May 042024
 


John Collier Lady Godiva c1897

 

Trump Pays Fine For Gag Order Violations (RT)
Trump Urges Dismissal of Mar-a-Lago Case (ET)
Stormy Daniels Lawyer Says Payment Wasn’t ‘Hush Money’ (ZH)
Trump Develops Plan On Peaceful Resolution In Ukraine — Telegraph (TASS)
Kiev Has Lost Over 111,000 Troops This Year – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine Can’t Beat Russia On The Battlefield – Senior General (RT)
Freedom Of The Press Dying In West, Any Dissent Snuffed Out – MFA (TASS)
Aggression Against Crimea To Be Met With Crushing Retaliation – Russia (TASS)
This Is Not The EU That Hungary Joined – Orban (RT)
EU Leaders Talking ‘War in Europe’ Shows Their Real Intentions – Orban (Sp.)
Saudi Arabia and Indonesia Lobby EU to Halt Russian Asset Confiscation (Sp.)
The Russia–Iran–China Search For A New Global Security Order (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

MMT?

 

 

Tesla China

 

 

Elon

 

 

“There is no crime. I have a crooked judge..”

Trump Pays Fine For Gag Order Violations (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has paid a $9,000 fine for violating a gag order imposed during his hush money trial in New York, news outlets reported on Thursday, citing a court official. Judge Juan Merchant fined Trump on Tuesday for violating the gag order nine times and instructed him to take down seven “offending posts” from Truth Social and two more posts from his campaign website. Trump is being accused of falsifying business records in an effort to conceal his sexual relationship with former adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and insisted he never had an affair with Daniels. He further slammed the gag order as “unconstitutional,” and argued that the trial is a plot to derail his re-election campaign. During the 11th day of hearings on Friday, the jurors heard the testimony of Hope Hicks, Trump’s former campaign press secretary and White House communications director.

Describing her former boss’s reaction to a Wall Street Journal story about Trump’s alleged affairs with Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, she told the court that Trump was “concerned how it would be viewed by his wife and he wanted me to make sure that the newspapers weren’t delivered to their residence that morning.” Trump and President Joe Biden are neck-and-neck in most polls, with just six months left until election day. Trump continued to insist on his innocence during a rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Wednesday. “There is no crime. I have a crooked judge,” the former president told supporters. According to an NPR/PBS NewHours/Marist poll released on Wednesday, 55% of Americans say that they are not closely watching the hush money trial or not watching it at all. At the same time, 54% of Americans said they believe the investigations into Trump are fair, while 45% view them as unfair.

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“..selective and vindictive prosecution”

Trump Urges Dismissal of Mar-a-Lago Case (ET)

Former President Donald Trump docketed a brief to support his motion to dismiss the classified documents indictment against him in Florida, citing “selective and vindictive prosecution” on Thursday. The 43-page filing contends that special counsel Jack Smith’s case against the former president “has been motivated by improper political animus.” It cites “targeted leaks and public statements” by President Joe Biden, “urging others to prosecute President Trump.” This refers to a New York Times report from April 2, 2022, reporting that President Biden told his “inner circle that he believed former President Donald J. Trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted.” President Trump’s lawyers contend that the article amounted to presidential pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to “act … more like a prosecutor who is willing to take decisive action.”

The motion details a series of events to support the former president’s arguments of a concerted effort by the Biden administration and federal agencies to target him. It points to statements from officials at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which is responsible for the preservation of presidential records, that the Biden administration’s “current business” was investigating the 45th president. Among other events, it cites a text message from a NARA official dated Feb. 9, 2022, stating that the classified documents have “consumed all of our discussions” with the Biden White House. “There is evidence of vindictive political animosity focused on election interference in these proceedings, which is part of the reason why the Special Counsel’s Office is wrong in the claim that President Trump ‘does not contend that the Special Counsel himself was motivated by improper considerations,’” President Trump’s lawyers argue.

In a March 7 filing, Mr. Smith argues against President Trump’s claims that the prosecution team, influenced by political bias, is selectively targeting him for prosecution. Prosecutors from the special counsel’s office argue that the former president hadn’t identified anyone in his motion who was engaging in similar conduct without being prosecuted and failed to provide evidence that his indictment was solely retaliatory. “Trump contends … that he has been subject to selective and vindictive prosecution,” the prosecution wrote. “But he has not identified anyone who has engaged in a remotely similar battery of criminal conduct and not been prosecuted as a result.

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“..he said it was a “Consideration”,..

Stormy Daniels Lawyer Says Payment Wasn’t ‘Hush Money’ (ZH)

A lawyer who was involved in negotiations between former President Donald Trump and two women denied that payments made to them constituted “hush-money,” and instead used the word “consideration.” Keith Davidson, who negotiated deals with both Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) and model Karen McDougal, disputed Manhattan prosecutor Joshua Steinglass’s language during a May 2 court appearance. “It wasn’t a ‘payout’ and it wasn’t ‘hush money.’ It was consideration in a civil settlement,” said Davidson. “Would you use the phrase hush money to describe the money that was paid to your client by Donald Trump?” Steinglass shot back. “I would never use that word,” Davidson replied. When asked what he would call it, he said it was a “Consideration,” comparing it to a contract in which one pays to have one’s lawn mowed.

Trump attorney Emil Bove pressed Mr. Davidson on his understanding of extortion law, grilling him about previous instances in which he solicited money to suppress embarrassing stories, including one involving wrestler Hulk Hogan. Mr. Bove suggested to the witness that by the time he negotiated the payments for Ms. McDougal and Ms. Clifford, he would have been “pretty well versed in coming right up to the line without committing extortion.” “I had familiarized myself with the law,” Mr. Davison replied. -Epoch Times. Davidson also told Steinglass that he worked out the “consideration” deal with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen just days before the 2016 election, but that Trump never signed it.

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“Trump will focus on a simple message that he would end the war in an attempt to win over US voters..”

Trump Develops Plan On Peaceful Resolution In Ukraine — Telegraph (TASS)

Former US President Donald Trump has developed a detailed plan on resolving the Ukrainian conflict peacefully, but will not reveal it until the election, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing an anonymous source close to the politician. “There is a plan, but he’s not going to debate it with cable news networks because then you lose all leverage,” the source said. Instead, according to the source, Trump will focus on a simple message that he would end the war in an attempt to win over US voters. At the end of April, Trump said in an interview with Time that he would not provide aid to Ukraine if elected unless Europe chips in. Russia has repeatedly voiced its position regarding the situation around Ukraine at various levels. Previously, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that Moscow has always been and remains open to a diplomatic settlement of the crisis, and it is ready to respond to truly serious proposals, while the Kiev regime interrupted and prohibited further negotiations with Russia.

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Not much fighting going on?!

Kiev Has Lost Over 111,000 Troops This Year – Moscow (RT)

Ukrainian military losses since the beginning of the year have surpassed 111,000 troops, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday, as he shared Moscow’s latest estimates from the conflict. Russian forces “continue to break up” Ukrainian defensive positions along the entire front line, preventing their attempts to stall advances by Moscow’s troops, the senior official reported during a ministerial meeting. Russia’s territorial gains this year have amounted to 547 sq km, he added. Shoigu accused the US and its allies of pressuring Kiev into disregarding the cost of continued fighting. As a result, Ukraine suffered 1,000 casualties daily throughout April, the minister claimed.

Kiev has ramped up its mobilization efforts due to high attrition, Shoigu added, claiming that Ukrainians unwilling to fight “are being forced to the front line” and certain death. The Russian defense chief accused the leadership in Kiev of sacrificing citizens for the sake of continued Western financial and military assistance. In addition to inflicting significant casualties, Russian forces have also destroyed some 21,000 heavy weapons operated by Ukrainian forces, Shoigu stated. In April, Shoigu estimated Ukrainian casualties as approaching 500,000 since the hostilities with Russia started in February 2022.

Earlier this year, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed into law a radical reform of military service, which includes harsher punishments for draft dodgers and facilitates the work of conscription officers. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has since suspended consular services for military-age men residing in foreign countries, stating that anyone avoiding mobilization does not deserve them. Kiev is also seeking assistance from Western nations in its attempts to force potential conscripts to return. The country’s border service said last month that since February 2022, some 30 Ukrainian citizens have died while trying to illegally flee to other nations.

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“Our problem is very simple: we have no weapons..”

Ukraine Can’t Beat Russia On The Battlefield – Senior General (RT)

A Ukrainian military victory over Russia is unfeasible, a senior military intelligence official in Kiev has predicted. Peace talks with Moscow are nonetheless unlikely before 2025, he claimed. Vadim Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence agency, shared his grim perception of the frontline situation in an interview with The Economist published on Thursday. He expects Russia to launch a major offensive by the end of May or the beginning of June, with Kiev’s forces badly positioned to prevent it. “Our problem is very simple: we have no weapons,” Skibitsky explained. Kiev’s armament woes will not be addressed anytime soon, even after the US approved an additional $60 billion in Ukraine-related spending, the British magazine reported, saying it will be weeks before new aid filters through to the front line.

A lack of willing draftees is also undermining Kiev’s war effort, including those recruited under draconian new rules, the report stated. Skibitsky reiterated Kiev’s claims that Moscow intends to capture the Donbass city of Chasov Yar by May 9, when Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The Ukrainian military leadership announced the purported deadline in mid-April, and has recently boasted about depriving Moscow of its supposed wish. Russia will eventually take Chasov Yar anyway, Skibitsky told The Economist. The general added that he does not see a way for Ukraine to win on the battlefield alone, describing the continuing hostilities as an attempt by both sides to gain a stronger position in future peace talks. Skibitsky believes that no meaningful negotiations will happen before 2025.

Moscow has repeatedly said that, unlike Kiev, it is willing to negotiate peace as long as “realities on the ground” are acknowledged. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky intends to promote his “peace formula” – a list of demands to Russia – to neutral nations during an international event in Switzerland in mid-June. Russia has said it will not participate in the process, which it sees as irrelevant, even if invited. The event organizers “do not intend to seek a road to peace let alone analyze the roots of the Ukraine conflict,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. The West is seeking to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, rather than an end to the bloodshed, she claimed.

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“In Ukraine, the criminal regime of [President Vladimir] Zelensky has annihilated freedom of speech once and for all..”

Freedom Of The Press Dying In West, Any Dissent Snuffed Out – MFA (TASS)

Freedom of the press is under attack in the West, where the authorities stamp out any dissent and repress journalists, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement dedicated to World Press Freedom Day on May 3. “Unfortunately, World [Press Freedom] Day, which was conceived as a global celebration, is gradually degenerating into a meaningless date. This situation can change only if there is an honest assessment of the situation surrounding freedom of the press and journalist safety that is not distorted by Western propaganda,” the ministry pointed out. “We once again draw attention to the deplorable situation regarding freedom of expression and equal access to information in the countries of the collective West,” the ministry noted, adding that “the so-called democratic countries continue destroying every pocket of dissent in violation of all international obligations.”

“Investigative journalist Julian Assange and other prisoners of conscience continue to languish in London’s dungeons,” the report said. “So far there has been no reaction from international human rights organizations on the death of journalist Gonzalo Lira in a Ukrainian prison this January. He was rejected by both of his countries of citizenship, the United States and Chile,” it added. The Russian Foreign Ministry also pointed to the “incessant arbitrariness committed by the Western authorities against the Russian media and journalists, who have fully felt the repressive machine of the neoliberal West.” “Special attention should be paid to the appalling situation regarding freedom of the media in the Baltic republics and Moldova. Their authorities, under the pretext of combating ‘Russian propaganda,’ with the silent consent of their Western curators, have organized persecutions against representatives of Russian-language media,” the ministry explained.

“In Ukraine, the criminal regime of [President Vladimir] Zelensky has annihilated freedom of speech once and for all by banning all opposition media outlets and closing access to thousands of Internet resources,” the Russian Foreign Ministry continued. “The indulgence of Kiev by its overseas masters has also led to the continuation of brutal massacres against Russian journalists. The list of national media representatives who were killed by Ukrainian militants was recently expanded to include Semyon Yeremin, a military correspondent for Izvestia, who was murdered by neo-Nazis using a UAV while performing his professional duties,” the ministry noted. “UNESCO Director General Audrey Azule has not yet condemned the cold-blooded murder of Semyon Yeremin, as well as other Russian journalists (Daria Dugina (Platonova), Vladlen Tatarsky (Maxim Fomin), Oleg Klokov, Rostislav Zhuravlev, Boris Maksudov),” the ministry added.

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“In recent days, Maria Zakharova continued, Ukrainian forces “have been seen using several US-made ATACMS long-range missiles, which were secretly received a month ago, against Crimea”

Aggression Against Crimea To Be Met With Crushing Retaliation – Russia (TASS)

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned Washington, London and Brussels that any aggressive actions against Crimea and the Crimean Bridge are doomed to fail and will be met with crushing retaliation. “I would like again to warn Washington, London, Brussels that any aggressive actions against Crimea are not only doomed to fail, but will also be met with a blow of retaliation that will be crushing,” the diplomat said at a news conference. In recent days, Zakharova continued, Ukrainian forces “have been seen using several US-made ATACMS long-range missiles, which were secretly received a month ago, against Crimea.”

“According to the Russian Defense Ministry, all the missiles that were fired were destroyed,” she said. “After Easter, Kiev expects to receive the first F-16 aircraft, which, according to the UK plan, can also be used in the operation to destroy the Crimean bridge.” The diplomat warned that “Russian law enforcement agencies thoroughly record the crimes of Ukrainian neo-Nazis.” “Not a single atrocity of the Kiev regime remains unnoticed. Those involved are being identified and brought to justice,” she said.

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“He still believes that being part of the union is in the national interest..”

This Is Not The EU That Hungary Joined – Orban (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban has decried the state of the European Union, claiming it is almost unrecognisable from the bloc the Budapest joined 20 years ago. Orban was a strong proponent of the move in 2003, when Hungarians overwhelmingly voted for their country to become an EU member. The country’s accession was finalized on May 1 of the following year. However, the policies of the bloc have significantly changed since then, the Hungarian leader noted during his regular Friday appearance on Kossuth Radio. He still believes that being part of the union is in the national interest, but listed several points on which he disagrees with Brussels. When Budapest joined the bloc, it did not expect to be forced to take in immigrants from other parts of the world or pressured over its constitutional protection of the family, defined as being based on a marriage between a man and a woman, Orban said.

Accession “wasn’t about the European leaders maneuvering the continent into a war instead of peace,” he added, referring to the arming of Ukraine against Russia. The prime minister urged EU citizens to vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections for parties that support a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine conflict, including the Orban-led Fidesz Party in Hungary. If a significant number of pro-peace candidates become MEPs, “we can have a European Parliament that does not push European leaders towards war, but pulls Europe back from the edge of the abyss,” he argued. Earlier this week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Budapest would oppose a plan proposed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to establish a €100-billion ($107 billion) five-year aid scheme for Kiev. Hungary has been a member of the US-led military bloc since 1999. In March, American Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman accused Orban’s government of undermining NATO’s commitment to Kiev and of “standing with Russia.”

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“..Europe is playing with fire at this moment, we are balancing on the edge of war and peace..”

EU Leaders Talking ‘War in Europe’ Shows Their Real Intentions – Orban (Sp.)

EU leaders talking about “a war in Europe” shows their real intentions, but they are playing with fire, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. In an interview with the Kossuth radio broadcaster, the official recalled the recent statement by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that the spread of war to Europe is no longer a fantasy and the words of Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski that the conflict has no diplomatic solution, and it can only be resolved by military force. “These are not communication bubbles, but the implementation of real political intentions and reflections. Europe is playing with fire at this moment, we are balancing on the edge of war and peace,” Orban said.

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Odd couple..

Saudi Arabia and Indonesia Lobby EU to Halt Russian Asset Confiscation (Sp.)

Saudi Arabia and Indonesia are trying to persuade EU countries to abandon the confiscation of Russian assets. The countries have been lobbying EU capitals not to seize the assets, fearing for the future of their own reserves held in the West, the Financial Times reports, citing officials. While the US and Canada continue to push for the confiscation of Russian assets, the EU “remains highly cautious, resulting in a stalemate,” the outlet said. Confiscating Russian assets could trigger a wave of reparations claims stemming from long-standing disputes, such as those against Germany after the two world wars, as well as former colonies making claims against former imperialist powers, the FT noted, citing EU officials.

“Moving from freezing the assets, to confiscating them, to disposing of them [could carry the risk of] breaking the international order that you want to protect,” European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said. While Ukraine insists on the complete seizure of Russia’s assets, G7 officials privately declare that such a step is “no longer on the table.” The Russian Foreign Ministry has called the freezing of Russian assets theft, noting that such an attempt violates international law.

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SCO.

The Russia–Iran–China Search For A New Global Security Order (Pepe Escobar)

The Hegemon has no idea what awaits the Exceptionalist mindset: China has started to decisively stir the civilizational cauldron without bothering about an inevitable array of sanctions coming by early 2025 and/or a possible collapse of the international financial system. Last week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his list of delusional US demands was welcomed in Beijing by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi Jinping as little more than an annoying gnat. Wang, on the record, stressed that Tehran was justified in defending itself against Israel’s shredding of the Vienna Convention when it attacked the Iranian consulate in Damascus. At the UN Security Council, China now openly questions not only the state terror attack on the Nord Streams but also the US–Israel combo’s blocking of Palestinian statehood.

Moreover, Beijing, just like Moscow recently, hosts Palestine’s political factions together in a conference aiming to unify their positions. Next Tuesday, only two days before Moscow celebrates Victory Day, the end of the Great Patriotic War, Xi will land in Belgrade to remind the whole world about the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Chinese embassy by the US, UK, and NATO. Russia, meanwhile, provided a platform for the UNRWA – the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, which Israel has sought to defund – to explain to high representatives of BRICS-10 the cataclysmic humanitarian situation in Gaza, as described by UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. In short, serious political business is already being conducted outside of the corrupted UN system, as the United Nations disintegrates into a corporate shell with the US dictating all terms as the largest shareholder.

Yet another key example of BRICS as the new UN: Russian Security Council chairman Nikolai Patrushev met in St. Petersburg with his Chinese counterpart Chen Wenqing on the sidelines of the 12th International Security Summit, congregating over 100 nations, including the security heads of BRICS-10 members Iran, India, Brazil, and South Africa, as well as Iraq. But the key crossroads these past few days was the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. For the first time, the new Chinese Defense Minister, Dong Jun, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, to emphasize their comprehensive strategic partnership. Dong, significantly, stressed the “dynamic” nature of China–Russia military interaction, while Shoigu doubled down, saying it “sets a model for interstate relations” based on mutual respect and shared strategic interests.

Addressing the full SCO assembly, Shoigu emphatically refuted the massive western propaganda drive about a Russian “threat” to NATO. Everybody was at the SCO defense ministers’ meeting – including, at the same table, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Belarus as an observer. Minsk is eager to join the SCO. The interlocking Russia–Iran–China strategic partnerships were totally in sync. Apart from Dong meeting Shoigu, he also met Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, who lavishly praised Beijing’s condemnation of the Israeli terror air strike in Damascus. What is happening now between Beijing and Tehran is a replay of what started last year between Moscow and Tehran, when a member of the Iranian delegation on a visit to Russia remarked that both parties had agreed on a mutual, high-level “anything you need” relationship.

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Rogan UFO

 

 

Seed oil

 

 

Raccoon

 

 

Winston

 

 

 

 

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Mar 172024
 


Vincent van Gogh Sprig of Flowering Almond in a Glass 1888

 

Out of Africa… Macron’s Belligerence Towards Russia (SCF)
Europe Panics as Trump Rises from the Political Grave (Luongo)
The Ever Widening War (Paul Craig Roberts)
Will BRICS Launch A New World In 2024? (Pepe Escobar)
Zelensky’s Draft Leaving Ukrainian Villages Without Men – WaPo (RT)
Ukraine Outcome Will Weaken US – Envoy (RT)
Russia Created ‘New Global Majority’ – Presidential Hopeful (RT)
Issue of Crimea’s Affiliation Resolved Forever – Lavrov (TASS)
Israel Is Starving Gaza (Sahiounie)
EU ‘Media Freedom’ Law Not What You Think It Is (Marsden)
Boeing Tells Pilots To Check Seats After Latam Plane Incident (BBC)
Peter Navarro Asks Supreme Court to Avoid Reporting to Prison (ET)
Don Lemon Made Crazy Demands Before Elon Musk Canned Him (NYP)
Musk Building Huge Spy Satellite Network – Reuters (RT)
Where Donald Trump’s Four Criminal Trials Stand After More Delays (BBC)

 

 

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
—and sings the tunes without the words
—and never stops at all.

– Emily Dickinson

 

 

Voting machines

Ware County
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768795715034329444

 

 

 

 

Tucker Pence

 

 

Putin ID

 

 

 

 

Sciutto

 

 

 

 

“Paris has had to recall unwanted ambassadors, shut down military bases, and withdraw thousands of troops. Where to put these French troops? In Ukraine, pitted against Russia?”

“..He has an inordinate ego that has been bruised, his delusions have been shattered, he is an impotent vassal of American imperialism, and he is desperate for his sordid political survival.”

“Kicked out of Africa… and now trying to start World War Three in Europe. How pathetic and criminal.”

Out of Africa… Macron’s Belligerence Towards Russia (SCF)

Russian President Vladimir Putin was spot-on this week in his observation about why France’s Emmanuel Macron is strutting around and mouthing off about war in Ukraine. Putin remarked in an interview that Macron’s wanton warmongering over Ukraine was borne out of resentment due to the spectacular loss of France’s standing in Africa. One after another, France’s former colonial countries have told Paris in no uncertain terms to get out of their internal affairs. Since 2020 and the coup in Mali, there has been immense political upheaval on the continent, particularly in West and Central Africa, stretching from the vast Sahel region down to the equator. At least seven nations have undergone coups or government changes against Francophone rulers. They include Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Guinea. The continent-wide changes have come as a political earthquake to France. The new African governments have adamantly rejected old-style French patronage and have asserted a newfound national independence.

Paris has had to recall unwanted ambassadors, shut down military bases, and withdraw thousands of troops. Where to put these French troops? In Ukraine, pitted against Russia? Popular sentiment across Africa is exasperated with and repudiating “Francafrique” corruption. Meanwhile, with an unmistakable end-of-era sense, French media have lamented “France’s shrinking footprint in Africa.” A former diplomat summed up the momentous geopolitical shift thus: “The deep trend confirms itself. Our military presence is no longer accepted. We need to totally rethink our relationship with Africa. We have been kicked out of Africa. We need to depart from other countries before we are told to.” Africa analysts are now watching two key countries closely. They are Senegal and Ivory Coast. Both are currently governed by pro-France presidents but the rising anti-French political tide is putting those incumbents at risk of either a coup or electoral ouster.

The blow to the French political elite cannot be overstated. The loss of status in its former colonies is conflating multiple crises tantamount to the traumatic loss of Algeria back in the early 1960s. Financially, for decades after handing over nominal independence to African nations, Paris continued to exploit these countries through control of currencies and their prodigious natural resources. Most of France’s electricity, for example, is generated from uranium ore mined in Africa – and obtained like most other African resources for a pittance. The system of neocolonial suzerainty was typically sustained by France bribing local corrupt regimes to do its bidding and offering security guarantees from the continuance of French military bases. Not for nothing did Paris think of itself as the African Gendarme.

One of the extraordinary curiosities of this neocolonial arrangement was that African nations were compelled to deposit their gold treasuries in France’s central bank. Any African nation trying to resist the neocolonial vassalage was liable to be attacked militarily through counter-coups, or its nationalist leaders were assassinated like Thomas Sankara in 1987, who was known as “Africa’s Che Guevara”. Nevertheless, the halcyon days of France’s dominance over its former colonies are over. African nations are discovering a new sense of independence and purpose, as well as solidarity to help each other fend off pressure from France to reinstate the status quo ante. The collapse of France’s status in Africa is perceived by the French establishment as a grievous loss in presumed global power.

No French politician can feel more aggrieved than President Emmanuel Macron. Macron imagines himself to be on a mission to restore “France’s greatness”. He seems to harbor fantasies of also leading the rest of Europe under the tutelage of Paris. It was Macron who proclaimed one of his grand objectives as achieving a reset in Franco-African relations, one which would renew continental respect for Paris and promote French strategic interests. How embarrassing for Macron that a whole spate of African nations are asserting that they no longer want to have anything to do with the old colonial power. Chagrin indeed.

[..] The French president declared with hysteria that: “If Russia wins this war [in Ukraine], Europe’s credibility will be reduced to zero.” Macron’s recklessness is criminal. He is talking up war with Russia based on sheer lies and vanity. When he says Europe’s credibility will be reduced to zero what he really means is that his credibility and that of NATO will be reduced to zero when Russia defeats the NATO-backed NeoNazi regime in Kiev. Macron is a most dangerous kind of politician. He has an inordinate ego that has been bruised, his delusions have been shattered, he is an impotent vassal of American imperialism, and he is desperate for his sordid political survival. The French people are all too well aware of the charlatan that poses like a Louis XIV Sun King in Elysée Palace basking in his presumed vainglory. How ironic. Kicked out of Africa… and now trying to start World War Three in Europe. How pathetic and criminal.

Brigitte
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768916052061405573

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“..the way for Russia to beat the west in Ukraine was to continue letting them think they had a chance to win..”

Europe Panics as Trump Rises from the Political Grave (Luongo)

Remember, that in 2022-23 when it looked like the US was hellbent on going forward in Ukraine, European leaders like Macron and others were more circumspect. They wanted to virtue signal about the dangers of Ukraine escalating. They got to look like the moderates in the war room, while still sending billions in aid and weapons, arm-twisting everyone into compliance. The real mask-off event for Europe’s real position on this war was their threatening Hungary’s Viktor Orban with complete economic devastation if he didn’t allow their $50 billion aid package to go through the European Council. Now that all of Nuland’s military plans have failed, Ukraine’s army has been destroyed for the third time, and all of their attempts to undermine the US legally and economically (Powell must Pivot!) have fizzled, Europe finds itself in the blind panic.

Because as poll after poll suggests, Trump will return to the White House in January and has plans to end the killing and the other shenanigans in Ukraine quickly. Orban is acting as Trump’s voice of reason to both Eastern Europe as well as Russia itself.: Orban, who spoke with Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Friday, did not explain how exactly the American would do that, but said that cutting the flow of US aid was a crucial part of the plan. ”If the US will not provide the money, Europeans on their own will not be able to finance this war, and then the war will end,” Orban said in an interview with M1 broadcaster on Sunday. During his presidency, Trump had shown himself to be “a man of peace,” the Hungarian leader claimed.

That stance puts him in alignment with Hungary, unlike the administration of US President Joe Biden and many members of the EU, he added. ”The American Democratic government and the leadership of the EU, as well as the leadership of the largest EU member states are pro-war governments. Donald Trump is pro-peace, Hungary is pro-peace. At the bottom of everything lies this difference,” Orban declared. Trump’s many things, but he is no dummy when it comes to money. Cut the flow of funds and you end the war. The wildcard is the seizure of Russia’s foreign exchange assets which would be the dumbest thing all these people could do. This is why they won’t shut up about it.

For his part, Putin is as done with the current regime in the EU as he is with the Biden junta in the US. He’s tried to reason with them, and all we hear is the most over-the-top vitriol from the usual suspects, like Macron. Putin understands now that the only diplomacy will occur is at the point of his gun or not at all. And if Ukraine is going to escalate on behalf of Europe to attack critical infrastructure inside Russia he will take the gloves completely off, rather than just carpet bomb the line of contact. I told you last year that no matter what the West thinks there will be “No Truce With the Heartland.” And the way for Russia to beat the west in Ukraine was to continue letting them think they had a chance to win by leaving just enough hope to have the West keep funneling billions into a slaughterhouse.

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“In any case, in the next year I will have to send some of my people to Odessa..”

The Ever Widening War (Paul Craig Roberts)

I have no idea why French President Macron is talking so aggressively about war with Russia, saying he will send French soldiers to Odessa and telling Russia’s President Putin “We are a nuclear power and We are ready,” or who might have put him up to taking such an aggressive position. I have been writing for two years that Putin needs to end the conflict as the war continues to widen and will spin out of control. The way Putin has fought this conflict is a strategic blunder of the worst kind. Russia should have seized, Kharkiv, Odessa, and Kiev immediately and left the Ukrainian army trapped in the east cut off from supplies. If President Macron does put French soldiers in Odessa, Putin cannot complete the obvious military task in Ukraine without going to war with NATO. Russia has gained absolutely nothing by the pointless, endless prolongation of the conflict.

The war has widened, and now European leaders are talking about preparing for war with Russia. Two more countries, Sweden and Finland, have joined NATO, so Ukraine was kept out at the cost of two other additions. “The French authorities are considering sending their troops to Ukraine from 2023, Le Monde newspaper reported, citing sources. “According to them, the issue of sending the French military to Ukraine was discussed in “the strictest secrecy” at the Security Council at the Elysee Palace on June 12, 2023. Shortly before that, the French president spoke in favor of Ukraine’s early entry into NATO.

“Le Monde writes that on the eve of the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion, on February 21, 2024, Macron, after the ceremony of transferring the ashes of the French Resistance movement member Misak Manushyan to the Pantheon, raised the topic of Ukraine in a conversation with those who congratulated him on his “beautiful speech”. “In any case, in the next year I will have to send some of my people to Odessa,” Macron said, according to the publication. “French Army Chief of Staff General Pierre Schill told the publication that Macron’s words are “primarily a political and strategic message” to Russia about its readiness for such steps. The task of the military in this situation is “to prepare as many options as possible to help the president make political and military decisions.”

“Emmanuel Macron said on February 26, speaking after a conference of leaders of 20 European countries, that he does not rule out sending NATO troops to Ukraine. Many Western countries, including Germany and the United States, opposed it. The Kremlin responded that the appearance of NATO troops in Ukraine would lead to a direct conflict with Russia. “The French president clarified on March 4 that the authorities are not considering sending French troops to Ukraine, but are “starting discussions and thinking about everything that can be done to support Ukraine” on its territory. Macron later added that ” not ruling something out does not mean doing it.” “At a meeting with leaders of French political parties on March 7, Macron said that there should be no restrictions on supporting Ukraine. Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said in response that ” then Russia no longer has any red lines in relation to France.”

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“..creating a consensus-based list out of the dozens of nations that are literally itching to join the club..”

Will BRICS Launch A New World In 2024? (Pepe Escobar)

Across the Global South, countries are lining up to join the multipolar BRICS and the Hegemon-free future it promises. The onslaught of interest has become an unavoidable theme of discussion during this crucial year of the Russian presidency of what, for the moment, is BRICS-10. Indonesia and Nigeria are among the top tiers of candidates likely to join. The same applies to Pakistan and Vietnam. Mexico is in a very complex bind: how to join without summoning the ire of the Hegemon. And then there’s the new candidacy on a roll: Yemen, which enjoys plenty of support from Russia, China, and Iran. It’s been up to Russia’s top BRICS sherpa, the immensely capable Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, to clarify what’s ahead. He tells TASS: “We must provide a platform for the countries interested in rapprochement with the BRICS, where they will be able to work practically without feeling left behind and joining this cooperation rhythm. And as to how the further expansion will be decided upon – this should be postponed at least until the leaders convene in Kazan to decide.”

The key decision on BRICS+ expansion will only come out of the Kazan summit next October. Ryabkov stresses that the order of the day is first “to integrate those who have just joined.” This means that “as a ‘ten,’ we work at least as efficiently, or, rather, more efficiently than we did within the initial ‘five.'” Only then will the BRICS-10 “develop the category of partner states,” which, in fact, means creating a consensus-based list out of the dozens of nations that are literally itching to join the club. Ryabkov always makes a point to note, in public and in private, that the twofold increase of BRICS members starting on 1 January 2024 is “an unprecedented event for any international structure.” It isn’t an easy task, Ryabkov says: “Last year, it took an entire year to develop the admission, expansion criteria at the level of top officials. Many reasonable things were developed. And many of the things that were formulated back then got reflected in the list of countries that joined. But it would probably be improper to formalize the requirements. At the end of the day, an admission to the association is a subject of political decision.”

In a private meeting with a few select individuals on the sidelines of the recent multipolar conference in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke effusively of BRICS, with particular emphasis on his counterparts Wang Yi of China and S. Jaishankar of India. Lavrov holds great expectations for BRICS-10 this year – at the same time, reminding everyone that this is still a club; it must eventually go deeper in institutional terms, for instance, by appointing a secretariat-general, just like its cousin-style organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The Russian presidency will have its hands full for the next few months, not only navigating the geopolitical spectrum of current crises but, most of all, geoeconomics. A crucial ministerial meeting in June – only three months away – will have to define a detailed road map all the way to the Kazan summit four months later.

What happens after this week’s Russian presidential elections will also condition BRICS policy. A new Russian government will be sworn in only by early May. It is widely expected that there will be no substantial changes within the Russian Finance Ministry, Central Bank, Foreign Ministry, and among top Kremlin advisers. Continuity will be the norm. And that brings us to the key geoeconomics dossier: the BRICS at the forefront of bypassing the US dollar in international finance. Last week, top Kremlin adviser Yury Ushakov announced that BRICS will work towards setting up an independent payment system based on digital currencies and blockchain. Ushakov specifically emphasized “state-of-the-art tools such as digital technologies and blockchain. The main thing is to make sure it is convenient for governments, common people, and businesses, as well as cost-effective and free of politics.” Ushakov did not mention it explicitly, but a new alternative system already exists. For the moment, it is a closely, carefully guarded project in the form of a detailed white paper that has already been validated academically and also incorporates answers to possible frequently asked questions.

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“..virtually every man of fighting age had been killed, wounded, or gone missing with the remaining few being hunted down by the draft officers..”

Zelensky’s Draft Leaving Ukrainian Villages Without Men – WaPo (RT)

Some Ukrainian villages and small towns are left with hardly any adult men amid aggressive and indiscriminate mobilization tactics by the army recruiters, who are desperate to refill the ranks of the depleted forces, according to a report by the Washington Post. In an article published on Saturday, the outlet detailed the plight of the village of Makov, in the Khmelnitsky region in Western Ukraine, where virtually every man of fighting age had been killed, wounded, or gone missing with the remaining few being hunted down by the draft officers. “It’s just a fact, most of them are gone,” Larisa Bodna, deputy director of the local school, which keeps a database of students whose parents are deployed, told the outlet.

“People are being caught like dogs on the street,” noted another resident, whose husband was forcefully drafted last year, despite a medical condition that was meant to exempt him from the military service. “The whole village was taken this way,” her mother-in-law added. The newspaper noted that the sense of resentment is steadily growing among the civilian population, with the majority feeling that their men have been targeted disproportionately, compared to larger cities, where it is easier to go into hiding. The residents say that even those already serving in the army and youths below the draft age are being stopped and questioned on the streets. Multiple videos of troops forcing men into vehicles that have surfaced online in recent months, sparking rumors of kidnappings and contributing to panic among the locals.

Ukraine announced a general mobilization shortly after the start of the conflict with Russia in February 2022, but thousands managed to flee to the bordering Romania and Moldova. Following the failed counteroffensive in the summer of last year, Kiev was desperate to replenish the ranks, seeking to mobilize up to 500,000 new recruits. In late January, the Ukrainian lawmakers passed the first reading of a revised mobilization bill aimed at increasing the military ranks by lowering the conscription age from 27 to 25 and tightening draft conditions. The Russian military estimated Kiev’s casualties at over 444,000 killed or badly injured, as of the end of February. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed last month that only 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in two years of hostilities with Russia, a figure that even journalists sympathetic to the Ukrainian cause have called implausibly low.

de Graaff
https://twitter.com/i/status/1769051139528364045

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“..Washington is “destroying the vestiges of [its own] former prestige.” “The further we advance on the frontline, the more America will weaken and the rules-based world order will crumble..”

Ukraine Outcome Will Weaken US – Envoy (RT)

Success for Russia in the Ukraine conflict would progressively weaken the US, Moscow’s ambassador in Washington DC has argued. Anatoly Antonov also accused the US and UK of preventing a peaceful resolution of the conflict during its early stages. In an interview with RIA Novosti news agency published on Saturday, Antonov accused the US of playing an “extremely negative” role in Ukraine, calling Washington a “sponsor of terrorism” and a “country that encourages murder and war.” According to the envoy, Washington is “destroying the vestiges of [its own] former prestige.” “The further we advance on the frontline, the more America will weaken and the rules-based world order will crumble,” the Russian diplomat added.

The term ‘rules-based world order ‘ has been widely used by the administration of US President Joe Biden to describe the arrangement in which leading Western powers have for decades had significant leverage over the rest of the world. Critics, including Russia, say the system contravenes international law and is being abused by the West. Antonov also dismissed Western claims that Moscow is unwilling to engage in dialogue on Ukraine. He argued that “everything could have been settled peacefully. However, this did not sit well with the leadership of NATO countries, first of all the US and the UK.” Moscow and Kiev held talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul in late March 2022, with the negotiations eventually collapsing. Several media outlets claimed that then- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson persuaded the Ukrainian leadership to withdraw and keep fighting.

One of Ukraine’s negotiators, David Arakhamia, confirmed the reports last November, but Johnson himself has staunchly denied derailing the peace process. Earlier this week, Antonov warned that further Western participation in the Ukraine conflict could lead to the “most unpredictable consequences.” The official also claimed that CIA Director William Burns had de facto acknowledged the “direct involvement of the United States” in the hostilities. Addressing the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Monday, Burns argued that additional funding for Ukraine would enable the country to conduct “deep penetration strikes in Crimea,” further target the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and eventually “regain the offensive initiative.”

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“The global politics of the new century can only be multipolar..”

Russia Created ‘New Global Majority’ – Presidential Hopeful (RT)

Russia is playing a crucial role in the emergence of the new multipolar world and has already become one of its centers of power, presidential hopeful Leonid Slutsky believes. Slutsky spoke to RT on Saturday, with the country going through the second day of its three-day presidential polls. The politician, who leads Russia’s right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), is seeking the top office alongside three other candidates – incumbent President Vladimir Putin, Nikolay Haritonov, and Vladislav Davankov. With an election reportage blackout period in place, the conversation revolved around more global issues the country is facing now and will face in the future than around the candidate himself.

Russia is playing a crucial role in making the world multiploar, having already become one of the important centers in it, Slutsky has said. “[Russia], today, has in fact already created a new global majority on the planet. This is not the Anglo-Saxon majority, the new global majority is the global South, Africa, Latin America. These are many, many nations of larger Eurasia that are against the unipolar world order, where all the decisions, on how life goes in one or another country are being made in Washington,” the candidate explained. The emerging multipolar world is bound to become a more fair and equal place, where any country regardless of its size, cultural background or anything else, will be able to decide its destiny, Slutsky believes. “The global politics of the new century can only be multipolar,” he stressed.

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“The issue of the affiliation of Crimea and Sevastopol is closed. The peninsula is an integral part of Russia..”

Issue of Crimea’s Affiliation Resolved Forever – Lavrov (TASS)

Crimea and Sevastopol are integral parts of Russia and the issue of their affiliation is closed forever, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a video address on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia on Saturday. “The issue of the affiliation of Crimea and Sevastopol is closed. The peninsula is an integral part of Russia,” the top diplomat stressed. Crimea has clear-cut prospects of its further development and Russia has resolved many problems inherited from Ukraine, Lavrov pointed out. “Over the past years, many problems inherited from Ukraine have been resolved. With clear-cut prospects of their further development, Crimean residents can look into the future with confidence and optimism,” he added. “Ten years ago, on March 16, 2014, Crimean residents determined their future independently and consciously, having reunited with Russia. I congratulate the peninsula’s residents on the decade of the historic reunification with Russia. I wish them health, well-being, prosperity and all the best,” Russia’s top diplomat said.

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“..The UN has opened an investigation, while UNRWA defends itself against Israel’s accusations, and accuses Israel of torturing its employees to force false testimonies..”

Israel Is Starving Gaza (Sahiounie)

On March 12, a Spanish ship, ‘Open Arms’, left Cyprus for Gaza. It is expected to arrive on Friday, March 15 carrying 200 tons of aid. This desperate attempt to stave off famine in Gaza is the brain-child of Spanish-American celebrity chef, José Andrés, founder of the non-profit World Central Kitchen (WCK). WCK has Palestinians building a jetty in Gaza, utilizing rubble and materials from bombed buildings, which will play a role in offloading the food and supplies. This jetty is a temporary structure and in not related to the pier the U.S. is planning. “I had no doubt that we could open the maritime route. The most difficult thing was the diplomatic side of it, and the easiest thing was getting to Gaza,” said Andrés. Andrés is an advisor to the White House, and held countless meetings in Israel, Egypt and Jordan to obtain the necessary permits, while also obtaining support from Cyprus, King Abdullah II of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, which has co-financed the mission together with WCK.

After arrival, the 130 pallets of aid will go into trucks to be delivered to the 60 kitchens that the WCK has set up in the Gaza Strip, and to other aid distribution points. Israel controls all land crossings into Gaza, which has seven border crossings, six with Israel and one with Egypt. However, only the crossing at Rafah, with Egypt, is partially open. The quickest and most efficient way to delivery aid to Gaza is by land and the gates that exist. But, Israel restricts aid and supplies from entering in Gaza. All of the aid agencies report that their donations sit in parked trucks, filled to overflowing, but unable to enter Gaza because the IDF has locked the gates and refuses to open them. Israel maintains that they will not allow any aid into Gaza which could be used by Hamas. The aid agencies have repeatedly asked for a list of restricted items so that they can make sure their cargoes meet the criteria. However, Israel refuses to publish or distribute a list of restricted items.

Instead, the IDF uses the aid as a weapon of war, intent on starving the civilians. The IDF claim that if they find one item in a cargo load which meets their undisclosed definition of prohibited items, they will not allow the entire cargo to enter. In one very famous case, the item was a single pair of small scissors to be used to cut the tape in conjunction with bandages. Doctors Without Borders, MSF, reported they have been repeatedly prohibited from importing electricity generators, water purifiers, solar panels and other medical equipment. On March 12, for the first time in three weeks, the UN’s World Food Program sent in six aid trucks to feed 25,000 people through a gate in the security fence. This is but a drop in an ocean of need, and is not sustainable. Some Arab nations, such as Morocco have sent supplies destined for Gaza to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. All the experts agree, that land routes which already are established are the most efficient delivery method of aid to Gaza. But, it is Israel alone standing in the way, and this is their political objective.

Cargo trucks typically carry 20 tons, and the flow of trucks prior to the current conflict was about 500 a day. But, even that amount of daily arrivals would not meet the needs of the 2.3 million people in Gaza. Israel began a political campaign to discredit and destroy UNRWA, by accusing the agency of complicity with Hamas in the October 7 attack on Israel. With an accusation only, Israel was able to convince 16 donor countries to pull their funding, and have asked the UN General Assembly to disband the refugee agency, which would affect not only the people in Gaza, but also those in the Occupied West Bank. The agency is 75 years old, serves almost six million refugees, and now has had more than $437 million funds frozen. Spain announced a donation of $22 million on Thursday, and Canada and Sweden reported on Saturday that they would resume funding to the agency in light of unfounded claims, and the risk of famine.

The UN has opened an investigation, while UNRWA defends itself against Israel’s accusations, and accuses Israel of torturing its employees to force false testimonies that the IDF used as the basis of their accusations. Initially, the UN fired 12 UNRWA workers after the IDF claim. Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, says that he has received no evidence of agency workers in conspiracy with Hamas. However, 150 UNRWA employees have died while working in Gaza, and 3,000 have been left homeless.

Finkelstein

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Trojan horse.

EU ‘Media Freedom’ Law Not What You Think It Is (Marsden)

The EU’s new Media Freedom Act has now been voted into law, with 464 votes for, 92 against, and 65 abstentions. There are some news outlets whose coverage of the vote I’d like to see. Like RT’s, where you’re reading this right now. But anyone who’s viewing this from inside the European Union’s bastion of democracy and freedom is likely doing so via a VPN connection routed through somewhere outside the bloc, to circumvent its press censorship.Nothing in this new law suggests that this will change, or that there will be increased access to information and analysis for the average person. Such improved freedoms might lead to people making up their own minds rather than having various flavors of a similar narrative served up for mass consumption. As has become par for the course in so-called Western democracies, inconvenient facts and analysis will still be dismissed as “disinformation” and criticism of the establishment still qualified as an effort to sow division – as though dissent itself wasn’t supposed to be proof of a healthy and vibrant democracy.

So, now that we’ve gotten out of the way any hope of lifting the EU’s top-down censorship in the absence of due process, exactly what kind of lip service does this new law pay to the lofty notion of media freedom?No spying on journalists or pressing them to disclose their sources. Well, unless you’re one of the countries that lobbied to be able to keep doing this – like France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, and Finland – so basically, a quarter of EU countries. Oh, but they have to invoke national-security concerns in order to do so. Which, as we know, they’re very discerning about. Like, they didn’t at all implement a virtual police state and extend its powers under the guise of fighting a virus with which French President Emmanuel Macron kept saying they were “at war.” Nor did Amnesty International point out the sweeping “Orwellian” trend across Europe, at least as far back as 2017, of exploiting domestic terrorist attacks to permanently embed what were supposed to be extraordinary powers into criminal law, via measures like “overly broad definitions of terrorism.”

So, no doubt they’ll be equally reasonable when slapping the “national security threat” label on a journalist whose work they want to peek at. At least now, under this new law, they do have to fully inform any targeted journalist of the steps being taken against them. Another thing that changes is that there’s to be a centralized database into which “all news and current affairs outlets regardless of their size will have to publish information about their owners,” according to an EU press release. May we propose a first candidate for that? The NGO Reporters Without Borders has praised this new law as a “major step forward for the right to information within the European Union.” The same NGO also just launched a “Svoboda” (Russian for “freedom”) satellite package eventually consisting “of up to 25 independent Russian language radio and television channels” aimed at Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltics.

The launch took place at the EU parliament, in the presence of EU “values and transparency” commissioner (yes, that’s a real title), Vera Jourova, who has said in support of the new media law that “it is a threat to those who want to use the power of the state, also the financial one, to make the media dependent on them.” But she has also said about this new Russia-targeting initiative that the EU state needs to “use all possible means to ensure that their work, that facts and information can reach Russian-speaking people.” This is the same person who advocated in favor of banning Russia-linked media outlets in the EU.

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A new one every day.

”..a flight attendant accidentally hit a switch on the pilot’s seat, which pushed the pilot into the controls..”

Boeing Tells Pilots To Check Seats After Latam Plane Incident (BBC)

Boeing has told airlines operating 787 Dreamliners that pilots need to check their seats as an investigation into an incident on a Latam flight continues. It comes after 50 people were hurt this week when a 787 dropped suddenly during a Latam Airlines flight. The Wall Street Journal reported that a flight attendant accidentally hit a switch on the pilot’s seat, which pushed the pilot into the controls, forcing down the plane’s nose. Latam is supporting investigations. During the incident people were thrown against the roof of the plane, which was travelling from Australia to New Zealand. Passenger Brian Jokat said at the time that a number of people suffered head injuries. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Jokat revealed that people had hit the ceiling with such force “some of the roof panels were broken”.

The person next to him, he added, appeared to be “glued to the ceiling”. “I did think for a split second: ‘This is it’,” he said. Emergency services later said one person was in a serious condition. Boeing said: “The investigation of Flight LA800 is ongoing and we defer to the investigation authorities on any potential findings.” “We have taken the precautionary measure of reminding 787 operators of a service bulletin issued in 2017 which included instructions for inspecting and maintaining switches on flight deck seats.” It recommended that operators perform an inspection of the switches “at the next maintenance opportunity”.

Chilean-Brazilian carrier Latam Airlines said it “continues to work in coordination with the authorities in order to support the ongoing investigation”. The aircraft was scheduled to fly on from Auckland to Santiago, the capital of Chile. The departure was cancelled and a new flight scheduled for Tuesday. The incident comes after a door panel came off a Boeing plane in January this year, with a report in February finding bolts meant to secure the panel were missing. And this week, a former Boeing employee known for raising concerns about the firm’s production standards was found dead in the US.

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“That’s worth fighting for on behalf of all Americans.”

Peter Navarro Asks Supreme Court to Avoid Reporting to Prison (ET)

Former Trump White House aide Peter Navarro on March 15 asked the Supreme Court to allow him to avoid reporting to prison for a contempt of Congress conviction as the matter is being appealed. His request came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit denied his request for release from prison pending appeal. Mr. Navarro revealed on March 10 that he was ordered to report to a Miami prison on March 19 for a four-month sentence. Mr. Navarro filed an emergency petition to Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday afternoon, arguing that his appeal “will raise a number of issues on appeal that he contends are likely to result in the reversal of his conviction, or a new trial.” “For the first time in our nation’s history, a senior presidential advisor has been convicted of contempt of Congress after asserting executive privilege over a congressional subpoena,” Mr. Navarro’s lawyers wrote.

“Navarro is indisputably neither a flight risk nor a danger to public safety should he be released pending appeal,” they added. Mr. Navarro was convicted in 2023 of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 select committee. His bid to stay out of prison while he appeals his conviction was turned down initially in February by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who found that the trade adviser to former President Donald Trump failed to pose any substantial questions of law in his motion. Mr. Navarro then asked an appeals court to overturn Judge Mehta’s ruling. In the decision on March 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected another bid.

“Appellant has not shown that his appeal presents substantial questions of law or fact likely to result in reversal, new trial, a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment, or a reduced sentence of imprisonment that is less than the amount of time already served plus the expected duration of the appeal process,” the court said. The Justice Department’s appellate filing echoed Judge Mehta’s claim that Mr. Navarro hadn’t provided sufficient evidence to the court that President Trump invoked executive privilege. In denying Mr. Navarro’s request for release, Judge Mehta stated that Mr. Navarro failed at an evidentiary hearing to carry his burden of establishing a formal claim of privilege.

“United States v. Peter Navarro is a landmark constitutional case that will eventually determine whether the constitutional separation of powers is preserved, whether executive privilege will continue to exist as a bulwark against partisan attacks by the legislative branch, and whether executive privilege will remain, as President George Washington pioneered, a critical instrument of effective presidential decision-making,” Mr. Navarro said in a statement to The Epoch Times. “That’s worth fighting for on behalf of all Americans.”

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Lemon is not a very smart man.

Don Lemon Made Crazy Demands Before Elon Musk Canned Him (NYP)

Don Lemon demanded the sun, the moon and the stars from the SpaceX boss – before being unceremoniously dumped this week, The Post has learned. The ex-CNN anchor sent over an astronomical wish list to Elon Musk during contract talks to host a show on the billionaire’s social media platform X – including a free Tesla Cybertruck, a $5 million upfront payment on top of an $8 million salary, an equity stake in the multibillion-dollar company, and the right to approve any changes in X policy as it relates to news content, according to a document reviewed by The Post. Lemon — who was expected to air an interview with Musk for next week’s debut episode on X — had also demanded a private jet flight to Las Vegas, a suite for him and his fiance, and that the company pay for their day drinking and massages, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

Musk agreed to do the interview with Lemon despite the fact that he was aware of some of Lemon’s outlandish demands, sources told The Post. The proposal reviewed by The Post was sent from Lemon’s agents at United Talent Agency to X’s leadership in December. The partnership was announced in January, but an X spokesperson told The Post that the company “did not have a final or signed agreement with Don Lemon or ‘The Don Lemon Show’” before Musk sat down for the explosive interview last week. Jay Sures, vice chairman at UTA, told The Post: “This is absolute, complete utter nonsense without an iota of truth to it.” Lemon was fired hours after the one-on-one sit-down, with Musk calling the anchor “dull” and “underwhelming.” The one-and-half hour grilling included testy exchanges about Musk’s political leanings, his past drug use and the site’s content moderation policy. It is scheduled to run on YouTube next week.

Lemon claimed on Wednesday that he was jettisoned by X because Musk reneged on his “free speech” pledge. Lemon’s discussions with the company began shortly after he was fired by CNN last April after a series of high-profile incidents, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. In an interview with veteran tech journalist Kara Swisher on Friday, Lemon claimed they held discussions over the summer in which the company threatened to fire him if he did not attend the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. CES, which was held earlier this year between Jan. 7 and 10, is one of the most highly anticipated events on the tech calendar as companies including X flock to the show in order to schmooze advertisers. A spokesperson for X called Lemon’s claim “a disingenuous lie.”

Lemon wanted to be flown to the convention with his longtime fiance on a private jet and be put up in a private suite, as well as for X to foot the bill for alcoholic beverages and massages that he and his fiance ordered during their stay at the Vdara, the MGM-run resort on the Las Vegas Strip, according to people familiar with the matter. The negotiations progressed after Musk brought former NBCUniversal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino on board as chief executive officer of X, sources said. But the talks stalled over Lemon’s extensive demands, which included executive assistants as well as a marketing budget that ranged from $10 million to $15 million, people with knowledge of the situation told The Post. A spokesperson for Lemon told The Post: “There is nothing in your list of demands that you claim Don made of X that is true. Literally nothing.”

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“The vast constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites will be able to track targets on the ground in real time nearly anywhere across the world..”

Musk Building Huge Spy Satellite Network – Reuters (RT)

Elon Musk’s secretive Starshield project will allow the US military and spies to track their targets and support American and allied ground forces in real time almost anywhere across the globe, Reuters has reported, sharing new details about the billionaire’s dealings with the Pentagon. SpaceX has been launching prototype military satellites alongside “civilian” payloads on Falcon 9 rockets since at least 2020, before eventually securing a lucrative $1.8 billion contract with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in 2021, Reuters wrote on Saturday, citing five unnamed sources familiar with the project. The vast constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites will be able to track targets on the ground in real time nearly anywhere across the world, the sources claimed. One of them boasted that Starshield would ensure “no one can hide” from the US government. Starshield also reportedly aims to be “more resilient to attacks” by rival space powers.

It remains unclear how many Starshield satellites are currently operational and when the sytem is expected to fully come online, with SpaceX and the Pentagon ignoring Reuters’ requests for comment. The NRO admitted that it is developing “the most capable, diverse, and resilient space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system the world has ever seen,” but refused to comment on SpaceX’s role in the project. The SpaceX CEO previously acknowledged the development of the military alternative to the “civilian” Starlink system, saying in September that it would be “owned by the US government” and controlled by the Department of Defense. “Starlink needs to be a civilian network, not a participant to combat,” Musk said, referring to the use of the satellites in Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia. Musk donated around 20,000 Starlink terminals to Ukraine shortly after Russia launched its military operation in February 2022. Since then, Kiev’s troops heavily relied on the system to maintain communications and operate combat drones along the front line.

While pledging support for Ukraine, Musk has repeatedly said he favors a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The billionaire has come under fire from US officials after refusing Kiev’s demands to use the Starlink network to aid strikes on Russia’s Black Sea fleet. In turn, Musk argued that activating Starlink in Crimea would be in breach of US sanctions. In the absence of any direct orders from the US leadership, SpaceX opted not to contravene regulations despite Kiev’s request to do so, the entrepreneur explained. Earlier this month, US lawmakers reportedly launched another probe into SpaceX, after Ukrainian claims that Russian troops allegedly used Starlink satellite service on the conflict frontline. Musk has denied the allegations, insisting that “no Starlinks have been sold directly or indirectly to Russia.” The Kremlin has also insisted that the Russian military has never ordered Starlink terminals.

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An overview can be handy, even if it’s BBC.

Where Donald Trump’s Four Criminal Trials Stand After More Delays (BBC)

New York document dump Mr Trump’s New York City trial on charges that his hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels constituted business fraud and violated federal campaign finance laws was scheduled a week from Monday, on 25 March. That’s no longer the case. The US justice department just turned over more than 73,000 pages of documents related to its own hush-money investigations that the Trump legal team had subpoenaed back in January. Another 15,000 pages are still expected. “Prosecutors have been stumbling a bit,” says John Coffee, a professor at Columbia University. He adds that the confusion and delays in producing documents make it seem as though the justice department and the New York district attorney’s office are feuding.

The former president’s lawyers requested a 30-day trial delay, which the New York prosecutors agreed not to block. That’s just the start, though. Mr Trump’s lawyers want hearings into why the documents, which include witness interviews, took so long to produce. They also want an additional delay for time to review the new evidence and prevent the trial from starting on Passover and, for good measure, a dismissal of the case entirely. Trial date: Originally scheduled for 25 March, on Friday it was delayed until April, at the earliest.

Fani’s choice After days of tense legal hearings, the judge presiding over the sprawling 2020 election-interference case against Mr Trump and 18 of his co-defendants issued his decision on whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can remain in charge of the prosecution. The answer is yes – but with a catch. Either she or Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she hired – and had a romantic relationship with – will have to step aside. Mr Wade resigned on Friday. Judge Scott McAfee said that there were “reasonable questions” about whether the two attorneys had testified untruthfully and an “appearance of impropriety” that had to be remedied.

While he ultimately concluded that evidence did not support removing the district attorney entirely, such language will provide plenty of ammunition for Mr Trump and his team to use in the court of public opinion, where they might be able to shape the views of prospective jurors. “Everybody here is likely to be influenced by the news coverage of the judge’s decision,” says Adrienne Jones, an assistant political science professor at Atlanta’s Morehouse College. “It’s not likely people are ignorant of what’s happening.” The judge’s announcement comes just a few days after he dismissed three of the 13 charges against the former president for being too vague. Prosecutors will have an opportunity to clarify and re-indict Mr Trump, however. Trial date: The prosecution has proposed an 5 August start.

Classified files slow-walk Down in Fort Pierce, Florida, Judge Aileen Cannon has been reviewing a series of attempts by Trump’s legal team to get the federal case against the president for obstruction of justice and mishandling classified documents dismissed. On Thursday, she rejected one of the motions – but she must decide on six others and seems in no big hurry to do so. She is also expected to issue a decision at some point on a schedule for when the trial will begin. At the moment, the start date is 20 May, but both the prosecution and Mr Trump’s teams have suggested pushing that back. Ms Cannon, who was appointed to the federal bench by the former president, is considering how to handle disclosure of the troves of classified documents that are part of the case, and any decision – or appeal of that decision – could lead to even more extensive delays. Trial date: Special Counsel Jack Smith has offered 8 July as a rescheduled start. Mr Trump’s lawyers have said that if the case isn’t pushed after the election entirely, the earliest they would be ready to begin is August.

Supreme Court limbo The biggest case against the former president, the federal prosecution for his role in the 6 January, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, is also the one that is in the most doubt. The US Supreme Court has agreed to review whether Mr Trump is immune from criminal prosecution for actions he took as president. The high court stepped in after two lower-level courts ruled that the trial could proceed. Last week, the court set oral arguments for the case on 25 April, and at this rate the justices may not issue a decision until the end of June, near the end of their formal session. Once the Supreme Court hands down its ruling, assuming it does not say that Mr Trump is immune, the judge presiding over the trial has estimated that it will take an additional 88 days to get ready for a trial. This all plays into Mr Trump’s primary legal strategy, which has been to push back all the legal cases against him for as long as possible and, if preferable, until after the November election. If he wins there, and returns to the presidency in January 2025, there are multiple ways he could make the federal cases against him disappear. “They are the masters of delay,” says Prof Jones. Trial date: Not scheduled and not expected anytime soon.

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Jim Carrey meets Jerry Lewis

 

 

Ibogaine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1769021393209856148

 

 

Elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768809775360577950

 

 

Dromedary

 

 

 

 

Shave

 

 

Percentages
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768867288512643563

 

 

Salt water

 

 

Sunset

 

 

Innocents
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768728247796216212

 

 

Baduanjin

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 162024
 


Edward Hopper The Circle Theater, New York 1936

 

Fani Willis Told To Break Up With Nathan Wade Or Trump Case Stalls Out (ZH)
Willis and the Ethical Option (Turley)
Boeing Whistleblower: ‘If Anything Happens to Me, It’s Not Suicide’ (MN)
EU Warns US About What Russian Victory In Ukraine Would Signify (RT)
German Ruling Party’s Top Legislator Calls For End To Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Macron Wants Crimea Seized From Russia (RT)
Western Troops In Ukraine: How A Big Lie Could Lead To The Biggest War (Amar)
The German-American Strategic Depth Clown Show (Pepe Escobar)
German Taurus Attack Plan Was Leaked By The US Air Force (Helmer)
Israeli Portrayal of Arabs Akin To Nazi Portrayal of Russians (Sp.)
Netanyahu Is Criminally Insane! A Serial Killer of Captive Children! (GR)
Israeli Causes ‘Complete Psychological Destruction’ of Gaza Children (CD)
Netanyahu Approves Rafah Operation Plan (RT)
Consequences Minus Truth (Kunstler)
Biden Team Mocked After They Stop Reporters From Communicating With POTUS (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lara
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768684033049862282

 

 

Nap Sachs


https://twitter.com/i/status/1768646268467708219

 

 

Clinton Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768479658415362142

 

 

RFK Jr

 

 

 

 

Disturbing

 

 

Epidemic of Fraud

 

 

 

 

Wade is gone. But the lies are not. Or the White House.

Fani Willis Told To Break Up With Nathan Wade Or Trump Case Stalls Out (ZH)

Update (1615ET): Hours after the judge in Trump’s Georgia election interference case issued an ultimatum to DA Fani Willis, her (ex) lover Nathan Wade has quit the case. As they say, the show must go on…

* * *
An Atlanta judge, who donated to Fani Willis when she was running for office, ruled on Friday that the highly conflicted Fulton County DA simply has to break up with her lover, Nathan Wade, who she hired to the tune of $600,000 to work on the Trump election interference case. If Willis dumps Wade the case can continue, according to Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton Superior Court, who also had the option of removing Willis over the giant conflict of interest which included lavish vacations with Wade that were effectively at the taxpayer’s expense. According to McAfee, while he found the “appearance of impropriety,” no “disqualification of a constitutional officer necessary when a less drastic and sufficiently remedial option is available,” adding “that the prosecution of this case cannot proceed until the State selects one of two options.” Either “the District Attorney may choose to step aside, along with the whole of her office,” or “Wade can withdraw.”

McAfee also found that there was no “actual conflict” brought about due to the relationship, a finding that would have required him to disqualify Willis. “This finding is by no means an indication that the Court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the District Attorney’s testimony during the evidentiary hearing. Rather, it is the undersigned’s opinion that Georgia law does not permit the finding of an actual conflict for simply making bad choices — even repeatedly — and it is the trial court’s duty to confine itself to the relevant issues and applicable law properly brought before it.” “Without sufficient evidence that the District Attorney acquired a personal stake in the prosecution, or that her financial arrangements had any impact on the case, the Defendants’ claims of an actual conflict must be denied,” he wrote. “As the case moves forward, reasonable members of the public could easily be left to wonder whether the financial exchanges have continued resulting in some form of benefit to the District Attorney, or even whether the romantic relationship has resumed.”

Willis and Wade – whose divorce from his wife has yet to be finalized, admitted to the affair, but were caught lying about when it started. While the decision is a blow to Trump and his co-defendants, this leaves Willis tainted by weeks of embarrassing hearings and national headlines that could influence the views of a jury. Trump and his co-defendants could also appeal McAfee’s ruling, as could Willis, which would further delay the case into the election – leaving the matter unresolved (and of course, leaving the question of Trump’s guilt an open question that the media would push daily during his 2nd term, should he win in November). McAfee’s decision comes two days after he quashed six charges in the case, three of which directly applied to Trump.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1768662185939448162

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“The defense removed the lead special prosecutor while leaving Willis carrying more baggage than Amtrak..”

Willis and the Ethical Option (Turley)

Many commentators reviewing the decision of Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to disqualify lead Special Counsel Nathan Wade but not Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis as “Solomonic” or “splitting the baby” in the Trump prosecution. Indeed, it was similar in all but one respect. The baby at issue before King Solomon survived. That whole point of the story was not to kill the baby but to see which of the two women loved the baby more. In the story from 1 Kings 3:16–28, two mothers claim the male child who Solomon declares that each can get one half. One mother immediately accepts while the second woman begs him to just give the first woman the child and not to kill him. Solomon immediately gives the second woman the child as clearly the mother who loves the baby. But if either Wade or Willis truly loved “their baby” — the case against Trump — they would have removed themselves weeks ago. Their personal controversies have derailed the case and mired the prosecution in scandal.

Ethically, this should not have been a difficult question. They should have stepped aside. That conclusion is more than evident in Judge McAfee’s decision, which shreds their claims on the stand and outside of the courthouse. The court describes Willis’s controversial speech at a church as “’playing the race card . . . to cast racial aspersions at an indicted Defendant’s decision to file this pretrial motion.” He hammers Willis for her lack of professional judgment and stresses, with perhaps an unintentional pun, that “providing this type of public comment creates dangerous waters for the District Attorney to wade further into.” Judge McAfee also indicates that the testimony of Wade failed to resolve questions of filing false statements to a prior court and that his testimony on when the relationship began stood contradicted. McAfee has done a fair job throughout the case. Moreover, he makes a valid point when he notes that this evidence does not establish a strong basis for claiming that the case was brought or pursued due to this relationship or possible financial gain.

Indeed, the purpose of this case was not personal but political. While the indictments contain some valid criminal charges, they are largely minor offenses like unlawful access to voting areas. The overall racketeering claim used to ensnarl Trump is forced and weak. The problem is that the Court casts doubt on Wade’s testimony on the relationship, but ignores that Willis effectively ratified those claims in her own testimony. Willis and Wade are both prosecuting people for the very same conduct of filing false statements with courts and making false statements. The two lawyers testified in tandem but only one was disqualified. McAfee is no Solomon in this decision. He splits the accused to avoid making the harder decision. If he disqualified Willis, he would have likely have had to disqualify her entire office. That would throw the entire case (and certainly the pre-election schedule) into doubt. So he left her with the choice:

“The prosecution of this case cannot proceed until the State selects one of two options. The District Attorney may choose to step aside, along with the whole of her office, and refer the prosecution to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council for reassignment. Alternatively, SADA Wade can withdraw, allowing the District Attorney, the Defendants, and the public to move forward without his presence or remuneration distracting from and potentially compromising the merits of this case.” He is leaving Wade with no choice at all beyond an appeal. However, Willis will be allowed to place her own interests as the overriding purpose of the prosecution. In some ways, it is a result that should please no one other than Donald Trump. The defense removed the lead special prosecutor while leaving Willis carrying more baggage than Amtrak. It does not, however, serve the interests of justice. Willis will now prosecute defendants for false statements as her own questionable testimony is likely to be investigated by the state and the bar.

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Just yesterday, another panel blew off a plane mid air.

Boeing Whistleblower: ‘If Anything Happens to Me, It’s Not Suicide’ (MN)

The Boeing whistleblower who supposedly killed himself reportedly told a close family friend not to believe it if it was announced he had committed suicide. 62-year-old John Barnett died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Charleston County coroner’s office in South Carolina said earlier this week. Barnett had previously raised concerns about the company’s production issues having worked for the company for 32 years before leaving in 2017. According to his attorneys, Barnett had “exposed very serious safety problems with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and was retaliated against and subjected to a hostile work environment” and was in the middle of a legal deposition against Boeing. “He was in very good spirits and really looking forward to putting this phase of his life behind him and moving on. We didn’t see any indication he would take his own life. No one can believe it,” said the attorneys.

It now turns out Barnett was telling close friends not to believe it if he supposedly committed suicide. After family friend Jennifer asked Barnett if he was concerned for his safety, the former quality manager was emphatic. “Aren’t you scared?” asked Jennifer. “And he said, ‘No, I ain’t scared, but if anything happens to me, it’s not suicide.’” “I know that he did not commit suicide. There’s no way. He loved life too much. He loved his family too much. He loved his brothers too much to put them through what they’re going through right now,” she added. According to the family friend, somebody, presumably representing Boeing, “didn’t like what he had to say” and wanted to “shut him up” without it coming back to anyone. “That’s why they made it look like a suicide,” Jennifer said, who last saw the whistleblower in late February. Barnett’s attorneys said they’re still prepared to go forward with the case in June.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1768517997285482626

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“For us it is a matter of life and death; for [the US] it’s a matter of improving their tactical position [globally and in Europe]..”

EU Warns US About What Russian Victory In Ukraine Would Signify (RT)

A Ukrainian loss to Russia would hurt Washington’s credibility as a security provider, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell warned during a trip to America. Kiev can’t wait for the presidential election in the US to get more aid, he added. Borrell spoke to the press in Washington on Thursday, after meeting senior US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He said his message was that Ukraine badly needed the additional assistance which was currently blocked in the US House. “The next months will be decisive. Many analysts expect a major Russian offensive this summer and Ukraine cannot wait until the result of the next US elections,” Brussels’ top diplomat said.

A Russian victory in the conflict “will have enormous repercussions for America and for the system of alliances built around the US and Europe,” he added. Should that happen, “no country could be sure anymore” that Washington would “come to help any ally” under attack. Since Ukraine is not a NATO member, the US is not bound by any obligation to defend it. US President Joe Biden has pledged to help it fight Russia for “as long as it takes” to prevail. Last year, Ukrainian forces attempted to launch a major counteroffensive using Western-donated heavy weaponry, but failed to score any significant territorial gains.

Amid Kiev’s battlefield failures, the issue of continued aid has become embroiled in US partisan politics. The Republican-controlled House has blocked Biden’s request for an additional $60 billion in assistance, with speaker Mike Johnson arguing that the White House was unable to present a convincing strategy for achieving victory in Ukraine. Borrell pledged the EU’s continued military support for Kiev, but said the US needed to pull its weight too. Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as a US-led proxy war against Russia and has stated that it is risking far more than the West. “For us it is a matter of life and death; for [the US] it’s a matter of improving their tactical position [globally and in Europe],” President Vladimir Putin reiterated in an interview this week.

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“Isn’t it about time we talked not only about how one wages a war, but also thought about how one can freeze and later also end a war.”

German Ruling Party’s Top Legislator Calls For End To Ukraine Conflict (RT)

It is about time Germany shifted its deliberations toward winding down, freezing and ending the Ukraine conflict, the head of the ruling Social Democratic Party in the German parliament has argued. Rolf Mutzenich also defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s staunch refusal to provide log-range Taurus missiles to Kiev. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is open to peace negotiations in principle. Earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was “ready for serious negotiations” that would be based on today’s “realities” and include “security guarantees for the Russian Federation.” Speaking in the Bundestag on Thursday after lawmakers voted against arming Ukraine with Taurus rockets, Mutzenich said: “Isn’t it about time we talked not only about how one wages a war, but also thought about how one can freeze and later also end a war.”

He also criticized those in the ruling ‘traffic light’ coalition, which also encompasses the Green and Free Democratic parties, who oppose Chancellor Scholz’s stance on potential Taurus missile deliveries. Mutzenich charged that “all sense of measure is gone within the coalition.” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who called on her government on Monday to “intensively consider” the potential delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, shook her head and was visibly displeased when she heard these statements, local media have reported. The opposition Christian Democratic Party rebuked the head of the SPD bloc in parliament, with one lawmaker dismissing the suggestion of freezing the conflict as “unbelievable.” Andrey Melnik, who served as Ukraine’s ambassador to Berlin between 2015 and late 2022, also chimed in.

The diplomat, known for his controversial remarks and the use of obscene language when addressing German officials, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he has “always said: this guy was and remains the most obnoxious German politician. Forever and ever,” referring to Mutzenich. Addressing lawmakers on Wednesday, Chancellor Scholz insisted that the delivery of Taurus missiles was “a line that I don’t want to cross as chancellor.” He explained that such a shipment would inevitably require the presence of German military personnel on Ukrainian soil – a development that is “out of the question.” While Kiev has been asking Berlin to supply the rockets for months, German authorities have stressed that the weapon’s long range would enable it to strike targets deep inside Russia, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, potentially exacerbating the conflict.

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WWIII.

Macron Wants Crimea Seized From Russia (RT)

Ukraine must regain control over all the territories it once held, including Russia’s Crimean Peninsula, French President Emmanuel Macron has said. Otherwise, no “lasting peace” will be possible, he claimed. The president made the remarks on Thursday in an interview with broadcasters TF2 and France 2, bluntly describing Russia as France’s “adversary.” At the same time, he insisted that Paris has not been “waging war on Russia” but merely “supporting” Kiev in the conflict. “Certainly, today, Russia is an adversary. The Kremlin regime is an adversary,” Macron stated. “We are doing everything so that it can put Russia in check because, I will tell you very simply, there is no lasting peace if there is no sovereignty, a return to the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, including Crimea.”

The latest remarks by the French president got a cold reception in Russia, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stating that Macron apparently “won’t mind increasing the degree of his involvement” in Russia-Ukraine hostilities. “Yes, it’s obvious that Russia is an adversary of France because France is already involved in the war in Ukraine; it is indirectly taking part in this war,” Peskov told reporters. The French president has produced increasingly belligerent statements lately, standing by the remarks he made late in February, that a potential deployment of NATO troops into Ukraine cannot be “excluded.” The remarks prompted a wave of denial from fellow members of the US-led bloc. In this latest interview, Macron refused to elaborate on the matter, claiming he wanted to maintain “strategic ambiguity” and that he has “reasons not to be precise.”

Macron’s remarks echo the position repeatedly voiced by the top Ukrainian leadership, which proclaimed the goal of seizing from Russia all the territories that ended up being held by Kiev following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Crimea broke away from Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, promptly rejoining Russia after a peninsula-wide referendum. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics emerged this year as well, with the botched attempt of Kiev’s new authorities to suppress them by force resulting in years-long conflict in then-Ukrainian Donbass. The two republics, as well as the formerly Ukrainian Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, were incorporated into Russia in late 2022 after the idea was overwhelmingly backed by locals in referendums separately held in each territory. Moscow has repeatedly signaled that its sovereignty over Crimea and any other Russian territories is not a subject to negotiation with anyone.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1768560179971285313

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“..the fall now is only a matter of time – and not much time at that..”

Western Troops In Ukraine: How A Big Lie Could Lead To The Biggest War (Amar)

The current situation in the conflict between Ukraine – serving (while being demolished) as a proxy for the West – and Russia, can be sketched in three broad strokes. First, Russia now clearly has the upper hand on the battlefield and could potentially accelerate its recent advances to achieve an overall military victory soon. The West is being compelled to recognize this fact: as Foreign Affairs put it, in an article titled “Time is Running Out in Ukraine,” Kiev and its Western supporters “are at a critical decision point and face a fundamental question: How can further Russian advances… be stopped, and then reversed?” Just disregard the bit of wishful thinking thrown in at the end to sweeten the bitter pill of reality. The key point is the acknowledgment that it is crunch time for the West and Ukraine – in a bad way.

Second, notwithstanding the above, Ukraine is not yet ready to ask for negotiations to end the war on terms acceptable to Russia, which would be less than easy for Kiev. (Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, reiterated in an important recent interview that Moscow remains principally open to talks, not on the basis of “wishful thinking” but, instead, proceeding from the realities “on the ground.”) The Kiev regime’s inflexibility is little wonder. Since he jettisoned a virtually complete – and favorable – peace deal in the spring of 2022, President Vladimir Zelensky has gambled everything on an always improbable victory. For him personally, as well as his core team (at least), there is no way to survive – politically or physically – the catastrophic defeat they have brought on their country by leasing it out as a pawn to the Washington neocon strategy.

The Pope, despite the phony brouhaha he triggered in Kiev and the West, was right: a responsible Ukrainian leadership ought to negotiate. But that’s not the leadership Ukraine has. Not yet at least. Third, the West’s strategy is getting harder to decipher because, in essence, the West cannot figure out how to adjust to the failure of its initial plans for this war. Russia has not been isolated; its military has become stronger, not weaker – and the same is true of its economy, including its arms industry. And last but not least, the Russian political system’s popular legitimacy and effective control has neither collapsed nor even frayed. As, again, even Foreign Affairs admits, “Putin would likely win a fair election in 2024.” That’s more than could be said for, say, Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, Olaf Scholz, or Emmanuel Macron (as for Zelensky, he has simply canceled the election).

In other words, the West is facing not only Ukraine’s probable defeat, but also its own strategic failure. The situation, while not a direct military rout (as in Afghanistan in 2021) amounts to a severe political setback. In fact, this looming Western failure is a historic debacle in the making. Unlike with Afghanistan, the West will not be able to simply walk away from the mess it has made in Ukraine. This time, the geopolitical blowback will be fierce and the costs very high. Instead of isolating Russia, the West has isolated itself, and by losing, it will show itself weakened. It is one thing to have to finally, belatedly accepted that the deceptive “unipolar” moment of the 1990s has been over for a long time. It is much worse to gratuitously enter the new multipolar order with a stunning, avoidable self-demotion. Yet that is what the EU/NATO-West has managed to fabricate from its needless over-extension in Ukraine. Hubris there has been galore, the fall now is only a matter of time – and not much time at that.

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“..Liver Sausage Chancellor Scholz and his Totalenkrieg Minister Pistorius learned about the Taurus plan no less than four months later..”

The German-American Strategic Depth Clown Show (Pepe Escobar)

The Four Stooges saga of Bundeswehr officers plotting to blow up the Kerch bridge in Crimea with Taurus missiles and getting away with it is a gift that keeps on giving. President Putin, in his comprehensive interview to Dmitry Kiselev for Russia 1/RIA Novosti, did not fail to address it: “They are fantasizing, encouraging themselves, first of all. Secondly, they are trying to intimidate us. As for the Federal Republic of Germany, there are constitutional problems there. They correctly say: if these Taurus hit that part of the Crimean Bridge, which, of course, even according to their concepts, is Russian territory, this is a violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany.” Yet it gets curioser and curioser. When the transcript of the Taurus leak was published by RT, everyone was able to hear Brigadier General Frank Gräfe – head of operations of the German Air Force – speaking with Lieutenant Colonel Fenske from the German Space Command Air Operations on the plan to deploy Taurus systems in Ukraine.

A key point is that during the plotting, these two mention that plans were already discussed “four months ago” with “Schneider”, the successor of “Wilsbach”. Well, these are German names, of course. Thus it did not dawn on anyone that (Kevin) Schneider and (Kenneth) Wilsbach could instead be… Americans. Yet that did raise the eyebrows of German investigative journalist Dirk Pohlmann – who I had the pleasure to meet in Berlin years ago – and his fellow researcher Tobias Augenbraun. They found out that the German-sounding names did identify Americans. Not only that: none less than the former and the current Commanders of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces. The Four (actually Six) Stooges element gets an extra boost when it is established that Liver Sausage Chancellor Scholz and his Totalenkrieg Minister Pistorius learned about the Taurus plan no less than four months later.

So here apparently we have a clear cut case of top German military officers taking direct orders regarding an attack on Crimea – part of the Russian Federation – directly from American officers in the Pacific Air Forces. That in itself opens the dossier to a large spectrum ranging from national treason (against Germany) to casus belli (from the point of view of Russia). Of course none of that is being discussed on German mainstream media. After all, the only thing that seems to disturb Brigadier General Gräfe is that German media may start seriously prying on the Bundeswehr’s Multiple Stooges methods. The only ones who actually did proper investigation were Pohlmann and Augenbaun. It would be too much to expect from German media of the “Bild” type to analyze what would be the Russian response to the Multiple Stooge shenanigans against Crimea: a devastating retaliation against Berlin assets.

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And the story keeps on giving…

German Taurus Attack Plan Was Leaked By The US Air Force (Helmer)

A little bird has materialized to sing that the record of the German generals discussing their plan to attack Russian targets with the Taurus missile was intercepted and leaked to the Russians by the Americans.A big bird, actually. The telephone conference of German Luftwaffe chief General Ingo Gerhartz (lead image, left), one of his staff generals, and two Luftwaffe lieutenant-colonels on February 19 was listened to by US signals intelligence after the first meeting the Germans had with a new regional US Air Force (USAF) commander, General Kevin Schneider; Schneider took command of the USAF Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) on February 9 after two and a half years in a senior staff post at the Pentagon under General Charles Brown Jr. Brown was promoted from USAF chief to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on October 1, 2023. When Schneider left Brown’s staff, he took a promotion from lieutenant general to four-star general.

Schneider has never flown or staffed USAF operations against Russia. He was in Singapore for the bi-annual Singapore Air Show to demonstrate what the USAF press office called “the opportunity to sharpen ties with Singapore, demonstrate flexible aircraft capability, enable engagement with foreign partners, and expand power projection.” His agenda of meetings with other country airforce officers is classified. Intelligence coverage of the airshow proceedings by the US, Russia, and China was especially intense because of the participation in the show of aircraft from the warfighting states. Russia, which has participated actively in past Singapore airshows, did not participate officially this time. The allegation that the Gerhartz teleconference was intercepted by the Russians originated from the Germans and British, and has been amplified in US and NATO media. The first Russian report that it was US intelligence which picked up the call and then leaked it, appeared in Moscow on March 4.

What has now surfaced is the audio record and transcript of the first minutes of the teleconference, before Gerhartz came on the line. In these five minutes, much more has been revealed by the three German officers than has been published by RT in Moscow on March 1, when the audio record and transcript began with Gerhartz’s appearance. [..] The publication date is March 1. The voices recorded at the beginning are those of Captain Hergang, who introduced and managed the teleconference from Germany; Luftwaffe Brigadier General Frank Graefe, speaking in his Singapore hotel room and describing what he could see out his hotel window; Luftwaffe Lieutenant Colonel Udo Fenske and Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Florstedt, who are speaking from Germany. A report and transcript in German, auto-translated into English, was published by Tobias Augenbraun in Dirk Pohlmann’s internet platform Free21 on March 8.

The interpretation of the additional evidence by Augenbraun and Pohlmann is that “apparently, the plans were already presented to [USAF] General [Kevin] Wilsbach in October 2023, which are also the subject of further discussion… This is astonishing for the following reason: All the rest of the conversation is about how to bring Taurus closer to the Minister of Defense, Boris Pistorius… How can it be that top German generals have already presented these plans to a US general, a full 4 months… before talking about how to discuss these plans with Boris Pistorius (Minister of Defense). Something seems to have gone badly wrong with the order here. Is it normal to first talk to generals from other countries before initiating your own defense minister? Who is in charge in Germany? Is the military out of control?”

Augenbraun and Pohlmann believe the German operational plan discussed with Wilsbach last October was the Gerhartz missile attack on Russia, and that the German Defense Ministry and the Chancellery were unaware of it at the time. This interpretation has been amplified in a report by a Brazilian who claims “here apparently we have a clear cut case of top German military officers taking direct orders regarding an attack on Crimea – part of the Russian Federation – directly from American officers in the Pacific Air Forces.”

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“The Jews experienced pogroms and real persecution and atrocities by the Nazis, but [Israel is] doing the same thing now, and they can’t see that.”

Israeli Portrayal of Arabs Akin To Nazi Portrayal of Russians (Sp.)

Days after the Hamas surprise attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, Israeli Defense Minister said they were fighting “human animals” and called for a “complete siege” on the Gaza strip. “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and will act accordingly,” he said. The language Israeli officials are using to describe Palestinians and other Arab peoples seems ripped out of the Nazi propaganda playbook, journalist and managing editor of Covert Action Magazine Jeremy Kuzmarov told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Thursday. “The Jews experienced pogroms and real persecution and atrocities by the Nazis, but [Israel is] doing the same thing now, and they can’t see that. They’re using dehumanizing language. That’s the language of genocides… that’s what I heard out of Israeli leaders,” Kuzmarov asserted.

“How [Nazis] portrayed the Russians when they invaded Russia… as these Salvs, subhuman animals. That’s how they could carry out these horrific atrocities on the eastern front… The exact quote [from Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant] ‘human animals’ could have come from a Nazi official talking about the Russians.” The reason this can go on while Israel still receives significant, though decreasing, support from the US population comes from a lack of historical knowledge, Kuzmarov argued. “We see this phenomenon in the US. The media is so biased and the education system conditions people to think in certain ways. In the Israeli context, they are cut off from the true nature of history. They view Israel as this proud nation that had to fight off all these hostile forces. They don’t consider the history of the Nakba, or the Six-Day War,” Kuzmarov explained, comparing it to the conflict in Ukraine.

“Americans were never told the backstory of how the US interfered in Ukraine… they just thought “oh, Putin is a madman. He woke up one day to take over Ukraine’ and they didn’t have any knowledge that the CIA set up bases in Ukraine for years and they were provoking the Russians and attacking the people of eastern Ukraine.” During the conversation, show host Ted Rall noted the breaking news that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a statement saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “lost his way” and called for a new leadership in Israel. “He’s been a staunch supporter of military aid to Israel as well as Ukraine, so it’s coming a bit late in the game for him,” Kuzmarov recalled. “On the other hand, it is pretty significant that somebody in his position would make those kinds of statements. It goes to show [that] Netanyahu has totally lost. Even his own allies are turning against him because he’s just gone way too far.”

But Schumer’s words, as with US President Joe Biden’s recent comments distancing himself from Netanyahu, must be backed up with action to be taken seriously, Kuzmarov said. “We have Democratic Party politicians who may be conscious of public opinion [with] an election coming up in November,” he began. “So, they’re making certain public statements but we’ve never seen any overtures towards actually cutting off that money.” Kuzmarov thinks that is unlikely because US “foreign policy elites” depend on Israel to act as an American proxy in the region. “Schumer and Biden and the corporate Democrats are pro-imperialists and committed to Americans expanding or entrenching American power in the Middle East and accessing Middle Eastern oil. Whatever public statements they make, I don’t know that they’ll actually carry out any concrete action against Israel. If they did, that would be amazing to see, but my prediction is that they won’t.”

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“..there are more than a few Israelis, even rabbis, who are led to believe genocide can be God’s will..”

Netanyahu Is Criminally Insane! A Serial Killer of Captive Children! (GR)

Benjamin Netanyahu, as the Prime Minister of State of Israel, has commanded the murder, maiming and starving to death 31,000 captive Palestinians under Israel’s Illegal Military Occupation by his four months long orders for Israel’s air forces to continuously bomb and air strike Israel’s illegally military occupied Palestinian territory of Gaza, and by his orders blocking food, water, electricity, fuel and medicine from entering Gaza. Jan 30th Satellite data analysis showed the extent of the destruction. The analysis suggests between 144,000 and 175,000 buildings across the whole Gaza Strip had been destroyed or damaged already six weeks before this writing. That was already between 50% and 61% of Gaza’s buildings. As of March 5th, 70% of homes in Gaza are thought to be destroyed. Soon after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, Israel (read Netanyahu) blocked entry of all food, water, fuel, medicine and other supplies into Gaza.

Under U.S. pressure, Netanyahu began to allow a trickle of aid trucks to enter from Egypt at the Rafah crossing, and in December opened one crossing from Israel into southern Gaza. Only someone criminally insane would starve children to death — if we hear of someone starving a child, don’t we call the police? Where is everyone? Especially in the global south where murderous colonialism is remembered? At this writing a total of 13,430 children have been killed in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli airstrikes and ground operations ordered by criminally insane Prime Minister Netanyahu since Oct. 7. What is more precious than the life of a child and why hasn’t Netanyahu been stopped taking already 13,500 children’s lives?

It noted that 8,900 women were killed over the course of 150 days, adding that 7,000 people, 70% of whom are women and children, are still under the rubble or missing. Only a racist madman would continue ordering thousands the deaths of thousands of women along with their children. The Gaza media office said that 364 health personnel and 132 journalists also lost their lives during the period. So it’s kill, kill everyone! And nobody says much about it. Warning against a growing famine in Gaza, the Gaza Media Office said Israeli military has prevented the entry of food and aid supplies and has even targeted aid vehicles trying to reach the region, causing the deaths of dozens of people looking for food for their families.[4]

Under International Humanitarian Law, “the occupying power must ensure the humane treatment of the population and provide for their basic needs, including food and medical care.” Netanyahu has had the Israeli military push 85% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN. Israel not Netanyahu stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Nations cannot be prosecuted. Individual perpetrators of crimes must be prosecuted. “Whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.” [Article IV Convention on Genocide.] That is an obligation of international customary law and therefore, binding on all States, whether or not they have ratified the Genocide Convention. Article II reads, “Genocide means acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

Unfortunately, there are more than a few Israelis, even rabbis, who are led to believe genocide can be God’s will. Deuteronomy 2:16: “You must not let any living thing survive among the cities of these people the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.” Genesis 15:18: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.” 1 Samuel 15:3: “… and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling” [Standard Bible]

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“..she “wouldn’t even say that their mental health has deteriorated—it’s been obliterated..”

Israeli Causes ‘Complete Psychological Destruction’ of Gaza Children (CD)

In addition to killing, maiming, and forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children, Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza has wrought tremendous psychological damage upon kids in the embattled strip, as detailed by a Save the Children report published Tuesday. The charity’s report—entitled Trapped and Scarred: The Compounding Mental Harm Inflicted on Palestinian Children in Gaza—examines how “five months of violence, displacement, starvation, and disease on top of nearly 17 years of a blockade have caused relentless mental harm to children in Gaza.” Jason Lee, Save the Children’s country director for the occupied Palestinian territory, said in a statement that “it is unacceptable that any child should contend with the horrors that those in Gaza have lived through. While dodging bombs and bullets, fleeing through streets littered with debris and corpses, being forced to sleep in the open air, and going without the basic food and clean water they need to survive, children in Gaza are going through a period of mass-scale shock and grief.”

“Children in Gaza were already living with unimaginable distress following 16 years of blockade and successive escalations in violence,” Lee added. “This war and the physical and mental scars it is leaving on children is further eroding their resilience.” One mother of four children aged 7-14 told Save the Children that she “wouldn’t even say that their mental health has deteriorated—it’s been obliterated. Complete psychological destruction.” Another Gaza mother said: “Our children have already lived through different wars. They already lacked resilience and now it’s very difficult to cope. The children are scared, angry, and can’t stop crying. Even many adults do the same. This is too much for adults to cope with, let alone children.” Waseem, a father, said that “children here have seen everything. They’ve seen the bombs, the deaths, the bodies—we can’t pretend to them anymore. Now they understand and have seen everything. Now, my son can even tell what types of explosives are falling—he can hear the difference.”

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, Gaza is “the world’s most dangerous place to be a child,” as more than 13,000 Palestinian minors have been killed, and many thousands more wounded, by Israeli attacks and hundreds of thousands of children are among the approximately 2 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million people who have been forcibly displaced by Israel’s bombardment and invasion. Palestinian youth who survive Israel’s bombs and bullets face rampant disease and hunger that’s now killing not only infants and children but also teens and elderly adults as Israeli soldiers and civilians alike continue to block lifesaving aid from entering Gaza. U.N. experts say Israel’s forced starvation of Gazans is a genocidal act of the kind Israel was ordered to prevent in the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) January 26 preliminary ruling in response to South African-led allegations of Israeli genocide.

Many surviving Palestinian children have lost one or both parents. Some have lost entire families. A new acronym has even been coined to describe some of these orphans: WCNSF, or “wounded child, no surviving family.” Around 1,000 of those wounds required the amputation of one or more of a child’s limbs. Due to a lack of medication caused by Israel’s siege, many little arms and legs have been sawed off without anesthesia. Screams and prayers fill the air of makeshift operating rooms, as Israel’s relentless onslaught has obliterated Gaza’s hospitals, clinics, and healthcare infrastructure. Sometimes, even survivor stories have tragic endings, as in the case of Dunia Abu Mohsen, a 12-year-old who first lost one of her legs, her parents, and two siblings in an Israeli airstrike, and then her life when an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tank fired a shell at the hospital in which she was recovering. Or 2-year-old Kareem Abu Zaid, who survived three different Israeli airstrikes that killed close relatives including his mother and sister before he was killed in a fourth IDF strike.

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More children.

Netanyahu Approves Rafah Operation Plan (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the latest truce and prisoner-exchange proposal by Hamas and has approved an IDF plan to launch an operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israeli media reported on Friday. ”The IDF is prepared for the operation and to evacuate the [civilian] population,” the PM’s office said in a statement, as cited by the Times of Israel. Earlier in the day, Hamas announced on social media that it had presented its “vision” of a prisoner swap with Israel to Qatari and Egyptian mediators and was looking towards a ceasefire agreement which would involve the withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces from Gaza. As reported by Reuters, which has seen the proposal, the Palestinian militants proposed the release of Israeli women, including female soldiers, children, the elderly and ill hostages, in exchange for Israel freeing between 700 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Once the prisoner exchange is complete, Hamas said it would be ready to negotiate a date for a permanent ceasefire.

The Jewish state, however, dismissed the proposal and accused Hamas of making “unrealistic demands. On Thursday, Netanyahu also reiterated Israel’s determination to complete its mission of “eliminating” Hamas. Israel’s decision to proceed with a ground incursion into Rafah comes after repeated warnings from the international community, including the US and Egypt, not to enter the city where some 1.5 million Palestinians are currently sheltering. After Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israeli settlements last October 7, which saw 1,100 people killed and 250 taken hostage, Israel has been conducting a relentless siege on Gaza. According to the latest information from Palestinian health authorities, at least 31,341 people have been killed and 73,134 others injured in Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in the enclave over the past half a year.

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“People crave trust in others, because God is found there.” — Dom de Bailleul

Consequences Minus Truth (Kunstler)

The rewards of civilization have come to seem rather trashy in these bleak days of late empire; so, why even bother pretending to be civilized? This appears to be the ethos driving our politics and culture now. But driving us where? Why, to a spectacular sort of crack-up, and at warp speed, compared to the more leisurely breakdown of past societies that arrived at a similar inflection point where Murphy’s Law replaced the rule of law. The US Military Academy at West point decided to “upgrade” its mission statement this week by deleting the phrase Duty, Honor, Country that summarized its essential moral orientation. They replaced it with an oblique reference to “Army Values,” without spelling out what these values are, exactly, which could range from “embrace the suck” to “charlie foxtrot” to “FUBAR” — all neatly applicable to our country’s current state of perplexity and dread.

Are you feeling more confident that the US military can competently defend our country? Probably more like the opposite, because the manipulation of language is being used deliberately to turn our country inside-out and upside-down. At this point we probably could not successfully pacify a Caribbean island if we had to, and you’ve got to wonder what might happen if we have to contend with countless hostile subversive cadres who have slipped across the border with the estimated nine-million others ushered in by the government’s welcome wagon.

Momentous events await. This Monday, the Supreme Court will entertain oral arguments on the case Missouri, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., et al. The integrity of the First Amendment hinges on the decision. Do we have freedom of speech as set forth in the Constitution? Or is it conditional on how government officials feel about some set of circumstances? At issue specifically is the government’s conduct in coercing social media companies to censor opinion in order to suppress so-called “vaccine hesitancy” and to manipulate public debate in the 2020 election. Government lawyers have argued that they were merely “communicating” with Twitter, Facebook, Google, and others about “public health disinformation and election conspiracies.”

You can reasonably suppose that this was our government’s effort to disable the truth, especially as it conflicted with its own policy and activities — from supporting BLM riots to enabling election fraud to mandating dubious vaccines. Former employees of the FBI and the CIA were directly implanted in social media companies to oversee the carrying-out of censorship orders from their old headquarters. The former general counsel (top lawyer) for the FBI, James Baker, slid unnoticed into the general counsel seat at Twitter until Elon Musk bought the company late in 2022 and flushed him out. The so-called Twitter Files uncovered by indy reporters Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and others, produced reams of emails from FBI officials nagging Twitter execs to de-platform people and bury their dissent. You can be sure these were threats, not mere suggestions.

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“..He’s praying to god, jeebus and all the saints that Joe doesn’t malfunction..”

Biden Team Mocked After They Stop Reporters From Communicating With POTUS (Sp.)

US voters have repeatedly expressed doubt about Joe Biden’s physical and mental competence to perform his duties, especially in light of the upcoming presidential election in the country. Twitter users have lashed out a “horrible incident”, in which US President Joe Biden’s press office staff quickly removed the press when POTUS said he would take questions at a campaign event in Saginaw, Michigan. “They not even trying to hide it anymore that he can only speak when he has a script in front of him,” one user wrote in a post. Another user pointed out that the 46th US president “looked totally lost and beyond feeble in Michigan” and that “his handlers knew they had to get people away ASAP.” “All you need to do is look at Blinken’s face when Joe speaks anywhere near a camera. That face says it all. He’s praying to god, jeebus and all the saints that Joe doesn’t malfunction. Less stressful to just shut him off from the press,” one more web surfer noted, referring to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Other users wrote that Biden’s team is “afraid to let the man talk as they should be” and that they “already know anytime Biden speaks it’s going to be bad.” At Biden’s campaign stop in Michigan, the US president visited a Victorian mansion owned by members of the Saginaw City Council and Saginaw Public Schools Board of Education. POTUS stood on the porch at the mansion with his back to reporters and could be heard saying, “Can I take a couple questions?” However, members of Biden’s team immediately started raising their arms and walking to journalists, loudly repeating, “Thank you, press, back to the cars.” The incident comes as the 81-year-old Biden faces serious questions about his age and mental acuity as he continues his campaign. The latest NBC News national poll showed that at least three-quarters of voters, including half of Democrats, admit that they have concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health, which could prevent him from running.

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Cats

 

 

Reindeer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768648115421409515

 

 

Liquor

 

 

Hugs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768683237864292821

 

 

Arctic fox

 

 

Steller’s sea eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768577126528094523

 

 

Baby rhino

 

 

Octopus

 

 

Sardines

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 312023
 
 July 31, 2023  Posted by at 9:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »


Henri Gervex Rolla 1878

 

Nuclear War No Worse Than Climate Change – Blinken (RT)
DOJ Tries To Jail Key Hunter Biden Witness Devon Archer (NYP)
Elon Musk Says Russia, Ukraine Should Start ‘Turning Other Cheek’ (Sp.)
Zelensky Frustrated Over Downing of US-Made HIMARS Missiles by Russia (Sp.)
UK Training Elite Ukrainian Force To Seize Crimea Before Christmas (RT)
Veteran US Army Officer Sizes Up Russia’s Naval Power Against US, China (Sp.)
Germany May Face Irreversible Deindustrialization – CDU Chair (Sp.)
Ye Restored To X (RT)
‘Facebook Files’ Show Biden Admin Even Targeted Jokes For Censorship (Turley)
Former US President Trump Spends $40 Million On Legal Fees (Az.)

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1685608840748789760

 

 

Trump ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idiot.

Nuclear War No Worse Than Climate Change – Blinken (RT)

The threat of nuclear annihilation is no more serious than the threat of climate change, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed. Blinken’s critics argue that Washington is risking nuclear war by arming Ukraine. In an appearance on 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday, Blinken was asked whether nuclear war or climate change represented “the greater threat to humanity.”“Well, you can’t, I think, have a hierarchy,” he replied. “There are some things that are front and center…including potential conflict, but there’s no doubt that climate represents an existential challenge to all of us.” “So for us, this is the existential challenge of our times,” he continued, adding that this “doesn’t mean that in the meantime there are not severe challenges to the international order like Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

With July set to go down as the hottest month in history, the UN has called for “accelerated action” to reduce carbon emissions, including a global end to coal use by 2040. Earlier this summer, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry demanded an overhaul of the world’s agricultural system to reduce carbon emissions from farming in a bid to avert “half a degree of warming by mid-century.” In Ukraine, however, President Joe Biden’s administration continues its policy of open-ended support for Kiev’s military. The US and its NATO allies have armed Ukraine with long-range missiles and are currently discussing the supply of American-made fighter jets to Kiev, amid repeated warnings from Moscow that such weapons dramatically raise the chances of an all-out war between Russia and the West.

Kiev’s forces have also made repeated attempts to target Russian nuclear power plants, the Kremlin warned earlier this month, accusing Ukraine and its sponsors of “nuclear terrorism.” In the US, warnings about the imminent threat of nuclear conflict have primarily come from the isolationist wing of the Republican Party. Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former President Donald Trump have been two of the loudest voices calling for an end to the US’ support for Kiev, with Trump declaring in April that the world was facing “the most dangerous period” in history because of nuclear weapons and “incompetent” leadership in Washington. “Every day this proxy battle continues, we risk global war,” Trump said in March, arguing that “we should support regime change in the United States” to avert this risk.

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Confusing.

DOJ Tries To Jail Key Hunter Biden Witness Devon Archer (NYP)

The Justice Department is pushing for Devon Archer to report to prison — just days ahead of the former Hunter Biden business partner’s hotly anticipated congressional testimony, according to new court documents. Manhattan federal prosecutors on Saturday filed a letter requesting a judge set a date for Archer, 58, to start his one-year sentence in a fraud case unrelated to the first son’s various scandals. The request came after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Archer’s 2018 conviction last Tuesday on two felony charges for his role in a conspiracy to defraud a Native American tribe. Archer — who is set to deliver closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee on Monday about Biden — had been challenging the conviction.


In light of the appeals court ruling, the DOJ “respectfully requests that the defendant be ordered to surrender, at a date and time determined by the Court, to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons to commence his term of imprisonment,” reads the letter to Judge Ronnie Abrams. Archer’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, said Sunday his client would still testify on Capitol Hill as planned despite allegations the DOJ letter was an intimidation tactic. “We are aware of speculation that the Department of Justice’s weekend request to have Mr. Archer report to prison is an attempt by the Biden administration to intimidate him in advance of his meeting with the House Oversight Committee,” Schwartz said in a statement, per Politico. “To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation,” Schwartz added. “In any case, Mr. Archer will do what he has planned to do all along, which is to show up on Monday and to honestly answer the questions that are put to him by the Congressional investigators.”

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“there are no angels in war..”

Elon Musk Says Russia, Ukraine Should Start ‘Turning Other Cheek’ (Sp.)

Entrepreneur Elon Musk believes that Ukraine and Russia should act according to an old Christian principle of ‘turning the other cheek’ and should forgive each other to get out of the vicious cycle.”The thing is that people in Ukraine and in Russia can find a million reasons to hate the other side, if you just look at the history,” Musk said on Friday in an online conversation on X platform. “So this is why you know, the Christian principle of turning the other cheek is a very wise one because if you do not ultimately forgive your enemy, you’re stuck in a cycle of retribution forever.” There has to be some realism and we cannot label Russia as “pure devil” and Ukraine “pure angel” because “there are no angels in war,” Musk added.


“As we speak the flower of Ukrainian youth is dying in trenches,” the entrepreneur continued. ‘Turning the other cheek’ is an old Christian phrase that has its origin in the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament. One should respond to the other with retort. Elon Musk had an online discussion on his newly named platform “X” with the American entrepreneur and a candidate in the 2024 Republican Party presidential primaries Vivek Ramaswamy on Friday. Musk spent a considerable amount of time talking with Ramaswamy about the Ukrainian crisis. Ramaswamy voiced his opinion that NATO should not admit Ukraine and that the Pentagon’s leadership needs new people.

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“We did not understand that the Russian population actually supports its government,” Macgregor underscored.”

Zelensky Frustrated Over Downing of US-Made HIMARS Missiles by Russia (Sp.)

Over the past few months, the Russian air defense systems have destroyed a whole array of Kiev’s HIMARS missiles in the special military operation zone in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is uneasy over the fact of the Russian air defenses successfully downing advanced missiles that the US delivers to Kiev, foreign policy expert and former Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor has told a YouTube channel. “The Russian air defenses are superb, is the best word that I can come up with. There is no such thing as perfect integrated air defenses; something will always get through, but overwhelmingly, they manage to shoot down HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] and all sorts of missiles,” Macgregor said.

According to him, Russia downing HIMARS missiles prompted “the frustration that we saw in Mr. Zelensky,” who was “furious, angry, and distraught.” “The losses inside his country are horrific; it’s only American cash that really sustains this Ukrainian state. It’s on life support and a humane thing would be to put an end to it and negotiate […],” Macgregor added, in an apparent reference to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF)’s massive death toll. The remarks followed the ex-Pentagon adviser’s interview with another YouTube channel, in which he referred to Russia-related mistakes the US made before getting involved in the Ukraine conflict.

“[…] They [in Washington] were wrong about Russia. They did not understand what were they dealing with. They thought that Russia was still the backward, confused, chaotic state that it was in the 1990s. They missed entirely all of the things that had been done in the last twenty years by [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and his supporters. I’m not here to say that everything that they’ve done is perfect or has worked brilliantly, but it very definitely recovered Russia from the ash-heap of history. At the same time, we did not understand that Russians had maintained this large scientific and industrial base to produce and manufacture military equipment. We did not understand that the Russian population actually supports its government,” Macgregor underscored.

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2,000? Know how big Crimea is?

UK Training Elite Ukrainian Force To Seize Crimea Before Christmas (RT)

British instructors are training an elite Ukrainian unit that is supposed to help Kiev retake Crimea, the Sunday Express has claimed, citing sources. Ukrainian officials have been talking for months about plans to take back the Russian peninsula during its much-hyped counteroffensive, which has so far failed to live up to expectations in the West. According to the report, more than 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers comprising “an elite commando brigade” arrived at a training camp in Devon in southwest Britain to prepare for an attack that is supposed to “recapture Crimea before Christmas.” The brigade is expected to “form the tip of the spear” and will be supported by two other forces, the tabloid’s sources claimed.

The Express also noted that the operation would involve combined strikes from air, land, and sea, with Kiev’s armored formations attempting to breach Russian defenses while being backed by long-range attacks using Western-supplied missiles. An unnamed senior defense source told the paper that UK instructors aim to teach Kiev’s troops how to use NATO tactics to “shape the battle space” before committing forces for a decisive thrust. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky outlined Kiev’s ambition to reclaim Crimea through a major counteroffensive back in late April. However, when Ukraine launched its push against Russian lines in the early days of June, it failed to gain any ground and suffered heavy casualties, according to Moscow.

Despite apparent problems with the counteroffensive, Kirill Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, claimed on Saturday that Kiev would take Crimea “soon,” without giving an exact timeline. Last year, he already predicted that this would happen in the spring of 2023, a projection that failed to come true. Meanwhile, in March former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that, should Ukraine attempt to seize back Crimea, Moscow could resort to “all means of protection,” including its nuclear arsenal. The Crimean Peninsula overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia in a public referendum in 2014 following a Western-backed coup in Kiev. Neither Ukraine nor Western countries have recognized its results.

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“..only 5 percent of the components for military shipbuilding are “dependent on foreign imports.”

Veteran US Army Officer Sizes Up Russia’s Naval Power Against US, China (Sp.)

Today, Russia celebrates Navy Day, a national holiday that is observed annually nationwide on the last Sunday of July. This year’s Navy Day is being celebrated as Russia continues to upgrade and enhance its naval capabilities, despite the US-led West doubling down with their endless economic sanctions. Yet even as Washington and its allies seem willing to pull all the stops in its economic war against Russia, it seems that the West’s sanctions failed to harm Russia’s naval projects, says Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and an international consultant “Sanctions have had little impact on modernization efforts,” Rasmussen told Sputnik, referring to Moscow’s drive to upgrade its naval capabilities. “Russia has taken steps to move weapon and defense security manufacturing to be based on internal/domestic capabilities.”

He pointed out that Alexei Rakhmanov, who heads the United Shipbuilding Corporation, earlier revealed that the West’s sanctions against Russia’s shipbuilding industry were feeble and had next to no effect whatsoever, brading them “practically unnoticeable,” since only 5 percent of the components for military shipbuilding are “dependent on foreign imports.” According to Rasmussen, the Russian Navy is currently considered “the third strongest globally after the United States and China to include a strong submarine presence,” and while many of its elements are either aging or are nearing their “life expectancy,” Russia’s efforts “have focused on the modernization of both new and upgraded forces.” “Several surface vessels are under development and will soon see active surface. Additionally, developments are underway with submarine modernization across 6 different submarine classes/types each providing unique capabilities to include the ability to carry [the] newest weapon systems,” the US veteran remarked. “Russia’s submarine modernization is the largest since WW2.”

He also argued that growing naval cooperation between Russia, China and Iran should be a cause for concern for the “foreign policy and defense makers” in Washington. “One of the main concerns for decades has been the potential of Russia and China developing an alliance. The current US administration policies have accelerated this partnership as well as adding Iran,” Rasmussen mused. “Hence, three of the strongest regional players globally seem more aligned than ever with increased cooperation and strategic alignment. Current western policymakers seem to be living in a world of past years and have not come to fully appreciate today’s reality.” Rasmussen’s remarks come mere days after the conclusion of the Russo-Chinese joint naval exercise dubbed North/Interaction–2023 in the Sea of Japan. This exercise involved Russian and Chinese warships and their crews practicing a variety of tasks such as convoying ships, anti-submarine warfare and naval combat.

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Wannabe Green.

Germany May Face Irreversible Deindustrialization – CDU Chair (Sp.)

The German economy is expected to be the worst-performing among the G7 nations this year, with the country’s GDP likely to plummet by at least 0.3%. Germany is facing further economic decline and deindustrialization, Friedrich Merz, the chairman of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has told a German news agency. He pointed to the country’s grim economic indicators, including a summer rise in unemployment, a contraction in industrial production and a 16% increase in bankruptcies in the first half of 2023. “Germany is losing competitiveness. This is not an abrupt process that triggers an overnight economic crisis [and] instead, we are experiencing a gradual process of deindustrialization in our country. You have to take this very seriously [because] something is happening here at the moment that may no longer be reversible. The federal government must react to this now,” Merz warned.

The CDU chairman spoke after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claimed earlier this week that Germany would be the worst-performing major economy in the world this year as the country’s manufacturing sector remains under pressure. According to the IMF, the German economy will suffer the only contraction in the Group of Seven (G7) before the end of the year, with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expected to fall 0.3%. The IMF earlier forecast that growth in Germany’s GDP would stay near zero in 2023, before gradually increasing to between 1% and 2% in the period of 2024 to 2026. This was echoed by Clemens Fuest, president of the Munich-based Ifo economic research institute, who told a US news agency that “it looks like the German economy is really having a hard time getting out of this recession.”

The Ifo earlier reported that the German Business Climate Index declined to 87.3 points in July versus last month’s 88.6 and the consensus forecast of 88.0. The index is calculated on the basis of a survey of about 9,000 German enterprises and remains the main indicator of the economic situation in the country. Paolo Raffone, a strategic analyst and director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels, told Sputnik in this context that “long term, reliable, low cost and abundant energy supplies from Russia have been pivotal to German industrial sector development and strength.” He added that the destruction of the North Stream pipelines in September 2022 was “highly symbolic (cutting German energy ties with Russia and Eurasia) and it has had tremendous consequences for the German economy.”

Raffone warned that “without the convenient Russian energy supplies, Germany has entered (again) a period of industrial difficulty that impacts the general economy and the life of people.” Gunnar Beck, a member of the European Parliament for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) part, for his part, told Sputnik that Nord Stream’s collapse and Berlin’s move to join the West’s energy sanctions against Russia are “not the only source of Germany’s declining economic fortunes.”

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Just 5 years ago (or even 1?!), nobody would have had any idea what this headline meant.

Ye Restored To X (RT)

Kanye West was reinstated to X on Saturday after the social network formerly known as Twitter was provided with assurances that the controversial rapper will not use the platform to spread anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive content, the Wall Street Journal reported. West, legally known as Ye, was suspended from the social network – newly rebranded by owner Elon Musk – late last year, shortly after he posted an image of a swastika merging with a star of David. The ban was overturned on Saturday – a move which came after Musk restored numerous prominent Twitter accounts that had been suspended under its prior ownership. According to the Wall Street Journal, who cited an anonymous source close to the situation, X has been assured that West’s newly restored account will not be used to distribute anti-Semitic rhetoric.

He has not yet posted to the social network as of Sunday afternoon. West’s formal suspension from Twitter followed a string of anti-Semitic statements in interviews and on social media last year, including an October tweet in which he said he would go “death con 3” on members of the Jewish community. His account was locked by Twitter afterwards, before he was later readmitted to the platform. Shortly after his return last year, West praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis on Twitter before posting the swastika image which appeared to lead to his suspension. Elon Musk declared at the time: “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.”

In March, West said that he “liked Jewish people again” while speaking about the movie ‘21 Jump Street’ featuring the American actor Jonah Hill. West will not be allowed to monetize his account under the terms of his readmission to Twitter, the WSJ added in its Saturday report. Elon Musk announced earlier this year that certain high-profile content creators would receive a share of revenue from advertisements linked to their posts. 24-time Grammy Award winner West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016 and has spoken about his struggle with mental health. He was released from a high profile partnership with sportswear company Adidas in October following public backlash against his offensive statements. This came just days after West said in an interview that, “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me.”

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“Facebook executives were facing the same insatiable government desire for censorship..”

‘Facebook Files’ Show Biden Admin Even Targeted Jokes For Censorship (Turley)

COVID-19, the flu and the common cold all walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “what is this? Some kind of sick joke?” Indeed, it is one of the many COVID-19 jokes that raged on the internet during the pandemic. What citizens did not know is that the Biden administration was tracking the laugh lines for censorship, along with other views it found neither funny nor helpful.The newly released “Facebook Files” revealed a concerted effort by the Biden administration to censor not just false information, but also true information, along with jokes that its functionaries simply found annoying. Months ago, I testified before Congress on censorship after Elon Musk’s release of internal Twitter communications, also known as the Twitter Files.

I warned that the government was engaging in “censorship by surrogate,” using corporate allies to do indirectly what it is legally prevented from doing directly. Facebook had refused to open its own files on government censorship efforts. That came to an end when the House Judiciary Committee finally moved to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress. The resulting Facebook Files confirmed what many of us have suspected for years. Indeed, the emails proved to be a mirror image of what had occurred at Twitter — a massive effort by the government to pressure the company to censor its critics and other dissenting voices. Facebook executives used similar language to lament the “overwhelming” effort of the government to censor citizens and its unwillingness to take “no” for an answer.

Over at Twitter, executives described a deluge of demands for censorship from federal officials at the FBI and other agencies. One official wrote that “[t]he FBI has some folks in the Baltimore field office and at HQ that are just doing keyword searches for violations. This is probably the 10th request I have dealt with in the last 5 days.” In January 2020, Twitter’s then-director of policy and philanthropy, Carlos Monje Jr., expressed unease about the pressure coming from the FBI. “They are probing & pushing everywhere they can (including by whispering to congressional staff),” he said. One email from August 2022 sent “long lists of newspapers, tweets or YouTube videos” deemed to be voicing “anti-Ukraine narratives.” Even satirical and comedy sites were reportedly designated by the government for removal.

Now we know that Facebook executives were facing the same insatiable government desire for censorship. In an April 2021 email, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s president for global affairs, wrote to colleagues that Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to Biden who was steering COVID-19 policy, “was outraged — not too strong a word to describe his reaction — that [Facebook] did not remove this post.” The post was actually a humorous meme shared by a user named Timothy McComas. It featured actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from the film “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” pointing at a TV with a beer and cigarette in hand. The caption read: “10 years from now, you will be watching TV and hear…. ‘Did you or a loved one take the COVID vaccine? You may be entitled…’”

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Campaign funds.

Former US President Trump Spends $40 Million On Legal Fees (Az.)

Former US President Donald Trump’s political action committee is expected to report on Monday that it has spent about $40 million in legal fees in the first half of 2023 to defend Trump and his advisers, among others, the Washington Post reported, Report informs. The New York Times separately reported that the PAC has sought the return of $60 million it made to another group supporting Trump, a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

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Moonwalk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685700030710116352

 

 

tail

 

 


Discovered by researchers with the Census of Marine Life at a depth of 2,750 meters, this sea cucumber is so transparent that its digestive tract is on spectacular display

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 162023
 
 July 16, 2023  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Botticelli The Calumny of Apelles 1495

 

NATO Isn’t Defending Ukraine. It’s Stabbing It In The Back (Cook)
Kennedy Accuses Biden Of Preparing For ‘War With Russia’ (RT)
RFK Jr. Reams Establishment for ‘Manipulating’ Ukraine Into Conflict (Sp.)
RFK Jr. Triggers Overdue Debate About China’s Bioweapons Research (Public)
‘Disbanding’ NATO Would Be ‘Best’ Scenario for People of Ukraine (Sp.)
France and India Pool Efforts To Reach Peace In Ukraine – Le Monde (RT)
Did Biden Just Inadvertently Unveil the Path to Peace in Ukraine? (ElKishky)
Russia-Ukraine Conflict ‘At A Stalemate’ – Pentagon Official (RT)
US Delaying Approval Of F-16 Training For Ukraine – Politico (RT)
Russian Experts Issue Rebuke To Call For Preemptive Nuclear Strike (RT)
20% of Ukrainian Weapons Destroyed In Just Two Weeks – New York Times (RT)
Crimea Invasion Would Kill 200,000 Ukrainian Soldiers – Arestovich (RT)
Fear and Loathing on Air Force One (Seymour Hersh)
Zelensky Activates 3,000 U.S. Military Reservists (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Ritter nukes

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Byron Donalds

 

 

RFK DTP

 

 

 

 

“..the message Nato has sent Moscow is that Russia made exactly the right decision to invade – if the goal, as Putin has always maintained, is to ensure Kyiv remains neutral.”

NATO Isn’t Defending Ukraine. It’s Stabbing It In The Back (Cook)

The Nato summit in Lithuania this week served only to underscore the utter hypocrisy of western leaders in pursuing their proxy war in Ukraine to “weaken” Russia and oust its president, Vladimir Putin. Both the US and Germany had made clear before the summit that they would block Ukraine’s admission to Nato while it was in the midst of a war with Russia. That message was formally announced by Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fumed that Nato had reached an “absurd” decision and was demonstrating “weakness”. British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace lost no time in rebuking him for a lack of “gratitude”. The concern is that, if Kyiv joins the military alliance at this stage, Nato members will be required to leap to Ukraine’s defence and fight Russia directly.

Most western states balk at the notion of a face-to-face confrontation with a nuclear-armed Russia – rather than the current proxy one, paid for exclusively in Ukrainian blood. But there is a more duplicitous subtext being obscured: the fact that Nato is responsible for sustaining the war it now cites as grounds for disqualifying Ukraine from joining the military alliance. Nato got Kyiv into its current, bloody mess – but isn’t ready to help it find a way out. It was Nato, after all, that chose to flirt openly with Ukraine from 2008 onwards, promising it eventual membership – with the undisguised hope that one day, the alliance would be able to flex its military muscles menacingly on Russia’s doorstep.= It was the UK that intervened weeks after Russia’s invasion in February 2022, and presumably on Washington’s orders, to scupper negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow – talks that could have ended the war at an early stage, before Russia began seizing territories in eastern Ukraine.

A deal then would have been much simpler than one now. Most likely, it would have required Kyiv to commit to neutrality, rather than pursuing covert integration into Nato. Moscow would have demanded, too, an end to the Ukrainian government’s political, legal and military attacks on its Russian-speaking populations in the east. Now the chief sticking point to an agreement will be persuading the Kremlin to trust the West and reverse its annexation of eastern Ukraine, assuming Nato ever allows Kyiv to re-engage in talks with Russia. And finally, it is Nato members, especially the US, that have been shipping out vast quantities of military hardware to prolong the fighting in Ukraine – keeping the death toll mounting on both sides. In short, Nato is now using the very war it has done everything to fuel as a pretext to stop Ukraine from joining the alliance.

Seen another way, the message Nato has sent Moscow is that Russia made exactly the right decision to invade – if the goal, as Putin has always maintained, is to ensure Kyiv remains neutral. It is the war that has prevented Ukraine from being completely enfolded in the western military alliance. It is the war that has stopped Ukraine’s transformation into a Nato forward base, one where the West could station nuclear-tipped missiles minutes from Moscow. Had Russia not invaded, Kyiv would have been free to accelerate what it was already doing secretly: integrating into Nato. So what is Zelensky supposed to conclude from his exclusion from Nato, after he committed his country to an ongoing war rather than negotiations and neutrality?

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“..I want people to understand what this troop mobilization is about. It’s about preparing for a ground war with Russia,”

Kennedy Accuses Biden Of Preparing For ‘War With Russia’ (RT)

By ordering the deployment of 3,000 more reservists to Europe, US President Joe Biden is preparing to fight Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said. “Biden has lost his way,” Kennedy tweeted on Friday, arguing that the president should focus on America’s domestic problems instead of trying to achieve “global military dominance.” “I want people to understand what this troop mobilization is about. It’s about preparing for a ground war with Russia,” he said. The idea of defeating Moscow in its conflict with Kiev is a “futile geopolitical fantasy” of the Biden administration, the Democratic presidential candidate added.

Thousands of Ukrainians have already lost their lives because “America’s foreign policy establishment manipulated their country into war… Now, rather than acknowledge failure, Biden admin prepares to sacrifice American lives too,” Kennedy said. On Thursday, Biden signed an executive order mobilizing 3,000 members of the US military’s Selected Reserve to boost the ranks of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which Washington launched in Europe in 2014 after Crimea rejoined Russia following the Western-backed coup in Kiev. According to Army Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, the Joint Staff director of operations, the move “reaffirms the unwavering [US] support and commitment to defend NATO’s eastern flank” in the wake of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

The US European Command (EUCOM) spokesman, Navy Captain Bill Speaks, said the deployment of reservists “will not change current force-posture levels in Europe.” The leading Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump, also had some harsh words to say about Biden’s decision to send more American troops to Europe. The “reckless escalation in Ukraine” pursued by the White House is “straining the US military to the point of disaster,” he said. “Joe Biden can’t even walk up the steps of Air Force One without tripping. The last thing this incompetent administration should be doing is pushing us further toward World War III.”

Trump reiterated his earlier claim that if he becomes president again, he would end the conflict in Ukraine in 24 hours. “Not one American mother or father wants to send their child to die in Eastern Europe. We must have peace.” Another Republican presidential candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, said it is “downright disturbing” that the US media is largely ignoring the president’s order in its reporting. “What is the justification now [for sending reservists to Europe]? What are the operations? Where will they go? What will they do? We need answers, not sweeping this under the rug as Biden would prefer,” Ramaswamy said in a statement.

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“We can heal all of this if we try. But not if we pour our resources into foreign adventures,”

RFK Jr. Reams Establishment for ‘Manipulating’ Ukraine Into Conflict (Sp.)

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has condemned the US “foreign policy establishment” for its role in the Ukrainian crisis, and expressed fears that Washington may be preparing for a full-on conflict with Russia. “President Biden just called up 3,000 reservists to augment US troops in Europe as part of ‘Operation Atlantic Resolve’. I want people to understand what this troop mobilization is about. It’s about preparing for a ground war with Russia,” RFK Jr wrote in a viral tweet viewed over 2.4 million times Friday evening. “Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian youth have already died because America’s foreign policy establishment manipulated their country into war to fulfill [a] vain and futile geopolitical phantasy. Now, rather than acknowledge failure, [the] Biden administration prepares to sacrifice American lives too,” the candidate added in a separate thread viewed 4.8 million times.

“Meanwhile,” the candidate continued, US cities and infrastructure are falling apart, with the middle class being “hollowed out,” crime soaring, and “chronic disease and addiction run[ning] rampant.” “We can heal all of this if we try. But not if we pour our resources into foreign adventures,” RFK Jr. stressed. Separately, touching on the Biden White House’s recent approval to send cluster munitions to Kiev, RFK Jr. emphasized that this wasn’t “the first time the US has deployed cluster bombs,” and that the US military “used them against Serbia in 1999,” leading to mass civilian casualties. RFK Jr., the son of assassinated former attorney general and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, and nephew of assassinated US President John F. Kennedy, is polling at double digits weeks into his campaign, despite attempts by the media to silence and smear him as an anti-vaxxer nutcase.

RFK Jr. maintains that he is not “anti-vaccine,” but seeks more regulatory oversight of drug companies, and more accountability for federal health officials. A June Economist/YouGov poll showed that the candidate has a 49 percent favorability rating, higher than both President Biden and Donald trump (44 percent favorability each, respectively). The high favorability ratings have been attributed to the Kennedy namesake, which continues to hold massive sway among Democrats even six decades after JFK’s murder, and to RFK Jr.’s popularity among many self-declared Republicans, who agree with him on issues ranging from medical bodily autonomy to the need to challenge corporate and government corruption.

Kennedy is expected to have a hard time edging out Biden in 2024 even if he wins the primaries’ popular vote, given the existence of superdelegates, powerful electors to the presidential nominating convention who essentially have the power to override the wishes of ordinary voters. During the 2016 Democratic primary cycle, supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders accused the Hillary Clinton campaign of “rigging” the primary process using superdelegates and direct electoral manipulation, with the scandal leading to the resignation of Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This time around, RFK Jr.’s supporters fear the party may move against him in a similar fashion. The candidate has ruled out a third party run.

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Alex Gutentag and Michael Shellenberger on a NY Post story about an RFK video.

RFK: “@nypost story is mistaken. I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews. I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the U.S. and other governments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons and that a 2021 study of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 appears to disproportionately affect certain races since the furin cleave docking site is most compatible with Blacks and Caucasians and least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns, and Ashkenazi Jews. In that sense, it serves as a kind of proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons. I do not believe and never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered. That study is here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32664879/”

RFK Jr. Triggers Overdue Debate About China’s Bioweapons Research (Public)

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is feeding anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that China created COVID-19 as a bioweapon to kill whites and blacks but spare Chinese and Jewish people, says the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “The claim that COVID-19 was a bioweapon created by the Chinese or Jews to attack Caucasians and black people is deeply offensive,” an ADL spokesperson told the New York Post, “and feeds into sinophobic and anti-semitic conspiracy theories about COVID-19 that we have seen evolve over the last three years.” Kennedy made his remarks at a dinner party last Tuesday. “There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted,” said Kennedy. “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

The New York Post cites The Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at the University of Tel Aviv to note that “Kennedy’s remark echoes well-worn anti-Semitic literature blaming Jews for the emergence and spread of coronavirus.” But there was nothing anti-Semitic about Kennedy’s remarks, nor did he say that the Chinese government deliberately targeted whites and blacks and spared Jewish and Chinese people. “We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted or not,” he said. And a few hours ago, in response to the brewing controversy, Kennedy tweeted, “I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews.” It’s true that Kennedy pointed to evidence that Covid had a different impact on different groups. “There are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential and impact,” Kennedy said at the dinner party.

And in his tweet, he wrote, “I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the U.S. and other governments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons and that a 2021 study of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 appears to disproportionately affect certain races since the furin cleave docking site is most compatible with Blacks and Caucasians and least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns, and Ashkenazi Jews.” The paper Kennedy linked to in his tweet concluded, “Human genetic factors may contribute to the extremely high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 and to the relentlessly progressive disease observed in a small but significant proportion of infected individuals, but these factors are largely unknown.”

At the same time, Kennedy is right to raise the alarm about China’s bioweapons program. And the debate over bioweapons research, which includes research into vaccines to protect against them, is long overdue. [..] Reached by telephone, Kennedy told Public, “My point was that what they’re doing is horrendous. Instead of being at war, we should be signing treaties for peace and for controlling bioweapons.”

RFK

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For everybody.

‘Disbanding’ NATO Would Be ‘Best’ Scenario for People of Ukraine (Sp.)

Against the backdrop of the Kiev regime’s much-hyped but faltering counteroffensive that kicked off in early June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had been craving tangible NATO entry promises at the military bloc’s recent summit. Yet, Kiev ended up with promises of more weapons to fan the flames of NATO’s ongoing proxy war against Russia. The dissolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would be the best scenario for Ukraine, according to American politician Geoffrey M. Young. “The best thing that could happen to the people of Ukraine would be for NATO to disband and for the US to remove ALL of our weapons and troops from Europe forever,” the Democrat wrote on Twitter. The politician who has been vocal about his support for Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine accompanied his post with a reference to recent remarks made by John Kirby.


The official, who serves as the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council in the White House, said an additional 3,000 US reserve troops have been authorized for deployment to Europe, and will predominantly focus on administrative and logistics tasks to “support and sustain a large troop presence for a long time.” John Kirby reiterated there are over 80,000 American troops in Europe, due to the “realization” that the “security environment in Europe is changed”. The aim is to ensure that the United States has “the proper force posture to be able to support an additional eastern flank presence for the long haul,” the White House official had added. “Kirby just inadvertently admitted that Ukraine’s Army is gone,” was the reaction of some people to the post on social media.

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Odd couple.

France and India Pool Efforts To Reach Peace In Ukraine – Le Monde (RT)

India and France have joined their efforts to develop a new plan seeking a peaceful settlement of the fighting in Ukraine, Le Monde reported on Saturday. The stage was set for the new apparent attempt to resolve the conflict when French President Emmanuel Macron met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Paris earlier this week. During the meeting, Macron signaled that he wanted the two countries to work together to address “global challenges” while also citing shared concerns about the “fragmentation of the international community” over Ukraine. According to Le Monde, France considers India, which has refrained from condemning Russia over its military campaign in the neighboring country, as “an essential partner in the search for a lasting solution.”

While Modi has so far refrained from following the lead of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva by portraying himself as a mediator, he has instructed his subordinates to work with their French counterparts to find a way out of the current diplomatic impasse, the report says. While Le Monde did not provide any details of the plan, it noted that at this stage it does not look like previous initiatives floated by China and several other nations. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict more than one year ago, many world leaders have called for peace negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, including Lula, who in April urged the US “to stop encouraging war” and instead focus on finding a diplomatic solution.

Lula’s statement came after China in February unveiled its own proposal, which called for “respecting sovereignty of all countries” and abandoning “the Cold War mentality.”At the same time, Macron struck a different tone, expressing hope that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia could start if Kiev manages to achieve success during its much-hyped summer offensive, which Moscow says has so far failed to gain any ground. However, while Moscow has repeatedly said that it is open to negotiations with Ukraine, last year President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning talks with the current Russian leadership. Later, Kiev also came up with its own peace plan demanding that Russia withdraw from all territories that it claims as its own and that Moscow pay war reparations. The Kremlin has dismissed the plan as detached from reality.

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“..firstly, Russia will not relinquish the territories it seized unless Ukraine reclaims them by force, or Putin is replaced by a West-appeasing leader willing to cede these territories via diplomacy.”

Did Biden Just Inadvertently Unveil the Path to Peace in Ukraine? (ElKishky)

In an interview with Fareed Zakaria aired on July 9th, 2023, US President Joseph Biden made comments that could potentially sketch out his administration’s vision of a realistic scenario that could potentially end the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. [..] Biden’s comments, if interpreted correctly, might carry significant implications. It seems that he outlined a scenario that would satisfy Russia’s conditions for peace, which could be summarized as follows: maintaining control over Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, and parts of Ukraine that Russia took control of post-February 2022, especially in Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts which Putin now considers part of Russia; no NATO membership for Ukraine; and the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.The last two conditions were stated in Putin’s speech on February 24th, 2022, the day the armed conflict started.

In this speech he stated “…in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation. “The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine…” It is quite possible that these two conditions have lost their significance – despite being recently reiterated by Russian officials- as they were initially mentioned in the context of protecting ethnic Russians in both the then-Ukrainian Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts. According to Putin, these individuals faced discrimination, were being stripped of their Russian identity, and had been bombarded by Ukraine since 2014. These threats no longer exist after the annexation.

One implication of Biden’s comments, if read between the lines, might suggest a potential U.S. acceptance (which does not necessarily translate to an official recognition of legitimacy) of the status quo on the ground. He stated that Ukraine cannot be integrated into NATO while it’s engaged in conflict, owing to his solid commitment to safeguarding every inch of NATO territory. This indicates he cannot guarantee protection for Ukraine’s pre-2014 and 2022 borders without risking an undesirable direct conflict with Russia, a situation which, in his own words, would lead to the West being “all at war with Russia.”. It also implies that the primary responsibility for liberating Ukraine’s territory lies with Ukraine itself.

He stated that NATO will not accept Ukraine anytime soon, to prevent a direct NATO intervention in the conflict, and that Ukraine will be granted a status akin to Israel’s – which could potentially enhance its defensive capacity, but only after a ceasefire or a peace agreement is signed. Two realities Biden would have been surely well aware of entering this interview are: firstly, Russia will not relinquish the territories it seized unless Ukraine reclaims them by force, or Putin is replaced by a West-appeasing leader willing to cede these territories via diplomacy. The chances of this happening in the near future are slim. In fact, numerous Western and Russian analysts suggest that even if Putin were to be replaced, there are no guarantees his successor wouldn’t be equally or potentially more hawkish.

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Only until Russia attacks.

Russia-Ukraine Conflict ‘At A Stalemate’ – Pentagon Official (RT)

Fighting in Ukraine has reached “a bit of a stalemate,” US Defense Intelligence Agency Chief of Staff John Kirchhofer told a conference in Washington on Thursday. His assessment of Ukraine’s chances is considerably gloomier than that of other Biden administration officials. “Certainly we are at a bit of a stalemate,” Kirchhofer said, according to Bloomberg. “One of the things that the Russian leadership believes is that they can outlast the support of the West.” Ukrainian forces have been bogged down in a counteroffensive against Russian defenses from Kherson to Donetsk since early June, and have failed to make any significant territorial gains against the Russians. The offensive has cost Ukraine 26,000 men and more than 3,000 pieces of military hardware, according to the latest figures from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Ukrainian President Zelensky and his top officials have publicly blamed the West for failing to provide enough weapons – including long-range missiles and fighter jets – to guarantee the offensive’s success. However, Kirchhofer warned that no one weapon system will change Kiev’s fortunes. Neither US-supplied HIMARS rocket artillery and cluster bombs, nor British Storm Shadow cruise missiles, have thus far tilted the battlefield situation in Ukraine’s favor, he pointed out. “None of these, unfortunately, are the holy grail that Ukrainians looking for that will allow them to break through,” he said. While recent media reports suggest that Kiev’s American and European backers are frustrated with the pace of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, Washington officials have publicly insisted that all is well.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said last month that Ukrainian forces were “advancing steadily,” but that progress would be slow and “very bloody.” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN last month that heavy Ukrainian casualties are “to be expected,” but that Zelensky will continue to receive “the support he needs not just from the United States, but from 50 other partners.” US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have both repeatedly rejected the idea of Ukraine entering into peace talks with Russia. Both insist that Ukraine will decide when to sit down to negotiate, and neither have spoken on whether this position will change if Kiev’s counteroffensive continues to fail. Russia maintains that Western arms deliveries will only serve to prolong the conflict, without altering its eventual outcome.

Stalemate

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Wonder why, after all the talk. No troops left?

US Delaying Approval Of F-16 Training For Ukraine – Politico (RT)

European countries have yet to receive formal approval from Washington to train Ukrainian pilots to fly US-designed F-16 fighter jets, Politico reported on Friday, citing sources. The ‘international coalition’ seeking to help Kiev procure F-16s and train Ukrainian pilots was first announced by the UK and the Netherlands in mid-May, with the US coming on board a few days later. A total of 11 countries have supported the initiative, with a training center expected to be set up in Romania. However, the US State Department has not approved the request to transfer instruction manuals, flight simulators, and other materials required for training, Politico said, adding, however, that there is no indication that the US will not eventually greenlight the move. Pentagon spokesman Garron Garn said the request “is still being reviewed.”

William LaPlante, the department’s acquisition chief, told the outlet that the Pentagon has to “make sure we’re ready to go with the technical manuals being translated and the tech data packages and a sustainment plan” before approving the transfer. In recent months, Ukraine has repeatedly demanded that its Western backers send F-16 jets, saying they could play a key role in countering Russian air power. Earlier this week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said Kiev could deploy the first F-16s by late March 2024. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that if F-16s are sent to Ukraine, they “will burn” just like other Western hardware. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has described the potential deliveries as an escalatory move, noting that the aircraft can carry nuclear weapons.

In early June, Politico reported that senior US officials believe that future support for Ukraine hinges on the success of its much-hyped counteroffensive, and should Kiev fail to deliver, the military assistance “will likely dry up.” Later the same month, the Financial Times reported, citing sources, that Western officials are not impressed by the results of the counteroffensive. The Russian Defense Ministry said the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which has been underway for more than a month, has failed to gain any ground. According to Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, since the start of the push, Kiev has lost more than 26,000 soldiers and around 3,000 units of heavy military equipment. Ukrainian officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky, attempted to shift the blame for the slow progress onto the West, citing delays in military aid.

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“..only if “the existence of the state as a whole comes under threat.”

Russian Experts Issue Rebuke To Call For Preemptive Nuclear Strike (RT)

It is extremely irresponsible and dangerous to call on Russia to carry out a preemptive nuclear strike in order to gain an upper hand in its current standoff with the West over Ukraine, more than 20 experts from Russia’s influential think tank have warned. The joint statement released by a group of members of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy on Thursday is one of the recent responses to the debate within the Russian expert community about the use of nuclear weapons, which was prompted by a controversial op-ed written last month by Sergey Karaganov, an honorary member of the council’s presidium. Karaganov has made a case for Moscow lowering the threshold for the first use of its nuclear arsenal, arguing that, at some point, it should consider striking targets in Europe.

Without mentioning Karaganov by name, a group of fellow think tank members said that they “unequivocally condemn” such reasoning. “It is beyond irresponsible to assume that one can manage a limited nuclear conflict and stop it from spiraling into a global nuclear war,” they warned, adding that, under such a scenario, “tens and perhaps even millions” of lives would be at stake. “It is a direct threat to humanity as a whole,” the statement said. “It is unacceptable to use pseudo-theoretical arguments and talk show-style emotional statements to stoke sentiments in society that could push one towards catastrophic decisions.” The think tank, also known under its Russian acronym SVOP, is the co-founder of the Valdai Discussion Club, whose annual sessions President Vladimir Putin attends.

Karaganov’s approach was previously criticized by other noted experts, including Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of SVOP’s presidium and editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs magazine, who argued that the damage from “the game of nuclear peek-a-boo is a gamble” would be “multiples worse than any hypothetical benefits.” Putin said last month that Moscow would resort to nuclear weapons only when faced with an existential threat. According to Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine, revised in 2020, the country reserves the right to use its nuclear arsenal if it comes under attack with nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. It may also use the nuclear option when attacked with conventional means, but only if “the existence of the state as a whole comes under threat.”

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“..the Ukrainian military lost 26,000 men and more than 3,000 pieces of military hardware..”

20% of Ukrainian Weapons Destroyed In Just Two Weeks – New York Times (RT)

The Ukrainian military lost 20% of the equipment it sent to the battlefield during the first two weeks of its counteroffensive, the New York Times reported on Saturday. This high attrition rate was reportedly a key factor in Kiev’s decision to pause the operation. Beginning in early June, Ukrainian forces launched a series of attacks all along the front line from Kherson to Donetsk. Advancing through minefields and without air support, the Ukrainian military lost 26,000 men and more than 3,000 pieces of military hardware, according to the latest figures from the Russian Ministry of Defense. Ukrainian losses were at their highest during the initial two weeks of the offensive, the New York Times claimed, citing unnamed American and European officials.

These officials said that up to 20% of Ukraine’s tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed in this period, including many Western-provided vehicles. For some units, Western equipment was lost at an even higher rate, the Times continued, citing figures from a pro-Ukrainian organization. Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade – a NATO-trained unit – apparently lost 30% of its 99 Bradley Infantry Fighting vehicles in two weeks, while the 33rd Mechanized Brigade lost nearly a third of its 32 German-made Leopard tanks in a single week. “They all burned,” said one Ukrainian soldier who witnessed at least six Western vehicles destroyed in a single Russian artillery barrage. Another Ukrainian fighter told the Times that his unit’s Bradleys run over anti-tank mines on a daily basis.

While the troops inside often survive, the vehicles are left immobilized long before they reach Russian lines. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian forces have destroyed a total of 311 Ukrainian tanks since June 4. “At least a third of them, I believe, were Western-made tanks, including Leopards,” Putin told Russia 24 TV on Thursday. After the first two weeks, Ukrainian commanders decided to pause the counteroffensive, and losses subsequently dropped to 10%, the Times claimed. President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged the pause this week, but blamed the West for failing to supply him with enough weapons and equipment for a successful operation.

With little territorial gain to show for Kiev’s losses, Western officials have expressed disappointment at the pace of the offensive, according to a steady trickle of media reports since mid-June. Zelensky and some of his top officials still insist that the decisive phase of their counteroffensive has yet to begin. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Western backers are running low on ammunition, particularly 155mm artillery shells. US President Joe Biden admitted this week that “we’re low” on these shells, explaining that the shortage compelled him to send controversial cluster munitions in their stead. The US has also stalled on approving the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, something that Kiev insists will help restart the faltering counteroffensive.

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“Stop the war and join NATO? Many people would say it is a historical chance,”

Crimea Invasion Would Kill 200,000 Ukrainian Soldiers – Arestovich (RT)

The cost of invading Crimea would be too high for Kiev, a former adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Aleksey Arestovich, said this week. The operation would likely lead to hundreds of thousands of casualties, he said, speaking to Russian journalist Yulia Latynina. There are “few prospects” of seizing the Crimean Peninsula through military means, Arestovich said, when discussing the options remaining to Kiev in its ongoing conflict with Moscow. “What will be the cost? Extermination of 200,000 of the adult male population?” he added, referring to the number of soldiers Ukraine would be likely to lose. Ukraine’s economy might also be “totally destroyed” in the process, he warned. Kiev is already “totally dependent”on its Western backers, the former presidential adviser admitted.

Should the US and its allies stop supplying Ukrainian troops with weapons, they would not only be unable to take back territories that had joined Russia, but would also struggle to defend their current positions, he said. Arestovich also openly charged that Washington and its allies were pursuing their own interests in the conflict. “Let’s be honest: our foreign policy goals in this war contrast sharply with the foreign policy goals of our sponsors and backers,” he said, adding that the West was willing to sacrifice Ukraine’s territory and lives of its people to achieve the desired outcome. Ukraine can now only influence the Western leaders at an “emotional”level, the former presidential adviser said, adding that Kiev should have focused on building up its own sovereignty instead. “We need relations… based on real profits. That’s the only thing they [the West] understand,” he added.

Arestovich also said that “immoral policies… and inability to take serious decisions” are the “major weakness of the West.” Still, Ukraine cannot just abandon its Western backers and pursue its own goals “at any cost,” the former adviser insisted, adding that that would be a “dead end”for Kiev. The only consolation would be the prospect of joining NATO in exchange for peace with Russia. “Stop the war and join NATO? Many people would say it is a historical chance,” the former presidential confidant said. He also described NATO guarantees in exchange for consenting to a peace with Russia along the current contact line as a “fairly good deal.” According to Arestovich, such an agreement would also likely require the West to lift some of its anti-Russian sanctions to convince Moscow to agree to such terms.

His remarks come amid the much-touted Ukrainian summer offensive, which has failed to bring about significant changes on the battlefield almost a month and a half after it was launched. Ukrainian troops have suffered heavy losses, including in Western-supplied heavy armor, during their largely unsuccessful attacks on the Russian defenses. According to Western media, Kiev’s backers have also been frustrated over the slow pace of the operation. Moscow has repeatedly signaled it was ready for peace talks with Ukraine. It has also blamed Kiev for the lack of progress in the diplomatic field, citing a decree signed last year by Zelensky that prohibits talks for as long as Russian President Vladimir Putin remains in power. Kiev put forth its own peace plan demanding Russia withdraw its troops from all the territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders. Moscow has rejected the proposal, calling it detached from reality.

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“Duplicity comes much differently in the United States.”

Fear and Loathing on Air Force One (Seymour Hersh)

Let’s start with a silly fear but one that does signal the Democratic Party’s growing sense of panic about the 2024 Presidential election. It was expressed to me by someone with excellent party credentials: that Trump could be the Republican nominee and will select Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as his running mate. The strange duo will then sweep to a huge victory over a stumbling Joe Biden, and also take down many of the party’s House and Senate candidates. As for real signs of acute Democratic anxiety: Joe Biden got what he needed before the NATO summit this week by somehow turning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inside out and getting him to rebuff Vladimir Putin by announcing that he would support NATO membership for Sweden. The public story for Biden’s face-saving coup was talk about agreeing to sell American F-16 fighter bombers to Turkey.

I have been told a different, secret story about Erdogan’s turnabout: Biden promised that a much-needed $11-13 billion line of credit would be extended to Turkey by the International Monetary Fund. “Biden had to have a victory and Turkey is in acute financial stress,” an official with direct knowledge of the transaction told me. Turkey lost 100,000 people in the earthquake last February, and has four million buildings to rebuild. “What could be better than Erdogan”—under Biden’s tutelage, the official asked, “finally having seen the light and realizing he is better off with NATO and Western Europe?” Reporters were told, according to the New York Times, that Biden called Erdogan while flying to Europe on Sunday. Biden’s coup, the Times reported, would enable him to say that Putin got “exactly what he did not want: an expanded, more direct NATO alliance.” There was no mention of bribery.

A June analysis by Brad W. Setser of the Council on Foreign Relations, “Turkey’s Increasing Balance Sheet Risks,” said it all in the first two sentences—Erdogan won re-election and “now has to find a way to avoid what appears to be an imminent financial crisis.” The critical fact, Setser writes, is that Turkey “is on the edge of truly running out of usable foreign exchange reserves—and facing a choice between selling its gold, an avoidable default, or swallowing the bitter pill of a complete policy reversal and possibly an IMF program.” Another key element of the complicated economic issues facing Turkey is that Turkey’s banks have lent so much money to the nation’s central bank that “they cannot honor their domestic dollar deposits, should Turks ever ask for the funds back.”

The irony for Russia, and a reason for much anger in the Kremlin, Setser notes, is the rumor that Putin has been providing Russian gas to Erdogan on credit, and not demanding that the state gas importer pay up. Putin’s largesse has been flowing as Ergodan has been selling drones to Ukraine for use in its war against Russia. Turkey has also permitted Ukraine to ship its crops through the Black Sea. All of this European political and economic double dealing was done openly and in plain sight. Duplicity comes much differently in the United States.

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“If President Biden takes orders from him, then we’ll do whatever he says as well.”

Zelensky Activates 3,000 U.S. Military Reservists (BBee)

Casualties continue to mount in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, causing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to make the decision to call up 3,000 U.S. military reserve soldiers. “I need all the forces I command at my disposal,” Zelensky said when announcing the activation of American troops. “These young men and women have been well-trained to defend Ukraine, and now is the time to fulfill their purpose.” As reports of Russian military advancements continued to filter in from the front lines, Zelensky — the commander of all U.S. armed forces — determined his best option was to call in reinforcements. Pentagon officials were quick to comply. “We’re here to follow orders from the top, and it doesn’t get any higher-up than Mr. Zelensky,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.


“If President Biden takes orders from him, then we’ll do whatever he says as well. The full might of the United States military is at his beck and call.” Though some pockets of opposition to the move were present within the U.S. Congress, the vast majority expressed full support. “It’s our job to stand by our leaders in times of war,” said Utah Senator Mitt Romney. “We’ll provide whatever President Zelensky needs. I’ve already got an appointment to shine his shoes the next time he’s here to speak to Congress.” At publishing time, Zelensky was reportedly preparing to scramble U.S. fighter jets to intercept incoming Russian air support while ordering all American missile launch sites to ready their nuclear payloads.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trombone
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680189525040021504

 

 

 

 

Caturday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tornado
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680225076019429377

 

 

Mackerel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680244382476251136

 

 

Frog

 

 

happy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680255476871712770

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 012023
 
 July 1, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Edward Hopper Approaching a city 1946

 

Time To Make Peace In Ukraine, Trump Tells Reuters (TASS)
Arming Ukraine Is A Cynical And Dangerous NATO Ploy – Bowes (RT)
Poland Wants US Nuclear Weapons – PM (RT)
Russia Always Emerged Stronger From All Troubles – Lavrov (TASS)
Russia Will Destroy Foreign Fighters, Western Generals In Ukraine – Lavrov (RT)
Ray McGovern: Russia’s ‘Coup’ Is Actually Biden’s Disaster (SP)
Orban Taunts EU’s Drained Coffers With Travolta Meme (Sp.)
Ukraine’s Top General ‘Pissed Off’ Over Counteroffensive Criticism – WaPo (RT)
Kiev Considers ‘Holding Crimea Hostage’ – WaPo (RT)
West’s Ideas About How To End Crisis In Ukraine ‘Schizophrenic’ – Lavrov (TASS)
CIA Chief Made Secret Trip to Ukraine to Discuss Battle Plans, Ceasefire (Sp.)
CIA Head Calls Russian Intel Chief To Say US Uninvolved In Wagner Mutiny (TASS)
Hunter Biden’s Lawyer Sends Scathing Letter to GOP Chair (Sp.)
The Long, Hot Summer (Kunstler)
America Is a Military Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy (Whitehead)

 

 

How much longer can Macron last? Very little in the press about the riots, and to post 100 videos of fires here is also not great. But it’s serious.

“2 Police Unions have written to Macron threatening to revolt. “Today the police are in combat as we are at war. Tomorrow we will be in the resistance and the government should be aware of this”

 

 

Comer

 

 

 

 

Maté Ritter

 

 

Tucker pride

 

 

Blumenthal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer cells

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think the biggest thing that the US should be doing right now is making peace..”

Time To Make Peace In Ukraine, Trump Tells Reuters (TASS)

The time is ripe for making peace in Ukraine, and the United States should contribute to the peace process right now, acting as a mediator, former US President Donald Trump said in a telephone interview with Reuters on Thursday. “I think the biggest thing that the US should be doing right now is making peace – getting Russia and Ukraine together and making peace,” he said. “This is the time to do it,” he added. The ex-US leader also believes Ukraine may be allowed to keep what it has “earned.” “I think they would be entitled to keep much of what they’ve earned and I think that Russia likewise would agree to that. You need the right mediator, or negotiator, and we don’t have that right now,” he lamented.


Without either elaborating on what Trump meant under “earned” or citing the former US president directly, Reuters said that he did not rule out that Kiev might have to concede some territory to Russia. Everything would be “subject to negotiation” though, Trump added. The former US leader has repeatedly said publicly that he would broker peace in Ukraine in 24 hours if he were to win the 2024 presidential election. However, he never explained exactly how he sees ending this conflict.

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“..weapons being supplied by NATO and their allies to Ukraine are being wilfully targeted against civilian populations on a daily basis… all miraculously invisible to the Western media..”

Arming Ukraine Is A Cynical And Dangerous NATO Ploy – Bowes (RT)

Western nations are pushing Ukrainian soldiers into suicide missions against Russian forces after providing them with outdated and often inoperative weapons, RT correspondent Chay Bowes has told the UN Security Council. The Irish journalist was among the speakers invited to address to the Council on Thursday, sharing his views on Western lethal aid to Ukraine and the related proliferation risks. The gathering was attended by ambassadors including Russian Permanent Representative Vasily Nebenzya and his UK counterpart Barbara Woodward. Bowes told the delegations that NATO nations have been helping Kiev to build up its military since 2014, training thousands of troops each year. He described the current hostilities as “a proxy conflict, where Ukraine supplies manpower… to support a de-facto NATO operation to prevent a Russian military victory”.

A defeated Ukraine would undermine the US-led military bloc itself, he predicted, which explains the escalation of arms supplies from the West. Many of the weapons provided to Kiev, especially by smaller nations, are often in a poor state of repair, Bowes said, citing multiple reports from the Western media and officials. Some are “outright lethal”to the Ukrainians using them. The sub-par weapons are being “dumped” as part of schemes by the larger powers, primarily the US, to replace and upgrade their own stocks. Meanwhile on the frontline, Kiev’s troops have paid a heavy price for “strategically insignificant” territorial gains during this month’s counteroffensive, he said. Ukrainian action essentially amounts to a “suicidal full-frontal attacks on in-depth prepared defenses”, and allowing them to occur is “deeply cynical” and “sinister”, the reporter argued. “No modern NATO military strategist or senior officer would suggest these maneuvers are anything but an inhumane ticket to tragedy, when commanding their own troops,” Bowes claimed.

“Yet when it comes to Ukrainian young men mounting these assaults being decimated – they are silent.” Continued hostilities are also taking a toll on civilians in Russia, some of which Bowes said he had met personally in places including Belgorod Region. “I’ve seen [Russian] villages burning, I’ve heard artillery strikes, and I have to tell you that weapons being supplied by NATO and their allies to Ukraine are being wilfully targeted against civilian populations on a daily basis… all miraculously invisible to the Western media,” he told the UNSC. Historical precedents, such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland or the terrorist attack on the 2015 Bataclan Theater in Paris, show that even a small number of weapons can cause much suffering by civilians, Bowes warned. The arming of Ukraine may lead to decades of instability in the region and cause spillover effects in far-away nations, he added.

Read more …

Why not give them directly to Kiev?

Poland Wants US Nuclear Weapons – PM (RT)

Warsaw is asking NATO to include it in the bloc’s Nuclear Sharing Program, Prime Minister Mateus Morawiecki told journalists in Brussels on Friday. The program allows the deployment of US nuclear bombs on the territory of other nations. Morawiecki called Poland’s appeal a response to Moscow’s decision to station its tactical nuclear arms in neighboring Belarus. “Due to the fact that Russia intends to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, we are… appealing to… NATO to [allow us] take part in the Nuclear Sharing Program,” the prime minister said. The final decision on the issue would rest with Washington, Morawiecki said, but added that Warsaw sought to “act quickly in this regard.”

Poland “does not want to sit idly,” he explained, while accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of increasing “all sorts of threats.” Launched in 2009, the NATO Nuclear Sharing Program has seen US B-61 nuclear bombs deployed to various locations around Europe, including in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Türkiye. Some nations have appeared to regret allowing the deployments. In 2010, German lawmakers made a decision on the withdrawal of America’s nuclear weapons from Germany but the arms have remained in place. In April 2023, Sevim Dagdelen, the deputy head of the Left party in the Bundestag, demanded a US troop withdrawal from Germany, alongside America’s nuclear weapons.

Moscow and Minsk signed a treaty on Belarus hosting Russian tactical nuclear weapons in May. The atomic warheads will be mounted on Iskander-M missiles and fighter jets specifically modified for the purpose, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at that time. Moscow pointed to the NATO Nuclear Sharing Program as its own justification for the move. An estimated 150 American atomic bombs were deployed across several NATO nations on the European continent as of April 2022.

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“This is an indirect, but very clear, explicit recognition of who is at war against whom..”

“So, thank you for your concern, but we can handle it ourselves..s”

Russia Always Emerged Stronger From All Troubles – Lavrov (TASS)

The West should not worry about Russia’s national interests; the country has emerged stronger from all troubles, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at an online briefing on Friday. “Thank you for your concern about our national interests, but you shouldn’t feel worried,” Lavrov said, responding to a question from Reuters. About the attempted mutiny in Russia Lavrov said that “Russia has always emerged stronger from any trouble.” “This will be the case this time,” he stressed. “Moreover, we already feel that this process has begun.” Lavrov added that the attempted mutiny in Russia brought to mind only one epithet – “much ado” – and could hardly be described in a different way.


Lavrov recalled how last Saturday some Western officials, in their comments on the internal political situation in Russia, said that “the facade of the Russian authorities has cracked” and that they were doing everything right with regard to Ukraine. Lavrov pointed out that in this way the Western officials acknowledged that it was they (and not Ukraine) who were at war with Russia. Lavrov also recalled the European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s statement that the West was doing the right thing by arming Ukraine and called for stepping up arms supplies to Kiev. “This is an indirect, but very clear, explicit recognition of who is at war against whom,” Lavrov pointed out. “So, thank you for your concern, but we can handle it ourselves,” he concluded.

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“..committing a war crime by allowing mercenaries, Western generals and instructors to use civilian objects to hold all sorts of meetings.”

Russia Will Destroy Foreign Fighters, Western Generals In Ukraine – Lavrov (RT)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused Ukraine of allowing foreign mercenaries and Western generals to use civilian infrastructure to fight against Russia, and has vowed to destroy these groups. Speaking at an online briefing on Friday, Lavrov said that Russia has “not seen confirmation of a single fact of deliberate shelling of civilian targets by the Russian army.” He claimed, however, that the Ukrainian side has been “violating international humanitarian law and committing a war crime by allowing mercenaries, Western generals and instructors to use civilian objects to hold all sorts of meetings.”

“If we discover such gatherings, for example, as in Kramatorsk, we will destroy them, because these are people who have declared war on us,” Lavrov said, referring to Russia’s recent high-precision strike on a temporary brigade base in the Donbass city of Kramatorsk on Tuesday. The Russian Defense Ministry had claimed that the base was hosting a staff meeting involving dozens of Ukrainian officers and foreign advisers, and reported that the attack resulted in the deaths of “two generals, up to 50 officers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as up to 20 foreign mercenaries and military advisers.”

Russian forces have continued to repel Ukrainian attacks on their defensive positions in Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, as well as in Donbass, since Kiev launched its much-hyped counteroffensive earlier this month. Ukraine has so far been unable to make any significant gains and has suffered numerous casualties, losing hundreds of servicemen and dozens of heavy equipment, including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles provided by Kiev’s Western backers, according to numerous media reports.

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“Ain’t because McGovern knows everything. It’s because McGovern knows guys who know everything. Scott Ritter. Colonel MacGregor.”

Ray McGovern: Russia’s ‘Coup’ Is Actually Biden’s Disaster (SP)

The reason I adduce the Iraq example is because it’s a mirror image of the media lying and being fed by the intelligence community that matters. Now, there’s something that I have that you don’t have, Robert. You have a much longer record of objectivity and fearless reporting. What I have I was two years an Army infantry intelligence officer. Okay. Now, let me be very brief here. This may sound corny, but the first thing we were drilled into that was drilled into our minds. You do an estimate of the situation. You get a map and you find out where Ukraine is relative to Russia and where the U.S. and Western Europe are. And then you try to figure out how many Russians are under arms and how many how many Ukrainians could be stood up. And then you say, well, are they motivated?

And then you say, well, what kind of weaponry they have? And then you say blocks. Now, locks, not like locks and bagels that were usually in the Bronx. Okay. This is lines of communication and control and supply, actually. Now, there’s no way that Russia facing an existential threat from NATO and the U.S. and Ukraine can lose this battle. And, you know, for proof. Well, don’t believe me now. Check with me in three weeks and see where the situation on the battlefield is, because the Ukrainians are almost down to their last soldier. And the question will be, where do the Russian army stop the Dnieper or do they go all the way to the Polish border? So check with me in three weeks on that. Don’t trust me now. Okay. But the cardinal thing is that Americans have been misled.

And, you know, I’m really glad that whether you’re playing devil’s advocate here or whether you’re I’m really glad you’re posing these questions, because I am supremely confident. Ain’t because McGovern knows everything. It’s because McGovern knows guys who know everything. Scott Ritter. Colonel MacGregor. Just like when I was briefing Schultz, I could say I know these guys who are serious analysts don’t pay any attention to Gates and his boss, Casey. I listen to me and them because we’re giving you the straight scoop. Now, again, my record is there for everyone to see what people call me as some sort of devotee of Putin. But that’s that’s only because what he and I say tend to coincide much more than what John Kirby and others say on behalf of the administration.

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“Where is the money?”

Orban Taunts EU’s Drained Coffers With Travolta Meme (Sp.)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban trolled the European Commission in a Twitter post on Thursday over its rapidly emptying coffers. “What happened to the 7-year budget?” Orban queried, accompanying his tweet with a John Travolta meme from the movie Pulp Fiction. “How did this happen? What happened to the budget? Where is the money?” were the questions that Orban put out there, as the European Commission requested an increase of €66 billion ($72 billion) on Tuesday for its long-term budget. A review of a draft budget for the 2024-2027 period by the European Commission triggered an urgent need to boost the rapidly dwindling budget, with most of the money ostensibly needed to fund additional assistance for Ukraine.


Viktor Orban’s post on Twitter kicked off a thread of comments. Many took to social media to deplore the money going towards propping up Ukraine’s “corrupt” President Volodymyr Zelensky. Since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation, EU members have provided more than 61.7 billion euros in direct support to Kiev, including over 10 billion euros in military assistance. Moscow has warned repeatedly that such aid threatens to escalate the crisis. Back in May, Hungary blocked the European Union from allocating the eighth €500 million package from the so-called European Peace Fund to pay for military assistance to the Kiev regime. Orban has insisted that the ongoing hostilities stem from a “failure of diplomacy.” Rather than pursuing a strategy of further ramping up tensions, the veteran Hungarian leader urged an immediate end to escalation by the West. Viktor Orban has also offered especially harsh criticism of the European Union’s aggressively anti-Russian policies.

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“It’s not a show the whole world is watching and betting on or anything..”

Ukraine’s Top General ‘Pissed Off’ Over Counteroffensive Criticism – WaPo (RT)

The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces has vented his frustration over recurring remarks by international commentators and officials that the country’s counterattacks are proceeding too slowly. In an interview with the Washington Post published on Friday, General Valery Zaluzhny stressed that Kiev’s ongoing push – which Moscow claims has failed to gain any ground – is not a spectacle for the entire world to enjoy. “It’s not a show the whole world is watching and betting on or anything. Every day, every meter is given by blood,” he stressed. Zaluzhny, who was earlier reported to have been seriously injured in a Russian missile strike, also said that it “pisses [him] off” when he hears that Ukraine’s offensive is bogged down.

The Ukrainian general also reiterated that without adequate supplies, Kiev would not be able to implement its plans. “But they are being carried out. Yes, maybe not as fast as the participants in the show, the observers, would like, but that is their problem,” he added. Zaluzhny went on to complain that Ukraine still needs more weapons from its Western backers, saying that his troops have often been outgunned by their opponent due to limited resources. He also voiced frustration that Ukraine has to storm Russian lines without air support, with deliveries of advanced F-16 fighter jets still at least several months away.

Ukraine kicked off its much-anticipated counteroffensive in the early days of June, attempting to penetrate Russian defenses along several sections of the front. It has so far failed to gain any ground, according to Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Ukrainian losses have exceeded Moscow’s by a factor of ten, estimating that Kiev has lost 259 tanks and 780 armored vehicles since the start of the campaign. At the same time, Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov has described the attacks as a “preparatory operation” while President Vladimir Zelensky has admitted that the offensive is developing “slower than desired”in the face of “tough resistance” from Russian troops.

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“..they hope to gain leverage over Moscow by retaking “substantial territory by the fall,” and, “in an ideal scenario,” station artillery and rocket systems on the border with Crimea..”

Kiev Considers ‘Holding Crimea Hostage’ – WaPo (RT)

Ukrainian officials aim to station long-range weapons near Crimea in order to gain an upper hand in future peace negotiations with Russia, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing three people familiar with the matter. According to the Post, the Ukrainian leadership shared the plans with CIA head William Burns during his secret trip to Kiev last month, where he met with President Vladimir Zelensky. Zelensky and his aides are reportedly devising plans to end the fighting “on terms that are acceptable to Russia and the Ukrainian people.” To achieve that, they hope to gain leverage over Moscow by retaking “substantial territory by the fall,” and, “in an ideal scenario,” station artillery and rocket systems on the border with Crimea, where the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is located.

By “holding hostage” the peninsula, Kiev wants to “open negotiations” and demand that “Russia accept whatever security guarantees Ukraine can secure from the West,” the Post said. Ukraine’s top commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, has voiced frustration over criticism of the much-hyped counteroffensive, which was launched last month, but has so far failed to push back the Russians in any significant way. According to Moscow, multiple Ukrainian assaults were repelled, while Kiev’s forces had suffered heavy losses. The troops lost Western-supplied heavy tanks and combat vehicles to minefields and artillery fire as they tried to break through fortified Russian positions.

Peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine broke down in the spring of 2022. Kiev has since demanded that Russia surrender its four newly acquired regions, as well as Crimea, which Moscow stressed was non-negotiable. Russia also named Ukraine’s neutrality as one of requirements for the conflict to end. Crimea voted to join Russia in the wake of the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kiev. The regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye did the same after holding referendums in September 2022. Ukraine considers these territories illegally occupied by Russia.

Read more …

“..Ukraine must first win and carry out a successful counteroffensive, and only then will we decide to negotiate..”

West’s Ideas About How To End Crisis In Ukraine ‘Schizophrenic’ – Lavrov (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement about ending the conflict in Ukraine through “diplomacy” and “negotiation” strange against the backdrop of the West’s constant speculations about the need to defeat Russia first. “It’s a strange statement, I’ve heard about it,” Lavrov said in response to a TASS request for a comment. “This is all being said almost simultaneously with statements by the very same Secretary of State, Blinken, the very same leaders of the US National Security Council and the very same European Union and NATO functionaries, who keep saying: Ukraine must first win and carry out a successful counteroffensive, and only then will we decide to negotiate,” Lavrov explained. “This is a schizophrenic situation: they say that everything will be ended by negotiations, but first we have to defeat Russia.”

He also drew attention to the basis on which the West wished to negotiate. “The United States, together with NATO members and with the European Union, has stated firmly, repeatedly and uncompromisingly that the sole basis for negotiations is the notorious [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky peace formula, which consists of ten points,” Lavrov pointed out. “There are some neutral things there. Trivial, I should say.” “It is unclear why they were included there,” he noted, naming food and energy security among such things. “These are the very same things that have been undermined by the West’s sanctions.”

“But the main thing about the prospects for a peace treaty is that first Russia is to withdraw beyond the 1991 borders, the Russian leadership is to be put on trial, and Russia must pay reparations. Only after these preconditions have been met, will peace be made. This is what the West has in mind when it speaks of the need for negotiations and a peace settlement,” Lavrov explained. He remarked that “this split personality disorder does not help to correctly navigate the situation.” “The way I see it, they are trying to temporarily freeze this conflict, to achieve some kind of cease-fire and buy time to beef up Ukraine’s military muscle again, to create a new military infrastructure, and to supply it with new lethal long-range weapons,” Lavrov pointed out, adding that this scenario “is being advanced by US political scientists.”

He cited a recent article in Foreign Affairs magazine that promotes “exactly this type of scenario.” “Make peace, take a breather. Yes, Russia will also get a break, but the entire West is behind Ukraine, so we (the Western countries – TASS) will make it much stronger and then [will] continue to press ahead for the same aims mentioned in Zelensky’s plan.” “Demagogy has never hindered diplomacy in achieving certain aims, but that’s what diplomats are for: to distinguish some contrived moves from reality,” Lavrov concluded.

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“Ukraine officials told Burns they aim to move artillery and missile systems near the boundary line of Crimea and push further into eastern Ukraine by the fall. ”

CIA Chief Made Secret Trip to Ukraine to Discuss Battle Plans, Ceasefire (Sp.)

The head of the CIA in a secret trip to Ukraine reportedly held talks with officials on an ambitious strategy to retake territory from Russia and open ceasefire talks with Moscow by year-end. Citing officials familiar with the visit, US media reported that CIA Director William Burns during the trip in June met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine’s top intelligence officials. The purpose of the visit was to reaffirm the Biden administration’s commitment to sharing intelligence designed to help Ukraine in the conflict. Ukraine officials told Burns they aim to move artillery and missile systems near the boundary line of Crimea and push further into eastern Ukraine by the fall.

Then Kiev intends to open negotiations with Moscow for the first time since they broke down in March of last year, the report said, citing people involved with the planning. Officials reportedly later said they hope by agreeing not to take Crimea, Russia would accept whatever security guarantees Kiev can secure from the West. One Ukrainian official told the outlet “the US agrees that Ukraine should enter the negotiations from a strong position.” The CIA refused to comment when asked about Burns’ assessment of Kiev’s plans, the report said. Burns’ trip occurred just before Wagner chief Yevgeniy Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny. The report said the US intelligence community had detected in mid-June that Prigozhin was plotting something, but that those findings were not relayed to Ukrainian officials.

According to the report, Kiev is under extraordinary pressure from Western allies that provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in weaponry ahead of the counteroffensive. Earlier Friday, US media reported that Burns recently called his Russian counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin, to inform him that the United States had no involvement in Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny against the Russian government.

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“..the highest-level interaction between the US and Russia since the incident..”

CIA Head Calls Russian Intel Chief To Say US Uninvolved In Wagner Mutiny (TASS)

CIA Director William Burns called Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergey Naryshkin this week to tell him that the US had nothing to do with the mutiny attempt by the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC), The Wall Street Journal said on Friday citing its sources. According to them, the phone conversation between Burns and Naryshkin was the highest-level interaction between the US and Russia since the incident. The conversation, initiated by the American side, aimed to deliver a message that the US “had no involvement” in Wagner founder Evgeny Prigozhin’s actions and did not intend to exacerbate tensions in Russia, the newspaper writes, noting that the conversation took place this week.

According to the newspaper, Burns told Naryshkin that the US had no role in the mutiny and the incident was Russia’s internal affair. On the evening of June 23, several audio recordings were posted on the Telegram channel of Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin. In particular, he claimed that his units had come under attack, blaming the Russian military. The Russian Defense Ministry slammed the Wagner boss’ allegations of a strike on the PMC’s “rear camps” as fake news. The PMC units that supported Prigozhin headed to Rostov-on-Don and toward Moscow. The Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case on calls for armed mutiny. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a televised address to the nation on June 24, described the Wagner group’s actions as armed mutiny and a betrayal.

Later on June 24, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in coordination with Putin, held talks with Prigozhin, resulting in the PMC standing down, turning its units around, and retreating to their base camps. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian authorities pledged not to prosecute those Wagner PMC fighters who took part in the mutiny in light of their “frontline achievements.” The criminal case on armed mutiny was dropped, the FSB said.

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Let’s get to court..

Hunter Biden’s Lawyer Sends Scathing Letter to GOP Chair (Sp.)

One of Hunter Biden’s lawyers reportedly sent a scathing letter on Friday to US Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), the chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, accusing him of feeding a “misinformation campaign” against the Biden son. US media reported the letter claimed Smith was trying to undermine the law and feed “the misinformation campaign to harm our client, Hunter Biden, as a vehicle to attack his father.” In the letter, Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell references transcripts of interviews between the committee and IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley, who earlier told the panel he had copies of WhatsApp messages in which Hunter Biden allegedly attempted to use his father’s position as then-vice president to influence his business dealings.

“I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction,” reads the message, from 2017, which was allegedly sent from Hunter Biden to a Chinese businessman. Last week, Smith released transcripts of the interviews while the White House and Justice Department dismissed the IRS whistleblowers’ claims. Smith also tweeted screenshots of the message, according to a report, which Lowell says are “complete fakes.” “Both include a photo of Mr. Biden not from 2017 but from the White House Easter Egg roll in April 2022 (long after the purported message was sent); both images portray the message in a blue bubble, when WhatsApp messages are in green; one image super-imposed the Chinese flag for the contact ID, when surely that was not how a text or contact was kept; and one purports to be a screenshot with the ‘…’ of someone composing a text (as in Apple’s iMessage) when that does not happen on WhatsApp,” Lowell wrote in his letter, in reference to Smith’s tweeted images.

“In short, the images you circulated online are complete fakes,” he concludes. In reference to the IRS whistleblowers, who Lowell says are “claiming that title in an attempt to evade their own misconduct,” Lowell added that the interviews were “orchestrated recitations of mischaracterized and incomplete ‘facts’ by disgruntled agents who believed they knew better than the federal prosecutors who had all the evidence as they conducted their five-year investigation of Mr. Biden.” “Chairman Smith, it is easy when a committee does not operate with fairness and thoroughness and an adherence to rules and procedures to forward a false political narrative,” concluded Lowell in his letter.

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“It’s unfortunate that America suffered three fake presidential impeachments in recent decades..”

The Long, Hot Summer (Kunstler)

Do you suppose that “Joe Biden” & Company can keep up this charade of a proxy war with Russia much longer? $150-billion pounded down the Kiev rat-hole, purchasing yet another foreign relations humiliation. Never has an American president been heaped with such an ignominious foundering and dishonor. He can only pretend to run for reelection as he wrecks the country. The DNC poohbahs, cross-eyed in transports of Woke-ism, must know that this bumbling grifter personifies a failing state. The White House press pool reporters are even flinging harsh questions at him these days as he desperately searches for doors to escape through. The tally in the Biden family bribery operation stands above $30-million now, with government whistleblowers pouring out of the agencies like termites from a burning house.

Most of them have not testified in Congress yet, or in any other venue, nor have the various DOJ and FBI officials associated with the broad-based cover-up of these blatant crimes. Do you doubt anymore that Attorney General Merrick Garland perjured himself testifying that the Delaware US attorney David Weiss was not interfered with in the Hunter Biden tax and gun violation case? The mounting evidence of foreign influence-peddling is hard and vivid now, viz., the Whatsapp text out this week of Hunter, “sitting here with my father,” extorting Chinese business associate Henry Zhao to fullfill his commitment or “regret not following my direction.” Hmmmmm. Explain that. Or the email archive carefully saved by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, who was prudent enough to back up his story with docs apt to prove DOJ malfeasance.

It’s unfortunate that America suffered three fake presidential impeachments in recent decades — Bill Clinton’s over a sexual impropriety, which is hardly a high crime, and the two utter charades involving Donald Trump — because now our nation is faced with serious presidential crimes explicitly laid out in Article II Section Four of the Constitution: bribery. “Joe Biden” will be impeached if he doesn’t bail altogether, and he might not do that because then he loses the power to pardon the other Biden family members involved. The impeachment of Merrick Garland for debauching and dishonoring the Justice Department logically would be the warm-up act for the impeachment of the president. They’ve both got to go and they both could save our country a lot of trouble by just stepping down. Then we can see about Kamala Harris.

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This too made me think of France.

“..sometime over the course of the past 240-plus years that constitutional republic has been transformed into a military dictatorship disguised as a democracy..”

America Is a Military Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy (Whitehead)

The government is goosestepping all over our freedoms. Case in point: America’s founders did not want a military government ruled by force. Rather, they opted for a republic bound by the rule of law: the U.S. Constitution. Yet sometime over the course of the past 240-plus years that constitutional republic has been transformed into a military dictatorship disguised as a democracy. Most Americans seem relatively untroubled by this state of martial law. Incredibly, when President Biden bragged about how the average citizen doesn’t stand a chance against the government’s massive arsenal of militarized firepower, it barely caused a ripple. As Biden remarked at a fundraising event in California, “I love these guys who say the Second Amendment is—you know, the tree of liberty is water with the blood of patriots.

“Well, if [you] want to do that, you want to work against the government, you need an F-16. You need something else than just an AR-15.” The message being sent to the citizenry is clear: there is no place in our nation today for the kind of revolution our forefathers mounted against a tyrannical government. For that matter, the government has declared an all-out war on any resistance whatsoever by the citizenry to its mandates, power grabs and abuses. By this standard, had the Declaration of Independence been written today, it would have rendered its signers extremists or terrorists, resulting in them being placed on a government watch list, targeted for surveillance of their activities and correspondence, and potentially arrested, held indefinitely, stripped of their rights and labeled enemy combatants. This is no longer the stuff of speculation and warning.

For years, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism, erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist. A 2008 Army War College report revealed that “widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.” The 44-page report goes on to warn that potential causes for such civil unrest could include another terrorist attack, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

Read more …

 

 


 

 


This particular shark is believed to predate the existence of the United States of America. A team of scientists discovered a cluster of Greenland sharks and concluded that some of them are the oldest known vertebrates alive today. These sharks inhabit the frigid waters of Greenland and were the subject of a study conducted in 2017, which examined 28 individuals. The eldest shark in the study measured 16.5 feet (five meters) in length and was estimated to be approximately 392 years old. The researchers established, with a “95 percent certainty,” that the shark’s age fell within the range of 272 to 512 years, with a most probable age of around 390.

While the exact reasons behind their exceptional lifespan remain unclear, it is believed that the arctic temperatures they inhabit (plunging below 29 degrees Fahrenheit) contribute to their longevity. These low temperatures result in reduced body temperatures and slower metabolisms, thereby minimizing damage to the sharks’ tissues. Additionally, their growth rate is exceptionally slow, with less than half an inch (a centimeter) gained per year, suggesting a significantly longer lifespan compared to other vertebrates. Furthermore, the females of this species exhibit delayed sexual maturity, only beginning to mate at the age of 156.

 

 

Octopus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1674792210985021440
https://twitter.com/i/status/1674822032649863179

 

 

Tigers
https://twitter.com/i/status/1674806164310175744

 

 

Oarfish

 

 

Roman theater
https://twitter.com/i/status/1674843500917948420

 

 

 

 

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Jun 102023
 


Edgar Degas Les repasseuses (women ironing) 1884

 

Reminder, What Was in The Mar-a-Lago Documents (CTH)
So About Trump’s Second Indictment (Denninger)
Snowden Weighs In On Trump’s Classified Docs Indictment (RT)
The Great DOJ Werewolf Hunt (Jim Kunstler)
To The Pompous But Dim-Witted Critics Of Russia (Medvedev)
A War Long Wanted (Matthew Hoh)
Biden’s Reputation Hinges On Kiev’s Counteroffensive – Politico (RT)
When Could West Pull the Plug on Military Assistance to Kiev? (Sp.)
West Planning ‘Second Ukraine’ In Moldova – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine Shifts Timeline For Crimean Incursion (RT)
Media: One Side “Says” – The Other “Provides No Evidence” (MoA)
Asia, Not Europe As A Laboratory For The Multipolar World (Lukyanov)
Saudi Crown Prince Threatened To Damage US Economy – Media (RT)
Ban Use Of Fossil Fuels In Making Wind Turbines And Solar Panels (CSD)
Media Blames Climate Change For Canada Wildfires Despite Multiple Arrests (LSN)
Over 66% Of US At Risk Of Power Outages Due To Green Transition (JTN)
New Twitter Files: FBI Worked With Ukraine To Censor Twitter Accounts (Fox)

 

 

 

 

RFK vaccines

 

 

RFK on Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Chomsky China

 

 

 

 

Tucker pedophilia

 

 

 

 

Sundance brings the receipts.

“President Trump declassified documents that show how the institutions within the U.S. government targeted him..”

“..if you peel away all the layers of lies, manipulations and corruption, what you find at the heart of their conduct is fear. The need for control is a reaction to fear. What do they fear most? …..THIS!”

Reminder, What Was in The Mar-a-Lago Documents (CTH)

The NSA compliance officer notified NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers of unauthorized use of the NSA database by FBI contractors searching U.S. citizens during the 2015/2016 presidential primary. That 2016 notification is a classified record. The response from Mike Rogers, and the subsequent documentary evidence of what names were being searched, is again a classified record. The audit logs showing who was doing the searches (which contractors, which agencies and from what offices), as noted by Director Rogers, were preserved. That is another big-time classified record. In addition, we would have Admiral Rogers writing a mandatory oversight notification to the FISA court detailing what happened. That’s a big and comprehensive classified record, likely contained in the documents in Mar-a-Lago… and then the goldmine, the fully unredacted 99-page FISA court opinion detailing the substance of the NSA compromise by FBI officials and contractors, including the names, frequency and dates of the illegal surveillance.

That is a major classified document the Deepest Deep State would want to keep hidden. These are the types of documents within what former ODNI John Ratcliffe called, “thousands of pages that were declassified by President Trump,” and given to both John Durham and Main Justice with an expectation of public release when the Durham special counsel probe concluded. That is why the DOJ has to make their moves now. The Durham probe has concluded. In short, President Trump declassified documents that show how the institutions within the U.S. government targeted him. However, the institutions that illegally targeted President Trump are the same institutions who control the specific evidence of their unlawful targeting.

These examples of evidence held by President Donald Trump reveal the background of how the DC surveillance state exists. THAT was/is the national security threat behind the DOJ-NSD search warrant and affidavit. The risk to the fabric of the U.S. government is why we see lawyers and pundits so confused as they try to figure out the disproportionate response from the DOJ and FBI, toward “simple records”, held by President Trump in Mar-a-Lago. Very few people can comprehend what has been done since January 2009, and the current state of corruption as it now exists amid all of the agencies and institutions of government.

Barack Obama spent 8 years building out and refining the political surveillance state. The operators of the institutions have spent the last six years hiding the construct. President Donald Trump declassified the material then took the evidence to Mar-a-Lago. The people currently in charge of managing the corrupt system, like Merrick Garland, Lisa Monaco, Chris Wray and the Senate allies, are going bananas. From their DC perspective, Donald Trump is an existential threat. Given the nature of their opposition, and the underlying motives for their conduct, there is almost nothing they will not do to protect themselves. However, if you peel away all the layers of lies, manipulations and corruption, what you find at the heart of their conduct is fear. The need for control is a reaction to fear. What do they fear most? …..THIS!

People forget, and that’s ok, but prior to the 2015 MAGA movement driven by President Donald J Trump, political rallies filled with tens-of-thousands of people were extremely rare – almost nonexistent. However, in the era of Donald J. Trump the scale of the people paying attention has grown exponentially. Every speech, every event, every rally is now filled with thousands and thousands of people. The frequency of it has made us numb to realizing just how extraordinary this is. But the people in Washington DC are well aware, and that makes President Trump even more dangerous. Combine that level of support with what they attempted in order to destroy him, and, well, now you start to put context on their effort. The existence of Trump is a threat, but the existence of a Trump that could expose their corruption…. well, that makes him a level of threat that leads to a raid on his home in Mar-a-Lago.

Read more …

“There is every reason to believe that the cover-up of this is why there is a war in Ukraine right now and is directly why tens of thousands are dead..”

So About Trump’s Second Indictment (Denninger)

…. I don’t care. I should, of course. We all should. But I don’t. I don’t because nobody else has for thirty years when it comes to wild-eyed felony violations of the law, each carrying ten years in prison for each and every person involved, that occur by the tens of thousands every day. I’m talking about 15 USC Chapter 1 and violations that, collectively, amount to roughly 15% of the entire federal budget, all of which every one of us pays for, and another several trillion in “private” spending which we also pay for via crazily-hiked “insurance” premiums and similar. We pay for it in $500 medications that cost $10 anywhere else in the world, procedures that are billed at a thousand percent over what they cost anywhere else in the world, we’re billed at different rates depending on who your insurance carrier is, which for most people is not a choice they actually have (it comes through their job) and more.

I also don’t care because on the same day this indictment was announced it was also announced that the FBI has had hard evidence that both Hunter Biden and Joe Biden himself took $5m in bribes each and the target of same was explicit policy actions by the government which, I remind you, Joe Biden bragged about on national television — yet he still sits in the Oval Office. There is every reason to believe that the cover-up of this is why there is a war in Ukraine right now and is directly why tens of thousands are dead, infrastructure has been destroyed and tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money have gone to waste prosecuting same. Never mind that Biden committed the very same offense according to the record, the FBI knew it, and covered it up before the midterm elections; they knew Biden had classified documents in multiple places he had no right to possess — including in his garage.

We, the people of this nation, have allowed this, along with the original coup, where literal murder took place at Maidan and members of our government, including sitting Senators, cheered same on, to occur — all while our current President was vice-President and Obama, who was President at the time presided over that entire sordid mess and he too is still a free man. So…… do I care that the government has done this? No. We didn’t care enough to do anything about any of the above for three decades, a million Americans are dead over the last three years because of said medical monstrosity, tens of thousands of Russians and Ukranians are dead because of what our government has done over there, we have a sitting Senator who on camera stated that the killing of Russian soldiers was a “great investment” and our current sitting President appears to have taken a five million dollar bribe which the FBI knew about three years ago, prior to the election for the specific purpose of actual corrupt purpose WHILE IN OFFICE, they have done nothing about it and the American people have let all this go on for decades.

Mark Levin

Read more …

“Then said Jesus unto him, put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword..”

Snowden Weighs In On Trump’s Classified Docs Indictment (RT)

Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of state secrets is common behavior in Washington and typically goes unpunished, former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has argued in response to the former US president’s indictment. “All kidding aside, it’s not wrong to say that the indictment of Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents is a case of selective prosecution,” Snowden said on Friday in a Twitter post. “Spilled secrets are very much the currency of Washington, and Trump was not alone in splashing them around. He was just the least graceful.” Trump was charged with 37 felonies in a federal grand jury indictment that prosecutors unsealed on Friday. He’s accused of knowingly retaining classified documents after leaving office, conspiring to keep federal authorities from retrieving them and obstructing an investigation into their whereabouts.

Snowden marked the 10-year anniversary this week of his exposure of mass spying on US citizens by their government. He said Trump failed to fix the system that has now come back to haunt him. “It’s hard to feel sorry for a man who had four years in the White House to reform that broken system and instead left it in place to the detriment of the American public. He is caught within the same gears his own hands once turned,” Snowden tweeted. Some observers pointed out that Trump is being prosecuted under the same law – the Espionage Act – that Washington has wielded against Snowden and WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. As president, Trump declined to issue pardons for both men, who were charged with crimes after exposing US government wrongdoing.

“Then said Jesus unto him, put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword,” Snowden said, using a Bible verse to point out the irony of Trump’s latest legal predicament. Snowden has railed against the US government’s abuse of secrecy since 2013, when he exposed the widespread NSA spying on American citizens. He was forced to seek refuge in Russia after Washington annulled his passport mid flight, eventually becoming a Russian citizen. Asked on Friday what he’d do if he were the US president, he said, “I’d surely reduce the number of things we classify by more than 99% – and you would not find the remainder in my bathroom or behind my Corvette.”

Snowden’s quip alluded to allegations that Trump had classified records stored in a bathroom at his Florida resort, as well as revelations earlier this year that President Joe Biden improperly kept secret documents and stored them in multiple locations, including the garage at his home in Delaware. Trump and his allies have argued that Biden weaponized the justice system to take out his top opponent in the 2024 presidential election, all while being excused for his own mishandling of state secrets. Trump also argued that he had the authority to declassify the records in his possession, unlike Biden, whose documents were acquired when he served as vice president. The former president blasted Jack Smith, the special counsel overseeing the indictment against him, as a “deranged lunatic” with a history of political bias.

Read more …

“Unlike the Donald Trump werewolf hunt, the “Joe Biden” classified-docs-in-a-garage case is moving at the speed of an Amtrak train with a broken Johnson rod stuck on a sidetrack outside Joppatowne, Maryland, in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve.”

The Great DOJ Werewolf Hunt (Jim Kunstler)

At long last you know what those plangent cries of Russia! Russia! Russia! ringing across the land signify: America has been turning into Russia, Joe Stalin-vintage, since 2016, just as Lon Chaney turned into a werewolf on-screen back in 1941. Trump Derangement turns out to be an extreme presentation of mass Species Identity disorder, a national altered state that (Wikipedia says): “…typically involves delusions and hallucinations with the transformation only seeming to happen in the mind and behavior of the affected person.”

Clinical lycanthropy is a very rare condition and is largely considered to be an idiosyncratic expression of a psychotic or dissociative episode caused by another condition such as Dissociative Identity Disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or clinical depression. It has also been associated with drug intoxication and withdrawal, cerebrovascular disease, traumatic brain injury, dementia, delirium, and seizures…. However, there are suggestions that certain neurological conditions and cultural influences may result in the expression of the human-animal transformation theme that defines the condition.”

So, now we are to have a grand show trial, in the Stalinist mode, of presidential candidate (and werewolf) Donald Trump on charges actually concocted off-site in the Lawfare laboratory of Commissar for Werewolf Activities Andrew Weissmann and sidekick, Brookings Institute fellow Norm Eisen, late counsel to the House Committee that impeached the werewolf with disappointing results over a telephone call to Ukraine in 2019. And, yes, that would be the same Andrew Weissmann who previously (but surreptitiously) led the team of intrepid Lawfare werewolf exorcists fronted by dementia victim Robert Mueller. Mr. Weissmann’s previous two-year-long werewolf hunt was a bust, too, of course. The werewolf slipped off into the moonstruck night to gnaw on Democrat loins again!

This time Mr. Weissman’s front-man is federal attorney Jack Smith, new to the werewolf hunting scene, packing a seven-shot indictment of silver bullets, aiming to show America how it’s done. And just in case he misses those shots, he’s got another gun strapped to his ankle chambering silver bullets engraved with “Jan 6” on the slugs. If you think our world has gotten interesting, better buckle into your Big Boy lounger because this werewolf movie is going places like none before. You may have noticed the timing of this new werewolf hunt has a near-magical synchronicity with oddly identical circumstances shimmering around the current occupant of the White House — another case of misplaced official papers. Unlike the Donald Trump werewolf hunt, the “Joe Biden” classified-docs-in-a-garage case is moving at the speed of an Amtrak train with a broken Johnson rod stuck on a sidetrack outside Joppatowne, Maryland, in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve.

But those purloined classified papers may be the least of “Joe Biden’s” concerns. Why, just the other day a single “whistleblower” document turned up in the House Oversight Committee’s SCIF — a special room for the performance of secret rituals — suggesting that “JB” was on the receiving end of $5 million gratis from some generous soul connected to a Ukrainian natgas company. That payday, for services left murky, when “JB” happened to be Barack Obama’s vice-president, came around the same period as yet other multi-million-dollar gift parcels from China, Russia, and Romania flew into a long list of companies operated by “JB’s” son Hunter, with no known business other than receiving large sums of money and then writing checks to various Biden family members. “Well Sonofabitch…!” as the president himself once said apropos of legal doings in Ukraine.

Read more …

A tweet.

To The Pompous But Dim-Witted Critics Of Russia (Medvedev)

To the pompous but dim-witted critics of Russia, and those who somehow managed to put all of their memory down the drain: let’s once again go through some of the major military operations of the U.S. and NATO after World War II.

1950 – The US is leading an intervention by the UN forces during the Korean War.
1954 – The US participates in the military coup in Guatemala and the follow-up intervention.

1961 – The US is launching the Bay of Pigs Operation in order to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba.
1964 – The US gets massively involved in the Vietnam war.
1981 – The US incites the civil war in Nicaragua.

1989 – The US invades Panama.
1999 – NATO’s war against Yugoslavia.
2001 – The US starts a war in Afghanistan.
2003 – The US launches a war in Iraq.
2011 – NATO’s first intervention in Libya.
2014 – The US and its allies invade Syria.
2015 – NATO’s second intervention in Libya.

The list is far from complete but quite telling. None of the major regional conflict of the past decades did without either direct or indirect involvement of American “benefactors.” The outcome is millions of dead people. Their blood is on the hands of ALL the American presidents, of various corrupted bastards, and other demented old men from the US Administration and US Congress. And yet, after all this, some seniles like Biden and other hypocrites have the nerve to criticize Russia for its actions aimed at protecting its own compatriots and defending its historical territories? Who are you to open your foul mouths? Just zip it up!

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“NATO expansion was a cash bonanza for a weapons industry that originally saw destitution as the fruit of the Cold War’s end..”

A War Long Wanted (Matthew Hoh)

At the end of the Cold War, the military-industrial complex faced an existential crisis. Without an adversary like the Soviet Union, justifying massive arms spending by the United States would be difficult. NATO expansion allowed for new markets. Countries coming into NATO would be required to upgrade their armed forces, replacing their Soviet-era stocks with Western weapons, ammunition, machines, hardware and software compatible with NATO’s armies. Entire armies, navies and air forces had to be remade. NATO expansion was a cash bonanza for a weapons industry that originally saw destitution as the fruit of the Cold War’s end. From 1996–1998, US arms companies spent $51 million ($94 million today) lobbying Congress. Millions more were spent on campaign donations.

Beating swords into plowshares would have to wait for another epoch once the weapons industry realized the promise of Eastern European markets. In a circular and mutually reinforcing loop, Congress appropriates money to the Pentagon. The Pentagon funds the arms industry, which, in turn, funds think tanks and lobbyists to direct Congress on further Pentagon spending. Campaign contributions from the weapons industry accompany that lobbying. The Pentagon, CIA, National Security Council, State Department and other limbs of the national security state directly fund the think tanks and ensure that any policies promoted are the policies the government institutions themselves want.

It is not just Congress that is under the sway of the military-industrial complex. These same weapons companies that bribe members of Congress and fund think tanks often employ, directly and indirectly, the cadre of experts that litter cable news programs and fill space in news reporting. Rarely is this conflict of interest identified by American media. Thus, men and women who owe their paychecks to the likes of Lockheed, Raytheon or General Dynamics appear in the media and advocate for more war and more weapons. These commentators and pundits seldom acknowledge that their benefactors immensely profit from the policies of more war and more weapons.

The corruption extends into the executive branch as the military-industrial complex employs scores of administration officials whose political party is no longer in the White House. Out of government, Republican and Democratic officials head from the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department to arms companies, think tanks and consultancies. When their party retakes the White House, they return to the government. In exchange for bringing their rolodexes, they receive lavish salaries and benefits. Similarly, US generals and admirals retire from the Pentagon and go straightto arms companies. This revolving door reaches the highest level. Before becoming Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State and Director of National Intelligence, Lloyd Austin, Antony Blinken and Avril Haines were employed by the military-industrial complex. In Secretary Blinken’s case, he founded a firm, WestExec Advisors, devoted to trading and peddling influence for weapons contracts.

There is a broader level of commercial greed in the context of the Ukraine War that cannot be dismissed or ignored. The US fuels and arms the world. US fossil fuel and weapons exports now exceed its agricultural and industrial exports. Competition for the European fuel market, particularly liquid natural gas, has been a primary concern over the last decade for both Democratic and Republican administrations. Removing Russia as the key energy supplier to Europe and limiting overall Russian fossil fuel exports worldwide has greatly benefited American oil and gas companies. In addition to wider commercial trade interests, the sheer amounts of money the American fossil fuel business makes as a result of denying Europeans the option of buying Russian fossil fuels cannot be disregarded.

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Not true. The Biden team has been busy covering their hurt butts from day one. They will simply blame Zelensky. “We gave you everything and you f*cked up!”

Biden’s Reputation Hinges On Kiev’s Counteroffensive – Politico (RT)

Washington’s future military support for Ukraine and President Joe Biden’s reputation depend largely on the outcome of Kiev’s counteroffensive against the Russian forces, senior American officials have told Politico. The White House “anxiously watches” Kiev’s attempts to retake territories it lost to Russia, the US outlet reported on Thursday. If the counteroffensive succeeds, Ukraine would be able to count on additional military and economic assistance from the US and its allies, but if it fails, Western support may dry up, with Kiev facing calls to find a swift diplomatic resolution to the conflict, the report said. Five US officials, who spoke to Politico on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that they weren’t sure if lawmakers would vote for more aid for President Vladimir Zelensky’s government when funds approved last year are depleted.

The House Republicans may use any setbacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) to derail the efforts of the Democrats to boost military aid, they pointed out. According to the outlet, Washington has been increasingly unhappy about Ukrainian attacks inside Russia such as an attempted drone strike on the Kremlin in early May and the assassinations of military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and journalist Darya Dugina. Those moves by Kiev have led to “several private, stern admonishments in diplomatic backchannels,” it added. The political uncertainty in the US and developments on the ground in Ukraine are among “mounting concerns that could sully Biden’s hoped-for triumphant return to the world stage” at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July, the officials stressed.

The gathering in the Lithuanian capital will be a “key moment” for the American leader, who’ll face questions about US security guarantees for Kiev, the deliveries of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and its potential membership in NATO, Politico pointed out. During his meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi SuNak on Thursday, Biden expressed belief that the administration will “have the funding necessary to support Ukraine as long as it takes” and that this support will be “real.” Earlier that day, senior US officials told CNN that the AFU had suffered “significant” casualties in its unsuccessful attempts to mount a counteroffensive against the Russian forces over the past week. Kiev’s troops have been met with “greater than expected resistance” when trying to break through Russian lines, they said. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Ukraine has lost around 5,000 soldiers and 100 tanks in combat since Sunday.

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“..such a scenario is fraught with a “very rapid collapse” of the Zelensky regime because it can no longer exist without Western assistance..”

When Could West Pull the Plug on Military Assistance to Kiev? (Sp.)

Touching upon Kiev’s chances to get the F-16s, Podolyaka suggested that “If the so-called counteroffensive ends up at least in a draw, or with some small victories for the AFU, then, of course, the fighter jets will be in place in Ukraine.” But if the AFU sustains a defeat, then “it is quite possible” that the Americans and Europeans will think that the supply of the F-16s to Kiev is irrelevant, he said, adding “everything will depend on the results of the battle that is now unfolding.” When asked if the West will continue increasing its military supplies to Kiev given the AFU’s stuttering attempts to launch a counteroffensive, the military expert referred to what he described as Americans and Britons’ practical approach to things.

“They are business people. They understand that if the project is unsuccessful, then it is not worth investing in it. And they are already directly saying and hinting to the Kiev regime that ‘if you don’t achieve any significant results as a result of the counteroffensive, […] then there will be a decrease in investments,” according to Podolyaka. He explained that such a scenario is fraught with a “very rapid collapse” of the Zelensky regime because it can no longer exist without Western assistance.

“Militarily, the Ukrainian state would have been destroyed long ago but for the West’s aid. […] The Zelensky regime will fall or [be] significantly weakened as soon as Western assistance dries up, something that Kiev is afraid of. That is why they have launched this suicidal counteroffensive, knowing about all the risks related to the decision,” Podolyaka noted. Giving his insight into when it is relevant to expect the above-mentioned “significant results,” he underlined that one should wait and see how developments will further unfold given the fact that the AFU will almost certain try to reverse the tide of the battle in its favor in the coming days.

[..] Deputy chief of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev also commented on the matter, writing on his Telegram page that “While Fogh Rasmussen previously was not a very smart person, he has now completely fallen into doctrinaire dementia.” He also warned that a possible scenario of NATO forces being deployed to Ukraine may have a negative impact on the US. “What does Uncle Sam think about this? After all, they’ll be impacted too. […] This is what happens when one becomes a freelance adviser to all sorts of greedy scumbags like former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and other corrupt Nazis at an inappropriate time,” Medvedev added.

Dwelling on the issue, Podolyaka, in turn, said that he was “sure that Poland will try to seize a significant piece of land from Ukraine”, something that he added cannot be resolved without the Polish entering Ukrainian soil. He added that while the probability of the scenario of Polish forces being stationed in Ukraine remains, this won’t take place right now because Warsaw “will wait for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to fall apart” as a result of the Russian special military operation. At the same time, Poland hopes that Russia will be purportedly weakened due to NATO’s actions and that it will allow Warsaw to claim and annex the territory of Western Ukraine in line with the 1939 borders,” he concluded.

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Losing on one front is not enough?!

West Planning ‘Second Ukraine’ In Moldova – Moscow (RT)

The US and its allies are looking to use the former Soviet Republic of Moldova to contain Russia and turn it into “a second Ukraine,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin has warned. “Absolutely irresponsible, absolutely short-sightedly, the West is eyeing Moldova for the role of a second Ukraine, and, unfortunately, the current Moldovan leadership is actively involved in this,” Galuzin told Rossiya 24 broadcaster on Thursday. The government in Chisinau “walks the path of a pro-Western policy; takes part in the anti-Russian policy of the US and its satellites; follows the path of initiating that same escalation in relations with Russia” as Kiev did in the years leading up to its current conflict with Moscow, he pointed out.

According to the diplomat, the Russian side is not doing anything to stoke tensions with the people of Moldova – a small nation of 2.6 million people, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania. “Those are not our methods,” he insisted. In May, the EU launched a partnership mission in Moldova under its Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), with the proclaimed aim of helping the country with crisis management and tackling hybrid threats. The bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said the move was necessary due to “continued Russian attempts to destabilize Moldova with hybrid actions.” Galuzin also said the EU’s mission was anti-Russian in its very essence, as it is designed to further strengthen Chisinau’s pro-Western course and direct the country towards confrontation with Moscow. While pursuing closer ties with the West, the country’s officials are ignoring the interests of a large portion of Moldova’s population, who want good relations with Russia and don’t believe in stories about the perceived “Russian threat,” the deputy FM added.

Earlier this week, Moldova’s parliament terminated agreements on military cooperation and tackling the aftermath of natural disasters with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – an organization comprised of Russia and most other former Soviet republics. Last month, President Maia Sandu claimed that membership in the CIS was “not beneficial to the citizens of Moldova, and we proceed from the interests of the citizens.” In late May, NATO said it had “mutually beneficial” relations with Moldova, as the US-led military bloc has been helping the country “with efforts to reform and modernize its defense and security structures and institutions.” NATO also described Chisinau as a “valued contributor” to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, where 40 Moldovan troops are deployed.

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Keep them out of Crimea!

Ukraine Shifts Timeline For Crimean Incursion (RT)

A spokesman for Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) has downplayed a failed prediction made by his boss, Kirill Budanov, who had claimed that Ukrainian troops would enter Crimea by the end of spring. The new target is sometime this year before the weather turns cold, the official insisted. When asked about Budanov’s inaccurate assessment by the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper on Friday, spokesman Andrey Yusov said it was not “a bookmaker’s bet or a date on a tear-off calendar.” “But the overall situation and the wider assessment remain the same: Ukraine will definitely return Crimea. And then Budanov’s words would be prophetic,” Yusov claimed. He declined to set a more specific deadline, citing battlefield uncertainties, but suggested that the touted breakthrough would happen “while it is warm.”


Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014, after the local population voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move following a Western-backed armed coup in Kiev. The Ukrainian government and its supporters rejected the outcome of the plebiscite, and claim that the territory is illegally occupied. Budanov has made several predictions on when Ukrainian troops would supposedly enter Crimea. In May 2022, he set the end of the year as the deadline, while in October he claimed Kiev would “liberate” Crimea in the spring of 2023. He publicly expressed confidence in that time frame as late as April. Russian officials have warned that an attempted military invasion of Crimea would be countered with major resistance. The pushback would “obviously involve the use of all defensive measures, including those articulated in the nuclear doctrine,” Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Security Council and former Russian president, told journalists in March.

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“Did any of the U.S. or NATO leaders really think that the Ukrainian forces would have a f***ing chance by senselessly running into well prepared Russian defenses?”

Media: One Side “Says” – The Other “Provides No Evidence” (MoA)

“Ukraine Mounts Multiple Attacks on Russian Occupiers” – New York Times – June 8, 2023. On one side – just flat out statements taken for granted: “Three senior U.S. officials, as well as military analysts, said that a long-awaited major Ukrainian counteroffensive appeared to be underway, after months spent mobilizing and training new units, and arming them with advanced Western weapons … Kyiv said little about the intensified fighting, neither confirming nor denying Russian claims, and Ukrainian officials have said they will not discuss details for reasons of operational secrecy. A Ukrainian deputy defense minister, Hanna Malyar, said a battle was underway in the area of a larger town about 10 miles away in the neighboring Donetsk region, Velyka Novosilka, but it was unclear if she was referring to the same clash.

The other side’s claims are depicted as dubious: “The Russian war bloggers, who have become a major source of information from the front lines, said Ukraine’s forces had suffered heavy losses, though such claims could not be confirmed and in the past have often been exaggerated. The Russian account, like most claims about what was happening at the front, could not be confirmed independently, but videos verified by The New York Times showed a Ukrainian armored vehicle near Velyka Novosilka hitting a land mine.” I could add a dozen more pieces that follow the scheme. Ukrainian or U.S. claims lead the piece without being put into doubt. Russian counterclaims come a few paragraphs down and are immediately said to lack any evidence.

By the way: What the New York Times claims to have confirmed via video is just one of many screw ups on the Ukrainian side that can be seen these days. Over the last 48 hours I have watched half a dozen drone videos of Ukrainian vehicles rumbling in tight columns over open fields, without minesweepers, without smokescreen or artillery cover, only to get blown up in minefields and massacred by anti-tank missiles. No seasoned platoon or company leader would plan and execute attacks like that but, watching those videos, I doubt that the Ukraine still has any of those. Then we have this:

“Ukrainian forces have suffered losses in heavy equipment and soldiers as they met greater than expected resistance from Russian forces in their first attempt to breach Russian lines in the east of the country in recent days, two senior US officials tell CNN. One US official described the losses – which include US supplied MRAP armored personnel vehicles as “significant.” Did any of the U.S. or NATO leaders really think that the Ukrainian forces would have a f***ing chance by senselessly running into well prepared Russian defenses? Really???

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“.. a couple of landmark events at the 2023 edition. Perhaps the most interesting was Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu’s refusal to meet Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin on the margins..”

Asia, Not Europe As A Laboratory For The Multipolar World (Lukyanov)

Last week, Singapore hosted the annual Asian Shangri-La Dialogue security conference. It has been organized for over 20 years by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. It’s probably the most representative forum in the region, even though the agenda is set by Westerners. It’s also arguably still the most accurate indicator of the general Asian mood and is now beginning to dictate the general global atmosphere. There were a couple of landmark events at the 2023 edition. Perhaps the most interesting was Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu’s refusal to meet Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin on the margins. The démarche was quite clear, although both ministers’ speeches expressed the unacceptability of confrontation, the consequences of which could be catastrophic.

Washington and Beijing have opposing visions in their assessment of future possibilities. In the US, there is a clear and almost unanimous view that Beijing is a rival that must be reined in at almost any cost. And those that shape opinion believe it will get worse. China is outraged that the US itself is dismantling a system of relations that has enriched both sides to their mutual satisfaction for decades. In Beijing’s view, the Americans are overstepping the bounds of reason by demanding that their Asian partners submit to their interests – or even whims. From Washington’s point of view, allowing China to continue to rise means having a challenger for world domination in the near future, with whom a clash is inevitable. Not a good position to be in. Thus, the paradox is that while both sides are openly preparing for confrontation, they are very wary of it.

Neither side is confident of imminent success. Logically, China’s primary interest is to postpone the moment of conflict as long as possible, if it is to be seen as inevitable. After all, Beijing has always been a catch-up actor, and on the military side it has much less experience than the Americans. The latter, on the other hand, may assume that the sooner the relationship is clarified, the better their chances of success. Of course, the US is now involved in a confrontation with Russia in Ukraine, and the prospect of a second front in Asia is worrying. This would not necessarily be a direct military engagement (no one believes this is likely in the short term), but a general increase in politico-military tensions, draining resources in that direction. The recent dangerous proximity of warships in the South China Sea is a familiar sight to the various Baltic and Black Sea confrontations. At the same time, diplomatic and intelligence contacts are taking place to “keep the lines of communication open.” However, these are much less busy than in the recent past.

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Biden has no idea how the world has changed. He goes in there and says: You ungrateful desert rat! I remember what we did for you! And MbS will say: I’m too young to remember, but I still do know what WE did for YOU!.

Saudi Crown Prince Threatened To Damage US Economy – Media (RT)

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman privately threatened to harm the American economy after President Joe Biden warned Saudi Arabia of “consequences” for agreeing an oil production cut with Russia, the Washington Post reported, citing leaked material. The Biden administration had said it would re-evaluate relations with the kingdom following a decision by Riyadh to slash crude production against the wishes of the US.The Crown Prince, who is widely referred to as MBS, warned that he would not deal with the US administration anymore if Biden penalized Saudi Arabia. He also promised “major economic consequences for Washington,” the Post reported on Thursday. The threat was contained in a classified document that was leaked on a Discord server, but it was not clear whether the remark was part of intercepted communications or a message sent privately to the US.

Biden made his dissatisfaction with Riyadh clear last October after the OPEC+ group of major oil producers including Russia agreed to cut production by two million barrels a day. Washington was working to punish Moscow with sanctions on its oil trade over the conflict in Ukraine. “There’s going to be some consequences for what they’ve done with Russia,” the US president said in an interview with CNN at the time, without specifying any possible measures. On the campaign trail before his election, Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” over the Crown Prince’s alleged role in the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, which Riyadh blamed on rogue agents.

This threat never materialized, with White House insiders indicating that the Biden administration had opted against jeopardizing bilateral relations. Under a decades-old arrangement, the US provides security to Saudi Arabia, and in exchange retains access to its oil, which the kingdom trades for dollars, propping it up as a global currency. A number of top US officials recently traveled to Saudi Arabia, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken. These relations contrast with the reportedly poor personal chemistry between Biden and MBS, who have not met since last July. The 37-year-old Saudi Crown Prince, who is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the kingdom in lieu of his father, King Salman, reportedly mocks Biden in private, making fun of his gaffes and mental lapses. Critics of the US president have accused him of caving in to Saudi pressure.

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“It is the height of hypocrisy to pretend that solar panels and wind turbines will save us from ‘evil’ fossil fuels..”

Ban Use Of Fossil Fuels In Making Wind Turbines And Solar Panels (CSD)

New York state Sen. George Borrello, R-Wyoming County, has introduced a bill to require that all wind turbines, solar collectors and infrastructure for producing green energy be manufactured and constructed without the use of fossil fuels. His bill would also apply to the manufacture and distribution of electric vehicles. If the bill were to become law, it would be the end of renewable energy. There’s no feasible way to manufacture and transport wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles without fossil fuels. Borrello is well aware of this fact and said he suspects most of his colleagues in the New York Legislature do too.

Like a resolution that was introduced in the last Wyoming legislative session earlier this year that would’ve banned auto dealerships from selling electric vehicles, the goal of Borrello’s bill is to get people thinking a bit harder about the outcomes of extreme green energy policies. “The intent of the bill is to start an honest conversation about the reality of wind turbines and solar panels,” Borrello told Cowboy State Daily. “These energy sources are praised as the answer to reducing emissions and saving the planet. However, rarely discussed is the environmental damage that results from the manufacture, transport and installation of these systems.” In the last session of the Wyoming Legislature, Sen. Jim Anderson, R-Casper, sponsored a resolution requiring the state’s auto dealerships to phase out the sale of electric vehicles by 2035.

Anderson and the co-sponsors never intended the resolution to pass. They only wanted to start a conversation about bans on the sale of gas-powered vehicles that were adopted in California and considered in Colorado. He was successful. After Cowboy State Daily first reported on the measure, Anderson was interviewed on Fox News, Fox Business and Newsmax, as well as news outlets in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida and Pennsylvania. “It was successful at starting the conservation and getting a lot of comments from the ignorant,” Anderson told Cowboy State Daily. He said it’s possible he’ll pursue similar legislation in future sessions, perhaps a bill rather than a resolution, which is nonbinding. With bans on the sale of gas-powered cars in California and New York, along with bans on natural gas hookups in new construction, Anderson said more conversation is needed.

“There’s so many of these stupid laws being passed. It’s really getting out of hand,” Anderson said. Borrello said solar panels require the mining of rare earth metals, which is done with diesel-powered machinery, and they are typically manufactured with coal-fired electricity. Likewise, metallurgical coal is burned to forge steel for the foundations of wind towers. Diesel-powered heavy equipment, Borrello continued, transports the components, prepares the sites and assembles the structures. “It is the height of hypocrisy to pretend that solar panels and wind turbines will save us from ‘evil’ fossil fuels, when the reality is that renewables — just like modern life as we know it — cannot exist without them,” Borrello said.

Patrick Moore

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“..statistics from Canadian National Fire Database reveal that wildfires across Canada have decreased in recent years, having peaked in 1989..”

Media Blames Climate Change For Canada Wildfires Despite Multiple Arrests (LSN)

Despite the arrest of multiple arsonists, the mainstream media in Canada seems intent on attributing the nation’s recent wildfires to “climate change.” As wildfires continue to spread across western, and now central and eastern Canada, burning forestland and homes, the mainstream media continues to imply that climate change is the main culprit, despite a growing number of reports showing that arsonists have been arrested for allegedly setting dozens of fires. “Several arsonists have been arrested in the past weeks in different provinces for lighting forest fires,” People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier tweeted. “But the lying woke media and politicians keep repeating that global warming is the cause.”

The severe nature of the wildfires has caused Canadians to wonder why they have spread so rapidly, especially as many of the affected areas are not typically impacted by wildfires of this degree or at this time of the year. In the past months, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have arrested several arsonists who have been charged with lighting fires across several provinces including Nova Scotia, Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta. The motive behind lighting the fires is unclear. One Albertan, John Cook, has been arrested and charged with 10 counts of arson after setting a string of wildfires in and around Cold Lake, a hamlet near Edmonton. In addition to damaging vehicles and structures, Cook was charged with setting aflame the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Cherry Grove, Alberta.

A Vancouver man charged with arson has been released until his trial on October 9, with Cpl. Michael Gauthier asserting that he is not a risk to light further fires. “This incident was not random in nature and we do not believe there is risk to other members of the public or businesses from the individual who was arrested,” Gauthier stated. Despite the numerous arrests, mainstream media outlets continue to publish articles attributing the wildfires to climate change. “Rise in extreme wildfires linked directly to emissions from oil companies in new study,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported. “Canadian forest fires are the latest costly climate disaster that public accounts fail to capture,” another CBC headline read.

“Climate change is increasing the risks of wildfires in the country, experts say,” Global News attested. Despite these claims, statistics from Canadian National Fire Database reveal that wildfires across Canada have decreased in recent years, having peaked in 1989. Notably, the mainstream media outlets attributing the increase of wildfires to climate change have received funding from the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which is actively pushing for increased bans on using natural resources in Canada to combat “climate change.”

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“the electric grid is operating ever closer to the edge” resulting in higher chances of “more frequent and more serious disruptions.”

Over 66% Of US At Risk Of Power Outages Due To Green Transition (JTN)

At least two-thirds of America is expected to be hit with summer blackouts due to President Joe Biden’s push to end the use of fossil fuels, according to the organization that oversees the nation’s power grid stability. A 2023 “Summer Reliability Assessment” published by North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) cites “new environmental rules” cracking down on power plant emissions as a culprit. In May, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threatened to shut down coal plants that fail to meet an effective zero-carbon emissions mandate by 2038. The problem, according to NERC, is that the U.S. government is creating greater energy demand by pushing out traditional energy sources (coal, natural gas and nuclear) for less reliable and insufficient alternatives like solar and wind power.


“Natural gas supply and infrastructure is vitally important to electric grid reliability even as renewable generation satisfies more of our energy needs,” NERC wrote in the assessment. NERC’s president, James B. Robb, warned Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee members that “the electric grid is operating ever closer to the edge” resulting in higher chances of “more frequent and more serious disruptions.” Robb also referred to natural gas as “fuel that keeps the lights on” and said improving its infrastructure is “required” to keep America’s grid afloat.

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“..authentic news outlets and reporters who cover the conflict with a pro-Russian stance are unlikely to be found in violation of our rules..”

New Twitter Files: FBI Worked With Ukraine To Censor Twitter Accounts (Fox)

The latest Twitter Files uncovered the FBI requesting the social media company to censor accounts accused of spreading misinformation about the Ukraine-Russia war and collect their personal information. A special agent from the FBI reached out to Twitter with a list of accounts according to The Grayzone News host Aaron Maté, who reported on the latest Twitter Files. “The FBI is helping Ukraine censor Twitter users, including journalists,” Maté reported. “The FBI aided a Ukrainian intelligence effort to ban Twitter users and collect their data. Twitter declined to censor journalists targeted by Ukraine.” Maté was included on the list of accounts.

FBI Special Agent Aleksandr Kobzanets, the assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, reportedly contacted a pair of Twitter executives in March 2022 on behalf of Ukraine’s intelligence agency, the SBU. The agent reportedly sent a list of 163 Twitter accounts, stating that “These accounts are suspected by the SBU in spreading fear and disinformation.” Along with the list of accounts, the agent also reportedly forwarded a request from Ukraine’s SBU, which said, “we kindly ask you to take urgent measures to block these Twitter accounts and provide us with user data specified during registration.” However, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s Head of Trust and Safety at the time, responded to the FBI about how they would check the authenticity of some of the accounts listed, but he shared concerns with censoring American and Canadian journalists.

“In an initial look, they do appear to be a mix of individual accounts (that may or may not be authentic), some official Russian accounts (including state media accounts which are already labeled under our policies), and even a few accounts of American and Canadian journalists (e.g. Aaron Mate),” Roth wrote. “Our reviews are going to focus first and foremost on identifying any potential inauthenticity,” he continued. “In general, though, authentic news outlets and reporters who cover the conflict with a pro-Russian stance are unlikely to be found in violation of our rules absent other context that might establish some kind of convert/deceptive association between them and a government.”

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Mantis

 

 

Doggo tornado

 

 

Awwww
https://twitter.com/i/status/1666906748806914053

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 272023
 


Vincent van Gogh Pollard Willows and Setting Sun 1888

 

Air Defender 23: The Largest Exercise Since The Foundation Of NATO (Helmer)
G7 Members Want The Rest Of The World To Join Their Crusade (Lukyanov)
Lavrov Hails China’s “Balanced Position”, Ukraine Asked To Cede Territory (ZH)
NATO’s ‘Grave Mistake’ Led To Ukraine Conflict – Kissinger (RT)
Russia Protests To US Embassy Over Sullivan’s Crimea Statements (RT)
US Incites European Yes-Men To Poke Russia – Lavrov (TASS)
The EU Has No Leadership, Only NGOs And Think Tanks – Hungarian Minister (RMX)
Anti-China Bloc Tests AI-Powered Drone Swarms (RT)
Trial By Ordeal (Kunstler)
The Green Fraud (Jim Rickards)
IRS Whistleblower Defies the Biden Administration and the Media (Turley)
The DeSantis -Or GOP Generally- Political Question (Denninger)
US Debt A Pyramid Scheme – Russia’s Top MP (RT)
Inside Joe Biden’s Struggles To Create A ‘New Economic World Order’ (Pol.)

 

 

 

 

RFK jr
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662051461352632324

 

 

Kory
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662102658415575041

 

 

 

 

Steal election

 

 

 

 

“There is a grave risk that in three weeks’ time US and NATO forces will attempt direct combat against Russia..”

Air Defender 23: The Largest Exercise Since The Foundation Of NATO (Helmer)

There is a grave risk that in three weeks’ time US and NATO forces will attempt direct combat against Russia. The operational plan is to strike from Romanian airspace in the south and the Baltic states in the north, in camouflage of the NATO exercise called “Air Defender 23”, and under cover of US F-16 fighter aircraft purportedly operated by Ukrainian pilots but fuelled, directed, and guarded by more than two hundred US and NATO aircraft, including the most advanced US air war fighter, the F-35. “This [is] the largest deployment exercise since the foundation of NATO”, according to the cover story published by NATO headquarters. “ Commanded at US bases in Germany, ostensibly led by German officers, a Bundeswehr “fact sheet” claims “100 [US] Air National Guard aircraft from 35 different states will make the leap across the Atlantic to participate in Air Defender 2023.

In addition to the world’s most modern jets, the F35, more than 20 different types of aircraft and Airmen from 24 nations will practice air warfare operations together over Germany, but also over eastern Europe on the NATO border. Among them Eurofighter, F18, F16, A10, [Saab] Gripen jets.” Including the Ukrainian regime in Kiev as one of “our partners in East and South-Eastern Europe”, the German military announcement says “we want to promote collective defense of common values (freedom, democracy, prosperity) – attack on one NATO nation is an attack on responsiveness of airpower – Allied air forces are first responders.” Camouflaging US direction of the combined NATO attack operations from the Ramstein base in Germany, headquarters of the allied air command in Europe, are two parallel operations.

“Two NATO exercises, RAMSTEIN DUST for NATOs Deployable Air Command and Control capability, the DARS, and RAMSTEIN GUARD for Electronic Warfare are linked into our exercise.” In design since the start of the Russian Special Military Operation in February 2022, this plan of US and NATO air operations against Russia follows the defeat of the Ukrainian ground forces at Artemovsk (Bakhmut) and the strategic defeat of the US Patriot missile system at Kiev by the Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile on May 16. The use of NATO exercises to conceal active attacks on Russian targets was first demonstrated last September when the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up following the BALTOPS naval exercise. More recently, on May 13 a US-directed ambush of Russian aircraft was rehearsed when an Su-34 fighter-bomber, an SU-35 air-defence escort, and two Mi8 helicopters were hit simultaneously and downed in Russian airspace, over Bryansk region.

[..] The post-operational Russian intelligence reports of May 18 and May 20 indicate “a multifunctional radar station, as well as five launchers of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system manufactured by the United States were hit and completely destroyed.” In the days following, Russian military operations have intensified long-range missile attacks targeting anti-aircraft defence complexes, rail marshalling yards, fuel and ammunition stocks, equipment parks, and reserve assembly areas in the west of the Ukraine, including Khmelnitsky, Rivne, Zhitomir, and Lvov. The scope of targeting goes beyond the Electric War of previous months, a NATO forces veteran comments. “It’s now a full-on campaign. Now that the US/NATO air defence has proven to be useless against Russian strike capabilities, I expect them to take to the sky. It’s all they have left.”

The source agrees with retired US military experts in the alternative media who do not believe that supplying old F-16 aircraft to Kiev adds significant air defence or air attack capability against Russia. The F-16s for the Ukraine are a deception, camouflage for a much deeper NATO attack plan, the source warns. “How about the F-16s being cover for US F-22s or other US aircraft in Romanian or Polish airspace, firing stand- off weapons?”

Read more …

The G7 has rapidly become an irrelevant anachronism.

G7 Members Want The Rest Of The World To Join Their Crusade (Lukyanov)

One is reminded of American journalist Thomas Friedman’s international bestseller of the late nineties, ‘The World is Flat’. At the time, he was referring to the coming together of everything and everyone in the context of globalization. But nowadays the metaphor needs altering. Today, the message should be somehow simpler and even flatter, because otherwise there is no way for people to grasp the frightening multidimensionality that abounds. Such an approach is characteristic of contemporary international relations, and from there it spills over into the domestic politics of every country. That said, within states themselves everything is more closely understood, so real world factors are still important. On a global scale, however, the situation is more ambiguous.

The recent G7 summit in Hiroshima was a powerful illustration of the efforts being made to fix, if not cement, this very two-dimensional scheme at the global level. This is perhaps the first time that Russia and China have been given essentially equal status – as adversaries and major threats to the world that the US-led bloc represents. The organizers were very serious about widening their circle of sympathizers – with many of the major states of the non-Western world receiving invitations: India, Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia. Joining them were the heads of major international organizations. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky was the main guest, and this was noteworthy. His country’s issue is becoming, as the saying goes, a ‘rallying point’ for a community that considers itself to be ‘on the right side of history.’

Indeed, here is a curious detail: The Japanese press wrote that, after the summit, their Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was considering calling early elections because the success of the event, especially the arrival of the Ukrainian leader, had boosted his party’s ratings. In other words, Zelensky has managed to become a factor in the domestic politics of a country far removed from Ukraine. The need for a strong, personal, unifying motif is clear. In the absence of such elements, these communities tend to disintegrate because the world is not really two-dimensional. It is not only diverse, it is actually fragmented by interests, perceptions and agendas, and it needs maximum flexibility to respond to increasingly diverse challenges. It is very difficult to maintain cohesion without heavy artillery, both figuratively and, unfortunately, literally.

What should those against whom this consolidation is targeted do? Probably the opposite, i.e. they should aim to maximize the diversity of their connections and their options for development, and insist on the right not to make final and irrevocable choices about joining one bloc or the other. The good versus evil dichotomy is understandable and morally appealing, but in most cases irrelevant to the real international process. And the G7’s attempts to draw India, Brazil and others into its orbit on this basis will not be effective.

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China will call the shots…

Lavrov Hails China’s “Balanced Position”, Ukraine Asked To Cede Territory (ZH)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hailed China’s “balanced position” on the conflict in Ukraine during a Friday meeting with Chinese special envoy Li Hui in Moscow. China has thus far resisted Western pressure to condemn Moscow, but has instead tried to present a neutral stance while issuing occasional statements condemning NATO expansion and US global dominance. Beijing has also been among a handful of Asian countries to have greatly expanded Russian energy imports since the start of the war. The Chinese envoy on Friday once again called for an immediate ceasefire, at a moment Russian forces are consolidating gains in Donetsk, particularly in Bakhmut where Wagner finally declared victory over the weekend following more than 200 days of fierce fighting.

According to The Wall Street Journal Li Hui conveyed a clear message that: “US allies in Europe should assert their autonomy and urge an immediate ceasefire, leaving Russia in possession of the parts [of Ukraine] …that it now occupies.” China has also sent representatives to Ukraine and Europe, with EU officials conveying their stance that freezing the conflict was not in their interest. The Zelensky government too believes that a ‘freeze’ would only allow the Russians to resupply, regroup, and fortify their positions. Western allies have also been arguing against a freeze. EU officials reportedly told the Chinese envoy that “it’s impossible to split Europe from America” and that Europe remains committed and unified in support of Ukraine.

According to a review of Friday’s meeting between Russian and Chinese representatives: Russia’s Lavrov expressed gratitude for China’s “balanced position” and willingness to play a positive role in a meeting with China’s Ukraine envoy, the foreign ministry said. China’s Li Hui, who spent 10 years as ambassador to Moscow, has been on a tour of European capitals, and last week visited Kyiv. After those talks, China said it wanted to “form the greatest common denominator for resolving the Ukrainian crisis, and make its own efforts to stop the fighting and (establish a) ceasefire and restore peace as soon as possible”. Kyiv has told Li, however, that it would not accept any proposal that involved Ukraine losing territory.

Hawks in both Britain and the United States have urged Ukraine to stay the course, despite mounting troop casualties in the tens of thousands. The UK especially has long been accused of actively thwarting attempts at peace talks which were proposed last year – instead encouraging Ukraine to ‘win’ militarily. President Zelensky has all the while maintained that talks with Moscow are impossible until Russian troops leave every bit of Ukrainian territory.

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But now that is has all those weapons, it must join NATO anyway?! He doesn’t understand the “mistake”.

NATO’s ‘Grave Mistake’ Led To Ukraine Conflict – Kissinger (RT)

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has explained how his views on prospective NATO membership for Ukraine changed between 2008, when the bloc first acknowledged Kiev’s “aspirations” to join, and now when the stream of Western military aid turned its into the “best-armed country” in the region. “I’m in the ironical position that I was alone when I opposed membership, and I’m nearly alone when I advocate NATO membership,” the veteran politician told a Wall Street Journal contributor in an interview recorded days before his 100th birthday. “I think the offer to put Ukraine into NATO was a grave mistake and led to this war,” he explained, yet claimed that the scale of the conflict and “its nature, is a Russian peculiarity, and we were absolutely right to resist it.”

But after Washington and its allies turned Ukraine into the “best-armed country in Europe,” it clearly belongs to the US-led military bloc, the politician stated, reiterating his firm belief that peace in Europe cannot be achieved without Ukraine in NATO. Back in 2008, NATO declared that Kiev would join the bloc, but did not specify a date for that to happen. Russia, which sees the bloc’s eastward expansion as a major security threat, had singled out Kiev’s growing push to join the bloc as among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine more than a year ago. Kissinger drew the ire of Kiev last year when he suggested that Ukraine should accept a return to the “status quo ante,” or relinquish its territorial claims to Crimea and grant autonomy to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, in the name of peace.

In an interview with WSJ he went as far as to claim that from his “perspective, the Ukraine war is won,” but any peace terms are unlikely to include Crimea. “For Russia, the loss of Sevastopol, which was always not Ukrainian in history, would be such a comedown that the cohesion of the state would be in danger. And I think that’s not desirable for the world after Ukraine,” he said. The US-led bloc is already waging a proxy war against Russia, and Kissinger, despite his vast experience, is “totally wrong” to suggest that Ukrainian membership in NATO would somehow guarantee peace, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier this month. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, said that until the “Ukrainian nationalist regime” is dismantled it “won’t give up on attempts to regain lost territories,” and in response Moscow “would have to reply harshly with all available means,” likely triggering NATO’s Article 5.

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95+% of Crimeans voted to join Russia in 2014.

Russia Protests To US Embassy Over Sullivan’s Crimea Statements (RT)

The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned senior US diplomats and expressed a strong protest in connection with the words of White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about strikes on the territory of Russia, Report informs referring to TASS. On May 21, Sullivan said Washington does not allow Kyiv to use Western weapons to strike at the territory of Russia, noting that he does not consider Crimea to be part of it. “Senior diplomats of the US diplomatic mission in Moscow were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 26, a strong protest was expressed about the unacceptable statements of the White House National Security Advisor J. Sullivan, who actually approved the strikes of the armed formations of the regime in Kyiv on Russian territory, including the Republic of Crimea and the Belgorod region,” the statement said.


Washington’s words about strikes on Crimea are hypocritical and false, the ministry said. “The assurances of US officials that the United States does not encourage such attacks on Russia are hypocritical and false, given the direct evidence of the use of weapons and equipment supplied for the needs of the Ukraine military by the Pentagon for the preparation and implementation of terrorist acts by Ukrainian militants,” the ministry said. The ministry noted that the hostile actions of the United States, which has long been a party to the conflict, plunged Russian-US relations into a deep and dangerous crisis, fraught with unpredictable consequences.

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“Washington believes that its self-preservation is ensured by the Atlantic Ocean.”

US Incites European Yes-Men To Poke Russia – Lavrov (TASS)

Washington is unleashing its European satellites to nip at Moscow’s heels, believing it can get away with anything, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “For now, Washington is egging its European satellites on [to antagonize] the Russian Federation, thinking they can get away with anything,” he said in an appearance on the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” television program, according to an excerpt posted on Friday on journalist Pavel Zarubin’s Telegram channel. According to Lavrov, the US is sorely mistaken in entertaining the deluded belief that its “self-preservation” in any World War III scenario would be ensured by the Atlantic Ocean serving as a buffer zone. “Washington believes that its self-preservation is ensured by the Atlantic Ocean. This also represents a serious fallacy if they [the US] are preparing to bring the world to the very brink of World War III,” the top diplomat pointed out.

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“..Europe is stumbling around the stage of history as a clumsy sideshow, drifting from crisis to crisis..”

The EU Has No Leadership, Only NGOs And Think Tanks – Hungarian Minister (RMX)

No one has the courage and aptitude to lead Europe today, meaning there is no political leadership in the European Union, especially in the European Commission, said Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga at a Budapest conference on Thursday. “In the European Union today, it is non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations and think tanks that tell Europe how to run Europe, according to the will of their own leaders,” she said. “Recently, for asymmetric reasons, a crisis of confidence has arisen between the EU leadership and the Hungarian government. This is because the Hungarian government, unlike the EU institutions, says what it thinks and does what it says,” she added.

Varga said Europe is stumbling around the stage of history as a clumsy sideshow, drifting from crisis to crisis, and since the migration crisis, it has been trying to make policy in a way that is completely divorced from the real needs of its citizens. She said the institutional system also failed during the Covid crisis and then shot itself in the foot with sanctions against Russia after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war She warned that immigration is a crisis that still affects Europe and continues to cost the Hungarian budget heavily. “At the same time, by defending Europe, we have to constantly fight the judgments and proceedings of the European Court of Justice,” she said. “Waiting for yet another slap in the face instead of any good deed, that is the fate of Hungary.” Varga noted that during the coronavirus crisis, the EU made deals regarding vaccines, and yet those text messages have never been produced, referring to the murky case involving EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“We make no secret of the fact that we want to hold the functioning of the institutions in the European Union accountable in terms of the rule of law. Let’s talk about whether the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European institutions are respecting the rules, whether the rule of law is working in the institutions,” said the minister. On the issue of the Hungarian EU presidency, the European Parliament has no say in this, the minister said, stressing that more than 10 years ago, a unanimous European Council decision had established the order of the member states, which can only be changed by unanimity. The presidency is not only a right but also an obligation, and the opposition will not achieve anything by such an attempt, but it could do enormous damage. According to the minister, the European Parliament wants to block Hungary’s EU presidency precisely because it fears that Hungary will take stock of the dysfunctional state of EU institutions.

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“..urging the three members to stop “ignoring the concerns of the international community.”

Anti-China Bloc Tests AI-Powered Drone Swarms (RT)

The US, UK and Australia have shown off new AI-powered drone swarms, marking the first-ever collaboration on autonomous UAV technology between the members of the AUKUS security pact, described by officials as a way to counter China. The allies carried out the three-way “capabilities trial” late last month in Wiltshire, Britain, where they achieved the “live collaborative retraining of models in flight and the interchange of AI models between AUKUS nations” for the first time, according to the US military. “The work saw the initial joint deployment of Australian, UK and US AI-enabled assets in a collaborative swarm to detect and track military targets in a representative environment in real time,” the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.

Formed in 2021 as a way to deter China in the Indo-Pacific region, the AUKUS pact has repeatedly come under fire from Beijing. Under the “Pillar I” of the deal, the United States pledged to furnish nuclear submarine technology to Australia “at the earliest date possible.” Hosted by the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the drone tests were conducted as part of “Pillar II” of the AUKUS partnership, which calls to “develop and provide joint advanced military capabilities” between the three allies in order to “promote security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry insists that the new military initiatives will only “motivate an arms race, damage the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and harm regional stability and peace,” urging the three members to stop “ignoring the concerns of the international community.”

While officials have not offered extensive details about the UAV trials, the British military said they involved “more than 70 military and civilian defense personnel and industry contractors,” who tested swarms of Blue Bear Ghost and Boeing/Insitu CT220 drones. UK forces provided several tanks and armored vehicles for the demo, while private contractors supplied a number of self-propelled howitzers and Soviet-era BMP vehicles produced in the former Czechoslovakia. The gear was used to test the drones’ ability to track military targets on the battlefield.

“This trial demonstrates the military advantage of AUKUS advanced capabilities, as we work in coalition to identify, track and counter potential adversaries from a greater distance and with greater speed,” British Lt. Gen. Rob Magowan, a senior Defence Ministry official, said in a statement. The Australian military stated that the tests “achieved several world firsts,” including the live retraining of the drone swarms in flight. Russia also sees the West’s expansion of its military presence in Asia as a risk that could lead to prolonged conflict. “I cannot imagine the great Asian civilizations toeing the line the way the EU unfortunately did, and obediently delivering Washington’s agenda,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in March.

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“..we are living in a very badly-ordered society these days, a society in which anything goes and nothing matters, which is a poor principle for civilization.”

Trial By Ordeal (Kunstler)

Would it surprise you to learn that children well beneath the age of puberty are not inclined to think about sex at all? In a well-ordered society that recognizes children as different from adults, they don’t. And if something sexual comes to their attention, they are generally perplexed by it. Unless they’re born into an era when adults are busy erasing boundaries, guard-rails, and cultural inhibitions, in which case I must imagine that young children exposed to, say, pornography in a chaotic household find it traumatically sinister. So, why the gleeful celebration about sexualizing children now? I’ll tell you why: because we are living in a very badly-ordered society these days, a society in which anything goes and nothing matters, which is a poor principle for civilization.

It’s the same principle that has people shitting all over the sidewalks of San Francisco, looting Walgreens stores in broad daylight, pushing ineffective and unsafe vaccines (and lying about it), and arresting people for thought crimes. It’s a degenerate society. Morally bankrupt. Wicked. You might ask, how did it get that way? The concise answer is that a broken business model for daily life and a collapsing economy have so disordered millions of minds that values are seen as having no value. The scaffold for truth, beauty, honor, dignity, courage, prudence, generosity, etc., folded some time ago, in slow-motion, so we didn’t notice. The keepers of our culture have replaced it with a tacky system of ritual virtue-signaling fakery that they don’t really believe in, that persists simply because the moral vacuum it stands for provokes such unbearable anxiety.

The main lesson of the recent Durham Report — missed by even the most punctilious observers — is that our country does not want to fix itself, indeed the whole broken apparatus of fixing it is in the hands of the people who broke it. This epic negligence leaves the doors wide open for the broad range of lower-order criminal mischief we’re seeing expressed all around us. Now I will venture into shadowland. There is a rumor floating around the Internet that this seemingly coordinated campaign to sexualize children and initiate them into marginal behaviors was started to soften up the public for forthcoming shocking revelations contained in the much-whispered-about Jeffrey Epstein archive of videos that show eminent international figures caught in compromising sexual situations that include sexual acts with children.

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“What is new is that the climate crowd now has the political power they need to push their agenda using fear and the regulatory state..”

The Green Fraud (Jim Rickards)

Those yelling the loudest about climate change want to destroy the oil and natural gas industry, destroy nuclear power plant construction, shut down coal-fired plants, end coal mining, mandate electric vehicles (EVs) on very short deadlines and eliminate gas stoves in your kitchen, fireplaces and even outdoor barbecues. They also want to build wind turbine arrays offshore and on deserts, plains and even mountains near you. They want to install solar module fields on every rooftop and open space near a population center. The climate change radicals want to increase the mining of lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, rare earths and other dangerous chemicals to feed their obsession with EV batteries. They’re spending hundreds of billions of tax dollars to subsidize the EVs, battery manufacturing and a coast-to-coast network of charging stations to keep the EVs moving (even if they do have to stop for a charge every 180 miles).

The greenies also want to mandate “15-minute cities” where you can walk everywhere in town within 15 minutes, which means you won’t need your car to visit a doctor, dry cleaner, grocery store, pharmacy or any of the other locations we routinely visit for errands and necessities. That may sound attractive if you chose it voluntarily. That’s not what the greenies have in mind. They want 15-minute cities as a Trojan horse to eliminate automobiles entirely and force you to ride bicycles or use public transportation. In the end, you’ll need a permit to fly to another city. The permits will be rationed and you’ll have to put yourself on a waiting list until your turn. You can pay for your ticket with the new central bank digital currency (CBDC), assuming your social credit score is high enough and you didn’t vote for the wrong candidate in the last election.


In short, the climate change agenda is not about climate change. It’s about total political and economic control of the population. So-called climate change is an elite scare tactic to get you to fall into line and obey government orders (as most people do). Elites claim that if we don’t radically reduce CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CH4 (methane) emissions, global warming will melt the ice caps, raise sea levels, put island nations underwater and flood the New York City subway system in 10 years or less. They’ve been making similar claims for 40 years and they’ve been wrong every time. That doesn’t stop them. Fear works. What is new is that the climate crowd now has the political power they need to push their agenda using fear and the regulatory state to attack your means of transportation, your personal conveniences and your consumer choices.

Rickards

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“I don’t want to do any of this.”

IRS Whistleblower Defies the Biden Administration and the Media (Turley)

“I don’t want to do any of this.” Those words from 14-year IRS veteran Gary Shapley may be the most important line in his CBS News interview this week. After weeks of Democrats dismissing whistleblowers alleging the president’s administration interfered with investigations of Hunter Biden, Shapley had enough. Putting his career and much of his life at risk, Shapley came forward to say he and others believe Hunter is being protected and identified the Justice Department as the source of the protection. Shapley has every reason not to want to do any of this. After all, as President Joe Biden stated last year, “No one f–ks with a Biden.” For years, a Democrat-controlled Congress refused to investigate Biden family influence-peddling, and the press dismissed people raising Hunter’s laptop as spreading “Russian disinformation.”

The media have worked hard to minimize the blowback after acknowledging the laptop’s authenticity and the growing evidence of millions in influence-peddling. Part of this effort at “scandal implosion” has been to dismiss any criminal charges as relatively minor tax violations unconnected to the president. Indeed, when the president recently agreed to a rare sit-down interview, the White House chose MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle. Before asking about his son Hunter’s scandal, Ruhle emphasized it was “something personal” with “no ties to you.” Many of us guffawed at the claim given multiple references on the laptop to President Biden, including possibly sharing in the proceeds from influence-peddling with foreign governments.

The problem is Shapley suggests some uncomfortable questions on how Biden’s administration may have worked to minimize charges against his son and, according to Shapley, “slow-walked” the investigation. His interview explains why the Justice Department can indict figures like Rep. George Santos (R-NY) on a variety of fraud and money-laundering charges in a few months while spending years investigating Hunter Biden with no conclusion. Shapley made clear he had never seen this level of interference in his long service at the IRS and said it was done “at the direction of the Department of Justice.” And he said the interference began as soon as he “took control of this particular investigation”: “I immediately saw deviations from the normal process. It was way outside the norm of what I’ve experienced in the past.”

Navy Seal

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“Nobody would tolerate the price of gasoline varying by 10:1 based on which company you bought auto insurance from. Yet this sort of nonsense is bog-standard through the medical industry.”

The DeSantis -Or GOP Generally- Political Question (Denninger)

Is it not reasonable to expect that manufacturers are legally responsible for the integrity of their products? If, after discovering that a flaw or risk exists they continue trials, sweep said evidence under the rug or otherwise obfuscate what’s going on a courtroom is accessible to those allegedly harmed in which such evidence can be heard and a determination made? How about the rank price-fixing? What has DeSantis done in Florida about it? I can tell you what he did during the time I lived there: Nothing. In fact there are medical centers in NW FL in particular that feast on such disparities and have been known to be doing it for a very long time. In fact Florida has long been the capital of this sort of abuse and you have paid for it if you live in the state, directly and indirectly, particularly when inmates in a jail require care and thus you get the bill in your property taxes.

Can this be fixed at the state level with legislation or even just executive action? You bet; States are the exclusive issuers of both business and medical licenses. Any state can condition said licensing on non-discriminatory pricing irrespective of the method of payment. You expect this at WalMart, the grocery store and gas station. Nobody would tolerate the price of gasoline varying by 10:1 based on which company you bought auto insurance from. Yet this sort of nonsense is bog-standard through the medical industry. Where is the candidate who will put a stop to it and, if they’re a governor, can demonstrate they’re serious because they did put a stop to it? In addition the executive, which is the Governor’s department controls the prosecuting apparatus. DeSantis could have directed his prosecutors to go after medical providers for violations of the State anti-trust laws, which absolutely do exist in each state and which are available under existing law — no new legislation required. He, like the rest, actively refused.

DeSantis is NOT a governor who did either of these things. Folks if we are going to fix what’s wrong with this nation it starts with the medical system. If we don’t force one of the political parties to do it neither will because there are billions of reasons for them not to spread around the politicians in both parties. This has to stop because CMS, Medicare and Medicaid services, consumed one third of all dollars spent federally last year — $2 trillion of the $6 trillion total — and is in fact responsible for the entire trillion dollar deficit. That’s right — if it was stopped (that is, it spent only what it took in via taxes by stopping the screwing medical system-wide) the federal government would in fact run a modest surplus and the inflation you are having happen right now would not be happening.

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“The US public debt is a global financial pyramid, built by Washington to defraud other nations..”

US Debt A Pyramid Scheme – Russia’s Top MP (RT)

Senior Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Volodin has branded the US federal government debt a global pyramid scheme that is heading for an inevitable collapse. The comments come as Washington struggles to agree on raising its debt ceiling to avoid a default. “Just think about it, in 2023 interest payments on the US debt could reach $1.5 trillion – almost a third of all US budget revenue!”Volodin, who serves as chairman of Russia’s lower house of parliament, said in a Telegram post on Friday. “The US public debt is a global financial pyramid, built by Washington to defraud other nations,” the State Duma member wrote. “History has shown that all pyramid schemes eventually fail,”he added, warning that the dollar is becoming toxic. Countries dependent on the US dollar should start looking for alternatives such as national currencies, to reduce risks for their citizens, Volodin concluded.


The US government faces a default on its $31 trillion in debt if lawmakers fail to raise the federal borrowing limit. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress earlier this week that bills can’t be paid if the debt ceiling is not raised by June 1. Reuters reported on Thursday that President Joe Biden and top Republican lawmaker Kevin McCarthy were edging close to a deal on the debt ceiling but have yet to agree on cuts to discretionary spending, which powers a wide range of military and domestic programs. Russia started settling trade deals with its partners in national currencies after the US effectively cut it off from dollar-denominated trade as part of sanctions arising from Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Wednesday that the ruble and the yuan are now dominating trade between Russia and China, and are used in 70% of mutual payments.

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A/ Joe Biden creates nothing.

B/ The US sees itself in the center of this ‘New Economic World Order’. It won’t be.

Inside Joe Biden’s Struggles To Create A ‘New Economic World Order’ (Pol.)

The Biden administration has been trying to bury the free-trade era for months. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai drove a nail into its coffin in January, telling the world’s one percent at Davos that the Biden administration would try to shape a “new economic world order” around protecting workers. And National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan sought to deliver last rites in April, promising the White House would forge a “new Washington consensus” to replace the one that had governed the globe for over a generation. “I remain convinced that through all of this disruption we’re moving towards a new economic order,” Tai told POLITICO in an interview. “I’d really like to fill that gap with a positive vision that we will be prepared for it.”

The goal is to replace the old paradigms of globalization — free trade and a reliance on markets — with a “worker-centered” trade policy that raises wages not just for Americans, but around the world. But building a new world economy is proving more difficult than eulogizing the old one. While the pro-globalization consensus has shown cracks for years — from the financial crisis to the election of former President Donald Trump — Biden’s team has struggled to outline how it will shape new rules and institutions to replace those that governed the world for the last half-century. Biden’s team is moving slowly to transform a paralyzed World Trade Organization, once the premier facilitator of globalization, into a new-look economic club that reflects its progressive values.

As those efforts crawl along, Biden has sought to forge new economic partnerships in Asia and Latin America, but the nascent efforts pale in comparison to China’s trillion-dollar infrastructure program for developing nations and risk replicating the corporate-friendly trade policies of the old system. Meanwhile, Biden’s quest to counter China’s technological growth risks sparking a new Cold War and dividing the world into two or more global trading blocs — a fate the White House insists it is trying to avoid. More fundamentally, Biden’s brain trust has yet to settle on a vision for how the next era of global economics will be constructed. Their initial ideas are abstract at best.

[..] Biden’s critics — from centrist free-trade holdouts to Trump-fueled populists who focus on competition with China — are hardly more concrete in their own ideas. Across the political spectrum, American policymakers are grappling with how to shape a new global economic system to replace the one they built decades ago. “I don’t know if the administration has clearly outlined what that new world looks like,” Sen. Marco Rubio , the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, told POLITICO after a Capitol Hill hearing in February when he assailed the old, pro-globalization paradigm. “But I don’t know if anybody else has either.”

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Jimmy Dore Bitcoin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662133413132873728

Sunfish

 

 

Cobra mantis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662149543926939668

 

 

Flying fox
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662010935051968514

 

 

WTF

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 242023
 


Leonardo da Vinci Ginevra de’ Benci c. 1474-78

 

‘Counteroffensive’ Will Begin ‘Very Soon’ – Ukrainian Intelligence (RT)
Ukraine Can’t Win Against Russia – Orban (RT)
“Obvious” There Will Be “No Victory For The Poor Ukrainians”: Orban (ZH)
US Must Make Security Deal With Russia – Hungary (RT)
Orban Thinks NATO Reluctant To Deploy Own Troops To Ukraine (TASS)
Kremlin Spokesman Sees No Prerequisites For Ukrainian Peace Process (TASS)
Serb Leader Explains Why West Doesn’t Like Russia (RT)
Russia Continues To Supply Gas To EU Via Ukraine – Gazprom (RT)
Beijing Decries ‘Biggest Threat’ Label (RT)
China Hopes World Adequately Immune From Debt-Driven US Finance Risks (TASS)
Pentagon Loses A Million F-35 parts (RT)
Pentagon Can’t Account For 1000s Of Ultra-Expensive F-35 Parts Globally (ZH)
Why the Conspiracy Theory About Trump and Russia Won’t Go Away (Chris Hedges)
Whistleblower Says DOJ Interference In Hunter Biden Probe Dates Back Years (JTN)
First COVID Vaccine Injury Lawsuit in US Targets Gov’t, Social Media Giants (CHD)

 

 

 

 

FISA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661035995553210370

 

 

 

 

No Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Minsk 2019

 

 


M2 data was released today — it is down -4.63% since last year, the fastest pace of money supply destruction since January 1933. The Fed eased at 100 mph, now it is slamming on the brakes and credit markets are about to fly through the windshield.

 

 

Vladimir Putin : For 9 years, the enemy has been waging war against our people. We are told that Russia started the war. No, Russia, with the help of the SMO, is trying to stop this war against our people, who, due to historical injustice, found themselves outside the borders of our Motherland

 

 

 

 

Zero chance of winning, 100% chance of killing more young Ukrainians. No able bodies will be left to rebuild what’s left of the nation after Russia and Poland take their parts. Halliburton will have to come in to do the rebuilding. If Russia lets them.

They’re going to fire missiles into Crimea. The US just gave them the go-ahead..

‘Counteroffensive’ Will Begin ‘Very Soon’ – Ukrainian Intelligence (RT)

Ukraine has the weapons it needs to start its much-anticipated “counteroffensive,” but actually defeating Russia will require more, the head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), Kirill Budanov, said in an interview on Tuesday. “We already have the necessary minimum of weapons” for the attack, Budanov told the Japanese state broadcaster NHK. “I can only say that it will begin soon.” To successfully pursue a long campaign against Russia, however, Ukraine needs even more, according to Budanov. “We need a large stockpile of weapons and ammunition to successfully continue the operation,” he said. “We need more weapons. We need fighter jets. I hope the international community is ready to really help Ukraine.”

Kiev’s top spy added that he would pay close attention to the progress of military aid from the West after the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, where President Vladimir Zelensky made an appearance as a surprise guest. Over the weekend, Zelensky acknowledged the loss of the Donbass fortress of Bakhmut, known by Russians as Artyomovsk. Kiev responded by launching a raid into Russia’s Belgorod Region, which garnered a lot of social media attention but achieved nothing of military importance. Zelensky has assured his Western backers that the long-anticipated “counteroffensive” would be launched as soon as Kiev had accumulated the minimum of weapons and ammunition necessary for the effort, and that Ukraine needed just a bit more time.

Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has sought to manage expectations as well. Last week, Financial Times reported that Kiev has about “five months” to impress Washington, at which point President Joe Biden’s government will be under too much pressure to negotiate. Multiple Western outlets and experts have warned that Russia’s air campaign targeting Ukrainian supply depots and troop concentrations has already affected the planned offensive, going so far as to describe it as a “game changer.” Budanov waved off the campaign by telling NHK that Kiev had shot down 90% of the incoming missiles. He did not comment on last week’s destruction of the US-supplied Patriot air defense system in Kiev.

Sullivan

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Some partially overlapping articles today. First, on Orban’s speech in Qatar. Later, on Lockheed and the Pentagon working together to fleece the taxpayer.

“Emotionally, it’s tragic, all of our hearts are with the Ukrainians. But I’m speaking as a politician who should save lives..”

Ukraine Can’t Win Against Russia – Orban (RT)

It’s “obvious” that Kiev can’t win the war against Moscow, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said, urging for a diplomatic solution to the crisis instead of the West continuing to pour military aid into Ukraine. The PM made the remarks in a Bloomberg interview during the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday. “Emotionally, it’s tragic, all of our hearts are with the Ukrainians. But I’m speaking as a politician who should save lives,” Orban stated, noting that Hungary views the ongoing hostilities from a “special angle” that differs from the “mainstream” European position. Hungary itself is “losing lives” daily as well due to the conflict, Orban explained, referring to members of Ukraine’s Hungarian ethnic minority that have been “conscripted” to fight Russia.

He abstained from condemning Moscow for the “invasion” of Ukraine, stating only that the hostilities were due to a major failure in diplomacy. “[The] position of Hungary was, from the very first moment, that this war is the failure of diplomacy, it should have never happened,” Orban stated. “For us it’s obvious that the battlefield solution does not work.” Pressed further on whether, in his opinion, Kiev was able to win the conflict, Orban replied that the course of the hostilities had clearly shown it “obviously” was not possible. The PM also implied neither side could actually win the conflict, adding that it can only end in a “ceasefire” followed by peace talks. “My position is that, looking at the reality, looking at the figures, looking at the surroundings, looking at the fact that NATO is not ready to send troops, it’s obvious that there’s no victory for the poor Ukrainians on the battlefield.”

Orban’s remarks come as Hungary has opted to block a new €500 million ($544 million) military aid package from the EU’s so-called European Peace Facility (EPF). The fund – which is designed to reimburse the bloc’s own members to send arms and equipment overseas, as well as to finance foreign militaries directly – has been used almost exclusively to pour weaponry into Ukraine. Hungary has taken a neutral stance on the ongoing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, consistently refusing to provide military aid to Kiev or even allow the transport of military shipments through its territory. Budapest has also opposed the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions, particularly those that would have damaged the country’s own economy, including its nuclear and conventional energy sectors.

Ritter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661168351635226624

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“The war can be stopped only if the Russians can make an agreement with the US. In Europe, we are not happy with that, but it’s the only way out.”

“Obvious” There Will Be “No Victory For The Poor Ukrainians”: Orban (ZH)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has once again spoken the quiet part out loud, as he continues to be a thorn in the side of NATO and the EU regarding continually escalating arms deliveries to Ukraine, with F-16 fighter jets poised to be delivered to Kiev in the near future. The first day of the annual Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) included a speech and on-stage interview by Orban wherein he bluntly stated that Ukraine can’t win the war against Russia, short of NATO directly sending troops – which it isn’t willing to do, and which Hungary stands against. He also reminded the West that the Hungarian government isn’t part of the “mainstream” European Union approach to the war, but has pursued attempts at peaceful negotiations.

“The only solution is ceasefire, and then after the ceasefire, peace talks should start,” he said. He explained this is the only path forward given Kiev can’t win. As Bloomberg reports, “Hungary was in talks with Qatar to buy gas in an effort to reduce its reliance on Russia for energy and for help to buy Budapest airport,” according to Orban’s words. He had been pressed over the question of Hungary blocking more defense aid to Ukraine, and in that context asserted that ultimately Russia and the US must make a deal to end the war, which is “the only way out”: “Looking at the reality, the figures, the surroundings, the fact that NATO is not ready to send troops, it is obvious that there is no victory for the poor Ukrainians on the battlefield. That’s my position,” he said, offering an outlook few European leaders would publicly agree with, given their solidarity with Kyiv.

“The war can be stopped only if the Russians can make an agreement with the US. In Europe, we are not happy with that, but it’s the only way out.” His assessment, which is likely going to be deeply unpopular and somewhat divisive in terms of public reception, comes just on the heels of the weekend Russian capture of Bakhmut, which was announced by Wagner Group raising the Russian flag over the strategic city. Despite initial Ukrainian officials rejecting that Bakhmut had fallen, at this point there’s widespread acknowledgement both in international press reports and among Western officials that Russia exercises effective control of the city. Wagner is due to hand captured territory over to regular Russian military forces by June 1.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1660962012141174784

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“Orban has repeatedly accused EU leaders of serving American, rather than European, interests by continuing to bankroll Kiev..”

US Must Make Security Deal With Russia – Hungary (RT)

An agreement between the US and Russia is the only thing that can end the conflict in Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated on Monday. Orban has repeatedly accused EU leaders of serving American, rather than European, interests by continuing to bankroll Kiev. Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday, Orban reiterated his position that Ukraine cannot win on the battlefield, and that Kiev and its Western backers must pursue peace talks with Russia. “First we should have a ceasefire,” he said. “Then let’s talk about the new security architecture of the European continent.” “The only peace agreement that could close this whole conflict is if it is between Russia and the United States,” he elaborated.

“What is at stake is the future security of Europe. It’s obvious that without the US there is no security architecture for Europe, and now the war can only be stopped if the Russians can make an agreement with the United States.” “As a European I am not happy with that,” he added. “But this is the only way out.” Throughout the conflict, Orban has repeatedly spoken out against the West’s twin policies of military aid to Kiev and sanctions on Moscow, arguing that the former risks escalating the conflict to a global war and the latter harms Europe’s economy more than Russia’s. The Hungarian prime minister has also argued that only Washington has the power to pressure Kiev into peace talks, and that decisions made in Brussels “reflect American interests more often than European ones.”

With the US dragging Europe into a conflict it cannot win, Orban has suggested that “the solution would be a European NATO” without the US as a member. Hungary is currently blocking a €500 million ($540 million) EU military aid package for Ukraine. Apart from his long-standing opposition to escalating the conflict, Orban cited Ukraine’s sanctioning of a Hungarian bank as a reason for the hold up. “If a country like Ukraine would like to get our financial support, they can’t put our companies on a blacklist,” he said on Tuesday. “If you need our money, please respect us.”

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“We must think of how to save people’s lives. This is my position,” Orban asserted.”

Orban Thinks NATO Reluctant To Deploy Own Troops To Ukraine (TASS)

Ukraine will not be able to prevail in the conflict with Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday, noting an unwillingness by NATO to deploy alliance troops to Ukraine and urging that a peaceful settlement be reached as soon as possible. Addressing a public debate at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday, the head of Hungary’s government said, “If you look at how things stand in reality, at the figures, the situation in general, and the fact that NATO is reluctant to send its troops [to Ukraine], you will clearly see that the Ukrainians will be unable to win a victory on the battlefield.” His comment came in response to a question about whether he actually thinks that Ukraine stands no chance of success.


Orban’s speech in Doha, in essence, morphed into an interview with the forum’s moderator and was streamed live on the Hungarian government’s page on Facebook (prohibited in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as an extremist organization). When asked about the conflict in Ukraine, the Hungarian prime minister reiterated that Budapest has favored a peaceful solution from the very start of the conflict while consistently calling for an immediate ceasefire. “We must think of how to save people’s lives. This is my position,” Orban asserted.

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Talking to Zelensky is no use to begin with.

Kremlin Spokesman Sees No Prerequisites For Ukrainian Peace Process (TASS)

It would be too early to speak about a peaceful solution of the Ukrainian conflict because no prerequisites for this scenario are currently in place, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told TASS in an interview. When asked which one of various reconciliation plans, put forward by other countries, would be preferable for Russia and whether Moscow has its own variant, the Kremlin press secretary replied: “It is too early to speak about it. No prerequisites for a peace process are yet in place, evidently.” “The special military operation continues,” he added. Answering to a question of whether the Kremlin was ready to negotiate with anyone from the incumbent Kiev government, Peskov replied: “This is hardly possible, because any negotiations with Russia are prohibited [in Ukraine].” Last October, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky issued a decree banning any talks with Moscow stating that he was not interested in interacting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

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Not “the”, but “a” Serb leader, the president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik. He met with Putin yesterday.

Serb Leader Explains Why West Doesn’t Like Russia (RT)

Russia has fallen out of grace with the West because it wouldn’t play ball with Europe any longer when it comes to supplying the continent with cheap gas, the president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, said in an interview released on Monday ahead of a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Speaking to Russia’s NTV channel, Dodik, who heads one of the regions within Bosnia and Herzegovina that is predominantly populated by Serbs, offered his take on the ongoing Ukraine conflict. He said that “the Russians have been giving cheap gas to Europe and Germany for an unreasonably long time, for years, strengthening their economy.”

“Of course, the West doesn’t like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. How could they like him when he doesn’t give them resources?” he said, adding that the international community should “respect” Russia and understand the role it plays globally. Against this backdrop, Dodik noted that when the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev started over a year ago, Berlin was willing to deliver “only helmets” to Ukraine, but ended up sending Kiev Leopard main battle tanks. “Why should we believe in their good intentions now?” he asked. Dodik went on to point out that while the West is trying to portray itself as a “defender of ordinary people in Ukraine,” it never really cared to protect the population in countries such as Syria, Libya or Yugoslavia. The latter came under “baseless” air strikes conducted by Western countries themselves, he claimed.


Dodik’s remarks come after he held a meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev in Moscow, during which the two discussed regional security. According to the Serb leader, he also informed Patrushev of the challenging conditions Republika Srpska has found itself in due to Western pressure over its refusal to join the sanctions against Russia. Meanwhile, the Republika Srpska leader, who has long promoted his region’s independence, was himself hit by US sanctions in 2017 after Washington accused him of obstructing the 1995 Dayton Accords, which put an end to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On Tuesday, Dodik is set to sit down with Putin in Moscow, with the agenda expected to revolve around economic cooperation, according to Republika Srpska officials. Dodik said he planned to discuss with the Russian leader “how the world would look in the future.”

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And Ukraine continues to be paid.

Russia Continues To Supply Gas To EU Via Ukraine – Gazprom (RT)

Russian energy giant Gazprom continues to supply gas for transit to Western and Central Europe through Ukrainian territory via the Sudzha gas pumping station in amounts approved by Ukraine, the company said on Tuesday. Supplies rose to 41.2 million cubic meters (mcm) on May 23, compared to 40.9 mcm pumped the previous day through the Sudzha entry point, which remains the only operating interconnector in Ukraine. “Gazprom supplies Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine in the amount confirmed by the Ukrainian side through the Sudzha… Application for ‘Sokhranovka’ was rejected,” Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters.


Ukraine shut down transit through the Sokhranovka station, a key gas transit route which handled around a third of the Russian gas flowing through the country to the EU, in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.” Russian gas deliveries to the EU via Ukraine were slashed last May in the aftermath of the bloc’s sweeping sanctions, with shipments plunging to 24 mcm in January this year. Since February, however, daily transit volumes have been gradually increasing. Gas transit through Ukraine remains the only route for Russian supplies to the countries of Western and Central Europe after sabotage attacks in September rendered the Nord Stream pipeline inoperable. Gazprom also exports gas via the TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines to Southern and Southeastern Europe.

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“If China is a threat, then what are some G7 members that go for wars on sovereign states, overthrow legitimate foreign governments, exit multilateral treaties and coerce other countries to sever supply chains?”

Beijing Decries ‘Biggest Threat’ Label (RT)

The G7 countries will not be able to trick the world into believing that Beijing is undermining global stability, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday. In a series of posts on Twitter, Hua blasted such a stance, writing: “Some G7 members called China ‘the biggest threat to global security and prosperity’. Seriously?” She was apparently referring to remarks by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said during the group’s summit in Hiroshima, Japan, that “China poses the greatest challenge to global security and prosperity in our time,” as he called for decreasing dependence on Chinese supply chains. He added that the UK and G7 were taking steps to prevent Beijing from using “economic coercion to interfere in the sovereign affairs of others.”

“If China is a threat, then what are some G7 members that go for wars on sovereign states, overthrow legitimate foreign governments, exit multilateral treaties and coerce other countries to sever supply chains?” Hua asked. The spokeswoman went on to emphasize China’s place as “the No.1 engine of global economy,” and that Beijing was contributing to global growth more than all G7 members combined while being the second largest donor to UN peacekeeping funding. “The real world will not be brainwashed and fooled,” she said. Sunak’s rebuke of China appeared to be much tougher than G7 joint communique outlining challenges posed by Beijing.

The group’s members, in particular, insisted that they are “prepared to build constructive and stable relations with China,” adding that “we are not decoupling or turning inwards” when it comes to economic ties with the Asian giant. However, the G7 stressed the need for what it called “de-risking and diversifying” and reducing “excessive dependencies in our critical supply chains.” The group also scolded Beijing for “non-market policies and practices, which distort the global economy,” vowing to build resistance to what it termed economic coercion. China’s foreign ministry was not convinced, however, stating that “massive unilateral sanctions and acts of ‘decoupling’… make the US the real coercer” while urging the G7 not to become Washington’s “accomplice” in this regard.

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“Beijing also hopes that “the United States will refrain from harvesting yields around the globe in order to protect its own interests..”

China Hopes World Adequately Immune From Debt-Driven US Finance Risks (TASS)

China has expressed the hope that the United States, as the world’s largest economy, will not attempt to shift its financial risks onto the international community, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said at a news briefing on Tuesday. “The debt issue is an internal affair of the United States, but given that [the US is] the world’s largest economy, their own situation and political decisions may have critical knock-on effects for the global economy,” Mao said, when asked by a TASS reporter to comment on the ongoing political debate in Washington over raising the US debt ceiling. “Hopefully, the United States will maintain a responsible fiscal and monetary policy and will not shift US risks onto the entire world,” she added. Beijing also hopes that “the United States will refrain from harvesting yields around the globe in order to protect its own interests,” the Chinese diplomat said.


The Global Times reported in March that, as of late January, China was the second largest foreign holder of US debt ($843.7 billion), trailing only Japan, which holds $1.104 trillion in US government securities. The publication mentioned that China has been reducing its holdings of US government debt in recent years. The US government may find itself unable to meet all of its obligations unless Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling later this month, with technical default otherwise occurring “potentially as early as June 1,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on Monday. Unless a bipartisan compromise on the debt ceiling is hammered out on Capitol Hill in time, she has repeatedly warned, the country may default, which would lead to an “economic and financial catastrophe” for the US that would reverberate across the global economy.

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Two articles on the same topic that -only- partically overlap.

“Only about 30% of America’s F-35 fleet is “fully mission capable” on any given day.”

Pentagon Loses A Million F-35 parts (RT)

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has been unable to account for about 1 million missing spare parts for its F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, the costliest weapon system in the nation’s history, a government review has found. The lost parts, which include such items as bolts, tires, and landing gear, are valued at about $85 million, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on Tuesday. Since 2018, the Pentagon has reviewed the circumstances surrounding only 2% of identified parts losses. “Without DOD taking steps to ensure that these spare parts are accountable under a contract, the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) will be unable to either gain or maintain accountability over these spare parts and will not have data, such as locations, costs, and quantities, needed for financial reporting or to ensure that government interests are protected,” the GAO said.

The spare parts are stored around the world for use on the F-35 by the US military and allied nations that have purchased the aircraft, which is made by defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Because the Pentagon’s F-35 JPO lacks a process for tracking losses, Lockheed Martin hasn’t reported on over 900,000 additional spare parts valued at more than $66 million for review, the GAO said. The GAO’s report marks just the latest black eye for the $1.7 trillion F-35 program, which has been plagued by reliability struggles, including an issue with engine vibration that led to a global recall order in March. Only about 30% of America’s F-35 fleet is “fully mission capable” on any given day. US Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Schmidt warned last month that a thin supply of spare parts could jeopardize the ability of American forces to keep the aircraft in service during the country’s next major war.

The GAO report blamed the parts losses partly on the Pentagon’s failure to oversee components that are owned by the DOD and managed by contractors. DOD officials and the contractors haven’t reached an agreement on whether the parts should be categorized as government-furnished property, which hinders the processing of lost inventories. As of last October, the Pentagon had over 19,000 spare parts globally that had been awaiting disposition instructions from the F-35 JPO – for as long as five years in some cases. The GAO said the DOD agreed with its four recommendations on beefing up accounting for the parts pool.

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This is Lockheed’s business model. Nothing is audited, nobody knows where all the parts are, so they have to order again.

Pentagon Can’t Account For 1000s Of Ultra-Expensive F-35 Parts Globally (ZH)

Just three weeks ago Defense News published an extensive investigative report which posed the question in its headline, Lockheed eyes new F-35 parts deal, but can it handle wartime demands? The report introduced: By the end of the year, a new and unusual deal for the F-35 fighter’s spare parts could be in place — one that would flip the current supply model on its head. If the proposed performance-based logistics contract works the way F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin has promised, it will save the government money, improve the availability of spare parts and give the company greater flexibility on how it assists repairs, such as making it easier to fix a broken part without fabricating a new one. Fast-forward to Tuesday, and the congressional watchdog Government Accountability Office (GOA) released a devastating report which reveals the entire question of “saving the government money” to be laughable and way off.

Bloomberg writes based on the new GOA findings that “The Pentagon can’t account for hundreds of thousands of spare parts worth millions of dollars that are stored worldwide for the US and allies for its costliest weapon, the F-35 jet, according to congressional auditors.” So perhaps the Pentagon should think about simply locating the missing ones first before a giant Lockheed parts overhaul is put into place. Even long before this, going years back, the controversial program to develop the ultra-costly stealth multirole combat aircraft produced periodic headlines like the following in 2020: The Pentagon’s $35 Trillion Accounting Black Hole. The fact that the Department of Defense has failed to pass a DOD-wide audit for the fifth consecutive year has compounded the problem which has been months or years in the making, to the tune of billions lost – which could eventually add up to a one-and-a-half trillion dollars black hole.

This as the GOA report has confirmed the Pentagon’s F-35 program office doesn’t provide oversight for the parts: “Unlike scores of GAO reports and other assessments that analyze the fighter jet’s cost, schedule and flying performance, the new audit delved into the more mundane and largely invisible work of supporting the aircraft once it’s delivered to international customers. The operation and support bill for the F-35 may reach an estimated $1.4 trillion through 2088. Allies don’t own parts and tap into the Defense Department’s worldwide shared pool of spares, including engines, tires, landing gear and items such as bolts, screws and fasteners. The Pentagon’s F-35 program office doesn’t maintain accountability over the parts, “the total value of which is unknown,” the GAO said.” It is manufacturer Lockheed Martin which solely “tracks” the records (supposedly), given the Pentagon has been “unable to provide the cost, total quantity, and locations of spare parts in the global spares pool.”

According to the GOA report: The lack of visibility into the inventory “increases the risk of misstatement on DOD’s financial statements and the risk of mismanagement of the F-35 global spares pool,” it said. All of this comes the same week that multiple media reports and former top US officials have highlighted that contractor price-gouging is common and routine when it comes to the gargantuan defense budget, at taxpayer’s expense of course. For example, former Pentagon insiders told Newsweek that the Biden administration’s ‘blank check’ approach to Ukraine has resulted in a massive arms flow to Kiev “no matter the expense.” Naturally this has resulted in diminished incentive to engage in serious and timely audits for things like expensive jet parts, and to determine where they are globally. Lockheed continues to be front and center in these whistleblower and former DoD official tell-alls…

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“Salacious allegations such as this one would be passed by the Clinton campaign to the FBI and then leaked to the press which would report on the FBI investigations, giving the fabrications credibility.”

Why the Conspiracy Theory About Trump and Russia Won’t Go Away (Chris Hedges)

All the investigations into Trump’s ties with Russia are unequivocal. There was no collusion. The Steele dossier, financed at first by Republican opponents of Trump and later by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and compiled by former MI6 British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, was a fake. The charges in the dossier — which included reports of Trump receiving a “golden shower” from prostituted women in a Moscow hotel room and claims that Trump and the Kremlin had ties going back five years — were discredited by the FBI. Sources, including the one that claimed Trump had long-held ties to the Kremlin, turned out to be fabricated. Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller concluded that his investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Mueller did not indict or accuse anyone of criminally conspiring with Russia.

Durham’s 306-page report, sent to Congress by Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this week, is even more excoriating. It concludes that the FBI engaged in a witch hunt — code named Crossfire Hurricane — orchestrated by Hillary Clinton’s campaign that was aided and abetted by senior FBI officials who loathed Trump. The Clinton campaign provided bogus information to the FBI about ties between Trump and Russia, including a charge made by Michael Sussmann and Marc Elias, the General Counsel to the Clinton campaign, that there was a secret channel between the Trump Organization and the Russian Alfa Bank. Salacious allegations such as this one would be passed by the Clinton campaign to the FBI and then leaked to the press which would report on the FBI investigations, giving the fabrications credibility.

For example, the Clinton campaign posted a tweet through Clinton’s Twitter account on Oct. 31, 2016 that read: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based Bank.” The tweet, Durham’s report notes, “included a statement from Clinton campaign advisor Jake Sullivan that made reference to the media coverage of the article and stated, in relevant part, that the allegations in the articles ‘could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow[,]’ that ‘[t]his secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia[,]’ and that ‘[w]e can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia’s meddling in our elections.’” The FBI later determined there were no ties between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank.

Tammy Bruce
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661036063496740865

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The FBI whistleblowers are angry.

“They r being treated like skunks at a picnic under ur watch UNACCEPTABLE u must protect them from retaliation it’s the law.”

Whistleblower Says DOJ Interference In Hunter Biden Probe Dates Back Years (JTN)

An IRS agent working with federal prosecutors and investigators on the Hunter Biden tax probe is alleging the agency ignored his team’s warnings about years of improprieties by Justice Department officials supervising the case. The allegation appeared in a May 18 letter the agent sent to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, and it was made public Monday evening as part of a whistleblower package his supervisor sent Congress and the Office of Special Counsel, the government’s official whistleblower protection agency. Last week, attorneys for an IRS supervisory special agent (SSA) informed Congress that the DOJ had removed their client and his entire team from the investigation in what they deemed an act of retaliation.

The SSA came forward in late April, alleging that federal prosecutors had engaged in “preferential treatment and politics” to prevent charges from being filed against Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden. The whistleblower further alleged that his entire team had been sidelined after he made protected disclosures. He also asserted that Biden appointees had limited the ability of Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to pursue charges against his son by refusing to grant Weiss permission do so within their jurisdictions. That claim appeared to undercut testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who had contended that Weiss enjoyed full freedom to pursue the investigation and to bring charges in another jurisdiction should the need arise.

The whistleblower approached IRS internal watchdog late last year with the help of attorney Mark Zaid, who previously represented whistleblowers whose disclosures led to the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. A May 20 letter from the whistleblower’s current counsel to Werfel, however, references the May 18 letter sent by one of the supervisory agent’s subordinates. That communication suggests IRS agents have been concerned for years about the DOJ’s conduct in the Hunter Biden probe and felt left “out on an island” because the agency brass would not intervene. Former DOJ lawyer Mark Lytle and former congressional investigator Tristan Leavitt, who now serves as president of Empower Oversight, currently represent the unidentified whistleblower. In the letter, the pair pointed to a protected disclosure from one of the IRS supervisory special agent’s subordinates made directly to Werfel following the team’s removal from the case.

In the disclosure, the case agent, a subordinate of Lytle and Leavitt’s client, recounts his extensive, but unsuccessful efforts to highlight the issues, before contending the agency’s decision to remove him and the team meant the IRS had sided with the officials facing allegations of impropriety. “For the last couple years, my SSA and I have tried to gain the attention of our senior leadership about certain issues prevalent regarding the investigation,” he told Werfel. “I have asked for countless meetings with our chief and deputy chief, often to be left out on an island and not heard from. The lack of IRS-CI senior leadership involvement is deeply troubling and unacceptable.” [..] The latest revelations generated an immediate rebuke of the IRS from Republican Sen, Charles Grassley of Iowa, a longtime champion of whistleblowers. “IRS commissioner Werfel: what r u doing to protect IRS whistleblowers??” Grassley tweeted Monday evening. “They r being treated like skunks at a picnic under ur watch UNACCEPTABLE u must protect them from retaliation it’s the law.”

Hunter

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Many more will follow. And Big Pharma has immunity.

First COVID Vaccine Injury Lawsuit in US Targets Gov’t, Social Media Giants (CHD)

Five people injured by COVID-19 vaccines, along with a father whose 16-year-old son died from vaccine-induced cardiac arrest, are suing the Biden administration and top U.S. public health officials. In a lawsuit filed Monday, the plaintiffs — including Brianne Dressen who suffered severe nerve damage after taking the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine — allege the U.S. government colluded with social media companies to censor them when they posted stories about their personal vaccine injury experiences. Defendants include President Biden and top-ranking White House officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This is the first lawsuit brought by U.S. citizens injured by the COVID-19 vaccines [..]

Dressen — a preschool teacher from Saratoga Springs, Utah — volunteered to participate in AstraZeneca’s clinical trial for its COVID-19 shot. Now, she says, she is “collateral damage of the pandemic.” Dressen co-chairs React19, a “science-based non-profit offering financial, physical, and emotional support for those suffering from longterm COVID-19 vaccine adverse events globally.” After receiving the AstraZeneca shot, Dressen experienced extensive adverse effects — including doubled and blurry vision, severe sensitivity to sound and light, heart and blood pressure fluctuations and intense brain fog — that worsened over time. She said Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, GoFundMe, Reddit and Instagram removed content she posted about her injuries.

According to Dressen, the plaintiffs’ experiences of censorship “pale in comparison to the thousands of Americans we know who all have experienced the same thing.” “There is nothing scarier than reaching out for help only to be silenced,” Dressen told The Defender. “It was as scary as the vaccine reaction itself. “Our constitutional freedoms must be protected, regardless of whether or not we are in a national emergency,” Dressen added. Dressen — who now experiences “permanent disability” with “ups and downs” — said she and the other plaintiffs are “not fighting this fight for a select few” but are fighting on behalf of the “tens of thousands who are experiencing the same kind of censorship.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with.
— Isaac Asimov (I Asimov, 1995)

 

 

Antonova

 

 

UN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairywren

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 232023
 


Leonardo da Vinci Lady with an Ermine c. 1489-91

 

Peace Plans Are ‘Absolutely Wrong’ – UK PM (RT)
Austria Calls For Dialogue With Russia (TASS)
Hungary Opposes New EU Sanctions, Military Assistance To Ukraine (TASS)
Ukraine Won’t Join NATO Anytime Soon – Scholz (RT)
Fade to Black in Ukraine (Kunstler)
Chinese Delegation Visits Moscow For ‘Security Consultations’ (RT)
Russia Can Conduct Its Special Op For A Long Time – German Intel Chief (TASS)
No One Knows Who Blew Up Nord Stream – German Intel Chief (TASS)
Ukrainian Sabotage Attack On Belgorod Region (TASS)
The Western Media Disinformation Campaign: Fall of Bakhmut (Doctorow)
Russia Issues Dire Warning After US Approves Ukrainian Strikes On Crimea (ZH)
US ‘Highly Likely’ To Default – Yellen (RT)
Democrats Beg Biden to Make Them Constitutional Nonentities (Turley)
The Idiotic 14th Amendment Argument (Denninger)
GOP Pushes Back Against WHO Plans for ‘Global Governance’ (ET)

 

 

@RealPepeEscobar Waiting list for BRICS+: at 25 – and counting.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkiye, UAE, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

 

 

Nap Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660695388045623303

 

 

 

 

Zelensky Bakhmut

 

 

Wilkerson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660661957626826753

 

 

Blind Obama

 

 

Great Awakening

 

 

RFK jr

 

 

@WarClandestine: As Bakhmut falls and Ukraine’s air defenses are depleted, you’ll notice Zelensky is STILL not in Ukraine. Since May 3rd, he has been in Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, and now off to Japan for the G7 Summi.t He’s hiding.

 

 

 

 

Warmonger midget Sunak.

Peace Plans Are ‘Absolutely Wrong’ – UK PM (RT)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has shot down calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine, declaring that Kiev should keep fighting for as long as it takes to get the peace “it deserves.” Ukraine’s British and American backers have rejected calls for peace on multiple occasions before. In a session of parliament on Monday, Sunak was asked by former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn whether he agreed with a ceasefire initiative put forward by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and backed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis. Corbyn added that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated earlier on Monday that “a ceasefire is not a peace,” but without one, “this war will go on and get worse and worse.”

“I could not disagree with him more,” Sunak replied. “A ceasefire is not a just and lasting peace for Ukraine. Russia has conducted an illegal and unprovoked invasion … and the right and only response to that is for Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.” “All plans masquerading as peace plans,” he continued, “are in fact attempts just to freeze the conflict where it is, are absolutely wrong and they should be called out.” Sunak’s position is in line with that of the US, where Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in December that any ceasefire that involved freezing battle lines would lead to “a phony peace.” At the time, Sunak stated that a ceasefire would be “completely meaningless,” and that the UK would only accept the withdrawal of Russian troops from “conquered territory.”


Ukraine considers the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – which voted to join the Russian Federation last year – its territories, and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed to bring all four back under Kiev’s control. Zelensky has also promised to recapture Crimea, which voted to join the Russian Federation in 2014. However, American military officials have publicly stated that retaking Crimea is beyond Ukraine’s capability, and Kiev’s long-anticipated spring counteroffensive against Russian forces has thus far failed to materialize. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military suffered the destruction of more than two dozen of its brigades in the city of Artyomovsk/Bakhmut since last October, only to lose the city to the Wagner private military company over the weekend. Nevertheless, Sunak claimed in parliament that Russian forces are “failing on the battlefield,” and declared – as he and US President Joe Biden have on many occasions – that he would “stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

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“..Vienna continued to communicate with Moscow through informal channels..”

Austria Calls For Dialogue With Russia (TASS)

Vienna maintains an informal channel of communication with Moscow and calls for dialogue with Russia despite the Ukrainian conflict, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said. “The West should continue talking with Russia the way the US government is doing,” he pointed out in an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper published on Monday. According to Schallenberg, international platforms such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations should be used for further talks with Russia. Austria’s top diplomat sees it as “the global responsibility” of Western countries. Schallenberg emphasized that Vienna continued to communicate with Moscow through informal channels. “Russia has not disappeared from the map, remaining the EU’s biggest geographical neighbor and the world’s major nuclear power,” he added.

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Keep your foot down this time.

Hungary Opposes New EU Sanctions, Military Assistance To Ukraine (TASS)

Budapest opposes a number of key provisions in the 11th package of sanctions on Russia developed by the European Commission and will not support giving any additional military assistance from the European Peace Facility until its OTP Bank is taken off of Ukraine’s list of international war sponsors, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday. He recalled that EU countries want to increase military assistance to Ukraine from the European Peace Facility to the tune of 500 million euro. “We demand the Ukrainians remove OTP from the list of international war sponsors. Until that happens, we will not give our consent to allocate these 500 million euro to EU countries as compensation for their spending on weapons to Ukraine,” he told Hungarian journalists during a break in the meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

The top diplomat’s press conference was broadcast live on his Facebook page (Facebook is banned in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as extremist). On May 4, Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention put Hungary’s OTP Bank Group, which continues to operate in Russia, on the list of international sponsors of war. Szijjarto slammed this decision as “scandalous and unacceptable.” As of today, he stressed, Hungary’s largest bank, OTP, “had not violated a single national or international law” and its blacklisting in Ukraine is absolutely illegal. The top Hungarian diplomat also recalled that his country’s government was against weapons supplies to Ukraine in general and would not budge from this position. “Weapons supplies are fraught with the risk of escalating the war and the longer this war continues, the more people will die,” he stressed.

Touching on the 11th package of anti-Russian sanctions, which was also a topic of discussion for the EU foreign ministers, the Hungarian minister noted, “Brussels should have learned a lesson from the consequences of the sanctions.” “Sanctions are more harmful to Europe than they are to Russia and I think that the 10th package of sanctions should not be followed by an 11th, which would turn out to be a true test for Europe in general and the economy of European countries,” he said, adding that Hungary opposed additional restrictions for European companies in terms of trading in Russian goods, as well as sanctions on Chinese companies suspected of cooperating with Russia. He also reiterated that Hungary will oppose any EU sanctions that would restrict cooperation with Russia in the field of nuclear energy. “Despite the pressure that’s being exerted on us, we will strongly oppose any kind of sanctions affecting the nuclear industry, because that concerns Hungary’s energy security. In no case will we risk the security of Hungary’s energy supply,” he said.

Apart from that, Szijjarto stressed that Budapest will continue to demand that the Ukrainian authorities restore the rights of the Hungarian minority in the Zakarpattia Region. Until this problem is settled, Hungary will not support Kiev’s aspirations to integrate into the European Union, he pledged. Summing up the results of the ministerial meeting, the Hungarian minister noted that no decision had been made about using the European Peace Facility to further finance weapons supplies to Ukraine. “No decision on sanctions was made either,” he said. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said earlier on Monday that the 11th package of sanctions could be agreed before the next EU ministerial meeting in June. Talks on this topic continue. At the same time, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has admitted that not only Hungary but a number of other countries object to the 11th package.

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The Germans are not ready to declare war on Russia.

Ukraine Won’t Join NATO Anytime Soon – Scholz (RT)

Ukraine will most likely not be able to become a NATO member state in the foreseeable future as it does not meet a number of requirements for admission yet, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said. Earlier this month, the head of the US-led military bloc, Jens Stoltenberg, declared that all member states had agreed to welcome Kiev, but only if and when it vanquished Moscow’s forces. In an interview with Germany’s Die Welt published on Monday, Scholz assessed that, for the time being, Ukraine’s Western backers should focus on helping the country “defend its land.” In the future, security guarantees for Kiev will also need to be discussed. “But we are a long way away from there,” he added.

When asked whether he would theoretically support Ukraine’s accession to NATO after its military conflict with Russia was over, the chancellor claimed that it was “clear to everyone that this doesn’t stand on the agenda anytime soon.” One of the reasons for that, according to Scholz, is that “there is a whole range of requirements belonging to NATO’s criteria that Ukraine can’t fulfill at present.” Earlier this month, dpa news agency, citing a YouGov poll, reported that some 54% of Germans oppose the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, with only 27% in favor. Meanwhile, also this month, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the Washington Post that “all NATO allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance.” He, however, refused to offer any timeline for this.


According to the official, the US-led military bloc is currently helping Kiev “transition from Soviet-era equipment, doctrines and standards” and become “interoperable with NATO forces.” In April, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that most Europeans would disapprove if NATO did not extend a “well-deserved invitation” to join the alliance. The Ukrainian leadership made it clear that it expected to see progress on the issue during an upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania in July.

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“..our country is bypassing the banana republic stage of dissolution and depravity and steaming quickly into a Hieronymus Bosch dystopia..”

Fade to Black in Ukraine (Kunstler)

Well, the folks running things in America — that is, the scores of unelected bureaucratic satraps guarding their nests throughhout the Okefenokee inside-the-Beltway, especially the gator-pit known politely as the Intel Community — decided to subject Mr. Trump to a one-man version of the exquisite torment intended for Russia, Russia, Russia: pain, ignominy, and ruin. They’re still at it six years later, since the relentless Mr. Trump will not give up his crusade to take back the White House and defenestrate all those attempting to defenestrate him. His enemies have captured all the levers of legal power, and yet, amazingly, they can come up with nothing but the most rinky-dink charges to railroad him in captured jurisdictions.

This internal political conflict in the USA has driven the populace plumb insane, while it has rendered our institutions rancid and left us subject to a pathocracy hiding behind a laughably fake chief executive. After a year-plus of America’s genius scheme to maintain world dominance, Russia is doing really well, thank you, in constructing a geo-economic framework for trade that will not be subject to the pranks of USA-led Western Civ. Russia is a nation of people who regard themselves as men and women, the toils of gender confusion happily absent. Ditto race hustles. Ditto banking Ponzis. After two-plus years of “Joe Biden” — well, our country is bypassing the banana republic stage of dissolution and depravity and steaming quickly into a Hieronymus Bosch dystopia of financial, social, psychological and moral ruin. Every official utterance is a lie. Everything’s broken or breaking. And seemingly, on-purpose.


The nagging question, of course, is on whose purposes? And why is Mr. Zelensky flitting from one country to another the past month? Because the game of Let’s You and Him Fight is drawing to a close and Mr. Z may find himself fatally unpopular back on the home-front. He has managed to send upward of a hundred-thousand young Ukrainian men to their deaths in the meat-grinder, and perhaps a million more have hightailed it for other countries. Ukraine will now be a land of mostly women, children, and old folks — with just enough surviving soldiers left looking to hunt down the comedian who turned Ukraine into another one history’s sick jokes.

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“The high-profile security talks, which are held annually, are an “integral and in-demand element of the Russian-Chinese comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation..”

Chinese Delegation Visits Moscow For ‘Security Consultations’ (RT)

Top Russian and Chinese security officials met in Moscow on Monday to discuss cooperation between the two nations in various areas, the press service of Russia’s Security Council has said. “The prospects for joint efforts in the law enforcement sphere, in various areas of operational and service activities have been considered. Special attention was paid to plans for cooperation between the Russian Guard and the People’s Armed Police of China, as well as between financial intelligence [services],” the statement said.The talks involved an unspecified number of representatives of various ministries and government agencies of the two countries, according to the Russian side. The two sides discussed various issues, including “international information security,” as well as “contacts between supervisory and investigative bodies” of the two nations.

The Chinese delegation was led by Chen Wenqing, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo. He was recently named secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the country’s top security post with oversight of judges, police, and intelligence. Russia’s delegation was led by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev. The high-profile security talks, which are held annually, are an “integral and in-demand element of the Russian-Chinese comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation,” the press service said. This was the second major Russia-China security event in just over a month. In mid-April, China’s newly appointed Defense Minister Li Shangfu visited Moscow, where he met his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu, President Vladimir Putin, and other top officials during a three-day stay in Russia.


Li said at the time that the trip was intended to underscore Beijing’s “firm determination to strengthen strategic cooperation between the militaries of China and Russia.” “After my appointment as the defense minister, my first visit is made to Russia in order to demonstrate to the outside world the high level of Chinese-Russian relations,” he said ahead of the talks with Shoigu.

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“..the intelligence service does not see that the conflict has somehow shaken the authority of the Russian state.”

Russia Can Conduct Its Special Op For A Long Time – German Intel Chief (TASS)

Russia is capable of continuing its military operation in Ukraine ‘for a long time’, President of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) Bruno Kahl said. “Russia, as before, remains capable of leading <…> [its special military operation] for a long time,” the DPA news agency quoted the intelligence chief as saying. Kahl also noted that the intelligence service does not see that the conflict has somehow shaken the authority of the Russian state. When asked whether the BND was aware that a military operation would certainly begin, he said: “Fourteen days before the start <…> [of the conflict] we recorded phenomena that could hardly be interpreted in any other way.”.

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Keep the questions alive. Forever.

No One Knows Who Blew Up Nord Stream – German Intel Chief (TASS)

No intelligence agency is currently able to clearly name those responsible for the Nord Streams sabotage, President of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) Bruno Kahl said. “No country, no intelligence agency in the world is currently able to attribute this (the Nord Streams sabotage – TASS) to anyone in particular,” he said, “Maybe this will change, there are some notable successes in the investigation.” Kahl recalled that the site of the sabotage is a seabed, which makes the work of investigators much more difficult. According to him, the investigation is being conducted “in different directions.” “I do not exclude that there will be a success that will make one of the options more likely and the others less likely,” the intelligence chief added. On May 21, the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that at least two Ukrainians may have been involved in the explosions at the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines.


The German Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office on Monday did not comment on this information when asked by TASS. The agency said that the investigation is working on all the evidence to establish the facts, but it is impossible to provide additional data at the moment. In turn, State Secretary Steffen Hebestreit, commenting on the information of the Suddeutsche Zeitung, said that the German government does not intend to speculate about the perpetrators of the Nord Stream sabotage. On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported “unprecedented damage” on three strings of the offshore gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system. Later, Swedish seismologists said they had identified two explosions on the route of the Nord Stream pipelines on September 26, 2022. Following the incident, the Russian prosecutor general’s office opened a case on charges of international terrorism.

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Allegedly they sent in 50 men. 39 were killed, 5 arrested.

Ukrainian Sabotage Attack On Belgorod Region (TASS)

A Ukrainian sabotage group infiltrated the Grayvoron District of the Belgorod Region on Monday, regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. According to the latest data, the Russian military and security forces are taking measures to eliminate the enemy and are driving it away from the Russian territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed about the situation. TASS has put together the highlights of what has been reported about the attack as of now.

– The infiltration by Ukrainian saboteurs was reported by Gladkov. He said the Russian military, border guards and the servicemen of the National Guard and the Federal Security Service are taking “necessary measures to eliminate the enemy.” – Before that, the governor said two people were injured in a shelling of the village of Glotovo of the Grayvoron District. He said one of the casualties, a woman, who suffered wounds from a mine explosion, had been taken to a hospital in serious condition. The other person, a man, was in a condition of medium gravity. – The Kremlin later confirmed that a Ukrainian sabotage group had tried to force its way into the Belgorod Region, and the group is now being driven away from the Russian territory and eliminated. – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there are sufficient forces and equipment on the scene to combat the saboteurs. He said Putin had been briefed about the incident.


– Peskov said the goal of the sabotage attack is “to divert attention from the Bakhmut area and reduce to a minimum the political effect from the loss of Artyomovsk by the Ukrainian side.” The Russian Defense Ministry said into the night of May 21 that the town in Donbass had been fully liberated. – The Russian Defense Ministry has regularly reported stopping Ukrainian sabotage attacks in Russia’s new regions: The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. – The previous sabotage attack took place in the Bryansk Region on March 2. Two people were killed, and a boy with the date of birth in 2012 was wounded at the time. The boy was able to lead two girls that were nearby out of harm’s way. – Putin then called the attack on villages outside Bryansk a terrorist attack.

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“Given their losses in men and materiel defending Bakhmut, the surrender of the city to the Russians will be a great blow to Ukrainian fighting morale when it is finally admitted..”

The Western Media Disinformation Campaign: Fall of Bakhmut (Doctorow)

Midday yesterday, 20 May, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group which did most of the fighting for Bakhmut on the ground, claimed total victory. In the evening, President Vladimir Putin announced to the Russian public that Bakhmut was taken. Joyous messages of congratulations filled the internet message services in Russia as the broad public celebrated a victory as iconic as the Battle for Stalingrad. Meanwhile, the defenders of the Western public against Russian “disinformation” were hard at work, straining their brains to find what to say. This morning’s New York Times still speaks of the battle for Bakhmut as undecided, pointing yet again to the Ukrainian hold on the flanks.

Given their losses in men and materiel defending Bakhmut, the surrender of the city to the Russians will be a great blow to Ukrainian fighting morale when it is finally admitted. So will the fate of their Commander in Chief General Zaluzhny who, according to Russian sources, has been hospitalized for the past two weeks and remains in critical condition after falling victim to a Russian strike on a provincial command center which killed most of the high officers around him. If nothing else, this speaks to the amazing success of Russian military intelligence directing their firepower.

Meanwhile, Western media attention to Ukraine is conveniently redirected at the nonstop travels of President Zalensky who went from his European tour on to the Middle East, where he attended the meeting of the Arab League, and thence via French military jet to the G7 gathering in Hiroshima where he held talks with fellow heads of state and joined them for the obligatory group photos. All the talk was about when the U.S. will formally give its consent to the dispatch of F16s to Kiev. For the disseminators of Western disinformation this is a wonderful distraction from a war that clearly is going badly for Kiev and in particular a distraction from the counter offensive that looks less likely with each passing day of Russian military strikes on the command centers and weapons stores of the Ukrainian side.

The plume of radioactive smoke and ash that rose from the Khmelnitsky store of British depleted uranium artillery shells in Western Ukraine after a Russian missile strike, just like the extensive damage to the Patriot air defense installation near Kiev by a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile tell us all what will be the fate of future Western arms deliveries to Ukraine. It is an interesting question how much longer the Ukrainian military or politicians will put up with their high flying, good life President while the country is well on its way to hell.

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If Kiev attacks Crimea, Russia will flatten Kiev.

Russia Issues Dire Warning After US Approves Ukrainian Strikes On Crimea (ZH)

Russia has issued another stern warning related to further potential Ukrainian attacks on Crimea. “Strikes on this territory are considered by us as an attack on any other region of the Russian Federation. It is important that the United States is fully aware of the Russian response,” Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, warned Sunday. This was in response to an earlier weekend statement by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to CNN. He said while speaking from the G7 summit in Japan over the weekend, “we have not placed limitations on Ukraine being able to strike on its territory… What we’ve said is that we won’t enable Ukraine with US-systems to attack Russia. And we believe Crimea is Ukraine.” However, the US has consistently denied that it has OK’d Ukraine using US-supplied advanced weaponry to mount such attacks.

Antonov further stated on Telegram in response that “the unconditional approval of strikes on Crimea using American and other Western weapons” alongside the move among Western allies to supply Ukraine with jets “clearly demonstrate that the United States has never been interested in peace.” He warned the US administration against “thoughtless judgments on Crimea, especially in terms of ‘blessing’ the Kiev regime for air attacks” on the peninsula. Per Russian state media, other Kremlin officials weighed in even more forcefully, warning that even nuclear disaster could be the result: “Sullivan’s remarks likewise triggered outrage from Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Muradov, who opined that by allowing Ukraine to use US-made planes to target the peninsula, the White House had “agreed to unleashing a nuclear war.”


“The official recalled that Crimea hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. “An attack on one of the pillars of Russia’s strategic security legally obliges our country to use all available means to prevent it from being undermined.” Russia has also recently accused Ukrainian forces of using UK-supplied long range rockets which are capable of hitting inside Russia. This is also a cause for concern in terms of possible Russia-NATO direct escalation: “Storm Shadow missiles, which have a range of more than 250 kilometers, give Ukraine the capacity to strike well behind Russian front lines and as far as Moscow-occupied Crimea,” US state-funded RFERL underscores, while adding that “British media reports said Kyiv had promised not to use the missiles to strike inside Russia’s territory.”

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“Congress has raised borrowing limits 78 times since 1960.”

US ‘Highly Likely’ To Default – Yellen (RT)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has doubled down on her warnings about the nation’s debt ceiling, saying the federal government will run out of money to pay its bills as soon as June 1 unless Congress enables it to increase borrowings. “It is highly likely that Treasury will no longer be able to satisfy all of the government’s obligations if Congress has not acted to raise or suspend the debt limit by early June, and potentially as early as June 1,” Yellen said on Monday in a letter to US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Yellen has repeatedly warned that Washington is headed for default on its financial obligations, barring additional borrowing authority from lawmakers, after the national debt soared to its $31.4 trillion statutory limit. The US Treasury is running out of cash after the national debt reached the cap in January.

“If Congress fails to increase the debt limit, it would cause severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests,” Yellen told McCarthy, a California Republican. The Treasury secretary said it’s impossible to predict the exact date when the money will run out. The government will likely have to start choosing which bills go unpaid by June 15, if not sooner, Yellen said on Sunday in an NBC News interview. Major obligations include interest payments on existing borrowings, Social Security payments to elderly and disabled Americans, bills from defense contractors, and the paychecks of US military personnel and other government employees. The US government has a projected deficit of $1.4 trillion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, meaning its outlays exceed revenue by around $117 billion each month. The nation ran up $6.2 trillion in debt in its first 226 years of existence, then saw the total balloon fivefold in just the past two decades. Congress has raised borrowing limits 78 times since 1960.


McCarthy and President Joe Biden resumed talks on Monday, but so far failed to resolve the debt impasse. Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, have proposed increasing the debt cap by $1.5 trillion while reducing growth in federal spending to address the root cause of the crisis. The president has countered that he’s unwilling to negotiate on the debt ceiling, but he’s open to having a separate conversation about spending once the borrowing cap is raised. Past political clashes over the debt ceiling have shown that waiting until the last minute to reach a settlement can rattle markets, reduce consumer confidence, raise borrowing costs and threaten the nation’s credit rating, Yellen said in Monday’s letter. In fact, the Treasury’s debt costs have already increased for bonds maturing in June. “I continue to urge Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting as soon as possible,” Yellen said.

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“These are rational leaders whose desire to nullify their own existence would have seemed entirely implausible to the Framers.”

Democrats Beg Biden to Make Them Constitutional Nonentities (Turley)

Roughly 25 years ago, many of us were shocked by the discovery of a home full of bodies of dozens of people laying in bunk beds, wearing jumpsuits and identical black-and-white Nike Decade sneakers. They were the members of the Heaven’s Gate cult who, with their leader, drank a lethal mix of phenobarbital and vodka to gain entry to “Heaven’s Gate” with the passing Hale-Bopp comet. Few of us could understand how rational people could believe their leader that it was necessary to shed their earthly bodies to gain access to an orbiting alien space craft. Few would buy such a pitch, but these people did. Some of the men even castrated themselves as a sign of their faith.

This week, Heaven’s Gate came to mind as I watched members of Congress line up to take a step that runs against every assumption of self-preservation in Madisonian democracy: They sought to make themselves nonentities. They called upon President Joe Biden to reject their very institutional existence, discard the separation of powers and unilaterally borrow and spend federal money. At one event, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released a letter to Biden on behalf of himself and nine Democratic senators “to urgently request that you prepare to exercise your authority under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.” He was joined in this by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), among others. Obviously, these are not Nike-wearing cultists, but that only makes their actions all the more inexplicable. These are rational leaders whose desire to nullify their own existence would have seemed entirely implausible to the Framers.

A presidential “power of the purse,” however, is a fiction, only marginally more credible than the Hale-Bopp comet’s power to whisk human souls away into space. Their argument for it is based on Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” The drafters of this amendment did not want Congress to simply dismiss its obligations to pay off the Union’s debts from the Civil War. Although the amendment is not limited to those debts, it has nothing to do with debt ceilings set by Congress. Default, after all, is not a denial of the validity of debt, but rather a refusal or failure to pay debts in time despite their validity.

Courts have long left it to the political branches to work out such differences in what is often a game of chicken with default. Moreover, as University of Virginia law professor Saikrishna Prakash recently pointed out, there is more than enough federal revenue coming in each month for Biden to avoid default by paying the interest on the debt under existing federal law. That may cause temporary problems for other spending priorities — acute problems, even — but it hardly rises to the level of a constitutional crisis. Instead, these senators are suggesting that a president does not need congressional approval to borrow and spend trillions of dollars, even though the Constitution explicitly grants both of those powers to Congress alone. They also claim that, by demanding budget cuts as a condition of permitting further borrowing, the House is violating the 14th Amendment.

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“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned”

The Idiotic 14th Amendment Argument (Denninger)

Can we stop with the crazy? Here’s the clause that has CNN and a bunch of other wide-eyed nuts salivating: Section 4: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.” Key: Authorized by law.

All spending must originate in the House (per the Constitution.) However, Congress is the source of such limitation as well, and nothing in that clause — or anywhere else in the Constitution says that Congress may not bind the execution of said spending based on the receipt of taxes to offset any debt that may otherwise be required. This is the same thing your bank does. You have $100,000 of income. You also have a credit card with a $20,000 credit line. If you keep invading it on the premise that you expect to earn $110,000 this year, because you are paid partially on commission or bonus, the bank can refuse to increase the line if that income does not materialize. Thus, when you reach the $20 large that’s all there is.

Likewise you can execute a Will that says “you get $1 million dollars provided you take care of my dog, including anything it may require to be healthy and live its best life, until its natural death.” This a two-part test and it is perfectly legal. This sort of clause is literally all over estate plans and business contracts: You get X provided you do both Y and Z. If you do not wish to do either of Y or Z then you don’t get X. Congress has done this by enacting the debt ceiling. Neither Congress or the Executive can accurately predict how much tax revenue will come in. Taxes, of course, come from economic activity; no activity, no taxes. The CBO projects that revenue will be “X” and so does Treasury, but those are guesses because they rely on things that have not yet occurred and as such are inherently inaccurate.

Congress has set in place a two-part system for this. The first is Appropriations, which are authorizations to spend and levies to be taxed. The second is the debt ceiling, which is a hard limit on the difference between the two over time. No, Treasury cannot go around this by claiming something in the 14th Amendment makes the Appropriation sacrosanct. Congress has the authority under the Constitution, and has exercised it, to control the purse. To be enabled by law and thus immune from being questioned, debt that is issued by Treasury must be (1) issued for an appropriated purpose AND (2) be within the debt ceiling in effect at the time of said issue. If it is then under the 14th Amendment it is valid.

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Does the WHO really think it can push this through?

GOP Pushes Back Against WHO Plans for ‘Global Governance’ (ET)

House Republicans took to the podium on May 17 to condemn the Biden administration’s negotiation of global pandemic agreements that they say will grant additional power to the World Health Organization (WHO) and centralize authority in an organization they say failed the American public during the COVID pandemic. Shortly thereafter, on May 19, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a report to member nations stating that, while the “re-emergence of epidemic-prone diseases continues to accelerate,” the WHO’s mandate regarding “health emergencies” must extend beyond pandemics to include hunger, poverty, ecological degradation, climate change, and social and economic inequalities.

Kolakusic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660567427778838528

The Director General wrote that member nations must establish a “global architecture for health emergency preparedness, prevention, response, and resilience (HEPR),” which includes “global governance, financing and HEPR systems.” But GOP lawmakers disagreed with the WHO. “International law does not trump our Constitution,” Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) said at a Capitol press conference. “Biden cannot force Americans to follow laws and regulations not passed by our own federal government.” “The World Health Organization pandemic treaty is very vague, it affects our sovereignty, and it could be exploited to tell Americans what kind of health care they need in the event of a global pandemic,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) said. The public forum was organized by Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and included 18 House members.


Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto, on behalf of the United States, is currently negotiating terms of the WHO Pandemic Accord, which is scheduled to be signed by the 194 WHO member nations in 2024, as well as amendments to International Health Regulations (IHRs), also under the auspices of the WHO. In sum, these negotiations are intended to produce legally binding treaties and agreements that will coordinate a united response among member nations during a “health emergency,” with much of the decision-making authority vested in the WHO. According to these agreements, the WHO would have the authority to, for example, declare when a pandemic is in effect and to coordinate medical supply chains to ensure equitable distribution among member nations. The agreements also speak to global coordination between the WHO and national health authorities like the CDC to set health policies, and coordination among governments on issues like fighting “misinformation.”

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Heliconia rostrata (also known as hanging lobster claw or false bird of paradise) is an herbaceous perennial plant with peculiar downward-facing flowers

 

 

Cat walk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660703979687358464

 

 

 

 

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