Jun 022024
 


John French Sloan East Entrance, City Hall, Philadelphia 1901

 

Tyranny Is Upon Us: Law And Juries Are Weaponized (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Trump Trial Harkens Back to a Dark Period of American Law (Turley)
The Democrats Just Sealed Donald Trump’s Victory In November (Bridge)
DOJ: You Can’t Hear The Biden-Hur ‘Memory Interview’ Because of Deepfakes (Sp.)
Desperate, Lying Biden May Abuse AI to Pull the Ultimate Race Hoax (Sellers)
Artificial ‘N****R’ (Sellers)
RFK Jr. Slams Biden’s Decision to Allow Ukrainian Strikes Inside Russia (Sp.)
Ukraine Conflict Is Reshaping War For the 21st Century (DeMartino)
The Popski Syndrome – Allied Defeat Turns Into Battlefield Fantasies (Helmer)
Presidents Who Gamble With Nuclear Armageddon (Jeffrey Sachs)
Russia’s Victory Over Ukraine Is Drawing Near (Scott Ritter)
Ukraine Won’t Exist In 50 Years – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Dave Smith Burns Chris Cuomo To The Ground In Epic Covid Debate (ZH)
Mark Rutte, The Dutch Invader, Is Sinking In The Hungarian Goulash (Helmer)
Huge Anti-War Rally In Budapest, Hungary (RT)

 

 

 

 

RFK Elon

 

 

Flynn/Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Eric Trump

 

 

JD Vance
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796593469546287378

 

 

 

 

Eva

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..a single accounting reporting charge, a misdemeanor, was magically turned into 34 federal felonies of election violations..”

“..legally this is a case for which there are no legal grounds for bringing it..”

Tyranny Is Upon Us: Law And Juries Are Weaponized (Paul Craig Roberts)

Jury Finds Trump Guilty on All 34 Felony Charges in New York Trial. Keep in mind that these are 34 made-up felonies based on how an expense was recorded by accountants and attorneys. Trump did not record the expense.The expense was recorded according to accounting standards. Keep in mind that a single accounting reporting charge, a misdemeanor, was magically turned into 34 federal felonies of election violations, if memory serves, the argument being that Trump won the election by misreporting the expense. There are so many civil and criminal show trials going on against Trump that it is hard to keep track of all the absurdities. Keep in mind that it is a case without complainants, without harmed parties. It is a case brought by a prosecutor who can show no party harmed. What is frightening is that legally this is a case for which there are no legal grounds for bringing it. Yet, the bar associations, the law schools, the media said nothing.

Getting Trump was so important that law was sacrificed for the purpose. Trump’s demonization made a fair trial impossible, and few jurors can resist using their power against a rich person. The weaponization of law in order to interfere with an election –in other words the prosecutor is guilty of interfering in an election–the charge brought against Trump– means the future of America is tyranny. An appeal will be made, but a state where justice is as corrupt as New York is incapable of producing a decision based on law. If there is any fight left in Americans, and I am unsure, a prison sentence from the totally corrupt judge should launch a civil war. Many would say it is about time or past time. If not, the people have submitted to tyranny. The North submitted to Lincoln’s tyranny. The South did not. Little is left of the South. It is unclear what stands against the tyranny of Washington.

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The constitutional law professor: “Even after sitting in the courtroom watching the trial and the verdict, I still have no idea what Trump was convicted of in the case..”

The Trump Trial Harkens Back to a Dark Period of American Law (Turley)

After years of trying — in the words of the judge — “to get the damned rascal in this court,” it was a conviction that many welcomed. But those words were not from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, and the conviction was not that of former President Donald Trump. Rather they were from US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, at the end of the 18th century, when America embraced political prosecutions to target critics and opponents. The man on trial then was James T. Callender, a muckraking writer critical of President John Adams. For accusing politicians of corruption, Callender was charged with sedition, fined $200 and put in prison. It was one of the many political prosecutions carried out by the Adams administration. Political prosecutions are something most citizens associate with dictatorships. But the Trump prosecution has forced many to confront the undeniable reality of the politicization of our legal system. In many respects, President Biden and Democrats have re-created the Adams era.

Biden has led calls for censorship of political critics and his administration has coordinated the silencing and the blacklisting of those with opposing views. Democratic politicians have pressured social-media companies to serve as surrogates for the government in banning, throttling and defunding individuals and groups. Indeed, I have previously written that Biden is now the most anti-free-speech president since Adams. The Adams era also reflected the same blind loyalty of many media outlets. Federalist publications supported the crackdowns while echoing charges against political opponents as seditionists and insurrectionists. Jeffersonian publications, like Callender’s, attacked Adams for his “unbounded thirst for ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice.” The nation was divided down the middle as both sides accused each other of being traitors and insurrectionists. Sound familiar? Yet, it is the politicization of the legal system that is the most chilling return to the Adams era.

Even liberal legal analysts and figures have admitted that the case against Trump was unprecedented and would not have been brought against anyone other than Trump. CNN legal analyst Elie Honig recently wrote that there should be concern over a judge being appointed (not randomly selected) who is not just a Biden donor but someone who “has earmarked donations for ‘resisting the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s radical right-wing legacy.’” Adding to these concerns is the movement of the third-highest official in the Biden Justice Department to the staff of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to build the case against Trump. Before joining the case, Matthew Colangelo was also paid by the Democratic National Committee for “political consulting.” So Trump was convicted in a trial with a Biden donor judge, who has a daughter who is a major Democratic operative, a lead prosecutor previously paid as a DNC political consultant and a jury selected in a district that voted roughly 90% against Trump.

The trial itself was a travesty. Even after sitting in the courtroom watching the trial and the verdict, I still have no idea what Trump was convicted of in the case. The charges were built on a dead misdemeanor barred with the passage of the statute of limitations. It was zapped back into life by alleging that the falsification of business records occurred to unlawfully influence the 2016 presidential election. Merchan told the jury members that they did not have to agree on what those unlawful means may have been. Specifically, he allowed them to base their verdict on any one of three vaguely defined crimes of a federal election violation, falsification of business records or taxation violations.

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“The only thing better than that would be to witness the first president in US history to pardon himself as the Trump legacy goes full circle.”

The Democrats Just Sealed Donald Trump’s Victory In November (Bridge)

Members of the Democratic Party continue to fail to understand that the more mud they fling at the former president, the dirtier they look by comparison. On Thursday, a unanimous decision from a 12-person jury declared Donald Trump guilty on 34 felony counts, which could see the former president sentenced to 136 years in prison. There’s just one catch: the notorious Orange Man will never spend a single night behind bars. The worst that will happen for the Republican presidential frontrunner is that he will enter the race with a criminal record. Because the crimes are nonviolent and Trump has no prior convictions, any chance of prison time is a long shot. What could happen instead is that Judge Juan Merchan could sentence him to house arrest – which would undoubtedly make ankle bracelets, much like the famous Trump ‘mug shot,’ the latest fashion accessory – probation or some other lighter form of supervised release.

Another option that would backfire in the Democratic Party’s face is the imposition of community service. While Democrats may relish the idea of Trump being forced to join a prison work gang as punishment, it’s too easy to imagine millions of Trump supporters turning out at some soup kitchen or animal shelter to throw their support behind the most controversial figure in American politics today. And then there is the question of New York, the site of the Trump case, which is only second to the state of California when it comes to liberal residents. Trump inveighed against District Attorney Alvin Bragg, calling him the “Soros-backed DA.” As The New York Times wrote of the Bragg-Soros connection, “Soros donated to a liberal group that endorses progressive prosecutors and supports efforts to overhaul the criminal justice system – in line with causes that he has publicly supported for years. That group used a significant portion of the money to support Mr. Bragg in his 2021 campaign.”

On November 21, 2022, The Times reported that the district attorney’s office “has moved to jump-start its criminal investigation” into Trump’s reported “hush-money payment to a porn star who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump.” This was the first indictment of a former president in US history. Trump pleaded not guilty, yet was found guilty of all counts on May 30, 2024, making Bragg the first prosecutor in US history to win a conviction against a former president. Trump, who will be sentenced on July 11th, denies ever having had sex with Daniels. Another aspect of the Trump case that has rallied many to Trump’s defense is the political identity of the judge presiding over the case, Juan Merchan, whom Trump has criticized as “conflicted.” That may be an understatement when it is considered that Merchan donates to an organization called ‘Stop Republicans,’ as well as the Biden campaign.

Finally, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform that Loren Merchan, the judge’s daughter, is president of Authentic Campaigns, a Chicago-based progressive political consulting firm whose top clients include Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who was the lead prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment trial. Merchan’s daughter helped raise at least $93 million in campaign donations – and used the Trump case in her solicitation emails – highlighting a major conflict of interest that have Trump supporters demanding Judge Merchan recuse himself from the case. Finally, there is the question of fairness when it is considered that New York is major Democrat country. Can Trump seriously hope for a fair trial to take place in this prominent Blue state? He certainly doesn’t think so.

Merchan imposed the 10th contempt of court fine of $1,000 for an April 22 interview in which the former president said: “That jury was picked so fast – 95% Democrats. The area’s mostly all Democrat.” While the Democrats may be rubbing their hands in glee after finally getting Trump entangled in the judicial net, they continue to ignore the fact that every scandal has only served to empower the 45th president. In the worst-case scenario, should Trump be sent to prison, this will not stop the flow of campaign cash from entering the GOP’s coffers; in fact, it is practically guaranteed that the spectacle of the Orange Man behind bars – complete with mug shot in prison garb – will be the best campaign promo of all time. The only thing better than that would be to witness the first president in US history to pardon himself as the Trump legacy goes full circle.

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Anything can be deepfake, and now you can’t hear any of it anymore. Unless it’s about Trump.

DOJ: You Can’t Hear The Biden-Hur ‘Memory Interview’ Because of Deepfakes (Sp.)

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is attempting to prevent the release of the audio of the infamous “memory interview” between US President Joe Biden and special counsel Robert Hur, arguing that “deepfakes” may appear as a result. Hur was investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents he obtained as a senator and vice president. While Hur wrote in his report that Biden likely violated the law intentionally, he declined to press charges because he thought Biden would appear to the jury as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” It also noted that Biden had trouble remembering when he was vice president and which year his son Beau died. The DOJ issued a filing on Friday that argued “The passage of time and advancements in audio, artificial intelligence, and ‘deep fake’ technologies only amplify concerns about malicious manipulation of audio files. If the audio recording is released here, it is easy to foresee that it could be improperly altered, and that the altered file could be passed off as an authentic recording and widely distributed.”

While the DOJ admits that there is plenty of “other raw material to create a deepfake of President Biden’s voice” available to unscrupulous actors, it argues that if the public became aware that the legitimate recording was released, they would be more apt to believe a fake recording is legitimate. The filing was first obtained by Politico. It is not known how the court will respond to the strange reasoning. If a legitimate copy of the recording were released, it stands to reason it would become easier –not more difficult– to disprove fake versions. As the DOJ admits in its filing as part of its argument that the release of the audio recording is unnecessary, the full transcript of the interview has already been released. It would be trivial for someone with AI experience to use the “raw material” already available of Biden to create a deepfake version of the interview and say it was leaked. A legitimate version being released would make that much easier for other internet users and the media to definitively debunk.

The filing also comes after Biden used his executive privilege to stop the release of the tape to House Republicans who had sought to obtain it as part of their investigation into the Biden family. The latest filing was in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The DOJ also argues that the release of the audio would be a violation of Biden’s privacy. However, since we already know what he said thanks to the transcript– and we have no reason to believe that the transcript is incorrect, the only thing that would be revealed is everything between those words. How long did Biden pause before answering? How many times did he stumble on his words? Did he sound confused or angry during the interview? These are the questions that could be revealed through the release of the audio and according to the filing, the DOJ doesn’t think it is in the “public interest” to reveal the answers, so much so that they are willing to resort to absurd fear-mongering over a new technology in hopes that the judge will be cowed into blocking its release.

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I split Ben Sellers’ piece in two. First, reality.

Desperate, Lying Biden May Abuse AI to Pull the Ultimate Race Hoax (Sellers)

It is patently clear that 99% of what comes out of Biden’s mouth, and those of his surrogates is an abject, gaslighting falsehood. Many in the voting public have now woken up to this fact, which is why we’ve seen so many red-pilled ex-Biden backers suddenly flipping their support to Trump in protest of all—or even some—of the above. Taking a page from Adolf Hitler, Democrats already primed people for the so-called Big Lie, deflecting from the fact that they were in the process of committing it by, appropriately enough, projecting it preemptively onto Republicans Regrettably, we may now be on the cusp of what history will record as the “Biggest Lie,” if and when the truth ever comes to light—something so shamefully bald-faced, so transparently manipulative, that most will think, “They wouldn’t dare lie about that.” But indeed, Biden has proven nothing if not that he will lie about anything.

We are witnessing the remarkable confluence of several disparate factors that are leading us on the path to the biggest race hoax in recorded history—and yet, it seems obvious, like a black swan event, that something so dastardly would be the inevitable outcome of putting the declining Democrat ethos and the rise in artificial intelligence-generated disinformation together in a tinderbox that includes the bombastic Donald Trump.On Thursday, a former producer from Trump’s ABC television show The Apprentice drudged up a long simmering rumor regarding tapes of Trump having used the n-word to refer to contestant Kwame Jackson. Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung called it a “a completely fabricated and bullsh*t story,” Politico reported. Many critics have pointed out that President Joe Biden’s own troubled history when it comes to making controversial remarks about race often undermines his current posturing about being a champion of minority causes.

Nonetheless, Biden’s campaign—after recently botching the rollout on an eight-figure effort to win back black voters—made hay of the Trump smear, releasing an official statement to torque up the race-baiting allegation. “No one is surprised that Donald Trump, who entered public life by falsely accusing [b]lack men of murder and entered political life spreading lies about the first [b]lack president, reportedly used the N-word to casually denigrate a successful [b]lack man,” claimed Jasmine Harris, the Biden campaign’s director of black media. The campaign also appeared to have been coordinating with Pruitt on the story, which he released in a Slate op-ed, as it had canned footage ready to roll out of former Trump staffer turned critic Omarosa Manigault Newman leveling unsubstantiated ‘racism’ claims against her ex-boss.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1796222579759358116

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Second, AI.

“..a new low-water mark for America, as it faces a bombardment of structure tests from the radical Marxist subversives hoping to topple it for once and for all.”

Artificial ‘N****R’ (Sellers)

Lost in the Trump Manhattan trial about his alleged falsification of business documents to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels was the fact that the $130,000 paid to Daniels by Michael Cohen did not fulfill its contracted purpose. Prior to the November 2016 election, the Wall Street Journal published a story that named Daniels and Playboy bunny Karen McDougal, alleging the two had received hush-money payments to keep quiet about their decade-old affairs with Trump. Within two years, some of the key players in the purported scandal were speaking openly about it. Suffice it to say, if Pruitt had the evidence at the time to support his allegation about Trump using the n-word on The Apprentice, those tapes would have found their way into the hands of interested parties somewhere along the way long before Trump’s third presidential run.

It is reasonable to infer that the absence of the tapes up to this point suggests they don’t exist. Frighteningly, what does now exist is a rapid surge in artificial intelligence technology that could allow the Biden campaign to produce fake tapes of Trump using the pejorative, sowing just enough suspicion among his nascent black supporters that they would flock back to the fold on the Democrat plantation. Already, we have seen the technology put to frightening use to imitate Biden’s voice in a fake robocall that went out to New Hampshire voters, telling them to stay home since he wasn’t on the ballot, despite an expensive write-in campaign to deliver him a victory in the Granite State. The deep-fake was traced back to the owner of a telecom company in Texas, who had previously donated money to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The technology also has been misused to create pornography of high school students and to scam a company out of $25 million with a phony conference call. And oh yea, the CIA has admitted it is taking full advantage of it for undisclosed purposes. Most perniciously, it has already been used for at least one race hoax. A disgruntled high school athletic director in Baltimore was caught using deep-fake software to mimic the voice of his principal going on a racist and anti-Semitic rant in retaliation for a probe of his misappropriation of school funds. The rant appeared on Instagram and quickly began to circulate. Although AI was suspected almost immediately, Pikesville High School Eric Eiswert was subjected to negative publicity and an intensive forensic investigation that drew in the FBI and experts from the University of California, Berkeley, before he was ultimately vindicated.

The potential for AI abuse, paired with the Biden administration’s penchant and proclivity for it, would certainly lead one to wonder, should a tape of Trump using the “n-word” suddenly surface, whether its authenticity could be trusted. Would Biden, or another bad actor working on his behalf, be willing to stoop so low as to falsely smear someone with an entirely made-up tape in order to deceive and manipulate a particular class of voters into making a misinformed decision? Sadly, if past is prologue, one need no longer ask questions about the depths to which they will stoop. Will it work? If so, it would simultaneously be a breakthrough achievement in AI technology—the successful passage, perhaps, of a sort of Turing test on the road to singularity—and a new low-water mark for America, as it faces a bombardment of structure tests from the radical Marxist subversives hoping to topple it for once and for all.

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“..authorizing Ukraine to strike targets deep in Russia. Using our weapons, trained in their use by our trainers..”

RFK Jr. Slams Biden’s Decision to Allow Ukrainian Strikes Inside Russia (Sp.)

US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. condemned President Joe Biden’s decision to greenlight Ukrainian strikes using US-supplied weapons inside Russian territory. “More insane escalation by the Biden administration — authorizing Ukraine to strike targets deep in Russia. Using our weapons, trained in their use by our trainers,” Kennedy said on X. In a major policy shift, Biden authorized the use of US weapons against military installations in Russia. A State Department spokesperson insisted that the authorization was limited to what they called “counter-fire purposes” in Kharkov (also known as Kharkiv) region. The US has not authorized the use of long-range missiles, including ATACMS, inside Russia, the spokesperson told Sputnik.

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Drones. And the “turtle tank.”

Ukraine Conflict Is Reshaping War For the 21st Century (DeMartino)

The weapons that shaped warfare in the 20th century: barbed wire, machine guns, tanks, long-range artillery, and battleships, still play significant roles on the battlefield in the 21st, but they are dwarfed in importance by one invention, from which multiple theaters have been affected: the drone. While specific numbers of their effectiveness are difficult to come by at this stage of the conflict (that will be a job for war historians) there is no doubt that it is the most significant innovation on the battlefield today, used by both sides to inflict large amounts of casualties on the other. During Ukraine’s failed 2023 counteroffensive, drones played a huge role in stopping that advance. With the possible exception of Russia’s distance mining equipment, which also took out large numbers of tanks, drones were pivotal in taking out NATO’s most powerful armor.

“[US media] admitted how useless the Abrams [tank] is when tens of millions of dollars per tank can be taken out by a $500 drone. It is a new model of warfare,” Mark Sleboda, a security and international relations expert told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Friday. “But it is an evolution of warfare that is occurring before our eyes. So, the Chinese and Americans are certainly paying very close attention,” he noted earlier in the interview. It is an opinion shared by former Marine and UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter. Speaking on the Danny Haiphong show, he explained how everything from tactics to logistics has been changed by drones. “When this war started, people were working off of Cold War-era doctrinal thinking. That is: you have tank columns, you have artillery that operates in battery or battalion sized formations flooding a zone, you have big arrow movements and things of that nature,” Ritter recalled. “[Then] drones started coming in, not just for targeting purposes, not just for deep strike purposes, but tactical drones on the battlefront. These FPV drones are a nightmare for soldiers.”

“If I tried to take Marines into combat using the tactics that I was taught,” Ritter continued “[With] two platoons online, basic fire etcetera, my base of fire would disappear because it’d be swarmed by FPV drones… then my Marines attacking would be hit by these drones and they’re all dead.” Much like Haig, this was a lesson that the Armed Forces of Ukraine failed to learn during their counteroffensive. Rabotino was intended to be the first minor step during that offensive that would lead to Tokmak which would serve as the staging ground for an assault on Melitopol. But as armor assault after armor assault was destroyed, it became apparent that the Ukrainians would never reach their goal. But, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky needed something to show his Western benefactors, so Rabotino became the goal. It took 71 days to capture the tiny village with a pre-war population of about 500 people, largely using the same tactics they began with. Ukraine lost dozens of expensive tanks and thousands of men capturing and then holding the village.

The Ukrainian offensive never went any further and in May, Russia recaptured the village. Just as the invention of the tank helped break the stalemate of the First World War, new technologies are emerging to counteract the drone and there it seems Russia has a decided advantage on that front. According to Military Watch Magazine, Russian electronic defenses have rendered Ukraine’s best artillery weapons all but useless, including the Excalibur GPS-guided artillery shells, the vaunted HIMARS rocket artillery systems and the JDAM precision-guided bombs. “Everything ended [in 2023]: the Russian deployed electronic warfare, disabled satellite signals, and HIMARS became completely ineffective,” one senior Ukrainian military official was quoted as saying. But the innovations on the battlefield aren’t exclusive to high technology, often they come from the soldiers on the ground. As tanks were increasingly taken out by drones, soldiers started adding cope cages in an attempt to protect them. This eventually led to the deployment of what is affectionately called the “turtle tank.”

Typically beginning with a T-72 tank, so-called turtle tanks are outfitted with a metal shell that covers almost the entirety of the tank, leaving only the very front and its cannon exposed to drone attack. While limiting the driver in visibility and maneuverability, those drawbacks have proven worth it. The Ukrainians who initially laughed at the turtle tank’s awkward appearance and low-tech solution quickly stopped laughing as they retreated from turtle tank assaults across the Western front.

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“..the Russian response will not be nuclear. That is impossible. There are a thousand options between doing nothing and going nuclear, and we can be sure the General Staff are working on all of them..”

The Popski Syndrome – Allied Defeat Turns Into Battlefield Fantasies (Helmer)

In war, exaggeration is a killer. In the media, exaggeration is a bestseller. In the current war there is a dearth of military and political analysts who for truth or money will tell the difference. Instead, when the mentality of the war fighters is a combination of racial superiority and spetsnaz derring-do, what you get is the conviction that with one more brilliant operation and one more super-weapon, victory can be snatched from every indicator of defeat because the adversary will be persuaded to accept negotiations as he loses his nerve. This is the meaning of the Anglo-American publicity which burst over the long Bank Holiday and Memorial Day weekend, as summer campaigning began in earnest for the July and November elections in the UK and US — with the incumbent in the former running 21 points behind, and the incumbent in the latter trailing on an approval margin of minus-16 points.

The Reuters propaganda agency, based in New York, is claiming to have found four Russians from “a senior level in the political and business worlds” to be talkative about what they say they know of the Kremlin’s end-of-war plans. “[President Vladimir] Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war… Putin would, however, be ready to settle for what land he has now and freeze the conflict at the current front lines, four of the sources said. ‘Putin will say that we won, that NATO attacked us and we kept our sovereignty, that we have a land corridor to Crimea, which is true,’ one of them said, giving their own analysis.” With just one more successful push from the Ukrainian side, Reuters and its four Russians believe, Putin will agree to give up his war. This push, which the western media have been amplifying this week, is the drone attacks on Russian radar stations for early warning of nuclear missile attack at Armavir, Krasnodar, and Orsk, Orenburg.

Although Russian military sources claim these attacks were pinpricks, and the second of them was shot out of the sky before detonation, western media are reporting that it is now the battle strategy of the US, the British, and the Ukrainians to provoke Putin into retaliation, crossing the red line of tactical nuclear warfare. That’s a red line, the allies are calculating, which Putin would rather negotiate end-of-war terms than cross. A retired Moscow military analyst warns against the exaggeration, not of the attacks themselves, but of Putin’s power to decide end-of-war terms over the opposition of the General Staff and the new Defense Ministry. “It is obvious the Ukrainians have had a string of successful breakthroughs,” the source acknowledges, “– against ships, airfields, refineries, and now this radar site. We also understand it is not the Ukrainians: all target selection, identification, guidance, and the hardware are American or European. Where the command control of these launch sites is, we do not know but it might well not be in Ukraine.”

“But the Russian response will not be nuclear. That is impossible. There are a thousand options between doing nothing and going nuclear, and we can be sure the General Staff are working on all of them. So when people say this is provocation for a nuclear strike and that [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky is provoking it, we understand that, first, NATO planners know Putin will not go nuclear because he and his generals are too rational and sane. And second, Zelensky is not the one making the provocations. So the real red line now is not the nuclear arms provocations from the NATO side. That’s a fantasy of theirs. Just so, in response, I think it’s time Putin stops making threats and strikes at the source of these operations.” When desperate weakness triggers battlefield fantasies, call this the Popski Syndrome.

Popski was the call sign and unit nickname assigned by the British Army headquarters in Cairo to a tiny unit of behind-the-lines special forces operating against the Italian and German armies in the Libyan deserts from late in 1941 until September 1943, when the war moved on to Italy, taking Popski with it. Popski’s unit numbered 24 men to start in Libya; in Italy, by the war’s end, it had reached 80. Vladimir Peniakoff was Popski, born to wealthy Jewish Russians who fled the Revolution to install their aluminium business and themselves in Belgium, then the UK. With London publisher Jonathan Cape, Peniakoff imagined he could turn his small guerrilla war in the Libyan and Tunisian deserts into something approaching the bestsellerdom of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E.Lawrence’s story of the war of the Arabian peninsula tribes against the Turks between 1916 and 1918; first published in 1926.

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A timeline.

Presidents Who Gamble With Nuclear Armageddon (Jeffrey Sachs)

The Doomsday Clock was at 17 minutes to midnight when Clinton came to office, but just 9 minutes when he left it. Bush pushed the clock to just 5 minutes, Obama to 3 minutes, and Trump to a mere 100 seconds. Now Biden has taken the clock to 90 seconds. Most presidents, and most Americans, have little idea how close to the abyss we are. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which was founded in 1947 in part to help the world avoid nuclear annihilation, established the Doomsday Clock to help the public understand the gravity of the risks we face. National security experts adjust the clock depending how far or how close we are to “midnight,” meaning extinction. They put the clock today at just 90 seconds to midnight, the closest that it’s ever been in the nuclear age.

The clock is a useful measure of which presidents have “gotten it” and which have not. The sad fact is that most presidents have recklessly gambled with our survival in the name of national honor, or to prove their personal toughness, or to avoid political attacks from the warmongers, or as the result of sheer incompetence. By a simple and straightforward count, five presidents have gotten it right, moving the clock away from midnight, while nine have moved us closer to Armageddon, including the most recent five. Truman was president when the Doomsday Clock was unveiled in 1947, at 7 minutes to midnight. Truman stoked the nuclear arms race and left office with the clock at just 3 minutes to midnight. Eisenhower continued the nuclear arms race but also entered into the first-ever negotiations with the Soviet Union regarding nuclear disarmament. By the time he left office, the clock was put back to 7 minutes to midnight.

Kennedy saved the world by coolly reasoning his way through the Cuban Missile Crisis, rather than following the advice of hothead advisors who called for war (for a detailed account, see Martin Sherwin’s magisterial Gambling with Armageddon, 2020). He then negotiated the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with Khrushchev in 1963. By the time of his death, which may well have been a government coup resulting from Kennedy’s peace initiative, JFK had pushed the clock back to 12 minutes to midnight, a magnificent and historic achievement. It was not to last. Lyndon Johnson soon escalated in Vietnam and pushed the clock back again to just 7 minutes to midnight. Richard Nixon eased tensions with both the Soviet Union and China, and concluded the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I), pushing the clock again to 12 minutes from midnight. Yet Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter failed to secure SALT II, and Carter fatefully and unwisely gave a green light to the CIA in 1979 to destabilize Afghanistan. By the time Ronald Reagan took office, the clock was at just 4 minutes to midnight.

The next 12 years marked the end of the Cold War. Much of the credit is due to Mikhail Gorbachev, who aimed to reform the Soviet Union politically and economically, and to end the confrontation with the West. Yet credit is also due to Reagan and his successor George Bush, Sr., who successfully worked with Gorbachev to end the Cold War, which in turn was followed by the end of the Soviet Union itself in December 1991. By the time Bush left office, the Doomsday clock was at 17 minutes to midnight, the safest since the start of the nuclear age.

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UKiev.

Russia’s Victory Over Ukraine Is Drawing Near (Scott Ritter)

By the time the counteroffensive ground to a halt, in December 2023, Ukraine was a spent force militarily. Its armed forces had used up their reserves of manpower. NATO had depleted its stocks of available military materiel. And the West had become politically exhausted at the prospect of a never-ending conflict which seemed destined to result in an endless cycle of throwing good money after bad, all the while failing to bring about the strategic goal of defeating Russia. Moscow, on the other hand, emerged from the 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive in a good position. From a military perspective, the Russians had won the war of attrition with Ukraine and the collective West – basic military math had Ukraine consuming manpower and material resources at a far greater rate than they could be replenished, making Kiev grow physically weaker every day the conflict dragged on, while the Russians were able to accumulate manpower and material resources at a rate far greater than Ukraine was able to destroy, meaning Russia grew stronger every day te conflict continued.

Economically, Ukraine and its Western backers were exhausted. The blowback from the aggressive anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West had severely curtailed the industrial capacity of the European members of the NATO alliance to sustain the scope and scale of its military support to Ukraine, while domestic political realities in the US, amplified by the fact that it was engaged in a hotly contested presidential election cycle, paralyzed the American ability to sustain Ukraine financially. The military and economic exhaustion of Ukraine and the collective West severely impacted the ability of this coalition to politically sustain support for a war that had no discernable prospect of ending well. While the conflict has not, by any stretch of the imagination, been without cost to Russia, the approach taken by the leadership, to create conditions on the battlefield designed to maximize enemy losses while minimizing their own, meant that Moscow entered 2024 in a much stronger position militarily, economically, and – perhaps most importantly – politically.

War, it has been said, is an extension of politics by other means, and this is no exception to the age-old adage. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest electoral victory has provided the leadership in Moscow with a political mandate that strengthens Russia’s hand considerably, especially contrasted with the weakened posture of Ukraine. It is within such a context that the Russian offensive north of Kharkov must be evaluated. From a military-political standpoint, the operation has a specific objective – to push Ukrainian forces back from the border with Russia so that Ukrainian artillery and rocket systems can no longer strike Russian territory. But there is a larger purpose for this offensive – to continue the process of grinding down the Ukrainian military, to complete the larger task of ”demilitarization” set by the Kremlin.

In this, Russia is succeeding. First and foremost, by attacking north of Kharkov, Moscow has compelled UKiev to commit not only the last of its mobile strategic reserves in response but, because these forces are inadequate in strength, to force Ukraine to strip away units on the eastern line of contact, in Kherson, Zaporozhye and Donbass, and to divert them to the Kharkov direction. The depletion of reserves is part and parcel of the overall Russian strategy of attrition. Moreover, as these forces displace to the Kharkov region, they are being interdicted by Russian air, missile, and drone strikes, further eroding their combat power. The result is that Ukraine is now defending a longer line of defense with even fewer forces than it started with.

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“They’re already selling off lands in Ukraine to foreign investors, and they will flood Ukraine with third-world immigrants and Ukraine will not exist in 50 years..”

Ukraine Won’t Exist In 50 Years – Tucker Carlson (RT)

The US has “betrayed” Ukraine and will destroy the country by selling off its land and “flooding” it with third-world immigrants, American journalist Tucker Carlson predicted in an interview with former President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr. In a video interview published on Friday, Carlson and Trump Jr. both agreed that US President Joe Biden had brought the world to the brink of World War III, and that the US is essentially “at war with Russia.” “No-one’s articulated what victory in Ukraine looks like,” Trump Jr. said. “I don’t know what it means. Is it just like perpetual death of Ukrainians and Russians until they’re all wiped out and Blackrock comes in there and takes over all the farmland? That’s what it feels like to me.” Blackrock is the world’s biggest investment company, and controls an estimated $10 trillion in assets. The firm is one of Ukraine’s largest foreign bondholders, and in 2022 signed a memorandum of understanding with Kiev stating that it would manage Ukraine’s post-conflict reconstruction.

Several BlackRock alumni serve in the Biden administration, including Brian Deese, the head of the National Economic Council. After Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky signed a controversial package of land reforms into law in 2020, foreign investment firms like NCH Capital, BNP, and the Vanguard Group now control around 28% of Ukraine’s arable land, according to research by the Oakland Institute, an American think tank. Zelensky’s reforms were backed by the International Monetary Fund and US Agency for International Development. “They’re already selling off lands in Ukraine to foreign investors, and they will flood Ukraine with third-world immigrants and Ukraine will not exist in 50 years,” Carlson stated. “There’ll be no Ukrainian nation. We betrayed them like no other country ever.”

Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised that he would end the Ukraine conflict “in 24 hours” if re-elected this November, telling a Libertarian Party conference last weekend that he intends to “quit spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight other people’s wars.” Trump has never fully elaborated on how he would do this, save for forcing Zelensky to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but recent reports by Bloomberg and the Washington Post suggest that he would leverage the US’ massive military assistance to Kiev to pressure Zelensky into accepting the loss of some of Ukraine’s pre-conflict territory. However, Trump’s rhetoric on Russia has toughened in recent months, with the former president telling donors last week that he “would have bombed” Moscow when Russia’s military operation began in 2022. Trump did not lobby his Congressional allies to block a $61 billion aid package for Kiev in April, and said at the time that he would support lending, rather than gifting, money to Zelensky in future.

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“..you ate up every piece of propaganda, repeated all of it without any thought to whether it was true or not..”

Dave Smith Burns Chris Cuomo To The Ground In Epic Covid Debate (ZH)

For the legions of us who still carry righteous rage about the tyrannical and destructive Covid-19 regime, the planets aligned on Friday and gave us the enormous, vicarious pleasure of watching one of libertarianism’s most articulate voices repeatedly pummel one of the most visible villains of that dark era. In a debate hosted by Patrick Bet-David of PBD Podcast fame, “Part of the Problem” podcaster and comedian Dave Smith took on former CNN anchor and Covid regime propagandist Chris Cuomo. From lockdowns to masks, vaccines, Ivermectin and the vilification of resisters, the debate covered a lot of ground, with Smith dropping one laser-guided bomb after another on Cuomo.

Let’s dive right into the highlights…First, Smith opened the debate with a gentlemanly gesture, giving Cuomo a copy of the Tom Woods book, “Diary of a Psychosis: How Public Health Disgraced Itself During Covid Mania.” Tongue in cheek, he said, “I know you like following the science, and there’s a whole lot of science in that book.” Before the next clip, recall that, in an infamous segment on CNN, Cuomo and Don Lemon smugly battered Joe Rogan and others who used Ivermectin to battle Covid. Despite the fact that Ivermectin has been used since 1975 with great success against a wide variety of human maladies, Cuomo and Lemon ran hard with the regime narrative that referred to the wonder drug solely as a veterinary de-wormer.

Earlier this month, Cuomo revealed to Bet-David that he’s now himself taking a “regular dose of Ivermectin” for purported long Covid. However, In this jaw-dropping sequence, Cuomo stunned anyone with a memory of his exchange with Lemon by saying, “I don’t like what people did to Joe Rogan about Ivermectin.” A stunned Smith replied, “YOU did it!” Cuomo denied it and challenged Smith to “find the clips.” The PBD crew obliged, promptly rolling the damning video: Smith condemned Cuomo for failing to do his job, which was to “be skeptical of power and to shine a light against the propaganda…you ate up every piece of propaganda, repeated all of it without any thought to whether it was true or not, and then smeared millions of Americans like myself who were opposed to this stuff.” Cuomo said Smith was guilty of using “hyperbole” in referring to the Covid regime as “totalitarian.” An unwavering Smith had a pointed and compelling response: Smith elaborated, explaining why “it was completely criminal for all of these governments to lock down”…

Asked whether lockdowns were a net benefit — or instead erred on the side of catastrophe — Cuomo drew audience laughter when he said, “The people I talked to — who made these decisions — stand by them.” Smith quipped, “I’m sure Dick Cheney stands by the war in Iraq too!” Smith grew indignant when Cuomo suggested that Smith’s focus was on drawing attention to himself — to the detriment of society. Smith countered: “You’re attacking my motives…meanwhile, when those CNN checks were coming in, you said nothing that would have put them in jeopardy, but now that you’re here, you’re starting to tell a little bit of the truth.”

[..] Alas, amid the joy of Smith’s outstanding performance, there was a wistful element too, as many who’d hoped Smith would carry the flag of liberty as the 2024 Libertarian Party presidential candidate were reminded of what a remarkable champion he would have been — in stark contrast to the leftist, open-borders, drag-queen-promoting, kid-transing doozie the party ended up with. That said, far be it from us to end a feel-good story on a down note. Our highlight reel just scratched the surface: If you’re looking for weekend entertainment, here’s the entire debate, which also covers much more Covid ground, Trump’s trumped-up conviction and a lot more:

Dave Smith CNN
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796766419709022460

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“We certainly can’t support the election of a person to the position of NATO’s secretary general, who previously wanted to force Hungary on its knees..”

Mark Rutte, The Dutch Invader, Is Sinking In The Hungarian Goulash (Helmer)

The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was the first leader of a NATO state to try to send his soldiers on to the Ukrainian battlefield to fight Russian forces directly. That was in July 2014, in the aftermath of the Ukrainian shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. That Rutte scheme failed after it was vetoed by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel; she insisted on more time to prepare the NATO forces in the Ukraine to fight Russia. Now that they are, Rutte is the US candidate to become the new secretary-general of NATO. For the first time, however, his appointment is being vetoed by a NATO member, Hungary, which has proposed an alternative candidate – the ethnic German Klaus Iohannis, who is President of Romania. Because NATO rules require unanimity on the secretary-general, the Hungarian objection puts the Rutte nomination in the soup — make that goulash.

Rutte’s plan to deploy up to 9,000 troops in the Donbass had been devised in the summer of 2014 with two other Dutchmen – David Petraeus, who is also a US national, a US Army general, and former CIA director; and Sandra Roelofs, a Dutch national who held Georgian citizenship because she was married to Mikheil Saakashvili, onetime President of Georgia. Their cover story was that the NATO military intervention force was required to recover the black boxes of the downed MH17 aircraft and the bodies of the passengers, most of them Dutch. Every one of Rutte’s attempts to go to war with Russia has ended in exposure of his personal lying; the collapse of the Dutch-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); and the loss of almost €30 billion in bilateral trade – oil and petroleum products from Russia; Dutch pharmaceuticals, medical technology, financial services, cut flowers, seeds and plants.

None of these losses has had material or political impact on the domestic Dutch constituencies or the Dutch media, which have accepted the state propaganda line, and in the case of the Dutch media owner, Derk Sauer, the money to keep repeating it. The book documenting the collaboration of Rutte and his officials in fabricating the narrative of Russian culpability in the MH17 crash, concealing the role of Kiev president Petro Poroshenko, and manipulating the evidence at The Hague District Court show trial, can be read here. Defeated at the Dutch parliamentary election last November, Rutte has been replaced as prime minister by a coalition of parties led by Geert Wilders, who agreed this week to Hendrikus (“Dick”) Schoof as prime minister. Schoof is a Dutch deep-stater and career liar who was promoted by the MH17 affair into the Dutch equivalent of the FBI, and then into the top job of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.

According to a veteran Dutch political analyst, “the nomination of Dick Schoof is a terrible fact. He is the head of the secret services responsible for NATO agitprop on MH17, on OPCW, on the so-called Covid protective measures. Also, he was responsible for the protection of Geert Wilders [from Islamic attacks]. In a way Wilders has been his prisoner – Schoof has been the jailer who has held the keys to Wilders’s physical survival. Schoof has also been protecting Rutte from personal scandal. He’s the J.Edgar Hoover type of secret policeman.” The Russian reaction to Rutte’s nomination for the NATO post was muted until the Hungarian government announced that it is opting out of NATO operations, financial support and arms supplies to the Ukraine war; and that it will not accept Rutte at NATO. “We certainly can’t support the election of a person to the position of NATO’s secretary general, who previously wanted to force Hungary on its knees,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said several weeks ago.

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“I’m saying this slowly so that Brussels would understand: we will not go to war. We will not go to the East for a third time, we will not go to the Russian front again.”

Huge Anti-War Rally In Budapest, Hungary (RT)

Hundreds of thousands participated in a peace march in Hungary’s capital, Budapest on Saturday, denouncing the EU’s policy of escalating tensions with Russia. The event culminated with a speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who accused Brussels of bringing Europe closer to a global conflict. The demonstrators marched from the iconic Chain Bridge to Margaret Island on the Danube River. Many carried flags, chanted pacifist slogans, and held signs reading “No war” and “Give us peace, Lord.” “Never before have so many people lined up for peace. We are the biggest peace corps, the largest peacekeeping force in Europe,” the prime minister said, as quoted by Reuters. “Europe must be prevented from rushing into war, into its own destruction.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1796910522383704217

Orban said his country must draw lessons from the devastation it went through the darkest times of the 20th century. “In the two world wars, the Hungarians lost 1.5 million lives, and with them – their future children and grandchildren,” he told the crowd. “I’m saying this slowly so that Brussels would understand: we will not go to war. We will not go to the East for a third time, we will not go to the Russian front again.” Orban urged everyone to support the “pro-peace and pro-sovereignty” agenda of the ruling Fidesz party in the European Parliament election next week. “Do we want to shed Hungarian blood for Ukraine? No, we don’t,” he said. The pro-war [forces] have gone beyond common sense by wanting to defeat Russia as they tried to do during the First World War and the Second World war.

Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Orban has repeatedly accused the EU leadership in Brussels of dangerous brinkmanship with Moscow and warned that the bloc must not allow itself to be dragged into a full-blown war. Budapest has refused to provide any military aid to Ukraine and threatened to veto financial assistance to Kiev. Orban heavily criticized the economic sanctions imposed on Moscow by the EU, arguing that the bloc had “shot itself in the lungs” by undermining trade and its own energy supply.

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Moore Peterson

 

 

Oxdog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796805027706621955

 

 

Giraffes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796194713969537066

 

 

Thank you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796891909656310164

 

 

Happiness
https://twitter.com/i/status/1797011583891116440

 

 

Fishing net

 

 

Emmanuel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796791908389323179

 

 

 

 

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Apr 242024
 
 April 24, 2024  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  59 Responses »


René Magritte La trahison des images 1929

 

Unsealed Court Filings Show Emails Between NARA, DOJ, Biden White House (ET)
Biden’s America: 40% Of Renters Think They’ll Never Own A Home (ZH)
Biden Terrifyingly Grows Ranks Of Government Spies (Gosztola)
The Real Debt Problem (Paul Craig Roberts)
Ukraine Has Lost Almost a Half Million Soldiers – Shoigu (Sp.)
No Hiding From Draft Abroad – Kiev (RT)
West Is Doing To Ukrainians What It Did To Indigenous Americans – Zakharova (RT)
Germany Holds Massive Military Drills Near Russian Border (RT)
A Nasty Little Book About The Allied Invasion Of Russia In 1918 (Helmer)
Gaza Settlement Crucial For Islamic World – Erdogan (TASS)
Iran Threatens To Wipe Out Israel (RT)
Western Regime-Change Operations Enable Criminal Activities (SCF)
US Would Beat China In A War – Intel Official (RT)
Britain To Put Industry On ‘War Footing’ – PM (RT)
German Leader Tells Putin He Can’t Quote Philosopher Kant (RT)

 

 

 

 

25 bullseyes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782233148668985826

 

 

Watters Kise

 

 

 

 

Tucker Yon

 

 

 

 

Ron Paul
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782792998016761927

 

 


if we had never named covid 19 and swerved around it like it was a dinosaur in the road instead of a squirrel, we’d probably have barely noticed it. “huh, baddish flu this year” would have been about the end it of. no lockdown. no mask up. no EUA jab. just life.

 

 

 

 

Conspiracy, no theory. And scary. How do you get rid of something like this? It’s a huge cancer growth.

Unsealed Court Filings Show Emails Between NARA, DOJ, Biden White House (ET)

Court filings newly unsealed on Monday in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case include emails between National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) officials, the Biden White House, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding former President Donald Trump’s presidential records. The trove of unsealed filings also revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) code name for its investigation into President Trump’s presidential records was “[Redacted] Plasmic Echo.” A key exhibit included with a motion to compel filed in January was an FBI case file labeled “[Redacted] PLASMIC ECHO; Mishandling of Classified or National Defense Information.” This file, now made public, summarizes an initial review of documents forwarded by NARA to the FBI on Feb. 24, 2022. The review uncovered 106 classified documents across 12 out of 15 boxes, totaling 767 pages.

Last year, President Trump pleaded not guilty to 40 counts related to allegedly mishandling classified documents. In January, the defense filed a motion to compel discovery along with several exhibits under seal, which included emails containing names and identifying information about government officials. The defense has argued that the emails unsealed on Monday indicate communication between NARA officials, the Biden administration, and the DOJ regarding President Trump’s records, alleging coordination in targeting the former president since 2021. One email from NARA’s general counsel to the national archivist discussed drafting a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland concerning “missing Trump records.” Subsequent emails revealed coordination between NARA and the Biden White House counsel’s office regarding the handling of these records.

The Sept. 1, 2021, email revealed that NARA’s general counsel, Gary Stern, had been in touch with both the DOJ and the Biden White House “about this issue.” A subsequent email on Sept. 30, 2021, reveals that the White House counsel’s office “is now ready to set up a call to discuss the Trump boxes.” This email came after Mr. Stern emailed Deputy White House Counsel Jonathan Su two days earlier to “check back in to see when and how you want to proceed re [sic] meeting with [redacted], [redacted], [redacted], and NARA to discuss the Trump boxes?” Furthermore, the defense highlighted instances where NARA officials didn’t disclose certain actions to Trump representatives, suggesting bias in the investigation process. The defense alleged that Mr. Su didn’t disclose to a Trump representative that NARA had already drafted a DOJ referral letter when contacting them to discuss access to notes “from the Trump administration relating to records handling.”

The unsealed emails show that NARA took into consideration the Democrat-led January 6 Committee’s investigation when considering the timing of reporting to Congress on their issues of getting access to President Trump’s posts on Twitter (now X). On Oct. 5, 2023, Mr. Stern wrote in an internal NARA email that the release of a letter to Congress “can be timed with our public release of the Trump social media records … as well as our release to the 1/6 Committee of responsive tweets on the day of January 6.” Mr. Stern noted that NARA had “issues” getting President Trump’s “social media records” because the Trump White House didn’t “capture them through the use of third-party archiving tools.” “I do not think that these problems are something that the AG/DOJ can deal with, but it could be appropriate to report them to Congress, especially since the January 6 Committee has specifically requested Trump’s Tweets from the day of January 6,” Mr. Stern wrote in the email.

Mr. Stern adds that the Biden White House counsel “is now also aware of this issue, and has asked that I keep them in the loop to the extent that we make any reference to the White House Office of Records Management.” Another email shows Mr. Ferriero saying that he had run “out of patience” amid back-and-forth communications with Trump representatives regarding “missing boxes” that, according to a draft email to the attorney general, were reported as having been “possibly destroyed.” The defense, along with a coalition of news media, asked the court to unseal these exhibits, arguing that the court filings are “matters of public record.” The defense has accused the prosecution of withholding potentially exculpatory evidence and alleged bias in the investigation. The filings made public on Monday revealed previously sealed information while limiting the redactions to keeping secret the names of government witnesses.

They were included as exhibits in a motion to compel the prosecution to produce discovery material. In the Jan. 16 motion, they argued that the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith has engaged in discovery violations and has disregarded fundamental fairness in its pursuit of prosecuting President Trump. The disclosures come amid a protracted battle over court documents, with Judge Aileen Cannon having reminded both parties in various court filings of the “strong presumption of public access” in the criminal proceedings, showing a preference for making public as much as possible. In January, she ordered that no unclassified material be sealed unless there were clear risks to personal safety or national security. The back-and-forth over documents has extended the pre-trial motions stage and delayed the original May 20 trial date.

Rising
https://twitter.com/i/status/1781030864681374166

Watters CIA

Mollie

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“Gen Z renters are by far the most likely to believe they will become homeowners (maybe it’s because they are also the dumbest)..”

Biden’s America: 40% Of Renters Think They’ll Never Own A Home (ZH)

Bidenomics 101: the American dream of owning a home has become the American nightmare for almost half the US population. As housing specialist Redfin reports, rising home prices and mortgage rates “are making it harder to believe in the American dream of homeownership. Lack of affordability is the most commonly cited reason renters don’t believe they’ll ever own a home.” The details are dire: Nearly two in five (38%) U.S. renters don’t believe they’ll ever own a home, up from roughly one-quarter (27%) less than a year ago. This is according to a Redfin-commissioned survey of roughly 3,000 U.S. residents conducted by Qualtrics in February 2024. This report focuses on the 1,000 respondents who indicated they are renters. The relevant questions were: “Do you believe that you will ever own your own home in the future?” and “Which of the following are reasons you aren’t likely to purchase a home in the near future?” The 27% comparison is from a Redfin survey conducted in May and June 2023.

Lack of affordability is the prevailing reason renters believe they’re unlikely to become homeowners. Nearly half (44%) of renters who don’t believe they’ll buy a home in the near future said it’s because available homes are too expensive. The next most common obstacles: Ability to save for a down payment (35%), ability to afford mortgage payments (33%) and high mortgage rates (32%). Roughly one in eight (14%) simply aren’t interested in owning a home. Buying a home has become increasingly out of reach for many Americans due to the one-two punch of high home prices and high mortgage rates. First-time homebuyers must earn roughly $76,000 to afford the typical U.S. starter home, up 8% from a year ago and up nearly 100% from before the pandemic, according to a recent Redfin analysis. Home prices have skyrocketed more than 40% since 2019, due to the pandemic homebuying frenzy and a shortage of homes for sale. And the current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 6.82%. While that’s below the 23-year-high of nearly 8% hit in October, it’s still more than double the record low rates dropped to in 2020.

Home prices have risen 7% in the last year alone, and monthly mortgage payments have risen more than 10%, which helps explain why renters today are more likely than they were last year to say they don’t see themselves owning a home anytime soon. Many renters can’t fathom homeownership because they’re already struggling to afford their monthly housing costs. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of renters say they regularly struggle to afford their housing payments, and an additional 45% say they sometimes struggle to do so. Rents have soared over the last few years because so many people moved during the pandemic, upping demand for rentals. The median U.S. asking rent is roughly $2,000, near the record high hit in 2022–but the good news for renters is that prices aren’t growing nearly as fast as they were during the pandemic, partly because an influx of apartment supply is taking some of the heat off prices.

“Housing costs are high across the board, but renting is a more affordable and realistic option for many Americans right now–especially those who have never owned a home and aren’t able to tap into equity from a previous sale,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “While owning a home is usually a sound longterm investment, the barriers to entry and upfront costs of buying are higher than renting. Buying typically requires a sizable down payment and approval for a mortgage–things that are difficult for many people today, when the typical down payment is near $60,000 and mortgage payments are sky-high. The sheer expense of purchasing a home is causing the American Dream of homeownership to lose some of its shine.” Broken down by generation, Gen Z renters are by far the most likely to believe they will become homeowners (maybe it’s because they are also the dumbest). Just 8% of Gen Z renters believe they’ll never own a home, compared to 22% of millennials, 40% of Gen Xers and 81% of baby boomers.

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“Section 702 may be used to force business landlords, cleaning contractors, delivery personnel, utility providers, etc, to help U.S. security agencies spy without probable cause..”

Biden Terrifyingly Grows Ranks Of Government Spies (Gosztola)

On April 20, Edward Snowden declared, “America lost something important today, and hardly anyone heard. The headlines of state-aligned media screech and crow about the nefarious designs of your fellow citizens and the necessity of foreign wars without end, but find few words for a crime against the Constitution.” The NSA whistleblower was referring to the United States Senate reauthorizing and expanding surveillance under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. President Joe Biden circulated a memo that cast the Fourth Amendment right to privacy as a “threat to national security.” Biden National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Attorney General Merrick Garland called members of Congress to ensure that they voted to give spy agencies renewed power. Specifically, “Patriot Act 2.0,” as Representative Zoe Lofgren called it, broadened the definition of service providers and exponentially increased the power that the government has to force numerous business and industries to aid warrantless surveillance.

Senator Ron Wyden strongly opposed the legislation and even introduced an amendment that would have prevented this assault on civil liberties. But the Senate rejected his effort to protect privacy. “The Senate waited until the 11th hour to ram through renewal of warrantless surveillance in the dead of night,” Wyden stated. He also added, “It is clear from the votes on very popular amendments that senators were unwilling to send this bill back to the House, no matter how common-sense the amendment before them.” Although the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) renewed Section 702 until April 2025, allowing lawmakers plenty of time to appropriately draft and amend legislation, panic was stirred by Biden and the national security state.

Wyden, who has a track record of challenging surveillance, did not mince words. He described the provision that he fought, which was dubbed the “Make Everyone A Spy” provision, as “one of the most dramatic and terrifying expansions of government surveillance authority in history.” “It allows the government to force any American who installs, maintains, or repairs anything that transmits or stores communications to spy on the government’s behalf. That means anyone with access to a server, a wire, a cable box, a wifi router, or a phone. It would be secret: the Americans receiving the government directives would be bound to silence, and there would be no court oversight.”

The Biden administration applauded the passage of legislation that expanded warrantless surveillance. “The President will swiftly sign the bill into law, ensuring that our security professionals can continue to rely on Section 702 to detect grave national security threats and use that understanding to protect the United States,” Sullivan stated. Section 702 used to primarily apply to telecommunications or technology companies. Now, as detailed by Demand Progress, Section 702 may be used to force business landlords, cleaning contractors, delivery personnel, utility providers, etc, to help U.S. security agencies spy without probable cause. Entities and individuals required to help with surveillance cannot speak about it. Their First Amendment speech rights are curtailed as they violate their customers’ Fourth Amendment privacy rights.

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“The minute the dollar goes, American power goes with it. Most of the world can hardly wait for it to happen.“

The Real Debt Problem (Paul Craig Roberts)

The US dollar is in trouble, but it is trouble of Washington’s making. Republicans and the financial press, to the extent that one still exists, blame the dollar’s trouble on rising public and private debt. The US runs massive trade and budget deficits. These deficits for decades have been alleged to mean the death of the dollar. The narrative was that the dollar would be weakened by having to finance rising trade and domestic debt. When I was in the Congressional staff and later as Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy, I had to deal with this ignorance, and it was frustrating. No one in Congress, on Wall Street, in the banks, or in the economics departments of universities understood the meaning of the US dollar as reserve currency.

When a country’s currency is the reserve currency, a role the US seized from Great Britain as its World War II victory prize, it means that there is unlimited demand for your debt. The reason is that your debt is the reserves of the world’s central banks. An increase in US debt is an increase in the reserves of the world banking system. As central banks desire more reserves, there was always a demand for US Treasury debt. There was zero financing problem. All of the nonsense we heard for decades about the impossibility of paying off the US debt was unbridled ignorance. The debt did not need to be payed off. If it had been, the reserves of the world banking system would have collapsed, and the Great Depression that the Americans experienced in the 1930s, due entirely to the Fed’s failure to expand bank reserves, would be worldwide.

Being the world currency, a role Roosevelt stole from England, means the US can pay its international bills by printing money or issuing debt. What has put this American privilege in danger is Washington’s stupid, indeed mindless, imposition of economic sanctions that then are evaded by ceasing to use the US dollar as world money. When countries cease settling their international balance of payments accounts in dollars, as Russia, China, Iran and other countries are doing, demand for Treasury debt drops. This means as the sanctioned central banks move to gold and non-Western currencies as reserves, that the demand for US Treasury debt drops, and for the first time in recent history, financing America’s tremendous public debt becomes a problem.

To be completely clear, the ONLY reason the US dollar is in danger of a large reduction in its value, is that Biden’s sanctions are driving countries away from the dollar. US debt can become a problem only from the abandonment of the dollar as world money. As US debt is denominated in US dollars, the Federal Reserve can always pay off the US debt no matter how large it is by printing money and buying the bonds. The problem is not that the debt can’t be paid. The problem is whereas the Fed can print dollars to meet any debt payments, it cannot print foreign currencies with which to buy dollars in foreign exchange markets. When US Treasury debt is redeemed, the debt holders (largely foreign central banks) receive dollars. If they have lost confidence in the dollar, they sell the dollars in the currency markets, and the enormous supply of dollars drive down its value.

When the dollar’s value is driven down, the offshored production of American firms, who produce in Asia and Mexico the products they sell to Americans and which comes in as imports, rise in price, thus causing domestic inflation, reducing the dollar’s purchasing power and causing more exit from the dollar. In other words, it is a death scenario–one produced by the Federal Reserve, the incompetent or bought-and-paid-for American economists, a mindless American government, and the mindless financial press. The minute the dollar goes, American power goes with it. Most of the world can hardly wait for it to happen.

JFK

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To achieve what?

Ukraine Has Lost Almost a Half Million Soldiers – Shoigu (Sp.)

The Russian armed forces have the initiative along the entire contact line and are pushing the enemy away from the occupied borders, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of the Defense Ministry’s board. Ukraine has lost almost half a million soldiers since the beginning of the special military operation in 2022, Russian Defense Ministry Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday. “In total, the losses of the Ukrainian armed forces amounted to almost half a million military personnel since the beginning of the special military operation,” Shoigu told a Defense Ministry meeting. According to him, the Kiev regime failed to achieve its goals in the counteroffensive prepared by NATO instructors. “Our servicemen have dispelled the myth about the superiority of Western weapons,” the minister noted. The Russian military will more intensively target Ukrainian logistic centers and storage facilities storing Western weapons, the minister said.

“We will increase the intensity of strikes against logistics centers and storage bases for Western weapons,” Shoigu said. Most of the $61 billion assistance package that the United States allocated to Ukraine will finance the US military industry, Sergei Shoigu said. “Washington intends to allocate almost $61 billion to the Kiev regime to prevent the collapse of the Ukrainian armed forces. Most of the allocations will finance the military industry of the United States. The US authorities cynically declare that Ukrainians will die for their interests in the fight against Russia,” Shoigu said. The Russian military industry will continue to increase the production of weapons and military equipment in proportion to the threats posed by the United States and its allies, the minister added. The Russian Army will receive the first units of new-generation anti-aircraft systems, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. “This year the troops will receive: the first units of the new-generation S-500 anti-aircraft missile system in two modifications – long-range anti-aircraft missile systems and missile defense systems; S-400, S-300V4, Buk-M3, Tor-M2U anti-aircraft missile systems; and new-generation radar stations,” Shoigu said.

NATO has deployed up to 33,000 servicepeople, about 300 tanks and more than 800 other types of armored vehicles near borders of Russia, the Russian defense minister said. “Today, the grouping of NATO reinforcement troops near our borders numbers up to 33,000 people, about 300 tanks and more than 800 other armored combat vehicles,” Shoigu said. Shoigu also said that NATO drills involving up to 90,000 servicepeople are taking place right now, and the exercises are mimicking supposed impending Russian aggression. The Russian minister also said that the alliance is trying to strengthen its activity in the Arctic, while Sweden’s accession to NATO has increased tensions. “Sweden’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance in early March has increased military and political tensions in the Western and Northwestern strategic directions,” Shoigu said.

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“According to EU officials, an estimated 650,000 Ukrainian men of fighting age are living in the bloc..”

No Hiding From Draft Abroad – Kiev (RT)

Ukrainian consular offices will not serve fighting-age men living abroad who are unwilling to risk their lives for their country’s survival, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Tuesday. Kiev’s diplomatic missions in several Western nations stopped processing such service requests on Tuesday, according to multiple Ukrainian media reports. Documents that have been finalized for fighting-age Ukrainian men are being withheld, reports claim. Kuleba confirmed in a social media post on Tuesday that he had ordered the policy change and that it is meant to encourage men to come back to Ukraine for possible call up for military service. ”How it looks like now: a man of conscription age went abroad, showed his state that he does not care about its survival, and then comes and wants to receive services from this state. It does not work this way. Our country is at war,” he wrote.

The order to deny consular services to all men aged 18 to 60 was first revealed by Ukrainian media on Monday. Kuleba has since described his decision as “fair” and in line with the controversial military mobilization reforms, which President Vladimir Zelensky signed into law this month. The changes include various punishments for avoiding the draft. According to EU officials, an estimated 650,000 Ukrainian men of fighting age are living in the bloc. Kiev has identified that pool as a significant untapped source of manpower for the armed forces. When they come into force next month Zelensky’s reforms will lower the draft age from 27 to 25, tighten exemptions and oblige potential conscripts to update their personal data with the Defense Ministry.

All men aged 18 to 60, regardless of eligibility, will be required to carry papers confirming their registration with a conscription office. Asked in early April how many troops Kiev intended to mobilize, Zelensky dodged the question and claimed that Moscow had plans to enroll 300,000 additional servicemen. Russian officials denied his claim, pointing out that its military attracts enough volunteers to meet personnel goals.

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“They bought Manhattan Island for beads, and Ukrainians don’t even get those, only an American noose around the neck,..

West Is Doing To Ukrainians What It Did To Indigenous Americans – Zakharova (RT)

Kiev’s policies will result in the extermination of Ukrainians on behalf of its Western puppet masters, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry intends to deny all consular services abroad to male citizens aged 18 to 60, except for preparing documents to return to Ukraine, local media reported on Monday, citing the ministry’s internal correspondence. The policy is presumably meant to force men of fighting age to leave foreign nations and be conscripted into military service under a new mobilization law signed by President Vladimir Zelensky this month. The people are being “erased by Western elites and their executors in Ukraine – Zelensky and his pseudo-Ukrainian gang,” Zakharova said on Tuesday, reacting to the news.

She claimed that while Ukrainian governments that have been in power since the 2014 US-backed armed coup in Kiev posed as nationalist, their policies came “from people who historically had nothing to do with the country.” “After most of Ukraine was pillaged and looted, its history rewritten, and monuments destroyed, they moved on to the physical elimination of its indigenous population,” she said. ”Everything just like with the aboriginal population of North America, who were killed in the tens of thousands by the ‘civilized’ folk. They bought Manhattan Island for beads, and Ukrainians don’t even get those, only an American noose around the neck,” Zakharova added. Moscow perceives its conflict with Kiev as a proxy war which Washington initiated and is willing to conduct “to the last Ukrainian.”

Senior Western officials, including US Senator Lindsey Graham and former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have praised the Ukrainians’ willingness to fight and die for Western interests. ”There could be no more effective way of investing in Western security than investing in Ukraine, because those guys without a single pair of American boots on the ground are fighting for the West,” Johnson said earlier this month, as he bragged to students at Georgetown University in the US about his record of arming Kiev.

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Drills are all German troops are capable of.

Germany Holds Massive Military Drills Near Russian Border (RT)

More than 3,000 German military personnel are taking part in the Grand Quadriga 2024 drills that kicked off in Lithuania on Tuesday. The maneuvers are part of the larger, months-long Steadfast Defender 24 series of NATO exercises that began in late January. Lithuania shares a border with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, as well as Moscow’s closest ally, Belarus. In a separate development earlier this month, Berlin deployed an advanced military team to the Baltic country as part of plans for a full-strength armor brigade permanently stationed there. Moscow has described the plans as a threat requiring “special measures” in response. The Grand Quadriga 2024 exercise is scheduled to wrap up in late May, and will involve 200 pieces of German military hardware, including Leopard tanks as well as Puma and Boxer infantry fighting vehicles.

In a statement last Thursday, the Lithuanian military wrote that the “exercise is centered around moving two divisions from the Central European region to the Eastern.” “Lithuanian units training side by side with the German participants will plan and execute operations,” the document read. The Bundeswehr revealed that its armored division would be transported by boat, rail and road to Lithuania, where it would “practice defense and counter-offensive [exercises] on the allied territory.” Several more military drills will also be taking place in Lithuania concurrently, including Saber Strike, Brave Griffin 2024/II and Thunder Strike – all of which are part of NATO’s Steadfast Defender 24. Hailed as the largest exercises that NATO has held in decades, the maneuvers will feature some 90,000 troops from all 32 member states, according to Supreme Allied Commander for Europe Christopher Cavoli.

Some 1,100 combat vehicles, including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles, will be involved, as well as more than 50 naval vessels and 80 helicopters, drones and fighter jets. In January, General Cavoli said the drills would simulate an “emerging conflict scenario against a near-peer adversary,” covering thousands of kilometers all across Europe. Commenting on NATO’s war games in early March, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, said they were “undoubtedly increasing tensions and destabilizing the situation in the world.” He claimed that a “scenario of an armed confrontation with Russia is being rehearsed.”

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“..the “independent charity that champions Ukrainian culture” which, the institute financial reports reveal, is paid for by George Soros.”

A Nasty Little Book About The Allied Invasion Of Russia In 1918 (Helmer)

In the last war which the Americans, British, and French fought against the Russians, they were all defeated and forced to run away. Now it’s happening again. But if Anna Reid, author of a new history of the Allied powers’ invasion of Russia and war against the Bolsheviks, titles her book “A Nasty Little War” (lead image, left), what title does Reid give to the present war which the Doughboy alliance is losing for the second time? A Nasty Big War doesn’t quite do their plan for destroying Russia enough justice, does it? A Nasty Little Defeat followed by a Nasty Big Defeat comes closer to the truth, but Reid has written her book in the conviction that it will not and must not come to that again. One hundred and six years since the Russia Intervention of 1918-20 is long enough for Reid to conclude with one of her contemporary British officer sources: “‘Of course it could not possibly be otherwise. But it is unfortunate that events worked out as they did.’ It could have been the epitaph for the whole Intervention,” Reid adds from the British point of view, then but not now.

“So ends a not very creditable enterprise”, she quotes from a report on the desk of British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon in April 1920. Curzon then crossed out “not very” and wrote in “highly dis”. Reid is so certain this is not the lesson of today’s allied war against Russia she declares her conclusion at the very beginning of her book. “There is no simple read-across from the Intervention. Today’s war is not a civil one, and the impressive and staunchly democratic Ukrainians are not the inept, revanchist Whites. The lazy lesson from 1918-20 – that Western meddling in the region failed then, and will again now – is completely mistaken. If the Intervention does have something to teach, it is that Putin will fail for the same reason the Whites did: because he underestimates the desire for freedom of the non-Russian nations…” This declaration is at page 10. Reid’s history runs on for another 350 pages of the same.

Reid cannot bring herself to introduce or mention the Russian president by his full name. He first appears, first name-less, on page 9 “as Putin’s Russia attempts to reconquer its thirty-years independent Ukraine.” Felix Dzerzhinsky, Bolshevik head of intelligence, is more fortunate with Reid. He gets his full name, but Reid adds: “the weasel-faced psychopath in charge of the Cheka”. Dangerous adjectives, weasel-faced psychopaths in glass houses with hands full of them. Reid has similar tongue trouble with how to identify the Russians in the war by name. She repeatedly refers to them as “the enemy”, because the war diaries and operation reports of the British commanders she was reporting described them so at the time. Their soldiers called them “Bolos” or “Russkis” if they were men; if they were women, they used fonder terms. These men did not want to fight – there were mutinies by the Quebec infantry in the Canadian force, as well as in US, French, and British units. More committed to killing Russians were the Japanese and Greek forces. At every turn of events, Reid continues to wage her war against the Russian history of what happened:

“The Americans arrived [in Vladivostok] just in time for a coup. Soviet historians accused the Interventionists of waging a colonial war. This was anachronistic – the hey-day of imperialism was over and untrue insofar as the Allies had no ambition permanently to annex Russian territory.” “Vilified by Cold War-era historians on the left as absurd and hysterical, most of the material [in the British Foreign Office’s Blue Book of Bolshevik war crimes] is in fact perfectly credible”. “Foreshadowing, ironically, a late-Soviet propaganda trope, he [Winston Churchill, then British war minister] blamed what pogroms there were on Ukrainian ‘hordes’.”“There is some truth…in that the Intervention played into a long-standing Russian narrative of encirclement by hostile powers. But it is hard to see, had the Allies stood back, that relations would have been much better. A one-party state explicitly dedicated to worldwide revolution, the Soviet Union was never going to be a normal diplomatic partner”.

This is history topsy-turvied to fit a political message. “Excellent background to today’s events” – this is the endorsement of Reid’s book by Anne Applebaum, wife of the Polish foreign minister, Radoslav Sikorski, whose Siklebaum profiteering from Russia war-making can be followed here. In London, Reid shares direction of the Ukrainian Institute with Applebaum — Applebaum is a patron, Reid a trustee of the “independent charity that champions Ukrainian culture” which, the institute financial reports reveal, is paid for by George Soros.

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“..The Islamic world needs to come together..”

Gaza Settlement Crucial For Islamic World – Erdogan (TASS)

The Islamic world needs to come together and find a solution to the Gaza crisis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his pool reporters on his return from Iraq, where he was on a visit on April 22; the Anadolu news agency quoted his remarks. “Gaza is where the Islamic world needs to focus, engage in reasoning for a solution, and formulate realistic and effective policies,” the president said. Erdogan added that Turkey will continue to discuss these issues with both representatives of the radical Palestinian Hamas movement and the leaders of countries. This is Turkey’s top priority and it will do everything it can toward this end, Erdogan went on to say.

In his opinion, it would be a mistake to view the Gaza issue solely from the perspective of October 7, 2023, when the Palestinian-Israeli conflict sharply escalated. “The massacres and Israeli mobilization for the destruction of Gaza should change the approach to the issue. Israel’s occupation of Gaza opens the door for other occupations. We will try to involve the UN secretariat and take joint action. If the Islamic world does not come to its senses from the massacres reaching genocidal proportions, it may lose its reflexes completely. Therefore, we cannot remain silent, we must mobilize,” the Turkish president stressed.

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“..if it attempts to attack Iran again..”

Iran Threatens To Wipe Out Israel (RT)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has threatened Israel with annihilation if it attempts to attack Iran again. Raisi arrived in Pakistan on Monday for a three-day visit. He addressed the recent tensions between Tehran and West Jerusalem at an event in Punjab on Tuesday. “If the Zionist regime once again makes a mistake and attacks the sacred land of Iran, the situation will be different, and it is not clear whether anything will remain of this regime,” the state news agency IRNA quoted Raisi as saying. Israel never officially acknowledged an April 1 airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria that killed seven senior officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force. Tehran nevertheless retaliated on April 13, firing scores of drones and missiles at several targets in Israel.

Iran has shrugged off a series of reported explosions near the city of Isfahan last Friday, which were rumored to be a response from Israel. West Jerusalem did not acknowledge the reported attack, while criticizing a cabinet minister who spoke about it out of turn. Tehran chose to ignore it rather than deliver the promised swift and severe reprisal. The Islamic Republic has vowed on multiple occasions to wipe out, destroy or annihilate the “Zionist regime,” as it calls Israel. Speaking in Lahore on Tuesday, Raisi vowed to continue “honorably supporting the Palestinian resistance.” He also denounced the US and the collective West as “the greatest violators of human rights,” pointing to their support for the Israeli “genocide” in Gaza.

So far, more than 34,000 Palestinians in the enclave have been killed in Israeli military operations. Israel declared war on Hamas after the October 7 raids by the Gaza-based Palestinian group that claimed the lives of an estimated 1,200 Israelis. Raisi has promised to boost Iranian trade with Pakistan to $10 billion annually. Relations between the two neighbors have been rocky since January, when Iran and Pakistan traded air and drone strikes aimed at “terrorist camps” in their respective territory.

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“The slave trade in Ukraine has become one of the most serious problems of our time..”

Western Regime-Change Operations Enable Criminal Activities (SCF)

The slave trade in Ukraine has become one of the most serious problems of our time. Since the 2014 coup d’état, Kiev has been a key player in modern slavery, particularly for human trafficking and sexual exploitation networks. The political and social instability that has affected the country since the Western-led regime change operation is one of the main factors for the growth of such human rights violations. A recent investigative report published by the Foundation to Battle Injustice showed in details the seriousness of the slave trade in Ukraine. According to the organization, Kiev has become one of the main global hubs in the human trafficking market, with free exploitation and circulation of irregular workers – in addition to the well-known trafficking of women and children in the predatory sex market.

The study points out that more than 300,000 Ukrainians were victims of the slave market between 1991 and 2021. This situation, however, has deteriorated even further since Vladimir Zelensky came to power. It is estimated that since the beginning of Zelensky’s government, more than 550,000 Ukrainians have been enslaved. These numbers are alarming and place Ukraine as one of the main agents of human trafficking in the entire world. In its report, citing sources familiar with the topic and several insiders, the Foundation exposed how the slave trade in Ukraine is not limited to the exploitation of Ukrainian citizens. Since 2021, two reception centers for refugees from Africa have been operating in Ternopil. These facilities were used not only for receiving migrants but also for selling them on the European black market.

An alleged member of the Ukrainian Presidential Cabinet, on condition of anonymity, reported to investigators that the organizer of the Ukrainian human trafficking network is Ruslan Stefanchuk, current chairman of the Verkhovna Rada. It is said that Stefanchuk is the main beneficiary and coordinator of human trafficking networks in Ukraine, working both in the sale of Ukrainian citizens on the international black market and in the exploitation of foreigners who arrive through migratory flows and are handed over to criminal networks in Europe. Relatives of the Ukrainian parliamentarian also appear to be involved in such activities, as a large network of private companies is legally registered in the name of people close to him, such as his brother, Mykola Stefanchuck, and his wife, Marina Stefanchuk.

Stefanchuk and his relatives’ companies have the function of disguising the slave trade, making it appear to be a legal business. Advertisements are made to “help” people in various ways, such as offering employment or financial assistance. Thus, migrants, refugees and vulnerable Ukrainians are lured into meetings and interviews by supposedly legal and responsible companies, but soon after the meetings their documents are confiscated, and these people are captured and handed over to criminal networks. “Everything is built to look as legal as possible. Ukrainian women, children and men are invited for interviews at respectable companies in Kiev, Ternopil, Lviv or Ivano-Frankivsk. They are made tempting financial offers and paradisiacal working conditions. Then, under a plausible pretext, their identity cards are confiscated. After that, they can do absolutely anything they want with them,” source told investigators.

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Oh sure. “..we’re not going to know they’re not good until they’re shooting at us, and I don’t want to be in a position where I find out, ‘Oh, they actually are that good’. That’s a problem.”

US Would Beat China In A War – Intel Official (RT)

If a conflict between Washington and Beijing broke out today, the more experienced American force would prevail but with significant casualties, a US military intelligence official has told reporters. The unnamed official gave a background briefing on Monday about threats facing the US military. He downplayed the Chinese H-20 stealth bomber, currently in development, as “probably nowhere near as good” as the American B-2 or the upcoming B-21 – while praising the Chinese J-20 fighter as “highly capable.” “The biggest… challenge for the Chinese side is actually not so much capability of actual systems, it’s more capability of personnel to effectively employ those systems at speed and at scale,” the official was quoted as saying by Defense One and Breaking Defense.

While the US military has “a lot of experience fighting wars,” the Chinese “don’t really have anybody right now at all, in the [People’s Liberation Army] PLA, who’s actually been in a war.” This relative inexperience would translate into the US winning a hypothetical war with China – although with large-scale losses – should one break out today, said the Defense One source. The Pentagon is proceeding with plans to modernize the US military because Chinese President Xi Jinping “almost certainly” believes a war with Washington is inevitable, noted the official. “I don’t want to rely on the Chinese not being good. Because we’re not going to know they’re not good until they’re shooting at us, and I don’t want to be in a position where I find out, ‘Oh, they actually are that good’. That’s a problem.” the official concluded.

Discussions about Chinese capabilities in Washington have been taking place against the backdrop of a debate about the B-21 bomber program. In February, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall urged the government to commit to the program, arguing that for at least 20 years, China has been building a military “purpose-built to deter and defeat” the US. Earlier this month, however, Air Force chief of staff General David Allvin told the Senate that new developing technologies might complement the B-21, so the service might not end up getting 100 of the bombers as originally planned. The plane, intended to become operational by 2030, is still under development at Northrop Grumman.

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“We must not overstate the danger. We’re not on the brink of war, and nor do we seek it..”

Britain To Put Industry On ‘War Footing’ – PM (RT)

The UK is set to embark on the “biggest strengthening” of its national defense “in a generation” and plans to gradually increase defense spending to £87 billion (around $108 billion) annually by 2030, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced. Sunak made the remarks on Tuesday at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg while on a visit to Poland. Sunak pledged to gradually increase Britain’s defense spending, promising to even surpass the NATO-targeted 2% of GDP by the end of the decade. Annual spending is expected to reach the £87 billion ($108 billion) mark in 2023, he said, constituting some 2.5% of Britain’s GDP.

London is set to allocate additional long-term funding for ammunition production, Sunak stated, arguing that the Ukraine conflict has clearly shown the country needs deeper stockpiles should it find itself in a large-scale high-intensity war or even a global conflict. “We will put the UK’s own defense industry on a war footing. One of the central lessons of the war in Ukraine is that we need deeper stockpiles of munitions and for industry to be able to replenish them more quickly,” Sunak said. “Today is a turning point for European security and a landmark moment in the defense of the United Kingdom. It is a generational investment in British security and British prosperity, which makes us safer at home and stronger abroad,” he stated, hailing the spending plan as the “biggest strengthening of our national defense in a generation.”

The defense spending announcement comes as the UK, one of the top backers of Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, unveiled its biggest-ever military aid package for Kiev, valued at £500 million ($617 million). The “vital munitions” package will include more than 400 combat vehicles, 60 boats, and an undisclosed number of long-range Storm Shadow missiles. “Defending Ukraine against Russia’s brutal ambitions is vital for our security and for all of Europe,” Sunak alleged. “If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is allowed to succeed in this war of aggression, he will not stop at the Polish border.” Speaking earlier in the day in Warsaw, however, the prime minister admitted that a large-scale conflict was not actually imminent and its danger should not be blown out of proportion. “We must not overstate the danger. We’re not on the brink of war, and nor do we seek it,” he acknowledged.

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“..the philosopher’s call “to live by one’s own wits” is as relevant today as ever..”

German Leader Tells Putin He Can’t Quote Philosopher Kant (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has lashed out at Russian President Vladimir Putin for quoting iconic German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Speaking on Tuesday at an event marking the 300th anniversary of Kant’s birth, Scholz accused Putin of trying to “poach” the great thinker as well as misrepresenting his ideas. Kant was born in 1724 in Koenigsberg (present-day Kaliningrad), which belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia before later becoming part of the Russian Empire. The philosopher is famous for his work on ethics, aesthetics and philosophical ontology, and is considered one of the pillars of German classical philosophy. “Putin doesn’t have the slightest right to quote Kant, yet Putin’s regime remains committed to poaching Kant and his work at almost any cost,” Scholz said at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, as quoted by Die Zeit.

Scholz said Russia’s role in the Ukraine conflict contradicts Kant’s fundamental teachings. He referred to Kant’s words on the interference of states in the affairs of other nations, and defended Kiev’s decision not to engage in peace talks with Moscow. He said Kant believed that forced treaties were not the way to reach ‘perpetual peace’ – a reference to one of Kant’s major works. Putin has been known to praise and quote Kant, even suggesting in 2013 that the philosopher should be made an official symbol of Kaliningrad Region. During a meeting with university students in Kaliningrad in January, Putin called Kant “one of the greatest thinkers of both his time and ours,” and said the philosopher’s call “to live by one’s own wits” is as relevant today as ever.

“A country must live by its own wits… This does not mean that we do not care about the interests of others… but we will never allow Russia’s interests to be neglected. In some countries, among our neighbors, this thesis has been forgotten. Many live by someone else’s wits. This will not bring them any good,” Putin stated. The administration of Kaliningrad Region responded to Scholz’s statement on Tuesday, saying no one has done more than Russia to “perpetuate the memory of the great philosopher and his teachings.” “Immanuel Kant died as a subject of the Russian crown. It seems to me that this, more than any words of all possible German politicians, shows the position of the great philosopher regarding Russia,” the governor’s press secretary, Dmitry Lyskov, said in a statement.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Morgan Musk

 

 

Musk Oz

 

 

Great white
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782690700087169273

 

 

Catnip

 

 

Carrot
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782584172659519490

 

 

Battle cats
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782829098131173629

 

 

Fox cat

 

 

Moose

 

 

Babies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782742456582160451

 

 

Poetry
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782482151096590529

 

 

 

 

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Mar 312024
 


Titian Christ Carrying the Cross 1565

 

Why Americans Have Little To Smile About These Days (Bridge)
Trump Pushes Legal Challenges In Two Cases (BBC)
We Need A Ceasefire In Ukraine – Orban (RT)
‘Odessa Will Fall’, Musk Warns Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Was Testing Ground for Western Big Pharma (Sp.)
Money Transfers Proof That Crocus Terrorists Followed Orders From Ukraine (Sp.)
US Marines Struggle to Adapt to Fighting Adversary That Can Fight Back (Miles)
Biden Claims Saudi Arabia, Qatar ‘Ready To Normalize’ With Israel (Cradle)
Israel Believes Only 60-70 Out Of 134 Hostages Are Still Alive (ZH)
The Never-Ending Federal Surveillance Crime Spree (Bovard)
Republicans Score Win In Court Battle Over Pennsylvania Mail-In Ballots (ET)
Behind Massive Mail-in Ballot Push Is a Little-Noticed Executive Order (ET)
Judge Rebukes DOJ Arguments Against Release Of Jan. 6 Defendant (ZH)
$935 Diabetes Jab Ozempic Costs Less Than $5 To Make (ET)
Why is $BCH So Hot Right Now? (Kim Dotcom)

 

 

How Joe Biden chooses to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

 

 

Maher Trump

 

 

Habba

 

 

 

 

Mike Davis Fani

 

 

DeSantis

 

 

Lie
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773809245504278628

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Not since the Civil War period have the American people witnessed such stark political divisions, and it seems to be just a matter of time before the Blue and Gray battle fatigues are back in style..”

Why Americans Have Little To Smile About These Days (Bridge)

From a sputtering economy and high inflation to a lack of trust in political leadership, Americans are expressing displeasure with many facets of their daily lives. In the annual World Happiness Report, the United States plunged eight places to 23rd, a historic low for the land famous for its pearly white smiles. It’s the first time since the report launched back in 2012 that the US did not feature among the world’s 20 happiest countries. So what’s dragging Americans down? Perhaps the best place to start is with the economy, which has left many people in the dust as the rich just keep getting richer. Consumer prices for basic grocery items remain above what they were in January 2021, when President Joe Biden assumed office. Prices for chicken (+26%), bread (+30%), sugar (+44%), and butter (+27%) are enough to trigger many shoppers, while a simple trip to a restaurant has become a rare luxury for many financially strapped consumers. Meanwhile, rent costs have surged by 20% over the same period.

Amid this sticker shock at the checkout line, Americans have also expressed a heavy amount of skepticism with the political system. A comprehensive Pew Research Center survey reveals high levels of dissatisfaction with the three branches of government, the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as the candidates for office. Among the findings, just 4% of US adults say the political system is working extremely or very well; another 23% report it is working somewhat well. About six in ten (63%) express not too much or no confidence at all in the future of the US political system. A growing proportion of Americans are expressing contempt for both political parties. Nearly three in ten (28%) express unfavorable opinions of both parties, the highest share in three decades of polling. And a comparable share of respondents (25%) do not feel well-represented by either party.

While trust in government has remained near historic lows for much of the last two decades, today it stands among the lowest levels dating back nearly seven decades. And now, three years after the January 6 protests at the Capitol Building, more Americans believe their country is heading for a political smash-up. According to a CBS/YouGov poll released in January, 49% of respondents expect some sort of violence in future political contests, like the upcoming showdown between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on November 4. Meanwhile, a full 70% agreed with the statement that American democracy is ‘threatened’. Not since the Civil War period have the American people witnessed such stark political divisions, and it seems to be just a matter of time before the Blue and Gray battle fatigues are back in style, albeit over entirely different issues.

The Democrats and Republicans are trapped inside of their own iron-clad echo chambers, where they are prevented from hearing their political opponents just across the aisle. This lack of a national dialogue, worsened by an overtly pro-liberal media, is what spawned the so-called insurrection on January 6, and could easily trigger a new bout of violence sometime down the road. Feelings of loneliness is another thing dragging Americans down. In May 2023, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a “public health epidemic.” The latest Healthy Minds Monthly Poll from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reveals that, early in 2024, 30% of adults said they have “experienced feelings of loneliness at least once a week over the past year, while 10% say they are lonely every day.”

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When you don’t take it as “News”, the MSM is a delight. Take the new Trump gag order, “barring Mr Trump from attacking court staff and their family members”. What happened is Judge Merchan’s daughter uses a pic of Trump behind bars as her avatar. But he cannot say now that that is inappropriate.

“Contrary to the People’s suggestion, the Court cannot ‘direct’ President Trump to do something that the gag order does not require..”

Another gem: “Ms Willis had described Mr Wade as a “trusted friend..”

Michael Cohen boinked Stormy Daniels and paid her for it using Trump’s money. When that ran out, he claimed it was “hush money”. The paper trail was already there. Does that sound about right?

Trump Pushes Legal Challenges In Two Cases (BBC)

Donald Trump’s attorneys pushed two legal challenges before Easter weekend. His camp is appealing against a verdict from a Georgia judge allowing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to stay on an election subversion case. They also aim to stop the expansion of a gag order, limiting Mr Trump’s speech, in a New York hush money case. The Republican presidential nominee faces four legal cases, and these two are the most likely to be heard in court before the US elections. Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty in all the cases, and claimed he is being politically persecuted. Mr Trump and his co-defendants in the Georgia case, which accuses them of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, have alleged that Ms Willis financially benefitted from an improper romantic relationship with Nathan Wade – a prosecutor she hired to lead the case. Judge Scott McAfee – who is overseeing the case – held two weeks of chaotic hearings that included fiery testimony from Ms Willis.

She admitted to the relationship but denied benefitting from it financially. In the end, the judge sided with Ms Willis, though he said the relationship had the “appearance of impropriety” and demanded Mr Wade or Ms Willis step down. Mr Wade did so within hours. In a 51-page motion filed on Friday before the Georgia Court of Appeals, Mr Trump and eight of his co-defendants argued Ms Willis should also be removed – which would greatly delay the case or could lead to it being dismissed. Mr Trump and other co-defendants’ lawyers said Mr Wade’s resignation did not sufficiently address the “appearance of impropriety” that “cast a pall over these entire proceedings”. “The trial court was bound by existing case law to not only require Wade’s disqualification (which occurred) but also to require the disqualification of DA Willis and her entire office,” the attorneys said in the filing. CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, has reported that Ms Willis intends to play a prominent role in the case, which the judge has ordered to proceed if Mr Trump appeals.

Meanwhile, in New York, Mr Trump is embroiled in other legal battles while he awaits the start of his first criminal trial over the alleged falsification of business records related to a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. This week, the justice in the case, Juan Merchan, granted a request from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to impose a gag order on Mr Trump barring him from making statements about jurors and witnesses or intimidating court staff. On Friday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sought to clarify – and possibly expand – the gag order barring Mr Trump from attacking court staff and their family members. His motion came after Mr Trump insulted Justice Merchan’s daughter in a social media post before the gag order was issued.

Mr Bragg asked Justice Merchan to “make abundantly clear” that the gag order applied to “family members of the Court”, the district attorney and other individuals mentioned in the gag order. He also asked the judge to “warn” Mr Trump “and direct him to immediately desist”. If Mr Trump does not, the prosecutor argues, he should face sanctions. The former president’s attorney, Todd Blanche, denied that his client had violated the gag order and argued that the judge’s daughter was not a part of it. He wrote that there was nothing wrong with the social media posts. “Contrary to the People’s suggestion, the Court cannot ‘direct’ President Trump to do something that the gag order does not require,” he said.

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“There is no remaining “reasonable dispute between Russia and the West,” Orban added..”

We Need A Ceasefire In Ukraine – Orban (RT)

Ukraine’s path to peace and security could lie in establishing a buffer zone next to the Russian border, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. With the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in its third year, the Western flow of military and financial aid to Ukraine is dwindling, while its army is losing ground. Orban suggested that now is the time for a ceasefire, Hungarian magazine Mandiner wrote on Friday, quoting the prime minister’s interview with former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel in Budapest. There is no remaining “reasonable dispute between Russia and the West,” Orban added. “People in Europe are not happy that their governments want to provide more financial assistance to Ukraine,” he said, explaining that Europe cannot provide the kind of support that would result in a military victory for Ukraine. EU states have allocated €77 billion ($83 billion) in aid to Kiev, while pledging €144 billion since the beginning of the conflict in February 2022, according to Germany’s Kiel Institute.

Ukraine has lost several strategically important cities in Donbass in the last month. Officials in Kiev have repeatedly cited the lack of Western-supplied munitions as the reason for their battlefield setbacks. Orban doubled down on his idea of a buffer zone next to the Russian border as Ukraine’s ideal peace solution, provided there are “additional security guarantees.” Without this, he said, “they could lose their country.” He stressed that Russia will never accept Ukraine joining NATO. Moscow has stated that one of the main causes of the conflict was the expansion of the US-led military bloc towards Russia’s borders. President Vladimir Putin has said one of the key goals of the Russian military operation is to force Kiev away from its goal of joining NATO – an ambition enshrined in the country’s constitution in 2019. While the Hungarian prime minister condemned the Russian military operation, he has repeatedly spoken out against the EU’s handling of it. Unlike the other EU states, Hungary has not sent any armaments to Kiev, limiting their contributions to humanitarian aid.

Mearsheimer

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“Whether Ukraine loses all access to the Black Sea or not is, in my view, the real remaining question..”

‘Odessa Will Fall’, Musk Warns Ukraine (RT)

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has reiterated his belief that Ukraine’s position is weakening with each passing day of the hostilities, warning that the “real question” is how much territory Kiev will lose and how many lives it will waste before sitting for talks with Moscow. The entrepreneur claimed in a post on his X platform on Saturday that “any fool could have predicted” that Kiev’s much-touted counteroffensive last year would fail, adding that even if Kiev had followed his recommendation to “entrench and apply all resources to defense,” it would be “tough to hold land that doesn’t have strong natural barriers.” “It was a tragic waste of life for Ukraine to attack a larger army that had defense in depth, minefields and stronger artillery when Ukraine lacked armor or air superiority!,” Musk wrote. Kiev has lost over 444,000 troops killed and wounded in two years of hostilities against Moscow, including more than 166,000 during last year’s counteroffensive, according to last month’s estimates from the Russian Defense Ministry.

However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in February that Kiev’s forces lost only 31,000 soldiers killed since the start of the conflict. The billionaire went on to argue that “the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia will gain until they hit the Dnepr, which is tough to overcome.” However, if the war lasts long enough, Odessa will fall too… Whether Ukraine loses all access to the Black Sea or not is, in my view, the real remaining question. I recommend a negotiated settlement before that happens. Elon Musk has shifted his position on Ukraine several times since the conflict began in early 2022. He initially supplied Kiev with free Starlink internet terminals and access to the satellite-based network, but declined to activate the service near Crimea for fear that Ukraine would use it to guide drone attacks on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. If this had happened, he explained last year, SpaceX would have been “complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

Musk has also used his X account to speak extensively about the trajectory of the conflict. More than a year ago, he proposed that Kiev abandon its claim to Crimea, declare neutrality, and allow the four new Russian regions – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – to hold fresh referendums on joining the Russian Federation. This proposal is similar to the terms offered by Russia to Kiev and the Western powers before the conflict began, except Moscow initially called only for autonomy in Donetsk and Lugansk. Moscow has stressed that it remains open to meaningful talks with Kiev and has blamed the lack of a diplomatic breakthrough on the Ukrainian authorities, who refuse to accept the “reality on the ground.” Ukraine must take into account the fact that its borders have changed drastically since 2022, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday, commenting on Zelensky’s suggestion that a return to 1991 borders was no longer a precondition for negotiations.

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Biolabs.

Ukraine Was Testing Ground for Western Big Pharma (Sp.)

Ukraine was one of the main testing grounds for trials of a drug that could potentially cause various forms of cancer and that was used on patients in the psychiatric ward of Mariupol Hospital No. 7 with the support of local officials in the interests of Western pharmaceutical companies, according to documents seen by Sputnik. In particular, the trial involved the experimental drug SB4 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The drug inhibits the action of molecules of the so-called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF), which plays an important role in the immune system, and its use creates the possibility of developing various forms of cancer, including in the lymphatic and hematopoietic systems, as well as skin. The manufacturers of SB4 were Biogen Idec Denmark Manufacturing ApS (Denmark), Catalent Pharma Solutions (Belgium), and Fisher Clinical Services UK Limited (UK). The study was sponsored by South Korea’s Samsung Bioepis, the documents read.

An application from Quintiles Ukraine for approval by the state expert center of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and the Ethics Commission at the medical and preventive institution for conducting clinical trials of SB4 was found among the documents. Quintiles Ukraine was established as a division of the US outsourcing pharmaceutical company Quintiles Transnational. According to the application, signed in February 2013, at that time it was planned to test the drug in Ukraine on 152 patients (later this number increased to 180), and in total on almost 500 patients around the world. According to the periodic report of the SB4-G31-RA project on SB4 trials, by November 2013, 777 patients had been selected for testing, including 285 in Poland, 143 in Ukraine, 108 in the Czech Republic, 77 in Bulgaria, 60 in Lithuania, 37 in the Republic of Korea, 34 in Mexico, 17 in Hungary, 14 in Colombia, and two in the United Kingdom.

The documents found in Mariupol Hospital No. 7 were collected between 2008 and 2016. The results of the initial inspection show that drugs with numbers and without names were tested on people, with the tests also conducted on toddlers. Companies such as Pfizer (US), AstraZeneca (UK, Sweden), Celltrion (South Korea), Novatris International AG (Switzerland, US), IQVIA (formerly Quintiles and IMS Health Inc., US, UK), Sanofi (France), Galapagos NV (Belgium), Janssen Pharmaceuticals (now Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, Belgium), Abbott Laboratories (US), Covance (now Labcorp Drug Development, US), and Merck KGaA (Germany) are mentioned in the documents.

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“..In order to save face, and to hide the fact that Ukraine itself is a huge terrorist organization..”

Money Transfers Proof That Crocus Terrorists Followed Orders From Ukraine (Sp.)

It is of paramount importance that data in the technical devices seized from the suspects in the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack has confirmed their connection with the Ukrainian side, Kirill Kabanov, chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Committee, told Sputnik. Initial data received from those detained in the case related to the terrorist attack indicated Ukraine pulled the strings. However, the fresh report by the Russian Investigative Committee points to the Ukrainian special services, and “we must understand that they are directly connected with the CIA and MI6 and MI5,” Kabanov said. “That is why the West is trying to cover this up, blaming an outlawed international terrorist organization for everything. In order to save face, and to hide the fact that Ukraine itself is a huge terrorist organization,” Kabanov, who is also a member of the Human Rights Council, said.

The ongoing investigation into the attack at Crocus City Hall has discovered proof of the connection of the terrorists who carried out the heinous crime with Ukrainian nationalists, the Russian Investigative Committee said on March 28.”The initial results of the investigation fully confirm the planned nature of the terrorists’ actions, careful preparation and financial support from the organizers of the crime. As a result of working with the detained terrorists, analyzing the technical devices seized from them, analyzing information about financial transactions, evidence of their connection with Ukrainian nationalists has been obtained,” the Russian Investigative Committee said on Telegram.

The terrorists received significant amounts of money and cryptocurrency from Ukraine, Russian investigators added. Russia’s special services have completed their task by uncovering this proof, yet they “refuse to hear us in the West, the world’s mechanisms don’t work,” said Kirill Kabanov. “The Americans can get away with brandishing an empty vial and using it as a pretext for starting a war and destroying an entire state, as was the case with Iraq. Unfortunately, I am not at all sure that our evidence of cryptocurrency transfers will be heard. Although for citizens of many countries this might add to their perception of reality,” the expert noted. For people in Western countries whose leaders remain committed to supporting the regime holed up in Kiev, a reality check as to what is really happening in Ukraine is long overdue, the analyst believes.

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“..the United States has deployed its military forces almost 400 times during its short history..”

US Marines Struggle to Adapt to Fighting Adversary That Can Fight Back (Miles)

After killing at least 3.6 million people in its so-called “War on Terror,” US armed forces are regrouping to combat adversaries capable of mounting a resistance. In a hagiographic article entitled “Preparing for a China war, the Marines are retooling how they’ll fight,” ruling class stenographer Ellen Nakashima blithely considers the prospect of fighting a war against a nuclear-armed country of 1.4 billion people. The piece, appearing in The Washington Post, details the US Marine Corps’ efforts to adapt to what she appears to believe is an inevitable, and desirable, conflict with China. “The Marines are striving to adapt to a maritime fight that could play out across thousands of miles of islands and coastline in Asia,” writes Nakashima, admitting the armed service has devoted the last 20 years to fighting less capable forces in the Middle East. “Instead of launching traditional amphibious assaults… nimbler groups are intended as an enabler for a larger joint force.”

“Their role is to gather intelligence and target data and share it quickly — as well as occasionally sink ships with medium-range missiles,” it is explained, “to help the Pacific Fleet and Air Force repel aggression against the United States and allies and partners like Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines.” The country she imagines launching this aggression has not been at war since 1979, while the United States has deployed its military forces almost 400 times during its short history. “New regiments are envisioned as one piece of a broader strategy to synchronize the operations of US soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, and in turn with the militaries of allies and partners in the Pacific,” the piece continues. “Their focus is a crucial stretch of territory sweeping from Japan to Indonesia and known as the First Island Chain. China sees this region, which encompasses an area about half the size of the contiguous United States, as within its sphere of influence.” Naturally, China needs to understand its coastal waters are not its own concern, but the United States’, Nakashima’s logic suggests.

“China not only has the region’s largest army, navy and air force, but also home-field advantage,” Nakashima writes, apparently under the impression the United States will be allowed to attack China without suffering retribution on its own shores. “Taiwan, a close US partner, is most directly in the crosshairs.” China’s links with Taiwan go back hundreds of years. In the 1950s the United States attempted to cleave the island off from the country after the Chinese Civil War. As the defeated Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan the US threatened to use nuclear bombs if leader Mao Zedong crossed the Taiwan Strait, seeking to balkanize China as the US did in Korea and attempted to do in Vietnam. Nakashima writes of the disastrous consequences for shareholder profits of a war over Taiwan: “A successful invasion would… have catastrophic economic consequences due to disruption of the world’s most advanced semiconductor industry and of maritime traffic in some of the world’s busiest sea lanes — the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.”

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“..either a “multinational force” or a “Palestinian peacekeeping team” to oversee the affairs of a post-war Gaza..”

No use without involving Russia and China.

Biden Claims Saudi Arabia, Qatar ‘Ready To Normalize’ With Israel (Cradle)

US President Joe Biden said at a campaign event on 28 March that Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are ready for a full normalization of ties with Israel. During the event – which was meant to show unity in the Democratic Party ahead of US elections in November this year – Biden was joined on stage by former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. “I’ve been working with the Saudis and with all the other Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan and Qatar. They’re prepared to fully recognize Israel. There has to be a post-Gaza plan, and there has to be a trade to a two-state solution. It doesn’t have to occur today. It has to be a progression and I think we can do that,” Biden said. Since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, which has seen Israel kill over 32,000 civilians, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly stated that normalization with Tel Aviv is still on the table.

However, Riyadh has doubled down on its demands for concessions to the Palestinians, including, most prominently, the demand for the eventual realization of statehood. Washington has been devising a plan for post-war Gaza, which includes the idea of a “reformed” Palestinian Authority (PA) assuming control over administration in the strip. In late February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a similar plan, which included demilitarizing Gaza, forming a local governing authority, and a broader normalization pact with Arab states, including the Saudis. Politico reported on the same day as Biden’s campaign event that the White House, State Department, and Pentagon are discussing the potential establishment of either a “multinational force” or a “Palestinian peacekeeping team” to oversee the affairs of a post-war Gaza.

Yet Israel has yet to achieve its goal of dismantling the Palestinian resistance and is continuing brutal and incessant airstrikes daily. “There are too many innocent victims, Israelis and Palestinians,” Biden added at the event. “We’re in a position where Israel’s very existence is at stake. You had all those people massacred,” the president said about 7 October, adding: “It’s understandable Israel has such a profound anger and Hamas is still there, but we must in-act, stop the effort that is resulting in significant deaths of innocent civilians and particularly children.” Several pro-Palestine activists erupted in chants throughout the campaign event, accusing Biden of complicity in the genocide being carried out against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

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How many Palestinian hostages?

Israel Believes Only 60-70 Out Of 134 Hostages Are Still Alive (ZH)

Israel’s official count for the number of people still being held hostage in the Gaza Strip remains at 134 mostly Israeli citizens as well as some foreigners, which includes possibly deceased victims. Amid stalled truce negotiations in Qatar, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has revealed that Israeli officials believe only 60 to 70 Israeli hostages in Gaza are still alive. “According to the IDF, a total of 134 hostages and bodies are being held in Gaza,” Haaretz wrote Thursday. “Thirty-six of the people were confirmed by the army as killed – some on October 7, when their bodies were taken into the Strip. Of the 98 living hostages, 10 are foreigners (eight Thais, one Nepalese national, and one man with Mexican and French citizenship).” What’s more is that a month ago some of the families of the hostages were informed that 20 captives were in life-threatening condition.

An unnamed source close to the crisis told Haaretz, “I hope I’m mistaken, but the number may even be lower”—suggesting there may be even fewer that are alive. Given the intense battles unfolding across most of the Gaza Strip, it is widely speculated that the hostages are being held somewhere within the miles of underground tunnels below, where Hamas also has command and control centers. There’s a possibility that some of the hostages could have been killed by Israeli’s relentless bombing campaign which has decimated entire neighborhoods. A horrifically tragic incident last December saw three Israeli hostages shot dead by Israeli forces who mistook them for Palestinian militants. Israeli leadership under Netanyahu has been accused by the hostages’ families of prioritizing the military operation to defeat Hamas far and above hostage recovery.

Some recent testimony of hostages freed in last year’s truce and exchange with Hamas said the following: Echoing this sense of an indiscriminate and haphazard policy, testimonies from newly freed Israeli hostages, who were released as part of exchange deals for Palestinian prisoners during a temporary ceasefire in late November, as well as from some of the hostages’ families, indicate that one of the main fears of those held captive in Gaza was the threat of being hit by Israeli airstrikes and shelling. Many of the hostages, according to these testimonies, were held above ground rather than in tunnels, and were therefore particularly vulnerable to such attacks. Large-scale anti-Netanyahu protests led by victims’ families have persisted in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Pressure has also mounted on Washington to strike a ceasefire. Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently facing accusations from within his own government of ‘sabotaging’ the truce process with an aim to prolong the war, and also thus his political future in the top office.

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“..a much more lenient standard for wiretaps than the Constitution permitted for American citizens..”

The Never-Ending Federal Surveillance Crime Spree (Bovard)

Last December, one of the most intrusive provisions in the federal statute book was set to expire. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes the National Security Agency to vacuum up trillions of emails and other data. A bevy of bipartisan members of Congress called for radically curtailing those nullifications of Americans’ privacy. But the effort to put a leash on the federal surveillance failed dismally. Congress voted for a four-month extension of FISA, which will likely be followed in April by a much longer extension. There was a bipartisan congressional conspiracy to entitle the Deep State to continue trampling the Constitution. In 1978, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to outlaw political spying (such as the FBI had committed) on American citizens. FISA created a secret court to oversee federal surveillance of suspected foreign agents within the United States, permitting a much more lenient standard for wiretaps than the Constitution permitted for American citizens.

The FISA court “created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans,” the New York Times reported in 2013 after Edward Snowden leaked court decisions. The court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were “relevant” to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling National Security Administration (NSA) data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as “almost Orwellian.” In 2017, a FISA court decision included a 10-page litany of FBI violations, which “ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight.” The latest controversy involved FISA Section 702, first enacted by Congress in 2008.

That section authorizes the National Security Agency to surveil targets in foreign nations regardless of how many Americans’ privacy is “incidentally” destroyed. The NSA collects vast amounts of information as part of that surveillance and then permits the FBI to sift through its troves. The Electronic Frontier Foundation warned more than a decade ago that Section 702 “created a broad national-security exception to the Constitution that allows all Americans to be spied upon by their government while denying them any viable means of challenging that spying.” Professor David Rothkopf explained in 2013 how Section 702 worked: “What if government officials came to your home and said that they would collect all of your papers and hold onto them for safe-keeping, just in case they needed them in the future. But don’t worry … they wouldn’t open the boxes until they had a secret government court order … sometime, unbeknownst to you.” Actually, the law in practice is much worse.

From the beginning, federal agencies brazenly lied about the number of Americans whose privacy was ravaged. In 2014, former NSA employee Edward Snowden provided the Washington Post with a cache of 160,000 secret email threads that the NSA had intercepted. The Post found that nine out of ten account holders were not the “intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.” Almost half of the individuals whose personal data was inadvertently commandeered were American citizens. The files “tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes,” the Post noted. If an American citizen wrote an email in a foreign language, NSA analysts assumed they were foreigners who could be surveilled without a warrant.

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“..this 3rd Circuit ruling roundly rejects unlawful left-wing attempts to count undated or incorrectly dated mail ballot..”

Republicans Score Win In Court Battle Over Pennsylvania Mail-In Ballots (ET)

Pennsylvania rules that require mail-in ballots to be dated are legal, a federal appeals court has ruled. A state law that says voters must fill out, date, and sign envelopes containing the ballots is not prevented by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a majority said in the March 27 ruling. The act bans denying “the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration or other act requisite to voting.” But that provision “only applies when the state is determining who may vote,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ambro, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, wrote for the majority of a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit panel. “In other words, its role stops at the door of the voting place. The provision does not apply to rules, like the date requirement, that govern how a qualified voter must cast his ballot for it to be counted.”

The same court ahead of the 2022 election ruled that state officials must count undated ballots but the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that order. After the state’s acting secretary of state said counties should still count undated ballots, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that counties could not count mail-in ballots with missing or incorrect dates. About 7,900 ballots were not counted in the 2020 election because they were missing a signature or date, or had an inaccurate date, according to state officials. U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter later ruled that the Pennsylvania law violated the Civil Rights Act provision, meaning Pennsylvania officials had to count mail-in ballots even if they lacked dates, or contained inaccurate dates. “Federal law prohibits a state from erecting immaterial roadblocks, such as this, to voting,” Judge Baxter, appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote at the time, referring to the Pennsylvania law.

According to the law, a voter casting a ballot by mail must mark the ballot, then place it inside a provided envelope. That envelope must then be placed into a second envelope, which contains the areas for the date and signature. “The elector shall then fill out, date and sign the declaration printed on such envelope,” the law states. The Republican National Committee (RNC) and other groups appealed Judge Baxter’s ruling, arguing that her conclusion was wrong. “This is a crucial victory for election integrity and voter confidence in the Keystone State and nationwide. Pennsylvanians deserve to feel confident in the security of their mail ballots, and this 3rd Circuit ruling roundly rejects unlawful left-wing attempts to count undated or incorrectly dated mail ballot,” Michael Whatley, the RNC’s chairman, said in a statement after the new ruling was handed down.

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“This is Zuckerbucks on steroids because instead of $400 million, it’s unlimited funding and resources and the reach of the federal government and all its offices located across the country..”

“..the president’s unprecedented effort to deploy federal agencies in support of partisan voting operations and fortify politically aligned private organizations working to circumvent state election integrity laws.”

Behind Massive Mail-in Ballot Push Is a Little-Noticed Executive Order (ET)

A federal effort to register voters using the government’s vast reach, including throughout the U.S. prison system, is raising concerns from critics who have said it won’t benefit Democrats and Republicans equally. Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson wrote to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on March 6 alleging that agencies under the attorney general’s charge are “attempting to register people to vote, including potentially ineligible felons, and to co-opt state and local officials into accomplishing this goal.” The allegation relates to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14019, which states, “The head of each agency shall evaluate ways in which the agency can, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, promote voter registration and voter participation.”

Among other things, this order has forced U.S. Marshals to modify more than 900 contracts with prisons and jails to provide voter registration documents and facilitate mail-in voting for inmates, Mr. Watson wrote. “We have worked extremely hard to restore the confidence of Mississippi voters in our election process,” Mr. Watson told The Epoch Times. “To have the Biden administration and the DOJ purposefully undermine these efforts and jeopardize the integrity of Mississippi’s elections is unacceptable.” The secretary of state is the chief election officer in Mississippi. The work by the Department of Justice to register voters in prisons, critics say, is just the tip of the iceberg. Other agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, are also carrying out campaigns to sign up new voters.

On Feb. 26, Vice President Kamala Harris lauded a federal plan to use work-study grants to pay students to register voters. In addition, President Biden’s executive order directed federal agencies to select “approved, nonpartisan third-party organizations and state officials to provide voter registration services on agency premises.” President Biden’s executive order was called “visionary“ by Ceridwen Cherry, a former staff attorney on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Voting Rights Project, who said, ”In a democracy, governments at all levels should be doing everything they can to help eligible people register to vote.” However, critics say elections are under the purview of states, not the federal government.

“The reason it’s such a big problem is that, with the president, it’s only one political party that’s in power,” Stewart Whitson, legal director of the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), a conservative think-tank, told The Epoch Times. “If you allow the president to be the one to decide where all these massive resources are channeled, that’s problematic,” he said, adding that this is why the Founders gave election authority to states and not to the federal executive. The plan has been called “Bidenbucks” by some of its detractors, referencing the injection into state election programs of $400 million in 2020 from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, dubbed “Zuckerbucks.” “This is Zuckerbucks on steroids because instead of $400 million, it’s unlimited funding and resources and the reach of the federal government and all its offices located across the country,” Mr. Whitson said.

[..] In July 2021, the FGA filed a FOIA request regarding President Biden’s Voting Access plan. The group sought information about what federal agencies were doing to implement the plan, as well as records from planning and strategy meetings among President Biden’s staff, federal agencies, and the architects of EO 14019. “These documents, in any other context, would be handed over much more quickly,” Mr. Whitson said. “So this indicates to us that there’s something there the Biden administration really does not care to share, because they’ve withheld it for nearly three years now.” The America First Legal foundation, another plaintiff in a FOIA suit, characterized EO 14019 as “the president’s unprecedented effort to deploy federal agencies in support of partisan voting operations and fortify politically aligned private organizations working to circumvent state election integrity laws.” More than two years later, court battles over the information requests are ongoing. The administration has brought in White House counsel and the Department of Justice to fight the requests.

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Can’t find anywhere what he’s supposed to have done, other than: “obstructing an official proceeding among other charges..”

“..the appeal raises a substantial question likely to result in a significantly lesser sentence or reversal..”

That will be true for most. But then they will have been locked up for years.

Judge Rebukes DOJ Arguments Against Release Of Jan. 6 Defendant (ZH)

A Jan. 6 defendant seeking to be released from prison was granted in part by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia this week. The order, signed by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden on March 26, will grant the release of Kevin Seefried, a defendant convicted for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, pending the appeal of his conviction. This decision comes despite stark warnings from the Justice Department regarding the implications of such a move. Mr. Seefried received a three-year prison sentence for obstructing an official proceeding among other charges, facing a potential maximum sentence of 23 years. After his conviction, he appealed and requested release pending appeal, a request that gained new relevance when the Supreme Court decided to review a related case, Fischer v. United States, which could impact many Jan. 6 defendants.

The high Court’s decision on this case may influence the outcome of Mr. Seefried’s conviction, suggesting it could be vacated depending on the justices’ ruling. The decision to release Mr. Seefried is grounded in the ongoing legal debate over the application of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), the obstruction of an official proceeding statute, beyond the context of “evidence impairment.” “Seefried’s current motion is déjà vu all over again,” Judge McFadden wrote. This legal question is currently under review by the Supreme Court in a related case, Fischer v. United States, which directly challenges the scope of § 1512(c) and its application to the Jan. 6 defendants. Judge McFadden, in his memorandum order, outlined that the release is premised on two conditions mandated by 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b): a defendant is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the community if released, and that the appeal raises a substantial question likely to result in a significantly lesser sentence or reversal.

Judge McFadden found that Mr. Seefried met both conditions, noting a lack of evidence to suggest Mr. Seefried would flee or pose a danger, and that the Supreme Court’s review of Fischer represents a substantial question of law that could materially affect Mr. Seefried’s conviction. Judge McFadden noted the argument of the Justice Department that, in their belief, he now knew the “day-to-day reality of confinement in prison” and was therefore “more likely” to flee than return to prison. Judge McFadden also noted U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves’s argument of 2024 being an election year involving “what will likely be another fiercely contested presidential election” and if released, the Court “would be releasing defendant into the same political maelstrom that led him to commit his crimes in the first place.”

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Why not focus on preventing diabetes? Easier, healthier and cheaper.

$935 Diabetes Jab Ozempic Costs Less Than $5 To Make (ET)

It costs Novo Nordisk less than $5 per month to produce its top-selling diabetes injection, Ozempic, even as it charges nearly $1,000 for a month’s supply before insurance, according to a new study. The study, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Network Open, raises questions about the prohibitive cost of the popular diabetes treatment and other weight loss drugs that belong to a pricy class of medications based on GLP-1 technology. Those medicines work by mimicking a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which stimulates the pancreas to release insulin when blood sugar rises too high, slows down the emptying of the stomach, and targets brain receptors involved in reducing appetite. Over the past year, demand for GLP-1 agonists has exploded despite soaring costs and limited insurance coverage.

For their study, researchers at Yale University, King’s College Hospital in London, and the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders looked at the cost of manufacturing insulin and compared it with that of GLP-1 agonists. They estimated those prices by combining manufacturing costs for the weekly injection with costs of formulation and other operating expenses, plus a profit margin with an allowance for tax. The foundational price for a weekly dose of injectable semaglutide—the generic name for Ozempic—ranges from $0.89 to $4.73 per month, the study found. By contrast, a vial of human insulin can be manufactured at a cost between $2.37 and $5.94 per month. A month’s supply of Ozempic is $935.77 for those in the United States without health insurance, according to Novo’s website.

The Danish company’s GLP-1 weight loss drug, Wegovy, is listed as $1,349 per month. Wednesday’s study concluded that GLP-1s “can likely be manufactured for prices far below current prices, enabling wider access.” “High prices limit access to newer diabetes medicines in many countries,” the researchers wrote. “The findings of this study suggest that robust generic and bio-similar competition could reduce prices to more affordable levels and enable expansion of diabetes treatment globally.” Citing the findings, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on Novo to slash prices for both Ozempic and Wegovy, highlighting the price gap for the identical drugs sold in America and other developed countries.

“A new Yale study found that Ozempic costs less than $5 a month to manufacture. And yet, Novo Nordisk charges Americans nearly $1,000 a month for this drug, while the same exact product can be purchased for just $155 a month in Canada and just $59 in Germany,” the senator said in a statement. “As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, I am calling on Novo Nordisk to lower the list price of Ozempic—and the related drug Wegovy—in America to no more than what they charge for this drug in Canada,” he continued. “The American people are sick and tired of paying, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs while the pharmaceutical industry enjoys huge profits.”

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Kim has promoted Bitcoin Cash for a while now.

Why is $BCH So Hot Right Now? (Kim Dotcom)

Bitcoin Cash is launching a new innovation on May 15th. The adaptive blocksize limit algorithm. This is an important step for BCH in preparation for substantial growth and one of the reasons why BCH is gaining popularity with Miners and Investors. The algorithm automatically adjusts Bitcoin Cash’s block size limit to reduce infrastructure costs during periods of lower usage while enabling up to a doubling of the maximum block size per year at peak growth. The block size limit caps the technical requirements of network infrastructure, enables reliable infrastructure cost projection, and prevents attacks that increase the cost of participating in the network. Excessively large blocks could require users and businesses to waste resources on unnecessary infrastructure, switch to cheaper and less secure validation strategies, or even to abandon running their own infrastructure and instead rely on third-party service providers – reducing the overall privacy, independence, and financial freedom of all users.

To limit block size, most bitcoin-like networks employ a static block size limit. For Bitcoin Cash this limit is currently 32MB. If a payment network is growing, usage will eventually approach any previously established static limit. If this limit is reached before a successfully coordinated upgrade, network service degrades, transaction fees and confirmation times become less predictable as size-limited blocks become more common. Uncorrected, market actors begin to adapt to this artificial scarcity by using alternatives to on-chain transactions, custodians, intermediaries, and competing networks. This in turn compromises the long-term economics of mining, cumulative transaction fee revenue is suppressed, and long-term network security grows to rely on continuous inflation via block subsidies.

Because static block size limits can only be changed as part of a widely coordinated network upgrade, they present a focal point for network interruption or capture by motivated attackers, rent seeking institutions, competing networks, opponents of peer-to-peer cash, etc. To make matters worse, the attackers have a significant coordination advantage – while honest network participants must achieve near-unanimous consensus to activate an upgrade, attackers must only create sufficient uncertainty among the honest participants to delay limit increases, as inaction results in degradation of the network’s functionality and long-term security.

Adaptive block size limits resolve the economic vulnerability of static limits by automatically adjusting the maximum block size over time. While an adaptive block size limit could still diverge from a hypothetical “ideal” size due to significant changes in the rate of technological advancement or the availability of capital, such divergences would likely remain much smaller than with static limits, and attackers are no longer afforded an advantage. Bitcoin Cash’s Adaptive Algorithm is conservative and based on observed usage. In cooling-off periods of falling network usage, the limit slowly decreases to preserve the resources of infrastructure operators. On the other hand, during periods of rapid growth, the limit can increase at a rate of up to 2x per year.

Exciting times for Bitcoin Cash.

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Kory

 

 

Denier
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774045305509446045

 

 

Coyote

 

 

God jump

 

 

Girl power

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 232024
 
 January 23, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Dream, Caused by the Flight of a Bee (Around a Pomegranate, a Second Before Waking Up) 1944

 

Will War Result From The Ever Hesitant Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse (Chris Hedges)
Netanyahu’s Shape-Shifting ‘Endgame’ (Alastair Crooke)
Russia’s Push for Palestinian State Can Stop Endless ‘Loop’ of Violence (Sp.)
US Sees Ukraine As A ‘Lucrative Business Project’ – Lavrov (RT)
US Forming ‘Colonial Administration’ In Ukraine – Russian Spy Chief (RT)
Ukraine Must Give Up Territory – Fico (RT)
Zelensky Brands Parts Of Russia ‘Historically’ Ukrainian (RT)
Medvedev Denounces Zelensky’s ‘Territorial Claims’ To Russia (RT)
AfD Leader Calls for German ‘Dexit’ Vote to Break From EU (Sp.)
Russian Attack On Nato In 2044 (Zlatko)
DOJ Seeking Retribution Against Journalist for Recent Jan. 6 Coverage (ET)
The Pipe-Bomb Caper (Kunstler)
Dutch Queen Promotes Digital ID at Davos (Martin Armstrong)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Hunter

 

 

Biden inflation

 

 

 

 

RFK autism + allergy

 

 

Tucker Catturd

 

 

 

 

Stop counting

The People’s Pundit: But that’s only half the story. The other half, is that they were lying. They actually continued to add to the totals between midnight and 3AM.

 

 

 

 

“The failure to confront Russia’s enemies with defeats means the pressure against Russia, the ongoing provocations, and the humiliations inflicted will continue until Russia is forced into war.”

Will War Result From The Ever Hesitant Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)

I have often expressed my concern that the lack of proactive action by Putin, Xi, and Iran was maximizing the expansion of Israeli and US aggression in the Middle East and leading to a dangerous confrontation and outbreak of nuclear war. It is the purpose of Israel and Washington to attack Iran. That is what the Israeli-Hamas-Hezbollah-Washington-Houthis conflict is about. It is an entirely simple matter for Russia, China, and Iran to prevent any expansion of Israel’s war against Palestine. All they have to do is to announce a mutual defense treaty: An attack on one is an attack on all. But proactive action does not seem to be in the skill set of Washington’s targeted enemies. With the single exception of Putin’s intervention in Syria to prevent Obama’s invasion, Putin has proved to be ever hesitant about taking control of the situation. It took him eight years to abandon his delusion about the Minsk Agreement. When he finally realized that he had been taken for a ride, the Russian military was not prepared for the level of violence required. Consequently a war that Russia should have won in a few days is two years old and continuing.

From my experience with the liberal Russian intelligentsia, I would say that their program is surrender to Washington. They would rather be invited as visiting professors to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, and to serve as consultants to American corporations than to be in conflict with the West. As Putin seems to believe toleration of subversion is a sign of democracy, he could have been prevented from required action by pressure to prove that he is not, as the entirety of the West proclaims, a dictator. Putin would have saved many lives by ignoring the propaganda of his enemies and being more forceful in Russia’s defense. But now Putin is showing more awareness of what needs to be done. News reports which I saw in the Indian press, not in the American whore media, a collection of paid liars, say that, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russia and Iran are finalizing a pact stressing their commitment to fundamental principles of Russian-Iranian relations, including unconditional respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In a way this is good news. It indicates that Putin has finally realized that left unprotected, Iran is vulnerable, and if Iran goes, Washington has a direct entry to send “jihadists” into the Russian Federation and the former Soviet central Asian republics. But once again, like with the nonsensical “Minsk Agreement,” Putin has made an error. The pact has been announced before it goes into effect. It is unclear when this acknowledgement of mutual association is to be finalized. So the message to Washington and Israel is to attack Iran now before the agreement goes into effect. There is risk that this will happen. By trying to avoid the expansion of conflict in the Middle East, when conflict is Washington’s and Israel’s intention, Putin by his non-intervention, has given a green light for the expansion of conflict.

Moreover, the Russian-Iranian pact does not seem to be, except, by implication, a mutual defense pact. You can bet that Victoria Nuland and Israel’s American neoconservative agents who control US foreign policy will try to strike Iran before the pact is is in effect or they will argue that it is not a mutual defense agreement. It seems that Russia, China, Iran, and Israel’s Muslim enemies think that words count when nothing but action counts. In the West words are meaningless. Only actions count. And Russia’s are missing. Now, let me back off a bit. There are other indications of progress toward an environment less able to be turned into war by Washington. China had the foresight to broker a peace deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This was a fundamental blow to Washington. This rapprochement, if it holds against Washington’s counter offer, has expanded Putin’s organization BRICS to include Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. This gives new meaning to Saudi Arabia’s abandonment of the petro-dollar.

There is even a potential good sign on Russia’s part. Russia has announced air patrols over the Syrian Golan border with Israel. Putin prevented Washington’s invasion of Assad’s Syria but then went soft. Putin has left the Syrian oil fields in Washington’s hands. Putin has permitted both Israel and the US to conduct air and missile attacks on Syrian territory, apparently preventing Syria from using the Russian-supplied S-300 air defense system to protect Syrian territory. It remains to be seen if this means anything. The Russians have been sufficiently weakened by Western influence that they now have, associated with the Defense Ministry a “Center for Reconciliation.” This center says the air patrols are just for monitoring. In other words, there will be no military intervention, so it is largely meaningless. The failure to confront Russia’s enemies with defeats means the pressure against Russia, the ongoing provocations, and the humiliations inflicted will continue until Russia is forced into war.

There is a great deal of talk about American over-extension, outmoded weapon systems, excessive debt, inability to recruit for the military, etc., most of which is true. But the neoconservatives in control are still full of confidence, and this confidence is ever encouraged by Putin’s lack of decisive action. The war that is shaping up appears to be unavoidable. I know that it seems arrogant, egocentric, and self-glorifying to appear to be giving advice to Putin. But that is not what I am doing. I am describing a situation. To preclude a US/Israeli attack on Iran, there needs to be a Russia-China-Iran alliance which probably should include Turkey. Right NOW Iran needs the highly effective Russian air defense systems and, if Iran doesn’t have them, the hypersonic Russian long distance offensive missiles. Putin showed a strategic side when he committed the Russian Air Force to Syria’s defense, thus blocking Syria’s invasion by Obama. But he was very late getting into the game, almost too late. The multipolar world that Putin is always talking about cannot materialize without a Russian-Chinese-Iranian mutual defense treaty. Without more strategic vision and action on the part of Russia and China, war is unavoidable.

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“Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk..”

The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse (Chris Hedges)

Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk — have little understanding of the Muslim world and a deep animus towards Islamic resistance movements. They see Europe, the United States and Israel as involved in a clash of civilizations between the enlightened West and a barbaric Middle East. They believe that violence can bend Palestinians and other Arabs to their will. They champion the overwhelming firepower of the U.S. and Israeli military as the key to regional stability — an illusion that fuels the flames of regional war and perpetuates the genocide in Gaza.

In short, these four men are grossly incompetent. They join the club of other clueless leaders, such as those who waltzed into the suicidal slaughter of World War One, waded into the quagmire of Vietnam or who orchestrated the series of recent military debacles in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They are endowed with the presumptive power vested in the Executive Branch to bypass Congress, to provide weapons to Israel and carry out military strikes in Yemen and Iraq. This inner circle of true believers dismiss the more nuanced and informed counsels in the State Department and the intelligence communities, who view the refusal of the Biden administration to pressure Israel to halt the ongoing genocide as ill-advised and dangerous.

Biden has always been an ardent militarist — he was calling for war with Iraq five years before the U.S. invaded. He built his political career by catering to the distaste of the white middle class for the popular movements, including the anti-war and civil rights movements, that convulsed the country in the 1960s and 1970s. He is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat. He joined Southern segregationists to oppose bringing Black students into Whites-only schools. He opposed federal funding for abortions and supported a constitutional amendment allowing states to restrict abortions. He attacked President George H. W. Bush in 1989 for being too soft in the “war on drugs.” He was one of the architects of the 1994 crime bill and a raft of other draconian laws that more than doubled the U.S. prison population, militarized the police and pushed through drug laws that saw people incarcerated for life without parole. He supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. He has always been a strident defender of Israel, bragging that he did more fundraisers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than any other Senator.

“As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because… you protect our interests like we protect yours,” Biden said in 2015, to an audience that included the Israeli ambassador, at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Washington D.C. During the same speech he said, “The truth of the matter is we need you. The world needs you. Imagine what it would say about humanity and the future of the 21st century if Israel were not sustained, vibrant and free.” The year before Biden gave a gushing eulogy for Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister and general who was implicated in massacres of Palestinians, Lebanese and others in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon — as well as Egyptian prisoners of war — going back to the 1950s. He described Sharon as “part of one of the most remarkable founding generations in the history not of this nation, but of any nation.”

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“Israel’s only answer (to the issue of how to maintain Zionism) was to keep the State’s borders undefined – whilst holding on to scarce water and land resources..”

Netanyahu’s Shape-Shifting ‘Endgame’ (Alastair Crooke)

The late Ariel Sharon, a long-time Israeli military and political leader, once confided to his close friend Uri Dan that, “the Arabs had never genuinely accepted the presence of Israel … and so, a two-state solution was not possible – nor even desirable”. In the minds of these two – as well as for most Israelis today – is the ‘Gordian Knot’ that sits at the heart of Zionism: How to maintain differential rights over a physical terrain that includes a large Palestinian population. Israeli leaders believed that in Sharon’s unconventional approach of ‘spatial ambiguity’, Israel was close to evolving a solution to the conundrum of managing differential rights within a Zionist majority state, which includes substantial minorities. Palestinians, many Israelis believed (until recently), were being successfully contained in a striated political and physical space – and were even being “disappeared” from significance – only for Hamas, on 7 October, to blow apart that whole elaborate paradigm.

This event has triggered a widespread and existential fear that the Zionist project could possibly implode, were its Zionist exceptionalist foundations to be rejected by a wide resistance ready to take the issue to war. U.S. journalist Steve Inskeep’s recent piece – Israel’s Lack of Strategy is the Strategy – brings into focus the seeming paradox: That whilst Netanyahu is very clear about that which he does not want, he at the same time remains obstinately opaque about what he does want as a future for Palestinians living on a shared terrain. For those who think that Middle East peace might (or should) be Netanyahu’s goal, this opacity appears as a serious ‘flaw’ to resolving the Gaza crisis. However, if Netanyahu (backed by his cabinet, and a majority of Israelis) offers no strategy for peace with the Palestinians, then perhaps its omission is not ‘a bug’, but is its feature.

To understand the underlying oxymoron, you have to grasp why Ariel Sharon and Uri Dan ‘said what they said’, and understand how Sharon’s military experience from the 1973 War effectively has shaped the entire Palestinian paradigm. In 2011, I wrote a piece in Foreign Policy which postulated that Sharon’s notion of Palestinian Permanent Ambiguity was – and has been – the Zionists’ principle answer to how to bypass the paradox inherent within Zionism. Thirty years later, it still lurks in all of Netanyahu’s (and Israeli leaders across the political spectrum’s) recent pronouncements. Even in 2008, Foreign Minister (and lawyer), Tzipi Livni, was spelling out why “Israel’s only answer (to the issue of how to maintain Zionism) was to keep the State’s borders undefined – whilst holding on to scarce water and land resources – leaving Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, dependent on Israeli goodwill”.

And I noted in a separate piece: “Livni was saying that she wanted Israel to be a Zionist state – based on the Law of Return and open to any Jew. However, to secure such a state in a country with very limited territory – means that land and water must be kept under Jewish control, with differential rights for Jews and non-Jews – rights that affect everything, from housing and access to land, to jobs, subsidies, marriages and migration”. A two-state solution inherently therefore, did not solve the problem of how to maintain Zionism; rather, it compounded it. The inevitable demand for full equal rights for Palestinians would bring the end of Jewish ‘special rights’, and of Zionism itself, Livni argued – a threat with which most Zionists concur. Sharon’s answer to this ultimate paradox, however, was different: Sharon had an alternative plan for managing a large non-Jewish ‘out-group’, physically present within a Zionist State of differentiated rights. Sharon’s alternative amounted to frustrating a two-state solution within fixed borders.

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“Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, there can be not reliable security for Israel,” Lavrov said.”

Russia’s Push for Palestinian State Can Stop Endless ‘Loop’ of Violence (Sp.)

A lasting resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis is the keystone to regional stability, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “The main focus of efforts should be the creation of a Palestinian state in full compliance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The state described in these decisions would be competent and would exist in security and good neighborliness side by side with Israel and other countries in the region,” Lavrov said, speaking at a press conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2023 on Thursday. “Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, the Palestinian people will continue to feel disadvantaged and disenfranchised. Generation after generation of young Palestinians will fell this injustice and pass it on to their children. This must end through the creation of a Palestinian state. I hope that the Israeli leadership will eventually come to this conclusion…Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, there can be not reliable security for Israel,” Lavrov said.

The foreign minister announced plans to address the United Nations Security Council next Tuesday to discuss how the crisis in the Middle East can be resolved through “collective efforts,” in place of current attempts by the United States to “advance its agenda around the world.” “Perhaps our Western colleagues should learn some life lessons. And the countries of the region must insist that they are the ones who live here, and that for them, the security of all states [in the region] is of decisive importance to them. No one wants to prohibit advice from the outside, but the final decisions should be made by regional countries themselves,” Lavrov stressed. The creation of a Palestinian state is the “dream” of the Arab and Muslim World, and Russia’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli crisis indicates a very good understanding of the Middle East, says Riyadh-based political analyst Dr. Ahmed Al Ibrahim.

Russia’s position on Palestinian statehood is “going to be very well-received,” Al Ibrahim told Sputnik. “It’s going to cause stability. It’s going to give a lot of ground for the foreign policy of Russia to integrate here in the Muslim-Arab World. If Russia succeeded in that, then Russia has solved the most crucial thing in the history of this region by aligning Israel and Palestine to be together next [to each other]. And they’re going to win the hearts and the minds of the Arab and the Muslim World.” Attempts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have been spearheaded by the United States for some seven decades, Al Ibrahim recalled, noting that in all this time “nothing happened except destruction for the Palestinian land, and more expansion, more settlers taking lands.”

“Definitely the whole world would welcome Russia and the BRICS members to be mediating this. But the solution is going to be very hard. Russia and the BRICS members [would] have to coordinate with the United States and with Britain because they are the majority stakeholders of this file, in order to yank it from them and do something on the ground,” the political analyst noted. Otherwise, unless a genuine, multilateral effort is launched to establish Palestinian statehood, the cycle of violence being seen today will continue indefinitely, Al Ibrahim believes. “The real core of the problem is in the deep mind and the deep state of the Israelis,” Al Ibrahim stressed. “Do they want a two-state solution?

We still see at the Knesset, when you enter the building, a big map – a big Israeli state from the [Jordan] River to the Sinai. If this is the creed of the Israelis, then there is no point of anybody mediating and Israel needs to work within themselves in order to come up an evolution to change their mindset and work to have a peaceful neighboring country with the Arab World supporting them. By reaching that, Israel is going to gain a lot by normalizing relationships with many Arab and Muslim countries,” he emphasized. “But if they’re going to play the cat and mouse game, you know, ‘I say something and I do something else on the ground,’ this is not going to work,” Al Ibrahim said, saying Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Arab countries and the Muslim World in general are too smart to be tricked by such deception.

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“..not as a war that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives … but as a profitable business project.”

US Sees Ukraine As A ‘Lucrative Business Project’ – Lavrov (RT)

Recent statements from the US suggest it regards Ukraine as nothing but a “lucrative business project,” one that it is profiting from, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN Security Council on Monday. The minister was referring to earlier statements made by US State Secretary Antony Blinken. Last month, the top US diplomat claimed that 90% of the money allocated for Ukrainian aid ends up getting funneled back to the US “to the benefit of American business, local communities, and strengthening the US defense industrial base.” In November 2023, the Washington Post also reported that the majority of these funds were spent on manufacturing new weapons or replacing the equipment sent to Ukraine out of American stockpiles.

The US is essentially “developing its military industrial” complex while “dumping the old junk in Ukraine,” Lavrov said. Russia’s top diplomat also claimed that most major Ukrainian companies, including lithium producers, are being sold to Americans and US companies have been able to get their hands on Ukraine’s fertile land “on the cheap.” Lavrov denounced the statements made by US officials as “cynical” and said that Washington has been treating the ongoing conflict “not as a war that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives … but as a profitable business project.” Moscow is waging a military campaign not against Ukraine but against “a criminal regime, presumptuous in its impunity,” he declared.

Kiev has not forgone on the “war against its own citizens in the east and south” despite years-long efforts by Moscow to find a peaceful solution to this crisis, he explained, adding that over 7 million Ukrainians had found refuge in Russia since the 2014 Maidan coup. Kiev’s Western backers have never tried to stop the government from persecuting Russian-speaking Ukrainians, the minister said, accusing the US and its allies of using the past few years to “arm Ukraine and prepare it for war against Russia,” while using the Minsk Agreements as a cover. Russia is ready for talks on Ukraine but it is not willing to discuss ways to keep Kiev’s current government in power, Moscow’s top diplomat concluded.

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“Zelensky realizes that the damaging data that the Americans have is capable of destroying him as president. In this situation, he’ll continue to dance to the tune of his American masters..”

US Forming ‘Colonial Administration’ In Ukraine – Russian Spy Chief (RT)

Washington has begun creating “a colonial administration” in Ukraine consisting of local politicians who have sworn allegiance to the US, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has said. The US government has demanded that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “remove” dozens of high-ranking officials, whom Washington no longer trusts, from their posts under various pretexts, Sergey Naryshkin claimed on Monday. Washington wants those jobs to be filled by “Ukrainians trained in the West, who have sworn allegiance to American interests,” he said in comments cited by the SVR press service. “As part of the policy of total vassalization of Ukraine, the US has started forming what is essentially a colonial administration in that country,” the spy chief stated.

According to Naryshkin, the required changes in the Ukrainian government were relayed to Zelensky during his visit to Washington in December. “The Americans are pushing for Ukrainian ambassador to Washington Oksana Markarova, who received her education at Indiana University Bloomington, to take the post of prime minister. The deputy head of the Finance Ministry, Alexander Kava, who studied at Harvard University, is being suggested for the job of finance minister. The current deputy head of the Economy Ministry, Taras Kachka, a graduate of Poland’s National School of Public Administration (KSAP), is recommended for the post of economy minister,” he said. The latest high-profile change in the Ukrainian cabinet follows the pattern described by Naryshkin. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, who replaced Zelensky’s ally Aleksey Reznikov in the job last fall, used to participate in the Future Leaders Exchange program, funded by the US State Department.

The Biden administration, which is in possession of a “killer corruption dossier” on members of Zelenksy’s inner circle, is threatening to make this information public if Ukrainian leader refuses to greenlight the desired personnel decisions, the spy chief claimed. “Zelensky realizes that the damaging data that the Americans have is capable of destroying him as president. In this situation, he’ll continue to dance to the tune of his American masters,” Naryshkin predicted. The US, which has provided Zelensky’s government with $111 billion in military and economic assistance since the start of the conflict with Russia, already has advisers embedded in all key Ukrainian ministries, but Washington believes this is not enough and is “steadily increasing Kiev’s feudal dependence,” Naryshkin said.

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“What are [the Ukrainians] waiting for? That the Russians will leave Donbass and Lugansk, or that they will leave Crimea? It’s unrealistic,” Fico insisted.”

Ukraine Must Give Up Territory – Fico (RT)

Ukraine should concede the loss of some of the territories that were previously under its control in order to end the conflict with Russia, Slovakia’s prime minister Robert Fico has said. Fico made the statement during a weekend interview with broadcaster RTVS dedicated to his upcoming visit to Ukraine. The Slovak PM is scheduled to travel on Wednesday to Uzhgorod, a city near the border between the two countries, for a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Denis Shmygal. The ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev can’t be resolved through military means and should end in compromise that might be “painful for both sides,” he said. “What are [the Ukrainians] waiting for? That the Russians will leave Donbass and Lugansk, or that they will leave Crimea? It’s unrealistic,” Fico insisted.

The People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk were officially incorporated into the Russian state in the fall of 2022, together the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as a result of referendums held in those areas. Crimea has been a part of Russia since 2014. The continuation of the fighting that has been underway since February 2022 will only make Moscow stronger, Fico added. The Slovak premier also said Ukraine was “not a sovereign, independent country” due to it being “under the absolute influence of the US.” He criticized the EU for making “a huge mistake” of following Washington’s lead when it comes to dealing with Kiev, instead of developing its own “sovereign” view on the issue. As for his talks this week with Shmygal, Fico promised to tell his Ukrainian counterpart that he’s against Kiev’s membership in NATO, as that would be “exactly the basis of World War Three,” and to reiterate that President Vladimir Zelensky’s government won’t be getting any more weapons from Bratislava.

The prime minister’s interview caused angry reaction in Kiev, with the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Aleksandr Merezhko demanded that Fico’s trip to Ukraine be canceled for his “disgraceful statements” that crossed “the red line.” “Every country should have at least minimal self-respect. It’s absolutely unacceptable to pretend that nothing is happening when the leader of another state makes statements that question the sovereignty of a state” that he’s about to visit, Merezhko wrote on Facebook. Fico made a comeback as Slovakia’s prime minister in October after his party won the snap election in the EU country, campaigning on promises of, among other measures, cutting military aid to Kiev and improving ties with Moscow.

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The MO: crazy claims.

Zelensky Brands Parts Of Russia ‘Historically’ Ukrainian (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky declared six Russian regions to be “historically inhabited by Ukrainians” in a decree published on Monday. The list does not include any of the territory that Kiev claims sovereignty over in the ongoing conflict with Moscow, and focuses on globally recognized parts of Russia. The document includes Bryansk, Kursk, and Belgorod regions, all of which border Ukraine. It also lists Voronezh, Rostov, and Krasnodar regions, all of which bordered Ukraine before 2014, when Crimea decided to join Russia in a referendum and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics declared independence from Kiev. Zelensky claimed the population of these territories had been subjected to “the policy of forced Russification,” and ordered the government in Kiev to develop “an action plan” to “preserve” Ukrainian “national identity” in Russia.

The decree calls on Russia to “provide Ukrainians living in its territories” with access to education in the Ukrainian language, as well as access to Ukrainian-language mass media and special “civil, social, cultural, and religious rights.” Moscow has never imposed any restrictions on the Ukrainian language. Russia’s education minister, Sergey Kravtsov, said in July 2022 that “no one was banning” it, and that it would be taught in schools where necessary. Zelensky’s decree also tasks the Ukrainian government and the National Security and Defense Council with “collecting and studying facts and testimonies about crimes” supposedly committed against Ukrainians in Russia throughout its history, as well as “countering disinformation and propaganda” about Ukrainian history, allegedly spread by Moscow.

The president also instructed the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences to “prepare materials” on the “thousand-year-old history” of Ukraine and distribute them around the world. The country’s educational programs and textbooks should also contain “the true history of ethnic Ukrainians,” Zelensky added. The Russian regions mentioned in the decree have repeatedly been targeted by Ukrainian missile and drone attacks as well as shelling since the start of hostilities with Moscow in February 2022. Zelensky’s decree comes just weeks after Kiev launched a major attack on the city of Belgorod. The strike, which according to the Russian Defense Ministry involved the use of banned cluster munitions, claimed the lives of 25 people, including children, and left more than a hundred injured. In mid-January, a child was injured in a Ukrainian drone attack on the city of Voronezh – the capital of another region Zelensky claimed was “historically inhabited by Ukrainians.”

The developments come amid Kiev’s attempts to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) – the country’s biggest Christian denomination, which is reported to have more than 8,000 parishes. The Ukrainian government has long accused it of having ties with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Ukraine in its pre-2014 borders was largely “created” by the Soviet leadership over the course of the 20th century. Historically, “Ukrainian lands” included a much smaller territory, he has argued. When the Cossacks living on the territory of modern Ukraine broke away from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th century following the Bogdan Khmelnitsky uprising and asked the then-Tsardom of Russia to take them in, the territory they controlled effectively amounted to present-day Kiev, Chernigov, and Zhitomir regions – three areas in the north of Ukraine, the Russian president said in 2022.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1749432104612405410

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“Medvedev dismissed the decree as a “crude PR stunt” aimed at drawing public attention away from the Ukrainian forces’ failures on the front lines..”

Medvedev Denounces Zelensky’s ‘Territorial Claims’ To Russia (RT)

The latest decree by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky essentially amounts to “territorial claims” on sovereign Russian regions, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday. Posting on Telegram, he was referring to a document declaring six Russian regions to be “historically inhabited by Ukrainians.” Signed on Monday, Ukraine’s Day of Unity, the presidential decree claims that six territories that are universally recognized as a part of Russia – the Krasnodar, Rostov, Voronezh, Belgorod, Kursk and Bryansk regions – had been “historically” populated by “ethnic Ukrainians” that were then supposedly subjected to “forced Russification.” The document then orders the Kiev government to develop an “action plan” to “preserve” the Ukrainian national identity in Russia and demands the “true history” of Ukraine be made known to the “world.”

It also demands Russia provide people living in these regions with access to Ukrainian-language mass media and to some special “civil, social, cultural and religious rights.” Medvedev dismissed the decree as a “crude PR stunt” aimed at drawing public attention away from the Ukrainian forces’ failures on the front lines. He also said there was even no need to comment on the contents of the order, since the territories mentioned in it have always been part of Russia. The former president (2008-2012) also said it was high time Zelensky “stopped” such policies and abandoned them, or he might end up “annexing Canada in the near future.” Zelensky himself described signing the decree as a way to promote “truth about Ukrainians… and their history.” He also claimed that it was aimed at “restoring the truth about the historical past for the Ukrainian future.”

The Russian regions mentioned in the decree have been regularly subjected to drone and missile attacks as well as shelling by the Ukrainian troops. In December, Belgorod – the capital of one of the regions supposedly “historically inhabited by Ukrainians” – was struck by a major Ukrainian attack. The strike claimed the lives of 25 people, including children. The Russian Defense Ministry also said that Kiev’s forces used banned cluster munitions in an attack targeting the city center just a day before New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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Scholz will try to ban the AfD.

AfD Leader Calls for German ‘Dexit’ Vote to Break From EU (Sp.)

The Alternative for Germany party promotes direct voting on legislation and strict immigration controls. It was the subject of nationwide protests last week after some of its members were spotted at a meeting that advocated for mass deportation of immigrants in Germany, including those with German passports. Britain was “dead right” to leave the European Union and Germany should consider its own “Dexit,” the leader of the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) Alice Weidel said in an article published in US media on Monday. “If reform isn’t possible, if we fail to rebuild sovereignty of the EU member states, we should let the people decide, just as Britain did,” she said, adding that “we could have a referendum on ‘Dexit’ – a German exit from the EU.”

A recent poll found that only 45% of AfD members would currently vote to leave the EU and only 10% of the general population said they would. It is worth noting that opinions can shift rapidly. In late 2014, only 36% of Britons said they would support the UK leaving the EU; less than two years later, more than half voted for “Brexit.” The AfD is leading the polls in five East German states and is polling second nationally at 22%. The party hopes to make gains at both the European Parliamentary elections in June and the regional elections in September. However, AfD’s high polling numbers may not reflect how much power the party will have in the near term. Establishment parties, including conservative-leaning ones, have ruled out forming a coalition with the AfD, limiting its potential power.

Weidel admitted that the issue will limit her party’s power in the short term but believes the “firewall” will not last forever, pointing to the conservative establishment CDU party, which includes former chancellor Angela Merkel, as the first likely to break. “The CDU will not be able to maintain its firewall in the long term,” Weidel said. She added that the last year proved “that we can form a clear right-wing majority. And the CDU can’t refuse to accept that in the long term, especially in the eastern states.” Weidel admitted her party is unlikely to take control until 2029 at the earliest. It is currently polling only behind the CDU but is ahead of every other party, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three coalition parties.

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X thread. War games.

Russian Attack On Nato In 2044 (Zlatko)

Europe is being frightened by the “scenario of a Russian attack on NATO” in 2044. Former US commander Hodges and defense analyst Sam Cranny-Evans put together “their” scenario: “This is not about Russia trying to take over all of NATO. This is not what their goal will be in 20 years. It would be about destroying NATO as an alliance by invading the eastern flank and conquering critical places – like the Arctic – that would benefit them,” General Hodges said. In their opinion, everything will begin with cyber attacks on transport chains, after which a missile attack will be launched on key infrastructure facilities in Europe.

The ground operation will begin in Finland, where tanks controlled by artificial intelligence will “enter.” At the same time, the Suwalki corridor will be taken under control and the Baltic countries will be attacked. The Russian Navy, as planned by Hodges, will take control of the Arctic regions. “There is even the possibility of some kind of conflict in space, where satellites are used to attack each other or jam satellites, which has already been done at a lower level in Ukraine,” Cranny-Evans added. Ostashko reports.

The best take on this, from a commenter:

Then aliens will come down and mate with all the women in Sweden, Orcs will invade France and steal all the wine, and Zelensky will have run off with Von Der Layen and fathered 20 children……..

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“..events described under oath by two Capitol Police officers in the first Oath Keepers trial in 2022 could not have happened, based on Mr. Baker’s examination of security video..”

DOJ Seeking Retribution Against Journalist for Recent Jan. 6 Coverage (ET)

Attorneys for a journalist threatened with prosecution for being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, are challenging federal prosecutors to try his case outside the District of Columbia, suggesting prosecutors are seeking retribution for his recent reporting on possible Capitol Police perjury and the Jan. 6 pipe bombs. Six attorneys who said they volunteered to represent Stephen Baker of Raleigh, N.C., released a statement on Jan. 22 expressing belief that the DOJ is seeking even more serious Jan. 6 charges as retaliation. Mr. Baker, a former independent journalist, now writes for Blaze Media. “We now have information that Steve’s reporting has so agitated officials in multiple federal agencies that an effort is now underway to find a basis to charge Steve with more serious crimes and to use those more serious crimes as a pretext for early morning raids to execute search and arrest warrants on him and his family,” the statement read.

“If this is true, and search and arrest warrants are used to drag Steve out of his house in the early morning hours someday soon, that will be evidence of retaliation against a journalist exercising his First Amendment rights to report information that is embarrassing to government officials.” The statement is signed by five well-known Jan. 6 defense attorneys: James Lee Bright, Brad Geyer, Phillip Linder, William Shipley, and Edward Tarpley Jr. It was also signed by Mr. Baker’s Raleigh-based attorney, Matthew Ceradini. Mr. Geyer and Mr. Shipley were federal prosecutors for more than two decades. “After not having indicted me for three years, it is clear that any move to do so now will be in retaliation for my reporting,” Mr. Baker wrote in a news release. “I will not be intimidated. I will continue to report the findings of my investigation into the evidence being made available to me to review,” he said.

The attorneys challenged the DOJ to try any case against Mr. Baker in the eastern district of North Carolina where Mr. Baker lives, or the northern district of Texas, where his employer, Blaze Media, is located. “Are citizens of those two districts not suitable jurors in Steve’s case?” the statement asked. “Is the federal judiciary in those two districts not able to provide a fair and impartial trial? “On what basis does the United States Department of Justice believe the ‘United States’ can only get a fair trial in the District of Columbia and not one of those ‘United’ States?” Mr. Baker’s most recent coverage identified the person who found one of the two pipe bombs on Jan. 6 as an undercover U.S. Capitol Police officer and not a “passerby.” Since October 2023, he wrote a series of stories that said events described under oath by two Capitol Police officers in the first Oath Keepers trial in 2022 could not have happened, based on Mr. Baker’s examination of security video.

Mr. Geyer suggested that reporting should result in the Oath Keepers’ convictions being thrown out. Mr. Baker was one of dozens of journalists at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. His video footage appeared in an HBO film and was licensed by the BBC, The New York Times, and The Epoch Times. Mr. Baker was first contacted by the FBI in July 2021 about his presence at the Capitol. He voluntarily sat down with FBI special agents in November 2021. He said he was told the DOJ was considering charging him with interstate racketeering because he received money from licensing his Jan. 6 video. In March 2023, he said he was warned by a high-profile journalist that his reporting was chafing some high-level DOJ officials. In August, he was served a subpoena for his Jan. 6 video. In December, the FBI told his attorney that his arrest was imminent, although that plan was subsequently delayed.

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“..the falsely-elected, tyrannically corrupt, and epically deranged regime fronted by the ghost-in-the-White House, “Joe Biden.”

The Pipe-Bomb Caper (Kunstler)

“The FBI must come forward with the whole truth, immediately. If they will not, then Republicans have a duty to tear the FBI down to its foundation, and ensure that no government organization is allowed to amass this kind of power ever again.” — Charlie Kirk . Kudos to Darren J. Beattie of Revolver News and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) for doing the FBI’s work for the FBI, smoking out the role of law enforcement (including the FBI) in but one module of the J6 operation that turned a peaceful mass assembly of disgruntled voters into a riot in order to color it as an “insurrection” and so destroy opposition to the falsely-elected, tyrannically corrupt, and epically deranged regime fronted by the ghost-in-the-White House, “Joe Biden.”

Mr. Massie arranged to extract previously unseen video from the Capitol Police vaults showing the exceedingly strange behavior of various law-men in the minutes after one of their number reported a pipe-bomb beside a park bench, a few steps away from their parked vehicles, outside the DNC headquarters near the US Capitol building around one o’clock in the afternoon on J6/21, just around the time that a joint session of Congress would commence the entertainment of official complaints and objections to the certification of votes in the 2020 presidential election. Of course, that proceeding was disrupted by events outside and inside the US Capitol, and those many complaints and objections were never registered.

Two cars are shown parked blocking the driveway to the basement garage: a white Washington DC Metro Police SUV and a black Secret Service cruiser — because Veep Kamala Harris happened to be in the building at the time. A man with a backpack, later identified as a plainclothes Capitol Police officer, steps up first to the Metro car, then to the Secret Service cruiser, cueing minutes of slow milling-about by the officers in the two cars. Eventually several cops dawdle over to the bench to inspect what turns out to be a pipe-bomb planted in plain sight on the ground there. The video shows no effort to cordon-off the area or to stop cars or pedestrians (children) from entering the scene near the bomb.

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“The power they tasted during the lockdowns opened Pandora’s Box..”

Dutch Queen Promotes Digital ID at Davos (Martin Armstrong)

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands took to the Davos stage to declare that digital IDs are necessary for nearly every aspect of social engagement. The Dutch queen told the World Economic Forum (WEF) that they can no longer trust the people, and digital IDs will provide governments with a clear way to track our behavior. Vaccine passports are necessary to tell “who actually got a vaccination or not,” highlighting how those at the top do not trust the public. They want complete unilateral control. In fact, she believes that children should not be allowed to enroll in school unless they have a digital ID that includes their vaccination passport. “It [digital ID] is also good for school enrollment; it is also good for health – who actually got a vaccination or not; it’s very good actually to get your subsidies from the government,” she said to a room of nodding heads. Want to open a bank account? You must present a digital ID.

Now the Netherlands implemented a COVID certificate that was required for travel throughout the EU. Citizens were provided yellow vaccination booklets that they were required to carry throughout the pandemic. Mass protests erupted, but the government did not drop restrictions until 72% of the population was already injected. Over 40% of restaurants said they would not ask patrons to show proof of vaccination to enter. Prime Minister Mark Rutte immediately fired Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Mona Keijzer for questioning the vaccine passport. “If we end up in a society where we have to be afraid of each other unless we can show proof, then you really have to scratch your head and ask yourself: Is this the direction we want to go?” Dissent is no longer tolerated. The power they tasted during the lockdowns opened Pandora’s Box. The Dutch government must realize they will be met with resistance as the Dutch people will not allow the government to control them without a fight.

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Foal

 

 

Bouzouki bear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1749553698412335104

 

 


When humans lose weight, fat is eliminated and leaves the body. 80% of the fat is exhaled through the lungs as carbon dioxide

 

 

Lyrebird

 

 

Cathedral
https://twitter.com/i/status/1749361361044517131

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 222023
 
 December 22, 2023  Posted by at 9:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Weeping woman 1937

 

Russia Is Negotiating With The Houthis For Red Sea Passage (Helmer)
‘Stopping Bloodshed In Gaza Our Primary Task:’ Lavrov (Cradle)
WHO Denies Seeing Evidence Of Hamas Using Hospitals As Hideouts (Cradle)
Saudi-French Plan Proposes Exile For Hamas Leadership (Cradle)
What? Ukraine Is Not Winning the War? (Patrick Lawrence)
On Speaking Plain ‘Putin’ (Scott Ritter)
Ukraine Losing 800 Troops A Day – ex-NATO Officer (RT)
Western Leaders Should ‘Stop Playing The Fool’ – Putin (RT)
The Bidens Move To Embrace Influence Peddling With A Twist (Turley)
DOJ Blocked Ex-Hunter Biden Prosecutor From Discussing Case With Congress (WE)
Trump Facing Mounting Challenges To Presidential Eligibility – NYT (RT)
Trump Asks Supreme Court To Deny Special Counsel’s Request (JTN)
Ex-White House Lawyer: SCOTUS Could Rule ‘9-0’ In Trump Case (Hill)
Economist Claims 2024 Will Bring ‘Biggest Crash of Our Lifetime’ in US (ET)
The Greatest Gift For All (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Plimer

 

 

Orlov

 

 

Milei

 

 

Shroyer

 

 

 

 

“No one needs this war — except, of course, the United States with its Western allies and Israel..”

Russia Is Negotiating With The Houthis For Red Sea Passage (Helmer)

Russia is negotiating with the Houthis of Yemen to protect Russian oil cargoes moving through the Red Sea for delivery to India and China, the principal destinations of Russian oil currently traversing the waterway, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden. Notified in advance to the Yemeni authorities and the Houthi military command, the Russian oil movements by tankers flying a variety of ship registry and national flags, are running the gauntlet of US and European Union (EU) sanctions against Russian oil exports. China is also negotiating with the Houthis for safe passage and protection of Chinese-flagged container vessels. The Chinese military base in Djibouti, recently reinforced to support a large Chinese military group intended for a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, is also covering the waterway.

Both Moscow and Beijing are acting in semi-secret against US and EU government threats to assemble a naval fleet to convoy shipping headed to and from Israel’s southern port of Eilat. This plan, which the Pentagon is calling Operation Prosperity Guardian, follows the failure of the two US aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf to protect Israel, and deter the Houthi operations. The Pentagon is also threatening to attack Yemeni territory. The fleet, to be assembled over the next month from the Ukraine war coalition states against Russia, will also threaten military force against the movement of Russian oil. Responding to direct questions about the new Red Sea threats on Wednesday afternoon, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, skirted saying what the Russian Security Council and General Staff have decided by asking the rhetorical question: “What will the US presence there bring to the region? Greater stability, security, crisis resolution? Or will it all end, as always, with the opposite results?”

Asked to be more specific, Zakharova said: “I have already commented on this question today. I just want to add to what has been said that any presence must have its own purpose and its own result. We see how the United States has increased its presence in the whole region: in the form of attacks on countries, aggression against sovereign regional states, interference in internal affairs, in the form of color revolutions, arms supplies, and manipulation of conflicts in the region. We see what all this has led to…The terrible crisis that has been unfolding before our eyes since October 7 this year. There is no prospect of its immediate completion or even de-escalation. Now everything is balancing on the level of whether, God forbid, this crisis will expand further. Everything is being done on our part to ensure that this does not happen.” Vzglyad, the semi-official security analysis publication in Moscow, has been pro-Israel since the Gaza war began. But yesterday it published a warning from sources identified as Russian experts on the region.

“Yemen has already reacted to this statement. Representatives of the Houthis said that this coalition does not frighten them at all. That they have all the necessary capabilities to provide an adequate response to any actions directed against them and against Yemen. And this is not just a bluff, but words that have a real understanding of their resources and the capabilities behind them. In fact, the coalition ships which will be in the Red Sea will themselves be targets for Yemeni missiles (as the Houthis have already warned)…And the Americans are unlikely to risk conducting a ground operation against them. It is generally difficult to cope with any of the armed formations in Yemen, given the experience of the Yemeni militants and the terrain…

The composition of the coalition has turned out to be quite specific. It did not include Egyptians and Jordanians suffering from Yemeni actions, nor the leaders of the region, the Saudis. There is not a single country in the Middle East except Bahrain. It turns out that none of them has wanted to defend their region, their sea and their interests from the Houthis, together with the Americans. Partly because they understand the futility of such an undertaking. Partly because they are afraid of a backlash from the Houthis. Partly because speaking out against the Houthis would mean, in this particular case, opposing their demands to de-blockade the Gaza Strip.” “No one needs this war — except, of course, the United States with its Western allies and Israel,” Vzglyad concluded.

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Then do it.

‘Stopping Bloodshed In Gaza Our Primary Task:’ Lavrov (Cradle)

The sixth Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum kicked off on 20 December in Morocco’s capital, Marrakesh, for the first time since 2019. The meeting gathered regional foreign ministers of participating countries, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Secretary-General of the Arab League Houssam Zaki, and ministerial delegations from various Arab states. Algeria continued a long-standing boycott of events held in Morocco. Lavrov commented on the situation in Gaza, saying that external powers are using the war between Palestinian resistance factions and Israel for their benefit. “It has become clear that some external powers are not opposed to using the periodic escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for their interests, to ignite the fire of a regional war in the development of the many past adventures of the United States and its allies that have been launched in [West Asia] over the past 20 years, and the result is the undermining of the state, hundreds of thousands of victims and massive flows of refugees,” the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov also noted that Russia is in contact with its allies, especially in the Arab world, to stabilize the situation in Palestine for the long term and to transfer the work of conflict resolution to the political and diplomatic level rather than militaristically. He also continued his line of criticizing Israel, saying, “The suffering of the enclave’s population is aggravated by the consequences of the blockade imposed by Israel. We see our primary task in stopping the bloodshed and ensuring conditions for providing the necessary humanitarian assistance to all those in need.”

He continued by saying that Russia’s diplomatic mission with allies pushed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that demands a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, but it has been met with opposition by the US, “which takes a one-sided stance and, as usual, tries to usurp any processes and initiatives,” he stated. Lavrov ended by saying that the world is in a storm and that it’s essential to return to the international covenant that affirms the sovereign rights of all countries. He added that “Russian-Arab relations are based on the principles of equality and mutual respect, noting that Russia has many areas to develop with Arab countries.”

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It was always just a story.

WHO Denies Seeing Evidence Of Hamas Using Hospitals As Hideouts (Cradle)

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on 21 December that northern Gaza has been left without functional hospitals due to the lack of fuel, staff, and supplies. “There are actually no functional hospitals left in the north,” the WHO representative in Gaza, Richard Peeperkorn, said to reporters via video link from Jerusalem. “Al-Ahli [Hospital] was the last one, but it is now minimally functional: still treating patients but not admitting new ones.” Peeperkorn described Al-Ahli Hospital as one that resembled a hospice, providing very limited care with only about 10 staff members, all of whom are junior doctors and nurses who provide basic first aid, pain management, and wound care with scant resources, he said. “Until two days ago, it was the only hospital where injured people could get surgery in northern Gaza, and [the hospital] was overwhelmed with patients needing emergency care,” he said.

The WHO spokesman added that the bodies of Palestinians from Israel’s recent attacks were lined up in the hospital courtyard as they could not be given safe and dignified burials. Hospitals, which are protected under international humanitarian law, have been repeatedly attacked by Israel airstrikes in Gaza since the war erupted. The Israeli army has accused Hamas of having tunnels under hospitals and using the medical facilities as command centers, a claim that has been denied by the Palestinian resistance group. When asked about Israel’s claim, Peeperkorn said: “On our missions we have not seen anything of this sort on the ground”, adding that WHO was “not in a position to assert how any hospital is being used.”

“The role of WHO is to monitor, analyze, and report. We do not attribute attacks to healthcare facilities. We are not an organization investigating crimes. I think this should be very clear,” Peeperkorn went on to say. In the south of Gaza, Israel has continued its attacks on hospitals, with the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis being hit by multiple Israeli strikes, including an Israeli tank shell that hit the maternity building, killing a 13-year-old girl. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said earlier this month that hospitals in the southern Gaza Strip were in “total collapse, unable to deal with the quantity and quality of injuries that arrive.”

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Why would they move want to move to Algeria?

Saudi-French Plan Proposes Exile For Hamas Leadership (Cradle)

The French newspaper Le Monde published details on 20 December of a Saudi document containing a plan to end the war in Gaza, which stipulates the transfer of Hamas’ military and security leaders to the Algerian capital. The newspaper stated that the document was prepared by the head of the Gulf Research Centre, Abdulaziz bin Saqr, after a meeting on 19 November in Riyadh with the head of the North Africa and Middle East Department at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anne Greux. The document was then transferred to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Le Monde pointed out that the evacuation of Hamas leaders to Algeria most likely refers to the leader of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Muhammad Deif, and the leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.

Algeria was reportedly chosen as a potential place of exile for the movement’s leaders because of the north African nation’s good relationship with Qatar and Iran, the main supporters of the Hamas movement, and because of its security capabilities that would allow it to tightly control their activities. Le Monde contacted the Algerian ambassador in Paris, but he did not wish to comment on the matter. The plan also calls for the deployment of an Arab peacekeeping force in Gaza under UN auspices and the establishment of a “joint transitional council,” including the main factions in Gaza, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Fatah. The council would be responsible for managing the enclave for a period of four years, and for organizing presidential and parliamentary elections.

The newspaper noted it is unclear if the plan had been approved by the Saudi authorities, or whether it was a purely personal initiative of the Gulf Research Centre head. The document stated only: “It appears that the search for a Saudi-French consensus could contribute to the crystallization of a common vision acceptable to all parties, and have an impact on the decision to end the war.” Since 7 October, the Israeli army has carried out vicious campaign against Gaza that has killed almost 20,000 people, the majority women and children. Israel’s bombing campaign and ongoing siege threaten to make the enclave completely uninhabitable.

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“..Emperor Hirohito’s famous declaration on August 15, 1945, when he announced the surrender on Japanese radio. “The war,” he told his desperate subjects, “has not necessarily progressed to our advantage.”

What? Ukraine Is Not Winning the War? (Patrick Lawrence)

“Putin’s Russia is closing in on a devastating victory. Europe’s foundations are trembling.” This was the headline atop a Dec.9 commentary in The Telegraph, the farthest right of the major London dailies. The subhead elaborated the theme in yet graver terms: “Kyiv’s counteroffensive has ended in failure. This could be NATO’s Suez moment.” The piece that followed included all sorts of goodies in this line. It is not official, not yet, that Ukraine’s grand counteroffensive, the great Russophobic hope of the Zelensky and Biden regimes earlier this year, has proven a bust and that defeat is in the offing. The closest we have to such an admission came from Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this month, when the Ukrainian president declared that the counteroffensive “did not achieve the desired results.”

I loved that moment, to be honest. It reminded me of Emperor Hirohito’s famous declaration on August 15, 1945, when he announced the surrender on Japanese radio. “The war,” he told his desperate subjects, “has not necessarily progressed to our advantage.” O.K., let’s leave Zelensky to Zelensky, Joe Biden to Joe Biden, and Antony Blinken to Antony Blinken. We can count news of failure unofficially official when mainstream media start dropping such news on their readers and viewers. The Telegraph, so far as I know, was the first big daily on either side of the Atlantic to make such blunt admissions. Others have already followed, if in gentler, more oblique language—in Zelensky-speak, this is to say. A significant moment may be upon us. What will follow once it is acknowledged that the Nazi-infested crooks in Kyiv have failed?

President Biden, as is his consistently unwise wont, radically overinvested in the proxy war he chose to start with the Russian Federation as soon as he took office three years ago next month. Having defined the Ukraine conflict as a war in the name of democracy and freedom —“values” rather than interests, this is to say—he has left the U.S. and its European clients no room for compromise and nearly none even for negotiation. What is the next move when defeat is too obvious any longer to deny? If we are about to enter uncharted territory, will it prove dangerous ground? It may, but this is not yet clear. It will be uncertain and probably unstable: This we know. Of the many things I do not like about this circumstance, I will mention a few straightaway. Biden may be the stupidest president of the postwar era on the foreign policy side: He exhibits no capacity whatsoever for nimble or imaginative thought. He is a warmonger of long standing, an election year is upon us, and he is by now in obvious danger of being impeached. His mental incompetence, atop all this, is plain for all to see.

There are also the national security people around Biden to consider. With the exception of CIA Director William Burns, who seems to dedicate himself to his career advancement, these are lockstep ideologues who share a Manichean vision of the world and how it works. And we had better think long and hard about these people now. I urge this because of an item in Politico two weeks back. The piece reported on the policy cliques’ thinking after recent Houthi attacks on U.S. warships in the Red Sea. Some officials urge a vigorous response, but the reigning view favors restraint for fear of enlarging Israel’s barbarity in Gaza into a wider war. Then, well down in the story, this paragraph: “The military’s job is to present a variety of options to senior commanders, but the ultimate decision is up to the president and the administration’s political appointees. In multiple high-level meetings this week, the Pentagon has neither briefed President Joe Biden on options to strike Houthi targets nor recommended that he do so, two of the officials said. All were granted anonymity to detail sensitive internal deliberations.”

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“..Russia’s victory in the war against Ukraine will be a defeat of NATO,” adding ominously, “This cannot be allowed.”

On Speaking Plain ‘Putin’ (Scott Ritter)

Given the failure of the collective West to impose its will on Russia through what is widely considered a proxy conflict, one would think that some form of retrospective analysis would be in order. However, to engage in such an activity constructively, an agreed-upon lexicon would be needed to communicate effectively. Since Russia is prevailing in the conflict, one would also think that a modicum of interest should be given to how Russia defines the conflict. In short, anyone who is interested in learning the lessons of the collective West’s failure in Ukraine should learn “to speak Putin.” The problem is, those in the West who should be preparing a proper lexicon from which the Russian-Ukraine conflict could be more accurately assessed are instead operating from an outdated lexicon rooted in the language and mindset of a time that no longer exists, born of a Cold War mentality that prevents any deep-seated and relevant analysis of the true situation between Russia and the West.

Both the United States and NATO have described the Russia-Ukraine conflict as possessing existential consequences for Europe and the world, with the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, going so far as to declare in October 2022 that “Russia’s victory in the war against Ukraine will be a defeat of NATO,” adding ominously, “This cannot be allowed.” Bad news, Mr. Stoltenberg — Russia has won. While the “Special Military Operation” has yet to be concluded, Russia has seized the strategic initiative across the board when it comes to conflict with Ukraine, forcing the Ukrainian military to terminate a counteroffensive, which the government of Ukraine and its NATO allies had invested tens of billions of dollars in military resources, and tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives in hopes of achieving a decisive victory over the Russian military on the battlefield.

Today, Ukraine finds its military decimated by the fighting and unable to sustain itself as a cohesive combat force on the field of battle. The U.S. and NATO likewise find themselves unable and/or unwilling to continue supplying Ukraine with the money and material needed to continue to maintain a viable military presence on the battlefield. Russia is in the process of transitioning away from a posture of flexible defense, and instead initiating offensive operations along the length of the line of contact designed to exploit opportunities presented by an increasingly depleted, and defeated, Ukrainian army. U.S. President Joe Biden has likewise argued that a Russian victory was unacceptable.

“We can’t let Putin win,” Biden said earlier this month to put pressure on a U.S. Congress that has allowed the Ukrainian conflict to become wrapped up in domestic American politics, with key Republicans in both the Senate and House refusing to support a funding bill that lumps some $60 billion in Ukraine assistance together with money for Israel and immigration reform. “Any disruption in our ability to supply Ukraine clearly strengthens Putin’s position,” Biden concluded.

Ritter

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“Kiev needs to recruit more than 20,000 soldiers every month..”

Ukraine Losing 800 Troops A Day – ex-NATO Officer (RT)

Around 800 Ukrainian troops are being killed and wounded daily amid the conflict with Russia, retired German Air Force Colonel and prominent military analyst Ralph D. Thiele has claimed. In an opinion piece for Focus magazine on Wednesday, Thiele, who used to serve in the personal staff of NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, claimed that Kiev needs to recruit more than 20,000 soldiers every month in order to replace its dead and injured. He did not reveal his sources or basis for his calculations, however. Ukraine also requires additional personnel to be able to rotate its troops on the frontline, so that “exhausted soldiers” may recover and units may replenish their material supplies, he wrote. According to Thiele, who now heads the Political-Military Society, EuroDefense (Germany) and StratByrd Consulting think tanks, “the highly motivated defense” and subsequent counteroffensive, which he described as “a thing of the past,” came at a “high price” for Ukraine.

Kiev’s manpower and hardware are “significantly worn out,” he said. “Western weapons systems are not miracle weapons and are wearing out,” the analyst added. The worsening battlefield situation and decreasing Western support for Kiev are “eating away at the morale” of the Ukrainian troops, who “will have to save ammunition in a war of attrition and endure slaughter at the front without rest and without a greater sense of achievement,” Thiele stressed. Russia has also lost “a large number of soldiers and huge amounts of material” during the conflict, but “it has much more of both than Ukraine,” he argued. “Step by step, Russia’s superiority in the conflict with Ukraine is becoming more visible,” the analyst acknowledged. Moscow’s “strategy of attrition” is “taking effect” in terms of personnel, material, ammunition and morale, he said.

Thiele’s number of 800 Ukrainian soldiers being lost per day appears to be higher than the one announced by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu at the expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry’s Board on Tuesday. According to Shoigu, some 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded since the start of the fighting in late February 2022. This means that, according to Russian figures, Kiev’s daily losses stand at around 600 servicemen. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who chaired the meeting, stressed that “we can say with confidence that our troops have the initiative” on the frontline with Ukraine. “In essence, we are doing what we consider necessary, what we want. Wherever… commanders decide active defense is best, it takes place. And where it is needed, we improve our positions,” Putin explained.

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That’s hard if you are an actual fool.

Western Leaders Should ‘Stop Playing The Fool’ – Putin (RT)

Western nations that expect Russia to collapse are misguided and should instead let their economies benefit from cooperation, President Vladimir Putin said at a government meeting on Thursday. The US and its allies have targeted Russia with unprecedented sanctions in a bid to punish Moscow for the Ukraine conflict. The country has largely adapted to the pressure, according to the Russian government and Western analysis. Putin raised the issue during a meeting of the Council on Strategic Development and National Projects, as he described Russia’s booming commercial ties with non-Western nations. He noted, however, that Moscow is not closing the door on the West. “It’s time for them [Western leaders] to stop playing the fool and waiting for us to collapse. Everyone realizes by now that if they want to benefit from cooperation with Russia, they should do so,” the president said.

Western nations have a choice between following “ephemeral considerations” motivating them to seek Russia’s destruction and “the interests of their own nations and peoples,” which require cooperation based on a “new foundation of a multipolar world,” Putin stated. Moscow has weathered Western economic attacks by reorienting its economy toward trade with countries that declined to join the Washington-led sanctions campaign, including Asian powerhouses China and India. Russia has also taken measures to decrease reliance on Western-controlled financial institutions, switching to alternative payment methods and national currencies in commerce. During a visit to Beijing on Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the US dollar has almost fully been replaced in trade with China.

Meanwhile, EU nations have suffered a surge in energy prices after rejecting Russian supplies to supposedly reduce dependence and cut Moscow’s profits. In particular, Russian pipeline natural gas has been replaced with more expensive liquified natural gas (LNG), sourced from the US, Qatar, and other nations. Russia is also among Europe’s LNG suppliers and has made record deliveries, according to a report by Kommersant earlier this month. Some factory owners in Germany, the leading European economy, have been forced to shut down due to increased operational costs. The Credit reform credit agency reported this month that it expects 18,100 German companies to file for insolvency this year, marking a 23.5% increase on 2022.

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“It is a curious defense that we are not corrupt because we just ripped off dupes who were corrupt people..”

The Bidens Move To Embrace Influence Peddling With A Twist (Turley)

As the House of Representatives goes into high gear in its impeachment proceedings (and possible contempt resolution against Hunter Biden), the Biden family legal problems continue to mount. In one week, it was revealed that President Biden’s brother James was caught on an FBI audiotape in a corruption investigation, while Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter, is now also facing demands for unpaid taxes. James Biden is expected to appear before the House for questioning in the coming weeks. The appearance may solidify a new line of defense for the Bidens: that they are harmless grifters. After years of denying influence peddling with the help of an obligating media, even some Democrats are now admitting that Hunter and his uncles have been selling influence. Biden associates confirmed that Joe Biden was the brand that they were peddling to foreign clients, who paid millions to the family.

The FBI tape is the latest example of how the Bidens would market their name and access. The surveillance occurred in the bribery investigation into Mississippi trial attorney Richard Scruggs. Like many Biden associates, Scruggs would eventually go to prison while the Bidens remained untouched. Scruggs forked over $100,000 to James Biden when he was seeking to reinforce support for the massive tobacco legislation and Joe Biden was viewed as skeptical on what some viewed as a windfall for trial lawyers. Scruggs admitted to the Washington Post that “I probably wouldn’t have hired [James Biden] if he wasn’t the senator’s brother.”Scruggs was just another shady figure whose business association with the Bidens would ultimately end with a prison stint. As soon as the tape came out, so did the new defense.

James Biden took the money but allegedly did nothing to land his brother. If that sounds familiar, it should. After Hunter Biden’s former business associate Devon Archer admitted that they were selling the “Biden brand,” the Bidens’ defenders immediately insisted that it was merely “illusory.” In other words, these corrupt figures wanted to buy influence and access, but they were just chumps fleeced by the Bidens. The idea is to get the public to think less of coked up Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and more of the lovable professor Harold Hill in “The Music Man,” the charming rascal ripping off hayseeds by selling marching bands. It is a curious defense that we are not corrupt because we just ripped off dupes who were corrupt people. The problem, of course, is that influence peddling is a form of corruption. Indeed, it is a form of corruption that is so damaging to good government that the United States has pushed global agreements to ban influence peddling in other countries.

The question is whether Joe Biden knew about the influence peddling of his brothers and his son. If so, he actively assisted his family in acquiring millions to influence him on public policy or legislation. His family was effectively marketing time shares in a senator, a vice president and now a president. Whether or not Biden delivered, the family business corrupted the functions of government by converting offices into types of commodities. That is the case regardless of whether or not they delivered. It is akin to an extortionist taking money without any intent to follow through on threats of disclosure or use of damaging material. Even in today’s willfully blind politics, every voter should be able to agree on two simple facts.First, influence peddling is corruption long opposed by the government and denounced by both parties. Second, if the president knew that his son and uncles were using him for influence peddling, Joe Biden is also corrupt.

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“I will not be permitted to answer most of the questions you have for me..”

DOJ Blocked Ex-Hunter Biden Prosecutor From Discussing Case With Congress (WE)

A key prosecutor who worked for years on the Department of Justice’s case against Hunter Biden refused to answer nearly every question lawmakers asked her during recent congressional testimony after the DOJ instructed her not to speak about the case, according to a transcript reviewed by the Washington Examiner. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, who appeared alongside her personal lawyers, told the House Judiciary Committee last week during a closed-door interview that she was “significantly constrained” by the DOJ in what she could discuss. “My voluntary appearance here today is not without an overwhelming feeling of frustration and disappointment because as much as I would invite the opportunity to explain the decisions made and accurately describe the actions taken, I will not be permitted to answer most of the questions you have for me,” Wolf said at the start of the interview.

Wolf’s testimony came after two IRS whistleblowers who spent years working on the Hunter Biden investigation accused her of blocking investigative steps that they say were necessary to advance the case. They blamed Wolf and others for allowing the first son to avoid certain tax charges and for allowing his father, President Joe Biden, to avoid scrutiny. Republicans grilled Wolf during the interview about specific actions the whistleblowers said she took, but she responded repeatedly that she was “not able to discuss any particular matters related to an ongoing investigation.” Days ahead of her testimony, the DOJ provided lengthy written instructions to Wolf, which the Washington Examiner verified, that said that even as a former employee, she is expected not to disclose nonpublic information about the investigation and prosecution of Hunter Biden.

The department cited its internal policies and a statute that governs the disclosure of grand jury-related material as reasons for restricting her testimony. The DOJ also sternly observed that Wolf was not the appropriate witness to answer questions related to the substance of the Hunter Biden case or DOJ personnel matters, repeatedly saying that senior officials, rather than line-level officials like Wolf, were better-suited witnesses to address those topics. The DOJ also said it wanted to be cognizant of the separation of powers in prosecutions, a point that comes after Hunter Biden’s defense attorneys argued this month that his gun charges in Delaware should be dismissed on those very grounds. The first son’s lawyers claimed the DOJ breached the separation of powers by, in their view, caving to Republican lawmakers’ pressure to press charges against their client.

Wolf still provided some general comments that shed light on what she was thinking when she made the controversial decisions cited by the whistleblowers. When Wolf was asked about an email she wrote to investigators instructing them to remove Joe Biden’s name from a search warrant, she said she could not discuss the matter. She did, however, speak to the process of drafting warrants. “I think that’s important for people to understand that search warrants…are limited. They’re intrusions on people’s rights. And the default is an intrusion on someone’s rights. So that there are protections built into the process by the Constitution that the magistrates are responsible for enforcing,” Wolf said.

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“..If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will effectively stay the proceedings in all the other states..”

Trump Facing Mounting Challenges To Presidential Eligibility – NYT (RT)

This week’s decision by Colorado’s Supreme Court to disqualify Donald Trump from holding office is the first of several legal challenges that could derail the former US president’s bid to return to the White House, the New York Times has reported. At least 17 states are currently processing legal challenges to Trump’s eligibility, the newspaper claimed on Wednesday. The Times, which cited Lawfare – a website which tracks US national security issues – added that four of these lawsuits have been filed in state courts in Michigan, Oregon, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. A further eleven lawsuits, in states including Arizona, Nevada, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming, have been filed in federal district courts. Trump’s legal team has said they intend to appeal the Colorado decision to the US Supreme Court.

Colorado’s top court on Tuesday ruled that Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot ahead of next year’s presidential elections. In a 4-3 ruling, the Colorado justices found that Trump had violated the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding office. The former US president is accused of breaching the so-called “insurrectionist ban” over his alleged efforts to overturn the results of his 2020 election defeat to Joe Biden and inciting the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The ruling does not prevent Trump from running in other states across the US. In a statement on Tuesday, Colorado’s Supreme Court noted that its judgment placed the court in “uncharted territory” over its efforts to disqualify Trump from the state ballot. It also said that its decision could be reversed with “the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court.”

Should the US Supreme Court opt, as expected, Trump’s appeal to hear it would mean that he would be returned to the state ballot until America’s top court makes a formal decision. An appeal would also suspend the other active lawsuits across the US, according to retired appeals court Judge J. Michael Luttig. “If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will effectively stay the proceedings in all the other states,” Luttig said, according to the New York Times on Wednesday. The Supreme Court’s judgment on the issue also faces time constraints. Colorado’s Secretary of State confirmed to MSNBC this week that it must certify the candidates eligible to appear on ballots by a January 5 deadline to physically print the documents ahead of the state’s primary election in March. In addition to constitutional arguments over Trump’s capacity to potentially return to the White House, the former president also faces 91 felony counts in four ongoing criminal cases in Washington, New York, Florida, and Georgia.

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“What is ‘imperative’ … is that this case be decided correctly, not that it be decided quickly..”

Trump Asks Supreme Court To Deny Special Counsel’s Request (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on quickly ruling on special counsel Jack Smith’s request for the high court to review the former president’s appeal of charges related to the 2020 election on the grounds that he has presidential immunity. The Supreme Court should refrain from ruling on Smith’s request until after a lower federal appellate court makes a decision on the issue, Trump’s attorneys said Wednesday in a 44-page court filing. Smith had asked the court last week to quickly rule on whether Trump could be prosecuted for allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 election in his favor and then playing a role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, ahead of the planned trial start date of March 4, 2024, in the middle of the 2024 presidential primary season.

The special counsel justified the date by calling it of “paramount public importance” to hold the trial “as expeditiously as possible,” but Trump’s legal team wrote that “in an omission that speaks volumes, the Special Counsel never explains why March 4, 2024, is supposedly the only ‘appropriate timetable’ for this historic prosecution. That date has no talismanic significance.” Trump’s attorneys also said that precedence favors allowing the lower appeals court to address the issue first before the Supreme Court. “What is ‘imperative’ … is that this case be decided correctly, not that it be decided quickly,” the lawyers wrote. The former president’s legal team also argued that Smith’s request to the Supreme Court “misstates the legal issue in this appeal by incorrectly framing it as whether absolute presidential immunity extends to ‘crimes committed while in office,'” the former president’s legal team said, arguing that Trump instead “asserted that a President is immune from prosecution for official acts.”

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“..the ruling “vindicates” Trump’s “insistence that this is a political conspiracy to interfere with the election and that … he’s the target and people shouldn’t tolerate that in America.”

Ex-White House Lawyer: SCOTUS Could Rule ‘9-0’ In Trump Case (Hill)

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb predicted Tuesday that the U.S. Supreme Court could rule “9-0” in favor of former President Trump in a potential appeal of Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that would kick Trump off the state’s ballot. “I think this case will be handled quickly. I think it could be 9-0 in the Supreme Court for Trump,” Cobb said in an interview on CNN, adding later, “I do believe it could be 9-0, because I think the law is clear.” The Colorado Supreme Court issued a ruling Tuesday that Trump should not appear on Colorado’s ballot due to his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Citing the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause,” the 4-3 ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court argued Trump engaged in an insurrection by promoting false claims of election fraud and encouraging supporters to go the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled the office of the president falls under the insurrection clause, which states those who previously took oaths to support the Constitution as a “member of Congress,” “officer of the United States,” “member of any State legislature” or an “executive or judicial officer of any State” cannot engage in a rebellion against it.“The real key issue in this case is — is Trump an officer in the United States in the context in which that term is used in the Article 3 of the 14th Amendment,” Cobb said. “And in 2010, Chief Justice [John] Roberts explained in free enterprise that people don’t vote for officers of the United States.” Cobb went on to reference multiple Supreme Court decisions that do not conclude officers include the president or vice president in this context.

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, has already vowed the Trump campaign will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority and includes three justices nominated by Trump. “The Supreme Court though will not hesitate to move quickly on this; they know what the stakes are. They know what their responsibility is,” Cobb continued. “And they can delay some of these Colorado dates to the extent that they feel they’re obligated to or have to.” Colorado’s Supreme Court put its ruling on hold until Jan. 4 to allow Trump to first seek review from the U.S. Supreme Court. If he does, his name will automatically remain on the ballot until justices resolve the appeal. Cobb further argued the ruling “vindicates” Trump’s “insistence that this is a political conspiracy to interfere with the election and that … he’s the target and people shouldn’t tolerate that in America.”

Tucker VDH
https://twitter.com/i/status/1737633022919192892

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Haven’t seen Harry Dent for a while.

Economist Claims 2024 Will Bring ‘Biggest Crash of Our Lifetime’ in US (ET)

An economist who focuses on consumer spending has issued a dire warning about the U.S. economy in the coming year. “Since 2009, this has been 100 percent artificial, unprecedented money printing and deficits: $27 trillion over 15 years, to be exact,” economist Harry Dent told Fox Business on Dec. 19. “This is off the charts, 100 percent artificial, which means we’re in a dangerous state. “I think 2024 is going to be the biggest single crash year we’ll see in our lifetime. “We need to get back down to normal, and we need to send a message to central banks,” he said. “This should be a lesson I don’t think we’ll ever revisit. I don’t think we’ll ever see a bubble for any of our lifetimes again.” Mr. Dent, who owns the HS Dent Investment Management firm, told the outlet that U.S. markets are currently in a bubble that started in late 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things are not going to come back to normal in a few years. We may never see these levels again. And this crash is not going to be a correction,” he said. “It’s going to be more in the ’29 to ’32 level. And anybody who sat through that would have shot their stockbroker,” Mr. Dent said, making references to the stock market crash in 1929 that led to the Great Depression throughout the 1930s. “If I’m right, it is going to be the biggest crash of our lifetime, most of it happening in 2024. You’re going to see it start and be more obvious by May. “So, if you just get out for six to 12 months and stuff stays at the highest valuation history, maybe you miss a little more gains if I’m wrong. If I’m right, you’re going to save massive losses and be able to reinvest a year or year-and-a-half from now at unbelievably low prices and magnify your gains beyond compare.”

Mr. Dent’s predictions of a market crash are nothing new. In 2009, he wrote “The Great Depression Ahead,” a book that forecasted a significant market crash. In the past few weeks, several analysts have been making similar predictions of a significant stock market crash in the near future. “Based on prevailing market valuations, we estimate that poor total returns are likely for the S&P 500 in the coming 10–12 years, that equity market returns, relative to bonds, are likely to be among the worst in history, and that a market loss on the order of [minus] 63% over the completion of this cycle would be consistent with prevailing valuations and a century of market history,” Hussman Investment Trust President John Hussman, who called the 2008 crash, wrote in a note in October.

However, in a recent note, investment banking firm Goldman Sachs raised its 2024 S&P 500 target by 8 percent, to 5,100, forecasting a tailwind for U.S. stocks from falling inflation and declining interest rates. “Looking forward, the new regime of both improving growth and falling rates should support stocks with weaker balance sheets, particularly those that are sensitive to economic growth,” the firm wrote late last week.

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“Power is the horse ridden by evil..”

The Greatest Gift For All (Paul Craig Roberts)

Christmas is a time of traditions. If you have found time in the rush before Christmas to decorate a tree, you are sharing in a relatively new tradition. Although the Christmas tree has ancient roots, at the beginning of the 20th century only 1 in 5 American families put up a tree. It was 1920 before the Christmas tree became the hallmark of the season. Calvin Coolidge was the first President to light a national Christmas tree on the White House lawn. Gifts are another shared custom. This tradition comes from the wise men or three kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. When I was a kid, gifts were more modest than they are now, but even then people were complaining about the commercialization of Christmas. We have grown accustomed to the commercialization. Christmas sales are the backbone of many businesses. Gift giving causes us to remember others and to take time from our harried lives to give them thought.

The decorations and gifts of Christmas are one of our connections to a Christian culture that has held Western civilization together for 2,000 years. In our culture the individual counts. This permits an individual person to put his or her foot down, to take a stand on principle, to become a reformer and to take on injustice. This empowerment of the individual is unique to Western civilization. It has made the individual a citizen equal in rights to all other citizens, protected from tyrannical government by the rule of law and free speech. These achievements are the products of centuries of struggle, but they all flow from the teaching that God so values the individual’s soul that he sent his son to die so we might live. By so elevating the individual, Christianity gave him a voice. Formerly only those with power had a voice. But in Western civilization people with integrity have a voice.

So do people with a sense of justice, of honor, of duty, of fair play. Reformers can reform, investors can invest, and entrepreneurs can create commercial enterprises, new products and new occupations. The result was a land of opportunity. The United States attracted immigrants who shared our values and reflected them in their own lives. Our culture was absorbed by a diverse people who became one. In recent decades we have lost sight of the historic achievement that empowered the individual. The religious, legal and political roots of this great achievement are no longer reverently taught in high schools, colleges and universities or respected by our government. The voices that reach us through the millennia and connect us to our culture are being silenced by “Identity Politics,” “political correctness,” “critical race theory” and the war against “white culture.” Prayer has been driven from schools and Christian religious symbols from public life.

Christianity is being gradually marginalized. Each year it becomes more difficult to find a Christmas card that says “Merry Christmas” instead of “Seasons Greetings.” In place of Christmas carols we get Hollywood Christmas songs. In some churches Christianity is being transmuted into Christian Zionism and the worship of Israel. Others fly LGBTQ and BLM flags. We are approaching a time when a Christian Christmas cannot be celebrated as it is not inclusive in a diverse society and therefore is politically incorrect if not a hate crime. Constitutional protections have been diminished by hegemonic political ambitions. Indefinite detention, torture, and murder are now acknowledged practices of the United States government. The historic achievement of due process has been rolled back. Tyranny has re-emerged.

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Pi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1737700986494284215

 

 

 

 

Fox

 

 

Jealousy

 

 


Elephant mother and child, in a field of of hyacinth at Kaziranga national park

 

 

Crosby and Frank
https://twitter.com/i/status/1737877893609373992

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 152023
 


Vincent van Gogh Seine with Pont de Clichy 1887

 

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)
Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)
Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)
US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)
Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)
Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)
400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)
Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)
What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)
Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)
Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)
That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)
Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)
Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

 

 

 

 

Pepe Putin

 

 

Trump Israel

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

Kory

 

 

 

 

“A tower of babel is not a nation..”

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)

Globalists, who intend the destruction of sovereign nations, have labeled concerns with mass immigration to be racism as a way of discrediting the concerns and preventing discussion of the threat. Immigrant-invaders, or as the euphemisms “refugees” and “asylum seekers” label them, are used to overwhelm ethnic nationalities and turn them into towers of babel in which there are no common interests, values, morals, religion, or culture. A tower of babel is not a nation. At best it is a geographical location, but it is not even that if it has no borders, which the US and Europe do not have. Advocates of open borders say that the US is a nation of immigrants. But they don’t say that it was controlled immigration consisting of immigrants from white European countries who as a condition of admittance had to learn English, pass an exam on the US Constitution, and integrate themselves into the existing society and culture.

They were not allowed to set up separate cultures, and businesses answered the phone only in English. Additionally, the immigration was periodically halted in order to allow time for assimilation before accepting more immigrants. Today millions of non-white people from unrelated cultures walk across the border every year. Businesses answer telephones in Spanish and English. Federal agencies respond to 40 or more foreign languages. Separate cultures with non-Christian religions exist as independent entities, and a system of preferences that favors non-white people has been institutionalized. In other words the society, politics, and culture of the ethnic nationalities that created what formerly was a nation are being erased. In education, health care, business, and government power is passing out of the hands of the ethnic majority that created the nation.

Great Britain has an Indian prime minister. The London mayor is a Muslim. Recently two federal judges born in India ruled against President Trump, a ruling that violates both the Constitution and powers of the President. The CEO of IBM, Arvind Krishna is an Indian. He pulled IBM ads from X, accusing Elon Musk of racism, and he announced that he will fire, demote, or strip bonuses from IBM managers who don’t hire enough blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims, or who hire too many Asians and whites. The communications director of Red Hat, an IBM subsidiary, said that Red Hat had terminated employees because they weren’t willing to engage in racial discrimination through hiring and promotion quotas. Hiring, promotion, and “inclusion” quotas are violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they are unconstitutional under the US Constitution and its amendments, such as the 14th.

But notice that the Indian running IBM has no hesitancy about using his power to force IBM executives and managers to violate US law and Constitution in order to advance “preferred minorities” at the expense of members of the white ethnic majority and Asians. This is what happens when a nation ceases to require assimilation. The CEO of IBM is an unassimilated immigrant who has no respect for US law or the US Constitution. An article by Ian Henderson in Chronicles magazine in July, 2022, showed that, unlike Western governments, both Russia and China protect the ethnic culture from immigrants and prevent cultural destruction by Woke ideologues and moral destruction by sexual perverts. Henderson points out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “strongly upholds traditional views on gender roles, race, sexuality, and family—more so than the Republican Party or mainstream conservatives in America.

A major example of China’s conservatism is the CCP’s view on LGBTQ rights. Same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples, and no anti-discrimination protections exist for LGBTQ people. Contrast these policies with the views of mainstream American conservatism, which now seems deeply committed to gay marriage, an institution enthusiastically endorsed by the likes of National Review and the National Conservatism Conference.” “In short, Chinese leaders seek to promote masculinity and strength, and to uphold and expand their inherited Han civilization. They feel they cannot do that with homosexuals, transgenders, or feminists running government institutions and the military—or even exerting influence over forms of entertainment.”

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“[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves…”

Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)

Russia has been trying for decades to build normal relations with Ukraine “at any cost,” but this was made impossible after the coup d’etat in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live marathon press conference on Thursday. The president was asked if he could foresee a normalization of relations with the West in the near future. Putin responded by stressing that Russia has never tried to intentionally ruin or sever ties with any nation. Instead, it was the West that spoiled relations with Russia by constantly trying to push the country aside and neglecting its national interests, Putin said.The culmination of that was the coup d’etat in Ukraine that was staged by Russia’s geopolitical “opponents” in 2014, which has ultimately led to the current situation, according to the president.

Putin described the ongoing conflict as a “great tragedy” that is essentially a “civil war” between brothers. He stressed that at their core, in spite of the current hostilities, Russians and Ukrainians are one people. The president noted that Moscow always had good relations with southeast Ukraine, which tended to be pro-Russian because these territories had historically belonged to Russia. “But after the coup d’etat of 2014, it became clear to us that we would no longer be allowed, by force, to build any sort of normal relations with Ukraine,” Putin said, recalling that the US had publicly admitted to spending $5 billion dollars on overthrowing the government of Ukraine.

That, coupled with NATO’s “uncontrollable desire to creep towards our borders” by inviting Ukraine into the bloc, and the eight-year-long bloodbath in Donbass, has ultimately led to the tragedy that is currently unfolding, Putin summarized. “So how are we supposed to build relations with them?” asked the Russian president, noting that the West has continued to pretend like it doesn’t remember doing any of the aforementioned things, only occasionally admitting that it was signing deals – such as the Minsk Accords, which were meant to be a path towards peace – with their fingers crossed behind their back. “[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves.

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“Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)

The issue of Ukraine’s denazification remains relevant, after the head of the Kiev administration applauded a former SS soldier in a manifestation of Nazism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his combined Direct Line Q&A session and year-end press conference. “Here is what is happening in terms of denazification. During the negotiation process, which had a certain phase after the drafting of a possible agreement, as officials in Kiev mentioned recently, in general, they did not agree that some kind of denazification was needed, saying that there was no fascistization, no increase in such sentiments,” the president said. “Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

“When the head of the current Kiev administration, in front of the whole world, stands up to applaud a former SS soldier, who was directly involved in the Holocaust, the extermination of one and a half million Jews in Ukraine, Russians and Poles, stands up to applaud, is this not a manifestation of Nazism?” Putin said. “So the issue of denazification, it is relevant. It is true that during the negotiation process we were told that in principle they do not exclude the possibility of adopting some legislative acts in Ukraine. But that was then, during the talks in Istanbul.” Speaking about the goal of Ukraine’s demilitarization, the president said certain parameters had been agreed upon in 2022 during the talks in Istanbul. “It’s just that these agreements were later tossed out,” he said. “But we did agree on that. There are other options either to agree or to achieve this by force. This is what we will strive for,” Putin said.

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“..Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” ..

US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)

The US was responsible for orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich and ultimately led to the current conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He added that Washington “needed to create a conflict” for its own purposes. Speaking during a marathon Q&A session on Thursday, Putin said the US “plotted and organized everything” while European leaders “silently watched” and pretended they were not aware of what was happening. As a result, Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” since then. Following the 2014 coup, the then-Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, known as Donbass, refused to accept the new government, which increasingly embraced nationalist ideology, and proclaimed their independence instead. Kiev responded with a violent military campaign that prompted a years-long conflict.

The Russian leader went on to accuse the West of having a short memory, pointing to the 2015 Minsk agreements, which were brokered by Russia, Germany and France and were designed to end the hostilities. The West had “no intention” of implementing the agreements, which Putin said were “signed and immediately forgotten.” Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron later admitted that the agreements were a strategic ploy aimed at buying Ukraine more time to prepare for a conflict with Russia. In an interview with CNN in 2015, then-US President Barack Obama also openly admitted that the US had “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”

In September 2022, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the parts of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions under Russian control, voted to join Russia in a referendum which Ukraine and its Western backers denounced as illegitimate. Moscow has insisted that Kiev must recognize this “new territorial reality” as a prerequisite for any peace talks. Despite receiving a constant flow of weapons and aid from its Western backers since the current conflict broke out in February 2022, Kiev’s six-month counteroffensive against Russia has failed to yield significant results and Ukraine has lost some 125,000 military personnel and 6,000 pieces of heavy equipment since the beginning of June, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

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“..Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately..”

Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)

At his big year-end presser on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia were among the only defenders of national interests left in the West. Sputnik reached out to a leading Hungarian foreign policy analyst for his take on Putin’s remarks. Vladimir Putin dismissed the characterization the leaders of Hungary and Slovakia as “pro-Russian.” “I have already said many times before that they are not ‘pro-Russian’ politicians, but rather pro-national – they defend their [national] interests. There are no others like this, they simply don’t exist…[This is] tied to a great dependence on ‘Big Brother,’ on the United States,” the Russian president said.

“I completely agree with President Putin. I have been saying for a long time that when Orban’s opponents reproach him for being ‘pro-Russian,’ this is just a label, nothing more. Orban proceeds from Hungarian national interests,” Gabor Stier, a senior foreign policy analyst at Magyar Nemzet, a leading Hungarian conservative daily newspaper, told Sputnik. “And I would add not just about Hungarian interests, but on some issues European interests. It’s a pity that Europeans and European politicians, especially the leaders of the European Union, do not proceed from European interests,” Stier added. The foreign affairs observer also agreed with Putin’s Europe’s dependence on its American “big brother,” saying the EU in its current form has become a “vassal of America, unfortunately.”

As an example, Stier pointed to the frantic drive by Brussels to try to incorporate Ukraine into the bloc, notwithstanding the threat to its own stability and well-being. “Whether Ukraine is ready or not is not something that needs to be explained to a normal person. The European Union is not ready either. Because if this expansion occurs earlier than in 15 years, it will deepen frictions within the European Union. The European Union is not ready economically, politically, and so on. That makes Orban a pragmatist, who proceeds from national interests on many issues, and from European interests on many issues. Orban is not destroying Europe. Orban wants to see a strong Europe. Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately,” the observer said. Fico is “similar to Orban,” even if he’s not prepared to so openly clash with Brussels’ bureaucracy, in Stier’s estimation. “This means he’s ready for more compromises, but mainly he proceeds from Slovak interest,” the analyst stressed.

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“..Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser.”

Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Vladimir Putin defends his country’s sovereignty at every step, while Volodymyr Zelensky has allowed Ukraine to become a compliant tool of a West “willing to sacrifice that nation, its solders, and its people on a battlefield where they will get nothing but death and destruction,” Scott Ritter has underscored. President Vladimir Putin cares about the Russian people, soldiers, and nation, and therein lies the profound difference between his approach to the current conflict, and that of Ukraine’s President, the former US Marine Corps intelligence officer told Sputnik. “For a country like Russia, the existence, simply the existence of our country, without sovereignty is impossible,” Putin said during the joint “Direct Line” Q&A session and annual press conference on Thursday. “The primary objective is to bolster Russia’s sovereignty, fortify border security, and safeguard the rights and freedoms of [our] citizens,” the president remarked.

The present reality clearly demonstrates the very different approach to the Ukraine conflict shown by Russia, on the one hand, and the US, its allies in the West, on the other. “If you engage in an armed conflict, there will be consequences, there will be dead, wounded, but it’s incumbent upon the government, the state to prevent unnecessarily casualties of war,” said Ritter. Here lies the “secret” of the Russian approach, he added, as Putin has shown he is always prepared to put the interests of the Russian people, and Russia’s soldiers first and foremost. Volodymyr Zelensky, in contrast, instead of accepting the generous terms set forth by Moscow that could have saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, yielded to the pressure put on him by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, other Western leaders, who said, ‘Don’t accept peace terms,’ and ‘continue the conflict’.

It was evident that it was physically impossible for the Ukrainian army to defeat Russia’s military, yet this is the premise that Zelensky “bought into” when he accepted Western military assistance… However, the question is: to what end? “Was this to serve Ukraine’s interests, or the interests of the West?” Scott Ritter mused. “Zelensky is not about serving the people of his own country… He allowed Ukraine’s sovereignty to be subordinated to NATO, EU, and US interests. The conflict has no consideration for Ukraine, and every consideration for the Western interests,” the pundit pointed out. Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser. Indeed, as the West continues to funnel billions-worth of military aid to Kiev, despite the botched counteroffensive and enormous human casualties, Ukraine’s soldiers are little more than “pawns to be sacrificed on a geopolitical chessboard where the West is only looking out for their interests.”

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“I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone..”

Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)

Russia has deployed more than half a million service members, including many volunteers, in the combat zone of the Ukraine conflict, President Vladimir Putin has revealed. Speaking during his Q&A session on Thursday, the Russian leader was asked to comment on complaints that military volunteers often rely on aid fundraised by their fellow citizens rather than on state support. Putin emphasized that supplies provided by the government account for 99% of all assistance, but noted that Moscow welcomes and will in no way hinder pure-hearted efforts to provide Russian soldiers with various types of equipment and supplies. Still, he admitted that there could be a lack of specialized high-tech hardware, such as electronic warfare equipment, at a given time and place, and promised to look into the matter.

I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone … So, of course, there could be some problems in some places. According to Putin, 244,000 of those in the combat zone are troops that were called up when Russia announced partial mobilization in September 2022. They were deployed in a bid to stabilize the situation, protect new territories, and conduct further offensives. At the time, Moscow mobilized 300,000 troops. However, Putin said that 41,000 had since been discharged for health reasons, or after reaching the maximum age. Moscow has repeatedly denied it plans to announce a second wave of mobilization, with the Russian president explaining that there was no need for such a move. Instead, Russia is relying on a steady stream of volunteers willing to sign contracts with the military.

Putin noted that the authorities had signed up some 486,000 soldiers in this large-scale recruitment campaign, adding that more are ready to enlist. However, he did not say how many of them have been deployed to the front, are undergoing training, or are stationed elsewhere. Commenting on the battlefield situation, Putin remarked that Russian troops “to say it humbly, are improving their positions” along the entire frontline. He also said that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive – which began in early June – has been a complete failure, with no territorial gains. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu earlier this month estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 125,000 troops since the start of the push.

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8-to-1 ratio.

400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)

Estimates of Ukrainians killed in action (KIA) range from a low of just over 30,000 to a high of over 400,000. Obviously, these two estimates can’t be reconciled. And it really, really matters to the people of Ukraine which one is closer to the truth. While 30,000 deaths is tragic, anything approaching 400,000 KIA and the accompanying hundreds of thousands of causalities is a humanitarian catastrophe that makes talks of continuing offensive operations next year, or even believing in a stalemate, wishful thinking that will result in even more fruitless Ukrainian deaths. Unsurprisingly, since the war began, the United States and its allies have unswervingly pushed the narrative that Russia is incurring far more casualties than Ukraine.

This casualty narrative was critical to maintaining any plausibility that Ukraine could defeat a country that has four to five times more men of military age and that was recently rated as having the world’s most powerful military. Hence, given the need to maintain the plausibility of a Ukrainian victory, it isn’t surprising that NATO intelligence asserted that the battle of Bakhmut saw Russia losing at least five soldiers KIA for every one of Ukraine’s. However, since the fall of Bakhmut to Russia, the failure of the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive, and signs that Ukraine’s military is nearing collapse, we’re no longer hearing about five-to-one casualty rates. Still, the most recent estimates from United States and British officials claim that Russia has suffered 120,000 KIA while Ukraine has suffered “only” 70,000 KIA (more than the United States suffered in over 10 years of the Vietnam War).

But not everyone agrees with U.S./British casualty estimates for an army that started the war by mobilizing early 1 million men in arms and, over the course of the war, mobilized another estimated 1 million. Among the growing number of those who don’t agree is the former director of the Joint Operations Center at Supreme Headquarters Europe and one of the key leaders in achieving the legendary victory in the mass tank battle of 73 Easting, retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor. In a recent interview with myself, Col. Macgregor agreed that while estimates putting Russian KIA at as high as 50,000 to 60,000 are defensible, most estimates for Ukrainian KIAs are not. In what many will undoubtedly find shocking given the countless stories disparaging Russia’s military skills and capabilities while uncritically fawning over Ukraine’s military prowess, Col. Macgregor puts Ukrainian KIA at over 400,000 out of the 2 million Ukraine has mobilized.

Col. Macgregor arrived at this shocking number using a wide variety of sources, including contacts within U.S. intelligence and contacts on the ground in Ukraine and Poland who have intimate knowledge of what’s really happening in Ukraine. In particular, he noted that his U.S. intelligence contacts have expressed shock as to just how far from reality the narrative being pushed by the Biden administration is from what’s happening in Ukraine and its real war losses. Likewise, Col. Macgregor’s Ukraine contacts relayed to him accounts of thousands of wounded Ukrainians being left to die on the battlefield, growing numbers of Ukrainian commanders and troops refusing orders to conduct suicide attacks against heavily fortified Russian positions, Ukrainian soldiers surrendering en masse to Russia, hospitals overflowing with Ukrainian wounded, and many other accounts that testify to horrendous casualty rates that contradict the narrative pushed by Western media.

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“.. a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty..”

Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized his Argentine counterpart’s plan to ditch the national currency, the peso, for the US dollar. Speaking during a live press conference on Thursday, Putin said that the pledge of newly elected Argentine President Javier Milei to adopt the greenback would result in a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty.” Dollarization is one of Milei’s core proposals, aimed at taming triple-digit inflation and supporting Argentina’s beleaguered economy amid low cash reserves and high government debt. Adopting the US dollar would take control of monetary policy away from Argentina’s central bank and hand it over to the US Federal Reserve.

The announced policy goes contrary to the de-dollarization trend pioneered by Russia and supported by many other developing economies, which has been gaining momentum since the imposition of Ukraine-related sanctions on Moscow. In response to the restrictions that effectively cut the country off from Western financial markets, Russia and its leading trade partners within the BRICS group of developing economies have started to switch to national currencies in trade. Argentina was set to join the bloc, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on January 1, 2024, but the new government scrapped the decision. According to Putin, Milei’s plan to scrap the peso or peg the national currency to the dollar could also result in social instability as it would trigger a sharp reduction in social spending.

“If there is no national currency, you can’t print anything, there is only one way – reducing budget spending for the social sphere, a severe cutting of wages, pensions, expenses on medicine, on roads and domestic security,” the Russian president maintained. Argentina’s new government announced earlier this week the start of its “economic shock therapy” policy, namely a sharp devaluation of the peso, cuts to energy and transportation subsidies and a freeze in spending on some major state programs. The South American nation is trying to battle inflation that hovers around 150% year-on-year. country owes $44 billion to the International Monetary Fund, and 40% of Argentinians reportedly live below the poverty line.

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“..At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved..”

What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)

In 1966, Charlotte E. Keyes wrote a famous article for McCall’s magazine titled “Suppose They Gave a War and No One Came.” Special Counsel Jack Smith may be contemplating the same fate. Putting the tongue-in-cheek title aside, the odds are that some people will come to any trial of President Donald Trump. After all, a lot of people have to come from the judge to the jurors and counsel. However, Smith has had an ominous week that could severely complicate his plans for convicting Donald Trump before the election. Moreover, a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. Before this week, Smith found himself on the losing end of the schedule in Florida in his prosecution of Trump for his retention of classified documents. Judge Aileen Cannon has scheduled a trial for May 20, 2024, but that could easily move with additional delays or appeals in the case.

I have always viewed that case to be the strongest against Trump, but the huge number of classified documents have (as predicted) slowed the prosecution. Despite Smith’s pushing for a pre-election trial, his structuring of the charges undermined that schedule. Smith then pushed hard for a pre-election trial in the January 6th case in Washington where he seemed to have a supportive judge in Judge Tanya Chutkan who shoehorned the start just before the Super Tuesday elections. Now, however, Judge Chutkan has been forced to stay the case indefinitely pending the appeal of the presidential immunity claim made by Trump. The matter is now before both the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court gave Trump until December 20th to respond to Smith’s request for an expedited review — leapfrogging over the D.C. Circuit.

Smith’s filing conveys priority, if not a necessity, in trying Trump before the election. The Supreme Court may not share that sense of urgency. Traditionally, the Supreme Court has preferred to wait to allow appellate courts to render decisions. Since a conviction will not make Trump ineligible to run for the presidency, the question is why the March date should short circuit the review process. If the Supreme Court ultimately does not rule on the merits, the period for review would easily supplant the trial schedule since an appeal could be taken to the entire D.C. Circuit (en banc) and then to the Supreme Court. That did not change the March 4 trial date, but it could well make that date unworkable if the appeals drag on. Then to make the week complete, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Fischer. That case turns on the proper interpretation of the obstruction provision under Section 1512(c)(2).

Fischer was charged with obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and based solely on his trespass in the Capitol. A ruling in his favor could effectively cut away half of the case against Donald Trump. Among the four counts brought by Smith, Trump is charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k) (Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Two) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(2), 2 (Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Three). If those two counts fell to the wayside, Smith would be left with a count on conspiracy to defraud the United States (Count One) and conspiracy against rights (Count 4). Those counts contain other challengeable elements which would have to be appealed after any conviction. At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved and pre-trial motions and discovery remain incomplete in February.

The problem for Smith is that a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. If Trump is elected, he could give himself a preemptive self-pardon, though some disagree with this view. Moreover, the new Attorney General could scuttle or undermine the prosecution. In other words, it is possible that Jack Smith might never see a jury in either case. That would still leave the New York and Georgia cases, which are not subject to presidential pardons. However, those cases (particularly the one in New York) have their own challengeable elements.

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“..a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.”

Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)

It is a paradox that Jack Smith, who in my opinion has less integrity than the infamous Stalinist prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky who prosecuted Stalin’s show trials of the Bolsheviks, was appointed director of the Justice (sic) Departments Office of Public Integrity. Perhaps recognizing Smith’s lack of concern with justice, Merrick Garland, the worst Attorney General in US history, sicced Jack Smith on President Trump and Trump supporters who attended the Trump rally labeled an “insurrection” by the whore media and Democrat Party. The way Smith got his convictions was to intentionally misapply law in order to coerce innocent people with a 20 year prison threat into a plea bargain. In other words, by intentionally misusing law he forced people to convict themselves via self-incrimination, which is what a plea bargain is.

Federal judge Carl Nichols threw out charges against three defendants based on Smith’s wrongful use of law. This has led to a situation in which the US Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would take up the defendants complaint that Jack Smith illegitimately used evidence-tampering law to prosecute Trump supporters and force them into self-incrimination to avoid a 20 year sentence. Smith’s pressure on one defendant, Matthew Perna, caused him to commit suicide. In my opinion, Jack Smith should be indicted for murder. Defense attorney Joseph McBride said that the DOJ’s misuse of law “is rooted in corruption and political hatred.” Defense attorney William Shipley predicted that the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case would put an end to the case against Trump: “The decision by SCOTUS today to take up the appeal on the 1512 ‘obstruction of an official proceeding’ case means the Trump D.C. case will not be going to trial.”

After the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the clearly wrongful conviction of Derek Chauvin, I haven’t as much confidence as Shipley in the Supreme Court’s interest in justice. But I hope Shipley is right as the result will be the release of the hundreds of innocent Americans wrongly convicted on purpose by in my opinion a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.

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“..President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake.”

Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)

Congress is often a theater of the absurd, from Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulling a fire alarm before a major vote to former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) being, well, a member of Congress at all. However, none of that compares to what unfolded on Wednesday as Hunter Biden stood outside Congress and defied a subpoena as being “beyond the absurd.” What happens next could be even more bizarre. Hunter was under a subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to appear for testimony. As I previously wrote, he had two choices: He could appear and either testify or invoke his right to remain silent. The only thing that he could not do is what he did — just refuse to go into the hearing room. Yet, there he was, with counsel Abbe Lowell by his side,holding forth with a public press conference while refusing to appear in the closed-door deposition being held in the building behind him.

By staying on the Senate side of the Capitol, Hunter guaranteed that the House sergeant at arms did not pull him into the hearing room. Ironically, that would have been a better option than his blowing a raspberry at the committee and then speeding away. Many pundits immediately claimed this was a clever move because the subpoena was not really enforceable until the House voted on the formal impeachment inquiry a few hours later. I disagree. As I noted in my testimony in the first impeachment inquiry, there is no requirement for a formal vote to initiate an impeachment inquiry. Indeed, that is precisely what then-majority Democrats did with the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump. While I encouraged the House to hold a formal vote on the inquiry, it is not constitutionally required.

Moreover, this is an oversight committee which has independent authority to issue subpoenas. The subpoena was issued not only by the Oversight Committee but by the Judiciary Committee. It was issued under three different authorities, including Rule 12(g) of the Oversight Committee which allows for subpoenas “in the conduct of any investigation or activity or series of investigations or activities within the jurisdiction of the Committee.” In holding this spectacle, Biden and his legal team committed another unforced error. This one could prove as costly as pushing for an obscenely generous plea agreement and then telling prosecutors to “rip it up” in July. Few people expected Hunter to testify in the deposition. The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges.

He and his uncles were allegedly engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history involving millions of dollars from various foreign sources. Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups. It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team.Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Despite some of us writing to the contrary, Bannon claimed his lawyers told him he did not have to appear before a House committee. He was swiftly charged and convicted by Garland’s prosecutors.

In this instance, the contempt case would go to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Matthew Graves, who previously declined to assist in bringing tax charges against the president’s son. Yet by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland. There is another possible cost to this move. Fox News quoted White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake. One of the four most obvious potential articles of impeachment that I laid out in my prior testimony was obstruction. There already are questions over special treatment potentially being given to Hunter in the form of alleged felonies being allowed to expire, warnings about planned federal raids, and sweetheart deals.

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“.. continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)

Before wading through the latest indictment of Hunter Biden, this one for nine counts of assorted tax violations, we must consider briefly the record of David Weiss, the special counsel who signed the 56–page document made public last Thursday. Only then can we read the grand jury findings unsealed last week for what they are and are not. David Weiss is the Justice Department attorney in Delaware who has run the DoJ’s lengthy (as in slow-walked) investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged violations of tax and gun laws. Among much else, David Weiss appears to have connived with other Justice officials to cover up a Federal Bureau of Investigation finding that Hunter and President Biden accepted bribes of $5 million each from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter sat on the board from April 2014 to April 2019.

David Weiss made sure that Internal Revenue investigators did not have access to Hunter’s infamous laptop after the FBI took possession of it in December 2019. David Weiss made sure that investigators—his investigators among them—were denied a requested warrant to search a cottage on Joe Biden’s Delaware estate. David Weiss let Hunter’s lawyers know in advance that investigators planned to search a storage unit Hunter kept. David Weiss barred IRS agents from interviewing members of the Biden family. David Weiss, as overseer of the investigation, let Hunter know in advance that IRS and FBI agents intended to interview him in California, so allowing Hunter to evade them.

David Weiss, after all this and probably more that is not visible to our naked eyes, put together the agreement that let Hunter plead to misdemeanor charges earlier this year and immunized him from whatever findings of criminal conduct that may come to the surface in the future. A properly disinterested judge assigned to validate that preposterous bargain, Maryellen Noreika, could not believe her eyes when she saw it last summer and promptly deep-sixed it. At that point, it followed naturally that Attorney General Merrick Garland rewarded David Weiss for all his good, loyal work by naming him special counsel, so giving him expanded powers to continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

Now David Weiss has signed an indictment—the second Hunter faces, the other covering the gun charges—laying out three charges of tax evasion, three charges of failing to file and pay taxes, and three more for filing false or fraudulent tax returns. And now, with a few snippets from David Weiss’s c.v. in hand, we are ready to read and evaluate this document for what is in it and what is missing.

Read more …

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.”

This just had to get absurd.

Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)

Human breathing contributes to global warming, according to a study published Wednesday in PLoS One. The authors argued that human respiration’s contribution to climate change has been underestimated and merits further study. After measuring the gas composition in the exhaled breaths of 328 study participants, the researchers concluded human breath comprises 0.05% of the UK’s methane emissions and 0.1% of its nitrous oxide. Both of those gasses “have a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide,” the study notes. “Exhaled human breath can contain small, elevated concentrations of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which contribute to global warming,” the researchers, led by atmospheric physicist Nicholas Cowan of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, wrote.

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.” While Cowan explained that “CO2 contribution in human breath to climate change is essentially zero” because plants absorb nearly all the carbon dioxide humans breathe out, the other two gasses are left in the atmosphere. Methane traps 80 times the amount of heat as carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere, though this potency decreases over time. A detailed analysis of test subjects’ diets failed to yield any indication that meat eaters produced more of either gas. While all test subjects exhaled nitrous oxide, only 31% exhaled methane. These individuals, referred to as “methane producers” in the paper, were more likely to be female and over 30 years of age, though the researchers were unable to determine why this was the case.

The study authors cautioned that their research only looked at breath and called for further research into the total picture of human gas emissions, insisting it could reveal more about the “impacts of an aging population and shifting diets” on the planet. In recent years, environmental campaigners have focused on methane emissions from cows, whose herbivorous diet is broken down by methane-producing bacteria in their multiple stomachs. Policymakers’ focus on the resulting methane-tainted belches and farts have been the subject of much parody from climate change skeptics.

The UK has legally committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990. Residents have been strongly encouraged to reduce meat consumption in order to achieve this goal, with some estimates placing the share of global greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock for meat at 15%. However, the researchers behind Wednesday’s study pointed out that shifting to a high-fiber vegetarian diet could potentially cause more methane and nitrous oxide emissions, a phenomenon they called “pollution swapping.”

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“..after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown..”

Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

New Zealand’s politicians have all been sent an email informing them that the former Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza is under investigation for homicide after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown. The emails were sent by US vaccine safety campaigner and tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch, who organised statisticians and other experts to analyse NZ Ministry of Health data leaked by whistleblower Barry Young. The NZ health bureaucrats, supported by media, are using legal threats to censor and suppress access to the “pay-per-dose” data, which reveals of thousands of deaths in close proximity to mRNA vaccinations.

But New Zealand’s new government has agreed to carry out as a matter of urgency a “full scale, wide-ranging, independent inquiry” into how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled, regardless of the whitewashing “Royal Commission of Inquiry” set up by the Ardern Labor government. The new government’s inquiry will cover lockdowns, vaccine procurement and efficacy, the social and economic impacts on both regional and national levels and whether the decisions made and steps taken, were justified. The inquiry will also be conducted publicly with local and international experts. In Italy, Speranza is accused of giving orders to local health authorities to conceal deaths and serious side effects in order to reassure Italian citizens of the vaccines’ “safety” and to not jeopardize the vaccination campaign. NZ and Australian health officials acted similarly.

The main charges Speranza faces include ideological falsehood, multiple manslaughter, marketing of an imperfect, dangerous drug. Speranza is currently a deputy of the Democratic Party, and like Australian and New Zealand health ministers, was co-opted by the WHO and the global pharma cartel to push the mRNA shots. The Speranza investigation was announced on Italian TV channel Rete 4, on the program Fuori dal Coro. The channel is owned by the Mediaset group run by the heirs of the late Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a strong supporter of the vaccination campaign, who died in June this year. According to Italian website Gospa News, there was not much coverage in the national media which focused more on the statements of Speranza’s lawyer instead of examining the merits of the investigation resulting from the complaint by the State Police union OSA and by other organisations seeking to support vaccinated people.

The accusations have been reported on by German and Italian news networks but studiously ignored by Reuters and the western mainstream media. The closest reports Cairns News found were from months ago when the former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Speranza were placed under investigation on suspicion of “aggravated culpable epidemic” and manslaughter in connection with the government’s response at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They were later cleared.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Ducks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735286013042307534

 

 

Momma bear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735272196874895825

 

 

Cheetah

 

 


This 2,000 year old tree is located at Zwigodini Village of Mutale in Limpopo, South Africa. Venda people call it, “Muri Kunguluwa”, which means, “The Tree That Roars”. The tree actually makes a roaring sound when the wind blows through its branches. It is also called, “The Tree Of Life”, because it serves as a source of life to the animals and the community that lives around it. 80% of its trunk consists of water and it can hold up to 4,500 liters, making it a water source for the community and the animals.

Elephants eat the bark. Baboons eat the fruit. Leaves can also be eaten. Birds, bees, fruit bats and bush babies nest in the tree. Humans use the dried fruit powder in drinks, as a source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. The bark can be used to make rope, baskets, mats, cloth and paper. It also holds a spiritual significance for African people. In ancient times, leaders and elders would hold meetings under huge baobab trees, to discuss important matters. They believed that the spirit of the baobab would help them make wise decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sep 212023
 
 September 21, 2023  Posted by at 1:54 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  10 Responses »


Théodore Géricault The Raft of the Medusa 1819

 

 

A short comment on an all too familiar sort of MSM article about US politics these days. This article, a few days old, comes from Gary O’Donoghue, Washington correspondent, BBC News.

The MSM must concede that Hunter Biden is under investigation. Now that it’s official, they can no longer hide it. Time for plan B. This is the BBC, more MSM than anyone. The new narrative is that both political sides are being probed now, supposed to make us think there’s a sort of balance, a neutrality.

And the DOJ is some kind of impartial office (just like the FBI and CIA). Even though the entire alphabet soup has been directed squarely against Trump for 8 years now. The result is that they list the charges against the two sides as follows: 91 against Trump, one -small one- against Hunter, and zero against Joe Biden (he’s not even mentioned here).

Not one word about Joe Biden’s own involvement in what Hunter is accused of. Not one word about the laptop. Or about the tens of millions of dollars the House Commitee says the Biden family received from foreign sources. Ergo: Trump is much worse than Hunter. And Joe never put a single finger wrong.

What Hunter Biden Charges Mean For The President

Politically speaking, there are currently two Americas. One is outraged and horrified that the former president, Donald Trump, is facing 91 federal and state criminal charges in what they see as a deep state conspiracy orchestrated in part by Joe Biden’s Department of Justice. The other believes that very same justice department has spent five years unfairly pursuing Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, over his tax affairs and behaviour while a self-declared and repentant drug addict. In other words, both Americas believe the department responsible for enforcing the laws of the land has been taken captive by the other side and is hopelessly politicised.

“..improper and partisan interference..” but not from the Democrats…

Hunter Biden’s lawyer responded to the news that his client had been indicted on three federal gun charges by accusing the prosecutor of bending to “improper and partisan interference” from Trump-supporting Republicans. Meanwhile, Andy Biggs, one of those conservatives in Congress, suggested the charges were simply a manoeuvre to make it look like the justice department was fair. “Don’t fall for it. They’re trying to protect him from way more serious charges coming his way!”, he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Republicans only focus on Hunter because of Trump’s “legal jeopardies”. Not because of the laptop contents. Which the FBI sat on for 5 years, and we would never have known about if the repair shop owner had not given a copy to Rudy Giuliani. The FBI were busy targeting Trump, after all. Hunter’s “legal woes” are only “a blow in a personal sense to his father”. Surely not because his father pops up a thousand times in the laptop in comprimising ways,

Hunter Biden’s legal woes will of course be a blow in a personal sense to his father and his family. But the ramifications go much further than that. Republicans have for some time known that the president’s son is a vulnerability. Exploiting that has the power not just to significantly rile up Joe Biden, but also to help distract from their own problems with Mr Trump’s legal jeopardies. Add to that the fact that most Democrats, when asked, are far from happy that Mr Biden is running for the White House again in 2024. Hunter seems like just another reason for some continuing to press for the 80-year-old president to step aside for the next generation.

But wait, this is not about Hunter, it’s about Trump. And it’s certainly not about Joe. Nothing Hunter did could possible be as grave as Trump’s actions. Why else would there be 91 charges against him?

All this means that the outcome of Hunter Biden’s case will play a significant part in what promises to be a turbulent election year. But Republicans face something of a dilemma. It’s true that the three gun-related charges are felonies rather than misdemeanours; and it’s true that further charges could come relating to Hunter Biden’s tax affairs and foreign dealings. But none of it currently quite rises to the scale and quantity of Donald Trump’s alleged crimes. So any attempt to weaponise Hunter Biden’s problems could simply invite the American people to compare and contrast. Also, as Democrats will no doubt continue to point out, Hunter Biden is not running for dog catcher, let alone to be President of the United States.

“After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms.” Gotta love that line.

One intriguing aspect of Hunter Biden’s case is that his lawyers clearly believe the plea deal that broke down in July could still be resurrected – and that the recent expansion of Second Amendment rights by various courts could be an element in his defence. After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms. That would be an extraordinary irony given where most Democrats stand on gun control.

“..seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden..” Again, the FBI has had the laptop for 5 years. What more can you say? Jim Jordan just yesterday in the House: “We have an investigation run by Mr. Weiss that not only had a sweetheart deal rejected, but according to The New York Times, there was an even sweeter earlier deal with Mr. Biden where he would not have to plead guilty to anything. Four and a half years and all that..”

Thursday’s indictment came just days after Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced an impeachment inquiry into President Biden – a move dismissed as a political stunt by the White House. Mr McCarthy said there were “serious and credible allegations” into the family’s business dealings and President Biden’s conduct. And Republicans will hope this new inquiry implicates the president in the peddling of power and corruption. So far, however, seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden have produced snippets from former business partners, an FBI informant and a couple of IRS agents, but nothing that comes close to a real smoking gun.

The reason for the impeachment inquiry vs Joe Biden is not to get rid of him, or even “win a vote”, it’s to establish a record. The Senate would never agree to impeach him, just like it didn’t Donald Trump when the GOP had a majority. But the record is crucial. Pelosi and Schiff knew it, and now so does the GOP.

That may change when the subpoenas begin to fly, but the Republican majority in the House is so slim, that it is far from certain that Republicans would win an impeachment vote on the House floor, if it got that far. What is certain, is that the once-clear distinction between the political and legal systems has become increasingly blurred. And that’s a major problem, according to Randy Zelin, adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School. “Somebody woke up one day and said, boy I have a new toy and that is called the federal criminal justice system, where I’m going to use the criminal system to punish people who don’t agree with my politics,” Prof Zelin told the BBC. “I think the sole influence here is that this country is being torn apart by this never-ending battle.”

This is how the media today wants you to see it. But where were they during the Steele dossier days? Or any of the other anti-Trump shenanigans? Remember, they never proved a single thing against him. They just “won” some votes in theaters where they had a majority. And now they’ve come up with 91 new charges in the theaters that the DOJ and FBI have been turned into. Vs zero for Joe Biden. And one puny one for Hunter. Hey, we have an election coming up.

I suggested recently that there wouldn’t be a US election in 2024. But trying to imagine what would happen if they attempted to have one, replete with Dominion machines and mail-in ballots, I’m starting to wonder if there will be a country left next year to hold an election in.

The two sides are so far apart (not really of course, they’re still neighbors, it’s all in the head), that they may as well live in different countries. And then one day they actually might. 1861 is not that long ago.

 

 

 

 

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May 092023
 
 May 9, 2023  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Willem de Kooning Woman 1969

 

West Must Be Ready For Unfavorable Outcome In Ukraine – Czech President (RT)
Ukraine To Celebrate Europe Day Instead Of Victory Day (TASS)
Ukraine Cancels Traditional Holiday Celebrating Defeat Of Nazis (RT)
Kremlin Calls Ukraine’s Words On Readiness To Kill Russians “Monstrous” (TASS)
EU Plans To Punish China For Trade With Russia – FT (RT)
China Threatens EU With Countermeasures Over Possible Sanctions (TASS)
Türkiye Reiterates Stance On Russia Sanctions (RT)
Russia’s Deal With West Is Key To Ukraine Conflict End – Erdogan Aide (RT)
The EU’s ‘New’ Eastern Members Have Taken Control Of The Bloc (Sushentsov)
Eastern Europe’s Grain Producers Face A Perfect Storm (Az.)
New Weapon ‘Changing Course’ Of Ukraine Conflict – Telegraph (RT)
Something Is Rotten in Schmutzig Switzerland (Wright)
The Next Big Thing (Jim Kunstler)
Joe Biden Bribery Allegations First Brought To DOJ In 2018 (Devine)
‘Crazy thing’ – Lula Criticizes Imprisonment Of Assange (RT)

 

 

“Anyone who loves freedom owes such a debt to the Red Army that it can never be repaid”
-Ernest Hemingway, 1942

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

CNN mask

 

 

 

 

Brownsville TX

 

 

 

 

Italy society
https://twitter.com/i/status/1655594159955234822

 

 

 

 

“..chairman of the NATO Military Committee between 2015 and 2018..“

West Must Be Ready For Unfavorable Outcome In Ukraine – Czech President (RT)

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine may not end in victory for Kiev, and its Western backers should prepare for such an outcome, Czech President Petr Pavel has told The Guardian newspaper. “I think we should do anything… at our disposal to encourage Ukrainians and to support them to be successful. But internally, we should also be ready for other contingencies,” said Pavel, who was in London for the coronation of King Charles III. A lot will depend on the outcome of Ukraine’s planned spring counteroffensive, explained the Czech leader, who has a background in intelligence and served as chairman of the NATO Military Committee between 2015 and 2018. Kiev shouldn’t “underestimate the Russians because they have enough manpower, they still have enough equipment,” he added.

“And of course, being in defense makes it easier for them because Ukraine will have suffered terrible losses, even if they are well prepared. So attacking an enemy like Russia will be difficult and Russians will not be caught by surprise.” The Czech president, who visited Kiev with his Slovak counterpart Zuzana Caputova in late April, said Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had been asking them for ammunition. Those in Kiev believe they still don’t have everything they need to launch the counteroffensive, he added. There “might be a temptation to push them, for some, to demonstrate some results,” but the Ukrainians must be allowed to fully prepare for the assault on Russian lines, Pavel warned. “It will be extremely harmful to Ukraine if this counteroffensive fails, because they will not have another chance, at least not this year,” he stated.

In late April, Zelensky assured foreign journalists that the “counteroffensive will happen” and expressed hope that it would be successful. Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov also said Kiev’s troops were “generally ready for the push” and were only awaiting orders from senior officials. However, a report by Politico a few weeks ago claimed that Ukraine’s prime backer, the US, had concerns that the impact of the counteroffensive could fall short of expectations. Russia, which has been building fortifications along the frontline for the past six months, has been saying that it’s ready to repel the attack. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin warned last week that the counteroffensive would have “deplorable consequences” for Kiev.

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Shameful because:

• Russia liberated Ukraine too.

1.6 million Jews were executed in Ukraine

Ukraine To Celebrate Europe Day Instead Of Victory Day (TASS)

On Monday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on celebrating Europe Day on May 9 in the country. “[Hereby to] establish Europe Day in Ukraine, which is celebrated annually on May 9 together with the states of the European Union,” the text of the decree, published on the website of the Ukrainian head of state, says. In Zelensky’s video message, published on his Telegram channel, he also indicated that from tomorrow, Europe Day will be celebrated annually in Ukraine. On May 8, Zelensky proposes to celebrate the Day of Remembrance and victory over Nazism in World War II. For many years, the Ukrainian authorities have tried to eradicate the celebration of Victory Day.


Until today, on May 9, Ukraine celebrated the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II, which replaced the Day of Victory over fascism in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, and on May 8, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation. These changes were approved by the Verkhovna Rada in 2015 as part of the implementation of the decommunization policy. Since that time, the red poppy has become a symbol of victory for the Ukrainians in the European manner. Although May 9 remains a day off, the Ukrainian authorities do their best to prevent the celebration of Victory Day. For the St. George ribbon, citizens face criminal or administrative liability. Last year, Zelensky and the Ukrainian Defense Ministry published a congratulation on May 9, attaching to it a photograph of a Ukrainian soldier with an emblem similar to the symbol of the SS Totenkopf division.

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“..Maria Zakharova branding Zelensky a “traitor” and the “new incarnation of Judas in the 21st century.”

Ukraine Cancels Traditional Holiday Celebrating Defeat Of Nazis (RT)

Ukraine may break the Soviet tradition of celebrating Victory Day on May 9 after President Vladimir Zelensky suggested holding commemorative ceremonies on May 8 instead. The idea was quickly slammed by officials in Moscow. In a message on his Telegram channel on Monday, Zelensky explained that his proposal was based on the fact that it was “on May 8 that most nations of the world remember the greatness of the victory over the Nazis.” He added that the German Third Reich’s unconditional surrender was signed on that day. Zelensky said he had submitted a bill to the country’s parliament which, if passed, would officially designate May 8 as the ‘Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945’.

As for May 9, which is when Victory Day was traditionally celebrated in the Soviet Union, Zelensky declared this would now be observed as Europe Day, as it is in the European Union. He expressed confidence that the changes would help align Ukraine with Europe and return to “honest history without ideological admixtures to our state.” According to the proposed bill, May 9 would cease to be a public holiday, while May 8 would become one. The Ukrainian President also compared modern day Russia to Nazi Germany, saying it represented a “similar evil” and insisting Ukraine would prevail in its conflict against Moscow in the end. Lawmakers in the Verkhovna Rada have already indicated their readiness to quickly adopt the new piece of legislation promptly.

The head of the ruling party’s parliamentary group, David Arakhamia, wrote on his Telegram channel on Monday that he and his colleagues would begin working to “speedily adopt” the bill. The move has been condemned in Russia, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova branding Zelensky a “traitor” and the “new incarnation of Judas in the 21st century.” In a post on her Telegram channel, the official argued that the Ukrainian president had “forever betrayed his ancestors,” who fought against the Nazis. “Fascist collaborator 80 years later,” she concluded. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, said he believed May 9 would remain a sacred day for many Ukrainians no matter what.

Read more …

“This statement by Mr. Budanov once again confirms the correctness of President Putin’s decision to launch a special military operation..”

Kremlin Calls Ukraine’s Words On Readiness To Kill Russians “Monstrous” (TASS)

Statements by the Ukrainian authorities about their readiness to “kill Russians around the world” indicate that Kiev has become not just a sponsor, but an immediate organizer of terrorist acts, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday. He was commenting on the corresponding statement of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kirill Budanov. “This is a truly monstrous statement. This statement, and what Mr. Budanov said, is a direct confirmation that the Kiev regime is not just sponsoring terrorist activity, but is an immediate organizer of this activity. This statement gives another very important characteristic of the Kiev regime,” the Kremlin spokesman said.


He stressed that Russia strongly condemns such statements. “We have special services that will do everything they must amid such statements. No one should have any doubts about this,” the Kremlin spokesman warned. Kremlin believes that the West should not disregard such statements. “Today we will closely monitor the reaction of European capitals, as well as Washington – especially Washington – because it is very difficult to imagine that such terrorist statements from Kiev can remain without condemnation. Therefore, today we will wait for these condemnations,” Peskov said. “This statement by Mr. Budanov once again confirms the correctness of President Putin’s decision to launch a special military operation,” he added.

Read more …

More sanctions. They haven’t learned a thing.

EU Plans To Punish China For Trade With Russia – FT (RT)

The European Union is seeking to tighten the economic screws on Russia by sanctioning Chinese companies that conduct trade with Moscow, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. Seven Chinese businesses have been named in a new package of restrictions that the EU member states will discuss this week, the report says, citing a copy of the sanctions list seen by the paper. According to the FT, the list includes two mainland Chinese companies, 3HC Semiconductors and King-Pai Technology, and five from Hong Kong, including Sinno Electronics, Sigma Technology, Asia Pacific Links, Tordan Industry, and Alpha Trading Investments.

The businesses have reportedly been accused of selling equipment that could be used by Moscow in weapons manufacturing. Some of these companies have already been placed under sanctions by the US. The European Commission believes it is “appropriate” to target certain entities “in third countries involved in the circumvention of trade restrictions” against Russia, the FT quoted the sanctions proposal as saying. To take effect, the new sanctions need to be unanimously approved by all 27 EU member states. Until now, the FT noted, the EU has avoided targeting China, saying there was no evidence that Beijing was directly providing weapons to Moscow. The EU has so far imposed 10 rounds of economic sanctions against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine.

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, admitted last month that the bloc had nearly exhausted its options for punitive measures against Moscow. Since then, it has been reported that EU lawmakers are considering targeting third countries that re-export goods to Russia, thus helping Moscow to circumvent trade restrictions. China is insisting on a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, and proposed a 12-point peace plan in February, calling for the security concerns of each side to be addressed. Josep Borrell dismissed Beijing’s proposals last week as “wishful thinking” and insisted that any peace plan must be based on Kiev’s demands.

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“..Beijing will be forced to resolutely protect its rationally justified legal rights.”

China Threatens EU With Countermeasures Over Possible Sanctions (TASS)

China will protect its interests in the event of EU sanctions against seven Chinese technology companies due to their supply of equipment to Russia, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Wang Wenbin announced on Monday. “If media reports turn out to be true, <…> such actions by the European side will seriously undermine mutual trust and cooperation between the EU and China,” he stressed at a briefing. When asked to comment on the information that seven Chinese companies could soon come under EU sanctions due to the supply of equipment to Russia he replied: “The European side should not make a mistake, otherwise Beijing will be forced to resolutely protect its rationally justified legal rights.”.

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“We are not going to join the unilateral sanctions imposed against Russia by the US and the EU. Our own benefit and prosperity come first..”

Türkiye Reiterates Stance On Russia Sanctions (RT)

Ankara has no plans to support the Western economic restrictions against Russia, foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview on Monday. Türkiye’s top diplomat made the comments to the Lider Haber TV channel in the run-up to the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections, due to take place on Sunday. “We are not going to join the unilateral sanctions imposed against Russia by the US and the EU. Our own benefit and prosperity come first,” Cavusoglu explained, as quoted by the TASS news agency. The minister also criticized the opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who has said he would give priority to developing ties with the West. According to Cavusoglu, the rival to incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown himself to be inconsistent in his statements; at one rally, Kilicdaroglu reportedly said that nothing would endanger the relationship between Türkiye and Russia.

Reports emerged in March of Türkiye blocking some transit shipments destined for Russia, in response to recent pledges by Brussels and Washington to enforce anti-Russian sanctions and to stop the supply of sanctioned products via third parties. Türkiye’s Ministry of Trade provided no official confirmation of the move. It was later reported that Ankara had resumed the transit to Russia of some sanctioned goods of European origin. The EU has repeatedly voiced concern about the country’s refusal to participate in Western sanctions against Russia, and accused the Middle Eastern state of becoming a ‘transit hub’ for Russia, thus enabling the economic blockade to be circumvented.

Ankara is one of Moscow’s main trading partners, with both sides having pledged to deepen economic cooperation and expand bilateral trade. Last year, Türkiye and Russia signed a roadmap for economic cooperation that envisages bringing bilateral trade turnover to $100 billion a year. The two have also agreed to introduce the Russian ruble as a settlement currency for bilateral trade, including for Russian natural-gas supply. Data shows that, around this time last year, Türkiye became one of the top five exporters to Russia. In 2021, it ranked 11th, ahead of the US, France, Japan, Poland and Italy.

Read more …

“This war will not end with positional gains, but with a new security agreement between the two global blocs..”

“This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, but between Russia and the Western bloc. Cold War 2.0..”

Russia’s Deal With West Is Key To Ukraine Conflict End – Erdogan Aide (RT)

The conflict between Moscow and Kiev is effectively a conflict between Russia and the collective West and so it can be resolved only by reaching a “strategic agreement,” Ibrahim Kalin, a top Turkish presidential adviser on foreign policy, believes. “This war will not end with positional gains, but with a new security agreement between the two global blocs,” Kalin said during an interview with Haberturk TV on Sunday. The official said he discussed the issue and Moscow’s stance on it with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent visit to Russia. While Türkiye itself has been working towards reaching the “perspective” of such an agreement, the current “international climate is in favor of war rather than peace,” Kalin admitted. “The great powers want this war to continue,” he added, without naming the purported pro-war actors.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has become a “hot” episode of a broader conflict between Moscow and the collective West, Kalin explained, describing the standoff as the“Cold War 2.0.” While Russia apparently tried to avoid hostilities when it tabled a comprehensive security agreement shortly before the conflict broke out, the West rejected it, Kalin noted. “This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, but between Russia and the Western bloc. Cold War 2.0,” he stressed. The position voiced by Kalin appeared to be reminiscent of statements repeatedly made by Russia’s top officials, who repeatedly described the ongoing hostilities as a proxy war between Russia and the West, merely waged at the hands of Ukrainians.

The stance was reiterated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday, with the top diplomat stating that any negotiations would not be held “with [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters.” Amid the broader conflict between Russia and the West, Türkiye has asserted itself as a mediator, with Ankara hosting peace talks between Russia and Ukraine early into the ongoing hostilities. While the diplomatic effort ultimately flopped, Türkiye continued its efforts, repeatedly urging both sides to return to negotiations, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stating that “even the worst peace will be better than war.”

Turkey S-400

Read more …

One member: Poland.

The EU’s ‘New’ Eastern Members Have Taken Control Of The Bloc (Sushentsov)

The Ukrainian crisis is giving rise to new strategic shifts. Alongside the shift away from a US-dominated world order, the conflict shows the emergence of a new balance of power in Europe that eludes the comprehension of Western analysts. At the heart of the new strategic situation in Europe is an “inflation of the influence” of Eastern European states that was unimaginable thirty years ago. In its current form, the European Union, whose development – both economic and political – has been driven for almost eighty years by the countries of Western Europe, has essentially lost its sovereignty. At the beginning of the 1990s, at the height of post-Cold War integration plans, there was a real possibility of forming a full European confederation: Western European countries were thinking about their own defense policy, separate from the US, and were planning to go down the road of creating some form of United States of Europe.

This would have greatly strengthened Western European autonomy, not only vis-à-vis the Americans but also in regards to Russia and China. This unique opportunity was never seized. On the contrary, Western Europe was tempted to expand virtually to the borders of Russia. And when this expansion took place, it suddenly became clear that the old European core had been eroded. In this context, the situation of Germany, one of the strategic drivers of Europe in the outgoing era, is revealing. Berlin has lost the initiative in foreign policy. German industry and German citizens have been condemned to spend three times more on energy than before. And this is combined with the fact that the Germans have long delayed real-wage growth in their economy. In reality, it was cheap Russian energy that made the German economy the main beneficiary of EU integration.

Now these foundations are under threat, because it’s no longer available. And so, soon it will no longer be possible to keep wages down. They will have to be raised to avoid a massive rise in social discontent. And this calls into question the viability of the German economic model. The Ukrainian crisis has led to a situation where the voice of Eastern European countries, and Poland in particular, is beginning to define Western European foreign-policy priorities. This situation is unique in modern history. Many historians have defined Eastern Europe as ‘Europe’s crossroads,’ making it a permanent battleground for competing empires. Today, the countries of Eastern Europe are not only gaining strategic influence but are moving to the forefront of European politics. Warsaw’s current priority is to transform itself into the EU’s largest military and to create a major counterweight to Russia on Polish territory in the event of Ukraine’s defeat.

Poland is creating points of tension for Russia all along its borders: military exercises on the border with the Kaliningrad region and maneuvers near the border with Belarus. All this shows that Warsaw wants to take the strategic initiative in the EU and could potentially become its main actor if the conflict goes beyond the territory of Ukraine. The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus is a joint move by Moscow and Minsk that has a deterrent character and is intended to dispel illusions in Warsaw that Russia is not determined to maintain a balance of threats. It is possible that in the future the current crisis with the West will begin to resemble the mature years of the Cold War, with its system of mutual military deterrence.

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“If the grain corridor due to expire this month were to collapse, Ukrainian farmers would have little option but to send all their grain exports through eastern Europe.”

Eastern Europe’s Grain Producers Face A Perfect Storm (Az.)

When global grain prices started falling last year after a spike in the first months of the war in Ukraine, Poland’s then agriculture minister urged farmers to hang onto their harvests in the hope of a rebound and better returns.
The bet backfired badly for some. Nearly a year later, Polish farmer Artur Konarski still has about 150 tonnes of grain stuck in storage and he says some of his competitors in the European Union’s third-biggest wheat producer have even bigger stocks of crops languishing in silos. Farmers in Poland and other eastern European countries who held out for higher prices have been hit by a perfect storm. A jump in exports from Brazil and Russia helped to drive global grain prices lower while the EU opened its borders to tariff-free Ukrainian grain imports in a show of solidarity after Russia blocked the country’s Black Sea ports.

While the EU’s aim was to give Ukrainian farmers an outlet to ship grain and oilseeds to their traditional markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia – and help ease a global food crisis – much has remained in Eastern Europe. With a dearth of local produce in Poland, millers and livestock producers desperate for grain turned instead to a flood of imports from Ukraine ferried into the EU by trucks and trains, grain traders and farmers said. Eastern Europe’s governments have pointed the finger of blame for its farmers’ woes at Ukraine, but Adrian Wawrzyniak, spokesman for the Polish Trade Union of Individual Farmers, said some of the region’s troubles were self-inflicted because farmers, encouraged by politicians, had hoarded crops. “This led to lower sales during the harvest and storage of cereals by farmers, the consequence of which they are paying for today with a reduction in income from the sale of cereals,” he said.

Local buyers had plenty of alternative supplies. After opening its borders to Ukrainian grain, Poland imported 2.08 million tonnes of maize and 579,315 tonnes of wheat last year, up from just 6,269 tonnes of maize and 3,033 tonnes of wheat in 2021. “Since the farmers did not sell, (feed and flour mills) just bought Ukrainian grain to have raw materials for current production,” said a Polish grain trader who declined to be named because he is not authorised to talk to the media. Despite being a staunch ally of Ukraine, Poland banned Ukrainian grain imports in April in response to furious complaints from farmers in its rural heartlands where support for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) Party is strong. Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria quickly followed Poland’s lead, sparking a row with Brussels over trade policy and demands for compensation for their angry farmers from EU funds.

The unilateral import bans were lifted last week but only after the European Commission agreed to block sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed within those four member states and Romania from May 2 until June 5. But the issue is unlikely to go away. Negotiations with Russia to extend a deal allowing some grain exports through three of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to alleviate a global food crisis are hanging in the balance. If the grain corridor due to expire this month were to collapse, Ukrainian farmers would have little option but to send all their grain exports through eastern Europe.

Read more …

“..bombs fitted with wings..”

New Weapon ‘Changing Course’ Of Ukraine Conflict – Telegraph (RT)

Russia is using bombs fitted with wings to bypass Ukraine’s air defenses and pummel forces assembling for the much-heralded spring offensive, The Telegraph reported on Sunday. Kiev is citing this new development to once again demand F-16 fighters from the West. “Russia’s newest weapon is changing the course of Ukraine war,” the Telegraph headline proclaimed, referring to glide bombs such as the FAB-500. Kiev officials have estimated that the Russian Air Force is using at least 20 such bombs per day. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yury Ignat said the weapon has been used “intensely” for the past month, and described it as a “serious threat.” According to Ignat, the use of glide bombs means Moscow is “running low” on cruise missiles after “failing to take control of the skies over Ukraine.”

The Telegraph explained that the bombs outrange Ukrainian tactical air defenses, which have been moved to the frontline to support the much-anticipated offensive. Ignat told reporters last week that Kiev was powerless to stop the bombs and pleaded for the US and its allies to send F-16 fighters. He repeated that plea to The Telegraph on Sunday. “Just one or two would be enough to deter them, because the Russians would see that a couple of these things are in the air and they would avoid approaching,” he said. For several days in a row now, Russia has used cruise missiles and drones in waves of strikes on Ukrainian railheads, fuel and ammunition depots, and troop concentration areas for several days. Tactical drones have also been reported picking off Ukrainian air defenses along the frontline. Several US military experts have also noted the increased use of glide bombs recently, predicting increased Russian aerial superiority as Ukraine’s air defenses continue to deteriorate.

This poses a challenge to Kiev’s plans for a spring offensive, according to Justin Crump of the British intelligence consultancy company Sibylline. The troops and tanks brought up to the front line for the anticipated attack need to be scattered to avoid damage from the airstrikes, but would have to assemble very quickly once it is time to advance. “Dispersion and rapid concentration of force is vital in this environment,” Crump told the Telegraph. According to Western officials, Ukraine has put together at least nine NATO-trained brigades and several hundred armored vehicles provided by the US, UK, Germany and France, in preparation for a massive attack, speculated to be aimed at Crimea. Kiev has repeatedly postponed the offensive, however, citing weather concerns and equipment shortages, while Western governments have sought to manage expectations in case of its failure.

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“..had more than $100 billions in its assets so its financial balance was rather sound and particularly because it had more than $500 billion in passive capital such as real estate. Yet, recently it was sold for an obscenely low amount at about $3.7 billion..”

Something Is Rotten in Schmutzig Switzerland (Wright)

In a ‘business deal of the century’ brokered by the Swiss government, Switzerland’s largest bank and its financial pride and joy was acquired by its smaller rival USB for a meagre $3.2 billion. The current affairs sections of the leading news agencies have recently been populated by the breaking news that Credit Suisse had to be sold but to the lowest bidder this time or so it seems. Though this takeover deal, brokered in such a frantic haste over the course of just a few days by the Swiss government stands in silent testimony of this colossal collapse, there is a question hovering in mid air, why did Credit Suisse have to be sold so suddenly ‘at such short (banking) notice’, given that the giant bank has existed for 166 years with a superb banking tradition among other cutting-edge world banks?

If we want to answer this question, we need to bear in mind that the bank at the moment of its acquisition had more than $100 billions in its assets so its financial balance was rather sound and particularly because it had more than $500 billion in passive capital such as real estate. Yet, recently it was sold for an obscenely low amount at about $3,7 billion. But the real reason appears to have been the heavy pressure that the U.S. government exerted on the government of Switzerland that Credit Suisse, this steam engine of credit and paragon of superb banking reputation, had to be sold inexplicably urgently, sending shockwaves across the financial sector. A direct cause for this seemingly sudden decision was the previous collapse of two other banks: Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank (oddly enough, not many ordinary people had heard of those before their collapse) and an additional reason: a financial turmoil in the U.S. stock exchange.

Suddenly, a saying comes to my mind: ‘for everything there is a good reason and a real reason’. The real reason for the Credit Suisse collapse was found out a few weeks ago. Namely, the U.S. Senate Budget Committee was in session recently and one of the topics was Credit Suisse Bank. A layperson may wonder how come Credit Suisse has been (was?) targeted by the Budget Committee in the U.S. Senate? And why one part of the report adopted at the Senate Committee which the media managed to get hold of was literally blurred on the verge of illegibility. Apparently, the reason was the obstruction of the Credit Suisse Bank surrounding the investigation of the financial funds which had been deposited by the Nazis (yes, you’ve heard well, the ‘bad’ old Nazis) after the Second World War into the bank accounts of Credit Suisse and its legal predecessors: die Schweizerische Kreditanstalt and a number of other banks or smaller scale financial institutions.

However, this unyielding search for the Nazi money, the part of which originates from the property and gold which belonged to the Jews brutally murdered in the concentration camps during the Second World War, has lasted for quite a while. The investigation in question was first conducted by Volzker’s Commission, and then Bergier’s Commission and then from March 2020 by the already well known Simon Wiesenthal Centre, famous for hunting down the Nazis. Namely, only now have the broader public found out that in 2020 a full-blown administrative war of small proportions was waged behind the proverbial curtains between the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on one side and Credit Suisse Bank on the other, mediated by the independent ombudsperson and an independent advisor. The ombudsperson and the independent advisor were both appointed upon the insistence on the part of the Credit Suisse Bank.

The position of ombudsperson was given to Neil Barofsky, the former public prosecutor of the State of New York. Ira Forman, a special U.S. government envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism was appointed to be the investigation advisor. The agreement between these two sides was kept in absolute secrecy related to the thorough and complete investigation of the Nazi funds allegedly deposited in Credit Suisse. But on the 21st November 2022, Credit Suisse flatly refused to cooperate further and definitely ceased collaboration with the Investigative Committee. In response to that decision, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre determined to come out into the public and expose the nefarious activities by Credit Suisse. Shortly afterwards, in April this year both the ombudsperson and the advisor submitted a report to the U.S. Senate Budget Committee.

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“..the president personally empathizes and identifies with the dead, encourages more Americans to become dead, offers cash incentives to hospitals that expedite death, and makes pharmaceuticals available — both legal and illegal — for inducing efficient transitions to the bliss of non-being.”

The Next Big Thing (Jim Kunstler)

Now that the charm has worn off the transsexual craze — the idea that a person’s emotional distress can be cured by identifying as the opposite sex — we await the next ploy out of the Woke Transhumanist game-plan to destabilize the human project on earth. People-of-color, brown, indigenous, Pacific Islander, gay, lesbian, plus-size, differently-abled, all women (of course), have taken their turn in the batting order of intersectional oppressed minority groups, and each has walked off with a participation trophy. Who’s left now? The dead! Their needs have not received sufficient attention. Inclusion has not come to them… yet. They are systematically kept out of all current activities and ceremonies. They are segregated in ghettos of grass and granite. The legal system stigmatizes them. Numerically, through human history, they are by far the largest demographic. Yet, they are routinely ignored, overlooked, disrespected. If anyone deserves to be Woked-up from the sleep of oppression, it’s them.

Don’t despair, a great grooming is underway. The next new thing will be for most of us to transition into the dead. Do you think it’s an accident that Hollywood has churned out zombie movies by morgue-full in recent years? Obviously, more and more Americans have come to identify as the walking dead. (And, judging by the behavior in our land, a lot of people’s brains have been eaten.) Even our businesses and banks have a walking dead kind of look to them. Our project in Ukraine has been a tremendous grooming aid in preparing people to become dead. But that experiment is nearly complete now. Hence, we must seek a much bigger global project for transitioning humanity into the satisfactions of being dead. A war with China would be the ideal grooming opportunity. They outnumber us about ten to one. They’ve developed hypersonic missiles that can deliver nuclear payloads anywhere in our country, with the potential of transitioning millions of Americans at a time.

And when they’re done with that, they can send an army over here to work the luckless survivors to death out in the soybean fields and the corn rows. Perhaps in anticipation of this, America elected (so they say) a president in mid-transition to being dead. “Joe Biden” is celebrated for staying mostly out-of-sight, underground, for speaking a dead language that resembles 20th century American vernacular English, for lurching one way and another, zombie-like, on his way off-stage in fleeting public appearances, and for taking large sums of money from Chinese officials who support America’s transitioning program. Best of all, the president personally empathizes and identifies with the dead, encourages more Americans to become dead, offers cash incentives to hospitals that expedite death, and makes pharmaceuticals available — both legal and illegal — for inducing efficient transitions to the bliss of non-being.

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“perverse that you report an allegation of a pretty serious crime and they don’t investigate [it] but they were investigating you.”

Joe Biden Bribery Allegations First Brought To DOJ In 2018 (Devine)

Explosive bribery allegations involving Joe Biden and foreign nationals were brought to the Department of Justice as early as 2018, two years before similar allegations against the president were made by the whistleblower now talking to the House Oversight Committee. Bud Cummins, a former federal prosecutor, first reported the bribery allegations to then-New York US Attorney Geoff Berman on Oct. 4, 2018, in an email claiming he had evidence that Joe Biden had “exercised influence to protect” his son’s Ukrainian employer “in exchange for payments to Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, and Joe Biden.” In the email obtained by John Solomon’s Just The News, Cummins said that Ukraine’s then-Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko wanted to travel to the United States to meet Berman, and could produce two “John Doe” witnesses to corroborate his claims about the Bidens.

But Berman never responded to the email. Instead, in a move Cummins says seemed like “retaliation,” on Dec. 9, 2019, in the middle of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, federal prosecutors secretly obtained data from Cummins’ iPhone with a grand jury subpoena to Apple. “I can’t really imagine a legitimate reason for the DOJ not to follow up on an offer like that. I felt like it was stonewalled,” said Cummins, formerly Arkansas’ chief federal prosecutor under President George W. Bush. “It doesn’t make much sense to investigate the guy who brings you the allegation rather than the allegation,” he said. When he received a notice from Apple last October telling him that his data had been accessed three years earlier, he said he found it “perverse that you report an allegation of a pretty serious crime and they don’t investigate [it] but they were investigating you.”

Cummins’ report was just one of a number of red flags raised with the DOJ between 2016 and 2020 about the Biden family influence-peddling scheme. The FBI has had Hunter’s abandoned laptop in its possession since December 2019, and Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski handed over the contents of his three devices and provided evidence of then-candidate Biden’s involvement in his son’s overseas business deals during a five-hour interview with the FBI days before the 2020 election.

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“It is an embarrassment that a journalist who denounced trickery by one state against another is arrested, condemned to die in jail and we do nothing to free him. It’s a crazy thing..”

‘Crazy thing’ – Lula Criticizes Imprisonment Of Assange (RT)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has criticized the UK for its treatment of Julian Assange. He said the WikiLeaks founder has been imprisoned for his professional activities as a journalist and called on the government to release him. “It is an embarrassment that a journalist who denounced trickery by one state against another is arrested, condemned to die in jail and we do nothing to free him. It’s a crazy thing,” Lula told journalists after attending the coronation of King Charles III in London on Saturday. He also told reporters that Assange’s is a case of freedom of expression, adding that the Australian national is behind bars merely “because he denounced wrongdoing.” Lula also lambasted the media for failing to back their colleague.

Meanwhile, speaking to Australia’s ABC broadcaster from London on Thursday, the country’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, argued that “there is nothing to be served” by keeping Assange behind bars. “This needs to be brought to a conclusion,” he stated, adding that Canberra is “working through diplomatic channels, we’re making very clear what our position is on Mr. Assange’s case.” Albanese, who has previously denounced Assange’s imprisonment on several occasions, acknowledged that the process is “frustrating.” On Friday, the WikiLeaks founder, who has been languishing in London’s Belmarsh high security prison since 2019, wrote a letter to King Charles III. Among other things, he invited the monarch to visit the facility. “As a political prisoner, held at Your Majesty’s pleasure on behalf of an embarrassed foreign sovereign, I am honored to reside within the walls of this world-class institution,” the journalist wrote.

Assange was arrested by British authorities after Ecuador revoked his asylum status and allowed the UK police to remove him from the country’s embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder had been sheltering in the diplomatic mission’s premises since 2012. On the day of his arrest, the US Department of Justice served Assange with 17 charges under the Espionage Act, which could potentially put him behind bars for 175 years. His defense team is currently fighting a US extradition request. The charges stem from his publication of classified material obtained by whistleblowers, including classified documents alleging US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although Assange did not personally hack these materials, he was still charged for his role in publishing them.

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Breton

 

 


For 250 million years, pollinators have been the planet’s secret agents for sustaining terrestrial life on Earth and many people ignore that over 500 plant species rely on bats to pollinate their flowers. This is a lesser long-nosed bat after a busy night

 

 


This is an entirely flat floor. The 16th century optical illusion of Florence Cathedral’s marble tiles.

 

 


20 million year old winged ant trapped in amber resin captured by Dr. Yuan Ji

 

 

 

 

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Apr 142023
 
 April 14, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Jean-Michel Basquiat Warrior 1982

 

US Fanning Ukraine Crisis, Exacerbating Ukrainians’ Suffering – Xinhua (TASS)
CIA Director Concedes US Power Is Waning (RT)
World Faces ‘Most Dangerous Period Of Time In History’ – Trump (RT)
Bolton Touts ‘Grand Strategy’ To Counter Russia and China (RT)
US Military Would Need Conscription to Fight China (ET)
Stalemate Will Force Ukraine To Enact ‘Full Mobilization’ – Media (RT)
Seymour Hersh: The CIA Knows Ukrainian Officials Are Skimming US Aid (Antiwar)
Moscow Urges Washington To Issue Visas To Russian Delegation To UN Events (TASS)
Brazil Rebels Against US Dollar ‘Straitjacket’ (RT)
Frozen Assets To Be Returned To Russia After End Of Conflict (TASS)
UN Seeking To Reconnect Some Russian Banks To SWIFT (RT)
Trump Testifies In New York Business Fraud Case (Az.)
Appeals Court Ruling May Threaten DOJ Position in Dozens of Jan. 6 Cases (ET)
New York Times Is Now Telling Bigger Lies Than Iraq WMDs (Swanson)
Anheuser-Busch Loses $6BN In Six Days After Bud Light Trans Ad Campaign (ZH)

 

 

 

 

RFKjr Milgram

RFK jr autism
https://twitter.com/i/status/1646353148305457155

 

 

 

 

Babies stroke

 

 

Spike sperm
https://twitter.com/i/status/1646520024667148295

 

 

 

 

Rogan Taibbi

 

 

Tucker Musk

 

 

Tucker hot war

DC Draino:
Jack Texeira, the Ukraine Whistleblower, exposed Biden illegally putting US troops in Ukraine w/o Congressional authorization per the War Powers Resolution of 1973, an impeachable offense
His patriotism may end up stopping WW3
He doesn’t deserve jail time
He deserves an award

Pepe Escobar:
Old school Beltway intel source, retired:
Controlled leak.
Internal.
Way, way up – beyond the CIA.
21-year old gamer is a fall guy.
The circus is in town – actually a show that never ends.

 

 

 

 

“..the biggest peacebreaker and troublemaker in today’s world..”

“..It remains to be seen if they have noticed the changes in the Global South and started to reflect on the reasons behind them..”

US Fanning Ukraine Crisis, Exacerbating Ukrainians’ Suffering – Xinhua (TASS)

The United States has been fueling the crisis in Ukraine as it hampers peace there, while inflicting more pain on the Ukrainians, Xinhua said in a commentary on Friday. “As for the Ukraine crisis, the United States is constantly fanning the flame and hindering other countries from promoting talks for peace,” the Chinese news agency said. According to the commentary, leaders of many developing countries believe that by prolonging the crisis, Washington “is exacerbating the Ukrainians’ suffering, and impeding the resolution of other pressing issues facing the international community.” As a result, the international community, especially developing nations, “are more and more vocal in their criticism of the hegemonic and selfish behavior of the United States,” Xinhua maintains. While international peace and stability has been the biggest aspiration for developing countries, the agency argued, “it was made out of reach by the United States – the biggest peacebreaker and troublemaker in today’s world.”


“After the escalation of the Ukraine crisis, US-led Western countries launched severe sanctions against Russia, resulting in a spike of prices of global food, energy and other commodities, which overwhelmed developing countries,” the news agency emphasized. “It is obvious that more and more developing countries are now vocal in their opposition to the various irresponsible actions of the United States, with many refusing to follow the United States in imposing sanctions against Russia,” Xinhua added. “For years, American politicians have been used to pointing fingers at other countries and acting willfully on the international arena. It remains to be seen if they have noticed the changes in the Global South and started to reflect on the reasons behind them,” Xinhua concluded.

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“..Beijing is “not content to only have a seat at the table; it wants to run the table,” while Russia is seeking to “upend the table altogether.”

CIA Director Concedes US Power Is Waning (RT)

The dominant global role of the US can no longer be guaranteed as the country is witnessing a time of change “that comes along a couple of times a century,” CIA Director Bill Burns has claimed. Speaking at the Baker Institute earlier this week, Burns said that although Washington “still has a better hand to play than any of our rivals,” it is “no longer the only big kid on the geopolitical block and our position at the head of the table isn’t guaranteed.” The CIA chief pointed to growing ties between China and Russia, which he argued will present a “formidable challenge” for his agency for years to come. According to Burns, Beijing is “not content to only have a seat at the table; it wants to run the table,” while Russia is seeking to “upend the table altogether.”

Burns, who served as the US ambassador to Moscow under George W. Bush, condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, calling it an act of “brutish aggression.” He claimed the CIA has provided “good intelligence” that has “helped the Ukrainians defend themselves” and cemented “a strong coalition in support of Ukraine.” Burns added that Kiev’s long-anticipated spring offensive would feature “strong material and intelligence support from the US and our allies.” The spy chief claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not serious about negotiations” on a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and suggested that only Ukrainian progress on the battlefield was “likely to shape prospects for diplomacy.”

Russia has repeatedly stated that it is open to peace talks and has blamed Kiev and its Western allies for blocking negotiations. Ukraine has placed a legal ban on any talks with Russia as it seeks to defeat its opponent on the battlefield. Regarding China, Burns insisted that Beijing remains the CIA’s “biggest long-term priority.” He noted that in the last few years, the intelligence agency has doubled the resources it focuses on China, including hiring and training Mandarin speakers and stepping up efforts to compete with Beijing on the world stage. “Managing a crucial and increasingly adversarial relationship with China will be the most significant test for American policy makers for decades to come,” the US official said, arguing that the risk of a conflict over Taiwan will continue to grow.

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“I think it’s much more than infrastructure we’re talking about.”

“..the most dangerous period of time in the history of our country and in the history of the world, right now, and we have an incompetent person at the top.”

World Faces ‘Most Dangerous Period Of Time In History’ – Trump (RT)

The world has been pushed to the brink of total destruction by inept leaders and nuclear weapons that are 500 times as powerful as the atomic bombs that American forces dropped on Japan during World War II, former US president Donald Trump has claimed. “Look, we could end up in World War III over this whole thing,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that was aired on Wednesday night. He added, “I believe it is the most dangerous period of time in history – number one, because we have people on top that are incompetent. That’s number one.” Trump made his comments in the context of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Russian officials have warned that increasing US and NATO involvement in Ukraine, including massive military aid to Kiev, could escalate the crisis into a wider conflict, possibly involving nuclear weapons.

Asked by host Tucker Carlson who was behind last year’s bombing of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Trump said it wasn’t Moscow. He implied that Washington was involved in the sabotage, saying, “I don’t want to get our country in trouble, so I won’t answer it.” The former president acknowledged that it was “very dangerous” to blow up the pipelines, adding, “I think most people know who did it.” Asked whether the US put itself at risk of retaliatory strikes on its critical infrastructure, he said, “I think it’s much more than infrastructure we’re talking about.”

Trump also warned that nuclear weapons are the biggest threat facing the world today, and the US and Russian arsenals could cause unprecedented destruction. “All it takes is one madman, and you’re gonna have a problem the likes of which the world has never seen.” Trump, who is currently polling as the leading Republican Party candidate in the 2024 presidential race, blamed current US leadership for heightening the risk of nuclear war with Russia and China. “The most dangerous period of time – because of weaponry, because of nuclear, because of weaponry – the most dangerous period of time in the history of our country and in the history of the world, right now, and we have an incompetent person at the top.

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“Bolton urged Washington to prepare for what happens “after Ukraine wins its war with Russia.”

Bolton Touts ‘Grand Strategy’ To Counter Russia and China (RT)

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has urged Washington to implement a new Cold War-style strategy against Russia and China. According to the long-time hawk, the West should cut back on social security to fund military spending, renew testing of nuclear weapons, and provide NATO-like protection to Taiwan. Bolton, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump, described his “grand-strategy” approach to geopolitics in a Wall Street Journal column on Wednesday, urging candidates in the 2024 US presidential election to think in the same terms. The US should have a “contemporary reincarnation” of NSC-68, the top-secret document adopted under President Harry Truman which laid the foundation for militarizing the confrontation with the USSR. Bolton claimed that in the new Cold War, the US and its allies would be pitted against a Chinese-Russian “axis” and “accompanying rogue-state outriders like Iran and North Korea.”

He named several key points for his proposed strategy, including an immediate increase in military spending to Reagan-era levels, which he claimed should be maintained for the foreseeable future. Bolton also argued that Western nations should cut back on social spending, because “neither the obese welfare state nor massive income-redistribution schemes protect us from foreign adversaries.” In addition, he asserted that the US should upgrade its nuclear stockpiles, which would mean “the inevitable need to resume some underground testing.” Bolton’s plan also advocated the “improvement and expansion” of American military alliances, possibly by making NATO a global organization. This would help “exclude Moscow from regional influence, along with Beijing,” the former official claimed.

The self-governed Chinese island of Taiwan should get “much more military aid” from Western nations, which should “embed Taipei into collective-defense structures,” Bolton also suggested. The recommendation comes despite the Chinese government identifying Taiwanese separatism as a major ‘red line’ which may trigger military action if crossed. Finally, Bolton urged Washington to prepare for what happens “after Ukraine wins its war with Russia.” He claimed that such an outcome could lead to Russia’s fragmentation, and warned that China would then seize some of its territories, providing it with “direct access to the Arctic, including even the Bering Strait, facing Alaska.” Moscow has claimed that the conflict in Ukraine is part of a US proxy war against Russia, and that Washington’s goal is to partition the country. The Russian leadership has argued that this threat leaves it with no other option but to succeed in Ukraine.

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“Our army is too small as constituted to actually prosecute a war with these countries, but it’s large enough that it’s sucking a lot of resources away.”

US Military Would Need Conscription to Fight China (ET)

The U.S. military could not achieve victory in a war with China using its current, all-volunteer force, according to one expert. The United States will thus need to radically transform its force structure to better contend with the emerging threat environment, up to and including by reinstating conscription, said Jonathan Askonas, an assistant professor of Politics at Catholic University of America. “This is a five-alarm fire,” Askonas said during an April 11 discussion with the Hudson Institute think tank. “We’re facing global threats and we have a force structure which we know will not work against those threats. “We basically can’t fight a war larger than Iraq with the all-volunteer force.”

The all-volunteer force has been a staple of U.S. military organization since 1973, when the draft was terminated along with the United States’ direct involvement in the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, Askonas said, the all-volunteer force was proving incapable of generating the number of service members required for a war between great powers, and its burdensome logistical processes were likely to be ineffective in either a conflict with China in the Indo-Pacific theater or supporting European powers against Russia. “We have a Goldilocks problem,” Askonas said. “Our army is too small as constituted to actually prosecute a war with these countries, but it’s large enough that it’s sucking a lot of resources away.”

“We have to be ruthless. We need to adapt our force structure not to hypothetical threats or in some universal Swiss army knife approach, but to the actual threats that we face.” To that end, Askonas suggested that the military should re-adopt a “cadre” system for deploying the military, not dissimilar to that used in World War II. Under such a system, the number of resource-heavy full time service members would be decreased in peacetime in favor of investing in expensive, slow-to-build items like warships.

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There is no stalemate.

Stalemate Will Force Ukraine To Enact ‘Full Mobilization’ – Media (RT)

The US believes that neither Ukraine nor Russia will achieve major gains on the battlefield this year, and that the ensuing stalemate will force Kiev to call up every last available man to fight, according to leaked Pentagon documents cited by the Washington Post. The US Defense Intelligence Agency views both Kiev and Moscow as having “insufficient troops and supplies for effective operations,” and as such predicts that the conflict in Ukraine will drag on into 2024, with both sides achieving only “marginal” territorial gains this year, the newspaper reported on Wednesday. Nevertheless, “negotiations to end the conflict are unlikely,” the agency reportedly wrote in its assessment, which was included in a trove of leaked documents.

The Post and a number of newspapers have published information from some of these documents, while simultaneously helping the government track down the suspected leaker, who was arrested by the FBI on Thursday after the New York Times published his identity. In a protracted conflict with little chance of victory or negotiations, it is Ukraine that will pay the heaviest price, the Pentagon reportedly believes. Such a stalemate will force Kiev to enact the “full mobilization” of its remaining male population, the Post reported, a move that will trigger public “criticism” of Vladimir Zelensky’s government and make “leadership changes more likely.”

The document also gives scenarios in which Ukraine either scores a decisive victory, forcing Russia to escalate or negotiate, or Russia scores a victory that enables it to demand regime change in Kiev. However, the stalemate outcome is reportedly listed as “the most likely scenario.” Kiev’s efforts to conscript civilians into military service have proven unpopular, with numerous videos surfacing showing men being forcibly detained on the streets and press-ganged into service. With Ukrainian lawmakers reportedly considering expanding the draft, many of those already in uniform have been funneled into the encircled Donbass town of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine), which they consider no longer worth defending.

Other recently leaked Pentagon documents revealed that, as of February, the US believes Ukraine has suffered up to 131,000 casualties in the conflict thus far, including up to 17,500 killed. Establishing a true body count is difficult, as Ukraine rarely publishes its losses. Last autumn, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen put Kiev’s fatalities at 100,000, a claim that was disputed by Kiev and later removed from the EU’s websites. The Post noted that the documents did not specify whether a “leadership change” in Kiev refers to a rotation of political leaders or military brass. Officials in Kiev are reportedly outraged over the leak, which also included information suggesting Ukraine is ill-equipped to mount its long-promised spring counteroffensive.

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“..Burns presented Zelensky with a list of 35 generals and senior government officials whose corruption was known to the CIA. Zelensky responded by dismissing 10 officials..”

“.. Zelensky “has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments.”

Seymour Hersh: The CIA Knows Ukrainian Officials Are Skimming US Aid (Antiwar)

On Wednesday, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report on Substack that alleged the CIA was aware of widespread corruption in Ukraine and the embezzlement of US aid. The report said the Ukrainian government has been using US taxpayer money to purchase diesel from Russia to fuel its military. Hersh said Zelensky “has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments.” Hersh said according to one estimate by CIA analysts, at least $400 million in funds were embezzled last year. Sources told Hersh that Ukrainian officials are also “competing” to set up front companies for export contracts to private arms dealers around the world.

The issue of corruption was raised during a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and Zelensky in January. An intelligence official with direct knowledge of the meeting told Hersh that Burns delivered a stunning message to Zelensky. Hersh wrote: “The senior generals and government officials in Kiev were angry at what they saw as Zelensky’s greed, so Burns told the Ukrainian president, because ‘he was taking a larger share of the skim money than was going to the generals.’” During the meeting, Burns presented Zelensky with a list of 35 generals and senior government officials whose corruption was known to the CIA. Zelensky responded by dismissing 10 officials who were engaged in flagrant corruption. “The ten he got rid of were brazenly bragging about the money they had—driving around Kiev in their new Mercedes,” the intelligence official said.

Hersh said Zelensky’s “half-hearted response” and the “lack of concern” in the White House angered some US intelligence officials. The intelligence official speaking to Hersh criticized President Biden’s two main foreign policy advisors, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. “They have no experience, judgment, and moral integrity. They just tell lies, make up stories. Diplomatic deniability is something else,” the official said. The official said there was a “total breakdown between the White House leadership and the intelligence community.” The report said the rift started in the fall when the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines were blown up. According to Hersh’s earlier reporting, President Biden ordered the operation that took out the pipelines. “Destroying the Nord Stream pipelines was never discussed, or even known in advance, by the community,” the official said.

The official said there is “no strategy for ending the war” within the Biden administration and offered more scathing criticism of Blinken and Sullivan. “Burns is not the problem,” the official said. “The problem is Biden and his principal lieutenants—Blinken and Sullivan and their court of worshippers—who see those who criticize Zelensky as being pro-Putin. ‘We are against evil. Ukraine will fight ’til the last military shell is gone, and still fight.’ And here’s Biden who is telling America that we’re going to fight as long as it takes.” Hersh’s story comes after a series of leaked top-secret documents from the Pentagon and other government agencies surfaced online. Some of the documents show US war planning for Ukraine and reveal the US doubts Kyiv’s ability to launch a successful counter-offensive, offering a starkly different view of Ukraine’s abilities than what Biden officials have been saying publicly

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Move the UN. Or dissolve it altogether.

Moscow Urges Washington To Issue Visas To Russian Delegation To UN Events (TASS)

Moscow urges Washington to immediately issue visas to members of Russia’s delegation to events related to the country’s chairmanship of the UN Security Council, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said. “The request to issue visas for the Russian delegation and the journalists was sent to the US Embassy in Moscow at the end of March. However, not a single entry permission has been granted so far,” the envoy said in a statement, commenting on the issuance of visas to members of the Russian delegation led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “There was an agreement that the Russian media representatives would visit the American diplomatic mission on March 31 to have their visa applications examined. However, the appointment was canceled without any explanation less than one day prior to it. There is still no certainty, although there are only a few days left before the event,” Antonov noted.


“We urge Washington to immediately issue visas for our delegation, as well as for our journalists. Failure to do that is a violation of the United States’ obligations as the host country of the UN headquarters, which impedes appropriate, full-fledged functioning of the World Organization,” the Russian ambassador stressed. “An incomprehensible situation concerning the Minister’s special flight is evolving. The US authorities have not yet sanctioned the arrival of the aircraft. We expect Americans to promptly grant the flight permission without any conditions or restrictions,” Antonov added. The UN secretary general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a briefing on Wednesday that the United Nations expected the US to issue visas to members of Lavrov’s delegation, expected to visit the UN headquarters in late April.

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“Every night I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar. Why can’t we do trade based on our own currencies?”

Brazil Rebels Against US Dollar ‘Straitjacket’ (RT)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has stated that developing nations should move away from the US dollar in favor of their own currencies in order to push back against American dominance over the global financial system. Speaking in Shanghai on Thursday during an official visit to China, Lula said the BRICS group – comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – should look for an alternative currency to the dollar for trade. “Every night I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar. Why can’t we do trade based on our own currencies?” he said. “Who was it that decided that the dollar was the currency after the disappearance of the gold standard?”

The leftist leader went on to lament that “everyone depends on just one currency,” referring to the dollar, and proposed “a currency to finance trade relations between Brazil and China, between Brazil and other countries.” Lula kicked off his trip to China with an event to mark the appointment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as the head of the New Development Bank, also known as the ‘BRICS bank,’ which he said could free emerging economies “from submission to traditional financial institutions, which want to govern us.”

Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad also traveled with the president to China, where he told reporters that Brazil would aim to create trade mechanisms for developing countries to bypass the use of the dollar. “The advantage is to avoid the straitjacket imposed by necessarily having trade operations settled in a currency of a country not involved in the transaction,” he said. Lula’s visit to China comes as Beijing increasingly promotes the use of its own currency, the renminbi, to settle international transactions. Last month, Russia said it had adopted the yuan as one of its primary reserve currencies amid a massive sanctions campaign linked to the conflict in Ukraine, highlighting a gradual shift away from the Western financial system by some major powers.

Trade between China and Brazil has seen a significant boost over the last decade, with more than $150 billion in business recorded last year. Chinese firms have bought up large amounts of minerals and agricultural goods in the South American country, and invested in Brazilian infrastructure. The Brazilian president arrived in China on Wednesday night and will remain there until April 15. After his speech in Shanghai, Lula headed off to Beijing, where he is set to meet with President Xi Jinping on Friday. The two leaders are expected to focus on issues related to trade and foreign policy – such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to develop roads, highways and other infrastructure in foreign countries – according to the Financial Times.

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“..the EU’s legal service has not yet found an answer to a question what to do if the EU loses these funds in a certain situation..”

Frozen Assets To Be Returned To Russia After End Of Conflict (TASS)

Lawyers of the European Commission (EC) have arrived at a conclusion that assets of the Bank of Russia frozen in the EU will have to be returned to Russia after the end of the conflict in Ukraine, Die Welt newspaper said on Thursday, citing an unpublished EC document. Assets of the Bank of Russia cannot be simply transferred to Ukraine, EC experts said. “There is political will but legal barriers are high. The European Commission comes to a sobering conclusion that frozen assets cannot be touched since once upon a time, when the war ends, they will have to be returned to Russia,” the newspaper informed. The next one suggested by the EC is to invest frozen assets of the Bank of Russia in European government bonds and use the interest for payments to Kiev. At the same time, the EU’s legal service has not yet found an answer to a question what to do if the EU loses these funds in a certain situation, the newspaper reported. Actions in such case still need to be clarified, Die Welt said.

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“..According to the Kremlin, only half of the agreement is currently being implemented because not all parties have kept their side of the bargain…”

UN Seeking To Reconnect Some Russian Banks To SWIFT (RT)

The United Nations is discussing bringing some Russian banks back to the SWIFT payment system in order to help keep grain shipments from Ukraine going, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said. When asked during a briefing on Wednesday if any progress had been made on Russia’s demands regarding the grain agreement, Dujarric said that UN officials were “trying to doggedly move the process forward.” Moscow warned on Wednesday that the outlook for extending beyond May 18 the grain deal, which ensures the safe export of grain and fertilizer from several Ukrainian Black Sea ports, was “not good.”

The Kremlin has demanded allowing Russian Agricultural Bank to return to SWIFT, permitting Russia to import agricultural machinery, as well as the removal of insurance restrictions, port access for Russian ships and cargo, and an unblocking of the financial activities of Russian fertilizer companies. “Obviously, the fact that a number of Russian financial institutions are not, if not all of them, I’m not sure, are not in the SWIFT system makes things more complicated. And we are in discussions with the people who are responsible for SWIFT and the Europeans and others on that,” Dujarric said.

According to him, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has no authority over SWIFT or over the EU member states that imposed anti-Russia sanctions. “He has no authority over insurance companies, shipping companies. He can’t tell them what to do,” the spokesman stressed, adding that “we’re trying to herd a whole group of people.” While the Western sanctions do not directly target Russian agricultural goods, they affect payments, insurance and shipping. With many Russian banks disconnected from SWIFT, direct settlements for exports have been made difficult. Under the pact, brokered in July last year by the UN and Türkiye, Russia was to receive a sanctions reprieve for its own agricultural goods. However, Moscow has voiced discontent with UN efforts to lift Western restrictions affecting the sector.

According to the Kremlin, only half of the agreement is currently being implemented because not all parties have kept their side of the bargain. In March, Moscow agreed to extend the agreement for 60 days, stressing it would only consider a further extension if the demands in relation to its own exports were met. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the time that the organization would “do everything possible to preserve the integrity” of the deal and make sure that it continued to function. The Black Sea export agreement has reportedly allowed more than 27.5 million tons of food to be shipped out, which, according to the UN, has helped lower food prices across the world.

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Every real estate company makes itself look the best it can. What fraud?

Trump Testifies In New York Business Fraud Case (Az.)

Former US President Donald Trump answered questions Thursday in New York during his second deposition in a civil case accusing him of business fraud, according to Anadolu Agency. The deposition came only a week after Trump’s arraignment on criminal charges in a separate lawsuit. The $250 million lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James last year against the ex-president claims that Trump and his family misled banks and business associates about his net worth and the value of some of his assets. Trump denies any wrongdoing. The questions behind closed doors took nearly seven hours, according to media reports. ”This civil case is ridiculous, just like all of the other Election Interference cases being brought against me,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social ahead of his testimony. Last week, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts related to his alleged involvement in a scheme to pay “hush money” to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

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Obstruction.

Appeals Court Ruling May Threaten DOJ Position in Dozens of Jan. 6 Cases (ET)

An April 7 decision issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals may jeopardize a key legal backing used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, according to attorney Albert Watkins. “What this opinion did do was, it practically begged for other [Jan. 6] cases to be brought up to the Court of Appeals that would permit a more balanced opinion,” Watkins, who has represented four Jan. 6 defendants, including released prisoner Jacob Chansley, told The Epoch Times on April 11. Watkins’s comment came after a three-judge panel at the D.C. Court of Appeals on April 7, struck down a lower court’s ruling in a 2–1 vote, dismissing a federal charge against three Jan. 6 defendants, and rejected the lower court’s reasoning about the scope of the obstruction charge.

Although the higher court’s ruling (pdf) allowed the DOJ’s prosecution of these three specific defendants—Joseph Fischer, Edward Lang, and Garret Miller—to continue, the effect of the higher court’s opinion extends beyond these cases, the attorney said. According to Watkins, this extended effect has to do with the interpretation of language regarding “corrupt” intention in obstruction charges, considering that the DOJ has been using the obstruction charge as an “attractive” legal tool to prosecute Jan. 6 cases and score plea agreements. According to a provision in the statute for obstruction charge (18 U.S. Code Section 1512 2(c)), “Whoever corruptly … obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

A narrowed definition of this provision could hinder the DOJ’s ability to use the charge further and introduce uncertainties in the ongoing trials, the attorney indicated. The DOJ had charged more than 200 Jan. 6 defendants with obstruction-related charges. “It should cause a certain degree of trepidation on the part of the Department of Justice about utilizing—in a very footloose and fancy-free fashion—the obstruction of an official proceeding charge as the count of choice for pleas,” Watkins said. “I will say it was, in many respects, an extraordinary opinion—more time was spent addressing potential issues not before the court than the issues actually before the court.”

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“What in the world would it mean to oppose organized mass murder because it skews right wing?”

New York Times Is Now Telling Bigger Lies Than Iraq WMDs (Swanson)

The New York Times routinely tells bigger lies than the clumsy nonsense it published about weapons in Iraq. Here’s an example. This package of lies is called “Liberals Have a Blind Spot on Defense” but mentions nothing related to defense. It simply pretends that militarism is defensive by applying that word and by lying that “we face simultaneous and growing military threats from Russia and China.” Seriously? Where? The U.S. military budget is more than those of most nations of the world combined. Only 29 nations, out of some 200 on Earth, spend even 1 percent what the U.S. does. Of those 29, a full 26 are U.S. weapons customers. Many of those receive free U.S. weapons and/or training and/or have U.S. bases in their countries.

Only one non-ally, non-weapons customer (albeit a collaborator in bioweapons research labs) spends over 10% what the U.S. does, namely China, which was at 37% of U.S. spending in 2021 and likely about the same now despite the highly horrifying increases widely reported in the U.S. media and on the floor of Congress. (That’s not considering weapons for Ukraine and various other U.S. expenses.) While the U.S. has planted military bases around Russia and China, neither has a military base anywhere near the United States, and neither has threatened the United States. Now, if you don’t want to fill the globe with U.S. weaponry and provoke Russia and China on their borders, the New York Times has some additional lies for you: “Defense spending is about as pure an application of a domestic industrial policy — with thousands of good-paying, high-skilled manufacturing jobs — as any other high-tech sector.”

No, it is not. Just about any other way of spending public dollars, or even not taxing them in the first place, produces more and better jobs. Here’s a doozie: “Liberals also used to be hostile to the military on the assumption that it skewed right wing, but that’s a harder argument to make when the right is complaining about a ‘woke military.’” What in the world would it mean to oppose organized mass murder because it skews right wing? What the hell else could it skew? I oppose militarism because it kills, destroys, damages the Earth, drives homelessness and illness and poverty, prevents global cooperation, tears down the rule of law, prevents self-governance, produces the dumbest pages of the New York Times, fuels bigotry, and militarizes police, and because there are better ways to resolve disputes and to resist the militarism of others. I’m not going to start cheering for mass killings because some general doesn’t hate enough groups.

Then there’s this lie: “The Biden administration touts the size of its $842 billion budget request, and in nominal terms it’s the largest ever. But that fails to account for inflation.” If you look at U.S. military spending according to SIPRI in constant 2021 dollars from 1949 to now (all the years they provide, with their calculation adjusting for inflation), Obama’s 2011 record will probably fall this year. If you look at actual numbers, not adjusting for inflation, Biden has set a new record each year. If you add in the free weapons for Ukraine, then, even adjusting for inflation, the record fell this past year and will probably be broken again in the coming year.

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How to kill a brand.

Anheuser-Busch Loses $6BN In Six Days After Bud Light Trans Ad Campaign (ZH)

After reaching a three-year high of $66.73 per share, Bud Light parent company Anheuser Busch Inbev lost more than $6 billion in market cap since announcing its partnership with 26-year-old transgender ‘influencer’ Dylan Mulvaney on April 2, as bar owners and distributors report a sharp decline in Bud Light sales over the past week. The company’s market cap fell as low as $125.7 billion, down from $132.8 billion six days ago, a drop of more than five-percent. Meanwhile competitor Molson Coors (TAP) saw $350 million added to its market cap over the last week. Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney included custom cans featuring his face and pro-LGBTQ language to commemorate the biological male’s ‘being a woman’ for over a year.


The ad campaign kicked off with naked Mulvaney drinking Bud Light in a bathtub. And while Anheuser-Busch issued a statement in support of Mulvaney, saying it “works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics,” the Daily Wire reports that company executives had no idea about the ad campaign. “No one at the senior level” of the company was aware of Bud Light’s polarizing partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, sources close to the situation claim. The company is also allegedly pausing its marketing efforts and scrambling to implement a more “robust” process for evaluating future influencer partnerships.

“No one at a senior level was aware this was happening,” said one source, who was granted anonymity to discuss sensitive internal discussions. “Some low-level marketing staffer who helps manage the hundreds of influencer engagements they do must have thought it was no big deal. Obviously it was, and it’s a shame because they have a well-earned reputation for just being America’s beer — not a political company. It was a mistake.” A second source also claimed that a lower level employee had made the decision to include Mulvaney in the campaign, a move that appears to have cost the company $5 billion in market value. The backlash to the iconic American beer brand has been so intense that a Budweiser distributor in Missouri canceled an event with the company’s famous Clydesdale horses because everything was “still sensitive” over the matter.” -Daily Wire

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Goats on trees
https://twitter.com/i/status/1646533792495206403

 

 


An albino tree is unable to produce chlorophyll & survives by obtaining sugar through neighboring trees’ roots

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 222023
 
 January 22, 2023  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Joseph Mallord William Turner The Fifth Plague of Egypt 1800

 

Six More Classified Documents Discovered At Biden House (ZH)
DOJ Seizes More Classified Docs From Biden’s Wilmington Home (Fox)
Joe Biden Took Classified Documents Home When He Was a Senator (CTH)
World Moving Closer To ‘Irreversible’ Disaster – Chomsky (RT)
Ukraine – Russian Army Activates Southern Front (MoA)
Fighting Russia ‘Very, Very Difficult’ For Ukraine – Gen. Milley (RT)
Russian Casualties In Ukraine Have Hit 188,000 – US Intel (Az.)
US Attempts To Seek Latin America’s Russian Arms Supplies To Kiev (TASS)
Duma Speaker Warns Of Powerful Retaliation For Weapons Supplies To Kiev (TASS)
Russians’ Level Of Trust In Putin Exceeds 78% (TASS)
Twitter Lost 80% Of Its Workforce Under Elon Musk (Az.)
Twitter Files Prove America Headed for ‘Totalitarian State Territory’ (ET)
EU Car Sales Collapse – Industry Body (RT)
GMC Blinks First: Regulator Declines to Investigate Dr Aseem Malhotra (DS)
Japan Declares It Will Handle COVID-19 Like a Seasonal Flu (GP)

 

 

 

 

The Year of the Tiger has given way to the Year of the Rabbit.

 

 

German MP

 

 

Dowd

 

 

 

 

Scott Adams
https://twitter.com/i/status/1616949618725781506

 

 

 

 

Well, more docs. And more obfuscation. Whereas Trump’s home was raided, Biden is said to have ”offered access to his home” (after more than 2 months. Lots of write-ups, here are two. I went to the CNN homepage, crickets.

BTW, it’s not “Six More Classified Documents”, but “six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials”. Yes, that could mean 1000 documents.

Six More Classified Documents Discovered At Biden House (ZH)

The Department of Justice found “six items consisting of documents with classification markings” during a Friday search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a Saturday statement by the president’s personal lawyers. Also found were notes from Biden’s time as a Senator, as well as his tenure as Vice President, according to a statement from Biden attorney Bob Bauer, which strategically leads with ‘we’ve fully cooperated!’ The search lasted from 9:45 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Friday, during which members of Biden’s personal legal tam were present along with members from the Office of the White House counsel, according to the statement. The DOJ also took materials “for further review.” The new documents mark the latest development in the scandal involving classified documents found at non-authorized locations used by Biden. The first batch of papers was discovered in early November, the day before midterm elections, at the Penn Biden Center. More documents marked classified were found at his Wilmington, Delaware home in December – and then earlier this month, an additional batch of papers was found at the home. “

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Department officials earlier considered having FBI agents monitor a search by Mr. Biden’s lawyers for classified documents at his homes but decided against it, both to avoid complicating later stages of the investigation and because Mr. Biden’s attorneys had quickly turned over a first batch and were cooperating, the Journal reported this week. Some law enforcement officials had discussed the possibility of asking Mr. Biden’s team for consent to have the FBI search the property themselves. Officials didn’t immediately take that step in part to preserve their freedom to take a tougher line later, including by executing a search warrant, the Journal reported. Instead, the two sides agreed that Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys would inspect the homes, notify the Justice Department as soon as they identified any other potentially classified records, and arrange for law-enforcement authorities to take them. -Wall Street Journal”

So, Biden’s personal attorneys searched the house themselves, said they turned everything over to the DOJ, and yet more were found? When Trump’s lawyers did that he was raided by the FBI.

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13 hour search covered “all working, living and storage spaces in the home.” What are the odds more will be “discovered” next week?

DOJ Seizes More Classified Docs From Biden’s Wilmington Home (Fox)

The Justice Department seized additional classified records from President Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home after an FBI search on Friday, Fox News has learned. “On Jan. 20, 2023, the FBI executed a planned, consensual search of the President’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware,” Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, an assistant U.S. attorney to U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, told Fox News Saturday. Lausch was the DOJ official running the investigation into Biden’s improper retention of classified records ahead of the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Hur. Fox News has learned Lausch is still playing an integral role in the probe as Hur gets up to speed. The FBI search began Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. and concluded Friday night around 10:30 p.m.


Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer said Saturday evening the search covered “all working, living and storage spaces in the home.” “At the outset of this matter, the President directed his personal attorneys to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice,” Bauer said. “Accordingly, having previously identified and reported to DOJ a small number of documents with classification markings at the President’s Wilmington home, and in the interest of moving the process forward as expeditiously as possible, we offered to provide prompt access to his home to allow DOJ to conduct a search of the entire premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material.” Bauer said that by agreement with the Justice Department, representatives of both Biden’s personal legal team and the White House Counsel’s Office were present for the search. Neither the president nor the first lady were present during the search.

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Don’t be fooled by comparisons between Trump and Biden classified docs. Trump was president when he took them home, and the criminal probe will address the legality of that. Biden took them as Senator and VP. 100% illegal.

Ted Cruz: on Twitter “This says some of the docs are from his Senate service. Serious Q: how on earth did he do that? I’ve served in the Senate for 10 years. EVERY single classified doc I’ve read—100%—have been in a secure SCIF in the basement of the Capitol. What the hell??”

Note: chief of staff Ron Klain is leaving, and more Obama insiders are lined up for the job.

Joe Biden Took Classified Documents Home When He Was a Senator (CTH)

According to multiple media report [See Here and See Here] Joe Biden’s attorneys coordinated a friendly FBI search their client’s Delaware residence. Lawyers for Biden were present and overseeing the FBI review of the home, when additional classified documents were discovered. Interestingly, the Biden lawyers seemingly admit their client had been taking classified documents home for quite some time. According to their statement: “DOJ took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President. DOJ also took for further review personally handwritten notes from the vice-presidential years.”

That statement was written by Joe Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer. That’s interesting on many levels, including the fact that Bob Bauer is married to Anita Dunn. Mrs. Anita Dunn is one of the original people who helped put Barack Obama in the White House; and Dunn worked with President Obama throughout his terms. Additionally, Anita Dunn is on the short list to replace Biden’s outgoing Chief of Staff, Ron Klain. Many people have wondered if Joe Biden was being set up for failure over this classified document scandal. In my opinion, the entire operation is being managed – but not to remove Biden, simply to control him and ensure he doesn’t run again.

When it comes to the insurance of their ideological long-term goals, democrats play cutthroat politics much better than most imagine. Ask Bernie Sanders what it’s like to be viewed as an impediment to the ideological quest, and what lengths his party will take to cut you down. Now overlay Joe Biden’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer. Think about who exactly it was discovering these documents and why. If Obama is the silent partner in the background of the Biden administration, then Dunn is the operational manager. If Dunn is the operational manager, then her husband is very useful as the principle’s attorney. From the big picture, it sure looks like Bauer is playing the role of Brutus.

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“the deterioration of an arena of rational serious debate and deliberation”

World Moving Closer To ‘Irreversible’ Disaster – Chomsky (RT)

The world is teetering on the brink of the abyss due to an increased risk of nuclear war, failure to address environmental challenges, and diminished ability to tackle problems rationally, world-renowned philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky told RT on Saturday. During the interview, Chomsky, who is Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona, was asked to expand on his remark that humanity could be pathologically dedicated to self-destruction. The philosopher recalled that in recent years the Doomsday Clock, which reflects how close humanity is to Armageddon, has moved closer to midnight, which symbolizes the extinction of humanity. He suggested that in several days it could be set even closer to this mark.

According to the philosopher, humanity’s main concerns are “an increasing threat of nuclear war” and “a very severe and growing threat of destruction of climate.” The latter problem persists because “states are not doing what they know they must do to solve this crisis,” he said. The third issue, Chomsky continued, is “the deterioration of an arena of rational serious debate and deliberation” combined with “the collapse of democratic forces” around the world. The professor admitted that while it might seem that this point has nothing to do with the threat of nuclear war and climate change, rational debate is “the only hope for dealing with the first two.”

“All three have gotten considerably worse during the past year, and unless there’s a sharp reversal, we’ll simply be heading for a precipice, falling over, irreversible, and not in the long distant future,” he warned. His comments come after earlier this week, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said that those who want to see Moscow defeated in Ukraine, ignore the fact that “a loss by a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger the start of a nuclear war.” Moscow believes the Ukraine conflict to be a proxy war waged against it by the US and its allies. However, Russia has repeatedly said that a nuclear war should never be fought, with its military doctrine allowing the use of atomic weapons only if the very existence of the state is threatened.

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“Russia’s Wagner forces have surrounded Bakhmut, lynchpin of ‘Zelensky Line’ [Ukr deployments in Donbass.] US media has begun backtracking on Bakhmut’s importance, anticipating its imminent fall into Russian hands & preparing opinion. A crushing defeat for US-UK axis in Ukraine.”

“The forces which are currently getting mauled in the Bakhmut area constitute 50% of Ukraine’s battle ready forces..”

Ukraine – Russian Army Activates Southern Front (MoA)

The long expected Russian offensive in Ukraine has begun. The Ukrainian army, egged on by its U.S. controllers, had put most of its resource into the static defense of the Bakhmut (Artyomovsk) – Soledar sector of the eastern front. An insane number of Ukrainian brigades, though many partially depleted, were concentrated on that 50 kilometer long front. This left other sectors nearly empty of Ukrainian troops. I count the equivalent of some 27 brigade size formations in that area. The usual size of a brigade is some 3,000 to 4,000 men with hundreds of all kinds of vehicles. If all brigades had their full strength that force would count as 97,500 men. In a recent interview the Ukrainian military commander Zaluzhny said that his army has 200,000 men trained to fight with 500,000 more having other functions or currently being trained.

The forces which are currently getting mauled in the Bakhmut area constitute 50% of Ukraine’s battle ready forces. On the southern and northern sectors of the battle-line the Ukrainian forces have been thinned out and are only able to defend against minor forces. The Ukrainian forces in the north and south are in the same position Russian troops had been in when the Ukrainian army last year launched a blitz attack in the Kharkiv region. The Russian screening force of some 2,000 boarder guards and federal police retreated and used its artillery to destroy the oncoming Ukrainian forces. The attack ran out of power and came to a halt after progressing some 70 kilometers on a rather large front. But Ukraine no longer has, unlike the Russians at that time, the artillery that is need to stop a larger thrust.


The big Ukrainian concentration in Bakhmut is now in an operational encirclement. The Russian forces have progressed north and south of the city and their artillery can easily control the western exit roads of Bakhmut. This a Verdun like situation. Russian artillery is by far numerical superior and can slaughter the Ukrainian troops at will. Even the U.S. military is now suggesting that Ukraine should give up on that city. Should the government in Kiev agree to that it will be a retreat under fire with likely high casualties. Not retreating though will make things even worse.

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A good cop, bad cop routine.

“Asked in November whether Ukraine stood a chance of retaking its pre-February territory, he said that the probability of this outcome “is not high, militarily.”

Fighting Russia ‘Very, Very Difficult’ For Ukraine – Gen. Milley (RT)

Ukraine will struggle to make good on its promise to drive Russian forces out of its former territory, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley stated on Friday. While civilian officials in Washington insist that Kiev must keep fighting, Milley has repeatedly questioned the chances of success. “President Biden, President Zelensky, and most of the leaders of Europe have said this war is likely to end in a negotiation,” Milley said during a meeting of the US-led Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday. “From a military standpoint, this is a very, very difficult fight,” he added. The US alone has allocated more than $110 billion in military and economic aid to Kiev since last February – supplying Ukraine with progressively heavier armaments, including infantry fighting vehicles, anti-air systems, and more than a million artillery shells.

Although Ukraine’s NATO-trained troops appear on the cusp of receiving Western-designed main battle tanks, Russian forces have inflicted a series of crushing defeats on Kiev’s military in recent weeks. The strategically important Donbass settlements of Soledar and Klescheevka have both fallen to Moscow’s troops, and the key city of Artyomovsk is now facing Russian encirclement. “I still maintain that for this year, it would be very, very difficult to militarily eject the Russian forces from every inch of Russian-occupied Ukraine,” Milley said on Friday, referring to the four former regions of Ukraine that voted to join Russia in September, and Crimea, an historic Russian territory that voted to rejoin the Russian Federation in 2014.

“That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. But it’d be very, very difficult.” Retaking all of this land – including Crimea – is a stated objective of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. To that end, Zelensky has the support of the US, with President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowing to bankroll his military for “as long as it takes,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken declaring in December that “fundamentally, Ukrainians are making the decisions” about whether they want to attempt to capture Crimea or not. However, Milley’s public statements have been more tempered than those of Biden and his cabinet. Asked in November whether Ukraine stood a chance of retaking its pre-February territory, he said that the probability of this outcome “is not high, militarily.”

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These are obviously nonsense numbers.

Gonzalo Lira: “Actual Russian casualties? No one knows for sure. But credible estimates put them at no more than 20,000 KIA, 60,000 WIA.”

Macgregor in the video: 157,000 Ukraine deaths. And we know there are 5-10 times more Ukraine victims than Russian.

Russian Casualties In Ukraine Have Hit 188,000 – US Intel (Az.)

Russian casualties in Ukraine have hit an eye-watering 188,000 according to United States intelligence, Report informs via The Sun. Report informs via The Sun that the massive new figure of those killed or injured in battle was shared with allies at yesterday’s Western summit to drum up support for Ukraine held at Ramstein Air Base in Southern Germany. It is a significant increase on the publicly estimated 100,000 Russian soldiers killed, wounded, or deserted since last February’s invasion that the UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace outlined at the end of last year. Top US General Mark Milley said Russia has suffered a “tremendous amount of casualties” – but stopped short of revealing the exact figure publicly. He said: “They have really suffered a lot.. I would say significantly well over 100,000.” Yesterday ministers and military chiefs from around 50 nations took part in the talks convened by US defence secretary Lloyd Austin at Ramstein – the main US airbase in Europe.

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Old, rusty, in need of repair, but at least Ukrainians know how to use them.

US Attempts To Seek Latin America’s Russian Arms Supplies To Kiev (TASS)

Russia will keep a close eye on the US attempts to urge Latin American countries to hand over weapons to Ukraine, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. The Russian presidential spokesman thus commented on a statement by a Pentagon representative that Washington was working with nine Latin American countries to urge them to hand over available Russian weapons to Ukraine in exchange for the delivery of US equipment. Responding to a question about whether this news came as a surprise for Moscow, the Kremlin spokesman said: “In general, it is hard today to imagine anything that can be a surprise.”


“Here it is very important [to bear in mind] the legal restrictions of any deliveries to third countries. This is because any deliveries are, of course, conditioned by certain commitments of those countries that receive military equipment,” Peskov pointed out. “Of course, we will keep a close eye on this situation,” the Kremlin press secretary said. Commander of the US Southern Command General Laura Richardson announced on Thursday that Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and six other Latin American countries had Russian military equipment and Washington was working “to replace that with US equipment if those countries want to donate it to Ukraine.”

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“Given the technological superiority of Russian weapons, Western politicians who have been making such decisions should realize that this may lead to a global disaster that would wipe out their countries..”

Duma Speaker Warns Of Powerful Retaliation For Weapons Supplies To Kiev (TASS)

Weapons supplies to Ukraine by the United States and NATO for attacks on Russia would lead to retaliatory use of more powerful armaments, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin warned on Sunday. “Supplies of offensive weapons to the Kiev regime would lead to a global disaster. If Washington and NATO countries send arms that will be used for attacks on peaceful cities or attempts at occupying our lands, a threat they have been making, this would provoke retaliatory measures with the use of more powerful weapons,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel. The senior Russian lawmaker slammed as untenable other countries’ arguments that “nuclear powers never used weapons of mass destruction in local conflicts.” “Those powers never faced a situation where the security of their citizens or their territorial integrity was at stake,” he argued.


The State Duma speaker called on members of the US Congress, Germany’s Bundestag, France’s National Assembly and other European parliamentarians to realize their responsibility for humankind. “By their decisions, Washington and Brussels are pushing the world to a disastrous war – to military operations that will be quite different from what they have seen so far, when only military and critical infrastructure being used by the Kiev regime has been attacked. Given the technological superiority of Russian weapons, Western politicians who have been making such decisions should realize that this may lead to a global disaster that would wipe out their countries,” Volodin concluded.

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Try that with your leaders wherever you live.

Russians’ Level Of Trust In Putin Exceeds 78% (TASS)

The Russian public’s level of confidence in President Vladimir Putin fell by 0.3 percentage points to 78.1% on January 9-15, according to a poll released by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center on Friday. “When asked if they trusted Putin, 78.1% of the poll’s participants said ‘yes’ (a 0.3 percentage point drop from a rating referring to December 26-30, 2022). The share of people who approve of the way the president is handling his job rose by 0.3 percentage points to 75.2%,” the pollster said. A total of 50.5% of those polled said they approved of the Russian government’s work (a 0.6 percentage point increase) and 53.2% approved of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s work (a 0.4 percentage point rise). As many as 62.6% of respondents said they trusted Mishustin (a 0.8 percentage point increase).


As for the leaders of the parliamentary parties, 32.5% of those surveyed trust leader of the Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov (a 0.9 percentage point rise), 28.9% trust leader of the A Just Russia – For Truth party Sergey Mironov (a 3.5 percentage point drop), 8.2% said they trusted Chairman of the New People party Alexey Nechayev (1.7 percentage point fall) and 17.2% of the poll’s participants trust leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Leonid Slutsky (a 2.4 percentage point rise). The level of popular support for the United Russia party stood at 38.8% (a 0.4 percentage point rise). The level increased by 0.2 percentage points to 10.6% for the Russian Communist Party and fell by 0.2 percentage points to 3.9% for the New People party.

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“..the trust and safety team includes fewer than 20 full-time employees..”

Twitter Lost 80% Of Its Workforce Under Elon Musk (Az.)

The number of employees at Twitter has decreased by about 80% since US entrepreneur Elon Musk’s multibillion-dollar acquisition. Report informs via foreign media that before Musk finalized the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October, 2022, the San Francisco-based company had about 7,500 employees, but that number has gone down to approximately 1,300 active employees, CNBC said on Friday. Twitter now has fewer than 550 full-time engineers and the trust and safety team includes fewer than 20 full-time employees.

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Yep.

Twitter Files Prove America Headed for ‘Totalitarian State Territory’ (ET)

Thanks to the revelations in the Twitter Files, there’s evidence that the FBI and other agencies worked to suppress “lawful speech,” and if this type of action is allowed to continue, the United States is headed for “totalitarian state territory,” Matthew Peterson, the cofounder of New Founding, said in an interview with Epoch Times–NTD collaborative program “Newsmakers.” New Founding helps people and organizations position themselves to avoid threats from Big Tech and “woke capital,” and Peterson has two decades of experience in digital media and political consulting. When asked what will happen if the country’s current trajectory continues for three to five years, Peterson said, “We’ll be in totalitarian state territory, there’s no question about it.”


“I mean, remember, this went so far as the government saying, ‘You need to find evidence that there are Russians influencing the election on Twitter.’ And Twitter saying, ‘No, that’s not happening.’ “And then [Twitter had] to be quiet about it and not even defend themselves when they knew that there wasn’t Russian interference that they could find,” he added. Peterson further explained that the U.S. government drove a narrative that it knew wasn’t true and was the “antithesis” of America’s founding principles. “[The government’s actions are] the antithesis of America. The American founding is basically contradicted by what’s happening here, over and over again. And if we don’t do something about that, we will not have free speech in this country,” Peterson warned.

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Mostly EU cars.

EU Car Sales Collapse – Industry Body (RT)

The European Union passenger car market contracted by 4.6% last year to just 9.3 million units, which is the region’s lowest level since 1993, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported this week. According to the report, the slump was mainly due to the impact of component shortages in the first half of the year. The market, however, improved from August to December, with new car registrations expanding by 12.8% in the last month of the year. Overall, in 2022 only Germany managed to post growth (+1.1%) among the EU’s four largest markets. It was helped by the strong result in December, the ACEA said. The other three markets all performed worse than in 2021, with Italy posting the steepest decline (-9.7%), followed by France (-7.8%) and Spain (-5.4%).


Data showed that the number of vehicles registered in EU countries (excluding Malta, for which statistics are not available) rose to more than 896,000 units last month from over 795,000 a year earlier. Car sales by the Volkswagen Group (including Skoda, Audi, Seat, Porsche, and others) in the European Union decreased by 5.2% last year, the ACEA said. Automaker Stellantis saw its sales nosedive by 14.1%, while Renault Group sales fell by 4.3%, and BMW sales by 5.1%. Mercedes-Benz sales stood practically at the same level as in 2021, at 549,023 units. Meanwhile, South Korean Hyundai (including Kia) increased its vehicle sales in the EU by 2.6%, Japanese Toyota and Honda sales grew by 7.7% and 4.4%, respectively. Sales by American carmaker Ford decreased by 2.3%.


Most popular cars Europe vs US

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More than blinking.

GMC Blinks First: Regulator Declines to Investigate Dr Aseem Malhotra (DS)

To paraphrase the Sound of Music song, “How do we solve a problem like Malhotra?” After receiving several complaints, the General Medical Council has decided not to investigate cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, who has become a thorn in the side of the medical profession. Professional regulators have been at the forefront of pandemic discipline, contributing to a culture of fear among practitioners. Severe action has been taken against registrants who criticise or do not comply with the official narrative. I know this from my experience as an officer of the Workers of England Union, representing members brought before the Nursing and Midwifery Council on charges of bringing the profession into disrepute. Apparently the public must be protected against nurses who don’t believe that masks stop airborne respiratory viruses, or who believe in informed consent for novel mRNA vaccines.

A significant strike against this censorial tyranny was by general practitioner Sam White last year. Dr. White was ordered, as a condition of maintaining his clinical licence, to delete his social media posts about COVID-19 and to refrain from making similar comments. Dr. White took the GMC to the High Court and won. The condition was overturned as a breach of his rights to freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act 1998. Whereas White was an early critic of COVID-19 policy, Malhotra is a relatively recent convert. Initially he promoted the vaccine, but when his fit and healthy father died shortly after receiving the injections, Malhotra changed his mind and began speaking out against the mass vaccination programme.

His personal loss came alongside his observation in clinical practice of a marked increase in myocarditis cases (as well as blood clots and other cardiac complications). Malhotra had a review paper published on this phenomenon, and his findings of iatrogenic harm are corroborated by other medical scientists. sMalhotra has repeatedly urged suspension of the vaccination programme until the risks are better understood. He became a darling of vaccine sceptics, with his charismatic and compassionate voice doing the rounds of alt media channels and independent-minded broadcasters working for more mainstream channels (such as Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, and Neil Oliver on GB News). However, he was ignored by the legacy media, and it was not until two weeks ago, when he took the opportunity of a BBC interview on statins, that his call was more widely heard.

Malhotra

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Lots of doctors speaking out in Japan.

Japan Declares It Will Handle COVID-19 Like a Seasonal Flu (GP)

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan announced on Friday that he had instructed his cabinet to reclassify COVID-19, placing it in the same category as seasonal flu, rubella, and chickenpox in spring. “Today, we held a press conference on the discussion on revising the new coronavirus infectious disease into category 5,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday. “In order to further advance the efforts of ‘living with Corona’ and restore Japan to a state of normalcy, we will transition the various policies and measures to date in phases,” Kishida said. In Japan, Covid-19 is currently listed as “Category 2: Very Dangerous” together with tuberculosis, avian flu, and diphtheria.


“COVID-19 is currently classified as “equivalent to category 2,” requiring that hospitals and clinics report the names of infected patients and the details of their diagnosis before making recommendations regarding hospitalization. The soaring numbers of people infected in Japan’s seventh coronavirus wave have increased the administrative burden on the medical front line, leading to regional medical associations and the National Governors’ Association to repeatedly call for a review of the system,” Nippon.com reported. The outlet added that experts have proposed that COVID-19 be reclassified as a “Category 5: Diseases for which outbreaks and spread should be prevented,” similar to seasonal flu, which would restrict reporting to only those at high risk of developing severe symptoms or restrict data collection to only patients diagnosed at designated medical facilities.

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Martha Stewart
https://twitter.com/i/status/1616606806574235650

 

 

Kory treatment
https://twitter.com/i/status/1616978685969547266

 

 

 

 

WTF

 

 

Great hornbill
https://twitter.com/i/status/1616774751128625153

 

 

Flycatcher

 

 

 

 

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