Nov 112022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The artist’s son Titus 1657

 

Will A Russian Kherson Exit Create The Right ‘Facts On The Ground’? (Snider)
The Pullout From Kherson (MoA)
Moscow Sets Out Conditions For Talks With EU (RT)
The Collective West Might Be Losing The War With Eurasia (Lee)
Energy Bills In Europe Are 90% Higher Than Last Year (OP)
Hungary Explains ‘Total Failure’ Of Sanctions On Russia (RT)
The Dysfunctional Relationship At The Heart Of The EU (Pol.eu)
Biden Supports National Security Review of Elon Musk Twitter Purchase (Turley)
Biden: GOP Vow To Investigate Son Hunter’s Business Deals ‘Almost Comedy’ (JTN)
Gingrich Suspects Trump Rethinking 2024 (JTN)
2022 Midterms Highlight the Distinct Difference Between Ballots and Votes (CTH)
Executives Flee Twitter As Musk Mentions ‘Bankruptcy’ (RT)
mRNA “Vaccines” Causing Cells To Produce Spike Proteins Is A Fairy Tale (OffG)
UK Exec Wining, Dining With People Plotting To Kill My Husband – Stella (DecUK)

 

 

Still puzzled by this.

 

 

Tucker midterms

 

 

 

 

A single word

 

 

 

 

 

 

“U.S. officials reportedly told Zelensky that Kiev “must show its willingness to end the war reasonably and peacefully.”

Will A Russian Kherson Exit Create The Right ‘Facts On The Ground’? (Snider)

Will the Russian withdrawal from the key city of Kherson this week continue what appears to be momentum toward a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine? The signs may be pointing in that direction. In late September, Russia declared its annexation of the Donbas republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as the eastern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded by signing a decree banning any negotiations with Putin. Zelensky said that Ukraine is “ready for dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia.” That decree posed a problem, particularly for the United States, which is trying to maintain a coalition assembled to support Ukraine militarily, financially, and through sanctions on Russia.

Since imminent regime change in Moscow has appeared unlikely, waiting for another president might mean a potentially endless war. And that’s a hard sell for weary European allies — who are heading toward a cold winter — no matter their commitment to the cause of defending Ukraine. So, in a shift from its position that it had “ruled out the idea of pushing or even nudging Ukraine to the negotiating table,” the Biden administration reportedly began urging Zelensky to “signal an openness to negotiate with Russia and drop his government’s public refusal to engage in peace talks unless President Vladimir Putin is removed from power,” according to the Washington Post.

At first, Ukraine publicly rejected the pressure. Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak reiterated the promise that Ukraine will only “talk with the next leader” of Russia, and told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that talks could only resume once the Kremlin relinquishes all Ukrainian territory and that Kyiv would fight on even if it is “stabbed in the back” by its allies. But the pressure may have been strong. Several days of talks between Kiev and Washington culminated in a visit by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan with Zelensky. Perhaps coincidentally, Sullivan has also reportedly “been in contact with Yuri Ushakov, a foreign-policy adviser to Mr. Putin” and with Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. U.S. officials reportedly told Zelensky that Kiev “must show its willingness to end the war reasonably and peacefully.”

On November 8, the messaging from Ukraine suddenly changed dramatically. Zelensky announced that he is now open to diplomacy with Putin and urged the international community to “force Russia into real peace talks.” Zelensky insisted that his preconditions for talks are “restoration of (Ukraine’s) territorial integrity … compensation for all war damage, punishment for every war criminal and guarantees that it will not happen again.” Washington insists that its message was not an attempt to push Ukraine to the negotiating table, but rather an attempt to manage international perceptions. The plan was to “reinforce to the world that it’s Ukraine, not Russia, that wants to resolve the conflict.” One official said, “That doesn’t mean they need to go to the negotiating table right now. We don’t even think right now is the right time based on what Russia is doing.

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“Morale requires that the next Russian move has to be [a] big push with strategic significance.”

The Pullout From Kherson (MoA)

The Russian command decided to remove its troops in the Kherson region from the left bank of the Dnieper. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu did not look happy when he gave the order. He knows that another such setback will cost him his job. This move looks bad. That alone will have consequences. The Ukrainians, the Biden administration and the European supporter of Ukraine will be emboldened by this. The support in Russia for the war will shrink. Some people in Russia will start to call for President Putin’s head. There is no danger though that they will get it. This move is operationally sound. From the military point of view there is little chance to withstand a serious attack in the region as the resupply across the Dnieper river is very difficult and can not be guaranteed.

Moreover the possible breach of the Dnieper river dams would make any resupply impossible for at least a week or even longer. That would be enough time for the Ukrainians to slaughter whatever number of Russian troops were left behind. Strategically the move is bad. It closes for now the possibility of moving into Nikolaev (Mykolaiv) and further towards Odessa. This could have and should have been done earlier. But the Russian command did not commit sufficient forces for that fight. There were also sound reason for not doing that. Now it is too late to criticize those decisions. It is quite possible that, behind the scene, a deal has been made over this. If one was made we are unlikely to learn of it anytime soon. The priorities now should be to get the soldiers and equipment out of the area. It will require intense air defense coverage to prevent the close down of ferry points by Ukrainian artillery.

There is no reason to make it easy for the Ukraine to regain the area. Until the evacuation is done any significant Ukrainian move into the area should be responded to with effective artillery fire. Soon the Ukrainian army will start to move troops prepared for an attack in Kherson to other front lines. Russia must likewise move its troops to reinforce its positions elsewhere. Morale requires that the next Russian move has to be [a] big push with strategic significance. The concept of deep battle and deep operations should be reapplied. Historically it has nearly always worked to Russia’s advantage. But the big push does not need to be solely militarily. A further significant damage of Ukraine’s economy via its electricity network is an additional option. To severely interdict its supply lines from the west is another one.

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“Apparently, the EU needs to undermine its economy completely before calls to start the dialogue will be accompanied by concrete steps..”

Moscow Sets Out Conditions For Talks With EU (RT)

Russia is open to any negotiations with the EU to find a way out of the current crisis, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told local media on Thursday. However, she voiced concerns that any meaningful discussions may start only after the bloc has “completely destroyed” its own economy. Speaking to the Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakty, Zakharova addressed a recent NBC report alleging that some Western officials believe that the upcoming winter may spell an opportunity for talks between Moscow and Kiev. However, she noted that Western calls to seek a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, “unfortunately are just rhetoric,” adding that all EU policies, including military support for Ukraine, “are aimed at escalation.”

The shift in narrative has been spurred by an emerging rift between ordinary European citizens and policymakers, she believes. The former “are getting tired of permanent confrontation rhetoric and endless baseless accusations against Russia,” the spokeswoman said, adding that “there is a growing demand for putting an end to the Ukraine conflict.” These concerns are also underpinned by Europe’s economic woes, Zakharova continued. “News about new sanctions or regular calls to ‘punish’ Russia economically scare Europeans themselves,” she noted. “Apparently, the EU needs to undermine its economy completely before calls to start the dialogue will be accompanied by concrete steps,” the official remarked, adding the bloc is pursuing these policies to please the US. According to Zakharova, Moscow is open to “discussing ways out of the current crisis,” but any peace settlement must be of some benefit to Russia.

“It is important that any proposals take into account the real situation ‘on the ground’ and have an added value for our country,” she noted.In recent months, top EU officials have been sending conflicting signals about their stance on possible engagement with Moscow. While EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell claimed in April that the conflict in Ukraine “will be won on the battlefield,” last month he said that Brussels is ready to seek a “diplomatic solution” while vowing to continue to support Kiev militarily. Russian officials have repeatedly stated they are ready to conduct negotiations with Kiev to end the conflict. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has set out conditions for any diplomatic engagement, which include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage” and “punishment of every war criminal.”

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“..the Europeans still constituted a new and serious – although declining – rival for God’s own People..”

The Collective West Might Be Losing The War With Eurasia (Lee)

[..] of all people, Leon Trotsky writing in, (War – In the International 1933) – opined … ‘’That prior to WW2 the US was Europe’s debtor but now Europe was relegated to the background. The United States is the principal factory, the principal depot and the Central Bank of the world.’’ America’s hegemony over Europe long pre-dated WW2 and actually later grew larger with the addition of ex Eastern European states which had been formerly part of the Soviet sphere of influence. Western Europe had willy-nilly long since been subordinated to the USA. A while later (1946) the Americans gave the British short shrift reminding them that they would have to adjust to the post-war realities and take the medicine – the American loan, as Michael Hudson explains:

‘’In effect the Sterling Area was to be absorbed into the Dollar Area, which would be extended throughout the world. Britain was to remain in a weak position in which it found itself at the end of WW2, with barely any free monetary reserves and dependent on dollar borrowings to meet its current obligations. The United States would gain access to Britain’s pre-war markets in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Far East. This first loan on the post-war agenda – which President Truman announced in forwarding it to Congress would set the course of American and British economic relations for many years to come. Truman was well aware of the change of fortunes for the UK, for the Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a great power.’’(1)

Sometime later and under the changed geopolitical and economic conditions President Richard Nixon and his economist acolytes placed their chief diplomat, Henry Kissinger, in charge of arrangements to put in place a policy to keep the Europeans subordinate and while they were at it to simultaneously endeavor to put a limit on Japanese expansion. Then came the big game-changer: Gold was officially delinked from the US$ in August 1971. Nixon’s currency reforms – were designed among various other decisions and also generally aimed at European and Japanese interests. It should be noted that Japan did not play any political role at all but simply followed in America’s wake, as she invariably did in economic and even political matters since.

This unilateral decision by the Americans to deprive paper money from convertibility into gold was enough to tip the Europeans into disorder and turbulence. For all their protestations of loyalty in Europe, the leaders of each country feverishly groped for an outcome that answered their own interests. However still licking their wounds, and for all their weakness, the Europeans still constituted a new and serious – although declining – rival for God’s own People, American capitalism-imperialism, which says a lot about how far the former had slid down the slippery-slope.

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“..those loans would have long maturities of up to 35 years and require no repayment of the principal before 2033..”

Zelensky Says EU’s €18 Billion Aid Is What “True Solidarity” Looks Like (ZH)

What’s not to like about a massive interest-free loan that won’t have to be paid back for decades, or maybe never? Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says it shows “true solidarity”… “Grateful to the European Commission and President Ursula von der Leyen for announcing 18 billion-euro financial aid package for 2023,” Zelensky announced on social media Wednesday. “This shows true solidarity of the EU.” The EU Commission President explained in a statement that the whopping €18 billion support package for 2023 is being mulled to prepare the ground for the reconstruction of Ukraine as it continues on the path toward EU membership, after it was granted candidate status on June 23 of this year.

As Politico reported earlier, “Commissioners meeting today for their weekly College meeting will propose a new EU instrument to finance €18 billion (around €1.5 billion a month) in subsidized loans for Ukraine for 2023, according to a draft regulation also obtained by Paola.” The draft regulation reads as follows: “In order to finance the support under the Instrument in the form of loans, the Commission shall be empowered, on behalf of the Union, to borrow the necessary funds on the capital markets or from financial institutions.” The Commission would reportedly link interval disbursement of the funds based on commitments from Kyiv upholding ‘rule of law’ requirements and making democratic reforms, again as preparation for potential future EU admission.

According to further details, “Though the funds would officially be in the form of loans (aside from additional voluntary contributions by EU governments), those loans would have long maturities of up to 35 years and require no repayment of the principal before 2033. Interest would be subsidized by EU member countries.” The proposed package comes after last Thursday Ukrainian parliament approved a draft so-called “victory budget” for 2023, with a “record deficit” of $38 billion, including a little over $27 billion for the nation’s armed forces. Naturally the bulk of this is expected to be filled by donors, the IMF, United States and European Union.

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Europeans pay twice: billions for “True Solidarity” and double energy prices.

Energy Bills In Europe Are 90% Higher Than Last Year (OP)

Electricity and gas prices are soaring across Europe, with bills close to double from last year in most European capitals, according to new data from the Household Energy Price Index – a monthly tracker of energy prices for households across 33 European capitals, including the 27 EU member states and several non-members. According to the data collected for the HEPI, natural gas bills in Europe have gone up by as much as 111 percent over the past year, with electricity prices up by an average of 69 percent. Taken together, Euronews calculates these two make for a total 90-percent increase in household energy bills over the past year.

“Significantly higher [energy prices] compared to one year ago … can be attributed to a combination of factors, such as increased demand connected to post-pandemic economic recovery and extraordinary weather conditions, the record-high prices for natural gas, and high CO2 emissions allowances,” the authors of the latest HEPI report noted. The high energy bills are creating headaches for European governments: strikes and protests are multiplying and disgruntlement with energy policies is growing. The cost of living in most of Europe is already exorbitant because of the energy crisis and this crisis is only going to get worse after the EU embargoes on Russian oil and then fuels come into effect.

In some parts of Europe, according to the latest HEPI report, energy prices have reached record highs but in others, prices have actually fallen, at least in October. The news is not as good as it looks at first glance: the decline was a result of government intervention, i.e. energy subsidies. There have been a lot of subsidies as European governments try to alleviate the financial pain on households and businesses to avoid further disgruntlement. Germany alone will be spending some $200 billion on such coping measures, including a cap on energy prices up to a certain level of consumption.

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“Basically, we are the only ones in Europe who are arguing in favor of peace..”

Hungary Explains ‘Total Failure’ Of Sanctions On Russia (RT)

The sanctions on Russia have not achieved any of the EU’s stated goals and only backfired by hurting the economies of member states, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said.The EU, along with the US and several other countries, imposed sweeping restrictions on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in February. “The sanctions which have been introduced by the European Union [against] Russia have failed. It’s a total failure,” Szijjarto told Jordan’s Roya News on Sunday. It was said by the European Commission that the sanctions will help us to conclude this war as soon as possible and that it will bring Russia’s economy to its knees. What’s the outcome? It’s totally the opposite.

“The war is becoming more and more brutal … And, in the meantime, the European economy is suffering very badly,” Szijjarto stated, adding that the continent has been hit by a “tremendous energy crisis,” as well as high inflation and rising food prices. The minister said that Hungary paid €7 billion ($6.9 billion) for energy imports in 2021, but has to pay €19 billion ($18.9 billion) this year. “That’s huge. And this is the outcome of a failed sanctions policy.” Szijjarto said that, instead of economic restrictions, the EU should focus on achieving peace in the region. He argued that a settlement in Ukraine could come as a result of negotiations between Russia and the US.

“Basically, we are the only ones in Europe who are arguing in favor of peace,” he said. The foreign minister defended Hungary’s decision to reject Kiev’s calls to send weapons and not to participate in the training of Ukrainian troops. These measures “contribute to escalation” rather than helping to end the conflict, he said.Hungary’s economy heavily relies on Russian energy, and the government has resisted Brussels’ plans to completely ban oil and gas imports from Moscow. After tense negotiations, Budapest received several exemptions from the bloc-wide restrictions on purchases of Russian fossil fuels. Hungary said this week that it will not support the EU’s joint loan package, which would secure €18 billion ($17.9 billion) in aid for Kiev.

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Ursula vs Michel. The failure of the EU personified.

The Dysfunctional Relationship At The Heart Of The EU (Pol.eu)

When the leaders of the world’s most powerful countries meet at the G20 summit in Bali next week, don’t expect the European Union to present a united front. Rather than coordinate, the bloc’s top two officials — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel — are more likely to avoid each other, with staffers involved in organizing the trip under strict instructions to avoid any overlap in itineraries. In the nearly three years since their tenures began, relations between Michel and von der Leyen have undergone an extraordinary breakdown, with staff from the two institutions discouraged from communicating and the two leaders locking each other out from meetings with foreign dignitaries.

The dysfunctional partnership is not only impacting the EU’s legislative and political agenda, which depends on a delicate inter-institutional balancing act. It’s also threatening to undermine the EU’s standing in the world. One of the centerpieces of the G20 will be a meeting between Michel and Chinese leader Xi Jinping scheduled to take place on the fringes of the summit. Given the divisions within the EU about how to deal with Beijing, it’s shaping up to be a crucial meeting. But von der Leyen hasn’t been invited. The reason? Her refusal to allow Michel to attend a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G7 in Germany in June. Rivalry between the Commission and the Council has long been a challenge due to an inherent structural tension within the EU’s byzantine system.

The Commission is the bloc’s executive arm, with the ability to propose legislation, putting its president at the heart of nearly every EU initiative. But the Council is where heads of state or government meet to turn proposals into law. Though its president plays a coordinating role, moderating the debate between the real decision-makers, the position is arguably closer to where the bloc’s real power lies. One of the centerpieces of the G20 will be a meeting between Michel and Chinese leader Xi Jinping scheduled to take place on the fringes of the summit. Given the divisions within the EU about how to deal with Beijing, it’s shaping up to be a crucial meeting. But von der Leyen hasn’t been invited. The reason? Her refusal to allow Michel to attend a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G7 in Germany in June.

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“.. it’s worth being looked at.”

Biden Supports National Security Review of Elon Musk Twitter Purchase (Turley)

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that “I’m not going to change anything” after the midterm elections even with the possible loss of one or both houses of Congress. One thing that did not change is Biden’s continued suggestion that his political opponents are fascists or national security threats. Biden is now supporting an investigation into whether Elon Musk’s taking over of Twitter is a national security threat. Biden’s statement comes just a couple days after Musk’s call for supporters to vote for Republican control of Congress and the President attacking him for his plan to restore free speech protections on Twitter. During a press conference at the White House, a reporter asked Biden if he thought Musk was a national security threat because of his business ties to Saudi Arabia. Biden responded:

“I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation, and/or technical relationships with other countries, uh, is worthy of being looked at. Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting that … it’s worth being looked at.” This followed Biden’s tirade against Twitter for moving toward less censorship. The President seriously asked “how do people know the truth” if social media companies did not control what they could read or hear on these platforms. Biden could have simply demurred and said that he would leave such matters to the responsible agencies to consider. Instead, he added his call to those of Democratic politicians and pundits to initiate a national security review.

The call to unleash a national security review on Musk’s takeover is being pushed by various liberal legal experts and pundits without any sense of concern over the use of such powers for political ends. Among those calling for an investigation is Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review the deal. Of course, many of these Democratic leaders and pundits supported Twitter silencing those with opposing views for years. In previous hearings, Democratic senators demanded greater censorship from Twitter in areas ranging from Covid to climate change. However, according to Murphy, they are now worried about “the potential influence of the Government of Saudi Arabia” and “[a]ny potential that Twitter’s foreign ownership will result in increased censorship, misinformation, or political violence is a grave national security concern.”

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But this is not “.. worth being looked at.”

Biden: GOP Vow To Investigate Son Hunter’s Business Deals ‘Almost Comedy’ (JTN)

In his post-election press conference, President Biden derided the House GOP’s pledge to investigate his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings as “almost comedy.” GOP Congressman James Comer, the potential chair of the House Oversight Committee, has said Hunter’s business deals in China, Russia and Ukraine pose a national security risk and might have “compromised” the president himself. Biden was asked on Wednesday for his message to Republicans who are considering investigating his family and, particularly, his son Hunter’s business dealings. “‘Lots of luck in your senior year,’ as my coach used to say,” Biden retorted. “Look, I think the American public want us to move on and get things done for them.


“It was reported — whether it’s accurate or not, I’m not sure — but it was reported many times that Republicans were saying, and the former president said, ‘How many times are you going to impeach Biden?’ You know, impeachment proceedings against, I mean, I think the American people will look at all of that for what it is. It’s just almost comedy. I mean, it’s — but, you know, look, I can’t control what they’re going to do. All I can do is continue to try to make life better for the American people.” Comer said in September that the U.S. Treasury Department has refused to provide Biden family members’ “suspicious foreign business transactions” that were flagged by U.S. banks. “We’re not investigating Hunter Biden for political reasons,” Comer said. “We’re investigating Hunter Biden because we believe he’s a national security threat, who we fear has compromised Joe Biden.”

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If Trump next week wants to announce running, he will do it without the momentum.

Gingrich Suspects Trump Rethinking 2024 (JTN)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Just the News that former President Donald Trump is likely “rethinking and reappraising” running for president again in 2024, adding that he personally doesn’t see a scenario where Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis decides not to run for president in 2024. “I mean, just in my own emails today, the number of people who want somebody other than Trump who have decided, literally overnight, that person is going to be DeSantis, he’s going to find it almost impossible to avoid running,” Gingrich said on Wednesday. “I think Trump’s got to look at the results and be troubled,” he added. “I can tell you, for me, this was not the result I expected. I thought we’d win a lot more seats.”

Gingrich added that Republicans have to look at the results and ask themselves what they did wrong and where they go from here. Gingrich was asked if he thinks Trump is going to announce a 2024 run or decide that it’s no longer his time. “I think he’s a very, very smart man,” he said. “And I’m sure that he is very disappointed. He worked very hard. He did a whole array of rallies with thousands of people. And I know, because I have the same feeling, I know that he went into Election Day thinking it was going to be a huge success. And I suspect that he’s going through the same kind of rethinking and reappraising that I’m going through.

“He is a very smart guy, and he’s got asked two questions: Can he in fact beat DeSantis? He probably would say yes. Coming out of that fight, would he be able to win a general election? I don’t think he wants to run and, you know, have that kind of situation.” Gingrich elaborated on his personal reaction to the results of the midterm election so far. “I was pretty shaken because that was not the election I expected,” he admitted. “And I don’t have as much confidence in my own judgment as I would have had yesterday morning.”

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“Democrat party officials and political activist groups knew how to exploit the opportunities within the new system of ballot distribution and collection..”

2022 Midterms Highlight the Distinct Difference Between Ballots and Votes (CTH)

As the political discussion centers on the 2022 wins and losses from the midterm election, one thing that stands out in similarity to the 2020 general election is the difference between ballots and votes. It appears in some states this is the ‘new normal.’ Where votes were the focus, the Biden administration suffered losses. Where ballots were the focus, the Biden administration won. Perhaps the two states most reflective of ‘ballots’ being more important than ‘votes’ are Michigan and Pennsylvania. Despite negative polling and public opinion toward two specific candidates in those states, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman achieved victories. Whitmer and Fetterman were not campaigning for votes, that is old school.

Instead, the machinery behind both candidates focused on the modern path. The Democrat machines in both states focused on ballot collection and ignored the irrelevant votes as cast. Since the advent of ballot centric focus through mail-in and collection drop-off processes, votes have become increasingly less valuable amid the organizers who wish to control election outcomes. As a direct and specific result, ballot collection has become the key to Democrat party success. The effort to attain votes for candidates is less important than the strategy of collecting ballots. It should be emphasized; these are two distinctly different election systems. The system of ballot distribution and collection is far more susceptible to control than the traditional system of votes cast at precincts.

A vote cannot be cast by a person who is no longer alive, or no longer lives in the area. However, a ballot can be sent, completed and returned regardless of the status of the initially attributed and/or registered individual. While ballots and votes originate in two totally different processes, the end result of both “ballots” and “votes,” weighing on the presented election outcome, is identical. While initially the ballot form of election control was tested in Deep Blue states, through the process of mail-in returns under the guise and justification of “expanding democracy,” a useful tool for those who are vested in the distinction, I think we are now starting to see what happens on a national level when the process is expanded.

The controversial 2020 election showed the result of making ‘ballots’ the strategy for electoral success. Under the justification of COVID-19 mitigation, mail-in ballots took center stage. Ballot harvesting by Democrat operations was one term for the outcome. Democrat party officials and political activist groups knew how to exploit the opportunities within the new system of ballot distribution and collection, and when you combine that with a massive legal pressure campaign to accept any and all forms of ballots, well, you can see how they are dependent.

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“On Thursday, he tweeted that the platform’s usage continued to rise: “One thing is for sure: it isn’t boring!”

Executives Flee Twitter As Musk Mentions ‘Bankruptcy’ (RT)

At least six executives have reportedly resigned from Twitter this week. The social media platform’s new owner Elon Musk has called an all-hands meeting on Thursday, announcing a return to office hours and mentioning the possibility of bankruptcy unless the company can find a way to become profitable. Among the departures was the head of safety and moderation Yoel Roth, Bloomberg reported citing insider sources. Musk had kept Roth on despite the complaints from conservatives that he had been responsible for much of the political censorship on the platform – one of the reasons the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire cited for buying the company. “The economic picture ahead is dire,” Musk wrote in an email calling the meeting, according to the New York Times.

“Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn.” Unless Twitter can generate profits from its $8 monthly Blue program, bankruptcy is a very real possibility, Musk reportedly said, adding that the platform is currently too dependent on advertising.A number of companies have pulled their ads from Twitter in recent weeks, due to a pressure campaign by activists angry at Musk’s buyout of the company – and endorsement of Republicans in the US midterm elections.Musk also told staff that the days of free food, teleworking and other perks were over, according to multiple outlets. “If you can physically make it to an office and you don’t show up, resignation accepted,” he reportedly said.

Along with Roth, five other executives quit this week. The heads of privacy, information security and compliance resigned just before the deadline to submit a report to the US government, required under a 2011 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.The FTC is “tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern,” said spokesman Douglas Farrar, adding that “no CEO or company is above the law.” On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden told reporters “there’s a lot of ways” to investigate Musk’s acquisition of Twitter as a potential national security risk. Musk has warned the public that Twitter “will do lots of dumb things in coming months.” On Thursday, he tweeted that the platform’s usage continued to rise: “One thing is for sure: it isn’t boring!”

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Interesting take by Stefano Scoglio. “And that also explains why this material is so toxic without needing to introduce any spike protein.”

mRNA “Vaccines” Causing Cells To Produce Spike Proteins Is A Fairy Tale (OffG)

“Why, then, is it impossible for mRNA to enter the cell and cause it to produce spike proteins?” The first thing the researchers in the field state is that the living cell is a “formidable barrier”, very difficult if not impossible to penetrate. And then they list 5 factors that prevent the mRNA to enter cells, getting into the ribosomes where the spike protein is supposed to be produced: First: As soon as the genic material is injected, it is attacked by specific enzymes called extra-cellular ribonucleases, which degrade any foreign genetic material. Pharmaceutical companies claim that the lipid nanoparticles are supposed to protect the mRNA from the enzymatic attack: But nobody knows how much protection is offered. As the Pfizer “vaccine” injects 30 micrograms of mRNA, let’s say that about half, 15 micrograms, survive.

Second: At this point, the mRNA/lipids blend has to enter the cell, supposedly through endocytosis, i.e. the cell is forming an external pouch that brings in the material. But, the researchers state, often instead of endocytosis the cell produces exocytosis, that is the pouch is used to keep the foreign material outside: Let’s say that half enters and so we now have 7.5 micrograms inside the cell. Third: At this point enters the endosomes/lysosome system: all scientists in the field know that this enzymatic endocellular system attacks, degrades and eliminate at least 98 percent of any foreign material entering the cells. We are now down to 0.15 micrograms, that 150 nanograms, an infinitesimal quantity.

Fourth: If this were the end, you could at least claim that a very minuscule dose would enter the ribosomes. But alas, the ribonuclease enzymes are also inside the cell, they are called endocellular ribonucleases, and they would dispose very quickly of the minuscule amount of mRNA. Finally, the researchers mention a fifth element, the most important, the one that makes all the processes described so far completely useless and unnecessary. And that also explains why this material is so toxic without needing to introduce any spike protein. They indicate that these “vaccines” are so highly immunogenic. Indeed, they use this word immunogenic.

Quality Issues With mRNA Covid Vaccine Production

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Dark.

UK Exec Wining, Dining With People Plotting To Kill My Husband – Stella (DecUK)

Assange’s treatment in the US would be much worse. In 2020, UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked Assange’s extradition to the US because of the risk of suicide under the onerous conditions he would face. Baraitser’s decision was based on the fact that, if convicted, Assange would likely be moved to the ‘Supermax’ Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado, home to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza and Mexican druglord El Chapo. A former warden of the prison has said: “There’s no other way to say it — it’s worse than death.” Pre-trial, Assange could also be held under Special Administrative Measures, or SAMs, where inmates spend 23 or 24 hours a day in their cells with no contact with other prisoners.

The US then appealed Baraitser’s ruling, saying it would promise that Assange would not be subject to SAMs or housed in ADX. Crucially, though, the US reserved the right to reverse these promises in case of further violations by Assange, which can be easily invented. In December 2021, the UK High Court agreed with the US appeal and reversed the lower court decision not to extradite Assange. Many believe Assange would commit suicide before being put on a plane to the US. “I’m convinced that Julian cannot survive under the conditions the US will put him in,” says Stella. “I have no doubt they will put him in a regime of isolation. The only reason he’s surviving now is because he’s able to see me, to see the children. He has a hope of fighting extradition to the US.”

She adds: “He’s facing trial in the Eastern District of Virginia with a jury that will be composed of people who are either working for or somehow linked to the national security sector, because that is what that area is. That is the jury pool. He faces 175 years under the Espionage Act, under which there is no defence. He cannot explain, he cannot justify, he cannot defend himself from the accusation.” She pauses. “Under the indictment, Julian is accused of conspiring with a source to publish information: receiving that information from the source, possessing that information, and communicating it to the public. That is journalism. And if you define journalism as a crime, then Julian is guilty and he has no defence.”

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Saylor

 

 

 

 

Cow

 

 

Moon

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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“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.”

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“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.

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 182022
 


Odilon Redon Fallen angel 1872

 

Something is Looming Geopolitically, We Better Start Taking It Seriously (CTH)
A Eurasian Jigsaw: BRI and INSTC (Escobar)
Russia Urges International Inspection Of Shelled Nuclear Site (RT)
Europe’s Powers Gave Ukraine No New Military Pledges In July (Pol.eu)
Ukraine Could Be Put On ‘Ammo Diet’ – US Military Expert (RT)
Germany Declares War On Europe And Refuses To Ban Russians (CdS)
Putin First, Populists Next – Who To Blame For The Energy Crisis? (RT)
Russia Names Main Victim Of US Energy ‘Victory’ (RT)
Government Must Quickly Start Repairing Purchasing Power – Professor (AD)
Central Bank Warns Gov’t: Be Cautious With Purchasing Power Repairs (NOS)
UK Green Party Calls For Nationalisation Of Big Five Energy Firms (G.)
Audio Tapes In Bill Clinton’s Sock Drawer And Mar-a-Lago Search Dispute (JTN)
FBI Sought Documents Trump Hoarded for Years, Including about Russiagate (NW)
CDC Admits To Botched Covid-19 Responses (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roth

Roth/Ratner

 

 

France

 

 


Gas & electricity bill for a business owner in the South of Italy. – July 2021: EUR 120k – July 2022: EUR 979k In his own words: ”A holiday in July would have been more profitable than running my business with these input costs”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawyer sundance: “.. the think-tanks and high-minded climate change ideologues do not have the ability to manage a transition and still meet the needs of people..”

Something is Looming Geopolitically, We Better Start Taking It Seriously (CTH)

As a result of western governments’ taking collective action under the auspices of a ‘climate change’ agenda, we are on the cusp of something happening with ramifications that no one has ever seen before. Western governments’, specifically western Europe, North America (U.S-Canada) and Australia/New Zealand, are intentionally trying to lower economic activity to meet the intentional drop in energy production. This is the core consequence of the Build Back Better agenda as promoted by the World Economic Forum. Anyone who says there is a reference point to determine both the short-term and long-term consequences is lying. There is no precedent for nations’ collectively and intentionally trying to reduce economic activity.

Hiding behind the false justification that current inflation is driven by too much demand, central banks in Europe, the Bank of England, Bank of Canada and U.S. federal reserve are raising interest rates. The outcome we are currently feeling is an intentional economic contraction and global recession. The Build Back Better monetary policy is successfully shrinking western economic activity; however, the impacted nations that produce goods for markets in North America and Europe, specifically southeast Asia, Japan and China, are not raising interest rates in an effort to try and offset the drop in demand. China has announced they are dropping their central bank rates in a desperate effort to lower costs and keep their export dependent economy working.

Underneath all of this, is a drop in energy production in the same nations trying to lower economic activity. The political policymakers are attempting to manage this process without informing the citizens of the unspoken goal. Shortages of oil, coal and natural gas are self-inflicted problems, all part of the BBB agenda. Beyond the massive increases in energy costs, which is the true source of inflation and a direct/intentional outcome of the BBB effort, Europe is now facing a looming winter without the energy resources to heat homes and sustain people. Things are going to be very uncomfortable in Europe this winter as roaming brownouts are now predicted.

As the collective west attempts to, using their words, “manage the transition,” they do not have mechanisms to control an outcome of this magnitude. It is simply too big a situation to manage. Where the rubber meets the road, the think-tanks and high-minded climate change ideologues do not have the ability to manage a transition and still meet the needs of people. Beyond the esoteric thinking, there are real consequences from these actions.

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What would we know about modern Asian politics without Pepe Escobar?

A Eurasian Jigsaw: BRI and INSTC (Escobar)

There’s no question that the proxy war in Ukraine between the US and Russia has been creating serious problems for BRI expansion. After all, the US war on Russia is also a war against BRI. The top three BRI corridors from Xinjiang to Europe are the New Eurasian Land Bridge, the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor, and the China-Russia-Mongolia Economic Corridor. The New Eurasian Land Bridge uses the Trans-Siberian and a second link through Xinjiang-Kazakhstan (via the dry land port of Khorgos) and then Russia. The corridor via Mongolia is in fact two corridors: one from Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei to Inner Mongolia and then Russia; and the other from Dalian and Shenyang and then to Chita in Russia, near the Chinese border.

As it stands, the Chinese are not using Land Bridge and the Mongolian corridor as much as before, mainly because of western sanctions on Russia. The current BRI emphasis is via Central Asia and West Asia, with one branch then bisecting toward the Persian Gulf and on the Mediterranean. And this is where we see another – highly complex – level of intersection quickly developing: how the increasing importance for China of Central Asia and West Asia mixes with the increasing importance of the INSTC for both Russia and Iran in their trade with India. Call it the friendly vector of the War of Transportation Corridors.

The hardcore vector – real war – is already being deployed by the usual suspects. They are predictably bent on destabilizing and/or smashing any node of BRI/INSTC/EAEU/SCO Eurasia integration, by any means necessary: be it in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Balochistan, the Central Asian “stans” or Xinjiang. As far as the major Eurasian actors are concerned, that’s bound to be an Anglo-American train to nowhere.

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Someone will find excuses not to go. They first need to hide evidence.

Russia Urges International Inspection Of Shelled Nuclear Site (RT)

Russia is calling on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as soon as possible to fulfill its mandate as the UN’s nuclear watchdog, a senior Russian diplomat said. “We would like such an IAEA mission to take place soon. Russia will do its best to facilitate it,” Igor Vishnevetsky, the deputy foreign minister for arms control, said during a Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty conference on Wednesday. The inspection was supposed to happen sometime ago, he added, but was derailed “not due to a fault of ours.” The diplomat pointed the finger at Ukraine, saying that its regular attacks on the nuclear site was why it was not safe for IAEA monitors to visit it. “People should not attack nuclear sites, should not use artillery or other weapons against nuclear power plants,” Vishnevetsky stressed.


“The Ukrainian side knows it very well, and nevertheless does it, effectively committing acts of nuclear terrorism.” The Ukrainian power plant, the largest of its kind in Europe, comes under regular artillery shelling. One projectile this week reportedly struck ten meters from a container holding spent nuclear fuel. Kiev denies carrying out the strikes and claims that Russian troops are shelling the plant to discredit Ukraine. It also accused Russia of stationing its military forces at the Zaporozhye plant. The UN would neither confirm nor deny allegations by either side and called for a demilitarized zone around the nuclear facility. The US said that Russia had to cede control of the plant and the city of Energodar, where it’s located, to Ukraine, to prevent the risk of a nuclear disaster.

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“..European military aid commitments for Ukraine have been on a downward trend since the end of April…”

Europe’s Powers Gave Ukraine No New Military Pledges In July (Pol.eu)

Throughout all of July, Europe’s six largest countries offered Ukraine no new bilateral military commitments, according to new data — the first month that had happened since Russia invaded in February. The revelation is a sign that despite historic shifts in European defense policy — which have seen once reluctant countries like France and Germany ship arms to Ukraine — military aid to Ukraine may be waning just as Kyiv launches a crucial counteroffensive. The fresh data, covering the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland and set for release on Thursday, comes from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, which has been maintaining a Ukraine Support Tracker throughout the war.

It illustrates a point Ukrainian military officials and politicians have been repeatedly making: That major European powers are not keeping up with the military aid coming from the U.S., and that having led the charge, big-hitting Britain and Poland may be running out of steam. Military specialists and some members of European Parliament have increasingly echoed the point recently. Christoph Trebesch, head of the team compiling the Ukraine Support Tracker, said the organization’s data showed European military aid commitments for Ukraine have been on a downward trend since the end of April. “Despite the war entering a critical phase, new aid initiatives have dried up,” he said.

Western allies did meet last week in Cophenhagen to gather pledges for boosting Ukraine’s military, amassing €1.5 billion in commitments. But Trebesch, who said his team is still analyzing the numbers, cautioned the figure “is meager compared to what was raised in earlier conferences.” Trebesch argued that European countries should be considering the Ukraine war as more akin to the eurozone crisis or the coronavirus pandemic, two events that promoted the Continent to funnel hundreds of billions into emergency funding measures. “When you compare the speed at which the checkbook came out and the size of the money that was delivered, compared to what is on offer for Ukraine, it is tiny in comparison,” he said.

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You won’t see it in the rhetoric, but “we” are withdrawing.

Ukraine Could Be Put On ‘Ammo Diet’ – US Military Expert (RT)

Ukraine’s European backers may be about to put the country on an “ammunition diet”, an American military analyst has claimed in an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel. Michael Kofman said these nations may already have reached their limit in terms of weapons supplies to Kiev. In an article published on Tuesday, Kofman was quoted as saying it is not in the Ukrainian military’s best interests to bide its time, as the weather will soon begin to worsen, making any counteroffensive more difficult to pull off. On top of that, according to the US expert, Russian troops could use a hiatus to regroup and “solve some of their personnel problems.” He noted that time would be on Kiev’s side if Western support was unlimited. However, that is likely not the case, and the Ukrainian leadership is well aware of this, Kofman suggested.

He added that the “Ukrainians are apparently quite concerned about for how long they can expect further support, especially from the Europeans.” The analyst went on to suggest that Kiev’s European backers may already have “given Ukraine most of the weapons they are ready to give.” “The Ukrainians will likely go on a kind of ammunition diet,” Kofman predicted. The analyst told journalists that, with this in mind, the leadership in Kiev may be concerned that Ukraine “could come under pressure to accept the stalemate” in the absence of any major success by the start of next year. Such a scenario “would be a defeat for Ukraine,” he noted. Kofman concluded that Kiev’s ability to reclaim territories seized by Russia ultimately hinges on the extent of its Western support.

He also acknowledged “some small Russian successes in the southern part of Donbass, like in Peski,” adding, however, that the offensive is largely being carried out by the militaries of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), as well as by “Wagner mercenaries.” When asked about the possibility of a Ukrainian counteroffensive to reclaim the southern city of Kherson, which is currently held by Russian forces, Kofman pointed out that while Kiev has a lot of personnel on paper, only a limited number of units are “really trained and equipped for that.”

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Translated from Le Courrier du Soir. “The European Union on the brink of a new unprecedented political crisis.”

Germany Declares War On Europe And Refuses To Ban Russians (CdS)

The European Union on the brink of a new unprecedented political crisis. Less than a year after the violent crisis over Russian gas which had deeply divided the Union, it is now the thorny issue of the visa granted to Russian citizens which risks provoking a real internal war. Indeed, it all started a few days ago when the Ukrainian President, Zelensky, asked that European countries prohibit access to their soil to all Russian nationals. His wishes seem granted because for three days, EU countries have been working hard to stop granting visas to Russians. But the project risks leading to a total fiasco because Germany, Europe’s leading economic power, is firmly opposed to it. This is at least the information that Lecourrier-du-soir.com obtained on August 16 from several reliable sources including the Euronews media.

Indeed, according to information provided by this press organ, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his disagreement (on this subject) during a trip to Oslo. In front of the press, his remarks were blunt. “This is not the Russian people’s war. It’s Putin’s war and we have to be clear about it,” he said. The German Chancellor also made a point of pointing out that several Russian citizens are fleeing Russia because they are not in phase with the policy of the regime in place. Meanwhile, the subject is already on the table but could trigger a new political crisis within the EU where some believe that banning Russians from entering Europe is a good move. This is at least the opinion of Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia who, in a tweet posted on August 09, did not mince words.

“Stop granting visas to Russians. Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right. Airspace must be closed. This means that while Schengen countries continue to issue visas, Russia’s neighbors bear the burden. It is time to end tourism from Russia immediately”, she reacted. And Estonia is not the only European country to refuse to grant visas to Russians. Because, on August 14, in a tweet posted on his official account, Andriy Yermak, close to the Polish president, also made it known that his country will prohibit access to its territory to all Russian nationals.

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“..close the local swimming pool amid the record summer heat, citing a choice between the cost of feeding school kids increasingly pricy organic food in the cafeteria… or keeping the facility open.”

Putin First, Populists Next – Who To Blame For The Energy Crisis? (RT)

At the outset of the Ukraine conflict, Western officials proclaimed their unity against Moscow and vowed to accelerate their transition away from Russian fossil fuels and towards greener energy. The idea was to deprive the Kremlin of revenues which, in their minds, would result in defunding the military operation in Ukraine. So they went full scorched-earth on their own cheap energy supply – that is, gas from Europe’s largest country – and sanctioned it. It wasn’t long before it became obvious that was something much easier said than done. Soon, officials started making public requests of their citizens to “do their part” by sacrificing their everyday comforts and quality of life, like taking shorter showers – as though that would remedy the fact that industrial representatives were already sounding the alarm about rationing and manufacturing shortages.

Next, Western officials started backpedalling on their pledges to eradicate those forms of energy they had previously considered non-green. It was barely a few months earlier that Germany was chastising France for persisting with nuclear energy. Now, Berlin may potentially be joining Paris in turning back to it as a source, all while it also fires the old coal plants back up. Western Europeans had initially figured that they could at least maybe rely on hydroelectric energy from Norway, but the dry summer heat now threatens that, too, as Oslo considers cuts to its exports. And even liquified natural gas from Britain may not be exportable to the EU, since toxic and even radioactive contaminantshave recently been found in the supply originally sourced from countries like the US and Qatar.

The first flickers of real trouble are already evident – well ahead of the winter heating boom. The British consulting firm, Cornwall Insights, is warning of possible planned blackouts and empty shelves in Britain. Average household energy costs in the UK have reached £4,000 ($4,860) per year and are estimated to go even higher. The Bank of England is warning of a recession amid inflation which, in Germany, has just hit the highest level since reunification in 1990. Countries like Spain and Italy are imposing limits on heating and air conditioning in both public and commercial buildings. The EU’s imposition of a 15% energy cut across all member states has just come into effect, providing yet another pretext to reduce services to taxpayers. The mayor of the French town of Cabriès used it as an excuse to close the local swimming pool amid the record summer heat, citing a choice between the cost of feeding school kids increasingly pricy organic food in the cafeteria… or keeping the facility open.

And whose fault is all this? It should seem obvious, no? Western officials cut themselves off from their own energy source in order to play geopolitics by pulling Ukraine into their orbit – but the blame is squarely on Russia. That’s what they said and that’s what they’re doubling down on. Britain’s Daily Mail refers in a graphic to Putin cutting the gas supply. “Putin’s new gas squeeze condemns Europe to recession and a hard winter of rationing,” according to a CNBC headline. US President Joe Biden has framed it as “Putin’s tax on both food and gas.”Yet these officials did it to themselves – and to their citizens – “for Ukraine.”

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“US attempts to divide the energy markets into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ leads to destabilization, rising fuel prices and inflation..”

Russia Names Main Victim Of US Energy ‘Victory’ (RT)

Europe’s current woes with natural gas supplies are due to US pressure to block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from coming online, Russian ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov said in a TV interview on Wednesday. With this, he said, the US won a victory not so much over Russia, but over European industry, which now has to rely on far more expensive American “molecules of freedom.” “No matter how much Washington tries to present Russia as an unreliable supplier, this is not true,” Antonov told Russia-24 in an interview that aired Wednesday evening. “The problems of our buyers began solely as a result of sanctions and restrictions imposed or inspired by the US,” the ambassador added. “We are ready to sell to everyone who needs inexpensive and high-quality resources.”

He cited the example of Nord Stream 2, the pipeline under the Baltic Sea that was supposed to deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany. It was completed last year but Berlin halted its certification in February – prior to the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine – and refused to make it operational despite appeals from German industry and local officials to do so. “The pipeline was ready to launch and could solve almost all the supply problems that arose with [Nord Stream 1] due to the sanctions confusion,” Antonov said. “The only thing missing is political will, the EU states just need to press the button and the pipeline will start working. But in the EU capitals they gave in to persistent pressure from the White House. As a result, a bet was made on expensive LNG.”

Liquefied natural gas is exported by the US in quantities nowhere near sufficient for the European market. Antonov made a pointed reference to the US Department of Energy calling it “molecules of freedom” back in 2019. Nord Stream 2 was a victory for Washington, which “struck a massive blow not so much against Russia, but against European competitiveness,” Antonov said. Addressing the reports that the US and its allies are trying to impose a price cap on Russian oil and gas exports, Antonov pointed out that such attempts would backfire, as there would be a realignment of commodity markets “not in favor of Western countries.” “US attempts to divide the energy markets into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ leads to destabilization, rising fuel prices and inflation,” Antonov said.

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Google translate from Dutch. Don’t think this guy buys his own groceries.

Government Must Quickly Start Repairing Purchasing Power – Professor (AD)

The passive attitude of the cabinet to protect the purchasing power of citizens is incomprehensible, says Tilburg economics professor Harald Benink. “A lot was possible quickly during the corona pandemic, now it is going very slowly.” High inflation, especially the high prices for energy and food, will become a huge problem, Benink predicts. “It is unprecedented what is happening with purchasing power. Energy bills that go from 2000 euros to 6000 euros per year. New families are confronted with this every day. And then the groceries are also 10 to 20 percent more expensive,” says Benink. High inflation threatens to put millions of households in financial trouble. And that will lead to more problems, Benink fears. “There will be a great demand for debt relief. But the municipalities do not have the capacity to help all those people at all.”

Benink foresees major economic damage if nothing is done to repair purchasing power. Sooner or later people will have to cut their spending. An economic contraction of more than 4 percent is then possible. And it’s not just about low-income people, middle-income people are also affected by the declining purchasing power.” Added to this is the consequential damage of problematic debts. People get stressed by money problems and that leads to illness, failure and reduced productivity. According to Benink, the government is probably so passive because they underestimated the increase in energy prices. “It was immediately clear during the corona pandemic that it was a major problem. A package of tens of billions of aid was quickly rigged. Now it is less than 10 billion euros.”

While it is the government’s turn, the professor believes. “It is a classic government function to protect people against uninsurable risks. And that’s inflation. You cannot get vaccinated against that. It’s a tsunami that’s hitting the people.” Benink thinks the cabinet will have to come up with a mix of measures to repair purchasing power. Targeted support for lower and middle incomes. I am thinking of the proposal from the Eneco director who wants an income-related energy discount. But it will also be possible to take generic measures, such as a further reduction in VAT or lower income tax.” Money is not the problem. “For example, if we spend 8 billion extra, the government debt will increase by one percentage point. We can have that easily. Doing nothing costs a lot more.”

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Ha! Also Google translate from Dutch. The Central bank plays with fire. Not a matter for a central bank. The government should talk to Russia.

Central Bank Warns Gov’t: Be Cautious With Purchasing Power Repairs (NOS)

The government is under great pressure to do something about sky-high inflation and high energy bills and is considering measures to compensate for rising prices and save purchasing power. However, the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) warns the cabinet against excessively generous financial support measures, because this could be counterproductive and actually fuel inflation. In NRC, DNB director Olaf Sleijpen argues for restraint in compensating companies and households for the increased prices. It is true that companies and households were kept afloat during the corona crisis in 2020 and 2021 with aid measures costing billions of euros, but the current price crisis works differently. “Large-scale support is now unwise and even counterproductive”, says Sleijpen. “During the corona crisis, we benefited from broad financial support – and therefore a decisive role for the government. Now we are not. As difficult as that message is, we can’t get around it.”

The cause of the high inflation is not in demand but in supply, because there is a scarcity and shortage of products and energy. Financial support does not remedy scarcity, but it does stimulate demand and thus fuel prices. “The ECB is trying to slow down demand with its interest rate policy. If the government presses the accelerator at the same time, it does not help to reach the destination (lower inflation),” Sleijpen told the newspaper. On the other hand, DNB shares the concerns about the major economic and social consequences of the rising prices of energy and groceries. Payment problems are looming for low-income households. “It goes without saying that the government will at least address the worst needs, and really focus on the hardest hit households.”

However, generic measures, such as lower energy taxes and fuel taxes, mainly benefit the higher incomes who do not need them. Additional income support measures should also not lead to a larger budget deficit. “Financing income compensation with a higher government debt means that the bill is passed on to the next generations,” says Sleijpen. The idea of asking employers to raise employees’ wages to keep up with rising inflation has raised eyebrows at DNB. It must be “an appropriate wage increase”. “We do not benefit from the full effect of inflation on wages”. There is as yet no sign of the feared wage-price spiral, DNB notes. and so there is room for stronger wage growth for the time being.

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Saw a pic of this on Twitter. Went looking on the Guardian frontpage, nothing. Their UK page: nada. Went through Google search in the end. So they finally publish something useful, and then try to hide it. But it’s not about the Green Party, or even the UK: we will see this discussion in many European countries.

UK Green Party Calls For Nationalisation Of Big Five Energy Firms (G.)

The Greens have called for the permanent nationalisation of the main energy supply companies and for domestic fuel bills to be reduced to the level of last autumn, describing this as a solution to the failed experiment with a market-based energy system. In a proposal that goes well beyond Labour’s idea for a freeze on energy bills for at least six months, the Greens said nationalising the main five energy firms was a necessary part of a plan sufficiently ambitious “to avoid a catastrophe this winter”. The scheme would be based on one proposed by the TUC last month. This was based on a cost of about £2.85bn to nationalise the big five supply firms – British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Ovo. As a comparison, the government spent £2.2bn bailing out another firm, Bulb.

The Green plan would also involve the energy price cap – the maximum households can pay – being put back to the level of last autumn, before this April’s increase of nearly £700 a year for the average household. Putting this in place throughout the autumn and winter would cost about £37bn, the party said, compared with the £29bn estimated cost of Labour’s proposal to keep the cap at its current level. The cost would be paid for in part by tightening up the government’s windfall tax on oil and gas firms’ extra profits from higher global prices, and the party also proposes higher taxes for very wealthy people. Carla Denyer, a co-leader of the Greens alongside Adrian Ramsay, said the party would also aim to create more energy efficiency by introducing differential tariffs under which households that use a lot of power face proportionally rising prices, with exceptions for people with disabilities or chronic health conditions.

The party is already committed to a mass programme of home insulation to improve energy efficiency. “This experiment with an energy supply market has failed,” Denyer said. “Only the government can intervene at the scale required to avoid a catastrophe this winter.” She said there was “nationwide anxiety about the prospect of unpayable energy bills”, adding: “Other parties have only offered to fix energy prices at current levels, but we know these are already unaffordable. We would return energy prices to an affordable level.” s

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I sense a link with Melania’s underwear.

Audio Tapes In Bill Clinton’s Sock Drawer And Mar-a-Lago Search Dispute (JTN)

When it comes to the National Archives, history has a funny way of repeating itself. And legal experts say a decade-old case over audio tapes that Bill Clinton once kept in his sock drawer may have significant impact over the FBI search of Melania Trump’s closet and Donald Trump’s personal office.= The case in question is titled Judicial Watch v. National Archives and Records Administration and it involved an effort by the conservative watchdog to compel the Archives to forcibly seize hours of audio recordings that Clinton made during his presidency with historian Taylor Branch. For pop culture, the case is most memorable for the revelation that the 42nd president for a time stored the audio tapes in his sock drawer at the White House. The tapes became the focal point of a 2009 book that Branch wrote.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington D.C. ultimately rejected Judicial Watch’s suit by concluding there was no provision in the Presidential Records Act to force the National Archives to seize records from a former president. But Jackson’s ruling — along with the Justice Department’s arguments that preceded it — made some other sweeping declarations that have more direct relevance to the FBI’s decision to seize handwritten notes and files Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago. The most relevant is that a president’s discretion on what are personal vs. official records is far-reaching and solely his, as is his ability to declassify or destroy records at will.

“Under the statutory scheme established by the PRA, the decision to segregate personal materials from Presidential records is made by the President, during the President’s term and in his sole discretion,” Jackson wrote in her March 2012 decision, which was never appealed. “Since the President is completely entrusted with the management and even the disposal of Presidential records during his time in office, it would be difficult for this Court to conclude that Congress intended that he would have less authority to do what he pleases with what he considers to be his personal records,” she added.

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FBI cover-up.

FBI Sought Documents Trump Hoarded for Years, Including about Russiagate (NW)

The FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago last Monday was specifically intended to recover Donald Trump’s personal “stash” of hidden documents, two high-level U.S. intelligence officials tell Newsweek. To justify the unprecedented raid on a former president’s residence and protect the source who revealed the existence of Trump’s private hoard, agents went into Trump’s residence on the pretext that they were seeking all government documents, says one official who has been involved in the investigation. But the true target was this private stash, which Justice Department officials feared Donald Trump might weaponize. “They collected everything that rightfully belonged to the U.S. government but the true target was these documents that Trump had been collecting since early in his administration,” says the source, who was granted anonymity to discuss sensitive issues.

The sought-after documents deal with a variety of intelligence matters of interest to the former president, the officials suggest—including material that Trump apparently thought would exonerate him of any claims of Russian collusion in 2016 or any other election-related charges. When Trump left the White House in January 2021, many of the normal processes of transition were not followed, especially because the president would not admit that he had lost the election or that he would be leaving office. As a result, we now know, some 42 boxes of documents were shipped to Mar-a-Lago by mistake: officials papers under U.S. law, which the National Archives is supposed to take custody of and catalog.

Over the past 18 months, the Trump camp and the Archives were engaged in a back-and-forth which resulted in the return of 15 boxes (and some additional documents). As late as June 3, when officials from the FBI and Justice visited Mar-a-Lago to serve a Grand Jury subpoena for specific documents, these negotiations were largely cordial. But in the course of its investigation, the FBI and Justice became aware of Trump’s private collection. As Newsweek previously reported, a confidential human source revealed that the former president wasn’t planning to divulge that he had possession of some of his own documents and that he did not intend to return them.

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Disband. First fire Walensky.

CDC Admits To Botched Covid-19 Responses (RT)

The CDC has acknowledged flaws in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic and announced plans to restructure the agency to rehabilitate its public image and better respond to future public health crises. “For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for COVID-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Wednesday. “As a long-time admirer of this agency and a champion for public health, I want us all to do better.” The overhaul announcement follows an internal review that found the CDC’s “rigid, compartmentalized bureaucracy” undermined its response to Covid-19 and slowed its data analysis and releases of public advisories. When pandemic guidance was offered, it was often “confusing and overwhelming,” the review found.

The US leads the world in Covid-19 cases and deaths, by far, and the CDC has been criticized for confusing messaging and slow response times. The agency also held back much of the data it collected, in some cases because it feared the information could be “misinterpreted.” For instance, it withheld dataon Covid-19 infections among fully vaccinated Americans and the efficacy of vaccine booster shots for 18- to 49-year-olds. “Our public health infrastructure in the country was not up to the task of handling this pandemic,” Walensky told CBS News on Wednesday. She added, “We learned some hard lessons over the last three years, and as part of that, it’s my responsibility, it’s the agency’s responsibility, to learn from those lessons and do better.”

The CDC also has drawn criticism for its handling of the monkeypox outbreak. The reorganization plan, which will require approval from higher-ups in President Joe Biden’s administration, aims to get information to the public more quickly and speak about health issues in plain English, rather than scientific jargon. Walensky also plans to make the CDC more streamlined, with fewer reporting layers, and to develop a nimbler workforce that is prepared to respond to crises. “We need to have special forces, if you will, to deploy during pandemic times,” she said. Plans also call for creating a new office to promote “equity in health care,” though Walensky didn’t clarify how that would improve pandemic response.

Brilliant Sagan

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Britain’s railways

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mark Morris: My family owned an iconic restaurant, Bens Deli, in Montreal for 100 years. This is Leonard Cohen entering its doors in 1965. What a beautiful picture and legacy.

 

 

 

 

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