Jan 222024
 
 January 22, 2024  Posted by at 9:34 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Leonardo da Vinci Salvator Mundi 1513

 

Supreme Court Action Alters Course of Jan. 6 Defendant Sentencings (ET)
Russia Must Give Up Its Nuclear Weapons – Ukrainian Officials (RT)
Frontline Situation ‘Dramatic’ For Ukraine – German Reporter (RT)
EU Mulls $21 Billion Military Aid to Ukraine Bypassing Hungary’s Veto (Sp.)
Scale of NATO Drills Marks Return to Cold War-Era Patterns (Sp.)
NATO Drills Raise Risks of Inadvertent Escalation – Moscow (Sp.)
US Preparing For ‘Sustained’ Yemen Bombing Campaign – WaPo (RT)
Mexico And Chile Call On ICC To Investigate Crimes In Gaza (Singh)
Iran and US Use Saudi Arabia to Swap Messages and Cool Gaza Tensions (MEE)
American Democracy ‘In Danger’ – Trump (RT)
RFK Seeks Path to Victory by Forcing House to Elect President (ET)
WSJ Editor-in-Chief Admits To Davos Elites ‘We No Longer Own The News’ (ZH)
John Kerry Wants To Remove 1.6 Trillion Tons Of CO2 From The Atmosphere (X)

 

 

 

 

Paxton

 

 

 

 

Arabella

 

 

Tucker Dore

 

 

But she’s white! Next thing you tell me she’s straight too!

 

 

Optics

 

 

 

 

SCOTUS is late.

Supreme Court Action Alters Course of Jan. 6 Defendant Sentencings (ET)

A recent Supreme Court decision to review a case called Fischer v. United States, which experts say could weaken prosecutors’ hand in hundreds of Jan. 6 cases, including former President Donald Trump’s, is already upending some defendant cases and sentencing proceedings. In December, the Supreme Court decided it would take up the appeal by Jan. 6 defendant Joseph W. Fisher of the Biden administration’s novel use of an Enron-era evidence-tampering law to prosecute hundreds of defendants for obstruction of Congress during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. The obstruction of Congress charge—which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison—is the most widely charged felony in Jan. 6 cases, including against President Trump.

Mr. Fischer was indicted for various alleged offenses for his role in the Jan. 6 incident, including obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds—and obstruction of Congress based on 18 U.S. Code Section 1512(c)(2), or “Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant.” That’s an evidence-tampering provision that’s part of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, which experts say was conceived largely to curb wrongdoing on Wall Street—but is now used by the Justice Department (DOJ) to prosecute Jan. 6 cases. Mr. Fischer challenged the obstruction charge, claiming that 1512(c)(2) doesn’t prohibit his alleged conduct on Jan. 6. A district court agreed but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed that decision, siding with a broader reading of the provision, namely that it applies other forms of obstructive conduct, not just ones related to investigations and evidence.

While it’s unclear when the Supreme Court will hold the first hearings in Mr. Fischer’s appeal, several legal experts told The Epoch Times in earlier interviews that the high court is likely to find that 1512(c)(2) is being improperly used against Jan. 6 defendants. If the challenge proves successful, the Supreme Court’s decision could have far-reaching consequences, potentially erasing some charges against President Trump and overturning felony convictions for numerous Jan. 6 defendants. The implications extend beyond individual cases to the core strategy employed by the DOJ in securing convictions. Meanwhile, the fact that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Mr. Fischer’s challenge to the provision is already having an effect on some Jan. 6 cases.

Since the Supreme Court agreed in mid-December to take up the Fischer appeal, a number of Jan. 6 defendants have asked judges to pause their trials and sentencing proceedings pending the outcome of the case. One of these is John Strand, a former underwear model convicted of obstructing Congress on the basis of 1512(c)(2), who describes himself as a “political prisoner.” He was sentenced to 32 months in prison. On Jan. 19, Mr. Strand’s attorneys filed a motion for release pending the Fischer appeal and a motion for reduction of sentence based on the zero-point offender guideline, which gives defendants with no criminal history an extra two points off their sentencing calculations, court filings show. The DOJ has taken the position that Jan. 6 defendants are ineligible for sentence reduction on the basis of the zero-point offender guideline, which has some exceptions, including for violent crimes.

Noteworthy in Mr. Strand’s filing is the singling out of the obstruction charge, which in his case is the only felony he’s been found guilty of. “In particular, a substantial question exists as to whether the statute underlying Strand’s sole felony conviction, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2), applies to his conduct on January 6, 2021, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant certiorari in United States v. Fischer,” it reads. While it’s too early to know whether the judge in Mr. Strand’s case will side with his request to reduce his sentence, several other Jan. 6 defendants have won early release based on the Supreme Court’s decision to review the Fischer case.

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How Ukraine prolongs the war:
– Bombing civilians (Donetsk most recently)
– Grossly exaggerate number of Russian victims.
– Make preposterous demands (re: Zelensky “peace plan”, this zinger.)

Russia Must Give Up Its Nuclear Weapons – Ukrainian Officials (RT)

As President Vladimir Zelensky pushes forward with his so-called “peace formula,” which was already dismissed by the Kremlin as “absurd,” Ukrainian officials continue to come up with additional terms and conditions. The conflict in Ukraine can only end with a “complete liberation” and “restoration of its 1991 borders,” Kiev’s deputy defense minister Ivan Gavrilyuk told the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel last week. Only then Moscow and the pro-Kiev “coalition” will be able to sign a document to “create preventive mechanisms so that Russia will never think about another war against Ukraine or any country in the future.” “This document must include Russia’s renunciation of nuclear weapons, because it poses a threat to the world,” Gavrilyuk claimed. A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Mikhail Podoliak, voiced a similar idea, claiming that the negotiation should take place only when Moscow “suffers a global defeat,” or at the very least a series of “tactical defeats,” and “internal riots” that would threaten political stability in Russia and force it to “voluntarily give up nuclear weapons.”

“What is a global defeat? The Russian Federation will no longer be able to dominate… will not be able to use its veto right in the UN Security Council,” Podoliak explained. “Then conditions are possible for nuclear weapons, and for the number of carriers of nuclear weapons, including missiles of a certain range, and for cross-border buffer zones, etc.” During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Zelensky once again attempted to promote his so-called ‘peace formula’, which among other things proposes that Russia pay reparations, surrender its officials to face war crimes tribunals, and restore Ukraine’s 1991 borders. It has previously been rejected by the Kremlin as “absurd,” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov referring to it as a publicity stunt and “a figment of a sick imagination.”

Moscow insists it never closed the door to talks but Kiev itself did, and now bears full responsibility for the situation in which it finds itself, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week. Putin noted that the head of Ukraine’s negotiation team had recently admitted that Kiev was at one point ready to reach an agreement with Moscow – before then-British prime minister Boris Johnson convinced them to continue fighting. “Are they not idiots?” Putin asked, adding that if Ukraine had simply ignored Johnson, then the violence could be long over by now. “This just proves yet again that they are not independent people.” Even Ukraine’s former top spin doctor, Aleksey Arestovich, recently admitted that Kiev’ had the chance to make peace at the 2022 Istanbul talks but “something” changed Zelensky’s mind, and Moscow is unlikely to offer Kiev such favorable conditions ever again.

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“..mobilization isn’t working.”

Frontline Situation ‘Dramatic’ For Ukraine – German Reporter (RT)

The situation on the front lines is becoming increasingly disadvantageous for Ukraine, a Kiev-based correspondent with German daily Die Welt reported this week. Ukrainian troops severely lack ammunition and personnel to fend off Russian attacks, according to Paul Ronzheimer, citing “generals and soldiers” whom he has “constantly been in contact with.” Kiev’s troops have largely gone on the defensive following the failure of their much-hyped summer counteroffensive. The operation, which began in early June 2023, failed to gain much ground or bring about significant changes to the front lines, despite heavy personnel and equipment losses. Russia’s Defense Ministry has previously estimated Ukraine’s losses during the failed counteroffensive at 160,000.

Moscow also described Kiev’s total losses throughout the conflict as catastrophic, estimating that nearly 400,000 soldiers have been killed or wounded since February 2022. Late last year, Kiev intensified its mobilization efforts in a bid to replenish the troop pool. President Vladimir Zelensky stated earlier that the military wanted up to 500,000 new recruits. According to Ronzheimer, “mobilization isn’t working.” Ukraine has also been flooded with reports about difficult situations at the front lines, the reporter said, without mentioning any particular news pieces. Kiev’s forces were also about to run out of ammunition for its Western-made air defense systems, such as America’s Patriot, he noted, characterizing the situation as a “major concern” for the local population.

Ukrainian “generals and …soldiers” also told the correspondent that the frontline situation “is extremely tense,” particularly near the Donbass city of Avdeevka, a strategic location north of Donetsk that’s seen heavy fighting over the past months. The Ukrainian generals want “more mobilization” efforts, Ronzheimer wrote, adding that they want to “send more soldiers” into the fray. In another report earlier this week, the correspondent noted that Ukrainian troops had taken to the defensive along the entire front line in the East and the South, and were still struggling to hold ground. Moscow’s troops launched “massive attacks” in 80 areas “along several hundred kilometers of the front,” he added.

“We keep hearing the messages from the soldiers, which become more dramatic,” Ronzheimer reported, adding that Kiev’s troops had warned they would hardly be able to defend their current positions with whatever they had in stock as of that moment. It will be “very difficult” for Ukrainian troops to hold Avdeevka in the long term, since Moscow’s forces were making steady progress in that area, Ronzheimer said. “The Russians are on the offensive there and are making progress meter by meter,” he added, while noting that such advances are still quite costly for Moscow.

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“..the assets of the extra-budgetary European Peace Facility ..”

EU Mulls $21 Billion Military Aid to Ukraine Bypassing Hungary’s Veto (Sp.)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced last month that Budapest had vetoed 50 billion euros in the EU macro-financial aid for Ukraine. The European External Action Service (EEAS) is developing a new plan to provide military assistance to Ukraine that will allow EU members to override Hungary’s veto of the bloc’s aid to Kiev, according to The Wall Street Journal. Under the plan, a draft of which was seen by the newspaper, EU members will provide Ukraine with more than 20 billion euros ($21.8 billion) in military aid over the next four years. The EEAS, for its part, is proposing the creation of a special military fund for Ukraine, which would include some 6.5 billion euros ($7 billion) from the assets of the extra-budgetary European Peace Facility (EPF) and provide up to 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) per year from 2024 to 2027.

The purpose of the project is to reimburse several member states for the joint purchase of military equipment, including ammunition and air defense missiles, to be transferred to Ukraine. The remaining funds will be used to cover the costs of the EU military training program for Ukrainian soldiers. In 2024, the project will offer EU countries around 7.5 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in compensation for military aid. The structure of the new fund will reportedly make it possible to avoid ditches, which are regularly blocked by Hungary or used by Budapest as “leverage” to demand something in return. The proposal will reportedly be discussed by EU leaders at their summit scheduled for February 1, with a final decision likely to take weeks. Brussels has not yet commented on the WSJ report.

In mid-December, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that his country had vetoed an expansion of the EU’s 2024-2027 budget to include 50 billion euros ($54.5 billion) in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. “Summary of the nightshift: veto for the extra money to Ukraine, veto for the MFF [Multiannual Financial Framework] review. We will come back to the issue next year in the #EUCO [European Council] after proper preparation,” Orban wrote at the time on X, formerly known as Twitter. Last month, when asked whether Budapest would support a 50 billion euro financing plan for Kiev ahead of the forthcoming summit, Orban told reporters that Budapest supports the provision of more funds to Ukraine by the EU “outside” the bloc’s budget.

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“..90,000 servicepeople with the participation of 31 countries..”

Scale of NATO Drills Marks Return to Cold War-Era Patterns (Sp.)

The scale of NATO exercises Steadfast Defender-2024 marks the final and irrevocable return of the alliance to the Cold War schemes to oppose Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Sputnik. On Thursday, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Gen. Christopher Cavoli said that the alliance would begin Steadfast Defender-2024, “the largest NATO exercise in decades,” next week. About 90,000 servicepeople will be involved in the drills, he added. “These exercises are another element of the hybrid war unleashed by the West against Russia. The exercises of such scale – 90,000 servicepeople with the participation of 31 countries – mark the final and irrevocable return of NATO to the Cold War support schemes, when the military planning process, resources and infrastructure are being prepared for confrontation with Russia,” Grushko said.

He also noted that the preparation for the exercises “takes place in an artificially heated atmosphere of military psychosis.” “Irresponsible statements about a possible war with Russia, for which European citizens ‘should prepare,’ were made by the German defense minister, the Swedish commander-in-chief and the chairman of the NATO Military Committee. The goal is clear: by demonizing Russia, intimidating the average person, to justify the unbridled increase in military spending and the completely failed policy of supporting the Kiev regime with the aim of inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia. And at the same time, force the Europeans to join the arms race even more energetically, to the delight of the American military-industrial complex,” Grushko said.

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“..European security is of little concern to the top NATO command, which is too busy trying to keep this tool of US influence relevant in the already lost war for the West’s global dominance..”

NATO Drills Raise Risks of Inadvertent Escalation – Moscow (Sp.)

NATO’s upcoming military exercise, Steadfast Defender 2024, raises the risk of unintended military confrontation and undermines security in Europe, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Sputnik on Sunday. NATO announced Thursday that it would kick off exercise Steadfast Defender 2024 next week. The US-led alliance bills it as the largest NATO exercise in decades, with participation from some 90,000 troops from 31 allies and Sweden. “Any event of this scale significantly increases the risk of military incidents and further destabilizes security. But European security is of little concern to the top NATO command, which is too busy trying to keep this tool of US influence relevant in the already lost war for the West’s global dominance,” Grushko said.

The senior diplomat added that Russia would not be intimidated by what he described as a provocative show of force. He said his country had everything it needed to ensure its security and defense capabilities. The NATO exercise will run through May. NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, told reporters on Thursday that the allies planned to test out a conflict scenario against a “near-peer adversary.”

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“..Washington is “not trying to defeat the Houthis. There’s no appetite for invading Yemen..”

US Preparing For ‘Sustained’ Yemen Bombing Campaign – WaPo (RT)

The US is preparing for a “sustained” bombing campaign in Yemen after ten days of airstrikes failed to undermine the ability of Houthi fighters to target ships in the Red Sea, the Washington Post has reported, citing unnamed officials. The administration of President Joe Biden does not expect a protracted operation such as the US campaigns in Iraq or Afghanistan, but at the same time it cannot provide a timeframe for when Houthi military capabilities will be adequately diminished, the newspaper reported on Saturday. Washington’s strategy is to curb the ability of the Shiite militant group to target ships off the coast of Yemen, or at least create safe conditions for shipping companies to resume sending vessels through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, sources added.

The Houthis have launched dozens of drone and missile attacks on commercial ships in the area in recent months, declaring support for Gaza amid Israel’s military operation in the Palestinian enclave. The militants have also vowed revenge against the US and the UK, who have been carrying out strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen for more than a week. “We are clear-eyed about who the Houthis are, and their worldview. So we’re not sure that they’re going to stop immediately, but we are certainly trying to degrade and destroy their capabilities,” one US official told the Post. Washington is “not trying to defeat the Houthis. There’s no appetite for invading Yemen,” a diplomat familiar with the situation explained.

Instead, the US wants “to degrade their ability to launch these kind of attacks going forward, and that involves hitting the infrastructure that enables these kind of attacks, and targeting their higher-level capabilities,” he added. President Biden ordered the strikes on Yemen for ideological reasons, rather than economic, as the US seeks to maintain its status as the world’s “indispensable nation,” officials claimed. The Washington Post expressed concern that the bombing campaign against the Houthis would become a “setback” for Biden’s goal of preventing the spread of the Israel-Hamas conflict to other parts of the Middle East. It could also end up “undermining his attempt to refocus US foreign policy on Russia and China,” the newspaper argued.

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“..believed to be responsible for perpetrating, ordering, planning, and instigating international crimes, including genocide, committed over the past 100 days as well as since 13 June, 2014.”

Mexico And Chile Call On ICC To Investigate Crimes In Gaza (Singh)

Chile and Mexico have called upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the crimes being committed amid Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza. In the past 105 days, Israel has killed over 24,600 Palestinians in Gaza, with more than 7,000 people missing and presumed dead under the rubble. In a statement released on January 18, Mexico and Chile stated that their referral to the ICC was “due to growing concern about the latest escalation of violence, particularly against civilian targets, and the alleged continued commission of crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court, specifically since the attack on October 7, 2023, carried out by Hamas militants and the subsequent hostilities in Gaza.” The ICC is based at The Hague alongside the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is the chief judicial organ of the United Nations that adjudicates disputes between states.

Meanwhile, the ICC is a separate legal entity that has been established under the Rome Statute, and is authorized to prosecute individuals. It has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and crimes of aggression. The referral filed on Thursday follows after Bolivia, South Africa, Djibouti, and the Comoros approached the court in November, calling on chief prosecutor Karim Khan to investigate the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Palestine. While Israel is not a State Party to the Rome Statute and does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, Palestine was accepted as a member state of the ICC in 2015. In February 2021, a pre-trial chamber of the court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the “territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem”.

The following month, the ICC, under former chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, opened an investigation into the “situation in Palestine” covering the period starting from June 13, 2014. This was after Bensouda concluded that there was a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes “have been or are being committed” in the occupied Palestinian territories. In November, Bensouda’s successor, Karim Khan had stated that the investigation would cover “the escalation of hostilities and violence” since October 7. However, Palestinian human rights organizations and legal representatives of victims have denounced delays and double standards in the investigation under Khan. In early December, Khan visited Israel, however he did not go to the Gaza strip despite the fact that Israel had already killed over 15,000 people by that time. Even prior to the ongoing attacks on Gaza which began on October 7, Palestinian human rights organizations had repeatedly called on Khan to issue preventive statements “to deter the commission of more crimes” by the Occupation. These calls, along with calls to expedite the investigation, were ignored.

These organizations have since urged the Court to issue arrest warrants for Israeli political, security and military officials “believed to be responsible for perpetrating, ordering, planning, and instigating international crimes, including genocide, committed over the past 100 days as well as since 13 June, 2014.” In its statement on Thursday, the Mexican foreign ministry emphasized “the importance of guaranteeing the independence of the ICC prosecutor to investigate crimes committed in the context of the conflict in Gaza.” The submission to the ICC was welcomed by the Palestinian foreign ministry, stating that the move “confirmed the urgent need for the Court to fulfill its mandate, to deter, investigate, and prosecute the most serious crimes of concern for the international community.” “Israeli officials are not deterred as they continue their genocidal war.”

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Saudis sitting on the fence.

Iran and US Use Saudi Arabia to Swap Messages and Cool Gaza Tensions (MEE)

Nine months since Riyadh and Tehran restored ties after years of animosity, Saudi Arabia has assumed a new role as an intermediary between Iran and the United States, three sources in Iran told Middle East Eye. High-ranking officials in Riyadh have been instrumental in relaying messages between the countries and reducing tensions over Israel’s war on Gaza. The process began in November, when Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian attended an emergency summit in Riyadh on the Gaza war attended by leaders from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League countries. An Iranian insider familiar with the matter told MEE that Amirabdollahian carried with him a message for the US to give to Saudi officials. It was a response to one recently received from Washington.

The Saudis then conveyed this message to senior officials in Washington, the source said. Another source in Iran’s foreign ministry told MEE that Saudi Arabia has been used as a conduit between the two sides alongside Oman, Qatar and Switzerland, which occasionally represents the US diplomatically in Tehran. The four countries have had to work as go-betweens repeatedly since the 7 October Hamas-led attack on Israel and the war on Gaza. Iran is the Palestinian group’s strongest backer, and other Iranian-associated groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi movement in Yemen have attacked Israel and Israeli- and US-linked targets as Israel’s assault on Gaza has escalated. According to the foreign ministry source, the communications passed between Iran and the US have primarily focused on curbing tensions and avoiding greater escalation in the region.

The source said Tehran had warned the US about the potential consequences if Israel’s war on Gaza, which has already killed 24,000 people, brings regional tensions to an uncontrollable level. These included Israel being defeated in a broader regional war and increased security pressure on the US military. The first source said Saudi Arabia has been used as a conduit when tensions have ramped up following Israel’s assassination of senior commanders from the “Axis of Resistance”, the Iran-backed group of countries and armed groups in the region. After Israel killed Razi Mousavi, a general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s elite Quds force, on 25 December, a Saudi delegation visited Tehran with a message from Washington that said the US wanted to contain the conflict in Gaza.

According to the first source, the US suggested potential concessions from Israel. One was that the US would not give backing or support to hard-right Israeli officials, which dominate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. This, the source said, would be contingent on Iran not trying to derail efforts to establish full ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a process that was interrupted by the outbreak of the Gaza war. On 8 January, Hossein Akbari, the Iranian ambassador to Syria, said that Iran had received a message from “one of the Persian Gulf countries”. According to Akbari, this country sent a delegation to Iran with a message from the Americans, offering a plan to resolve conflicts for the entire region, rather than solely addressing the Gaza war. MEE understands this Gulf country was Saudi Arabia.

Another Iranian insider told MEE that Washington used Saudi channels to inform Tehran that it was about to strike Yemen’s Houthis, who have been staging attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea to disrupt Israeli supplies and commerce. The message urged Iran to restrain its allied groups during the US strike. It also indicated that the strikes on the Houthis would not initially be too strong, but if Tehran reacted forcefully then a fierce US response would follow.

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“..a “deadly combination” of Biden’s “incompetence, radicalism, and weakness.”

American Democracy ‘In Danger’ – Trump (RT)

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has countered claims that his possible reelection to the White House poses an existential risk to the American way of life, telling supporters in the US state of New Hampshire on Saturday that it is Joe Biden’s ‘incompetence’ that represents the real threat to democracy. Trump was speaking in Manchester ahead of primary elections beginning on Tuesday that could further cement his status as the likely GOP candidate to challenge presumptive Democratic nominee Biden in November. But after being accused earlier this month by Biden of being “willing to sacrifice democracy,” the former US president turned the tables on his political rival, saying that Biden’s incapacity for the job is a clear and present danger to the United States. “He is a threat to democracy,” Trump said, his comments delivered under a giant sign reading: ‘Biden attacks democracy.’

He added: “We have to get him out. You know why he is a threat to democracy? A couple of reasons, but you know the first reason? He’s grossly incompetent.” It is an accusation that Trump has repeated on several occasions throughout his bid to return to the White House. In October, he blamed the Hamas attack on Israel on a “deadly combination” of Biden’s “incompetence, radicalism, and weakness.” Trump, who faces 91 charges in a range of criminal cases as he campaigns for the nation’s highest office, also accused Biden’s administration of “weaponizing” the justice system against him. He added that Biden’s efforts to do so are being enabled by his “protectors” in the “fake news” media. The comments appeared to be a reference to claims made by Biden in Pennsylvania earlier this month in which he said that Trump intends to uproot democracy to ensure he wins the election.

“Whether democracy is still America’s sacred cause is what the 2024 election is all about,” Biden said on January 5. “Donald Trump’s campaign is all about him, not America, not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future. He’s willing to sacrifice our democracy to put himself in power.” Meanwhile, GOP-nomination candidate Nikki Haley, whom polling suggests trails Trump by around ten percentage points in New Hampshire, openly questioned her Republican opponent’s mental fitness, following comments in recent days in which Trump appeared to mistake her for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “When you’re dealing with the pressures of a presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do it,” Haley said on Saturday.

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“..contingent election..” We touched on this before.

RFK Seeks Path to Victory by Forcing House to Elect President (ET)

To win the 2024 election as an independent, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is firstly hoping for an outright win, but the second path to victory is to make sure no other candidate wins 270 electoral votes. If no candidate reaches 270 electoral votes in a presidential election, the winner is decided in a contingent election by the House of Representatives, where each state votes as a bloc. The House has picked the president twice in American history. In 1800, Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson were deadlocked after the electoral votes were counted. The House cast their ballots to elect President Jefferson, who received 61 percent of the popular vote. When none of the four presidential candidates received an electoral vote majority in 1824, the House elected John Quincy Adams on Feb. 9 the following year.

“People are starting to realize that Bobby can win, with where he is in the polls,” Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, the campaign manager of Mr. Kennedy, told The Epoch Times. “They are starting to see that, for the first time in their lifetime, the two-party system can be broken and they can vote for somebody who excites them rather than having to vote for the lesser of two evils,” she said. Ms. Kennedy is also the candidate’s daughter-in-law. Ms. Kennedy said Mr. Kennedy could be considered a preferred candidate over former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, the likely Republican and Democrat nominees.

The prospect of Mr. Kennedy winning as a compromise candidate is relatively slim because a contingent United States election is decided by state delegations. Republicans currently hold a four-vote delegation lead, according to a tally maintained by ProPublica. The next House of Representatives, composed of lawmakers elected in 2024, would vote in a contingent election. A consensus forecast by 270toWin based on an aggregate of forecasts by five major analytics firms sees Republicans keeping their delegation majority in the House in 2024.

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“..We were the gatekeepers, and we very much owned the facts as well.”

WSJ Editor-in-Chief Admits To Davos Elites ‘We No Longer Own The News’ (ZH)

Thanks to the internet and (shrinking) press freedoms, legacy media outlets no longer have a monopoly on information and narratives. Case in point, during a WEF discussion at Davos entitled “Defending Truth,” Wall St. Journal EIC Emma Tucker lamented this loss of control over ‘the facts,’ as Modernity.news reports. “I think there’s a very specific challenge for the legacy brands, like the New York Times and like the Wall Street Journal,” Tucker said, adding “If you go back really not that long ago, as I say, we owned the news. We were the gatekeepers, and we very much owned the facts as well.” “If it said it in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, then that was a fact,” she continued, adding “Nowadays, people can go to all sorts of different sources for the news and they’re much more questioning about what we’re saying. “Russia, Russia, Russia!

European Commission VP Vera Jourova also piped up during the same discussion, calling the rise of “disinformation” a “security threat,” and suggesting that “It was part of the Russian military doctrine that they will start information war, and we are in it now.” Like when the Hillary Clinton campaign used a former (?) British spook’s Russian source to fabricate a hoax against Donald Trump, which was peddled through the Wall Street Journal and every single other legacy media outlet? That kind of information war? Or when 51 former US intelligence officials used disinformation to influence the 2020 election, suggesting the NY Post’s Hunter Biden laptop bombshell was Russian meddling? “Disinformation is a very powerful tool,” Jourová continued, adding that “In the EU we are focusing on improving of the system where the people will get the facts right. We don’t speak about opinions. We are not correcting anyone’s opinions or language. This is about the facts.” Bitch please.

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X thread from Wall Street Apes.

“Estimated Cost For Tax Payers: $1.6 Quadrillion Dollars..”

John Kerry Wants To Remove 1.6 Trillion Tons Of CO2 From The Atmosphere (X)

John Kerry Told The Washington Post He Wants To Remove 1.6 Trillion Tons Of Carbon Dioxide From The Atmosphere Via Direct Air Capture. Estimated Cost For Tax Payers: $1.6 Quadrillion Dollars That’s $1,600,000,000,000,000 (This isn’t a joke, he’s serious). “The lowest periods of carbon in the atmosphere and not only recorded history, in the history of life existing on the planet. In December of 2022, you told the Washington Post we need to remove 1,600,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via direct air capture. The cost for that is about $1,000 per ton or 1.6 quadrillion dollars. Now I said you said you didn’t know, But since 2015, since the last El Nino, about 500,000,000,000 tons have been have been emitted into the atmosphere. During that same period of time, 2015, if you look at the temperature graph, this is from NOAA.

The temperature has gone down. Show the next slide. This is from NASA satellite data. Temperature has gone down. You wanna have the Have the American taxpayers, my constituents that are having a hard time afford their groceries, pay for a car, buy a new home, Spend 1.6 quadrillion dollars to fix a problem that, a, doesn’t exist. And as a matter of fact, You might be exacerbating because it’s unknown. It is unknown at this time the low level that of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that might actually destroy life, because plant life all depends. As you know, secretary, Plant life all depends on CO2. And when we kill it, then we’re done too. I yield the ballots.”

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Eagle

 

 

Python

 

 

Lions

 

 

 

 

Peacock

 

 

Murmuration

 

 

Bears

 

 

 

 

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Jul 092023
 


Carl Frederik Aagaard View to the Amalfi Coast c1860 (woodblock)

 

Biden Admin Lying ‘About Everything to Do With Ukraine’ – RFK Jr. (Sp.)
Tucker Carlson Hopes Trump & RFK Jr. Win 2024 Nomination (Sp.)
‘Russian Victory’ Worse Than Civilian Cluster-bomb Deaths – Pentagon (RT)
Cluster Munitions Will Change Nothing for Ukraine (Scott Ritter)
Supplying Cluster Bombs To Ukraine Is Wrong – Spain (RT)
Germany Set Against Ukraine’s Bid for NATO Membership (Sp.)
France’s Macron Has Changed Mind About NATO – Bloomberg (RT)
France Blocks NATO Plans For Japan (RT)
Turkish Release Of Ukrainian Neo-nazis A Deal ‘Violation’ – Kremlin (RT)
BRICS Needs Qualitative Expansion, Says Russian Lawmaker (Sp.)
Biden Told China’s Xi To ‘Be Careful’ After Putin Meeting (RT)
Hell on Earth – A Mercenary’s Life In Ukraine (RT)
Terrorist Regime: Moscow Reacts to Kiev Admitting Attack on Crimean Bridge (Sp.)
DeSantis Ruined His Campaign With Attack On “pro-LGBTQ” Trump (Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

The film “Sound of Freedom” was written before anyone heard of qanon. And the real-life story it is based on is years older than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Sund
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677426193744707586

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

“We [US] wanted the war, for the reasons that Biden has said… The real reason for the war in Ukraine is regime change in Russia..”

Biden Admin Lying ‘About Everything to Do With Ukraine’ – RFK Jr. (Sp.)

The federal government under the administration of Joe Biden has been blatantly lying to the Americans “about everything to do with Ukraine,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in an interview for Judge Andrew Napolitano on his Judging Freedom podcast. “This was a sell job that they gave us on Ukraine,” insisted the 2024 Democratic candidate for US President. “The Russians tried to avoid a war… wanted to sign the Minsk Accords – a reasonable document – to keep NATO out of Ukraine, with Ukraine remaining neutral… That we [US] remove the Aegis missile systems from Romania, Poland, and that the murder…the wholesale killing of ethnic Russians in the Donbass by the Ukrainian government that America put in power stop. Those are all things that we should have agreed to,” stated the nephew of assassinated former US President John F. Kennedy.

He added that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky won in 2019 by promising to sign the Minsk accords. The complex series of measures negotiated by Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine in 2014-2015 in a bid to put an end to the armed conflict between the Kiev authorities and the breakaway region of Donbas. Moscow repeatedly stated that Kiev was not fulfilling the deal, for example not granting self-government to the Russian-speaking region of Donbass. In February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted he never intended to implement the Minsk agreements, with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Former French President Francois Hollande, who participated in the Normandy format, admitting the same.

“It is existential for the Russians… they have a legitimate national security interest,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pointed out, referring to Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. “We [US] wanted the war, for the reasons that Biden has said… The real reason for the war in Ukraine is regime change in Russia,” RJK Jr. emphasized in the interview on the Judging Freedom podcast. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. previously slammed decades of policy conducted by the US and NATO toward Ukraine and Russia for fueling the current conflagration. “We have neglected many, many opportunities to settle this war peacefully,” Kennedy said in June during a live town hall event with NewsNation.

He added that Washington had turned the ongoing conflagration in Ukraine into a proxy war waged by the United States against Russia. “We were told this was a humanitarian exercise. … But when President Biden was asked why are we over there, he said for regime change of [Russian President] Vladimir Putin,” the 2024 White House hopeful underscored. Weighing in on remarks by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said last year that Washington wanted “to see Russia weakened,” RJK Jr. scathingly remarked: “That is the opposite of a humanitarian mission, that is a mission about a war of attrition.”

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“Trump is the only person with stature in the Republican Party really who is saying, ‘Wait a second, why are we supporting an endless… [conflict] in Ukraine?”

Tucker Carlson Hopes Trump & RFK Jr. Win 2024 Nomination (Sp.)

Tucker Carlson hopes that Democratic candidate for US President Robert Kennedy Jr. and former POTUS Republican 2024 hopeful Donald Trump win their respective nominations. “Bobby Kennedy and Trump will both have a very tough time getting the nomination… I’m hoping that both of them will [win], of course,” Carlson said in an interview with English comedian and actor Russell Brand on Friday. “I’m hoping that their message will be heard… I don’t know. I don’t even know what I hope for in the process itself, but I want them to be heard. And they can now be heard. Because there are channels of information that people can tune into and listen,” the prominent reporter added. Carlson, who emphatically told the host that he “loves Trump,” dodged a question regarding the potential outcomes of the primaries, set to start early in 2024.

However, he insisted that in 10 years, “we’re going to see Trump’s emergence as the most significant thing to happen in American politics in 100 years because he reoriented the Republican Party against the wishes of Republican leaders.” Regarding Trump, the former anchor insisted that the Republican hopeful was right about the Ukraine crisis, saying: “Trump is the only person with stature in the Republican Party really who is saying, ‘Wait a second, why are we supporting an endless… [conflict] in Ukraine?” The journalist likened Donald Trump and RFK Jr. to Ross Perot and Teddy Roosevelt, respectively. “Teddy Roosevelt grew up rich. Of course, in New York, Trump, Bobby Kennedy is famous, [from] one of [the] most famous families in the world, in modern history, the Kennedys, and certainly the most famous family in Democratic politics,” he said.

“So these are people who know how the system works because they benefited from the system. And so their critique is much more meaningful and much more effective, I would say, because they can bear witness to what they have seen,” Carlson underscored. Trump, who is seeking an Oval Office comeback after losing the 2020 election to Biden, is a frontrunner in the Republican primary race that includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and his former vice president, Mike Pence. Others in the GOP ballgame include former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and several “longshots” in the fray. As for the much narrower 2024 Democratic field, leading it is White House incumbent Joe Biden. At 80, he is the oldest sitting president in US history, and can hardly boast of an approval rating barely above 40%.

His rival for nomination is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew to assassinated former US President John F. Kennedy. Incidentally, according to a YouGov survey, RFK Jr. boasts the highest favorability rating of all the current 2024 presidential candidates – 49 percent of respondents saw him favorably in June.

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Same for a nuclear bomb?

‘Russian Victory’ Worse Than Civilian Cluster-bomb Deaths – Pentagon (RT)

US fears of Russian success on the battlefield outweigh concerns that deliveries of cluster bombs to Ukraine could result in civilian casualties, a senior Pentagon official acknowledged on Friday. Speaking to reporters, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl defended the White House’s decision to approve another $800 million weapons package for Ukraine, including cluster munitions. The weapons are banned in more than 100 countries. When they detonate, the munitions release many small bomblets over a wide area. A percentage of bomblets fail to detonate on impact, however, and unexploded elements pose severe risks to civilians for years after fighting ends.

Asked if the Pentagon has assured its allies that the munitions will not cause excessive civilian harm, Kahl replied: “I’m as concerned about the humanitarian circumstance as anybody, but the worst thing for civilians in Ukraine is for Russia to win the war. And so it’s important that they don’t.” He added that Kiev had promised not to use cluster munitions in civilian-populated urban areas and to keep records of where the weapons are deployed to make future de-mining efforts easier. The official also portrayed the deliveries as a stop-gap measure until Kiev’s Western backers can ramp up production of conventional shells. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, US President Joe Biden described the decision to supply the controversial shells to Ukraine as “difficult.”

He said that it was in part motivated by the fact that both Kiev and Washington recognise a deficit in ordinary ammunition, adding that Ukraine “needed” cluster munitions to prevent Russia from stopping its ongoing counteroffensive. Commenting on the announcement, Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the US, called the move “a gesture of desperation,” adding that the West does not want to admit that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is faltering. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reacted by posting a clip of former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki from late February 2022, days after the start of the Ukraine conflict, saying that the use of cluster munitions could potentially be regarded as a war crime.

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“..when employed in real-life situations, the “dud” rate of the sub-munitions will be much higher—often up to 20%..”

Cluster Munitions Will Change Nothing for Ukraine (Scott Ritter)

The Biden administration has announced that it will be authorizing a new tranche of military support for Ukraine Totaling around $800 million, it will also feature Bradley and Stryker fighting vehicles, air defense missiles, and anti-mine equipment—and hundreds of thousands of 155mm artillery dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) rounds, the M864. The United States has, prior to the recent announcement, refused to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine for one simple reason—much of the world, including many of America’s NATO allies—views cluster munitions as representing an unacceptable risk to civilian life due to the high occurrence of “dud” munitions (i.e., munitions that fail to detonate on impact).

As a result, cluster munitions continue to kill long after the battle where they were employed has ended. The victims tend to be civilians who stumble upon these munitions and inadvertently set them off. While the US has refused to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), an international treaty that prohibits all use, transfer, production, and stockpiling of cluster munitions, it has recognized the need to develop cluster munitions with a designed “dud” rate of less than 1% to minimize the post-conflict risk to civilian populations. For this reason, the US military stopped using the M864 in 2016, replacing it with an improved DPICM round. While the M864 round does not meet the 1% “dud” threshold set by the US Dewhen employed in real-life situations, the “dud” rate of the sub-munitions will be much higher—often up to 20%partment of Defense for DPICM munitions, the Biden administration touts the fact that the M864 has a “dud” rate of less than 2%, which given the urgency of the need for artillery shells by Ukraine, is deemed to be an acceptable departure from the US norm.

However, like virtually every statement made by the United States regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the claim that the M864 DPICM rounds being sent to Ukraine are comprised only of batches “certified” as possessing a “dud” rate of less than 2% is a calculated lie. The tests cited—five of them, conducted between 1998 and 2020—were carried out at the KOFA firing range, located within the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, in Arizona, using the Terminal Ballistics Evaluation Area, which possesses a prepared and instrumented impact area optimized for data collection. This range employs a surface area consisting of hard-packed, flattened dirt designed to maximize point-detonating fuses such as those employed on the 24 M46 and 48 M42 dual-purpose anti-materiel/anti-personnel sub-munitions contained in each M864 round.

However,. Rough terrain, mud, soft soil, trees, and bushes all conspire to prevent the sub-munitions from detonating. Moreover, given that the lifespan of a 155mm artillery shell is 20 years, and that production of the M864 round, which began in 1987, terminated in 1996, the vast majority of the M864 artillery shells being provided to Ukraine have reached or exceeded their expiation date, which means that there is an increased probability that many of these shells will not perform as designed.

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“Through the cluster munition deliveries, Washington de-facto becomes an accomplice in mining [Ukraine’s] territory and will share full responsibility for the deaths… of both Russian and Ukrainian children.”

Supplying Cluster Bombs To Ukraine Is Wrong – Spain (RT)

Cluster munitions should not be used by Ukraine “under any circumstances,” Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Saturday. One day earlier, the US announced that it would send the controversial ordnance to Ukraine amid a shortage in conventional shells. “Spain, based on the firm commitment it has with Ukraine, also has a firm commitment that certain weapons and bombs cannot be delivered under any circumstances,” Robles told reporters after a rally in Madrid. Spain says “no to cluster bombs and yes to the legitimate defense of Ukraine, which we understand should not be carried out with cluster bombs,” Robles added, according to Reuters.

The White House announced on Friday that President Joe Biden had authorized the delivery of an unspecified number of dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM) to Kiev, based on the “unanimous” recommendation of the president’s national security team. The shells, which can be fired from Ukraine’s NATO-supplied 155mm artillery, scatter many small ‘bomblets’ over a wide area, some of which fail to immediately explode and pose severe risks to civilians for years after fighting ends. Cluster munitions are banned by more than 120 countries, although the US, Ukraine, and Russia are not parties to the ban. Biden’s decision was also criticized by Germany and the UK. However, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Friday that sending these weapons was necessary to “bridge” the gap until Kiev’s Western backers could increase production of conventional 155mm shells.

Speaking to CNN later on Friday, Biden was more blunt. “It was a very difficult decision on my part,” he said, claiming that he signed off on the supply because “the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition.” Last year, then White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki described Russia’s alleged use of similar ordnance as “potentially a war crime.” Moscow was dismissive of the news. Cluster bombs are “yet another ‘Wunderwaffe’ [wonder weapon] Washington and Kiev are betting on, without thinking about the harsh consequences,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Friday. “Through the cluster munition deliveries, Washington de-facto becomes an accomplice in mining [Ukraine’s] territory and will share full responsibility for the deaths… of both Russian and Ukrainian children.”

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“Berlin doesn’t want to see [Russian President] Vladimir Putin potentially test Article 5.”

Germany Set Against Ukraine’s Bid for NATO Membership (Sp.)

Germany plans to insist during the upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania that Ukraine should not be granted NATO membership, UK media reported on Saturday, citing an alliance source. The source said that Berlin plans to urge other NATO members during the Vilnius summit on July 11-12 that they should focus on security assurances to Kiev, and not NATO membership, in order not to risk a war with Russia. “Berlin is stand-offish at the prospect of offering immediate membership,” the source told The Telegraph, adding that Germany “wants a process and time to develop guarantees to essentially block membership,” since “Berlin doesn’t want to see [Russian President] Vladimir Putin potentially test Article 5.”


According to The Telegraph, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union are currently working on “Bucharest-plus” – a series of bilateral security offerings to Kiev – instead of offering Ukraine NATO membership. Individual offers of security guarantees to Kiev would then be combined into an umbrella deal, a “Memorandum of Understanding,” endorsed by NATO and the EU, the newspaper said, adding that, according to sources, it would be the “next best offer” to Kiev.

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Germany says no, Macron turns around and says yes. Is this a game?

France’s Macron Has Changed Mind About NATO – Bloomberg (RT)

By backing membership for Ukraine, the French president is trying to court Eastern European support, the newspaper’s sources said French President Emmanuel Macron © Nicolas Economou / Getty Images French President Emmanuel Macron realizes that Eastern European states are becoming more influential within NATO, and has shifted his rhetoric on the bloc to match them, Bloomberg reported on Saturday. Macron recently backed a “path” to NATO membership for Ukraine. Before the conflict in Ukraine began, Macron was regarded as one of Europe’s most NATO-skeptic leaders. He proclaimed the bloc “brain dead” in 2019, and spent his first term in office repeatedly calling for the establishment of a “true European army” independent from the US.

Even throughout the first year of the conflict, Macron stayed in phone contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin and distanced himself from “Anglo Saxon” leaders, whom he said seek to “annihilate” Russia. However, his rhetoric has since changed. In May, Macron called on NATO leaders to offer Kiev a “path” to full membership in the bloc, and declared that the EU and NATO should expand their military cooperation “as quickly as possible.” The shift was a calculated one, Bloomberg reported. Citing a diplomat from Eastern Europe, the newspaper explained that “positioning France alongside Ukraine’s fiercest supporters, Poland and the Baltic states, helps to fill the gap left by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s more cautious approach.”

A French diplomat framed Macron’s apparent conversion in more ideological terms, stating that the president “has understood he needs to be on the right side of history,” in Bloomberg’s words. In order to convince NATO’s eastern members, Macron will need to back his words with actions, the newspaper claimed. Although France was one of the first NATO members to provide Kiev with armored vehicles, France will likely need to up its spending on Ukraine to beyond its current level of 0.3% of GDP, Bloomberg suggested.

However, anonymous French officials told the newspaper that Macron’s government is already examining how its nuclear arsenal could “contribute to Ukraine’s security guarantees.” While offering to protect Ukraine with nuclear weapons would be a seriously escalatory step, some officials Bloomberg spoke to regarded Macron’s recent statement as “hot air.” With his attempts to dissuade Putin from sending troops to Ukraine failing last year and his offer to help China negotiate a peace deal languishing, one anonymous official explained that Macron is enthusiastically backing NATO expansion simply because everything else he has tried “hasn’t worked.”

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This is about China.

France Blocks NATO Plans For Japan (RT)

Paris has refused to approve a scheme to open a NATO liaison office in Japan, arguing the bloc should not extend itself beyond the North Atlantic, according to an Elysee Palace official cited by Politico. “NATO means North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” the official told journalists on Friday, warning against blurring the lines and emphasizing that even the notorious Article 5 of the bloc’s treaty specifically refers to maintaining the “security of the North Atlantic area.” “We are not in favor as a matter of principle,” the official added. “As far as the office is concerned, the Japanese authorities themselves have told us that they are not extremely attached to it.” French President Emmanuel Macron personally believes that the body’s charter imposes geographic limitations which bar NATO from expanding into Asia, according to a recent report by the Financial Times.

Back in May, Japanese Ambassador to the US Koji Tomita said that Japan was “working” towards opening a NATO liaison office in Tokyo, which would become the bloc’s first in Asia. The scheme has been discussed intermittently since 2007, when Japan’s then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe first visited NATO’s headquarters, and was raised again in recent months. Tokyo has steadily increased its cooperation with the bloc over the years, opening its first NATO branch office in Brussels in 2018. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida became the first Japanese leader to attend a NATO summit last year. Japan, as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, have also been invited to the 2023 summit that will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11 and 12, as the bloc shows increased interest in the Indo-Pacific in recent years.

China objected to NATO’s creeping expansion, claiming that the bloc should remain within its own sphere of influence and not seek to grow its presence in Asia, arguing the region “does not welcome bloc confrontation or military blocs.” Russia, which strongly opposes NATO’s expansion in Eastern Europe, also criticized the bloc’s attempts to extend its activities into Asia. In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the push by the US and its allies to create what he called a “global NATO” resembled the actions of Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan in the 1930s before the outbreak of World War II.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1676314362024263682

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Putin trusted Erdogan.

Turkish Release Of Ukrainian Neo-nazis A Deal ‘Violation’ – Kremlin (RT)

Allowing former commanders of the neo-Nazi Azov regiment to return to Ukraine is a “direct violation” of a 2022 prisoner swap deal between Moscow and Kiev that also involved Türkiye, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday. Earlier the same day, the five previously interned Azov commanders flew from Türkiye to Ukraine aboard President Vladimir Zelensky’s plane. The Ukrainian leader hailed the development as a “return of heroes” and published a video of the five men boarding his aircraft on Facebook. Zelensky had arrived in Türkiye on a short visit after an invitation by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Both the Ukrainian and Turkish sides breached the provisions [of the deal] in this case,” Peskov said, commenting on the developments. He also said that Moscow had not been duly informed of Ankara’s decision to hand over the five Ukrainians. Türkiye was apparently “forced” to take this step ahead of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that the Turkish leadership had to demonstrate “solidarity” with the military bloc and that Moscow was “well aware” of that. “Yet, a breach of an agreement flatters no one,” the official stressed. Ankara has so far not commented on the developments.

Under a major prisoner exchange agreement reached in September 2022, five commanders, including top Azov leaders, were to stay in Türkiye until the end of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. At that time, Zelensky himself explicitly stated that Kiev had agreed to that condition. Erdogan then offered the five Ukrainians protection. All of them were captured by the Russian forces and Donbass militias in spring 2022 following the lengthy siege of the Azovstal steel plant in the Azov Sea port city of Mariupol.

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“..a pool of reserve currencies, which should show itself – I think it will be after the summit in August..”

BRICS Needs Qualitative Expansion, Says Russian Lawmaker (Sp.)

On Friday, Belarusian Ambassador to Brazil Sergey Lukashevich has passed a note to the Brazilian government conforming Minsk’s desire to become a full-fledged member of BRICS. The bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, needs more countries, but they must be a good fit and not just selected artificially simply for the sake of getting “more flags,” said Andrey Klimov, deputy head of the Russian upper chamber’s committee on foreign affairs, adding that it is worth considering different formats for membership. According to the senator, it would not be right to force the process.

“In fact, there are many applications, but the main goal is to consolidate the efforts of sovereign powers that play a huge role in their continent and even in the world. To force this artificially is probably not very right, although some would like to have more countries, more flags, more numbers of some kind. I am still in favor of adding quality,” Klimov said. He cited the example of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which did not expand quickly, and recalled that BRICS initially consisted only of Russia, India, and China. “Time will tell how the BRICS will develop. We already have a New Development Bank of BRICS, it is getting on its feet, a pool of reserve currencies, which should show itself – I think it will be after the summit in August,” he said.

“If we just follow some information agenda and think about PR, it will hardly give us any added value. In this regard, we will move towards a formula that is closer to me – BRICS+. Countries have the right to work in the BRICS format in different areas, from sports to finance, and one can become a member of the BRICS New Development Bank without joining BRICS. Participation in the championships organized by BRICS without being part of the organization is also possible,” Klimov noted.

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He must have been very impressed.

Biden Told China’s Xi To ‘Be Careful’ After Putin Meeting (RT)

US President Joe Biden called on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping ‘to be careful’ after Xi visited Moscow back in March, the American leader has told CNN. In extracts from the interview released on Saturday, Biden said he had highlighted what he called the Asian giant’s dependence on European and US investments. “I said: This is not a threat. This is an observation,” Biden told CNN. “Since Russia went into Ukraine, 600 American corporations have pulled out of Russia. And you have told me that your economy depends on investment from Europe and the United States. And be careful. Be careful,” he added.

Following their Moscow talks, Putin and Xi signed documents on deepening the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership and economic cooperation. Both governments emphasized their readiness to work towards a trade volume of $200 billion or higher, with national currencies increasingly being used in a bid to de-dollarize trade. The conflict in Ukraine was discussed during the Moscow visit as well, with China maintaining its neutral position. Beijing has repeatedly criticized the West’s “abuse” of unilateral economic sanctions and has made efforts toward a peaceful resolution in Ukraine, proposing a twelve-point peace plan. In May, a Chinese special envoy visited several countries, including Russia and Ukraine, in an effort to broker an end to the conflict.

Biden’s CNN interview comes as US relations with China are far from calm, with Taiwan and security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region among the key issues exacerbating strained ties. President Biden himself provoked a diplomatic incident in June, when he called his Chinese counterpart a “dictator” during a speech. While the US president dismissed concerns that his comment could hinder efforts to improve relations, the Chinese embassy issued a formal protest in response, and foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning denounced the remark as an “open political provocation.”

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“..mercenaries sent by the West to assist the nationalist regime in Kiev… are not entitled to the status of prisoner of war under international humanitarian law.”

Hell on Earth – A Mercenary’s Life In Ukraine (RT)

For veterans of US wars in the Middle East, adapting to an enemy like Russia has proven difficult. Earlier this year, an Australian mercenary fighting against Wagner Group forces in Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) described the Russian private military company as a “near peer” opponent to any Western military, while several Americans have reported Russian shelling as orders of magnitude more intense than anything they experienced in their previous combat tours. “[The artillery] is nonstop,” a former US Marine told ABC News in February. “It’s been nonstop. All day and night. The life expectancy is around four hours on the frontline.” “This is my third war I’ve fought in, and this is by far the worst one,” another former Marine toldThe Daily Beast last week. “You’re getting f**king smashed with artillery, tanks. Last week I had a plane drop a bomb next to us, like 300 meters away. It’s horrifying s**t.”

Those behind the front are often just as likely to be killed. As many as 20 foreign mercenaries, including several Colombians and at least one American, died in a Russian missile strike on a temporary brigade base in the Donbass city of Kramatorsk last month. “If we discover such gatherings, for example, as in Kramatorsk, we will destroy them, because these are people who have declared war on us,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the strike. By April 2022 there were just under 7,000 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries operating in Ukraine, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. By May of this year, that number had fallen to 2,500. It is unclear how many foreigners have been killed, captured, or deserted since last April. With the Ukrainian military reportedly unwilling to collect even its own dead along hot sectors of the front line, the families of foreign fighters can wait for months for closure.

This was the case for the family of Irishman Finbar Cafferkey, whose remains were found near Artyomovsk this week, three months after he was reported dead. According to the Irish Times, “it may be months” before Ukrainian authorities return Cafferkey’s body to Ireland. For those captured alive, the situation is no less severe. Mercenaries are not entitled to any protections under the Geneva Convention, as British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner found when they were captured by Donetsk People’s Republic forces last year and sentenced to death. While both men were eventually repatriated in a prisoner swap, the Russian Foreign Ministry has reminded would-be volunteers that “mercenaries sent by the West to assist the nationalist regime in Kiev… are not entitled to the status of prisoner of war under international humanitarian law.”

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“Now they have embarked on a plan for ‘their own salvation’- systematic infliction of damage to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” added Maria Zakharova..”

Terrorist Regime: Moscow Reacts to Kiev Admitting Attack on Crimean Bridge (Sp.)

Detonation of a truck bomb on the 19-km bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula to the region of Krasnodar on the Russian mainland on October 8, 2022, killed three people, causing part of the road section to collapse into the sea. Kiev refused to take responsibility, yet its officials had gloated over the attack in Twitter posts. “Terrorist regime,” was the succinct response of Russia’s Foreign Ministry to Ukrainian deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar’s admission that Kiev had carried out the attack on the Crimean Bridge in autumn of 2022. “273 days since we struck the first blow on the Crimean Bridge to disrupt the logistics of the Russians,” Maliar had written on Telegram on Saturday. “Now they have embarked on a plan for ‘their own salvation’- systematic infliction of damage to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” added Maria Zakharova, the official spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in a Telegram post.

Previously, a huge threat of a sabotage at the ZNPP from Kiev amid its stuttering counteroffensive was emphasized by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Up until now, the Kiev regime has refused to claim responsibility for the attack on the 19-km long bridge – the longest in Europe and connecting the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia’s Krasnodar region. Crimea reunited with Russia in March 2014 after a referendum in which over 96% of the peninsula’s voters said “yes” to reunification. The bridge was opened by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in May 2018. A truck was blown up on the road section of the Crimean Bridge on 8 October, causing two car spans partially to collapse into the sea. Seven fuel tanks of a freight train on the adjacent rail section caught fire. Three people were killed. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the blast on Crimean Bridge a terrorist attack aimed at destroying civilian infrastructure.

Immediately after the attack, Russian authorities announced a series of measures to repair damage and ensure stable transport ties between Crimea and Krasnodar Territory. Putin signed a decree Saturday night to step up security for transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, as well as electricity and energy infrastructure in the area. At the time, Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, hinted at Kiev’s responsibility for the terrorist incident in a series of meme-riddled posts on social media. Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak had gloated that the attack on the bridge was just “the beginning” and that “everything illegal must be destroyed” and “everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine.”

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“It portrays him as an LGBTQ+ ally, which the ad frames as something bad, with DeSantis as the community’s enemy, which is somehow good.”

DeSantis Ruined His Campaign With Attack On “pro-LGBTQ” Trump (Blankenship)

Ever since former President Donald Trump announced his new campaign for the White House in November last year, many (including myself) believed that DeSantis had a chance to surpass him. This optimism was not only based on the polls but also on the feedback I got from individuals residing in deeply conservative regions of the country. However, DeSantis’ campaign faced some initial setbacks, leading to a decline in his poll numbers. The latest poll from Echelon Insights in June shows him at 16% support, while Trump stands at an impressive 49%. Things are obviously not going as planned for the governor. It is crucial to understand that politics can be a complex game, and negativity seldom leads to success. Unfortunately, DeSantis has been running a campaign that emphasizes division and conflict instead of unity and growth.

This approach does not align with good political strategy, regardless of how you analyze it. Look no further than the recent anti-Trump ad published by the unofficial DeSantis War Room and shared by the official DeSantis campaign. The ad, which has so far garnered over 25 million views on Twitter, takes a negative stance toward Donald Trump’s purported support for the LGBTQ+ community. It portrays him as an LGBTQ+ ally, which the ad frames as something bad, with DeSantis as the community’s enemy, which is somehow good. While some might argue that Republicans do not need the support of the LGBTQ+ community to secure victory in 2024, this assumption is mistaken. The US is a country that does not openly condone hatred, and it is a country that, by and large, tends to have less conservative social views than the rest of the world and is also based on secularism.

Instead, to be a conservative demands a certain level of tact and finesse in political life. A candidate cannot merely declare themselves against any group of people and expect societal acceptance or political success, either by the groups they attack or society as a whole. However, they can certainly support policies that at least claim to address the concerns of the community they might dislike deep down while still upholding conservative values, thereby appealing to a broader base of support.

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Plimer

 

 

 

 

African Union
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677418332805292032

 

 

Water scooter

 

 

Croc

 

 

 

 

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May 312023
 


John Singer Sargent Palmettos, Florida 1917

 

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Jim Rogers Is Bracing For The Worst Bear Market Of His Life (BI)
Student Loans Represent 7% of US GDP (ZH)
Greece and Poland Join Forces to Seek German War Reparations (GR)
Donald Trump, Pence’s Taskforce, and DeSantis’s Revisionist Attacks (NP)
‘Swiftboating America’ (Mahncke)

 

 


Former Ukraine PM AZAROV: “Over the years, presidents of Ukraine made promises to turn the country into a new France or a new Switzerland. Zelensky went further than anyone and turned the country into a new Afghanistan, to the delight of the Anglo-Saxons and defense companies.”

 

 

Putin: NOT geopolitics

 

 

 

 

Lavrov genocide
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663332335620874240

 

 

 

 

RFK Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663573559044702210

 

 

 

 

Kiev supermarket
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663363631520661504

 

 

Carrey

 

 

Sources in Kiev said that as a result of a strike on a military facility on Rybalsky Island, one of the control centers was hit. With the beginning of the air raid, the personnel of the center descended into the shelter, but the Russian Aerospace starwars Forces used a missile with a penetrating warhead, which pierced through the building, penetrated the foundation and exploded, destroying the shelter, where at that moment there were up to a hundred officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and civilian personnel, including twenty foreign military from the USA and Great Britain, who interacted between the Center and similar Western headquarters. A rescue operation was immediately launched. Its results are unknown, but, according to the call center of the Kiev “Ambulance”, more than ten cars were immediately pulled there and about thirty flights were made. On the same evening, two helicopters urgently took off from Kiev towards the border with Poland.

 

 

 

 

Two different fronts: Kosovo and Belgrade. This is from China’s Global Times:

NATO Is Creating Another Battlefield On European Continent (GT)

The situation in the Balkans is now at an explosive point. KFOR, the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, clashed with Serb protesters on Monday. The tension arose after ethnic Albanian mayors took office in northern Kosovo’s Serb majority area after April elections that the Serbs boycotted. Kosovo and Serbia have long-running tensions. Kosovo was originally an autonomous province of Serbia in the former Yugoslavia. With the support of the US and the West, Kosovo has been seeking to move further on the road of “independent statehood” and adopted a hardline attitude toward Serbia. NATO’s involvement has further exacerbated the rift between Kosovo and Serbia, leading to military conflicts between the two sides and undermining the peace and unity of the Western Balkans.

As the situation escalates, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has called on Kosovo to tone down tensions with Serbia. But it remains doubtful if NATO truly wants to stop the conflict. The NATO-led multinational contingents were deployed to four municipalities in Kosovo to contain “violent demonstrations” as “newly elected mayors in recent days tried to take office,” KFOR said in a statement. NATO calls for easing tensions on one hand, but on the other hand, increases military presence. It seems that NATO is just buying time to arm Kosovo, analysts argued. From its past wars, it’s clear the US is quite good at pretending fairness in stopping a fight while helping one side, buying time for those it supports by calling for a ceasefire. The promises made by NATO and other Western countries to protect the Serbs in Kosovo simply cannot be fulfilled. An article in the Financial Times said that the West’s push to heal the divide between Serbia and Kosovo is ill-fated.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times that NATO forces did not truly engage in peacekeeping in Serbia and Kosovo, but rather aimed to maintain the basic fact of “Kosovo’s independence” and helped Kosovo oppress Serbs. Serbia’s sovereignty and national security aren’t NATO’s priority. “The Russia-Ukraine conflict has not yielded any results for peace, and there is a possibility of escalation. The possibility of renewed conflict in the Balkans also exists. Because the Russia-Ukraine conflict has not achieved the desired effect for the US, Washington needs to create a new war on the European continent,” Song said. From the perspective of the US, the country is not concerned about the possibility of more wars breaking out in Europe, as it is not directly involved in the region. Washington can withdraw its military forces at any time.

Washington actually hopes to see chaos in Europe, as well as the mess of the European economy and Europe’s dependence on the US. The US does not want a united and strong Europe to exist. Meanwhile, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict has consumed much of the US energy and resources, the US is likely to view the worsening rift between Serbia and Kosovo as an opportunity that it can take advantage of to weaken Russia’s influence in Serbia and the Balkans. The ultimate goal of the US is to have both Europe and Russia suffer losses, which is more in line with its global strategy and hegemonic interests. Now the US sees Europe as two powder kegs, one in a hot war and one about to explode. In Washington’s eyes, Europe’s crisis is an opportunity for the US to take advantage of.

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“Not only have they shown their incompetence … [they] themselves became a source of unnecessary violence, an escalation factor..”

NATO Is ‘Escalation Factor’ In Kosovo – Moscow (RT)

Instead of defusing hostilities between the local authorities and the Serbian ethnic majority in the northern part of Kosovo, NATO troops have only exacerbated the unrest, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Tuesday. Zakharova pointed out that the situation in the area had reached “a critical red line.” She was referring to violent clashes between local Serbs and NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) that erupted after the bloc’s soldiers attempted to disperse demonstrators that were protesting against the inauguration of the new mayor of the Albanian ethnicity. The stand-off resulted in dozens of injuries on both sides. The unrest came after local Serbs, who have long sought for more autonomy, boycotted Pristina-backed elections in the northern part of Kosovo.

Despite a turnout of less than 4%, local authorities treated them as legitimate, resulting in the election of four ethnically Albanian mayors. Zakharova argued that the crisis in Kosovo, which could be resolved peacefully, turned out to be “a nut too hard to crack” for NATO service members. “Not only have they shown their incompetence … [they] themselves became a source of unnecessary violence, an escalation factor,” the spokeswoman claimed. As a result, those who were charged with protecting Serbs from this crackdown, “supported Pristina’s xenophobic aspirations, basically turning into terror accomplices” by defending local authorities, she said. The spokeswoman also urged the West to “silence its false propaganda” and stop accusing desperate Serbs of provoking incidents when they were just trying to defend their legitimate rights in a peaceful manner.

“While looking for the guilty, mediators from the US and the EU should muster up some courage and look in the mirror,” the official stated. “To de-escalate, decisive steps are needed, and not half-measures like an idea proposed by the US to temporarily ‘move’ the newly-minted ‘mayors’ from municipal buildings to other facilities,” Zakharova stressed, adding that those steps may include the creation of an association of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo. The region unilaterally declared independence in 2008 with the support of the US and many of its allies. It is not recognized by several countries, including Russia, China, and Serbia itself.

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Promises were made to the Serbs in Kosovo, and not kept. Sound familiar? If you base your far-reaching actions on “elections” with a turnout under 4%, then yes, you will have trouble.

Maidan-Style Coup Attempt Unfolding In Belgrade — Russian Ambassador (TASS)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s opponents are trying to stage a Maidan-style coup (the term “Maidan” was coined after Kiev’s central Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, to refer to anti-government riots) in the capital, Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko said on Tuesday. “This is part of the hybrid war. I would like to stress that anti-Belgrade forces acted almost synchronously; they operate on two fronts – this is the situation in Kosovo and attempts at a Maidan coup here, in Belgrade,” he said. An anti-government rally was held in Belgrade on May 28. The protesters gathered near the building of Serbia’s national broadcaster. It was the fourth protest rally in the past month. Grass-roots demonstrations under the slogan Serbia Against Violence were held in Belgrade on May 8, 12, and 19 following two shootings that occurred on consecutive days in the country on May 3 and 4.


The first was a school shooting in Belgrade where ten people died and seven were wounded, followed up by eight people being killed and 14 wounded by an armed man in Mladenovac the next day. People demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic and chief of the Security Information Agency Aleksandar Vulin. Apart from that, the demonstrators insisted that some pro-government media propagating violence and hatred be shut down. The first rally was quite peaceful, with practically no anti-government slogans. People were simply congregating in silence in front of the parliamentary building. During the second rally, protesters blocked a bridge across the Sava River and chanted anti-government slogans. The third demonstration had an anti-government character too. According to the Serbian interior ministry, more than 11,000 people took part in these rallies.

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Yeah, that will bring peace… Military troops vs civilians.

NATO To Send More Troops To Kosovo Following Clashes (RT)

The NATO bloc will deploy 700 additional peacekeepers to Kosovo, where 30 troops were wounded during clashes with local Serb protesters. Another battalion will be placed on high alert in the event of further escakation. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the move during a Tuesday press briefing, saying the deployment was a response to recent “attacks” on the peacekeeping force, which he said were “unacceptable.” Stoltenberg urged officials in Pristina and Belgrade to take “concrete steps” to de-escalate the situation, and said the two sides should participate in an EU-brokered dialogue. Violent clashes between local Serbs and NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) erupted after peacekeepers attempted to disperse demonstrators protesting the inauguration of a an Albanian mayor in a Serb-majority area. The standoff resulted in dozens of injuries on both sides.

The unrest came after local Serbs, who have long sought autonomy in Kosovo, boycotted Pristina-backed elections in several regions of Serbia’s breakaway province. Despite a turnout of less than 4%, local authorities accepted the votes as legitimate, announcing the election of four Albanian mayors. KFOR was first established in 1999 in the wake of NATO’s intervention in the Kosovo conflict on behalf of Kosovar Albanians and the bloc’s months-long bombing campaign in Serbia. The force consisted of around 50,000 troops at its height, but has since declined to about 3,700 soldiers today.

Kosovo has seen several waves of unrest since the 1999 war. In 2008, the Western-backed Albanian authorities unilaterally declared independence from Belgrade. The move was quickly backed by the United States and many other Western countries. Russia and China are among the states that continue to view Kosovo as part of Serbia. Moscow has said NATO is largely responsible for the recent spike in hostilities. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova accused the alliance of becoming “a source of unnecessary violence” and an “escalation factor” in the region. She urged the bloc to “silence its false propaganda” against local Serbs, who she said had been wrongly blamed for provoking incidents.

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“The early morning assault specifically targeted the wealthiest areas of the city, where Putin and multiple Russian elites have homes.”

Another Strike on Vladimir Putin? (GP)

Did the Ukrainians attempt to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday morning? Did they have assistance? The Daily Mail reported that Moscow was attacked by several suspected Ukrainian drones Tuesday morning ostensibly in revenge for Russian attacks on Kyiv. The early morning assault specifically targeted the wealthiest areas of the city, where Putin and multiple Russian elites have homes. One local resident pointed out the attacks all happened within “an earshot” of Putin’s official residence in Novo-Ogaryovo. Here are the full details from the Daily Mail:

“Several buildings were damaged in wealthy suburbs of Moscow, including the elite district of Rublyovka to the south-west of the capital. One drone exploded into a mushroom cloud near the village of Usovo, which is just down the road from Putin’s official Novo-Ogaryovo residence. Explosive drones also struck blocks of flats in Leninsky Prospekt and Profsoyuznaya Street about six miles from the centre of Moscow, reportedly wounding several residents and damaging the buildings. Tuesday’s early morning raid targeted some of Moscow’s wealthiest areas including a western enclave where Putin and the elite have residences. Two people were injured while some Russians in two damaged apartment blocks were briefly evacuated, according to Moscow’s mayor.”

The New York Times notes that this marked the first time strikes hit civilian areas in the Russia’s capital. Looks like the crazy ukrainian lunatics may be planning on attacking Moscow? What is Biden getting us into? [..] If Ukraine was involved in this attack, the odds of World War III just skyrocketed. A peace deal must be struck quickly.

Maiman
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663467784578412544

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“The Russian Federation has been sentenced to ‘capital punishment’ in the [West] long ago. But simply, they don’t have it in them to achieve this goal..”

US ‘Encourage’ Ukraine To Attack Russia – Ambassador (RT)

The US has been inciting Ukraine to strike Russian territory, despite claiming the opposite, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday. Antonov argued that Washington’s statements in response to the recent drone raid on the Russian capital “sound like an encouragement for Ukrainian terrorists.” “Doesn’t the [US] administration understand that no one believes their slogans about non-support of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory?!” the diplomat said, according to a statement on the embassy’s Telegram channel. Antonov’s remarks came after a White House spokesperson told reporters that “as [a] general matter, we do not support attacks inside of Russia.” The goal of the drone attack was to “sow fear among Russians” and undermine trust in the authorities, he said.


“The Russian Federation has been sentenced to ‘capital punishment’ in the [West] long ago. But simply, they don’t have it in them to achieve this goal,” the ambassador stated. Drones carrying explosives crashed into residential buildings in Moscow on Tuesday morning. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, eight UAVs participated in the attack, and all of them were either destroyed by air defenses, or veered off course due to the use of jamming equipment. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said that no one was killed or seriously injured. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s senior adviser Mikhail Podoliak denied Kiev’s involvement in the attack, but suggested that more similar raids would come.

We’re taking no blood

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Putin will not attend: “the immunities do not override any warrant issued by any international tribunal (like the ICC) against any attendee..”

Russia Will Be Appropriately Represented At BRICS Summit – Kremlin (RT)

Russia plans to take part in the BRICS summit in South Africa at the “proper level,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday in response to a question about whether President Vladimir Putin would attend. Putin has been invited to the gathering. However, by virtue of being a signatory to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has issued a warrant against the Russian leader for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, South Africa would be obliged to arrest him if he attends. The 15th BRICS Summit in August will bring together the leaders of the world’s leading emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Speaking at a news briefing on Tuesday, Peskov emphasized, as cited by the news agency TASS, that “Russia attributes great importance to the development of this integration format.”


Moscow will therefore “take part in this summit at the proper level.” Although he did not give any specifics, he offered assurances that “all the details” on the issue would be provided at a later stage. “We count as a bare minimum on partner countries in such an important format not being guided by such illegal decisions,” he said in reaction to a query about Pretoria implementing the warrant, Reuters reported. South Africa’s Foreign Ministry has granted diplomatic immunity to foreign officials participating in the summit from August 22-24, as well for a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers this week. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, explained that such immunities are customary for international gatherings. However, “the immunities do not override any warrant issued by any international tribunal (like the ICC) against any attendee,” he clarified in a tweet.

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Oil simply follows the path of least resistance. It doesn’t go away. Too much demand for that.

“India’s fuel exports to Europe over the past 12 months have jumped by over 70% [..] there is precious little the EU could do to change this without plunging the European economy into a deep recession brought on by fuel price inflation.”

Oil Flows Can Only Be Redirected, Not Stopped (Slav)

Asian oil imports were due for a marked rebound this month after the end of the maintenance season. Chances are that a lot of the additional oil would be coming from Russia, which has become one of the largest suppliers of China and India. In fact, Russian oil flows are growing despite claims from Moscow that it has reduced its total oil production. According to Bloomberg, Russian oil exports actually hit the highest since the start of 2022 last month. This is happening in the context of the most severe sanction push by the collective West against the country. And it is the clearest evidence yet of just how essential oil is for the functioning of the global economy. Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s biggest oil clients were European countries. For China and India, it was a minor supplier. Since last year this has changed dramatically.

Now, China and India are the two biggest buyers of Russian crude. The two together took in as much as 80% of Russia’s total oil exports last month, according to the International Energy Agency. And the total, at 8.3 million barrels daily, was markedly higher than the annual average for both last year and the year before that. What’s more, Europe, which placed an embargo on direct Russian oil and fuel imports, has been taking in more fuels made in Asia—notably India. In fact, it seems to be taking in a lot of these fuels if the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell had to call publicly for an end to this practice. Indeed, India’s fuel exports to Europe over the past 12 months have jumped by over 70%, Reuters reported earlier this month. The report also noted that there is precious little the EU could do to change this without plunging the European economy into a deep recession brought on by fuel price inflation.

So, while until a year ago, Russian crude and fuels were going mostly to Europe directly, now almost all crude oil that Russia exports ends up in China and India. From there, processed into fuels, it goes to Europe. The routes have shifted. Oil demand has not. It is because of the resilience of oil demand that Russia’s oil revenues are recovering, too. In a recent report, Finland-based energy think tank Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air said Moscow’s oil export revenues have rebounded to the highest since last November over the past couple of months. The authors noted that total budget revenues were down in April on an annual basis, but added that “Russia was able to export its main crude oil variety, for the first time, at prices that were systematically above the price cap level set by the U.S., EU and allies.”

There has been a lot of reporting about how China and India were benefiting from the discount at which Russian crude sells because of the sanctions. Most of that reporting has had an optimistic spin along the following lines: sanctions and the price cap are working because Russian oil is flowing, keeping global prices in check and bringing in lower revenues for the Kremlin. What the optimistic spin omits is that Russian oil prices remain tied to global prices, and as global prices recover, so do the prices of Russian crude, as stated by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. In other words, global oil demand, and Asian oil demand specifically, is so inelastic that no amount of sanctions can sap it.

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They simply refuse to testify or provide files. Sort of like the FBI in the US. Ursula must be fired, or the EU has a giant credibility problem. The total bill is €21.5 billion..

Pfizer, the EU, and Disappearing Ink (Pol.eu)

It’s as if Pfizer’s massive COVID-19 vaccine deal with the European Commission were written with disappearing ink: the more time passes, the more details seem to vanish. For a while now controversy has raged around the text messages supposedly exchanged between Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla in the run-up to the April 2021 deal for 1.1 billion doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. The content and even existence of the messages has been shrouded in secrecy, with requests for clarification met with a fat “no comment.” On Friday, the Commission said it had reached a long sought-after deal with Pfizer to revise the terms of the contract. The new deal cuts down the 450 million doses that were still due to be delivered in 2023, and spreads them out over the next four years.

That’s all the information you get. The Commission isn’t revealing the new number of doses that member countries must buy, nor any of the financial terms of the amended contract. A lack of transparency has been a consistent feature of this deal. The Commission refused a Brussels journalist’s “access to documents” request to see von der Leyen’s alleged messages with Bourla — despite reproach from the European Ombudsman. The EU’s budget watchdog was blocked from looking into the negotiations, with no explanation given. The European Parliament’s committee on COVID-19 didn’t fare any better, with von der Leyen dodging a summons to appear in front of MEPs to answer their questions. It wasn’t always like this. The Commission was initially keen to flaunt the deal, which secured up to 1.8 billion doses of the vaccine that the U.S. pharmaceutical company jointly developed with Germany’s BioNTech.

Back then in April 2021, COVID-19 was still raging and governments were scrambling to secure access to limited supplies of vaccines; a couple of months earlier, the recently Brexited U.K. had secured a preferential supply line from AstraZeneca. Then came the big contract. It was the third deal the Commission had signed with BioNTech/Pfizer, but it dwarfed anything that came before. It locked the bloc into purchasing 900 million doses of vaccine upfront — enough to vaccinate the EU’s adult population three times over. Eventually an option for another 200 million doses was exercised, bringing the total number of doses to 1.1 billion, worth €21.5 billion based on vaccine prices reported by the Financial Times. Von der Leyen even took a victory lap in the New York Times, revealing that she took an unusual personal role in the talks in the run-up to the deal.

In the article, titled “How Europe Sealed a Pfizer Vaccine Deal With Texts and Calls”, the U.S. newspaper cites interviews with both von der Leyen and Bourla, revealing that the two texted and called each other in the run-up to the contract. At the top of the article, von der Leyen is photographed staring, steely-eyed, out of the Berlaymont onto Brussels, lending her face to the deal. More recently, though, the contract has become something of an embarrassment for the EU’s executive. [..] Alexander Fanta, a Brussels reporter at Netzpolitik, put in an “access to documents” request after reading the New York Times story. The Commission said it couldn’t find the texts, earning a rap on the knuckles from the European Ombudsman.

The EU’s budget watchdog, the European Court of Auditors, also came up against a wall of silence. In a report on the EU’s vaccine procurement published September last year, the agency auditors said that unlike with other contract negotiations, the Commission refused to provide records of the discussions with Pfizer, either in the form of minutes, names of experts consulted, agreed terms, or other evidence. Next it was the turn of the European Parliament. The committee on COVID-19, led by Belgian Socialist Kathleen Van Brempt, didn’t fare any better that the auditors. Twice, Pfizer’s CEO refused to appear in front of MEPs. And senior figures in the Parliament blocked a public cross-examination of the Commission president. Even the New York Times, where von der Leyen first trumpeted her success, is now suing the Commission to have the text messages released.

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The investigation into Hunter started in 2018…

Growing List of Whistleblowers Reporting Reprisal Under Biden Admin (ET)

In just under two-and-a-half years of the Biden administration, a growing number of whistleblowers have come forward to allege serious misconduct from officials in the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and even the White House. By law, whistleblowers are protected from retaliation. However, according to several recent whistleblowers, reprisal has been a common result for individuals who have come forward with allegations of misconduct under the current administration. Below are some of the individuals who have blown the whistle on wrongdoing under the Biden administration and faced or feared punishment for doing so. Last month, an unnamed IRS criminal supervisory agent alleged to Congress that the IRS was mishandling its investigation of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

In an April 19 letter, the whistleblower’s attorney, Mark Lytle, wrote to Congress seeking legal protections for his client to provide further details about disclosures the agent had made internally at the IRS, to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the Justice Department inspector general. The disclosures, Lytle wrote, “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee” and involved unresolved conflicts of interest and examples of preferential treatment for political reasons. Although the letter did not mention the younger Biden by name, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) revealed in an April 20 interview with Fox News that the allegations were related to the federal probe of potential tax crimes committed by the president’s son—an investigation that has been ongoing since 2018.

Following the letter’s publication in the media, rumors swirled that the referenced political appointee was Attorney General Merrick Garland, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March that the investigation into Hunter Biden would remain free of political influence. However, on May 15, Lytle and Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt—who is also representing the whistleblower—revealed in a subsequent letter to Congress that their client and his entire team had been removed from the investigation, allegedly at the request of the Justice Department. The change, the attorneys said, was “clearly retaliatory” even though such reprisal violates federal law.

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“I cannot find you, believe it or not I have been looking. I [have] driven by Hallie’s, you fathers. Called texted you … I want to help all the deals are still alive.”

New Insight into Hunter Biden and his Collapsing World of Corruption (Turley)

In 2018, Hunter Biden’s world was collapsing. The New York Times had run a story on one of his shady deals with the Chinese and his father, then vice president, was pulled into the vortex. It appears that Hunter was in a free fall and his uncle Jim Biden reached out in newly discovered messages to offer him a “safe harbor.” The exchange is an insight into a train wreck of a life of the scion of one of the most powerful families in the country. However, it is also insight into a world of influence peddling where millions simply evaporated in the coffers of the Biden family. On their face, the messages seem to contradict public statements from President Biden on the foreign-influence peddling that was used to fund Hunter’s drug-infused, self-destructive lifestyle. The Times story caused a panic in the Biden family.

Despite a largely supportive media, the Bidens have long been known for influence peddling. Jim Biden has been repeatedly criticized for marketing his access to his brother in pitches to clients. Hunter knew that the Times story was only the tip of an iceberg. There were deals all over the world with foreign figures worth millions and some of these figures had close ties to foreign intelligence or regimes. As revealed recently by the House Oversight Committee, the Bidens constructed a labyrinth of corporations and accounts to transfer millions from these deals to a variety of Biden family members, including grandchildren. Nevertheless, Joe Biden repeatedly claimed as a presidential candidate and as president that he had no knowledge of any foreign dealings of his son. Those denials now appear patently false.

The laptop includes pictures and appointments of Hunter’s foreign business associates with Joe Biden. It also includes a recording concerning a Times report on Dec. 12, 2018, detailing Hunter’s dealings with Ye Jianming, the head of CEFC China Energy Company. Ye would later be arrested for corruption. As Biden associates pushed the Times to change aspects of the story, Joe Biden called to report on the results. In his message, Biden ends his call to Hunter with the statement “I think you’re clear. And anyway if you get a chance, give me a call, I love you.” The new messages indicate that the Bidens were worried that Hunter was in a free fall as these dealings were becoming known and revenue was declining. Jim Biden appears to be rushing to get Hunter to work the problem with the family.

He assures him that they can find him “a safe harbor” and that “I can work with you[r] father alone!” Hunter previously complained that he was giving as much as half of his proceeds to his father and was now facing towering financial demands. He appears to have cut off the family. That is a dangerous development for a man who had a long struggle with drugs and alcohol. Hunter blew through a fortune on narcotics and women, including allegations that he may have used a shared credit card with his father to pay off prostitutes. Both Joe and Jim Biden were reaching out to Hunter to assure him that he was in the “clear” and that there is a “safe harbor.” However, Jim pushed him to remain in contact and in the fold: “I cannot find you, believe it or not I have been looking. I [have] driven by Hallie’s, you fathers. Called texted you … I want to help all the deals are still alive.”

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“The world has never seen the debt and the spending and the money printing like in the last few years. So something is going to have to be very, very ruinous to solve this problem this time.”

Jim Rogers Is Bracing For The Worst Bear Market Of His Life (BI)

Jim Rogers is bracing for the biggest market downturn in eight decades. The 80-year-old investor issued the grave warning during a recent RealVision interview. He also cautioned the US dollar’s global dominance is under threat, and higher interest rates will be necessary to rein in soaring prices. The cofounder of George Soros’ Quantum Fund also slammed US lawmakers for the current debt-ceiling debacle, touted commodities as the best hedges against inflation, and dismissed the idea that governments will embrace bitcoin. Here are Rogers’ 7 best quotes, lightly edited for length and clarity:
1. “The next bear market will be the worst in my lifetime, because the debt has gone up by such staggering amounts in the past 14 years.” (Rogers said the 2008 crash was caused by excessive amounts of debt, and borrowing has ballooned since then, suggesting a far worse downturn lies ahead.)

2. “We should always be concerned about Washington. They don’t have a clue what they’re doing. And they prove it day in and day out.” (He was discussing the current political gridlock over raising the debt ceiling.)

3. “You should be extremely worried. If you’re not, you don’t know what’s going on. Many countries are starting to look for alternatives to the US dollar, partly because of its horrendous debt problem. I’m looking every day, because I know that something bad is going to happen in the currency markets in the next two or three years.” (Rogers was commenting on de-dollarization fears.)

4. “Interest rates are going to go higher worldwide. I don’t know how high they have to go to kill inflation this time around. The world has never seen the debt and the spending and the money printing like in the last few years. So something is going to have to be very, very ruinous to solve this problem this time.”

5. “There’ll be trouble in all the markets — property markets, stock markets, bond markets, currency markets, everything. You have to learn about cash or selling short in order to survive what’s coming.”

6. “I don’t think that the world is going to convert to bitcoin. It will be computer money, but it will be government computer money.”

7. “The best place to be when you have inflation is real assets, and real assets are commodities. The cheapest asset that I know is still commodities.” (Rogers said he owns some silver and gold currently.)

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“..the average student loan payment is $393 per month..” For 25 million Americans. That adds up to $9.825 billion. And as per September 2023, for the first time in 39 months, that must be repaid again. Which removes it from discretionary spending.

Student Loans Represent 7% of US GDP (ZH)

Here are the details: late last year, Biden extended the repayment pause, which postpones roughly $5bn per month in student loan repayments, until 60 days after the Supreme Court ruled on the separate $400bn loan forgiveness plan the – the Supreme Court is likely to rule on loan forgiveness in June, so this likely would mean a restart of payments after August 2023. And now, the debt limit agreement prohibits further extension of the payment pause, but remains silent on the student loan forgiveness plan which however will be nixed by SCOTUS much to the chagrin of screaming libs and lifelong members of the “free $hit” army. Prior to the announced debt limit deal Goldman had already assumed the repayment pause would end on schedule, though there was clearly a chance the White House might have extended it once again.

The debt limit agreement eliminates that possibility (“except as expressly authorized by an act of Congress”) and should result in a restart of student loan payments in September 2023. What happens then? Well, according to Jefferies, the return of monthly loan payments presents risks similar to the effects of the 2013 fiscal cliff, when tax increases led to reduced consumer spending. And in a note released Monday (available to pro subscribers), JPMorgan’s chief US economist Michael Feroli said that the end of the payment moratorium will reduce annual disposable personal income by $38 billion, which will reduce consumer spending. Separately, a March analysis by FreightWaves found that federal government programs boosted personal income by an estimated $2.3 trillion from March 2020 to December 2022.

According to The Motley Fool, consumers received an average of $3,450 in stimulus during the COVID economy. This included direct payments into bank accounts, an expanded Child Tax Credit and an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. But one of the biggest COVID-related stimulus programs was not factored into the s numbers: student loan forbearance. As noted above, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the student loan deferment program will end no later than June 30, 2023, and payments are expected to resume by Sept. 1, 2023: “The amount of money we are talking about, in excess of a trillion dollars, is staggering. Student loans represent 7% of U.S. GDP” according to FrightWaves.

Putting these numbers in context, 64% of the $1.7 trillion in student loan debt have been in forbearance for the past three years, amounting to $1.1 trillion. Many of the 25 million Americans who have deferred payments for student debt are aged 18-44 years old, one of the most important demographic groups that drive consumer spending. Some more math: according to a New York Fed study, the average student loan payment is $393 per month. For consumers taking advantage of the program, they have deferred 39 months worth of payments, resulting in more than $15,327 in additional discretionary income during the period, much larger than the amount most consumers received from other COVID stimulus programs.

Read more …

Good luck.

Greece and Poland Join Forces to Seek German War Reparations (GR)

Poland is seeking the help of Greece to demand World War II reparations from Germany, according to press reports in Poland. Polish state television TVP, reported that a major international conference on German war reparations will be held in Greece in June with the participation of Polish, Italian, Greek, and Serbian lawyers. Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk told Polish Radio 24 on Tuesday that “We are launching an international discussion.” Mularczyk stressed that in the background of Poland’s political actions in regard to obtaining war reparations from Germany, there is a kind of battle for historical memory. He added that besides striving to obtain reparation funds, Poland is also trying to educate and inform people about WWII history.


“5.4 million people died in Poland as a result of acts of aggression by the German Nazi occupying power, while 330,000 died in Greece.” “This quantitative difference is visible in other areas too. Both Poland and Greece share a similar fate of so-called ‘small allies’. In terms of reparations, they have been marginalized. Right up to today,” Muarczyk pointed out according to TVP. Earlier, Polish Ambassador to Greece Artur Lompart said in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the issue of reparations from Germany for damages suffered during World War II has never been closed in Greece. He noted that it is a field for cooperation between Poland and Greece. During her recent visit to Berlin, President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou raised the issue of war reparations once again. At her meeting with her German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in January, she stressed “the utmost importance of the issue of war reparations and the occupation loan.”

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“The swamp runs deep.”

Donald Trump, Pence’s Taskforce, and DeSantis’s Revisionist Attacks (NP)

There’s plenty of things we can say we would have done differently at the onset of COVID-19. I was originally supportive of Mike Pence’s taskforce, and the 14 days to slow the spread. I regret that. Though I don’t regret calling it out as a lab-leaked virus from day one. Donald Trump surely has his own regrets, expressed through his repeated disowning of Antony Fauci, Deborah Birx, and many of the bureaucrats who we now know colluded to provide him with incorrect information. Perhaps you don’t recall the anger from the corporate media when Trump called out the falsification of data, and attempted to stop it informing policy. But there’s more that keeps niggling at me about the way Trump’s opponents – mostly DeSantis surrogates – now deal with that issue.

They point to DeSantis’s (scarcely better) record. It’s true to say the Florida governor course corrected faster than Democrat leaders across the country. But it’s ludicrous to argue that Florida was operating “as normal” throughout COVID. As a reminder, DeSantis declared a public health emergency in March; limited beach gatherings and restaurant occupancy; issued an executive order closing down businesses; imposed quarantine orders; set up highway checkpoints; issued stay-at-home orders. He was even far behind Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and both North and South Dakota in defying Tony Fauci. When he did re-open his state, he admitted he was “following President Trump’s recommendations to reopen.” But the campaign talking points from Team DeSantis aside, there’s something everyone seems to ignore: the origins of the COVID-19 taskforce, and the beginning of Operation Warp Speed.

Trump’s first Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made Big Pharma very uncomfortable. Which is why they briefed his “unorthodox” views on mandatory vaccination to the Washington Post’s health reporter Amy Goldstein. The article quotes someone from Avalere Health – a D.C. health policy consultancy firm – who said: “I’ve seen people with extreme views come into government and take the position very seriously, and I’ve seen people with extreme views come into government and pursue their specific interests.” The “extreme” position at the time? That Price used to be a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) which at the time opposed mandatory vaccination as “human to human experimentation.” Avalere Health, for what it’s worth, is led by a woman called Elizabeth Carpenter, who previously worked at the globalist New American Foundation, which receives most of its funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and even the United States Department of State. The swamp runs deep.

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”The Epoch Times presents the second part of an exclusive edited extract from the forthcoming book “Swiftboating America” by Hans Mahncke, co-host of “Truth over News” on EpochTV. Sign up at SwiftboatingAmerica.com to get a notification once the book is out.”

“In her failed attempt to become president, Hillary Clinton had swiftboated America herself.”

‘Swiftboating America’ (Mahncke)

On May 20, 2022, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, finally admitted that it was Clinton herself who had greenlighted her presidential campaign’s scheme to smear Donald Trump with Russia collusion claims. Mook’s admission, made during his testimony in Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann’s trial for lying to the FBI about Clinton’s scheme, marked the final chapter in a six-year saga that ruined a presidency and turned the world order on its head. It all began in early 2016 when Jennifer Palmieri, director of communications for the Clinton presidential campaign, received an email from Joel Johnson, a senior adviser to Bill Clinton. Johnson wrote: “Who is in charge of the Trump swift boat project? Needs to be ready, funded and unleashed when we decide—but not a half assed scramble.”

Palmieri sarcastically replied: “Gee. Thanks, Joel. We thought we could half-ass it. Let’s discuss.” The exchange was buried in a huge trove of emails from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta that were released by whistleblower group WikiLeaks in October 2016. The significance of the two emails was largely overlooked at the time. It was only with hindsight—and the progressive unraveling of Clinton’s scheme to vilify Trump—that their importance has become apparent. We now know that the two emails marked the inception of the dirtiest political trick of all time: Clinton’s Russiagate scam, a multi-pronged and multi-layered campaign to paint Trump as an asset of the Kremlin. Her scheme was completely unheard of and beyond the bounds of anything that had previously happened in the dirty world of American politics.

In 1972, Republican operatives broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Office Building in Washington. The ostensible purpose of the break-in was to eavesdrop on a political opponent, but even that act pales in comparison to what Clinton did. Clinton’s intention was to execute an elaborate scheme that painted her opponent as an agent of a foreign power. It was a devious plan, and it came at a heavy price for all Americans. Russiagate not only consumed Trump’s presidency, but it also altered the geopolitical balance of power for generations yet to come. In her failed attempt to become president, Hillary Clinton had swiftboated America herself.

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Gervais
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663497038527438849

 

 


A typical steak is 8 ounces. 28.35 grams in one ounce. So you can have approx 1/20th of a steak per day which is like 1 bite. Maybe 2 bites.

 

 

Goat gravity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663554790058754052

 

 

 

 

Girl, dog

 

 

The best life
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663781293182578689

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 292023
 


Paul Gauguin Apatarao 1893

 

 

Russia Ready For Ukraine Peace Talks, But On Its Conditions – Envoy (Tass)
Russia Outlines Conditions For Ukraine Peace Deal (RT)
Lavrov: West’s Plans To Send F-16s To Kiev Unacceptable Escalation (TASS)
West Waging Its War Against Russia ‘On All Fronts’ – Kremlin (TASS)
Moscow Warns West Against ‘Playing With Fire’ (RT)
F-16s For Ukraine Won’t Be A Game Changer – Bloomberg (RT)
State Department Won’t Say If It’s Working to Free Gonzalo Lira (Antiwar)
DeSantis Superpac Plans To Spend $200 Million In 4 States (CTH)
DeSantis Says He Would Sign Legislation to Defund ‘Corrupt’ IRS (ET)
Russia Condemns Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Comments on Dead Russians (Antiwar)
Europe’s Largest Air Force Drills Start In Finland, Norway, Sweden (Az.)
Kosovo PM Dreams Of Becoming New Zelensky – Serbian President (RT)
Saudi Arabia Calls Russia Out Over Oil Output – WSJ (RT)
EU Commissioner Reprimands Elon Musk Over Disinfo (RT)
Kissinger vs. ‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’ (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

Mind control

 

 

Very remarkable

 

 

Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two different voices on the same topic, the Ambassador to Great Britain and the Deputy Foreign Minister.

“He dismissed thinking that Ukraine may prevail as “a big idealistic mistake.”

Russia Ready For Ukraine Peace Talks, But On Its Conditions – Envoy (Tass)

Russia is ready for peace talks with Ukraine but it will not give up its conditions, Russian Ambassador to Great Britain Andrey Kelin said in an interview with the BBC on Sunday.”We want peace, but on certain conditions, of course. For us, two things are important. That there will be no threat from Ukraine to Russia – this is one thing. And second, that Russians in Ukraine will be treated like all other nations in the world. Like French people are being treated in Belgium, or like Italians and Germans are being treated in Switzerland, not differently. <…> That’s a grave violation of the Human Rights Declaration and of all documentation,” Kelin said, as he described the developments in Ukraine in recent years as “extreme nationalism.”


According to Kelin, Russia’s current military purpose is to liberate the Donbass from the occupation. He dismissed thinking that Ukraine may prevail as “a big idealistic mistake.” “We can make peace tomorrow, if the Ukrainian side is prepared to negotiate, but at the moment there are no preconditions for that, I am afraid, because the president of Ukraine has prohibited any negotiations,” the Russian diplomat maintained, adding that he didn’t believe that simply freezing the conflict was a good idea. “It will not make a platform for a stable and long-term peace in Europe,” Kelin explained. The envoy reiterated the Russian nuclear doctrine does not envisage using nukes in the conflict in Ukraine. However, Kelin said that he was worried about a continued escalation of the conflict as he referred to weapons supplies to Kiev currently being ramped up.

Maersheimer

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“Ukraine “must return to a neutral non-aligned status” and “refuse to join NATO and the EU..”

Russia Outlines Conditions For Ukraine Peace Deal (RT)

The Ukraine conflict could be settled if Kiev were to re-commit to its neutral status, recognize “new territorial realities,” and declare Russian as a state language, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said in an interview released on Saturday. Speaking to TASS news agency, the diplomat said Moscow “is convinced that a peace settlement will be possible only if the Ukrainian armed forces cease hostilities, and Western weapons shipments are stopped.” He also stressed that to achieve a durable peace, Ukraine “must return to a neutral non-aligned status” and “refuse to join NATO and the EU,” adding that Kiev should recognize the “new territorial realities” that emerged after people exercised their right to self-determination.

The diplomat was referring to four former Ukrainian regions that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums last autumn, as well as Crimea. Galuzin noted that another crucial element of any peace settlement is Kiev’s commitment to respect the rights of the country’s Russian-speaking population and other minorities. “Russian should be designated as a state language at the legislative level. It is necessary to ensure that basic human rights, including freedom of faith, are observed in Ukraine,” he stressed.

On Saturday, Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, dismissed Moscow’s conditions, issuing Kiev’s own list of demands. Those include the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from territory Kiev claims as its own, the “extradition of war criminals,” the creation of a “buffer zone” on Russian territory, as well as “voluntary renunciation of Russian assets seized in other countries in favor of Ukraine”. Earlier this week, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that while Moscow does not want the Ukraine conflict to be frozen, there are no prerequisites for a peace settlement yet, pointing out that Kiev has prohibited any talks with the current Russian leadership.

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“I hope reasonable people will step away from unconditional support for the neo-Nazi regime that the West itself created..”

Lavrov: West’s Plans To Send F-16s To Kiev Unacceptable Escalation (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed plans by Western countries to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as an unacceptable escalation. “Certainly, this is an unacceptable escalation. I hope there are sensible people in the West who understand that,” Lavrov told the “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” TV show, an excerpt of which was posted by reporter Pavel Zarubin on Telegram on Sunday. According to Lavrov, “Western political analysts have been discussing how to decolonize Russia.” “They mean dividing our country. I hope sensible people will abandon their reckless support for the neo-Nazi regime which was created by the West itself,” Russia’s top diplomat added. On May 21, US President Joe Biden said at a news conference following the G7 summit in Hiroshima that the West will start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16s and other fourth-generation Western combat aircraft.

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“..be tough but open to what could help us clearly communicate our concerns..”

West Waging Its War Against Russia ‘On All Fronts’ – Kremlin (TASS)

Western countries are waging their war against Russia in all domains, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” TV show on Sunday. “War is being waged in a broader sense. A war is being waged against us on all fronts, be it the economy, international relations, or in terms of ownership,” he explained. Peskov urged Russia not to succumb to emotions and keep a sober mind in these circumstances. “We should remain focused and strong, and do <…> what best suits our interests, be tough but open to what could help us clearly communicate our concerns, and what we find unacceptable for ourselves, what will be fighting against,” he maintained.

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“..it is Poland and the Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia – that are “executing on the ground the aim set by the US to weaken Russia, deliver it a strategic defeat.”

Moscow Warns West Against ‘Playing With Fire’ (RT)

The US and its allies are “playing with fire” by doubling down on their support for Kiev amid the conflict with Moscow, including by planning to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “Of course, it’s an unacceptable escalation” Lavrov said regarding potential deliveries of American-made warplanes to Kiev in an interview with Russia 1 TV on Sunday. “I think there are reasonable people in the West who understand this. But everything is being dictated by Washington, London, and their satellites inside the EU.” According to the minister, it is Poland and the Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia – that are “executing on the ground the aim set by the US to weaken Russia, deliver it a strategic defeat.”

Some in the West “are already discussing ‘decolonization’ of Russia, meaning the dismembering of our country,” Lavrov said, warning that “this is playing with fire. There can be no doubts about that.” “I hope reasonable people will step away from unconditional support for the neo-Nazi regime that the West itself created,” he added. The foreign minister suggested that the words of the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who acknowledged earlier this week that “in the near term,” Ukraine will not be able to recapture the territories it lost to Russia, were a “step forward to understanding the reality on the ground.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has been pressing his Western backers for F-16 warplanes for months, arguing they are crucial for defending Ukrainian airspace amid Russia’s missile campaign targeting military facilities and energy infrastructure.

At the G20 summit last week, US President Biden Joe Biden said that Washington would support efforts by the UK, the Netherlands, and other European countries to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated at the event that the US “will work with our allies to determine when planes will be delivered, who will be delivering them, and how many.” Several outlets reported that the jets will not be provided by the US, but that the Biden administration would instead allow its allies to transfer their F-16s to Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross its ‘red lines’, leading to a major spike in the hostilities. Russia has said that the provision of arms, intelligence sharing, and training to Kiev’s troops makes Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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They will get maybe 50. Russia has 1,000 better jets.

F-16s For Ukraine Won’t Be A Game Changer – Bloomberg (RT)

While potential Western deliveries of US-designed F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will help enhance Kiev’s combat capabilities, they won’t be a “game changer” in its conflict with Russia, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing several pilots who had flown the aircraft. According to the agency, the F-16s that could be sent to Ukraine “will still have inferior radar and shorter range missiles” than many of Russia’s modern aircraft and air defense systems. This means that those planes will either be deployed defensively, or used as part of high-risk operations, the report says. Brynn Tannehill, who designed simulators for the planes, told the outlet that for Ukrainian pilots switching from Soviet-era aircraft over to F-16s would be as if “they pushed the easy button.” However, “you can’t overcome the laws of physics,” she added.

According to John Venable, a former F-16 pilot with the US Air Force, should Ukrainians fly close to the front line, they would receive a signal that they had been detected by Russian radars long before they would be in position to fire on their targets. He added that Ukrainian pilots may use hilly terrain to sidestep detection – and thus destruction – while approaching their targets, but they would have to quickly climb at a steep angle, shoot, and then duck for cover again. However, such tactics mean that the F-16s “aren’t going to be hitting anything,” Venable said. Moreover, according to Dan Hampton, another veteran combat pilot, it would also be impractical to use F-16s to shoot down Russian cruise missiles, as there would only be a small window after the projectile is fired and detected but before it reaches its target.

Deployment of F-16s in this capacity would require them to stay in the air for hours while waiting for the right moment, he explained. The pilots’ assessment echoes a statement by US Air Force chief Frank Kendall, who said earlier this month that F-16 deliveries would not mark a turning point in the Ukraine conflict, given that air power has not played a crucial role in the hostilities. However, Yury Ignat, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, has insisted that Kiev “will win this war” if it were to receive modern Western jets. Commenting on potential F-16s deliveries to Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that such a move would lead to “an unacceptable escalation” of the conflict.

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The value of a US passport.

State Department Won’t Say If It’s Working to Free Gonzalo Lira (Antiwar)

The State Department has refused to say if it’s engaging with the Ukrainian government over American citizen Gonzalo Lira, who was detained by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) due to his political views on the conflict with Russia.Lira has a popular YouTube channel and a large following on Twitter and Telegram. He is also a writer who has contributed to several media outlets, including Business Insider. Lira was born in California and is a dual citizen of the US and Chile and had been living in Kharkiv, Ukraine, throughout the war.Lira is a critic of the Ukrainian government and was arrested by the SBU on charges of justifying the Russian invasion. “After the start of the full-scale invasion, the blogger was one of the first to support the Russian invaders and glorify their war crimes,” the SBU said in a press release referring to Lira.

The SBU also accused Lira of “discrediting the top military and political leadership and the Defense Forces of our state.” He was charged under sections 2 and 3 of Article 436-2 of Ukraine’s criminal code, which outlaws the “distribution of materials” that justify Russia’s actions going back to 2014. Epoch Times reporter Liam Cosgrove asked State Department spokesman Matthew Miller if the administration was aware of Lira’s detainment and how the US feels about Ukraine arresting an American for speech.“So I will say in general that we’re aware of the report. We obviously support the exercise of freedom of speech anywhere in the world, and I’ll leave it at that,” Miller said.When asked if the administration was working to secure Lira’s release, Miller said, “I’m going to leave my comments where I just left them.”

Cosgrove also asked Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) about Lira’s detainment. Lieu said that he wasn’t aware of the case but said US citizens should “have the ability to express their thoughts and views” and that he would look into the arrest. Responding to the news, Greene told Cosgrove: “America is providing weapons, equipment for the defense of their country, but the Ukrainian government is not going to defend any American’s freedom of speech, and that’s a real problem.” Lira’s arrest received virtually no attention in Western media. One of the few outlets to cover it was the Daily Beast, which smeared the American instead of questioning the charges. According to the Beast, Lira is facing five to eight years in prison.

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“..it plans to knock on the door of every possible DeSantis voter at least four times in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — and five times in the kickoff Iowa caucuses..”

DeSantis Superpac Plans To Spend $200 Million In 4 States (CTH)

2,600 people at $15/hr is $39,000 per hour. Anticipating 1,000 hrs per campaign worker, that’s $39 million. At $25/hr that’s $65 million. At $40/hr that’s $104 million. This is the scale of spending that Ken Cuccinelli and Jeff Roe have for the Never Back Down SuperPAC to support Governor Ron DeSantis in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada on behalf of the Sea Island billionaires who want to manipulate the 2024 election. That’s just payroll for new hires. Overall, the New York Times is reporting a campaign support spending plan of more than $200 million. Essentially, these are payments from the billionaire Wall Street donors and multinationals, funneled through the SuperPAC, to influence the ’24 election. The context of the New York Times report sounds accurate.

NYT – “A key political group supporting Ron DeSantis’s presidential run is preparing a $100 million voter-outreach push so big it plans to knock on the door of every possible DeSantis voter at least four times in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — and five times in the kickoff Iowa caucuses. The effort is part of an on-the-ground organizing operation that intends to hire more than 2,600 field organizers by Labor Day, an extraordinary number of people for even the best-funded campaigns. Top officials with the pro-DeSantis group, a super PAC called Never Back Down, provided their most detailed account yet of their battle plan to aid Mr. DeSantis, whom they believe they can sell as the only candidate to take on — and win — the cultural fights that are definitional for the Republican Party in 2024.

The group said it expected to have an overall budget of at least $200 million, including more than $80 million to be transferred from an old DeSantis state political account, for the daunting task of vaulting the Florida governor past former President Donald J. Trump, who has established himself as the dominant early front-runner. […] “No one has ever contemplated the scale of this organization or operation, let alone done it,” said Chris Jankowski, the group’s chief executive. “This has just never even been dreamed up.” […] At the helm of the DeSantis super PAC is Jeff Roe, a veteran Republican strategist who was Mr. Cruz’s campaign manager in 2016. In an interview, Mr. Roe described an ambitious political apparatus whose 2,600 field organizers by the fall would be roughly double the peak of Senator Bernie Sanders’s entire 2020 primary campaign staff.

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“I think it was basically just a middle finger to the American public that this is what they think of you.”

DeSantis Says He Would Sign Legislation to Defund ‘Corrupt’ IRS (ET)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called IRS a “corrupt organization” and said he would welcome a bill abolishing the agency if elected president in 2024. DeSantis made the comments during an interview with conservative radio host Dana Loesch on May 25, a day after the governor announced his White House bid on Twitter. “If Congress defunded the IRS and sent such a bill like that to your desk, number one, would you sign it?” Loesch asked. “And then what would you replace the system with? Are you for like a fair tax? A flat tax? Where do you stand on that?” “So, the answer’s yes,” DeSantis said in response. “I think the IRS is a corrupt organization and I think it’s not a friend to the average citizen or taxpayer. And so we need something totally different.”

“I’ve supported all of the single rate proposals, I think they would be a huge improvement over the current system,” the governor added. “And I would be welcoming to take this tax system, chunk it out the window, and do something that’s more favorable to the average folks.” The governor has long spoken favorably of a flat tax system. In a Q&A published by Palm Coast Observer in 2012, months before DeSantis won his first term as a House lawmaker from Florida, DeSantis said he believed the federal tax code should be overhauled. “I think the federal tax code is an affront to a free society in the sense that it’s 70,000 pages,” DeSantis stated. “I am in favor of a complete overhaul; my principle is that consumed income should be taxed one time at a low, single, flat rate.He added, “Now whether that’s at the point of after savings and investment income on a flat tax, or on the point of consumption which people talked about a fair tax, I think you need to repeal the 16th Amendment for that because I don’t think you want a sales and an income tax.”

Last year, DeSantis criticized the Biden administration’s nearly $80 billion in funding for the IRS, which Republicans argue would pave the way for the hiring of 87,000 tax agents, as giving a “middle finger to the American public.” The funding to the IRS was part of the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed into law in August 2022. “I think of all the things that have come out of Washington that have been outrageous, this has got to be pretty close to the top,” DeSantis said at the time. “I think it was basically just a middle finger to the American public that this is what they think of you.” He continued, “All these problems we have to deal with, and they think the way is to do 87,000 IRS agents. There’s going to be more people in the IRS than in a lot of these other agencies combined now.”

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“Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “It is difficult to imagine a greater shame for a country than having such senators.”

Russia put Graham on a wanted list this morning.

Russia Condemns Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Comments on Dead Russians (Antiwar)

Russian officials have condemned Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for calling the US funding of Ukraine the “best money we’ve ever spent” after noting Russians are dying in the conflict. Graham made the comments during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Friday. A video released by the head of Ukraine’s presidential office showed Graham say the “Russians are dying” and then cut to a different angle where the senator said it’s the “best money we’ve ever spent.” It’s not clear from the video if Graham said anything between the two quotes, but the senator has made extremely provocative statements throughout the war. He has called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has said the US should start shooting down Russian planes, an action that could spark World War III.


Responding to Graham’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “It is difficult to imagine a greater shame for a country than having such senators.” Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council and former president, called Graham an “old fool.” Graham was asked by Reuters to reply to Medvedev’s comments. “Mr. Medvedev, if you want Russians to stop dying in Ukraine, withdraw. Stop the invasion. Stop the war crimes. The truth is that you and Putin could care less about Russian soldiers,” he said. Graham also appeared on Fox News on Sunday and called for the US to send Ukraine whatever it wants, including longer-range weapons and widely-banned cluster munitions.

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What a joke.

Europe’s Largest Air Force Drills Start In Finland, Norway, Sweden (Az.)

Finland, Norway, and Partner Sweden will host the multinational Arctic Challenge Exercise 2023 from May 29 to June 9, 2023, Report informs referring to the NATO website. This year’s Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 23) is the sixth of its kind which Finland, Norway, and Sweden have hosted together. The Finnish Air Force is responsible for planning and directing the training event that is conducted every second year since 2013. About 3,000 military and 150 aircraft from the armed forces of 14 countries will take part in the exercises. The Arctic Challenge Exercises is part of the NORDEFCO cooperation between Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Their Air Forces regularly carry out combined air combat-related Cross Border Training operated from their home bases.

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Useful for NATO: a powder keg.

Kosovo PM Dreams Of Becoming New Zelensky – Serbian President (RT)

Tensions in Serbia’s breakaway province of Kosovo may spiral out of control because of the actions of its prime minister, Albin Kurti, warned Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in an interview released on Sunday amid violent clashes between local police and Serb protesters. Speaking to the Serbian TV channel Pink, Vucic said that “the most difficult situation in Kosovo and Metohija is yet to follow. Something we have not seen until now, all thanks to the provocative actions and terribly irresponsible behavior of Albin Kurti.” The Serbian leader went on to say that he was “afraid of general insecurity, instability” and of “big conflicts” in the breakaway province. “I know that this other one [Kurti], who caused everything, doesn’t want to retire for a living, because he longs and dreams of being a [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky,” he added.

Vucic noted that he had been contacted by several European envoys who voiced concern over the ongoing situation in Kosovo, which has been marked by violent clashes between local police and ethnic Serbs, who make up the majority in the northern part of the region. Law enforcement officers fired tear gas in one of the municipalities to disperse protesters who had tried to prevent a newly elected ethnic Albanian mayor from entering his office, resulting in several people being injured. The unrest came after local Serbs mostly boycotted elections in four northern municipalities, which saw a total turnout of just 3.47%, arguing that they would not work with new mayors from ethnic Albanian parties who do not represent their interests.

Amid the clashes, Serbia placed its army on high alert, moving some units closer to the region’s border. Defense Minister Milos Vucevic said that “it is clear that terror against the Serb community in Kosovo is happening.”Meanwhile, a number of Western countries, including the US, France, Italy, Germany, and Britain, issued an unexpectedly harsh public rebuke of Kosovo, condemning the use of force and calling on the local authorities “to immediately step back and de-escalate.” Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008 with the support of the US and many of its allies. The breakaway region is not recognized by several countries, including Russia, China, and Serbia itself.

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Trying to drive a wedge in between new found friends?

Saudi Arabia Calls Russia Out Over Oil Output – WSJ (RT)

Saudi Arabia has accused Russia of not entirely fulfilling its pledge to curb oil production in response to Western sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter. Riyadh has reportedly complained to senior Russian officials about the matter and asked Moscow to honor the output cuts of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) that the two biggest oil producers in the OPEC+ group agreed in April to make.The curbs, which took effect in May and are set to last until the end of 2023, were aimed at supporting global oil prices. The total volume of oil taken off the market was expected to be 1.66 million barrels per day. The decision came as an additional step following the OPEC+ agreement to collectively reduce oil output by 2 million bpd that came into effect in November 2022.

In February, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said that Russia would voluntarily reduce oil production in March by 500,000 barrels per day as the nation halted sales to buyers that complied with a Western-imposed price cap. The measure was then extended until June, and later until the end of the current year. Since then, the official has reportedly said that Moscow is abiding by its voluntary pledge to cut oil output by 500,000 barrels a day from March until the end of 2023. “Taking into account the unfounded speculation in the press regarding oil production levels, Russia reaffirms its full commitment to and implementation of voluntary oil production cut levels,” Novak said in a statement earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency had previously reported that Russian oil exports reached a 14-month high in April, with the lion’s share going to Asian markets amid Western sanctions. The report also suggested that Russia hadn’t fully implemented the planned production cuts. The agency estimates that the country’s oil trade revenues amounted to $15 billion in April, an increase of $1.7 billion on the month.

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Civil servants with small minds.

EU Commissioner Reprimands Elon Musk Over Disinfo (RT)

European Commissioner Thierry Breton threatened Twitter CEO Elon Musk with “enforcement” in a tweet on Friday after Musk announced he was pulling Twitter out of the EU’s voluntary Code of Practice on Disinformation, warning he was not getting away so easily. Confirming Twitter had left the anti-disinformation body, Breton tweeted, “You can run but you can’t hide,” promising “our teams will be ready for enforcement.” “Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be legal obligation under [the Digital Service Act] as of August 25,” the official reminded Musk, referring to incoming legislation that will require Twitter and seven other social media platforms to “fight disinformation” in the EU or face massive fines as high as 6% of the company’s annual revenue.

Twitter joined the CPD in 2018 under former CEO Jack Dorsey. The DSA incorporates the (voluntary) Code of Practice into a mandatory code of conduct for very large online platforms, arguing they must take responsibility for keeping the internet safe for democracy or face ruinous financial consequences. Twitter has three months to comply with its obligations. While Musk and Breton reportedly saw eye-to-eye regarding Twitter’s implementation of the DSA ahead of the billionaire’s purchase of the platform last year, Breton warned the Tesla tycoon that Twitter faced “huge work ahead” to comply with EU regulations after the deal was completed in November, demanding he significantly beef up content moderation and “tackle disinformation with resolve.”

As of February, Twitter was still falling short of Breton’s expectations, reportedly receiving a warning from EU officials following a poor performance evaluation on the CPD accompanied by complaints that the platform “didn’t take it seriously enough.” Musk has struggled to convince Twitter users of the sincerity of his free speech absolutism since hiring NBCUniversal ad maven and World Economic Forum member Linda Yaccarino as the platform’s new CEO earlier this month. This comes despite his taking a gratuitous swipe at liberal bogeyman and fellow billionaire George Soros and hosting Republican presidential candidate and anti-woke crusader Ron DeSantis’ announcement of entry into the 2024 race. Twitter has complied with 80% of all government takedown requests in the first six months since Musk took over as CEO, a significant increase from the 50% rate that characterized the pre-Musk era.

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“He couldn’t be counted on not to carry out a threat to do something crazy, mutually destructive..”

Kissinger vs. ‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’ (Gosztola)

In 1970, before whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg shared copies of the Pentagon Papers with several newspapers in the United States, Ellsberg was invited by his friend Lloyd Shearer, who was the editor of Parade magazine, to attend a lunch with President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser Henry Kissinger. Ellsberg recounted the lunch in his book, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers. Kissinger knew Ellsberg from his work at the RAND Corporation, and what Ellsberg recounted is vital to understanding the festering and unrepentant diplomat as the world marks his 100th birthday. The contrast between the two could not be more stark. Ellsberg has spent the past 50-plus years constantly atoning for the part he played in the Vietnam War while Kissinger has shirked accountability for the vast amount of bloodshed that he enabled.

Kissinger’s reaction to Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers exposed more about who he was deep down than his philosophy or any advice he ever offered on U.S. foreign policy. On a small patio, Kissinger was seated with General Alexander Haig, his aide. Kissinger said hello to Ellsberg and Shearer, and he told Shearer, “You know, I have learned more from Dan Ellsberg than from any other person—” Ellsberg believed Kissinger would say “Vietnam,” but Kissinger said “—about bargaining.” That did not make a whole lot of sense to Ellsberg until he remembered the talks that he gave to Kissinger’s seminar at Harvard in 1959. They were part of a lecture series called “The Art of Coercion.” Since that was eleven years ago, Ellsberg responded, “You have a very good memory.”

With a “guttural drawl,” Kissinger added, “They were very good lectures.” “Nice. Except that when I thought about it later, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” Ellsberg shared. “The lectures I had given to his class had had to do with Hitler’s blackmail of Austria and Czechoslovakia in the late thirties that had allowed him to take over those countries just by threatening their destruction.” “One of the talks was titled, “The Theory and Practice of Blackmail,” and the other was “The Political Use of Madness.” Hitler had deliberately cultivated among his adversaries the impression of his own irrational unpredictability.”

Ellsberg continued, “He couldn’t be counted on not to carry out a threat to do something crazy, mutually destructive. It worked for him, up to a point, because he was crazy, madly aggressive, and reckless. But after a certain point it brought the world down around him.” “It wasn’t a tactic I was recommending for the United States, or anyone else, for that matter. Far from it. For someone to imitate Hitler in this respect was to cultivate madness and court disaster,” Ellsberg contended.

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Octopus hiding

 

 

Drawing

 

 

Peacocks

 

 

Trap
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662828333715931136

 

 


In 1958, in Palisades, New Jersey, a performer named Jimmy Armstrong, known as The Dwarf Clown, entertained the audience at Clyde Beatty Circus. This moment was captured by photographer Bruce Davidson as part of his renowned ‘Circus’ series. “He was standing alone outside the tent, smoking a cigarette,” Davidson said upon seeing Armstrong for the first time. Dressed in a tuxedo and a top hat, he held a small bouquet of paper flowers and stood there pensively, immersed in the privacy of his inner thoughts.”

“He seemed to know that it was the inner moment I was drawn to and not his clown face or physical appearance. We became friends, although we seldom spoke to one another.” “I found something in Jimmy that was more than loneliness, it was a story about surviving” – Bruce Davidson.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 272023
 


Vincent van Gogh Pollard Willows and Setting Sun 1888

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Steal election

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The G7 has rapidly become an irrelevant anachronism.

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

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

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

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

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

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China will call the shots…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trial By Ordeal (Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

The Green Fraud (Jim Rickards)

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

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


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

Rickards

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“I don’t want to do any of this.”

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

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

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

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

Navy Seal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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A/ Joe Biden creates nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunfish

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

WTF

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 212023
 


Rene Magritte Memory 1948

 

Even Peace Is Made In China (Juan Cole)
Xi’s Moscow Visit Is A Key Moment In The Struggle To End US Hegemony (Trenin)
Xi Says Deepening Ties With Moscow Is Beijing’s Strategic Choice (TASS)
Putin Tells Xi He’s “Open To Negotiating Process” On Ukraine (ZH)
The Lord of Chaos (Chris Hedges)
Orbán: ‘Europe Suffers From War Psychosis’ (RMX)
US Obsessed With Idea Of Dealing Strategic Blow To Russia – Antonov (TASS)
Ukraine Will Have Only One Shot At A Counteroffensive – Czech President (RT)
Russia Wrote Off $20 Billion Of African Nations’ Debts – Putin (TASS)
African Countries Always Been Equal Allies For Russia – Duma Speaker (TASS)
Putin Makes Prediction About Africa (RT)
This Has Got to Stop (Kunstler)
House GOP Demands Answers From Manhattan DA Over Trump Indictment (ZH)
NYPD Mobilizes 700 Riot Cops, Steel Barricades For Potential Trump Arrest (TP)
Ron DeSantis Breaks Silence On Trump’s Possible Arrest (RT)
The Financial System Is Terminally Broken (Egon von Greyerz)
US Studies How To Guarantee All $18 Trillion In US Bank Deposits (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Sperm has been almost entirely replaced by spike proteins

 

 

 

 

Our friends are dead

 

 

Today they need tanks

 

 

 

 

Tucker Dowd
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637859586500640768

 

 

Tucker Biden Inc.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637988901217505284

<

 

 

“Xi Jinping, upon his arrival in Moscow, uttered the most seditious words from the point of view of the West: ‘China is ready to stand together with Russia to guard the world order based on int’l law’ not on the ‘rules’ invented by someone, but on the law!” — Vladimir Kornilov

Xi Jinping: “The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order. The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile.”

p> 

 

Galloway
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637951197255548928

 

 

 

 

Interview with Robert Scheer.

Even Peace Is Made In China (Juan Cole)

I think the United States still has it in its mind that it’s the world hegemon and that they can do what they want. So if they want to break treaties with Iran and put them under an economic blockade, they can do that with not very much consequence to the United States. But what they don’t realize is that, well, the U.S. has something like a $20 to 23 trillion economy annually, and China now has a $17 trillion economy annually. So the United States is just not the only game in town anymore. And that’s not been the case since the end of World War II, when the U.S. was 50% of the world economy. It’s just becoming smaller, it has a smaller proportion of world wealth and power. And it is also true that the United States, you know, is in the Middle East for particular purposes.

They want to guarantee that the oil comes out of the Persian Gulf. And so it’s very security oriented. And to the extent that they saw Iran as a spoiler, the Islamic revolution of 1979 was explicitly anti-American. It has had potentially bad effects on American investments in the Middle East. American corporations have suffered. So the U.S. sees Iran as a bad actor and wants to contain it, put it in a cage, crash its economy if it can, overthrow its government, if it’s not too much trouble, and China is not behaving that way in the Middle East, the Chinese have, for a long time, had this doctrine of harmonious development, and they just don’t want any trouble as they grow into this enormous behemoth on the world stage. And so they don’t have anything against Iran. It doesn’t say anything to them.

And they also don’t have anything against Saudi Arabia. They do trade with both and that’s their policy to do trade with everybody if they can. And so I think they can just be more evenhanded. The United States has picked winners and losers in the region and people that it wants to punish and people that it wants to help. And, you know, it has this, you mentioned, that it has this rhetoric of spreading freedom and democracy and so forth. But it’s all very hypocritical because Saudi Arabia is one of the pillars of U.S. policy in the Middle East and it’s the least democratic country you could hope to find. And it’s never criticized by the State Department for its human rights abuses in any concerted way or in a very public way, whereas Iran is a very flawed system and very dictatorial.


“We see increasing threats from China, in particular in the Indo-Pacific. We feel like we’re not moving fast enough to build a bigger Navy,” says U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher.

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Dmitry Trenin is a research professor at the Higher School of Economics and a lead research fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He is also a member of the Russian International Affairs Council.

Xi’s Moscow Visit Is A Key Moment In The Struggle To End US Hegemony (Trenin)

[..] the Chinese and Russian leaders certainly understand that they must wreck Washington’s plan of defeating Moscow first and then turning on Beijing. As a result, American warnings and threats to the Chinese over the assistance they can give to Russia may actually be counter-productive. The leadership will find the tone of these admonitions rude and disrespectful – particularly in conjunction with forthcoming American arms deliveries to Taipei. While China certainly cares about the US and EU markets for its goods and services, but it wonders whether it can really trust Washington and its allies, given Moscow’s experience with the Minsk agreements on Donbass which, as the former German and French leaders have admitted, were nothing but a ploy to buy time.

Thus, much more coordination between Beijing and Moscow can be expected. This does not presage a new military bloc in Eurasia, but instead a greater joint effort to help the world move faster toward multipolarity, which effectively means ending American global hegemony. One way to achieve this would be by reducing role of the US dollar in international transactions. Much of the Sino-Russian bilateral trade is already carried out in the Chinese yuan; but the yuan can also be used in dealing with third countries. Another way to help bring about the new world order is upgrading non-Western institutions, such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to set the agenda for the world in areas such as finance and technology, energy and climate, and, not least, international security.

China’s recent rise as a worldwide geopolitical – not just geo-economic – player, exemplified by its recent brokering of the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement, is welcomed in Russia as a practical step toward the new order. Moscow and Beijing can be more successful if they act jointly to reduce the economic and political dependence of many countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America on the US and its European allies. In the field of military security, there is much that Russia and China can benefit from through closer collaboration – beyond the existing formats. The main goal here is dissuading Washington, by deed not just word, from escalating the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and from provoking Beijing over Taiwan.

One specific area is in-depth dialogue on nuclear policies and nuclear proliferation under the present conditions of major-power confrontation and actual conflict. Even as they work on transitioning to a multipolar future, Putin and Xi bear a huge responsibility to make sure that this transition happens without a shooting war between the major powers. China and Russia cooperating more closely on security issues would make the transition safer.


10 years ago today, the newly elected Chinese President Xi Jinping came to Moscow with his wife, Peng Liyuan.

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Talked for 4.5 hours. The actual talks start only today.

Xi Says Deepening Ties With Moscow Is Beijing’s Strategic Choice (TASS)

During a Moscow meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said that fostering bilateral relations was Beijing’s strategic choice, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website on Tuesday. “To consolidate and develop well China-Russia relations is a strategic choice China has made on the basis of its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends of the world,” China’s MFA said on its website, underscoring the statements Xi made during the informal meeting.


Xi also noted that China was firm in pursuing its course toward strengthening strategic cooperation with Russia. The two presidents “had an in-depth exchange” of opinions on Ukraine. According to the Chinese leader, most countries support easing tensions, stand for peace talks and oppose “adding fuel to the fire,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry added. Xi assured Putin that “China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine issue,” the Chinese MFA said.

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“we have looked at your proposals for the resolution of the Ukraine conflict” and previewed that “we will discuss this question.”

Putin Tells Xi He’s “Open To Negotiating Process” On Ukraine (ZH)

What’s being described as an initial, informal meeting between Presidents Xi and Putin is underway at the Kremlin. While the expected cordialities and expressions of closer relations were exchange, among the most notable early statements came from Putin, who said he’s “open” to peace talks with Ukraine and China’s mediation efforts. “We have a lot of joint tasks, goals,” Putin told his Chinese counterpart while also congratulating him on re-election as the head of the Chinese state for a third 5-year term. Xi in return said “Russia succeeded in promoting prosperity under Putin’s leadership.” Putin further expressed that “we will discuss your initiative [on Ukraine] which we view with respect.”

“We are open for a negotiating process on Ukraine,” the Russian leader added. He noted to Xi that “we have looked at your proposals for the resolution of the Ukraine conflict” and previewed that “we will discuss this question.” The day prior in media interviews, White House NSC spokesperson John Kirby declared that any “call for a ceasefire” in Ukraine is “unacceptable.” Likely Moscow will only be satisfied with nothing short of a full Kiev recognition of the Donbass being under Russia; however, this is the very thing Washington will condemn and seek to induce the Zelensky administration to resist.

According to state media commentary (RT), “Moscow has said that it would consider the proposal but has pointed to several factors that stand in the way of a peaceful resolution in Ukraine.” And more of Moscow’s perspective headed into more Xi meetings: “Those include the insistence of Kiev and its Western backers on inflicting a military defeat of Russia, their firm opposition to any sort of ceasefire, as well as a law enacted by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that forbids holding negotiations with Russia as long as Putin remains in office.”

Putin Xi Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637820477736361984

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“We are trying to wish the nightmares we perpetuated in the Middle East away, burying them in a collective amnesia. “World War III Begins With Forgetting,” warns Stephen Wertheim.”

The Lord of Chaos (Chris Hedges)

The occupation of Iraq, beginning 20 years ago today, turned the Muslim world and the Global South against us. The enduring images we left behind from two decades of war include President Bush standing under a “Mission Accomplished” banner onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier barely one month after he invaded Iraq, the bodies of Iraqis in Fallujah that were burned with white phosphorus and the photos of torture by U.S. soldiers. The U.S. is desperately attempting to use Ukraine to repair its image. But the rank hypocrisy of calling for “a rules-based international order” to justify the $113 billion in arms and other aid that the U.S. has committed to send to Ukraine, won’t work. It ignores what we did. We might forget, but the victims do not. The only redemptive path is charging Bush, Cheney and the other architects of the wars in the Middle East, including Joe Biden, as war criminals in the International Criminal Court. Haul Russian President Vladimir Putin off to The Hague, but only if Bush is in the cell next to him.

Many of the apologists for the war in Iraq seek to justify their support by arguing that “mistakes” were made, that if, for example, the Iraqi civil service and army were not disbanded after the U.S. invaded, the occupation would have worked. They insist that our intentions were honorable. They ignore the hubris and lies that led to the war, the misguided belief that the U.S. could be the sole major power in a unipolar world. They ignore the massive military expenditures spent annually to achieve this fantasy. They ignore that the war in Iraq was only an episode in this demented quest. A national reckoning with the military fiascos in the Middle East would expose the self-delusion of the ruling class. But this reckoning is not taking place. We are trying to wish the nightmares we perpetuated in the Middle East away, burying them in a collective amnesia. “World War III Begins With Forgetting,” warns Stephen Wertheim.

The celebration of our national “virtue” by pumping weapons into Ukraine, by sustaining at least 750 military bases in more than 70 countries and by expanding our naval presence in the South China Sea, is meant to fuel this dream of global dominance. What the mandarins in Washington fail to grasp is that most of the globe does not believe the lie of American benevolence or support its justifications for U.S. interventions. China and Russia, rather than passively accepting U.S. hegemony, are building up their militaries and strategic alliances. China, last week, brokered an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to re-establish relations after seven years of hostility, something once expected of U.S. diplomats. The rising influence of China creates a self-fulfilling prophecy for those who call for war with Russia and China, one that will have consequences far more catastrophic than those in the Middle East.

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Hungarian FM Szijjártó: “In France, the pension law was amended without a parliamentary vote. In Germany, the electoral law was changed by a simple majority. If anyone criticizes the Hungarian rule of law after this, let us laugh together!”

Orbán: ‘Europe Suffers From War Psychosis’ (RMX)

The main issue facing Europe today is war, which puts Hungary in a difficult situation, as the effects of war are severe and immediate, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a meeting of the Organization of Turkic States summit in Ankara. The prime minister stressed that, unfortunately, Europe was suffering from a “war psychosis,” with the continent drifting further into war day by day. Orbán thanked the leaders of the Turkish states for strengthening the voice of peace. Hungary — on account of its population’s Asian origins — is an honorary member of the Organization of Turkic States. Orbán thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, he said, had so far been able to mediate successfully between the warring parties, and called on him to continue his efforts in the future.

“Only in this way can we have a chance for peace,” Orbán said. He also thanked the Turkish president for the fact that Hungary and Turkey could coordinate their work within NATO. Hungary’s geographical proximity to the war has placed the issue of pursuing peace at the top of the agenda for Hungary, according to Orbán. “Ukraine is a neighboring state, and the effects of the war are therefore severe and direct, with inflation skyrocketing and energy prices at an all-time high,” he said, adding that “many Hungarians have now died in the war because men from the Hungarian community in western Ukraine are also being conscripted into the army.” “For Hungary, the most important thing is to save human lives, and that is why we are advocating a ceasefire as soon as possible and peace negotiations.”

At the same time, the prime minister expressed the view that what is happening in Europe is more than just war, because in fact, “the whole of Europe is being reshuffled in terms of power relations,” and this will also have repercussions for Turkey. He added that Hungary is also seeing another threat: “There are processes going on in the world economy that could lead to a new global balance.” He said that the segmentation of the world economy is against Hungary’s interests, and Hungary sees its future not in segmentation, but in acting in the collective interest and improving interconnectivity. “The Turk states can play a key role in this, because here we are European, Caucasian and Central Asian countries connected to each other on the basis of mutual respect, setting a good example for the whole world,” the prime minister said in his speech.

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“In the end – it’s not up to Washington to decide..”

US Obsessed With Idea Of Dealing Strategic Blow To Russia – Antonov (TASS)

The United States has been causing the geography of the Ukrainian crisis to expand and it turns a blind eye to the corrupt Kiev regime, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on Monday. Commenting on a new $350 million package of US military aid for Ukraine, he said, “Washington is obsessed with the idea of inflicting a strategic defeat on our country. With its steps, the [US] administration is only pushing the Ukrainian radicals toward new terrible deeds,” the embassy quoted Antonov as saying. According to the Russian envoy, “with each delivery of military equipment, the [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky regime feels more and more impunity. It continues to kill civilians in the Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions of Russia with pure cynicism,” the head of the Russian diplomatic mission underscored.

“The United States does not think that by such actions they are adding fuel and provoking the expansion of the geography of the Ukrainian crisis. This policy jeopardizes the security of all of Europe, increasing the risk of a direct clash between Russia and NATO,” Antonov warned. Washington “turns a blind eye to the corruption of the Ukrainian elite. We have serious concerns that some of the defense products may end up on the black market,” he added. “Where will weapons pop up? Who will bear responsibility when it falls into the hands of some terrorist groups and criminal organizations?” he asked rhetorically.

Antonov urged the US leadership to stop fueling the conflict in Ukraine. “And even more so – to refrain from public statements about the expediency or inexpediency of entering into negotiations. In the end – it’s not up to Washington to decide,” he concluded. On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new military assistance package for Ukraine that, among other weapons, would include ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, and riverine boats. In all, during Joe Biden’s presidency, Washington has given more than $33.2 billion worth of military assistance to Kiev.

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“If it fails, “it will be extremely difficult to obtain funds for the next one.”

Ukraine Will Have Only One Shot At A Counteroffensive – Czech President (RT)

With the US set to refocus attention on domestic issues next year, Ukraine may not get funding for continued military action, Czech President Petr Pavel has said. The former army officer said Kiev’s armed forces may therefore have just one shot at conducting a major push against Russian troops. “The window of opportunity is open this year. After next winter, it will be extremely difficult to maintain the current level of aid,” Pavel told the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita. “Ukraine will only have one attempt to launch a major counter-offensive,” he added as quoted by the outlet on Monday. If it fails, “it will be extremely difficult to obtain funds for the next one.”

Pavel, a retired general who served as chair of the NATO Military Committee until 2018, predicted that US interest in aiding the Ukrainian army would likely dwindle in 2024. The political focus in the country will shift to the presidential campaign, and US-China relations are likely to be the top foreign policy issue. European nations will likely reduce their funding of Ukraine too, the politician predicted. He said it was up to Ukraine to decide what constitutes a victory over Russia, which Pavel assured would happen. But if it fails despite all Western help, there will be a “long war of attrition.” “You cannot pretend that the only possible solution is complete success,” he said.

Pavel’s preferred outcome for the conflict is a weakened Russia that prefers “cooperation, not aggression.” He stated that it would take a change of the “Russian regime from within” before the EU would go back to business as usual with the country. Kiev has declared full control of the territories it claims sovereignty over as the objective of its military campaign. It has refused talks with Moscow as long as President Vladimir Putin remains in office. Washington, for its part, has pledged to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. Russia considers the hostilities in Ukraine to be part of a US-led proxy war, with Ukrainian troops being used as “cannon fodder” by Washington.

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Second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference in Moscow. 45 African nations.

Russia Wrote Off $20 Billion Of African Nations’ Debts – Putin (TASS)

Russia has written off debts of African nations amounting to more than $20 bln, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. “Russia wrote off debts of African states in the amount over $20 bln,” the President said. “The mutual trade turnover is growing from year to year, which reached almost $18 bln as of the last year-end,” the Russian leader said. “The more vigorous transition to national currencies in financial settlements and the establishment of new transport and logistics chains will facilitate the development of countertrade turnovers,” Putin added.

Grain deal
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637800706777182208

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“Today the African continent plays an important role in solving global and regional problems. And it will only grow..”

African Countries Always Been Equal Allies For Russia – Duma Speaker (TASS)

Relations between Russia and African countries have always been built on an unselfish basis and equality, which cannot be said of the United States and Europe, which continue their colonial policy, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Monday, speaking at the plenary session of the Second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference. “It is necessary to emphasize: Russia and African countries are equal allies and partners. Our relations have always been built on an unselfish basis, on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in domestic affairs,” Volodin said, stressing that for Russia “the African continent has never been a subject of mercantile interest, use of labor and raw material resources.” However, according to the speaker, the US and Europe have a different approach.


“Washington and Brussels seek to take control of Russian and African natural resources. In fact, they continue their colonial policy. They go to any measures, including force and terrorist nature, for their own benefit,” the politician pointed out. “It is not for Washington to teach us how to build relationships, be friends and make plans for the future,” Volodin pointed out. The Duma speaker recalled that “despite illegal sanctions from Washington, Russia and African states are developing trade and economic cooperation.” In particular, according to the politician, the trade turnover is growing, which at the end of last year amounted to 17.9 billion dollars. “Today the African continent plays an important role in solving global and regional problems. And it will only grow,” Volodin concluded.

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“..Africa will become one of the leaders in the emerging new multipolar world order – all objective prerequisites for this exist..”

Putin Makes Prediction About Africa (RT)

Moscow is “determined to continue building a strategic partnership” with African nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, expressing confidence that the continent is set to become one of the leaders of the emerging multipolar world. The president made the remarks at the International Parliamentary Conference ‘Russia – Africa in a Multipolar World,’ which kicked off in Moscow on Monday and brought together representatives of some 40 nations. The conference comes ahead of the second Russia-Africa summit, which is scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg in July. “African nations are continuously increasing their weight and role in international affairs, and are asserting themselves more and more confidently in politics and economy. We are convinced that Africa will become one of the leaders in the emerging new multipolar world order – all objective prerequisites for this exist,” Putin stated.


Russia and African nations stand together against “the neo-colonial ideology” imposed by certain powers in the world, Putin went on. “Many states of Asia, the Middle East, and South America stand on similar positions, and together we make up the world majority,” he added. Moscow is committed to continue building a “strategic partnership” with Africa, while multiple Russian state-owned and private companies are already actively investing into the continent, Putin stressed. “We are ready to jointly shape the global agenda, work together to strengthen fair and equal interstate relations, and improve mechanisms for mutually beneficial economic cooperation,” he said, describing African nations as Russia’s “friends in the full sense of this word.”

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“..the locked-down public’s attention was galvanized by the George Floyd, BLM, and Antifa riots until the 2020 election was upon us..”

This Has Got to Stop (Kunstler)

The Covid-19 release seems to have been an act motivated by multiple players for their own reasons which, combined, amounted to crimes against humanity. Anthony Fauci, America’s infectious disease czar, apparently sought a crowning career triumph, which would have been a successful vaccine against a dangerous virus. So, he arranged to engineer the organism that he could then triumph against. Like all of Dr. Fauci’s projects over the roughly forty years that he ran the NIAID agency, the mRNA vaccines — subcontracted to the US Military and manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna — turned out to be an epic fiasco. Covid-19 also happened to be a convenient device for ridding the government of the troublesome President Trump, who threatened to disassemble major parts of the permanent US bureaucracy.

If you revisit the many videos of Mr. Trump appearing in the White House Covid crisis room in early 2020 with Dr. Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, and other public health officials, I’m sure you will notice his discomfort, as if he suspected he was being played (he was). And conveniently, right after that, the locked-down public’s attention was galvanized by the George Floyd, BLM, and Antifa riots until the 2020 election was upon us. (Another grotesque prank against the people, never adjudicated.) It took more than a year after the “vaccines” came out for the disturbing actuarial data to emerge from the life insurance industry that many non-elderly people were being killed and disabled by the shots’ adverse effects. (I think the censors were caught by surprise that the truth leaked out from there.)

Meanwhile, any able investigator could understand how the half-assed “vaccines,” along with the denigration of off-label early treatment medicines, the reckless use of dangerous remdesivir combined with enormous government payments to hospitals for mis-treating patients with it, the gaming and hiding of CDC statistics, and the obvious censorship of all that information in the corporate news and social media (with help from the CIA and FBI), all added up to a monstrous criminal offense against human decency. The government, now led by the career criminal “Joe Biden,” needed another distraction from intrusive reality in 2022 — including the emergence of the Biden family’s crimes — so it arranged to start a war in Ukraine by threatening to turn that country into a forward NATO base on Russia’s border. Russia was exceptionally clear and straightforward that it wouldn’t accept such an arrangement and the US proceeded anyway. Our country was exceptionally dishonest in its positioning for this conflict. (And our NATO allies were astoundingly credulous going along with it, even after we fatally damaged the EU’s economy.)

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“You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office..”

House GOP Demands Answers From Manhattan DA Over Trump Indictment (ZH)

House Republicans on the Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee are using their new investigative powers to look into liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, over the Soros-funded DA’s reported plans to indict former President Donald Trump on felony charges this week related to hush money he allegedly paid to porn star Stormy Daniels seven years ago – a charge which would normally be a misdemeanor. Bragg would also be prosecuting the case beyond the five-year statute of limitations. “You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office,” reads a Monday letter to Bragg from Reps. Jim Jordan (Judiciary Chairman), James Comer (Oversight Chairman) and Bryan Steil (House Admin Chairman).

“This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis – any basis – on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the cuntry and one that federal authorities declined to pursue.” The letter goes on to shred the ‘untested legal theory’ underpinning Bragg’s expected indictment, and calls out former Trump Attorney Michael Cohen, Bragg’s star witness and a convicted perjurer, as having a “serious credibility problem.” The letter demands all documents and communications related to the decision. “This is the type of thing America hates, and it divides America and it is wrong,” McCarthy said this week while conferring with House Republicans in Orlando, Florida. McCarthy has accused Bragg of lowering penalties for criminals in New York while prosecuting his political opponents.

“It’s interesting to me he spent his whole time as a DA lowering felonies, not to prosecute,” said McCarthy. “I think Republicans and Democrats alike hate this type of justice.” “Republicans stopped the radical D.C. crime law, and we will investigate any use of federal funds that are used to facilitate the perversion of justice by Soros-backed DA’s across the country,” he continued.

Tucker Justice
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637973070546624512

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“Republicans plan to use their new investigative powers in the House majority to ramp up probes into the Biden family and liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg..”

NYPD Mobilizes 700 Riot Cops, Steel Barricades For Potential Trump Arrest (TP)

The New York Police Department is preparing for civil disorder should the Manhattan District Attorney’s office order the arrest of former President Donald Trump. The NYPD has ordered the mobilization of 700 riot police and has erected steel barricades around the Manhattan Criminal Court in preparation for a potential grand jury indictment. The New York Times fantasized about the “likely indictment” and “unprecedented arrest” of Donald Trump. “He would be fingerprinted. He would be photographed. He could even be handcuffed. And if Donald J. Trump is indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in the days ahead for his role in a hush money payment to a porn star, the former president of the United States of America will be read the standard Miranda warning: He will be told that he has the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.”

“These are among the routine steps for felony arrests in New York. But the unprecedented arrest of a former commander in chief — one whose devoted supporters once staged a violent attack on the Capitol — will be anything but routine,” the story added. The Times also reported that “more than a dozen senior Police Department officials and two of the mayor’s top public safety aides held a virtual meeting to discuss security, staffing and contingency plans in the event of any protests, one person with knowledge of the meeting said.” The Times drew a parallel between New York City’s security preparations for the potential Trump indictment this week and the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021. “That meeting followed a call from Mr. Trump himself, in a post on his site Truth Social on Saturday morning: ‘PROTEST,’ he exhorted his supporters. ‘TAKE OUR NATION BACK!’

“The former president’s rallying cry, with an indictment looming, conjured up memories of the Jan. 6, 2020, assault on the Capitol,” the Times added. Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is set to use his Congressional authority to investigate Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for alleged political prosecution of the former president. “Republicans plan to use their new investigative powers in the House majority to ramp up probes into the Biden family and liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg amid reports that Mr. Bragg is on the verge of indicting former President Donald Trump on felony charges,” the Washington Times reported.

“An aide to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, told The Washington Times on Sunday that Mr. Jordan’s panel on the weaponization of the federal government “’is expected to respond’ to Mr. Bragg’s plans to indict Mr. Trump with an investigation and possible hearings,” the report added. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Sunday underscored that Manhattan D.A.’s case against Trump will be investigated by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

Mark Levin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637661335835009024

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“I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” the governor said. “I just can’t speak to that.”

Ron DeSantis Breaks Silence On Trump’s Possible Arrest (RT)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has ripped the New York City prosecutor behind a possible criminal indictment against Donald Trump while sideswiping the former president with an apparent dig alluding to the “porn star hush money” at the center of the case. DeSantis, who is currently Trump’s top rival for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, had been pressured to comment on the New York case since Trump said over the weekend that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday. He finally weighed in when asked by a reporter on Monday about the possible indictment, arguing that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was among the US prosecutors who were using their positions to pursue a leftist political agenda after being elected with campaign funding from billionaire George Soros.

“These Soros district attorneys are a menace to society, and I’m just glad that I’m the only governor in the country who’s actually removed one from office during my tenure,” said DeSantis, referencing his firing in January of a prosecutor in Tampa, Florida. He added that Soros-backed DAs “weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety.” While some prominent Republicans, such as former vice president Mike Pence, rallied to Trump’s side over his looming arrest, DeSantis said he wouldn’t get involved in the case “in any way,” suggesting that he wouldn’t try to help block the Florida resident’s extradition to New York. “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” the governor said. “I just can’t speak to that.”

“But what I can speak to is that if you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction, and he chooses to go back many, many years ago to try to use something about porn star hush-money payments. That’s an example of pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office.” Bragg reportedly aims to prosecute Trump over a $130,000 payment that was made to porn star Stormy Daniels to secure her silence during the 2016 presidential campaign. The DA would need to prove that the money was paid for the sole purpose of the campaign, rather than other possible motives, such as avoiding public embarrassment or keeping Trump’s wife from finding out about an affair. DeSantis has declined to push back publicly after being attacked on multiple occasions by Trump, who has nicknamed him “Ron DeSanctimonious.” A Yahoo/YouGov poll conducted last month found that voters favored DeSantis over Trump in a head-to-head race by a margin of 45%-41%.

DeSantis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637826647167516677

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“No, the Death of Money means a total and final collapse of this financial system..”

The Financial System Is Terminally Broken (Egon von Greyerz)

[..] the Swiss banking system is very unsound, just like the rest of the world’s. A central bank which is bigger than the country’s GDP is extremely unsound. And a banking system which is 5x Swiss GDP makes it too big to save. Although the Fed and ECB are much smaller in relation to their countries’ GDP than the SNB, these two central banks will soon discover that their assets of around $8 trillion each are grossly overvalued. With a global banking system on the verge of a systemic failure, Central Bankers and bankers have been working around the clock this weekend to temporarily avoid the inevitable collapse of the bankrupt financial system. As I pointed out above, the main Central Banks would also be bankrupt if they valued their assets honestly. But they have a wonderful source of money that they will tap to save the system.


Yes, I am of course talking about money printing. We will in coming months and years see the most massive avalanche of money printing that has ever hit the world. For anyone who believes that we are just seeing another bank run that will quickly evaporate, they will need to take a shower in ice cold Alpine water. What we are witnessing is not just a temporary drama that will be sorted out by “the all powerful and resourceful” central banks. No, instead what we are seeing is the end phase of this financial era which started with the formation of the Fed in 1913 and in the next few years, or much sooner, will end with the death of money.

But the Death of Money doesn’t just mean that the dollar (and most currencies) will make their final move to ZERO, having already declined 98% since 1971. Currency debasement is not the cause but the effect of the banking Cabal taking control of the money for their own benefit. As Mayer Amschel Rothschild said in the late 1700s: “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws”. Sadly, as this Cassandra (me) has written about since the beginning of the century, the Death of Money is not just all currencies going to ZERO as they have throughout history. No, the Death of Money means a total and final collapse of this financial system.


No depositor must believe that the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp) in the US or similar vehicles in other countries will save their deposits. All these organisations are massively undercapitalised and in the end it will be the governments in all countries which step in. We know of course, that the government has no money. They just print whatever they need. That leaves ordinary people taking the final burden of all this money printing. But ordinary people will have no money either. Yes a few rich people will be taxed heavily to cover bank deficits and losses. Still, that will be a drop in the ocean. Instead ordinary people will be impoverished with little income, no government handouts, no pension and money which is worthless.

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“Shares of that one, First Republic Bank, tumbled an additional 47% on Monday..”

US Studies How To Guarantee All $18 Trillion In US Bank Deposits (ZH)

After repeated laments by the likes of Bill Ackman, who most recently said that “I continue to believe that the best course of action is a temporary @FDICgov deposit guarantee until an updated insurance regime is introduced” (and who just flip-flopped on his “Fed must hike with shock and awe” call from 2022 and is now urging for a Fed hiking pause), and following a Bloomberg weekend report that US mid-sized banks demanded a two-year total deposit insurance scheme from the FDIC, and warned if it doesn’t arrive, there may lots more shotgun weddings (or shotguns), moments ago Bloomberg reported that “US officials are studying ways they might temporarily expand Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. coverage to all deposits, a move sought by a coalition of banks arguing that it’s needed to head off a potential financial crisis.” Guess our March 12 tweet was ahead of its time yet again.

The BBG report explains that “Treasury Department staff are reviewing whether federal regulators have enough emergency authority to temporarily insure deposits greater than the current $250,000 cap on most accounts” without formal consent from a deeply divided Congress, and goes on to note that “authorities don’t yet view such a move as necessary, especially after regulators took steps this month to help banks keep up with any demands for withdrawals” which is an important caveat, and is the same one that hawks are using to justify why a Fed pause would be self-defeating (“why is the Fed blowing up their last bit of inflation-fighting credibility; what do they know that we don’t): the same question can be applied to the Treasury: “what does the Treasury know that we don’t.” Most likely nothing – after all bank crises are non-linear, but as Bloomberg notes, “still, they are developing a strategy out of due diligence in case the situation worsens.”

“We will use the tools we have to support community banks,” White House spokesman Michael Kikukawa said, without directly addressing whether the measure is being studied. “Since our administration and the regulators took decisive action last weekend, we have seen deposits stabilize at regional banks throughout the country and, in some cases, outflows have modestly reversed.” Still, the report notes, the behind-the-scenes deliberations show there are concerns in Washington’s corridors of power as midsize banks call for broader government intervention after three lenders collapsed this month when uninsured depositors pulled their money, and as a fourth firm strives to avoid a similar fate. Shares of that one, First Republic Bank, tumbled an additional 47% on Monday as industry leaders tried to find a way to bolster the company’s finances.

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Salp

 

 

 

 

Mountain goat eagle

 

 

Marmot

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 152023
 


Ray K. Metzker Marseille 1961

 

US Drones Gather Data For Kiev’s Future Strikes On Russia – Ambassador (TASS)
Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America (Walt)
Glazyev: ‘The Road To Financial Multipolarity Will Be Long And Rocky’ (Escobar)
Ukraine Doesn’t Have the Resources for a Counteroffensive (Antiwar)
Russian Economic Sovereignty Increased Exponentially – Putin (RT)
Current World Problems Began After Soviet Union’s Collapse – Putin (TASS)
Russia In Ukraine Fights For Russian World – Putin (TASS)
Russia Trying To Normalize Relations With Ukraine For Decades – Putin (TASS)
The Nord Stream-Andromeda Cover Up (Scott Ritter)
Nord Stream Blasts Staged By A State-level Actor – Putin (TASS)
Canadian Foreign Minister Calls For “Regime Change” in Russia (SN)
Defending Ukraine Not Key US Interest – DeSantis (RT)
Biden Admin Blocked SVB Sale, Nationalized It, Blamed Trump For Collapse (ZH)
Democrats Scramble To Find A Scapegoat For The Bank Crisis (ZH)
Ken Griffin: American Capitalism Is “Breaking Down Before Our Eyes” (ZH)
Pfizer Wants EU To Keep Paying For Unused Covid Jabs – FT (RT)

 

 


Hollywood 1931
Einstein: “What I most admire about your art, is your universality. You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you!”
Chaplin: “True. But your glory is even greater! The whole world admires you, even though they don’t understand a word of what you say.”

 

 

 

 


Ditto for 90s.

 

 

Stone Putin Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635596512829886464

 

 

China warns, guardrails are coming off

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Graham

 

 

Taiwan

 

 

 

 

Where it was flying, towards Russia, with its transponder turned off. Completely ormal.

US Drones Gather Data For Kiev’s Future Strikes On Russia – Ambassador (TASS)

US drones are collecting reconnaissance data to be used by the Kiev forces for their future strikes on the Russian territory and Russian troops, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has said. “The unacceptable actions of the United States military in the close proximity to our borders are cause for concern. We are well aware of the missions such reconnaissance and strike drones are used for,” the ambassador was quoted as saying in a communique, issued in connection with Tuesday’s US MQ-9 Reaper drone’s crash in the Black Sea.

The Russian diplomat quoted US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby as saying that US UAVs make these kinds of overflights on a daily basis. “What do they do thousands of miles away from the United States? The answer is obvious – they gather intelligence which is later used by the Kiev regime to attack our armed forces and territory,” Antonov said. “We proceed from the fact that the United States will refrain from further speculations in the media landscape and stop making sorties near the Russian borders,” he added.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1635880585158705153

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Too late to wake up.

Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America (Walt)

The détente between Saudi Arabia and Iran—with China playing a facilitating role—is not as momentous as Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, Anwar Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem in 1977, or the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Even so, if the agreement sticks, it’s a pretty big deal. Most importantly, it is a wake-up call for the Biden administration and the rest of the United States’ foreign-policy establishment, because it exposes the self-imposed handicaps that have long crippled U.S. Middle East policy. It also highlights how China is attempting to present itself as a force for peace in the world, a mantle that the United States has largely abandoned in recent years.

How did China pull this off? Efforts to lower the temperature between Riyadh and Tehran had been underway for some time, but China could step in and help the two parties reach agreement because its dramatic economic rise has given it a growing role in the Middle East. More importantly, China could mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia because it has cordial, business-like ties with a majority of countries in the region. China has diplomatic relations and does business with all sides: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Gulf States, even Bashar al-Assad in Syria. That’s how a great power maximizes its leverage: You make it clear that you’re willing to work with others if they are willing to work with you, and your ties with others remind them that you have other options, too.

The United States, by contrast, has “special relationships” with some countries in the Middle East and no relationship at all with others, most notably Iran. The result is that client states such as Egypt, Israel, or Saudi Arabia take U.S. support for granted and treat its concerns with ill-disguised contempt, whether the issue is human rights in Egypt, the Saudi war in Yemen, or Israel’s long and brutal campaign to colonize the West Bank. At the same time, our mostly futile efforts to isolate and topple the Islamic Republic have left Washington with essentially zero capacity to shape Iran’s perceptions, actions, or diplomatic trajectory. This policy—a product of the assiduous efforts of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, etc., and well-funded Arab government lobbying efforts—may be the clearest example of an own goal in contemporary U.S. diplomacy.

By demonstrating that Washington can’t do much to advance peace or justice in the region, it has left the field wide open for Beijing. The Saudi-Iranian deal also highlights an important dimension of the emerging Sino-American rivalry: Will Washington or Beijing be seen by others as the best guide to a future world order? Given the United States’ outsized global role since 1945, Americans have become accustomed to assuming that most states will follow our lead, even when they have reservations about what we are doing. China would like to alter that equation, and portraying itself as a more likely source of peace and stability is a key part of that effort.

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“..the geoeconomics of multipolarity..”

Glazyev: ‘The Road To Financial Multipolarity Will Be Long And Rocky’ (Escobar)

The headquarters of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) in Moscow, linked to the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is arguably one of the most crucial nodes of the emerging multipolar world. That’s where I was received by Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics Sergey Glazyev – who was previously interviewed in detail by The Cradle – for an exclusive, expanded discussion on the geoeconomics of multipolarity. Glazyev was joined by his top economic advisor Dmitry Mityaev, who is also the secretary of the Eurasian Economic Commission’s (EEC) science and technology council. The EAEU and EEC are formed by Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia. The group is currently engaged in establishing a series of free trade agreements with nations from West Asia to Southeast Asia.

Our conversation was unscripted, free flowing and straight to the point. I had initially proposed some talking points revolving around discussions between the EAEU and China on designing a new gold/commodities-based currency bypassing the US dollar, and how it would be realistically possible to have the EAEU, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and BRICS+ to adopt the same currency design. Glazyev and Mityaev were completely frank and also asked questions on the Global South. As much as extremely sensitive political issues should remain off the record, what they said about the road towards multipolarity was quite sobering – in fact realpolitik-based.

Glazyev stressed that the EEC cannot ask for member states to adopt specific economic policies. There are indeed serious proposals on the design of a new currency, but the ultimate decision rests on the leaders of the five permanent members. That implies political will – ultimately to be engineered by Russia, which is responsible for over 80 percent of EAEU trade. It’s quite possible that a renewed impetus may come after the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow on March 21, where he will hold in-depth strategic talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Depleted. ‘I’m afraid of the sound of the shot,’” he added.

Ukraine Doesn’t Have the Resources for a Counteroffensive (Antiwar)

A senior Ukrainian government official told The Washington Post that Kyiv doesn’t have the resources to pull off a big counteroffensive in the coming months as Ukraine is lacking skilled troops, munitions, and other equipment. “If you have more resources, you more actively attack,” said the official, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity. “If you have fewer resources, you defend more. We’re going to defend. That’s why if you ask me personally, I don’t believe in a big counteroffensive for us. I’d like to believe in it, but I’m looking at the resources and asking, ‘With what?’ Maybe we’ll have some localized breakthroughs.” The official said Ukraine doesn’t have “the people or weapons” to pull off a counteroffensive. “And you know the ratio: When you’re on the offensive, you lose twice or three times as many people. We can’t afford to lose that many people,” the official said.

The Post also spoke with a Ukrainian battalion commander who went by the name of Kupol and detailed the grim situation on the frontlines. Kupol said his battalion previously withdrew from the town of Soledar, which is near the eastern city of Bakhmut, and came under Russian control in January. Kupol said of his battalion of 500 troops, 100 were killed, and about 400 were wounded, leading to a complete turnover. He’s now being sent soldiers with no combat experience and very little training. “I get 100 new soldiers,” Kupol said. “They don’t give me any time to prepare them. They say, ‘Take them into the battle.’ They just drop everything and run. That’s it.” “Do you understand why? Because the soldier doesn’t shoot. I ask him why, and he says, ‘I’m afraid of the sound of the shot,’” he added.

The Post report said that Ukraine has sent in an influx of draftees to replace more experienced soldiers who have been killed or wounded. It said that as more Ukrainian men who didn’t volunteer fear they will get called to battle, Ukraine’s security services shut down Telegram accounts that were helping Ukrainians avoid locations where authorities were handing out draft slips. Kupol said Ukrainian forces are also fighting with very little ammunition. “You’re on the front line,” he said. “They’re coming toward you, and there’s nothing to shoot with.” The Kyiv Independent also recently spoke with Ukrainian soldiers who said they were fighting without much ammunition, training, and support.

Ukraine is taking heavy losses in its battle defending Bakhmut, but it’s keeping a tight lid on its casualty numbers. A German official said including dead and wounded, Ukraine has suffered 120,000 troops, but the number could be much higher. Despite the dire conditions for the Ukrainian troops, Kyiv is still sending untrained soldiers into what has become known as the “meat grinder” in Bakhmut. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia’s Wagner Group, said Sunday that Ukraine was “supplying endless reserves” and that fighting was getting fiercer as Russian forces are trying to push through to the western part of the city.

Bakhmut

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“.. the fundamental foundations of Russia’s stability are now “much stronger than anyone could previously imagine.”

Russian Economic Sovereignty Increased Exponentially – Putin (RT)

The Russian economy hasn’t collapsed due to sweeping Western restrictions, President Vladimir Putin has stated, noting that, on the contrary, its sovereignty has grown many times over. Putin, who was meeting with aircraft factory employees in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, on Tuesday, noted the country had passed a very important stage in its development, which could be the most important result of 2022. “We have exponentially increased our economic sovereignty. After all, what did our adversary count on? That we would collapse in two or three weeks or in a month,” the Russian leader said.


“The expectation was that enterprises would cease due to our partners refusing to work with us, the financial system would collapse, tens of thousands of people would be left without work, take to the streets, protest, Russia would be shaken from the inside and collapse. That was their intention, but this did not happen,” Putin declared. He pointed out that the Russian financial system has survived, growing stronger and becoming more independent, thanks to the actions of the central bank. Putin also indicated that the unemployment rate in the country was currently at a historically low level of 3.6%, while GDP has fallen by only 1.2%. According to the Russian president, the fundamental foundations of Russia’s stability are now “much stronger than anyone could previously imagine.”

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More from Putin’s meeting with aircraft factory employees in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia.

Current World Problems Began After Soviet Union’s Collapse – Putin (TASS)

Modern international problems began after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said while answering a question of one of the employees of the Ulan-Ude aircraft-building plant during a visit to the enterprise on Tuesday. “Of course, all the problems began after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Why? Because the then world order – in a sense it still exists today – was built after World War II by the countries that won that war. First of all, the United States and the Soviet Union,” Putin said. He recalled that the states then “distributed the zones of their influence among themselves and did not interfere with each other.” “Of course, there were enough problems, including the Caribbean crisis, but nevertheless [the USSR and the US] coexisted,” he said.


Putin stressed that the system of the bipolar world “began to crumble down” after the collapse of the USSR, when geopolitical interests turned out to be more important for the West than confrontation with the Soviet Union. “Frankly speaking, it seemed to the people of my generation, including myself, and even a little bit younger ones, that yes, it was regrettable that the Soviet Union collapsed, but nevertheless, the basis for confrontation between the former Soviet Union and modern Russia and the Western world was gone, that that basis disappeared and there were no ideological foundations for confrontation anymore,” Putin said. “It seemed that now everything would be fine forever. It turned out that this was not so. It turned out that the geopolitical interests of our <…> partners were much more important than, among other things, contradictions with the former Soviet Union,” he added.

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“For us, this is a struggle for our people who live on these territories,” the president stressed. “We are a multi-ethnic country. But still, this is the Russian world..”

“For us, it is a struggle for the existence of Russian statehood..”

Russia In Ukraine Fights For Russian World – Putin (TASS)

Russia cannot abandon the Russian-speaking population and it is fighting for the Russian world in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, while answering a question from one of the employees of the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant. “For us, this is a struggle for our people who live on these territories,” the president stressed. “We are a multi-ethnic country. But still, this is the Russian world. If you chance to have a word with the people who come from there – I’ve met some of them – they are no different from you and me! They are the same as we are. They are part of us, how can they be abandoned?” Putin added. He stressed that Russia had spent eight years trying to solve the Donbass issue peacefully, but was repeatedly fooled. “We spent eight years trying to persuade our so-called partners to resolve the Donbass issue peacefully. It has now turned out that they fooled, deceived us. They aren’t shy to say it publicly,” Putin stated.


He stressed that Russia, unlike the West, was fighting not for its geopolitical position, but for the existence of its statehood. “Whereas for our Western partners, so-called, for our opponents today – we can now say this directly – the point at issue is an improvement of the geopolitical position, then for us, bearing in mind the prehistory of the last eight to ten years, everything that is happening now is not just an improvement of some geopolitical position. <…> For us, it is a struggle for the existence of Russian statehood,” Putin said. Putin stressed that the enemy’s sole task was to shake loose the Russian state and “to tear it apart.” “For us this is not a geopolitical task, but the task of the ensuring the survival of Russian statehood and of creating conditions for the future development of our country and our children,” he concluded.

Tucker churches
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635803913960972289

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“..after 2014 the physical extermination of those who advocated the development of normal relations with Russia began.”

Russia Trying To Normalize Relations With Ukraine For Decades – Putin (TASS)

Russia had been patiently trying to normalize situation with Ukraine for decades but the situation changed after the state coup in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. “As a matter of fact, we had been patiently trying to normalize relations with the modern Ukrainian state for decades,” he said at a meeting with workers of the Ulan-Ude aircraft-building plant. “The situation changed dramatically in 2014 when the West-instigate state coup was staged.” According to Putin, in its relations with Ukraine, Russia relied on those who considered themselves as part of the large Russian world, but in 2014 their extermination began.


“We relied not just on the Russian-speaking population [in Ukraine]. The whole country there is essentially Russian-speaking. We relied on those who considered themselves as part of the large Russian world, part of our culture, part of our language environment and part of our common traditions. We relied on these people,” Putin said. He stressed that “after 2014 the physical extermination of those who advocated the development of normal relations with Russia began.” The president recalled that when the problem of Crimea emerged, Russia simply could not but support those people.

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“Simply put — no decompression chamber, no dive, no story.”

The Nord Stream-Andromeda Cover Up (Scott Ritter)

The same day the German reporting on the new Nord Stream attack narrative broke, The New York Times ran a front-page story entitled “Intelligence Suggests Pro-Ukrainian Group Sabotaged Pipelines, US Officials Say.” For the first time, The New York Times referred to Hersh’s reporting, writing, “Last month, the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article on the newsletter platform Substack concluding that the United States carried out the operation at the direction of Mr. Biden,” before closing with “U.S. officials say Mr. Biden and his top aides did not authorize a mission to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines, and they say there was no U.S. involvement.” As if echoing the Biden White House denials, The New York Times led off with this:

“New intelligence reporting amounts to the first significant known lead about who was responsible for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Europe”. The New York Times, it seems, was more than happy about proceeding with its own anonymous intelligence sources, while dismissing Hersh’s. The problem with both the German reporting and that of The New York Times (whose source was clearly referring to the same data reported by the German reporters) is that the Andromeda narrative doesn’t hold water. Take, for instance, the Tom Clancy-like tale of derring-do that has four allegedly Ukraine-affiliated divers defy physiology by conducting dives that would require the use of a decompression chamber for them to survive an ascent of 240 feet (the depth of the Nord Stream pipelines that were destroyed).

A rule of thumb is that decompression takes approximately one day per 100 feet of seawater plus a day. This means that the team of divers would have required three days of decompression per dive. But to decompress, one needs a decompression chamber. For a dive involving two divers, the Andromeda would have to have been outfitted with either a two-person Class A decompression chamber, or two single-person Class B chambers, as well as the number of large oxygen bottles needed to operate these chambers over time. A simple examination of the interior cabin space of the Bavarian C50 yacht would quickly dispossess one of any notion that either option was viable. Simply put — no decompression chamber, no dive, no story.

[..] a standard high-explosive charge of several hundred kilograms would not be sufficient to cause the destruction that occurred on the Nord Stream pipeline. Enter Hersh, who reported that the explosives used were “shaped charges.” With a shaped charge, the energy of the explosion is focused in one direction, usually by creating a concave shape in the explosive that is them lined with a metal sheet, so that it usually achieves an armor- and/or concrete-penetrating effect. Without getting too technical, the design of an underwater shaped charge that would be sufficient to penetrate concrete-lined steel pipe at a depth of 240 feet is not common knowledge. The charge would have to be prepared by qualified explosives experts and ideally tested prior to being employed operationally to validate the design and functionality of the device. These are not tasks undertaken by a small ad hoc team of Ukrainian underwater saboteurs, but rather state-sponsored actors with access to military grade explosives and testing facilities.

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“An explosion of this kind – of such power, at such depth, can only be carried out by specialists, and supported by the entire power of a state, possessing certain technologies…”

Nord Stream Blasts Staged By A State-level Actor – Putin (TASS)

Only a state-level actor could have pulled off such a large-scale sabotage operation, the Russian president said. Russian president Vladimir Putin has dismissed as “nonsense” recent claims that the attack on the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines might have been carried by “Ukrainian activists.” The president made the remarks on Tuesday during his visit to an aircraft plant in the capital city of Russia’s Buryatia republic, Ulan-Ude. “I’m sure this is complete nonsense. An explosion of this kind – of such power, at such depth, can only be carried out by specialists, and supported by the entire power of a state, possessing certain technologies,” Putin told reporters.

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Deaf, dumb and blind.

Canadian Foreign Minister Calls For “Regime Change” in Russia (SN)

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly admitted that the long term goal of western involvement in Ukraine is not merely to see Moscow defeated, but to enact “regime change” in Russia. Joly made the comments while her government announced new sanctions against the import of Russian aluminum and steel. “We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society, and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia,” Joly stated. “The goal is definitely to do that, is to weaken Russia’s ability to launch very difficult attacks against Ukraine. We want also to make sure that Putin and his enablers are held to account,” she added.

Russian ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov reacted to Joly’s remarks by stating that they may have been a “Freudian slip of the tongue.” “What she or other decision-makers in Ottawa don’t want to recognize is that the current Russian policy is supported by the ultimate majority of the nation,” Stepanov said. A similar awkward ‘slip of the tongue’ occurred back in January when Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock acknowledged, “We are fighting a war against Russia, and not against each other.” Joly’s comments will only serve to bolster Vladimir Putin’s assertions that NATO support for Ukraine is about isolating Russia and eventually overthrowing its government. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky recently warned that if Ukraine loses then Americans “will have to send their sons and daughters” to war with Russia over the Baltic states “and they will have to fight” and “they will be dying.”

Former UK Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth also said last month that NATO may need to send ground forces to Ukraine. The US military-industrial complex is making massive gains as a result of the war in Ukraine and other global conflicts, with weapons manufacturers enjoying soaring profits. Data released by the State Department shows that US weapons sales to other countries rose from $103.4 billion in 2021 to $153.7 billion in 2022.

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“The Biden administration are the ones who got us into this mess.”

Defending Ukraine Not Key US Interest – DeSantis (RT)

Becoming increasingly involved in the military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia is not a key interest for the US, Florida’s Republican governor Ron Desantis wrote in response to a question posed by Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday. Carlson asked several “2024 GOP hopefuls” whether opposing Russia in Ukraine was a “vital strategic interest” for the US and shared DeSantis’ response on Twitter. The governor stated that the US had many “vital national interests,” such as securing its borders, addressing the recruitment crisis within the US military, achieving energy security and independence, and “checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party.” However, becoming “further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis noted.

He added that the Biden administration’s policy of issuing virtual “blank checks” to Ukraine in order to fund the conflict for “as long as it takes,” without any defined objectives or accountability, only serves to distract from the most pressing challenges currently facing the US. The governor also blasted Washington for effectively driving Russia closer to China, which he believes represents a much greater threat than Moscow. DeSantis, who many expect to contend for the US presidency in the 2024 elections, has set himself apart from other top Republican leaders with his stance on Ukraine. Responding to the same question, former vice president Mike Pence insisted that “there is no room for Putin apologists in the Republican Party” and that Putin must be stopped to prevent Russia from moving toward Washington’s NATO allies.

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell has also pledged the Republican party’s commitment to the Ukrainian war effort. In his response to Carlson’s question, former president Donald Trump insisted that the conflict, which he believes would have never happened if he’d been in office, must end as soon as possible and that the US president must meet with both sides and quickly work out a deal. He also stated that while opposing Russia in Ukraine is not a vital American national strategic interest for the US, it is important for Europe. “That is why Europe should be paying far more than we are, or equal,” Trump said. Asked if the US should support regime change in Russia, the former president stated that he did not, and instead called for regime change in the United States itself. “That’s far more important,” he wrote. “The Biden administration are the ones who got us into this mess.”

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“..the Biden Admin had a whitelist of companies that were allowed to buy the failed bank & companies that weren’t.”

Biden Admin Blocked SVB Sale, Nationalized It, Blamed Trump For Collapse (ZH)

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“..any pursuit of new QE in the face of a credit crunch would lead to an immediate spike in inflation once again, crushing the middle class..”

Democrats Scramble To Find A Scapegoat For The Bank Crisis (ZH)

What Democrats do not seem to understand is that the easing of Dodd-Frank capital requirements was in direct response to the Federal Reserve’s announced plan to tighten liquidity and raise interest rates through 2018. With more expensive credit and a shrinking Fed balance sheet, reducing requirements for bank buffers was one of the few ways to prevent the stimulus addicted lending sector from plummeting. The extra capital also allowed banks to continue lending to companies that engage in stock buybacks, keeping stock markets afloat. With a larger capital buffer even more liquidity dries up, revealing the true economic weakness underneath that Dems have denied for the past few years. So, if Biden and the Dems get what they want (more strict capital requirements for banks), then there will be an even swifter collapse of markets and the overall economy due to lack of liquidity.

By the end of 2018, markets began to plunge anyway under the strain of higher interest rates, which led to the Fed reversing course, and this seems to be what Democrats are really hoping for. They have called for endless liquidity measures and have consistently demanded lower rates and looser monetary policy. However, when Donald Trump’s Administration called for rate cuts during his term, Dems attacked. Once again, when Republicans do it, it’s wrong; when they do it, it’s good policy. Another issue to consider is that each successive program by the Fed to employ bailouts and QE accelerates the inflation crisis. While both sides of the aisle seem to want helicopter money when they are in power so they can boast about rising stock markets and improved employment, the Dems are now facing a systemic stagflationary event; the same event they originally claimed did not exist.

This means that any pursuit of new QE in the face of a credit crunch would lead to an immediate spike in inflation once again, crushing the middle class. Are Democrats willing to accept responsibility for something like that? Not a chance. The Biden Administration has so far taken full credit for the slowdown of consumer inflation as well as the shrinking deficit, but these changes are only due to the tightening actions of the central bank which sets policy independent of the White House. Democrats can’t have it both ways – They can’t take credit for reduced inflation when the Fed tightens policy against their wishes, and then not take credit for the consequences of higher inflation when they badger the Fed to inject more stimulus. The only recourse for the political left is to somehow lay the blame on conservatives no matter which way the wind blows, inflation or deflation.

Emergency congressional hearings have been organized to determine the cause of the SVB crisis and the course of action needed. Democrats including Sen. Sharrod Brown and Rep. Maxine Waters were quick to applaud the backstop initiated by the Fed and the Treasury Department, attempting to calm market concerns and reassure investors and depositors that all is well. Maxine Waters stated that Republicans and Democrats needed to “work together to protect the safety of the financial system”, which is likely a thinly veiled assertion that Republicans must support raising the debt ceiling and commit to even more spending.

Tucker CBDC

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It’s already broken.

Ken Griffin: American Capitalism Is “Breaking Down Before Our Eyes” (ZH)

In contrast to billionaire Bill Ackman’s praise for the federal government’s bailout of SVB depositors, Citadel founder Bill Griffin is not impressed, telling The FT that this action by US regulators shows American capitalism is “breaking down before our eyes”. As a reminder, the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund normally guarantees up to $250,000 in deposits, which protects small retail customers including mom-and-pop businesses. Banks pay for this guarantee with insurance premiums, but the insurance fund isn’t intended to backstop deposits of bigger customers with more capacity to weather losses if a bank goes under. Yet, as The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board remarks, after venture capitalists (Democratic donors) and Silicon Valley politicians howled, the FDIC on Sunday announced it would cover uninsured deposits at SVB and Signature Bank under its “systemic risk” exception.

Apparently, Silicon Valley investors and startups are too big to lose money when they take risks. They benefited enormously from the Fed’s pandemic liquidity hose, which caused SVB’s deposits to double between 2020 and 2021. SVB paid interest of up to 5.28% on large deposits, which it used to fund loans to startups. But now the FDIC is guaranteeing a risk-free return for startups and their investors. Uninsured deposits normally take a 10% to 15% hair cut during a bank failure. Some 85% to 90% of SVB’s $173 billion in deposits are uninsured. The cost of this guarantee could be $15 billion. The White House says special assessments will be levied on banks to recoup these losses.

That means bank customers with less than $250,000 in deposits will indirectly pay for this through higher bank fees. In other words, this is an income transfer from average Americans to deep-pocketed investors. Griffin warned a year ago that price pressures will remain stubbornly persistent, forcing policymakers to need to hit the brakes “hard”, which will likely cause a recession, which, he warned, will leave the West facing “existential” problems. A year later, he was proved right as The Fed’s aggressive rate-hikes “broke something”… “The US is supposed to be a capitalist economy, and that’s breaking down before our eyes,” he said in an interview on Monday. “There’s been a loss of financial discipline with the government bailing out depositors in full,” Griffin added.

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Now do we fire Ursula?

Pfizer Wants EU To Keep Paying For Unused Covid Jabs – FT (RT)

Pfizer has offered to extend its Covid-19 vaccine contract with the European Union while scaling back deliveries, but still expects the bloc to pay billions of euros for unused doses amid a major supply glut in some countries, the Financial Times reported. The offer prompted outrage from a handful of member states, who say the deal would serve the interests of Big Pharma over their own citizens. The contract extension would push the vaccine agreement out to 2026, with a proposed 40% reduction in the number of doses supplied as well as delays to deliveries, the Times reported on Tuesday, citing two unnamed officials. However, despite the suggested cuts, the US pharma giant still insists that it be paid for the full number of doses originally agreed upon, many of which would never be produced under the new terms.

The amendments to the deal – the full text of which has never been made public – were presented by European health commissioner Stella Kyriakides during a closed-door meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, but faced objections from some EU members. In a joint statement issued following the meeting, officials from Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland said they would not sign the agreement with the proposed changes, as they “do not present a final and fair solution to the problems of the Covid-19 vaccine surplus and do not meet the needs of the healthcare systems, the needs of citizens and the financial interests of the member states.”

Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski argued that the current Pfizer proposal would favor Big Pharma, and has called for the secretive contract to be published, questioning the role European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen played in the negotiations for the massive vaccine deal. An EU watchdog launched a probe into the negotiation and procurement process late last year, after von der Leyen’s office failed to produce personal text messages sent to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla during the talks for nearly 2 billion vaccine doses, prompting accusations of corruption.

The 27-member bloc originally signed a joint contract with Pfizer in 2020, but since the pandemic receded, demand for vaccines has steadily dropped, leaving an overabundance across the continent. Some countries have been forced to throw away vaccines, with Germany alone tossing out some 36.6 million doses, according to public broadcaster BR24, while others are sitting on large stocks of unused shots, such as Austria, which has reported around 17.5 million in its supply. However, Czech Health Minister Vlastimil Valek pushed back on the criticisms, arguing that the “majority of countries” had agreed to the deal and that “the contract is not bad.” He added that the large stock of doses would not pose a problem as “Covid is still here” and “It will be necessary to repeat vaccination each year for a particular group of patients.”

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Wall Street 1662

 

 


“Watercolor painter Liu Yunsheng’s artworks are famous for their fluidity and transparency, as well as for the richness and complexity of their characters. Some paintings combine reality & illusion which can be described as freehand in realism”

 

 

Kestrel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635668806990192640

 

 


The nocturnal African dung beetle Scarabaeus satyrus is the only known insect and one of the few non-human animals capable of navigating and orienting itself using the Milky Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 032023
 
 January 3, 2023  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  75 Responses »


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Portrait of Vincent van Gogh 1887

 

Damar Hamlin Is Not Expected To Make A Full Recovery (Kirsch)
The American Public is Extremely Worried About the Vaccines (MWD)
DeSantis: We’re Suing Big Pharma for Killing Americans With COVID Shots (NP)
Did Pfizer Perform Safety Testing for mRNA Vaccine in Preclinical Studies? (SL)
Expect Three Things From Government to Cover Up Vaxx-Weakened Immunity (Rucker)
ICAN Obtains Disturbing Information About AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine (ICAN)
Israel to Declare Covid Pandemic Over, Downgrade It to Flu Status (YW)
Virgin Islands AG Loses Her Job Days After Suing JPMorgan Over Epstein (L&C)
German MP Warns Against ‘Unimaginable Escalation’ (RT)
Ex-NATO General Predicts Ukraine Ceasefire (RT)
Putin’s Approval Rating Ends 2022 At 81% (BNE)
Is Western Propaganda Failing? (Larry Johnson)
Questions and Answers (Kunstler)
Pentagon, FBI, DHS Failed On Jan. 6 – Former Capitol Police Chief (WaPo)
Turkey Supreme Court Bans Genetically Modified Grains Imports (S4S)

 

 

 

 

Ayyadurai – First Amendment

 

 

 

 

Bowden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I already saw a lot of articles about vaccine risks last night, before Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field on live TV. When you combine that collapse with the new Rasmussen poll out yesterday, that says “More Than 1-in-4 Think Someone They Know Died From COVID-19 Vaccines”, and “49% of American Adults believe it is likely that side effects of COVID-19 vaccines have caused a significant number of unexplained deaths..”, we may be looking at an awakening. A large part of that 49% now think they know what happened with Hamlin. Try cover that up.

“CPR was administered for 9 minutes. Normal is 3 to 5 minutes. After 10 minutes you’re basically dead.”

Damar Hamlin Is Not Expected To Make A Full Recovery (Kirsch)

Update 11:20pm: It was announced in the hospital parking lot that Hamlin is not expected to make a full recovery. Hamlin was vaccinated. The Buffalo Bills is a 100% vaccinated team. I also got a Twitter DM from someone who knows this for a fact who asked that I not disclose his identity. This is a shame since we know know, thanks to my readers, that there is no death benefit to the COVID vaccines. Update 7:39pm: This was called “unprecedented” on ESPN. Hamlin has been intubated and currently listed in critical condition. All the announcers said they’d never seen it in the NFL. This was a joint decision by both the NFL and the players to stop the game. This is unprecedented. One of my nurse friends wrote, “How often has a young healthy football player that didn’t take that hard of a hit had a heart attack or stroke.” CPR was administered for 9 minutes. Normal is 3 to 5 minutes. After 10 minutes you’re basically dead.

McCullough said that we will not know for 24 hours whether he will bounce back. He could make a full recovery. Dr. Peter McCullough just wrote me (7:54pm): “I watched the play live both as a fan and a cardiologist and I saw blunt neck and chest trauma, a brief recovery after the tackle and then a classic cardiac arrest. I have communicated to one of the most experienced trainers in the world and we agree that it was a cardiac arrest in the setting of a big surge of adrenalin. If Damar Hamlin indeed took one of the COVID-19 vaccines, then subclinical vaccine-induced myocarditis must be considered in the differential diagnosis. We have been told he was successfully defibrillated on the field and has been intubated and is not spontaneously breathing which is consistent with anoxic encephalopathy. The nation prays for his complete recovery.”

Peter got it right…. 3 hours after he said that, the Buffalo Bills confirmed he was correct: Note that McCullough originally speculated that the injury that Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was due to commotio cordis (a phenomenon in which a sudden blunt impact to the chest causes sudden death in the absence of cardiac damage). The time delay from the hit until he collapsed is expected in commotio cordis. Peter believes that the ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation could have been set up by the vaccine if he took it. Hamlin was shocked back to rhythm. He now has anoxic encephalopathy. He’s in critical condition at the hospital. If you think the vaccines are safe, this article is very troubling. Therefore, it is viewed as “inappropriate.” If you think the vaccines are not safe, this article is confirming and people have no objection.

Interesting, isn’t it? It now appears that, if Hamlin was vaccinated (which we all believe is highly likely but we don’t have the evidence to say he was), the vaccine likely played a very major role in his injury until proven otherwise. However, I believe it is highly unlikely that there will be a proper autopsy where they examine Damar Hamlin’s heart tissue similar to what they did in the Schwab study. In America, we do not want to know what kills people. This is why there are virtually never any autopsies after someone dies post-vaccine, even if they die less than 24 hours after the jab. So deaths like this will continue because people don’t want to upset the government safe and effective narrative.

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The Rasmussen survey is here. Since it is a endless litany of numbers and percentages, I go with a write-up by the Substack A Midwestern Doctor.

“49% of American Adults believe it is likely that side effects of COVID-19 vaccines have caused a significant number of unexplained deaths, including 28% who think it’s Very Likely”.

The American Public is Extremely Worried About the Vaccines (MWD)

Although Rasmussen typically makes their polls be behind a paywall (since they have to stay in business), they felt compelled to make this one be publicly available. This poll evaluated 1000 American adults, of whom 71% reported being vaccinated. The results Rasmussen found were as follows:

The results of each of these questions have profound implications for the general public losing its trust in the mainstream narrative. The second is particularly important: 28% know someone directly they believe died from a vaccine. Even if the correlation is false (although I believe it is the opposite as many of the deaths are not recognized), 28% of the population believing the government and every authority they were raised their life to trust would push something this dangerous onto them shatters the institutional trust our entire society is built upon. Put differently, this is not a problem more propaganda can solve or half-hearted pseudo-apologies like Emily Oster’s disingenuous plea for amnesty or Peter Hotez’s “apology” that followed him being called out for his egregious conduct with the vaccines.

At this point in time, the major challenge our movement is facing is bridging the gap from the evidence of harm (there is far more than enough data to end this program) to persuading the public that this data matters and the vaccines need to be pulled. This is why Rasmussen’s survey results so important, as they illustrate that gap is beginning to be overcome. When it comes to ending these mandates, how the vaccines are perceived by the public is the most important thing and what politicians will listen to. [..] One of the interesting things about today’s poll was how each demographic answered:

For example, when asked if they knew someone who they suspected had died from the vaccine, 33% of Democrats said yes, while 26% of both Republicans and those who were not affiliated with either party said yes. Rasmussen argues this (along with many other demographic response rates) suggests the poll’s results were valid, and explained this result being due Democrats, while being less likely to want to acknowledge a vaccine injury, likely knowing far more people who were vaccinated, and thus being exposed to a higher rate of deaths.

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Again, let’s hope Florida stays the course.

DeSantis: We’re Suing Big Pharma for Killing Americans With COVID Shots (NP)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is suing Pfizer and Moderna for killing millions of Americans with their toxic mRNA jabs. “I think people want the truth that I think people want accountability. You need to have a thorough investigation into what happened with the shots,” DeSantis told a crowd earlier in December. “I promise to hold these manufacturers accountable for this mRNA [shot] because they said there were no side effects and we know that there have been a lot.” Naturalnews.com reports: Back in October, Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo recommended against the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for males aged 18 to 39. His recommendation was based on a study that found an 84 percent increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males aged 18 to 39 within 28 days of vaccination.

“Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health,” Ladapo said. “Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.” DeSantis has banned strict vaccine mandates in schools and businesses back in November 2021 to make sure people continued to earn a living and have protections at their place of employment. He also emphasized that parents should be able to direct the upbringing of their kids, especially when it came to dealing with the pandemic.

“The plain truth is COVID shots have led to horrifying effects, such as myocarditis, blood clots, additional injuries and sudden deaths,” Patrick Tims of NaturalHealth365 wrote. “The mainstream media in the United States and elsewhere will never admit it, yet the truth is the vast majority of people would have enjoyed better health outcomes had they avoided the mRNA shots altogether.”

Comer Fauci Files
https://twitter.com/i/status/1609944249436602371

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“My goal is to illustrate the complete breakdown of the previously known to be rigorous ethical drug development process..”

Did Pfizer Perform Safety Testing for mRNA Vaccine in Preclinical Studies? (SL)

The cursory nature of the entire preclinical program for mRNA injections conducted by Pfizer can be briefly summarized as “we did not find any safety signals because we did not look for them”. The omissions of standard safety studies and glaring scientific dishonesty in the studies that were performed are so obvious that they cannot be attributed to the incompetence of the manufacturers and regulators. Rather, the questions of fraud and willful negligence should be raised.

The focus of my review was the scope and adequacy of the program of non-clinical assessment for a novel gene therapy “vaccine” with a brief discussion of relevant regulatory frameworks. I did not dive deeply into the results of specific animal studies. My goal is to illustrate the complete breakdown of the previously known to be rigorous ethical drug development process, as well as the shocking negligence on the part of the regulatory agencies that are supposed to keep the pharmaceutical manufacturers honest. It turns out that both the regulators and the manufacturers were highly dishonest and pushed an entirely novel technology and product on millions of people without a single well designed toxicology assessment.

In summary, I have identified the following:

Finding 1: Pfizer’s program did not include a comprehensive end-to-end test of all components as well as the final chemical entity of the mRNA product. The studies included in the FDA approval package were for a variety of versions of the product with no comparability assessments, thus no comprehensive assessment of the product safety can be made.

Finding 2: The toxicity/safety pharmacology of the Covid 19 vaccine’s active ingredient (mRNA BNT162b2) was never evaluated!

Finding 3: Pfizer claimed absence of potential for “vaccine-elicited disease enhancement” based on studies of an animals that did not get sick from Sars-Cov-2.

Finding 4: CDC, FDA and Pfizer lied about “vaccine staying in the injection site” – the injected substance is carried by the LNPs all over the body and into all organs.

Finding 5: Pfizer waived major categories of safety testing for their product altogether using self-serving interpretation of WHO recommendations from 2005.

Finding 6: Both FDA and Pfizer knew about major toxicities associated with gene therapy class of medicines, and therefore cannot claim lack of anticipatory knowledge of these risks.

Turbo cancer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1609634122863104000

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“..they KNOW they will eventually be caught. That’s not a concern for them because their goal of getting as many men, women, and children jabbed as many times as possible cannot be reversed by the truth coming out..”

Expect Three Things From Government to Cover Up Vaxx-Weakened Immunity (Rucker)

After two years of completely controlling the Covid “vaccine” narrative and gaslighting the people into thinking they were “safe and effective,” an avalanche of news has been coming out lately that is prompting more people to ask questions. While most “normies” are still in the dark because they’re getting their news from corporate media, a small but growing number of them are waking up to the fact that they’ve been conned. While there’s still a huge leap to be made between getting people to ask questions and making them believe this is a worldwide depopulation and control agenda, the interim goal of getting them to stop getting more jabs is a worthy accomplishment. This is why we post articles and do videos on a constant basis to give people the ammunition they need to stir more of the masses to enlightenment. We need to hand out as many “vaccine red pills” as we can.

Unfortunately, the powers-that-be are aware they’re losing bits of control over the narrative so we fully expect them to fight back tooth-and-nail in 2023. They will continue to use propaganda and censorship through corporate media and Big Tech, but they realize even in those controlled venues they have challenges. Therefore, they are in the process of engaging in three variations of their current strategy to keep the con going as long as possible. It’s important to note that they KNOW they will eventually be caught. That’s not a concern for them because their goal of getting as many men, women, and children jabbed as many times as possible cannot be reversed by the truth coming out. Just because someone becomes aware that the jabs are harming them doesn’t mean they can go get themselves unjabbed. The powers-that-be know they cannot hide the truth forever, so they are working to subvert the truth and distort it in ways that will continue to serve their goals even after the masses finally wake up.

The first step is already happening. Rather than deny that people’s immune systems are weakening and many are dying suddenly with no viable explanation, they’re acknowledging the deaths but offering alternative reasons.. For example, the American Heart Association released a “study” last August that claimed increased cases of Myocarditis in children is due to Covid-19 itself, not the vaccines. It’s an extremely dishonest report from the AHA for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that if someone is jabbed AND had Covid, those Myocarditis cases are counted as caused by Covid. Then, there’s the fact that they do not count Myocarditis cases that were discovered more than 28-days after getting jabbed.

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“..the study found vector DNA in the sciatic nerves, bone marrow, livers, lungs, and spleens of the mice following vaccination.”

ICAN Obtains Disturbing Information About AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine (ICAN)

AstraZeneca study finds vector DNA in the sciatic nerve, bone marrow, liver, lungs, and spleen of vaccinated mice. Because AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is not licensed in the United States, all documents within the FDA’s possession concerning this vaccine are exempt from disclosure. This means that anyone who received an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine cannot – and might not ever be able to – access any of the data concerning the vaccine from the US government. Not satisfied by this complete lack of transparency, ICAN, through its attorneys, submitted an information request to the United Kingdom’s FDA equivalent – the Medicines and Healthcare Products Registry Agency (MHRA) — in April 2022 seeking information relating to its authorization of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, as well as that relating to its authorization of the Janssen, Moderna, and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

MHRA’s initial response was to threaten to deny ICAN’s request but, after ICAN pushed back and, in the case of the AstraZeneca vaccine, narrowed the scope of the request to seven specific items related to safety testing, MHRA dropped its objection. MHRA recently provided 166 pages of records containing the studies MHRA relied on to authorize AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. One of these studies investigated biodistribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine, meaning where it goes in the body after injection, in mice. This study revealed that the viral vector DNA did not remain localized in the injection site but instead migrated to other organs. Disturbingly, the study found vector DNA in the sciatic nerves, bone marrow, livers, lungs, and spleens of the mice following vaccination.

The study documents further revealed that, in early 2021, AstraZeneca was forced to amend its data sheet for the vaccine after concluding that there may have been a causal association between the vaccine and serious hypersensitivity including anaphylaxis. Another perhaps unsurprising revelation was the inclusion of disclaimer that a number of vulnerable populations, such as pregnant and lactating women and immunocompromised persons, were excluded from pre-market human safety studies. In its Marketing Authorization Application, AstraZeneca stated that because these populations were excluded from the studies, the safety of the vaccine in these groups was unknown. This also led the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) to recommend against the AstraZeneca vaccine for pregnant women – a sentiment that was echoed in the UK’s vaccination schedule guide, commonly referred to as the “Green Book.”

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Covid is not the concern, the vaccines are. And Israel is the test lab for those.

Israel to Declare Covid Pandemic Over, Downgrade It to Flu Status (YW)

Israel will officially declare the Covid-19 pandemic over next month and downgrade the country’s handling of the virus to that of the flu as of January 18th, according to reports. Israel’s Home Front Command had been shouldering the responsibility for all Covid-related treatment and testing since the virus first became a major health concern in the country, but those responsibilities will now be shifted to the civilian health system. On the last day of January, Covid will officially be downgraded to flu status, the pandemic control center will be shuttered, and Covid patients will no longer be required to isolate themselves.


“We’re hoping that our health care system can cope with these winter infections, including Covid,” Professor Cyrille Cohen, a member of the Health Ministry’s advisory board, told i24News. Once the winter is over, the Health Ministry hopes and expects that the virus will be endemic in the country, with infections coming at a regular rate, rather than in waves – making it far more bearable. “We are more in a scenario where we are behaving like any other viral disease in the winter,” Cohen added.

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Rogan O’Handley @DC_Draino: “Remember when Biden got the Ukrainian prosecutor fired for investigating Hunter/Burisma? Well on Dec. 27 the USVI AG filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan for helping Jeffrey Epstein. Biden flew to USVI & the AG was fired days later.”

Virgin Islands AG Loses Her Job Days After Suing JPMorgan Over Epstein (L&C)

Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George lost her job after suing JPMorgan Chase in connection with her Jeffrey Epstein investigation. The Virgin Islands top prosecutor who reached a more than $105 million settlement with Jeffrey Epstein’s estate has lost her job days after suing JPMorgan Chase in connection with her probe. The federal lawsuit, filed in New York, accused the bank of having “facilitated, sustained, and concealed” Epstein’s human trafficking network. On Dec. 27, then-Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George filed a blistering and heavily redacted 30-page lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase.

“JP Morgan turned a blind eye to evidence of human trafficking over more than a decade because of Epstein’s own financial footprint, and because of the deals and clients that Epstein brought and promised to bring to the bank,” the lawsuit alleged. “These decisions were advocated and approved at the senior levels of JP Morgan, including by the former chief executive of its asset management division and investment bank, whose inappropriate relationship with Epstein should have been evident to the bank. Indeed, it was only after Epstein’s death that JP Morgan belatedly complied with federal banking regulations regarding Epstein’s accounts.”

[..] Days after the AG’s filing of the lawsuit — on New Year’s Eve — George was removed from her post. Local news outlets in the Virgin Islands reported that the attorney general had not informed the territory’s Gov. Albert Bryan about her impending enforcement action. [..] The development was first reported by The Virgin Islands Consortium, citing anonymous sources. Bryan subsequently confirmed George’s termination — without providing an explanation for it — in a statement sent to multiple news outlet. “I relieved Denise George of her duties as attorney general this weekend,” Bryan wrote in a statement sent to Law&Crime. “I thank her for her service to the people of the territory during the past four years as attorney general and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

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“Berlin will continue to refrain from any “ill-considered unilateral moves..”

German MP Warns Against ‘Unimaginable Escalation’ (RT)

Berlin has no plans to send modern Western-made tanks to Ukraine, as the risks are too high, a German lawmaker said on Monday. Such a move could make NATO a direct party to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev and lead to an escalation, Michael Mueller told Germany’s ARD broadcaster. Berlin will continue to refrain from any “ill-considered unilateral moves,” Mueller, who is a member of the German Bundestag’s Foreign Policy Committee, told ARD’s Morganmagazin show. “We would only deliver such weapons in coordination with our NATO partners,” he said, adding that the military bloc wants to avoid becoming a direct party to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“That would be in the interests of all of us… If NATO became a direct war party against Russia, it would be an escalation that none of us want to imagine,” Mueller, a member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), warned. No other nations who possess “comparable” military hardware – including the US and France – have supplied them to Ukraine, Mueller pointed out, adding that those countries appear to share Germany’s concerns. The lawmaker also said that dialogue with Russia should be maintained. “There should always be an offer to talk,” he argued, criticizing his party’s coalition partners – the Greens and the Free Democrats – for failing to understand that.

Mueller said Chancellor Scholz is now the only leader who continues to seek such contacts, adding that the Foreign Ministry should also look for options for dialogue. Scholz has previously repeatedly said that resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would be much harder without dialogue with Moscow. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, on the contrary, has taken a staunch anti-Russia position, vowing to ramp up sanctions against Moscow and stating that “normal relations” with the Kremlin are out of the question.

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“Between February and May, it is likely that both parties will realize “that they are getting stuck..”

I don’t think so. Not both parties.

Ex-NATO General Predicts Ukraine Ceasefire (RT)

A senior German Army officer and former Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, General Hans-Lothar Domröse, has predicted that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will run into a stalemate and some sort of a ceasefire will be reached by summer. “I expect a standstill in early summer,” Domröse told the newspapers of the German Funke media group on Sunday, arguing that by such time, both sides will feel that continued fighting is “no longer of any use.” Between February and May, it is likely that both parties will realize “that they are getting stuck,” the former general said, adding that this will be the moment to begin ceasefire negotiations. “We will have a truce sometime in 2023,” Domröse predicted, cautioning that this would not mean an immediate lasting peace.

“A ceasefire means: We stop shooting,” he said, but negotiations are “likely to take a long time.” Regarding the current state of the conflict, Domröse said that Russia has the advantage of having “more tanks and more missiles,” while Kiev is “absolutely dependent” on Western arms supplies. “It’s hard for me to imagine Ukraine regaining [the Russian-held territories] completely – even if the West supplies the heavy weapons that are required, especially tanks and artillery,” he added. Since the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine last February, Germany, along with most other Western nations, has been supplying Ukraine with weapons. However, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been reluctant to supply Leopard 2 battle tanks to Kiev, arguing that since no other nation has yet sent such modern weaponry, Germany should not blaze a trail.

The general claimed that if “we take our responsibility seriously, we must provide [Kiev] with the heavy weapons” before its stockpiles run dry, because it could take well over a month from the government’s decision to have Leopard 2 tanks on the ground in Ukraine. “At some point Ukraine will have lost its last tank, then it will need supplies. And at some point there will be a ceasefire, then Ukraine will also need further support and weapons,” Domröse said. “It is high time that the European countries that have Leopard tanks now form a coalition of the willing and deliver together in a coordinated manner.” Moscow has consistently argued that Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine only serve to prolong the conflict. It has also warned that NATO member states are getting increasingly involved in the hostilities, which could potentially lead to an all-out military confrontation between the bloc and Russia.

The general acknowledged that the only way to end the conflict is through a negotiated agreement acceptable to both sides, suggesting that a possible solution could be for Zelensky to waive Kiev’s demand to immediately integrate Crimea into Ukraine and instead agree to a “transition period” of 50 years. However, the Kremlin previously called such proposals a non-starter, insisting that if Ukraine wants peace it should take into account “the new realities,” referring to the four former Ukrainian regions that voted to join Russia last fall, after Crimea did the same in 2014 following a coup in Kiev.

Michael Flynn

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The only question in approval rating is the Duma.

Putin’s Approval Rating Ends 2022 At 81% (BNE)

If anything, support and trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin has increased since the war in Ukraine started at the end of February. Putin’s personal popularity ranking stood at 83% in March (chart), with 15% holding an unfavourable opinion of the president and 2% unsure, and stayed at that level until August, when things started to go wrong with the campaign in Ukraine. His popularity fell to 77% (21%, 2%) in September, according to the Levada Centre, after Ukraine’s spectacular Kharkiv counter-offensive began, but recovered to 79% in October and November to end the year in December at 81% (17%, 2%).


Overall, Putin has been enjoying the same “patriotic bump” that lifted his ratings following the annexation of Crimea in 2014. During the previous two years of 2020 and 2021 his ratings wavered between 61% and 69% but only crossed into the 70%-plus range as the rhetoric with the West went up a notch at the start of the crisis at the beginning of 2022.

Likewise, the approval of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has also been given a lift. He polled a 60% (35%, 5%) approval rating in February but that leapt to 71% (23%, 6%) in March after the war started. Since then, his approval has hovered around 70% to finish the year in December with 71% (23%, 6%). The government also remain popular. In the pre-war years the government was benefiting from the improving economy. However, the shine came off in 2021, when its ratings fell to around 50%. When the war started their approval leapt from 55% (42%, 3%) in February to 70% (27%, 3%) in March. The governors ended the year in December with an approval rating of 68% (28%, 4%).

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“You see, Putin can’t handle tough questions. Oops!! Wait a minute. We have breaking news. Turns out that Putin held a 48 minute press conference three days before Western Christmas..”

Is Western Propaganda Failing? (Larry Johnson)

As someone who played a minuscule role in a CIA information operation that targeted Soviet military operations in Afghanistan in November 1985, I feel somewhat qualified to comment on the mammoth propaganda campaign the United States and Europe have unleashed on Russia. I have never seen anything so perverse and so dishonest. Let me give you a recent example. Remember this recent “news” headline? “DUCKING FOR COVER: ‘SICKLY’ PUTIN CANCELS BIGGEST SPEECH OF HIS LIFE AS FIRST RUSSIAN STATE OF NATION SINCE INVASION IS MYSTERIOUSLY AXED” https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/20827701/putin-sick-russian-speech-ukraine-invasion This was courtesy of the UK’s SUN. Lacking any reliable source, The SUN opted for speculation: “VLADIMIR Putin has cancelled his state of the nation address fuelling rumours he is in hiding from the Russian people and could be in failing health. Putin’s spokesman finally confirmed the speech – which would be one of biggest in Vlad’s life – will not go ahead before the New Year. . . . It comes after the mad tyrant also cancelled his end of year press conference and his annual hockey game.”

Got it? Putin is either deathly ill — suffering from Parkinsons, cancer, Irritable Bowel, etc. — or deathly afraid of having to explain the ass whooping that Ukraine is delivering to Russia. You see, Putin can’t handle tough questions. Oops!! Wait a minute. We have breaking news. Turns out that Putin held a 48 minute press conference three days before Western Christmas (does this count as “end of the year”?): It would appear that Putin delights in trolling the Western pundits and media. Does Putin look like a man suffering from some devastating illness? Does he give off the vibe of a guy who cannot control his bowels and is called Mr. Poopy Pants behind his back? Joe Biden could not pull this off even if he consumed Zelensky’s weekly dose of cocaine. Putin is coherent and in command of facts.

It would be one thing if the Western propaganda effort was focused solely on ridiculing and trying to foment opposition inside Russia to Vladimir Putin. But it is not. Western propaganda is demonizing all things Russian — e.g., literature, art, chess, sports figures, and actors and actresses. This approach is not creating a reservoir of good will towards the West. Just the opposite. It is fortifying Russian nationalism and solidifying support for Putin.

anti-Nazi

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“I hope it’s not too impertinent to suppose that the January 6 Riot was engineered by our government to embarrass and punish its political opponents..”

Questions and Answers (Kunstler)

Next Mr. Wray has to answer for the FBI’s infiltration of social media. How did the top lawyer at the FBI, Jim Baker, come to be employed as the right-hand to Twitter’s chief censor, Vijaya Gadde? How did all those former FBI agents land at the company along with Jim Baker, and what did Mr. Wray have to do with the FBI demands to censor news and persons on matters of critical national importance such as vaccine safety and election fraud? How did more than a hundred former federal agents land on Facebook, Google, and other platforms? How did Mr. Wray decide to shut down the avenues of the First Amendment to the Constitution?

Next up: Attorney General Merrick Garland. On what grounds are pre-trial January 6 Riot suspects being held in the decrepit DC federal lockup without bail on rinky-dink charges two years after the event? How does that square with American due process of law? What did he know about the existence of the Hunter Biden laptop and the evidence it contained? What is he doing about it? How did Mr. Garland happen to target for prosecution parents protesting school board policies on race and sexual matters? Of course, Mr. Garland is going to evade answering by using the ploy that all these questions “pertains to ongoing investigations.” Mr. Jordan had better hire a gutsy chief counsel with some brains to penetrate that bodyguard of lies.

If the Special Subcommittee on the January 6 Riot is disbanded, turn the matter over to the Andy Biggs’ Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Let’s hear from Nancy Pelosi’s staff as to why her office (of the Speaker) turned down offers from the Trump White House for national guard protection that day. Let’s also hear from the then-chief of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, who resigned from that job two days later — in consternation or disgrace? Bring back Mr. Wray and Mr. Garland. How many federal agents were circulating in the crowd the night before and on the day of the January 6 riot? Why was one Ray Epps never indicted for his much-recorded incitements to enter the Capitol? Who opened the magnetically-locked doors from the inside of the building? Stuff like that. What was the decision process for not charging officer Michael Byrd in the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt?

I hope it’s not too impertinent to suppose that the January 6 Riot was engineered by our government to embarrass and punish its political opponents — taking advantage of the First Amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” which was what that crowd had come to do in Washington DC that day.

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The only reason they can keep up this story is that the other side has been imprisoned and silenced.

Pentagon, FBI, DHS Failed On Jan. 6 – Former Capitol Police Chief (WaPo)

In a new firsthand account of the frantic efforts of Capitol Police officers to protect Congress and themselves from an armed mob on Jan. 6, 2021, the department’s former chief blames cascading government failures for allowing the brutal melee. The federal government’s multibillion-dollar security network, built after 9/11 to gather intelligence that could warn of a looming attack, provided no such shield on Jan. 6, former Capitol Police chief Steven A. Sund writes in a new book. The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and even his own agency’s intelligence unit had been alerted weeks earlier to reams of chilling chatter about right-wing extremists arming for an attack on the Capitol that day, Sund says, but didn’t take the basic steps to assess those plots or sound an alarm. Senior military leaders, citing political or tactical worries, delayed sending help.

And, Sund warns in “Courage Under Fire,” it could easily happen again. Many of the factors that left the Capitol vulnerable remain unfixed, he said. The Washington Post obtained an advance copy of the book, which will be published Tuesday. In his account, Sund describes his shock at the battle that unfolded as an estimated 10,000 protesters inflamed by President Donald Trump’s rally earlier in the day broke through police lines and punched, stabbed and pepper-sprayed officers, outnumbering them “58 to 1.” Sund said his shock shifted to agony as he unsuccessfully begged military generals for National Guard reinforcements. Though they delayed sending help until it was too late for Sund’s overrun corps, he says that he later discovered that the Pentagon had rushed to send security teams to protect military officials’ homes in Washington, none of which were under attack.

Sund reserves his greatest outrage for those Pentagon leaders, recounting a conference call he had with two generals about 2:35 p.m., 20 minutes after rioters had broken into the Capitol and as Vice President Mike Pence and other lawmakers scurried to hiding places. Sund writes that Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt told him he didn’t like the optics of sending uniformed Guard troops to the Capitol but could allow them to replace police officers at roadside checkpoints. Listening incredulously and trying to explain that he needed help to save officers’ lives, Sund said, he felt both “nauseated” and “mad as hell.” “It’s a response I will never forget for the rest of my life,” Sund writes. While on the call, Sund recalls hearing the frantic voice of an officer being broadcast into the command center: “Shots fired in the Capitol, shots fired in the Capitol.” Sund’s anger boiled over and he shouted the report of gunfire into the conference call: “Is that urgent enough for you now?” Then Sund hung up to deal with this new crisis.

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A sliver of good news.

Turkey Supreme Court Bans Genetically Modified Grains Imports (S4S)

The Turkish Supreme Court has reimposed an import ban on the import of the genetically modified maize product MON810. This is the latest development in Turkey’s efforts to restrict genetically modified (GM) products. In 2010, the Turkish government enacted a biosafety law, banning the cultivation and import of biotech crops for food and feed use unless approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. In 2013, approval was suspended for products containing the GM maize MON810, effectively banning imports. This impacted shipments of Distillers Dried Grain with Solubles (DDGS) from the United States.


This ban was reversed by the Turkish High Court in 2015. However, the Supreme Court decision, announced in December 2022, now reimposes the prohibition of importing corn and other products containing MON810. What is more, the North Club noted that its correspondents in Turkey, Vitsan advise that vessels carrying DDGS cargo will be boarded upon arrival by the authorities who will take their own samples. If their analysis detects the presence of MON810, even if by contamination, they may refuse the import of cargo. Vitsan further recommend that vessels intending to load DDGS cargo destined for Turkey should check the cargo quality certificates or analyses certificates prior to loading as to whether it contains banned GM products.

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Cobalt

 

 

 

 

Melibe viridis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1609703285044174848

 

 

Randomly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1609964527394902017

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 232022
 
 December 23, 2022  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Saul Leiter Man with flowers, NY 1950s

 

Washington Is Prolonging Ukraine’s Suffering (Macgregor)
German Press Is Pushing For Confrontation With Moscow (Livschitz)
Hungary Wants European Parliament Dissolved (Az.)
EU Leaders Dread a Ukraine Peace Process (Varoufakis)
US Admits Afghan Pullout Helped Arm Ukraine (RT)
US Space Force Practices For War In Europe (RT)
The Mushroom Principle (Blair)
A Well-Deserved Prize! (Dionisio)
US Life Expectancy Fell Again In 2021 – Covid And Drug Overdoses (Hill)
Winter Storm: Energy Demand To Stress Electrical, Natural Gas Systems (Fox)
Maricopa County Elections Director Confirms ‘Bombshell’ Error (BN)
Who Will Pay Sam Bankman-Fried’s $250 Million Bond? (Decrypt)
Rand Paul Exposes Corruption Behind $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill (BR)
DeSantis’ Grand Jury Impaneled to Investigate mRNA Vaccine Manufacturers (FlV)
2022 Year in Review: All Roads Lead to Ukraine (Collum)
2022 The Year in Review: The War in Ukraine (Collum)

 

 

 

 

McCullough

 

 

DARPA. Read the first paragraph.

 

 

 

 

Marangoli flow
https://twitter.com/i/status/1605893374409670656

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Like South Vietnam in the 1960s, Ukraine is losing its war with Russia. Ukraine’s hospitals and morgues are filled to capacity with wounded and dying Ukrainian soldiers.”

Washington Is Prolonging Ukraine’s Suffering (Macgregor)

During a speech given on November 29, Polish Vice-Minister of National Defense (MON) Marcin Ociepa said: “The probability of a war in which we will be involved is very high. Too high for us to treat this scenario only hypothetically.” The Polish MON is allegedly planning to call up 200,000 reservists in 2023 for a few weeks’ training, but observers in Warsaw suspect this action could easily lead to a national mobilization.Meanwhile, inside the Biden administration, there is growing concern that the Ukrainian war effort will collapse under the weight of a Russian offensive. And as the ground in Southern Ukraine finally freezes, the administration’s fears are justified. In an interview published in the Economist, head of Ukraine’s armed forces General Valery Zaluzhny admitted that Russian mobilization and tactics are working. He even hinted that Ukrainian forces might be unable to withstand the coming Russian onslaught.

Yet, Zaluzhny rejected any notion of a negotiated settlement and instead pleaded for more equipment and support. He went on to insist that with 300 new tanks, 600 to 700 new infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 new Howitzers, he could still win the war with Russia. Truthfully, General Zaluzhny is not asking for assistance, he’s asking for a new army. Therein lies the greatest danger for Washington and its NATO allies. When things go badly for Washington’s foreign policy, the true believers in the great cause always draw deeply from the well of ideological self-delusion to steel themselves for the final battle. Blinken, Klain, Austin, and the rest of the war party continue to pledge eternal support for Kiev regardless of the cost. Like the “best and the brightest” of the 1960s they are eager to sacrifice realism to wishful thinking, to wallow in the splash of publicity and self-promotion in one public visit to Ukraine after another.

[..] The Biden administration’s unconditional support for the Zelensky regime in Kiev is reaching a strategic inflection point not unlike the one LBJ reached in 1965. Just as LBJ suddenly determined in 1964 that peace and security in Southeast Asia was a vital U.S. strategic interest, the Biden administration is making a similar argument now for Ukraine. Like South Vietnam in the 1960s, Ukraine is losing its war with Russia. Ukraine’s hospitals and morgues are filled to capacity with wounded and dying Ukrainian soldiers. Washington’s proxy in Kiev has squandered its human capital and considerable Western aid in a series of self-defeating counter-offensives. Ukrainian soldiers manning the defensive lines facing Russian soldiers in Southern Ukraine are brave men, but they are not fools. The Spartans at Thermopylae were brave, and they still died.

Maajid Zel

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“Less than half – 43% – gave the impression that diplomatic negotiations would be useful, and this was largely due to Der Spiegel’s reporting..”

German Press Is Pushing For Confrontation With Moscow (Livschitz)

Last week, the University of Mainz published a study of German news coverage of events in Ukraine, and Berlin’s official response to the crisis. The conclusions confirm that since February 24, the media has played a major role in keeping the conflict going, and making a negotiated settlement less likely, due to almost universally biased, pro-war, anti-Russia content being published at all stages. Researchers at the university analyzed German-language reporting on the Ukraine conflict between February 24 and May 31, assessing the content of around 4,300 separate articles published by the country’s eight leading newspapers and TV stations: FAZ, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Bild, Spiegel, Zeit, ARD Tagesschau, ZDF Today, and RTL Aktuell.

During this time, Ukraine was portrayed positively in 64% of all coverage, and President Vladimir Zelensky in 67%. By contrast, Russia was portrayed “almost exclusively negatively” 88% of the time, and President Vladimir Putin in 96% of cases. Almost all reports – 93% in total – attributed sole blame for the war to Putin and/or Russia. The West was named as “jointly responsible” in only 4% of instances, Ukraine even less so at 2%. The perspectives of Russia on the conflict were only considered or mentioned in 10% of news reports, less than the viewpoint of any other country, including Moscow’s neighbors. Alternative for Germany and the Left Party, which both oppose arming Ukraine and prolonging the fighting, “had practically no media presence in reporting on the war.”

Government messaging and statements from ministers were completely dominant, being the focus in 80% of news coverage, more than four times above the figure for opposition parties. In media discussions of “measures most likely to end the war,” economic sanctions against Russia were “by far the most frequently reported,” and approved of in 66% of cases. Diplomatic measures were mentioned “much less frequently,” while “humanitarian measures” were even less regularly featured. In all, 74% of the reports surveyed portrayed military support to Ukraine “extremely positively.” Delivery of heavy weapons was endorsed “a little less clearly, but still considered to be largely sensible,” with 66% “overwhelmingly in favor.”

Less than half – 43% – gave the impression that diplomatic negotiations would be useful, and this was largely due to Der Spiegel’s reporting that clearly marked diplomacy as the most sensible option for Berlin “by far.” “Der Spiegel was the only media examined to rate diplomatic negotiations more positively than the delivery of heavy weapons,” the academics conclude. The report did identify one area where media coverage was “certainly not pro-government.” On certain rare occasions, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his coalition were strongly criticized “for hesitating to flood Ukraine with heavy weapons” by all outlets apart from Der Spiegel.

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“..legislators from the parliaments of member states should be delegated to the European Parliament..”

Hungary Wants European Parliament Dissolved (Az.)

The recent corruption scandal in the European Parliament (EP) is a sign that the EU institution should be abolished in its current form, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday. He added that the EP already had an abysmal reputation. Orban’s remarks came after Eva Kaili, a Greek politician who served as one of the European Parliament’s vice presidents, was arrested and charged this month with corruption for receiving bribes from Qatar. “The Hungarians would like for the European Parliament to be dissolved in its current form,” he said at a press conference in Budapest. Orban argued that the scandal “draws attention to the fact that national parliaments have a stronger control system in place,” adding that legislators from the parliaments of member states should be delegated to the European Parliament, as opposed to being elected separately.


“And they obviously know our political position: the swamp must be drained,” the prime minister said. Budapest has repeatedly clashed with the European Parliament and other EU institutions over a number of issues, including migration and LGBTQ rights. Brussels, in turn, accused Orban’s conservative government of eroding the rule of law at home. Hungary, whose economy heavily depends on Russian energy imports, has also criticized the EU sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to the military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in late February. Unlike many of the bloc’s member states, Orban has refused to send weapons to Kiev. “If it were up to us, there would not be a sanctions policy,” Orban said on Wednesday. “It is not in our interest to permanently divide the European and Russian economies into two, so we are trying to save what can be saved from our economic cooperation with the Russians.”

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Too much division in Europe. “Who will represent the EU in any future peace process?”

EU Leaders Dread a Ukraine Peace Process (Varoufakis)

While peace in Ukraine would help stem Europe’s economic hemorrhaging, the moment any peace process begins, the European Union will be divided by an internal East-West fault line, which is bound to reawaken the EU’s earlier North-South conflict. A credible peace process will require difficult negotiations involving the world’s great powers. Who will represent Europe at that high table? It is hard to imagine Polish, Scandinavian, and Baltic leaders ceding that role to their French or German counterparts. In the EU’s eastern and northeastern flanks, French President Emmanuel Macron is considered a Putin appeaser ready to impose on Ukrainians a reprehensible (to them) land-for-peace agenda.


Likewise, setting aside Germany’s long-term reliance on Russian energy, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s standing as a torchbearer of Europe’s collective interest has been damaged further by his €200 billion ($212 billion) fiscal defense of German industry – the type of tax-funded protective shield which Germany vetoed at the EU level. Meanwhile, French and German elites pour scorn on the idea that the EU might be represented in any peace process by the likes of Kaja Kallas, Estonia’s Prime Minister, or Sanna Marin, her Finnish counterpart. “The moral crusades of the Ukraine war maximalists are fashionable now but they will hinder, not help, any peace process,” was how a German official put it to me.So, the question remains: Who will represent the EU in any future peace process?

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“Zelensky also addressed a special joint session of Congress, with a plea to approve another $45 billion in aid for 2023. The Senate did so the following day.”

US Admits Afghan Pullout Helped Arm Ukraine (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted on Thursday that the much-criticized withdrawal from Afghanistan, which he called “America’s longest war,” helped Washington redirect resources to Ukraine just months later Appearing at the State Department for a year-end press conference, Blinken painted a rosy picture of Washington’s diplomatic accomplishments. The exit from Afghanistan, which happened in August 2021, came up because one reporter took issue with Blinken’s claim of strong relationships with US “allies and partners,” some of whom she said were critical of how that US handled that operation. Consultations were “sustained, they were intense, and we strongly took note of everything that we heard from allies and partners in advance of the decisions that President [Joe] Biden made and that we made,” Bliken insisted, arguing that claims otherwise are “not born out by the facts.”

Though the reporter had asked about lessons of that withdrawal in “dealing with Russia and China,” Blinken proceeded to argue that “if we were still in Afghanistan, it would have, I think, made much more complicated the support that we’ve been able to give and that others have been able to give Ukraine” against Russia. The last US soldier departed from the Kabul airport on August 31, 2021. The US-backed Afghan government had collapsed without much of a fight two weeks earlier, leaving the Taliban in control of the country – as they had been in 2001. While the cost of the 20-year conflict has been estimated at over $2 trillion, the US spent almost $73 billion in 2021 dollars on training, equipping, maintaining and supplying the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), most of it from the Pentagon budget. The bulk of ANDSF weaponry and equipment ended up in Taliban hands.

By comparison, the Russian Defense Ministry estimated earlier this week that total Western aid to Ukraine this year amounted to over $97 billion. The Pentagon alone has spent at least $20 billion in direct “security assistance” to Ukraine since February 2022, by its own admission. Other US government departments, NATO and EU members accounted for the rest. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky visited Washington in person on Wednesday, receiving a pledge from Biden to fund Kiev for “as long as it takes” and a $1.85 billion packet of weapons and ammunition, including a battery of Patriot air defense missiles. Zelensky also addressed a special joint session of Congress, with a plea to approve another $45 billion in aid for 2023. The Senate did so the following day.

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“We will fight in space as a coalition, and these opportunities are invaluable to building the team that will fight together should the need arise.”

US Space Force Practices For War In Europe (RT)

The US Space Force has conducted joint drills with UK, Canada and Australia – the largest such exercises in its history – to hone its readiness for a hypothetical war in Europe, according to a statement by the Space Training and Readiness Command (STAR). Three so-called Space Flag 23-1 drills, each lasting two days, were conducted earlier this month at Schriever Space Force Base in Colorado. The exercises enabled participants to practice “orbital warfare techniques, our electronic warfare techniques, our space-domain-awareness techniques and intelligence command,” Space Force Lieutenant Colonel Albert Harris said.“This Space Flag focused on a US European Command scenario, so we wanted to present the problem in that theater and exercise our ability to win it based off of various problems that we presented to the team,” Harris added.

Troops were given Europe-specific problems to solve during mission planning and practiced procedures to increase their readiness to win a conflict on the continent, but the exact scenarios remain a mystery. The event marked the first Space Force drills that practiced for European war and just happened to come amid escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow over the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Harris said planning for the exercises began in February, the same month in which Russia began its military operation in Ukraine. Colonel Jason Schramm said the drills enabled US forces and coalition partners to practice their space combat tactics. “Winning in space underpins coalition lethality in other warfighting domains,” he said. “We will fight in space as a coalition, and these opportunities are invaluable to building the team that will fight together should the need arise.”

The US has been supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia with weapons, supplies and other forms of military aid, such as intelligence, while claiming not to be directly involved in the conflict. General John Raymond, the head of US space operations, said in July that “commercial space has been very important in providing capabilities that have been helpful to Ukraine.” One well-known case is the supply of Starlink ground equipment to Ukraine. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has provided access to satellite broadband internet service to Kiev’s troops. Speaking at a space event at the UN in October, Russian representative Konstantin Vorontsov expressed concern over the US and its allies using “elements of the civilian space infrastructure, including commercial, for military purposes,” and warned that “quasi-civilian infrastructure may be considered a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike.”

The US launched its Space Force as a separate military branch in 2019, more than 50 years after joining with the Soviet Union and the UK in signing a treaty that pledged to set aside space for “peaceful purposes.” The Pentagon has claimed that it must treat space as a “war-fighting domain” because of alleged threats from Russia and China.

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“The mechanisms of “narrative control” have been tightened exponentially.“

The Mushroom Principle (Blair)

The mechanisms of “narrative control” have been tightened exponentially. Back in 2003 it was still possible to read occasional pieces in the “respectable” press such as the BBC, NY Times, Washington Post or The Guardian that questioned the official narrative, particularly the fabricated justifications put forward by the Deep State for their invasion of Iraq. Ever since then, there has been a systematic purge of any and all honest investigative journalists who dare to challenge the Deep State narrative. Most notable was Chris Hedges, Pulitzer prize winning head of the Middle East Bureau of the NY Times, who was forced out of his job for his righteous opposition to the US invasion of Iraq. Another luminary, summarily removed from The Guardian (despite contributing to their Pulitzer Prize win in 2014), was Glenn Greenwald.

Voices of reason such as that of Noam Chomsky have long been sidelined and shunned. The legendary John Pilger, former icon of Fleet Street, has been denied any mainstream platform that could earn him a living wage. There are many others too numerous to mention. Now the Deep State is slowly murdering the greatest journalist of our modern times, Julian Assange, using bogus charges that were trumped-up by the Trump regime. Assange’s greatest crime? Exposing the war crimes of the USA. The US Establishment can now effectively block or stifle any public dissent opposing their War Agenda, while simultaneously instructing the stupid sheeple who they must direct their daily two minutes of hatred against. The Western media have truly turned Orwellian.

They have learned how to do this step-by-step over the years since the Vietnam and Afghan and Iraq debacles, now achieving total control over the mainstream media. Hence when Russia was provoked by the USA into invading Ukraine in February this year, it was falsely and repeatedly and uniformly described as an “unprovoked invasion” by those MSM sewer outlets, completely ignoring the genocide the Ukronazi proxies of the US had been committing against Russophone civilians in Donbass over the previous 8 years. The war criminal Condoleezza Rice condemned Russia for their “criminal invasion” without the slightest hint of irony, while the stenographers “reporting” her words failed to point out the bleeding obvious.

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“It’s not even worth to throw any argument, because classification in these terms is mainly aimed at not discussing anything.”

A Well-Deserved Prize! (Dionisio)

A feeling of complete justice is what I felt when I attended the presentation of the Sakharov prize to comedian Zelinsky. Rarely does an award embody, so substantially, the deep connection between the institution that promotes it, the great European political families that approved it, and the recipient himself. I give a standing ovation! Yes, sir! I fully approve! The bank account that inexplicably appeared in Switzerland, disclosed through the Pandora papers, stuffed with almost a billion Euros, in the name of the prize winner, explains more than one can imagine. It explains everything! Take Eva Kaili, for example. A rising star in international politics, transformed into a runway that shows, on the outside, what she is not on the inside.

To assume that Eva and her cronies are an exception, who, for the money, fame, and glamour it provides, have agreed to publicly defend what they previously claimed to despise…. It is not paying attention to 21st century European politics. In the 21st century, being of the centrist political parties (mainly the social democrats and popular, liberal and moderate conservatives) means a lot…it means everything! It means not being an “extremist”, of course, “left-wing” or “right-wing”, reducing the whole spectrum to two camps – the acceptable, the “mainstream”, the “balanced”; and, the “unacceptable”, the “radical” and “sectarian”; belonging to an “extreme” is the same, whatever side you are on. Being in the middle, that’s all, and that’s not up for discussion anymore. It’s not even worth to throw any argument, because classification in these terms is mainly aimed at not discussing anything.

Not that one can generalize and run everything by the same measure; that is neither serious nor even advisable, and it is precisely what wants the ones that determines that any analysis should be done in the terms I have mentioned. But this is, above all, the story of the political mainstream. Saying one thing… and doing the other. Take the sakharov prize itself: awarding this prize to a guy whose government has outlawed more than a dozen political parties, confiscating their property; to the leader of a government that confiscates property of the Orthodox Church and persecutes its clerics for defending the “Holy Russ” composed of the three sister countries of the Slavic East, of which Kiev is the mother city; who has banned the use of the native language of nearly half of the country’s population, burning books, destroying statues and films depicting the culture in that language; persecutes journalists for reporting what he does not intend; detains political activists who oppose him, and lied in the elections he won, promising what he did not intend to do…

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“Every age group in the nation— from 1 year olds to people age 85 and older— saw a decrease in life expectancy.”

Hmmm. 1 year olds don’t die from Covid or fentanyl. So what is going on there?

US Life Expectancy Fell Again In 2021 – Covid And Drug Overdoses (Hill)

The average U.S. life expectancy shortened by seven months in 2021, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), driven mainly by COVID-19 and drug overdoses from synthetic opioids. According to a pair of CDC reports, life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year, from 77 years to 76.4 years. This follows a major drop of 1.8 years in 2020, putting life expectancy from birth at about the same level it was in 1996. Every age group in the nation— from 1 year olds to people age 85 and older— saw a decrease in life expectancy. Life expectancy for women is 79.9 years, about six years longer than men, but they both experienced the same decline.

Almost all racial groups also saw an increase in death rates, except for non-Hispanic Asian males and non-Hispanic Black males, which saw a slight decrease, Nine of the 10 leading causes of death in 2020 were the same in 2021. Heart disease was the main cause of death, followed by cancer and COVID-19, which took nearly 417,000 lives last year, an increase of 18.8 percent from 2020, despite the release of new vaccines. About 3.46 million people died in the U.S. last year, according to CDC, an increase of 80,502 more deaths than in 2020. Deaths by suicide and from liver disease caused by alcohol also increased, contributing to the shorter American lifespan.

Flu and pneumonia rates decreased, as parts of the U.S. population took precautions against the coronavirus and wore masks. Drug overdose deaths have been rising over the past two decades in the United States, CDC said. In 2021, overdoses were responsible for 106,699 deaths. Drug overdose death rates increased for each race and Hispanic-origin group except non-Hispanic Asian people between 2020 and 2021. They rose by 14 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, driven mainly by the illegal synthetic opioid fentanyl. According to the report, there was a 22 percent increase in overdose deaths from synthetic opioids in 2021.

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Keep warm guys.

Winter Storm: Energy Demand To Stress Electrical, Natural Gas Systems (Fox)

America’s natural gas and electrical system will be put to the test in the next few days as a winter storm that’s expected to cascade across the country brings heavy snowfall, ice, flooding and powerful winds. The National Weather Service says a tremendously impactful winter storm will continue to affect large portions of the nation late this week and going into the holiday weekend. Winter weather hazards will stretch from border to border across the central and eastern U.S. and from coast to coast from the east coast to the Pacific Northwest. “I think you’re going to see the demand for energy in the next couple of days be the highest it’s ever been in our country’s history,” American Gas Association CEO Karen Harbert told FOX Business. “This is a storm of consequence, and it’s not isolated. If you look at the storm … it’s going to affect almost the entire lower 48.”


Temperatures in parts of the country have already plummeted Thursday and millions of people are already under some typ of winter weather advisory. “As of Thursday afternoon, nearly 280 million people in the U.S. are under some form of winter weather warning or advisory,” the NWS said. The total includes nearly 150 million for wind chill warnings or advisories, 114 million for blizzard warning, 56 million for winter storm warnings and 500 thousand for ice storm warnings. Although the system is going to be stressed like never before, Harbert said utility companies have been preparing all year for this. “Demand is going to be unprecedented. And they’re going to try and manage that load demand very carefully,” she added.

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Not an error, but a trick. Just use the wrong size of paper and you guarantee tons of ballots are rejected.

Maricopa County Elections Director Confirms ‘Bombshell’ Error (BN)

There was a ‘bombshell’ revelation divulged in court on Thursday in a lawsuit brought by Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake against Secretary of State and Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs. It leads to the inescapable conclusion that fraud was committed in the Arizona election. Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarrett confirmed in court that the ballot printer and tabulation errors that sowed widespread chaos in the Arizona election was caused on Election Day. “Is it your testimony that the printer set changes that led to the so-called ‘shrink to fit’ issue was that done on Election Day?” Kari Lake’s attorney Kurt Olson asked. “That’s correct,” Scott Jarrett replied. “Elections director Scott Jarrett confirms that the printer setting change that led to the mass disenfranchisement of Arizona voters DID occur the morning of election day,” the Kari Lake War Room reported.


Also in Thursday testimony, election modeling expert Richard Baris said that his projections showed as many as 40,000 voters were disenfranchised over Election Day chaos in Arizona’s Maricopa County. Baris said he would “have no doubt” that she would’ve won the election had there been no issues at polling centers. Baris testified that 25,000 to 40,000 voters were disenfranchised in the county due to his estimation that roughly one in five vote centers had problems ballot tabulator machines in the first hours of Election Day. “We’ve got about 20% of the locations out there where there’s an issue with the tabulator,” Maricopa Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said on election night. Election officials, however, told voters their ballots would still be counted as a result of redundancy protocols. The vote margin between Lake and Hobbs is 17,117 votes. Baris is the last witness that Lake is calling in the scheduled two-day trial for her election lawsuit.

[..] Kari Lake’s legal team attained a legal victory by given authority to randomly inspect ballots from Maricopa County’s election as part of her 70-page lawsuit that Lake filed against top state election officials. The ruling authorized Lake‘s team’s to inspect 50 random ballots cast on Election Day from six polling stations in Maricopa County. During ballot inspection, it was revealed that 48 of 113 ballots reviewed were 19-inch ballots produced on 20-inch paper. This one-inch discrepancy caused ballot tabulators to reject thousands of votes and sowed chaos on Election Day in Maricopa County. An expert witness testified there are only two ways for the 19-inch image to have been projected onto the 20 in ballot, which would cause tabulator errors. The witness verified that both methods required an administrator to change and it could not have happened by chance or error. Thus, it is a form of fraud.

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The appearance bond..

Who Will Pay Sam Bankman-Fried’s $250 Million Bond? (Decrypt)

Disgraced crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried today was released from custody by a New York judge under a $250 million bond agreement. That led to one big question across Crypto Twitter: Where did the money come from? Didn’t SBF lose billions of dollars? Is he tapping into FTX funds to pay his own bail? The short answer is this: no one had to pay anything for his release, nor is any cash owed—not yet, anyway. Bankman-Fried’s release agreement is an “appearance bond,” a promise to comply with specific restrictions while awaiting trial, and to show up when the time comes. He had to put up 10% of the bail amount as collateral for the bond, but no actual payment was required.

The appearance bond, as filed with the court, establishes a $250,000,000 “personal recognizance bond” guaranteed by four people, at least one of them not a member of Bankman-Fried’s family. For now, though, the only two signatures are those of Allan Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, SBF’s father and mother. At Thursday’s hearing in New York, federal prosecutors said that Bankman-Fried’s bond was “the highest ever pre-trial bond.” Under U.S. law, “recognizance” means a release in which no upfront payment nor bail bond arrangement is required, and that is based solely on a written promise by the defendant to appear in court when required to do so.

“When a loved one or family member co-signs a recognizance bond, the offender’s failure to appear in court impacts additional people—namely the co-signers who are also on the bond,” explained Miriam Baer, vice dean and centennial professor of law at Brooklyn Law School. A court could also require an up front security payment,” Baer adds. “But in some ways requiring family members to co-sign the recognizance bond—especially one with a very high dollar number—is a more powerful way to ensure a wealthy person’s return to court.”

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“It’s a no-good rotten way to run your government,,”

Rand Paul Exposes Corruption Behind $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill (BR)

Republican Senator Rand Paul dropped the hammer on Democrats in Congress for corruption hidden inside their $1.7 trillion spending bill. The 4,000 page bill was produced in the middle of the night and released at 1:30 in the morning. Despite having 10 months to work on it, Congress released it at the 11th hour, right before Christmas. This strategy attempts to pressure lawmakers into making an impulsive decision in order to get home for Christmas break. Senator Paul said, “Whose job is it to produce this? The people in charge of spending.” He continued, “When did they know this would be necessary? Well, it’s in the law, September 30th. You got nine months, almost ten months to produce a plan.”


“They weren’t ready on September 30th so they voted themselves 90 more days. They weren’t ready last week either, so they voted themselves another week.” “So now we have it at 1:30 this morning,” Senator Paul said. “I think the greatest risk to our national security is our debt. The process stinks. It’s an abomination.” “It’s a no-good rotten way to run your government. Six trillion dollar entity and they want 24 hours to process this, and then they want to go forward.” Many lawmakers won’t be able to read and process the impact of the 4,000 page spending bill within 24 hours.

Trump omnibus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1605985062603866116

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Let’s hope he dares take it far and deep enough.

DeSantis’ Grand Jury Impaneled to Investigate mRNA Vaccine Manufacturers (FlV)

The Florida Supreme Court granted Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate mRNA vaccine manufacturers. DeSantis announced earlier in December his petition for a statewide grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” in Florida with respect to the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers. “It is against the law to mislead and to misrepresent, particularly when you’re talking about the efficacy of a drug,” DeSantis said.The statewide grand jury will be allowed to investigate groups involved in the design, development, clinical testing, marketing, and distribution of vaccines said to prevent COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and transmission. It will be impaneled for one year.

DeSantis’ petition argued that there was widespread belief that the COVID-19 vaccine prevented the disease from spreading, which led to vaccine mandates on citizens, health care workers, and military members. “It is impossible to imagine that so many influential individuals came to this view on their own. Rather, it is likely that individuals and companies with an incentive to do so created these perceptions for financial gain,” the petition said. The petition specifically points out Moderna and Pfizer’s claims about preventing the COVID-19 disease with “94.1% efficacy” and “91.3% vaccine efficacy.” Earlier in December, DeSantis also announced that a public health integrity committee will be established. The board will advise the public and provide oversight moving forward of the public health establishment.

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has previously spoken out against the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, saying they are “far less safe” than other vaccines based on an autopsy-based clinical research in a cardiology study. In October, Lapado announced new mRNA COVID-19 vaccine guidance, advising against males aged 18-39 years old from taking those vaccines due to a reported 84% increase in the relative incidence of heart-related deaths.

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Dave Collum’s review is out again. Actually, ARE out again. It will take you all of 2023 to read 2022. Dave sent me a message saying:

“Passing along my annual tome. I cannot fathom how you put out the content that you put out. It takes the hide off me. (The Ukraine section is the core and the source of pain and suffering by the woke.)”

2022 Year in Review: All Roads Lead to Ukraine (Collum)

A Year in Transition. This was my runner up for the title. Aren’t we always stuck on the “Mobius Strip from Hell” that never ends? Francis Fukuyama and Tom Friedman were wrong: history did not end, and the world is going spherical again rather quickly. Of course, we never know the future, but each year seems to have themes that play out with a quantized feel to it. By contrast, 2022 has left world economies heading south but with no bottom in sight. Neither the Fed nor the markets are done inflicting pain. The risk of global famine is real but with inestimable consequences. The futures of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies hang in the balance with more than just price corrections now in play.


The war in Ukraine could end with a whimper (but only if Russia wins) or with a thermonuclear conflagration (nobody wins). Europeans are pondering the relative merits of freezing to death owing to lack of energy or starving to death owing to lack of food, but maybe those potentially biblical events are just clickbait. The WEF has reared its ugly head—the WEF’s Great Reset is not just a theory—yet we still haven’t a clue what those diabolical authoritarian meat puppets are up to. Why do we have to start eating bugs and forfeiting all earthly belongings and to whom. It is hard to see how we smoothly get to 2023 from 2022.

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“If you think Putin is, by definition, wrong because he attacked first, you have neither read much nor thought very deeply about the Ukraine conflict or the origins of wars.”

2022 The Year in Review: The War in Ukraine (Collum)

We are on the cusp of WWIII, what could become the most inclusive war in history, with world leaders who seem incapable of orchestrating a decisive paintball attack. Like so many, I rely on geopolitical events to learn about politics and geography. Task #1: figure out where Ukraine is located on a map. I stumbled upon this top-secret Pentagon strategy map:

Oh my God. They have already removed Russia! Task #2: resolve spelling and grammar issues. Is it Ukraine or The Ukraine; Odesa or Odessa; Kiev or Kyiv; Zelensky, Zelenskiy, or Zelenskyy; Donbas or Donbass; and Dumbass or Biden? First disclaimer: there is no chance that I can understand a border war in or near the Baltics. I take solace in that y’all are in the same boat. I am grand theorizing—creating big narratives for a hopelessly complex topic—describing the World According to Dave. I am layers into the onion but doubtlessly layers away from truths because I am fishing shit off the internet about a war said by the legendary journalist John Pilger and filmmaker Oliver Stone to be the most propaganda-slathered war in their lifetimes. My immutable rule of thumb: if their lips are moving they are lying.


We can all agree that the list of victims in this war is non-statistically populated by Ukrainians. They are dying, and their world is being upended. If, however, you think that this is a simple story about good versus evil, you need a CT scan. I am especially talking to the devout members of the Sanctimony-Industrial Complex—Eric Hoffer’s fanatical True Believers—who will take any opportunity to be part of a grand movement to elevate their lives by signaling their virtue. I was on a Zoom call with a member of the clergy in which he stated that “it is Putin’s fault because Putin attacked.” I curtly told that punk-ass zealot—quite an impressive one actually— “If I have some guy in my face, and it is clear that this is not going to resolve well, my immediate goal becomes finding a way to land the first punch to ensure there is no second punch.” (I did say that.) Months later I discovered that I had inadvertently paraphrased Putin. If you think Putin is, by definition, wrong because he attacked first, you have neither read much nor thought very deeply about the Ukraine conflict or the origins of wars.

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Shoebill stork

 

 

How to enjoy a shower

 

 


The Etruscan shrew. Smallest mammal in the world by weight at 1.8grams on average. For perspective a paper clip is 1 gram

 

 

Cocker

 

 

Prince

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 152022
 
 December 15, 2022  Posted by at 9:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  90 Responses »


Saul Leiter Taxi c1957

 

Why Crimea is Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Greatest Bargaining Chip (G.)
Germany & the Lies of Empire (Patrick Lawrence)
No Consensus In EU Over Ukraine Tribunal – Borrell (RT)
Civilian Death Toll From Ukrainian Attacks On Donbass Revealed (RT)
Twitter Became the Ministry of Truth (David Stockman)
Swimming With Sharks (CJ Hopkins)
Link Between MRNA Vaccine, Heart Inflammation ‘Covered Up’ – British MP (ToI)
DeSantis Forms Florida Grand Jury To Investigate Covid Vaccine Rollout (ZH)
The Mother of all Economic Crises (Ron Paul)
Bankman-Fried Lieutenant Alerted Regulators To Misuse Of Customer Funds (Block)
Trump Sues Pulitzer Board For Defamation (JTN)
Senate Unanimously Passes Ban On Using TikTok On Government Devices (JTN)
How Economic Sanctions in Ancient Greece Backfired, Prolonging War (GR)
With Elon Owning Twitter Government Only Controls 97% Of The Media (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Laura Ingraham: The left wants Covid amnesty, the right wants answers

 

 

 

 

Collusion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1429459035867291654

 

 

 

 

The color blindness in pieces like this from the Guardian is stunning. Western politicians and their media want their people to think they’re winning. But Crimea is Russian, and can’t be bargained with. It makes no difference what Zelensky says. Or anyone else. The only thing this attitude is good for is to keep the war going.

Why Crimea is Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Greatest Bargaining Chip (G.)

In a little noticed intervention the former British prime minister Boris Johnson – seen as a bosom ally of Volodymyr Zelenskiy – made the startling statement that if Russian troops were returned to lands they held inside Ukraine before the 24 February invasion that would represent a basis for reopening talks between Ukraine and Russia. The statement implies Ukraine would have to accept that the removal of Russian troops from Crimea would not be a precondition for the start of talks. In proposing this, in a piece last week in the Wall Street Journal, Johnson was making an admission made in private by many diplomats that a militarily enforced return of the Crimean peninsula – which was annexed by Russia in 2014 in a move rejected by the UN – to full Ukrainian control is fraught with risk.

Writing in the Spectator Henry Kissinger, the veteran diplomat, made a similar proposal, arguing Russia should only be required to disgorge territory gained since February this year. Land occupied nearly a decade ago, including Crimea, “could be the subject of a negotiation after a ceasefire”. If that negotiation failed to resolve particularly divisive territories, “internationally supervised referendums concerning self-determination could be applied”. Historically and ethnically Crimea is different from the rest of Ukraine, the argument goes. There are also 30,000 Russian forces dug in with little available Ukrainian amphibious access. Crimea’s retention in some form is so precious to Vladimir Putin that if he felt it were slipping from his grasp some fear he may act on his threat to deploy tactical nuclear weapons, the escalation that terrifies, and holds back, Washington and Europe.

In public Ukraine opposes a ceasefire with Putin retaining any land annexed since 2014. Zelenskiy has said countless times, for example at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore: “A simple ceasefire won’t do the trick. Unless we liberate our whole territory, we will not bring peace.” Zelenskiy has also invested diplomatically in setting up the Crimea Platform, a coordination body to put pressure on the world to keep the illegal occupation of Crimea in its sights. At the August meeting of the Platform the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, said: “Crimea is and was as much a part of Ukraine as Gdansk or Lublin are parts of Poland.” He added: “I think many of us need to do some examination of conscience for what has happened in the last year. Was the de facto consent to the occupation of Crimea a wrong signal from many countries to Russia?”

[..] One Ukrainian deputy defence minister, Volodymyr Havrylov, said Ukrainian forces would be on the peninsula by the end of December. In other pieces of bravado the senior presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak suggested a war crimes tribunal should be staged there on the basis “What started in Crimea must end there”. Petro Poroschenko, the former Ukrainian president, suggested a new Yalta conference could be held there next year, replicating the 1945 summit held to plan the post-second world war order.

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“By her own account, she was using diplomacy just as Kiev was, to scuttle the accord she pretended to sponsor.”

Germany & the Lies of Empire (Patrick Lawrence)

[..] how interesting to hear a German citizen object, in effect, that the Federal Republic has betrayed itself and its historical inheritance the very week its former chancellor told Germany’s leading newsmagazine and one of its leading dailies that the fruitful ambiguity of the nation’s past is gone now in favor of the manipulative, Russophobic dishonesty that lies at the heart of the proxy war the U.S. now wages against Russia in Ukraine. As has been widely reported and excellently analyzed — except in the mainstream American press, where Merkel’s remarks last week go unmentioned — the former German leader described her cynical, treacherous betrayal of Moscow during negotiations of the two Minsk Protocols, the first signed in September 2014 and the second the following February.

Berlin, Paris, the post-coup Kiev regime and Moscow were signatories to those accords. How well I recall the earnestness with which Russian President Vladimir Putin entered into the talks. How hopeful many of us were that, with Kiev having swiftly breached Minsk I, the second accord would produce what the Russian president sought — a lasting settlement that would leave Ukraine united and stabilize the security order on Russia’s southwestern border and Europe’s eastern flank. Earlier this year Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s first post-coup president, shocked everybody when he stated publicly that Kiev never had any intention of honoring the commitments it made when it signed the Minsk Protocols:

The talks in the Belarusian capital and all the promises were meant simply to buy time while Ukraine built fortifications in the eastern regions and trained and armed a military strong enough to wage a full-dress war of aggression against the Russian-tilted Donetsk and Lugansk regions. There was never any interest in the federal structure envisioned in Minsk II. There was never any intention of granting the breakaway regions the measure of autonomy Ukraine’s history and its mixed languages, cultures and traditions called for. Committing to all that was a ruse intended to deceive Moscow and the Donbass republics while Ukraine rearmed and shelled the latter in anticipation of the war that broke out in February.

Shocking, O.K. But Poroshenko was a jumped-up candy magnate running the wildly irresponsible, rabidly Russophobic regime that had seized power in Kiev. So: Shocking but also in keeping with the conduct of a corrupt-up-to-the-eyebrows pack of nobodies with no notion or regard for statecraft or responsible governance. It is another matter, to state the very obvious, for Merkel to say the very same things. The former chancellor was supposed to be leading the West’s diplomatic démarche along with François Hollande, France’s president at the time and plainly a junior partner to Europe’s most powerful political figure. By her own account, she was using diplomacy just as Kiev was, to scuttle the accord she pretended to sponsor.

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“the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy..” What a joke.

No Consensus In EU Over Ukraine Tribunal – Borrell (RT)

There is still no agreement on setting up a special tribunal to deal with alleged war crimes in Ukraine, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has said. Speaking in Brussels on Wednesday at the EU-NGO forum on human rights, Borrell stated “there’s a polemic about do we need something more than the [International Criminal Court] in order to fight impunity in Ukraine.” He said that “together with the commission” he had presented a proposal to establish a separate body for that purpose. “On Monday, we were discussing about it,” the diplomat remarked, while acknowledging that the consultations ended “without a result.”

Borrell suggested there is still a possibility that a special tribunal for Ukraine will be set up, saying “this is an interesting discussion that, for the time being, has not a concrete answer.” Borrell went on to claim that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are tantamount to the “destruction of a country” and a “war crime.” He said Moscow had deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure in an attempt to carry out the “assassination of millions of people by cold.” The top EU official also accused Russian troops of forced deportations and kidnappings of Ukrainians, including children. Earlier this month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that the West has no legal right to establish courts to investigate and prosecute Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

Russia consistently denies its troops have committed any war crimes, saying its military personnel are doing all they can to minimize civilian casualties. Moscow also insists its aerial bombardments, which have intensified in recent months, target facilities related to Ukraine’s military and defense capabilities. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the harsh new tactics came in response to a Ukrainian attack against the Crimean bridge in early October and other “terrorist attacks” perpetrated on Russian soil. Moscow has also accused Kiev’s Western backers of turning a blind eye to evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by Ukrainian troops, including indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Donbass.

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Ukraine uses western weapons on its own territory, against its own citizens. Yes, things have changed since the September referenda, and the subsequent Russian decision to incorporate the regions. But what else could they do? Putin refused exactly this for 8 years, but was left with no choice.

Civilian Death Toll From Ukrainian Attacks On Donbass Revealed (RT)

Weapons supplied to Ukraine by NATO countries have allowed Kiev’s military to significantly ramp-up attacks on civilian targets in Donbass, a local watchdog has said. They further claim that over 4,500 civilians have been killed and 4,000 injured since Ukrainian forces escalated shelling in mid-February. “Military terror has escalated beyond all limits after NATO members started supplying weapons to Ukraine,” the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC), a monitoring group that tracks attacks on the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, said on Wednesday. “We have recorded a four-fold increase in the number of victims among the civilian population,” Natalya Shutkina, a JCCC representative from Donetsk, said as quoted by TASS.

The JCCC held a press conference on Wednesday during which it showed fragments of Western shells and rockets collected after Ukrainian strikes in Donbass and explained the toll these attacks had taken. Since February 17, 4,527 civilians have been killed, including 154 children, Shutkina stated. Another 4,317 civilians, including 274 children, have been injured, she said, adding that Ukrainian attacks have damaged over 12,000 homes, 128 medical facilities, and 67 sites required for providing basic utilities, such as water and heating. The record-keeping begins in mid-February when the Donbas republics reported a significant escalation of strikes by Kiev in the lead-up to Russia having recognized the DPR and LPR as sovereign states and pledged to defend them.

The two regions have since been incorporated into Russia following referendums in September. Shutkina pointed out that the weapon systems provided by the US and its allies are supposed to be more accurate than the Soviet-era artillery guns and rocket launchers that Ukraine possessed previously. This leads the JCCC to believe that the Ukrainian attacks on civilian facilities have been intentional rather than being part of indiscriminate strikes, she stressed. Darya Morozova, the human rights ombudsman for the Donetsk People’s Republic, urged international organizations to acknowledge Kiev’s actions, arguing that “if the world community didn’t encourage the Ukrainian leadership with its inaction, the war in Donbass would have stopped a long time ago.” She called on Kiev’s sponsors to stop sending heavy weapons to Ukraine.

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Twitter numbers make no sense. Not if it were a business.

Twitter Became the Ministry of Truth (David Stockman)

Meanwhile, what was happening back at the ranch in 2020-2021 when the Twitter HQ was being transformed into the Village of the Damned? Well, on the one-hand the company’s stock price was coming up roses. After hitting the skids in 2015-2016, the Twitter’s market cap had risen from $12.5 billion in the fall of 2017 to $27 billion by the fall of 2019 to a peak of $54 billion in July 2021. In short, given a quadrupling of the company’s stock price in just four years and the resultant massive gains in the value of executive stock options, the top echelon apparently felt free to become moonlighting volunteers for the Deep State. That is, doing well they faced no penalty for doing good at the shareholders’ expense.

And we do mean shareholders’ expense. During its 2020 and 2021 fiscal years combined, which encompassed the peak period of the C-suite insanity chronicled by the Twitter Files, the company did harvest $8.8 billion of revenue from the Lockdown-world’s acceleration of the advertising migration from legacy to digital venues. Moreover, collecting those sums only required $3.2 billion in cost of goods sold, resulting in sterling gross profits at $5.6 billion and 64% of sales. In turn, that should have resulted in a shareholder bonanza on the bottom line. Except it didn’t. In fact, the company’s moonlighting management spent far more than that—$6.1 billion—on R&D, sales and marketing, general overhead and other top-side expenses. That is to say, Twitter’s putative business model went bust, with cumulative operating losses of nearly one-half billion dollars during the two year period.

Likewise, its bonifides as a cash-burning machine were reinforced. During 2020-2021 it generated $1.6 billion of cash from operations, but spent nearly $1.9 billion on CapEx. Accordingly, Twitter’s operating free cash flow came in at -$260 million. In short, when the company reached a peak valuation of $54 billion in July 2021 it was bleeding red ink and burning cash. It essentially had an infinite valuation multiple, which absurd valuation, in turn, amounted to a flashing green light for rampant moonlighting by not only its top management, but nearly the entirety of its the 7,500 work force.

In that regard we have been waiting for our Twitter screen to go dark ever since Elon Musk fired the employment rooster back to at least its December 2017 level (3,372). But, alas, the tweets just keep on coming, even as expenses have been pared back to the levels extant when Twitter was valued at the aforementioned 25% of its eventual peak.

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More good questions. At least we can finally ask them.

Swimming With Sharks (CJ Hopkins)

So, here’s the other thing that is bothering me (i.e., in addition to how this story is gradually devolving into a “red/blue” slugfest). You saw the news about how James Baker, the FBI guy who worked with the Clinton team on perpetrating the Russiagate hoax and had a hand in censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story, was “vetting” the Twitter Files before they were released. Well, according to the story, Baker was doing this “vetting” unbeknownst to Elon Musk, who had apparently just accidentally forgotten to fire his Deputy General Counsel (who he had been aware of for at least eight months) when he fired all those other liberal “bad apples,” and so Elon, being totally “in the dark,” as it were, had absolutely no idea what Baker was doing to the Twitter Files until Bari Weiss caught it and brought it to his attention.

That bothers me…as in I do not believe it. I want to be clear about what I’m saying. I’m not questioning Matt’s or Bari Weiss’ motives, or methods, and certainly not their characters. If I were in their positions, I’d be doing the same thing, getting my hands on as many “Twitter files” as possible and reporting the story that is there to report. They are journalists. That is what journalists do. They have also been around the block a few times, so I assume they are aware that they are swimming with sharks. If they weren’t previously, they certainly are now, after this fishy Baker “vetting” business. What I’m saying is, how can we trust what they are getting? How many files were “vetted” by Baker? Why was he still in a position to “vet” them? Who’s “vetting” the files now that Baker has been “exited”?

Which files have been given to Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss and which files have not been given to them? The reporting they are doing is like creating a collage; they can only work with the materials they are given, and the materials they are given will determine the story, or at least limit the nature and scope of the story. Also, and notwithstanding my respect and disturbing affection for Matt Taibbi, neither Matt nor Bari Weiss have been particularly interested in covering the roll-out of the official Covid narrative, i.e., the most insidious propaganda and gaslighting campaign in human history, or the destabilization and radical restructuring of global society that I keep mentioning in this column and have been writing about, extensively, since March of 2020.

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“..the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is almost entirely (86%) funded by the pharmaceutical industry while research departments also get most of their money from so-called “Big Pharma” too..”

Link Between MRNA Vaccine, Heart Inflammation ‘Covered Up’ – British MP (ToI)

In a bombshell revelation, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has demanded the suspension of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, alleging the ‘cover-up’ of research linking mRNA jabs with heart inflammation by prominent health authorities of the British Heart Foundation (BHF). In addition, the British MP claims that the problems related to COVID vaccines are being suppressed due to its financial associations with big pharma giants. MP Andrew Bridgen has said, “It has been brought to my attention by a whistleblower from a very reliable source that one of these institutions is covering up clear data that reveals that the mRNA vaccine increased inflammation of the heart arteries. “They are covering this up in fear that they may lose funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

“The leader of that cardiology research department has a prominent leadership role with the British Heart Foundation and I am very disappointed to say that he has sent out non-disclosure agreements to his research team to ensure that this important data never sees the light of day. “This is an absolute disgrace. Systemic failure in an over-medicated population also contributes to huge waste of British taxpayers’ money and is an increasing strain on the NHS.” Adding to the claims he says that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is almost entirely (86%) funded by the pharmaceutical industry while research departments also get most of their money from so-called “Big Pharma” too. “In effect we have the poacher paying the gamekeeper,” he says.

The MP has been vocal about his opinions about the COVID vaccines. In the past, he has warned against the vaccination of young children, saying that the jabs are still in their experimental stages. Along with his latest allegations, he highlighted research that showed a 25 percent increase in heart attack and cardiac arrest incidences in 16-39 year olds in Israel associated with the first and second doses of vaccine and not linked to SARs-CoV-2 infection. He also notes that since the vaccination rollout, there had been 14,000 additional cardiac arrests in 2021 since 2020.

UK Parliament

Cole Bigtree
https://twitter.com/i/status/1602147160706863104

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Good.

DeSantis Forms Florida Grand Jury To Investigate Covid Vaccine Rollout (ZH)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is establishing a grand jury through the state’s supreme court to investigate malfeasance involving the rollout of the covid mRNA vaccines. The investigations will include the claims of vaccine safety by pharmaceutical companies and the CDC, along with the rising number of deadly reactions to the jab including Myocarditis. The announcement was made in a virtual town hall-style meeting and was met with a positive response. DeSantis notes the moral bankruptcy of the scientific establishment in the US during the pandemic lockdowns – With the federal government and many scientists admonishing the public for going outside their homes (even though UV light from the sun is a natural sterilizer), while at the same time supporting the BLM protests in which thousands of people congregated on city streets to riot.


Stopping the spread was not important in the case of BLM, but deadly important when it came to people walking on the beach or protesting the lockdowns. DeSantis has proven to be a consistent opponent of the lockdowns and mandates, despite Florida’s large population. This policy helped to provide proof that the lockdowns were pointless. If Florida (along with other defiant red states) could stay open without any noticeable jump in fatalities compared to blue states, then what was the point of the lockdowns and restrictions? A trend is growing among the American public which runs contrary to the mainstream covid narrative. People are beginning to question the validity of government policies, the claims of snake oil salesmen like Anthony Fauci and the rules enforced by the CDC. Most importantly, they are beginning to apply skepticism to the mRNA vaccines, which is something that should have been done before they were ever distributed.

Bannon Wolf

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“..interest on the national debt is already on track to consume 40 percent of the federal budget by 2052 (should be 25?)and will surpass defense spending by 2029! ”

The Mother of all Economic Crises (Ron Paul)

The Fed has been trying to eliminate price inflation with a series of interest rate increases. So far, these rate increases have not significantly reduced price inflation. This is because rates remain at historic lows. Yet the rate increases have had negative economic effects, including a decline in the demand for new homes. Increasing interest rates make it impossible for many middle- and working-class Americans to afford a monthly mortgage payment for even a relatively inexpensive home. The main reason the Fed cannot raise rates to anywhere near what they would be in a free market is the effect it would have on the federal government’s ability to manage its debt. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), interest on the national debt is already on track to consume 40 percent of the federal budget by 2052 and will surpass defense spending by 2029!

A small interest rate increase can raise yearly federal debt interest rate payments by many billions of dollars, increasing the amount of the federal budget devoted solely to servicing the debt. The federal government’s fiscal picture is made worse by the fact that the Social Security “Trust Fund” will begin to run deficits by 2035 while the Medicare Trust Fund will run deficits by 2028. The looming bankruptcy of the two major entitlement programs, combined with the unwillingness of most in Congress to reduce either welfare or warfare spending, puts the Fed in a bind. If it raises rates to the levels needed to really combat price inflation, the increase in interest payments will impose hardships on individuals and businesses, as well as raise federal interest payments to unsustainable levels.

This will cause a major economic crisis including a government default on its debt causing a rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status. Also, if the Fed continues to facilitate federal deficits by monetizing the debt, the result will be an economic crisis caused by a collapse in the dollar’s value and rejection of the dollar’s world reserve status.

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Where is SBF’s girlfriend, the Alameda chick?

Bankman-Fried Lieutenant Alerted Regulators To Misuse Of Customer Funds (Block)

One of Sam Bankman-Fried’s top lieutenants told Bahamian authorities that customer funds from the firm were used to plug holes in the balance sheet of his investment fund, Alameda Research. In a Nov. 9 call with Bahamian regulators, FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame told Bahamas Securities Commission Executive Director Christina R. Rolle that client assets possibly held by FTX were transferred to Alameda Research to cover the hedge fund’s financial losses. The transfer of customer assets was “contrary to normal corporate governance and operations at FTX Digital,” Rolle wrote in a Nov. 11 court document filed to the Supreme Court of the Bahamas, seeking an emergency intervention for the regulator to seize control of the company’s remaining assets.

“Put simply, that such transfers were not allowed or consented to by their clients.” Salame’s comments to the regulator also prompted her to alert the Bahamian police, requesting an investigation into the company, “on an urgent basis.” The request to police notes that Salame was in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 9. The FTX DM co-CEO told officials that only three people had passwords necessary for the transfer: Bankman-Fried, Nishad Singh and Gary Wang. A Monday court filing by FTX’s representatives in bankruptcy proceedings named Bankman-Fried and Wang as responsible for a separate shift in funds, as well as the minting of new tokens, after they had filed to start the bankruptcy process.

Rolle’s request, which was granted by the court, was included in a new filing in the bankruptcy case today made by the Bahamian government in response to arguments in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, suggesting that it is coordinating with Bankman-Fried. Lawyers for FTX, representing the company’s new leadership, have argued that Bankman-Fried, Wang and Bahamian authorities, including the Securities Commission, may have violated bankruptcy law around movement of assets after initiating the process. The Bahamian regulator has vigorously denied coordination with Bankman-Fried, and filed these documents as evidence in support of its argument. The judge presiding over the case will hear further arguments on Friday, with a full hearing on the issue scheduled for Jan. 6.

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Pulitzer prices have lost all value.

Trump Sues Pulitzer Board For Defamation (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump filed a defamation suit on Wednesday against the Pulitzer Prize board, pointing to a statement it made backing the reporting of the 2018 winning articles. Trump had requested the board review its decisions to award the 2018 prizes to the New York Times and Washington Post staffs for reporting on the now-debunked Russia collusion narrative. The board honored Trump’s request and conducted the reviews, after which the organization stood by its original choices, saying “no passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes,” according to The Hill.

The former president repeatedly threatened to sue the board over its statement, but only filed the suit on Wednesday. He is seeking an unspecified amount in damages. “On the facts known to Defendants at the time these reviews were allegedly conducted, it would have been impossible that a single objective, thorough and independent review would have reached such a conclusion, much less two. Defendants knew this and published the Pulitzer Statement anyway,” the suit reads. “A large swath of Americans had a tremendous misunderstanding of the truth at the time the Times’ and the Post’s propagation of the Russia Collusion Hoax dominated the media. Remarkably, they were rewarded for lying to the American public,” it further reads, per the New York Post.

New York Times spokesman Charlie Stadtlander told The Hill that “[t]he mission and responsibility of The New York Times is to report thoroughly and impartially on matters of newsworthy importance. The foreign manipulation of the 2016 elections was both consequential and unprecedented in United States history. Our journalists thoroughly pursued credible claims, fact-checked, edited and ultimately produced groundbreaking journalism that was proven true time and again.”

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“The Senate bill comes the same day a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to prohibit the app in the United States entirely..”

Senate Unanimously Passes Ban On Using TikTok On Government Devices (JTN)

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would ban federal employees from using Chinese social media platform TikTok on government-issued devices. The upper chamber sent the measure to the House for approval after granting it their unanimous consent, the Wall Street Journal reported. TikTok has long been the subject of federal scrutiny over potential security concerns involving its handling of U.S. user data and the close relationship between its parent company, the Beijing-based ByteDance, and the Chinese communist regime. Former President Donald Trump unsuccessfully attempted to ban the app outright though lawmakers have continuously warned of the lingering threat it poses.


The Senate bill comes the same day a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to prohibit the app in the United States entirely. Moreover, it follows the Wednesday unveiling of a bipartisan plan to sanction Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei, another Chinese company under scrutiny for its ties to Beijing. The plan would add the company to the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals list, which would prohibit American firms from dealing with the company almost entirely.

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Didn’t work then either.

How Economic Sanctions in Ancient Greece Backfired, Prolonging War (GR)

Sanctions date back to antiquity, with the “Megarian Decree” issued by Athenian statesman Pericles in 432 BC being the first economic sanction recorded. The Megarian Decree was an act of revenge by the Athenians for the treacherous behavior of the Megarians some years earlier. However, if Athens openly attacked the Spartan ally it would violate the peace. Athens imposed the embargo to show other Spartan allies that Athens had other means of punishing attackers who were under Sparta’s military protection. Thus, the decree could be seen as an attempt to avoid provoking Sparta directly. Some historians argue that the Megarian Decree ultimately helped to prolong and intensify of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC). Using the excuse of sacrilege against the land that was sacred to Demeter, known as the Hiera Orgas, Pericles wanted to punish Megara.


The supposed killing of the Athenian herald who was sent to Megara to reproach them, and their giving shelter to slaves who had fled from Athens, brought about the economic sanctions against the city. The decree dictated that Megarian merchants would be excluded from the market of Athens and the ports in its empire, called the Delian League. The decree was something like a modern trade embargo. If farmers had trespassed on sacred land, it was strange that the Megarian Decree aimed at punishing the merchants of the city. That implied a political aim. Even though such sanctions were known and applied in the Near East, they had been unheard of in the Delian League. Pericles was the first westerner to apply them, and for some historians that was the first time that economic sanctions had been used as foreign policy.

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“..This is dangerous to democracy.”

With Elon Owning Twitter Government Only Controls 97% Of The Media (BBee)

The White House issued a dire warning this week, reminding the nation that Elon’s continued ownership of Twitter means they now only control 97% of the media. “We can’t overstate how dangerous this is,” said gay black Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Yes, we still control Facebook, Google, Apple, Instagram, YouTube, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Hollywood, TIME, USAToday, The Wall Street Journal, and pretty much all the rest, but we don’t control Twitter. This is dangerous to democracy.” The entire intelligence community at the CIA, FBI, and NSA concurred with the warning, stating that “Elon’s ownership of Twitter leaves America vulnerable to dangerous opinions we do not approve of.”


Leaders with the agencies are recommending immediate investigations to bring down the Twitter CEO provided their planned drone strike doesn’t work first. “Democracy is at stake,” said all the agency leaders in a shared statement in which they all recited the words simultaneously in a robotic monotone. “We must do something. Democracy is at stake.” At publishing time, several watchdog groups had underscored the warning, pointing to a 128% increase in exposure to unapproved opinions since Musk’s Twitter purchase.

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Cryptome

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tambja morosa, also known as gloomy nudibranch lives primarily in the Indo-Pacific area
https://twitter.com/i/status/1603025499890094080

 

 

 

 

Swan landing

 

 

 

 

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