Aug 072022
 
 August 7, 2022  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Edward Hopper Ground swell 1939

 

Vaccine Deaths Outnumber Covid Deaths in US Households (DS)
Russian MIL Declares Ukraine Origin of C19 (Clandestine)
US Prepares New Weapons Package For Ukraine (RT)
Pentagon Chiefs’ Calls To China Go Unanswered Amid Taiwan Crisis (Pol.)
Erdogan’s Diplomacy With Russia Alarms West – FT (RT)
Putin Says EU Should Thank Turkey (RT)
100s Of New Mines Required To Meet 2030 Battery Metals Demand — IEA (Mining)
Sanctions On Russia ‘Irresponsible’, Adviser To Brazil’s Lula Says (RT)
Elon Musk Accuses Twitter of Fraud: Countersuit (ET)
Elon Musk Says He Will Buy Twitter On One Condition (RT)
VP Joe Biden Met With Two Chinese Energy Execs In The West Wing (DM)
EDF Cuts Output At Nuclear Power Plants As French Rivers Get Too Warm (G.)
China’s July Coal Imports Surge 24% To Meet Peak Power Load (R.)

 

 

 

 

Roger Waters
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555989512353890304

 

 

 

 

MacGregor China
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555974674357440512

 

 

 

 

Haditsch

 

 

BREAKING: Alex Jones has been ordered to pay an extra $45 million in punitive damages by a Texas Jury.


Robert Barnes @barnes_law: By law in Texas, this is reduced to $750K per plaintiff, so it’s actually $1.5M not $45M. Also, like everything else in the trial, a product of a court that denied Jones any evidence on his side or any witnesses at this stage, and should be set aside by Texas Supremes.

 

 

 

 

Based on Steve Kirsch studies/polls. How can you justify a mandate is the vaccines kill more people than the disease they “protect” from?

Vaccine Deaths Outnumber Covid Deaths in US Households (DS)

Polls of the U.S. public continue to show that up to twice as many Americans have lost a household member to a Covid vaccine injury as have lost one to Covid. The pooled results of five surveys of the American public, now totalling over 2,500 people, show that while 4.4% of respondents reported that someone in their household had died from COVID-19, 8.9% said someone had died as a result of Covid vaccination. The results also showed that 8.6% said they had been injured by their vaccination, 4.9% that they had sought medical help and 3.2% that they had been hospitalised, while 3.6% said that as a result of vaccination they were no longer able to work a full day or at all.

These are percentages of all respondents. If we look only at the 74.0% vaccinated with at least one dose then the figures, as a proportion of vaccinated persons, are 11.7% injured, 6.7% needing medical help, 4.4% hospitalised and 4.8% unable to work. While these figures are self-reported and there is no control group, since the unvaccinated were not asked about adverse events, they are still alarmingly high. The results also showed that, among those who reported a Covid death in their household, more than twice as many reported that it occurred after the person was vaccinated than before (2.8% vs 1.2%). The proportion who said they had contracted Covid before their vaccination (13.1%) was very similar to the proportion who said they contracted it afterwards (11.7%). These figures are not indicative of a highly effective vaccine against either infection or death.

The people polled were randomly selected, representative samples of the U.S. public, of whom 74.0% were vaccinated, so the samples were not inherently biased towards or against the reporting of vaccine problems, though as in all opinion polls (especially online ones) there may be an issue of self-selection bias.

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FYI

Russian MIL Declares Ukraine Origin of C19 (Clandestine)

New briefing from Chief of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defence Forces, General Igor Kirillov, on military biological activities of the United States in the territory of Ukraine. The Russian MIL have been studying biological samples from surrendered Ukrainian soldiers, and what they have been finding is beyond disturbing. Approximately 20% of them carrying West Nile pathogens, which were being studied “by the Pentagon as part of the Ukrainian UP-4 and UP-8 projects”. Suggesting that Ukrainian soldiers are being subject to involuntary biological experimentation and exposure to biological weapons (think Nuremberg). In addition to carrying pathogens, nearly all of the surrendered Ukrainian soldiers carried traces of a wide variety of narcotics and opioids, including Meth and Codeine.

Russia were sure to remind us of the Nazi’s usage of methamphetamines in WW2. I covered this 2 weeks ago, when the left-wing media tried to spin this reality as some sort of X-men mutant conspiracy theory. No, they are just Nazis, and historically, Nazis use drugs. Particularly as an advantage in war. Russia goes on to cite that this methamphetamine Ukraine are using, Pervitin, was also used by US soldiers during Vietnam and Korea. It’s designed to reduce the psycho-emotional burdens of war. However, an intended side effect is excessive aggression, which Russia alleges is one of the main factors for the Nationalist Ukrainian forces displaying “extreme cruelty” to civilians and the shelling of their own people in Donbas. Ukraine are using mind-numbing agents on their forces to make them more susceptible to carrying out heinous acts.

Next, we find perhaps the most explosive slide to date, in which Russia FINALLY comes out and DIRECTLY accuses the US of being responsible for the creation and release of Covid-19. What I have been saying from the beginning, is that this all leads to C-19, which will be the nail in the coffin and the red-pill that wakes up the world. The backlash the US are facing from Russia and the rest of Eastern world, is directly because the world found out THE UNITED STATES CREATED COVID. Specifically the “DNC/Liberal Globalists”, as the Russians allege. Not Trump. Russia clarifies they have record of over 16,000 biological samples, including blood and serum samples, transported from Ukraine to the US, Georgia, European countries.

[..] In conclusion, Russia have now DIRECTLY accused the DNC Globalists of: -creating and releasing new variants of Coronaviruses, and now Monkeypox, intentionally, for the purposes of political control and world domination. -using non-consensual experimentation on citizens of the world to create genome specific biological weapons for ethnic cleansing. -creation and usage of narcotics, such as methamphetamines, on Ukrainian forces to dehumanize them in order to carry out heinous crimes against humanity on civilians in Ukraine. Russia just confirmed my overall narrative; that the war in Ukraine is backlash for the Deep State’s creation and usage of C19. We are already in WW3 and C19 was the first weapon fired. The fact that Russia have now come out and openly called this spade a spade… suggests we are approaching the finish line. Russia claims final dossier will be complete in “Autumn”.

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Another $700 million straight down the drain.

US Prepares New Weapons Package For Ukraine (RT)

The US government is reportedly preparing its largest weapons transfer to Ukraine to date, with officials ready to authorize another $1 billion in military aid, including advanced rocket and missile platforms and additional ammunition. The new aid package could be announced as soon as next week, Reuters reported on Friday, citing three unnamed officials. It would bring the total US security assistance to Kiev to nearly $10 billion since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24. While the officials said President Joe Biden has yet to formally sign off on the transfer, the current proposal would see $1 billion in arms shipped to Kiev, including additional munitions for the HIMARS rocket system, NASAMS surface-to-air missiles, and up to 50 M113 armored personnel carriers, allegedly the ‘medical’ variant.


A separate military aid package to Ukraine was announced on Monday, worth around $550 million, and also featured HIMARS rockets. Washington has so far sent a total of 16 HIMARS systems to Ukraine, longer-range platforms capable of striking targets inside Russian territory. Though Moscow has claimed to have eliminated some of the weapons from the battlefield, US military officials have disputed the Russian account, insisting Kiev’s HIMARS remain intact. The new massive arms transfer also comes after a Pentagon decision to allow US military personnel to treat wounded Ukrainian troops at a large US-run hospital in western Germany, though the logistics for that arrangement remain unclear, as the facility is more than 1,000 miles away from Ukraine’s capital and even further from active battle zones in the Donbass region.

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Thanks Nancy.

Pentagon Chiefs’ Calls To China Go Unanswered Amid Taiwan Crisis (Pol.)

Top Chinese military officials have not returned multiple calls from their American counterparts this week as a crisis erupted in the Pacific over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, according to three people with knowledge of the attempts. Beijing’s ghosting of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley comes as China continues launching missiles and positioning warships and aircraft in unprecedented military drills around Taiwan. Officials and experts say China’s silence is a shortsighted and reckless move that increases the risk of escalation in an already tense situation.

“If the [Chinese military] is operating more aggressively, and in closer proximity to U.S. forces with greater frequency, we’d need these mechanisms even more to promote a safe operating environment,” said Randy Schriver, who served as the top Pentagon official for Asia policy in the Trump administration. U.S. military leaders strive to maintain open lines of communication even with potential adversaries such as China to prevent accidents and other miscalculations that could turn into a full-blown conflict. But the last call Milley had with his Chinese counterpart, Chief of the Joint Staff Gen. Li Zuocheng, was on July 7, the Pentagon said. The two spoke by secure video teleconference about the need to maintain open lines of communication, as well as reducing risk, according to a readout from Milley’s office.

Austin, meanwhile, met in person with Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe in June on the sideline of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. “The secretary has repeatedly emphasized the importance of fully open lines of communication with China’s defense leaders to ensure that we can avoid any miscalculations, and that remains true,” Todd Breasseale, the Pentagon’s acting press secretary, told POLITICO in an email. China on Friday announced that it was halting certain official dialogues between senior-level U.S. military commanders, including the regional commanders, as well as talks on maritime safety. The announcement does not specifically apply to Austin and Milley’s counterparts, and officials said they are still open to communication between those leaders.

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“..a NATO member since 1952 and an EU applicant since 1987..”

Erdogan’s Diplomacy With Russia Alarms West – FT (RT)

Western officials are “increasingly alarmed” that Turkey, a NATO ally and prospective EU member, is deepening its cooperation with Russia, the Financial Times has reported. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently returned from Sochi vowing to boost trade after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Six unnamed Western officials told the newspaper that they were “concerned”about the plans of Russia and Turkey to cooperate on trade and energy. One EU official said that Brussels was monitoring relations between Ankara and Moscow “more and more closely,” given how Turkey seems to be “increasingly” becoming a platform for trade with Russia. Following a four-hour meeting with Putin on Friday, Erdogan welcomed Russia’s role in building a nuclear power plant in Turkey.

The two nations aim for bilateral trade turnover of $100 billion, and are cooperating against terrorism and toward peace in Libya and Syria. Putin pledged that Russia would supply Turkey with oil, gas and coal “without any interruptions,” after the two leaders agreed that Ankara would pay for some of this gas in rubles. Another official told the newspaper that Erdogan’s behavior is “very opportunistic,”adding that “we are trying to make the Turks pay attention to our concerns.” Although a NATO member since 1952 and an EU applicant since 1987, Turkey has broken with both blocs on several occasions, most recently over the conflict in Ukraine.

Erdogan has described his diplomacy with Kiev and Moscow as “balanced,” and has refused to sanction Russia over its military operation. Turkey is the only NATO country not to impose such penalties. Erdogan also took the opportunity to host peace talks between the countries in March, which ultimately bore no fruit. Since then, however, he has won acclaim for overseeing talks that led to the resumption of grain shipments across the Black Sea from Ukrainian ports. As the Financial Times’ article went online on Saturday, the first ship carrying Ukrainian corn arrived in Istanbul for inspection by Turkish, Ukrainian, Russian and UN officials.

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“The Turkish Stream, unlike all other routes of our hydrocarbon supplies, works properly, works smoothly, without any failures.”

Putin Says EU Should Thank Turkey (RT)

Turkey has ensured a reliable supply of Russian natural gas to Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, adding that European nations should be grateful to Ankara for that. During a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Putin named the TurkStream pipeline as one of the most important arteries for delivering Russian gas to Europe. The Russian president praised the reliability of the pipeline, for which the Europeans should be grateful. “The Turkish Stream, unlike all other routes of our hydrocarbon supplies, works properly, works smoothly, without any failures. […] I think our European partners should be grateful to Turkey for ensuring uninterrupted transit of our gas to the European market,” Putin said.


TurkStream consists of two parallel lines running under the Black Sea from Russia and joins Turkey’s gas transportation network and sends Russian gas onward to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. The route has been unaffected by the developments around Ukraine and the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU but rejected by Turkey. The main pipeline between Russia and the EU – Nord Stream 1, which carries gas to Germany – has been operating at 20% capacity recently due to equipment issues caused by sanctions. Meanwhile, additional routes via Ukraine’s gas transportation network have been restricted by Kiev. Deliveries via the Yamal-Europe pipeline continue, although Gazprom stopped using the Polish leg of the pipeline in May due to sanctions.

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Included the Charles Vance video again. It’s good.

100s Of New Mines Required To Meet 2030 Battery Metals Demand — IEA (Mining)

Global battery and minerals supply chains need to expand ten-fold to meet projected critical minerals needs by 2030, a report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found. The report concludes the industry needs to build 50 more lithium mines, 60 more nickel mines and 17 more cobalt mines by 2030 to meet global net carbon emissions goals. Pressure on the supply of critical materials will continue to mount as road transport electrification expands to meet net-zero ambitions. According to the IEA, demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries will increase from around 340 GWh today to over 3500 GWh by 2030.

“Additional investments are needed in the short-term, particularly in mining, where lead times are much longer than for other parts of the supply chain. In some cases requiring more than a decade from initial feasibility studies to production, and then several more years to reach nominal production capacity,” the report reads. The projected mineral supply until the end of the 2020s is in line with the demand for EV batteries in the ‘stated policies scenario’ of the IEA’s world energy model. But the supply of some minerals, such as lithium, would need to rise by up to one-third by 2030 to satisfy the pledges and announcements for EV batteries in the ‘announced pledges scenario (APS) of the same energy model.


“For example, demand for lithium – the commodity with the largest projected demand-supply gap – is projected to increase sixfold to 500 kilotonnes by 2030 in the APS, requiring the equivalent of 50 new average-sized mines,” according to the report. By 2030, nickel is facing the largest absolute demand increase as high-nickel chemistries are the current dominant cathode for EVs and are expected to remain so. For cobalt, the opposite is true as battery makers continue to thrift to lower cobalt content chemistries (and even potentially cobalt-free chemistries by 2030) to reduce costs and due to environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns. [..] “For the Announced Pledges Scenario, 60 nickel and 17 cobalt new mines are required in 2030, (assuming average annual mine production capacity of 38,000 tonnes for nickel and 7,000 tonnes for cobalt).”

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“..if he is elected, “Brazil will again become a protagonist on the international stage and we will prove that it’s possible to have a better world.”

Sanctions On Russia ‘Irresponsible’, Adviser To Brazil’s Lula Says (RT)

Celso Amorim, Brazil’s former foreign minister and current foreign policy adviser to presidential frontrunner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has condemned the West’s sanctions on Russia and said that should Lula take office, Brazil would chart a different course. In an interview with Bloomberg published on Friday, Amorim claimed that the West’s response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine – sanctions on Russia and billions of dollars worth of weapons for Ukraine – have made nuclear war a real possibility. “For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis we see articles about the risk of nuclear weapons published on a weekly basis,” he said, arguing that “it’s irresponsible not to seek peace.”

Amorim’s argument mirrors that of Lula himself. Back in May the former Brazilian leader toldTime magazine that he sees Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as equally responsible for the conflict in Ukraine, and condemned Washington for encouraging him to oppose Russia. “The United States has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided [the conflict], not incited it,” Lula argued at the time. From the perspective of the US, Amorim questioned the logic of driving Russia into a deeper partnership with China, another economic and military rival of America. “I have nothing against China,” he stated, adding that both are part of the BRICS group, but said that he “can’t understand the interest of the US in strengthening the China-Russia relationship.”

This relationship aside, Amorim told Bloomberg that an economy as large as Russia’s is “too big and strategic” to isolate, and that Lula’s administration would not pursue such policies if the two-term leftist president is elected in October. Speaking to Time in May, Lula said that “many different countries” are having to “foot the bill” for Washington’s hardline anti-Russia policies, and that if he is elected, “Brazil will again become a protagonist on the international stage and we will prove that it’s possible to have a better world.” Lula is currently polling 11 points ahead of incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, according to an aggregate compiled by the US-based Americas Society.

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Hard to read how the judge will see this.

Elon Musk Accuses Twitter of Fraud: Countersuit (ET)

Elon Musk in a countersuit has accused Twitter executives of fraudulently presenting an undercount of fake users, known as bots. Twitter in July sued Musk for withdrawing from a $44 billion acquisition agreement, alleging he breached the agreement. In the counter-filing, entered under seal last month and obtained by The Epoch Times on Aug. 5, Musk says he relied on statements from Twitter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about key components of the company, such as the percentage of fake and spam accounts and moderation practices. But once Musk entered the agreement, he found that the technology company refused to provide access to the company’s books and records to verify the information. “The more Twitter evaded even simple inquiries, the more the Musk Parties grew to suspect that Twitter had misled them,” the countersuit says.


One key statistic: 238 million monetizable daily active users (users who actually see ads on the platform and thus would be considered monetizable). But that number is an overcount because there are more false and spam accounts on the platform than Twitter says, according to the filing. There are just 173 million monetizable users and most ads are shown to less than 16 million, it says. Twitter has said under 5 percent of its users are bots. Musk, in a meeting in May, attempted to understand how Twitter reached that percentage. He “was astonished to learn just how meager Twitter’s processes were,” the countersuit says. Musk learned that human reviewers look at a sample of just 100 accounts, and that Twitter executives weren’t able to say how the accounts in the sample were selected.

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Clear that Twitter hasn’t been forthcoming with files. Less clear is if they had to.

Elon Musk Says He Will Buy Twitter On One Condition (RT)

Billionaire Elon Musk would go through with the deal to buy Twitter if the social media platform demonstrates how it checks the authenticity of user accounts, Musk wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Responding to a comment by another user, Musk said the deal to buy Twitter “should proceed on original terms” if the platform shares with him their method for sampling accounts to determine they are genuine. “If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then [the deal] should not [proceed],” he continued, referring to the regulatory documents that companies must submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the sake of transparency and to provide information on operations.


Musk previously warned he would personally authenticate 100 randomly selected accounts on the platform. In April, the entrepreneur announced his intention to purchase the social media platform, of which he is an avid supporter and frequent user, for $44 billion. Then in May, Musk said he was trying to obtain information that would confirm that fake accounts and those used to send mass advertising messages on the platform comprise less than 5% of the total number of Twitter users. In early July, Musk’s lawyers notified Twitter that he no longer wished to go through with the deal because the company had failed to provide him with this information. Twitter, although initially reluctant to agree to Musk’s acquisition plans, filed a lawsuit against him on July 12 in an attempt to compel him to complete the purchase. On July 29, Musk filed a counterclaim against the company

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A new scandal every day.

VP Joe Biden Met With Two Chinese Energy Execs In The West Wing (DM)

Two Chinese businessmen with ties to Hunter Biden’s company met with Joe Biden at the White House and followed up with the VP’s son days later with a fawning email and invitation, records reveal. The meeting is the fifteenth to be uncovered between Joe and businessmen linked to Hunter. Executives for Chinese energy company Wanxiang secured a meeting with the vice president in the West Wing in July 2014 with just one day’s notice, according to White House visitor logs. A client of Hunter’s company Seneca Global Advisors partnered with Wanxiang in 2012 on a $1.25billion natural gas plant in China. The ceremony for the signing of the deal between Hunter’s client GreatPoint Energy and Wanxiang was attended by then Chinese vice president Xi Jinping.

Wanxiang is a major Chinese company, and also partnered with the North Korean state for a giant copper mine. Through his firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, Hunter also invested in a car company, Fisker, that was later bought by Wanxiang. After the company went bankrupt in 2013, Hunter was listed as a creditor on its filings. He bought one of its electric sports cars for $142,300. According to the White House visitor logs, Wanxiang America president Pin Ni met with Joe on July 25, 2014. Four days later, Ni emailed Hunter offering help servicing his Fisker sports car. ‘Last Friday when we visited DC, I heard that your Fisker is out of order and could not get serviced. Sorry,’ Ni wrote. ‘It would be our honor to get your Fisker fixed… I would like to give you a call to see what we could do as next step. ‘It would be our great honor to welcome you to visit Fisker or Wanxiang at any time.’

Joining Ni for the White House visit was Wanxiang Resources Co. president Youhong Han. Records show his meeting was at 11am and he left at 12.15pm, after scheduling the meeting with VP just the previous day. Han, 57, appears in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ offshore leaks database, with a British Virgin Islands company called Elegant Sky Investments Limited that has a registered address in Shanghai. Emails between Hunter and his business partners show them monitoring reporting around the $1.25billion Wanxiang-GreatPoint deal. Wanxiang bought Fisker in February 2014. The luxury hybrid cars it makes were bought by celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber.

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When it rains it pours.

EDF Cuts Output At Nuclear Power Plants As French Rivers Get Too Warm (G.)

The French energy supplier EDF is temporarily reducing output at its nuclear power stations on the Rhône and Garonne rivers as heatwaves push up river temperatures, restricting its ability to use river water to cool the plants. The majority-state-owned company, Europe’s biggest producer of nuclear energy, said it would extend output cuts at several power stations on the two rivers as the hot spell continues – but that a minimum level of output would be maintained to keep the grid steady. EDF warned of potential output cuts at its nuclear power plants Tricastin, St Alban and Golfech in coming days due to high temperatures in the Rhône and Garonne rivers. It started imposing production restrictions in mid-July at Tricastin, St Alban and Bugey on the Rhône and Blayais at the mouth of the Garonne amid sweltering temperatures.

A spokesperson told the Guardian that the company was lowering production “for a few hours” where possible but not shutting the reactors completely. After the 2003 heatwave, France’s nuclear safety authority (ASN) set temperature and river flow limits beyond which power stations must reduce their production, to ensure the water used to cool the plants will not harm wildlife when it is released back into the rivers. Temperatures in southern France are expected to reach 40C over the next two days, according to the forecaster Météo-France. Since 2000, production losses due to high river temperatures and low river flows have represented an average of 0.3% of annual production.

However, half of EDF’s 56 nuclear reactors are offline due to planned maintenance and work to repair corrosion which was delayed by the pandemic, just as Europe faces an energy crunch following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result of the maintenance work, EDF estimates its power output this year will be the lowest in more than three decades. The company issued its fourth profit warning of the year last Thursday when it reported a first-half loss of €5.3bn. The French government, which owns 84% of EDF, is in the process of buying out minority shareholders to take full control of the business.

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Maybe this happens every year?

China’s July Coal Imports Surge 24% To Meet Peak Power Load (R.)

China’s coal imports in July rose by nearly a quarter from June to near the highest levels so far this year as power generators increased purchases to provide for peak summer electricity demand. Arrivals of the fuel totaled 23.52 million tonnes last month, up sharply from 18.98 million tonnes in June but 22% lower than a year earlier, data issued by the General Administration of Customs showed on Sunday. Over the first seven months of the year, China imported 138.52 million tonnes of coal, down 18% on the same period of 2021. Daily coal consumption in major coastal regions hovered around 2.2 million tonnes in late July, a similar level to last year, according to Shanghai Shipping Exchange.


A temperature spike across the country drove up the use of air conditioning. The government has vowed to avoid power rationing this year and has urged coal-burning power generators, which supply about 60% of the country’s electricity, to enlarge coal stocks. Data tracked by Refinitiv showed China’s seaborne coal imports from Russia would hit a record high of 7.38 million tonnes in July. However, analysts have expected coal demand will soon begin to ease as temperatures moderate, while industrial activity remains sluggish amid Covid-19 restrictions.

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Bill Maher: Fat celebrattion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coke Machine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555919490017288195

 

 

 

 

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Jul 162022
 
 July 16, 2022  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  27 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Guernica [Study] V 1937

 

Useful European Idiots (Vilches)
The Imaginary War (Lawrence)
Is A US-Russia War Becoming Inevitable? (Pat Buchanan)
The Stupendous Tale (Tarik)
Europe’s Thirst For LNG Is Causing Blackouts In Developing Countries (OP)
Geert Vanden Bossche: Mass Covid Vax Triggering New Pandemics (NA)
Low Demand For Young Kids’ Covid Vaccines Is Alarming Doctors (Pol.)
Health Experts Are Quitting The NIH and CDC In Droves (DM)
Elon Musk Wants To Push Twitter Trial Back To 2023 (NYP)
A Tale of the Taco (Jim Kunstler)
Assange Fights Extradition To United States With Two Appeals (Dissenter)

 

 

 

 

Twitter board

 

 

 

 

NATO myths

 

 

 

 

“The US-UK cabal does not want Europe and Russia to trade, do business, relate, or grow together in any way, shape, or form.”

Useful European Idiots (Vilches)

“ Washington and London have drawn ´useful European idiots´ into an economic war against Russia ” – said former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev – adding that “the onset of a systemic crisis in the Eurozone is beginning to come true.” He added that Anglo-Saxons on both sides of the Atlantic conned EU members “like a couple of shell-game tricksters” by drawing them into an unwarranted economic war against Moscow which is actually an Anglo-Saxon project, not theirs. Paraphrasing James Carville, “it´s the Anglo-Saxons, stupid”. The US-UK cabal does not want Europe and Russia to trade, do business, relate, or grow together in any way, shape, or form. So they designed, built and forced upon Europe the current John Bolton-Ukraine war which had plan A (now failed) with Russia as target and plan B as substitute with Europe itself as the intended victim coming next.

What Dmitry Medvedev may not know though is that such ”useful European idiots” can be broken down into 3 fairly distinct categories starting with the EU “well-trained career idiots” basically focused on continuously earning salaries and perks way above their capabilities. So they know that (a) the EU system rewards them generously despite their obvious mediocrity and limitations and (b) thus do not dare to question, doubt, let alone defy the EU system or dictats. They all know and feel every day of their lives that the EU ´system´ has a very strict pecking order and what top-cock (or top-hen) says to do or say or think is to be summarily executed without questioning the mandate, even if against European best interests as is the case.

This simplifies the problem from the Washington-London perspective as by controlling a handful of EU leaders (more on that later) the rest just follow the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Furthermore, these EU-captured intellectual simpleton retards are not dumb enough to the extreme of questioning their unequivocal role (they are aware of it) and accordingly constantly strengthen their vested-interests relationship. In sum, they work hard at it. Then there is a second category of “useful European idiots” grouping the visible top EU leaders – many unelected — who can either be (a) plain corrupt as traditionally allowed for in Europe or (b) perceive themselves as God-chosen to lead Europe to a glorious yet undefined destiny no matter if actively hijacking any representational capacity and values they may have received.

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“.. a Marvel Comics of a conflict with little grounding in reality..”

The Imaginary War (Lawrence)

What were the policy cliques, “the intelligence community” and the press that serves both going to do when the kind of war in Ukraine they talked incessantly about turned out to be imaginary, a Marvel Comics of a conflict with little grounding in reality? I have wondered about this since the Russian intervention began on Feb. 24. I knew the answer would be interesting when finally we had one. Now we have one. Taking the government-supervised New York Times as a guide, the result is a variant of what we saw as the Russiagate fiasco came unglued: Those who manufacture orthodoxies as well as consent are slithering out the side door. I could tell you I don’t intend to single out the Times in this wild chicanery, except that I do.

The once-but-no-longer newspaper of record continues to be singularly wicked in its deceits and deceptions as it imposes the official but imaginary version of the war on unsuspecting readers. As Consortium News’s properly suspecting readers will recall, Vladimir Putin was clear when he told the world Russia’s intentions as it began its intervention. These were two: Russian forces went into Ukraine to “demilitarize and de–Nazify” it, a pair of limited, defined objectives. An astute reader of these commentaries pointed out in a recent comment thread that the Russian president had once again proven, whatever else one may think of him, a focused statesman with an excellent grasp of history. At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, the Allied Control Council declared its postwar purpose in Germany as “the four D’s.” These were de–Nazification, demilitarization, democratization and decentralization.

Let’s give David Thompson, who brought this historical reference to my attention, a deserved byline here: “Putin’s reiteration of the de–Nazification and demilitarization principles established from the Potsdam Conference is not just some quaint tip of the hat to history. He was laying down a marker to the United States and the United Kingdom that the agreement reached at Potsdam in 1945 is still relevant and valid ….” The Russian president, whose entire argument with the West is that a just and stable order in Europe must serve the security interests of all sides, was simply restating objectives the trans–Atlantic alliance had once signed on to accomplish. In other words, he was pointing out said alliance’s gross hypocrisy as it arms the ideological descendants of German Nazis.

I dwell on this matter because the imaginary war began with the Biden regime’s and the press’s quite irresponsible misrepresentations of the Russian Federation’s aims in Ukraine. All else has flowed from it. You remember: Russian forces were going to “conquer” the whole of the nation, wipe out the Kiev regime, install a puppet government and then drive on to Poland, the Baltic states, Transnistria and the rest of Moldova, and who could imagine what after that. De–Nazification, we can now read, is a phony Kremlin dodge. Having lied outright on this score, the next edition of the comic went onto the market. Russia is failing to achieve its imaginary objectives. Low morale, desertions, poorly trained troops with not enough to eat, logistical failures, lousy artillery, inadequate ordnance, incompetent officers: The Russians were riding for a fall on Ukrainian soil.

The corollary here was the heroism, courage and battlefield grit of Ukrainian troops, least of all, the Azov Battalion, who were not any longer neo–Nazis. Never mind the Times, The Guardian, the BBC and various other mainstream publications and broadcasters had earlier told us about these ideological fanatics. That was then, this is now.

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Not yet.

Is A US-Russia War Becoming Inevitable? (Pat Buchanan)

At the NATO summit in Madrid, Finland was invited to join the alliance. What does this mean for Finland? If Russian President Vladimir Putin breaches the 830-mile Finnish border, the United States will rise to Helsinki’s defense and fight Russia on Finland’s side. If Putin makes a military move into Finland, the U.S. will go to war against the world’s largest nation with an arsenal of between 4,500 and 6,000 battlefield and strategic nuclear weapons. No Cold War president would have dreamed of making such a commitment — to risk the survival of our nation to defend territory of a country thousands of miles away that has never been a U.S. vital interest. To go to war with the Soviet Union over the preservation of Finnish territory would have been seen as madness during the Cold War.

Recall: Harry Truman refused to use force to break Joseph Stalin’s blockade of Berlin. Dwight Eisenhower refused to send U.S. troops to save the Hungarian freedom fighters being run down by Soviet tanks in Budapest in 1956. Lyndon B. Johnson did nothing to assist the Czech patriots crushed by Warsaw Pact armies in 1968. When Lech Walesa’s Solidarity was smashed on Moscow’s order in Poland in 1981, Ronald Reagan made brave statements and sent Xerox machines. While the U.S. issued annual declarations of support during the Cold War for the “captive nations” of Central and Eastern Europe, the liberation of these nations from Soviet control was never deemed so vital to the West as to justify a war with the USSR.

Indeed, in the 40 years of the Cold War, NATO, which had begun in 1949 with 12 member nations, added only four more — Greece, Turkey, Spain and West Germany. Yet, with the invitation to Sweden and Finland to join as the 31st and 32nd nations to receive an Article 5 war guarantee, NATO will have doubled its membership since what was thought — certainly by the Russians — to have been the end of the Cold War. All the nations once part of Moscow’s Warsaw Pact — East Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria — are now members of a U.S.-led NATO — directed against Russia. Three former republics of the USSR — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania — are now also members of NATO, a military alliance formed to corral and contain the nation to which they had belonged during the Cold War. Lithuania, with 2% of Russia’s population, has just declared a partial blockade of goods moving across its territory to Kaliningrad, Russia’s enclave on the Baltic Sea. To Putin’s protest, Vilnius has reminded Moscow that Lithuania is a member of NATO.

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Stupendously long, too.

The Stupendous Tale (Tarik)

I love Elvira. She’s my sweetheart, ma babe. Were I set to marry a central banker, she’d be the one. And if Putin is the Father of modern Russia, then Nabiullina is the fiercely protective Mother. Her handling of the Ruble attack after the Crimean intervention, was truly heroic. I can almost hear the strident cries from all her brats: the public, the business class, academia, media and the government, to lower rates and open wide the money spigot. Had she fallen under the pressure as they all do since Volker, had she not risen interest rates to 17%, the ruble would have been irrevocably broken.

The entire economy would have loaded up on unsustainable debt that would trigger the familiar hyper inflationary trend common to US$ vassals going rogue with no understanding of the money game (Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Turkey, Argentina…), and thus annihilated Putin’s achievements on all fronts. Instead, by letting inviable western focused businesses fail, financial resources could flow to local production and eastbound and southbound ventures. As a result the economy cleansed itself of obsolete dead weights, excessive unserviceable debt, and business discipline was enforced, leaving it lean and mean, ready do tackle any future rough patch.

Once the last treacherous FDI dollar and Euro left the space, the ruble stabilized, interest rates slowly normalized, dollar reserves now kept at strict minimum to cover trade requirements while overall reserves quickly recovered all losses. Sure some short term pain on certain sectors, but necessary and long term well worth it. No wonder Putin today would ask her for another term (note that he asked, she did not offer). With roughest seas ahead, he imperatively needs a proven captain that can handle any coming economic tempest. What’s funny, those accusing her of “Atlanticism” seem to have completely missed that her policies selectively strained precisely those western bent businesses, while protecting the Eurasianists and patriots. Some reproach her playing into IMF hands yet she kept the RCB free from its predatory loans, thus keeping Russia safe from the coercive influence. Go figure.

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BRICS getting stronger by the day. This is why.

Europe’s Thirst For LNG Is Causing Blackouts In Developing Countries (OP)

In June, the European Union imported more liquefied natural gas from the United States than pipeline gas from Russia for the first time ever. The unprecedented shift came as the EU scrambled to fill up its gas storage facilities ahead of the next heating season in fear Russia could turn off the gas tap at any moment. It also pushed LNG prices sky-high, making it unaffordable for developing countries. “Because of the Ukraine war, every single molecule that was available in our region has been purchased by Europe, because they’re trying to reduce their dependence on Russia,” Pakistan’s Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik said earlier this month as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.


Pakistan has been suffering from blackouts because of insufficient LNG supplies that the country needs to keep its power plants going. And the reason for the insufficient supplies is that Europe can pay more for the commodity, so traders are sending their cargos there, including cargos originally destined for Pakistan and other Asian countries. According to data from Wood Mackenzie cited by the Wall Street Journal, while Europe’s LNG imports soared 49 percent from the start of the year to mid-June, Pakistan’s imports fell by 15 percent during the same period, those to India shed 16 percent, and China’s LNG imports fell by more than a fifth. “The European gas crisis is sucking the world dry of LNG,” Valery Chow, head of Asia Pacific gas and LNG research at Wood Mackenzie, told the WSJ.”Emerging markets in Asia have borne the brunt of this and there is no end in sight.”

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“If the antiviral treatments are not made massively available to the vaccinated people, the highly vaccinated countries will likely experience a tsunami of hospitalizations and death..”

Geert Vanden Bossche: Mass Covid Vax Triggering New Pandemics (NA)

In his first interview with The New American, renowned scientist Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche described why mass vaccination with non-sterilizing (“leaky”) vaccines could not lead to herd immunity, and why he expected the Covid infection and disease to aggravate in the vaccinated individuals. The New American is proud to become the first media to speak with Dr. Vanden Bossche about his latest research dedicated to the issue of Covid mass vaccination initiating a chain reaction of new pandemics and epidemics with a potentially catastrophic impact on global health. In addition to that, the doctor explained how the constant Covid reinfections trigger relapse or metastasis of certain cancers in vaccinated people.


If the antiviral treatments are not made massively available to the vaccinated people, the highly vaccinated countries will likely experience a tsunami of hospitalizations and deaths among the vaccinated, especially the elderly and those vaccinated early on, said Dr. Vanden Bossche. The doctor pleaded with the parents NOT to vaccinate their children against Covid. The vaccination would irreparably damage their innate immune system and leave them vulnerable to infection and re-infection by Covid and a range of other deadly pathogens. That would result in a massive loss of children’s lives.

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They should listen to Geert.

Low Demand For Young Kids’ Covid Vaccines Is Alarming Doctors (Pol.)

States where parents have hesitated to inoculate their children against Covid-19 are now ordering fewer doses of the vaccines for children under 5 than others, underscoring the challenge facing the Biden administration as a highly transmissible variant sweeps the nation. Experts broadly agree states shouldn’t order more doses than they think they’ll use. But they worry the low demand in states such as Alabama and Mississippi is a warning sign of the widening ambivalence among many parents about the benefits of vaccinating children against the virus and continuing politicization of health care. “Never before have we had a vaccine available for young children that has been in billions of people before it was given to a young child,” said Kawsar Talaat, a vaccine expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“The distrust in government, the distrust in public health and the distrust in science is growing and is very, very worrisome.” OLITICO contacted each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to ask how many of the recently authorized Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines they ordered and 38 jurisdictions provided that data. Several of the states that reported placing some of the lowest orders relative to their under-5 populations also have low Covid-19 vaccination rates for 5- to 11-year-olds, an early indication that vaccinations for the youngest kids could follow a similar pattern. Since they became eligible last fall, 36.6 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds have received one Covid-19 shot and only 30 percent are fully vaccinated, compared to 69 percent of adults aged 18 to 49.

Public health experts and doctors attribute the slow uptake in part to the fact that many parents don’t believe that the vaccine is necessary, effective, or that its benefits outweigh any risks. [..] Florida — the only state to explicitly advise against Covid-19 vaccines for young children — did not pre-order any of the 5-and-under vaccines. It has now permitted practitioners and health systems to order the shots through a state portal, but is not making them available in state-run health programs.

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No credibility left. Or trust.

Health Experts Are Quitting The NIH and CDC In Droves (DM)

Two of America’s top health agencies are reportedly hemorrhaging staff as poor decision-making, described by staff as ‘bad science,’ has led to low morale. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are both suffering staff shortages, according to Dr. Marty Makary, a top public-health expert at Johns Hopkins University, writes at Common Sense, the Substack run by former New York Times columnist, Bari Weiss. Major decisions made by the agencies that hurt morale included support for masking in schools, school closures during the pandemic and the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for children four and under.

Both agencies, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been mired in controversy throughout the pandemic for inconsistent messaging and for decision-making that didn’t seem to line up with available science. ‘They have no leadership right now. Suddenly, there’s an enormous number of jobs opening up at the highest level positions,’ an anonymous NIH scientist told Common Sense. Schools became a battleground of the COVID-19 pandemic in America. When the virus stormed the world in 2020, many officials immediately shut things down – schools, retail stores, entertainment venues, restaurants – out of an fear of the unknown. Initial data showed children suffered limited risk when they contracted the virus, though, and that it was mainly the elderly and severely immunocompromised that bore the virus’s burden.

Despite the evidence, the CDC still recommended schools stay closed until the end of the 2019-2020 school year. While individual school districts were allowed to make decisions for themselves – and many Republican leaning counties did quickly reopen schools – many major metropolitan areas under Democratic control kept schools closed for extended periods of time. Earlier this year, Makary told DailyMail.com that the decision to keep schools closed was one of the worst made in the pandemic, specifically citing that minority communities who disproportionately lived in these areas were set the furthest behind academically. ‘CDC failed to balance the risks of COVID with other risks that come from closing schools,’ an anonymous CDC scientist told Common Sense.

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“Human reviewers randomly sampled 100 accounts per day (less than 0.00005% of daily users)..” “That’s it. No automation, no AI, no machine learning.”

Elon Musk Wants To Push Twitter Trial Back To 2023 (NYP)

Elon Musk told a judge Friday that he needs until next year to respond to Twitter’s “meritless” claims that the mogul tried to scuttle the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform. Musk’s attorneys accused Twitter of fudging the figures over fake accounts and want the trial pushed back until at least Feb. 13, 2023, to gather information over the disputed bot data, according to court documents filed with the Delaware court Friday evening. “The core dispute over false and spam accounts is fundamental to Twitter’s value,” Musk’s lawyers wrote in the 14-page filing. “It is also extremely fact and expert intensive, requiring substantial time for discovery.”

Musk, who first agreed to buy the site for $44 billion in April, pulled out of the deal last week after repeatedly claiming Twitter may be lying about what percentage of its users are bots — a move that Twitter’s lawyers blasted in their suit filed Wednesday as a “bad faith” attempt to walk away from the agreement. Twitter is seeking an unusually short four-day Delaware Court of Chancery trial starting in September, which some observers have interpreted as a show of confidence in its legal case. Musk’s lawyers called Twitter’s request an unjustifiable “bid for extreme expedition,” and accused the company of “a two-month treasure hunt of delays, technical bottlenecks, evasive answers, and, ultimately, refusals,”

“In a May 6 meeting with Twitter executives, Musk was flabbergasted to learn just how meager Twitter’s process was,” Musk’s lawyers wrote in the filing. “Human reviewers randomly sampled 100 accounts per day (less than 0.00005% of daily users) and applied unidentified standards to somehow conclude every quarter for nearly three years that fewer than 5% of Twitter users were false or spam. That’s it. No automation, no AI, no machine learning.”

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“Have Americans been wearing their masks over the wrong bodily orifice? Is anyone conducting a peer-reviewed study on this?”

A Tale of the Taco (Jim Kunstler)

Has anyone noticed, by the way, that the US is under an invasion of breakfast tacos? So many of them, and so many kinds! Huevos con chorizo… Huevos y tocino… Huevos con queso! The diversity is staggering! Oddly, the US fast food industry has remained silent on the issue, despite the threat to their operations. Someone, please, send a memo to Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas: a mighty influx of breakfast tacos marches day-and-night across our border with Mexico. They are being distributed — for free! — by bus and airplane from sea to shining sea — while millions of Egg McMuffins, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Croissan’wiches, Grand Slamwiches, Kickin’ Maple Chicken BreakFEASTs, Country Fried Steak Biscuits, Chocolate Chip/Pecan Waffles, and Texas Melts go uneaten, wilting under the infrared Glo-Ray warming bulbs of American franchise eateries.


The wonder really is: how can America even manage to eat breakfast with its head so far up its ass? Perhaps Dr. Jill Biden can address that question in an upcoming speech to the National Association of Colorectal Surgeons. Now that the mRNA vaccines have Covid-19 so well under control — ask Dr. Anthony Fauci (he knows!) — shouldn’t we be concerned with this new scourge of cranialrectosis (the next pandemic)? Have Americans been wearing their masks over the wrong bodily orifice? Is anyone conducting a peer-reviewed study on this?

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“..Baraitser failed to recognize that the US government “misrepresented” facts in the case and the case was “pursued for ulterior political motives.”

Assange Fights Extradition To United States With Two Appeals (Dissenter)

On June 23, grounds for appeal were submitted against Patel’s Home Office. They claimed Patel erred by failing to recognize that the US-UK Extradition Treaty prohibited extradition for a political offense.Edward Fitzgerald QC emphasized to the district judge that due process protections, like the Magna Carta of 1215, were enshrined in UK law for centuries. He noted the US Constitution contained protections against arbitrary detention as well. Yet as the “Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign” observed, during proceedings Baraitser acted like she could discard the Magna Carta in favor of a lesser law, which the UK Parliament passed.

Attorneys also maintained Patel erred when she accepted that “specialty arrangements” with the US government would protect Assange from the death penalty, criminal contempt proceedings, and further prosecution for “conduct outside of the extradition request.”The legal team filed long-awaited grounds of appeal against District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision on June 30. They claimed the district judge erred when she determined it would not be “unjust and oppressive” to extradite him given the passage of time. On human rights grounds, the attorneys maintained the district judge was wrong to determine extradition would not deny his right to fair trial, his right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment, his right to freedom of expression, and his right to be free from a novel and unforeseeable extension of the law.

Further grounds of appeal included a claim that Baraitser failed to recognize that the US government “misrepresented” facts in the case and the case was “pursued for ulterior political motives. “His attorneys objected to Baraitser accepting a second superseding indictment that was sprung on Assange just weeks before the extradition hearing in September 2020. They contend she should have “excised” all allegations from this indictment to uphold “procedural fairness.” Patel approved Assange’s extradition on June 17, and the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ordered his extradition on April 20 after the UK Supreme Court refused to hear a prior appeal. But Assange’s legal team did not appeal that decision. They appealed an earlier decision issued by Baraitser on January 4, 2021.

Baraitser’s decision initially determined that extradition would be “oppressive” for mental health reasons and blocked extradition, however, the UK High Court of Justice overturned the decision after the US government appealed. The rest of the district judge’s decision was troubling to Assange’s attorneys, as well as press freedom and human rights groups opposed to the prosecution. It was not appropriate for the attorneys to file an appeal until after the US government’s appeal was settled. The challenge to the district judge’s refusal to recognize Assange’s right to freedom of expression is a relief to press freedom organizations. Human rights organizations like Amnesty International will appreciate the appeal related to the risk of cruel and inhuman treatment. Assange’s legal team requested an extension for drafting their appeals, and the US government did not object. The extension was granted by the UK High Court.

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Read the whole note

 

 


One of the best examples of cryptic plumage and mimicry in Australian birds is seen in the tawny frogmouth, which perch low on tree branches during the day camouflaged as part of the tree

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 102022
 
 July 10, 2022  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  30 Responses »


Odilon Redon The Birth of Venus II c.1910

 

‘Drinking The Kool-Aid’ On The War In Ukraine (MoA)
Canada Exempts Russian Gas Turbine From Sanctions (G.)
A Popular Uprising Against the Elites Has Gone Global (Schoelhammer)
Sri Lanka President Agrees To Resign Amid Unrest (O.)
Green Dogma Behind Fall Of Sri Lanka (Shellenberger)
Police Chief: Officer Who Shot The Tractor Made A Wrong Assessment (NOS)
Germany Is Quietly Shutting Down As Energy Crunch Paralyzes Economy (ZH)
Real Estate Agents Got Billions In Covid Relief Loans. Few Repaid Them (NBC)
Elon Musk Terminates Twitter Deal, Citing Material Breach of Agreement (CTH)
The Rot In Canada’s Dysfunctional Government Is Coming From The Head (NP)
Julian Assange ‘Will Die’ If Extradited To US – John Pilger (SCMP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.3% of 3% of 0.04%

 

 

 

 

When I was young, I was poor.


After years of hard, honest and back breaking work, I am no longer young.

 

 

 

 

“..the ‘west’ can no longer produce enough new weapons and ammunition to cover those losses.”

‘Drinking The Kool-Aid’ On The War In Ukraine (MoA)

The war in Ukraine is a ‘special military operation’ and very untypical for several reasons. Russia attacked with a force that was smaller than the Ukrainian forces. Over all roughly 120 Battalion Tactical Groups (BTG) from Russia with 1,000 men each plus some 50,000 soldiers from the Luhansk and Donetzk republics took part in the war. At the begin of the war the Ukrainian forces had 250,000 soldiers and they have since mobilized several hundred thousand more. Russia uses far more sophisticated weapons than the Ukrainian side. These are long range weapon and cruise missiles that hit supplies and incoming troops in the rear of the frontline as well as strategic targets. It has an excellent and nearly impenetrable air defense and electronic war fare capabilities that a high ranking U.S. officer described as ‘eye watering’.


Russia has a huge advantage in artillery capabilities and a sufficient amounts of ammunition to sustain a high rate of fire over years. It can also outproduce the ‘west’ with regards to new weapons and supplies. All this has led to the very unusual effect that the Russian advantage on the battlefield has increased over time. It may have been 1 to 1 at the beginning of the battle but it has since increased to about 2 to 1 or even higher. In his latest briefing the head of the Austrian military academy Colonel Reisner shows how the ratio of forces has changed over time. At 7:10 min in he shows this chart.

He explains that at the beginning of the battle for Donbas in April the force ratio was 93 Russian BTGs against 81 Ukrainian BTG equivalents. On June 26 the ratio of forces was 108 Russian BTGs versus 60 Ukrainian battalion equivalents. Russia had increased the size of its engaged forces while the Ukrainian side had lost 25% of its capabilities. So according to the Austrian military the force ratio at the start of the ‘special military operation’ was 1.15 to 1 and on June 26 it was at 1.8 to 1. What we are seeing is the opposite of the decrease of the ratio of forces that Clausewitz described as the path to the culminating point. A recent talk by a high ranking Ukrainian general confirms the high rate of attrition of the Ukrainian army. He says that ‘western’ weapon deliveries only cover 10 to 15% of the Ukrainian losses. In fact the ‘west’ can no longer produce enough new weapons and ammunition to cover those losses.

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Ukraine prefers to let Germany freeze.

Canada Exempts Russian Gas Turbine From Sanctions (G.)

Canada will return a repaired Russian turbine to Germany that it needs for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, despite objections from Ukraine, as the sanctions regime came up against the energy crisis sparked by the war. Canada’s minister of natural resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, said in a statement on Saturday the government was issuing a “time-limited and revocable permit” to exempt the return of turbines from its Russian sanctions, to support “Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas”. Wilkinson said the export permit was issued after discussions with “our European friends and allies”, and the International Energy Agency.

Russia’s Gazprom cut capacity on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Europe to just 40% of usual levels last month, citing the delayed return of equipment being serviced by Germany’s Siemens Energy in Canada. The Kremlin said on Friday it would increase gas supplies to Europe if the turbine were returned. The part is required for maintenance work due to start on Monday. Canada – which has been under pressure from Germany to find a way to return the turbine – said “absent a necessary supply of natural gas, the German economy will suffer very significant hardship and Germans themselves will be at risk of being unable to heat their homes as winter approaches”.

Alexandra Chyczij, national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, said on Saturday “our community is deeply disappointed by the Canadian government’s decision to bow to Russian blackmail”. The group said Canada was setting “a dangerous precedent that will lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia”. Canada has one of the world’s biggest Ukrainian diasporas outside of countries that border Ukraine and has urged the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to refuse to compromise the country’s sanctions against Russia over the turbine issue. Ukraine has opposed Canada handing over the turbine and Kyiv believes such a move would flout sanctions on Russia, a Ukrainian energy ministry source told Reuters on Thursday.

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Dutch farmers have promised an “involuntary lockdown” of the country tomorrow.

A Popular Uprising Against the Elites Has Gone Global (Schoelhammer)

Over 30,000 Dutch farmers have risen in protest against the government in the wake of new nitrogen limits that require farmers to radically curb their nitrogen emissions by up to 70 percent in the next eight years. It would require farmers to use less fertilizer and even to reduce the number of their livestock. While large farming companies have the means to hypothetically meet these goals and can switch to non-nitrogen-based fertilizers, it is impossible for smaller, often family-owned farms. The new environmental regulations are so extreme that they would force many to shutter, including people whose families have been farming for three or four generations. In protest, farmers have been blockading streets and refusing to deliver their products to supermarket chains. It’s been leading to serious shortages of eggs and milk, among other food items.


But the effects will be global. The Netherlands is the world’s second largest agricultural exporter after the United States, making the country of barely 17 million inhabitants a food superpower. Given global food shortages and rising prices, the role of Dutch farmers in the global food chain has never been more important. But if you thought the Dutch government was going to take that into account and ensure that people can put food on the table, you would be wrong; when offered the choice between food security and acting against “climate change,” the Dutch government decided to pursue the latter. What is particularly frustrating is that the government is fully aware that what it is asking farmers to do will drive many of them out of existence. In fact, the government originally planned to move at a slower pace—until a lawsuit brought by environmental groups in 2019 forced an acceleration of the timetable.

Farmers kids
https://twitter.com/i/status/1545809018500878338

The reaction by members of the agricultural sector has been massive and ongoing since 2019, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte to ban protests in 2020 and 2021. With the reignited demonstrations this year, the authorities have also switched to a more aggressive approach. There have been arrests and even warning shots fired by police at farmers, one almost killing a 16-year-old protestor. But while the Dutch people are on the side of the farmers, their elites are behaving much as they did in Canada and the U.S., and not just those in government. Media outlets are refusing to even report the protests, and when they do, they cast the farmers as extremists. Why the disconnect?


Every reliable poll of European newsrooms from Germany to the Netherlands show that climate change is a much more important topic for journalists than it is for ordinary people. It’s not that average citizens don’t care about climate change, but that they have the common sense to know that destroying their farm so the government’s emission goals can be met in 2030 instead of 2035 will not change the planet’s climate. After all, the Netherlands accounts for just 0.46 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions, and while a further reduction might be desirable, it will not be decisive in combating climate change over the next eight years. It may make the country’s elite to feel good about themselves, but it will also result in large parts of the population seeing their living standards decline and their economic existence targeted by the state for ideological reasons.

Albania

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A color revolution?

Sri Lanka President Agrees To Resign Amid Unrest (O.)

The Sri Lankan president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has agreed to resign after a dramatic day during which his house and offices were stormed by protesters and the home of the prime minister set on fire. In a late-night message conveyed through the parliamentary speaker, Mahinda Yapa, the beleaguered president said he would step down from power on 13 July to “ensure a peaceful transition of power”. It was an historic victory for the protesters who have been calling for him to resign for months and gathered on the streets of Colombo in their tens of thousands on Saturday, as the country continues to struggle through its worst economic crisis since independence. Earlier prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, had told a meeting of party leaders that he too would resign as soon as a new all-party government was formed.

In extraordinary scenes on Saturday, protesters broke through police barriers and charged into the president’s official residence. Images and witness accounts showed people flooding up the grand staircase of the colonial-era building, with chants calling for the president to go. As protesters poured into the bedrooms and kitchen and rifled through the president’s possessions, many took full advantage of the president’s luxury amenities which had been denied to them in recent weeks due to rampant food and fuel shortages. Protesters were seen cooking up curries in the kitchen, lying down on beds and sofas, lifting weights and jogging in his private gym and jumping into the outdoor pool. The president was not at home, having fled the night before under military protection, and he remained in hiding as Saturday’s events unfolded.

[..] Sri Lanka is continuing to struggle through a devastating crisis in which the economy has completely collapsed and the government is unable to afford to import food, fuel and medicines. All sales of petrol have been suspended, schools have shut and medical procedures and surgeries are being delayed or cancelled over a shortage of drugs and equipment, with the UN recently warning that the country is facing a humanitarian crisis. Inflation is a record-breaking 54.6% and food prices have gone up fivefold, meaning two-thirds of the country are struggling to feed themselves. Sri Lanka defaulted on its foreign debts in May, which total over $51bn, and is in negotiations with the IMF for a $3bn bailout.

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A testing ground?

Green Dogma Behind Fall Of Sri Lanka (Shellenberger)

Sri Lanka has fallen. Protesters breached the official residences of Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister and President, who have fled to undisclosed locations out of fear of death. The proximate reason is that the nation is bankrupt, suffering its worst financial crisis in decades. Millions are struggling to purchase food, medicine and fuel. Energy shortages and inflation were major factors behind the crisis. Inflation in June in Sri Lanka was over 50%. Food prices rose by 80%. And a half-million people fell into poverty over the last year. But the underlying reason for the fall of Sri Lanka is that its leaders fell under the spell of Western green elites peddling organic agriculture and “ESG,” which refers to investments made following supposedly higher Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria.

Sri Lanka has a near-perfect ESG score (98) which is higher than Sweden (96) or the United States (51), notes a commentator. To be sure, there were other factors behind Sri Lanka’s fall. COVID-19 lockdowns and a 2019 bombing hurt tourism, a $3 billion to 5 billion-per-year industry. Sri Lanka’s leaders insisted on paying China back for various “Belt and Road” infrastructure projects when other nations refused to do so. And higher oil prices meant transportation prices rose 128% since May. But the biggest and main problem causing Sri Lanka’s fall was its ban on chemical fertilizers in April 2021. Over 90% of Sri Lanka’s farmers had used chemical fertilizers and, after the ban, 85% experienced crop losses. After the fertilizer ban, rice production fell 20% and prices skyrocketed 50 percent in just six months.

Sri Lanka had to import $450 million worth of rice despite having been self-sufficient in the grain just months earlier. The price of carrots and tomatoes rose five-fold. Tea, the nation’s main export, also suffered, thereby undermining the nation’s foreign currency and ability to purchase products from abroad. While there are 2 million farmers in Sri Lanka, 70% of the nation’s 22 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on farming. “We are furious!” said one rice farmer in May. “Angry! Not just me – but all the farmers who cultivated here are angry.” In November 2021, Sri Lanka tried to reverse course, but it was too late. Rajapaksa said, “we don’t have enough chemical fertilizers in the country because we didn’t import them. There is a shortage.” By the end of last August, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had declared a state of emergency.

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Because he missed by one inch?

Police Chief: Officer Who Shot The Tractor Made A Wrong Assessment (NOS)

The officer who opened fire on a tractor during a farmers’ protest in Heerenveen feared for the safety of his colleagues. The highest police chief of the Northern Netherlands says this in an interview with NRC.Chief Commissioner Gery Veldhuis calls it a wrong assessment. The officer feared that the tractor would run into colleagues and therefore opened fire. The 16-year-old driver was arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of attempted manslaughter, but an investigation by the Public Prosecution Service revealed that this was not the case. The National Bureau of Investigation is still investigating the incident. That is why Veldhuis was unable to elaborate on what exactly happened.

“But he told me he shot because he was concerned for the safety of the employees he was performing with.” According to Veldhuis, the man is “through it”. “He thinks it is terrible that he ended up in a situation in which he thought he had to use his firearm. He also did not know that it was a 16-year-old boy.” Veldhuis would have thought it “rather dramatic” if the shot had been hit. It was previously reported that an officer went into hiding for his own safety after photos of him were distributed. Veldhuis confirms that the man is being threatened. He considers it difficult for his colleagues that they have to act against people from their own community during farmer protests.

At the same time, he warns that the police will try to confiscate tractors more often. “As long as farmers use their tractors for things other than what they are intended for, they should feel that they also lose their company resources as a result.” The family of the boy who was shot is still considering filing a complaint against the police. Driver Jouke Hospes said earlier that he was just driving away from the protest at the time of the shooting. According to Veldhuis, the police will pay for the damage to his window.

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Where will the euro go tomorrow? Parity with the USD looms.

Germany Is Quietly Shutting Down As Energy Crunch Paralyzes Economy (ZH)

Earlier today we wrote that Germany’s largest landlord, Vonovia, had taken the unprecedented step of restrictring heating at night, a terrifying preview of what lies in stock for the “most advanced” European nation this winter. Alas, it’s going to get worse, much worse. According to the FT, Germany is now rationing hot water, dimming its street lights and shutting down swimming pools as the impact of its energy crunch begins to spread like the proverbial Ice-Nine wave, from industry to offices, leisure centers and residential homes. The reason behind Germany’s slow motion paralysis is well-known: the huge increase in gas prices triggered by Russia’s move last month to sharply reduce supplies to Germany has plunged Europe’s biggest economy into its worst energy crisis since the oil price shock of 1973.

With electricity prices hitting never before seen levels, gas importers and utilities are fighting for survival while consumer bills are going through the roof, with some warning of rising friction (not to mention the infamous wheelbarrows full of cash). “The situation is more than dramatic,” said Axel Gedaschko, head of the federation of German housing enterprises GdW. “Germany’s social peace is in great danger.” Unfortunately, as tensions over Russia’s war in Ukraine escalate, officials fear the situation could get worse. On Monday, as we reported last week, Russia is shutting down its main pipeline to Germany, Nord Stream 1, for 10 days of scheduled maintenance. Many in Berlin fear it will never reopen.

Commenting on the infamous July 22 day when Russian gas flows are expected to resume, DB’s Jim Reid writes that “while we all spend most of our market time thinking about the Fed and a recession, I suspect what happens to Russian gas in H2 is potentially an even bigger story. Of course by July 22nd parts may have be found and the supply might start to normalise. Anyone who tells you they know what is going to happen here is guessing but as minimum it should be a huge focal point for everyone in markets.” The bank also conveniently warns that “if the gas shutoff is not resolved in coming weeks this would lead to a broadening out of energy disruption with material upfront effects on economic growth, and of course much higher inflation.”

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“..The federal government authorized more than 300,000 loans to real estate entities claiming just one employee..”

Real Estate Agents Got Billions In Covid Relief Loans. Few Repaid Them (NBC)

While Covid was battering the U.S. economy, Gary Goldberg seems to have done OK. During 2020, the pandemic’s first year, the Santa Barbara, California, real estate agent sold more than $27 million worth of luxury homes, slightly down from the $31 million he closed the year before, according to data from Zillow. In 2021, he sold $82 million worth of real estate. He also applied for and received two loans totaling $95,832 via the federal government’s Covid relief Paycheck Protection Program, according to public records. In his applications, he listed one employee. He asked for the first loan on April 15, 2020, and the second on Jan. 30, 2021. Federal records show he also asked for and received forgiveness for both loans by November 2021, meaning he had met certain criteria and did not have to pay them back.

In the United States, the average gross commission for real estate sales is 2.5 percent of the sale price, and the agent usually gets 85 percent of that, according to Real Trends Consulting, a firm that tracks home sales and commissions. According to that formula, Goldberg may have earned six figures in 2020 and seven figures in 2021. There’s no indication Goldberg did anything illegal and he’s certainly not alone. As real estate sales — and commissions — rose during the pandemic, individual agents also got a helping hand from taxpayers.

The federal government authorized more than 300,000 loans to real estate entities claiming just one employee, adding up to $3.9 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to data from the government’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), which oversees pandemic relief spending. On average these real estate businesses got $13,000, but 146 entities got more than $90,000 each, according to the PRAC data, all of which is public record. PPP loans went to real estate agents in booming markets — $3.6 million to real estate entities in Beverly Hills, $4.3 million to entities in El Paso, Texas, and $14.9 million in 1,107 loans to real estate entities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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More background.

“It appears that Twitter Inc did not want to reveal how Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop was able to sustain operations..”

Elon Musk Terminates Twitter Deal, Citing Material Breach of Agreement (CTH)

Elon Musk has notified Twitter and the SEC that he is exercising his “right to terminate the merger agreement and abandon the transaction contemplated” due to the social media company not providing transparent access to background data that would allow authentication of “monetized daily active users” (mDAUs). It appears that Twitter Inc did not want to reveal how Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop was able to sustain operations, at an extremely high cost, without making money. That’s the essential source of the issue. The social media company did not want anyone looking at the data stream inside the communication platform. Musk was not allowed to authenticate the number of real users and identify the number of ‘spam’ or ‘bot’ accounts within the platform.

From the SEC Letter: […] ” Specifically, in the Merger Agreement, Twitter represented that no documents that Twitter filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission since January 1, 2022, included any “untrue statement of a material fact” (Section 4.6(a)). Twitter has repeatedly made statements in such filings regarding the portion of its mDAUs that are false or spam, including statements that: “We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter,” and “After we determine an account is spam, malicious automation, or fake, we stop counting it in our mDAU, or other related metrics.”

Mr. Musk relied on this representation in the Merger Agreement (and Twitter’s numerous public statements regarding false and spam accounts in its publicly filed SEC documents) when agreeing to enter into the Merger Agreement. Mr. Musk has the right to seek rescission of the Merger Agreement in the event these material representations are determined to be false. Although Twitter has not yet provided complete information to Mr. Musk that would enable him to do a complete and comprehensive review of spam and fake accounts on Twitter’s platform, he has been able to partially and preliminarily analyze the accuracy of Twitter’s disclosure regarding its mDAU. While this analysis remains ongoing, all indications suggest that several of Twitter’s public disclosures regarding its mDAUs are either false or materially misleading.

First, although Twitter has consistently represented in securities filings that “fewer than 5%” of its mDAU are false or spam accounts, based on the information provided by Twitter to date, it appears that Twitter is dramatically understating the proportion of spam and false accounts represented in its mDAU count. Preliminary analysis by Mr. Musk’s advisors of the information provided by Twitter to date causes Mr. Musk to strongly believe that the proportion of false and spam accounts included in the reported mDAU count is wildly higher than 5%.

Second, Twitter’s disclosure that it ceases to count fake or spam users in its mDAU when it determines that those users are fake appears to be false. Instead, we understand, based on Twitter’s representations during a June 30, 2022 call with us, that Twitter includes accounts that have been suspended—and thus are known to be fake or spam—in its quarterly mDAU count even when it is aware that the suspended accounts were included in mDAU for that quarter.”

Musk termites

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“The main job of a minister these days is to keep his or her face off the front page..”

The Rot In Canada’s Dysfunctional Government Is Coming From The Head (NP)

At the outset of the pandemic, a small army of unsung public servants was overwhelmed by a Niagara of employment insurance applications, as one-quarter of the Canadian workforce found itself out of work. Through a combination of ingenuity and dedication, they processed more than two million claims in three weeks and got money into the hands of the people who needed it. Yet, just two years later, the entire bureaucracy seems afflicted by an inefficiency that has led to a breakdown in the delivery of the most basic government services, from passports to immigration visas; from airport security to facilitating the flow of travellers across Canada’s borders.

Last week, a number of departments received a priority request from the government’s central agency, the Privy Council Office, to urgently review passport, immigration and airport service problems. One person who received it said there was more than a faint whiff of panic about the all-points bulletin. What can account for a plight that one senior bureaucrat compared to a body rotting from the inside? Few in official Ottawa have any doubts that the malady can be traced back to a Liberal government in its third term that no longer has the vitality it once possessed. Over the past seven years, the Liberals have lost, or jettisoned, some of their most seasoned ministers and political staffers.

They have often been replaced by farm-team players with less experience and less rounded skill sets. The upshot is a preoccupation with issues management and the politics of spin. The main job of a minister these days is to keep his or her face off the front page. In the mind of Victorian intellectual Walter Bagehot, the cabinet is the buckle which fastens the executive to the legislature. But in this government, at this time, ministers report not to Parliament but to the issues management department in the Prime Minister’s Office.

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“..if Julian goes to the United States, and is effectively dropped in a penal hell hole, that will be the end of him literally, he will die..”

Julian Assange ‘Will Die’ If Extradited To US – John Pilger (SCMP)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, already ailing following a decade-long struggle for freedom, faces almost certain death if he is sent to a “penal hell hole” upon extradition to the United States, one of his staunchest supporters has said. John Pilger, the award-winning Australian filmmaker and journalist who has been a close confidante of Assange since 2010, said defeat for the 51-year-old in his battle in British courts against extradition could have far-reaching consequences for journalism. “I don’t think there is any doubt in my mind… that if Julian goes to the United States, and is effectively dropped in a penal hell hole, that will be the end of him literally, he will die,” Pilger said in an interview on Talking Post with chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo.

Pilger said Assange’s treatment over the years – he has been in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison since 2019 – was “torture”, adding that for the Australian national “anything” would be better than being sent to the US. Prior to his incarceration, Assange obtained asylum from Ecuador in 2012 and spent seven years in Quito’s embassy in London as part of efforts to avoid extradition to Sweden where he was facing charges of sexual assault. He denies all wrongdoing. Washington is seeking his extradition over charges of espionage and computer misuse linked to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified US documents since 2010. Assange’s supporters say the charges are politically motivated and that he would be unable to get a fair trial in the US.

“If Julian is extradited to the United States, I think it will effectively end real, independent investigative journalism,” Pilger said. “Who will take that risk again, if the United States and other countries … can reach anywhere in the world and take a journalist for writing something or revealing something it doesn’t approve of?” Asked if he believed Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese would intervene to stop the extradition, Pilger said it remained to be seen if the new Labor administration believed Assange was innocent. Albanese is a signatory of the “Bring Julian Assange Home” campaign and was reported to have said in a party meeting last year that he believed the journalist should be freed. “Enough is enough,” Albanese was quoted as saying by Australian media.

“I don’t have sympathy for many of his actions, but essentially I can’t see what is served by keeping him incarcerated,” he reportedly said. But Pilger said whether Albanese would back Assange depended on Canberra’s overall US policy. “Will Australia deviate from the United States? My view is no,” Pilger said. Albanese’s remarks last year also did not underscore the fact that Assange “has committed no crime”, Pilger said.

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Ali
https://twitter.com/i/status/1545362039480221698

 

 

2 kinds of dogs

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 092022
 


Salvador Dali Apparition of My Cousin Carolinetta on the Beach at Rosas 1934

 

EU Will Be Held Responsible For Starving Millions Around The World – Tycoon (RT)
Ignition… Lift-off! (Kunstler)
Western ‘Economic Blitzkrieg’ Has Failed – Putin (RT)
Neo-Feudalism: Klaus Schwab, the WEF, and The Great Reset (Rawles)
By Making China The Enemy, NATO Is Threatening World Peace (Cook)
US, China Top Diplomats Voice Cautious Hope In Rare Talks (Barron’s)
EU Has Shipped Millions Of Tons Of Ukrainian Grain – Borrell (RT)
The EU Doesn’t Have A Plan For Life Without Cheap Russia Energy (Blankenship)
Note from Maria Zakharova (Saker)
Army Cuts Pay, Benefits From 60,000 Unvaccinated National Guard, Reserves (Fox)
Trudeau’s Nitrogen Policy Will Decimate Canadian Farming (TCS)
Today’s America: An Economy of Shortages (ET)
The Tale of Hunter Biden’s Payments To Alleged Russian Prostitutes (JTN)
Musk Tells Twitter He Wants Out Of Deal To Buy It (CNN)

 

 

 

 

Repeat the line

 

 

 

 

16-year old Jouke whom the police tried to kill. Gov’t now says it was a error of judgment, and the cop is at home sick feeling very bad. But look where the bullet hole is. As Jouke says here, they could have shot at the tires, huge targets, and you stand still within seconds.

 

 

Note how the cause of death was put on its head, from respiratory to heart failure.

Blind eye

 

 

 

 

“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
– Lu Xun (Chinese writer) 1921.

 

 

 

 

EU Will Be Held Responsible For Starving Millions Around The World – Tycoon (RT)

Sanctions imposed on Russian and Belarusian fertilizer producers are akin to weapons of mass destruction in the scale of the damage they will likely cause over the next few years, the founder of chemical giant EuroChem has claimed. “The EU sanctions mean suffering, famine and migration flows for many hundreds of millions of people,” Andrey Melnichenko said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Die Weltwoche on Thursday. “Sanctions targeting food and energy are economic weapons of mass destruction. They hit innocent people the worst. I have no doubt that billions of people will feel its effects,” he warned. Suffering people will want to hold those responsible accountable, and the EU won’t be able to shift its culpability, the businessman added.

It was not Russia or the US, but EU members like Lithuania and Estonia, and also European leaders Germany, France and Italy, which chose to disrupt the operation of his chemical empire with sanctions, he explained. EuroChem, a leading fertilizer producer, is headquartered in Switzerland, where Melnichenko also lives with his family. The EU and Switzerland targeted the company and its owner with sanctions aimed at hurting the Russian economy in retaliation for Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. Melnichenko argued he personally was unjustly punished for being a rich Russian, dismissing claims that he had any influence on the Russian government. He warned of the catastrophic consequences that the “carpet-bombing” of the Russian economy will cause over a few years.

He assessed that EuroChem products helped feed almost 274 million people. With its fertilizers not produced and sold due to sanctions, the effect would be far worse than what is happening now over the cut in grain exports from Ukraine, he said. “The G7 countries, with their one billion citizens, see themselves as the world’s moral leaders. But they have overridden the interests of the other seven billion people,” he said. Russia and its ally Belarus, another target for Western sanctions, account for 17% of global fertilizer supply, the tycoon said. Exports from those two countries dropped by 30- 40% amid the stand-off with the West, and it’s the most vulnerable people, who are paying the price, he warned. “We don’t know whether people in the third world are already dying, or if they are ‘just’ starving and migrating away,” he said. With social tensions skyrocketing over hunger and fuel shortages, there will be a surge of violence, he predicted. “Perhaps jihad will raise its black flag again. These are not wild theories, but facts.”

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“.. the Russians sent in their junior varsity and systematically wiped up the floor with Ukraine’s 250,000-man, NATO-trained (ha!) army of neo-Nazis..”

Ignition… Lift-off! (Kunstler)

It looks like someone has called room service in a certain Swiss Fortress of Solitude and ordered der Schwabenklaus’s ass to be handed to him on a platter with a side of sauerkraut. The assisted suicide of Western Civ, Euro division, has been interrupted by peasant uprisings, first in the Netherlands, now spreading to Germany, Italy, and Poland. The farmers are on the march. They are coming for you, Klaus, and your World Economic Forum’s legion of implanted government goblins. The governments of virtually all the nations of Western Civ have become enemies of their people. It’s been obvious in the USA for quite some time, but our preposterous attempt to turn Ukraine into a forward NATO missile base next door to Russia finally revealed the villainous rot in Euroland, too.

Cut yourselves off, Germany, from Russian oil and natural gas? Whose bright idea was that? (Hint: Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who else? He supposedly runs that joint, doesn’t he?) Plan B, you Deutsches Volk now realize, is to burn your furniture to stay warm at Christmas. America’s gambit to goad Russia into a Ukrainian quagmire turned into such a mighty fail that the US news media doesn’t even report on the doings there anymore. Which are: the Russians sent in their junior varsity and systematically wiped up the floor with Ukraine’s 250,000-man, NATO-trained (ha!) army of neo-Nazis. That is not an empty pejorative, by the way. They really are explicitly true believers in old Adolf’s mid-20th century program of exterminating the Russ people next door. Mr. Putin wasn’t kidding around when he highlighted that feature of his operation.

So, now the heart of Euroland looks forward to a new era without energy and without modern industry, meaning what? Well, without modern life (maybe without life, period). Der Schwabenklaus outlined that pretty clearly, too, with the by-now shopworn slogan that “You vill own nussing and you vill be heppy.” It was such an absurd maxim that many who pretend to think took it as a sort of joke. And, let’s face it, Klaus really does appear to be a comic figure — the weirdo tunic he sometimes wears, the Hollywood B-movie accent. But not so many are laughing now as the lights go out from Galway Bay to the Gulf of Riga.

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“They treated our warnings so dismissively. This is exactly the situation that we have warned about, this is happening today..”

Western ‘Economic Blitzkrieg’ Has Failed – Putin (RT)

Western nations have failed in their attempts to destabilize the Russian economy with sanctions, President Vladimir Putin said at a government meeting on economic issues on Friday. “As a result of the actions of the Central Bank, as a result of the measures that were taken in a timely manner by the government … a lot was done. And the so-called blitzkrieg that our ill-wishers attempted in relation to Russia, the economic blitzkrieg, of course, has failed,” he said. The president, nevertheless, acknowledged that the restrictions have hurt the country’s economy and “many risks still remain.” Putin has urged that in response to the current challenges associated with Western sanctions, Russian energy companies should work for the long-term perspective.

Gasification of the country’s regions and diversification of exports should be the key tasks for the government, he stressed. According to the Russian leader, the government is already considering options for developing railway, sea and pipeline infrastructure for the supply of Russian oil and oil products to friendly countries, as well as gas transportation infrastructure to increase gas supplies to Asia and the domestic market. Talking about the general economic situation, he pointed out that the world markets “are still in disarray due to the West’s calls to abandon Russian energy resources.” Putin recalled that the price of Brent oil surged to $130 per barrel amid fears of a possible shortage, but in recent days prices have fallen by $20-$30 due to projections of a global economic slowdown.

The Russian president reminded his audience that he had repeatedly warned European leaders about the current situation on the global energy market, but no one listened. “They treated our warnings so dismissively. This is exactly the situation that we have warned about, this is happening today,” he noted. Putin also indicated that if Western countries continue their sanctions policy it could lead to catastrophic consequences for the global energy market. Anti-Russia sanctions cause much more damage to those who introduce them, he said. At the same time, the situation on the Russian energy market is stable despite the sanctions regime, the president explained. According to him, oil and gas condensate production in June reached 10.7 million barrels per day, which is 500,000 barrels more than in the previous month. Overall, Russia’s oil output jumped 3.5% since the start of the year. Gas production for the period from January to May decreased slightly, by merely 2%, the president added.

Putin threats?!

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“In all, these and other dictatorial regimes killed more than 133 million people in the 20th Century..”

Neo-Feudalism: Klaus Schwab, the WEF, and The Great Reset (Rawles)

Men have always sought to dominate and forcefully order the lives of others. This is part of human nature. It dates back to before the days of Noah. Early empires sought power and wealth, by conquest. Monarchies and feudalism dominated the Middle Ages in Europe, South Asia, and East Asia. Then, in a consolidation of monarchist power, colonialism was rampant from the 1550s to the 1950s. Only a few large and economically strong colonies broke away from their parent countries, before 1900. As colonialism began to wane, collectivism started to re-shape the world, mostly after 1916. Ponder the far-reaching effects of these brutal collectivists: the Soviet Union (1917-1991), Nazi Germany (1933-1945), Cambodia (1967-1978), Cuba (1959 to present), and Communist China (1943 to present).

In all, these and other dictatorial regimes killed more than 133 million people in the 20th Century, imprisoned hundreds of millions, and placed billions of people under the yoke of contrived collective economic systems, confiscating their wealth and land. Most of this killing and suffering was at the hands of communists or socialists with grand utopian visions of the future (with special status just for themselves) or a “new world order”. To their way of thinking, this justified taking the lives and property of their countrymen, and often also those in other countries, through invasions.The latest in a long string of socialist despots is coming to the fore. This time it is with the new excuses of “protecting the environment” and preventing or reversing “climate change”. Many of them use the blanket term “Environmental, Social, and Governance” (ESG) to encapsulate their plans.

In effect, they want to control every aspect of human life, all around the world, to fulfill their supranational socialistic goals. These are globalists. As a key enabling tool, they want to implement a global electronic currency, with every transaction tracked. In toto, they have is a bigger plan of action than that of the multi-national Marxist-Leninist communist conspiracy of the 20th century. Most of the 20th Century communists wanted to keep nation-states intact. But the 21st Century globalists want a true world government, with all state and national governments subsumed for “the greater good.” The level of collectivism and redistribution of wealth that they covet is much larger than their Marxist, Leninist, and Maoist predecessors ever attempted. These new “green” socialist schemers want The Whole Enchilada: a reset to global government, with themselves at the top.

Schwab

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“Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, [Nato] has not yet abandoned its thinking and practice of creating ‘enemies’..”

By Making China The Enemy, NATO Is Threatening World Peace (Cook)

As the saying goes, if you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The West has the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato), a self-declared “defensive” military alliance – so any country that refuses its dictates must, by definition, be an offensive military threat. That is part of the reason why Nato issued a new “strategic concept” document last week at its summit in Madrid, declaring for the first time that China poses a “systemic challenge” to the alliance, alongside a primary “threat” from Russia. Beijing views this new designation as a decisive step by Nato on the path to pronouncing it a “threat” too – echoing the alliance’s escalatory approach towards Moscow over the past decade. In its previous mission statement, issued in 2010, Nato advocated “a true strategic partnership” with Russia.

According to a report in the New York Times, China would have found itself openly classed as a “threat” last week had it not been for Germany and France. They insisted that the more hostile terminology be watered down so as to avoid harming their trade and technology links with China. In response, Beijing accused Nato of “maliciously attacking and smearing” it, and warned that the alliance was “provoking confrontation”. Not unreasonably, Beijing believes Nato has strayed well out of its sphere of supposed “defensive” interest: the North Atlantic. Nato was founded in the wake of the Second World War expressly as a bulwark against Soviet expansion into Western Europe. The ensuing Cold War was primarily a territorial and ideological battle for the future of Europe, with the ever-present mutual threat of nuclear annihilation.

So how, Beijing might justifiably wonder, does China – on the other side of the globe – fit into Nato’s historic “defensive” mission? How are Chinese troops or missiles now threatening Europe or the US in ways they weren’t before? How are Americans or Europeans suddenly under threat of military conquest from China? The current Nato logic reads something like this: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February is proof that the Kremlin has ambitions to recreate its former Soviet empire in Europe. China is growing its military power and has similar imperial designs towards the rival, breakaway state of Taiwan, as well as western Pacific islands. And because Beijing and Moscow are strengthening their strategic ties in the face of western opposition, Nato has to presume that their shared goal is to bring western civilisation crashing down.

Or as last week’s Nato mission statement proclaimed: “The deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.” But if anyone is subverting the “rules-based international order”, a standard the West regularly invokes but never defines, it looks to be Nato itself – or the US, as the hand that wields the Nato hammer. That is certainly the way it looks to Beijing. In its response, China argued: “Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, [Nato] has not yet abandoned its thinking and practice of creating ‘enemies’ … It is Nato that is creating problems around the world.”

Shinzo Abe

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Blinken’s attempt to drive a wedge between China and Russia. Way too late.

US, China Top Diplomats Voice Cautious Hope In Rare Talks (Barron’s)

The top diplomats from the United States and China voiced guarded hope Saturday of preventing tensions from spiralling out of control as they held rare talks on the Indonesian island of Bali. Neither side expected major breakthroughs between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, but the two powers have moderated their tone and stepped up interaction at a time when the West is focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “In a relationship as complex and consequential as the one between the United States and China, there is a lot to talk about,” Blinken said as he opened discussions at a resort hotel in Bali, where the pair attended a Group of 20 gathering the day before.

“We very much look forward to a productive and constructive conversation,” Blinken said. Wang said that President Xi Jinping believed in cooperation as well as “mutual respect” between the world’s two largest economic powers and that there needed to be “normal exchanges” between them. “We do need to work together to ensure that this relationship will continue to move forward along the right track,” Wang said in front of US and Chinese flags before a day of talks that will include a working lunch. Daniel Kritenbrink, the top US diplomat for East Asia, earlier said that Blinken will seek “guardrails” in the US rivalry with China and do “everything possible to ensure that we prevent any miscalculation that could lead inadvertently to conflict”.

It is Blinken and Wang’s first in-person meeting since October. They are expected to prepare for virtual talks in the coming weeks between Xi and President Joe Biden. After a long chill during the pandemic between the two countries, since last month their defence, finance and national security chiefs as well as their top military commanders have all spoken. China’s state-run Global Times, known for its criticism of the United States, wrote that the growing diplomacy “underscored the two sides’ consensus on avoiding escalating confrontation”.

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What are the “solidarity lanes”?

EU Has Shipped Millions Of Tons Of Ukrainian Grain – Borrell (RT)

The European Union has accelerated the export of Ukrainian grain, almost doubling the volume of shipments in June, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell reported in his Twitter on Friday. According to him, 5.8 million tons of grain have been transported by the EU from Ukraine via so-called “solidarity lanes” since April. Borrell also wrote that “1.2 billion people are severely exposed to the combination of rising food and energy prices and tightening financial conditions.” He once again accused Moscow of “blocking millions of tons of grain in Ukrainian storage facilities, using food as a weapon of war.” Western nations have repeatedly blamed Russia for blocking Ukrainian ports, making it impossible to ship the country’s grain.


Moscow has responded that it would guarantee safe passage for grain shipments if Kiev clears its ports of mines. Last month, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is not impeding exports, and criticized the West for its “cynical attitude” towards the food supply of the developing nations, which have been worst affected by soaring prices. He said rising inflation in the West was “a result of their own irresponsible macroeconomic policies.” Ukraine, a major agricultural producer, has been unable to export its grain by sea due to the ongoing conflict, with an estimated 22 million to 25 million tons of grain currently stuck in the country’s ports.

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“..this goes to show just how destructive blindly following Washington’s foreign policy is, time and time again, for Europe.”

The EU Doesn’t Have A Plan For Life Without Cheap Russia Energy (Blankenship)

One solution on the table is for the EU to import liquified natural gas (LNG) from the United States. However, shipments of American LNG to the EU and UK have already increased since the political tensions between Europe and Russia began. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the US exported 74% of its LNG to Europe in the first four months of 2022, which is up from 34% the previous year. But this was apparently not enough to keep European energy prices stable. This raises a fundamental issue, which is whether the European Union can actually afford to maintain its sanctions on Russia.

Members’ economic models are simply not compatible with the reality that their sanctions are creating, and this is already hurting people’s wellbeing and leading to social and political unrest. The European Union’s foreign policy is supposed to follow the doctrine of “strategic autonomy,” but what is happening is neither strategic nor an act of autonomy. No doubt the situation in Ukraine is horrifying and has led Europeans to question the existing security architecture of the region, but, if the latest strategic concept of NATO is any suggestion, the shots are being called from Washington.

Famed international relations scholar John Mearsheimer recently lamented in a speech that, “History will judge the United States and its allies with abundant harshness for its foolish policy on Ukraine.” In fact, the prevailing allied policy on Ukraine is doing everything to ensure that the conflict becomes protracted – which has the dual threat of destroying Ukraine and hurting Europe’s future economic prospects. That’s because the longer the conflict continues, or if it continues indefinitely, it means the bifurcation between Russia and the West will be permanent. And it logically follows that this will impact the economic model of European countries, particularly of Germany. If that is the eventuality we are headed for, then the EU’s fate becomes a question.

Already, people in the Czech capital of Prague are beginning to joke that in a few years Europe will be nothing more than a summer holiday spot for the Americans and Chinese. But are there really enough jobs in the tourism industry for all of us here? And can we all withstand the winter off-season? Jokes aside, I believe that Germany’s trade deficit is significant. In a few days, the trend could be more pronounced if other industrial European countries report similar deficits. At the very least, this should sound the alarm on exactly what the European Union’s long-term plans are vis-á-vis Russia and whether or not European industry can feasibly survive with sanctions on Russian energy. My bet is that it can’t. And this goes to show just how destructive blindly following Washington’s foreign policy is, time and time again, for Europe.

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“..the G7’s plan to boycott Russia at the G20 failed. Nobody supported the Western regimes. That is why they are fuming now.”

Note from Maria Zakharova (Saker)

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock: “The fact that the Russian Foreign Minister spent most of his time during the talks not in the room, but outside it, highlights the fact that the Russian government is not a single millimetre closer to having talks.” Can you even make any sense out of what she said? Outside what room? Utter nonsense. The German public should be aware of the fact that their Foreign Minister Annalena is lying to them. Lavrov was among the audience the moment the G20 meeting started and about two hours later he began to hold bilateral talks with his colleagues who attended this forum in a room next door. This is what other ministers did as well, since in-person forums are held exactly for the purpose of holding meetings and having contacts.

Otherwise, everyone would have gone online or sent out their speeches. Or, maybe Baerbock thinks that the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil and other countries also were in the wrong room? On the other hand, Germans are already beginning to realise who is in power in their country. More than half of the German citizens (58 percent) believe that German Foreign Minister Baerbock should have personally met and held talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 ministerial which is taking place on the Indonesian island of Bali. On Friday, Der Spiegel published a survey by Civey pollster to that effect.

Now, the truth about Baerbock. She said this because the G7’s plan to boycott Russia at the G20 failed. Nobody supported the Western regimes. That is why they are fuming now. Lavrov made his schedule in advance, including in it the G20 meeting and a dinner on behalf of the hosts, as well as numerous bilateral contacts and communication with international media. The materials, photos and videos are available on the Foreign Ministry’s website and on social media. And neither Annalena nor anyone else can change reality with their lies.

https://twitter.com/mission_russian/status/1545412521900785664

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“..servicemen who remain dubious on the merits of the vaccine will feel the repercussions of disobeying a directive..”

Army Cuts Pay, Benefits From 60,000 Unvaccinated National Guard, Reserves (Fox)

The U.S. Army on Friday said that roughly 40,000 National Guardsmen and 22,000 Reservists who have refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus will be barred from their duties, effectively cutting their pay and benefits. “Soldiers who refuse the vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption request are subject to adverse administrative actions, including flags, bars to service, and official reprimands,” an Army spokesperson said in a statement to Military.com. The announcement comes one week after the deadline for the Army National Guard passed that required soldiers to get the shots in their arms.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in November said that members of the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard who refused to get vaccinated would be barred from participating in trainings and their pay would be blocked. Austin also warned that the continued refusal to get vaccinated could result in “separation” or expulsion from the service. The move reportedly comes as servicemen prepare for annual summer trainings that help them hone their military skills and ensure they are ready should they need to be deployed. Though servicemen who remain dubious on the merits of the vaccine will feel the repercussions of disobeying a directive, Army officials said they will continue to work with soldiers to keep them in the service — whether through informing them on the benefits of the vaccine or in rare cases making sure they qualify for exemption status.

“We’re going to give every soldier every opportunity to get vaccinated and continue their military career,” Director of the Army Guard, Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, said in a statement to Military.com. “We’re not giving up on anybody until the separation paperwork is signed and completed.” Roughly 13 percent of the Army National Guard and 12 percent of Army Reservists remain unvaccinated — a margin that could prove crippling to the ranks as the service struggles with low recruitment.

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Nitrogen=fertilizer=crop yields.

Nitrogen is also cars and planes. We’re sacrificing our food for traffic.

Trudeau’s Nitrogen Policy Will Decimate Canadian Farming (TCS)

In December 2020, the Trudeau government unveiled their new climate plan, with a focus on reducing nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. “Fertilizers play a major role in the agriculture sector’s success and have contributed to record harvests in the last decade. They have helped drive increases in Canadian crop yields, grain sales, and exports,” a news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reads. “However, nitrous oxide emissions, particularly those associated with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use have also grown significantly. That is why the Government of Canada has set the national fertilizer emissions reduction target, which is part of the commitment to reduce total GHG emissions in Canada by 40-45% by 2030….”

This is a tacit admission that any attempt to lower admissions by reducing nitrogen fertilizer will consequently lower crop yields over the next decade, hurting the Agriculture sector and, more importantly, hurting farmers. And indeed, according to a report from Fertilizer Canada: “Total Emission Reduction puts a cap on the total emissions allowable from fertilizer at 30% below 2020 levels. As the yield of Canadian crops is directly linked to proper fertilizer application this creates a ceiling on Canadian agricultural productivity well below 2020 levels…. It is estimated that a 30% absolute emission reduction for an a farmer with 1000 acres of canola and 1000 acres of wheat, stands to have their profit reduced by approximately $38,000 – $40,500/ annually. In 2020, Western Canadian farmers planted approximately 20.8 million acres of canola. Using these values, cumulatively farm revenues from canola could be reduced by $396M – $441M on an annual basis. Wheat famers could experience a reduction of $400M.”

Moreover, Fertilizer Canada doesn’t believe that forcibly decreasing fertilizer use will even lower greenhouse gases but could lead to carbon leakage in other jurisdictions. Nonetheless, Trudeau’s government is moving forward, with farmer’s groups speaking to Farmers Forum now wondering if he’s intentionally trying to cause a food shortage — which Trudeau previously told Canadians to prepare for. “We’ve seen from the global pandemic to the war in Ukraine significant disruptions of supply chains around the world, which is resulting in higher prices for consumers and democracies like ours, and resulting in significant shortages and projected shortages of food and energy in places around the world,” Trudeau said. “This is going to be a difficult time,” he continued, “because of the war, because of the recovery from the pandemic. And Canadians will do what we always do: we’ll be there for each other.”

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“As with prior shortages, this one is due to government policies.”

Today’s America: An Economy of Shortages (ET)

For the first time in over 40 years, the U.S. economy is dealing with widespread shortages. Parts are unavailable for manufacturers when they need them. Airlines abruptly cancel flights. Railroads and trucks are cutting shipments. Food shelves in some areas are depleted with some areas reporting a lack of meat supplies, milk, or other essential food items. Shortages and empty shelves are characteristic of economies where governments control and allocate resources. They are not characteristic of America’s free-market economy. The only other times America has faced shortages were during World Wars or during the 1970s. Government-imposed price controls were directly responsible for shortages in the early 1970s. When businesses were unable to raise prices to sell their goods at a profit, they stopped producing, which created the shortages.

Once the price controls were removed, the shortages ended. Also in the 1970s, government price controls on oil and gas led to severe shortages on both. By the end of the decade, there were long lines of cars waiting at gas stations and purchases were rationed to ten gallons of gas. As soon as President Reagan removed price controls, the shortages of oil and gasoline ended and prices declined. Free-market economies seldom experience shortages. This isn’t because everything is always plentiful. Bad weather can destroy crops. Disease can kill herds creating a shortfall in meat. Labor disputes or international shocks also disrupt markets. While shortfalls in some items are inevitable, a free-market economy adjusts and corrects for such events.

In free-market economies, shortages are rare because the market is remarkably efficient at raising prices of items that are in short supply. Sharply higher prices for scarce items, limit their use to the most efficient uses of the items and encourages the use of substitute items. Doing so enables the economy to adjust to potential shortages and shocks in the most efficient way possible. In the current situation, the wide range of shortages highlights a serious problem. As with prior shortages, this one is due to government policies. While the federal government has not placed direct price controls on the economy, it has distorted markets in a number of indirect ways.

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“Should Americans be concerned that a presidential son was texting and exchanging wire transfers with alleged prostitutes using a Russian email address?”

The Tale of Hunter Biden’s Payments To Alleged Russian Prostitutes (JTN)

As his father was ramping up his 2020 presidential run, Hunter Biden was busy texting a woman with a Russian email address about finding a way to evade bank suspicions so they could complete a wire transfer. “Email with .ru flags wires,” Hunter Biden texted the woman named Eva in early January 2019, according to evidence two members of Congress have sent the Justice Department. “Too much red flag for bank,” Hunter Biden texted another time when wire coordinates for the payment to the woman were sent. “That its [sic] what got my accounts frozen and reviewed by bank. Send me Julia and I will give her the cash.” The text messages — first reported in the news media and now recounted in an official letter from Congress to DOJ — raise a tantalizing question: Should Americans be concerned that a presidential son was texting and exchanging wire transfers with alleged prostitutes using a Russian email address?

Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, two Republicans who have spent more time than any investigating the Biden family’s overseas business dealings, believe the answer is a resounding “Yes.” “These findings of potentially criminal behavior must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement entities according to the highest ethical standards,” the senators wrote this week to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Chris Wray and U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss in a letter pleading for action. The letter provided a pointed reminder that Hunter Biden was aware banks had suspicions he was engaged in wrongdoing, flagging his accounts for reviews, and was in his own words trying to evade those suspicions.

Johnson and Grassley have disclosed that dozens of financial transactions involving the president’s son and his business deals were flagged to the U.S. Treasury Department by banks that filed Suspicious Activity Reports. Just the News has confirmed that one former executive of a bank has filed a whistleblower complaint to the IRS and Securities and Exchange Commissioner suggesting there is far more to the Hunter Biden story than what is public. And documents obtained by Just the News show Hunter Biden was warned repeatedly starting in 2016 that he had failed to pay taxes on money he had earned from one of his more controversial business clients, the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. It a picture now well documented in the public but frequently blacked out by a Democrat-led Congress and news media unwilling to ask the hard questions, Grassley and Johnson argue in their letter.

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“Sometimes Twitter has ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it has rejected them for reasons that appear to be unjustified, and sometimes it has claimed to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information.”

Musk Tells Twitter He Wants Out Of Deal To Buy It (CNN)

Elon Musk moved Friday afternoon to terminate his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter — the latest twist in a whirlwind process in which the billionaire Tesla CEO became the company’s biggest shareholder, turned down a board seat, agreed to buy the social media platform and then started raising doubts about going through with the deal. The next chapter in the saga is almost certain to be a court battle. A lawyer representing Musk claimed in a letter to Twitter’s top lawyer that he is ending the deal because Twitter (TWTR) is “in material breach of multiple provisions” of the original agreement, which was signed in April, according to a regulatory filing Friday evening.

Musk has for weeks expressed concerns, without any apparent evidence, that there are a greater number of bots and spam accounts on the platform than Twitter has said publicly. Analysts have speculated that the concerns may be an attempt to create a pretext to get out of a deal he may now see as overpriced, after Twitter shares and the broader tech market have declined in recent weeks. Tesla (TSLA) stock, which Musk was planning to rely on in part to finance the deal, has also declined sharply since he agreed to the deal. “The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement,” Twitter board chair Bret Taylor said in a tweet Friday, echoing earlier statements by the company that it planned to follow through with the deal. “We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.”

[..] Still, Musk’s lawyer alleged in the Friday letter that Twitter has “not complied with its contractual obligations” to provide Musk with sufficient data, and said Twitter “appears to have made false and misleading representations upon which Mr. Musk relied” when agreeing to the deal. “For nearly two months, Mr. Musk has sought the data and information necessary to ‘make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform,'” the Friday letter reads. “This information is fundamental to Twitter’s business and financial performance and is necessary to consummate the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement.”

It continues: “Twitter has failed or refused to provide this information. Sometimes Twitter has ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it has rejected them for reasons that appear to be unjustified, and sometimes it has claimed to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Pie: “A Shakespearian tragedy written by monkeys on type writers”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1545069360477192193

 

 

James Caan

 

 

 

 

 

 

MegaVac

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 182022
 


Paul Ranson Apple tree with red fruit 1902

 

Putin Claims New World Order, Blasts The West For ‘Insane’ Sanctions (ABC/AP)
Putin Says Sanctions Cost EU $400BN, Warns Of Severe Fertilizer Shortage (ZH)
Biden Told Secretaries Of Defense And State To Tone It Down (NBC)
Two Awkward Biden Moments Draw Online Scrutiny (JTN)
Macron Bends to Pressure, Now Says Ukraine ‘Must Win’ War With Russia (Celente)
Pro-Ukrainian, but Anti-Nazi (Batiushka)
How Low Can You Go? (Jim Kunstler)
Last Tango in Washington? (Brenner)
The Ukrainian Endgame: An Imperfect Peace Is Better Than Endless War (Bandow)
US Drone Sale To Ukraine Hits Snag (R.)
Stephen Colbert Staffers At House Office Charged With Illegal Entry (Fox)
Hunter Biden’s ‘Troubling’ Connection With Big-Name Hollywood Lawyer Probed (ET)
Deflationary Tsunami On Deck: Tidal Wave Of Discounts And Crashing Prices (ZH)
Britain Orders Extradition Of Julian Assange To United States (ABC.au)

 

 

 

 

Never sick

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..came to think of themselves as God’s own messengers on planet Earth..”

Putin Claims New World Order, Blasts The West For ‘Insane’ Sanctions (ABC/AP)

In one of Vladimir Putin’s most substantial addresses since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Russian President used his nation’s pre-eminent investment conference as an opportunity to lash out against his Western enemies. After a lengthy denunciation of countries that he claims want to weaken the Russian state with “reckless and insane” sanctions, President Putin used the stage at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum to lambaste the United States. “[The United States] declared victory in the Cold War and later came to think of themselves as God’s own messengers on planet Earth,” he said. In his 73-minute speech, he also said Russia was taking its place in a New World Order in which rules would be set by “strong and sovereign states”.


After sending troops into Ukraine in February, Russia came under a wide array of international sanctions, with hundreds of foreign companies also suspending operations or pulling out of the country entirely. But Mr Putin said these attempts to damage the Russian economy “didn’t work”. “Russian enterprises and government authorities worked in a composed and professional manner,” he said. “We’re normalising the economic situation. We stabilised the financial markets, the banking system, the trade system.” While Russia’s projected inflation rate has fallen marginally, Mr Putin conceded that the current projected annual rate of 16.7 per cent is still too high. Mr Putin also vehemently defended his country’s actions in Ukraine, as Russia has contended that its neighbour posed a threat due its desire to join the NATO military alliance.

Putin Spief

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From the PR team: “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.”

Putin Says Sanctions Cost EU $400BN, Warns Of Severe Fertilizer Shortage (ZH)

Ukraine just got a big boost for its EU membership bid on Friday, with the 27-member nation bloc’s executive giving full support for its candidate status. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced for the first time that the commission recommends “that Ukraine is given candidate status. This is of course on the understanding that the country will carry out a number of further reforms.” She said further while speaking from Brussels, “In the view of the Commission, Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the country’s aspiration and the country’s determination to live up to European values and standards.”

Von der Leyen included further: “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.” “Yes, Ukraine should be welcomed as a candidate country — this is based on the understanding that good work has been done but important work also remains to be done,” von der Leyen said. The day prior, on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi traveled to Kiev by train where they delivered a unified and “strong signal of support” to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion. They publicly backed Ukraine’s path to the EU, urging “immediate EU candidate status.”

[..] Russian President Vladimir Putin in statements issued the same day as von der Leyen’s EU candidacy preliminary approval announcement stressed the growing ‘cost’ to Europe over its intransigent pro-Ukraine position and anti-Russia sanctions. He estimated that the European Union will incur “losses of at least $400 billion” due to its multiple waves of sanctions imposed on Moscow thus far. He once again rejected responsibility for the global economic downturn, stating instead that inflation, energy costs and food crisis are all linked to the West’s policies. He further predicted a potentially disastrous development for the global food supply, already under threat, according to news wires:

“Putin predicted the fertilizer shortage could push food prices even higher, adding that Russia could boost its exports of fertilizer and grain. He also claimed that “gloomy forecasts” about the state of the Russian economy did not come true and that his government has successfully stopped the rise of domestic inflation.”

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Back in April.

Biden Told Secretaries Of Defense And State To Tone It Down (NBC)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had taken off on separate flights from southeastern Poland after their risky, high-stakes visit to Kyiv when they were conferenced into a phone call from President Joe Biden. During their whirlwind April trip, Austin appeared to expand the U.S. goals in Ukraine, saying publicly that the administration wanted the Ukrainians to win the war against Russia, not just defend themselves, and that the U.S. hoped to weaken Russia to the extent that it could not launch another unprovoked invasion. Blinken had publicly aligned himself with the remarks. Now Biden wanted to discuss the mounting headlines that resulted. Biden thought the secretaries had gone too far, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the call.

On the previously unreported conference call, as Austin flew to Germany and Blinken to Washington, the president expressed concern that the comments could set unrealistic expectations and increase the risk of the U.S. getting into a direct conflict with Russia. He told them to tone it down, said the officials. “Biden was not happy when Blinken and Austin talked about winning in Ukraine,” one of them said. “He was not happy with the rhetoric.” The secretaries explained that Austin’s comments had been misconstrued, another senior administration official said. But the displeasure Biden initially conveyed during that phone call, the officials said, reflected his administration’s belief that despite Ukrainian forces’ unexpected successes early on, the war would ultimately head in the direction it is now in two months later: a protracted conflict in which Russia continues to make small and steady advances.

U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that the trajectory of the war in Ukraine is untenable and are quietly discussing whether President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should temper his hard-line public position that no territory will ever be ceded to Russia as part of an agreement to end the war, according to seven current U.S. officials, former U.S. officials and European officials. Some officials want Zelenskyy to “dial it back a little bit,” as one of them put it, when it comes to telegraphing his red lines on ending the war. But the issue is fraught given that Biden is adamant about the U.S. not pressuring the Ukrainians to take steps one way or another. His administration’s position has been that any decision about how and on what terms to end the war is for Ukraine to decide.

“We are not pressuring them to make concessions, as some Europeans are. We would never ask them to cede territory,” one U.S. official said. “We are planning for a long war. We intend to prepare the American people for that, and we are prepared to ask Congress for more money.”

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“A staggering 47% of responders “strongly” disapproved of his performance.”

Two Awkward Biden Moments Draw Online Scrutiny (JTN)

Amid reports of record low approval ratings for his performance in office, President Joe Biden drew online scrutiny for two awkward moments which have fueled renewed concerns over his fitness to lead. On Thursday, Biden offered somewhat blunt condolences for the passing of Jo-Ann Stores CFO Matt Susz, who died suddenly the day before. In a White House speech addressing efforts to curb inflation, Biden ripped international shipping companies but paused briefly to address the head of the company, saying “and by the way, my sympathies to your family of your CFO, who dropped dead very unexpectedly.”

The ungentle “dropped dead” description of Susz’s death, prompted a torrent of jokes and criticism with many Twitter users disapproving of Biden’s tone and word choice while others made references to oft-repeated concerns that the president may be experiencing mental deterioration. In a Friday episode, first lady Jill Biden abruptly yanked her husband away from reporters as he attempted to answer questions about rising inflation. The Bidens, and first cat Willow, were on their way to their home state of Delaware for the long weekend. “It should not be this high,” he said to reporters, per the New York Post. “They’re making exorbitant profits, number one. Number two, I’ve contacted them, my team has, to ask what their plans are and to give any suggestions they have.”

“Number three, I think we’re going to be in a position where we’re gonna,” he continued before his wife pulled him toward the plane, firmly stating “we gotta go!” The Friday episode also attracted a flurry of mockery, with commenters taking the first lady’s assertive role in the moment as evidence of the presidents “cognitive issues.” Others took issue with Biden’s routine departures from Washington to his home state. Biden’s approval rating stood at 39% on Friday, per a USA TODAY/Suffolk poll. A staggering 47% of responders “strongly” disapproved of his performance.

Biden oil

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“Any world leader who does not vow complete loyalty to Zelensky’s effort to win back every inch of his country is met by anger in the Western media..”

Macron Bends to Pressure, Now Says Ukraine ‘Must Win’ War With Russia (Celente)

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday passed the litmus test during a high-profile meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv when he told reporters that Ukraine must defeat Russia in its war. Macron was joined by Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The three took an 11′-hour train ride to Kyiv. They were also joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. “We saw a devastated city and traces of barbarism. And also the heroism of Ukrainian men and women who stopped the Russian army when it went to Kyiv. Ukraine is resisting. She must be able to win,” Macron said after a a tour of Irpin. The French president came bearing gifts. He promised Ukraine six massive truck-mounted artillery guns so “Ukraine alone can decide its fate.”

Any world leader who does not vow complete loyalty to Zelensky’s effort to win back every inch of his country is met by anger in the Western media that has become nothing more than mouthpieces for governments that hate Russia. Macron felt the wrath when he said, “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means. I am convinced that it is France’s role to be a mediating power.” Dmitro Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, took to Twitter at the time and posted, “Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it.” Even after the visit by the four European leaders on Thursday, Ukrainian leaders still insisted on not giving up an inch of territory.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai told the Associated Press that the visit would not yield progress if the leaders ask Ukraine to sign a peace treaty with Russia that involves giving up territory. “I am sure that our president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is not going to make concessions and trade our territories. If someone wants to stop Russia by giving them territories, Germany has Bavaria, Italy has Tuscany, the French can concede Provence, for instance,” he said.


It’s the little people!

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Batiushka is an interesting writer. Here (s)he takes things a step further. Can we follow?

Pro-Ukrainian, but Anti-Nazi (Batiushka)

The problem has never been one of Ukrainians. The problem has always been that of the spiritual disease of Nazism. And that is what it is – a spiritual disease. Once the soul of the Ukraine has been liberated from this disease, in other words, once it has been denazified, a New Ukraine will be born. It may well take the form of a Protectorate centred around Kiev and speak a mixture of Ukrainian with Russian and Surzhyk (Ukrainian Russian). It will have secure borders and its people will be patriotic Ukrainians, not in some racist way that denigrates others, but in a positive way that respects others. Once freed of parasitic oligarchs and corruption, the naturally rich New Ukraine could have a brilliant future and take a positive part in the Concert of the Nations.

Once it has been understood that there is no problem with the Ukraine or Ukrainians, but only with Nazism, there may take place other Special Operations in other parts of the world. China may soon launch an Operation in Taiwan to free the ethnic Chinese there from the Nazism of its US-appointed elite. As for Russia, it has not yet finished the job in the Ukraine, where the task is constantly being extended because the Nazi West keeps sending long-range missiles and artillery to Kiev. As long as these weapons are in use, firing on Donetsk or anywhere else in liberated territory, the war will be extended and continue. Russia may physically have to liberate the whole country, mobilising more forces beyond the small expeditionary force it originally sent.

And then if Western aggression continues, it may have to launch other operations in Moldova and the Baltics in order to liberate those peoples too from NATO Nazism, from their corrupt US-appointed elites and EU exploitation. It may have to rebuild them, so that their peoples, economic refugees from corruption living now in Western Europe, can gratefully come home. Beyond that, as regards Western Europe in general, it too will surely one day find itself liberated one way or another from transatlantic tyranny and threats, safe under the Russian security and nuclear umbrella. Someone must defend Western Europe from the threats which for the moment are still coming from outside Afro-Eurasia, which is 86% of the world. Only Russia can do that. Russian troops once liberated Berlin and Paris. Will it have to happen again and maybe this time be extended to include Rome, Madrid and London?

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“..our Ukraine project “to weaken Russia” brought on an epochal shift in the balance of power to our enormous disadvantage.”

How Low Can You Go? (Jim Kunstler)

Lots of things are going south all at once: the stock markets and bond prices, Bitcoin is doing a vanishing act. The Colorado River reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, are so low that, by September, both water and electricity may run out for a vast region that includes Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Southern California. The housing market is tanking (suburbia’s business model is broken). Whole herds of beef cattle roll over and die out on the range. Fertilizer is scarce. Food processing plants get torched by the dozen. Shortages loom. The oil-and-gas industry is getting killed four ways: 1) our stupid Russia sanctions queered longstanding global distribution arrangements; 2) the industry is starved for capital; 3) depletion is seriously kicking in; and 4) “Joe Biden” and the knuckleheads running the EU countries are trying to kill it so as to usher in a Green New Deal that just doesn’t pencil-out.

The car dealers have no new cars on their lots, and pretty soon they’ll run out of decent used cars — which, these days, are often priced higher than the non-existent new cars. How’s that for a business model? Plus, the financially beaten-up middle-class can’t afford cars in either case, and increasingly can’t qualify for car loans. The airline industry reels with a sucking chest wound due to a pilot shortage (thanks to vaxx mandates) and the high cost of jet fuel. The trucking industry’s business model is also broken with diesel fuel over six dollars a gallon — the cost of delivery exceeds the value of the cargo. America runs on trucks and if they stop running, so does everything else. Replacement parts are growing scarce for every mechanical device in the land. It’s getting harder to fix anything that’s broken.

“Joe Biden’s” proxy war against Russia in Ukraine isn’t working out. It was flamboyantly stupid from the get-go. We deliberately broke the Minsk agreements for a cease-fire in the Donbas to goad the Russians into action. NATO didn’t have the troops or the political mojo to back up its US-inspired bluster. Our financial warfare blew back in our faces and actually benefited the Russian economy and its currency, the ruble. The billions of dollars in weapons we’re sending into the war are easily interdicted in transport, or else are getting loose in a world of non-state maniacs ranging from the Taliban to al Qaeda to drug cartels. Meanwhile, Russia steadfastly grinds out a victory on-the-ground that will leave it in control of the Black Sea and will reveal the USA’s lost capacity to impose its will around the world. In other words, our Ukraine project “to weaken Russia” brought on an epochal shift in the balance of power to our enormous disadvantage.

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“..you are stuck with the albatross of a truncated, bankrupt Ukraine hung around your neck.”

Last Tango in Washington? (Brenner)

Reality has a way of catching up to us. Sometimes it comes via a sudden shock — Sputnik or Tet. Sometimes it creeps up incrementally — as in Ukraine with each thousand round Russian artillery barrage and the steady rise of the ruble now 25 percent higher than at the onset of the crisis. Dim the lights, the party’s almost over. But that is not the end of the affair. Whatever the exact outcomes, there is no going back to the status quo ante — the world, especially Europe, has changed in fundamental respects. Moreover, it has changed in ways diametrically opposite to what was desired and anticipated. The West has been inhabiting a fanciful world that could exist only in our imaginations. Many remain stranded in that self-deluded mirage. The more that we have invested in that fantasy world, the harder we find it to exit and to make the adjustment — intellectual, emotional, behavioral.

[..] Necessity is the mother of invention — or so it is said. However, grasping what is “necessary” can be a very slippery business. An actual recasting of how one views a problematic situation normally is a last resort. Experience and history tell us that, as do behavioral experiments. The psychology of perceived necessity is complex. Adversity or threat in and of itself does not trigger improvisation. Even the survival instinct does not always spark innovation. Denial, then avoidance, are normally the first, sequential reactions when facing adversity in trying to reach an objective or to satisfy a recognized interest. A strong bias favors the reiteration of a standard repertoire of responses.

True innovation tends to occur only in extremis; and even then, behavioral change is more likely to begin with minor adjustments of established thinking and behavior at the margins rather than modification of core beliefs and patterns of action. Those truths underscore the American dilemma as the Ukraine venture turns sour on the battlefield and your enemy is faring far better than expected while your friends and allies are faring far worse. Russia has blunted everything thrown at them – to the shock of Western planners. Every assumption underpinning their scorched-earth assault on the Russian economy has proven mistaken. A dismal record of analytical error even by C.I.A. and think tank standards.

Off-the-charts forecasts on the country’s economy, and the global impact of sanctions, crippled Washington’s plan from the outset. Tactical initiatives of a military nature have proven equally futile; another 1,000 vintage Javelins with dead battery packs will not rescue the Ukrainian army in the Donbass. So, you are stuck with the albatross of a truncated, bankrupt Ukraine hung around your neck. There is nothing that you can do to cancel these givens — except a direct, perhaps suicidal test of force with Russia. Or, perhaps, a retaliatory challenge elsewhere. The latter is not readily available — for geographic reasons and because the West already has expended its arsenal of economic and political weaponry.

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Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

The Ukrainian Endgame: An Imperfect Peace Is Better Than Endless War (Bandow)

For good reason, then, Americans worry about deepening US involvement in the Russo-Ukrainian war. While it is unsurprising that Kyiv and its Washington factotums advocate going all in, even risking escalation of the conflict, doing so is not in this nation’s interests. Unfortunately, President Joe Biden’s recent article in the New York Time did little to ease public concerns. Especially his promise not to “pressure the Ukrainian government – in private or public – to make any territorial concessions.” The US and Europe should focus on ending, not winning, the war. The longer the conflict goes, the more it will devastate Ukraine and undermine the Ukrainian state. The economic harm to the allies and beyond also will grow, weakening support for Kyiv.


An American attempt to carry Ukraine to victory is more likely to encourage Putin to double down, perhaps even using nuclear weapons, than meekly yield. Washington’s goal should not be to save the Russian dictator from personal humiliation, which retired diplomat Dan Fried deemed “risible,” but to forestall Putin from engaging in dangerous escalation to prevent personal humiliation. Life is unfair, President Jimmy Carter once observed. That is especially true when it comes to international affairs. In a perfect world Ukraine would recover its territory, including that seized in 2014, collect reparations from Moscow, and frame Putin’s written apology for invading. However, none of these should be Washington’s objective. The US should promote a stable, peaceful settlement, one that keeps the Pandora’s Box of nuclear war closed.

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“..reviewed higher up the chain of command at the Pentagon..”

US Drone Sale To Ukraine Hits Snag (R.)

The Biden administration’s plan to sell four large, armable drones to Ukraine has been paused on the fear its sophisticated surveillance equipment might fall into enemy hands, according to two people familiar with the matter. The technical objection to the sale was raised during a deeper review by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Administration charged with keeping high value technology safe from enemy hands. Previously the plan, which has been circulating since March, had been approved by the White House, three people said. The plan to sell Ukraine four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones that can be armed with Hellfire missiles for battlefield use against Russia was first reported by Reuters earlier in June.


The objection to the export of the drones arose due to concerns the radar and surveillance equipment on the drones could create a security risk for the United States if it fell into Russian hands. The sources said this consideration had been overlooked in the initial review but came up in meetings at the Pentagon late last week. “Technology security reviews are a standard practice for the transfer of U.S. defense articles to all international partners. All cases are reviewed individually on their own merit. Through the established process, national security concerns are elevated to the appropriate approving authority,” said Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough. The decision on whether or not to continue with the deal is now being reviewed higher up the chain of command at the Pentagon, but the timing of any decision is uncertain, one of the people a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

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Adam Schiff did it.

Stephen Colbert Staffers At House Office Charged With Illegal Entry (Fox)

The U.S. Capitol Police arrested a group of staffers with CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” after they allegedly illegally entered a U.S. House of Representatives office building on Thursday night, Fox News has learned. The group of seven people were arrested in the Longworth House Office Building after being escorted out of the Jan. 6 committee hearing earlier in the day because they did not have proper press credentials, according to sources. The same group resurfaced later on Thursday night after the Capitol complex was closed to public visitors and Fox News is told that they took videos and pictures around the offices of two Republican members of Congress, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif. and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

A senior source in the U.S House of Representatives told Fox News that seven individuals associated with Stephen Colbert’s show were arrested. The group was unescorted and charged with illegal entry to House office buildings after hours. Fox News is told that the “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” team applied to get press credentials for the Jan. 6 hearing, but the House Radio/TV Gallery rejected the request because they are not considered “news.” The issue didn’t go to the Radio/TV Correspondents Association, which usually handles credentialing. In addition to a regular Capitol Hill press pass, a special “overlay” is required for members of the press who want to be in the room for the Jan. 6 Committee hearings.


Members of Colbert’s team could have been in House office buildings if they were invited, which they were. Fox News is told that Colbert’s team conducted interviews earlier on Thursday with members of the Jan. 6 Committee, including Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. They also interviewed Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass. [..] “On June 16, 2022, at approximately 8:30 p.m., U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) received a call for a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building. Responding officers observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway. The building was closed to visitors, and these individuals were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day,” the statement says. “They were charged with Unlawful Entry. This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney.”

Tucker Colbert

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“We are investigating the domestic and international business dealings of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to determine whether these activities compromise U.S. national security and President Biden’s ability to lead with impartiality..”

Hunter Biden’s ‘Troubling’ Connection With Big-Name Hollywood Lawyer Probed (ET)

The ranking member of the House’s principal oversight committee has launched a probe into a Hollywood lawyer’s “sudden patronage” of Hunter Biden allegedly involving financial and pro-bono legal support. “We are investigating the domestic and international business dealings of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to determine whether these activities compromise U.S. national security and President Biden’s ability to lead with impartiality,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, wrote to Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris on behalf of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in a letter dated June 14.

“Your sudden patronage of the President’s son, enormous financial contributions to President Biden, and outsized role you are taking in defending against both congressional and criminal investigations raise serious concerns about whether you are providing in-kind contributions to President Biden’s re-election efforts,” Comer wrote. Morris is known for negotiating a $550 million licensing deal for the creators of “South Park” and has won a Tony award as a co-producer of the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon.” His law firm has represented Hollywood celebrities including Chris Rock, Scarlett Johansson, and Matthew McConaughey. Comer’s letter came after a New York Times report in early May that alleged that Morris has taken on a “financier, confidant and would-be avenger” for the president’s son.

The latter is under federal investigation into his tax payments and alleged foreign deals with entities affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, Morris donated $2,800 to Joe Biden’s campaign “Biden for President” in October 2019, and a total of $55,000 in 2020 to the American Bridge 21st Century Political Action Committee, which supported Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. The New York Times reported that these donations occurred before Morris met and developed a relationship with the president’s son. According to Comer, the oversight committee Republicans are “particularly troubled” in seeing Morris’s alleged role in “attempting to personally shield Hunter Biden from congressional and criminal investigation.”

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You won’t know what hit you.

Deflationary Tsunami On Deck: Tidal Wave Of Discounts And Crashing Prices (ZH)

Three weeks ago, we showed readers what happens when the infamous “Bullwhip effect” reversal takes place by presenting the unprecedented surge in the “Inventory to Sales” ratio for a broad range of US retailers covering the furniture, home furnishings and appliances, building materials and garden equipment, and a category known as “other general merchandise,” which includes Walmart and Target. Since then, this ratio has only gotten even more extended, and as shown below it is now at the highest level since the bursting of the dot com bubble! What does this mean for retailers and the price of goods? Three weeks ago we said “Think: widespread inventory liquidations” and added…

To be sure, not every product will see its price cut: commodities, whose bullwhip effect take much longer to manifest itself, usually lasting several years in either direction, are only just starting to see their price cycle higher. However, other products – like those carried by the Walmarts and Targets of the world – are about to see a deflationary plunge the likes of which we have not seen since the global financial crisis as retailers commence a voluntary destocking wave the likes of which have not been seen in over a decade. Today both Wall Street and the mainstream media have caught up, with both predicting unprecedented deflationary price cuts in the coming weeks.

We start with Morgan Stanley’s bearish strategist Michael Wilson, who in his latest bearish weekly note (available to pro subs) focused on shrinking margins in general, and on retailer discounting in particular, and wrote that while there is a modest pick up in over sales, the far more concerning issue is that “inventory across the sector is up about 30% YOY and sales growth is up about 0% YOY translating to approximately 30% YOY of excess inventory” and while mark down/margin pressure did not hit in 1Q it should hit June/July. Indeed, “store checks show that aggressive discounting has already started as of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Discounting pressure could accelerate through July.” And since more retailers are now discounting, “companies are having to offer even bigger discounts to compel consumers to buy, and it is a race to the bottom in margins in order to clear through inventory.”

It gets much worse, however, because courtesy of the delayed nature of the bullwhip effect, Morgan Stanley thinks it will be some time before retailers can cut back on forward inventory orders! Companies are no longer in a position to order 6 months in advance because of delays in the supply chain, and are currently working with about an 8 month lead time. Shockingly, this means decisions today to cut forward orders could begin to eliminate the inventory problem in 1Q23, but not likely before then.

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“The elected Prime Minister stated that it’s time for Julian to come home..”

Britain Orders Extradition Of Julian Assange To United States (ABC.au)

The British government has ordered the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, but WikiLeaks said it would appeal against the ruling. Home Secretary Priti Patel made the decision after Mr Assange was denied a Supreme Court appeal back in March. That case related to Mr Assange’s physical and mental health, and the US government won after offering assurances he would not be held in solitary confinement. The Home Office said in a statement: “The UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. “Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

The decision is a big moment in Mr Assange’s years-long battle to avoid facing trial in the US — though not necessarily the end of the tale. The 50-year-old Australian still has 14 days to appeal against his extradition based on issues like freedom of speech, arguing the espionage charges against him are politically motivated. “Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle,” Mr Assange’s wife Stella said. Ms Assange also called for Australian Prime Minister Albanese to apply some pressure. “Our expectation as a family is the Australian government will do whatever it takes to get him home,” she said. The Australian federal government says it will continue to offer consular assistance to Mr Assange.


“We will continue to convey our expectations that Mr Assange is entitled to due process, humane and fair treatment, access to proper medical care, and access to his legal team,” said a joint statement released late on Friday night from Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus. “The Australian government has been clear in our view that Mr Assange’s case has dragged on for too long and that it should be brought to a close. “We will continue to express this view to the governments of the United Kingdom and [the] United States.” Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has labelled the decision by the UK government to green-light the extradition as an “outrageous betrayal of rule of law, media freedom and human rights”. “The elected Prime Minister stated that it’s time for Julian to come home,” Mr Wilkie said, “enough is enough, that he couldn’t see what was served by Julian remaining in prison.

Stella Moris

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Jun 172022
 


Albrecht Dürer Praying hands 1508

 

Lavrov to Boris Johnson: Just Try to Bring Russia to Its Knees (Celente)
Fauci Admits ‘Not Enough Data’ On Boosters For 5-Year-olds (Fox)
Gazprom Defends Gas Cuts As Prices In Europe Soar (AFP)
German Official Warns Of Gas Shortages, Bankruptcies, Massive Price Hikes (RMX) s
Tesco Sales Fall Amid ‘Unprecedented Increases In Cost Of Living’ (G.)
US Energy Chief To Discuss Record Pump Prices With Refiners Next Week (R.)
MBS and Putin: Why Talk to One and Not the Other? (Warner)
Elon Musk To Make Twitter Inclusive, User-Friendly & Profitable (TMS)
New CNN Boss: Stop Calling Trump’s Election Fraud Claims ‘The Big Lie’ (DM)
Trump Demands Equal Time On TV Networks To Counter Jan. 6 Hearings (JTN)
COVID Dr. Simone Gold Sentenced To Prison For Jan. 6 Riot (JTN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.”

– Rudyard Kipling, “The Jungle Book”

 

 

 

 

Lavrov did a BBC interview yesterday.

Lavrov to Boris Johnson: Just Try to Bring Russia to Its Knees (Celente)

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, said in an interview Thursday that the Kremlin was forced to carry out a “special military operation” in Ukraine because there was “no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO was a criminal act.” Lavrov spoke with the BBC about the fallout from the war, and how Russia has been largely ostracized from the West. He pointed the the UK in particular. “I don’t think there’s even room for manoeuvre any more,” Lavrov said. He said both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have both said openly that “we should defeat Russia, we should force Russia to its knees.” “Go on, then, do it!” Lavrov said.


Truss and Johnson have been two of the most outspoken critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov may have been referencing Truss’ comment in February when she said she wanted to “degrade” the Russian economy. “We’ve now imposed the most severe sanctions that Russia has ever seen, stopping access to vast swathes of the Russian economy, and stopping them build up their armed forces, cutting the Russian economy off at the knees,” she said. Johnson in May called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “crocodile” chewing on Ukraine’s leg. “How can you deal with a crocodile when it’s in the middle of eating your left leg?,” Johnson said. “The guy’s completely not to be trusted.”

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“That’s not science. That’s conjecture. And we should not be making public policy on it..”

Fauci Admits ‘Not Enough Data’ On Boosters For 5-Year-olds (Fox)

Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted Thursday that even though the Biden administration recommends that everyone over the age of 5 gets a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, there is currently insufficient evidence to prove that the boosters actually lower rates of hospitalization or death in children. During a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., asked Fauci if he was aware of any studies that showed a reduction in deaths or hospitalizations for children who had received boosters. “Right now, there’s not enough data that has been accumulated, Senator Paul, to indicate that that’s the case,” Fauci stated.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases began to explain that he thinks the basis for the recommendation had to do with looking at morbidity and mortality of children in different age groups, when the senator cut him off. “So there are no studies. And Americans should all know this. There are no studies on children showing a reduction in hospitalization or death with taking a booster,” Paul said. Paul, who is also a doctor, noted that the only studies that had been done were antibody studies, which he argued were not enough to prove a vaccine’s efficacy. He claimed that just because a vaccine produces antibodies, that does not mean it is necessary. To illustrate his point, he argued that a person could get 10 boosters and get antibodies from all of them, but that does not mean a person needs to get 10 booster shots.

Fauci, who testified virtually because he currently has COVID-19, called Paul’s hypothetical “somewhat of an absurd exaggeration,” but Paul claimed that this is basically what the government is doing. “That’s not science. That’s conjecture. And we should not be making public policy on it,” he said.

Rand Paul Fauci

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The “pumping turbines” in Nordstream I need repair. German company Siemens sent them all the way to Montreal to be fixed. Because of Canada and German sanctions, they cannot be brought back to the pipeline. Unless both countries circumvent their own sanctions. They will.

Gazprom Defends Gas Cuts As Prices In Europe Soar (AFP)

Russian energy giant Gazprom on Thursday defended gas cuts to Europe as prices soared and tensions raged between Russia and the West over Ukraine. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that Moscow will play by its own rules after cutting daily gas supplies to Germany and Italy. “Our product, our rules. We don’t play by rules we didn’t create,” Miller said during a panel discussion at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia’s second city. Earlier this week, Gazprom slashed its natural gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline, after saying Germany’s Siemens had delayed the repair work of compressor units at the Portovaya compression station. “For now, there is no way to solve the problem that arose with the compressor station,” Miller said.

“Siemens is still silent, trying to find a solution.” Italian energy giant Eni also reported problems, saying it will receive only 65 percent of the gas requested Thursday from Gazprom. Gazprom has said exports to countries that did not belong to the former Soviet Union were down 28.9 percent between January 1 and June 15 compared to the same period last year. “Of course, Gazprom is reducing the volume of gas supplies to Europe,” Miller said, pointing out that the prices have increased several-fold. [..] Moscow has lost several European gas clients after it demanded that all “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian natural gas in rubles in response to a barrage of Western sanctions over Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands have had their natural gas deliveries suspended over refusing to pay in rubles. The Nord Stream pipeline was commissioned in 2012 and delivers gas from northwestern Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was set to double Russian gas deliveries to Germany was halted in response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. “Nord Stream 2 is under pressure and gas could be supplied to Germany even today via it. But it has not been put in operation because it is not certified,” Miller said.

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Your governments volunteer to do this to you.

German Official Warns Of Gas Shortages, Bankruptcies, Massive Price Hikes (RMX)

A gas shortage and high prices will send “shockwaves through the country,” leading to landlords cutting the heat for tenants and widespread company bankruptcies, warned Klaus Müller, the head of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, which is the regulatory office for electricity, gas, telecommunications, postal services, and railway markets. Müller paints a bleak picture about the crisis in an interview with German newspaper Rheinische Post, saying it will “send shockwaves throughout the country. Banks will ramp up their business with installment loans, and ailing companies will fall into insolvency.”

Müller’s office, which is a federal agency within the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, has a bird’s eye view of the economic situation in Germany and also special insight into how economic conditions will develop into the future. Müller says he expects gas prices to continue to climb, resulting in increased inflation that goes far beyond energy. He also warns that there will be a dramatic lack of gas in the winter, which could lead to landlords turning down the heat to save on energy. In turn, Germans may have to grapple with colder apartments. [..] The government has already pushed businesses and citizens to reduce their energy consumption, but that pressure may come in the form of new laws and regulations in the future, with Müller calling for more pressure to be applied to save gas.

Although Germany has pushed for a general ban on Russian oil imports, the country is highly reliant on natural gas from Russia. If Russia were to cut gas in the critical winter months or even restrict supplies, it could lead to critical damage to the German economy, a scenario energy experts have already warned about. Germans will not only be colder in their apartments, but companies will also face mass bankruptcies, said Müller. However, he said government policies could help mitigate financial losses and preserve critical gas supplies. He said he wants to encourage companies to save gas with a bonus scheme.

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Bigger market share, less income.

Tesco Sales Fall Amid ‘Unprecedented Increases In Cost Of Living’ (G.)

Tesco said sales have fallen at its UK stores in recent weeks as its customers face “unprecedented increases in the cost of living”. The UK’s largest supermarket said it had gained market share but sales in the three months to 28 May fell 1.5% on the same period last year when the UK was in lockdown. Ken Murphy, the chief executive of Tesco, said: “The market environment remains incredibly challenging.” He said it was difficult to separate the significant impact of last year’s coronavirus lockdowns from other influences on shoppers but said Tesco was seeing “some early indications of changing customer behaviour as a result of the inflationary environment”.


He said: “Customers are facing unprecedented increases in the cost of living and it is therefore even more important that we work with our supplier partners to mitigate as much inflation as possible.” Tesco said sales of clothing and general merchandise, such as homewares and toys, were most affected, while online sales were also affected as shoppers returned to supermarkets. It said the decline in the volume of goods sold was partly offset by inflation. Sales in the Republic of Ireland were down 2.4% but were up 2% overall because of strong growth in central Europe and at its Booker wholesale chain. The retailer’s comments come after more than one in five (22%) of those who took part in a recent survey said they skipped a meal or reduced the size of meals because they could not afford to buy food.

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Looking for a scapegoat.

US Energy Chief To Discuss Record Pump Prices With Refiners Next Week (R.)

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is expected to meet with refining executives on June 23 as tensions between the White House and the oil industry mount over soaring gasoline prices, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The planned talks come as President Joe Biden, under pressure over high gasoline prices, has demanded that oil refining companies explain why they are not putting more fuel on the market as they reap windfall profits. read more The Energy Department had no comment, but referred to a letter Biden sent on Wednesday to executives from companies, including Marathon Petroleum , Valero Energy and Exxon Mobil, that said he had directed Granholm to hold an emergency meeting and engage the National Petroleum Council in coming days.


The NPC is a privately-funded panel that makes recommendations to the energy secretary and executive branch. The U.S. oil industry’s main trade groups pushed back on the Biden administration on Wednesday in a letter to Biden, pointing out that the nation’s oil refineries are already running at close to full capacity. “Any suggestion that U.S. refiners are not doing our part to bring stability to the market is false,” said Chet Thompson, the head of the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers. Energy companies are enjoying bumper profits since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as punitive U.S. sanctions against Moscow add to a global supply squeeze driving crude prices above $100 a barrel and U.S. gasoline prices to records over $5 a gallon. U.S. refiners, meanwhile, are running at near-peak levels to process fuel – currently at 94% of capacity, according to government data.

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OPEC+ has brought Putin and MBS closer than you may think.

MBS and Putin: Why Talk to One and Not the Other? (Warner)

The administration’s argument for a Biden-MBS meeting is that it is in the greatest interest for Middle East peace and peace “around the world” that the two should talk. Overall peace as well as increased oil production override the horrendous human rights record of the Saudi leader, according to the Biden team. If “pariah” was the term Biden used to describe MBS during his campaign and then changed his mind, what about the president’s views on Vladimir Putin? If the Biden team sees meeting MBS face-to-face as a positive step to increase oil production and reduce tensions in the Middle East, surely there is a more pressing need to have another Biden-Putin summit to stop the carnage in Ukraine and increase grain delivery.

But the last and only summit between the two, in Geneva on June 16, 2022, led to no concrete results. On the contrary; eight months later Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Putin was obviously not impressed enough with Biden to alter his plans for attacking Ukraine. For the moment, no mention is being made of a follow-up meeting. If Biden can’t talk to Putin, who can? The most promising candidate is French President Emmanuel Macron. According to reports, Macron has had a hundred hours of telephone conversations with the Russian president since December. To what avail? While the conversations may have solidified Macron’s self-image as a big league international leader, the war continues to rage in Ukraine. So President Biden is planning to meet MBS in the interest of Middle East peace and peace “around the world,” but no mention is being made of a follow-up to the Geneva summit in the interest of peace in Ukraine.

Biden is also to meet MBS for increased oil supplies but he is not willing to meet Putin for increased grain. The problems of peace and oil override (I avoid the use of trump even with a small t) human rights violations while a direct discussion with Putin for peace and grain has no possibility. The fundamental question is the value of talking. Any proposal to have Biden meet again with Putin brings back memories of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain 1938 talks with Hitler. The appeasement agreed upon in Munich had no positive effect in stopping World War II. Macron is being criticized along these lines. Biden would certainly be rebuked for even proposing a second summit.

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“it’s essential to have free speech and for people to be able to communicate freely.”

Elon Musk To Make Twitter Inclusive, User-Friendly & Profitable (TMS)

Elon Musk is aiming to significantly transform Twitter, according to him during a meeting with the platform’s employees on Thursday. He plans to purge it of bot/fake accounts, increase the number of real users, and allow free speech to flourish while boosting profitability. Employees who do their job responsibly will not be fired. Elon Musk met with Twitter employees on Thursday to answer their questions, clarifying the future of the platform that will become his if the purchase will be completed. He spoke about some plans, and also explained his views on remote work and layoffs, which employees are afraid of.

Musk Veritas

During the meeting, Musk made it clear that freedom of speech is a priority for him. Speaking about his stance on content moderation, he said, “We should allow people to say what they want.” Musk emphasized that “it’s essential to have free speech and for people to be able to communicate freely.” To be very clear, he said that Twitter should work to prevent the spread of potentially harmful or offensive content in order for users to feel comfortable using the platform. “There’s freedom of speech and freedom of reach,” Musk said. He explained that anyone can go to Times Square and say whatever they want, but this does not mean that it needs to be advertised to millions of people.

Therefore, Musk believes that people should be allowed to say whatever they want that is within the law, but they should not be amplified and widely spread. “Anyone could just go into the middle of Times Square right now and say anything they want. They can just walk into the middle of Times Square and deny the Holocaust … but that doesn’t mean that needs to be promoted to millions of people. So I think people should be allowed to say pretty outrageous things that are in the bounds of the law but that don’t get amplified and don’t get a ton of reach.” In addition, Musk said that he has a plan to attract hundreds of thousands of new users to the platform, bringing their total to a billion or more. To date, the platform has just over 200 million accounts, although it is difficult to say for sure how many of them are bots/fake.

Employees

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CNN is losing too much money.

New CNN Boss: Stop Calling Trump’s Election Fraud Claims ‘The Big Lie’ (DM)

CNN’s new boss Chris Licht has ordered staff to stop using the phrase ‘the big lie’ to describe Donald Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims, as it’s a Democrat slogan. The wording is a popular one for the network. According to Mediaite, the phrase has been said 168 times in the first half of June alone. Hosts like Reliable Sources’ Brian Stelter are often fond of the phrase to the point where they use it prominently in graphic packages and chyrons. But Licht has ordered Stelter and other journalists to stop, and has suggested ‘Trump’s election lie’ or ‘election lie’ as possible replacements. He issued the edict days after warning staff over their incessant use of ‘BREAKING NEWS’ graphics on stories, which he said was melodramatic, and ultimately diluted the power of big stories when they did break.

Licht was asked to opine on the term during a conference call Tuesday with the network’s management and the producers of various shows. He allegedly said that he preferred staff avoid it, though was clear in saying that this was not mandatory. A source said that Licht believes the specific phrasing of ‘the big lie’ – a reference to Hitler’s Nazi propaganda efforts during the Third Reich – is a Democratic Party talking point. CNN has come under fire for moving away from its well-respected news coverage towards dreary opinion programming, where hosts on seven and eight-figure salaries parrot woke talking points. Licht is also said to be keen to move the well-resourced network back towards neutral news coverage, with CNN hailed over its coverage of the Ukraine war and other big international news stories.

[..] Licht, as part of his efforts to revamp the outlet, has been evaluating news personalities and programs that became polarizing during Donald Trump’s presidency. Those who fail to get on board with the network’s new priority to become ‘less partisan’ could be terminated, CNN insiders told Axios. Licht isn’t reportedly looking to get rid of primetime personality programming, but he does want CNN’s news staff to present information in a way that upholds the network’s apparent values of unbiased reporting. Analysts allege this could prove problematic for network correspondents Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, among others, who have ‘become the face of the network’s liberal shift.’

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“Trump’s statement appeared to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission’s equal time provision that mandates that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates..”

Trump Demands Equal Time On TV Networks To Counter Jan. 6 Hearings (JTN)

Kept by congressional Democrats from putting on a defense, former President Donald Trump demanded Thursday that television networks airing the Jan. committee hearings provide him equal time to provide his side of the case. “I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!!!” Trump said in a midday statement posted on his Truth Social media site just hours before the Democrat-led panel began a new hearing on the Capitol riots. “The Fake News Networks are perpetuating lies, falsehoods, and Russia, Russia, Russia-type disinformation (same sick people, here we go again!) by allowing the low rated but nevertheless one sided and slanderous Unselect Committee hearings to go endlessly and aimlessly on (and on and on!),” the 45th president added.


Democrats holding the Jan. 6 hearings have refused to let House Republicans to put their own members on the committee and have openly talked about the hearings being a vehicle to keep Trump from running again. “The point is that the constitutional purpose is clear, to keep people exactly like Donald Trump and other traitors to the union from holding public office,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told ABC News earlier this year. Trump’s statement appeared to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission’s equal time provision that mandates that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates who request it if their opponents has gotten it. Trump called the Jan. 6 hearings “a one-sided, highly partisan Witch Hunt, the likes of which has never been seen in Congress before and that he deserved time on national TV to present his side of the case, including election irregularities and Democrat failures to secure Capitol.

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Simone Gold was at the Capitol not to riot, but to talk about and protest the vaccine rollout. And she did.

COVID Dr. Simone Gold Sentenced To Prison For Jan. 6 Riot (JTN)

Founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, Dr. Simone Gold, was sentenced to 60 days in prison for her role in the Jan. 6 riot. Gold, who rose to fame during the COVID pandemic for pointing out the vaccine’s unknown factors, will have one year of supervised release following the prison sentence, Department of Justice records show. She must also pay $500 in restitution and the maximum fine of $9,500. Gold pleaded guilty in December to entering and remaining in the Capitol building. On the afternoon of Jan. 6, Gold spoke in Statuary Hall about her opposition to vaccine mandates and government lockdowns, the DOJ’s Statement of Offense claims. She was arrested by FBI agents 12 days later. She made headlines in 2021 for telling the “Mad Truth with Dr. Gina” podcast that it is illegal “to mandate an experimental medication or treatment for anything” and advocating for those who are less vulnerable to abstain from vaccination.

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Gonzalo Lira: “Oh boy. So one of the Americans captured in Ukraine, Robert Drueke, is not a trained combat soldier—he’s a chemical weapons specialist.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun 152022
 


Claude Monet Meules 1890

 

Pope Francis: Russian War In Ukraine Was ‘Perhaps Provoked’ (Pol.eu)
Russia Tells Sievierodonetsk Defenders To Surrender (G.)
Economic Security is National Security (CTH)
Economic Security is National Security – The case for Trump (CTH)
Will Democratic Senators Endorse Biden In 2024? (DC)
Usual Midterm Indicators Very Unfavorable for Democrats (Gallup)
Biden’s Summit of No-Shows (Lawrence)
Children Are Being Infected With Up To Three Viruses At A Time (DM)
The Stock Market At The End Of The World (EdZ)
“Real Estate Tech” in Existential Crisis (WS)
Elon Musk Comes To Defense Of ‘Libs of TikTok’ Over Twitter Death Threats (NYP)
Twitter Responds To Death Threats Against ‘Libs of TikTok’ (JTN)
UK Asylum Flight To Rwanda Cancelled After 11th-hour ECHR Intervention (G.)
US And Partners Enter Pact To Secure Critical Minerals Like Lithium (R.)

 

 

“We didn’t do a good enough job explaining why my policies that caused the border crisis are Putin’s fault” ~ Biden

 

 

Tucker Kamala

 

 

“Joe Biden says he can’t remember a time when the American economy was stronger than it is today and I, for one, completely believe him.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s official: the pope is a heretic. What media does he read and watch? We said 1000 times that it was unprovoked. But no…

Pope Francis: Russian War In Ukraine Was ‘Perhaps Provoked’ (Pol.eu)

In an interview published Tuesday, Pope Francis said Russia’s war in Ukraine was “perhaps somehow either provoked or not prevented” — controversial remarks that will raise eyebrows internationally. He made the remarks during an interview with Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica conducted in mid-May but published Tuesday. “Someone may say to me at this point: but you are pro-Putin! No, I am not,” Francis said. “It would be simplistic and wrong to say such a thing. I am simply against reducing complexity to the distinction between good guys and bad guys, without reasoning about roots and interests, which are very complex.” The pope also recalled a conversation he had before the war with an unnamed head of state — a “wise man” — who told Francis he was concerned about NATO and Russia.


“He said, ‘They are barking at the gates of Russia. The situation could lead to war,’” the pope said. “That head of state was able to read the signs of what was happening.” The remarks will likely spark criticism as they echo Russia’s narrative that NATO expansion into former Soviet Union territory forced Moscow to invade Ukraine. Russia’s all-out assault, which began in late February, was launched unilaterally, leaving thousands dead. In the interview, the pontiff did criticize Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, pointing to the “brutality and ferocity” of the Russian troops, and emphasizing “the heroism of the Ukrainian people.” The pope’s new comments come a month after he said himself in an interview that NATO may have “perhaps facilitated” the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine by “barking” at Russia’s door.

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“stop their senseless resistance and lay down arms”

Russia Tells Sievierodonetsk Defenders To Surrender (G.)

Russia has told Ukrainian forces holed up in a chemical plant in the embattled eastern city of Sievierodonetsk to lay down their arms by early Wednesday. Ukraine says more than 500 civilians are trapped alongside soldiers inside Azot, a chemical factory where its forces have resisted weeks of Russian bombardment and assaults that have reduced much of Sievierodonetsk to ruins. Col Gen Mikhail Mizintsev, the officer who was in charge of the devastating siege of Mariupol, said fighters should “stop their senseless resistance and lay down arms” from 8am Moscow time (5am GMT).


The Russian army has shifted the bulk of its military efforts to capturing Sievierodonetsk in its attempt to take full control of Luhansk and Donetsk, collectively known as Donbas. Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk, told Ukrainian television on Tuesday that two more Russian battalion tactical groups had been moved into the area. The fight for Sievierodonetsk is turning into one of the war’s bloodiest battles and is seen as a potential turning point in Russia’s advances in Donbas.

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Two segments of the same -long- article by “sundance”.

Economic Security is National Security (CTH)

Donald Trump moved to face the challenge of China. A major shift in U.S. policy that is likely considered the biggest geopolitical shift in the last 75 years. Trump strategically began with Trade Authority 302 national security Steel and Aluminum tariffs at 25% and 10% not only toward China but targeted globally. The entire multinational system was stunned at the bold step with tariffs. But remember, before Trump went to Saudi Arabia, he held a meeting with Chairman Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago. The global trade world was shocked by the tariff announcement, but I’ll bet you a doughnut Chairman Xi was not. That February 2017 meeting, only one month after his inauguration, was President Trump graciously informing Chairman Xi, in the polite manner that respectful business people do, that a new era in the U.S-China relationship was about to begin.

New trade agreements, new terms and conditions were to be expected in the future. The tariff announcement hit Wall Street hard, but not Beijing – who knew it was likely. U.S. financial pundits proclaimed the sky was surely falling. These tariffs would cause prices to skyrocket, the global order of all things around trade was under attack by Trump. They waxed and shouted about supply chains being complicated and intertwined amid the modern manufacturing era that was too complex for President Trump to understand with such a heavy handed tariff hammer. Remember all of that? Remember how cars were going to cost thousands more, and beer kegs would forever be lost because the orange man had just triggered steel and aluminum tariffs?

Did any of that happen? No. Of course it didn’t. Actually, the opposite was true and no one could even fathom it. Communist China first responded by subsidizing all of their industries targeted by the tariffs with free energy and raw materials, etc. China triggered an immediate reaction to lower their own prices to offset tariffs. Beijing did not want the heavy industries and factories to start back up again in the U.S, so they reacted with measures to negate the tariff impact. China’s economy started to feel the pressure and panda was not happy. Eventually, as the tariffs expanded beyond Steel and Aluminum to other specific segments and categories, China devalued their currency to lower costs even further for U.S. importers. The net result was something no one could have imagined. With lower prices, and increased dollar strength, we began importing all Chinese products at cheaper rates than before the tariffs were triggered. Yes, we began importing deflation. No one saw that coming…. but Trump did.

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Segment 2.

Economic Security is National Security – The case for Trump (CTH)

We don’t have to guess at whether Donald Trump can put together a program to ensure Economic Security is National Security. We don’t have to guess at whether Donald Trump can deliver on economic policy. We don’t have guess if Trump’s policy platform, proposals and initiatives would be successful. We have the experience of it. We have the results of it. We have felt the success of it. We also don’t need to guess at who is the best candidate to lead Making America Great Again, we already know who that is. There is no other 2024 Presidential Candidate, who I am aware of, who could possibly achieve what Donald John Trump has achieved, or who could even fathom contemplating how to achieve a quarter of what President Trump achieved.

Governor Ron DeSantis has a lot of really good skills and policies on the domestic front unique to his position in Florida; however, it is not a slight toward him to point out he has never expressed any larger economic proposal that would give any confidence in a national economic policy. Look at the sum total of it, and there’s so much more that could be outlined to what Donald Trump achieved and could yet still achieve, it’s not even a close question. And that my friends is exactly why Donald Trump is under relentless attack from both wings of the UniParty in DC. Additionally, it is clear the Wall Street Republicans are trying to position Ron DeSantis as an alternative to another Trump term.

Look carefully at the current advocates for DeSantis, Nikki Haley and/or Kristi Noem, and you will note every one of those early voices are attached to favorable Wall Street politics and multinational corporate advocacy. Look at what Donald J. Trump was able to achieve while he was under constant political attack. Just imagine what Trump 2.0 would deliver. They, the leftist Democrats and Wall Street Republicans, are yet again absolutely petrified of that.

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“..Biden’s “leadership on the world stage has been impressive.”

We Asked All 50 Democratic Senators If They Would Endorse Biden In 2024. Only 5 Said ‘Yes’

Will Democratic Senators Endorse Biden In 2024? (DC)

The Daily Caller contacted all 50 Senate Democrats repeatedly and asked if they would support President Joe Biden in his 2024 presidential bid. Five Senators said “Yes.” A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader and Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer responded to the Daily Caller with a one-word answer: “Yes.” Spokespeople for Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Jack Reed of Rhode Island responded in the same way: “Yes.” Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s spokesperson also said the senator would endorse Biden, noting, “Yes, Senator Booker supports President Biden for re-election should he run again in 2024.” Several members of the Democratic Party have recently cast doubt on Biden’s support for his presidential run in 2024 amid his desperate polling numbers.

This week, Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refused to answer if she will endorse Biden, saying “we’ll take a look at it” when the time comes. Democratic officials and voters also cited the poor state of the country and Biden’s age as reasons they are hesitant to be fully behind Biden now in an article from The New York Times. (RELATED: A Slew Of Democrats Are Quietly Hoping Biden Won’t Run In 2024) Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coon’s spokesperson answered the Daily Caller’s inquiry with a reference to the senator’s recent comments about Biden’s 2024 run. “It’s my understanding that the president intends to seek a second term, and I understand why,” Coons said in a Monday interview, adding that Biden’s “leadership on the world stage has been impressive.”

Coons cited Biden’s performance in foreign policy, the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, Biden’s vow to tackle health care costs and his “clear plans” on how to handle inflation as reasons for why Biden deserves support. “I can understand why he might think running for reelection is a good idea,” Coons concluded in the interview. Coons’ spokesperson then confirmed to the Daily Caller that the senator would endorse Biden in 2024. “Yes, If President Biden runs, he’ll support him,” he said. The 45 other Democratic Senators did not respond to several inquiries form the Daily Caller if they would endorse Biden in 2024.

Read more …

Historic defeat? Or will mail-in ballots come to the rescue?

Usual Midterm Indicators Very Unfavorable for Democrats (Gallup)

With less than five months to go before voters elect all members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate, the current Democratic congressional majority is facing an extremely unfavorable election environment. The party of the president typically loses U.S. House seats in midterm elections — an average of 23 since 1974. However, 2022 is not shaping up to be an average year. Rather, as of May, Gallup finds presidential job approval and three other key national mood indicators well below the historical averages measured in past midterm election years. On their own, those numbers would all predict a greater-than-average loss of seats for the Democratic Party this fall.

Gallup’s latest data, from a May 2-22 survey, finds 41% of Americans approving of the job President Joe Biden is doing, 18% approving of the job Congress is doing, 16% satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., and a 32-percentage-point deficit in positive (14%) versus negative (46%) ratings of current economic conditions. Each of those metrics is at least 10 points lower than the historical average at the time of past midterm elections, and most are on pace to be the worst of such readings. Midterm elections are widely seen as a referendum on the incumbent president, and this is justified by the high correspondence between overall job approval and seat loss for the president’s party. Given this, congressional seat losses for unpopular presidents’ parties have been above average historically, averaging 37 since 1946.

Biden’s current 41% approval rating puts him in the lower tier of all prior presidents’ job approval ratings taken just before past midterm elections. Biden currently has the same approval rating that Donald Trump did at the time of the 2018 elections, when the GOP lost 40 House seats, and similar to Ronald Reagan’s 42% in October 1982, before the Republicans lost 26 seats. Only one president, George W. Bush, had a lower rating than Biden does today, and his 38% rating in November 2006 was associated with a 30-seat loss.

Biden’s fellow Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama lost an even larger number of House seats in 1994 and 2010, respectively, with slightly higher approval ratings than Biden has now. Those steeper losses reflect the relatively large number of House seats held by Democrats going into those elections in addition to the president’s unpopularity. The Democratic Party lost fewer seats in Obama’s second midterm in 2014 when Obama was no more popular than in his first midterm four years earlier, but Democrats were defending fewer seats.

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Historic shift.

Biden’s Summit of No-Shows (Lawrence)

I tip my cap, as we all should, to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico. And to Presidents Luis Arce of Bolivia, Xiaomara Castro of Honduras, Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala and Nayib Bukele of El Savador. They all pointedly declined to join President Joe Biden at his Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles last week, joining to protest Biden’s refusal to invite Miguel Díaz–Canel, Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega, the presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua respectively. Add it up. Eight of the region’s 33 nations were absent when Biden convened the summit “to demonstrate the resurgence of U.S. leadership in the region,” as the government-supervised New York Times forlornly put it. Don’t they ever get tired of these long-exhausted phrases over on Eighth Avenue?

“There can be no Americas summit if all the countries of the American continent do not participate,” López Obrador explained at a press conference announcing his decision. “Or there can be, but we believe that means continuing with the politics of old, of interventionism, of a lack of respect for the nations and their people.” Well said, Señor Presidente. Speaking more bluntly, Evo Morales, Bolivia’s president until the U.S. cultivated a coup that forced him into exile three years ago, called the summit “stillborn.” There is nothing like clear, plain language to get a clear, plain point across. This, the ninth such summit since Bill Clinton convened the first in Miami in 1994, was far more than Biden’s latest flop on the public relations side. In my read it is another sign among many that Washington is losing its hold over its southern neighbors.

This could prove an historic shift, reversing more than a century of usually coercive influence. Dollying out still further, the administration’s failure in Los Angeles last week signals a startlingly swift decline in American power everywhere other than Western Europe and among longtime allies such as Japan and South Korea. Biden drastically misread his moment with his “America is back” bit as he took office 18 months ago. Having overplayed his hand, he is now destined to preside over a significant inflection point in the late-phase imperium’s crumbling hegemony. It is exactly what Joe “Not on my watch” Biden wanted most to avoid.

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Immune systems need training.

Children Are Being Infected With Up To Three Viruses At A Time (DM)

Children are turning up in doctors’ clinics infected with as many as three different types of viruses, in what experts believe is the result of their immune systems being weakened from two years of COVID lockdowns and mask-wearing. Medical staff have come to expect a surge in cases of flu and severe colds during the winter. But they are reporting that there is not the usual downturn as summer approaches – and they suspect it could be due to the strict pandemic practices. Furthermore, some of common strains of the flu appear to have disappeared, flummoxing scientists. Thomas Murray, an infection-control expert and associate professor of pediatrics at Yale, told The Washington Post on Monday that his team was seeing children with combinations of seven common viruses – adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus, influenza and parainfluenza, as well as the coronavirus.

Some children were admitted with two viruses and a few with three, he said. ‘That’s not typical for any time of year and certainly not typical in May and June,’ he said. CDC data obtained by DailyMail.com showed lower overall levels of influenza infections among young children – but an abnormal surge starting several weeks ago during the beginning of the summer months, normally a dead period for respiratory infections. Other strange patterns have emerged. The rhinovirus, known as the common cold, is normally not severe enough to send people to hospital – but now it is. RSV normally tapers off in the warmer weather, as does the influenza, but they have not.

And the Yamagata strain of flu has not been seen since early 2020 – which researchers say could because it is extinct, or perhaps just dormant and waiting for the right moment to return. ‘It’s a massive natural experiment,’ said Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and chief science officer at the digital health platform eMed, told the Post.

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“they can legally just steal all our money?” and “Fuckfuckfuck” and “Bruh I was gonna exit today too RIP.”

The Stock Market At The End Of The World (EdZ)

Yesterday, as cryptocurrency prices crashed and many lost their shirts and asses due to overleveraging, Celsius Network, a loan platform for cryptocurrency, chose to pause all withdrawals, swaps, or transfers between accounts, citing “extreme market conditions.” To be clear, this means that billions of dollars of funds are being held hostage on a non-specific timeline by a company that several people have suggested may not have the liquidity to handle a full withdrawal of funds. It’s a bit like if you went to a bank and put money in there, but there was a rough day on the stock market, so now your debit card doesn’t work, and you can’t transfer money to anyone.

Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, also paused withdrawals of Bitcoin, citing a “stuck transaction,” a hold that lasted for three hours. In the last 48 hours, I’ve watched Bitcoin crumble from just under $25,000 on Monday to just over $21,000 as I write this – a number I’ll likely update multiple times before I finish writing this – and people are despairing. The Celsius Network subreddit includes some of the more depressing posts I’ve ever read, with users saying stuff like “they can legally just steal all our money?” and “Fuckfuckfuck” and “Bruh I was gonna exit today too RIP.” Crypto.com and BlockFi have both announced layoffs, and Coinbase retracted hundreds of job offers from people who had agreed to them, including at least one person who needed it for a visa.

What we are seeing is a connection between actions, consequences, ignorance and hubris. This crash – to whatever extent it continues – may end up damaging many millions more lives than the ones in 2017/2018 simply because more people have been exposed to crypto through hucksters and celebrities telling them this was the future. And just like the rest of the startup world, the crypto industry massively overhired to deal with the rush of new money and excitement in the industry, with clearly no strategy to prepare for the thing that crypto is best known for – crashing.

Read more …

Housing itself will follow, and mortgages.

“Real Estate Tech” in Existential Crisis (WS)

Here’s the problem with companies whose hype-and hoopla stocks have collapsed by 80% or 90%: They’re facing an existential crisis. They cannot raise more money. But their operations were never designed to make money in the first place. Their business model relied on burning cash, and the whole thing was designed from get-go to use home-made growth metrics to bamboozle investors into buying the stock and pump up the shares. Then the companies, based on their high share price, could issue more shares and raise more money, and feed their cash-burn machine. The plan was to fake it until they could make it.

But with their shares down 80% or 90%, they cannot fake it any longer, and they cannot sell more shares because no one wants them, and they’re going to run out of cash and won’t be able to cover their expenses, and then they cease to exist, and their shares will go to zero, unless they can get the cash-outflows under control, which means cost-cutting. And the fastest and most significant places to cut cost is staff and advertising. If they cannot cut their costs enough, and cannot get their expenses to be less than their revenues, they’ll eventually run out of money. And then that’s it. But if they can cut costs enough, and cut their staff and advertising and other things enough, so that costs come in line, their revenues may sag, or sag even more, and then they may be reporting declining revenues, or more rapidly declining revenues, and continued losses because revenues are now declining faster than expenses, and the whole thing turns into a classic mess.

There are hundreds of companies in this position that went public during the hype-and-hoopla era of money printing and interest rate repression, and they’re all fundamentally facing the same existential crisis, though each company has unique challenges, and in addition, all have to face their industry challenges.

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“A platform cannot be considered inclusive or fair if it is biased against half the country.”

Elon Musk Comes To Defense Of ‘Libs of TikTok’ Over Twitter Death Threats (NYP)

Elon Musk has come to the defense of the woman behind the controversial Twitter account “Libs of TikTok” after she tweeted that she was receiving death threats. Musk, the Tesla CEO who has committed to acquiring the social media site for $44 billion, tweeted: “Why?” after the “Libs of TikTok” creator — who was identified by The Washington Post as Chaya Raichik of Brooklyn, New York — tweeted on Monday she had “now received about a dozen death threats after radical leftists accused me of being a domestic terrorist extremist.” “Twitter has not removed any of the accounts of those who sent the threats,” she added. Musk then commented: “A platform cannot be considered inclusive or fair if it is biased against half the country.” The tech mogul has vowed to change Twitter’s content moderation policies once he takes the company private once the acquisition is complete.

Musk has said he intends to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, which was shut down after the events at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Raichik also tweeted that she was forced to relocate due to continuing death threats from other social media users. “Update: After the events of the past 2 days I’ve decided to move to a safer location until things calm down,” read a post from “Libs of TikTok” that was tweeted on Tuesday. “Thank you all for your kind words and support.” Raichik on Monday posted a screenshot of a message she received from another social media user who claimed to have sent her a pipe bomb “for literally supporting nazi bigots.” “Hi @FBI, I’m being threatened with a pipe bomb. Can you please look into this?” she tweeted in response.

Raichik tweeted that she received at least a dozen death threats from other social media users. Last week, Raichik was prevented from posting on her Twitter account after users protested a tweet thread about drag shows to which young children were invited. “Libs of TikTok” posts TikTok videos from liberals who often speak about gender identity and other hot-button issues that have become a staple of political and cultural debates. The account has amassed more than 1.2 million followers.

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But only after Musk commented.

Twitter Responds To Death Threats Against ‘Libs of TikTok’ (JTN)

Twitter suspended the accounts of users who sent death threats targeting the owner of the Libs of TikTok Twitter handle after Elon Musk criticized the company. Musk, who has been in discussions to buy Twitter, asked the company why it has not responded to the threats targeting Libs of TikTok, which reposts videos made by leftists. The Libs of TikTok account claimed on Monday to have “received about a dozen death threats after radical leftists accused me of being a domestic terrorist extremist.” The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz revealed in April that Chaya Raichik was behind the account, and Raichik told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson she was forced into hiding after Lorenz’s article.

Commentator Ian Miles Cheong responded to Musk questioning Twitter by criticizing the platform’s apparent bias against conservatives. “On a just platform, everyone would be treated equally. As it is, you can be banned for merely criticizing (not even threatening) woke progressives, but they can send conservatives death threats without any repercussions,” he wrote. “A platform cannot be considered inclusive or fair if it is biased against half the country,” Musk responded to Cheong. On Tuesday, Raichik thanked Musk and posted pictures captioned “How it started” with Musk’s comments and “How it’s going” with emails from Twitter notifying her about the threatening accounts being suspended.

Raichik seemingly had a sense of humor about the situation. Commenting on a tweet from the Daily Wire about Musk’s response to the threats, she said: “It could’ve been worse… I could have been misgendered.”

Read more …

The UK is immoral and amoral.

UK Asylum Flight To Rwanda Cancelled After 11th-hour ECHR Intervention (G.)

Boris Johnson’s plan to send an inaugural flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda has been abandoned after a dramatic 11th-hour ruling by the European court of human rights. Up to seven people who had come to the UK seeking refuge had been expected to be removed to the east African country an hour and a half before the flight was due to take off. But a ruling by the ECHR on one of the seven cases allowed lawyers for the other six to make successful last-minute applications. The decision is a significant and embarrassing blow for Boris Johnson and his home secretary, Priti Patel, who had promised to start sending thousands of asylum seekers 4,000 miles to the east African country in May.

It comes hours after the prime minister threatened to take the UK out of the ECHR and accused lawyers of aiding criminals exploiting refugees in the Channel. The legality of the Rwanda policy will be tested in a full court hearing next month. Responding to the decision, Patel said she was “disappointed” by the legal challenge, made pointed criticisms of the ECHR ruling and said that the policy will continue. “We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders,” she said. “Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.” Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said that the government must take responsibility for the failed flight, and indicated that the government does not mind clashing with lawyers and the European courts.

“Ministers are pursuing a policy they know isn’t workable and that won’t tackle criminal gangs,” she wrote on Twitter last night. “But they still paid Rwanda £120m and hired a jet that hasn’t taken off because they just want a row and someone else to blame.” [..] The ECHR examined the case of a 54-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who crossed the Channel in a boat. He claimed asylum in the UK last month citing danger to his life in Iraq. Five days later, he was served with a notice of intent indicating that the Home Office was considering deeming his asylum claim inadmissible and relocating him to Rwanda. A doctor at the detention centre issued a report saying that he may have been a victim of torture, it is understood.

Read more …

“You will need six times more lithium by 2050..”

aka the death of “Green”.

US And Partners Enter Pact To Secure Critical Minerals Like Lithium (R.)

The United States, Canada and other countries have established a new partnership aimed at securing the supply of critical minerals, which are essential for clean energy and other technologies,as global demand for them rises, the State Department said on Tuesday. Demand for the minerals, such as nickel, lithium and cobalt, is projected to expand significantly in the coming decades. Massive amounts of these minerals will be needed to meet the United States’ emissions reduction goals, Jose Fernandez, under secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment at the State Department, said in a telephone interview. “You will need six times more lithium by 2050 than you use today in order to meet the clean energy goals,” Fernandez said, speaking from Toronto.


Canada “is an important supplier of critical minerals,” he added. The minerals are key inputs in batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and are also used in products ranging from computers to household appliances. The Minerals Security Partnership will aim to help “catalyze investment from governments and the private sector for strategic opportunities … that adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards,” the State Department said in a statement. The U.S. government has been working with Canada to boost regional supply chains to counter China’s dominance in the sector. Critical minerals are “a generational economic opportunity for Canada if we get it right,” Canada’s natural resources minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, said in a phone interview.

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Jun 132022
 
 June 13, 2022  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Caravaggio I musici 1595-96

 

Russia Gains More Ground in Donbas Region (WSJ)
Should Russia Pay Reparations For The Ukraine War? (Barry Eichengreen)
Effort to Force Russia to Pay Reparations to Ukraine Faces Uphill Battle (WSJ)
Global Nuclear Arsenal Set To Grow For First Time In Decades (R.)
Army Official Predicted Vaccines Might Be Paused Over Myocarditis (ET)
99% Certain Justin Bieber’s Facial Paralysis Caused By Covid Vaccine (Kirsch)
USS Liberty: A Forgotten Anniversary (Moglia)
Greens Unlikely To Survive The Coming Winter (CoS)
Freeport LNG Explosion Raises Risk Of European Winter Energy Crisis (CNN)
Jan. 6 Committee Caught ‘Lying and Altering Evidence’ (TH)
Cost of Living Crisis a Result of Lockdowns, Experts Tell MPs (DS)
Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘Best’ Offer Looks Bogus (Gasparino)
Henry Kissinger At 99: How To Avoid Another World War (Ferguson)

 

 

 

 

3xvaxxed

 

 

 

 

Tulsi woke
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535920648622444545

 

 

 

 

Are the leaders of France, Germany and Italy going to talk some sense into Zelensky?

Russia Gains More Ground in Donbas Region (WSJ)

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy plan to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv this week, officials said, as reports showed Russia making gains in the country’s east and Ukrainian officials urgently sought arms from Western nations to hold Russian forces at bay. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi were planning to visit the Ukrainian capital on Thursday, said two European officials, who cautioned that plans could yet change. The trip would be the first to Ukraine since the beginning of the war for the three Western leaders.

News of the planned meeting came as Ukrainian officials said Russia had made fresh gains in its efforts to encircle and capture the city of Severodonetsk, which would bring Moscow significantly closer to its goal of controlling the Donbas area in the country’s east, its foremost target recently in the war. Serhiy Haidai, the Ukrainian governor of the Luhansk region, which includes Severodonetsk, said on Sunday that Russians had destroyed a second bridge connecting Severodonetsk to Lysychansk, a Ukrainian stronghold just across the Siverskyi Donets river. Russian forces also shelled a chemical plant in the city’s industrial section, where civilians had taken shelter in bunkers, Mr. Haidai said.

The battlefield advances were the latest evidence that Russia is outgunning Ukrainian forces, using its superior artillery power to steadily take territory. Its gains have thrown added focus onto Ukraine’s pleas for more powerful and longer-range artillery and other weaponry from the West, as well as on Ukraine’s lack of capacity to manufacture ammunition for the Soviet-era heavy weapons in its arsenal.

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Why would an economist want to opine on this?

Should Russia Pay Reparations For The Ukraine War? (Barry Eichengreen)

Russia’s war on Ukraine shows no sign of ending, but it is not too soon to start thinking about how to ensure postwar Ukraine’s stability, prosperity, and security. Already, two discussions are occurring: one about financing economic reconstruction, and the other about affirming Ukraine’s external security. The problem is that these discussions are proceeding separately, even though the issues are intimately related. Reconstruction costs are uncertain because the course of the war is uncertain. Ukraine’s prewar GDP was about $150bn (£120bn). Given a capital-output ratio of three, and assuming that a third of the capital stock will be destroyed, we are again talking about $150bn. As always, alternative assumptions yield alternative scenarios, but $150bn seems like a reasonable starting point.


This is not an impossible amount of aid for donors to commit. It is one-sixth the size of the NextGenerationEU program on which EU states agreed in July 2020. It is one-twelfth the size of the American Rescue Plan Act signed by Joe Biden in March 2021. Still, it seems wrong to ask the US and Europe to repair what Russia has broken. So, it is tempting to suggest that Ukraine’s reconstruction should be financed by garnishing Russian assets. At $284bn, the Bank of Russia’s frozen reserves would certainly fit the bill. True, there is a moral case for reparations: Russia started an unprovoked war and has almost certainly committed war crimes in prosecuting it. There is also an argument grounded in deterrence. As Volodymyr Zelenskiy put it at Davos this year: “If the aggressor loses everything, then it definitely deprives him of his motivation to start a war.”

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It’s a popular topic.

Effort to Force Russia to Pay Reparations to Ukraine Faces Uphill Battle (WSJ)

Since Russian forces swept into Ukraine on Feb. 24, swaths of the country’s buildings and infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed, leading to calls for Moscow to pay for the damage. As the leading western backer of Ukraine in the conflict, the U.S., which also holds some of Russia’s frozen assets, would likely be critical to any effort to get Moscow to pay for that damage. Yet even if Washington were to try to force Russia to pay reparations, the Biden administration would have limited options for making Moscow comply, particularly while the war rages on, according to former officials and legal experts. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on Russia to compensate his country, saying in early May the war had caused more than $600 billion in damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure. The figure has only grown as the war continues.


There is, in theory, a pot of money for the West to draw on if it wants to force Russia to pay. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in March that half the country’s gold and foreign-currency reserves were frozen as a result of sanctions, denying Moscow access to roughly $300 billion, according to the TASS news agency. The share of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves held in Chinese currency wasn’t affected. When the Biden administration in late April submitted its $33 billion supplemental funding request for Ukraine, the White House said it was “proposing legislation to streamline the process to recoup proceeds from seized and forfeited assets and use them to remediate the harm caused in Ukraine.”

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Cui bono?

Global Nuclear Arsenal Set To Grow For First Time In Decades (R.)

The global nuclear arsenal is expected to grow in the coming years for the first time since the cold war, and the risk of such weapons being used is the greatest in decades, a leading conflict and armaments thinktank says. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and western support for Kyiv has heightened tensions among the world’s nine nuclear-armed states, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) thinktank said on Monday in a new set of research. While the number of nuclear weapons fell slightly between January 2021 and January 2022, Sipri said that unless immediate action was taken by the nuclear powers, global inventories of warheads could soon begin rising for the first time in decades.

“All of the nuclear-armed states are increasing or upgrading their arsenals and most are sharpening nuclear rhetoric and the role nuclear weapons play in their military strategies,” Wilfred Wan, the director of Sipri’s weapons of mass destruction program, said in the thinktank’s 2022 yearbook. “This is a very worrying trend.” Three days after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls a “special military operation”, President Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert. He has also warned of consequences that would be “such as you have never seen in your entire history” for countries that stood in Russia’s way.

Russia has the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal with a total of 5,977 warheads, 550 more than the United States. The two countries possess more than 90% of the world’s warheads, though Sipri said China was in the middle of an expansion with more than 300 new missile silos according to the latest estimate. Sipri said the global number of nuclear warheads fell from 13,080 in January 2021 to 12,705 in January 2022. An estimated 3,732 warheads were deployed with missiles and aircraft, and around 2,000 – nearly all belonging to Russia or the US – were kept in a state of high readiness.

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No, it’s too rare.

Army Official Predicted Vaccines Might Be Paused Over Myocarditis (ET)

A U.S. military official predicted a pause in the administration of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines could happen if more cases of post-vaccination heart inflammation were detected, according to newly obtained emails. Harry Chang, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, made the prediction on April 27, 2021—the same day the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the agency was not seeing a safety signal when it came to heart inflammation experienced after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Chang noted the pause in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over blood clots and said an increased number of heart inflammation issues could trigger a similar action.


“A pause of the Pfizer/Moderna administration (much like the J&J blood clot pause) will have an adverse impact on US/CA vaccination rates; assessed as unlikely due to causes of myocarditis can come from multiple sources (eg. COVID, other conditions, other vaccines/prescriptions, etc),” Chang wrote in an email. Myocarditis is a type of heart inflammation. “However, increased reported #s & media attention is likely to trigger a safety review pause by ACIP/FDA,” he added, referring to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the CDC on vaccines, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which decides whether to clear immunizations. Chang was talking to Tricia Blocher, an official at the California Department of Public Health, and other California and military officials. He was reacting to a story about the U.S. Department of Defense detecting a higher-than-expected number of cases of heart inflammation in troops following COVID-19 vaccination.”

Montagnier

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Very rare,

99% Certain Justin Bieber’s Facial Paralysis Caused By Covid Vaccine (Kirsch)

The VAERS data shows that Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (RHS) is 160 times more likely after a COVID vaccination than for all the other vaccines combined in any given year. And if you exclude the anthrax vaccine from that comparison, the likelihood is simply too high to calculate (0 cases in 32 years). So the COVID vaccine should definitely be considered as a possible cause for this rare disease because when you’ve been vaccinated, it’s no longer rare. For example, one doctor tweeted he say 4 cases in a month, but had never seen any cases before in the 32 years he’s practiced medicine. All the cases had gotten the COVID vax 3 to 4 months earlier.


I show below that the estimated rate of RHS after COVID vaccination is likely at least 338 cases per 100,000. The medical literature says it occurs naturally in 5 cases per 100,000. Therefore, because it is much more likely after vaccine than by chance, it is 99% likely that Justin’s RHS was caused by the vaccine, and only 1% chance that he got “unlucky.” Sadly, it’s unlikely Bieber’s doctors will ever acknowledge that so it’s unlikely he’ll get the care he needs (treat both the RHS and the vaccine injury). He’ll simply assume he is just unlucky. The mainstream press isn’t doing its job if they don’t report this (which they won’t).

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“..the attack on the Liberty dramatically demonstrates the nature of who exercises actual power in the United States.”

USS Liberty: A Forgotten Anniversary (Moglia)

It is a property of the past to sink into oblivion, and of unpleasant truths to fade into evanescence. To such past belongs the attack on the USS Liberty. When to the session of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, Israel’s 1967 war of Middle East invasion is/was for me but a negligible blip compared to other important personal events. Such as my getting ready to read the thesis for my degree in Electronic Engineering, in Genova, Italy. Therefore, without particular consciousness I submitted to the sentences of the official media without examining the authority of the judge. My first doubts arose not long later when I decided to visit the Eastern Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery, located on the Sinai Peninsula at the very foot of Mt. Sinai. It could then only be reached from Tel Aviv via Sharm-el-Sheikh and a bus trip.


On welcoming the tourists on the bus the guide announced with pride that the Sinai was “now and forever an unalienable part of Israel.” I found the declaration irrelevant, if not odd, but I consider that moment as the beginning of my associated historical interest. The official US line is that, on Jun 8, 1967, the Israelis mistakenly attacked by air, and torpedoed by sea, an unarmed US intelligence ship, killing 34 sailors and wounding 171 others. 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of that attack. Following are some details of the ship, of the episode and of its aftermath. For, similar to occasions that perhaps we all have felt, a detail that uncalled-for returns to mind, rekindles fuller memories of a larger connected event, not otherwise spontaneously recalled. The detail is the inspired arrogance of the Israeli guide I mentioned. More in general, I think that the attack on the Liberty dramatically demonstrates the nature of who exercises actual power in the United States.

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“..there is simply no way of maintaining even a fraction of the western standard of living in the event that anyone were foolish enough to remove the fossil fuels..”

Greens Unlikely To Survive The Coming Winter (CoS)

By 2017, real-life James Bond Villain Klaus Schwab was inviting celebrities, representatives of the technocracy, the godzillionaires and the political class to fly their carbon-belching private jets to Switzerland to learn about The Fourth Industrial Revolution, and to discuss how they could get the little people to cut their carbon footprints. By 2020, this had morphed in to the Green New Great Reset in which we – but not they, of course – would own nothing, and allegedly be happy as we ate our insects, spent our central bank digital basic incomes, and were driven around in a new fleet of corporate-owned, hydrogen-powered self-driving cars. There was – to paraphrase Captain Blackadder – just one teensy-weensy problem with the Great Plan adopted by the Davos crowd… it was bollocks!

Only by ignoring the physicists, engineers and technicians who were expected to make it happen, and by listening instead to the siren voices of climate NGOs, bankers and economists, could the technocracy convince itself that the world could seamlessly transition to the proposed bright green future. And to our cost, politicians of all stripes who bought into this nonsense are now grappling with the inevitable economic consequences. The problem, at is simplest, is that much of what was considered “green” was largely a conjuring trick. States like Britain and Germany, which claim to be world leaders simply offshored their most polluting industries (and a large part of the waste) to less prosperous parts of the world where governments were happy to load the environmental costs onto the indigenous population in exchange for tradable foreign currency.

This was the only politically-acceptable means of hiding the fact that there is simply no way of maintaining even a fraction of the western standard of living in the event that anyone were foolish enough to remove the fossil fuels which make up some 80 percent of the energy mix in the UK, and 85 percent of the global economy. Even this is a simplification of the problem because each fuel source has its uses in specific niches of the global economy and so is not interchangeable. Wind and solar, for example, cannot generate the heat required to manufacture steel (although they can recycle it) or, ironically, to produce the silicon wafers and high-grade glass required in solar panels.

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In 2021, LNG was maybe 10% of EU gas. It will have to be much more going forward. Disaster assured.

Freeport LNG Explosion Raises Risk Of European Winter Energy Crisis (CNN)

A fire at one of the world’s biggest suppliers of liquefied natural gas has thrown Europe’s fragile energy security into doubt and spooked global gas markets. Freeport LNG, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer in Texas, will shut its doors for at least three weeks, the company confirmed to CNN Business. “The cause of the fire at Freeport LNG’s liquefaction facility on Quintana Island remains under investigation,” Heather Browne, a company spokesperson, said.
Europe has snapped up global stocks of LNG in recent months as it attempts to sharply pivot away from Russia’s natural gas exports. The region, including the United Kingdom, imported 28.2 million tons between February and April, according to Independent Commodity Intelligence Services — up 29% from the same period last year.


The United States is the world’s largest supplier of LNG, accounting for just over a fifth of global exports, according to data from analytics firm Vortexa. Output from the Freeport LNG facility makes up 18% of these exports. With no direct pipeline between the United States and Europe, American energy companies cool their natural gas for export to -260 degrees Fahrenheit and place the liquefied gas on tanker ships for overseas transport. That process, though more complex than land transport, has become crucial to Europe meeting its energy demands during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Freeport blast could deal a blow to that stopgap solution, particularly if the facility fails to come back online soon. “Despite the initial estimate of three weeks of downtime by the operator, the production impact is likely to stretch into July,” Felix Booth, head of LNG at Vortexa, told CNN Business.

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Adam Schiff is back.

Jan. 6 Committee Caught ‘Lying and Altering Evidence’ (TH)

The January 6 committee is facing pressure as details reveal it lied and altered evidence to favor Democrat’s radical narrative of the Capitol Hill protests. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) called out the committee for changing text messages between him and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during an interview on Fox News. A spokesperson admitted that the messages Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA.) showed during the hearings had been adjusted to support the idea that Meadows wanted former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results. In a statement, the spokesperson confessed that “the Select Committee on Monday created and provided Representative Schiff a graphic to use during the business meeting quoting from a text message from ‘a lawmaker’ to Mr. Meadows.

The graphic read, ‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.’ In the graphic, the period at the end of that sentence was added inadvertently. The Select Committee is responsible for and regrets the error.” Jordan fired back saying “this committee has altered evidence and lied to the American people about it, so much so that they had to issue a statement which says, ‘We regret the error,’ which is government speak for, ‘We got caught lying.’” The “error” was that Schiff presented the message out of context by cutting out key words and ending it with a period.

According to the Federalist, the original text message was a summary of a legal briefing Jordan forwarded from lawyer Joseph Schmitz to Meadows the day before the Capitol protests, meaning that a “lawmaker” did not write the message at all. Jordan has been blocked from taking part in the committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.). He is now undergoing his own investigation of the events that took place that day last year.

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“..the ability of governments to respond to this cost-of-living crisis via either tax cuts or increased benefits is limited due to the hit to public finances caused by lockdown-induced government spending.”

Cost of Living Crisis a Result of Lockdowns, Experts Tell MPs (DS)

The cost of living crisis and runaway inflation are a result of imposing ruinous lockdowns on society, experts have told MPs and Peers. The comments came in the latest meeting of the the Pandemic Response and Recovery All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). Chaired by the Rt Hon Esther McVey MP, the group heard from experts about the societal consequences of closing businesses and schools, prohibiting healthcare, ordering the public to stay at home and unchecked money printing. One businessman told the group how government COVID-19 policies personally affected him, costing him £120,000, destroying his previously thriving business and leaving him in debt. Professor of Industrial Economics at the University of Nottingham Business School, David Paton, explained why lockdowns are at the root of the current crisis:


“Eye-watering sums of money were spent during lockdowns, on furlough and business support schemes which helped mask the inevitable economic consequences we are now seeing. Many of our current problems could have been avoided had the government carried out an effective cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns and other restrictions. Quite simply, the lack of spending opportunities during lockdown contributed to a build up of personal and corporate savings. As restrictions eased, people began to spend these savings and, combined with the supply chain issues that built up in the meantime, sustained inflation became the inevitable result. Even worse, having spent about £70 billion, paying healthy people not to work and some £150 billion in total on support measures, the ability of governments to respond to this cost-of-living crisis via either tax cuts or increased benefits is limited due to the hit to public finances caused by lockdown-induced government spending.”

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Gasparino doesn’t appear to like Musk.

Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘Best’ Offer Looks Bogus (Gasparino)

[..] here’s the viewpoint of two bankers, one who has worked with his Tesla board, and another at a firm involved in his Twitter financing machinations. They say virtually the same thing. Musk is telling people he still wants Twitter. He thinks he can make it work as a private company, clean up the bot problem and sell it at a profit sometime in the next five years. But Musk wants the company (like everything else) on his terms, which are always in flux. He doesn’t read balance sheets but goes by his gut and has no issue with flouting conventional banker norms (i.e. your word is your bond) to get his prize. His gut told him to waive due diligence. It’s now telling him that even though he signed a deal leaving him on the hook for the $1 billion breakup fee and maybe more in damages, he can get Twitter to the table and agree to his terms, aka a much lower purchase price.

He might be right. Twitter first said it would enforce the initial deal terms, maybe even go to court, but now appears to be playing ball with Musk. It recently said it will turn over more data on its bot issue — a move that means talks are back on. The bankers tell me the Twitter board knows that finding another suitor will be difficult even at around the $40 a share it’s trading at now. The board can’t just accept anything, but also can’t tell Musk to just pound sand. So the thinking among my two guys is that Twitter agrees to a lower price, possibly significantly lower, and Crazy Elon gets his public square, albeit for much cheaper. That means the deal is on, right? Seems so. But no one really knows with Crazy Elon.

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Kissinger and Niall Ferguson. Not my favorite people, but here goes…

Henry Kissinger At 99: How To Avoid Another World War (Ferguson)

Henry Kissinger turned 99 on May 27. Born in Germany at the height of the Weimar hyperinflation, he was not yet ten years old when Hitler came to power and was just 15 when he and his family landed as refugees in New York City. It is somehow almost as astonishing that this former US secretary of state and giant of geopolitics left office 45 years ago. As he heads towards his century, Kissinger has lost none of the intellectual firepower that set him apart from other foreign policy professors and practitioners of his and subsequent generations. In the time I have spent writing the second volume of his biography, Kissinger has published not one but two books — the first, co-authored with the former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the computer scientist Daniel Huttenlocher, on artificial intelligence, the second a collection of six biographical case studies in leadership.


We meet at his rural retreat, deep in the woods of Connecticut, where he and his wife, Nancy, have spent most of their time since the onset of Covid. The pandemic had its silver linings for them. It was the first time in 48 years of marriage that the compulsively peripatetic Dr Kissinger came to an enforced halt. Cut off from the temptations of Manhattan restaurants and Beijing banquets, he has shed pounds. Though he walks with a stick, depends on a hearing aid and speaks more slowly than of old in that unmistakable bullfrog baritone, his mind is as keen as ever. Nor has Kissinger lost his knack for infuriating the liberal professors and progressive or “woke” students who dominate Harvard, the university where he built his reputation as a scholar and public intellectual in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Bach

 

 

 

 

Mariupol

 

 

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Jun 072022
 


Pablo Picasso Rest (Marie-Thérèse Walter) 1932

 

Zelensky Says Ukraine is Being Pushed to Make Concessions to Russia (Celente)
Blaming Putin Is Helping Putin (Dmitry Orlov)
Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia (AFP)
Your Show of Shows (Kunstler)
The White House Keeps Stoking Covid Fears (Bhattacharya)
COVID-19: Mask Mandates Could Increase Death Rate (Celente)
Florida Surgeon General Openly Questions Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines (FP)
Elon Musk Threatens To Terminate Twitter Deal (PM)
Biden Admin Quietly Raised Amount of Ethanol Required in Gasoline (CTH)
Soros Spent $40 Million To Elect 75 ‘Social Justice’ Prosecutors (WE)
Exasperated Biden Has Only Himself To Blame For Poll Numbers (Levine)
Why Is Chuck Schumer Trying To Stop Antitrust Reform? (NW)
Ankara Tries To Sell ‘Ottoman Islands’ Theory (K.)
Nils Merzel’s New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured (Conv.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuclear warheads
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533811236160290817

 

 

“Zelensky did not specify exactly what parties are beginning to grow impatient..”

Zelensky Says Ukraine is Being Pushed to Make Concessions to Russia (Celente)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday told reporters that he is starting to feel pressure from the West to negotiate for peace with Russia from a current position of weakness. Ukrayinska Pravda reported that Zelensky told reporters: “I do not have any negotiations on any plans (on the peace plan, which is being discussed by the United States, the European Union and Britain – ed.); such negotiations are currently at zero. Everyone really wants to push us little by little towards some result that is definitely undesirable for us, because we have not been asked yet, but beneficial for other parties that have their own interests. Again, different: both financial and political. “Fatigue is growing, people want some kind of result for themselves, and you and I need a result – for us. Thus, I did not discuss with them the structures for resolving the issue of this war with a positive result for us.”

Zelensky did not specify exactly what parties are beginning to grow impatient with the war but some high-profile people have recently said that Ukraine should consider some kind of concessions to achieve peace. Zelensky and his closest advisers have been adamant that they will not cede one inch of the country to Russia, despite Russian forces and separatists now controlling about 20 percent of the country. Zelensky has said earlier that Russian troops must leave the country before there can be any talk of a negotiate peace, which many see as an unfeasible position. Last week, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, called Zelensky’s demand idiotic “and unfeasible in principle,” Newsweek reported.

“Anticipating his inevitable defeat, Ukrainian President Zelensky found a convenient way out of the impasse,” Medvedev said. “No country, no problem. His actions and statements prove that now he is ready to put almost everything on the altar of his political ambitions.”

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“The logical steps needed to make it all Putin’s fault are then obvious: the shortages are because of the war and the war is Putin’s fault.”

Blaming Putin Is Helping Putin (Dmitry Orlov)

The systemic crisis which we are currently witnessing in the West (and in other parts of the world that are too tightly interconnected with the West to avoid experiencing it as well) is objectively being caused by the West itself. But Westerners, being unaccustomed to acknowledging their mistakes (being all superior, indispensable and infallible-like in their own addled minds), are forced to resort to explaining away their epic failures in virtually every sphere by blaming it all on Putin. That is, they don’t even blame Russia in general, but blame Putin personally; after all, Russia can be good and agreeable at times (as it was under Gorbachev and Yeltsin) but Putin makes it misbehave. That’s why it’s all got to be Putin’s fault.

Here’s what it’s come to: an entire President of the United States (or whoever runs his teleprompter), who, in the course of his election campaign, swore up and down that he will take responsibility for whatever happens under his command, now blames “Putin’s Price Hike” so regularly and monotonously that the phrase has become a meme. By now the narrative of “it’s all Putin’s fault” has spread to encompass all of the more sensitive problems: inflation, fuel prices, food price hikes and even… shortages of baby formula! It turns out that the shortages aren’t caused by the discovery of dangerous bacteria in the products of a monopoly producer but by shortages of imported sunflower oil from… the Ukraine. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, no less! The logical steps needed to make it all Putin’s fault are then obvious: the shortages are because of the war and the war is Putin’s fault.

This wonderful strategy works just fine for the short term, but it has a major vulnerability in the longer term because of a certain mechanism of mass psychology. Superficially, it is simple and seemingly bulletproof: Putin is irrational; he has imperial ambitions, suffers from paranoia, delusions of grandeur, is obsessed with restoring the USSR… Since his motives are irrational, they cannot be dealt with through rational means such as negotiation, diplomacy, compromise and so on. Putin is a crazy dictator with lots of nuclear missiles and so all we can do is suffer. This construct seems good enough for most purposes, such as explaining away social problems, economic issues and failures of leadership. But only in the short term.

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“This was a deprivation of a sovereign state of the right to carry out foreign policy.”

Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia (AFP)

Moscow on Monday furiously condemned the rejection by several European countries of a request for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s plane to pass through their airspace, forcing him to cancel a trip to ally Serbia. “The unthinkable has happened,” Lavrov told an online news conference in Moscow. “This was a deprivation of a sovereign state of the right to carry out foreign policy.” Bulgaria, Macedonia and Montenegro refused a request from Russia for Lavrov’s plane to pass through their airspaces on the way to Serbia because of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine. Lavrov had been due to hold talks with top officials in Belgrade, one of Moscow’s few remaining allies in Europe since the launch of the offensive in late February.

Lavrov described the move as “outrageous”, insisting that Moscow’s relations with Belgrade would not be “destroyed”. He said Moscow had invited his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic to visit Russia in the near future instead. The Kremlin also denounced the moves, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman calling them “hostile actions”. “We are convinced that such actions will not be able to prevent our country’s continuation of contacts, especially with friendly countries,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists. Lavrov had previously been forced to cancel a trip to Geneva for disarmament talks in late February, after the European Union closed its airspace to Russian aviation.

A Russian diplomatic source told news agency Interfax there had been no choice but to cancel the visit to Serbia. “Russian diplomacy has not yet learned how to teleport,” the source said. The chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian parliament’s upper house, Konstantin Kosachev, suggested NATO was pressuring the three countries. “We are talking about a NATO demarche, and without the United States it could not have happened,” Kosachev said on Telegram.

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“..as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.”

Your Show of Shows (Kunstler)

The Party of Chaos certainly doesn’t need to reinforce the mass formation psychosis of its base who maintain that the 2020 election was the fairest-and-squarest in US history. The committee members will chant the talismanic phrase “The Big Lie” ad nauseam to ward off reasonable suspicions that they are the ones doing the lying. Since a kind of maniacal stupidity attends all the party’s doings these days, it could easily backfire on them. Even two years later probes are still pending in several swing states, and only a few weeks ago, the documentary 2000 Mules released time-stamped videocam footage of blatant wholesale drop-box ballot-stuffing around the country. Lawsuits filed lately also claim the committee itself is illegally constituted, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disallowed (against the rules) the minority Republicans from appointing their own chosen members.

Instead, she did it for them, planting the vehemently hostile rogues Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on it, meaning no witnesses will be called who might refute pertinent details of the “insurrection” narrative already constructed. Much of the testimony presented will be videotaped interviews with Trump White House officials and there will be no accounting for what may be edited out. In other words, you have an obvious setup for a star chamber, a device for disregarding individual rights and fair procedure. The context, of course, as I aver above, is a country that is imploding six ways to Sunday — to paraphrase Chuck Schumer, the Party of Chaos’s Senate leader. At least half the public is already onto the extravagant damage inflicted upon our national life by the beneficiaries of the 2020 election.

Thanks to “Joe Biden,” the dollar is hemorrhaging value, we instigated a war in Ukraine that will lead to global famine and mass refugee events, oil and natgas are unaffordable thanks to our destabilizing of global distribution networks, spare parts are unavailable for every imaginable machine in the land, the business model for farming is broken, real estate is groaning under rising mortgage interest rates, the CDC is still pushing Covid vaccines despite proof that they are ineffective and harmful, cities are overwhelmed with criminal violence and psychotic homeless drug fiends, and, as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.

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“..in at least 35% of pediatric “Covid deaths,” Covid couldn’t have been the cause.”

The White House Keeps Stoking Covid Fears (Bhattacharya)

“I’ve been a huge advocate of keeping schools fully open to in person education since October of 2020,” Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid response coordinator, tweeted last week. “Still am.” So why is Dr. Jha engaged in scare-mongering about the danger of Covid to children? In a May 30 tweet, Dr. Jha asserted that Covid is “a far greater threat to kids than the flu is.” He linked to an article by Harvard Medical School instructor Jeremy Faust, which claims that Covid killed more than 600 children in 2021, whereas the flu kills “an average” of only 120 children annually. But Dr. Faust’s data are severely skewed, for three reasons.

First, while flu is seldom tested, everyone admitted to a hospital for any reason gets a Covid test. Between October 2018 and September 2019, 1.4 million flu tests were reported to public-health and clinical labs. As of May 31, 2022, there had been 897 million PCR tests for Covid. Second, evidence from audits of death certificates found that 35% of all pediatric deaths in 2020 “had co-occurring diagnosis codes that could not be plausibly categorized as either a chain-of-event or significant contributing condition,” according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Put another way, in at least 35% of pediatric “Covid deaths,” Covid couldn’t have been the cause.

Third, Dr. Faust relies on a figure for confirmed flu deaths that is well-known to underestimate actual flu deaths by an order of magnitude. Correcting for the lack of flu testing, the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases estimated 1,161 pediatric flu deaths in the 2012-13 season rather than the 142 that Dr. Faust reported. For the White House to amplify a false message of high Covid risk for children undermines public health and erodes public confidence. It foments an erroneous assessment of risk and is the kind of misinformation that leads to more school closings as well as burdensome mask and quarantine mandates.

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“Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths..”

COVID-19: Mask Mandates Could Increase Death Rate (Celente)

A new study out of Kansas found that mask mandates could be associated with a higher rate of death due to the spread of COVID-19. The observational study, which was published in Medicine in February considered “whether mandatory mask use influenced the case fatality rate in Kansas” from August 2020 to October of the same year, Town Hall reported. Dr. Zacharias Fögen authored the observational study titled, “The Foegen Effect: A Mechanism by Which Facemasks Contribute to the COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate.” He wrote the main takeaway was that “contrary to the accepted thought that fewer people are dying due to infection rates are reduced by masks, this was not the case.”


“Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths or 50% more deaths compared to no mask mandates,” the German doctor wrote. Fögen’s theory is that hypercondensed droplets caught by masks are re-inhaled and “introduced deeper into the respiratory tract.” The study focused on Kansas because the decision to force masks was up to the 105 counties and 81 refused to impose them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to insist that masks are an effective tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19. President Joe Biden has made mask usage one of the central themes in his administration’s fight against the virus. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order requiring masks on federal property and called for their widespread use for 100 days.

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“How can you force people to take a vaccine in order to stop transmission when that vaccine is not effective at stopping transmission?”

Florida Surgeon General Openly Questions Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines (FP)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday made some of his strongest statements yet against receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Delivered at a press conference announcing an agreement with the Special Olympics to lift a vaccine mandate, the Florida Department of Health leader went much further. He called into question the efficacy of COVID-19 shots and whether they are even safe to use. “People will say oh, you know, millions of people have taken these vaccines, they must be safe,” he said. “Well, you can’t know the answer to that when it is taboo to talk about having a reaction after vaccines.” Citing only anecdotal evidence, he suggested the vaccine has produced more side effects than others such as flu shots.


“There’s another vaccine that over 100 million Americans take every year, and it’s the influenza vaccine,” he said. “And the stream of adverse events that I’ve heard from people all over this country after these vaccines is nothing like the years of my life when I’ve been in medicine and have been administering the influenza vaccines. There is a difference, and you can’t say that millions of people getting it excuses you from that.” Regarding vaccine mandates, he said those make no sense based on what science now shows about this coronavirus and about vaccines in use now. “Scientifically, it makes zero sense,” Ladapo said. “How can you force people to take a vaccine in order to stop transmission when that vaccine is not effective at stopping transmission?”

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“..Parag Agrawal, current CEO said that for Musk to undertake this count he would need access to information that is not currently public.”

You can buy this car, but you cannot look at the engine…

Elon Musk Threatens To Terminate Twitter Deal (PM)

Elon Musk has accused Twitter of “resisting and thwarting” his inquiries about how many fake, or bot accounts are currently on the Twitter platform. Musk has been trying to get this information since his acquisition process for the platform began. Musk has reportedly called Twitter’s unwillingness to provide the information a “clear material breach” to the terms of the agreement that is still under negotiation. As a result, Musk is reserving his right to not complete the transaction.In the letter to Twitter Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde, Skadden attorney Mike Ringler for Musk said that “Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” according to CNBC.

He said further that Twitter must provide the information that is being requested, and that the merger agreement requires it. Ringler disputed Twitter’s claim that they are not responsible to give that data in order to close the deal. “Mr. Musk is entitled to seek, and Twitter is obligated to provide,” Ringler wrote, “information and data for, inter alia, ‘any reasonable business purpose related to the consummation of the transaction.'” “At this point,” Ringler continued, “Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover.”

The letter, submitted to the SEC, posited that “If Twitter is confident in its publicized spam estimates, Mr. Musk does not understand the company’s reluctance to allow Mr. Musk to independently evaluate those estimates. As noted in our previous correspondence, Mr. Musk will of course comply with the restrictions provided under Section 6.4, including by ensuring that anyone reviewing the data is bound by a non-disclosure agreement, and Mr. Musk will not retain or otherwise use any competitively sensitive information if the transaction is not consummated.”

Musk has been adamant throughout the process that he needs to know how many of the accounts on Twitter are actual humans. There is speculation that if the number is higher than Twitter execs have reported, Musk could negotiate a new buying price that’s less than the $44 billion initially offered and agreed to. Musk and his team have been willing to do the calculations themselves, but Parag Agrawal, current CEO who took over after founder Jack Dorsey left in the fall, said that for Musk to undertake this count he would need access to information that is not currently public.

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From 10% to 15%. But small engines and older car engines cannot take more than 10%.

(bio-) Ethanol fulfills its promise as an unmitigated disaster.

But wait, didn’t we have a food problem?

Biden Admin Quietly Raised Amount of Ethanol Required in Gasoline (CTH)

Last Friday the Biden administration raised the mandatory amount of biofuel, specifically ethanol, that must be blended within the U.S. gasoline supply. The previous amount of 10% was raised to 15% by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is likely to lead to two sets of bigger issues, less food and higher gas prices. First issue. – The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a government mandate, passed in 2005 and expanded in 2007, that requires growing volumes of biofuels to be blended into U.S. transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel every year. Approximately 40 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is used for ethanol. Raising the amount of ethanol required in gasoline will result in the need for more biofuel (corn). With farming costs and outputs already under pressure this could be problematic.

Second issue – The EPA enforces the biofuel standard by requiring refineries to submit purchase credits (known as Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proving the purchases. This enforcement requirement sets up a system where the RIN credits are bought and sold by small refineries who do not have the infrastructure to do the blending process. They purchase second-hand RIN credits from parties that blended or imported biofuels directly. This sets up a secondary income stream, a trading market for the larger oil companies, refineries and importers. The RIN credit trading platform is similar to what we might expect to see if the ‘Carbon Trading’ scheme was ever put into place. However, now that the biofuel requirements for blended gasoline have gone from 10% to 15%, the price of the RIN credits will likely jump.

This will cost refineries billions in additional expenses,…. which will mean the cost of the gasoline from the refineries will increase,….. which will mean the cost of the gasoline at the pump will go higher. The EPA theory is that RIN credits should be expensive thereby forcing all oil refineries to invest in infrastructure that makes the blended fuel. All of the infrastructure from the refinery to the gas station would need to be modified to facilitate the new 15% RFS standard. Again, higher prices at the pumps as a result of oil companies and refineries needing to spend billions on upgrades. Which brings us to issue number three.

Third Issue – “Ethanol is a valuable source of octane in finished gasoline, but it is chemically different than petroleum gasoline and cannot be used in concentrations above 10 percent in small engines — like outboard boat motors, motorcycles, lawnmowers, generators or chain saws — or in any cars made before 2001. Complicating matters further, most cars on the road today still aren’t warrantied to run on gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol. Retail stations also must have compatible infrastructure in order to sell gasoline with higher ethanol blends.” This issue is known within the industry as “The Blend Wall.”

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America’s future is being shaped by a foreigner who will not see that future.

Soros Spent $40 Million To Elect 75 ‘Social Justice’ Prosecutors (WE)

Sky-high campaign donations from liberal anti-police billionaire George Soros and his groups have helped to elect 75 “social justice” prosecutors in whose cities jailings have plummeted and crime has surged, according to a new report provided to Secrets. In a 17-page report compiled by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, a decade of spending has put Soros prosecutors in enough big cities that they represent 1 in 5 people, or about 72 million. That includes about half of America’s 50 most populous cities and counties where 40% of U.S. homicides occur. Soros is a well-known proponent of social justice prosecution, which calls for lighter sentences, especially of minorities. The movement, however, has led to higher crime in some cities and has been decried by pro-law-and-order conservatives.


Police have led the charge against liberal prosecutors who have been refusing to file charges that lead to long prison sentences. In a statement to Secrets, LELDF President Jason Johnson hit the Soros funding. “Soros is using that campaign money and the hundreds of millions more for supporting organizations to quietly transform the criminal justice system for the worse, promoting dangerous policies and anti-police narratives to advance his radical agenda,” said Johnson. He added, “Over the past decade, George Soros has spent $40 million to elect 75 of his chosen prosecutors. In campaigns from Houston and Los Angeles to Philadelphia and Orlando, Soros was the campaign’s biggest spender by far — as much as 90% of the dollars spent in some races. Soros isn’t done yet — he’s already spent another million so far this year on his hand-picked district attorneys.”

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“Let Joe be Joe” is the thinking.”

Exasperated Biden Has Only Himself To Blame For Poll Numbers (Levine)

Leaks from the White House suggest that Joe Biden is in a snit over his plummeting poll numbers, now that they’ve sunk below those of Donald Trump. He is exasperated that he is not receiving credit for the great achievements of his administration and feels he is a victim of circumstances beyond his control: inflation, rising fuel prices, the border crisis, Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine, school shootings, COVID-19, and so on. Oh, woe is him. So goes the spin. Biden’s solution is to snarl at staff and demand better messaging. First lady Jill Biden and the president’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, are reported by Politico to be urging him to get out and about more. “Let Joe be Joe” is the thinking.

But isn’t that part of the problem? When Biden goes off script in front of a teleprompter, things go awry very quickly. He blurts out reckless thought bubbles, like when he said Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” or that the US would get involved militarily in Taiwan. The plan is to put the near-octogenarian president on the road to give him more opportunities to connect organically with people and talk up his accomplishments. Perhaps in a sign that he is upping the tempo of his lethargic work output, Biden cut short his weekend sojourn at his Delaware beach house earlier than usual, returning to the White House Sunday rather than Monday morning. But the subtext of the leaks of turmoil in the Oval points to one central grievance: Donald Trump.

The man whose legacy Biden has spent his entire presidency trying to erase just can’t be outstripped. It’s why Biden can’t mention his predecessor’s name, treating him more like Lord Voldemort than a former president. He is “seething,” reports Politico, that his standing in the polls is now worse than that of Trump, “whom Biden routinely refers to in private as ‘the worst president’ in history and an existential threat to the nation’s democracy.” What does that say about his own presidency? Biden’s Trump derangement is “the greatest source of West Wing frustration, coming from behind the Resolute Desk.” Well, no wonder. When you look at the polling comparison between Biden and Trump, there simply is no contest. There is not a single day in which Biden has done better than Trump in his second year in office.

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Money?!

Why Is Chuck Schumer Trying To Stop Antitrust Reform? (NW)

We’re all familiar with the concentrated market power of giant technology companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, which reach into all corners of Americans’ daily lives. For more than a decade, their monopolistic dominance has spawned Justice Department investigations, congressional hearings, civil lawsuits and legal penalties. Over and over again, antitrust bills are discussed and some are introduced—and then they die in the House and the Senate. Now, though, two bills that would begin to rein in the power of companies like these Big Tech behemoths are under consideration in the Senate. They’ve both passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by impressive margins and are ready for a full vote. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been dragging his feet on bringing them to the floor.

Letting these bills die would be a significant failure of the American antitrust movement, signaling to the Big Tech companies that even modest and highly limited restrictions on their behavior are politically impossible to achieve—that despite overwhelming popular support for reform, Washington is simply too intransigent and too bought and paid for to get anything done. A defeat would give these companies the green light to continue stomping all over their smaller competitors and harming consumers by invading our privacy and limiting our choice. But given Schumer’s own ties to Big Tech, his reluctance to bring this legislation to the floor—where it would almost certainly pass—is no surprise.

Schumer has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Tech and its employees over the past decade. Between 2013 and 2018—a time period when tough data protections were adopted in the European Union, and there were broad calls for the U.S. to do the same—these corporate giants gave Schumer more than almost any other member of Congress. In 2016, the technology industry gave Schumer $237,000. In just the spring of 2021, when antitrust legislation was under discussion in Congress, Schumer took $120,000 from Google and Apple executives and their aligned PACs. The ties go beyond campaign contributions. Schumer’s staff has been a revolving door for Big Tech. According to the New York Post, more than 80 former Schumer staffers have gone on to subsequently work at the Big Tech firms.

And Schumer’s two daughters have also both worked directly for Big Tech—one for Amazon, and one for Facebook subsidiary Instagram. Alison Schumer also advocated against regulation as a public affairs manager for Airbnb, the technology company that has in many ways distorted housing markets worldwide. Given all that money and those family connections, it’s no wonder that Schumer has been reluctant to take a hard line on the enormous problem of tech market concentration. Indeed, journalists who watch the sector have called Schumer a “quiet but reliable Washington ally” to Big Tech, as well as a “tech booster.” As recently as 2018, he said tech companies were too new to regulate aggressively. He proposed that the companies police themselves—an approach that has clearly failed.

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Lausanne Treaty, 1923. Yes, Turkey is smaller than the Ottoman empire. This is turning into a weird revisionist story.

Ankara Tries To Sell ‘Ottoman Islands’ Theory (K.)

The theory of “Ottoman islands” whose sovereignty has not been given to any country by any treaty is being pushed by Ankara in earnest. Indicatively, the idea has also been picked up and promoted by the Turkish media, targeting specific islands, such as Agathonisi and Farmakonisi. The pro-government Milliyet columnist and director of the Kanal D television network in Ankara, Zafer Sahin, said in an article that “a second Imia crisis is on the brink. This is because the situation has turned into a deep political and military crisis that goes beyond the Imia issue.” Greece and Turkey came close to war in 1996 over the rocky Imia islets.

In his article titled “The Ottoman Islands in the Aegean,” Sahin emphasized that Ankara, in addition to questioning the sovereignty of the eastern Aegean islands that are militarized, is also preparing to raise the issue of the sovereignty of islands whose sovereignty has not been determined, citing Gavdos as an example. “This is located south of Crete and is under a regime whose sovereignty has not been determined,” he said. Turkey has long promulgated theory of “gray zones” regarding the status of 152 Greek islands and islets, but it seems that now there is an attempt to connect them with the Ottoman Empire.

“There are Ottoman islands that have not been transferred to the maps of the US and Great Britain, issued after the Second World War, which appear outside Greek territory,” Sahin claims. These theories began to emerge after the statements of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last week, who tried to threaten Greece into demilitarizing these islands. “Otherwise, the debate over sovereignty begins as they have been given [to Greece] under conditions,” he said.

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Not a word so far from the new Oz PM.

Nils Merzel’s New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured (Conv.)

It is easy to forget why Julian Assange has been on trial in England for, well, seemingly forever. Didn’t he allegedly sexually assault two women in Sweden? Isn’t that why he holed up for years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid facing charges? When the bobbies finally dragged him out of the embassy, didn’t his dishevelled appearance confirm all those stories about his lousy personal hygiene? Didn’t he persuade Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to hack into the United States military’s computers to reveal national security matters that endangered the lives of American soldiers and intelligence agents? He says he is a journalist, but hasn’t the New York Times made it clear he is just a “source” and not a publisher entitled to first amendment protection? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone. But the answers are actually no.

At very least, it’s more complicated than that. To take one example, the reason Assange was dishevelled was that staff in the Ecuadorian embassy had confiscated his shaving gear three months before to ensure his appearance matched his stereotype when the arrest took place. That is one of the findings of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, whose investigation of the case against Assange has been laid out in forensic detail in The Trial of Julian Assange.What is the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture doing investigating the Assange case, you might ask? So did Melzer when Assange’s lawyers first approached him in 2018: “I had more important things to do: I had to take care of “real” torture victims!” Melzer returned to a report he was writing about overcoming prejudice and self-deception when dealing with official corruption. “Not until a few months later,” he writes, “would I realise the striking irony of this situation.”

[..] He received nothing like full co-operation in investigating Assange’s case. He gathered around 10,000 pages of procedural files, but a lot of them came from leaks to journalists or from freedom-of-information requests. Many pages had been redacted. Rephrasing Carl Von Clausewitz’s maxim, Melzer wrote his book as “the continuation of diplomacy by other means”. What he finds is stark and disturbing: “The Assange case is the story of a man who is being persecuted and abused for exposing the dirty secrets of the powerful, including war crimes, torture and corruption. It is a story of deliberate judicial arbitrariness in Western democracies that are otherwise keen to present themselves as exemplary in the area of human rights.

“It is the story of wilful collusion by intelligence services behind the back of national parliaments and the general public. It is a story of manipulated and manipulative reporting in the mainstream media for the purpose of deliberately isolating, demonizing, and destroying a particular individual. It is the story of a man who has been scapegoated by all of us for our own societal failures to address government corruption and state-sanctioned crimes.”

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Rubik
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533888946723340288

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 062022
 
 June 6, 2022  Posted by at 8:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Robert Rauschenberg Collection 1954-55

 

The War in Ukraine Can Be Over If the US Wants It (Barkan)
Russia Will Strike West If US Rockets Hit Us – Medvedev (Times)
Japan’s Perceptions of the Propaganda regarding the SMO (Patricia Ormsby)
UK Offers More Support For ICC War Crimes Investigation In Ukraine (G.)
US To Allow Venezuelan Oil To Be Shipped To Europe (Hill)
Biden Scrambles To Avoid Summit of the Americas Flop (AP)
Food, Gas Prices Soar With No End In Sight, Americans Change Habits (JTN)
Spanish Court Orders Mike Pompeo To Testify On CIA Plot vs Assange (ZH)
Ratcliffe: Durham Lost Sussmann Battle, But Winning War (NM)
Schiff Says Jan. 6 Panel Has More Revelations For Americans (Hill)
Twitter In Settlement Talks With Deplatformed Journalist Alex Berenson (JTN)
Musk’s Twitter Acquisition Clears US Antitrust Review (Fox)
Musk: Things I’ll Never See In My Life (CB)
Why Your Depression May Really Be Insulin Resistance (PT)

 

 

 

 

What Happens To Europe When Russia Wins
Europe Cannot Survive Without Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desmet

 

 

Erdogan

 

 

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
–Albert Einstein

 

 

The US doesn’t want it…

The War in Ukraine Can Be Over If the US Wants It (Barkan)

The trouble with the seemingly bottomless pleas for more armaments for Ukraine is that with them a viable end to the war falls ever further out of reach. Though many American foreign-policy analysts and pundits believe the only acceptable outcome of the war is full freedom for Ukraine and a total repulsion of Russian forces, this remains highly unlikely and may put the world in further danger. That is Kissinger’s contention, and it’s one that must be heeded. If the American-backed military gains for Ukraine are fleeting and merely increase the odds of a more ruinous collision between NATO and Russia, should Ukraine keep receiving American missiles? This is the dilemma both Kissinger and Chomsky confront.

The economic shocks of the war cannot be dismissed any longer. Skyrocketing energy prices across the globe are destabilizing for affluent and precarious nations alike. Mass starvation looms — Russia is trapping 20 million tons of grain in Ukraine, which has been one of the world’s great breadbaskets. Ordinarily, Russia and Ukraine account for one-quarter of the grain traded internationally. Even before the war, strains on the global food supply were emerging with the pandemic and ongoing droughts in North America and the Horn of Africa. Wheat prices are now surging. And there is the faint possibility, always to be taken seriously, of nuclear conflict.

Kissinger is one of a vanishing number of men who worked in American government when nuclear war was a much-discussed existential threat to be averted at all costs. Russia is an enormous country that is going to play a role in global affairs for the rest of this century, just as it did in the past one. This fact cannot be hand-waved away, nor can the reality that Russia has stockpiled more nuclear weapons than any other nation in the world. Putin’s Russia is more unsettling than the Soviet Union because it is far weaker and dominated by fewer men; it simply has less to lose. As in the defeated Germany after the First World War, grievance culture might take hold, this time in a nation with enough nuclear warheads pointed outward to annihilate every large city on Earth.

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“The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are already on their way and all hope now is with Lord God the Almighty.”

Russia Will Strike West If US Rockets Hit Us – Medvedev (Times)

One of President Putin’s closest allies has warned that Moscow could target western cities if Ukraine uses rocket systems supplied by the United States to carry out strikes on Russian territory. Washington said this week that it was sending M142 high-mobility artillery rocket systems to Ukraine, which will more than double its army’s artillery range and allow it to strike targets 50 miles away. “If, God forbid, these weapons are used against Russian territory then our armed forces will have no other choice but to strike decision-making centres,” said Dmitry Medvedev, a former prime minister under Putin who is deputy chairman of Russia’s national security council. “Of course, it needs to be understood that the final decision-making centres in this case, unfortunately, are not located on the territory of Kyiv,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera.


Officials in Moscow have accused Nato of using the war in Ukraine to wage a proxy war against Russia. Medvedev, who also served a single term as president from 2008 to 2012 but was widely viewed as Putin’s puppet, was once seen as a liberalising force in Russia but has transformed in recent months into one of Moscow’s biggest hawks. He also warned that the fighting in Ukraine was pushing the world dangerously close to nuclear Armageddon, saying: “The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are already on their way and all hope now is with Lord God the Almighty.” Kremlin-controlled state television has said on a number of occasions that Moscow could launch nuclear missiles against western countries, including Britain, if the war in Ukraine turns against Russia.

Long range rockets

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“Zelensky’s arming of civilians to help fight the invasion rendered the entire civilian population a military target under international law..”

Japan’s Perceptions of the Propaganda regarding the SMO (Patricia Ormsby)

I can attest as a woman living in Japan nearly four decades that I could not watch the news without feeling that I would be a monster if I didn’t have any sympathy at all for the victims, even if I considered it all unverified and mostly likely misleading. I can’t tolerate such a level of cognitive dissonance, and just flee after a few minutes. My husband and his brother, by contrast, can continue watching with no emotional involvement, just out of curiosity to see how far the authorities will take such obvious propaganda. In contrast to the successful emotional man-handling of the women, virtually all of the men I know in Japan quickly saw through the deception and many, in fact, took umbrage at it.

It was men who told me they were sick of hearing constantly about Ukraine. They pointed out how odd the unilateral condemnation of Russia was, considering this was the same sort of action America was constantly engaging in with other small impoverished countries far away that the news otherwise had no interest in. They recognized the attempted manipulation, and what they and an increasing number of women began to see behind it was an anticipated new attempt to rewrite Japan’s constitution enabling it to engage in military actions overseas. In addition, the talk shows never really managed to shut out pro-Russian views entirely. Prior to the SMO, there had been some positive coverage of Russia in the Japanese media. The knowledge people possessed from before the conflict could not be erased.

According to my husband, one commentator noted that Zelensky’s arming of civilians to help fight the invasion rendered the entire civilian population a military target under international law. The public’s perceptions of Zelensky’s role in the conflict changed. The Minsk Accords were brought up in one daytime program, catching one of the young “experts” off-guard. The general perception gradually formed among the public that there was indeed another side to this story. Russian signage was restored at train stations in April. I have not heard recently of on-line harassment of Russians (or anyone suspected of being Russian, including Ukrainians), which was occurring during the first few weeks of the SMO. Prior to Biden’s recent appearance in Japan, the propaganda increased, but seems to have subsided since then somewhat, though the other day they aired a documentary on what a dictator Putin is.

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“..the global community will work together to ensure justice is served.” Right, with another probe in Mariupol.

UK Offers More Support For ICC War Crimes Investigation In Ukraine (G.)

The UK Ministry of Justice has announced a second tranche of support for the international criminal court’s (ICC) investigations into war crimes in Ukraine, including the deployment of a specialist legal and police team. Karim Khan QC, the court’s chief prosecutor, will be in London on Monday to provide an update on the progress of the investigation. During this time, deputy prime minister Dominic Raab will present further support to the independent investigation on top of the £1m of funding provided earlier this year. The package includes a police liaison officer based in The Hague to lead on information sharing between the UK and the ICC, and seven legal experts to support the ICC with expertise in international criminal law and the handling of evidence to be presented to court.


The UK will also provide two police officers with expertise in the collection of intelligence through publicly available data sources, ongoing defence analysis and monitoring of events in Ukraine, as well as war crimes investigation training to Ukrainian police on behalf of the ICC, in collaboration with Norwegian police. “The UK has responded swiftly to a request from the international criminal court for more police and lawyers to aid their investigation into Russian war crimes in Ukraine,” Raab said. “Russian forces should know that they will be held to account for their actions and the global community will work together to ensure justice is served.” The attorney general, Suella Braverman, added: “Following my appointment of war crimes expert Sir Howard Morrison as an independent adviser to the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office, I am determined that British expertise continues to be available to our friends in Ukraine in their search for justice.

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Hmmm it doesn’t mention Guiado…

US To Allow Venezuelan Oil To Be Shipped To Europe (Hill)

The U.S. will reportedly resume allowing Venezuelan oil to flow to Europe, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The outlet on Sunday reported that Eni SpA and Repsol SA, which are Italian and Spanish respectively, could ship Venezuelan oil to Europe as early as next month after the Biden administration authorized the plan last month. People familiar with the matter told Reuters that the oil “has to go to Europe. It cannot be resold elsewhere.” The volume of oil Eni and Repsol will receive is expected to be fairly small with a minimal impact on oil prices around the world. The Biden administration’s reported permission to allow for the use of Venzeluan oil comes as part of a push to rely less on Russian oil and redirect Venezuela’s shipments from China, Reuters added.


In May, 18 progressive House Democrats wrote to Biden asking that he lift all sanctions against Venezuela that “exacerbate the humanitarian situation” amid President Nicolás Maduro’s alleged human rights violations. But earlier this year, talks of lifting those sanctions and engaging more with Venezuela about oil were criticized by lawmakers. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said a deal with Maduro for the purchase of Venezuelan oil “risks perpetuating a humanitarian crisis that has destabilized Latin America and the Caribbean for an entire generation.”

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It’s already a flop.

“The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent.”

Biden Scrambles To Avoid Summit of the Americas Flop (AP)

When leaders gather this week in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas, the focus is likely to veer from common policy changes — migration, climate change and galloping inflation — and instead shift to something Hollywood thrives on: the drama of the red carpet. With Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador topping a list of leaders threatening to stay home to protest the U.S.’ exclusion of authoritarian leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, experts say the event could turn into a embarrassment for U.S. President Joe Biden. Even some progressive Democrats have criticized the administration for bowing to pressure from exiles in the swing state of Florida and barring communist Cuba, which attended the last two summits.

“The real question is why the Biden administration didn’t do its homework,” said Jorge Castañeda, a former Mexican foreign minister who now teaches at New York University. While the Biden administration insists the president in Los Angeles will outline his vision for a “sustainable, resilient, and equitable future” for the hemisphere, Castañeda said it’s clear from the last-minute wrangling over the guest list that Latin America is not a priority for the U.S. president. “This ambitious agenda, no one knows exactly what it is, other than a series of bromides,” he said. The U.S. is hosting the summit for the first time since its launch in 1994, in Miami, as part of an effort to galvanize support for a free trade agreement stretching from Alaska to Patagonia.

But that goal was abandoned more than 15 years ago amid a rise in leftist politics in the region. With China’s influence expanding, most nations have come to expect — and need — less from Washington. As a result, the premier forum for regional cooperation has languished, at times turning into a stage for airing historical grievances, like when the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez at the 2009 summit in Trinidad & Tobago gave President Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano’s classic tract, “The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent.”

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“..if these energy prices stay high in the long run then they will entirely work their way into food prices.”

Food, Gas Prices Soar With No End In Sight, Americans Change Habits (JTN)

Americans are changing their shopping habits because of soaring food prices. And disruptions in the international farming community have some worried about the food supply heading into 2023. The BMO Real Financial Progress Index, a quarterly survey from BMO and Ipsos, shows that 42% of surveyed adults “are changing how they shop for groceries,” including “opting for cheaper items, avoiding brand names and buying only the essentials.” The report found “46% are either dining out less or consciously spending less when dining out.” Record high energy costs and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been major factors in rising food prices.

Gas prices hit new record highs every day in the past week. According to AAA, the national average gas price rose to $4.85 on Sunday, with diesel gas prices at their own record of $5.64 per gallon. That added cost makes it more expensive for farmers to operate equipment, transport goods to market, and more. “By the economics textbook, higher costs work themselves up through the supply side of the market and raise prices,” said Roger Cryan, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The prices are especially high right now because of the sudden lack of access to Black Sea grain, but if these energy prices stay high in the long run then they will entirely work their way into food prices.”

Ukraine is a major food exporter, and it also is an exporter of several key chemicals used to make fertilizer. “Ukraine is one of the largest wheat producers and suppliers, so wheat is definitely under pressure,” said Maksym Chepeliev, an agriculture professor at Purdue University and a Research Economist at the Center for Global Trade Analysis. “Corn as well, because apart from the fact that Ukraine is a large corn producer and supplier that needs to be replaced, there have been issues with some droughts in South America and also the U.S. that kind of reduced the corn supply, and China is demanding more corn … and that is … pushing the global corn market.”

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Saw the ABC Spain report a few days ago, but it was behind a paywall. Pompeo won’t show up, but with the extradition still in the air, this might be a useful twist.

Spanish Court Orders Mike Pompeo To Testify On CIA Plot vs Assange (ZH)

In a surprising development surrounding WikiLeaks and the fate of Julian Assange, who is still in London’s Belmarsh prison awaiting awaiting a decision from UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on extradition to the US, a Spanish court has summoned former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify on whether the CIA planned to assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Pompeo was head of the agency during the time period that a bombshell Yahoo News investigative report last year revealed that the CIA allegedly plotted to kidnap or even kill Assange, following Washington outrage that WikiLeaks made public a batch of documents exposing the agency’s ultra-secretive hacking tools known as Vault 7.

At the time, the Yahoo report quoted a former Trump national security official who described that Pompeo and other top intel officials “were completely detached from reality because they were so embarrassed about Vault 7 … they were seeing blood.” As ABC Spain reports, the summoning comes after filings by Assange’s legal team related to his ongoing proceedings with the UK government: “According to legal sources consulted by ABC, Pompeo has been summoned this June, although he may appear by videoconference. The same resolution agrees to call William Evanina, a former key US counterintelligence official who reportedly made statements supporting that theory. Pedraz has made this decision after the prosecutor Carlos Bautista reported in favor of the petition filed by the lawyer Aitor Martínez who, together with Baltasar Garzón, defends Assange.”

The Spanish report continues, “Separately, Spain’s National Court has been probing a Spanish security firm that may have spied on Assange for the CIA while providing security for the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.” “National High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz agreed to summon Pompeo and former U.S. counterintelligence official William Evanina as witnesses to explain whether a plot was drawn up,” it adds. Pompeo has yet to issue comment on the ruling or whether he plans to appear, which isn’t likely, given current or former top US intelligence officials do not subject themselves to legal examinations on classified intelligence matters.

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“The leadership at the FBI has played a prominent role in the American people losing faith in that organization..”

Ratcliffe: Durham Lost Sussmann Battle, But Winning War (NM)

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Sunday denounced the acquittal of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, calling the verdict “contrary to the evidence.” In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Ratcliffe lamented the judicial decision to not allow certain evidence in the case. “The verdict was disappointing because it was contrary to the evidence,” he said. “Michael Sussmann’s own text messages confirmed exactly what the government said, which is that he claimed to just be a private citizen coming in when he had a story about a connection between the Trump campaign server and a Russian bank, which was clearly false, when the evidence clearly showed that he was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign.”

“It wasn’t a judge verdict,” he added, because “the judge in this case wouldn’t allow certain evidence of the Clinton conspiracy to be included.” But Ratcliffe said the “bigger picture” is that though special counsel John Durham’s prosecution may have lost this battle … “they’re clearly winning the war.” “The most powerful testimony to come out of this was admissions by the Clinton campaign about the fact that the Trump-Russia collusion narrative was, in fact, approved by Hillary Clinton,” Ratcliffe said. According to Ratcliffe, some people in the FBI misled the American people for political reasons. “The leadership at the FBI has played a prominent role in the American people losing faith in that organization,” he declared. “Our law enforcement community was briefed on the fact that it was Hillary Clinton that created this entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative and that the FBI knew that from the beginning,” he said

“When that is the purpose of what your special counsel is to be, and you leave that out altogether, it shows that there was a deliberate effort here, unfortunately, on behalf of some folks in our law enforcement community to mislead the American people for political reasons,” he said. Ratcliffe railed that from the start, “the FBI and everyone in law enforcement that then became part of the Mueller investigation were aware from day one with that this whole Trump-Russia investigation that was playing out over years to the American people was created by the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

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He said numerous times he had “ample evidence” of collusion. He didn’t. But now he’s back as if that never happened.

Schiff Says Jan. 6 Panel Has More Revelations For Americans (Hill)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising, hinted on Sunday there are more revelations in store about the events that led up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, saying a “comprehensive narrative” would be mapped for the first time when the panel holds its first public hearing this week. Schiff told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Americans have already seen “a number of bombshells” come out of the panel’s investigation — but said more surprises would be revealed on Thursday, including a narrative of the events leading up to Jan. 6. “Our goal is to present the narrative of what happened in this country, how close we came to losing our democracy, what led to the violence,” Schiff said.


“Americans I think know a great deal already — they have seen a number of bombshells already [and] there’s a great deal they haven’t seen. But perhaps the most important is the public has not seen it woven together, how one thing led to another.” The Jan. 6 panel will hold its first public hearing at 8 p.m. on Thursday. It’s unclear exactly who will be testifying publicly, as the committee has not released the names of any witnesses. Chairperson Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has said up to eight public hearings could be held throughout June as the panel presents the findings of its investigation, which included more than 1,000 interviews. The Jan. 6 insurrection saw a mob of pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn certification of the 2020 election, which Trump and his allies and supporters continue to claim without evidence was stolen.

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“The case recently swung in Berenson’s favor when U.S. District Judge William Alsup greenlit his breach-of-contract claim against Twitter..”

Twitter In Settlement Talks With Deplatformed Journalist Alex Berenson (JTN)

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson and Twitter are in active settlement talks to resolve his censorship lawsuit against the company, which deplatformed him following a tweet that said COVID-19 vaccines don’t stop infection or transmission, a view that has long been confirmed by global data and reiterated by Bill Gates this year. In a joint filing Thursday, the parties asked the U.S. District Court in San Francisco for a “modest extension of the discovery deadlines” in the case so they can “focus their efforts on resolution,” a request granted Friday. They had mediation sessions May 27 and 31, the filing says.


A previous order required Berenson to produce certain documents by Monday, which has now been pushed off until June 16, and other deadlines were also moved back 10 days. The case recently swung in Berenson’s favor when U.S. District Judge William Alsup greenlit his breach-of-contract claim against Twitter, saying he plausibly alleged the company “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. Berenson shared the new filing with subscribers to his newsletter Thursday, saying he would let it “speak for itself.”

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“Neither agency requested additional information.”

Musk’s Twitter Acquisition Clears US Antitrust Review (Fox)

Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter is a step closer to completion as the regulatory waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 officially expired on Friday. The HSR requires companies to give advance notice of transactions above a certain threshold to the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. The agencies have 30 days from the notification to pursue an initial investigation of the transaction to determine whether additional information is needed to assess its legality. Neither agency requested additional information. While the expiration of the HSR waiting period has been satisfied, Twitter emphasized that the deal’s completion is still subject to remaining customary closing conditions, including shareholder and remaining applicable regulatory approvals.


The deal, which would take Twitter private at $54.20 per share, is expected to close in 2022. The latest development comes after Musk said the deal would be temporarily put on hold as he awaits calculations supporting the social media giant’s internal estimate that spam and fake accounts make up less than 5% of the platform’s users. Musk, who has vowed to crack down on Twitter’s spam bots, has said he believes at least 20% of its users are spam or fake accounts and that he would be willing to renegotiate the deal for a lower price proportionate to the total percentage.

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“Hey, why are they already writing my suicide story!?”

Musk: Things I’ll Never See In My Life (CB)

It came the day before he tweeted a meme that said, “Things I’ll never see in my life,” along with photos of a fire-breathing dragon, a unicorn, a dinosaur, and the Jeffrey Epstein/Ghislaine Maxwell client list. “Only thing more remarkable than DOJ not leaking the list is that no one in the media cares. Doesn’t that seem odd?” he added. A Twitter user posted a picture of Musk with Maxwell to which Musk replied: “Ah yes, Maxwell photobombing me at a @VanityFair Oscars party – you should ask them why they invited her.” “The same people who push this photo say nothing about prominent people who actually went to his island a dozen times. Also very strange…” he added.


It isn’t the first time Musk mentioned Maxwell’s client list. A Twitter user asked: “It says it all that we heard more about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock than we heard about Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial. It is also “interesting” that the account tracking the Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial got banned when it gained traction. Lovely people indeed…” Musk then quipped: “Where is their ‘client’ list? Shouldn’t at least one of them go down!?” Shortly thereafter he added: “Hey, why are they already writing my suicide story!?”

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I think fasting may be crucial.

Why Your Depression May Really Be Insulin Resistance (PT)

Remarkably, as of 2022, most people have still never heard of insulin resistance. This is true even though it is the single most common chronic health condition in the U.S. and a major contributor to six of the top eight causes of death in 2021 (heart disease, cancer, COVID, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes). How common can insulin resistance be if you’ve never heard of it? Extremely common; an estimated 88 percent of U.S. adults in 2018 had this condition (1). Briefly stated, insulin resistance is a process in which cells become less responsive to a hormone called insulin. Because insulin receptors are found in every cell in the body—muscle, fat, organs, bone, skin—how well cells respond to insulin signals is critical to how we feel and function.

One of insulin’s main functions is to help the body control blood sugar levels by putting excess blood sugar into cells for storage. This process occurs every time you eat. Because insulin is so crucial to blood sugar regulation, even people who have heard of insulin or insulin resistance mostly think of it as a problem for diabetics. Indeed, this is partly true. In people with diabetes, their cells have become so resistant to insulin that insulin can no longer keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range. As a result, blood sugar levels run high, with catastrophic consequences if left unchecked. Unfortunately, even when a person with diabetes receives treatment, this treatment doesn’t necessarily improve their underlying insulin resistance; a person can lower blood sugar levels while remaining insulin resistant, giving them a false sense of security about their health.

Insulin affects every organ in the body—including the brain. When insulin levels become chronically elevated, brain tissue also becomes insulin resistant. The consequences of this are numerous and severe. For example, although the science is not yet strong enough to make it an official diagnosis, many researchers now refer to Alzheimer’s disease, the progressive and fatal form of dementia associated with severe memory loss, as “Type 3 diabetes” in reference to the effects possibly being the result of long-term insulin resistance in the brain.

[..] The rapidly evolving science on insulin resistance and brain function now also suggests that effects could extend beyond dementia to include depression. Depression is a condition defined by a heterogeneous collection of symptoms. Some of the classic symptoms of depression—such as sadness, guilt, suicidality, and poor concentration—are believed to result from dysfunction in a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Popular antidepressants such as Prozac work by improving serotonin function in the brain. In contrast, other common symptoms of depression such as anhedonia (a lack of motivation or interest), fatigue, motor impairment, and loss of sex drive are more closely linked to dysfunction in other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. This is another area where insulin resistance becomes especially relevant.

Vitamin D reduces autoimmune disease

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