Mar 042024
 
 March 4, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Camille Corot The Burning of Sodom (formerly “The Destruction of Sodom”) 1843 and 1857

 

Trump ‘Dangerous’ For Women – Jill Biden (RT)
Supreme Court Ruling on Trump Ballot Case Could Come on March 4 (ET)
D.C. Circuit Ruling for J6 Rioter Could Impact Hundreds of Cases (Turley)
The Braindead American Foreign Policy Establishment (Paul Craig Roberts)
Musk Questions Why NATO Still Exists (RT)
Ukrainian Opposition Complains To EU About ‘Repression’ (RT)
NATO Arms Designed to ‘Keep Kiev on Life Support’, Not Help Them ‘Win’ (Sp.)
The Truth About Russian ‘Meat Assaults’ Against Ukrainian Forces (Bridge)
The Later The Negotiations, The Worse The Result For Ukraine – Hungary (RT)
Germany Preparing For War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)
Why Emmanuel Macron Suggested Openly Sending NATO Troops Into Ukraine (RT)
Polish Farmers’ Blockade Is ‘Beyond Morality’ – Zelensky (RT)
More Proof That COVID Killed Medical Ethics (Stansbury)
Scientists Expose Major Problems With Climate Change Data (ET)

 

 


The US can’t send aid by road to Gaza because Israel is dropping the 21,000 precision bombs there that the US also sent.

 

 

Mess with Joe

 

 

Surge

 

 

 

 

Tucker Haley

 

 

Biden Lies

 

 

 

 

Too big to rig

 

 

 

 

Time for Melania to step up?!

Trump ‘Dangerous’ For Women – Jill Biden (RT)

Donald Trump poses a threat for women due to his views on abortion, and should be prevented from returning to the White House, US First Lady Jill Biden has said. Her husband, US President Joe Biden, “spent his entire career lifting up women” in stark contrast to his main rival in this year’s election, she insisted at the launch of her ‘Women for Biden’ campaign effort in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday. Trump “spent a lifetime tearing us down and devaluing our existence. He mocks women’s bodies, disrespects our accomplishments, and brags about assault,” the first lady claimed. The latter point appears to be a reference to a recording that made headlines ahead of the presidential election in 2016. It featured a private conversation in which Trump bragged about the benefits of being a “star” when it comes to relations with females. “They let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the p*ssy,” he is heard saying on the tape.

”Now, he’s bragging about killing Roe v. Wade,” Biden said. Roe v. Wade was a 1973 decision by the US Supreme Court, which generally protected the right to abortion in America. After Trump appointed three conservative justices to the court during his term, it overturned its previous ruling in 2022, and several states immediately banned the procedure. ”Just last night, he took credit again for enabling states like Georgia to pass cruel abortion bans that are taking away the right of women to make their own health care decisions. How far will he go? When will he stop. You know the answer. He won’t,” she stated. ”Donald Trump is dangerous to women and to our families. We simply can’t let him win,” the first lady urged the crowd.

During an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Trump said that he had not yet made up his mind on the number of weeks after which abortion should be banned. “More and more I’m hearing about 15 weeks, and I haven’t decided yet,” he said, adding that “we got it back to the states where it belongs. A lot of states are taking very strong stances.” Jill Biden is slated to address female voters in key swing states – Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin – as part of her ‘Women for Biden’ initiative. The Biden campaign will also be releasing ads targeting women up until the election on November 5. Trump appears to be on course to become the Republican Party’s candidate for president after winning all five of the GOP’s primary contests to date. However, his last remaining rival, Nikki Haley, refuses to drop out of the race, despite suffering a crushing defeat in her home state of South Carolina last month.

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They can’t let individual states keep someone off the -national- ballot. It would mean anarchy.

Supreme Court Ruling on Trump Ballot Case Could Come on March 4 (ET)

The U.S. Supreme Court could issue a ruling as early as March 4 regarding a case that seeks to bar former President Donald Trump from appearing on primary and general election ballots for the 2024 presidential election. The Supreme Court, in an unusual Sunday update to its schedule, didn’t specify what ruling it would issue. However, the justices on Feb. 8 heard arguments in the former president’s appeal of a ruling in Colorado and are due to issue their own decision. The March 3 announcement said the opinion would be posted online at 10 a.m. Washington time. “The court will not take the bench,” it only said on its website. Late last year, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that President Trump is disqualified from appearing on ballots in Colorado, citing an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment provision that stipulates that candidates who engaged in an “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States should be prevented from holding office.

Maine’s Democratic secretary of state made a similar decision days later, and a judge in Illinois recently issued a similar ruling to prevent his appearance on ballots. The amendment was drafted more than 150 years ago, after the Civil War, and the court was the first to invoke it. However, that ruling and the two others are on hold pending the Supreme Court decision. The former president appealed the Colorado court ruling to the Supreme Court, which took up the matter quickly. Oral arguments in the case were heard last month. Notably, the Supreme Court has until now never ruled on the provision, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The court indicated this weekend that at least one case would be decided on March 4, although it didn’t indicate which one. Except for when the end of the term nears in late June, the court almost always issues decisions on days when the justices are scheduled to take the bench. But the next scheduled court day is March 15.

And apart from during the coronavirus pandemic, when the court was closed, the justices almost always read summaries of their opinions in the courtroom. If the resolution of the case comes on March 4, a day before Super Tuesday primary contests in 16 states, it would remove uncertainty about whether votes for President Trump, the leading Republican candidate for president, will ultimately count. Colorado and Maine are two of the states that will hold its GOP primary during the March 5 Super Tuesday contest. Lawyers for the former president asked the nine justices to reverse the Colorado court decision because only Congress can make a determination as who can become president. The court’s decision is also “the first time in the history of the United States that the judiciary has prevented voters from casting ballots for the leading major-party presidential candidate,” his lawyers said, concluding that it “is not and cannot be correct.”

After the ruling, President Trump wrote on social media that he is “not an insurrectionist,” adding that President Joe Biden is one. He also noted that he told supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically” during a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, before protesters and rioters entered the U.S. Capitol during the certification of electoral votes for the 2020 election, which forms the basis of the “insurrection” accusations against him. Justices for the Colorado Supreme Court had argued that they believed President Trump engaged in an insurrection because of his activity before and on Jan. 6, 2021, during the breach of the U.S. Capitol building. The former president, however, was never charged or convicted of insurrection. He was charged by a federal special counsel in connection with the 2020 election, but not for insurrection, rebellion, or related charges.

“President Trump asks us to hold that Section Three disqualifies every oath-breaking insurrectionist except the most powerful one and that it bars oath-breakers from virtually every office, both state and federal, except the highest one in the land,” the majority for the Colorado Supreme Court wrote in its 4–3 ruling. “Both results are inconsistent with the plain language and history of Section Three.” During oral arguments in front of the justices in early February, at least six of the justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, appeared to be at least skeptical of some of the claims made by the lawyer representing several Colorado voters who brought the lawsuit against the Republican front-runner.

“It’ll come down to just a handful of states that are going to decide the presidential election,” Chief Justice Roberts said, referring to the potential effect of the Colorado court’s ruling. “That’s a pretty daunting consequence.” Justice Clarence Thomas asked the lawyer, Jason Murray, why there weren’t many examples of individual states’ disqualifying candidates under the 14th Amendment after the Civil War. “There were a plethora of confederates still around, there were any number of people who would continue to either run for state offices or national offices, so it would seem—that would suggest there would at least be a few examples of national candidates being disqualified,” Justice Thomas, a Bush appointee, said.

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“..Justice official Michael Sherwin proudly declared that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe..”

D.C. Circuit Ruling for J6 Rioter Could Impact Hundreds of Cases (Turley)

In its affidavit supporting criminal charges, the Justice Department showed Air Force lieutenant colonel Larry Rendall Brock on the Senate floor on January 6, 2021 in a helmet and combat gear. That outfit only magnified the anger of many of us over the riot and the interruption of our constitutional process of certification. However, while there was little question of the validity of the charges against him, U.S. District Judge John Bates in March 2023 imposed a two year sentence based on a common enhancing factor cited by the government in many of these cases for the “substantial interference with the administration of justice.” A panel on the D.C. Circuit has now ruled against the use of that enhancer in a decision that could compel the resentencing of dozens of defendants from the January 6th riot.

The Justice Department has long been accused of excessive charging and abusive detention conditions for January 6th defendants. The heavy-handed treatment was apparently by design. In a controversial television interview, Justice official Michael Sherwin proudly declared that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe … it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re, like, ‘If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.’ … We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.” District court judges just went along with the use of the enhancement, even though it was based on a highly attenuated claim. As the D.C. Circuit found, “Congress’s certification of electoral college votes does not fit the ‘administration of justice’ mold.” It then noted:

“Considered in context, Congress’s counting and certification of electoral votes is but the last step in a lengthy electoral certification process involving state legislatures and officials as well as Congress. Taken as a whole, the multi-step process of certifying electoral college votes—as important to our democratic system of government as it is—bears little resemblance to the traditional understanding of the administration of justice as the judicial or quasi-judicial investigation or determination of individual rights.” The argument of the Biden Administration always seemed curious to me given the claims of former President Donald Trump that Vice President Michael Pence had the authority to reject state certifications. I disagreed with that view. However, arguing that this is a type of judicial proceeding would seem to enhance the Trump argument.

Yet, that is what the Justice Department did in many of these cases to enhance sentencing. Ultimately, Judge Bates’ sentencing was not as high as what the Justice Department wanted. Judge Bates detailed the considerable evidence against Brock in his preparation for violence. He wrote before the riot “Do not kill LEO [law enforcement officers] unless necessary… Gas would assist in this if we can get it.” It was also short of the maximum under the guidelines of 30 months. The sentence may have been reduced by as much as nine months without the enhancer. There could also be substantial reductions for a couple of hundred of other defendants who were sentenced with the enhancer. It is not clear if the government will appeal the ruling. We are also waiting for the oral argument in Fischer v. United States, which will consider the use of the felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding against defendants tied to the January 6th riot. Trump is also being prosecuted in part for that crime.

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“It is time to openly raise the banner of the defense of normal human values from the post-and even anti-human ones coming from the West.”

The Braindead American Foreign Policy Establishment (Paul Craig Roberts)

A source recently sent to me an article by a well-placed Russian foreign affairs expert with a note attached: “He thinks like you do.” Not entirely, but we share some of the same concerns. n“What Is To Be Done?,” by Sergei A. Karaganov, honorary chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Moscow reflects my own views expressed on many occasions, such as that in the face of the Western world’s hostility, Russia should avoid continuing conflict by turning to the East to China and India and to the expansion of BRICS. Like myself Karaganov hopes to avoid the death of mankind in nuclear war. He writes off the pro-Western Atlanticist Integrationist Russian liberals who clinged too long to their fantasy of being an accepted part of the West. Likely, it was this delusional collection of Russian liberals who are responsible for the failures in judgment that Karaganov brings home to the Kremlin, the very same failures that I have pointed out. The last thing Russia needs is interdependence with the West.

Karaganov points out that Russia has Asian roots dating from the days of Mongol overlords that are as strong as Western roots and that it is China that is rising, not Europe and the US which he regards as essentially washed up politically, economically, morally, and spiritually. Karaganov writes: “Europe -once a beacon of modernization for us and many other nations- is rapidly moving towards geopolitical nothingness and, hopefully I am wrong, towards moral and political decay. Its still-wealthy market is worth exploiting, but our main effort in relation to the old subcontinent should be morally and politically fencing ourselves off from it. Having first lost its soul -Christianity- it is now losing the fruit of the Enlightenment -rationalism. Besides, on orders from outside [Washington], the Eurobureaucracy is itself isolating Russia from Europe. We are grateful.

A break with Europe is an ordeal for many Russians. But we must go through it as quickly as possible. Naturally, fencing-off should not become a principle or be total. But any talk of recreating a European security system is a dangerous chimera. Systems of cooperation and security should be built within the framework of the continent of the future -Greater Eurasia-a by inviting European countries that are interested and are of interest to us. The West, he writes, is the modern equivalent to Sodom and Gomorrah. “It would have been better to finish our Western, European odyssey a century earlier. There now remains little of use to be borrowed from the West, though plenty of rubbish seeps in from it. But, as we belatedly complete the journey, we will retain the great European culture that is now rejected by post-European fashion.” As the West has rejected itself, it is an evil and Russia should fence itself off from it. He answered my recent question by saying that the culture the West created and is now alienated from will be saved by Russia.

There are other points where we have the same judgment, such as the defeatist way Putin conducted the conflict with Ukraine and his acceptance of provocations that escalated Western participation in the conflict. The way Putin tries to make the West feel non-threatened even as the West threatens Russia feeds conflict. To continually express your willingness to negotiate with Washington which intends to destroy Russia and Putin personally is an extraordinary failure of judgment. The lack of realism smacks you in the face. Karaganov writes that Russia should revise its approach to foreign policy from being defensive to offensive, and should cease its attempts to please and negotiate with the West. The Kremlin’s attempts “are not only immoral but also counterproductive” as they are unrealistic and produce more provocations. Karaganov sees the West as I do, that it is sinking into moral debauchery and anti-humanism. He writes, “It is time to openly raise the banner of the defense of normal human values from the post-and even anti-human ones coming from the West.”

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Join the chorus.

Musk Questions Why NATO Still Exists (RT)

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appears to agree with American investor David Sacks, who has argued that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO lost its reason to exist, but decided to embark on an expansion spree to fill the void. Writing on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday, Sacks said that the US-led bloc “faced an existential crisis” in the 1990s because it no longer had rivals comparable to the Soviet Union. However, “rather than disband, it came up with a new mission: to expand,” the entrepreneur remarked. “And in a self-referential loop, NATO expansion would create the hostility needed to justify itself,” he added.

Meanwhile, Musk appeared to agree with Sacks, writing on X: “True. I always wondered why NATO continued to exist even though its nemesis and reason to exist, The Warsaw Pact, had dissolved.” Since the 1990s, the bloc has been joined by a number of Eastern European countries that used to be part of the Soviet-aligned Warsaw pact, as well as the Baltic states and several Balkan countries. After the start of the Ukraine conflict, Finland also became part of the alliance, with Sweden poised to follow suit. Russia has repeatedly protested against NATO expansion, seeing it as a national security threat. Moscow has voiced particular concern about the possibility of Ukraine entering the bloc, with Russian President Vladimir Putin naming Kiev’s desire to do so as one of the key reasons of the current conflict.

Ukraine formally applied for NATO membership in the autumn of 2022 after four of its former regions overwhelmingly voted to become part of Russia. However, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Kiev cannot join until the current hostilities are resolved. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also described the alliance as a “tool of confrontation” and deterrence aimed at Russia. While numerous Western officials have claimed that Moscow could attack NATO within a few years, President Putin has said that he has no interest whatsoever in doing so.

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What does the EU have to do with this? Ukraine is not a member.

Ukrainian Opposition Complains To EU About ‘Repression’ (RT)

Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s party has appealed to the EU leadership, calling for the “restoration of freedom of speech” and political plurality in the country, while condemning Kiev’s “authoritarianism.” The Ukrainian authorities recently prevented the former president, who heads the European Solidarity party (which has 27 MPs in the 450-seat parliament), from leaving Ukraine to attend the Munich Security Conference due to alleged threats to his life – which he called an “offense against democracy.” Earlier this week, Oliver Varhelyi, the EU commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy, shared Poroshenko’s letter, in which the former president pleaded with Brussels to pressure Kiev to stop its “discriminatory” practices.

“According to the government’s logic, it is not the actions of officials who violate the rights and freedoms of Ukrainians that harm European integration, but those who, for example, apply for protection of rights, for example to the ECHR or other international institutions,” the party said in a statement published on the official website on Friday, while decrying Kiev’s “emotional and inadequate” reaction to the letter. The opposition party lamented the government’s “absolutism,” claiming the authorities act with “impunity” and are “used to a monologue and applause” rather than dialogue, while reacting nervously to criticism. According to the statement, the Ukrainian government remains “deaf” to society, which results in “multiple mistakes,” making it impossible for the opposition to stay silent as “authoritarianism” spreads inside Ukraine.

“Why does a democratic country need an opposition that is silent?” the party said, demanding “open dialogue of the authorities with society and the opposition,” lifting the restrictions on international travel for Poroshenko, as well as “the restoration of freedom of speech, the restoration of Ukrainian TV channels,” and “the return of journalists to the parliament’s meeting hall and the broadcasting of meetings on the Rada channel.” The party also insisted that the security forces should refrain from putting pressure “on the mass media, businesses, public activists, and the opposition,” and called for the restoration of parliamentary control over the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Poroshenko lost the 2019 election in a landslide to the current president of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, who campaigned on a promise of making peace in Donbass, only to reverse course and seek NATO support in its confrontation with Russia.

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‘..feeding the dog so that it does not die of hunger..’

NATO Arms Designed to ‘Keep Kiev on Life Support’, Not Help Them ‘Win’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s president has complained to his Western sponsors about the holdup in arms deliveries. Veteran Soviet and Russian officer and military journalist Viktor Litovkin tells Sputnik how Kiev allowed itself to become trapped in a highly unenviable strategic position. President Zelensky slammed his NATO patrons on Saturday, accusing them of playing “internal political games” instead of ramping up much-needed military support for Kiev. “This is impossible to understand. It is impossible to agree to this. And it will be impossible to forget; the world will remember this,” Zelensky said, emphasizing that Kiev’s ‘partners’ have “enough air defense systems” and that “Kiev hasn’t asked for anything more than needed” for its defense.

Zelensky made the comments against the background of the ongoing deadlock in Washington regarding $61 billion in fresh US military support for Ukraine, which the MAGA Republican-dominated House of Representatives has vowed to hold up until more is done to address the crisis at the US’s southern border, and unless the aid is provided in the form of a loan. The spending deadlock aside, Western officials have reason to be wary of further military assistance to Ukraine, having already spent so much taxpayer money, and damaged their reputations, preparing Kiev for a much-vaunted counteroffensive last summer only to see it fail spectacularly. Kiev has received over $265 billion in foreign military and economic Ukraine to date, with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy tracking some €115 billion+ ($125 billion US)-worth in arms assistance alone – which is over one and a half times Russia’s entire defense budget in 2023.

“Nothing will help Ukraine…But keeping it on life support is possible, including through the supply of Western weapons, ammunition and so on,” retired Soviet and Russian Army colonel Viktor Litovkin told Sputnik, commenting on Zelensky’s remarks. Comparing Ukrainian authorities to a terminally ill patient, Litovkin emphasized that the Western alliance and its clients don’t have the capabilities to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. “Last year’s counteroffensive failed for one simple reason: because, first and foremost, it was based on NATO tactics, NATO operational doctrine, and according to NATO regulations. NATO has never fought with an army of equal strength and power, and is not in a condition to overcome powerful, deeply layered defenses and large-scale minefields,” Litovkin explained, referring to the Russian multilayered defensive positions set up in Zaporozhye, Kherson and the Donbass in late 2022 and early 2023.

“No matter how much and whom Zelensky criticizes, it was clear from the outset that it was pointless for Ukraine to fight Russia, because Russia has a powerful defense industry, a powerful military, while Ukraine plundered its defense industry and destroyed itself,” Litovkin added, pointing out that the vast defense industrial base that Kiev was left with after the collapse of the USSR has been whittled away to the bone over the past three decades. Regarding Zelensky’s complaint that NATO is not providing the “required amount of weapons,” Litovkin said that’s the case “for a simple reason: because it is not Ukraine that’s at war with Russia, but NATO and the United States. Their task is not to ‘defeat’ Russia, but to ruin Russia, to weaken Russia. Therefore, Ukraine is given weapons on the principle of ‘feeding the dog so that it does not die of hunger’ but can bark loudly and bite painfully. Nothing more is required from Kiev. The fact that Ukrainian soldiers and officers are dying – the West doesn’t care about them, they’re not theirs.”

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“..Such a spectacle simply does not exist except in the imagination of the mainstream media..”

The Truth About Russian ‘Meat Assaults’ Against Ukrainian Forces (Bridge)

On January 24, The New York Post (“Moscow’s ‘meat wave’ tactic litters Ukraine battlefield with frozen corpses of Russian troops”) reported that “Russia is using a ‘meat wave’ strategy that sends scores of poorly trained soldiers to die on the front lines against Ukraine to clear a path for the Kremlin’s more valuable elite units — then abandons their frozen corpses on the battlefield.” The image that the Post article wishes to convey is that the Russian military is some sort of technologically inferior fighting force that must relay on brute force if it hopes to make any battlefield gains. The ultimate goal here is to portray the Russians as cold-blooded barbarians; an effort to dehumanize the Russians as, to quote one twitter user, “zombies, like meat without fear and self-preservation instincts” that leaves its dead and wounded on the battlefield unattended.

Earlier, Business Insider (“Russia is bringing back its bloody ‘human wave’ tactics, throwing poorly trained troops into a massive new assault in eastern Ukraine, White House says”) quoted John Kirby, the spokesperson for the National Security Council, as saying that “the Russian military appears to be using human wave tactics, where they throw masses of poorly trained soldiers right into the battlefield without proper equipment, and… without proper training and preparation.” Is Kirby projecting here? After all, it has been the Ukrainians who have been sweeping military age males off the street in broad daylight, sending them off to fight on the front lines with very little combat training. Not to be outdone, on January 24, CNN (“Russia’s relentless ‘meat assaults’ are wearing down outmanned and outgunned Ukrainian forces”) quoted a Ukrainian sniper with the callsign ‘Bess’ who said “Nobody evacuates [the Russian corpses], nobody takes them away,” he said. “It feels like people don’t have a specific task, they just go and die.”

Is there any truth to these allegations? Are the Russians really carrying out zombie-style frontal assaults that are “unprotected, exposed and concentrated” in a desperate effort to overrun Ukrainian positions? How do the facts stand up to this latest batch of mainstream media hype? Aside from the lack of any video evidence, consider basic military tactics. Only in the case of superior numerical troop strength – for example, as during the Battle of Normandy (June 6 – August 30, 1944) in World War II when the Allied forces launched a successful attack on German positions in northern France with over 2 million troops – would one side commit itself to carrying out massive frontal assaults on enemy positions. In a recent interview with Germany’s ARD broadcaster, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said the Ukrainian army currently has a force level numbering about 880,000 troops.

“We have 880,000 troops; that’s an army of almost a million,” he said, when asked about the army’s force strength. Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia had deployed more than 600,000 military personnel in Ukraine. “The front line is over 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) long. There are 617,000 people in the conflict zone,” the Russian leader said during his first end-of-year press conference since sending his army into Ukraine in February 2022. Meanwhile, even the Western mainstream media admits that Russia enjoys a 10-to-1 advantage in the number of artillery supplies, aircraft, drones and armored assault vehicles. With such an overwhelming advantage, why would the Russians need to resort to the desperate tactic of exposing its infantry to “human wave” attacks? If anything, it would be the numerically superior Ukrainian forces – now being systematically crushed by the Russians across the entire field of contact – who would be expected to throw themselves against their enemy in open fields.

The fact is, however, there has never been any video evidence of huge waves of Russian forces – nor Ukrainian, for that matter – running across open fields in some kind of mad dash to storm enemy defenses. Such a spectacle simply does not exist except in the imagination of the mainstream media, which would also have its readers believe that Russian troops in Artyomovsk (known in Ukraine as Bakhmut) were forced to fight with shovels against their opponent, while also being forced to cannibalize components from foreign appliances to facilitate its defense production. In the words of an old sage: “hogwash.”

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“..time is on the side of the Russians, and the longer the war goes on, the more people will die, and the balance of power will not change in Ukraine’s favor.”

The Later The Negotiations, The Worse The Result For Ukraine – Hungary (RT)

Ukraine will not be able to strengthen its negotiating position on the battlefield as some Western leaders think it will, and the longer peace talks are postponed, the worse the outcome will be for Kiev, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. Speaking to Radio Kossuth on Sunday, Szijjarto said that he has been “hearing for months” about how the Ukrainian military is gaining ground at the front “from which they can start negotiations from a better position.” “In recent weeks, it has become clear that this scenario has failed, that time is on Russia’s side,” he continued, warning that “the later a ceasefire is called and negotiations begin, the worse it will be for Ukraine.” From the outset of the conflict, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington would continue to arm Kiev in order to “strengthen its hand to achieve a diplomatic solution on just terms at a negotiating table.” EU diplomats have made similar promises, generally followed by assurances that Ukraine alone would decide when to enter into talks with Russia.

Hungary has taken a different path, with Szijjarto and Prime Minister Viktor Orban calling since 2022 for a ceasefire and negotiations. “Almost nobody” believes that Ukraine will win, Orban told members of his Fidesz party last month. Several weeks before Ukraine lost the key Donbass stronghold of Avdeevka, the Hungarian leader stated that “time is on the side of the Russians, and the longer the war goes on, the more people will die, and the balance of power will not change in Ukraine’s favor.” According to the latest figures from the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukraine has lost more than 400,000 service members – killed, wounded or missing – since the conflict began in February 2022. The Ukrainian military is also dealing with a dwindling pool of potential conscripts and shortages of Western weapons and ammunition.

Western media outlets and politicians have warned that these twin problems may soon lead to a collapse all along the front. “We have also made it clear that the longer this war lasts, the closer we get to the terrifying danger called the Third World War,” Szijjarto told Radio Kossuth. The Hungarian diplomat condemned a recent remark by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said last Monday that he “cannot exclude” the deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine. While multiple NATO leaders and the alliance’s secretary general swiftly announced that no such deployment would take place, the idea found favor among some of the Baltic states, who have consistently called for more Western intervention.

“We in NATO made a decision about two years ago… [stating] that NATO is not a belligerent, and everything must be done to avoid a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia,” the bloc’s head Jens Stoltenberg explained. “The Western politicians who talk about the need to send ground troops are certainly violating this joint NATO decision,” he continued. “Our position is clear and unambiguous: we will not send weapons or soldiers.” Moscow has pointed out that it remains open to peace talks, but has received no “serious” proposals from Kiev or the West. Any potential deal, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month, will have to take the “new reality” that Ukraine no longer owns Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye into account.

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“..a hypothetical provocation scenario, in which the German military might convince Scholz that Russian forces had launched a missile “at Berlin,” which had been intercepted..”

Germany Preparing For War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)

A recently leaked recording of senior German officers discussing a potential attack on the Crimean Bridge leaves no doubt that Berlin is preparing for a military conflict with Moscow, the former Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, warned on his Telegram channel on Sunday. Medvedev, who is currently deputy head of the Russian Security Council, was commenting on audio that surfaced earlier this week. The story was broken on Friday by RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, who said she had received the recording from Russian security officials. The 38-minute-long recording, reportedly from February 19, contained a conversation between four officers of the German Air Force, including its commander, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz. They were discussing operational and targeting details of Taurus long-range missiles which Berlin was considering supplying to Kiev.

The officers particularly explored the option of the missiles being used against the Crimean Bridge and spoke about maintaining plausible deniability in the event of such an attack. The leak sparked a major scandal in Germany, with many senior MPs calling for the nation’s counterintelligence efforts to be enhanced. The German Defense Ministry confirmed the authenticity of the recording but neither the military nor Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government have commented on the plans discussed by the senior officers. On Sunday, Medvedev assumed that Berlin would now try to claim it had known nothing of the military discussions taking place. He also stated that the German authorities could call the leaked conversation a purely hypothetical one and say that the military was “obsessed with playing mock battles.”

“Any attempts to present the Bundeswehr officers’ conversation as just a ‘game’ with missiles and tanks would be a malicious lie,” the former president warned. “Germany is preparing for a war with Russia.” Medvedev also said that the position of Scholz’s cabinet might eventually be irrelevant when it comes to the standoff between Moscow and Berlin. “History knows many examples when the military were capable of taking decisions for their civilian superiors about starting a war or just instigating [conflict],” he added. He particularly pointed to a hypothetical provocation scenario, in which the German military might convince Scholz that Russian forces had launched a missile “at Berlin,” which had been intercepted.

Various German officials have recently raised the issue of a potential war with Russia. Earlier on Sunday, the nation’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, said that Germany should improve its healthcare system for it to be able to swiftly respond to “major disasters” like a military conflict. Last month, German general Carsten Breuer called for a “change in mentality” in society, insisting the nation needed to prepare for a potential war with Russia in five years. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said last November that the country must become “war-capable,” and stated again in January that Berlin and all its NATO allies should arm themselves more actively to be able to “wage a war that is forced upon us.”

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“..it is precisely this that increases risks, as it fits into the popular meme of “dementia and courage,” especially when a mild panic is added..”

Why Emmanuel Macron Suggested Openly Sending NATO Troops Into Ukraine (RT)

Talk of strategic autonomy in the Old World remained empty for decades because it was treated as an accessory, necessary only for the sake of solidarity. Otherwise, Western Europe was content with a situation in which it did not have to worry about such matters. Partly because of American guarantees but mainly because of the absence of any threat. The year 2022 brought troubles of a threefold nature. First, the terrifying specter of what they see as Russian revanchism. Second, the fact it was Western Europe that bore the economic cost of combating Moscow. Third, no matter what is proclaimed at summits, the reality that domestic priorities are pulling the US away from Europe. The Old World has been bickering with America over defense spending for years, and responding with cosmetic measures.

Again, because it did not believe in the threat. When that began to change, the question of spending and capabilities did not arise for the US, but rather for the European part of the trans-Atlantic alliance. The Americans do not really care how the Ukrainian battle ends, and they can afford to deal with other matters –domestic ones– in parallel. The latter are obviously more important, and the financing of Ukraine is becoming their hostage. In Western Europe, the fear of war with Russia has already been so promoted by the top brass that it is beginning to determine everything else. When the Western community is mobilized to confront “autocracies” (Russia is joined by China in this narrative), it is foolish to raise the question of European strategic autonomy. But such a capacity is becoming a necessary condition for Western Europe’s relevance. Hence the attempt to redirect consciousness from the priority of social comfort to the imperative of security.

The conditions for success are not very favorable. The population is used to tranquility. The collective lack of quality in their elites also reduces confidence in their ability to manage the strategic approach. But firstly, it is precisely this that increases risks, as it fits into the popular meme of “dementia and courage,” especially when a mild panic is added. Secondly, one should not draw conclusions from clumsy approaches, such as Macron’s statements or the musings of EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell. Behind the cartoonish façade are discreet changes in the approaches of countries (or individual segments of societies) that retain the ability to think in terms of effective confrontation. And which recognize that the US agenda is changing, probably irreversibly. Here, the British build-up is a clear example. Gunpowder is sometimes preserved in powder chambers that have long since been turned into souvenirs. If it is not there, so much the better, but it is more useful to overestimate the enemy than vice versa.

Macgregor

Read more …

“We are constantly looking for a solution that will protect the Polish market from being flooded with clearly cheaper [Ukrainian] agricultural products..”

Polish Farmers’ Blockade Is ‘Beyond Morality’ – Zelensky (RT)

The protests at the border by Polish farmers against Ukrainian agricultural imports have crossed all boundaries, President Vladimir Zelensky has said, accusing Warsaw of using the situation for domestic political games while Kiev remains under immense pressure from Russia. Polish farmers started blockading the Ukrainian border back in autumn in protest of EU regulations that allowed their Ukrainian competitors to sell agricultural products in the bloc without paying tariffs, which they say amounts to an unfair advantage. The protests left thousands of Ukrainian trucks stuck in border queues. In a video address on Telegram on Sunday, the Ukrainian leader urged his Polish counterparts to “finally find a solution” to the crisis, which he said “has gone beyond both economics and morality long ago.”

“It is simply impossible to explain how the hardships of a bleeding country can be used in domestic political struggles,” he added, promising, however, that Kiev would eventually manage to pull through. The protests intensified in late February when farmers blocked all six border crossings with Ukraine. Officials in Kiev have also claimed that “unidentified persons” were destroying Ukrainian grain on the railroad, suggesting that it could be “sabotage” and urging the Polish authorities to intervene. Polish Agriculture Minister Czeslaw Siekierski apologized for instances of grain being dumped but attempted to justify the protesters’ actions by saying they were “in a very difficult economic situation.” Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said last week that Warsaw was in talks with Kiev about temporarily shutting the border. Kiev, however, denied this claim.

Tusk pointed out that while Poland, which has been one of Kiev’s most steadfast backers, wants to help Ukraine, it “can’t allow this help to bring very negative effects to our citizens.” “We are constantly looking for a solution that will protect the Polish market from being flooded with clearly cheaper [Ukrainian] agricultural products,” he said. The Ukrainian-Polish dispute comes as a wave of protests by farmers has swept through numerous EU states. Farmers in such countries as Germany, Greece, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands have rallied against agricultural reforms and new environmental policies which they say increase their costs and decrease profit margins.

Read more …

Make that moral ethics.

More Proof That COVID Killed Medical Ethics (Stansbury)

A February 12, 2024 Slay News.com article reported that thousands of elderly COVID patients in the United Kingdom (U.K.) were secretly euthanized in April 2020 by injection with the drug Midazolam. This disturbing claim came from an investigation directed by Wilson Sy, director, Investment Analytics Research Australia, and made public by Craig Kelly, the national director of the (conservative) United Australia Party. The alleged euthanasia claim seems unlikely because in the U.K., it is regarded as either manslaughter or murder by the National Health Service (NHS) and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. And unlike in Trudeau’s Canada, even voluntary assisted suicide is illegal and punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment. In addition, the drug Midazolam is not for euthanasia. It’s a widely used anti-anxiety medication. However, Drugs.com cautions that it is risky for patients with a cough, wheezing, or trouble breathing.

Having had a career in analytics, I was skeptical. I reviewed the ResearchGate investigation documentation fully expecting to find fake news. Instead, I found that the report was exceptionally well researched and documented, and the claim appears valid. “Shortages of hospital beds were already felt before the pandemic. Therefore, there was apprehension that UK hospitals could not cope with the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases. It is clear that the highest priority of UK public health policy, early in the pandemic, was to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed, like those sensationally reported in northern Italy around that time. The NHS created new guidelines in March 2020 to facilitate discharges from hospitals, stating “Unless required to be in hospital, patients must not remain in an NHS bed.” “In a move which was later judged irrational, many elderly were discharged from hospital and died in care homes across England. As a result about 28,000 care home residents died in April 2020 across England, which represented about one third or 33.5 percent of all deaths in England. Many of the UK elderly with comorbidities or terminal illnesses have died with euthanasia in care homes, and not from COVID-19 due to few cases of infections early in 2020.” … “New guidelines were rapidly developed in early 2020 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for managing COVID-19 symptoms, including those at the end-of-life. The rapidly developed new guidelines effectively opened the door to implement a policy of euthanasia in UK during the pandemic.”

[..] This simple forensic analysis helped confirm an even greater medical mass murder: United Kingdom, population 67 million: The COVID death trend data for JAN 2020 and FEB 2021 confirms it was disproportionally high. The real blame goes to its government provided “free” healthcare because hospitals were overwhelmed even before the pandemic. Their treatment protocols, like those of most wealthy countries also placed all bets on the vax, lockdowns, etc. and this decision likely contributed to other variations as well. And anyone criticizing the government treatment protocols was censored. Final: 3,472 deaths per million people thru 2/18/2024.

Sweden, population 10 million: Sweden was included because it alone rejected severe lockdown measures and as a result it had achieved herd immunity by around FEB 2021. That lasted until Sweden inexplicably mandated the vax and boosters. It is now known that repeated jabs confuse the immune system so when a new variant attacks, it fails to recognize it as the real threat and instead attacks the ghosts of older variants. Sweden alone continued to experience spikes in deaths well beyond MAR 2022. Was it a coincidence that each major surge in boosters administered was followed by a similar surge in deaths a couple of months later? Final: 2,576 deaths per million people thru 2/18/2024.

United States, population 333 million: The US is known to have exaggerated its death rate by including deaths with COVID. Nevertheless, America’s initial two death spikes rose and fell like both Sweden and the UK and all three increased somewhat when the Delta variant arrived around the middle of 2021. By then the first round of vax had been widely distributed and mandated. The U.S. death trend remained slightly elevated until the end of March 2022. Coincidentally, its downturn in deaths resumed as people became more aware of the vaccine’s deadly side effects and several red states had cancelled their vax mandates. Like in the UK, any dissent was silenced. Final: 3,472 deaths per million people thru 2/18/2024.

India, population 1.4 billion: This huge country posted a consistently low COVID death rate and set an ideal benchmark. India alone encouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) starting immediately when COVID arrived. India’s death rate spiked only once when the Delta variant showed up and HCQ proved less effective. However, their medical establishment reacted quickly to replace it with Ivermectin, and daily deaths once again returned to near zero for the duration. India had access to the vaccines, but it was not a priority. The data confirms that India’s inexpensive treatment protocol saved millions of lives. Final: 376 deaths per million people thru 2/18/2024.

Read more …

“..climate activism has become the new religion of the 21st century—heretics are not welcome and not allowed to ask questions..”

Very much like Covid.

Scientists Expose Major Problems With Climate Change Data (ET)

Temperature records used by climate scientists and governments to build models that then forecast dangerous manmade global warming repercussions have serious problems and even corruption in the data, multiple scientists who have published recent studies on the issue told The Epoch Times. The Biden administration leans on its latest National Climate Assessment report as evidence that global warming is accelerating because of human activities. The document states that human emissions of “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide are dangerously warming the Earth. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) holds the same view, and its leaders are pushing major global policy changes in response. But scientific experts from around the world in a variety of fields are pushing back. In peer-reviewed studies, they cite a wide range of flaws with the global temperature data used to reach the dire conclusions; they say it’s time to reexamine the whole narrative.

Problems with temperature data include a lack of geographically and historically representative data, contamination of the records by heat from urban areas, and corruption of the data introduced by a process known as “homogenization.” The flaws are so significant that they make the temperature data—and the models based on it—essentially useless or worse, three independent scientists with the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES) explained. The experts said that when data corruption is considered, the alleged “climate crisis” supposedly caused by human activities disappears. Instead, natural climate variability offers a much better explanation for what is being observed, they said. Some experts told The Epoch Times that deliberate fraud appeared to be at work, while others suggested more innocent explanations. But regardless of why the problems exist, the implications of the findings are hard to overstate.

With no climate crisis, the justification for trillions of dollars in government spending and costly changes in public policy to restrict carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions collapses, the scientists explained in a series of interviews about their research. “For the last 35 years, the words of the IPCC have been taken to be gospel,” according to astrophysicist and CERES founder Willie Soon. Until recently, he was a researcher working with the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian. “And indeed, climate activism has become the new religion of the 21st century—heretics are not welcome and not allowed to ask questions,” Mr. Soon told The Epoch Times. “But good science demands that scientists are encouraged to question the IPCC’s dogma. The supposed purity of the global temperature record is one of the most sacred dogmas of the IPCC.” The latest U.S. government National Climate Assessment report states: “Human activities are changing the climate. “The evidence for warming across multiple aspects of the Earth system is incontrovertible, and the science is unequivocal that increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases are driving many observed trends and changes.”

In particular, according to the report, this is because of human activities such as burning fossil fuels for transportation, energy, and agriculture. Looking at timescales highlights major problems with this narrative, Mr. Soon said. “When people ask about global warming or climate change, it is essential to ask, ‘Since when?’ The data shows that it has warmed since the 1970s, but that this followed a period of cooling from the 1940s,” he said. While it is “definitely warmer” now than in the 19th century, Mr. Soon said that temperature proxy data show the 19th century “was exceptionally cold.” “It was the end of a period that’s known as the Little Ice Age,” he said.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Garland

 

 

 

 

VDH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coil

 

 

Lara Logan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1762536419275293121

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 132023
 
 December 13, 2023  Posted by at 4:54 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »


Eugene Delacroix Greece expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi 1826

 

 

(TAE=The Automatic Earth). I wanted to talk about some things at the end of this year. In early 2015 things changed for me. When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President, the world of news acquired a whole new outlook. It’s one thing to not like, or agree with, someone or something. It’s quite another to go after it, or him, en masse with all you got and all of your friends. In the beginning, it seemed almost innocent. Because everyone was so convinced that he had no chance anyway.

As the year went on, that idea changed. Even though at the end, 17 months later, in November 2016, there were still plenty polls that gave Hillary Clinton a 90%-or so chance to win. It’s when I first started thinking that maybe we should adapt the approach to news at the Automatic Earth. It was no longer commenting on the news, but changing it completely. The Trump presidency was unlike any other. “They” were awake now. He remained under investigation non-stop for 4 years. Which is odd, because the Constitution invests a lot in the rights and privileges of the President.

But the losing side never stopped their attempts to interfere with both Trump and his presidency. The Mueller probe lasted for years with 10x a day insinuations, and ended in nothing found, zero, zilch, nada. It’s hard not to think from time to time that such a thing should not be possible. But Washington (both sides) did let it happen, because it’s allergic to outsiders. Both Washington and the court system have made that abundantly clear, and continue to do so. Today, he faces an insane 91 charges and 4 indictments. Which he wouldn’t if he had not declared a renewed candidacy.

What finally caught up with Trump was Covid. The only advisors he had for that (Fauci, Birx) were in the “other team”. He bought their stories hook line and sinker because there was no-one else. Operation Warpspeed has caused more deaths and disabilities than anything in American history, and they haven’t even started blaming it on him. The worldwide death toll from mRNA vaccines now stands at some 17 million, lifelong adverse effects is a multiple of that (10x?) , and we’re just 2-3 years into what will be a long tragedy.

Covid really changed my view of both TAE and the so-called news. It is one thing to interpret the available news for readers, but the story changes when there is no alternative available. Then you really need to start digging. Ironically, it was thanks to pre-Musk Twitter, which censored left right and center, including us, that we did get at least some info. There was a group of medical professionals, McCullough, Kory, Urso, Meryl Nash etc etc, who had the guts -and knowledge- to stand up to Pfizer and Fauci et al.

We now know for sure that the vaccines don’t save lives, they kill people. If we would have had a policy of, right from the start, handing out vitamin D3/K2, zinc and magnesium, even before Ivermectin and HCQ, millions of lives would have been saved, and tens of millions of disabilities would have been averted.

The reaction to reporting on that has been to demonitize us. And that hurts. Elon Musk can say Go F*ck Yourself, and Zerohedge can work around similar funding difficulties, but, small as we are, the only way we can make up for losing 1/3 of our revenue, is our readers. And you can say: grow bigger!, but Twitter sent us warnings pre-Musk, Facebook closed our account, and Google has now “officially” blacklisted us. And for what? Inciting violence? Gun trade? Drug trade? Sex trade? No, for questioning the party line.

 

All this is why we moved to making the Debt Rattle news overviews the overarching item on TAE. You can offer an different view on something the MSM report, but when you’re faced with an info tsunami, that becomes impossible. When Ukraine became the next hot topic after Trump and Covid, we started including Russian news agencies. The ones that are banned because they are “Russian propaganda”. But it’s impossible to know what happens in Ukraine just from western MSM. So are we not supposed, or allowed, to know what goes on? Thing is, that’s exactly what TAE is meant to clear up.

I notice that the four topics that have driven us since 2015, Trump, Covid, Ukraine and now Gaza, are all very much alive long after they first became “news”. Trump more than ever, 91 charges. Covid with renewed vax campaigns, despite the vax victims. Ukraine despite the fact that they lost, decidedly. Gaza despite the children’s slaughterhouse. And I will not stop saying about any of these topics, what I think must be said.

That Trump, whatever you think of him, was the most disrespected President in US history, which means the Constitution was violated and dragged through the mud. A big thing, there’s no route back from that. That Covid was Washington -and Brussels- conspiring with Big Pharma to murder millions of people. That Ukraine is a ploy to depopulate a crucial plot of land in the center of Europe, on Russia’s border. And that murdering 1000s of innocent children is never okay, period.

 

A bit more about the ads: a few years ago, we noticed that Google was taking an ever bigger part of revenues. We went from $1,000 a month to $3-400. We had the idea that their monopoly was largely over, so we looked for alternatives. We tried a whole series of those, but the end result is that the only viable way to get a reasonable return is through Google (+ added-on ads). It’s a virtual monopoly, and it’s hard to see why that still exists. As I said, now Google has blacklisted TAE, so we’re screwed in this field. And Google to this day still sends us mails about policy violations, even if we haven’t hosted their ads for years. One wonders what they think over there.

The policy violations mails say there’s something in a post that they don’t like. But not what that is. You have to guess where in a 8,000-9,000 word post their feelings are offended. The only way would seem to be to take down the entire post. We can only post what a faceless person at Google (or G-d knows, an AI engine) allows us to. It is an impossible demand.

Long story short: we should have $1,000 each from Paypal donations, Patreon, and ads. But one third of that has been missing for a few years now. And I see Paypal and Patreon also creeping down. Hopefully a Christmas fundraiser appeal will wake our readers up. I’ve said many times that I abhor paywalls. But I do think sometimes that if our core group of 5,000 readers would pay $1 a month, we’d be fine, and free to worry about other things.

 

All of this of course also affects the Monastiraki kitchen project (“Self-managed Social Kitchen Monastiraki”). Which the Automatic Earth has been supporting for 8,5 years already. And proudly so. Because when you’re old and look back on your life, you will find that what’s important is the things you did for other people. And because when you find a project such as this that lasts this long, with scores of people who bring nothing but their time and energy and often their own money, you need to cherish that. Because it’s rare.

 

 

Here’s me doing a copy and paste from last year:

Most of you will know the drill of this by now: any donations ending in $0.99 or $0.37 go straight to the Monastiraki kitchen, while other donations go to the Automatic Earth -which also badly needs them, especially for Christmas-.

I dislike few things more than asking people for money, even though the Automatic Earth now runs primarily on donations, and there’s some sweet justice in that as well, in depending on people’s appreciation of what we do, instead of ad revenues.

But I cannot do this on my own right now. To get through the winter in one piece, the Monastiraki kitchen will realistically need about €1,000 per month. I don’t have that to spare. So I’m calling on you. In earlier times, 2016-2017, we had way more than that with Konstantinos, but both Filothei and I decided a few years back, independently from each other, that we didn’t want to work with him anymore.

So let’s see where we can get today, shall we? I want to write the perfect article with the perfect plea, but there is of course no such thing. Therefore, I will be back in a few weeks time with a reminder -and updates-, hoping that y’all have gotten the message.

I love all you people so much, and I’m sorry I can’t thank you all individually who have supported -and still do- the Monastiraki kitchen and the Automatic Earth all this time, and I ask you to keep on doing just that. The details for donations on Paypal and Patreon, for both causes, are in the top of the two sidebars of this site. Could not be much easier.

Love you. Thank you.

 

 

Here’s Filothei’s photo project covering 10 years of Monastiraki kitchen, entitled Ekei (“There”).

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 012023
 
 September 1, 2023  Posted by at 8:41 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Laurits Andersen Ring At Breakfast 1898

 

US Getting ‘Money’s Worth’ In Ukraine – Sen. Blumenthal (RT)
US Congress To Consider Pro- and Anti-Nazi Amendments (RT)
Heritage Suggested We Form A Ukraine Strategy. Neocons Lost Their Minds (Fed.)
Living on a War Planet (Bromwich)
Hungary Blocks EU Military Aid To Ukraine – Borrell (RT)
Biden Will Use Covid To Rig Election – Trump (RT)
Trump Reportedly Rambled Non-Stop During NY Deposition (Manley)
‘Obama’s Man In Africa’ Under House Arrest As Popular Coup Rocks Gabon (GZ)
The Real Threat From China: They’re Better at Capitalism Than We Are (Lawrence)
Does BRICS Need Its Own Currency? (Pepe Escobar)
From One Unapologetic Media Hoax to the Next (VDH)
New Meanings of ‘Deep State’ and ‘Working Class’ (Matt Taibbi)
Glyphosate Exposure Linked to Severe Depression and Cognitive Decline (SP)

 

 

 

 

Watters Biden book

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697198312259006945

 

 

Tulsi

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Hotel Ukraine

 

 

Tucker Portnoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We’ve helped restore faith and confidence in American leadership — moral and military..”

Have we completely lost oversight of how obscene this is?

US Getting ‘Money’s Worth’ In Ukraine – Sen. Blumenthal (RT)

The US is using Ukraine as the “tip of the spear” against Russia, getting a major return on its “investment” in Kiev without any American lives lost, according to Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. “Even Americans who have no particular interest in freedom and independence in democracies worldwide, should be satisfied that we’re getting our money’s worth on our Ukraine investment,”Blumenthal argued in an op-ed, published earlier this week by the Connecticut Post. “For less than 3 percent of our nation’s military budget, we’ve enabled Ukraine to degrade Russia’s military strength by half. We’ve united NATO and caused the Chinese to rethink their invasion plans for Taiwan.

“We’ve helped restore faith and confidence in American leadership — moral and military. All without a single American service woman or man injured or lost, and without any diversion or misappropriation of American aid,” he claimed. The senator’s unsubstantiated and unverifiable claims were made after he visited Kiev with fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Republican Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican. Blumenthal was impressed by Zelensky’s “magnetic energy” and “resolve and resilience,” and taken by his admission that “Ukraine could not have survived without America and our allies.” “Ukraine is at the tip of the spear, fighting our fight for independence and freedom,” the senator claimed.

Zelensky doesn’t want or need US troops, but “he deeply and desperately needs the tools to win,” Blumenthal added, providing a wish list of more tanks, planes, guns, ammunition and everything else. The US has so far committed over $130 billion in funding to Ukraine, covering everything from HIMARS multiple rocket launch systems, M777 towed artillery, M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, Javelin and Stinger missiles, Patriot air defense batteries, ammunition, equipment, and even salaries for Ukrainian soldiers and government officials.

Read more …

Obscene 2. Funding Azov.

US Congress To Consider Pro- and Anti-Nazi Amendments (RT)

Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, an Indiana Republican, has proposed an amendment to the 2024 Pentagon funding bill that would remove the 2018 prohibition on funding ‘Azov’ due to the Ukrainian unit’s neo-Nazi character. Fellow Republican Andy Ogles of Tennessee, on the contrary, wants to explicitly ban the Pentagon from providing intelligence to Azov. The Spartz amendment would “Strike section 8105 of the bill which prohibits funds to the ‘Azov Battalion’,” according to documents posted on the website of the House Rules Committee. It would amend HR 4365, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for the next fiscal year, which begins in October. Journalist Aida Chavez noticed the amendment on Thursday, along with several other proposals by Republican lawmakers, who have a slim majority in the House.

Ogles, on the other hand, wants to expand Section 8105 to ban the US from providing intelligence to Azov, and also ban any aid to the ‘Russian Volunteer Corps’ (RVC). He had previously tried to ban any “funding, equipment, training, fuel, or other support” to “the Russian Volunteer Corps, the Azov Battalion, or any other neo-Nazi militia” in Ukraine in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). ‘Azov Battalion’ was originally a militia set up by the notorious neo-Nazi Andrey Biletsky after the 2014 US-backed coup in Kiev, that took part in Ukraine’s crackdown on dissidents in Kharkov and Donetsk. Biletsky admitted to several Western outlets that he handpicked their symbols – the ‘Wolfsangel’ rune used by the German 2nd SS Panzer Division ‘Das Reich’ in WWII, and the ‘Black Sun’ logo beloved by SS leader Heinrich Himmler.

Spartz was elected in 2020 and represents Indiana’s 5th congressional district. She was born in Chernigov, in present-day Ukraine, and immigrated to the US in 2000. Her amendment is the first time any US lawmaker has attempted to repeal Section 8105 since it was passed in 2018. In late 2019, a group of 40 House Democrats wrote to the State Department describing Azov as a “violent white supremacist” group “that openly welcomes neo-Nazis into its ranks.” The unit responded by accusing them of hostility to Ukraine. Azov has since been fully integrated into Ukraine’s armed forces. The ‘Azov Tactical Group’ is currently operating as part of the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, recently visited by President Vladimir Zelensky on the Donbass front.

Several other House Republicans have proposed more Ukraine-related amendments to the Pentagon funding bill. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia want to block any funds from being used for Ukraine. Greene also wants to ban “the conduct of ground operations in Ukraine by the US Armed Forces or intelligence officials of the US.” Paul Gosar of Arizona has proposed redirecting all $300 million from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (Section 8104) to the pay of enlisted service members, while his colleague Andy Biggs wants to delete the entire section outright. Montana’s Matt Rosendale would block all spending on Ukraine “until a border wall system along the US-Mexico border is completed and operational control of such border is achieved.”

Read more …

“..even if one accepts that we should be supporting Ukraine to the hilt, it’s fair to ask what the plan is to end the war — and no, “until Russia is totally defeated” is not a serious response, much less a strategy.”

Heritage Suggested We Form A Ukraine Strategy. Neocons Lost Their Minds (Fed.)

The Heritage Foundation came under fire [last] week from a bunch of politically toxic neocons for suggesting we should prioritize helping Americans suffering from natural disasters like the Maui wildfires over funding a grinding war of attrition between Ukraine and Russia. A radical suggestion, I know. The background here is that under the leadership of President Kevin Roberts, Heritage has been saved from irrelevance by focusing less on what establishment neocon Beltway elites think is important and more on what ordinary Americans actually want. And one of the things they want is for Congress to stop pouring taxpayer dollars into Ukraine. In an op-ed last week, Roberts noted this as part of a pointed criticism of an underhanded White House plan to force another round of aid to Ukraine into a supplemental funding bill that would add money to FEMA’s depleted Disaster Relief Fund (DRF).

Roberts rightly says this is a dirty trick designed to pressure Republicans to support more aid to Ukraine by tying it to aid for hurricane and wildfire victims. Then this week, Heritage posted a couple of ads making the entirely fair point that every American has now sent more money to Ukraine than to the victims of the Maui fires. One of those ads argued that until the Biden administration comes up with a plan to end the war, Congress shouldn’t approve another cent of aid. Reasonable people can disagree about how much support Americans owe the Ukrainians in their struggle against Russia. But even if one accepts that we should be supporting Ukraine to the hilt, it’s fair to ask what the plan is to end the war — and no, “until Russia is totally defeated” is not a serious response, much less a strategy.

This war, like nearly all wars, will end with a negotiated political settlement. Since American taxpayers are funding the war, they deserve to know if our leaders have a plan to end it that doesn’t amount to World War III. As the war drags on, it seems increasingly obvious they do not have such a plan. Their only policy seems to be to keep funneling money into Ukraine with little to no oversight and no strategy to forge a durable peace settlement. But for Heritage to articulate all of this was too much for the neocons. As with one voice, they denounced Heritage and invoked Ronald Reagan, declaring that Reagan is surely “rolling over in his grave,” as both Marc Thiessen and Avik Roy put it. National Review’s Jay Nordlinger went a step further, pronouncing that the Heritage Foundation has become a “moral obscenity.”

Elsewhere at NR — which unlike Heritage has not managed to escape irrelevance — there was an unintentionally hilarious post from Dominic Pino critiquing Heritage’s position on U.S. aid to Ukraine. Pino managed to sum up the neocon worldview in a single line, noting that “not all the money goes to Ukrainians. Much of it goes to U.S. defense contractors, which employ Americans and contribute to U.S. economic output.” Ah yes, there’s nothing like bankrolling foreign wars with no end-game strategy to get the American economy going. Defense contractors are Americans too! Think about it, the Ukraine war is a U.S. jobs program!

Read more …

Q: If, as the author here, you realize the Russia SMO was provoked, at what point does the reaction to the provocation become “illegal and immoral”?

The provocation was not just a virtual further eastward extension of NATO, but Ukraine had gathered a huge military force (200-300K) looking ready to invade the Donbass. After killing some 14,000 there over 8 years.

Living on a War Planet (Bromwich)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was an illegal and immoral act, but the adjective that usually follows illegal and immoral is “unprovoked.” In truth, this war was provoked. A contributing cause, impossible to ignore, was the eastward extension of NATO, always moving closer to the western borders of Russia, in the years from 1991 to 2022. That expansion was gradual but relentless. Consider the look of such a policy to the country –- no longer Communist and barely a great power — which, in 2013, American leaders again began to describe as an adversary. With the end of the Cold War in 1991 (the very global conflict that gave NATO its reason for being), the eastward projection of the alliance accelerated dramatically.

Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic, all former members of the Soviet bloc, were brought into NATO in 1999; and 2004 witnessed an even richer harvest of former satellites of the USSR: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, all either near to or bordering on Russia. Then came the Bucharest Summit Declaration of April 2008: Georgia and Ukraine, the NATO heads of state announced, would be given the opportunity to apply for membership at some future date. If you want to know why Putin and his advisers might have considered this a security concern for Russia, look at a map. The United States has supported Ukraine with copious donations of weapons, troop-trainers, and logistical and technical advisers left to work the interoperable targeting equipment we “share” with that country. Between 2014 and 2022, NATO drilled at least 10,000 Ukrainian troops per year in advanced methods of warfare.

In the war itself, weapons supplies have climbed steadily from Stinger and Javelin missiles to Abrams tanks (whose greenhouse-gas environmental footprint is 0.6 miles per gallon of gas, or 300 gallons every eight hours of use), to cluster bombs, and most recently the promise of F-16s. All this has put fresh wind in the sails of the weapons manufacturers of the American military-industrial-congressional complex. In May 2022, the CEO of Lockheed Martin thanked President Biden personally for his kindness. F-16s, after all, are big money-makers. As for the additional fuel that ordinary Ukrainians require, it is now being sequestered underground by Ukrainian commodities traders at enormous environmental risk.Wars and their escalation — the mass destruction of human life that is almost invariably accompanied by destruction of the natural world — happen because preparations for war bring leaders ever closer to the brink. So close, in fact, that it feels natural to go on.

That was certainly the case with Russia, Ukraine, and NATO, and the escalation that followed. Examples of such escalation are indeed the rule, not the exception in time of war.Think of the invention, testing, and strategic planning that led to the dropping of the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. In Jon Else’s extraordinary documentary The Day After Trinity, the physicist Freeman Dyson offered a sober analysis of the momentum driving the decision to use the bomb: “Why did the bomb get dropped on people at Hiroshima? I would say: it’s almost inevitable that it would have happened — simply because all the bureaucratic apparatus existed by that time to do it. The air force was ready and waiting. There had been prepared big airfields in the island of Tinian in the Pacific from which you could operate. The whole machinery was ready.”

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“..Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto described the EU as being in a “very bad shape” due to the Ukraine conflict, “worse than at any time in the past, in terms of security, economy and energy supply.”

Hungary Blocks EU Military Aid To Ukraine – Borrell (RT)

The EU has been unable to release €500 million in ‘European Peace Facility’ funding for Ukraine, due to opposition from one of the members, the bloc’s foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell told reporters on Thursday. The country was later identified as Hungary. “I have to regret that the 8th tranche of the European Peace Facility (EPF) is still blocked,” Borrell said after an EU ministerial meeting in Toledo, Spain. “I hope we will be able to unblock [it] in the next [few] weeks. But this is a problem that is still pending to be solved.” Budapest has been blocking the EPF funds for months, objecting that Kiev has designated a major Hungarian bank as a ‘war sponsor’. The bloc has used the EPF, established in March 2021, as a way to fund weapons and ammunition deliveries to Ukraine outside of normal budgetary procedures.

Following the meeting of EU defense ministers on Wednesday, Borrell spoke of the need to train more Ukrainian troops faster, noting that almost 40,000 conscripts will have undergone training at various EU sites this year, including at the Spanish military academy in Toledo itself. Thursday’s meeting involved foreign ministers, and included a briefing by Ukrainian FM Dmitry Kuleba. At the press conference, Borrell spoke of the need for the EU to support Ukraine “today, tomorrow and always” in a manner that is “predictable and sustainable,” but mainly financial. The Spanish politician again mentioned that he had proposed to the European Commission to create a new Ukraine Assistance Fund, spanning the period from 2024 to 2027, and expressed hope the body would “reach an agreement by the end of the year.”

Borrell envisioned the fund to amount to about €5 billion annually, for a total commitment of €20 billion over the next four years. While Borrell spoke as if Brussels could afford to leverage its entire economic, political, and military might in the service of Ukraine, Hungary has been skeptical of the bloc’s policies. Speaking at a forum in Slovenia earlier this week, Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto described the EU as being in a “very bad shape” due to the Ukraine conflict, “worse than at any time in the past, in terms of security, economy and energy supply.” The bloc’s commitment to arming Ukraine has made it unable to broker a peace, while the EU’s energy, security, and economic prosperity have been dealt serious blows by the embargo against Russia, according to Szijjarto.

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“..it was Trump himself who continuously renewed the state of emergency declaration used to justify the changes.

He also imposed a nationwide lockdown in March and April 2020, issued national guidelines recommending the closing of schools, and appointed the pro-mandate Dr. Anthony Fauci..”

Biden Will Use Covid To Rig Election – Trump (RT)

Former US president Donald Trump has claimed that President Joe Biden’s administration will take advantage of the reemergence of Covid-19 to rewrite election rules in order to prevent him from winning the upcoming election. “The left-wing lunatics are trying very hard to bring back covid lockdowns and mandates with all of their sudden fear mongering about the new variants that are coming,” Trump said in a video message released on Thursday. “Gee whiz, you know what else is coming? An election.” “They want to restart the covid hysteria so they can justify more lockdowns, more censorship, more illegal drop boxes, more mail-in ballots and trillions of dollars in payoffs to their political allies heading into the 2024 election,” he continued, adding “does that sound familiar?”

The threat of Covid-19 was invoked by both Democrat and Republican governors to change election laws in 2020. Mail-in ballots were issued to more voters and accepted beyond the usual election-day deadline, party activists were permitted to harvest ballots from drop-boxes, and absentee ballots were accepted without witness signatures. The implementation of these laws varied from state to state, with Democrat-run states typically waiving the most rules. While these changes resulted in an election that defied almost every traditional indicator to end in Trump’s loss, it was Trump himself who continuously renewed the state of emergency declaration used to justify the changes.

He also imposed a nationwide lockdown in March and April 2020, issued national guidelines recommending the closing of schools, and appointed the pro-mandate Dr. Anthony Fauci to lead his coronavirus task force. “To every Covid tyrant who wants to take away our freedom, hear these words: we will not comply, so don’t even think about it. We will not shut down our schools; we will not accept your lockdowns; we will not abide by your mask mandates; and we will not tolerate your vaccine mandates,” Trump continued in Thursday’s video. “They rigged the 2020 election and now they’re trying to do the same thing all over again by rigging the most important election in the history of our country.”

Public health officials are currently tracking the spread of two new coronavirus variants: EG.5, or Eris, and BA.2.86. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer tracks new cases of the virus, its most recent figures show a 19% increase in hospitalizations and a 17% increase in deaths between the second and third week in August. However, only a quarter as many people were hospitalized this month as during the same month last year, and most of those receiving treatment are over the age of 65, CDC Director Mandy Cohen said on Tuesday. Nevertheless, universities in Georgia and Louisiana have already reimposed mask mandates, as have some healthcare providers and other businesses.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1697083418947801265

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Quite funny.

Trump Reportedly Rambled Non-Stop During NY Deposition (Manley)

Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James claimed the Trump Organization illegally increased their profits by hundreds of millions of dollars by exaggerating the value of their properties. A transcript of a deposition recently revealed that former US President Donald Trump rambled so frequently throughout a formal interview that a lawyer with the Office of the New York Attorney General griped: “We’re going to be here until midnight.” The deposition was made public ahead of Trump’s September 22 hearing over a state lawsuit that accuses the former commander-in-chief of engaging in business fraud practices that saw his net worth skyrocket by some $2 billion.
The attorney general’s case against Trump indicates the former president, as well as his two eldest sons, and two of his former top executives repeatedly inflated his net worth in financial filings made on behalf of the Trump Organization.

Prosecutors argue that by doing so, it helped Trump deceive banks into extending lower-cost loans that saved him hundreds of millions of dollars in interest. During the seven-hour deposition, Trump rambled about various topics including his “beautiful” marble bathrooms, a reference to the historical figure George Washington, and boasted that he could have done more sales than “ever” during his presidency. When asked how his children’s roles in the Trump Organization changed after he was elected to the US presidency, Trump strayed from the answer and began to talk about North Korea. “I was interested in solving the problem with North Korea, which was ready to blow up, and solving the problems we had with China, who was just ripping us off left and right, and making sure that Russia never went into Ukraine, which they didn’t, under our auspices and, you know, a lot of other things,” Trump said as part of his lengthy response.

When the former president was asked to clarify his answer, he continued to pile details onto his response. “I think you would have a nuclear holocaust, if I didn’t deal with North Korea. I think you would have a nuclear war, if I weren’t elected. And I think you might have a nuclear war now, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. The attorney general’s lawyer, Kevin Wallace, then responded: “I’m not going to use my seven hours on nuclear war.” When asked how involved he was in his family’s business dealings during his presidency, Trump launched into another lengthy answer in which he boasted about the properties that the Trump Organization owns. “We have properties that make money, but you can sell for many, many times because of the quality of the property like a Turnberry in Scotland,” said Trump, who complained several times that the lawsuit was “unfair.”

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“Irresponsible and unpredictable governance has led to a steady deterioration in social cohesion, threatening to drive the country into chaos..”

‘Obama’s Man In Africa’ Under House Arrest As Popular Coup Rocks Gabon (GZ)

When a military junta arrested President Ali Bongo Ondimba on August 30, Gabon became the ninth African nation to depose its government through a military coup. As citizens of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali did before them, crowds of Gabonese poured into the streets to celebrate the removal of a Western-backed leader whose family flaunted its lavish lifestyle while more than a third of the country’s population languished in destitution. “Irresponsible and unpredictable governance has led to a steady deterioration in social cohesion, threatening to drive the country into chaos,” a leader of Gabon’s junta, Col. Ulrich Manfoumbi, declared upon seizing power. President Bongo’s arrest was met with indignant condemnations from Washington and Paris, which had propped him up as he pillaged his country’s vast oil wealth.

His ouster represented a particularly sharp rebuke of former President Barack Obama, who groomed the Gabonese autocrat as one of his closest allies on the continent, and leaned on him for diplomatic support as he waged a war on Libya that unleashed terror and instability across the region. So close was the bond between Obama and Bongo that Foreign Policy branded the Gabonese leader, “Obama’s Man in Africa.” With Obama’s help, Bongo attempted to fashion himself as a reformist modernizer. He traveled repeatedly to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum, where was appointed an “Agenda Contributor.” There, he pledged to accelerate the Fouth Industrial Revolution in Africa by implementing lucrative digital identification and payment systems among his country’s heavily impoverished population.

Bongo’s bio on the WEF website lists him as a “spokesperson for Africa on biodiversity” and “composer of musical pieces” whose interests include “history, football, classical music, jazz and bossa nova.” The self-styled renaissance man managed to hit it off with Obama, kibitz with Klaus Schwab, and press the flesh with Bill Gates. But at home, he found few friends among the struggling Gabonese masses. Ali Bongo rose to power as the son of the late Gabonese autocrat Omar Bongo Odinmba, who ruled the country from 1967 to his death. In 2004, a year after discussing a $9 million image-washing deal with disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Bongo secured a meeting with President George W. Bush. When he died five years later, he left behind a $500 million presidential palace, over a dozen luxurious homes from Paris to Beverly Hills, and a country overrun with inequality.

[..] nothing on the Bongo family’s lengthy and well-documented record of corruption seemed to bother President Barack Obama when he embarked on a regime change operation in Libya ironically justified as an exercise in “democracy promotion.” With Washington’s help, Gabon was rotated into the UN Security Council, where it functioned as a rubber stamp for US resolutions demanding sanctions and a No Fly Zone on Libya in February 2011. Bongo’s cooperative spirit earned him a visit with Obama in Washington four months later. There, while staying at the president’s personal residence, he became the first African leader to call for Qaddafi to give up power. “They could call any African leader with private cell numbers,” then US Ambassador to Gabon Eric Benjaminson remarked to Foreign Policy, referring to Bongo’s staff. “They knew Qaddafi and they knew his chief of staff very well, and we were trying to work through the Gabonese to get Qaddafi to step down without military action.” Benjaminson added, “Obama sort of liked him.”

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“This administration simply has no idea what a sound China policy would look like.”

The Real Threat From China: They’re Better at Capitalism Than We Are (Lawrence)

The Biden regime’s robotic procession to Beijing proceeds apace. Following Antony Blinken’s fruitless visit in mid–June, we have paid Janet Yellen’s airfare for another fruitless visit, and following Yellen it was the same for John Kerry. This week it is Gina Raimondo’s turn. The secretary of state, the Treasury secretary, the chief climate envoy, and the commerce secretary: What is the point of this parade? I cannot but wonder whether these officials are dispatched across the Pacific in descending order of competence. Raimondo, who previously flopped as governor of Rhode Island—except for her plan to cut civil service pensions, an unfortunate success—is mediocrity made flesh. The Chinese must be wondering, with chagrin or amusement or both, who the Biden regime will next send their way.

The assignment in all these cases is the same: It comes down to “two seemingly contradictory responsibilities,” as The New York Times’s Ana Swanson put it in a curtain-raiser last week. She described “a mandate to strengthen U.S. business relations with Beijing while also imposing some of the toughest Chinese trade restrictions in years.” This is succinct, although we can live without the “seemingly.” Proposing to conduct routine business while sabotaging China’s competitive position in advanced technologies is prima facie a ridiculous idea. But The Times must have its “seemingly,” because it is imperative we pretend the Biden regime thinks sensibly and means well in its relations with the People’s Republic.

Blinken got nothing done, Yellen got nothing done, Kerry got nothing done, and in Raimondo’s case it is hopeless. The final item on her itinerary is a visit to Disneyland in Shanghai, and you have to credit the secretary’s scheduler for the parting reference to dreams and fantasy. An English friend observes that we Americans are doing a lot of blinkin’ and yellin’ across the Pacific these days. Fair enough, but I think it is more of the former than the latter for the time being. This administration simply has no idea what a sound China policy would look like.

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It’s not so easy. But the euro proves this is not true: “A currency has to be issued by a sovereign government.”

Does BRICS Need Its Own Currency? (Pepe Escobar)

Right at the heart of fervent discussions are the merits of designing a new BRICS currency. Brazilian economist Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., a former IMF director who was deeply involved with BRICS from 2007 to 2015, has noted how a reserve currency discussion among the original five members was already too difficult. With 11, even more so. A currency has to be issued by a sovereign government. The indispensable Michael Hudson has cut to the chase to focus on what President Putin stressed in the summit in Johannesburg: what is needed is a means of settlement among Central Banks to keep in check the imbalances of trade and investment in their balance of payments. That implies no BRICS supra-national gold backed currency.

Prof. Hudson has observed that, “nobody uses gold as a currency. You don’t go to the grocery store or you don’t buy stocks and bonds or even houses with gold. You’re not going to be able to do it with anything like a BRICS currency within the future.” So the possible “BRICS currency” on a – distant? – future will be “only a narrow currency that only governments can spend for each other, and it’s created on a computer. It’s not anything that you can hold in your pocket to spend.” Michael Kumhof, a senior advisor for the Bank of England, adds a few more elements: “A currency does not need to be issued by a single state, instead its issuance can be delegated by a group of states to a common institution, see the ECB [European Central Bank]. And while that currency would be unlikely to be used by people to buy a coffee (although who knows, given enough time), it could be used by corporations for invoicing in cross-border trade.”

Kumhof projects a different future: “Imagine if 50-100 countries joined BRICS, some of them with pretty small, marginal currencies. They might appreciate being able to invoice and settle in a strong common currency rather than only having a choice between USD and, say, RMB. Not to mention the fact that if the Chinese want to keep some of their capital controls (good idea for now, I think), the RMB could not really fully replace the USD in such transactions. A BRICS currency would not be subject to such restrictions. This BRICS bank would buy up bonds of member countries according to some quota, and then issue a common currency against it, with all its gains and losses shared by member governments.

That could create an arbitrarily large amount of liquidity (and firepower for BRICS) without requiring any debt to do so, in fact massively reducing debt while doing so. And of course I agree that this would need to be supplemented by a bancor-type arrangement to clear cross-country imbalances.” What’s certain for now is that at the heart of what’s coming next will be an enhanced role for the New Development Bank (NDB), the BRICS bank, headquartered in Shanghai and now presided by former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

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“Moscow supposedly had created fake nude pictures, fake photos of Hunter’s drug use, and fake email and text messages from Hunter to the other Bidens.”

From One Unapologetic Media Hoax to the Next (VDH)

From 2015 to 2019, we were suffocated 24/7 with lies like “Russian collusion,” “Putin’s puppet,” “election rigging” and the “Steele dossier.” When all such “evidence” was proven to be a complete fraud cooked up through Hillary Clinton’s stealthy hiring of and collusion with a discredited ex-British spy, a Russian fabulist at the Brookings Institution and a Clinton toady in Moscow, did the media apologize for their untruth? Was there any media confessional that perhaps Robert Mueller and his leftwing legal team (the giddy media-dubbed “all-stars,” “dream team,” and “hunter killers”) proved a colossal waste of time? Not at all. Instead, the media went next right on to “the phone call” and “impeachment.” The country then wasted another year.

The same biased reporters now claimed that the heroic Andrew Vindman had caught Donald Trump fabricating lies about the Bidens—given Joe Biden was a possible 2020 opponent—to force Ukraine to investigate them or lose American foreign aid. On that accusation Trump was impeached. Then the truth emerged that unlike Joe Biden, Trump never threatened to cancel aid, but merely to delay it. Trump was right that the Bidens were knee deep in Ukrainian bribes and influence peddling. And that the whistleblower had no first-hand knowledge of the Trump call but was spoon fed a script cooked up by the gadfly Vindman and Rep. Adam Schiff. The result was journalistic glee that we impeached a president for crimes that he did not commit but exempted another president, Joe Biden, who had actually committed them.

Then came the next hoax of the Russian fabricated facsimile of Hunter’s laptop. The 2020 Biden campaign along with an ex-CIA head rounded up “51 intelligence authorities” to mislead the country into believing that Russian gremlins in the Kremlin had fabricated a fake laptop. Ponder that absurd fantasy: Moscow supposedly had created fake nude pictures, fake photos of Hunter’s drug use, and fake email and text messages from Hunter to the other Bidens. The media preposterously convinced the country that the Russians and by extension Donald Trump had once again sandbagged the Biden campaign. No apologies followed when the FBI later admitted it had kept the laptop under wraps for more than a year, knew it was authentic, and yet said nothing as the media and former spooks misled the country and warped an election.

Now we are enmeshed in at least four court trials on cooked-up charges that could as easily apply to a host of Democrats as to Trump. For the last eight years, a discredited media has never expressed remorse for any of the damage they did to the country. And they will not again, when their latest mythological indictments are eventually exposed.

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“..the best and most thorough whitewash job since the Soviets wiped the photo record clean of Yezhov and Trotsky. It’s an awesome achievement.”

New Meanings of ‘Deep State’ and ‘Working Class’ (Matt Taibbi)

DEEP STATE: In July of last year David Rothkopf wrote a piece for the Daily Beast called, “You’re going to miss the Deep State when it’s gone: Trump’s terrifying plan to purge tens of thousands of career government workers and replace them with loyal stooges must be stopped in its tracks.” In the obligatory MSNBC segment hyping the article, poor Willie Geist, fast becoming the Zelig of cable’s historical lowlight reel, read off the money passage: During his presidency, [Donald] Trump was regularly frustrated that government employees — appointees, as well as career officials in the civil service, the military, the intelligence community, and the foreign service — were an impediment to the autocratic impulses about which he often openly fantasized.

This passage portraying harmless “government employees” as the last patriotic impediment to Trumpian autocracy represented the complete turnaround of a term that less than ten years before meant, to the Beast’s own target audience, the polar opposite. This of course needed to be lied about as well, and the Beast columnist stuck this landing, too, when Geist led Rothkopf through the eye-rolling proposition that there was “something fishy, or dark, or something going on behind the scenes” with the “deep state.” Rothkopf replied that “career government officials” got a bad rap because “about ten years ago, Alex Jones and the InfoWars crowd started zeroing in on the deep state, as yet another of the conspiracy theories…”

The real provenance of deep state has in ten short years been fully excised from mainstream conversation, in the best and most thorough whitewash job since the Soviets wiped the photo record clean of Yezhov and Trotsky. It’s an awesome achievement. Through the turn of the 21st century virtually no American political writers used deep state. In the mid-2000s, as laws like the PATRIOT Act passed and the Bush/Cheney government funded huge new agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the word was suddenly everywhere, inevitably deployed as left-of-center critique of the Bush-Cheney legacy. How different was the world ten years ago? The New York Times featured a breezy Sunday opinion piece asking the late NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake — a man described as an inspiration for Edward Snowden who today would almost certainly be denounced as a traitor — what he was reading then.

Drake answered he was reading “Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry” by Marc Ambinder, whose revelations about possible spying on “eighteen locations in the Washington D.C. area, including near the White House, Congress, and several foreign embassies,” inspired the ACLU to urge congress to begin encrypting communications. On the eve of a series of brutal revelations about intelligence abuses, including the Snowden mess, left-leaning American commentators all over embraced “deep state” as a term perfectly descriptive of the threat they perceived from the hyper-concentrated, unelected power observed with horror in the Bush years.

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Still in use. Insane.

Glyphosate Exposure Linked to Severe Depression and Cognitive Decline (SP)

A new peer-reviewed study released by a group of scientists in Taiwan has revealed an astonishingly strong link between severe depression, cognitive decline and exposure to the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The study was fully published last Tuesday in the highly respected Elsevier Journal, Environmental Research, and was met with silence by the manufacturers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Bayer/Monsanto, who produce the infamous weedkiller Roundup. The study authors stated that they: “conducted analyses on existing data collected from 1532 adults of the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the possible relationship between glyphosate exposure and cognitive function, depressive symptoms, disability, and neurological medical conditions.”

“Our study used a cohort representative of the U.S. adult general population and found a significant negative correlation between urinary glyphosate levels and cognitive function test scores. Additionally, our findings suggest that the odds of having severe depressive symptoms were significantly higher than having no symptoms in individuals with higher glyphosate levels, as measured by the PHQ-9,” the scientists continued. The NHANES is a biennial nationwide survey that recruits a representative sample of the population. The study population had a mean age (SD) of 48.15 (18.32) years and a mean BMI (SD) of 29.15 (7.25) kg/m2. The majority of participants were women (51.5%), while the most common ethnicity was non-Hispanic white (47.1%). Regarding socioeconomic status, 53.7% of participants reported a household income of ≥ $4500 per year. Additionally, 37.2% of participants had a body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2. The proportion of individuals with detectable levels of glyphosate was 80.4%.

“Because many of the key neurological system questionnaires used to assess neurological function in NHANES are only available to adults, we restricted our study population to those 18 years of age or older,” the scientists added. “In conclusion, our study provides important evidence of an association between urinary glyphosate levels and adverse neurological outcomes in a representative cohort of U.S. adult population. Specifically, we observed lower cognitive function scores, greater odds of severe depressive symptoms, and increased risk of serious hearing difficulty in individuals with higher glyphosate exposure,” the scientists concluded.

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Moore

 

 

 

 

Red crab
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697266961934414091

 

 

Shrimp
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697299523020705853

 

 

Dogs play

 

 

Italian music

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 302023
 
 August 30, 2023  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Joan Miró Caballo, pipa y flor roja (Horse Pipe and Red Flower) , 1920

 

Zelensky In Danger Of Military Coup – Larry Johnson (RT)
Zelensky Aide’s Claim Raises ‘Apocalyptic’ Risks – Medvedev (RT)
Kremlin Reacts To Claim West Endorses Destroying ‘Everything Russian’ (RT)
Orbán Warns Tucker “A 3rd World War Is Knocking On The Door” (ZH)
Ukraine Security Guarantees Won’t Be Ready This Year – WSJ (RT)
Putin’s Attitude To Western Sanctions Shocked Scholz – Bild (RT)
US-Led Campaign To Use Ukraine To ‘Cripple’ Russia Has Failed (Tony Cox)
‘Dying By The Dozens Every Day’ – Ukraine Losses Climb (BBC)
End Game For The American Empire (Jim Quinn)
Petrodollar Be Warned (Bhadrakumar)
Pakistani Court Suspends Imran Khan’s Prison Sentence (RT)
Raffensperger and Meadows Testify in Key Hearing on Georgia Allegations (Turley)
Washington Post Stands by Controversial Claims (Turley)
National Archive Has 5,400 Biden Pseudonym Documents From Time As VP (ZH)
A New Covid ‘Variant’…Just in Time for Election Season! (Ron Paul)
More Than 1,600 Scientists Declare Climate ‘Emergency’ A Myth (JTN)

 

 

 

 

There are more such videos, like this one that Trump posted.

 

 

Tucker Putin

 

 

 

 

RFK vaccines

 

 

What is this?

 

 

 

 

“Zelensky very well could be ousted in a coup within the next three to four weeks, because of the great disgruntlement among troops on the eastern front..”

“..Washington will have to figure out how to “back away” from the conflict, because it has massively underestimated Russia’s economic and military strength..”

Zelensky In Danger Of Military Coup – Larry Johnson (RT)

Failures on the battlefield could push the Ukrainian military to move against President Vladimir Zelensky, retired CIA analyst Larry Johnson has said. “Zelensky very well could be ousted in a coup within the next three to four weeks, because of the great disgruntlement among troops on the eastern front,” Johnson told Redacted host Clayton Morris in an interview posted over the weekend. Ukraine’s grand offensive in Zaporozhye, launched in early June with Western-trained troops and NATO-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, has failed to achieve a breakthrough anywhere. Additional brigades, intended to exploit the intended breach, have been deployed to continue the frontal attacks instead, to the point that the US and its allies are publicly airing their frustrationswith Ukrainian tactics.

Johnson is not the first American analyst to speculate about the military turning on Zelensky. Earlier this month, former US Marine officer Scott Ritter said the likelihood of a military coup was growing with each destroyed Ukrainian brigade. “We could be reaching a Kerensky 1917 moment, where the military just says ‘We’re done’,” Ritter told MOATS host George Galloway. He also brought up a recent Politico article, which laid out who would run Ukraine if Russia somehow assassinated Zelensky. According to Ritter, however, Moscow has no intention of going after Zelensky, as he might be replaced by someone even more hardline.

Johnson told Redacted that the way the conflict is going, Ukraine’s survival as a country was “in great doubt.” Kiev is already entirely dependent on the West, and its needs will only grow while its capabilities will continue to shrink, the former CIA official said. The US strategy for the conflict was to trap Russia in an unwinnable war and induce regime change in Moscow, according to Johnson. Instead, “that’s going to happen to Ukraine,” and Washington will have to figure out how to “back away” from the conflict, because it has massively underestimated Russia’s economic and military strength. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reasoned along similar lines earlier this month, saying in an interview that Ukraine’s Western patrons are publicly committed to “fight until the last Ukrainian” but have a history of abandoning their allies and proxies, from South Vietnam to “Ashraf Ghani’s regime in Afghanistan in 2021.”

Faced with Western concerns about his legitimacy if he cancels the 2024 presidential election, Zelensky has proposed holding the vote – but demanded funding from the West to do so. The Ukrainian leader has also voiced fears that he might be abandoned by the West if Ukraine goes too far in attacking Russia. His aide Mikhail Podolyak has since argued that the US and its allies have given their blessing for attacks on “occupied territories” – meaning Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson. Since Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in 2014 and the four regions did the same last September, Moscow considers them no less Russian territory than Belgorod or Kursk, which have also been targeted by Ukraine.

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“..a reasonable casus belli to justify corresponding actions by Moscow against “everyone in NATO states.”

Zelensky Aide’s Claim Raises ‘Apocalyptic’ Risks – Medvedev (RT)

A recent claim by an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Western nations support Kiev’s attempts to “destroy everything Russian”increases the risk of all-out war between Moscow and NATO, former president Dmitry Medvedev has said. Commenting on Mikhail Podoliak’s statement, the former Russian leader wrote on his Telegram channel: “If this is true, and we have no reason to doubt that it is, then it constitutes direct, legally significant proof of Western involvement in a war against Russia” and serves as a reasonable casus belli to justify corresponding actions by Moscow against “everyone in NATO states.” Medevedev went on to warn that “the predictions of the Apocalypse are getting closer.”

Podoliak made his claims in an interview on Ukrainian TV on Monday, stating that foreign backers were increasingly supportive of all actions Kiev deem necessary in its fight against Moscow. “A year ago, even when there were some strikes on Crimea, everyone said: ‘No, no, let’s just do without it’. Today, the absolute consensus among the countries that support us is that we can destroy everything Russian in the occupied territories,” he declared. He further pledged to ramp up strikes deep inside Russia by “unknown drones.” Kiev does not formally claim credit for regular kamikaze drone attacks on Moscow and other Russian cities.

The campaign was detailed by The Economist on Sunday, described as partially “intended to have a psychological impact” on the Russian population, and facilitated by Western intelligence regarding Russian air defenses. According to the British magazine, Kiev supports competing drone operators, both private and state-run. Some of the strikes “appear to be PR projects designed to bring a prototype to the attention of procurement bosses, rather than having military value,” the outlet noted. Senior Russian officials have accused the US and its allies of waging a proxy war against their nation, with Ukraine providing “cannon fodder.” Kiev relies on the West for weapons, funding, training and intelligence in the conflict, and some in Washington have declared the “strategic defeat” of Russia their goal.

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“And they certainly want to do everything possible and impossible to drag Western nations as deep as they can into this conflict..”

Kremlin Reacts To Claim West Endorses Destroying ‘Everything Russian’ (RT)

Claims by an aide of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Western nations support efforts to “destroy everything Russian” in Crimea are merely wishful thinking, a Kremlin spokesman has said. “Representatives of the Kiev regime want to believe that. And they certainly want to do everything possible and impossible to drag Western nations as deep as they can into this conflict,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday. He suggested there was a “clash of points of view” regarding an acceptable level of involvement for the US and its allies in targeting Crimea, since officials “realize the inevitable drawbacks” of this policy. Mikhail Podoliak, the Ukrainian aide behind the claim, alleged that Western nations were increasingly supportive of the way his government is attacking Russian targets.

“A year ago, even when there were some strikes on Crimea, everyone said: ‘No, no, let’s just do without it.’ Today, the absolute consensus among the countries that support us is that we can destroy everything Russian in the occupied territories,” he said on Ukrainian television on Monday. Podoliak added that attacks on Moscow and other Russian locations by “unknown drones” will be escalated. Ukrainian officials do not claim credit for the regular kamikaze drone raids, for which Moscow has blamed Kiev’s forces. Zelensky claimed in a recent interview that, if the armed conflict were to spill over into territory that Kiev and its supporters recognize as Russia, his country would be “left alone.” According to The Economist, Ukrainian drone attacks are to some extent part of Kiev’s psychological warfare, and reflect competition among Ukrainian drone operators for funding.

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His English is very good. You go try learn Hungarian…

Orbán Warns Tucker “A 3rd World War Is Knocking On The Door” (ZH)

Reflecting on NATO’s stance in the Ukraine war, Orbán exclaims: “this is a bad strategy, we have to stop it” adding that “we cannot beat [the Russians], we will not kill their leader, they will never give it up, they will invest more.” “What finally will count is boots on the ground, and the Russians are far stronger.” Orbán then makes the ultimate mistake among global leaders, he praises former US president Trump: “Call back Trump. That’s the only way out. Call back Trump,” Orbán said. “Because you know, you can criticize him for many reasons. I understand all the discussion. But the best foreign policy of the recent several decades belonged to him. He did not initiate any new war. He treated nicely the North Koreans and Russia, even the Chinese. You know, he delivered a policy which was the best one for the Middle East, Abraham Accords. So he had very good foreign policy.”

“He’s [Trump] criticized because he’s not educated enough to understand foreign policy. This is not the case,” Orbán told Carlson. “Facts count and his foreign policy was the best form for the world in the last several decades I have seen. And if he would have been the president at the moment the Russian invasion started, no, it would not be possible to do that by the Russians. So Trump is the man to save the world and probably the human beings in the world as well.” Additionally, commenting on the fact that the US government is currently indicting the former president, the Hungarian leader frowns and says: “…using the justice system against a political opponent… in Hungary, that’s impossible to imagine… that was done by the communists.”

Tucker Orban

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What are these alleged “guarantees”?

Ukraine Security Guarantees Won’t Be Ready This Year – WSJ (RT)

Ukraine’s Western backers are unlikely to finalize security guarantees for Kiev by the end of this year, the Wall Street Journal has reported. With only the US and UK having started talks, a lot of question marks still hang over the nature and scope of the future commitments, the media outlet claims. In an article on Monday, the WSJ, citing anonymous European officials, reported that security guarantees are expected to take many months to thrash out, with some of the bilateral arrangements likely to be agreed only next year. For the time being, there is no consensus on how detailed the pledges should be, the newspaper claimed.

Among the thorny issues to be resolved is reportedly the question of correctly predicting Ukraine’s future military needs and ensuring that Western defense industries can fulfill any such promises without undermining their own countries’ defense capabilities. To date, the US and the UK are the only two nations to have set the process in motion, with the State Department announcing that American and Ukrainian officials held their first meeting in early August. Several days later, London also confirmed the start of negotiations. According to the WSJ, US officials are hoping to hold a second round of talks in the coming weeks, with French representatives expecting to sit down with the Ukrainians around the same time as well.

Elsewhere in Europe, negotiations have yet to start, the article noted. The Biden administration is reportedly anxious to prevent its successor in the Oval Office from backtracking on any security commitments. With Donald Trump comfortably in the lead among the Republican contenders, European allies are said to be concerned that, if elected in 2024, he may renege on any agreement, just like he did with the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal during his first term. The Republican firebrand has repeatedly argued that US military aid for Ukraine should be scaled back.

In an interview with 1+1 TV channel on Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said he expected to “have an Israeli model, the one which has weapons, technologies, training, funding.” Israel has been the biggest recipient of US foreign military aid since World War II, although annual allocations for Ukraine have surpassed those offered to West Jerusalem since hostilities between Kiev and Moscow erupted last year. The G7 countries pledged to provide Ukraine with security guarantees after NATO failed to offer the country membership during its Vilnius summit in July. More than a dozen other countries, mostly European, have since agreed to join the initiative. In mid-July, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had nothing against security guarantees for Ukraine in principle, so long as Russia’s national security is not compromised.

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Putin had foreseen the sanctions, Scholz had not?!

Putin’s Attitude To Western Sanctions Shocked Scholz – Bild (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was surprised by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s complete lack of concern about Western sanctions shortly after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, Bild has reported. In an article on Monday, the German tabloid cited the contents of a conversation between Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, which was revealed by journalist Stephan Lamby in his new book ‘Emergency: Governing in Times of War’. The exchange, in which the two leaders discussed their phone calls with Putin, is said to have taken place on March 4, 2022 – just over a week after Moscow sent its forces into Ukraine. It’s “not getting any better,” Scholz reportedly told Macron during that conversation.

“Something bothers me more than the talks: [Putin] doesn’t complain about the sanctions at all. I don’t know if he did that in conversation with you, but he didn’t even mention the sanctions,” he remarked. The French leader replied that Putin hadn’t addressed the issue of Western restrictions during phone calls with him either. The US and EU imposed stringent sanctions on Moscow after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, expecting them to cripple the Russian economy and prevent the country from supporting its military effort. However, the measures failed to achieve the desired result. Earlier this month, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said Russia had fully overcome the economic downturn caused by Western restrictions and had “good” prospects for rapid development.

During their exchange, Scholz told Macron that the Russian leader had outlined “his ideas on how to find a compromise. He spoke of demilitarization, denazification.” The German chancellor also said Putin had “asked me for Crimea to be recognized as part of Russia,” and the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk to be recognized as independent states. “Nothing new, to put it bluntly,” he added. The two republics officially became part of the Russian state together with Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions last fall as a result of referendums held in those areas. Kiev and its Western backers labeled the referendums a “sham.” According to the German chancellor, he also proposed holding a summit in a bid to find a solution to the crisis.

“When I asked him whether there might be a meeting on Ukraine, sooner or later, with you, me, [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky and with him – Putin – he did not completely refuse.” However, he added that the Russian president had set out two conditions for such a summit to happen. These specified that the talks shouldn’t become grounds for a ceasefire and that they should take place without Zelensky’s participation, he claimed. No such summit has since been organized, while phone conversations between Putin and the leaders of Germany and France have also come to a halt in recent months. After listening to Scholz, Macron replied: “Thank you, that was very similar to the conversation I had with [Putin] yesterday. I think he is now quite determined to go to the end.”

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“The 2023 Russian Army is a different beast from the 2022 Russian Army from the early stages of the war.”

US-Led Campaign To Use Ukraine To ‘Cripple’ Russia Has Failed (Tony Cox)

While assessments of the battlefield situation diverge wildly, NATO has clearly failed so far in its effort to weaken the Russian military. Moscow’s forces are inarguably stronger, better-armed and larger today than when the conflict started in February 2022. They’ve also gained 18 months of experience in fighting NATO-trained troops and countering NATO-supplied weaponry. In fact, Russian troops have become so formidable in this regard that even Western media outlets have quoted defense analysts on the increasingly effective tactics employed by Moscow’s battle-hardened forces. Those experts have praised the Russian military’s abilities in shooting down Ukrainian drones, setting up redoubtable defensive lines, and destroying tanks and artillery units. Retired UK General Sir Richard Barrons contrasted Russia’s “textbook” defensive positions against the current Ukrainian counteroffensive with Moscow’s retreat last year from wide swathes of territory in the Kharkov and Kherson regions.

“If you add all that together, everybody knows this will be a harder fight than for Kherson and Kharkiv in the autumn of last year,” Barrons told Associated Press in June. He added that Ukraine’s backers have used Kiev’s successes in taking back territory last year as “benchmarks, which I think is unfair, unreasonable in the circumstances.”The Center for European Policy Assessment (CEPA), which is funded by a variety of US weapons makers, offered a similar view on the strengthening of Russia’s military. “The Russians have gone to school on the Ukrainians and have been learning quickly,” Chels Michta, a US military intelligence officer, wrote in May. “The 2023 Russian Army is a different beast from the 2022 Russian Army from the early stages of the war.”

Another measure of the increased effectiveness of Russian forces is the fact that Kiev has reportedly abandoned the battle tactics preached by Western military trainers. In response to heavy losses by the nine NATO-trained brigades at the forefront of their counteroffensive, “Ukrainian military commanders have changed tactics, focusing on wearing down Russian forces with artillery and long-range missiles instead of plunging into minefields under fire,” the New York Times reported on August 2, citing unidentified US officials. [..] Russia also has more troops to work with than when the conflict began. More than 231,000 Russians have signed contracts to enlist so far this year, National Security Council deputy chief Dmitry Medvedev said on August 3. Moscow called up 300,000 reservists in 2022.

After increasing the number of Russian combat troops by about 13% to 1.15 million, Putin approved a plan in December to expand by a further 30%, to 1.5 million, in the years ahead. Despite the casualties suffered in Ukraine, Russian ground forces are clearly bigger than when the conflict began, US Army General Christopher Cavoli has conceded. Cavoli, who heads the US European Command, told US lawmakers in April that Russian naval and air-force losses had been minimal.

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The BBC, quoting NYT quoting “US officials”, says 70,000 Ukraine deaths. We know, from Macgregor et al, that the real number is 400,000 or more. Why would the BBC volunteer to be off by 80%+?

‘Dying By The Dozens Every Day’ – Ukraine Losses Climb (BBC)

There has been a dramatic rise in Ukraine’s number of dead, according to new estimates by unnamed US officials. The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville has been on the front line in the east, where the grim task of counting the dead has become a daily reality. The unknown soldiers lie piled high in a small brick mortuary, not very far from the front line in Donetsk, where 26-year-old Margo says she speaks to the dead. “It may sound weird… but I’m the one who wants to apologise for their deaths. I want to thank them somehow. It’s as if they can hear, but they can’t respond.” At her cluttered desk outside the mortuary’s heavy door, she sits, pen in hand. It is her job to record the particulars of the fallen. Ukraine gives no official toll of its war dead – the Ukrainian armed forces have reiterated that their war casualty numbers are a state secret – but Margo knows the losses are huge.

The figures remain classified. But US officials, quoted by the New York Times, recently put the number at 70,000 dead and as many as 120,000 injured. It is a staggering figure, from an armed forces estimated at only half a million strong. The UN has recorded 9,177 civilian deaths to date. [..] As recently as April, leaked estimates from the Pentagon put Ukrainian deaths at the much lower figure of 17,500. The alleged jump to more than 70,000 can be partly explained by the counter-offensive in the south. In its early days it was especially hard on Ukrainian infantry – “worse than Bakhmut” one brigade commander who is fighting there told me. The city in Donetsk fell to Russia in May in one of the bloodiest battles of the war so far.

Ukraine has now changed tactics there, but the beginning of the push to breach Russia’s occupation defences in June was costly, for young newly trained soldiers in particular. They were dying “by the dozens” every day, one senior sergeant fighting around the Donetsk village of Velyka Novosilka told me in June. At the mortuary, one of a number along the front line, they work to put names to the unknown soldiers, who come direct from the battlefield. sBody bags are brought outside, one at a time, and the search for clues begins. Inside the first body bag is the corpse of a young man, his eyes still open, his hands folded carefully across his lap.

His face is cut, and there is a gash on the side of his leg. Another body is brought out, the fingers missing on the right hand, blood and battlefield mud stain his uniform. Their pockets are cut open by mortuary staff, still full of the artefacts of everyday life – keys, a mobile phone, a wallet with family snaps. In death, these items are now clues that might reunite the unidentified with their families. Written in black marker pen on another body bag, the word “Unidentified” is scored out and replaced with a man’s name and army company details. More body bags emerge, but reporting restrictions don’t allow me to say how many.

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“..He makes James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter look like Mount Rushmore candidates..”

End Game For The American Empire (Jim Quinn)

I believe Ray Dalio‘s chart of the changing world order is accurate as to where we stand in the cycle, even though he is one of those global elitists. The beginning of the decline can be pegged to the start of the 21st Century, with the dot.com crash and 9/11 ushering in an astronomical increase in debt, money printing, and despotism, as each crisis created by debt and money printing was met with the “solution” of more debt and money printing. With interest on the national debt about to surpass $1 trillion per year and unfunded future debt obligations exceeding $200 trillion, there is no way out. The American economic system will implode in a matter of a few years.

The internal conflict since the election of Trump in 2016 and the subsequent coup, election fraud, scamdemic, and now unwarranted un-Constitutional persecution of Trump, leaves the country on the brink of civil war. I know the regime media and distracted masses scoff at the possibility of civil war, but the same was true in 1859. There are a lot of rightfully angry people in this country with a seething rage for those who have destroyed this country for their own gain. The 2024 election sure seems like a spark that could ignite this powder keg, and the 300 million weapons owned by the angry people are waiting to be put to proper use.

I believe we are already in the midst of stages 16 – Loss of Reserve Currency and 17 – Weak Leadership. The American empire initiated war in the Ukraine has set in motion the demise of the USD as the reserve currency of the world, ending its seventy seven year reign as the one and only settlement currency for global trade. Biden, the weakest, dumbest, most corrupt, illegitimate president in the history of our country, has succeeded in pushing Russia, China, India, Brazil, and now the Middle East and South American oil producers towards an economic alliance which will accelerate the demise of the USD.

Biden, as the puppet of evil globalist forces, has encouraged an invasion of our southern border by barbarian hordes, has destroyed our economy, flouted the Constitution, and has set us on a path towards global conflict. He makes James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter look like Mount Rushmore candidates compared to his “accomplishments”. They were just ineffective and weak. He is corrupt, evil and destructive. 2024 would be the sixteenth year of this Fourth Turning, right in the wheelhouse of civil war, revolution, and global conflict. We have entered the endgame and now it’s just a matter of how much destruction, death, and retribution will be required to achieve a new world order better than what we have today. Not winning is not an option.

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“The times ahead will be turbulent as the old, self-centered, hegemonic western mindset won’t surrender easily..”

Petrodollar Be Warned (Bhadrakumar)

[..] the historical significance of the BRICS expansion needs to be weighed in the following terms: First, Iran and two erstwhile US regional allies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, get much-needed space to negotiate an equal relationship with Washington based on mutual respect and benefit. Make no mistake, they are in a mood to capitalize on it. Second, the western dominance of West Asia is ending, in a historical sense, heralding a profound shift in the regional order. The process that China kickstarted – with quiet Russian support from behind the curtain – in mediating the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation will now advance toward its logical conclusion sooner rather than later.

This means that the west’s colonial mindset of “divide and rule” will have no takers anymore among regional states. Thus, what happened in Johannesburg would be consequential for Israel and Turkey as well. Finally, most importantly, the de-dollarization process, which would have moved at a snail’s pace, will now accelerate. What Putin had warned when the Biden administration imposed the “sanctions from hell” against Russia — especially its ouster from the SWIFT payment system —namely, that there would be a very heavy price to pay by the United States, is coming true. The blowback is only beginning in the international financial and trading system. The west simply cannot win in the looming confrontation with the Global Majority. And the transition can be addressed by Washington only through reconciliation with Moscow and Beijing, not an easy poison for the Americans to swallow.

That will have to begin with an end to the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and a retreat or abandonment of the attempt to fuel tensions with China over Taiwan. On the other hand, any change of course in the US strategy away from its belligerent militarized policies will have long-term implications for the entire US-led western alliance system, while in the short term, impacting President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, too. The humiliating defeat in the Ukraine war cannot be covered up any longer. The times ahead will be turbulent as the old, self-centered, hegemonic western mindset won’t surrender easily. As for the entrenched interest groups in the US and Europe, their basic instinct will be to manufacture delaying tactics to stall the march of history. But it won’t work if BRICS stays the course.

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Striking similarities between the Trump and Imran Khan cases. Both non-politicians, both immensely popular, both hounded mercilessly by the political elites. 100 charges against Trump, 181 against Khan.

“..the US State Department had pressured Pakistan to oust Khan over his “aggressively neutral position” on Ukraine.”

Pakistani Court Suspends Imran Khan’s Prison Sentence (RT)

The former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has had his jail sentence suspended after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered his release on bail on Tuesday. Khan was found guilty earlier this month of having illegally concealed and sold gifts that he’d accepted on behalf of the state during his time in office. The suspension of Khan’s sentence was announced by a two-judge bench of the IHC, which overturned a lower-court decision to imprison the former premier for three years then ordered Khan’s immediate release. Khan continues to face dozens of other charges, however, meaning he may yet be rearrested as soon as he is released from the maximum-security prison in Attock where he is currently being held.

His spokesperson Raoof Hasan has told Al Jazeera that Khan should not have been convicted in the first place, calling the charges against him a “fake case without any substance.” “We are only hoping that he is not rearrested in one of the 180-plus frivolous or fraudulent cases that have been unfortunately registered against him,” Hasan told the outlet, noting that in nine cases specifically, Khan was denied bail because he could not appear before the court as he was already in prison. To counter the possibility of a rearrest, Hasan stated that Khan’s legal team has submitted a petition for a “blanket bail” which would “ensure he will not be rearrested in any other cases after the suspension of his current sentence.” A hearing on the issue of the blanket bail is likely to take place on Wednesday, according to Al Jazeera.

While Khan’s supporters have applauded the court’s decision and are preparing for his release, his opponents are pointing out that it may be too early for celebrations. Lawyer Mirza Moiz Baig explained to Al Jazeera that “It is important to remember that only the sentence has been suspended, not the actual conviction” and that, despite the suspension, Khan remains barred from electoral politics for another five years and will not be able to contest upcoming elections. After losing a no-confidence vote in April, Khan, who is now 70, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has insisted that the charges against him were politically motivated. A report by The Intercept earlier this month also suggested that the US State Department had pressured Pakistan to oust Khan over his “aggressively neutral position” on Ukraine.

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“Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes.”

Raffensperger and Meadows Testify in Key Hearing on Georgia Allegations (Turley)

The hearing yesterday on the motion of former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to remove his case to federal court from Georgia state court had a number of notable moments. The testimony of both Meadows and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger offered insights into the case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. While I have said that the sweeping indictment contains some serious allegations of criminal conduct against individual defendants, I have been critical of its broad scope and its implications for free speech in future challenges to election. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes. What was most striking is that Raffensperger confirmed a key aspect of “the call” with Georgia officials that I previously raised about the purpose of that call. For his part, Meadows categorically denied key allegations made by Willis in the indictment.

The hearing confirmed, as I have noted, that there are good-faith arguments on both sides of the removal issue. In my view, Meadows and his counsel, George J. Terwilliger III, did well overall in showing that Chief of Staff has a broad portfolio of responsibilities and it is not possible to dismiss all of the cited actions in this indictment as purely political and not involving official conduct. Yet, as U.S. District Judge Steve Jones noted, there is little clarity on this issue in terms of precedent and we will have to await his decision. There will likely be an appeal of any order. I thought both Meadows and Raffensperger did well on the stand. I was particularly interested in Raffensperger’s description of the call. I have always supported Raffensperger on his position in that call and the decisions of his staff. I have also rejected the claims of former President Donald Trump on the election allegations and his claims in the call.

Despite the recent attack in the Washington Post, it is not the merits of Trump’s claims but the use of the call as a criminal act that drew my criticism. The call was misrepresented by the Post and the transcript later showed that Trump was not simply demanding that votes be added to the count but rather asking for another recount or continued investigation. Again, I disagreed with that position but the words about the finding of 11,780 votes was in reference to what he was seeking in a continued investigation. Critics were enraged by the suggestion that Trump was making the case for a recount as opposed to just demanding the addition of votes to the tally or fraudulent findings. Raffensperger described the call in the same terms. He correctly described the call as “extraordinary” in a president personally seeking such an investigation, particularly after the completion of the earlier recount. That is manifestly true. However, he also acknowledged that this was a “settlement negotiation.”

So what was the subject of the settlement talks? Another recount or further investigation. The very thing that critics this week were apoplectic about in the coverage. That does not mean that Trump had grounds for the demand. Trump participation in the call was extraordinary and his demands were equally so. However, the reference to the vote deficit in demanding continued investigation was a predictable argument in such a settlement negotiation. As I previously stated, I have covered such challenges for years as a legal analyst for CBS, NBC, BBC, and Fox. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes.

[..] The most interesting takeaway is that Willis may have overplayed her hand by including Meadows. In doing so, she may have created the strongest avenue for removal. I believe that she hoped that Meadows would “flip.” Instead, he is leading the charge to federal court. Even if Judge Jones denies the motion, it can now be appealed and that are solid arguments here in his favor. If Willis showed greater restraint, she could have omitted Meadows and the strongest claim for removal. If he succeeds, it strengthens the case for others to seek removal.

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“In other words, it was false. Not arguably false. It was false.”

Washington Post Stands by Controversial Claims (Turley)

This morning, I was surprised to receive a note from the Washington Post on my prior criticism of the Post’s Philip Bump as previously spreading “false stories” and refusing to accept the facts after they were established by the media. The Post has declared that Bump’s original claims on Lafayette Park, the Hunter Biden laptop, and Russian collusion were true and they stand by them. In light of the unprompted review by the Post, I wanted to lay out what the Post is now embracing as true. At the outset, here is the email that I received this morning: “Dear Jonathan, In your recent piece in The Hill, you wrote that “Bump has repeatedly spread false stories and then refused to accept the falsity of his own earlier claims, even after most of the media have admitted the errors.” The Washington Post stands by Philip Bump’s reporting and your characterization of his articles as “false” is incorrect.”

[..] Many of us criticized Trump’s photo op in front of the church as well as the level of force used to clear the area of Lafayette Park. Yet, media and pundits like Bump and University of Texas Professor Steve Vladeck (who is a CNN contributor) went further to claim that former Attorney General Bill Barr cleared the park in order to hold the photo op. There was never evidence to support that factual conclusion. I testified in Congress not long after the clearing of the area and stated that the conspiracy theory was already contradicted by the available evidence. I encouraged Congress to investigate the question and establish the truth of the matter. The issue was not whether it was worthy of investigation but whether it was established as fact.

We previously discussed how the Inspector General report on the Lafayette Park protests and the debunking of Bump’s conspiracy theory. The Inspector General of the Department of Interior conducted an investigation over the last year and found that the clearing was not done “to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church.” In other words, it was false. Not arguably false. It was false.

[..] The Hunter Biden Laptop and Campaign Spying. The Post also stands by Bump’s repeated claims of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign. I previously criticized Bump for those columns. Bump was, as usual, consistent and categorical in embracing any claims against Trump. For example, Bump slammed Trump for claiming that his campaign was spied on by the FBI under the Obama Administration. (Trump used the term “wiretapping” which is a rather dated term for surveillance). Bump again guffawed at the suggestion. Later it was shown that the surveillance did target both the campaign and campaign associates.

In 2021, when media organizations were finally admitting that the laptop was authentic, Bump was still declaring that it was a “conspiracy theory.” Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Bump continued to suggest that “the laptop was seeded by Russian intelligence.” The media like the New York Times later admitted that the laptop was authentic but the Post now insists that Bump was correct that the laptop was seeded by Russian intelligence and that there was never FBI spying on the Trump campaign. Bump and I have sparred in past years over Russian collusion. FBI officials have acknowledged that the Russian collusion investigation was based on false reports, including the Steele dossier. The Special Counsel found that the investigation lacked a factual foundation for the full investigation launched under former FBI Director James Comey.

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“..during his tenure as vice president.” 4 years=1450 days=over 3 pseudonym emails per day, every day. Why?

National Archive Has 5,400 Biden Pseudonym Documents From Time As VP (ZH)

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) revealed it’s in possession of some 5,400 records that contain email pseudonyms that President Joe Biden used during his tenure as vice president. The jarring number was revealed in a letter from the Archives to the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), which last year filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any documents that referenced three pseudonymous email accounts: [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]. “We have performed a search of our collection for Vice Presidential records related to your [June 9, 2022] request and have identified approximately 5,138 email messages, 25 electronic files and 200 pages of potentially responsive records that must be processed in order to respond to your request,” said the letter from NARA.

Roswell, Georgia-based SLF received that letter last year, but made it public on Monday as it announced it has taken its FOIA pursuit to the next level, by filing a federal lawsuit against the Archives to compel the release of the records. “SLF requested these now highly sought after emails from NARA on June 9, 2022, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request,” said the group in a statement. “Unfortunately, after identifying nearly 5,400 potentially responsive records, NARA has dragged its feet and still has not produced a single email. SLF now turns to the court, asking it to order NARA to produce Biden’s emails.”

The revelation of the high quantity of documents comes on the heels of a push for the same documents by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer. Earlier this month, he sent a letter to NARA asking it to turn over any unredacted documents that reference the pseudonyms. “Joe Biden has stated there was ‘an absolute wall’ between his family’s foreign business schemes and his duties as Vice President, but evidence reveals that access was wide open for his family’s influence peddling,” said Comer in a statement. “We already have evidence of then-Vice President Biden speaking, dining, and having coffee with his son’s foreign business associates,” Comer continued.

“We also know that Hunter Biden and his associates were informed of then-Vice President Biden’s official government duties in countries where they had a financial interest. The National Archives must provide these unredacted records to further our investigation into the Biden family’s corruption.” While mystery swirls around the several thousand documents, we do know that one of the emails details plans for a phone call with Ukraine’s former president, Petro Poroshenko. An aide to Biden, John Flynn, copied Hunter at his email address at Rosemont Seneca Partners – while Hunter was serving on the board of Ukrainian energy giant, Burisma, which was deemed to be corrupt by the Obama-Biden State Department.

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“The public figures who openly became monsters, demanding the unvaccinated be drummed out of society and maybe even off the face of the earth have not been shamed or shunned..”

A New Covid ‘Variant’…Just in Time for Election Season! (Ron Paul)

Just four and a half months since President Biden declared an end to the Covid “emergency,” the media is suddenly full of stories about the return of Covid. This time a new “variant” is being rolled out and the media, in collusion with big Pharma and the fear-industrial complex, are churning out stories about how forced masking is making a comeback. Also, the “unvaccinated” are again to be denied basic human rights in the name of fighting a virus that the vaccine demonstrably does not protect against. In short, they are desperately trying to revive the tyranny, insanity, and utter irrationality of the two-year Covid scare. And they are pretending none of us remembers how they destroyed society with their lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates.

They are hoping that none of us will remember the suicides, lost jobs, broken marriages, increased alcoholism and drug abuse, and the rest of what went along with the world’s experiment with global lockdown. Even Fauci himself is back – like a moth drawn to the light of publicity. Despite all the scientific evidence that the lockdowns were a disaster, that they did far more harm than good, Fauci has re-emerged with his trademark arrogance and claimed that they were the right thing to do and should be done again if that’s what it takes to force people to take the vaccine. A vaccine that does not work. They won’t even allow us to mention the spike in all-around mortality or the millions who may have been vaccine-injured the first time around.

They want us to think that 20-year-old world-class athletes have always just dropped dead of heart attacks out of the blue. It’s all normal! Don’t question it! What are you, some kind of conspiracy theorist? Are you a science-denier? Yes, look for a renewal of all those old hollow phrases used to attack those of us who can see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears. Their slogans are meant to silence any debate. The same “experts” like Fauci who claimed “I am the science” are back and they shamelessly demand to silence us again. The big question is…why? Why are they doing this and how do they think they can get away with it a second time?

One reason they believe they can get away with it again is that no one has ever been punished for what they did the first time. The Federal Government made sure that the pharmaceutical companies would not be liable for vaccine damages. The public figures who openly became monsters, demanding the unvaccinated be drummed out of society and maybe even off the face of the earth have not been shamed or shunned. Politicians who displayed cowardice and worse have not been voted out of office for their treachery. [..] Last time around they generated fear to radically change how America voted. Suddenly everyone was mailed ballots. How closely were they checked? No one knew and no one dared ask. The people who did ask about the election are now facing jail terms.

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“Misguided climate science has metastasized into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience. In turn, the pseudoscience has become a scapegoat for a wide variety of other unrelated ills.”

More Than 1,600 Scientists Declare Climate ‘Emergency’ A Myth (JTN)

A coalition of 1,609 scientists from around the world have signed a declaration stating “there is no climate emergency” and that they “strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy” being pushed across the globe. The declaration does not deny the harmful effect of greenhouse gasses, but instead challenges the hysteria brought about by the narrative of imminent doom. The declaration, put together by the Global Climate Intelligence Group (CLINTEL), was made public this month and urges that “Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific.” CLINTEL is an independent foundation that operates in the fields of climate change and climate policy. CLINTEL was founded in 2019 by emeritus professor of geophysics Guus Berkhout and science journalist Marcel Crok.

“Scientists should openly address uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of their policy measures,” the declaration says. Of the 1,609 scientists who have signed the declaration, two signatories are Nobel Prize laureates. The most recent to sign is Nobel Prize winner Dr. John F. Clauser, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics. In an announcement from CLINTEL, Clauser is quoted as saying “Misguided climate science has metastasized into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience. In turn, the pseudoscience has become a scapegoat for a wide variety of other unrelated ills. It has been promoted and extended by similarly misguided business marketing agents, politicians, journalists, government agencies, and environmentalists.”

The underlying report that engendered the declaration lays out a series of statements challenging many of the common climate claims. For example, one of the most common claims – and repeated without question by many – is that the earth will soon pass “tipping points that will lead to catastrophic environmental damage, including dangerous sea level rise, entire species going extinct, and even greater suffering in many nations, especially the poorest.” The sense of immediate crisis has been repeated constantly by mainstream media, including The New York Times, which said flatly, “Earth is likely to cross a critical threshold for global warming within the next decade.”

In 2009, former vice president Al Gore famously predicted that “the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013.” He later backtracked, according to Reuters, who said Gore was merely quoting other scientific reports. Gore had three years earlier published “An Inconvenient Truth” the subtitle of which was “The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It.” A documentary film based on the book earned $24,146,161 in gross receipts that year. sCelebrity activist Greta Thunberg tweeted in 2018 – five years after Gore’s doomsday prediction – that “climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.” The Highland County Press reported that she deleted the tweet.

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Eagle

 

 

Handpan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1696584955583750496

 

 

saki
https://twitter.com/i/status/1696617489147277428

 

 


Stunning shot of a mature supercell thunderstorm, illuminated at varying heights from the setting sun in West Texas. Photo Laura Rowe

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 242023
 
 August 24, 2023  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  30 Responses »


Francesco Queirolo Il Disinganno, Naples, Sansevero Chapel 1753-1754

 

Trump: “There’s A Level Of Passion… And Hatred I’ve Never Seen” (ZH)
Ukraine Can’t Defeat Russia – Ex-NATO General (RT)
Ukraine Must Seek Ceasefire With Russia Now – Ex-Presidential Aide (RT)
US ‘Cannot Afford’ To Fund Ukraine War – Think-Tank Chief (RT)
Ending Ukraine Conflict Now Is ‘Smartest Thing We Can Do’- Macgregor (RT)
Ukraine Blames Foreign Journalists for Botched Counteroffensive (Sp.)
Russia’s Goal Is To End War That West Unleashed In Ukraine – Putin (TASS)
NATO Fighting ‘Full-Scale’ War Against Russia In Ukraine – Medvedev (TASS)
BRICS Should Set Up A Kiddie Table For Western Leaders Like Macron (Marsden)
Xi Laments ‘Cold War Mentality’ (RT)
Joe Biden’s Ukraine Defense Falls Apart (Turley)
Rand Paul On Return Of COVID Measures: “These People Have No Shame” (SN)
Wagner Decries ‘Murder’ Of Prigozhin Amid Reports Missile Struck Plane (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Trump ad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1694136146987483643

 

 

Joe is lost

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

Renz
https://twitter.com/i/status/1694131730171547815

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think he’s worse mentally than he is physically… and he’s not exactly a triathlete.”

Trump: “There’s A Level Of Passion… And Hatred I’ve Never Seen” (ZH)

“It started with protests against you, then impeachment twice, and now indictments… Are you worried that they are going to try to kill you? Why wouldn’t they try to kill you?” Trump calmly responds: I’ve seen the lengths that they go to… when they make up the Russia, Russia, Russia collusion and that’s exposed… these are sick people. I think they hate our country.” On the indictments sending Trump’s poll numbers higher: “I think the people of this country don’t get enough credit for how smart they are… but they get it…” “…the people see it’s a fraud.”

On Biden: “Crooked Joe Biden is so bad, he’s the worst president in the history of our country. I don’t think he’s going to make it to the gate, but you never know.” “I think he’s worse mentally than he is physically… and he’s not exactly a triathlete.” “He’s both the most corrupt president we ever had and most incompetent.” On Biden’s links to China:”I actually believe he’s compromised… the Chinese have so much on him.” “He is in many ways a Manchurian candidate. “Do you think the rest of the world looks at Biden and thinks, somebody else must be running the government?” “well, somebody else has to be. I don’t think he’s capable of doing anything.”

Who is pulling the strings? We have a president that can’t put two sentences together, can’t speak, can’t walk, can’t talk. I don’t think he gets to the starting gate but these people do miracles… I mean he ran out of his basement and he got away with it because of COVID… and they cheated on the election…but they have people that are very smart, but they’re fascists and they’re radical left lunatics and they’re destroying our country.”

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“..fueling the expectations in the public opinion of a victory that is impossible on the ground. The Ukrainians will not prevail..”

Ukraine Can’t Defeat Russia – Ex-NATO General (RT)

Ukraine will be unable to defeat Russia on the battlefield as Moscow has more men and an “impressive” advantage in firepower, retired Italian general Marco Bertolini has said. “The Ukrainian victory is inconceivable. We must take note of this fact and sit at the negotiating table,” said Bertolini, who headed Italy’s Joint Operations Command and the Folgore paratroopers brigade in the 2000s. “This war should’ve been stopped much earlier, but in recent months the rhetoric of ‘we will win’ has been cultivated, fueling the expectations in the public opinion of a victory that is impossible on the ground. The Ukrainians will not prevail,” he told Libero Quotidiano newspaper on Monday. Kiev’s much-anticipated counteroffensive, which started in early June, “proceeds slowly,” the retired general remarked.

He mentioned a report by the Washington Post last week, which cited a classified US intelligence assessment that concluded “Ukraine’s counteroffensive will fail to reach the key southeastern city of Melitopol,” and that the aim of severing Russia’s land bridge with Crimea would not be realized this year. According to Bertolini, this was “an acknowledgment that Kiev’s objectives can’t be achieved in the expected form and time frame.” “The Russians have an advantage in the number of men and firepower. The firepower unleashed by the Russians, especially when it comes to artillery, is superior and this is impressive considering the aid that has arrived in Ukraine from all over the West,” he said. The retired general suggested that there’s now an understanding in many circles that reclaiming territories captured by Russia from Ukraine is “unrealistic.” He also pointed out that “a ceasefire with the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, at any moment, and resuming hostilities won’t suffice for the Russians.”

“The conflict can only be ended through negotiations” in which the interests of both sides are respected, Bertolini said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week that Moscow remains ready for “meaningful dialogue” on Ukraine, but the prospects for negotiations with the West “are non-existent at this stage.” Kiev’s main backer, the US, which declared the goal of inflicting a strategic defeat to Russia in Ukraine, “has no intention of ending the conflict,” he insisted. Washington maintains that any negotiated settlement must be based on the so-called ten-point peace plan proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which calls for Russia to withdraw to borders claimed by Kiev, pay reparations, and submit to war crimes tribunals. Lavrov described this as a “pointless ultimatum.”

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“..the House [of Representatives] will not pass this $24 billion. They think the situation is at a complete impasse. That’s why Ukraine won’t get any money..”

Ukraine Must Seek Ceasefire With Russia Now – Ex-Presidential Aide (RT)

Ukraine should hasten to end hostilities with Russia before the flow of American military and financial aid to the country dries up, a former aide to two Ukrainian presidents has said. In a video on his YouTube channel posted on Tuesday, Oleg Soskin, who served as an economic adviser to Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma in the 1990s, described the US as “the key country” in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, arguing that if it cuts off its military assistance to Kiev, the latter will sign some kind of agreement with Moscow “within days.” Against this backdrop, Soskin suggested that the US Congress may refuse to rubberstamp the request of US President Joe Biden to provide Kiev with an additional $24 billion in assistance, citing reports of growing reluctance among Republicans to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

“Basically, this means that the House [of Representatives] will not pass this $24 billion. They think the situation is at a complete impasse. That’s why Ukraine won’t get any money,” he said. If the US, which has already provided Kiev with tens of billions of dollars in various forms of aid, were to stop helping Ukraine, its NATO allies, including Germany, Britain and all other European countries, would follow suit, crippling Kiev’s military potential, the ex-official noted. “I think that [Ukraine] should stop before the US does that,” Soskin said, suggesting that “there should be a meeting of smart people in Ukraine who would be more forward-looking” than Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his small group of what he called “war chanters.”

Soskin also noted that the Ukrainian army has already lost the backbone of its seasoned troops, with replacements being prone to serious morale issues. He said that Kiev is forcibly drafting inexperienced soldiers who are reluctant to fight. “Ukrainians lack the motivation they had in the past year and a half,” he pointed out, suggesting that, under these conditions, Kiev stands little chance against the Russian army. The ex-official’s comments come on the heels of a recent Politico report that said “even pro-Ukraine Republicans are hedging against supporting” a new assistance package for Ukraine, with Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland noting that Kiev “can’t win the war and, therefore, the US should reconsider further stocking its defenses.”

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US Just Cannot Satisfy Ukraine’s Financial Hunger..

US ‘Cannot Afford’ To Fund Ukraine War – Think-Tank Chief (RT)

The US should reduce the assistance it’s providing to Ukraine because it cannot maintain its current level of support, the head of a leading conservative think tank has said. European nations need to do more so Kiev can keep fighting Russia, added Kevin Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation. He set out the case for stopping the flow of aid on Tuesday. The Washington-based think tank prides itself on its ties to the presidency of Ronald Reagan, Roberts said during an appearance on Fox News, but much has changed in America since he was in power. “The US is much weaker economically than it was. It’s impossible for us to prosecute military interventions in multiple places around the world,” he said.

Consequently, Reagan’s ‘peace through strength’ principle needs to be adapted to new realities, Roberts argued.“The US simply cannot afford the level of support that it is giving the Ukrainians. The American people are saying that,” he stated, citing recent opinion polls in the US, which indicated that the US public was turning against the continued bankrolling of Kiev. Earlier this month, the administration of President Joe Biden requested an additional $40 billion in funding from Congress, including $13 billion for Ukrainian military assistance and $7.3 billion for Kiev’s other needs. The proposal was tied to the provision of $12 billion for disaster relief in the US.

Roberts said he wanted the Ukrainians to “win” and urged Germany and France to “pull more of their own weight” to achieve that goal. When asked for his definition of a Ukrainian victory, he said he wanted “precious lives that are being lost to stop being lost today.” The Biden administration has stated that it was up to the Ukrainian government to decide how they should prosecute the war and what their end goal was. Kiev has declared that its only option is to seize all territory that it claims to be under its sovereignty, including Crimea. Moscow considers the conflict part of a US proxy war against Russia, which, it claims, Washington intends to wage “to the last Ukrainian.”

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Video is in Tuesday’s Debt Rattle.

Ending Ukraine Conflict Now Is ‘Smartest Thing We Can Do’- Macgregor (RT)

Washington needs to make every effort to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as Kiev’s counteroffensive has failed, and any Western intervention would be a disaster, a former Pentagon adviser has argued. Retired US Army colonel Douglas Macgregor told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday that claims of an imminent Ukrainian victory are a “lie” and that the latest campaign against Russian forces, launched in June, is “collapsing, because what is happening on the battlefield is horrific.” Ukraine may have lost “at least 40,000” servicemen over the past month, Macgregor claimed, while “Ukrainian hospitals are full,” and troops have been surrendering due to heavy losses and an inability to evacuate their wounded.

Moscow still has large personnel reserves and a steady supply of ammunition and missiles, Macgregor noted, warning that the West might not be able to keep up the current supply levels. “It will take us many, many months to come up to this kind of standard when we can compete in a high-end conventional warfare,” he said. The former Pentagon adviser predicted that any attempt to save Kiev from defeat might require direct Western intervention, which would have catastrophic consequences. “If we intervene…. the Russians will be ready for that. And the consequences for us and for NATO will be devastating, because we are not ready,” Mcgregor said. The US and its allies might eventually “fall back on the nuclear deterrent,” putting the world on the brink of all-out conflict.

“The smartest thing that we can do is end this war,” Macgregor concluded. The former adviser’s interview came more than two months into Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive, which has so far failed to bring any tangible results, while inflicting heavy losses on Ukraine. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev’s forces have lost some 43,000 soldiers and 5,000 pieces of heavy equipment since early June.

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“Ukraine is failing in its offensive and they’re looking for somebody to blame instead of blaming themselves,” retired CIA intelligence officer Larry Johnson said.”

Ukraine Blames Foreign Journalists for Botched Counteroffensive (Sp.)

Ukraine has reportedly banned foreign journalists from visiting frontline positions without any written permission by its Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny. Switzerland’s Le Temps newspaper reported that this act of censorship could be explained by Kiev’s reluctance to make huge losses public after its troops were unable to break through the Russian defense lines amid their counteroffensive. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar, for her part, earlier argued that Western media reports about the deployment of the elite 82nd Airborne Brigade had led to strikes on its positions. All this shows that “Ukraine is failing in its offensive and they’re looking for somebody to blame instead of blaming themselves,” retired CIA intelligence officer Larry Johnson said.

Referring to the counteroffensive, he said that Kiev is unwilling to “take responsibility for launching an attack that has no chance of succeeding.” He added: “Primarily because they lack air cover, they’re now trying to blame journalists or someone else.” “What’s so absurd about this? You remember we spent the first three months of 2023 hearing about Ukraine saying, ‘We’re going to attack or launch a counteroffensive’. I mean, who does that? If you’re going to launch an offensive, you’re going to sucker-punch people. You want to surprise them. You don’t want to announce it in advance. So this is just one more sign of Ukrainian failure,” Johnson underscored. The ex-CIA officer argued that even if Ukraine had “some extra reserves hanging around”, it would “not change the situation on the battlefield.” He also theorized over a hypothetical scenario assuming the Ukrainian military had gotten the better of Russian troops during Kiev’s counteroffensive.

“If Ukraine was winning, if Ukraine was defeating Russia, they [Kiev authorities] would have reporters out there on the front lines, they’d have cameras. They’d be doing live updates every 15 minutes, because there would be good news to tell. Well, there’s no good news. There’s very bad news. Ukraine is getting defeated and they’re trying to cover that up. And the only problem is as long as there are smartphones, government can’t cover up what’s happening on the ground,” Johnson concluded. The Ukrainian military launched its much-touted counteroffensive in early June after multiple postponements. Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored late last month that “the enemy was not successful in all directions of the fight.” According to him, “All counteroffensive attempts have been stopped, and the enemy has been pushed back with heavy losses.”

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“Russia has decided to support the people who are fighting for their culture, for their traditions, for their language and for their future..”

Russia’s Goal Is To End War That West Unleashed In Ukraine – Putin (TASS)

Russia’s special military operation pursues the goal of ending the war in Ukraine unleashed by a number of Western countries and their satellites, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of BRICS leaders. “Russia has decided to support the people who are fighting for their culture, for their traditions, for their language and for their future. Our actions in Ukraine have only one reason – to put an end to the war that was unleashed by the West and their satellites in Ukraine against the people living in Donbass,” Putin said. He stressed that it was the wish of a number of Western countries to preserve their hegemony in the world that “has led to the grave crisis in Ukraine.” Putin recalled that “first, with the help of the Western countries, an unconstitutional coup d’etat was carried out in that country, and then a war was unleashed against those people who did not agree with that coup.” “This brutal war, a war of extermination, had lasted for eight years,” Putin emphasized.

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“The Western world keeps falling into the same trap over and over again..”

NATO Fighting ‘Full-Scale’ War Against Russia In Ukraine – Medvedev (TASS)

NATO is fighting a full-scale war against Russia, using the Kiev authorities as proxies, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said in an op-ed dedicated to the 15th anniversary of Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia and Russia’s recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which was published on the aif.ru website. The politician pointed out that “hostile observers” should have learned a lesson from those developments but “unfortunately, it did not happen.” “The Western world keeps falling into the same trap over and over again,” Medvedev said. “Our adversaries are up to their necks in the proxy war that NATO is fighting against us in Ukraine through the hands of the Kiev regime, which is a full-scale and deadly one,” he stressed.

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“..there’s no better time for non-alignment, particularly since going all-in with the Western camp’s US-led agenda hasn’t worked out too well for the average French citizen..”

BRICS Should Set Up A Kiddie Table For Western Leaders Like Macron (Marsden)

There’s no ‘F’ (for France) in ‘BRICS’ but that didn’t stop French President Emmanuel Macron from trying to “F” it up. It wasn’t that long ago that Western leaders wouldn’t give the BRICS the time of day, treating the economic bloc like the girl next door who didn’t warrant even a second glance. But now that she’s all grown up and has a massive purchasing-power-adjusted GDP that’s set to beat that of the G7, according to the International Monetary Fund, it seems to have triggered Macron’s seduction instincts. And probably his gold-digging ones, too, particularly given the richness of natural resources of the BRICS member states and their partners, notably in Africa, and at a time when France and Europe face a greater lack of resources, due to misguided policies on everything from cutting off cheap Russian energy over the conflict in Ukraine to having the welcome mat yanked out from under them in Africa, with stability operations that resulted in a proliferation of coups.

If any Western leader was going to have the audacity to try getting into a summit led by countries that they’re constantly bullying – notably China and Russia – it makes sense that it would be Macron. The French President has a unique talent for speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. On one hand, he caters to Washington’s agenda by toeing its party line on Russia and China, while at the same time he occasionally brings up the need to maintain strategic autonomy from Washington. But whenever there’s a choice to be made, Macron ultimately follows the Washington agenda, even when it’s to France’s and the EU’s economic detriment.

But the mere fact that he’d asked for an invite to the 15th BRICS summit this week allows Macron to lay claim to open-mindedness. He can say that, hey, he tried to reach out, but that his hand was pushed away – which is like badmouthing a girl and then telling everyone that she won’t go out with you when she turns you down. Anyone with half a brain would think that the best thing to do now would be to go away and start proving yourself through your actions before asking for another date. The good news for Macron is that there’s no better time for non-alignment, particularly since going all-in with the Western camp’s US-led agenda hasn’t worked out too well for the average French citizen suffering from a seemingly endless cost-of-living crisis.

Macron wants a date with the BRICS so badly that the bloc should really do with him and other Western leaders what Macron himself decided last year that the European Union should do with prospective members: set up a ‘kiddie table.’ The new ‘Baby BRICS’ summit could be the equivalent of Macron’s ‘European Political Community’ of countries seen as still having to prove themselves for EU membership, but who can still score an invite to a smaller summit alongside the ‘adult’ one, in the hope of being chosen for cherry-picked special trade relationships and customs arrangements of primary benefit to the EU.

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“There are many civilizations and development paths in the world, and this is how the world should be..”

Xi Laments ‘Cold War Mentality’ (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has condemned the “Cold War mentality” still “haunting our world,” as he laid out his geopolitical vision at the BRICS summit in South Africa on Wednesday. “We gather at a time when the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation,” Xi told the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa in Johannesburg. He added that the world “is undergoing major shifts, division and regrouping, leading to more uncertain, unstable and unpredictable developments.” “The Cold War mentality is still haunting our world, and the geopolitical situation is getting tense,” he continued, before restating China’s position on the Ukraine conflict: that the fighting began for “complex reasons,” and that “no one should add fuel to the fire and worsen the situation.”

The Chinese president has maintained for several years that American hegemony is in decline, and that a more multipolar world – in which Washington must treat “rising” powers like China as equals – is emerging. Xi has publicly celebrated the rebalancing of power, telling Russian President Vladimir Putin in March that both men were driving “changes, the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years.” Behind closed doors, he has reportedly warned his military that the geopolitical shift may lead to “the outbreak of a war and its chain reactions.”To avert this, Xi declared on Wednesday that “BRICS countries need to champion the spirit of inclusiveness, advocate peaceful coexistence and harmony between civilizations, and promote respect of all countries in independently choosing their modernization paths.”

There are many civilizations and development paths in the world, and this is how the world should be,” he stated. The Chinese leader called for the strengthening of global institutions and the adoption of global rules based on the UN Charter, “rather than dictated by those with the strongest muscles or the loudest voice.” Beijing has repeatedly condemned the US for positioning itself as leader of the “rules-based international order,” while violating the same rules that it applies to others.

“BRICS countries should practice true multilateralism, uphold the UN-centered international system, support and strengthen the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, and reject the attempt to create small circles or exclusive blocs,” Xi said, calling for increased trade, financial, and development ties between the five-nation group. Xi was not the only BRICS leader to denounce Western hegemony at the Johannesburg summit. Addressing the conference by video link, Putin blamed the conflict in Ukraine on the West’s attempts to preserve its power, and declared that BRICS stands for “the formation of a multipolar world order, truly just and based on international law.”

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“While Joe was portraying his work as fighting corruption, some officials were warning the Bidens could be part of the problem, not the solution, in Ukraine.”

Joe Biden’s Ukraine Defense Falls Apart (Turley)

The Oct. 1, 2015, memo summarizes the recommendation of the Interagency Policy Committee that was handling the anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine: “Ukraine has made sufficient progress on its reform agenda to justify a third guarantee.” One senior official even complimented Shokin on his progress in fighting corruption. So Biden was told to deliver on the federal aid but elected to unilaterally demand Shokin be fired. When the firing occurred, Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma Holdings, an energy firm that paid Hunter Biden a huge amount of money. The State Department had identified it as a corrupt company engaged in bribery. Recent testimony from Devon Archer, a business associate of Hunter Biden, revealed that Burisma executives made the removal of Shokin a top priority and raised it with Hunter.

He described how the need to neutralize Shokin was raised with Hunter and how “a call to Washington” was made in response. While Archer also said that “the narrative spun to me was that Shokin was under control,” he and others also heard concerns over Shokin and the risks of the investigation. President Biden has insisted, “I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. And that’s what we should be focusing on.” Indeed, that will now be the focus, including the close correlation of the money and demands going to Hunter and the actions of his father. There is evidence the State Department was alarmed by Hunter’s work and its impact on anti-corruption efforts. While Joe was portraying his work as fighting corruption, some officials were warning the Bidens could be part of the problem, not the solution, in Ukraine.

Leading diplomat George Kent wrote then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, “The real issue to my mind was that someone in Washington needed to engage VP Biden quietly and say that his son Hunter’s presence on the Burisma board undercut the anti-corruption message the VP and we were advancing in Ukraine b/c Ukrainians heard one message from us and then saw another set of behavior with the family association with a known corrupt figure whose company was known for not playing by the rules.” As part of the first impeachment of Donald Trump, Democrats largely dismissed earlier accounts of these misgivings and portrayed Shokin as a thoroughly corrupt prosecutor perpetuating corruption. Biden’s Ukrainian Corn Pop story was celebrated as a gutsy moment of leadership.

During the impeachment, Kent said Biden’s demand was consistent with US policy. Yet we now know the State Department had found progress was being made on corruption and Shokin was praised in private correspondence. The demand for the replacement of the equivalent of the attorney general in another country is an extraordinary move. We give massive amounts of money to countries with rampant corruption and authoritarian records. But Biden decided Shokin had to go and used public money to make that happen.

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“We will fight back, and we will point out that they are making money off of this.”

Rand Paul On Return Of COVID Measures: “These People Have No Shame” (SN)

In response to reports of COVID restrictions, including social distancing and masking being reimplemented by colleges and offices, Senator Rand Paul asserted that those pushing the measures again “have no shame.” During a Fox News interview, Paul described the move as “hysteria” being pushed by the leftist media to financially benefit their corporate pharma owners. “These people are so conflicted,” Paul said, adding “It’s so dishonest to put people like that on the air to promote a product that they make more money from … promote this hysteria. This defies all logic. It defies science, and it defies common sense.” “To see this coming up again, these people have no shame,” Paul continued, pointing to Morris Brown College in Atlanta, a black private liberal arts college that has reinstated the measures as part of a “precautionary step.”

“That university that’s wanting to mask up and do all this testing — zero cases,” Paul urged, adding “But even worse than that, even when COVID was really more potent in 2020, the death rate for young, healthy people turned out to be close to zero.” “We don’t know for sure because the CDC won’t release it, but we do know that Germany released all of their data, and not one young, healthy person died. So, it’s a crime to mandate masks. It’s a crime to mandate vaccines, which do have some risks for young, healthy people,” Paul further noted. The Senator urged that Americans are “not going to lay down and take it again,”adding “there will be more resistance” this time. “We will fight back, and we will point out that they are making money off of this. These are not high-minded people. They are making money off of us and making money off of generating hysteria,” the Senator asserted.

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Easy to jump to conclusions..

Wagner Decries ‘Murder’ Of Prigozhin Amid Reports Missile Struck Plane (ZH)

The internet has exploded with an avalanche breaking reports that Wagner chief Yvgeny Prigozhin’s business jet has crashed over Russia’s Tver region, northwest of Moscow. Unconfirmed reports say anywhere from seven to ten people were on board, all presumed dead – but it was initially unclear if Prigozhin himself was on board at the time. Russian media sources are now confirming that he was on board the downed plane, and is presumed dead.
This has led to immediate speculation that the private plane could have been shot down upon Putin’s orders (or people in the military command placed a bomb?… or a sophisticated Western intel op?). Per FT’s Moscow correspondent: “Wagner-linked channels say Russian air defense *shot down the plane* – the same private jet Prigozhin regularly uses.”

The Kremlin has quickly issued confirmation that the aircraft did indeed belong to the controversial Wagner leader who led a mutiny against the defense ministry June 23-24. Per official news wires out of Russia
• RUSSIA SAYS 10 PEOPLE KILLED AFTER PRIVATE JET CRASHES IN TVER REGION NORTH OF MOSCOW
• RUSSIA SAYS EVGENY PRIGOZHIN COULD BE ON BOARD OF PLANE THAT CRASHED IN TVER REGION NORTH OF MOSCOW – TASS

Russian official sources are confirming, including RT… KOMMERSANT: • PRIGOZHIN HAS DIED IN THE PLANE CRASH IN RUSSIA’S TVER, RUSSIA’S FEDERAL AIR TRANSPORT AGENCY SAYS. State news outlet RT writes in an update: “A private jet traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg crashed on Wednesday in Russia’s Tver Region. The Russian Emergencies Ministry said all 10 people on board had died. Rosaviation has since said that Evgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Private Military Company, was listed among the passengers.” And additional statements are emerging: Former Putin advisor Sergei Markov: “The murder of Prigozhin is the main achievement of Ukraine and all enemies of Russia will rejoice” — Al Jazeera

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Crustacean
https://twitter.com/i/status/1694275094825107944

 

 

Maui

 

 

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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.”

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“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

 

 

 

 

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Dec 272022
 


L.S. Lowry The mill, Pendlebury 1943

 

The Twitter Files: How Twitter Rigged The Covid Debate (Zweig)
How Twitter Rigged the Covid Debate (ZH)
You Need to Start Paying Attention to the ‘Twitter Files’ (PJM)
It’s Time to Reform the Bureau (Turley)
What Will the FBI *Not* Do? (Hanson)
Pandemic Response Gets A Permanent New Home At The White House (STAT)
Ukraine Calls For UN-Brokered ‘Peace Summit’ In February (RT)
Report: The CIA Is Directing Sabotage Attacks Inside Russia (Antiwar)
Medvedev Gives Timeline For Reconciliation With The West (RT)
What Can Happen In 2023 (Dmitry Medvedev)
ECB Governing Council Says Growth Of Key Rate In 2023 Possible (Az.)
Russia Ready To Resume Gas Supplies To EU – Official (RT)
Germany Becoming ‘Dysfunctional’ State – MP (RT)
Return Europe To A Union Of Homelands (RMX)
Republican Senators Turn On Leader Mitch McConnell Over $1.7t Omnibus (DM)
What It’s Really About (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Blood-brain barrier

 

 

 

 

Tom Renz
https://twitter.com/i/status/1607224317099798530

 

 

 

 

Mozart

 

 

 

 

More Twitter files, this time on Covid response.

Elon Musk @elonmusk: “Much more to The Twitter Files: Covid Editon than this introductory thread. Follow-up piece to come next week, featuring leading doctors & researchers from Harvard, Stanford & other institutions. (Many of whom were, of course, actively suppressed on Twitter).”

Author David Zweig also has a longer article here . I’ll start off with his Twitter thread.

The Twitter Files: How Twitter Rigged The Covid Debate (Zweig)

– By censoring info that was true but inconvenient to U.S. govt. policy
– By discrediting doctors and other experts who disagreed
– By suppressing ordinary users, including some sharing the CDC’s *own data*
2. So far the Twitter Files have focused on evidence of Twitter’s secret blacklists; how the company functioned as a kind of subsidiary of the FBI; and how execs rewrote the platform’s rules to accommodate their own political desires.
3. What we have yet to cover is Covid. This reporting, for The Free Press, @thefp, is one piece of that important story.
4. The United States government pressured Twitter and other social media platforms to elevate certain content and suppress other content about Covid-19.
5. Internal files at Twitter that I viewed while on assignment for @thefp showed that both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes.
6. At the onset of the pandemic, according to meeting notes, the Trump admin was especially concerned about panic buying. They came looking for “help from the tech companies to combat misinformation” about “runs on grocery stores.” But . . . there were runs on grocery stores.
7. It wasn’t just Twitter. The meetings with the Trump White House were also attended by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others.
8. When the Biden admin took over, one of their first meeting requests with Twitter executives was on Covid. The focus was on “anti-vaxxer accounts.” Especially Alex Berenson.
9. In the summer of 2021, president Biden said social media companies were “killing people” for allowing vaccine misinformation. Berenson was suspended hours after Biden’s comments, and kicked off the platform the following month.
10. Berenson sued (and then settled with) Twitter. In the legal process Twitter was compelled to release certain internal communications, which showed direct White House pressure on the company to take action on Berenson.

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“We are asking them to step up,” Murthy said. “We can’t wait longer for them to take aggressive action.”

How Twitter Rigged the Covid Debate (ZH)

Today’s edition, dropped by journalist David Zweig, focuses on ‘how Twitter rigged the Covid debate’ by taking direction from both the Trump and Biden administrations (while at the same time trying to censor the former president). What’s somewhat notable is how aggressive government (and ex-government) officials were in trying to stifle free speech, while Twitter’s non-government-linked employees would often push back (and then totally fold) – a theme we’ve observed in previous drops. In one such instance, former head of Twitter’s Trust & Safety team Yoel Roth tells former FBI lawyer and then-Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker to calm his tits over a Trump tweet. Of course, in the end the government typically got its way, as you will read below.

Zweig, who was granted access to internal files while on assignment for The Free Press, notes that “both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes.” What’s more, the censorship effort extended to Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others. In July 2021, then-U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released a 22-page advisory concerning what the World Health Organization referred to as an “infodemic,” and called on social media platforms to do more to shut down “misformation.” “We are asking them to step up,” Murthy said. “We can’t wait longer for them to take aggressive action.”

That’s the message the White House had already taken directly to Twitter executives in private channels. One of the Biden administration’s first meeting requests was about Covid, with a focus on “anti-vaxxer accounts,” according to a meeting summary by Lauren Culbertson, Twitter’s Head of U.S. Public Policy. They were especially concerned about Alex Berenson, a journalist skeptical of lockdowns and mRNA vaccines, who had hundreds of thousands of followers on the platform: By the summer of 2021, the day after Murthy’s memo, Biden announced publicly that social media companies were “killing people” by allowing misinformation about vaccines. Just hours later, Twitter locked Berenson out of his account, and then permanently suspended him the next month.

Berenson sued Twitter. He ultimately settled with the company, and is now back on the platform. As part of the lawsuit, Twitter was compelled to provide certain internal communications. They revealed that the White House had directly met with Twitter employees and pressured them to take action on Berenson. The summary of meetings by Culbertson, emailed to colleagues in December 2022, adds new evidence of the White House’s pressure campaign, and illustrates how it tried to directly influence what content was allowed on Twitter. Culbertson wrote that the Biden team was “very angry” that Twitter had not been more aggressive in deplatforming multiple accounts. They wanted Twitter to do more.

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Yeah, we could use some summaries. Authors so far: Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, Michael Shellenberger, Lee Fang, David Zweig, Leighton Woodhouse, Abigail Shrier. And perhaps others?! I hadn’t even noticed the last two.

You Need to Start Paying Attention to the ‘Twitter Files’ (PJM)

The “Twitter Files” have now officially had more sequels than Planet of the Apes and can be difficult to absorb. Thus, I don’t think they’re getting the attention they deserve. For those of you not following the “Twitter Files” drops, let me catch you up on what I believe are some of the most important parts:
• The FBI paid Twitter $3.5 million to censor conservatives.
• The FBI pressured Twitter to give them information that would legally require warrants, though they did not have warrants.
• Leading up to the 2020 election, the FBI would eventually hold weekly meetings with Twitter and tell them whose tweets to squelch and which accounts they wanted to be suspended. Almost all were those of conservatives.
• The FBI knew the Hunter Biden laptop story was real, they knew it was coming out — weeks before the 2020 election — and they told Big Tech to expect a “Russian disinformation” drop and squelch the story. That means the FBI corrupted the election to help Joe “totally showered with his daughter, Ashley” Biden.
• There are so many former FBI employees at Twitter that they have their own Slack channel.


In response to the “Twitter Files” detailing how the FBI-Twitter circle jerk was real, the bureau called the allegations “conspiracy theories” but never actually denied its relationship with Twitter. Elon Musk provided the world with an early Christmas present on Saturday with Twitter Files Pt. IX. I’ll sum it up so you can avoid the Twitter mess and get to the relevant facts:
• The FBI was a portal, specifically the San Francisco office, for other government agencies to get to Twitter to surveil and censor Americans.
• Hiding under the title of Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), actors from local police departments to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the CIA were watching and censoring Americans — not foreigners.
• Twitter wasn’t the only Big Tech firm hip-deep in spooks. The feds had their fingers in Verizon, Reddit, Facebook, Microsoft, and, for some reason, Pinterest.
• As the 2020 election neared, the FBI-FITF assailed Twitter with hundreds of requests to censor Twitter accounts and tweets. There were so many requests that Twitter execs had to come up with a system to prioritize them.
• FBI employees were tasked with doing word searches on Twitter, looking for violations of Twitter policies — instead of chasing actual criminals.
• The FBI had roughly 80 agents working with Big Tech companies. It is unclear how many members of the DOD, CIA, etc. were involved

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“Criticizing the FBI is now ‘disinformation’”

It’s Time to Reform the Bureau (Turley)

The “Twitter Files” released by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, show as many as 80 agents targeting social-media posters for censorship on the site. This included alleged briefings that Twitter officials said was the reason they spiked the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election. The FBI sent 150 messages on back channels to just one Twitter official to flag accounts. One Twitter executive expressed unease over the FBI’s pressure, declaring: “They are probing & pushing everywhere they can (including by whispering to congressional staff).” We also have learned that Twitter hired a number of retired FBI agents, including former FBI general counsel James Baker, who was a critical and controversial figure in past bureau scandals over political bias.

It is not clear what is more chilling — the menacing role played by the FBI in Twitter’s censorship program, or its mendacious response to the disclosure of that role. The FBI has issued a series of “nothing-to-see-here” statements regarding the Twitter Files. In its latest statement, the FBI insists it did not command Twitter to take any specific action when flagging accounts to be censored. Of course, it didn’t have to threaten the company — because we now have an effective state media by consent rather than coercion. Moreover, an FBI warning tends to concentrate the minds of most people without the need for a specific threat. Finally, the files show that the FBI paid Twitter millions as part of this censorship system — a windfall favorably reported to Baker before he was fired from Twitter by Musk.

Criticizing the FBI is now ‘disinformation’. Responding to the disclosures and criticism, an FBI spokesperson declared: “The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.” Arguably, “working every day to protect the American public” need not include censoring the public to protect it from errant or misleading ideas. However, it is the attack on its critics that is most striking. While the FBI denounced critics of an earlier era as communists and “fellow travelers,” it now uses the same attack narrative to label its critics as “conspiracy theorists.”

After Watergate, there was bipartisan support for reforming the FBI and intelligence agencies. Today, that cacophony of voices has been replaced by crickets, as much of the media imposes another effective blackout on coverage of the Twitter Files. This media silence suggests that the FBI found the “sweet spot” on censorship, supporting the views of the political and media establishment. As for the rest of us, the FBI now declares us to be part of a disinformation danger which it is committed to stamping out — “conspiracy theorists” misleading the public simply by criticizing the bureau. Clearly, this is the time for a new Church Committee — and time to reform the FBI.

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“Consider the last four directors, the public faces of the FBI for the last 22 years.”

What Will the FBI *Not* Do? (Hanson)

The FBI is now, tragically, in freefall. The public is at the point, first, of asking what improper or illegal behavior will the bureau not pursue, and what, if anything, must be done to reform or save a once great but now discredited agency. Consider the last four directors, the public faces of the FBI for the last 22 years. Ex-director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that he simply would not or could not talk about the fraudulent Steele dossier. He claimed that it was not the catalyst for his special counsel investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged ties with the Russians when, of course, it was. Mueller also testified that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, although Glenn Simpson’s opposition research firm subsidized the dossier through various cutouts that led back to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. And the skullduggery in the FBI-subsidized dossier helped force the appointment of Mueller himself.

While under congressional oath, Mueller’s successor James Comey on some 245 occasions claimed that he “could not remember,” “could not recall,” or “did not know” when asked simple questions fundamental to his own involvement with the Russian collusion hoax. Comey, remember, memorialized a confidential conversation with President Trump on an FBI device and then used a third party to leak it to the New York Times. In his own words, the purpose was to force a special counsel appointment. The gambit worked, and his friend and predecessor Robert Mueller got the job. Twenty months and $40 million later, Mueller’s investigation tore the country apart but could find no evidence that Trump, as Steele alleged, colluded with the Russians to throw the 2016 election.

Comey also seems to have reassured the president that he was not the target of an ongoing FBI investigation, when in fact, Trump was. Comey was never indicted for either misleading or lying to a congressional committee or leaking a document variously considered either confidential or classified. While under oath, his interim successor, Andrew McCabe, on a number of occasions flat-out lied to federal investigators. Or as the office of the inspector general put it: “As detailed in this report, the OIG found that then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the WSJ, and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6. The OIG also concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”

McCabe purportedly believed Trump was working with the Russians as a veritable spy—a false accusation based entirely on the FBI’s paid, incoherent prevaricator Christopher Steele. And so, McCabe discussed with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein methods to have the president’s conversations wiretapped via a Rosenstein-worn stealthy recording device, presumably without a warrant. Note the FBI ruined the lives of General Michael Flynn and Carter Page with false allegations of criminal conduct or untruthful testimonies. Under current director Christopher Wray, the FBI has surveilled parents at school boards meetings—on the prompt of the National School Boards Association, whose president wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland alleging that bothersome parents upset over critical race indoctrination groups were supposedly violence-prone and veritable terrorists. Under Wray, the FBI staged the psychodramatic Mar-a-Lago raid on an ex-president’s home. The FBI likely leaked the post facto myths that the seized documents contained “nuclear codes” or “nuclear secrets.”

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What could go wrong?

Pandemic Response Gets A Permanent New Home At The White House (STAT)

The era of the rotating cast of public health czars at the White House may finally be over. Presidents for decades have brought fresh faces to the White House to coordinate federal responses to threats such as Covid-19, mpox, Ebola, AIDS, and the bird flu. Now, Congress aims to give pandemic response a permanent home at the White House.Next year’s government funding package includes a brand-new White House Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy that would have a director appointed by the president and up to 25 staff members. “They’re not simply going to retire the role that [White House Covid-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha] plays when the emergency declaration ends,” said J. Stephen Morrison, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the director of its Global Health Policy Center.


“You can’t just keep piling on coordinators, disease by disease.” The new director’s main responsibilities would be to advise the president on preparing for pandemics and other biological threats, to coordinate response activities across the federal government — including research into new countermeasures and distribution of medical supplies — and to evaluate the government’s readiness. The director would also be a member of the Domestic Policy Council and the National Security Council. “The functions outlined are exactly what is needed at the White House, and what I’ve been calling for for years, to avoid having any single agency take the lead on something that overlaps most departments in the U.S. government,” said Ken Bernard, who worked in biodefense policy in both the Clinton and George W. Bush White Houses.

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Start off with impossible conditions. And then say: hey, we tried!

Ukraine Calls For UN-Brokered ‘Peace Summit’ In February (RT)

Kiev has proposed holding a so-called “peace summit” by the end of February to mark the one-year anniversary since Russia launched its military operation against Ukraine. The initiative was announced by that country’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, who also set out conditions for inviting Moscow to the event. In an interview with AP published on Monday, Kuleba stated that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win its ongoing military conflict with Russia in 2023, but admitted that diplomacy always plays an important role. “Every war ends in a diplomatic way,” Kuleba said, adding that “every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”

The minister noted that the UN was “the best venue for holding this summit, because it is not about making a favor to a certain country” and suggested that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres could act as mediator for the event. “He has proven himself to be an efficient mediator and an efficient negotiator, and most importantly, as a man of principle and integrity. So we would welcome his active participation,” Kuleba said about Guterres. Asked about the matter of inviting Russia to this “peace summit,” Kuleba insisted Moscow must first face an “international court” and be prosecuted for supposed war crimes. He also dismissed Putin’s recent calls for negotiations, stating that everything Russia does on the battlefield “proves” that Moscow does not want to talk.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s addressed G20 leaders in Indonesia and laid out a ten-point “peace formula,” which includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, an “all for all” prisoner swap, and a tribunal for those Kiev accuses of aggression. Russia, meanwhile, has insisted that Kiev must “recognize the reality on the ground” as a prerequisite for any peace negotiations, including the new status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye as parts of Russia.

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Sleeper cells.

Report: The CIA Is Directing Sabotage Attacks Inside Russia (Antiwar)

The CIA has been using a European NATO country’s intelligence services to conduct sabotage attacks inside Russia since the February invasion of Ukraine, investigative journalist Jack Murphy reported on Saturday, citing unnamed former US intelligence and military officials. The report said that no US personnel are on the ground in Russia but that the operations are being directed by the CIA. The US is using an ally’s intelligence services to add an extra layer of plausible deniability, and a former US special operations official told Murphy that layer was a major factor in President Biden signing off on the attacks. Murphy said he didn’t name the NATO country whose intelligence services were being used in the report because “doing so might endanger the operational security of cells that are still operational inside of Russia.”

The report appeared on Murphy’s personal website, and in a note at the end of the piece, he explained why it wasn’t published by a media outlet. “While working with editors at mainstream publications I was asked to do things that were illegal and unethical in one instance, and in another instance I felt that a senior CIA official was able to edit my article by making off the record statements, before he leaked a story to The New York Times to undermine this piece,” he wrote. According to the report, the covert campaign inside Russia has been years in the making. Two former military officials said that the NATO country’s spy services had hidden a cache of explosives and equipment in Russia more than a decade ago, and some of the gear has been used recently.

A former US special operations official and US person briefed on the campaign said that the CIA didn’t get involved with the NATO country’s operations inside Russia until 2014. The first time sleeper cells entered Russia that were directed by both the CIA and the NATO ally’s spy service was in 2016, and more entered the country in the following years. The NATO ally provided the undercover operatives with stories to explain their presence in Russia and documents to back them up. The report said that around the time Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the NATO ally’s spy service activated its sleeper cells inside Russia using covert communication, and they were ready for orders on what targets to strike.

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Medvedev becomes more visible. He’s still close to Putin, or so it seems. If anything happens to Putin, he appears to be the go-to guy.

Medvedev Gives Timeline For Reconciliation With The West (RT)

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has accused Western powers of lying, causing a rift that will remain for decades to come, and convincing Moscow that there is no sense in trying to reach an agreement with them. Medevedev, who serves as deputy chair of the national Security Council, wrote in a keynote article on Sunday that the year 2022 has shattered illusions about the West, proving that its promises and principles cannot taken at face value. “Alas, there is nobody in the West we could deal with about anything for any reason,” he wrote. Medvedev went on to say that nations that claim global leadership deceived Russia when they claimed NATO expansion in Europe posed no threat to it.

They again lied when they backed a peace roadmap for Ukraine, which in reality was meant to give Kiev time to prepare for an eventual armed conflict with Russia, he added. The conflict in Ukraine is a war against Russia by a proxy, which was long in the making, Medvedev claimed. The behavior of Washington and others this year “is the last warning to all nations: there can be no business with the Anglo-Saxon world [because] it is a thief, a swindler, a card-sharp that could do anything.” For Russia, there will be no restoration of normal relations with the West for years or even decades to come, Medvedev predicted. “From now on we will do without them until a new generation of sensible politicians comes to power there. We will be careful and alert. We will develop relations with the rest of the world,” he wrote.

However, Medvedev argued that the loss of Western leadership could be a net positive, considering what he called the moral bankruptcy of the US-led neo-colonial order. Elites that caused the financial meltdown of 2008 and the ongoing global crisis are unable to claim global leadership, he wrote. “The West is incapable of offering to the world any new ideas, which would take humanity forward, solve global problems, or provide collective security,” the former president insisted. Medvedev expects that several regional blocs will emerge in the near future, each with its own values and rules, and that Russia will have its place in the new order.

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A very strange Twitter thread from Medvedev. Elon Musk reacted: “Those are definitely the most absurd predictions I’ve ever heard, while also showing astonishing lack of awareness of the progress of artificial intelligence and sustainable energy..”

What Can Happen In 2023 (Dmitry Medvedev)

On the New Year’s Eve, everybody’s into making predictions Many come up with futuristic hypotheses, as if competing to single out the wildest, and even the most absurd ones. Here’s our humble contribution.


1. Oil price will rise to $150 a barrel, and gas price will top $5.000 per 1.000 cubic meters
2. The UK will rejoin the EU
3. The EU will collapse after the UK’s return; Euro will drop out of use as the former EU currency
4. Poland and Hungary will occupy western regions of the formerly existing Ukraine
5. The Fourth Reich will be created, encompassing the territory of Germany and its satellites, i.e., Poland, the Baltic states, Czechia, Slovakia, the Kiev Republic, and other outcasts
6. War will break out between France and the Fourth Reich. Europe will be divided, Poland repartitioned in the process
7. Northern Ireland will separate from the UK and join the Republic of Ireland
8. Civil war will break out in the US, California. and Texas becoming independent states as a result. Texas and Mexico will form an allied state. Elon Musk’ll win the presidential election in a number of states which, after the new Civil War’s end, will have been given to the GOP
9. All the largest stock markets and financial activity will leave the US and Europe and move to Asia
10. The Bretton Woods system of monetary management will collapse, leading to the IMF and World Bank crash. Euro and Dollar will stop circulating as the global reserve currencies. Digital fiat currencies will be actively used instead
Season greetings to you all, Anglo-Saxon friends, and their happily oinking piglets!

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“..a delicate balancing act between fighting inflation and exacerbating the slowdown..”

ECB Governing Council Says Growth Of Key Rate In 2023 Possible (Az.)

A veteran member of the European Central Bank’s rate-setting council believes it has only just passed the halfway point of its tightening cycle and needs to be “in there for the long game” to tame high inflation, Report informs referring to Financial Times. After more than a decade of aggressive easing, 2022 was the year when many leading central banks began to raise rates in response to soaring prices. The ECB increased borrowing costs by 2.5 percentage points, capping the year with its fourth rise in a row to leave its benchmark deposit rate at 2 percent.


Klaas Knot, head of the Dutch central bank and one of the governing council’s more hawkish rate-setters, told the Financial Times that, with five policy meetings between now and July 2023, the ECB would achieve “quite a decent pace of tightening” through half percentage point rises in the months ahead before borrowing costs eventually peaked by the summer. In the eurozone, consumer price inflation hit a record high of 10.6 percent in the year to October – more than five times the ECB’s 2 percent target. In the Netherlands, inflation has been higher still, peaking at 17.1 percent in September. However, growth in the bloc is grinding to a halt, leaving central bankers facing a delicate balancing act between fighting inflation and exacerbating the slowdown.

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“The Polish leg of the route is currently being used to pump stored gas from Germany.”

Russia Ready To Resume Gas Supplies To EU – Official (RT)

Moscow is ready to restart supplies of natural gas to the EU via the Yamal-Europe Pipeline, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Monday. He noted that shipments through the route were halted for political reasons. According to the official, the EU remains a relevant market for Russia, which is able to resume supplies to a region suffering from a gas shortage. “For example, the Yamal-Europe Pipeline, which was shut down for political reasons, remains unused,” Novak said. Gas supplies via the pipeline, which usually flow westward, have been mostly reversed since Poland terminated a supply contract with Russia ahead of its end-2022 expiry date, after rejecting Moscow’s demand for ruble payments. The Polish leg of the route is currently being used to pump stored gas from Germany.


In response to Warsaw’s move, Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom cut off supplies, saying it could no longer send gas via Poland, while Moscow imposed sanctions against the firm that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline. Although Russian gas deliveries to the EU via the Nord Stream and Yamal-Europe pipelines have been halted, Russian gas is still being supplied to certain European buyers via a transit line through Ukraine and the TurkStream pipeline through Türkiye. Despite the persisting problems, Novak says he still sees the EU as a viable market for Russia. “Today we can confidently say that there is a stable demand for our gas. Therefore, we continue to consider Europe as a potential market for our products. It is clear that a large-scale campaign was launched against us, which ended with acts of sabotage against the Nord Stream pipelines,” he said. The market for LNG also remains open, according to Novak, who noted that Russian LNG supplies to the EU are expected to grow to 21 billion cubic meters by the end of the year.

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“We don’t want gas and oil supplies from Russia any more, at the same time our ‘green’ friends are restarting coal-fired power plants..”

Germany Becoming ‘Dysfunctional’ State – MP (RT)

Germany faces a serious risk of going bankrupt due to the government’s inability to find a viable solution to the current energy crisis, the Vice President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Kubicki, said in an interview published in the national Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag. According to the official, Germans now have the impression that their country is on the way to becoming a “dysfunctional state.” “Infrastructure, energy prices and the inability of the Bundeswehr [the country’s armed forces] to protect us are challenges that require immediate action from the German authorities, otherwise things will go wrong,” he said.

Kubicki blasted Economy Minister Robert Habeck over purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the US for “a lot of money” while at the same time refusing to mine cheaper shale gas in Germany “for purely ideological reasons.” He added that the German authorities should revise their approach to nuclear power plants, which should continue operating while the country is facing an energy crisis. “We don’t want gas and oil supplies from Russia any more, at the same time our ‘green’ friends are restarting coal-fired power plants, while preventing a reasonable extension of the life of nuclear power plants,” Kubicki said, commenting on Habeck’s latest decisions.

The MP called for a change in the government’s strategy and the rejection of excessive financial assistance in the face of the energy crisis. “If we continue to pursue the policies of paying out money for years as part of the fight against the energy crisis, then we are at risk of national bankruptcy if not state socialism,” Kubicki warned. According to the Vice Speaker, the funds that Berlin is planning to spend on additional purchases of energy resources amid the crunch were originally destined for investments in other areas. “This money cannot be printed or covered by taxpayers. We cannot exist in a state of financial crisis for a long time due to the risk of shortage of funds to support other areas,” he said.

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Poland seeks more power.

Return Europe To A Union Of Homelands (RMX)

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that “he and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will change Europe.” In an interview for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Morawiecki explained that Europe and power should return to stronger nation states. “We do not believe in a superstate of 27 EU member states. We want a return of a union of homelands,” underlined the Polish prime minister. Morawiecki pointed out that Europe has to choose between an authentic solidarity of equal states, or a model of a single superstate in which “decisions will be made in a couple of the largest capitals, disregarding other countries.” Referring to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Morawiecki pointed out that the Ukraine war will end only with the defeat of Vladimir Putin.


“We have warned that Russia’s colonial ambitions are a threat to eastern European countries and the entire EU,” said Morawiecki, adding that Europe must do everything to aid Ukraine, as the fall of Kyiv would open the way for Russia to conquer Europe. “Together with [Italian] Prime Minister Meloni, we stand to defend Ukraine. We realistically assess the threat posed by the Russian Federation,” the Polish leader added. According to Morawiecki, some European nations are more acutely aware of the Russian threat due to their past experiences. “That is why we all think about armaments and protecting against the threat from the East,” he explained Meloni often refers to policies pursued by Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) government, using them as a model and an example. She often mentions that European conservative parties need to cooperate, previously saying: “We will transform ideas into a government policy, just as our friends from the Czech and Polish republics have done.”

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It’s one big party.

Republican Senators Turn On Leader Mitch McConnell Over $1.7t Omnibus (DM)

Donald Trump tore into his Republican rival, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, on Monday over his role in helping pass a bipartisan $1.7 trillion ‘omnibus’ spending bill to keep federal government agencies and the military funded through September 2023. The former president dusted off an old favorite monicker of his for McConnell, calling him an ‘Old Crow,’ while also claiming that Democrats ‘must have something’ on the Kentucky legislator after he was one of 18 Senate Republicans to vote in favor of the bill. He had stopped using the nickname for a time after McConnell said ‘Old Crow’ was his favorite brand of Kentucky bourbon, and even once gifted bottles in a veiled dismissal of Trump’s taunts. Trump made his thoughts on the spending bill clear, deriding it as ‘ominous’ and claiming it would not have been passed under his administration.

He also hurled a racist insult he previously lodged at McConnell’s wife, his own former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. ‘The Marxist Democrats must have something really big on Mitch McConnell in order to get him and some of his friendly “Republican” Senators to pass the horrendous “All Democrat, All the Way” OMINOUS Bill,’ Trump wrote on his Truth Social app. ‘It gives Border Security to other countries, but ZERO $’s to the U.S., it fully funds the corrupt “Justice” Department, FBI (which RIGGED the Presidential Election!), and even the Trump Hating Special “Prosecutor.” It is also a massive giveaway & capitulation to CHINA, making COCO CHOW so happy!’ He wrote in a follow-up post, ‘If the Old Crow waited just 10 days, the Republican Majority in the House could have made the “Ominous” Bill MUCH, MUCH, MUCH BETTER.’

‘Just another win for the Democrats, Mitch, that wouldn’t have happened if “Trump” were President!’ Trump concluded. A pair of Republican senators loudly denounced McConnell on Sunday over his shepherding through the $1.7 trillion bill. The funding package includes fiscal victories for both parties. Many on the right who voted for it made clear that it was not the fiscal agenda they preferred but believed it was necessary to keep the military and other critical aspects of the government running smoothly. But federal spending priority talks have divided the GOP. Many on the right having opposed working with Democrats on where the government spends dollars next year.

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“..it still doesn’t explain how these outfits became the enemies of truth itself, and by extension, enemies of reality.”

What It’s Really About (Kunstler)

Not so many years ago, the force counter-balancing criminal misconduct in the government was the news media, even if the reporters and editors claimed to be on the political Left. Or, shall we say, especially if they were on the Left, because the Left in those days fervently championed free speech. Reporters of that long-ago day (Seymour Hersh, John Sack, and Michael Herr) would be out digging up the true facts of a big event — say, the US Military’s deadly blunders and scams in Vietnam — and editors would plaster screaming headlines about it on the front page: GENERAL SAYS “WE HAD TO DESTROY THE VILLAGE TO SAVE IT!” When the venerable news-spieler Walter Cronkite of CBS began to hint that the war was a fiasco, public opinion across the country shifted decisively against it.

Of course, those crimes and sins were committed against people in distant lands. Now, the administrative weight of the US is rolling over its own citizens, and over the Constitution — and the news media is uniformly and enthusiastically in favor of suppressing the news about it. How that happened is one of several cosmic mysteries of our time, along with who exactly runs “Joe Biden,” and how did the many nations of Western Civ adopt in lock-step Covid-19 policies aimed at harming their own people? No reporter even of the alt.news division even tried to get inside the head of New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet during the years of RussiaGate. Did he believe all that crap his paper was putting out? Now, you realize, it’s established fact (in the federal court record) that the Steele Dossier and everything spun off of it was a flim-flam confected by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

But even at the time, say 2017 to 2019, independent journalists were reporting the truth about it — for example, the FBI’s long-running fraud in the FISA Court — while The New York Times ardently inveighed against any emerging fact-pattern that broke through its wall of propaganda. The Times was showered with awards for that, including the Pulitzer Prize for its completely fallacious RussiaGate coverage. One easy answer is that The Times and many of its “legacy” cohorts — The WashPo, CBS, NBC, and ABC — have volunteered to be the public relations office of the Democratic Party, covering-up anything and everything the Party does against the public interest. And while that appears to be the case, it still doesn’t explain how these outfits became the enemies of truth itself, and by extension, enemies of reality.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Julian Claus

 

 

 

 

Montreal 2010

 

 

 

 

Cobalt

 

 

Piano stairs

 

 

 

 

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Apr 152022
 
 April 15, 2022  Posted by at 4:48 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  21 Responses »


William Sauro Yoko Ono and John Lennon, “War Is Over If You Want It,” Times Square, New York 1969

 

 

On February 24 2022, after either 30+ years, or 8 years, or 6 months, take your pick, of increasingly ominous and deadly provocation, Russian troops entered Ukraine territory. The very next day, February 25, the Russian forces were largely in position. The broader Ukrainian army had been bogged down in pockets, largely in the east, where military action had likely been planned vs the Donbass, and the Azov battalion that was their most aggressive part, was being squeezed into an even tighter spot.

That’s the story so far, really; not much has changed since then.

It’s also perhaps jut a starting point. Not for Ukraine, mind you, that goes back a very long time, during which it very rarely if ever was a “nation”, but the starting point for the Russian Special Military Operation – or war, or invasion, take your pick. That’s all. And I’m sorry I’ve been silent for most of it, other than through the daily Debt Rattle news aggregators, but that is not a coincidence.

All the time, I see every paper and TV channel trying to decide my opinion for me, and I don’t want to fall into that same trap. I want people to make up their own minds. And the news aggregators are a very good approach for that. But still… Here’s some MSM headlines that I think perhaps need more explaining. April 13, Guardian:

Joe Biden Accuses Vladimir Putin Of Committing Genocide In Ukraine

Joe Biden has accused Russia of carrying out genocide in Ukraine, saying that Vladimir Putin is “trying to wipe out the idea of even being Ukrainian”. Biden has been consistently outspoken in denouncing Russian wholesale killing of Ukrainian civilians, labelling Putin as a “war criminal” in mid-March. Multiple investigations are under way into Russian atrocities in Ukraine, which include the razing of Mariupol and the executions of civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.


The prosecutor at the international criminal court in the Hague opened a case in February saying there was “a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine”. Proving a case under the 1948 Genocide Convention requires an “intent [by the accused] to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Biden first used the word in passing on Tuesday at a domestic policy event in Iowa about the use of ethanol in petrol. “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away,” he said.

It should be obvious that 1/ There is no evidence of Russia committing anything close to a genocide, 2/ There is plenty evidence of the US, while Biden is/was Senator/VP/President, committing war crimes/genocide, and 3/ Very few people understand what the term genocide actually means, so Biden -and the media- can throw it around as a scary sounding word without risking being called on that. April 5, Greek Reporter:

Zelensky Tells Security Council that “Russians Killed for Pleasure”

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky showed the UN Security Council a harrowing video from Ukraine in an apparent attempt to embarrass Russia and rally international sympathy and support. The clip lasted about a minute and showed image after image of dead Ukrainians, including burned and disfigured bodies. Speaking to the Security Council for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, Zelensky reported Russian troops have killed civilians and raped women.


Zelensky’s comments follow his Monday visit to the town of Bucha, where the bodies of dead Ukrainian civilians were found. He claimed that in the town, people were shot in the street, their homes, thrown into wells, and crushed by tanks in the middle of the road “just for the pleasure” of the Russian soldiers. “The Russian military searched for and purposefully killed anyone who served our country,” he said, as Russia’s UN ambassador was looking on.

My first reaction when I saw this 10 days ago was: this is infantile. But that is what our conversation has fallen/sunk/degraded into. That’s what the clown/actor president got to say at the UN, and nobody raised an objection; indeed, so-called serious politicians applauded him for it. But it is Hannibal/Napoleon/Hitler/Putin eat babies territory. It’s medieval, except that the Brothers Grimm had more nuance and credibility in their tales then our modern media.

If you saw that headline, and you still thought/think Zelensky is a credible source for anything at all, you yourself have a major credibility issue. Zelensky disqualified himself right then and there when he said that (and repeated similar claims on 100 other occasions). But, you know, he’s a clown and an actor, so give him some leeway.. . Still, if Putin or anyone near him would accuse Ukrainian or NATO troops of “killing for pleasure”, what would be your reaction? On to April 10:

Putin’s Target Is ‘Entire European Project’, Says Zelenskiy

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Russia is targeting all of Europe with its aggression and that stopping the invasion of Ukraine is essential for the security of all democracies. Officials have said a grave with dozens of Ukrainians civilians was found in Buzova village near Kyiv, the latest such discovery as Russian forces retreat from their offensive on the capital and shift their assault to the east. In his late-night address to Ukrainians on Saturday, the Ukrainian president said Russian aggression “was not intended to be limited to Ukraine alone” and the “entire European project is a target for Russia”.

“That is why it is not just the moral duty of all democracies, all the forces of Europe, to support Ukraine’s desire for peace,” he said. “This is, in fact, a strategy of defence for every civilised state. “This will be a hard battle, we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to simultaneously fight and look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war.” His address came as civilians continued to flee eastern parts of the country before an expected onslaught and firefighters searched for survivors in a northern town no longer occupied by Russian forces.

Zelenskiy thanked the leaders of Britain and Austria for their visits on Saturday to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and pledges of further support. He also thanked the European Commission president and Canada’s prime minister for a global fundraising event that brought in more than €10bn for Ukrainians who have fled their homes. Zelenskiy repeated his call for a complete embargo on Russian oil and gas, which he called the sources of Russia’s “self-confidence and impunity”. “Freedom does not have time to wait,” Zelenskiy said. “When tyranny begins its aggression against everything that keeps the peace in Europe, action must be taken immediately.”

There is no sign anywhere that Putin wants to attack the Entire European Project. None. He wants No Nato, No Nukes, and No Nazis in Ukraine. Russia does not have the power to invade all of Europe, nor does it want to. It wants the threat that Ukraine poses on its doorstep to dissolve. No nuke warheads in Ukraine. Step 1.

And what do we see? Sweden and Finland may now join NATO, and they, and Poland, may station nuke warheads on their territory. For hypersonic missiles, that are minutes from Moscow. Given that NATO has no functioning hypersonic missiles today, what would you do if you were Moscow? Wait till they do have them?

I found a better, more elaborate, version of this:

Before the war started, Zelenskyy refused an offer for peace. Russia required 3 things;
1) Water in Crimea: no water was destroying the economy there.
2) Minsk 2 imposed: peace for the people of Donbas, within Ukraine, but greater autonomy.
3) Ukraine to remain neutral: no NATO.

Zelenskyy actually increased the provocation against Russia in January 2022 by;
1) Intensifying the bombardment of Donbas
2) Threatening to retake Crimea
3) A group of Republican congressmen intended to introduce a bill declaring Ukraine a NATO-plus country.

More April 10:

US ‘Deeply Concerned’ At Report Of Mariupol Chemical Attack

The Azov battalion, which has been heavily involved in fighting in Mariupol and has strong ties to the far-right, wrote in a Telegram post that Russian forces had dropped “a poisonous substance of unknown origin” during a drone attack at the city’s large Azovstal metals plant. It said that its fighters had suffered minor injuries, including shortness of breath. One injured man described a “sweet-tasting” white smoke covering an area of the plant after an explosion. Another said he felt immediately unable to breathe and had collapsed with “cotton legs”.

The reported incident – which the BBC cannot independently verify – came hours after a spokesperson for the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic urged Russia to bring in “chemical forces” to the besieged south-eastern city. Eduard Basurin told Russian state TV the remaining Ukrainian forces in Mariupol were entrenched at the Azovstal plant and that Russia should encircle it and “smoke out the moles”. Speaking on Monday night, President Volodymyr Zelensky said any use of chemical weapons would mark a “new stage of terror against Ukraine” and called on Western nations to arm his forces with the weapons needed to defend his country.

“Unfortunately, we are not getting as much as we need to end this war sooner,” Mr Zelensky said. “I am sure that we will get almost everything we need, but not only time is being lost. The lives of Ukrainians are being lost — lives that can no longer be returned.”

There have been tons of reports of Russian war crimes in Mariupol. Maternity ward, theater, arts academy, they keep on coming so fast no-one can fact check them. And that’s not a coincidence. But when the Azov battalion delivers the “news”, even the MSM inserts a few ifs and buts and maybes. The headline works for propaganda, but they don’t want to get caught in outright nonsense or lies. Yeah, well, way too late. you’ve been doing it for 50-odd days now. April 13:

Zelenskiy: War Will Become ‘Endless Bloodbath’ Without More Weapons

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has released a new video in which he warns that the war will become an “endless bloodbath, spreading misery, suffering, and destruction” without additional weaponry. Speaking in English, Zelenskiy says Ukraine has been defending itself against Russia “much longer than the invaders planned”. But Russia still has the capacity to attack “not only against Ukraine”, Zelenskiy continues: Poland, Moldova, Romania, and the Baltic states will become the next targets if the freedom of Ukraine falls.


More weapons were needed to “save millions of Ukrainians as well as millions of Europeans”, he says: We need heavy artillery, armoured vehicles, air defence systems and combat aircraft. Zelenskiy concludes the video by saying: “Freedom must be armed better than tyranny. Western countries have everything to make it happen. The final victory over the tyranny and the number of people saved depends on them.”

We are all smart enough to understand that the opposite is true: the more weapons US/NATO delivers inside Ukraine, the longer the bloodbath will be. AND the Ukraine troops are stuck in pockets (cauldrons), so what can possibly be delivered to them? AND Russia will not continue to sit idly by while such deliveries are attempted. Russia simply wants Ukraine and US/NATO to recognize the reality February 24 created.

And agree that Ukraine cannot enter NATO on Russia’s doorstep, cannot have nuclear weapons, and cannot have (neo-) nazi troops decide its politics. When Zelensky signs for that on the dotted line, the Russians could be gone within days. Provided sufficient guarantees are given, which will require a substantial commitment by NATO as well. But it can surely be done.

 

About “War Is Over If You Want It,” do you think Zelensky and his handlers want it to be over? Well, other than in a total Russian defeat, which will not happen? Do you think US/NATO wants it to be over? Or would they maybe think it’s acceptable to see a few million more Ukrainians perish if that means a few billion in weapons can be sold? Do you think Russia wants it to be over? I think they would sign up yesterday if their demands are met.

And these demands are serious, it’s not like leaving behind a bunch of nazis is negotiable, or a halfway house towards NATO, or a few biolabs, or a nuke installation here and there. For the Russians all that must go to zero, or they would never have invaded.

Here’s thinking it’s up to you after all. “War Is Over If YOU Want It.” But you have just been through 2+ years of believing and following the leader with Covid, so which part is actually your opinion, and which part are you just parroting? Might be a good idea to make up your minds, and soon, because your leaders are itching to push a few consequential buttons, and make up your minds for you.

You may actually need to go into the streets to demand that this war be over. And you will have to do it without a mask on. Can you handle that?

 

 

 

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Feb 232022
 
 February 23, 2022  Posted by at 12:36 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  57 Responses »


Caravaggio The raising of Lazarus 1609

 

 

Justus R. Hope, MD, at Desert Review has a long article up on the views of former Blackrock exec, hedge funder, investment adviser Edward Dowd, along with a neverending list of podcasts. To which I will add a few at the bottom of this article. We’ve seen a few Dowd videos lately, but nothing like this. He should be on Joe Rogan ASAP.

The entire thing is so complete, devastating, shocking, that I don’t know what else to do than give you some quotes. It very much feels like the end of mRNA, and of the FDA in its present shape, because they -the government itself- are deeply complicit in outright investor fraud. Wall Street (“multiple brokerage houses”) is finding this out, Moderna stock is already down 70%, and that’s just the start.

mRNA vaccines are killing and maiming people: “..no matter the effort, one cannot hide the bodies – and “the bodies are piling up.”

Good luck with your vaxx mandates.

 

 

Pfizer & Moderna Investors Run for the Exits

Wall Street investors are dumping their Moderna and Pfizer stock faster than the world can drop the mandates. Moderna is down 70 percent from its high, while Pfizer is off 19 percent. Former Blackrock Executive and investment adviser Edward Dowd calls for Moderna to go to zero and Pfizer to end under ten dollars per share.

How is this possible given that Pfizer now enjoys record earnings per share and a market capitalization of some $270 billion, making it the 29th largest corporation globally? With nothing but profits in sight for the Pharmaceutical giant, what could be the problem?

[..] For the skeptics, consider that Pfizer stock lost $20 billion in market capitalization on February 8, 2022, when their record earnings fell short of more optimistic expectations. Also consider that Moderna’s stock is down some 70 percent from its high of $484 on August 9, 2021, wiping out almost $ 140 billion in investment. Dowd predicts Moderna will drop to zero with bankruptcy as fraud related to concealing the COVID vaccine dangers surfaces, and he predicts Pfizer will become a sub-ten-dollar stock. Dowd explains that the smart money has already left Moderna and will soon be exiting Pfizer.

Dowd foresees an avalanche of lawsuits coming as the insurance industry continues to uncover the legions of mounting deaths coming from the complications of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Dowd teamed up with an insurance industry analyst and researched the life insurance claims. They found that since OneAmerica shocked the world by announcing a 40% rise in non-COVID deaths in younger working-class employees, multiple other insurance companies worldwide have seen the same thing – massive rises in non-COVID deaths. And the evidence inescapably points to the vaccines as the cause.

Meanwhile, the funeral company stocks have outperformed the S&P. “Funeral Home companies are growth stocks. They had a great year in 2021 compared to 2020, and they outperformed the S&P 500. The peer group of Funeral Home stocks was up 40 plus percent while the S&P was up 26 percent – and they started accelerating price-wise in 2021 during the roll-out of the vaccines – You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to connect the dots here.”

Other insurance companies have reported the same or worse death numbers as OneAmerica. For example, “Unum Insurance is up 36%, Lincoln National plus 57%, Prudential plus 41%, Reinsurance Group of America plus 21%, Hartford plus 32%, Met Life plus 24%, and Aegon – which is a Dutch insurer – saw in their US arm plus 57% in the 4th quarter – in the 3rd quarter they saw a 258% increase in death claims.”

 

“They raised (mortality) expectations 300,000 for 2022 over 2021 due to COVID plus ‘indirect COVID,’ which I think we know what that’s code for… They (Aegon) did a $1.4 billion reinsurance deal with Wilton Reinsurance…what they were reinsuring were high face amount individual policies from 1 million to 10 million… (So) I think there is an asymmetric information situation going on in the insurance industry where some people have figured out something’s going on. They are off-loading their risk – they are not going to say what it is as they don’t want that information to get out as they unload the risk.”.

“Someone is going to be the bag holder here.” And Dowd is confident it won’t be the insurance industry. A court in France has already held that a life insurance company cannot be held liable for a death because of the mRNA vaccine. But that does not explain how mRNA manufacturers can be held responsible for an emergency product they were told was liability-free. Aren’t the vaccine manufacturers immunized from lawsuits? After all, they were granted EUA, the specialized Emergency Use Authorization, which means they cannot be held legally accountable for deaths or adverse effects stemming from the experimental vaccines.

The idea is that no company – upon government request – should have to pay for unforeseen complications resulting from an emergency product that they released to the world out of their goodness of the hearts, with the best of intentions. Right? Wrong – not when your company accomplishes this through deceit, also known as fraud. Fraud undoes all these protections. If a company or person intentionally deceives another to profit, we have fraud. If Pfizer’s data showed increased all-cause mortality and hid this to motivate people to take the vaccine while claiming it was safe, then fraud exists.

Under common law, the required elements to prove fraud amount to: #1. A materially false statement or purposeful failure to state or release material facts which non-disclosure makes other statements misleading. #2. The false statement is made to induce Plaintiff to act. #3. The Plaintiff relied upon the false statement, and the injury resulted from this reliance. #4. Damages include a punitive award as a punishment that serves as a public example to discourage any future similar fraud. Punitive damages are generally proportional to the Defendant’s assets.

 

Dowd has been researching the COVID-19 vaccines and what he considers obvious evidence of knowing concealment of the actual risks of death – and he points to the Herculean efforts of Pfizer with FDA in withholding their data despite legal challenges to release it. He likens the FDA today to the rating agencies during the Mortgage Crisis. “FDA is the trusted third party, just like the rating agencies were. And a lot of doctors in this country, a lot of local governments are placing their trust in the FDA which gets 50 percent of its budget from large cap pharma. It wasn’t any one person…I think they overlooked things…An all-cause mortality end-point should have stopped this thing in its tracks – and it didn’t.”

There were more deaths in the vaxxed group than in the unvaxxed. Dowd assumes fraud based upon the FDA backing Pfizer in not releasing their data. He believes this is a knowing attempt to conceal the deaths. “When one party enters into a contract…and fraud was occurring when they entered into that contract, and the other party did not know that – the contract is void and null. There’s no indemnity if this can be proven, and I think it will be.” “Pfizer got blanket immunity with EUA. If fraud occurred, to my mind and what I’m seeing from their refusal to release the data – if there is fraud and it comes out – and we need whistleblowers – and it’s looking more apparent that this product is deadly – fraud eviscerates all contracts – that’s case law. So you go down the daisy chain, and that’s liability – that’s bankruptcy for Moderna, definitely Pfizer.”

Dowd remarks that no matter the effort, one cannot hide the bodies – and “the bodies are piling up.” He notes that the deaths skyrocketed after the vaccine rollout when they should have dropped. And the deaths are what distinguished the 2021-2022 vaccine scandal as far worse than what happened with Enron. “People are dying and being maimed. This is a fraud that goes beyond the pale…We have the VAERS data…We have the DoD leak…And now we have the insurance company results and the funeral home results…We don’t need to think too hard about this…Deaths should have gone down after the vaccines rolled out. This is the most egregious fraud in history of the nation – and it’s global…Pfizer’s involved, and they committed fraud,” Dowd explained.

[..] Dowd emphasized that he is not short on Pfizer or Moderna stock. He explained that he does not profit from their share prices dropping. He also points out that his predictions are not the cause of the steep declines as these occurred before he came out with this analysis. “Let me make a point here. The mainstream media may ignore this. Wall Street is not.”

[..] Edward Dowd cautions those who continue to slumber, “If you are long these two stocks, you are long mandates, you are long government control, and you are long the selling of your freedoms.” Let us get everyone on board the freedom train.

 

 

More Dowd.

Multiple Brokerage Houses Now Investigate MRNA Jabs

EXCLUSIVE: Wall Street Taps Pfizer Whistleblower to Help Probe Alarming Details of Fraud During VAX Clinical Trials; Former Blackrock’s Edward Dowd Drops More Bombs as ***MULTIPLE*** Brokerage Houses Now Investigate MRNA Jabs



 

 

 

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Feb 052022
 


Lawrence Alma-Tadema Women of Amphissa 1887

 

 

Omicron is the best vaccine available. You can pick between BA.1 and BA.2. That allows us to do a little overview, also because “new“ findings have come out recently. New only in the sense that the media now report on them for the first time, not because we didn’t already know.

Then again, how would YOU know, if not through Joe Rogan, and his recent guests Dr. Malone and Dr. Mc Cullough, and websites like Peak Prosperity and the Automatic Earth? Media capture has been pretty total for 2 years, because 1/ bad news sells better than good news, and 2/ Big Pharma owns the discussion, through its ownership of media and medical “experts”.

That’s all about to change. Omicron can -and will- still be sold as a potentially devastating disease, but if the numbers don’t add up, people will stop listening and reading. So the media’s hands will be forced. The treatment of Joe Rogan is only the culmination of that, of so many voices since early 2020, and it’s good it led to him.

Because Joe doesn’t care, he’s bigger than all of the media assembling against him, and he did nothing but give some people a voice and a space that were being ostracized -and still are, maybe even more-, and Spotify is a Sweden-based company, which not many will be able to touch.

Yeah, yeah, Neil Young, Joni, Streisand, they’re all in Biden and Pelosi’s age-range, but do you think many people will care who are not over 70, if and when Omicron keeps on lowering death numbers? Or are they more likely to side with Canadian truckers and their ideas of freedom?

Will Justin send the army to “take care” of the protests? You would almost hope so. I don’t think he’s stupid enough, not even him, but he’s in an ugly spot. All he would have had to do is go talk to them, but then that’s the overriding theme here, isn’t it, to not talk, let alone discuss?

The idea has been all along to NOT talk to Dr. Malone and Dr. Mc Cullough, or Joe Rogan, or anyone else who doesn’t toe the Pfizer line. And at some point, like when people realize Omicron is the best vaccine available, all that’s left is to enforce mandates with police or armed forces. As I said, you’d almost hope they do it. The “let them eat cake” moment.

I saw this pic yesterday of a headline from German TV channel NTV, which says Pfizer will sue Denmark for loosening its vaccine mandate, because fewer people will get jabbed, and that means less profit. How much of this will we see?

 

 

Back to reality: We have found (or rather, seen confirmed) in the last 2 weeks or so that:

1/ Masks don’t work. The CDC admitted that the cloth masks they recommended for 2 years have no effect whatsoever. But along their own lines of “evidence”, neither do surgical masks, which have holes 1000x bigger than a virus particle. N95 masks could work to some extent, but only if they’re fitted perfectly, by a professional, every time they’re worn.

Maybe the fact that the US government, and CDC and FDA, waited 2 years in promoting them tells you the whole story. And yes, P100 masks might work to some extent, but at that point we might as well go for full-blown gas-masks. In short, face masks “for Covid” have been as entirely useless as they have been completely destructive, in the lives of all of us, but in particular our children.

But the masks still haven’t been as big a disaster as:

2/ Lockdowns don’t work. For 2 years running, all the media and their loyal followers have been citing the CDC, FDA and Johns Hopkins University. But now that Johns Hopkins releases a report that says lockdowns prevented only 0.2% of potential deaths, crickets are a very popular life form all of a sudden. What’s not to love? But yeah, we get it, good news doesn’t sell. In the same vein, an “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine, tanks in the streets of Kyiv, gets a lot more clickbait than “nah, all quiet on the eastern front”.

But the lockdowns haven’t been as big a disaster as (we’re working up to a climax here):

3/ The vaccines don’t work.

3.1/ The vaccines were never needed.

The way to create demand for them was to prohibit all other substances that could have saved millions of lives in prophylaxis or early treatment. As I’ve said repeatedly, I think vitamin D could have prevented 50% of all infections and deaths, zinc could have taken care of the next 25%, and for the remaining quarter an entire scala of repurposed drugs, ivermectin, HCQ, fluvoxamine, melatonin, aspirin etc. would have been enough.

You don’t have to aim for zero. Bring the numbers down by 50-75-90%, and any reason to lock down or wear masks is gone. Pfizer needed to ban all these substances, and ban the possible news coverage of their potential, to get an EUA for its vaccine. And that’s why they were all swept under the carpet. Thing is, there are millions of dead bodies under that carpet, too.

But not only were they never needed:

3.2/ The vaccines don’t work.

To be honest: what we know in early February 2022 is that yes, they do seem to “work” for a few months, we’re not exactly sure how or how long. That should never be a question about a vaccine, however, and if it is, call it something else. Moreover, as far as they “work”, they do that by -trying to- take over control from your immune system, which you cannot survive without. Your best option today is to have an immune system strong enough to fight off the vaccine, which is as insane as it sounds. A booster 3rd or 4th or 12th shot will work for even less time, and in the meantime you run the risk of spike proteins lingering and gathering in all of your organs, including your heart and brain. For the rest of your life.

Because:

3.3/ The vaccines cause enormous damage.

The main issue about mRNA vaccines is not even the scores of vaxxed young athletes dropping dead, or the elevated numbers of 10-15 year olds who have myocarditis, devastating as they are; it’s the long-term consequences, never tested for. I’ve been reading a lot about mRNA and cancer recently. Because I see it pop up all over.

 

 

This will not affect everyone. Some of us have robust immune systems. But those that do not, due to age, obesity, you name it, will see the negative effects of spike proteins and other vaccine “by-products”. Not all in the same way, and not all to the same degree. And not all at the same time either. But you’re still all unleashing (cyto-) toxic elements into your body, your bloodstream, your organs.

You’re unleashing more of them with each next shot, or booster, into a body whose immune system has ever less defense against the invading toxic elements. Because your immune system may have “learned” to defend itself against these elements, but then the jabs add ever more of them, and the original antigenic sin kicks in for real. Until the immune system is overwhelmed and gives up.

So why the shots, and the boosters? It doesn’t appear to have much to do with logic. In Britain, Covid is already less threatening than the flu. You may argue that this is due to the vaccines, but how realistic is that given we know their efficacy drops so fast you need a booster every few months?

 

 

Whereas, if you catch Omicron, and many “Experts” now state that we will all catch it at some point (or more than once), the amount of toxic elements entering your body is manageable. Sure, you may need to boost your immune system, lose weight, change your diet, but how could that ever be a bad thing?

Still, if you combine vitamin D with zinc and perhaps IVM, your chances look much better than with 3-4-5-6 boosters. But, you know, if that’s what you want, go for it. Ditto for face masks, and lockdowns, etc. But with what we know today, there is no reason why anyone should dictate any of these things to you. You’re not any safer because of them.

The main difference appears to be that you, the vaxxed/boosted, have a lot more to be wary about for the rest of your life, 30-40-50 years, from “vaccines” that were poorly tested, and not at all tested for that sort of timespan.

Omicron is a one-off that appears to protect you from all -or most- previous and future Covid variants. The vaccines are geared towards one older variant only, which hardly exists anymore. I won’t advice anyone to get Omicron, but if given the choice between Omicron and Comirnaty, is the choice really that clear?

 

 

 

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