Nov 222022
 
 November 22, 2022  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Salvador Dali Nymphs in a romantic garden 1921

 

Zelenskyy Urges West To Support Ukraine’s Accession To NATO, EU (Az.)
NATO Assembly Calls On Members To Declare Russia ‘Terrorist Regime’ (RT)
Peace Talks Would Require More Weapons For Ukraine – NATO chief (RT)
Ukraine Quietly Abolished Corruption Rule (RT)
Duma Speaker Calls for ‘Nazi’ Zelensky to Face War Crime Charges (Celente)
Associated Press Fires Journalist Who Claimed Russian Missiles Hit Poland (CTH)
EU Hoarding Russian Diesel Before Ban – Reuters (RT)
UK Bypassing Its Own Sanctions On Russian Oil – Sunday Times (RT)
EU Struggles To Seize Russian Assets – Politico (RT)
Ukrainian Attacks Risk ‘Nuclear Disaster’ – Rosatom (RT)
UN Responds To Russian Nuclear Request (RT)
The Solemn Stillness Before Winter (Jim Kunstler)
The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in DC Legal Arms Race (Turley)
New Trump Special Prosecutor Overturned By Supreme Court (JTN)
The Non-Existent European Identity (Remix)

 

 


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Why doesn’t someone shut him down when he utters such nonsense? Vladimir Zel simply declared there’s no corruption, but the EU can’t afford to accept that kind of BS. Bringing in the most corrupt country in -at least- the western hemisphere would end the EU. And they all know Russia will never accept NATO on its doorstep. We’re just wasting time -and lives.

Zelenskyy Urges West To Support Ukraine’s Accession To NATO, EU (Az.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the Western countries in a plenary meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to support Ukraine’s applications for membership in the European Union and NATO, Report informs, citing Ukrinform. “All of you can see Ukraine’s significant contribution to the protection of our community. Everyone sees how important it is that we really united in defense after February 24. So, due to this, you also see that Ukraine should become a full member of the European Union and NATO. And I urge you to support our applications for membership in the EU and the Alliance,” Zelenskyy said in his speech at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly via video link.

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Why does NATO have a Parliamentary Assembly?

NATO Assembly Calls On Members To Declare Russia ‘Terrorist Regime’ (RT)

NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly has adopted a largely symbolic resolution calling on member nations to label Russia a “terrorist” state, claiming Moscow represents a “direct threat” to “Euro-Atlantic security” while demanding more military support to Kiev and an end to restrictions on the “forward deployment of NATO forces.” The non-binding declaration was passed by the NATO PA on Monday, with the body warning that “the Euro-Atlantic area is no longer at peace and that the global security environment has deteriorated rapidly” amid continued fighting in Eastern Europe, going on to denounce Russia’s military operation “in the strongest terms.”

The resolution made a series of requests to NATO members, asking them to “state clearly that the Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one,” and to “increase military, intelligence, financial, training and humanitarian support to Ukraine,” including by “accelerating” arms shipments. The NATO bloc must “sustain this support for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail,” the resolution added, also asking that any existing restrictions on the “forward deployment” of Western forces along Russian borders be declared “null and void.” Washington alone has authorized nearly $20 billion in ‘lethal aid’ to Kiev since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, with much of that approved after Russia’s military operation kicked off in February.

NATO allies have acknowledged concerns that the arms flooding Ukraine’s chaotic battlefield have not been properly tracked, with the new resolution stressing the need to ensure the “traceability of the weapons delivered.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky addressed lawmakers from NATO states in a video message before the latest resolution was passed, praising the alliance for its military aid and for helping his country to “defend [itself] in this war.” In addition to declaring Moscow a “terrorist” state and other symbolic measures, the Parliamentary Assembly said NATO countries should work to create an “international tribunal” to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes and compel “full reparation of damage loss or injury” linked to the conflict.

The Parliamentary Assembly’s resolutions are not enforceable among NATO members and are intended to merely advise the alliance on pressing issues. The body has taken an increasingly harsh stance toward Moscow in recent months, with its newly elected president, French Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, insisting on Monday that Russian leaders “must be judged as terrorists in front of international tribunals.” While Monday’s resolution was largely focused on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine, it took more than one detour to single out Beijing, urging the alliance to develop a “common allied response to the increasing assertiveness of China.” The document called for “constructive dialogue,” yet also went on to denounce Beijing’s alleged “systemic challenge to Euro-Atlantic security” and “attempts to subvert the rules-based international order.”

The NATO PA declaration came after a similar resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last month. Russia left the European NGO in March, calling it a “convenient platform for NATO’s information and political campaigns.” While Kiev has repeatedly urged the collective West to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terror,” only a handful of countries – including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic – have heeded the call, and their actions have been limited to symbolic gestures. Those with the power to enforce anti-terror sanctions against other states, namely the US, have so far refused to take that step.

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“We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table…” But that’s not what NATO wants. Or Raytheon.

Peace Talks Would Require More Weapons For Ukraine – NATO chief (RT)

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia will likely end in negotiations, which is why Kiev needs to be supplied with more weapons, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has claimed. “We all want this war to end,”Stoltenberg said in his speech at the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid on Monday, adding that it matters to the US-led military bloc how exactly the conflict concludes. “We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table. But we must also know that the outcome of those negotiations totally depends on strength on the battlefield,” the NATO chief argued. “So, if we want an outcome, which is acceptable for Ukraine… the best way of achieving that is to provide military support for Ukraine,” he said.

NATO members “must be prepared to support Ukraine for the long haul,”Stoltenberg said, urging lawmakers to keep advocating for more aid for Kiev in their own countries. Stoltenberg acknowledged that this assistance “comes at a price” for NATO members. “In our countries, many face cost of living crisis. Energy and food bills are rising. These are tough times for many,” he pointed out. However, the NATO chief argued that Western countries will have to pay “a much harsher price” if Russia is allowed to achieve victory in Ukraine, as it would signal to other “authoritarian regimes” that they can achieve their goals by force, which would “make the world more dangerous.”

Stoltenberg also warned that “it would be a great mistake to underestimate Russia” because Moscow “retains significant military capabilities and a high number of troops.” High-ranking Russian officials have repeatedly said that Moscow is ready to negotiate a settlement with Ukraine, while accusing Kiev of being unwilling to talk, and deliberately putting forward unrealistic conditions for dialogue. Russia has described the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” being waged against it by the US and NATO. Moscow has consistently criticized weapons deliveries to Ukraine by Western countries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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“Ukraine had previously mandated lifetime financial monitoring of “politically exposed persons,” including government officials and lawmakers – until Zelensky signed an amendment last week limiting it to just three years.”

Ukraine Quietly Abolished Corruption Rule (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky harmed Ukraine’s hopes of joining the EU by signing an amendment that reduced financial oversight of politicians, anti-corruption activists in Kiev said on Monday. The measure “practically kills” efforts to combat money-laundering, claimed the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC). Ukraine had previously mandated lifetime financial monitoring of “politically exposed persons,” including government officials and lawmakers – until Zelensky signed an amendment last week limiting it to just three years. Officially, the law is supposed to “protect Ukraine’s financial system from Russia and Belarus,” but the AntAC says it will harm the country’s interests instead.

“With this law, politicians destroyed the system of financial monitoring of their loved ones, which means they actually blocked negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU,” AntAC head Vitaly Shabunin said on social media. The amended law “practically kills the system of preventing money-laundering by Ukrainian politicians,” he added. AntAC’s executive director Daria Kaleniuk pointed out that the law also breaks Kiev’s promise to the European Union, one of the seven commitments made by Zelensky to Brussels in June. “In order for us to be able to convince our European partners that we are serious about joining the EU and are implementing all the necessary reforms for this, we need to correct this,” she told Hromadske.

After signing the law on Thursday, Zelensky told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum – via video link – that he’d basically ended corruption in Ukraine. “No one will be able to forgive corruption in the future Ukraine,” he said, adding that all the corrupt officials had fled the country while those that remain will not be tempted to “interfere in business operations” because all government services had gone electronic. The old law provided for lifelong financial monitoring of the president, prime minister, ministers and their deputies, members of parliament, management of the national bank, senior security officials, key judges and prosecutors, as well as military commanders.

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The video is very clear, but of course they deny it. The claim is that the unarmed Russians fired first, and only then were executed. But executing unarmed soldiers is still as illegal as it comes.

Duma Speaker Calls for ‘Nazi’ Zelensky to Face War Crime Charges (Celente)

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house, called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to face war crime charges over a video that claimed to show Ukrainian forces opening fire and killing a dozen Russian POWs. “Everyone has seen evidence of Ukrainian Nazis shooting our soldiers lying down, without weapons. This is how the Nazis behave,” Volodin said in a statement posted to Telegram, The Jerusalem Post reported. “The Kyiv regime deserves the most severe punishment for its atrocities.” Video purportedly shows Ukrainian troops executing a dozen captured Russian troops has faced some media scrutiny in the U.S., which would have been unheard of at the start of the war.


The New York Times reported that the video was first circulated by news outlets in Ukriane in an effort to “laud the military prowess” of the country’s military. The paper said the videos sparked a “fierce response” in Russia and Moscow has called for an investigation. The paper said the killings occurred in Makiivka, in the Luhansk region. “Countries cooperating with the Kyiv regime must understand that they support the Nazi state, sadists whose hands are up to the elbows in blood,” Volodin said. Russian President Putin’s critics say the Kremlin is loose with the Nazi designation and uses it to win support from the public against adversaries. In fact, in his 9 May Victory Day speech, Putin said that the purpose of the military action was to purge Ukraine of its “Nazi” nationalist leadership.

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Official retraction? Apologies?

Associated Press Fires Journalist Who Claimed Russian Missiles Hit Poland (CTH)

The Associated Press received a lot of international scorn for reporting incorrectly that Russia fired missiles into Poland. As soon as the AP attributed the missile attack to Russia almost immediately other media outlets began promoting calls for a NATO led war against Russia. Additionally, the G20 summit was taking place and various international leaders began discussing an article-5 convention against Russia. However, the single source of the AP report was wrong, a senior U.S. intelligence official, if there actually was a source. It was the Ukraine military who fired the missile into Poland, not Russia. The Daily Beast notes today that the Associated Press has fired James LaPorta, the journalist who made the claim of Russian origin.


(Via Daily Beast) – The Associated Press scared much of the world last Tuesday when it alerted readers that “a senior U.S. intelligence official” said “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.” That report, which was widely cited across the internet and on cable news, was taken offline the following day and replaced with an editor’s note admitting the single source was wrong and that “subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.” On Monday, the AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for that story, Confider has learned. The piece, which was originally co-bylined with John Leicester (who is still working at the AP), attributed the information to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official,” despite the AP’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.”

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“The EU will have to secure around 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of diesel to replace the Russian volumes..”

EU Hoarding Russian Diesel Before Ban – Reuters (RT)

European traders are boosting purchases of Russian diesel ahead of the EU embargo on the country’s oil products, which comes into force in February, Reuters reported on Monday, citing cargo tracker Vortexa. According to the report, Russian diesel shipments headed to the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage region surged to 215,000 barrels per day from November 1 to November 12. It is a 126% increase from October, according to Pamela Munger, Vortexa senior market analyst. Moreover, according to Refinitiv data, so far in November Russian diesel made up 44% of the bloc’s imports of the fuel, against 39% last month. This means that Russia remains the region’s largest diesel supplier, despite the fact that overall imports of Russian fuels to the EU dropped significantly over the past months due to Ukraine-related sanctions.


The EU embargo on Russian oil comes into force next month, while the ban on petroleum products will take effect on February 5. Analysts warn it will be difficult for the region to find alternative sources for diesel once this happens, as they are scarce and more costly, while Europe’s domestic diesel production falls short of the region’s consumption. “The EU will have to secure around 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of diesel to replace the Russian volumes; replacements will come from the US as well as east of Suez, primarily the Middle East and India,” Eugene Lindell, market analyst at energy consultancy FGE, told Reuters.

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“The UK has purchased at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the cargoes were registered as imports from other countries..”

UK Bypassing Its Own Sanctions On Russian Oil – Sunday Times (RT)

The UK has purchased at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the cargoes were registered as imports from other countries, the Sunday Times has reported, citing tanker traffic data and trade statistics. Russian-origin oil shipments, worth about £200 ($236) million, were reportedly delivered to UK ports after ship-to-ship transfers, a practice widely used when large tankers that are unable to dock due to their size transfer their cargo to smaller vessels. According to the Sunday Times’ findings, this practice gives the shipping companies a way to register their cargo without providing the actual origin of the shipments, stating instead the country of dispatch as the source of the cargo. In this way a shipment of Russian-made goods can be registered as originating in Germany if it is brought to a UK port by a German firm.

The news outlet was able to track dozens of shipments of Russian oil that have arrived at UK ports since March, logged as originating in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, France and other countries. At least 13 of those reportedly arrived in June and July. However, official figures on oil imports from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the country did not receive any oil from Russia in those months. According to maritime experts, ship-to-ship transfers have become more popular since Western nations began targeting Russian oil exports this year, as part of sanctions over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. “Ship-to-ship transfers have become a really useful method to obfuscate the destination and the origin of the cargo.

The Iranians started it, the Venezuelans perfected it, the Russians picked it up and ran with it,” Michelle Wiese Bockmann, energy and shipping analyst at the shipping journal Lloyd’s List, told the news outlet. According to Refinitiv, which monitors ship-to-ship transfers, there have been some 267 such transfers around the world involving Russian oil since March. A UK embargo on maritime Russian oil imports is scheduled to come into force on December 5. However, according to maritime experts, given the registration loophole and ship-to-ship transfer practices, it will be difficult for the UK to actually stop Russian oil from arriving in the country, even after that date.

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“Legal experts have expressed doubt it is possible to unilaterally confiscate another country’s assets under existing international law.”

EU Struggles To Seize Russian Assets – Politico (RT)

The European Commission is investigating how it might go about confiscating hundreds of billions of dollars in Russian state and private assets, according to a document seen by Politico on Monday. The initiative’s goal is reportedly “identifying ways to strengthen the tracing, identification, freezing and management of assets as preliminary steps for potential confiscation.” The bloc has its eyes on almost $300 billion in Russian central bank assets currently frozen, plus the assets of Russians on the sanctions list. The European Council last month reminded the Commission that it had been tasked with presenting “options in line with EU and international law” for using those frozen Russian funds “to support Ukraine’s reconstruction.” Legal experts have expressed doubt it is possible to unilaterally confiscate another country’s assets under existing international law.

With an eye toward changing that law, Brussels has proposed making sanctions evasion a crime in the EU, a decision which would require unanimous assent by member countries. However, even if that agreement was forthcoming, the bloc would have to litigate each individual seizure, proving a clear link between the owner of the assets in question and Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Foreign investments are protected against confiscation without compensation under international law. In the document seen by Politico, the EC acknowledged that central bank assets were “generally considered to be covered by immunity.” While the seizing of the assets of state-owned enterprises would avoid violating such immunity “in principle,” the Commission noted that it would “need to demonstrate a sufficient connection to the Russian state” for every case.

Less invasive would be an “exit tax” targeting the assets of sanctioned individuals attempting to transfer their property out of the EU. However, University of Amsterdam professor Stephan Schill told Politico that those individuals could claim that, as a targeted group, their human right to non-discrimination had been violated, or invoke the human right to property. Under the current rules-based international order, the EC is unable to legally expropriate Russian property, according to Schill: “The EU and member states are trying to introduce new criminal law.” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged as much in May, pointing out that confiscating Russian central bank assets was “not something that is legally permissible in the United States” or many other countries. Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states have nevertheless continued to push the EC to find a way to seize the frozen funds.

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Nobody’s talking about Russia doing the shelling anymore….

Ukrainian Attacks Risk ‘Nuclear Disaster’ – Rosatom (RT)

Renewed Ukrainian artillery attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) have created a risk of a nuclear disaster, Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev told reporters on Monday. Moscow has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to name and shame the attacker so Kiev would stop bombing the facility. “We were in talks with the IAEA all night,” Likhachev told reporters during the Atomexpo-2022 in Sochi. After a “relatively calm” period since September, at least 30 projectiles struck the facility over the weekend, damaging the backup generators and the spent fuel storage facility, he added. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been under control of Russian troops since February 28.

While the reactor blocks are strong enough to withstand shelling, damaging the spent fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences. The Ukrainian military has repeatedly targeted the facility with Western-supplied artillery, while claiming Russia was staging “false flag” incidents to make Kiev look bad. The Ukrainian general staff eventually admitted to striking the area around the ZNPP, however. The weekend attacks amounted to the first major incident since the IAEA established a permanent observation mission at the ZNPP in early September. On Sunday, IAEA Director-General Mariano Grossi called for an immediate end to the shelling, saying that the world “got lucky” that a “serious nuclear incident” did not happen this time. However, he once again did not name the culprit.

On Monday, both the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry called on the IAEA to do its duty to the fullest and identify those responsible for the shelling. IAEA specialists completed their inspection of the facility on Monday afternoon and sent their report to headquarters, Likhachev’s top aid Renat Karchaa told Russia’s Channel 1 TV. “They were accompanied by a highly qualified ballistics specialist we provided, and once again it was convincingly shown that the origin of these artillery strikes was Marganets,” a city in the Ukrainian-held Dnepropetrovsk region, Karchaa said. Karchaa also told reporters that Rosatom was “taking steps” to fortify the spent fuel storage facility and other parts of the ZNPP, though he did not offer any details.

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…but the IAEA still claims they can’t figure out who’s doing the shelling, i.e. it could still be the Russians.

UN Responds To Russian Nuclear Request (RT)

The UN doesn’t have the capability to identify those behind the attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), a spokesman for the secretary-general said on Monday. Russia has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to do its job properly and acknowledge that the shelling came from the Ukrainian side. Around 30 projectiles struck the ZNPP over the weekend, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The nuclear energy corporation Rosatom said the damage caused to the facility’s spent fuel storage came close to triggering a disaster. Moscow said it was clear the fire came from the Ukrainian-held town of Marganets, but the IAEA has avoided naming any names. “We have no way to determine” who carried out the attacks, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters on Monday.

“We would like these attacks to stop,” Haq added, noting that the Secretariat “shares the concerns” of IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and “joins him in calling on all parties to cease fire” around the ZNPP. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been under Russian control since February. Damage to the spent fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences, Rosatom has warned. Both Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday that the IAEA should fully do its duty and name names. “As an authoritative and independent international body, [the IAEA] must finally move away from abstract condemnations and demands to stop the shelling of the ZNPP without addressing the culprit, and clearly and unambiguously point at those carrying out the attacks,” Zakharova said.

“This requires determination and responsibility. We really hope that they will be shown.” Zakharova also accused Western governments of giving a “blank check” to the government in Kiev for “continuing their reckless attempts to cause irreparable damage” to the ZNPP. This weekend’s attacks were the first major incident at the ZNPP since early September, when the IAEA stationed permanent observers at the site. According to Rosatom official Renat Karchaa, the IAEA inspectors surveyed the damage on Monday, accompanied by a Russian ballistics expert, and were able to see that the attack had come from the Ukrainian side. That report was transmitted to the IAEA headquarters.

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“By early 2023 the evidence of excess all-causes deaths and disabilities resulting from Pfizer and Moderna shots will be overwhelming..”

The Solemn Stillness Before Winter (Jim Kunstler)

Now Mr. Garland has activated one particular federal attorney, Jack Smith, with a long record as a partisan attack dog, as special counsel to finally get the job done against Mr. Trump, the proverbial indictment-worthy ham sandwich awaiting a DC District grand jury. Any cockamamie charge will do as long as it’s a felony. Mr. Garland’s strategy is two-fold: 1) to negate Mr. Trump’s remaining political career; and 2) set up a situation that will permit all DOJ attorneys and FBI officers to demur from questioning before Republican majority congressional committees about everything-under-the-sun on the grounds that the questions are germane to “ongoing investigations” that can’t be compromised. That’s the game.

By the time that game kicks-off, early January 2023, the country is liable to be punch-drunk and stumbling from a financial market crash that signals the start of an economic depression more consequential than the calamity of the 1930s. Meanwhile, Russia’s cleanup of the US-instigated mess in Ukraine will be nearly complete, to the ignominy of “Joe Biden,” at the same time that the putative president’s crimes of bribery and treason — should he still be among the living — get aired in Congress without any help required from Mr. Garland’s Justice Department — the evidence from Hunter’s laptop having already been well-perused and catalogued by an army of outside independent investigators. FTX will be in that mix somewhere.

This will all occur against the background of the now-unraveled Covid-19 story. By early 2023 the evidence of excess all-causes deaths and disabilities resulting from Pfizer and Moderna shots will be overwhelming and the nation will know it got played by a scheme between the corrupt public health authorities, the pharma companies, and the corporate medical establishment, including its discredited journals. Nobody in America will ever trust a doctor again. We’ll also probably know a good deal more about the dark and dirty deeds around the 2022 midterm election as the FTX scandal spools out and the probably hundreds of millions of FTX investor’s dollars that were express-delivered into Democratic Party coffers for ballot harvesting operations are revealed, along with the exact methods used to accomplish the mega-fraud.

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“There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.”

The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in DC Legal Arms Race (Turley)

Smith faces the unenviable task of investigating a presidential candidate less than two years before the election. Given the advanced stage of prior investigations, he could bring charges before Sept. 5, 2024 (or roughly 60 days before the election under Justice Department guidelines for election year filings). It is unlikely, however, that a charge against Trump could be tried in that time. However, Smith’s first test will be to avoid the initial mistakes of a predecessor, Mueller. Like Smith, Mueller was considered a natural choice as special counsel, given his extensive experience as a career prosecutor. However, Mueller’s investigation was undermined by his selection of a team — starting with his top aide, Andrew Weissmann, a controversial prosecutor who was accused of political bias.

The investigation was further undermined by FBI personnel, including Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was later removed from the team and fired by the Justice Department; Strzok has since filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. Smith can avoid tripping a similar explosive wire by selecting a team that is defined by its prior professional expertise, not its prior political views or associations. He also needs to be wary of creative avenues to indict Trump. Smith was part of the prosecution team that convicted former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) on federal corruption charges in 2014. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned that conviction as having stretched the law beyond its breaking point. If Smith is going to be the first prosecutor to indict a former president, he needs to do so with unimpeachable evidence of an unchallengeable crime.

Only one thing is certain in any of this: It will not end well. With both sides loading up staff and subpoenas, the start of the 2024 campaign season has all of the makings of an utter bloodletting. There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.

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Talk about a swamp…

New Trump Special Prosecutor Overturned By Supreme Court (JTN)

The special counsel named by the Biden administration to investigate Donald Trump oversaw a Justice Department unit rebuked by the Supreme Court for its prosecution of a prominent Republican and was linked by Congress to the IRS scandal that targeted conservative groups. Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor in The Hague and former chief of the DOJ public integrity section, was named Friday by Attorney General Merrick Garland to take over two investigations of Trump related to Jan. 6 and classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. In 2014, the House Oversight Committee concluded that during Smith’s earlier stint at DOJ he set up a critical meeting between his department and IRS official Lois Lerner that set in motion the targeting of conservative nonprofits that became one of the signature scandals of the Obama administration.

The Oversight Committee obtained testimony from a DOJ official named Richard Pilger in 2014 that showed Smith set up a meeting with Lerner to discuss more aggressive enforcement of regulations prohibiting tax-exempt groups from engaging in politics in the aftermath of the landmark Citizens United free speech Supreme Court case. “According to Mr. Pilger, the Justice Department convened a meeting with former IRS official Lois Lerner in October 2010 to discuss how the IRS could assist in the criminal enforcement of campaign-finance laws against politically active nonprofits,” the committee wrote in a 2014 letter to DOJ. “This meeting was arranged at the direction of Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith.”

The letter concluded: “It is apparent that the Department’s leadership, including Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith, was closely involved in engaging with the IRS in wake of Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to address perceived problems with the decision.” The letter, which sought a transcribed interview with Smith, was signed by then Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who is now in line to become House Judiciary Committee chairman when the GOP takes over the House in January. The Treasury Department Inspector General ultimately concluded that the ensuing IRS pursuit of conservative nonprofits was inappropriate. “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention,” the report concluded.

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It can only hold in times of plenty and peace.

“What did Ursula von der Leyen say about Italy? If Italy elects the wrong parties during parliamentary elections, the EU “has tools” to coerce them, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.”

The Non-Existent European Identity (Remix)

A top-down approach to forcibly create a common identity has never worked, and it never will. Despite the spasmodic efforts of the leftist media dictatorship, its dominance has up until now failed to force the public opinion of European countries into believing the old continent is united. Few in the West dare to contradict this, while the opinions of the East are ignored. This pretentious outlook — detached from the reality of the world — is presented to Europeans on a daily basis, but it instead serves as clear proof that those who are pushing the cause the most aggessively do not themselves believe in the thesis they claim is their own. What did Ursula von der Leyen say about Italy? If Italy elects the wrong parties during parliamentary elections, the EU “has tools” to coerce them, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.

This is what European unity looks like per the left-liberal authoritarian concept. We have heard many and varied answers to the question of why, but very few have tackled the question regarding the lack of European identity. Brussels, the left-liberal media, and the NGO networks that dictate EU policy are not the only ones who have tried and failed to forge a common European identity. Notably, Tito tried to forge a unified southern Slavic nation-state out of the diverse Yugoslavia, and his one-party dictatorship did its best to stifle dissent. The party leader, born a Croatian-Slovenian, even divorced his Serbian wife when she warned him that greater autonomy for the member republics — which Tito believed would quell the nationalist fervor that was smoldering everywhere — would tear Yugoslavia apart. The Serbian woman was right because Tito’s measures had inflamed rather than quelled nationalist sentiment.

The powerful leader forgot one thing. There was no real substance behind the party and state propaganda, which constantly talked about a united Yugoslavia. Indeed, Yugoslav identity had not emerged in the seven decades of the South Slav state. How did the philosopher John Lukacs put it? The most powerful builder of identity for people is belonging to a nation, and ignoring such basic truths in politics has fatal consequences. At the last census of Yugoslavia, only 20,000 people identified themselves as Yugoslavs. For a country of 23 million people, this is an extremely low number and would have a negligible social impact.

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Arizona voting

 

 

 

 

Peacock

 

 

Family Walk

 

 

 

 

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Nov 202022
 
 November 20, 2022  Posted by at 2:20 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  9 Responses »


Ivan Aivazovsky Sea channel with lighthouse 1873

 

 

I suggest we have three “pairings” of people. In Russia, there’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. In the US, we have Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre. In the EU, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. Of course, there’s also President Biden and Putin; the EU has no president, it only has von der Leyen. Likewise, you at times see Russian and American Defense misters, but the EU doesn’t have one of those either. It sort of makes do with Borrell.

For the three pairings, the job titles are different, but these are the people you see talking most when Ukraine is the topic. Certainly Lavrov, but also Zakharova, are diplomats. Blinken and Borrell like to call themselves that, but they are obviously not. The job of a true diplomat is to always leave channels open to talk with everyone, and never condemn or speak ill of, anyone -in public. It’s bad manners. But Blinken is a neocon who’s been cheering on various US invasions for 30 years, and that disqualifies him from diplomacy. As for Jean-Pierre, let’s not even discuss her. We don’t want to insult Zakharova by even trying to make a comparison.

Von der Leyen and Borrell have the disadvantage that their power is not genuine. They have never been elected to their posts, other than by a small group of insiders that are easily controlled. Moreover, the EU has no army, it depends 100% on the US, so independent decisions are out of the question. The EU is talking again about its own army, and even about building its own fighter jet, but each would cost at least 10 years, and thus be useless in the current situation.

Perhaps that’s why Von der Leyen and Borrell talk more, and more aggressively, than the others. But with that talk, along with the sanctions they have made the bloc’s policy, they have brought a lot of misery to the people in their member countries. Of course, they claim this is inevitable, and it’s all Russia’s fault, but that is merely a claim. Just like the idea that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was totally unprovoked. That practically no country outside the “collective west” think it’s true says a lot.

And the next colossal and fully unnecessary blunder appears to come next week, when the European parliament is poised to declare Russia a “Terrorist State”. What they hope to achieve by that, who knows? Bragging rights? Diplomats don’t do those. Even the US refuses to go there, because “none of these efforts at keeping some kind of potential negotiations open would be possible if the US slapped a ‘terrorist state’ label on Russia.” The ‘terrorist state’ label comes straight from Zelensky, and the EU appears set to still follow him closely. While the US is creating some distance from him. The talk in Turkey last week between the US and Russian intelligence chiefs should not be overlooked. And yes, that’s right, the EU doesn’t have an intelligence chief.

When Zelensky and Poland tried to lure the US into a NATO war against Russia in reaction to the “missile over Poland”, the US for the first time said a firm “NO”. A turning point? It’s the US making clear they will not enter the war. Because as Lidia Misnik wrote: ‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ What’s more, as Batiushka said, “In Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to [Saddam] Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.”

 

 

The best thing to do for the EU would be to get rid of both Borrell and von der Leyen, and adopt a less antagonistic and more diplomatic position vs Russia, but that may be hard to achieve, given the power structure in Brussels. Still, there must be a few French and German real diplomats left. But, ironically (?!), the US may not agree. They may want for the EU to continue it’s self-destructive path for a while, at the same time that the US washes its hands clean(er). European pain is American gain in many ways. Just look at EU purchases of weapons and LNG. Once Europe freezes over, this will not be a viable attitude, but for now…until Christmas…

From RT via Azerbaycan:

Borrell’s Ideas Deepen EU Divisions – Moscow

The EU’s policies towards Moscow promoted by foreign policy chief Josep Borrell only deepen the divisions in the bloc, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday. Earlier this week, the top EU diplomat proposed six points to serve as guidelines for diplomacy towards Russia amid the Ukraine conflict. Commenting on Borrell’s plans, Zakharova said that while it is “too soon” to speak about what it may entail, Moscow “does not harbor any illusions” about the bloc’s political thinking. “Unfortunately, the ideas which are being sold to EU members by… Borrell do not contain even a hint of the EU’s strategic vision [regarding Russia].”

“They only work to deepen the … divisions in Europe,” the spokeswoman stated, adding that the EU has not proposed any measures to solve the numerous problems in bilateral relations. Revealing his six-point plan, Borrell described the stand-off with Russia as a “geopolitical battle,” and insisted that the EU should, among other things, isolate Russia internationally, hold it accountable for its alleged misdeeds, while cooperating with the bloc’s partners and supporting civil rights groups. While trying to root out any alternative points of view, the EU has fully embraced the idea of isolating Russia, Zakharova said, adding that “this is hopeless and will only impose costs on EU countries and their citizens, who are forced to pay out of their own pockets for the strategic blunders of their politicians.”

“It’s emblematic that most global capitals are not ready to follow … Brussels, which, in its medieval logic, is bringing the world back to the age of schism, high walls, and besieged fortresses,” she said. Her comments come as EU countries face protests over high energy prices and surging costs of living, which have been worsened by the sanctions on Russia. In late October, thousands of Czech citizens rallied in Prague to decry the rampant inflation, while calling on the government to begin direct talks with Moscow over gas imports.

EU member state Hungary has repeatedly spoken out against the sanctions. Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto claimed that they “have failed” and have only backfired on the EU and damaged the economy. Following the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, relations between the EU and Russia deteriorated rapidly as Western countries imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow. In June, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov claimed that EU-Russian ties had frayed to the point that it would be difficult to damage them any further.

 

 

You can just about watch the EU under the present “leadership” commit hara kiri in real time.

From Zero Hedge:

European Parliament Set To Designate Russia A “Terrorist State”

The European Parliament has prepared a resolution recognizing Russia as a “terrorist state” – to be subject of a vote held during a session in Strasbourg next week, according to a spokesperson’s briefing at a Friday news conference. The largely symbolic resolution was drafted by the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and cites Russia’s “intimidation and destruction of Ukrainians as a nation,” according a draft previously seen by Euronews. The political blocs Renew Europe and the European Conservatives and Reformists are also said to be backing a formal declaration which could come as early as next Wednesday.

While not legally binding, the resolution can be used for the EU to slap further sanctions on Moscow, and can create momentum for other countries like the UK to adopt the ‘terror state’ label for Russia. However, the UK has so far resisted these calls from some individual British politicians and officials. So far, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been the first to legally recognize Russia as a terrorist state. The Biden administration has also thus far resisted some isolated Congressional calls to do so, as the Kremlin has warned such a measure would destroy all ties and communications. It would make negotiated settlement in Ukraine almost an impossibility.

So far it’s especially been the Pentagon which has sought to keep an open line of communications. The CIA director William Burns was also in Turkey this week meeting with this Russian intelligence counterpart. But none of these efforts at keeping some kind of potential negotiations open would be possible if the US slapped a ‘terrorist state’ label on Russia. The US is also chiefly interested in pursuing prisoner swaps, with citizens like Brittney Griner now serving long prison sentences.

There are things shifting and moving, especially on the US side. It’s very much the question if that will happen fast enough for the people of Europe, who will be cold, and Ukraine, who will be cold and in the dark..

 

 

 

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Nov 092022
 
 November 9, 2022  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  86 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Portrait of Rembrandt with gorget 1629

 

Super-States in Core Eurasian Geopolitics (Straight-Bat)
Moscow Suggests How Many Countries Want To Join BRICS (RT)
US and Russia To Hold Nuclear Talks (RT)
Why Does The Western Narrative Sound So Stupid And Unrealistic? (Romatzki)
American Pundits Have Got It Backwards About China (Blankenship)
American Voters Don’t Need Russian Trolls To Tell Them How Bad Things Are (RB)
Russian Oil Exports Surging (RT)
Poland Draws A Line In The Sand With The EU (Remix)
EU ‘Sucking Gas Away’ From Poorer Countries (RT)
What Do You Run On….. (Denninger)
Germany Faces Sharp Drop In Real Income (RT)
Polish Ex-PM Links Low Birth Rates To Women Drinking (RT)
Will You Survive The ‘Tripledemic’? (Mercola)
COVID-19 Conspiracies Are a Gateway to Other Conspiracy Theories (SAlert)

 

 

It didn’t seem useful to address the midterms here and now, given the time it will take to count the votes. But at the same time, the voting sucks almost all of the air out of the media. A strange feeling. Nobody talks about Ukraine today.

What I did gather so far is that there was no Red Wave, and Trump endorsements did poorly. While Ron DeSantis won bigly. Which will lead to some head scratching. But overall, prepare for a lot of speculation and likely court cases. The country is divided like never before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Von Der Leyen is under investigation

 

 

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
~ Dalai Lama

 

 

 

 

“..rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral..”

Super-States in Core Eurasian Geopolitics (Straight-Bat)

I have been deliberating on the question whether core Eurasia could really be treated as the ‘heartland’, control of which is a prerequisite to exercise total control over the world? Before one could sincerely take up the issue for a discussion, he/she must be able to grasp the definition of ‘core Eurasia’. Geologically, ‘Eurasia’ is a tectonic plate that lies under much of Europe and Asia. However, there is no well-defined geographic boundary of ‘core Eurasia’ in international politics. The European (geopolitical) strategists and Asian intellectuals converge on this subject remarkably well — the landmass that lies between Pacific Ocean in the east and river Vistula plus Carpathian mountain range in the west, and between Arctic Ocean in the north to the line joining Arabian Sea coast-Himalayan mountain range-South China Sea coast in the south can be termed as ‘core Eurasia’.

This particular question has a definite answer – ‘core Eurasia’ indeed can be assumed as heartland because of two reasons. Firstly, the countries that dot the entire landscape of core Eurasia are not only home to 25% of the global population currently but has enough arable land, water, and forest resources for a healthy and continuous population growth. Secondly, the entire landmass of core Eurasia hold deposits of minerals, fossil fuels, rare earth, and gems in disproportionately high quantities compared to its share of total surface area of earth. Hence, the human civilization can grow, sustain, and flourish as a stand-alone phenomenon in core Eurasia even if civilizations in other regions of the world fail to sustain – this, in my opinion, is the single most important characteristic of core Eurasia why it may be considered as the ‘heartland’.

Readers who are conversant with the works of geopolitics pundits like Brzezinski will easily conclude that I don’t subscribe to Brzezinski’s thought on this issue which was centred around ‘exercising power to control the world’ as he noted, “The control over Eurasia would almost automatically entails Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent.”

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More than a dozen. Among them: Algeria, Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt, Afghanistan.

Moscow Suggests How Many Countries Want To Join BRICS (RT)

More than a dozen countries have expressed an interest in joining the BRICS group, which incorporates some of the world’s major emerging economies, as the bloc gains more global standing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. Speaking at a meeting with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Lavrov indicated that membership of the BRICS bloc is in high demand. “The interest in this global association is very, very high and continues to grow,”he said. He confirmed that “more than a dozen” countries are eager to join, including Algeria, Argentina, and Iran. However, Lavrov continued, before accepting any new members, BRICS intends to reach an agreement on criteria and principles for further potential expansion.


“Given that applications are already being submitted officially, we, of course, expect that harmonization of the criteria and principles for the expansion of BRICS won’t take too long,” he said. BRICS is an international socio-economic and political forum, which incorporates Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It accounts for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. The Russian Foreign Minister’s comments come after Algeria applied to become a member of the group, following applications by Iran and Argentina. Algeria’s bid came after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for stronger ties with Middle Eastern and North African countries, arguing that they are playing an “increasingly significant role” in the formation of the “multipolar system of international relations.” The bloc is also expected to consider adding Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt and Afghanistan.

Read more …

New START.

US and Russia To Hold Nuclear Talks (RT)

American and Russian diplomats will meet to discuss the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty “in the near future,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday. Earlier, Bloomberg and Kommersant cited sources to report that a meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC) may soon be held in Egypt. “We have agreed that the BCC will meet in the near future. Under the terms of the New START treaty, the work of the BCC is confidential, but we do hope for a constructive session,” Price said at a press briefing. The US believes in the “transformative power of diplomacy and dialogue” but is “clear-eyed and realistic” about what it can accomplish when it comes to Russia, Price added.

The conversations are “focused on risk-reduction” but Washington wants to ensure that the ability to pass messages back and forth with Moscow “does not atrophy.” “If there is, and it sounds like there will be, a meeting of the BCC, that is a good thing,” Price added, before correcting himself to say that the meeting will definitely happen. While Price would not name the venue for the meeting, Bloomberg mentioned Cairo as the neutral location more acceptable to Russia than Geneva, since Switzerland has joined the US and EU sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. The New START is the last remaining nuclear arms control agreement between the US and Russia, set to expire in 2026 unless renewed. The BCC last met in October 2021.

Moscow suspended the inspection regime under the treaty in August, citing Western sanctions that have prevented Russian inspectors from doing their work in the US, thus putting Washington at an unfair advantage. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the inspections would continue once the principle of parity and equality is restored. Inspections had previously been disrupted by lockdowns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“They are just towing the line, even selling their souls and reputations just to prevent their cancellation.”

Why Does The Western Narrative Sound So Stupid And Unrealistic? (Romatzki)

Reference is constantly made to WW2 , the Cuban Missile Crises, etc. However that was a different world and era where people and leaders still had Values, Religions was strong, Families were strong, where Integrity, Honour, Patriotism, etc. … had meaning ….. a proper culture. This has all been destroyed. By whom? That is a debatable point, but it did happen. Society has been transformed and the Western Culture has been destroyed. There is now very little left of the original culture of the 1950/1960/1970/1980 and before. The family concept is being destroyed. Fewer Children are born, people marry less, Feminism is pushed, Affirmative actions is pushed, Homosexuality is rampant and encouraged, Gender identity is driven to the absurd.,

Science is destroyed by money, etc. Religion has been destroyed by the introduction of other cultures and religions into society. Inter-race marriages have been promoted and encouraged. And then … Wokeness and Cancel Culture has become dominant. With the loss in a stable anchor, derived from one’s family and culture, who can resist these dominant forces? People have become isolated and vulnerable and easy to manipulate. Integrity is thrown out of the window and now everybody is for himself. Gone are the days were one would stand up for his values and deny a job, money or position. All of it has now become monetised and self preservation is the order of the day. Money has played the corruptible factor.

Money and wokeness has become the driving forces of the population. Cancel Culture and Social media have become the tools. Given the facts above, who can then NOT understand why the Western Commentators spew the fake news and ridiculous narratives? In my assessment I believe it is Selfish Interests, Lack of strong Values, Money, Fear of being Cancelled and a lack of proper Information derived from reality, that drives the Western commentators to create such “devoid of reality” narratives. They are just towing the line, even selling their souls and reputations just to prevent their cancellation.

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“The US is the most cartoonishly nationalistic country in the history of our species..”

American Pundits Have Got It Backwards About China (Blankenship)

In recent years, but notably in the wake of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) 20th National Congress that just concluded at the end of October, Western writers have rushed to accuse Beijing of becoming anti-Western. This is seen in several examples by Western writers, such as the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos or a quintessential China-blaming piece recently published by the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman. In his article, titled “How China Lost America,” Friedman says that there are four trends in China that have soured the US-China relationship: market manipulation, hyper-nationalism, aggressive foreign policy and Beijing’s “zero-Covid” policy. But he does not elaborate these points to any convincible degree and fails to acknowledge the extent to which Washington’s own policies are to blame for China’s perceived turn from the West.

First of all, a lot of what is called intellectual property theft (which Friedman mentions in his piece) is just ordinary intellectual diffusion. The FBI started an entire ‘China Initiative’ to investigate such instances in top US universities and companies – and it came up almost completely empty-handed to the point that it had to be shut down for devolving into a vehicle for anti-Asian racism. This also doesn’t even acknowledge the extent of the US’ own market manipulation, namely through the sheer influence that its multinationals have in creating trade and economic policy, or its promiscuous use of unilateral sanctions. The US also routinely violates its World Trade Organization (WTO) duties in its trade war against Beijing. The organization even allowedChina to impose duties on $645 million worth of imports over US trade malpractice in January.

For an American to call China hyper-nationalist is laughable. The US is the most cartoonishly nationalistic country in the history of our species: children in most public schools are required to swear a ‘pledge of allegiance’ to the flag every morning, Americans only know one language on average and the American flag is draped everywhere in the country. Chinese people are, on balance, much less chauvinistic and more open-minded. Likewise, it’s hard to take insinuations of Beijing’s supposed “aggressive” foreign policy seriously either. The People’s Republic of China has never started a war since its inception and has not been involved in a proxy war in decades. Compare that to the fact that the US has been at war for nearly every single year of its existence since 1776. It is actually America’s aggressive foreign policy that is prompting resistance from Beijing.

Finally, on the zero-Covid point, this is just sensible policy. Virtually every country in the world has caved into public pressure to relax Covid-related restrictions. That’s fairly understandable because of how ineffective they were in most countries. But that doesn’t change the fact that Covid-19 is an extremely deadly and debilitating disease that is continuing to kill many people and leave many more disabled. If one could choose to eliminate Covid-19 from society, then why wouldn’t they? Thankfully, China has effectively used its technology to do just this – and it works. A January report by Citigroup, based on three surveys conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce China, the EU Chamber of Commerce China and the Japan External Trade Organization, found that China is their favorite investment destination. Among the top reasons listed was the country’s supply-chain resilience and the effectiveness of its Covid-19 controls.

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Robert Bridge, published on RT and only RT. So for those who can’t access RT, the whole article.

American Voters Don’t Need Russian Trolls To Tell Them How Bad Things Are (RB)

As US voters head to the polls for the much-anticipated Midterms, talk of Russian trolls monkeying with US democracy is back in the news. But does the country really need Russia’s help in “stoking anger” among the electorate? If the hyper-liberal New York Times can be taken at face value just two days before an epic election, Russia’s underground army of trolls is, once again, attempting to seed the minds of malleable US voters to the Kremlin’s advantage. If those charges sounded outlandish in 2016, when the Democrats accused Russian ‘influencers’ of denying Hillary Clinton the presidency, they seem doubly so today. The Times reported that the goal of the reactivated Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg is to “stoke anger among conservative voters and to undermine trust in the American electoral system.

”Judging by the looks of things, the Russians are a bit late to the party. It would be hard to name another period in US politics when the level of anger and distrust has been so extreme, and that is something the Russian trolls, despite their supposed superhuman abilities, can’t take credit for. Take inflation, for example, the single most pressing issue among US voters. It doesn’t require any sort of Russian mind-bending operation to inform Americans that the economic situation is deteriorating before their eyes, and has been ever since Biden entered office. They only need to look at their food and utility bills each month, and the price at the gas pump, to feel fury for what the Biden administration has done to the economy in a shockingly short period of time. Any effort to blame these negative sentiments on “the Russians” is just another way of the Democrats saying that soaring prices is “disinformation”and unworthy of your attention.

The Times mentions another point of contention among US voters, particularly the Republicans, and that is the blank-check powers that have been awarded to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Citing the work of “cybersecurity researchers,” the article alleges that the Russian influence campaign “appears intended to undermine the Biden administration’s extensive military assistance to Ukraine.”Again, here is an issue that has already been undermined by the Republicans ever since the Democrats commenced with their proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, a massively hazardous venture where no expense is considered too great. On this point, the Democrats are able to claim, much like in 2016, that the Russians and the Republicans are working in collusion, this time against Kiev. The Russians are anxious to see US military spending on Ukraine come to an end as all of those sophisticated weapons are only prolonging the conflict.

Meanwhile, some of the Republicans campaigned on promises to terminate funding to the Zelensky regime and divert those billions of dollars to national security projects, like fortifying their own border and fighting crime. It would be a mistake to think that Americans are not acutely aware of the issues now dividing the country. Every day, social media users can see for themselves everything they need to know about crime, inflation, transgender issues, and the border, to name just a few of the hot-button issues dividing the country. To suggest that Russian trolls are required to “stoke conservative anger” is to grossly underestimate the political intelligence of the average US voter, who appears better informed than ever before. The fact is, the Democrats are afraid of being wiped out in a landslide come Tuesday. Conjuring up the ghost of Russia interference at the 11th hour reveals their insecurity and will provide them some partial excuse in the event of a blowout.

With regards to these latest accusations of election interference, Moscow is understandably losing its patience. It requires either a certain lack of self-awareness, or an astonishing excess of arrogance, for the United States to lecture any country on the question of meddling. After all, in the case of Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, we’re talking about a mere $150,000 spent on several thousand Facebook ads, many of which had no political message whatsoever. When it is considered that US presidential elections have turned into multi-billion-dollar pageants, with no expense spared on campaign attack ads, it is hard to imagine that Russia’s severely limited campaign had any effect whatsoever (it needs emphasis that not even Facebook is entirely sure where the posts originated from. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, would only say they “likely operated out of Russia”).

Now compare that to the way the United States “meddles” in the affairs of foreign countries, like Ukraine. In November 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovich opted in favor of closer ties with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union instead of the EU, protests broke out in the country. How did the United States respond? Not with internet trolls, that’s for sure. It dispatched high-ranking US officials to Kiev, like Senator John McCain and Assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, where they agitated the masses against the democratically elected government. On the question of who would ultimately govern the splintered country, Nuland was overheard in a phone call with the US ambassador to Ukraine handpicking the eligible candidates.

Once again, the United States proved that there are rules for itself and rules for the rest of the world, and increasingly it is the American people who must pay the price for that supreme arrogance.

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Seaborne, that is.

Russian Oil Exports Surging (RT)

Shipments of Russian seaborne crude surged to 3.6 million barrels per day last week, reaching the highest since early June, while the less volatile four-week average is the highest since August, Bloomberg reported on Monday. A total of 34 tankers were loaded with some 25.2 million barrels of Russian crude oil in the week to November 4, according to vessel-tracking data and port agent reports, as quoted by the media. That’s up by 3.2 million barrels. The exports were ramped up more than a month before the EU sanctions, supported by the G7 nations and Australia, kick in on December 5. The penalties will see Western companies banned from providing insurance and other services to vessels loaded with Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased below a yet-to-be-agreed price cap.


The biggest increase, in both volume and percentage terms, was reportedly recorded in shipments from the Arctic terminal of Murmansk. Cargoes carrying Russian oil are becoming more cagey about their destinations, according to Bloomberg. The agency noted a big jump in vessels showing their next destination as Port Said or the Suez Canal, and a drop in the volume on tankers indicating that they’re headed to India. The media highlighted that many more ships carrying crude are leaving Russian ports without signaling a final port of discharge. Russia’s revenues from crude-export duty reportedly rose by $16 million to $149 million in the seven days to November 4, with the four-week average income also increasing, gaining $6 million to $134 million.

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“The National Recovery Fund for Poland involves €24 billion in grants and €11.5 billion in loans, but it is just one type of fund that Poland has yet to receive from Brussels.”

Poland Draws A Line In The Sand With The EU (Remix)

The Polish government says it will make no further concessions to the European Union in order to unlock tens of billions in EU funding, arguing that Poland has fulfilled all its obligations and Brussels owes them the money. “Poland fulfilled all conditions set by the European Commission regarding the payment of the Recovery Funds it is due,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said. He added that “he does not intend to answer any comments from Brussels on the matter.” Brussels, for its part, has threatened Poland with catastrophic funding cuts totaling up to €110 billion; this would hobble the Polish economy, which has suffered due to the global economic downturn, inflation, and the refugee crisis from Ukraine.

In an interview for the conservative Sieci, Duda admitted that he does not believe that trying to fulfill the expectations of “the other side” could bring any results. “I believe that a lot of good will was showcased from the Polish side,” he stated. “And we know very well that there is a group from Poland there that has a policy of contradicting the basic interests of the Polish state and is content when Poland is being harmed by Brussels,” said Poland’s president. He also mentioned the liberal-left representatives who “have seats in the European Commission and want to change the ruling party in Poland at all costs.” According to the latest statements of the Polish authorities, Poland has still not sent a request for a payment of the Recovery Funds to Brussels.

Meanwhile, information has appeared in the public space that the Commission confirmed that Warsaw has fulfilled 15 out of 20 milestones necessary for the payments of the first tranche of funds. The National Recovery Fund for Poland involves €24 billion in grants and €11.5 billion in loans, but it is just one type of fund that Poland has yet to receive from Brussels. In June, the European Commission finally accepted the Polish plan, however, it made the payment of the funds dependent on the fulfillment of the so-called milestones. In the case of Poland, those milestones concern mostly the judicial system. Brussels does not recognize that Poland fulfilled its obligations, so the payment of the National Recovery Fund remains frozen.

Read more …

“We are borrowing other people’s energy supplies,” Vitol Group Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy told the media. “It’s not a great thing.”

EU ‘Sucking Gas Away’ From Poorer Countries (RT)

The EU energy crisis is inevitably leading to energy poverty in developing countries, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday citing an energy analyst at Credit Suisse. “Europe is sucking gas away from other countries whatever the cost,” Saul Kavonic told the media. Despite soaring energy bills, the EU is expected to survive the upcoming heating season, as the bloc members have purchased enough oil and natural gas. However, this comes with a high price tag for the world’s poorest nations that have been cut off from the gas market due to Europe’s ravenous demand. Emerging market countries are reportedly at serious risk of being unable to meet their energy needs. Factory shutdowns, more frequent and longer-lasting power shortages, as well as social unrests are the most likely consequences due to the energy security challenges.

Exporters across Qatar and the US are accepting bids from European buyers seeking to purchase as much fuel as possible to fill their storages. That leaves developing countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand unable to compete on price with Germany and other bigger economies. “We are borrowing other people’s energy supplies,” Vitol Group Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy told the media. “It’s not a great thing.” According to traders cited by Bloomberg, soaring prices prompted some suppliers to South Asia to simply cancel long-scheduled deliveries in favor of better yields elsewhere. “Suppliers don’t need to focus on securing their LNG to low affordability markets,” Raghav Mathur, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie said, adding that the higher prices they can get on the spot market more than make up for whatever penalties they might pay for shirking planned shipments.

“LNG will belong first to the ‘developed,’ with the leftovers for the ‘developing.’”the expert said, adding that this dynamic is likely to hold for years. The European Union is struggling with an energy crisis as a result of the reduction of imports from Russia. Earlier, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that it took the bloc eight months to replace two-thirds of Russian gas supplies. She added that the EU had significantly diversified the range of foreign suppliers, but that had “been costly.”

Read more …

“Biden claims inflation is not his fault and he’s bringing it down by spending more deficit money. This is mathematically impossible, incidentally.”

What Do You Run On….. (Denninger)

…. when you have nothing to run on? Let’s just be straight here, ok — neither party, when you get down to it, has anything to run on. But: When you’re in the left seat, and the plane crashes, its your fault. That’s just how the cookie crumbles. Just as an example the “authorities” won’t release the surveillance or body camera tapes from the Paul Pelosi assault. Why not? The only reason not to is that what’s there renders irrevocably false the story told thus far. In what way? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. If the footage documents the affidavit “as told” then there’s no reason not to release it as it will cement the case not only in court but in public opinion as well. Therefore it clearly doesn’t. Biden claims inflation is not his fault and he’s bringing it down by spending more deficit money. This is mathematically impossible, incidentally.

He either doesn’t know this or he’s lying. It matters not which it is; he ran on and promoted blowing more money around so he has no place to hide. Biden told us all that if you took the Covid shots you would not get covid. He said that conclusively. He lied; his top advisor, Birx, has stated in public she knew this was not true before he took office. Therefore either he hired her and is responsible or she told him and he deliberately lied. Either way: He’s in the left seat, he had opportunity to not lie, thus he owns it. On Biden’s watch Ukraine and Russia went to war. Biden has poured tens of billions of dollars and weapons not only in munitions into Ukraine he’s paying the salaries of their people with our money. The total at this point is well over $100 billion, which is a quite-material part of the fiscal deficit.

By what authority? Well, Congress appears to be ok with it, aren’t they? Indeed. Who controls Congress? Uh huh. Oh, spending more money than you take in causes inflation? Well, prosecuting this war over there is part of it then, on purpose. Again, sit in the left seat, you’re responsible when there’s a smoking hole in the ground and nothing larger than a quarter can be identified. There have been a couple of million people streaming into our nation illegally over the last two years. Inflationary? You bet. What’s worse? The guy who is accused of attacking Pelosi is here illegally and has been for years. How many others have been victimized by criminals who were here illegally? Remember “A Girl in Iowa” anyone? Sit in the left seat, it’s your problem, especially when you sue, as Biden has done, to block Arizona and others from sealing said border.

Biden has declared war on carbon-based fuels. Refiners are closing and have on his watch and will not restart because he has made clear that any investment in them is a zero. It is his expressed intent to destroy said investment so nobody will make it. Do you light $100 bills on fire for fun? Neither does anyone else, so if you think gas or diesel prices are coming down on a durable basis exactly how when there is no increase in refining capacity coming online to meet demand? You can’t build an electric car without carbon-based fuels and in fact to build and operate one requires more carbon-based fuel than just refining and burning the gasoline. This is fact and yet Biden does not care if you get screwed.

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Germany faces many problems. A drop in income is not the worst.

Germany Faces Sharp Drop In Real Income (RT)

The German economy is expected to lose billions of euros by the end of 2023 due to skyrocketing energy prices, the Ifo Center for Macroeconomics said in a report published on Tuesday. According to the forecast, real income loss will reach €110 billion ($110 billion) during the 2021-2023 period, which equals 3% of Germany’s annual economic output. “The only time this figure was higher was during the second oil crisis of 1979-81, when the loss in economic output was 4%,” said Timo Wollmershaeuser, senior economist at Ifo. The surge in energy prices is expected to take a heavy toll on the German economy this year, with an anticipated €64 billion loss, or 1.8% of the country’s output.


The estimated loss for 2021 exceeded €35 billion, and a €9 billion drop is expected for 2023, according to Ifo. German citizens will continue to feel the impact of the energy crisis over the next few years with a drop in real incomes, Wollmershaeuser warned, adding that losing Russia as the main energy supplier will result in long-term high oil and gas prices. He also predicted that Germany will not wean itself off energy imports “overnight” as the country has long been dependent on external supplies. In late October, Ifo predicted that the German economy would contract by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. According to an Economy Ministry forecast, Germany will see growth of 1.4% this year and a 0.4% slump next year.

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Stunning.

Polish Ex-PM Links Low Birth Rates To Women Drinking (RT)

The leader of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has claimed that women are choosing not to have children because they drink too much. The former prime minister made the remarks on Saturday during a trip to Elk, a city in northeastern Poland. Reflecting on the country’s low birth rate, Kaczynski said “cultural factors”contribute to a woman’s decisions on childbearing, and “it is sometimes necessary to say bitter things openly.” “If, for example, it is maintained that, until the age of 25, young women drink as much as men of their age, there will be no children,” Kaczynski said. “Remember that a man, in order to become an alcoholic, has to drink excessively for 20 years on average… while a woman has to do it for only two years.” “I say this seriously,” the conservative politician stated, adding that he knew a doctor who “managed to cure a third of his male alcoholic patients, but no women.”


“I really am a sincere supporter of women’s equality, but I’m not in favor of women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women because it is something completely different,”Kaczynski said. “This is a typical statement from a patriarchal grandpa during a traditional Polish wedding,” said Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, a legislator from the New Left party, dismissing Kaczynski’s words as “foolish.” Her fellow MP Urszula Paslawska said she does not know “whether to laugh or to cry.” Another New Left lawmaker, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak, argued that alcohol affects the fertility of both men and women. “In order to have children, other issues need to be solved, and Kaczynski is silent on them,” she said. “There is a shortage of two million housing units in Poland, so young people have to live with their parents.” She added that women, including mothers, need better protection in their jobs and in the labor market.

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RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] is the flavor of the day for Big Pharma.

Will You Survive The ‘Tripledemic’? (Mercola)

As predicted, “health experts” are starting to call for voluntary indoor masking again,(11) even though all the evidence garnered over the past three years confirms what we already knew in 2020, which is that face masks do nothing to stop viral infections. And, as before, in the absence of actual scientific evidence the narrative focuses instead on virtue. Masking up is said to be a way to protect everyone,(12) so just “do your part” and wear it, even though, in reality, it protects no one. The same goes for vaccination. Both the flu vaccine and the COVID shots are proven ineffective, yet the recommendation(13) to get them continues. And this season, you’re expected to get both! The fact that RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] is now being highlighted as a severe risk is understandable in light of the fact that the first-ever RSV vaccines are now in the pipeline.

According to CNN,(14) four different RSV shots are “nearing review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration” and more than a dozen others are in trials. This includes a “long-acting injection” specifically for babies, to be given “right after birth” to protect them from RSV “for as long as six months.” If that’s not a perfect example of how the media tries to change the perception of the basic meaning of a term, I don’t know what is. Six months is hardly long-acting! Historically, most vaccines have at least offered antibody-only “protection” for years, not months. Please recognize all vaccines fail to use cellular immunity to protect you, which is far more important than humoral antibody protection. This extremely short duration of antibody-only protection appears to be a hallmark of mRNA technology however, and indeed, at least some of these new RSV shots are mRNA based.

Moderna has announced it is working on an mRNA jab for RSV, which is scheduled for release in 2023.(15) They’re also working on a combination mRNA jab for COVID, RSV and the flu. (Ultimately, Moderna wants to create an annual mRNA shot that covers all of the top 10 viruses that result in hospitalizations each year.[16]) Janssen is also working on an RSV shot using an adenovirus vector, the same technology used in its COVID shot, while Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are testing “protein subunit” RSV vaccines for pregnant women and seniors.(17) According to Forbes,(18) Pfizer announced November 1, 2022, that it is ready to seek FDA authorization for its RSV vaccine. In clinical trials this shot was given to pregnant mothers and the efficacy was measured not by whether it prevented RSV, but by severity of the infection in hospitalized babies during their first months of life.(19)

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Pretend science. What insane nonsense.

COVID-19 Conspiracies Are a Gateway to Other Conspiracy Theories (SAlert)

Thinking that the COVID-19 pandemic is in some way a hoax could serve as a ‘gateway’ for individuals to engage with more complex conspiracy theories, claim a team of researchers from Ohio State University in the US. According to a recent analysis of two longitudinal studies that tracked participant beliefs in various theories, mistrust in expertise over real-world events can quickly bloom into a general acceptance of conspiracy theories that aren’t supported by robust evidence. The technical term here is conspiracist ideation, which measures someone’s confidence in explanations of events that rely on the power of groups to manipulate outcomes to an unlikely, if not near impossible degree.

For the study’s purpose, the researchers considered conspiracy theories to be beliefs that aren’t supported by any evidence – and which are actually contradicted by the evidence that does exist. These can be anything from believing the Moon landing was staged to thinking that legitimate elections are rigged. In the case of COVID-19, conspiracy theories include the idea that the pandemic was largely exaggerated by the government or the media, and the belief that the virus was released on purpose by a particular agency for sinister means. “It’s speculative, but it appears that once people adopt one conspiracy belief, it promotes distrust in institutions more generally – it could be government, science, the media, whatever,” says psychologist Russell Fazio, from The Ohio State University.

“Once you start viewing events through that distrustful lens, it’s very easy to adopt additional conspiracy theories.” Two different studies were the focus of the analysis. The first queried 107 participants about their beliefs in June 2020. In December of that year, a second study looked at how individuals who considered COVID-19 to be a hoax progressed in their conspiracist ideation. Statistical analysis showed that those who believed the SARS-CoV-2 virus was deliberately released or that the severity of the COVID-19 outbreaks was exaggerated were also more likely to distrust the official results of the 2020 US election. What’s more, members of the ‘conspiracy minded’ group also tended to show an increase in conspiratorial thinking between June and December.

The second study used publicly available data from 1,037 participants, surveyed between March 2020 and December 2020. Again, belief that the pandemic was a hoax predicted a rise in conspiracist ideation over the course of the year. “If you read interviews or forums frequented by conspiracy theorists, you see a phenomenon where people tend to go down the rabbit hole after something happens in their life that triggers general interest in conspiracy theories,” says psychologist Javier Granados Samayoa, from The Ohio State University. “With COVID-19, there was this large event that people could not control, so how could they make sense of it? One way is by adhering to conspiracy theories.”

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Chaplin

 

 

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”
~ Khalil Gibran

 

 

Marvin Gaye

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 202022
 
 September 20, 2022  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  75 Responses »


Salvador Dali Cadaques 1923

 

Russia Is Seeking Swift End To Ukraine Conflict – Turkey (RT)
Ukraine is Not a New Afghanistan (Batiushka)
German Politician Predicts Fate Of Nord Stream 2 (RT)
< Germany Boosting Russian Imports – Trade Mission (RT)
The European Union Is About to Rupture (Malinen)
French Warned Of Winter Blackouts (RT)
Dire Winter Scenario In Sight For EU (RT)
UN Chief Supports Moscow’s Aid Proposal (RT)
The Unintended Consequences Of The EU Energy Emergency Plan (OP)
Ukraine Claims Missile Hit Area Near Nuclear Power Plant (RT)
Why the World Economic Forum’s Plutocracy Should Be Dissolved (Shurk)
Whistleblower: FBI Uses Jan. 6 Cases To Create Illusion Of National Crisis (JTN)
A Walk on the Wild Side (Kunstler)
Why So Many Cling to Covid Panic (Oshinskie)

 

 

At least hundreds of Canadians have posted their life stories with the #TrudeauMustGo hashtag. He now calls them Putin puppets. It’s hard to show less respect for your own people. Twitter is now shadowbanning the hashtag.

 

 

 

 

Devine

 

 

 

 

Veneto, the richest region in Italy.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1570650331595542528

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erdogan the peacemaker. Lovely.

Russia Is Seeking Swift End To Ukraine Conflict – Turkey (RT)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin wants to see a swift conclusion to the conflict in Ukraine, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday in an interview with the PBS NewsHour program. Erdogan said he held “extensive meetings with Putin in Uzbekistan” during last week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. “I realized that they are actually trying to finish this as soon as possible. This situation is a big problem,” the Turkish leader said, referring to the conflict in Ukraine. Erdogan, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, said he wants Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to talk directly, in order to find a solution to the conflict, which has been underway since late February. “We have a persistent desire to bring these leaders together. Let’s bring them together. I want to hear everything from them. We haven’t succeeded yet, but I’m not without hope,” he stated.


The Turkish president claimed to have told both Putin and Zelensky that a negotiated end to the fighting is needed because “nobody will be winning at the end of the day.” The Kremlin earlier said the Russian and Ukrainian leaders should only meet to sign concrete agreements prepared for them by their negotiators. Turkey has maintained contacts with both Moscow and Kiev throughout the hostilities. It condemned the use of force by Russia, but at the same time refused to join the international sanctions against Moscow and continued dealing with the country. Ankara was also involved in the UN-brokered deal to allow export of grain from the Ukrainian ports, achieved between Russia and Ukraine in July. Russia recently complained that the part of the agreement, which calls for removing obstacles for shipments of its food products, remained unfulfilled by Western countries.

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“There’s an east wind coming all the same. Such a wind as never blew…. It will be cold and bitter….and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.”

– His Last Bow, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, October 1917

Ukraine is Not a New Afghanistan (Batiushka)

[..] we have two quite different and incomparable countries: Afghanistan at the centre [of the Eurasian Heartland] and the Ukraine on the Western margins – which is what its very name means. The Afghans live in inaccessible mountains, the Ukrainians on open steppes. The Afghans have a very strong identity, even if, like other mountain-dwellers, as in the Scottish Highlands or the Swiss Alps, they are divided into fiercely different and warring tribal clans and different languages according to the valley they live in. However, the Ukrainians in their open land are swayed one way and another, largely depending on who makes the best offer, on what way the wind blows and the tide flows.

The USA has constantly tried to chip off, occupy and control marginal pieces of Eurasia, islands like Iceland, the British Isles and Ireland, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan, peninsulas like South Korea, South Vietnam and Western Europe. In 1975 it was humiliated and chased out of South-East Asia when Saigon was at last liberated. Other areas it occupies, like Taiwan and Korea, are under threat. In 2021, after it had dared to occupy not a marginal area, but the very centre of the Eurasian Heartland in Afghanistan, it was humiliated and chased out. It was a classic example of hubris and overreach. ‘We’re American, we can do anything’. Actually, you can’t.

Now the USA is trying to cling on to Western Europe by shoring up its literal borderland, the Ukraine. This is one of the last US attempts to keep power in Eurasia. The USA fears Eurasia, for Eurasia is much stronger than it and the USA is isolated on its big island, placed, as if for quarantine, between the Atlantic and the Pacific. One day it will reluctantly be forced to admit that Eurasia is geographically indivisible, however much it tries to divide it politically and occupy it militarily. Then it will retire to its isolation on its big island, rejected by Afro-Eurasia, Oceania and Latin America, and start doing some very serious soul-searching about its own history. It is called repentance.

The USA has been expanding eastwards across the Atlantic for over three generations now. It has controlled the UK since 1942, from where it invaded the rest of Western Europe in 1944 and invaded Central Europe since 1989, using puppet elites, making assassinations and fiddling elections. Portugal under Salazar, Spain under Franco, Italy under every possible fraudster, Greece under the Colonels, France after it deposed the Last Frenchman, De Gaulle, the UK under the Conservatives, are only examples of its manipulations. [..] Exactly a generation after taking over Central Europe in 1989, since 2014 the USA has been trying to expand into Eastern Europe. We are now at an irreversible point. History books will be written as events ‘Before 2022 and After 2022’.

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“..this cooperation is irrecoverably destroyed”. “..Stephan Weil said Berlin would never be able to trust Moscow again as a reliable energy supplier..”

But Berlin is a reliable customer?! Can you even hear yourself?

German Politician Predicts Fate Of Nord Stream 2 (RT)

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was intended to pump gas from Russia to Germany, is doomed to remain idle indefinitely, the head of Germany’s Lower Saxony region has suggested. Stephan Weil said Berlin would never be able to trust Moscow again as a reliable energy supplier. In an interview with Germany’s DPA news agency published on Monday, Governor Weil said the pipeline project would not be revived even after Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves office. “The loss of trust is so fundamental that there will never again be a situation in which a German federal government can rely on energy from Russia,” the official noted. According to Weil, the “Nord Stream 2 will never go into operation.” The governor claimed that the Kremlin has burnt its bridges and that “this cooperation is irrecoverably destroyed.”

Weil concluded by proclaiming that the “West will recover from [the situation] faster than Russia.” The construction of the second leg of the existing Nord Stream pipeline began in May 2018. The project was expected to double Russian gas supplies to Germany. Despite opposition from the US and some EU member states, the German government staunchly defended the project, and the pipeline was completed. However, Berlin put its launch on hold indefinitely on February 22, after Russia recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, days before Moscow launched its offensive against Ukraine.

In July and August, Russia incrementally reduced gas supplies to Germany via Nord Stream 1, before shutting it down altogether in early September. Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom cited technical issues caused by Western sanctions. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has made it clear that the pipeline will not resume operation until Western sanctions are lifted. sMeanwhile, Berlin has accused Russia of weaponizing gas supplies. Soaring prices coupled with the closure of the Nord Stream 1 saw the German government put in place emergency measures to ensure the country has enough energy to survive the winter. Earlier this week, President Putin suggested the West should give the green light to the Nord Stream 2 “if it’s that bad.”

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Yeah, yeah: “..this cooperation is irrecoverably destroyed”.

Germany Boosting Russian Imports – Trade Mission (RT)

The volume of German imports from Russia has risen over the first seven months of this year by 32.6% in annual terms, amounting to $27.9 billion, the Russian Trade Mission in Berlin told RIA Novosti on Monday, citing data from Germany’s federal statistical office, Destatis. According to the Russian trade representative in Germany, Andrey Sobolev, the rise in imports of fuel and energy products through July was 40.5%. Purchases of Russian gold have risen more than tenfold, while the volume of silver imports jumped by almost five times. The EU country has also boosted purchases of other metals from Russia, including copper, aluminum, and nickel.


The report also indicated that German exports to Russia decreased by 43.6% to $10.2 billion compared to the same period last year. Declining exports caused a $17.7 billion trade imbalance for Germany. The trade representative explained that, despite the general decline in exports to Russia, “there was an increase in supplies from Germany of pharmaceutical products, seeds and fruits.” Russia accounted for 2.3% of total German foreign trade and was the fourth most important country for German goods outside of the EU in 2021. In April, US analytics firm S&P Global warned of a possible financial shock if there’s a “trade rupture” between the two countries.

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It has become a prison.

The European Union Is About to Rupture (Malinen)

The functioning of the EU has, until recently, been built on two political pillars that now appear to be crumbling. Primarily, German growth has made possible the joint financing (through low-cost debt, the EU budget, and the central banks’ clearing system) of unsuccessful economies without the EU forcing them to commit to politically unacceptable reforms. Beneficent global developments have made possible the concentration on economic integration while going slow on the much more contentious integration of cultural, social, and foreign policies. The deterioration of the global economy, together with EU policies, now threaten industry and living standards in EU member states, reduce the scope of joint economic support, and force member states to rapidly evaluate their readiness for possibly radical reductions in their political self-determination.

This is most evident in Italy. The yields of Italian sovereign debt have reached levels that can be considered unsustainable, given the country’s high indebtedness and low rate of economic growth. For example, the yield of the Italian 10-year bond breached the 4 percent line late this past week. The maturity structure of Italian debt is also rather unfavorable. At the end of June, for example, Italy had issued only 52 percent of its needs for external financing in 2022. In addition, 35 percent of her outstanding debt will come due already in 2024. Half of her total debt will come due within five years. Without active country-specific support from the ECB, which the newly introduced Transmission Protection Instrument is designed to facilitate, Italian debt is unsustainable at current yields.

Disagreements among member states on the wisdom of filling the ECB with Italian bonds is bound to weaken the glue keeping the EU together as before. The energy crisis is also sowing seeds of serious inner conflict. The politics in the EU are becoming less forgiving as difficulties mount. Both Hungary and the Czech Republic have objected to the plans for a price cap of Russian gas, which now looks unlikely to be enforced. The European Commission is also planning to cut funding for the Hungarian government of Victor Orban due to “rule-of-law concerns.” This is unlikely to increase the incentives of Hungary to stay in the union. More generally, as funding is made conditional on countries meeting the test of adhering to “European values,” one can expect the list of such essentially political requirements to grow as economic conditions worsen and demands for uniform policies grow.

For example, Poland is fed up with constant extra demands from the EU, like the demand to walk back from the changes Polish government was planning to the judicial system, considering the distribution of funds from the Recovery Fund to its government. Krzysztof Sobolewski, the governing party’s secretary-general, has warned that without a clear change in the actions of Brussels, “We will have no choice but to pull out all the cannons in our arsenal and open fire.” Since a number of contentious decisions still require unanimity, such a threat might be unwise to take lightly. [..] Reports state that Russia is preparing a first shipment from its new liquefied natural gas plant to Greece. Hungary, as an outlier, is buying additional gas from Russia in accordance with their new agreement. It will be interesting to see what Germany may choose to do if the impact of energy scarcity on its economy and population is as large as some reports suggest.


CPI lags PPI: “German Consumer Prices (CPI) are likely to rise further after Producer Prices (PPI) increased by almost 46% in August, the strongest increase since 1949.”

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“We thought that we could gradually replace nuclear energy with renewable energy sources, but now we understand that we will need more energy. We need both sources..”

French Warned Of Winter Blackouts (RT)

Private households in France may face power outages this winter in the event of severe frosts, the head of the energy regulator CRE, Emmanuelle Wargon, told France Info radio on Monday. “Under no circumstances will there be gas shutdowns in private homes. But on the electrical side, we may be faced with having to make difficult decisions about limited shutdowns,” she said, adding “These can last for several hours and will be very local – at the commune or district level – with prior notification to citizens.” The regulator noted that shutdowns would not affect critical infrastructure, including hospitals. Extreme measures could be avoided if the winter is relatively warm, she added.


Wargon also admitted that the decision to close the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, decommissioned in 2020, “could not have been taken in the current crisis.” “We thought that we could gradually replace nuclear energy with renewable energy sources, but now we understand that we will need more energy. We need both sources,” she stressed. France relies on nuclear energy more than any other European country, generating about 70% of its electricity that way. However, about half of its 56 nuclear reactors have been shut down for maintenance, notably to repair corrosion problems.

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“..70% of nitrogen fertilizer production capacities in the EU have already been stopped, aluminum production has been reduced by 25%, and steel production by 5%.”

Dire Winter Scenario In Sight For EU (RT)

Reducing dependence on Russian natural gas supply is impossible for the European Union in the coming year without a massive production halt, RBK business daily reported on Monday, citing a study by McKinsey’s former Russian division, consulting company Yakov & Partners. Their research showed that, despite reports that EU stores are full, the bloc has not yet overcome its reliance on Russian energy and will not be able to get through the coming winter and next year “without maintaining gas supplies from Russia or a [effecting] significant reduction” in consumption.

The report outlined that, in order to meet their needs until the end of 2022, European countries will either have to maintain imports from Russia or reduce gas consumption by an additional seven to 12 billion cubic meters, “which is possible only with a complete or partial shutdown of a number of industries.” The deficit may grow to 20-30 billion cubic meters if China’s demand for LNG recovers or if the winter is cold and long, or in the event of disruptions in supply chains, it adds. Yakov & Partners indicated that 70% of nitrogen fertilizer production capacities in the EU have already been stopped, aluminum production has been reduced by 25%, and steel production by 5%. The authors of the study suggested that the decline in production is likely to continue “even in the event of a mild winter.”

“In the perspective of 2023, the rejection of Russian gas means a deficit of 40-60 billion cubic meters for European countries even while maintaining the current rate of gas savings for the whole of 2023,” said Elena Kuznetsova, a partner at the company. She explained that 60 billion cubic meters of gas is comparable to the annual gas consumption of France and Poland combined, or the total annual gas consumption of such industries as fertilizer production, petrochemistry, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, and all engineering. Stopping these industries will further affect other related industries, from agriculture to services, Kuznetsova warned.

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Guterres is doing some good work.

UN Chief Supports Moscow’s Aid Proposal (RT)

The UN chief has pledged to help Russia donate some 300 tons of fertilizers stranded in European ports to developing nations. “If Russia wants to provide fertilizers free of charge to developing countries, I believe the World Food Programme will be able to implement that desire,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, which was published on Monday. He acknowledged that EU nations will first have to be convinced to allow free the export of Russian fertilizers through their ports. The offer to donate an estimated 300 tons of Russian fertilizer, unable to leave EU ports due to anti-Russian sanctions, came last Friday from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In late July, the UN co-mediated an arrangement with Ukraine and Russia, which allowed the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea. As part of the deal, the organization pledged to help ease Western restrictions on international trade that Russia says prevent it from exporting its food products and fertilizers. “This week I had an intensive series of contacts with the leaders of the EU. And I hope there will be a positive change with regard to the possibility of distributing Russian grain and fertilizers without obstacles through Europe to other markets,” Guterres told RIA Novosti in another part of the interview, which was published on Saturday.

Putin previously criticized the grain deal, saying that while it was touted as a way to help poor countries deal with surging global food prices, in practice Ukrainian exports mostly went to rich EU nations. The abundance of grain and other food products from Ukraine on European markets has apparently angered local producers, who are struggling to compete with the cheaper imports, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. The EU previously had quotas and steep tariffs for Ukraine trade, protecting its own farmers and forcing Ukrainians to export most of their produce to other places. But the restrictions were lifted after Russia attacked the country in February, and European governments rushed to support Kiev with various forms of assistance.

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“..the last three years included two pandemic years when a lot of companies in the oil and gas industries struggled to stay afloat, let alone post a profit..”

The Unintended Consequences Of The EU Energy Emergency Plan (OP)

This week saw the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen do something that would have probably been considered the opposite of democracy just a few years ago. She proposed that governments impose a ceiling on certain energy producers’ revenues and add a windfall profit for Big Oil majors. Called “a solidarity contribution” or “a crisis contribution,” the windfall tax’s aim is the same as the aim of the revenue ceiling: manage energy costs in a runaway inflation environment and get some additional money to, according to the plan, distribute among those who most need it. Like all grand plans, however, unintended consequences abound with this one, and one of the gravest is the discouragement of oil and gas investments at a time when global oil and gas investments are already lower than they should be in light of demand projections.

JP Morgan’s head of global energy strategy said it this week in an interview with Bloomberg. “If you’re planning your capital budget, you have to think twice now that you have a new risk,” Malek told Bloomberg. “It encourages majors to return cash to shareholders as they use that free cashflow that could have been used in investment.” Per plans, the EU seeks to “raise” some $140 billion from windfall taxes on non-gas electricity generators and oil gas, and coal companies for their “extraordinary record profits benefiting from war and on the back of consumers,” to quote Von der Leyen. Reaction from the industry was swift. Austria’s OMV said the consequences of such measures could be huge, adding that it was unfair to base the windfall levy proposal on oil companies’ profits from the last three years since these were not normal times, Reuters reported, quoting CEO Alfred Stern.

“We will keep an eye on that, as it can already have a massive impact,” Stern told media, noting, however, that the exact impact was difficult to glean because the proposal has yet to be fleshed out. Per von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech, in which she listed the windfall tax among measures to cope with the energy crisis, the idea is to tax oil and gas companies with 33 percent of any current-year profits that were 20 percent above the company’s average earnings for the last three years. OMV’s Stern noted that the last three years included two pandemic years when a lot of companies in the oil and gas industries struggled to stay afloat, let alone post a profit, with oil prices falling as low as $25 per barrel.

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Different plant, same tactics.

Ukraine Claims Missile Hit Area Near Nuclear Power Plant (RT)

A missile has hit a location in Ukraine’s Nikolaev Region close to the South Ukraine nuclear power plant, President Vladimir Zelensky has claimed. The incident happened early on Monday morning, according to the president. The projectile landed some 300 meters from the facility, causing damage to windows and briefly disrupting power supplies to the grid, he wrote on social media. Zelensky posted surveillance footage purportedly showing the strike. The video shows a powerful explosion against the backdrop of the night skyline and was apparently filmed by a malfunctioning digital camera. The frames appear to be out of order, and the timestamps go back and forth. The president’s post also included photos of broken windows, presumably caused by the blast.


Zelensky accused Russia of “endangering the world” and said it should be “stopped, before it is too late”. The South Ukraine nuclear power plant is located near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk, deep inside Ukraine-controlled territory in the south of the country. The facility has been operating since 1982 and has three VVER-1000 reactors. Zelensky’s accusations against Russia add to a long list of nuclear-related allegations. Kiev and Moscow have for weeks been pointing the finger at each other over attacks on the Russian-controlled city of Energodar, which hosts the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the facility earlier this month, confirming damage caused by multiple shelling incidents, but declining to attribute them to either side.

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100 years ago, the battle was for sharing the surplus. Now, it is for sharing the lack of it.

Why the World Economic Forum’s Plutocracy Should Be Dissolved (Shurk)

Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, appeared with David Gergen in 2017 at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and openly boasted of his influence over many national leaders: “I have to say when I mention names like Mrs. Merkel, even Vladimir Putin and so on, they have all been Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, but what we are really proud of now is the young generation like Prime Minister Trudeau, the President of Argentina and so on. So we penetrate the cabinets. So yesterday I was at a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau, and I know that half of his cabinet or even more are Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum…. It is true in Argentina and it is true in France now….”

When the chairman of an international economic body publicly brags about his leverage over the leaders of sovereign nation states, he can hardly be mistaken as defending the merits of “democracy.” In a somewhat farcical display of the World Economic Forum’s control over individual nations, it has become eerily commonplace these last two years to hear the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States all parroting the same “Build Back Better” slogan propagated by Klaus Schwab’s economic club. With wealth and political power bonded densely into such haut monde cabals, the insular prerogatives of the WEF have succeeded in dominating government policies throughout the West.

Both in their immediate handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and their planned response to the harsh economic repercussions dovetailing from prolonged lockdowns, Western nation states have taken many of their cues directly from the World Economic Forum’s policy edicts. Whatever vestige of “democracy” still casts a shadow across North America, Europe, and the South Pacific, it has become unmistakable that plutocracy — rule by a wealthy elite — is fast assuming total control over the West’s future. Notably, today’s plutocrats have little interest in truly free markets. Unlike J.D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and other late-nineteenth-century industrialists and business magnates who made their fortunes in the heyday of economic growth before the massive expansion of the regulatory State, those with great wealth today often champion government intervention in markets.

The World Economic Forum, for instance, demands governments take urgent action to combat or address climate change, cybersecurity, online misinformation, artificial intelligence, overpopulation, the use of hydrocarbon energy, farm ownership, food supplies, the elimination of private vehicle ownership, and the imposition of citizen-control protocols to defend against future pandemics. Regulation of people and markets is now of paramount importance to those with wealth and power.

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“manipulative case-file practice”

Whistleblower: FBI Uses Jan. 6 Cases To Create Illusion Of National Crisis (JTN)

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee said Monday a whistleblower has come forward detailing how the FBI is manipulating cases related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to create “the illusion” that domestic violent extremism is a widespread problem in the United States. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray that the “manipulative case-file practice” was being conducted by the bureau’s Washington field office, which was instructing local FBI offices to open up cases on their books that were in fact simply related to the Capitol breach. “The FBI’s case categorization creates the illusion that threats from DVE are present in jurisdictions across the nation, when in reality they all stem from the same related investigation concerning the actions at the Capitol on January 6,” Jordan wrote.

“Such an artificial case categorization scheme allows FBI leadership to misleadingly point to ‘significant’ increases in DVE threats nationwide,” he added. The Republican lawmaker said the whistleblower’s description is “consistent with disclosures we have received from other whistleblowers that high-ranking FBI officials — including a senior WFO official — are pressing front-line agents to categorize cases as DVE matters to fit a political narrative.” The activity comes as President Joe Biden and his team try to make the case that supporters of Donald Trump are creating a crisis of extremism in the United States, a case he made in a widely panned speech in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago.

Jordan said the FBI’s shifted focus is coming at the expense of other crimes, including the investigation of child sex exploitation. “The whistleblower disclosed that the FBI is sacrificing its other important federal law-enforcement duties to pursue January 6 investigations,” Jordan wrote. “The whistleblower recalled, for example, being told that child sexual abuse material investigations were no longer an FBI priority and should be referred to local law enforcement agencies.

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“Ultimately, the Left will choke to death on its many crimes and we can return to being a people who confidently know the difference between right and wrong.”

A Walk on the Wild Side (Kunstler)

What is the answer when faced with a large-scale religious disturbance in society, especially one displaying all the earmarks of overt, archetypal evil? You call in an exorcist. That has been Donald Trump’s true role in this millenarian mega-crisis. He is seeking to cast out evil spirits afflicting this sore-beset national community and the evil spirits are frantic to stop his ministrations by any means. He is, of course, a most untoward avatar in this war of good against evil. He came out of the infernal circle of New York real estate development. The assumption all along is that he must be tainted by dirty dealing with the mobs who ran the construction unions, but after six years of relentless investigation by the Southern District of New York and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the legions of hell came up with… nothing.

How was this possible? Well, they tried their darndest, and now they’re trying again with some double-jeopardy maneuvers. The law, to these degenerates, is just an instrument of their own will-to-power. Chugging toward the 2022 mid-term elections, Mr. Trump is out there giving moral support and focus to so-called “domestic terrorists” seeking to crush the Woke demonic religious persecution. He leads the substantial demographic of Americans who are determined to not play along with Woke absurdities, and they love him for it. Mr. Trump may or may not be the Republican nominee in 2024, but he is helping the country with a literal House-cleaning in advance of that, and it will open the door to a deluge of corrective truth-telling about what has gone on the past several years, in everything from the Covid 19 scam to the Green New Deal aimed at wrecking what’s left of Western Civ’s economies.

Americans, except for the very old, are not disposed to attending church, meaning they are not reminded at regular intervals, and formal rituals, that good and evil exists in all of us, and that we have a duty to our sacred consciousness to tend to the right side, to “the better angels of our nature,” Lincoln put it. Ultimately, the Left will choke to death on its many crimes and we can return to being a people who confidently know the difference between right and wrong.

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For the same reason they cling to believing in Santa.

Why So Many Cling to Covid Panic (Oshinskie)

The government and media have spent the past 30 months disingenuously building Corona fear and implementing a range of talismanic measures like lockdowns, school closures, masks, tests and shots to convince us that they were magically—yet always “Scientifically!—” protecting us all from death. Just as any thinking six-year-old figures out that Santa simply can’t put all of that toy freight into one sleigh, any thinking adult should have known that none of the hoary Corona crew: neither the elfin Fauci’s, Birx’s nor Biden’s rhetoric or theater made any sense, either in theory or in real-life outcomes; nor did similar alarmism or interventions by younger, hipper “liberal” governors, mayors and prime ministers. But just like my parents’ efforts to preserve the Santa myth, governments won’t let go of the Corona theater—especially the shots—and the media desperately continues to portray as experts those who “masterminded” the mitigation.


All of the empirical data have corroborated what was known on Day 1 of the lockdowns—namely that this virus threatens almost no one but the very old and infirm, that none of these interventions works and that each of these have caused–and will continue to cause–widespread, terrible secondary and tertiary damage. Instead of admitting this, governments and media persist in their campaign of terror, lies and bogus zero-Covid measures. Because to stop lying now would be to admit that it’s all been a delusion. And politically and morally, they can’t bring themselves to do that. A five-year-old might not know a scam when they see it. But even a ten-year-old does. Or at least should. They’re counting on adults to be like five-year-olds. It might work.

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Biden 8.3

 

 

Stop calling it clean energy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 312022
 
 August 31, 2022  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Henri Matisse Bathers by a river 1909-16

 

UK Inflation May Top 22% Next Year – Goldman Sachs (RT)
Thousands Of UK Pubs ‘Face Closure’ Without Energy Bills Support (G.)
Greek PM: Resources Against Energy Hikes Not ‘Infinite’ (K.)
The Real Problem Is That Europe Doesn’t Have Any Energy Supplies (Every)
China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)
Poland Warns Of EU ‘Implosion’ Over Ukraine Conflict (RT)
US Urges Shutdown Of Nuclear Plant Slated For IAEA Inspection (RT)
Ukraine Targets Possible IAEA Route To Zaporozhye – Local Official (RT)
EU Has No Alternative To Russian Energy – ex Saudi Aramco VP (RT)
Promised “Major Ukrainian Counter-attack” Ends In Disaster (Saker)
Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)
France Accuses Russia Of Using Gas As ‘Weapon Of War’ (RT)
The SCO: Half The World’s Population To Forge The New World Order (Trenin)
FBI Put The Hunter Biden Story Right In Facebook’s Lap (Devine)
Top FBI Agent Resigns Amid Claims He Shielded Hunter Biden From Probe (NYP)
Three Ways the Psychotic Covid Panic Narrative Was Created (DS)
Fauci’s Presence Is No Longer Politically Sustainable (CHD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dies suddenly

 

 

 

 

Soon the Debt Rattle will live up to its original name again.

UK Inflation May Top 22% Next Year – Goldman Sachs (RT)

Inflation in Britain could jump above 22% in 2023 if gas prices continue to grow, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing Goldman Sachs analysts. The bank’s economists estimate that if prices keep rising, the UK may be forced to hike its energy cap by a further 80% in January, which would in turn push inflation up to 22.4% and cause a 3.4% drop in the country’s GDP. Moreover, even if energy prices stabilize, analysts say the peak inflation rate will be around 14.8% in January, which is enough to plunge the country into a recession. According to Bloomberg, investors expect drastic measures from the Bank of England in the coming months to battle inflation, including a key rate hike of up to 4.25% from the current 1.75%. Goldman Sachs’ inflation forecast tops the previous one made last week by Citigroup, which expects inflation in the UK to surge to 18.6% next year, and the Bank of England’s expectation of 13%.

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“..Let’s not forget that for most licensees the pub is not just their business but also their family home.”

Thousands Of UK Pubs ‘Face Closure’ Without Energy Bills Support (G.)

Thousands of pubs face closure without urgent government support to soften the blow from soaring energy bills, the beer industry has said, putting jobs at risk in a sector still battling to recover from the Covid pandemic. The bosses of companies owning almost half of the UK’s 47,000 pubs said tenants were already giving notice because they could not cope with energy bills, which are due to rise more than fivefold in some cases. Unlike households, businesses do not benefit from a cap on what suppliers can charge for gas and electricity, leaving many firms facing oblivion without state intervention. In a letter to the government and the Conservative leadership candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the British Beer and Pub Association said mass job losses were inevitable in the absence of help for an industry that employs 940,000 people.

Nick Mackenzie, the chief executive of the 3,100-strong pub chain Greene King, said the energy bill blow had come just as the sector was battling back from the ravages of the Covid-19 lockdowns, which hit hospitality particularly hard and left many with punishing debts. “While the government has introduced measures to help households cope with this spike in prices, businesses are having to face this alone, and it is only going to get worse come the autumn,” Mackenzie said. “Without immediate government intervention to support the sector, we could face the prospect of pubs being unable to pay their bills, jobs being lost and beloved locals across the country forced to close their doors, meaning all the good work done to keep pubs open during the pandemic could be wasted.” His counterpart at St Austell Brewery, Kevin Georgel, said thousands of pubs could be forced to call last orders for good.

Chris Jowsey, the chief executive of Admiral Taverns, said the impact was frightening. He said: “One of our licensees reluctantly gave notice to leave his pub after the cost of electricity increased by 450%, making it impossible to trade profitably. Let’s not forget that for most licensees the pub is not just their business but also their family home.”


“I got this electricity bill today, how in the name of God is this possible, we’re a small coffee shop in westmeath”

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Early warning: you’re on your own.

Greek PM: Resources Against Energy Hikes Not ‘Infinite’ (K.)

The Greek economy does not have “infinite” resources to keep offsetting the impact of skyrocketing energy prices, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told ministers on Tuesday, warning of a “tough” winter ahead. “Any steps we take will be measured so that temporary needs do not undermine national imperatives… If we have succeeded in supporting society so far, to the best of our ability, it is precisely because we exhaust the fiscal limits, without abolishing them,” the prime minister told a cabinet meeting at his office in Athens. The prime minister hailed the European Commission’s announcement on Monday that it intends to introduce a series of reforms to the energy market to contain runaway prices, but warned against delaying any such initiatives.


“Every day that passes without a joint approach to the energy crisis makes the problems for all Europeans grow,” said Mitsotakis, who had presented Brussels with list of such reform proposals earlier in the year. The energy crisis, added Mitsotakis, is a concerted assault against the West by Russia, which “is seeking to create social turmoil and political instability inside the countries opposing its plans by applying economic pressure.” He added that Greece is among the countries being targeted by Moscow for taking Ukraine’s side in Russia’s ongoing invasion. “Mr Putin is doing nothing to hide it, and neither is Mr Erdogan, who has publicly stated that he would like a different government in Athens,” Mitsotakis added, referring to Russian and Turkish presidents, respectively.

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“The brutal lesson is that neoliberalism is like a chocolate teapot..”

The Real Problem Is That Europe Doesn’t Have Any Energy Supplies (Every)

Of course, the real problem is that Europe doesn’t have any energy supplies to force state or private capital into – or at least not ones it is prepared to tap: indeed, Germany’s economy minister says the “bitter reality” is that Russia will not resume gas supply. Enjoy those stocks you have built up at huge expense, because there will be far less flow ahead. As such, what power source will the EU link electricity prices to? Solar panels, in winter when northern Europe’s energy requirements are at their highest? Burning the M&Ms that unicorns excrete? Underlining the point, Brent oil prices rose 4% to over $105 yesterday before retreating slightly (and wheat and corn went up 3-4% too, showing that central banks are still behind the curve on that front); Iraq slipped into chaos, with the US airlifting its personnel out of another Greater Middle East embassy(!); it was rumored OPEC+ may announce a production cut ahead; that the US might have to dip into its Strategic Petroleum Reserve even more – as if there can’t be a real crisis that demands its use ahead; and US Department of Defence spokesman Kirby warned he was concerned about the possibility of energy shortages ahead.

The brutal lesson is that neoliberalism is like a chocolate teapot – it looks amazingly sweet until things get ‘hot’, and then it serves no purpose at all. Yet industrial policy/corporatism/fascism/Common Prosperity also needs to be based on the real, and realpolitik, not the ideal. If the EU throws de facto MMT/printed money at energy subsidies within a neoliberal framework with no concrete, achievable plan for more energy supply (of what? From whom?) then it is simply going to drive global energy prices higher, many EM into the ground – some of whom are located close to Europe, EUR well through the parity floor, and inflation still into the sky. So let’s hope there is joined-up thinking behind their latest proposals. Relatedly, the title of today’s Daily, ‘The Power of the Powerless’ (which I have used before) addresses the energy situation in Europe, but was also the title of a political pamphlet by dissident Vaclav Havel against communist Czechoslovakia.

He argued the first step to bringing down the regime was for a powerless greengrocer not to place the state-backed sign saying, ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ in his window. If Europe (and others) had done the same with certain neoliberal-approved signs they arguably would not be in the critical mess they are in now. Finally, and also linked to the Daily title –as even the ECB agrees with me!– military reports are that a Ukrainian Kherson counter-offensive has begun. Market participants who have read any history will know that watching the success or failure on that key front will likely also be key to the global geopolitical and inflation outlook longer term. Far more so than most central bank warble, regardless of how much power they like to think they have.

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“.. the move was to “protect the legitimate business rights and interests of the relevant importers and exporters..”

China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)

One month ago, we were surprised to read how, despite a suppressed appetite for energy amid its housing crash and economic downturn (for which “zero covid” has emerged as a convenient scapegoat for emperor Xi), China has been soaking up more Russian natural gas so far this year, while imports from most other sources declined. In July, the SCMP reported that according to Chinese customs data, in the first six months of the year, China bought a total of 2.35 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – valued at US$2.16 billion. The import volume increased by 28.7% year on year, with the value surging by 182%. It meant Russia has surpassed Indonesia and the United States to become China’s fourth-largest supplier of LNG so far this year!

This, of course, is not to be confused with pipeline gas, where Russian producer Gazprom recently announced that its daily supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline had reached a new all-time high (Russia is China’s second-largest pipeline natural gas supplier after Turkmenistan), and earlier revealed that the supply of Russian pipeline gas to China had increased by 63.4% in the first half of 2022. What was behind this bizarre surge in Russian LNG imports, analysts speculated? After all, while China imports over half of the natural gas it consumes, with around two-thirds in the form of LNG, demand this year had fallen sharply amid economic headwinds and widespread shutdowns. In other words, why the surge in Russian LNG when i) domestic demand is just not there and ii) at the expense of everyone else?

“The increase in Russian LNG could be a displacement of cargoes going to Japan or South Korea because of sanctions, or weaker demand there,” said Michal Meidan, director of the China Energy Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. One thing that was clear: China wanted to keep its arms-length gas dealing with Russia as unclear as possible, which is why the General Administration of Customs of China stopped publicizing the breakdown in trade volume for pipeline natural gas since the beginning of the year, with spokesman Li Kuiwen confirming that the move was to “protect the legitimate business rights and interests of the relevant importers and exporters”.

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Bet on it.

Poland Warns Of EU ‘Implosion’ Over Ukraine Conflict (RT)

A burgeoning divide within the EU on the Ukraine conflict could implode the bloc, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told French media on Monday. This is because certain member states would prefer to seek peace rather than sticking with Kiev until it prevails in its fight against Russia, the Polish leader said. Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper, Morawiecki indicated that Russia would endeavor to persuade the West to end the hostilities in Ukraine and get back to “business as usual,” taking advantage of divisions among EU members on the matter. “So yes, a threat of implosion exists. That is why it is so important to maintain a dialogue between us, to find compromises and a common denominator,” he said.

On Monday, Morawiecki met with French President Emmanuel Macron. According to the Polish prime minister, the two discussed the Ukraine conflict, how to “force Russian troops to withdraw,” as well as the EU’s economic woes. The Polish leader said he and Macron share a common vision for strengthening the bloc’s military capabilities. However, Morawiecki admitted that he and the French leader have a number of differences over Ukraine, saying that while they both believe that European unity should be defended, Macron would do better to talk less to Russian President Vladimir Putin and more to Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky. “My view is that Zelensky deserves all the French support, because he is fighting for the most important European values, for freedom, justice, sovereignty. He should be the main recipient of phone calls from the Elysee Palace,” Morawiecki noted.

He also said that if Poland held the rotating EU presidency, it would push for the seizing of Russian assets, which are now just frozen, because “this type of sanctions could really threaten Russia.” Morawiecki’s comments come after the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, admitted on Sunday that the bloc would encounter “major challenges” due to the anti-Russian sanctions that it slapped on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile, Politico reported on Monday that Germany and France had spoken against a full visa ban on Russian nationals, which has apparently frustrated some Russia hawks in the EU, who are calling for a stronger pushback against Moscow.

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Of course in an energy crisis, you shut down your biggest nuclear plant.

US Urges Shutdown Of Nuclear Plant Slated For IAEA Inspection (RT)

Senior US officials have urged a full shutdown of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control. A “controlled shutdown” of the facility “would be the safest and least risky option in the near-term,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told journalists on Monday. The same call came from an unnamed senior US defense official, who briefed journalists the same day. The power plant and the city of Energodar that hosts it have been under Russian control since March, though Ukrainian civilian workers continue to operate the facility. For several weeks now, the site has been under constant artillery and drone attacks. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of being behind the strikes.

Kiev has also claimed that Russian forces have used the Zaporozhye facility as a military base and have deployed heavy weapons there, which Moscow has denied. This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, is expected to visit the plant for an on-site inspection. The agency’s delegation will be led by its head, Rafael Grossi, and may arrive at the site as soon as Wednesday. The Soviet-built Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is the largest facility of its kind in Europe. It hosts six of Ukraine’s 15 power-generating reactors, which are spread across four plants. The facility reached its full capacity of over 6,000 MW for the first time in December 2021, when all of its VVER-1000 units became operational at the same time.

At the moment, only reactors five and six remain online. Despite hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, the Zaporozhye plant supplies power to parts of Ukraine controlled by both sides, according to the head of the Russia-allied administration of Zaporozhye Region, Vladimir Rogov. The Russian military suggested in mid-March that shutting down the reactors could become necessary due to Ukrainian attacks on the plant. Such a proposal was voiced by Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, who heads the unit of the Russian armed forces trained in dealing with the consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction, including radiation contamination.

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Surprise: Zelensky says it’s the Russians.

Ukraine Targets Possible IAEA Route To Zaporozhye – Local Official (RT)

Ukrainian forces are shelling a potential route of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission, which is set to examine the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant this week, local authorities claimed on Tuesday. Zaporozhye Region council member Vladimir Rogov told RIA Novosti that “Ukrainian nationalists are targeting locations that could be visited by the IAEA mission in Energodar,” where the plant is located. He added that “[Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s regime also started a military operation in the south of the country,” which raises concerns for the safety of the IAEA mission. Rogov also said Kiev’s forces have shelled the NPP’s resort house that could accommodate the IAEA delegation.

On Monday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced that an expert group would visit the NPP this week to assess the damage sustained by the plant and check the safety and security systems. Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant has been under Russian control since March. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of attacking the plant, while warning that the shelling could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the Chernobyl incident. Kiev insists, however, that Russian forces are shelling the site while stationing military hardware there. On Sunday night, Ukrainian forces shelled Energodar, the city where the plant is located, local officials said.

They claimed that the attack, which injured nine people and deliberately hit a number of residential houses, was meant to torpedo the upcoming IAEA mission. “This provocation by Kiev-controlled militants is aimed at derailing the visit of the IAEA chief to the Zaporozhye NPP,” they said at the time. Also on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Kiev’s forces attempted a counter-offensive in Kherson in southern Ukraine, but “failed miserably.” The ministry went on to say that the Ukrainian army had attempted to attack in three directions, but made no gains and suffered “great losses,” which included dozens of tanks and armored fighting vehicles.

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“Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

EU Has No Alternative To Russian Energy – ex Saudi Aramco VP (RT)

There’s not enough capacity in the world to replace Russia’s gas supply to the European Union, while Moscow has plenty of markets to sell its energy to, the former executive vice president at Saudi Aramco, Sadad Al-Husseini, told CNBC on Monday. “The US doesn’t have the LNG capacity to replace Russia’s exports to Europe,” he said, noting that power bills across the EU are set to soar this winter. According to Al-Husseini, that could lead to serious problems on the global energy market. “This situation is a new world, and it’s not a very good one for energy,” he warned. “In any case, there isn’t enough LNG capacity in the world to make up for the Russian exports to Europe,” the former executive said, adding that, “It will take years for the EU to find resources to replace Russian supply.”


As regards to Moscow losing EU buyers, he noted that, despite Western sanctions, there are “plenty of alternative markets” for Russian energy, including China, Japan, or India. Meanwhile, Europe does not have alternative energy sources, he said, “while the US is maxed out already, North Africa has got problems,” and OPEC is also running out of spare capacity. “So, it’s a global problem,” he said. The official suggested that, while the Russian economy may suffer under Western sanctions, the rest of the world will be suffering with them. However, he stressed that “Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

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@imetatronink:
“• 48 tanks
• 83 armored vehicles
• ~1200 soldiers
A massacre.
This will be the final AFU “offensive” of the war.”

Surprise: Zelensky says it’s a big success.

Promised “Major Ukrainian Counter-attack” Ends In Disaster (Saker)

(machine translation) The Defense Ministry called the losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the failed offensive of Ukraine near Kherson Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, as a result, the AFU units suffered heavy losses, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters. “Today, during the day, on the direct instructions of Zelensky, Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions in three directions. As a result of the active defense of the grouping of Russian troops, the AFU units suffered heavy losses,” TASS reports. The ministry added that “the enemy’s losses in manpower amounted to more than 560 servicemen, another attempt at offensive actions of the enemy failed miserably.”

According to the Defense Ministry, the Russian Armed Forces destroyed 26 Ukrainian tanks, 23 infantry fighting vehicles, nine other armored combat vehicles, shot down two Su-25 attack aircraft. Earlier on Monday, Deputy head of the administration of the Kherson region Kirill Stremousov said: the AFU has been shelling several settlements of the Kherson region since Sunday evening. Schools, social infrastructure were destroyed, residential buildings were damaged, the official confirmed. But there is no question of any APU offensive on Kherson, statements in the Ukrainian media – “this is some kind of illusion, a movie,” Stremousov pointed out.

As the head of the Kakhovsky district, Vladimir Leontiev, in turn, reported, the AFU inflicted more than 10 missile strikes on Novaya Kakhovka, including residential buildings and schools. Some strikes were carried out from HIMARS, residential buildings and a school were damaged, the head of the district said. Aviation, missile troops and artillery hit nine control points of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the day, including on the territory of the Mykolaiv region, the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, said on Monday.

‘Now is the time for Russian soldiers to flee’: Zelensky

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“Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating.”

Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)

No one, including the most bullish supporters of Ukraine, expect the nation’s war with Russia to end soon. The fighting has been reduced to artillery duels across hundreds of miles of front lines and creeping advances and retreats. Ukraine, like Afghanistan, will bleed for a very long time. This is by design. On Aug. 24, the Biden administration announced yet another massive military aid package to Ukraine worth nearly $3 billion. It will take months, and in some cases years, for this military equipment to reach Ukraine. In another sign that Washington assumes the conflict will be a long war of attrition it will give a name to the U.S. military assistance mission in Ukraine and make it a separate command overseen by a two- or three-star general.

Since August 2021, Biden has approved more than $8 billion in weapons transfers from existing stockpiles, known as drawdowns, to be shipped to Ukraine, which do not require congressional approval. Including humanitarian assistance, replenishing depleting U.S. weapons stocks and expanding U.S. troop presence in Europe, Congress has approved over $53.6 billion ($13.6 billion in March and a further $40.1 billion in May) since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. War takes precedence over the most serious existential threats we face. The proposed budget for the CDC in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion while the proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Our approved assistance to Ukraine is more than twice these amounts.

The militarists who have waged permanent war costing trillions of dollars over the past two decades have invested heavily in controlling the public narrative. The enemy, whether Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, is always the epitome of evil, the new Hitler. Those we support are always heroic defenders of liberty and democracy. Anyone who questions the righteousness of the cause is accused of being an agent of a foreign power and a traitor. The mass media cravenly disseminates these binary absurdities in 24-hour news cycles. Its news celebrities and experts, universally drawn from the intelligence community and military, rarely deviate from the approved script. Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating. Its goal: to keep billions of dollars flowing into the hands of the war industry and prevent the public from asking inconvenient questions.

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You put in the sanctions. That backfired. Well, you always know who to blame. Problem is, when people are cold and dark, they will look at you.

France Accuses Russia Of Using Gas As ‘Weapon Of War’ (RT)

French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Tuesday accused Moscow of using its gas exports as a weapon after a reduction of Russian supplies to France was reported. “Very clearly Russia is using gas as a weapon of war and we must prepare for the worst case scenario of a complete interruption of supplies,” the minister told France Inter radio. EU governments are trying to fill up gas storages to avoid shortages during the fast-approaching heating season, and any supply shortfalls from Russia, which is still a large source of gas for the bloc, are met with increased worry.


Earlier on Tuesday, Le Figaro reported that, according to a press release from French energy supplier Engie, Russia’s Gazprom has cut gas supplies because of an unspecified contractual dispute. Furthermore, the Russian energy major is slated to halt supplies to the EU via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline due to maintenance from Wednesday to Friday. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday warned domestic companies that they would be the first to face energy rationing in the event of shortages of natural gas or electricity, and called on them to draft energy saving plans by September.

Read more …

Look at the future.

The SCO: Half The World’s Population To Forge The New World Order (Trenin)

Over 20 years after it began as an attempt at cooperation between five-Russian led post-Soviet states and an emerging China, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has become a major global institution, representing close to half of the world’s population. From September 15-16, Samarkand, one of the ancient centers of human civilization, will host the annual summit of the group. The Uzbek presidency’s priorities include strengthening the SCO’s capabilities in assuring regional security and stability; promoting friendship and good-neighborliness; raising its global profile; countering threats in the information and ideological spheres; expanding parliamentary links; energizing economic interaction; enhancing connectivity; intensifying cultural and humanitarian contacts; and raising the general effectiveness of the collective and its mechanisms.

All of this looks impressive, but quite anodyne, and the documents to be formally approved at the summit do not promise any major sensations – beyond the long-expected admission of Iran as the SCO’s ninth member state. Yet the environment in which the Samarkand summit will be held differs greatly even from last year’s gathering in Dushanbe. Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has led to a proxy war between Moscow and Washington. Meanwhile, Sino-US relations, already confrontational, have become palpably strained over the recent visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. sNATO’s new strategic concept adopted last June in Madrid describes Russia as the most significant and direct threat, and China – for the first time – as a challenge to Western interests, security and values. As a result, the international community has moved visibly closer to a Cold War-style division between two camps in an intensifying rivalry over the world order.

That said, the SCO is unlikely to become the non-West’s version of NATO. While the US-led bloc is now more united than ever in its effort to preserve the order built and developed in the heyday of its global dominance, non-Western nations do not display anything similar to that sort of unity, hierarchy, and internal discipline. Russia and China, although they both reject US global hegemony, pursue very different grand strategies and – despite their public declarations of a cooperation that “knows no limits,” and a partnership that is “more than an alliance” – are careful not to damage their other important connections – e.g., China’s with the US and EU; and Russia’s with India – as they cooperate with each other. Moreover, China and India, not to mention the latter and Pakistan, while all members of the SCO, view each other as major security threats.

Despite such diversity and complexity, however, the SCO, at the start of its third decade, is not only still in business, but is steadily getting more active and becoming more attractive to others. In 2001, it started at six; after 2017, the membership expanded to eight, with another 20 countries or so listed as observers, dialogue partners, or in the process of joining. Iran’s accession this year is spurring the interest of Turkey and a number of Arab countries, notably the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar. The SCO community could potentially include much of the Eurasian continent between Belarus and Cambodia. Such enlargement carries obvious risks in terms of even wider diversity of interest, conflict, and frictions between the countries that aspire to join. Yet, the example of China and Russia; India and Pakistan finding the SCO useful to their interests is a convincing argument for accession.

Read more …

“..how did the FBI know about our story weeks before it was published, maybe even before we were told about the laptop by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello?”

FBI Put The Hunter Biden Story Right In Facebook’s Lap (Devine)

Since our story had nothing to do with Russian disinformation, what made Facebook think it was the “dump” the FBI warned them about? We asked Facebook: “Was there mention made in the FBI briefing of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Ukraine or a laptop?” Facebook’s answer was curious. “The FBI shared general warnings about foreign interference — nothing specific about Hunter Biden.” Note the omissions. Whatever was said, the briefing must have been specific enough for Facebook to recognize immediately that our story was exactly what the FBI was warning about and move at record speed to throttle it.

At 11:10 a.m. the morning the story went live, Democratic operative Andy Stone, Facebook’s communications manager, issued a statement on Twitter announcing “we are reducing its distribution on our platform” while the story is “fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners.” All morning the bombshell story had been the subject of frenetic commentary from journalists on twitter. But Stone’s announcement killed it stone dead. Twitter followed Facebook’s lead and locked The Post’s account for two weeks. Mission accomplished. Polls show that the outcome of the election may have been different if the story had not been censored.

[..] the question is, how did the FBI know about our story weeks before it was published, maybe even before we were told about the laptop by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello? Were they spying on John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the Delaware Mac repair shop where Hunter had abandoned his laptop in April 2019? Mac Isaac believed he was under surveillance after he first contacted the FBI on October 9, 2019, via his father, to tell them he had the laptop and was concerned about evidence of crimes he believed it contained. The FBI’s response was oddly hostile. sWhat followed was a curious visit to his Delaware home by FBI agents Mike DeMeo and Joshua Wilson of the FBI’s Baltimore office a month later, and again to his store on December 9, this time with a subpoena for Hunter’s water-damaged laptop and a hard drive clone of its contents which Mac Isaac had made.

[..] We don’t know whether Mac Isaac was under FBI surveillance. But we don’t have to speculate about Rudy Giuliani. We know the FBI spied on the former mayor’s cloud for two years from May, 2019, a month after he began working as then president Donald Trump’s personal attorney. A year after raiding Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment last April, ostensibly over FARA violations, the FBI returned all his devices, without charging him, and told the New York Times he was no longer under investigation. So the FBI had access to all Giuliani’s emails and iMessages for two years. Were they spying on Giuliani in order to spy on Trump? Unfortunately for them, Trump rarely writes emails or texts so they came up empty there. But it is possible that they saw the email to Giuliani from his lawyer Bob Costello at 4.28 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2020, telling him of Mac Isaac’s “amazing discovery.”

Read more …

Instrumental in Russiagate, too.

Top FBI Agent Resigns Amid Claims He Shielded Hunter Biden From Probe (NYP)

A top FBI agent at the Washington field office reportedly resigned from his post last week after facing intense scrutiny over allegations he helped shield Hunter Biden from criminal investigations into his laptop and business dealings. Timothy Thibault, an FBI assistant special agent in charge, was allegedly forced out after he was accused of political bias in his handling of probes involving President Biden’s son, sources told the Washington Times on Monday. The agent was escorted out of the field office by at least two “headquarters-looking types” last Friday, the sources said. Thibault, a 25-year-veteran, had already been on leave for a month after the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), started raising concerns about whistleblower claims the FBI had obstructed its own investigations into the first son.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray in July, Grassley said Thibault and FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten were allegedly involved in “a scheme” to “undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.” Thibault also allegedly tried to kill off a valid avenue of investigation of possible Hunter Biden criminality up until at least one month before the Nov. 2020 election, according to Grassley. “Thibault allegedly ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required by FBI guidelines…. [and] subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future,” Grassley wrote. It was the same month The Post first started reporting on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which included troves of emails related to his shady overseas business dealings.

Read more …

“..we counted 14 different ways of attributing deaths to COVID-19..”

Three Ways the Psychotic Covid Panic Narrative Was Created (DS)

Throughout restrictions which Lord Sumption called a “catastrophe”, we were exposed to the mantra of ‘follow the science’. But unfortunately, the only ‘science’ that seems to have been followed in the major decisions is that of modellers and government departments. Models are akin to opinions. If they are science, the evidence they provide sits on the lowest rung of the ladder. Modellers are accountable to no one; most have never seen a patient in their lives as they have no clinical background, which impedes their understanding of how people behave. Individuals are not herds of buffalos. Some modellers have a consistent track record of getting their predictions dramatically wrong with (again) catastrophic consequences.

Since the start, we have looked at the evidence underpinning the fear-generating narrative pushed by the Government, some politicians, the media and many Twitterati, who overnight forgot the principles of scientific investigation, equipoise or uncertainty and the work of many pioneers in respiratory virus epidemiology spanning a century. The psychotic narrative rests on three legs of what we call the Covid narrative stool. The first leg is the number of cases. We have shown that misuse of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based on a superficial understanding amplified the number of ‘cases’ as many of these were not likely to be infectious at all. The second leg was the hospital pressure theme. Here using data which should have been available (but are not), we have shown that up to 40% of hospital cases were infected while in hospital, a phenomenon which shows no sign of abating. The data from three devolved nations and our interpretation have been serialised on our website.

Finally deaths. A death in epidemiology is the one inevitable outcome you can observe and tally. The question is: what caused it? This is called attribution. Looking at the data from freedom of information requests made by an alert public and the response at times by patronising authorities, we counted 14 different ways of attributing deaths to COVID-19. The first prize for the most bizarre was the Care Quality Commission’s: it left it to the care provider to decide the cause of death. So it is possible that administrators decided what role SARS-CoV-2 played in your grandmother’s death. In one health authority’s case, deaths of people who tested ‘negative’ were rolled into the Covid total.

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“..even if he was “only right five percent of the time,” it still means “we were lied to five percent of the time.”

Fauci’s Presence Is No Longer Politically Sustainable (CHD)

While Dr. Anthony Fauci claims he’s stepping down to “pursue the next chapter” of his career, an attorney who has been pursuing legal accountability for Fauci’s actions believes it’s because “his presence is no longer politically sustainable.” Fauci announced on Aug. 22 that he is stepping down from his positions as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Laboratory of Immunoregulation and as chief medical adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden. “The huge pop we are all hearing is the global opening of champagne bottles celebrating Fauci’s departure,” attorney Thomas Renz told The Epoch Times.

Renz is the lead attorney in several major cases brought against the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Biden administration and Fauci himself; regarding forced vaccine mandates, the COVID-19 lockdowns, mask mandates, business closures, alleged hospital negligence, vaccine injuries to military personnel and civilians and efforts to censor the truth about COVID-19. While his assertions have been dismissed as “false,” “rich in conspiracy theory” and “based on faulty data due to a database glitch,” Renz responded to critics that even if he was “only right five percent of the time,” it still means “we were lied to five percent of the time.”

According to Renz, the whole COVID-19 playbook used by the government and the liberal media to force compliance of restrictive protocols is filled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies. While Fauci demanded the use of masks and social distancing because these measures were supposed to prevent the spread of the virus, numerous studies and scientists say otherwise. The CDC admitted in August 2020 that “sustaining social distancing interventions over several months might not be feasible economically and socially.” Fauci himself has flip-flopped numerous times on the effectiveness of wearing masks. Democrat politicians who imposed mask mandates, lockdowns, quarantines and rules barring indoor personal-care services were frequently caught doing precisely what they forbade others to do.

UK Funeral Director John O’Looney

Read more …

 

 

 

The very first Calvin and Hobbes.

 

 

Biden WMD

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson – This isn’t bad policy; this is nuts

 

 

Kagu

 

 

Flying fox young bats ride clinging to their mother’s breast with their mouth, even though some young are two-thirds the weight of their mothers & quite capable of flying on their own. Photo: Hemant Kumar.

 

 

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Aug 062022
 
 August 6, 2022  Posted by at 12:28 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather 1882

 

 

It is very simple: if you’d ask most citizens of whichever EU country if they are willing to risk being unable to feed and heat their children in order to support Ukraine and Zelensky, they would say NO. Hell no! But that is what they’re all being pushed towards. Food prices look to at least double from here, after they’ve doubled once already, while energy prices are set to triple or worse. And there’s no logical reason for it.

This is not due to some inevitable market mechanism, it’s because the west decided to halt all Russian imports after the latter’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. All western leaders found that reason enough to cut all, or nearly all, imports from Russia. Gas, oil, fertilizer, food. Essentials. They could have been sitting around a negotiating table, but chose not to. Which only works as long as things remain sort of affordable. And then, it does not.

Problem is, they had and have no alternative to the Russian supplies of these goods (and there’s many more). See, this is how we know they don’t make their own decisions. Those are made in Brussels and Davos, and then the “leaders” have to carry out the preconceived programs, and they will.

No elected official on his/her own would risk to destroy their own country’s energy or food safety, with elections coming up every few years. But their WEF/Davos connections have changed that “logic”. The WEF makes sure no western leader gets elected who is not a member of their club. There’s only one path to power these days.

 

But these people grossly underestimate the effect that hunger and cold -will- have on their citizens. The first signs of that are visible in the protests of truckers and farmers, but that’s just a start. You just wait till the cold sets in, and the running blackouts, and the hunger. Wait till people have to feed their kids scraps from a bare table in a cold dark home.

That’s when you will see who people really are. People in the west are overfed, and lazy, and not too sharp, but wait till their kids, and their families, are truly suffering. They’ve seen the example of the farmers and truckers. Wait for people to see the link between their own lives, and the farmers; then you will see who they really are.

“Leaders” like Trudeau and Rutte think they have this under control, that they can make the farmers do what their governments say they must, if need be with assistance from police or even the army. But you cannot send cops and soldiers against your farmers, because 1) they make your food, 2) the people support them, 3) they have a centuries-old democratic right to be farmers, and 4) they don’t take no sh*t for an answer.

This goes back 100s of years, much longer than the right of any politician to tell them what to do. The Dutch farmers on Friday told Rutte to prepare for the hardest actions yet, and they’re still not joking. My guess would be this time they will paralyze the country. Not because they are crazy; 10,000 of them would need to close shop if Rutte gets what he wants, and they won’t let that happen. Farmers will not idly stand by while their neighbor is forced out of business.

No, they are not crazy. They refuse to talk to Rutte, in a sign a of how much they trust him. He assigned a mediator, from his own political club, and all farmer org’s but one refused to talk to him too. The one that did, found the talk useless. Rutte wants the 10,000 scalps no matter what, but it’s just not going to happen. He is shown the limits of his power. Having been PM for 12 years, that’s a bit of a shock.

 

Obviously, this is all strongly connected to the past 2,5 years of measures and mandates and all. The political class got a taste of power that they did not have before, and got carried away. Well, they went too far this time. One telling number was that of US parents letting their youngest kids be vaxxed: what was it, 0.45%?! And 220 million adult Americans have either never been vaxxed or never boosted. No connection to the farmers? You wait and see.

The game is over. People’s patience with their politicians is ending. But the politicians themselves don’t see that; how could they when they censor all discontent and reports from doctors and scientists who don’t follow the “official” line? They’ve lost touch with the very world they’re supposed to represent. All they get to see is the info that is left after their own “norms” have censored the rest. They see only what they like to see.

 

In Europe, the Germans and Dutch will manage to be sort of OK, but only at the expense of poorer EU countries. And that won’t even be their main problem; that problem will be at home; their own farmers will come for them. And their poorest. Countries will leave the EU (and the euro). Hungary first to go?! In Greece, there’s already talk of rolling blackouts this winter, and they get most of their electricity from hydro. Italy is a shambles. How many present “leaders” will still be in place January 1 2023? How about June? After a winter of great discontent?

And they’re all telling you that “we” have to win in Ukraine first, and everything will be alright. But “we” have already lost in Ukraine, we did on February 24, and “we” should be talking to, and making peace with, Russia. Why are we not? Because we don’t want food and energy? The folks in Brussels and Davos will not be hungry and cold. But in other EU places they will be. And they will come to balance this thing out.

As for the US, I’m scared there too. Energy prices may not get as bad as in Europe, but food will be real bad (and how about housing?!). And there’s this fight between two factions going on, that starts to feel like what went on before the Civil War. I hope I’m wrong, but I feel it everywhere: Overreach.

 

 

 

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Jun 242022
 


Georges Seurat A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 1884

 

Frustration Grows In Ukraine, Casualties Spike, Russia Wins Territory (NBC)
EU Leaders To Grant Ukraine Candidate Status In Blow To Putin (G.)
The Third Incarnation of Russia since 1721 (Batiushka)
German Economic Minister Announces Restart of Coal Power Plants (CTH)
The Supreme Court Hands Down Major Gun Rights Victory (Turley)
Liberal Policies Have Killed Black Communities: Clarence Thomas (NYP)
Joe Biden Flashes Official Cheat Sheet: ‘YOU Take YOUR Seat’ (JTN)
Biden Is Hiding His Plan To Rig The 2022 Midterm Elections (Fed.)
Prosecuting Trump: Being A Jerk Isn’t Criminal (Turley)
The CDC Just Pushed Fake News on Covid Child Mortality
Study Finds mRNA Vaccines Lead To Increase Of Serious Adverse Events (TCS)
Alarming Levels of 29 Chemicals Affecting Fertility Found in Men’s Urine (CHD)
Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents (MPN)

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

“We are funding the Ukrainian government, if we stop funding everything would collapse, Mr Zelensky would climb on an airplane where he owns a mansion.”
– Colonel Douglas Macgregor.

 

 

 

 

No, no, NBC, this is not the official narrative…

Frustration Grows In Ukraine, Casualties Spike, Russia Wins Territory (NBC)

Russia’s invasion in February prompted a wave of public support for the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as millions of Ukrainians raced to help defend their homeland. Four months later — amid Russian advances and spiking casualties — anger and frustration over the handling of the war is swelling. In interviews with Ukrainians who have family members fighting the invaders, many said they were upset with the military leadership for deploying inexperienced people to the front lines, and at times sending them into battle without as much as a medical or a psychological examination. “I am ready to protest,” said Viktoriia Bilan-Rashchuk, 43, of Kyiv, whose husband, Volodymyr, a theater actor with no previous military experience, is fighting on the eastern front line in Sievierodonetsk.

Last month, she said, she raised money to send his unit protective headphones — standard military equipment used to prevent hearing loss for soldiers firing off rocket systems. “The government isn’t doing enough to support them. The longer this goes on, the more people will become upset,” Bilan-Rashchuk said in Ukrainian, speaking through a translator. Since Russia invaded in February, thousands of Ukrainians with no military background have volunteered to fight. To boost its war efforts, the Ukrainian government has also banned men ages 18 to 60 from leaving the country in case it needs to start a draft. In May, Zelenskyy said the country’s military had 700,000 service members, including women. Through a relentless campaign of appearances, interviews and statements, Zelenskyy has fought to keep morale high among troops and the general public and plead the country’s case to the international community.

But Russian artillery attacks have intensified in the east in recent months, pushing the Ukrainian military death toll to between 100 and 200 soldiers a day in combat, with another 500 injured every day, according to Ukrainian officials, the BBC reported earlier this month. In his daily address June 14, Zelenskyy called the losses “painful” but said Ukrainians “have to hold on.” Despite the high death toll, Ukrainian officials have maintained that troops are well taken care of, with sufficient training, food, equipment and rest. But as the war grinds on, what makes some Ukrainians especially angry is the lack of basic military equipment for those on the front lines. Some military families have been forced to organize donation drives to send medical supplies and military equipment to the front lines.

Read more …

It will be a blow to the EU.

EU Leaders To Grant Ukraine Candidate Status In Blow To Putin (G.)

European leaders are poised to grant Ukraine candidate status, in a historic decision that opens the door to EU membership for the war-torn country and deals a blow to Vladimir Putin. EU leaders meeting in Brussels are expected to approve Ukraine’s candidate status later on Thursday, nearly four months after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy launched his country’s bid to join the bloc in the early days of the Russian invasion. The move from applicant to candidate usually takes years, but the EU has dramatically accelerated the process, amid outrage over the brutality of the unprovoked Russian attack, and to show solidarity with Ukraine’s defenders.


“Ukraine is going through hell for a simple reason: its desire to join the EU,” tweeted the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, on the eve of the summit. The commission last week called on EU leaders to grant Ukraine’s candidate status. “Our opinion acknowledges the immense progress that [Ukrainian] democracy has achieved since the Maidan protests of 2014,” Von der Leyen said. Welcoming the expected positive decision, Zelenskiy said: “This is like going into the light from the darkness.” Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said candidate status would “draw a line under decades of ambiguity and set it in stone: Ukraine is Europe, not part of the ‘Russian world’”.

Read more …

Great history lesson.

“The break with the West and the ‘obsolete geopolitical illusions’ of its elite’s superiority complex, essentially a form of Nazism, is irreversible.”

The Third Incarnation of Russia since 1721 (Batiushka)

Until the whole of the Ukraine is demilitarised, and it is continually being remilitarised by the West, the liberation cannot stop. Moreover, with potential threats from NATO-armed Poland and Lithuania towards Kaliningrad and from Romania towards Moldova, from arms shipments from Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Lands and the Baltic States, especially from the US puppet-government in Lithuania, with threats from Sweden and Finland to join NATO, where will it stop? The West has to be freed from Nazism/woke liberalism (it is the same thing. As they say: there is nothing so intolerant as liberalism). True, Germany, France and Italy, their economies crippled by US-imposed, anti-Russian sanctions, are showing reason. This is unlike the laughable bluster coming from the militarily feeble Johnson-regime in the UK, which may well be toppled by popular internal discontent and a wave of strikes.

However, it is the economic aspect, with its international dedollarisation, of the Third Incarnation of Russia which is truly world-changing. In the light of the speech of Vladimir Putin at the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum of June 2022, we can say that Russia is returning to its historic path. It wants to leave aside the errors of the past, become a sovereign nation again and no longer be a Western colony. This is unlike the EU, which is clearly just a US vassal, both economically and politically. The future world order will be formed only by strong sovereign states, independent of the dollar and the massive debts of Western countries. These have been caused by their inflationary printing of money that is not based on real commodities such as cereals, oil, gas, minerals, metals, rare earth elements, fertilisers, timber, manufactured goods and gold.

The break with the West and the ‘obsolete geopolitical illusions’ of its elite’s superiority complex, essentially a form of Nazism, is irreversible. Russia will invest in internal economic development in microeconomic and macroeconomic terms, ensuring ‘technological sovereignty’ (which means for instance that Russia already has unique hypersonic missiles), encouraging free enterprise against bureaucracy, improving infrastructure, but also ensuring social justice, fighting against poverty and supporting the family, encouraging far more ‘families to have two, three or more children’. The ideal of social conservatism together with social justice is what is intended. Russia will also help nations in Africa and the Middle East to avoid Western-imposed famine. True, this is an ambitious programme for the future, but this Third Incarnation of Russia is beginning now.

Read more …

What a defeat. Trump warned them and they laughed…

German Economic Minister Announces Restart of Coal Power Plants (CTH)

To say the recent remarks from German Economic and Climate Minister Robert Habeck showcase the stupidity of the western sanctions would be an understatement. In a broad energy policy announcement to the German people, Minister Habeck has announced that natural gas is now urgently being stored and built up in order to survive next winter. Additionally, the German parliament is being called into emergency session to re-write climate laws allowing coal-fired electricity power plants to be brought back on-line. Essentially, years of German renewable energy investments and initiatives are now being reversed in order to maintain the commitment to NATO sanctions against Russia.

GERMANY – Minister Robert Habeck […] “The situation on the gas market has deteriorated in recent days. The missing quantities can still be replaced, and the gas storage tanks are still being filled, albeit at high prices. Security of supply is currently guaranteed. But the situation is serious. We are therefore further strengthening precautions and taking additional measures to reduce gas consumption. […] In order to reduce gas consumption, less gas is to be used to produce electricity. Instead, coal-fired power plants will have to be used more. […] That means, to be honest, more coal-fired power plants for a transitional period. That’s bitter, but in this situation it’s almost necessary to reduce gas consumption. We must and we will do everything we can to store as much gas as possible in summer and autumn. The gas storage tanks must be full in winter. That has top priority, ”said Habeck.

In order to unbuckle themselves from dependence on Russian pipelines, Habeck also announced that floating Liquified Natural Gas terminals will have to be created so they can source LNG from other nations. Currently Germany has no port system to offload LNG, they will be purchasing and leasing floating ships to act as LNG terminals. I am reminded of the prior warning to Germany from U.S. President Donald Trump. It’s worth remembering that U.S. media blasted President Trump for being so brutally honest in his NATO remarks where he warned about the danger of Germany being so dependent on Russia for oil and gas.

Read more …

JUSTICE THOMAS: “Nothing in the Second Amendment’s text draws a home/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, and the definition of “bear” naturally encompasses public carry.”

The Supreme Court Hands Down Major Gun Rights Victory (Turley)

As predicted, the Supreme Court handed down a momentous opinion in favor of Second Amendment rights today in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. In what will likely prove one of the most important decisions in his illustrious career as a conservative jurist, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 6-3 majority opinion that brought greater clarity to this and future challenges under the Second Amendment. In 2008, the Supreme Court recognized the right to bear arms as an individual right in District of Columbia v. Heller. Two years after Heller, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the court ruled that this right applied against the states.

This case concerned concealed-carry restrictions under N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(2)(f) that require a showing of “proper cause.” Lower courts upheld the New York law, but there were ample constitutional concerns over its vague standard, such as showing that you are “of good moral character.” New York wanted to exercise discretion in deciding who needs to carry guns in public while gun owners believe that the law flips the constitutional presumption in favor of such a right. Thomas rejected the two-part analysis used by lower courts and held that the presumption must be in favor of the individual right to possess a handgun in public like other rights in the Bill of Rights. The Court held “consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

Accordingly, “because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul immediately declared “Shocking, absolutely shocking that they have taken away our right to have reasonable restrictions.” The Claude Rain moment aside, it was shocking that Hochul would be shocked. Many of us were predicting a major loss for over a year and New York, as usual, litigated a bad case and made more bad law for gun control advocates. Gov. Hochul added ““This is New York. We don’t back down.” That may be welcomed news for gun rights advocates given the record in cases like this one in reinforcing Second Amendment rights. As previously discussed, New York has proven a fountain of cases strengthening gun rights.

Read more …

“We didn’t want to be right; we wanted to be wrong. It wasn’t about winning an argument. No, we wanted to lose the argument. We did not want the damage to occur..”

Liberal Policies Have Killed Black Communities: Clarence Thomas (NYP)

Michael Pack: You have talked a little today about how life in the black community has not been improved by many well-intentioned social programs. Do you think, in some sense, it is worse than when you grew up? Clarence Thomas: It’s a disaster. When I grew up, you had family, you didn’t have drugs, you didn’t have gang-banging. You could walk down the street. There was a change in our society. I think that these programs certainly had an impact. Just go back to Savannah and take a look around you. Our worst fears were realized. We didn’t want to be right; we wanted to be wrong. It wasn’t about winning an argument. No, we wanted to lose the argument. We did not want the damage to occur; that’s why we were involved. I don’t particularly like public life; I never wanted to be in public life. I’d like to go to football games.

“I’d like not to make decisions about other people’s lives, but what drags you into it is when you see these principles being undermined, which leads to such destruction. The policies destroy people, and, ultimately, I think, we’re going to destroy the very thing that allows us to have liberty and to have a free society. MP: So the heirs to those movements, like Black Lives Matter, focus on other things: mass incarceration, police brutality. What do you think of the current movements for racial justice? CT: I don’t really follow the movements du jour. I don’t quite understand them. It’s fascinating to me that the radical groups in the sixties, that we all were aware of and fond of back then, like the Black Panthers — that’s kind of mainstream now.

But we knew they were more marginal back then. I don’t know what to say about this. But if you look at some of the things that still are problematic, like bad education, unsafe neighborhoods, drugs, alcohol, breakdown in families, it seems like these are things that we warned about back then. We were told, basically, take a long walk on the short pier. And I understand that. I understand people not wanting to hear an opposing view. But at the same time, we’re not taking ownership of these policies’ having a significant role in the damage that’s been done.

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Guess it’s a good thing he can still read..

Joe Biden Flashes Official Cheat Sheet: ‘YOU Take YOUR Seat’ (JTN)

President Joe Biden on Thursday accidentally displayed an official White House card with specific instructions telling him, “YOU take YOUR seat,” and other similar reminders. Biden, 79, flashed the card to the cameras while at a meeting with wind industry executives. He spoke for nearly eight minutes at the event despite the fact that the sheet also instructed him to speak for two minutes. The “Sequence of Events” sheet also tells him: “YOU enter the Roosevelt Room and say hello to participants.” The card then instructs him to ask AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler a question.


“YOU thank participants,” and “YOU depart,” the instructions conclude. Biden’s mental fitness for office has been under scrutiny since before his election. CNN’s Don Lemon asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the commander-in-chief’s cognitive abilities earlier this month. “Don, you’re asking me this question, Oh my gosh,” Jean-Pierre told Lemon. “He’s the president of the United States. … This is not a question that we should be even asking,” she responded.

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Susan Rice works in the shadows.

Biden Is Hiding His Plan To Rig The 2022 Midterm Elections (Fed.)

President Biden really does not want the public to know about his federal takeover of election administration. Dozens of members of Congress have repeatedly asked for details, to no avail. Good government groups, members of the media, and private citizens have filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Not a single one has been responded to. All signs indicate a concerted effort to keep the public in the dark until at least after the November midterm elections. The lack of transparency and responsiveness is so bad that the Department of Justice and some of its agencies have been repeatedly sued for the information.

When President Biden ordered all 600 federal agencies to “expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about, and participate in, the electoral process” on March 7, 2021, Republican politicians, Constitutional scholars, and election integrity specialists began to worry exactly what was up his sleeve. They had good reason. The 2020 election had suffered from widespread and coordinated efforts by Democrat activists and donors to run “Get Out The Vote” operations from inside state and local government election offices, predominantly in the Democrat-leaning areas of swing states. Independent researchers have shown the effect of this takeover of government election offices was extremely partisan and favored Democrats overwhelmingly.

At the time the order was issued, Democrats were also hoping to pass H.R. 1, a continuation of the effort to destabilize elections throughout the country via a federalized takeover of state election administrations. Biden gave each agency 200 days to file their plans for approval by none other than Susan Rice, his hyperpartisan domestic policy advisor. Yet fully nine months after those plans were due, they are all being hidden from the public, even as evidence is emerging that the election operation is in full swing. There are several major problems with Biden’s secret plan, critics say. It’s unethical to tie federal benefits to election activity. It’s unconstitutional to have the federal government take authority that belongs to the states and which Congress has not granted. And, given that all 50 states have different laws and processes governing election administration, it’s a recipe for chaos, confusion, and fraud at a time when election security concerns are particularly fraught.

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“According to The New York Times, the hearings were framed with the intent to use the select committee largely to “recast the midterm message..”

Prosecuting Trump: Being A Jerk Isn’t Criminal (Turley)

“SECVNDINVS CACOR.” When those words were found recently on an ancient stone in Northumberland, England, there was great excitement about what might be revealed about Roman life in the 3rd Century. As it turned out, the painstakingly chiseled words (which were accompanied by the image of a giant phallus) simply said that a guy named Secundinus was … well … human fecal matter. The stone was an impressive effort just to establish for all posterity that Secundinus was a jerk. The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot is an equally impressive effort to painstakingly debunk election fraud claims and to show how former President Donald Trump refused to accept his electoral defeat. If the purpose were to proclaim “TRUMPUS CACOR,” it would likely get little argument, given the testimony about elected officials and election workers hiding out in their homes after being called out by name by the then-president.

The hearings have created a lasting, damning record leading up to Jan. 6. Yet, some members of the select committee have claimed they have established clear evidence of criminal acts by Trump. It has to be more than Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) insistence that the evidence would show Trump was not “an honorable man” on Jan. 6 — an assertion that even some Trump supporters might endorse. That claim is important to avoid confirmation of what was widely reported before the hearings. According to The New York Times, the hearings were framed with the intent to use the select committee largely to “recast the midterm message” and “give [Democrats] a platform for making a broader case about why they deserve to stay in power.” In other words, chiseling out “Trumpus Cacor” before the November election.

The fact is that this evidence is important for Americans to hear and see. Yet, the claims of established crimes this week seemed to run from the visceral to the recreational. On CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe declared that Trump can now be charged with the attempted murder of former Vice President Mike Pence “without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt, and the crimes are obvious.” In addition to declaring that he is certain Attorney General Merrick Garland will now charge Trump, Tribe said: “There are other crimes that have been proven. Those are plenty to start with.”

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“..babies and toddlers are 25 times likelier to die of an accident than of Covid.”

The CDC Just Pushed Fake News on Covid Child Mortality

Only because “an internet rando is more knowledgeable and paying closer attention than our top scientists and doctors” do we know that the CDC just publicized false information about the deadliness of Covid-19 to small children. This misinformation, presented at a conference among top experts, went viral and was promoted, notes Substack columnist Matt Shapiro, by dozens of well-known physicians and other media commentators and specialists, including CNN mainstay Dr. Leana Wen and a former surgeon general of the United States. Wen’s promotion of the false claim is still up on Twitter as of 6:45 p.m. on June 22. The CDC displayed a slide at a conference that falsely claimed Covid-19 was the fourth or fifth leading cause of death for all pediatric age groups.

A writer who is publicly known only by the name Kelley immediately saw that the claim was “completely and utterly false.” Among several errors, which are so blatant as to seem like intentional massaging of the numbers, Kelley discovered that all data from a 26-month period were being crammed into one year, and that deaths were attributed to Covid, regardless of whether the death was caused by Covid, if the disease was mentioned on the death certificate. The CDC slide, which cited a pre-publication British study that is now being re-examined, also bumped up the numbers by altering the definition of pediatric (ordinarily understood to mean under 18) to include 18- and 19-year-olds. The danger to children from Covid is very, very low. For instance, babies and toddlers are 25 times likelier to die of an accident than of Covid.

And all-cause pediatric mortality in the pandemic era for young children (up to 12) is 30 percent lower than it was a generation ago, in 1999. All-cause mortality for children over 12 has spiked in the pandemic era because of accidents, drug abuse, and other factors unrelated to disease. Covid barely registers as a cause of death for teens or small children. Writes Shapiro in his Substack column, Marginally Compelling: This is a massive data error, and yet it persisted through a supposedly rigorous data check from 11 authors and was selected by top-tier scientists for their landmark presentation to the most knowledgeable experts in the field. No one in any of these meetings recognized this error. This slide was presented uncritically to the nation’s top doctors and epidemiologists who are in charge of setting the national policy on COVID vaccines for children and no one even noticed it.

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“..mRNA vaccines pose a greater risk than the possibility of catching COVID..”

Study Finds mRNA Vaccines Lead To Increase Of Serious Adverse Events (TCS)

A new study has found that the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines were associated with “an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest” that likely outweighs any benefit of taking them. As per the study’s results: “Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest, with an absolute risk increase of 10.1 and 15.1 per 10,000 vaccinated over placebo baselines of 17.6 and 42.2 respectively.” “Combined, the mRNA vaccines were associated with an absolute risk increase of serious adverse events of special interest of 12.5 per 10,000. The excess risk of serious adverse events of special interest surpassed the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group in both Pfizer and Moderna trials (2.3 and 6.4 per 10,000 participants, respectively).”

The study was undertaken by American researchers at several reputable institutions, including Stanford University, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and the Navarre Health Service. When undertaking the study, researchers analyzed journal publications and trial data on the FDA and Health Canada’s websites to locate serious adverse event results tables. These stemmed from Pfizer and Moderna’s one phase III randomized trials. However, researchers found proper long-term randomization became compromised as many placebo recipients in the trials were eventually offered the actual vaccine. Thus, to preserve randomization and the accuracy of their findings, researchers used the interim datasets that were the basis for emergency authorization in December 2020, approximately four months after trials commenced.

As for what researchers considered a severe adverse event, the following were considered: death; life-threatening at the time of the event; inpatient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization; persistent or significant disability/incapacity; a congenital anomaly/birth defect; and medically important events, based on medical judgment. Overall, according to the researchers, who received no funding support, the excess risk of serious adverse events found in the study justifies future formal harm-benefit analysis, especially “those that are stratified according to risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes such as hospitalization or death.” Put simply, researchers found that mRNA vaccines pose a greater risk than the possibility of catching COVID and becoming seriously ill or dying.

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Just add an mRNA vaccine….

Alarming Levels of 29 Chemicals Affecting Fertility Found in Men’s Urine (CHD)

A study published last week in Environment International showed “alarming” amounts of 29 endocrine disruptors in the urine samples of 98 Danish men, EuroNews reported. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that affect human fertility by disrupting the normal functioning of the endocrine system. The team of researchers, led by Andreas Kortenkamp, Ph.D., professor of molecular toxicity at Brunel University London, conducted a chemical analysis of urine samples from 98 Danish men, ages 18-30. Prior research has shown a number of chemicals to be problematic for male reproductive health, but the new study was the first of its kind to measure the health risk produced by 29 total endocrine disruptors.


The researchers completed their analysis in three steps. First, they measured the amount of nine endocrine disruptors in the urine samples of the 98 men. Second, the researchers used existing data, mostly from the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA), to estimate the men’s likely exposure to 20 other endocrine disruptors. Finally, the team compared these measurements with exposure levels deemed acceptable according to the scientific literature. In doing so, the team was able to generate an overall risk measure — or “hazard index” — for the cocktail of compounds. The authors said they were “astonished” by their findings: The magnitude of the resulting hazard index showed exposure levels more than 100-fold greater than acceptable exposure rates.

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“..there now exists a “revolving door” between the FBI and the areas they are trying to regulate.”

Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents (MPN)

Twitter has been on a recruitment drive of late, hiring a host of former feds and spies. Studying a number of employment and recruitment websites, MintPress has ascertained that the social media giant has, in recent years, recruited dozens of individuals from the national security state to work in the fields of security, trust, safety and content. Chief amongst these is the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The FBI is generally known as a domestic security and intelligence force. However, it has recently expanded its remit into cyberspace. “The FBI’s investigative authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies,” the “About” section of its website informs readers. “The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence [and] cyber crime,” it adds.

For example, in 2019, Dawn Burton (the former director of Washington operations for Lockheed Martin) was poached from her job as senior innovation advisor to the director at the FBI to become senior director of strategy and operations for legal, public policy, trust and safety at Twitter. The following year, Karen Walsh went straight from 21 years at the bureau to become director of corporate resilience at the silicon valley giant. Twitter’s deputy general counsel and vice president of legal, Jim Baker, also spent four years at the FBI between 2014 and 2018, where his resumé notes he rose to the role of senior strategic advisor. Meanwhile, Mark Jaroszewski ended his 21-year posting as a supervisory special agent in the Bay Area to take up a position at Twitter, rising to become director of corporate security and risk.

And Douglas Turner spent 14 years as a senior special agent and SWAT Team leader before being recruited to serve in Twitter’s corporate and executive security services. Previously, Turner had also spent seven years as a secret service special agent with the Department of Homeland Security. When asked to comment by MintPress, former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley said that she was “not surprised at all” to see FBI agents now working for the very tech companies the agency polices, stating that there now exists a “revolving door” between the FBI and the areas they are trying to regulate. This created a serious conflict of interests in her mind, as many agents have one eye on post-retirement jobs. “The truth is that at the FBI 50% of all the normal conversations that people had were about how you were going to make money after retirement,” she said.

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Clarke and Dawe

 

 

 

 

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Jun 122022
 
 June 12, 2022  Posted by at 8:27 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Caravaggio The seven works of mercy (Sette opere di Misericordia) 1607

 

Pitchforks Soon In Europe? (Vilches)
No Ammo, More Casualties, Thin Lines, Propaganda And Passing The Buck (MoA)
Biden Throws Zelensky Under The Bus (ZH)
Ukraine Slams Biden’s Comments on Zelensky Not Heeding Warnings (NW)
Ukraine Fears It Might Lose Western Support Over ‘War Fatigue’ (Antiwar)
EU Will Likely Grant Ukraine Candidate Status To Join Bloc – Von Der Leyen (G.)
Pentagon Finally Admits Running 46 Biolabs In Ukraine (GGI)
The Warmonger’s Legacy (CGTN)
How The Jan. 6 Committee Undermined Its Own Legitimacy (Turley)
Comey Lied to Congress’ ‘Gang of 8’ Over Russiagate (Sperry)
Biden’s Homeland Secretary Lied Under Oath About Disinformation Board (ET)
Smoking (AGAIN): It’s NOT Transitory (Denninger)
Britain’s Dire Economic Outlook (O.)
A New Molecule That Kills Even The Deadliest Cancer (IE)
Headwind2 – The Debate – Malone and Vanden Bossche (Headwind)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stunt

 

 

 

 

“It´d be plenty enough for Russia to just shut off your nat-gas supply, period. And not even to the whole of Europe.”

Pitchforks Soon In Europe? (Vilches)

Dear Europeans For your own children´s sake — on my knees and with my saddened eyes humbly looking downwards — I beg of you to please stop the current self-destructive nonsense dead in its tracks by immediately demanding from your political class to import the bloody Russian oil normally once again as Europe had been doing for dozens of years. The impact that the ban on Russian oil has upon your daily lives now and for years yonder is such that at the very least a Referendum should have been held. But it was not, and without consultation, the EU leadership acted on their own. Please be advised that the EU un-elected brass simply does not represent you or your needs. They were all voted amongst themselves into their positions like members of a committee in a private country club.

If left unchecked, EU politicians will now continue misrepresenting you and, on your behalf — with your hard-earned assets and livelihoods – will keep on picking a most unnecessary and prolonged armed conflict with Russia, eventually forcing upon you a total war scenario where chances play out all very strongly against you, with Russia probably resulting unscathed. European leaders crave for their war, so they can´t think of a better way to provoke it than by applying ever larger and ´meaner´ sanctions on Russia as if (a) sanctions were effective and (b) as if Europe could win such war (not). Accordingly, we now have yet another set of spanking new EU “sanctions” in package No. 6 that will eventually backfire flat on Europe´s face – like all the others — such as banning the insurance and financing of oil tankers that carry Russian oil. Accordingly, the EU is now trying its very best to

(1) bankrupt the successful Western oil tanker insurance business by reducing the number of participants
(2) induce higher shipping and insurance costs worldwide by reducing the number of participants
(3) foster the development of yet another Russian import substitution service namely oil tanker insurance & financing
(4) seriously hinder the world´s economy by not allowing deliveries of any oil tankers carrying Russian oil anywhere (EU or non-EU) thus cutting off some 15% of the world´s oil supply from the world market and necessarily sending its price yet higher with yet more EU-induced inflation as if we had not had enough already, please brace for it.
(5) force the construction of a new Russian-Chinese-Indian oil tanker fleet leaving idle part of today´s fleet
(6) tempt Russia to embargo strategic value-chain upstream items with captive consumers cascading into multiple failures thru lack of nat-gas, rare earths, inert gases, potash, sulfur, uranium, palladium, vanadium, cobalt, coke, etc.

Russia does not need to fire a single shot or land a single missile on European territories to win such a total war. Think tanks in Europe and elsewhere know this but say nothing. It´d be plenty enough for Russia to just shut off your nat-gas supply, period. And not even to the whole of Europe. It could possibly be to only, say, some limited area in Germany. But you need not put up with any of this. Europe should already have learned from history books and its generals not to underestimate or discriminate against Russia. Let alone cheat on it repeatedly as Europe has done since the downfall of the former Soviet Union. Yet again, history will not be kind to anyone directly or indirectly involved, including yourselves.

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“Zelensky did not listen to us and he didn’t inform us how bad the war was going,” will become the standard line as soon as the Ukrainian army is on the run.”

No Ammo, More Casualties, Thin Lines, Propaganda And Passing The Buck (MoA)

To match Russia’s 50,000 rounds per day, with each round weighing 50 kilograms, some 2,500 metric tons of ammunition would have to be moved per day from Ukraine’s western border to the east. After reaching some railhead in the east they would have to be loaded on some 350 trucks to be distributed while being under fire from long ranging Russian weapons. This would have to happen each and every day. The U.S. has large depots of ammunition but even those would be emptied within a few month if no large scale production of new rounds would be happening. Munition production is usually done only on a small but steady scale of a few hundred rounds per week. The west would have to scale up production to allow for the supply Ukraine would need to match Russia.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense Ukraine’s artillery has lost 506 multiple launch rocket systems and 1,859 field artillery and mortars since the beginning of the war. The daily reported number of pieces hit have changed over time from 50+ per day to now single digits. The total numbers in the Russia report are too high (as they usually are in similar ‘western’ reports). They amount to more than what the Ukraine had at the start of the war. But we can safely guess that more than 90% of Ukraine’s guns and missile systems have been destroyed. Meanwhile the ‘west’ has promised the Ukraine some 200 gun and some 50 missile systems. Half of those are former soviet types. The other half are newer and need ‘western’ ammunition. They seem to arrive only in trickles.

The U.S. has send some 100 M-777 lightweight howitzers. Only a few have been seen at the front in the east and some were already destroyed there. Others are used to fire on non-military targets in Donetsk city. We can guess where the rest is. The M-777 is lightweight (4.2 metric tons) because it is largely made from titanium which has a ten times higher scrap value than steel. Some entrepreneurs in Ukraine’s west seem to have found that recycling the guns (or selling them elsewhere) is of more value than sending them to the east where they would surely be destroyed within a few days. Ten days ago the Ukrainian comedian and president Zelensky had admitted that some 60 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are getting killed per day. That number was highly qualified and an advisor to Zelensky has now doubled it:

“A senior Ukrainian presidential aide has told the BBC that between 100 and 200 Ukrainian troops are being killed on the front line every day. Mykhaylo Podolyak said Ukraine needed hundreds of Western artillery systems to level the playing field with Russia in the eastern Donbas region.” The real numbers are certainly higher than anything the Zelensky regime will ever admit. In a World War I like artillery dominated conflict (but without gas attacks) the number of wounded to dead is historically some 4 to 1 with one of the wounded additionally dying later from his wounds. This historic ‘sanitation deaths’ rate of wounded later dying from their wounds has since been halved by the use of antibiotics. But in Ukraine it may well be higher than usual in modern wars as its medical infrastructure is in a quite bad shape and as many medical personnel have fled the country.

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This is no coincidence. They’re looking to save face.

Biden Throws Zelensky Under The Bus (ZH)

President Joe Biden on Friday told a donors conference in Los Angeles, California on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky brushed aside US warnings saying a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent. He described of the situation ahead of the Feb.24 invasion and his communications with Zelensky, according to The Associated Press: “Nothing like this has happened since World War II. I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating,” Biden said, according to the outlet. He added the US had data that showed Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to invade. “There was no doubt,” Biden continued. “And Zelenskyy didn’t want to hear it.”

Biden in the fresh remarks admitted that the possibility of Putin launching a full-scale invasion may have seemed far-fetched at the time, acknowledging, “I understand why they didn’t want to hear it.” Top Ukrainian officials in the days and weeks prior to the invasion had pushed back against Washington, blaming the repeat warnings from US intelligence agencies for sowing “panic”. At that time, Zelensky had even personally told Biden to “calm down the messaging” on the invasion fears. Rarely does US intelligence take its classified assessments public in order to preemptively warn of action it predicts will occur. This highly unusual public stance also fueled widespread skepticism of the constant invasion warnings from the administration even among longtime Russia experts and observers.

It has since been revealed in recent testimony by US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines that Biden had taken the rare step of declassifying intelligence related to the prepared invasion in order to convince skeptical allies that it was likely going to happen. Down to the last days before the invasion, there was hope among many Western officials of an “off ramp” that might quickly de-escalate the situation amid the Russian and Belarusian troop build-up along Ukraine’s eastern and northern borders. Indeed this “off-ramp” might have come in the form of Ukraine and its backers pledging that the ex-Soviet state would never join NATO.

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“I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it..”

Ukraine Slams Biden’s Comments on Zelensky Not Heeding Warnings (NW)

Aides to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have responded to Joe Biden’s comment that the Ukrainian president “didn’t want to hear” American warnings before Russia’s invasion. Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Los Angeles on Friday, the president said that the U.S. knew before the start of the war on February 24 that Vladimir Putin was going “to go in, off the border.” “Nothing like this has happened since World War II,” Biden said, according to the Associated Press. “But I knew we had data” that showed Putin’s intent. “I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it,” Biden added.

Zelensky’s spokesman Sergei Nikiforov said the Ukrainian leader had “three or four telephone conversations” with Biden before the war started, during which they discussed assessments of the situation in detail. “Therefore, the phrase ‘didn’t want to hear’ probably needs to be clarified,” Nikiforov told Russian-language Ukrainian news outlet LIGA.net. “In addition, if you remember, the president of Ukraine called on partners to introduce a package of preventive sanctions in order to encourage Russia to withdraw troops and de-escalate the situation. “Here we can already say that our partners ‘did not want to hear us,'” Nikiforov said.

Meanwhile, Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podolyak told the same news outlet that Biden’s comments were “not entirely true” and that Kyiv had been “well aware that Russia was developing various expansion scenarios.” “[Volodymyr] Zelensky always had relevant analytics on his desk, based on high-quality intelligence,” he said. “The president also carefully reacted to all the words and warnings of our partners.” Podolyak said that Ukraine understood that Russia was planning an invasion and was preparing for it. The question, he said, was over its scale. “It is absurd to blame a country that has been resisting a superior aggressor for more than 100 days when key countries were unable to prevent the Russian Federation [from invading],” he added.

Although Zelensky has been hailed around the world for his wartime leadership, there are question marks over his preparation for the war, the AP reported. Weeks before Putin invaded, Zelensky took exception to warnings by the Biden administration about a possible Russian invasion, fearing it would harm Ukraine’s economy. On Saturday, Zelensky told the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit in Singapore that the war had consequences for the global order. “It is on the battlefields of Ukraine that the future rules of this world are being decided,” he said via video link. He also said that his country’s forces are facing fierce Russian attacks in the country’s east, particularly around the city of Severodonetsk.

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“Zelensky has made clear that his goal is to drive Russia out of the territory it has captured since February 24..”

Ukraine Fears It Might Lose Western Support Over ‘War Fatigue’ (Antiwar)

As the war in Ukraine drags on, Ukrainian officials fear that Kyiv might lose some Western support due to “war fatigue,” The Associated Press reported on Friday. The US and its allies have committed billions of dollars in weapons, but some Western European leaders have been calling for a negotiated solution to end the fighting, an idea Ukrainian officials have rejected. “The fatigue is growing, people want some kind of outcome [that is beneficial] for themselves, and we want [another] outcome for ourselves,” Zelensky said. The current situation on the battlefield is not looking good for Ukraine. An advisor to Zelensky said Thursday that they are losing between 100 and 200 troops each day as Russia continues to make slow but steady gains in the east.


Zelensky has made clear that his goal is to drive Russia out of the territory it has captured since February 24, which would require a massive military offensive. While there is some sentiment among European leaders for Ukraine to make concessions to Russia to achieve peace, top US and NATO officials are encouraging Ukraine to keep fighting. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week that Ukraine shouldn’t drop the goal of driving Russia out of all of its territory, including Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014. Stoltenberg also said last week that the Western military alliance should be prepared to support Ukraine for the “long haul.”

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Too much resistance. And it would end the EU if it incorporates such corruption.

EU Will Likely Grant Ukraine Candidate Status To Join Bloc – Von Der Leyen (G.)

The EU executive will next week make a recommendation on whether Ukraine should be given candidate status to join the bloc, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has said. Such a recommendation would be a preliminary step on a long road to full membership, and Ukraine would need the backing of all 27 EU governments before candidate status was given. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has been pushing for rapid admission into the EU to provide the country with more security since the Russian invasion. “We want to support Ukraine in its European journey,” Von der Leyen said in a joint press conference with Zelenskiy on a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday. Heavy fighting is continuing in the eastern Donbas region, where Russia has been making incremental gains.

“The discussions today will enable us to finalise the assessment by the end of next week,” Von der Leyen added, saying that the Ukrainian authorities had “done a lot” towards a candidacy, but that there was “still need for reforms to be implemented, to fight corruption for example”. Speaking alongside Von der Leyen, Zelenskiy said that the EU’s decision on Ukraine would “determine” the future of Europe. “It is now being determined what the future of a united Europe will be, and whether there will be a future at all. A positive response from the European Union to the Ukrainian application will signify a positive answer to the question of whether the European project has a future at all,” he said. “All of Europe is a target for Russia, and Ukraine is just the first stage in this aggression,” he added.

Since Russia’s invasion on the 24 February, senior EU officials, including Von der Leyen, who was making her second trip to Kyiv since the start of the war, have spoken in favour of putting Ukraine on a speedy path to the EU accession by granting it candidate status. And while a number of EU states including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have backed these calls, there are still doubts in Berlin and Paris and other western European capitals over whether it is possible to begin the formal process already. On Thursday, Bloomberg, citing a diplomatic note, reported that Denmark believed Kyiv did not sufficiently fulfil the criteria to apply to join the EU, saying that the country “would need to fundamentally improve its legislative and institutional framework”.

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“46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.”

i.e. they were already there when Yanukovich was president.

Pentagon Finally Admits Running 46 Biolabs In Ukraine (GGI)

In a recent document, the Pentagon admitted to running 46 biolabs in Ukraine but says they are peaceful efforts to improve nuclear and radiological safety and security, disease surveillance, chemical safety and security, and readiness to respond to epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19. According to the Pentagon, the US government has funded 46 biological research facilities in Ukraine over the last 20 years, but only as part of a peaceful public health endeavor rather than to develop weapons. Russia and China have been accused by the US military of “spreading disinformation and sowing mistrust” about its efforts to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In a document titled ‘Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts,’ the US Department of Defense for the first time revealed the specific number of such facilities its government has sponsored in Ukraine.

According to the Pentagon, the US has “worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health,” by providing support to “46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.” These programs have focused on “improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation.” The Pentagon insisted that the work of these biolabs was “often” carried out in collaboration with organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and that it was “consistent with international best practices and norms in publishing research results, partnering with international colleagues and multilateral organizations, and widely distributing their research and public health findings.”

Only three laboratories in Ukraine had the required safety criteria to undertake the type of research they were doing, according to the Russian military last month. Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, the head of the Radioactive, Chemical, and Biological Protection Forces, referenced Ukrainian government sources to point to a series of problems at one of those sites in Odessa, as an example. The Russian military has given evidence of the Pentagon’s role in funding laboratories in Ukraine in a series of briefings that began in March. Kirillov accused Kiev of carrying out “inhumane experiments” on Ukrainian patients and of launching a biological attack against the breakaway territory of Lugansk in early May. Other evidence suggests that when Russia moved soldiers into Ukraine in February, attempts were made to weaponize drones to spread pathogens and to destroy compromising materials.

Between 2005 and early 2022, the US poured more than $224 million into biological research in Ukraine, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee. According to Moscow, the conspiracy involved Western pharmaceutical giants, organizations, and even the Democratic Party of the United States.

George Webb

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From China.

The Warmonger’s Legacy (CGTN)

Six hundred and twenty thousand civilians died in the Vietnam War, yet they have never received justice… Iraq was invaded, accused of developing weapons of mass destruction, yet this has been shown to be a lie. And for 20 years Afghanistan was a battleground in the war on terror, yet ultimately the Taliban regained power. Lies, self-interest and profit have created a vast web of international conflict, devastating the lands and peoples caught in it. And the responsibility rests with one country alone. The documentary “The Warmonger’s Legacy” reveals the shocking truth.

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“..for 230 years, Congress maintained the need for bipartisan membership..”

How The Jan. 6 Committee Undermined Its Own Legitimacy (Turley)

In 1924, Lord Gordon Hewart famously declared, “Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.” The lord chief justice of England, he believed that even a small allegation of possible bias by a court clerk meant justice was not seen to be done and, thus, was not done. Lord Hewart’s quote came to mind while watching the opening night of the House’s Jan. 6 select committee public hearings. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided a year ago to break from tradition and blocked two Republican committee members selected by GOP leaders. In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pulled his other committee nominees, and Pelosi then seated two staunchly anti-Trump Republicans — Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois).

Congress has a long history of bipartisan investigatory and select committees. Many were formed during deep political rifts — yet, for 230 years, Congress maintained the need for bipartisan membership. That was the case with the Watergate committees, the House Committee on Assassinations, the Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions and other investigations. It would have been easy to stack the decks and limit the members by party on each of those committees, but past congressional leaders understood that the credibility of such investigations required balance, including opposing views. Pelosi’s decision to gut that process was something of a signature muscle play.

As a witness in the first Trump impeachment, I was highly critical of her insistence that the House would impeach before Christmas rather than conduct the traditional impeachment investigation with witnesses. Instead of building a more convincing case, Pelosi preferred to impeach with virtually no record, for a certain defeat in the Senate. In the second impeachment, she went one better: She held no hearing at all and pushed through the first “snap impeachment.” The Jan. 6 committee was similarly stripped of any pretense. It was as subtle a political move as Pelosi’s ripping up President Trump’s State of the Union speech. Asked what she hoped to achieve from the committee on the first day of hearings, Pelosi tellingly referred to it as a “narrative.” It is the difference between seeing and simulating justice.

According to The New York Times, that narrative is meant to “recast the midterm message” and “give [Democrats] a platform for making a broader case about why they deserve to stay in power.” It was packaged with the help of a high-powered media figure brought in to help stage the event. Much of the media touted how the hearings would be “must-see TV” and would force voters “not to look away” from Trump’s “coup.” Countervailing evidence was edited out. Thus, Trump was shown calling for the protesters to “march” on the Capitol — but not his additional words to do so “peacefully.”

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So many of these people have lied, where to begin?

Comey Lied to Congress’ ‘Gang of 8’ Over Russiagate (Sperry)

The FBI deceived the House, Senate and the Justice Department about the substance and strength of evidence undergirding its counterintelligence investigation of President Trump, according to a recently declassified document and other material. A seven-page internal FBI memo dated March 8, 2017, shows that “talking points” prepared for then-FBI Director James Comey for his meeting the next day with the congressional leadership were riddled with half-truths, outright falsehoods, and critical omissions. Both the Senate and the House opened investigations and held hearings based in part on the misrepresentations made in those FBI briefings, one of which was held in the Senate that morning and the other in the House later that afternoon.

[..] The talking points were prepared by Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer who later resigned from the bureau amid accusations of anti-Trump bias, and were used by Comey in his meeting with Hill leaders. They described reports the FBI received in 2016 from “a former FBI CHS,” or confidential human source, about former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Carter Page (no relation to Lisa Page) allegedly conspiring with the Kremlin to hack the election. Quoting from the reports, Comey told congressional leaders that the unidentified informant told the FBI that Manafort “initially ‘managed’ the relationship between Russian government officials and the Trump campaign, using Carter Page as an intermediary.”

He also told them that “Page was reported to have had ‘secret meetings’ in early July 2016 with a named individual in Russia’s presidential administration during which they discussed Russia’s release of damaging information on Hillary Clinton in exchange for alterations to the GOP platform regarding U.S. policy towards Ukraine.” But previous FBI interviews with Carter Page and other key sources indicated that none of that was true – and the FBI knew it at the time of the congressional briefings. The Lisa Page memo anticipated concerns about the quality of information Comey was relaying to Congress and suggested he preempt any concerns with another untruth. The memo advised Comey to tell lawmakers that “some” of the reporting “has been corroborated,” and to point out that the informant’s “reporting in this matter is derived primarily from a Russian-based source,” which made it sound more credible.

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Under oath. In the Senate. And he still has his job?

Biden’s Homeland Secretary Lied Under Oath About Disinformation Board (ET)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas misled Congress when he testified under oath in May that the Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) “had not yet begun its work,” two Republican senators claim. In fact—according to documents obtained from a DHS whistleblower by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)—planning, decision-making, and concrete work by senior DHS officials, including Mayorkas, had begun at least as early as September 2021. In addition, the documents provided to the senators show that Mayorkas was asked by DHS officials tasked with planning and establishing the DGB for his approval to proceed as early as January 2022 and that Mayorkas gave his approval for doing so in February 2022.

“On May 4, 2022, Secretary Mayorkas testified under oath to Senator Hawley that the Disinformation Governance Board ‘had not yet begun its work.’ “On May 1, 2022, the secretary told the news media that the board would be focused on disinformation ‘from foreign state adversaries [and] the cartels’ and would not monitor American citizens,” the GOP senators said in a joint statement. “At the White House on May 2, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that the board would be focused on ‘human traffickers and other transnational criminal organizations.’” Despite those claims by Mayorkas and Psaki, Grassley and Hawley said in their statement that the documents they were provided reveal a different picture of the DGB’s development.

The documents said the DGB was conceived from the beginning in part to monitor the domestic speech of U.S. citizens concerning “conspiracy theories about the validity and security of elections” and “disinformation related to the origins and effects of COVID-19 vaccines or the efficacy of masks.” They added that Mayorkas and his team sought a partnership with social media outlet Twitter designed to censor content unapproved by the DGB and planned a meeting with Twitter executives to discuss such a joint effort.

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“..what Biden has done since being in office is add another monstrous inflationary impulse which has not yet shown up in the general price level..”

Smoking (AGAIN): It’s NOT Transitory (Denninger)

I hope you like bad things and bad times; they’re coming. “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.0 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.6 percent before seasonal adjustment. The increase was broad-based, with the indexes for shelter, gasoline, and food being the largest contributors. After declining in April, the energy index rose 3.9 percent over the month with the gasoline index rising 4.1 percent and the other major component indexes also increasing. The food index rose 1.2 percent in May as the food at home index increased 1.4 percent.”

As Chief noted on Stocks-n-Jocks yesterday the monetary aggregates have stopped skyrocketing. What’s not being said is why they skyrocketed in the first place — which is that all spending bills originate in the House and all Fed Action when it comes to monetary aggregates are based there, and only there, because without deficit spending The Fed has nothing to operate against. It is also known that it takes time for inflation to go through the economy. And much depends on where government spending goes. If government spends money in deficit to build a highway, for example, and that construction causes efficiency in business to increase by more than the highway cost then there is no inflationary impact. But if the spending is direct to consumption, which all of the pandemic “relief” spending was then it is all inflationary impact.

Spending collapses are thought of as “bad.” They’re not; they are often good. If you as a business owner get out over your skis and go bust that means I can come in and buy up your assets for pennies on the dollar. This means where someone else has 10% of their operating capital tied up in a building for their employees I only have 5% of mine, which means I now have a 5% cost advantage against my competitors. That, in turn, means I get to take your customers and the consumer benefits with lower prices, better goods and services — or both. Allegedly “protecting” the economy from this is, on the other hand, often through of as “good.” But protecting bloated business cost structures is bad in the intermediate and longer term because while it may look “good” it protects pricing and that, in turn, is bad for the consumer.

Unfortunately what Biden has done since being in office is add another monstrous inflationary impulse which has not yet shown up in the general price level. It will. That M2 has stopped wildly expanding is good over time but that’s 12-18 months out into the future and it presumes that Congress will stop the wildly-excessive deficit spending. May I remind you that there’s an election coming up and Congress has to pass spending bills for the next fiscal year, which starts October 1st, before said election? What do you think the odds are that they won’t add yet another spike to M2 before November?

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“..the gloomiest of all developed nations..”

Britain’s Dire Economic Outlook (O.)

Britain’s growth prospects are the gloomiest of all developed nations. The OECD predicted last week that the UK economy would not grow at all next year, the worst outlook for any OECD nation. This follows warnings in April from the IMF that the UK will experience the worst growth out of the G7 nations in 2023. After a decade of stagnant wages, it seems Britons need to resign themselves to the fact that the buoyant growth of the 2000s is but a distant memory. Every country has suffered the shock of the pandemic, followed by the spike in oil and wheat prices triggered by Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. But other developed economies have proved more resilient, enjoying export-driven recoveries in the wake of Covid. Here in Britain, the economic malaise left exposed by the 2008 financial crisis is long term and structural.

This crisis was supposed to prompt a big economic rethink: a reckoning with Britain’s addiction to growth fuelled by rising levels of consumer debt enabled by rising house prices. The then shadow chancellor George Osborne pledged to rebalance the economy away from debt-driven growth to more productive development, driven by business investment and exports, underpinned with an expansion of the UK’s manufacturing base and a reduction in the huge regional inequalities between the south-east and the rest of the country. No such thing materialised. Instead, the least affluent areas of the country were forced to bear the biggest burden of cuts to public services, undermining their potential to attract investment.

Britain’s sluggish recovery from the financial crisis – average GDP growth in the decade after 2008 was a full percentage point lower than it was in the run-up to the year – was propelled by consumer spending and resurgent house prices. Productivity growth dropped substantially, taking Britain from second in the G7 for productivity growth pre-financial crash, to the second slowest post crash.

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ERX-41

A New Molecule That Kills Even The Deadliest Cancer (IE)

Recently, a tiny group of people with rectal cancer saw their disease vanish after experimental treatment. It was a very small trial done by doctors at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, wherein the patients took a drug called dostarlimab for six months. At the end of their trial, every single one of their tumors disappeared. Now, in another breakthrough, a new compound synthesized by Dr. Jung-Mo Ahn, a University of Texas at Dallas researcher, has been found to kill a broad spectrum of hard-to-treat cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer, leaving healthy cells unscathed. He exploited a weakness in cells that were hitherto not targeted by the other drugs.

The study, which was carried out in isolated cells, both in human cancer tissue and in human cancers grown in mice, was published in the journal Nature Cancer. Ahn, a co-corresponding author of the study and a UT Dallas associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has been working on small molecules that target protein-protein interactions in cells for more than a decade. Previously, he had developed potential therapeutic candidate compounds for treatment-resistant breast cancer and prostate cancer. In his current research, Ahn and his colleagues tested a new compound he synthesized called ERX-41 for its effects on breast cancer cells – those that contained estrogen receptors (ERs) and those that do not.

Now, there are effective treatments for patients with ER-positive breast cancer, but only a few treatment options for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) exist. It lacks receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor 2. TNBC is known to affect women under 40 and has worse outcomes than other types of breast cancer. “The ERX-41 compound did not kill healthy cells, but it wiped out tumor cells regardless of whether the cancer cells had estrogen receptors,” Ahn said. “In fact, it killed the triple-negative breast cancer cells better than it killed the ER-positive cells. “This was puzzling to us at the time. We knew it must be targeting something other than estrogen receptors in the TNBC cells, but we didn’t know what that was.”

Soon, the researchers discovered that ERX-41 binds to lysosomal acid lipase A (LIPA), a cellular protein. LIPA is found in a cell structure called the endoplasmic reticulum, an organelle that processes and folds proteins. “For a tumor cell to grow quickly, it has to produce a lot of proteins, and this creates stress on the endoplasmic reticulum,” Ahn said. “Cancer cells significantly overproduce LIPA, much more so than healthy cells. By binding to LIPA, ERX-41 jams the protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, which becomes bloated, leading to cell death.”

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Dr Malone and dr Vanden Bossche meet each other for the first time ..

Headwind2 – The Debate – Malone and Vanden Bossche (Headwind)

In this third episode of the Headwind documentary series dr Robert Malone and dr Geert Vanden Bossche debate on the pathway the virus will take, the new virulent strains the relentless vaccine boostering will produce and the crime against humanity which is the totally unnecessary Covid19 vaccination of children. Dr Malone and dr Vanden Bossche meet each other for the first time and debate on all these issues, with the stunning landscape of Southern Spain as a gorgeous backdrop.

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Ted Turner: Healing the planet for profit

 

 

 

 

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Jun 012022
 
 June 1, 2022  Posted by at 8:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Pierre-Auguste Renoir Riding in the Bois de Boulogne (Madame Henriette Darras or The Ride) 1873

 

The FBI Maintains a Workspace Inside the Law Firm of Perkins Coie (CTH)
Michael Sussmann Has Been Acquitted (Techno Fog)
Who Is John Durham Targeting Next? (ET)
Ukraine Official Fired Over Handling of Russian Sexual Assault Claims (NW)
Europe Now Cheats Or Suffers (Vilches)
Iran-Russia Are Setting New Rules (Escobar)
Inside A Biden White House Adrift (NBC)
Careening Towards Grace (Kunstler)
Monkey Pox Update (Malone)
47 African Nations Have Blocked The WHO Amendments (SB)
The Man Who Built His Own Cathedral (G.)

 

 

 

 

Yellen

 

 

America is much further down the rabbit hole than you knew.

The FBI Maintains a Workspace Inside the Law Firm of Perkins Coie (CTH)

There is very little that surprises me, but this is completely stunning. An FBI whistleblower came forth to inform Rep Jim Jordan and Rep Matt Gaetz that the FBI maintains a workspace inside the law firm of Perkins Coie. In response to a letter sent by Rep. Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan, Perkins Coie, the legal arm of the DNC and Hillary Clinton, admitted they have been operating an FBI workspace in their Washington D.C. office since 2012. Pay attention to that date, it matters. This is a huge development. Essentially, what is being admitted in this claim is that a portal existed into FBI databases within the law firm that represents democrats. This means access to FBI database searches exists inside the office of the DNC and Clinton legal group. Think about the ramifications here.

CTH has long claimed there was some kind of direct portal link between the Clinton campaign team and the FBI databases. There were too many trails of extracted non-minimized research evidence in the hands of the Clinton team that CTH could not trace to a transferring FBI official. If Perkins Coie operated a portal in their office that allowed them to conduct search queries of American citizens, then everything would make sense. That access portal is exactly what is being claimed and admitted in this report. The start date of 2012 is important for several reasons, not the least of which is FISA presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer criticizing the scale and scope of unlawful FBI database access going back to exactly 2012. Keep in mind a FISA-702 search, is simply an unlawful FBI warrantless electronic search of an American (“702” represents the American citizen) into the central database -maintained by the NSA- that contains all electronic data and communication.

I have been in the deep hole of the FISA-702 database search query violations for so long I don’t even need a flashlight. The report from Matt Gaetz about Perkins Coie access to FBI databases, is in direct alignment with Rosemary Collyer’s prior report on FBI abuses of the database, 702 violations. Notice the dates and scope Judge Collyer references. Non-compliant queries since 2012. 85% of the FBI and contractor searches are unlawful. Many of those searches involved the use of the “same identifiers over different data ranges.” Put in plain terms, the same people were continually being tracked, searched and surveilled by querying the FBI database over time. The non-compliant searches go back to 2012. The same date mentioned for the FBI portal to begin operating inside the Perkins Coie office.

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Juror speaks to some media after Sussmann verdict. “I don’t think it should have been prosecuted,” she said of the case. “There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.”

Michael Sussmann Has Been Acquitted (Techno Fog)

The acquittal is no surprise. This is a DC jury, after all. In the Roger Stone case, for example, we documented how a juror lied to get on the panel. (That judge didn’t care.) Making matters worse, the Sussmann judge wrongly allowed for a woman to remain on the jury, despite the fact that her daughter and Sussmann’s are on the same high school crew team. One can’t help but think that juror had her own daughter’s interests in mind – the cohesion of the crew team, sparing her of teenage drama, etc. – when she reached a decision. After the verdict was announced, the jury’s forewoman held court before the media and expressed her displeasure that the Special Counsel prosecute a false statement case: “There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.”

This juror was never impartial – despite her assurance to the judge. On the facts, the evidence was more than sufficient to prove Sussmann’s guilt. Sussmann lied to then-FBI general counsel James Baker via text message in order to get a meeting to pass the Alfa Bank hoax materials to the FBI. Sussmann lied again during the meeting – stating he was not there on behalf of a client – in order to get the FBI to open an investigation into the Trump Organization’s purported ties with Alfa Bank. Later, during testimony to Congress, Sussmann admitted he met with Baker on behalf of a client. Billing records proved he had been working on the Alfa Bank project on behalf of the Clinton Campaign. Evidence also demonstrated that Sussmann billed the Clinton Campaign for the thumb drives passed to Baker during the meeting. How was the Clinton Campaign billed? Sussmann referenced the “confidential project” – the Alfa Bank project.

I won’t say the verdict doesn’t matter. Of course it matters. It would have proven that a DC jury can convict one of their own. It would have resulted in accountability for lying to the FBI. Not the gravest of crimes, but it is still a crime. In large part, the prosecution of Sussmann was hamstrung by the FBI’s investigation into the Alfa Bank allegations. That goes to materiality. How can the lies be material if the FBI’s investigation was so sloppy? That was always an unconvincing defense, as Sussmann’s lies helped trigger the FBI’s investigation into the Trump/Alfa hoax. How does Sussmann convince the skeptical New York Times to take another look at the Alfa Bank story? By showing them that the FBI is investigating the matter. How can Sussmann convince the FBI to start the Alfa Bank investigation as soon as possible? By orchestrating leaks of the information to the press.

Turley

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Danchenko.

Who Is John Durham Targeting Next? (ET)

The trial of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann is coming to an end but rather than provide definitive answers to the origins of the Russiagate hoax, the trial has brought to light many new mysteries and unanswered questions. Durham’s overarching trial narrative was that the FBI was duped by Sussmann when he presented them with data purportedly tying Donald Trump to the Kremlin via the Russian Alfa Bank. It may have been Durham’s only viable strategy, given the fact he was facing a jury of 12 Washington D.C. residents, a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 20 to 1. This strategy did give Sussmann’s team the opportunity to highlight serious misconduct by the FBI, with a flurry of new information about FBI malfeasance and abuses coming to light.

What does this all mean for Durham? Can he now do a U-turn and go after the FBI that he spent the past two weeks calling a victim? Can he go after Sussmann’s associates such as tech executive Rodney Joffe? And what about Hillary Clinton, who we learned greenlighted the plan to vilify Trump? Durham’s most immediate concern will be his second big case—that being against Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko. Danchenko was indicted in November 2021 for lying to the FBI, the same type of charge that Sussmann faced. Specifically, Danchenko is alleged to have lied about his own sources, making up a conversation with Sergei Millian, a man he never met, and concealing from the FBI his conversations with Clinton operative Charles Dolan.

There are a number of crucial differences between Sussmann’s and Danchenko’s situations. Perhaps most importantly, Danchenko was charged in Virginia, not in Washington D.C. That means the jury pool will be more favorable to Durham. Like Sussmann, Danchenko talked to the FBI in Washington but, unlike Sussmann, he later repeated his lies at his home in Virginia when the FBI came for follow-up interviews. That Durham chose to charge Danchenko in Virginia, where the lies were repeated, instead of in Washington where they were first told, gives us an insight into how Durham views the Washington jury pool.

Kevin Brock

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Before nobody believes anything out of the propaganda machine anymore.

What remains is people will say: well, some of it must be true. Job done.

Ukraine Official Fired Over Handling of Russian Sexual Assault Claims (NW)

Ukrainian official has been relieved of her duties over her handling of reports detailing sexual assault allegations made against Russians in Ukraine.On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, removed Lyudmila Denisova, the parliament’s commissioner for human rights, from her post, according to Ukrainska Pravda. No new appointment has been made to fill the role. The move to dismiss Denisova came after outrage about the wording used in public reports about alleged sexual assaults committed by Russians, as well as the alleged dissemination in those reports of unverified information. Despite accusations from Ukraine, the Kremlin has repeatedly denied that Russian soldiers have committed war crimes or sexual assaults during the invasion.


Last week, Ukrainian media outlets and journalists signed an open letter in which they requested that reports concerning rape and sexual assault be “published with caution,” particularly when involving children, according to an English translation of the letter. The open letter also stated that “it is important to understand that sexual crimes during war are an instrument of genocide, an instrument of waging war without rules, but they cannot serve as illustrative material to inflame the emotions of the audience.” The letter from the journalists indicated how reports from Denisova went into great detail about the alleged rape of children, some as young as 6 months old, by Russians. The letter also criticized Denisova for including details of cases that the journalists said were unverified and asked her to “check the facts before publication” and “disclose only information for which there is sufficient evidence.”

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This should be the end of the EU. Either that or goverments will be overthrown. This is what the WEF’s “you’ll own nothing” means in practice.

Europe Now Cheats Or Suffers (Vilches)

Europe has now painted itself into an infamous corner with only two choices left, nothing else. Both are definitely bad and terribly expensive — probably un-payable — in political and financial terms. On May 30, Brussels (a) dropped its previous declared strategy of ´buying Russian oil to prevent Moscow from selling it elsewhere at soaring prices´ (???) and (b) approved its sanctions package No. 6 imposing a ban on Russian seaborne oil imports. But by Christmas such ban will supposedly exceed 90% of total Russian oil as Germany and Poland have ´volunteered´ to reduce their own pipeline imports by then. Still, 65% of European consumers who today import Russian seaborne oil will suddenly face either one of the only two possible highly detrimental options explained hereinafter.

Meanwhile the remaining 35% would theoretically benefit from the Russian Druzbha pipeline which will continue to safely feed them with the excellent Urals oil. But not quite and not really, because an ugly catch is awaiting Europe already cocked — line, hook and sinker — as if planned by its enemies, not its leaders as is the case. Migrations and unemployment cannot be avoided with the self-destructive ideology now rampant in the EU political mindset. Probably unknowingly, the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen paraphrased Mao Zedong by considering this “a big step forward”. There is a very important game-changing rub that short-sighted EU politicians haven´t yet fathomed, let alone sorted out. And it will hit them hard, head-on, blindsided without any protection whatsoever.

Not even their favorite protection, i.e, political cover for an obvious self-inflicted harm that public opinion is now witnessing front & center. Because, as duly forewarned, there will be tons of very serious problems with the 65% of consumers using — and most negatively affected by — the new non-Russian seaborne oil blends which literally no one would be exempt from. Not even the remaining 35% of supposedly “Druzbha safe” oil consumers. How come ? In one minute you´ll find out.

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China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Iran.

Iran-Russia Are Setting New Rules (Escobar)

The first Eurasia Economic Forum, held last week in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, should be regarded as a milestone in setting the parameters for the geoeconomic integration of the Eurasian heartland. Sergei Glazyev, Russia’s Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), is coordinating the drive to design an alternative monetary-financial system – a de facto post-Bretton Woods III – in cooperation with China. According to Glazyev, the forum “discussed the model of a new global settlement currency pegged to baskets of national currencies and commodities. The introduction of this currency instrument in Eurasia will entail the collapse of the dollar system and the final undermining of the US military and political power. It is necessary to start negotiations on signing an appropriate international treaty within the framework of the SCO.”

Glazyev described the initiative to upend the western global financial system in more detail during an exclusive interview with The Cradle in April. It’s particularly relevant to understand how Glazyev interconnects the EAEU’s drive with the increasing geopolitical and geoeconomic role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which unites at the same table key Eurasian powers: China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Iran. That connects directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, supporting the extension of a temporary free trade agreement between the EAEU and Iran, which is the newest (and only West Asian) full member of the SCO. Putin said this should go ahead despite the “confrontation by the collective West.”

The EAEU, inaugurated in 2015 with five full members – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia – represents a market of 184 million people and a collective GDP of over $5 trillion. The next step with Iran will be to implement a full free trade agreement, possibly before the end of the year, according to Iranian deputy trade minister Alireza Peymanpak. Egypt, Indonesia and the UAE are also candidates to strike deals with the EAEU. Iran, which has for over four decades now been forced to find creative solutions to bypass serial, imperial sanction packages, may have a conceptual lesson or two to teach Russia. Barter arrangements are gaining ground: Tehran is offering spare parts and gas turbines to Moscow’s power plants in exchange for much needed zinc, aluminum, lead and steel for its metal and mining industries, according to Iranian trade and industries minister Reza Fatemi Amin.

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The MSM takes notice. Biden is setting new records every day for unpopularity. So NBC worries about its popularity too. And CNN etc.

Inside A Biden White House Adrift (NBC)

Faced with a worsening political predicament, President Joe Biden is pressing aides for a more compelling message and a sharper strategy while bristling at how they’ve tried to stifle the plain-speaking persona that has long been one of his most potent assets. Biden is rattled by his sinking approval ratings and is looking to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign, people close to the president say. Crises have piled up in ways that have at times made the Biden White House look flat-footed: record inflation, high gas prices, a rise in Covid case numbers — and now a Texas school massacre that is one more horrific reminder that he has been unable to get Congress to pass legislation to curb gun violence.

Democratic leaders are at a loss about how he can revive his prospects by November, when midterm elections may cost his party control of Congress. “I don’t know what’s required here,” said Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., whose endorsement in the 2020 Democratic primaries helped rescue Biden’s struggling candidacy. “But I do know the poll numbers have been stuck where they are for far too long.” Speculation is churning that Biden could shake up the West Wing staff, although that’s not about to happen right away. Multiple people close to the White House said they’ve heard that chief of staff Ron Klain will depart at some point after the midterms, and one has heard him discuss leaving.

Should Klain go, a potential successor is Anita Dunn, a White House adviser and Biden confidant whom he often turns to when his fortunes look bleak. Dunn began working at the White House at the start of the term, then left and returned in early May at Biden’s specific request. No woman or person of color has ever been the White House chief of staff since the position was created after World War II.

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“Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, the inverse reincarnation of Adolf Eichmann..”

Careening Towards Grace (Kunstler)

The World Economic Forum (WEF), a.k.a. the Davos Gang, held its 2022 schmoozefest in that tidy Swiss alpine village last week, after a nearly three-year hiatus on account of the coronavirus pandemic they generously arranged for the rest of us. These are the self-defined leaders of the Great Re-set — Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, and Klaus’s scaly majordomo, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, the inverse reincarnation of Adolf Eichmann, famous for declaring that “humans are hackable animals.” Did he mean, like, with a meat cleaver? Who do these schnitzel-scarfing, Krug-guzzling punks think they are? Or, to paraphrase the immortal words of one Pete Hogwallop, who elected them boss of this outfit?

Nobody, that’s who, on this whole, wide, ever-turning world, which they literally aim to take over. Actually, from the way they talk, it already looks like they’ve hijacked the sucker and us “worthless” and “useless” humans on it, as Dr. Harari has labeled the multitudes riding the planet in economy class. Kind of looks like we’re in for a rough landing. As first hallucinated in Herr Doktor Schwab’s pulsating brain, apparently many years ago, the Great Re-set was initially scheduled for 2050, a sort of leisurely stroll-in-the-park to the shimmering gates of transhumanism. Then the gang got nervous and pushed it up to 2030 (climate change, and all). When that retrograde monster of US politics, Donald Trump, came on the scene, they panicked and re-set their Re-set for 2023.

Now, despite the surface decorum of this year’s Davos meet-up, it looks like they are — as we say here in the old New World — losing their shit. How come? Well, for one thing, we appear to be in a close race between Klaus’s controlled demolition of the global economy and the US midterm elections this November, and perhaps the gang perceives that won’t go so well for them. Their key project in the 2022 offensive, the War in Ukraine, isn’t working out, either. The idea, it seems, was to bog down and humiliate the Russians so as to bring on the defenestration of Mr. Putin, who, believe it or not and despite the tsunamis of aspersion loosed on him by WEF-funded propagandists, is strangely and actually a defender of Western Civ. Yeah, I know, a stunner, right? (God works in mysterious ways — but the Davos Gangsters don’t believe in him / her / they.)

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“..fearporn peddlers.”

Monkey Pox Update (Malone)

I almost cannot believe that I am writing this, but since my original substack article on this topic, we had the reveal of an Event 201-style wargame exercise modeled around a bioterror-related release of an engineered Monkeypox virus “caused by a terrorist attack using a pathogen engineered in a laboratory with inadequate biosafety and biosecurity provisions and weak oversight.” With amazing (coincidental?) prescience, the “table top exercise” of March 2021 (one year and three months into the Covidcrisis) models a Monkeypox bioterror attack initiated on May 15, 2022. Note the date of the CNN/Jake Tapper fearporn piece – May 20, 2022. The modeling deployed in the scenario upon which the “exercise” was based predicts 3.2 billion cases and 271 million deaths by December 01, 2023.

Of course, the predictive accuracy of the simplistic public health models such as that used to support this scenario have repeatedly proven to be absolutely horrid, and these types of models should be either relegated to the trash heap (or ongoing dumpster fire) as unscientific speculation which is all too frequently weaponized by the fearporn peddlers such as CNN, MSNBC, NYT, Washington Post. By now we all know the usual USG and WEF-controlled media players. As the Italian’s like to say: Niente e lasciato al caso. Nothing happens by chance.

As we now know, the amazing foresight of this modeled date immediately preceded a seminal WHO meeting which has just concluded, in which international health regulation (IHR) modifications which would grant the WHO unprecedented powers to bypass national constitutions (proposed on January 23, 2022 by the US HHS) were actively considered but tabled for a future meeting (~November 2022?) largely due to African nation concerns regarding infringement of national sovereignty.

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They’ll just buy their leaders, as they’ve always done.

47 African Nations Have Blocked The WHO Amendments (SB)

In a rare show of African power and solidarity, several African member states objected to proposed International Health Regulations amendments, discussed at the World Health Assembly 75 this week – a move many believe might shake up the World Health Organization’s dominance. A well placed source shared: “The resolution on IHR amendments was not passed at the WHA, as African countries were concerned that there was inadequate consultation amongst member states, and the process was being rushed. Botswana read the statement on behalf of the 47 AFRO members and I was personally present.”

According to Reuters, “if Africa continues to withhold support, it could block one of the only concrete reforms expected from the meeting, fraying hopes that members will unite on reforms to strengthen the U.N. health agency’s rules as it seeks a central role for itself in global health policy.” The IHR seeks to define and detail WHO members’ obligations around public health emergencies and other health matters. The United States government proposed 13 controversial IHR amendments, which give the WHO DG Tedros unilateral power to declare actual or potential health emergencies and expect a response in 48 hours.The draft proposal yet to be formally decided also aims to change article 59 of the IHR, and would accelerate the implementation of future amendments.

Bear in mind, a few countries at the WHA submitted draft resolutions to the IHR, which would need, at least according to the WHO process, four months to be considered. These countries are Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, European Union and its Member States, Japan, Monaco, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the United States of America.The African #WHA75 delegation expressed reservations about these IHR amendments, saying all reforms should be tackled together as part of a “holistic package” at a later stage. “The African region shares the view that the process should not be fast tracked…,” Moses Keetile, deputy permanent secretary in Botswana’s health ministry, told the assembly on Tuesday on behalf of the Africa region.

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If I can get just one of you to read this wonderful story, my day is good.

The Man Who Built His Own Cathedral (G.)

One late spring evening in 2018, Justo Gallego Martínez said he would show me his grave. The old man was warming his hands by a stove in the dim back room of his cathedral. A dusty film coated the concrete floor. The shelves and tables were full of relics, screws, chipped wood, crushed glass, half-eaten loaves of bread. A bare hanging bulb cast the room in jaundiced light. “I want to be buried here,” Justo said, signalling around him to the cathedral’s cavernous nave and the 20 trembling towers sprawled across thousands of square feet of his own land on the outskirts of Madrid. The cathedral’s crypt would be his burial place. And he’d be buried there because it was his cathedral.

He’d designed it entirely in his head, without a single measurement or calculation on paper, without a record of any of the materials he’d used. And he had done it largely by himself. I sat near Justo in the gloom and watched as the fire nearby threw shadows across his sunken eyes and recessed temples. He was nearly a century old, a jumble of protruding bones, but energy still pulsed through him. “Come on, let me show you,” he grumbled. Grabbing my arm, Justo winched himself up from his seat and led me out the door to the ambulatory. His baggy blue coat hung from his frame like wet clothes on a washing line.

Outside, the uncovered frame of a dome, 35 metres high and 10 metres wide, loomed above us. The nave lurched around 45 metres to our left, covered by a half-barrel vault whose exposed beams curved upwards like a whale’s ribcage. The rest of the cathedral was an architectural Frankenstein’s monster propped up on mismatched bricks, tires, wheels, food cans, plastic and excessive quantities of concrete. Large chunks of the building were already in decay, invaded by moss and rising damp. In the aisles dusty cement bags were piled as high as the first-floor gallery. Other rooms erupted with broken tiles, dismantled cement mixers, motorbikes, rotten wood, oxidised saws, festering ropes, chicken carcasses and plastic bags fossilised in pigeon shit. It sprawled over an area the size of a football pitch.

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Feb 222022
 
 February 22, 2022  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  166 Responses »


Salvador Dali Portrait of Gala with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on Her Shoulder 1933

 

“Joe Biden” Wins World War Three (Kunstler)
How the United States Has Provoked the Ukraine Crisis (Cathey)
Putin Recognizes Donbass Independence as Violence Soars (Lauria)
What Accounts for Putin’s Assertiveness on Ukraine? (Ray McGovern)
How Much The EU Has Destabilised Ukraine (Nuttall)
Donbas or Ottawa? The Dizzying Spiral of Government Violence! (Daniel McAdams)
The Neoliberal War On Dissent In The West (Greenwald)
In The Age Of COVID, We’re Reminded An Unjust Law Is No Law At All (McMaken)
Future UK Covid Waves Will Be Treated With Drugs Not Restrictions (Peston)
The Demise of Restaurants (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

Australia true Covid stats
https://twitter.com/i/status/1495853869242494983

 

 

 

 

Not okay

 

 

Rogan Maajid Nawaz decentralization

 

 

Canada Military
https://twitter.com/i/status/1495749143142322180

 

 

“His Democratic Party is looking everyday more and more like some hell-borne spawn of Satan bent on wrecking what’s left of the old USA.”

“Joe Biden” Wins World War Three (Kunstler)

Enter Monsieur Macron of France. After two years of antagonizing his countrymen with lockdowns and put-downs, he needs a boost for the national election forthcoming in April. So, he has heroically sued Mr. Putin of Russia for a Ukraine “ceasefire.” Note: the Russians haven’t fired. Anyway, that opened the way for a proposed “summit” meeting between “Joe Biden” and Mr. Putin — when the Russians feel like it. They’re playing it a little coy for the moment, letting the West twist slowly, slowly in the wind. If a summit does happen, what will the two summiteers talk about? Mr. Putin will reiterate that the US and NATO made a solemn promise (in writing) to not expand NATO along Russia’s borderland in 1990 when the Soviet Union fell apart, and y’all reneged on that… and now it stops with Ukraine… really… got it?

“Joe Biden” will not have a coherent response. Maybe he’ll want to talk ice cream flavors or dogs. He is, as the Russians say, not negotiation-worthy, though he can be trotted out for photo ops. But “Joe Biden” needs a big win so he can brag on something in his State of the Union address. His Democratic Party is looking everyday more and more like some hell-borne spawn of Satan bent on wrecking what’s left of the old USA. Everything they’ve done since 2016 has degraded the life of the nation — weaponizing the “Intel Community,” queering a national election, besetting the people with race-and-gender mindfuckery, and inflicting the deadly “vaccines” on the population to “fix” the Fauci-created Covid-19 crisis. Never has the country seen a president so obviously incompetent and unpopular. The people backstage running him like an animatronic automaton are in a panic.

By default, then, the summit meeting will be game-set-and-match, Mr. Putin, only both parties will pretend that it’s some kind of moral victory for “JB,” while Russia gets exactly the terms it seeks: Nord Stream-2 will be completed and Germany will get natgas; there will be no additional stupid sanctions and get rid of the old ones; and the US will close up its CIA shop in Kiev and quit all the pointless antagonism. There will be peace in that corner of the world. And then, on cue, the West’s financial system will implode.

Yes, that’s what is actually going on in the background. That roar you hear is bad credit whooshing out of the banks. It looks like we’re going to get both a ripping inflation and a collapse of equities and assets all at once — with a side-dish of disappearing livelihoods, vaporizing pensions, and sinking standards-of-living. One surmises that all the meshugas over Ukraine was designed as a distraction from the financial disorders now at hand. The news media has faithfully played the Ukraine story to the max while ignoring the growing disarray in North America.

The Toronto Star barely even reported today on the weekend dispersion of truckers in Ottawa — like it never happened… a kind of national hallucination. The big rigs are gone from the streets around Parliament Hill, but one suspects the action isn’t over. Mr. Trudeau’s stupid vaxx mandates are still in place and every passing day more is known about their inefficacy and ghastly after-effects. Nor has the national legislature of Canada voted, as required, in support of the Emergencies Act — meaning that the financial punishments inflicted on the truckers and their supporters was arguably illegal.

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“..a conflict, into which the US and NATO can pour support and implement various measures, economic and financial and, eventually, military against Russia, while blaming the Kremlin for starting it.”

How the United States Has Provoked the Ukraine Crisis (Cathey)

The very simple conclusion that may be drawn from what is occurring is this: our foreign policy elites–Neoconservatives and their zealous followers in both the GOP and the Democratic Party–see Russia as a major obstacle in the continuing process of imposing economic and political control over countries which have heretofore not acceded to their hegemony (i.e., Russia and Hungary). Using NATO as a strategic shell and Ukraine as its frontline player, the Neocon/globalist combine seeks to:

(1) prevent an economic disaster for the US of a functioning Nord Stream II pipeline, which would give Germany and potentially other European countries, a climb off ramp from economic domination by the US (journalist Mike Whitney has written conclusively on this topic in the Eurasia Review); and (2) eventually impose politically a pliant government in Moscow, which has become the chief stumbling block in preventing Neocon globalist hegemony and the realization of “the Great Reset.” Russia, like Hungary, has expelled CIA-infested and Soros-sponsored NGOs which in many locations around the world have incited “color revolutions” to install favorable client governments.

More concretely, the Biden administration and US foreign policy establishment (with congressional Republicans in tow) are accusing Russia of “false flag” operations, or more specifically, accusing the pro-Russian secessionists in Lugansk and Donetsk republics of violent attacks against Ukraine (on civilians, schools, all the usual claimed targets), while in fact it is elements of the Ukrainian military, with American encouragement and technical “advisors” embedded, who are responsible for the shelling and the attacks across the cease-fire line. This is one more example of disinformation strategy, projecting onto the Russians what we are actually guilty of.

Just listen to the braindead Biden essentially mouthing this propaganda line. If warfare breaks out it will be because the US State Department and our agents have impelled the Ukrainians to launch such “false flag” actions, literally forcing the Russians to react and thus producing a conflict, into which the US and NATO can pour support and implement various measures, economic and financial and, eventually, military against Russia, while blaming the Kremlin for starting it.

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“The president of France and the Federal Chancellor of Germany expressed their disappointment with this development. At the same time, they indicated their readiness to continue contacts.”

Putin Recognizes Donbass Independence as Violence Soars (Lauria)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognized the independence from Ukraine of two breakaway provinces in Donbass as violence in the region continues to escalate. In Monday evening televised remarks after signing decrees recognizing the independence of Lugansk and Donetsk, Putin denounced the government of Ukraine as “puppets” of the United States. He said: “As for those who captured and are holding on to power in Kiev, we demand that they immediately cease military action. If not, the complete responsibility for the possibility of a continuation of bloodshed will be fully and wholly on the conscience of the regime ruling the territory of Ukraine.” After Putin had spoken by phone earlier on Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday, the Kremlin issued this statement:

“The president of Russia said that he intended to sign the relevant decree in the near future. The president of France and the Federal Chancellor of Germany expressed their disappointment with this development. At the same time, they indicated their readiness to continue contacts.” The Duma last week passed a resolution recommending that Putin recognize the provinces’ independence from Ukraine. Putin had resisted for eight years recognizing the independence of the self-declared republics of Lugansk and Donetsk in the Donbass, insisting instead that Kiev implement the 2014-15 Minsk agreements that would have given autonomy to the provinces, while they remained within Ukrainian territory. The decision by Putin effectively declares that the Minsk process is over.

It does not mean at this point, however, that the people of Lugansk and Donetsk are ready to hold a referendum to join Russia or that Moscow is interested in making them part of Russia, as happened in Crimea in 2014. The two provinces declared independence after the 2014 U.S.-backed coup in Kiev that overthrew democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the violent capital to the Donbass, his base of support, exactly eight years ago today, on Feb. 21, 2014. On the next day Parliament, with only opposition leaders present, impeached him. After anti-Russian language laws were passed by the coup government, hand-picked before the coup by the United States, and after neo-Nazis burned dozens of people alive in a building in Odessa on May 3, 2014, both Lugansk and Donetsk declared independence nine days later on May 12.

The coup government launched a civil war against the separatists, whom they called “terrorists.” In essence the Donbass was defending their democratic rights to vote, as a majority of the region voted for Yanukovych, in an election certified by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In the eight years since, as many as 14,000 people have been killed in the fighting. The violence from that continuing conflict has soared since Thursday with thousands of ceasefire violations and explosions in and around Lugansk and Donetsk reported by OSCE monitors on the ground.


Putin speech Feb 21

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Xi.

What Accounts for Putin’s Assertiveness on Ukraine? (Ray McGovern)

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s well choreographed decision yesterday to recognize the independence of the pro-Russian Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk points to two key realities: (1) Putin despairs of persuading U.S. allies, Germany and France, to press Ukraine to honor its commitments under the Minsk accords that provide for regional autonomy as well as a ceasefire; and (2) Putin feels assured of very strong backing from China (as long as he is not stupid enough to invade Ukraine). What about this China factor? Why do Western pundits/savants pay so little heed to this game-changer? It should not require my half-century of studying/reporting on Russia-China relations to notice that China and Russia have never been so strategically close as now. Putin and Xi have done their part to demonstrate that. Why cannot most Western pundits and savants see it and recognize the implications?

There are, happily, notable exceptions – for example, Edward Wong’s Bond Between China and Russia Alarms US and Europe Amid Ukraine Crisis. Wong writes of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s speech on Feb. 21 in Munich: “It was the latest instance of what Western officials say is China taking a bold new swing at the United States and its allies by wading into European security issues to explicitly back Russia.” Wong includes quotes from a PR person, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, and a true expert on China, former prime minister of Australia Kevin Rudd. Kirby: “China’s support for Russia is deeply alarming, and, frankly, even more destabilizing to the security situation in Europe.” Rudd: “China’s explicitly pro-Russian position on European security is new and significant and quite a radical departure from the past.”

Kevin Rudd is right, of course; and it’s nice to know that the Pentagon, too, is aware. Crazed as the generals and admirals have long shown themselves to be, it is questionable whether even they would want to risk war on two fronts with major adversaries – for another star on their shoulder. I recall Amb. Chas Freeman telling me last December, “It is clear that the Sino-Russian entente is expanding under the pressure of US threats to both. Nothing will happen on either Taiwan or Ukraine without coordination between Beijing and Moscow.

That nothing will happen on either Ukraine or Taiwan without coordination between Beijing and Moscow seems to be key to understanding why Putin is feeling his oats. Yesterday, Chas further reminded me that “China agrees with Russia that the US global sphere of influence needs rollback. It does not agree that Ukraine should be invaded, occupied, or annexed. Ironically, China is this century’s citadel of Westphalianism.

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“..after more than a year of protracted negotiations, Yanukovych refused to sign the agreement in November 2013, which set off a chain of events that eventually led to his downfall.”

How Much The EU Has Destabilised Ukraine (Nuttall)

Eight years ago, a democratically elected president was removed from office by protesters waving European Union flags. Viktor Yanukovych had been elected as president of Ukraine in 2010 to serve a five-year term. His time in office was, however, brought to an abrupt end when he was removed for his refusal to sign an association agreement with the EU. The first decade of the 20th century was a golden period for the EU. The euro currency had been launched, the bloc was expanding, and Eurosceptic movements in its existing member states had barely got off the ground. The federalist ideologues in Brussels confidently believed that this was to be the EU’s century, and nothing could prevent it from accruing more powers and expanding further eastwards.

After the accession of central European countries and the Baltic states, Ukraine was the next logical step –highlighted by a vote in the European Parliament in 2005, which floated the possibility of Ukraine eventually joining the bloc. As a consequence, EU cash was poured into Ukraine as a precursor to eventual accession. The first step towards this eventuality was a deepening of economic ties, and to this end an association agreement was initiated in 2012. However, after more than a year of protracted negotiations, Yanukovych refused to sign the agreement in November 2013, which set off a chain of events that eventually led to his downfall.

[..] Now Yanukovych may have been a bad president, but that is not really the point. He was elected to serve a five-year term, and if the electors wanted rid of him, and it seems a sizeable number did, then they could have waited another year and voted him out of office. That is, after all, how democracy works. Nevertheless, with Yanukovych out of the way, the Ukrainian government signed the association agreement with the EU in March 2014. The EU proudly holds itself up as a defender of democracy – although anyone who understands how it really works knows what a contradiction this is – so you would assume that Brussels would have roundly denounced these ugly scenes in Kiev. But no, EU chiefs instead acted as enthusiastic cheerleaders.

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“Even insane San Francisco is in the process of eliminating its mandates, yet somehow Justin Trudeau’s Canada is willing to literally go to war with its own people..”

Donbas or Ottawa? The Dizzying Spiral of Government Violence! (Daniel McAdams)

Will the Russians attack? Well, they’ve been clear for years: a Kiev attack on three-quarters of a million Russian citizens in eastern Ukraine – who because of a Washington coup found themselves ruled by a government that came to power illegitimately – will be met with a Russian military response. In the breathless world of the braindead media hacks, the world began yesterday. But actually we are seeing a situation similar to 2008 in South Ossetia, where Russian passport holders (and Russian OSCE monitors) found themselves under attack by Georgia. The result was lightening fast, effective, and limited. Russia could have held and “regime-changed” Tbilisi. They did not. They made their point and left.

Even the US government-funded RFE had to admit that yes, in fact, it was Georgia that started the hostilities…and Russia that ended them. Will Russia come to the aid of Donbas? Yes. They are not trying to hide it. They’ve been saying it for years . The renowned historian and international relations theoretician Edward Luttwak – never accused of being a political partisan – put it best on Twitter: “The latest IC forecast: war is imminent and Russian forces will rely on exceptionally intense artillery bombardments, of Kiev too. That implies a reckless-gambler Putin, willing to make Ukrainians hate Russia & Russians forever. Neither is congruent with Putin’s record so far.”

This is the difference between astute analysts and the cardboard cut-outs who populate the media. People of intellectual substance like Luttwak are not in the business to grind an axe. They analyze past behavior and seek the truth. Sadly these days we are stuck with the former, with the latter being rarities. Meanwhile in Canada, a liberal Western democracy has declared war – literally – on its own peaceful citizens who have gathered to oppose the absurd continuation of Covid-related mandates. Even insane San Francisco is in the process of eliminating its mandates, yet somehow Justin Trudeau’s Canada is willing to literally go to war with its own people to keep them in place.

What is funny about Canada (and this is also true of the US and many “Western” liberal democracies), is that they are very happy to preach to the rest of the world that peaceful protests must be allowed while literally at the same time brutally cracking down on same protests in their own countries. As in the late Soviet era, the hypocrisy is impossible to ignore. The regime disintegrates under the weight of its own contradictions.

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“The term “dissent,” in Western democracies, connotes legitimacy, so that label must be denied them.”

The Neoliberal War On Dissent In The West (Greenwald)

This last decade of history is crucial to understand the dissent-eliminating framework that has been constructed and implemented in the West. This framework has culminated, thus far, with the stunning multi-pronged attacks on Canadian truckers by the Trudeau government. But it has been a long time in the making, and it is inevitable that it will find still-more extreme expressions. It is, after all, based in the central recognition that there is mass, widespread anger and even hatred toward the neoliberal ruling class throughout the West. Trump, Brexit and the rise of far-right parties in places where their empowerment was previously unthinkable — including Germany and France — is unmistakable proof of that. Rather than sacrifice some of the benefits of inequality that have generated much of that rage or placate or appease it with symbolic concessions, Western neoliberal elites have instead opted for force, a system that crushes all forms of dissent as soon as they emerge in anything resembling an effective, meaningful or potent form.

So many of the controversies over the last decade, often analyzed in isolation, have been devoted to this goal. The pervasive surveillance systems constructed by the West — revealed during the Snowden reporting but only partially reined in at best since then — are crucial tools, as surveillance powers always are, for monitoring and thus stifling dissent. We have now arrived at the point where the U.S. Government and its security state is officially and explicitly clear that it regards the greatest national security threat not as a foreign power such as China or Russia, and not as non-state actors such as Al Qaeda or ISIS, but rather “domestic extremists.” For years, this has been the unyielding message of the DHS, FBI, CIA, NSA and DOJ: our primary enemies are not foreign but are our fellow citizens who have embraced ideologies we regard as extremist.

This new escalation of repression depends upon a narrative framework. Those who harbor dissenting ideologies — and particularly those who do not embrace that dissent passively but instead take action to advocate, promote and spread it — are not merely dissenters. The term “dissent,” in Western democracies, connotes legitimacy, so that label must be denied them. They are instead domestic extremists, domestic terrorists, seditionists, traitors, insurrections. Applying terms of criminality renders justifiable any subsequent acts of repression: we are trained to accept that core liberties are forfeited upon the commission of crimes.

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“..when it comes to protests and other acts of which the regime approves, legality is never an issue.”

In The Age Of COVID, We’re Reminded An Unjust Law Is No Law At All (McMaken)

We could contrast the rhetoric surrounding the trucker protest with that of the Black Lives Matter protests. In the case of the BLM protests, illegal acts were downplayed and ignored, with one obvious riot labeled a “mostly peaceful” protest. when it comes to protests and other acts of which the regime approves, legality is never an issue. The regimes of the world, of course, like to use legality as a standard for judging human behavior because the regimes make the laws. Whether or not the laws actually have anything to do with human rights, private property, or just basic common sense is another matter entirely. Thus history is replete with pointless, immoral, and destructive laws. Slavery has been lawful throughout much of human history. Temporary slavery—known as military conscription—is still employed by many regimes.

In the US, the imprisonment of peaceful American citizens of Japanese descent was perfectly lawful under the US regime during World War II. Today, employers can face ruinous sanctions for hiring a worker who lacks the proper immigration paperwork. Worldwide, people can be jailed in many jurisdictions for years for the “crime” of possessing an illegal plant. During covid, the reality of arbitrary law came very much to the fore when unelected health bureaucrats and lone elected executives began ruling by decree. They closed businesses, shut people up in their homes, and imposed vaccine and mask mandates. Those who refuse to comply—and businesses who refuse to enforce these edicts—are condemned as lawbreakers and subject to punishment.

All of these legal provisions, acts, and sanctions represent mockeries of basic natural rights rather than protections of them. The notion that laws can be perversions of true justice has long been obvious to many. In fact, the disconnect between morality and legality is a fundamental aspect of Western civilization. The basic notion is very old, but the idea’s endurance in the West was reinforced by the fact that Christianity began as an illegal religion and early Christians were often considered to be criminals deserving of the death penalty. It should be no surprise, then, that Saint Augustine declared an unjust law to be no law at all and compared kings to pirates: the decrees of pirates, of course, are not worthy of obedience or reverence. And if kings are like pirates, kingly decrees are of equal respectability. This same tradition fueled Saint Thomas Aquinas’s support for regicide (in certain cases). Needless to say, regicide has been always and everywhere declared illegal by the would-be targets.

Yet, unfortunately, declaring something to be “illegal” remains an effective slur. There is no shortage of people who proudly consider themselves to be blind supporters of “law and order” and who insist “lawbreakers” are axiomatically in the wrong. Their simple-minded refrain is “if you don’t like the law, change it” and many of these people naïvely believe that acts of legislators and regulators somehow reflect “the will of the people” or some sort of moral law. The opposite is often the reality. We could contrast the rhetoric surrounding the trucker protest with that of the Black Lives Matter protests. In the case of the BLM protests, illegal acts were downplayed and ignored, with one obvious riot labeled a “mostly peaceful” protest. when it comes to protests and other acts of which the regime approves, legality is never an issue.

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“..paxlovid and molnupiravir.” Count your blessings.

Future UK Covid Waves Will Be Treated With Drugs Not Restrictions (Peston)

The core of the strategy to deal with another frightening Covid-19 wave will be pharmaceutical and medical interventions rather than lockdowns and restrictions on our lives, the PM will announce this afternoon. But this means laying in stocks of antivirals like paxlovid and molnupiravir, to protect the vulnerable, and that will cost money. And a second source of cost is a testing and surveillance system to catch a new wave early enough to distribute the antivirals. Which is also far from cheap. Hence the dispute this morning between the Treasury and the Deptartment of Health and Social Care. The Treasury seems to have won and Sajid Javid will “reprioritise” from within his existing budget.

A government source confirmed: “A minimum level of response needs to be maintained so that we have the ability to rapidly scale up and deal with future waves through pharmaceutical interventions rather than restrictions – as we did with Omicron.” UPDATE: To keep us safe, and to keep the economy open, there has to be fairly extensive Covid testing, surveillance and genome sequencing regime. Without it, we wouldn’t know if a new and dangerous strain were here, till too late to contain it with antivirals and booster vaccines As I said earlier, this monitoring regime – plus the perceived imperative of maintaining adequate stocks of antivirals – is pricey.

Over the weekend the row between the Department of Health and the Treasury has not been about new money to pay for it, though it was before, but has been a dispute about whether this Covid insurance policy was necessary at all. The Health Secretary Sajid Javid wanted it. Sunak was sceptical. In the end, Javid won this argument and will pay for it by cutting other programmes.

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“the twin impact of depletion and pollution is pushing the Western economy back to what it was a couple of hundred years ago.”

The Demise of Restaurants (Ugo Bardi)

As I said, restaurants have always been a typical middle-class thing. They appeared together with the European middle class, and they are following its destiny. During the past few decades, the middle class has been gradually pushed back into the fold of the lower class. The restaurant business could not avoid being affected by the trend. The tradition of eating out is still alive in the West, but the resources for doing that are not there anymore for a middle class that’s struggling to survive, and failing at that. On their side, the rich don’t eat at restaurants, at least not at the same kind of restaurants that the deplorables can afford. For the very rich and politically exposed persons (PEPs), appearing at a restaurant without an armed escort would be dangerous (*). They have their private cooks and exclusive places. And they socialize with each other throwing expensive parties at their homes. A habit that we find in ancient history, even in Roman times and earlier.

You may have seen the picture of Bill Gates supposedly standing in line waiting for his turn for a burger. It is surprising that many Westerners seem to believe in this kind of cheap PR stunts. In the old Soviet Union, if Leonid Brezhnev had diffused a picture of himself standing in line to buy shoes, people would have laughed themselves to death. But it is known that Westerners are sensitive to propaganda. In any case, the current Western elites are acting just like the Soviet elites of old. They don’t care about what the commoners eat, although they are worried that starving them may lead them to revolt. So, they tend to allow a basic supply of food, but they consider restaurants (and the associated tourism) as a waste of resources. They much prefer to funnel the surplus produced by the economy into their own pockets rather than having it dissipated by the commoners.

They can use several methods to obtain this result: lockdown worked nicely, but could not be imposed forever. Other methods were later used to make the restaurant experience unpleasant for the customers. Different factors reinforced each other. One result of the financial strain is that the quality of the food and of the service is going down (I can testify that myself). Finally, the QR code is the perfect method to keep the deplorables out. It is a more sophisticated and tuneable tool than the old written menu. So, Western restaurants are in the crosshair and it is unlikely that they will survive, at least in the form we are used to seeing them. It is not so much because the PTB are evil — they are no more evil than most categories. It is mostly because the economic contraction coming from the twin impact of depletion and pollution is pushing the Western economy back to what it was a couple of hundred years ago.


a Sumerian QR code to assign rations of beer. Some things never change, some things always return.

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Crowther

 

 

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