Oct 072022
 


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1940

 

Kremlin Accuses Zelensky Of Trying To Start A World War (RT)
Top Russian Senator Urges Ukraine To Start Peace Talks ‘Today’ (RT)
Vladimir Putin’s Battle Cry Against the Deep State (Silva-Valladares)
Russian Ambassador Assesses Relations With US (RT)
The NS1 and NS2 Sabotage Impact Potential (Jorge Vilches)
Europe Faces Deindustrialization And Social Unrest – Belgian PM (RT)
Moscow Wonders If Washington Knows About Kiev’s Terrorism Plans (RT)
EU Must Decide Where It Stands On Ukraine – Kremlin (RT)
Beyond Confidence (CoS)
Is Giorgia Meloni Bringing Fascism Back To Italy? (Cardini)
Twitter Refuses Elon Musk’s Renewed $44B Bid (Crider)
This Could Be How Turkey Attacks Greece in 2023 (Rubin)
Enough Evidence To Indict Hunter Biden – WaPo (RT)
Waiting Lines At French Gas Stations Due To Fuel Shortage (AA)
Want To Save The Oceans? Stop Recycling Plastic (Chivers)

 

 

 

 

Happy bulking season

 

 

 

 

Ye

 

 

 

 

Kamala

 

 

 

 

Not just a world war, a nuclear one.

Kremlin Accuses Zelensky Of Trying To Start A World War (RT)

The Kremlin has accused Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky of trying to spark a third world war, after he demanded that NATO carry out preventive strikes on Russia to deter the use of nuclear weapons. Speaking to the Australian Lowy Institute on Thursday, Zelensky stated that NATO must ensure Moscow does not use nukes against Kiev’s forces. To do this, he called on the US-led military bloc and the international community to carry out preventive strikes against Russia so that it “knows what to expect” if it decides to use them. “What should NATO do? Eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons,” Zelensky said during the online conference. “I once again appeal to the international community, as it was before February 24: preemptive strikes so that they [Russia] know what will happen to them if they use it, and not the other way around.”

Moscow has slammed Zelensky’s suggestion, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stating that the Ukrainian leader’s comments are nothing short of an attempt to spark a world war, which would lead to “unforeseeable disastrous consequences.” Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also accused Zelensky of trying to provoke a nuclear war, with spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that “every person on the planet” should recognize that the“unbalanced” puppet leader of Ukraine, who has been pumped full of weapons, has turned into “a monster, whose hands can destroy the planet.”


The Kremlin has called on the international community to pay special attention to Zelensky’s statements, especially the US and the UK, who Peskov says are “de facto in control of Kiev’s actions” and therefore bear responsibility for the Ukrainian president’s words. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not considering a nuclear strike on Ukraine but has warned that it will use any means necessary in order to protect its borders, people and sovereignty. Meanwhile, both Washington and London have also admitted that it is unlikely that Moscow will deploy tactical nukes in the Ukraine conflict and have seen no indications of Moscow preparing such an attack. Nevertheless, Western leaders have warned Russia against ever crossing that line, vowing “catastrophic consequences.”

Ze

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“We are saying it again – we are in favor of negotiations, of dialogue, of a peaceful political solution to this crisis. Let’s start talking. Let’s get behind the negotiating table..”

“Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.” – Sun Tzu

Top Russian Senator Urges Ukraine To Start Peace Talks ‘Today’ (RT)

The head of Russia’s Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, has called on the Ukrainian parliament to immediately engage in peace talks with a view to settling the conflict between the two countries. The proposal was made during the G20 parliamentary speakers’ summit in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Thursday. The Ukrainian delegation, headed by Verkhovna Rada chair Elena Kondratyuk, has also been invited to the event, despite the country not being part of the group of the world’s top economies. “Let us, the parliament of Russia and the parliament of Ukraine, sit behind the negotiating table today, at the G20 parliamentary platform. Let’s try to understand each other and find solutions,” Matvienko said.

The senator noted that Moscow and Kiev had almost reached a peace deal during talks in Istanbul in late March, but “Ukraine was obviously under external management at that time and gave up on those agreements.” Russia has made numerous offers to Kiev to engage in peace talks since the outbreak of the conflict in late February, she pointed out. “We are saying it again – we are in favor of negotiations, of dialogue, of a peaceful political solution to this crisis. Let’s start talking. Let’s get behind the negotiating table,” Matvienko suggested. The head of the upper house of the Russian parliament later clarified to journalists that Moscow was “ready to cease hostilities on the conditions that are being put forward by Russia.” This meant that the status of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which officially became part of the Russian state on Wednesday, won’t be up for discussion during the negotiations with Ukraine, she said.

Matvienko said she wasn’t surprised by the lack of response to her proposal to start dialogue from the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation. “It’s understandable because Ukraine isn’t free in its decisions. It can’t make any decisions on its own, without the involvement of its masters,” she said, likely referring to Kiev’s backers in the US, UK, and the EU. Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree that forbade any negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelensky claimed that Ukraine would only talk to Russia if it had a different president. The Kremlin responded to the move by saying it was ready to wait for the Ukrainian president to change his stance or for Ukraine to find a new president with a different stance.

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“..what Putin has done is setting international rivalry in deep historical and cultural terms.”

Vladimir Putin’s Battle Cry Against the Deep State (Silva-Valladares)

The recent ceremony of accession of four Ukrainian regions to Russia brought a speech from President Putin that outlined the reasons behind Russia’s current struggles, the character and identify of its foes and, more importantly, laid the groundwork for Russia’s next level of confrontation with the West beyond the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine. In his speech, Putin clearly defined the present fight as a worldwide battle in which Russia plays a leading role against the Deep State that ultimately runs the West and which uses all available tools – including military, economic, cultural, and social – in its attempt to preserve unipolar world domination.

Putin’s words were directed to three distinctive audiences: the collective West, the Global South and Russia. He went back to Middle Ages history to remind the origins and impact of Western resource exploitation and colonialism in the Americas, Asia and Africa through imperialistic wars, racism, and slavery. He touched upon the military exploits of the 20th century led primarily by the US and its allies and its impact in Germany and Japan at the end of the Second World War, Korea in the 1950s, Vietnam in the 1960-70s and its latest failed adventures in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan. He also highlighted the dire days of Russia during the 1990s and the Western powers’ attempts to turn it into a dismembered and passive cheap natural resources outlet.

Putin’s message to Russians had nationalistic and religious tones, touching on the defence of traditional family values as a call to arms against the threat caused by dwindling population growth. He also named US monetary printing as one of the key tools used by the Western establishment to achieve its self-preservation and supremacy goals, reminding that paper doesn’t feed nor warms human beings. It would be tempting to see this speech narrowly as just another manifestation of Russia’s position in the big geopolitical battles, but what Putin has done is setting international rivalry in deep historical and cultural terms which have an undoubted appeal across the globe.


Putin turns 70 today

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“..the US is currently not ready for a complete severance of diplomatic ties with Russia, and plans to send a new ambassador to Moscow..”

Russian Ambassador Assesses Relations With US (RT)

Russia and the US have not yet reached an all-time low in their relations, as “dribs and drabs” of contacts still remain between the sides, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington said on Wednesday. “I think we haven’t yet reached the peak of tensions that existed 60 years ago,” Anatoly Antonov told Channel One. The envoy was referring to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which unfolded between the US and the Soviet Union in October and November 1962. The standoff is considered to be the closest the world has come to all-out nuclear war. Tensions flared after Moscow deployed ballistic missiles to Cuba in response to Washington putting similar weapons in Italy and Turkey. However, the sides were able to resolve the dispute through negotiations.

Russia’s stance that a nuclear conflict can’t be unleashed and can’t be won remains unchanged, the ambassador stressed. “In Washington, they’ve already forgotten the basics of strategic stability, which boils down to a very simple formula: whoever shoots first, dies second,” he said. “On the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I’d like to believe that there are those in the US who have learned this main lesson. In any case, our countries are obliged to prevent the world from sliding into a catastrophe,” Antonov insisted.Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed “some senior officials in NATO states” for suggesting that deploying nuclear weapons against Russia was justified. He warned that Moscow was ready to “use all means” to defend itself if attacked. However, those words were interpreted by some in the West as a threat by the Kremlin to use atomic weapons against Ukraine.

While most bilateral contacts have been frozen by the US side, Moscow and Washington still cooperate on deconfliction in Syria, space, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the ambassador pointed out. According to Antonov, the US is currently not ready for a complete severance of diplomatic ties with Russia, and plans to send a new ambassador to Moscow is proof of that. Lynne Tracy, who now heads the American mission in Armenia, has been nominated as a replacement for US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, who left Moscow in early September due to family reasons. However, this does not mean Washington will give up on its plans to weaken Russia, by supporting Kiev and other means, the ambassador said.

Antonov went on to argue that the conflict in Ukraine has become a “trigger” that revealed “deep-rooted problems” in the world, and that Russia “isn’t satisfied with the rules of the game that the Americans are trying to impose,” which only benefit the US.

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Long and comprehensive from Jorge.

“..in a matter of a few weeks Europeans will engage in an HUGE internal brand NEW civilian war amongst themselves scrambling for ´whatever´(food, fuel, heat, etc.)..”

The NS1 and NS2 Sabotage Impact Potential (Jorge Vilches)

It’s valid to assume that the provoked NATO-Anglo-WEF-Ukraine war objectives were (1) to trigger regime change in Russia aided by military defeat while also (2) cutting Europe off Russia´s cheap and excellent resources thus also (3) choking Russia´s exports and funding. Sanctions, asset seizures and the NS1 & NS2 sabotage are smoking guns. Future consequent plundering of parts of Europe and Russia can also be assumed to be goal #4. The European leadership at large has, so far, aligned well with this plan.

[..] LNG cannot and will not save the day either. Nobody was ready for this, LNG today is scarce worldwide, no terminals available at either end, no tankers… etc., etc So Europeans are very calm even after both NS1 & NS2 have been blown up. As if they´d all do just fine, you just wait… Michael Hudson agrees when saying… ” Despite being an act of violence, sabotaging the pipelines has restored calm to US/NATO diplomatic relations.”But even if I were only 50% correct — the problem in producing onto surface the supposedly “stored” underground nat-gas is not known in Europe with 0 (zero) awareness about it. Europeans have all been convinced by politicians that they have their backs 90% covered and that with just a small savings of 15% approx. things will be okay this winter (NOT)

Europeans do know bloody well a rough winter is coming for them, but no one has warned them — such as I am doing — that it will be MUCH ROUGHER than what anybody is telling them because not even half of the supposed 90% “reserves” that would sorta get them through this winter okay will be anywhere near available. So it´d be everyone for himself/herself and country vs. country and NATO vs. NATO… on steroids and in a matter of a few weeks Europeans will engage in an HUGE internal brand NEW civilian war amongst themselves scrambling for ´whatever´(food, fuel, heat, etc.) that nobody has yet even thought about… let alone developed continengcy plans.

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This muppet is just as responsible as all the rest.

Europe Faces Deindustrialization And Social Unrest – Belgian PM (RT)

Europe could soon face a significant reduction in industrial activity and social unrest unless something is done to lower energy prices before winter sets in, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has warned. In an interview with the Financial Times published on Thursday, he said that unless there was an intervention in the gas markets, “we are risking massive deindustrialization of the European continent and the long-term consequences that might actually be very deep.” De Croo insisted on a multi-layered approach to the gas crisis, which he says should include a hard price cap on Russian natural gas, negotiations with suppliers such as Norway and Algeria, and a “dynamic” limit on the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which he suggests could be set slightly above prices in the US or Asia to ensure continued flows to Europe.

The Belgian leader also warned that governments must be “prudent” not only to counter soaring inflation, which stems from high energy prices, but also tackle the risk of social unrest that comes with it. “Our populations are getting invoices which are completely insane. At some point, it will snap. I understand that people are angry . . . people don’t have the means to pay it,” De Croo told the FT. His comments come after thousands of demonstrators rallied in Brussels in late September to demand higher wages and lower energy prices after it was revealed that some 64% of the country’s citizens were afraid of not being able to pay their energy bills which had reached a staggering average of €700 ($690) a month.

The Belgian PM had previously warned that “the next five to ten winters will be difficult” in Europe due to record gas prices, but stated that Belgium would endure the crisis “if we support each other in these difficult times.” sGas prices in Europe surged earlier this year after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. After the EU and other Western countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and began a campaign of cutting themselves off from Russian energy supplies, gas prices hit record levels, leading to a rise in overall inflation on the continent.

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Darya Dugina.

Moscow Wonders If Washington Knows About Kiev’s Terrorism Plans (RT)

Moscow hopes the US government did not leak its suspicions that Kiev masterminded a high-profile assassination in Russia with a view to disclaiming responsibility for future terrorist attacks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. He was commenting on a report in the New York Times, which contained details of an assessment by the US intelligence community regarding a bomb attack near Moscow in August, in which journalist and political activist Darya Dugina was killed. “The involvement of the Ukrainian state in this terrorist act, the murder of a young woman, was argued and demonstrated by our special services in a reasonably swift manner,” Peskov told journalists. The Kremlin spokesman noted the NYT article may be a positive development, provided that its reporting accurately reflects the stance of the US intelligence community.

“We really want to hope that this is not some attempt by the American colleagues, who may possess certain information, to disclaim responsibility for future terrorist acts that the Ukrainian state may be preparing,” he added. According to the NYT, American spies believe that “parts of the Ukrainian government authorized” the assassination of Dugina. Its sources claimed that the US had nothing to do with the crime and had no advance knowledge of it. Washington reportedly admonished Kiev for the killing, despite Ukraine’s insistence that it had nothing to do with it either. The story described Washington’s concerns about possible Russian retaliation for targeting Dugina and a number of Ukrainian officials who cooperated with Moscow in governing lands captured from Kiev.

A senior Ukrainian military official confirmed to the NYT that Kiev had carried out “attacks on accused Ukrainian collaborators,” some of which were fatal. “Some American officials believe it is crucial to curb what they see as dangerous adventurism [on Kiev’s part], particularly political assassinations,” the newspaper added. Dugina was the daughter of Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, a controversial public figure known for his advocacy of Russian exceptionalism. Some observers claimed that his ideas had influenced Russian foreign policy, including Moscow’s decision to send troops into Ukraine in late February. Darya shared her father’s political convictions. Russia’s security service, the FSB, identified two Ukrainian nationals, a man and a woman, as members of a hit squad responsible for Dugina’s assassination. Both had left the country before they could be arrested.

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“..resolved diplomatically or in a violent manner..”

EU Must Decide Where It Stands On Ukraine – Kremlin (RT)

The European Union must decide whether it wants the Ukraine conflict to be resolved diplomatically or in a violent manner, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday
Asked to comment on Austria’s reported proposal to host de-escalation talks, Zakharova said Moscow could only contemplate such initiatives after the EU figures out what it stands for regarding Ukraine. “First of all, the EU should make up its mind about itself,” Zakharova said, urging the EU to decide whether it is pursuing a unified foreign policy or if decisions are handled by individual member states. Russia, she said, has repeatedly heard “contradicting statements” coming from the EU. Zakharova noted that many supposed initiatives had been put forward by member states and were later retracted or never followed-up on because they were not approved by Brussels.

“Secondly, the EU also needs to make up its mind whether they support the talks [on Ukraine], or the battlefield solution, as [EU foreign policy chief Josep] Borrell had put it,” she said. Zakharova’s comment comes after Borrell signaled on Wednesday that the EU was ready to seek a “diplomatic solution” to the conflict in Ukraine, but vowing that the bloc would continue to provide Kiev with military and financial support while ramping up pressure on Russia through sanctions. However, in April Borrell issued a much different statement, claiming then that the conflict in Ukraine “will be won on the battlefield.” Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.

The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” During referendums that took place in late September, the two Donbass republics, along with Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with former Ukrainian territories, officially making them part of Russia. Prior to this, the Russian leader vowed to use “all means” necessary to defend the country’s territorial integrity in the face of external threats.

Clare Daly

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“As Steve Keen puts it: “Capital without energy is a statue; labour without energy is a corpse!”

Beyond Confidence (CoS)

There were real world reasons for the run on the pound which followed (Kami)Kwasi Kwarteng’s ill-conceived mini-budget last Friday. The closest of these was the illiquidity of supposed “assets” held in the pensions industry and related concerns that the previous Monday’s Gilt (the equivalent of US Treasury Bonds) sale went badly, with investors demanding a much higher than expected interest rate for lending to the UK government. The Bank of England’s return to quantitative easing appears to have taken the immediate steam out of the crisis, and Kwarteng’s U-turn on cutting the highest tax rate has helped calm political nerves, allowing the pound to return to its level immediately before the mini-budget. The underlying problems, however, remain unaddressed.

The problem lay not so much with tax cuts – which have previously, in some circumstances, boosted growth – but with the UK government’s inability to finance them… and, indeed, the hundreds of billions already spent on energy bailouts and lockdown support. The Truss claim that tax cuts will be self-funding because of the additional growth they will generate is though, economic illiteracy. Over the last decade, the UK economy has been borrowing £5 for every £1 of economic growth – and this gap is projected to get far worse over the coming decade because of the emerging crises in the underlying “real” economy. Indeed, even during the heyday of North Sea oil and gas revenues, governments struggled to engineer growth rates anywhere close to what would be required to meet the Truss proposals.

With Russian gas no longer deliverable – even if the EU and Russia wanted to reach a deal – because of the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, European gas shortages are inevitable. The only question to be answered is how bad the shortages will be. And while Britain is not a direct importer of much gas from Russia, our energy supply companies still buy and sell gas on the European market. So that, if, say, German companies are prepared to pay more, they can bid the price up far higher than the UK government anticipates. In which case its borrowing to fund the energy price cap could easily spiral up into the hundreds of billions and, given market reluctance to buy Gilts, send interest rates well into double figures.

Even this though, only scratches the surface of the crisis, because politicians and economists fail to understand the true role of energy in the economy. Indeed, most economic models do not even regard energy as a separate category, seeing it instead as just another, relatively cheap, input barely worth mentioning. The reality – as you and I would quickly discover if we went without food – calories – for any length of time, is that energy is the starting point for everything within the economy. No food equals no workers. No fuel and no electricity equals no capital. As Steve Keen puts it: “Capital without energy is a statue; labour without energy is a corpse!”

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Via Ugo Bardi’s site.

“..she does what she does because she cannot and will not do anything else..”

Is Giorgia Meloni Bringing Fascism Back To Italy? (Cardini)

They will say, as usual, that I have a weakness for Giorgia Meloni, but she does what she does because she cannot and will not do anything else. It’s her time: she is in the business of politics, she knows that her bus is passing, and it is unlikely for her to have such an opportunity again. It was a beautiful victory: not only, and not so much, for the response of the ballot box, however negatively conditioned by the very high number of non-voters that no politician worthy of the name can ignore or underestimate, but for having played all his opponents with a masterful move. She was the ugly duckling of the Italian parliament, perpetually threatened with the sword of Damocles of the renewed accusations of fascism that could strike her at any moment. But she managed to score a masterful blow, built little by little and day by day.

She, the leader of the Sovranisti, is also the leader of the Atlantists and Westernists. She knows well that this constitutes, conceptually, a paradox bordering on the tragic (or the ridiculous): under the flags of Italian sovereignty, she will have to lead his country on the path of subordination to NATO and the USA who hold us in their hands and who literally occupy our territory, our country. A verse of the anthem that gives the name to the party reads “Go outside of Italy, go away, foreigners”. Easy to recite it in the face of the rafts of the poor migrants of the Mediterranean sea. Impossible to sing it where it should be sung, in front of the gates of Ghedi, Dal Molin, and Camp Darby (translator’s note: American bases in Italy.), armed with the nuclear missiles banned by the Italian constitution and imposed by our guardian-master.

The same ones who also impose on us the burden of sanctions imposed on Russia but in reality intended to bring Europe to its knees with its consent that must be even enthusiastic. Giorgia Meloni managed to achieve all this: if she passes – and we will see – also the test of the winter of sanctions, during which we will see the iron rule according to which the prime minister in office is seen to blame not himself/herself but his predecessors, she really deserves to continue to lead the Italians despite the gloomy prophecies of Cassandra Calenda. (translator’s note: Carlo Calenda is an Italian politician.)

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What good is this for shareholders?

Twitter Refuses Elon Musk’s Renewed $44B Bid (Crider)

Twitter is refusing to accept Elon Musk’s renewed bid of $44 billion for the social media company, according to a report from The Associated Press citing Elon Musk’s attorneys. This news comes after reports of Elon Musk’s asking the Delaware court to halt the upcoming trial. He renewed his offer to purchase the social media network this week and shared a few details about his goals. “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday. He added that Twitter probably accelerates the new app by three to five years. AP noted that earlier this week, Twitter said it intended to close the deal at the agreed-upon price but both sides were still booked for the October 17th trial in Delaware. Elon Musk’s attorneys said the trial should be adjourned to give the Tesla CEO more time to secure financing.


In a court filing, Elon Musk’s attorneys said, “Twitter will not take yes for an answer.” “Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders’ interests.” The attorneys noted that by Twitter not setting aside its litigation, the upcoming trial would “impede the deal moving forward.” “Instead of allowing the parties to turn their focus to securing the debt financing necessary to consummate the transaction and preparing for a transition of the business, the parties will instead remain distracted by completing discovery and an unnecessary trial,” the attorneys said. According to Elon Musk’s attorneys, the financial backers, “have indicated that they are prepared to honor their commitments” and are working to close the deal by October 28.

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And then we have this too…

This Could Be How Turkey Attacks Greece in 2023 (Rubin)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is no fool. He understands the deep trouble in which he finds himself. His interest rate gamble failed; Turkey is nearly bankrupt. Inflation approaches 100 percent and Turkey’s currency is in freefall. Turks are unhappy. Meanwhile, elections loom. For years, such elections did not matter. Turkey’s opposition leaders are lazy, uncharismatic, or in prison. Erdogan controlled the media and mechanisms enough that he could push things his way without too many questions, at least from inside Turkey. That changed in 2019. The opposition Republican People’s Party narrowly won municipal elections in Istanbul and Ankara. The results shocked Erdogan who ordered a do-over in Istanbul.

Three months later, opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu increased his margin of victory to almost 10%, a result too great for even Erdogan’s machine to paper over. Pushed down and abused, Turks had had enough. As Turkey approaches both its symbolically important centenary next year and heads to parliamentary and presidential elections, Erdogan is worried. He knows under normal circumstances, he cannot win. Erdogan is no democrat. He cynically once liked democracy to a streetcar: he would ride it as far as he could and then step off. There are limits to his power, however. He needs an excuse either to postpone elections or to distract Turks with nationalism. A conflict with Greece checks both boxes. Erdogan is not stupid, though. After Vladimir Putin bogged down in Ukraine, he must question Turkey’s readiness.

After all, after the 2016 “Reichstag Fire” coup, Erdogan purged the military. Turkish special forces might fight Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh or attack Kurds and Yezidis in Syria and Iraq with drones and F-16 fighters but combat against a near-peer NATO member is a different issue entirely. Greece’s military might be only one-quarter the size of Turkey’s, but moral is higher, and the Greeks not spread as thin. So how might Turkey precipitate the crisis? Erdogan will likely take a page from China’s playbook. The People’s Liberation Army has seized many rocks, reefs, and “features” in the South China Sea. It has not only transformed them into military bases, but has also used their possession to fortify Beijing’s illicit claims to extend its exclusive economic zone over 90% of the South China Sea’s waters.

China has acted both slowly and deliberated with a so-called salami-slicing strategy, digesting pieces but never biting off so much in one go that it provoked neighbors or the United States to the point of war. Erdogan and his defense minister, Hulusi Akar, increasingly dispute Greek sovereignty over islands in the Aegean Sea, in effect seeking to rewrite and reinterpret the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and subsequent conventions and agreements. It is in the Aegean that Erdogan will likely make his move, arguing that they are Turkish and do not belong to Greece.

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“Agents “determined months ago” that they had a viable criminal case against the younger Biden, but the decision is up to the US attorney for Delaware David C. Weiss..”

Enough Evidence To Indict Hunter Biden – WaPo (RT)

Federal agents who have been investigating US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter have enough evidence to charge him with crimes related to taxes and a gun purchase, but the decision is up to a career prosecutor in Delaware, the Washington Post reported on Thursday citing sources. While the IRS has been looking into whether Hunter Biden did not declare income related to his overseas business ventures – from Ukraine to China – the FBI has been investigating a 2018 incident in which he answered “no” to the question about being a drug user or addict. In his 2021 memoir ‘Beautiful Things,’ the president’s son revealed that he had in fact been using crack cocaine and other drugs at the time.

Agents “determined months ago” that they had a viable criminal case against the younger Biden, but the decision is up to the US attorney for Delaware David C. Weiss to decide whether to pursue charges, the Post reported citing “people familiar with the case.” Weiss is a career prosecutor, but was appointed by President Donald Trump in late 2017. Trump had pointed to Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine and the sex-and-drugs revelations from his laptop during the 2020 presidential campaign, charges which Biden and the Democrats denounced as “smears” and even “Russian disinformation.” Stories about the laptop were suppressed on social networks in the name of “fortifying” the presidential election, but the laptop’s contents was later confirmed to be entirely authentic.

Hunter’s false statements on the gun-purchase form would normally present a problem for his father, who is pursuing aggressive gun control legislation. According to the Post, prosecutions for the offense are “relatively rare,” with 60% of the referrals resulting in charges in 2018. However, it is “not uncommon for Justice Department investigations to take years to finish,” the paper said. The Post’s anonymous sources insisted Attorney General Merrick Garland had vowed there would be “no political or otherwise improper interference” in the Hunter Biden case. Republicans have accused Garland of politicizing the DOJ over prosecutions for the January 6 Capitol riot and the September raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Hunter’s attorney Chris Clark told the paper that leaking about the case itself is a federal felony and that he “had no contact whatsoever with any federal investigative agent.”

Hunter

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I swear I can see into the future…

Waiting Lines At French Gas Stations Due To Fuel Shortage (AA)

More than one in 10 gas stations in France was affected by a fuel shortage on Wednesday, local media reported. About 12% of stations have “difficulties with at least one type of fuel” at the pump, with the situation varying by region, government spokesman Olivier Veran told reporters after Wednesday’s Council of Ministers meeting. In the Hauts-de-France region, about 30% of stations are affected. French market leader TotalEnergies explained the supply shortages with “falling prices” at its stations. A discount of 20 cents per liter was added to the government discount of 30 cents per liter at all its TotalEnergies stations. This discount at the pumps led to a large rush, according to the company.


Added to this is a strike at six of the eight French refineries. The strike for higher wages, which began on Sept. 27, entered its second week. This again significantly aggravates the situation at the gas stations. Veran nevertheless rejected the term “fuel shortage.” He said it was only “tensions” in the supply of some gas stations, and urged motorists to avoid “panic.” In order to “restore a normal situation as soon as possible, so-called strategic stocks were released in the north today to replenish the gas stations,” the prefect of the Hauts-de-France region announced in a press release on Wednesday evening.

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So there.

Want To Save The Oceans? Stop Recycling Plastic (Chivers)

Recycling plastic is a bad idea and, until we can be sure of where it’s going, we should stop doing it. We should put plastic in the landfill, instead. This sounds like a really spicy hot take, but it’s not. I think it is pretty much accepted among people who study these things. The oceans are full of plastic, and that’s bad – but none of the plastic in the oceans comes from a British landfill. It almost all comes from developing-world countries, and by recycling we make the problem worse. About 0.05 per cent of plastic waste in the UK is “mismanaged” – that is, dropped as litter or dumped into the environment, or left in open landfill. By contrast, in India, that figure is over 20 per cent – 400 times higher. China is comparable, at about 19 per cent.

In the Philippines, that figure is about 6.5 per cent, still more than 100 times the UK level but not quite as dramatic. But the Philippines is a collection of small islands, so plastic litter easily reaches small rivers there and ends up in the sea. Malaysia, similarly, has less of a problem with mismanaged waste, but large percentages of what is mismanaged ends up in the sea. So the average bit of plastic in one of those countries is pretty likely to end up in the sea. Until 2018 a large fraction of the Western world’s “recycled” plastic was shipped to China, until China decided to stop taking it. Then rich countries started sending it to Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. But more than 80 per cent of plastic waste in those countries is mismanaged. It seems unlikely, to say the least, that so much of their own waste ends up in the rivers, but they nonetheless carefully recycle the waste sent to them by the West.

Now, several of those countries have severely limited the amount of plastic they import. So other countries – often countries with limited ability to recycle their own plastics – have stepped in. The Guardian reported in 2019 that much of the US’s waste now goes to Bangladesh, Laos, Ethiopia and Senegal. One paper this year estimated that of the 37,000 tons of plastic food packaging exported annually by the Netherlands, 6,000 tons end up in the sea. Not all recycling is like this. Some plastic is recycled in the countries that dispose of it – there are advanced plastic recycling facilities in the UK. But much of it ends up going overseas.

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“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

~Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

Stella

 

 

Assange

 

 

 

 


A baby green heron bridging the gap between birds and dinosaurs. Photo: JJJFrank

 

 

 


A macro photo of an ant’s face up close. Photo: Andrea Hallgass

 

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Sep 132022
 


Kazemir Malevich Floor polishers 1912

 

Covid Vaccine Destroys Natural Immunity – NEJM Study (DS)
94% of Vaxxed Patients With Subsequent Health Issues Have Abnormal Blood (ET)
Russian Energy Revenues Forecast To Soar (RT)
German GDP Forecast To Plunge (RT)
Germany Risks Deindustrialization — The Economist (RT)
The Specter of Germany Is Rising (Diana Johnstone)
Germany Has ‘Crossed Red Line’ – Russia (RT)
Europe Commits Suicide-by-Sanctions (Ron Paul)
Hungarian Official Says EU Is The Losing Side In Ukraine Conflict (RT)
New Gazprom Plant Is Shipping Its First LNG Cargo To Greece (BI)
Spain Doubles Russian Gas Imports (RT)
Ukrainian Mayor Announces Hunt For ‘Collaborators’ (RT)
Special Military Operation, Season 2 (Big Serge)
Armenia Requests Russian Military Assistance In Fight Against Azerbaijan (ZH)
New Orleans Mayor Justifies Luxury Flights Citing Skin Color And Gender (RT)
The Continued DOJ Targeting of Joe Biden Political Opposition (CTH)
UK Police Arrests Anti-Monarchy Protesters (G.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia 2023

 

 

 

 

Russian TV

 

 

 

 

Can we now finally put an end to the nonsense? Yeah, I didn’t think so. One of the world’s prime medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, says “vaccines” kill your immune system, and numerous countries will still go with mandates. As all of their experts read the New England Journal of Medicine. This is not just a little bit crazy, it’s outright criminal. Stay away from the stuff.

Covid Vaccine Destroys Natural Immunity – NEJM Study (DS)

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) shows not only that the effectiveness of the Pfizer Covid vaccine becomes negative (meaning the vaccinated are more likely to be infected than the unvaccinated) within five months but that the vaccine destroys any protection a person has from natural immunity. The study is a large observational study that looks at 887,193 children aged 5 to 11 years in North Carolina, of whom 273,157 (30.8%) received at least one dose of Pfizer vaccine between November 1st 2021 and June 3rd 2022. The study includes 193,346 SARS-CoV-2 infections reported between March 11th 2020 and June 3rd 2022. The researchers used a form of statistical modelling with adjustments for confounding factors (such as underlying conditions) to calculate estimates of vaccine effectiveness over time and against the different Covid variants.


The findings are depicted in the charts below. In chart A, notice that the green and blue lines, representing children vaccinated in November and December respectively, go through zero into negative territory at a sharp gradient within five months of the first injection. It’s unclear why the green line is not continued past April, as the researchers presumably had the data, but from what is shown it looks very much like the vaccine effectiveness will continue declining deep into negative territory. In chart B, we see both the red and blue lines – which represent children who are vaccinated and have been previously infected and not previously infected respectively – again going through zero at a steep gradient within five months of vaccination. The fact that the vaccinated who have natural immunity from previous infection also see negative effectiveness is a surprise as one would not expect those with natural immunity to be more susceptible to infection than those without it.

Charts C and D suggest that it is the vaccine that is causing this worrying erasure of natural immunity. Chart D shows the effectiveness of natural immunity from previous infection among the vaccinated. Notice that the blue line, which is protection against the Delta variant among the vaccinated-and-previously-infected, hits zero at a steep gradient within seven months. Now look at the blue line in chart C, which is protection against Delta in the previously infected and unvaccinated. It, too, is waning, but much more slowly, and after eight months it is still very much in positive territory at over 50%. The same can be said for natural immunity against earlier variants (green line), which wanes slowly and remains positive after 16 months. Why is natural immunity remaining protective for the unvaccinated, whereas in the vaccinated their ‘protection’ goes negative even if they have natural immunity?

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Need a blood transfusion? Don’t look at the vaccinated! Donor sperm? You know what to do.

94% of Vaxxed Patients With Subsequent Health Issues Have Abnormal Blood (ET)

Physicians in Italy studied the blood of patients who had been injected with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and found foreign matter long after vaccination, a new study shows.The three doctors, all of whom are surgeons—Franco Giovannini, M.D., Riccardo Benzi Cipelli, M.D., and Giampaolo Pisano, M.D.—examined freshly drawn blood of more than a thousand patients using direct observation under microscopes to see what was happening in the blood. Their results were published in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research in August 2022. For this study, the Italian doctors used optical microscopy, that is, regular light microscopes, to examine the blood. Blood cells are easily visible under a microscope.

Their shape, type, and how and if they are aggregated—clumped together—can help the skilled physician better understand the patient’s health. In their 60-page peer-reviewed study, the Italian researchers reported case studies from their observations. Although they could not explain what they observed, they noted in the study that what they saw was so strange that they felt the need to alert the medical community. [..] Of the 1006 patients, 426 were men and 580 were women. One hundred and forty-one received only one dose of an mRNA vaccine, 453 got two doses, and 412 received three doses in total. The patients ranged in age from 15 to 85. The average age of the patients was 49. All 1,006 patients were seeking healthcare because they were not feeling well: presenting with a wide variety of health issues.

On average, the patients whose blood was examined had been vaccinated about one month prior. Of the 1,006 patients, after vaccination, only about 5 percent—just 58 people—had blood that looked normal. [..] Each of the patients was being reviewed for symptoms, a wide range of which had arisen since their vaccinations. The images are dramatic. Side-by-side pictures of a patient’s blood before and after vaccination show stark differences. Before vaccination, the red blood cells are separate from each other and are round, while the blood drawn after vaccination shows red blood cells that are deformed, and that cluster in coagulation around visible foreign matter that was not present before. This foreign material seemed to collect itself into structures, sometimes forming crystals and other times forming long tubes or fibers.

Reminder

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Half the output, twice the income. Now there’s a business model.

Russian Energy Revenues Forecast To Soar (RT)

Russia expects to receive a boost in revenues from energy exports this month, according to its finance ministry. September is expected to bring an extra $6.67 billion into the state coffers, adding to August’s additional earnings of $1.4 billion. “Thus, the total amount of funds to be received as additional oil and gas revenues will reach $8.07 billion,” the ministry said in a statement released last week. According to the statement, the finance ministry is not planning to purchase foreign currency or gold with the extra funds received through energy sales.


In August, Western analysts predicted that Russia’s energy export revenues would surge by 38% year-on-year, totaling $337.5 billion in 2022. According to their outlook, energy export earnings will ease to $255.8 billion next year, but will still be higher than the 2021 figure of $244.2 billion. Growing demand from some of the world’s major economies, including India and China, boosted Russia’s energy exports to the volumes seen prior to the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions. Moscow was forced to redirect supply to Asia and the Middle East, where countries refused to take sides in the conflict between Russia and the West.

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Half the output, 4x the cost. Not a business model.

German GDP Forecast To Plunge (RT)

The German economy is headed for a sharp decline next year, researchers from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy warned on Thursday. “The German economy is in a downward spiral. The recent price jumps for electricity and gas will reduce the purchasing power of private households and lead to a decline in private consumer spending. In addition, the slowing world economy will dampen not only exports but also investment activity. As a result, the German economy will slide into recession once again, at a time when it was just recovering from the pandemic-related crisis,” a press release stated.


Analysts explained that while in their summer forecast they assumed that “recovery would prevail despite the burdens” and predicted a strong rise in GDP, lingering concerns regarding the energy sphere forced them to lower their expectations significantly. “Now we expect GDP to increase by only 1.4% in the current year. In 2023, it is expected to decline by 0.7%,” they wrote, while previously the institute predicted a 3.3% growth for the country’s economy next year. Researchers also expect inflation to rise to 8% this year and 8.7% in 2023. Germany’s spending on energy imports is expected to rise by €123 billion this year and another €136 billion next year. As a result, the country’s industrial output is likely to drop. Private households’ purchasing power is also forecast to fall by 4.1%, the steepest drop recorded since Germany’s reunification in 1990.

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People cannot imagine the implications. But they will have to soon.

Germany Risks Deindustrialization — The Economist (RT)

The biggest challenge the German industrial sector currently faces is posed by rising energy costs, The Economist reported on Sunday, citing the association of German industry BDI. “The substance of our industry is under threat,”BDI President Siegfried Russwurm said as quoted by the media, adding that the situation was looking “toxic” for many businesses. According to the association, the electricity price for next year has already increased fifteen-fold, and the price of gas ten-fold. In July, the country’s industry, which has been forced to reduce production capacities, reportedly consumed 21% less gas than in the same month in 2021.

Smaller companies are struggling more than bigger ones, according to a study by the consulting company FTI Andersch, as cited by the media. Some 25% of firms with fewer than 1,000 employees were forced to cancel or decline orders, or are planning to do so, compared with 11% of those with over 1,000 employees. Almost 10,000 bread manufacturers are reportedly struggling as never before in post-war Germany, as the cost of the electricity and gas needed to heat ovens and run kneading machines have increased enormously. The BDI survey of 600 medium-sized companies showed that nearly one in ten interrupted or reduced output because of high input costs, while more than nine in ten said that the soaring prices of energy and raw materials is a big or an existential challenge for them.

One in five are reportedly considering relocating part or all of their production to another country. Bigger companies that use energy-intensive production capacities, such as chemicals or steel producers, may also relocate abroad, as they have to compete with rivals in other countries, where the cost of energy is lower. If energy prices remain high for a while, up to 3% of Germany’s energy-intensive businesses will relocate abroad, according to Holger Schmieding, the chief economist of private bank Berenberg.

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In light of the previous articles, this is funny. A bigger, stronger Germany? Better first worry how much longer Scholz is in the saddle.

The Specter of Germany Is Rising (Diana Johnstone)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is a colorless SPD politician, but his Aug. 29 speech in Prague was inflammatory in its implications. Scholz called for an expanded, militarized European Union under German leadership. He claimed that the Russian operation in Ukraine raised the question of “where the dividing line will be in the future between this free Europe and a neo-imperial autocracy.” We cannot simply watch, he said, “as free countries are wiped off the map and disappear behind walls or iron curtains.” (Note: the conflict in Ukraine is clearly the unfinished business of the collapse of the Soviet Union, aggravated by malicious outside provocation. As in the Cold War, Moscow’s defensive reactions are interpreted as harbingers of Russian invasion of Europe, and thus a pretext for arms buildups.)

To meet this imaginary threat, Germany will lead an expanded, militarized EU. First, Scholz told his European audience in the Czech capital, “I am committed to the enlargement of the European Union to include the states of the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and, in the long term, Georgia”. Worrying about Russia moving the dividing line West is a bit odd while planning to incorporate three former Soviet States, one of which (Georgia) is geographically and culturally very remote from Europe but on Russia’s doorstep. In the “Western Balkans”, Albania and four extremely weak statelets left from former Yugoslavia (North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and widely unrecognized Kosovo) mainly produce emigrants and are far from EU economic and social standards.

Kosovo and Bosnia are militarily occupied de facto NATO protectorates. Serbia, more solid than the others, shows no signs of renouncing its beneficial relations with Russia and China, and popular enthusiasm for “Europe” among Serbs has faded. Adding these member states will achieve “a stronger, more sovereign, geopolitical European Union,” said Scholz. A “more geopolitical Germany” is more like it. As the EU grows eastward, Germany is “in the center” and will do everything to bring them all together. So, in addition to enlargement, Scholz calls for “a gradual shift to majority decisions in common foreign policy” to replace the unanimity required today.

What this means should be obvious to the French. Historically, the French have defended the consensus rule so as not to be dragged into a foreign policy they don’t want. French leaders have exalted the mythical “Franco-German couple” as guarantor of European harmony, mainly to keep German ambitions under control. But Scholz says he doesn’t want “an EU of exclusive states or directorates,” which implies the final divorce of that “couple.” With an EU of 30 or 36 states, he notes, “fast and pragmatic action is needed.” And he can be sure that German influence on most of these poor, indebted and often corrupt new Member States will produce the needed majority.

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For Russia, this is about WWII. And about letting Germany unify.

“The German government “has unilaterally acted to destroy bilateral relations [with Russia] that were unique in scale and depth and had been built over decades..”

Germany Has ‘Crossed Red Line’ – Russia (RT)

Germany has crossed a red line with Russia by sending arms to Ukraine, Moscow’s ambassador in Berlin said on Monday. The decision undermined decades of reconciliation since the end of World War II and the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the diplomat added. “The very fact that the Ukrainian regime is being supplied with German-made lethal weapons, which are used not only against Russian military service members, but also the civilian population of Donbass, crosses the red line,”Ambassador Sergey Nechaev said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper. He added that Berlin should have known better, “considering the moral and historic responsibility that Germany has before our people for the Nazi crimes.” “They have crossed the Rubicon,” Nechaev stated, using an idiom for passing the point of no return.

Berlin discarded its longstanding policy of not sending weapons into zones of armed conflict to join the US and other NATO allies in providing weapons to Ukraine. The German government says it has a moral responsibility to back Kiev so it can defend itself against Russia. Germany also joined an effort by the EU to decouple the economies of member states from Russia’s. German businesses have been relying on cheap Russian natural gas for five decades, since before the Soviet Union collapsed. The German government “has unilaterally acted to destroy bilateral relations [with Russia] that were unique in scale and depth and had been built over decades,” the Russian ambassador noted. “In essence, the post-war reconciliation of our nations and peoples is being eroded,”Nechaev said.

According to the diplomat, economic restrictions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine conflict have resulted in a sharp increase in utility bills, a surge in consumer prices, and a decrease in real incomes in Germany. Nechaev said the “sanctions war” against Moscow is being increasingly seen as “shooting yourself in the foot” in Germany, which has already faced protests over the cost-of-living crisis. The ambassador noted that Russia took no pleasure in seeing the damage, even if Berlin has itself to blame for it. “We believe the ongoing processes to be Germany’s domestic issue, in which we do not get involved,” he said. “And we certainly are not in the habit of delivering pompous lectures, the likes of which the West constantly makes about Russians.”

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“The solution, as always, is non-intervention. No sanctions, no “color revolutions,” no meddling. It’s really that simple.”

Europe Commits Suicide-by-Sanctions (Ron Paul)

European sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine earlier this year will likely go down in history as a prime example of how sanctions can result in unintended consequences. While seeking to punish Russia by cutting off gas and oil imports, European Union politicians forgot that Europe is completely dependent on Russian energy supplies and that the only people to suffer if those imports are shut down are the Europeans themselves. The Russians simply pivoted to the south and east and found plenty of new buyers in China, India, and elsewhere. In fact, Russia’s state-run Gazprom energy company has reported that its profits have increased by 100 percent in the first half of this year.

Russia is getting rich while Europeans are facing a freezing winter and economic collapse. All because of the false belief that sanctions are a cost-free way to force other countries to do what you want them to do. What happens when the people see dumb government policies making energy bills skyrocket as the economy grounds to a halt? They become desperate and take to the streets in protest. This weekend thousands of Austrians took to the streets in a “Freedom Rally” to demand an end to sanctions and the opening of Nord Stream II, the gas pipeline on the verge of opening earlier this year. Last week an estimated 100,000 Czechs took to the streets of Prague to protest NATO and EU policy. In France, the “Yellow Vests” are back in the streets protesting the destruction of their economy in the name of “defeating” Russia in Ukraine. In Germany, Serbia, and elsewhere, protests are gearing up.

Even the Washington Post was forced to admit that sanctions on Russia are not having the intended effect. In an article yesterday, the paper worries that sanctions are inflicting “collateral damage in Russia and beyond, potentially even hurting the very countries that impose them. Some even worried that the sanctions intended to deter and weaken Putin could end up emboldening and strengthening him.” This is all predictable. Sanctions kill. Sometimes they kill innocents in the country targeted for destruction and sometimes they kill innocents in the country imposing them. The solution, as always, is non-intervention. No sanctions, no “color revolutions,” no meddling. It’s really that simple.

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“Powers outside Europe are trying to condemn the bloc’s members to “military vulnerability, political subjugation, economic and energy incapacity, financial indebtedness and social disintegration..”

Hungarian Official Says EU Is The Losing Side In Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The EU has suffered severe political and economic damage from its handling of the situation in Ukraine, and can already be declared the loser in the conflict, the speaker of Hungary’s National Assembly claimed on Sunday.Laszlo Kover, who is a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, accused Brussels of failing to prevent the conflict through political means, with the result that it’s “unable to restore peace diplomatically.” “Under external pressure, the EU is acting against its most basic economic interests and should already be considered a loser, regardless of which of the parties directly involved in fighting will declare itself the winner,” he said.

Powers outside Europe are trying to condemn the bloc’s members to “military vulnerability, political subjugation, economic and energy incapacity, financial indebtedness and social disintegration,” with Brussels helping them to achieve this goal, the parliament speaker claimed. The EU is grappling with soaring natural gas prices, the prospect of energy shortages in winter and spiking inflation in the wake of sanctions it imposed on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine. Brussels has largely followed the US stance of seeking to weaken Russia through sanctions, while supplying Kiev with weapons and financial aid.

Hungary has remained relatively neutral since the outbreak of fighting in late February. It has refused to send arms to Ukraine and remained critical of the EU sanctions against Moscow, calling them ill-conceived and self-defeating. Budapest, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, was also able to negotiate an exemption for itself from the bloc-wide ban on Russian oil. Last week, Mikulas Bek the European affairs minister of the Czech Republic, which now presides over the EU Council, has warned that Hungary’s stance on Russia could theoretically end up with it exiting the bloc. The country “has come a long way, reaching the edge of an abyss, and now it has to decide whether to go back from that edge or risk a jump,” Bek said.

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A new kind of self-flaggelation: we’ll buy your gas, but only if you make it twice as expensive.

New Gazprom Plant Is Shipping Its First LNG Cargo To Greece (BI)

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union pledged to reduce the bloc’s reliance on natural gas from Russia. But it appears new deals are still pushing through. The first cargo from Russia’s Portovaya liquefied natural gas, or LNG, plant, which is near the shut Nord Stream 1 pipeline, will be going to EU nation Greece, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The identity of the buyer and size of the cargo was not reported, but Greece has only one LNG facility that supplies the domestic market, as well as Bulgaria — also an EU country — and North Macedonia.

This is at odds with EU plans, rolled out in March, that aim to cut the bloc’s dependency on Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of 2022 and end its reliance on Russian supplies of the fuel “well before 2030.” Europe depends on Russia for 40% of its natural-gas needs, such as cooking in homes and firing up power stations. It’s fretting over a winter energy crisis, as Russia has reduced natural-gas flows to the continent, citing sanctions-related challenges. Challenges abound, particularly in the short-term after Russia halted natural-gas supply via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Europe is busy setting up LNG terminals to counter the energy crisis, as these facilities will turn the super-cooled fuel to gas.

Sweden, another EU nation, is also still importing Russian LNG. Last week, activists from Greenpeace Nordic protested Russian imports by blocking an LNG tanker from unloading Russian fuel in Sweden. s”The fact that Russian fossil gas is still allowed to flow into Sweden, more than six months after Putin began his invasion of Ukraine, is unacceptable,” Karolina Carlsson, a campaign leader at Greenpeace Nordic, said in a statement on September 8.

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Sanctions at work.

Spain Doubles Russian Gas Imports (RT)

The volume of Russian gas bought by Spain in August soared by 102.2% compared to the same period last year, according to data published on Monday by the Spanish energy company Enagas. The report highlighted that Madrid purchased 4,505 gigawatt hours (GWh) of gas from Moscow compared to 2,228 GWh in August 2021. Meanwhile, imports from Algeria, traditionally a major gas supplier to the country, dropped by 34.8%. Data also showed that imports from the United States accounted for 26.5% of supplies. Russia ranked fifth among the country’s main providers (11.8%), after the US, Algeria, Nigeria and France.


In total, in the first eight months of 2022, Spain purchased 32,770 GWh of gas from Russia, which is 22.88% more than in the same period of the previous year. The EU countries have been boosting gas purchases lately to stockpile for the winter season. On Friday, member states failed to reach a consensus on setting a price cap on Russian gas which was aimed at calming skyrocketing energy prices across the region.

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Support the neo-nazis.

Ukrainian Mayor Announces Hunt For ‘Collaborators’ (RT)

The city of Izyum, which fell under the control of Ukrainian forces last week, is about to see “cleanup” operations by the Ukrainian military, its mayor, Valery Marchenko, told the BBC on Monday. During these efforts, Ukrainian soldiers will search for Russian soldiers who could have potentially remained in the city, as well as those they call “collaborators,” Marchenko added. “The military are doing the cleanup [by] going around the city and looking for enemy soldiers that [could have been] hiding in private houses,”the mayor said, adding that the Ukrainian soldiers then forcefully drove them out. After they finish with the “cleanup,” the mayor added, the Kiev forces will “look for collaborators.”


According to him, these efforts might take up to ten days. After that, the civilians who fled the city would be allowed to return, according to Marchenko. Last week, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations said it would conduct similar operations in Balakleya, another town in Kharkov Region that has recently been retaken by Kiev’s forces. According to Marchenko, at least 1,000 Izyum residents died “as a result of military action” in the city and “even more” perished due to the lack of medical assistance. He did not blame any specific deaths on any side of the conflict but slammed Russia for “bombing” and “destroying” the city.

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“Plausible deniability works both ways; because NATO is not officially in Ukraine – only “volunteers” – targeting their personnel is not an overtly aggressive act.”

Special Military Operation, Season 2 (Big Serge)

First, I would like to comment on why I am against mobilization. One of the most important dimensions of this war is the economic front. Europe is being driven to the brink by the energy crisis. The Wall Street Journal keyed in on what I believe to be the most apt descriptor of the crisis, warning of a “new era of deindustrialization in Europe.” A full mobilization would be very costly for Russia’s economy, risking the edge that it currently holds in the economic confrontation with Europe. This, I believe, is the main reason that the Russian government was quick to quash rumors of mobilization today. There are other steps on the escalation ladder before going to total war footing.

There are already rumors that Russia is planning to change the formal designation of the war, from “Special Military Operation”. While that could mean a formal declaration of war, I think that is unlikely. Rather, Russia will likely give the Ukraine operation the same designation as its operations in Syria, loosening the rules of engagement and beginning to target Ukrainian assets in earnest. We saw a foretaste of this last night, when Russia wiped out over half of Ukraine’s power generation with a few missiles. There are many more targets that they can go after – more nodes in the electrical grid, water pumping and filtration facilities, and higher level command posts. There is at least some probability that Russia begins targeting the command facilities with NATO personnel in them.

Plausible deniability works both ways; because NATO is not officially in Ukraine – only “volunteers” – targeting their personnel is not an overtly aggressive act. Russia also has many ways to boost its force deployment in Ukraine that fall short of full mobilization. They have a pool of demobilized contract soldiers that they can call up, as well as a pool of reservists that they can raise with a partial mobilization. The Russian line is hardening. Just in the past 24 hours, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there were “no prospect for negotiations” with Ukraine, and Putin said “Unfriendly forces are targeting us, and we must take initiative in order to succeed in confronting them.”

Medvedev went even further just now: “”A certain Zelenskyy said that he will not hold a dialogue with those who issue ultimatums. The current ‘ultimatums’ are a warm-up for kids, a preview of demands to be made in the future. He knows them: the total surrender of the Kiev regime on Russia’s terms” If you believe the Russian government is utterly incompetent and duplicitous, feel free to view statements like this as bluster. But given the warning shot at Ukrainian power generation yesterday, my sense is that Russia is preparing to escalate to a higher level of intensity, which Ukraine cannot match with its indigenous resources. The only other player on the escalation ladder is the United States. Dark times are ahead for Ukraine – and perhaps for Americans on the other front of this war.

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Trying to open a second theater? Russia knows this territory like the back of its hand. NATO does not, but thinks it does.

Armenia Requests Russian Military Assistance In Fight Against Azerbaijan (ZH)

The overnight outbreak of fighting in multiple spots along the Armenian-Azerbaijan border is serious enough for Yerevan to have asked for its powerful ally Russia’s help. This has been revealed hours after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a late night telephone conversation with President Vladimir Putin. The Armenian government has since confirmed it has requested Russian military assistance to repel Azerbaijan aggression and shelling, according to a statement (machine translation): “During the meeting, further steps were discussed to counter the aggressive actions of Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of Armenia that began at midnight. In connection with the aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, it was decided to officially appeal to the Russian Federation in order to implement the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, as well as to the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the UN Security Council.

Armenia is basing the request on the Collective Security Treaty Organization pact it has with Russia, and under which Russia previously sent peacekeeping forces to Nagorno-Karabakh after the Fall 2020 conflict. Independent geopolitical analyst and Russia watcher Clint Ehrlich concludes of the hugely significant request at a time the Ukraine war is raging: “If Russia accepts, we could see a second NATO-Russia proxy war explode.” Of the earlier in the night Putin phone call, the Kremlin said via TASS: “The Prime Minister gave details about the provocative, aggressive actions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the direction of the sovereign territory of Armenia, which began at midnight and were accompanied by shelling from artillery and large-caliber firearms. The Prime Minister considered the actions of the Azerbaijani side unacceptable and stressed the importance of an adequate response from the international community.”

However, it should be noted that during the last major flare-up in fighting between the two longtime rival nations which share a restive border, Moscow was careful to not get too deeply drawn in – only agreeing to help broker a ceasefire and send several hundred Russian peacekeeping forces to oversee the terms of the agreement. If Moscow does get pulled in, it might be seen in the West as an opportunity to “weaken” Russian forces on a separate front.

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The mayor feels threatened in economy, but her staff is not?! Bet you there are black women in that staff. Moreover, letting your security detail travel apart from you is hardly the safest option.

New Orleans Mayor Justifies Luxury Flights Citing Skin Color And Gender (RT)

The Democratic Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, has insisted that spending tens of thousands of dollars on first-class plane seats was necessary, suggesting that flying economy would be unsafe for a black woman. Cantrell is refusing to refund the $30,000 of taxpayers’ money she spent on the luxury seats to France and Switzerland. Speaking at a press conference last week, Cantrell insisted that her “travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not luxury.” That’s despite her entourage and security staff reportedly traveling coach during the trips.

“As the mother of a young child whom I live for, I am going to protect myself by any reasonable means in order to ensure I am there to see her grow into the strong woman I am raising her to be,” Cantrell explained, adding that “anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in.” The mayor took a luxury American Airlines flight to Switzerland back in July and a first-class trip to France earlier this year, insisting that she was “doing business on behalf of the city.” “All expenses incurred doing business on behalf of the city of New Orleans will not be reimbursed to the city of New Orleans,” LaToya Cantrell said, speaking outside the Nix Library on Thursday. However, New Orleans’ travel policy for city officials makes it clear that all employees “are required to purchase the lowest airfare available” and that those who choose to upgrade their seats are responsible for the difference in cost.

Furthermore, if the city ends up overpaying for any travel expenses, the employees are required to reimburse the city within 20 business days. Speaking to Fox 8, the mayor’s staff said they are checking to see if the city policy applies to Cantrell, as she is an elected official and not specifically hired by the city itself. As reported by 4WWL, Cantrell also spent over $2,800 dollars back in March on a first-class trip to Miami for a US Conference of Mayors, while her entourage spent between $300 and $677. In January she also reportedly spent $2,300 on a luxury flight to a Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington while her staff paid just $250.

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It’s getting out of hand.

The Continued DOJ Targeting of Joe Biden Political Opposition (CTH)

During his opening monologue today, Fox News host Tucker Carlson outlined the history of the Biden administration targeting the democrat political opposition by using the Dept of Justice and FBI. During one part of the lengthy segment, Carlson outlined the recent subpoenas to people within the MAGA movement.

The technique most often deployed, is for the DOJ/FBI to claim an anonymous source has provided information against the subpoena target, and therefore the target must prove their innocence against the “sources” claims. Having received one of these DC subpoenas directly, my experience with the construct leads me to believe the DOJ is just making up the “anonymous sources.” However, if you refuse to participate in the bizarre demand to prove your innocence, the lack of cooperation becomes the Lawfare angle used to entrap the target. The process is something like this: It is unlawful to rob banks. We were told you rob banks. Prove you do not rob banks or be subject to arrest for being unresponsive.


It is not quite impossible to construct an accusatory claim that is grounded in abject absurdity, but it is highly unlikely these absurd claims -factual lies without any basis whatsoever- would organically lead to the origin of DOJ investigations. Yet, this is what Merrick Garland’s DOJ would have us believe. Either the DOJ is making this stuff up, or affiliates in ideological alignment are making stuff up in order to feed the DOJ. Regardless, the political weaponization of the DOJ and FBI as described by Mr. Carlson is absolutely accurate.

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How to end a monarchy.

UK Police Arrests Anti-Monarchy Protesters (G.)

Civil liberties campaigners and others have expressed alarm about the response of police to anti-monarchy protesters after a number of incidents, the latest of which included the arrest of a man in Edinburgh for apparently heckling Prince Andrew. The advocacy group Liberty said that new powers recently given to the police to curtail protest, and how they were being enforced by officers, were a cause for deep concern. The Labour MP Zarah Sultana said in response to incidents in Edinburgh, London and Oxford: “No one should be arrested for just expressing republican views. Extraordinary – and shocking – that this needs saying.”

Police Scotland said a 22-year-old man and a 52-year-old man had been arrested in connection with a breach of the peace on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh shortly before 3pm on Monday. It came after police were seen pulling a man out of a crowd of people, some of whom appeared to push him, after he was seen shouting at the procession accompanying the Queen’s coffin as King Charles, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex marched behind the hearse. Earlier, a woman was charged after being arrested by police in Edinburgh on Sunday as she staged a protest during the accession proclamation for the King. Police said the woman, 22, had been arrested on Sunday outside St Giles’ Cathedral in connection with a breach of the peace and would appear at Edinburgh sheriff court at a later date.

The woman, called Mariángela and who had been seen holding a sign that said “Fuck imperialism, abolish monarchy”, was arrested moments before the reading of the proclamation. The incident took place outside the cathedral, where the Queen’s coffin lay on Monday. On Monday night Global Majority Vs Campaign, the group Mariángela represents, released a statement following the arrest, saying it “condemned the centuries of colonial injustice, genocide, and unlawful extraction that have been – and continue to be – carried out in the name of the British Crown”. It added: “Calling for the abolition of the monarchy is as old as the monarchy itself and is a cornerstone of freedom of speech in the UK.”

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Brian Catt

 

 

 

 

Trees Height

 

 

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