Jul 042023
 


Giovanni Strazza The Veiled Virgin, Carrera marble 1850s

 

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Running Out of Time – Russian Ex-General (Sp.)
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Failing in All Directions – Shoigu (Sp.)
Russia Will Stop Ukraine Joining NATO One Way Or Another – Medvedev (RT)
Zelenskyy: Ukraine’s Membership In NATO Depends On Biden (Az.)
NATO Might Use ‘Nuclear Incident’ to Enter Ukrainian Conflict (Dergalin)
Ukraine Already Had Statehood Under USSR – Scholz (RT)
Erdogan Blames Failure Of Ukraine Peace Process On ‘War Lobby’ (RT)
Turkish Parliament Speaker: Sweden’s NATO Accession Bid A ‘Pipedream’ (TASS)
Head of US Space Command Comments on Russia, China Hypersonic Weapons (Sp.)
We Can’t Buy Chinese Arms – Ukrainian Defense Ministry (RT)
US Close to Providing Ukraine With Widely Banned Cluster Bombs (Antiwar)
NATO Admiral Tells Ukraine No Fighter Jets In Short Term (RT)
Why CIA and FBI Would Have Never Hired Joe Biden (Sp.)
Lies About Afghanistan. Lies About Iraq. And Lies About Ukraine. (Chris Hedges)
Biden’s 3am Moment in Ukraine (Scott Ritter)
Meta Set To Launch Twitter Rival On Thursday (Az.)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

 

 

Julian

 

 

 

 

Ukraine’s Only Option: All-In Offensive Before NATO Summit Next Week

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Running Out of Time – Russian Ex-General (Sp.)

Leonid Reshetnikov, a retired lieutenant general of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), told Sputnik that the second stage of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the battlefield is expected by the time the Vilnius summit opens in just ten days. According to him, the Kiev regime needs results in order to get decisions in favor of further arms and financial support, and even NATO membership. “Faced with limited options, the Kiev regime has no other choice but to press on. This next phase involves a comprehensive review of tactics and strategy, coupled with the deployment of previously untapped reserves,” he said. According to Reshetnikov, reports indicate the possibility of introducing new elements, such as major provocations, similar to when Ukrainians blew up the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.

“So far, that explosion hasn’t had the desired result. Perhaps something along those lines, including possibly related to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. They are building up tension in this regard. It is possible that it will be used for the offensive,” he stressed. This offensive is expected to be launched before the upcoming summit in Vilnius. The ongoing nationwide mobilization signals growing understanding that Kiev’s current forces may not be sufficient to achieve a breakthrough. “Such plans exist. But I repeat, their offensive is inevitable,” Reshetnikov noted. However, the primary objective for Ukraine remains to break through the Russian defense lines to reach the Sea of Azov and the border with Crimea, the expert noted.

“In the first stage, Ukrainian forces were unable to breach the initial line of Russian defenses. In response, the second stage is based on the hope that a protracted defense will exhaust the defenders psychologically and technologically,” he said. Reshetnikov likewise noted that the Ukrainian military is pursuing a strategy of sending inexperienced soldiers on frenzied attacks in a desperate bid to locate potential weak links in the Russian defense. m“However, the Russian defense lines have been fortified while, as far as we know, a significant part of the reserves have not been put in place. So the Ukrainian plans are very questionable,” he noted. The commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Valery Zaluzhny recently told Western media that it would be impossible to conduct an offensive without additional supplies of NATO ammunition and aircraft.

Reshetnikov believes that these statements serve a dual purpose: to garner increased Western support and to justify the lack of success so far. “Nevertheless, it is important to note that Western assistance, while valuable, cannot single-handedly alter the situation on the ground. Substantial and sustained assistance would be required to have a significant impact,” he said. In an attempt to explain Kiev’s shortcomings, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar has propagated the idea that Russian forces are conducting an offensive in four directions – Avdeyevka, Maryinka, Krasny Liman and Svatovo. However, Reshetnikov believes that this claim is purely a propaganda tactic to rationalize Ukrainian setbacks. “While Russian forces have adopted an active defense strategy that includes counterattacks and advances on enemy [Ukrainian] strongholds, these actions fall short of a full-fledged offensive. In the event of another failed counteroffensive, the Russian army may seize the opportunity to launch a counteroffensive of its own, taking advantage of a worn-out Ukrainian military,” he said.

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Shoigu is still in place.

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Failing in All Directions – Shoigu (Sp.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive has not reached its goals in any of the directions of the military campaign. “In general, the enemy did not achieve its goals in any of the directions. This testifies to the skill of our fighters and clearly inflated expectations from the vaunted Western weapons,” Shoigu told top military officials. He also announced that Russian forces managed to destroy some 920 armored vehicles, including 16 Leopard tanks, in Donbass and in Zaporozhye regions last month. At the same time, Shoigu accused Ukrainian forces of carrying out strikes against civilian targets to make up for Kiev’s inability to attain success on the battlefield.

“Kiev is trying to compensate for its inability to ensure success on the ground through terrorist attacks on civilian targets and thus achieve a propaganda effect,” the Russian defense minister said. Last month, Ukrainian forces finally launched the “counteroffensive” that Kiev had been announcing for months. Despite committing significant numbers of troops and military hardware to this undertaking, Kiev has so far failed to breach even the first line of Russian defenses despite sacrificing hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and losing a considerable number of tanks and armored vehicles supplied by NATO countries. Shoigu has also addressed the events that transpired in Russia on June 23-25 involving the forces of PMC Wagner. “I cannot but touch upon one more issue … We are talking about an attempt on June 23-25 to destabilize the situation in Russia. These plans failed primarily because the personnel of the armed forces showed loyalty to the oath and military duty,” he said.

On Friday, June 23, forces of the Wagner Group (PMC) seized the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District in the city of Rostov-on-Don following accusations leveled against the Russian Ministry of Defense of striking the group’s camps. Both the Russian military and the Federal Security Service denied the allegations. Later that day, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko revealed that he had spent the entire day negotiating with Yevgeny Prigozhin, as agreed upon with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a result of the talks, the Wagner group leader accepted Lukashenko’s proposal to stop the movement of his troops in Russia and take measures to de-escalate the situation. Putin guaranteed that the Wagner group fighters would have the opportunity to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, return home, or move to Belarus.

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“The Kiev regime must be annihilated. Banned by law as a fascist entity in civilized Europe..”

Russia Will Stop Ukraine Joining NATO One Way Or Another – Medvedev (RT)

Russia demands that its security concerns regarding NATO are respected, but has neither the intention nor the capability to “contain” the US-led military bloc, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. The official argued in a keynote article on Sunday against the notion that Russia miscalculated in its attempt to prevent NATO’s expansion into Ukraine, and caused Finland and Sweden to apply for membership. Both Nordic nations “were already in association with the alliance”, he noted. What Russia has always called for was “not to invite into NATO the former parts of our country. Especially those with which we have territorial disputes,” Medvedev wrote. He pledged that Russia will stop “the threat” of Ukraine joining the bloc “one way or another.” Since NATO members say that a nation cannot join while being engaged in an armed conflict, “the conflict [with Ukraine] will be permanent, because Russia’s existence is at stake,” he warned.

The article detailed Medvedev’s view of the hostilities in Ukraine in the context of a wider geopolitical confrontation. According to the Russian official, Western nations are clashing with the rest of the world in an attempt to preserve their hegemony. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of the Russian Security Council, admitted to having a pessimistic view of where things are going. “One does not need to be a prophet to realize: this phase of confrontation will… last for decades,” he predicted. Medvedev believes that since Western nations have the goal of defeating a nuclear power, it could escalate into a civilization-ending outcome. “An apocalypse is not only possible, but quite probable,” he warned.

The only alternative is a painfully negotiated rearrangement of the global balance of power, under which Ukraine would not exist in its current form of an “anti-Russia,” he said. “The Kiev regime must be annihilated. Banned by law as a fascist entity in civilized Europe,” he declared. A rebalanced world order would require a new international treaty akin to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and likely an overhaul of the United Nations, Medvedev argued. The accords were a key element of the US-USSR detente, and outlined the signatories’ commitments to preserve peace, security and respect for human rights.

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“It’s so important to feel that you are really being around allies in the future..”

Zelenskyy: Ukraine’s Membership In NATO Depends On Biden (Az.)

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on US President Joe Biden to invite Ukraine into NATO “now” – even if membership does not come until after the war, Report informs referring to CNN. Zelenskyy noted that Biden was “the decision maker” about whether Ukraine would be in NATO or not. “He supports our future in NATO,” but an invitation now would be a huge motivator for Ukrainian soldiers, Zelenskyy said in an exclusive interview with CNN.Ukraine’s aspiration to join is enshrined in its constitution and its relationship with NATO dates back to the early 1990s, according to the alliance. NATO is due to hold a summit in Lithuania on July 11 and 12 where leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine’s membership.


“Now,” Zelenskyy said in response to a question about why not wait for an invitation. “It’s very important.” “It’s so important to feel that you are really being around allies in the future,” he added. Zelenskyy added that he understood that Ukraine would “never be in NATO before war finishes.” NATO stipulates that the settlement of territorial disputes is “a factor in determining whether to invite a state to join the Alliance.”

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If somethig happens to Zaporozhye NPP, we know who did it.

NATO Might Use ‘Nuclear Incident’ to Enter Ukrainian Conflict (Dergalin)

The Kiev regime’s Western bosses may be looking to capitalize on the predicament at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in order to further their own goals in the Ukrainian conflict, said Renat Karchaa, advisor to the chief executive of Rosenergoatom, the Russian nuclear power station operations subsidiary. As Karchaa explained in an interview with a Russian media outlet, the much-hyped Ukrainian “counteroffensive” has already run out of steam and “Ukraine’s Western masters” now realize that Kiev cannot prevail on the battlefield even with all the military assistance provided by NATO.

And since the West has already raised the stakes to the point where Kiev’s defeat would mean its own defeat as well, “aggressive Western politicians” are now mulling drastic options, such as a black op at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant that would result in a “nuclear incident” and create a legal pretext for NATO to directly enter the Ukrainian conflict, he suggested. According to Karchaa, this is why the West has recently been fixed on portraying Russia as a country capable of perpetrating an act of nuclear terrorism, with the international community ready to single out “the guilty party before the event takes place.” He also spotlighted the stepped-up activity by the Kiev regime forces in the vicinity of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, claiming that the number of Ukrainian troops in the area has risen considerably over the past month.

Ever since the Zaporozhye nuclear station came under Russia’s jurisdiction last year, Ukrainian forces have repeatedly shelled the facility while simultaneously blaming these attacks on Russia itself. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has called for establishing a safety zone around the plant and condemned the shelling, though for some reason this organization has been reluctant to publicly identify the perpetrator of these attacks. The situation around the Zaporozhye station exacerbated following the terrorist attack carried out by the Kiev regime’s forces on the nearby Kakhovka Dam last month. The damage sustained by the dam resulted in a drastic decrease in water levels in the Kakhovka Reservoir, practically to the point of it drying up. In fact, the Zaporozhye facility obtained water for its coolant systems from that reservoir.

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Crimeans are predominantly Russian-speaking. Why try to rewrite history? It was the Vikings. No, the Romans…

Ukraine Already Had Statehood Under USSR – Scholz (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said the Ukrainian state was already in existence while the country was still part of the Soviet Union. He also insisted that Crimea, which joined Russia after a referendum in 2014, has long been part of Ukraine. In an interview with Germany’s ARD TV channel on Sunday, the host read a question from a viewer to Scholz, asking “Who does Crimea belong to?” The German chancellor replied by saying: “Crimea has for a very, very long time belonged to Ukraine.” He added that “already in the days of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was an independent state with UN membership,” and said Russia left the USSR before Ukraine did. Following the end of World War II, the Ukrainian SSR along with the Belarusian SSR as part of the Soviet Union were among the founding members of the United Nations and a signatory of its charter back in 1945.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia de facto became the sole legal successor of the defunct country. As for Crimea, the predominantly Russian-speaking peninsula was handed over to the Ukrainian SSR by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev back in 1954. In 2014, however, a referendum was held in Crimea, where the vast majority of its residents voted in favor of rejoining Russia. The plebiscite, which has not been recognized by Ukraine, the US, the EU and most other countries, was preceded by a coup in Kiev. Many Crimeans had then begun to voice concerns that radical nationalists were attempting to forcibly impose the Ukrainian language and discriminate against local Russian speakers.

Scholz also commented on the ongoing military conflict between Ukraine and Russia during the interview. He said Germany would not provide Ukraine with long-range missiles for fear that Kiev could use them to strike targets on Russian soil, pointing to the fact that the Biden administration in the US has had similar reservations. Scholz hastened to add, however, that Germany is the “second-biggest supporter of Ukraine after the US,” pledging to keep backing Kiev for “as long as necessary.” The chancellor also reiterated that Ukraine would not be able to join NATO as long as it is locked in a military conflict with Russia. According to Scholz, officials in Kiev are also well aware of this prerequisite. At the same time, Germany, together with its partners, has been working on post-bellum security guarantees for Ukraine, Scholz said.

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They took his moment of relevance.

Erdogan Blames Failure Of Ukraine Peace Process On ‘War Lobby’ (RT)

Efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev have been “obstructed and eroded by the war lobby,” Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed. The president made the remarks on Monday while speaking to reporters in Ankara following a cabinet meeting. “The diplomatic efforts, which were initiated with the Istanbul process and proceeded with captive exchanges, have unfortunately been obstructed and eroded by the war lobby,” Erdogan stated. The president claimed Türkiye itself had been targeted by said “war lobby,” without naming any precise culprits. If Türkiye’s peace efforts had succeeded early on in the conflict, most of the destruction could have been avoided, Erdogan explained.


Türkiye hosted peace talks between Moscow and Kiev shortly after hostilities broke out in February 2022. The negotiations culminated into a preliminary peace deal, which was initialed in Istanbul. However, Ukraine broke its promises after Moscow withdrew its forces from the immediate vicinity of Kiev, shortly after the deal was reached.Russian and Ukrainian representatives haven’t met at the negotiating table to discuss peace prospects since then. Moscow, however, maintains that it is ready to resolve the crisis through diplomatic efforts, while repeatedly blaming the collective West for pushing Kiev into a war “to the last Ukrainian.” The Ukrainian leadership, for its part, has explicitly prohibited itself from ever engaging in talks with Moscow while Russian President Vladimir Putin remains in power.

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Sweden, Ukraine, what’s the difference?

Turkish Parliament Speaker: Sweden’s NATO Accession Bid A ‘Pipedream’ (TASS)

Joining NATO is a pipedream for Stockholm, which has been reluctant to meet Ankara’s demands, Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Numan Kurtulmus said in an interview with the Milliyet newspaper, published on Monday. “There is a trilateral agreement [between Turkey, Sweden and Finland]. They will engage in provocative actions [even as they are] asking for us to approve their NATO membership [application]. Excuse me, but Turkey is a country that means what it says. Whatever it says and whatever it promises, it delivers; but, we would also like our opponents to stand by their word. Becoming a NATO member is a pipedream for Sweden, which has been failing to fulfill its promises,” Kurtulmus stressed.

He noted that “Turkey is facing strong pressure” over the NATO bid by Sweden, “which supports and harbors terrorist organizations.” “On the other hand, Turkey will not take a single step on the matter until its demands are met,” Kurtulmus added. On June 28, 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, then-Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held talks ahead of the annual NATO summit in Madrid. The parties signed a memorandum enabling the accession of Stockholm and Helsinki to NATO. On March 31, 2023, the Turkish parliament passed a protocol approving Finland’s accession to NATO, after which the Nordic country formally joined the North Atlantic Alliance on April 4.

However, Turkish lawmakers refused to approve a similar protocol approving Sweden’s NATO membership, demanding that Stockholm implement all provisions of the Madrid memorandum related to fighting terrorism. Ankara has been strongly critical of Stockholm for allowing demonstrations by supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an organization that is outlawed in Turkey, which have taken place in Sweden, as well as for incidents involving burning of the Quran.

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The US thinks hypersonics is a space program?!

Head of US Space Command Comments on Russia, China Hypersonic Weapons (Sp.)

Hypersonic weapons are advanced military technology that travel at extremely high speeds, reaching Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound) or more. Russia has deployed hypersonic missiles, including the Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile and the Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile. General James Dickinson, head of the US Space Command, addressed the issue of hypersonic weapons from Russia and China in an interview with British media. “Obviously, we have seen demonstrations of hypersonic weapons by other countries, particularly China and Russia. We continue to explore this area in how we can minimize this type of threat,” Dickinson said.

Dickinson reportedly said that the Pentagon remains confident in its capabilities amid concerns that the US is falling behind China in the space race. The head of Britain’s Space Command, Air Commodore Paul Godfrey, for his part, told the media outlet that China could begin mining the moon and asteroids in the next few decades. “China has published a ‘White paper’ looking at the major minerals on the moon. They’ve already sent samples from the moon back to Earth. They just want to go further in that direction. Mining asteroids will be a reality in our lifetime,” Godfrey said. He added that China and Russia are investing “billions” in space exploration and building space weapons.

China’s lunar probe program, named Chang’e after the heroine of ancient Chinese myths, consists of three stages: a flight around an artificial Earth satellite, a landing on the Moon, and a return from the Moon to Earth. The first lunar satellite, Chang’e-1, was launched in 2007 and was operating until 2009. The data it collected allowed Chinese scientists to create the first thermal map of the Moon. In 2019, China launched the next phase of its lunar program, the first-ever landing on the dark side of the Moon. The landing platform and Yutu-2 lunar rover have successfully operated in uncharted territory for several months, and continue to explore the Moon. Yutu-2 discovered two types of lunar mantle rocks on the Moon the existence of which scientists had doubted.

On 24 November 2020, China launched the Chang’e-5 re-entry vehicle; on 1 December, it landed in a designated area on the visible side of the Moon; over the next two days, a drilling device and a manipulator with a bucket attached to the lander collected lunar soil, which was placed in a special compartment for take-off. The whole mission lasted 23 days. The Chang’e 5 spacecraft delivered 1,731 grams of lunar samples back to Earth. It was the first lunar soil probe in 44 years. China was the third country to carry out such a mission, after the United States and the Soviet Union.

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Buy? With whose money?

NOTE: “..the ‘axis of evil’ – Russia, Iran and other similar nations. ”

We Can’t Buy Chinese Arms – Ukrainian Defense Ministry (RT)

Kiev does not buy Chinese weapons to avoid irritating the US, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Vitaly Deinega has claimed. The official made the comments while discussing the importance of drones in modern warfare. “As far as it was explained to me… we cannot buy anything Chinese so as not to hurt our relationship with the US,” Deinega told Ukrainian news outlet Leviy Bereg on Monday. The official was discussing the use of Chinese-made DJI Mavic quadcopters by Ukrainian troops. Kiev’s forces have the aircraft “in large quantities” but rely on purchases by volunteers for supplies, because “there is the position that the Defense Ministry cannot procure them,” Deinega explained.

He admitted that Russia currently has a drone advantage against Ukraine, but claimed that the situation would eventually change. “Every day we’ll get some new kind of drones. Let’s see what we’ve acquired in the year and a half of the war: naval drones, ground drones,” Deinega stated. He insisted that drones will be a key factor in future combat and that Ukraine will serve as a source of innovation for the West. “[In future] we and the Russians will have the same difference that we have in military vehicles” Deinega said, suggesting that the Western hardware provided to Kiev was superior to what Moscow has at its disposal. “Western drones will be more expensive than the drones of the ‘axis of evil’ – Russia, Iran and other similar nations.

They will be more expensive, more technologically advanced and precise,” Deinega said. Reports have claimed that the fear of reprisals from Washington prompted the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to torpedo the sale of manufacturing giant Motor Sich to Chinese investors. The Soviet-era military helicopter engine maker had been slated for a sale to foreign buyers for years, although the Ukrainian security services opposed the move. Kiev sanctioned Motor Sich’s potential Chinese buyers in January 2021, blocking the transfer of assets and the possibility of managerial control. It nationalized the company one year later, while long-time Motor Sich chief Vyacheslav Boguslaev was arrested for alleged dealings with Russia last October.

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They simply have tons of the stuff lying around that they are not allowed to use.

US Close to Providing Ukraine With Widely Banned Cluster Bombs (Antiwar)

The US is moving closer to sending widely-banned cluster bombs to Ukraine as the Biden administration is pushing Congress to put aside concerns about the harm the munitions cause to civilians, The Washington Post reported Saturday. The report said senior Biden administration officials have recently contacted Congress to make the case that cluster munitions are needed on the battlefield in Ukraine. Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer contacted members of Congress to gauge how they felt about sending the bombs. US officials told the Post that the White House was previously opposed to sending cluster bombs to Ukraine but is now reviewing the position.

The State Department was also opposed to the idea, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken has withdrawn his objection. Last week, a Pentagon official told Congress that Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM), a cluster munition with several variants, including a 155mm artillery round, would be useful for Ukraine on the battlefield. “Our military analysts have confirmed that DPICMs would be useful, especially against dug-in Russian positions on the battlefield,” Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, told the House Armed Services Committee.

Cluster bombs scatter small submunitions over large areas, making them especially hazardous to civilians who can find them years after they were dropped. Cluster munitions and other unexploded American bombs have killed and maimed civilians in Vietnam and Laos for decades after the Vietnam War. Because of their indiscriminate nature, cluster munitions have been banned by more than 100 nations. The US, Ukraine, and Russia are not parties to the treaty, known as the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Both sides in the current conflict in Ukraine have reportedly used cluster bombs, and Kyiv was using them against populated areas of Donestk in the Donbas war going back to 2014.

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“..the country has “an advantage” over Moscow thanks to its Western weapons and training..”

NATO Admiral Tells Ukraine No Fighter Jets In Short Term (RT)

Ukraine will not receive Western fighter jets for its current counter-offensive and will have to make do without them, the chairman of NATO’s military committee said, citing the lengthy training required for pilots and problems with logistics. Speaking to Britain’s LBC radio station for an interview on Monday, Admiral Rob Bauer, who heads the military committee as NATO’s most senior military official, said that discussion about fighter jets for Kiev must wait until after its ongoing offensive operation. “The discussion on the fighters is an important one, but it will not be solved in the short term for this counter-offensive,” he said. “Training those pilots, training the technicians, making sure there is a logistic organization that can actually sustain these aircraft will not be available before this counter-offensive.”

Though Bauer claimed Ukraine was in “an existential fight,” he went on to argue that the country has “an advantage” over Moscow thanks to its Western weapons and training. Still, he insisted Kiev’s supporters “shouldn’t mix” discussion about the counter-offensive and Ukraine’s requests for fighter jets, suggesting such transfers are simply not possible at the moment. While Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly urged Western powers to hand over their war planes, only a small number of sponsors have agreed to do so, with Poland and Slovakia authorizing transfers of Soviet-era MiG fighters.

To date, Washington has denied demands for F-16s, citing availability issues as well as fears the weapons could escalate direct hostilities with Russia. However, US officials have backtracked after refusing to supply other weapons, including the Patriot missile defense system and the M1 Abrams main battle tank, and the Pentagon has already started training Ukrainian pilots on American planes. Germany and the UK have also rejected calls for fighter jets, though Britain has authorized the transfer of Storm Shadow missiles to Kiev, the longest-range munitions provided to Ukraine so far. London has also stated it is willing to partner with a “coalition” of states to supply fighter jets, though Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said the project is “not a straightforward thing,” pointing to training and logistics hurdles.

Ukraine launched its counter-offensive in early June, but the bulk of its attacks have been repelled with significant losses, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. President Zelensky has acknowledged the operations are moving “slower than desired” due to “tough resistance” from Russian forces, but military officials have maintained that large numbers of reserve troops have yet to be deployed. Late last month, senior Zelensky aide Mikhail Podoliak accused Ukraine’s Western patrons of being too slow with their weapons deliveries, claiming that had allowed Moscow to set up formidable defenses.

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Cause he’s a crook.

Why CIA and FBI Would Have Never Hired Joe Biden (Sp.)

If Joe Biden weren’t the US president he would have been unable to get a security clearance given the scale of scandals and ethical conflicts haunting his family, according to Just the News, an independent media outlet founded by award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon. The media outlet cited former CIA analyst and National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz and retired FBI Assistant Director for Intelligence Kevin Brock, who said that neither of the federal agencies would have hired Joe “because there would be the concern that he might be compromised.” “Anyone who wants to become an FBI agent has to pass a polygraph specifically designed to determine if the applicant has any compromising entanglements with a hostile foreign power,” Brock told the media outlet. “If Joe applied and said he had none, the machine might not recover. The closest he’d come to being an agent are those aviator sunglasses.”

Over the past several months, Republican lawmakers have been focusing on Biden’s alleged wrongdoing, including uncorroborated bribery accusations, mishandling of classified memos, alleged involvement in his son’s money-peddling schemes, as well as making a false claim together with his 2020 campaign of his son’s laptop being “Russian disinformation” to sway an election. “There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant,” Biden said during his second and final 2020 presidential debate with Donald Trump. “Five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except his good friend Rudy Giuliani.” However, in April, former Deputy Director of the CIA Mike Morell told US lawmakers it was Biden’s campaign operative Antony Blinken who asked that the infamous “laptop from hell” be smeared.

The laptop was later proven to be real. US conservatives lament the fact that regardless of the aforementioned accusations and emerging damning evidence, Joe Biden not only managed to win the 2020 presidential elections, but is now seeking re-election together with Vice President Kamala Harris, both being backed by the US Democratic Party. In addition, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) appears to shield the Biden family, according to IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. Shapley claimed that US Attorney David Weiss, who was assigned to carry out an investigation into Joe Biden’s son Hunter, said that he had been told by the DoJ that he could not bring charges against Hunter in California and Washington DC. An anonymous source quoted by the New York Times confirmed Shapley’s claim. Previously, Attorney General Merrick Garland insisted that Weiss had full authority to conduct the probe thus justified his decision not to appoint a special counsel in Hunter’s case.

In a Friday letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Weiss wrote that he had “ultimate authority” over the DoJ’s Hunter Biden investigation and was in charge of “deciding where, when, and whether to file charges” against the first son. However, author and investigative journalist Miranda Devine has drawn attention to the fact that Weiss acknowledged in his letter that his “charging authority is geographically limited to my home district,” and that, if he needs to charge in another district, he has to ask the respective US attorney if the latter wants to partner on the case. She recalled that Shapley specifically noted that US Attorney Matthew Graves in Washington, DC, declined to cooperate with Weiss and bring charges against Hunter for the 2014 and 2015 tax years. Likewise, US Attorney Martin Estrada in California declined to partner on Hunter’s case concerning his alleged tax crimes for the 2016–2019 years. “None of those charges ever were laid,” Devine wrote in her recent op-ed, suggesting that this fact indirectly shows that in reality Weiss did not have “full” authority over Hunter Biden’s case, contrary to AG Garland’s assertions.

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“First, equipping our friends on the front lines to defend themselves is a far cheaper way — in both dollars and American lives — to degrade Russia’s ability to threaten the United States..”

Lies About Afghanistan. Lies About Iraq. And Lies About Ukraine. (Chris Hedges)

The playbook the pimps of war use to lure us into one military fiasco after another, including Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine, does not change. Freedom and democracy are threatened. Evil must be vanquished. Human rights must be protected. The fate of Europe and NATO, along with a “rules based international order” is at stake. Victory is assured. The results are also the same. The justifications and narratives are exposed as lies. The cheery prognosis is false. Those on whose behalf we are supposedly fighting are as venal as those we are fighting against. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a war crime, although one that was provoked by NATO expansion and by the United States backing of the 2014 “Maidan” coup which ousted the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych wanted economic integration with the European Union, but not at the expense of economic and political ties with Russia. The war will only be solved through negotiations that allow ethnic Russians in Ukraine to have autonomy and Moscow’s protection, as well as Ukrainian neutrality, which means the country cannot join NATO. The longer these negotiations are delayed the more Ukrainians will suffer and die. Their cities and infrastructure will continue to be pounded into rubble. But this proxy war in Ukraine is designed to serve U.S. interests. It enriches the weapons manufacturers, weakens the Russian military and isolates Russia from Europe. What happens to Ukraine is irrelevant.

“First, equipping our friends on the front lines to defend themselves is a far cheaper way — in both dollars and American lives — to degrade Russia’s ability to threaten the United States,” admitted Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. “Second, Ukraine’s effective defense of its territory is teaching us lessons about how to improve the defenses of partners who are threatened by China. It is no surprise that senior officials from Taiwan are so supportive of efforts to help Ukraine defeat Russia. Third, most of the money that’s been appropriated for Ukraine security assistance doesn’t actually go to Ukraine. It gets invested in American defense manufacturing. It funds new weapons and munitions for the U.S. armed forces to replace the older material we have provided to Ukraine. Let me be clear: this assistance means more jobs for American workers and newer weapons for American servicemembers.”

Once the truth about these endless wars seeps into public consciousness, the media, which slavishly promotes these conflicts, drastically reduces coverage. The military debacles, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, continue largely out of view. By the time the U.S. concedes defeat, most barely remember that these wars are being fought. The pimps of war who orchestrate these military fiascos migrate from administration to administration. Between posts they are ensconced in think tanks — Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute, Foreign Policy Initiative, Institute for the Study of War, The Atlantic Council and The Brookings Institution — funded by corporations and the war industry. Once the Ukraine war comes to its inevitable conclusion, these Dr. Strangeloves will seek to ignite a war with China. The U.S. Navy and military are already menacing and encircling China. God help us if we don’t stop them.

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Trump called at least twice with intel that saved many Russian lives.

Biden’s 3am Moment in Ukraine (Scott Ritter)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the press a day after the Prigozhin mutiny: “We always prepare for every contingency in terms of what happens in Russia. It’s an internal matter for the Russians to figure out. Of course, when we’re dealing with a major power, and especially a major power that has nuclear weapons, that’s something that’s of concern, something we’re very focused on. We haven’t seen any change in Russia’s nuclear posture. There hasn’t been any change in ours, but it’s something we’re going to watch very, very carefully.” Biden, a day after Blinken spoke, gave his own public statement, declaring that he had been in constant contact with U.S. allies to coordinate their response regarding the Prigozhin insurrection. Biden’s priority, it seemed, was to make sure no one pointed any fingers at the U.S.

“{W]e had to make sure we gave Putin no excuse,” Biden said, “to blame this on the West, to blame this on NATO. We made clear that we were not involved, that we had nothing to do with it. This was part of a struggle within the Russian system.” The man Biden tapped to send the signal to Russia and its leader was C.I.A. Director William Burns, who called Sergei Naryshkin, the director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, to make clear that the U.S. was not involved in the Prigozhin affair. But Burns’ claims ring false. The U.S. intelligence community, by its own admission, had extremely detailed intelligence about what Prigozhin planned to do, including the scope and scale of the involvement of the Wagner mercenaries he commanded, where they intended to go, what they intended to do, and when they intended to do it.

The U.S. intelligence community expected the results of this action to be “bloody.” According to Blinken, the U.S. was concerned about Russia’s nuclear weapons. And apparently there was a Russian nuclear weapons storage facility in the line of march of the Wagner fighters heading to Moscow. Moreover, the Russians had to be wondering why Burns was informing them of this after the fact. In 2017 and 2019, Trump had U.S. intelligence pass on to Russia information about possible terrorist attacks, which ended up saving scores, if not hundreds, of Russian lives. In June of 2023, Biden had intelligence about a pending violent insurrection which could have put Russia’s nuclear weapons, and the world, at risk. Biden opted not to share this information with Russia.

America’s silence speaks volumes. As Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian President who currently serves as the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia (Putin is chairman) noted, “The development of events shows that the actions of those who organized the military rebellion [of Prigozhin and Wagner] fully fit into the scheme of a staged coup d’état. The world will be brought to the brink of destruction, if the nuclear weapons are in the hands of bandits, the crisis will not be limited to one country.” In June, Biden was confronted with the ultimate “3 am phone call” moment. He could have made a phone call which could have helped reduce the threat of a nuclear crisis or worse, a nuclear war. He didn’t make the call.

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Data scraping Zuck style.

Meta Set To Launch Twitter Rival On Thursday (Az.)

Facebook owner Meta is launching its new app to rival Twitter and says it will go live on Thursday, Report informs, citing Yahoo. Screengrabs show a dashboard that looks similar to Twitter. Meta describes Threads as a “text-based conversation app”. The move is the latest in a rivalry between Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter owner Elon Musk. It appears from Meta’s Threads app that it will be a free service – and there will be no restrictions on how many posts a user can see. “Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” the description on the App Store says.

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Ursula

 

 


Richard Hirschman @r_hirschman I never claimed to be a doctor or scientist, I am an embalmer. I have been only sounding an alarm about what I am seeing! I can only say that this is not normal. In the 20 years prior to 2021 I never seen anything like this. Something is causing this, and I see it often.

 

 

Bird Talk

 

 

Cat birdies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1675969807663939585

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 152023
 


Georgia O’Keeffe New York Street with Moon 1925

 

Ukraine Lost Some 7,500 People on Contact Line Since June 4 – Russian MoD (Sp.)
House Dems Refuse To Say Whether They Support Cluster Bombs For Ukraine (IC)
US Knew Ukraine Planned To Destroy Kakhovka Dam – Moscow (RT)
Hungary Hope For Trump’s Return To White House To Bring Peace To Ukraine (TASS)
US, Chinese FM’s Phone Call Could Be Precondition for Future Dialogue (Sp.)
West Very Afraid New, Large-Scale War Will Break Out – Lukashenko (TASS)
Moscow Offered To ‘Lease’ Crimea From Kiev – Lukashenko (RT)
How African Leaders Decided To Broker Peace Between Russia And Ukraine (Az.)
Erdogan Nixes Sweden’s NATO Bid (Cradle)
Western Sanctions Backfired – US Analyst (RT)
The Biden Family Multi-Million Dollar Crime Spree (GP)
Burisma Energy Accountant, Who Exposed Biden Bribery Scheme Found Dead (TPV)
$10M Magically Appeared In Biden 2017 Tax Return; House GOP Investigating (TPN)
EU Regulators Seek Breakup Of Google Ad Business Over “Illegal” Practices (ZH)
Confidential Pfizer Document Shows 1.6 Million Adverse Events (Horowitz)

 

 

 

 

600 pages
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669021253594750983

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

RT trolling

 

 

House Walensky

 

 

 

 

Trump 77th

 

 

Happy BDay

 

 

Capsized refugee boat off Greek coast yesterday. 79 dead, hundreds missing.

Sachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669016814754443266

 

 

Pepe Escobar @RealPepeEscobar
R.I.P. UKRAINE 1/2
Last month, hush hush, the Kiev gang SOLD Ukraine to $8.5 trillion-worth BlackRock. The deal was sealed by the Government of Ukraine and BlackRock’s VP Philipp Hildebrand. They will set up a Ukrainian Development Fund (UDF) for “reconstruction”.

R.I.P. UKRAINE 2/2
“Reconstruction” of Ukraine by BlackRock will focus on energy, infrastructure, agriculture, industry and IT. ALL remaining valuable assets in rump Ukraine will be gobbled up – from Metinvest and DTEK (energy) to Naftogaz, Ukrainian Railways and Ukrenergo.

 

 

 

 

Add in the Russian deaths and that’s over 1,000 a day. For what?

Ukraine Lost Some 7,500 People on Contact Line Since June 4 – Russian MoD (Sp.)

Ukrainian troops have lost about 7,500 military both killed and injured on the line of contact alone since June 4, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. “In total, since June 4, the Ukrainian armed forces have lost about 7,500 people killed and wounded on the line of contact alone, not counting the dead military personnel as a result of the use of Russian long-range precision weapons and aviation in the depths of Ukrainian territory,” the ministry said in a statement. Over the past day, Ukraine unsuccessfully conducted offensives in the South Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Donetsk directions, continuing to suffer losses, the ministry said. Losses of the Ukrainian army in the Donetsk direction exceeded 205 military and 10 pieces of equipment over the past day, the ministry said.

In the Donetsk direction near the settlements of Pervomaiskoe and Petrovskoe, Russia successfully repulsed two enemy attacks, the ministry said in a statement. “During the fighting, the losses of Ukrainian troops amounted to more than 205 military personnel, two armored combat vehicles, seven vehicles, and two D-20 howitzers,” the ministry said. Near the Vremevka ledge, Russia also repelled two attacks, the ministry said, adding that Ukraine lost 11 armored vehicles, including four tanks. Ukraine lost more than 800 soldiers and 20 tanks in the South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions in the past day, the ministry said. “In total, in the past day, enemy losses in the South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions amounted to more than 800 Ukrainian military, 20 tanks, four infantry fighting vehicles, 15 armored combat vehicles, two US-made M777 artillery systems, Msta-B and D-30 howitzers, as well as a Grad multiple rocket launcher combat vehicle,” the ministry said.

Russian aviation prevented the attack of Ukrainian assault units in the Zaporozhye direction near the settlement of Zherebyanky, the ministry added. “[On Tuesday night], the Russian armed forces carried out group strikes with sea and air-based long-range high-precision weapons at places of concentration of reserves of the Ukrainian armed forces and foreign mercenaries, as well as warehouses of ammunition, weapons and military equipment of foreign production,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that all assigned objects are hit. The Russian armed forces carried out missile strikes on Ukrainian reserves, foreign mercenaries, as well as warehouses of foreign-made equipment over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

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War criminals. 1,000 deaths a day is not enough.

House Dems Refuse To Say Whether They Support Cluster Bombs For Ukraine (IC)

Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said recently that he is keeping the door open to sending cluster munitions — widely banned around the world due to their track record of maiming and killing civilians — to Ukraine. In a May interview with Politico, Smith said that the advantage of cluster munitions “is we have a lot of them. To the extent that we’re unable to provide sufficient ammo in other areas, they could certainly fill that gap.” He also framed the munitions as a potential way to end a conflict with no end in sight. “If our cluster munitions could bring the war to a conclusion sooner, it’s something I’m open to,” Smith said. This followed comments Smith made a week earlier at a Council on Foreign Relations event where he similarly described the pros and cons of sending cluster munitions to Ukraine.

Ukraine has asked the United States to provide it with cluster bombs, which Russian troops have deployed against Ukrainian civilians and which Ukraine has reportedly used as well. The Biden administration has expressed concerns about Ukraine’s requests, but it also hasn’t rejected them outright — and U.S. lawmakers continue to press the administration to provide the weapons. While most of those calls have come from Republicans, Smith’s openness to the idea, amid a general bipartisan consensus on sending arms to Ukraine, shows that congressional pressure is ramping up.

The administration seems unlikely to approve sending cluster munitions to Ukraine, but that the idea is even on the table has raised concerns among international security advocates about the disintegration of humanitarian law and the potential for the U.S. to further erode standing norms of civilian protection. “As long as the administration holds the line, keeping with the approach that so many of our NATO allies and others in the global community takes, that will be positive,” said Jeff Abramson, senior fellow at the Arms Control Association. “It’s frustrating that much of what you’re hearing from [Capitol Hill] is a call for sending cluster munitions. That Representative Smith did not fully cut off the possibility is also wrongheaded. These weapons have not been used by the United States in more than a decade.”

[..] The United States has not used cluster munitions since 2009, when it used the weapons during a strike in Yemen, and cluster munitions have not been produced in the U.S. since the manufacturer Textron shut down production in 2016. Yet the U.S. military maintains massive stockpiles of them. Under a 2017 policy directive, the U.S. military is still authorized to use weapons containing submunitions, in sharp contrast to the dozens of countries that have banned them. The international community has entrenched norms against the use of cluster munitions, said Cesar Jaramillo, executive director at Project Ploughshares, a peace research institute in Canada, namely because they cause indiscriminate harm to civilians and prolong the impacts of war by leaving unexploded munitions. Cluster munitions fracture before impact, sending out a cascade of small bombs that can impact well beyond their intended target.

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And with US weapons too.

US Knew Ukraine Planned To Destroy Kakhovka Dam – Moscow (RT)

Washington was perfectly aware of Kiev’s plan to destroy the Kakhovka dam since US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers were used in the attack, high-ranking Russian diplomat Konstantin Gavrilov said on Wednesday. HIMARS launchers are “high-precision systems that make use of the US GPS navigation system for targeting,” Gavrilov, who heads Russia’s delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, said. Any targets picked out by Kiev for these systems are “coordinated with the Americans,” he added. According to the official, Ukrainian forces struck the Kakhovka dam with more than 300 HIMARS missiles over the summer and autumn of 2022. “The Americans knew about it. Yet, they did nothing to prevent the catastrophe,”Gavrilov said.

On Wednesday, Russian officials also presented their estimates of the damage caused by the destruction of the dam. The losses amounted to over 1.2 billion rubles ($14 million), according to the Russian Emergencies Ministry. More than 7,000 people have been evacuated from the risk zone, the ministry added. The dam collapsed last week, leading to both banks of the Dnieper River being flooded and multiple deaths. Moscow and Kiev have since traded accusations over who is to blame for the disaster. Officials in Kiev claimed that Russia blew up the dam to supposedly stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the area. However, this idea was dismissed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said the local terrain was already extremely unfavorable for an attack even before the incident. He also said that Russia would have had no interest in destroying the dam, as it would spell “severe consequences for those territories that we control and which are Russian.”

Last week, Ukraine slammed Türkiye for suggesting a UN-backed three-party investigation into the incident. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said at that time that he was “sick and tired” of calls to probe events that occurred during the conflict. The Ukrainian envoy to the UN, Sergey Kislitsa, claimed that launching such a probe would be“impossible.” Russian officials said they were not surprised by Kiev’s reaction to the Turkish proposal. Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, also accused Washington of attempts to “whitewash” Kiev by shifting the blame onto Russia. The envoy stated that Ukraine’s “patrons” in Washington “never criticize Kiev,” but instead approve of all of its actions.

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Nice angle.

Hungary Hope For Trump’s Return To White House To Bring Peace To Ukraine (TASS)

Hungary is pinning its hopes on a comeback by former US President Donald Trump, who could then bring the armed conflict in Ukraine to an end, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said. “If President Trump had won the last presidential election here in the United States, this war [in Ukraine] would not have broken out. <…> We do look at his possible return to the White House as a hope for a peaceful future,” the top Hungarian diplomat told Newsmax TV. Szijjarto also wished the former president victory in the 2024 presidential election and a favorable conclusion to all of the lawsuits filed against him. Budapest has repeatedly said that, in its view, not only Ukraine and Russia, but also the US, which is the biggest military and financial backer of the Kiev regime, should engage in peace talks to settle the conflict.

Speaking about Trump, Szijjarto called the politician “a true friend of Hungary” and wished him success in the upcoming lawsuits. “Whenever a conservative leader has a good chance to win an important [presidential] election as [former] President Trump, [who,] as far as we understand, has a good chance to return to the White House, then he or she gets immediately under an enormous attack by the liberal mainstream,” the top diplomat pointed out. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban earlier openly supported Trump. The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida filed two indictments against the former US president. Specifically, he is charged with mishandling classified documents and falsifying the business records of his company, the Trump Organization.

Orban is one of the few world leaders, if not the only one, to publicly support Trump in connection with the lawsuits filed against him. The Hungarian prime minister has long been a supporter of the former US president and openly wished him success in the last presidential election as the candidate of the Republican Party. At the same time, Orban has had tense relations with the administration of Trump’s Democratic successor, President Joe Biden. The US does not approve of Budapest’s independent stance on a number of international issues, including Ukraine, and Budapest in turn accuses Washington of seeking to interfere in Hungary’s domestic affairs and supporting the political opposition.

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Lukewarm welcome.

US, Chinese FM’s Phone Call Could Be Precondition for Future Dialogue (Sp.)

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang held a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 14, a Chinese national broadcaster revealed. The conversation occurred ahead of a reported visit by the top American official to the country. According to the report, during the conversation, the Chinese top diplomat highlighted that China-US relations have faced new difficulties and challenges this year, and “whose responsibility (for this) is clear”. He also stressed that the American side should show respect, refrain from meddling in China’s internal affairs, and stop undermining Beijing’s sovereign interests in security and development under the pretext of competition. Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China, noted that there has been a shift in the bipartisan consensus in the United States regarding pressure on China.

“Business circles in the United States consider the Chinese market to be very important and call for the economy not to be ‘held hostage’ by politics. They advocate adhering to normal principles of economic development and market principles, and avoiding the formulation of an Indo-Pacific strategy or any other form of ideologization,” the expert said. Moreover, there is still a year to go until the presidential elections in the United States, and Trump, who has already declared that he will immediately stop the conflict between Russia and Ukraine if he wins, could be Biden’s potential rival. According to Wang Yiwei, Biden is currently facing two main points of pressure. “First, the need to seek China’s support on the issue of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, hoping that China can play an active role. Second, there is the issue of the US economy and the national debt”.

Although the debt ceiling has been raised, the problem is far from being solved, and the United States hopes that China will continue to buy US Treasury bonds. In fact, the economic chaos in the United States is closely related to the disruption of production chains, to which they themselves have contributed, and this has also led to tremendous pressure from American business circles. Against this backdrop, there are hopes in the United States for closer relations with China. However, the American media recently published fake news claiming that “China is building a surveillance base in Cuba (to spy on the US)”. “Considering that Blinken’s previous visit to China was postponed due to the balloon incident, this phone call could become a precondition for future dialogue in order to prevent further ruptures in contacts,” Wang Yiwei noted.

[..] Earlier, several US media outlets reported that Blinken was planning to make his delayed trip to China in the coming days, with an unnamed US official giving June 18 as the tentative date of his arrival in Beijing. The Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, has not confirmed these reports. If Blinken’s trip goes ahead, it will be the first one for a top US diplomat since 2018. Blinken canceled the February trip after the United States accused China of sending spy balloons into US airspace. Beijing has since denied the allegations.

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“..Volodya Zelensky. He is a `hero’ now, touring the globe. He is being kissed, hugged and all that. I thought he was smarter..”

West Very Afraid New, Large-Scale War Will Break Out – Lukashenko (TASS)

Despite its latest steps, the West is very afraid about the possibility of a new large-scale war or a nuclear disaster, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with the 60 Minutes talk show on Rossiya-1 television. “I have met with people playing an important role in this, who make radical, drastic and final decisions in the event of an `if’,’” Lukashenko said. “What they fear most is a nuclear disaster, and they have been sincere about this. They are afraid of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. It’s only natural,” he added. Minsk does not want things to play out that way either, Lukashenko assured. “We are not seeking that either, and we, too, are afraid. Because this, experts say, could cause a global catastrophe, and this planet may deorbit, if all these weapons explode,” he maintained.


According to Lukashenko, Russia may use nukes, if the enemy invades its territory or if this act of aggression threatens the existence of the state. He urged talks as long as there is an opportunity for them, but the West, he said, has been banning Ukraine from engaging in any. “I am confident and I have it on good information that the overwhelming majority in Ukraine, including the military who has been fighting and getting killed over there, would like to stop this war now,” the Belarusian leader maintained. “But then there are those hyped-up top-level officials led by [Ukrainian President] Volodya Zelensky. He is a `hero’ now, touring the globe. He is being kissed, hugged and all that. I thought he was smarter,” Lukashenko lamented.

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Moscow has flatly denied this.

Moscow Offered To ‘Lease’ Crimea From Kiev – Lukashenko (RT)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed that Russia offered financial compensation to Ukraine for Crimea, when the two nations were engaged in peace talks mediated by Minsk. Speaking to a Russian media outlet on Wednesday, the Belarusian leader said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had shown him a draft document which was provisionally accepted by Moscow and Kiev. The proposed treaty was “fine” and included “some kind of long-term lease” regarding Crimea, Lukashenko stated. “It was a good process, but [the Ukrainians] dropped out of it,” he added. Belarus served as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine for years, and hosted talks in 2014 and 2015 which resulted in the signing of the so-called Minsk agreements, the UN-endorsed roadmap for Kiev’s reconciliation with Donbass.

After open hostilities broke out last year, several rounds of peace negotiations were held in Belarus, but talks later moved to Istanbul. The Türkiye-based round of discussions produced a draft agreement under which Kiev pledged to become a neutral state in exchange for security guarantees. However, it made a U-turn soon after, which Moscow described as Ukraine following a US order to continue fighting. Before Crimea rejected the 2014 armed coup in Kiev and voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia, Moscow paid Kiev an annual lease to use Sevastopol as the home base of its Black Sea Fleet. It was last renewed in 2010, when Moscow offered a gas price discount for the extension. With Crimea’s status changing, the Russian government declared the treaty null and void.

In the interview, Lukashenko claimed that the Minsk agreements had been negotiated in bad faith by Kiev and its backers, who used them to buy time for a military buildup in Ukraine. The resulting lack of trust poses a challenge for all future talks, he suggested, before reiterating his vision on how to stop hostilities. “If we agree to a peace process, the war stops, no movements, no tanks, no troops. If anyone is redeployed, I believe we should use nuclear weapons. That is the only way we can talk to them,” Lukashenko said of Ukraine and its backers. Minsk is a close Russian ally and has allowed the use of its territory for the military operation against Ukraine. In March, Russia announced that it would station some of its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus at Lukashenko’s request.

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Good thing they’re finding their voice.

How African Leaders Decided To Broker Peace Between Russia And Ukraine (Az.)

In a bold diplomatic move, seven African heads of state are preparing to embark on a journey to Ukraine and Russia later this week, as they bid to engage their counterparts in both countries in peace talks. Coordinated by the Brazzaville Foundation, a renowned non-governmental organization specializing in conflict resolution, the African Peace Initiative delegation is scheduled to meet Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Kiev on June 16, followed by a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg the next day. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa first announced the African peace plan, now aptly titled ‘The Road to Peace’, on May 16. Although the details of the initiative have not been made public, Ramaphosa said that the team will meet with Putin and Zelensky to discuss how to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

Mzuvukile Jeff Maqetuka, South Africa’s ambassador to Russia, told RT that the initiative differs from others in that the leaders are not presenting pre-drawn proposals. He stated that they would first sit down with their counterparts from Russia and Ukraine and discuss what caused the conflict. The mission has strategically drawn leaders from the continent’s five regions: southern, northern, central, eastern, and western. Senegalese President Macky Sall will represent West Africa, after leading the first African Union (AU) mission to Russia to plead for peace on the continent’s behalf at the start of the conflict in 2022. The southern region will be led by South Africa’s Ramaphosa and Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema, while Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will represent North Africa. Denis Sassou Nguesso of Central Africa’s Congo will also be making the trip, while Azali Assoumani of Comoros, who serves as president of the African Union, will represent the east of the continent alongside Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni.

These countries have all declared their non-aligned positions in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, refusing to make a unilateral decision. Vladimir Antwi-Danso, director of academic affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, told RT that the mission is significant because it demonstrates that Africa can be proactive in intervening in global affairs. He emphasized that Africa has long taken a backseat to the international community, including the US, regarding action in conflicts that directly affect the continent. Ramaphosa, who is leading the initiative, has described the Ukraine conflict as “devastating,” adding that Africa is also suffering greatly as a result of the fighting. Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso said on Monday that Africa cannot “remain silent” because everyone is “suffering” the consequences.

Philani Mthembu, executive director at the Institute for Global Dialogue, believes the African leaders are trying to shield the continent from Western pressure to pick a side in the conflict, while also seeking to avoid the division that the crisis could cause within the African Union. South Africa, which has maintained a non-aligned stance, has also been pressed to take sides. Its ties with Russia as a BRICS member have led to accusations that the country has backed Moscow. Meanwhile, Confidence Isaiah-MacHarry, a security analyst at SBM Intelligence in Nigeria, said “the African attempt at peace efforts is an important pointer to the fact that Russia is still not isolated.”

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Hungary’s also a hold-out.

Erdogan Nixes Sweden’s NATO Bid (Cradle)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shot down the notion of Sweden joining the US-led security alliance NATO during next month’s Vilnius summit. According to Erdogan, the Nordic state has failed to uphold Ankara’s requests, as it recently permitted supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to demonstrate on the streets of Stockholm. Earlier this week, while on his way to Azerbaijan, the Turkish president told journalists that “terrorists” were allowed to protest, despite the fact that Stockholm said it was dedicated to meeting Ankara’s requirements to join NATO. These requirements involved extraditing members and supporters of the PKK, which the Turkish government considers “terrorists” due to its long-standing rivalry with Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq.

When asked about NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, an integral figure in pushing Sweden’s NATO bid, Erdogan remarked: “While Stoltenberg was expressing these views to us, unfortunately, at that time, terrorists were demonstrating in the streets again in Sweden,” adding that “now, we cannot approach this work positively within this table.” The presence of individuals linked to the PKK has hindered Sweden’s ability to acquire NATO membership following the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which broke Sweden and Finland’s neutrality after decades of refraining from joining any security bloc. Despite Ankara’s continued block of Sweden’s ascension, Turkiye officially granted Finland eligibility to join NATO at the end of March.

Turkiye remains indecisive about Sweden’s proposal, claiming Swedish officials have not taken the necessary measures to crack down internally on members of the PKK and allied Kurdish militia groups, many of whom continue to reside in Stockholm. Earlier this year, a far-right Swedish politician burned several copies of the Quran, which further inflamed tensions. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson described the act as “extremely serious” and an attempt to sabotage the nation’s NATO application.

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Day two of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) today. Over 17,000 participants from 130 countries.. What boycott?

Western Sanctions Backfired – US Analyst (RT)

The attempts by the US and its allies to isolate Russia have failed, while the many rounds of sanctions havebackfired and not crippled the country’s economy as intended, American political analyst and car-industry veteran Douglas Andrew Littleton told RT on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF). Littleton added that he was disappointed with his government’s sanctions policy against Moscow. “I think what happened with the sanctions it’s backfiring on the West, and especially on America, in my humble opinion,” the analyst said. “I’m happy that Russia has been able to bypass and skirt the sanctions in so many ways with their friends and allies,” he added.


The US, EU, and allies have hit Russia with numerous rounds of unprecedented sanctions since the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. The penalties have affected entire sectors of the Russian economy, as well as businesses and individuals, including President Vladimir Putin. Discussing how the Russian economy has handled the Western pressure, Littleton said he believes that what Russia has been able to accomplish is “absolutely fantastic.” When asked about his impression of the St. Petersburg forum, he said: “I am in shock how big this forum is but very pleased to be here.” Over 17,000 participants from 130 countries have reportedly attended the SPIEF, which kicked off on Wednesday. Over the course of the four-day event, participants will discuss key issues related to the Russian and global economy.

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“..she wanted to testify, but to testify she wanted to be in the Witness Protection program. And she had four colleagues of hers who were willing to testify and support her.”

The Biden Family Multi-Million Dollar Crime Spree (GP)

As TGP reported on Tuesday — there are several eye witnesses with over a dozen audio recordings and numerous bank receipts that detail the Biden Crime Family’s illegal bribery payments. On Saturday America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Rita Cosby on Newsmax that he has a high-level witness who is the former chief accountant at Burisma who is willing to testify on the Biden crimes. She even has the Biden bank account transactions. She has the receipts! Rudy Giuliani: It’s extraordinary. I gave them one witness that any investigator would jump through hoops to go to. Gave them a witness who is a woman who was the chief accountant at this crooked company, Burisma. She was the wife of the former owner who died under suspicious circumstances. And, she was willing to give up all of the offshore bank accounts, including the Bidens’ accounts. She supervised the transfer of a lot more cash to the Bidens and other crooked politicians for Burisma.


On Monday Rudy Giuliani shared more details with the War Room audience. Rudy’s Burisma witness had FOUR COLLEAGUES willing to testify! Rudy Giuliani: “There was one very extraordinary piece of evidence. We had a woman in Ukraine who was the chief accountant for Burisma, the wife of the former partner of Mycola Zlochevsky who owned Burisma and is the major crook who was paying off the Bidens. And she wanted to turn she wanted to testify, but to testify she wanted to be in the Witness Protection program. And she had four colleagues of hers who were willing to testify and support her. She claimed that over an eight year period she supervised all of the offshore illegal bank accounts. All the money laundering went through her. Now, we weren’t sure she was telling the truth but we did have one transaction that I had gotten very early of a complete money laundering transaction for $14 million, some of which went through to Joe Biden with an indication that Joe got $900,000 of it and his family got a total of about 3 million of it.”

Watters
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669008669072142337

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And there goes Giuliani’s witness… The DOJ wanted nothing to do with her.

Burisma Energy Accountant Who Exposed Biden Bribery Scheme Found Dead (TPV)

The chief accountant at Ukraine’s Burisma Energy, who offered to provide US authorities with damning evidence regarding financial crimes involving Joe and Hunter Biden, has been found dead before she could testify. The Burisma whistleblower, who has been identified as the wife of the former Burisma owner Mykola Lisin, who also died in suspicious circumstances during the years of the Obama administration when vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter were active in Ukraine. Giuliani discussed the fate of the now-deceased whistleblower during an interview on Newsmax’s “Saturday Report” with Rita Cosby. According to Giuliani, who first brought to light Hunter Biden’s notorious “Laptop from Hell”, the whistleblower was the chief accountant at Burisma, the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian energy company.

During Joe Biden’s tenure as vice president under Obama, Burisma compensated Hunter with tens of thousands of dollars per month for his position on the company’s board, despite his complete lack of experience in the energy sector. During that period, then-Vice President Biden withheld U.S. assistance to Ukraine as a means of pressuring the government to dismiss Viktor Shokin, a senior prosecutor who was investigating Burisma and its owner for fraudulent activities. Giuliani, who previously served as President Donald Trump’s attorney, says the whistleblower offered to give a U.S. attorney highly compromising financial information about the Bidens. However, Giuliani says US authorities did everything they could to ignore her, bouncing her case around various offices, in an attempt to make her go away.

He revealed that the Pittsburgh attorney general had initially been investigating the case. But the investigation was later transferred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware, under former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr. Giuliani claims the Delaware office buried the case, despite the whistleblower being under threat of death. He says the whistleblower had evidence that included offshore bank account information that showed millions of dollars in bribes flowing to the Biden family and “other crooked politicians.” Despite the explosive nature of the evidence, Giuliani says prosecutors stonewalled the case and she died suddenly before she could testify. And now the mainstream media are refusing to acknowledge her existence.

“Well, of course, that’s the most ridiculous, idiotic statement to make on a day in which we find out that the Bidens took a $10 million bribe from a Ukrainian Mykola Zlochevsky, which I could have told you, you know, and did tell [the DOJ] three years ago,” Giuliani told Newsmax. “And they followed up on none of the evidence I gave them. They were hoping that people would disappear or die. It’s extraordinary.”

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Link to China?!

$10M Magically Appeared In Biden 2017 Tax Return; House GOP Investigating (TPN)

House Republicans are demanding increased transparency from President Joe Biden on his personal tax returns after an investigation found one of his corporate entities reported nearly $10 million in revenue without detailing the sources. The president’s critics believe the sudden influx of money may be related to allegations of bribery against the president. CelticCapri Corp, an S-corporation for the president, was not listed on the president’s personal tax returns or campaign website, raising eyebrows as to why the 46th president would conceal such a large income source from the public. While it is common to not list corporate revenue on a personal income statement, politicians running for national office typically disclose all sources of income in an attempt to appear as transparent as possible.

According to Breitbart, the conservative Federalist Society took issue with a 2020 article by USA Today which attempted to hold water for the president by claiming he earned “$15.6 million … from speaking fees and book deals” between 2017 and 2019 and that “more than $10 million of that total income was profits from Biden’s memoir ‘Promise Me, Dad’ and $3 million in profits from Jill Biden’s book.” Following the citations within the USA Today article led readers to no details on the S-corporation, creating what the Federal Society referred to as a “smokescreen.” House Republicans believe they may have found a bone to pick as they race to uncover the truth behind testimony from an FBI informant that President Biden took $5 million in bribes from a Ukrainian official to assist in the firing of another official and easing the path for his son Hunter Biden to conduct business operations in the country.

Members of the Republican caucus told Breitbart that the latest lack of transparency from the president is deeply concerning. “The President seems to find selling out our country funny. We don’t,” said Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC). “If he’s serious about proving our allegations wrong he should release his and his family’s unredacted bank records and show the American people where all this money is coming from. The FBI can’t protect him forever.” Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ), a successful businessman in his own right, told Breitbart News Joe Biden should come clean about the money in lieu of the alleged pay-for-pay scheme.

“The fact that there are credible claims signaling that a foreign national bribed the President of the United States with cash in exchange for influence over U.S. policy decisions is appalling. The American people deserve to know who paid the Bidens and what exactly they were paid for,” he said. “Now that we know there are recordings of conversations Joe Biden and his degenerate son had with a Burisma executive, it’s becoming more and more obvious how the indictment of President Trump is meant to be a distraction,” Crane added. “It would shock no one in this town if Joe Biden received millions of dollars from selling out the country in a bribery scheme and then hid that money in shady shell companies.”

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Yeah, break up that monopoly. It’s a disgrace.

EU Regulators Seek Breakup Of Google Ad Business Over “Illegal” Practices (ZH)

On Wednesday, European Union regulators informed Google that it “breached EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in the advertising technology industry.” Regulators seek to break up the US multinational technology company’s advertising empire. The European Commission, the European Union’s antitrust regulator, said, “Google abused its dominant positions” in the buying and selling of online ads across third-party apps and websites. ] The commission said that its preliminary view is Google must sell segments of its ad business to resolve the “inherent conflicts of interest” in digital advertising. However, there was no mention of what was to be sold. Regulators said Google “holds a dominant position” on “both sides of the market with its publisher ad server and with its ad-buying tools.” “The Commission preliminarily finds that, in this particular case, a behavioural remedy is likely to be ineffective to prevent the risk that Google continues such self-preferencing conducts or engages in new ones.

“Google is active on both sides of the market with its publisher ad server and with its ad buying tools and holds a dominant position on both ends. Furthermore, it operates the largest ad exchange. This leads to a situation of inherent conflicts of interest for Google. The Commission’s preliminary view is therefore that only the mandatory divestment by Google of part of its services would address its competition concerns.” The EU’s announcement comes months after the US Justice Department and eight states filed a lawsuit over Google’s ad business, claiming it illegally monopolizes the online ad market. This is the second US antitrust suit federal authorities have brought against the company’s ad empire.

“For 15 years, Google has pursued a course of anticompetitive conduct that has allowed it to halt the rise of rival technologies, manipulate auction mechanics, to insulate itself from competition, and force advertisers and publishers to use its tools,” Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote in a press release in January. The outcome of these three cases could have widespread implications for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which recorded $60 billion in profit last year from advertising.

“So Google is present at almost all levels of the so-called adtech supply chain. Our preliminary concern is that Google may have used its market position to favour its own intermediation services. Not only did this possibly harm Google’s competitors but also publishers’ interests, while also increasing advertisers’ costs. If confirmed, Google’s practices would be illegal under our competition rules,” Margrethe Vestager, the executive vice president of the European Commission who oversees digital and competition policy, said in a statement. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported the EU was considering ordering a breakup of Google’s ad-tech business. And with pressure on both sides of the Atlantic, the walls are closing in on Google’s ad business.

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Painful at best.

Confidential Pfizer Document Shows 1.6 Million Adverse Events (Horowitz)

Over 10,000 categories of nearly 1.6 million adverse events – many of them serious and debilitating – brought to you by Pfizer! You might not have heard it in the news, but in recent months, Pfizer’s pharmacovigilance documents requested by the European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, have been released. They show that Pfizer knew about a sickening level of injury early on. An August 2022 document shows that the company already had observed the following scope of vaccine injury: • 508,351 individual case reports of adverse events containing 1,597,673 events; • One-third of the AEs were classified as serious, well above the standard for safety signals usually pegged at 15%; • Women reported AEs at three times the rate of men; • 60% of cases were reported with either “outcome unknown” or “not recovered,” so many of the injuries were not transient; • Highest number of cases occurred in the 31-50 year age group, and 92% did not have any comorbidities, which makes it very likely it was the vaccine causing such widespread, sudden injury.

These numbers alone suggest that all COVID shots should be defunded and Congress must immediately remove liability protections from the manufacturers. But a more recent document released by the Europeans is even more devastating, because it breaks down the 1.6 million adverse events observed by Pfizer by category and subcategory of ailment and injury. The 393-page confidential Pfizer document, dated Aug. 19, 2022, shows that Pfizer observed over 10,000 categories of diagnosis, many of them very severe and very rare. For example:

• Pfizer was aware of 73,542 cases of 264 categories of vascular disorders from the shots. Many of them are rare conditions.
• There were hundreds of categories of nervous system disorders, totaling 696,508 cases.
• There were 61,518 AEs from well over 100 categories of eye disorders, which is unusual for a vaccine injury.
• Likewise, there were over 47,000 ear disorders, including almost 16,000 cases of tinnitus, which even Mayo Clinic researchers observed as a common but often devastating side effect early on.
• There were roughly 225,000 cases of skin and tissue disorders.
• There were roughly 190,000 cases of respiratory disorders.
• Disturbingly, there were over 178,000 cases of reproductive or breast disorders, including disorders you wouldn’t expect, such as 506 cases of erectile dysfunction in men.
• Very disturbingly, there were over 77,000 psychiatric disorders observed following the shots, lending credence to Dr. Peter McCullough’s research observing case studies showing psychosis correlating with vaccination.
• 3,711 cases of tumors – benign and malignant
• Of course, there were almost 127,000 cardiac disorders, running the gamut of about 270 categories of heart damage, including many rare disorders, in addition to myocarditis.
• There were over 100,000 blood and lymphatic disorders, for both of which there’s a wealth of literature linking them to the spike protein.

2009

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Humming

 

 

Magpie
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669017609776373768

 

 

Coconut Crab

 

 

Kids play
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668656979424817160

 

 

Cat masks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668958969333972992

 

 

 

 

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Jun 012023
 
 June 1, 2023  Posted by at 8:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Odilon Redon Wild Flowers in a Vase c1910

 

Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To NATO – FT (RT)
Macron Wants ‘Tangible’ Security Guarantees For Ukraine (RT)
West May Change Aid To Ukraine If Conflict Becomes Protracted – Macron (TASS)
Zelensky and Macron Planning ‘Peace Summit’ Without Russia – WSJ (RT)
US Statements On Moscow Drone Attack Encourage Kiev Terrorists – Envoy (TASS)
Britain ‘De Facto’ At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)
Russian Forces Wipe Out Last Ukrainian Combat Ship In Odessa (TASS)
Annexation Of Kharkov – Ukraine To Shrink Westward (Helmer)
OPEC Snubs Major Western News Outlets (RT)
Xi Jinping Warns Of ‘Worst-Case’ Situation (SCMP)
The Sultan 2.0 Will Heavily Tilt East (Pepe Escobar)
Epstein Pal Jes Staley Throws Jamie Dimon Under The Bus (ZH)
Jamie Dimon Hints At Run For Public Office; Bill Ackman Endorses Him (ZH)
Six Texas Attorney General Aides Take Leave Of Absence To Defend Paxton (JTN)
Judge Breathes New Life Into Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Case (JTN)
FBI Chief Wray Rolls Dice With Congress Over Contempt (JTN)
Fifty Years Later, Free Speech No Longer Exists In The West (Rabkin)
Australian Garlic Kills Covid-19, Says Doherty Institute (AFR)

 

 

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Death wish in disguise- Patrick Moore

 

 

 

 

Dan Bishop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Zelensky, but the US.

Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To NATO – FT (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky will skip a NATO meeting in Lithuania in July unless the alliance provides Kiev with the security guarantees it wants, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Zelensky has “made clear to NATO leaders that he will not attend the Vilnius summit without concrete security guarantees and a road map for accession,” the newspaper said. Ukraine formally applied to join the US-led bloc in September 2022, arguing that the collective defense it provides to members is necessary for Kiev’s security against Russia. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty stipulates that an armed attack against one NATO member “shall be considered an attack against them all.”

While Ukraine’s bid has been strongly endorsed by the Nordic and Baltic states, as well as Poland, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested on Wednesday that Kiev could be offered “something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership.” FT cited four unnamed officials in April as saying that the US and Germany were against offering Kiev “deeper ties” to the alliance, including a potential roadmap. “We will look for ways to support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations but right now the immediate needs in Ukraine are practical and so we should be focused on building Ukraine’s defense and deterrence capabilities,” Dereck Hogan, the top State Department official responsible for European affairs, said last month.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, who will host the NATO event on July 11-12, was quoted by Reuters as saying on Friday that it would be “very sad” if anyone could interpret the outcome of the Vilnius summit as “a victory of Russia.” Moscow views NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat to its national security and has cited the bloc’s open-door policy as a reason for the military conflict with Ukraine. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said recently that Ukraine’s neutrality was one of the conditions for a lasting peace between Ukraine and Russia.

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Macron wants Article 5 without mentioning it.

Macron Wants ‘Tangible’ Security Guarantees For Ukraine (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has argued that Ukraine is “protecting Europe” and should be provided security guarantees by NATO. “That is why I’m in favor .. to offer tangible and credible security guarantees to Ukraine,” Macron said on Wednesday at a forum in Bratislava, Slovakia. He added that it would be in the interest of NATO members to provide such assurances while Kiev awaits approval to join the Western military alliance. France and other Western powers have provided billions of dollars’ worth of military aid to Ukraine since the conflict with Russia began in February 2022. But they have stopped short of offering the blanket protection afforded to NATO members. Article 5 of the bloc’s founding treaty stipulates that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all.


“We have to build something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership,” Macron said. The French president, who once described the Brussels-based alliance as “braindead,” said the Ukraine crisis had “jolted NATO awake.” Macron called on the bloc’s members to “intensify” military aid to Kiev so it would have everything it needs for an effective counter-offensive against the Russian forces. While acknowledging that US contributions have been key in enabling Ukraine to defend itself, Macron argued that Europe must build up its own defense industry rather than relying on Washington for protection. Polish leaders have criticized Macron in the past for negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggesting that the West should avoid “humiliating” Russia. Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly said that it views NATO’s expansion eastward as a threat and has named Ukraine’s neutrality as one of the conditions for a lasting peace.

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It will. It can’t afford it.

West May Change Aid To Ukraine If Conflict Becomes Protracted – Macron (TASS)

The West may reconsider its aid for Ukraine, if the conflict turns into a protracted one, French President Emmanuel Macron said during the Globsec international security conference in Bratislava, adding that high hopes are being placed on the potential Ukrainian counter-offensive. “We prepare for this conflict to become protracted, to the consequences of such development of events,” he said. “We must prepare the public opinion for long-term support of Ukraine in a high-and medium-intensity conflict in accordance with the situation. To that extent we must reconsider and analyze the nature of our support together with our partners during this summer, and to realize what we need to achieve the desired result.” Meanwhile, the French leader refrained from publicly discussing the perspectives in case of failure of the expected Ukrainian counter-offensive, expressing his hope that it will be successful.

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Everything about this is certifiably nuts. Take this beauty:

“..Zelensky’s top adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, demanded that China “make a choice” to back Ukraine and the West or “lose its influence” in world affairs..”

Zelensky and Macron Planning ‘Peace Summit’ Without Russia – WSJ (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelennsky and his European patrons are organizing a summit to build support for Kiev’s peace plan, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The plan’s demands have been deemed unacceptable by Russia, and the document has been met with indifference by non-Western leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron has offered to host the summit in Paris, while the governments of Denmark and Sweden have also put themselves forward as hosts, the newspaper reported. Although no guest list has emerged, European officials have reached out to Brazil, India, China, and other non-Western countries, with one anonymous diplomat stating that “no Russians” would be invited, “but everybody else will be welcomed.”

“We require a unified plan of the responsible civilized world that really wants to live in peace,” Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, told the Wall Street Journal. Russia has already emphatically rejected Ukraine’s so-called pace plan. Published late last year, the plan demands that Russia hand back the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye to Kiev, while also relinquishing control of Crimea, which voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation in 2014. The plan also demands that Russia pay reparations to Ukraine and hand over its officials to face international tribunals. It is highly unlikely that a European summit to which Russia is not invited, organized by countries currently bankrolling the Ukrainian military, will change any minds in the Kremlin. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated last week that the Ukrainian plan essentially involves “the capitulation of Russia.”

European officials are aware of this, and told the Wall Street Journal that they plan on watering down Ukraine’s plan to “make it more acceptable” to non-Western powers such as Brazil, China, India, and Saudi Arabia, if not to Russia itself. Yermak acknowledged that the peace process “is not possible without the whole world, including the leaders of the Global South,” and Zelensky has recently made overtures to the non-Western world, addressing the Arab League in Saudi Arabia this month and speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping the month before. However, this outreach has come across ham-fisted at times, with Zelensky accusing Arab League members of succumbing to “Russian influence,” before skipping out on a meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the G7 summit in Japan.

Last month, Zelensky’s top adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, demanded that China “make a choice” to back Ukraine and the West or “lose its influence” in world affairs. China has released its own 12-point peace plan, which despite being rejected by the US and its NATO allies, has found favor in much of the world, including Russia. Lula has backed Beijing’s plan, while a coalition of African leaders has urged Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire followed by peace talks, which Kiev has refused to do unless Moscow’s troops withdraw to Russia’s pre-conflict borders.

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“The United States is consciously and irretrievably descending into the abyss of hostilities in Europe. By the way, to generate confrontation between NATO and Russia is an old-cherished dream of Nazi radicals in Kiev.”

US Statements On Moscow Drone Attack Encourage Kiev Terrorists – Envoy (TASS)

Washington’s statements on the terrorist drone attack on Moscow encourage Ukrainian terrorists, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said. “We have taken note of Washington’s statements regarding the terrorist attack in Moscow involving drones. In fact, they sound like an encouragement for Ukrainian terrorists,” the envoy said, “Just consider the US officials’ attempts to hide behind the phrase that they are gathering information about what happened! And then they immediately switch to a media attack against our country.” “So really, doesn’t the administration understand that no one believes their slogans about non-support of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory?! Especially, when these words are pronounced somehow bashfully and hesitantly,” the ambassador pointed out,

“The United States is consciously and irretrievably descending into the abyss of hostilities in Europe. By the way, to generate confrontation between NATO and Russia is an old-cherished dream of Nazi radicals in Kiev.” According to Antonov, the abovementioned terrorist attack of the Kiev regime “was senseless from a military perspective.” “The assault was inflicted on the residential buildings of ordinary Russian citizens. This onslaught unequivocally and without exaggeration must be considered as an act of terrorism,” the Russian diplomat pointed out. Ukrainian drones attacked Moscow and the Moscow Region on Tuesday morning.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the attack involved eight unmanned aerial vehicles, five of which were shot down by the Pantsir-S missile system and the remaining three were suppressed by electronic warfare. Two people in Moscow sought medical attention for minor injuries. A number of buildings sustained minor damage. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a regular briefing on Tuesday that the American side does not support Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory with the use of US-made weapons. According to the press secretary, Washington publicly and privately communicates this to Kiev. Jean-Pierre also pointed out that the US is allegedly gathering information on the incident.

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“..based on international law, “including the Hague and Geneva Conventions with their additional protocols,” Britain “can also be qualified as being at war.”

Britain ‘De Facto’ At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has described the UK as waging an “undeclared war” against Russia. The comment came after Britain’s foreign secretary condoned a large-scale drone attack on Moscow earlier this week. In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Medvedev accused London of being Moscow’s “eternal enemy.” The former leader, who currently serves as deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, claimed that based on international law, “including the Hague and Geneva Conventions with their additional protocols,” Britain “can also be qualified as being at war.” The former president argued that by providing Ukraine with weapons and training, the UK “de facto is leading an undeclared war against Russia.” Medvedev hinted that this could have direct ramifications for “public officials” in Britain.

His tweet cited remarks made on Tuesday by UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who said Ukraine has the right to “project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia’s ability to project force into Ukraine itself.” Cleverly further claimed that striking “legitimate military targets” in Russia is an acceptable part of Ukraine’s self-defense. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, eight UAVs were detected in Moscow’s airspace on Tuesday morning, in what officials described as a “terrorist attack” by Kiev. The ministry reported that three drones were suppressed by electronic warfare measures and deviated from their intended course before crashing, while the other five were shot down by Pantsir-S air defense systems outside the city.

Several residential buildings sustained superficial damage and two people suffered minor injuries as a result of the raid. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Kiev of launching the attack in an attempt to avenge a recent series of Russian missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian airfields, ammunition dumps, and “decision-making centers.” Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed on Tuesday that the headquarters of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) had been among the targets hit in the strikes.

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“The Ukrainian Navy operated about 25 combat ships, including five patrol and six artillery boats before Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine.”

Russian Forces Wipe Out Last Ukrainian Combat Ship In Odessa (TASS)

Russia’s Aerospace Forces destroyed the last Ukrainian combat ship in the Odessa port in the special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Wednesday. “On May 29, the Ukrainian Navy’s last combat ship Yury Olefirenko was destroyed as a result of a strike by the Russian Aerospace Forces’ precision weapons against the anchorage of naval ships in the Odessa port,” the spokesman said. The Ukrainian Navy operated about 25 combat ships, including five patrol and six artillery boats before Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine.


In addition, the Ukrainian Navy’s combat assets included the Gola Pristan anti-saboteur boat and the Svatovo assault boat. Upon Kiev’s attempt to storm Snake Island in the Black Sea on May 9 last year, Russian forces sank three Ukrainian Centaur-class armored assault boats and each of them could have carried a marine infantry platoon. The Ukrainian Navy also operated nine armored gunboats, one of which, the Akkerman, was abandoned by the crew in Berdyansk, according to information of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily. The Vinnitsa corvette and the Yury Olefirenko medium amphibious assault ship were sunk.

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Cato: Carthago delenda est – “Carthage must be destroyed” – was a Roman strategic aim 2,200 years ago. It was regularly repeated in his public speeches by Marcus Porcius Cato in his advocacy of putting an end to the Punic Wars by destroying the Carthaginian adversary entirely, not just militarily, so that it could never rise again to challenge Roman power. The opposition slogan was Carthago servanda est – “Carthage must be saved”. Its author, Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum, meant don’t rule by force if it can be avoided..

Annexation Of Kharkov – Ukraine To Shrink Westward (Helmer)

Because Russia is the only functioning democracy on the two sides of this war, where military tactics and war aims are openly argued in parliament and the media, the debate between the Cato delenda war aim, and the Corculum servanda war aim is an active one. Sworn to destroy President Vladimir Putin, the Russian army and economy, the US, European and western allies misinterpret this debate to be vacillation and vulnerability. Dialectically speaking, this encourages the Cato line faction in Moscow at the expense of the Corculum line faction. In this way the US and NATO axis provokes its own defeat. This process has taken the war well beyond the 300-kilometre range of some of the US, French or British weapons which have been deployed and fired to date. The debate over the 300-km westward defence line was winding up in Russia, not beginning, when winter started last year.

Medvedev made this official last week, following the intensification of artillery, rocket, and drone attacks on Russian cities, including Moscow. This week the governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, went further. Then yesterday President Putin tried to pull Gladkov and Medvedev back in line — that’s the Corculum line, not the Cato line. “We live in a state of de facto war. Whether we like it or not, it’s happening,” Gladkov said on the Rossiya 24 television channel. Asked what can be done to increase public security in the Russian border regions, he said one option is “to attach Kharkov to Belgorod Region. This is the best way to solve the issue of the shelling of Belgorod Region.” That was a public, political challenge to the Kremlin. It was polite compared to those who use other names when they mean to criticize Putin’s conduct of the war.

Governor Gladkov is a southerner by birth, education, and career. Born in the Penza region, he has worked in high administrative posts in Penza, Crimea, Stavropol, and for almost three years now in Belgorod. The first Kremlin reply to Gladkov was Dmitry Peskov’s, the spokesman. He was opposed, he intimated, to annexation of more regions along the front line by repeating the restrictive limits of the war. “This already belongs to the category of issues related to the conduct of Special Military Operation. Therefore, I cannot comment on this in any way.” Peskov said in his piece on Monday morning. On Tuesday afternoon, after Ukrainian drones had landed in Moscow, Putin said more; he also said the same thing. “We all had to respond by launching the special military operation. We are striking at the territory of Ukraine, but with long-range precision weapons, at military infrastructure facilities only, either at ammunition or fuel and lubricants warehouses used for combat operations. We have talked about the possibility of striking at decision-making centres. Of course, the headquarters of Ukrainian military intelligence is one of them, and a strike at this target was carried out two or three days ago.”

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“..Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was behind the exclusion of prominent news organizations..”

OPEC Snubs Major Western News Outlets (RT)

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has refused to invite reporters from Bloomberg News and Reuters to its event in Austria later this week, both outlets said on Wednesday. Correspondents from the Wall Street Journal were also snubbed, according to Reuters and Bloomberg. Though staff from the three media agencies typically cover major OPEC meetings, Bloomberg said that this time organizers decided to send invitations directly to reporters, as opposed to providing accreditation to any journalist seeking to attend an event. “We are disappointed that Reuters has not been invited,” a spokesperson said, adding that the agency has “reached out to OPEC for clarity on the matter.” “We believe that a free press serves readers, markets and the public interest,” the spokesperson added.

Bloomberg said it had contacted the OPEC secretariat, but received no reply. The agencies are still expected to send reporters to Austria, even if they cannot access the OPEC Secretariat, where ministers meet, according to the Financial Times (FT), which noted that it did receive an invitation. The newspaper added that Dow Jones was also denied an invitation. FT cited people familiar with the matter as saying Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was behind the exclusion of prominent news organizations. Reporters from other outlets, including CNBC, as well as pricing agencies Argus and Platts, told Reuters that they were invited to the Vienna event.

OPEC – along with its partners in the broader OPEC+ bloc, which includes Russia – have been under pressure to support Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine. OPEC members have worked with Russia to reach an agreement on coordinated production cuts, which drew criticism from Washington. OPEC members will gather on Saturday and Sunday for a regular biannual meeting to determine next steps after US crude prices dropped below $70 per barrel this week. The decline comes despite an agreement to further slash production in April, expanding output cuts initially set last year.

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“No matter how many dialogues, there will be no fundamental improvement [they have said]. I think it is a very honest assessment.”

Xi Jinping Warns Of ‘Worst-Case’ Situation (SCMP)

China is facing more complex and difficult national security concerns, President Xi Jinping warned on Tuesday, in comments analysts said showed the country harboured no “illusions” about the possible damaging effects of its rivalry with the US and had little hope of a lasting improvement in ties. The remarks from Xi came as he chaired a meeting of the National Security Commission, his first since securing an unprecedented third term as leader of China’s ruling Communist Party at its 20th congress in October. Xi heads both the commission and the Chinese military. He said the country’s security apparatus needed to stay “keenly aware” of the complicated and challenging circumstances facing national security, and correctly grasp major related issues, according to state news agency Xinhua.

The national security issues facing China were “considerably more complex and much more difficult” to deal with, Xinhua reported Xi as saying, as he urged officials to be ready to deal with “worst-case and most extreme scenarios”, so that they could withstand “high winds and waves and even perilous storms”. Xi’s remarks come as rival powers China and the United States continue to lock horns on many fronts. Both sides have stepped up national security scrutiny, especially in the technology sector, with the US slapping sanctions on a slew of Chinese companies in the past few years citing security concerns. In March, in a rare public comment on the US tech rivalry, Xi directly named Washington for leading the Western suppression of China. China recently prohibited its key infrastructure operators from buying products made by US memory chip maker Micron Technology, citing “relatively serious” cybersecurity risks.

[..] Xi had also sounded a warning then about choppy waters and “dangerous storms” ahead, as he highlighted the challenges and risks facing the country. According to Xie Maosong, senior fellow at Beijing’s Taihe Institute and a senior researcher at Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute, Xi’s latest remarks showed China had “no rosy illusions” about the potentially devastating outcome of the US rivalry and was making serious efforts to prepare for it. “The ‘worst-case scenarios’ might include a nuclear war, a devastating war that ruins China’s coastal economic belts [or] Western sanctions on China’s energy, finance and food supply,” Xie said. [..] Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said Xi’s remarks meant Beijing was convinced that recent minor improvements in Sino-US relations would be short-lived.

“Xi has named the US as the culprit behind China’s problems,” Wu said. “Some mainland scholars have also openly expressed pessimism about the Sino-US relationship, saying the deterioration was due to domestic political dynamics in China and the US. No matter how many dialogues, there will be no fundamental improvement [they have said]. I think it is a very honest assessment.”

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On Twitter Escobar calls him the Sultan of Swing.

The Sultan 2.0 Will Heavily Tilt East (Pepe Escobar)

The collective west was dying to bury him – yet another strategic mistake that did not take into account the mood of Turkish voters in deep Anatolia. In the end, Recep Tayyip Erdogan did it – again. Against all his shortcomings, like an aging neo-Ottoman Sinatra, he did it “my way,” comfortably retaining Turkiye’s presidency after naysayers had all but buried him. The first order of geopolitical priority is who will be named Minister of Foreign Affairs. The prime candidate is Ibrahim Kalin – the current all-powerful Erdogan press secretary cum top adviser. Compared to incumbent Cavusoglu, Kalin, in theory, may be qualified as more pro-west. Yet it’s the Sultan who calls the shots. It will be fascinating to watch how Turkiye under Erdogan 2.0 will navigate the strengthening of ties with West Asia and the accelerating process of Eurasia integration.

The first immediate priority, from Erdogan’s point of view, is to get rid of the “terrorist corridor” in Syria. This means, in practice, reigning in the US-backed Kurdish YPG/PYD, who are effectively Syrian affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – which is also the issue at the heart of a possible normalization of relations with Damascus. Now that Syria has been enthusiastically welcomed back to the Arab League after a 12-year freeze, a Moscow-brokered entente between the Turkish and Syrian presidents, already in progress, may represent the ultimate win-win for Erdogan: allowing control of Kurds in north Syria while facilitating the repatriation of roughly 4 million refugees (tens of thousands will stay, as a source of cheap labor).

The Sultan is at his prime when it comes to hedging his bets between east and west. He knows well how to profit from Turkiye’s status as a key NATO member – complete with one of its largest armies, veto power, and control of the entry to the uber-strategic Black Sea. And all that while exercising real foreign policy independence, from West Asia to the Eastern Mediterranean. So expect Erdogan 2.0 to remain an inextinguishable source of irritation for the neocons and neoliberals in charge of US foreign policy, along with their EU vassals, who will never refrain from trying to subdue Ankara to fight the Russia-China-Iran Eurasia integration entente. The Sultan, though, knows how to play this game beautifully.

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Zero Hedge labels Epstein a “pedophile”??

Epstein Pal Jes Staley Throws Jamie Dimon Under The Bus (ZH)

Former JPMorgan Chase executive Jes Staley has thrown CEO Jamie Dimon under the bus over the bank’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein – claiming in legal documents that he and Dimon communicated about the convicted sex offender. Dimon maintains he had no such conversations, the Wall Street Journal reports, while Staley claims he knew about Epstein’s sex trafficking operation and that he regrets his friendship with Epstein. According to the filing, Staley says that he and Dimon communicated when Epstein was arrested in 2006 and 2008 when Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution, and served 13 months in a work-release program. Staley also claims that Dimon communicated with him several times through 2012 about whether to maintain Epstein as a client.

“There is no evidence that any such communications ever occurred—nothing in the voluminous number of documents reviewed and nothing in the nearly dozen depositions taken, including that of our own CEO,” said a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, adding that Dimon doesn’t believe such conversations with Staley ever happened. “The one person who claims this to be true is currently accused of horrific acts and dishonesty.” “The statements arose as part of a pair of lawsuits against the bank in a federal court in Manhattan. The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and an unnamed woman, who said she was abused by Epstein, sued JPMorgan last year, claiming that the bank facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking. The bank has sought to pin the bulk of the relationship on Staley and sued him claiming he misled executives about Epstein. The bank in its lawsuit identified Staley as the “powerful financial executive” accused of sexual assault by the woman who is suing JPMorgan. Staley’s lawyers have said the allegations against him are baseless.”: -WSJ

“Rather than mislead anyone about what was or was not said, why don’t they just agree to release the whole transcript?” said an Epstein accuser’s attorney, Brad Edwards, referring to Dimon’s deposition. [..] The pedophile, who became a JPMorgan client around 1998 – bringing the bank hundreds of millions of dollars, formed a close bond with Staley, who eventually oversaw JPMorgan’s investment bank. In August 2008, a few weeks after Epstein’s guilty plea, a JPMorgan employee sent an email that suggested Dimon would review the Epstein relationship, according to the U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit. The email states, “I would count Epstein’s assets as a probable outflow for ’08 ($120mm or so?) as I can’t imagine it will stay (pending Dimon review).” The bank has said that there is no record of such a review and that Dimon doesn’t recall one.” -JPMorgan

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“..all that will be needed to avoid long-term “legal complications” will be a check with several zeroes on it… or maybe some political immunity..”

Jamie Dimon Hints At Run For Public Office; Bill Ackman Endorses Him (ZH)

JPMorgan’s CEO may be getting swept up in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, but for a billionaire like Jamie Dimon, whose catch phrase is “that’s why I’m richer than you” and may as well be “that’s why I will always be freer than you”, all that will be needed to avoid long-term “legal complications” will be a check with several zeroes on it… or maybe some political immunity. Which may be why the head of the largest US bank is already hinting that after he is done gobbling up all the small and regional banks and gets tired of running JPM, he is considering running for public office. “I love my country, and maybe one day I’ll serve my country in one capacity or another,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview, when asked if he’s ever considered a public office position.

His comments, made at the bank’s annual Global China Summit in Shanghai on Wednesday, come as the US gears up for its 2024 presidential race. For now, he’s focused on his job running the largest US bank, a role he’s “quite happy” in. “I love what I do,” he said. JPMorgan does “a great job for helping Americans, for helping countries around the world.” Dimon also reiterated his view that “business can be a force for good,” and said he’s an American patriot who would follow the US government: “Everyone knows I am a patriot,” he said. “I am a red-blooded, full-throated, free enterprise capitalist.”

As BBG notes, the billionaire Wall Street banker is among a group of long-tenured Wall Street chiefs that also includes Brian Moynihan, 63, who’s led Bank of America Corp. since 2010, and Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, 64, who became CEO at the start of 2010 and is stepping down within 12 months. Dimon, 67, who has been head of JPMorgan since 2005, has repeatedly said that he plans to remain atop the biggest US bank for five more years. And while in the past, Dimon has been quick to publicly shut down speculation that he planned a presidential run, shortly after the story about Dimon’s “public run” broke, none other than weepy Bill Ackman, who one year ago sold his NFLX impulse buy locking in losses of $400 million when he would have broken even had he sold it yesterday, endorsed Dimon for president in one of his lengthy, trademark Twitter posts.

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He does a good speech.

Six Texas Attorney General Aides Take Leave Of Absence To Defend Paxton (JTN)

Six staffers from the Office of the Texas Attorney General have taken a leave of absence to defend their former boss, Ken Paxton, who was impeached by the Texas House on Saturday. Their temporary departure was first reported by The Daily Wire and independently confirmed by Hearst Newspapers. Paxton was suspended from office until the outcome of a Senate trial determines if he returns to or is removed from office. In the interim, First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster is the acting head of the agency. Six employees taking leaves of absence include Solicitor General Judd Stone, Assistant Solicitor General Joseph N. Mazzara, Assistant Solicitor General Kateland Jackson, Senior Attorney Allison Collins, Executive Assistant Jordan Eskew, and Division Chief of the General Litigation Division Chris Hilton, who’s been outspoken in Paxton’s defense.

Hilton attempted to present evidence to the House General Investigating Committee, which refused to interview Paxton or anyone from his staff as part of its investigation. Hilton told reporters last Thursday that the committee was engaged in an “illegal investigation” and a report it issued was “filled with falsehoods and misrepresentations.” One week ago, the committee held a three-hour hearing at which four attorneys hired by the committee presented the findings of their investigation. The attorneys, some of whom are registered Democrats, had all worked in the offices of the Harris County District Attorney and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas in Houston. They presented no sworn testimony and no documentation; no witnesses were interviewed by the committee.

On Thursday, the committee issued 20 articles of impeachment and within 24 hours the full House voted to impeach Paxton by a vote of 121-23. The Texas GOP, Paxton and others argue the impeachment didn’t follow basic due process, was political, illegal, unethical and unjust. An outside law firm also found that Paxton didn’t break any laws or violate procedure. The House has announced its prosecutorial team and the Senate its committee to establish trial rules. The rules are expected to be announced June 20. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said the trial will start no later than August 28.

Paxton
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663727925789589504

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“..The foundation “began acting as an agent of foreign governments early in its life and throughout its existence..”

Judge Breathes New Life Into Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Case (JTN)

Just a few weeks after Special Counsel John Durham revealed significant failures to investigate allegations against Hillary Clinton’s family charity, a U.S. Tax Court judge has once again breathed new life into a years-long whistleblower case alleging IRS improprieties involving the controversial Clinton Foundation. U.S. Tax Court Judge David Gustafson has already once before denied an IRS request to dismiss the whistleblower case, first brought in 2017. And three years ago, he ordered the tax agency to reveal whether it criminally investigated the foundation, citing a mysterious “gap” in its records. The IRS filed a new motion to dismiss, and all parties filed arguments over the last year.

But on Monday, Gustafson postponed ruling on those motions, instead asking for new arguments in light of three recent precedent-setting court rulings, once again frustrating IRS efforts to make the case go away. The three recent rulings in other tax cases “may affect the parties’ positions as to the pending motions,” Gustafson wrote. “We will order further filings so that the parties may address those recent opinions.”The judge gave whistleblowers John Moynihan, a former federal agent, and Larry Doyle, a corporate tax compliance expert, until June 30 to update their arguments and the IRS until July 28 to respond. That means the case will almost certainly stretch on for many more months.

The judge also noted the IRS hasn’t responded to a request to update the court record with new evidence. Monday’s ruling adds new intrigue in a case that first surfaced nearly five years ago when Doyle and Moynihan, two respected forensic financial investigators, revealed the existence of their 2017 IRS whistleblower complaint against the foundation during a congressional hearing. Moynihan and Doyle testified to a House committee in December 2018 that they believed the foundation wrongly operated as a foreign lobbyist by accepting overseas donations, then trying to influence U.S. policy. The foundation “began acting as an agent of foreign governments early in its life and throughout its existence,” Moynihan testified at the time. “As such, the foundation should’ve registered under FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act).

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”..he would allow lawmakers to visit FBI headquarters and look at it in a private room..”

FBI Chief Wray Rolls Dice With Congress Over Contempt (JTN)

Just hours after informing Congress he wouldn’t comply with a subpoena and turn over an informant document on the Biden family investigation, FBI Director Christopher Wray hopped on the bureau’s Gulfstream jet and ferried off to the more friendly confines of Las Vegas. The flight manifest for the FBI’s official jet shows Wray left the Washington suburb of Manassas, Va., at about 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday and landed about four hours later in Nevada’s most famous tourist city. Agency officials said the jaunt was for official business and that Wray would be speaking to a conference of counterterrorism officials, meeting with the FBI’s Las Vegas field office, and attending a law-enforcement memorial ceremony.


[..] The trip allows the FBI boss to escape an increasingly hostile atmosphere for himself in Washington, where congressional Republicans announced Wednesday that they would seek to hold Wray in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over a subpoenaed memo that lays out bribery allegations against President Biden. The memo, known as a FD-1023 form, includes information provided to the bureau in June 2020 by a confidential human source alleging a bribery scheme involving Biden when he was vice president. Lawmakers learned about the existence of the memo from FBI whistleblowers.

Wray tried to defuse the situation earlier Wednesday in a phone call with House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, saying that while he would not comply with the subpoena by turning over the memo to Congress, he would allow lawmakers to visit FBI headquarters and look at it in a private room. The two lawmakers, who have been leading an investigation into the Biden family’s foreign business dealings, said Wray’s offer was unacceptable and that Congress had every right to demand at the memo be turned over under a subpoena. Comer made clear he plans to seek a contempt vote as early as next week in Congress.


“While the FBI has apparently leaked classified information to the news media in recent weeks, jeopardizing its own human sources, it continues to treat Congress like second-class citizens by refusing to provide a specific unclassified record,” Grassley said. Comer said lawmakers scored one victory Wednesday: Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 memo the whistleblowers identified. “Today, FBI Director Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 form alleging then-Vice President Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national,” the powerful House committee chairman said. “However, Director Wray did not commit to producing the documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1663988796600340481

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” .. I was excited by the opportunity to engage in free political debate and to make my contribution as a citizen and a scholar.”

Fifty Years Later, Free Speech No Longer Exists In The West (Rabkin)

Fifty years ago I left the Soviet Union for one reason: My desire for freedom. I was disgusted by the one-sided world view fostered by the banning of foreign publications and the jamming of Western radio stations. The obedient media, toeing the party line, repulsed me and made me laugh. Fear of the authorities (even if they were far more “vegetarian” than in Stalinist times) restricted open discussion of politics to the “kitchen cabinet,” with a small circle of trusted friends. I left behind my hometown (then Leningrad, now St Petersburg), my friends, my brother and the graves of my parents and grandparents. Applying to emigrate meant taking a risk, because you almost always risked losing your job, many friends and even relatives, with no guarantee that you would even be granted an exit visa.

[..] What struck me most in the newspapers and on television was the diversity of opinion. Letters to the editor offered a wide range of viewpoints, some of which not only criticized Western policies but also offered alternatives. It wasn’t long before I began to express my own views, first in letters to publications and then in articles. I was excited by the opportunity to engage in free political debate and to make my contribution as a citizen and a scholar. After all, society had created the conditions for me to share the results of my research and observations broadly. However, things have changed. Today, when it comes to some important issues of international politics, freedom of discussion is severely restricted.

[..] An even more important issue that has disappeared from rational discussion is policy towards Russia. This issue is all the more important because Moscow has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Long before February 2022, when President Vladimir Putin announced the military campaign in Ukraine, most NATO countries (as well as Kiev itself) had restricted access to Russian media, something that did not happen in the West even during the Cold War. Just as the Soviets justified their jamming of Western radio broadcasts with the need to protect against “ideological sabotage,” many institutions have been created in recent years by NATO and its member states to protect citizens from, so-called, “Russian disinformation.”

[..] Freedom of speech is not just a democratic right. It is also a way of defining and weighing alternatives. When conflict becomes an epic struggle between good and evil, rationality is replaced by moral judgment and noble indignation. This undermines all diplomacy and, in turn, exacerbates the danger of nuclear war, the inevitable consequence of which, as US military strategists recognized as early as 1962, is Mutually Assured Destruction, or ‘MAD’. Unanimity, una voce, one-sided debate – call it what you like. But this is about more than just the denial of free speech. The climate it has created threatens the very survival of humanity.

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Maybe Pfizer can grow some.

Australian Garlic Kills Covid-19, Says Doherty Institute (AFR)

Garlic might not just be good for keeping vampires away, but also COVID-19 and the common flu, according to new research being released on Wednesday by The Peter Doherty Institute. Scientists at Doherty have been researching garlic properties over the past 18 months and have discovered a certain Australian grown garlic variety demonstrates antiviral properties with up to 99.9 per cent efficacy against the viruses which cause COVID-19 and the common flu. The world-first research, commissioned by the Australian Garlic Producers organisation, involved in-vitro testing against the SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza type A viruses, using garlic ingredients extracted from exclusive Australian grown garlic varieties.


The most efficacious garlic varieties and their extracted proprietary garlic ingredient are being commercialised. They will be able to be taken as a soft capsule supplement similar to vitamin C or fish oil and are subject to a recently lodged International Patent. Dr Julie McAuley, manager of the Doherty’s high containment facility COVID-19 research lab, said the results were striking. “We wanted to know if these strains had the possibility of killing COVID-19,” she told The Australian Financial Review. “I thought it might fail miserably. We blindly tested over 20 varieties. We found one of AGP’s products could reduce the infectious titre of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza by 3-log-fold (99.9 per cent). We barely detected any remaining virus genome, indicating nearly complete virucidal activity.”

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Impaw
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663916994691776515

 

 

Anthill

 

 

Odd couple

 

 


The Taiwan blue magpie is a species of bird of the crow family. Also known as “long-tailed mountain lady”, is considered a rare and valuable species and has been protected by Taiwan

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 172023
 
 May 17, 2023  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Woman Sitting Near a Window (Marie-Therese) 1932 (sold 2 years ago for $103.4 million)

 

Russia Case Against Trump: A Shocking Conspiracy That Continues Today (Turley)
The Durham Coverup (Lee Smith)
Special Counsel Reveals 2016 Trump-Russia FBI Investigative Failure (Max Jones)
Why Shouldn’t the Election Be Called Into Question? (BN)
Influence of ‘Russian Propaganda’ Growing – EU Official (RT)
Aide Reveals Zelensky’s F-16 Wish List – Politico (RT)
UK Will Help Supply Ukraine With F-16s (RT)
NATO’s Military Policies In Ukraine Posed Real Threat To Russia – Envoy (TASS)
How NATO Seduced The European Left (Lily Lynch)
Ukraine Says It Shoots Down More Missiles Than Russia Fires – Shoigu (RT)
Russia Likely Damaged US-Made Patriot Missile Battery – CNN (RT)
Ukraine’s Top Spy Admits Killing Russian Public Figures (RT)
Erdogan Accuses Biden Of Attempt To Topple Him (Cradle)
US May Designate Russia As State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Az.)
German ex-Chancellor’s Wife Fired For Attending May 9 Celebration (RT)
Musk: I’ll Say What I Want And If The Consequence Is Losing Money, So Be It (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Hawley

 

 

 

 

Lesley Stahl

 

 

 

 

Tapper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658538596058423323

 

 

 

 

Biggs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658501544952623104

 

 

 

 

Durham Report: Obama FBI offered Clinton campaign operative Christopher Steele as much as $1 million for dirt on Trump just one month before the 2016 election. Durham Report, p. 118

 

 

The West is not able to make up for the loss of armored vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Douglas McGregor, a former adviser to the head of the Pentagon, admitted in an interview.
“The Ukrainian army has lost almost 10,000 armored vehicles since the beginning of the conflict. This is unbelievable, 10 thousand! ”, The former adviser said.
He also emphasized that the colossal losses of equipment by the Ukrainian army speak of the “extreme effectiveness” of the Russian army in destroying armored vehicles. McGregor noted that sending weapons to Kiev could “bring money into the pockets of the American defense leadership,” but would not change the course of the conflict.

 

 

 

 

“Comey delighted viewers by saying: “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.”

Russia Case Against Trump: A Shocking Conspiracy That Continues Today (Turley)

A political campaign hatches a plot to create a false claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Making this even more implausible is that the CIA and FBI know about the plot. As detailed in the report, President Barack Obama and his national security team were briefed on how “a trusted foreign source” revealed “a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server. It then happened a few days later. It was a plot that required everyone to take a hand in derailing a duly elected president and effectively shutting down his administration for three years of investigation and prosecutions. In this conspiracy, there were dozens of key participants in the campaign, the government, and the media. Here are a few of the characters implicated in this report.

The report details how the Russian collusion conspiracy was invented by Clinton operatives and put into the now-infamous Steele dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign. The funding was hidden as legal expenses by then-Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias. (The Clinton campaign was later sanctioned by the FEC over its hiding of the funding.) New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Elias denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.” It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress. Durham details how Elias played an active role in tracking the media campaign to push the false allegations. (Elias was recently severed by the Democratic National Committee from further representation and has been previously sanctioned in the federal courts in other litigation.) The report details how false claims like the existence of a “pee tape” showing Trump engaging in disgusting acts with prostitutes in Moscow came from a Clinton operative, Chuck Dolan, with no known basis in fact.

Likewise, now-national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Clinton personally pushed an absurd campaign-created conspiracy theory about a secret communication line between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin through a Russian bank. The Clinton campaign later admitted that it had indeed funded the dossier, but Clinton continued to claim that the election was stolen from her by the Russians. Of course, this conspiracy could not occur without the assistance of the FBI, which Durham found played an eager role due to a “predisposition” of key players against Trump. The dossier was discredited early by American intelligence, which learned that it might itself be Russian disinformation. There never was support for the allegations, but the FBI launched and maintained a massive investigation anyway.

Durham noted that the FBI showed a completely different approach to allegations involving the Clinton campaign. The Trump investigation was a “noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.” Nevertheless, former FBI Director James Comey would continue to reference the entirely unsupported “pee tape” in interviews. Even though investigators found no support for the campaign-created story, in a 2018 interview, Comey delighted viewers by saying: “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.”

Peepee

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“Did Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Doctor His Notes to Hide His Role in Russiagate?”

“..virtually none of the officials interviewed by Durham knew about the Clinton Plan intelligence..”

The Durham Coverup (Lee Smith)

The only genuine piece of Russian intelligence that US spy services ever received about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia was intelligence that Russia knew Hillary Clinton backed a 2016 campaign plan to smear Trump as a Russian agent. According to John Durham’s 300-page report, the information reached the CIA in late July 2016. Brennan told Durham that on August 3 he briefed President Barack Obama at the White House on what the special counsel refers to as the Clinton Plan intelligence. Others in attendance at the meeting were Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey. Imagine Comey’s reaction when he first heard of the Clinton Plan intelligence, only days after the July 31 start date for the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, code-named Crossfire Hurricane:

So, if it’s just a dirty trick staged by the Clinton campaign, I should shut down the Trump-Russia probe, right? Right. There is little chance Brennan said anything about the Clinton Plan intelligence in that August 3 meeting. Reading the Durham report, it’s not even clear when Brennan first found out about it or the September 2016 CIA memo referring the Clinton Plan intelligence to the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Brennan’s handwritten notes memorializing his allegedly briefing Obama on the Clinton Plan and the CIA’s referral letter were both declassified by Trump’s Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in October 2020. Durham’s report sheds light on how the information and subsequent CIA memo were received, who knew about them, and perhaps more significantly who didn’t.

According to the report, virtually none of the officials interviewed by Durham knew about the Clinton Plan intelligence or the referral memo. Former FBI general counsel James Baker “stated that he had neither seen nor heard of the Clinton Plan intelligence or the resulting Referral Memo prior to his interview” with Durham. Same with Supervisory Special Agent-1, reportedly FBI agent Joe Pientka. According to the report, when Durham showed Pientka the information, he became “visibly upset and emotional, left the interview room with his counsel, and subsequently returned to state emphatically that he had never been apprised of the Clinton Plan intelligence and had never seen the aforementioned Referral Memo. Supervisory Special Agent-1 expressed a sense of betrayal that no one had informed him of the intelligence.”

The reason so few FBI officials knew of the Clinton Plan information is because it was buried. Otherwise, it would have implicated senior Obama officials — from the president and vice president and his security chiefs — and the Crossfire Hurricane team in an illegal surveillance and propaganda operation targeting a presidential campaign. But how did the Russians know it started with Hillary Clinton? Did they have spies buried deep inside the Democratic National Committee? Maybe Christopher Steele, British ex-spy and author of the Clinton-funded memos tying Trump to Russia, had been compromised by one of the Russian oligarchs he worked for? No, you wouldn’t have needed an intelligence service to find out the Clinton campaign was using Moscow as an instrument to smear the GOP candidate. By the end of July, much of the anti-Trump campaign was public.

Nunes

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“The FBI” is made up of real people. Go after them.

Special Counsel Reveals 2016 Trump-Russia FBI Investigative Failure (Max Jones)

• The Australian diplomats told Crossfire Hurricane investigators that Papadopoulos never stated that he had any direct contact with the Russians nor did he provide any explicit information about an offer of assistance.
• There was a complete lack of information from the Intelligence Community that corroborated the hypothesis upon which the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was predicated.
• The FBI generally ignored the significant exculpatory information provided by Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Trump Senior Foreign Policy Advisor-! during recorded conversations with FBI CHSs.
• The FBI failed to pursue investigative leads that were inconsistent with their theory of the case (e.g., Page’s recorded denials of having any relationship with Paul Manafort, a fact about which there was available evidence).
• The FBI failed to take Page up on the written offer he made to Director Corney to be interviewed about the allegations contained in Michael Isikoff s Yahoo 1 News article and instead opted to seek FISA surveillance of Page.
• The FBI was willing to make use of the completely unvetted and uncorroborated Steele reporting in multiple FISA applications targeting a U.S. citizen, even after the Crossfire Hurricane investigators had determined that there were major conflicts between the reporting of Steele and his primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko – conflicts the FBI incredibly failed to resolve.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not even ask Steele about his role in providing information to Michael Isikoff as contained in the September 23, 2016 Yahoo! News article – information that essentially accused Carter Page of colluding with the Russians. And thereafter the same investigators demonstrated a willingness to contort the plain language of the article to suggest it was not Steele but Steele’s employers who had given the information to Isikoff.
• The FBI ignored the fact that at no time before, during or after Crossfire Hurricane were investigators able to corroborate a single substantive allegation in the Steele dossier reporting.
• There was a complete failure on the part of the FBI to even examine – never mind resolve – the serious counterespionage issues surrounding Steele’s primary subsource, Igor Danchenko.
• The FBI leadership essentially disregarded the Clinton Plan intelligence, which it received at almost the exact same time as the Australian Paragraph Five information. This was despite the fact that at precisely the same time as the Clinton Plan intelligence was received (i) the Clinton campaign made public statements tying the DNC computer hack to Russian attempts to help Trump get elected, (ii) the FBI was receiving the Clinton campaign-funded Steele Reports, and (iii) the Clinton campaign-funded Alfa Bank allegations were being prepared for delivery to the media and the FBI.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators essentially ignored information they had received as early as October 2016 regarding Charles Dolan, a longtime Democratic operative with ties to the Clintons who also possessed significant ties to Russian government figures who would appear in the Steele reporting, and never interviewed him.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators provided only partial, and in some instances misleading, information to Department attorneys working on the Page FISA applications while withholding other highly relevant information from those attorneys and the FISC that might cast real doubt on their probable cause assertions.

Pelosi


Schiff

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Durham makes this inevitable.

Why Shouldn’t the Election Be Called Into Question? (BN)

The Five’s co-host Greg Gutfeld unleashed a powerful diatribe in the aftermath of Monday’s Durham Report revelations detailing a full-fledged election interference operation carried out by the FBI and CIA in concert with the knowledge and approval of the Obama White House and driven in part by a Clinton Plan to ‘stir up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.” Gutfeld defended Americans who continue to be skeptical about election integrity in the wake of the contested 2020 election that saw Joe Biden officially elected president over Donald Trump. “If you have people saying that the country will not survive Trump, then your moral duty is to cheat. Right?” he asked rhetorically. “And you should cheat. Like if somebody believe is telling everybody that this person is a modern day Hitler, it is your duty to do whatever is possible to stop him. In fact, if you actually play by the rules, you’re a traitor. Right?”

Gutfeld

“So, they created a devil that was so big and so vast that made all actions permissible,” he continued. “And it made every institution as, as the judge was saying, subject to suspicion, right? So you can bury stories, you can create hoaxes, you can fund smears, it could go anywhere, because this person must be stopped. It’s Hitler! An existential threat. And so what happens is now we’re left and none of it’s true? And so we had a half a decade hoax that infected and undermined every institution because we are made to believe this person is evil.” “And then people make fun of people who are skeptical about an election,” he went on. “Why shouldn’t they be skeptical about an election when the DOJ and the FBI and the mainstream media and the tech companies and the Chamber of Commerce are all in on the same thing.”


“Why shouldn’t the election be called into question? Right?” he asked. “Shouldn’t a hero try to fix the election? Right? Shouldn’t a hero do that? If you’re up against Hitler, that’s where we ended up. And you can’t go and condemn people for so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ when you were going around telling everybody this guy was worse than Hitler. No.” The Fox News co-host’s rant flies in the face of the pivot of the network away from pro-Trump coverage and away from questioning the 2020 election following a $750 million dollar lawsuit settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Tucker Carlson, who was depositioned for the lawsuit, lost his popular primetime cable news show in the fallout, leading some media observers to believe that it may in part be connected to his 2020 election coverage. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of Fox Corporation, in his own deposition was highly critical of the Fox News’ coverage, even going so far as to state news “news networks should not knowingly broadcast lies.”

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“infiltration of the peace movement..”

“In many countries, the narrative that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim is on the rise..”

Influence of ‘Russian Propaganda’ Growing – EU Official (RT)

EU member states should spend more money on “strategic communications” because “Russian propaganda” is affecting their people, a senior official from the bloc has said. RT must remain banned in the region, while “independent” Russian media based in European nations need support, EU Commissioner Vera Jourova added. The Czech politician and European Commission veteran, who currently serves as its vice president for values and transparency, expressed her concern about the growing popularity of Russian positions on issues like the conflict in Ukraine during an interview with German newspaper Bild on Sunday. “In many countries, the narrative that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim is on the rise,” Jourova told the outlet.

“In Slovakia, more than 50% of the population believe in conspiracy theories, including those about the Russian war of aggression. To this day, we underestimate the influence of Russian propaganda.” Moscow maintains that the conflict in Ukraine stems from NATO’s unchecked expansion in Europe and the failure of Western nations to heed Russian warnings about how it was perceived by the country. A last-ditch attempt to de-escalate the situation was taken by the Russian government in 2021, but it was told that its concerns were unfounded and that Ukraine had a right to seek membership of the US-led military organization. From Russia’s perspective, the conflict is part of a proxy war against it by the West. The problem with EU citizens agreeing with the Russian position is that Moscow “invests billions in its propaganda and we hardly do anything to counter it,” Jourova claimed. She urged member states to invest more in “strategic communications and the fight against disinformation.”

Germany, Jourova suggested, is a particularly important target for Russia. She said she was worried about “infiltration of the peace movement” in the country. “Claiming that anyone supplying arms is a warmonger is extremely dangerous,” she explained. “This only serves to weaken the support for Ukraine.” The commissioner praised the EU’s censorship of RT, describing the channel as “not a media outlet” but rather a “wartime propaganda weapon” that has no place in Europe. “We should instead support the independent Russian media,” she suggested. “Many of them are here in Berlin and in other European cities.” The vice president’s office is reportedly behind a push to introduce a law in the EU to crackdown on “foreign agents.” Politico reported on a survey of nonprofits in March, who were asked whether they had foreign sources of funding. This was conducted ahead of a legislative package intended to “defend democracy.”

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They’ll be flying ducks, so to speak..

Aide Reveals Zelensky’s F-16 Wish List – Politico (RT)

Vladimir Zelensky wants the US and its allies to provide Kiev with between 40 and 50 F-16 fighter jets for use in its conflict with Russia, according to Yury Sak, an aide to Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov. This would be enough to form three or four squadrons of American-made fourth generation aircraft to protect the Ukrainian skies amid a large-scale Russian missile campaign, Sak told Politico on Monday. Kiev has been asking its Western backers for F-16s for months, but the need for the jets has become much more pressing since March, when Russia began using guided glide bombs that strike targets at greater distances, the adviser claimed. Ukraine currently has “nothing to stop” the Russian aircraft that launch those munitions, he admitted.

Zelensky has been touring Europe in the past week, visiting Italy, Germany, France and the UK in an attempt to ramp up military support for Ukraine. After talks with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, the Ukrainian leader said he wanted to create a “jets coalition” of countries to facilitate the supply of F-16s to Kiev. “I’m very positive [about the plan]. We spoke about it and I see that in the closest time, you will hear some, I think, very important decisions – but we have to work a little bit more on it,” the Ukrainian president told reporters. London, Rome, Berlin and Paris don’t have F-16s to offer Ukraine but, according to Sak, those European powers “have an important voice in the international coalition.” Kiev wants them to “encourage” their allies, such as the US and Turkey, to make the deliveries, he explained.

Zelensky’s latest diplomatic efforts have resulted in him receiving “assurances” from Western leaders that they would address the issue of F-16s at the annual G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan this weekend. “Everybody understands that the topic is ripe for discussion. Nobody said that it’s impossible. If you compared it with three months ago, when we were still struggling to get tanks, today everybody is talking about the jet coalition – that’s a very promising sign,” Sak said. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross its ‘red lines’, which would lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the supply of arms, intelligence sharing and training provided to Kiev’s troops have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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Let’s kill more young Ukrainians…

UK Will Help Supply Ukraine With F-16s (RT)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would work to create an “international coalition” to provide Western fighter jets to Ukraine, pledging to bolster the country’s “combat air capabilities” alongside allies. In a statement issued following a meeting with Dutch PM Mark Rutte at a Council of Europe summit on Tuesday, Sunak’s office said the two leaders would take steps to help coordinate aircraft shipments to Kiev. “[Sunak] and Prime Minister Rutte agreed they would work to build [an] international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting [it] with everything from training to procuring F16 jets,” 10 Downing Street said, stressing the “importance of allies providing long-term security assistance to Ukraine.” The prime minister did not specify what country might offer the American-made fighter jet, which is operated by more than two dozen nations, but suggested he would press allies to help facilitate the weapons transfers.

Ukrainian officials have requested the aircraft for months, with a senior Defense Ministry aide telling Politico on Monday that Kiev hopes to receive up to 50 F-16s from Washington and other partners. Since Moscow stepped up its use of guided glide bombs in March, the aide said Ukraine has “nothing to stop” Russian planes equipped with them. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met with Sunak in an unannounced visit to the UK on Monday, where he called for a new “coalition of jets,” an idea well received by the British PM. The concept has been proposed by Kiev and other allies before, with Poland also voicing interest in such a project after providing some of its own Soviet-era MiG-29 fighters. Despite the renewed discussion of a jet coalition, some Western powers appear reluctant to supply advanced warplanes.

Though Ukrainian pilots are already being trained to operate the F-16 by the US military – and will soon receive similar instruction from British pilots – American, German and French officials have indicated they would not be willing to supply jets from their own arsenals. However, Washington has previously reversed course after declining to provide certain weapons systems, including the Patriot missile defense platform and the M1 Abrams main battle tank, both of which have since been pledged to Ukraine. Berlin, too, backtracked after refusing to transfer its Leopard 2 tank, agreeing to send the weapon earlier this year following pressure from allies. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine could cross its ‘red lines’ and lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the arms, intelligence and training provided to Kiev’s troops have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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“These countries “had been pursuing an openly anti-Russian policy long before the current events in Ukraine.”

NATO’s Military Policies In Ukraine Posed Real Threat To Russia – Envoy (TASS)

The threat to Russia resulting from NATO, US and Britain’s military policies in Ukraine was real, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN headquarters in Geneva, said at the plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday. “The threat to Russia’s security from the military development of Ukraine’s territory was real and acute and similar to what the US itself experienced during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,” he said. Gatilov dismissed as falsehoods the accusations made by the US and other NATO countries against Moscow to the effect that the conflict in Ukraine was allegedly “unprovoked aggression.” “In deciding on a special military operation Russia took into account many security factors,” the Russian envoy said. In this regard, Gatilov recalled “the Kiev regime’s agreement in principle to the accelerated strategic development of Ukrainian territory by the NATO ‘nuclear alliance’ hostile to Russia” as well as “our country’s two nuclear adversaries – the US and Britain.


These countries “had been pursuing an openly anti-Russian policy long before the current events in Ukraine.” “In this context, it is worth recalling London’s construction of a naval base in the Ukrainian port city of Ochakov, NATO’s anti-Russian exercise Sea Breeze in the summer of 2021, which ended with the reckless behavior of a British ship that came under fire from the Russian armed forces and was forced to retreat,” Gatilov said. Furthermore, he continued, in September 2020, the US Air Force “used the airspace over Ukrainian territory for familiarization flights by heavy US B-52 nuclear-capable strategic bombers.” The Russian envoy noted that Moscow had warned of “the unacceptability of these irresponsible and destabilizing actions” and proposed “various initiatives for preventing the emerging conflict”.

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It’s the women…

“..telegenic female leaders such as the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, have increasingly served as the spokespersons of enlightened militarism in Europe..”

And the Estonian PM in the video.

How NATO Seduced The European Left (Lily Lynch)

In January 2018, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg held an unprecedented press conference with Angelina Jolie. While InStyle reported that Jolie “was dressed in a black off-the-shoulder sheath dress, a matching capelet and classic pumps (also black)”, there was a deeper purpose to this meeting: sexual violence in war. The pair had just co-authored a piece for the Guardian entitled “Why NATO must defend women’s rights”. The timing was significant. At the height of the #MeToo movement, the most powerful military alliance in the world had become a feminist ally. “Ending gender-based violence is a vital issue of peace and security as well as of social justice,” they wrote. “NATO can be a leader in this effort.”

This was a new and progressive face for Nato, the same one it has since used to seduce much of the European Left. Previously, in the Nordic countries, Atlanticists have had to sell war and militarism to largely pacifist publics. This was achieved in part by presenting Nato not as a rapacious, pro-war military alliance, but as an enlightened, “progressive” peace alliance. As Timothy Garton Ash effused in the Guardian in 2002, “NATO has become a European peace movement” where one could watch “John Lennon meet George Bush”. Today, by contrast, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland abandoned their long-standing traditions of neutrality and opted for membership. Nato is portrayed as a military alliance -and Ukraine a war- that even former pacifists can get behind. All its proponents seem to be singing is “Give War a Chance”.

The Jolie campaign marked a dramatic turn in what Katharine A.M. Wright and Annika Bergman Rosamond call “Nato’s strategic narrative” in several ways. First, the alliance embraced celebrity star power for the first time, imbuing its unremarkable brand with elite glamour and beauty. Jolie’s star power meant that the alluring images of the event reached apolitical audiences with little knowledge of Nato. Second, the partnership seemed to usher in an era in which women’s rights, gendered violence and feminism would assume a more prominent role in Nato rhetoric. Since then, and especially in the past 12 months, telegenic female leaders such as the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, have increasingly served as the spokespersons of enlightened militarism in Europe. The alliance has also intensified its engagement with popular culture, new technologies, and youth influencers.

[..] No political party in Europe better exemplifies the shift from militant pacifism to ardent pro-war Atlanticism than the German Greens. Most of the original Greens had been radicals during the student protests of 1968; many had demonstrated against American wars. The early Greens advocated for West Germany’s withdrawal from Nato. But as the founding members entered middle age, fissures began to appear in the party that would one day tear it apart. Two camps began to coalesce: the “Realos” were the moderate Greens, politically pragmatists. The “Fundis” were the radical, uncompromising camp; they wanted the party to remain faithful to its fundamental values no matter what.

Predictably, the Fundis believed that European peace would be best served by West Germany’s withdrawal from the alliance and tended to favour military neutrality. Meanwhile, the Realos believed that West Germany needed Nato. They even argued that withdrawal would return matters of security to the German nation-state and risk rekindling militaristic nationalism. Their Nato was a post-national, cosmopolitan alliance, speaking numerous languages and flying a multitude of flags, protecting Europe from Germany’s most destructive impulses. But Nato membership at the end of history was one thing. Germany going to war again — the most forbidden of taboos after World War II — was something else entirely.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1658588374511263746

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“..The minister also said that Ukraine “always” misidentifies munitions used by Russia in its media statements. “That’s why they miss them..”

Ukraine Says It Shoots Down More Missiles Than Russia Fires – Shoigu (RT)

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has refuted claims made by Ukrainian military officials about shooting down six Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles during overnight strikes on targets near the country’s capital city of Kiev. Ukraine routinely exaggerates the effectiveness of its anti-aircraft defenses, primarily ‘intercepting’ incoming Russian munitions only with public statements, Shoigu told RIA Novosti. “I have already said that, and I will repeat it again. We have not launched as many ‘Kinzhals’ as they allegedly shoot down every time with their statements. Moreover, the number of these ‘Ukrainian interceptions’ – and who really mans the American [anti-aircraft] complexes there, is still a big question – is three times as high as what we actually launch,” Shoigu stated.

The minister also said that Ukraine “always” misidentifies munitions used by Russia in its media statements. “That’s why they miss them,” he added, without providing any further information on the number of missiles used in the latest barrage. Ukraine was subjected to a new massive missile and suicide drone barrage overnight, with the country’s capital city of Kiev seeing particularly intense activity by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses, footage circulating online suggests. Moscow and Kiev have provided drastically different accounts of what happened overnight. Kiev claimed that it had shot down six state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles over the capital, as well as other incoming projectiles, using a battery of the US-made Patriot air defense system.

The Russian military, however, said the battery was successfully hit by a Kinzhal missile. Footage available online shows multiple anti-aircraft missiles going towards an unseen target, with at least two explosions seen at the site from which they appeared to be launched. Western media reports suggested the Patriot battery in question was likely damaged in the strike. According to CNN, citing an unidentified US official, Washington is currently assessing the extent of the damage in order to determine whether the Patriots need to be pulled back or whether on-site repairs by Ukrainian forces would be enough.

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The unlikely story of Ukraine downing a Kizhal is very popular. This much more likely story, much less so.

Russia Likely Damaged US-Made Patriot Missile Battery – CNN (RT)

A hypersonic missile strike by Russia has reportedly hit a US-supplied Patriot air-defense system in Kiev, potentially knocking the battery out of commission amid Moscow’s escalating attacks in western Ukraine. The Patriot system was likely damaged, but not destroyed, in a Russian missile barrage against Kiev on Tuesday morning, CNN reported, citing an unidentified US official. Washington is assessing the damage to determine whether the battery needs to be pulled back or repaired on site by Ukrainian forces, the outlet said. The report came hours after the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a hypersonic Kinzhal missile strike had destroyed a Patriot base in Kiev. Tuesday’s strikes also took out Ukrainian troop positions, munitions storage facilities, and Western-supplied weapons, the ministry said in a press briefing.

Ukrainian officials said earlier on Tuesday that they had intercepted six hypersonic missiles with their Patriot systems, a claim touted by Western media as proof that Kiev was thwarting a supposedly “unstoppable” Russian weapon. CNN said a US National Security Council spokesperson referred questions about the successful Russian strike to Ukrainian officials, who declined to comment on Moscow’s claim. Ukraine reportedly has two Patriot systems in operation – one supplied by the US and a battery provided jointly by Germany and the Netherlands. “Taking one out of commission, even for a short period, could affect Ukraine’s ability to defend Kiev amid intensifying Russian missile attacks,” CNN said. US officials told CNN last week that Moscow had targeted a Patriot system in a hypersonic strike earlier this month, but Ukrainian forces used the battery to intercept the Russian missile.

The outlet said Patriot batteries use a powerful radar to detect incoming threats at long range, enabling Russia’s military to pick up their signals and determine their location. Although the US military confirmed Ukraine’s claim of a successful missile intercept earlier this month, officials didn’t say whether the Kinzhal was flying at hypersonic speed at the time. Russia’s hypersonic missiles can travel at speeds up to Mach 12 (about 14,800 kilometers per hour) while performing evasive maneuvers, making them capable of penetrating any current air-defense systems. Missiles that fly at Mach 5 or above are classified as hypersonic. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was highly unlikely that Ukraine shot down a Kinzhal missile, which he described as having “absolutely unique characteristics.”

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“Zakharova wrote on Telegram: “Will the UN not notice that again?” The remarks are the latest in a string of bloodthirsty statements..”

Ukraine’s Top Spy Admits Killing Russian Public Figures (RT)

Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) chief General Kirill Budanov has claimed responsibility for assassinating “many” Russian public figures. The spy boss made the bombshell admission in an interview with Ukrainian blogger Sergey Ivanov on Tuesday. Asked whether top Russian “propagandists,” such as prominent journalist Vladimir Solovyov or RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, are prime targets for his organization, Budanov responded that the GUR had already “gotten” multiple high profile targets. “We have already gotten many, including public and media personalities,” Budanov said, without providing any names.

Pressed further by the blogger on the potential involvement of the GUR in the assassination of Darya Dugina, a journalist and the daughter of prominent Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, or the recent car bombing of Russian author and political activist Zakhar Prilepin, the spy boss said he could “neither confirm nor deny” the involvement of his service. Budanov’s remarks were condemned by Moscow, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that they were a clear admission of wrongdoing. “Terrorists. Those who provide excuses for the Kiev regime and sponsor it are accomplices of terrorists,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram. “Will the UN not notice that again?” The remarks are the latest in a string of bloodthirsty statements made by the GUR boss amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

Earlier this month, Budanov declared, “We’ve been killing Russians, and we will keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.” The pledge received an equally poor reception in Russia, with multiple top officials branding it an admission of engaging in state-level terrorism by Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, for instance, said Budanov’s statement was “unprecedented in its essence,” and it was “strange” to not hear any condemnation “from European capitals and from Washington.” “It’s evident that the Kiev regime is behind the killings, not only sponsoring them but organizing, inciting, and carrying them out. De facto, we’re talking about a state sponsor of terrorism,” Peskov concluded, warning that Russia’s “special services know what to do after such statements.”

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“..the US must “support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan..”

Erdogan Accuses Biden Of Attempt To Topple Him (Cradle)

On the eve of critical Turkiye’s elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his supporters that US President Joe Biden had given instructions to topple him, Rudaw reported on 14 May. “Biden gave the instructions saying ‘we have to topple Erdogan.’ I know this. All my people know this. Tomorrow the ballots will give Biden an answer as well,” Erdogan said during an election rally in Istanbul on Saturday, 13 May, the day before voting began. At the rally, Erdogan also criticized his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who had accused Russia of spreading fabricated videos and fake content online to damage his campaign to unseat Erdogan. Erdogan said Russia is a crucial ally in the agriculture, defense, and tourism sectors, but NATO member Turkiye has also sold weapons and arms, including drones, to Ukraine in its war with Russia. In Sunday’s widely anticipated voting, Erdogan received 49.40 percent of the votes, while Kilicdaroglu received 44.96 percent.


However, neither candidate received the required 50% of votes to avoid a second round runoff vote, which will now take place in two weeks to determine Turkiye’s next president. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Biden described Erdogan as an autocrat and claimed his relationship with the Turkish president had deteriorated significantly. Biden explained, as a result, that his “comfort level [about having nuclear weapons in Turkiye] is diminished a great deal.” Biden stated that Erdogan needs to better integrate the country’s Kurdish population via participation in parliamentary elections and that the US must “support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process.”

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More empty gestures.

US May Designate Russia As State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Az.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Department of State would not rule out designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its accused atrocities in Ukraine. Report informs that, according to CNN, in an angry line of questioning at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on China on May 16, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Blinken: “You’re never going to designate Russian state sponsored terrorism, are you?” Blinken quickly responded, “never say never.” Lawmakers and Ukrainian officials have repeatedly put pressure on the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror, but the Biden administration has not taken that action out of concern for unintended consequences.

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“..he has also expressed doubt that distancing himself from Putin “would do any good.”

German ex-Chancellor’s Wife Fired For Attending May 9 Celebration (RT)

The wife of former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, So-yeon Schroeder-Kim, has been fired from her position at a business development agency after visiting the Russian Embassy in Berlin to celebrate Victory Day. “Ms. Schroeder-Kim has been released with immediate effect, and the employment relationship will now be terminated by NRW.GlobalBusiness without notice,” a spokeswoman for NRW told German media on Tuesday. The company explained that it had on several occasions explicitly told Schroeder-Kim, who worked there as a representative for South Korea, that she should “not speak out in public on politically sensitive topics,” particularly with regard to Russia and the situation in Ukraine.

The move comes after Schroeder-Kim and her husband visited the Russian Embassy on May 9 to attend a reception dedicated to the 78th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. The event was also attended by other German politicians, including co-chairman of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Tino Chrupalla, and chairman of the Bundestag committee on climate protection and energy and member of the Left Party Klaus Ernst. Schroeder himself has also faced backlash for maintaining close ties with Moscow. The former chancellor forged friendly relations with Russia during his time in office between 1998 and 2005, and has kept in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout the years. Although Schroeder has repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, he has also expressed doubt that distancing himself from Putin “would do any good.”

Shortly after Moscow launched its military campaign, Schroeder personally traveled to Moscow to meet with Putin. He has insisted since that Russia sought a negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict and had vowed to keep seeking “opportunities to talk to President Putin.” The former chancellor’s stance has put him at odds with other members of the ruling Social Democrats Party (SPD), some members of which have recently unsuccessfully demanded his expulsion. The SPD did, however, manage to strip the former leader of his parliamentary privileges last year. Under current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the SPD has sought to reduce the country’s ties with Russia and its reliance on Russian energy. Berlin, under Scholz’s leadership, has also sent billions of dollars worth of military aid to Kiev’s forces throughout the past year.

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“I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.”

Musk: I’ll Say What I Want And If The Consequence Is Losing Money, So Be It (ZH)

Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk sat down for an hour-long candid, sprawling interview with CNBC’s David Faber on Tuesday following Tesla’s 2023 annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas. Among many other things, Musk reflected on: Accusations from the left over his tweets which have been criticized as lending credence to conspiracies about George Soros and a recent mass shooting event in Allen, Texas, insisting “I’ll say what I want, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”


Clearly this displeased Musk’s critics, who can’t comprehend how someone who hopes to receive major ad dollars (and thus be beholden to the largest US corporations via advertising channel) can speak his mind. In fact, according to Bethany McLean, “Elon Musk sounds like a spoiled child when he talks about free speech,” adding that “If you run a business that depends on advertisers you might have to think about it a little bit differently and Musk seems utterly unwilling to make that distinction.” Translation: if you run a business that depends on advertisers, you can’t say anything your advertisers disagree with. Which of course is another way of being subject to the censorship of the establishment, and why traditional media is always silent when certain interests – be it of generous advertisers like Pfizer, or the Deep State, or the Bidens, or the Clintons, etc – are in question.

Musk defended what Faber said was the spreading of “conspiracy theories” by countering that pointing out that so many of these “conspiracy theories have turned out to be true”, and pointed to the Hunter Biden laptop suppression story, which was an example of “election interference.” Naturally, the question of Musk calling George Soros Magnito came up. An incongruous Faber asks where that tweet came from, to which Musk replies “that is my opinion.” Faber then pressed: “why share it” if it could lead to less revenue/sales, and do your tweets “hurt the company”; Musk responds with a quote from the Princess Bride: “offer me money; offer me power. I don’t care.” The sad fact is that all of Musk’s peers in the media world, who aren’t independently wealthy and who do care about money (and power) will gladly be PR agents for their advertising sponsors, pretending to be independent media outlets.


How he has managed a takeover of Twitter so far and what lies ahead. Among other things, he said Twitter’s Community Notes feature has cost Twitter $40 million in business when two big clients reduced spending after their ads received community notes accusing them of false advertising. He also claimed that when the acquisition closed, Twitter had negative $3 billion in annual cash flow and $1 billion in the bank. “The analogy I was using was like being teleported into a plane that’s in a nosedive headed to the ground with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work….” Musk said he voted for Biden but hinted he wasn’t happy with his choice, saying “I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.” Asked if he believes the 2020 election was stolen, Musk said no, but countered that there certainly has been election fraud. Musk even slammed the obvious CIA front Bellingcat. Discussing the recent Texas shooting, Musk said the shooter was “incorrectly described to be a white supremacist. The company that found this is Belingcat. Do you know what Belingcat is? A company that does Psyops.”

Errol Musk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658536557890895873

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Nordstream evidence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spots

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 122023
 


Sophia Loren seated by the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis during filming for ‘Boy on a Dolphin’, 1957

 

Ukraine Needs ‘Bit More Time’ To Prepare For Counteroffensive – Zelensky (TASS)
Ukrainian Forces Begin “Shaping” Operations For Counteroffensive (RT)
UK Sending Long-range Storm Shadow Missiles To Ukraine (G.)
Russian MoD Denies Kinzhal Intercepted By Patriot Air Defense System (RIA)
West ‘Miscalculated’ With Economic War Against Russia – Spectator (TASS)
Donetsk Civilians Live In Constant Fear Of Ukrainian Shelling (Eva Bartlett)
European Security Order ‘Is No More’ – German President (RT)
Grain Deal Extended By 60 Days, Decision May Be Announced By Erdogan (TASS)
The UK’s Secret Control Of Palestinian Security Forces (Klarenberg)
US Sells Weapons To Majority Of Authoritarian Regimes – The Intercept (RT)
World’s Most Violent Country Claims Murder-Free Year (RT)
The Censorship-Industrial Complex: The Top 50 Organizations to Know (Taibbi+)
Elon Musk Hires Ultra Woke Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitter (CTH)
CNN Host Sues Trump For Assault And Defamation After Town Hall (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Anderson

 

 

 

 

2016
https://twitter.com/i/status/1656631409958584323

 

 

 

 

The Right Stuff

 

 

Dimon

 

 

Maria Zakharova : By digging a long investigation, we find that Von der Leyen’s family tree traces a legacy of power and brutality, incorporating not only some of Germany’s most prominent Nazis, but also some of Britain’s greatest slave traders.

 

 

 

 

“..those who are calling for peace talks to start as soon as possible could not force Ukraine to surrender its territories..”

Ukraine Needs ‘Bit More Time’ To Prepare For Counteroffensive – Zelensky (TASS)

The Ukrainian army needs a little bit more time to prepare for Kiev’s much-vaunted counteroffensive, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with European media outlets, including the BBC, published on Thursday. “With [what we already have] we can go forward, and, I think, be successful. But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable. So, we need to wait. We still need a bit more time,” Zelensky said. As follows from Zelensky’s statement, those Ukrainian brigades formed especially for the counteroffensive are already fully ready to take part in combat operations, but the army still needs “certain things,” including armored vehicles, which are “arriving in batches.” The Ukrainian president also stated that those who are calling for peace talks to start as soon as possible could not force Ukraine to surrender its territories.


He noted that Kiev was not afraid of losing support from Washington after the next US presidential election in November 2024, because, according to Zelensky, both the Democrats and the Republicans are allies of Ukraine. The issue of a potential counterattack by the Ukrainian army has been discussed in the Ukrainian media for several months. A buildup of Ukrainian reserves was noted in the Zaporozhye area recently. Media reports have mooted various dates for the start of an attack, but the commencement of Kiev’s much-ballyhooed counteroffensive has been postponed several times already. Among the reasons the reports mentioned were the slow delivery of Western equipment, bad weather and huge losses suffered by Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine).

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“Shaping involves striking targets such as weapons depots, command centers and armor and artillery systems..”

Ukrainian Forces Begin “Shaping” Operations For Counteroffensive (RT)

Ukrainian forces have begun “shaping” operations in advance of a highly-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, a senior US military official and senior Western official told CNN, Report informs. Shaping involves striking targets such as weapons depots, command centers and armor and artillery systems to prepare the battlefield for advancing forces. It’s a standard tactic made prior to major combined operations. When Ukraine launched a counteroffensive late last summer in the southern and northeastern parts of the country, it was similarly preceded by air attacks to shape the battlefield. These shaping operations could continue for many days before the bulk of any planned Ukrainian offensive, according to the senior US military official.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country still needs “a bit more time” before it launches the counteroffensive, in order to allow some more of the promised Western military aid to arrive in the country. “With [what we have] we can go forward and be successful,” Zelensky told European public service broadcasters in an interview published on Thursday. “But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable.” “So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time,” he said. Among the supplies Ukraine is still waiting for are armored vehicles — including tanks —which Zelensky said were “arriving in batches.” Shaping operations can also be designed to confuse the enemy.

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There are still Ukrainians alive. Can’t have that.

UK Sending Long-range Storm Shadow Missiles To Ukraine (G.)

Britain has become the first western country to provide Ukraine with the long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles that Kyiv wants to boost its chances in a much-anticipated counteroffensive, prompting a threat from the Kremlin of a military response. Hours after Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said he needed more western weapons to be confident of a victory this summer, Ben Wallace, the UK defence secretary, told MPs that the missiles – which cost more than £2m each – were “now going in, or are in the country itself”. The gift of the missiles was supported by the US, Wallace added, although previously Washington had declined to give Ukraine long-range missiles of its own, fearing that the outcome could escalate hostilities in the 15-month war.

Reflecting such concerns, the minister said the decision was “a calibrated and proportionate response” to the Russian invasion, and in particular Moscow’s repeated targeting of Ukrainian civilians. At least 23,000 civilians had been killed or injured, Wallace said. Russia had made “788 attacks on healthcare facilities, hospitals, clinics, medical centres”, and on many occasions killed civilians in missile strikes, he added. “The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory,” Wallace told MPs, adding: “Russia must recognise that their actions alone have led to such systems being provided.” Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was taking a “rather negative” view of the UK’s move. “This will require an adequate response from our military, who … will make appropriate decisions,” he said.

Wallace did not say how many Storm Shadow missiles had been given to Ukraine, although it has been estimated the UK holds a stock of between 700 and 1,000. Working with four other countries, the UK issued a tender to buy more long-range “missiles or rockets with a range of 100-300km” (62 to 186 miles). Storm Shadow has a range of “in excess of 250km”, according to its manufacturer, the European arms group MBDA. That is significantly further than the high-precision US Himars rocket launchers currently used heavily by Ukraine, which rely on missiles with a range of 47 miles. Himars have become less effective as the Russian invaders have moved reserves of troops and equipment out of their range.

There have been concerns that the Storm Shadow missiles could be used to strike targets deep inside Russia’s internationally recognised borders. The White House has balked at supplying Ukraine with similar long-range ATACMS missiles, which can be fitted to the Himars systems. Wallace said the US was “incredibly supportive” of the UK’s decision, and said ATACMS missiles were not as suitable as Storm Shadow, which is designed to be able to strike defensive positions below ground.

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@BrianJBerletic
“This is clearly not a Russian Kinzhal missile which is a massive missile at 1.2 meters in diameter. Whatever this is, it is much smaller. Those claiming it is a BetAB-500 make a much more convincing argument…”

Russian MoD Denies Kinzhal Intercepted By Patriot Air Defense System (RIA)

The American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system could not shoot down the Russian Kinzhal missile due to its technical characteristics, a senior source in the Ministry of Defense said. “The fact is that the flight speed of the Kinzhal missile exceeds the maximum combat modes of anti-aircraft missile systems supplied by the West to the Kyiv regime, including the Patriot,” the agency’s interlocutor explained. In addition, as the source recalled, in the final phase of the flight, the Kinzhal performs an anti-missile maneuver and an almost vertical approach to the target, which excludes the possibility of it being intercepted by anti-aircraft missile systems. He called the statements about the downed hypersonic missile a hoax and stressed that it was “an attempt to wishful thinking. Earlier, the head of the press service of the Pentagon, Patrick Ryder, said at a briefing that Ukraine allegedly shot down a Russian Kinzhal missile with the help of the Patriot missile defense system transferred to it.

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“The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world..”

West ‘Miscalculated’ With Economic War Against Russia – Spectator (TASS)

Western countries have failed to achieve their goals with the economic war they unleashed on Russia following the onset of its special military operation in Ukraine, according to an editorial by the British Spectator weekly published on its website on Thursday. According to the magazine, the West quickly became aware that other countries were not ready to stop doing business with Russia, which rapidly redirected its oil and gas supplies to China and India. The bans introduced by the West have been surmounted with parallel imports. That said, the European economy is smarting from the consequences of its sudden rejection of Russian energy. The Spectator points out that the Russian economy was also hurt but not as seriously as Ukraine’s allies hoped.


“The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world. As we have discovered, non-western countries lack the will to impose sanctions on either Russia or on Russian oligarchs. The results of the miscalculation are there for all to see. <…> The Russian economy has not been destroyed; it has merely been reconfigured, reorientated to look eastwards and southwards rather than westwards,” the article says. The authors admit that in itself, the plan to declare the sanctions war on Russia “was not necessarily wrong” but point out that the West “is badly mistaken” if it continues to think that in the future, “it can fight wars purely by economic means, without bombs or bullets.”

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“..HIMARS systems were used, targeting “exclusively in the residential, central quarter of the city.”

Donetsk Civilians Live In Constant Fear Of Ukrainian Shelling (Eva Bartlett)

Heavy Ukrainian shelling of central Donetsk on April 28 killed nine civilians – including an eight-year-old girl and her grandmother – and injured at least 16 more. The victims were burned alive when the minibus they were in was hit by a shell. The attack also targeted a major hospital, apartment buildings, houses, parks, streets, and sidewalks. All civilian areas – not military targets. According to the Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) Representative Office in the JCCC (Joint Monitoring and Co-ordination Center on Ukraine’s War Crimes), Kiev’s forces fired high-explosive fragmentation missiles “produced in Slovakia and transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries.” Regarding an earlier shelling on the same day, the JCCC noted that US-made HIMARS systems were used, targeting “exclusively in the residential, central quarter of the city.”

I was outside of Donetsk interviewing refugees from Artyomovsk (also known as Bakhmut) when both rounds of intense shelling occurred, the first starting just after 11am. I returned to see a catastrophic scene, with a burnt-out bus – still smoking – and some of its passengers’ charred bodies melted onto the frame. This tragic picture was sadly not a one-off event. Elsewhere, city workers were already removing debris and had begun repaving damaged sections of the roads. I’ve seen this following Ukrainian shelling many times, including on January 1 this year, when Ukraine fired 25 Grads into the city centre. Similarly, in July 2022, Ukrainian shelling downtown killed four civilians, including two in a vehicle likewise gutted by flames. When I arrived at the scene about an hour later, workers were repaving the affected section of the street.

The damage to the Republican Trauma Center hospital was quickly cleaned up, but videos shared on Telegram immediately after the shelling show a gaping hole in one of the walls. The room concerned contained what was, apparently, Donetsk’s sole MRI machine. Along Artyoma street, the central Donetsk boulevard targeted countless times by Ukrainian attacks, the destruction was evident: Two cars caught up in the bombing, residents of an apartment building boarding up shattered windows and doors, the all-too-familiar sound of glass and debris being swept away. In the residential area, the first to be targeted that day, in a massive crater behind one house, the walls and roof of another home were intermixed with rocket fragments.

Donbass

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And guess who we blame?

European Security Order ‘Is No More’ – German President (RT)

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has “destroyed” the security order in Europe, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has claimed. He argued that there would no return to former security principles even after the hostilities end. “The European security order is no more,” Steinmeier told Germany’s RBB radio broadcaster on Wednesday, adding that “common security” will cease to be a “common concept for a long time to come.” “We will find [ourselves] in a new situation [after the fighting ends], in which Europe on the one hand and Russia on the other hand will defend themselves against each other over the medium term,” the German president said. Steinmeier pinned the blame on Moscow for the erosion of European security, maintaining that neither the German government nor the EU was responsible.


The comments came one day after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell asserted that the Ukraine conflict could be ended within days, should the flow of Western arms to Kiev cease. Borrell acknowledged, however, that such a scenario would not lead to the outcome Brussels was hoping for. Russia has repeatedly stated it is ready to resolve the conflict through peaceful means, as long as its goals are achieved and its interests are taken into account. Before the Russian military launched its campaign in Ukraine, Moscow tabled a comprehensive draft deal on security in Europe in 2021. The proposal involved a pledge by NATO not to expand further to the east, the removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe, and the withdrawal of NATO troops and missiles away from the Russian border. The deal was rejected by both Washington and Brussels.

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Erdogan has elections this Sunday..

Grain Deal Extended By 60 Days, Decision May Be Announced By Erdogan (TASS)

The grain deal, which expires on May 18, will be extended by 60 days, the corresponding decision may be first to be announced by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a source familiar with the negotiation process told TASS. “The deal, I think, will be extended for 60 days, but Russia may agree to this for the last time. The decision to prolong “traditionally” may be announced by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan after a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart [Vladimir Putin],” the source said. The source did not rule out that the decision can be announced “today or tomorrow”. However, the source called the possibility of extending the deal a “gesture from Russia” in the hope that its demands, enshrined in the Istanbul memorandum of July 22 last year, would be taken into account.

Following the talks in Istanbul between the delegations of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told reporters that the Russian part of the agreements would cease to operate if Moscow did not receive guarantees that their demands would be met by May 18. They concern the export of agricultural products and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system, and a number of other issues. Agreements to enable the export of food and fertilizers to world markets were signed on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul. They were originally meant to last 120 days and were extended for another 120 days in November. Russia announced on March 18 that the deal was extended for another 60 days, saying this would be enough time to assess the effectiveness of the memorandum signed with the UN.

Moscow has said repeatedly that any further extension of the deal hinges on whether the Russian part of the deal is implemented. The lack of progress in this issue jeopardizes the future of the entire initiative. On May 10-11 representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN met in Istanbul to discuss a potential extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement for supplies of grain and fertilizers. The security of the Black Sea grain corridor was also on the agenda.

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” It was in Northern Ireland that Britain perfected “five techniques” of psychological and physical torment, which formed the basis of modern torture worldwide..”

The UK’s Secret Control Of Palestinian Security Forces (Klarenberg)

From the UK Foreign Office’s perspective, steering the PA’s activities and composition ensures it not only remains “supportive of UK values and interests,” but also allows London’s domestic and foreign security and intelligence services to train an unblinking eye on residents of Gaza and the West Bank. As a result, potential threats of retaliatory violence arising from Tel Aviv’s brutal assaults in the Occupied Territories – both to Israel and Britain – can be neutralized via local actors. British infiltration of the Palestinian Authority is a long-running story, and its security infrastructure has always been a primary target. In 2004, the government of Tony Blair dispatched veteran senior British police officer Jonathan McIvor to assist the body.

The next year, he was employed by the European Union to establish the Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (COPPS), Brussels’ first “security” mission in Palestine – which increases cooperation between the PA’s military, security, policing, and intelligence wings, and Israeli occupation forces – in advance of its formal launch in early 2006, and served for some time as its first chief. Questions can only abound as to whether McIvor’s high-level stint within the Royal Ulster Constabulary, a police force in Northern Ireland notorious for vicious discrimination against the province’s Catholic minority, and intensive collusion with loyalist terrorist groups, informed tactics employed today by the Palestinian Authority. It was in Northern Ireland that Britain perfected “five techniques” of psychological and physical torment, which formed the basis of modern torture worldwide, along with a strategy of “internment without trial” for terror suspects.

In 1976, a secret directive gave the Royal Ulster Constabulary free rein to employ these techniques whenever its officers wished, which endured well into the 1990s, concurrent with McIvor’s tenure with the force. The Palestinian Authority has been confirmed to widely engage in arbitrary arrests and torture of detainees, typically at Israel’s behest. Now that the PA is proving increasingly ineffective at quelling peaceful and armed resistance to both its brutal rule and Israeli ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Territories, the ‘expert’ guidance of Adam Smith International and other British government contractors has perhaps never been so urgently in need.

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No background checks…

US Sells Weapons To Majority Of Authoritarian Regimes – The Intercept (RT)

The administration of US President Joe Biden sold weapons to at least 57% of the world’s authoritarian regimes in 2022, according to analysis published on Thursday by The Intercept. In a lengthy review of US arms-dealing practices and recently released government data, the American publication noted that Washington has accounted for around 40% of global arms sales each year since the end of the Cold War. It added that, according to a classification system devised at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, the United States distributed weapons in 2022 to at least 48 of 84 (57%) countries described by the ‘Varieties of Democracy’ project as being under autocratic or authoritarian rule.

The Swedish study categorized global governments on a scale ranging from ‘closed autocracy’ to ‘liberal democracy’, principally using methodology to discern how free and fair a country’s elections might be. US weapons exports are typically divided into two categories: foreign military sales (FMS) and direct commercial sales (DCS). FMS requires the US government to act as a direct intermediary, with Washington buying the assets from a weapons manufacturer before it provides them to a foreign government. DCS deals, meanwhile, largely removes from the government’s intermediary role and permits manufacturers to sell directly abroad. Both types of sale require full approval from Washington. According to government data, the United States sold arms in FMS deals to 142 countries and territories last year, producing $85 billion in bilateral sales.

In Biden’s first full year as president, US weapons sales to foreign countries amounted to $206 billion – surpassing a Trump-era record of $192 billion. The US has been a key weapons supplier to Ukraine throughout its conflict with Russia. The Intercept noted, however, that this does not fully explain the boom in Washington’s arms export industry last year, as much of the weaponry was provided to Kiev in the form of grants. Russia’s offensive also began five months into the 2022 fiscal year. The findings of the analysis stand in contrast to Biden’s often-repeated stance of opposition to authoritarian governments. In a speech in Warsaw last year, the US president described conflict between democracy and autocracy as a battle “between liberty and repression” and “between a rules-based international order and one governed by brute force.”

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6,600 homicides in 2015. Zero the past year.

World’s Most Violent Country Claims Murder-Free Year (RT)

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador on Thursday announced an unprecedented homicide-free streak, adding up to 365 days since he took power nearly four years ago. The Latin American country was considered the world’s most violent as late as 2016. “We concluded May 10, 2023 with 0 homicides nationwide,” Bukele said on Twitter. “With this, it’s 365 days without homicides, a whole year.” The accompanying 90-second video called the development without precedent in El Salvador’s history. As of 2009, the country was considered the most violent in Latin America, with a killing every two hours. By 2015, it had over 6,600 homicides, the deadliest country in the world that wasn’t at war.

The homicide-free year was not consecutive, but rather cumulative over the four years of Bukele’s presidency. Before he took office in June 2019, the country had recorded only two days without a homicide in 15 years. Now El Salvador is “the most secure country in Latin America,” argued the president. “The country has never recorded such a cycle of peace, since its birth as a republic,” one Salvadoran social media influencer pointed out. Bukele has attributed the drastic change to his ‘War on Gangs’. His government declared a state of emergency in March 2022, amid a major spike in gang violence in the nation of 6.5 million on the Pacific Ocean. Designating the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Barrio 18 and other gangs as terrorists, his government has so far jailed over 65,000 suspected criminals.

A mega-prison called the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT), with the capacity to hold 40,000 convicts in maximum security, has been built outside the capital. Parallel to the crackdown on gangs, Bukele has embraced economic reforms, introducing Bitcoin as legal tender on par with the US dollar – over objections from the IMF – and abolishing all taxes and tariffs on the information technology sector. Visiting El Salvador in March, AP reported that ordinary Salvadorans were relieved and enjoying their daily lives without being terrorized by organized crime. But the agency also quoted US-based human rights experts who worried about El Salvador becoming a “police state.” Bukele’s government did not respond to the outlet’s requests for comment.

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“..only America’s enemies are low enough, and deprived enough of real firepower, to require the use of such tactics..”

The Censorship-Industrial Complex: The Top 50 Organizations to Know (Taibbi+)

In 1996, just as the Internet was becoming part of daily life in America, the U.S. Army published “Field Manual 100-6,” which spoke of “an expanding information domain termed the Global Information Environment” that contains “information processes and systems that are beyond the direct influence of the military.” Military commanders needed to understand that “information dominance” in the “GIE” would henceforth be a crucial element for “operating effectively.” You’ll often see it implied that “information operations” are only practiced by America’s enemies, because only America’s enemies are low enough, and deprived enough of real firepower, to require the use of such tactics, needing as they do to “overcome military limitations.” We rarely hear about America’s own lengthy history with “active measures” and “information operations,” but popular media gives us space to read about the desperate tactics of the Asiatic enemy, perennially described as something like an incurable trans-continental golf cheat.

Indeed, part of the new mania surrounding “hybrid warfare” is the idea that while the American human being is accustomed to living in clear states of “war” or “peace,” the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian citizen is born into a state of constant conflict, where war is always ongoing, whether declared or not. In the face of such adversaries, America’s “open” information landscape is little more than military weakness. In March of 2017, in a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on hybrid war, chairman Mac Thornberry opened the session with ominous remarks, suggesting that in the wider context of history, an America built on constitutional principles of decentralized power might have been badly designed: Americans are used to thinking of a binary state of either war or peace. That is the way our organizations, doctrine, and approaches are geared. Other countries, including Russia, China, and Iran, use a wider array of centrally controlled, or at least centrally directed, instruments of national power and influence to achieve their objectives…

Whether it is contributing to foreign political parties, targeted assassinations of opponents, infiltrating non-uniformed personnel such as the little green men, traditional media and social media, influence operations, or cyber-connected activity, all of these tactics and more are used to advance their national interests and most often to damage American national interests… The historical records suggest that hybrid warfare in one form or another may well be the norm for human conflict, rather than the exception. Around that same time, i.e. shortly after the election of Donald Trump, it was becoming gospel among the future leaders of the “Censorship-Industrial Complex” that interference by “malign foreign threat actors” and the vicissitudes of Western domestic politics must be linked. Everything, from John Podesta’s emails to Trump’s Rust Belt primary victories to Brexit, were to be understood first and foremost as hybrid war events.

This is why the Trump-Russia scandal in the United States will likely be remembered as a crucial moment in 21st-century history, even though the investigation superficially ended a non-story, fake news in itself. What the Mueller investigation didn’t accomplish in ousting Trump from office, it did accomplish in birthing a vast new public-private bureaucracy devoted to stopping “mis-, dis-, and malinformation,” while smoothing public acquiescence to the emergence of a spate of new government agencies with “information warfare” missions.

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Guess who was the Chair of the Ad Council that drove the partnership between global corporations and the US Government to push vaccines during COVID…

“And then I hired a WEF Executive Chair who worked with the White House and ‘government agencies’ on the COVID-19 ‘vaccination’ campaign to be the new CEO of ‘free-speech’ Twitter …”

Elon Musk Hires Ultra Woke Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitter (CTH)

Elon Musk has reportedly hired Linda Yaccarino as the CEO of Twitter. Unfortunately, this decision is the exact opposite of what everyone hoped about Musk’s intentions with the platform. Ms. Yaccarino is the head of NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships, and she is the tip of the spear in the creation of DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) indexing and corporate scoring. You might be familiar with ‘DEI’ as a result of the Bud Light woke advertising campaign to promote beer for transgenders. Well, that’s DEI in action, and Ms. Yaccarino is one of the pioneers in the advertising industry. Additionally, Linda Yaccarino is the Chairwoman of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Taskforce on Future of Work. As she noted in her position, “every CEO and executive needs to look inward, and build workplaces that ensure our employees, current and future, can always succeed amid rapid transformation.”

Overlaying the Diversity Equity and Inclusion mindset, you will note Yaccarino says, “long-term benefits for the unemployed, women, and communities of color.” Why would Elon Musk bring the most woke NBC advertising executive to become the CEO of Twitter? Obviously, he is focused on generating revenue, and Yaccarino can bring woke credentials to the platform luring corporate advertisers. Unfortunately, in order to achieve that objective, the platform content will have to be modified. That means the public square of Twitter needs to become a platform of non-controversial NPCs (Non Player Characters) which generally are identified in memes [SEE HERE]. The content on Twitter must fit an approved standard for advertising. Leading this effort to control platform content through the control of the monetization, is literally what Yaccarino has done in her work at NBCUniversal. Thus, her efforts to promote DEI take on a new level of importance.

Ms. Yaccarino also supports Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and follows him and his fellow influencers through her Twitter account. Politically this puts her in alignment with Elon Musk and the acceptable Republican group that promotes the Florida Governor. Keep in mind, for DeSantis, the “woke issues” are political tools to achieve an objective; nothing more. Ms. Yaccarino supporting Ron DeSantis is not a misnomer, it’s just politics. Similarly, for Elon Musk, it appears Ms. Yaccarino brings a greater financial value to the table offsetting any contradictions in his belief system about wokeism as a danger to speech and culture. Obviously, this hire says Musk is more concerned about revenue generation than actual free speech.

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“It was the most traumatizing experience of my life. It was assault, plain and simple. And defamation.”

CNN Host Sues Trump For Assault And Defamation After Town Hall (BBee)

A visibly shaken Kaitlan Collins announced she will be suing Trump for assault and defamation after being destroyed by the former President on national television last night. “He said things I didn’t agree with. Even worse, he said things I didn’t like,” said Collins in a statement. “It was the most traumatizing experience of my life. It was assault, plain and simple. And defamation. I’m suing Trump for $5 million like that other lady.” Sources also reported Trump called the CNN host a “nasty person,” which trusted fact-checkers have determined was false.


Media experts applauded the announcement and were all in agreement that Trump’s performance in the town hall was the most horrifying spectacle ever televised. “I am literally shaking right now,” said CNN Host Jake Tapper. “The lies, the misinformation, the pure evil of that monstrous orange man is too much for my soul to bear. Our democracy is in danger once again. God help us all.” Biden also responded to the town hall, saying: “Reflustrazuuure! Shut up, fat!” Within minutes of the announcement of the lawsuit, a New York judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered Trump to pay $5 million.

E Jean

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9 days before the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

 

 

Dog fight

 

 


Eudocima phalonia is also known as the common fruit-piercing moth, in its caterpillar stage it looks like a galaxy

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 032023
 
 April 3, 2023  Posted by at 7:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Bull – Plate 4 1945

 

Bakhmut “Technically Captured” – Prigozhin (ZH)
Zelensky’s Government Is An ‘Evil Force’ – Orthodox Priest (RT)
The Everything Collapse (Egon von Greyerz)
Oil Prices Surge After Surprise OPEC+ Production Cut (RT)
Lavrov Tells Blinken: Up To Court To Decide About US Journalist Future (TASS)
‘Lower the Rhetoric’ on China, Says Milley (D1)
Eastern Europe ‘Drowning’ In -Cheap- Ukrainian Grain – Le Figaro (RT)
Russian Official Ridicules Ukrainian Plan To Rename Crimean Port (RT)
Erdogan Tells US Ambassador To ‘Know His Place’ (RT)
US Allows Migrants To Pick Their Gender (RT)
Banana Time for the Rule of Law (Kimball)
Leaks From Bragg’s Grand Jury Are A Crime (Dershowitz)
Germany To Have Enough Covid mRNA Vaccine To Last Into The 24th Century (Eugyp)
El Pais Reveals How CIA Spied On Assange (RT)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib Demands DOJ Drop Charges Against Julian Assange (Fox)

 

 

Who and what will be the future of Ukraine?

 

 

Taibbi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642384601418199040

 

 

Five alarm

 

 

ICC
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642416905897099264

 

 

Trump

 

 

Trump numbers
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642615856625594369

 

 

Why vaccinate the young?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s over.

Bakhmut “Technically Captured” – Prigozhin (ZH)

Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group in the overnight hours on Monday has claimed victory (or at least a partial victory) over Bakhmut by raising the Russian flag as well as its own PMC Wanger Group flag over central government administration buildings of Bakhmut. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin described that the key city in Donetsk is “ours” but only in a “legal sense”. He wrote on Telegram: “The commanders of the units that took city hall and the whole center will go and put up this flag,” he said in reference to a Russian flag being raised in the accompanying video. “This is the Wagner private military company, these are the guys who took Bakhmut. In a legal sense, it’s ours.”

About two weeks ago Prigozhin claimed that Wagner and Russian forces controlled 70% of the utterly destroyed town, and as the Ukrainians were mounting a stiff defense, pouring more resources into the months-long fight. Hours prior to Prigozhin video showing the flag-raising against a dark night sky, the Ukrainian general staff acknowledged that “the enemy has not stopped its assault of Bakhmut… Ukrainian defenders are courageously holding the city as they repel numerous enemy attacks.” The announcement was meant to convey that the Ukrainian Army still considers that it “holds” Bakhmut. Russian sources say Ukrainian fighters are still concentrated on the Western outskirts. However, going into the weekend it was already clear that Wagner fighters were on the cusp of taking the city center…

On Sunday President Zelensky was still sounding somewhat optimistic regarding the fate of Bakhmut: “I am grateful to our warriors who are fighting near Avdiivka, Maryinka, near Bakhmut… Especially Bakhmut! It’s especially hot there today!” Zelensky said in his own post to Telegram. Near Bakhmut, about 27 kilometres (17 miles) away in Kostyantynivka, a “massive attack” of Russian missiles left three men and three women dead and eleven wounded Sunday, Ukrainian authorities said. Zelensky said the affected zones are “just residential areas”, where “ordinary civilians of an ordinary city of Donbas” were targeted. Zelensky in an interview last week suggested that he may be forced to negotiate with Russia if his forces are definitively defeated at Bakhmut, while also hinting at huge losses.

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“..those who persecute them, “will not get any advantage earthly or heavenly, either physically or mentally… They will be hurt. They will be condemned..”

Zelensky’s Government Is An ‘Evil Force’ – Orthodox Priest (RT)

The “evildoers” who persecute Christians will derive no benefit from such action either on Earth or in the afterlife, Kesis Mezgebu, a prominent Ethiopian Orthodox priest, has told RT. Mezgebu, who serves at the Holy Trinity Theological University in Addis Ababa, was commenting on the attempts by the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to evict the monks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) from the country’s Kiev-Pechersk Lavra monastery. On Saturday, Metropolitan Pavel, the abbot of the Lavra, was placed under house arrest on accusations of “inciting religious hatred” and “justifying” Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. The abbot has vigorously denied those allegations.

What’s happening in Ukraine is a “catastrophic event,” perpetrated by an “evil force,” Mezgebu said in an interview on Sunday. “This is atrocity…hatred… completely evil spirit,” he added, describing the actions of the Kiev authorities. Christians tend to help others and are always a stabilizing factor in a society, so those who persecute them, “will not get any advantage earthly or heavenly, either physically or mentally… They will be hurt. They will be condemned,”he said. According to Mezgebu, followers of the UOC in Ukraine “might be in danger soon” because they may be left with no other choice but to tell the “evildoers” to stop what they’re doing. He urged believers to stay “peaceful [and] remain within the Church” to avoid escalation.

Ukraine has experienced religious tensions for years, with two entities claiming to be the country’s true Orthodox Church. The Kiev government is supporting the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which was created only in 2014 and which the Russian Orthodox Church considers schismatic. Zelensky has explained the moves against the UOC by the need to protect Ukraine’s “spiritual independence”and deprive Russia of an opportunity to “to manipulate the spirituality of our people” amid the conflict between the two countries.

However, the Ethiopian priest suggested that “nationalist xenophobia” can only lead to suffering. “This will never take us anywhere. We have a lot of things to do together in harmony and collaboration, rather than destroying one another in the name of nationality or whatever kind of patriotic feeling. This is not how you reveal your patriotism,” he explained. Mezgebu also suggested that the West is aware of the religious persecution in Ukraine, but – despite having the ability to intervene – it remains silent on the issue because it shares a “similar agenda” with Kiev.

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“..we must remember that 2006-9 was just a rehearsal. The finale is starting now..”

The Everything Collapse (Egon von Greyerz)

Sadly, gold is now on its way to heights which are unthinkable for most people. To all the people who have asked me over the years why gold doesn’t go up, I have replied: “Don’t wish for gold to go up substantially for when it does, your quality of life will deteriorate remarkably.” And we are now at the point in the world when this is likely to happen. [..] I came to the conclusion early in this century that a sick financial system was not going to survive the infestation of vermin in the form of debt that started just over 50 years ago. Nixon’s closing of the gold window in 1971 was the signal that this currency system was going to end like all currency systems in history. And for the ones who haven’t studied the history of money, let me tell you that NO FIAT MONEY HAS EVER SURVIVED IN HISTORY IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM. So with all money going to ZERO, it has never been a question of if but only of when the dollar based currency system would die.

[..] At the beginning of the Ukraine conflict I and some others made the analogy with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 (which I remember well) when Kennedy gave an ultimatum to Khrushchev to withdraw the nuclear missiles pointing towards the US or face war. In the same way as with Cuba, Russia was never going to accept Ukraine becoming a Nato country. But sadly the US Neocons have seen this conflict as the last chance to save the US military, political and economic hegemony from total collapse. Defeating Russia was the last stand for the US. But it now looks like they will fail which seals the fate of the US empire. The US neocons forced a much too willing Europe to not only agree to the sanctions against Russia but also make direct contributions to the war both with money and equipment. This fatal mistake by Europe and especially Germany is totally crushing the European economy. But what the US neocons never understood is that the US sanctions would affect the whole world and in particular the debt infested US and the West.

[..] we must remember that 2006-9 was just a rehearsal. The finale is starting now. The debt which has built up has now reached levels which means the financial system is now too big to survive. Three US banks and one Swiss went under 2 weeks ago although two of the four were rescued temporarily at a high cost. The Swiss government could not afford to let Credit Suisse go under and is supporting the UBS takeover of the Credit Suisse at a potential extraordinary cost of CHF 209 billion. Central banks are on standby to stop the next bank run. Many expected Deutsche Bank to be next. Governments will stop major banks from going under for as long as they can, to stop global contagion. But they will of course fail.

The FDIC (Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation) currently has a capital of $128 billion dollars to support a total of $18 trillion deposits. So with 0.7% cover, it is guaranteed that the US government will soon need to step in as the next lot US of banks fail. Same in Europe where the most EU banks and the ECB are in a terrible shape. Total central bank assets are $25 trillion which is less than 10% of global debt before derivatives. Default rates in coming years are likely to exceed 50% which means much more money printing to come.

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The US has lost Saudi Arabia.

Oil Prices Surge After Surprise OPEC+ Production Cut (RT)

An unexpected announcement by the OPEC+ group of oil producing countries of a plan to slash their combined output by another 1,15 million barrels per day pushed the prices of crude up as much as 6% in early Monday trade. The oil producers who control roughly 50% of global oil supplies reached a decision to reduce their output starting from May until the end of 2023, in a move designed to “stabilize” the markets, according to a series of announcements on Sunday night. Riyadh said it would cut its output by 500,000 barrels per day, while Baghdad announced a cut of 211,000bpd. The UAE will reduce production by 144,000 bpd, Kuwait will cut 128,000bpd, Kazakhstan 78,000bpd, Algeria 48,000bpd and Oman 40,000bpd.

Crude prices jumped on the news, with the international benchmark Brent rising more than 5.5% to $84.30 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures soared 5.6% to $79.90 a barrel as of 3:30am GMT on Monday. Russia already voluntarily cut oil output by 500,000bpd back in March in retaliation for an oil-price cap introduced by the West, which it said would eventually result in scarce supply and trigger uncertainty on the global market. On Sunday, however, Moscow announced it will synchronize with OPEC in extending its cut until the end of the year. Moscow believes the move would contribute to a stabilization of crude oil prices, which fell sharply on concerns that the Western banking crisis could weaken global energy demand.

The Saudi Ministry of Energy called the move a “precautionary measure aimed at supporting the stability of the oil market.” Last month, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman warned Western states against capping the price of crude oil supplied by the kingdom, adding that any attempts to impose a ceiling would be met with a halt of sales and production cuts. The move left Washington disappointed as it comes in defiance of US pressure on oil producers to increase their production and lower the prices. President Joe Biden even traveled to Riyadh last July to petition Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly, to no avail. “We don’t think cuts are advisable at this moment given market uncertainty – and we’ve made that clear,” a spokesperson for the National Security Council told Reuters on Sunday.

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“..respect the Russian authorities’ decision made in conformity with law and Russia’s international commitments..”

Lavrov Tells Blinken: Up To Court To Decide About US Journalist Future (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that it is up to court to decide about the future of The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich who was detained on espionage charges in Russia, the Russian foreign ministry said on Sunday after their telephone conversation. “In light of the established evidence of the US national’s illegal activities, his future will be determined by court. The American embassy in Moscow was duly notified about his detention,” the ministry said. “In the context of the discussion of the issue of the detention of US national Gershkovich in Russia on suspicion of espionage, which was raised by the Secretary of State, Blinken’s attention was drawn to the necessity to respect the Russian authorities’ decision made in conformity with law and Russia’s international commitments,” the ministry said.

“Lavrov stressed that Gershkovich had been detained red-handed when he was receiving secret data and was collecting data constituting a state secret acting under the guise of a journalist’s status.” The Russian top diplomat also told his US counterparts that it is inadmissible to fan hysteria around the journalist’s arrest. “It was stressed that it is inadmissible for Washington officials and Western mass media to stir up hysteria with an obvious aim of giving a political overtone to this case,” the ministry said. According to the ministry, Lavrov and Blinken also touched upon several other bilateral matters. The call was initiated by the US side. Lavrov and Blinken had a ten-minute meeting on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty meeting in New Delhi. According to the Russian minister, the meeting was quite constructive. The topics included the situation in the sphere of strategic stability in the context of the New START treaty and Ukraine.

The Public Relations Center of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said earlier that Evan Gershkovich, “acting at the behest of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of an enterprise within Russia’s military-industrial complex.” The reporter was detained in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg. The FSB investigators opened a criminal case against the US citizen under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Espionage”). On March 30, Moscow’s Lefortovo district court sanctioned Gershkovich’s arrest until May 29. In light of this, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published a statement expressing deep concern for the safety of Gershkovich. According to the WSJ, Gershkovich covers Russia from his post at the newspaper’s Moscow bureau.

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You first.

‘Lower the Rhetoric’ on China, Says Milley (D1)

Everyone needs to calm down about war with China, Gen. Mark Milley said on Friday. The Joint Chiefs chairman warned against the rise of “overheated” rhetoric of a looming U.S. war with China, and he said he doubts China’s chances of “conquering” Taiwan. But, he added, the United States should continue to quicken arms shipments to the self-governing nation and its own military capabilities, just in case. Following this year’s Chinese balloon scare, the China heat is on. In the last two weeks, members of Congress in hearings aimed a list of concerns about China—everything from nuclear weapons to computer chips, invading Taiwan, and allying with Russia—at Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Milley has taken to telling lawmakers that war with China—and Russia—is “not imminent or inevitable.” It’s part of an effort to lower the heat, he said.

“I think there’s a lot of rhetoric in China, and a lot of rhetoric elsewhere, to include the United States, that could create the perception that war is right around the corner or we’re on the brink of war with China,” Milley said in an interview with Defense One. “And that could happen. I mean, it is possible that you could have an incident or some other trigger event that could lead to uncontrolled escalation. So, it’s not impossible. But I don’t think at this point I would put it in the likely category,” said Milley. “And I think that the rhetoric itself can overheat the environment.” Still, Milley said he agrees with calls for the United States to send arms into Taiwan as quickly as possible, to beat China’s Xi Jinping to any punch.

Xi has said he wants the People’s Liberation Army armed and ready to take Taiwan by force, if necessary, by 2027. “So if you think about it, that’s only four years away,” Milley said. “So, one of the elements of deterrence is to make sure that your opponent knows that the cost exceeds the benefit. So, for Taiwan, we’ve—my guess is we’ve got three or four years to get Taiwan in a position where they will create the perception in the minds of the Chinese decision makers that the cost exceeds that.” Milley said Taiwan needs air defense, anti-ship cruise missiles, and anti-ship mines. But he said the island itself, its population of 23 million—including 170,000 active duty military and 1-to-2 million reserves,—and China’s lack of experience make a takeover unlikely. “It favors the defense. It would be a very difficult island to capture,” he said.

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“Ukrainian operators did everything to monetize the situation. In European ports..“

Eastern Europe ‘Drowning’ In -Cheap- Ukrainian Grain – Le Figaro (RT)

Anger is mounting across Eastern Europe as farmers in the region protest a glut of cheap grain from Ukraine threatening their businesses, Le Figaro reported earlier this week. Struggling to sell their crops, producers in Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria have suffered substantial losses due to the surge in imports from Ukraine. Farmers in nations that had previously agreed to help get grain out of Ukraine and on to global markets now face unfair competition, they say. They also are not subject to the same regulatory requirements. Last May, the European Union suspended customs duties on all agricultural produce imported from Ukraine for one year to support the economy of the war-torn nation.

However, grains and other produce leaving Ukraine settled in the EU instead of being sent outside the bloc, putting competitive pressure on domestic production. “Instead of going to international markets, to Africa, as politicians promised us, Ukrainian cereals remained in Poland,” Polish farmer Marcin Misiak told the media, adding that his regular buyers opted to purchase cheaper maize from Ukraine. According to Misiak, he could sell wheat for €340 per ton in August 2022, but at the beginning of March 2023, it cost just €220.

“The EU was unable to anticipate the rapid effects of competition from Ukrainian grains,” said Sebastien Abis, a researcher at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS) and director of the Demeter Club think tank, as cited by Le Figaro. “Ukrainian operators did everything to monetize the situation. In European ports, competition was fierce and produce imported from Ukraine would have been favored.” Last month, the European Commission announced plans to provide financial support to farmers from member-states neighboring Ukraine to compensate for their losses and limit the impact of market imbalances. Brussels tapped a crisis reserve totaling €56.3 million, financed from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

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“.. lustration,” or a vetting process to determine who would lose their political rights over ties to the Russian state..”

Russian Official Ridicules Ukrainian Plan To Rename Crimean Port (RT)

The idea of renaming Sevastopol as part of Kiev’s plan to retake Crimea from Russia should not be taken seriously, the governor of the port city, Mikhail Razvozhaev told TASS news agency on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Aleksey Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, took to Facebook to post what he called “12 steps for the de-occupation of Crimea.” One of the proposed steps was to rename Sevastopol – first simply to “Installation No.6” and then to Akhtiar, after a small settlement that used to exist in the area. The re-branding would be necessary to “break the historic perception [of Sevastopol] as a city of Russian military glory,” the Kiev official stated.

Danilov also suggested that if the peninsula became Ukrainian again the Crimean Bridge connecting it to mainland Russia would be destroyed, while the local population would undergo so-called “lustration,” or a vetting process to determine who would lose their political rights over ties to the Russian state. Reacting to Danilov’s plan, Razvozhaev said that “the news from Ukrainian politicians is more like entries in the medical record from Ward No.6.” He was likely referring to the 1892 short story ‘Ward No. 6’ by iconic Russian author Anton Chekhov, which depicts events at a provincial mental asylum. “One can’t take statements and comments of sick people seriously. They need to be treated, which is what our military is doing right now,” the Sevastopol governor pointed out as cited by TASS news agency. Sevastopol, in the south of the Crimean peninsula, serves as the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. It is one of three federal cities under Russian law, together with Moscow and St Petersburg.

The name Sevastopol, which was given to the city when it was founded by the Russian Empire in 1783, is composed of Greek words “sebastos,” which means “venerable,” and “polis,” which means “city.” For months, Ukraine has been mulling a major counteroffensive aimed at restoring control over all territories lost to Russia, including Crimea. Former Russian president and current deputy head of the country’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said earlier this week that the claims by Ukrainian officials were just “propaganda” and shouldn’t be treated seriously. However, Medvedev warned that if the peninsula, which reunited with Russia as a result of a referendum in 2014, is actually attacked, it could become “the basis for the use of all means of protection, including those provided for by the fundamentals of the Doctrine of Nuclear Deterrence.”

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“We need to teach America a lesson in these elections,” Erdogan said..

Erdogan Tells US Ambassador To ‘Know His Place’ (RT)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that from now on his “doors are closed” to the US Ambassador to Ankara, Jeffry Flake, blasting the diplomat’s recent meeting with his rival at the upcoming presidential elections. Erdogan attended a ceremony in the Bagcilar district of Istanbul on Sunday, dedicated to the official opening of nearly 100 houses and other facilities constructed in the wake of a series of devastating earthquakes. In a follow-up meeting with a group of officials from the Grey Wolves far-right movement, he heavily focused on the May 14 elections and Washington envoy’s alleged abuse of his diplomatic authority. “We need to teach America a lesson in these elections,” Erdogan said, as cited by Anadolu.


Ambassador Flake met with the leader of Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, on March 29, “as part of continuing conversations with Turkish political parties on issues of mutual interest between our two countries,” according to a tweet from the US Embassy. “Our doors are closed for him, he can no longer come in. Why? He needs to know his place,” Erdogan said. “Shame on you, think with your head. You are an ambassador. Your interlocutor here is the president.” Erdogan’s remarks come less than six weeks before presidential and general elections take place in Türkiye on May 14, with Kilicdaroglu put forward by the alliance of six opposition parties as his main opponent after months of political infighting. The Turkish president and his ruling AK Party are expected to face a tough challenge following a devastating earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people in the country in early February.

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What could go wrong?

US Allows Migrants To Pick Their Gender (RT)

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services marked the Transgender Day of Visibility with an announcement that will begin accepting “self-identified gender markers” from foreign individuals who seek legal immigration services and benefits, without requesting any supporting documents. While the only two options on existing forms are still “male”and “female,” the Homeland Security’s legal immigration branch will now allow applicants to select and change their preferred gender at will, according to a policy update alert issued on March 31. The policy change, effective immediately, states that “benefit requestors may self-select their gender marker (in an initial filing or a subsequent change to a prior gender selection), without the need to provide supporting documentation or to match the gender listed on their identity documents.”


President Joe Biden officially proclaimed March 31 as a Transgender Day of Visibility back in 2021, as part of his wider push for equity and inclusivity. In his 2023 proclamation, Biden statedthat “Transgender Americans shape our Nation’s soul.” The immigration agency said it removed the documentation requirement in line with “priorities”set by Biden’s executive orders on advancing LGBTQI equality, combating discrimination, and “restoring faith” in American legal immigration systems. USCIS argued that the requirement to submit proof of gender identity had created extra barriers and delays to travel and employment, and abolishing it will help prevent “discrimination and harassment due to inconsistent identity documents.” Last year, the US State Department began offering an ‘X’ gender option on passports which stands for those with “unspecified or another gender identity,”without the need to provide any medical documentation to prove that they are neither male nor female.

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Very disturbing.

Banana Time for the Rule of Law (Kimball)

The Czech novelist Milan Kundera published The Joke, his first novel, in 1967. It traces the fortunes of Ludvik, a young student, after his politically correct girlfriend shows the Communist authorities a postcard he had written to her as a joke: “Optimism is the opium of the people! A healthy atmosphere stinks of stupidity! Long live Trotsky! Ludvik.” As a result of this whimsy, Ludvik finds himself expelled from the Communist Party, the university, and is eventually conscripted to work in the mines. That’s the way things are in totalitarian societies. No jokes allowed, especially not jokes told at the expense of the regime. Thus it is that North Korea banned sarcasm and irony. Poor Ludvik suffered for his joke. But he got off easy compared to Douglass Mackey, a social media “influencer” who wrote under the pen name “Ricky Vaughn.”

During the 2016 election cycle, Mackey/Vaughn posted a funny meme urging Hillary voters to “avoid the line and vote from home” by texting “Hillary” to a certain number. Who would be stupid enough to fall for such a joke? No one. But his satire was effective enough to get him banned from the pre-Elon Musk era Twitter. And the feds thought—or said they thought—that it was part of a “plot to disenfranchise black and women voters.” I guess that shows you what they think of black and women voters. It sounds stupid. It is stupid. But Mackey was charged with a felony and on Friday was convicted in the Eastern District of New York. He faces up to 10 years in jail for (as an official announcement crows) “his scheme to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.”

Yes, that’s right. A Trump supporter posts a silly (but amusing) meme that mocks Hillary voters and he is tried and convicted of a felony. In the course of that official announcement, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District called Breon Peace continues with this stomach churning bit of agitprop: Mackey has been found guilty by a jury of his peers of attempting to deprive individuals from exercising their sacred right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the 2016 Presidential Election. . . . Today’s verdict proves that the defendant’s fraudulent actions crossed a line into criminality and flatly rejects his cynical attempt to use the constitutional right of free speech as a shield for his scheme to subvert the ballot box and suppress the vote. In fact, that verdict proved nothing of the sort. It merely confirmed the corruption and politicization of our judicial system. The real moral of this sorry episode is this: Make a joke, go to jail.

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“..even the misdemeanor allegation involving false entries is unprecedented and represents selective prosecution..”

Leaks From Bragg’s Grand Jury Are A Crime (Dershowitz)

It is likely that a serious felony has been committed right under District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s nose and he is not investigating it. Under New York law, it is a felony to leak confidential grand jury information, such as whether the jurors voted to indict. The protection of secrecy is as applicable to President Trump as it is to anyone else. We know that the information was disclosed while the indictment itself remains sealed and before any official announcement was made or charges brought. It is unlikely that the leak came from the Trump team, which seemed genuinely surprised. The most likely, though uncertain, scenario is that a person in Mr. Bragg’s office or a grand juror unlawfully leaked the sealed information. That would be a class E felony, subject to imprisonment.

It is possible of course that an investigation is underway, but it seems more likely that Mr. Bragg is too busy making up a crime against the man he promised in his campaign to get than investigating a real crime that took place on his watch. In my new book, “Get Trump,” I predicted that partisan prosecutors would try to get Trump regardless of the lack of evidence or law. That prediction has come true. Since the indictment itself has not been leaked — at least not yet — we don’t know its specifics. We do know, based on leaks, that it involves multiple counts, almost certainly involving the payment of hush money to a porn actress. Under Mr. Bragg’s likely theory, Mr. Trump should have disclosed in his public corporate records that he paid the hush money to avoid his adulterous affair from becoming public.

But no one in history has ever publicly disclosed the reason he paid money for a non-disclosure agreement. Why would Mr. Trump pay the money in the first place if he had to publicly disclose the embarrassing reason? Furthermore, no one in history has ever been indicted for listing “legal expenses” for setting a potentially embarrassing payment of hush money. Thus, even the misdemeanor allegation involving false entries is unprecedented and represents selective prosecution. It is also almost certainly barred by the two-year statute of limitations. In order to elevate this bookkeeping case into a felony, Mr. Bragg must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the reason Trump made the false entry — if he himself did it — was solely as a campaign contribution to help him win his election.

If Mr. Trump was motivated in part by his desire to protect his wife, children, and business interests from harmful disclosures, that would not constitute the crime of making an undisclosed campaign contribution. So this too is a stretch. It is a fundamental tenet of American law that criminal law should not be stretched to fit targeted defendants. Criminal statutes must be clear and unambiguous. If there is any doubt, the age-old concept of “lenity” requires that these doubts be resolved in favor of the defendant.

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“..having concluded some of the most insanely stupid pharmaceutical contracts in the world.”

Germany To Have Enough Covid mRNA Vaccine To Last Into The 24th Century (Eugyp)

You could not have invented a stupider pandemic: “According to the German Ministry of Health, the federal government at the end of February had amassed a reserve of 116 million doses of Corona vaccine. 111 million more doses, valued at around 2.5 billion Euros, are slated for delivery. According to an answer given by the Ministry on 28 March to a question by Thomas Dietz, a Bundestag member of Alternativ für Deutschland, EU treaties oblige the German government to take delivery of these doses. “In view of the current state of the pandemic, the federal government is working to make these EU treaties more flexible,” the answer continues.”

Tucker vaccine

Another paper does the maths, and notes that if vaccination continues at the current rate of 2,000 jabs per day, the 227 million doses which Germany has procured will last for 311 years. Of course, all of these doses will expire well before then, so Germany will merely receive all of this useless product, store it at substantial expense in freezers for around eighteen months, and then throw it away. This hurts Corona. In related news, Welt reports on the curious failure of Lauterbach’s Health Ministry to finish work on the so-called National Reserve for Health Protection, which Merkel’s government planned three years ago. The Reserve was supposed to be a massive depot for masks (but of course), other personal protective equipment and medicines, which would in theory free Germany from reliance on China the next time somebody is stupid enough to cry wolf about a respiratory virus.


So far, the only thing anybody has done to realise this Reserve, is put 245 million masks in it, a substantial portion of which will expire by the end of the year. A Ministry spokesperson explains that the project has devolved from a Health Reserve into a National Trashbin for Worthless Masks that Nobody Wants, because it has received no funding. It appears politicians have lost enthusiasm and now prefer that the manufacturers and the federal states maintain their own “decentralised” reserves. This obviously means that they have quietly written off the project but hope that nobody will realise. Despite all that you hear from WEF conference attendees and virus pests like Lauterbach about the importance of “pandemic preparedness”, the will to actually do anything about pandemics – even at the highest reaches of government – has never been lower. Perhaps we’re not the only ones who have concluded, after all that happened since March 2020, that it is indeed best to think less about viruses.

Malhotra
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642046182305177600

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Should be enough to throw out the case.

El Pais Reveals How CIA Spied On Assange (RT)

The CIA used private Spanish security company UC Global to secretly install microphones inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to monitor WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, El Pais reported on Wednesday, citing the company’s internal communications. UC Global was hired to provide security for the embassy. Assange, who was granted asylum by Ecuador at the time, resided in the diplomatic compound from 2012 to 2019. The Spanish company’s alleged links to US intelligence agencies were first reported by El Pais in 2019. According to the newspaper, UC Global founder and head David Morales first came into contact with the CIA in 2017. Around that time, Morales informed his employees that the company would have to provide a new American client named ‘X’ with remote access to the server that collected the data from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, which was referred to as the ‘Hotel’.

“Regarding the Hotel work, I would like to offer our information collection and analysis capability to the American client,” Morales wrote in a September 2017 email. “We must… try to make it attractive and easy to interpret.” The information shared reportedly included profiles of Assange’s visitors, including lawyers and diplomats, as well as cell phone data. Morales was quoted as saying in a chat message that “the people in control are our friends in the USA.” One of microphones that Morales’ team secretly planted inside the embassy was hidden in the base of a fire extinguisher in order to listen in despite Assange’s habit of using a white noise machine to prevent surveillance, El Pais said. Stickers were attached to window corners to avoid vibrations and allow sound to be recorded through laser microphones. “I know it is of the utmost interest and that the USA wants to do it,”Morales reportedly wrote to his employees.

According to El Pais, UC Global’s work helped Washington foil a plan to sneak Assange out of the embassy in December 2017. Lenin Moreno, Ecuador’s president at the time, allegedly wanted to grant the WikiLeaks co-founder Ecuadorian citizenship and get him out of Britain in a diplomatic car. Morales’ team reportedly recorded a conversation between Assange and Ecuadorian officials and then quickly sent it to the US. Washington responded by issuing an arrest warrant for Assange to Britain, which apparently prompted organizers to abort the plan. In 2019, the Spanish authorities launched an investigation into Morales’ company and briefly detained him. He has since been released on bail.

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Well, it’s something. Bit late perhaps?

Rep. Rashida Tlaib Demands DOJ Drop Charges Against Julian Assange (Fox)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is asking her fellow House members to sign a letter calling on the Justice Department to end its prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is accused of publishing classified documents. The letter, which was obtained by The Intercept, is currently circulating among members as they are urged to sign it and has not yet been sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland. Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman, N.Y., Ilhan Omar, Minn., and Cori Bush, Mo., have signed the letter. The office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she intends to sign the letter. “I know many of us have very strong feelings about Mr. Assange, but what we think of him and his actions is really besides the point here,” Tlaib’s letter to her colleagues reads.

“The fact of the matter is that the [way] in which Mr. Assange is being prosecuted under the notoriously undemocratic Espionage Act seriously undermines freedom of the press and the First Amendment.” The letter comes just ahead of the fourth anniversary of Assange’s April 11, 2019, detention. Assange is facing a legal battle over his potential extradition to the U.S. regarding the publication of classified materials detailing war crimes committed by the U.S. government in the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp, Iraq and Afghanistan. The materials also expose instances of the CIA engaging in torture and rendition. If he is extradited to the U.S., Assange would face 17 charges for receiving, possessing and communicating classified information to the public under the espionage act and one charge alleging a conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

He could be sentenced to as many as 175 years in an American maximum security prison. The Wikileaks founder has been held at London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison since he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2019 for breaching jail conditions. He had sought asylum at the embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations he raped two women. The investigations into the sexual assault allegations were eventually dropped. Tlaib’s cites last year’s open letter from the editors and publishers of U.S. and European news outlets that worked with Assange on the publication of excerpts from more than 250,000 documents he obtained in the Cablegate leak.

“The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel have taken the extraordinary step of publishing a joint statement in opposition to the indictment, warning that it ‘sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press,’” Tlaib wrote to House members. The congresswoman also warned that major news outlets could later be prosecuted for publishing accurate information using classified materials if the case against Assange is successful. “Mr. Assange’s prosecution marks the first time in US history that the Espionage Act has been used to indict a publisher of truthful information,” she wrote. “The prosecution of Mr. Assange, if successful, not only sets a legal precedent whereby journalists or publishers can be prosecuted, but a political one as well. In the future, the New York Times or Washington Post could be prosecuted when they publish important stories based on classified information. Or, just as dangerous, they may refrain from publishing such stories for fear of prosecution.”

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Hidden within a section of a Colombian newspaper lies a clever three dimensional layout of a kitchen

 

 

Stonefish

 

 


Photographer Pavan Tavrekere used multiple flashes to bring out the multicolors of the so called ‘world’s most colourful spider. The tiny peacock spider measures just 0.75cm in length (0.3 inches)

 

 

 

 

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Feb 142023
 
 February 14, 2023  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  79 Responses »


Elaine de Kooning Fairfield Porter #1 1954

 

When Do The Giant Ants Show Up On Fremont Street In Las Vegas? (Kunstler)
30 Million People May be in Danger by East Palestine Disaster (TP)
US Raises Pressure On Kyiv To Make Significant Gains On Battlefield – WaPo (Az)
Taking Odessa, Kharkov To Help Ensure Russia’s Security – Chechen Leader (TASS)
NATO Sounds Alarm Over Ukraine’s Ammo Consumption (RT)
US Has No Long-Range Missiles For Ukraine – Politico (RT)
Former Pentagon Chief: US Uses Ukraine To Achieve Goals Against Russia (Tass)
EU Has No Plans To Urge Its Citizens To Leave Russia (TASS)
Hungary Must Resist America’s Woke Imperialism (Furedi)
Amid Turkiye’s Rubble Lies Erdogan’s Political Fate (Karan)
Clapper: Letter About Russian Links To Hunter Biden Laptop Was ‘Distorted’ (WE)
Seymour Hersh Speaks About His Nord Stream Report and Media Silence (Celente)
Global Debt & Death Spiral – John Rubino (USAW)
30% Of High School Girls ‘Seriously Considered’ Suicide Last Year (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Zel Eu
https://twitter.com/i/status/1625108675533627393

 

 

 

 

Yes, there is a recent film set in East Palestine that is about an enviromental disaster exactly like the one that happened on Friday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry Jim, I changed the title…

When Do The Giant Ants Show Up On Fremont Street In Las Vegas? (Kunstler)

Didn’t you get the feeling this weekend that we’re living in HG Wells’ classic tale of the earth invaded by sinister alien spacecrafts? Our government is playing the story like a bassoon concerto. “American officials do not know what the objects were, much less their purpose or who sent them,” The New York Times reported, poaching a line from every horror movie of the 1950s. When do the giant ants show up on Fremont Street in Las Vegas? Looks like they’ll keep up the suspense as long as possible, too. Oh, we can’t retrieve that thing up in Alaska due to white-out weather conditions… Oh, that other thing — the eight-sided silver tic-tac — it fell into Lake Huron, glug glug… and that first one, the big balloon payload, lies deep in Davy Jones’ Locker now. You’ll have to stand by, folks….

Let’s face it, all the other mindfucks set in motion by the folks-in-charge are not just losing their mojo — they’re generating a lot of nasty blow-back in the way of widespread distrust of authority and institutional collapse. Even Woked-up Democrat voters begin to suspect that the vaxxes they greeted like a holy deliverance might not be so good for you after all. I’m waiting for Rob Reiner’s head to explode when he starts to notice how many young SAG-AFTRA members are waking up dead in West Hollywood. More to the point, you are now correct to suspect that the entire Covid-19 episode, from the design of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus to the gene-modification shots put out by Pfizer and Moderna (erroneously labeled “vaccines”), was a joint Intel-DOD operation, not really a public health crisis. The abiding mystery is… why? Why turn Western Civilization upside down and inside out and then try to pound the whole thing down a rat-hole?

Frankly, the only angle that makes sense is that our government is captive to a hostile force. The WEF, the WHO, and the UN are the most obvious culprits, certainly the most talked-up, the most active on-the-scene. But until a few years ago these organizations had no real influence on the world. They were bad jokes… only pretending to protect the global community’s interests… actually completely incapable, utterly incompetent. Klaus Schwab, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus? Please! What Muppet factory were they made in? The UN was a mere collective of Third World hustles and rackets. And everybody knew it, but the developed world played along as a sop to these sad-sack nations and their greedy officials because the grift was chump-change.

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BlackRock, Vanguard, and JPMorgan are the biggest stockholders of Norfolk Southern, the train operator that crashed in Ohio, that’s why there has been a major media blackout on the toxic chemical disaster.

They’re actually telling people the water is safe…

30 Million People May be in Danger by East Palestine Disaster (TP)

30 million people, or 10% of the United States population, may be in danger after a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio that led to the release of toxic chemicals. “We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open,” said Sil Caggiano, a hazardous materials specialist. As public officials try to calm the public, animals are falling sick and dying. “Out of nowhere, he just started coughing really hard, just shut down, and he had liquid diarrhea and just went very fast,” said resident Taylor Holzer while he explained the mortally ill confition of his foxes. “Smoke and chemicals from the train, that’s the only thing that can cause it, because it doesn’t just happen out of nowhere,” Holzer said. “The chemicals that we’re being told are safe in the air, that’s definitely not safe for the animals … or people.”

According to a new report, the situation may become much more widespread through the Ohio River Basin. As noted by Stew Peters, 10% of the United States population may be in trouble. “10% of the U.S. population, over 30 MILLION PEOPLE, live in the Ohio River Basin!” he tweeted. “The Ohio River itself provides drinking water to over 5 MILLION PEOPLE!” According to Upward News, the dangerous chemicals are making their way as far as West Virginia through the Ohio River. “Toxic chemicals from the train derailment & explosion in East Palestine have reportedly “contaminated” the Ohio River as far as West Virginia, a water source for over 5 million,” they reported. “The Ohio River is one of the nation’s great natural resources. Over 30 million people, or about ten percent of the U.S. population, live in the Ohio River Basin. With numerous public drinking water intakes and industries, the river provides drinking water to +5,000,000 people.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1624910190847094784

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“‘As long as it takes’ pertains to the amount of conflict,” the official added. “It doesn’t pertain to the amount of assistance.”

Note that Stoltenberg in the video talks about the THIRD invasion.

US Raises Pressure On Kyiv To Make Significant Gains On Battlefield – WaPo (Az)

As the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears, US officials are telling Ukrainian leaders they face a critical moment to change the trajectory of the war, raising the pressure on Kyiv to make significant gains on the battlefield while weapons and aid from the United States and its allies are surging, Report informs, citing the Washington Post. Despite promises to back Ukraine “as long as it takes,” Biden officials say recent aid packages from Congress and America’s allies represent Kyiv’s best chance to decisively change the course of the war. Many conservatives in the Republican-led House have vowed to pull back support, and Europe’s long-term appetite for funding the war effort remains unclear. Several officials noted the strong bipartisan support that has accompanied every Ukraine package, adding that Congress gave the White House more than it asked for, but they acknowledged that was under a Democrat-led House and Senate.


“We will continue to try to impress upon them that we can’t do anything and everything forever,” said one senior administration official, referring to Ukraine’s leaders. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic matters, added that it was the administration’s “very strong view” that it will be hard to keep getting the same level of security and economic assistance from Congress. “‘As long as it takes’ pertains to the amount of conflict,” the official added. “It doesn’t pertain to the amount of assistance.” “Ukraine has expended significant resources and troops defending Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region. Zelenskyy, however, attaches symbolic importance to Bakhmut and believes it would be a blow to Ukrainian morale to lose the city,” two senior administration officials said.

Stoltenberg
https://twitter.com/i/status/1625115812896841731

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“We are fighting for peace, so that we are not killed, not shot at…”

Taking Odessa, Kharkov To Help Ensure Russia’s Security – Chechen Leader (TASS)

Taking control of Odessa and Kharkov will ensure Russia’s security, Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s Republic of Chechnya, said on Monday. “Although some say that it will take a year, or two, or even three [to complete the special operation], I think that by the end of the year, we will have completed 100% of our task. I believe that the least we must do is take Odessa and Kharkov, which will go a long way in ensuring the security of our state,” he said in an interview with the 60 Minutes program on the Rossiya-1 television channel. According to Kadyrov, up to 200 trained soldiers are sent to the frontline from Chechnya every week. “We are fighting for peace, so that we are not killed, not shot at. All of us must work this way now. Every week, we send 200 soldiers. It is not easy. People are coming from all over Russia and we train them, <…> provide them with outfit and footwear, armor vests and helmets – we give them everything that is necessary,” he added.

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It’s obvious they’re running out. But they can’t admit it.

NATO Sounds Alarm Over Ukraine’s Ammo Consumption (RT)

Ukraine is consuming an “enormous amount” of ammunition, and the West needs to boost production to keep up, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Monday. Stoltenberg also called on the bloc’s members to increase their intelligence efforts, accusing China and Russia of spying on them with balloons. “The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of ammunition,” he said ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels. “This puts our defense industries under strain,” he continued, adding that “we need to ramp up production and invest in our production capacities.” Stoltenberg then pledged, as he has repeatedly since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began, that “NATO stands with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

“Standing with Ukraine” has proven costly for NATO, particularly its European members. After decades of underinvestment, the German military rapidly emptied its stockpiles for Ukraine and reportedly has only enough ammunition for two days of warfare. Furthermore, Berlin will not be able to send its full complement of 187 Leopard 1 tanks to Kiev until refurbishment is complete in 2024, and even then, reports suggest that ammunition for these tanks is in short supply. The situation in the UK is similar, with the British Army reportedly having just enough ammunition for days or even hours of full-scale fighting. Meanwhile, multiple European nations have walked back promises of tanks for Ukraine, citing shortages and the vehicles’ state of disrepair.

Stoltenberg has repeatedly called on NATO members to boost arms and ammo production since the conflict in Ukraine began. On Monday, however, he also urged them to increase their intelligence gathering and sharing capacities, claiming that China and Russia are “increasing their intelligence and surveillance activities against NATO allies.” The NATO chief claimed that both nations are using “balloons” to spy on the West, referring to four aircraft shot down over the US and Canada in recent days. One of these airships came from China, while the origin of the other three is unclear. US authorities have not linked any of the four to Russia, and Beijing insists that the first was a “civilian airship” that veered off course.

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“..If Europe were to fight Russia, some countries would run out of ammunition in days.”

US Has No Long-Range Missiles For Ukraine – Politico (RT)

The US will not supply Ukraine with its Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) due to concerns it will not have enough for itself, officials told Politico. Kiev continues to demand longer range missiles and other heavy weapons, despite $30 billion in military aid already authorized by the White House. Ukrainian officials were informed that Washington has no ATACMS missiles to offer during a recent meeting in the US capital, with the Pentagon concluding that transfers would “dwindle America’s stockpiles and harm the US military’s readiness,” the outlet reported on Monday. “With any package, we always consider our readiness and our own stocks while providing Ukraine what it needs on the battlefield. There are other ways of providing Ukraine with the capabilities it needs to strike the targets,” a senior military official said on condition of anonymity.

While it is unclear how many ATACMS remain in US stocks, weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin has produced only about 4,000 units of various makes over the last 20 years, with around 600 used up by US forces during the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War. A number of those missiles have also been sold to allies, including Bahrain, Greece, Poland, Qatar, Romania, South Korea, and Turkey. Short of obtaining the weapon directly from the US, Kiev is considering whether to ask one of those allied countries to provide the ATACMS instead, a move that would have to be approved by Washington. Arms transfers to Ukraine have stressed US stocks over the last year, with shortages in Javelin and Stinger missiles reported as early as last March, just weeks after the conflict with Russia kicked off. As of February 3, Washington has sent at least 1,600 Stinger systems and more than 8,000 Javelins, in addition to a massive quantity of other arms, including drones, mortars, howitzers, armored combat vehicles, and dozens of HIMARS multi-launch rocket systems.

In addition to concerns about shrinking arms inventories, US officials also fear that Ukrainian forces would use the ATACMS to “attack deep inside Russian territory” given their range of 190 miles, according to Politico. Though the White House has approved increasingly heavy weapons for Kiev – including the M1 Abrams main battle tank – it believes strikes on Russian soil could cross a “red line” with the Kremlin.The NATO bloc has urged member states to “ramp up production” of weapons and ammunition to keep up with Kiev’s needs, with the alliance’s head, Jens Stoltenberg, warning on Monday that the Ukrainian military is consuming an “enormous amount” of materiel. A recent NATO assessment obtained by Reuters found that arsenals across the alliance have been significantly depleted thanks to the conflict, with one official telling the outlet that “If Europe were to fight Russia, some countries would run out of ammunition in days.”

Moscow has repeatedly urged against foreign arms deliveries to Ukraine, saying they would only prolong the fighting without changing the outcome of the conflict. The Kremlin has also warned that the aid creates a greater risk of escalation, especially if Western weapons are used to strike Russian cities or to try to seize Russian territory.

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“The Ukrainian people are doing the dirty work of what we never wanted to do here in the United States..”

Former Pentagon Chief: US Uses Ukraine To Achieve Goals Against Russia (Tass)

The Ukrainian people in the conflict with Russia are ‘doing dirty work’ that the US would not want to do, former US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told the Russian pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov (Vovan) and Alexey Stolyarov (Lexus). The pranksters called Esper on behalf of former Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko and asked the former Pentagon chief for his opinion on US involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. “The Ukrainian people are doing the dirty work of what we never wanted to do here in the United States, which is why we should continue to support you [Ukraine] with everything we can, whether it’s munitions or arms or intelligence,” Esper said.


According to him, the expansion of Russian influence in other countries, including Africa, “is a problem” for the United States. At the same time, the former Pentagon chief expressed concern that US technology could end up in the hands of other countries because of arms deliveries to Ukraine. He stressed that it was important for the US to make sure that its technology would not fall into the wrong hands.

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France just did.

EU Has No Plans To Urge Its Citizens To Leave Russia (TASS)

The EU has no plans to follow the US’ example and recommend its citizens or people with double citizenship to leave Russia, European External Actions Service Spokesman Peter Stano said Monday. “The EU has made no such decision, and we have no discussions in this regard. That is a question for EU member states. Consular decisions are a responsibility of member states, not the EU,” he said. Previously, the US Embassy in Russia called on US nationals to immediately leave the country, claiming that the Russian said can allegedly deny US citizens the recognition of their double citizenship; strip them of access to consular aid; mobilize them to the armed forces or to prevent them from leaving the country.

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Wokeness is a smokescreen. All they care about is Orban not joining the war.

Hungary Must Resist America’s Woke Imperialism (Furedi)

Samantha Power, head administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), arrived in Budapest last week with one mission – to save Central European nations from themselves. Her main target was Hungary. According to a press release issued by USAID to accompany her trip to the Hungarian capital, Power wants ‘to help support democracy in Central Europe’. And she wants ‘independent media to thrive and build new audiences’. ‘[A] free and diverse press is a cornerstone of democracy’, she tweeted, ‘and in Hungary, independent journalists are facing real challenges’. By a ‘free’ and ‘independent’ media, what Power really meant are outlets that freely propagate the worldview of the Biden administration. Central to this worldview, it seems, are LGBT rights.

That’s why USAID’s press release explicitly told the Hungarians that the US will ‘continue to stand as an ally with LGBTQI+ people and all marginalised groups in their struggle for equality’. Power’s attempt to impose the White House’s obsession with LGBT issues on Hungary is not especially surprising. It is worth remembering that one of Biden’s earliest foreign-policy initiatives was to send the State Department a memo ‘to ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons’. But of course, it’s not just LGBT rights driving the US’s intervention in Central Europe. Last December, when USAID announced its Central Europe programme, it also claimed it was going to support ‘new locally driven initiatives in Central Europe with the goal of strengthening democratic institutions, civil society and independent media, which are all pillars of resilient democratic societies’.

For USAID, these ‘locally driven initiatives’ refers not to any grassroots organisations, but to NGOs. And through these NGOs, USAID claims it is building ‘the watchdog skills of civil society and media to enhance rule-of-law observance, combat corruption and increase access to justice’. The use of the word ‘watchdog’ is telling. As is well known, a watchdog usually has a master – and one does not need a PhD in political science to guess that this watchdog’s master is not a million miles away from 2201 C Street Northwest, Washington, DC – the home of the State Department. USAID’s promise to ‘support democracy’ and ‘strengthen democratic institutions’ is entirely cynical. In practice, USAID wants to use local NGOs and other institutions to translate Washington’s cultural narrative and political priorities into a local language.

This is to create the impression that what’s ‘made in America’ appears as locally grown. In reality, of course, it’s nothing of the sort. This represents a clear attempt on the part of Washington to erode the sovereignty and exert influence over the democratic decision-making processes of Hungary and other nations in Central Europe. The US is effectively assuming the role of a moral guardian of democratic life in Central Europe. The arrogance is breathtaking. It seems that the Biden administration believes it possesses an inalienable right to influence the political and cultural life of Hungary and other Central European nations.

Frank Furedi is the executive director of the think-tank, MCC-Brussels.

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“..the TAF’s ability and capacity to respond to such disasters had been significantly reduced after and even before the 2016 attempted coup…”

Amid Turkiye’s Rubble Lies Erdogan’s Political Fate (Karan)

Turkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD), under the Ministry of Interior, is responsible for handling national disasters and emergencies. Unlike many other countries where disaster response executives are military experts, AFAD executives in Turkiye are mostly Imam-Hatip (religious school) graduates with questionable qualifications. The agency was also criticized for being understaffed and having major coordination issues. In the first critical hours after the earthquake, AFAD officers either never arrived at the wreckage or came to only take notes. The lack of available equipment, such as cranes and construction equipment, made it difficult to reach the affected areas. Experienced miners in the Black Sea region were not dispatched until 48 hours after the earthquake. In contrast, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) were deployed within a short period of time during the 1999 Golcuk earthquake, but only 3,500 soldiers were deployed in the first 24 hours this time round.

On 7 February, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency (OHAL) in the disaster zone and a week of mourning. Despite the outpouring of support from the opposition municipalities and civil society, the government faced criticism for its slow response and lack of preparation. In addition, the Turkish Red Crescent was virtually absent on the ground. Erdogan responded to criticism by lashing out and claiming that he would address the “lies” and “distortions” leveled at his administration in due course. However, the very next day, social media, which was being used by civil society to save lives via search and rescue posts, was shut down, causing immense outrage. Access was restored only after celebrated Turkish singer Haluk Levent, known for his charity work, called out the authorities and referred to the social media ban as “equivalent to murder.”

Perhaps the most controversial issue was the response of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) to the catastrophe. Despite the presence of 50 thousand Turkish soldiers in Syria, only 3500 troops were deployed in the first 24 hours after the earthquake. Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar was correct when he explained that Turkish troops were delayed due to weather conditions and destroyed land routes. But the failure of President Erdogan to effectively mobilize the TAF did not go unnoticed. Retired officers who took part in the relief efforts for the 1999 Golcuk earthquake had raised warnings in the early hours of this month’s disaster. Retired Rear Admiral Cem Gurdeniz called for amphibious ships to be sent to the Iskenderun Bay to help Hatay. Meanwhile, teams from countries such as Russia, Spain, and Israel had already established field hospitals.

Experts pointed to the fact that the TAF’s ability and capacity to respond to such disasters had been significantly reduced after and even before the 2016 attempted coup. The closure of the prestigious Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) was cited as an example. Retired Admiral Turker Erturk, former Black Sea commander, emphasized the importance of the army’s role in both responding to natural disasters and external threats, stating: “The government destroyed the health facilities and capabilities of the Turkish army and the field hospitals. They also enacted a law so that the TAF would not interfere in such matters. The TAF had security, public order and aid plans called EMASYA, and the Natural Disaster Relief Plan called DAFYAR. Erdogan made laws and destroyed them. He prevented the military from rushing to the aid of the people.”

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““All we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation..”

Yeah sure. Watch the 2020 video.

Clapper: Letter About Russian Links To Hunter Biden Laptop Was ‘Distorted’ (WE)

The former director of national intelligence for President Barack Obama is blaming Politico for the “distortion” of a letter signed by more than 50 ex-intelligence officials that had baselessly claimed Russia’s involvement in the Hunter Biden laptop saga. Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign quickly dismissed the laptop story as a Russian disinformation operation. After the New York Post published emails belonging to his son, Biden called the story “garbage” and part of a “Russian plan” during an October 2020 debate with then-President Donald Trump. Biden said at the time: “There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan. They have said this is, has all the — four, five former heads of the CIA. Both parties say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage.”

He was referring to a Politico report about the letter in an article titled “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.” The title was a bit misleading because the letter never directly called the story Russian “disinformation.” Ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper complained about the Politico headline to the Washington Post this week. “There was message distortion,” Clapper told the outlet. “All we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation. Politico deliberately distorted what we said.” Clapper did not speak up about this during the 2020 election, however, despite the Biden campaign exploiting the letter to dismiss the Hunter Biden laptop stories as a Kremlin disinformation operation, and he implausibly claimed in his new interview that he was unaware of how Joe Biden described the letter during the 2020 debate.

“It could have been bad information, false information. But we had no evidence, no inside baseball that it was. The intent of the letter was that this could be Russian disinformation — emphasis on could,” Clapper told the outlet. “It’s a very important nuance … a distinction that people are always ignoring.” Although the October 2020 letter hedged a bit at various times, it did repeatedly contend there was Russian involvement with the laptop stories, arguing that “if we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election” and expressing “our view that the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue.” The letter claimed that the laptop saga “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation” and that “our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.”

Clapper 2020

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“..they have The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSN, and CNN fronting for them..”

Seymour Hersh Speaks About His Nord Stream Report and Media Silence (Celente)

Seymour Hersh spoke to Radio War Nerd about his recent column on the Nord Stream blast that blames the Biden administration of carrying out the attack. It was his first interview after his story was published that has been largely ignored by the Western propaganda media. Hersh said he was asked about how he found the story, and said his friend told him he is an “expert at deconstructing the obvious.” He said German newspapers have been “nasty” to him and outlets like The Washington Post and New York Times simply ignore him. He said these outlets want him to name his source, which he will not, because the individual will end up in jail. “The problem is, it’s all been cheapened. Because now the New York Times and the Washington Post think an unnamed source can be a press guy, a press secretary, that whispers something to them on the side. I don’t know, they don’t seem to have anyone inside,” he said.


He theorized that mainstream outlets in the U.S. avoided his stories because it gives a “pro-Russian” impression. “The way I look at it, you know, the White House, despite all the criticism of [President Joe] Biden…they have The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSN, and CNN fronting for them,” Hersh said. Hersh said the only reporter to call him was Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. “It’s amazing to be how they fall in line, my colleagues,” he said.

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“Welcome to the end game for the world’s big currencies.”

Global Debt & Death Spiral – John Rubino (USAW)

Analyst and financial writer John Rubino says we’re are in a “debt and death spiral” that will force dramatic changes on the world. Rubino explains, “The debt spiral part of this means things from here continue to get worse and worse for the big currencies of the world until they die. In other words, until people lose faith in them, refuse to use them and hold them anymore until their value falls to their intrinsic value, which is zero. That manifests to hyperinflation. The value of the currency falls as opposed to the things you buy with it. . . . Things feel basically okay for a long time as long as governments could force interest rates down to really low levels. The side effects of that are massive money creation and, eventually, inflation. That’s what we are dealing with now. So, here we go. Welcome to the end game for the world’s big currencies.”

Rubino contends things have gotten so out of control that there is no stopping what is coming. Rubino says, “We are in the part of the cycle now where things just get worse, and there is nothing we can do about it. You are going to see companies that have borrowed huge amounts of money to buy back their stock, and now they see their interest costs explode. Governments around the world have the same problem, and there is nothing central banks can do about this. The next stage of this is when everybody realizes that there is no fix. Daddy is not going to come home and take care of all of this, and there is no adult supervision. The financial markets are basically on their own with so much debt that there is nothing left to do.

You either have mass bankruptcies or inflate away the currencies of the world, and we’re there—finally. 2023 is going to be an amazing year . . . and we make the decision about what kind of a crisis we fall into. We have a 1930’s style deflationary depression, which is what happens if we keep raising interest rates. Or, a Weimar Germany kind of hyperinflation, which is what happens if we try to inflate our way out of our current debt problems. And that’s it. This is not something on the distant horizon anymore. It’s something right here staring us in the face.”

Rubino talks about the threat of global nuclear war and contends our extreme financial problems will seem timid if the nukes fly. In the nuclear war scenario, the global population could get cut in half with “radiation and starvation.” Rubino also talks about ways to be more resilient, and that starts with shedding as much debt as you can. It also includes food, water, cash, defensive investments and precious metals. Rubino thinks the economy is so weak, with so many different financial bubbles, that one bubble pop could bring the entire system down rapidly. Rubino says look out for big European banks to go insolvent as a warning sign of trouble if the trillion-dollar derivative complex blows up. There is much more in the 52-minure interview.

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The CDC is your friend…

30% Of High School Girls ‘Seriously Considered’ Suicide Last Year (ZH)

A staggering 30% of high school girls in the United States who were surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they had “seriously considered attempting suicide” in 2021, up from (a still shocking) 19% in 2011. Panning back, almost 60% of high school girls surveyed said they felt ‘persistent sadness or hopelessness’ in 2021, an increase of roughly 60% over the same time period. “Though both high-school girls and boys reported experiencing mental-health challenges, girls reported record high levels of violence, sadness and suicide risk, the CDC said. In 2021, 57% of high-school girls reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year, compared with 36% in 2011. Thirty percent reported they seriously considered attempting suicide in 2021, up from 19% in 2011.” -WSJ

When it comes to boys in high school, 29% reported persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness in 2021 vs. 21% in 2011, while 14% reported seriously considering a suicide attempt, up from 13% in 2011. Following the survey, federal officials noted a spike in mental health among young people – particularly girls, in new data released on Monday which was gathered from a biennial survey spanning 2011 to 2021, of 9th through 12th-graders across the country. According to mental health experts, girls are particularly vulnerable to anxiety and depression, given higher rates of harassment and discrimination they face compared with boys. And of course, now they’re all competing with TikTok Barbies who set even more unrealistic and unhealthy standards.

And as the Wall Street Journal notes, the evidence suggests that the stress, isolation and loss during the pandemic amplified mental health issues among young people who were already struggling. “These data show our kids need far more support to cope, hope and thrive,” said CDC chief medical officer, Debra Houry. According to the CDC, there LGBTQ teens are showing ‘ongoing and extreme distress,’ with more than half of these students reporting a recent episode of poor mental health, and 22% reporting an actual suicide attempt in the past year.

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Elon bad now

 

 

 

 

 

 

The EU has approved a 4th species of insects for human consumption. From now on, it will be possible to sell food products made out of the larvae of the Lesser Mealworm.

 

 

 

 

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Feb 022023
 


Andre Derain The port of Collioure 1905

 

Former UK Defense Minister: NATO May Need To Send Ground Forces To Ukraine (ZH)
NATO Involved In Hybrid War Against Russia For A Long Time – Lavrov (TASS)
‘At War with Russia’, Europe Peers Down the Abyss (Alastair Crooke)
Trials and Tribulations of the Collective West (Escobar)
Sending Tanks To Kiev Not To Help Resolve Ukraine Conflict – Erdogan (TASS)
Zakharova: Jet Deliveries To Kiev Not Leading To Escalation ‘Absurd’ (TASS)
Russia Ramps Up EU-Bound Gas Transit Via Ukraine (RT)
Russia’s Pipeline Gas Exports To Europe Slump To Record Low (ZH)
Ukraine Attacks Pipeline Pumping Russian Oil To EU – Transneft (RT)
EU-Owned Tankers Boost Russian Oil Shipments (RT)
“Objectivity Has Got To Go” (Turley)
Hunter Biden’s Metabiota Labs Received $10s of Millions in DOD Contracts (GP)
Hunter Biden Demands Investigations Into Reporting On His Laptop (JTN)
The Press Versus The President, Part Three (CJR)
Why Did UK Wait 3 Months to Disclose Data Showing COVID Vaccine Risks? (CHD)
Is a Mad Scientist Set to Become Chief Scientist at the WHO? (CHD)
Sweden Destroyed Substantial Part Of Its Documents On Julian Assange (Maurizi)

 

 

 

 

Crazy Twitter

 

 

 

 

Kamala

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo 2023.02.01 The West Is Now Impotent In The Ukraine Conflict

 

 

 

 

“Are western citizens willing to fight and die for Ukraine? It’s highly unlikely.”

Former UK Defense Minister: NATO May Need To Send Ground Forces To Ukraine (ZH)

The “domino theory” was once used to great effect in order to manipulate the American public into supporting the Vietnam War, but will the same narrative work to get the west to support World War III with Russia? Former UK Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth seems to think so as he uses this exact claim to justify NATO boots on the ground in Ukraine.

It should be noted that a large percentage of the American populace and most of Europe have no interest whatsoever in engaging with Russia and possibly its allies in all out war, but the establishment appears intent on forcing the issue anyway. The delivery of NATO tanks and the possibility of longer range missiles will no doubt trigger a wider response from Russia, which will then be used by NATO as a reason to escalate further. At the very least, Howarth does admit what many in the alternative media have been saying for some time – That Ukraine’s efforts have ground to a halt without further support from NATO troops. The deliveries of money and weapons are nothing more than a stop-gap; wars are won by men.


The former minister suggests that Ukraine is essentially too big to fail and that NATO cannot allow Russia to prevail in the region, otherwise they will be emboldened to strike other nearby nations. There is zero evidence to support this argument, but it is clear that NATO talking heads are desperate to drum up some kind of public fervor. Are western citizens willing to fight and die for Ukraine? It’s highly unlikely.

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“..take necessary measures in order to prevent further attempt to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat for our security..”

NATO Involved In Hybrid War Against Russia For A Long Time – Lavrov (TASS)

NATO has been involved in a hybrid war against Russia for quite a long time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a press conference after the talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry Tuesday. “Whatever our Western partners may say, however they try to justify their actions on pumping Ukraine with weapons – including the known slogans that the path to peace lies through arms shipments – everyone understands everything. We are talking about NATO being involved in a hybrid war against Russia for a rather long time, a war that is being refracted in its hot displays, in actions of the Kiev regime,” he said. Lavrov noted that Moscow is taking necessary measures in order to prevent attempts to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat to Russia’s security.


“Of course, we watch how discussions develop in the West about further pumping of Ukraine with increasingly serious weapons, including offensive weapons. Of course, we see it all, and we not merely observer, but take necessary measures in order to prevent further attempt to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat for our security, and to prevent the Kiev regime from prevailing in its policy of discrimination and destruction of rights of all those Ukrainian citizens and former Ukrainian citizens, who felt involved in Russian history, Russian culture and Russian traditions,” he said. Lavrov underscored that Russia is watching this process, while the armed forces take all necessary measures to prevent Western plans from coming to fruition. “And they will not [come to fruition],” Lavrov underscored.

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“..the neo-cons ultimate intent: Poland, already mobilising a 200,000 man military force, would become the new proxy (and the largest army in Europe) in a wider European war against Russia.”

‘At War with Russia’, Europe Peers Down the Abyss (Alastair Crooke)

‘Serendipitously’ – at this moment of Davos decay – a raucous, distracting noise started up: Abrahams M1s and Leopards for Ukraine. German FM, Baerbock declares Germany and the EU family are “at war with Russia”. The noise, as usual, succeeds in obscuring any wider picture. Yes, point one, we do have mission creep: We won’t send offensive weapons, but then they did. We won’t send long-range weapons M777), but then they did. We won’t send multiple missile launch systems (HIMARS), but then they did. We won’t send tanks, but now they are. No NATO boots on the ground, but they have been there since 2014.

Point two: Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to a U.S. Defence Secretary, says that the mood in Washington has notably changed: DC gets it – the U.S. is losing the proxy war. This fact however, Macgregor says, still remains ‘under the radar’ in respect to the main-stream media. The more important point Macgregor makes is that this late ‘awakening’ to reality is not shifting the stance of the neocons hawks, one jot. They want escalation (as do one small faction in Germany – the Greens; as well as a leading faction in Poland and, as usual, the Baltic states). And Biden has surrounded himself with State Department war-hawks.

Point three: the contrarian ‘reality’ is that the ‘uniformed’ militaries of Europe also ‘get it’: that Ukraine is losing, and now are very worried by the prospect of escalation – and of war engulfing eastern Europe. The tanks have nothing to do with their calculus about the war outcome. The professionals know the Abrams or Leopards will neither change the course of the war, nor will they arrive before it is too late to alter anything. The European military cadre do not want war with Russia: They know the EU has no ‘surge’ manufacturing capacity to sustain war against Russia beyond a very small window. Popular opinion, and key strands of élite opinion in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe), are becoming hardened in opposition to the war. The concern is that the emphasis on sending exactly German tanks, with their dark symbolism of past bloody battles, is intended to bury any prospect of any future German relationship with Russia – for good.

Further, German military officers worry that a failing Ukrainian military might fall back to the Polish border – and even across it – before the tanks are delivered. The tanks then would be absorbed by the Polish military. There is a thought in these military circles that this might, in fact, be the neo-cons ultimate intent: Poland, already mobilising a 200,000 man military force, would become the new proxy (and the largest army in Europe) in a wider European war against Russia.

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“..nearly every possible scenario gamed in Washington and Brussels finishes with NATO like a giant, armoured version of Wile E. Coyote plunging to the depths of the Grand Canyon..”

Trials and Tribulations of the Collective West (Escobar)

Every military analyst with an IQ over room temperature knows all those Leopards will be duly incinerated – or better yet, captured, and dissected by Russian military specialists. So what happens next is yet another vector of the – very successful so far – U.S.-unleashed German de-industrualization racket: the Americans will invade the German industrial military complex with their “much improved” Abrams – which may perhaps arrive in 2024, when only a rump Ukraine may still exist, or never arrive at all. So no need for the Abrams to prove themselves in actual combat – as in being captured and/or incinerated. Rumors in Washington advance that the U.S. “strategy” in Ukraine – extensively detailed by endless think tank reports – had to be adapted. It’s not about “defeating Russia” anymore, but providing Kiev with the means to “scare” Russia.

The Russian General Staff must be trembling in their boots. Meanwhile, in real life, nearly every possible scenario gamed in Washington and Brussels finishes with NATO like a giant, armoured version of Wile E. Coyote plunging to the depths of the Grand Canyon. And that happens even if the much ballyhooded “Big Arrow” Russian offensive starts in a few days or weeks, or never starts at all. Arguably the Russian General Staff has concluded a long time ago there’s no point in reducing Ukraine to rubble in a matter of hours – something they could easily accomplish. Thus the fabled mincing machine approach – offering no excuses for NATO to “escalate” (which they continue to do anyway, as Jens “War is Peace” Stoltenberg is so fond of parroting).

The trick is that NATO’s escalation overdrive, as it happens, is somewhat controlled by the Russian General Staff, which is always calculating which optimal maneuvers will consume NATO’s military hardware faster. Call it a Russian version of the popular axiom “frog in a boiling pot doesn’t realize it’s being cooked until it croaks.” Absolute desperation is now graphically extrapolating into attacks on Iran. Both Russia and China have Iran as their key ally in West Asia for the whole, complex process of Eurasia integration; strategic partnerships interlink the trio. So attacking the Ministry of Defense in Isfahan with drones – total fail – and bombing an IRGC convoy of humanitarian aid crossing from Iraq to Syria is a serious U.S.-Israel-coordinated provocation.

Essentially these are also attacks against Russia and China. Israel cannot lift its hand or foot without U.S. permission. Iranian intel may be able to establish how the Straussian neo-con and neoliberal-con cabal in charge of U.S. foreign policy authorized if not ordered these attacks, which of course are directly connected to NATO’s desperation in Ukraine. When in doubt, just come back to Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski: “Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia and perhaps, Iran, an ‘anti-hegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by contemporary grievances. It would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc.” And mirroring Ukraine/Russia there’s of course Taiwan/China.

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“..this risky step is especially profitable for arms barons.”

Sending Tanks To Kiev Not To Help Resolve Ukraine Conflict – Erdogan (TASS)

The West’s supply of weapons, including tanks, to Kiev will not bring about the solution to the Ukraine conflict, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview with the TRT channel on Wednesday. “I cannot say that I believe that sending tanks is a step towards resolving [the Ukraine conflict],” he said. “We expect Western countries to back our calls for negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.” Referring to the buildup of arms supply to Kiev, Erdogan emphasized that “this risky step is especially profitable for arms barons.” Nevertheless, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that weapons supplies to Ukraine may create conditions for “a negotiated peaceful solution” in the future.


On January 25, the United States pledged to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Kiev. On the same day, Germany confirmed that it would transfer 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine and would allow other countries to re-export these combat vehicles to Ukraine. According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, the Leopard 2 tanks would be sent to Ukraine “before the end of March.” Norway, Slovakia, the UK, Poland, and France have also pledged to provide Kiev with Western-made tanks. Kiev expects to receive up to 140 tanks from 12 countries as the first batch. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that tensions around the situation in Ukraine are rising due to Washington’s decisions and US pressure on other countries.

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‘Nothing is forbidden in principle, provided that it will be useful, in particular, for the Ukrainian armed forces, will not lead to an escalation of the conflict and strikes on Russian territory..”

Zakharova: Jet Deliveries To Kiev Not Leading To Escalation ‘Absurd’ (TASS)

French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement that the possible delivery of military aircraft to Ukraine will not lead to an escalation is absurd, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday. “We’ve paid attention to the words of French President [Emmanuel] Macron, who, responding to a question about the possible supply of aircraft to Ukraine, said: ‘Nothing is forbidden in principle, provided that it will be useful, in particular, for the Ukrainian armed forces, will not lead to an escalation of the conflict and strikes on Russian territory, will not weaken the defense capability of France itself.’ Forgive me, but it’s some kind of absurdity,” Zakharova said, “Sorry, but Paris’ readiness to supply Kiev with fighter jets was confirmed by the French Defense Minister [Sebastien Lecornu] who visited Ukraine on January 28.”

“Is the French president really sure that supplying the Kiev regime with arms, heavy weapons and aircraft for combat operations will not escalate the situation? I refuse to believe that a grown man can have such logic,” the diplomat added, “Such statements only increase the already irrepressible appetite of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s regime, which, by shelling hospitals and massacring civilians, has clearly demonstrated that Western military injections – how did Mr. Macron put it? – will not lead to an escalation of the conflict. Well, of course, they ‘give’ peace. Obviously these planes are going to be used to drop cookies and candy, right? I have a different feeling.”

The diplomat stressed that Russia strongly condemned “the increasingly aggressive and bellicose rhetoric of Western officials, who have not been shy about making loud statements on the Ukrainian conflict lately.” “I understand them. They feel the deadlock of their own position and the lack of arguments to explain to their own citizens what they have done, in particular to the European continent. Hence the tearing and shouting, trying to find some kind of explanation for what they are doing,” she added.

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4 articles on Russian gas to EU that seem to contradict each other. Is the volume going up or down? You tell me.

Russia Ramps Up EU-Bound Gas Transit Via Ukraine (RT)

Russian energy giant Gazprom has increased its daily volume of gas transit through Ukraine to the EU by 20% for the first time in weeks, the company announced on Wednesday. Supplies jumped to 29.4 million cubic meters (mcm) on February 1, compared to 24.5 mcm pumped the previous day through the Sudzha entry point, which remains the only operating interconnector in Ukraine. “Gazprom supplies Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine in the amount confirmed by the Ukrainian side through Sudzha – 29.4 mcm as of February 1,” Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters. Kupriyanov added that an application had been rejected for the Sokhranovka transit point, which previously served as a key gas transit route through Ukraine and handled about a third of the Russian gas flowing through the country to the EU.

Ukraine shut down transit through Sokhranovka in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.” Russian gas deliveries to the EU via Ukraine were slashed from last May in the aftermath of the bloc’s sweeping anti-Russia sanctions, and stood between 40 to 43 mcm per day. This year, shipments declined sharply from 35.5 mcm in early January to 24 mcm by the end of the month. Analysts attributed the lower volumes to warm winter temperatures in Europe and to high stocks of gas in underground storage facilities. Imports have somewhat rebounded after gas prices began to rise on expectations of colder weather next week. Flows are still about 27% lower than levels at the start of the winter gas season last year, according to Reuters estimates.

Meanwhile, requests for Russian gas from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point also surged to 23.7 mcm compared to 18.6 mcm the previous day, Ukrainian transmission system data showed. Gas transit through Ukraine remains the only route for Russian supplies to the countries of Western and Central Europe after sabotage attacks in September rendered the Nord Stream pipeline inoperable. Gazprom also exports gas via the Turkish Stream and Blue Stream pipelines to Southern and South-Eastern Europe.

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The article above: “Russian energy giant Gazprom has increased its daily volume of gas transit through Ukraine to the EU by 20% for the first time in weeks..”

This article: “Russia’s pipeline gas exports to Europe slumped to a new monthly record-low in January, falling by nearly 30% from December..”

Russia’s Pipeline Gas Exports To Europe Slump To Record Low (ZH)

Russia’s pipeline gas exports to Europe slumped to a new monthly record-low in January, falling by nearly 30% from December due to lower prices on the spot market, according to Reuters calculations. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has seen exports to Europe decline since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year as Russia cut off gas supplies to a number of countries in Europe. Russia cut off supply to Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland in April and May, slashed gas deliveries via Nord Stream to Germany in June, then off Nord Stream supply in early September. Russia still sends some gas via pipelines to Europe via one transit route through Ukraine, and via TurkStream.

This month, Gazprom has reduced pipeline gas transit flows to Europe via Ukraine on some days. Analysts have said that the lower pipeline flows were the result of lower demand for gas under long-term contracts, considering the milder weather in parts of Europe earlier in January and the fact that spot supply is currently cheaper. Per Reuters calculations, which are based on daily data of flows from Russia via the transit route through Ukraine and via TurkStream, pipeline gas exports from Russia to Europe dropped to around some 1.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) in January, down from 2.5 bcm in December.

Gazprom hasn’t released January export data yet, but its exports to Europe via pipelines plunged to a post-Soviet low in 2022, according to data from the Russian firm calculated by Reuters. Last year’s Russian gas exports slumped by 45% year on year to reach 100.9 bcm in 2022. Germany, Russia’s biggest customer of gas before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, doesn’t import any Russian gas via pipeline now. Norway became Germany’s single-largest natural gas supplier in 2022, overtaking Russia, as total German gas imports dropped by 12.3% compared to 2021.

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“..Transneft workers are currently repairing the damage caused by the attack and that the pipeline continues to operate normally..”

Ukraine Attacks Pipeline Pumping Russian Oil To EU – Transneft (RT)

A Ukrainian rocket has reportedly struck near an oil pumping station connected to the Druzhba pipeline in Russia’s Bryansk Region, the operator Transneft claimed on Wednesday. Speaking to the TASS news agency, Igor Demin, a spokesman for the company, said the shell landed on the territory of the Novozybkovo station in the late hours of January 31. He noted that the attempted attack ultimately failed to cause any casualties or hinder the work of the pipeline. According to initial reporting by the Mash news agency, the strike was carried out using a Tochka-U rocket. Workers reportedly found a 20-meter crater on the territory of the station, which lost power as a result of the attack.

Demin explained that the Novozybkovo oil pumping station, which was the apparent target, is only temporarily used at peak times on the Druzhba pipeline and was last turned on in 2022 for only a few hours. He noted that Transneft workers are currently repairing the damage caused by the attack and that the pipeline continues to operate normally. The Druzhba (Friendship) oil pipeline is one of the longest in the world and connects eastern parts of Russia to several points in Europe, including Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Germany.

The segment that was apparently being targeted by Kiev’s forces on Tuesday is located some 39km from the Russian-Ukrainian border and leads directly into Belarus, where it branches off into two sections: one going to Germany and Poland and the other delivering oil to Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic. Germany, however, has not received any oil since the start of the year after Berlin and Poland both pledged to stop all imports of Russian crude. According to Bryansk Governor Aleksander Bogomaz, Kiev’s forces also launched several artillery strikes against civilian targets across the region on Tuesday. Although no casualties have been reported, Bogomaz said the attack damaged over a dozen residential buildings, a WWII memorial, and a shop. The strikes also cut off power to several villages, he said, later adding that these issues had been promptly resolved by emergency services.

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Price cap is $60. The average price for Urals oil blend was at $49.50 per barrel.

EU-Owned Tankers Boost Russian Oil Shipments (RT)

Exports of Russian oil loaded in Western-insured tankers surged in January as prices for Moscow’s flagship Urals grade stood below the cap set by the Group of Seven (G7) countries and the European Union, Reuters reported, citing tracking data. The price cap on Russian seaborne oil exports of $60 per barrel was introduced by the EU, G7 countries, and Australia on December 5. It bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. The average price for Urals oil blend was at $49.50 per barrel on a free-on-board basis (FOB) on Tuesday for shipments from the port of Primorsk, and at $47.83 FOB from Novorossiisk, traders told the outlet. Western tankers are set to carry more than 9.5 million tons of crude from the Russia, hitting a multi-month high in January as soaring Asian demand pushes up prices.


This month’s loadings of crude from Russia and Kazakhstan from only two ports of Ust-Luga and Primorsk are expected to reach the highest volumes since 2019, amounting to 7.4 million tons, traders’ data showed. A quarter of all Urals shipments from Russia in January were handled by EU-owned vessels mainly from Greece, twice as much as in December. Meanwhile, other Russian export blends such as Sokol and ESPO are trading well above the price cap, with Sokol being contracted at about $78 per barrel and ESPO trading at over $72 per barrel as of Tuesday. Russia has been opposed to the price cap initiative from the start. Last month, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning the supply of Russian oil and oil products to foreign buyers that “directly or indirectly” mention the cap in their contracts. The ban came into force on February 1, and will be valid for at least five months.

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The blessings of bias.

“Objectivity Has Got To Go” (Turley)

Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.”

Former New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones is a leading voice for advocacy journalism. Indeed, Hannah-Jones has declared “all journalism is activism.” Her 1619 Project has been challenged as deeply flawed and she has a long record as a journalist of intolerance, controversial positions on rioting, and fostering conspiracy theories. Hannah-Jones would later help lead the effort at the Times to get rid of an editor and apologize for publishing a column from Sen. Tom Cotten as inaccurate and inflammatory. Polls show trust in the media at an all-time low with less than 20 percent of citizens trusting television or print media. Yet, reporters and academics continue to destroy the core principles that sustain journalism and ultimately the role of a free press in our society.

Notably, writers who have been repeatedly charged with false or misleading columns are some of the greatest advocates for dropping objectivity in journalism. Now the leaders of media companies are joining this self-destructive movement. They are not speaking of columnists or cable hosts who routinely share opinions. They are speaking of actual journalists, the people who are relied upon to report the news. Saying that “Objectivity has got to go” is, of course, liberating. You can dispense with the necessities of neutrality and balance. You can cater to your “base” like columnists and opinion writers. Sharing the opposing view is now dismissed as “bothsidesism.” Done. No need to give credence to opposing views. It is a familiar reality for those of us in higher education, which has been increasingly intolerant of opposing or dissenting views.

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“..they had also helped it “get new customers,” including “government agencies” in the case of Metabiota..”

Hunter Biden’s Metabiota Labs Received $10s of Millions in DOD Contracts (GP)

According to USASpending.gov, a database of spending by the US federal government, the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded tens of millions of dollars in contracts to Hunter Biden’s Metabiota labs. Metabiota is a San Francisco-based health startup known for tracking epidemics. The company is mentioned on the Hunter Biden laptop. Hunter Biden’s investment firm, Rosemont Seneca, invested $500,000 in Metabiota, and the company went on to raise several million more from investment giants like Goldman Sachs. The firm has biolabs in several countries, including Ukraine, where Hunter played an important role in the company’s activities. In their pitches to potential backers, Hunter bragged that they had done more than just get financing for the company; they had also helped it “get new customers,” including “government agencies” in the case of Metabiota, according to Daily Mail.

Government data shows Hunter Biden secured millions in government funding and grants for Metabiota after he became part owner of the firm. Metabiota was one of the 46 Ukrainian Bioweapon labs that the US government partnered with, per DC Draino. Following Hunter Biden and his company, Rosemont Seneca’s acquisition of a 50% ownership stake in the Metabiota, the government contracts and grants started flowing. Before the Rosemont Senaca agreement, Metabiota was given a $349,513 contract from the government. Following Hunter’s involvement, Metabiota was awarded a contract with the Department of Defense worth $23.9 million. Before Hunter was involved, Metabiota received a $649,882 grant from the US government. After Hunter became involved, Metabiota received several million in government grants.


According to Daily Mail, Hunter Biden connected a corrupt Ukrainian gas company called Burisma with the Metabiota for an undisclosed “scientific project.” The outlet added that Metabiota is supposedly a medical data company, but in 2014, Metabiota Vice President Mary Guttieri contacted Hunter explaining how they could “assert Ukraine’s cultural and economic independence from Russia,” an unusual ambition for a biotech corporation. “Thanks so much for taking time out of your intense schedule to meet with Kathy and I on Tuesday. We very much enjoyed our discussion. As promised, I’ve prepared the attached memo, which provides an overview of Metabiota, our engagement in Ukraine, and how we can potentially leverage our team, networks, and concepts to assert Ukraine’s cultural and economic independence from Russia and continued integration into Western society,” the email reads.

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“[n]o one thinks this strategy of putting Hunter Biden front and center is smart… No one, including the White House, thinks this is a smart strategy.”

Hunter Biden Demands Investigations Into Reporting On His Laptop (JTN)

First son Hunter Biden and his legal team sent a slew of letters to government agencies on Wednesday demanding investigations into the dissemination of materials from his laptop, while also threatening to sue Fox News host Tucker Carlson. A source familiar with the letters, obtained by CBS News, indicated to the outlet that the scandal-plagued Biden intends to take the initiative in combatting negative press and Republican-led investigations. “He is not going to sit quietly by as questionable characters continue to violate his rights and media organizations peddling in lies try to defame him,” the source said. The letter to Carlson demands that the Fox host retract statements describing a “money laundering scheme” connected to Biden allegedly paying his father “rent” money.

The letter acknowledges that other outlets have retracted such claims. Other letters went to the Delaware attorney general, the IRS, and the Department of Justice seeking investigations related to the publication of the laptop, the authenticity of which has since been verified. The letters appear to mark a direct admission from Biden’s legal team that the laptop does indeed belong to Biden and that the contents are authentic. “This failed dirty political trick directly resulted in the exposure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information,” read the letter to Delaware AG Kathy Jennings. “Mr. Mac Isaac’s intentional, reckless and unlawful conduct allowed for hundreds of gigabytes of Mr. Biden’s personal data, without any discretion, to be circulated around the Internet.

Specifically, Biden wants investigations into laptop repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, at whose store the younger Biden left the laptop, as well as various Trump aides connected to the publication of its contents. Biden alleges that many of these aides may have broken the law in obtaining and distributing the laptop’s contents. Biden also has asked the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of Marco Polo, the organization operated by former Trump aide Garrett Ziegler that published a lengthy report on the laptop’s contents. Reports emerged in December that Hunter Biden was mounting a legal and media blitz to combat conservative criticism and allegations of legal improprieties. A source at the White House expressed concerns to the Washington Post about Hunter’s plans at the time, saying “[n]o one thinks this strategy of putting Hunter Biden front and center is smart… No one, including the White House, thinks this is a smart strategy.”

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The “Russia thing”.

The Press Versus The President, Part Three (CJR)

Trump’s firing of Comey on May 9 was nothing like his hit TV show, The Apprentice. The boss couldn’t move on to the next episode, nor would the ousted employee quietly walk away. The firestorm that erupted in the aftermath of Comey being axed required a do-over, in part because of shifting White House explanations for his dismissal. So Trump sat down two days later for an interview with Lester Holt, the Nightly News anchor for NBC. But instead of tamping down the controversy, it fanned the Russia flames for the media. A tweet from the show on May 11 set the narrative for the Holt interview: “Trump on firing Comey: ‘I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’” Those few words, by suggesting Comey’s firing was aimed at getting the FBI inquiry off his back, provided fresh ammunition to anti-Trumpers.

The full interview, which was available online, presented a more nuanced story, and appeared to reflect what his advisers told him: firing Comey could prolong, not end, the investigation. Trump told Holt, soon after the controversial words, that the firing “might even lengthen out the investigation” and he expected the FBI “to continue the investigation,” to do it “properly,” and “to get to the bottom.” The media focused on the “Russia thing” quote; the New York Times did five stories over the next week citing the “Russia thing” remarks but leaving out the fuller context. The Post and CNN, by comparison, included additional language in their first-day story. The White House was upset and repeatedly asked reporters to look at the full transcript, according to a former Trump aide and two reporters.

On the heels of the NBC interview came a leak of Comey’s notes of private conversations with Trump, including one at a dinner in January where Trump was said to have asked the FBI director to pledge loyalty to him. The Times piece reported that the inquiry into Trump and Russia “has since gained momentum as investigators have developed new evidence and leads.” Comey, once out of office, had his internal memos leaked to the Times, hoping that might “help prompt” the appointment of a special counsel, he testified to Congress a few weeks later. At the same hearing, he criticized the paper’s story of February 14, one of whose authors was Michael Schmidt, the reporter who received his leaked memos. On June 8, at a Senate hearing, Comey was asked whether the Times story was “almost entirely wrong.” He said yes.

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“.. there were a total of 1,250 serious adverse events for every 1 million people vaccinated..”

Why Did UK Wait 3 Months to Disclose Data Showing COVID Vaccine Risks? (CHD)

A Jan. 25 report by the U.K government showed the risks of serious adverse effects from mRNA COVID-19 vaccines largely outweigh the benefits, according to John Campbell, Ph.D., who analyzed the U.K. data used for the report. U.K. health officials knew about the data in October 2022, but didn’t change their recommendations for the shots until the day they released the report and announced they will no longer recommend COVID-19 boosters for healthy people under 50. They also said they will discontinue free distribution of the primary two-shot series. In his latest video, Campbell, a retired nurse teacher in England, summarized the results of the report, which calculated how many people had to be vaccinated in different age groups and risk profiles in order to avoid a single hospitalization.

Campbell compared the results to peer-reviewed data on serious adverse events reported following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. The report was based on an October 2022 UK Health Security Agency presentation to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Despite the “massive shift” in vaccine risk-benefit analysis that was already clear in the October presentation, Campbell said, “the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation carried on without modification to the autumn booster program.” “My question to the Joint Committee on Vaccination Immunisation is why?” said Campbell, who noted that the agency is 85% funded by industry.

Summary of the analysis: ‘number needed to vaccinate’ versus risk of serious adverse events The U.K. study analyzed the “number needed to vaccinate” by age group to prevent either hospitalization or “serious hospitalization,” which is when someone needs oxygen or a ventilator — though Campbell noted that it is common, in general, to oxygenate in hospitals. For example, healthcare providers would need to vaccinate 43,000 people in the 50 to 59 age group to prevent one hospitalization and more than 256,400 people in that age group to prevent a serious hospitalization. Campbell compared the numbers in the report to a peer-reviewed study published in Vaccine that re-analyzed the original phase 3 trials for Pfizer and Moderna to identify serious adverse events of special interest following the mRNA vaccines.

In the Moderna trials, the risk of serious adverse events was 15.1 per 10,000 doses. In other words, 1 in 662 vaccines administered produced a serious adverse event. In the Pfizer trials, the risk of serious adverse events was 10.1 per 10,000, which breaks down to 1 in 990 vaccines administered producing a serious adverse event. On average, there were 12.5 serious adverse events per 10,000 people vaccinated, which is 1 in 800. That means there were a total of 1,250 serious adverse events for every 1 million people vaccinated, according to the study.

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“What we see with Farrar is a recipe for disaster when it comes to imposing experimental medical technology on the population during public health crises..”

Is a Mad Scientist Set to Become Chief Scientist at the WHO? (CHD)

The World Health Organization (WHO) last month named Dr. Jeremy Farrar its new chief scientist. Farrar will step down Feb. 25 as director of the Wellcome Trust, the largest funder of medical research in the U.K. and one of the largest in the world. Farrar and the Wellcome Trust are less well-known relative to similar global public health giants, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and that’s “to people’s detriment,” investigative journalist Whitney Webb told journalist Kim Iversen on a recent episode of “The Kim Iversen Show”: “If what is essentially a power grab by the World Health Organization gets put into force, then Jeremy Farrar will have essentially total authority to impose upon member states what medical responses they would have to implement in the event of another pandemic.”

Webb referred to proposals in the works to transform the WHO from an advisory organization to a global governing body whose policies would be legally binding for member states in the case of a global health emergency. While at Wellcome Trust, Farrar was the architect of several key WHO COVID-19 pandemic policy directives, including lockdowns, masking and mass vaccination. “What we see with Farrar is a recipe for disaster when it comes to imposing experimental medical technology on the population during public health crises. This is a guy who was very much invested in this stuff,” Webb said. It’s something out of ‘Brave New World’ Iversen asked about links between the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

While there is no direct link, Webb said, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a lot of these other organizations, including the Wellcome Trust, are very much pushing an agenda that I would argue is sort of the fusion of Big Pharma and Big Tech.” “Essentially Big Pharma is looking for new markets and new products and Big Tech can help them accomplish that,” she said. Over the last several decades, Big Pharma and “billionaire philanthropists” have come to dominate the WHO, Webb told Iversen. They are the ones, “in my opinion, executing this power grab more than the WHO itself,” she said. There are also key ties between Big Tech and national security agencies, Webb said. Farrar has connections to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, Webb said.

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Stefania Maurizi has been tirelessly filing FOIA requests for years in Sweden, Britain, the United States and Australia.

Sweden Destroyed Substantial Part Of Its Documents On Julian Assange (Maurizi)

A substantial portion of the documents on Julian Assange were destroyed by the Swedish Prosecution Authority, which investigated him for rape in a criminal investigation opened and closed three times between August 2010 and November 2019. The materials destroyed were correspondence between the Swedish Prosecution Authority (SPA) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which was providing the SPA with support on the case, since Assange was under investigation in Sweden but had been in London since 2010. The correspondence between the SPA and CPS is absolutely crucial to understand and reconstruct what really happened in the Swedish rape investigation. That investigation was ultimately dropped once and for all without Assange ever being charged, but for almost a decade has deprived him of the empathy of public opinion.

Especially the empathy of that segment of the public more sensitive to the WikiLeaks revelations on war crimes and torture, often the segment also more mindful of women’s rights. The highly anomalous handling of the Swedish case by prosecutor Marianne Ny resulted in justice for no one, contributed to the devastation of Assange’s health, cost British taxpayers at least 13.2 million pounds to keep the Ecuadorian embassy under siege by Scotland Yard from 2012 to 2015, and resulted in the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention decision that Sweden and the United Kingdom had arbitrarily detained Assange since 2010, in the case of Sweden the first time the UN Group had ever made such a decision in the country’s history. In September 2019, the then UN Special Rapporteur on Torture who had investigated the case, Nils Melzer, listed fifty perceived due process violations, including “Proactive manipulation of evidence”, in an official letter to the Swedish government.

[..] The fact that documents were destroyed by the Swedish Prosecution Authority has just surfaced thanks to our lengthy FOIA litigation, and comes almost six years after that very same FOIA litigation unearthed that key documents were destroyed by the Crown Prosecution Service. It is now clear that both of the authorities handling the Swedish case, the SPA and the CPS, destroyed a large part of their email exchanges. Why? What did those documents contain and on whose instructions were those materials destroyed? Now more than ever some sort of explanation is urgently needed, considering that the United States is currently acting through the Crown Prosecution Service itself in the extradition proceeding against Julian Assange.

Since 2015, we have been engaged in trench warfare in Sweden, Britain, the United States and Australia to access the full documentation on the case under FOIA, represented by seven lawyers. This investigative work has allowed us to find the answer to one of the key questions around the Swedish case: why did Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny, who reopened the rape case in September 2010 after Stockholm’s chief prosecutor, Eva Finné, had immediately dismissed it (because, in her judgement, the suspect’s conduct “disclosed no crime at all”) refuse to question Assange in London for six years?

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Baldwin

 

 

Skills
https://twitter.com/i/status/1620844273347477504

 

 

Elephant Birth

 

 

 

 

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Jan 312023
 


John M. Fox WCBS studios, 49 East 52nd Street, NYC 1948

 

The War Against Us (Jim Kunstler)
Ukraine Will Never Retake Crimea – Croatian President (RT)
Is NATO Helping Ukraine Fight Russia Or Using Ukraine To Fight Russia? (Diesen)
Ukrainian PM States Timeline For EU Membership Hopes (RT)
Beijing Explains US Role In Ukraine Conflict (RT)
US Skeptical Of UK Military – Sky News (RT)
Erdogan Questions Macron’s Competence (RT)
Russian Company Offers $70,000 Reward For Destroying NATO Tanks (RT)
If You’re Expecting Redemption… (Denninger)
Why Hasn’t Antarctica Warmed for Over 70 Years Despite Rise in CO2? (DS)
Why Environmentalists May Make This Whale Species Extinct (Public)
Growing Number of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots (ET)
Putin Talks Cooperation With Saudi Arabia (RT)
Moscow Provides More Evidence Of US Biolabs In Ukraine (RT)
Does the “Word of a Biden” Extend to the Biden Documents? (Turley)
Elon Musk Mocks Left-wing Think Tank Over Russiagate Claims (RT)
The Press Versus The President, Part One (CJR)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Pfizer

 

 

 

 

Fourth Reich
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619821761239085057

 

 

Joe Rogan cobalt

Rogan diver
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619856341904035840

 

 

Trump Star Wars
https://twitter.com/i/status/1620248325546209280

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..who can tell whether accountability might restore our institutions at this point. We may be too far gone.”

The War Against Us (Jim Kunstler)

All this criminal misconduct is connected in a foul matrix of lawbreaking. The fact-patterns are well-established. Dozens of excellent books have catalogued the misdeed of RussiaGate and scores of websites daily dissect the shady intrigues around the “vaccine” crusade. The infamies of gross election interference have been systematically laid-out in the Twitter Files of the past two months. Many books, published essays, and videos substantiate the reality of massive ballot fraud in 2020 and 2022, including the felonious role of Mark Zuckerberg’s front org, the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and the election law manipulations or Lawfare goblin Marc Elias. There’s an understandable wish that upcoming hearings in Congress will lead to a reckoning for all of this. To banish consequence from public life, as we have done, is a pretty grave insult to nature, but who can tell whether accountability might restore our institutions at this point. We may be too far gone.


The US is visibly collapsing now: our economy, our financial arrangements, our culture, our influence in world affairs, and our basic consensus about reality. We’re entering a phase of disorder and hardship that is likely to moot the further depredations of a government at war with its people. For one thing, it’s becoming impossible to pretend that this vicious leviathan has the money to carry on because the money is only pretending to be money. It’s no wonder that the collective ability for sense-making has failed. It will be quickly restored by each of us in the scramble to survive these disorders and hardships. The bewildering hypotheticals of recent years begin to dissolve like mist on the mountain and things come back into focus: your health, your daily bread, your shelter, your associations with other people close to you, your values, and most of all the power of your own choices. Nature, much insulted and maligned, will sort out the rest.

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Why are the voices of reason always the smaller, less powerful EU nations?

Ukraine Will Never Retake Crimea – Croatian President (RT)

Increasingly lethal military aid to Ukraine from NATO powers is “deeply immoral” and will only extend Kiev’s bloody conflict with Russia, causing more casualties and heightening the risk of nuclear war in a pointless pursuit of absurd goals, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has claimed. “I am against sending any lethal weapons there,” Milanovic told reporters at a briefing in Petrinja, south of Zagreb. “It’s only prolonging the war. What’s the goal? Carving up Russia? Regime change? They’re talking about partitioning Russia. This is madness.” Milanovic made his comments after the governments of Germany and the US last week announced that they had decided to send battle tanks to Ukraine.

Moscow has warned that such aid creates a greater risk of escalation, especially if Western weapons are used to strike Russian cities or try to seize Russian territory. Nevertheless, Washington and its top NATO allies have pledged to continue arming Ukraine for as long as it takes to win the conflict – however Kiev defines victory. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed to retake all lost territories, including Crimea, which became part of Russia following the overthrow of Kiev’s elected government in 2014. Milanovic argued that Crimea “will never be Ukraine” – a point on which even Germany’s generals agree. “This is deeply immoral, what we’re doing, the collective West,” the Croatian president said. “German tanks will just unite the Russians, and China. My goal is to distance ourselves [Croatia] from it, to not be circus dogs. Any kind of participation in this is deadly dangerous.”

Milanovic said efforts to provoke conflict with Russia had been ongoing since 2014, “and a war broke out.” He warned that NATO leaders shouldn’t assume that they can treat Russia like Serbia, which the Western bloc bombed in 1999 amid violence in Kosovo. The breakaway province later declared its independence from Serbia. “Please understand Russia is not the same as Serbia,” Milanovic said. “That’s a painful fact, and dangerous. We annexed Kosovo, us and the international community. It was taken from Serbia. Did we not do it? Did we not recognize Kosovo? Oh it’s not an annexation, it’s a seizure? Whatever. This isn’t about Kosovo, but about the concept.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1620116326101712896

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Recommended.

Is NATO Helping Ukraine Fight Russia Or Using Ukraine To Fight Russia? (Diesen)

The Western public, like others, are justly appalled by the human suffering and the horrors of the Ukrainian war. Empathy is one of the great virtues of humanity, which in this instance translates into the demand for helping Ukrainians. Yet, propaganda commonly weaponizes the best in human nature, such as compassion, to bring out the worst. As sympathy and the desire to assist the displaced are used to mobilize public support for confrontation and war with Russia, it is necessary to ask if the Western public and Ukrainians are being manipulated to support a proxy war. The US-led military bloc commonly depicts itself as an innocent third party that merely responds to the overwhelming desire of the Ukrainian people to join its ranks.

Yet, for years NATO has attempted to absorb a reluctant Ukraine into its orbit. A NATO publication from 2011 acknowledged that “The greatest challenge for Ukrainian-NATO relations lies in the perception of NATO among the Ukrainian people. NATO membership is not widely supported in the country, with some polls suggesting that popular support for it at is less than 20%”. In 2014, this problem was resolved by supporting what Statfor’s George Friedman labelled “the most blatant coup in history” as there were no efforts to conceal Western meddling. Regime change was justified as helping Ukrainians with their “democratic revolution”. Yet, it involved the unconstitutional removal of the elected government as a result of an uprising that even the BBC acknowledged did not have majority support amongst the general public.

The authorities elected by the Ukrainian people were replaced by individuals handpicked by Washington. An infamous leaked phone call between State Department apparatchik Victoria Nuland and Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt revealed that Washington had chosen exactly who would be in the new government several weeks before they had even removed president Yanukovich from power. Donbass predictably rejected and resisted the legitimacy of the new regime in Kiev with the support of Russia. Instead of calling for a “unity government”, a plan for which Western European states had signed as guarantors, NATO countries quietly supported an “anti-terrorist operation” against eastern Ukrainians, resulting in at least 14,000 deaths. The Minsk-2 peace agreement of February 2015 produced a path for peace, yet the US and UK sabotaged it for the next 7 years.

Furthermore, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande recently admitted that both Germany and France considered the deal an opportunity to buy time for Ukraine to arm itself and prepare for war. In the 2019 election, millions of Ukrainians were disenfranchised, including those living in Russia. Nevertheless, the result was a landslide with 73% of Ukrainians voting for Vladimir Zelensky’s peace platform based on implementing the Minsk-2 agreement, negotiating with Donbass, protecting the Russian language, and restoring peace with Moscow. However, the far-right militias that were armed and trained by the US effectively laid down a veto by threatening Zelensky and defying him on the front line when he demanded to pull back heavy weapons.

Pressured also by the US, Zelensky eventually reversed the entire peace platform the Ukrainians had voted for. Instead, opposition media and political parties were purged, and the main opposition leader, Viktor Medvedchuk was arrested. Subverting the wishes of Ukrainians in order to steer the country towards confrontation with Russia was yet again referred to as “helping” Ukraine. [..] Following NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent Orwellian statement that “weapons are the way to peace”, it is worth assessing if NATO is helping Ukraine or using Ukraine. NATO powers have stated that they are supplying Ukraine with weapons to have a stronger position at the negotiating table, yet one year into the war, no major Western leaders have called for peace talks. NATO has a powerful bargaining chip that would actually help Ukraine, which would be an agreement to end NATO expansion toward Russian borders. However, whitewashing the bloc’s direct contribution to the war prevents a negotiated settlement.

US munitions

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The EU will not survive this.

Ukrainian PM States Timeline For EU Membership Hopes (RT)

Ukraine sees itself as part of the EU in two years, but even its most ardent supporters in the bloc believe that target to be overambitious, Politico reported on Monday. The deadline was set by Prime Minister Denis Shmigal ahead of an EU-Ukraine meeting in Kiev next Friday. “We expect that this year, in 2023, we can already have this pre-entry stage of negotiations,” Shmigal told the news outlet. Ukraine applied for EU candidate status last February, after Russia launched its military operation. Brussels granted Kiev that status in June, though the timing for accession remains a matter of debate. Kiev and its biggest backers, such as Poland, claim Ukraine deserves to be fast-tracked to full membership. More skeptical nations have argued that it may take considerable time before the country meets the criteria.

French President Emmanuel Macron warned in May that the accession process “would probably take several decades,” unless the EU lowers its requirements “and also partially the principles that we hold.” Türkiye has been kept waiting on the EU’s doorstep since 1999, while Ankara’s request to join the European Economic Community, the EU’s predecessor, was filed in 1987. European Council President Charles Michel, who traveled to Kiev earlier this month to offer reassurances that Ukraine will eventually become part of the EU, indicated that the bloc’s leadership has no intention of bending the rules. “If it means changing the rules and procedures, no, because we believe in and defend the rule of law,” Michel said in an interview last week when discussing what fast-tracking Ukraine could mean.

Politico described Shmigal’s deadline as “throwing down a gauntlet to the EU establishment.” The head of the Ukrainian cabinet said he expects progress in specific areas, including the continued suspension of tariffs and quotas for Ukrainian goods, and inclusion into the EU’s mobile roaming area. Kiev could take certain steps to allay any criticism from the EU, such as rolling back controversial legislation which regulates how justices of the Constitutional Court are appointed, according to Politico. The reform was passed in December, with Kiev ignoring recommendations from the Venice Commission to modify the draft to prevent political influence on a special body tasked with screening candidates. President Vladimir Zelensky has been at loggerheads with the Constitutional Court since 2020, when he launched a campaign to remove the chief justice after the court struck down a bill that the presidential office wanted passed into law.

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“..the stage for the conflict was set by NATO’s expansion in Europe and its refusal to acknowledge Russia’s security concerns.”

Beijing Explains US Role In Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The US is the “initiator and biggest promoter” of the crisis in Ukraine, Beijing has said, commenting on Washington’s reported claims that state-run Chinese companies were providing non-lethal aid to Russia. If the US government actually wants to help the Ukrainian people and see the crisis end as soon as possible, it should “stop sending weapons and reaping the benefits of war,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday during a news briefing. She dismissed the claims of assistance to Moscow, which were reported in the Western media last week, as “unfounded suspicion and accusations” and said Beijing would not accept “groundless blackmail” or discrimination against Chinese companies by Washington.

The reports were based on an anonymous source described by Reuters as “familiar with the situation.” “What we’re seeing is non-lethal military assistance and economic support that stops short of wholesale sanctions evasion,” the source was quoted as saying. The person added that Washington was not sure if the Chinese government was aware of the “activity” and that it had communicated its concerns to Beijing. The US government publicly threatened China with consequences for any assistance to Russia in circumvention of the economic sanctions imposed by Washington and its allies.

When asked about the alleged assistance last Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the US was “monitoring the situation” and would “continue to communicate to China the implications of providing material support” to Russia. She pledged that the US would support Ukraine for “as long as needed.” The US has already allocated over $100 billion related to propping up Kiev in its fight against Moscow. Beijing has criticized Russia for sending troops against its neighbor but has said that the stage for the conflict was set by NATO’s expansion in Europe and its refusal to acknowledge Russia’s security concerns.

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“..leaving the British army with hardware that is at least 30 years old and in dire need of replacement.”

US Skeptical Of UK Military – Sky News (RT)

A senior US military official confidentially told British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that the UK’s armed forces are no longer on par with those of the leading world powers, Sky News claims. The broadcaster, citing anonymous defense sources, said that years of cost-cutting measures by successive governments have made the country’s military a “hollow force.” The report, which came out on Monday, alleges that the unnamed American general had a frank conversation with Wallace and several other British officials last fall. The conclusion of the US general regarding the UK’s fighting capabilities was unsettling for London: “You haven’t got a tier one. It’s barely tier two.” According to Sky News, the general classed the armed forces of the US, China, Russia, and France as tier-one powers, with Germany and Italy representing tier-two armies.

Several unnamed British defense sources confirmed to the broadcaster that the nation’s military is currently in a sorry state. One official was quoted as saying: “It’s an entire service unable to protect the UK and our allies for a decade.” The UK military would reportedly run out of ammunition “in a few days” if a conflict broke out. Moreover, the armed forces would likely be unable to defend the skies against the level of missile and drone strikes currently seen in Ukraine, the broadcaster claimed. The report said that 10 Downing Street has repeatedly cut the defense budget following the end of the Cold War, leaving the British army with hardware that is at least 30 years old and in dire need of replacement.

London’s active role in supplying Ukraine with weapons over the past 11 months has further diluted its own fighting capabilities, the news outlet said. Another major issue highlighted by anonymous defense sources is chronic staffing shortages. With only 76,000 personnel, the British armed forces are less than half the size they were in 1990, Sky News claims. However, according to the government’s plans, the military will shed 3,000 more troops down the road, while new weaponry is not expected to be procured for a few years, the report notes.

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Erdogan plays the muslim card. For domestic purposes.

Erdogan Questions Macron’s Competence (RT)

Emmanuel Macron is unfit to be French president and has overseen a significant deterioration in relations with Africa, his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested. Erdogan claimed that with Macron at the helm, Paris is losing influence globally. Speaking at a youth gathering in Bilecik province in western Türkiye on Sunday, Erdogan said that “the person at the head of France does not have the experience to be at the head of that state.” The Turkish leader pointed to recent developments in Paris’ relations with African nations to support his case. “Look, they are exploiting African countries right now. Mali is in a complete break with France right now,” Erdogan argued. The Turkish president also noted that Burkina Faso has given French troops one month to leave the country.

Earlier in January, the West African nation suspended a 2018 agreement on the deployment of French service members on its territory. Relations between Paris and its former colony have been on a downward spiral, with the local population blaming France for its perceived inability to combat Islamic extremists. “And I think that Togo, they will send [the troops out] too,” Erdogan added. According to the Turkish leader, France “is rapidly losing its reputation” in Africa. “We have had many meetings with them, at international meetings and so on, but they are not honest,” Erdogan claimed. Macron has also “lost his credibility in parliament,” the Turkish president stated. “France is constantly losing credibility, and it is losing credibility in the international community.”

“Of course, there are many leaders like this in the world,” Erdogan continued, without elaborating. Unfortunately, “in the relations with Greece in the Mediterranean, they ignore Türkiye and enter into different relations with them.” Macron and Erdogan have frequently engaged in verbal clashes. One of the most notorious incidents took place in 2020, when the Turkish president suggested that his French counterpart “needs mental treatment” while criticizing Macron’s attitude toward Islam and Muslims. At the time, Macron said that radical Muslims in France were guilty of “Islamist separatism.” In response to Erdogan’s comments, Paris recalled its ambassador to Türkiye for consultations.

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“Politico reported last week that it could take “many months, or potentially years” before they roll onto the battlefield.”

Russian Company Offers $70,000 Reward For Destroying NATO Tanks (RT)

Fores, a Russian chemical manufacturer, is offering bounties to soldiers for destroying M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks in Ukraine. The news comes after Washington and Berlin approved the deliveries to Kiev last week. “Russian servicemen that destroy or capture a German Leopard 2 battle tank or an American Abrams will receive a monetary reward,” the company said in a statement on its website on Friday. “Fores will pay 5 million rubles [$70,700] for the first trophy. The payment for every next one … will be 500,000 rubles [$7,070].” The company added that if Ukraine ever acquires F-15 and F-16 jet fighters, Fores would hand out a 15-million-ruble ($212,100) prize for the first downed aircraft.

“The decision to transfer Western tanks to Kiev shows that NATO is not only delivering defensive weapons to Ukraine, which highlights the need for consolidation and support for our army. We have been doing this since the first days of [Russia’s] special military operation and will continue to support our servicemen”. Founded in 2000, Fores makes and sells proppant, a grainy substance used by oil and gas companies for fracking, according to its website. The company’s office is in Ekaterinburg, Russia. On Sunday, Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, who is known for having hawkish views, announced a similar bounty on his blog. “Certain members of the big business community have authorized me to inform you that they are setting a 10-million-ruble ($143,900) prize for every destroyed Abrams,” he wrote.

Berlin said last week that it would supply Kiev with 14 Leopard 2s and has greenlighted deliveries of the German-made tanks from other European countries. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Germany and its partners were looking to supply 112 tanks in total. Meanwhile, the 31 Abrams tanks pledged by the US must be assembled first. Politico reported last week that it could take “many months, or potentially years” before they roll onto the battlefield. Russia has maintained that foreign weapons would lead to escalation, but will not change the course of the conflict. The Kremlin says that Western tanks in Ukraine will be treated as legitimate targets.

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“The mechanism that led Congress and the White House to believe they could get away with this – trade sequestration – is gone. We destroyed it with the Russian sanctions..”

If You’re Expecting Redemption… (Denninger)

… from The Fed, or from Biden, you’re certifiable. The Fed meeting is coming. PPI and CPI have relaxed somewhat, but the key is — somewhat. Problem: The Omnibus spending isn’t in the system yet, and thus its impact isn’t in there either. But it will be because there’s no effective means to stop it other than a refusal to raise the debt ceiling. Biden has said he will veto any attempt to roll back the spending bill, and there’s no chance of an override given Congressional makeup. Therefore, what’s done is done. But – and this is important – Biden also, in the last couple of days, has reiterated that he intends to “strengthen” Medicare and has said nothing, of course, about using the 100 year old laws that make virtually all of the pricing systems in the medical area of our economy felonious. The issue is that without fixing that specific area — CMS in the Federal Budget, which is Medicare and Medicaid — the government cannot resolve the spiral of deficits and inflation.

Let me be absolutely clear in that Social Security, while it has a cash-flow funding deficit, is fixable without a large and nasty set of changes. For example increasing the OASDI tax rate (the Social Security portion of FICA) from 12.4% (today) to 14%, still split as it is today, would increase the rate you “see” in your check by 0.8% and account for more than half of the cash-flow deficit. Partially lifting the cap to, for example, $250,000 (from the 2023 $160,200) and indexing it to wage increases rather than CPI or other indications of inflation would likely close the gap entirely — and permanently. Indeed within the next 15-20 years the “hump” of boomers retiring and ultimately dying will crest and with it the draw on the retirement side of that fund.

(As an aside let me point out that Social Security’s retirement fund is already wildly progressive. That is, you get much more back for each dollar you put in as a lower-income earner than a higher-income earner, so the often-repeated screeching about denying wealthier people funds from it is fundamentally stupid. You want people to earn a lot of money and pay into the fund because they get less back than the less-well-paid do already; anything you do that disincentivizes that higher earning person from earning that higher wage and thus contributing more on a per-paid-out dollar basis will do even more damage to the fund’s stability.) Medicare’s portion of the FICA tax, however, cannot be fixed. CMS, which is the department that funds Medicare and the federal portion of Medicaid, took in about $339 billion dollars last fiscal year but spent $2,067 billion — over two trillion dollars and thus only one dollar in six or 16% of its spending is funded by tax receipts. This cannot be fixed with tax increases as you’d have to multiply the tax rate by six in order to do so. The only way to fix this is to destroy every single medical monopolist and thus collapse costs.

This has been going on for the last three decades and I’ve been raising Hell about it since my time running MCSNet because what it was going to do was obvious if it was not stopped. It has not only not been stopped it has accelerated; about ten years ago that funding percentage was about 20% and today is is 16% — materially worse. The mechanism that led Congress and the White House to believe they could get away with this – trade sequestration – is gone. We destroyed it with the Russian sanctions; it was not imposed on us, so that was a choice and we made it. I doubt anyone in the Executive considered this, but that’s irrelevant now because what’s done is done.

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The whole discussion needs to restart. No such thing as settled science.

Why Hasn’t Antarctica Warmed for Over 70 Years Despite Rise in CO2? (DS)

Scientists are scrambling to explain why the continent of Antarctica has shown Net Zero warming for the last seven decades and almost certainly much longer. The lack of warming over a significant portion of the Earth undermines the unproven hypothesis that the carbon dioxide humans add to the atmosphere is the main determinant of global climate. Under ‘settled’ science requirements, the significant debate over the inconvenient Antarctica data is of necessity being conducted well away from prying eyes in the mainstream media. Promoting the Net Zero political agenda, the Guardian recently topped up readers’ alarm levels with the notion that “unimaginable amounts of water will flow into oceans”, if temperatures in the region rise and ice buffers vanish.

The BBC green activist-in-chief Justin Rowlatt flew over parts of the region and witnessed “an epic vision of shattered ice”. He described Antarctica as the “frontline of climate change”. In 2021, the South Pole had its coldest six-month winter since records began in 1957, a fact largely ignored in the mainstream. One-off bad weather promoter Reuters subsequently ‘fact checked’ commentary on the event in social media. It noted that a “six-month period is not long enough to validate a climate trend”.

A recent paper from two climate scientists (Singh and Polvani) accepts that Antarctica has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite an increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gases. It is noted that the two polar regions present a “conundrum” for understanding present day climate change, as recent warming differs markedly between the Arctic and Antarctic. The graph below shows average Antarctica surface temperatures from 1984-2014, compared to a base period 1950-1980.

The scientists note that over the last seven decades, the Antarctica sea ice area has “modestly expanded” and warming has been “nearly non-existent” over much of the ice sheet. NASA estimates current Antarctica ice loss at 147 gigatons a year, but with 26,500,000 gigatons still to go, this works out at annual loss of 0.0005%. At current NASA ice loss melt, it will all be gone in about 200,000 years, although the Earth may well have gone through another ice age, or two, before then. Most alarmist commentary centres around the cyclical loss of sea ice around the coast and some warming on parts of the west of the continent. But sea ice cover is running at levels seen around 50 years ago, as the graph below shows. Small rises and falls in the early 2010s have been followed by a reversion to the mean.

 

 

Climate denier

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“Their average life expectancy has declined from a century to 45 years..”

Why Environmentalists May Make This Whale Species Extinct (Public)

Since the passage of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, environmentalists have fought for strict protections for endangered species. They have demanded that the government apply what is known as the “precautionary principle,” which states that if there is any risk that a human activity will make a species extinct, it should be illegal. And yet here we are, on the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, watching the whole of the environmental movement — from the Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation to scientific groups like the Woods Hole Institute, New England Aquarium, and Mystic Aquarium — betray the precautionary principle by risking the extinction of the North Atlantic right whale.


The cause of this environmental betrayal is massive industrial wind energy projects off the East Coast of the U.S. The wind turbine blades are the length of a football field. Sitting atop giant poles they will reach three times higher than the Statue of Liberty. The towers will be directly inside critical ocean habitat for the North Atlantic right whale. There are only 340 of the whales left, down from 348 just one year earlier. So many North Atlantic right whales are killed by man-made factors that there have been no documented cases of any of them dying of natural causes in decades. Their average life expectancy has declined from a century to 45 years. A single additional unnatural and unnecessary death could risk the loss of the entire species.

Surveying for, building, and operating industrial wind projects could harm or kill whales, according to the U.S. government’s own science. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has given the wind industry 11 “incidental harassment authorizations,” or permits to harass hundreds of whales, including 169 critically endangered right whales. The industry will bring more ships into the areas that could strike and kill whales. Submarine noise pollution from the wind farm’s construction and operation, and entanglements in equipment, also add to the risk. So too could air turbulence generated by the turbines harm or destroy zooplakton feeding grounds. And, now, wind developers are demanding higher speed limits for their boats. If they don’t get them, the industry claims, it will need to build hotels for the workers at the sites, right in the middle of right whale habitat.


Defenders of the wind projects say they can reduce and mitigate the noise and ship traffic from the wind farm construction, but a senior scientist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contradicted that claim last spring when he wrote in a letter that “oceanographic impacts from installed and operating [wind] turbines cannot be mitigated for the 30-year lifespan of the project unless they are decommissioned.” Scientists representing many of the same environmental groups supporting the industrial wind energy projects wrote in a 2021 letter that “the North Atlantic right whale population cannot withstand any additional stressors; any potential interruption of foraging behavior may lead to population-level effects and is of critical concern.” Industrial wind projects “could have population-level effects on an already endangered and stressed species,” concluded the NOAA scientist, Sean Hayes. What are “population-level effects?” In a word: extinction.

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Just stop it.

Growing Number of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots (ET)

A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence. “I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease,” Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, wrote on Twitter. Lee was pointing to the lack of randomized clinical trial (RCT) results for the updated boosters, which were cleared in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2022 primarily based on data from experiments with mice. Lee, who has received three vaccine doses, noted that he was infected with the Omicron virus variant—the vaccines provide little protection against infection—and described himself as a healthy male in his 40s.

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of California, San Francisco, also said he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available. “I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said. Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position. She called on people to “join the movement to demand appropriate evidence,” pointing to a blog post from Prasad. “Pay close attention to note this isn’t anti-vaccine sentiment. This is ‘provide [hard] evidence of benefit to justify ongoing use’ which is very different. It is only fair for a 30 billion dollar a year product given to hundreds of millions,” Lee said.

Dr. Mark Silverberg, who founded the Toronto Immune and Digestive Health Institute; Kevin Bass, a medical student; and Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, joined Lee and Prasad in stating their opposition to more boosters, at least for now. Høeg said she did not need clinical trials to know she’s not getting any boosters after receiving a two-dose primary series, adding that she took the second dose “against my will.” “I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she said on Twitter. “I was glad my parents in their 70s could get covid vaccinated but have yet to see non-confounded data to advise them about the bivalent booster. I would have liked to see an RCT for the bivalent for people their age and for adults with health conditions that put them at risk.”

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Welcome to the BRICS+.

Putin Talks Cooperation With Saudi Arabia (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have discussed bilateral cooperation and measures to stabilize the global oil market in a phone call, the Kremlin stated on Monday. “Issues of further development of bilateral cooperation in the political, trade, economic and energy fields” were discussed, according to the Kremlin. Furthermore, the two leaders spoke of “cooperation within the framework of OPEC Plus to ensure the stability of the world oil market.” Putin and Prince Mohammed have spoken several times since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last February, with these calls taking place amid a growing rift between Saudi Arabia and the US, the Kingdom’s closest international partner.

Over the last year, Riyadh has deepened its ties with Beijing and declared its readiness to trade oil for Chinese yuan, a move that would threaten the US dollar’s standing as the world’s dominant petrocurrency. As the de-facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Arabia further snubbed the US last July when it refused to increase oil production following a meeting between Prince Mohammed and US President Joe Biden. An increase would have simultaneously benefited Biden by lowering gas prices in the US ahead of November’s midterm elections, and weakened the Russian economy by reducing its oil revenue. Instead, OPEC and its allies (a group of nations including Russia that make up the ‘Plus’ in the organization’s title) agreed in October to cut production by two million barrels per day, a move that kept prices steady for the benefit of producers.

With Moscow and Riyadh both interested in maintaining their petroleum profits, the US-backed price cap on Russian oil is viewed in both capitals as a potential threat to revenue. Furthermore, OPEC’s members worry that the measure could become “a global price cap” in the future, potentially ruining their economies. Washington responded to Saudi Arabia’s refusal to boost production by threatening to re-evaluate its relationship with Riyadh “in a very deliberate fashion.” Democratic lawmakers pressed Biden to halt arms sales to the Kingdom unless it would reverse OPEC’s production cut, accusing the Saudis of “colluding” with Russia.

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“The evidence “confirms the focus of the Pentagon on creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of Ukraine and other states along [Russia’s] borders..”

Moscow Provides More Evidence Of US Biolabs In Ukraine (RT)

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday laid out more evidence that US-funded laboratories were working in Ukraine. Documents and materials recovered by Russian troops showed that Western pharmaceutical companies operating in territory under Kiev’s control conducted HIV/AIDS research on Ukrainian military personnel. The commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, presented Ukrainian-language documents referring to HIV infection studies that began in 2019. The list of targeted groups shows service members alongside prisoners, drug addicts and other “patients at high risk of infection.” According to Kirillov, the Russian military has recovered more than 20,000 documents and other materials related to the biological programs in Ukraine, while interviewing eyewitnesses and participants.

The evidence “confirms the focus of the Pentagon on creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of Ukraine and other states along [Russia’s] borders,” the general told reporters. Based on documents originating with the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Russian military identified eight more individuals involved in the US-funded research in Ukraine. Among the names Kirillov singled out was Karen Saylors of Labyrinth Global Health, previously of Metabiota, a company linked to US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. The latest trove of documents, belonging to the company Pharmbiotest, was unearthed in Lisichansk in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) early in January, Kirillov noted.

“Clinical samples and patient records with their personal data were buried, and not cremated or destroyed in a proper fashion. This suggests that the destruction of this evidence was carried out in extreme haste,” the lieutenant general said. In October 2022, Russia filed an official complaint over alleged US-backed biological activities in Ukraine and requested a UN probe into the matter. The UN Security Council rejected Moscow’s proposal after the US, UK, and France voted against it. The US opposition “once again confirms that Washington has something to hide, and that ensuring the transparency of biological research is contrary to US interests,” Kirillov said.

As evidence of the widespread threat posed by the Pentagon’s biological research conducted beyond America’s borders, Kirillov referred to the previously mentioned US involvement in coronavirus studies, including by funding the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance that contracted with the laboratory in Wuhan, China. Kirillov also brought up the 1977 outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Egypt, near a biological laboratory run by the US Navy. The disease previously known only south of the Sahara made a surprise appearance in Cairo a few months after the lab employees were vaccinated against it, the general said. Moreover, the Cairo strain was “highly pathogenic” compared to the disease’s normal flu-like symptoms, suggesting the involvement of gain-of-function experiments.

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“..the status of the University of Delaware documents is becoming more and more untenable for the White House..”

Does the “Word of a Biden” Extend to the Biden Documents? (Turley)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has repeatedly assured the public that President Biden is committed in the classified-document scandal to move forward in “a very transparent way.” Putting aside the refusal to share any information beyond a desire to be fully transparent, Biden has one major test awaiting him on his pledge: his senatorial records. There has been much discussion of a classified document being found in his personal library in Wilmington, but there is a huge library of Biden documents sitting in the University of Delaware. The university is sitting on Biden documents due to a cynical 2012 arrangement made by Biden when he was vice president and contemplating a run for the presidency. The president effectively locked away his records by giving them to the university, which has claimed for a decade that it is still working to organize and catalog the documents.

He has refused to allow the public or the press to see the documents. With the recent reports that Biden may have included classified information in notebooks found at his residence, the status of the University of Delaware documents is becoming more and more untenable for the White House. The University of Delaware has been used for years to shield potentially embarrassing documents from public review for the Biden family, including allegations that the president engaged in sexual harassment or assault as a member of the Senate. The university effectively agreed to serve as a type of lock box for the Bidens to prevent a review of his senatorial records as he ran for higher office.At great public cost, the university has fought efforts by the media and the public to allow access to the documents. It is a troubling position for any institution of higher education to fight access to historical materials . . . for years.

Now, however, there is growing concern that the files may not only include incriminating information on past sexual-assault allegations but actual classified information. There is already confirmation that Biden removed classified information from the Senate more than 14 years ago. It now appears he also may have transferred classified information from briefings and documents to his notebooks. That raises the question of whether such information is contained in the notebooks and papers housed at the university. If President Biden is ready to embrace transparency, he can start by finally dropping his opposition to any review of his senatorial documents. At a minimum, the FBI should request access to determine if his violation of classified rules extends to this mountain of material given to the university.

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“This is the biggest journalism scam in a very long time,” replied Musk..”

Elon Musk Mocks Left-wing Think Tank Over Russiagate Claims (RT)

Elon Musk has hit out at the Alliance for Security Democracy (ASD) and its so-called “Russian bot dashboard” Hamilton68 for labeling Twitter accounts that it disagreed with as assets supposedly linked to the Kremlin. The billionaire illustrated his point with a mockup of a children’s book on justifying political failures in the media and government, titled ‘Everyone I don’t agree with is a Russian Bot’. His response comes after internal Twitter messages published by journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday revealed that the Hamilton68 dashboard knowingly mislabeled the accounts of real Americans as “Russian Bots.” The creators of the tool at one point claimed to be tracking over 600 accounts with alleged ties to the Kremlin to provide the West with an authentic view on Russian “influence operations.”

Hamilton68 was later used as a source by numerous major Western media outlets and even academic publications to claim that Russian bots were pushing conspiracy theories and promoting terms like “deep state” as well as hashtags such as #ReleaseTheMemo, #SchumerShutdown, #AlabamaSenateRace, and #ParklandShooting. However, the latest Twitter Files have revealed that the social media platform’s employees analyzed Hamilton68’s list of supposed “Russian bots,” only to find that these accounts were “neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots” and primarily consisted of real people living in the US, Canada, and the UK. “It was a scam. Instead of tracking how ‘Russia’ influenced American attitudes, Hamilton 68 simply collected a handful of mostly real, mostly American accounts, and described their organic conversations as Russian scheming,” wrote Taibbi.

The ASD has since attempted to defend its dashboard, claiming it was not meant as a list of Moscow-backed opinion leaders, but was a “nuanced” tool that was misunderstood by journalists. However, the committee’s own members have previously been on record as claiming that the Hamilton68 list included accounts used by Moscow to “discredit the FBI… attack ABC news… critique the Obama administration… and warn about violence by immigrants.” “This is the biggest journalism scam in a very long time,” replied Musk, who criticized the ASD’s attempts to shrug off any responsibility as a “disingenuous response.”

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“In fact, Baquet added, “I think we covered that story better than anyone else..”

The Press Versus The President, Part One (CJR)

The end of the long inquiry into whether Donald Trump was colluding with Russia came in July 2019, when Robert Mueller III, the special counsel, took seven, sometimes painful, hours to essentially say no. “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it,” is how Dean Baquet, then the executive editor of the New York Times, described the moment his paper’s readers realized Mueller was not going to pursue Trump’s ouster. Baquet, speaking to his colleagues in a town hall meeting soon after the testimony concluded, acknowledged the Times had been caught “a little tiny bit flat-footed” by the outcome of Mueller’s investigation.

That would prove to be more than an understatement. But neither Baquet nor his successor, nor any of the paper’s reporters, would offer anything like a postmortem of the paper’s Trump-Russia saga, unlike the examination the Times did of its coverage before the Iraq War. In fact, Baquet added, “I think we covered that story better than anyone else” and had the prizes to prove it, according to a tape of the event published by Slate. In a statement to CJR, the Times continued to stand by its reporting, noting not only the prizes it had won but substantiation of the paper’s reporting by various investigations. The paper “thoroughly pursued credible claims, fact-checked, edited, and ultimately produced ground-breaking journalism that has proven true time and again,” the statement said.

But outside of the Times’ own bubble, the damage to the credibility of the Times and its peers persists, three years on, and is likely to take on new energy as the nation faces yet another election season animated by antagonism toward the press. At its root was an undeclared war between an entrenched media, and a new kind of disruptive presidency, with its own hyperbolic version of the truth. (The Washington Post has tracked thousands of Trump’s false or misleading statements.) At times, Trump seemed almost to be toying with the press, offering spontaneous answers to questions about Russia that seemed to point to darker narratives. When those storylines were authoritatively undercut, the follow-ups were downplayed or ignored.

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Smart art
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619676345583439872

 

 

 

 

Baby polar bear

 

 

Waterfall elephant

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 262022
 
 December 26, 2022  Posted by at 10:07 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  61 Responses »


Saul Leiter Man in straw hat 1955

 

Ukraine War Tolls Death Knell for NATO (Bhadrakuma)r
Putin Says He’s Ready To Negotiate ‘With Everyone Involved’ Over Ukraine (Hill)
Putin “Ready” To Negotiate, But West Wants To “Tear Apart” Russia (ZH)
Only One Nation Benefits From Sanctions On Russia – Minister (RT)
Erdogan Accuses West Of ‘Provocations’ Over Ukraine (RT)
West Issues Ultimatum To Serbia – Media (RT)
Ukraine Hits Airbase 300 Miles Deep into Russia (GR)
GOP Senators Blast McConnell For ‘Arrogance,’ Voter Betrayal (JTN)
Rand Paul Savages DC Elites With Epic “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” (DCE)
Rep. James Comer Calls For Defunding the FBI (DCE)
The Democrats are Now the War Party (Chris Hedges)
Soros Behind Twitter Operation to Shut Down Hunter Biden Laptop Story (BN)
In Post-Soviet Russia, New Years Remains A Bigger Holiday Than Christmas (RT)

 

 

What happened to us?
https://twitter.com/i/status/1607157558690676736

 

 

 

 

Musk


https://twitter.com/i/status/1606852465751629825

 

 

 

 

Stop now

 

 

Never leaves the human body
https://twitter.com/i/status/1606819520110538752

 

 

Control group
https://twitter.com/i/status/1606524791695237123

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..the nuclear triad. It is the main guarantee that our sovereignty and territorial integrity, strategic parity and the general balance of forces in the world are preserved..”

Ukraine War Tolls Death Knell for NATO (Bhadrakuma)r

The defining moment in US President Joe Biden’s press conference at the White House last Wednesday, during President Zelensky’s visit, was his virtual admission that he is constrained in the proxy war in Ukraine, as European allies don’t want a war with Russia. To quote Biden, “Now, you say, ‘Why don’t we just give Ukraine everything there is to give?’ Well, for two reasons. One, there’s an entire Alliance that is critical to stay with Ukraine. And the idea that we would give Ukraine material that is fundamentally different than is already going there would have a prospect of breaking up NATO and breaking up the European Union and the rest of the world… I’ve spent several hundred hours face-to-face with our European allies and the heads of state of those countries, and making the case as to why it was overwhelmingly in their interest that they continue to support Ukraine… They understand it fully, but they’re not looking to go to war with Russia. They’re not looking for a third World War.”

Biden realised at that point that “I probably already said too much” and abruptly ended the press conference. He probably forgot that he was dwelling on the fragility of Western unity. The whole point is that the western commentariat largely forgets that Russia’s core agenda is not about territorial conquest — much as Ukraine is vital to Russian interests — but about NATO expansion. And that has not changed. Every now and then President Putin revisits the fundamental theme that the US consistently aimed to weaken and dismember Russia. As recently as last Wednesday, Putin invoked the Chechen war in the 1990s — “the use of international terrorists in the Caucasus, to finish off Russia and to split the Russian Federation… They [US] claimed to condemn al-Qaeda and other criminals, yet they considered using them on the territory of Russia as acceptable and provided all kinds of assistance to them, including material, information, political and any other support, notably military support, to encourage them to continue fighting against Russia.”

Putin has a phenomenal memory and would have been alluding to Biden’s careful choice of William Burns as his CIA chief. Burns was Moscow Embassy’s point person for Chechnya in the 1990s! Putin has now ordered a nation-wide campaign to root out the vast tentacles that the US intelligence planted on Russian soil for internal subversion. Carnegie, once headed by Burns, has since shut down its Moscow office, and the Russian staff fled to the West! The leitmotif of the expanded meeting of the Board of the Defence Ministry in Moscow on Wednesday, which Putin addressed, was the profound reality that Russia’s confrontation with the US is not going to end with Ukraine war. Putin exhorted the Russian top brass to “carefully analyse” the lessons of Ukraine and Syrian conflicts. Importantly, Putin said, “We will continue maintaining and improving the combat readiness of the nuclear triad. It is the main guarantee that our sovereignty and territorial integrity, strategic parity and the general balance of forces in the world are preserved. This year, the level of modern armaments in the strategic nuclear forces has already exceeded 91 percent. We continue rearming the regiments of our strategic missile forces with modern missile systems with Avangard hypersonic warheads.”

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“..Zelensky has laid out a series of 10 conditions that must be met for peace to be achieved..”

That’s what you do when you’re losing.. You come with conditions.

Putin Says He’s Ready To Negotiate ‘With Everyone Involved’ Over Ukraine (Hill)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he’s ready to negotiate “with everyone involved” in the war with Ukraine. Putin told a Russian news reporter in an interview that aired on Russian media on Sunday that the Kremlin is ready to negotiate but their enemy are the ones refusing to talk. The comments from the Russian leader follow intense Russian shelling on the Ukrainian city of Kherson on Christmas Eve that killed at least 10 people and injured more than 50 others. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced Russia as “absolute evil” on Saturday following the deadly strikes, which he said were for “the sake of intimidation and pleasure.” Zelensky and President Biden discussed what a “just peace” would look like when Zelensky visited the United States on Wednesday for his first international trip since the war started in February.


Zelensky has laid out a series of 10 conditions that must be met for peace to be achieved, including total Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory. This would also include a Russian withdrawal from the Crimean Peninsula under the Ukrainian demands. [..] Putin has previously called on Ukraine and the international community to recognize Crimea as part of Russia, which they have been unwilling to do. Putin said in the interview that Russia is defending its national interests and its citizens in the 10-month conflict, The Associated Press reported. But he said Russia is prepared to negotiate “some acceptable outcomes” with all participants in the conflict. Putin called the conflict a war for the first time in a televised news conference on Thursday, saying it is Russia’s goal to end it. He previously only referred to it as a “special military operation.”

Putin direct

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“..we are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people..”

Putin “Ready” To Negotiate, But West Wants To “Tear Apart” Russia (ZH)

In a Sunday interview with Rossiya 1 state television, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is now ready to negotiate an end to the conflict in Ukraine. However, he once again pointed the finger at the West for making any dialogue toward an acceptable end to the fighting all but impossible. “We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin said. “I believe that we are acting in the right direction, we are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people. And we have no other choice but to protect our citizens,” he added. From Moscow’s point of view, a signal of Ukraine’s ‘seriousness’ about talks would likely hinge on Kiev’s willingness to compromise on territorial concessions, especially regarding the Donbas in the east.


Additionally the Ukrainians would likely have to acknowledge Russian control over the Crimea. However, President Zelensky on Wednesday in his speech before Congress pledged “absolute victory” and has of late been vehement in rejecting any talk of letting go of territory as a non-starter, especially as the months-long Ukrainian counteroffensive has met with some significant successes.Also in the interview Putin continued his theme of the US and NATO waging a proxy war using Ukraine as a pawn. He said in the Sunday comments that the West is attempting to “tear apart” Russia. “At the core of it all is the policy of our geopolitical opponents, aiming to tear apart Russia, the historical Russia,” Putin said. “They have always tried to ‘divide and conquer’… Our goal is something else – to unite the Russian people.”

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“..were orchestrated to provide Europe with more expensive liquefied [natural] gas from America.”

Only One Nation Benefits From Sanctions On Russia – Minister (RT)

The sanctions the West has slapped on Russia over the Ukraine conflict are taking a heavy toll on the European economy, while the United States is the only actor profiting from the restrictions, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Saturday. Speaking to Asharq News daily, the minister claimed that Western sanctions had helped the Americans to achieve what they wanted, saying “their supplies of oil and gas to the European market have increased.” Energy shipments from the US, however, have proved costly for Europeans, resulting in skyrocketing inflation and decreased competitive power for European businesses, Siluanov said. According to the minister, both Western sanctions and the blasts that ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in late September “were orchestrated to provide Europe with more expensive liquefied [natural] gas from America.”

“America benefits, Europe loses,” he explained. Moscow has called the sabotage a terrorist attack, claiming that the US stood to benefit the most from the explosions. While Washington has denied any involvement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the incident as a “tremendous opportunity” for Europe to wean itself off of Russian energy. Siluanov went on to admit that sanctions have affected the Russian economy. “But they inflicted on the West no less, and perhaps even more pain,” he said, adding that the sanctions rhetoric has now become routine. The minister noted that the EU price cap on Russian oil “will certainly lead to price and market distortions,” reiterating Moscow’s position that it would not provide crude under contracts conforming to Western-mandated restrictions.

Russian oil companies are rerouting their oil shipments from the West in other directions, the minister said. “We will be looking for new markets, looking for new logistics. It is possible that this would be more expensive,” he stated. Earlier this month, the EU, the G7 countries and Australia introduced a price limit on Russian seaborne oil, set at $60 per barrel. The measure also prohibits Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased at or below the indicated price. Following the move, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov warned that the restrictions would wreak havoc on global oil markets, while Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was not planning to sell oil to nations supporting the price cap.

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Erdogan plays his cards.

Erdogan Accuses West Of ‘Provocations’ Over Ukraine (RT)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has praised Türkiye’s role in securing a grain deal between Russia and Ukraine, claiming in a speech on Sunday that unlike Ankara, Western nations did not make any tangible diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict. “Unfortunately, the West has only made provocations and failed to make efforts to be a mediator in the Ukraine-Russia war,” Erdogan said at a youth event in Türkiye’s eastern Erzurum province on Sunday. Türkiye has thus “assumed this mediator role in 2022” and is set to continue its diplomatic efforts next year, building up on the success of the Black Sea corridor created as part of an Istanbul grain deal in July, Erdogan said.

The grain corridor was touted as a way to secure food supplies to the neediest nations as a matter of priority, but Erdogan confirmed Russia’s long-standing concerns, saying on Sunday that some 44 percent of the grain exported from Ukraine went to Europe instead. In the meantime Moscow voiced its readiness to supply African nations with “large volumes” of grain and fertilizers out of its own stocks for free. Ankara adopted a neutral position early in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, refusing to take part in the Western sanctions on Moscow, while continuing its military cooperation with Kiev – including selling a number of Bayraktar attack drones. A preliminary peace agreement was reportedly reached in Istanbul as early as March, but was later rejected by Ukraine under alleged pressure from the West.

The grain deal, touted as a rare victory for diplomacy, was signed in July by representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye and the UN, with a Joint Coordination Center set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments. In late October, Russia briefly suspended its participation in the agreement, after accusing Kiev of launching a terrorist attack on the Crimea bridge, and drone strikes on ships involved in securing safe passage for agricultural cargo. Moscow ultimately returned to the accord after receiving unspecified “written security guarantees” from Kiev. Last month, Moscow allowed “a technical prolongation” of the deal, but Russian officials have repeatedly voiced concerns that the deal is not meeting its stated goals, and have also insisted that the provisions on lifting the restrictions on Russian agricultural exports were not being fulfilled. The Turkish president expressed hope that the issue of fertilizer exports and Moscow’s other concerns would be resolved through “more intense” negotiations next year.

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Keep on poking…

West Issues Ultimatum To Serbia – Media (RT)

Several Western countries have “sent an ultimatum” to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, demanding that Serbs in the northern part of breakaway Kosovo end their stand-off with local authorities, news website Pink.rs reported on Sunday. The outlet claims that ambassadors of the Quint group, comprising the US, the UK, France, Germany and Italy, are calling for barricades in the region be removed within 24 hours. If Belgrade fails to ensure this, the Western powers will reportedly let Albin Kurti, Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian prime minister, attack local Serbs. Earlier, Kurti warned that the “removal of these barricades cannot exclude casualties.”

Tensions between Belgrade and Pristina flared up earlier this month when Serbs, who make up the majority in the northern part of province, put up barriers to protest against the arrest of a former police officer, accused of attacking a Kosovo law enforcement patrol. After this, Vucic asked NATO’s KFOR peacekeepers for permission to deploy up to 1,000 Serbian troops and police officers in Kosovo, as it is entitled to do under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which put an end to the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999. However, these plans were resisted by the US, with Gabriel Escobar, the State Department’s special envoy for the region, saying Washington had given Kosovo “very firm security guarantees.”

On Sunday, KFOR said that shots had been fired near a NATO patrol in northern part of Kosovo, close to the roadblocks, adding that there were no casualties. It stopped short of assigning blame. However, Serbian media, citing eyewitnesses, claimed that the incident took place when Kosovo’s special forces attempted to clear barricades near a town of Zubin Potok. With no sign of tensions abating, Milan Mojsilovic, Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, told local media on Sunday that the situation is complex, and requires the presence of the Serbian military along the administrative line which divides Kosovo from the rest of Serbia. NATO took control of Kosovo in 1999, after bombing Serbia on behalf of ethnic Albanian separatists. The province’s provisional government declared independence in 2008, which Belgrade has refused to recognize.

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They’re shot down but still kill.

Ukraine Hits Airbase 300 Miles Deep into Russia (GR)

Ukraine attacked with a drone an airbase in Russia’s Saratov region which lies about 500km (310 miles) northeast of the border with Ukraine. Three Russian military personnel were killed at Engels bomber base Russian news agencies reported, citing the defense ministry. Russian state media agency Tass quotes the defense ministry as saying: “On December 26, at around 01:35 Moscow time (2235 GMT), a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down at low altitude while approaching the Engels military airfield in the Saratov region. “As a result of the fall of the wreckage of the drone, three Russian technical servicemen who were at the airfield were fatally injured.”


Russia accuses Ukraine of carrying out a similar attack on the airfield, home to strategic bombers, on 5 December. In that attack three servicemen were also killed by debris from a downed Ukrainian drone, Moscow said at the time. Two aircraft were lightly damaged. According to Reuters, the twin strikes dealt Russia a major reputational blow and raised questions about why its defenses failed, analysts said, as attention turned to the use of drones in the war between neighbors. Ukraine has never publicly claimed responsibility for attacks in Russia, but has said, however, that such incidents are “karma” for Russia’s invasion. As CNN reported recently Ukraine’s state-owned weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom has indicated several times in the last few weeks that it is close to finishing work on a new long-range drone.

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“..Unfortunately, our supporters aren’t going to buy it either.”

GOP Senators Blast McConnell For ‘Arrogance,’ Voter Betrayal (JTN)

Conservative GOP senators blasted Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday for shepherding with Democrats a $1.7 trillion year-end spending bill into law over the objections of House Republicans, saying it was an act of “arrogance” that betrayed promises to voters. “Our party leadership turned on Republican voters, turned on the Republican base, turned on most Republican senators,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told “The Cats Roundtable” and host John Catsimitidas on WABC radio in New York. “It has happened before, but this is one too many times. For me, this is the final straw.” Lee called the omnibus spending bill signed into law Friday “the ugliest spending bill on record” and one that signaled “that voters don’t see much of a defining difference with Democrats.”

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., mocked those of his GOP colleagues who voted for the bill and celebrated its passage. “To declare that a victory, to say that’s a win, that’s like a football team that just lost the game 60 to 0, and they kick a field goal in the waning seconds and say the field goal is a big win,” Johnson told Catsimitidas. “No, we just got our you-know-whats handed to us.” Johnson said that McConnell’s maneuver not only betrayed conservative voters but also undercut House Republicans about to take over in January who had asked for a short-term spending plan. “Unfortunately, the arrogance of our leadership who said, ‘We know better than House members. We’re going to pass this.’ … I’m not buying it,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, our supporters aren’t going to buy it either.”

Other senators took to Twitter to express their disdain for the spending law, warning it will worsen inflation next year. “I voted AGAINST the $1.7 TRILLION spending bill because I promised Florida families I’d fight every day to make Washington work for them,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., tweeted. “This reckless inflation bomb is a disaster for our economy and a slap in the face to Floridians struggling to make ends meet.”

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“The Senators were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of pork danced in their heads. No budget was found, just mischief and debt.”

Rand Paul Savages DC Elites With Epic “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” (DCE)

This Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) posted a parody of the classic Christmas poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” to this social media, this time directed at the Democrat’s omnibus spending bill — which costs America a whopping $1.7 trillion dollars. “Twas the week before Christmas, and through the Senate and House, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The earmarks were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there,” Paul begins.= “The Senators were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of pork danced in their heads. No budget was found, just mischief and debt. While the taxpayers hung their poor heads and wept. When out on the lawn arose such a clatter — Senators sprang from their oxygen. What was the matter?” Paul added. “Away to the window, they flew like a flash, tore open the shutter when they heard the word cash.”

Then Senator Paul decided to name names — and he was genuinely bipartisan here, scorching high spenders on both sides of the aisle! Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author’s opinion. This Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) posted a parody of the classic Christmas poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” to this social media, this time directed at the Democrat’s omnibus spending bill — which costs America a whopping $1.7 trillion dollars. “Twas the week before Christmas, and through the Senate and House, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The earmarks were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there,” Paul begins. “The Senators were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of pork danced in their heads. No budget was found, just mischief and debt.

“While the taxpayers hung their poor heads and wept. When out on the lawn arose such a clatter — Senators sprang from their oxygen. What was the matter?” Paul added. “Away to the window, they flew like a flash, tore open the shutter when they heard the word cash.” Then Senator Paul decided to name names — and he was genuinely bipartisan here, scorching high spenders on both sides of the aisle! “With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick. More rapid than eagles. His coursers they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name: Now, McConnell! Now, Schumer! Now, Pelosi and Vixen! On Biden! On Stupid! On Dumber and Blitzen! To debt! To bankruptcy! To free money for all”

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“We need to halt everything with the FBI, all funding, until they come forward and explain to Congress exactly what they were doing..”

Rep. James Comer Calls For Defunding the FBI (DCE)

On Tuesday, Rep. James Comer, who is expected to be the incoming chair of the House Oversight Committee, spoke to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo about the recent revelations from the “Twitter Files” about the FBI’s influence in the silencing of the Hunter Biden laptop story in October 2020. When asked about the latest releases of the Twitter files, which outlined the FBI’s cooperation with Twitter to counter “misinformation” and “disinformation” on the social media site, Comer emphasized that the initial discovery proves wrongdoing, but additional investigations will have to be conducted.“Well, it means a lot more evidence of wrongdoing,” he told Bartiromo. “You know, in the beginning, I thought that there were probably two or three rogue employees who were orchestrating this cover-up of the Hunter Biden laptop story. But now we know the FBI had a division of at least 80 agents.”

“We also know that the FBI paid Twitter over $3 million for their time, all the time they took over the past couple of years in telling them who to suppress, who to ban,” the congressman explained. “You know, it’s just things that the government has no role in. The FBI was never granted the authority to create any type of disinformation task force that policed the social media sites.” “Now, this we know with Twitter, we’ve heard similar stories from Zuckerberg,” the Kentuckian explained referencing Zuckerberg’s admittance that Facebook deemphasized stories at the request of the FBI. “Who knows what went on at YouTube and Google? This is an agency that’s out of control.”

“And the most frustrating thing for me right now, Maria, is the fact that in this omnibus bill, there’s increased funding for the FBI, plus a $1.75 billion headquarters facility for the FBI,” he explained in reference to the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill currently being considered in the Senate. “We need to halt everything with the FBI, all funding, until they come forward and explain to Congress exactly what they were doing, why they were doing it, and who gave them the authority to do it.”

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“..No weapons system is too costly. No war, no matter how disastrous, goes unfunded. No military budget is too big..”

The Democrats are Now the War Party (Chris Hedges)

The Democrats position themselves as the party of virtue, cloaking their support for the war industry in moral language stretching back to Korea and Vietnam, when President Ngo Dinh Diem was as lionized as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. All the wars they support and fund are “good” wars. All the enemies they fight, the latest being Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, are incarnations of evil. The photo of a beaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris holding up a signed Ukrainian battle flag behind Zelensky as he addressed Congress was another example of the Democratic Party’s abject subservience to the war machine.

The Democrats, especially with the presidency of Bill Clinton, became shills not only for corporate America but for the weapons manufacturers and the Pentagon. No weapons system is too costly. No war, no matter how disastrous, goes unfunded. No military budget is too big, including the $858 billion in military spending allocated for the current fiscal year, an increase of $45 billion above what the Biden administration requested. The historian Arnold Toynbee cited unchecked militarism as the fatal disease of empires, arguing that they ultimatley commit suicide.

There once was a wing of the Democratic Party that questioned and stood up to the war industry: Senators J. William Fulbright, George McGovern, Gene McCarthy, Mike Gravel, William Proxmire and House member Dennis Kucinich. But that opposition evaporated along with the antiwar movement. When 30 members of the party’s progressive caucus recently issued a call for Biden to negotiate with Putin, they were forced by the party leadership and a warmongering media to back down and rescind their letter. Not that any of them, with the exception of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have voted against the billions of dollars in weaponry sent to Ukraine or the bloated military budget. Rashida Tlaib voted present.

The opposition to the perpetual funding of the war in Ukraine has come primarily from Republicans, 11 in the Senate and 57 in the House, several, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, unhinged conspiracy theorists. Only nine Republicans in the House joined the Democrats in supporting the $1.7 trillion spending bill needed to prevent the government from shutting down, which included approval of $847 billion for the military — the total is boosted to $858 billion when factoring in accounts that don’t fall under the Armed Services committees’ jurisdiction. In the Senate, 29 Republicans opposed the spending bill. The Democrats, including nearly all 100 members of the House Congressional Progressive Caucus, lined up dutifully for endless war.

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DNC, FBI, FTX, Twitter, Soros. Nice.

Soros Behind Twitter Operation to Shut Down Hunter Biden Laptop Story (BN)

First Draft News, a now-defunct nonprofit that left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations funded, played a key role in Twitter’s preparation to shut down the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020, according to internal documents published by author Michael Shellenberger as part of Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files.” The Aspen Institute hosted a September 2020 training exercise for members of the media and social media leaders regarding the handling of hypothetical data leaks which were similar to the Hunter Biden laptop report that broke in October, according to Shellenberger. Claire Wardle, former executive director and co-founder of First Draft News, appeared to be an attendee of the exercise, according to an email published by Shellenberger.

The address that apparently belonged to Wardle was one of multiple recipients in an email to top national security reporters, Facebook’s head of security policy and others, according to Shellenberger. The Open Society Foundations, which left-wing megadonor Soros chairs, once funded First Draft News. The organization shut down in June. “Today we are announcing that First Draft is closing its doors to make way for the next chapter — its mission will continue at the newly launched Information Futures Lab, an initiative from Brown’s School of Public Health,” an announcement from Wardle reads.

The Aspen Institute training exercise, titled “The Burisma Leak,” involved a series of hypothetical leaks during October 2020 showing that Hunter Biden had made more money in his role at Burisma than previously disclosed and had communicated with his father about his work there, Shellenberger reported. The exercise was meant to shape how the media covered the eventual leak of the Hunter Biden laptop story and the way social media platforms carried it. The Aspen Institute, a left-leaning think tank funded by massive philanthropic organizations including the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation, runs the Commission on Information Disorder, an anti-disinformation project that’s drawn ire from conservatives for its alleged far-left partisanship. The commission has urged social media platforms to censor accounts it considers misinformation “superspreaders” through demonetization, the removal of what it considers inaccurate posts and penalties for offending users.

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Pretty brilliant history lesson.

In Post-Soviet Russia, New Years Remains A Bigger Holiday Than Christmas (RT)

Present-day Russia is almost the only major Christian country in the world where New Year festivities are more prominent than those of Christmas. While Westerners are unpacking gifts on December 24th, Russians are still immersed in an atmosphere of their upcoming holiday, which, when it comes around, is filled with age-old traditions and lasts almost two weeks. To understand why the New Year has become a special celebration in Russia and what sets it apart from other countries, we must first dive into the history of the holiday. It was only in 1700 that Russia joined the pan-European tradition of celebrating the New Year on January 1, following a decree by Emperor Peter the Great. Before that, Russians had celebrated New Year’s on March 1, when it was time to prepare for the new season of agricultural work.

However, despite the will of the emperor, Russia did not fully synchronize with the rest of Europe – the country at the time functioned according to the old Julian calendar, while most European countries had already switched to the Gregorian one. Therefore, the new year in Russia began 13 days later. This became a key aspect that influenced the modern traditions of New Year celebrations. Thanks to Peter the Great, the New Year moved closer to the main Christian holiday, Christmas. For the next two hundred years, New Year and Christmas celebrations in Russia were a lot like those in Western Europe. The difference was only in the religious form – Russia followed Christian Orthodox canons, while the likes of France and Germany followed Catholic and Protestant ones.

Everything changed with the October Revolution, the overthrow of the emperor, and the creation of the new state – the USSR. The Bolsheviks carried out several reforms in the first years after the revolution that directly affected how Russia celebrates the New Year today, in the 21st century. On January 26, 1918, the Council of People’s Commissars of Russia issued a decree on the transition to the Gregorian calendar. As a result, the country celebrated the start of the year 1919 simultaneously with Western Europe. In 1929, the celebration of Christmas was officially ‘canceled.’ Although by this time the New Year had become a completely independent secular holiday, Christmas was privately celebrated in many homes.

Even in 1924, shortly before Lenin’s death, a Christmas Tree celebration was held for children. But, after 1929, the most important Christian date was erased from the calendar and remained exclusively in the homes of religious people. At the same time, the Orthodox Church did not switch to the Gregorian calendar, and therefore Orthodox Christmas is still celebrated on January 7, not December 25.

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