Apr 182024
 


John French Sloan A Woman’s Work 1912

 

Prosecutors, Judges, Media Interfering in the November Election (PCR)
Iran’s ‘New Equation’ Reaches Way Beyond West Asia (Pepe Escobar)
Iran’s Attack On Israel Signaled A Major Change In The Region (Ibragimov)
Could the Russians Seize Congress? (Patrick Lawrence)
White House Says It Opposes Standalone Israel Military Aid Bill (Antiwar)
Rep. Massie Joins MTG In Calling For Speaker Johnson’s Ouster (ZH)
Rand Paul Drops COVID Bombshell: “We Have 15,000 Samples In Wuhan” (ZH)
Tesla Asks Shareholders To Approve Musk’s $56 Billion Comp… Again (ZH)
NPR Editor Resigns After Suspension for Exposing Bias and Intolerance (Turley)
EU Leadership Must Go – Orban (RT)
FBI Wanted Telegram Backdoor to Spy on Users – Founder (Sp.)
Apple and Google More Dangerous Than Governments – Telegram Founder (RT)
NSA ’Just Days From Taking Over The Internet’ – Edward Snowden (Mitchelhill)
The Great Dispossession Part 2 (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Great Dispossession Part 3 (Paul Craig Roberts)
Driving America into a Brick Wall – Bill Holter (USAW)
IMF Lambasts US Over Ballooning Debt (RT)

 

 

Seems a bit extreme.

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Barron
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780246703976632531

 

 

Watters jury
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780401543004426659

 

 

Tucker CIA

 

 

Talking about testosterone…

 

 

Boeing

 

 

Macgregor: “The United States has not commit to attacking Iran. This is unacceptable to Netanyahu, and he will work to alter Washington’s position.

Under the circumstances, Washington should expect Israel to employ whatever military power is at its disposal, including nuclear weapons, to destroy Iran’s strategic power.

Destroying Iran’s underground nuclear facilities has been a goal for a very long time. Both parties must realize Moscow will not tolerate a devastating attack on Iran.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“They create felonies out of thin air by stretching the interpretation of law beyond its meaning..”

“.. that their country has been stolen from them and that the ruling elite are not going to permit Trump to give it back to them..”

Prosecutors, Judges, Media Interfering in the November Election (PCR)

From the beginning it has been completely clear that the criminal and civil indictments of Trump have the purposes of using up his energy, money, and time so that he cannot campaign and of discrediting him with the insouciant part of the population that is stupid enough to have faith in the “justice system.” The trials themselves and the words of the prosecutors and judges prove it. The black Democrat New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, put into office by anti-Trump billionaire George Soros, who Elon Musk says hates humanity (which means gentiles), has concocted a criminal case against President Trump for “falsifying business documents” that legal scholars dispute. Apparently, Bragg cares not a whit about his reputation, only about preventing Trump from campaigning. Bragg contends that Trump should have reported his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as a campaign contribution to himself and not as legal fees. But, of course, it would have been one of Trump’s lawyers or CPA who filled in the form.

A person of Trump’s wealth leaves such decisions to professionals and does not himself navigate complicated and risky forms. Regardless, there is nothing illegal whatsoever in making extortion or bribery payments to a porn star so that she doesn’t make harmful accusations. It is a much cheaper solution than suing for slander. You should understand that there is nothing illegal about Trump’s payment to the porn star. The payment is perfectly legal. Trump is not charged with making an illegal payment. He is charged with reporting it differently than a black quota hire, clearly incompetent, George Soros DA alleges Trump should have reported it. The whore media has not made this clear to the public. Instead the presstitutes have planted the idea that it is the payment that is the criminal action.

In law the charges against Trump are misdemeanors, not crimes. Trump’s black enemy has in an unspecified way elevated the charges to a felony. Increasingly prosecutors do this. They create felonies out of thin air by stretching the interpretation of law beyond its meaning. Prosecutors know that by the time a wrongly convicted defendant reaches the point that he can appeal the wrongful conviction to a higher court he will have run out of money and energy and will make a plea to a lessor charge. In Trump’s case, the black DA knows that given the slowness of the system Trump will be in court for years appealing wrongful decisions. As corrupt prosecutors suffer no punishment for their crimes against defendants, there is no barrier to their legal abuse of law–particularly when they are in court with a biased judge and have a biased jury. This first of 4 criminal trials began yesterday. Estimates are that the show trial will keep Trump in court for four days a week for the next six or more weeks. Clearly this is election interference and nothing else.

The other criminal trials are in various stages of disrepair. Fani Willis, the black Democrat Atlanta DA who has brought RICO charges against Trump and his attorneys is in trouble herself for paying her lover $700,000 of taxpayers’ money and using the money for vacations. She apparently is another George Soros plant and is shielded by the Democrat machine. She has had to remove her lover from Trump’s case, but is unlikely to suffer any consequences other than embarrassment. A New York civil case orchestrated by a black Democrat attorney general and a Trump-hating Democrat judge confiscated Trump’s NY real estate empire. In order to delay the confiscation until his higher court appeal is decided, the two required Trump to post a $500 million payment that would have depleted his cash for his political campaign. The payment was seen as a form of extortion, and the corrupt AG and judge had to reduce it to $175 million.

Clearly, these are not normal trials or normal charges. The law schools, bar associations, Congress and the whore media don’t even raise questions about the show trials that clearly constitute election interference. As I have said many times, the system will not permit Trump’s return to office. Americans need to understand that their country has been stolen from them and that the ruling elite are not going to permit Trump to give it back to them.

Read more …

“Netanyahu is influenced by his [fundamentalist] political partners to go into an escalation so he can hold onto power and accelerate the coming of the Messiah.”

Iran’s ‘New Equation’ Reaches Way Beyond West Asia (Pepe Escobar)

A Holy of the Holies was shattered in the Holy Land as Iran staged a quite measured, heavily choreographed response to the Israeli terror attack against its consulate/ambassador residence in Damascus, a de facto evisceration of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic immunity.This game-changer will directly interfere on how the Anglo-American system manages its simultaneous conflagration with Russia, China and Iran – three top BRICS members. The key problem is escalations are already built in – and will be hard to remove. The Total Cancel War against Russia; the genocide in Gaza – with its explicit policy masterfully decoded by Prof. Michael Hudson; and the decoupling/shaping the terrain against China won’t simply vanish – as all communication bridges with the Global Majority keep being torched.Yet the Iranian message indeed establishes a “New Equation” – as Tehran christened it, and prefigures many other surprises to come from West Asia.

Iran wanted to – and did send – a clear message. New equation: if the biblical psychopathic entity keeps attacking Iranian interests, from henceforth it will be counter-attacked inside Israel. All that in a matter of “seconds” – as the Security Council in Tehran has already cleared all the procedures. Escalation though seems inevitable. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak: “Netanyahu is influenced by his [fundamentalist] political partners to go into an escalation so he can hold onto power and accelerate the coming of the Messiah.” Compare it to Iranian President Raisi: “The smallest act against Tehran’s interests will be met with a massive, extensive, and painful response against all its operations.” For Tehran, regulating the intensity of the clash in West Asia between Israel and the Axis of Resistance while simultaneously establishing strategic deterrence to replace “strategic patience” was a matter of launching a triple wave: a drone swarm opening the path for cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

The performance of the much-vaunted Iron Dome, Arrow-3 and David’s Sling – aided by F-35 fighter jets and the US and the UK naval force – was not exactly stellar. There’s no video of the “outer-layer” Arrow-3 system shooting down anything in space. At least 9 ballistic missiles penetrated the dense Israeli defense network and hit the Nevatim and Ramon bases. Israel is absolutely mum on the fate of its Golan Heights intel installation – hit by cruise missiles. Amidst classic fog of war, it’s irrelevant whether Tehran launched hundreds or dozens of drones and missiles. Regardless of NATOstan media hype, what’s proven beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the supposedly “invincible” Israeli defense maze – ranging from US-made AD/ABM systems to Israeli knockoffs – is helpless in real war against a technologically advanced adversary.

What was accomplished by a single operation did raise quite a few professional eyebrows. Iran forced Israel to furiously deplete its stock of interceptors and spend at least $1.35 billion – while having its escalatory dominance and deterrence strategy completely shattered. The psychological blow was even fiercer. What if Iran had unleashed a series of strikes without a generous previous warning lasting several days? What if US, UK, France and – traitorous – Jordan were not ready for coordinated defense? (The – startling – fact they were all directly dispensing firepower on Tel Aviv’s behalf was not analyzed at all). What if Iran had hit serious industrial and infrastructural targets?

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“..if Iran joins Russia and China and, as part of this troika, becomes an actor in the great world politics, the Middle East will face some big changes..”

Iran’s Attack On Israel Signaled A Major Change In The Region (Ibragimov)

[..] the most intriguing question now is how the countries of the region, namely the Arab world, will react to Iran’s actions – after all, the attitude towards modern Tehran is quite mixed. Iran has been able to bolster its hand by using proxy organizations, which are now moving against Israel to defend the interests of Palestine. Judging by their neutral reactions – and quite unsurprisingly, in fact – none of the Arab leaders is interested in a strong Iran. They are interested in Iran existing as a moderate state allied with the West, with which they themselves cooperate. However, if Iran joins Russia and China and, as part of this troika, becomes an actor in the great world politics, the Middle East will face some big changes.

Despite the IRGC’s counterattacks, Iran continues to maintain its position that nobody needs a war, and it’s not interested in one by any means. As for its strikes so far, Iran considers them quite successful; they succeeded in making a point and delivering ‘a clear message’ to the entire West that Tehran is no longer confining itself to verbal statements and that, in general, things are going to get very real. Furthermore, any potential response from Israel will now justify similar operations by Iran, which may become harsher and harsher every time. Besides, the moral victory also belongs to Iran. Tehran had held the situation in suspense all along, and the world witnessed strikes on military bases in the north of Israel and saw them take damage. Iran’s strike, albeit a token one, has happened. The Islamic Republic is beginning to act like the flagship power in the region.

In this case, Israel hardly needs a direct war with the Islamic Republic, especially with the Hamas issue not settled yet, Gaza still not demilitarized, hostages yet to be rescued, and Western allies offering nothing in terms of support but nice statements and condemnations. In the meanwhile, there are rather serious reasons to believe that Israel may not be able to keep its temper and strike, just for self-consolation. Expecting a response strike from Iran, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said, several days prior to the counterattack, that if Iran strikes from its territory, then Israel will attack in response. That means the Israelis could go further and continue their attacks. Yes, Netanyahu has changed his tone somewhat and tries to show now that he doesn’t want a big war. He, however, may be under pressure from the security wing, members of which yearn for revenge and want to blow off steam on Iran, which they think created the situation Israel has been in since October 7, 2023. If Israel does strike back, attacking Iranian territories and killing people, the situation will spin out of control and there will be no stopping the Iranians.

The goal of Iran’s counterattack against Israel was not to unleash a big war. This action can be seen differently: as a PR effort, a propaganda schtick, or muscle-flexing. Some may say that Iran failed to retaliate fully, as its attack didn’t achieve anything equal to the two generals and 11 diplomats that Israel’s strike had killed. The message of the counterstrike, however, was not only to take revenge for Iran’s dead. Tehran deliberately didn’t strike targets in major Israeli cities. Its strikes on Israel were limited, mostly targeting the occupied Golani Heights, which legally belong to Syria, and military installations in Negev desert, in order to avoid escalation and prevent further provocations on Israel’s part. Besides, Iran has proved that it can penetrate Israel’s air defenses and that Israel is not that well protected.

Therefore, Iran’s goal was to change the rules of the game in the region and, by and large, it succeeded. Tehran’s counterattack put paid to any talk of Iran not putting its money where its mouth is and brought the conflict between the two countries to a whole new level. This half-measure cannot be seen as a defeat, but it’s not exactly a victory either. Besides, Israel is not going to sit idle. The Jewish state will start reviewing its actions and correcting mistakes; after all, matters of its own security are the utmost priority for Israel.

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“These people that read various conspiracy-theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda.”

Could the Russians Seize Congress? (Patrick Lawrence)

The Russians are coming — or coming back, better put. As the November elections draw near, let us brace for another barrage of preposterous propaganda to the effect Russians are poisoning our minds with “disinformation,” “false narratives,” and all the other misnomers deployed when facts contradict liberal authoritarian orthodoxies. We had a rich taste of this new round of lies and innuendo in late January, when Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who served as House speaker for far too long, asserted that the F.B.I. should investigate demonstrators demanding a ceasefire in Gaza for their ties, yes indeedy, to the Kremlin. Here is Pelosi on CNN’s State of the Union program Jan. 28: “For them to call for a cease-fire is Mr. Putin’s message. Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. Same thing with Ukraine…. I think some financing should be investigated. And I want to ask the F.B.I. to investigate that.”

O.K., we have the template: If you say something that coincides with the Russian position, you will be accused of hiding your “ties to Russia,” as the common phrase has it. Be careful not to mention some spring day that the sky is pleasantly blue: I am here to warn you—“make no mistake” — this is exactly what “Putin,” now stripped of a first name and a title, “would like to see.” There is invariably an ulterior point when those in power try on tomfoolery of this kind. In each case they have something they need to explain away. In 2016, it was Hillary Clinton’s defeat at the polls, so we suffered four years of Russiagate. Pelosi felt called upon to discredit those objecting to the Israeli–U.S. genocide in Gaza. Now we have a new ruse. Desperate to get Congress to authorize $60.1 billion in new aid to Ukraine, Capitol Hill warmongers charge that those objecting to this bad-money-after-bad allocation are… do I have to finish the sentence?

Two weeks ago Michael McCaul, a Republican representative who wants to see the long-blocked aid bill passed, asserted in an interview with Puck News that Russian propaganda has “infected a good chunk of my party’s base.” Here is the stupid-sounding congressman from Texas, as quoted in The Washington Post, elaborating on our now-familiar theme: “There are some more nighttime entertainment shows that seem to spin, like, I see the Russian propaganda in some of it — and it’s almost identical on our airwaves. These people that read various conspiracy-theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda.” I read in the Post that McCaul’s staff abruptly cut short the interview when Julia Ioffe, a professional Russophobe who has bounced around from one publication to another for years, asked him to name a few names.

So was this latest ball of baloney set in motion. A week after McCaul’s Puck News interview, Michael Turner, an Ohio Republican who, as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, swings a bigger stick, escalated matters when, reacting to McCaul’s statements, reported that this grave Russian penetration was evident in the upper reaches of the American government, as again reported in The Washington Post: “Oh, it is absolutely true. We see directly coming from Russia attempts to mask communications that are anti–Ukraine and pro–Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor.” Masked communications uttered on the House floor: Hold the thought, as I will shortly return to it.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson is about to get ousted. It’s all RINOs all the way down.

White House Says It Opposes Standalone Israel Military Aid Bill (Antiwar)

The White House said on Monday that it opposes the idea of a bill that would give additional military aid to Israel without funding Ukraine and Taiwan. “We are opposed to a standalone bill that would just work on Israel, as we’ve seen proposed. We would oppose a standalone bill, yes,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. Kirby’s comments came a day after House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he would work on getting more military aid to Israel this week in the wake of Iran’s attack on Israeli territory, which came in retaliation for the bombing of Iran’s consulate in Damascus. Later on Monday, AP reported that Johnson told fellow GOP lawmakers that he plans to bring the package to the floor this week but will hold separate votes on funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Back in February, the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign military aid bill that included $60 billion for the proxy war in Ukraine, $14 billion to support the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians, and a few billion for Taiwan and other spending in the Asia Pacific region. While Johnson wants to hold separate votes, his plan is expected to send about the same amount of money to each country, and each measure will likely pass. He has been under increasing pressure from the White House and congressional hawks in both parties to bring the $95 billion bill to the floor for a vote. “Time is not on anyone’s side here in either case, so they need to move quickly on this,” Kirby said. “And the best way to get that aid into the hands of the IDF and into the hands of the Ukrainian soldiers is to pass that bipartisan bill that the Senate passed.”

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And Rand Paul.

Rep. Massie Joins MTG In Calling For Speaker Johnson’s Ouster (ZH)

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie on Tuesday became the second representative to call for an end to Mike Johnson’s reign as Speaker of the House, joining Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene. He delivered that news directly to Johnson in a closed-door Republican conference meeting, telling the Louisianan “you’re not going to be the speaker much longer,” two representatives told Politico. Massie has criticized Johnson for backing aid packages for Ukraine and Israel, kick-the-can spending bills and the extension of warrantless NSA spying via the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — while failing to bolster border security. In March, Greene — incensed at Johnson for collaborating with Democrats to push through a $1.2 trillion spending package over the objection of conservatives seeking spending cuts — filed a motion to “vacate the chair,” which would initiate a vote by House members on whether to fire Johnson from the job of speaker.

It’s unclear when Greene, Massie or someone else will call for a vote on the motion. Greene has said that she wants to allow time “for us to go through the process, take our time and find a new speaker of the House that will stand with Republicans and our Republican majority instead of standing with the Democrats.” She’s also expressed wariness over risking the GOP’s razor-thin House majority — which has withered in recent weeks as multiple Republicans announced they’re leaving Congress before finishing their terms. Massie says it’s only a matter of time before the House votes on Greene’s motion to vacate. “The motion is going to get called, OK? Does anybody doubt that? The motion will get called,” Massie told reporters after Tuesday’s meeting. “And then he’s gonna lose more votes than Kevin McCarthy. And I have told him this in private, like weeks ago.” Johnson’s predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, was himself dethroned in October via a motion to vacate the chair.

While Massie and Greene are far from alone in their disappointment in Johnson, many of their disgruntled colleagues are wary of a scenario in which Johnson is ousted and the House spends days or weeks struggling to settle on a successor. “We saw what happened last fall when this all went down — there’s not an alternative…You are not going to get a majority of votes for any new person,” Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves told Politico. Massie has asked Johnson to first allow the party to select a successor, and then voluntarily step down. On Tuesday, Johnson was defiant. “I am not resigning and it is in my view an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion when we are simply trying to do our job,” he told reporters. Massie’s announcement in the closed-door meeting ruffled feathers. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan voiced his discomfort with the idea, saying, “We don’t need that, no way. We don’t want that. We shouldn’t go through that again. That’s a bad idea.”

On Monday night, Johnson compounded conservatives’ anger when he announced he would bring four separate measures to a vote: aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel, aid to Taiwan and another bill with miscellaneous measures including a TikTok ban. As the New York Times explains, the goal is to cobble together legislation that would match what Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is cooking up: If all four pieces passed the House, they would then be folded into a single bill for the Senate to take up, in an effort to ensure that senators could not cherry-pick pieces to approve or reject. “We’re steering toward everything Chuck Schumer wants,” said Massie. Decoupling the proposals also saps conservatives’ leverage to force more spending on border security. Greene called the plan “a scam” and added, “He’s definitely not going to be speaker next Congress if we’re lucky enough to have the majority.”

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“..officials from 15 federal agencies “knew in 2018 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was trying to create a coronavirus like COVID-19.”

Rand Paul Drops COVID Bombshell: “We Have 15,000 Samples In Wuhan” (ZH)

Last week Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote in a Tuesday op-ed that officials from 15 federal agencies “knew in 2018 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was trying to create a coronavirus like COVID-19.” “These officials knew that the Chinese lab was proposing to create a COVID 19-like virus and not one of these officials revealed this scheme to the public. In fact, 15 agencies with knowledge of this project have continuously refused to release any information concerning this alarming and dangerous research. Government officials representing at least 15 federal agencies were briefed on a project proposed by Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” -Rand Paul. Paul was referring to the DEFUSE project, which was revealed after DRASTIC Research uncovered documents showing that DARPA had been presented with a proposal by EcoHealth Alliance to perform gain-of-function research on bat coronavirus. New documents released by Drastic Research show Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance had applied for funds that would allow them to further modify coronavirus spike proteins and find potential furin cleavage sites.

Now, Paul points to an email between EcoHealth’s Daszak and “Fauci Flunky” David Morens from April 26, 2020 (noted days before by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic), when the lab-leak hypothesis was gaining traction against Fauci – who funded EcoHealth research in Wuhan, and Daszak’s orchestrated denials and the forced “natural origin” narrative. In it, Daszak laments the “real and present danger that we are being targeted by extremists” (for pointing out that they were manipulating bat covid down the street from where a bat covid pandemic broke out), and called Donald Trump “shockingly ignorant.” He also told David that he would restrict communications “to gmail from now on,” and planned to mount a response to an NIH request which appears to suggest moving out of Wuhan – to which Daszak says “Even that would be a loss – we have 15,000 samples in freezers in Wuhan and could do the full genomes of 700+ Co Vs we’ve identified if we don’t cut this thread.”

Which means Daszak, funded by Fauci, lied when he said “every single one of the SARSr-CoV sequences @EcoHealthNYC discovered in China is already published.” And Anthony Fauci concealed the ‘700 unknown coronaviruses’ in Wuhan. Meanwhile, an EcoHealth progress report referenced “two chimeric bat SARS-like CoVs constructed on a WIV-1 backbone.”

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“..Musk was just paid too damn much for creating a $1.2 trillion company by Nov 2021..”

Tesla Asks Shareholders To Approve Musk’s $56 Billion Comp… Again (ZH)

At his peak, Elon Musk was worth $340BN (Nov 2021) and stood alone as the world’s richest man/women/other. According to Bloomberg’s billionaires list, he is now worth mere $175BN… sliding to just the fourth-richest in the world as Tesla’s share price has declined and after a Delaware judge decided in January that Musk was just paid too damn much for creating a $1.2 trillion company by Nov 2021. But now, he may be about to climb that wealth ladder back to the top once more as Tesla has asked shareholders to vote again on the same $56 billion compensation package that was voided by a Delaware court early this year. Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm criticized the Delaware Chancery Court’s January decision, writing in the proxy that it amounted to second-guessing shareholders who had approved Musk’s performance-based award in 2018.

“Because the Delaware Court second-guessed your decision, Elon has not been paid for any of his work for Tesla for the past six years that has helped to generate significant growth and stockholder value,” Denholm wrote. The filing went on to say that negotiating a new pay package would take time and lead to incurring billions of dollars in additional compensation expense. Therefore, ratifying the 2018 package will be faster and “avoid a prolonged period of uncertainty regarding Tesla’s most important employee.” Additionally, the filing shows Tesla considered nine other states as alternatives to Delaware before narrowing its choice down to California, Nevada, New York or Texas.

Finally, Bloomberg reports that, according to the filing, dozens of institutional shareholders have contacted Tesla and expressed support for the 2018 compensation plan, including four of the top 10. The carmaker also said that thousands of retail investors have sent letters and emails to the board expressing the same sentiment. Of course, if this passes the shareholder vote, we assume the honorable Chief Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick – who described the company’s directors as “supine servants of an overweening master” – will have problems asserting that they hadn’t looked out for the best interests of investors… since it was the investors themselves, now fully informed, that democratically voted for Musk’s compensation plan. …or does democracy (and capitalism) die in Delaware?

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When the 1st Amendment becomes a hindrance…

NPR Editor Resigns After Suspension for Exposing Bias and Intolerance (Turley)

It appears that National Public Radio has solved the problem of the intolerance for opposing views, detailed in an article by award-winning editor Uri Berliner: he is now out of NPR. Berliner resigned after NPR suspended him and various other journalists and the CEO lashed out at his discussing their political bias. For those of us in higher education, it is a chillingly familiar pattern. Editors, journalists, and listeners at the public-supported outlet will now be able to return to the echo-chambered coverage without the distracting voice of a dissenter. After Berliner wrote his piece in the Free Press, NPR CEO Katherine Maher attacked Berliner and made clear that NPR had no intention to change its one-sided editorial staff or its coverage. Others at NPR also went public with their criticism of him and falsely portrayed his criticism as opposed to actual racial and other diversity of the staff.

In his article, NPR’s David Folkenflik acknowledges that the Berliner criticism “angered many of his colleagues.” Maher response was hardly surprising. After years of criticism over NPR’s political bias, the search for a new CEO was viewed as an opportunity to select someone without such partisan baggage. Instead, it selected Maher, who has been criticized for controversial postings on subjects ranging from looters to Trump. Those now-deleted postings included a 2018 declaration that “Donald Trump is a racist” and a variety of political commentary. Maher was unlikely to address the problem. She is the problem. Maher lashed out at Berliner, calling his criticism and call for greater diversity in the newsroom “profoundly disrespectful, hurtful, and demeaning.” So now Berliner has resigned rather than work at a media outlet where he was shunned and denounced. In social media post on Wednesday, Berliner published his resignation letter to NPR leadership and stated “I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay.”

It is all-too-familiar to many of us in higher education where conservatives, libertarians, and republicans have been purged from most faculties. This is done through a mix of filling open slots with liberal academics while making life intolerable for those who remain. For years, a conservative North Carolina professor faced calls for termination over controversial tweets and was pushed to retire. Dr. Mike Adams, a professor of sociology and criminology, had long been a lightning rod of controversy. In 2014, we discussed his prevailing in a lawsuit that alleged discrimination due to his conservative views. He was then targeted again after an inflammatory tweet calling North Carolina a “slave state.” That led to his being pressured to resign with a settlement. He then committed suicide just days before his last day as a professor.


Elon Musk: “The software running in her head is the anti-Grok – hates truth & humor”

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“Orban said he intends “to come and take over Brussels,” reiterating his earlier warning to “occupy” the EU’s key institutions with his allies..”

EU Leadership Must Go – Orban (RT)

The EU needs new leadership as the bloc’s current top officials have proven entirely unsuccessful, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed. Orban made the comments at the European Parliament on Tuesday as part of a public discussion with Former Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the leader of the French National Rally party, Fabrice Leggeri. “Now we have a leadership in the EU with some major projects selected by themselves like green transition, RRF (Recovery and Resilience Facility) policy, migration, war [in Ukraine] and sanctions policy, and they all failed,” Orban said. “The present leadership of the European Union must go away. And we need new leaders,” the Hungarian prime minister insisted. Orban said he intends “to come and take over Brussels,” reiterating his earlier warning to “occupy” the EU’s key institutions with his allies in order to bring change to the bloc.

According to the Hungarian leader, the rule of law and conditionality system created by the current EU leadership has “proved to be… an instrument of political blackmailing. If you do not behave as we expect, you do not get the money.” Hungary has not received “a single penny” from the RRF because European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has openly voiced dissatisfaction with Budapest’s reluctance to accept migrants and its opposition to the bloc’s gender policies, he said. The EU’s green transition “has failed because it has gone against [the] economic and industrial” interests of the bloc, Orban added. A switch towards climate neutrality should not be “politically motivated,” otherwise “it would destroy the competitiveness of the European economy. That is where we stand today,” he explained.

In contrast to many other EU members, the Hungarian leader has refused to provide arms to Ukraine and has consistently criticized the bloc’s sanctions against Russia over the conflict. According to Orban, the time has come for Brussels to define “what it should do with the issue of the war” in order to find a solution to the crisis and prevent similar ones in the future. Even goodwill gestures may “cause difficulties for the European economy,” such as the recent protests by farmers in Poland, France, Germany, and other nations partly caused by the preferences given by the EU to Ukrainian food suppliers, he explained. Orban also insisted that the issue of aid to Kiev should be “separated as much as possible from the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the EU,” formal negotiations for which were approved last year.

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Smart guy. Runs the company himself, with a crew of 30. 900 million daily users. No ads.

FBI Wanted Telegram Backdoor to Spy on Users – Founder (Sp.)

The former Fox News anchor and conservative media personality divulged that he had set up an official Telegram channel for his Tucker Carlson Network, encouraging the public to “keep an eye on the announcements there.” The channel has already attracted more than 150, 000 subscribers. Speaking with Tucker Carlson, Russian-born IT entrepreneur and co-founder of the Telegram social network Pavel Durov focused on a variety of topics, including his visit to the United States. The 39-year-old revealed that he was closely watched and monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during his time in the country. “We got too much attention from the FBI, [and] the security agencies, wherever we came to the US,” Durov said during the interview released on Wednesday.

According to the businessman, one of his top employees once told him that he had been approached by the US government. “There was an attempt to secretly hire my engineer behind my back by [US] cybersecurity officers,” Durov claimed. He argued that those officers were trying to persuade the engineer to use “certain open-source tools,” which he would then integrate into Telegram’s code that, in Durov’s opinion, “would serve as backdoors” for hacking the platform. The entrepreneur stressed that he believes what the employee said was true, adding, “There is no reason for my engineer to make up [such] stories.” When asked if infiltrating Telegram’s systems would allow the US government to spy on its users, Durov stated that he did not dismiss the possibility, acknowledging that any government could potentially carry out such an action. “A backdoor is a backdoor, regardless of who uses it,” he underscored.

The 39-year-old tech tycoon noted that he had “personally experienced similar pressure” in the US, where law enforcement officials approached him on many occasions. “Whenever I would go to the US, I would have two FBI agents greeting me at the airport, asking questions. One time, I was having breakfast at 9 am and the FBI showed up at the house that I was renting,” the businessman asserted. According to him, FBI agents knew what he and his team were doing, but the agents wanted the details. “My understanding is that they [also] wanted to establish a relationship to in a way control Telegram better. I understand that they were doing their job. [But] for us running a privacy-focused social media platform, that probably wasn’t the best environment to be in. We want to be focused on what we do, not on government relations of that sort,” Durov pointed out.

The interview comes just a day after Carlson published the first post on his newly-created Telegram page, the Tucker Carlson Network, where users will “get all the latest updates, behind-the-scenes insights, and exclusive content.”
There are already more than 150,000 subscribers for the channel, and their number is growing with every passing second.

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“..When it comes to the freedom of speech, those two platforms could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone..”

Apple and Google More Dangerous Than Governments – Telegram Founder (RT)

Apple and Google “could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone,” Pavel Durov, the co-founder of the popular messaging app Telegram has told Tucker Carlson in an interview; he lamented that the pressure coming from the tech giants is stronger than that exerted by governments. The entrepreneur has also said he received warnings from both the Democratic and Republican parties after the January 2021 riots in the US Capitol. The rare discussion took place at the Russian-born IT entrepreneur’s office in Dubai, and was released on Wednesday. Carlson asked Durov to give an example of a request to build backdoors into Telegram that crossed into censorship, and could be considered spying, or violating people’s privacy. The messaging app claims to have over 900 million active users.

“There was a funny story related to your home country,” the tech entrepreneur replied. “After the events of January 6, we received a letter from, I believe, a congressman from the Democratic side, and they requested that we share all the data that we have in relation to what they called ‘that uprising.” On January 6, 2021, a mob loyal to then-US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding in an attempt to prevent Congress from formalizing Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Durov said his team checked the letter and it “seemed very serious,” essentially saying: “if you fail to comply with this request, you will be in violation with the US Constitution.” “Two weeks after that letter, we got another letter, a new letter, from the Republican side of the Congress, and there we read that, if we give out any data [to the Democrats], it would be in violation of the US Constitution.

So we got two letters that said: whatever we do, we would be violating the US Constitution.” However, the most pressure on Telegram, according to Durov, comes from tech giants Apple and Google, Durov stressed. “I would say that the largest pressure is not coming from governments. It is coming from Apple and Google. When it comes to the freedom of speech, those two platforms could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone,” he said. “They make very clear that if we fail to comply with their guidelines, as they call it, Telegram could be removed from the [app] stores.” Durov dismissed any suggestion of links between Telegram and the Russian government, suggesting that competitors could be stirring up such rumours to discredit the company.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1780401691268931685

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“..through an “innocuous change” to the definition of “electronic communications surveillance provider” in the FISA 702 bill, the U.S. government could go far beyond its current scope..”

NSA ’Just Days From Taking Over The Internet’ – Edward Snowden (Mitchelhill)

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) is only days away from “taking over the internet” with a massive expansion of its surveillance powers, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In an April 16 post to X, Snowden drew attention to a thread originally posted by Elizabeth Goitein — the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice — that warned of a new bill that could see the U.S. government surveillance powers amplified to new levels. The bill in question reforms and extends a part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) known as Section 702. Currently, the NSA can force internet service providers such as Google and Verizon to hand over sensitive data concerning NSA targets. However, Goitein claims that through an “innocuous change” to the definition of “electronic communications surveillance provider” in the FISA 702 bill, the U.S. government could go far beyond its current scope and force nearly every company and individual that provides any internet-related service to assist with NSA surveillance.

“That sweeps in an enormous range of U.S. businesses that provide wifi to their customers and therefore have access to equipment on which communications transit. Barber shops, laundromats, fitness centers, hardware stores, dentist’s offices.” Additionally, the people forced to hand over data would be unable to discuss the information provided due to hefty gag order penalties and conditions outlined in the bill, added Goitein. The bill initially received heavy pushback from privacy-conscious Republicans but passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on April 13. Part of the pushback saw the bills’ proposed spying powers time-frame cut from five years to two years, as well as some minor amendments to the service providers included under the surveillance measures. However, according to Goitein, the amendment did very little to reduce the scope of surveillance granted to the NSA.

In her view, the amendment could even see service providers such as cleaners, plumbers and IT service providers that have access to laptops and routers inside people’s homes be forced to provide information and serve as “surrogate spies,” claimed Goitein. The bill has seen strong pushback from both sides of the political aisle, with several government representatives claiming the bill violates citizen’s constitutional rights. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden described the bill as “terrifying” and said he would do everything in his power to prevent it from being passed through the Senate. “This bill represents one of the most dramatic and terrifying expansions of government surveillance authority in history.” Republican Congressperson Anna Paulina Luna, who voted against the bill in the House of Representatives, said Section 702 was an “irresponsible extension” of the NSA’s powers. Luna added that if government agencies wanted access to data, they must be forced to apply for a warrant. The bill is slated for a vote on April 19 in the U.S. Senate.

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“..we already do not own anything..”

The Great Dispossession Part 2 (Paul Craig Roberts)

In Part 1 ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2024/04/11/the-great-dispossession/ ), I reported that we already do not own anything. The immediate response from readers is: what can we do to avoid dispossession? Offhand, the answer might appear to be debt-free property and gold and silver in personal possession. However, if the goal is that we own nothing and are controlled under a digital currency regime, these assets will be taken as well. Webb says if the billionaires and large financial institutions can be made aware of the situation, they could make Congress aware of the regulatory changes and force Congress to use its law-making power to undo the regulatory changes. After all, if there is no private financial property, there is no one to contribute to Congressional elections. Billionaires’ campaign donations elect the politicians, and what the regulatory changes do to billionaires is to reduce them to the same poverty as a homeless person. What the changes mean for large financial institutions such as Merrill Lynch, Schwab, etc., is their existence ceases.

Webb’s hope is the combined influence can undo the regulatory changes. The question is whether awareness can be generated. The fate of Congress is also at stake. In the Great Reset there is no input from the people and no function for Congress. As in all of my writings, I am trying to bring awareness. Little doubt the messenger will be shot. The purpose of Part 2 is to outline the regulatory changes that have been made that have turned our property in financial assets into the property of “secured creditors.” Webb terms them legal changes, which they are, but as I read it from regulatory, not legislative, action. Webb says the changes are global, but he only describes how the US and EU effected the changes for themselves. I am unable to imagine that Russia, China, Iran and any parts of the world not captured in the Western financial system are parties to the dispossession, especially under the regime of sanctions. As I read it, the dispossession that awaits is limited to the Western world and its captive countries. By global, perhaps Webb means the global operations of Western world financial organizations.

First some definitions: an “account holder” is you, your IRA, your pension plan, your stock and bond investments held at an “account provider” or “intermediary” or “depository institution” such as Merrill Lynch, Schwab, Wells Fargo. An “entitlement holder” is the definition of you whose ownership claim to your financial assets has been subordinated to the claims of “secured creditors” of the institution where you have your accounts. Please do understand that the dispossession of which I write is your dispossession. As reported in Part 1, a country’s securities are pooled in a Central Security Depository (CSD). Each national CSD is linked to the International Security Depository (ICSD), which in the words of a 2013 report by the Bank for International Settlements Committee on the Global Financial System, makes available to “secured creditors” all available collateral (all of our stocks and bonds) and provides cross-border mobility of collateral from the “collateral giver” to the “collateral taker.” Yes, these terms are explicitly used, indicating recognition that theft is taking place.

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“..stocks and real estate have been driven to unprecedented levels by years of zero interest rates. When this bubble pops, we will be dispossessed.”

The Great Dispossession Part 3 (Paul Craig Roberts)

In Part 1, I explained that the next financial crisis will be bailed out not with central bank money creation but with our stocks, bonds and bank balances. In Part 2, I explained the multi-year quiet regulatory changes that dispossessed us of our property. In Part 3, I explain David Rogers Webb’s conclusion that a massive financial crisis is pending in which our financial assets are the collateral underwriting the derivative and financial bubble and will result in the loss of our assets but leave us with our debts as happened to those whose banks failed in the 1930s. Webb begins with the economic formula that the velocity of circulation of money times the money supply equals nominal Gross Domestic Product. V x MS = GDP. The velocity of circulation is a measure of how many times a dollar is spent during a given period of time, e.g., quarterly, annually. A high velocity means people quickly spend the money that comes into their hands. A low velocity means people tend to hold on to money.

Velocity impacts the Federal Reserve’s ability to manage economic growth with money supply changes. If the velocity of money is falling, an expansionist monetary policy will not result in rising GDP. In such a situation, the Federal Reserve is said to be “pushing on a string.” Instead of pushing up GDP, money supply increases push up the values of financial assets and real estate resulting in financial and real estate bubbles. Webb notes that falls in velocity are precursors of financial crises. A multi-year sharp fall in velocity preceded the stock market crash in 1929 and the Great Depression that gave birth to regulatory agencies. The 21st century is characterized by a long-term fall in velocity that has reached the lowest level on record, while stocks and real estate have been driven to unprecedented levels by years of zero interest rates. When this bubble pops, we will be dispossessed.

Will the bubble pop? Yes. The Fed suddenly and rapidly moved from zero to 5% interest rates, a reversal of the policy that drove up prices of stocks and bonds. The Fed raises rates by reducing money supply growth, thus removing the factor supporting high stock prices and collapsing the value of bonds. This results in a lowering of the value of stocks and bonds serving as collateral for loans, which, of course, means the loans and the financial institution behind them are in trouble. Bonds have already taken a hit. The stock market is holding because participants believe the Fed is about to reverse its interest rate policy and lower rates. Webb notes that the official data show that the velocity of money collapsed in the 21st century while the Fed introduced “quantitative easing.” He makes the correct point that when the velocity of money collapses, the Fed is pushing on a string. Instead of money creation fueling economic growth, it produces asset bubbles in real estate and financial instruments, which is what we have at the present time.

When after more than a decade of near zero interest rates, the Fed raises interest rates it collapses the values of financial portfolios and real estate and produces a financial crisis. As the authorities have set in place a system that bails out secured creditors with our bank deposits, stocks, and bonds, we will have no money and no financial assets to sell for money. People with mortgaged homes and businesses will lose them, as they did in the 1930s, when they lost their money due to bank failures. People with car payments will lose their transportation. The way the system works is you lose your money but not your debts. The secured creditors are the creditors of the troubled institutions. Ultimately, the secured creditors are the mega-banks defined as “privileged creditors.”

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“We are being steered directly into a brick wall because the globalists can’t take over the world with the US standing.”

Driving America into a Brick Wall – Bill Holter (USAW)

Back in February, when everyone was predicting a Fed rate cut, precious metals expert and financial writer Bill Holter said rates would be going up and not down. Since that call, the 10-Year Treasury is up more than 30 basis points. It closed today at 4.67%. Now, Holter is still calling for higher interest rates that will coincide with higher gold and silver prices. Why? It’s called inflation, and it’s not temporary. Holter explains, “Foreigners are backing away from buying Treasuries. That is the only thing that has kept the doors open, so to speak, is the fact we are able to borrow an unlimited amount of money because we are the world reserve currency. Foreigners backing away from our debt is going to lead the Federal Reserve to be the buyer of last, and then, only resort. So, you will have direct monetization between the Fed and the Treasury. What that will cause is a currency that declines in purchasing power. It will decline in a big way, and it will decline rapidly. So, what I am describing is inflation that turns into hyperinflation.”

But that is not the end of our problems. Holter points out, “I do think it is going to get worse, and that means interest rates will go higher, and that will put on much more pressure. We are at 4.65% on the 10-Year Treasury now. We went from 3.75% to 4.65% (in a short amount of time). We run through 5% on the 10-year Treasury, and everything blows up. . . . The bottom line here is we are at the end game of a fiat currency. Young people have never experienced high inflation. . . . Where we are this time around, Paul Volker (Fed Head in 1979) was able to raise rates to 16% or 17% and crush inflation. He was able to do that because there was not a ton of debt. The U.S. debt back in 1980 was 35% of GDP. Now, it is 125% plus debt to GDP. If you raise rates to 6% to 8%, you will blow up the entire system because much of this debt was put on during the 1% to 3% interest rate time. . . . The inflation is going to push rates higher no matter what the Fed says.”

Gold is hitting one new record high after another. It’s not greed, but fear, and Holter says, “Big money is buying gold because they are looking for protection.” The other wild card is war, and Holter says, “War is a way to keep the system propped up.” In closing, Holter contends, what you are seeing is not a series of mistakes by incompetent people. Holter says, “This is too stupid for it not to be the plan. . . .This is not a Republican or Democrat thing. We are being steered directly into a brick wall because the globalists can’t take over the world with the US standing. They have to take the US down, and if they take the US down, so will the western financial system fall. If that happens, the globalists can have their way.”

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Brick wall right ahead.

IMF Lambasts US Over Ballooning Debt (RT)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised concerns about overspending by the US government, warning it has been reigniting inflation risks and undermining financial stability around the world. The US federal budget deficit jumped from $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2022 to $1.7 trillion last year, according to the latest World Economic Outlook, issued by the IMF on Tuesday. “The exceptional recent performance of the United States is certainly impressive and a major driver of global growth,” the IMF said. However, the report explained that this “reflects strong demand factors as well, including a fiscal stance that is out of line with long-term fiscal sustainability.” The ballooning US national debt, which exceeded $34 trillion in December, and the fiscal deficit threatened to exacerbate sky-high levels of inflation while posing a long-term risk to the global economy, according to the report.

“Something will have to give,” the IMF warned. The US exceeded its debt ceiling, which was legally set at $31.4 trillion, in January 2023. After months of warnings of an imminent and economically disastrous default from the US Treasury, President Joe Biden in June 2023 signed a bipartisan debt bill that suspended the cap until January 2025. This effectively allowed the government to keep borrowing without limits through next year. Debt spiked to $32 trillion less than two weeks after the bill was approved, and has been piling up ever since. The debt held by the public could surge by $19 trillion over the next decade to surpass the $54 trillion mark, owing to the mounting costs of an aging population and higher interest expenses, according to recent projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Since entering office, Biden has spent trillions on Covid relief as well as on infrastructure. The US has also spent billions on aid for Ukraine. The Biden administration, however, has been insisting that tax cuts signed into law by then-President Donald Trump were to blame for the ballooning national debt. Last month, Biden unveiled a $7.3-trillion budget plan for 2025 which would push US debt over 100% of GDP, as he laid out a fiscal agenda that boosts spending but plans to save $3 trillion through higher taxes over ten years. Republicans in the House of Representatives have described the proposed budget as a “roadmap to accelerate America’s decline,” accusing the Biden administration of “reckless spending” and of engaging in a “runaway spending spree” that disregards fiscal responsibility.

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Dr Phil
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780432276536348760

 

 

Ladapo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780338991906078826


https://twitter.com/i/status/1780336890639475072

 

 

Cloud seeding

https://twitter.com/i/status/1780546767232122903
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780631970667536551

 

 

Buster
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780260040672415826

 

 

Chickady’s Birdhouse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780274925317574889

 

 

Bull dog

 

 

Wolf

 

 

Puppy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780651680528261376

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 272022
 


Marcel Duchamp About young sister 1911

 

This Is the Way the World Ends (Jim Kunstler)
Ukrainian Territories To Be Absorbed Into Russia By Week’s End: Lawmaker (ZH)
All the Young Dudes, Carry the -Russian- News (Escobar)
Zelensky Reveals US Pays Ukraine $1.5 Billion Per Month (RT)
Putin Considering Talks With Kiev On New Conditions – Turkish FM (RT)
German Energy Apocalypse Update V (Eugyp)
Germany Suspects ‘Targeted Attack’ On Russian Gas Pipelines (RT)
The US Is Winning Its War On Europe’s Industries And People (MoA)
West Should Treat Us With Respect – Putin (RT)
Poland Slams ‘Scandalous’ Von der Leyen Warning (RT)
Russia And The US Still Have Time To Prevent A Nuclear War (Trenin)
Orban Says EU Sanctions on Russia Have ‘Backfired’ (R.)
Moscow Tells US To ‘Back Off’ With ‘Aggressive’ Course (RT)
Moscow Grants Russian Citizenship To Edward Snowden (AP)
Roger Waters Pens Open Letter To Putin (RT)
Trouble About The Corona Vaccine Deal: Why Is Von Der Leyen Stonewalling? (MP)
Just 1.5% Of Eligible Americans Have Gotten Updated COVID Booster (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Meloni identity

 

 

 

 

Net Zero
https://twitter.com/i/status/1574280761913524224

 

 

This one is a bit older.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Madame von der Leyen’s fellow Germans have already been sent to their room without so much as a kartoffelklop, plus no heat or hot showers for you, Hansel and Gretel.”

This Is the Way the World Ends (Jim Kunstler)

The bond market has gone south, and that spells The End for the great game of financialization. The bond market is Moby Dick compared to the little blowfish that is the stock market. The global money system is based on bonds, which are… what? That’s right: loans… promises to pay you X at some future moment. So, what happens when a daisy-chain of promises-to-pay gets broken? Or, perhaps more precisely, when all those promises lose their last shred of plausible reality? Why, the money that these broken promises are denominated in loses its essential cred. Trick question: how much is worthless money worth? (Answer: not enough to pay for a can of Schrödinger’s cat food.) Which is where all this folderol leaves a lot of ordinary people all over Western Civ (and beyond!) trying to scratch up enough increasingly worthless money to feed the family and pay the landlord. Many will never understand what happened. But they will not be any less pissed off at the result.

This is the way the world ends for the hapless phantom known as “Joe Biden” the child-sniffing ectoplasm that haunts the White House these days of late empire. Somehow, the bamboozled nation has so far passively accepted the pranks and punishments laid on them by the backstage managers behind the Figment-in-Chief. Eight-plus percent inflation? No problemo, right? Eighty-five thousand new IRS agents on-board to drive you batshit while destroying your household and your posterity (ha!)? Half the population of South America flooding across the border? (The vibrancy! You no like?) A hundred dollar fill-up at the gas pump, and no heat for you this winter? (But… Netflix!) Drag queens to amuse and edify your children about the delirious realm of sexual pathology. All that…and how about a Russian hypersonic nuclear missile up your ass if the preceding somehow failed to move you? (Because: Russia, Russia, Russia…!)


Meanwhile, a trend is manifesting in other lands. The people of, first, Sweden and now Italy are voting in “right wing” nationalist governments — the horror — sending their equivalent of our Party of Chaos to the showers. This has irked the President of the European Union, one Ursula von der Leyen, no end. She has threatened to send Italy to its room without supper for the effrontry. Of course, Madame von der Leyen’s fellow Germans have already been sent to their room without so much as a kartoffelklop, plus no heat or hot showers for you, Hansel and Gretel. Embrace the suck.

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No way back.

Ukrainian Territories To Be Absorbed Into Russia By Week’s End: Lawmaker (ZH)

With four occupied regions of Ukraine currently in the midst of a five-day referendum on whether to join the Russian federation, a Kremlin lawmaker told state media over the weekend that the territories are likely to be absorbed by Russia on September 30. “Taking into account the preliminary results of the referendums and Russia’s readiness to acknowledge them, the accession of the territories is likely to take place as early as on September 30,” the unnamed member of Russia’s State Duma said to TASS. Voting is set to conclude Tuesday in Donestk, Luhansk and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, meaning as early as Wednesday or even Thursday announcements of results are likely to trickle out, paving the way for a potential Friday official declaration.


While Russian forces do not yet control the entirety of each of these territories, their annexation would constitute Ukraine losing almost 20% of its geographic territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin might himself make the proclamation following the referendums, which Ukrainian leaders along with Washington have dismissed as a “sham” – saying they won’t be recognized. Russian media reports indicate: The lawmaker said Russian President Vladimir Putin could take part in the procedure on September 30. “I don’t know if he will [participate], but he is likely to do so,” the MP said. Given that on Saturday Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed new territories would be under Russia’s “full protection” – there is more than likely to be a major uptick in the intensity of fighting to follow the referenda results announcement in eastern Ukraine.

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“..after so many years, Moscow is finally fully committed to supporting Donbass all the way to the baby bears coming to Mama for good.”

All the Young Dudes, Carry the -Russian- News (Escobar)

Moscow’s rerouted strategy takes maskirovka – mask, feint, fool the enemy – to another level, actually dropping the mask, plus the velvet gloves. Now it’s all very clear: this is turbo-charged Sun Tzu (“May your plans be dark and impenetrable like the night, and when you move, strike like lightning.”) There will be plenty of strikes like lightning ahead in the Ukrainian battlefield. This is the culmination of a process that started in Samarkand, during the SCO summit last week. According to diplomatic sources, Putin and Xi Jinping had a very serious conversation. Xi asked tough questions – as in you must finish this off – and Putin arguably explained how things would reach the next level.

Yoda Patrushev was on the road to China immediately afterwards – meeting with his Yoda counterpart Yang Jiechi, head of the Foreign Affairs Commission, and the secretary of the Central Political and Legal Committee, Guo Shengkun. Following-up on Samarkand, Patrushev outlined how Moscow will help Beijing militarily when the Empire tries anything funny in the next battlefield: Asia-Pacific. That should happen under the framework of the SCO. Crucially, the Patrushev meetings were requested by the Chinese. So the Russia-China strategic partnership is about to achieve full-fledged cooperation before the going gets tough in the South China Sea. It’s as if Russia-China were on the brink of creating their own CSTO.

And that is happening even as the Chinese leadership continues to express – mostly in private – that war in Russia’s western borderlands is very bad for business (BRI, EAEU, SCO, BRICS+, all of them) and should be wrapped up a.s.a.p. The problem is a swift wrap-up is off the cards. Foreign Minister Lavrov, in New York for the UN General Assembly, has stressed how. “Ukraine has eventually become a totalitarian Nazi sort of state” – unconditionally supported by the collective West. NATOstan has predictably doubled down on its tactics since the non-response response to Russia’s demand for a serious discussion on indivisibility of security, in late 2021: it’s always about shelling Donbass. This could not possibly be tolerated anymore by the Kremlin and Russian public opinion.

Thus the partial mobilization – forcefully proposed by the siloviki and the Security Council for quite a while now, with Kostyukov at GRU, Naryshkin at SVR and Bortnikov at FSB on the forefront. The symbolism is powerful: after so many years, Moscow is finally fully committed to supporting Donbass all the way to the baby bears coming to Mama for good. There are – unconfirmed – rumors in Moscow that the decision was accelerated because GRU has intel on the Americans soon transferring long-range missiles to Kiev capable of striking Russian cities. That’s beyond a red line for the Kremlin – hence Putin’s express mention that every weapon available in Russia’s mighty arsenal will be used to protect the Motherland.

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Lowballing.

Zelensky Reveals US Pays Ukraine $1.5 Billion Per Month (RT)

The Ukrainian government is being heavily supported with American money, with Washington contributing $1.5 billion per month to the budget, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky has revealed. The sum was mentioned by the Ukrainian leader during an interview with CBS host Margaret Brennan for the ‘Face the Nation’ program, which was aired on Sunday. Currently Kiev runs “a deficit of $5 billion in our budget,” Zelenksy said, adding that “the United States gives us $1.5 billion every month to support our budget to fight” against Russia. Zelensky argued that arming and otherwise helping Ukraine militarily is a “win-win” for the US. He pledged that once Russia is defeated, the Ukrainian people will return to their home country and start paying taxes there, relieving the burden on American taxpayers.

“For the United States, it will be significant savings, but for us, it will be an opportunity to secure our territory and make it safe for our population,” he stated. US President Joe Biden has pledged to help Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to secure a strategic defeat of Russia, which he declared Washington’s ultimate goal in the conflict. Many Americans do not share the president’s view that the situation in Ukraine is crucial. According to the conservative election pollster Rasmussen Reports, it failed to make the top-ten list of issues of concern for likely voters. Earlier this month, the Biden administration asked Congress to authorize some $12 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, including $4.5 billion to support the Kiev government financially beyond September. It asked for $2 billion on top of that, to help Ukraine offset rising energy prices.


The package is expected to be approved on Friday, but some political analysts question whether the cash flows to Ukraine can be sustained after the midterm elections in November. “America can’t afford to provide a blank checkbook to Ukraine when we have inflation, gas prices, a supply chain crisis, all of the above, going on at home,” a GOP lawmaker told Politico, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “That’s what I’m hearing from my voters.” The outlet predicted that if the Republican Party wins the House, Biden will face more resistance to his requests for emergency aid to Ukraine.

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“In the course of negotiations with our president, Putin announced the possibility of returning to negotiations with Kiev, but on new conditions that have appeared,”

Putin Considering Talks With Kiev On New Conditions – Turkish FM (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering resuming talks with Ukraine, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday. The top diplomat made the remarks during a press conference in Tokyo where he’s attending the funeral of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July. According to Cavusoglu, Putin floated the idea during a conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the recent summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. “In the course of negotiations with our president, Putin announced the possibility of returning to negotiations with Kiev, but on new conditions that have appeared,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying, He didn’t elaborate on the “conditions” specified.

The minister also reiterated Ankara’s desire to stage direct talks between Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. “Our president will continue his contacts with Putin and Zelensky. Our aim is to bring the two leaders together to ensure that decisions are made at the level of the leaders,” Cavusoglu said. Top Russian officials have repeatedly said Moscow has been ready to talk with Kiev, pinning the blame for the stalled negotiations on the Ukrainian side. Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said dialogue is “of course needed,” adding that Putin had already explained that “Ukraine left the negotiations several months ago.”


Apart from declaring the goal of defeating Moscow on the battlefield, Ukrainian officials have also reacted angrily to the referendums on joining Russia, currently ongoing in the Donbass republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions in southern Ukraine. On Sunday, Zelensky warned that should Russia complete the vote, it would “make it impossible, in any case, to continue any diplomatic negotiations” with Moscow.

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“Normally” Eugyppius writes on Covid. But he’s in Germany…

German Energy Apocalypse Update V (Eugyp)

Germany has nationalised the gas importer Uniper, to save it from insolvency in the face of the Gazprom gas stoppage. Robert Habeck’s earlier scheme to save Uniper and other importers involved the imposition of a gas surcharge of 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour on all consumers, but the government appears ready to scrap this plan just days before it was set to go into effect. Instead, some politicians are now talking of capping gas prices, though as far as I can tell, nobody has any idea how. As the pressure builds and the first closures begin, Germany is entering an economic recession, and there are everyday renewed cracks in the political edifice.

Minister President of Saxony Michael Kretschmer (CDU) – no fringe political figure – recently remarked that Germany “cannot do without Russian gas” and acknowledged that EU sanctions are to blame for the shortage, but he stopped short of demanding that Nord Stream 2 be opened; instead, he hopes for a return to Russian gas after the Ukraine war has ended. The Greens in government remain committed to taking Germany’s last nuclear power plants offline by the end of the year, hoping that enough French nuclear plants will return to service over the winter to cover any resulting shortages. It is hard to imagine a more farcical approach to nuclear energy.

Meanwhile, the head mayor of Berlin has suggested that two- or three-hour periods of load-shedding may be necessary to keep the electrical grid functional over the winter. Other experts, while downplaying the risk of uncontrolled outages, have raised the possibility load-shedding as well, confirming that these are very real contingency plans and that we’re being prepared for them. The stated concern is invariably that local or regional gas shortages will cause the widespread activation of electrical heaters and overwhelm the grid, though how exactly this could be anticipated far enough in advanced for scheduled outages is unclear to me. Prices have increased vastly across the economy, and estimates are that up to 60 percent of German households are now committing their entire monthly income to cover the rising cost of living.

The depth of the crisis isn’t fully known, as loan defaults and similar economic signals won’t begin in earnest until 2023. And that’s it. There are no plans from the government, beyond doubtful price-tinkering, regulatory schemes and targeted financial assistance. If you look at those news outlets most guilty of Corona hysteria, like the state-funded Tagesschau or the Süddeutsche Zeitung, you find extremely muted reporting on the crisis. Instead, hyperventilation about Ukraine continues to dominate headlines; pieces on the energy apocalypse are either misleading items like this one, hailing a dip in gas prices, or trivial write-ups about whether cities should cancel their Christmas lighting this year.

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Well, the Russians don’t blow up their own pipelines…

Germany Suspects ‘Targeted Attack’ On Russian Gas Pipelines (RT)

While the loss of pressure in three natural gas pipelines between Russia and Germany is still officially being investigated, Berlin is reportedly no longer convinced it was a coincidence, and suspects a “targeted attack” on behalf of either Ukraine or Russia, the newspaper Tagesspiegel reported on Monday evening. Pressure in one of the Nord Stream 2 lines dropped sharply overnight, followed by the same happening to both Nord Stream 1 pipes on Monday afternoon. Denmark announced that a gas leak was spotted off the coast of Bornholm island in the Baltic Sea and closed the area for maritime traffic, but could not confirm if this was what caused the pressure loss.

According to Tagesspiegel, the German government and agencies investigating the incident “can’t imagine a scenario that isn’t a targeted attack,” according to an anonymous source familiar with their assessments. “Everything speaks against a coincidence.” The outlet explained that a deliberate attack on the bottom of the sea has to involve special forces, navy divers or a submarine. Berlin is reportedly examining two possible scenarios. In the first, Ukraine or “Ukraine-affiliated forces”could be behind the attack. The second option is that Russia did it as a “false flag,” to make Ukraine look bad and drive the EU energy prices even higher.


With Nord Stream offline since late August, Russian gas can only be delivered to Germany and central Europe via the older pipelines going through Poland and Ukraine, Tagesspiegel noted. “We are in the process of clarifying the situation here,” a spokeswoman for the federal ministry of economics told the outlet. “We don’t currently know what caused the pressure drop.” Nord Stream 1 was built in 2011. Construction on Nord Stream 2 began in 2018, and took much longer due to political pressure and economic sanctions from the US. NS2 was finished and pressurized by September 2021. However, two days prior to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the German government put its certification on indefinite hold, and has categorically refused any suggestion from Moscow – or its own people – to unblock the pipeline.

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“Instead of a real military threat from Russia and China, the problem for American strategists is the absence of such a threat.”

The US Is Winning Its War On Europe’s Industries And People (MoA)

On February 7 Professor of Economics Michael Hudson explained why America’s Real Adversaries Are Its European and Other Allies: “What worries American diplomats is that Germany, other NATO nations and countries along the Belt and Road route understand the gains that can be made by opening up peaceful trade and investment. If there is no Russian or Chinese plan to invade or bomb them, what is the need for NATO? And if there is no inherently adversarial relationship, why do foreign countries need to sacrifice their own trade and financial interests by relying exclusively on U.S. exporters and investors?

These are the concerns that have prompted French President Macron to call forth the ghost of Charles de Gaulle and urge Europe to turn away from what he calls NATO’s “brain-dead” Cold War and break with the pro-U.S. trade arrangements that are imposing rising costs on Europe while denying it potential gains from trade with Eurasia. Even Germany is balking at demands that it freeze by this coming March by going without Russian gas. Instead of a real military threat from Russia and China, the problem for American strategists is the absence of such a threat.” What the U.S. needed was to provoke Russia, and later China, into reacting to U.S. arranged threats in a way that would oblige its ‘allies’ to follow its sanction policies. The rather dimwitted European leadership fell for the trick.


The U.S. arranged for a Ukrainian attack on the rebel held Donbas region. This started on February 17 with intense artillery preparations against Donbas positions as recorded by the OSCE observers at that border. Russia had to react or see the ethnic Russians in those areas getting maimed and killed by Nazi devoting Ukrainians. There was no way to prevent that but by other than military means. On February 22 Russia recognized the Donbas republics as independent states and signed defense agreements with them. The same day the German chancellor Olaf Scholz canceled the launch of the undersea Nord Stream II pipeline which was to transport Russian gas to Germany’s industries and consumers. The Europeans launched a sequence of extremely harsh economic sanctions against Russia which, prodded by the U.S., had been prepared months in advance. Russia’s Special Military Operation, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, commenced on February 24.

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“Without that we won’t even talk to them. Nobody is going to tolerate humiliation..”

West Should Treat Us With Respect – Putin (RT)

Russia and Belarus are countries that are prepared to work with the West but only if there is mutual respect, presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko agreed during a face-to-face meeting in Sochi on Monday. Speaking on tv channel Rossiya 24, Lukashenko said he believes the West’s future lies with Russia, which has “everything they need.” On the other hand, he added, the West has things Russia and Belarus need and are willing to buy, including certain technologies. “What else do they want? They just need to make responsible decisions,” he said said. Putin agreed with the Belarusian leader, insisting the West must “treat us with respect.”

“Without that we won’t even talk to them. Nobody is going to tolerate humiliation,”Lukashenko continued, noting that both Moscow and Minsk were open to working with those who want to live side by side, building relations based on mutual respect. The Russian leader has previously suggested that the West was essentially waging a hybrid war against Moscow and was looking to “weaken, disunite and ultimately destroy”Russia. In a televised address last week, Putin claimed that Western countries openly admit that they “managed to break up the Soviet Union in 1991”and were now aiming to “split Russia into many regions that would be at each other’s throats.”


As a means to that end, Putin claims the West has been intentionally fostering Russophobic sentiments in countries like Ukraine, where he accuses the US and its allies of installing a hostile government and of turning the Ukrainian people into cannon fodder by pushing them into war with Russia. Putin has also warned Western leaders who openly call for a military defeat of Russia that Moscow is prepared to use any means at its disposal to defend itself and to ensure its territorial integrity. US President Joe Biden has hit back at Putin, accusing him of “making irresponsible nuclear threats to use nuclear weapons.”

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“..the president’s remarks were not an attempt to interfere with Italian domestic politics but rather meant to underline the body’s role “as guardian of the [European] treaties with regard to the rule of law.”

Poland Slams ‘Scandalous’ Von der Leyen Warning (RT)

A warning by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that Brussels has tools to discipline Italy if its prospective center-right government fails to cooperate with the EU was “scandalous,” according to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The remark was a wake-up call for member states, the head of the Polish government said on Sunday, as quoted by state news agency PAP. “Is this the kind of Europe we want? Is this democracy and rule of law? That Eurocrats in Brussels decide what a government should be?”Morawiecki asked. He was responding to von der Leyen’s suggestion that, should the new Italian government fail to meet the EU’s policy expectations, the country could be disciplined.

The top official said “whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we’re working together,” adding that “if things go in a difficult direction, I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools.” Von der Leyen spoke about Italy on Thursday at Princeton University, after it was suggested that people friendly to Russia could come to power in Rome after the election on Sunday. She was asked what the EU leadership plans to do about it. Morawiecki interpreted the remark as a promise to punish Italy, unless its new government is “in favor of Brussels.” European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said that the president’s remarks were not an attempt to interfere with Italian domestic politics but rather meant to underline the body’s role “as guardian of the [European] treaties with regard to the rule of law.”


A center-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FI) party looks set to form a new cabinet following a snap election in the country. The outcome was consistent with opinion polls ahead of the ballot. In mid-September, the European Commission recommended suspending some €7.5 billion of emergency funding to Hungary over alleged erosion of the rule of law in the country. A similar punishment was imposed on Poland last year over controversial judicial reforms adopted by its conservative government.

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“..if – God forbid! – the Kremlin will face what the Russian military doctrine calls “a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,” its nuclear weapons will not point to some location on the European continent, but more likely across the Atlantic.”

Russia And The US Still Have Time To Prevent A Nuclear War (Trenin)

This October marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, which drew Moscow and Washington into a nuclear showdown that threatened the immediate annihilation of the world. Luckily, the leaders of the time – Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy – had the wisdom to step back from the brink, and then engage with each other on first steps toward jointly managing adversity in the nuclear era. Given the current conflict in Ukraine, which is steadily escalating toward a direct military collision between Russia and the United States, there is a hope that the lessons of the past can also help to end the present confrontation on a peaceful note. However, we should also be mindful of the major differences between the two crises.

On the surface the root cause of both confrontations has been acute feelings of insecurity created by the expansion of the rival power’s political influence and military presence right to the doorstep of one’s own country: Cuba then, Ukraine now. This similarity, however, is almost as far as it goes. The salient feature of the Ukraine crisis is the vast asymmetry not only between the relevant capabilities of Russia and the United States, but even more importantly between the stakes involved. To the Kremlin, the issue is literally existential. Essentially, it is not only the future of Ukraine, but that of Russia itself that is on the table. To the White House, the issue is definitely important, but far less critical. What is in question is clearly US global leadership (which will not collapse within the Western world, whatever happens in Ukraine), its credibility (which can be dented but hardly destroyed), and the administration’s standing with the American people (for whom Ukraine is hardly a top concern).

[..] The problem is that its highly pro-active policy on Ukraine is based on a flawed premise that Russia can indeed accept being ‘strategically defeated’ and, should nuclear weapons be used, their use would be limited to Ukraine or, at worst, to Europe. Americans have a long tradition of ascribing their own strategic logic to their Russian opponents, but this can be fatally misleading. Ukraine, parts of Russia and Europe being hit by nuclear strikes – while the US emerges from the conflict unscathed – might be considered a tolerable outcome in Washington, but hardly in Moscow. [..] So many of Russia’s so-called red lines being breached without consequence from the start of the Ukraine war have created an impression that Moscow is bluffing, so that when President Vladimir Putin recently issued another warning to Washington, saying that “it is not a bluff,” some people concluded that it was precisely that.

Yet, as recent experience demonstrates, Putin’s words deserve to be taken more seriously. In a 2018 interview he said, “Why do we need a world in which there is no Russia?” The problem is that Moscow’s strategic defeat, which the US is aiming for in Ukraine, would probably ultimately result in “a world without Russia.” This probably suggests that if – God forbid! – the Kremlin will face what the Russian military doctrine calls “a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,” its nuclear weapons will not point to some location on the European continent, but more likely across the Atlantic.

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“Hungary to hold a referendum on the EU’s sanctions imposed on Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announces.

“The sanctions were not decided democratically, but were decided by Brussels bureaucrats and European elites,” he said on Monday.”

Orban Says EU Sanctions on Russia Have ‘Backfired’ (R.)

Hungary should prepare for a prolonged war in neighbouring Ukraine, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday, sharply criticising European Union sanctions imposed on Russia which he said have “backfired”, driving up energy prices. Orban, long at odds with the EU over some of his policies seen in Brussels as anti-democratic, urged a ceasefire to end the war and said the sanctions against Russia were dealing a blow to Europe’s economy. Orban, who was reelected for a fourth consecutive term in April, now faces surging inflation, plunging consumer confidence and the prospect of a recession next year.

He told parliament it was no surprise that governments were falling in Europe, referring to the Italian election on Sunday following which Giorgia Meloni looks set to lead Italy’s most right-wing government since World War Two. “We can safely say that as a result of the sanctions, European people have become poorer, while Russia has not fallen to its knees,” Orban said. “This weapon has backfired, with the sanctions Europe has shot itself in the foot.” “We are waiting for an answer, the entire Europe is waiting for an answer from Brussels on how long we will keep doing this,” he said, adding it was also time to discuss the sanctions with the United States. Orban, whose government is in talks with the European Commission to secure billions of euros in EU funds blocked over rule-of-law concerns, said his government would launch a “national consultation” asking Hungarians about sanctions.


Orban has previously used this campaign tool to shore up domestic support for his Fidesz party on policies such as gay rights or migration. Orban said his government had revised its long-term energy strategy and aims to overhaul the power system and extend the lifespan of the Paks nuclear power plant, with a total of 32 big investments planned to be financed using EU funding. “If the Brussels bureaucrats do not give us this money, which Hungary is eligible for, then we will get the necessary funds from other financial sources,” Orban said, adding Hungary had started talks with the EU and “other international partners”. He did not elaborate.

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“Dozens of nations representing half of humanity either backed Russia’s position on Ukraine or at least acknowledged the merits of Russia’s reasoning..”

Moscow Tells US To ‘Back Off’ With ‘Aggressive’ Course (RT)

The US is taking an increasingly aggressive stance towards Moscow, but no amount of economic sanctions and political pressure can sway it from defending its national interests, a top Russian diplomat said. Moscow’s diplomacy regarding the US is an exercise in “crisis management”, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview on Russian television on Monday. He described US behavior as being “increasingly confrontational and worrisome.” “We can see how [the Americans] are trying to mobilize their satellites, their vassals to confront Russia in a more aggressive and hardline manner,” the diplomat said. “Washington’s irresponsible, extremely aggressive, extremely assertive course is bringing us all to the dangerous line. We are warning against maintaining this course.”

The brinkmanship has been evident not only when it comes to the crisis in Ukraine, but also in the all-important issue of nuclear non-proliferation and reduction, Ryabkov said. Washington has pretty much dismantled the entire architecture of strategic arms control and is threatening the last remaining bilateral treaty of that kind with Russia, the New START, he pointed out. The core of the problem, the diplomat said, is that the US “does not need agreements, which had been signed on the basis of parity, served not only the security interest of the group [of nations] led by the US, but strengthened the security of entire regions and the world in general. They are not in line with the hegemonic course that the US pursues in the international arena.”

The deputy minister said he didn’t expect US policy towards Russia to change anytime soon, because “there is an anti-Russian consensus of the elites” in the US. But the only viable solution is for Washington to recognize that Russia will not be bullied and act accordingly, Ryabkov added. “Time and time again we’ve told our American interlocutors, to use the most neutral term, that they have to back off and stop escalating the situation,” he said.

European nations, which sided with Washington’s anti-Russian drive, are suffering because of it, the Russian diplomat pointed out. In fact, their subservience to Washington makes them vulnerable to American exploitation, Ryabkov said. “[The Americans] are undermining Europe’s competitiveness, pumping their products into European markets, be they military equipment or hydrocarbons, which the Europeans would rather get from alternative sources under different circumstances,” he said. But Washington lacks global support, regardless of what American officials claim Ryabkov said. Dozens of nations representing half of humanity either backed Russia’s position on Ukraine or at least acknowledged the merits of Russia’s reasoning about it, he explained.

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One of 75, but the only one who gets attention.

Moscow Grants Russian Citizenship To Edward Snowden (AP)

President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, according to a decree signed by the Russian leader on Monday. Snowden is one of 75 foreign nationals listed by the decree as being granted Russian citizenship. The decree was published on an official government website. Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs. He was granted permanent residency in 2020 and said at the time that he planned to apply for Russian citizenship, without renouncing his U.S. citizenship.


Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti that the former contractor’s wife Lindsay Mills, an American who has been living with him in Russia, will also be applying for a Russian passport. The couple had a child in December 2020. Snowden, who has kept a low profile in Russia and occasionally criticized Russian government policies on social media, said in 2019 that he was willing to return to the U.S. if he’s guaranteed a fair trial. He hasn’t commented on being granted Russian citizenship.

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“Just because NATO and the US get to “invade other sovereign countries at the drop of a hat, or for a few barrels of oil,” doesn’t mean Russia shouldn’t hold itself to a higher standard..”

Roger Waters Pens Open Letter To Putin (RT)

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has penned a blunt open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking guarantees that Russia will not expand beyond the Donbass and Crimea and will never “invade anyone ever again.” Posted to Facebook on Monday, the missive follows similarly frank open letters to Ukrainian First Lady Elena Zelenskaya. In the letter, Waters asks Putin to affirm he wants an end to the war – something the Russian president has already said on other occasions. He also demands a guarantee that Russia’s “territorial interest” stops at the “security of the Russian speaking populations”of Crimea and the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, citing the need to reassure “some people who think you want to overrun the whole of Europe, starting with Poland and the rest of the Baltic states.”

If Russia does have territorial ambitions beyond eastern Ukraine, Waters writes, “f*** you, and we might as well all stop playing the desperately dangerous game of nuclear chicken that the hawks on both sides of the Atlantic feel so comfortable with, and have at it.” It wasn’t immediately clear if the referendums in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions on joining Russia qualified for this response. Moscow would also have to promise “not to invade anyone ever again,” Waters told Putin, complaining the launch of Russia’s special military operation in February was not just a “heinous war of aggression,” but an unexpected one to boot. Just because NATO and the US get to “invade other sovereign countries at the drop of a hat, or for a few barrels of oil,” doesn’t mean Russia shouldn’t hold itself to a higher standard, he explained.

“If you were to reply to me,” Waters wrote to Putin, “I would mightily respect you for it, and take it as an honorable move in the right direction towards a sustainable peace.” The progressive rock guitarist’s appeal to Putin followed his previous open letters to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s wife Elena, in which he urged the Ukrainian First Lady to “demand the implementation of your husband’s election promises and put an end to this deadly war,” a reference to Zelensky’s campaign pledge to “end the civil war” in Donbass. He told Zelenskaya she was “tragically mistaken” in her belief that western “support for Ukraine” – namely the continued supply of weapons – would shorten the conflict.

Zelenskaya responded to the musician earlier this month on Twitter, blaming Russia for “invading” Ukraine, “destroy[ing] cities and kill[ing] civilians.” She insisted that if Ukraine stops fighting it will mean the end of its existence, and urged Waters to address his peace appeals to the Russian president instead.

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Google translation from German outlet Morgenpost.

The “talks” between Ursula and Bourla were in WhatsApp (or a similar app), and she gave herself permission to delete all of it. Dead end.

Trouble About The Corona Vaccine Deal: Why Is Von Der Leyen Stonewalling? (MP)

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is under pressure because of a multi-billion dollar mega contract for the delivery of Biontech-Pfizer’s corona vaccine. According to information from our editorial team, the budget controllers of the EU Parliament are preparing a formal reprimand, the displeasure in Parliament is great, the first MPs call for the public prosecutor. It is by far the largest contract in the European Union for the procurement of corona vaccines: In May 2021, i.e. five months after the start of the vaccination campaign, the Commission agreed on the delivery of up to 1.8 billion doses of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine ( 900 million as an option) for the years 2022 and 2023. According to insider information, the purchase price is a gigantic 35 billion euros.

Not only the volume is spectacular. It is also unusual that von der Leyen apparently personally arranged the contract in talks with Pfizer boss Albert Bourla – the European Court of Auditors speaks of “preliminary negotiations”. Nevertheless, the President of the Commission adamantly refuses to provide any information about her exchange with the Pfizer boss. Now von der Leyen even rebuffed the Court of Auditors – and may have overdone it. The auditors took an interest in the deal as part of a special report on European vaccine procurement. According to her account, von der Leyen conducted the preliminary negotiations with the Pfizer boss in March 2021 without involving the joint negotiating team, as would have corresponded to a Commission decision on the procedure.

The auditors asked the Commission for information about the preliminary negotiations, such as experts involved, timetable, records, details of the agreed terms. After all, this contract will “shape the EU’s vaccine portfolio until the end of 2023”. But the examiners received a rejection: “No information was transmitted,” they write. Internally, the inspectors are stunned: “This behavior is extremely unusual, something like this has never happened before,” says the authority. However, the Court of Auditors cannot enforce anything in this case. The EU Parliament has the lever in its hand. There threatens from the Leyen Trouble. The chair of the Budget Control Committee, Monika Hohlmeier (CSU), calls it “very worrying” that the Commission is refusing to give the Court of Auditors central information for evaluating the preliminary negotiations, especially because of their influence on the proper award procedure.

According to the Court of Auditors, the tender only contained what had previously been informally agreed, Hohlmeier told our editorial team: “The Committee on Budgetary Control will reprimand the Commission here and insist that information relevant to the audit must always be shared with the Court of Auditors without restrictions.” The lack of transparency in the multi-billion dollar contracts has long been an issue in the EU Parliament, also because it plays into the hands of anti-vaccination campaigns. Von der Leyen’s blockade is fueling all sorts of speculation among critics, such as an alleged preference for the US company Pfizer. The Washington-based consumer organization SumOfUs accuses von der Leyen of agreeing to a hefty price increase in her talks with Bourla, even though a discount would have been obvious given the enormous quantity. In fact, with the deal, the price per Biontech vaccine dose rose from EUR 15.50 to EUR 19.50 – the then Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borrisov revealed this out of annoyance at the high costs.

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It’s over.

Just 1.5% Of Eligible Americans Have Gotten Updated COVID Booster (ZH)

Only 1.5% of those eligible to receive the new Covid booster jab – which was tested on just 8 mice, not humans, before the FDA approved it – have taken the updated shot, according to data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 4.4 million people have taken the tweaked booster shot from Pfizer and Moderna after they were rolled out three weeks ago around Labor Day weekend. The bivalent shots were designed to target both the original Covid-19 strain, and the currently circulating Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, NBC News reports. “I would expect a much higher proportion of Americans to have gotten the booster by this point,” said Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Scott Robers, who said the relatively low uptake was “demoralizing.”

“The fact that this booster came out days before Biden said the pandemic is over is a huge mixed message,” said Roberts, who added that a lack of public awareness surrounding the shots – or the ‘prevailing narrative that the pandemic is ending’ might have hindered the rollout. “Now it’s going to be that much harder to convince those at risk who are on the fence to get a booster.” As of Tuesday, the US had shipped over 25 million boosters to tens of thousands of sites. Approximately 80% of the US population has received at least one shot of the primary Covid vaccine, and almost 68% are considered ‘fully vaccinated’ by the CDC – meaning they’ve received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna’s offering, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.


“[..] experts are still gathering real-world data, since the shots were distributed without results from human trials. Laboratory studies found that the boosters generated strong antibody responses against BA.4 and BA.5, and human trial data showed that a similar vaccine yielded a strong antibody response against the initial omicron strain, BA.1. Authorization of the bivalent boosters for children ages 5 to 11 may be just weeks away, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said at an event this week with the Covid-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project.” -NBC News Word of the slow uptake comes after Denmark recommended that only those over the age of 50, or who are at risk of developing severe Covid-19, receive the vaccine.

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Apr 112019
 


Carl Spitzweg The raven 1845

 

 

In light of the horrible news that Julian Assange was arrested by British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy this morning, what is there to say that we haven’t already said?

We originally published this essay on May 16 2018.

 

 

Julian Assange appears to be painfully close to being unceremoniously thrown out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If that happens, the consequences for journalism, for freedom of speech, and for press freedom, will resound around the world for a very long time. It is very unwise for anyone who values truth and freedom to underestimate the repercussions of this.

In essence, Assange is not different from any journalist working for a major paper or news channel. The difference is he published what they will not because they want to stay in power. The Washington Post today would never do an investigation such as Watergate, and that’s where WikiLeaks came in.

It filled a void left by the media that betrayed their own history and their own field. Betrayed the countless journalists throughout history, and today, who risked their lives and limbs, and far too often lost them, to tell the truth about what powers that be do when they think nobody’s looking or listening.

Julian is not wanted because he’s a spy, or even because he published a number of documents whose publication was inconvenient for certain people. He is wanted because he is so damn smart, which makes him very good and terribly effective at what he does. He’s on a most wanted list not for what he’s already published, but for what he might yet publish in the future.

He built up WikiLeaks into an organization that acquired the ultimate trust of many people who had access to documents they felt should be made public. They knew he would never betray their trust. WikiLeaks has to date never published any documents that were later found out to be false. It never gave up a source. No documents were ever changed or manipulated for purposes other than protecting sources and other individuals.

 

Julian Assange built an ’empire’ based on trust. To do that he knew he could never lie. Even the smallest lie would break what he had spent so much time and effort to construct. He was a highly accomplished hacker from a very young age, which enabled him to build computer networks that nobody managed to hack. He knew how to make everything safe. And keep it that way.

Since authorities were never able to get their hands on WikiLeaks, its sources, or its leader, a giant smear campaign was started around rape charges in Sweden (the country and all its citizens carry a heavy blame for what happened) and connections to America’s favorite enemy, Russia. The rape charges were never substantiated, Julian was never even interrogated by any Swedish law enforcement personnel, but that is no surprise.

It was clear from the get-go what was happening. First of all, for Assange himself. And if there’s one thing you could say he’s done wrong, it’s that he didn’t see the full impact from the campaign against him, sooner. But if you have the world’s largest and most powerful intelligence services against you, and they manage to find both individuals and media organizations willing to spread blatant lies about you, chances are you will not last forever.

If and when you have such forces running against you, you need protection. From politicians and from -fellow- media. Assange didn’t get that, or not nearly enough. Ecuador offered him protection, but as soon as another president was elected, they turned against him. So have news organizations who were once all too eager to profit from material Assange managed to obtain from his sources.

 

That the Guardian today published not just one, not two, but three what can only be labeled as hit pieces on Julian Assange, should perhaps not surprise us; they fell out a long time ago. Still, the sheer amount of hollow innuendo and outright lies in the articles is astonishing. How dare you? Have you no shame, do you not care at all about your credibility? At least the Guardian makes painfully clear why WikiLeaks was needed.

No, Sweden didn’t “drop its investigation into alleged sexual offences because it was unable to question Assange”. The Swedes simply refused to interview him in the Ecuador embassy in London, the only place where he knew he was safe. They refused this for years. And when the rape charges had lost all credibility, Britain asked Sweden to not drop the charges, but keep the pressure on.

No, there is no proof of links from Assange to Russian hackers and/or to the Russian government. No, there is no proof that DNC computers were hacked by Russians to get to John Podesta’s emails. In fact there is no proof they were hacked at all. No, Ecuador didn’t get tired of Julian; their new president, Moreno, decided to sell him out “at the first pressure from the United States”. Just as his predecessor, Correa, said he would.

Julian Assange has been condemned by Sweden, Britain, the US and now Ecuador to solitary confinement with no access to daylight or to medical care. Without a trial, without a sentence, and on the basis of mere allegations, most of which have already turned out to be trumped up and false. This violates so many national and international laws it’s futile to try and count or name them.

It also condemns any and all subsequent truth tellers to the prospect of being treated in the same way that Julian is. Forget about courts, forget about justice. You’ll be on a wanted list. I still have a bit of hope left that Vladimir Putin will step in and save Assange from the gross injustice he’s been exposed to for far too many years. Putin gets 100 times the lies and innuendo Assange gets, but he has a powerful nation behind him. Assange, in the end, only has us.

What’s perhaps the saddest part of all this is that people like Chelsea Manning, Kim Dotcom, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are among the smartest people our world has to offer. We should be cherishing the combination of intelligence, courage and integrity they display at their own risk and peril, but instead we let them be harassed by our governments because they unveil inconvenient truths about them.

And pretty soon there will be nobody left to tell these truths, or tell any truth at all. Dark days. By allowing the smartest and bravest amongst us, who are experts in new technologies, to be silenced, we are allowing these technologies to be used against us.

We’re not far removed from being extras in our own lives, with all significant decisions taken not by us, but for us. America’s Founding Fathers are turning in their graves as we speak. They would have understood the importance of protecting Julian Assange.

To say that we are all Julian Assange is not just a slogan.

 

 

Apr 052019
 


Pablo Picasso Crucifixion 1930

 

 

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500.

 

 

Mr. President,

I write to you because I’m seeing something unfold that concerns you, and I have no way of knowing if you’re aware of it, nor have I seen anyone else mention it. That is, sir, you are being set up, a trap is being set for you, and unless you are aware of it, you may well walk into that trap eyes wide open.

It may not be in your briefing this morning, but the WikiLeaks organization has reported that high-ranking Ecuadorean state officials have told them Julian Assange will be expelled from their London embassy in a matter of “hours to days”. Now, I don’t know what your personal opinion is of Mr. Assange, maybe you think he deserves punishment for leaking secret files to the public.

Your personal opinion of Mr. Assange, however, is not the most important issue here, no offense. What’s most important to your own situation, as well as that of Mr. Assange, is that the people who are after him are the very same people who have been after you for 3 years, and who will double their efforts after suffering a huge loss due to Robert Mueller’s No Collusion report.

What the trap set for you consists of is that if you let these -largely anonymous- deep state actors get their hands on Mr. Assange, you will greatly empower them (even further). But, sir, his enemies inside US intelligence are the same as yours, and empowering one’s enemies is not the way to do battle.

 

We know they are the same people because of Robert Mueller. Mr. Assange was the only way Mr. Mueller could think of to link you to “the Russians”. This is a narrative built upon the -false- notion that “Russians” hacked the DNC servers and sent the contents to Mr. Assange. The narrative has been fully discredited by multiple voices multiple times, but Mr. Mueller has never retracted it.

For good reason: this way he -and others- can leave the story, and suspicion, open that there is a link between you, Mr. Assange and the Russians, despite the Mueller report’s no collusion conclusion. And do note: it not only maintains the popular and media suspicion of Mr. Assange, it also leaves suspicion of you alive.

Former British ambassador Craig Murray explained the intricacies -again- a few days ago:

 

Muellergate and the Discreet Lies of the Bourgeoisie

Robert Mueller repeats the assertion from the US security services that it was Russian hackers who obtained the DNC emails and passed them on to Wikileaks. I am telling you from my personal knowledge that this is not true. Neither Mueller’s team, not the FBI, nor the NSA, nor any US Intelligence agency, has ever carried out any forensic analysis on the DNC’s servers. The DNC consistently refused to make them available. The allegation against Russia is based purely on information from the DNC’s own consultants, Crowdstrike.

William Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA (America’s US$40 billion a year communications intercept organisation), has proven beyond argument that it is a technical impossibility for the DNC emails to have been transmitted by an external hack – they were rather downloaded locally, probably on to a memory stick. Binney’s analysis is fully endorsed by former NSA systems expert Ed Loomis. There simply are no two people on the planet more technically qualified to make this judgement. Yet, astonishingly, Mueller refused to call Binney or Loomis (or me) to testify. Compare this, for example, with his calling to testify my friend Randy Credico, who had no involvement whatsoever in the matter, but Mueller’s team hoped to finger as a Trump/Assange link.

The DNC servers have never been examined by intelligence agencies, law enforcement or by Mueller’s team. Binney and Loomis have written that it is impossible this was an external hack. Wikileaks have consistently stressed no state actor was involved. No evidence whatsoever has been produced of the transfer of the material from the “Russians” to Wikileaks. Wikileaks Vault 7 release of CIA documents shows that the planting of false Russian hacking “fingerprints” is an established CIA practice. Yet none of this is reflected at all by Mueller nor by the mainstream media. “Collusion” may be dead, but the “Russiagate” false narrative limps on.

 

Mr. Trump, sir, I don’t doubt you have realized by now that you are not rid yet of Robert Mueller. But Mr. Mueller is but one cog in the large wheel of intelligence running against you. Yes, the same wheel that runs against Mr. Assange. I’m sure you recognize that it’s hugely ironic, but there is a for now unbreakable bond between the two of you.

Not because of anything you did yourselves, but because Russiagate conspirators in the media, the Democratic party and the intelligence community have created it. And you need to be careful on account of that bond, because they’re going to -try to- use it against you.

I may be a lot more sympathetic to Mr. Assange than you are, but as I said before, this has nothing to do with personal opinion. This is about a trap being set for you. And Mr. Assange is an important part of that trap.

Through him, and especially if they keep him incommunicado, they can keep Russiagate alive, which allows for hundreds of billions of dollars in annual arms expenditures and the 24/7/365 threat of war.

Without the empty allegations against Mr. Assange, Robert Mueller would have had to drop his probe much earlier, but in keeping the allegations alive by silencing Mr. Assange, Russiagate can live on, because the link between Russian hackers and WikiLeaks can be left hanging in the air. And that, Mr. President, will be bad news for you, whether you like it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not.

 

We haven’t talked about the media yet, but there’s another giant irony in the US media clamoring about press freedom, and using it to smear you for 3 years, but not saying a single word to defend that same freedom when it comes to Mr. Assange. They, too, will continue to haunt you, using Mr. Assange as their bait. Don’t let them.

I don’t know what you intend to do about Russiagate and its main perpetrators, but I do know you can make things much easier for yourself if you solve the Assange conundrum first. And you can’t do that by allowing your own enemies to get their hands on him and rendition him; that will backfire on you.

You could pardon him, but that may be a step too far for you at this point. It might be better to simply allow him to go home to Australia.

What would amuse me to no end is if you would personally nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize. That would piss off so many of your enemies it would be a sight to see. The biggest bird you can flip them all. And then after that, you know, go talk to Vladimir Putin and tell him you’re sorry for all this bad theater.

There’s this scene in the Godfather where Marlon Brando as the ageing Don tells Al Pacino how to recognize the traitor in his own midst: the one who suggests setting up a meeting. This is very similar: whoever comes to you to suggest the harshest treatment of Julian Assange, will be the one(s) intent on coming after you too.

One last thing, Mr. President: Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden are among the best, brightest and bravest people our world has to offer. We need people like them, and we need them badly. And it’s a lot more stupid than it is simply ironic, that they are the ones we are locking up and silencing. That way America will never be great again, guaranteed.

And you, sir (I know, more irony) may be their -and our- best and even last hope. You have the power to set free our best. Please use it wisely. And Mr. President, sir, be careful out there.

Know your enemies.

 

 

 

 

May 162018
 


Carl Spitzweg The raven 1845

 

Julian Assange appears to be painfully close to being unceremoniously thrown out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If that happens, the consequences for journalism, for freedom of speech, and for press freedom, will resound around the world for a very long time. It is very unwise for anyone who values truth and freedom to underestimate the repercussions of this.

In essence, Assange is not different from any journalist working for a major paper or news channel. The difference is he published what they will not because they want to stay in power. The Washington Post today would never do an investigation such as Watergate, and that’s where WikiLeaks came in.

It filled a void left by the media that betrayed their own history and their own field. Betrayed the countless journalists throughout history, and today, who risked their lives and limbs, and far too often lost them, to tell the truth about what powers that be do when they think nobody’s looking or listening.

Julian is not wanted because he’s a spy, or even because he published a number of documents whose publication was inconvenient for certain people. He is wanted because he is so damn smart, which makes him very good and terribly effective at what he does. He’s on a most wanted list not for what he’s already published, but for what he might yet publish in the future.

He built up WikiLeaks into an organization that acquired the ultimate trust of many people who had access to documents they felt should be made public. They knew he would never betray their trust. WikiLeaks has to date never published any documents that were later found out to be false. It never gave up a source. No documents were ever changed or manipulated for purposes other than protecting sources and other individuals.

 

Julian Assange built an ’empire’ based on trust. To do that he knew he could never lie. Even the smallest lie would break what he had spent so much time and effort to construct. He was a highly accomplished hacker from a very young age, which enabled him to build computer networks that nobody managed to hack. He knew how to make everything safe. And keep it that way.

Since authorities were never able to get their hands on WikiLeaks, its sources, or its leader, a giant smear campaign was started around rape charges in Sweden (the country and all its citizens carry a heavy blame for what happened) and connections to America’s favorite enemy, Russia. The rape charges were never substantiated, Julian was never even interrogated by any Swedish law enforcement personnel, but that is no surprise.

It was clear from the get-go what was happening. First of all, for Assange himself. And if there’s one thing you could say he’s done wrong, it’s that he didn’t see the full impact from the campaign against him, sooner. But if you have the world’s largest and most powerful intelligence services against you, and they manage to find both individuals and media organizations willing to spread blatant lies about you, chances are you will not last forever.

If and when you have such forces running against you, you need protection. From politicians and from -fellow- media. Assange didn’t get that, or not nearly enough. Ecuador offered him protection, but as soon as another president was elected, they turned against him. So have news organizations who were once all too eager to profit from material Assange managed to obtain from his sources.

 

That the Guardian today published not just one, not two, but three what can only be labeled as hit pieces on Julian Assange, should perhaps not surprise us; they fell out a long time ago. Still, the sheer amount of hollow innuendo and outright lies in the articles is astonishing. How dare you? Have you no shame, do you not care at all about your credibility? At least the Guardian makes painfully clear why WikiLeaks was needed.

No, Sweden didn’t “drop its investigation into alleged sexual offences because it was unable to question Assange”. The Swedes simply refused to interview him in the Ecuador embassy in London, the only place where he knew he was safe. They refused this for years. And when the rape charges had lost all credibility, Britain asked Sweden to not drop the charges, but keep the pressure on.

No, there is no proof of links from Assange to Russian hackers and/or to the Russian government. No, there is no proof that DNC computers were hacked by Russians to get to John Podesta’s emails. In fact there is no proof they were hacked at all. No, Ecuador didn’t get tired of Julian; their new president, Moreno, decided to sell him out “at the first pressure from the United States”. Just as his predecessor, Correa, said he would.

Julian Assange has been condemned by Sweden, Britain, the US and now Ecuador to solitary confinement with no access to daylight or to medical care. Without a trial, without a sentence, and on the basis of mere allegations, most of which have already turned out to be trumped up and false. This violates so many national and international laws it’s futile to try and count or name them.

It also condemns any and all subsequent truth tellers to the prospect of being treated in the same way that Julian is. Forget about courts, forget about justice. You’ll be on a wanted list. I still have a bit of hope left that Vladimir Putin will step in and save Assange from the gross injustice he’s been exposed to for far too many years. Putin gets 100 times the lies and innuendo Assange gets, but he has a powerful nation behind him. Assange, in the end, only has us.

What’s perhaps the saddest part of all this is that people like Chelsea Manning, Kim Dotcom, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are among the smartest people our world has to offer. We should be cherishing the combination of intelligence, courage and integrity they display at their own risk and peril, but instead we let them be harassed by our governments because they unveil inconvenient truths about them.

And pretty soon there will be nobody left to tell these truths, or tell any truth at all. Dark days. By allowing the smartest and bravest amongst us, who are experts in new technologies, to be silenced, we are allowing these technologies to be used against us.

We’re not far removed from being extras in our own lives, with all significant decisions taken not by us, but for us. America’s Founding Fathers are turning in their graves as we speak. They would have understood the importance of protecting Julian Assange.

To say that we are all Julian Assange is not just a slogan.