was considering various options for destroying Western warplanes if they are based in NATO countries and directly take part in the war in Ukraine.

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Trying to think of another “leader” who wanted to ban his mother tongue.

Zelensky Bans Russian Books (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky announced on Thursday that he had a signed a law making it illegal to import and distribute Russian and Belarusian publishing products in Ukraine. However, some Ukrainian officials have pointed out that the step could hinder Kiev’s plans to join the EU. The move comes after Ukrainian citizens registered an online petition on the official presidential website asking for the ban back in May. The petition reached the 25,000-vote threshold required for it to be formally considered by the head of state. The author of the petition noted that the Ukrainian parliament had already approved the law on June 19, 2022, but that Zelensky had never signed the bill. As a result, Russian books continued to be sold in Ukraine, which undermines “the information security of the state and the economic foundations of Ukrainian book publishing,” according to the petition.

“I consider the law to be correct,” Zelensky stated in a Telegram post announcing that he had finally signed the legislation. He noted, however, that the text of the legislation had been sent to EU institutions for an “additional assessment” of whether it could breach Kiev’s obligations to protect minority rights, particularly linguistic ones, in the context of Ukraine’s application for EU membership. In a written response to the petition last month, Zelensky explained that there had been a “number of reservations” that prevented the law from being adopted.

The president stated that Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice had proposed applying the right of veto to the bill, arguing that completely banning the import and distribution of Russian publications would contradict several articles of Ukraine’s constitution. Additionally, Zelensky said that despite agreeing with the nature of the law, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had also advised vetoing the bill. The ministry had warned that its current version “does not meet the norms and standards of the EU in the field of human rights, including freedom of opinion, protection of the rights of national minorities, prohibition of discrimination on the basis of language, and therefore may complicate the process of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.”

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“Khren Im”

On Horseradish & Nuclear War (Scott Ritter)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for a lot of things — his “in your face” speeches, his marathon unscripted press conferences and his stoic impassiveness in the face of adversity come to mind. One thing that doesn’t jump out at the average observer is his earthy sense of humor. Long-time Putin watchers know that the Russian leader on occasion spices up his formal presentations with off-color quips which, unless one is well versed in colloquial Russian of the back-alley variety, can get missed by the casual listener. During the June 16 discussion period of the plenary session of the 2023 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian leader was asked about his views on the potential use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict. “This use of nuclear weapons is certainly theoretically possible,” Putin bluntly answered.

“For Russia, this is possible if a threat is created to our territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, the existence of the Russian state. Nuclear weapons are created in order to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state.” Putin’s answer reflected long-standing Russian nuclear doctrine, which postulates the use of nuclear weapons in the case of an existential threat, nuclear or otherwise, to the survival of Russia. Putin then sought to put the audience at ease. “But we, firstly, do not have such a need,” Putin noted, “and secondly, the very factor of reasoning on this topic already lowers the possibility of lowering the threshold for the use of weapons. This is the first part.” What came next was classic Putin. “The second is that we have more such weapons [i.e., tactical nuclear weapons] than the NATO countries. They know about it and all the time they persuade us to start talks on reductions.”

Putin paused, before shrugging and, with a half-smile, saying “Khren Im”. Khren Im is a Russian slang term derived from the word “horseradish” (khren), thus a literal translation of the phrase used by Putin would be “horseradish them.” But khren closely resembles a more salty term used to describe male genitalia, and when used in this manner, khren Im is understood to mean “F*ck them.” “F*ck them, you know?” Putin said, to the obvious mirth of the audience. “As our people say. Because, in the clumsy terms of economics, this is our competitive advantage.”

The “them” in the horseradish reference made by the Russian president is the United States. Two weeks prior to Putin’s man-in-the-street reaction, on June 2, U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, addressed a conference hosted by the Arms Control Association, in Washington, D.C. The topic, not surprisingly, was the administration’s approach to U.S.-Russian arms control.

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Another way to poke the bear.

New Catastrophe Looms In Kosovo As West ‘Toys’ With International Law (TASS)

The West is toying with international law in an attempt to create alternative ways to resolve the Kosovo problem, and this may lead the region down a path to calamity, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing Wednesday. The diplomat underscored that the US and the EU continue to turn a blind eye towards Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s subversive actions and deliberately bring the settlement to a deadlock in order to “force the Serbs to surrender their vital interests.”


“Since April 2013, Pritstina has been shirking its commitments to Serb municipalities in Kosovo. Instead of pressing the Kosovars, US mediators are laying the groundwork to radically decrease the community’s authority, and, of course, its replacement with some mechanism on protection of language rights, supporting Kurti’s claim about, as he put it, the non-territorial nature of this structure,” she noted. “Amid these circumstances, there is a growing risk that the West will toy with international law in an aim to create alternative options for resolution of the Kosovo problem, taking the region to a new catastrophe, yet another one.” The diplomat noted that there is a reliable foundation for settling the situation, which remains fully in effect. “That being the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 – the basis for negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, for any mediation efforts of the international community – the foundation is the same,” she added.

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Mr. Banker should know?!

Global Financial System Exhausted, Not Up to New Challenges – Macron (Sp.)

The existing global financial system is outdated and does not meet the new challenges, while the new system must be adopted and aligned with the world’s goals, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.
“Our world is undergoing ever greater upheaval… We have a financial system which is the product of a previous consensus, which has shown its effectiveness, and bailed us out in past decades, but is probably not evolving fast enough. It is no longer adapted, and needs to be realigned with our goals,” Macron said at the opening of a New Global Financial Pact summit in Paris, which was streamed on the official website of the event.

Macron noted that no country had to choose whether to fight poverty or protect the planet and each country should be free to choose its own way, hence the new financial pact had to respect the sovereignty of the countries of the South much more. “We will take a major step, as we will start by establishing a new consensus. The fight against poverty, the decarbonization of our economy in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and the protection of biodiversity, are closely intertwined. We therefore need to agree together on the best means to address these challenges in the poor and emerging countries of the developing world, when it comes to the amount of investment, to comprehensive reform of infrastructure like the World Bank, the IMF, and public and private funds, and how to set a new process in motion,” Macron said.

Macron also said that the private sector had a big role to play, but it needed to receive credible guarantees. The president added that the summit should result in concrete solutions that would change the lives of countries struggling with climate challenges and suggested setting up a follow-up mechanism. The summit in Paris, which runs from June 22-23, aims to establish new agreements between the countries of the Global North and the Global South and to combat climate change and the global crisis.

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Too late.

Biden Sends Sullivan, Nuland To Turn BRICS War Skeptics Against Russia (ZH)

At a moment President Zelensky has confessed that Ukraine’s counteroffensive which was launched this month has been “slower than desired”, President Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan is mounting a big push to convince “skeptics” from developing nations to become more firmly supportive of Kiev’s war effort. “Joe Biden’s top national security aide will fly to Denmark this weekend at the behest of Kyiv’s government for an unannounced meeting with representatives of several developing countries that have not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Financial Times has reported. A planned Copenhagen meeting is expected to include large but ‘neutral’ countries like Brazil, India, and South Africa – the latter which has of late been accused of actively supporting Moscow.

Sullivan’s initiative came at the request of the Ukrainian government, also as Russia’s economy has been successfully weathering the storm of US/EU-led sanctions, in particular upping its energy exports to BRICS countries. As for the as yet unannounced list of likely attendees in Denmark, FT details based on its sources: “Officials from Turkey and possibly China could also attend. One of the people familiar with the plans said that, following the Ukrainian request, Washington has been encouraging China, India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa to attend. Sullivan will travel with Victoria Nuland, the number-three official at the US state department. A senior EU official will also participate.” BRICS countries have by and large been so quiet about the Russian invasion that they’ve even been accused of outright aiding and abetting Moscow’s offensive.

When discussing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Washington this week, Sullivan told reporters, “We think this actually sends a message to the coalition and Ukraine that we’re working to advocate on their behalf with a broader range of countries than just those that show up around the table either in Nato…or at the G7.” It remains that the major economies of India, Brazil, China and South Africa have persisted in their refusal to cooperate with Western sanctions on Russia. In Beijing’s case, it has actually directed more criticism at both NATO and the United States for “arrogance” and “imperialism”.

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Every day, there are new developments. Step by step. And unstoppable.

The Greater Eurasia Project: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (Pepe Escobar)

On July 4, at a New Delhi summit, Iran will finally become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That will be one of the key decisions of the summit, held via video-conference, along with the signing of a memorandum on the path by Belarus to also become a member state. In parallel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk has confirmed that Iran and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) should sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of 2023. The FTA will expand an interim deal that already lowers customs duties on hundreds of categories of goods. Russia and Iran – two key poles of Eurasia integration – have been getting closer and closer geoeconomically since the west’s sanctions tsunami that followed Russia’s February 2022 Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine.

The EAEU – as much as the SCO and BRICS – is on a roll: FTAs are expected to be clinched, from middle to long term, with Egypt, India, Indonesia, and the UAE. Overchuck admits negotiations may be “very difficult” and “take years,” considering “the interests of all five EAEU member states, their businesses, and their consumers.” Yet despite the obvious complexities, this high-speed rail geoeconomic train has already left the station. In a parallel track, the members of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), during a recent summit in Iran, decided to launch a new cross-border financial messaging system this month as a rival to the western-centric SWIFT. The ACU comprises the Central Banks of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Iran: a healthy mix of West Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

It was the Central Bank of Iran – still under harsh sanctions – that developed the new bank messaging system, so new it’s not yet known by its own acronym. Crucially, the Governor of Russia’s Central Bank took part in the ACU summit as an observer, along with officials from Belarus, which applied for ACU membership two weeks ago. Iranian Central Bank Governor Mohammad Reza Farzin confirmed not only the interest of potential members to join the ACU, but also the drive to set up a basket of currencies for payment of bilateral trade deals. Call it a de-dollarization fast track. As Iran’s first Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber summed it up: “De-dollarization is not a voluntary choice by countries anymore; it is an inevitable response to the weaponization of the dollar.”

Iran is now at the heart of all things multipolar. The recent discovery of a massive lithium field holding roughly 10 percent of the world’s reserves, coupled with the quite possible admission of Iran into the expanded BRICS – or BRICS+ – as early as this year, has bolstered scenarios of an upcoming BRICS currency backed by commodities: gold, oil, gas and – inevitably – lithium. All this frantic Global South-led activity stands in sharp contrast to the sputtering deceleration of the Empire of Sanctions. The Global South has had enough of the US sanctioning and banning whoever, whatever, and whenever they like, in defense of a hazy, arbitrary “rules-based international order.”

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“..the agencies will do everything they can to help Biden or whoever replaces him from the Democratic Party but they will be a lot more careful about how they do it..”

CIA Vet Warns US Intel ‘Will Do Everything’ to Help Dems in 2024 Race (Sp.)

Former Special Counsel John Durham offered his first public testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday regarding the details of his report into the FBI’s handling of allegations of collusion between ex-President Donald Trump and Russia. The day before, Durham testified behind closed doors to the US House Intelligence Committee. While it is not completely clear whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation knew from the outset that dug-up “information on Trump” had been paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, there is “no excuse for their having learned that and, nevertheless, proceeded with the investigation,” former CIA station chief Philip Giraldi told Sputnik. “There might have been personal malice involved in going after Trump, but that has not been clearly demonstrated,” the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest added, referencing the FBI’s investigation into the alleged Trump-Russia “collusion”.

Former Special Counsel John Durham paid his second visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to face the House Judiciary Committee over the details of his May report, released after almost a four-year-long investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation codenamed, Crossfire Hurricane. Durham had found that the agency had been “seriously deficient,” relying on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence,” when probing the 2016 Donald Trump campaign’s alleged ties to “Russia.” “One has to assume that the Bureau felt it had a great deal invested in maintaining Democratic Party control of the presidency and that there were concerns that Trump would upset the arrangements made under [Barack] Obama,” Giraldi said.

The Durham report had also exposed the Democratic establishment’s anti-Trump narrative, and the role of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in spawning and then pushing the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. During his probe, the special counsel charged and convicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to doctoring an email to state that Trump aide Carter Page had never been a CIA asset (which was not true) in order to push ahead with surveilling the former Trump campaign adviser. Durham also brought charges against Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and Brookings Institution scholar Igor Danchenko for lying to the FBI. Danchenko has served as the main ‘subsource’ for ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the now infamous Steele dossier. It had been funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through the law firm Perkins Coie, which Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann worked for at the time.

[..] Ahead of John Durham’s testimony on June 21, Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) underscored in his opening statement that the hearing was tasked to provide more “detail and add more color” to the findings of the May report. “Seven years of attacking Trump is scary enough… What’s more frightening is that any one of us could be next,” Jordan emphasized. A number of Republicans echoed John Durham’s calls for reforming the FBI, underscoring that the agency, had become “politicized” and “weaponized”, and had carried out a “politically motivated” investigation of Donald Trump. Looking ahead at the next election cycle, where both Biden and Trump are gearing up to vie for another Oval Office stint, Philip Giraldi concluded: “For 2024, I expect that the agencies will do everything they can to help Biden or whoever replaces him from the Democratic Party but they will be a lot more careful about how they do it than they were in 2020.”

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I see the word bombshell too much.

New Bombshell Evidence Against Bidens, DOJ, AG Garland (ZH)

Several bombshells dropped by two IRS whistleblowers on Thursday reveal, among other things, that Joe Biden’s DOJ buried evidence of Hunter Biden’s tax crimes – and stopped US Attorney David Weiss from bringing charges against Hunter in two different jurisdictions last year. According to Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), Weiss sought to be appointed as a special counsel in the case last year but was denied as well. What’s more, the IRS sought felony charges against Hunter, send their recommendations to the Biden DOJ, and they ‘came out as two misdemeanors,’ Byron York tweets. According to the whistleblowers, one of whom is Gary Shipley – who came forward weeks ago to reveal his identity, the IRS was notified of potential evidence “in the guest house of former Vice President Biden,” but were rebuffed by US Attorney Lesley Wolf, who said there was “no way,” as search warrant “would ever get approved.”

“Whistleblowers describe how the Biden Justice Department intervened and overstepped in a campaign to protect the son of Joe Biden by delaying, divulging, and denying an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes,” said Smith in a statement. “The testimony shows tactics used by the Justice Department to delay the investigation long enough to reach the statute of limitations, evidence they divulged sensitive actions by the investigative team to Biden’s attorneys, and denied requests by the U.S. Attorney to bring charges against Biden.” During seven hours of testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, Shipley and the other whistleblower’s testimony implicates both AG Merrick Garland and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel for lying to Congress about political interference in the Biden probe.

“Whistleblower One’s story was corroborated by Whistleblower Two,” said Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK). “One individual came forward and laid out the full case of what’s going on. The second individual, through his attorney, asked Ways and Means to contact him and ask for testimony. So we didn’t seek these, they sought us,” added Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC).

As Techno Fog notes via The Reactionary; “With the rejection from the DC US Attorney, the team sought the approval to bring tax charges for years 2016-2019 in the Central District of California. Shapley concluded that “the Central District of California declined to allow charges to be brought there.” The rejection to bring charges in DC and California stands in stark contrast to the testimony of Attorney General Garland, who in March of 2023 stated that US Attorney Weiss had the full authority to “bring cases in other jurisdictions.” Garland also said that he personally would ensure that Weiss could “carry out his investigation and that he [would] be able to run it.” Both those statements now appear to be false. (Your humble author thinks the Republicans knew Garland was making misrepresentations at the time.)”

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“..you have to be impressed with the fact that they just continue to shove this nonsense in our face knowing that they could get away with it.”

US Justice is Blind – Unless Your Name is Hunter Biden (Tweedie)

US President Joe Biden’s son was brazenly let off scot-free in a “sweetheart deal,” say two media commentators. Hunter Biden had been under investigation by the FBI for soliciting millions in bribes from foreign businesspeople in return for influence over the then-vice president. That includes an alleged $5 million from Mykola Zlochevsky, co-owner of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings which employed Hunter as a company director and which was investigated for corruption by Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin until Joe Biden pressured Kiev to sack him. Hunter is also suspected of owning a handgun unlawfully, which reportedly ended up being thrown in a dumpster. Furthermore, a trove of photos on his abandoned “Laptop from Hell” appeared to show him using crack cocaine and sleeping with underage prostitutes.

But on Tuesday, it was reported that he had struck a deal with prosecutors — pending approval by a federal judge — to plead guilty to tax evasion and illegal possession of a firearm in return for avoiding jail time. Former US diplomat Jim Jatras told Sputnik that Hunter Biden’s plea bargain was a “sweetheart deal.” “I don’t know how a plea on two charges automatically extends to, say ‘Oh, yeah, and all that other stuff. We’re going to give you a guarantee that there will be no charges,'” he said. The foreign policy expert said that was “an outrageous miscarriage of justice.” “I know the rich and powerful and the politically well-connected and treated differently from everybody else, but this is really just unprecedented,” Jatras stressed. The pundit said the plea bargain deal would play into the hands of the Republican Party.

“It’s what Republicans love best. They could win and jump up and down and scream in outrage without actually having to do anything,” Jatras said. “It completely absolves them of any responsibility to actually see that justice is done.” Journalist Jim Hoft told Sputnik that he was not surprised that the president’s wayward son got off scot-free. “After what we’ve seen the past few years, not really,” he said. “But it is quite galling. And you have to be impressed with the fact that they just continue to shove this nonsense in our face knowing that they could get away with it.” The editor said Hunter Biden was “one of the most crooked people in the country.” “And he gets a pass and a little slap on the wrist, if that,” Hoft observed. “It’s really it’s stunning what’s happening to our country. We’re all witnessing it.”

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“Peter Hotez – who he says will “never debate Bobby Kennedy Jr., but it doesn’t matter. Kennedy has already won.”

Tucker Calls Out ‘Media Hysteria Typhoon’ Over RFK Jr. (ZH)

In his latest episode, Tucker Carlson discussed the media’s absolute hatred for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was immediately attacked by the press upon his announcement that he would run against President Joe Biden in 2024. “CBS News viewers likely were appalled in its coverage of Kennedy’s announcement. CBS denounced the candidate’s views as ‘misleading’ and ‘dangerous,'” noted Carlson, adding “The LA Times called him a threat to democracy.” “At the offices of National Public Radio in Washington, a full-blown category-5 hysteria typhoon broke out. NPR devoted an entire segment to savaging Kennedy – not just as a candidate, but as a human being,” Carlson continued. “NPR described him as someone who, for his own perverse reasons, has made “debunked and false and misleading claims that undermine trust in vaccines.

And who, in his spare time, provides moral support to crazed extremists who “rally under the banner of what they call liberty, or freedom.”” “People Magazine didn’t even bother to report a single word of anything Kennedy said!” Carlson exclaimed, “and instead wrote an entire story about his relatives hate him.” “Kennedy Jr. faced censorship on Instagram and YouTube for expressing his views,” he continued, adding that RFK Jr. raised questions about “the rise in allergies, asthma, autism, and other conditions related to vaccines,” while “the media and medical establishment vilified Kennedy Jr. for his views, calling him a lunatic, Nazi, and extremist supporter.”


Carlson then goes into a defense of Kennedy’s right to raise questions over vaccines, and the response one gets for doing so. “Bobby Kennedy won’t stop asking, and that’s why they hate him,” Carlson said. Carlson then went after debate-dodging doctor, Peter Hotez – who he says will “never debate Bobby Kennedy Jr., but it doesn’t matter. Kennedy has already won.” “Hotez attacked Kennedy Jr. and called for vaccine mandates, accusing those who disagree of being white nationalists and Russian agents,” said Carlson, who then noted how Hotez chickened out of a debate with RFK Jr.

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Wow art

 

 


This breathtaking photo by Jessica Blacklow shows a dozen dolphins spotted enjoying a remarkable synchronised surf off the coast of Sydney

 

 

Evil

 

 

Cobra moth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671853300835143681

 

 

Soggy bottom

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 


John Atkinson Grimshaw Battersea Bridge 1885

 

Russian Army Gets Enough Recruits To Form Regiment Per Day – Shoigu (RT)
Ukraine Expands General Mobilization (RT)
‘No Way to Recruit People’: GOP Seeks to Codify Pentagon Drag Show Ban (Sp.)
Putin Says Western Countries Seem to Be Ready to Fight to Last Ukrainian (Sp.)
NATO Trainers Knowingly Sent Ukrainian Troops To Their Deaths (Scott Ritter)
Demilitarization, Denazification: A Sanitary Zone For Ukraine (Helmer)
US/NATO Are Playing ‘Russian Roulette’. Do They Want A Nuclear War? (Trenin)
Zelensky Bans Russian Books (RT)
On Horseradish & Nuclear War (Scott Ritter)
New Catastrophe Looms In Kosovo As West ‘Toys’ With International Law (TASS)
Global Financial System Exhausted, Not Up to New Challenges – Macron (Sp.)
Biden Sends Sullivan, Nuland To Turn BRICS War Skeptics Against Russia (ZH)
The Greater Eurasia Project: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (Pepe Escobar)
CIA Vet Warns US Intel ‘Will Do Everything’ to Help Dems in 2024 Race (Sp.)
New Bombshell Evidence Against Bidens, DOJ, AG Garland (ZH)
US Justice is Blind – Unless Your Name is Hunter Biden (Tweedie)
Tucker Calls Out ‘Media Hysteria Typhoon’ Over RFK Jr. (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK Who we are

 

 

 

 

While Modi is in Washington, Obama, visiting Athens, tells Modi what to do at home.

Obama

 

 

The submersible imploded on Sunday, killing all on board. We were not allowed to know until now.

 

 

 

 

“On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours..”

Russian Army Gets Enough Recruits To Form Regiment Per Day – Shoigu (RT)

The Russian Army is recruiting enough new personnel to complete the formation of its reserve force, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday. Enough applicants are signing formal contracts with the ministry to form a new regiment every day, he added. A total of 114,000 people have joined the Russian Armed Forces as contract servicemen to date, Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin at a Russian National Security Council session. An additional 52,000 people have joined the military ranks as volunteers, he said. “On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours,” Shoigu said, adding that “we de facto get a [new] regiment every day.” Russia is now actively forming a reserve force that will include a new corps, a field army and five new regiments for the existing field armies, the defense minister said.

A field army in Russia includes several army corps and accounts for more than 40,000 servicemen on average. A Russian army corps has an established strength of between 20,000 and 40,000 servicemen and includes several brigades and regiments depending on its composition. “We are about to finish the formation of a reserve army by late June,” the minister said, adding that almost 3,800 military equipment pieces have already been supplied to the troops and will be used to outfit the newly formed units. According to Shoigu, the volunteers are “eager to join the fight” on the frontlines, where the Russian troops are currently repelling a Ukrainian offensive, which was launched earlier in June. The minister said that Moscow has no plans to send them into the fray right now. “There is no urgent need for that,”he said, adding that the fresh recruits should “undergo serious training first and that is what they do.” He still praised the “highest motivation” of the Russian troops.

In mid-June, Putin told military correspondents and bloggers that Russia sees no need for another military draft campaign right now. At that time, he also said that over 150,000 people had signed a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry since January. Shoigu’s report comes as Ukrainian officials in some regions take drastic steps to ensure the inflow of recruits to the Ukrainian army. Kiev declared general mobilization back in February 2022, when Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine. This week, several Ukrainian media outlets reported that authorities in western Ivano-Frankovsk Region barred local healthcare providers from carrying out planned hospital treatments of any patients eligible for conscription without prior coordination with the local enlistment office. Putin has also stated that Kiev should not be able to replenish its manpower indefinitely even with the West’s military aid. “It seems Ukraine’s Western allies are indeed prepared to wage the war to the last Ukrainian,” according to the president.

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What a difference. It’s now everyone. Want to become a doctor? Too bad.

Ukraine Expands General Mobilization (RT)

Residents of the Obolonsky district in the Ukrainian capital who are eligible for mobilization must report to the military recruitment offices within ten days, even if they do not receive a personal notice, the local draft commissariat said on Thursday. The document, signed by commissar Alexey Privala, was posted on social media, as well as reprinted by the Ukrainian newspaper Strana. Responding to the outlet’s inquiry, Privala’s office claimed the order was nothing new and that such notices were being posted regularly. What is a precedent in the district, however, is the blanket call-up of all draftees. The western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankovsk has already enacted the same measure. Their orders, dated June 13, also refer to the mobilization of vehicles and forbid residents from moving without the explicit permission of the draft commissariat.

The Ivano-Frankovsk notice set a ten-day deadline for all men subject to the draft notice to report for service. The Obolonsky district commissariat has also referred to the same ten-day deadline. Its orders apply not only to the men registered in the district, but even those residing there temporarily, according to Strana. Ukraine’s Chernigov Region reported on Wednesday that it was struggling to meet its mobilization quota. More than 20,000 people have not reported following their summons, regional draft commissar Oleg Goncharuk has admitted. The expanded mobilization measures come as the long-heralded “counteroffensive” on the Zaporozhye front fails to dislodge Russian forces after more than two weeks of fighting.

The attack was “not meeting expectations on any front,”Western officials told CNN on Thursday, while President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged on Wednesday that progress had been “slower than desired.” According to Russian officials, Ukraine has suffered up to 13,000 casualties since June 4, and is in the process of regrouping its brigades to try again. National Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu briefed President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that many Western-supplied vehicles were among the 246 tanks, 152 infantry fighting vehicles, and 443 armored vehicles Ukraine lost during the attempted attacks.

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Should Ukraine follow US example in mobilization? Zelensky would be an excellent drag queen.

‘No Way to Recruit People’: GOP Seeks to Codify Pentagon Drag Show Ban (Sp.)

After a drag show advertised as a “family-friendly” event was canceled at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in early June, at the start of Pride Month, the Defense Department issued a statement to say that such events were “not a suitable use” of resources. After a de-facto Pentagon ban on drag shows in the military went into effect at the start of June, Republicans at the US House Armed Services Committee have urged seeing this codified in law. An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was put forward by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to bar funding for such performances. “I think it’s time for us to do something to make our voice known that we will not let this happen in the US military – woke ideology and the drag queen shows have no place in our military, zero, bupkis. That is not the way to recruit people,” Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) said about the provision, which was passed 33-26.

The NDAA, the annual defense policy bill, passed the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday night after a session that considered over 800 amendments. The Committee also passed a provision put forward by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) to suspend a contentious initiative called the Navy Digital Ambassador Program. After the Navy had opted to select sailor Joshua Kelley, a TikTok drag queen known as Harpy Daniels, to reach out to potential recruits on social media, it had triggered a flurry of criticism. The current move by the House Armed Services Committee comes as Matt Gaetz wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and “demanded answers” on “why these drag shows are still occurring” despite the two officials having testified in March that the Department of Defense did not endorse them.

Both Austin and Milley had claimed that they were not aware of such performances on military bases. According to US reports, drag shows have been hosted at Nellis Air Force Base both in 2021 and 2022. The event cancelled by the Pentagon at the military base in Nevada had been advertised ahead of the scheduled performance as a “family-friendly” one, involving three artists, including a former contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” “As Secretary Austin has said, the DoD will not host drag events at US military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DoD resources,” Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary for the department, had stated in early June.

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“[Military] equipment, of course, can be supplied additionally. But the mobilization reserve is not unlimited..”

Putin Says Western Countries Seem to Be Ready to Fight to Last Ukrainian (Sp.)

Ukrainian troops launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the South Donetsk direction on June 4 but failed to achieve their goals, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. It looks like Western countries are ready to fight until the last Ukrainian, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “[Military] equipment, of course, can be supplied additionally. But the mobilization reserve is not unlimited. And it seems that Ukraine’s Western allies really decided to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian,” Putin said at a meeting of the Security Council. Kiev has already lost over 13,000 people during its counteroffensive, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said. “As for the personnel … it [Kiev’s loss] is more than 13,000 [persons],” Patrushev said at a meeting with members of the Russian Security Council held by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Moreover, Russian forces have already destroyed 246 Ukrainian tanks, including 13 of the Western type, as well as 42 multiple launch rocket systems, two anti-aircraft missile systems, 10 tactical fighters, four helicopters, 264 unmanned aerial vehicles and 424 units of motor vehicles, which Kiev has used during its counteroffensive, Patrushev added. The figures are based on the generalized data for the period from June 4-21, provided by various departments, the Russian official noted. Ukrainian troops have slowed down their activity after 16 days of hostilities and are regrouping, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. “After 16 days of active hostilities, having suffered significant losses, [the enemy] is regrouping and re-equipping, gathering parts of battalions at the moment,” Shoigu said during a meeting of the Russian Security Council.

The Russian armed forces will complete the creation of a reserve army by the end of June and of an army corps in the near future, with the formations scheduled to receive over 3,700 pieces of equipment, Sergei Shoigu added. “We are forming reserves as part of the army corps, the army, plus five regiments of the 20th tank army. Everything is going according to plan. In fact, we will complete the formation of the reserve army by the end of June and finalize the formation of the army corps there soon,” Shoigu said at a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council. As for now, these five regiments, both in terms of personnel and equipment, are already formed by 60%, the Russian defense chief added.

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This is what “cannon fodder” means.

NATO Trainers Knowingly Sent Ukrainian Troops To Their Deaths (Scott Ritter)

Ukraine sent one of its best brigades into combat earlier this month as part of its long-awaited counteroffensive aimed at retaking areas controlled by Russian forces. Leading the charge near the town of Orekhov, in Zaporozhye Region, was the 47th Mechanized Brigade, armed with NATO equipment and – most importantly – employing it using the US-led bloc’s combined arms doctrine and tactics. Prior to the operation, this brigade spent months at a base in Germany learning “Western know-how” in combined-arms warfare. Helping them prepare for the fighting to come was KORA, the German-made NATO computer simulation system, designed to allow officers and non-commissioned officers to closely replicate battlefield conditions and, in doing so, better develop ideal courses of action against a designated enemy – in this case, Russia.


If there was ever an example of how a purpose-built Ukrainian NATO proxy force would perform against a Russian enemy, the 47th Brigade was the ideal case study. However, within days of initiating its attack, the group was close to literally decimated, with more than 10% of the over 100 US-made M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles destroyed or abandoned on the field of battle, and hundreds of the brigade’s 2,000-strong complement dead or wounded. German-made Leopard 2 tanks and mine-clearing vehicles joined the Bradleys as wrecks in the fields west of Orekhov, having failed to breach the first line of Russian defenses. The reasons for this defeat can be boiled down to the role played by KORA in creating a false sense of confidence on the part of the officers and men of the 47th Brigade. Unfortunately, as the Ukrainians and their NATO masters found out, what works in a computer simulation does not automatically equate to battlefield success.

[..] One of the things I’m most proud of in my military career is the fact that the Marine assault breaching operations done during Desert Storm unfolded almost exactly as my team and I had predicted in the JANUS simulation. After the war, General Caulfield credited my team and I with playing a major role in designing the successful Marine attack and, in the process, saving hundreds of Marine lives. We achieved this result by adhering to basic principles of professionalism and integrity, refusing to cut corners for the sake of expediency and being realistic about the amount of military combat power that would be needed to be applied over time to achieve the desired result.


If only the NATO trainers, who knowingly sent the men of the Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade and scores of other Ukrainian brigades to their deaths, adhered to such standards. Instead, they sent those troops in a futile attempt to breach defenses that were impossible to overcome, given the disparity in training and force composition between the Ukrainian and Russian forces. Had they been diligent, there would be far fewer Ukrainian widows and orphaned children mourning the loss of their husbands and fathers. This, more than anything, is the primary lesson to be derived from the Ballad of KORA and JANUS – neither NATO nor the United States cares about the lives of the Ukrainians they have undertaken to train in the horrific art of war.

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”..that leaves nothing of the Ukraine except the territory which the Poles and Hungarians might not be bold enough to take.”

Demilitarization, Denazification: A Sanitary Zone For Ukraine (Helmer)

What follows is the first detailed discussion in the open in Moscow of how the map of this territory should be drawn when the Ukrainian offensive reaches its end, and the Russian advance begins. Left out of mention is who in Moscow will be drawing the new map. This is because Putin has annonced he is delegating to the General Staff. “Russia’s military leadership,” he said on June 9, “is realistic in its assessments of the situation and will proceed from these realities as it continues to plan up our actions in the short term.” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had already said the same a year ago. “Now the geography is different,” he concluded an interview in Moscow on July 20, 2022. “Take the HIMARS. [Ukrainian] Defence Minister Alexei Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition.

This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.” “[Question:] How can this be arranged, technically? This is our territory. Then there are the republics that will accede to us. In fact they already have – the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. … Further west, there is the territory controlled by Vladimir Zelensky. They have a common border. So either there should be a 300 kilometre buffer zone or something between them, or we need to march all the way to Lvov inclusive.” “[Lavrov:] There is a solution to this problem. The military know this.”

“Comrade servicemen,” Lavrov added last week on a visit to the 201st Russian Military Base in Tajikistan, “they are getting ready, in earnest, to supply the F-16 jets. Some say they will make two squadrons available, others say eight. They are gearing up to continue the escalation of the war against us. There’s an ongoing debate about where these planes will take off from. Our armed forces and the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces are well aware of ongoing developments and report to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. We must keep in mind that one version of the F-16 can carry nuclear weapons. If they do not understand this, they are worthless military strategists and planners.” The General Staff have no reason to speak publicly on this point.

Privately, a source in a position to know says: “the General Staff are not satisfied with the Dnieper [line of defence]. It will run from a small town on the border with Belarus to Transnistria. They will solve that problem as well. But mainly, Belarus has to be protected from the south. And most importantly, that leaves nothing of the Ukraine except the territory which the Poles and Hungarians might not be bold enough to take.”

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“The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation.”

US/NATO Are Playing ‘Russian Roulette’. Do They Want A Nuclear War? (Trenin)

In principle, nuclear weapons have been “on the table” for Russia from the very beginning of the Ukrainian conflict precisely as a means of deterring the US and its allies from becoming directly involved. Nevertheless, repeated public reminders from Putin and other officials about Russia’s nuclear status have so far not prevented a growing escalation of NATO’s participation. As a result, it has become clear that nuclear deterrence, on which many in Moscow have relied as a credible means of securing the country’s vital interests, has proven to be a much more limited tool than they expected. In fact, the US has now set itself the task – unthinkable during the Cold War – of trying to defeat another nuclear superpower in a strategically important region, without resorting to atomic weapons, but instead by arming and controlling a third country.

The Americans are proceeding cautiously, testing Moscow’s responses and consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of arms supplied to Kiev, as well as the choice of targets for them. From starting with anti-tank ‘Javelins,’ to eventually cajoling allies to send actual tanks, the US is now apparently pondering transferring F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles. It is likely that this US strategy is based on the belief that the Russian leadership would not dare use nuclear weapons in the current conflict, and that its references to the nuclear arsenal at its disposal are nothing more than a bluff. The Americans have even been calm – at least outwardly about the deployment of Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus. Such “fearlessness” is a direct result of the geopolitical changes of the last three decades and the change of generations in power in the US and the West in general.

The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation. The practical conclusion is clear: there is no need to be afraid of such a Russian response. This is an extremely dangerous misconception. The trajectory of the Ukrainian war points to an escalation of the conflict both horizontally (by expanding the theater of military action) and vertically (by increasing the power of the weapons used and the intensity of their use). It must be soberly acknowledged that this momentum is heading towards a direct armed confrontation between Russia and NATO. If the accumulated inertia is not stopped, such a clash will take place, and in this case the war, having spread to Western Europe, will almost inevitably become nuclear. And after some time, a nuclear war in Europe will most likely lead to an exchange of blows between Russia and the US.

The Americans and their allies are truly playing Russian roulette. Yes, so far the Russian response to the bombing of Nord Stream, the drone attack on the strategic Engels airbase, the entry of Western-armed saboteurs into the Belgorod region and many other actions by the Washington-backed and controlled side has been relatively restrained. As Putin recently made clear, there are good reasons for this restraint. Russia, the president said, is capable of destroying any building in Kiev, but will not stoop to the methods of terror used by the enemy. But Putin added that Russia was considering various options for destroying Western warplanes if they are based in NATO countries and directly take part in the war in Ukraine.

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Trying to think of another “leader” who wanted to ban his mother tongue.

Zelensky Bans Russian Books (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky announced on Thursday that he had a signed a law making it illegal to import and distribute Russian and Belarusian publishing products in Ukraine. However, some Ukrainian officials have pointed out that the step could hinder Kiev’s plans to join the EU. The move comes after Ukrainian citizens registered an online petition on the official presidential website asking for the ban back in May. The petition reached the 25,000-vote threshold required for it to be formally considered by the head of state. The author of the petition noted that the Ukrainian parliament had already approved the law on June 19, 2022, but that Zelensky had never signed the bill. As a result, Russian books continued to be sold in Ukraine, which undermines “the information security of the state and the economic foundations of Ukrainian book publishing,” according to the petition.

“I consider the law to be correct,” Zelensky stated in a Telegram post announcing that he had finally signed the legislation. He noted, however, that the text of the legislation had been sent to EU institutions for an “additional assessment” of whether it could breach Kiev’s obligations to protect minority rights, particularly linguistic ones, in the context of Ukraine’s application for EU membership. In a written response to the petition last month, Zelensky explained that there had been a “number of reservations” that prevented the law from being adopted.

The president stated that Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice had proposed applying the right of veto to the bill, arguing that completely banning the import and distribution of Russian publications would contradict several articles of Ukraine’s constitution. Additionally, Zelensky said that despite agreeing with the nature of the law, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had also advised vetoing the bill. The ministry had warned that its current version “does not meet the norms and standards of the EU in the field of human rights, including freedom of opinion, protection of the rights of national minorities, prohibition of discrimination on the basis of language, and therefore may complicate the process of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.”

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“Khren Im”

On Horseradish & Nuclear War (Scott Ritter)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for a lot of things — his “in your face” speeches, his marathon unscripted press conferences and his stoic impassiveness in the face of adversity come to mind. One thing that doesn’t jump out at the average observer is his earthy sense of humor. Long-time Putin watchers know that the Russian leader on occasion spices up his formal presentations with off-color quips which, unless one is well versed in colloquial Russian of the back-alley variety, can get missed by the casual listener. During the June 16 discussion period of the plenary session of the 2023 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian leader was asked about his views on the potential use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict. “This use of nuclear weapons is certainly theoretically possible,” Putin bluntly answered.

“For Russia, this is possible if a threat is created to our territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, the existence of the Russian state. Nuclear weapons are created in order to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state.” Putin’s answer reflected long-standing Russian nuclear doctrine, which postulates the use of nuclear weapons in the case of an existential threat, nuclear or otherwise, to the survival of Russia. Putin then sought to put the audience at ease. “But we, firstly, do not have such a need,” Putin noted, “and secondly, the very factor of reasoning on this topic already lowers the possibility of lowering the threshold for the use of weapons. This is the first part.” What came next was classic Putin. “The second is that we have more such weapons [i.e., tactical nuclear weapons] than the NATO countries. They know about it and all the time they persuade us to start talks on reductions.”

Putin paused, before shrugging and, with a half-smile, saying “Khren Im”. Khren Im is a Russian slang term derived from the word “horseradish” (khren), thus a literal translation of the phrase used by Putin would be “horseradish them.” But khren closely resembles a more salty term used to describe male genitalia, and when used in this manner, khren Im is understood to mean “F*ck them.” “F*ck them, you know?” Putin said, to the obvious mirth of the audience. “As our people say. Because, in the clumsy terms of economics, this is our competitive advantage.”

The “them” in the horseradish reference made by the Russian president is the United States. Two weeks prior to Putin’s man-in-the-street reaction, on June 2, U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, addressed a conference hosted by the Arms Control Association, in Washington, D.C. The topic, not surprisingly, was the administration’s approach to U.S.-Russian arms control.

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Another way to poke the bear.

New Catastrophe Looms In Kosovo As West ‘Toys’ With International Law (TASS)

The West is toying with international law in an attempt to create alternative ways to resolve the Kosovo problem, and this may lead the region down a path to calamity, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing Wednesday. The diplomat underscored that the US and the EU continue to turn a blind eye towards Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s subversive actions and deliberately bring the settlement to a deadlock in order to “force the Serbs to surrender their vital interests.”


“Since April 2013, Pritstina has been shirking its commitments to Serb municipalities in Kosovo. Instead of pressing the Kosovars, US mediators are laying the groundwork to radically decrease the community’s authority, and, of course, its replacement with some mechanism on protection of language rights, supporting Kurti’s claim about, as he put it, the non-territorial nature of this structure,” she noted. “Amid these circumstances, there is a growing risk that the West will toy with international law in an aim to create alternative options for resolution of the Kosovo problem, taking the region to a new catastrophe, yet another one.” The diplomat noted that there is a reliable foundation for settling the situation, which remains fully in effect. “That being the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 – the basis for negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, for any mediation efforts of the international community – the foundation is the same,” she added.

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Mr. Banker should know?!

Global Financial System Exhausted, Not Up to New Challenges – Macron (Sp.)

The existing global financial system is outdated and does not meet the new challenges, while the new system must be adopted and aligned with the world’s goals, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.
“Our world is undergoing ever greater upheaval… We have a financial system which is the product of a previous consensus, which has shown its effectiveness, and bailed us out in past decades, but is probably not evolving fast enough. It is no longer adapted, and needs to be realigned with our goals,” Macron said at the opening of a New Global Financial Pact summit in Paris, which was streamed on the official website of the event.

Macron noted that no country had to choose whether to fight poverty or protect the planet and each country should be free to choose its own way, hence the new financial pact had to respect the sovereignty of the countries of the South much more. “We will take a major step, as we will start by establishing a new consensus. The fight against poverty, the decarbonization of our economy in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and the protection of biodiversity, are closely intertwined. We therefore need to agree together on the best means to address these challenges in the poor and emerging countries of the developing world, when it comes to the amount of investment, to comprehensive reform of infrastructure like the World Bank, the IMF, and public and private funds, and how to set a new process in motion,” Macron said.

Macron also said that the private sector had a big role to play, but it needed to receive credible guarantees. The president added that the summit should result in concrete solutions that would change the lives of countries struggling with climate challenges and suggested setting up a follow-up mechanism. The summit in Paris, which runs from June 22-23, aims to establish new agreements between the countries of the Global North and the Global South and to combat climate change and the global crisis.

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Too late.

Biden Sends Sullivan, Nuland To Turn BRICS War Skeptics Against Russia (ZH)

At a moment President Zelensky has confessed that Ukraine’s counteroffensive which was launched this month has been “slower than desired”, President Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan is mounting a big push to convince “skeptics” from developing nations to become more firmly supportive of Kiev’s war effort. “Joe Biden’s top national security aide will fly to Denmark this weekend at the behest of Kyiv’s government for an unannounced meeting with representatives of several developing countries that have not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Financial Times has reported. A planned Copenhagen meeting is expected to include large but ‘neutral’ countries like Brazil, India, and South Africa – the latter which has of late been accused of actively supporting Moscow.

Sullivan’s initiative came at the request of the Ukrainian government, also as Russia’s economy has been successfully weathering the storm of US/EU-led sanctions, in particular upping its energy exports to BRICS countries. As for the as yet unannounced list of likely attendees in Denmark, FT details based on its sources: “Officials from Turkey and possibly China could also attend. One of the people familiar with the plans said that, following the Ukrainian request, Washington has been encouraging China, India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa to attend. Sullivan will travel with Victoria Nuland, the number-three official at the US state department. A senior EU official will also participate.” BRICS countries have by and large been so quiet about the Russian invasion that they’ve even been accused of outright aiding and abetting Moscow’s offensive.

When discussing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Washington this week, Sullivan told reporters, “We think this actually sends a message to the coalition and Ukraine that we’re working to advocate on their behalf with a broader range of countries than just those that show up around the table either in Nato…or at the G7.” It remains that the major economies of India, Brazil, China and South Africa have persisted in their refusal to cooperate with Western sanctions on Russia. In Beijing’s case, it has actually directed more criticism at both NATO and the United States for “arrogance” and “imperialism”.

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Every day, there are new developments. Step by step. And unstoppable.

The Greater Eurasia Project: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (Pepe Escobar)

On July 4, at a New Delhi summit, Iran will finally become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That will be one of the key decisions of the summit, held via video-conference, along with the signing of a memorandum on the path by Belarus to also become a member state. In parallel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk has confirmed that Iran and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) should sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of 2023. The FTA will expand an interim deal that already lowers customs duties on hundreds of categories of goods. Russia and Iran – two key poles of Eurasia integration – have been getting closer and closer geoeconomically since the west’s sanctions tsunami that followed Russia’s February 2022 Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine.

The EAEU – as much as the SCO and BRICS – is on a roll: FTAs are expected to be clinched, from middle to long term, with Egypt, India, Indonesia, and the UAE. Overchuck admits negotiations may be “very difficult” and “take years,” considering “the interests of all five EAEU member states, their businesses, and their consumers.” Yet despite the obvious complexities, this high-speed rail geoeconomic train has already left the station. In a parallel track, the members of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), during a recent summit in Iran, decided to launch a new cross-border financial messaging system this month as a rival to the western-centric SWIFT. The ACU comprises the Central Banks of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Iran: a healthy mix of West Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

It was the Central Bank of Iran – still under harsh sanctions – that developed the new bank messaging system, so new it’s not yet known by its own acronym. Crucially, the Governor of Russia’s Central Bank took part in the ACU summit as an observer, along with officials from Belarus, which applied for ACU membership two weeks ago. Iranian Central Bank Governor Mohammad Reza Farzin confirmed not only the interest of potential members to join the ACU, but also the drive to set up a basket of currencies for payment of bilateral trade deals. Call it a de-dollarization fast track. As Iran’s first Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber summed it up: “De-dollarization is not a voluntary choice by countries anymore; it is an inevitable response to the weaponization of the dollar.”

Iran is now at the heart of all things multipolar. The recent discovery of a massive lithium field holding roughly 10 percent of the world’s reserves, coupled with the quite possible admission of Iran into the expanded BRICS – or BRICS+ – as early as this year, has bolstered scenarios of an upcoming BRICS currency backed by commodities: gold, oil, gas and – inevitably – lithium. All this frantic Global South-led activity stands in sharp contrast to the sputtering deceleration of the Empire of Sanctions. The Global South has had enough of the US sanctioning and banning whoever, whatever, and whenever they like, in defense of a hazy, arbitrary “rules-based international order.”

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“..the agencies will do everything they can to help Biden or whoever replaces him from the Democratic Party but they will be a lot more careful about how they do it..”

CIA Vet Warns US Intel ‘Will Do Everything’ to Help Dems in 2024 Race (Sp.)

Former Special Counsel John Durham offered his first public testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday regarding the details of his report into the FBI’s handling of allegations of collusion between ex-President Donald Trump and Russia. The day before, Durham testified behind closed doors to the US House Intelligence Committee. While it is not completely clear whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation knew from the outset that dug-up “information on Trump” had been paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, there is “no excuse for their having learned that and, nevertheless, proceeded with the investigation,” former CIA station chief Philip Giraldi told Sputnik. “There might have been personal malice involved in going after Trump, but that has not been clearly demonstrated,” the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest added, referencing the FBI’s investigation into the alleged Trump-Russia “collusion”.

Former Special Counsel John Durham paid his second visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to face the House Judiciary Committee over the details of his May report, released after almost a four-year-long investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation codenamed, Crossfire Hurricane. Durham had found that the agency had been “seriously deficient,” relying on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence,” when probing the 2016 Donald Trump campaign’s alleged ties to “Russia.” “One has to assume that the Bureau felt it had a great deal invested in maintaining Democratic Party control of the presidency and that there were concerns that Trump would upset the arrangements made under [Barack] Obama,” Giraldi said.

The Durham report had also exposed the Democratic establishment’s anti-Trump narrative, and the role of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in spawning and then pushing the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. During his probe, the special counsel charged and convicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to doctoring an email to state that Trump aide Carter Page had never been a CIA asset (which was not true) in order to push ahead with surveilling the former Trump campaign adviser. Durham also brought charges against Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and Brookings Institution scholar Igor Danchenko for lying to the FBI. Danchenko has served as the main ‘subsource’ for ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the now infamous Steele dossier. It had been funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through the law firm Perkins Coie, which Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann worked for at the time.

[..] Ahead of John Durham’s testimony on June 21, Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) underscored in his opening statement that the hearing was tasked to provide more “detail and add more color” to the findings of the May report. “Seven years of attacking Trump is scary enough… What’s more frightening is that any one of us could be next,” Jordan emphasized. A number of Republicans echoed John Durham’s calls for reforming the FBI, underscoring that the agency, had become “politicized” and “weaponized”, and had carried out a “politically motivated” investigation of Donald Trump. Looking ahead at the next election cycle, where both Biden and Trump are gearing up to vie for another Oval Office stint, Philip Giraldi concluded: “For 2024, I expect that the agencies will do everything they can to help Biden or whoever replaces him from the Democratic Party but they will be a lot more careful about how they do it than they were in 2020.”

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I see the word bombshell too much.

New Bombshell Evidence Against Bidens, DOJ, AG Garland (ZH)

Several bombshells dropped by two IRS whistleblowers on Thursday reveal, among other things, that Joe Biden’s DOJ buried evidence of Hunter Biden’s tax crimes – and stopped US Attorney David Weiss from bringing charges against Hunter in two different jurisdictions last year. According to Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), Weiss sought to be appointed as a special counsel in the case last year but was denied as well. What’s more, the IRS sought felony charges against Hunter, send their recommendations to the Biden DOJ, and they ‘came out as two misdemeanors,’ Byron York tweets. According to the whistleblowers, one of whom is Gary Shipley – who came forward weeks ago to reveal his identity, the IRS was notified of potential evidence “in the guest house of former Vice President Biden,” but were rebuffed by US Attorney Lesley Wolf, who said there was “no way,” as search warrant “would ever get approved.”

“Whistleblowers describe how the Biden Justice Department intervened and overstepped in a campaign to protect the son of Joe Biden by delaying, divulging, and denying an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes,” said Smith in a statement. “The testimony shows tactics used by the Justice Department to delay the investigation long enough to reach the statute of limitations, evidence they divulged sensitive actions by the investigative team to Biden’s attorneys, and denied requests by the U.S. Attorney to bring charges against Biden.” During seven hours of testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, Shipley and the other whistleblower’s testimony implicates both AG Merrick Garland and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel for lying to Congress about political interference in the Biden probe.

“Whistleblower One’s story was corroborated by Whistleblower Two,” said Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK). “One individual came forward and laid out the full case of what’s going on. The second individual, through his attorney, asked Ways and Means to contact him and ask for testimony. So we didn’t seek these, they sought us,” added Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC).

As Techno Fog notes via The Reactionary; “With the rejection from the DC US Attorney, the team sought the approval to bring tax charges for years 2016-2019 in the Central District of California. Shapley concluded that “the Central District of California declined to allow charges to be brought there.” The rejection to bring charges in DC and California stands in stark contrast to the testimony of Attorney General Garland, who in March of 2023 stated that US Attorney Weiss had the full authority to “bring cases in other jurisdictions.” Garland also said that he personally would ensure that Weiss could “carry out his investigation and that he [would] be able to run it.” Both those statements now appear to be false. (Your humble author thinks the Republicans knew Garland was making misrepresentations at the time.)”

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“..you have to be impressed with the fact that they just continue to shove this nonsense in our face knowing that they could get away with it.”

US Justice is Blind – Unless Your Name is Hunter Biden (Tweedie)

US President Joe Biden’s son was brazenly let off scot-free in a “sweetheart deal,” say two media commentators. Hunter Biden had been under investigation by the FBI for soliciting millions in bribes from foreign businesspeople in return for influence over the then-vice president. That includes an alleged $5 million from Mykola Zlochevsky, co-owner of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings which employed Hunter as a company director and which was investigated for corruption by Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin until Joe Biden pressured Kiev to sack him. Hunter is also suspected of owning a handgun unlawfully, which reportedly ended up being thrown in a dumpster. Furthermore, a trove of photos on his abandoned “Laptop from Hell” appeared to show him using crack cocaine and sleeping with underage prostitutes.

But on Tuesday, it was reported that he had struck a deal with prosecutors — pending approval by a federal judge — to plead guilty to tax evasion and illegal possession of a firearm in return for avoiding jail time. Former US diplomat Jim Jatras told Sputnik that Hunter Biden’s plea bargain was a “sweetheart deal.” “I don’t know how a plea on two charges automatically extends to, say ‘Oh, yeah, and all that other stuff. We’re going to give you a guarantee that there will be no charges,'” he said. The foreign policy expert said that was “an outrageous miscarriage of justice.” “I know the rich and powerful and the politically well-connected and treated differently from everybody else, but this is really just unprecedented,” Jatras stressed. The pundit said the plea bargain deal would play into the hands of the Republican Party.

“It’s what Republicans love best. They could win and jump up and down and scream in outrage without actually having to do anything,” Jatras said. “It completely absolves them of any responsibility to actually see that justice is done.” Journalist Jim Hoft told Sputnik that he was not surprised that the president’s wayward son got off scot-free. “After what we’ve seen the past few years, not really,” he said. “But it is quite galling. And you have to be impressed with the fact that they just continue to shove this nonsense in our face knowing that they could get away with it.” The editor said Hunter Biden was “one of the most crooked people in the country.” “And he gets a pass and a little slap on the wrist, if that,” Hoft observed. “It’s really it’s stunning what’s happening to our country. We’re all witnessing it.”

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“Peter Hotez – who he says will “never debate Bobby Kennedy Jr., but it doesn’t matter. Kennedy has already won.”

Tucker Calls Out ‘Media Hysteria Typhoon’ Over RFK Jr. (ZH)

In his latest episode, Tucker Carlson discussed the media’s absolute hatred for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was immediately attacked by the press upon his announcement that he would run against President Joe Biden in 2024. “CBS News viewers likely were appalled in its coverage of Kennedy’s announcement. CBS denounced the candidate’s views as ‘misleading’ and ‘dangerous,'” noted Carlson, adding “The LA Times called him a threat to democracy.” “At the offices of National Public Radio in Washington, a full-blown category-5 hysteria typhoon broke out. NPR devoted an entire segment to savaging Kennedy – not just as a candidate, but as a human being,” Carlson continued. “NPR described him as someone who, for his own perverse reasons, has made “debunked and false and misleading claims that undermine trust in vaccines.

And who, in his spare time, provides moral support to crazed extremists who “rally under the banner of what they call liberty, or freedom.”” “People Magazine didn’t even bother to report a single word of anything Kennedy said!” Carlson exclaimed, “and instead wrote an entire story about his relatives hate him.” “Kennedy Jr. faced censorship on Instagram and YouTube for expressing his views,” he continued, adding that RFK Jr. raised questions about “the rise in allergies, asthma, autism, and other conditions related to vaccines,” while “the media and medical establishment vilified Kennedy Jr. for his views, calling him a lunatic, Nazi, and extremist supporter.”


Carlson then goes into a defense of Kennedy’s right to raise questions over vaccines, and the response one gets for doing so. “Bobby Kennedy won’t stop asking, and that’s why they hate him,” Carlson said. Carlson then went after debate-dodging doctor, Peter Hotez – who he says will “never debate Bobby Kennedy Jr., but it doesn’t matter. Kennedy has already won.” “Hotez attacked Kennedy Jr. and called for vaccine mandates, accusing those who disagree of being white nationalists and Russian agents,” said Carlson, who then noted how Hotez chickened out of a debate with RFK Jr.

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Wow art

 

 


This breathtaking photo by Jessica Blacklow shows a dozen dolphins spotted enjoying a remarkable synchronised surf off the coast of Sydney

 

 

Evil

 

 

Cobra moth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671853300835143681

 

 

Soggy bottom

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1601232328935686145

 

 

 

 

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:

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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