Jan 292023
 


Edward Hopper Cat boat 1922

 

What’s Next? (Helmholtz Smith)
Ex-Polish FM Names Two Major Ukrainian Problems (RT)
Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity (Rosel)
Air Force General Predicts War With China In 2025 (NBC)
NATO Ready For Direct Confrontation With Russia – Official (TASS)
If WWIII Breaks Out, It Won’t Start On Tanks Or Fighter Jets – Medvedev (TASS)
White House Confronted Over Tanks To Ukraine (RT)
Britain ‘Modeling Cyber Strikes’ On Russian Infrastructure – Moscow (RT)
Mozart Group Trains Ukrainians To ‘Kill Russians’ – Founder (RT)
As West, Debt & Stocks Implode, East Gold & Oil Will Explode (Von Greyerz)
Are You Really Against Fossil Fuels? Read This Before You Answer (RCE)
Zuckerberg-Funded “Non-Profit” Gears Up for 2024 Elections (GP)
Bill Gates Trashes Effectiveness of COVID Vaccines (CHD)
Meet Hamilton 68, the New King of Media Fraud (Matt Taibbi)
Responding to Hamilton 68 (Matt Taibbi)

 

 

 

 

Douglas Macgregor – We are co Belligerents

 

 

 

 

“At first, the Germans sent soldiers’ helmets [to Ukraine], saying that they did not want to supply lethal weapons there. Now it’s come to tanks, and there are already talks about planes.” “Step by step, the Germans are drifting towards war,”
– Viktor Orban

 

 

Gonzalo Lira 2023.01.28 The West Has Lost Already

 

 

 

 

Madness

 

 

Ethical Sceptic

 

 

 

 

• Gonzalo: The last numbers I was confident of came from Col. Douglas Macgregor: He reported 157,000 KIA as of a few days ago.
• According to unofficial data circulating online, AFU Chief Valery Zaluzhny reported to the Pentagon and NATO on the number of losses of Ukrainian servicemen. According to the Ukrainian command, the AFU has lost a total of 232,000 killed since the start of the special operation.
• According to the private company Stratfor Forecasting, Ukraine’s losses exceed 305,000 killed.

 

 

 

 

“This grinding away can continue until Ukraine collapses because it is easier for the Russians to let the enemy come to them than go after them.”

What’s Next? (Helmholtz Smith)

I don’t know what the Russians are going to do in Ukraine and neither does anyone else outside of their high command. But there sure have been a lot of wrong predictions. Leaving aside the Western propaganda mill (of which more below), serious observers seem to get the timing wrong. We know the correlation of forces favors Russia but we expect things to happen more quickly. We agree that Moscow was expecting something shorter, less bloody and quicker at the beginning and was probably surprised by the resistance of the Kiev regime and NATO’s unhinged support. Therefore there was a re-examination and the call-up of further forces. Thus far we are in agreement – it’s the timing of the next step that we seem to get wrong.

I’ve been thinking about why this is so and I have come to the following conclusions. By now everybody who is paying attention knows that the Ukraine battlefield is part of a world war in which those who control the US empire are trying to hold onto their dominance. For those outside the NATO propaganda bubble there is general agreement that
1/ Russia is winning both in the Ukraine battlefield and the wider theater.
2/ Time is on Russia’s side.

First the Ukraine battlefield. The first aim in war is to destroy the enemy’s power and that Russia is doing, especially in the Bakhmut slaughterhouse. Kiev is determined to stand and fight here and the Russians are quite happy to let them do so – “artillery conquers and infantry occupies” – and that is what we see here. Slowly slowly the Russian forces advance over mountains of Ukrainian bodies. In the last week or so Russian forces have begun to advance on other fronts too. This grinding away can continue until Ukraine collapses because it is easier for the Russians to let the enemy come to them than go after them. Meanwhile Russian missiles destroy the infrastructure Kiev needs to continue the war. Time and developments favor Russia and there is no incentive to make “big arrow” movements.

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Ukraine went steeply downhill due to corruption.

“..the country had “nuclear plants, an aviation industry, no debt and the most fertile land in the world.”

Ex-Polish FM Names Two Major Ukrainian Problems (RT)

Ukraine was never able to achieve economic prosperity despite having a head start due to widespread graft among officials and delusions of being a significant global player, former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has suggested. In an interview with the magazine Krytyka Polityczna on Friday, Sikorski, who has represented Poland in the EU Parliament since 2019, stated that Ukrainian elites “were simply wasting their time.” In his view, they were “hiding their corruption and delusions of grandeur behind a story” that they were playing some big game with the US, Russia, Europe, and China.

The MEP recalled that after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Ukraine had a huge edge over many other ex-Soviet republics and members of the former Eastern bloc. In particular, he said the country had “nuclear plants, an aviation industry, no debt and the most fertile land in the world.” However, even before Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last year, the country “had a GDP four times smaller than Poland,” the former minister pointed out, adding that Ukrainians “are now paying dearly for this maneuvering” by the elites. Earlier this week, Sikorski suggested that Warsaw had considered partitioning Ukraine in the first weeks of the conflict. The allegation, however, was vehemently denied by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who accused Sikorski of acting “like a Russian propagandist.”

Once the second-largest economy in the Soviet Union, Ukraine was Europe’s poorest country by per-capita GDP as of 2020. Even before Russia’s military operation in February 2022, a major economic problem facing Ukraine stemmed from a popular revolt and hostilities in industry-heavy Donbass, which were sparked by a Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. Another major reason Ukraine had become something of an economic backwater, however, is rampant corruption. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index, Ukraine ranked 122 out of 180 countries globally as of 2021. The same year, Freedom House, a US government-financed non-profit organization, described graft in Ukraine as “endemic,” noting that the government’s efforts to combat it “have met resistance and experienced setbacks.”

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“For those two diplomats Minsk was not a sham, it was an attempt in good faith to bring peace to Ukraine..”

Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity (Rosel)

Switzerland has been neutral since the year 1815. The great powers at that time guarantied the territorial integrity of Switzerland in the borders of 1815 provided that Switzerland would remian neutral in future conflicts. But even before 1815 the independence of the confederation from the great powers Austria and France was intertwined with its neutrality. Neutrality has been an issue in Switzerland since the latest Ukraine conflict began. A few months back the Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis was considered to be negligent in the matter of neutrality and as a result a referendum is now being prepared by the Swiss People’s Party which will confirm, clarify and strengthen Switzerland’s neutrality. Switzerland is not unique. Austria is also neutral, meaning that it is not a member of NATO, and in this way it avoided being partitioned after World War II as Germany was.

Switzerland is also a multi-ethnic country. Despite its population of only 8 million, there are four cultural groups and four official languages. There is an unofficial custom which parliament always observes when electing a new government: the three main regions must always be represented in the government. All ministers are bilingual. There are no ethnic tensions. If you want to talk about values, think about neutrality and peaceful multi-ethnicity! Switzerland’s last war was in 1848 and it was a very short civil war. It is also said that the neutrality of Switzerland allows it to be an honest broker. Thus many international agencies and summits are hosted in Geneva. Switzerland is a go-between the estranged nations United States and Iran.

The change in government in Kiev in 2014 can be considered to be a coup d’état since the elected government was replaced by a government according to the wishes of the United States, as was evidenced by the leak of an infamous telephone conversation between the US ambassador and the US diplomat (who is now known for her undiplomatic language) Victoria Nuland. The Maidan coup d’état resulted in severe ethnic tensions in a politically fragile country, which at that time had only been a nation state for a total of 28 years including the years from 1917 to 1922. There was for example a massacre in Odessa in which 46 anti-Maidan demonstrators were killed.

When the conflict in Ukraine broke out in 2014 after the troubles on the Maidan square and the violent change of government, Switzerland held the presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCE. Therefore the Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini (called “the facilitator” and praised by Bloomberg) was allowed to work on a ceasefire agreement which resulted in the Minsk I and the Minsk II Protocols, both signed for the OSCE by Tagliavini. She was supported by Swiss President Didier Burkhalter who at that time was President of the OSCE. He cautioned all parties not to pour oil on the fire. For those two diplomats Minsk was not a sham, it was an attempt in good faith to bring peace to Ukraine. Burkhalter retired prematurely from politics two years later.

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“If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.”

Air Force General Predicts War With China In 2025 (NBC)

A four-star Air Force general sent a memo on Friday to the officers he commands that predicts the U.S. will be at war with China in two years and tells them to get ready to prep by firing “a clip” at a target, and “aim for the head.” In the memo sent Friday and obtained by NBC News, Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, said, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025.” Air Mobility Command has nearly 50,000 service members and nearly 500 planes and is responsible for transport and refueling. Minihan said in the memo that because both Taiwan and the U.S. will have presidential elections in 2024, the U.S. will be “distracted,” and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to move on Taiwan.

He lays out his goals for preparing, including building “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.” The signed memo is addressed to all air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, and orders them to report all major efforts to prepare for the China fight to Minihan by Feb. 28. During the month of February, he directs all AMC personnel to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.” He also orders all personnel to update their records and emergency contacts. In March he directs all AMC personnel to “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared.”

Minihan urges them to accept some risk in training. “Run deliberately, not recklessly,” he writes, but later adds, “If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.” He also provides a window into one capability the U.S. is considering for possible conflict with China — commercial drone swarms. He directs the KC-135 units to prepare for “delivering 100 off-the-shelf size and type UAVs from a single aircraft.”

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Looks like he’s actually saying that NATO is not ready:

“The fact that your enemy has better weapons is not the problem of the enemy. That is your problem..”

NATO Ready For Direct Confrontation With Russia – Official (TASS)

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer said that the US-led bloc is ready for a direct confrontation with Russia in an interview with Portugal’s RTP TV channel. Replying to a question on the matter, he asserted: “We are ready.” That said, he added that NATO is going to respond only if Russia crosses the red line by invading one of NATO member states. The military official stressed that NATO should be better prepared because currently Russia has the military initiative. “The fact that your enemy has better weapons is not the problem of the enemy. That is your problem,” he said. The interview also raised the issue of introducing “a war-time economy but in peace time,” however, Bauer admitted that this process would be difficult.

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer – A doofus

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“Then everything will definitely be turned to dust..”

If WWIII Breaks Out, It Won’t Start On Tanks Or Fighter Jets – Medvedev (TASS)

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has lambasted Western attempts to justify arms deliveries to Kiev as an alleged effort to prevent a world war. “Firstly, defending Ukraine, which nobody needs in Europe, will not save the senile Old World from retribution if anything occurs. Secondly, once the Third World War breaks out, unfortunately it will not be on tanks or even on fighter jets. Then everything will definitely be turned to dust,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday. In this post, Medvedev commented, in particular, on Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto’s remarks that the Third World War would erupt if Russian tanks reached Kiev and “the borders of Europe”, and that the weapons sent to Ukraine were meant to stop the escalation. Medvedev equated his remarks to the calls from the United Kingdom to provide Kiev with all the weapons NATO has.

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“What actions will you take to ensure that our military equipment is not falling into the hands of criminal networks, terrorists, or being sold for profit?”

White House Confronted Over Tanks To Ukraine (RT)

Several Republican lawmakers have raised red flags about the decision by the administration of US President Joe Biden to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. They claim that the move comes at a time when the US is struggling with domestic problems, while the delivery itself is bound to face numerous challenges. In a letter released on Friday, representatives Troy Nehls, Paul Gosar, Eli Crane, and Lauren Boebert demanded answers from Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the unprecedented step of sending Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams tanks to help it in its fight against Russia. The lawmakers said they were not elected by the American people “to continually spend their hard-earned money into a conflict halfway around the world” without the ability to properly track the use of military assistance to Ukraine.

They further argued that it is “shameful that the American taxpayer is continuing to subsidize the ongoing Ukraine conflict” while the White House is “turning a blind eye” to the issue of domestic security, particularly the record-high number of illegal crossings at the southern border. The delivery of heavy armor is certain to face logistical challenges, they said, noting that Abrams tanks could be delivered only in several months, while Ukrainian service members will have to undergo lengthy training to learn how to operate the machinery. The letter also noted that Ukraine has a history of being a hotbed for illegal arms trafficking. “What actions will you take to ensure that our military equipment is not falling into the hands of criminal networks, terrorists, or being sold for profit?” the lawmakers asked Biden and Austin.

They also wondered how the Pentagon intended to track the weapons and how the administration would account for the destruction of hardware provided under US military assistance and reimburse American taxpayers. In November, congressional Republicans called for an audit of US government funds appropriated for aid to Ukraine. A month later, however, the initiative was narrowly defeated in the House of Representatives, with Democrats arguing that it would send the wrong signal to Kiev.

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All sides, all the time.

Britain ‘Modeling Cyber Strikes’ On Russian Infrastructure – Moscow (RT)

Britain has been modeling cyberattacks on Russia’s critical infrastructure, the country’s deputy foreign minister, Oleg Syromolotov, said on Saturday. He added that the simulated hacks included energy facilities and were conducted under NATO guidance. The deputy minister stated that attempts to hack Russian government entities by foreign actors have “increased by two to three times” over the course of last year. Syromolotov was reacting to a story published by The Times last month, in which Lt. Gen. Tom Copinger-Symes, the deputy commander of the UK’s strategic command, was quoted as saying the National Cyber Force was seeking to recruit people with Russian degrees.

“The British are systematically using their offensive capabilities to target Russia’s information [sector],” Syromolotov told the TASS news agency. He added that London regularly conducts exercises, including joint NATO drills, simulating attacks on “Russian critical infrastructure.” “They include the modeling of strikes on government entities in the Kaliningrad Region and Moscow’s energy system,” the diplomat said. The Kaliningrad Region is a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea that borders Poland and Lithuania. Syromolotov said that last year Russia was hit by “unprecedented cyberattacks from abroad,” with the majority of intrusions coming from the US and other NATO members, as well as Ukraine. “We have become a target of coordinated aggression involving intelligence services, transnational IT corporations and hacktivists from the collective West and its puppets.”

According to Syromolotov, government services have been targeted the most. The Foreign Ministry has been repeatedly attacked, he said. “Overall, around 50,000 hacker attacks were repulsed last year.” On April 11, 2022, on the eve of Russia’s Cosmonautics Day celebrations, hackers targeted the website of the country’s space agency, Roscosmos, according to its press service. Also last year, intruders gained access to the database of one of the contractors of the Russian national postal service, leaking some internal documents. On Wednesday, cyber attackers briefly hijacked a TV signal in Russia’s Belgorod Region and Crimea and broadcast an excerpt from a speech by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Crimean officials blamed Kiev’s intelligence services for the intrusion.

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“Why do we train guys? It isn’t simply to defend themselves, it’s to kill the enemy.”

Mozart Group Trains Ukrainians To ‘Kill Russians’ – Founder (RT)

Despite its professed humanitarian mission in Ukraine, the Mozart Group is a private military company training Ukrainian soldiers to kill Russians, its founder and CEO told RT’s Afshin Rattansi on Saturday’s episode of ‘Going Underground.’ Founded by US citizens Andrew Milburn and Andrew Bain last March, the Mozart Group has been described as the Western answer to the Wagner Group – the Russian private military company currently fighting the Kiev forces for control of the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine). Speaking to Rattansi, Milburn was keen to dispel any comparison between Mozart and Wagner. He told the RT host that his group’s mission is “purely humanitarian,” and that Mozart’s members primarily work to supply and evacuate civilians living near the front lines.

However, the group’s other mission is the training of Ukrainian soldiers, which often takes place “very close to the front line,” Milburn, a former US Marine Corps commander, said. “Sadly in this war – in any war actually – the more of the adversary you take off the playing field, or kill, the less the danger is to your own guys,” he said. “Why do we train guys? It isn’t simply to defend themselves, it’s to kill the enemy.” “Everything we’re doing is exactly within the parameters of NATO policy,” he continued. “The West is providing Ukraine with lethal weapons that kill Russians. Why are they doing that? It’s to kill Russians.” “When we train soldiers that is their goal. It’s why we teach them how to operate their weapons.”

While Mozart survives on private donations, Milburn has previously called for “funding from Western governments,” asking Newsweek last month, “What the hell is stopping the US, or UK, or European Union governments from reaching out and saying ‘Let us help you?’” Milburn is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Bain, who accused the retired commander of violating US arms trafficking regulations and seeking to expand Mozart’s training operations into Armenia. The suit also accused Milburn of embezzling money donated to the organization, orchestrating the burglary of humanitarian supplies in Ukraine, sexually harassing a female co-worker, and bribing Ukrainian military leaders. Milburn in turn accused Bain of seeking money from the Mozart Group, and claimed that Bain is “heavily invested in Russia,” which he denies.

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“Before the Western Ponzi scheme comes to an end, these three nations will virtually hold 100% of their own debt. At that point, the bonds will be worthless and interest rates will have reached infinity. Not a pretty prospect!”

As West, Debt & Stocks Implode, East Gold & Oil Will Explode (Von Greyerz)

“The risk of over-tightening by the European Central Bank is nothing less than catastrophic” says Prof Kenneth Rogoff . At Davos he also said: “Italy is extremely vulnerable. But this could pop anywhere. Global debt has gone up massively since the pandemic: public debt, corporate debt, everything.” Rogoff believes that it is a miracle that the world averted a financial crisis in 2022, but the odds of a major accident are shortening as the delayed effects of past tightening feed through. As Rogoff said: “We were very fortunate that we didn’t have a global systemic event in 2022, and we can count our blessings for that, but rates are still going higher and the risk keeps rising.” But lurking in the murkiness is also the global financial assets/liabilities which is almost $500 trillion including the shadow banking system at 46% of the total. The shadow banking sector includes pension funds, hedge funds and other financial institutions which are largely unregulated.

Shadow banking is not subject to the normal mark-to-market rules. Thus no one knows what the real position or losses are. This means that central banks are in the dark when it comes to evaluation of the real risks of the system. Clearly, I am not the only one harping on about the catastrophic global debt/liability situation. And no one knows the extent of total global derivatives. But if they have grown in line with debt and also with the shadow banking system, they could easily be in excess of $3 quadrillion.

Cultures don’t die overnight, but the US has been in decline since at least the Vietnam war in the 1960s. Interestingly, the US has not had a real Budget surplus since the early 1930s with a handful of years of exception. But when you, like the US, live on borrowed time and borrowed money, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up appearances. In 1971, the pressures on the US economy and currency became too great. Thus Nixon closed the Gold Window with the dollar having lost over 98% in real terms since then. This is of course a total catastrophe and a guarantee that the remaining 2% fall to ZERO will come in the near term future, whether it takes 5 or 10 years for the dollar to reach oblivion. Remember that the final 2% is 100% from today!


The US, EU and Japan have now reached the stage when no one wants their debt. So sovereign debt of these nations is no longer a question of “passing the parcel” but keeping the parcel. When every third party holder of these debts is a seller, who will buy? These three countries will end up holding their own debt. Japan already holds over 50% of its debt. Before the Western Ponzi scheme comes to an end, these three nations will virtually hold 100% of their own debt. At that point, the bonds will be worthless and interest rates will have reached infinity. Not a pretty prospect!

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Why Just Stop Oil is a pretty dumb statement.

Are You Really Against Fossil Fuels? Read This Before You Answer (RCE)

It is easy for anyone to say that they are against fossil fuels. Opposition to coal, oil and natural gas is fashionable and will prompt heads to nod and even hands to applaud in most places. But are people aware of the extent to which their lives are dependent on fossil fuels? Do they know that more than 90 percent of things used in their everyday lives are derived from fossil fuels? From your toothbrush to your car tire, a majority of the things you use today has been made possible because of fossil fuels. Shoes, refrigerators, washing machines, coffee makers, furniture, pens, eating utensils, eyeglasses, commodes, medical gear, camping equipment, and the list goes on and on.


Consider the computer or the phone from which you are reading this article. They are made of glass, metal, plastic, lithium and silicon – all of which require fossil fuels to mine, process or manufacture. While some are chemical derivatives of fossil fuels, all depend one way or another on their combustion for electricity generation, process heat or transportation. You wouldn’t have the iPhone, Android or MacBook without fossil fuels. Imagine the irony of typing out “end oil” from a phone that is made from fossil fuels! Or supporting climate activism by relaying video that was recorded with a camera made from fossil fuels! Of course, this sort of irony is displayed regularly and missed constantly. In short, the most fundamental necessities – and the most cherished conveniences – of daily life are products dependent on the use of fossil fuels.

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“Twenty-four states have enacted bans or restrictions on private funding of local election offices. But the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence has been working to ingratiate itself with local offices.“

Zuckerberg-Funded “Non-Profit” Gears Up for 2024 Elections (GP)

The Zuckerberg-funded group the Center for Tech and Civic Life that gave out $420 million to election offices in 2020 is doing the same in 2024. Through the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, they are funneling $80 million in election grants to local election offices. A report from election integrity watchdogs Honest Elections Project, John Locke Foundation, and Florida’s Foundation for Government Accountability issued a warned that the Alliance “is focused on systematically reshaping election offices and pushing progressive voting policies.”

Epoch Times reported: Election integrity watchdogs, including Virginia-based Honest Elections Project (HEP), North Carolina’s John Locke Foundation, and Florida’s Foundation for Government Accountability, are again raising the alarm about CTCL—this time, a year before the election rather than months after—claiming its Alliance is a front for boosting Democratic turnout, especially in Democratic strongholds within swing states. “No matter what it claims to be, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is nothing more than a dark money-fueled scheme to push liberal voting policies and influence election administration in key states,” HEP Executive Director Jason Snead told The Epoch Times.

“The work of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is ‘Zuck Bucks 2.0,’” John Locke Foundation Civitas Center for Public Integrity Director Dr. Andy Jackson said, claiming in a statement that the Alliance is a vehicle “for the private funding of elections by left-wing donors.” Snead and Jackson collaborated in producing a Jan. 19 Zuck Bucks 2.0 report that claims CTCL’s Alliance “is focused on systematically reshaping election offices and pushing progressive voting policies,” adding, “How state and local governments respond will have ramifications for free and fair elections in 2024 and beyond.” An investigation from House Republicans found that less than 1% of the funds were spent on personal protective equipment. Twenty-four states have banned or restricted private funding for local election offices.

Fox News reported:” CTCL issued about $400 million in grants during the 2020 election to fund a variety of work and equipment. That included ballot drop boxes, voting equipment, additional manpower, protective gear for poll workers and public education campaigns on new voting methods, among other expenses.… House Republicans found in an investigation that less than 1% of the funds were spent on personal protective equipment. Instead, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence appears to be another effort by Zuckerberg and CTCL to influence local election operations, according to critics. “The work of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is Zuck Bucks 2.0, which is why they avoided states that have instituted bans on the private funding of election administration,” Andy Jackson, director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity, said in a statement. Twenty-four states have enacted bans or restrictions on private funding of local election offices. But the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence has been working to ingratiate itself with local offices.“ The GOP needs to stop this!

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“He invested $55 million in BioNTech back in 2019 and it’s now worth north of $550 million.

Bill Gates Trashes Effectiveness of COVID Vaccines (CHD)

Bill Gates, long recognized as one of the world’s foremost proponents of vaccines, raised some eyebrows at a recent talk in Australia when he admitted there are “problems” with current COVID-19 vaccines. Speaking at Australia’s Lowy Institute as part of a talk entitled “Preparing for Global Challenges: In Conversation with Bill Gates,” the Microsoft founder made the following admission: “We also need to fix the three problems of [COVID-19] vaccines. The current vaccines are not infection-blocking. They’re not broad, so when new variants come up you lose protection, and they have very short duration, particularly in the people who matter, which are old people.” Such statements came as a surprise to some in light of Gates’ longstanding support of — and investments in — vaccine manufacturers and organizations promoting global vaccination.

However, they were the latest in a string of developments in recent weeks that have increasingly called the COVID-19 vaccines, in particular, into question. Several analysts and commentators were critical of Gates — but not due to disagreement with the statements he made in Australia. Instead, they argued that he had previously heavily invested in mRNA vaccines at the same time he encouraged a global COVID-19 vaccination campaign and supported mandatory vaccination. Speaking Jan. 25 on The Hill TV’s “Rising,” co-hosts Briahna Joy Gray and Robby Soave addressed Gates’ statements. Soave initially agreed at face value with Gates’ criticism of current mRNA vaccines, saying: “He really nails it on the issues that we’re having: the short duration of protection, not a significant discernable impact on the transmission of cases … not a massive benefit for a lot of otherwise healthy and younger people.”

However, Soave — who on Jan. 19 revealed “Facebook files” indicating the CDC significantly influenced content moderation and censorship on the platform pertaining to COVID-19 vaccines — then pointed out Gates’ prior investments that contributed to the development of mRNA vaccine technology. Soave said, “Bill Gates was a major proponent of mRNA technology … he was an investor in BioNTech, which developed the mRNA vaccine for Pfizer.” “We were just doing some digging,” continued Soave, “[and] we saw that he sold a lot of those shares at … how much profit was that?” “10x,” replied Gray. “He invested $55 million in BioNTech back in 2019 and it’s now worth north of $550 million. He sold some stock … at the end of last year, I believe it was, with the share price over $300, which represented a huge gain for him over when he invested.”

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“No evidence to support the statement that the dashboard is a finger on the pulse of Russian information ops.” “Hardly evidence of a massive influence campaign.”

Meet Hamilton 68, the New King of Media Fraud (Matt Taibbi)

If one goes by volume alone, this oft-cited neoliberal think-tank that spawned hundreds of fraudulent headlines and TV news segments may go down as the single greatest case of media fabulism in American history. Virtually every major news organization in America is implicated, including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Mother Jones alone did at least 14 stories pegged to the group’s “research.” Even fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes cited Hamilton 68 as a source. Hamilton 68 was and is a computerized “dashboard” designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure “Russian disinformation.” It was the brainchild of former FBI agent (and current MSNBC “disinformation expert”) Clint Watts, and backed by the German Marshall Fund and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan think-tank. The latter’s advisory panel includes former acting CIA chief Michael Morell, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former Hillary for America chair John Podesta, and onetime Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.

The Twitter Files expose Hamilton 68 as a sham: The secret ingredient in Hamilton 68’s analytic method was a list of 644 accounts supposedly linked “to Russian influence activities online.” It was hidden from the public, but Twitter was in a unique position to recreate Hamilton’s sample by analyzing its Application Program Interface (API) requests, which is how they first “reverse-engineered” Hamilton’s list in late 2017. The company was concerned enough about the proliferation of news stories linked to Hamilton 68 that it also ordered a forensic analysis. Note the second page below lists many of the different types of shadow-banning techniques that existed at Twitter even in 2017, buttressing the “Twitter’s Secret Blacklist” thread by Bari Weiss last month. Here you see categories ranging from “Trends Blacklist” to “Search Blacklist” to “NSFW High Precision.” Twitter was checking to see how many of Hamilton’s accounts were spammy, phony, or bot-like. Note that out of 644 accounts, just 36 were registered in Russia, and many of those were associated with RT.

Examining further, Twitter execs were shocked. The accounts Hamilton 68 claimed were linked to “Russian influence activities online” were not only overwhelmingly English-language (86%), but mostly “legitimate people,” largely in the U.S., Canada, and Britain. Grasping right away that Twitter might be implicated in a moral outrage, they wrote that these account-holders “need to know they’ve been unilaterally labeled Russian stooges without evidence or recourse.” Other comments in internal company emails: “These accounts are neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots.” “No evidence to support the statement that the dashboard is a finger on the pulse of Russian information ops.” “Hardly evidence of a massive influence campaign.”

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“I genuinely wanted to hear an innocent explanation if they had one. They still said nothing. Only after the story blew up online yesterday did they put out an explanation.”

Responding to Hamilton 68 (Matt Taibbi)

Days before yesterday’s Twitter Files report about Hamilton 68, I wrote the public relations officers of both of the sites’ parent organizations, the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) and the German Marshall Fund (GMF). I told them I was in possession of the Hamilton 68 list, which purported to track “Russian influence activities.” I said I had a slew of internal Twitter documents that among other things identified their project as “bullshit.” Toward the end I added: Given the sheer quantity of news stories sourced to Hamilton 68, this has to go down as one of the great media frauds of all time. Unless you have an explanation for how and why hundreds of non-Russians like Dennis Michael Lynch, Patrick Hennigsen, Joe Lauria, and [I inserted the name of a San Diego school board member] came to be on this list, there’s no other conclusion.

I hope you will treat this matter with respect and answer this query. My story is going to identify not just people like Clint Watts but members of the ASD advisory board as party to this. The story eventually published, “Move Over, Jayson Blair: Meet Hamilton 68, The New King of Media Fraud,” was based on email assessments of Twitter executives like Yoel Roth and Nick Pickles, the forensic analysis Roth had done in 2017 and which was excerpted yesterday, and interviews with people on the list. These elements — especially the interviews — made for a pretty ironclad case that the much-ballyhooed Hamilton 68 “dashboard” was a sham, that took real opinions of real people and falsely declared them part of a “network” of “Russian influence activities.”

On the remote chance Hamilton 68 had inside information legitimizing the linking of Dennis Michael Lynch, David Horowitz, and @TrumpDyke to “Russian influence activities,” I not only reached out to Hamilton’s creators, but when they were quiet, threw a tantrum on Twitter, tagging every member of the ASD advisory board in an effort to hear from them pre-publication. I genuinely wanted to hear an innocent explanation if they had one. They still said nothing. Only after the story blew up online yesterday did they put out an explanation.

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Elon Mars

 

 

 

 

Musk landing

 

 


This 1974 photograph shows the freshly excavated pit with 2,000-year-old terracotta warriors still showing the original color scheme before the rapid deterioration that made them as we know them today

 

 

Mandarin duck

 

 


The sabertooth longhorn beetle is one of the largest beetles reaching a length of up to 17.7 cm. Its larval stage can last up to 10 years, while its adult phase is likely to last no more than a few months

 

 

Odd couple

 

 

 

 

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Jan 082023
 
 January 8, 2023  Posted by at 9:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  115 Responses »


Dorothea Lange On the road to Los Angeles, California 1937

 

What Have We Bargained for in Ukraine? (Dougherty)
Ukraine Running Out Of Time – Former US Officials (RT)
The WORST Political Upheaval EVER (Denninger)
The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. (Jacobin)
Twitter Fires More Censors (RT)
Zelensky Sanctions Over 100 Russian Public Figures (RT)
Adam Schiff and the Underbelly of American Censorship (Turley)
Trump Suggests Biden Provoked Putin Into Invading Ukraine (PM)
Donald Trump Slams Arrest Of Ashli Babbitt’s Mother (PM)
Kristi Noem Blasts Jan. 6 Committee After Social Security Numbers Leaked (CB)
Greece To Build Fence On Border With Türkiye (RT)
Every Fourth European Has Trouble Heating Their Home (RT)
Faced With A New Wave Of Covid, China Is Opening Its Borders (Zagorenko)
Switzerland Slated To Destroy Millions Of mRNA Vaccine Doses In 2023 (Eugyp)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Jan 6 – Excellent
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611972143482568704

 

 

 

 

Fauci
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611796697847308288

 

 

 

 

“They”

 

 

J6

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The dangers of the conflict are much greater than hawks would have us believe.”

What Have We Bargained for in Ukraine? (Dougherty)

‘Your money is not charity,” Volodymyr Zelensky told a joint session of the U.S. Congress a few weeks ago. “It is an investment in global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.” And many conservative hawks, hoping to hold back the rising tide of skepticism among Republicans, have echoed this line. After the speech, Representative Dan Crenshaw called the idea of ending aid to Ukraine “absurd” and said America had “made a pretty good investment here.” My friend and colleague Matthew Continetti writes that “securing America’s position and freedom’s future without direct intervention and for a rounding error in the federal budget is a strategic bargain. Ukraine needs more, not less, U.S. aid, and it needs it now.” In Commentary in November, Noah Rothman wrote that “Kyiv’s victories are our victories, too, insofar as they advance a core American national interest: preserving the stable European covenant that has blessed Western powers with the longest, most durable peace on the Continent in the modern age.”

This view holds that for pennies on the dollar, the U.S. has been able to preserve a democracy threatened by an authoritarian regime, cripple a rival military, strengthen the NATO alliance, prevent Vladimir Putin from an inevitable invasion of NATO territory, and scare off Xi Jinping from ever messing with Taiwan. For these conservatives, the policy preferred by Joe Biden and the Democrats is one whose costs are greatly outweighed by its benefits. Except, none of this is quite true. Crippling a rival military is only worthwhile when you have a strategic reason for doing so, and we conspicuously lack one. The NATO alliance’s duties have been radically expanded with no radical expansion in the share of the alliance’s burdens shouldered by Europe.

Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist project is at odds with the democratic and liberal-internationalist values that are used to sell the conflict abroad. The conflict’s financial and moral costs to the U.S. have been growing for nearly a decade, and taking on Ukraine as a permanent dependent will grow them even more. The arc of the conflict is just as likely to encourage as to discourage Xi in his pursuit of Taiwan, given the ways in which our enmeshment in Europe will deplete our attention, resources, and will to be the world’s cop. And finally, no conflict in this blood-stained area of the globe is a mom-and-pop bingo game in which you can cash out your modest investments at any time; Vladimir Putin and Russia have a say in how this ends.

The advocates for continued aid to Ukraine must downplay the costs involved, because support for continued aid began to drop precipitously when the Biden administration began briefing the press on our strategy. It didn’t help the hawks’ cause when retired general David Petraeus went on Sunday morning television and claimed that if Russia used a so-called tactical nuke in Ukraine, the U.S. would enter the war as a full belligerent, annihilate Russia’s army, and launch decapitation strikes on the Kremlin. It instead made people ask themselves how Russia would respond to such drastic countermeasures, and to shudder at the possible answers.

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Gates and Rice. A veiled push for more and faster.

Ukraine Running Out Of Time – Former US Officials (RT)

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates have admitted that Ukraine’s economy and military are almost completely reliant on bailouts from the West, and barring a dramatic turnaround, its chances of victory are slipping away. Ukraine’s “economy is in a shambles,” the ex-diplomat and former Pentagon chief wrote in the Washington Post on Saturday. The country’s “military capability and economy are now dependent almost entirely on lifelines from the West,” they continued, arguing that should Ukraine fail to mount a successful offensive in the near future, President Zelensky will be pressured by the West to negotiate a ceasefire with Russian President Vladimir Putin – something the Ukrainian leader has repeatedly refused to consider.

With the frontline relatively static since autumn, Russian forces have ground down their Ukrainian opponents in fierce fighting near Bakhmut/Artyomovsk, with an American mercenary commander recently acknowledging that Ukraine is suffering “extraordinarily high casualties” in that sector, and Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Vadim Pristaiko, describing his side’s casualties as “huge” and “indigestible.” Kiev has publicly proclaimed that it plans a major offensive in the spring, but Rice and Gates wrote that Ukraine may have “weeks, not months” to stay in the fight. To that end, they advocated sending the country more and heavier weapons. Although the US has already allocated more than $110 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine since February, they said that Washington won’t send heavy tanks. Germany “and other allies” should fill this need instead, they argued.

The Biden administration announced on Friday that it would give Ukraine 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles – the most modern armor sent to Kiev so far – as part of a $3 billion weapons package. France also pledged a number of wheeled ‘light tanks’, and Germany promised 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Nevertheless, Kiev says it needs more. In an interview with The Economist last month, Ukrainian general Valery Zaluzhny said he would need 300 more tanks, up to 700 infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 howitzers to conduct offensive operations. This is more than the number of such vehicles in the entire British or German inventory. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly insisted that “pumping” Ukraine with weapons will ultimately have no effect on the outcome of the conflict and will only serve to prolong the hostilities and lead to more bloodshed.

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“..what’s going on now is in fact much less than we’ve come through before..”

The WORST Political Upheaval EVER (Denninger)

The polarization caused by the last three years didn’t come from a virus: It came from what so-called “leaders” did when the virus showed up and we, the people in this nation let them do every bit of it. The 2022 midterms were a clean demonstration of this and those actions were nasty in terms of their impact. Several states saw their margins of victory for either GOP or Democrat governors increase, not narrow, and yet the margin didn’t come from people shifting allegiance within the state; it came from migration either to or from said state. DeSantis and Lee both gained margin precisely because people left NY, Michigan, Illinois, California and other “Blue” states and moved to “Red” ones.

This had no value for DeSantis or Lee because once you win by one vote you have the same outcome as if you win by one million votes but that same shift meant that illogical repeat performances, such as Witmer, won as well because the GOP voters who left meant what remained was enough for her not to be fired. (While Pritzker also easily won that race was never really in doubt even if people didn’t leave Illinois, so I’m intentionally excluding it.) It didn’t help that the GOP ran candidates that were ridiculously outside of where mainstream public opinion is — for example, Michigan’s GOP ran a candidate opposed to abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. The GOP had to be out of its mind to do this, but do it they did and they lost.

At its core the problem, however, does not lie there: It lies in the destruction of norms that society has relied on. Don’t kid yourself no matter who screams about it: Without heterosexual reproduction and the resilience afforded by stable, two-parent homes as an “ordinary and normal” thing society eventually collapses because without a productive next generation you have nothing. Have we put any thought into this and how to at least move things back toward a more-stable outcome in that regard, and thus are we inevitably consigned to a hellscape and collapse? It’s easy to argue “No. Not one bit.” But I’ll take the other side of that wager simply because what’s going on now is in fact much less than we’ve come through before, and the pendulum will, with a high degree of probability, swing back the other way.

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The left, WITH the media, and WITH intel, played hardball since 2015. But that was never a problem.

The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. (Jacobin)

Kevin McCarthy has been at the head of the Republican’s House caucus since 2019. In any other ordinary year, the position of Speaker of the House would have been his almost automatically following the Republicans’ narrow victory in last year’s midterm election. But a small group on the party’s right wing turned a coronation into a multi-round fight. Twenty congressmembers were at the core of the right-wing rebellion; all but one are connected to the House Freedom Caucus, the ideological home of the party’s rightmost flank. These Republicans are notorious for their support of Donald Trump and the January 6 riots. They deserve every decent person’s scorn. But when it comes to tactics, one has to admit that they know how to play.

Desperate for their support, McCarthy had to give on issue after issue. McCarthy folded early on policy questions. He fought against the 2022 lame-duck spending bill, a core right-wing priority. He called for the resignation or impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a target of the Right’s ire. McCarthy also agreed to create a new subcommittee in the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government by the Biden administration and the FBI and CIA. More significant in the long term, he also agreed to rules changes and committee assignments that will dramatically strengthen the Right’s hand.

McCarthy agreed to add three members from the Freedom Caucus to the House Rules Committee. That will allow the far right to help shape the issues to be considered by the House. McCarthy’s own PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, agreed not to intervene in open primaries against far-right candidates. McCarthy agreed to bring back the Holman Rule, which allows legislators to propose defunding specific federal programs, to fire specific federal officials, and to slash officials’ pay. Most significantly, he agreed to bring back the “motion to vacate the chair,” which will allow just one Republican to call for a snap vote to remove the speaker. This is a rule that the right wing previously used to remove John Boehner. Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a leading conspiracy theorist from the Republican fringe, extracted a much sought-after seat on the House Oversight Committee from McCarthy in return for her support.

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It would appear there’s still tons of them left.

Twitter Fires More Censors (RT)

The social network has fired at least a dozen employees responsible for handling the “misinformation policy, global appeals and state media” at its Dublin and Singapore offices, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the latest in a series of radical reforms conducted by the company’s new CEO Elon Musk. Twitter’s head of Trust and Safety, Ella Irwin, told the publication that in order to “consolidate teams,” the company only eliminated duplicate positions and cut jobs with not enough workload to justify their existence. The Friday’s cuts reportedly affected the head of site integrity for Twitter’s Asia-Pacific region, Nur Azhar Bin Ayob, and senior director of revenue policy, Analuisa Dominguez, while others asked not to be identified.

In a separate statement to Reuters, Irwin admitted some fresh cuts in her department, but said that the company still has “thousands of people” responsible for content moderation and has “not made cuts to the teams that do that work daily.” After finalizing his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion in October, Musk acknowledged that bankruptcy was a possibility for the social media giant if it does not start generating more cash. In an attempt to cut costs, he fired half of the company’s staff, including most of the top executives and ordered the remaining employees to stop working from home. All in all, an estimated two-thirds of the company’s employees and contractors globally were laid off, fired or quit.

As the site’s new owner, Musk also pushed to scale back content restrictions, vowing to make Twitter a refuge for free speech, while ushering in a range of policy changes which triggered backlash from the media establishment and its celebrity allies. He reactivated the accounts of dozens of its more controversial users and began sharing internal company communications hinting at a massive political conspiracy between the US administration, intelligence agencies and the Big Tech platforms to censor politically inconvenient stories, opinions and people. The billionaire appeared to acknowledge that not everyone supported his recent political diversions this week, polling his followers as to whether he should “stay out of politics” or “keep shooting his feet.” He later joked, that “if I dig my grave deep enough, maybe it comes out the other side of Earth.”

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Everybody just sanctions and censors.

Zelensky Sanctions Over 100 Russian Public Figures (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on Saturday, imposing personal sanctions on some 119 Russian public figures. Kiev’s new blacklist includes prominent artists and journalists. Ukraine sanctioned Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov, pop singer Philipp Kirkorov, as well as stand-up comedian Evgeny Petrosyan and opera star Anna Netrebko. Kiev also targeted a number of Russian journalists, including RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and head of the Rossiya Segodnya media group Dmitry Kiselyov. The restrictions imposed for a 10-year period include freeze of assets, travel and visa bans, stripping of Ukrainian state awards, and some other measures. Kiev has repeatedly sanctioned Russian officials and public figures amid the ongoing conflict, with hundreds of them blacklisted already.


Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give 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.” Shortly before the hostilities broke out, 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. Last September, Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.

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“We don’t do this.”

Adam Schiff and the Underbelly of American Censorship (Turley)

“We don’t do this.” That response from Twitter to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is a singular indictment, coming at the height of Twitter’s censorship operations. Apparently, there were some things that even Twitter’s censors refused to do. One of those things was silencing critics of Schiff and his House committee. In the latest tranche of “Twitter Files,” journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter balked at Schiff’s demand that Twitter suspend an array of posters or label their content as “misinformation” and “reduce the visibility” of them. Among those who Schiff secretly tried to censor was New York Post columnist Paul Sperry. Sperry drew Schiff’s ire by writing about a conversation allegedly overheard by one of his sources.

Sperry’s article, which appeared in RealClearInvestigations, cited two sources as overhearing two White House staffers discussing how to remove newly-elected President Trump from office. The article raised the possibility of bias on the part of an alleged key player in launching the first Trump impeachment, CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella. The sources reportedly said that Ciaramella was in a conversation with Sean Misko, a holdover from the Obama administration who later joined Schiff’s staff. The conversation — in Sperry’s words — showed that “just days after [Trump] was sworn in they were already trying to get rid of him.” Rather than simply refute the allegation, Schiff wanted Sperry and other critics silenced.

His office reportedly laid out steps to cleanse Twitter of their criticism, including an instruction to “remove any and all content about Mr. Misko and other Committee staff from its service — to include quotes, retweets, and reactions to that content.” The date of Schiff’s non-public letter in November 2020 is notable: Earlier that year, I wrote a column for The Hill criticizing Schiff for pushing for censorship of misinformation in a letter that he sent to social media companies. His office promptly objected to the very suggestion that Schiff supported censorship. We now know Schiff was actively seeking to censor specific critics on social media. These likely were viewed as more than “requests” since Schiff was sending public letters threatening possible legislative action against these same companies. He wanted his critics silenced on social media. After all, criticizing his investigations or staff must, by definition, be misinformation — right?

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US was building up Ukraine under Trump presidency too.

Trump Suggests Biden Provoked Putin Into Invading Ukraine (PM)

Saturday night, speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, former President Donald Trump suggested that Joe Biden influenced Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine in February 2022. Speaking of Biden, Trump said in video posted by Jack Posobiec on Instagram, “We have a man who has no mind left and his mind in prime time wasn’t any good, but he has no mind left. And this is the guy negotiating for us. We have a man that convinced Putin to go into Ukraine.” “Because if you look at the psychology that he used, it’s the exact opposite,” Trump said in reference to Biden’s January 2022 comments referring to Putin’s expansion into Ukraine as a “minor incursion.”

Biden said during a press conference before Putin invaded Ukraine, “I think what you’re gonna see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not do, etc.” “Putin would have never ever gone in,” Trump said and remarked of Biden, “he knew the ramifications.” “Do you remember when Biden said, well they might take some small parts of Ukraine,” Trump said in reference to the “minor incursion” remarks. “That was what Putin wanted to hear. That there would be no problem if you take some parts of Ukraine,” Trump added.

Trump had been speaking of the war in Ukraine and the escalating conflict, including the danger of nuclear war. Trump referred to nuclear as the second “n-word” you should never say. The US has sent over $60 billion to Ukraine to aid in their ongoing war with their Russian invaders since February 2022. Congress is set to greenlight more money for Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelensky asks the US for continued aid.

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A very dark side of America.

Donald Trump Slams Arrest Of Ashli Babbitt’s Mother (PM)

Speaking at an event at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday evening, Donald Trump slammed the Biden regime over the arrest of Ashli Babbitt’s mother. Ashli Babbitt was killed by a United States Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6. Witthoeft was arrested outside of the Capitol on Friday, the two-year anniversary of her daughter’s death. Trump brought up the arrest during a special CPAC event at Mar-a-Lago, pointing to the weaponization of law enforcement under the Biden regime. “We have a weaponized country right now with law enforcement. It’s a disgrace what’s happening to our country. Ashli Babbitt’s mother was arrested yesterday, because she was protesting the death of her daughter being shot by a lunatic who got a record of— not so good.

“And then they try and protect him and they do things— what they’ve done to that family. That they shot her, there was no reason, and then they arrested— because the mother was in a group— and they arrested yesterday the mother of Ashli Babbitt. So she loses her daughter and then on top of it, she gets arrested. “We’re not gonna let this go on. We’re not gonna let this go. on these people are horrible, horrible. And what they’ve done to protest us. I mean, these were protesters, they were protesting a dishonest election. “And whenever you mentioned that they don’t want to ever talk to you because they don’t want to have that out there. The one thing they don’t want to talk about is a dishonest election. Because they know and they’ve been caught.”

In footage circulated on social media by streamer Woke Societies, Micki Witthoeft was seen being handcuffed and taken into custody by multiple police officers while onlookers protested. “You murdered [Ashli] inside the Capitol, now you’re going to arrest her?” one onlooker said. “I did not murder her daughter,” one officer replied in front of the crowd of people. On Jan. 6, 2021, Babbitt, an unarmed Air Force veteran, was fatally shot by Lt. Michael Byrd. while attempting to make entry into the interior of the Capitol Building. According to The National Pulse’s Raheem Kassam, Witthoeft was arrested for “jaywalking.”

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That leak feels like warfare.

Kristi Noem Blasts Jan. 6 Committee After Social Security Numbers Leaked (CB)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem blasted members of the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 Committee after her Social Security number, along those of her family members, were allegedly leaked to the public. In a tweet, the GOP governor appeared to suggest she would take legal action against members. “My lawyers have asked the @WhiteHouse, the @USNatArchives, and @BennieGThompson which of them is responsible for leaking the Social Security Numbers of me, my husband, my 3 kids, and my son-in-law,” she tweeted on Friday, in a post that included images of a letter her attorneys have sent to the aforementioned parties. “What specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect our identities?” — Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) January 6, 2023

The Washington Times reported the leak: “The recently sunsetted House Jan. 6 committee released Trump White House visitor logs from December 2020 containing nearly 2,000 unreacted Social Security numbers. At least three of the numbers, inadvertently leaked as part of the hoard of documents the committee posted online in recent weeks, belonged to members of Trump’s cabinet others. Several Republican governors and floods of other Trump allies have been caught up in the privacy breach. “House Jan. 6 Committee leaks thousands of Trump allies’ Social Security numbers: Report — The Washington Times (@WashTimes) January 7, 2023”

The document was taken down on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the leak, but the Government Publishing Office, which was responsible for posting the file online, does not appear to have notified the individuals whose private information was leaked. Attorneys for Noem demanded to know “how the breach of privacy occurred, who was responsible, what steps each of you has taken to remedy the breach, and what specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect Governor Noem and her family in light of the public dissemination of their private information and the heightened risk for identity theft and any other future privacy violations.” Ian Fury, a spokesman for the governor, said, “To my knowledge, we were not notified. The governor was not notified” of the leak, Slay News noted.

Former Trump Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, whose information was also leaked, told the Washington Post: “Whether it was a careless and sloppy handling of records or a deliberate disregard of decorum, either scenario is a perfunctory and callous display of government and a frightening reminder of the current state in Washington. … President Reagan was a savant indeed — the nine most frightening words to hear are ‘I am from the government and here to help.’”

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What good will it do?

Greece To Build Fence On Border With Türkiye (RT)

Greece is planning to build a new 140-km fence to cover its whole European border with neighboring Türkiye in an effort to contain the significant flows of illegal migrants, Minister of Citizen Protection Takis Theodorikakos has announced. Construction of the first 35-km span of the new fence is set to begin “immediately,” the official told the broadcaster SKAI on Saturday. “It is a final decision of the government to create a 140-kilometer fence on the Evros [River],” Theodorikakos stated. Greece and Türkiye share an approximately 200-km common border in Europe that runs primarily along the Evros River, yet there is a stretch of dry land between the two countries. Greece already has concrete and barbed wire barrier installed at over 40km of the border, namely along the span near the Turkish city of Edirne. The fence was originally erected in 2012 and was extended in 2021.


The Evros River on its own has not proven to be a sufficiently challenging obstacle for illegal migrants, Theodorikakos noted, with the eponymous province remaining a hotspot for irregular crossings. “In Evros, the Greek police, with their deployment, have prevented the illegal invasion of the country by 256,000 illegal immigrants,” the minister said without providing a time span for this “invasion.” Over the past year, the EU has seen the highest level of illegal migration since the 2015-2016 migrant crisis. According to the latest figures by Frontex, the bloc’s border agency, some 308,000 “irregular entries” were detected across the external borders of the EU during the first 11 months of 2022, constituting a sharp 68% increase from the same period in 2021. The Western Balkan and Central Mediterranean routes have seen the most illegal migrant traffic over the past year, according to Frontex.

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Just the poor parts.

Every Fourth European Has Trouble Heating Their Home (RT)

More than a quarter of Europeans are experiencing problems heating their homes and paying debts for housing and utilities, the Hungarian media reported on Friday citing a survey by the Szazadveg think tank. According to the survey, dubbed Europe Project, 26% of EU residents, or roughly 100 million people, are unable to properly heat their homes. Greeks appeared to be the worst affected, with 56% of the population facing difficulties with heating. In Portugal and France, 34% of residents described the same problems. Finland, Hungary, Austria and Denmark were the least affected, with less than 15% of residents admitting to difficulties. Every fourth respondent in the survey said they were unable to pay their heating bill at least once during the past year.


That figure was also the highest in Greece, with 51% of the population affected, followed by Cyprus with 37%, Ireland and Bulgaria, with 35% each. The respondents blamed inflation for their problems, as rising prices on everything from energy to food impact their ability to pay bills. According to the survey, heating bills have become far less affordable than in 2021. The authors noted that in 2021, based on data from Europe’s official statistics agency Eurostat, only 6.9% of European households (some 29.9 million people) were unable to adequately heat their homes, and 6.4% struggled with paying bills. The survey was conducted among 38,000 randomly selected European adults between October 13 and December 7, 2022. The research covered the EU, UK, Norway, Switzerland, Moldova, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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No other choice?!

Faced With A New Wave Of Covid, China Is Opening Its Borders (Zagorenko)

The situation is now much less dire. The authorities can focus on protecting the elderly and improving the nation’s immunity. A new push to get more people vaccinated has already been announced, although the corresponding official document does not go into specifics about how the authorities will go about it. Besides, people are much more aware of the virus and of the methods of protection. Pedestrians still go about their days in masks, still take care with hygiene and still avoid unnecessary close contacts. And more freedom does not mean that people will go out of their way to get infected. As one local Twitter user pointed out: “So in Beijing, now that everyone is free to go anywhere, ppl are exercising that right by staying at home.”

The hardest test of the new lighter rules begins on January 8, when China reopens its borders. People will be able to enter and leave the country freely and, soon after that, the Spring Festival trips will begin in earnest. Travel to and from will not be the same as before, at least at first. A number of countries, including the US, UK, France, and Spain, now have mandatory testing of everyone arriving from China to prevent the virus from spreading further. However, even if the number of daily cases rises for a short time, the world is much less vulnerable to Covid now.

China will still need to carefully weigh each step on its path towards the pre-pandemic normal. The rules might change once again and there might be setbacks or new local lockdowns. However, the process of making life easier and more predictable for a large part of the world has begun. The protests might have brought these changes about sooner than expected, or they might have simply happened at the right time. Whatever the case, China was bound to change its policy sooner or later. After all, no emergency can last forever.

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“..nervously awaiting the delivery of a further 2 million in the coming weeks, and surely lamenting that 11.6 million more are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023..”

Switzerland Slated To Destroy Millions Of mRNA Vaccine Doses In 2023 (Eugyp)

Switzerland, home to less than 9 million people, is one of the biggest mRNA vaccine customers in the world relative to population. The’ve already received a staggering 33 million Covid vaccine doses, only a little over half of which were ever administered. The small country is now sitting on 13.5 million doses, nervously awaiting the delivery of a further 2 million in the coming weeks, and surely lamenting that 11.6 million more are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023. The vast majority of these will sit for some months in freezers before the Swiss Confederation destroys them. The country already binned more than eleven million doses last year, the greater part of them after a deal to supply surplus snake oil to the third world via the failed Covax initiative fell through because nobody in Africa wants this stuff either.


Vaccine credulity may still be the mainstream, politically acceptable position, but revealed preferences show that enormous majorities everywhere are done with mass vaccination. Pharmaceutical executives can sing their doubtful hymns to the miraculous safety and efficacy of their jabs, but the quiet worldwide rejection of their garbage products is a stinging rebuke, suggesting that billions across the world harbour unexpressed scepticism towards the mRNA Covid vaccines. From here, it is only downhill for the vaccinators.

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Schaffer

 

 

 

 

Fungi

 

 

Great White

 

 

Walnut

 

 

 

 

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Jan 022023
 
 January 2, 2023  Posted by at 10:03 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Edward Hopper Burly Cobb’s House, South Truro 1930-33

 

Drone Attacks Continue On Kyiv And Eastern Ukraine (BBC)
Nancy Pelosi Is Stepping Down As US House Speaker, And Few Will Miss Her (RT)
Twitter’s COVID-19 Censorship Led to Loss of Life – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)
Fauci Fibbed on the Day Everything Changed (Tucker)
How China Changed Its Zero-COVID Policy to a ‘Zero Non-COVID’ Policy (ET)
States Grand Jury to Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Covid Vaccines (BN)
Elon Musk Says He Is ‘Open’ to Idea of Buying Out Major Media Companies (BN)
In 2023 It Will Be All About The Dollar (Macleod)
USD Exchange Rates Hit Foreign Exchange Reserves (WS)
My Prediction On What 2023 Will Bring (Varoufakis)
1 Year On, EU Alternative To China’s Belt And Road Fails To Deliver (SCMP)
New Year, New Things (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

Free Assange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difference between BBC and RT is remarkable.

Drone Attacks Continue On Kyiv And Eastern Ukraine (BBC)

Air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv on Sunday night as the latest wave of drone and missile strikes from Russia continued. An attack which began shortly before midnight targeted critical infrastructure, Kyiv regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said. One man in Kyiv was injured by debris from a destroyed Russian drone, the capital’s mayor said. The attacks have continued for several days over the New Year period. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said 400 Russian soldiers had been killed in on New Year’s Eve in Makiivka, in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region. In a rare move, pro-Russian authorities admitted to casualties. But Russia refused to confirm the number of deaths, and the BBC is unable to verify this.

It comes after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky wished for victory and a “return to normal” for Ukraine in 2023. In a new year address on Russian TV, President Vladimir Putin said Russia would fight to protest its sovereignty and independence. Kyiv’s military issued a warning of the latest attacks just after 01:00 (23:00 GMT) on Monday. “Air attack on Kyiv… Air alert is on in the capital,” it announced on the Telegram social media site. Serhiy Popko, the city’s military administration head, told people to stay in shelters. Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an explosion in Kyiv’s northeastern Desnyanskyi district and said emergency services were attending. “An injured 19-year-old man was hospitalised in the Desnyanskyi district of the capital,” he said.

Mr Kuleba said the weapons were Iranian-made Shahed drones, adding that they were “targeting critical infrastructure facilities”. “The main thing now is to stay calm and stay in shelters until the alarm is off,” he said. It comes after a barrage of attacks on New Year’s Eve, which killed at least one person in Kyiv. Russia has been targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure for several months, destroying power stations and plunging millions into darkness during the country’s freezing winter.

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“Yeah, we completely agree with Satan on everything.”

Nancy Pelosi Is Stepping Down As US House Speaker, And Few Will Miss Her (RT)

The 118th United States Congress will be inaugurated on January 3, 2023, ushering in a number of changes, including Republican control of the House of Representatives and an attendant flip of the office of the speaker. That means that long-time Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi will have to give up her gavel and hand it over, most likely to Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. This has been Pelosi’s second tenure as speaker, as she served the first time from 2007-2011 and made history during that time by being the first – and so far only – woman to hold that title. Indeed, Pelosi’s record as the third-highest constitutional officer in the US has been historic – but maybe for some reasons that aren’t so savory. For one, the California Democrat is a notorious self-dealer. For instance, Pelosi was one of the most high-profile members of Congress implicated in a five-month corruption investigation by Business Insider.

She is reported to have deep holdings in companies such as Tesla, Disney, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Meta (Facebook’s parent company), which she is directly responsible for regulating as a member of Congress. And it should also not be a surprise that she has repeatedly come out against barring members of Congress from trading stocks and other financial assets, even if she did an about face when public pressure mounted. “We are a free-market economy. They (members of Congress) should be able to participate in that (trading),” she told reporters in December 2021. There is actually an argument to be made that indeed members of Congress should be able to engage in such investments. After all, they have to pay two sets of housing costs in their district and in the notoriously expensive Washington, DC area.

They also have to pay all of their own traveling expenses to and from their district. And they have to do all of that, plus probably also have a family, with a salary of $174,000. It’s not all that glamorous when you think about it. But if we look at Pelosi’s net worth of $114,662,521, according to 2018 data by OpenSecrets, then we can see that this argument hardly applies. In fact, if you look at the chart of her individual wealth over the years, you’ll notice that her wealth exponentially increased with her position as speaker. It’s like her power in Congress directly translates to her own personal wealth accumulation – which, I think we can all agree, would be the definition of corruption. Along with being greedy, the outgoing speaker is a devout war hawk. She once told reporters in Damascus in 2007, during George W. Bush’s presidency, that “there is no division on policy between us and President Bush, be it on Israel, Palestine or Syria.” For anyone familiar with Bush’s genocidal Middle East scheme, this is basically like saying, “Yeah, we completely agree with Satan on everything.”

[..] To put in perspective how unpopular Pelosi is, according to Public Policy Polling, a higher share of Americans believe that JFK was killed by a conspiracy (51%) and that Bush intentionally misled the public on Iraq’s WMDs (44%) than like Pelosi, with just a bit less (37%) thinking global warming is a hoax. For the sake of our country, it is to be hoped that the 82-year-old will retire from political life after her term as speaker comes to a close. But unfortunately, as is ever the case with Pelosi, her career might just outstay its welcome and drag on endlessly.

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Atlas was completely silenced by Fauci and Birx. Strange story.

Twitter’s COVID-19 Censorship Led to Loss of Life – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

When discussing censorship, there are often “vague implications” on the effects of that restriction. But by censoring medical science and health policy, “you are killing people,” Dr. Scott Atlas firmly stated in an interview that aired on Newsmakers by NTD and The Epoch Times on Dec. 28. “Censorship of the correct science and medical information, during this pandemic, absolutely killed people. It prevented people from making intelligent decisions. It prevented people from making the appropriate use of caution,” Atlas alleged of Twitter censoring doctors such as himself. Furthermore, Atlas charged, Twitter’s censorship was particularly “harmful” and “shocking” because the United States was founded on freedom.

“This kind of censorship was, in my view, unheard of in the United States,” Atlas stated. “It’s reminiscent of everything that we, as a free society and democracy, abhor about countries that are authoritarian, like China, the former USSR and now Russia, North Korea. “This is the kind of censorship that occurs in those countries. And now it’s occurring in our country.” According to Atlas, censorship at the government’s behest isn’t limited to social media and is far more insidious than first imagined. “It’s not simply blocking information. It’s also—being less overt about it—it’s limiting the public’s access to information. It’s impugning people who are speaking correct information,” Atlas said.

In Atlas’s view, there was only one acceptable COVID-19 narrative at the height of the pandemic, and that was the one put forward by those in authority, specifically Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. Consequently, when other health authority figures, such as Atlas, advanced conflicting information, the above authorities enlisted help from the media to squash that dissent. “Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, etc., went to their friends in the media and undermined people like me. Who, in fact, were saying what was correct, what has been validated as being correct this entire time. “But the reality is, yes, the censorship of science kills people. And it killed people during this pandemic. There’s no doubt about that,” Atlas stated.

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“..he threw around so much data confetti that a person could have easily believed that he was downplaying the severity to promote calm. His intention was the opposite.”

Fauci Fibbed on the Day Everything Changed (Tucker)

Anthony Fauci is finally gone from his government perch. Let us recall that it was he who set this calamity in motion, squandering his credibility, while taking down public health and much else with it. More than anyone, he bears responsibility, even if he was acting on others’ behalf. That is especially true if he was carrying out a hidden agenda (take your pick of theories). There was already growing political and societal panic on March 11, 2020, when the House Oversight and Reform Committee convened a hearing on the new virus circulating. Fauci was the key witness. The only question on everyone’s mind came down to the most primal fear: am I going to die from this thing, like in the movies?

This was one day before Trump’s announcement of the travel ban from Europe, the UK, and Australia, essentially sealing the borders of the US to an extent never before attempted, thus separating families and loved ones and trapping billions of people in their nation states. It was five days before the evil declaration by all health authorities to immediately shut down all places where people could congregate. These few days will remain a case study in irrationality and crowd madness. Fauci, on the day of his testimony, however, seemed like a paragon of stability. He was calm and clear, nearly bloodness in his tone. The substance of what he said, at the same time, was clearly designed to generate panic and create the conditions for a full lockdown.

He had the countenance of a doctor who was telling the family that a beloved father was terminally ill with 30 days to live. In particular, and in contrast to the testimony prepared by CDC/NIH, Fauci spoke to the severity of the virus. To the average member of Congress, the answer here was crucial because it addressed the only two serious issues: “Am I going to die?” and “Will I be blamed and politically punished if my constituents die?” To this, he responded with what seemed like science but was actually completely wrong, dreadfully wrong, catastrophically wrong. He claimed that we knew for sure that at best Covid was 10 times deadlier than the flu. In fact, he threw around so much data confetti that a person could have easily believed that he was downplaying the severity to promote calm. His intention was the opposite.

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Pushing infection?!

“A local official in Shanghai told The Epoch Times on Dec. 27 that his office had received instructions to do whatever it could to push the city into the COVID peak status.”

How China Changed Its Zero-COVID Policy to a ‘Zero Non-COVID’ Policy (ET)

“Zero non-COVID” is the name that people in China are calling the regime’s new pandemic management policy. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has aggressively pushed the whole country towards an all-COVID-positive state. China’s annual rubber-stamp legislature is usually in session during the month of March. It is widely expected that the coming session will focus on saving China’s economy because it is on the edge of collapse after the three-year long zero-COVID policy. Party leader Xi Jinping is clearly willing to pay any price to reopen the country. Government employees of Chongqing City and Zhejiang Province received notices telling them return to their offices to work even if they have tested positive for COVID-19, as long as their symptoms are mild.

The total population of Chongqing City is more than 31 million, and Zhejiang province more than 57 million. Rumors on the Chinese internet talked about local governments of Chongqing City and Zhejiang Province being criticized by Beijing because these regions were too slow to reach a high percentage of COVID positive patients. A local official in Shanghai told The Epoch Times on Dec. 27 that his office had received instructions to do whatever it could to push the city into the COVID peak status. “Let those who are supposed to become positive become positive, and let those who are supposed to die, die,” said Song Wen (pseudonym). All state-owned media are mute about the current situation in the country, and reports from different government agencies are conflicting.

The Zhejiang Provincial government recorded one million new COVID cases on Dec. 25, while the Chinese national CDC only reported 2,983 new cases in the whole nation for the same day. The regime announced that on Jan. 8, 2023, China will totally reopen travel in and out of the country, which has triggered concern in countries around the globe. Italian officials reported on Dec. 28 that 50 percent of passengers on two flights from China tested positive for COVID. China, a country with a population of more than 1.4 billion, moved from the zero-COVID policy to a zero non-COVID policy within a month. The sudden change has left health experts worldwide feeling uncertain, because the explosion in COVID cases in China may lead to the whole world being exposed to new variants.

The Western media have widely attributed the sudden policy change to the late November White Paper protests against the zero-COVID policy in China. However, according to World Health Organization (WHO) emergencies chief Michael Ryan, the COVID spike in China was not due to the lifting of the government mandated restrictions. Before the policy change, “the disease was spreading intensively because I believe the control measures in themselves were not stopping the disease. And I believe China decided strategically that was not the best option anymore,” Ryan said.

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Wonder if this can/will carry over into other states. Perhaps not even necessary, depending on what they find.

States Grand Jury to Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Covid Vaccines (BN)

A states grand jury to investigate Big Pharma for civil and criminal wrongdoing related to its COVID-19 mRNA vaccines has been approved by the Supreme Court of Florida. “A statewide grand jury shall be promptly impaneled for a term of twelve calendar months, to run from the date of impanelment, with jurisdiction throughout the State of Florida, to investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury with regard to the offenses stated herein,” the court order stated. “The Petitioner, the Honorable Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, has alleged that good and sufficient reason exists and that it is in the public interest to impanel a statewide grand jury, with jurisdiction throughout the State of Florida, to investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury with regard to the offenses listed,” the court order continued.


The grand jury probe will have sweeping scope and will include many targets for investigation.Those include: “Individuals, persons, and entities, including, but not limited to, pharmaceutical manufacturers (and their executive officers) and other medical associations or organizations involved in the design, development, clinical testing or investigation, manufacture, marketing, representation, advertising, promotion, labeling, distribution, formulation, packing, sale, purchase, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administration, or use of vaccines purported to prevent COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and transmission.” The grand jury will also investigate “other criminal activity or wrongdoing that the statewide grand jury uncovers during the course of the investigation if it determines that pursuing the criminal activity or wrongdoing is in the best interests of the investigation.”

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“The legacy media should worry about its reputation,” Musk retorted. “We have only just begun.”

Elon Musk Says He Is ‘Open’ to Idea of Buying Out Major Media Companies (BN)

Billionaire tech CEO Elon Musk is entertaining the idea of buying out top digital media companies. Journalist and media commentator Dave Rubin started a Twitter thread discussing the tremendous influence that Google and YouTube have on the nation’s politics. “Let me get ahead of this one right now…” Rubin tweeted. “I think YouTube’s (and Google’s) manipulation for political purposes is FAR worse than Twitter’s.” “And we might find out as @rumblevideo will get discovery in its lawsuit against Google…” Rubin added. One user suggested Musk should try to buy Substack, which is a subscription-based platform used by many influential journalists.“You would have the information layer with Twitter and the narrative layer. Corporate media would then have specialize on reporting government leaks, from ‘people familiar with the matter,’” the user said.

Musk responded by saying: “I’m open to the idea.” Earlier in December, Musk also suggested he could try to buy Wikipedia, but was informed it was not for sale by its founder Jimmy Wales. The “Twitter Files,” a series of releases on Twitter showing the prior regime’s coordination between Big Tech and U.S. government agencies, has been spearheaded by a number of notable journalists, such as Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and Michael Shellenberger. The subsequent Fauci Files and forthcoming Covid Files have additionally spurred independent journalistic accountability that has been denied by corporate media and the U.S. Congress. On Wednesday, Musk dropped a ‘Fauci bomb’ that exposed Twitter’s extreme bias on Covid issues.

“Almost no one seems to realize that the head of bioethics at NIH – the person who is supposed to make sure that Fauci behaves ethically – is his wife,” Musk remarked. “‘Gain-of-function’ in this context is just another way of saying ‘bioweapon’,” Musk added. “Some good nuggets in article. Important to note that Fauci authored 2012 paper arguing for gain-of-function research! Obama wisely put this on pause, but Fauci restarted it.” “Despite these glaring issues, Twitter nonetheless had an internal Slack channel unironically called ‘Fauci Fan Club’,” he added. Dr. Pierry Kory in a Twitter Spaces on Wednesday praised Twitter for providing a forum for physicians and policy critics to discuss the pervasive bias in medicine, which would help correct the “information assymetry” that has been perpetuated by the mainstream media and in medical journals.

Elon Musk also fired a warning shot to the corporate media about his mission to protect free speech and develop a forum for actual journalism. His response came after an attack by Axios reporter Hope King on CNBC, who said that his “reputation is in danger.” “The legacy media should worry about its reputation,” Musk retorted. “We have only just begun.”

Read more …

“Putin [..] probably has a greater influence on the dollar’s future than the US Treasury and the Fed combined.”

In 2023 It Will Be All About The Dollar (Macleod)

One of the factors which supported gold in the final quarter, offsetting moderate ETF liquidation of about 300 tonnes over the year has been central bank demand, which the World Gold Council estimates to have been 364 tonnes by October. Including more recent purchases by China and others adds nearly 300 tonnes. The Chinese purchase was confirmed in recent days by Mark Bristow, CEO of Barrick Gold, the world’s second largest gold mining corporation, who claimed China had bought “tonnes of gold around the high 200-tonnes mark”. Why China has bought this gold, when it has ample bullion additional to its declared reserves, is an interesting question. The answer probably lies with President Xi’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, where it was agreed that sales of oil would be paid in yuan, replacing the petrodollar with petroyuan.

According to Aljazeera, Saudi exports to China are worth $33.4bn equivalent, while its imports are $31.8bn, so the net surplus is $1.6bn. The official communiqué referred to “levelling up trade, investment and financial cooperation”. We know that China is keen to internationalise its markets, which is what investment and financial cooperation is about. The international section of the Shanghai Gold Exchange will be used by Saudi Arabia for its yuan to gold transactions. It is therefore likely that some of China’s purchase of nearly 300 tonnes in recent weeks will be to provide liquidity to backstop this market. With regard to prospects for next year’s gold price, it should be noted that the major factor will be the fate of the dollar. It appears likely that dollar oil prices will increase in the coming months, while foreign holders of dollars will continue to reduce their dollar exposure, which in the year to October declined by $3.8 trillion.

But a rising interest rate trend leading to falling financial asset values and the petroyuan replacing the petrodollar, events could coalesce into a perfect storm for the dollar. This is not how conventional analysts look at the gold price. They would argue that higher interest rates, if they occur, will drive gold lower. But that is an argument that denies the role of gold as money. Tell that to President Putin, who by cornering global hydrocarbon supplies probably has a greater influence on the dollar’s future than the US Treasury and the Fed combined.

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Still amazed at the strength of the USD in the face of so much opposition.

USD Exchange Rates Hit Foreign Exchange Reserves (WS)

The last three years were complicated for the dominant reserve currency. At first there was the Fed’s $5-trillion money-printing orgy and interest-rate repression. Then there was raging inflation, which the Fed brushed off as “transitory.” Through this period, the dollar fell against other currencies. But then the Fed got religion and began to tighten: since March 2022, it has hiked rates by 425 basis points, accompanied over the past six months by $414 billion in QT so far. As a result, the dollar bounced off and shot higher against other currencies, particularly the euro and the yen – the #2 and #3 reserve currencies.

At the end of Q3, the share of US-dollar-denominated foreign exchange reserves rose to 59.8%, the third quarter in a row of increases, and the highest since Q3 2020, according to the IMF’s new COFER data on reserve currencies. Since the end of 2021, the share of the dollar rose by nearly 1 percentage point. But this increase came off a 26-year low at the end of 2021. Note that this does not include the dollar-denominated assets on the Fed’s balance sheet, but only dollar-denominated assets held by foreign central banks and foreign official institutions.

[..] The euro is the second largest reserve currency. The Eurozone encompasses 19 countries with a population of 340 million people. Over two decades ago, when the euro was being promoted to Europeans, they often talked about “parity” of the euro with the dollar on all levels: as global reserve currency, as trading currency, and as financing currency. This reserve currency parity made progress until the Euro Debt Crisis brought to light the euro’s structural weakness. And that put an end to this parity talk. Since then, the euro has had a share of about 20% of global reserve currencies (in Q3, 19.7%), about as large as all also-rans combined. But it was far below the dollar (black line, red dots in the chart below).

The yen (purple line at the top of the colorful spaghetti at the bottom in the chart) had a share of 5.3%. It became the #3 reserve currency in 2018, when its share surpassed that of the British pound. The British pound, the #4 reserve currency, had a share of 4.6% (blue line just under the yen in the spaghetti). The Chinese renminbi, the #5 reserve currency, dipped to a share of 2.8% in Q3 — only 2.8%, despite the huge size and global interconnection of China’s economy!

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“..the designed irrelevance of the European Union.”

My Prediction On What 2023 Will Bring (Varoufakis)

This will be the year that Europeans realize the designed irrelevance of the European Union. The quagmire in Ukraine’s killing fields will bring on the realization of the need for a diplomatic process to end the war, but also the realization that the EU is radically incapable of playing any significant role in it. Who will represent Europe in these talks? The EU’s eastern and Nordic governments trust neither Paris nor Berlin – without whom, however, there can be no EU role.


On the economic front, the German mercantilist economic model will remain broken even as inflation abates – with dire repercussions for a eurozone still reliant on German surpluses. Europe’s deepening economic and geopolitical woes will, naturally, reinforce America’s hegemony and, with it, exacerbate its chosen policy of escalating a new cold war with China. Caught up in all this, humanity will be spending another year not investing in the green transition on which our species’ future hinges.

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Competing with the BRI is just a weird pipe dream. They wanted to do it in a year. China’s been building it for many years.

1 Year On, EU Alternative To China’s Belt And Road Fails To Deliver (SCMP)

In December 2021, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stood on a Brussels podium and confidently announced that the European Union’s new infrastructure drive would be a “true alternative” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. “We are able to do that. Countries made their experience with the Chinese investments. They need better and different offers,” she said of Global Gateway, a spending drive that promised to mobilise up to €300 billion (US$318 billion) by 2027 for modern infrastructure projects outside the EU. With some blowback forming towards China’s trillion-dollar plan to connect China with the rest of the world after high-profile allegations of “debt-trap diplomacy”, both Europe and the United States were positioning to offer a different model, grounded in democratic norms, transparency of funding, and with sustainable objectives.

But one year on, observers are growing increasingly sceptical about von der Leyen’s claims. So far, Global Gateway has delivered plenty of hype, but little in terms of concrete projects, while confusion reigns in Brussels and beyond about what the initiative actually is. At a hearing in the European Parliament last month, lawmakers pressed officials for details, only to learn that none of the €300 billion would be “new”. “Global Gateway does not bring new financial means – there is no additional money when it comes to the EU level,” said Vincent Grimaud, an acting director in the commission’s department for international partnerships. The statement sparked incredulity from members of the parliament. “There’s no new money. And I’ve always held the view that if there’s no new money, there’s no new policy,” said Barry Andrews, an Irish lawmaker with the centrist Renew group.

“This is a communications exercise. It’s a strategy to put together what was already going to happen and present it as something new. And if our partners are tricked by this, then more fool them.” Hildegard Bentele, a German member from the centre-right European People’s Party, said she had been trying to find German companies who are “part of this adventure”, but had failed to locate any. “If I talk to journalists, journalists are asking me what are these Global Gateway projects? If I go on the website of the European Commission, I do not find it – this is really difficult,” she said. The commission’s efforts to promote the initiative have added to the bemusement. A recent gala event held in the metaverse to explain the Global Gateway concept to 18-35 year olds was lampooned online after just a handful of users logged on – despite the EU forking out €387,000 (US$410,000) to host it.

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“..the utter failure of the “green energy shift” in the face of real-world tests..”

TVA=Tennessee Valley Authority.

New Year, New Things (Denninger)

So it is January 1st, 2023. Those reading this made it there. That’s good, I think. With that said here’s some “news” on The Ticker itself and my intentions going forward as to focus. You can take it for whatever you think its worth, but this, from my perspective, is the right way to look at things in the world. Of course there is room for plenty of other opinions all over the ‘net and so-called “traditional media” too, so it is what it is. If you remember a big shift occurred during the second Trump impeachment coverage, which I was doing on a daily basis, including most days a podcast. That of course was Covid, which showed up right on the tail end of that. That chapter has run in America and even the “mainstream media” is reporting that (like it or not, politicians) running stories about, for example, Atlantic City and its prospects forward – – and that they’re now returning to their regularly-scheduled debate (like, for instance, can you smoke in a casino?)

We’ve got plenty to talk about, such as, for instance, the utter failure of the “green energy shift” in the face of real-world tests. In a just world people would already be in irons and headed for prison; TVA, for example, was only able to produce 68% of its claimed capacity when all of it was required. WPLN tries to blame this on “natural gas being the bet” but in fact the reality of it is that TVA has shut down what was plenty of coal capacity and they did it on purpose over the space of years without replacing that with known reliable generation. In the summer the peak of demand tends to mostly-track with when the sun is up because its hottest and, while the peak shifts a bit off noon its not at 3:00 AM. In winter it is every time; its coldest when there’s no sun at all and thus the solar generation capacity is always zero at the times of peak demand in winter.

Thus any solar you put in must be counted as zero in the winter months when things get nasty, because it will either be snowing, icing (both of which wildly cut solar cell output) or at 3:00 AM when there’s no solar radiation available at all. Wind has similar issues; you can fit windmills with heating systems but obviously they require energy and they have both a lower and upper wind limit where they either produce nothing of value or must be intentionally shut down to avoid destruction. Thus you can’t count them as anything other than zero in the winter because you can’t count something that is less than 100% available, with proper maintenance and such, as “there.” We also know that in the face of such nasty weather EVs are worthless too. They’re nice secondary vehicles, basically, but when you must be able to rely on them they’re just not up to the job. People are figuring this out and that will continue; in short how you were sold these cars and light trucks was a lie and worse, the people selling them knew all that as they did the engineering on them.

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Richard Fleming

 

 

 

 

Bernardi WEF

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 162022
 


Paul Gauguin When are you getting married? 1892

 

Twitter Nukes Liberal Pundits From Platform (ZH)
Matt Taibbi Discusses Ongoing ‘Big Picture’ Review of Twitter Files (CTH)
EU Allows US To Wipe Its Feet On The Bloc – Putin (RT)
Kiev Seizes Assets of Russian Orthodox Clerics (LI)
Vatican Apologizes For Pope’s Remarks – Moscow (RT)
European Parliament’s ‘Qatar Scandal’ Tip Of A Corruption Iceberg (Marsden)
Germany Resorts To Record Borrowing (RT)
Germany Spends $500 Billion To ‘Keep The Lights On’ – Reuters (RT)
China Downgrades Omicron Risks To Seasonal Cold (ZH)
Thousands Of Unedited Government JFK Assassination Files Released (BBC)
“Effective Altruism”: Could SBF’s Parents Be the Key to a Plea? (Turley)
Don’t Fall For It (Denninger)
Arctic Summer Sea Ice Stopped Declining a Decade Ago (DS)
Flying Insect Numbers Plunge 64% Since 2004 – UK Survey (G.)

 

 

 

 

Mr. Wonderful

 

 

 

 

Biden 2006

 

 

 

 

Pie

 

 

 

 

Xfiles

 

 

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”
– Dostoevsky

 

 

 

 

Open season has been declared on Musk. He and his family are fair game. They paint a target on him and when he wipes it off, they say: see, he doesn’t really advocate free speech!

Twitter Nukes Liberal Pundits From Platform (ZH)

Twitter on Thursday evening began purging reporters from major media outlets, just one day after new owner Elon Musk changed the platform’s “anti-doxxing” policy in response to a “crazy stalker” who climbed on the hood of a car carrying his two-year-old son. Those kicked off the platform include: Keith Olbermann of MSNBC • Ryan Mac of the NY Times • Anthony Webster of Bellingcat • Donnie O’Sullivan of CNN • Micah F. Lee of The Intercept • Matt Binder of Mashable • Drew Harwell of the Washington Post • Aaron Rupar of his mom’s basement. Also booted was the official account for Twitter competitor Mastadon, which earlier in the day posted a link to track Musk’s private jet. It was unclear what prompted the suspensions, though it appears they are related to doxxing – current or in the past.

“Same doxxing rules apply to “journalists” as to everyone else,” Musk said on Thursday evening, adding “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.” “They posted my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service,” Musk said in a subsequent tweet. [..] Aaron Rupar said in a statement to CNN’s Oliver Darcy: “I never posted anything Elon Jet related or that could violate the policy about disclosing locations. Unless the policy is that you criticize Elon and you get banned.” Except…

Corporate media has framed this as Twitter suspending journalists “who have been covering Elon Musk and the company.” A spokesperson for the NY Times said that the suspensions were ‘questionable and unfortunate,’ and said that no explanation was provided. “We hope that all of the journalists’ accounts are reinstated and that Twitter provides a satisfying explanation for this action,” said Charlie Stadtlander, communications director for the Times.

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“..Taibbi notes the current data set does not include access to the inbound requests and instructions from government officials..”

Matt Taibbi Discusses Ongoing ‘Big Picture’ Review of Twitter Files (CTH)

During a podcast Matt Taibbi describes the big picture takeaway of the data they have been permitted to review so far. Interestingly, Taibbi notes the silo effect within Twitter as the division in charge of taking action on requests is not necessarily the division that receives the requests. There is an inflection point between two silos. Taibbi notes the current data set does not include access to the inbound requests and instructions from government officials, they are limited to only seeing what happens after the request is received.


They are also limited in only seeing the activity that is taken within the action division where the accounts are restricted. The division within Twitter that was in the process of amplifying or boosting accounts, is a different silo. Additionally, as Taibbi also notes, if the scale of what they are seeing in Twitter is representative of outside contacts to other social media platforms, then he is sure Facebook, YouTube, Google, Microsoft, Instagram, Apple etc. also have a process to receive and act upon these inbound DHS/FBI instructions.

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Doormat.

EU Allows US To Wipe Its Feet On The Bloc – Putin (RT)

The current economic troubles in the EU, and the unfriendly attitude displayed by the US towards Europe, are a direct consequence of the weakness shown by the union’s leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. He made the remarks during a meeting of Russia’s council for strategic development and national projects. “Today, the EU authorities themselves say the policy of their main partner, the US, is leading directly to the de-industrialization of Europe. They are even trying to complain about that to their American overlord. Sometimes there are even words of resentment: ‘Why are you doing this to us?’ I want to ask: ‘What did you expect?’ What else happens to those who allow feet to be wiped on them?” Putin said.

Earlier this month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sounded the alarm over US economic policies, urging the EU to “take action” if it wanted to be able to compete with the US government-subsidized green industry. Von der Leyen blasted the tax breaks for consumers who buy American products, introduced under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed by President Joe Biden in August. She warned that such initiatives could “lead to unfair competition, could close markets, and thus fragment critical supply chains.” Other top EU officials have repeatedly voiced concern about an impending recession and potential decades-long deindustrialization. Early in October, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that unless Brussels were to somehow fix the situation with soaring energy prices, it was “risking massive deindustrialization of the European continent and the long-term consequences that might actually be very deep.”

The economic crisis in the EU largely stems from the bloc’s own actions, targeting Russia with a multitude of sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, Putin noted. “What exactly has Europe itself achieved by imposing the restrictions? First of all, there has been an unprecedented, as economists say, jump in inflation in their own home, the eurozone. In November, it amounted to 10% in the eurozone as a whole, with some countries showing extreme figures of more than 20%, even 25%,” Putin noted. At the same time, the collective West, unlike Russia, continues its efforts to grab any resources for itself, the Russian president stated. “Unlike Western countries, which shamelessly pull all of the blankets for themselves, Russia helps the poorest states in Africa, Asia and other regions, delivering food and other goods,” he said.

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Dangerous to go after (1,000 years of) religion.

Kiev Seizes Assets of Russian Orthodox Clerics (LI)

Ukraine has ratcheted up its campaign against a branch of the Eastern Orthodox church with ties to Russia. On the order of President Volodymyr Zelensky, seven senior clerics from the Russian Orthodox church will have their assets seized and face bans on a range of economic and legal activities. During his nightly video address on Sunday, the Ukrainian president said “by decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, sanctions were applied against seven people,” adding that his administration is “doing everything to ensure that the aggressor state does not have a single string of Ukrainian society to pull.”

According to Reuters, the new penalties mean that the seven clerics will have “their assets seized and are subject to a ban on a range of economic and legal activities as well as a de facto travel ban.” The vast majority of Ukrainians belong to Eastern Orthodox churches, with many worshiping in parishes that take direction from the Moscow Patriarchate. On December 1, Zelensky announced that Kiev would attempt to expel all religious institutions with ties to Russia, arguing the move would make “it impossible for religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine.”

The president went on the claim that the Russian Orthodox Church poses a threat to Ukrainian culture, saying “we will never allow anyone to build an empire inside the Ukrainian soul.” He additionally denounced Ukrainians who continue to attend the allegedly Russia-controlled parishes as succumbing to “the temptation of evil.” Kiev has conducted a series of raids on Russian Orthodox parishes and claims to have uncovered clerics attempting to subvert the Ukrainian government, though has provided little evidence to support its assertions. Nonetheless, Kiev sanctioned 10 top clerics of the church last week, suggesting they threatened ”the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

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“This is no longer Russophobia, it’s a perversion on a level I can’t even name..”

Vatican Apologizes For Pope’s Remarks – Moscow (RT)

The Vatican has issued a formal apology to Russia for derogatory remarks made by Pope Francis last month about some ethnic groups in the country, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. The ministry received the message on Thursday from Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. It expressed the Holy See’s respect for “all peoples of Russia, their dignity, faith and culture, just like all other nations and peoples of the world,” Zakharova told a press briefing. “The capacity to recognize one’s mistakes is becoming more rare in international relations today. This situation shows that, behind the Vatican’s calls for dialogue, there is a knack for having such a dialogue and hearing the other side,” the Russian diplomat noted. She added that Moscow considered the incident to be over.


Pope Francis made a negative generalized assessment of the character of Buryats and Chechens, two of the many ethnic groups living in Russia, in an interview published in late November. He described them as “of Russia but… not of the Russian tradition” and claimed that such people were “the cruelest” of the Russian troops in Ukraine. Moscow responded by issuing a formal note of protest to the Vatican, while many Russian officials, including Zakharova, expressed outrage about the remarks. “This is no longer Russophobia, it’s a perversion on a level I can’t even name,” the spokeswoman said at the time. The Vatican and Pope Francis personally offered mediation in the conflict in Ukraine. The pontiff previously angered Kiev by publicly recognizing that NATO’s expansion in Europe was a contributing factor in the conflict, which is part of Moscow’s position on the origin of the violent standoff with Kiev and its foreign backers.

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The EU has so far pretended there is no corruption at all.

European Parliament’s ‘Qatar Scandal’ Tip Of A Corruption Iceberg (Marsden)

In a corruption scandal that strikes at the heart of European Union governance, a vice-president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, of Greece, has been stripped of her responsibilities by the EU Parliament, had her assets frozen, and has been charged after police alleged to have found “bags of cash” at her residence. There also was a raid on the home of a Belgian MEP, Marc Tarabella, the vice-chair of the EU’s delegation for relations with the Arab peninsula. Belgian authorities paid another no-knock visit to the home of an assistant to yet another MEP. Earlier this week, authorities searched the EU Parliament offices like it was a common crime scene, reportedly seizing data.

So far, €1.5 million has been seized from private homes, with the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office accusing the four people arrested and charged with “participation in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption.” It turns out that the officials alleged to have been involved are accused of also lobbying for visa-free EU-Qatar travel and whitewashing Qatar’s labor rights record. For an institution like the European Union, which constantly preaches to other countries about how to clean up their act, you’d think they’d have some strong guardrails in place to prevent the kind of things that these charges allege. That isn’t the case. “The allegations are of utmost concern, very serious,” said an uncharacteristically measured European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. She proposed an independent ethics body to set rules for EU institutions “where there are very clear rules,” adding that it “would be a big step forward.” You mean that didn’t already exist? Why not?

Those who believe that Western democratic institutions practice what they constantly preach might be surprised to learn that the lack of checks and balances to prevent corruption at home is actually pretty staggering. Earlier this year, for example, three US congressional representatives introduced bipartisan legislation to close loopholes allowing foreign funding of think tanks, government officials, and elections. “Right now, foreign governments are able to secretly fund think tanks to push their own agendas, hire former public officials and military officers to lobby for their interests, and have their agents raise millions of dollars for political campaigns,” explained bill sponsor, Congressman Jared Golden. It’s almost like systemic corruption is just an open secret that benefits from an omertà as very few officials actually seem to want to acknowledge or address the issue.

When von der Leyen had the opportunity to address the matter with the Brussels press corps on Monday, she stonewalled journalists – much to their frustration, which they weren’t shy about expressing on Twitter. According to Politico, one journalist even shouted at von der Leyen as she was leaving, “You didn’t answer a single one of the questions.” It’s not exactly the kind of behavior you might expect from someone who routinely speaks of holding others accountable for corruption, a lack of transparency, and other undemocratic practices.

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“..the German government has set out a €200 billion “defensive shield” to protect households and businesses from soaring prices..”

Germany Resorts To Record Borrowing (RT)

Germany’s federal government intends to issue a record volume of debt next year to fund costs associated with the energy crisis, the German Finance Agency has revealed. According to the plan released on Wednesday, debt issuance will balloon to about €539 billion ($573 billion) in 2023 from €449 billion this year. The previous record was in 2021, when the government was attempting to offset the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Borrowing next year will reportedly include federal bonds worth €274 billion and a further €242 billion to be sold on the money market. In addition, between €15 billion and €17 billion will be raised via green federal securities and between €6 billion and €8 billion via inflation-linked federal securities, the agency said.

The plan is “dramatic,” according to Elmar Voelker, a senior fixed-income analyst at LBBW Research in Stuttgart. He told Bloomberg that “on the one hand, yields on longer-dated [bonds] could come under additional upward pressure as investors demand compensation for taking up the additional supply. On the other, the structural shortage of [bonds] could ease a good deal as a result of the additional supply.” According to Reuters, the country’s spending is expected to exceed revenues in the coming year, when the federal government will also have to repay securities worth more than €325 billion to investors.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has been struggling to cope with skyrocketing gas and electricity costs. The nation, which relies mainly on natural gas to power its industry, has vowed to replace imports from its major supplier Russia by as early as mid-2024. However, the attempts to diversify gas supplies have contributed to the current energy crunch. EU sanctions pressure, maintenance issues, as well as the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, have further exacerbated the problem. In response to the energy crisis, the German government has set out a €200 billion “defensive shield” to protect households and businesses from soaring prices.

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“Where does the German economy stand? If we look at price inflation, it has a high fever.”

Germany Spends $500 Billion To ‘Keep The Lights On’ – Reuters (RT)

Germany has reportedly allocated nearly $500 billion to shore up its energy supplies and “keep the lights on” since the Russia-Ukraine conflict began last February, but the spending binge might not be enough to weather the crisis. The estimated total shows the “cumulative scale” so far of energy bailouts and other schemes that Berlin has employed amid surging oil and natural gas prices and the loss of imports from Russia, Reuters reported on Thursday. The media outlet called the various outlays an “energy bazooka” – equating to $5,400 per resident in Germany, 12% of GDP and an estimated $1.6 billion per day since the conflict in Eastern Europe started – and it added that still more spending may be needed.

“How severe the crisis will be and how long it will last greatly depends on how the energy crisis will develop,” Michael Gromling, head of macroeconomic research at the German Economic Institute, told Reuters. The economic effects of the conflict stem largely from anti-Russia sanctions imposed by the US, Germany and other NATO members. Despite Western efforts to punish and isolate Moscow, Russian government revenue from oil and gas exports has more than doubled from a year earlier to 10 trillion rubles, about $160 billion, in 2022’s first 11 months. Over the same period, rising energy earnings helped push the government budget surplus to 557 billion rubles.

However, as Reuters noted, Europe’s biggest economy now finds itself “at the mercy” of the weather. “Energy rationing is a risk in the event of a long cold spell this winter, Germany’s first in half a century without Russian gas,” the outlet pointed out. Stefan Kooths, vice president at Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy, said uncertain energy supplies have pushed the country’s economy to a “very critical phase.” He added, “Where does the German economy stand? If we look at price inflation, it has a high fever.” Reuters based its calculation of Germany’s spending on bailout packages for energy companies, LNG import infrastructure and funding to help utilities and traders buy gas and coal. “Despite these efforts, there is little certainty over how the country can replace Russia,” the outlet said.

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From sealing people into their apartments to ‘it’s just a cold’ in no time flat. Something must have spooked Xi.

China Downgrades Omicron Risks To Seasonal Cold (ZH)

Although easing zero Covid restrictions in China will be met with reopening hardships as infections soar, earlier this week, one of the top medical advisers in the country said that the omicron variant of the virus is no worse than the flu. Now some Chinese cities are downgrading Covid even further, saying it’s the same as the seasonal cold, and there is no need to panic. We pointed out earlier this week that China’s renowned respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan downplayed the risks of the omicron subvariant of Covid-19. He said the death rate from omicron is .1%, equivalent to the common flu, and the infection doesn’t reach the lungs, adding most healthy people recover in less than ten days.

Zhong’s comments come as Beijing pivots from zero Covid to reopen the economy and prevent further economic deceleration. Officials are now telling people they must learn to live with Covid — a similar move that worked in Western countries. According to Shanghai Morning Post, Guangzhou health authorities have assured the public that Covid is less severe than the flu and no more serious than a seasonal cold: s”The virulence of the new coronavirus [Omicron] has now evolved to the level of the seasonal flu, and some are even less virulent than the flu, so you really don’t need to panic,” said Tang Xiaoping, director of the No 8 People’s Hospital in Guangzhou and head of the national key clinical department of infectious diseases.

China downplaying the severity of Covid from flu to cold is the latest sign Beijing is attempting to calm fears and quickly reopen the economy. And why would they be doing that? Well, check out overnight economic data: Overnight, a slew of economic data led to a decline in business activity in November. Retail sales fell 5.9% last month from a year earlier — the biggest decline in consumer spending since May — caused mainly by lockdowns. The unemployment situation also worsened to 5.7% last month, the highest level in six months. And industrial production only rose to 2.2%, about half of October’s figures.

Stones

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Coming clean? Tucker Carlson has far more interesting info than the MSM.

Thousands Of Unedited Government JFK Assassination Files Released (BBC)

The White House has ordered the release of thousands of documents on the murder of US President John F Kennedy in full for the first time.With the publication of some 13,173 files online, the White House said more than 97% of records in the collection were now publicly available. No huge revelations are expected from the papers, but historians hope to learn more about the alleged assassin. Kennedy was shot during a visit to Dallas, Texas, on 22 November 1963. A 1992 law required the government to release all documents on the assassination by October 2017. On Thursday, President Joe Biden issued an executive order authorising the latest disclosure. But he said some files would be kept under wraps until June 2023 to protect against possible “identifiable harm”. The US National Archives said that 515 documents would remain withheld in full, and another 2,545 documents would be partly withheld.


A 1964 US inquiry, the Warren Commission, found that Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, a US citizen who had previously lived in the Soviet Union, and that he acted alone. He was killed in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters two days after his arrest. JFK’s death spawned decades of conspiracy theories, but on Thursday the CIA said the US spy agency had “never engaged” Oswald, and did not withhold information about him from US investigators. Long-time JFK academics and theorists have hoped the latest release would reveal more information about Oswald’s activities in Mexico City, where he met a Soviet KGB officer in October 1963. In its latest statement, the CIA said that all information held by the agency relating to his trip to Mexico City had previously been released, adding: “There is no new information on this topic in the 2022 release.”

Tucker JFK

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“The parents have the misfortune of looking like the type of low-hanging fruit prosecutors find irresistible..”

“Effective Altruism”: Could SBF’s Parents Be the Key to a Plea? (Turley)

As Sam Bankman-Fried faces an eight-count indictment for his alleged massive crypto-fraud, his case could take a sudden turn toward resolution. The prosecutors may have the ultimate inducement for a plea to dangle over Bankman-Fried — actually two: Bankman and Fried. SBF, as he’s known, is not the only person at risk here, particularly with prosecutors making repeated references to unnamed “co-conspirators.” Two at risk could prove his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried. While there’s no proof of criminal acts on their part, Bankman-Fried surprisingly involved his parents in aspects of his alleged fraudulent operation. If so, the case could bring new meaning to the doctrine of in loco parentis, when people act “in place of a parent” or “instead of a parent.”

Federal prosecutors are notorious for targeting family members as a quarry’s vulnerability; do they see such an opening in Bankman-Fried’s parents’ role in litigating this massive alleged fraud? Both parents of SBF and his close associate and ex-girlfriend, Alameda Research head Caroline Ellison, 28, are professors at leading universities. Ellison’s parents are Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors; Bankman-Fried’s parents are Stanford Law professors. Both children are obviously bright, precocious “fac brats” who spoke of using investments for good deeds. Ellison has said she had only one job before moving over to Alameda and finding herself making huge decisions. Ellison is an obvious target for a cooperation agreement, and her counsel may be moving quickly to get her a chair before the music stops on the next round of indictments.

The more intriguing prospect, however, is using SBF’s parents as his most vulnerable pressure point. The Justice Department has previously targeted family members, as in the Michael Flynn case, to muscle defendants into pleas. While we’ve seen Justice give targets sharply different treatment in past cases, there’s ample reason for the parents to be concerned. Joseph Bankman, a longtime Stanford Law School tax professor, was a paid employee of his son and helped promote the company. He spent considerable time in the Bahamas with Sam during the critical periods of alleged fraud. He and his wife may have benefited from some of the lavish expenditures the Justice Department cited in its indictment, including staying in a $16.4 million house in Old Fort Bay, a gated community in Nassau.

Stanford Law prof Barbara Fried didn’t appear to work for the company but reportedly used money from her son in her Democratic political-advocacy network. Fried, 71, resigned last month as board chairwoman of a political-donor network, Mind the Gap, which she’d helped start to support Democratic campaigns and causes. Fried, who retired this year from Stanford, is an expert on the intersection of law and philosophy. She has notably written about effective altruism, the charitable movement her son and Ellison embraced. SBF pursued effective-altruism models while studying at MIT and later co-founded Alameda. The left heralded Bankman-Fried as showing that effective altruism had “real and growing political power, and an increasing ability to noticeably change the world.”

[..] The parents have the misfortune of looking like the type of low-hanging fruit prosecutors find irresistible. In an ordinary case, they would be on top of the targets list. Reports the parents are concerned they could be financially ruined by legal costs may only increase the interest in using them to pressure their son.

SBF

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“..even if the energy from the fusion reactions exceeds the energy from the lasers, it’s still only around one percent of the total energy used..”

Don’t Fall For It (Denninger)

Breathlessly, I tell you, breathlessly, over-unity fusion has been achieved! Don’t buy that bullshit; they’re lying. Specifically its crap until you can show me all of the following: A sustainable reaction that continues for hours, not microseconds. I can’t make power out of a single microsecond event. I can make power out of a reaction that continues for hours and evolves energy while doing so. Until you can do the latter you have nothing and nothing in the current results, assuming they’re real, nor anything in prior results suggests progress toward that. The over-parity ratio of energy output to input is exponentially (that is, by at least 10x) high. A conventional nuclear fission plant requires about 10% of the output nameplate rating in input power just to operate.

This is why you can’t black-start such a plant [..] and this also, to a large degree, applies to other conventional energy such as coal. The scrubbers, conveyors, grinding apparatus for the input fuel and similar all require a lot of energy input, so you have to get a lot back out to make it worth it. Coal, natural gas, nuclear fission and oil all do. Until fusion can produce 10x as much energy on the output side as you put in to cause the fusion its a laboratory curiosity piece, not a source of commercial power. Exactly zero progress has been made toward that in the last 50+ years. The energy produced has to be able to be captured and converted into usable power of some form, either chemical, mechanical or electrical, and thus the above point must be measured after said conversion.

Gamma rays are energy but they’re not usable thus until and unless you can transform them into one of those forms they don’t count. Yes, on a physics level energy is energy but in terms of practical use that is not true and it is fraudulent to represent that which is not the case to others. You must be able to source the reactants with the product energy and have enough left over to be operationally viable as a business. This is non-trivial as well because the fusion we have achieved thus far requires deuterium and/or tritium. Both are exceedingly rare hydrogen isotopes (about ~150 per million for deuterium) and because they are chemically the same as ordinary hydrogen separating them is a five-alarm pain in the neck that requires a great deal of energy itself. In addition tritium is atomically unstable (that is, it decays) so you can’t store it permanently either (deuterium is atomically stable, on the other hand, so with deuterium you can.) Let me know when there’s a viable engineering pathway to the above.

Until then keep they breathless exclamations to yourself; you’re making a fool of yourself promoting and cheering on crap, beyond continuing work on possibly reaching those above points — at some far, far into the future and only after someone pulls a “Scotty” in terms of a breakthrough that today we have no engineering path that places it within reach. And incidentally, if you think they actually got back more than they put in, even leaving the externalities above aside, you were conned on that too. Here’s the salient statement from the article itself: But that changed in the dead of night on Dec. 5. At 1 AM local time, researchers used laser beams to zap a tiny pellet of hydrogen fuel. The lasers produced 2.05 megajoules of energy, and the pellet released roughly 3.15 megajoules.

Sounds great, right? Uh, no…. “It is a big scientific step,” says Ryan McBride, a nuclear engineer at the University of Michigan. But, McBride adds, that does not mean that NIF itself is producing power. For one thing, he says, the lasers require more than 300 megajoules worth of electricity to produce around 2 megajoules of ultraviolet laser light. In other words, even if the energy from the fusion reactions exceeds the energy from the lasers, it’s still only around one percent of the total energy used.

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“What they are doing is not science but propaganda..”

Arctic Summer Sea Ice Stopped Declining a Decade Ago (DS)

Arctic summer sea ice stopped declining a decade ago, but green activists have spared no effort to continue promoting the poster scare that humans will cause it all to disappear within a few years. In his recent BBC Frozen Planet II agitprop, Sir David Attenborough claimed it might all be gone by 2035. In an excellent piece of investigative reporting titled Lies, Damned Lies and Arctic Graphs, the climate writer Tony Heller recently lifted the lid on many of the tactics used to keep the scare in the headlines. “They bury all the oWhat they are doing is not science but propaganda,”lder data and pretend they don’t notice sea ice is increasing again. he charges. he Daily Sceptic has written a number of articles of late noting that summer sea ice extent in the Arctic is recovering. In Greenland, I recently reported, the ice sheet may have increased in the year to August 2022. Invariably, social media commentators reply by publishing the sea ice graph below, compiled by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

This is reproduced from Heller’s YouTube work and shows a linear decrease in September (the lowest point of annual sea ice) from 1979. There is something wrong with this graph, notes Heller, since the minimum is actually higher now than 10 and 15 years ago, but the crude straight black ‘trend’ line tricks the eye into missing this. He plots the data as a moving average to show the real trend more clearly. We see here the end of the decline in summer sea ice started a decade ago. The low point on which most fanciful forecasts of a North Pole passage are based is 2012. Heller notes that sea ice changes are cyclical, not linear. And he is right. Drawing a straight line down from a 1979 high point to a lower point tells us nothing about current trends.

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Poison.

Flying Insect Numbers Plunge 64% Since 2004 – UK Survey (G.)

The number of insects splattered on vehicle number plates in Britain fell by 64% between 2004 and 2022, according to a survey. Each summer citizen scientists record the number of insect splats on their number plates on an app after a journey. The latest Bugs Matter report, produced by Kent Wildlife Trust and Buglife, found another drop in 2022 compared with 2021, with the long-term decrease jumping by five percentage points. The survey supports other scientific studies showing major and ongoing declines in flying insects in western Europe this century that potentially imperil food chains, plant and crop pollination and ultimately life on Earth. Andrew Whitehouse of Buglife said: “For the second year running, Bugs Matter has shown potentially catastrophic declines in the abundance of flying insects.

Urgent action is required to address the loss of the diversity and abundance of insect life. We will look to our leaders at Cop15 for decisive action to restore nature at scale – both for wildlife and for the health and wellbeing of future generations.” The study found continued declines from 2021 to 2022 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, but this summer appears to have been a better season for flying insects in Scotland. The decline since 2004 in Scotland was 48.5% in 2021 but just 40.3% in 2022. The Bugs Matter survey data is collected when people download a free app and record the insects splattered on their number plates during car journeys over the summer. Nearly 7,000 volunteers have signed up and 4,140 journeys were analysed in 2022’s data. Short journeys and trips in the rain are excluded.

The project is keen to recruit more participants for the 2023 recording, which starts on 1 June next year. Evan Bowen-Jones, the chief executive of Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “Thanks to citizen scientists across the country, we are building a better picture of the health of our insect populations and already we are seeing some concerning patterns in the data. “However, we need more citizen scientists to take part in the Bugs Matter survey next year and into the future, to understand whether we are seeing actual long-term trends or the impact of the extreme temperatures we faced in 2022.”

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Edward Dowd


In 1992, around 29,000 rubber ducks fell off a cargo ship in the Pacific Ocean. This is where they made landfall.

 

 

Ice deer

 

 


An aurochs from a cave in Calabria, made between 12,000 and 14,000 years ago. The wild ancestor of domesticated cattle. The last aurochs died in 1627, one of the first recorded cases of an extinction.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 012022
 


Pablo Picasso Coffee maker 1943

 

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

 

 

Brilliant T-shirt sold in Japan.

 

 

Reed Hastings

 

 

 

 

Tucker DealBook

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Judge Nap Macgregor

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

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

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

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

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

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In the background, these preparations continue.

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

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

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

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

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

China Wants More Russian Gas (RT)

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


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

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You can hear the Chinese laughing in the background.

Russian Coal Exports Shift To China (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DeSantis

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU Threatens Musk With Twitter Ban (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tucker Apple

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Musk has promised full disclosure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cryptome Founder Asks to Be Indicted With Assange (Lauria)

The founder of a U.S.-based website that earlier published the same un-redacted documents that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange was later indicted for has invited the U.S. Department of Justice to make him a co-defendant with Assange. “Cryptome published the decrypted unredacted State Department Cables on September 1, 2011 prior to publication of the cables by WikiLeaks,” John Young wrote in a Justice Department submission form, which Young posted on Twitter on Tuesday. “No US official has contacted me about publishing the unredacted cables since cryptome published them,” he wrote. “I respectfully request that the Department of Justice add me as a co-defendant in the prosecution of Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act.”

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

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

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Musk 2008

 

 

 

 

Parking

 

 

DogBrush

 

 

Holidog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1597858949772234752

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 162022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Self portrait with Saskia 1636

 

Russia, India, China, Iran: The Quad That Really Matters (Escobar)
China Embraces Multipolar World – FM (RT)
Findings Suggest Missile That Hit Poland Was Fired By Ukrainian Forces (AP)
Biden Suggests Russia Not Behind Poland ‘Missile Strike’ (RT)
Biden Unveils $37BN More In Emergency Ukraine Aid (ZH)
Conflict In Ukraine Is Hybrid War – Lavrov (RT)
France’s Macron Urges More Chinese Pressure To End Ukraine War (AlA)
US Goal Is To Destroy Russia – Security Chief (RT)
Conflict In Ukraine Best Thing To Happen To US In 10 Years – Roger Waters (RT)
Twitter Blue Was The Most Effective Anti-Capitalist Tool Ever (Blankenship)
The Aftermath and After That (Kunstler)
Roll Back ‘Election Month’ Or Learn To Take Advantage Of It (Fed.)
‘Ballot Curing’ Might Cost Lauren Boebert Her Colorado Seat (Li)
Trump Announces 2024 Campaign: ‘We Have To Get Out Of This Ditch’ (JTN)

 

 

The original western story was that the missile found in Poland was fired by Russia. Now we find it was an S-300 fired by Ukraine, ostensibly to intercept Russian missiles. But S-300 batteries cost $120-150 million each. And: “The S-300 is a series of long range surface-to-air missile systems. Because of the production backlogs and limited fielding to date, few systems will be available for transfer to Ukraine (from Oct 2022). According to the IISS Military Balance, the Ukrainians had about 250 S-300s before the war.

Maybe it’s me, but it sounds curious. And the trajectory also looks weird. It won’t have come from the Polish side. But where then? Belarus is the only option. We’ll keep on reading. BTW: Russia fired 100 missiles into Ukraine. One dead.

 

 

Jesse Watters

 

 

Mr. Wonderful

 

 

 

 


Half of world’s GDP is in 3,6% of the land area.

 

 

“We went from “2 weeks to flatten the curve” to “we’re going to change your child’s sex, ration your food and gasoline, digitize your currency, make ballot gathering and counting a 2 month ordeal, you’ll own nothing and be happy, and if you aren’t, you’re a threat to democracy”

 

 

 

 

What happens in the real world…

Russia, India, China, Iran: The Quad That Really Matters (Escobar)

Southeast Asia is right at the center of international relations for a whole week viz a viz three consecutive summits: Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh, the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Bali, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok. Eighteen nations accounting for roughly half of the global economy represented at the first in-person ASEAN summit since the Covid-19 pandemic in Cambodia: the ASEAN 10, Japan, South Korea, China, India, US, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. With characteristic Asian politeness, the summit chair, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (or “Colombian”, according to the so-called “leader of the free world”), said the plenary meeting was somewhat heated, but the atmosphere was not tense: “Leaders talked in a mature way, no one left.”

It was up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express what was really significant at the end of the summit. While praising the “inclusive, open, equal structure of security and cooperation at ASEAN”, Lavrov stressed how Europe and NATO “want to militarize the region in order to contain Russia and China’s interests in the Indo-Pacific.” A manifestation of this policy is how “AUKUS is openly aiming at confrontation in the South China Sea,” he said. Lavrov also stressed how the West, via the NATO military alliance, is accepting ASEAN “only nominally” while promoting a completely “unclear” agenda. What’s clear though is how NATO “has moved towards Russian borders several times and now declared at the Madrid summit that they have taken global responsibility.”

This leads us to the clincher: “NATO is moving their line of defense to the South China Sea.” And, Lavrov added, Beijing holds the same assessment. Here, concisely, is the open “secret” of our current geopolitical incandescence. Washington’s number one priority is the containment of China. That implies blocking the EU from getting closer to the key Eurasia drivers – China, Russia, and Iran – engaged in building the world’s largest free trade/connectivity environment. Adding to the decades-long hybrid war against Iran, the infinite weaponizing of the Ukrainian black hole fits into the initial stages of the battle. For the Empire, Iran cannot profit from becoming a provider of cheap, quality energy to the EU. And in parallel, Russia must be cut off from the EU. The next step is to force the EU to cut itself off from China.

All that fits into the wildest, warped Straussian/neo-con wet dreams: to attack China, by emboldening Taiwan, first Russia must be weakened, via the instrumentalization (and destruction) of Ukraine. And all along the scenario, Europe simply has no agency.

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“Putin had also said that he and Xi “hold largely the same views on addressing the world’s problems.”

China Embraces Multipolar World – FM (RT)

Beijing will cooperate with Moscow to build a multipolar world, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday, after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. “China is ready to work with Russia and other like-minded countries to promote the development of a multipolar world, firmly support the democratization of international relations, and defend the international system based on the United Nations,” he said, according to remarks posted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Wang’s phrasing echoes statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, when they met in Beijing in early February. Putin had also said that he and Xi “hold largely the same views on addressing the world’s problems.”

In a cordial meeting with his Russian colleague on Tuesday, Wang also said Beijing would “continue to take an objective and fair stand” on the conflict in Ukraine and “play a constructive role in facilitating peace talks.” China also praised Russia’s “rational and responsible position” on the use of nuclear weapons. Moscow has repeatedly and explicitly reaffirmed its commitment to the joint statement against nuclear war by the five major atomic powers, adopted in January, that nuclear war is unacceptable and should never be fought. That hasn’t stopped Western governments from accusing Russia of making nuclear threats, as US President Joe Biden did in his meeting with Xi on Monday.


While Xi’s remarks before and after the meeting with Biden expressed a desire to improve relations with the US, the Chinese president also clearly set out Beijing’s “red lines.” He warned the US against supporting separatists on the island of Taiwan and asked Washington to live up to its written commitments. “A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country. He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world,” Xi told Biden.

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Use article 5 against Ukraine?

Findings Suggest Missile That Hit Poland Was Fired By Ukrainian Forces (AP)

Poland said a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people, though US President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely” it was fired from Russia. The blast, which Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy decried as “a very significant escalation”, prompted Biden to call an emergency meeting of G-7 and Nato leaders. A deliberate, hostile attack on Nato member Poland could trigger a collective military response by the alliance. But key questions around the circumstances of the missile launch remained amid the confusion caused by a blistering series of Russian airstrikes across the nearby border in Ukraine, none larger than who fired it. Russia denied any involvement in the Poland blast.


Three US officials said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one amid the crushing salvo against Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the matter publicly. That assessment and Biden’s comments at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia contradict information earlier Tuesday from a senior US intelligence official who told the AP that Russian missiles crossed into Poland. The Polish government said it was investigating and raising its level of military preparedness. Biden pledged support for Poland’s investigation. A statement from the Polish Foreign Ministry identified the weapon as being made in Russia. President Andrzej Duda was more cautious, saying that it was “most probably” Russian-made but that its origins were still being verified.

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“..it is unlikely, in the minds of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia..”

Biden Suggests Russia Not Behind Poland ‘Missile Strike’ (RT)

US President Joe Biden said it is “unlikely” that Russia was behind an alleged missile strike on a Polish border town that left two people dead, noting that the trajectory of the munition was inconsistent with an attack launched by Russian forces. Speaking to reporters at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday morning following early consultations with NATO members, Biden was asked whether it was “too early to say whether this missile was fired from Russia.” “There is preliminary information that contests that,” Biden answered, adding “I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate, but it is unlikely, in the minds of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia. But we’ll see. We’ll see.”

The White House previously said Biden had convened an “emergency” roundtable among senior officials from NATO states, as well as Japan, to discuss the mysterious explosion in Przewodow, Poland on Tuesday. In a joint statement after the sit-down, the leaders said they agreed to “support Poland’s investigation” into the incident and would “remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps.” It is unclear what action might be taken in response, as officials say that will be determined by the findings of their probe. However Warsaw previously suggested it could invoke NATO’s Article 4 provision, which requires the bloc’s 30 states to hold consultations if any member believes they are under military threat or wishes to discuss any other “issue of concern.” The measure is distinct from Article 5, a collective security guarantee that compels all NATO states to come to the defense of another member.


According to Reuters, Polish President Andrzej Duda said it is “highly probable” Poland would soon invoke Article 4, though added investigators currently lack concrete evidence pointing to any responsible party behind the blast. While Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky wasted little time before pinning the explosion on Moscow, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement denying any responsibility, insisting that photos circulating in Polish media purporting to show missile fragments “have nothing to do with Russian weapons.” The ministry added that such allegations are “a deliberate provocation in order to escalate the situation.” Hours after the blast on Tuesday, the US military said it could not corroborate claims of Russian involvement, apparently rebutting an earlier Associated Press report citing an unnamed US intelligence official who said a Russian missile had struck the Polish village.

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How much of the previous “aid” did Ukraine “invest” with FTX? That would all be gone now?!

Biden Unveils $37BN More In Emergency Ukraine Aid (ZH)

At the close of a wild roller-coaster of a day following the alleged “Russian missile attack” on a Polish border town, and despite little to nothing in the way of official confirmation of just what happened or whodunnit, and urgent phone calls flying between Western heads of state pledging “solidarity” – it’s perfect timing for the US to shovel out another nearly $40 billion to Ukraine… “President Joe Biden is asking Congress to provide more than $37 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine, a massive infusion of cash that could help support the nation as Russian forces suffer battlefield losses in their nine-month-old invasion,” Reuters is reporting late in the day. Biden unveiled the proposed massive aid infusion while at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

It was also announced just as President Biden held a phone call with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda following the explosion in the village of Przewodów. Biden offered Poland “full U.S support for and assistance with Poland’s investigation” and “reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to NATO,” according to a call readout. The two leaders also vowed to remain in “close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation proceeds.” According to a breakdown of the fresh aid proposed for Ukraine, it includes “$21.7 billion for military, intelligence and other defense support, $14.5 billion in humanitarian aid and to help keep the Ukrainian government functioning, $900 million for health care and support services for Ukrainians living in the U.S. and $626 million for nuclear security support to Ukraine and for modernizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”


This follows Ukraine’s President Zelensky urging more, more, more weapons and funding, especially missiles, artillery shells, and anti-air defense systems. According to more from Reuters, “Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said that more than three-fourths of the $40 billion approved by Congress earlier this year for Ukraine has already been disbursed or committed.”

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“..Russia is essentially facing Western nations, which triggered the crisis in the first place..”

Conflict In Ukraine Is Hybrid War – Lavrov (RT)

The conflict in Ukraine is a hybrid war, in which Russia is essentially facing Western nations, which triggered the crisis in the first place, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. He gave the assessment on Tuesday on the sidelines of the summit of G20 leaders in Indonesia. The minister, who heads the Russian delegation, said that the US and its allies were pushing to include the Ukraine issue in the final declaration, which participants are set to sign on Wednesday. “They wanted to add wording that would have condemned the actions of Russia on behalf of the entire G20 club, including Russia itself,” Lavrov said. Moscow’s delegation believes the issue to be irrelevant to the agenda of the gathering, but suggested reflecting the difference of opinion about it, he added.

“Sure, there is a war underway in Ukraine. A hybrid war that was unleashed by the West and which it prepared for many years, starting with the moment it supported the [2014] armed coup [in Ukraine] and the empowerment of openly racist and neo-Nazi powers” there, the diplomat added. The launch this week of an EU mission, which aims to train 15,000 Ukrainian troops over two years, is the latest example of how Western nations are taking part in the “hybrid war”, Lavrov told journalists. The arming and funding of Ukrainian troops, supply of intelligence and assistance in picking targets for military action, which Western nations do, make them participants, he explained.


Lavrov noted that Western nations resembled the USSR in the way they championed the Ukraine cause at unrelated forums. During a Communist Party gathering at some Soviet factory, which was supposed to be about some manufacturing issues, “it was considered correct to start a discussion with the obligatory condemnation of American imperialism. Western nations have used a similar approach at the G20,” he noted. By repeating the mantra about Russia’s supposedly “unprovoked aggression”against Ukraine, Western nations are convincing non-aligned countries that the conflict was actually provoked by them and was not an act of aggression by Russia, but a legitimate response to threats created by the West, Lavrov stated.

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No, you can’t drive a wedge between China and Russia.

France’s Macron Urges More Chinese Pressure To End Ukraine War (AlA)

French President Emmanuel Macron urged China’s Xi Jinping on Tuesday to bring Russia to the negotiating table over the war in Ukraine, the presidency said. The two leaders held talks just before the opening of the G20 summit in Indonesia, Bali, where Moscow is under pressure over its eight-month invasion and its disastrous consequences for global food and energy prices. Macron called on Xi to “pass messages to President Putin to avoid escalation and return seriously to the negotiating table,” the French presidency told reporters after talks that lasted nearly an hour. The pair shook hands as they opened talks, with Macron saying the nations must “unite forces to respond… to international crises like Russia’s war in Ukraine.”


Xi made no direct mention of the conflict, according to a readout on Chinese state news agency Xinhua, but described the world as being in a “period of turbulence and transformation” and called for “openness and cooperation.” The pair met a day after Xi held marathon talks with US President Joe Biden, with the leaders vowing to prevent their rivalry from spilling over into outright conflict. Xi, on his second overseas trip since the pandemic, has commanded the spotlight in Bali — with officials lining up to hold face-to-face talks with the leader of the world’s second-largest economy.

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“The US wants to weaken and destroy Russia, and is using Ukraine as a “battering ram” to achieve that goal..”

US Goal Is To Destroy Russia – Security Chief (RT)

The US wants to weaken and destroy Russia, and is using Ukraine as a “battering ram” to achieve that goal, the secretary of Russia’s national Security Council has warned. While Washington declares Russia “a source of instability”, it also fosters “anti-Russian alliances, builds up military strength, deploys NATO forces at our border,” Nikolay Patrushev said on Tuesday during a government meeting. “The puppet Kiev regime, which took power through a coup that was supported by [the US and its closest allies], is being used as a battering ram against Russia,” Patrushev added, as quoted by TASS news agency. “The US goal is to weaken, disunite and ultimately destroy our nation.” The official claimed Washington will stop at nothing to achieve its “selfish goals” aimed at global supremacy and is pushing the world “towards a global war” through policies that pit other nations against each other.


Patrushev made the remarks during a meeting on Russian domestic security, which he chaired in the city of Bryansk. He called for possible safety lapses at strategic sites to be fixed, and said Ukrainian saboteurs pose an increasing threat to Russia and its people. “Attempts to infiltrate Russian territory by members of radical and extremist structures, who seek to conduct sabotage activities and terrorist attacks, have significantly increased,” he stated. Transport and energy sites are of particular interest for would-be plotters, he stressed. Patrushev added that Russian law enforcement agencies have thwarted 28 terrorism-related crimes this year, including nine attempted acts of sabotage.

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“..because it was “really good for business.”

Conflict In Ukraine Best Thing To Happen To US In 10 Years – Roger Waters (RT)

British rock star Roger Waters has hit out against the US for profiting off of the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which he says Washington allowed to happen because it was beneficial to American interests. Discussing US foreign policy on the Bad Faith podcast on YouTube, the Pink Floyd co-founder stated that the conflict in Ukraine was “the best thing to happen to them in the last 10 years,” because it was “really good for business.” “Part of their business is making money from the war through making weapons and selling them to the people and taking the profits from it,” Waters explained, adding that this money never goes to ordinary people. “It’s not you or me, not ordinary people who invest in the war industry. It’s people with tons of cash, and they get very well paid when there’s war.”


Another benefit of the war for the political establishment, according to Waters, is that it allows it to convince people who struggle to make ends meet and end up homeless that their woes are the fault of the Russians and Putin, who is compared to Hitler and accused of being responsible for “destroying everyone’s lives.” Waters says he has now been banned from performing in Poland for openly criticizing the West’s military meddling and calling for peace between Russia and Ukraine. Previously, the musician had written letters personally addressed to presidents Vladimir Putin, Zelensky and Joe Biden, calling for diplomatic talks to end the conflict, stating it is “the worst possible thing that can be happening,” due to the potential of an all-out nuclear war.

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??

Twitter Blue Was The Most Effective Anti-Capitalist Tool Ever (Blankenship)

If you’re anything like me then you hate billionaires. In fact, more than that, you also really, really hate the corporations that dominate our day-to-day life. The ongoing controversy surrounding social media platform Twitter, particularly its now-defunct ‘Blue’ paid verification scheme, is embarrassing the world’s richest man and causing large multinationals to lose tens of billions in market capitalization. At the end of October, billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk completed a $44-million deal to take over Twitter. He immediately cut thousands of jobs, including many in the communications department and from high-ranking positions in charge of trust and safety. Then Twitter Blue, a service that provides official verification for an $8-per-month fee, was rolled out. Chaos ensued after that and the service was suspended.

To be specific, tons of impersonators posed as prominent public figures. We saw the fake accounts of George W. Bush and Tony Blair lament that they miss killing Iraqis; meanwhile, someone pretending to be OJ Simpson admitted to murder. But what was more consequential was the fact that large brands were impersonated. For instance, an account claiming to be pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co said the company was giving away free insulin and immediately plunged its stocks. An account supposedly representing Lockheed Martin also said it was halting weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US pending human-rights investigations. The weapons contractor also saw its stocks crater in response to these tweets.


The list goes on. Companies like Chiquita, American Girl, Roblox, BP and Tesla, as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) were impersonated by Twitter users and made controversial statements. These ranged from praising apartheid in Israel to saying that a fruit company had overthrown Brazil’s government. For its part, Twitter is in hot water over this situation. That’s obviously why it suspended its verification system, and, at the same time, Elon Musk has said the company could face bankruptcy in the near future. There’s no doubt that the social media platform has lost significant value since the Tesla CEO’s takeover, probably to the tune of several billion. The roll-out of Twitter Blue was a predictable disaster that posed serious challenges to advertisers, clearly, which is why they’ve bounced from the social media platform.

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“..if she loses, she is prepared to sue the living shit out of Maricopa County election officials and Katie Hobbs – whose position as AZ Secretary of State left her in charge of an election she ran in..”

The Aftermath and After That (Kunstler)

The stalling of election results also allows for wholesale correction of results that don’t come in as desired. At a certain threshold, the Marc Elias Lawfare-sponsored ballot-harvesting machinery kicks in and, voila, ten thousand or so mail-in ballots appear courtesy of, say, the Culinary Workers Union in Nevada, and … problem solved! The correct candidates win! My guess is that this happened in other select districts all over the USA. Will it be detected and looked into? Probably not. That would be election denial, a newly-taboo toxic reservoir of “disinformation.” Which is why the Arizona governor’s race, where the dynamic Kari Lake (R) ran against the inert and corrupt Katie Hobbs (D), is so interesting. Maricopa County, the second-largest election district in the USA, has dribbled out the results all week to make sure it looked like Ms. Lake was losing, while Democratic Party activists scrambled to generate more early mail-in ballots to make sure that Ms. Lake does lose, if at all possible.

Either way, it may not go down so easily. If she wins, Ms. Lake will do everything possible to reform the sketchy Arizona election laws; if she loses, she is prepared to sue the living shit out of Maricopa County election officials and Katie Hobbs — whose position as AZ Secretary of State left her in charge of an election she ran in, and all the janky machinery behind it. The post-election mood across America is labile and incendiary. So-called Red America, the opposition to Woke Jacobin tyranny, smolders in fury facing two more years of censorship, war-mongering, FBI-DOJ-IRS persecution, “vaccine” fuckery, economic breakdown, and the WEF-inspired killing-off of Western Civilization. Blue America, personified by the smugly sclerotic “Joe Biden,” ghoulishly salivates over the dying carcass of the country it intends to devour. Between the two factions there is no space for the normal operation of politics — the contest of ideas about running human affairs — especially with the public arena of speech and ideas in Woke lockdown.


Yet, other events look like they are out-pacing whatever the mood is on any side. So many crises are already underway threatening to upend everyday life that neither Red or Blue Americans will escape hardship and damage. The on-the-ground economy has imploded. Inflation is for-real and is crushing the country’s standard-of-living. Before long, it may shift into deflation, which means instead of having a lot of money losing value, you’ll have no money at all. Rising interest rates killed off the real estate part of the Everything Bubble, and the building, selling, and remodeling of houses has been the locus of the few remaining good-paying jobs. The car industry is dying under several forms of stress: steeply rising unit prices, a strapped middle-class, growing scarcity of capital for lending, broken supply lines for vehicle inventory and parts, and the insane “green” crusade to make all motoring electric. Even fixing things of value — existing houses, cars, machinery in general — becomes increasingly impossible when nobody can get replacement parts to work with.

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“..the party’s neglect in adapting to our new jungle of an election process.”

Roll Back ‘Election Month’ Or Learn To Take Advantage Of It (Fed.)

Republicans apparently learned very little from the 2020 election which turned voting and vote counting into a chaotic multi-week affair, all to the great advantage of Democrats. After finding their party blown out of the water by early votes and mail-in ballots, both vastly expanded to accommodate the pandemic hysteria, elected GOP leaders seem to have thought to themselves, “Well, better luck next time!” And here we are. In an election year that should have seen major gains for Republicans across the board, the party failed to take the Senate, could still (a week after Election Day) fail to secure the House, and is now on life support for the governorship in Arizona. There isn’t just one reason for the shortcomings but none are more important than the party’s neglect in adapting to our new jungle of an election process.

For the past two years, every Republican should have been either attempting to beat back the flood of “no excuse” mail-in ballots saturating swing states, or building up a party network that could adapt to it. There were some efforts to manage the mail-in voting problem in Arizona and Georgia but otherwise the party said its prayers and hoped for the best heading into the midterms. We see how that strategy turned out. Democrats once again turned on the ignition and their army of activists began knocking on doors and dialing up their reliable voters to be sure that every single one of them knew the time to vote was now. Whether it was three weeks or a month before actual Election Day, it didn’t matter. Now. In response, Republicans donned a toothy smile and told their voters to keep Tuesday open. Wait in line— no matter how long it takes.


True, Republicans tend to be a lot more motivated than Democrats to vote in a non-presidential campaign year. They’re happy to drive to the booth and wait their turn. But the new reality is that elections are happening for weeks before the designated day for official in-person voting. That’s a lot of time for dedicated activists to call or visit the homes of their voters, no matter how unmotivated they are, and tell them that they don’t have to wait at all. They can cast their ballot right now. Want me to do it for you?! Where is Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on this? Where is National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Emmer? Where is National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott? They’re the ones responsible for leading on these things but they did nothing.

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Let’s add another week to the counting…

‘Ballot Curing’ Might Cost Lauren Boebert Her Colorado Seat (Li)

Officials will not know the results for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District until at least Thursday because of ballot curing and military and overseas ballots. Incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert leads Democrat Adam Frisch by about 1,100 votes, which is 0.3%. If it stays that way, they’ll get an automatic recount. What is ballot curing? From Newsweek: “Every year in Colorado, thousands of ballots are reportedly rejected for issues related to signature verification, like a missing signature or a discrepancy in the signature. Local officials then alert voters of the issue, giving them a week time to fix the problem and make their vote count. The process, which is done in 23 other state besides Colorado, is called “ballot curing.”


Frisch said the district has to count between 3,000 and 6,000 votes. However, some think there won’t be much of a change once all the ballots come in: Matt Crane, executive director of the County Clerks Association in Colorado, and says don’t expect a big change. “When a recount happens our experience here in Colorado is that this reflects that the original count was accurate,” he said. Still outstanding are military voters and Coloradoans overseas ballots, many of which may have already been counted. Crane explained, “Colorado has an electronic portal that’s direct to the Secretary of State’s office that allows people to vote electronically and send their votes back that way.”

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“We want all ballots counted by election night..”

Trump Announces 2024 Campaign: ‘We Have To Get Out Of This Ditch’ (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening announced that he would again seek the presidency in 2024, vowing to reverse the policies of his successor, Democrat Joe Biden. “We have to get out of this ditch,” he declared. “I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump also said as he spent much of his 70-minute speech lamenting the state of the nation. “This isn’t a campaign,” he contended. “It’s a quest to save our country.” “The Washington establishment wants to silence us, but we will not let them do that,” he told a cheering crowd at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “What we have built together over the past six years is the greatest movement in history because it is not about politics. It’s about our love for this great country, America, and we’re not going to let it fail.


“We have to get out of this ditch. And once we’re out, you’ll see things that nobody imagined for any country. It’s called the United States of America. And it’s an incredible place.” Trump vowed to impose the death penalty for drug traffickers and called for the elimination of early voting and a return to paper ballots. “We want all ballots counted by election night,” he declared. Throughout the speech, Trump touted his own successes during his time in office, including negotiating the Abraham Accords between Israel and Arab nations, effectively eliminating the Islamic State terror group and achieving American energy independence. “I am running because I believe the world has not yet seen the peak of what this nation can be,” he said. “We have not reached that pinnacle.”

Trump ad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1592738013309972480

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DeSantis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhino
https://twitter.com/i/status/1592536293762019328

 

 


Whilst out snorkelling one afternoon in Jervis Bay, photographer Jordan Robins stumbled across this common stingaree slowly hovering above the shallow sand flats. He managed to take this amazing photo where you can see above and below the water.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 052022
 
 November 5, 2022  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Ivan Shishkin Midday. Near Moscow 1869

 

Love Letter to Ireland and to ALL the Debt-Enslaved Nations of the World (Chu)
The One Chart That Explains Everything (Mike Whitney)
UK Was ‘Hours’ Away From Potential Total Meltdown – Bank Of England (RT)
Wells Fargo Braces For More Layoffs As Loan Volumes Collapse 90% YOY (ZH)
Michael Hudson on The Destiny of Civilization (Platypus)
How Bright Are EUropeans ? (Vilches)
Key Takes From Vladimir Putin’s Latest Speech (RT)
British Spies Constructing Secret Terror Army In Ukraine (GZ)
EU Exploring Ways To Use Frozen Russian Assets (RT)
Emily Oster’s Plea Bargain (Kunstler)
What Employment? (Denninger)
FBI Is ‘Rotted At Its Core,’ Republican Lawmakers Say (RT)
Can Licht Make the Cuts? (Byers)
Florida Bans Puberty Blockers, Transgender Surgery For Minors (SAC)
Vaccine-Doubting Doctor Ordered To Pay $1m In Legal Costs (NP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re deeper in debt than ever. And planning to spend trillions on net zero. It doesn’t add up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ireland’s external debt is 609% more than her GDP..”

Love Letter to Ireland and to ALL the Debt-Enslaved Nations of the World (Chu)

Sometime in October, 2022, the national debt of the United States will blow through $31 Trillion. That’s a lot of zeros! To give some context on how exponential is this growing number: It took the USA 205 years to surpass $1 Trillion in total national debt on October 22, 1981; but it will only take 41 years to exponentially add another 30 Trillion! Note to all the anal-retentive persons out there: Nothing survives exponential growth. Nothing. All 7 of the G7 nations (USA, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, UK, and Canada) are in the top 10 list of most indebted nations, as far total national debts are concerned. Three of the BRICS nations (China, India and Brazil) are in this top 10 list.

Table 3 shows the “national debt to GDP” ratios for the top 10 nations, in descending scale. One of the ways to understand what this “national debt to GDP” ratio means in layman terms is to use the “credit card to income” analogy. Let’s say that we have a credit card limit of $100,000 USD and our annual income is $50,000 USD. Because of hard times and all, we have maxed out our credit card and we owe $100,000 USD. Well, in our case then, the “credit card debt to income” ratio is 200%. Question: How long can we maintain our lifestyle if our “credit card debt to income” ratio is 200%? Answer: Not very long. All ten nations listed in Table 3 are spending more than they produce in terms of GDP each year.


Six of the G7 nations (Japan, Italy, France, USA, Canada, and UK) are spending more than they produce each year for quite a few years now. None of the BRICS nations are in the top ten of this list. Question: How long can nations like Japan, Greece, Italy, Portugal, etc. continue to incur national debts way beyond their annual national income? Answer: Not very long. All these 10 nations with a “national debt to GDP” ratio over 100% are spending money beyond their means. Japan and Greece are spending money way beyond their means.

Table 4 is a list of the “external debt to GDP” ratios for the top 10 nations, in descending scale. At the #1 spot, Ireland’s external debt is 609% more than her GDP. There is something that we should note about Ireland’s GDP. Apple, maker of the iPhones and all things that begin with an “i”, launders its European sales through its Irish headquarters. Why? To avoid paying taxes as Ireland has one of the most preferential business tax polices in the world. However, Apple’s “contribution” to Ireland’s GDP, which has been as high as 25%, generates ZERO income for the Irish nation. How’s that for a GDP accounting trick? Therefore, this ridiculous 609% is even a lot higher! Now, imagine if our credit card debt is more than 609% of our annual income! What happens when the credit card company demands that we pay off our credit card debt? That’s about to happen to Ireland, Netherlands, UK, etc.

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“This is why we are experiencing the redivision of the world into warring blocs. This is why we are seeing the roll back of 30 years of Globalization and massive suppyline disruption.”

The One Chart That Explains Everything (Mike Whitney)

It explains why Washington is so worried about China’s explosive growth. It explains why the US continues to hector China on the issues of Taiwan and the South China Sea. It explains why Washington sends congressional delegations to Taiwan in defiance of Beijing’s explicit requests. It explains why the Pentagon continues to send US warships through the Taiwan Strait and ship massive amounts of lethal weaponry to Taipei. It explains why Washington is creating anti-China coalitions in Asia that are aimed at encircling and provoking Beijing.

It explains why the Biden administration is stepping up its trade war on China, imposing onerous economic sanctions on its businesses, and banning critical high-tech semi-conductors that are “are essential not just… for virtually every aspect of modern society, from electronic products and transport to the design and production of all manner of goods.” It explains why China has been singled-out in the US National Security Strategy (NSS) as “the only competitor with both the intent and, increasingly, the capability to reshape the international order.” It explains why Washington now regards China as its biggest and most formidable strategic adversary that must be isolated, demonized and defeated.

The chart above explains everything, not just the hostile diplomatic jabs that are designed to discredit and humiliate China, but also the openly belligerent policies that are aimed at Russia as well. People need to understand this. They need to see what is really going on so they can put events in their proper geopolitical context. And what “context” is that? The context of a Third World War; a war that was thoroughly-planned, instigated and (now) prosecuted by Washington and Washington’s proxies. That’s what’s really going on. The increasingly violent conflagrations we see cropping-up in Ukraine and Asia are not the result of “Russian aggression” or “evil Putin”. No. They are the actualization of a sinister geopolitical strategy to quash China’s meteoric rise and preserve America’s dominant role in the world order. Can there be any doubt about that?

No. None. This is why we are experiencing the redivision of the world into warring blocs. This is why we are seeing the roll back of 30 years of Globalization and massive suppyline disruption. And this is why Europe has been thrust headlong into frigid darkness and forced deindustrialisation. All of these suicidal policies were concocted for one purpose and one purpose alone, to maintain America’s exalted spot in the global system. That is why all of humanity is presently embroiled in a Third World War; a war that is designed to prevent China from becoming the world’s biggest economy; a war that is designed to preserve US global primacy.

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Sort of a shame that MissTrust couldn’t finish her ‘mission’.

UK Was ‘Hours’ Away From Potential Total Meltdown – Bank Of England (RT)

U Britain narrowly avoided a financial crisis in September that could have seen some pension funds totally collapse, the governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, told Channel 4 on Thursday. Asked how close the UK came to a potential total economic meltdown after Liz Truss’ mini-budget was announced, Bailey said: “I think at the point when we intervened, I can tell you that the messages we were getting from the markets were that it was hours.” Truss’s so-called “mini-budget” included the biggest tax cuts since 1972, funded by a huge increase in borrowing, without an explanation as to how the government would pay it back. The measures caused the pound to hit an all-time low against the dollar and the price of UK government bonds – known as gilts – to collapse.


The Bank of England intervened by announcing an expansion of its emergency bond-buying to “restore orderly market conditions.” “It was becoming unstable and it was affecting pension funds, for instance, and how they were operating. So, we had to step in quickly and we had to step in quite decisively. This felt, and was, a very real threat to financial stability,” Bailey said. His interview came just hours after the regulator hiked the interest rate from 2.25% to 3% to try and curb soaring inflation. Bailey also warned that Britain was facing its longest recession since records began and warned of a “tough road ahead” for the UK and its households.

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Let the bailouts begin…

Wells Fargo Braces For More Layoffs As Loan Volumes Collapse 90% YOY (ZH)

Among the growing list of many companies bracing for layoffs is now Wells Fargo, who has seen their U.S. loan volumes “collapse”. The fall off in loan volume has left some workers “idle”, according to a new CNBC report. This, in turn, has them worried about further job cuts. In the early weeks of Q4, the bank had about 18,000 loans in its pipeline, the report says. This is down an astonishing 90% from a year earlier when the pandemic housing boom was in full swing. The dropoff in loan volume is at least partly attributable to a slowing housing market as rates have risen. With the Fed raising rates again this week, it doesn’t look like the spigot on loans is going to be re-opening anytime soon.


Other housing loan companies, like Rocket Mortgage, are also expected to be downsizing as a result of the slowing activity in housing. Wells Fargo “has historically been the most reliant on mortgages” out of all major U.S. banks, CNBC notes. CFO Mike Santomassimo had already warned about the slowdown in mid-October, stating: “We expect it to remain challenging in the near term. It’s possible that we have a further decline in mortgage banking revenue in the Q4 when originations are seasonally slower.” The bank said this week: “The changes we’ve recently made are the result of the broader rate environment and consistent with the response of other lenders in the industry. We regularly review and adjust staffing levels to align with market conditions and the needs of our businesses.”

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“..no country should be obliged to lower its living standards, bankrupt itself, and privatize its public domain in order to pay foreign debts. If a country can’t pay its debt, it’s a bad loan..”

Michael Hudson on The Destiny of Civilization (Platypus)

They’re different kinds of debts, and canceling them requires different kinds of institutions. E.g., what’s most in the news these days is student loan debt and that it could be canceled by just an act of President Biden, which he won’t do, because he’s the person that sponsored the bankruptcy law. That law made it impossible to cancel student debts by bankruptcy laws. It could be done by a congressional law. The government has all sorts of regulatory agencies to handle corporate debt write-downs. Corporate write-downs in bankruptcy proceedings are a normal course, taking place almost continually, and we’re going to see that again. There are real estate debts. When the junk mortgage frauds peaked in 2008, President Obama ran by promising to write-down the junk mortgage debts to the actual market value of the homes bought by the victims of bank fraud and to bring the mortgage payments in line with the current rent.

As soon as he was elected, Obama invited the bankers to the White House and said, “don’t worry. I’m the only guy standing between you and the pitchforks. That was just to get elected. I’m on your side.” He proceeded to evict seven or eight million American families. Not only did Obama not write-down the debts, but he started quantitative easing that has given nine trillion dollars to support the real estate market, the stock market, and the bond market, so that the banks and the wealthy rentier 10% of the American economy would not lose any money. The result was that American home ownership rates have fallen from 69% and plunged into the 50s. America is being turned from a middle-class home ownership economy into a landlord economy.

We’re regressing back towards the 19th century, including its legacy of feudalism. That’s what we’re moving toward, as official government policy. We still have a strong government, but the role of the government is now to enforce the debts, not to write them down, and the most serious debts in the news are actually international debts. And of course, international debts cannot be settled by one nation. What is the vehicle to cancel the debts of global South countries like Argentina, that is now in yet another crisis with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Argentinian crisis, Sri Lanka — all this will characterize the Global South by this fall as a result of rising energy prices for oil and gas, rising food prices, and capital flight to the U.S. as it raises its interest rate.

If countries have to pay more for food and energy, how can they afford to pay their foreign debts? It’s necessary to have a new international organization to sponsor this. That’s what both President Putin and President Xi have said: we’re going to create a BRICS bank as an alternative to the World Bank and the IMF and this will have to accompany a new world court. We are going to provide a different philosophy of operations for this bank: the principle is that no country should be obliged to lower its living standards, bankrupt itself, and privatize its public domain in order to pay foreign debts. If a country can’t pay its debt, it’s a bad loan, and just as individuals and corporations are allowed to declare bankruptcy, countries should be able to declare bankruptcy.

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“..EUropeans would just appear to be aggressive, manipulative, and conceited… and not superior to anyone else..”

How Bright Are EUropeans ? (Vilches)

Dr. Josep Borrell is the EU´s topmost senior diplomat as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Recently joined by another un-elected official namely the EU Commission President Ursula von den Leyen both now roughly insist that EUrope´s problems stem from its addictiveness to excellent and cheap Russian energy and resources, to China´s humongous export markets and high productivity dependency, and to the military ´security´ that the US today supposedly renders to them. So, accordingly their solution for EUrope would be to (a) get itself up in arms yet again and (b) to double-down on the ‘battle of narratives´ which should be interpreted to be just some more effective EU propaganda. So from this perspective rather than being bright EUropeans would just appear to be aggressive, manipulative, and conceited… and not superior to anyone else. So why be so proud about it all ?.


Objectively searching into the EUropean political soul it´s easy to find EUrope´s self-EUthanization vis-á-vis its sheer lack of any ´affectio societatis´. This makes EUrope an un-viable business associate to and for anyone, even amongst themselves in view of the current widespread infighting. But JB´s ´brightness´ does not stop there, now proclaiming that “the world needs Europe” and that EUrope is a “garden” and the rest a mere ”jungle” ready to encroach upon it… So at this rate it would be wise to copernically acknowledge that EUrope is not any “global super-power” and that God Almighty has not appointed the un-elected European Commission as the rule-maker for the rest of the world to follow. Furthermore, the “international community”(sic) is not headquartered at Davos or Brussels and 85% of planet Earth does not even wake up in the West every morning. Making that clear would focus EU politics better than complaining about “too many abstentions” in the UN votes regarding this conflict which EU officials fail to understand and accept.

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“Ukraine, Batman and complex identities”…

Key Takes From Vladimir Putin’s Latest Speech (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin honored National Unity Day by meeting with historians and dignitaries – including leaders of religious communities – and discussing the role of history in protecting national sovereignty, identity, and culture. Here are some key points from his speech and the subsequent discussion. “Russia’s clash with the neo-Nazi regime that arose in Ukraine was inevitable, and had our country not undertaken the actions it did in February, nothing would have changed, only our position would have been far worse,” Putin said. “Our so-called friends brought the situation in Ukraine to the stage where it was a mortal threat to Russia.” Putin compared the situation with what happened in 1941, when the USSR had ample warning about the upcoming Nazi invasion but did not take steps to defend itself, suggesting that this was one of the reasons millions of Soviet citizens died before victory over Nazism was achieved.

Western countries meddled in Ukraine’s internal affairs after the fall of the Soviet Union and “managed to instill such pseudo-values into the minds of millions of people, which led to the fact that anti-Russia was created on this territory, sowing hatred, violating the minds of people, depriving them of true history,” Putin said. Ukraine has been turned into a grave danger for Russia, but also something suicidal for the Ukrainians themselves, he explained. “It is Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, that is the first and main victim of the deliberate sublimation of hatred towards the Russians and Russia. In Russia, everything is exactly the opposite – you know this very well: we have always treated the Ukrainian people with respect and warmth. It remains so, despite today’s tragic confrontation.”

Speaking further about the current conflict in Ukraine, Putin drew parallels with the Russian Revolution over a hundred years ago. “In fact, the confrontation is going on within one people – just like it was after the upheavals of 1917.” Back then, “foreign powers warmed their hands on the tragedy of our people. They did not care about either the Whites or the Reds, they pursued their own interests, weakened and tore historical Russia to pieces.” The West is doing the same in Ukraine today, Putin said, sacrificing the Ukrainian people to achieve their geopolitical goals, which he described as “weakening, disintegrating and destroying Russia.” Russians need to know the full past of their country, the president argued, without repeating the “mistakes of the Soviet period,” where academia worked to fit ideological patterns.

“Something similar is happening now in some countries in the West, where much is determined by the current radical-liberal establishment. To please it, key historical events are presented in a completely distorted, inverted form, and the truth is canceled,” Putin said. “When someone wishes to deprive the state of sovereignty and turn its citizens into vassals, they begin by twisting the country’s history, in order to deprive people of their roots, doom them to unconsciousness,” the Russian president explained, condemning this as a “deliberately perverted attitude to history.” Pointing to Ukraine as an example of this, Putin said that “there have been similar attempts against Russia, and they do not stop, but we firmly and in time put up a solid barrier against them. “

While Russia is absolutely a part of European civilization, there is no denying that many major colonial empires in the West are now “medium-sized or small countries,” Putin said, comparing the population of Portugal with its former colony Brazil, the UK with India, and how China’s Guangdong province alone has 1.5 times the population of Germany. “European capitals were [once] the center of the universe – but this is already in the past,” the Russian president said. Putin also opted to broach a slightly less political issue. During the question-and-answer session, he noted that academic work won’t be enough without teaming up with popular culture and merchandising. Russian children “know of Batman but not of our own heroes,” Putin said, noting that historical education starts from an early age. “There should be cartoons, films, children’s literature… All of these things are needed. That’s why we’re here today, to nudge this process forward.”

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Thorough.

British Spies Constructing Secret Terror Army In Ukraine (GZ)

Documents obtained by The Grayzone reveal plans by a cell of British military-intelligence figures to organize and train a covert Ukrainian “partisan” army with explicit instructions to attack Russian targets in Crimea. On October 28th, a Ukrainian drone attack damaged the Russian Black Sea fleet’s flagship vessel in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Moscow immediately blamed Britain for assisting and orchestrating the strike, as well as blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines – the worst acts of industrial sabotage in recent memory. The British Ministry of Defense issued a blustery denial in response, branding the accusations “false claims of an epic scale.” Whoever was behind those specific attacks, suspicions of a British hidden hand in the destruction are not unfounded.

The Grayzone has obtained leaked documents detailing British military-intelligence operatives inking an agreement with the Security Service of Ukraine’s Odessa branch, to create and train a secret Ukrainian partisan terror army. Their plans called for the secret army to conduct sabotage and reconnaissance operations targeting Crimea on behalf of the Ukrainian Security Service (SSU) – precisely the kind of attacks witnessed in past weeks. As The Grazyone previously reported, the same coterie of military-intelligence operatives was responsible for drawing up plans to blow up Crimea’s Kerch Bridge. That goal was fulfilled on October 8th in the form of a suicide truck bomb attack, temporarily disabling the sole connecting point between mainland Russia and Crimea, and triggering a major escalation in Moscow’s attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.

These blueprints were produced by a military veteran named Hugh Ward, at the request of Chris Donnelly, a British military-intelligence operative best known for hatching the covert, Foreign Office-funded Integrity Initiative information warfare program. The plans were circulated throughout Donnelly’s private transnational network of military officials, lawmakers and intelligence officials. Such high-level connections underline that he is far from a passive observer in this conflict. He has used his position and contacts to secure the resources necessary to train up the secret saboteur battalion in order to attack Russian targets in Crimea. This wrecking strategy is certain to escalate the war, and undercut any momentum toward negotiation.

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“US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in May that seizing the assets was “not something legally permissible in the United States.”

EU Exploring Ways To Use Frozen Russian Assets (RT)

The European Union is trying to determine whether it’s feasible to use the assets of the Russian Central Bank that have been frozen by member states to finance Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The discussions are at an early stage and legal experts have been asked to look into possible options, the outlet wrote, citing people familiar with the matter. Some $300 billion belonging to the Russian Central Bank were frozen by the EU, the US, and their allies as part of anti-Russia sanctions. Any EU action would deal with assets held in Europe, Bloomberg says, adding that the issue has also been raised with the US.


Last month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU wanted to confiscate Russian assets in order to use them for the reconstruction of Ukraine but admitted that establishing a legal base for such a move was tricky. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in May that seizing the assets was “not something legally permissible in the United States.” Russia strongly criticized the freezing of the funds, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accusing the West of essentially committing theft.

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“The Atlantic magazine, a house organ of the people in America who know better than you do about… really… everything..”

Emily Oster’s Plea Bargain (Kunstler)

By now, everybody and his uncle has seen Emily Oster’s plea for “pandemic amnesty” in The Atlantic magazine, a house organ of the people in America who know better than you do about… really… everything. Emily’s wazoo is so stuffed with gold-plated credentials (BA, PhD, Harvard; economics prof at Brown U) it’s a wonder that she could sit down long enough to peck out her lame argument that “we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID.” Emily wasn’t “in the dark.” She had access to the same information as the Americans who recognized that everything the public health authorities, the medical establishment, and many elected officials shoveled out about Covid and its putative remedies and preventatives was untrue, with a patina of bad faith and malice — especially when it was used to persecute their political adversaries.

These dissenters turned out to be “right for the wrong reasons,” she declared, the main reason being that they were not aligned in good-think with the Woke-Jacobinism of her fellow “progressives” at Brown U, and academics all across the land, who were righteously busy destroying the intellectual life of the nation, making it impossible for the thinking class to think. Let’s face it: every society actually needs a thinking class, a cohort able to frame important issues-of-the-moment that require argument in the public arena to align our collective thoughts and deeds with reality. America used to have a pretty good thinking class, with a pretty good free press and many other platforms for opinion — all animated by respect for the first amendment to the Constitution.


The thinking class destroyed that by vigorously promoting a new censorship regime in every American institution, shutting down free speech and, more crucially, the necessary debate for aligning our politics with reality. Hence, America’s thinking class became the torchbearers of unreality, in step with the Party of Chaos which held the levers of power. This included the powers of life and death in the matter of Covid-19. These were the people who militated against effective early treatment protocols (to cynically preserve the drug companies’ emergency use authorization (EUA) and thus their liability shields); the people who enforced the deadly remdesivir-and-ventilator combo in hospital treatment; the people who rolled out the harmful and ineffective “vaccines”; who fired and vilified doctors who disagreed with all that; and who engineered a long list of abusive policies that destroyed businesses, livelihoods, households, reputations, and futures.

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Normally October numbers rise for Christmas…

What Employment? (Denninger)

Vomited up the Bureau of Lies and Scams did…. “Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 261,000 in October, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in health care, professional and technical services, and manufacturing.” Yeah-yeah. I pay near-zero attention to the headline, ever, and this was no exception to my rule in that regard. The market did the hanky-panky on the release but as I write this is up strongly, close to +50 handles on the Spoos. Why? Someone bothered to actually read the internals? I’m impressed, because the internals of the household survey, unadjusted, said +141k and out of that 111 of it came out of the “not in labor force” figures, so in fact its really about +30 net-net on the population itself.


In other words statistically zero. October is usually a very decent hiring month as, which we all know, there’s this thing called “Christmas” coming and the start of the hiring for it is usually reflected here. Prior to the pandemic in 2019 October was +589k on the same unadjusted household number, and 425k of that came from bench-sitters, so economic reasons were enough to get close to half a million off their butts. This time it was only good for 100k and the total impulse was basically all of that. Thus the market reaction: Pavlov’s Dog took this as “The Fed will slow down or reverse course.” Which, incidentally, means they probably won’t because, as I’ve pointed out, that Pavlovian response is exactly what The Fed needs to break before it can take its foot off the rate-increase gas and not only did the market exhibit the exact opposite when the announcement came out it confirmed it this morning.

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“The FBI and its parent agency, the Justice Department, have become political institutions.”

FBI Is ‘Rotted At Its Core,’ Republican Lawmakers Say (RT)

America is no longer a country where citizens are afforded equal justice under the law, as guaranteed by their Constitution, because the nation’s top law enforcement agency has been corrupted by politicized leadership and a “woke, leftist agenda” being imposed from the top, Republican lawmakers have claimed. The allegations were contained in a 1,050-page report released on Friday by Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee. The report, which was based on information gathered from 14 FBI whistleblowers who came forward to expose a pattern of misconduct, argued that the agency was “rotted at its core.” “Quite simply, the problem — the rot within the FBI — festers in and proceeds from Washington,” the report said. “The FBI and its parent agency, the Justice Department, have become political institutions.”

The report detailed such abuses as a secret partnership in which the FBI receives private information on conservative users from Facebook, without seeking their consent or going though the legal processes that would normally be required to tap such data. Whistleblowers also alleged that the FBI “looked the other way” on dozens of attacks against anti-abortion groups, even as the agency sent heavily armed teams of officers to arrest pro-life activists at their homes for alleged violations of selectively enforced crimes. Parents who spoke out at school board meetings over controversial policies were targeted by investigators as alleged terrorists.

At the same time, former FBI official Timothy Thibault “shut down” a probe into the overseas business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and attempted to keep the case from being reopened, the report said. Thibault openly displayed his political bias in social media posts that included his official title. “America’s not America if you have a Justice Department that treats people differently under the law,” Representative Jim Jordan, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Friday. “It’s supposed to be equal treatment under the law. That’s not happening, and we know it’s not happening because 14 brave FBI agents came to us as whistleblowers and told us what exactly is going on here.”

The report also accused the FBI of inflating statistics on domestic extremism to help fuel a narrative promoted by President Joe Biden’s administration. FBI employees who have conservative views are being purged from the agency, it claims. Republicans argued that the FBI was plagued by a “systemic culture of unaccountability,” as well as “rampant corruption, manipulation and abuse.” The agency’s shift toward “political meddling” has allegedly pulled resources away from legitimate law enforcement duties. For instance, one whistleblower claimed that he was told after the January 2021 US Capitol riot that child sex-abuse cases were “no longer an FBI priority and should be referred to local law enforcement agencies.”

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CNN has more employees than viewers.

Can Licht Make the Cuts? (Byers)

When Chris Licht became chairman and chief executive of CNN, back in May, his boss David Zaslav asked him to conduct a six-month review of the 4,500-person global news business. During the early months of that review, Licht would repeatedly tell members of his staff that the broad cost-cutting effort that was taking place across Warner Bros. Discovery would not result in layoffs at CNN. The parent company had more than $50 billion in debt, of course, and Zaz had promised to identify at least $3 billion in cost-cutting synergies across his new media empire, but Licht repeatedly assured staff that CNN would be spared: “As it relates to CNN, there are no layoffs per se,” Licht said at one staff-wide event in June. “A lay off is a downsizing, where you are given a target, and that is not happening at CNN.”


During the course of the review, however, Zaslav and his C.F.O. Gunnar Wiedenfelds asked Licht to engage in a hypothetical financial engineering exercise, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told me. If he were to cut costs at the company, how would he manage to achieve savings? Over time, the target number that Zaz and Gunnar were asking for became larger, and the exercise became less hypothetical. Then, last month, staring down the barrel of a recession and another disappointing earnings report, Zaz and Gunnar gave Licht a direct order: he needed to cut $100 million from CNN’s budget. Zaz’s team might argue that such an edict is financially responsible amid the current economic environment, but it is nevertheless significant. The figure, which CNN representatives declined to comment on, likely translates to almost 10 percent of CNN’s overall budget, sources familiar with the financials told me.

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I guess I simply don’t understand where this satanic cult came from. It seems to have appeared from nowhere.

Florida Bans Puberty Blockers, Transgender Surgery For Minors (SAC)

Breaking Friday, Florida’s Board of Medicine and state Board of Osteopathic Medicine voted to ban puberty blockers and sex-reassignment surgery for minors in the state. “The chief point of agreement among all of the experts — and I must emphasize this — is that there is a pressing need for additional, high-quality clinical research,” said the board of medicine’s chair, Dr. David A. Diamond, a radiation oncologist. More than 70 percent of children with gender dysphoria “typically outgrow” it, City Journal reported earlier this year.


National Review reports: “The board of medicine voted 6-3, with five others not present, on Friday to forbid doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and hormones or performing surgeries until a patient is 18. Exceptions will be made for children who are already receiving the treatment. The Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine also voted to ban the use of puberty blockers and sex-reassignment surgery in new patients who are minors but allowed an exception for children enrolled in clinical studies. Florida is also one of at least nine states that prohibits Medicaid coverage of gender-transition services.”

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Canada is lost.

Vaccine-Doubting Doctor Ordered To Pay $1m In Legal Costs (NP)

When a host of doctors, academics and journalists criticized her COVID vaccine-doubting, anti-lockdown views, Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill struck back, filing a $12-million libel suit against them. A judge this week ordered the pediatrician in Brampton, west of Toronto, to pay the defendants as much as $1.1 million in legal costs after her lawsuit was struck down earlier this year as a potential curb on important public debate. Part of the costs were assigned to a fellow plaintiff, Dr. Ashvinder Kaur Lambda, who sued only two of the 23 defendants, but Gill is on the hook for the bulk of the hefty award.


Justice Elizabeth Stewart said the cost sum was appropriate, noting that the damages sought by the two physicians in their suit was “a considerable sum by any calculation and of understandably great concern” to the people they sued. “Although the individual … plaintiffs are not substantial corporations or institutions, they are educated persons who were represented by counsel throughout,” she added. Meanwhile, the doctor faces more legal trouble at Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. After cautioning Gill last year over some of her COVID statements, the regulator ordered her earlier this month to appear on similar charges before a discipline tribunal, a sort of trial where a guilty verdict could lead to revocation of her licence.

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Asian leopard cat. Its markings look like a python.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Salvador Dali Llane Beach, Cadaques 1919

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Terhes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1583069992605876224

 

 

 

 

Gaddafi

 

 

 

 

Zakharova

 

 

 

 

Amazon books Tucker

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)

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

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

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

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Russia knows who did it.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Only US LNG allowed.

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

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

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

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

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

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About Xi’s speech this week.

Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Critical mass.

Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dumping Treasuries.

How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)

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

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

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

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“..they still won’t apologize..”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 year old boy

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


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

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Knots

 

 

 

 

Denzel

 

 

 

 

Blue wave+

 

 

City over the river

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 212022
 


Max Ernst Untitled 1913

 

Russian Lawmaker Reveals Mobilization Plans (RT)
Checkmate (Schryver)
Four Occupied Ukraine Regions Plan Imminent ‘Votes’ On Joining Russia (G.)
Russia Will Support Donbass Referendums – Duma Speaker (RT)
Kiev Vows To Use Force Against Breakaway Regions (RT)
Peaceful Solution To Ukraine Crisis Currently Not Possible – Russia (RT)
The West Is Waging A War To Destroy Russia (Kornilov)
US General Claims Huge Ukrainian Successes In Air (RT)
Ukraine Unlikely To Get US F-16s Soon – Politico (RT)
Germany’s Die Linke On Verge Of Split Over Sanctions On Russia (G.)
Europe’s Economy And Living Standards Are Plummeting (OR)
Has Biden Passed The Point Of No Return In Provoking China? (Fomenko)
The Worst Socioeconomic & Geopolitical Crisis in History – Celente (USAW)
Americans Drowning In Long-Term Credit Card Debt (ZH)
America’s Open Wound (Edward Snowden)

 

 

With a 12-hour delay, Vladimir Putin has declared a partial mobilization in Russia (300,000 reservists?!), citing the need to protect a 1,000 km frontline with Ukraine. Details will be forthcoming. Lots of rumors swirling around, the most interesting of which is perhaps that Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina allegedly submitted her resignation. A condition for her staying on was no mobilization. How she feels about this partial one we will find out.

One thing that is obvious is that it is no longer Russia vs Ukraine. That 1,000 km frontline requires a lot of non-Ukrainian forces and weapons. Obviously, the upcoming elections in four Ukraine regions, perhaps as soon as this weekend, carry the potential of Russia needing to protect these regions vs attacks. They have largely Russian populations, and Putin is sworn to protect these people.

 

 

 

 

Excess death
https://twitter.com/i/status/1572032165478801408

 

 

 

 

Szamuely

 

 

 

 

This is from yesterday, well before Putin’s speech at 8 am Moscow time:

Russian Lawmaker Reveals Mobilization Plans (RT)

Amending the criminal code with provisions for mobilization, martial law and wartime doesn’t necessarily mean Moscow is about to declare a draft – or war, Russian lawmaker Andrey Kartapolov clarified on Tuesday. Kartapolov, who chairs the Defense Committee of the State Duma, was the co-author of the amendments the lower house of the Russian parliament approved on Tuesday. Among other things, they establish criminal penalties for crimes committed during “wartime,” “martial law,” or a “mobilization period.” Fears that this means a mobilization are “absolutely unjustified,” Kartapolov told the Parliamentary Gazette.

“There will be no general mobilization. The president has spoken about this more than once and is directly speaking through his press secretary Dmitry Peskov and many other politicians at the federal level.” Having a law is not the same thing as mobilization, Kartapolov argued, adding that the amendments were “not specifically linked to the special military operation” in Ukraine, but were designed to function “for a long time, at least until they are no longer needed.” The adopted amendments include harsher punishments for looting or going AWOL during wartime, or committing any crime during a period of military mobilization. They also criminalize the sabotage of defense contracts.

Kartapolov also confirmed that the militias of the Donbass republics would be integrated into the Russian military, in case Donetsk and Lugansk vote to join Russia later this week. This would “significantly change the situation in a number of ways,” he said. Donetsk and Lugansk declared independence in 2014, after a US-backed coup in Kiev. Moscow recognized them in February, shortly before launching the military operation in Ukraine. Territories of Zaporozhye and Kherson under the control of the Russian and Donbass troops also announced on Tuesday that they would vote to join Russia later this week.

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Will Schryver thinks it’s all a done deal.

Checkmate (Schryver)

It is a foregone conclusion that Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson regions of the former Novorossiya will be re-assimilated into the Russian motherland. Odessa will follow at some point in the not-so-distant future. And the empire’s refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of these developments will prove utterly irrelevant. Western media and puppet politicians can scream “Russian aggression” and “sham election” all they want, but the unadorned fact is that these regions are overwhelmingly ethnic Russians whose collective desire is to be reunited with what they view as a powerful and ascendant Russia.

In conjunction with this shrewd political act, Vladimir Putin will almost certainly announce later today a major escalation of Russian military action in Ukraine – very likely at least a partial mobilization of Russia’s as yet untapped military might. This will result in a rapid acceleration in the ongoing process of annihilation of the Ukrainian military, its mountains of NATO weaponry, and its numerous “foreign volunteers”. This, of course, presents the empire with an existential dilemma. The defeat of NATO’s proxy army, weapons, and leadership in Ukraine at the hands of the Russians will be viewed all around the world as an unprecedented defeat of American hegemony; a watershed moment that will carry with it profound geopolitical consequences.

As I have argued for months now, it will mean the end of NATO as a credible military alliance. It will mean the end of the European Union as presently constituted. In other words, a decisive defeat of the empire’s aspirations in Ukraine will be viewed in Washington, London, and Brussels as an existential threat – which it is. And, as such, it is difficult for me to envision them submissively acquiescing to the outcome.

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Where better to turn for background info than the tried and tested Guardian?

Four Occupied Ukraine Regions Plan Imminent ‘Votes’ On Joining Russia (G.)

Four Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine have said they are planning to hold “referendums” on joining the Russian Federation in a series of coordinated announcements that could indicate the Kremlin has made a decision to formally annex the territories. Moscow may be betting that a formal annexation would help halt Russian territorial losses, after a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive that has reclaimed large portions of territory in the Kharkiv region. The occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions have said they are ready to hold “polls”, which will be universally viewed as rigged, as soon as this week, with announcements also made in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Some Russian media have reported that Vladimir Putin may deliver a speech on Tuesday evening on a potential annexation.

As Ukrainian troops begin making advances in the Luhansk region, Russia may be worried that it can’t win on the battlefield and threaten a potential escalation, including a formal declaration of war or even a nuclear attack, by claiming to defend its own territory. “Everything that’s happening today is an absolutely unequivocal ultimatum to Ukraine and the West,” wrote Tatiana Stanovaya, an expert on Kremlin politics and founder of R.Politik. “Either Ukraine retreats or there will be nuclear war.” “To guarantee ‘victory’, Putin is ready to hold referendums immediately in order to obtain the right (in his understanding) to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory.” Also on Tuesday, the Russian state Duma passed new amendments to the legal code that directly refer to “mobilisation” and “martial law” and introduce criminal liability for desertion or wilful surrender during that period.

The Kremlin has so far resisted a full mobilisation, likely due to fear of a political backlash. Now, however, it seems that the Kremlin may be willing to go further than before, including using nuclear blackmail in order to freeze the war and solidify its territorial gains in Ukraine. The decision has not been publicly adopted by the Kremlin or Vladimir Putin. However, senior Russian officials, including the former president Dmitry Medvedev, have supported calls for the referendums. In a post on his Telegram page, Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s security council, said that the referendums would “completely change the vector of Russia’s development for decades”. They would also prevent a future Russian leader from reversing Russian support for the Ukrainian regions, he wrote. “That is why these referendums are so feared in Kyiv and in the west,” he wrote. “That is why they need to be carried out.”

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Remember that Russia declined to recognize the 2014 votes in Luhansk and Donetsk until February 2022.

Russia Will Support Donbass Referendums – Duma Speaker (RT)

Should the Donbass republics vote to join the Russian Federation after holding public referendums, Moscow will respect that decision, Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the lower house of parliament, said on Tuesday. During a plenary session of the State Duma, Volodin stated: “if in the course of a direct declaration of will they say they want to be part of Russia, we will support them.” He added that the people of Donbass “must understand today that we expect them to freely express their will.” Volodin’s comments came as the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced that they will be holding referendums on joining Russia, with the votes set to take place between 23 and 27 September.


The Russian-controlled Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine have also confirmed they will be holding similar referendums on the same dates. The Deputy leader of the Kherson military-civilian administration, Kirill Stremousov, stated that residents want to join the Russian Federation as soon as possible because they fear being left behind, and want “guarantees” that Moscow will protect them from Kiev’s forces.

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Perhaps the main reason for the partial mobilization.

Kiev Vows To Use Force Against Breakaway Regions (RT)

Senior officials in Kiev have dismissed as irrelevant plans for a number of current and former Ukrainian regions to hold referendums on whether to join Russia. Andrey Yermak, President Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff, described the proposed votes as “blackmail” by Moscow. “This is what fear of defeat looks like. The enemy is afraid and uses primitive manipulations,” he said in a post on social media on Tuesday. Yermak added that “Ukraine will solve the Russian question,” insisting this could be done “only by force.” Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba also downplayed news of the upcoming referendums, dismissing the move as a “sham.”


“Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say,” he tweeted. The condemnations and threats came in response to bids by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, to hold referendums on the question of joining the Russian Federation. The votes could take place as early as this week. Kiev previously threatened any person who takes part in such a plebiscite with criminal prosecution. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said participants could be sent to prison for up to 12 years.

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Crystal clear.

Peaceful Solution To Ukraine Crisis Currently Not Possible – Russia (RT)

The armed conflict in Ukraine cannot be resolved through negotiations under current circumstances, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, as cited by Interfax. Asked if there was a path towards a diplomatic settlement, Peskov said that “at the moment, such a prospect cannot be observed,” the news agency reported. Moscow blamed Kiev for the suspension of peace talks. In late March, the two parties discussed a draft peace agreement, which would make Ukraine a neutral state in exchange for security guarantees given by major world powers. However the Ukrainian government ended talks in April, after accusing Russian troops of having committed war crimes, an allegation that Moscow said was based on falsified evidence.


Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since declared that his country will only be satisfied by defeating Russia on the battlefield and pushing its forces from the entire territory claimed by Kiev. That includes Crimea, the former Ukrainian region that rejoined Russia after an armed coup in Kiev in 2014. Moscow considers Crimea to be under its sovereignty and its status not subject to discussions. Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on Kiev’s position last week stating: “Zelensky said publicly … that he is not ready to talk to Russia. Well, if he is not, fine by us.” Earlier this month, Ukraine launched a major military counter-offensive in the north east, forcing Russian troops to pull back from some areas. Another of Kiev’s attempts to make gains in the south was far less successful and reportedly resulted in serious casualties and loss of military equipment.

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A friend pointed out that RT’s articles pop up at other places, a sort of workaround of the ban. For most articles that is not necessary, since they’re short and I can just copy them. For longer ones, I’ll try to use for instance this site, azerbaycan24.com.

The West Is Waging A War To Destroy Russia (Kornilov)

And here comes Bucha 2.0: Another provocation where Ukraine has allegedly discovered “mass graves of victims” shortly after Russian troops have withdrawn. This time in Izium. What it amounts to is clear evidence that along with the development of the military conflict in Ukraine, the informational “special” operation against Russia is intensifying. It’s not even about Kiev’s reaction – officials there concoct primitive fakes against our state and the army non-stop, around the clock. The indicator here is the way in which this provocation was immediately picked up by Western politicians, who are already urgently calling for an “international tribunal” to punish Russia. Meanwhile, the West’s media, in a united push, is putting unfounded statements about “mass executions and torture in Izium” on its front pages.

[..] Now the masks are being thrown off and the cadre of Russophobes can openly articulate their long-held dreams. The Daily Telegraph recently featured the former NATO commander in Europe, General Ben Hodges, in a high-profile article about preparing for Russia’s disintegration. Hodges, who is employed by CEPA – a lobby group bankrolled by US arms contractors and NATO – is arguably one of the most active ‘talking heads’ about the Ukrainian crisis on Western television right now. The general hopes the collapse of our state will be fueled by our ethnic diversity and he hopes that Western economic sanctions will create a situation in which it will be impossible to feed 144 million people. The American has clearly not thought how these arguments could also be applied to his home country, which has been torn apart by racial divisions in recent years.

Below Hodges, the idea has been cheerfully picked up by less well-known figures operating on the ideological field of Russophobia. The Polish magazine New Eastern Europe published an article about deconstructing Russia and reconstructing the “post-Russian space,” calling it a risky but inevitable scenario. The authors called on the West to lead the process of our state’s disintegration right away. This is echoed by the Canadian-British professor Taras Kuzio on the pages of the Atlantic Council, a NATO-aligned pressure group and the main mouthpiece of Western Russophobes. He, too, cheerfully declares that the process of “the collapse of Putin’s Russian empire” has begun.

Hodges’ theses are repeated almost word for word by Estonia’s top Kremlinologist Vladimir Yushkin on the pages of the website of the International Centre for Defence and Security. However, he adds nonsense about the allegedly developing “colonization of Siberia by the Chinese” –which tells us he doesn’t know how to use statistics.

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Anti-aircraft defenses on the ground. But a one-sided claim.

US General Claims Huge Ukrainian Successes In Air (RT)

Ukrainian forces have prevented Russia from gaining air superiority over the frontline in their country, while causing serious damage to Russian air power, a four-star US general reportedly claimed. Soviet-built anti-aircraft defenses fielded by Ukraine have managed to shoot down at least 55 Russian aircraft, Gen. James Hecker told the annual Air Force Association conference on Monday, as reported by Politico. The general, who commands the US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA), spoke during a panel discussion about the conflict in Ukraine. Hecker said Ukraine’s use of anti-aircraft weapons has denied Russian ground forces the air support they needed. He said the situation has surprised Western military analysts. Ukraine is seeking to beef up its air defenses, and the general suggested that eastern European nations, who have old stockpiles of Soviet weapons, should transfer them to Kiev.


The top US official also claimed that Ukraine’s air force has mostly remained intact since the start of the conflict, retaining about 80% of its fleet, contrary to reports from Russia. The Russian military claims to have inflicted heavy losses on the Ukrainian air force throughout the conflict. As of Monday, it said it had destroyed 294 Ukrainian warplanes and 155 Ukrainian military helicopters. Part of the panel discussion focused on US efforts to arm Ukrainian warplanes with AGM-88 High Speed Radiation Missiles (HARM) anti-radiation missiles, which were recently included in US arms shipments to Kiev. Hecker said fitting the US-made weapons to Soviet-made aircraft “was quite an effort” for US military contractors and acknowledged that shooting them from F-16s was a better option, according to Breaking Defense outlet.

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“.. it could take two to three years before Kiev could actually get them..”

Ukraine Unlikely To Get US F-16s Soon – Politico (RT)

If the US decides to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, it could take two to three years before Kiev could actually get them. That’s according to a Politico report, citing US Air Force General James Hecker. Hecker, who heads US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) is said to have made the prediction during a speech on Monday at an annual Air Force Association conference. According to Politico, Hecker put the delay down to logistical and training issues, but said he believed that Ukraine could get the US-made warplanes sometime in the future, because “folks are starting to think more long term.” The outlet reported last week that the US government was considering sending F-16s and Patriot long-range anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, expecting that the conflict with Russia would last for years.


Washington has stepped up its arms shipments throughout the conflict, eventually agreeing to provide multi-launch rocket systems, such as HIMARS, as well as long-range artillery platforms. The US has been sending increasingly heavier weapons to Kiev, stating that it would provide military aid for as long as it takes to push Russian forces from every part of the territory that Ukraine claims under its sovereignty. However, the Pentagon has so far refrained from sending some of its more sophisticated weapons, such as heavy armor or fighter jets, instead agreeing to facilitate transfers of Soviet-era equipment from third countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic.

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“..how dumb is the idea that we can punish Putin by pushing millions of German families into poverty and destroy our economy..”

Germany’s Die Linke On Verge Of Split Over Sanctions On Russia (G.)

Germany’s Die Linke could split into two parties over the Ukraine war, as the ailing leftwing party’s indecisive stance over economic sanctions against Russia triggered a series of high-profile resignations this week. The German Left party’s future has hung in a precarious balance since it snuck into the national parliament last autumn under a special provision for parties that win three or more constituency seats. Should three of its 39 delegates resign from the party, Die Linke would lose its status as a parliamentary group and attached privileges over speaking times and committee memberships. Party insiders say such resignations are a matter of when, not if, after a week of vicious public in-fighting over a speech in which the former co-leader Sahra Wagenknecht accused the German government of “launching an unprecedented economic war against our most important energy supplier”.

Supporters of Wagenknecht, a controversial but prominent figurehead, are already hatching plans for a breakaway party to compete in the 2024 European elections, the German newspaper Taz reported this week. Such a split would be likely to spell the end of Die Linke, 15 years after it was founded in a merger between the successor to East Germany’s Socialist Unity party and former Social Democrats disillusioned by their party’s direction under Gerhard Schröder, and just under a decade after it formed the largest opposition force in the Bundestag’s 2013-17 term.

In her speech last Thursday, Wagenknecht had called chancellor Olaf Scholz’s left-leaning governing coalition “the stupidest government in Europe” because it imposed sanctions on Russia, which supplied over half of Germany’s gas needs before the start of the war in the spring. “Yes, of course the war in Ukraine is a crime”, Wagenknecht said. “But how dumb is the idea that we can punish Putin by pushing millions of German families into poverty and destroy our economy while Gazprom makes record profits?” The speech was greeted with applause not only by the Linke leadership but also by delegates of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

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“European products are becoming uncompetitive on the world market: their price is much higher because of the cost of electricity and gas.”

Europe’s Economy And Living Standards Are Plummeting (OR)

The ill-considered sanctions against Russia have exposed the most acute problems of Europe which is rapidly losing its economic power. A tremendous amount of businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy. A flood of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine requires more and more budget spending. Funds are also being used to support the Kiev regime. As a result, Europe’s economies are deteriorating and living standards are plummeting. In Britain 60% of enterprises are on the verge of closing due to higher electricity prices. This is reported by the analytical group Make UK, representing the interests of British industry. 13% of British factories have reduced working hours and 7% are temporarily closing down. Electricity bills have risen by more than 100% compared to last year.

In Germany, according to the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, the number of firms and individuals went bankrupt in August alone rose 26% compared to the same period last year. The figure was significantly higher than German analysts had forecast. According to experts, during the autumn the number of bankruptcies will only increase. This is connected with the increase of the cost of production processes, in particular with the rise in prices for energy. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledged that many Germans have faced with rising prices for fuel and food. Most countries in Europe were in a similar situation. But the authorities are sacrificing the quality of people’s lives in order to continue to exert pressure on Russia. At the same time, many experts believe the stopping of Nord Stream will cause Europe’s worst energy crisis in decades.

This circumstance has already caused a sharp rise of prices of energy resources on the European market. As a result, energy bills of European households have increased. According to Goldman Sachs’ analysts, its cumulative cost will peak in early 2023, increasing by 2 trillion euros. It has also led to a record depreciation of the European currency over the past 20 years. The increased cost of gas, heat and electricity has an adverse effect on the living standard of the people. But an even more dangerous problem is the falling liquidity of European products produced at the new cost of energy. European products are becoming uncompetitive on the world market: their price is much higher because of the cost of electricity and gas.

Attempts by EU leaders to introduce a price cap on energy from Russia have completely failed. European countries are themselves to blame for the problems they face this coming winter because of reduced gas supplies from Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. According to him, “Europe reaps what it sows”, while Turkey “has no problems with gas supplies”.

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As long as you don’t recognize Taiwan as an independent state, you’re meddling in the internal affairs of China.

Has Biden Passed The Point Of No Return In Provoking China? (Fomenko)

It’s not the first time Biden has made such direct comments regarding American involvement in a potential conflict. It’s actually the third time in a year. Yet each time, the White House has walked back on it stating the “policy has not changed” regarding the island. But at this point in time, it can hardly be described as a gaffe worth overlooking, and Beijing is no longer likely to see it that way. In their eyes, the US policy of “strategic ambiguity” is coming to an end, with America moving irreversibly toward the de-facto support of Taiwan independence to contain China. When the United States normalized relations with the People’s Republic of China in the 1970s and accepted the “One China Policy,”Congress quickly imposed the “Taiwan Relations Act” on the Presidency in order to legally entrench US commitment towards the island.

By stating that the US would support “peaceful reunification” but in the process was obligated to give the island a “means to defend itself”- the policy of strategic ambiguity was born, that is the lack of clarity as to whether the US would directly intervene in the event of a contingency. The US has made periodic weapons sales to the island which has enraged Beijing, yet things otherwise remained stable for decades bar one crisis in the 1990s. But now, we live in a completely different world. The US is increasingly abrogating its commitment to the “One China Policy” and “strategic ambiguity,” increasingly giving unconditional support to Taiwan with a view to obstructing reunification altogether. Whilst the US continues to speak of maintaining the “status quo” it is quite obvious that its actions have sought to completely undermine the equilibrium between the two by backing Beijing into a corner.

Nancy Pelosi’s highly provocative visit, and the scores of hawkish US congressmen who have flowed in after, talk of the US pre-emptively placing sanctions on China over Taiwan irrespective of whether it invades or not, and the advancing of the Taiwan Policy Act which aims to give Taipei billions in military aid. China’s stern response to these provocations, which involved considerable military exercises, did not deter the US or make it think twice at all. Rather, events in Ukraine – where Washington supports Kiev against Russia – have only emboldened the US to push forward with the Taiwan issue even more, precisely because it sits on the side lines and allows other countries to be destroyed whilst selling its arms and using mass media coverage to market it. Now, for example, Taiwan wants to buy HIMARS launchers from the US in 2023.

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“Nobody is talking about peace . . . and don’t you dare talk about peace. . . . We are being driven to war by mentally ill people . . . All they want is control.”

The Worst Socioeconomic & Geopolitical Crisis in History – Celente (USAW)

“We are facing the worst socioeconomic and geopolitical crisis in modern history. The Covid war, this happened and that happened because of the pandemic. There was no pandemic. This happened because of politicians, little pieces of scum crap . . . one after another said close down your business, don’t go outside, don’t go to the beach, close down the swings and don’t let kids go and play. You have a socioeconomic crisis, the likes of which are unprecedented, and the damage caused by the Covid war is incalculable. (The CV19 Vax is part of Covid War.) Office occupancy rates are at about 45% tops. So, all the businesses that depended on commuters are gone. 30% of dry cleaners are out of business.

No more happy hours. In New York City, there are about 1,300 less people that clean office buildings now. This is real. People forget that in 2019, Germany was going into a recession. There were protests and demonstrations going on all over the world. . . . People were taking to the streets and protesting a lack of basic living standards, government corruption, crime and violence. It was one of our top trends. This is before the Covid war. They artificially propped up the governments. It was the Federal Reserve and the central banksters. They artificially pumped up the economies. There is almost $8 trillion pumped into the U.S. economy by the government to artificially prop it up. . . .

When you look at the Covid war, the draconian, demonic mandates and lockdowns that they imposed on businesses, when you look at the Ukraine war, the sanctions and the stupid things they are doing, they are creating the worst socioeconomic and geopolitical crisis in modern history.” Celente points out, “Nobody is talking about peace . . . and don’t you dare talk about peace. . . . We are being driven to war by mentally ill people . . . All they want is control.”

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Let rates rise…

Americans Drowning In Long-Term Credit Card Debt (ZH)

In June we reported that consumer credit – particular revolving credit – was through the roof, as tapped-out consumers relied on credit cards to make ends meet. This has only gotten worse.. Acccording to an Aug. 30 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, credit card balances increased by $46 billion from last year, becoming the second-biggest source of overall debt last quarter. While both student and car loans hit all time new highs at the end of the 1st quarter. And so it comes as no surprise from Bloomberg that more US consumers are saddled with credit card debt for longer periods of time. According to a survey by CreditCards.com released on Monday, 60% of credit card debtors have been holding this type of debt for at least a year, up 50% from a year ago, while those holding debt for over two years is up 40%, from 32%, according to the online credit card marketplace.

And while total credit-card balances remain slightly lower than pre-pandemic levels, inflation and rising interest rates are taking a toll on the already-stretched finances of US households. “About a quarter of respondents said day-to-day expenses are the primary reason why they carry a balance. Almost half cite an emergency or unexpected expense, including medical bills and home or car repair. The Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates for the fifth time this year next week. Credit-card rates are typically directly tied to the Fed Funds rate, and their increase along with a softening economy may lead to higher delinquencies. Total consumer debt rose $23.8 billion in July to a record $4.64 trillion, according to data from the Federal Reserve.” -Bloomberg. The Fed’s figures include credit card and auto debt, as well as student loans, but does not factor in mortgage debt.

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CIA.

America’s Open Wound (Edward Snowden)

Our glittering nation of laws observes this year two birthdays: the 70th anniversary of the National Security Agency, on which my thoughts have been recorded, and the 75th anniversary of the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA was founded in the wake of the 1947 National Security Act. The Act foresaw no need for the Courts and Congress to oversee a simple information-aggregation facility, and therefore subordinated it exclusively to the President, through the National Security Council he controls. Within a year, the young agency had already slipped the leash of its intended role of intelligence collection and analysis to establish a covert operations division.

Within a decade, the CIA was directing the coverage of American news organizations, overthrowing democratically elected governments (at times merely to benefit a favored corporation), establishing propaganda outfits to manipulate public sentiment, launching a long-running series of mind-control experiments on unwitting human subjects (purportedly contributing to the creation of the Unabomber), and—gasp—interfering with foreign elections. From there, it was a short hop to wiretapping journalists and compiling files on Americans who opposed its wars. In 1963, no less than former President Harry Truman confessed that the very agency he personally signed into law had transformed into something altogether different than he intended, writing: “For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble…”

Many today comfort themselves by imagining that the Agency has been reformed, and that such abuses are relics of the distant past, but what few reforms our democracy has won have been watered-down or compromised. The limited “Intelligence Oversight” role that was eventually conceded to Congress in order to placate the public has never been taken seriously by either the committee’s majority—which prefers cheerleading over investigating—or by the Agency itself, which continues to conceal politically-sensitive operations from the very group most likely to defend them.

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Dan Aykroyd SNL 1978
https://twitter.com/i/status/1572332575137402882

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human chain

 

 

 

 

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Aug 222022
 
 August 22, 2022  Posted by at 8:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Edouard Vuillard The window 1894

 

‘Russophrenia’ From Supposedly Smart People In The West (Diesen)
Russian Ambassador: We Simply Have No Contact With Western Diplomats (Antiwar)
US And Its Allies Lack Self-awareness (Robert Bridge)
German Chancellor’s Ratings Hit New Low (RT)
Scholz Told Putin When Ukraine Could Join NATO (RT)
Scholz Promises Kiev More Weapons ‘Soon’ (RT)
China Is Preparing To Go To War (Chang)
Drought Causes Yangtze River To Dry Up, Sparking Shortage Of Hydropower (G.)
Britain Warned Of ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ (RT)
UK Energy Bills To Skyrocket (RT)
British Soldiers To Prepare For Fighting Russia (RT)
Saskatchewan Warns Trudeau’s Federal Nitrogen Agents Could Be Arrested (TCS)
Peter Strzok: Fired FBI Official Is Making the Case Against Himself (Turley)
No Evidence Of Political Motivation Behind Mar-a-Lago Raid – Liz Cheney (CNBC)
In FBI vs. Trump, The People Lose (Maté)

 

 

Biden rent

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker T celll damage

 

 


Swedish artist Karl Jilg shows how much public space we’ve surrendered to cars

 

 

 

 

“We have been moving slowly towards a major European war for 30 years and there are no good solutions anymore..”

‘Russophrenia’ From Supposedly Smart People In The West (Diesen)

The author and holocaust survivor, Victor Klemperer, identified two distinct styles of language that defined Hitler’s propaganda against the Jews: either “scornful derision” of the inferior race or “panic-stricken fear” of their threat to civilisation. Anti-Russian propaganda over the past centuries has similarly produced two contradictory positions – disdain for Russians as an uncivilised and backward people, and simultaneously an immeasurable threat looming over Europe. A state of affairs described by one writer as “Russophrenia: the idea that Russia is simultaneously about to fall apart, and also take over the world.” Russia is hopelessly inept and weak, yet it is also capable of subverting the democracies of the world and restoring a global empire.

Moscow is so impaired that the West does not need to acknowledge or accommodate its basic security interests, yet NATO’s 30 member states need ever-more weapons to defend against the dreaded Russians. Exaggerating the weakness or the strength of an adversary (or both) is a key component of propaganda, which carries with it the obvious risk of miscalculations, as the real capabilities of the opponent are not accurately assessed. The war in Ukraine is a good case study of this phenomenon. To encourage more NATO, more military spending and containment of Russia, it is commonly argued that we have underestimated the threat of the Russians. During the Cold War, it was falsely argued that the Soviets enjoyed a huge positive missile gap vis-à-vis the US, which incentivised further military spending in the US.

After the Cold War, NATO expansion and raison d’etre have continued to rely on an exaggerated Russian threat. To encourage a more forceful approach to Russia, it is now argued that we have overestimated Moscow’s strength. Case in point, an article by The Atlantic argues that “Ukraine Has Exposed Russia as a Not-So-Great Power”. It suggests that because the Russian army “has seized only 20 percent of Ukraine”, it is time to shed the illusion of Russia being a great power. This conclusion supports an even more hard-line position towards Russia as opposed to Kissinger’s argument that great powers must be accommodated for peace. In other words, more of the same policies that fuelled tensions and brought us to this horrific conflict. [..] We have been moving slowly towards a major European war for 30 years and there are no good solutions anymore. But an end to wishful thinking must be the beginning.

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“..the lack of contact between officials means there is no potential to end the war through talks.”

Russian Ambassador: We Simply Have No Contact With Western Diplomats (Antiwar)

In an interview with the Financial Times, a top Russian diplomat says there is no communication with Western diplomats at the UN. The complete freeze in contact led the Kremin to assess there is no possibility of a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine. Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, told FT, “We do not have any contacts with the western delegations,” he said of his day-to-day work in Geneva. “On the protocol side we do not see each other … Privately we do not have any contacts, unfortunately … we simply do not talk to each other.” He said the lack of contact between officials means there is no potential to end the war through talks.

“Now, I do not see any possibility for diplomatic contacts. And the more the conflict goes on, the more difficult it will be to have a diplomatic solution,” Gatilov said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has only spoken with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once in the past six months. Gatilov said Western military support for Ukraine and preventing peace talks means the war will have a military end. “And so they [Kiev and its western supporters] will fight until the last Ukrainian,” he said. Lavrov said Ukraine made a workable proposal in March before Kiev broke off talks the following month. Multiple sources reported, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kiev as talks were progressing, discouraging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from engaging with the Kremlin.

Gatilov praised Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for attempting to facilitate a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine. Ankara has hosted talks between Kiev and Moscow. Turkey and the UN were essential in crafting a deal that allows wheat to be exported through Black Sea ports. While Russia is happy with Turkey’s mediation efforts, FT reported two weeks ago that Western diplomats were concerned about Ankara’s ties with Moscow. On Saturday, deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Turkish Deputy Finance Minister Yunus Elitas that Russian companies and individuals are attempting to bypass Western sanctions in Turkey. Adeyemo warned the White House was attempting to enforce those sanctions.

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“.. Islamic State militants, who scattered their forces throughout the civilian population thereby turning civilians into ‘human shields’ – a technique now being employed by Ukraine.”

US And Its Allies Lack Self-awareness (Robert Bridge)

Efforts are underway in the US Senate to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Before going down that road, lawmakers may wish to consider some inconvenient facts. If Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is doing anything – aside from eradicating the resurgence of fascism on the European continent – it is revealing the shocking lack of self-awareness in Western capitals. Perennial American Russophobes from opposite sides of the political spectrum, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Lindsey Graham, are now agitating members of Congress to include Russia in Washington’s list of ‘state sponsors of terrorism,’ which presently includes North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Syria. Meanwhile, the Baltic State of Lithuania signed off on its own legislation in May declaring Russia a ‘terrorist state.’

Yet Vilnius didn’t stop there, accusing Russia of carrying out ‘genocide’ on its neighbor’s territory. The resolution states that Russia is committing “genocide against the Ukrainian people,” while saying that the Russian military, like some kind of modern-day Huns, “deliberately and systematically target civilian targets…”. Consider how US-led coalition forces ‘liberated’ the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State militants, who scattered their forces throughout the civilian population thereby turning civilians into ‘human shields’ – a technique now being employed by Ukraine. The US-led Coalition’s relentless four-month ‘precision’ bombardment against IS killed and injured thousands of civilians, while reducing homes, businesses and infrastructure to rubble. Surveying the damage on the ground, Amnesty International concluded that the US-led Coalition “launched strikes likely to cause excessive harm to civilians and failed to distinguish between military targets and civilians.”

The tragic irony of the situation, from Russia’s perspective, is that while Moscow is attempting to spare infrastructure and human lives, it is branded the ‘terrorist state,’ whereas Ukraine is granted hero status as it employs those same tactics that put civilian life at grave risk. Naturally, tragedies will occur and Russia, like any country that finds itself at war, will eventually be accused of killing innocent civilians. Yet these casualties are vastly exacerbated by the fighting techniques of the Ukrainian military, which, it should be emphasized, has been receiving its training from NATO forces since 2014. Time and again, when Russian troops enter a city, they find the enemy fortified behind civilian infrastructure, like hospitals, kindergartens and schools. This automatically turns the facility into a military target for Russian forces, which Ukraine then uses as ‘proof’ that Moscow is deliberately targeting civilians.

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Did Mutti pick this dude, for his lack of charisma?

German Chancellor’s Ratings Hit New Low (RT)

The approval rating of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reached the lowest mark since he took office in December. Only 25% of the public is satisfied with the job he’s doing, a survey published by Bild on Sunday reveals. “It’s not working” for both Scholz and the ‘traffic light’ coalition government, the tabloid said as it shared the results of the poll, conducted by Germany’s INSA research institute. A mere 25% of those surveyed approve of the chancellor’s job, with 62% expressing disapproval. If an election were held right now, Scholz would only finish third with 18% of the vote. Economy Minister Robert Habeck of the Green Party and Friedrich Merz, who heads the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), are currently more popular, backed by 25% and 19% respectively, the poll shows.

The numbers for the ‘traffic light’ coalition, which unites the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens, were as bad as those for Scholz. Only 27% told the pollsters they were happy with the government, while 65% said they have a negative view of its decisions. Scholz’s ratings have been on a steady decline since becoming chancellor eight months ago, Bild said. In March, when the conflict in Ukraine – in which Berlin sided with Kiev, supplying it with arms and slapping harsh sanctions on Moscow – had just started, he was backed by 46%, but in April, the number dropped to 38%.

Economic problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have been further exacerbated by the Western restrictions on Moscow and the subsequent decrease in Russian gas supplies to the EU. Despite being Europe’s top economy, Germany has been hit hard by soaring gas prices as it faces the risk of energy shortages this winter. On Sunday, the head of the German central bank warned that “an inflation rate of even 10% is possible in the autumn months,” something which has not been seen in the country for more than 70 years.

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Imagine you’re Putin and you have to listen to this:

“..Ukraine would have been blocked from joining NATO for 30 years..”

“..NATO was never a threat to Russia..”

Scholz Told Putin When Ukraine Could Join NATO (RT)

The German chancellor said he had sought to assure the Russian president that Ukraine would not join the bloc in the near future German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine would have been blocked from joining NATO for 30 years, in a bid to assure Moscow of the military bloc’s good intentions. Over the weekend, the German leader revealed some details of his talks with Putin before Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, adding that he now believes Russia sought to “conquer its neighboring country” all along. “NATO was never a threat to Russia,” Scholz said he told Putin. The chancellor did not specify which conversation he was referring to, though Scholz met Putin in Moscow in mid-February.


Speaking to journalists this weekend during an ‘open-doors day’ at the chancellor’s office, Scholz also denied that the military alliance had disregarded Russian security interests. When the two leaders spoke about the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, Scholz assured Putin that “it will not happen in the next 30 years,” the chancellor revealed. Scholz also said that he would not abandon dialogue with Russia but struck a harsher tone when assessing Moscow’s motives. He particularly accused Putin of starting the conflict for “completely absurd” reasons. “This is a war that Putin, Russia, started, … clearly with the intention of conquering its neighboring country,” he told journalists, adding that he believes “that was the original goal” that Moscow had in its military campaign. The chancellor also recalled how Putin had “explained” to him that Ukraine and Belarus should not be “separate states.”

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Problem is, they don’t have them.

Scholz Promises Kiev More Weapons ‘Soon’ (RT)

Berlin supplies “a lot of weapons” to Kiev and will continue to provide Ukraine “with what it needs for its defense,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, in response to criticism from a former Bundeswehr general. Germany is currently “in the process of supplying the most modern and efficient equipment,” Scholz stressed during a traditional ‘open-doors day’ this weekend, citing recent multiple deliveries of self-propelled ‘Gepard’ anti-aircraft guns and PzH 2000 howitzers. The German leader claimed that his main focus remains on “ensuring that there is no escalation of the war,” when a retired Bundeswehr general Klaus Wittmann accused him of a lack of “leadership” and appearing “intimidated” by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as cited by the German news outlet NTV.


Even more weapons “will be there soon,”Scholz vowed, apparently referring to the long-promised deliveries of an Iris-T SLM anti-aircraft missile system and a Cobra artillery radar, but providing no clear timeline. Back in June, Berlin promised to send Kiev one Iris-T unit for free, but Ukraine wants at least a dozen and has offered to purchase the rest directly from the manufacturer, even though Germany’s armed forces reportedly do not have enough air-defense systems themselves. Kiev is expected to receive the first such system no earlier than November, according to previous reports. Last month, Germany also committed a Cobraartillery radar to Ukraine, reportedly set for delivery in September. According to German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, Kiev has already signed the contract for the materials and troops should have starting training to operate “this highly complex system.”

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Centralizing decision making.

China Is Preparing To Go To War (Chang)

Last month, a Chinese entrepreneur making medical equipment for consumers told me that local officials had demanded he convert his production lines in China so that they could turn out items for the military. Communist Party cadres, he said, were issuing similar orders to other manufacturers. Moreover, Chinese academics privately say the ongoing expulsion of foreign colleagues from China’s universities appears to be a preparation for hostilities. The People’s Republic of China is preparing to go to war, and it is not trying to hide its efforts. Amendments to the National Defense Law, effective the first day of last year, transfer powers from civilian to military officials. In general, the amendments reduce the role of the central government’s State Council by shifting power to the CMC, the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission.

Specifically, the State Council will no longer supervise the mobilization of the People’s Liberation Army. As Zeng Zhiping of Soochow University told Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, “The CMC is now formally in charge of making national defense policy and principles, while the State Council becomes a mere implementing agency to provide support for the military.” In one sense, these amendments were window dressing. “Recent changes to China’s National Defense Law that diminish the power of the State Council are largely political posturing,” Richard Fisher of the Virginia-based International Assessment and Strategy Center told me soon after the amendments went into effect. “The Chinese Communist Party and particularly its subordinate CMC have always held supreme power over decisions regarding war and peace.”

Why then do we care about the National Defense Law amendments? The amendments, Fisher tells us, “point to China’s ambition to achieve ‘whole nation’ levels of military mobilization to fight wars and give the CMC formal power to control the future Chinese capabilities for global military intervention.” “The revised National Defense Law also embodies the concept that everyone should be involved in national defense,” reports the Communist Party’s Global Times, summarizing the words of an unnamed CMC official. “All national organizations, armed forces, political parties, civil groups, enterprises, social organizations, and other organizations should support and take part in the development of national defense, fulfill national defense duties, and carry out national defense missions according to the law.”

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Small impact for now.

Drought Causes Yangtze River To Dry Up, Sparking Shortage Of Hydropower (G.)

A record-breaking drought has caused some rivers in China – including parts of the Yangtze – to dry up, affecting hydropower, halting shipping, and forcing major companies to suspend operations. A nationwide drought alert was issued on Friday as a long-running and severe heatwave in China’s heavily populated south-west was forecast to continue well into September. The loss of water flow to China’s extensive hydropower system has sparked a “grave situation” in Sichuan, which gets more than 80% of its energy from hydropower. On Sunday the provincial government declared it was at the highest warning level of “particularly severe”, with water flow to Sichuan’s hydropower reservoirs dropping by half. The demand for electricity, meanwhile, has increased by 25% this summer, local media reported.

Last week the province suspended or limited power supply to thousands of factories and rationed public electricity usage due to the shortage. Toyota, Foxconn and Tesla are among companies reported to have temporarily suspended operations at some plants over the last fortnight. On Sunday the South China Morning Post reported plans to restart production this week had been postponed. The Yangtze is the world’s third largest river, providing drinking water to more than 400 million Chinese people, and is the most vital waterway to China’s economy. It is also crucial to the global supply chain, but this summer it has reached record-low water levels, with entire sections and dozens of tributaries drying up. Water flow on the Yangtze’s main trunk is more than 50% below the average of the last five years.

Shipping routes in the middle and lower sections of the river have also closed, the SCMP reported. Across the affected regions of China authorities are rushing to ensure water and power supply, as the region approaches harvest season for water-intensive crops like rice and soy. On Sunday authorities discharged 980m cubic meters of water from reservoirs in an effort to replenish lower levels of the river, state media said. The drought has affected at least 2.46 million people and 2.2m hectares of agricultural land in Sichuan, Hebei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Chongqing. More than 780,000 people have needed direct government support because of the drought, according to China’s ministry of emergency management.

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I’d venture it’s too late already.

Britain Warned Of ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ (RT)

The UK could face a “humanitarian crisis” involving ill health, excess deaths and rising inequality if the government does not take urgent action on rising energy bills, the National Health Service (NHS) Confederation warned on Friday. The organization wrote to the chancellor of the exchequer, claiming that failing to act would add more pressure on health services that were already strained. According to the NHS, if energy bills become unaffordable, the country’s health and social care system will be left to “pick up the pieces.” “The country is facing a humanitarian crisis. Many people could face the awful choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and having to live in cold, damp and very unpleasant conditions,” wrote the head of the NHS Nadhim Zahawi.


“This, in turn, could lead to outbreaks of illness and sickness around the country and widen health inequalities, worsen children’s life chances and leave an indelible scar on local communities.” The NHS highlighted that, in addition to causing more sickness, mass fuel poverty was also likely to “increase the already high number of annual deaths associated with cold homes.” It noted the situation could also affect mental health. “Health leaders are clear that unless urgent action is taken by the government, this will cause a public health emergency,” Zahawi stressed. The warning comes as energy bills for the average household in Britain are projected to rise to more than £4,200 ($4,960) per year from January 2023 after the next increase in the price cap. Last October, it was set at £1,400 ($1,653).

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Worse than Germany?!

UK Energy Bills To Skyrocket (RT)

The average British household can expect to see annual energy bills soar to £6,000 (nearly $7,100) in 2023, according to the latest outlook issued by the UK independent energy consultancy Auxilione on Saturday. The analysts project that the price cap on bills, an officially set reference point, could reach £6,089 as soon as next April. The cap, which currently stands at £1,971, is expected to climb to £3,576 in October and £4,799 in January. Last October, it was set at £1,400 ($1,653). Earlier this month, the UK energy industry regulator Ofgem announced plans to adjust the cap quarterly rather than every six months due to the volatility in energy markets.


The latest figure represents a substantial increase to what was already a gloomy forecast made last week, when the consultancy projected annual average energy bills growing to more than £5,000 (nearly $6,100) next year. Auxilione expects bills to peak at over £6,000 in April before slowly decreasing in the second half of next year, eventually coming down to £5,160 in October. According to the latest poll by Opinium, about 40% of respondents said they would not be able to afford the rise in the cap due to be announced by the energy regulator Ofgem without falling behind on other essential bills.

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“We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”

Maybe feed your people first?

British Soldiers To Prepare For Fighting Russia (RT)

The UK’s top ‘other ranks’ soldier has said that British troops must be ready to fight Russia, and should prepare their families for the prospect of an “extended” deployment. His advice comes after the UK’s new head of General Staff said that British forces must become capable of “defeating Russia in battle.” Writing for the latest issue of the British Army’s ‘Soldier’ magazine, Carney said that “the Army is shaping itself to meet the threat from Russia,”and “will be ready, with the right equipment, to play our part in deterring a future war in Europe.” “Deterring” in this case seemingly means deploying. “I want us all to check we are physically fit for operations. And it is also important we prepare loved ones and families, who often have the hardest role in our absence,”he continued.

“My ask is that you have discussions about a potential deployment with them now…we could be out of contact for extended periods on tour.” Carney’s warning does not signal an imminent change in the UK’s role in the conflict in Ukraine. However, a warning in June by Britain’s new chief of the General Staff, General Patrick Sanders, suggests that the Army views Russia as its next major opponent. “There is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle,” Sanders wrote in a letter to his charges. “We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”

The UK has given Ukraine £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) in military aid since Russia’s military operation began in February. British forces are currently training Ukrainian recruits in the UK, and its intelligence agencies are allegedly sharing information with their Ukrainian counterparts. The UK is a member of the NATO alliance, and in the event that it became involved in open war with Russia, the bloc’s 29 other member states, including the US, would be obliged to enter the conflict.

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Private land.

Saskatchewan Warns Trudeau’s Federal Nitrogen Agents Could Be Arrested (TCS)

Saskatchewan Minister Jeremy Cockrill has sent a warning to the Trudeau government that officers sent by Ottawa will be arrested if they continue to trespass on farmland to test nitrogen levels. According to Cockrill, Trudeau’s government has been unlawfully sending federal employees onto Saskatchewan farmlands to test for nitrogen levels without the consent of landowners. In the letter, the Minister raised multiple complaints from Saskatchewan farmers that raised “serious concerns about Government of Canada employees, in clearly marked Government of Canada vehicles, trespassing on private lands.” The farmers reporting these trespasses made clear that these government agents did not request permission to access the land and were not in any other manner given consent to access it.

Minister Cockrill further pointed out to the Trudeau government that these actions constitute a breach of the Saskatchewan Trespass to Property Act, and warned that these actions could carry with them serious penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to six months in prison. By sending this letter, the Saskatchewan government has provided a clear order to the Trudeau government to cease and desist with any unlawful trespasses and warned them that should it continue, their employees could face arrest and prosecution. What is more concerning to some than the actual trespass are the motivations of the federal agents. According to the land owners who confronted the federal agents trespassing on their land, they were told that the purpose of them being there was to test the water in the farmers’ dugouts to measure nitrate levels.

For those following recent news in the agricultural world, this is being seen as connected to the Trudeau government’s recently announced policy to reduce the use of fertilizer on Canadian farms by 30%. This policy has been widely criticized by farmers across the country and by provincial governments in the Western provinces. Some observers have said that there is reason to suspect that these actions are the first steps in replicating the attacks on farmers that have provoked widespread unrest in the Netherlands and other places in Europe. While the federal government has not yet confirmed it, there is speculation that the water sampling we now know is underway, will be used as baseline measurements to enforce reductions in fertilizer usage going forward.

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“After he was fired, the former special agent was given a lucrative book deal, lionized on the left, featured prominently as an expert by CNN, and given a teaching job at Georgetown.”

Peter Strzok: Fired FBI Official Is Making the Case Against Himself (Turley)

Peter Strzok is back in the news this week. Career colleagues at the Justice Department previously referred Strzok for possible criminal charges and he was fired for his bias and unprofessional conduct. However, Strzok was immediately embraced by many in the media and establishment for his anti-Trump sentiments. After he was fired, the former special agent was given a lucrative book deal, lionized on the left, featured prominently as an expert by CNN, and given a teaching job at Georgetown. It was an extraordinary recovery from a scandal where he showed flagrant bias, engaged in an affair with another married colleague at the FBI, and fought to continue to investigate Russian collusion claims despite early warnings over the questionable basis of the allegations pushed by the Clinton campaign. (Strzok’s colleague and former paramour, Lisa Page, was given a contract as a legal analyst with NBC and MSNBC).

Now, Strzok appears liberated in showing precisely the bias and unhinged hostility alleged by his critics. He has been in the news lashing out at Trump and trolling his objections to the raid on Mar-a-Lago. The seizure of Trump’s passports has raised more doubts about the seemingly unlimited scope of the search. One of the passports taken in the raid was Trump’s active diplomatic passport, according to an email from the Justice Department made public by Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich. The other two passports alleged were expired. Last week, Strzok was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon with CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell, who blasted out a tweet claiming DOJ sources refuting Trump’s claim that the FBI took his passports.

The “CBS Evening News” anchor reported that the Department of Justice did not have Trump’s passports, tweeting, “According to a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump’s passports.” In fact, the FBI did take the passports and had to later return them. The clear import of O’Donnell’s tweet was that Trump was lying. That was clearly the message received by various critics, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is purportedly serving as an unbiased member of the January 6th committee. Kinzinger, R-Ill., wrote, “Lies lies lies and more lies.” Notably, Strzok was also among those eager to spread the O’Donnell report, tweeting, “And unsurprisingly, Trump’s statement turns out not to be true.” He later deleted it.

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None at all.

No Evidence Of Political Motivation Behind Mar-a-Lago Raid – Liz Cheney (CNBC)

Representative Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told ABC News that there was no political motivation in carrying out an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s resort home in Palm Beach, Florida. “I’ve seen no evidence that there was any political motivation,” Cheney told ABC News when asked about the Mar-a-Lago raid carried out by FBI agents. “I was ashamed to hear Republicans immediately and reflexively attack the FBI agents who executed the search warrant. I was disgusted when I learned that President Trump had released the names of the agents when he released the unredacted search warrant, and that has now caused violence,” Cheney said in the interview, which aired on Sunday. “This is a really dangerous moment,” she added.

On the heels of her congressional primary loss, Cheney also said that she will work with bipartisan political leaders to ensure that Trump never holds the nation’s highest office again. “I think, I think we have to make sure that he is not our nominee,” Cheney told ABC News. Cheney warned that Trump’s characterizations of U.S. elections as rigged is dangerous and disrupts the “fundamental function and principle at the center of our constitutional republic.” “There’s just simply no way that the nation and in my view, excuse that and put him in a position of power again,” Cheney said, referencing Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss and then the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

When asked about the Jan. 6 committee, which she serves as vice chair, Cheney declined to say whether Trump would be called to testify. “I don’t want to make any announcements about that this morning. I think it’s very important. As I said in the first hearing and the second hearing. His interactions with our committee will be under oath,” she said. Cheney noted that the committee has been in discussions with former Vice President Mike Pence’s legal counsel. “When the country has been through something as grave as this, everyone who has information has an obligation to step forward. So I would hope that he will do that,” Cheney said.

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“..an intra-elite, symbiotic feud that simultaneously boosts Trump among his base, and the national security state among his foes..”

In FBI vs. Trump, The People Lose (Maté)

For my money, the early beneficiary of the FBI’s espionage investigation of Donald Trump is Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post, “Trump has told advisers that in the nearly two years since leaving office, no issue had better galvanized Republican voters around him.” A Politico poll of Republican voters in the aftermath of the Mar-a-Lago raid gave Trump a 10-point boost over his closest possible primary rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump’s ensuing fundraising campaign has done even better, quickly topping $1 million on at least two days, a jump of at least 700%. Over the long run, it is difficult to form a conclusive judgment on Trump’s potential culpability in the absence of any confirmed detail about both the contents of the documents that Trump allegedly mishandled, and the evidence to support the Justice Department’s suspicions.

But if the last six years of routine Trump standoffs with the national security state are any guide, the walls are nowhere closer to closing in. Whatever your views on Trump, it is undeniable that the permanent military-intelligence bureaucracy in Washington does not see him as one of their own, and has gone to extraordinary lengths to target him when it sees fit. It is also undeniable that the national security state’s spats with Trump have distracted the public from vital issues that impact working people’s lives and the future of the planet. This includes, I have long argued, Trump’s most harmful policies as president, which were routinely overshadowed and even exacerbated by his standoffs with the “deep state.”

Accordingly, it is reasonable to expect that this latest “scandal” over the potential mishandling of classified documents will continue the trend that has defined the Trump era: an intra-elite, symbiotic feud that simultaneously boosts Trump among his base, and the national security state among his foes. Pundits and politicians are resoundingly confident that the FBI must have the goods on Trump to have taken the unprecedented step of searching the former president’s home. This argument can only be made by ignoring that the FBI and other intelligence agencies took far more unprecedented and consequential actions against Trump when he was president, on grounds that were not only baseless, but fraudulent.

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Peptides

 

 

 

 

 

29/2 1956

 

 

 

 

Ode to Joy 2
https://twitter.com/i/status/1561070756343300096

 

 

 

 

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