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


Laurits Andersen Ring At Breakfast 1898

 

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

 

 

 

 

Watters Biden book

 

 

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

 

 

Tulsi

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Hotel Ukraine

 

 

Tucker Portnoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Have we completely lost oversight of how obscene this is?

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

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

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

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

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Obscene 2. Funding Azov.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living on a War Planet (Bromwich)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Quite funny.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does BRICS Need Its Own Currency? (Pepe Escobar)

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

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

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

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

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

From One Unapologetic Media Hoax to the Next (VDH)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Still in use. Insane.

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

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

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

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

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Moore

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Shrimp

 

 

Dogs play

 

 

Italian music

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 302022
 
 November 30, 2022  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Coffee maker 1943

 

Twitter Stops Enforcing COVID-19 Misinformation Policy (ZH)
‘Negative Efficacy’ Should Have Stopped COVID Vaccine Recommendations (ET)
12 Ways To Hold Big Pharma Accountable For Covid Evils (Fed.)
A Look from Inside – The Fauci Deposition
Elon Musk’s Twitter Is A Monster Of The Left’s Own Making (QTR)
Musk Says Exposé of Twitter’s ‘Free Speech Suppression’ Coming ‘Soon’ (ET)
Kremlin Outlines Conditions For Ukraine Talks (RT)
NATO Says ‘Door is Open’ for Ukraine Membership….But (Celente)
EU Fails To Agree On Russian Oil Price Cap As Full Ban Looms (ZH)
Rand Paul Calls Out Complete Lack Of Oversight On Ukraine Aid (SN)
The Four Fuckeries (Jim Kunstler)
Will The US Try To Pull Off A “Grenada” In Serbia? (Saker)
US Paralyzed By Islamic Republic Of Iran’s Strategic Swing (Escobar)
Apple Turns Off China Protest Communication Tool (SN)
SBF Doesn’t Know What Happened To His Twitter Stake (Axios)

 

 

 

 

Actual scientists are speaking out. Watch. “Most of them fall asleep crying.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1597663704044408832

 

 

 

 

Finland PM Marin Sanna visits New Zealand.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1597825029324296192

 

 

 

 

A good step, but only step no. 1. You will have to address the lives lost due to censorship of for instance doctors, on top of the whole Pfizer/Fauci/White House/EU terror. Twitter is complicit in this.

Twitter Stops Enforcing COVID-19 Misinformation Policy (ZH)

Twitter will no longer enforce its Covid-19 misinformation policy, under which users who deviated from prevailing establishment narratives frequently had their accounts locked or suspended. The longstanding policy did not apply to misinformation from government officials, who regularly lied about things such as transmission, masks, vaccine efficacy, side effects, or any of the other ‘science’ which turned out to be patently false. Twitter did not officially announce the change, rather, the company added a note to a page on its website outlining its Covid-19 policy. “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” reads the note, which follows a line that still reads: “As the global community faces the COVID-19 pandemic together, Twitter is helping people find reliable information, connect with others, and follow what’s happening in real time.”

What’s more, Sky News reports that the company’s Covid-19 ‘misleading information’ policy was nuked, which showed that the company operated on a strike system in which those who had a label added to their tweets were given one strike, while those with deleted tweets were given two strikes. Users with two to three strikes would have a 12-hour lockout, while those with four strikes were permanently suspended. “The platform suspended more than 11,000 accounts and removed nearly 98,000 pieces of content for violating its COVID misinformation policy between January 2022 and September 2022, according to information published by Twitter. The site also reduced the visibility of tweets or accounts believed to be in violation of the policy by stopping tweets or retweets from those accounts appearing in certain parts of Twitter, displaying their replies in lower positions in conversations and excluding their tweets or account from recommendations on the site.” -Sky News

Of note, half of Twitter’s content moderation, human rights and communications teams were laid off when new owner Elon Musk took over. Hundreds more left after Musk issued an ultimatum to staff requiring them to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or leave.


Twitter reports that since January of 2020, 11.72M accounts were “challenged,” 11,230 accounts were suspended, and 97,674 pieces of content were “removed.”

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Talk about sliding scales. Not even when we knew the mRNA was endangering and killing people, did we stop.

‘Negative Efficacy’ Should Have Stopped COVID Vaccine Recommendations (ET)

It is a well known fact that COVID vaccine effectiveness wanes quickly as time goes on; this is confirmed by countless studies. Although the official narrative for COVID-19 vaccines nowadays only emphasizes its efficacy on protection against ICU admission and death rates, it actually implies the indisputable fact that vaccines don’t protect, contrary to their design, against infection or even symptomatic infection, especially after the emergence of various Omicron variants. Even the protection two shots offers against hospitalization drops to about 40 percent after less than a year. It’s actually looking worse for protection against severe symptoms, as efficacy rates seem to drop into the negatives about five months into full vaccination.


When a vaccine’s efficacy drops into the negatives, it means that vaccination actually elevates the risks of hospitalization and severe diseases rather than reducing the risks. In simple terms, it does more harm than good when the efficacy is negative. During the time prior to the pandemic, any vaccine with an efficacy less than 50 percent would be regarded as a poor product. When a product shows negative efficacy, it should be banned. It seems that the pandemic isn’t only bad for our health, but also is tugging at our common sense.

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No room for all twelve here.

12 Ways To Hold Big Pharma Accountable For Covid Evils (Fed.)

What is the common denominator between the pharmaceutical companies, the public health bureaucracy, medical associations, the corporate media, and Big Tech companies when it comes to censorship and medical misinformation? Money, of course. According to Statista, the pharmaceutical and medical industry spent $5.6 billion on U.S. television advertising in 2021, second only behind the life and entertainment industry at $10.1 billion. For reference, total U.S. TV ad spending is expected to exceed $68 billion in 2022. According to eMarketer, pharmaceutical and health care companies combined spent an estimated $9.5 billion on digital media in 2020, with 56 percent going toward search advertising, dominated by Google and Facebook, which have aggressively censored medical information that deviated from the official public health narrative.

This accounted for about 7.1 percent of all U.S. digital ad spending. The pharma industry pays, in the form of user fees, for 75 percent of the FDA’s drug review budget, according to Forbes, and 45 percent of its overall budget. One investigation showed that 40 of 107 physician advisers on the FDA committees examined “received more than $10,000 in post hoc earnings or research support from the makers of drugs that the panels voted to approve, or from competing firms.” According to an analysis by the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has numerous conflicts of interest, including openly accepting private gifts through the CDC Foundation, accepting supposedly “prohibited” donations, and “automatic” conflict of interest waivers for advisory committee members.

In 2010, the CDC inspector general noted a “systemic lack of oversight” of its ethics program. The CDC uses taxpayer money to develop patents and then receives money from pharma companies in the form of licenses and royalties. The NIAID, headed by Fauci, also accepts donations, such as a $100 million pledge by Bill Gates for work on gene therapies. Individual public health officials and scientists, including Fauci and former NIH Director Francis Collins, receive royalties on patents used by the industry, teaching hospitals accept industry donations, and doctors accept “consulting fees,” and other travel and meals payments from pharma companies when they promote their products.

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Strange story: a 7-hour Fauci deposition, and absolute crickets from the media.

Jim Hoft and attorney John Burns were present at the deposition. Excellent read.

A Look from Inside – The Fauci Deposition

Here are some observations and highlights from the Fauci deposition: ** Fauci is a skillful liar. As we have seen now for months in his public comments, he lies when he feels he can get away with it or when he feels there will be no meaningful consequences. ** Fauci frequently lied unless and until he was confronted with alternate facts. For example, he claimed he really wasn’t familiar with Ralph Baric (creator of the COVID virus) or Peter Daszak (who brokered Fauci’s NIAID grant money to the Chinese biolab in Wuhan), until he was confronted with evidence that his own chief of staff emailed him describing Daszak and Baric as being part of Fauci’s team! ** Fauci claimed that he had no knowledge that his communications team did not coordinate with social media companies to stop “misinformation and disinformation” until he was forced to admit that he actually did know of certain instances of coordination.

** Fauci continued to push the now-debunked assertion that COVID-19 was a naturally occurring virus. ** Fauci said disinformation and misinformation (information he disagrees with) puts lives at risk. ** Fauci refused to define “gain of function” research saying it was too broad of a term to define. ** FUN FACT: until VERY recently, Fauci’s daughter worked for Twitter. ** FUN FACT: Fauci is a hypochondriac. In a bizarre and stunning segment during the deposition, Fauci blew off some of his frustration on the poor court reporter. The court reporter transcribing the deposition sneezed, and Fauci stopped the deposition and scolded the court reporter: “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU??? Do you have some sort of respiratory illness, because in the era of COVID, I’m concerned about being near you.” Court Reporter: “I’m not sick, I just have allergies. I can wear a mask though.” Fauci: “Ok. Thank you, because the last thing I want is to get COVID. [notably, (1) Fauci himself did not wear a mask at any point during the deposition, and (2) he appeared to be several feet away from the court reporter].

** FUN FACT: in another Fauci hypochondria spasm, Fauci conspicuously mean-mugged Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry after Landry sneezed into his suit coat jacket. ** Gamesmanship. Whenever introduced to a difficult topic, he dishonestly refused to define key terms so he could avoid being pinned down and held accountable. For example, when discussing the topic of “gain of function” research, he refused to acknowledge what the term meant, objecting that it was a term so broad it could not be defined. ** Fauci repeatedly claimed that he “couldn’t recall” or “couldn’t remember,” and attempted to bolster these incredible statements by appealing to the volume of emails he would receive or issues or studies that would come across his desk. This is simply not credible for nearly all of such statements, because the incidents in question were either recent or within the past three years, and they were all highly politically charged.

[..] ** Other Fauci deceit tactics: throwing subordinates under the bus. Fauci is a famous survivor among bureaucrats. One way he has survived this long is by only taking credit for wins and pawning off losses on hapless subordinates. This trend continued in his deposition, in which he brazenly argued that, while he is the head of the NIAID and its $6 billion dollar budget, he repeatedly didn’t have any knowledge about what his immediate direct reports were doing right under his nose. Fauci supports accountability, so long as he has a subordinate to sacrifice.

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“The social media platform had been the topic of political discussions about censorship, but no one had really done anything about it.”

Elon Musk’s Twitter Is A Monster Of The Left’s Own Making (QTR)

I don’t believe Musk about everything, as my long-time followers know, but I do believe him when he says the platform has become more popular since he took it over. Not only is it more entertaining than its ever been, it’s simply a nice feeling not to have to run my Tweets over in my head before publishing them, thinking: “What would some hyper left-wing hipster in a beret in an office in San Francisco working a 4 hour work week as a content moderator think of what I’m about to post?” But this article isn’t just for those who are enjoying Twitter’s re-birth. More importantly, it’s for those who are having emotional meltdowns over it. What these users, former users, advertisers and general fragile individuals need to understand is that Elon Musk buying Twitter never even happens without an environment that creates the impetus for it to take place.

Putting Musk’s actual motives aside (I have often wondered if he actually wanted to buy Twitter when it came down to brass tacks), he projected publicly that his interest in taking a stake in the company was because they were actively suppressing free speech. Soon, a public discussion about Twitter’s censorship – which had kicked off years prior when Tim Pool publicly skewered head Twitter censor Vijaya Gadde on Joe Rogan’s podcast – was on the table. The social media platform had been the topic of political discussions about censorship, but no one had really done anything about it. Nobody made drastic moves to affect change. And love him or hate him, that’s exactly what Elon Musk did. The impetus for Musk to throw his hat in the ring on the discussion wasn’t just run-of-the-mill moderation issues, either. It was, instead, an incessant and burning need to eliminate content that Twitter didn’t view as favorable to its political leanings.

No matter what side of the aisle you’re on politically, it’s tough to push back against the idea that conservatives were targeted for suspension disproportionately on the platform. Furthermore, legitimate news stories that otherwise would have been worthy of Pulitzer Prizes – like the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story – were actively blackballed from the platform and users who discussed them risked being suspended or banned. These are nearly the very same actions that Beijing takes on Chinese social media when a story or narrative gets out that isn’t stamped with the government’s approval. Now, it looks as though we’re going to find out exactly what was going on behind the scenes at Twitter when the decision to actively censor a major story that could have had an impact on the 2020 election was made. And I don’t care who is running the platform, that type of transparency is sorely needed.

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This goes back to the lives lost to mRNA. Let’s see you do it.

Musk Says Exposé of Twitter’s ‘Free Speech Suppression’ Coming ‘Soon’ (ET)

Elon Musk said Monday that Twitter’s internal files on the company’s “free speech suppression” will be revealed “soon,” raising expectations that light will be shed on the circumstances around Twitter’s censorship of the New York Post’s explosive story that exposed information on a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden. “The Twitter Files on free speech suppression soon to be published on Twitter itself. The public deserves to know what really happened …” Musk said in a post late Monday. Critics have long held that Twitter has used vague standards to censor or suspend accounts and that the ones targeted are predominantly those expressing conservative views. Twitter has denied any bias in its actions, repeatedly insisting it is simply following its content moderation policies.

Weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the New York Post published an article that allegedly detailed meetings President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, had with a Ukrainian energy firm before then-Vice President Biden pressured Ukrainian government officials to fire a prosecutor probing the company. The story was seen by Biden’s political opponents as evidence of corruption and the news quickly spread across Twitter, prompting the social media firm to start removing links to the article and, for a period of time, suspending the New York Post’s Twitter account. Conservatives saw Twitter’s actions in this regard as evidence of the company’s pro-Biden, anti-Trump bias. Twitter said at the time that it was simply enforcing its rules on hacked materials, which prohibit distribution of information that is obtained through hacking.

Musk in April spoke out in opposition to Twitter’s decision to temporarily suspend New York Post’s Twitter account. “Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate,” Musk said in April, responding to a post about the Hunter Biden laptop story. Musk, who took over Twitter in late October, has vowed to make the platform into a politically unbiased bastion of free speech. He said in an open letter following his acquisition of Twitter that he bought it because “it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.” “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society,” Musk added.

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“Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky emphasized that “there will be no Minsk-3 [agreement], which Russia would violate right after sealing it.”

Of course Zelensky knows full well Russia didn’t violate Minsk 1 and 2. Ukraine did. And US.

Kremlin Outlines Conditions For Ukraine Talks (RT)

Peace negotiations could start between Russia and Ukraine if Moscow sees genuine “political will” on the part of Kiev to engage in dialogue, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said. Earlier this month, he noted that the Ukrainian leadership seemed reluctant to sit down for talks at present. When asked by Russian journalists on Tuesday whether there are any preconditions for any potential dialogue to begin between Moscow and Kiev, Peskov said: “It has to be political will, readiness to discuss those Russian demands which have been known for long.” Speaking via video-link during the G20 summit in Indonesia’s Bali in mid-November, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky emphasized that “there will be no Minsk-3 [agreement], which Russia would violate right after sealing it.”

The Ukrainian head of state was referring to the Minsk-1 and Minsk-2 agreements brokered by Germany and France back in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The accords, among other things, envisaged special status for Donetsk and Lugansk regions within the Ukrainian state. Russian President Vladimir Putin cited Kiev’s failure to implement the agreements as one of the reasons for the start of Moscow’s military campaign against its neighbor in late February 2022. Commenting on Zelensky’s remarks at the G20 summit, Peskov argued at the time that they “absolutely confirm” Kiev’s unwillingness to engage in talks. Addressing leaders in Bali, the Ukrainian head of state proposed ten steps that, in his view, would lead to peace. Among the key points of his plan is the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from all Ukrainian territories and respect for the country’s borders drawn up in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, Moscow claims some of those regions, most notably Crimea, as its own, following referendums it had held there. It came shortly after The Washington Post reported in early November that the Biden administration had privately asked Zelensky to signal willingness to hold talks with Russia, if only just for show. Washington was reportedly concerned that Kiev’s irreconcilable position could see support from some of its Western allies dwindle amid what anonymous White House officials described as a growing “Ukraine fatigue.” The article claimed that Washington was not serious about getting Kiev to negotiate, and only sought to ensure that weapons and other aid kept flowing from as many nations as possible.

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Escalation tactics. Anytime it’s clear Russia is winning, they bring in heavier weaponry. Forcing Russia to follow suit. Same with dangling NATO membership in front of Zelensky. The war must go on.

NATO Says ‘Door is Open’ for Ukraine Membership….But (Celente)

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, dangled the possibility that Ukraine may someday, in the future, join the Alliance and benefit from the protection of Article 5 that, when distilled, says: an attack on one, is an attack on all. He made the comment during a two-day summit in Bucharest where Ukraine’s electric grid and Russia’s relentless air campaign took center stage. The Russian strikes have left millions in the dark as temperatures hit 19 degrees in Kyiv. “NATO’s door is open,” he said, according to The New York Times. But he noted that the calvary is not coming during this conflict. “NATO will continue to stand for Ukraine as long as it takes. We will not back down.” In September, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, announced that Kyiv filed a new, expedited application to join NATO in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin annexing four occupied regions in the country.

Zelensky, correctly said in a statement that Finland and Sweden benefited from an accelerated accession into the Alliance. (But neither of those countries are members.) “De facto, we have already proven interoperability with the Alliance’s standards, they are real for Ukraine — real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction,” Zelensky said. “Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure. Under a procedure consistent with our significance for the protection of our entire community. Under an accelerated procedure,” the statement continued. Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, killed the idea and said, the issue should be taken up “at a different time.”

NATO’s refusal to accept Ukraine into the fold is understandable because it would assure the beginning of WWIII. But it has still been a sensitive subject in Kyiv. Last summer, Ihor Zhovkva, the deputy chief of staff for Zelensky, said in an interview that Kyiv was told by NATO that it is “not a member because we do not want you.” “NATO is telling us we are not giving you anything,” he said in an interview with a local news outlet in Kyiv, according to Bloomberg. Some could argue that Ukraine was the victim misleading public statements from the U.S. and NATO prior to the invasion. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Stoltenberg said Moscow would be met with a“forceful” response if there was an invasion. Blinken went further and said the U.S. has a “sacred obligation” to defend its allies.

Under Article 10 of the 1949 Washington Treaty, NATO has the right to invite any willing European country into the fold. But Stoltenberg made it clear, before the invasion, that there is a distinction between a NATO partner and ally. Kyiv is a partner. NATO is compelled to only defend allies. NATO countries never embraced Ukraine as an ally because it meant certain war with Russia.

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“(see, it was all theater, everything – from day one – and politicians knew it as soon as they did the math)”

EU Fails To Agree On Russian Oil Price Cap As Full Ban Looms (ZH)

In its relentless pursuit of virtue-signaling hills that it is willing to die on within minutes, several months ago the EU had a brilliant idea: let’s implement a toothless oil price cap on Russian oil exports, one which actually has zero impact on deeply discounted Russian oil and thus doesn’t lead to any more European energy shocks, but because of the optics and the much “lower” permitted transaction price, it will make for great headlines and show the world just how powerful the EU is. Well, the plan almost worked… until Poland and the Baltics forgot to read the fine print, thought that Europe actually does mean business, and blew up the deal. Recall on Friday, negotiations on the Russian oil price cap were suspended – despite a willingness by most European nations to just cross the checkmark and move on – as Poland and the Baltic states objected to a proposed ceiling of $65.

There was some hope that this opposition was just for show, and that come Monday the Poles would relent after some “closed door” negotiations, Europe would slap a $65 price cap, Russia would continue to sell its oil to China and India, and – quietly – to Europe, and gradually renormalize a fractured oil market where India and China pay a 25% discount for oil while the rest of the world has to pay a premium as an offset. However, it was not meant to be, and on Monday European Union governments again failed to agree on a price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil, as Poland again insisted that the cap had to be set lower than proposed by the G7 to cut Moscow’s ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine, diplomats told Reuters. “There is no deal. The legal texts have now been agreed, but Poland still can’t agree to the price,” one diplomat said.

No new date for talks has been set yet, diplomats said, even though a far worse outcome may await Europe in just one week: as a reminder, the price cap mechanism is to enter into force on Dec. 5. And if there is no agreement on the G7 price cap idea by next Monday, the EU would implement harsher measures agreed at the end of May – a ban on all Russian crude oil imports from Dec. 5 and on petroleum products from Feb. 5, Polish diplomats said. That would be a truly catastrophic scenario, and one which could promptly send the price of oil into the stratosphere as JPMorgan explained not too long ago. To be sure, it’s not too late for Poland to fall in line: Hungary and two other landlocked central European states secured exemptions from that ban for the pipeline imports they rely on.

Meanwhile, even the G-7 group of nations has proposed a softer version of the EU ban to keep oil supply to the global economy steady, because Russia supplies 10% of the world’s oil (see, it was all theater, everything – from day one – and politicians knew it as soon as they did the math). It proposed that the EU and other global customers keep buying Russian crude, but only if its price is at or below a G7 agreed level. That would cut the Kremlin’s revenues. The G7 has proposed a cap of $65-70 per barrel, but Poland and some others argue this will not hurt Moscow because Russian crude is already trading below that range at $63.50, and after today’s oil price rollercoaster, the “Russian” price briefly dipped below $60. With Russian production costs estimated at around $20, Moscow has a very large profit from its oil exports. Poland, Lithuania and Estonia have been pushing for a price cap of $30 per barrel.

And yet, despite consensus that Polish opposition would be overturned, the country’s resolve has only hardened: “The Poles are completely uncompromising on the price, without suggesting an acceptable alternative,” the EU diplomat said. “Clearly there is growing annoyance with the Polish position.” Which is hilarious because only Poland is adhering to the principle of what the price cap was supposed to achieve – namely choke off Russian oil profits; and yet for all the pompous rhetoric by G-7 nations, everyone is happy to keep the spectacle going knowing full well that this is just one giant virtue-signaling scheme. Everyone, except Poland that is… and as a result the “annoyance” is not with Putin but with the “Polish position” which is keeping fat European technocrats away from their well-deserved 3-star meals for a fake job well done.

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“..the Biden administration inspected only 10% of 22,000 weapons the U.S. has provided to Ukraine..”

Rand Paul Calls Out Complete Lack Of Oversight On Ukraine Aid (SN)

Senator Rand Paul reacted Monday to news that the Biden administration is struggling to account for some $20 billion in aid that was sent to Ukraine, noting that both political parties ignored his call for an inspector general to overlook it. A report from Fox News, linked in a tweet by Paul, notes that according to the Washington Post, the Biden administration inspected only 10% of 22,000 weapons the U.S. has provided to Ukraine between February and November. It also outlines how Republicans could push for audits to determine where all the military aid is going and how much of it is ending up in the wrong hand.


“Didn’t someone try to legislatively mandate a special inspector general to scrutinize Ukrainian spending?” Paul urged, adding “Oh, that’s right, it was my amendment and most Democrats AND Republicans opposed any semblance of oversight.” Just a fortnight ago, following the throughly debunked “Russian missile attack” on a Polish border town, which turned out to be a Ukrainian missile that had stayed off course, Biden asked Congress to provide another $37.7 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine. The United States has already pledged more than 52 billion euros in military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the war began in February 2022 and October 3, way more than any other nation or nations combined.

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“..and also stranded the media in an endless loop of ass-covering they are still locked into..”

The Four Fuckeries (Jim Kunstler)

“We want to save the planet, and the life upon it, but we’re not willing to pay the price and bear the consequences. So we make up a narrative that feels good and run with it.” — Raul Ilargi Meijer.” I doubt there is another era in the history of Western Civ when the forces in-motion acting on society were so mystifying to those acted upon. And isn’t it especially galling that this is so in an age after rational scientific practice had decoded so many of nature’s secrets? Did that project somehow fail in the end? Has the Enlightenment been defeated? How have we become trapped like frogs being boiled haplessly in our own pond-water? I have reduced these forces to four obvious streams of the sheerest seemingly evil fuckery, which is to say nefariously managed events meant to harm us. They are surely all related in some way. Let’s try to de-mystify them to understand what we’re up against.

First: Covid-19. How is it that we don’t know for sure how this organism came into the world, or understand what ensued after it did? Answer: the people who caused it to happen in the Wuhan lab have been busy covering their asses for three years, and successfully so. Yet we know exactly what Anthony Fauci, Francis Collins, Peter Daszak, Ralph Baric and others did. The paper trail in correspondence and patents alone is clear. We just can’t seem to do anything about it. We don’t know why they did it yet, too, but there are plausible guesses. Maybe Dr. Fauci wanted to cap his long, checkered career with a final heroic triumph: the introduction of world-saving mRNA vaccines — incidentally, a great financial boon to himself and the pharma industry he secretly served. Like everything else Fauci worked on for forty years, this experiment ended in disaster: a Frankenstein disease that persists in the population and vaccines that maim and kill people. How did Fauci and company get away with it? Here’s how:

Two: Government’s war on its own citizens. I’d date this for the sake of simplicity to the DOJ’s and FBI’s campaign to defenestrate Donald Trump starting in 2016 for the crime of winning an election. What began as the Russia collusion prank morphed into RussiaGate, another ass-covering extravaganza in which public officialdom gave itself blanket permission to lie about everything it was doing. The likes of James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Barack Obama’s girl squad in the White House — to name just a few of many participants — also managed to hook in the mainstream news media under the supposition that they were the good guys fighting a disgusting, pussy-grabbing supervillain, which disposed the news media to go along with all the FBI and DOJ lies, and also stranded the media in an endless loop of ass-covering they are still locked into.

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“..it was simply impossible to fail no matter how inept and incompetent the entire invasion was..”

Will The US Try To Pull Off A “Grenada” In Serbia? (Saker)

Remember the 1983 US invasion of Grenada aka “Operation Urgent Fury”? It all began on October 23, 1983 when two truck bombs blew up the buildings housing the US and French “Multinational Force in Lebanon”. This attack resulted in 307 people killed including 241 U.S. and 58 French military personnel. Following the bombings, US diplomats engaged in their usual frantic flag-waving and promises to never ever give in to terrorism. The biggest problem for the US was that it had no way to retaliate in a way which would satisfy the flag-waver’s desire for blood. Just blowing up random buildings in Lebanon made very little impact, as for the promises to stay for as long as needed, it was obvious PR – it was clear to everybody that the time to pack and leave had come.

Of course, this was very humiliating for the wannabe “indispensable nation” cum “city upon a Hill”,,, So Reagan, with his undeniable genius for PR and optics, ordered the invasion of Grenada just two days after the bombings in Beirut. Why Grenada? Well, for one thing it was barely defended (mostly by Cuban engineers and locals with small arms) and truly tiny (so tiny, in fact, that the overwhelming majority of US Americans had no idea where it was or why there was suddenly an urgent need to invade. Second, it was very close to the USA, so everybody could get a slice of the cake, including the 1st and 2nd battalions of the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, the 82nd Airborne and the Army’s rapid deployment force, U.S. Marines, Army Delta Force, Navy SEALs, and ancillary forces totaling 7,600 troops.

In terms of hardware, the US brought in 7,300 troops, 4 tanks, 1 LHA (USS Saipan LHA-2), 1 aircraft carrier, 3 destroyers, 2 frigates, 1 ammunition ship and even 27 F-14A Tomcats. All that against a few hundred construction workers armed only with small arms! I won’t go into all the details here, but let’s just say that this invasion was one of the worst and most poorly executed operation in the history of warfare: a truly HUGE US force was brought in to strike at a basically defenseless tiny island nation with the sole purpose of changing the optics of the disaster in Lebanon.

But, no to worry, the Pentagon handed our more medals than the number of participants, while some US special forces who wanted to press charges against helicopter pilots for cowardice (who abandoned the SOF on a runway because of small arms fire) were “counseled” against the idea. Bottom line is this: after the epic disaster in Beirut, the US wanted a quick and easy war to restore the “prestige” of the US armed forces, only to end up with yet another epic disaster, but at least in the case of Grenada, it was simply impossible to fail no matter how inept and incompetent the entire invasion was.

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Iran=BRI, SCO, INSTC, BRICS+.

US Paralyzed By Islamic Republic Of Iran’s Strategic Swing (Escobar)

Iran’s parliament has just approved the accession of the Islamic Republic to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), previously enshrined at the Samarkand summit last September, marking the culmination of a process that lasted no less than 15 years. Iran has already applied to become a member of the expanding BRICS+, which before 2025 will be inevitably configured as the alternative Global South G20 that really matters. Iran is already part of the Quad that really matters – alongside BRICS members Russia, China and India. Iran is deepening its strategic partnership with both China and Russia and increasing bilateral cooperation with India.

Iran is a key Chinese partner in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is set to clinch a free trade agreement with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and is a key node of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), alongside Russia and India. All of the above configures the lightning-fast emergence of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a West Asia and Eurasia big power, with vast reach across the Global South. That has left the whole set of imperial “policies” towards Tehran lying in the dust. So it’s no wonder that previously accumulated strands of Iranophobia – fed by the Empire over four decades — have recently metastasized into yet another color revolution offensive, fully supported and disseminated by Anglo-American media.

The playbook is always the same. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei actually came up with a concise definition. The problem is not bands of oblivious rioters and/or mercenaries: “the main confrontation”, he said, is with “global hegemony.” Ayatollah Khamenei was somewhat echoed by American intellectual and author Noam Chomsky, who has remarked how an array of US sanctions over four decades have severely harmed the Iranian economy and “caused enormous suffering.”

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Apple is not looking good lately.

Apple Turns Off China Protest Communication Tool (SN)

As it mulls kicking Elon Musk’s Twitter off the app store, it has now been revealed that Apple restricted the use of AirDrop in China, a move that harmed the organizational efforts of demonstrators protesting against the CCP’s lockdowns. Over the past week, multiple major cities across China have seen massive protests against lockdowns, with the normally compliant Chinese exploding into rage in response to their government’s ‘zero COVID’ policy. Much of the unrest blew up in response to an incident in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, where at least 10 people, some say up to 40, were killed during an apartment fire because lockdown rules stopped residents from fleeing the burning building.

Most of the city’s residents have been prevented from leaving their homes for over 100 days as a result of the draconian rules, which are still in place nearly three years after the pandemic began. With Beijing now trying to contain what some are calling the most serious mass uprising since Tiananmen Square, Apple is apparently helping them to crush dissent. Earlier this month, Apple restricted the use of AirDrop in China, which protesters had been using to evade censorship. AirDrop allows local connections between devices, meaning it cannot be monitored or censored by local authorities. However, Apple launched an update to the app in China that restricted usage to just 10 minutes, making it harder for protesters to communicate with other activists, as well as send messages nearby bystanders and tourists.

AirDrop was also being used by protesters in Hong Kong, who were brutally suppressed by the CCP during months of unrest in 2019. The smartphone company chose to roll out the new “feature” in China only right as the country experienced its biggest demonstrations in decades, which some would suggest is more than just a coincidence. “Apple has helped Beijing to suppress public dissent multiple times, mostly by complying with its requests to remove apps used by protestors for information and communication,” reports Reclaim the Net. “Apple also helps the Chinese Communist Party prevent users from remaining private by banning VPNs in the region.”

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“..Bankman-Fried, as of Nov. 10, either believed that Alameda owned a stake in Musk’s Twitter, or that he was uncertain, and therefore misleading potential investors.”

SBF Doesn’t Know What Happened To His Twitter Stake (Axios)

Sam Bankman-Fried tells Axios that he always intended to roll over at least a portion of his former firm’s $100 million Twitter stake into the new, privately held entity led by Elon Musk. But the former FTX CEO said in an interview on Monday night that he’s not sure that ever happened with the Alameda Research controlled stake. It’s the first time Bankman-Fried has addressed the question around his Twitter stake since Musk said last week that neither SBF nor FTX ever held a position in the privatized Twitter, a statement that contradicted a Semafor news report. Alameda Research, the entity that Bankman-Fried said owned the Twitter stake, is the trading firm that he controlled and is the entity at the center of FTX’s implosion.

A text message seen by Axios that Bankman-Fried sent to Musk said the Twitter stake Alameda owned was worth around $100 million. “I believe that that it was intended for Alameda to rollover at least $20 million or more,” Bankman-Fried told Axios. “I don’t know for sure whether that ultimately happened.” Bankman-Fried noted that at least some of the Twitter stake may have been sold prior to Twitter going private, but he could not confirm. Bankman-Fried, through his advisers, had offered to help Musk buy out Twitter in the spring with potentially billions of dollars. But he later backed out of his offer after the two spoke by phone, Axios previously reported.

Bankman-Fried said at the time that he was interested in rolling the stake into the privatized company, with Musk acknowledging that Bankman-Fried was “welcome to roll.” The Twitter stake was listed on a Nov. 10 balance sheet shown to prospective FTX investors before the company went bankrupt, according to the Financial Times. The balance sheet, upon which Semafor also relied for its reporting, listed $43.3 million of Twitter stock as an illiquid deliverable — or sellable — asset. That suggests that Bankman-Fried, as of Nov. 10, either believed that Alameda owned a stake in Musk’s Twitter, or that he was uncertain, and therefore misleading potential investors.

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Big house cats. Sound on.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1597818714631852033

 

 

Backwards dog

 

 

Blob top jellyfish
https://twitter.com/i/status/1597658696481312768

 

 

 

 

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