May 272022
 
 May 27, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Edouard Manet The absinthe drinker 1859

 

Former Attorney General Bill Barr Says Hillary Guilty Of ‘Sedition’ (CB)
Ukrainian Volunteer Fighters In The East Feel Abandoned (WaPo)
Is America the Real Victim of Anti-Russia Sanctions? (Bertrand)
EU Suspends Russia’s Access To Vital Crime Data Sharing Program (ZH)
Lockdowns Had ‘Little To No Effect’ On Covid Death Rate (DM)
The WHO’s Pandemic Treaty (Kheriaty)
Jerome Powell’s Volcker Deficit (Stephen Roach)
Leaking Information Is a Key Tenet of Democracy. Just Look at the Past (NW)
Twitter Investors Sue Elon Musk For “Manipulating Stock Price Lower” (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Malone Candace

 

 

 

 

Schwab

 

 

These people live in a different world and age

 

 

“It was a gross injustice, and it hurt the United States in many ways, including what we’re seeing in Ukraine these days. It distorted our foreign policy, and so forth..”

Former Attorney General Bill Barr Says Hillary Guilty Of ‘Sedition’ (CB)

Former United States Attorney General Bill Barr has given a stark warning to former Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her “seditious” conspiracy against former President Donald Trump. “I thought we were heading into a constitutional crisis. I think whatever you think of Trump, the fact is that the whole Russiagate thing was a grave injustice. It appears to be a dirty political trick that was used first to hobble him and then potentially to drive him from office,” he said on Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV podcast. “I believe it is seditious,” he said, but he warned that those charges would be tough to prove in a court. “It was a gross injustice, and it hurt the United States in many ways, including what we’re seeing in Ukraine these days. It distorted our foreign policy, and so forth,” the former attorney general said.

He said that he named Special Counsel John Durham to lead the case in private so it would stop President Joe Biden and Attorney general Merrick Garland from interfering with him. “I was highly confident he would remain in office and they wouldn’t touch him,” he said. “The Biden administration had no real interest in protecting either Hillary Clinton or Comey,” he argued. “And at the end of the day, for them to lose the capital and appear to be covering something up that would then never get resolved, I didn’t think was in their interest,” he said. “And I think institutionally that would’ve destroyed the new AG if he had tried that. “If you don’t have the threat of a grand jury, no one will come in and talk to you. You’ll say, the usual thing is, ‘Please come in for a voluntary interview,” the former attorney general said.

“And people come in because they know if they don’t, they’re subpoenaed. “But if there is no grand jury, they say, ‘No, I’m not coming in,’ and there’s nothing you can do,” he said. “And people don’t understand that that state of affairs lasted until the month before the election,” he said of the pandemic that delayed the Durham probe. “So his hands were very much tied as to how far he could push things and how much pressure he could bring on people through most of 2020,” he said.

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A glimpse of reality, or just a way to get more weapons into Ukraine?

Ukrainian Volunteer Fighters In The East Feel Abandoned (WaPo)

Stuck in their trenches, the Ukrainian volunteers lived off a potato per day as Russian forces pounded them with artillery and Grad rockets on a key eastern front line. Outnumbered, untrained and clutching only light weapons, the men prayed for the barrage to end — and for their own tanks to stop targeting the Russians. “They [Russians] already know where we are, and when the Ukrainian tank shoots from our side it gives away our position,” said Serhi Lapko, their company commander, recalling the recent battle. “And they start firing back with everything — Grads, mortars. “And you just pray to survive.” Ukrainian leaders have projected and nurtured a public image of military invulnerability — of their volunteer and professional forces triumphantly standing up to the Russian onslaught.

Videos of assaults on Russian tanks or positions are posted daily on social media. Artists are creating patriotic posters, billboards and T-shirts. The postal service even released stamps commemorating the sinking of a Russian warship in the Black Sea. Ukrainian forces have succeeded in thwarting Russian efforts to seize Kyiv and Kharkiv and have scored battlefield victories in the east. But the experience of Lapko and his group of volunteers offers a rare and more realistic portrait of the conflict and Ukraine’s struggle to halt the Russian advance in parts of Donbas. Ukraine, like Russia, has provided scant information about deaths, injuries or losses of military equipment. But after three months of war, this company of 120 men is down to 54 because of deaths, injuries and desertions.

The volunteers were civilians before Russia invaded on Feb. 24, and they never expected to be dispatched to one of the most dangerous front lines in eastern Ukraine. They quickly found themselves in the crosshairs of war, feeling abandoned by their military superiors and struggling to survive. “Our command takes no responsibility,” Lapko said. “They only take credit for our achievements. They give us no support.”

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“..Russia’s economy is actually more like the size of Germany’s..”

Is America the Real Victim of Anti-Russia Sanctions? (Bertrand)

Remember the claims that Russia’s economy was more or less irrelevant, merely the equivalent of a small, not very impressive European country? “Putin, who has an economy the size of Italy,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in 2014 after the invasion of Crimea, “[is] playing a poker game with a pair of twos and winning.” Of increasing Russian diplomatic and geopolitical influence in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia, The Economist asked in 2019, “How did a country with an economy the size of Spain … achieve all this?” Seldom has the West so grossly misjudged an economy’s global significance.

French economist Jacques Sapir, a renowned specialist of the Russian economy who teaches at the Moscow and Paris schools of economics, explained recently that the war in Ukraine has “made us realize that the Russian economy is considerably more important than what we thought.” For Sapir, one big reason for this miscalculation is exchange rates. If you compare Russia’s GDP by simply converting it from rubles into U.S. dollars, you indeed get an economy the size of Spain’s. But such a comparison makes no sense without adjusting for purchasing power parity (PPP), which accounts for productivity and standards of living, and thus per capita welfare and resource use. Indeed, PPP is the measure favored by most international institutions, from the IMF to the OECD.

And when you measure Russia’s GDP based on PPP, it’s clear that Russia’s economy is actually more like the size of Germany’s, about $4.4 trillion for Russia versus $4.6 trillion for Germany. From the size of a small and somewhat ailing European economy to the biggest economy in Europe and one of the largest in the world—not a negligible difference. Sapir also encourages us to ask, “What is the share of the service sector versus the share of the commodities and industrial sector?” To him, the service sector today is grossly overvalued compared with the industrial sector and commodities like oil, gas, copper, and agricultural products. If we reduce the proportional importance of services in the global economy, Sapir says that “Russia’s economy is vastly larger than that of Germany and represents probably 5% or 6% of the world economy,” more like Japan than Spain.

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Shoot. Foot.

EU Suspends Russia’s Access To Vital Crime Data Sharing Program (ZH)

Amid the unprecedented waves of EU and US sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of its Ukraine invasion, and as tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions continue between Moscow and European capitals, among the last frontiers of Russia-Europe cooperation remains in the area of crime monitoring and data sharing. But that too appears to be winding down, as Russian state media has announced the European Union has suspended its drug traffic data sharing program with Russian law enforcement agencies. “The EU has suspended contacts and data sharing with Russia as part of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said,” TASS reports.

“The European Union has unilaterally suspended expert contacts and data sharing with us” as part of the EMCDDA, Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov confirmed. “The annual OSCE-wide Anti-Drug Conference has been postponed indefinitely,” he added. The Russian official slammed the move as counterproductive, with the inevitable consequence being that drug traffickers will be able to act with greater impunity as a country the size of Russia (literally the world’s largest by land mass and border area) is cut out of the program. “We believe this is a destructive approach. It plays into the hands of drug traffickers, who are taking advantage of the disagreements among countries to increase illicit drug supplies to Europe,” he said.

Russia, however, remains and will likely continue to remain a vital country within INTERPOL – the world’s largest international policing organization, representing 194 member countries. According to the INTERPOL website, “Russia is the world’s largest country by area, and shares borders with countries in northern Asia and Europe. Identifying, investigating and preventing serious crime across Europe and Asia is a large part of the daily work carried out by INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in Moscow.”

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It was always idiotic.

Lockdowns Had ‘Little To No Effect’ On Covid Death Rate (DM)

The first Covid lockdowns saved 10,000 lives in Europe and US had ‘little or no effect’ on the virus death rate, updated analysis suggests. A review by an international team of economists found draconian shutdowns only reduced Covid mortality by 3 per cent in the UK, US and Europe in 2020. The experts, from Johns Hopkins University in the US, Lund University in Sweden and the Danish think-tank the Center for Political Studies, said that equates to 6,000 fewer deaths in Europe and 4,000 fewer in the US. This figures is a revised from the group’s first report last year, which found lockdowns cut Covid deaths by just 0.2 per cent. The team said the updated figure is down to changes in their calculations and new studies. But they still conclude: ‘Stricter lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.’


MailOnline was one of only three major British media outlets to cover the initial findings when they were released back in January. Experts at the time told MailOnline it is unsurprising that some left-wing publications avoided the story because they wanted to ‘maintain fear around the pandemic’. Their 3.2 per cent figure is the average effect of all lockdown measures combined. When looking at stay-at-home orders specifically, the team estimate this had even less of an impact, reducing the death toll by just 2 per cent. Their report does not look at the effect of lockdowns excess deaths, which includes people who died from other causes because hospitals were shut, for example. It did find mask wearing to be the most effective intervention, leading to a 18.7 per cent drop in virus fatalities — however this result was based on just three studies.

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Think mob rule.

The WHO’s Pandemic Treaty (Kheriaty)

The WHO recently announced plans for an international pandemic treaty tied to a digital passport and digital ID system. Meeting in December 2021 in a special session for only the second time since the WHO’s founding in 1948, the Health Assembly of the WHO adopted a single decision titled, “The World Together.” The WHO plans to finalize the treaty by 2024. It will aim to shift governing authority now reserved to sovereign states to the WHO during a pandemic by legally binding member states to the WHO’s revised International Health Regulations. In January of 2022 the United States submitted proposed amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations, which bind all 194 UN member states, which the WHO director general accepted and forwarded to other member states.


In contrast to amendments to our own constitution, these amendments will not require a two-thirds vote of our Senate, but a simple majority of the member states. Most of the public is wholly unaware of these changes, which will impact the national sovereignty of member states. The proposed amendments include, among others, the following. Among the changes the WHO will no longer need to consult with the state or attempt to obtain verification from the state where a reported event of concern (e.g., a new outbreak) is allegedly occurring before taking action on the basis of such reports (Article 9.1). In addition to the authority to make the determination of a public health emergency of international concern under Article 12, the WHO will be granted additional powers to determine a public health emergency of regional concern, as well as a category referred to as an intermediate health alert.

Posobiec T-Mobile

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“If you are not prepared to act on interest rates, you may as well get out of town.”

Jerome Powell’s Volcker Deficit (Stephen Roach)

Poor Jerome Powell. With US inflation close to a 40-year high, the Federal Reserve chair knows what he needs to do. He has professed great admiration for Paul Volcker, his 1980s-era predecessor, as a role model. But, to paraphrase US Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s famous 1988 quip about his vice-presidential rival, Senator Dan Quayle, I knew Paul Volcker very well, and Powell is no Paul Volcker. Volcker was the quintessential US public servant. He smoked cheap cigars, wore rumpled off-the-rack suits, and had a strong distaste for the glitz of Washington power circles. His legacy was a single-minded discipline in attacking a pernicious Great Inflation.

Unlike the modern Fed, which under Ben Bernanke’s intellectual stewardship created a new arsenal of tools – balance-sheet adjustments, special lending facilities, and the “forward guidance” of outcome-dependent policy signals – the Volcker approach was simple, blunt, and direct. Monetary policy, in Volcker’s view, started and ended with interest rates. He once said to me, “If you are not prepared to act on interest rates, you may as well get out of town.” Volcker, of course, raised US interest rates to unheard-of levels in 1980-81, and there were many who did want him to get out of town. But howls of protest from builders, farmers, citizens’ groups, and members of Congress demanding his impeachment did not dissuade him from an unprecedented tightening in monetary policy. It was long overdue.

Under Volcker’s predecessor, Arthur Burns, the Fed had become convinced that inflation was part of the US economy’s institutional fabric. The price level was thought to have less to do with monetary policy than with the power of labor unions, cost-of-living wage indexation, and regulatory pressures on costs stemming from environmental protection, occupational safety, and pension benefits. Burns argued that oil and food-price shocks reinforced the institutional biases of an inflation-prone US economy. In other words, blame the system, not the Fed. The Fed’s research staff, which at the time included me, squirmed but raised no objections.

Volcker did more than squirm when he took over as Fed chair in August 1979. At the time, the consumer price index was surging by 11.8% year on year, on its way to 14.6% in March 1980. Volcker was determined to find the interest-rate threshold that would break the back of US inflation. Using the political cover provided by the 1978 Humphrey-Hawkins Act, which formalized the Fed’s price-stability mandate, and drawing operational support from a shift to targeting the money supply, Volcker went into action. The Fed increased its benchmark federal funds rate from 10.5% in July 1979 to 17.6% in April 1980. Volcker then reversed course during an ill-advised but short-lived experiment with credit controls in the spring of 1980, before resuming a monetary-policy tightening that eventually pushed the funds rate to a monthly peak of 19.1% in June 1981. Only then did the fever of double-digit inflation break.

By late 1982, with the US in deep recession, annual headline CPI inflation had slipped below 4%, and the Fed started to reduce the benchmark policy rate. Mindful of the deeply entrenched inflationary psychology still gripping America, the Fed moved slowly and cautiously. Volcker, having broken the back of inflation, was not about to “leave town” until the Fed’s mission was complete.

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Martha Mitchell.

Leaking Information Is a Key Tenet of Democracy. Just Look at the Past (NW)

The art of leaking, as recent events suggest, are integral to upholding American values when the upper echelons of power seek to denigrate them. The story of Martha Mitchell, the wife of Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell, is a case in point to why whistleblowing must be protected under American law at all costs. Her story is being recounted via a Starz miniseries that pays tribute to her whistleblowing efforts and pours scorn on those who treated her with contempt. Mitchell offered the press a behind the palace walls glimpse into the goings-on in the White House, and her vivacious truth-telling was key to the unravelling of the Watergate scandal that consequently cost Nixon the presidency.

Mitchell was drugged and kidnapped by her husband’s coterie of sycophants for her role in trying to expose Nixon’s unjust involvement in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters. She was tainted as mentally unfit by the White House in their bid to tarnish a critic ready to spill information on corruption at the highest level. Why must the nation of the free world, a purported bastion of democratic principle, hasten to launch a smear campaign against anyone who seeks to divulge the truth? There’s been a smear campaign like no other against Wikileaks founder and thorn-in-the-side of American cover-ups, Julian Assange, for years. Assange is currently held in a maximum security prison in the U.K., awaiting his fate by the Home Office on whether he will be extradited to the U.S. over disclosure of national security information.

Wikileaks uncovered numerous scandals committed by the American establishment, but it’s the establishment that attempts to absolve itself by lamenting the website as treasonous. Assange’s willingness to reveal dark secrets emboldened other whistleblowers to follow suit. Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was responsible for releasing a tranche of classified materials by the U.S. military, which included videos of merciless airstrikes in Iraq and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables. Manning was castigated by international governments, as was Edward Snowden for leaking to The Guardian documents on global surveillance programs headed by the National Security Agency. Both have become polarizing figures in world history where critics call them cowards, while others hail them as patriots.

The leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion is the latest in a long line of events committed to uncovering the truth and subsequently holding those in power accountable. This leak is timely, with a milestone that marks a period of reflection for the whistleblowers at the center of the Watergate affair, particularly those like Mitchell who were routinely admonished. The leaker within the Supreme Court, alongside the art of whistleblowing itself, must be protected under democracy without question. Decisions are currently being made that will affect Americans for generations to come. If it wasn’t for those who have the courage to blow the whistle, crimes committed by an increasingly autocratic America would continue to imperil the thriving democracy it claims to be.

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He tried his best to lose $100 billion.

Twitter Investors Sue Elon Musk For “Manipulating Stock Price Lower” (ZH)

Among the headaches that Elon Musk faces regarding his proposed takeover of Twitter is now an investor lawsuit claiming that Musk “manipulated the company’s stock price downward” during the course of his involvement in the company. Investors are alleging that Musk saved himself $156 million by not reporting, in a timely fashion, that he had purchased more than 5% of Twitter by March 14, a new report from Bloomberg/Yahoo says. The investors also asked to be certified as a class and to be awarded both punitive and compensatory damages. In addition to Musk, Twitter was also named as a defendant, as investor agued that the company didn’t do enough to look into Musk’s conduct. The suit alleges his conduct was to “drive Twitter’s stock down substantially in order to create leverage.”

“Musk’s market manipulation worked. Twitter has lost $8 billion in valuation since the buyout was announced,” the lawsuit reads, according to a follow up writeup by Bloomberg Law. The suit alleges that Musk continued to buy stock after not disclosing his stake, amassing a 9.2% stake. “By delaying his disclosure of his stake in Twitter, Musk engaged in market manipulation and bought Twitter stock at an artificially low price,” the lawsuit says. It also claims that Tesla’s drop has hampered Musk’s ability to consummate the transaction. The lawsuit alleges that Musk’s Tweets about Twitter – namely allegations that the company had too many spam bots and the resultant decision to put the buyout “temporarily on hold” – also were an attempt to drive the share price lower.

Musk’s motive may have been to stave off a margin call, the report notes: According to the proposed class action, Musk’s moves were aimed at staving off the risk of a margin call stemming from the fluctuating value of shares in Tesla, the electric vehicle maker he leads, which is “worth much less now than when Musk agreed to buy Twitter” after a 37% drop over the past month. The suit came the same day Musk disclosed that he was partly restructuring the transaction to offset that risk by providing more than $6 billion in additional equity financing.

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Imran Khan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 212022
 
 May 21, 2022  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The deposition 1632-33

 

Biden’s America Rots from the Head Down (J.B. Shurk)
The Swamp Must Be Drained (Conrad Black)
Elon Musk: There Will Be Blood (CTH)
Robby Mook Testifies Hillary Directed Campaign to Push Russiagate (CTH)
Theories Exist to Be Proven (Jim Kunstler)
Monkeypox Was a Table-Top Simulation Only Last Year (Senger)
Monkeypox Fears May Rescue Endangered Corporations (Whitney Webb)
Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, May 18, 2022 (Saker)
So How Serious Is Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Romance? (Chung)
Yes, The Ukraine War Could Have Been Prevented (Maple)
Russia Will Shut Off Gas To Finland From Saturday (CNBC)
Ruble Hits 7-Year High As Gas Buyers Bow To Putin’s Payment Mandate (ZH)

 

 

 

 

I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.
– Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

 

Vaccine injured

 

 

“..a mottled, tattered soul that would turn the stomachs of the devil’s most sulfurous henchmen..”

Biden’s America Rots from the Head Down (J.B. Shurk)

Perhaps no head of state before Joe Biden has so completely personified the maritime proverb that the fish rots from the head down. In both deed and physical decay, he is that putrefying rancidness wafting from where offal is tossed near the dock whose ability to trigger the gag reflexes of unsuspecting travelers seems the perfect metaphor for this nauseating moment in American history. Not only is Joe’s walking corpse a fitting symbol for a country that has never looked more debilitated, but the reality (ignored by the State’s slavishly devoted press corps) that his cognitive acuity is plummeting so fast that terminal velocity was reached long ago drives the point home that the head of our head of state is rotting, too.

When Biden’s handlers sent him to Buffalo, New York, to exploit a mass murder by blaming conservatives, liberty-lovers, Trump Republicans, Fox News, and just about anybody to the right of Karl Marx for a crime whose perpetrator didn’t even merit the faux-president’s direct condemnation, angry, spiteful Joe Biden showed just what a miserable, acidic, revolting excuse for a human being he’s always been. A real president would have mourned the dead, comforted the survivors, consoled the grieving, and united Americans through the common bonds of their humanity. But Joe Biden is no real president, so he both dishonored the solemnity of the occasion and betrayed his sacred duty to elevate the nation’s welfare over the interests of his party’s political power. With an outstretched, bony finger good for nothing now but casting blame, he tarnished the tragedy with petty partisanship, rebuffed the nation’s need for grace, befouled what should have been dignified, and withered further the civic sinews barely binding Americans together as one nation. Biden’s moment in Buffalo was disgraceful.


I know Republicans such as Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham love to tell stories about how charming and friendly the Great Mental Void from Delaware has always been, but you can’t spew such filthy, spiteful rhetoric as Biden did in Buffalo without having a dark and rotten soul. This is who Joe Biden has been all his wretched life. When he wasn’t stealing other people’s words for his own use or orchestrating Justice Thomas’s “high-tech lynching,” he was running around the country telling black Americans that Republicans wanted to “put y’all back in chains,” scaring elderly Americans that Obamacare opponents wanted to destroy their Medicare, or straight-up lying about the authenticity of his son’s “laptop from hell.” You don’t have to watch that old lecherous canker fondle children or impose on women’s personal space to know that Joe Biden has a mottled, tattered soul that would turn the stomachs of the devil’s most sulfurous henchmen.

Eagle is wandering

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Elon.

The Swamp Must Be Drained (Conrad Black)

The Democrats are increasingly desperate as the return of Donald Trump becomes more likely each week. They are muddling the sequence of events that got us to the present impasse: Trump ran against the corrupt back-scratching, log-rolling society of the OBushintons—the Clinton pay-to-play schemes, the Biden sales of influence and access, the semi-disguised socialist racism elitism of the Obamas, and the flabby sameness and ineffectuality of the Bush–McCain–Romney–McConnell–Ryan Republicans. Trump sensed the people were dissatisfied with the bipartisan Swamp, and he ran as strenuously against the Bushes and McCain and Romney in 2016 as he did against the Clintons and Obamas.

The anti-Trumpers of both parties, in the most legally questionable presidential election in U.S. history, eased Trump out in 2020 with the aid of 4.8 million harvested ballots, 95 percent of the national political media, and 70 percent of the campaign money, to bring in (unintentionally, one assumes, although there was plenty of warning) the most incompetent regime in the country’s history. In 2020, the Washington establishment demonstrated the accuracy of Trump’s claims of how corrupt and unscrupulous it was, and Biden has demonstrated that it’s even more incompetent at government than Trump alleged. The Swamp must be drained, and distasteful though he might be in some ways, probably no one less formidable in his egocentricity and demagogic talents than Trump could drain the Swamp.

The Republicans between Reagan and Trump were all inducted into it themselves, and the Republican “Never-Trumpers” are as fierce in their animosity toward the former president as toward the Democrats, and as the Democrats are toward Trump. Only Trump can finish the job. This is why the latest anti-Trump wheeze is to send Biden and Trump out to pasture together, as if it were an even trade: The Democrats get rid of their two biggest problems, and the Republicans return to being doormats, awarded the White House and the speaker’s chair at times as long as they don’t interrupt the majestic slide into the Democratic socialist paradise (with a permanent free tax-lunch for their rich friends in Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood). Biden is irrelevant and Trump has the stamina of a 40-year-old; the call for joint retirement is bunk on all counts.

[..] The Democrats hid their innocuous candidate in 2020 in his basement on grounds of COVID-19, while using the same justification for drastic changes in key states of voting and vote-counting rules, changes that were often effected illegally, and the judiciary abdicated and refused to judge any of the serious complaints on their merits. It was the most dangerously illegal assault on the integrity of the election process and on the constitutional balance of powers in the country’s history. The problem is not that both 2020 candidates are now too elderly. The problem is that 2020 and the run-up to it demonstrated that the Swamp is as venal and self-interested and corrupt as Trump said in 2016, and they are back.

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“..swinging the social control pendulum away from the government..”

Elon Musk: There Will Be Blood (CTH)

In a series of tweets today, Elon Musk, the Tesla/SpaceX CEO, world’s richest man and tech billionaire who recently announced he is voting republican, announced his intent to set up what he calls a “hardcore litigation department” filled with “hardcore streetfighters” because “there will be blood”:

This announcement is bookended by Elon Musk’s deal to purchase the Twitter social media platform, a resistant internal company ideological adversary, and a warning from the political left with Business Insider publishing an alleged sexual misconduct story. Indeed, it does appear that Elon Musk is preparing for a war that will likely include the Fourth Branch of Government as an adversary. Additionally, Elon Musk is drawing attention to the corruption in the 2016 election by spotlighting the trial of Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann. Mr. Musk notes in his remarks that discovering the Trump-Russia collusion story was a hoax put together by the Clinton campaign, media and allies in government, “makes you wonder what else is fake.”

For CTH readers, and those who followed the series of events since 2016, the trial of Sussmann is not revealing anything we didn’t already know. However, for people who did not follow the deeply corrupt construct, the Sussmann trial is creating a new awakening. Musk notes he found out about it a month ago “and was blown away”. We must remember the vast majority of people in the U.S. have no idea the scale of corruption that took place within the Trump-Russia and Spygate operations. This trial is becoming a vending machine for red pill distribution. Also, perhaps keep in mind where you were a few years ago. Imagine, as an example, all of these newly awakened people finally discovering and accepting the FBI are the bad guys.


It likely took many CTH readers multiple years and dozens of examples before that acceptance was grounded. These are bitter pill acceptances, that eventually do lead to major changes in the social fabric and cohesion of a nation; but it’s a painful journey. Final thoughts… Do not dismiss the importance of what Elon Musk is doing. In addition to introducing millions of Americans to something they are newly experiencing, this shift in cultural opinion is akin to Musk playing the role of John Galt and swinging the social control pendulum away from the government.

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He sold her out. She will have to be questioned, under oath.

Wonder what he’s so afraid of.

Robby Mook Testifies Hillary Directed Campaign to Push Russiagate (CTH)

Former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook was called as a prosecution witness in the trial against Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann today. During his appearance Mook was questioned about the fraudulent Alfa-Bank story that lies at the center of the prosecution against Sussmann. Robby Mook testified he had no idea who Sussmann was or what he was doing. However, Mook also stated he learned of the Alfa-Bank research during a meeting in 2016 and took it to Hillary Clinton, who then told him to share it with media.

MSM – “Hillary Clinton personally approved leaking to the media information alleging a connection between Donald Trump and a Russian bank in 2016, which the campaign itself had not fully confirmed, according to testimony Friday by Clinton’s campaign manager. Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign chief, said in federal court that as the campaign against Trump heated up in the late summer and early fall of 2016, Marc Elias, who was then a lawyer with the Perkins Coie law firm and served as the campaign’s top legal adviser, told Mook that “people with expertise” in cyber activity had briefed the campaign on data alleging links between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Russian financial institution with ties to the Kremlin.

Mook’s testimony for the first time puts Clinton in the middle of a leak to the news media that ultimately blew up in the campaign’s face. The FBI quickly determined that the purported connection between the Russian bank and the Trump Organization was implausible and Michael Sussmann, Elias’s then law partner who brought the claims to the FBI, has since been indicted by Justice Department special counsel John Durham on charges he lied to the bureau’s general counsel to hide his connection to the Clinton campaign.”

Aside from the fact this revelation might be the biggest duh in modern political history, if my memory is correct Donald Trump has an outstanding lawsuit against Clinton and the campaign. This testimony could be useful.

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“..schlubby lawyer..”

Theories Exist to Be Proven (Jim Kunstler)

Time, they say, is nature’s way of making sure that everything doesn’t happen at once. Then why does everything seem to be happening at once? These must be unnaturally strange times. Here comes Ukraine… there goes Ukraine… our money is worthless… no water for Las Vegas… buh-bye Roe v Wade…financial markets wobbling… vaccine injuries everywhere… diesel prices killing truckers… food shortages… UFOs… World War Three… white supremacists… no baby formula… whoa… duck-and-cover, here comes monkeypox! So it goes with criticality in hyper-complex systems, the passing of thresholds into breakdown, all at the same time, failures mutually ramifying other failures seemingly unconnected, and weird things popping up in the dust and rubble like monsters in a bad dream.

I know it’s disconcerting to see the world fly apart. Forgive me then, while you fret about the future of your loved ones and your retirement account, if I focus in on just one thing for the moment: the doings of federal attorney John Durham, the special counsel looking into matters pertaining to RussiaGate, the first step in America’s attempted suicide. Mr. Durham is currently prosecuting a small fish, a sardine among the Lawfare sharks and killer whales of K Street, Michael Sussmann, for telling one measly lie to the FBI. Mr. Durham has been at this task for two years plus. That’s a long time to spend on a simple crime based on a few easy-to-get bits of evidence: a cell phone text, some emails, the testimony of one principal witness — and a pretext that no one ever took seriously in the first place: the punk-ass Alfa Bank conduit-to-Russia story.

So, in 2016, schlubby lawyer Michael Sussmann from Perkins Coie, the DC law firm representing the Hillary Clinton Campaign, asks for a meeting with his old DOJ colleague, Jim Baker, now General Counsel (top lawyer) for the FBI. He has some sensitive information that the Bureau might find interesting. He says he does not represent any particular client in the matter, he’s just stepping forward as a patriotic citizen. He emphasizes this point more than once, including a text, recorded in the digital cloud (uh-oh), the night before the meeting. He comes in out of the swampy Potomac heat to Mr. Baker’s air-conditioned lair at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue and spins a tale about a Russian-owned outfit called Alfa-Bank with computer servers located in the vicinity of Trump Tower in New York City, which, he alleges, are being used by candidate Donald Trump to communicate with bad guys in Russia.

The story goes nowhere fast. The FBI discounts it. Turns out that Mr. Sussmann billed the hours spent on this folderol to Hillary for America, which, prima facie, indicates he was working for her campaign at the time. Six years later, he’s indicted. Anyway, perhaps unbeknownst to Mr. Sussman, the FBI, in July 2016, had already ramped up an investigation into the Trump campaign with the sexy name “Crossfire Hurricane” — a lyric bit from the ancient Rolling Stones’ hit “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” — so anointed by FBI sexy super-agent Peter Strozk, who was at the time jumpin’ in-and-out of bed with colleague Lisa Page, legal counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

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“Take these guys to Vegas!”

Monkeypox Was a Table-Top Simulation Only Last Year (Senger)

Elite media outlets around the world are on red alert over the world’s first-ever global outbreak of Monkeypox in mid-May 2022—just one year after an international biosecurity conference in Munich held a simulation of a “global pandemic involving an unusual strain of Monkeypox” beginning in mid-May 2022. Monkeypox was first identified in 1958, but there’s never been a global Monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa until now—in the exact week of the exact month predicted by the biosecurity folks in their pandemic simulation. Take these guys to Vegas! Ed Yong, who’s penned dozens of hysterical articles on Covid for The Atlantic including such gems as COVID-19 Long-Haulers Are Fighting for Their Future, Even Health-Care Workers With Long COVID Are Being Dismissed, How Did This Many Deaths Become Normal? and The Final Pandemic Betrayal, is hot on the scene of the new Monkeypox outbreak.

Eric Feigl-Ding is also all over this. Epidemiologists Jennifer Nuzzo and Bill Hanage are on the scene—but still no word from them as to whether they see anything strange about the first-ever global Monkeypox outbreak occurring in mid-May 2022, a year after they acted as advisers on an international biosecurity simulation of a global Monkeypox outbreak occurring in mid-May 2022. The US Government is hot on the scene with an order of 13 million Monkeypox vaccine doses from Bavarian Nordic. The WHO is on the scene. The global Monkeypox outbreak—occurring on the exact timeline predicted by a biosecurity simulation of a global Monkeypox outbreak a year prior—bears a striking resemblance to the outbreak of COVID-19 just months after Event 201, a simulation of a coronavirus pandemic almost exactly like COVID-19.

Event 201 was hosted in October 2019—just two months before the coronavirus was first revealed in Wuhan—by the Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum, Bloomberg, and Johns Hopkins. As with the Event 201, the participants at the Monkeypox simulation have thus far been stone silent as to their having participated in a pandemic simulation the facts of which happened to come true in real life just months later. One person who was present at both Event 201 and the Monkeypox simulation is George Fu Gao, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control. At event 201, Gao specifically raised the point of countering “misinformation” during a “hypothetical” coronavirus pandemic.

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“That billionaire, “corporate raider” Ron Perelman, has deep and controversial ties to the Clinton family and the Democratic party as well as troubling ties to Jeffery Epstein.”

Monkeypox Fears May Rescue Endangered Corporations (Whitney Webb)

In recent days, concern over a global outbreak of monkeypox, a mild disease related to smallpox and chickenpox, has been hyped in the media and health ministries around the world, even prompting an emergency meeting at the World Health Organization (WHO). For some, fears have centered around monkeypox being the potential “next pandemic” after Covid-19. For others, the fear is that monkeypox will be used as the latest excuse to further advance draconian biosecurity policies and global power grabs. Regardless of how the monkeypox situation plays out, two companies are already cashing in. As concern over monkeypox has risen, so too have the shares of Emergent Biosolutions and SIGA Technologies.

Both companies essentially have monopolies in the US market, and other markets as well, on smallpox vaccines and treatments. Their main smallpox-focused products are, conveniently, also used to protect against or treat monkeypox as well. As a result, the shares of Emergent Biosolutions climbed 12% on Thursday, while those of SIGA soared 17.1%. For these companies, the monkeypox fears are a godsend, specifically for SIGA, which produces a smallpox treatment, known by its brand name TPOXX. It is SIGA’s only product. While some outlets have noted that the rise in the valuation of SIGA Technologies has coincided with recent concerns about monkeypox, essentially no attention has been given to the fact that the company is apparently the only piece of a powerful billionaire’s empire that isn’t currently crumbling.

That billionaire, “corporate raider” Ron Perelman, has deep and controversial ties to the Clinton family and the Democratic party as well as troubling ties to Jeffery Epstein. Aside from his controlling stake in SIGA, Perelman has recently made headlines for rapidly liquidating many of his assets in a desperate bid for cash. Similarly, Emergent Biosolutions has also been in hot water. The company, which has troubling ties to the 2001 Anthrax attacks, came under fire just under two weeks ago for engaging in a “cover up” over quality control issues relating to their production of Covid-19 vaccines. A Congressional investigation found that quality control concerns at an Emergent-run facility led to more than 400 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines being discarded. The Emergent factory in question had been shut down by the FDA in April 2021. They were allowed to reopen last August before the government terminated the contract.

Maajid

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“It was Russia that urged the UN to look into this situation and persuade the Kiev regime to let people walk out.”

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, May 18, 2022 (Saker)

The special military operation continues in Ukraine. As Russian leaders have said more than once, it is going according to plan, and new territories are being freed from the Nazis every day. The Ukrainian military personnel and militants in Azov nationalist units that entrenched themselves in the underground bunkers of the Azovstal Plant, began to surrender in Mariupol this week. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, 959 Ukrainian nationalists, including 51 with severe wounds, have laid down their arms over two days. They receive medical aid at the Novoazovsk hospital in the DPR, and the rest were sent to a pretrial detention centre in Yelenovka in the suburbs of Donetsk. Indicatively, on May 17, this centre was shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs).

The Kiev regime has always treated its citizens like this, and this case was no exception. Russian leaders had repeatedly stated that resistance was senseless and announced the opening of humanitarian corridors for militants and Ukrainian military personnel to leave the Azovstal Plant after laying down their arms. They were urged to stop the hostilities. In the meantime, the Kiev regime was doing all it could to prevent civilians, military personnel and militants from leaving the plant. Why? They were brainwashing the public. It was Russia that urged the UN to look into this situation and persuade the Kiev regime to let people walk out. Later, Russia organised humanitarian corridors in cooperation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. I would like to emphasise that the initiative on announcing and opening these corridors was ours.

The wounded troops are provided with professional medical help. This fact is being turned upside down and misrepresented in the Ukrainian and international media. Remember the footage showing how the militants and the Armed Forces of Ukraine treat POWs in Ukraine? Everyone saw it. It horrified many, others pretended not to have seen it. Russian POWs were shot to death by militants from the nationalist units that became part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russia has adopted a different approach. You see footage showing professional help being provided to the wounded [Ukrainian troops]. It is not being provided “for show.” It is provided to real individuals regardless of their background. Humanitarian law is not just something we abide by; it is of fundamental importance for us. No one should have any doubt about this.

According to Ukrainian POWs, the military leadership of Ukraine forbids the troops to retreat or surrender. Their key goal is to destroy as much civilian infrastructure as possible in order to leave behind uninhabitable ruins and make it hard to restore peaceful life. This is not our messaging, but the testimony received from the Ukrainian side over the past weeks.

There Is No “Open Corridor” Through West and Central Ukraine

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“Not irrelevant in all of this is the fact that Freeland’s grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper during WWII in Galicia and that she is indeed aware of this and apparently unapologetic.”

So How Serious Is Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Romance? (Chung)

I suggest we do a little exercise together. Let us dare to discern the “facts” for ourselves. Only then, will we cease being mere cheerleaders for a team; only then, can we qualify ourselves to ask in all honest sincerity, “whose side are we truly on?” Are Nazis Now the New “Good Guys”? There is a bit of mixed messaging that has been going on, especially in the last few weeks. Are there significant numbers of Nazis in Ukraine and are these “bad” or “good” Nazis in the context that they are fighting the Russian “invaders”? In one breath we hear the counter, how can there be Nazis in Ukraine when there is a Jewish President calling the shots? In another breath we hear Facebook is now allowing users to praise the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion while they are fighting Russians.

In yet another breath we hear, well its complicated, Ukrainian Nationalism should be considered at the forefront of any debate, even if it overlaps with Nazi ideology. On Feb. 27, 2022, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland held a scarf bearing the slogan “Slava Ukraini,” meaning “Glory to Ukraine,” with the “Blood and Soil” colors of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and massacred thousands of Jews and Poles). She then proceeded to post this picture onto her Twitter account (replacing it hours later with a picture of her without the “Blood and Soil” scarf) and accused her detractors of “reeking of Russian disinformation”. This controversial picture of Freeland was reported by Canada’s National Post.

According to Freeland’s press secretary, this was just another case of a “classic KGB disinformation smear… accusing Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Canadians of being far right extremists or fascists or Nazis,” which is a confusing statement on multiple levels. It is not clear how this is a case of “Russian disinformation,” since the picture is indeed authentic, Freeland does not deny this. And she is indeed holding a “Blood and Soil” emblem, which originated with the Nazis, clear for everyone to see. Lastly, it is confusing as to why the Canadian government seems to be unaware that the KGB no longer exists. Are they also under the impression that the Soviet Union still exists? Not irrelevant in all of this is the fact that Freeland’s grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper during WWII in Galicia and that she is indeed aware of this and apparently unapologetic.

Whenever she is questioned about this, she does not deny anything, but simply blames such a focus of inquiry on Russian disinformation with the intent to “destabilize Western democracies.” That is, it is not a question of what is one’s historical or ideological background, but a question of “whose side are you on?” Interestingly, it was the Canadian newspaper “The Globe and Mail” who reported this story, titled “Freeland knew her grandfather was editor of Nazi newspaper,” thus, not a Russian publication last time I checked. And upon whom did they base such information? None other than Freeland’s own uncle, John-Paul Himka, who is now professor emeritus at the University of Alberta.

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More from Canada.

Yes, The Ukraine War Could Have Been Prevented (Maple)

Foreign policy experts are pushing back against the Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine’s recent claim that nothing could have prevented Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. In an interview with CBC News’ Rosemary Barton last Sunday, Larisa Galadza, who returned to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv this month after the Canadian embassy was evacuated ahead of the invasion in February, said: “I don’t think there was anyone who could stop Putin doing what Putin did, given the frame of mind that we all expect him to be in. He wasn’t believing history. He wasn’t logical. He wasn’t rational. He isn’t rational, so I don’t know how one prevents that.” Barton did not press Galadza on those claims, and instead asked about how the ambassador felt when the Canadian flag was raised again over the embassy in Kyiv last week.

Ivan Katchanovski, a political science professor with expertise on Ukraine and Russia at the University of Ottawa, told The Maple that Galadza’s claims are not supported by evidence or scholarship. “[The war] could have been avoided and prevented,” Katchanovski explained. Specifically, an agreement in which Ukraine promised to remain a neutral country and the fulfilment of the Minsk accords could have stopped Putin’s invasion, he said. The Minsk accords were two agreements, the first signed in 2014 and the second in 2015, that were established in an effort to end fighting in the Donbas region between Ukrainian forces and Russian separatists. The agreements granted self-governing rights to areas of the Donbas region that were held by the separatists, among other pledges.

The 2014 agreement broke down and failed to stop the fighting. The updated agreement in 2015 was never properly implemented, and ceasefire violations from both sides continued. According to data from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors the conflict, there were more than 93,000 ceasefire violations on both sides and 16 civilian deaths caused by the fighting in the Donbas region in 2021. Heavy concentrations of explosions caused by shells fired by multi-launch rocket systems, artillery, mortars and tanks landed in areas held by separatists, where ethnic Russians constitute the largest minority group. According to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, 81 per cent of the 381 civilian casualties caused by the fighting from 2018 to 2021 were in separatist-held areas.

Western countries have been criticized for not pressuring Ukraine to uphold its side of the Minsk agreement. Katchanovski suggested that before Putin’s invasion, a successful peace agreement could have allowed for Ukraine to eventually join the European Union (EU) in exchange for neutrality. EU integration was a key demand of the Western-backed 2014 uprising that overthrew Kyiv’s pro-Russia government. The violent uprising and its fallout prompted Russia’s annexation of Crimea the same year. However, seeking a peace deal with Russia, “was not a policy of the United States, which has a very strong influence on Ukrainian politics and on [Ukrainian President Volodymr] Zelenskyy in particular,” Katchanovski explained. He said Ukraine is a “U.S. client state.”

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Rubles.

Russia Will Shut Off Gas To Finland From Saturday (CNBC)

Russia may have just made its first retaliatory move against Finland after lawmakers in Helsinki officially applied to join the NATO military alliance. Gasum, Finland’s state-owned gas wholesaler, said in a statement Friday morning that imports from Russia will be halted on Saturday. “On the afternoon of Friday May 20, Gazprom Export informed Gasum that natural gas supplies to Finland under Gasum’s supply contract will be cut on Saturday May 21, 2022 at 07.00,” it said in a statement. Gasum’s CEO, Mika Wiljanen, added that the company had been preparing for such a situation “and provided that there will be no disruptions in the gas transmission network, we will be able to supply all our customers with gas in the coming months.”


“Gasum will supply natural gas to its customers from other sources through the Balticconnector pipeline. Gasum’s gas filling stations in the gas network area will continue in normal operation,” he said. It comes after Russia’s state-run gas giant Gazprom in April told Poland and Bulgaria that it would halt flows after both countries refused Moscow’s demand to pay for gas supplies in rubles. Gasum gave no reason for the move, but Finland has also reportedly refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles. It also comes just two days after Finland formally applied to join NATO. Russia had warned of retaliation if the traditionally neutral nation became a member of the Western military alliance. After Finland’s application, alongside fellow Nordic nation Sweden, Moscow wasted no time in making its feelings known, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying Monday that the expansion of NATO “is a problem.”

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More rubles.

Ruble Hits 7-Year High As Gas Buyers Bow To Putin’s Payment Mandate (ZH)

On Friday the ruble surged to the highest level in seven years against the euro, thanks in large part to the Putin-ordered mandatory conversion of foreign currency by export-focused companies, also as China and India (and much of Europe) are still buying Russia’s energy and agricultural products… despite the loud the threats coming from Washington, which have lately included a potential move to block Russian sovereign debt payments. At this point the Russian currency is about 20% stronger than pre-invasion, as the war grinds on into its fourth month. Jumping as much as 9% against the Euro, the ruble last hit this level in June 2015… Aiding the surge, there’s further been weak demand for dollars and euros given restrictions on cross-border transactions, and as an increasingly isolated Russia sees slowed imports.


While it’s unclear which companies or countries are consenting to the Putin-ordered ruble payment mechanism, it’s clear the Russian leader’s gambit is working, as Bloomberg reviews: Under the new mechanism, importers of Russian pipeline gas must open two accounts at Gazprombank to handle payments for the fuel. Around half of Gazprom’s more than 50 foreign clients have already opened such accounts, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this week. Finland has become the latest alongside Poland and Bulgaria last month being cut off from Russian gas supplies (Finland confirmed its taps will be cut Saturday, though much less reliant on gas among its diverse resources). Novak further confirmed that a number of “major clients” have either already paid using the mechanism are are willing to pay on time to avoid cutoff.

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Kolakusic

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 202022
 


Marion Post Wolcott Signboard along highway in Alabama 1939

 

Many Ukrainian Fighters Remain In Azovstal, ‘Operation Going On’ (R.)
Surrender “On Far Bigger Scale Than Kyiv Has Acknowledged” (ZH)
Biden Resists Ukrainian Demands For Long-range Rocket Launchers (Pol.)
When US Pivot Is Seen As An ‘Expansion’ Into Asia (Kukis)
US Aid To Ukraine Borrowed From China: Rand Paul (JTN)
US Adds $100 Million In Arms For Ukraine On Top Of $40 Billion Aid Package (PM)
Senate Blocks $48 Billion Aid For Restaurants, Other Small Businesses (Hill)
SpaceX Flight Attendant Said Elon Musk Exposed Himself (BI)
Half Of America Faces Power Blackouts This Summer (ZH)
Analysis of Hunter Biden’s Hard Drive (NBC)
How The Feds’ Civil Suit Against Steve Wynn Helps Hunter Biden (Turley)
Trump Lawyer Demands CIA Action Against Ex-agents on Hunter Biden Laptop (JTN)
African Nations Resisting Bitcoin Only Delay The Inevitable (BCM)
A Theory of Impossibility (Fred Reed)

 

 

 

 

George W. Bush prank call

 

 

Poso WHO

 

 

The ones that remain are those who have most to fear from Russia. But ‘Operation Going On’ is BS, it’s over.

Many Ukrainian Fighters Remain In Azovstal, ‘Operation Going On’ (R.)

Russia’s siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol stuttered towards its end on Thursday, with hundreds of fighters still holed up in the Azovstal steel works and some 1,700 who have already surrendered facing an uncertain fate. A full abandonment of the bunkers and tunnels of the bombed-out plant would end the most destructive siege of a war that began when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. It was unclear how many fighters remained inside. Russia’s defence ministry said 771 fighters from the Azov Regiment had surrendered in the past day, bringing the total of those who had given themselves up since Monday to 1,730. Ukrainian officials declined to comment, saying it could endanger rescue efforts.

Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy head of the Azov Regiment, released an 18-second video address on Thursday to say he and other commanders were still on the territory of the plant. “A certain operation is going on, the details of which I will not disclose. Thank you to the whole world and thank you to Ukraine for (your) support,” he said. Denis Pushilin, head of the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, which now encompasses Mariupol, said more than half the fighters had surrendered, and that the uninjured had been taken to a penal colony near Russian-controlled Donetsk. “Let them surrender, let them live, let them honestly face the charges for all their crimes,” he told an online video channel.

[..] Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Mariupol’s last defenders – regular soldiers as well as members of the National Guard, to which the Azov Regiment belongs – are national heroes, and that he hopes they can be exchanged for Russian prisoners. Moscow portrays the regiment as one of the main perpetrators of the alleged radical anti-Russian nationalism and neo-Nazism which it says threaten Ukraine’s Russian-speakers. read more The unit, formed in 2014 as a militia to fight Russian-backed separatists, denies being fascist, racist or neo-Nazi, and Ukraine says it has been reformed away from its radical nationalist origins. The Kremlin said the combatants would be treated in line with international norms, though some Russian lawmakers demanded they be tried for war crimes and one demanded they face the death penalty.

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Yesterday 771 surrendered, today’s number will probably be a bit lower.

Surrender “On Far Bigger Scale Than Kyiv Has Acknowledged” (ZH)

Russia’s defense ministry has now revised the numbers of Ukrainian fighters to have emerged from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol upward to more than 1,700 soldiers that have left the plant. A new Reuters headline has stressed that there’s ongoing “silence from Kyiv” as the surrender is on a much larger than expected scale: Moscow said on Thursday that 1,730 Ukrainian fighters had surrendered in Mariupol over three days, including 771 in the past 24 hours, claiming a surrender on a far bigger scale than Kyiv has acknowledged since ordering its garrison to stand down. Statements from early in the week by Ukrainian officials, including President Zelensky, attempted to downplay this as “surrender” – avoiding the word altogether and instead stressing the end of the “combat mission” and that its Azov fighters were “evacuated”.

Russian-backed separatists in control of the area, Denis Pushilin, has recently said many of Azov’s top commanders still remain inside the huge, cavernous steelworks facility. Reuters observes, “The ultimate outcome of Europe’s bloodiest battle for decades remained publicly unresolved, with no confirmation of the fate of the hundreds of Ukrainian troops who had held out in a vast steelworks at the end of a near three-month siege.” “Ukraine, which says it aims to secure a prisoner swap, has declined to say how many were inside the plant or comment on the fate of the rest, since confirming that just over 250 had surrendered in the initial hours after it ordered them to yield,” the report added. Meanwhile, a report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) suggests that indeed the number of fighters which were hold up at the plant for months is likely significantly higher that what was known. The Red Cross has thus far registered “hundreds”…

On Tuesday the ICRC started “to register combatants leaving the Azovstal plant, including the wounded, at the request of the parties,” it said in a statement from its headquarters in Geneva. “The operation continued Wednesday and was still ongoing Thursday,” it added. It was previously reported that the wounded are being transported by the Russian military to one of its administered hospitals in the Donbas, some 40km away. The Red Cross sought to stress that it is a neutral humanitarian organization which will monitor the transfer of the prisoners. “The ICRC is not transporting POWs to the places where they are held,” an official statement said. “The registration process that the ICRC facilitated involves the individual filling out a form with personal details like name, date of birth and closest relative.”

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I like the notion that Biden does anything at all. It adds comic value.

Biden Resists Ukrainian Demands For Long-range Rocket Launchers (Pol.)

Ukrainian officials are growing frustrated with the Biden administration’s resistance to providing U.S.-made long-range rocket systems, a weapon Kyiv says is critical to outgunning Russia in the heavy artillery duels raging across the Donbas. Officials across the Ukrainian government have pleaded with the U.S. for months to send the Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS. But three people familiar with the issue say the Ukrainians are concerned that the White House is holding back over worries the weapon could be used to launch strikes inside Russia, thereby expanding and prolonging the conflict. “There was momentum on it at Ramstein, but that seems to have cooled,” said one congressional staffer with knowledge of discussions last month in Germany, where 40 nations gathered to discuss the next steps in arming Ukraine.

“There’s definitely a frustration building” in Kyiv over these new caveats being placed on military aid, this person said. The weapon has been near the top of Ukrainian requests for months, and military and civilian leaders in Kyiv have made their case to their American counterparts directly on multiple occasions. A Biden administration official who asked to remain anonymous to discuss internal deliberations told POLITICO that the two countries remain “in active discussion” about the weapon, but that even with the $3.8 billion worth of military aid the U.S. has sent Ukraine since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, not everything Kyiv asks for can be sent quickly. “We have to make decisions about what weapons systems provide the biggest bang for the buck,” with the money Congress allots to the Ukraine effort, the official said.

Over the past several weeks as the latest funding package began to be whittled down, the administration decided “it was more effective and efficient to send the 90 M777 [howitzers] because you can send more of them” and more munitions for the price than a much smaller number of MLRS. The U.S. has quietly provided older, Soviet-era multiple launch rocket systems to Ukraine over the past several months after scouring the warehouses of allies who still operate the older weapons. But the more precise, more powerful American systems are what Kyiv is looking for to blunt Russian advances in the Donbas.

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Biden’s in Asia right now. Wonder what drugs they give him on these long flights.

When US Pivot Is Seen As An ‘Expansion’ Into Asia (Kukis)

Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders now more than ever have reason to feel encircled with Sweden and Finland moving to join NATO this week. Moscow’s persistent fear of Western military encroachment on Russian borders now stands as a stark reality in the wake of the war in Ukraine, a seismic development in European security all the more remarkable when taking a long look back at NATO expansion. Analysts and policymakers intensely debated the future of NATO in the early 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union left Russia with a hobbled military that was in disarray. Countries close to Russia cried for protection from a future threat they were sure would emerge once Moscow reordered itself. Others saw a different future, one in which Russia became a cooperative and largely demilitarized nation integrated with Europe. NATO had no reason to exist in such a world, they said.

Remembering what was foreseeable and what was not in that period is important now when looking at the actions of the United States and its allies in East Asia, where a potentially fateful military buildup is underway. In the 1990s, it was not clear whether Russia would renew its military ambitions. But Russian officials plainly stated again and again that they regarded NATO expansion as a security threat. And even a basic reading of Russian history reveals how dire such a threat looms in the eyes of Russians who consider it their duty to safeguard the nation. Similarly now, it remains unclear whether China harbors imperialistic military ambitions as many in Washington contend. But Chinese leaders have made their feelings about an expanding U.S. military presence in Asia quite clear.

America’s pivot to Asia, which continues despite events in Europe, represents an existential security threat in the eyes of Chinese leaders. A basic understanding of geography and economics underscores why. The tradeways of the South China Sea are vital lifelines to China’s economic development. Any foreign military presence in that region operating outside of cooperation with Beijing looks like a hand reaching for the throat of the Chinese economy. Military pacts like AUKUS add to the sense of encirclement China clearly feels, a perception very similar to the one Moscow held as NATO looked to expand roughly a decade after the end of the Cold War. Leaders in Beijing today have good reason to think and act like leaders in Moscow did back in the early 2000s, when Russia grew serious about developing modern military capabilities and taking action in line with explicitly stated security aims. The start of the road to a future war in Asia stretches before us today in much the same way that the beginnings of the war in Ukraine trace back to seemingly slow-moving events almost 25 year ago in Europe.

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“To borrow the money from China simply to send it to Ukraine makes no sense and makes us weaker not stronger..”

US Aid To Ukraine Borrowed From China: Rand Paul (JTN)

Congress needs to borrow money from China to send aid to Ukraine, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told “Breitbart News Daily” on Wednesday, one day before the Senate overwhelmingly voted to send $40 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine and its allies. “I think it’s important to know that we don’t have any money to send,” Paul, a fiscal conservative, explained. “We have to borrow money from China to send it to Ukraine. And I think most people kind of get that, and many Republicans will say that when it’s a new social program, but if it’s military aid to a country, they’re like, ‘Well, we can borrow that, that’s a justified borrowing.'”

Paul voted against advancing the bill along with ten other senate Republicans: Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, John Boozman of Arkansas, Mike Braun of Indiana, Mike Crapo of Indiana, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Lee of Utah, Cynthia Lummis of West Virginia, Roger Marshall of Kansas, and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. Rampant inflation is a major concern Paul said he has with the bill. “The problem is that it all leads to inflation, so it kind of hurts the Republican argument that Biden’s spending and Biden’s debt leads to inflation, except for when it’s bipartisan spending and that doesn’t really count,” he noted.

The United States is currently more than $30 trillion in debt. The U.S. owes China more than $1 trillion, Investopedia states. Paul temporarily blocked the Ukraine aid legislation from moving forward in the Senate, but he was overruled earlier this week. “To borrow the money from China simply to send it to Ukraine makes no sense and makes us weaker not stronger,” Paul said on the Senate floor about the aid package.

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Send them some more scrap metal, why don’t you.

US Adds $100 Million In Arms For Ukraine On Top Of $40 Billion Aid Package (PM)

The Biden administration has announced $100 million in arms funding to Ukraine on top of the newly approved $40 billion aid package. On Thursday, the Senate approved $40 billion in aid for Ukraine as the nation continues to fight back against Russia’s invasion. Just hours later, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States would be sending an additional $100 million in arms. In a statement, Blinken explained that Ukrainian forces have “remained firmly in the fight” against Russia, but are in need of assistance, namely arms and other equipment. “Pursuant to a delegation from the President,” Blinken said, “I am authorizing our tenth drawdown of additional arms and equipment for Ukraine’s defense from US Department of Defense inventories, valued at up to $100 million.”


“This brings total US military assistance to Ukraine to approximately $3.9 billion in arms and equipment since Russia launched its brutal and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. “The United States is committed to helping Ukraine continue to meet its defense needs and build its future capabilities,” he continued, “as well as to bolster Allies and partners across NATO’s Eastern Flank and the broader region.” The increasing amount of money has been criticized by Republicans, however only eleven voted against the recently passed $40 billion aid package.

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Sorry guys, we need it for Ukraine. Of course you support Zelensky from your closed store!

Senate Blocks $48 Billion Aid For Restaurants, Other Small Businesses (Hill)

The Senate on Thursday blocked a bipartisan bill to provide $48 billion to restaurants, gyms and other small businesses hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Senators voted 52-43 to hold a vote on the bill, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward. Just five GOP senators voted for the motion to proceed, with the bill’s opponents citing its impact on the federal deficit and inflation. The vote likely spells doom for the bill, which was crafted by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and backed by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) as a way to help struggling small businesses get out of debt accrued during the pandemic.

“Well, this was our best shot. Make no mistake about it, we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to get it done,” Cardin told reporters after the vote. “But you know, I’ll always fight for small businesses. I’ll continue to look for ways we can help.” Pressed after the vote on any potential plans for a similar measure in the future, Wicker told The Hill, “You know, time is a very fleeting commodity, so I just don’t know.” Advocates had argued that the additional funds were needed to prevent scores of debt-ridden small businesses from closing down. The bill would have provided $40 billion to a relief fund for struggling restaurants. Democrats provided $28.6 billion to the fund in their COVID-19 relief package, but the federal dollars quickly ran out, with only one out of three applicants receiving aid.

“Local restaurants across the country expected help but the Senate couldn’t finish the job,” Erika Polmar, executive director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, said in a statement. “Neighborhood restaurants nationwide have held out hope for this program, selling their homes, cashing out retirement funds, or taking personal loans in an effort to keep their employees working and their doors open.”

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You would hope for something cleverer than this. Business Insider should be deeply ashamed of itself.

SpaceX Flight Attendant Said Elon Musk Exposed Himself (BI)

SpaceX, the aerospace firm founded by Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018, Insider has learned. The attendant worked as a member of the cabin crew on a contract basis for SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet. She accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, according to interviews and documents obtained by Insider. The incident, which took place in 2016, is alleged in a declaration signed by a friend of the attendant and prepared in support of her claim. The details in this story are drawn from the declaration as well as other documents, including email correspondence and other records shared with Insider by the friend.


According to the declaration, the attendant confided to the friend that after taking the flight attendant job, she was encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse so that she could give Musk massages. It was during one such massage in a private cabin on Musk’s Gulfstream G650ER, she told the friend, that Musk propositioned her. After Insider contacted Musk for comment, he emailed to ask for more time to respond and said there is “a lot more to this story.” “If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he wrote, calling the story a “politically motivated hit piece.” Insider extended the deadline and reiterated the offer to Musk to comment on the claims. He did not respond.

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Sometimes I’m sure they do it on purpose.

Half Of America Faces Power Blackouts This Summer (ZH)

Tens of millions of Americans could be thrown into a summer of hell as a megadrought, heatwaves, and reduced power generation could trigger widespread rolling electricity blackouts from the Great Lakes to the West Coast, according to Bloomberg, citing a new report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a regulatory body that manages grid stability. NERC warned power supplies in the Western US could be strained this summer as a historic drought reduces hydroelectric power generation due to falling reservoir levels and what’s expected to be an unseasonably hot summer.

Compound the hellacious weather backdrop with grids decommissioning fossil fuel power plants to fight climate change and their inability to bring on new green power generation, such as solar, wind, and batteries, in time, is a perfect storm waiting to happen that will produce electricity deficits that may force power companies into rolling blackouts for stability purposes. The regulatory body pointed out that supply-chain woes are delaying major Southwest solar projects, while some coal plants have trouble procuring supplies because of increased exports. They said there’s also an increasing threat of cyberattacks from Russia. By region, the Midwest power grid will be extremely tight. Across the Western US, power generation capacity has declined 2.3% since last summer, even as demand is expected to increase.

Grids in the region may have to source power from neighboring grids as extreme heat will cause people to crank up their air conditioners. A situation of low wind speeds could trigger blackouts, according to NERC. They outlined how the Midwest could face power shortfalls due to the removal of power capacity from retiring fossil fuel power plants. NERC issued a similar warning last year, stating power grids that serve 40% of the US population were at risk of blackouts. One year later, there was only one notable blackout last June during a heatwave in the Pacific Northwest that left 9,000 customers without power. But with reduced electricity generation capacity outpacing new green power sources, the risks of blackouts are increasing this year.

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Ha ha ha, from the very same people who called it Russian disinformation when that was convenient. Credibility zero.

Analysis of Hunter Biden’s Hard Drive (NBC)

From 2013 through 2018 Hunter Biden and his company brought in about $11 million via his roles as an attorney and a board member with a Ukrainian firm accused of bribery and his work with a Chinese businessman now accused of fraud, according to an NBC News analysis of a copy of Biden’s hard drive and iCloud account and documents released by Republicans on two Senate committees. The documents and the analysis, which don’t show what he did to earn millions from his Chinese partners, raise questions about national security, business ethics and potential legal exposure. In December 2020, Biden acknowledged in a statement that he was the subject of a federal investigation into his taxes.

NBC News was first to report that an ex-business partner had warned Biden he should amend his tax returns to disclose $400,000 in income from the Ukrainian firm, Burisma. GOP congressional sources also say that if Republicans take back the House this fall, they’ll demand more documents and probe whether any of Biden’s income went to his father, President Joe Biden. “No government ethics rules apply to him,” said Walter Shaub, a former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics who is now an ethics expert with the Project on Government Oversight. Shaub added, however, that “it’s imperative that no one at DOJ and no one at the White House interfere with the criminal investigation in Delaware.”

Shaub had previously raised questions about Hunter Biden’s new line of work, selling his own paintings, which created the potential to purchase a painting to buy perceived influence, and also because the White House became involved in the transactions, arranging that none of the buyers’ names be known to Biden, the White House or the public. Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI’s former assistant director for counterintelligence, said there is a national security risk when foreign powers like China see an opportunity to get close to someone like Biden. “It’s all about access and influence, and if you can compromise someone with both access and influence, that’s even better,” said Figliuzzi, now an NBC News contributor. “Better still if that target has already compromised himself.”

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Civil case vs criminal case. Yes, how convenient.

How The Feds’ Civil Suit Against Steve Wynn Helps Hunter Biden (Turley)

The Justice Department this week sued former casino mogul Steve Wynn for allegedly working as an agent for China. The lawsuit under the Foreign Agents Registration Act is bad news for Wynn, but it may be a win for another potential target: Hunter Biden. By bringing this action as a civil lawsuit, the Justice Department may have undercut the ongoing investigation by David Weiss, the US attorney for Delaware, into Hunter Biden’s foreign dealings. This civil suit doesn’t necessarily bar Weiss, but Hunter’s team can now argue that criminally charging him with a FARA violation would be inconsistent with contemporary investigations.

I recently testified in Congress on FARA prosecutions and noted that the Justice Department had largely dropped civil actions under the act in favor of criminal charges. Special counsel Robert Mueller targeted various Trump officials with FARA, using the law to investigate, search or charge attorneys from Paul Manafort to Rudy Giuliani to Victoria Toensing. I testified earlier that “after ramping up prosecutions in the last decade, the Justice Department has created precedent for the criminalization of what were previously treated as administrative violations. From Paul Manafort to the current investigation of Hunter Biden, there remain questions as to whether Justice Department will operate under a single, coherent and predictable standard.”

Some in the administration may be hoping that this charge will compel a consistent approach that would effectively decriminalize any violations under investigation in Delaware. The feds sued Wynn over his effort to intervene in the case of Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, a billionaire real-estate magnate and critic of the Chinese government. Beijing wanted the businessman back in China and hoped to persuade the US government to deny him a visa. Wynn spoke to President Donald Trump about the case, a call that carried added weight due to Wynn’s position as the Republican National Committee’s finance chairman. Wynn has interests in Macau, and his intervention was allegedly appreciated by high-ranking Chinese officials. The Justice Department asked Wynn to register as an agent, but he declined.

What is most striking about this case is how serious it is, particularly compared with past criminal cases like the prosecution of Paul Manafort. Here, Sun Lijun, then the Chinese vice minister for public security, was allegedly organizing the lobbying effort in 2017 and contacted figures like Elliott Broidy, a former RNC finance chairman, and Nickie Lum Davis, a top Trump fundraiser. Both Broidy and Davis later pleaded guilty in prosecutions. The question is why Broidy was criminally prosecuted in 2020 under FARA, including for work on the Guo matter, yet the Biden administration suddenly decided that the Wynn part of the deals should be treated as a civil matter. This is coming at the very time a grand jury is reportedly considering charges against Hunter Biden that could include FARA violations.

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“I take special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump. You’re welcome.”

Trump Lawyer Demands CIA Action Against Ex-agents on Hunter Biden Laptop (JTN)

The attorney for former President Donald Trump is demanding the CIA take “immediate legal action” against the 43 former agency employees who signed a letter in October 2020 saying Hunter Biden’s laptop was not authentic and part of a Russian disinformation campaign. The laptop from President Joe Biden’s son and its contents showing questionable actions from the Biden family were proven to be authentic more than a year after the election. “Media outlets used this purportedly credible intelligence assessment as a justification to not report on the story. Some polls show that up to 17% of people who voted for President Biden would not have if they knew about the contents of the laptop at the time,” attorney Timothy Parlatore wrote in a letter obtained by Just the News to the CIA’s Prepublication Classification Review Board Chairman, John Hedley.


“It would not be an exaggeration to say that these former intelligence officials changed the outcome of the election through knowingly flagrant misconduct,” Parlatore said in his 12-page letter. One of the letter’s CIA signatories, John Sipher, said in March, “I take special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump. You’re welcome.” He quickly followed up that he was using “sarcasm.” Parlatore wrote the letter to Headley because his agency, the PCRB, is mandated to oversee the publication of letters such as the one signed by the 43 former CIA employees. “[I]t is beyond apparent not only that the letter did not undergo the mandatory PCRB review but that it further used violative behavior that could have threatened national security and attempted to play upon the nation’s trust in its intelligence agencies to support a political talking point,” Parlatore noted.

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Excellent argument for bitcoin.

African Nations Resisting Bitcoin Only Delay The Inevitable (BCM)

Doing business on the continent of Africa is very difficult. It is difficult to get payments in and very difficult to get payments out. For example, there is a black market exchange rate, and the government sanctioned exchange rate in Nigeria, meaning that there are two economies running in parallel, on top of the difficulty of moving money out. Bitcoin fixes all of this because anyone can send and receive bitcoin in any amount at any time, without permission, and its price is determined by the market, not the State. Saying “without permission” or “permissionless” as Bitcoiners do, is a phrase loaded with so much benefit that it is hard to describe to Westerners who have no idea of what it is like to do business on the continent of Africa. They take for granted that doing business and sending and receiving fiat money is a matter of pressing a button.

In Nigeria, for example, real life is not so. Moving money is fraught with difficulties and multiple ways of making a loss on a transfer. These piled up losses can make it impossible to earn a profit, and if you do, impossible to spend or recycle it where you need to spend or recycle it. Bitcoin makes all of this go away, as well as adding extraordinary speed to all transactions that are without precedent for Nigerians and many people living on the African continent. Given all of the advantages of Bitcoin, an intelligent person would ask, “Why then hasn’t Nigeria officially embraced bitcoin as a means of payment?” This is the correct question, and there are many answers to this, some cultural, that are preventing the Nigerian government from embracing reality and acting boldly like a leader nation as El Salvador and the Central African Republic has.

Trying to do any sort of Bitcoin business in Nigeria very often involves the invocation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has a stranglehold on all businesses and bank accounts in Nigeria. Bitcoin would abolish their societal status and the reign of terror that they’ve unleashed on the great people of Nigeria. It is a sure bet that this is one of the key reasons why they’re trying so hard to stamp out Bitcoin, rather than do their duty to serve the Nigerian people by embracing this new tool. That the most populous country on the continent of Africa is the number two nation on Earth for Bitcoin adoption (one-third of all Nigerians use it) in the face of withering and unethical restrictions is a testament to the powerful and resourceful character of the Nigerian people who are born futurists, natural capitalists and extraordinary entrepreneurs: highly intelligent, capable and motivated.

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This is delightful. Don’t miss.

A Theory of Impossibility (Fred Reed)

A problem of biology for years has been the inability of evolutionists to explain how life or many of its manifestations can have evolved, irreducible complexity and all that, the usual response being ok, we aren’t sure, but any day now we will have the answer. The check is in the mail. But in fact the inexplicability grows ever greater year on year as more and more complexity is discovered, such as epigenetics, and the more complexity, the less likelihood of coming about by chance. But we advocates of Impossibility Theory assert that not only can living things not have evolved, but also that they can’t function. Too many little gear wheels. Therefore life doesn’t exist.

Consider the retina, a very thin membrane consisting of ten distinct sublayers engaging in appallingly complex biochemistry, somehow maintaining position and function for, occasionally, a hundred years. These layers consist of millions of cells doing the impossibly tricky chemical dance mentioned above, more or less perfectly. In the rest of the eye you have the three layers of the eyeball, sclera, choroid, retina, and the five layers of the cornea, epithelium, Bowman’s membrane, stroma, Descemet’s membrane, and posterior lamina. And a lens consisting of a proteinaceous goop contained in a capsule, attached to the muscular ciliary body by suspensory ligaments, and an iris of radial and circumferential fibers innervated competitively by the sympathetic and parasympathetic subsystems of the autonomic nervous system.

No way exists of explaining how this purportedly evolved—or how it works for many years without the layers of intricacy, biochemical through mechanical, collapsing. (I know this stuff because I have eye problems connected with Washington’s foreign policy.) The intricacy of life is layered. We start with a zygote which, being a cell, is bogglingly complex. This little time bomb develops into a baby, which is impossible. If you don’t think so, try reading a textbook of embryology. The migration of cells, this control gradient, that control gradient, DGRNs, perfect inerrant specialization to form implausibly precise and complex things like incus, malleus, stapes, tympanum in the ear and (very) numerous other examples, all impossible individually and more so in aggregate. Impossible, at least, unless we can come up with an auxiliary explanation. Magic seems a good candidate.

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Oliver Stone: Vladimir Putin and War in Ukraine | Lex Fridman

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

Nate Hagens – The Great Simplification – full movie

 

 

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May 182022
 


Pablo Picasso Young girl throwing a rock 1931

 

After the NATO War is Over (Batiushka)
The War in Ukraine. Scott Ritter’s Switcheroo (Whitney)
Fate Of Hundreds Of Ukrainian Soldiers Unclear As Azovstal Resistance Ends (G.)
‘Defenders of Mariupol Are The Heroes Of Our Time’ (G.)
‘Conflict Observatory’ to Document Evidence of Russian War Crimes (Celente)
McConnell Says Congress Hopes to Approve Sweden’s NATO Bid by August (ET)
EU Diplomat: ‘We Are Reaching Our Limits With Sanctions Against Russia’ (Euractiv)
Orbán Warns West is Subjecting Itself to “Suicide Waves” of Decline (SN)
Putin: EU Oil Sanctions “Economic Suicide” Ordered By “American Overlords” (ZH)
Over 120,000 Hunter Biden Emails Uploaded To Searchable Database (ZH)
‘The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter’ – Musk (Fox)

 

 


Manhattan Project

 

 

Stella

 

 

Mercouris

 

 

“Just days ago it was announced that Russia expects record grain production this year (130 million tonnes). Russia may yet demand payment in roubles for all this as well.”

After the NATO War is Over (Batiushka)

Make no mistake about it: The tragic war that is currently taking place on Ukrainian battlefields is not between the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, but between the Russian Federation and the US-controlled NATO. The latter, also called ‘the collective West’, promotes an aggressive ideology of organised violence, a politically- economically- and militarily-enforced doctrine euphemistically known as ‘Globalism’. This means hegemony by the Western world, which arrogantly calls itself ‘the international community’, over the whole planet. NATO is losing that war, which uses NATO-trained Ukrainians as its proxy cannon fodder, in three spheres, political, economic and military.

Firstly, politically, the West has finally understood that it cannot execute regime change in Moscow. Its pipedream of replacing the highly popular President Putin with is CIA stooge Navalny is not going to happen. As for the West’s puppet-president in Kiev, he is only a creature of Washington and its oligarchs. A professional actor, he is unable to speak for himself, but is a spokesman for the NATO which he loves. Secondly, economically, the West faces serious resistance to the 6,000 sanctions it has imposed on Russia and Russians. Those sanctions have backfired. In the West, we can testify to this every time we buy fuel or food. The combination of high inflation (10% +) and even higher energy prices, caused almost solely by these illegal anti-Russian sanctions, are threatening the collapse of Western economies, much more than threatening Russia or China.

As a result of this reverse effect of sanctions against Russia, the rouble is at a three-year high, standing at about 64 to the US dollar and rising, though immediately after the sanctions it had briefly gone down to 150 to the dollar. After strenuously denying that they would do it, already most countries in Europe (at least 17 for now), including Germany and Italy, have agreed to open accounts with Gazprombank, as Russia advised them to do and to pay for oil and gas in roubles. And this number is growing by the week. The problems will be even greater with food shortages, as the world food chain is highly integrated and the agricultural production of Russia and the Ukraine (now controlled by Russia) is at least 40% of the world’s grain production. Just days ago it was announced that Russia expects record grain production this year (130 million tonnes). Russia may yet demand payment in roubles for all this as well.

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I had not see this when I wrote my piece yesterday. A curious turn around.

The War in Ukraine. Scott Ritter’s Switcheroo (Whitney)

On Sunday, the foreign policy blogs were abuzz with the news that Scott Ritter had done “an about-face in his assessment of the war”. It appears that the ex-Marine had examined recent developments in Ukraine and concluded that it’s going to be much harder for Russia to win than he had originally thought… Naturally, the news of Ritter’s reversal sent shockwaves across the internet, especially among the people who follow events in Ukraine closely and who greatly admire his even-handed analysis. Some of these people clearly felt betrayed by Ritter’s comments and blasted him as a “concern troll” which refers to a person who feigns sympathy while actually feeling the opposite. This is a terrible way to treat a guy who’s devoted so much of his time to informing people about an issue of which they might know very little without his research. Besides, Ritter is no hypocrite. Quite the contrary.

It’s fair to say, however, that Ritter has probably been the most outspoken proponent of the “Russia is winning” theory, a hypothesis that runs counter to everything we read in the legacy media or see on the cable news channels. Unfortunately, Ritter’s views on the matter have changed dramatically, and that’s due almost entirely to developments on the ground. As Ritter candidly admits, “The military aid the west is providing to Ukraine is changing the dynamic and if Russia doesn’t find a way to address this meaningfully… the conflict will never end.” That’s quite a turnaround from a statement he made just weeks earlier that, “Russia is winning the war, and winning it decisively.” So, what changed? What are the so-called developments that led to Ritter’s volte-face?

Here are a few excerpts from the interview that triggered the fracas. Ritter was joined by Ray McGovern and host Garland Nixon on Saturday Morning Live. (The quotes are copied from video. I accept blame for any mistakes.) Scott Ritter (start at 47:50 minute mark) — “The thing that frustrates me… is that, it was my assessment that it would be very hard for Ukraine to absorb this new equipment and material (Material– the additional lethal weapons that have recently been shipped to Ukraine) but the howitzers are already operating against Russia. (And) They are having an effect in the Kharkov region. Not all 90 of them, but they have several batteries in place that are being used. How did this happen?

And this is why I have radically changed my overall assessment, because I had been operating on the assumption that Russia would be able to interdict the vast majority of this equipment, but Russia has shown itself unable or unwilling to do this and– as a result– the Ukrainians are having meaningful impact on the battlefield. Not in the areas of main contention, like the Donbass, but on the periphery. This is why Russia has carried out tactical withdrawals north of Kharkov, because in order to match Ukraine’s best capabilities, Russia would have to divert resources from its main effort which Russia has decided not to do. So, they are re-configuring the battlefield. (trading land in different areas)…

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The Guardian. Rewriting history. Update: “959 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered at Azovstal since Monday: Russian ministry”

Fate Of Hundreds Of Ukrainian Soldiers Unclear As Azovstal Resistance Ends (G.)

The fate of hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who have ended weeks of resistance at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol remains unclear, after the fighters surrendered and were transferred to Russian-controlled territory. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister said they would be swapped in a prisoner exchange, but some Russian officials said on Tuesday they could be tried and even executed. MPs in Russia’s State Duma said they would propose new laws that could derail prisoner exchanges of fighters who Moscow claims are “terrorists”. Russian investigators have said they plan to interrogate the soldiers and could charge them with “crimes committed by the Ukrainian regime against the civilian population in south-east Ukraine”.

On Tuesday evening, seven buses carrying Ukrainian soldiers left the Azovstal plant in the port city and arrived at a former prison colony in the Russian-controlled town of Olenivka in Donetsk, Reuters reported. Russia called the Azovstal operation a mass surrender, while the Ukrainian army said the soldiers defending the steel plant had “performed their combat task” and that the main goal was now to save their lives. For weeks, hundreds of troops have been holed up in a warren of tunnels and bunkers underneath the steelworks, as Russian forces took control of the rest of the city after turning much of it into an uninhabitable wasteland. Many of those stuck at Azovstal had serious injuries, with limited medical care and dwindling supplies.

In the last few weeks, civilians who had also taken cover in the plant were rescued after a deal was brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross to allow them to leave for Ukrainian-controlled territory. Ukraine had been pushing for a deal that would also allow the fighters to retreat to Ukrainian-controlled areas, or for their evacuation to a neutral country. However, with that not forthcoming, Ukrainian officials announced in the early hours of Tuesday that the defence of the plant was in effect over. Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, promised that the fighters who surrendered would be treated “in accordance with international standards”, but this was immediately undermined by statements from two other Russian officials.

Leonid Slutsky, a Russian MP who took part in negotiations with Ukraine earlier in the war, suggested Russia should lift its moratorium on the death penalty for fighters from the Azov regiment, one of the main forces defending the steelworks, calling them “animals in human form”. “Nazi criminals should not be exchanged,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, one of Russia’s most powerful officials and the chair of the State Duma, during a speech on Tuesday. “Our country treats those who surrendered or were captured humanely. But with regards to Nazis, our position should be unchanged: these are war criminals and we must do everything so that they stand trial.”

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More Guardian. What is wrong with these people?

‘Defenders of Mariupol Are The Heroes Of Our Time’ (G.)

Cut off from the world and low on food and ammunition, many of the hundreds of defenders of the Azovstal steel plant in Mauripol were wounded, some missing limbs. Their capitulation had been inevitable for weeks. That moment came late on Monday as more than 260 – bearded, filthy, emaciated, and including 51 severely injured – laid down their arms and were evacuated amid a wider concession of defeat after 82 days of fighting in the besieged port city. “The ‘Mariupol’ garrison has fulfilled its combat mission,” the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement. “The supreme military command ordered the commanders of the units stationed at Azovstal to save the lives of the personnel … Defenders of Mariupol are the heroes of our time,” it added.


And while several hundred fighters remained inside the plant, their commanders admitted their mission had “concluded” while officials continued with negotiations to “evacuate them”. Late on Monday, five buses carrying troops from Azovstal were seen arriving in nearby Russian-controlled Novoazovsk. In one, marked with a Z like many Russian military vehicles in Ukraine, men were stacked on stretchers on three levels. In a long-denied victory for the Kremlin, a battle that has gripped the world’s attention appeared finally over, leaving a city in ruins and perhaps thousands of civilians dead. With its urban areas sprawling along the coastline of the Sea of Azov in the shape of a comma, the siege of Mariupol came to define one of the most brutal episodes in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

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“Wouldn’t it be worthwhile for the department to set up another website devoted to allegations of war crimes committed under the Obama, Clinton, Bush, and Biden administrations in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, and Syria?”

‘Conflict Observatory’ to Document Evidence of Russian War Crimes (Celente)

The U.S. State Department announced the launch of the “Conflict Observatory” program that will document evidence of war crimes committed by Russian troops during the Ukraine War to use in possible future prosecutions. The intention of the program is to “capture, analyze, and make widely available evidence of Russian-perpetrated war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” the statement read. The website will share this “documentation to help refute Russia’s disinformation efforts and shine a light on abuses.” “This new Conflict Observatory program is part of a range of U.S. government efforts at both national and international levels designed to ensure future accountability for Russia’s horrific actions,” a statement read. Wired reported that outside organizations, and international investigators would be able access the program’s database.

Ned Price the State Department spokesperson, told reporters on Tuesday that the program is important because “no country – no matter how large, how potentially powerful, what types of weapons they may have in their arsenal – can escape accountability for the types of atrocities that we have seen Russia’s forces perpetrate against the Ukrainian people.” Ukraine has accused Russian forces of atrocities and said it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes, Reuters reported. “However long it takes, those responsible for war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine will be brought to justice. A new, publicly available Conflict Observatory will collect open-source evidence for future prosecutions,” he tweeted later.

ConflictObservatory.org resembles a news site. One of the headlines read, “Evidence of Widespread and Systemic Bombardment of Ukrainian Healthcare Facilities.” The Yale Humanitarian Research Lab, which is part of the effort, along with Esri, Alcis, and Quiet Professionals LLC, reported that it identified 22 healthcare facilities in Ukraine “that sustained damage from apparent Russia-aligned bombardment between 24 February and 29 March 2022.” “The HRL verified damage through cross-corroboration of very high resolution satellite imagery and open source information. Based on a review of nearly 300 facilities across five cities and regions, the HRL has concluded that Russia-aligned forces have engaged in widespread and systematic bombardment of Ukrainian healthcare facilities.”

[..] NBC News published a report in April that challenged Washington’s claim that Russia was planning a chemical attack against Ukrainian forces, with one unnamed official going as far as to say that the claim was an effort by the U.S. to get into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s head. The report cited three U.S. officials who said there is no evidence that Russia is planning a chemical attack against Ukraine. While the mainstream media has generally ignored the latest D.C. lies, Antiwar.org was the first to point out the contradiction in the NBC News report that included a U.S. official who said the intelligence tied to chemical weapons was not “rock solid.” So the State Department wants to create a website built on evidence that is not rock solid? Wouldn’t it be worthwhile for the department to set up another website devoted to allegations of war crimes committed under the Obama, Clinton, Bush, and Biden administrations in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, and Syria? Don’t hold your breath.

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Who benefits? Not Finland and Sweden, they’re just painting targets on their own backs. Raytheon for the win.

McConnell Says Congress Hopes to Approve Sweden’s NATO Bid by August (ET)

“We hope to approve it before August,” he said. “We are confident it will be approved.” McConnell also shared a statement on Monday following his visit to both Sweden and Finland where he reiterated his support for both nations joining NATO, stating that both would “bring tremendous value as new NATO members and would strengthen the alliance significantly.” “Sweden and Finland already have long track records as two of the United States and NATO’s most capable friends and partners, even from outside the alliance,” the Senate Republican leader said. “Both countries have massive geographic importance, professional and well-equipped armed forces, strong military industrial bases, and significant interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces. Both nations’ robust commitments to defense funding mean that their accession would directly address longstanding concerns about burden-sharing and the financial contributions of our allies,” McConnell said.

He added that he would do “everything in my power to ensure that our part of their accession process moves smoothly and expeditiously.” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson told reporters in Stockholm on Monday that the decision to join NATO was driven in part by Finland’s recent move to join the alliance. Finnish leaders, with backing from lawmakers in the country, announced plans to officially seek NATO membership over the weekend. “Should Sweden be the only country in the Baltic Sea region that was not a member of NATO, we would be in a very vulnerable position. We can’t rule out that Russia would then increase pressure on Sweden,” Andersson said. The vote to approve new membership into NATO must be unanimous among all members.

However, Turkey has threatened to block the bid by Sweden and Finland, citing their alleged willingness to support terrorist organizations, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and followers of Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of being behind the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey. “Neither of these countries has a clear, open attitude toward terrorist organizations,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a joint news conference with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Monday. “How can we trust them?” Erdogan also described Sweden as an “incubation center for terrorist organizations,” and claimed that some members of Sweden’s Parliament supported the PKK. He also pointed to the fact that both Sweden and Finland imposed arms export embargoes on Turkey in 2019 after its incursion into Syria.

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Oh, you’re well past your limits…

EU Diplomat: ‘We Are Reaching Our Limits With Sanctions Against Russia’ (Euractiv)

“If there was such a mess with Russia’s oil, imagine what would happen with a proposal to ban gas”, an EU diplomat told EURACTIV after the end of the EU foreign ministers meeting on Monday. “The 7th package of sanctions against Moscow will be extremely difficult […] We are very close to reaching our limits. What will the 7th package include?” the diplomat wondered.The diplomat explained that at the foreign affairs meeting yesterday, although there is ongoing progress in talks with Hungary to lift its veto over Europe’s proposal for an embargo on Russian oil, the atmosphere indicated that “we even took a step back”. “Hungary is doing everything to get guarantees […] essentially to get the money from the Recovery Fund and even more than that”, the diplomat said.


According to the diplomat, a deal between the Commission and Budapest is highly likely after the executive presents on 18 May its REPowerEU plan to phase out Russian fossil fuels. “It’s in no one’s interest to take the issue to the EU summit level […] Viktor Orbán knows he will be under huge pressure there, so he also wants a solution before that”, the diplomat noted. The diplomat stressed that Orbán’s stance on the matter brings other governments in a difficult position back to their homes, considering that if Budapest gets what it wants, it would be hard for others, such as Bulgaria, to explain why they did not get similar concessions. “The same happened with Spain and Portugal when they got the gas price cap,” the diplomat concluded.

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“They forget that man alone can never be free, only lonely..”

Orbán Warns West is Subjecting Itself to “Suicide Waves” of Decline (SN)

In a speech to mark him taking the oath of office, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned that the west is subjecting itself to “suicide waves” of decline in the form of self-inflicted economic wounds, mass migration and an obsession with identity politics. Orbán’s conservative Fidesz party swept to victory in the election last month with another two-thirds majority, despite a massive effort by globalist interests to derail his candidacy. During a speech in parliament, Orbán cautioned that the continent faced perilous times ahead. “Everything that has happened since 2020 points in one direction: Europe and the Hungarian people in it have entered an age of danger,” said Orbán. “The decade began with the coronavirus epidemic and continued with the war. The sanctions from the war brought an economic downturn.”

“The war and sanctions policy caused an energy crisis, and U.S. interest rate hikes brought an age of inflation,” he added. The Hungarian leader went on to lament that Europe was entering an “age of economic downturn” and a worsening mass migration problem. Orbán said we are now witnessing the “suicide waves of the Western world” characterized by the replacement of Christianity with a vacuous cult of identity politics. “Such is the program of the great European population exchange, the essence of which is to replace the missing Christian children with migrants. Such an experiment is a program of gender madness and a liberal Europe that transcends nation-states and Christianity, and puts nothing in their place,” said Orbán.

“They forget that man alone can never be free, only lonely,” he added.

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“Of course, such an economic suicide is a domestic affair of the European countries..”

Putin: EU Oil Sanctions “Economic Suicide” Ordered By “American Overlords” (ZH)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that EU countries are committing “economic suicide” by refusing Russian energy resources amid a push to impose an oil embargo, but which has been thus far blocked by Russian energy-dependent Hungary and a handful of others. As quoted in RIA Novosti, Putin described that the oil sector is busy undergoing a “tectonic shift” which will only be made worse by “ill-thought-out” sanctions by the West. The address was given virtually to an energy conference of the country’s industry heads. “Changes in the oil market are tectonic in nature and doing business as usual, according to the old model, seems unlikely,” he said. “In the new conditions, it is important not only to extract oil, but also to build the entire vertical chain leading to the final consumer.”

He called out the current EU-US trajectory of seeking to inflict maximum punishment on Moscow as a strategy ensuring higher energy prices and higher inflation. That’s when he observed: “Of course, such an economic suicide is a domestic affair of the European countries,” based on the AFP translation. At the same time, Putin additionally pointed out, Europe’s “chaotic actions” would eventually serve to boost oil and gas revenues for Moscow, also as Russia diverts energy supplies to “friendly” countries. He urged Russian industry authorities to be more proactive in leveraging the situation for the nation’s benefit. Putin described a scenario of Europe feeling the brunt of the crisis worst, according to state media:

“Rejection of Russian energy resources means that Europe will systemically become the region with the highest energy costs in the world. Yes, of course prices will rise and resources will go to this region, but it will not be possible to radically alter the situation. This will seriously – and according to some experts irrevocably – undermine the competitiveness of a significant part of European industry, which is already losing the competition to companies in other regions of the world,” Putin said, speaking at a meeting with officials devoted to energy issues on Tuesday. He added that Western officials and populations had long been overconcerned with “climate issues” – betting too big on the effectiveness of alternative energy, in a theme the Russian president has stressed for years.

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But key ones are missing?

Over 120,000 Hunter Biden Emails Uploaded To Searchable Database (ZH)

A former Trump White House staffer has uploaded more than 120,000 emails found on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop to a searchable database this week, which can be found at the (slowly loading) website: BidenLaptopEmails.com. In addition to searching, visitors can download the emails as well. Set up by former Peter Navarro aide Garrett Ziegler, who worked in the Trump administration Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, the emails contain infamous hits such as the “10 for the big guy,” in which Hunter Biden’s business partner James Gillar suggested he should hold 10% of a multi-million-dollar deal with the Chinese. Ziegler posted the emails through his organization, Marco Polo.

“Another email in the database, previously published by DailyMail.com, shows Hunter describing an extraordinary apparent quid pro quo with a Mexican billionaire’s son, outlining how he got him into the White House and inauguration, and thanking him for visits to his villa. Some messages did not appear to be included in the database. One email published by DailyMail.com shows Hunter inviting his foreign business partners and associates to a 2015 dinner at Washington DC restaurant Café Milano. In the email he reveals that his father will secretly be joining – and says that the dinner is ‘ostensibly to discuss food security’. The White House at first denied the then-vice president was there, but eventually admitted it when photographs emerged from the event.”-Daily Mail

That said, the Daily Mail notes that the above email is not included in Ziegler’s database, which contains 14,603 fewer emails than a batch of 142,838 analyzed by cyber forensic firm Maryman & Associates last year for the Mail. “Here are the 128k emails from the Biden Laptop, which is a modern Rosetta Stone of white and blue collar crime under the patina of “the Delaware Way,”” reads the website, referring to a term frequently used by Joe Biden. “Prior to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, a number of ancient languages were mere gibberish and hash marks. Similarly, the emails on the Biden Laptop illuminated previously convoluted webs of the people you see leading the charge for global governance; truly, the emails can be considered a translation tool for Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) gathering.”

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“The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.”

‘The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter’ – Musk (Fox)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose purchase of Twitter remains ongoing, slammed President Biden in a podcast interview Monday and warned that if the government continues printing money, inflation will get worse and the U.S. might follow the path of Venezuela. Musk, who said he has voted “overwhelmingly for Democrats,” slammed the Democratic Party and Biden in particular. He suggested that Biden is something of an empty suit. “The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” the Tesla CEO said. “The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.” “I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it’s going to be like Anchorman,” the CEO added, referencing the 2004 film in which Ron Burgundy reads whatever is written on the teleprompter, even if it would ruin his career.


“This administration doesn’t seem to get a lot done,” Musk said. “The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done.” He also claimed that the Democratic Party is “overly controlled by the unions and by the trial lawyers, particularly the class action lawyers.” He argued that when Democrats go against “the interests of the people,” it tends to come from the unions and the trial lawyers, while when Republicans do that, “it’s because of corporate evil and religious zealotry.” “In the case of Biden, he is simply too much captured by the unions, which was not the case with Obama,” Musk said. The Tesla CEO defended Obama as “quite reasonable,” but insisted that Biden prioritizes the unions ahead of the public.

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Stella

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 162022
 


Pablo Picasso Maison 1931

 

Sweden Joins Finland In NATO bid, Ending 200 Years Of Non-Alignment (Week)
Why Russia’s Oil Ban Is Impossible (Vilches)
European Natural Gas Prices To Triple In “Perfect Storm” (ZH)
McConnell Urges Biden To Name Russia A State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Hill)
Russian Lawmaker Says Poland Next In Line for ‘De-Nazification’ (ET)
Is Diplomacy Between Russia and the West Still Possible? (Haass)
Unmasking – Part 1 (Jotwani)
Can We Find Our Way Back to Freedom? (Ruechel)
Fraudulent Trial On Ivermectin Published By World’s Top Medical Journal (Kory)
Elon Musk: The Next Joe Rogan (Hill)
Elon Musk Issues Warning on Twitter Algorithm (ET)
Leaked Emails Expose Secret Intelligence Coup To Install Boris Johnson (GZ)

 

 

 

 

THE PLAN

 

 

 

 

Fauci trying to get Trump re-elected

 

 

WHO total control

 

 

200 years, 2 world wars, always neutral. Makes me wonder: Is Switzerland next?

Sweden Joins Finland In NATO bid, Ending 200 Years Of Non-Alignment (Week)

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats on Sunday said they now support joining NATO, hours after Finland’s leaders affirmed their intention to get parliamentary approval for membership as early as Monday. “For us Social Democrats, it is clear that the military non-alignment has served Sweden well, but our conclusion is that it won’t serve us as well in the future,” Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said. “We’re now facing a fundamentally changed security environment in Europe.” Public opinion in Sweden and Finland swung sharply toward NATO membership after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Andersson said Sweden would be left in a “vulnerable position” if it were the only country in the Baltic region that was not part of the military alliance. She also said the Social Democrats oppose Sweden hosting NATO bases or nuclear weapons.

Sweden has steered clear of military alliances for 200 years, since the Napoleonic Wars, and Finland has remained neutral since battling Soviet Russia — and losing 10 percent of its territory — in World War II. “This is a historic day,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said Sunday. “A new era begins.” NATO foreign ministers, meeting in Berlin, reiterated that both Nordic countries would be welcomed if they apply and suggested security guarantees could be provided for the period between application and accession. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sweden and Finland’s applications would be fast-tracked, but it could still take up to a year.

Every NATO member state would have to ratify the memberships, and only Turkey so far has voiced reservations. But in Berlin, the Turkish Foreign Minister said the issue is not NATO expansion but rather what he called Sweden and Finland’s support for Kurdish rebels in the PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, and also “unacceptable” restrictions both countries have placed on weapons sales to Ankara. Turkey is not issuing any threats or seeking leverage, he added. “Turkey has made it clear that their intention is not to block membership,” Stoltenberg said.

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Quantity AND Quality.

Why Russia’s Oil Ban Is Impossible (Vilches)

Beware: the reliable provision of Russian oil to the EU is essential because of its quality, quantities, price, service and delivery enlargement that Europe needs to constantly grow. Banning Russian oil means finding many different oils – from many new unproven vendors – that would have to render the same homogenized profile of delivery, quality, quantity, price, service and enlargeability that Russia reliably provides today. Nothing less, of course. Think about it. Otherwise we cannot have the Europe we now know and the future Europe we need. All 6 factors are required. Not enough quantity adequately delivered means degraded European lives and failing economy, with shut down plants and refineries affecting transportation, heating, hospitals & schools, highly limited military, unemployment, etc., etc.

A different or lower oil quality means poor performance and operational risks with serious breakdown troubles and injuries plus down-time probably beyond repair. Not low enough price — Russian fuels are good & cheap — means disrupting the EU and the world with inflation beyond imagination. And as Procurement Depts. know well, an utmost reliable vendor service is paramount also to allow for mutual growth. Russia is a vetted, close-by, one-stop, well “oiled” 6-criteria compliant vendor. Instead, the EU´s losing proposition is a far away beach-front bazaar with seaborne delivery only, shipped by a fleet too small for purpose. A single non-compliant vendor is simply unacceptable, period. Furthermore, Russia´s oil sales to Europe provide a stabilizing critical mass to compensate for world market variations

The huge problem is that there are 3 and only 3 ways out of this terribly EU mis-managed fuel sourcing hellish-crazy messy mess. For all 3 options in order to comply with the 6 oil criteria briefly explained before (more on that later) the EU would be required to import variable quantities from several different yet unknown vendors having (1) fully compliant export-ready oil grades to be produced beyond and incremental to current production and/or… (2) fully compliant oil grades found deep underground somewhere yet unknown per definition 0% available today (3) modify every single piece of machinery in the EU to fuel them with different non-compliant non-Russian oils… and with no possible “toggle switch” to convert from one type of oil to another… We’d have a forcefull life-long linkage between one vendor and his supposedly constant oil deliveries, which would be different from other vendors and their supposedly constant deliveries made to other EU consumers. NO interchangeability here.

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Your leaders are conspiring to make you have nothing and be happy.

European Natural Gas Prices To Triple In “Perfect Storm” (ZH)

A top commodity research firm in Norway warns a “perfect storm” is brewing as European energy security worsens following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which could result in the tripling of natural gas prices. “There simply is not enough LNG around to meet demand. In the short term, this will make for a hard winter in Europe. “For producers, it suggests the next LNG boom is here, but it will arrive too late to meet the sharp spike in demand. The stage is set for a sustained supply deficit, high prices, extreme volatility, bullish markets, and heightened LNG geopolitics,” Kaushal Ramesh, a senior analyst for Gas and LNG at Rystad Energy, wrote.

Rystad Energy said the EU has an “ambitious target to reduce dependence on Russian gas by 66% within this year – an aim that will clash with the EU’s goal of replenishing gas storage to 80% of capacity by 1 November.” The firm said shunning Russian natgas from the continent destabilizes the entire global natgas market, which had a turbulent 2021 year-end with prices skyrocketing across Europe because of the lack of supplies. EU is currently reducing reliance on Russian natgas and has unveiled the possibility of banning Russian fossil fuels. This will only lead to more trouble for the EU, where prices could rise even higher. According to the report, 155 billion cubic meters of Russian natgas flowed into Europe in 2021, representing about 31% of the continent’s natgas supply.

“Replacing a significant portion of this will be exceedingly difficult, with far-reaching consequences for Europe’s population, economy, and for the role of gas in the region’s energy transition,” Rystad Energy noted. In one apocalyptic scenario, the energy firm cautioned about the severe economic implications if Russian natgas flows were immediately halted. They said it would come at a time when natgas stocks (only 35% full) would be depleted by the end of the year, resulting in a tripling of natgas prices from current levels to $100 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). Such a dramatic price move in natgas would have tremendous implications on the economy, such as “industrial curtailments,” Rystad Energy said, adding, “in an extreme scenario of a severely cold winter, not even the residential sector would be safe.”

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“My definition of victory is whatever Zelensky and the Ukrainians conclude is a satisfactory end..”

McConnell Urges Biden To Name Russia A State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Hill)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday urged President Biden to name Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, which would lift sovereign immunity protections shielding the country from being sued for civil damages. “I think it’s a good idea, and I would support that,” he told reporters during a press call from Stockholm. “The president could do it on his own, and I would urge him to do it.” McConnell made his recommendation to designate Russia a sponsor of terrorism after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday. Three other Republican senators, Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), John Cornyn (Texas) and Susan Collins (Maine), also attended the meeting.

McConnell said he assured Zelensky that “support for Ukraine in this war against the Russians is bipartisan” and that the “overwhelming majority” of national security-minded Republicans support the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion, despite recent criticism of a $40 billion Ukrainian aid package by prominent Republicans such as former President Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.). “This naked aggression must not stand,” McConnell said. “I wanted to assure them that within the Congress there was very, very broad support for continuing the fight.” The GOP leader made his comments after Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a resolution last week calling for the designation of the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The bipartisan measure would call on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to put Russia on the list, where it would join Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria. Recently departed White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week that the U.S. had already imposed crippling “economic sanctions” and “sanctions on individuals,” rendering Russia “a global pariah” but added that “we’ll see what happens in Congress.” [..] McConnell on Sunday reiterated his view that U.S. military assistance of Ukraine should continue for as long as Ukrainians want to fight off the Russian invasion. “The question always is, how does it end? And my view remains that that’s a decision for the Ukrainians to make. My definition of victory is whatever Zelensky and the Ukrainians conclude is a satisfactory end,” he said.

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Sounds bad, but only until you read what those Polish dudes have said… Yikes.

Russian Lawmaker Says Poland Next In Line for ‘De-Nazification’ (ET)

A Russian lawmaker has issued a fiery warning that Warsaw is next in line for “de-nazification” after Poland’s Prime Minister penned an op-ed calling Russia’s imperialist “Russkiy Mir” ideology a “cancer” consuming Russian society and a “deadly threat” to other countries. Oleg Morozov, chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee on Control, wrote in a message on Telegram on Friday that the Polish leader’s comments have essentially made Poland a target. In his remarks, Morozov resorted to the Kremlin’s rhetoric in its military operation in Ukraine of so-called “de-Nazification,” a label Moscow has used to vilify its geopolitical adversaries and justify the war.

“With its statements about Russia as a ‘cancer’ and about the ‘indemnity’ that we must pay to Ukraine, Poland encourages us to put it in first place in the queue for de-Nazification after Ukraine,” Morozov wrote, according to a translation of his statement. Morozov’s remarks were prompted by statements made by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Polish President Andrzej Duda, who have both been highly critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Duda has said Russia should be forced to pay compensation to Ukraine for war damages while Morawiecki said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “more dangerous” than both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin because he has nuclear weapons and a massive propaganda machine at his disposal.

Morawiecki wrote in a column in the British newspaper The Telegraph that “the cursed phantoms of the 20th century have risen again over Ukraine,” alleging that Russia’s invasion of its neighbor bears the hallmarks of fascism, “has already opened the gates to genocide,” and is driven by a “monstrous new ideology” that he called “Russkiy Mir.” Morawiecki alleged that in the name of this ideology, Putin and his military entourage have ordered Russian forces into war, “convinced them of their superiority, and encouraged them to commit inhuman war crimes—the murder, rape, and torture of innocent civilians.”

“Putin’s ‘Russkiy Mir’ ideology is the equivalent of 20th-century communism and Nazism,” Morawiecki wrote, calling it a “cancer which is consuming not only the majority of Russian society, but also poses a deadly threat to the whole of Europe.” It’s not enough to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s attack, Morawiecki argued, “we must root out this monstrous new ideology entirely.”

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Yes, where are the peace talks?

Is Diplomacy Between Russia and the West Still Possible? (Haass)

Amid more than two months of intense media focus on the war in Ukraine, one story was largely overlooked. In late April, the United States and Russia carried out an exchange of prisoners. Russia released an American (a former marine) whom it detained some three years ago, while the US released a Russian pilot imprisoned over a decade ago on drug smuggling charges. What makes the exchange noteworthy is that it took place at a time when Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has brought relations with the US to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. The US has opted to avoid direct military involvement in the war, but it is doing a great deal to affect its trajectory, including providing Ukraine with large quantities of increasingly advanced arms, intelligence, and training so that it can successfully resist and potentially defeat the Russian forces. The US has also taken steps to strengthen NATO and impose severe economic sanctions on Russia.


The war is likely to stretch on for some time. Although Ukraine’s fundamental interest is to end the war and prevent more death and destruction, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s desire for peace is conditional. He seeks to regain territory that Russia occupies and ensure the country’s sovereignty is respected so that, among other things, Ukraine can join the European Union. He also wants those responsible for war crimes to be held accountable. Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, needs to achieve an outcome that justifies his costly invasion lest he appear weak and be challenged at home. There is little chance that a peace could be negotiated that would bridge the gap between these two seemingly irreconcilable positions. It is far more likely that the conflict will continue not just for months, but for years to come. This will be the backdrop for US and Western relations with Russia.

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“If Russia and China had played along with these well-established globalized “liberal” frameworks of looting, they would not be seen as adversaries.”

Unmasking – Part 1 (Jotwani)

A thinking person must be on guard against any false doctrines, including of course those of “liberals”. Why? Because we all must cherish and conserve the much good there is in life; it would be foolish not to do so. Succumbing to false doctrines is a sure way to lose all the good that one has in one’s life. Many false doctrines arise from obsessive/compulsive quantification. Modern scholars in the “liberal” mould have invented the dangerously tragi-comic game of quantifying all that is deemed by them to be “good”. But true goodness is known only deep in the heart. How can one quantify what is felt deep in the heart? How can one quantify the immeasurable goodness in life which comes in the form of love, empathy, care?

A quantifying economist, for example, would reckon that a greedy doctor who charges a thousand dollars for treatment adds more to GDP than a kind doctor who charges a hundred dollars for it. The former’s treatment is deemed to be ten times better – and thus overcharging becomes an economic virtue! Inevitably, such views of life are blind to love, empathy, care. Absent these life-giving virtues, a “liberal” is liberal only with what belongs to others. But, in true Jekyll-Hyde mode, the “liberal” remains jealously and fiercely protective of what been salted away by him or her under the cover of darkness.

As we will see in the sequel, “liberal” causes need a copious supply of other people’s money. Therefore greedy, cunning, heartless money-monsters are needed to support such “liberal” causes – towards selfish ends of their own, needless to say. In an earlier era, these money-monsters raked in copious amounts of colonial loot from the world over. Today financial and corporate loot is replacing colonial loot, but the dirty game is still on. If Russia and China had played along with these well-established globalized “liberal” frameworks of looting, they would not be seen as adversaries. But they are not playing along. They have their own vision, and therefore they will be painted by “liberal democracies” as the most “illiberal” of societies!

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Fourth turning.

Can We Find Our Way Back to Freedom? (Ruechel)

We were already a society experiencing an identity crisis, casting about for meaning, searching for a sense of belonging, and desperate for a new unifying “grand narrative” to bind us together. The “emergency” created by Covid and the public demand for “safety at any cost” provided institutions with an excuse to abandon their constitutional restraints, giving the people inside these institutions free rein to act out the philosophical impulses that have been growing throughout society for a long time. Covid was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. It opened the door to a new “fourth turning”. The system is now in flux. In retrospect, it is easy to recognize society’s growing loss of confidence in classical liberal principles like individual liberty, bodily autonomy, personal responsibility, freedom of speech, tolerance, meritocracy, private property, sound money, inalienable rights, and so on.

The postmodernists (neoliberals) have been busily eroding the philosophical foundations of classical liberalism for a long time, robbing society of the words, ideas, and historical awareness with which to defend ourselves against illiberal postmodernist beliefs. And we have been complacent. We surrendered the landscape of the imagination to the deconstructionists, the activists, and the cynics. How can a constitution provide a philosophical anchor for a society in which nothing is sacred? What we are witnessing now is the attempted institutionalization of society’s embrace of learned helplessness, safety culture, cancel culture, redistribution, and all the other “gems” of postmodern philosophy. Our uprooted institutions are trying to “re-invent” themselves by attempting to put down fresh roots around postmodern neoliberal philosophy.

The institutionalized forms of these destructive cultural trends are unlikely to turn out anything like society’s utopian postmodern fantasies, but at least we know the shape of the mirage they are chasing. Society wanted an all-powerful feelgood shepherd, and there are plenty of grifters willing to cater to that illusion. But we’re still early in the chaotic transition period. What is being institutionalized now isn’t necessarily going to stick, especially as the yoke of dictatorial government begins to chafe. Brace for the unexpected as other competing visions of the future emerge and are drawn into a zero-sum struggle for dominance. The battle of the grand narratives has begun.

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“..the most brazenly fraudulent conduct of any trial I have studied..”

Fraudulent Trial On Ivermectin Published By World’s Top Medical Journal (Kory)

In part I of my post on the TOGETHER trial of ivermectin, I presented the context of this trial within Big Pharma’s decades-long Disinformation campaign against “science inconvenient to their interests.” I argued that no science has ever been a greater threat to Pharma than the massive efficacy data of the generic drug ivermectin in COVID-19. I detailed how they have long deployed “studies designed or conducted to fail” and/or “studies manipulated to show positive results.” They do both. Repeatedly. They then publish these studies in a small number of captured high-impact scientific journals which influence the captured media and then are recommended for or against by captured health agencies.

Note that the importance of the wording of the conclusion in a trial’s abstract, published in high-impact journal, cannot be overstated. Only a small minority of physicians read and think critically about the full study manuscript. Even less read the full study abstract. Sadly, the overwhelming majority simply read the abstract’s conclusion. In this manner, and particularly in the case of the TOGETHER trial, they can baselessly and erroneously convince the vast majority of doctors and citizens that ivermectin is ineffective. In the case of ivermectin, they did this via less than a handful of severely flawed “Big RCT’s” despite the overwhelming mountain of valid OCT’s and RCT’s and health ministry program successes in COVID. The TOGETHER trial on ivermectin was never going to be a positive trial. Ever. That was a foregone conclusion.

So what I want to do here is break down exactly how they accomplished this feat, using the most brazenly fraudulent conduct of any trial I have studied. This is NOT to say that I have never witnessed fraudulent studies, but this trial displays an unprecedented amount of targeted tactics designed to deny, suppress, and distort the evidence of efficacy.

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“Elon Musk, who has taken the baton from Rogan on the whole this-powerful-person-needs-to-be-stopped-because-he’s-a-real-threat-to-democracy front..”

Elon Musk: The Next Joe Rogan (Hill)

After two-thirds of cable news ran endless segments explaining what a threat Rogan is to America, the news cycle moved on. And when the dust cleared, Rogan wasn’t just left standing but, thanks to all the ridiculous media coverage, he was propelled into a different stratosphere of popularity, adding 2 million subscribers to the 10 million he already had. “The problem that I have with misinformation, especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact,” Rogan explained at the time. “Like, for instance, eight months ago if you said, ‘If you get vaccinated, you could still catch Covid, and you could still spread Covid.’ You would be removed from social media.”

He was correct — and those removals were largely happening on Twitter, which soon may be owned by billionaire Elon Musk, who has taken the baton from Rogan on the whole this-powerful-person-needs-to-be-stopped-because-he’s-a-real-threat-to-democracyfront. Musk, a self-described free-speech absolutist, has offered to buy the social media giant. This greatly upset many on the left since Twitter has conducted itself in such an exemplary fashion in recent years. (Yes, that’s more sarcasm.) This is a company whose former CEO, Jack Dorsey, admits it wrongly censored accounts and suppressed information it deemed as misinformation. Conservative accounts were locked simply for sharing the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, or for questioning whether COVID-19 may have come from a lab in Wuhan, China, that studies coronaviruses.

[..] Over on cable news, as it dealt with the Musk deal, the hyperbole was so crazy it became the best unintentional comedy to be found. “When a petulant and not so bright billionaire casually bought one of the world’s most influential messaging machines and just handed it to the far-right,” one MSNBC host declared last month. Yep. The world’s richest man – the CEO of Tesla, and the guy who made available his Space-X’s Starlink satellite system to provide a besieged Ukraine with internet access amid Russia’s invasion of that country – is “not so bright” and a pawn of “the far-right.” “I think we can look to the western countries in Europe for how they are trying to limit it but you need — you need controls on this. You need regulation,” CNN contributor David Zurawik told “Reliable Sources.”“You cannot let these guys control discourse in this country or we are headed to hell. We are there. Trump opened the gates of hell and now they’re chasing us down,” he added.

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“..there is some chance it might be over 90 percent of daily active users…”

Elon Musk Issues Warning on Twitter Algorithm (ET)

Elon Musk warned Twitter users that they are “being manipulated” and told them to turn off the platform’s algorithmic newsfeed, coming as the firm’s legal department apparently said he committed a violation of a non-disclosure agreement. “You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you do not realize … Easy to switch back and forth to see the difference,” Musk wrote on Twitter. The Tesla CEO advised other users to switch to seeing the latest Twitter posts immediately by tapping the Twitter home button, tapping the stars button on the upper right of the screen, and selecting “latest tweets.” “I am not suggesting malice in the algorithm, but rather that it is trying to guess what you might want to read and, in doing so, inadvertently manipulate/ amplify your viewpoints without you realizing this is happening,” Musk continued in another post.

Musk announced his intentions to purchase Twitter on April 25 as he criticized the firm’s content moderation policies. Both he and Twitter said that Musk would attempt to purchase the firm for $44 billion, allowing him to take the platform private after the purchase. But on May 13, the deal appeared to be on thin ice after Musk posted that the agreement was “on hold” after reports said that bots and automated accounts make up fewer than 5 percent of the overall users. Hours later, Musk confirmed that he is still committed to the purchase. “Twitter (TWTR) legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!” the billionaire wrote on Saturday, referring to a study on bots.

Musk posted early Sunday that he’s not seen any analysis that suggests that bots comprise fewer than 5 percent of Twitter accounts. He later said that “there is some chance it might be over 90 percent of daily active users.”

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MI6 and Brexit.

Leaked Emails Expose Secret Intelligence Coup To Install Boris Johnson (GZ)

Leaked emails and documents reviewed by The Grayzone have exposed the dimensions of a wide-ranging conspiracy managed by a shadowy cabal of hardcore Leavers to sabotage former Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, remove her from office, replace her with Boris Johnson, and secure a ‘hard’ withdrawal from the EU. The emails demonstrate that a group of operatives linked to the intelligence services and wealthy, reclusive pro-Brexit financiers spied on campaign groups, infiltrated the civil service, and targeted high-profile Remainers with reputational destruction. While the majority of British voters elected to assert their independence from the EU, this clique of mostly unknown influence agents sought to subvert the process and manage it according to their own elite interests.

Among their key objectives was to strengthen the security relationship between London and Washington, thus supplanting EU authority with more substantial US oversight. The cabal, which continues to exert insidious, undue influence on British politics, politicians and policy to this day, is composed of wealthy financiers, representatives of the military and defense establishment, and intelligence officials. The origin of the tranche of emails, which were shared with The Grayzone anonymously, is unknown. However, this reporter has verified the authenticity of the emails and documents contained therein through their metadata, among with other evidentiary sources. Much of the content would be impossible to counterfeit or doctor. The public interest in these private communications is abundantly clear, as the actions exposed in the tranche are so flagrantly anti-democratic they could lead to criminal investigations of at least some of the actors involved.

The cabal appears to be led by Gwythian Prins, a member of the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategy Advisory Panel, former NATO and Ministry of Defence advisor, and board member of pro-Brexit group Veterans for Britain. Prins’ bio on his speakers’ bureau advertises him as a “leading thinker on strategy” who has “worked with leading decision makers around the globe from business leaders all the way up to heads of state, helping them to improve their decision making by educating them on the complex psychological processes underpinning theses[sic] decisions.” He is joined by former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove, who is frequently dubbed “C” in the leaked emails, a reference to the operational initial granted to all heads of Britain’s foreign intelligence service. At one point, Dearlove and Prins sought to recruit their apparent friend, Henry Kissinger, and his consulting firm as trans-Atlantic lobbyists for their version of Brexit.

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WHO Neil Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 122022
 


Banksy Monkey Parliament 2009

 

Finland Announces Plans To Join NATO In Historic Move (CNBC)
Nothing to Celebrate? (Tweedie)
We Will Win (Batiushka)
Russian-Captured Ukrainian Territories Will Soon Ask To ‘Join Russia’ (ZH)
Blinken, Austin Past Ties to Investment Firms Forgotten by Media (Celente)
Garland Allowing ‘Mob Rule’ In US – GOP (Fox)
Efforts To Codify Roe vs Wade Fail In The Senate (ET)
FDA Refuses To Reopen Biggest Baby Formula Plant in US (DM)
Acting NIH Director Admits Appearance of Conflict of Interest in Payments (ET)
Top US Scientist Warned Chinese Of US Investigations Into Wuhan Lab (DC)
Trudeau Government Gave $3 Million To WEF And $1.6 Billion To UN In 2021 (TNC)
Prepare For More Chinese Capital Controls As Exodus Worsens (BBG)
Oath Keepers Rescued 16 Police Officers On Jan 6 (ET)
Feds Open Investigation Into Elon Musk (DW)
Al Jazeera Accuses Israel of Killing -American- Journalist (CD)

 

 

Finland wants to join NATO.

Russia says NATO missiles in Ukraine would be too close to Moscow. Check the distance from the Ukraine border to Moscow. Then from the Finland border to St. Petersburg.

 

 

Tulsi armageddon

 

 

 

 

Zero covid

 

 

“Finland shares a 830-mile border with Russia..”

When NATO was founded, they did’t even dare.

Finland Announces Plans To Join NATO In Historic Move (CNBC)

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Thursday that the country should apply to join NATO “without delay.” Finland has had a decades-long policy of military neutrality that would come to an end if it becomes a full member of the military alliance. Thursday’s announcement is the strongest sign yet that Finland will make a formal application to join NATO. The government will debate the issue over the weekend and the Finnish parliament is expected to give its final approval to the application as early as Monday. At the same time, there is a risk the move from Helsinki could spark aggression from Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has expressed his opposition against NATO’s enlargement.


Finland shares a 830-mile border with Russia; if it joins the military alliance, the land border that Russia shares with NATO territories would roughly double (Russia has land borders with 14 countries and five of them are NATO members: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Norway). Finland has been reviewing its security policy in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which showed the Kremlin is willing attack a neighboring nation. Finland has been invaded in the past — in 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland in what became known as the Winter War.

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Ukraine will become a landlocked “country”.

Nothing to Celebrate? (Tweedie)

On May 8, when Victory in Europe (VE) Day is celebrated in the West, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN that Russia had “nothing to celebrate” on its own Victory Day on May 9. Her reasoning, faithfully transcribed on the US mission’s website, was that “They have not succeeded in defeating the Ukrainians.” Given that Victory Day and VE Day both specifically commemorate the allied defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Thomas-Greenfield’s comments were like saying the US, Britain and France had nothing to celebrate this year because they got chased out of Afghanistan by the Taliban last August. The ambassador is either an apologist for Nazism or merely too ignorant to do her job. She should at least read some objective reports about the conflict in the Ukraine.

In fact Russians had two immediate military victories to celebrate that Monday. Russian and Lugansk People’s Republic troops captured the town of Popasna, a lynchpin in the Ukrainian army’s defensive line that it had held for eight years. Meanwhile Kiev, apparently desperate for a victory of its own to rain on the parade through Moscow’s Red Square, launched an airborne and marine assault on the now-famous Zmeinyy (Snake) Island off the coast of Odessa oblast. Some sources say the Russians withdrew their small force holding the island as bait for a trap, but either way it went horribly wrong for the Ukrainians. They lost four jet fighters and strike aircraft, up to 10 helicopters, a corvette and three infantry landing craft. More than 60 of their personnel were killed, of which 27 were abandoned on the island.

The Ukraine is like a bull elephant that has been shot right in the heart in mid-charge. The beast keeps on bellowing and rampaging around, not yet realising that it’s already dead. It becomes clearer by the day that the Ukrainian army attempting to occupy the remains of the Donbass republics, newly recognised by Russia just as the West ‘recognised’ its creations of Kosovo and South Sudan, is dead on its feet. Its navy, air force, artillery, tanks and transportation are almost destroyed. Its casualties are replaced with boys and old men press-ganged off the streets of Kiev and Lvov, some without proper boots. Its senior officers are fled or dead.

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“..the Russian Federation is a very unequal and corrupt society because of these oligarchs, who simply repeat the Western oligarch model..”

We Will Win (Batiushka)

Russia before 1917 was rotten from the inside, a house of cards. The whole ‘Revolution’ was a story of the treachery of the elite, the aristocrats, including many Romanovs, the politicians, the generals and the new bourgeoisie. Having lost their faith, they replaced all loyalty to the Faith, the Tsar and Home with pure greed. The same thing happened with the USSR. A generation after the people’s war won by those trained in the Tsar’s Army, the Soviet Union turned into a State in whose official Communist ideology nobody believed any more. The elite had lost faith in it and so the USSR also fell. After 1991 the Russian Federation was handed over to the future oligarchs, the new aristocrats, just as before the Revolution the Russian Empire had been far too much in the hands of the past oligarchs, the old aristocrats.


Whoever says oligarchs automatically says corruption. And when the rich have enough riches, they next want power and betray to get it. Like the rest of the world, the Russian Federation is a very unequal and corrupt society because of these oligarchs, who simply repeat the Western oligarch model. Have no illusions: Oligarchs rule the Western world. It is illusory to think otherwise. In France Pompidou was and Macron is a Rothschild banker (the ones who own The Economist and much of the rest of the media). French conglomerates stand beside them. In Germany banks and huge automobile and chemical industries put up their political candidates. In the UK all candidates are vetted by the financial sharks of the City. As for the USA, think of Trump or Hoover, and all is clear. Follow the money.

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“He stressed it would be “up to local residents” and that the process would be “absolutely clear and legitimate”

Russian-Captured Ukrainian Territories Will Soon Ask To ‘Join Russia’ (ZH)

Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency is reporting for the first time Wednesday that the Russian military occupied southern Ukrainian city of Kherson will soon petition the Kremlin to become part of the Russian Federation. It was in late April that a pro-Moscow “military-civilian administration” was installed after Kherson fell to the invading forces, complete with a local transition to the Russian ruble. While the news hasn’t been officially confirmed by the Kremlin, it’s significant that the report surfaced through RIA and not Ukrainian or opposition sources, suggesting such referendums or even simple declared annexations in captured regions could be imminent.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has in his latest statements invoked Crimea – which came under Russian control due to a Kremlin-backed ‘popular referendum’ in 2014 – as a model for what could happen regarding Kherson’s political future. He stressed it would be “up to local residents” and that the process would be “absolutely clear and legitimate”. Additionally, according to The Moscow Times, “Occupied Kherson, as well as the Pryazovske region on the Sea of Azov, reportedly began trading with Crimea shortly after Russian forces installed pro-Moscow administrations in the area.”

And Reuters writes of more signs of annexation of the city coming soon as follows: “TASS cited the Russian-controlled administration as saying that pension bodies and a banking system would be created from scratch for the region, and that branches of a Russian bank could be open there before the end of May,” according to its report. However, some correspondents are saying there won’t be a referendum, or possibly just the appearance of one as a pretext…

Lavrov

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It’s not even a revolving door anymore.

Blinken, Austin Past Ties to Investment Firms Forgotten by Media (Celente)

Top officials in the Biden administration who have been the most vocal backers of providing Ukraine with more arms than Kyiv knows what to do with have deep ties to consulting and investment firms that has raised concerns in the past about the government’s revolving door with the defense industry. The Presstitutes no longer discuss these ties because they are on the same team as the government when it comes to Ukraine. More weapons, more weapons, more weapons. Two of the biggest names in the Biden administration with these past ties are Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. They have been some of the top proponents of donating weapons to Ukrainians.

BLINKEN: “Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding. Russia has sought, as its principal aim, to totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed.” AUSTIN: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine. It had already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly, and we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability.”

One of the names that kept popping up about a year or so ago was Blinken and Austin’s ties to a little-known investment firm called Pine Island Capital Partner. In December 2020, Pine Island Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company that claimed to have “unusual access to information” said in its SEC filings that it was “well-suited to take advantage of the current and future opportunities present in the aerospace, defense and government service industries.” (Austin also sat on the board of Raytheon Technologies in 2020, according to OpenSecrets.org. Forbes estimated that Austin’s net worth is about $7 million after serving on boards in retirement.)

From CNBC in December 2020: Pine Island’s team includes Tony Blinken, Biden’s choice to be secretary of State, and Ret. Gen. Lloyd Austin, his nominee for Defense secretary. Austin was listed on the original SPAC proposal, while Blinken was left off as he took a leave of absence from the firm when he joined the Biden campaign. Axios reported a month earlier that Pine Island was formed in 2018 by John Thain, the CEO who reportedly got his office renovated for $1 million while his Bank of America Merrill Lynch took a major loss in 2009; Phil Cooper, the former Goldman Sachs buyout big, and Clyde Tuggle, ex-Coca-Cola executive.

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“So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges homes..”

Garland Allowing ‘Mob Rule’ In US – GOP (Fox)

Nearly 50 House Republicans pressed Attorney General Merrick Garland Wednesday to prosecute those protesting outside the homes of Supreme Court justices over an anticipated ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Led by Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., the members of Congress cite a federal law that makes it illegal to “picket or parade” outside a courthouse or a judge’s home “with the intent of influencing … the discharge of his duty.” “We therefore ask a simple question: as Supreme Court Justices are being illegally targeted at their homes, do you intend to enforce the law?” the Republicans wrote. “Your failure to act is a shameless and implicit endorsement of mob rule in America.”

Forty-seven House Republicans signed the letter, including House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; GOP Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson; and R-La., Byron Donalds, R-Fla. They join a chorus of voices, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who are condemning the protests at the justices’ homes. Over the weekend, protesters picketed outside the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. People protested outside of Justice Samuel Alito’s home Monday.

“The right to peaceful assembly is among the most sacred rights we hold as Americans,” the GOP members wrote. “Yet our sacred right to peacefully assemble has never permitted Americans to intimidate judges, jurors or officers of the court. “We urge you to enforce the laws of the United States and stop the mob,” they added. “You should send the clear and unmistakable message to all Americans — regardless of party or political affiliation — that the intimidation of justices and the judicial process will not stand.”

The White House isn’t explicitly condemning protests outside the justices’ homes. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday intimidation is not acceptable. “@POTUS strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism,” Psaki tweeted. “Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.” “So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges homes,” Psaki elaborated Tuesday. “And that’s the president’s position.”

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Filibuster had nothing to do with it.

Efforts To Codify Roe vs Wade Fail In The Senate (ET)

The Senate voted on May 11 to filibuster the Democratic-sponsored Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would have codified the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling into federal law as the Supreme Court appears intent on striking down the precedent. The 51–49 procedural cloture motion vote was mostly party-line, with all Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voting against the measure. The measure failed as expected because Democrats didn’t meet the 60-vote filibuster threshold needed to advance the legislation in the upper chamber. According to a draft opinion leaked to Politico and published on May 2—written by Justice Samuel Alito and confirmed as genuine by the court—a majority of the justices have agreed preliminarily to overturn Roe v. Wade.


The court hasn’t yet issued a final opinion. Under the 1973 standard, states are prohibited from imposing restrictions on abortion in the first trimester, during which SCOTUS ruled that the mother’s right to privacy outweighed state interest in protecting life. The move effectively overturned existing abortion laws in more than two dozen states, and since then, pro-life advocates have fought to return the power to regulate abortion to the states. Democrats decided immediately after the draft was leaked to try again on the WHPA, which the Senate failed to advance in February. A different version of the legislation was passed by the House of Representatives in September 2021 in a party-line vote, with Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a pro-life Catholic, being the only Democrat to oppose it.

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“..there was not an outbreak caused by products from the facility..”

FDA Refuses To Reopen Biggest Baby Formula Plant in US (DM)

The biggest baby formula supplier in the U.S. has denied its Michigan plant is responsible for the deaths of two children despite the FDA closing it down. The plant was shutdown nearly three months ago after a bacterial infection caused the deaths and other serious illnesses. In mid-February Abbott Laboratories issued a nationwide baby formula recall and ceased operations at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan amid reports of babies contracting bacterial infections from its products. An Abbott spokesperson told DailyMail.com Tuesday that ‘thorough investigation’ by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Abbott revealed ‘infant formula produced at our Sturgis facility is not the likely source of infection in the reported cases and that there was not an outbreak caused by products from the facility’.


However, despite the findings of the investigation, the plant remains shuttered nearly three months later, fueling the nationwide baby formula shortage. The FDA – which said it found food safety violations at the plant, as well as five strains of Cronobacter, a bacteria that can cause blood infections and meningitis – has refused to say when the plant can resume operations. Abbott claims they are ‘working closely with the FDA to restart operations’ at the plant, with the spokesperson noting: ‘We continue to make progress on corrective actions and will be implementing additional actions as we work toward addressing items related to the recent recall’. The FDA told DailyMail.com it was holding discussions with ‘Abbott and other manufacturers to increase production of different specialty and metabolic products’ but refused to say when the Sturgis plant could reopen.

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“..he conceded that they don’t look ethical..”

Well, no. 1, they were secret. Isn’t that enough?

Acting NIH Director Admits Appearance of Conflict of Interest in Payments (ET)

Undisclosed royalty payments estimated at $350 million from pharmaceutical and other firms to Dr. Anthony Fauci and hundreds of National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists do present “an appearance of a conflict of interest,” according to the agency’s acting director. Dr. Lawrence Tabak, who took over as NIH director following the December 2021 resignation of the agency’s long-time leader, Dr. Francis Collins, told a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee that federal law allows the royalty payments, but he conceded that they don’t look ethical. “Right now, I think the NIH has a credibility problem and this only feeds into this, and I’m only just learning about this,” Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) told Tabak.

“People in my district say, ‘Well, so-and-so has a financial interest,’ or they don’t like ivermectin because they aren’t benefitting from that royalty. “You may have very sound scientific reasons for recommending a medicine or not, but the idea that people get a financial benefit from certain research that’s been done and grants that were awarded, that is, to me, the height of the appearance of a conflict of interest.” In response, Tabak said NIH doesn’t endorse particular medicines. “We support the science that validates whether an invention is or is not efficacious, we don’t say this is good or this is bad. … I certainly can understand that it might seem as a conflict of interest,” he said. Moolenaar seemed taken aback by Tabak’s response and, while pointing to Fauci, who was also testifying, said that “truthfully, I would say you’ve had leaders of NIH saying certain medicines are not good.”

Tabak said such statements by NIH are based on clinical trials that are supported by the agency. Moolenaar then asked Tabak, “But if the agency is awarding who is the beneficiary of the grant, who is doing the trial, and there is somehow finances involved, that there is a financial benefit that could be accrued if someone’s patent or invention is considered validated, do you not see that as a conflict or at least the appearance of a conflict of interest?” After conceding that there’s an appearance of a conflict of interest, Tabak suggested to Moolenaar that “maybe this is the sort of thing that we can work together on so that we can explain to you the firewalls that we do have because they are substantial and significant.”

[..] The $350 million in royalty payments were made between 2010 and 2020, according to Open the Books, the nonprofit that took the NIH to court when it refused to acknowledge the group’s FOIA request for documents. Collins received 14 payments, Fauci received 23 payments, and his deputy, Clifford Lane, received eight payments, according to Open the Books. Adam Andrzejewski, founder and president of Open the Books, told The Epoch Times on May 11 that NIH continues to withhold important information about the royalty payments, including the names of particular payers and the specific amounts paid to individuals at NIH.

Glenn Beck

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And got a fine reward.

Top US Scientist Warned Chinese Of US Investigations Into Wuhan Lab (DC)

The head of a U.S. national laboratory in Texas accepted a position at a Chinese university roughly one year after warning Chinese scientists about potential congressional investigations into COVID-19’s origins, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch. In an April 2020 email chain, Dr. James W. Le Duc, director of the Galveston National Laboratory (GNL), warned top science officials in China, including a director at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), about Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s interest in investigating the pandemic’s origins. In April 2021, emails show Le Duc accepted a position on the “Biosafety Advisory Committee” at China’s Westlake University, a private research university with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“These startling documents show that China had partners here in the United States willing to go to bat for them on the Wuhan lab controversy,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said in a statement. Judicial Watch obtained Le Duc’s emails through a public records request to the University of Texas Medical Branch. Judicial Watch’s investigation follows years of mystery surrounding COVID-19’s origins. Early on, the theory that COVID leaked from the WIV was roundly dismissed by government officials and prominent scientists; at one point a New York Times reporter even claimed the Wuhan-origin theory had “racist roots.” However, scientists and experts increasingly consider it the “most likely” origin for the virus, and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has even accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and other top U.S. scientists of covering-up their own culpability in a possible Wuhan lab leak.

Le Duc first sent his warning to Shi, whose controversial research is at the center of the COVID origins debate, and other Chinese scientists in a series of emails beginning in April 2020. “I wonder if you would have time for a phone call sometime soon… The email below is relevant,” Le Duc wrote to Shi on April 16, 2020. Le Duc’s email linked to a Forbes report on Sen. Rubio’s interest in investigating COVID’s origins. Le Duc’s email also included a message he’d received from a former commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, warning that Rubio was pushing for a Wuhan lab investigation.

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“The controversial WEF has received renewed attention in the Conservative leadership race after candidate and MP Pierre Poilievre committed to boycotting the organization.”

Trudeau Government Gave $3 Million To WEF And $1.6 Billion To UN In 2021 (TNC)

The Liberal government funnelled more than a billion-and-a-half taxpayer dollars into various United Nations bodies, and millions into the World Economic Forum (WEF) last year, public accounts data shows. According to the transfer payments section of the 2020-2021 Public Accounts of Canada, the WEF received $2,915,095 from Canadian taxpayers in the form of grants and contributions. Funding was provided by two departments – the Department of Environment and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. The largest of the transfer payments to WEF was a $1,141,851 contribution from the International Development Assistance for Multilateral Programming. WEF also received another $1 million grant under the same program. Other payments were cited as “contributions in support of conserving nature” and for the “establishment and management of conservation measures.”

The Trudeau government also generously funded the UN to the tune of $1.576 billion in the form of financial support, contributions and grants. Funding came primarily from Global Affairs, although other departments including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship also gave the UN money. Six UN-affiliated organizations received transfer payments worth more than $100 million each. The largest payment was given to the United Nations Children’s Fund, totalling $543 million. Meanwhile UN peacekeeping operations saw contributions worth $235 million, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees received $139 million. Other large recipients include the UN Population Fund and the United Nations Organizations.

[..] According to Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Franco Terrazzano, the Trudeau government needs to do a better job accounting for its funding of international organizations like the WEF, while Canada deals with a debt of over $1 trillion. “That’s a lot of money, and we can’t just keep sending a ton of tax dollars to international organizations because we’ve been doing it for years,” Terrazzano told True North. “The feds are more than $1 trillion in debt, so it’s on the government to make a clear case for every cent it sends to international organizations, and if it can’t make the case then we need to see reductions.” The controversial WEF has received renewed attention in the Conservative leadership race after candidate and MP Pierre Poilievre committed to boycotting the organization.

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Money flees..

Prepare For More Chinese Capital Controls As Exodus Worsens (BBG)

Strict capital controls made it impossible for several European companies to send dividends abroad and a Japanese beverage maker could not get paid due to “tougher restrictions on cross-border wire transactions.” This is not Russia in 2022, but China in late 2016 and early 2017, when the yuan plunged toward 7 per dollar. Those types of curbs could soon be brought back as part of Beijing’s arsenal to manage currency depreciation, especially in a context similar to 2016-17: Once again, the Fed hikes and capital flees. Besides the headline exchange rate, how much and how quickly money can leave China will become equally, if not more, important. Global portfolio managers, foreign businesses and the local rich are either leaving China or bringing much less capital onshore.


The nation suffered an unprecedented outflow from bond and stock investors in March and net selling continued into April, according to estimates from the International Institute of Finance. Total capital outflows, including errors and omissions, may surge to about $300b this year from $129b in 2021, IIF said in a report last week. While that figure is well below $725b, IIF’s estimate for 2016, Beijing’s options for combating it are much narrower this time around. Trade wars, Covid and supply-chain disruptions were not on the minds of foreign executives back then. In 2022, however, 52% of 121 companies polled by the American Chamber of Commerce in China have either cut or delayed investments. With only 1% planning to increase local investment, authorities have a daunting task to boost foreign direct investment as long as China sticks to its Covid Zero strategy.

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What a stupid story this has become.

Oath Keepers Rescued 16 Police Officers On Jan 6 (ET)

Video footage widely circulated in 2021 that shows a Capitol Police lieutenant asking members of the Oath Keepers for rescue help at the U.S. Capitol blows a hole in the seditious conspiracy charges brought against the group by federal prosecutors, two defense attorneys say. In the footage, Lt. Tarik Khalid Johnson asks a group of men to help him get more than a dozen trapped Capitol Police officers out of the Capitol and through a tightly packed crowd of protesters on the building’s east steps. It was widely reported in January 2021 that Johnson wore a red Make America Great Again cap on Jan. 6 as a ruse to “trick” supporters of President Donald Trump into helping him rescue fellow officers from the Capitol.

He was later suspended for wearing the MAGA cap. Johnson is a registered Democrat, according to online records. The men who answered the call to help were members of the Oath Keepers, a nationwide group of current and former military, law enforcement, and first responders who have been targeted by federal prosecutors for allegedly conspiring to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The video is at least the second example showing the Oath Keepers coming to the aid of Capitol Police inside the building that day. Would a group of men seditiously plotting an attack on the Capitol, allegedly to prevent certification of Electoral College votes, rush into the building to extract police trapped inside—all while being followed by a filmmaker?

“The prosecutors’ narrative has more holes than Swiss cheese, but it [the video footage] does directly refute their claim,” said Jonathon Moseley, who previously represented Florida Oath Keepers leader Kelly Meggs. Prosecutors “just keep ignoring the self-contradictions in their stories.” The video footage was shot by part-time filmmaker Rico La Starza. One of several versions of the video footage posted online includes an introduction by La Starza. He said the video shows “me helping a group of Oath Keepers help Capitol Police get out. They looked scared and tired.”

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Just trying to scare him.

Feds Open Investigation Into Elon Musk (DW)

The U.S. government has reportedly opened an investigation into Elon Musk’s business dealings surrounding his recent $44 billion purchase of Twitter. “The Securities and Exchange Commission is probing Mr. Musk’s tardy submission of a public form that investors must file when they buy more than 5% of a company’s shares,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The disclosure functions as an early sign to shareholders and companies that a significant investor could seek to control or influence a company.” The report said that Musk’s April 4 disclosure filing was at least 10 days late, a move that is believed to have saved him more than $140 million because share prices could have been higher if the public knew about his ownership of 5% of the company.

“The case is easy. It’s straightforward,” Daniel Taylor, a University of Pennsylvania accounting professor, said. “But whether they’re going to pick that battle with Elon is another question.” The report noted that a lawsuit against Musk from the SEC would likely not stop him from taking over Twitter since the company’s board of director’s unanimously approved to be acquired by Musk and the SEC may lack the power to do so. Musk’s purchase of Twitter is also reportedly being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Musk said this week that he will reverse Twitter’s permanent ban on former President Donald Trump if and when the sale is finalized.

“I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk said, adding that the decision was “morally bad.” “That doesn’t mean that someone gets to say whatever they want to say,” Musk said. “If they say something that is illegal or destructive to the world, then there should be perhaps a timeout, temporary suspension or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very little traction.” “I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk added.

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Murdering American citizens in broad daylight. Try that in Kiev.

Al Jazeera Accuses Israel of Killing -American- Journalist (CD)

The media outlet Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of “deliberately targeting and killing our colleague” on Wednesday after journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the face while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. In a statement, the Al Jazeera Media Network said that Abu Akleh — who worked as the publication’s Palestine correspondent — was wearing a press jacket that clearly identified her as a journalist when Israeli forces shot her “with live fire.” Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, called the attack “a blatant murder,” saying Abu Akleh, 51, was “assassinated in cold blood.” The statement continued:

“Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty. Al Jazeera holds the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of Shireen. It also calls on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for their intentional targeting and killing of Shireen. The Israeli authorities are also responsible for the targeting of Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi, who was also shot in the back while covering the same event, and he is currently undergoing treatment. Al Jazeera extends its sincere condolences to the family of Shireen in Palestine, and to her extended family around the world, and we pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice.”

The Israeli government initially denied responsibility for killing Abu Akleh and wounding al-Samudi, claiming that they may have been shot by “Palestinian gunmen.” “There is a considerable chance that armed Palestinians, who fired wildly, were the ones who brought about the journalist’s unfortunate death,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. But al-Samudi, speaking to the Associated Press following the incident, dismissed the Israeli government’s narrative as a “complete lie.” “He said they were all wearing protective gear that clearly marked them as reporters, and they passed by Israeli troops so the soldiers would know that they were there,” AP reported. “He said a first shot missed them, then a second struck him, and a third killed Abu Akleh. He said there were no militants or other civilians in the area — only the reporters and the army.”

Shireen Abu Akleh

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Fazer

 

 

 

 

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May 072022
 
 May 7, 2022  Posted by at 9:27 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  27 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Crucifixion 1930

 

Pfizer’s New 80,000-Page Data Dump Is A Nightmare
Biden Handing Over US Sovereignty to WHO (AOLoud)
Army Lieutenant Convicted, Not Punished in 1st COVID Court-Martial (CHD)
Choice Quotes from Bill Gates’s New Book (Tucker)
Elon Musk Plans To Fire 1,000 Twitter Staff, Quintuple Revenue (DM)
Job Interest In Twitter Up 250% Since Elon Musk Moved To Take Over (Fortune)
Terror from Balochistan (Escobar)
Nausea Rules (Kunstler)
How Years of Attacks on the Court Created a “By Any Means” Mentality (Turley)
Zelensky Critic Arrested in Spain on Orders of Ukrainian Government (SN)
Jan. 6: 80 ‘Suspicious Actors’ and ‘Material Witnesses’ Under Scrutiny (ET)
Ex-FBI Intel Chief: Clinton Campaign Used ‘Contrived Disinformation’ (JTN)
Claim Russians Hacked The DNC Could Have Relied On ‘Spoofed’ Data (Fed.)
The Whole Planet Is a Pot And We’re All Frogs (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

Disinformation Governance Board

 

 

Rand Paul

 

 

 

 

“There were no human clinical trials to determine if the experimental COVID vaccines were safe for pregnant women. They were excluded from all the trials. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Instead, they tested it on 44 rats.”

Pfizer’s New 80,000-Page Data Dump Is A Nightmare

You probably didn’t know that Pfizer dumped 80,000 pages of documents this week. That’s because the American corporate media refused to cover it — and that’s because almost all of them took money from the Biden regime to promote the experimental vaccines and kill any critical coverage of them. Anyway, it turns out that Pfizer’s COVID vaccine was not 95% effective: the data shows it has a 12% efficacy rate. Let me repeat: 12%. That’s a “1” followed by a “2.” But wait: it gets worse. There were no human clinical trials to determine if the experimental COVID vaccines were safe for pregnant women. They were excluded from all the trials. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Instead, they tested it on 44 rats.

Pfizer deliberately cut off the clinical data trial before the bad news could be collected. We already know that Pfizer vaccine’s RNA is reverse-transcribing itself into your DNA. We already know that the vaccines increased the risk of getting COVID in children, the CDC intentionally withheld clinical data from the public, and a Moderna gene sequence patented in 2017 was found in the COVID virus spike protein. Pregnant women in the U.S. military who were coerced into taking the jab have suffered horrific side effects and “congenital malformations” in their babies. There were more than 18,900 babies born with abnormalities in 2021. We know this because a few brave whistleblowers got their hands on the Deparment of Defense’s medical database.

More than 18,900 babies. Just think about that. There’s much more news to come out about the COVID vaccines — and all of it is bad. For example, doctors around the world are starting to notice an explosion in the cancer rates among the vaccinated. [..] Let me finish with this thought: perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to re-program the DNA of half the world to produce spike proteins to “fight” a virus with a 99% survival rate?

Pfizer Naomi Wolf

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This is too insane.

Biden Handing Over US Sovereignty to WHO (AOLoud)

On May 22-28, 2022, ultimate control over America’s healthcare system, and hence its national sovereignty, will be delivered for a vote to the World Health Organization’s governing legislative body, the World Health Assembly (WHA). This threat is contained in new amendments to WHO’s International Health Regulations, proposed by the Biden administration, that are scheduled as “Provisional agenda item 16.2” at the upcoming conference on May 22-28, 2022. These amendments will empower WHO’s Director-General to declare health emergencies or crises in any nation and to do so unilaterally and against the opposition of the target nation.

The Director-General will be able to declare these health crises based merely on his personal opinion or consideration that there is a potential or possible threat to other nations. If passed, the Biden Administration’s proposed amendments will, by their very existence and their intention, drastically compromise the independence and the sovereignty of the United States. The same threat looms over all the U.N.’s 193 member nations, all of whom belong to WHO and represent 99.44% of the world population. These regulations are a “binding instrument of international law entered into force on 15 June 2007.” U.N. members states can be required by law to obey or acquiesce to them.


On January 18, 2022, with no public awareness, officials from the Biden Administration sent the World Health Organization these extensive amendments to strengthen WHO’s ability to unilaterally intervene into the affairs of nations merely suspected of having a “health emergency” of possible concern to other nations. The U.S. amendments cross out a critical existing restriction in the regulations: “WHO shall consult with and attempt to obtain verification from the State Party in whose territory the event is allegedly occurring…” By eliminating that, and other clauses (see below), all the shackles will be removed from the Director-General of WHO, enabling him to declare health emergencies at will.

Tucker FDA

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Not just a lieutenant: “Bashaw formerly served as the Army Public Health Center’s headquarters company commander.”

Army Lieutenant Convicted, Not Punished in 1st COVID Court-Martial (CHD)

1st Lt. Mark Bashaw of Maryland, who in April was court-martialed for his refusal to comply with COVID-19 testing and masking requirements, was convicted but will not be punished. As previously reported by The Defender, the U.S. Army charged Bashaw, under the Article 92, Failure to Obey an Order, with: failure to take a medical test, failure to wear a mask and failure to leave the workplace for telework. Bashaw formerly served as the Army Public Health Center’s headquarters company commander. The case, United States v 1LT Mark C. Bashaw, was heard April 28-29 at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, home of the Army Public Health Center. About 30 spectators attended the hearing, which was open to the public.

Bashaw plead not guilty to the charges (a telework work charge was dropped at the hearing). The Army recommended formal reprimand and $25,000 in forfeiture of pay. Judge Robert Cohen found Bashaw guilty of the two charges but recommended no additional punishment beyond the conviction. Judge Cohen commented on Bashaw’s exemplary 16 years of meritorious service during sentencing. “Receiving no punishment at a court-martial is not without precedent,” installation spokesperson Amburr Reese told Army Times. “While the Army does not categorize court-martial convictions as felonies or misdemeanors, many civilian jurisdictions treat a conviction in special court-martial convened by military judge alone, which this one was, as a misdemeanor.”

Because Bashaw is not facing punishment, the flag on his records will be removed and he is now eligible to be promoted to the rank of Captain, which was withheld in November 2021. Bashaw disagreed with the judge’s determination but respected the decision. Bashaw also said he understood he can appeal the ruling. He also explained his reasons for challenging what he thought to be an unlawful order, stating he relied on faith. Judge Cohen determined the Army’s orders to wear an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) mask and to take an EUA test were lawful. However, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), EUA products and tests are voluntary, based on an investigational or experimental status, and lack liability and consumer protections.

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“..the only thing more dangerous to human life than governments is a naive immune system..”

Choice Quotes from Bill Gates’s New Book (Tucker)

Imagine yourself sidled up to a bar. A talkative guy sits down on the stool next to you. He has decided that there is one thing wrong with the world. It can be literally anything. Regardless, he has the solution. It’s interesting and weird for a few minutes. But you gradually come to realize that he is actually crazy. His main point is wrong and so his solutions are wrong too. But the drinks are good, and he is buying. So you put up with it. In any case, you will forget the whole thing in the morning. In the morning, however, you realize that he is one of the world’s richest men and he is pulling the strings of many of the world’s most powerful people. Now you are alarmed. In a nutshell, that’s what it’s like to read Bill Gates’s new book How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.

The main theme is implied in the title. With enough money, intelligence, and power, along with technological know-how at the helm, the next pathogen to come along can be stopped in its tracks. Where the bug goes after that he never explains. Presumably it just disappears. Like a computer virus, it exists but doesn’t ruin your harddrive. What are the historical examples of such a thing? There are none via avoidance, testing, contract tracing, and control of the human population. This theory of virus control – the notion that muscling the population makes a prevalent virus shrink into submission and disappear – is a completely new invention, the mechanization of a primitive instinct.

Smallpox occupies a unique position among infectious diseases as the only one affecting humans that has been eradicated. There are reasons for that: a stable pathogen, a great vaccine, and a hundred years of focused public health work. This happened not due to lockdowns but from the careful and patient application of traditional public-health principles. Can that same experience be repeated in every case? It’s worth investigating and thinking about. The reason is that the attempt to crush a respiratory virus through universal avoidance could be worse than allowing endemicity to it to develop throughout the population. Eradication is not the same thing as perpetual pathogenic avoidance. The former is great but the latter is deeply dangerous: the only thing more dangerous to human life than governments is a naive immune system. Gates’s plan, even if it had a chance of working which it does not, could create exactly that. Not to understand the difference is an egregious intellectual error.

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“Musk anticipates making thousands of new hires, swelling the ranks to around 11,000 employees, up from 7,500 currently.”

Elon Musk Plans To Fire 1,000 Twitter Staff, Quintuple Revenue (DM)

Elon Musk is planning to fire 1,000 staffers at Twitter as soon as his purchase of the social media platform is complete. It’s believed he will fire many of the firm’s woke staff following the transfer of ownership which will take around six months, after which Musk is likely to wield the ax. But then within the next three years, Musk anticipates making thousands of new hires, swelling the ranks to around 11,000 employees, up from 7,500 currently. Much of the new talent is likely to be in the field of engineering. Numbers at the company would fluctuate rising to 9,225 employees this year before falling to 8,332 in 2023. Then adding a further 2,700 workers by 2025.

Most of the jobs being shelved would occur during the takeover period, according to a pitch deck Musk presented this week to investors and seen by the New York Times. On a company level, Musk has previously floated the idea of closing down the San Francisco headquarters in order to save money and that board members may also not receive a salary, shaving off another $3 million in expenses. The changes Musk makes are part of his plan to increase Twitter’s annual revenue by five times current levels to $26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year. Advertising on the platform is set to fall to 45% of total revenue under Musk, down from about 90% in 2020.

By 2028, he plans for ads to generate $12 billion in revenue in 2028, while subscriptions are expected to pull in another $10 billion, according to the report. Musk is said to favor a subscription-based model over advertiser funding, as it would make Twitter less beholden to advertiser pressure. He has even suggested users could pay with cryptocurrency, including joke currency Dogecoin which Musk has long had an affection for. Other revenue would come from businesses such as data licensing. Musk has also tweeted about potentially monetizing tweets, although he has not provided specific details. Musk also plans to see Twitter’s cash flow rise to $3.2 billion in 2025 and $9.4 billion in 2028.

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“Say what you will about Elon, he does have a large fanbase of ppl excited to work for him..”

Job Interest In Twitter Up 250% Since Elon Musk Moved To Take Over (Fortune)

Elon Musk cast Twitter’s future into uncertainty when he made a successful $44 billion bid to acquire the company last month. He will take over as temporary CEO once the deal is complete, CNBC reported Thursday morning. While countless Musk fans, and a slight majority of Americans—59%—approve of the takeover according to recent data from The Harris Poll, some current Twitter staff worry that it will dramatically change the company’s culture, and overall direction. It’s still unclear how a Musk-run Twitter might impact the company’s ability to retain current staff and recruit new employees. The company presented the takeover as a potential threat to its staffing abilities in an SEC filing Monday.

But at least casual interest in open positions at the company has skyrocketed since the Tesla billionaire showed serious interest in taking over the company. On Thursday, Daniel Zhao, a senior economist and data scientist at the job insights platform Glassdoor, tweeted that interest in job openings at the social media giant was up 263% between April 24 and April 30. In a statement to Fortune, Zhao clarified that interest is defined by the average daily clicks on Twitter job postings on the platform, compared to the average daily job clicks in a March 2022 baseline prior to the news breaking of Musk’s plans for the company. Though clicks do not necessarily correlate to actual job applications submitted, and likely reflect current media attention, the increase shows that people appear to be interested not just in the media story, but in work available at the company.

“Say what you will about Elon, he does have a large fanbase of ppl excited to work for him,” Zhao tweeted. “He’s much more likely to capitalize on that attraction as CEO than owner.” On Friday, Musk shared some of his own thoughts about hiring at Twitter, sharing Fortune’s reporting. “If Twitter acquisition completes, company will be super focused on hardcore software engineering, design, infosec & server hardware,” he tweeted on Friday morning. “I strongly believe that all managers in a technical area must be technically excellent. Managers in software must write great software or it’s like being a cavalry captain who can’t ride a horse!” he added.

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“mran Khan was a serious thorn in the side of the west because he kept impressing on Pakistanis that the Forever War in Afghanistan was militarily unwinnable.”

Terror from Balochistan (Escobar)

The suicide bomber was a woman, Shaari Baloch, alias Bramsh, who detonated her vest just as a van carrying Institute staff members approached the entrance. The attack was claimed by the BLA’s Majeed Brigade, which stressed that this was the first time they used a female suicide bomber. Shaari Baloch was a schoolteacher with a Zoology degree, enrolled to pursue a second Master’s degree, married to a dentist and professor at Makran Medical College in her hometown of Turbat, in southern Balochistan. Her three brothers include a doctor, a deputy director at a government-funded project, and a civil servant. So Shaari Baloch was far from being a mere destitute online-indoctrinated Salafi-jihadi.

[..] A Carnegie Institute report noted how “many Baloch nationalist leaders now come from the urbanized districts of Kech, Panjgur, and Gwadar (and to a lesser extent from Quetta, Khuzdar, Turbat, Kharan, and Lasbela). They are well connected to Karachi and Gulf cities, where tribal structures are non-existent. In fact, while there is violence all over the province, the insurgency seems to concentrate mainly in these urbanized areas.” Suicide bomber Shaari Baloch came from Turbat, the province’s second largest city, where the BLA is very much active. From the point of view of the usual suspects, these are choice assets, especially after the death of important tribal leaders such as Akbar Bugti. The report duly noted how “the educated and middle-class Baloch youth are in the forefront” of the insurgency.

The anti-China instrumentalization of the BLA also ties in with the regime-change parliament operation in Islamabad that recently deposed former prime minister Imran Khan, who was always a fierce adversary of the American “Forever War” in Afghanistan. Khan resolutely denied Pakistan’s use in “over the horizon” US military ops: that was one of the key reasons for him to be ousted. Now, with a pliant, Washington-approved, new regime in town, a miracle has just happened: the Pentagon is about to clinch a formal agreement with Islamabad to use Pakistani airspace to – what else – keep interfering in Afghanistan.

Beijing, as well as other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), won’t be amused. Only weeks before the white coup, Khan had met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and once again underscored how Pakistan and China are “iron brothers.” Imran Khan was a serious thorn in the side of the west because he kept impressing on Pakistanis that the Forever War in Afghanistan was militarily unwinnable. He knew how all the proxies – including the BLA – that destabilized both Afghanistan and Pakistan for decades were, and continue to be, part of US covert operations.

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“Will America cough up “Joe Biden” like a hairball to get those trucks running again?”

Nausea Rules (Kunstler)

Europe, the old original homeland of Western Civ, isn’t just losing face, it’s blowing its head clean off going along with “Joe Biden’s” economic war. Are Germany, France, and the rest of that bunch really so dead-set on jamming Ukraine into NATO that they’re willing to go full medieval for it? By which I mean sitting in the cold and dark with empty plates. That’s a hard way to go just to prove somebody else’s point.

The war in Ukraine itself was apparently losing its sex appeal for the click-hungry news media. No matter which way The New York Times and friends tried to spin it, they failed to grok both Russia’s determination to neutralize Ukraine and its ability to get the job done, even if it takes a longer-than-expected grind to finish. That’s how important it was to Russia that Ukraine not become a forward missile base and bio-weapons lab for its adversaries. When that operation concludes, the West will be left economically crippled and humiliated — which are conditions that historically portend regime change. Will America cough up “Joe Biden” like a hairball to get those trucks running again? Might the Dems themselves resort to releasing the kraken known as Hunter’s laptop just to send the old grifter packing?

In the meantime, the leaked Roe v Wade cancellation ruling shoved the Ukraine fiasco offstage so as to provoke more useful histrionics for the dreaded midterm elections upcoming. The poorly-understood truth is that said ruling will only send the abortion question back to the individual states. But let’s get real: places like New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and California are not going to enact any new anti-abortion laws, and that’s where most of the people having hebephrenic breakdowns over the issue live. Which is to say there’s little danger that the shrieking denizens of these Blue states will lack abortions. So, how much has the party only been pretending that Roe v Wade is its primal touchstone?

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“..the court has become a tragic anachronism in our age of rage: an institution that relied on the integrity and ethics of its members and staff..”

How Years of Attacks on the Court Created a “By Any Means” Mentality (Turley)

What is clear is that the court has become a tragic anachronism in our age of rage: an institution that relied on the integrity and ethics of its members and staff at a time when such values are treated as naive. It relied on justices and clerks alike remaining bound to the institution and to each other by a constitutional faith. But we are living in an age of constitutional atheism, so it is only surprising that it took this long. For years, politicians, pundits and academics have called for reckless political action against the court. Many Democrats in Congress have pledged to achieve political goals “by any means necessary,” including packing or gutting the court. Democratic leaders have hammered away at the court and its members, demanding that the court adhere to political demands or face institutional disaster.

The threats have grown increasingly raw and reckless as politicians sought to outdo each other in their attacks. In the age of rage, restraint is a lethal liability. The message has been repeated like a drumbeat: The ends justify the means. Recently, Roberts even went public with a warning over “inappropriate political influence” affecting the court. Yet, the day before this leak, the court itself defied critics who portrayed it as hopelessly and dysfunctionally divided with another unanimous decision. It ruled in a major case on speech that Boston could not discriminate against a religious organization that wanted to hoist a flag outside of its city hall. It spoke with one voice in defense of shared constitutional values.

Given the relentless calls from political leaders, we may have been naive to think that a staff member or clerk would not yield to the same “ends justify the means” rationale. Former Justice Louis Brandeis once warned that “Our government … teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

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Churchill.

Zelensky Critic Arrested in Spain on Orders of Ukrainian Government (SN)

A popular YouTuber and critic of President Zelensky was arrested in Spain at the behest of the Ukrainian government on charges of treason and faces extradition, despite publicly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Yes, really. Anatoly Shariy, who has almost 3 million YouTuber subscribers, was detained on an international arrest warrant in a joint operation by Spanish and Ukrainian police, as well as international “partners,” according to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). They claim that Shariy has been acting on behalf of “foreign” forces by infringing Ukraine’s national security via his media commentary on the war and engaging in “incitement of hatred.” Shariy’s arrest “is more proof that every traitor of Ukraine will sooner or later receive his well-deserved punishment. It is inevitable,” the SBU asserted.


The blogger had previously been granted asylum by the EU in 2012 after fleeing persecution by the government of Viktor Yanukovich, who was pro-Russian. Despite condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Shariy’s criticism of Zelensky’s response was apparently enough for him to be targeted by Ukrainian authorities. Having had his passport seized, Shariy is now in Barcelona under a travel ban until a decision on his extradition to Ukraine is made. President Zelensky’s representative at the Constitutional Court said Shariy will “face a Ukrainian court and will be held liable in line with Ukrainian laws.” In response to his arrest, Shariy posted a picture of his wife feeding parrots in Barcelona, commenting, “This really is a comedy.” Shariy’s arrest once again puts to bed the idea that Ukraine is some kind of beacon of democracy, when its authorities treat dissidents exactly the same way dissidents are treated in Russia.

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The Whitmer case may have broad implications.

Jan. 6: 80 ‘Suspicious Actors’ and ‘Material Witnesses’ Under Scrutiny (ET)

Defense attorneys are seeking to identify and investigate 80 suspicious actors and material witnesses, some of whom allegedly ran an entrapment operation against the Oath Keepers on January 6, 2021, and committed crimes including the removal of security fencing, breaching police lines, attacking officers, and inciting crowds to storm into the Capitol. In a motion (pdf) and supplement (pdf) filed after 11 p.m. on May 5 in federal court in Washington, attorney Brad Geyer listed 80 people, some of whom he said could be government agents or provocateurs. The people are seen on video operating in a coordinated fashion across the Capitol grounds on January 6, the attorney alleged.

Geyer’s suggestion of an entrapment scheme will resonate with dozens of January 6 defense attorneys, coming shortly after two men were acquitted of an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). There was a hung jury on charges against two other defendants. The jury in that case was allowed to consider FBI entrapment as a defense. Geyer, who represents Oath Keepers defendant Kenneth Harrelson, is seeking a court order from U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta compelling federal prosecutors to help identify the individuals and disclose whether they were working for law enforcement or any government agency on January 6. Geyer wrote that the information is exculpatory, which compels the government to produce it. Other Oath Keepers defendants are expected to join in the motion.

The May 5 filing comes on the heels of an April 12 Oath Keepers motion that alleged at least 20 “assets” from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were embedded in the crowds on January 6. According to the new filing, video evidence the defense gained access to only recently shows that some of the 80 people attacked police, other people, and members of the Oath Keepers; entered the Capitol on the west side “with apparent permission or acquiescence of government actors”; opened the Columbus Doors on the east side of the Capitol “from the inside, possibly with even further assistance of government actors”; and deployed “sophisticated crowd-behavior techniques,” orienting themselves between protesters and police.

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“This is the way disinformation is really exposed, not by some contrived government agency, but by evidence presented in court that gets at the truth of what happened,”

Ex-FBI Intel Chief: Clinton Campaign Used ‘Contrived Disinformation’ (JTN)

As the Biden administration pushes its new Disinformation Governance Board, the FBI’s former intelligence chief says he is now convinced Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign used “contrived disinformation” to try to mislead Americans into believing Donald Trump was a Russian asset. “This is more than just political dirty tricks,” retired Assistant Director for Intelligence Kevin Brock told the “Just the News, Not Noise” television show Wednesday. “Political dirty tricks usually have some foundation in truth. But they just made stuff up.” Brock, one of the bureau’s most respected former executives, said he has been impressed with the way Special Counsel John Durham has used the prosecution of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann to expose how the false Russia collusion narrative was constructed.

Sussmann, who has pleaded innocent and faces trial at the end of the month, is charged with lying to the FBI in fall 2016 when he denied he was acting on behalf of a client in bringing the bureau what turned out to be false allegations that Trump had a secret communications channel with the Kremlin. Durham has exposed recent evidence showing the Clinton campaign’s own researchers were skeptical of the allegation, which one described as a “red herring.” The underlying data permitted no more than an “inference” at best, according to another. Last week, prosecutors unveiled an email showing a journalist had told the campaign research team weeks before it approached the FBI that one of the Trump-Russia allegations was “bullshit.”

“This is the way disinformation is really exposed, not by some contrived government agency, but by evidence presented in court that gets at the truth of what happened,” Brock said of the prosecutor’s recent evidentiary filings in court. “What Durham is methodically doing, is laying out a case that the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Democrat Party used contrived disinformation in a conspiracy, in a conspiratorial way, to deceive the American voter ahead of the election.”

True the Vote

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“Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public about the hack.”

Claim Russians Hacked The DNC Could Have Relied On ‘Spoofed’ Data (Fed.)

The Georgia Tech cyber security experts ensnared in the Alfa Bank hoax conducted a retrospective analysis of the Democratic National Committee hack, according to the Department of Defense. While the results of that analysis have yet to be made public, internal documents obtained by The Federalist reveal that Georgia Tech’s computer scientists believed CrowdStrike’s approach to investigating computer intrusions relied on the use of easily “spoofed/impersonated” signals of traffic.

In June 2016, about one month before WikiLeaks released a trove of internal communiques revealing top DNC officials plotted to destroy Bernie Sanders’ presidential ambitions in favor of their preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, the DNC publicly confirmed that its server had been hacked. In the Washington Post article breaking the story, the DNC maintained that the private security firm it had hired to investigate the hack, CrowdStrike, had concluded two Russian military intelligence groups, branded Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, bore responsibility for the intrusions.

Given that Democrats and the media would later rely on CrowdStrike’s conclusion that Putin’s agents had hacked the DNC to support the Russia collusion hoax, those seeking to unravel Spygate paid particular attention to CrowdStrike’s initial assessment. The declassification of CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry’s December 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, that “there was no ‘concrete evidence’ that the emails were stolen electronically,” later raised more “questions about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public” about the hack.

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A comment on “The Shanghai Lockdown: A Memetic Analysis”
by “Anonymous”

The Whole Planet Is a Pot And We’re All Frogs (Ugo Bardi)

Shanghai has always been seen as the most “civilized” city in China. Shanghai is often called Le Paris de l’Orient, it is an “international” first tier city… probably the top Chinese city in terms of openness, quality of life and access to medical care. Nobody expected to see such levels of insanity in Shanghai… in other areas of the country, yes, but not here. Looking at the conditions in the quarantine centers… Containers without doors in a field, tents set on a highway, toilets flooded with feces… open air zoo. They come take positive cases in big buses and ambulances almost daily. The police is patrolling streets at all times and we are unable to even set foot on the sidewalk. Every building that had a positive case is either: shut down with barriers OR has 1-2 men in a tent monitoring 24/7 (imagine all the manpower required.)

Currently there are 3-4 of those tents in my compound. It’s basically Martial Law. The psychological toll is quite high. The monetary one must be hard of lower classes. Some neighbors have mental breakdowns. Some people spray alcohol in the air while walking to get tested… You’d think the Plague is upon us. Some people were getting messages in group chat about “foreign spies” and “foreign media fueling anti-China conspiracies.” Good ol’ shift the blame tricks. I have been in lockdown since mid-March, got tested 35 times, and lost about 12 pounds. The local governmental commune gave us a little bit of food, but barely enough to survive.

Luckily we had some preps and were able to order some food. Now most delivery guys are not allowed to deliver to our address. We can get a bit of food, but we need to get imaginative to create new recipes (boiled/sweet and sour/spicy/fermented cabbage.) My take is: It could be a test for something much bigger (ie., war, energy crisis) or they are truly afraid of the unrest if lots of old people were to die. Chinese people tend to get emotional and the last thing the authorities want to deal with is mobs lynching doctors in the streets. Is the frog slowly boiling in the pot? I think so. Except the whole planet is pot and we’re all frogs.

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Ireland

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1522241094754443265

 

 

 

 

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May 062022
 
 May 6, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Nude on a beach 1929

 

NATO’s New World (Vilches)
Ukraine’s Forces Told To Hold The Line Where Russia Pulverizes Them (MoA)
For Those Who Still Don’t Understand (Sergey Glazyev)
Why is the White House Bragging About Killing Russians in Ukraine? (CTH)
Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination (Stockman)
Tulsi Gabbard Bashes Biden For Calling Millions Of Americans Terrorists (Blaze)
Elon Musk Expected to Axe Twitter’s Censorship Team, Become CEO (BN)
Musk Blasts Soros ‘Dark Money Groups’ Threatening Twitter Advertisers (ZH)
Musk Summoned to Parliament for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech (Turley)
Five Steps to Free Speech in Social Media: A Musk Roadmap (Turley)
2000 Mules (AG)
FDA Limits Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots (CTH)
McCullough: 30% of US Pilots May Have COVID Jab-Induced Heart Conditions (ET)
UN: Obesity Levels In Europe At ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (AP)
EU Officials Being Trained To Meditate To Help Fight Climate Crisis (G.)

 

 

 

 

Tucker MAGA

 

 

 

 

Psaki abortion

 

 

Celente

 

 

“..per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”

NATO’s New World (Vilches)

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss recently experienced her 15 minutes of glory with a blatant hissy-fit rant policy speech at a London´s Mansion House banquet. She posited that the collective West now needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew. Publically, Ms Liz Truss tapped her well-known Rule Britannia Anglo-Saxon exceptionalistic mind-set which now would badly require a much larger “lebensraum”. By the way, the Rule Britannia lyrics ´clearly clearly clearly´ let the world know that “…at heaven’s command…Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”. No way, slaves will exist, but Britons should make sure it´s the other way around, see ? So beware… With an AUKUS core, the strategic concept is “all for one, and one for all” just like ´The Three Musketeers´ except that the world´s livelihood is for real, not a novel. Liz Truss is not a cartoon character either, she is today´s United Kingdom Foreign Secretary.

Lebensraum Ukraine would only be the starting point says Truss very proud of British colonial history. Actually it´d have to be even far larger than what Adolf Hitler originally foresaw with his Nazi foreign policy dictum left on record in “Mein Kampf”. Unbelievably, and per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”… Mind you readers this is a historical certainty, unfortunately not fiction. Curiously enough, WW2 ended when Germany´s dictator shot his lover and himself in the temple only four years after the Wehrmacht had invaded Ukraine pursuing its much-needed Caucasus´ oil. So paraphrasing Mark Twain, and relating Nazis to Ukraine and oil …with the Russians defending and finally winning… history doesn´t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.

But no Sir, what Adolf Hitler conceived 90 years ago today is not large enough at all for NATO, sorry. Per Liz Truss (more on her later) it´d be a flashing new “Network of Liberty” yet global in nature, understand ? The time and place of this new “Global NATO” setting Ms Truss says is (1) right now and (2) throughout the whole world, okay ? Furthermore, in the meantime and so as not to waste valuable time and resources, Liz Truss urges current (limited) “European” NATO to send more “heavy weapons, tanks, and also airplanes” to Ukraine ASAP “digging deep into our inventories and ramping up production”. Her obvious Russo-Europhobic objective is to split Eurasia into fractions according to the very British well-proven ´divide and conquer´ philosophy.

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“The order was given because the ‘west’ has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military.”

Ukraine’s Forces Told To Hold The Line Where Russia Pulverizes Them (MoA)

The Russian military forces are grinding down Ukrainian ground forces by extensive use of heavy artillery. The Ukrainian artillery has been destroyed or lacks ammunition.The Ukrainian forces have orders to stay in their position and to hold the line. That only makes sure that Russian artillery strikes will destroy them. The order was given because the ‘west’ has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military. There are claims that the Russian progress in Ukraine has been slow or has even come to a halt:


“The United States assessed last week that Russian troops were making “slow and uneven” progress in the Donbas, often of no more than “several kilometers … on any given day, just because they don’t want to run out too far ahead of their logistics and sustainment lines,” one senior U.S. official told journalists. But in its daily reports, the Institute for the Study of War noted that Russian forces made no confirmed ground attacks on Monday or Tuesday. It said a Ukrainian artillery strike April 30 on a Russian command headquarters near Izium has slowed the Russian push, and noted that, farther north, a Ukrainian counterattack Monday pushed Russian forces back 25 miles east of Kharkiv.”

Those claims do not hold up to reality. As Clausewitz wrote about the Schwerpunkt in ‘On War’: “[N]o matter what the central feature of the enemy’s power may be—the point on which your efforts must converge—the defeat and destruction of his fighting force remains the best way to begin, and in every case will be a very significant feature of the campaign.” Basing our comments on general experience, the acts we consider most important for the defeat of the enemy are the following: “Destruction of his army, if it is at all significant. Seizure of his capital if it is not only the center of administration but also that of social, professional, and political activity. Delivery of an effective blow against his principal ally if that ally is more powerful than he. Accordingly the Russian military is tasked with demilitarizing the Ukraine, Clausewitz’ task one, and that is what it is doing.


Russia is using the best available means to destroy the Ukrainian military. On the ground that means ruthless systematic mass use of artillery. Reports about the high morale of the Ukrainian soldiers who halt Russian advances are copium when compared with the reality of the battlefield. From the preface of the book King of Battle: Artillery in World War: “Artillery dominated the battlefields of World War I. That was seen in various ways, from wounding patterns and doctors’ clinical data, to memoirs, diaries, and letters, through to changed military doctrine after the war. No nation that had experienced significant ground combat would blithely assume morale could replace firepower. Artillery even holds the dubious distinction of causing a new diagnosis, shellshock.”

Azov Mariupol

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“..color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction..”

For Those Who Still Don’t Understand (Sergey Glazyev)

A special military operation (SVO) revealed a plan prepared in advance by the US power and financial elite to seize power in Russia. It includes the following components and stages.

1. Wear out the Russian armed forces in a war with well-trained and directly controlled by the Pentagon fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, “stitched” by the Nazis with a vertical of officers appointed by the US and British special services. Turn the population of Ukraine into zombies infected with Russophobia. At the same time, incite the international community against Russia, making accusations of war crimes and genocide against its leadership. On this basis, confiscate Russia’s foreign currency assets and impose total sanctions against it, causing the maximum possible damage. This stage is actually completed.

2. Terrorize the Russian population with shelling of border settlements and military infrastructure, sabotage of transport, and hacker attacks. Hit the public consciousness with a flood of negative fake news and anti-government propaganda through social networks. To impose, through their agents of influence in the financial and economic authorities, an economic policy that blocks the mobilization of resources, including: inflating interest rates, continuing the export of capital, encouraging currency and financial speculation, manipulating the ruble exchange rate, and inflating prices. Thus, the sanctions can be repeatedly aggravated and provoke a collapse in production and a decline in living standards. This stage is in full swing.

3. Provoking protest moods and destructive socio-political actions aimed at overthrowing the legitimate authorities against the background of falling living standards and losses in the course of their activities. The use of the entire arsenal of methods for organizing “color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction. At the same time, we are preparing the organizational and ideological foundations for separatist actions in the regions. This stage is under active development.

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“Perhaps because the only historic way out of a deep economic recession is a war or housing starts?”

Why is the White House Bragging About Killing Russians in Ukraine? (CTH)

Does Joe Biden intend to take the U.S. into a direct war with Russia? Perhaps because the only historic way out of a deep economic recession is a war or housing starts? Perhaps, because they need a bigger distraction from the political impact of their own policies? Those questions need to be asked and answered quickly, because the White House is about to flip the switch from a “proxy war” into an actual hot war between the United States and Russia. How do we know? Because the Biden administration is openly bragging about their specific military operations inside Ukraine that are killing Russians. Consider:

NYT: “The United States provided intelligence that helped Ukrainian forces locate and strike the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet last month, another sign that the administration is easing its self-imposed limitations on how far it will go in helping Ukraine fight Russia, U.S. officials said.” NYT:”The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials.”

Why would Joe Biden be bragging about killing Russians in Ukraine if he wasn’t trying to provoke us into a hot war? “The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield and maritime intelligence it is sharing with the Ukrainians secret out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia into a wider war. But in recent weeks, the United States has sped heavier weapons to Ukraine and requested an extraordinary $33 billion in additional military, economic and humanitarian aid from Congress, demonstrating how quickly American restraints on support for Ukraine are shifting.”

Priest

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“In the target practice galleries of Washington politics, Vlad became the Donald’s avatar.”

Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination (Stockman)

Donald Trump has been well relegated to the sidelines of America’s political debate, but the TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) lives on, more virulent than ever. The latter is what’s behind Washington’s descent into the current mindless Ukraine war fever—an outbreak of irrationality that makes even the post-9/11 hysteria seem like an orderly discourse. At the center of this madness, of course, is Vladimir Putin, the Devil Incarnate. Prior to February 24th he had attained that designation in Imperial Washington not just because of his rough methods of governance in Russia or small time military forays in the 2008 South Ossetia/Georgia dispute or in putting down alleged terrorists in Chechnya, but because according to the RussiaGate hoax he had thrown the election to Donald Trump in 2016, thereby shockingly interrupting the rule of the bipartisan duopoly.

Accordingly, for the next four years the apparatus of official Washington–including the MSM in cahoots with the national security state—did not cease in its vilification of Putin via the running RussiaGate Hoax, the phony Mueller investigation, the rogue impeachment proceedings and the nonstop MSM linkage of Trump’s unwelcome presence in the Oval Office with the nefarious doings of Vlad Putin. At length, the TDS got so virulent and all-consuming inside the beltway that the resulting enmity toward Donald Trump became coterminous with the demonization of Putin. Consequently, when Trump got ushered off the stage (barely) by the American electorate in November 2020, Washington’s war on the Donald simply got re-focused with fevered intensity on Putin. In the target practice galleries of Washington politics, Vlad became the Donald’s avatar.

Needless to say, with the politicians in both parties foaming at the mouth against Putin, the Deep State and military-industrial complex had a field day hyping Russia into a national security threat that was not remotely justified, but which did massively distort policy. That includes perpetuating the Donald’s insanely bloated national security budget even further to $813 billion in the FY 2023 Biden request; stonewalling Russia’s reasonable proposals of December to reset security arrangements in eastern Europe, which would have precluded the devastation now besetting Ukraine entirely; and, after February 24th, turning the intramural dispute between Russia and its historic vassal and step-child, Ukraine, into a purported history-defining contest between peaceful Democracy and belligerent Autocracy—a struggle that justified launching a global Sanctions War against the very essence of the dollar-based payments and trading system upon which America’s tenuous prosperity precariously rests.

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“You remember when his attorney general said, you know, anyone who holds extremist or anti-authority views will be targeted for investigation and potential prosecution by their domestic terrorist unit..”

Tulsi Gabbard Bashes Biden For Calling Millions Of Americans Terrorists (Blaze)

President Joe Biden lashed out at the “MAGA crowd” and supporters of former President Donald Trump on Wednesday. The harsh and derogatory disparagement against tens of millions of Americans prodded former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard to condemn President Biden. On Wednesday, Biden suggested that the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade was a slippery slope. Biden proposed a hypothetical situation, “What happens if you have states change the law saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children?” President Biden told reporters at the White House, “Is that legit under the way the decision is written? What are the next things that are going to be attacked?” “Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history, in recent American history,” Biden said, making a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement.

[..] Gabbard was incensed by Biden’s incendiary remarks and slammed the president during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “When you look at the President of the United States of America calling millions of Americans, essentially terrorists, people who politically opposed him or voted against him, he’s calling them terrorists in an attempt to intimidate them into silence. And we know this because we’ve heard this before from both him and his attorney general.” Gabbard pointed to the Justice Department’s newly-formed “Domestic Terrorism Unit” that will target the “elevated threat from domestic violent extremists.” “You remember when his attorney general said, you know, anyone who holds extremist or anti-authority views will be targeted for investigation and potential prosecution by their domestic terrorist unit,” Gabbard said.

“So he’s essentially saying that this, quote-unquote ‘MAGA’ crowd are worse than terrorists. This is outrageous.” “And so for every American who’s watching, every American who’s seen this, no matter how you feel about the MAGA crowd, this is an authoritarian assault on our freedom,” the former Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii proclaimed. “And we need to stand together very strongly against this attempt to intimidate and silence anyone who holds political views that are different from or opposed to what this president and his administration are furthering. This is an assault on our democracy.”

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“I’m on the warpath!” he declared.”

Elon Musk Expected to Axe Twitter’s Censorship Team, Become CEO (BN)

Billionaire tech entrepreneuer Elon Musk is “on the warpath.” Musk is now “expected to serve as a temporary CEO of Twitter for a few months after he completes his $44 billion takeover of the social media company,” according to CNBC’s David Faber. The Tesla founder and CEO has the Woke establishment in full meltdown, even reportedly bringing the Big Tech platform’s Trump-banning chief counsel Vijaya Gadde to tears. She’s now expected to be axed. Musk, known for his cryptic tweets, alluded to shaking up the leadership team; of course, he did it with a meme. The context for the meme was provided by Newsmax’s Benny Johnson. It regards an interview between Tim Pool and the Twitter chief counsel herself.

“So your platform restricts speech?” Pool asked. “Our platform promotes speech unless people violate our rules,” Gadde replied. “In a specific direction,” he said. “In any direction,” she argued. “It’s about a pattern and practice of violating our rules.” Pool pointed out the obvious: “You have a pattern and practice of banning only one faction of people.” Then, Pool cited a report from Quillette. It found that out of 22 high-profile bannings from 2015, “21 of them were only on one side of the cultural debate.” “But I don’t look at the political spectrum of people when I’m looking at their tweets,” she claimed.


Musk has big plans for one of the most influential social media platforms. At the Met Gala on Saturday, he discussed his vision with the Associated Press. “Well, I mean, the goal that I have, should everything come to fruition with Twitter, is to have a service that is broadly — is as broadly inclusive as possible where ideally most of America is on it and talking!” Musk told the AP. “I think just generally, the — I’m looking for something that’s like I said as broadly inclusive as possible, that’s as trusted as possible as a system, and I hope we are successful in that regard,” he continued. “I’ve also vowed this publicly that we have to get rid of the bots, trolls, scams, and everything,” he added. “That’s obviously diminishing the user experience and we don’t want people to get tricked out of their money and that kind of thing.” “I’m on the warpath!” he declared.

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“Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low..”

Musk Blasts Soros ‘Dark Money Groups’ Threatening Twitter Advertisers (ZH)

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has the world’s elites in panic mode – with the Biden administration launching a “Disinformation Governance Board” days after his announcement…followed by the United States, the EU, and 32 non-EU countries announcing a “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” that includes language to require web services to remove illegal content and prevent ‘harm’ to users – which is code for mean tweets, among other things. Another globalist, Bill Gates, is talking greasy after Musk compared the world’s former richest man to the pregnant man emoji. Musk’s purchase also prompted a constellation of 26 Soros-linked NGOs to sign a letter expressing concern about the plan – writing that “Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized.”


The authors that under Musk’s management, “Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low,” adding “Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account. We call on you to demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety, and to pull your advertising spending from Twitter if they are not.” Those advertising on Twitter would risk their company associating “with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists,” according to the letter. A quick look at the signatories:

Musk responded to the campaign against him by asking “Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …” adding “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

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“..Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship…”

Musk Summoned to Parliament for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech (Turley)

I previously wrote about Hillary Clinton’s call on European countries to pass censorship laws to force social media companies like Twitter to regulate speech even after Elon Musk’s pledge to restore free speech to Twitter. Now the Parliament has called on Musk to testify and to explain his alarming pledge to restore free speech. The Biden Administration’s Disinformation Governance Board head, Nina Jankowisz, previously called upon Great Britain to impose state censorship rules. That call has grown since Musk’s purchase. Until now, a unified front of corporate censors was able to maintain an extensive system of censorship with the encouragement of politicians and pundits, including Joe Biden and Democratic members .

The head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Julian Knight has assured her countrymen that they can stay calm and censor on. She issued a letter for Musk to appear before the committee to answer for his terrifying suggestion of free speech: “At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we’re keen to learn more about how Mr Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms.”

Like the EU’s censorship plans under the Digital Services Act, the proposed Online Safety Bill would introduce state censorship through the purview of Ofcom (The Office of Communications), the broadcasting regulator in Britain. It would allow the company to fine firms up to ten percent of their global revenue should they violate ill-defined “harm” standards. If passed, Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship. This includes confiscatory fines for anything deemed “grossly offensive.“ The bill would allow countries like Great Britain to impose censorship on the rest of the world.

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“These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel.”

Five Steps to Free Speech in Social Media: A Musk Roadmap (Turley)

5. Protect against Surrogate State Censors.

As it became more likely that Musk could buy Twitter, there was a notable shift in the comments of pro-censorship figures. Hillary Clinton, who has long been viewed as hostile to free speech values, went to Twitter to call on the European Union to quickly pass the Digital Services Act in Europe to force censorship “before it’s too late.” That time table appears to be the Musk takeover when the public will suddenly have a free speech alternative to the once solid alliance of censorship among social media companies. Since figures like Clinton cannot count on corporate surrogates to censor, they are returning to good old-fashioned state censorship. If the DSA is passed, they hope to force Twitter to resume censoring material – a warning echoed by EU officials this week. Congress needs to act to blunt such an attack on American companies seeking to restore free speech values.

At the same time, the United Kingdom is pushing its own Online Safety Act and recently Musk was summoned to Parliament to answer for his alarming suggestion of restoring free speech on social media. The British are assuring citizens to “stay calm and censor on” despite Musk’s pledge. It is threatening to take ten percent of the company’s profits if Musk does not censor users. Musk will have to create firewall or siloed systems for countries forcing censorship. These systems should post tweets with a warning that these users are being subjected to national censorship standards while protecting U.S. users from having their free speech reduced to the lower common denominator.

These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel. The greatest asset that Musk brings to Twitter beyond a deep pocket and deep faith in free speech is his legendary creativity. He tends to focus on a horizon rather than the obstacles or opponents before him. Free speech remains a horizonal ideal but one that is attainable for someone with unflagging commitment and creativity. This could be the ultimate “moon shot” for Musk to bring free speech back to the Internet.

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Think this was also banned from Twitter.

2000 Mules (AG)

After the 2020 election, government officials and their allies in the media repeated the mantra that the election was the “most secure in American history,” Dinesh D’Souza pointed out before the premiere of his new documentary film 2000 Mules at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday night. But how would they know that? D’Souza wondered. Even if they couldn’t prove the election was rigged, “it still doesn’t follow that it was the most secure election in history,” he said. “The only way you could prove that would be if you were to compare the amount of fraud in 2020 with 2016, with 2012, with 2008, with 2004, and show that there has been less fraud now than in any of those elections.”

D’Souza’s question is a good one. Did election officials study the security of every election prior to 2020 to make the determination that the 2020 election was “the most secure ever”? Or were they just spinning another false narrative that benefits one side of the aisle? The movie 2000 Mules handily answers that question. Using state-of-the-art technology, the film convincingly makes the case that the 2020 presidential election was perhaps the most unsecure election ever, and was stolen from former President Trump.

The election intelligence organization True The Vote gathered geospatial and temporal data—amounting to a total of 10 trillion cell phone pings—between Oct. 1 and Nov. 6 in the battleground states of Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The researchers looked at data surrounding ballot drop boxes in targeted areas, as well as UPS stores and select government, commercial, and non-governmental organization (NGO) facilities. This data, coupled with the surveillance video of the drop boxes, provide damning evidence of a coordinated illegal ballot trafficking operation across critical swing states. “Without free and fair elections, we are not a democracy, we are a criminal cartel masquerading as a democracy,” D’Souza argues in the movie.

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The vaccines still haven’t done enough harm, apparently.

FDA Limits Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots (CTH)

The FDA has limited the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine to only those over 18-years-old due to blood clotting issues. Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine is now limited to adults due to the risk of a rare blood clotting syndrome. FDA – “Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has limited the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older for whom other authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate, and to individuals 18 years of age and older who elect to receive the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” (read more)


WHAT CHANGED? – “The FDA and CDC have continuously monitored for and investigated all suspected cases of TTS reported to VAERS. In an updated analysis of TTS cases following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine that were reported to VAERS through March 18, 2022, the FDA and CDC have identified 60 confirmed cases, including nine fatal cases. The FDA has determined that the reporting rate of TTS is 3.23 per million doses of vaccine administered and the reporting rate of TTS deaths is 0.48 per million doses of vaccine administered.”

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“..if every vaccinated pilot were to be screened, there would be somewhere around a 30 percent loss in manpower..”

McCullough: 30% of US Pilots May Have COVID Jab-Induced Heart Conditions (ET)

Are we on the precipice of a major uptick in serious heart problems among otherwise young, healthy Americans due to the mass-disseminated mRNA COVID shots? Observations from several medical experts, including a well-known cardiologist, suggest that we are. Some individuals who appear to be facing worrisome jab-related heart problems are commercial airline pilots. Advocacy groups also say these pilots are being forced to keep mum about their health issues—and that a far greater percentage of them are likely suffering than the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would like to admit. Joshua Yoder is an airline pilot and co-founder of the U.S. Freedom Flyers (USFF), an advocacy group formed to help transportation industry employees maintain their medical autonomy and oppose federal vax statutes.

As noted by the website American Greatness, Yoder recently disclosed in an interview with Vaccine Safety Research Foundation founder Steve Kirsch that the USFF has already received hundreds of reports of pilots experiencing chest pain and other adverse side effects of COVID shots while flying planes. Of course, people experiencing chest pain caused by jab-related pericarditis or myocarditis (heart inflammation) is concerning enough. But to know that men and women are experiencing these issues while flying commercial aircrafts is deeply worrisome, Yoder says. Plus, many of these airline pilots are reluctant to speak out about their health problems because they fear losing their jobs. “I’m afraid if we keep going down this path,” he said in his interview with Kirsch, “at some point, it’s going to end in catastrophe.”

“If passengers actually knew what was going on at the airlines and the FAA,” he adds, “they would be livid, and everyone would be jumping on a class action suit against all of them.” In his interview, Yoder also shared what well-known Texan cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough said to him in a prior conversation: “if every vaccinated pilot were to be screened, there would be somewhere around a 30 percent loss in manpower” due to new jab-related cardiac issues.

Kolakusic

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Major US export.

UN: Obesity Levels In Europe At ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (AP)

The World Health Organization says the rates of people who are obese and overweight in Europe have hit “epidemic proportions,” with nearly 60% of adults and a third of children in one of those categories. In a report issued Tuesday, the UN health agency’s European office said the prevalence of obesity among adults is higher across the continent than any other world region – except for the Americas. “Alarmingly, there have been consistent increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the WHO European region and no member state is on track to reach the target of halting the rise in obesity by 2025,” the report said. Among the countries it counts in its Europe region, WHO said the highest rates of obesity were seen in Turkey, Malta, Israel and Britain.

WHO said being overweight or obese is among the leading causes of death in the region and is responsible for more than 1 million deaths every year. Scientists have long warned that being heavy significantly increases the risk of numerous diseases, including respiratory conditions, diabetes and at least 13 cancers. It is also the leading risk factor for disability. “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we experienced the true impact of the obesity epidemic,” WHO Europe director Dr Hans Kluge wrote in the report. He noted that the obese were “more likely to experience severe outcomes of the Covid-19 disease spectrum, including intensive care unit admissions and death.”

Kluge also said that Covid-19 interventions like school closures and lockdowns often raised the risk of gaining weight when people turned to unhealthy diets and were forced to be sedentary. WHO called for countries to adopt policies to improve “environmental factors” linked to obesity, including taxing sugary drinks, restricting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and efforts to improve physical activity In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 74% of Americans over age 20 are obese or overweight.

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There goes my faith in mankind…

EU Officials Being Trained To Meditate To Help Fight Climate Crisis (G.)

Brussels officials are being trained to meditate to help them tackle the climate crisis as part of a new wave of “applied mindfulness” that seeks to take the Buddhism-inspired practice “off the cushion” and into hard politics. EU officials working on the 27-country bloc’s green deal climate policy are attending “inner green deal” courses intended to foster a deeper connection among decision-makers and negotiators tasked with tackling the crisis. The courses incorporate woodland walks near Brussels and meditation sessions, including one that invites participants to feel empathy for trees and animals to boost “environmental compassion”. Some managers have reportedly shown impatience at being asked to meditate and want to “get on with business”.


But early results from the first 80 participants suggest the course has strengthened officials’ motivation to tackle climate problems and overcome personal despair that little can be done. Mindfulness has boomed in the west in recent years through courses, meditation apps and books. But it has drawn criticism that it has become a “religion of the self”, with one critic warning of “McMindfulness”. However, it is recognised by the NHS as an effective treatment for recurrent depression when delivered as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Now advocates of “applied mindfulness” believe it could accelerate consensus-building between climate decision-makers. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the need for “inner transitions” and the potential of meditation to encourage lower-carbon lifestyles.

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From the Attorney General for Virginia

 

Unparalleled disaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 052022
 


René Magritte Personal values 1952

 

Fierce Fighting Under Way In Azovstal Plant, Says Azov Commander (G.)
Brazil’s Ex-president Lula Claims Zelenskiy Equally To Blame For War (G.)
Return of the King (Streeck)
The “Disinformation Board” Is Even More Pernicious Than It Seems (Greenwald)
Twitter Launches New Purge Of Covid Contrarians (JTN)
Soros, Clinton and Obama Staffers, EU Governments Behind Anti-Musk Campaign (DM)
Elon Musk Turns To Old Financial Backers For $44b Twitter Buyout (NYP)
John Durham Scores Two Major Court Wins Ahead Of Clinton Lawyer’s Trial (JTN)
FBI Pursued a Dossier Rumor the Press Shot Down as ‘Bullshit’ (Sperry)
The Government Plays God (Whitehead)
The Great Currency Reset and Why Europe is Trapped (Luongo)
Disney’s Market Freefall (PJM)

 

 

 

 

Ze 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azovstal

 

 

 

 

Well, well. The Guardian is now the bullhorn for the nazis. But Russia has denied invading the plant.

Also funny: the evacuation of citizens from the plant is being presented as another heroic act by Zelensky. But they could have left at any moment over the past 2 months. Why didn’t they? Often because the same nazis used them as human shields.

Fierce Fighting Under Way In Azovstal Plant, Says Azov Commander (G.)

Fierce fighting has continued inside Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks, the commander of Ukrainian forces in the plant said, as more civilians fled the city on evacuation buses following weeks of brutal bombardment that have reduced much of it to rubble. Ukrainian forces were fighting “difficult bloody battles” against Russian troops for a second day, Denys Prokopenko, commander of the Azov regiment, said in a brief video released on Telegram late on Wednesday. “I am proud of my soldiers who are making superhuman efforts to contain the pressure of the enemy … the situation is extremely difficult,” commander Denis Prokopenko said.

Earlier on Wednesday, David Arakhamia, the head of Ukraine’s ruling party in parliament, told RFE/RL that Russian forces had entered the plant, but he said that the country’s government remained in contact with the Ukrainian troops staging a last stand. The Kremlin’s official spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, denied reports that Moscow’s forces were trying to storm the plant. “The order was publicly given by [Vladimir Putin] to cancel the storming,” Peskov said. “There is no storming.” Russia said its forces would cease firing at the factory on Thursday morning, and open a three-day humanitarian corridor for any civilians.


“The Russian armed forces will from 8am to 6pm (Moscow time, 0500 GMT to 1500 GMT) on May 5, 6 and 7 open a humanitarian corridor from the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant to evacuate civilians,” the defence ministry said. “During this period, the Russian armed forces and formations of the Donetsk People’s Republic will unilaterally cease any hostilities.”

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“The United States has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided war, not incited it,” he said. “Biden could have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude you expect from a leader.”

Brazil’s Ex-president Lula Claims Zelenskiy Equally To Blame For War (G.)

Brazilian presidential frontrunner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has said the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, bear equal responsibility for the war in Ukraine, putting the leftist icon at odds with western powers. In an interview with Time magazine published on Wednesday, the former president said it was irresponsible for western leaders to celebrate Zelenskiy because they are encouraging war instead of focusing on closed-door negotiations to stop the fighting. “I see the president of Ukraine, speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the [European] parliamentarians,” Lula told the magazine. “This guy [Zelenskiy] is as responsible as Putin for the war,” he added.

Lula, who is on Time’s cover this week, is frontrunner for the October elections when he hopes to deny far-right President Jair Bolsonaro re-election and return to office after the annulment last year of corruption convictions that had put him in jail. The remarks will probably raise eyebrows in the US and Europe, which are supplying military support to Ukraine and have hit Russia with punishing sanctions over an invasion widely seen in the west as an act of unprovoked Russian aggression. Lula, 76, said Zelenskiy should have yielded to Russian opposition to Ukraine’s moves to join Nato and held negotiations with Putin to avoid a conflict.


Refering to Zelenskiy’s rise to fame as an actor and comedian, he added: “We should be having a serious conversation. OK, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV.” The veteran leftist said Biden and European Union leaders failed to do enough to negotiate with Russia in the run-up to its invasion of Ukraine in February. “The United States has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided war, not incited it,” he said. “Biden could have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude you expect from a leader.”

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King NATO

Return of the King (Streeck)

When kings return, they initiate a purge, to rectify the anomalies that have accumulated during their absence. Old bills are presented anew and collected, lack of loyalty revealed during the King’s absence is punished, disobedient ideas and improper memories are extirpated, and the nooks and crannies of the body politic are cleansed of the political deviants that have in the meantime populated them. Symbolic action of the McCarthy type is helpful as it spreads fear among potential dissenters. Throughout the West today, players of piano or tennis or relativity theory who happen to be from Russia and want to continue playing whatever they play are pressed to make public statements that would make their lives and those of their families back home difficult at best.

Investigative journalists discover an abyss of philanthropic donations by Russian oligarchs to music and other festivals, donations that have been welcome in the past but are now found to subvert artistic freedom, unlike of course the philanthropic donations of their Western fellow-oligarchs. Etc. Against the background of proliferating loyalty oaths, public discourse is reduced to spreading the King’s truth, and nothing but. Putin verstehen – trying to find out about motives and reasons, searching for a clue as to how one might, perhaps, negotiate an end to the bloodshed – is equated with Putin verzeihen, or forgiving; it ‘relativizes’, as the Germans put it, the atrocities of the Russian army by trying to end them with other than military means.


According to newly received wisdom, there is only one way of dealing with a madman; thinking about other ways advances his interests and therefore amounts to treason. (I remember teachers in the 1950s who let it be known to the young generation that ‘the only language the Russian understands is the language of the fist’.) Memory management is central: never mention the Minsk Accords (2014 and 2015) between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, don’t ask what became of them and why, never mind the platform of negotiated conflict settlement on which Zelensky was elected in 2019 by almost three quarters of Ukrainian voters, and forget the American response by megaphone diplomacy to Russian proposals as late as 2022 for a joint European security system. Above all, never bring up the various American ‘special operations’ of the recent past, like for example in Iraq, and in Fallujah inside Iraq (800 civilian casualties alone in a few days); doing so commits the crime of ‘whataboutism’, which in view of ‘the pictures from Bucha and Mariupol’ is morally out of bounds.

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“..the term “disinformation expert” is designed to disguise ideological views on behalf of state and corporate power centers as Official Truth.”

The “Disinformation Board” Is Even More Pernicious Than It Seems (Greenwald)

The most egregious and blatant official disinformation campaign in the U.S. took place three weeks before the 2020 presidential election. That was when dozens of former intelligence officials purported to believe that authentic emails regarding Joe Biden’s activities in China and Ukraine, reported by The New York Post, were “Russian disinformation.” That quasi-official proclamation enabled liberal corporate media outlets to uncritically mock and then ignore those emails as “Russian disinformation,” and pressured Big Tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to censor the reporting at exactly the time Americans were preparing to decide who would be the next U.S. president.

The letter from these former intelligence officials was orchestrated by trained career liars — disinformation agents — such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Yet that letter was nonetheless crucial to discredit and ultimately suppress the New York Post’s incriminating reporting on Biden. It provided a quasi-official imprimatur — something that could be depicted as an authoritative decree — that these authentic emails were, in fact, fraudulent. After all, if all of these noble and heroic intelligence operatives who spent their lives studying Russian disinformation were insisting that the Biden emails had all of the “hallmarks” of Kremlin treachery, who possessed the credibility to dispute their expert assessment?


This same strategic motive — to vest accusations of “disinformation” with the veneer of expertise — is what has fostered a new, very well-financed industry heralding itself as composed of “anti-disinformation” scholars. Knowing that Americans are inculcated from childhood to believe that censorship is nefarious — that it is the hallmark of tyranny — those who wish to censor need to find some ennobling rationale to justify it and disguise what it is. They have thus created a litany of neutral-sounding groups with benign names — The Atlantic Council, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, various “fact-checking” outfits controlled by corporate media outlets — that claim to employ “anti-disinformation experts” to identify and combat fake news. Just as media corporations re-branded their partisan pundits as “fact-checkers” — to masquerade their opinions as elevated, apolitical authoritative, decrees of expertise — the term “disinformation expert” is designed to disguise ideological views on behalf of state and corporate power centers as Official Truth.

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Elon! Help!

Twitter Launches New Purge Of Covid Contrarians (JTN)

Several Twitter users known for questioning U.S. government COVID-19 messaging have found themselves locked out of their accounts or suspended, even as the social media company reckons with a takeover by pro-free-speech billionaire Elon Musk and advancing litigation by journalist Alex Berenson. It’s not clear whether the timing is coincidental or the last gasp of an old guard targeting so-called Team Reality before a new owner or courts force it to change direction. Twitter has ignored the vast majority of Just the News requests to explain how various sanctioned users violated its terms. The notices from Twitter, often posted by allies of the silenced users, cite violation of its policy against sharing “misleading and potentially harmful information” about COVID.

A federal judge greenlit breach-of-contract claims in Berenson’s lawsuit challenging his permanent suspension, which followed a tweet that said COVID vaccines neither stop infection nor transmission, both of which the CDC has acknowledged for several months. The former New York Times reporter said in February Twitter had quietly removed the “misleading” label from the tweet, which only he can see. The company didn’t respond to Just the News queries at the time. Berenson plausibly alleged Twitter “fail[ed] to abide by its own five-strike policy and its specific commitments” made by a PR executive directly to Berenson before his first strike, U.S. District Judge William Alsup wrote April 29.


The same day Twitter permanently booted Daniel Kotzin, one of three sanctioned users jointly suing federal officials for coercing Twitter to censor purported COVID misinformation. It flagged his tweet citing “known potential side effects” of COVID vaccines, including myocarditis, “blood clots, and strokes.”

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‘Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized..’

Soros, Clinton and Obama Staffers, EU Governments Behind Anti-Musk Campaign (DM)

Some of the most high-profile liberal figures have joined together to encourage advertisers to boycott Twitter if Elon Musk brings in his promised policy of unfettered ‘free speech.’ Twenty six NGOs and advocacy groups signed a letter expressing concern about the world’s richest man’s plan. Musk himself responded to the letter asking who funded them: the answer being an assortment of ‘dark money groups’ like George Soros’s Open Society Foundation; NGOs founded by former Clinton and Obama administration staffers; wealthy Democrat donors and their family foundations; labor unions; and the governments of European nations.

‘Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized,’ they wrote. They warned that advertising on Twitter would see their company ‘risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists.’ The authors continued: ‘Under Musk’s management, Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low.


‘Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account. We call on you to demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety, and to pull your advertising spending from Twitter if they are not.’ Musk, in response to the letter, tweeted: ‘Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …’ Piqued by the critique, he added: ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant.’ The letter signed by the 26 groups was sent on headed paper bearing the logos of Accountable Tech, Media Matters for America, and Ultraviolet.

Anti-Elon campaign

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They’re afraid of cancel culture.

Elon Musk Turns To Old Financial Backers For $44b Twitter Buyout (NYP)

Elon Musk is turning to an old, reliable group of financial backers to fund his $44 billion buyout of Twitter — even as talks to team up with a deep-pocketed private equity firm have stalled, The Post has learned. Sources close to the situation say Musk may be closing in on raising $10 billion in cash from equity co-investors — mostly venture capital firms who have backed his other companies including Space X. One source close to the talks declined to name the firms, but Musk’s past investors have included Sequoia Capital, D1 Capital Partners and Valor Equity Partners. Musk has also turned to so-called family offices that control large pools of private money to back his Twitter bid. “He has more than $10 billion of committed equity,” one source close to the situation told The Post.

Musk is plowing ahead even as top executives at Thoma Bravo — a tech-focused buyout firm whose investments include nuts-and-bolts software firms like McAfee and Barracuda — are divided over partnering with Musk in the deal, with some fearing the bet would be too big and too risky, three sources close to the situation said. “Orlando Bravo was pushing for it,” one source close to the talks said, referring to the firm’s co-founder, a 52-year-old, Puerto Rican-born billionaire with a formidable track record among tech investors. “He spent hours talking to Elon.” On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk has been telling investors he aims to take the company public again within three years of the buyout.


As previously reported by The Post, Thoma Bravo sees an opportunity to slash costs at Twitter and was hoping to land a high-profile deal. Nevertheless, other top partners at Thoma Bravo fret that jumping into bed with Musk — who has posted a slew of sometimes bizarre tweets about his plans for Twitter, including that he plans to turn its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter — could be a disaster. “My sense is Orlando Bravo wanted to do it but one or two of his top partners don’t want to,” a second source said. Other major buyout firms including Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone and billionaire Robert F. Smith’s Vista Equity Partners also have turned Musk down altogether, a source said. Apollo Global Management, meanwhile, is only interested in providing debt financing, according to sources close to the talks.

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No go for attorney-client privilege.

John Durham Scores Two Major Court Wins Ahead Of Clinton Lawyer’s Trial (JTN)

Special Counsel John Durham scored two major wins on Wednesday ahead of the criminal trial for ex-Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, as the judge ordered a key witness to testify and agreed to review memos the defense is trying to conceal with a claim of attorney-client privilege. During a hearing, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper expressed skepticism that memos detailing the Fusion GPS firm’s opposition research on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia – some of which were shared with the news media and the FBI — were covered by attorney-client privilege and agreed to Durham’s request to review 38 of the documents that prosecutors want to introduce at trial later this month.

Cooper said he wasn’t convinced the Clinton campaign, Sussmann and his law firm and Fusion GPS should have blanket privilege over the documents, at one point citing a memo of Fusion’s contacts with a reporter as evidence of “assisting a media strategy” rather than legal advice. Cooper also unsealed his order to compel that granted Fusion GPS computer researcher Laura Seago limited immunity and ordered her to testify at trial as Durham sought. Seago’s lawyer informed prosecutors she planned to “invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination absent a court order of immunity compelling her to testify at trial,” according to the unsealed records.


Cooper signed an order mandating Seago “give testimony or provide other information which she refuses to give or to provide on the basis of her privilege against self-incrimination as to all matters about which she might be interrogated at trial and any proceedings ancillary thereto.” The judge also ruled that “no testimony or other information compelled under this Order (or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information) may be used against Laura Seago in any criminal case, except a prosecution for perjury, giving a false statement, or otherwise failing to comply with this Order.” Durham had argued that Seago’s testimony was “necessary to the public interest.” It did not specify what prosecutors believed her testimony would focus on.

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“..some journalists, as keen as they were to report dirt on Trump, were nevertheless more cautious than FBI investigators about embracing hearsay information..”

FBI Pursued a Dossier Rumor the Press Shot Down as ‘Bullshit’ (Sperry)

The FBI decision to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser hinged on an unsubstantiated rumor from a Clinton campaign-paid dossier that the Washington Post’s Moscow sources had quickly shot down as “bullshit” and “impossible,” according to emails disclosed last week to a D.C. court hearing the criminal case of a Clinton lawyer accused of lying to the FBI. Though the FBI presumably had access to better sources than the newspaper, agents did little to verify the rumor that Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page had secretly met with sanctioned Kremlin officials in Moscow. Instead, the bureau pounced on the dossier report the day it received it, immediately plugging the rumor into an application under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to wiretap Page as a suspected Russian agent.

The allegation, peddled to both the press and FBI in the summer of 2016 by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to dig up dirt on Trump during the presidential race, proved to be the linchpin in winning approval for the 2016 warrant, which was renewed three times in 2017 – even though the FBI learned there were serious holes in the story and had failed to independently corroborate it. The revelations of early media skepticism about the Trump-Russia narrative before journalists embraced it are included in a 62-page batch of emails between Fusion and prominent Beltway reporters released by Special Counsel John Durham, who is scouring the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign for evidence of abuse and criminal wrongdoing.


The documents suggest that some journalists, as keen as they were to report dirt on Trump, were nevertheless more cautious than FBI investigators about embracing hearsay information served up by Clinton agents. (The FBI declined comment.) The new material also offers a look at the lengths to which those working on Clinton’s behalf went in order to seed the government with unverified rumors about Trump and Russia that amounted to a disinformation campaign. Among those targeted were powerful Democratic members of Congress, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who proved to be a willing collaborator.

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This is the fundamental point: the rights of the unborn child. That video is scary.

The Government Plays God (Whitehead)

“Abortion on demand is the ultimate State tyranny; the State simply declares that certain classes of human beings are not persons, and therefore not entitled to the protection of the law. The State protects the ‘right’ of some people to kill others, just as the courts protected the ‘property rights’ of slave masters in their slaves.”
– Ron Paul

The government wants to play god. It wants the power to decide who lives or dies and whose rights are worthy of protection. Delve beneath the rhetoric and spin that have turned abortion into a politicized, polarized and propagandized frontline in the culture wars, and you will find a greater menace at work. Abortion may be front and center in the power struggle between the Left and the Right over who has the right to decide—the government or the individual—when it comes to bodily autonomy, the right to privacy, sexual freedom, the rights of the unborn, and property interests in one’s body, but there’s so much more going on here.

The Left would suggest that unborn babies do not have constitutional rights and the only right that matters is a woman’s right to privacy in choosing whether or not to abort a pregnancy. The Right, while fixated on saving the lives of unborn babies, seems less concerned about what happens to those lives from birth to death. What few seem willing to address is that in the 30 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, the government has come to believe that it not only has the power to determine who is deserving of constitutional rights in the eyes of the law but it also has the authority to deny those rights to an American citizen.

This is how the abortion debate—a politicized tug-of-war over when an unborn child is considered a human being with rights—plays into the police state’s hands by laying the groundwork for discussions about who else may or may not be deserving of rights. Even if (as a leaked draft opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization suggests) the Supreme Court overturns its earlier rulings recognizing abortion as a constitutional right under the Fourteenth Amendment, that will not resolve the larger problem that plagues us today: namely, that all along the spectrum of life—from the unborn child to the aged—the government continues to play fast and loose with the lives of the citizenry.

40 weeks

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“..a complete embargo of all Russian oil..”

The Great Currency Reset and Why Europe is Trapped (Luongo)

There’s a lot of news flying around about the changes happening in global currency trading. From “Gas for Rubles” to “What the Hell is Going on With the Yen?” there are a lot of questions and very few answers as to what it all means and whose on which side of the divide. The Fed just hiked 50 basis points for the first time since 2000 and will be running off its balance sheet forcing the Treasury to stop issuing new debt at stupid rates. The European Union unveiled a sixth sanctions package against Russia which calls for a complete embargo of all Russian oil. Further to this the EU is now aping what the Trump Administration tried to do to Iran in 2018, sanctioning all services, including insurance, to all shippers of oil from doing any business with Russia and sanctioned Russian banks.

These sanctions, effectively politicizing every aspect of international business and trade, are ultimately nothing more than short-term annoyances for Russia or anyone else. It betrays a mindset that cares nothing for the downstream effects of these actions and, if anything, betray the desperation felt in Brussels today about its position in the global market. I’ve spilled hundreds of column inches trying to explain to the world that it is the EU’s totalitarian mindset based on their psychological imbalance and ideological need to be seen as the champions of humanity, that drives all of their decisions. The US is not so driven. We’re far easier to understand. We like power but only so long as it nets us a profit.


This sanctions package is prima facie evidence of their insanity and what happens when, like a cornered animal, they are faced with an existential choice. The EU is built on a foundation of insulating its leadership from the vicissitudes of public opinion. Populism is a four-letter word in the Eurocrat’s vocabulary. The consequences of this policy which was conceived of by the fart-sniffing buffoons at the World Economic Forum, The Davos Crowd, are irrelevant to them in the short-term. Yes, Europeans will suffer tremendously high inflation because, if successful at taking a majority of Russian oil off the global markets, will only ensure that prices go ballistic. Do you think the same people who have a stated depopulation agenda who mandated a 12% effective Pfizer vaccine and wasn’t tested at all on pregnant women lest they be barred from partaking of European society care one whit about the people they govern?

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Woke.

Disney’s Market Freefall (PJM)

There’s a saying, and I don’t know who coined it, but it goes something like, “Go woke; go broke.” I do know that former president Donald Trump said that “everything woke turns to s**t.” One company that’s learning this lesson the hard way — even though nobody there will admit it publicly — is Disney. David Ng at Breitbart is reporting that The Walt Disney Company has lost a whopping $63 billion in market capitalization over the past two months. “Shares of Disney have plummeted 23.5 percent since the start of March, falling from $145.70,” Ng writes. “Market cap is down $62.6 billion, from $265.3 to $202.7 billion.” (For the uninitiated, Investopedia defines market capitalization as “the total dollar market value of a company’s outstanding shares of stock. Commonly referred to as ‘market cap,’ it’s calculated by multiplying the total number of a company’s outstanding shares by the current market price of one share.”)

I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to wrap my head around losing that kind of money. I freak out if I lose a $20 bill, so losing tens of billions because I took a political position that appeases a percentage of my workforce and a smaller percentage of the world at large at the expense of everybody else would be disastrous. That amount of money may be chump change to Disney, but it’s still nearly a quarter of its market cap. Disney’s stock has performed poorly over the past several months, dropping 30% over the past year. Much, though not all, of this stems directly from Disney’s decision to speak out on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which the legislature passed into law and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed at the end of March.


The Democrats and their willing accomplices in the media falsely dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” which triggered the LGBTQ lobby among Disney cast members to pressure CEO Bob Chapek to stick the company’s nose into the state’s business. DeSantis and the Florida legislature decided to fight fire with fire, and they voted to end the 1967 special improvement act that allowed Disney to create the Reedy Creek Improvement District and essentially act as its own government over the Walt Disney World property.

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TexasLindsay Global by income

 

 

 

 

Hodkinson

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 042022
 


Albert Gleizes The football players 1912-13

 

Medvedev Thinks That Zelensky Does Not Need ‘Any Peace Treaty’ (Tass)
Delegation Of Doom: Pelosi Visits Zelensky With Warhawk Dems (Celente)
Pope Admits NATO Likely Provoked Putin’s Invasion (ZH)
Good vs Evil (Yuri Podolyaka)
EU Plans For Russian Oil Ban: ‘We Want Ukraine To Win This War’ (BBC)
Russia Captures Commander of Canadian Army at Azovstal (APA)
Russian Oligarch With Close Ties To Putin Met With Hunter Biden In Moscow (DM)
Hunter Biden Laptop Repairman Sues Schiff, CNN, Politico, Daily Beast (NYP)
Russia Is Returning To The Gold Standard And China Is Going To Be Next (QTR)
Leaked Draft Opinion Rocks the Court and Washington (Turley)
The Irrational, Misguided Discourse On SCOTUS Controversies (Greenwald)
Study Into mRNA Vaccine Death Rates Sends ‘Danger Signals’ (Bhattacharya)
Face Mask Usage Correlates With Higher Death Rates (INN)
‘Brands Should Force Twitter To Uphold Content Policies Under Musk’ (CNN)

 

 

 

 

Donetsk

 

 

Eva K Bartlett: According to Western media, now copy-paste reporting the same claims, Russian forces apparently secretly buried *up to 9,000 Mariupol civilians* in “mass graves” in a town just west of the city.

 

 

“Not an inch of #NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.”
—Memorandum of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow, Feb 9 1990

 

 

“..using unfortunate citizens as expendable material while posing unshaved before cameras and talk nonsense with eyes shining from stimulators.”

Gonzalo Lira: “Remember, Medvedev is considered dovish and pro-Western—so imagine what the hawkish anti-Westerners in Moscow are like.”

Medvedev Thinks That Zelensky Does Not Need ‘Any Peace Treaty’ (Tass)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky does not need any peaceful settlement, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev asserted. “Zelensky does not need any peace treaty. For him, peace is the end,” he said on his Telegram channel. According to him, this end would be “either a quick one – from the Nazis who will hang him for a deal with Russians, or a slower one, from his competition who will attain his dismissal as the president who lost a war.” He pointed out that Zelensky’s retinue confirms this saying that “there will be no peace treaty.” “That is why Zelensky in the future will keep begging the West for money and weapons, trying to prove he is still in the game, that he is the hope of the liberal world, that he is the last stronghold of European democracy which a bear in a cotton-padded jacket wants to tear apart,” Medvedev said.


He added that at the same time, Zelensky would “imitate concern for Ukrainians, periodically positioning them as a human shield against the Bandera followers.” Additionally, according to the deputy chairman, the Ukrainian president will continue “to send hired killers to Russian journalists, positioning himself as a tough exterminator, spawn criminal fake news about Russia’s military operation using unfortunate citizens as expendable material while posing unshaved before cameras and talk nonsense with eyes shining from stimulators.” “There is no other way for Zelensky to remain in office. That is, if the office itself remains,” Medvedev concluded.

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Delusional on all levels.

Delegation Of Doom: Pelosi Visits Zelensky With Warhawk Dems (Celente)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat lawmakers arrived in Kyiv for an unannounced visit with President Volodymyr Zelensky and did just what the script said: they praised the comedian for his courage and promised more weapons to keep the killing going. It is not truly U.S. support unless it comes with a trigger. Pelosi, the highest-ranking U.S. official to make the journey to Kyiv for a photo-op, promised Zelensky that more weapons were coming and Washington would continue to fund its proxy war against Moscow. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., was part of the delegation that genuflected at the Altar of Zelensky, and told reporters afterwards that there were three areas of focus: “weapons, weapons, and weapons.” He also posted a photo on his Twitter page promising Kyiv that the U.S. “is in this to win in and we will stand with Ukraine until victory is won.”

He did not clarify exactly what the U.S. was “in,” but the Biden administration has not announced publicly that the country is at war with Russia. Pelosi’s freak-show – which included Rep. Adam Schiff – was there to send an “unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine.” “We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom, that we are on a frontier of freedom and that your fight is a fight for everyone. And so our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” she said. Schiff, who looked like a school boy meeting his hero when waiting to shake Zelensky’s hand, also got the memo and, after the visit, said one thing is clear: “We must continue to give military aid to Ukraine, and humanitarian assistance to those seeking refuge at home and in neighboring countries like Poland.”

Schiff said he was in “awe of the courage of President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people. In the face of extreme Russian brutality, Zelenskyy has inspired his people, and freedom-loving individuals across the world.” U.S. officials have been bolder in recent weeks because the propaganda campaign has been so effective. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who once sat on Raytheon’s board, said at the news conference last week that the U.S. wants to see Russia “weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” He continued, “So it has already lost a lot of military capability. And a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability.” Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, also told reporters that the U.S. wants “a free and independent Ukraine,” and “that is going to involve a weakened Russia, a strengthened NATO.”

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If we can ban a President, we certainly can censor a Pope…

Pope Admits NATO Likely Provoked Putin’s Invasion (ZH)

Pope Francis has said that he’s ready to meet President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in hopes of brokering an end to the war in Ukraine, according to the Vatican news agencies. He said in an interview published Tuesday by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, “I am not going to Kyiv for now; I feel that I must not go. First I must go to Moscow. First I must meet Putin. But I am also a priest, what can I do? I do what I can. If Putin would only open the door…”. The Roman Catholic leader’s criticisms of Russia’s actions in Ukraine were made clear throughout the interview, but among the more interesting and surprising lines came when he addressed the roots of the invasion and war which started on Feb 24. He told the newspaper that “the barking of NATO at the gates of Russia” is likely what motivated Putin to attack Ukraine.

Below is the relevant section of the interview, according to a machine translation from the Italian: “Pope Francis’ concern is that Putin, for the moment, will not stop . He also tries to think about the roots of this behavior, about the reasons that push him to such a brutal war. Perhaps the “barking of NATO at Russia’s door” prompted the head of the Kremlin to react badly and unleash the conflict. “An anger that I don’t know if it was provoked – he wonders – but perhaps eased, yes”. Also interesting is that Francis came close to condemning the international weapons transfers now pouring into Ukraine, led by the US which has lately authorized an unprecedented billions in military aid to Ukraine’s government.

“And now those who care about peace are faced with the great question of the supply of weapons by Western nations to the Ukrainian resistance,” the Pope began with his thoughts on this question. He admitted the question is controversial even within the Catholic world. “I can’t answer, I’m too far away, to the question of whether it is right to supply the Ukrainians,” he said, before taking a swipe at the weapons industry. “The clear thing is that weapons are being tested in that land. The Russians now know that tanks are of little use and are thinking of other things. Wars are fought for this: to test the weapons we have produced.”

“This was the case in the Spanish Civil War before the Second World War. The arms trade is a scandal, few oppose it.” He then invoked the case of the years’-long Saudi-US war on Yemen, describing that “Two or three years ago a ship loaded with weapons arrived in Genoa which had to be transferred to a large freighter to transport them to Yemen. The port workers did not want to do it. They said: let’s think of the children of Yemen. It’s a small thing, but a nice gesture. There should be so many like that.”

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Saker: “Yuri Podolyaka is an analyst who recently had his channel terminated on YouTube..”

“..They know how the Russian prisoners are treated in Ukraine – they are beaten, tortured, sometimes even killed. Ukrainians are surprised that they are not even beaten…”

Good vs Evil (Yuri Podolyaka)

Ukraine is one of the fronts of the battle of Good against Evil, it is not the battle of countries or even ideas. Today is May 3rd and today I want to talk about what we’re all fighting against. It’s not even about what happens in Ukraine, but about what happens in the world in general. A Russian pilot, Konstantin Yaroshenko, told us about how he was brought back to Russia . He was being transferred in manacles and they were removed only after US representative made absolutely sure the US exchange prisoner was aboard the Russian plane. Before that, for almost 24 hours, Konstantin couldn’t even drink water properly because of the manacles – he physically couldn’t take a bottle of water, so he had to ask the guard to pour water into his mouth.

That’s how Americans treat the prisoner who was already pardoned and was to be exchanged. The American prisoner was treated entirely differently, in humane conditions. And here I remembered the first thing that amazes the Ukrainian prisoners when they are taken captive – they don’t expect the decent treatment they get. They know how the Russian prisoners are treated in Ukraine – they are beaten, tortured, sometimes even killed. Ukrainians are surprised that they are not even beaten. This is a huge difference that can’t be ignored. This goes for journalism as well – the Russian journalists, like me, get regular death threats and are in real danger. There is not a single case of someone threatening a Ukrainian journalist that takes official Kiev position.

If someone makes calls to do something about them, it is about lawful actions. On another level – social networks – the situation is similar. Take note at how hateful the messaging is from Kiev-aligned posters – they call to kill children and women etc, while there’s not a single call for such things from our side. There’s like a Satanist hatred coming from their side, with constant lies – how during the first couple of weeks they called on regular Ukrainian citizens to make phone calls to their friends in Russia and lie “for the sake of Ukrainian victory”. We can see this “lying for the greater good” on all levels.

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“We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion..”

What if Russia says no?

EU Plans For Russian Oil Ban: ‘We Want Ukraine To Win This War’ (BBC)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been giving details to the European Parliament of a sixth package of sanctions targeting Russia’s economy, its military and propaganda. She said that Russia’s Vladimir Putin wanted to wipe Ukraine from the map and would not succeed and it was his own country that was sinking. “We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion,” she said. “So in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and at the same time be very careful that we minimise the impact on the global market.” Von der Leyen said crude oil imports would be phased out over six months and refined products by the end of 2022.


Although she made no mention of any exemptions, two countries that are most reliant on Russian oil, Slovakia and Hungary, are expected to be given longer to find alternative sources. “Thus we maximise pressure on Russia while at the same time we minimise the collateral damage on us and our partners around the globe. We have to ensure that our economy remains strong.” She went on to give details of a package of relief and reconstruction for Ukraine: “We want to Ukraine to win this war,” she said. Von der Leyen said Ukraine’s economic output was set to fall by 35%-50% in 2022 and it would need €5bn a month just to keep going. “We have to do our share too.”

Pipeline

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From Azerbaijan press.

What does a Canadian general do in Azovstal? You know, this time of year…

Russia Captures Commander of Canadian Army at Azovstal (APA)

General Trevor Cadieu (Trevor John Cadieu), captured by Russian troops while trying to escape from the cellars of Azovstal, was the commander of the Canadian Ground Forces, APA reports citing Mailbd. Seated in the catacombs under the Mariupol steel plant “Azovstal” nationalists staged a provocation, trying to hide the Canadian general’s attempt to escape. After the capture of a high-ranking foreign soldier by units of the RF Armed Forces, it became clear why so many efforts were made to save him.


A high-ranking mercenary tried to break out of the encirclement at Azovstal several times. It was for this that the West insisted on humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilians: among them, foreign specialists had to leave the catacombs. According to media reports, the general’s name is Trevor Kadieu. Seven months ago, he was appointed to the post of commander of the Canadian Army, but before the inauguration, he was involved in a sex scandal. In the harassment that occurred back in 1994, he was accused by a former colleague. The general called the accusations false, but in April 2022 he retired from military service.

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Hunter sure was busy. Did the crack keep him going?

Russian Oligarch With Close Ties To Putin Met With Hunter Biden In Moscow (DM)

Hunter Biden flew to Moscow for a meeting with a now-sanctioned Russian oligarch with reportedly close ties to Vladimir Putin, laptop files reveal. Vladimir Yevtushenkov, 73, owned a company which reportedly supplied Putin’s forces with drones used for deadly bombing raids in Ukraine and until last year owned key Russian defense contractor RTI. But while he was added to the UK and Australian sanctions lists this month but remains one of a handful of oligarchs unsanctioned by the Biden administration. Hunter’s multiple meetings and apparent business deals with him are the latest in a troubling web of his connections to Putin-linked mega-rich individuals which has emerged from his abandoned laptop.

Emails show the president’s son and his business partners were courting Yevtushenkov for an investment in their real estate company in 2012 and 2013. Rosemont Realty was founded in 2008 by Hunter’s Yale schoolmates: Devon Archer and former secretary of state John Kerry’s stepson Chris Heinz. Hunter joined the firm’s advisory board in 2010 and was a part owner, earning him hundreds of thousands. Emails show that in 2011, his now-jailed business partner Archer was traveling to Russia, staying in luxury hotels and dining on bear meat, laying the foundations for future real estate deals that he believed could be lucrative for the firm. In November that year Archer wrote to an associate: ‘Moscow is going great… It does look like I will be back quite a bit based on our initial response to the real estate fund pitch.’

Three months later Hunter got involved, scheduling a trip to the Russian capital for a dinner with Yevtushenkov at the headquarters of his company Sistema on February 16, 2012, according to emails and calendar entries on his laptop. Documents published this week by journalist Vicky Ward on her blog suggest the Russian billionaire then took a trip to the US for meetings with Hunter and his Rosemont Realty business partners. A Sistema itinerary translated from Russian, which Ward reported was leaked to her from a source close to Yevtushenkov’s company, lists a March 14, 2012 ‘breakfast with Hunter Biden’ at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.

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“..Mac Isaac now has well-heeled backers at non-profit The America Project.. [retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn]..”

Hunter Biden Laptop Repairman Sues Schiff, CNN, Politico, Daily Beast (NYP)

The Delaware computer repairman who blew the whistle on Hunter Biden’s laptop — filed a multi-million-dollar defamation suit Tuesday against Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, CNN, The Daily Beast and Politico, saying they falsely accused him of peddling Russian disinformation. The former shop owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, decided to fight back after losing his business and being harassed for 18 months by Big Tech, the media and Delaware locals in President Biden’s home state. “After fighting to reveal the truth, all I want now is for the rest of the country to know that there was a collective and orchestrated effort by social and mainstream media to block a real story with real consequences for the nation,” the 45-year-old Mac Isaac told The Post.

“This was collusion led by 51 former pillars in the intelligence community and backed by words and actions of a politically motivated DOJ and FBI,” he continued. “I want this lawsuit to reveal that collusion and more importantly, who gave the marching orders.” Mac Isaac came to legally own the laptop after Biden’s son Hunter dropped it off at his store for repairs in April 2019 and never came back. The material on the laptop has raised serious questions about what Biden knew of his son’s overseas business deals, during which he and the president’s brother, Jim Biden, often invoked his powerful name. After handing over a copy of the laptop’s hard drive to the FBI in December 2019, eight months later Mac Isaac alerted then-President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who provided a copy of the hard drive to The Post.

When The Post’s first story broke in October 2020 — just three weeks before the presidential election — Twitter and Facebook moved to censor it. Then Schiff and 51 former intelligence officials labeled the laptop Russian disinformation. In the aftermath, Mac Isaac says his business and reputation was ruined. “Twitter initially labeled my action hacking, so for the first day after my information was leaked, I was bombarded with hate mail and death threats revolving around the idea that I was a hacker, a thief and a criminal,” Mac Isaac said. Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, “has some explaining” to do, Mac Isaac insisted. “Without any intel, the head of the intel committee decided to share with CNN and its viewers a complete and utter lie,” Mac Isaac said. “A lie issued in the protection of a preferred presidential candidate.”

Mac Isaac said he’s since endured false accusations of being a Russian spy and a “stooge” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The fight to get to the bottom of who told everyone this was Russian disinformation is far more important for the nation than me clearing my name,” Mac Isaac said. In the suit, which was filed in Montgomery County, Md., Mac Isaac claims Schiff defamed him in an interview on CNN two days after The Post began publishing revelations from the laptop. In the interview with Wolf Blitzer, Schiff told the CNN host — without citing evidence — that he believed “the Kremlin” was behind a smear of Joe and Hunter Biden.

Mac Isaac tried unsuccessfully to sue Twitter for defamation last year and was lumbered with the tech giant’s legal bills — an amount he says is roughly $175,000. But Mac Isaac now has well-heeled backers at non-profit The America Project, which was founded by Trump loyalists retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn, brother Joe Flynn and businessman Pat Byrne. “[We are] honored to sponsor John Paul Mac Isaac in his fight against the injustice that has been done to him when the political elite coordinated with the leftist news media claiming the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation – which was a blatant lie,” Flynn said.

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“..the west and our allies, with our “infinite” fiat, under the tutelage of rocket surgeon Neel Kashkari..”

Russia Is Returning To The Gold Standard And China Is Going To Be Next (QTR)

No sooner was it that I wrote an article talking about how Russia was going to back the ruble with gold than “one of the Russia’s most powerful security/intelligence officers and a close ally of Putin” has admitted the country’s intentions to do just that. And I’m predicting that no sooner will the gravity of this decision finally sink in with the West that China will follow closely in Russia’s footsteps and do the same. Russia backing its currency with gold represents one of the most drastic changes to the foreign currency market in decades. As of 2022, precisely zero countries still adhere to a gold standard, though many countries still hold gold in reserve.

The new global monetary system is likely going to look like Russia, China, India, Saudi Arabia and other countries with commodity-backed, sound money on one side – and the west and our allies, with our “infinite” fiat, under the tutelage of rocket surgeon Neel Kashkari, on the other. Despite the enormity of the situation, the news hasn’t really been digested by global markets yet. The FX market has been relatively calm, but for the ruble strengthening, and gold prices have crashed so far this week, with front month futures falling nearly $50/oz. on Monday, back down to about $1,860/oz. Aside from the FX market, the news also hasn’t been digested by US politicians or financial “thought leaders” yet.

However, there are underground rumblings starting to catch the ears of those who are actively listening. Ronan Manly wrote for BullionStar.com last week: “On Tuesday 26 April in an interview with newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta (RG), the Secretary of the Russian Federation’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said that Russian experts are working on a project to back the Russian ruble with gold and other commodities.” Manly was kind enough to translate the interview with RG, which stated Russia’s intentions to back the ruble with gold in crystal clear fashion:

RG Question: And what do we need to do to ensure the ruble’s sovereignty? Nikolai Patrushev: “For any national financial system to be sovereignized, its means of payment must have intrinsic value and price stability, without being pegged to the dollar. Now experts are working on a project proposed by the scientific community to create a two-circuit monetary and financial system. In particular, it is proposed to determine the value of the ruble, which should be backed by both gold and a group of goods that are currency values, and to put the ruble exchange rate in line with the real purchasing power parity.” Manly concludes, matter-of-factly: “So there you have it. The Russian Government is actively working on creating a gold and commodity backed Russian ruble with intrinsic value which is outside the orbit of the US dollar.”


The ECB can’t hike or the euro is done

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“..the culprit will have to make a decision today of whether to radically increase the potential costs of this act..”

Leaked Draft Opinion Rocks the Court and Washington (Turley)

The leaking of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has rocked the Court and Washington. The 98-page draft opinion is dated Feb. 10, 2022 and authored by Associate Justice Samuel Alito. I have two columns (in USA Today and The Hill) today on the opinion and the disgraceful leak from within the Court. The opinion is joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. It declares that “Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” The opinion can change but the damage done to the Court as an institution will likely be lasting. This shattered a long tradition of the Court of strict secrecy and integrity in the handling of drafts.

The leak is the greatest crisis faced by Chief Justice John Roberts and the greatest security breach in the history of the Court. While leaks have appeared periodically on internal strife or issues on the Court, I cannot recall anything of this scale. Roe itself was the subject of leaks. The Washington Post did run some leaks the court’s internal deliberations. Then there was a premature disclosure of information hours before the formal release of the opinions. A few hours before the release, word got out on the holding of the Court. However, that all pales in comparison to the release of a draft opinion months in advance of the expected release. Chief Justice Roberts has confirmed the legitimacy of the draft and the launching of an investigation. The question is how the Court will proceed in the investigation. Anyone taking this deeply unethical act is likely to have taken steps to hide their tracks.

I would be surprised if there were a paper trail or email record. However, anyone who would take such a reckless act may have been equally reckless in the means used to violate the Court’s rules. If the culprit is a lawyer, disbarment would seem a virtual certainty. This person may be a hero in the eyes of some, but will remain a pariah in the eyes of any ethical lawyer. Yet, disbarment could be the least of the problems. If a suspect lies to the FBI, there could be prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1001. Thus, the culprit will have to make a decision today of whether to radically increase the potential costs of this act. There are a relatively small number of individuals with access to these drafts. It is likely that the culprit will be contacted quickly with others by investigators. That will prove a critical moment that could transform an unethical into a criminal act.

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“Like the U.S. Constitution itself, the Court is designed to be an anti-majoritarian check against the excesses of majoritarian sentiment.”

The Irrational, Misguided Discourse On SCOTUS Controversies (Greenwald)

Alito’s draft is written as a majority opinion, suggesting that at least five of the Court’s justices — a majority — voted after oral argument in Dobbs to overrule Roe on the ground that it was “egregiously wrong from the start” and “deeply damaging.” In an extremely rare event for the Court, an unknown person with unknown motives leaked the draft opinion to Politico, which justifiably published it. A subsequent leak to CNN on Monday night claimed that the five justices in favor of overruling Roe were Bush 43 appointee Alito, Bush 41 appointee Clarence Thomas, and three Trump appointees (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett), while Chief Justice Roberts, appointed by Bush 43, is prepared to uphold the constitutionality of Mississippi’s abortion law without overruling Roe.

Draft rulings and even justices’ votes sometimes change in the period between the initial vote after oral argument and the issuance of the final decision. Depending on whom you choose to believe, this leak is either the work of a liberal justice or clerk designed to engender political pressure on the justices so that at least one abandons their intention to overrule Roe, or it came from a conservative justice or clerk, designed to make it very difficult for one of the justices in the majority to switch sides. Whatever the leaker’s motives, a decision to overrule this 49-year-old precedent, one of the most controversial in the Court’s history, would be one of the most significant judicial decisions issued in decades. The reaction to this leak — like the reaction to the initial ruling in Roe back in 1973 — was intense and strident, and will likely only escalate once the ruling is formally issued.

Every time there is a controversy regarding a Supreme Court ruling, the same set of radical fallacies emerges regarding the role of the Court, the Constitution and how the American republic is designed to function. Each time the Court invalidates a democratically elected law on the ground that it violates a constitutional guarantee — as happened in Roe — those who favor the invalidated law proclaim that something “undemocratic” has transpired, that it is a form of “judicial tyranny” for “five unelected judges” to overturn the will of the majority. Conversely, when the Court refuses to invalidate a democratically elected law, those who regard that law as pernicious, as an attack on fundamental rights, accuse the Court of failing to protect vulnerable individuals.

This by-now-reflexive discourse about the Supreme Court ignores its core function. Like the U.S. Constitution itself, the Court is designed to be an anti-majoritarian check against the excesses of majoritarian sentiment. The Founders wanted to establish a democracy that empowered majorities of citizens to choose their leaders, but also feared that majorities would be inclined to coalesce around unjust laws that would deprive basic rights, and thus sought to impose limits on the power of majorities as well.

Tucker Roe

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Not Bhattacharya’s best. There was never any reason to use untested vaccines, be they adenovector-based or mRNA.

Study Into mRNA Vaccine Death Rates Sends ‘Danger Signals’ (Bhattacharya)

Do the covid vaccines save lives? That is the question on many people’s minds, that has led to heated discussions across the world. A bombshell new study by a distinguished team of Danish researchers led by Prof. Christine Stabell-Benn suggests a surprisingly nuanced answer. In the randomized trials of the covid vaccines, the adenovector-based vaccines, including the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, reduced all-cause mortality of study participants relative to people randomly assigned a placebo. Indeed, the reduction in mortality is larger than expected from the Covid effect and may suggest additional beneficial “non-specific effects” from those vaccines against other health threats.

On the other hand, Stabell-Benn and her colleagues found no statistically meaningful evidence in the trial data that the mRNA vaccines reduced all-cause mortality. The numbers of deaths from other causes including cardiovascular deaths appear to be increased in this group, compensating for the beneficial effect of the vaccines on Covid. Stabell-Benn is keen to stress that the sample is relatively small and is calling for further investigation, and also that the study took place during very low levels of Covid, so the relative advantage of protection against Covid would have been smaller at that time compared to at other points in the pandemic.

However, these preliminary results stand in sharp contrast to the unambiguous message from public health agencies and governments worldwide, which granted emergency authorization to the vaccines based on evidence from the trials that the vaccines reduce the likelihood of getting symptomatic covid. From a purely scientific perspective, preventing symptomatic covid is an interesting outcome to study. From a public health perspective, prevention of covid symptoms is not as important as prevention of death or disease transmission, which the randomized trials did not study. Dr. Stabell Benn and her colleagues have now looked at overall mortality for the first time.

At the very least, the plain implication (since both sets of vaccines are available) is that public health authorities should have recommended the cheaper adenovector vaccines over the mRNA vaccines all along for most patients. In other words, the international move to de-authorise the AstraZeneca vaccine across Europe and elsewhere looks like it may have been a mistake, and that AZ was actually a better option than the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. It offers a potential contributory explanation for the better overall mortality outcomes in the UK (which overwhelmingly used the AZ vaccine) than much of continental Europe (which phased out the AZ vaccine) after the vaccine programme in the second half of 2021.

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“..the correlation between mask usage and deaths was positive and significant..”

Face Mask Usage Correlates With Higher Death Rates (INN)

A new peer-reviewed study entitled: “Correlation Between Mask Compliance and COVID-19 Outcomes in Europe” has demonstrated that use of face masks, even widespread, did not correlate with better outcomes during the COVID epidemic, based on data from 35 European countries with populations of over one million people each, encompassing a total of 602 million people. The study noted that the average proportion of mask usage in the period investigated (October 2020 until March 2021) was 60.9% ± 19.9%. Governments and advisory bodies have recommended and often mandated the wearing of face masks in public spaces and in many areas mandates or recommendations remain in place, despite the fact, the study notes, that randomized controlled trials from prior to and during the epidemic have failed to show a benefit to the wearing of such masks with regard to COVID transmission.

“Positive correlation between mask usage and cases was not statistically significant,” the study also found, “while the correlation between mask usage and deaths was positive and significant (rho = 0.351, p = 0.039).” That is to say, more mask usage correlated with a higher death rate. The study used a variety of statistical methods to study correlation but “none of these tests provided negative correlations between mask usage and cases/deaths … Surprisingly, weak positive correlations were observed when mask compliance was plotted against morbidity (cases/million) or mortality (deaths/million) in each country.”

The study also noted that the public may have gained the impression that masks could be helpful due to the fact that mandates were usually implemented after the first peak of COVID cases had passed. However, it became evident that masks were not in fact helpful later that same year, when widespread mask usage does not appear to have mitigated the severity of the COVID wave of winter 2020. “Moreover,” the study concludes, “the moderate positive correlation between mask usage and deaths in Western Europe also suggests that the universal use of masks may have had harmful unintended consequences.”

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‘Brands Should Force Twitter To Uphold Content Policies Under Musk’ (CNN)

Some of the nation’s biggest brands including Coca-Cola, Disney and Kraft are facing calls to boycott Twitter if the company’s soon-to-be owner, billionaire Elon Musk, rolls back content moderation policies limiting hate speech and election misinformation. In a letter sent to brands Tuesday ahead of the 2022 NewFronts digital advertising conference, more than two dozen civil society groups said marketers should secure commitments from Twitter to retain its most critical policies, including on civic integrity and hateful conduct, and threaten to withdraw funding if Twitter does not comply. “As top advertisers on Twitter, your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists,” the letter said, adding: “Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account.”

In an investor filing Monday, Twitter told advertisers “we have no planned changes to our commitment to brand safety” but that the company “cannot speculate on changes Elon Musk may make post closing.” The letter, first reported by CNN, urges advertisers to make their next ad deals with Twitter contingent on changes to platform policy under Musk. It offers the latest example of how some advocacy groups have leaned on the immense power of corporate speech — and specifically digital advertising, the lifeblood of many tech platforms — in attempts to shape tech companies’ behavior. It leverages years of growing realizations by the ad industry that brands can face reputational damage if their ads appear next to white supremacist content or other harmful material.

Tuesday’s initiative bears echoes of a far-reaching advertising boycott in 2020 that saw companies ranging from Adidas to Starbucks pulling their ads from Facebook over what they said were its failures to keep hate speech from spreading. But unlike that campaign, the groups behind Tuesday’s letter said advertisers have a chance to be more proactive and strategic this time, because Musk has already telegraphed what he plans to do with Twitter. (The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder has pledged to restore “free speech” to the platform by, among other things, easing up on content removals and account bans. He also wants to “authenticate all real humans” on Twitter.)

As advertisers prepare to negotiate forward-looking contracts with Twitter this week during the NewFronts conference, they can preemptively protect themselves from any damage to their brands resulting from Musk’s eventual takeover, said Angelo Carusone, CEO of Media Matters for America, one of the organizations behind the letter. “If Elon Musk comes in and gets rid of all the brand safety protections, I think Coca-Cola should be able to cancel their contract,” Carusone said. “It would be very revealing if Twitter refuses to or does not sign or does not give those cancellation options.” Tuesday’s letter targeted other big-name advertisers, as well, including Apple, Best Buy and HBO — the last of which is owned by WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent.

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Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

Earth Day 2022: A Reading with Nate Hagens

 

 

 

 

 

 

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