Mar 122023
 


Dora Maar Model in swimsuit 1936

 

Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US (Lauria)
Georgia Has A Huge Western-Funded NGO Sector (Trenin)
Kiev Considers Renaming Russia (RT)
Medvedev Suggests New Name For Ukraine (RT)
Russia Should Lose, But Not ‘Too Badly’ – US Congressman (RT)
Ukraine Is Lying About Casualty Ratios To Justify Holding Of Bakhmut (MoA)
Russia Issues Latest Report On US-Funded Biolabs In Ukraine (RT)
Poland Builds Europe’s Largest Land Force (Az.)
American Guided Bombs Are ‘Operational’ in Ukraine (LI)
Elon Musk Demands Release Of ‘QAnon Shaman’ (RT)
Trip To Moscow Not Impossible, Pope Francis Says (TASS)
Over $250 Billion Swindled From US Pandemic Fund (RT)
Silicon Valley Bank Employees Made Large Donations to Biden, Dems (GP)
Musk Lets In Possibility Of Buying Bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank (TASS)
House GOP ‘Building the Case’ to Issue Criminal Referrals Against Fauci (BN)

 

 

 

 

Putin Oliver Stone

 

 

 

 

Noem CBDC

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Lock ‘em up

 

 

Trump Jan 6 peace

 

 

 

 

Inauguration

 

 

 

 

Pepe Escobar: “So the Exceptionalist Realm spent TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS in wars across West Asia. With one single Sun Tzu move – Iran meets Saudi – China laid it all to waste. This humiliation is Afghanistan multiplied by trillions.”

Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US (Lauria)

Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the U.S.-allied Shah of Iran, the rivalry between the two major Middle East powers — Iran and Saudi Arabia — has been at the heart of every conflict across the region. The announcement on Friday that Iran and Saudi Arabia have normalized relations could have a seismic effect on all these conflicts and leave the U.S. on outside looking in. In Lebanon, Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Saudi-backed parties might begin to resolve their differences, a unity that would worry Israel and lessen U.S. influence in the country. In Syria, Hezbollah and Iranian militias have been battling Saudi-backed jihadists for more than a decade. The Syrian war could now come to an end. In Yemen, U.S.-backed Saudis have been fighting the Houthi, who have been driven into a closer alliance with Iran. Obstacles to a peace deal have now been removed.

In Iraq, reconciliation between Sunni and Shia could make the U.S. presence and influence irrelevant and unwelcomed by all sides. In Bahrain, Iranian-backed Shi’ites in conflict with the Saudi-aligned monarchy could sideline the presence of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in a region on the mend. And in Saudi Arabia itself, the state’s tensions with Shi’tes in the eastern oil regions should lessen. The historic rapprochement and resumption of formal diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran could transform the Middle East. And the United States doesn’t like it one bit. The U.S. has depended on the Saudi-Iranian divide to pursue its interests in the region. After this development, the U.S. and Israeli front against Iran should lose their chief Arab ally, Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are now in a position to defy U.S. economic sanctions on Iran — a nightmare for Washington.

An end to the Yemen war, which the Biden administration has been making feeble noises about, would mean having to accept Iranian influence on the Arabian peninsula. An end to the war in Syria would be the death knell for the American regime change project in that country. It will put U.S. occupying forces in the east of Syria in an uncomfortable position. And it could spell the end of covert support for some of the most vile jihadists in the region, which depended on Saudi backing. Worst of all for the United States, China has stepped in to be the statesman the U.S. refused to be to resolve differences that have ripped the Middle East apart. That has to produce sleepless nights inside the Beltway. If anything proves China is committed to stability in the world and the U.S. to instability, it is this deal.

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The entire country runs on western NGOs. Detailed report.

Georgia Has A Huge Western-Funded NGO Sector (Trenin)

Tbilisi’s main street, Rustaveli Avenue, was blocked for several days, this week, As thousands of people chanted anti-government slogans in front of the parliament building and sang the Georgian national anthem. Even more protesters gathered at the square in the evenings. By nightfall, the enraged crowd was throwing firecrackers, stones, and Molotov cocktails at the police, attempting to take down an iron fence and storm the parliament. The police used water cannons to promptly put out the fires and showered the crowds with water, at the same time spraying tear gas to disperse those present. What led to this violent confrontation is perhaps difficult to understand from the perspective of a Western reader. It wasn’t a “civil society” uprising in the sense you might find, for example, in a country like France.

Instead, it was organized by people whose livelihoods were threatened by the proposed legislation. In a poor country like Georgia, foreign-funded roles pay multiple times better than local gigs. By taking on the NGO industry, the government went up against a powerful, and relatively well-heeled lobby. The protests were initially triggered by a bill ‘On the Transparency of Foreign Influence’, which was adopted by the Georgian parliament on its first reading. On Tuesday, 76 deputies voted in favor of adopting the bill and 13 deputies opposed it. During the discussion stage, MPs from opposition parties said they would not allow the so-called “Russian law” to be considered in parliament. This resulted in a fight between opponents and supporters of the legislation.

[..] The strong reaction to the initiative does not seem surprising considering how many foreign NGOs are active in Georgia. In a review of the Georgian civil sector published in 2020, the Asian Development Bank indicated that there is no special legislation on non-profit or non-governmental organizations in the country, although they are listed in the general register of companies, which as of the beginning of 2019 consisted of 12,800 organizations. At the same time, the vast majority of such organizations rely on foreign funding, according to the Georgian national statistics service Sakstat. As of spring 2022, there were 7,972 companies with foreign founders operating in the country. With a total population of 3.7 million, there are around 460 people per foreign NPO in Georgia. For comparison, as of November 2022, there were over 500 active “foreign agents” registered in the US, under FARA.

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Moscovia = Muscovy

Kiev Considers Renaming Russia (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has instructed his government to consider renaming Russia as ‘Moscovia’, an unofficial designation used centuries ago. The move comes after a petition insisted that by using the word ‘Russia’, Ukraine is endorsing a “dangerous claim” that its neighbor is a direct descendant of Kievan Rus. In a statement on Friday, Zelensky said he had turned to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal with a request that the petition, which had gathered the necessary 25,000 votes to be considered, be “comprehensively processed.” The issue “needs to be carefully worked out both in terms of the historical and cultural context, and from the perspective of possible international legal consequences,” with scientific institutions taking part in the process, the Ukrainian president added.

Commenting on the move, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that it was “further evidence of an attempt to create an ‘anti-Russia’ out of Ukraine.” The name ‘Moscovia’ dates back to the Grand Duchy of Moscow, one of principalities of Kievan Rus in the late Middle Ages. The modern Russian state formed around this center of power while retaining historic and cultural roots stemming from Rus. The author of the petition, which was submitted in late November 2022, claimed that the name ‘Russia’ “gave grounds for further encroachment” on the history of Kievan Rus as foreigners often confuse the words ‘Russia’ and ‘Rus’. Many Ukrainian nationalists reject the notion that the two have some kind of historical link, arguing that only Ukraine can be viewed as the true heir of Kievan Rus.

The petition also demands that the word ‘Russian’ be replaced with ‘Moscovian’ and that the Russian Federation be renamed as ‘the Moscovian Federation’. In recent years, Ukrainian authorities have embarked on a renaming spree, targeting thousands of place names they deemed to be linked to Russia or the Soviet Union. The campaign intensified after Moscow launched its military operation against the neighboring country in February 2022. In October last year, Kiev officials renamed a street which had honored Soviet Marshal Rodion Malinovsky, who played a prominent role in liberating Ukraine from Nazi occupation. The name of the street now celebrates the “heroes” of the Azov Battalion, which is notorious for its support of neo-Nazi ideology.

Zel talk

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“Schweinisch Bandera-Reich”

Medvedev Suggests New Name For Ukraine (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has proposed renaming Ukraine in honor of notorious Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. His suggestion came after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told his government to consider a proposal to change Russia’s name. On Friday, Zelensky instructed authorities to “thoroughly study” the proposal to officially rename Russia to ‘Moscovia.’ He was reacting to an online petition, which argued that the name ‘Russia’ provided grounds for “further encroachment” on the history of Kievan Rus, a medieval state from which both Russia and Ukraine trace their origin. Many Ukrainian nationalists claim that their homeland is the only true heir of Rus.

The name ‘Moscovia’ dates to the Grand Duchy of Moscow and was historically used by some authors to describe the Russian state. On Saturday, Medvedev, who served as Russian president between 2008 and 2012, and currently serves as deputy chairman of the Security Council, fired back in a post on his Telegram channel. “Our response?… Only the Schweinisch Bandera-Reich,” he wrote. The word “schweinisch” means “piggish” in German. Medvedev was apparently referencing the idolization by some Ukrainian politicians of Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Bandera collaborated with Adolf Hitler’s government during the early stages of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

He was later arrested and imprisoned by the Germans over disagreements about the future of Ukraine. After the war, Bandera fled to West Germany, where in 1959 he was assassinated by a KGB agent. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army – the OUN’s military wing founded in 1943 – positioned itself as a guerilla force fighting both Soviet and German troops. Its agents committed multiple atrocities against Polish, Jewish and Russian civilians. Bandera and his followers are honored as heroes in modern Ukraine, with streets and buildings named after them. Nationalists hold annual torchlit processions on Bandera’s birthday in Kiev and other cities.

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Zero grip on reality.

Russia Should Lose, But Not ‘Too Badly’ – US Congressman (RT)

The US doesn’t “actually want Russia to lose too badly” in Ukraine, Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton claimed in an interview on Friday. While some Washington lawmakers have gone as far as to call for regime change in Moscow, the Kremlin has repeatedly stated that it will succeed in achieving all the goals of its military operation. “I don’t know if it’s good for the stability of the world if the Russian regime collapses,” Moulton told Luke Coffey of the Hudson Institute, a think tank funded by several NATO governments and US arms manufacturers. Citing the risk of nuclear proliferation that would come with the collapse of Russia, Moulton said that the “abject defeat of the Russians and the whole regime collapse is probably not what we actually want.”

“We absolutely want Ukraine to win, we want Russia to lose, but we don’t actually want Russia to lose too badly,” he continued. Moulton sits on the House Armed Services Committee, and voted with the rest of his party to authorize a $40 billion military and economic aid package to Ukraine last year. He told Coffey that this aid should continue, and that the Biden administration should provide Kiev with more tanks and artillery ammunition in order to mount a counteroffensive against Russian forces this year. Lawmakers in both parties have suggested more extreme measures, however, with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham calling last year for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a bipartisan group urging President Joe Biden last month to supply Ukraine with US-made fighter jets – a move that former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described as a “red line” that would place the US at “war against Russia.”

In Ukraine, President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly stated that he intends to retake four formerly Ukrainian provinces that voted to join Russia last year, as well as Crimea, which held a similar referendum in 2014. Not only would such a move be “met with inevitable retaliation using weapons of any kind,” in Medvedev’s words, it would also be impossible at present, with Ukrainian forces mired in battle in the Donbass city of Artyomovsk, called Bakhmut in Ukraine. The Kremlin has stated on multiple occasions that its special military operation in Ukraine will continue until its goals are achieved. These goals, as set out by Putin last year, are the demilitarization of Ukraine, the “denazification” of its leadership, its establishment as a neutral country, and the defense of the Russian-speaking population of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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They’ve gone overboard recently.

Ukraine Is Lying About Casualty Ratios To Justify Holding Of Bakhmut (MoA)

The linked Financial Times piece, reprinted in the Irish Times, actually quotes the Ukrainian national security chief Oleksiy Danilov as saying that the kill ratio was one to seven in Ukraine’s favor. The whole passage is nuts: “US and European officials estimate 200,000 Russian troops have been killed or seriously injured since February last year, and Ukraine about half that. One western official said Russia had suffered “between 20,000 and 30,000 casualties over the past six months”, adding that most of them were mercenaries fighting for the Wagner private military company. Wagner’s operations have been largely focused on Bakhmut. Nato officials estimate one Ukrainian had been killed or injured for every five Russians. Ukrainian national security chief Oleksiy Danilov last week estimated the ratio was “one to seven in our favour”.

This makes no sense. Had 200,000 Russian’s be killed or seriously wounded in the war while 20,000 to 30,000 of those were killed or wounded in the past six month then the first six month of the war would have cost the Russian side 175,000 losses. That’s more than the total numbers that were, until the recent mobilization, involved in the whole campaign. Those numbers must have been pulled from hot air. Danilov casualty ratio is likewise obvious nonsense. The Medical Department of the U.S. Army has a book about CAUSATIVE AGENTS OF BATTLE CASUALTIES IN WORLD WAR II. It is quoted here: “A report on the causative agents of battle casualties in World War II showed the comparative incidence of casualties from different types of weapons for several theaters. Compilers of the report believed that, while the more detailed subdivisions within their three major classes were open to question, their findings on the percent of total casualties due to small arms, artillery and mortars, and “miscellaneous” were reasonably accurate.

From these they drew the following conclusions: 1. Small arms fire accounted for between 14 and 31 percent of the total casualties, depending upon the theater of action: The Mediterranean theater, 14.0 percent; the European theater, 23.4 percent; and the Pacific theaters, 30.7 percent. 2. Artillery and mortar fire together accounted for 65 percent of the total casualties in the European and Mediterranean theaters, 64.0 and 69.1, respectively. In the Pacific, they accounted for 47.0 percent. The Encyclopedia Britannica likewise notes for World War I: “The greatest number of casualties and wounds were inflicted by artillery, followed by small arms, and then by poison gas.” When I was in officer school the number estimated for a big war in Europe was 75% of casualties due to artillery and aerial bombing.

Data from the European Commission, quoted by El Pais, says that Russia has a 10:1 advantage in artillery: According to data from the European Commission to which EL PAÍS has had access, Russia fires between 40,000 and 50,000 artillery shells per day, compared to 5,000-6,000 Ukrainian forces expend. The Estonian government, which has been one of largest contributors to Kyiv’s war effort, puts the average use of artillery at between 20,000 and 60,000 Russian shells per day, and 2,000 to 7,000 Ukrainian rounds, according to a document sent to EU Member States by Tallinn, to which this newspaper has had access The Russian forces fire ten times the number of shells the Ukrainians can fire. In a modern war artillery fire causes 65+% of all casualties. It is thus impossible that Ukraine is losing less soldiers than the Russians. The total ratio may well be 7 to 1 but it will certainly be to the advantage of the Russian forces side.

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“..unlimited profits” by conducting “directed evolution” research on the Covid-19 virus, in order to “proactively develop new vaccines..”

Russia Issues Latest Report On US-Funded Biolabs In Ukraine (RT)

US-funded biological research laboratories are continuing to operate in Ukraine in spite of official statements indicating that they had been “deactivated,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a Friday report on Washington’s international pathogen research programs. According to the commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, Moscow has obtained documents that suggest Kiev has continued to coordinate with the Pentagon in the military biological field, including the transfer of pathogenic biomaterials. Kirillov pointed to an official appeal from ‘ch2m-hill’ – a key Pentagon contractor – to Ukrainian companies participating in a “program to counter particularly dangerous pathogens in Ukraine.”

The document reports on the continuation of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) biological program in Ukraine and outlines future tasks, such as consolidating collections of dangerous pathogens and deploying systems for managing bio risks and monitoring the epidemiological situation. Kirillov also stated that, in January 2023, the government of Ukraine published a new set of requirements for the “accounting, storage, transportation and destruction” of various pathogens, which included instructions for the international transportation by air of substances with the highest hazard class. He noted that the transport document templates provided in the guidelines only featured examples of US labs as recipients or senders of the hazardous biomaterials.

The lieutenant general warned that Kiev and Washington could potentially use their research to carry out “provocations with dangerous pathogens,” which they would later blame on Russia. In his report, Kirillov reiterated Russia’s concerns with the potential risks associated with the “dual-use” programs that the US implements on its own territory and abroad. He pointed out that the work of US biolabs on dangerous pathogens “seems to be the height of recklessness” against the backdrop of viral outbreaks such as anthrax and cholera in various parts of the world and the rise in animal diseases such as African swine fever, avian influenza, and foot and mouth disease.

The commander also drew attention to the US pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to secure “unlimited profits” by conducting “directed evolution” research on the Covid-19 virus, in order to “proactively develop new vaccines,” which Pfizer R&D director Jordan Walker admitted to in a Project Veritas expose. Kirillov also reiterated Russia’s position that the main goal of US bio programs across the world was to “establish global biological control” by degrading the national health systems of other countries and subverting the provisions of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) with its own rules, which were developed to serve the interests of Washington and its allies.

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I’m sure it’s all defensive.

Poland Builds Europe’s Largest Land Force (Az.)

Warsaw is embarking on its biggest re-armament drive in 50 years in response to the growing threat posed by Russia, Report informs via The Telegraph. But in mid-December, Poland’s 11th Artillery Regiment received 24 South-Korean made K9 self-propelled howitzers that can hit targets up to 34 miles away, bringing new and deadly capabilities to the regiment. Stationed not far from the Russian border, Captain Marek Adamiak unit has long grappled with outdated kit. “As an artillery officer I’m excited by the new equipment,” Captain Adamiak told The Telegraph. “We can manoeuvre better, we can shoot from anywhere. There is no place we can’t shoot from. We had a lot of old artillery but now we have very new weapons.”

The war happening in neighboring Ukraine has given the Poles the confidence that if the conflict came to their doorstep, they would now have the weapons to fight back. The 24 guns are just the tip of a massive defence spending programme by Poland. Spurred on by war next door and the growing fear that Poland could one day be in the sights of the Kremlin looking to return to the days when the Russian empire once stretched to River Vistula, the Polish government is determined to arm up – and fast. This year it will spend 4 percent of its GDP on defence, an amount double the Nato requirement, and one that will make Poland the biggest, per-capita, spender on defence in the alliance.

Some of the deals for new equipment pre-date the Ukraine war when Poland, already conscious of the Russian threat, had started to revamp armed forces still burdened with a lot of Soviet-era equipment. “The criminal assault carried out by the Russian Federation, targeting Ukraine, and the unpredictable nature of Putin means that we need to accelerate the equipment modernisation even further,” Mariusz Blaszczak, the Polish defence minister, told the Defence24 portal. “It is of key importance to increase the levels of security as fast as possible for Poland. We can do this only by creating a strong military. Strong enough to deter any potential aggressor from deciding to attack.”

Poland has placed orders for 1,000 K2 main battle tanks from South Korea, and 250 brand new M1A2 SEPv3 Abram tanks from the US. This will turn Poland into the owner of Europe’s biggest tank force, dwarfing the UK’s fleet of 227. Its artillery will be bolstered by the arrival of 600 K9s, 18 HIMARS launchers with 9,000 rockets, and 288 K239 Chunmoo MRL systems from South Korea. Over 1,000 Polish-made Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles will carry Polish troops into battle, while air cover will come from 96 AH-64E Apache helicopters bought from the US, and 48 FA-50 combat aircraft now on order from South Korea. All of this will be underscored by plans to double the size of the Polish Army to 300,000, which would turn Poland into Europe’s biggest military power, in terms of manpower, west of Ukraine.

Orban

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If the bombs are, then so are the soldiers.

American Guided Bombs Are ‘Operational’ in Ukraine (LI)

The Department of Defense confirmed that advanced bombs are operational in Ukraine. The Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range (JDAM-ER) can hit targets 50 miles away. The Pentagon’s confirmation comes after President Joe Biden ordered the Pentagon to transfer “precision aerial munitions” to Kiev in December. On Monday, U.S. Air Force Gen. James Hecker, head of US Air Forces in Europe, told reporters that the JDAM-ER was operational in Ukraine. “Recently, we’ve just gotten some precision munitions [to Ukraine] that had some extended range and go a little bit further than the gravity drop bomb and has precision [guidance],” Hecker said. “That’s a recent capability that we were able to give them probably in the last three weeks.” JDAMs are primarily used to increase the accuracy of bombs.


The official did not specify how many or what variation of JDAMs would be sent. The JDAM-ER can be equipped onto 2,000 or 500 pound bombs and will deliver the munition up to 45 miles. JDAMs are compatible with some Western-made fighter jets and drones. Officially, Kiev does not possess any aircraft that can drop precision munitions. Biden said he has “for now” ruled out sending American-made aircraft. However, the UK is training Ukrainian pilots on Western-made fighter jets. Ukrainian pilots are in the US this week to determine how much training the airmen will need to become proficient on American planes. Additionally, JDAMs have been tested on Quickstrike underwater mines. The Quickstrike bombs are dropped by aircraft in shallow waters and can sit on the seabed for some time before being activated. If Ukraine is utilizing JDAMs on Quickstike mines, it’s still unclear what aircraft Kiev is using in the operations.

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Set them all free, except for those few caught on tape destroying property and/or attacking people.

Elon Musk Demands Release Of ‘QAnon Shaman’ (RT)

SpaceX and Twitter CEO Elon Musk has called for the release of Jacob Chansley, the war-painted Trump supporter jailed for his role in the January 6, 2021, riot on Capitol Hill. Recently released video footage shows Chansley, nicknamed the ‘QAnon Shaman’ by the media, peacefully walking through the Capitol with a police escort. Musk tweeted a video on Friday showing Chansley encouraging his fellow protesters to “go home,” telling them that Donald Trump had asked them to leave the area. “Free Jacob Chansley,” he captioned the video. “Chansley was falsely portrayed in the media as a violent criminal who tried to overthrow the state and who urged others to commit violence. But here he is urging people to be peaceful and go home,” Musk wrote in a follow-up tweet. “I’m not part of MAGA,” he added, referring to Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ movement, “but I do believe in fairness of justice.”

Chansley pleaded guilty in 2021 to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, and was sentenced to 41 months in prison. One of the first protesters to enter the Capitol on the day of the riot, Chansley was photographed inside the Senate chamber wearing a horned fur helmet with his face painted in the colors of the American flag.The federal judge who sentenced Chansley described his actions as “horrific” and “terrifying.” However, video footage aired by Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday showed Chansley walking around the interior of the Capitol alongside two police officers, before dedicating a prayer to the officers. The Democrat-led January 6 Committee – formed to investigate Trump’s culpability in the riot – kept this footage under wraps. It was provided to Carlson by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, after the GOP retook control of the House of Representatives in January.

Quiz

“Chansley got 4 years in prison for a non-violent, police-escorted tour?” Musk wrote in another tweet on Friday. That tweet was “fact checked” when shared on Instagram, with the platform linking to media reports claiming that police repeatedly asked Chansley to leave the building, and therefore did not “help” him around the Capitol. “The Capitol Police literally opened the Senate chamber door for him on camera!” Musk exclaimed. “But who are you going to believe, Instagram ‘fact-checkers’ or your own lying eyes!?” Chansley is one of nearly 1,000 protesters arrested in connection with the riot, 306 of whom were charged with obstructing an official proceeding, according to Justice Department figures. The vast majority – 919 – of defendants were charged with entering a restricted federal building, while 326 were charged with assaulting or disobeying a police officer. Of those detained, 518 have pleaded guilty, most of them to misdemeanor offenses.

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“However, an international meeting on this topic is possible, a meeting of delegates from the whole world..”

Trip To Moscow Not Impossible, Pope Francis Says (TASS)

A trip to Moscow is not impossible, Pope Francis said in an interview with the Argentina’s La Nacion news outlet. “This is not impossible. We hope we will be able to do that. I would like to bring to the attention that there are no promises. I have not closed this door,” the Pontiff said in the interview. At the same time, the head of the Roman Catholic Church expressed doubt regarding the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky under auspices of the Vatican.


“However, an international meeting on this topic is possible, a meeting of delegates from the whole world,” he said. The Vatican is working in this direction, the Pontiff noted. [The Vatican has] no peace formula, the peace service is in place,” Pope Francis added. Pope Francis repeatedly said earlier that his trip to Kiev is possible only on condition of visiting Moscow. The Pontiff said that he is open for a meeting with both presidents, of Russia and Ukraine, on the way from the apostolic trip to Africa in early February.

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What a surprise.

Over $250 Billion Swindled From US Pandemic Fund (RT)

More than $250 billion in Covid-19 relief funds were lost to “fraud” and “waste,”the directors of three US government agencies testified before the House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee on Thursday. Compounding what Deputy Inspector General Sheldon Shoemaker of the Small Business Administration (SBA) called “the biggest fraud in a generation,” the officials stressed that the figures they gave represented an extremely conservative estimate of the total amount lost as they did not include the amount defrauded from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. According to a statement submitted by Shoemaker ahead of the hearing, the SBA has already uncovered $190.7 billion in potential fraud across relief programs under its jurisdiction. Specifically, it expects to find upwards of $100 billion within the scandal-plagued Paycheck Protection Program.

Acting Treasury Inspector General Richard Delmar admitted to just $2.6 billion in dubious charges confirmed at his agency, pleading that ongoing audits precluded making an estimate of the full cost. Larry Turner, inspector general of the Department of Labor, blamed the massive losses on a lack of preparation, insufficient oversight, and even the government’s generosity, making a “highly conservative” estimate of $76 billion in fraudulent spending. With no functioning system in place to verify applicants’ qualifying details in a reasonable time frame, the “unprecedented infusion of federal funds” into the program made it irresistible to fraudsters, he told the subcommittee.

Rep. Keith Mfume (D-Maryland) expressed shock that no one had predicted that requiring only “self-certification” to access such a prodigious cash hoard would lead to “a lot of hanky-panky,” while Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Florida) pointed out that the agencies did not even use existing checks and balances to vet applicants, and Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Florida) highlighted that state unemployment systems were hopelessly outdated even before the pandemic placed them under unprecedented stress. Of $45.6 billion in potential fraud lent out in association with one Labor Department program, Turner acknowledged upon questioning that $267 million had gone to dead people.

Asked about the possibility of recovering the money, Turner said that hunting down the perpetrators was financially unrewarding, as “once money goes out the door, it is hard to get it back.” Even in cases where the government has been able to track down Covid-19 benefit fraudsters and claw back some of the funds, the inspectors general were unable to tell subcommittee members what had become of some of the money. More than $5 trillion in pandemic relief funds have been distributed since 2020. By some estimates, as much as $400 billion was stolen from the unemployment relief program alone.

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Bankman Fried all over again.

Silicon Valley Bank Employees Made Large Donations to Biden, Dems (GP)

As The Gateway Pundit reported on Friday, Silicon Valley Bank was closed by the FDIC due to the bank losing over 60% of its value after the company disclosed major losses from security sales. Many political pundits and investors have called for lawmakers to bailout out the failed bank. Those advocating for bailouts have shied away from telling the public that SVB employees and affiliates voted in the leaders responsible for the current economic crisis. Open Secret’s data reveals in the 2020 election cycle Silicon Valley Bank employees and affiliates donated over $188,000 dollars to political candidates. Over 90% of the donations which amounted to $173,434 went to Democratic candidates whereas 7.2% or $13,763 went towards Republican candidates.


Joe Biden received the most donations with $66,748, followed by the DNC Service Corps and Pete Buttigieg. Other notable names and organizations that benefitted from Silicon Valley Bank employees in the 2020 election cycle were the Lincoln Project, Bernie Sanders Kamala Harris, and Raphael WarnockRepublicans did see some donations from Silicon Valley Bank affiliates but they weren’t as lucrative. The Republican Nationals Committee received the most notable donation which amounted to $5,271. The Silicon Valley Bank PAC in 2020 was a bit more balanced when it came to donations between Republicans and Democrats.Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters both received $2,500. Former Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio who previously voted to impeach Trump received $1,000.

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A cheap banking licence?! But first, the bailouts. There’s talk of the FDIC paying everyone 50%.

Musk Lets In Possibility Of Buying Bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank (TASS)

US businessman and billionaire Elon Musk has posted a tweet assuming the possibility of buying the bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). “I think Twitter should buy SVB and become a digital bank,” one of the users tweeted. “I’m open to the idea,” Musk replied in a comment. On Friday, the California Department of Financial Protection announced the bankruptcy of SVB, one of the largest banks in the United States. This became the largest bankruptcy of a US bank since times of the 2008 financial crisis, CNN TV Channel said earlier. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was appointed as the receiver for Silicon Valley Bank.

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“I do think Dr. Fauci and the CDC changed the definition of gain-of-function research, so that Fauci has, like, this wiggle room, but they were juicing up this virus..”

House GOP ‘Building the Case’ to Issue Criminal Referrals Against Fauci (BN)

House Republicans are “building the case” to issue criminal referrals against Dr. Anthony Fauci for lying to Congress, according to news reported on “The Benny Show” with journalist Benny Johnson. “So, specifically before your committee, and also before Rand Paul over in the Senate, Dr. Fauci has, of course, absolved himself of all funding of gain-of-function,” Johnson said. “He said he doesn’t know anything about it. It is verifiable and demonstrable that he lied. Now, there are codes in Congress. I have a code right here, 18 U.S. Code 1001.” “1001,” Jordan said. “Statements — false statements to Congress,” Johnson said. “Says you can be imprisoned, says you can be imprisoned for eight years if you lie to Congress. It seems like there has never been a more clear-cut case of some individual lying to Congress.”

“Yeah, we can do — there could be a referral, but you would refer to the Biden Justice Department,” Jordan remarked. “I don’t know that — they’re going to pursue that, but you can definitely do that. You could, have to have one of the committees, the Senate Judiciary Committee could do a referral. I doubt they will with the Democrats in charge.” “We could do a referral potentially,” he continued. “I would, frankly, prefer just to have Dr. Fauci come back in and take another round of questions here, but we’re building the case. You know, like, we had Dr. Redfield testify last week, Chairman Wenstrup did. I thought he was — I thought he was great. As were the other witnesses that were brought in.”

“So, again, laying that foundation,” he continued. “I do think Dr. Fauci and the CDC changed the definition of gain-of-function research, so that Fauci has, like, this wiggle room, but they were juicing up this virus, no doubt about it, juicing up this virus, making it more — I don’t know the technical, but making it juiced up and more deadly, I guess, maybe the correct word.” “Yes,” Johnson remarked. “So, they were doing that in this lab and I think that’s clear,” Jordan said. “So, we’ll just have to see as we move through this investigation.”

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Macgregor

 

 


Bob Newhart at 93

 

 

 

 

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Mar 092023
 


Vincent van Gogh Almond blossom 1890

 

Seymour Hersh Laughs off NYT Article on Nord Stream Culprits (Celente)
‘Officials’ Throw More Chaff To Hide Real Nord Stream Perpetrators (MoA)
German Defense Minister Comments On Nord Stream Sabotage Case (RT)
CIA, White House Consider Kiev Involvement In Nord Stream Sabotage – WSJ (TASS)
West Won’t Name Ukrainian Businessman Involved In Nord Stream Incident (TASS)
Russia: NYT Report on Nord Stream Attack is Deliberate Disinformation (SN)
EU Threatens Georgia Over ‘Foreign Agent’ Law (RT)
US Could ‘Shift Focus’ From Europe To Asia ‘Anytime’ – Berlin (RT)
Vindman Busted For Dealing Lucrative Defense Contracts in Ukraine (TP)
Elon Musk Blasts MSM, Democrats On January 6th Capitol Riot Revelations (DCE)
Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Not Credible, Says White House (BBC)
Moscow Condemns ‘Nazi Celebration’ At White House (RT)
EU Energy Bills Soared 300% – von der Leyen (RT)
Ukraine Cuts Off Power To Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (TASS)

 

 

 

 

Also Sep 2019: Bill Gates buys $30 million in BioNTech stock

 

 

 

 

Southfront

 

 

Scott Ritter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633549541717966851

 

 

 

 

Garland

 

 

 

 

“I always thought either Somalia or Nepal were behind it.”

Seymour Hersh Laughs off NYT Article on Nord Stream Culprits (Celente)

Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who wrote the expose on the Nord Stream pipelines sabotage last month, brushed off today’s report in The New York Times that blamed the attack on a “pro-Ukrainian group.” Hersh’s original story went into detail on how the U.S. and Norway allegdly carried out the elaborate bombing. His theory is that President Joe Biden was concerned Germany would turn back to Russia for its natural gas if there was a cold winter and restart the pipeline. The White House called Hersh’s story completely false. The Times’s report cited unnamed U.S. officials who said they reviewed new intelligence about the pro-Ukraine group with no known ties to the Ukrainian government. Ukraine also denied any role in the attack.

The paper said: The review of newly collected intelligence suggests they were opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation. Hersh seemed unimpressed with the report and laughed when reached by The Trends Journal. He joked, “I always thought either Somalia or Nepal were behind it.” The Times’s decision to even cover the attack is a change in the U.S. media. FAIR, the media watchdog group, ran an extensive article last week that looked into Hersh’s report and the response from top news outlets in the U.S. The watchdog group noted that there was “not a word broadcast by the major US broadcast networks—NBC, ABC, CBS—or the publicly funded broadcasters PBS and NPR. No news stories on the nation’s major cable outlets, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.”

But despite the lack of coverage in the U.S., Russia used Hersh’s story to demand a UN investigation and to threaten open-water chaos. Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council that if the perpetrators are not found and brought to justice, it could become open season on undersea infrastructure for military strikes. Germany’s ARD broadcaster and Zeit newspaper also released a report that said German authorities identified the yacht used in the sabotage, but noted that the lack of evidence could be a false flag, Al Jazeera reported. Last Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz flew to Washington for what amounted to a secret one-hour summit with President Joe Biden.

No staff attended the two-man meeting and to illustrate journalistic malpractice, none of the Presstitutes asked the German leader his thoughts about Seymour Hersh’s report that the United States blew up the Nord Stream pipelines. The theory is that the Biden administration was worried Germany could turn back to Russia because of the cheap gas, and so the U.S. destroying the pipelines would prevent such a scenario. And what was the real purpose of this secret meeting? No one was told. Was it to ramp up World War III?

Hersh “they can’t be that stupid”

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“Such deep dives require special gases, special breathing equipment, special training, a decompression chamber for emergencies and lots of well trained people to maintain all that stuff..”

‘Officials’ Throw More Chaff To Hide Real Nord Stream Perpetrators (MoA)

The new claim is that some rather small yacht, which would not even be able to carry the necessary equipment to perform such a deed, was the main instrument in this:

“Following joint research by [German main public TV news unit] (ARD’s capital city studio), the ARD political magazine Kontraste, [German public TV] SWR and DIE ZEIT, it was possible to reconstruct to a large extent in the course of the investigation how and when the explosive attack was prepared. According to this, traces lead in the direction of Ukraine. However, investigators have so far found no evidence of who ordered the destruction.

Specifically, according to information from [these news sources], investigators have managed to identify the boat that was presumably used for the secret operation. It is said to be a yacht rented from a company based in Poland, apparently owned by two Ukrainians. The clandestine operation at sea is said to have been carried out by a team of six people, according to the investigation. It is said to have involved five men and one woman. According to the report, the group consisted of a captain, two divers, two diving assistants and a female doctor, who are said to have transported the explosives to the crime scenes and placed them there. The nationality of the perpetrators is apparently unclear. The assassins used professionally forged passports, which are said to have been used, among other things, to rent the boat.

According to the investigation, the commando set off from Rostock on September 6, 2022. The equipment for the clandestine operation was previously transported to the port in a van, it is said. In the further course, the investigators succeeded in locating the boat the following day again in Wieck (Darß) and later at the Danish island Christiansø, northeast of Bornholm, according to the research. The yacht was subsequently returned to the owner in uncleaned condition. On the table in the cabin, the investigators were able to detect traces of explosives, according to the research. According to information from [the mentioned news sources], a Western intelligence service is said to have sent a tip to European partner services as early as in the fall, i.e. shortly after the destruction, according to which a Ukrainian commando was responsible for the destruction. Thereafter, there have allegedly been further intelligence indications suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group could be responsible.”

No. You do not dive down to 80+ meter for an industrial size job, involving the placement of hundreds of pounds of explosives in eight individual charges on very sturdy pipelines, from a sparsely manned boat. Such deep dives require special gases, special breathing equipment, special training, a decompression chamber for emergencies and lots of well trained people to maintain all that stuff.

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“..the sabotage act might have been a “false-flag operation” aimed at framing Ukraine..”

German Defense Minister Comments On Nord Stream Sabotage Case (RT)

Germany’s defense minister Boris Pistorius has dodged a question about how the Nord Stream sabotage case could influence Western military aid for Kiev if it turns out that some pro-Ukrainian groups were behind the Russian gas pipeline blasts. It is of no use to speculate on the “hypothetical” indications, the minister told national news radio Deutschlandfunk (DLF) on Wednesday, on the heels of several media reports linking the incident, which occurred in September 2022, to some alleged Ukrainian perpetrators. “We’ll have to wait and see what is actually confirmed,” Pistorius told DLF’s Barbara Schmidt-Mattern when asked about the media reports. On Tuesday, a host of German media outlets, including Die Zeit newspaper and state broadcaster ARD, reported that a vessel believed to be linked to the Nord Stream sabotage operation allegedly belongs to a Ukrainian-owned company.

The reports also said that a Western intelligence agency is thought to have informed European “partner services”that a “Ukrainian commando” unit was behind the attack. The New York Times reported on the same day, citing US intelligence sources, that a “pro-Ukrainian group”was behind the September 2022 attacks. Pistorius brushed off all the claims presented in the reports as “hypothetical” and maintained that the sabotage act might have been a “false-flag operation” aimed at framing Ukraine. The chance of it being a false-flag operation is as “equally high” as the chance of Ukrainians being behind it, the minister said. Berlin has so far not made any investigation results public. A few days ago, Sweden, Denmark and Germany “informed the United Nations Security Council that the investigations are ongoing and that there are still no results,” a government spokesman declared on Tuesday.

Pistorius also insisted it would make little sense to “think about what impact this would have on our support for Ukraine on the basis of such a [journalistic] investigation” when asked about the potential fallout of a probe into the Nord Stream sabotage. The minister also said that Germany and its allies continue to supply Kiev “to the best of our ability.” He added, though, that Ukraine’s Western backers can only provide ammunition for the Ukrainian troops as long as it does not compromise their own defense capacities. “We need certain reserves to maintain our own ability to defend ourselves,” Pistorius said, calling limited defense industry production capacities a real “bottleneck” limiting Western military aid for Ukraine. His words came as The Times reported that Western intelligence agencies had been well aware of the identity of a person behind the attack on Nord Stream. They decided at the time to conceal this information to avoid a spat between Berlin and Kiev, since the suspect had ties to Ukraine, the paper claimed.

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“The US believes that Ukraine had an opportunity to perform such operation..”

CIA, White House Consider Kiev Involvement In Nord Stream Sabotage – WSJ (TASS)

CIA Director William Burns and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan considered a version of Ukraine’s responsibility for sabotage acts at Nord Stream gas pipelines in October 2022, the Wall Street Journal said, citing unnamed representatives of the US administration. The US believes that Ukraine had an opportunity to perform such operation. No data are available at the moment indicating that Ukrainian authorities were involved in sabotage acts, the newspaper said. The German investigation has almost completely excluded the version of Russia’s involvement in sabotage acts at gas pipelines. The US also does not believe that Russia was involved, the newspaper informed. German investigators arrived at the conclusion of non-involvement of Russia by February 2023, WSJ reported. Conclusions are not final and the investigation continues, the newspaper said.


Ukraine passport found

Read more …

Easier that way. Deep secret.

West Won’t Name Ukrainian Businessman Involved In Nord Stream Incident (TASS)

The Western nations are likely not to disclose the name of a Ukrainian businessman alleged to be involved in sabotage acts at Nord Stream pipelines to keep the unity of the West in providing military aid to Ukraine, the Daily Telegraph newspaper said, citing sources. The businessman, whose name is known to the news outlet, fell under suspicion in view of a special nature of sabotage acts that might hint that he was involved with the incident, sources said. A newspaper’s source in European security agencies confirmed that the businessman is on the radar screen of investigators but said nothing whether he is a formal suspect in the case.

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“I wonder who allows such leaks, filling the media scene with them?”

Russia: NYT Report on Nord Stream Attack is Deliberate Disinformation (SN)

Russia has claimed that the New York Times report about a ‘pro-Ukraine group’ being responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline attack is a deliberate form of disinformation to distract from the fact that the U.S. was responsible for the blasts. The NYT said that a “pro-Ukrainian group” had sabotaged the pipelines, using a team with as few as six people involved in the mission, contradicting previous assumptions that only a state would have had the resources to carry out the operation. The report was very careful to explicitly state that no Americans or Brits were involved in the attack. A few hours later, German media outlets reported that the vessel involved in the plot, a yacht, had been identified as being rented from a Poland-based company which belonged to a pair of Ukrainians.


The reports contradicted the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who wrote last month that the pipelines were destroyed by the US as part of a covert operation. According to Hersh’s sources, the explosives were planted in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise and were detonated three months later with a remote signal sent by a sonar buoy. One source told Hersh that the plotters knew the covert operation was an “act of war,” with some in the CIA and State Department warning, “Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out.” Russia reacted to the New York Times report by dismissing it as a propaganda ploy designed to obfuscate the truth. “I wonder who allows such leaks, filling the media scene with them?” asked Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “The answer is: those who do not want to conduct an investigation in the legal field and are going to divert the attention of the audience from the facts in every possible way.”

Read more …

NGOs are the vehicle for color revolutions. The law was withdrawn this morning.

EU Threatens Georgia Over ‘Foreign Agent’ Law (RT)

Georgia risks “significant withdrawal of EU support” if it proceeds with the law on registering foreign agents, Romanian MEP Siegfried Muresan said on Wednesday. The vice-president of the European People’s Party bloc in the European Parliament told Romania’s Digi 24 outlet that requiring NGOs to disclose foreign funding was an attack on democracy. “We see intimidation of civil society,” Muresan told the outlet. Requiring organizations dealing with press freedom, human rights and helping Ukrainian refugees to register as foreign agents if 20% or more of their funding comes from abroad is “intimidation of essential entities for democracy, it is not at all consistent with European standards,” he added.

“What the Georgian authorities are doing endangers the country’s European course,” insisted Muresan, accusing Tbilisi of having “fallen behind Moldova and Ukraine” in implementing EU reforms. On Tuesday, Georgian lawmakers voted in favor of a bill that would impose registration requirements on foreign-funded NGOs. The opposition denounced it as “Russian-like” and organized mass protests outside the parliament two days in a row. Some of the demonstrators carried EU, US and Ukrainian flags. Others wore gas masks and helmets, attempted to storm the legislature, and threw Molotov cocktails at police. The ruling party in Tbilisi says the law is intended to protect the country’s sovereignty from “extremist organizations” funded from abroad.

Georgian Dream party leader Irakli Kobakhidze accused the opposition of wanting to restore the 2003-2012 ‘Rose Revolution’ regime, which he said looted the country and lost 20% of its territory. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili and the US State Department have sided with the rioters, with the US embassy in Tbilisi calling the proposed law a “dark day for democracy.” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also described the proposal as contrary to EU values. Muresan told Digi24 that Tbilisi “risks a significant withdrawal of EU support” unless it backs down, because Brussels cannot support “undemocratic tendencies.” “Obviously the EU expectation is that people can express themselves freely and any attempt to intimidate those who take to the streets will not be accepted,” he said.

Read more …

Raytheon spokesman.

US Could ‘Shift Focus’ From Europe To Asia ‘Anytime’ – Berlin (RT)

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has expressed concern that Europe is relying too much on the US in the area of defense. This means there is pressure on him “at all times,” he admitted during a talk with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk (Dlf) radio broadcaster on Wednesday, adding that Washington’s priorities could always change. “We always have to keep in mind that the Americans could… shift their focus… towards the Indo-Pacific [region],” Pistorius said. He added that this could happen for a range of reasons, and the likelihood of such a scenario may be influenced by the outcome of the US presidential elections next year. The minister called on Europe to make “more efforts” to develop its own coordinated defense policy and assume the “corresponding responsibility.”

He maintained that Europe could always rely on its “transatlantic partner,” but added that “the balance can shift and we have to prepare for that.” Pistorius also said Germany and the US would have to coordinate their approaches toward China. Asked about “teamwork” between Washington and Berlin in dealing with Beijing, he said: “I believe it will be done anyway, and that is necessary.” He did not rule out Germany joining US-led sanctions against China should Beijing supply Russia with lethal weapons amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Pistorius’ remarks come around a week after he admitted that Germany does not have sufficient forces to defend itself against “an offensive” after years of neglecting its own army.

Earlier this week, Germany’s ZDF broadcaster also reported that the German Army – the Bundeswehr – was struggling to fulfill its obligations as part of a NATO rapid response force (VJTF) due to a lack of battle-ready tanks.Despite facing such issues in the field of defense, Berlin has been providing extensive support to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, sometimes at the expense of its own defense capabilities. Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall, the country’s top military contractor, told the Pioneer podcast in late February that the government had transferred to Ukraine two state-of-the-art air defense systems that were meant to protect the German capital.

Read more …

Didn’t get paid enough for framingTrump.

Vindman Busted For Dealing Lucrative Defense Contracts in Ukraine (TP)

A key witness in the impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump is being called an “opportunist” after pitching lucrative defense contracts to the Ukrainian government in a blatant attempt to profit off the current international struggle. Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified before the House Intelligence Committee in 2019 in response to questions raised about dealings between President Trump and Ukrainian, has offered logistics and equipment management services to Ukrainian forces for $12 million. The contract was offered through Trident International LLC, of which Vindman is CEO, according to Fox News.

Democrats subpoenaed Vindman to testify in 2019 as part of their impeachment hearings exploring whether or not President Trump appealed to the Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s involvement in helping his son Hunter secure business dealings with natural gas firm Burisma Holdings. Vindman’s prepared testimony, which was leaked to the media in advance, detailed his concerns that “outside influencers” were attempting to thwart congressional support for Ukraine. He went on to say that such a narrative would “undermine U.S. national security.” The following year, a U.S. Senate committee on homeland security concluded that then-Vice President Biden and State Department officials were aware of the conflict of interest exhibited with Hunter Biden’s business relationship but ignored repeated concerns raised at the time.

Lt. Col. Vindman retired from the military in the aftermath of his testimony, alleging in a subsequent lawsuit that the Trump White House committed a “campaign of intimidation and retaliation has had severe and deeply personal ramifications.” A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in November. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a sharp critic of Vindman during the impeachment hearings, did not hold back in excoriating Vindman for his Ukrainian dealings: “When conservatives speak the truth, the mainstream media panics and desperately attempts to provide cover for the left. They did this for Alexander Vindman, just like they did for Hunter Biden, Dr. Fauci and teachers unions,” Blackburn said, referencing liberal media outlets’ staunch defense of Vindman throughout his time as a witness during the impeachment investigation.

“Alexander Vindman has always been a political activist and opportunist masquerading behind his career. He saw an opening for personal fame and profited by exploiting the media’s outrage against President Trump,” she accused. “Vindman has spent the last three years on MSNBC and CNN attacking Republicans. Now, new revelations suggest Vindman could be profiting off the war in Ukraine, just as he did by speaking out against the Trump administration,” Blackburn added.

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“they withheld evidence for partisan political reasons that sent people to prison for far more serious crimes than they committed.”

Elon Musk Blasts MSM, Democrats On January 6th Capitol Riot Revelations (DCE)

On Monday evening, Tucker Carlson released an expose of the over 40,000 hours of footage his producers reviewed of the January 6th Capitol Riot leading to massive reactions online including from the world’s richest man, Elon Musk. Musk took aim at Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) who, Tucker claimed, painted a biased portrait of what occurred on January 6th. Throughout Tucker’s coverage, he showcased that the House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack lied about how Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died with the Fox host showing that he was walking around following the supposed attack that killed him.

In addition, Carlson debunked the now-famous clip of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) running away from the rioters, showcasing that there were dozens of lawmakers and staff being escorted from their offices by the police, not just the Missouri senator. In addition, Tucker pointed out that Ray Epps, a rioter on January 6th that has gained considerable attention and who has been used as a key witness, in fact, lied during his testimony about when he left the Capitol. All of these facts combined led to Musk blasting the Democrats for misleading the public over the past two years in order to push a narrative to push their own partisan priorities. “Besides misleading the public,” Musk began, “they withheld evidence for partisan political reasons that sent people to prison for far more serious crimes than they committed.”

“That is deeply wrong, legally and morally,” he continued, adding, “This is crazy. The public was misled.” In addition to expressing his own opinion about the matter, he also called upon BBC World to cover the release of the footage honestly: “What say you, [BBC World]?” he asked. “Your credibility is at stake.”

Tucker montage

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Him and Seymour Hersh.

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Not Credible, Says White House (BBC)

The White House has called Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson “not credible” after he made a number of claims based on previously unseen footage from the 2021 Capitol riots. The criticism echoes similar statements this week from leading Democrat and Republican lawmakers. Mr Carlson showed unseen clips from the riots on his show this week. He argued the footage “does not show an insurrection or a riot in progress” but rather “mostly peaceful chaos”.A top congressional Republican recently gave Mr Carlson and his team exclusive access to more than 40,000 hours of surveillance video from the Capitol. The White House rarely criticises journalists by name but weighed in with a statement on Wednesday about the prime-time TV host’s broadcast related to the footage.

Spokesperson Andrew Bates said the White House agreed with critics, including the “chief of the Capitol Police and the wide range of bipartisan lawmakers” that “condemned this false depiction of the unprecedented, violent attack”. “We also agree with what Fox News’s own attorneys and executives have now repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible.” The BBC contacted Fox News for a response. On his Wednesday broadcast, Mr Carlson showed no new footage but repeated his previous claims and criticised government officials who stated that five police officers died as a result of the riot. One Capitol Police officer died of a stroke the day after the riot, while four others subsequently took their own lives.

[..] The justice department says about 140 police officers were assaulted that day.Around 1,000 people have been arrested so far in connection with the riot, most of them charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building, according to justice department figures.More than 300 have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, including more than 100 who have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to a police officer.

LMAO

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Biden throws a party.

Moscow Condemns ‘Nazi Celebration’ At White House (RT)

The White House’s decision to bestow the International Women of Courage Award on a member of an infamous Ukrainian nationalist battalion is “disgraceful,” Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said on Thursday. He claimed that the move was further proof that Washington is ready to support Nazis in the fight against Russia. Speaking to reporters, Antonov was asked to comment on the award received at the White House by Yulia Paevskaya, who goes by the nickname ‘Taira’. The ambassador said Moscow had noted the honoring of a member of the Azov battalion, a Ukrainian unit closely associated with neo-Nazi ideology, on International Women’s Day. “This is a disgrace. It is incomprehensible that Nazis can be celebrated within the walls of the White House.”

Antonov described Paevskaya as a “terrorist cutthroat whose hands are covered in the blood of the elderly, women, and children.” In March 2022, as the fighting raged in the besieged city of Mariupol, which is now part of Russia, Paevskaya “pretended to be a mother of two children whose parents she had killed herself,” and then tried to escape disguised in civilian clothing, Antonov stated. “The abducted minors later confessed that Paevskaya had threatened them with violence,” the diplomat added. Paevskaya also took part in the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014, trained neo-Nazis in the Donbass region, and “committed crimes against civilians,” Antonov claimed. He also stated that the Azov battalion, which Paevskaya is part of, bears the symbol of a Nazi Germany SS division.

Antonov asserted that Washington is well aware of all of this information, but “to hurt Russia, the United States is willing to glorify Nazism.” He added that the authorities in Washington should be “ashamed” of themselves for dishonoring the American and Soviet veterans who fought against fascism during World War II. Paevskaya was captured by Russian forces in Mariupol in March. In June, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced that Kiev had managed to free her from captivity, describing her as a paramedic, but without providing further details. The International Women of Courage Award is a prize annually distributed by the White House. This year, in addition to Paevskaya, it was bestowed upon 10 other “extraordinary women… who are working to build a brighter future for all.”

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Get her out.

EU Energy Bills Soared 300% – von der Leyen (RT)

The EU member states saw their energy bills skyrocket by at least 300% last summer after a dramatic reduction of Russian gas supplies, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday. According to the EC chief, the bloc managed to replace the shortfall in Russian natural gas by purchasing more from alternative suppliers, as well as by increasing energy efficiency by reducing consumption by 20%. “Russia cut its gas supply to Europe by 80% in eight months, sending energy prices in Europe soaring,” von der Leyen said addressing a joint session of the Canadian parliament. “Last summer, our energy bills rose by 300%.”

The top official alleged that Russian officials tried to blackmail Brussels by reducing the supplies as EU nations were heavily dependent on Russian gas. She highlighted “an important role” Canada played to help tackle the energy crisis by boosting its production of liquified natural gas (LNG). The head of the EC has previously accused Moscow of blackmailing EU countries, after Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom stopped gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria in April 2022.

In response, the Kremlin assured everyone that the Russian party “was and remained a reliable supplier of energy resources to its consumers and was always committed to its contractual obligations.” Moscow insisted that both Bulgaria and Poland were cut off from Russian supplies only after they rejected the gas-for-rubles scheme. This scheme was introduced by the Russian government in response to the sanctions imposed on Moscow over the military operation in Ukraine. Moscow demanded that the nations that had imposed the penalties pay for natural gas in rubles. The scheme requires importers to open accounts in Gazprombank. They can then deposit funds in their currency of choice, which the bank converts to rubles and transfers to the supplier.

Terhes

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“..It is just an act of pure spite on the part of Kiev..”

Ukraine Cuts Off Power To Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (TASS)

Ukraine has cut off power to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Energodar, Chairman of the We Stand With Russia movement Vladimir Rogov told TASS on Thursday. “[Ukraine] cut off the supply through the last remaining powerline to the Zaporozhye NPP at 4:53 a.m. The nuclear power plant is currently disconnected from external power sources,” he said. “It has nothing to do with shelling attacks, nothing happened in the area that could have led to the power cutoff. It is just an act of pure spite on the part of Kiev,” Rogov noted. He added that the nuclear power plant had been switched to diesel generators.


The Zaporozhye nuclear plant, located in the city of Energodar, is the largest in Europe and has a capacity of about 6,000 MW. Russian troops took control of the facility in late February 2022. Since then, the Ukrainian military has been shelling both Energodar’s residential areas and the premises of the Zaporozhye nuclear station, using drones, heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers. An IAEA mission led by Grossi visited the facility in early September and two of its members remained at the site as observers. The IAEA later published a report calling for the creation of a safety zone around the plant to prevent any calamities from the ongoing military activities.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submarine

 

 

Cats

 

 

Mountain goat

 

 

Xizi pagoda

 

 


A member of the pheasant family, the Himalayan monal, is the national bird of Nepal

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 272023
 


Édouard Manet Woman with a jug 1858-60

 

White House Distances Itself From Covid ‘Lab-Leak’ Theory
Covid Lab Leak Is A Scandal Of Media And Government Censorship (Turley)
Elon Musk Accuses Fauci Of Funding Gain-Of-Function Research (TP)
Ukraine Has ‘Total Dominance’ Over US – Trump (RT)
Wall Street Has Its Eyes Set On Ukraine (Charles Gasparino)
Much Of Global South Isn’t Automatically Supporting The West In Ukraine (Mehta)
North African Nations Voracious Buyers Of Russian Oil Products – WSJ (RT)
Hungarian FM Explains What Puzzles Him About EU (RT)
Anti-NATO Protests Hit France (RT)
Thousands Rally For Peace In Italy (RT)
UN To Discuss Investigation Into War Crimes In Ukraine (Az.)
GOP Lawmakers Vow To Unmask Hunter Biden’s Anonymous Art Buyers (NYP)

 

 

 

 

2 Zels

 

 

Putin Oliver Stone
https://twitter.com/i/status/1629705190566776832

 

 

Oliver Stone

 

 

 

 

Tucker Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1629739970184507392

 

 

Maher Woody

 

 

Jimmy Dore
https://twitter.com/i/status/1630038638661861379

 

 

History also demonstrates something else: any collapsed empire buries half the world under its rubble.”
– Dmitry Medvedev, February 2023

 

 

 

 

US Department of Energy says: lab leak. White House says: we have so many departments… We must study for years more.

White House Distances Itself From Covid ‘Lab-Leak’ Theory

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has dissented against a Wall Street Journal report which stated that a US Department of Energy study concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic was likely the result of a failure of safety practices at a laboratory in China, stating that there is “not a definitive answer” as to the true origins of the virus. The WSJ published a report on Sunday which said that the Department of Energy had viewed “new intelligence” which led them to believe that Covid-19 wasn’t naturally produced in the environment, but rather the result of a so-called ‘lab-leak’ – but it added that it has “low confidence” in its findings.

Responding to the WSJ report, Sullivan said that President Joe Biden has ordered a full investigation into the potential origins of Covid-19 but he stressed the various governmental bodies looking into the matter have yet to reach a unanimous verdict. “President Biden has directed, repeatedly, every element of our intelligence community to put effort and resources behind getting to the bottom of this question,” Sullivan told CNN on Sunday. “If we gain any further insight or information, we will share it with Congress, and we will share it with the American people. But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question.” The virus was first reported to have been discovered in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, an area which also features a prominent virology institute which is an active research center for the study of coronaviruses.

The FBI has also backed the lab-leak theory but four other US agencies have determined that natural transmission was the more likely source of the virus. Two other agencies are currently undecided, according to the WSJ. Last year, extensive studies conducted by the peer-reviewed ‘Science’ journal determined that the initial virus was very likely transmitted to a human from an animal at one of Wuhan’s wet markets. Further studies into the lab-leak theory are expected to take place in the US in the coming weeks and months, after several Republican lawmakers included investigations into the pandemic’s origins among the key pledges on the campaign trail ahead of last November’s midterm elections.

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Covid, Trump, Ukraine.

Covid Lab Leak Is A Scandal Of Media And Government Censorship (Turley)

In early 2020, with little available evidence, two op-eds in The Lancet in February and Nature Medicine went all-in on the denial front. The Lancet op-ed stated, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.” We were also supposed to forget about massive payments from the Chinese government to American universities and grants of some of these writers to both Chinese interests or even the specific Wuhan lab. No reference to the lab theory was to be tolerated. When Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) merely mentioned the possibility in 2020, he was set upon by the usual flash media mob. The Washington Post ridiculed him of repeating a “debunked” coronavirus “conspiracy theory.”

In September 2020, Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a virologist and former postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong, dared to repeat the theory on Fox News, saying, “I can present solid scientific evidence . . . [that] it is a man-made virus created in the lab.” The left-leaning PolitiFact slammed her and gave her a “pants on fire rating.” President Joe Biden accused Trump of fanning racism in his criticism of the Chinese government over the pandemic and his Administration reportedly shutdown the State Department investigation into the possible lab origins of the virus. When Biden later revived an investigation into the origins, he was denounced as “sugar-coating Trump’s racism.” The categorical rejection of the lab theory is only the latest media narrative proven to be false.

The Russian collusion scandal, the Hunter Biden “Russian Disinformation,” the Lafayette Park “Photo Op” conspiracy, the Nick Sandmann controversy, the Jussie Smollett case, the Migrant Whipping scandal. On the lab theory, media like the Washington Post piled on senators like Cruz and Cotton for mentioning the lab theory only later to admit that it could be legitimate. All of those experts and writers who were called racists or suspended by social media were simply forgotten in media coverage. That is why this is really about censorship. The media guaranteed that we did not have a full debate over the origins of the virus and attacked those who had the temerity to state the obvious that there was a plausible basis for suspecting the Wuhan lab. None of this has diminished demands for more censorship. Even after Twitter admitted that it wrongly blocked The New York Post story before the 2020 election, Democratic senators responded by warning the company not to cut back on censorship and even demanded more censorship.

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“Musk’s fiery accusation came in response to a tweet that aggregated the multiple occurrences where Fauci denied any gain-of-function research..”

Elon Musk Accuses Fauci Of Funding Gain-Of-Function Research (TP)

Elon Musk accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan, China lab where COVID-19 is believed to have originated from. Musk said Fauci funded gain-of-function research “via a pass-through organization (EcoHealth)” on Twitter Sunday. Musk’s fiery accusation came in response to a tweet that aggregated the multiple occurrences where Fauci denied any gain-of-function research and counter-signaled the idea that COVID-19 originated from a 2019 Wuhan lab leak. “Dr. Anthony Fauci funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, lied to Congress about it, and now both the FBI & the Department of Energy have concluded that the coronavirus originated at the Wuhan lab. Does that mean Dr. Anthony Fauci funded the development of COVID-19?” the video’s caption reads.

Hours earlier the Wall Street Journal released a bombshell report which revealed the U.S. Energy Department is now considering it likely COVID originated from a Wuhan, China lab leak. The Energy Department’s update came in a classified intelligence report shared with the WSJ. Previously, the Energy Department was undecided on COVID’s origin and numerous public health officials like Fauci disregarded a lab leak theory. On Feb. 13 House Republicans formally requested Fauci, the former Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, and the president of EcoHealth Alliance, Dr. Peter Daszak, come before Congress for an interview. Fauci and Daszak were cited by thousands of media outlets as truth-sayers when they claimed “the evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 is not a purposefully manipulated virus” and “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.”

Musk’s tweet referenced Daszak’s company. Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance is a U.S. National Institutes of Health grantee that “passed taxpayer funds to the Wuhan lab to conduct gain of function research on bat coronaviruses – research that may have started the pandemic,” the House Republicans’ request stated. Throughout the 117th Congress, Reps. James Comer (R-KY) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) have “sent numerous letters to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

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“Well, it could have been us, and it could have been Ukraine, and it could have been some third-party country that wants to see trouble. The one group it wasn’t is Russia…”

Ukraine Has ‘Total Dominance’ Over US – Trump (RT)

Ukraine has asserted “total dominance” over the US, former President Donald Trump said Friday during an interview with Glenn Beck. The ex-president also suggested that Kiev might be the real culprit behind the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines last October. Commenting on the recent report by veteran American journalist Seymour Hersh, who suggested the pipelines were targeted by Washington in a clandestine operation ordered directly by President Joe Biden, Trump did not rule out US involvement but rubbished allegations that Moscow destroyed the installation itself.

“Well, it could have been us, and it could have been Ukraine, and it could have been some third-party country that wants to see trouble. The one group it wasn’t is Russia… This is a main source of massive income for them. They didn’t blow it up to make a point. That’s the one thing I can tell you for sure,” Trump stated, adding that “everything gets blamed on Russia” by the “sick” people. The US might have been “working in conjunction” with Ukraine to target the pipelines, the ex-president suggested, since Kiev has already asserted “total dominance” over Washington. “We’ve given them probably $150 billion, and Europe has given them almost nothing,” he added.

Earlier this week, Trump, who is seeking to get elected back into the White House in 2024, already vowed to end the Ukraine conflict within hours should he make it to the office again. “I would literally start calling, not from the day I took over, but from the night I won,” he told a campaign rally in Florida this week. The ex-president has also blamed the “warmongers and ‘America Last’ globalists” entrenched at the State Department, the Pentagon, and the “national security industrial complex” for pushing the hostilities forward. “I was the only president who rejected the catastrophic advice of many of Washington’s generals, bureaucrats and so-called diplomats who only knew how to get us into conflicts,” he said in a campaign video released Tuesday.

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Most of it Russia territory.

Wall Street Has Its Eyes Set On Ukraine (Charles Gasparino)

Wall Street really wants to invest in Ukraine, and some of the top players are doing more than sniffing around at the prospects. The world’s largest money-management firm BlackRock continues to hold high-level meetings with the government, including President Volodymyr Zelensky. JPMorgan recently had bankers on the ground scoping the situation as they dodged Russian missiles, I am told. The country is ripe for massive private US investment to rebuild infrastructure destroyed in its conflict with Vladimir Putin. Zelensky is a rock star in the American media; the country is valiantly fighting off a foreign invader. The people are educated and resilient, which means returns could be as good there as any place on the planet. Banker talk has a private investment fund at between $20 billion and $100 billion at some point in the future.

So what s stopping the private money from coming in now? A war that shows no signs of ending anytime soon. Plus, for all of Zelensky’s obvious talents as a leader, he still hasn’t demonstrated an understanding or possibly a willingness to fight corruption on the scale necessary to make investors comfortable, bankers tell me. The meetings between some of Wall Street’s top executives (think Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan and Larry Fink of BlackRock) and Ukraine officials over the past month didn’t garner the same attention as President Biden’s surprise visit last week. The discussions have been going down mostly in private and without much fanfare when they conclude.But they are revealing. The perilous nature of our continued engagement with this country doesn’t just involve a possible nuclear war with Russia but also an economic sinkhole if we’re not careful.

For starters, in these meetings, Zelensky seemed unabashed in his request for billions of dollars in private capital to begin rebuilding his economy immediately. Yet he doesn’t seem to fully grasp what will prevent such an investment. First, money won’t flow to Ukraine (or any country) if it seeds the pockets of a Russian-style oligarchy. In Ukraine, that brand of crony capitalism goes by the names “systema” or “oligarkhiya.” It’s an alliance of government and big business that undermines the free-market forces of competition. Payoffs and graft are part of the systema, and that’s always a dead end for significant private capital. Zelensky said he understood the economic stakes of ending corruption. But deeds go further than words, which is why one banker involved in the process told me: “There are no guarantees here.”

Then there’s the war, and Zelensky’s so-far unyielding determination to keep fighting in order to retake all territory occupied by Putin’s forces. It’s a noble effort, to be sure, but it comes at a steep price. Bankers say private investment money won’t really flow until the war is over. They would love Zelensky to compromise on land to make that happen; maybe give up on retaking Crimea or allow Putin to save face and keep a few parts of the Donbas region in the east, which are nominally controlled by Russian separatists anyway. There was some talk on Wall Street about a Ukrainian spring offensive and, if it’s successful in reclaiming some Russian-held territory, then Zelensky offering a possible deal with Putin so the reconstruction can begin. For now at least, that was described as a likely no-go by Ukrainian officials; Zelensky’s approval rating is at 90%, the bankers were told. It sinks to 40% with a land compromise.

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“It is difficult for them to believe that two-thirds of the world’s population is not siding with the West..”

Much Of Global South Isn’t Automatically Supporting The West In Ukraine (Mehta)

In October 2022, about eight months after the war in Ukraine started, the University of Cambridge in the UK harmonized surveys conducted in 137 countries about their attitudes towards the West and towards Russia and China. The findings in the study, while not free of a margin of error, are robust enough to take seriously. These are: For the 6.3 billion people who live outside of the West, 66 percent feel positively towards Russia and 70 percent feel positively towards China, and, Among the 66 percent who feel positively about Russia the breakdown is 75 percent in South Asia, 68 percent in Francophone Africa, and 62 percent in Southeast Asia. Public opinion of Russia remains positive in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

Sentiments of this nature have caused some ire, surprise, and even anger in the West. It is difficult for them to believe that two-thirds of the world’s population is not siding with the West. What are some of the reasons or causes for this? I believe there are five reasons as explained in this brief essay. 1. The Global South does not believe that the West understands or empathizes with their problems. India’s foreign minister, S. Jaishankar, summed it up succinctly in a recent interview: “Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems, but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.” He is referring to the many challenges that developing countries face whether they relate to the aftermath of the pandemic, the high cost of debt service, the climate crisis that is ravaging their lives, the pain of poverty, food shortages, droughts, and high energy prices. The West has barely given lip service to the Global South on many of these problems. Yet the West is insisting that the Global South join it in sanctioning Russia.

The Covid pandemic is a perfect example—despite the Global South’s repeated pleas to share intellectual property on the vaccines, with the goal of saving lives, no Western nation was willing to do so. Africa remains to this day the most unvaccinated continent in the world. Africa had the capability to make the vaccines but without the intellectual property they could not do it. But help did come from Russia, China, and India. Algeria launched a vaccination program in January 2021 after it received its first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines. Egypt started vaccinations after it got China’s Sinopharm vaccine at about the same time. South Africa procured a million doses of AstraZeneca from the Serum Institute of India. In Argentina, Sputnik became the backbone of their vaccine program. All of this was happening while the West was using its financial resources to buy millions of doses in advance, and often destroying them when they became outdated. The message to the Global South was clear—your problems are your problems, they are not our problems.

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“If a cargo is 51% from Morocco, 49% from Russia, how would you referee that?”

North African Nations Voracious Buyers Of Russian Oil Products – WSJ (RT)

North African nations have sharply increased imports of Russian diesel and other refined oil products, while petrochemical exports from the region have seen a significant uptick, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing trading analysts. Industry experts are reportedly raising concerns that Russian sanctioned cargoes are being blended with other oil products and re-sold. The procedure effectively disguises the ultimate origin of the products, undermining Western states’ efforts to oust Russian fossil fuels from their economies. Imports of Russian diesel by Morocco soared to two million barrels in January compared with some 600,000 barrels recorded during the whole of 2021, according to analysts from commodities market data firm Kpler, who stress that a further 1.2 million barrels will be shipped to the country this month.

Tunisia boosted purchases of Russian diesel, gas oil, gasoline and naphtha, which is traditionally used to make chemicals and plastics, to 2.8 million barrels in January and is projected to import another 3.1 million barrels in February. Kpler also recorded an uptick in imports by Algeria, Egypt and Libya. The volumes absorbed by North African countries are too much for them to take on their own, according to Viktor Katona, Kpler senior oil analyst, who predicts that some of the Russian products will make their way to Europe. “Trust me, we are not witnessing some renaissance in Maghrebi refining,” Katona told the Wall Street Journal, referring to the region of North Africa

North African ports are seen as convenient for Russian cargoes sailing from the Baltic Sea, as voyages are not much longer than the pre-sanctions trips to European ports. This allows Russia to keep shipping costs low, and prevents its limited fleet of tankers from getting tied up in lengthy voyages to Asia or elsewhere. “Even if you wanted to regulate that, how would you?” Andreas Economou, head of oil research at The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, was quoted by the paper as saying. “If a cargo is 51% from Morocco, 49% from Russia, how would you referee that?” Some of North Africa’s increased diesel imports from Russia have displaced the region’s typical suppliers in the Middle East and North America, suggesting some of the activity was bargain hunting, Jorge Leon, senior vice president at Rystad Energy, told the newspaper.

Earlier this week, EU sanctions envoy David O’Sullivan told the Financial Times that the bloc and its allies had begun investigating a surge in exports to countries in Russia’s neighbourhood. They suspected sanctioned products were entering Russia via the back door. The EU has introduced 10 rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since the beginning of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Kremlin has repeatedly said that the measures, supported by the US and its allies, are illegitimate and ineffective, and that the restrictions are causing cause more damage to the initiators. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the penalties “crazy and thoughtless,” saying that no country had previously changed its political course due to sanctions pressure.

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“If you look around in Europe, 98% of media is liberal, and the rest are the others..”

[..] in Hungary, the media is split roughly into two halves, between liberal and conservative outlets, but the West and the liberal media consider that to show a lack of press freedom.”

Hungarian FM Explains What Puzzles Him About EU (RT)

The EU’s declared support for media freedom clashes with its actions in a “confusing” way, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said, commenting on the blacklisting of Russian journalists in the latest round of sanctions. In an interview with RIA Novosti news agency published on Monday, the diplomat also said the Hungarian government is criticized by Brussels for allegedly not protecting the media. “The only reason for this criticism is that unlike in every other part of Europe, in Hungary the media is really colorful. If you look around in Europe, 98% of media is liberal, and the rest are the others,” he claimed, while acknowledging that his words may be “a small exaggeration.” The foreign minister noted that in Hungary, the media is split roughly into two halves, between liberal and conservative outlets, but the West and the liberal media consider that to show a lack of press freedom.


“So those who are judging us for media freedom, those are [the people] putting journalists on a sanctions list. For me it’s a bit confusing,” he concluded. The 10th package of anti-Russian sanctions was adopted by the EU last week. It blacklisted Russian media organizations and individuals, in what the bloc described as targeting “disinformation outlets.” Among other things, Brussels added RT Arabic to the list of channels banned from broadcasting in the EU. In the interview, Szijjarto also reiterated Hungary’s commitment to vetoing any attempts to sanction the Russian nuclear industry, and urged a thorough investigation into last year’s sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, which he called a “terrorist attack” against EU energy infrastructure.

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We need a lot more of this.

Anti-NATO Protests Hit France (RT)

Multiple mass protests against France’s NATO membership and its continued support of Kiev were held on Sunday in the capital Paris and at other locations across the country. The demonstrations, taking place for the second consecutive weekend, were organized by the right-wing Les Patriotes party, led by Florian Philippot, who personally attended the rally in Paris. The politician claimed the event on Sunday, dubbed National March for Peace, attracted even more participants than last week, when some 10,000 showed up for a rally in the French capital. According to Philippot, smaller-scale anti-NATO protests were held at some 30 other locations across France as well.

Protesters marched through the streets of Paris, carrying a large banner reading “For Peace.” The marchers called for the withdrawal of France from both the US-led NATO and from the EU, and urged a halt to supplying Ukraine with weaponry. The protesters also took jabs at the incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron, chanting “Macron get out!” – a slogan commonly used by assorted anti-government protesters throughout his presidency. Following the march, the protesters held a rally led by Philippot, who was filmed defacing NATO and EU flags alongside his supporters. Footage of the event was shared by the politician himself on social media.

The politician has been actively staging protests against French membership in NATO and the EU since last fall, while arguing against the supply of weapons to Ukraine. Between 2012 and 2017, Philippot was the deputy head of the biggest opposition party in France, the National Rally, led until last year by Marine Le Pen. After leaving the National Rally, the 41-year-old politician established his own right-wing party, Les Patriotes. France has been among the top supporters of Kiev in the ongoing conflict with Russia, which broke out a year ago. While Macron has repeatedly called for a diplomatic settlement of the hostilities, Paris has actively supplied assorted weaponry to Ukraine, including armored vehicles and advanced self-propelled howitzers.

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Thousands won’t change a thing. Try millions.

Thousands Rally For Peace In Italy (RT)

Several thousand people turned up for peace demonstrations in the Italian cities of Genoa and Milan on Saturday. Union members and left-wing activists claimed, among other things, that authorities in Rome have breached national law by sending weapons to Ukraine. The rally in Genoa drew nearly 4,000 participants from across the country as well as from Switzerland and France, local media reported. Organized by the Collective Autonomous Port Workers (CALP) group with the support of the Italian communist party, the protest took place under the slogan “Lower weapons, raise wages.” CALP’s Riccardo Rudino was cited in the media as saying that the “conflict in Ukraine did not begin last year” but rather “in 2014, with the massacre of the Russian-speaking population in Donbass.

The demonstrators filed through the port of Genoa, demanding an end to the use of the facility for arms shipments destined for Ukraine. CALP spokesperson Jose Nivoi accused the Italian government of violating law 185 of 1990, which “imposed a ban on the import, export and transit of weapons from Italy to states at war.” The group’s representatives also described how they had been networking with like-minded “associations and activists in various European cities.” The procession went off without serious incidents, marred only by a few acts of vandalism at the hands of anarchists, who smeared and damaged several vehicles and broke windows in a bank.

A protest was also held on Saturday in Milan. Ruptly video news agency filmed several hundred people chanting slogans and waving flags, including those of Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic. The demonstrations in Italy coincided with one in the German capital, Berlin. There, tens of thousands of people heeded the call of prominent Left Party politician Sahra Wagenknecht and author Alice Schwarzer. Named the ‘Uprising for Peace,’ the protest called for peace talks to end hostilities in Ukraine. The participants also urged the German government to stop shipping weapons to Kiev. Addressing her supporters, Wagenknecht criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government for allegedly trying to “ruin Russia,” and described Saturday’s protest as the start of a new peace movement in Germany.

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Not the UN but the west.

UN To Discuss Investigation Into War Crimes In Ukraine (Az.)

Days after the United Nations General Assembly in New York voted overwhelmingly to demand Russia immediately withdraw from Ukraine, Moscow’s war is expected to dominate the opening of the top UN rights body’s main annual session in Geneva. “We’re looking for this session to show, as the UN General Assembly showed… that the world stands side-by-side with Ukraine,” British ambassador Simon Manley said at an event Friday marking the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion. The meeting, which is due to last a record six weeks, will be the first presided over by new UN rights chief Volker Turk, who kicks the session off early Monday.


UN chief Antonio Guterres will also address the council on the first day, while nearly 150 ministers and heads of state and government will speak, virtually or in person, during the four-day high-level segment. Moscow will send Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov to address the council in person on Thursday. Despite calls from NGOs, observers said it was unlikely there would be a walkout like the one many diplomats took part in when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s video played in the council last year.

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“We’re investigating the Biden crime-family operations. They’ve moved a lot of very suspicious money,” Higgins said. “‘Selling’ Hunter Biden art is just a method they’ve employed.”

GOP Lawmakers Vow To Unmask Hunter Biden’s Anonymous Art Buyers (NYP)

Republican members of the House Oversight Committee have vowed to reveal the identities of the mysterious buyers of Hunter Biden’s art one day after the first son missed a deadline to provide the panel records about his overseas business interests. Biden’s failure to meet the committee’s Wednesday 11:59 p.m. deadline to produce financial documents and other records dating back to January 2009 mirrors his art dealer’s refusal to provide the panel with the names of his clients. In response to a January request by the committee, William Pittard, a lawyer for Biden’s art dealer Georges Berges, wrote a letter to Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) earlier this month raising “concerns” about complying with the committee’s demands to see records about clients who have purchased Biden’s work.

In the Feb. 6 letter, seen by The Post, Pittard argues that complying with the Committee’s request to release the names of the art buyers “would defeat the efforts of Mr. Biden and the White House to avoid the ‘serious ethics concerns’ that you raise.” “If the White House was not aware of those buyers, it would seem impossible for the administration to grant the buyers any favors based on the purchases,” Pittard notes. GOP Oversight Committee members say Berges’ refusal to comply is only adding “fuel to the fire” of the probe. “Hunter Biden’s artwork isn’t worthy of hanging on the walls of a foreclosed motel, so why would anyone buy it?” Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) told Fox News Digital. “The answer is simple, to curry favor with the corrupt son of the president.”

“We need to know who purchased Hunter’s so-called ‘art’, and Georges Berges refusing to provide that information to Congress only adds fuel to the fire for our investigation,” she added. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) echoed McClain, telling the outlet that all “Hunter’s attorney is doing is delaying the inevitable.” “We will receive this evidence, one way or another,” Boebert said. [..] Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), another member of the Oversight Committee, told Fox News Digital that the scope of the panel’s investigation goes beyond Hunter Biden, and that nobody “cares specifically about Hunter.” “We’re investigating the Biden crime-family operations. They’ve moved a lot of very suspicious money,” Higgins said. “‘Selling’ Hunter Biden art is just a method they’ve employed.”

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Assange

 

 


In 2009, Nidhal Selmi combined the Sierpinski triangle with the Penrose triangle to create the M.C. Escher-like Selmi triangle

 

 


Clouded leopards live in forests at elevations of up to 3,000 meters and spend much of their lives in trees. Their strong tails help them to balance while perched on tree branches

 

 


Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also known as Golden Rock, is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Burma, famous for its balancing rock which seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill

 

 


The roots of this tree in Hong Kong, photohraphed by Clément Bucco-Lechat in 2010, have grown over the paving stones and seem to follow the patterns that the pavers were laid in

 

 

 

 

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Feb 262023
 
 February 26, 2023  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


W.H. Bartlett and J. Appleton The port of Beirut 1838

 

Western Leaders Privately Say Ukraine Can’t Win the War (Lauria)
Fewer Americans Think That Ukraine Is Winning – Rasmussen (RT)
Ukraine ‘Most Threatened’ By China – Bolton (RT)
Anti-China Rhetoric Is Off the Charts in Western Media (Nair)
Elon Musk Calls 2014 Ukraine Regime Change A ‘Coup’ (RT)
For the First Anniversary: 24 February 2023 (Batiushka)
Russia Confronted With Whole Empire Of Diverse Enemies – Medvedev (TASS)
Biden Team Has ‘Deeply Rooted Hatred For Russia’ – US Congressman (RT)
What the America got Wrong (Observer R)
Putin’s Collaborators (?) and Distant Echoes of WW2 (Moglia)
The World Has Enough Trouble (Kunstler)
From Special Operation To Full-Scale War (Alexander Dugin)
Ukraine Sees Some Value In Chinese Peace Plan (Le Monde)
Russia Comments On China’s Ukraine Roadmap (RT)
UK Sets Up Secret Task Force To Purchase Ammunition For Ukraine (RT)
Hard Evidence in New Study: Brain, Heart Damage Caused by mRNA Vaccine
Yes, Hate Speech Is Constitutionally Protected (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Excellent

 

 

 

 

CNNDonbass

 

 

 

 

Woody

 

 

 

 

“What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering. Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken.”

Western Leaders Privately Say Ukraine Can’t Win the War (Lauria)

Western leaders privately told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Ukraine can not win the war against Russia and that it should begin peace talks with Moscow this year in exchange for closer ties with NATO. The private communications are at odds with public statements from Western leaders who routinely say they will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes until it achieves victory on the battlefield. The Wall Street Journal, which reported on the private remarks to Zelenksy, said:“The public rhetoric masks deepening private doubts among politicians in the U.K., France and Germany that Ukraine will be able to expel the Russians from eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014, and a belief that the West can only help sustain the war effort for so long, especially if the conflict settles into a stalemate, officials from the three countries say.

‘We keep repeating that Russia mustn’t win, but what does that mean? If the war goes on for long enough with this intensity, Ukraine’s losses will become unbearable,’ a senior French official said. ‘And no one believes they will be able to retrieve Crimea.’ French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Zelensky at an Élysée Palace dinner earlier this month that he must consider peace talks with Moscow, the Journal reported. According to its source, the newspaper quoted Macron as telling Zelensky that “even mortal enemies like France and Germany had to make peace after World War II.” Macron told Zelensky “he had been a great war leader, but that he would eventually have to shift into political statesmanship and make difficult decisions,” the newspaper reported.

At the Munich Security Conference last week, Gen. Petr Pavel, the Czech Republic’s president-elect and a former NATO commander, said: “We may end up in a situation where liberating some parts of Ukrainian territory may deliver more loss of lives than will be bearable by society. … There might be a point when Ukrainians can start thinking about another outcome.” Even when he was a NATO commander Pavel was a realist in regard to Russia. During controversial NATO war games with 31,000 troops on Russia’s borders in 2016 — the first time in 75 years that German troops had retraced the steps of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union — Pavel dismissed hype about a Russian threat to NATO.

Pavel, who was chairman of NATO’s military committee at the time, told a Brussels press conference that, “It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression, because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing.” The German foreign minister at the time, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also embraced realism towards Russia, saying: “What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering. Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken.”

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“..an Associated Press-NORC poll conducted in late January showed that less than half of US adults (48%) still agreed with sending weapons to Kiev. Just 26% said Washington should continue to play a “major role” in the conflict.”

Fewer Americans Think That Ukraine Is Winning – Rasmussen (RT)

Americans are losing confidence that Ukraine is winning its conflict with Russia, a new Rasmussen Reports poll has shown. The latest figures indicate that more than one-third of US voters who were confident of a Ukrainian victory in December no longer expect Kiev to prevail. The poll, which was conducted last week and released on Friday, found that 46% of likely US voters believe the Russia-Ukraine conflict has become a stalemate. Those Americans who believe that one side or the other is winning are about evenly divided, with 21% in Ukraine’s camp and 19% saying Russia has the upper hand. Just two months ago, a Rasmussen poll asking the same questions showed that 32% of Americans believed Ukraine was winning the conflict.

And just as around one-third of voters who were confident in December that Ukraine would prevail no longer expect a victory for Kiev, the percentage of respondents who see Russian forces winning has increased by about the same proportion. Rasmussen’s findings dovetail with recent polling showing that public support for US aid to Ukraine has dropped sharply. For example, an Associated Press-NORC poll conducted in late January showed that less than half of US adults (48%) still agreed with sending weapons to Kiev. Just 26% said Washington should continue to play a “major role” in the conflict.

Middle-aged voters are most likely to say that President Joe Biden’s administration is doing “too much” to help Ukraine, Rasmussen said. Washington has already allocated $113 billion of military and economic aid for Ukraine since Russia began its offensive against Kiev a year ago. During his visit to Kiev earlier this week, Biden vowed “unwavering” support for Ukraine’s defense, pledging to continue backing the former Soviet republic “as long as it takes.” The US and its NATO allies also have declared that Ukraine will win, and must win, to preserve the “rules-based international order.” However, critics of US foreign policy have argued that Ukraine’s battlefield successes have been greatly exaggerated, and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said last week that the conflict will need to end in a negotiated settlement because neither side can likely achieve victory on the battlefield.

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Where would we be without John Bolton?

Ukraine ‘Most Threatened’ By China – Bolton (RT)

Former top US diplomat John Bolton says he doubts that China can legitimately hold a position of neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, even as Beijing called for a ceasefire and the resumption of peace talks one year after the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Bolton, who has garnered a reputation for hawkish, interventionist foreign policy stances throughout his political career, has been a prominent critic of China’s policies as it relates to an independent Taiwan and the alleged state-sanctioned theft of Western intellectual property. On Friday, he fired another salvo towards Beijing and the nature of its relationship with Russia. “A lot of so-called experts have said that China was dismayed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Bolton told the Washington Post. “I think we’ve seen in recent days proof positive that’s not true.”

Bolton added that China had upped its imports of gas and oil from Russian providers to make up for the impact of Western sanctions, and suggested that China’s roadmap to peace in Ukraine would likely have been, he said, signed-off by Moscow. “So, to be clear, I think China’s in this with both feet on Russia’s side,” he said. “And while I certainly don’t diminish the threat that China poses to Taiwan and countries in East and South Asia, I would say the most threatened country in the world today from China is Ukraine.” Bolton, who was a key adviser in the Donald Trump administration for a 17-month spell between April 2018 and September 2019, added that he believes “the Russians and the Chinese are in this together,” referring to the conflict in Ukraine as a “global war.”

“The Chinese have, from the beginning, politically, and I think militarily, had Russia’s back,” Bolton explained. “And the concomitant other side of that is that if China, for example, were to try to attack Taiwan, or throw a blockade around it, they would expect Russia to have their back.” China’s 12-point peace-brokering document, which it issued on Friday, called for an end to hostilities in Ukraine, as well as the removal of Western sanctions on Russia. However, Beijing’s stance has been criticized in the West as being undermined by the country’s diplomatic and economic support for Russia. Various Western officials have also warned that China may be considering providing arms to Moscow – an assertion which Beijing denies.

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“It has become a feature of Western commentary on China to say that its rise is a concern and a threat.”

Anti-China Rhetoric Is Off the Charts in Western Media (Nair)

Typically, the negative stories adhere to three core ideas, which inform the unspoken guidelines within these press rooms when it comes to reporting on China. First is the belief that China is a threat to the world and that this belief must be relentlessly reinforced at every available opportunity. How and why China is a threat is never explored; such is the deep-rooted and almost religious nature of the belief. Sound arguments do not matter. The basic tenets of good journalism are ignored when it comes to a China story. There is no need to explain or give evidence of why China is a global threat. Left ignored is the plentiful evidence that shows China is not a global threat – even if one can point to mistakes and overreach in certain areas. China has not invaded any country in decades, or imposed sanctions that have devasted the lives of millions in poor countries, unlike the West, led by the United States.

Second is that China must be linked to every possible global event that affects the West. This provides an opportunity for the West to bash China while simultaneously burnishing its own credentials as the supposed arbiters of what is right and wrong in international relations. From the pandemic to the Russia-Ukraine war to carbon emissions; from rising sea levels to the scramble for rare earths; from the building of infrastructure in Africa to the production of vaccines – there must be an angle to demonize the country and instill fear in Western nations (and beyond). Indeed, media outlets are reverting to the “yellow peril” of the late 1800s. There is no subtle and nuanced approach to instilling fear like this. It is full-on and very often blatantly racist – but it is now acceptable for one to be racist about the Chinese in Western media, despite the fact that Black-White relations are very carefully described.

The third part of this phenomenon, which is surprisingly not challenged by liberal readers of mainstream media, is the sentiment that everything must be done – even illegal and unfair methods – to arrest the rise of China. Never mind the rights of hundreds of millions of Chinese to have a better life after a century of poverty and deprivation. Headline after headline that capture this sentiment have normalized the view that there is a need to curb the rise of China, and that this is a legitimate geopolitical objective. There is no explanation about why or if it is even morally acceptable. It has become a feature of Western commentary on China to say that its rise is a concern and a threat. With this assumption unassailably in place, the West has the right to galvanize – and even bully – its allies and ask the absurd question, “what should be done about China’s rise?” – as if China does not have the right to carve its own place in the new world.

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“The same way that Fauci was supposed to be protecting us from viruses and then funded gain of function research, Victoria Nuland was supposed to be our chief diplomat with respect to Russia and Eastern Europe and what did she do instead? She ginned up this conflict.”

Elon Musk Calls 2014 Ukraine Regime Change A ‘Coup’ (RT)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk polarized his followers with a tweet declaring there was “no question” that the 2014 change of government in Ukraine was a “coup.” On Saturday, the billionaire tweeted that while “the election” – presumably referring to the 2010 vote that elected Viktor Yanukovych president – was “arguably dodgy,” what followed “was indeed a coup.” The tweet was a response to a post from user @KanekoaTheGreat that featured the front page of an article by University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer titled “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is The West’s Fault.” Dating from 2014, the piece – subtitled “The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin” – argues that “NATO enlargement” and Western meddling in Ukrainian politics, and not “Russian aggression,” are to blame for Crimea’s accession to Russia.

Mearsheimer states that “for Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected and pro-Russian president – which he rightly labeled a ‘coup’ – was the final straw,” an explanation Musk appeared to agree with, at least in part. While the 2010 election that installed Yanukovych as president was deemed an “impressive display” of democracy by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the West soured on the Party of Regions politician when he abandoned a 2013 economic cooperation agreement with the EU. Massive violent protests followed, forcing Yanukovych to flee. The US’ hand in the unrest was confirmed in a leaked phone call between then-assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in which they appeared to be plotting to overthrow Yanukovych and install Arseniy Yatsenyuk – who indeed briefly became Prime Minister following Yanukovych’s ouster.

Musk also replied approvingly to a previous post by Kanekoa that featured a video clip of All In podcast host David Sacks claiming that the US “courted” the Ukraine conflict. The video likened Nuland to former Biden administration medical adviser Anthony Fauci, a frequent target of Musk’s ire.“The same way that Fauci was supposed to be protecting us from viruses and then funded gain of function research, Victoria Nuland was supposed to be our chief diplomat with respect to Russia and Eastern Europe and what did she do instead? She ginned up this conflict. How? We backed an insurrection in Ukraine in 2014,” Sacks said in the video, which Musk described as an “accurate assessment.”

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“In 1714 Tsar Peter I opened a window on Europe. Russia never closed it. But in 2014 the West did.”

For the First Anniversary: 24 February 2023 (Batiushka)

Four Christmases ago an ex-British ambassador to a certain European country asked me why the excellent relations between the West and Russia of the 1990s (when he was an ‘attache’ in the British Embassy in Moscow) had so regrettably dissolved. I answered him simply: ‘Because the arrogant West spat in Russia’s face’. He had not been expecting that answer and the only reply of the old spy was astounded silence. I maintain its truth.

In 1714 Tsar Peter I opened a window on Europe. Russia never closed it. But in 2014 the West did. The bad news was that Russia was sick for 300 years with an obsession with the setting sun of the Western world, the Abendland, the Evening land, as the Germans rightly have it. The good news is that Russia is recovering from this obsession, because in 2014 it turned eastwards with its other head, to the rising sun. In 2014 Russia turned eastwards because the arrogant West had spat in its face. And, unsurprisingly, it found daybreak in the east much more pleasant than nightfall. Russia very quickly made friends with China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Iran – to name but a few. In fact, Russia very quickly made friends with seven-eighths of the world, where its real friends had been all along.

As President Putin said in his speech of 21 February, Russia is ‘an ancient, independent and quite distinct Civilisation’. Therefore, just because arrogant Europe spat in its face, Russia does not now have to face an identity crisis. It has refound its identity in being what it is, Northern Eurasia. It no longer has to pretend to be only the Western half of itself, it has reclaimed the double-headed eagle which faces both East and West. But this does mean that the rest of Europe has to face an identity crisis. And this is serious. For it. Because, having renounced its Civilisation, it has lost its identity. And because without Russia, Europe cannot survive. Why else did the US try to destroy and substitute for Ukrainian Civilisation? It was in order to cut little Kiev off from its Russian child, who had become much greater than Kiev, just as it tried to cut off little Europe from Russia, that had become much greater than it. Why else did the US blow up Nordstream? It was to cut off the small north-western peninsula of Eurasia from the other half of Europe and so from all Eurasia, so as to make it a fully dependent invalid of the US.

As we have said a multitude of times, Russia only ever had three aims in this conflict: the Demilitarisation and Denazification of the territory at present known as the Ukraine and the Liberation of the territory at present known as the Donbass. Demilitarisation. Denazification. Liberation. Three words. It is not the tens of thousands of words of the EU directive on the regulatory height of forklift truck seats. (I used to know the author). What has happened after a year is that through Western foolishness the territory to be demilitarised and denazified, the Ukraine, has had to be expanded, and the territory to be liberated, the Donbass, has had to be expanded. As a result of ever-escalating Western aggression and its supply of ‘long-range weapons’, Russia has now had to go further ‘to repel the menace from our borders’. (I quote from President Putin’s same speech). In other words, the Demilitarisation and Denazification of the Ukraine has become the Demilitarisation and Denazification of all Europe, for Europe has been Ukrainianised. It was its own choice. And the Liberation of the Donbass has become the Liberation of all the Ukraine, for the Ukraine has been Donbassised. It was its own choice.

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“..the so-called ‘Western world’ is just a small part of the international community, about 15% of the planet’s population. A rich, over-satiated but still a minority..”

Russia Confronted With Whole Empire Of Diverse Enemies – Medvedev (TASS)

History repeats itself and Russia is again confronted with an empire of diverse enemies 80 years after the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad, Russia’s Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said in an article, Year of Defending Fatherland, published in the National Defense magazine on Saturday.”A year after the start of the special military operation, we celebrated yet another very important date in our history in February 2023: the 80th anniversary of the Soviet people’s victory in the Battle of Stalingrad – the chief battle of the 20th century, after which the final rout of the Hitlerite armies became inevitable,” Medvedev said.

“History repeats itself. We are again confronted actually with a whole empire of diverse enemies: Ukrainian and European Neo-Nazis, the United States, other Anglo-Saxons and their minions (about half a hundred of countries),” he said. The enemies have set the task of wiping Russia off from the face of the earth but their attempts will fail, the security official stressed.”We are stronger and this is also obvious now. And the so-called ‘Western world’ is just a small part of the international community, about 15% of the planet’s population. A rich, over-satiated but still a minority,” he added.

The past year of the special military operation in Ukraine has taught the Russians many things and consolidated the country’s citizens in the fight against the common enemy and “has finally helped get rid of the illusions about the ‘democratic’ West whose hypocrisy and frenzied Russophobia have gone beyond all thinkable limits,” Medvedev pointed out. What Russia has gained over that year is its firm confidence in its own strength and in its victory, he said.

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100+ years.

Biden Team Has ‘Deeply Rooted Hatred For Russia’ – US Congressman (RT)

Senior officials at the US State Department are attempting to get the country “involved in another world war” with Russia, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar tweeted on Friday. Gosar, Twitter CEO Elon Musk, and former president Donald Trump, have all named Victoria Nuland as the most dangerous among this group in recent days. Responding to an RT article on Musk accusing Nuland of “pushing this war” in Ukraine, Gosar declared that the billionaire “is correct.” “Both Nuland and Blinken have a deeply rooted irrational hatred of Russia, and they seek to get the US involved in another world war,” he continued. “These are dangerous fools who can get us all killed.”

In a follow-up tweet, Gosar wrote that “as a non-soldier, Nuland is quite willing to endorse violence and war.” The Republican lawmaker then quoted the article, which stated that Nuland had “endorsed regime change in Russia, celebrated the US’ destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, and called for the indefinite flow of arms into Ukraine.” As assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs in 2014, Nuland was largely responsible for orchestrating the pro-Western coup that unseated democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovich. Nuland traveled to Kiev and promised military aid to the rioters, and was recorded plotting to install a successor to Yanukovich. As Biden’s secretary of state, Blinken has promised to keep weapons flowing into Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” and advised Kiev in December not to seek the kind of negotiated settlement that would liken to a “phony peace.”

Gosar has been a persistent critic of the Biden administration’s Ukraine policy since Russia’s military operation began a year ago on Friday. However, although the Republican Party now controls the House of Representatives, there is little the Arizona congressman can do to change the administration’s course. A significant bipartisan majority supports continued military aid to Ukraine, with only 11 Republicans, Gosar included, sponsoring legislation that would cut funding for Kiev. These Republicans are all allies of former president Donald Trump. In a campaign video released on Tuesday, Trump blamed the situation in Ukraine on Nuland and “others like her” in the Biden administration. Nuland, he said, was “obsessed with pushing Ukraine towards NATO,” adding that the conflict would have “never happened if I was your president.”

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“..giving rise to the theory that the purpose of the Defense Department is to spend a lot of money, and not necessarily to win wars.”

What the America got Wrong (Observer R)

Going forward it seems past time to consider some significant deficiencies that have become evident in the American quest to remain a great or the greatest military power. Many of these elements have been brought forward recently in pubic discussions and are important considerations in terms of weapons and military force.

The US has continued to procure weapons that many critics perceive as not suited for the modern age, or that are simply obsolete. These weapons are generally very expensive and prevent funds from being shifted to better uses. The usual examples are aircraft carriers, stealth fighter planes, littoral combat ships, and so forth. Instead, the US should have switched funding and effort into hypersonic missiles, electronic warfare, air defense systems, and perhaps more advanced submarines. Thus, the US really does have a “missile gap” to contend with. The bad name that air defense got with the “Star Wars” episode under President Reagan delayed work in that area for many years. Now it appears that at least one foreign country, Russia, is considerably ahead of the US in air defense equipment.

In addition, long ago the US set up approximately 800 military bases around the world. These bases were useful in the days of gunboat diplomacy and when US hegemony required extensive preparation for military action anywhere around the globe. Then and now these bases require a lot of manpower and funding to operate, but it is not clear that they serve an essential purpose in this age. Other countries have taken up the chore of fighting pirates and bombing terrorist dens. The US effort could be greatly scaled back.

The US system for developing new weapons and producing weapons has suffered from not “getting the biggest bang for the buck.” It is often pointed out that the US spends on weapons many times what other countries do, but does not seem to get any more or better weapons as a result. Probably the entire system needs to be rethought. One option would be to go back to having the military run some of its own factories, as in the days of armories. Perhaps a bit of government ownership would provide some competition which is sorely lacking now. The politicians even require the military buy weapons it does not want—essentially giving rise to the theory that the purpose of the Defense Department is to spend a lot of money, and not necessarily to win wars.

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“Hallstein had accompanied Hitler in his state visit to Mussolini in Italy and had established the framework of the notorious ‘axe’ Hitler-Mussolini. Later he set up the legal framework for the ‘new European order’, now renamed ‘European Union’..”

Putin’s Collaborators (?) and Distant Echoes of WW2 (Moglia)

‘Collaboration’ is a word of easy etymological determination. It derives from Latin, meaning ‘to work together’. Historically, ‘collaboration’ referred to the medieval meaning of “shared possessions acquired through work by a married couple.” However, in France, during the German occupation in WW2, it assumed the significance of ‘cooperating with the enemy’. And as if to ensure that the new WW2 meaning could not be confused with the original, the term ‘collaborator’ was shrunk into the shorter and disparaging-sounding word ‘collabo’. The lexical metamorphosis began on October 24, 1940 when, in the little town of Montoire-sur-le-Loire, a meeting was held at the railway station between Adolf Hitler and Marshall Petain, president of France. A historical photo shows Petain shaking Hitler’s hand.

A transcription of the actual conversation is not available, but six days later, Petain, in a radio speech delivered while sitting by his fireplace, gave the French a status report on the situation. It is during this broadcast that he used the term ‘collaboration,’ in a significantly historical paragraph: “It is a matter of honor, in order to maintain French unity, a unity spanning ten centuries – and in the context of a constructive new European Order – that today I have begun on a path of collaboration” (with Germany). One important consideration. As a matter of principle and action, ‘collaboration’ was an integral foundation of Petain’s philosophy, in relation to the ‘new European order’ spoken-of in his radio address.

Meaningfully, Petain’s words ‘new European order’ are omitted from French history texts in schools, referring to that period and event. Why? Because, in the sanctioned interpretation of history, it was/is important to emphasize Petain’s submission (to Germany) rather than collaboration. Which, more objectively, at least in my view, should have been called ‘modus vivendi’ – a sentence whose flavor of neutrality and antiquity, would better represent the condition when people who declared a war on an enemy and lost it, attempt to survive in objectively critical circumstances. Still, given the aftermath of WW2 and the strongly promoted implementation of the European Union, Petain’s ‘new European order’ returned a few years later under a new flag and – we may add – with a vengeance. Ever since, implicitly, explicitly, officially and unofficially the ‘new European order’ has been imposed, not to say forced-upon the seemingly complacent, compliant, beguiled, gullible, undisturbed and unruffled Europeans.

Furthermore, given that the tale of history cannot be told without (often) strategic and convenient omissions, a curious reader may be interested in another remarkably curious piece of news, usually (or strategically) omitted. One important protagonist in the establishment of the current European Union was Walter Hallstein, a jurist most close to Hitler during the regime. Hallstein had accompanied Hitler in his state visit to Mussolini in Italy and had established the framework of the notorious ‘axe’ Hitler-Mussolini. Later he set up the legal framework for the ‘new European order’, now renamed ‘European Union’, including the structure of what would become the ‘Treaty of Rome’ of 1957. Equally, Walter Hallstein became the first president of the CEE Commission (Commission Economique pour l’Europe). In other words he was a pedigreed Nazi, though he successfully managed to hide it.

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“Do you suppose Mr. Zelensky still has the prosecutor’s files in his possession?”

The World Has Enough Trouble (Kunstler)

The USA is falling apart from a combination of mismanagement, malice, and negligence. Our economy is a tottering scaffold of Ponzi schemes. Our institutions are wrecked. The government lies about everything it does. The news industry ratifies all the lying. Our schoolchildren can’t read or add up a column of numbers. Our food is slow-acting poison. Our medical-pharma matrix has just completed the systematic murder and maiming of millions. Our culture has been reduced to a drag queen twerk-fest. Our once-beautiful New World landscape is a demolition derby. Name something that hasn’t been debauched, perverted, degenerated, or flat-out destroyed.

And so, the “Joe Biden” show is busy ginning up nuclear war hysteria because that’s all it has left for manipulating public emotion. The Covid-19 derangement lost its mojo in 2022 and the population has only just begun to grok the all-causes death disaster underway courtesy of Pfizer and Moderna (and the CDC with the FDA). Did you notice, by the way, that the CDC just added those unapproved, still-experimental shots to the childhood vaccine schedule, considered official “guidance” that is followed by virtually every school system in America. Rochelle Walensky did that despite massive evidence that the “vaccines” damage children’s hearts, nervous systems, reproductive systems, and immune systems?

Do you know why Ms. Walensky did that? Because adding the mRNA shots to the childhood schedule supposedly confers permanent immunity from legal liability for the drug companies, even after the current emergency use authorization (EUA) runs out. The catch to that cozy arrangement is if there was any fraud committed on the public in the release and administration of those products, the companies lose their immunity and can be sued until there is nothing left of them but the paperclips. Plus, the executives may be liable for criminal prosecution. Hard time.

One Brook Jackson, a technician involved in the sketchy Pfizer drug trials, and who directly witnessed the procedural violations as they occurred, is currently suing Pfizer under the False Claims Act (31 U.S. Code § 3729) saying that the company defrauded the government. Pfizer’s lawyers have asked the judge to dismiss the case on the grounds, they said in court, that, “We did not defraud the government. We delivered the fraud that the government ordered.” So now, millions of schoolchildren in this land will be subject to compulsory harmful mRNA shots in order to cover the Pharma companies’ multi-billion-dollar asses. Doesn’t that sum up our national predicament nicely? Way to go, Rochelle. Don’t think nobody noticed.

It’s also worth pondering whether we are neck-deep in the Ukraine morass because Volodymyr Zelensky is blackmailing “Joe Biden” over the mysterious Biden Family business operations that took place there directly following the US-orchestrated Maidan revolution that overthrew Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich in 2014. Remember “The Big Guy’s” earnest efforts to get rid of the Ukrainian state prosecutor who was looking into the affairs of the Burisma gas company that invited Hunter Biden and his associate Devon Archer onto the board of directors. Of all people in Western Civ… these two Americans… with no knowledge of or experience in the natgas industry. Weird, a little bit. Do you suppose Mr. Zelensky still has the prosecutor’s files in his possession?

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“Only a year later, Moscow finally realized that this was not a Special Military Operation, but a full-fledged war.”

From Special Operation To Full-Scale War (Alexander Dugin)

A year has passed since the start of Russian Special Military Operation in Ukraine. It began precisely as a Special Military Operation, it is clear today that Russia has found itself in a full-fledged and difficult war. The war not so much with Ukraine – as a regime, not with a people (hence the demand for political denazification was put forward initially), but first of all with the “collective West”, that is, in fact, with the NATO bloc (except for the special position of Turkey and Hungary, seeking to remain neutral in the conflict – the remaining NATO countries take part in the war on the side of Ukraine one way or another).

This year of war shattered many illusions that all sides of the conflict had. The West, hoping for the effectiveness of an avalanche of sanctions against Russia and its almost complete cut-off from the part of the world economy, politics, and diplomacy controlled by the United States and its allies, did not succeed. The Russian economy has held its own, there have been no internal protests, and Putin’s position has not only not wavered, but has only grown stronger. Russia could not be coerced into stopping military operations, attacking Ukraine’s military-technical infrastructure, or withdrawing decisions to annex new entities. There was no uprising of the oligarchs, whose assets were seized in the West, either. Russia survived, even though the West seriously believed that it would fall.

From the very beginning of the conflict, Russia, realizing that relations with the West were crumbling, made a sharp turn toward non-Western countries – especially China, Iran, Islamic countries, but also India, Latin America and Africa – clearly and contrastingly declaring its determination to build a multipolar world. In part, Russia before tried already to strengthen its sovereignty, but with hesitation, not consistently, constantly returning to attempts to integrate itself into the global West. Now this illusion has finally dissipated, and Moscow simply has no way out but to plunge headlong into building a multipolar world order. It has already achieved certain results, but here we are at the very beginning of the way.

However, in Russia itself, everything did not go the way it was supposed to. Apparently, the plan was not to wait for Ukraine to attack Donbass and then Crimea, which was being prepared during the Minsk agreements with the active support of the globalist elites of the West – Soros, Nuland, Biden himself and his cabinet – but to strike a swift and deadly preemptive blow against Ukraine, rush to besiege Kiev and force Zelensky’s regime to capitulate. After that, Moscow planned to bring a moderate politician (someone like Medvedchuk) to power, and begin to restore relations with the West (as it happened after the reunification with Crimea). No significant economic, political, or social reforms were planned. Everything was supposed to remain exactly as before.

However, it all went very wrong. After the first real successes, huge miscalculations in the strategic planning of the entire operation became apparent. The peaceful mood of the army, the elite, and society, unprepared for a serious confrontation – neither with the Ukrainian regime, nor with the collective West – had its impact on the development of the situation. The offensive stalled, encountering desperate and fierce resistance from an adversary with unprecedented support from the NATO military machine. The Kremlin probably did not take into account either the psychological readiness of the Ukrainian Nazis to fight to the last Ukrainian, or the scale of Western military aid.

In addition, we did not take into account the effects of eight years of intensive propaganda, which forcibly inculcated Russophobia and extreme hysterical nationalism in Ukrainian society day in and day out. While in 2014, the overwhelming majority of eastern Ukraine (Novorossiya) and half of Central Ukraine were positively disposed toward Russia, although not as radically as residents of Crimea and Donbass, in 2022 this balance has changed. The level of hatred toward Russians has significantly increased, and pro-Russian sympathies have been violently suppressed, often through direct repression, violence, torture and beatings. In any case, Moscow’s active supporters in Ukraine became passive and intimidated, while those who hesitated before sided finally with Ukrainian neo-Nazism, encouraged in every possible way by the West (I think for purely pragmatic and geopolitical purposes). Only a year later, Moscow finally realized that this was not a Special Military Operation, but a full-fledged war.

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“I am planning to meet with Xi Jinping,” Zelensky said without saying when or where. “This will be important for world security.”

Ukraine Sees Some Value In Chinese Peace Plan (Le Monde)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday, February 24, gave credit to a 12-point peace plan put forward by China as the war between Russia and his country entered a second year, adding Beijing’s interest was “not bad” and might be useful in isolating Moscow. “Our task is to gather everyone to isolate the one,” Zelensky told reporters during a news conference marking the first anniversary of the Russian invasion. “China has shown its thoughts. I believe that the fact that China started talking about Ukraine is not bad. But the question is what follows the words. The question is in the steps and where they will lead to,” Zelensky said, adding he was planning to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “I am planning to meet with Xi Jinping,” Zelensky said without saying when or where. “This will be important for world security.”

China called for a cease-fire and peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in a vaguely worded proposal released on Friday that analysts said was unlikely to deliver results. Beijing claims to have a neutral stance in the war that began a year ago but has also said it has a “no limits friendship” with Russia and has refused to criticize Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine or even refer to it as an invasion. It has accused the West of provoking the conflict and “fanning the flames” by providing Ukraine with defensive arms. Zelensky said there were points in the Chinese proposals that he agreed with and “those that we don’t.” He also said he was doing “everything possible” to prevent China from arming Russia. “I really want to believe that China will not supply weapons to the Russian Federation… It is point number one,” Zelensky said. He also said that he wanted to “believe that China will be on the side of the just world, which means, on our side.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also welcomed China’s peace plan and said it remains open to political and diplomatic efforts. The plan released by China’s Foreign Ministry mainly reiterated long-held positions. It calls for the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries” to be respected but does not say what will happen to the territory Russia has occupied since the invasion. It also calls for an end to “unilateral” sanctions on Russia, indirectly criticizes the expansion of the NATO alliance and condemns threats of nuclear force. Speaking after China issued the paper, but without referring to it, Zhanna Leshchynska with the Ukrainian embassy in Beijing said her country does not want peace at any price. We will not agree to anything that keeps Ukrainian territories occupied and puts our people at the aggressor’s mercy,” Leshchynska told a gathering at the European Union mission to China.

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“..recognition of the new territorial realities that have developed as a result of the people’s right to self-determination, the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, as well as the elimination of all threats emanating from its territory.”

Russia Comments On China’s Ukraine Roadmap (RT)

China sincerely wants a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but the main obstacles to peace are the Ukrainian leadership and its backers in the West, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday. “We highly appreciate the sincere desire of our Chinese friends to contribute to the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine by peaceful means,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement, commenting on China’s 12-point “roadmap” for peacefully ending the hostilities. Moscow shares Beijing’s position that any sanctions not authorized by the UN Security Council are “illegitimate” and “a crude instrument of unfair competition and economic warfare.”

The two countries also agree on the UN Charter, the norms of international law, and the principle of the indivisibility of security. Those considerations informed Russia’s proposals for security guarantees, made to the US and NATO in December 2021 – proposals which the West rejected, Zakharova noted. When it comes to Ukraine, “Russia is open to achieving its goals through political and diplomatic means,” Zakharova said, laying out the criteria for a “comprehensive, just and sustainable peace.” “This involves the West ending the supply of weapons and mercenaries to Ukraine, the end of hostilities, the return of Ukraine to a neutral non-aligned status, recognition of the new territorial realities that have developed as a result of the people’s right to self-determination, the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, as well as the elimination of all threats emanating from its territory.”

All citizens of Ukraine, including Russian-speakers and ethnic minorities, should be guaranteed their inalienable rights, and Kiev must end “all illegal restrictive measures and politicized lawsuits,” Zakharova added. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the main obstacle to peace is currently the Ukrainian ban on negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin, enacted by the government in Kiev at the end of September 2022. The insistence of Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky on withdrawing Russian armed forces “from our new territories – Donbass, Crimea, Zaporozhye and Kherson,” testifies “to what extent official Kiev is detached from reality,” Zakharova said.

She also noted that the Ukrainian government stopped the peace negotiations with Russia, which Kiev had initiated, in April 2022. According to pro-government media in Ukraine, that decision was made after Boris Johnson – who was the British prime minister at the time – visited Kiev and said the West was unwilling to make peace with Russia. NATO and the EU have rejected the Chinese proposal out of hand, saying Beijing had “no credibility” when it came to Ukraine, because it did not join them in denouncing Moscow.

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No, we are not involved..

UK Sets Up Secret Task Force To Purchase Ammunition For Ukraine (RT)

The UK Ministry of Defense has established a secret task force to purchase ammunition for Ukraine, especially Soviet-made weapons, American media reported, citing documents it obtained and people familiar with the matter, Report informs referring to Sputnik International. The task force is mainly focused on obtaining Soviet-style ammunition through third countries and brokers, according to the report. The US has also financed such deals, the report said. Such deals, however, became harder in recent months as suppliers began running out of stock, the newspaper said. Last June, London reportedly struck a deal to buy 40,000 Pakistani-origin artillery shells and rockets made by the government-owned Pakistan Ordnance Factories.


Under the agreement, the UK would pay a Romanian broker to buy the weapons, which would be transferred from Pakistan to the UK, with no mention of Ukraine, according to the newspaper. The deal was not realized because the Pakistani supplier was unable to deliver the ammunition, the report cited Marius Rosu, the head of exports at Romanian broker Romtehnica, as saying. Rosu noted that his company does not provide weapons directly to Ukraine. However, purchasers may obtain them from Romtehnica and later send them to Ukraine.

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“So if you see spike protein on its own, that means it’s vaccine; if you see spike protein and nucleocapsid protein, that means it’s natural viral infection..”

Hard Evidence in New Study: Brain, Heart Damage Caused by mRNA Vaccine

Scientists in Germany have found that mRNA vaccination, not COVID-19 infection itself, caused brain and heart damage in an older adult with underlying conditions. This study was published in October 2022 in the journal Vaccines: “A Case Report: Multifocal Necrotizing Encephalitis and Myocarditis after BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccination against COVID-19.” It examined the situation of a 76-year-old German man with Parkinson’s disease. The patient died three weeks after receiving his third COVID-19 injection. The first vaccine he received in May of 2021 was the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. That was followed by two more injections in July and then December of the same year. His two subsequent vaccines were both made by Pfizer. After the second vaccine, the patient’s family noticed marked changes in his behavior. He started experiencing more anxiety, became more lethargic, and did not want to be touched. He became withdrawn, even from close family members, and the symptoms of his pre-existing Parkinson’s disease worsened considerably.

Given the ambiguous clinical symptoms prior to his death, his family requested an autopsy. [..] As a former vaccine developer with a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, Joe Wang has questioned the design of these vaccines. At the same time, however, this vaccine design makes it easy to distinguish pathology caused by infection by the virus versus pathology caused by the vaccine. “So if you see spike protein on its own, that means it’s vaccine; if you see spike protein and nucleocapsid protein, that means it’s natural viral infection. That’s the difference between the two,” Campbell explained. In order to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death in the 76-year-old Parkinson’s disease patient, researchers processed tissues in his body with formalin, cut them into sections, and stained them with hematoxylin and eosin in order to examine them.

Cancer cells

They compared their samples with controls, both of the cultured cells from SARS-CoV-2 positive COVID-19 patients (that contained both the spike protein and the nucleocapsid), and cultured cells that contained vaccine-induced spike protein expression but no nucleocapsid protein. The autopsy uncovered inflammation in both the brain and the heart. The patient experienced acute brain damage that was unrelated to his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. There were patches of degeneration and inflammation in the front of his brain and his brain further contained three kinds of pathological findings: neuronal death (dead nerve cells), microglial infiltration (defense cells in the brain), and lymphocytes, which are associated with viral infection.


They found spike protein in the frontal lobe of the brain, as well as in other sections of the brain. But there was no nucleocapsid protein present. They found myocarditis–that is, swelling—in the heart. It was clear from the autopsy that the myocarditis was not caused by natural infection but, instead, by vaccine-induced spike proteins.

Thorp

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“..many politicians and pundits are using this false constitutional claim to defend potentially unconstitutional actions by the government..”

Yes, Hate Speech Is Constitutionally Protected (Turley)

Author Salman Rushdie, still recovering from the latest assassination attempt, once said freedom of speech must include “the freedom to offend” or “it ceases to exist.” Rushdie has risked his very life to support that principle after being put under a death threat by Iran’s then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 for allegedly insulting Islam. Recently, when Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to the attack on Rushdie, he notably attacked the role of hate speech as one of “the pernicious forces that seek to undermine these rights.” It was a curious spin. Rushdie has fought limitations on speech and was himself accused of a type of hate speech toward Islam. Due to his alleged blasphemy, his accusers declared not just his right to speech but his right to life as forfeit.

The use of Rushdie to further calls to curtail hate speech may be bizarre but it is not surprising. There is a concerted effort by the Biden administration and many Democrats to censor anything deemed hateful on the internet and social media. That was evident at the start of a recent House hearing on the government’s role in censoring citizens on social media. As one of the witnesses, I was taken aback by the opening statement of the committee’s ranking Democrat, Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.). Besides opposing an investigation into the role of the FBI and other agencies in such censorship, Plaskett declared that “I hope that [all members] recognize that there is speech that is not constitutionally protected,” and then referenced hate speech as an example.

Hate speech is indeed a scourge in our nation, but it is also protected under our Constitution. Yet many politicians and pundits are using this false constitutional claim to defend potentially unconstitutional actions by the government. Recently, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who is a lawyer, said that “if you espouse hate … you’re not protected under the First Amendment.” Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean declared the identical position: “Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment.” Even some dictionaries now espouse this false premise, defining “hate speech” as “Speech not protected by the First Amendment, because it is intended to foster hatred against individuals or groups based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, place of national origin, or other improper classification.”

It is not an argument that improves with repetition. Yet, there have been calls to ban hate speech for years. Even former journalist and Obama State Department official Richard Stengel has insisted that while “the First Amendment protects the ‘thought that we hate’ … it should not protect hateful speech that can cause violence by one group against another. In an age when everyone has a megaphone, that seems like a design flaw.” Actually, It is not a design flaw but the very essence of the Framers’ design. The First Amendment does not distinguish between types of speech, clearly stating: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street cat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1629486875109883906

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 052023
 
 February 5, 2023  Posted by at 10:07 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Edward Hopper Room in Brooklyn 1932

 

Russia To Achieve Goals Of Special Operation – Zakharova (TASS)
Putin Did Not Threaten Germany – Scholz (RT)
Chess Master Putin Is Moving Closer To Destroying The US Dollar (Macleod)
US Fails Miserably in Efforts to Isolate Russia (NC)
Moscow ‘Legitimate’ Target For Ukraine – MP (RT)
Ukraine ‘Will Burn’ If It Strikes Crimea – Medvedev (RT)
Pepe Escobar: Ukraine War is Desperate Move by US to Preserve Hegemony (SCF)
EU Sanctions Blocked Nord Stream Repairs – Company (RT)
Congress Set To Expose The Largest Censorship System In US History (Turley)
Critics Shrug as Musk Wins Major Victory in Court (Turley)
Cut The BS – NOW (Denninger)
The Good News About Vaccine Hesitancy (Atlantic)
Japanese Researchers Sue Government For Covering Up Vaccine Side Effects (GP)

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

Tucker MT balloon

 

 

 

 

Maher

 

 

A shark can swim faster than me, but I can run faster than a shark.
So in a triathlon, it would all come down to who is the better cyclist.

 

 

 

 

“Western attempts are futile..”

Russia To Achieve Goals Of Special Operation – Zakharova (TASS)

Participants in the Ukraine-EU summit, held in Kiev on February 3, will be frustrated, as the goals of Russia’s special military operation will be achieved, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Saturday. “Western attempts are futile. As the Russian leadership has reiterated, the goals and objectives of the special military operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine will be achieved in full. All the participants in the February 3 gathering in Kiev will be bitterly disappointed. They will have to be accountable also to their own population, at the expense of which the bloody geopolitical game ‘to the last Ukrainian’ waged by the West is being funded,” the diplomat said.

According to Zakharova, the recent event was yet further proof that “for the sake of weakening Russia and serving the hegemonic aspirations of the United States and NATO,” the European Union proceeds with its unconditional support of the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev. “By promising a EU prospect in violation of its own standard requirements for EU candidates and by declaring ‘common values’ shared with it, the European Union is condoning the all-out persecution of dissent, the trampling of freedom of speech and expression, the flagrant violation of linguistic and confessional rights in Ukraine,” the diplomat said. “Nevertheless, in the summit’s joint statement they cynically ‘reiterated’ the commitment to full respect for ‘the rights of persons belonging to minorities’. This totally overrides those principles on which the EU was once built,” she stressed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman pointed out that no less hypocritical were the EU representatives’ calls for peace when they pledged readiness to invest in military action to be continued “for as long as it takes”. “Twelve billion euros has already been allocated at the expense of European taxpayers. The beefed-up funding for the conflict, more shipments of weapons and equipment, more training camps, and more training programs for the Ukrainian armed forces – all of these will result in more casualties in the conflict, including among civilians,” Zakharova continued. According to the diplomat, under these circumstances, the attempts to launch the process of creating any quasi-structures to hold accountable for the Ukraine crisis are “absurd and immoral”.

“As they say, who are the judges? [Are they] those who cheated in the Minsk agreements, covered up the Kiev regime’s war crimes against civilians in Donbass since 2014, pumped weapons and money to Ukrainian criminals, and those who are trying to misappropriate Russian state assets and the money of our citizens?” she asked rhetorically. Zakharova stated that it was proved once again that the leadership of the European Union and its member countries had invested all political, financial and military means into deploying the front to Ukraine against the establishment of a multipolar world order, which was firmly advocated by Russia and the majority of the world community.

Zakharova

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Scholz plays both sides.

Putin Did Not Threaten Germany – Scholz (RT)

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has claimed a “consensus” was reached with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Kiev will not use Western weapons, including German Leopard tanks, to stage attacks on Russian territory. The West, however, still considers Crimea and four other new Russian regions to be part of Ukraine. In an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper published on Saturday night, chancellor Scholz once again pinned all the blame for the conflict on Moscow, arguing that Russia’s “unprovoked aggression” justified the collective West’s intervention with military aid to protect the “European peace order.” “Together with our allies, we are giving battle tanks to Ukraine so that they can defend themselves,” Scholz argued. He added that Berlin “carefully weighed every arms shipment, closely coordinating… first and foremost with America.”

Scholz pledged 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine from the Bundeswehr’s own stocks last month, after the US promised to send some of its own M1 Abrams tanks sometime later this year. In the interview, the German leader dismissed any concerns about his country’s weaponry once again being used against Russian soldiers as “abstruse historical comparisons.” At a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of victory at the Battle of Stalingrad on Thursday, Russian President Putin said it was “unbelievable, but true – we are once again threatened with German Leopard tanks, with crosses on their hull. And once again seeking to battle Russia in Ukraine with the help of Hitler’s followers, the Banderites.” “Those seeking to defeat Russia on the battlefield apparently do not realize that a modern war with Russia would be entirely different for them,” he added, promising a response that goes beyond armored vehicles.

“No, Putin didn’t threaten me or Germany,” Scholz said about their phone conversations with the Russian leader, when the interviewer brought up recent claims by Britain’s ex-Prime Minister. The Kremlin said Boris Johnson had either deliberately lied about a “missile threat” or simply didn’t understand what Putin was talking about. Further justifying Western arms shipments to Ukraine, Scholz said there was a “consensus” that these weapons will only be used on “Ukrainian territory,” when asked if there was any kind of “agreement” on that with President Vladimir Zelensky. He did not elaborate on which territory he considered to be Ukrainian. The US also allegedly provided its military aid to Ukraine on condition that it is not used to strike targets in Russia.

However, American officials have said this restriction does not apply to Crimea and the other new Russian territories, and repeatedly stated that Kiev was free to pick its own targets. Crimea and the city of Sevastopol joined Russia in 2014, while the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, did the same last year. Kiev dismissed referendums in which people living in those territories voted for the move as a “sham.” On Wednesday, President Putin tasked the military with “eliminating any possibility” of Ukrainian strikes against Russia. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov clarified that includes the territories that Ukraine still considers to be its own, saying that Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat, and that “the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

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“..Germany has a strong manufacturing ethos, benefitting from access to Russian resources, markets for its products, and through Russia renewed access and cooperation with China..”

Chess Master Putin Is Moving Closer To Destroying The US Dollar (Macleod)

There were several claims as to who the Father of a United Europe was, but the version which triumphed was authorised by the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE), which was set up in 1948 by senior American intelligence figures from the CIA. Germany is still kowtowing to US intelligence seventy-five years later. But as the recent episode over Leopard tanks has shown, there is some resistance to this status quo. We also know that other Germans at high levels have been unhappy with the ECB’s monetary regime. Jens Weidmann, who resigned as President of the Bundesbank in October 2021, is not the only critic of monetary policy, though the Bundesbank now appears to have been purged of critics of the ECB.

Therefore, there are two issues holding back Germany. It has been forced to abandon its sound money principals, and to cut itself off from its natural markets in Asia. But a resumption of NATO backed hostilities will throw Germany’s suppression by the US political and military establishments into sharp relief. Chancellor Scholtz will know that Russia is highly unlikely to be easily defeated. If anything, this forthcoming NATO venture is the western alliance’s final desperate throw of the dice. And despite NATO, Scholtz must keep his options open. If against all alliance propaganda NATO fails to win in Ukraine, Russia consolidates its position, and Putin remains as a strong Russian leader, Germany must be prepared for a political accommodation with Russia.

It is not only a question of geographical proximity, but Germany has a strong manufacturing ethos, benefitting from access to Russian resources, markets for its products, and through Russia renewed access and cooperation with China. Clearly, Germany’s commercial ethos has more in common with the industrial revolution being planned by the Asian axis and their emerging plans for sound money than it has with most of her EU partners. If only Germany was free of US political control, in time she could establish a new Hanseatic League, a trade corridor from Eastern Europe encompassing the Baltics and Netherlands. It is considerations of this sort that must make the US establishment determined to not release its grip over Germany and the wider EU.

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“..most of these countries have faced unprecedented pressure from the US but have instead ignored the declining power..”

US Fails Miserably in Efforts to Isolate Russia (NC)

“If Russia does not end this war and get out of Ukraine, it will be isolated on a small island with a bunch of sub countries and the rest of us 141 countries will go forward and build a prosperous future, while Russia suffers a complete economic and technological isolation…” -Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and chief architect of NATO war against Russia, in a March 2022 interview with TASS. Nuland has failed miserably. Instead, Russia’s economy is growing, and the inability to isolate Russia is arguably a larger loss than the one NATO is suffering in Ukraine. Last week The New York Times finally got around to admitting the isolation efforts have failed: “Silverado Policy Accelerator, a Washington nonprofit, recently issued a similar analysis, estimating that the value of Russian imports from the rest of the world had exceeded prewar levels by September.”

It marks quite the change in script. Consider this sampling of headlines from the past year: “Russia’s isolation from global markets is withering its economy and will wreck its status as an energy superpower, experts say” – Business Insider. “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will knock 30 years of progress off the Russian economy” – CNBC. “Another Nail In The Coffin Of The Russian Economy” – Forbes. “War against Ukraine has left Russia isolated and struggling — with more tumult ahead” – NPR. “A New Iron Curtain Is Falling: The isolation of the Russian economy is striking in its speed and scope” New York Times.

It’s been clear that this has never been the case. US allies Japan and South Korea remain unwilling to cut off energy ties to Russia. Chinese and Russian economic integration has grown, as have ties between Moscow and the Persian Gulf states. The US has been particularly frustrated by two countries that have been key to Russia’s economic resiliency: Türkiye and India. Washington has been unable to get Ankara and New Delhi to join the sanctions party, and it’s not for a lack of trying. What the Times’ piece leaves unsaid is that most of these countries have faced unprecedented pressure from the US but have instead ignored the declining power.

The US neocons continue to double down, however, lashing out in increasingly desperate attempts to achieve the Russian isolation they want. How much will they isolate the US in the process? They’ve long enjoyed creating chaos elsewhere while benefiting from the safety of two oceans. Will that geography play a part in their lasting gift to Americans: the cementing of the US into a backwater nation, effectively quarantined from the economic engine in Asia due to its untrustworthy and aggressive behavior?

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NATO seeks escalation. Ukraine volunteers.

Moscow ‘Legitimate’ Target For Ukraine – MP (RT)

Kiev’s forces will not hold back when it comes to hitting locations inside Russia, according to Fyodor Venislavsky, a member of the Ukrainian parliament’s National Security, Defense and Intelligence Committee. Speaking to Germany’s Bild tabloid on Saturday, he also described Moscow as a “legitimate military target.” Anyone who believes that Kiev should commit to not using the arms supplied by its Western backers in attacks on Russian territory are living in a “parallel world,” claimed Venislavsky, who is also Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s representative in the Constitutional Court.

Venislavsky insisted that any munitions depots as well as other military facilities on the territory of Russia are “legitimate military targets,” adding that the same goes for Moscow. The Russian capital is the country’s most populous city, with around 13 million people, according to official data. Moscow hosts the General Staff headquarters as well as Russia’s National Defense Management Center, which are both in the city center. Venislavsky stressed that he has no issue with Ukraine potentially attacking any command center in the Russian capital.

The MP did not say whether Kiev already has specific plans regarding targets, adding that it was for the Ukrainian military leadership to decide whether to strike locations inside Russia, including Moscow. Venislavsky’s remarks come a day after the Pentagon announced it was supplying Kiev with ground-launched small diameter bombs (GLSDB) – munitions consisting of a rocket motor and an airplane bomb, with a range of up to 150km (93 miles). It is unclear if Kiev has obtained any weapons capable of striking Moscow, since the capital lies some 500km (310 miles) away from Russia’s nearest border with Ukraine. Washington previously stated that it would not prevent Kiev from using the new weapons to strike targets deep within Russia.

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“I can assure you a response would be swift, hard and convincing.”

Ukraine ‘Will Burn’ If It Strikes Crimea – Medvedev (RT)

Washington’s decision to supply Ukraine with longer-range missiles and allow Kiev to use them at will can only lead to further escalation, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev warned on Saturday. He said the US appears not to want the Ukraine conflict to end. Strikes against the Crimean peninsula will not force Moscow to sit down at the negotiating table, the former president said. “The result would be exactly the contrary. There would be no talks in such a case. There would only be retaliatory strikes,” he warned in an interview with Russian journalist Nadana Fridrikhson. Medvedev insisted that if Washington wanted peace in Ukraine, it could simply urge Kiev to engage in talks with Moscow, but that US President Joe Biden’s administration and “hawks” in Congress are “simply not interested in it.”

Russia could “retaliate in any way possible” should Ukrainian forces strike targets in Crimea or deep inside Russian territory, the former president warned. “We do not set any limits depending on the nature of threats, and are ready to use all types of weapons,” he insisted, adding that Russia would only be guided by its own doctrines, including the nuclear one. “I can assure you a response would be swift, hard and convincing.” Medvedev also accused European leaders, who have been supporting Kiev through means including weapon shipments, of acting at the behest of Washington and to the detriment of their own people. The cost of sanctions, military aid to Ukraine, trade wars, and embargoes are borne by ordinary EU citizens, he added.

Medvedev’s remarks came a day after the Pentagon announced it was supplying Kiev with ground-launched small diameter bombs (GLSDB) – munitions consisting of a rocket motor and an airplane bomb, with a range of up to 150 kilometers. According to US Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, Washington will not prevent Ukraine from using these munitions to strike targets deep within Russia. Moscow has repeatedly warned that providing heavy weapons to Ukraine could see the US and its allies directly involved in the conflict, and spiral into a military standoff between Russia and NATO.

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“..The vast majority of the planet wants liberation from the U.S./Western warmongering system that underpins capitalist exploitation that only enriches a global elite..”

Pepe Escobar: Ukraine War is Desperate Move by US to Preserve Hegemony (SCF)

The war in Ukraine is not just about Ukraine and Russia with the U.S. and NATO acting as seemingly benevolent supporters of Ukraine, as the Western media portray. The United States and its NATO allies are deeply involved in the conflict. The military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 – after 20 years of futile occupation – was a calculated “reorganization of firepower” against Russia, says Pepe Escobar. Ukraine is merely a proxy and ultimately cannon fodder for American imperial planners. This war is part of a bigger geopolitical confrontation between the U.S. and Russia, China and other nations that are pushing for the emergence of a multipolar world. That is a multipolar world no longer under the hegemony of U.S.-dominated Western capitalism. Pepe Escobar assesses the bigger picture and outlines how the U.S. imperial state is in “panic mode” to shore up the collapsing American-controlled global capitalist system, and in particular the privileged position of the U.S. dollar.


Going to war with Russia presently and in the longer term against China is part of the desperate dynamic to prolong the dominant position of Washington that was established after the Second World War. That postwar imperial order – euphemistically called the “rules-based order” – is increasingly falling into disrepute from unbridled imperialist wars and abuse of financial controls. The vast majority of the planet wants liberation from the U.S./Western warmongering system that underpins capitalist exploitation that only enriches a global elite. The war in Ukraine is but the manifestation of the breakdown in U.S. global power and the desperation to preserve the systematic inequality that defines capitalism. This year is fraught with extreme danger, says Pepe Escobar. But if the psychotic U.S. deep-state planners can be contained by Russia and China without an all-out catastrophic war erupting then there is a chance of a more hopeful, peaceful and just world order emerging.

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“The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that work on the pipelines would be in breach of the Norwegian sanction regulations – and by extension the EU sanction regulations..”

EU Sanctions Blocked Nord Stream Repairs – Company (RT)

Norway’s Equinor on Wednesday revealed that it was the government in Oslo and EU sanctions that blocked it from responding to a request for assistance in dealing with the damage to Nord Stream pipelines. The Baltic Sea pipelines delivering Russian natural gas to Germany were damaged by sabotage in September, which Moscow blamed on the West. “The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that work on the pipelines would be in breach of the Norwegian sanction regulations – and by extension the EU sanction regulations,” Equinor said a statement emailed to Reuters. Equinor is the Norwegian oil company that administers the Pipeline Repair and Subsea Intervention (PRSI) Pool, established by Oslo to deal with leaks and ruptures. The Swiss-based operators for Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 are among the 72 members of PRSI, and sent requests for assistance in October, shortly after both pipelines were damaged by undersea explosions.

Because PRSI “adheres to current legislation related to sanctions,” it “notified NS1 and NS2 (operators) that we were not able to do work as requested,” Equinor said in the statement. Nord Stream 2 AG told Reuters that it had filed a request for support to inspect the damage, “as a full member of the PRSI Pool,” but was turned down. Its sister company, which operates the original Nord Stream, said in early October that the survey vessel it attempted to charter was waiting for permission from the Norwegian government. The original Nord Stream was inaugurated in 2011, and supplied Russian natural gas to Germany and the rest of the EU while bypassing Ukraine and Poland. The second pipeline, which would have doubled the volume of gas deliveries, was finished in 2021 but Berlin refused to certify it for operations even before the conflict in Ukraine escalated. The US had sought to block the second pipeline’s construction with sanctions and vowed it would prevent it from becoming operational.

On September 26, 2022 both strings of NS1 and one string of NS2 were damaged in a series of powerful undersea explosions. As NS1 was pressurized at the time, a large quantity of gas was released into the Baltic Sea. Washington insinuated that Moscow was behind the blasts, while Russia pointed the finger at the West for the “act of terrorism.” Sweden, Denmark and Germany launched an investigation into the explosion, but refused to share the results with Russia. Anonymous EU officials have since leaked to the US media that there was “no evidence” to suggest Moscow was behind the sabotage. Russia’s energy company Gazprom was allowed access to the site only once, in late October. While the German gas company Uniper has estimated it would take 6-12 months to repair the pipelines, it is unclear whether Berlin even wants to do so.

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“Despite the push for censorship by some politicians and pundits, most Americans still want free-speech protections. It is in our DNA.”

Congress Set To Expose The Largest Censorship System In US History (Turley)

For years, many politicians and pundits have dismissed free-speech concerns by noting that the First Amendment only applies to the government. So long as corporations do the censoring, they contend, it is not a free-speech problem. This obviously is wrong on several fronts. The First Amendment is not the exclusive measure of free speech. Corporate censorship of political commentaries or news stories are denials of free speech that harm our democratic system. Second, this is a First Amendment violation. The Twitter files have substantiated long-standing concerns over “censorship by surrogate” or proxy. As with other amendments like the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches or seizures, the government cannot use private agents to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. Just as a police officer cannot direct a security guard to break into an apartment and conduct a search, the FBI cannot use Twitter to censor Americans.

To be fair, there were occasions when Twitter reportedly balked at government demands for raw political censorship — in one case, a demand by Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) led a frustrated Twitter censor to object that “We don’t do this.” Nevertheless, Twitter’s management certainly now seems to admit that the company worked as an agent of the FBI and carried out most demands for social media suspensions, removals or blocks of individuals. At the same time, the FBI pushed for closer collaboration on content removal. We do not know the full extent of this operation or its impact, but Congress should want to know if the FBI and other agencies created a system of censorship-by-surrogate. The only reason we now have Twitter’s previously secret communications is because an eccentric billionaire bought the company.

The broader effort with other companies could well constitute the largest censorship program ever run by the government — a system designed to escape both public and judicial scrutiny. It also shows how it is no longer necessary to have a “Ministry of Information” to maintain a state media: You can have an effective state media by consent rather than by coercion or control. The FBI’s response to disclosure of these long-secret communications is particularly chilling. When some critics denounced it as raw censorship, the FBI accused them of being “conspiracy theorists … feeding the American public misinformation.” So, criticism of the FBI’s work to censor citizens resulted in an official statement denouncing those citizens. None of these denials or attacks succeed, however. The public understands the threat and strongly supports an investigation into the FBI’s role in censoring social media. Despite the push for censorship by some politicians and pundits, most Americans still want free-speech protections. It is in our DNA.

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“..This unhinged campaign against Musk is being led by the same anti-free speech figures that long supported censorship..”

Critics Shrug as Musk Wins Major Victory in Court (Turley)

For months, media has been relishing the investor lawsuit against Elon Musk, who became persona non grata when he moved to restore free speech protections on Twitter. Coverage spoke of Musk losing billions in the lawsuit while others speculated that Musk might be “setting himself up to lose Tesla.” Not yet. Not only are stock prices up for Tesla, but Musk just won a unanimous verdict in the investor trial. The reaction to the trial has been a shrug from critics as they continue to try to hammer Musk into submission. It does not appear to be working. A jury found Elon Musk not liable for losses of investors due to a series of tweets saying he had “secured” funding to take the electric car maker private. They deliberated for less than two hours. Musk personally testified at the trial and noted that he was relying on a handshake agreement in 2018 with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.


The verdict is a buzz kill for the alliance of media, political, and business interests against Musk. Critics of his effort to restore free speech protections on Twitter have pressured advertisers while celebrities have publicly renounced their own Teslas. The very thought of allowing opposing views on issues from Covid to climate change to elections appears intolerable for many in politics and the media. The public itself, however, has consistently supported the effort to restore the protections and Twitter has experienced a sharp increase in users. That success, however, has only led figures like Hillary Clinton to call on foreign governments to censor fellow citizens. This unhinged campaign against Musk is being led by the same anti-free speech figures that long supported censorship. That is precisely why Musk may be the only person who could have fought this fight. While these figures and companies have a long history of forcing others into compliance, Musk has proven the immovable object in the face of this seemingly irresistible force.

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The balloon is boring me.

Cut The BS – NOW (Denninger)

Nobody launches a “balloon” of that sort of size and mass without a means of “de-orbiting” it should it veer out of its expected flight envelope or on command. I don’t care if China intended it to enter our airspace or not (although I will assume they did); they most certainly had the ability to prevent it from doing so by sending it a command to come down before it did so. They didn’t do that, on purpose. Period, end of discussion, full stop. The United States has full authority under both US and International law to shoot it down and did from the point at which it entered our EEZ’s airspace. We did not have to wait and there is utterly no excuse for our failure to destroy it before it crossed over into the United States.

Nobody has the right to enter the airspace of a nation without permission. If you do it as a manned aircraft you can be forced down and, if you refuse to land, destroyed. An unmanned device, which this clearly is, can be destroyed without warning. Something of that size and lifting capacity could easily have a thermonuclear warhead on board. Detonation of such at that height would produce minimal direct damage however nothing prevents the device from rapidly descending first and then exploding at, for example, 2 miles of altitude. Oh, they’d never do that? Sorry, that’s not how it works. An unannounced and uncleared incursion by a heavy-lift air vehicle capable of carrying such a device must be presumed to have one on board with intent to use it.

There are no “do overs” if you get this wrong. Our military is derelict in permitting this craft into our airspace and our so-called “civilian leadership” is either incompetent or deliberately in league with the Chinese. Either way both must be removed and destroyed, replacing same with functional entities. The Pentagon appears to be more-concerned with what pronouns some “soldier” wants to use than whether a potential nuclear device is floating over several of our major cities and a decent part of our nuclear missile silos inventory. We are a sovereign nation and its damn time we started acting like one.

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Just wow. The Atlantic. The only problem is not more people get vaxxed.

The Good News About Vaccine Hesitancy (Atlantic)

The world has just seen the largest vaccination campaign in history. At least 13 billion COVID shots have been administered—more injections, by a sweeping margin, than there are human beings on the Earth. In the U.S. alone, millions of lives have been saved by a rollout of extraordinary scope. More than three-fifths of the population elected to receive the medicine even before it got its full approval from the FDA. Yet the legacy of this achievement appears to be in doubt. Just look at where the country is right now. In Florida, the governor—a likely Republican presidential candidate—openly pursues the politics of vaccine resistance and denial . In Ohio, kids are getting measles . In New York, polio is back . A football player nearly died on national TV, and fears about vaccines fanned across the internet .

Vaccinologists, pediatricians, and public-health experts routinely warn that confidence is wavering for every kind of immunization , and worry that it may collapse in years to come. In other words, America is mired in a paradoxical and pessimistic moment. “We’ve just had a national vaccination campaign that has exceeded almost all previous efforts in a dramatic fashion,” says Noel Brewer, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina who has been studying decision making about vaccines for more than 20 years, “and people are talking about vaccination as if there’s something fundamentally wrong.” It’s more than talk. Americans are arguing, Americans are worrying, Americans are obsessing over vaccines; and that fixation has produced its own, pathological anxiety.

To fret about the state of public trust is rational: When vaccine adherence wobbles, lives are put in peril; in the midst of a pandemic, the mortal risk is even greater. More than 60 million Americans haven’t gotten a single COVID shot, and a few thousand deaths are attributed to the disease every week. But the scale of this concern—the measure of our instability—may be distorted by the heights to which we’ve climbed. Evidence that the nation has arrived at the brink of collapse does not hold up to scrutiny. No one knows where vaccination rates are really heading, and the coming crash is more an idea—a projection, even—than a certainty. The future of vaccination in America may be no worse than its recent past. In the end, it might be better.

The first alarms about a widespread vaccination crisis—the first suggestions that a leeriness of COVID shots had “ spread its tentacles into other diseases ”—were raised by clinicians. Megha Shah, a pediatrician with the Los Angeles public-health department, told me that she began to worry in the spring of 2021, while volunteering at a medical center. Two years earlier, she recalled, working there had been uneventful. She’d meet with parents—mostly from low-income Latino families—to discuss the standard vaccination schedule: Okay, here’s what we’re recommending for your child . This protects against this; that protects against that. The parents would ask a couple of questions, and she’d answer them. The child would be immunized, almost every time. But in the middle of the COVID-vaccine rollout, she found that those conversations were playing out differently. “Oh, I’m just not sure,” she said some parents told her. Or, “I need to talk this over with my partner.”

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When will US and EU follow suit?

Japanese Researchers Sue Government For Covering Up Vaccine Side Effects (GP)

During a press conference, a team of Japanese researchers led by Professor Masanori Fukushima stated their intention to sue the Japanese government if the Health Ministry continues to refuse to acknowledge the causal link between the vaccine and deaths. “Around April last year, the pathology and forensics societies have already issued a statement that in the future, an autopsy should be done on people who have died after vaccination,” said Prof. Fukushima. “In the future, we need to urgently establish guidelines on what kind of medical treatment should be provided for victims injured by vaccines, and we need to develop diagnostic techniques.”According to Fukushima, Japan’s Health Ministry won’t acknowledge the causal link between the vaccine and deaths.

The Japanese researchers threatened the government that additional lawsuits would be filed for the COVID vaccine harm cover-up.“One more thing, pathological autopsies have already been conducted on people who died after receiving the vaccine. However, the Health Ministry is still unwilling to acknowledge the causal link between the vaccine and the deaths. If the health ministry maintains this unjustified position, we intend to file additional lawsuits in consultation with our lawyers,” said Fukushima “We demand the Health Ministry provides appropriate victim compensation based on the vaccination law. In other words, the victim is compensated based on the vaccination law that is properly stipulated by Japanese law,” he continued.

When asked by a reporter on what he would say to medical professionals who provide vaccines to patients, he responded:”I want to say one thing very clearly to the Health Ministry in addition to the medical professionals. They should distribute a Vaccination Victim’s Handbook to everyone who has been vaccinated. The Vaccination Victim’s Handbook is similar to the Atomic Bomb Victim’s Handbook, which is distributed to survivors of atomic bombs. After distributing the vaccination victims handbook to vaccinated people, medical institutions should be encouraged to properly follow up with vaccinated people. It is necessary to examine whether there is a link between the disease and the vaccine. Biopsy tests should be performed on sick people suspected a vaccine-induced illness.”

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Visual effects

 

 


In 2015, photographer Atif Saeed captured this intense photograph of a male lion moments before it launched an attack on him. He narrowly escaped with this incredible shot of a face-to-face with a lion about to kill.

 

 

King

 

 

 

 

Hug

 

 

U2

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 042023
 


Henri Matisse Olive trees at Collioure 1906

 

Building A New World Order Is Now An Existential Issue For Russia (Trenin)
US-China War By 2025: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (Fomenko)
Pentagon Allows Ukraine To Fire Long-range Missiles At Will (RT)
Russia Responds To Latest US ‘Escalation’ (RT)
From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses (Batiushka)
UK MIlitary Could Run Out Of Ammo In Single Afternoon – Ex-commander (RT)
Serbia Names ‘Greatest’ Mistake By West (RT)
RAND Gets It, Sort Of (Helmholtz Smith)
The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t (Schryver)
Sanctions On Russian Oil Not Working – Analysts (RT)
Lose-Lose (Jim Kunstler)
Republicans to Force Nancy Pelosi to Testify About Jan 6 (TP)
Musk Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet (ZH)
Thai Princess Coma Mystery – World Expert Says It’s A Covid Jab Injury (DTNZ)
Biden Announces U.S. Surrender To Chinese Balloon (BBee)

 

 

 

 

OH SH*T, HERE WE GO (MacGregor)

 

 

 

 

What Becomes of NATO After The Loss In Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Trump Ukraine

 

 

 

 

“..a defeat – if it is hypothetically possible – could provoke a destabilization of the country, accompanied by the disintegration of Russian statehood.”

Building A New World Order Is Now An Existential Issue For Russia (Trenin)

Let us begin by assessing the current situation. One effect of the conflict has already been a fundamental change in the external environment in which Russia finds itself. Its political relations with the collective West, and its allies, have become openly hostile and the armed conflict in Ukraine is a proxy war by the West against Russia. Economic relations with this part of the world have been permanently undermined and are shrinking like Mars bars. Cultural, scientific, sporting and humanitarian ties have been severely curtailed, the information war has reached maximum intensity, and the Iron Curtain in Europe has been rebuilt – this time by the West. However, Russia is not completely isolated. It maintains and develops partnerships in many areas with the world’s new centers of power, and other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This part of the world community includes most of the world’s states, where the majority of the human population lives and where more than half of the global economy is concentrated. It can rightly be called a world majority with the clear understanding, of course, that this majority is not a bloc and that its members are not allies of Russia. They are guided primarily by national interests and are deeply integrated into the global economy and the Western-centric institutions that serve it, which significantly limits interaction with Moscow. The dramatic shift in the external cycle has led to profound changes within Russia. The old model of mainly exporting raw materials and importing technology no longer works. The political system, which was built on liberal American-French models and then adapted more or less successfully – in substance, not in form – to domestic traditions, is obviously in need of a profound overhaul.

The quasi-ideology of pragmatism and the cult of money, which dominated the country after the collapse of the USSR, proved to be flawed and harmful. In short, the end of the historical orientation towards integration with the Western world logically requires Russia to reorient itself. But what does this mean? To which “self”? Soviet, tsarist or otherwise? A prerequisite for Russia’s long-term strategy is victory in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The most important criterion for such a victory is a state that is guaranteed not to lead to a renewed war after some time. On the contrary, a defeat – if it is hypothetically possible – could provoke a destabilization of the country, accompanied by the disintegration of Russian statehood. The stakes for Russia in the current conflict are therefore existential and fundamentally higher than those of the US and its allies. This in itself is a factor working in Russia’s favor, but it certainly does not guarantee its success.

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“..It also sees the competition catching up, however, and is ready to use all means necessary, and to take massive risks, to prevent the rise of rival powers. ”

US-China War By 2025: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (Fomenko)

American Four-Star General Mike Minihan, head of the US Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) believes the US and China will go to war by 2025. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan reportedly wrote in a memo to his officers, obtained by media outlets. The message instructs AMC personnel to train and get their affairs in order so that they are “legally ready and prepared.” This prediction is the most direct and blunt yet from an American official on the prospect of a potential conflict between the US and China, besides President Joe Biden’s indications that the US would intervene on the side of Taiwan if China invaded.

Of course, Minihan is not a policymaker, and the memo is not an official statement of US military policy towards China. But the influence of the US military and by extension, the military-industrial complex, on US foreign policymaking and on the mood in Washington in general, should not be underestimated. The reality is, especially as seen in Ukraine, that the risk of a major-power conflict is arguably at the highest it has ever been since the end of World War II or the height of the Cold War. That is because the US sees itself as a rightful and permanent global hegemon. It also sees the competition catching up, however, and is ready to use all means necessary, and to take massive risks, to prevent the rise of rival powers. As such, the US and China risk falling into the so-called, “Thucydides Trap,” which is described as “an apparent tendency towards war when an emerging power threatens to displace an existing great power as a regional or international hegemon”.

The current distribution of power in the world is described as “emerging multipolarity”. Following three decades of American unipolarity, when the US ruled unchallenged, a number of emerging powers are changing the international order. Multipolarity differs from “bipolarity,” where two powers compete for hegemony, the best known example being the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. While bipolarity brings a form of stability, as the military capabilities of both powers are evenly matched and the stakes of a potential conflict are extremely high, history shows multipolarity typically brings instability as it creates an insecure, unpredictable, and competitive international environment. The world of 1914, where a theatre of competing European powers scrambled for international dominance, ultimately combusted into the First World War. As competing world powers expanded their imperialist ambitions, they sought to contain others by forming alliances and starting arms races.

Sounds familiar? It should. Today’s world has some disturbing parallels. The US – an insecure hegemon whose relative power is diminishing as other world powers emerge – is desperately seeking to degrade, undermine and contain its rivals by triggering arms races and expanding alliance systems. Already, the focus on expanding NATO has provoked the conflict in Ukraine, but worse still, the Biden administration is actively seeking to expand that model to East Asia against China, in the form of blocs such as the Quad and AUKUS.

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“..Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat.”

Pentagon Allows Ukraine To Fire Long-range Missiles At Will (RT)

It is up to the government in Kiev to decide how to use the new rockets for the US-supplied HIMARS launchers, the Pentagon said on Friday, confirming that the latest batch of munitions the American taxpayers are funding will include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).The Boeing-manufactured munitions consist of a rocket motor mated with an airplane bomb, with an estimated range of up to 150 kilometers. While Friday’s announcement listed “additional ammunition” for the HIMARS and “precision-guided rockets,” Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder told reporters that this indeed included the GLSDB, confirming the information leaked to Reuters earlier this week. Ryder also confirmed that the US won’t stand in the way of Ukrainians using the missiles to strike deep inside Russia.

“When it comes to Ukrainian plans on operations, clearly that is their decision. They are in the lead for those,” he said on Friday. “So, I’m not going to talk about or speculate about potential future operations, but again, all along, we’ve been working with them to provide them with capabilities that will enable them to be effective on the battlefield.” The GLDSB are produced by Boeing in cooperation with Swedish Saab AB, and combine the GBU-39 small-diameter bomb with the M26 rocket motor. It was unclear how many of the munitions the Pentagon intended to send, or whether they would come from the US military stockpile or need to be freshly produced. Reuters claimed to have seen a Boeing document saying the first deliveries could be “as early as spring 2023.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg cited unnamed officials who said the timeline could be as long as nine months, depending on when the US Air Force issues the contract. Bloomberg also reported the GLSDB order would account for $200 million of the $1.75 billion in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding, referring to contracts for weapons and ammunition not coming out of the Pentagon stockpile. Whenever the missiles actually arrive, Russia has already hinted at how it will respond. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin tasked the military with “eliminating any possibility” of Ukrainian artillery strikes on Russian territory. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Thursday that Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat. “The longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved,” Lavrov said.

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“the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

Russia Responds To Latest US ‘Escalation’ (RT)

The decision to supply Ukraine with longer-range missiles marks a “deliberate escalation” by the United States, Russia’s ambassador to Washington has said, warning that Moscow would not tolerate strikes on Russian cities. In a statement on Friday evening, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov commented on the latest round of US military aid approved for Ukraine earlier in the day, which is set to include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB) – munitions with an operational range of 93 miles (150 kilometers). “Washington sees no boundaries in seeking to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. The transfer of increasingly powerful weapons to the Kiev regime is a deliberate escalation of the conflict by the United States,” he said, adding “Any attempt to harm the Russian Federation is doomed to failure. The sooner the United States realizes this, the sooner the current conflict will end.”

Though the Pentagon did not mention the GLSDB by name in announcing the weapons transfer, Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder later confirmed that it would be included in the next round of aid, also noting that US officials would not stop Kiev from using the missiles to strike inside Russia. Fired from the US-supplied HIMARS missile launcher, the GLSDB is among the longest-range weapons authorized for Kiev to date, and could theoretically reach targets deep within Russian territory. Antonov went on to say the United States is “de facto inciting its proteges to attack Russian regions,” arguing that Moscow makes no distinction between newer territories which voted to join the Russian Federation last year and other Russian lands.

“For us there is no difference when we talk about a possible attack by Kiev criminals on the Zaporozhye or Bryansk regions, the Crimea or the Smolensk region,” he continued. Though the new weapons could take up to nine months to reach the Ukrainian battlefield, Russia has already suggested how it might react, with President Vladimir Putin ordering the military to eliminate “any possibility” of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory earlier this week. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, said Russian forces would repel Ukrainian soldiers to a distance from which they would not pose a threat, declaring: “the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

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“..Only through such a crushing defeat for Western hubris can further crazy adventures, including nuclear ones, be avoided.”

From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses (Batiushka)

Western support for the Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Europe, has done nothing for America’s authority. It had already been undermined by war crimes, water-boarding, economic decline, a drugs epidemic, mass shootings, a trashed health system for 40 million in poverty and military debacles from Vietnam to Afghanistan. The ‘regime changes’, assassinations, electoral frauds, black propaganda (also called PR), massacres, torture in global black sites, proxy wars and military interventions carried out by the United States since 1945 have resulted in over 20 million dead and planetary revulsion for U.S. imperialism. ‘Yanks go home’. Blood lies on the US. Did they really expect to get away with this?

The conflict in the Ukraine is effectively World War III, or if you prefer, World War I, Part III. A proxy hot war between Washington and Moscow. Yes, the military phase is local, having started between Russia and the Ukraine in 2014. But the repercussions for Russia are enormous. They mark the end of a 300-year period when Russia was enamoured with the West. Now Western deceit means that Russians have lost their illusions and naivety for ever. Now Russia will fight on until the Armed Forces of Ukraine and all those who took up arms and have been fighting Russians for almost nine years are no longer a threat to anyone. The Kiev Army will be routed and Russia will return to its roots of over 300 years ago.

However, the political and economic repercussions for the Western world, held on a tight leash by its feudal US owner, are even more enormous: the end of the rule of the dollar. True, there are those who predict a second military phase between Iran and the US colony of Israel. And a third could be between China and the US, the pretext being the Chinese Ukraine, Taiwan. But nothing is certain. After the coming Russian victory in the Ukraine, all could still be averted, for that victory will be sobering for the Western world. This indeed is the last hope, that defeat here will at last bring the Western world back to its senses and reality. Only through such a crushing defeat for Western hubris can further crazy adventures, including nuclear ones, be avoided.

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“..British armed forces “are smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in living memory.”

UK MIlitary Could Run Out Of Ammo In Single Afternoon – Ex-commander (RT)

The UK could deplete its ammunition stocks in mere hours should it be drawn into large-scale fighting, a former British general warned on Thursday. This and other issues make the UK military unfit to be regarded as a “top tier” NATO member, he said. Retired General Richard Barrons, who formerly headed the UK’s Joint Forces Command, sounded the alarm in an op-ed published by The Sun in which he said the fighting force has been “hollowed out by spending cuts.” Barrons claimed that the British armed forces “are smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in living memory.” He also warned that the UK Army is on course to slip below 76,000 troops. However, even these service members often do not receive inadequate training, Barrons noted.

British tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery pieces mostly date to the previous century, while “years of cuts to ammunition production mean that, for some types of key weapons, the army would run out in a busy afternoon,” the general said. Barrons added that the Royal Navy and Air Force are “in better shape” and boast some “outstanding modern equipment,” but cautioned that without experienced personnel, ammunition, and spare parts they might turn out to be just a “glittering shop window” without much to show for it on the actual battlefield. The former commander said the UK should focus on Europe, arguing that the “tilt to Asia can wait.” He urged London to invest in modern capabilities, including drones, missiles, and cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.

Britain should also double its reserves to 60,000 troops, he said. Regarding Russia, Barrons estimated that to be able to handle a “surprise attack,” the British Army will need to spend “£3 billion ($3.67 billion) this year, and every year for the next ten years.” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace admitted in the House of Commons on Monday that the military has been “hollowed out and underfunded.” His comments followed a Sky News report alleging that a top US general had told Wallace that British forces are “barely tier two” in terms of fighting capabilities.

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“..the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively manages to “unite the Russians like never before.”

Serbia Names ‘Greatest’ Mistake By West (RT)

The West’s recent announcement that it would be supplying Ukraine with main battle tanks marks a major miscalculation, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday. That’s as Moscow has threatened to burn any Western equipment that enters Ukraine and has vowed to retaliate “far beyond the scope of armored vehicles.” Vucic noted that the decision to supply Ukraine with tanks, especially with the “terrifying” German Leopard 2s, is the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively manages to “unite the Russians like never before.” Last month, Germany and the US agreed to provide a number of heavy tanks to Kiev. Washington has promised between 30 and 50 of its M1 Abrams tanks, while Berlin pledged 14 Leopard 2A6s from the Bunderswehr’s own stocks.

An additional 51 of the same model and 88 of the older Leopard 1 model may also come from Rheinmetall as they get refurbished, Germany said. Berlin also gave the green light to countries that have expressed a desire to export their own Leopards to Ukraine. Those include Poland, Finland, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands. The UK and Canada have also said they would be sending their heavy equipment to Kiev. The decision has been heavily criticized by Russia, which has called it an “extremely dangerous” move that threatens to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin likened the new threat of “German Leopard tanks with crosses on their hulls” to the Soviet Union’s struggle against Hitler’s forces and warned that Moscow’s response would not be limited to weapons.

Other countries have also voiced their concerns about the West’s move. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the delivery of NATO tanks to Ukraine was a “high-risk endeavor” that would fail to help end the conflict and only “line the pockets of gun barons.” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also slammed Germany’s decision, noting that these Western countries are “drifting” towards becoming active participants in the conflict. Orban has insisted that instead of arming Kiev, the West should be pursuing “a ceasefire and peace talks” in Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly objected to Western weapon deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that non-stop arms shipments only serve to prolong the conflict and risk direct confrontation with NATO. The Kremlin has also insisted that no amount of military aid will prevent Moscow from reaching its objectives and warned that the tanks would “burn like the rest of Western weapons” supplied to Kiev.

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“morally repugnant Russian invasion”, “international community”, “illegitimate and illegal”, “aggression”, “humanitarian reasons”, “international norms.”

RAND Gets It, Sort Of (Helmholtz Smith)

A few years ago RAND put out a report Overextending and Unbalancing Russia. “This brief summarizes a report that comprehensively examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress—overextend and unbalance— Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad.” One of the things recommended was exploiting Russia’s “greatest point of external vulnerability” by “providing lethal aid to Ukraine.” (Only someone as paranoid as Putin, of course, could see any hostility in this). Well, they did it and it’s time for a new RAND report – Avoiding a Long War.

To save you the bother of reading this trivial effort, I will summarize – they start with the usual posturing – “morally repugnant Russian invasion”, “international community”, “illegitimate and illegal”, “aggression”, “humanitarian reasons”, “international norms.” Then on to how Russia is losing – “Russia’s conventional capabilities have been decimated in Ukraine”, “the weakened state of Russia’s conventional military”, “It will take years, perhaps even decades, for the Russian military and economy to recover from the damage already incurred.” But, as you wade on, you begin to suspect that the authors aren’t as triumphant after all – perhaps victory is not quite so close “given the slowing pace of Ukraine’s counteroffensives in December 2022, restoring the pre-February 2022 line of control—let alone the pre-2014 territorial status quo—will take months and perhaps years to achieve” or even so certain “Continued conflict also leaves open the possibility that Russia will reverse Ukrainian battlefield gains made in fall 2022.”

The authors spend some space explaining why a long war is not to America’s advantage. So, RAND, they followed your advice but things aren’t going very well. Time to try and get out of it. “Since avoiding a long war is the highest priority after minimizing escalation risks, the United States should take steps that make an end to the conflict over the medium term more likely.”

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“..the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique..”

The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t (Schryver)

You see, for all its massive plunder of the public purse, the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique. And there is simply no way this domestic US industry can expeditiously expand its production. It would literally take years – probably a full decade – for the US to expand its military production to a seriously potent industrial scale. For one, the labor pool for these industries is extremely finite and highly specialized. In the overwhelmingly financialized and service-oriented US economy, there is a shocking dearth of technical expertise of ALL kinds. It’s not simply a boomer cliché that “kids these days are innocent of almost any mechanical know-how”. If the US wants to staff new armaments factories any time soon, it will have to import the skilled labor from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Beyond that, the permitting of new factories, with the attendant bureaucratic delays, public hearings, environmental impact studies, and various special interest road-blocking … well, everyone knows how these things work now in America. It took five years to build the Hoover Dam in the early 20th century. It would take FIFTY here in the early 21st century – if it could be built at all. Those clamoring for the US to intervene in the Ukraine war in order to “teach those filthy Russians a lesson they’ll never forget” simply have no conception of the catastrophe that would ensue were their dreams to be fulfilled. If the Pentagon consented to such an undertaking, it could probably amass no more than 250,000 combat-capable troops in the theater, and to do so would entail the evacuation of virtually every major US military base on the planet (and most of the minor ones).

It could probably assemble an additional quarter million troops from the active reserves and National Guard units in the United States. That said, it is empirically impossible that 500,000 combat troops could be satisfactorily equipped for high-intensity conflict such as would be the scenario in a war between the US and Russia in eastern Europe. And even if they could be assembled and equipped, it would be an insufficient force to face over a million Russian troops, close to a third of which are already “battle-hardened” from almost a year of high-intensity combat in Ukraine. In anticipation of the casualties attendant to great power warfare, it would become necessary for the United States to reinstitute conscription almost immediately. If a strong anti-war movement had not already been incited by its previous actions, conscription in America would almost certainly induce a widespread political upheaval, with large and aggressive public protests cropping up in all the major cities of the nation.

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“oil friendships are greasy”

Sanctions On Russian Oil Not Working – Analysts (RT)

Sanctions imposed by the West on Russian crude oil exports have so far “failed completely,” and new price caps could also prove ineffective, according to a CNBC report on Friday, citing analysts. The conclusions come as the European Union plans to ban imports of Russian refined petroleum products, including diesel and jet fuel, from February 5. The bloc had already prohibited imports of seaborne crude oil from Moscow in December. The EU, G7 countries, and Australia have also set a $60-per-barrel price cap, which blocks Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shippers of Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. The price cap “was invented by bureaucrats with finance degrees. None of them really understand oil markets,” Paul Sankey, president and lead analyst at Sankey Research, told CNBC.

“It’s been a total bomb; it has failed completely,” he stressed. According to Sankey, Russian oil supplies have not been significantly interrupted and “they’ve sustained exports at high levels.” “I heard it from a great source that the Saudis have been asking around as to how come Russian oil is still flowing,” he said. “That brings the question of what will happen with the sanctions coming up on products, because it just doesn’t seem to work.” The founder of analytics firm Vanda Insights, Vandana Hari, also told the US broadcaster she was skeptical about the upcoming restrictions on Russian refined oil products, noting that “the crude price cap was pretty inconsequential.” “I think the refined product caps that they’re planning – about a $100 [per barrel] for diesel and clean products and perhaps around $45 for dirty fuels like fuel oil – are probably going to be immaterial as well,” the analyst explained.

According to Hari, Russian oil will find its way into the markets that are “still welcoming it” such as China and India. “China and India have benefited quite a big deal last year from heavily discounted Russian crude prices and the same’s going to happen to Russian refined products,” Hari predicted, adding that it could be more complicated for Moscow to find markets for such products. Paul Sankey also noted that “oil friendships are greasy” and there’s a lot of different ways to move Russian oil around the world, bypassing the price caps. Meanwhile, the EU has been struggling to agree on the price cap for Russian oil products, with some members reportedly claiming the proposed level is too generous for Moscow, and seeking a lower ceiling. The measures are expected to come into effect on February 5 after gaining the approval of all 27 EU member states.

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“..The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion..”

Lose-Lose (Jim Kunstler)

For those of you not paying attention the past thirty-odd years, Russia, incorporated as the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991. The USSR was a bold experiment based on the peculiar and novel ill-effects of industrialism, especially gross economic inequality. Alas, the putative remedy for that, advanced by Karl Marx, was a despotic system of pretending that individual humans had no personal aspirations of their own. That business model could be reduced to the comic aphorism: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. It failed and the USSR gurgled down history’s drain. Russia reemerged from the dust, minus many of its Eurasian outlands. Remarkably little blood was shed in the process. Mr. Orlov’s book points to some very interesting set-ups that softened the landing. There was no private property in the USSR, so when it collapsed, nobody was evicted or foreclosed from where they lived.

Very few people had cars in the USSR, so the city centers were still intact and people could get around on buses, trams, and trains. The food system had been botched for decades by low-incentive collectivism, but the Russian people were used to planting gardens — even city dwellers, who had plots out-of-town — and it tided them over during the years of hardship before the country managed to reorganize. Compare that to America’s prospects. In an economic crisis, Americans will have their homes foreclosed out from under them, or will be subject to eviction from rentals. The USA has been tragically built-out on a suburban sprawl template that will be useless without cars and with little public transport. Cars, of course, are subject to repossession for non-payment of contracted loans. The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies.

These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested. There’s another difference between the fall of the USSR and the collapse underway in the USA. Underneath all the economic perversities of Soviet life, Russia still had a national identity and a coherent culture. The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which is actually just a hustle aimed at extracting what remains from the diminishing stock of productive activity and giving the plunder to a mob of “intersectional” complainers — e.g. the City of San Francisco’s preposterous new plan to award $5-million “reparation” payments to African-American denizens of the city, where slavery never existed.

As for culture, consider that the two biggest cultural producers in this land are the pornography and video game industries. The drug business might be a close third, but most of that action is off-the-books, so it’s hard to tell. So much for the so-called “arts.” Our political culture verges on totally degenerate, but that is too self-evident to belabor, and the generalized management failures of our polity are a big part of what’s bringing us down — most particularly the failure to hold anyone in power accountable for their blunders and turpitudes. This might change, at least a little bit, as the oppositional House of Representatives commences hearings on an array of disturbing matters. Meanwhile, be wary of claims in The New York Times and other propaganda organs that our Ukraine project is a coming up a big win, and that the racketeering operations of the Biden family are a right-wing conspiracy theory. These two pieces of the conundrum known as reality are blowing up in our country’s face. It will be hard not to notice.

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“… Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador.”

Republicans to Force Nancy Pelosi to Testify About Jan 6 (TP)

As the Biden Documents Scandal continues to build and the Chinese spy balloon over Montana dominates the headlines, some Republicans are still focused on holding Nancy Pelosi to account for the failures of security at the US Capitol on January 6th, failures to which they claim she is connected. One such Republican is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who said: “The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office. As you go back and look at the communications, there’s this pattern that develops where the Sergeant of Arms is meeting with Pelosi’s staff. Many of those meetings, Republican staff wasn’t allowed to be there, but they had this pattern where everything had to run through her office, her staff, before the Sergeant of Arms could make a decision.”

Joining Rep. Jim Jordan was Rep. Troy Nehls, who said “And Nancy Pelosi. You do have questions you need to answer … Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador.” The statements from Jordan and Nehls follow a late-December of 2022 report released by Republicans that blamed Pelosi for the security failures at the Capitol on that day, faulting her for creating “political pressures” that led to lackluster security and inadequate preparations. The New York Post, reporting on that report, said: “Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021,” says the report, which is based on a trove of texts and email messages, and testimony from Capitol Police leaders and rank-and-file officers.

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, who answered to Pelosi as one of three voting members of the Capitol Police Board, “succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership,” was “compromised by politics and did not adequately prepare for violence at the Capitol.” Pelosi and her staff “coordinated closely” with Irving on security plans for the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6, but Republicans were deliberately left out of “important discussions related to security.” And, in an apparent attempt to hide from Republicans the fact that they were being excluded from discussions, Irving asked a senior Democratic staffer to “act surprised” when he sent “key information about plans for the Joint Session on Jan. 6, 2021, to him and his Republican counterpart.”

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“..Musk testified that the “funding secured” tweet was “absolutely truthful..”

Musk Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet (ZH)

Having previously noted the absurdity of the trial, Elon Musk has defeated a shareholder lawsuit alleging that tweets claiming he had the “funding secured” to take Tesla private cost investors billions of dollars in losses. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the nine-person San Francisco-based jury said the investors who brought the class-action case failed to prove that Mr. Musk hurt them by tweeting about a possible deal. “The jury got it right,” Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Musk, said after the verdict. Musk testified that the “funding secured” tweet was “absolutely truthful,” touting what he described as an “unequivocal” commitment by Saudi Arabia even though he had nothing in writing. As Bloomberg reports, Musk gave jurors other reasons to believe him.

He said he felt compelled to reveal that he was considering taking Tesla private because earlier that day, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia was building a sizable stake in Tesla. He testified he was afraid his going-private plans might also be leaked, and that he wanted to put all Tesla investors on equal-footing by broadcasting his plans on Twitter. Musk also said that if required, he could’ve divested his ownership stake in his closely held rocket-ship company, SpaceX, to fund the transaction. This case is unusual for having gone to trial. From 1997 to 2001, less than 0.2% of federal securities class-action cases, excluding those involving mergers or acquisitions, were tried to a verdict, according to Cornerstone Research.

Musk, who had taken the stand as a witness in the case, was present in court during closing arguments. As The FT reports, the “funding secured” tweet has already proven costly for Musk. He and Tesla each paid $20mn to settle legal action from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk also had to resign as the carmaker’s chair, although he kept his position as chief executive. However, Musk has criticized the SEC in the years since, saying he felt pressured to settle and suggesting that doing so made him appear guilty. This case, he said in a deposition, was an opportunity to “clear the record.” And now he has!

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“.. Pfizer BioNTech is going to have to pay back those billions to Thailand, with which Thailand will recompensate those peoples that have lost their existence…”

Thai Princess Coma Mystery – World Expert Says It’s A Covid Jab Injury (DTNZ)

44 year old Princess Bajrakitiyabha of Thailand collapsed while out walking her dogs on 14 december last year. According to sources she had not felt well after receiving her 3rd booster. After her collapse she lost consciousness and remains in a coma. According to a report in The Independent, she is ‘on medical equipment supporting her heart, lungs and kidneys.’ Princess Bajrakitiyabha is the eldest child of current King Rama X. The law graduate is a senior diplomat in the Thai government. The Thai palace confirmed she had suffered a ‘heart issue’. But the explanation given by the authorities and a local university that it was caused by a bacterial infection has been called ‘ridiculous’ by medical expert Professor Sucharit Bhakdi.

Thai-born Bhakdi, a former professor of microbiology at the University of Mainz in Germany had a celebrated career in medical science as a world expert on the immune system and arterial disease, until mainstream narratives and ‘fact checkers’ labelled him a ‘conspiracy theorist’ for his strong opposition to the COVID ‘vaccines’. According to Bhakdi, who claims he and his contacts have been in direct contact with the Thai Royal Family over the matter, the princess’ collapse was an adverse reaction to the COVID jab. She was previously healthy with no known medical conditions. Speaking on the ‘neutralswiss‘ Rumble channel yesterday, Bhakdi said:

“This whole COVID-19 agenda is a fake… And I was able to lay out for them the proof that the COVID vaccinations were based on fraud… The EMA declared that safety pharmacological studies were never performed – never. And they were never deemed necessary. So now we have it. So, when I told the Thais this, you know guys, they jumped up. They jumped up in the room. And so they said to me ‘we will see to it that Thailand is the first country in the world that is going to declare this contract null… Which means that Pfizer BioNTech is going to have to pay back those billions to Thailand, with which Thailand will recompensate those peoples that have lost their existence…”

“‘One daughter of the present king Rama X collapsed and is in a coma… within 23 days after the third shot, 44 years old, never been seriously ill, collapsed and is now in a coma. The diagnosis that was given by the authorities and by the university is so ridiculous – she’s supposed to have a bacterial infection that will never do what she suffered from. And so we are determined, and the activists in Thailand who have been on this many many months now – great guys, also a professor from the University of Bangkok, he’s gotten in touch with the Royal Family, and we are sending information to the Royal Family to alert them to the fact that in all probability the princess is suffering as a victim of this jab, as so many people around the world have been suffering.’

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Whenever a story this crazy comes along, we suspect something’s hiding behind it.

Biden Announces U.S. Surrender To Chinese Balloon (BBee)

In a surprise statement to the world from the White House Situation Room, President Biden has announced America’s unconditional surrender to the Chinese Spy Balloon. “Listen, folks, it’s over,” said Biden as a single tear ran down his face. “We’re outgunned here. There’s no hope that we can match the awesome power of this giant balloon.” Biden’s voice was drowned out by the dozens of weeping journalists gathered outside the room. “I urge you all to hug your loved ones and embrace your children, for the end is near. God help us all,” Biden finally said before signing off for the last time. At publishing time, Americans had been urged by the administration to start learning Mandarin.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Sika deer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621524781127573509

 

 

Water is life
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621438461151526912

 

 

Gallop croc
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621580255835181064

 

 

Dog doc
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621730772670349313

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 182023
 


Dorothea Lange Richmond, California 1942

 

NATO Keeps On Demilitarising Itself in Ukraine (Tweedie)
Kremlin Mum On Putin’s Alleged Order To Liberate Donbass Before March (TASS)
Game-Changing Russia (Batiushka)
CNN: Ukraine Has Become a ‘Weapons Lab’ for Western Arms (Antiwar)
The West’s New Anti-Russia Sanctions Are A Total Game Changer (Timofeev)
EU Sanctions Goal Is To Crush Russian Economy – Von Der Leyen (RT)
Ursula Von Der Leyen: Russia’s Crimes Won’t Go Unpunished (Az.)
EU Leaves Back Door Open For Sanctioned Russian Oil (RT)
New Meeting With CIA Director Burns ‘Possible’ – Russian Spy Chief (RT)
Crimea’s ‘Return’ To Ukraine Is Impossible – Russian Intelligence Chief (TASS)
Destroying Monsters (Helmholtz Smith)
Kissinger Offers ‘Updated’ Ukraine Plan (RT)
Key Revelations of the ‘Twitter Files’ (ET)
Elon Musk Throws Shade on the WEF (Street)
FBI Decided Not To Monitor Biden Document Search (ZH)
Not a Coup, but a Coverup (ET)
Biden in ‘Very Big’ Mess Over Document Scandal – David Gergen (ET)
The Renewable Energy Problem That No One Talks About (ET)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Biden

 

 

Tucker tax returns
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615166116292333568

 

 


“There seem to be ever increasing suggestions that restricting people’s travel will reduce atmospheric CO2. We had an experiment on that in 2020. No flights, no work or school travel. Here’s the result of that experiment. Show me lockdown on this graph.”

 

 

Japan high temps
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615038638261141523

 

 

Kerry

 

 

 

 

“..the ultimate end of the SMO is not just to de-militarise (and de-Nazify) the Ukraine, but all of NATO too.”

NATO Keeps On Demilitarising Itself in Ukraine (Tweedie)

It has been said often over the past year, most recently by Emmanuel Todd, that the conflict in Ukraine is “existential” for Russia. Certainly, the Great Bear cannot abide a NATO ballistic missile launchpad just 300 miles from Moscow in a country run my rabidly-Russophobic Nazis — not neo-Nazi skinhead cosplayers but the literal descendants of the real deal. But others have argued that the Special Military Operation (SMO) is also a make-or-break roll of the dice for NATO and the US which dominates it. How else can we explain the latest mania for arming the regime in Kiev just as its ‘Siegfried Line’ in the Donbass starts to crumble?

How else can one explain cry-bully US National Security Spokesman John Kirby’s response to news that Russian Wagner ‘private military company’ had liberated the town of Soledar, a keystone of the Ukrainian defences? He simultaneously tried to cast doubt on the facts while claiming the town’s capture was strategically insignificant. “We don’t know how it’s gonna go, so I’m not going to predict failure or success here,” Kirby said as Wagner were mopping up stranded Ukrainian conscripts. “But even if both Bakhmut and Soledar fall to the Russians, it’s not going to have a strategic impact on the war itself, and it certainly isn’t going to stop the Ukrainians or slow them down in terms of their efforts to regain their territory.”

To the contrary, reports indicate that several Ukrainian brigades being concentrated for a southward push on Melitopol, near the narrow isthmus to the Crimea, were redeployed to Donbass in a vain attempt to hold Soledar and Bakhmut, where they suffered huge casualties. Taking Bakhmut could allow the Russian forces to ‘roll up’ the Ukrainian line to the north and south and advance on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the last two major cities Ukraine holds in Donetsk. Moscow has repeatedly said there can be no peace while the West keeps pumping arms into Ukraine. The most obvious interpretation of those statements is that NATO is only prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian and Donbass peoples with its cornucopia of death. But another is, as blogger Andrei Martyanov said recently, that the ultimate end of the SMO is not just to de-militarise (and de-Nazify) the Ukraine, but all of NATO too.

Read more …

Plenty speculation about new offensives, either by Russia or Ukraine/NATO.

Kremlin Mum On Putin’s Alleged Order To Liberate Donbass Before March (TASS)

Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused on Tuesday to comment on the Ukrainian intelligence service’s recent speculations that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly ordered Chief of Russia’s General Staff and Commander of the Russian group of forces in Ukraine Valery Gerasimov to liberate the territory of Donbass before March 2023. Asked at a news conference to comment on the speculations, Peskov replied: “No, I cannot [comment on it] and have zero intention of doing it.” A number of web media outlets circulated reports earlier citing Andrey Yusov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian intelligence service, as saying that Putin issued an order to liberate Donbass by March and that the Russian Armed Forces would focus on assault operations across the entire territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).


On January 11, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu made new appointments in the military command of the special military operation in Ukraine. The decision to raise the level of military command in the special military operation is related “to the broader scope of missions tackled in its course and the need to organize closer coordination among military branches and services of the armed forces and also the increased quality of all types of logistics support and efficiency in command and control of the groups of troops (forces), the Russian Defense Ministry stated earlier. On February 21, 2022, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics DPR and LPR respectively). Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as of the beginning of 2014.

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Britain has 227 tanks. Russia has 15,000.

Game-Changing Russia (Batiushka)

While Western Europe is prepared to pay for the last Ukrainian to die for Western Europe – Germany, France, Finland, the UK and some other countries are prepared to get rid of some more of their old armoured vehicles and even tanks, palming them off on the Neo-Nazi Kiev regime. Thus, the UK is thinking of sending 14 of its 25-year old Challenger 2 tanks. How the UK will train Ukrainians to operate them, how it will supply enough ammunition for them to fire, how they will supply the mechanics and spare parts to repair them, how – and when – they will deliver them to Poland and then get them to the Kiev front, over 1,000 kilometres further away, nobody can tell us. Meanwhile, the British Army Chief of General Staff, Sir Patrick Sanders, is complaining. ‘Giving Kiev tanks means we won’t have enough for ourselves’. After all they do cost £8 million each and there are only 227 of them in the much-underfunded British Army anyway.

Nobody has told the British Army that after one Russian missile all 14 of these obsolescent ‘wonder-weapons’ will go up in smoke before they ever get to the front. £112 million gone. No wonder Ukrainian refugees are returning to Kiev to get proper medical treatment that the grossly underfunded and strikebound British Health System cannot provide them with. Nobody has told the British Army or any EU Army that Russia is fighting a war of attrition. Given Russian air superiority, far superior artillery, drones, missiles and its 15,000 tanks, the Kiev forces, their mercenaries and all their equipment are being wiped out. Worse still, none of the Western hack-journalists, presstitutes to the core, has yet explained why ‘the victorious Kiev forces’ need ever more Western armoured vehicles and tanks.

You read it here first: It is because all the other ‘game-changing’ armoured vehicles, tanks and equipment have already been destroyed. Now at least astronomers know what a black hole looks like. It looks like the Kiev regime. Yes, black holes really are game-changing because you can get sucked into one. In the face of NATO (= US) aggression, surely there is only one choice left for Russia – to liberate all 27 Ukrainian regions (and maybe even elsewhere too). I have to confess that I was never in favour of Russia taking the far-west Galicia. ‘They can go to Poland’. I was thinking of the old Russian curse: ‘Go to hell – and take Galicia with you’. But, actually, I am now thinking that Russia should take the lot, Crimea and the four partially liberated ones nearly done, 22 to go. The fact is that as long as a single piece of the Ukraine is under Nazi control, it will be a threat to the Russian Federation.

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Do his people know he’s saying this? That they’re now lab rats?

“We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here..”

BTW: a heli just crashed near Kiev. Cause as yet unkown. 16 dead, including Ukraine Interior Minister.

CNN: Ukraine Has Become a ‘Weapons Lab’ for Western Arms (Antiwar)

Ukraine has turned into a “lab” for Western arms as the war has given the US and its allies an opportunity to see how their weapons fare in a conflict with a major military power like Russia, CNN reported on Monday. A source familiar with Western intelligence on the war told CNN that Ukraine is “absolutely a weapons lab in every sense because none of this equipment has ever actually been used in a war between two industrially developed nations.” The source described it as “real-world battle testing.” Back in July, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov offered his country as a “testing ground” for Western arms makers. “We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here,” he said.

Reznikov got his wish as the US, and its allies have significantly stepped up military aid since then, and the war has escalated as Russia began large-scale strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure in October. Russia’s success in its use of cheap kamikaze drones in the infrastructure attacks has influenced plans for Western arms makers. The British arms maker BAE Systems has announced that it’s developing a new armored vehicle with added protection to defend it from kamikaze drone attacks from above. Multiple intelligence and military officials told CNN that making cheap single-use drones has become a priority of many defense contractors.

The CNN report said that for the US military, the war has become an “incredible source of data on the utility of its own systems.” For example, the US has seen that its HIMARS rocket launch system has been effective against Russian forces, while the M777 howitzer has become less effective and less accurate over time. The war in Ukraine has also created a demand for weapons that were beginning to become obsolete, such as the Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Raytheon stopped producing Stingers for years but now has been asked by the Pentagon to ramp up production as thousands have been shipped to Ukraine.

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“..the law says that the authorities, at their own discretion, may decide to transfer the proceeds from the confiscated property in favor of a foreign state affected by a grave breach of international peace and security..”

The West’s New Anti-Russia Sanctions Are A Total Game Changer (Timofeev)

Canada is the first country to legally implement the forfeiture mechanism. The 2022 revision of the Special Economic Measures Act gives Canadian authorities the power to seize property located in the country that is owned by a foreign state, any person or entity in that state, as well as a national of that foreign state who does not ordinarily reside in Canada. Such measures may be applied if “a grave breach of international peace and security has occurred that has resulted in or is likely to result in a serious international crisis.” The final decision is made by a judge after receiving a corresponding petition from a relevant representative of the executive authorities. Following that, the law says that the authorities, at their own discretion, may decide to transfer the proceeds from the confiscated property in favor of a foreign state affected by a grave breach of international peace and security, towards the restoration of international peace and security, and to compensate victims of a grave breach of international peace and security, gross human rights violations or acts of corruption.

The Canadian assets of tycoon Roman Abramovich’s company Granite Capital Holding Ltd. will be the first to fall prey to the new law. According to a statement by the Canadian authorities, it is valued at $26 million. Roman Abramovich is already on Canada’s blocked persons list, which means that his assets are frozen and any transactions with him are prohibited. The Russian businessman’s assets will now be seized and probably transferred towards the needs of Ukraine. The value is relatively small, but it may be used to set the mechanism in motion. The next steps may be a lot grander in scale. Other countries are likely to follow Canada’s example. The U.S. talked about implementing a similar law back in April 2022, but nothing has been done at the legislative level so far.

In the EU, the procedure hasn’t been legalized either, although Article 15 of Regulation 269/2014 obliges Member States to develop rules on the seizure of assets obtained as a result of sanction regime violations. The concept of “violations” is subject to broad interpretation. For example, Article 9 of the Regulation obliges blocked Russian individuals to provide an account of their assets to EU authorities within 6 weeks. A violation of this requirement may be seen as a circumvention of the sanction regulations. What conclusions can we draw? Presently, we may note several consequences of the Canadian authorities’ initiative.

First, it’s evident that forfeiture risks do exist, and they aren’t lying dormant. The current situation is a red flag for Russian individuals and companies that haven’t yet been sanctioned but own assets in Western countries. They need to understand that their property may be seized, not just frozen. This risk will surely be considered by foreign investors and property owners in those countries that risk becoming targets of Western sanctions in the future. This includes nationals of China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other states. Although it’s unlikely to cause a mass exodus of the citizens of these countries and their assets from Canada and other Western states, the warning signal will be heard.

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But instead they’re crushing the EU economy. Europe better get rid of Ursula and her ilk, fast.

EU Sanctions Goal Is To Crush Russian Economy – Von Der Leyen (RT)

EU sanctions are aimed at plunging the Russian economy into a recession for years to come and depriving the country of crucial technologies, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in an address to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday. The European bloc has imposed nine rounds of sanctions against Russia since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, targeting many sectors of the economy, including energy, high-tech, aviation, banking, mining, automotive and other industries. “We have put in place the strongest sanctions ever, which leave the Russian economy facing a decade of regression and its industry starved of any modern and critical technologies,” von der Leyen said.


The latest restrictions came into force in December and include new export controls and restrictions on dual-use goods and technology, along with products and technology that could be used in the defense and security sectors. The measures target key chemicals, nerve agents, night-vision and radio-navigation equipment, as well as electronics and IT components. Brussels is now working on the next batch of penalties, which will reportedly target Russia’s nuclear industry and diamond trade. Other penalties which the EU is rushing to symbolically implement by February 24 include cutting more Russian banks off from the SWIFT global messaging system and banning more of the country’s media outlets. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the country’s economy is performing “much better than what not only our opponents but even we ourselves predicted” and is on course for further stabilization.

Ursula private war
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615309858789531648

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Ha ha ha: “..severe sanctions on Russia that will plunge the Russian economy into recession for decades..”

Ursula Von Der Leyen: Russia’s Crimes Won’t Go Unpunished (Az.)

Russia’s crimes will not go unpunished, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Report informs. Von der Leyen noted that when the war in Ukraine began, everyone expected that Kyiv would be taken in a matter of days, but they were able to resist. “Many doubted whether Europe’s support would be so unwavering, but today Ukraine is a candidate for EU membership. And European countries are providing more and more weapons to Ukraine. We are also imposing severe sanctions on Russia that will plunge the Russian economy into recession for decades, and its industry will be deprived of modern and critical technologies,” she added.

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Not quite fully suicidal yet…

EU Leaves Back Door Open For Sanctioned Russian Oil (RT)

India may substantially boost its exports of diesel fuel to the EU, refined from Russian oil targeted by Western sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The scheme wouldn’t breach the EU’s regulations, but it highlights the inefficiency inherent in the sanctions policy, the report notes. The EU ban on almost all imports of Russian oil products kicks in on February 5, coinciding with the implementation of a price cap on sea-borne crude shipped from the sanctioned country. The latest Ukraine-related penalties ban Western businesses from providing services, like insurance, for Russian oil cargoes unless it’s purchased at or below $60 per barrel. The ceiling is expected to be revised depending on market conditions.

Until recently, Russia was the biggest external supplier of diesel to EU countries, which have been ramping up purchases ahead of the cutoff. Due to the sanctions, the global market is projected to see a great rerouting of diesel flows as new importers of Russian crude are sending fuel back to the former buyers. Analysts expect a growing risk of higher prices in the short term. Among the new buyers of sanctioned Russian oil products will reportedly be traders in Africa, Latin America and possibly Asia. “The loss of Russian barrels is huge and replacing them will be a huge logistical challenge,” Keshav Lohiya, founder of consultant Oilytics, told Bloomberg. “But the market is pricing in less panic as markets and trade flows have proven resilient. This will be a new rerouting of diesel.”

India’s role in supplying EU member states is reportedly significant, as the South Asian nation has turned into one of the largest importers of discounted Russian crude since last year. At the beginning of 2022, Russia’s share of India’s oil imports amounted to just 0.2%. By the end of last year, it had grown to nearly one million barrels per day, reaching more than 20% of the country’s oil import basket. India, the world’s third-biggest importer of crude oil after China and the US, remained Russia’s top importer for three months in a row as of December. India, along with the US, has recently been boosting exports of diesel, the fuel pillar of the global economy, to the EU, as production levels there currently exceed domestic consumption.

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“The Americans themselves told us ten times that this channel of communication was absolutely confidential and should not be disclosed..”

New Meeting With CIA Director Burns ‘Possible’ – Russian Spy Chief (RT)

Sergey Naryshkin, who heads Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), said he is willing to have a face-to-face with his counterpart from the CIA, Director William Burns. The two previously held a meeting in Ankara in mid-November. The top Russian spy said on Tuesday that a new engagement with Burns was “possible” provided that the parties agree to it, the news agency TASS reported. Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization hosted the previous meeting on November 14 last year, which reportedly lasted for about two and a half hours. The senior officials discussed nuclear threats arising from the Ukraine conflict and ways to mitigate them, according to the American side. Then, Burns reportedly traveled to Kiev to meet Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lamented last month that the event in Türkiye became publicly known, blaming a leak in Washington. “The Americans themselves told us ten times that this channel of communication was absolutely confidential and should not be disclosed … so that it would not be tainted by some propagandistic spin,” he told journalists. “We agreed. But as soon as they landed in Ankara, [the news] got immediately leaked. I don’t know where from, whether it was the White House or the Department of State,” he added. In his interview with TASS on Tuesday, Naryshkin discussed the Ukraine crisis, and Russia’s cooperation with China and Iran.

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“..96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation..”

Crimea’s ‘Return’ To Ukraine Is Impossible – Russian Intelligence Chief (TASS)

Russian Foreign Intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin said on Tuesday that the ‘return’ of Crimea to Ukraine is impossible. “This is impossible,” Naryshkin told TASS commenting on Kiev’s recently announced intentions to launch work on ‘returning back Crimea.’ The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russian, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities that seized power amid riots during the illegitimate coup of February 2014 in Ukraine. Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification treaties on March 18, 2014. The documents were ratified by Russia’s Federal Assembly, or bicameral parliament, on March 21. Despite the overwhelming results of the referendum, Ukraine still refuses to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

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“An America of war all the time everywhere, of tent cities and full jails, of open borders, disappeared manufacturing, opiates, misery, poverty, corruption.”

Destroying Monsters (Helmholtz Smith)

A lot of the people who comment on this blog seem to me to be patriotic Americans. And, it’s clear, if you read the comments, that many of them – probably the majority – want Russia to win the war. This is not because they like Putin or Russia particularly, and certainly not because they’re on the “Putin payroll”. Not at all. These people understand what is really at stake. These are people who know that the American war party (one of many names – deep state, borg, neocons, one percent, MICIMAC) is responsible for pushing Russia to the decision that it made last February. That it is the war party that expanded NATO despite the promises, that arms Ukraine, that encourages the fanatics driving that country, that blocks all routes to a peaceful settlement, that encourages Kiev to squander the lives of its people. But what really concerns these patriotic Americans is the damage the war party has done to their country.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force… She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit… An America of war all the time everywhere, of tent cities and full jails, of open borders, disappeared manufacturing, opiates, misery, poverty, corruption. An America with endless money to spend abroad but none to spend at home. (The hundred billion dollars dumped into Ukraine would give a $200,000 house to every one of the estimated half million homeless in the USA!) An America failing, no longer the American they loved, served and believed in. The Twitter revelations show some of the activities of this enemy embedded in the American polity. It’s very late and many fear that it is too late. How to get this leech off America’s back? Voting can’t make much difference if both parties are manipulated. Is the voting system itself corrupted? Can the judicial system be trusted?

Special counsels who report when it’s too late to matter? The managed media? Some may still believe in these things but the people I’m talking about don’t any more. They can only see one way that the power of this internal enemy can be broken – complete and utter defeat. Defeat that cannot be ignored, cannot be explained away, defeat too big and too obvious for the obedient mass media to bury. And that is why these people want Russia to win. They don’t necessarily like Russia or Putin or dislike Ukraine – it has little to do with either. It’s because they see this as the opportunity for the humiliating defeat that will shatter the power of the internal enemy. The war party assumed that Russia was weak and sanctions would crash its economy and bring down Putin. When this didn’t happen, they doubled down on their failed bet arrogantly certain they were right because everybody they allowed to speak agreed with them. If (when) Russia scores a decisive and undeniable victory, the perpetrators of the disaster will be revealed as corrupt fools wasting your money on their worthless fantasy.

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Useless drivel, and he knows it. They all do.

Kissinger Offers ‘Updated’ Ukraine Plan (RT)

Ukraine’s neutrality is “no longer meaningful” given the circumstances, Henry Kissinger told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday. He endorsed Kiev’s eventual membership in the US-led military bloc, but continued to insist on dialogue with Russia – a stance that earned him a spot on the notorious Ukrainian “kill list.” Kissinger, now 99, was the US secretary of state (1973-1977) and national security advisor (1969-1975), playing a major role in the talks to end the Vietnam War, as well as the policy of pitting China against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. At last year’s Davos gathering, in May, he advocated an urgent end to hostilities in Ukraine, lest Russia is “driven into a permanent alliance with China.” For daring to suggest that Moscow could keep Crimea – which rejoined Russia in 2014 – he was placed on the “Peacemaker” list of Ukraine’s enemies, however.

On Tuesday, he prefaced his remarks with “admiration” for Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky and the “heroic conduct of the Ukrainian people,” before proposing essentially the same peace deal as last year. “Before this war, I was opposed to the membership of Ukraine in NATO, because I feared it would start exactly the process that we have seen,” Kissinger said. “Now that this process has reached this level, the idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions is no longer meaningful.” “I believe Ukrainian membership in NATO would be [an] appropriate outcome.” In Kissinger’s view, the way to prevent the conflict from escalating is to do exactly what Kiev, the US and its allies have been doing so far: demand a Russian withdrawal, while giving Ukraine military and financial aid and maintaining “sanctions and other pressures” on Moscow.

Russia should be given an “opening” to rejoin the West, “if it meets the required conditions to participate as a member in these European processes,” the elderly diplomat argued. It is important, he said, to avoid the perception that the conflict has become “against Russia itself,” which may cause Russians to re-evaluate both their historic “attraction to the culture of Europe and a fear of domination by Europe.” Kissinger also said that the US-led military alliance ought to be the guarantor of the final peace settlement “in whatever forms NATO can develop.”

While his proposal flattered the Western perception that Ukraine was winning on the battlefield with the help of NATO weapons, Kissinger chose to ignore the agency of both Kiev and Moscow. Zelensky has categorically rejected any sort of ceasefire unless Russia capitulates, while the Kremlin is on the record that any deal must concede that Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye are parts of Russia – with Crimea being off the table altogether. It was also unclear whether Moscow would accept any Western-mediated negotiations at all, after former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s admission – later echoed by French ex-president Francois Hollande – that the 2014 Minsk armistice was not arranged in good faith, but intended to “give Ukraine time” to prepare for war.

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Good overview by Petr Svab.

Key Revelations of the ‘Twitter Files’ (ET)

The journalists have only released a fraction of the documents they reviewed. They’ve also redacted the names of employees involved, aside from some high-level executives. The documents show that the FBI and other state, local, and federal agencies have been scrutinizing the political speech of Americans on a significant scale, and trying to get lawful speech suppressed or removed online. Many conservative and traditionally liberal commentators have deemed that a violation of the First Amendment. Twitter, a major hub of political speech, has been among the main targets of censorship. Many news stories have broken on Twitter in recent years, and a significant portion of the nation’s political debate takes place on the platform, as it allows an efficient way for direct and public interaction between users, from the most prominent to the least.


Twitter resisted some censorship requests, but there was little sign the company did so as a matter of principle. Rather, executives sometimes couldn’t find a policy they could use as a justification. Prior Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was under pressure from his lieutenants to expand the policies to allow more thorough censorship, the documents show. “The hypothesis underlying much of what we’ve implemented is that if exposure, e.g., misinformation directly causes harm, we should use remediations that reduce exposure, and limiting the spread/virality of content is a good way to do that (by just reducing prevalence overall),” said Yoel Roth, then Twitter’s head of trust and safety, which governs content policy, in a 2021 internal message published by Weiss. “We got Jack on board with implementing this for civic integrity in the near term, but we’re going to need to make a more robust case to get this into our repertoire of policy remediations—especially for other policy domains.”

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“The billionaire who became the most influential boss in the world explained that his decision was due to the fact that he found Davos boring. ”

Elon Musk Throws Shade on the WEF (Street)

The World Economic Forum in Davos is back to normal. The annual meeting of the world’s political and economic elites opened on January 16 in the ski resort of Davos in Switzerland. After nearly a year of war in Ukraine and in the face of the climate emergency, this year’s ambition is to find a way to “cooperate in a fragmented world” between war in Ukraine, climate change and globalization in existential crisis. “The world today is at a critical inflection point,” the World Economic Forum (WEF) said on its website. “The twin triggers of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine rattled an already brittle global system. Economic growth in the world’s largest economies is stalling, while navigating headwinds from rising food and energy prices.” This year, the meeting “is held in the most complex geopolitical and geo-economic context for decades”, underlined the president of the WEF, Borge Brende.

The Covid-19 pandemic, trade disputes between China and the United States, and the war in Ukraine have contributed in recent years to multiplying geopolitical fault lines and fueling more protectionist policies. One of the main causes of this fragmentation is a lack of cooperation, and it results in short-term and selfish policies, regretted the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schwab. To reflect and discuss all these issues, the WEF welcomes 52 heads of state and government and nearly 600 CEOs, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink. One major CEO will not be there, however. Musk had revealed in December to have received an invitation but to have declined it. “I was invited to WEF, but declined,” the billionaire said on Dec. 24. The billionaire who became the most influential boss in the world explained that his decision was due to the fact that he found Davos boring.

“My reason for declining the Davos invitation was not because I thought they were engaged in diabolical scheming, but because it sounded boring,” the serial entrepreneur explained on December 31. Musk’s refusal to take part in the Davos Forum comes at a time when this circle of political leaders, business executives, cultural trend-setters and international organization chiefs is facing increasingly violent criticism. These critics challenge the power and influence of this gathering of elites, and in particular of its founder. Musk seems to share these criticisms. This is what he has just suggested in a message posted on Twitter on January 15, the day before the opening of the Forum. If the Techno King, his title at Tesla, recognizes the need to have a space or a forum where there are exchanges and a dialogue between the private sector and the governments, he seems to think that the World Economic Forum is not the good frame or is just all perfect.

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“..the DOJ’s willingness to let Biden’s lawyers conduct unsupervised searches is obviously fraught with concern..”

You cannot have two different justice systems.

FBI Decided Not To Monitor Biden Document Search (ZH)

After President Biden’s lawyers found classified documents at an office he used at a DC think tank, His Justice Department considered, and then declined, a plan to have FBI agents monitor a search for classified documents at his residences, in order to ‘avoid complicating later stages of the investigation,’ and because Biden’s attorneys ‘had quickly turned over a first batch and were cooperating,’ the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Instead, the DOJ decided that it would be just fine for Biden’s lawyers to conduct the additional searches by themselves, and would agree to immediately notify the Justice Department if they found any other potentially classified records – after which law-enforcement authorities would take them.

The arrangement meant that FBI agents wouldn’t bear witness to things such as the volume, or contents, of whatever might turn up. This is, of course, the same FBI that participated in a plan (and fabricated evidence) in a plot to frame former President Trump as a Russian asset, and then ran cover for the Bidens during the 2020 US election – telling social media companies that Hunter Biden’s laptop, or anything like it, was likely Russian disinformation. In the week since news reports first surfaced about the documents, the incident has drawn parallels to the discovery of a much larger number of documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, which federal agents obtained a warrant to search in August after more than a year of negotiations between Mr. Trump’s lawyers, the National Archives and the Justice Department and after Mr. Trump’s lawyers said all documents had been returned. -WSJ

After the initial finding at the Penn-Biden Center in early November (and not disclosed until last week), classified materials were discovered on three separate occasions in Biden’s Wilmington house in December and January, in the garage and a room adjacent to it, White House lawyer Richard Sauber said last week. According to Sauber, the documents were “inadvertently placed” at the locations. Trump supporters have accused the DOJ of a double standard in the handling of the Biden situation vs. Trump’s. And of course, as President, Trump’s ability to declassify the documents obtained in the raid remains a constitutional grey area. Biden’s supporters have pointed to the president’s cooperation, however the DOJ’s willingness to let Biden’s lawyers conduct unsupervised searches is obviously fraught with concern. According to the White House, it’s no big deal.

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“..Robert Hur is a protégé of Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general under Trump who reportedly offered to wear a wire to spy on the previous president.”

Not a Coup, but a Coverup (ET)

The Nov. 14, 2022, article was evidence that the Biden circle was walking back its scorched-earth campaign against Trump on classified papers. Nearly three months later, it’s clear why—to reframe the context for when news of Biden’s own problems with classified documents went public. When the story broke last week in administration-friendly media outlets, Democratic lawmakers not only rallied around the president but also compared his response favorably to Trump’s. Unlike Trump’s team that argued with the institution tasked to keep U.S. records, Biden’s lawyers, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) intimated, “appear to have taken immediate and proper action to notify the National Archives.”

Dozens of media publications, from The New York Times to Vox, have published explainers showing why what Trump did is much worse than what Biden did. Trump had more documents, the argument runs; Biden’s lawyers were more forthright; and so forth. The fact is that no one on the Democratic side has broken with the president or even so much as hinted that he did something wrong. This isn’t what an internal coup looks like. The special counsel appointed to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents identifies as a Republican but he appears to be a Never Trump Republican. Robert Hur is a protégé of Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general under Trump who reportedly offered to wear a wire to spy on the previous president.

Rosenstein furthered the anti-Trump cause by withholding documents from the investigation led by former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) into alleged FBI crimes and abuses committed during the bureau’s Trump–Russia probe. He also allegedly threatened to subpoena Nunes’s staffers, including Kash Patel. A winter 2018 chain of emails between Department of Justice officials shows that Hur was part of the law enforcement team tasked to stonewall Nunes’s investigation. Former congressional investigators say that Hur’s appointment as special counsel is intended not to uncover potential crimes committed by the president but rather to give the appearance of a genuine investigation and thereby bury the issue once and for all. And thus, actions taken by the Biden administration and the responses of Democratic officials and the media show that what’s unfolding at present isn’t a coup, but a coverup.

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“There’s a temptation in every one of these kinds of crises to hunker down..”

Biden in ‘Very Big’ Mess Over Document Scandal – David Gergen (ET)

The brewing scandal of classified documents poses a very serious problem for President Joe Biden, warned David Gergen, a White House adviser-turned-political analyst. Speaking on CNN on Saturday, Gregen was asked by host Anderson Cooper how big a mess the Biden administration is in following the discoveries of classified documents at Biden’s private offices. He responded, “It’s a very, very big deal.” News broke earlier this week that classified material dating from Biden’s vice presidency had been found in the Washington office of the Penn Biden Center, a think tank affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, in the days leading up to the 2022 midterm elections. The White House later admitted that more pages of classified documents were discovered in the president’s Delaware home.

The “Biden people” are not dealing with this political crisis properly, according to Gergen, a former adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. “I do think that they may be making a big mistake,” he said. “I don’t think sitting there, hunkering down now, just acting like it’s not out there, is a good strategy. They’re going to get creamed doing that,” Gergen told Cooper, noting that the longer the White House remains reluctant to tell the truth, the more eager the American public will become to ask the question, “What are they hiding?” “As matters now stand, that long delay in putting it out there is going to encourage people to believe, ‘Well, what are they hiding?’” he said.

Instead of giving in to the temptation to hunker down, Biden should simply “get the facts out,” Gergen argued, pointing to the Iran-Contra affair that occurred during Reagan’s second term. When it was exposed that the CIA had secretly sold missiles and other military weapons to Iran in exchange for some Americans held hostage by Iran-backed terrorists and used the money to fund anti-communist Contra fighters in Nicaragua, the Reagan administration’s popularity took a dip, largely because of the White House’s unsuccessful damage control attempts. “There’s a temptation in every one of these kinds of crises to hunker down,” he said. “You are going all the way back to Iran-Contra and other kind of crises like that. You’ve just got to get the facts out.”

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Trojan Horse redux.

The Renewable Energy Problem That No One Talks About (ET)

Traditional generators use turbines—steam turbines, open-cycle turbines, and water turbines (hydroelectricity). This equipment is called “synchronous” because the frequency of the electricity they produce is directly linked to the speed that the shafts of the turbines rotate. Because these machines are large and heavy, it takes time and energy to speed them up or slow them down, which means that the frequency of the electricity cannot change too quickly. This is called “inertia.” As you may imagine, solar panels, having no moving parts, do not provide inertia. They match whatever frequency is already in the system; they do not help stabilise it.

Wind turbines, though they do have large spinning components, change speed all the time merely due to wind conditions. Hence they are not designed to synchronise with the AC network. So they do not provide inertia either. If a system does not have inertia, then instead of gently responding to a change in load, the frequency can flail about like a cyclist getting speed wobbles (any engine can have the same problem if it doesn’t have a sufficiently heavy flywheel). After the 2016 blackout, energy security gained its rightful place as the highest priority for a few glorious and brief weeks. A package of actions was taken by the South Australian government over the next couple of years, including the installation of a large-scale battery (following a promise by Elon Musk to construct it within 100 days or provide it for free), the building of a new diesel power station, and providing incentives for new natural gas exploration and production.

Additionally, two synchronous condensers were installed. Synchronous condensers are large, heavy rotating shafts, similar to what is contained in a turbine, but they don’t produce electricity—they just help to stabilise the frequency of the network. In the subsequent years, each of these responses was vindicated. The diesel generator has been used at several critical times. It was also found that the primary value of the large-scale battery was to stabilise the network. Though it stores comparatively little energy, the battery responds rapidly to faults originating anywhere in the east coast network, even in Queensland. It has since been programmed to provide “virtual inertia.”

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Ducklings
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615136819959500800

 

 

The perfect geometry of Hoya flowers. five-pointed double-star shapes that bloom from a sphere called an umbel

 

 


The Indian flower mantis

 

 

YOU’RE A WONDERFUL ONE

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 042023
 


M.C. Escher Fluorescent sea 1933

 

Soldiers’ Widows Group Calls On Putin To Order Major Mobilisation (R.)
Putin: West ‘Lied About Peace’ While Planning for War (Celente)
Making Sense Of NATO Strikes Against Russia (Saker)
Japan Starts Official Investigation Into Millions of COVID Vaccine Deaths (NP)
The Wellness Company Requests Damar Hamlin Vaccine Status be Revealed (TWC)
California Bill To Punish Doctors For ‘False’ Covid-19 Information (ZH)
German Doctor Jailed For Illegally Issuing Mask Exemptions (AP)
College of Psychologists of Ontario attempt to Strip Jordan Peterson of his License
Documents Reveal How ‘Russiagate’ Was Used For Twitter Censorship (RT)
Elon Musk Calls for Investigation Into George Soros (TPN)
Twitter Announces Decision On Political Ads (RT)
The Film Scene that Foretold Our Current Moral Catastrophe (Leake)
Lula Halts Privatization Of Brazil’s State Companies (RT)
Switzerland Rejects Gender Ideology, Rules Sex Is Binary (Slay)

 

 

 

 

RFK jr
https://twitter.com/i/status/1610033806005657601

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson’s Recommendations For A Flailing Kevin McCarthy
-Release The January 6th Files
-Put @RepThomasMassie In Charge Of A New Frank Church Committee Designed To Discover What The FBI & Intel Agencies Have Been Doing To Control Domestic Politics

 

 

The man needs help.

 

 

McLuhan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musk Barra

 

 

 

 

The Reuters headline continues “… For Ukraine War”. But the widows talk about “the coming war”.

“The coming war will require completely different resources: human, psychological, economic,” she told Reuters. “Protecting the Motherland is a duty.”

Soldiers’ Widows Group Calls On Putin To Order Major Mobilisation (R.)

A little known patriotic group which supports the widows of Russian soldiers has called on President Vladimir Putin to order a large-scale mobilisation of millions of men and to close the borders to ensure victory in Ukraine. Putin, Russia’s 70-year-old paramount leader, is under intense pressure to deliver victory in Ukraine more than 10 months since he sent troops as part of an operation he says was intended to defend Russians in eastern Ukraine. “We ask our President, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, to allow the Russian Army to carry out a large-scale mobilisation,” the Soldiers’ Widows of Russia group said in a post on Telegram. “We ask our President, our Supreme Commander-in-Chief, to prohibit the departure of men of military age from Russia. And we have a full moral right to do this: our husbands died protecting these men, but who will protect us if they run away?”

After ordering what he cast as a “partial mobilisation” on Sept. 21, Russia’s first since World War Two, around 300,000 additional men were drafted, though several hundred thousand more Russian men fled abroad to avoid being called up. The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the appeal from the widows’ group. Putin said last month that there was no need for an additional mobilisation. A representative of the widows’ group told Reuters that all fit Russian men should be mobilised to defend the Motherland. “The coming war will require completely different resources: human, psychological, economic,” she told Reuters. “Protecting the Motherland is a duty.”

Putin has for months been casting the war as part of a much wider historical struggle between Russia and the West which the Kremlin chief says wants to carve up and destroy Russia. Western powers deny they aim to destroy Russia. In a grim New Year’s Eve message, Putin said that defending the Motherland was the sacred duty of all Russians and promised victory in Ukraine. Ukraine and the West say Putin has no justification for what they cast as an imperial-style war of occupation. The widows group began work about two months ago to assist the wives of soldiers killed in Ukraine and has contacts with the Kremlin administration, its representative said. “We are in constant contact with the presidential administration, and if necessary, we transmit requests to it in order to receive this or that support,” the representative said.

Invoking Soviet leader Josef Stalin, the group said that now was the time for tough measures to defend against the evil forces coalescing around Russia’s borders. “Today, all the world’s evil has united against Russia – the entire Western world has turned against us,” the group said. “It’s either us or them, there is no other choice.” Stalin in 1942 issued Order No. 227 which became known as the “Not a step back” order. It was an attempt to establish discipline within the Red Army though thousands of Soviet troops were shot by their own side for alleged cowardice. Stalin “did not think about ratings or dissatisfaction among dissidents: he thought only of victory,” the group said. “Now is not the time to be cowardly.”

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“..the main reason for what happened [in the attack] was the turning on and mass use mobile phones by personnel – contrary to the ban – within the range of enemy weapons.”

Putin: West ‘Lied About Peace’ While Planning for War (Celente)

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the public during his annual New Year’s speech and warned them of a prolonged conflict in Ukraine and blamed the West for tricking the Kremlin that it was seeking peace in the region, while helping Kyiv prepare for war. “The West lied about peace while preparing for aggression. They are cynically using Ukraine and its people to weaken and divide Russia,” Putin said. Putin’s comment came weeks after former German Chancellor Angela Merkel slipped and said the Minsk agreements were an effective ruse to give Ukraine time to “get stronger” for its next conflict with Russia. She said Ukraine used the ceasefire after the two peace deals as a time to get stronger, “as you can see today.”

“The Ukraine of 2014/15 is not the Ukraine of today. As you saw in the battle for Debaltseve in early 2015, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin could easily have overrun them at the time. And I very much doubt that the NATO countries could have done as much then as they do now to help Ukraine,” she said. The ruse was well-known among the political elite in the region, even before Merkel’s comments. In 2015, Pyotr Poroshenko, the U.S.-backed stooge who became president of Ukraine after the 2014 US-backed coup, told an audience that the Minsk deal was a ruse to buy time for a military build-up. Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said Merkel’s comments “horrifyingly” reveal that the West uses “forgery as a method of action,” RT reported. She accused the West of employing “machinations, manipulation, and all kinds of distortions of truth, law, and rights imaginable.”

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that about 90 Russian troops were killed when a Ukrainian missile detonated at a building in the city of Makeyevka in Donetsk People’s Republic just after midnight on 1 January, RT.com, the Russian news outlet, reported. Lt. Gen. Sergey Sevryukov told reporters it is “already obvious that the main reason for what happened was the turning on and mass use mobile phones by personnel – contrary to the ban – within the range of enemy weapons.” The RT report said the missiles in the attack were launched by a U.S.-supplied HIMARS rocket system, which was destroyed in a retaliatory strike.

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“I fully concur with those who, like Macgregor, have been announcing a major combined arms offensive this Spring, but it will happen when Putin decides it, not when NATO wants it.”

Making Sense Of NATO Strikes Against Russia (Saker)

[..] we need to mention a deep cultural difference between the Russian society and the western one: most Russians have a much better understanding of war than the folks in the West. This is true for civilians all the way through the generals. There are many reasons for that, but just to name a few: • Many Russians have military training (basic or more advanced) • Almost every Russian has lost family members during WWII and, therefore, know how ugly war is. Russian culture, from books to movies, is chock full of war stories, and not of the Tom Clancy type, but the real thing. • Wars in Chechnia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Georgia, Syria, Armenia and many more conflicts have “educated” the Russian society about the painful realities of war. Unlike the hallucinations of the (fake) “friends of Russia” in the West, the “Strelkovites” and other assorted “allislosters” in Russia have very little traction or credibility with the Russian general public.

Simply put – Russians trust Surovikin (and Putin!) much, much, more than these hysterical FUDers because they instinctively feel that what is needed is not anger, but focus. [..] NATO is trying really hard to force the Russians into a “NATO schedule” and out of their planned schedule. An added beneficial side-effect from such “for optics only” strikes is to give the morons in Congress a rationale to put even more money into the US MIC. As for forcing Russia to attack in suboptimal conditions, that won’t happen. Neither Putin, nor Shoigu, nor Gerasimov nor Surovikin are the types who will respond to hysterics with “for optics only” actions (just look at their faces, I mean it!). And this also goes for the entire General Staff. I fully concur with those who, like Macgregor, have been announcing a major combined arms offensive this Spring, but it will happen when Putin decides it, not when NATO wants it.

Right now, the Russian meat grinder is inflicting such losses on the Ukraine that it really makes no sense for the Russians to stop it. But, sooner or later, even this will eventually yield diminishing marginal returns and, by then, the Russian forces (there are three of them around the Ukraine) will be fully ready, trained, equipped and poised to attack. The big unknown (to us, the Russians probably already know) is what NATO will do when this offensive happens. You can be sure that the “best” minds (relatively speaking) in the US are working on the following task: how to trigger a continental war without directly and officially involving the United States? I don’t have an answer to this, your guess is as good as mine 🙂 Any suggestions? Andrei

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But we do not?!

Japan Starts Official Investigation Into Millions of COVID Vaccine Deaths (NP)

According to reports, Japanese researchers have been instructed to investgate the mechanisms by which experimental mRNA jabs could be causing deaths and severe adverse reactions. Hiroshima University School of Medicine Prof. Masataka Nagao highlighted how the bodies of vaccinated persons he performed autopsies on were abnormally warm, with upwards of 100 degree F body temperatures. “The first concern was that the body temperatures of the corpses were very high when the police performed the autopsy,” Nagao declared. “The body temperatures were unusually high, such as 33 or 34 degrees celsius (91-93ºF).” Infowars.com reports: In other bodies, Nagao says “temperatures were very high at the time of death. Their body temperatures were above the normal temperature, more like over 40 degrees celsius (104ºF).”

Graphing the data, Nagao’s research team found there were significant changes to the genetic makeup of vaccinated autopsied patients’ immune systems. The research has led Nagao to conclude the vaccine causes immune system abnormalities that prompt inflammation throughout the body, which is likely the cause of the high body temperatures at the time of autopsy. “Based on the data and the circumstances alone, it is not possible to conclude that the vaccine was the cause of the deaths,” Prof. Nagao said, adding, “However, it is impossible to say that the vaccine was not the cause. We can only say that it is doubtful, but we believe that vaccination was sufficiently related to the immune abnormalities.”

In another report, dermatology expert Prof. Shigetoshi Sano of the Kochi University School of Medicine discussed discovering spike proteins at the site of skin lesions and other skin problems on patients who were vaccinated. “The spike protein derived from the vaccine was found in the skin,” Sano explained, highlighting a slide showing a bright green region on a lesion made visible by a special dye. “Spike proteins are locally suppressing the immune system,” Sano told reporters. “As a result, the spike proteins facilitate in reactivation of the herpesvirus.” The process of the spike proteins degrading in the immune system prompts inflammation throughout the body that also leads to blood clots, Sano concluded. “The function of the spike proteins to produce adverse reactions is formation of blood clots,” Sano explained. “And even worse, spike proteins can also locally induce inflammation.”

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He was boostervaxxed Dec 26.

The Wellness Company Requests Damar Hamlin Vaccine Status be Revealed (TWC)

Last night, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest, during his game in Cincinnati. Hamlin required CPR to restore his heart beat and was rushed to UC Medical Center in Cincinnati where he is listed in critical condition. As a result of this shocking injury, the remainder of the Bills-Bengals game was suspended. This morning, much of the sports and medical world is wondering what exactly happened on the field to Damar Hamlin. While the mainstream media has been quick to write off any concern with Hamlin’s vaccination status as a “conspiracy theory,” leading medical experts believe that Hamlin’s vaccination status is certainly relevant and could have played a contributing or even primary factor in his cardiac arrest.

Dr. Peter McCullough, one of the world’s leading cardiologists, and the Chief Scientific Officer for The Wellness Company said, “I watched the play live both as a fan and a cardiologist and I saw blunt neck and chest trauma, a brief recovery after the tackle and then a classic cardiac arrest. I have communicated to one of the most experienced trainers in the world and we agree that it was a cardiac arrest in the setting of a big surge of adrenalin. If Damar Hamlin indeed took one of the COVID-19 vaccines, then subclinical vaccine-induced myocarditis must be considered in the differential diagnosis.” Dr. Paul Alexander, a Senior Advisor to The Wellness Company, and one of the leading scholars on COVID-19 and the vaccines, wrote in his substack that this, “form of on-field cardiac arrest with exertion, is consistently following COVID gene injection vaccine administration in similarly young athletes.

We await more information yet until I see otherwise, this was vaccine. Was this a rhythm disturbance due to silent myocarditis (that his heart was damaged and not functioning optimally prior to the shot) that the body shot made worse and caused the cardiac arrest? A 24-year old strong young fit athlete like this does not suffer cardiac arrest like this. This was not due to the hit, IMO and I base this on the landscape that has accumulated since February 2021. No matter how many times you look at this on tape. If he took COVID gene mRNA/DNA injection vaccine and near 100% he did (the NFL league mandated it), then this is likely a result of the COVID gene injection (cannot be ruled out and has some role).”

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“.. the state’s Medical Board would categorize dispensing information – such as the effectiveness of Ivermectin, or the Covid-19 vaccine’s rapidly waning efficacy, as unprofessional conduct..”

California Bill To Punish Doctors For ‘False’ Covid-19 Information (ZH)

A bill which allows the state of California to punish doctors over ‘false information about Covid-19 vaccinations and treatments’ went into effect on January 1st. Under the new law (AB 2098) which took effect Jan.1, the state’s Medical Board would categorize dispensing information – such as the effectiveness of Ivermectin, or the Covid-19 vaccine’s rapidly waning efficacy, as unprofessional conduct. The law was challenged in court by two California doctors, who said that it would restrict their free speech in violation of the first amendment, and that it was “vague” under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. However on December 28th, Biden Nominee Judge Fred Slaughter refused to halt the law, ruling that the law trumps free speech claims, and that it falls “within the longstanding tradition of regulations on the practice of medical treatments.”

Another lawsuit, brought by Physicians for Informed Consent, was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California in early December. The plaintiffs, physician LeTrinh Hoang and Children’s Health Defense, are being represented by Rick Jaffe, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Mary Holland, and argues that the state of California has weaponized the vague phrase “misinformation,” and thereby has illegally targeted physicians who disagree with the government’s public stance on Covid-19.”Expert cardiologist and PIC member Sanjay Verma, M.D., has been tracking and cataloging CDC errors in real time. For the case, he has provided what he calls “a detailed declaration exposing the government’s scientific errors and the constitutional dangers of censoring dissent”:

“To demonstrate these points of vagueness and the general unsuitability of using ‘contemporary scientific consensus’ as a disciplinary criterion, I have prepared a detailed overview of public health response to the pandemic broken down into categories such as Masks and Vaccines (transmission, safety, efficacy of natural immunity). I have also included evidence of what [I testify] would be considered misinformation promulgated by the CDC as well as its withholding of information which led to the then ‘contemporary scientific consensus’ eventually being proven wrong.” -KRON4 “

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“..two years and nine months in prison..”

German Doctor Jailed For Illegally Issuing Mask Exemptions (AP)

A German doctor was sentenced late Monday to two years and nine months in prison for illegally issuing more than 4,000 people with exemptions from wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic. A regional court in the southwestern town of Weinheim confirmed Tuesday that the doctor was convicted of “issuing incorrect health certificates” to people from across Germany, most of whom she had never met or examined. In addition to the prison sentence she was handed a three-year work ban and ordered to pay 28,000 euros ($29,550), the sum she had received for issuing the medical certificates. Her office assistant was fined 2,700 euros.


“The process is more reminiscent of a sale of certificates than a medical procedure,” the court said in a statement. It noted that she was not faulted for providing certificates to her existing patients. During the trial the defendant had argued that wearing masks was harmful to people’s health. The doctor’s lawyer intends to appeal the verdict, public broadcaster SWR reported. Dozens of supporters gathered outside the court in Weinheim, north of Heidelberg, to protest against the verdict and Germany’s pandemic restrictions. Germany ended requirements to wear masks in many indoor settings last year, though they are still compulsory on long-distance trains, in doctors’ practices, hospitals, nursing homes and on some regional public transport.

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“..mandatory social media communication retraining..”

College of Psychologists Attempt to Strip Jordan Peterson of his License (BJD)

Canadian psychologist and author Dr. Jordan Peterson could be stripped of his license to practice clinical psychology over his sharing of political posts on social media. The College of Psychologists of Ontario which regulates the profession in his home province has disciplined Peterson over the sharing of political posts on Twitter. Peterson says he got in hot water with the College because he retweeted posts about PM Justin Trudeau, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre, Trudeau advisor, Gerald Butts, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and others. The College has ordered Peterson to undergo mandatory social media communication retraining to “modify his objectionable behavior.” It’s unclear what it is about the Tweets or the sharing of them that may violate the College’s Code of Ethics. Either way, Peterson says he will not comply.

“I have absolutely refused to do so,” said Peterson. The next step for the College is to demand he submit to an ‘in-person’ disciplinary hearing. If Peterson does not satisfy the College and commit to changing his behavior, it could strip him of his license to practice. “Canada has been given over to the commissars,” Peterson said, “something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.” He says he’ll make the issue public in the days ahead. Some of the posts that may be drawing the ire of the College include one on December 24th in which Peterson tweeted out a link to Conrad Black’s column in the National Post: A moral imperative for Trudeau Liberals to resign. Then on December 27th, he tweeted, I learned to watch for people’s psychological age during my years doing intensive clinical work. @JustinTrudeau appears to me to be perpetually 14 yrs old.

Even the German socialists have figure this out. Are you watching, @JustinTrudeau — the man who claimed there was “no business case” for supplying our German allies, in the face of the Russian war, with LNG? Every year that our marionette PM stays in power is a “tough year” for Canadians @JustinTrudeau @theJagmeetSingh (and the latter props him up and complains about doing so constantly) Has Jordan Peterson become The government of Canada’s latest political target for holding the wrong opinion?

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The formatting is still not great. To read Taibbi’s latest you must scroll through endless Twitter threads or subscribe to his Substack. I don’t want to. Keep it easily accessible, Elon!

Documents Reveal How ‘Russiagate’ Was Used For Twitter Censorship (RT)

Internal documents from Twitter made public on Tuesday show how the social media platform was pressured to follow the US intelligence community’s lead on censorship back in 2017. Key Democrats in the US Congress, a British university and two media outlets – Politico and BuzzFeed – played a major role in the process, which revolved around the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory, according to research by Matt Taibbi. In a pattern established in just six weeks, from August to October 2017, Twitter went from being on nobody’s radar to agreeing to take orders from US spies as to whom to censor, Taibbi wrote on Substack. “Threats from Congress came first, then a rush of bad headlines (inspired by leaks from congressional committees), and finally a series of moderation demands coming from the outside,” he added.

In a 30-tweet thread, Taibbi showed emails and other internal documents he obtained, thanks to Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk. Democrats had accused Russia of helping Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election. Their claim that Trump had ties with Moscow was a “dossier” fabricated by a British spy. From there, they insinuated that WikiLeaks publishing internal DNC documents and personal emails of Clinton’s campaign had something to do with Moscow, while “Russian bots and trolls” posted “misinformation” on social media that somehow undermined the elections. By August 2017, Facebook was purging accounts accused of being “linked to Russia.” Unconcerned, Twitter sent over a list of 22 “possible” Russian accounts to the Senate Intelligence Committee, only to be denounced by Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat.

By the end of September, Twitter VP for Public Policy Colin Crowell was warning that “Warner has political incentive to keep this issue at top of the news, maintain pressure on us and [the] rest of industry to keep producing material for them.” Crowell also noted the Democrats were “taking cues from Hillary Clinton,” and that only Warner and his House counterpart Congressman Adam Schiff were seeking any comments from social media companies. Meanwhile, as Taibbi put it, “a torrent of stories sourced to the [committee] poured into the news,” while several Senators – including Warner but also John McCain, an anti-Trump Arizona Republican – proposed bills that would have cracked down on social media.

A “Russia Task Force” set up by Twitter on October 2 found “no evidence of a coordinated approach” by October 13. The final report on October 23 found “32 suspicious accounts and only 17 of those are connected with Russia.” Of those, only two spent anything close to $10,000 on advertising – and one of them was RT. Policy Director Carlos Monje admits in an October 18 memo that “our ads policy and product changes are an effort to anticipate congressional oversight.” One of these changes was the October 26 ban on advertising by RT and Sputnik. A November 22 internal email accuses the Senate Intelligence Committee of leaking Twitter’s internal report to the media. A Politico story accusing Twitter of deleting files is followed by a BuzzFeed article alleging a German-language bot network with “signs of being connected to Russia.” The committee demands a report based on the story, which Twitter’s Yoel Roth dutifully writes up.

“You can see how the Russian cyber-threat was essentially conjured into being, with political and media pressure serving as the engine inflating something Twitter believed was negligible and uncoordinated to massive dimensions,” Taibbi wrote. All of this results in the internal instructions to ban anything “identified by the US intelligence community as a state-sponsored entity conducting cyber-operations.” It was the first step in the process that would eventually lead to the FBI and the Biden White House telling Twitter exactly whom to censor.

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“George, please slide into my DMs!”

Elon Musk Calls for Investigation Into George Soros (TPN)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk is calling for an investigation into billionaire George Soros for controlling information. George Soros has been a topic of discussion recently, as various liberal organizations have written a letter urging major American corporations such as Coca-Cola, Disney, and Kraft Foods to boycott Twitter. Interestingly, some of these same groups are financially supported by Soros himself. In light of this, Elon Musk tweeted about the need for a thorough investigation into these organizations. “Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …” Musk initially tweeted. He then followed up: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” “Interesting. I wonder if those funding these organizations are fully aware of what the organizations are doing,” Musk added.

The Twitter CEO also unleashed on the Open Society Foundations, an organization funded by Soros himself. “George, please slide into my DMs!” Musk has been exposing liberal elites left and right. Last week, the Twitter CEO exposed Dr. Anthony Fauci and his wife Christine Grady’s corrupt working relationship. The comments from Musk came in a series of tweets where he unleashed on Fauci for his questionable past relating to his so-called “gain-of-function” research. “Fauci bypassed the moratorium on gain-of-function research to fund dangerous projects like EcoHealth Alliance’s work in Wuhan,” said an account on Twitter. “He then worked internally to changed NIH’s definition of GoF to evade culpability. In 2022, he awarded more $ to Peter Daszak for more GoF research.”

““Gain-of-function” should be called “bioweapon” research, as the function referred is death! What was the name changed to this time?” Musk replied. ““Gain-of-function” in this context is just another way of saying “bioweapon”. Some good nuggets in article. Important to note that Fauci authored 2012 paper arguing for gain-of-function research! Obama wisely put this on pause, but Fauci restarted it,” Musk tweeted as he attached an article from Yahoo News. Musk continued, “Despite these glaring issues, Twitter nonetheless had an internal Slack channel unironically called “Fauci Fan Club””

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“align our advertising policy with that of TV and other media outlets”

Twitter Announces Decision On Political Ads (RT)

Twitter is set to relax its ban on political advertising, saying the policy change would take effect in the coming weeks. The announcement follows reports of an exodus of advertisers from the website after Musk’s multi-billion dollar takeover last year. The platform’s Twitter Safety account highlighted the decision on Tuesday, noting that it would soon “align our advertising policy with that of TV and other media outlets” regarding political material. “Today, we’re relaxing our ads policy for cause-based ads in the US. We also plan to expand the political advertising we permit in the coming weeks,” it said, adding “We believe cause-based advertising can facilitate public conversation around important topics.”

Twitter initially banned some forms of political ads back in 2019 – prior to Musk’s acquisition of the company last October – breaking ranks with other major sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. At the time, Twitter argued that political influence should not be purchased, but earned through sincere public interest. However, as the site’s new owner, Musk has pushed to scale back content restrictions, vowing to make Twitter a refuge for free speech while ushering in a range of policy changes.

The decision to resume political ads could be part of efforts to gin up new business, as Twitter has reportedly lost around half of its top 100 advertisers and a handful of smaller ones since Musk took over. It is unclear whether those companies will return, as a number of businesses said they would pause their ads temporarily, some citing concerns over the alleged growth in hate speech on the platform under Musk’s leadership. While the exact details of the upcoming rule change remain unclear, Twitter said it would “first ensure that our approach to reviewing and approving content protects people” before any alterations are made, adding that it would reveal more about the move in the coming weeks.

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Crime writer John Leake works with Dr. Peter McCullough.

The Film Scene that Foretold Our Current Moral Catastrophe (Leake)

It’s one of the most memorable scenes in all of cinematic history, and it’s the scene that inspired me to become a true crime author. In 2001 I lived in Vienna, around the corner from the Burgkino (Burg Cinema) which still played the 1949 film noir classic The Third Man on its big screen every weekend. I spent many a dreary winter Sunday afternoon watching the film. Based on the novella and screenplay by Graham Greene, The Third Man is a crime story about Harry Lime—an American running a medical charity in Vienna, who makes a killing selling penicillin on the bombed out, impoverished city’s black market. To increase his profits, he cuts the drug with other substances, thereby destroying its efficacy and causing the patients (including children) to die horribly from their infections.

In the film’s most iconic scene, the good guy (played by Joseph Cotton) meets his old friend Harry Lime (played by Orson Welles) on the Giant Ferris wheel in the Vienna Prater amusement park and tries to appeal to his conscience. At the wheel’s apex, the charismatic Harry opens the door, points down to people walking on the ground below, and says: Look down there. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax. … Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t, why should we? They talk about the people and the proletariat; I talk about the suckers and the mugs. It’s the same thing. They have their five-year plans, and so have I.

I sensed that Graham Greene might have based the story on something he’d witnessed or heard about. Doing some research, I learned that Harry Lime was probably based on the British spy Harold “Kim” Philby, with whom Greene worked in British intelligence during World War II. Greene, it seems, discovered that Philby was a Soviet double agent long before he was exposed as such in 1963. Instead of ratting out his friend, he kept it to himself and left the intelligence service in 1944. Several pieces of evidence suggest that when he wrote The Third Man a few years later, he based it on his conflicted friendship with Philby. John le Carré was also fascinated by Graham Greene and Kim Philby, and his thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy—one of my all-time favorites—was inspired by the Philby story.

His novel The Constant Gardener was published in 2001, and I read it with great interest. The story wasn’t set in Cold War Europe, but in Kenya, where a British diplomat’s wife is brutally raped and murdered. Upon closer examination, the diplomat realizes that she was about to reveal a horrifying crime committed by a pharmaceutical company, which murdered her in order to prevent the exposure. The novel’s plot was reminiscent of a controversial drug trial performed by Pfizer in Kano, Nigeria in 1996 during a meningococcal outbreak. For the trial of its new antibiotic, trovafloxacin, Pfizer gave 100 children this new drug. The control group of 100 other children received the standard anti-meningitis treatment at the time—a drug called ceftriaxone. However, for the control group, Pfizer administered a substantially lower dose of ceftriaxone than the drug’s FDA-approved standard.

When the reduced dosing in the control group was discovered, it raised the suspicion that Pfizer did this in order to skew the trial in favor of its new drug. Five of the children who received trovafloxacin died, while six who received the reduced dose of ceftriaxone died. Other children apparently suffered grave injuries from the administration of the experimental antibiotic without their informed consent. The investigation and litigation that ensued was the stuff of a thriller, involving private investigators, bribery, blackmail attempts, and disappearing records. Thirteen years later, in 2009, Pfizer settled out of court with the plaintiffs. In his author’s note, le Carré claimed that nobody and no corporation in the novel was based on an actual person or corporation in the real world. But I can tell you this. As my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realize that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard.

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Bolsonaro is in the US.

Lula Halts Privatization Of Brazil’s State Companies (RT)

Brazil’s newly returned President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has scrapped plans to sell off eight state-run corporate giants, including the oil company Petroleo Brasileiro, known as Petrobras, Brazilian news website G1 reported on Monday. Lula, who was at the helm from 2003 through 2010, was sworn in as Brazil’s president on January 1. Imprisoned for graft in 2018, Lula’s convictions were overturned in 2019, allowing him to defeat Jair Bolsonaro in October’s election. The decision to remove state corporations from the list of state asset sales was one of the first official acts by the left-wing politician. Aside from Petrobras, the order includes Pre-Sal Petroleo, the state firm responsible for the supervision and sale of the government’s share of oil and gas from production-sharing contracts, along with the postal service Correios, and the Empresa Brasil de Comunicacaooperator, which manages the federal government’s broadcast network.


The Brazilian social welfare system’s IT services enterprise Dataprev, state-owned nuclear company Nuclep, IT services corporation Serpro, and the Agriculture Ministry’s National Supply Company are also off the privatization list. The returning president has called for “ensuring a rigorous analysis of the impacts of privatization on the public service or on the market,” adding that state banks and major oil companies such as Petrobras would play a “key role” in the new economic cycle. On Monday, the Sao Paulo stock index shed 3.24%, while Petrobras shares dropped around 6% as Lula’s inauguration speech sparked investor fears of interventionist government policies. The national currency – the real – saw its value slide by 1.5%. Lula’s predecessor, the populist far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro, led an administration mired in controversies ranging from corruption to environmental devastation. Lula’s own government was brought down by massive corruption in Petrobras, which led to the impeachment of his hand-picked successor in 2016.

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How silly should I feel for not understanding the sudden push for 3, 4, 5, 26 genders?

Switzerland Rejects Gender Ideology, Rules Sex Is Binary (Slay)

In a landmark move, Switzerland’s government has rejected gender ideology by ruling that sex is binary and people must be referred to as either male or female, with no exceptions. The Swiss government rejected a proposal to introduce a “third gender” or “no gender” option for official records. The nation ruled against the “gender identity” ideology that other European countries have succumbed to. Swiss residents will continue to be entered into the nation’s civil registry as male or female, with no other options. “The binary gender model is still strongly anchored in Swiss society,” the Swiss Federal Council said in response to two proposals from parliament, according to the Associated Press. “The social preconditions for the introduction of a third gender or for a general waiver of the gender entry in the civil registry currently are not there,” it added.


The Associated Press noted that the Federal Council had said that including alternative options for gender markers would require “numerous” changes to the Swiss Constitution and to laws both at the national and state (canton) levels. The process of revising the country’s Constitution is complicated. According to the Swiss Parliament, a partial or complete revision of the Constitution needs to be approved by both a majority of the voters and also a majority of the nation’s 26 cantons. Switzerland’s political system includes four parties whose views range from left to right and frequent referendums are held on a variety of issues. Switzerland’s neighboring countries, Germany and Austria, as well as other Western European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, have all modified their civil registries to include “third gender” or “no gender” options.

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Max 2006
https://twitter.com/i/status/1610339471269978114

 

 

 

 

SBF pandemic

 

 

Fanta

 

 

 

 

Bubble nets

 

 

Artificial reef

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 022023
 
 January 2, 2023  Posted by at 10:03 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Edward Hopper Burly Cobb’s House, South Truro 1930-33

 

Drone Attacks Continue On Kyiv And Eastern Ukraine (BBC)
Nancy Pelosi Is Stepping Down As US House Speaker, And Few Will Miss Her (RT)
Twitter’s COVID-19 Censorship Led to Loss of Life – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)
Fauci Fibbed on the Day Everything Changed (Tucker)
How China Changed Its Zero-COVID Policy to a ‘Zero Non-COVID’ Policy (ET)
States Grand Jury to Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Covid Vaccines (BN)
Elon Musk Says He Is ‘Open’ to Idea of Buying Out Major Media Companies (BN)
In 2023 It Will Be All About The Dollar (Macleod)
USD Exchange Rates Hit Foreign Exchange Reserves (WS)
My Prediction On What 2023 Will Bring (Varoufakis)
1 Year On, EU Alternative To China’s Belt And Road Fails To Deliver (SCMP)
New Year, New Things (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

Free Assange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difference between BBC and RT is remarkable.

Drone Attacks Continue On Kyiv And Eastern Ukraine (BBC)

Air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv on Sunday night as the latest wave of drone and missile strikes from Russia continued. An attack which began shortly before midnight targeted critical infrastructure, Kyiv regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said. One man in Kyiv was injured by debris from a destroyed Russian drone, the capital’s mayor said. The attacks have continued for several days over the New Year period. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said 400 Russian soldiers had been killed in on New Year’s Eve in Makiivka, in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region. In a rare move, pro-Russian authorities admitted to casualties. But Russia refused to confirm the number of deaths, and the BBC is unable to verify this.

It comes after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky wished for victory and a “return to normal” for Ukraine in 2023. In a new year address on Russian TV, President Vladimir Putin said Russia would fight to protest its sovereignty and independence. Kyiv’s military issued a warning of the latest attacks just after 01:00 (23:00 GMT) on Monday. “Air attack on Kyiv… Air alert is on in the capital,” it announced on the Telegram social media site. Serhiy Popko, the city’s military administration head, told people to stay in shelters. Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an explosion in Kyiv’s northeastern Desnyanskyi district and said emergency services were attending. “An injured 19-year-old man was hospitalised in the Desnyanskyi district of the capital,” he said.

Mr Kuleba said the weapons were Iranian-made Shahed drones, adding that they were “targeting critical infrastructure facilities”. “The main thing now is to stay calm and stay in shelters until the alarm is off,” he said. It comes after a barrage of attacks on New Year’s Eve, which killed at least one person in Kyiv. Russia has been targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure for several months, destroying power stations and plunging millions into darkness during the country’s freezing winter.

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“Yeah, we completely agree with Satan on everything.”

Nancy Pelosi Is Stepping Down As US House Speaker, And Few Will Miss Her (RT)

The 118th United States Congress will be inaugurated on January 3, 2023, ushering in a number of changes, including Republican control of the House of Representatives and an attendant flip of the office of the speaker. That means that long-time Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi will have to give up her gavel and hand it over, most likely to Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. This has been Pelosi’s second tenure as speaker, as she served the first time from 2007-2011 and made history during that time by being the first – and so far only – woman to hold that title. Indeed, Pelosi’s record as the third-highest constitutional officer in the US has been historic – but maybe for some reasons that aren’t so savory. For one, the California Democrat is a notorious self-dealer. For instance, Pelosi was one of the most high-profile members of Congress implicated in a five-month corruption investigation by Business Insider.

She is reported to have deep holdings in companies such as Tesla, Disney, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Meta (Facebook’s parent company), which she is directly responsible for regulating as a member of Congress. And it should also not be a surprise that she has repeatedly come out against barring members of Congress from trading stocks and other financial assets, even if she did an about face when public pressure mounted. “We are a free-market economy. They (members of Congress) should be able to participate in that (trading),” she told reporters in December 2021. There is actually an argument to be made that indeed members of Congress should be able to engage in such investments. After all, they have to pay two sets of housing costs in their district and in the notoriously expensive Washington, DC area.

They also have to pay all of their own traveling expenses to and from their district. And they have to do all of that, plus probably also have a family, with a salary of $174,000. It’s not all that glamorous when you think about it. But if we look at Pelosi’s net worth of $114,662,521, according to 2018 data by OpenSecrets, then we can see that this argument hardly applies. In fact, if you look at the chart of her individual wealth over the years, you’ll notice that her wealth exponentially increased with her position as speaker. It’s like her power in Congress directly translates to her own personal wealth accumulation – which, I think we can all agree, would be the definition of corruption. Along with being greedy, the outgoing speaker is a devout war hawk. She once told reporters in Damascus in 2007, during George W. Bush’s presidency, that “there is no division on policy between us and President Bush, be it on Israel, Palestine or Syria.” For anyone familiar with Bush’s genocidal Middle East scheme, this is basically like saying, “Yeah, we completely agree with Satan on everything.”

[..] To put in perspective how unpopular Pelosi is, according to Public Policy Polling, a higher share of Americans believe that JFK was killed by a conspiracy (51%) and that Bush intentionally misled the public on Iraq’s WMDs (44%) than like Pelosi, with just a bit less (37%) thinking global warming is a hoax. For the sake of our country, it is to be hoped that the 82-year-old will retire from political life after her term as speaker comes to a close. But unfortunately, as is ever the case with Pelosi, her career might just outstay its welcome and drag on endlessly.

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Atlas was completely silenced by Fauci and Birx. Strange story.

Twitter’s COVID-19 Censorship Led to Loss of Life – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

When discussing censorship, there are often “vague implications” on the effects of that restriction. But by censoring medical science and health policy, “you are killing people,” Dr. Scott Atlas firmly stated in an interview that aired on Newsmakers by NTD and The Epoch Times on Dec. 28. “Censorship of the correct science and medical information, during this pandemic, absolutely killed people. It prevented people from making intelligent decisions. It prevented people from making the appropriate use of caution,” Atlas alleged of Twitter censoring doctors such as himself. Furthermore, Atlas charged, Twitter’s censorship was particularly “harmful” and “shocking” because the United States was founded on freedom.

“This kind of censorship was, in my view, unheard of in the United States,” Atlas stated. “It’s reminiscent of everything that we, as a free society and democracy, abhor about countries that are authoritarian, like China, the former USSR and now Russia, North Korea. “This is the kind of censorship that occurs in those countries. And now it’s occurring in our country.” According to Atlas, censorship at the government’s behest isn’t limited to social media and is far more insidious than first imagined. “It’s not simply blocking information. It’s also—being less overt about it—it’s limiting the public’s access to information. It’s impugning people who are speaking correct information,” Atlas said.

In Atlas’s view, there was only one acceptable COVID-19 narrative at the height of the pandemic, and that was the one put forward by those in authority, specifically Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. Consequently, when other health authority figures, such as Atlas, advanced conflicting information, the above authorities enlisted help from the media to squash that dissent. “Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, etc., went to their friends in the media and undermined people like me. Who, in fact, were saying what was correct, what has been validated as being correct this entire time. “But the reality is, yes, the censorship of science kills people. And it killed people during this pandemic. There’s no doubt about that,” Atlas stated.

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“..he threw around so much data confetti that a person could have easily believed that he was downplaying the severity to promote calm. His intention was the opposite.”

Fauci Fibbed on the Day Everything Changed (Tucker)

Anthony Fauci is finally gone from his government perch. Let us recall that it was he who set this calamity in motion, squandering his credibility, while taking down public health and much else with it. More than anyone, he bears responsibility, even if he was acting on others’ behalf. That is especially true if he was carrying out a hidden agenda (take your pick of theories). There was already growing political and societal panic on March 11, 2020, when the House Oversight and Reform Committee convened a hearing on the new virus circulating. Fauci was the key witness. The only question on everyone’s mind came down to the most primal fear: am I going to die from this thing, like in the movies?

This was one day before Trump’s announcement of the travel ban from Europe, the UK, and Australia, essentially sealing the borders of the US to an extent never before attempted, thus separating families and loved ones and trapping billions of people in their nation states. It was five days before the evil declaration by all health authorities to immediately shut down all places where people could congregate. These few days will remain a case study in irrationality and crowd madness. Fauci, on the day of his testimony, however, seemed like a paragon of stability. He was calm and clear, nearly bloodness in his tone. The substance of what he said, at the same time, was clearly designed to generate panic and create the conditions for a full lockdown.

He had the countenance of a doctor who was telling the family that a beloved father was terminally ill with 30 days to live. In particular, and in contrast to the testimony prepared by CDC/NIH, Fauci spoke to the severity of the virus. To the average member of Congress, the answer here was crucial because it addressed the only two serious issues: “Am I going to die?” and “Will I be blamed and politically punished if my constituents die?” To this, he responded with what seemed like science but was actually completely wrong, dreadfully wrong, catastrophically wrong. He claimed that we knew for sure that at best Covid was 10 times deadlier than the flu. In fact, he threw around so much data confetti that a person could have easily believed that he was downplaying the severity to promote calm. His intention was the opposite.

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Pushing infection?!

“A local official in Shanghai told The Epoch Times on Dec. 27 that his office had received instructions to do whatever it could to push the city into the COVID peak status.”

How China Changed Its Zero-COVID Policy to a ‘Zero Non-COVID’ Policy (ET)

“Zero non-COVID” is the name that people in China are calling the regime’s new pandemic management policy. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has aggressively pushed the whole country towards an all-COVID-positive state. China’s annual rubber-stamp legislature is usually in session during the month of March. It is widely expected that the coming session will focus on saving China’s economy because it is on the edge of collapse after the three-year long zero-COVID policy. Party leader Xi Jinping is clearly willing to pay any price to reopen the country. Government employees of Chongqing City and Zhejiang Province received notices telling them return to their offices to work even if they have tested positive for COVID-19, as long as their symptoms are mild.

The total population of Chongqing City is more than 31 million, and Zhejiang province more than 57 million. Rumors on the Chinese internet talked about local governments of Chongqing City and Zhejiang Province being criticized by Beijing because these regions were too slow to reach a high percentage of COVID positive patients. A local official in Shanghai told The Epoch Times on Dec. 27 that his office had received instructions to do whatever it could to push the city into the COVID peak status. “Let those who are supposed to become positive become positive, and let those who are supposed to die, die,” said Song Wen (pseudonym). All state-owned media are mute about the current situation in the country, and reports from different government agencies are conflicting.

The Zhejiang Provincial government recorded one million new COVID cases on Dec. 25, while the Chinese national CDC only reported 2,983 new cases in the whole nation for the same day. The regime announced that on Jan. 8, 2023, China will totally reopen travel in and out of the country, which has triggered concern in countries around the globe. Italian officials reported on Dec. 28 that 50 percent of passengers on two flights from China tested positive for COVID. China, a country with a population of more than 1.4 billion, moved from the zero-COVID policy to a zero non-COVID policy within a month. The sudden change has left health experts worldwide feeling uncertain, because the explosion in COVID cases in China may lead to the whole world being exposed to new variants.

The Western media have widely attributed the sudden policy change to the late November White Paper protests against the zero-COVID policy in China. However, according to World Health Organization (WHO) emergencies chief Michael Ryan, the COVID spike in China was not due to the lifting of the government mandated restrictions. Before the policy change, “the disease was spreading intensively because I believe the control measures in themselves were not stopping the disease. And I believe China decided strategically that was not the best option anymore,” Ryan said.

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Wonder if this can/will carry over into other states. Perhaps not even necessary, depending on what they find.

States Grand Jury to Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Covid Vaccines (BN)

A states grand jury to investigate Big Pharma for civil and criminal wrongdoing related to its COVID-19 mRNA vaccines has been approved by the Supreme Court of Florida. “A statewide grand jury shall be promptly impaneled for a term of twelve calendar months, to run from the date of impanelment, with jurisdiction throughout the State of Florida, to investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury with regard to the offenses stated herein,” the court order stated. “The Petitioner, the Honorable Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, has alleged that good and sufficient reason exists and that it is in the public interest to impanel a statewide grand jury, with jurisdiction throughout the State of Florida, to investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury with regard to the offenses listed,” the court order continued.


The grand jury probe will have sweeping scope and will include many targets for investigation.Those include: “Individuals, persons, and entities, including, but not limited to, pharmaceutical manufacturers (and their executive officers) and other medical associations or organizations involved in the design, development, clinical testing or investigation, manufacture, marketing, representation, advertising, promotion, labeling, distribution, formulation, packing, sale, purchase, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administration, or use of vaccines purported to prevent COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and transmission.” The grand jury will also investigate “other criminal activity or wrongdoing that the statewide grand jury uncovers during the course of the investigation if it determines that pursuing the criminal activity or wrongdoing is in the best interests of the investigation.”

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“The legacy media should worry about its reputation,” Musk retorted. “We have only just begun.”

Elon Musk Says He Is ‘Open’ to Idea of Buying Out Major Media Companies (BN)

Billionaire tech CEO Elon Musk is entertaining the idea of buying out top digital media companies. Journalist and media commentator Dave Rubin started a Twitter thread discussing the tremendous influence that Google and YouTube have on the nation’s politics. “Let me get ahead of this one right now…” Rubin tweeted. “I think YouTube’s (and Google’s) manipulation for political purposes is FAR worse than Twitter’s.” “And we might find out as @rumblevideo will get discovery in its lawsuit against Google…” Rubin added. One user suggested Musk should try to buy Substack, which is a subscription-based platform used by many influential journalists.“You would have the information layer with Twitter and the narrative layer. Corporate media would then have specialize on reporting government leaks, from ‘people familiar with the matter,’” the user said.

Musk responded by saying: “I’m open to the idea.” Earlier in December, Musk also suggested he could try to buy Wikipedia, but was informed it was not for sale by its founder Jimmy Wales. The “Twitter Files,” a series of releases on Twitter showing the prior regime’s coordination between Big Tech and U.S. government agencies, has been spearheaded by a number of notable journalists, such as Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and Michael Shellenberger. The subsequent Fauci Files and forthcoming Covid Files have additionally spurred independent journalistic accountability that has been denied by corporate media and the U.S. Congress. On Wednesday, Musk dropped a ‘Fauci bomb’ that exposed Twitter’s extreme bias on Covid issues.

“Almost no one seems to realize that the head of bioethics at NIH – the person who is supposed to make sure that Fauci behaves ethically – is his wife,” Musk remarked. “‘Gain-of-function’ in this context is just another way of saying ‘bioweapon’,” Musk added. “Some good nuggets in article. Important to note that Fauci authored 2012 paper arguing for gain-of-function research! Obama wisely put this on pause, but Fauci restarted it.” “Despite these glaring issues, Twitter nonetheless had an internal Slack channel unironically called ‘Fauci Fan Club’,” he added. Dr. Pierry Kory in a Twitter Spaces on Wednesday praised Twitter for providing a forum for physicians and policy critics to discuss the pervasive bias in medicine, which would help correct the “information assymetry” that has been perpetuated by the mainstream media and in medical journals.

Elon Musk also fired a warning shot to the corporate media about his mission to protect free speech and develop a forum for actual journalism. His response came after an attack by Axios reporter Hope King on CNBC, who said that his “reputation is in danger.” “The legacy media should worry about its reputation,” Musk retorted. “We have only just begun.”

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“Putin [..] probably has a greater influence on the dollar’s future than the US Treasury and the Fed combined.”

In 2023 It Will Be All About The Dollar (Macleod)

One of the factors which supported gold in the final quarter, offsetting moderate ETF liquidation of about 300 tonnes over the year has been central bank demand, which the World Gold Council estimates to have been 364 tonnes by October. Including more recent purchases by China and others adds nearly 300 tonnes. The Chinese purchase was confirmed in recent days by Mark Bristow, CEO of Barrick Gold, the world’s second largest gold mining corporation, who claimed China had bought “tonnes of gold around the high 200-tonnes mark”. Why China has bought this gold, when it has ample bullion additional to its declared reserves, is an interesting question. The answer probably lies with President Xi’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, where it was agreed that sales of oil would be paid in yuan, replacing the petrodollar with petroyuan.

According to Aljazeera, Saudi exports to China are worth $33.4bn equivalent, while its imports are $31.8bn, so the net surplus is $1.6bn. The official communiqué referred to “levelling up trade, investment and financial cooperation”. We know that China is keen to internationalise its markets, which is what investment and financial cooperation is about. The international section of the Shanghai Gold Exchange will be used by Saudi Arabia for its yuan to gold transactions. It is therefore likely that some of China’s purchase of nearly 300 tonnes in recent weeks will be to provide liquidity to backstop this market. With regard to prospects for next year’s gold price, it should be noted that the major factor will be the fate of the dollar. It appears likely that dollar oil prices will increase in the coming months, while foreign holders of dollars will continue to reduce their dollar exposure, which in the year to October declined by $3.8 trillion.

But a rising interest rate trend leading to falling financial asset values and the petroyuan replacing the petrodollar, events could coalesce into a perfect storm for the dollar. This is not how conventional analysts look at the gold price. They would argue that higher interest rates, if they occur, will drive gold lower. But that is an argument that denies the role of gold as money. Tell that to President Putin, who by cornering global hydrocarbon supplies probably has a greater influence on the dollar’s future than the US Treasury and the Fed combined.

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Still amazed at the strength of the USD in the face of so much opposition.

USD Exchange Rates Hit Foreign Exchange Reserves (WS)

The last three years were complicated for the dominant reserve currency. At first there was the Fed’s $5-trillion money-printing orgy and interest-rate repression. Then there was raging inflation, which the Fed brushed off as “transitory.” Through this period, the dollar fell against other currencies. But then the Fed got religion and began to tighten: since March 2022, it has hiked rates by 425 basis points, accompanied over the past six months by $414 billion in QT so far. As a result, the dollar bounced off and shot higher against other currencies, particularly the euro and the yen – the #2 and #3 reserve currencies.

At the end of Q3, the share of US-dollar-denominated foreign exchange reserves rose to 59.8%, the third quarter in a row of increases, and the highest since Q3 2020, according to the IMF’s new COFER data on reserve currencies. Since the end of 2021, the share of the dollar rose by nearly 1 percentage point. But this increase came off a 26-year low at the end of 2021. Note that this does not include the dollar-denominated assets on the Fed’s balance sheet, but only dollar-denominated assets held by foreign central banks and foreign official institutions.

[..] The euro is the second largest reserve currency. The Eurozone encompasses 19 countries with a population of 340 million people. Over two decades ago, when the euro was being promoted to Europeans, they often talked about “parity” of the euro with the dollar on all levels: as global reserve currency, as trading currency, and as financing currency. This reserve currency parity made progress until the Euro Debt Crisis brought to light the euro’s structural weakness. And that put an end to this parity talk. Since then, the euro has had a share of about 20% of global reserve currencies (in Q3, 19.7%), about as large as all also-rans combined. But it was far below the dollar (black line, red dots in the chart below).

The yen (purple line at the top of the colorful spaghetti at the bottom in the chart) had a share of 5.3%. It became the #3 reserve currency in 2018, when its share surpassed that of the British pound. The British pound, the #4 reserve currency, had a share of 4.6% (blue line just under the yen in the spaghetti). The Chinese renminbi, the #5 reserve currency, dipped to a share of 2.8% in Q3 — only 2.8%, despite the huge size and global interconnection of China’s economy!

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“..the designed irrelevance of the European Union.”

My Prediction On What 2023 Will Bring (Varoufakis)

This will be the year that Europeans realize the designed irrelevance of the European Union. The quagmire in Ukraine’s killing fields will bring on the realization of the need for a diplomatic process to end the war, but also the realization that the EU is radically incapable of playing any significant role in it. Who will represent Europe in these talks? The EU’s eastern and Nordic governments trust neither Paris nor Berlin – without whom, however, there can be no EU role.


On the economic front, the German mercantilist economic model will remain broken even as inflation abates – with dire repercussions for a eurozone still reliant on German surpluses. Europe’s deepening economic and geopolitical woes will, naturally, reinforce America’s hegemony and, with it, exacerbate its chosen policy of escalating a new cold war with China. Caught up in all this, humanity will be spending another year not investing in the green transition on which our species’ future hinges.

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Competing with the BRI is just a weird pipe dream. They wanted to do it in a year. China’s been building it for many years.

1 Year On, EU Alternative To China’s Belt And Road Fails To Deliver (SCMP)

In December 2021, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stood on a Brussels podium and confidently announced that the European Union’s new infrastructure drive would be a “true alternative” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. “We are able to do that. Countries made their experience with the Chinese investments. They need better and different offers,” she said of Global Gateway, a spending drive that promised to mobilise up to €300 billion (US$318 billion) by 2027 for modern infrastructure projects outside the EU. With some blowback forming towards China’s trillion-dollar plan to connect China with the rest of the world after high-profile allegations of “debt-trap diplomacy”, both Europe and the United States were positioning to offer a different model, grounded in democratic norms, transparency of funding, and with sustainable objectives.

But one year on, observers are growing increasingly sceptical about von der Leyen’s claims. So far, Global Gateway has delivered plenty of hype, but little in terms of concrete projects, while confusion reigns in Brussels and beyond about what the initiative actually is. At a hearing in the European Parliament last month, lawmakers pressed officials for details, only to learn that none of the €300 billion would be “new”. “Global Gateway does not bring new financial means – there is no additional money when it comes to the EU level,” said Vincent Grimaud, an acting director in the commission’s department for international partnerships. The statement sparked incredulity from members of the parliament. “There’s no new money. And I’ve always held the view that if there’s no new money, there’s no new policy,” said Barry Andrews, an Irish lawmaker with the centrist Renew group.

“This is a communications exercise. It’s a strategy to put together what was already going to happen and present it as something new. And if our partners are tricked by this, then more fool them.” Hildegard Bentele, a German member from the centre-right European People’s Party, said she had been trying to find German companies who are “part of this adventure”, but had failed to locate any. “If I talk to journalists, journalists are asking me what are these Global Gateway projects? If I go on the website of the European Commission, I do not find it – this is really difficult,” she said. The commission’s efforts to promote the initiative have added to the bemusement. A recent gala event held in the metaverse to explain the Global Gateway concept to 18-35 year olds was lampooned online after just a handful of users logged on – despite the EU forking out €387,000 (US$410,000) to host it.

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“..the utter failure of the “green energy shift” in the face of real-world tests..”

TVA=Tennessee Valley Authority.

New Year, New Things (Denninger)

So it is January 1st, 2023. Those reading this made it there. That’s good, I think. With that said here’s some “news” on The Ticker itself and my intentions going forward as to focus. You can take it for whatever you think its worth, but this, from my perspective, is the right way to look at things in the world. Of course there is room for plenty of other opinions all over the ‘net and so-called “traditional media” too, so it is what it is. If you remember a big shift occurred during the second Trump impeachment coverage, which I was doing on a daily basis, including most days a podcast. That of course was Covid, which showed up right on the tail end of that. That chapter has run in America and even the “mainstream media” is reporting that (like it or not, politicians) running stories about, for example, Atlantic City and its prospects forward – – and that they’re now returning to their regularly-scheduled debate (like, for instance, can you smoke in a casino?)

We’ve got plenty to talk about, such as, for instance, the utter failure of the “green energy shift” in the face of real-world tests. In a just world people would already be in irons and headed for prison; TVA, for example, was only able to produce 68% of its claimed capacity when all of it was required. WPLN tries to blame this on “natural gas being the bet” but in fact the reality of it is that TVA has shut down what was plenty of coal capacity and they did it on purpose over the space of years without replacing that with known reliable generation. In the summer the peak of demand tends to mostly-track with when the sun is up because its hottest and, while the peak shifts a bit off noon its not at 3:00 AM. In winter it is every time; its coldest when there’s no sun at all and thus the solar generation capacity is always zero at the times of peak demand in winter.

Thus any solar you put in must be counted as zero in the winter months when things get nasty, because it will either be snowing, icing (both of which wildly cut solar cell output) or at 3:00 AM when there’s no solar radiation available at all. Wind has similar issues; you can fit windmills with heating systems but obviously they require energy and they have both a lower and upper wind limit where they either produce nothing of value or must be intentionally shut down to avoid destruction. Thus you can’t count them as anything other than zero in the winter because you can’t count something that is less than 100% available, with proper maintenance and such, as “there.” We also know that in the face of such nasty weather EVs are worthless too. They’re nice secondary vehicles, basically, but when you must be able to rely on them they’re just not up to the job. People are figuring this out and that will continue; in short how you were sold these cars and light trucks was a lie and worse, the people selling them knew all that as they did the engineering on them.

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Richard Fleming

 

 

 

 

Bernardi WEF

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 012023
 


René Magritte La belle captive 1946

 

The End of 500 Years of Conquistador Civilisation (Batiushka)
Hollande, Merkel Confessions ‘Formalization Of Betrayal’ – Russian Senator (RT)
German Chancellor Merkel Has Just Declared Russia Was Never Pacified (Helmer)
US Congress Urged To Assess ‘Risks’ Of Patriot Delivery To Ukraine (RT)
Russian Oil Products Refined Abroad Exempt From Price Cap – US Treasury (RT)
Elon Musk: Dr. Anthony Fauci ‘Cannot Be Regarded As A Scientist’ (DW)
10 Ways COVID Changed How People Think About Health–Part 1 (ET)
The Shameful Suppression Of Pandemic Public Policy Dissidents (OCR)
Age-Stratified Infection Fatality Rate Of Covid-19 In The Non-elderly (Ioannidis)
Why It Isn’t Mad To Oppose The World Economic Forum (Gregg)
In War for Control of Humanity (ET)
Law Will Install Kill Switches In All New Cars (Y!)

 

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

54 states

 

 

 

 

Yeadon

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd
https://twitter.com/i/status/1609235208183726089

 

 

Just 5.5% of Americans aged 18 to 24 have received the bivalent COVID-19 booster, according to data from the CDC, while 66% of the same age group received the initial COVID-19 vaccine

 

 

 

 

 

 

This erudite priest has become one of my favorite writers.

The End of 500 Years of Conquistador Civilisation (Batiushka)

[..] now we come to the end of the vital crossroads year of 2022 and a revolution that happens only once every 500 years. What we had been waiting for over so many years is now here. The date of 24 February 2022 has already gone down in world history. With the incredibly aggressive refusal of Washington to allow the Kiev puppet regime to grant freedom to the people of the Donbass, Russia has been obliged to turn to Defence Plan B, to partial mobilisation and the demilitarisation and liberation of all of the Ukraine and even beyond, as the suicidal attitudes of the Western world will oblige it to do. A limited operation has had to be turned by Western aggression into a full-scale war and the US/West/NATO has deprived itself of peace and prosperity through its suicidal sanctions. It means the end of Western Conquistador Civilisation.

Thus, we try to peer over the horizon into 2023 and beyond. What will come once the Ukrainian war is over? Some who follow the Western reporting of the conflict may be surprised by these statements. However, that reporting has been a strange mixture of delusional fantasies/wishful thinking and straightforward propaganda, organised by Western secret services and PR agencies, omitting truth, logic and reality. Venal journalists have been ordered to report such nonsense from on high – otherwise, they would have lost their careers and their income. Such reporting has essentially been destined to try and keep Western peoples under control in the hardships they are facing as a result of the suicidal decisions of their US-controlled political elites.

The US elite is making use of the meagre resources of its NATO vassals (so-called ‘allies’), using as its battlefield the Ukraine and as its cannon fodder Ukrainians and mercenaries. But Russian victory is inevitable, even if delayed because the US is deliberately and suicidally making the Ukraine into its Second Vietnam. The Western elite wants to fight ‘to the last Ukrainian’. (“We don’t care how many Ukrainians will die. How many women, children, civilians and military. We don’t care. Ukraine cannot take the peace decision. The peace decision can only be taken in Washington. But for now we want to continue this war, we will fight to the last Ukrainian.” Former US Senator Richard Blake). Therefore, it is immorally supplying all sorts of lethal arms for hundreds of thousands more of these hoodwinked Slavs to die or to be maimed.

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How are they ever going to negotiate peace after this?

Hollande, Merkel Confessions ‘Formalization Of Betrayal’ – Russian Senator (RT)

Thousands of people have lost their lives in eastern Ukraine since 2014 because the West treated the Minsk agreements as scrap paper, the vice speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament said on Saturday. Senator Konstantin Kosachev was reacting to an admission by former French president Francois Hollande that the Minsk agreements were actually a ploy to buy time for the Kiev government to strengthen its military. This move should be credited for Ukraine’s “successful resilience” to Russia in the ongoing conflict with its neighbor, he added. Hollande was echoing a statement by former German chancellor Angela Merkel, who described the Minsk accords in December as “an attempt to give Ukraine time” to build up its armed forces.

The Minsk-1 and Minsk-2 deals were signed in 2014 and 2015 following mediation by Germany, France and Russia. They were designed to put an end to fighting between Kiev and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk by giving them special status within the Ukrainian state. Kiev’s failure to implement those agreements has been cited as one of the reasons for Moscow launching its military operation on February 24. “For the West, the territorial integrity of Ukraine is all about control over land and not about achieving social consensus. It’s about territory, not people. It’s about violence, not negotiations,” Kosachev wrote on Telegram. This approach “directly contradicts so-called European values,” he said. The senator noted that Western attitudes towards the territorial integrity of the UK and Spain have been completely different in the face of Scotland and Catalonia’s push for independence.

“The confessions by Merkel and Hollande are a formalization of betrayal… The price of this betrayal is thousands of human lives lost over the past eight years of civil war in Ukraine. The civil war that the West didn’t stop by treating the Minsk agreements as scrap paper,” Kosachev wrote. According to the UN estimates, more than 14,000 people were killed in Donbass between 2014 and early 2022. The only co-author of the Minsk agreements that genuinely tried to act as a guarantor was Russia, the senator claimed. Moscow sided with the people and left the territorial issue aside for as long as “it was still possible to implement the Minsk accord,” he added. The People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugnask, as well as Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, joined the Russian state in autumn after holding referendums. Kiev and its Western backers have called the votes a “sham” and refused to recognize the results.

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Merkel hated the Soviet Union and that is somehow supposed to make all this alright.

German Chancellor Merkel Has Just Declared Russia Was Never Pacified (Helmer)

Angela Merkel, the chancellor who destroyed the Christian Democratic party in German politics always hated Russia and President Vladimir Putin most of all. She concealed this for as long as she calculated she needed to preserve the votes of East Germany, German businesses and unions for her re-election. But lie after lie she leaked through her staff to the German and English press. She even tried to promote a German candidate to rule the Ukraine in her war against Russia – until Washington installed their own in Kiev, and told Merkel to fall in line. She did. The outcome of Merkel’s rule between 2005 and 2021 is her 4-election failure to win a majority of votes or seats in the Bundestag; the defeat of every German voting bloc which had supported her in power in Berlin; the rebuilding of the Berlin Wall in the minds of the remaining Germans who disagree and who resist; and the return of Russia-hating and Adolf Hitler’s war aims for Germany against Moscow.

They are also the war aims of Joseph Kennedy, father financier of the US Democratic Party whose fascist line was tolerated by the White House until the fighting war started in earnest in Europe and Kennedy was gotten rid of. No comparable resistance to the alliance between German and American fascism exists today in the US, Europe, Berlin or London. The resistance, however, is worldwide; does not speak English as a native language; and the Russian armed forces are stronger than they ever were. The problem for them is how wide and deep the demilitarized zone must be drawn to defend Russia for the foreseeable future – how far west of the Dnieper River? To the Oder and Neisse Rivers of Poland and Germany, or to the Berlin Wall? With every new bombing, missile, and drone raid, the Stavka meeting daily in Moscow conducts its experiment in drawing the lines westward to the last Ukrainian, then to the last German.

In the Russian Foreign Ministry’s final briefing for the year, spokesman Maria Zakharova had not yet registered what Merkel said in Italian, in her interview with Corriere della Sera on December 27. That was: “ We all knew that it was a frozen conflict, that the problem was not solved, but this gave Ukraine precious time…the Cold War never really ended because Russia was never pacified.” For Merkel’s “problem to be solved” and “pacify Russia” read the US and NATO war to destroy Russia. “Today we act like this under the pressure of war,” she added, “which I approve of.” According to Zakharova, referring to Merkel’s earlier interviews in German with Die Zeit and Der Spiegel, “Angela Merkel’s confessions that the Minsk agreements only served to buy “time for Ukraine” leads to an interesting situation.

The Western countries prevented their media from visiting Donbass. At the same time, they needed time, as they say, for the Kiev regime to grow stronger. This is real evidence of what Russian leadership has been talking about. All this indicates that the Ukrainian army and the West are using unacceptable methods not only on the battlefield, but also in the information war that they have unleashed against Russia. The Kiev regime and its Western handlers are trying to hide their own crimes and the truth about what is really happening in Ukraine.”

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“..operation of the system requires dozens of trained personnel..”

“Training repair crews for the Patriot system alone takes some 53 weeks..”

“..estimated to cost about $4 million per missile.”

US Congress Urged To Assess ‘Risks’ Of Patriot Delivery To Ukraine (RT)

The US Congress is facing issues “in both its legislative and oversight roles” over the planned delivery of Patriot anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has warned. The research institute is a US government agency that provides expert support to members of Congress on a nonpartisan basis. The US government pledged to deliver one battery of the advanced MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft system to Kiev earlier this month, following an unannounced visit to Washington by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The timeframe for the delivery remains unclear, as the operation of the system requires dozens of trained personnel. US media outlets have suggested that Ukrainian troops may be invited to America for training, which has yet to occur in the context of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Training repair crews for the Patriot system alone takes some 53 weeks, the CRS noted, adding that “there is a lot of learning to do before Ukraine will have a functioning Patriot system on the ground.” The research body also urged lawmakers to examine the exact source of the battery to be supplied to Kiev. It’s still unclear whether Washington itself or some of its NATO allies will provide the Patriot battery. The CRS warned that, ultimately, the “battery and associated interceptors being sent to Ukraine could be taken from existing army units and stockpiles.” “If it is withdrawn from other operational forces, such as US Central Command or US Indo-Pacific Command, transferring the system to Ukraine may create opportunity costs and potential risks in those theaters,” it said, adding that supplying a battery from the US homeland “could impede training or modernization cycles.”

The research agency also raised concerns over the “massive price tag” of the Patriot systems and their interceptor missiles, which are “estimated to cost about $4 million per missile.” According to available data, “a newly produced Patriot battery costs about $1.1 billion, including about $400 million for the system and about $690 million for the missiles,” the CRS said. Congress should therefore consider the question of whether certain “restrictions [would] be imposed on what types of hostile systems can be engaged by” the systems operated by Ukrainian troops, the agency suggested.

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They declare sanctions with big words…and then seek to undermine them.

Russian Oil Products Refined Abroad Exempt From Price Cap – US Treasury (RT)

Seaborne deliveries of Russian petroleum products that are ‘substantially transformed’ outside Russia will not be subject to a price cap, the US Treasury Department said in preliminary guidance on the measure on Friday. The cap on Russian oil products is set to come into force on February 5. In order to be exempt from the price limit, Russian oil products must undergo one of a number of processes abroad, according to the document. These include distillation, thermal or fluid coking, catalytic cracking, hydrotreating, de-waxing, as well as other refinery processes involving chemical transformation, separation, conversion, or treatment. Previously published guidance confirmed that the same exemption applies to Russian oil if it undergoes deep refining outside of the country.

“Once Russian petroleum products or Russian oil are substantially transformed… in a jurisdiction other than the Russian Federation, they are no longer considered to be of Russian Federation origin, and thus the price cap no longer applies,” the document states. It noted, however, that blending operations, including gasoline, distillate and crude blending, would not be considered “substantial transformation” and therefore oil products resulting from them would still be subject to the price cap. The US Treasury Department has not yet provided specific figures for the price cap on Russian oil products. The price ceiling on Russian oil was set at $60 a barrel, but may be revised depending on market conditions.

It was introduced by the EU, the G7 countries, and Australia, and came into effect on December 5. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning the supply of oil and petroleum products under contracts that apply or even mention the price cap. According to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, Russia is ready for a partial output reduction that is expected as a result of the measure. Novak expects output to drop by between 500,000 and 700,000 barrels per day, or between 5% and 7% of the total production volume.

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Scientific method.

Elon Musk: Dr. Anthony Fauci ‘Cannot Be Regarded As A Scientist’ (DW)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced Wednesday that the social media company’s new official policy will not penalize users for legitimately questioning scientific claims and narratives that are promoted in the media. The statement from Musk comes as he has taken multiple shots at leftists this week for buying into mainstream media narratives. “New Twitter policy is to follow the science, which necessarily includes reasoned questioning of the science,” Musk said. In a subsequent tweet, Musk responded to professor Gad Saad, who posted a video mocking Dr. Anthony Fauci and his decision to retire as Republicans are set to take over the House of Representatives next week.

“Anyone who says that questioning them is questioning science itself cannot be regarded as a scientist,” Musk said in response to the video about Fauci. Prior to Musk’s purchase of Twitter, users could often face suspension or permanent bans for questioning some scientific matters, especially those surrounding COVID, vaccines, and transgender issues. Musk called out other social media companies and Google earlier this week for alleged censorship on their platforms. Musk made the remarks in response to a tweet from left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald, who wrote: “For the crime of reporting that the US Security State agencies are heavily involved in Big Tech’s censorship regime, and for confessing that he found this deeply disturbing, liberals have spent a full week saying that @mtaibbi has mental health problems and needs therapy.”

Included in Greenwald’s tweet was a screenshot of one of journalist Matt Taibbi’s Twitter Files threads. “The government was in constant contact not just with Twitter but with virtually every major tech firm,” Taibbi said. “These included Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit, even Pinterest, and many others. Industry players also held regular meetings without government.” Musk responded, “Most people don’t appreciate the significance of the point Matt was making: *Every* social media company is engaged in heavy censorship, with significant involvement of and, at times, explicit direction of the government.”

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Click the headline to get the other 9.

10 Ways COVID Changed How People Think About Health–Part 1 (ET)

1. Declining Trust in Vaccinations – Vaccines, once seen as sacrosanct in modern medicine, have begun to lose favor with the general public since the COVID-19 pandemic response. As early as June 2022, an analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the uptake of influenza vaccine doses has fallen in states that also saw low COVID vaccine uptake. Authors of the study suggest that the two polarizing attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccines are influencing behavior toward other public health measures, and that those who approved of the COVID-19 vaccines readily took up the influenza annual vaccine, while those that declined the COVID-19 vaccines also declined subsequent vaccines.

“Safety concerns and mistrust of COVID-19 vaccines or government” may also have been associated factors, the authors wrote. The pandemic response to COVID-19 saw many changes to public health. For the first time in history, emergency-use products were mandated and heavily promoted by the government and social media with little to no disclosure of possible health risks and informed consent. Dr. Robert Malone, a biochemist and one of the inventors of the mRNA pharmaceutical platform, said mandating experimental drugs challenged basic bioethics. It has since resulted in “push back,” against Big Pharma by the public, said CEO of Progenabiome and gastroenterologist Dr. Sabine Hazan.

Despite the continuous “safe and effective” narrative from public health agencies on COVID-19 vaccinations, emerging reports of myocarditis, pericarditis, immunological, and neurological symptoms, as well as an unprecedented increase in vaccine adverse event reports suggest otherwise. A December poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports on COVID-19 vaccines found that 57 percent of Americans were concerned about “major side effects” of the vaccine. Hazan said that doctors are getting more and more of their patients coming to their clinics, asking why they are falling ill after vaccination, and have had to challenge the safe and effective narrative. “It’s hard to tell a parent who’s son was an 18-years-old athlete who died 4 days after a shot, that [the death] is not from the shot,” Hazan wrote to The Epoch Times.

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“It’s lucky that Twitter didn’t exist when Pope John Paul II proclaimed, “Be not afraid.” The Soviet Union might still be standing.”

The Shameful Suppression Of Pandemic Public Policy Dissidents (OCR)

In March 2021, Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Martin Kulldorff answered a question on Twitter about whether younger age groups and people who had already had COVID needed to be vaccinated. “No,” he responded, “Thinking that everyone must be vaccinated is as scientifically flawed as thinking that nobody should.” Dr. Kulldorff recommended vaccination for “high-risk people and their care-takers,” but said it was not needed by children or those with prior natural infection. Internal emails at Twitter show that a moderator flagged the tweet by Kulldorff, a Harvard Medical School professor, as “false information” and a violation of the company’s COVID-19 misinformation policy. Twitter slapped a “Misleading” warning on the tweet and suppressed its reach. “This Tweet can’t be replied to, shared or liked,” the warning label stated.

Twitter flagged tweets as “misleading” if they diverged at all from the official government line, even if the tweets quoted or copied data directly from scientific journals or government websites. Dr. Andrew Bostom, an internal medicine specialist who was on the faculty of Brown University Medical School from 1997 to 2021, was permanently suspended from Twitter for tweeting a link to a scientific article on COVID-19 vaccines lowering sperm counts. Dr. Bostom’s account has been restored to Twitter under Elon Musk’s new regime, along with the accounts of many other distinguished, accomplished and frequently published scientists and medical doctors. One particularly revealing communication about content moderation unearthed by Zweig involves then-President Donald Trump’s personal experience as a COVID patient.

“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 p.m.,” Trump tweeted on October 5, 2020. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker, formerly a top attorney at the FBI, sent an email to two Twitter executives that read, “Why isn’t this POTUS tweet a violation of our COVID-19 policy (especially the ‘Don’t be afraid of Covid’ statement)?” One of the executives responded that the tweet is a “broad, optimistic statement” that “doesn’t incite people to do something harmful,” and so “doesn’t fall within the published scope of our policies.” However, the executive acknowledged that Baker might have a “different read on it.” It’s lucky that Twitter didn’t exist when Pope John Paul II proclaimed, “Be not afraid.” The Soviet Union might still be standing.

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It’s not the Infection Fatality Rate we’re worried about. It’s the vaccines.

Age-Stratified Infection Fatality Rate Of Covid-19 In The Non-elderly (Ioannidis)

The largest burden of COVID-19 is carried by the elderly, and persons living in nursing homes are particularly vulnerable. However, 94% of the global population is younger than 70 years and 86% is younger than 60 years. The objective of this study was to accurately estimate the infection fatality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 among non-elderly people in the absence of vaccination or prior infection. In systematic searches in SeroTracker and PubMed (protocol: https://osf.io/xvupr), we identified 40 eligible national seroprevalence studies covering 38 countries with pre-vaccination seroprevalence data. For 29 countries (24 high-income, 5 others), publicly available age-stratified COVID-19 death data and age-stratified seroprevalence information were available and were included in the primary analysis.

The IFRs had a median of 0.034% (interquartile range (IQR) 0.013–0.056%) for the 0–59 years old population, and 0.095% (IQR 0.036–0.119%) for the 0–69 years old. The median IFR was 0.0003% at 0–19 years, 0.002% at 20–29 years, 0.011% at 30–39 years, 0.035% at 40–49 years, 0.123% at 50–59 years, and 0.506% at 60–69 years. IFR increases approximately 4 times every 10 years. Including data from another 9 countries with imputed age distribution of COVID-19 deaths yielded median IFR of 0.025–0.032% for 0–59 years and 0.063–0.082% for 0–69 years. Meta-regression analyses also suggested global IFR of 0.03% and 0.07%, respectively in these age groups. The current analysis suggests a much lower pre-vaccination IFR in non-elderly populations than previously suggested.

Large differences did exist between countries and may reflect differences in comorbidities and other factors. These estimates provide a baseline from which to fathom further IFR declines with the widespread use of vaccination, prior infections, and evolution of new variants.

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“..Schwab’s core commitment is to political and economic arrangements which used to be known as corporatism.”

Why It Isn’t Mad To Oppose The World Economic Forum (Gregg)

A key concept for Schwab’s vision of a reset world is ‘stakeholder capitalism.’ In his 2021 book Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy that Works for Progress, People and Planet, Schwab defines it as ‘a form of capitalism in which companies do not only optimise short-term profits for shareholders, but seek long-term value creation, by taking into account the needs of all their stakeholders, and society at large.’ By value-creation, Schwab partly has in mind economic prosperity. But he also calls for the promotion of three other values: ‘People,’ ‘Planet,’ and ‘Peace.’ These rather broad concepts illustrate just how all-embracing Schwab’s stakeholder capitalism seeks to be.

So who are the stakeholders who will collaborate to usher in the four Ps? For Schwab, they are ‘governments,’ ‘companies,’ and ‘civil society’ (NGOs, unions, etc.). At this point we arrive at the essence of Schwab’s grand redesign. For all his invocation of the predictable woke pieties, Schwab’s core commitment is to political and economic arrangements which used to be known as corporatism. Schwab is quite explicit about this. In one article describing the origins of his present outlook, he writes: “This approach was common in the postwar decades in the West, when it became clear that one person or entity could only do well if the whole community and economy functioned. There was a strong linkage between companies and their community. In Germany, for example, where I was born, it led to the representation of employees on the board, a tradition that continues today.”

Corporatism is a broad concept. It can run the gamut from the hyper-authoritarian version embraced by Mussolini’s Italy to worker-boss structures of the type described by Schwab in postwar western Europe. All forms of corporatism, however, share some common themes. One is the necessity of limiting market competition in order to preserve social cohesion. Another is mandating cooperation between representative groups of different social and economic sectors – a process overseen and, if necessary, enforced by government officials for the sake of the common good. What, you might ask, could be wrong with this? The answer is: plenty.

For a start, corporatism – including its Schwabian expression – isn’t big on freedom. It’s all about forming and then maintaining a consensus on economic and social policies. For this reason, corporatism doesn’t cope well with dissent. Indeed, it discourages any questioning of the consensus, whether the issue is tax-rates or climate change. The language of corporatism, like that of Schwab’s WEF, may be one of coordinated consultation, but the agenda is one of control. For what matters is the harmonisation of views, no matter how absurd the idea and or how high the cost in liberty.

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The Gorgon Stare.

In War for Control of Humanity (ET)

Inventor of mRNA vaccines Dr. Robert Malone, having worked with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for many years, warns that a war is being waged by the government for control of people’s minds, and that social media platforms are being weaponized in this war and are “actively employed” by the intelligence community to influence what people think and feel. “This new battleground, in which your mind and your thoughts, your very emotions are the battleground. It is not about territory,” Malone said during a recent interview for EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “Twitter, it’s clear now, has become the premium platform for shaping emerging global consensus about the topics of the day.”

During his work with the DOD, Malone became aware of companies researching multilingual programs that assess the emotional content of the language used on social media, which those companies then use to “map relationship clouds,” including what topics people are discussing, who the influencers are, and who is at the fringe of that cloud, said Malone. Phenomena like being deplatformed, shadowbanned, and a “tweet” going viral is a part of this weaponizing of social media. “By using these tools of manipulating what information, what tweets you put out, what messages you put out to your influencer cloud, they can modulate how those people behave,” he said. “You can actually very actively control what individuals are thinking, the information that they’re gathering, what they’re being influenced to do.”

The people who control information warfare weapons can modulate the messaging within the influencer clouds that can be readily mapped, Malone said. “Your current state of mind, based on the language that you’re using and the topics that you’re talking about, can be mapped very precisely, psychologically,” he said. “It can be tied into a web of influence relationships.” Members of a specific “influencer cloud” can be tracked using the military spy technology called the Gorgon Stare, said Malone. This spy technology is capable of detecting movements including what car you drive, who gets in your car, and where you go, he said.

The Gorgon Stare is a surveillance technology, originally created to target terrorist groups, that utilizes high-tech cameras mounted on drones to capture video images of large areas, such as entire cities. Then artificial intelligence is used to analyze the surveillance footage. Arthur Holland Michel, author of the book, “Eyes in the Sky: The Secret Rise of Gorgon Stare and How It Will Watch Us All,” called this technology the “pinnacle of aerial surveillance” during a 2019 interview with the CATO Institute and said the things he learned while writing the book were so troubling, they kept him up at night.

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Feel lucky?

Law Will Install Kill Switches In All New Cars (Y!)

According to an article written by former U.S. Representative Bob Barr, hidden away in the recently passed infrastructure bill, the very one I warned before would negatively impact drivers across the country if it were to pass, is a measure to install vehicle kill switches into every new car, truck, and SUV sold in this country. The regulation likely won’t be enforced for five years, so maybe there’s time to do something about this. As we’ve seen both in this country and others recently, what constitutes “law-abiding” can change drastically overnight. For example, in September a car was pulled over in New Zealand and the occupants arrested when police discovered the trunk was full of Kentucky Fried Chicken meals. They were smuggling the fast food to customers in locked-down Auckland, against quarantine measures. Yet not too long before, delivering restaurant orders to people was considered a reputable, legal activity.

It gets even better: Barr points out that the bill, which has been signed into law by President Biden, states that the kill switch, which is referred to as a safety device, must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.” In other words, Big Brother will constantly be monitoring how you drive. If you do something the system has been programmed to recognize as driver impairment, your car could just shut off, which could be incredibly dangerous. There is the possibility the kill switch program might measure your driving as impaired, then when you try to start the car up again the engine won’t fire up. That would potentially leave you stranded.

But wait, there’s more. This kill switch “safety” system would be open, or in other words there would be a backdoor. That would allow police or other government authorities to access it whenever. Would they need a warrant to do that? Likely not. Even better, hackers could access the backdoor and shut down your vehicle. Barr points out what a tremendous violation of Americans’ privacy this is, and he’s right. In addition, the term “impaired driving” isn’t defined by the legislation, so it would be open to interpretation by regulators such as the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Do you want government regulators helping to write algorithms which might force your car to pull over and stop because you might be a little tired instead of tipsy?

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Last ever Calvin and Hobbes, Dec 31 1995.

 

 

Walters
https://twitter.com/i/status/1609069514049880064

 

 

 

 

Brush strokes

 

 

 

 

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