Nov 082023
 
 November 8, 2023  Posted by at 9:23 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Paul Cézanne The Card Players 1895

 

Israel’s Final Solution for the Palestinians (Chris Hedges)
‘We’re a War Machine as a Nation’ (Hedges/Kucinich)
The Great Schism – Will It Be Quietly Ignored? (Alastair Crooke)
Will the Hamas-Israel Conflict Spin Out of Control? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Israel Wants To Dump Palestinian Refugees On Canada (Marsden)
Lavrov: West Pushing Middle East Towards Major War (Sp.)
‘Nuke Gaza’ Comment From Israeli Minister Raises Eyebrows In Moscow (Cradle)
Stable Eurasia Important To Multipolar World – Putin (RT)
US Senate Blocks Aid For Israel Over Ukraine (RT)
Türkiye Warns US About ‘Tarnished Reputation’ – Media (RT)
Europe ‘Powerless Against Kremlin Propaganda’ – Media (RT)
PsyWar & Washington DC’s Bureaucracy (Robert Malone)

 

 

 

 

Levy

 

 

Nurse

 

 

Norman Finkelstein RESPONDS to Bernie Sanders statement OPPOSING GAZA CEASEFIRE

 

 

 

 

 

 

“[W]e see not just a growing Israeli fascism but racism akin to Nazism in its early stages.”

Israel’s Final Solution for the Palestinians (Chris Hedges)

I covered the birth of Jewish fascism in Israel. I reported on the extremist Meir Kahane, who was barred from running for office and whose Kach Party was outlawed in 1994 and declared a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States. I attended political rallies held by Benjamin Netanyahu, who received lavish funding from rightwing Americans, when he ran against Yitzhak Rabin, who was negotiating a peace settlement with the Palestinians. Netanyahu’s supporters chanted “Death to Rabin.” They burned an effigy of Rabin dressed in a Nazi uniform. Netanyahu marched in front of a mock funeral for Rabin. Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated on Nov. 4, 1995 by a Jewish fanatic. Rabin’s widow, Lehea, blamed Netanyahu and his supporters for her husband’s murder.

Netanyahu, who first became prime minister in 1996, has spent his political career nurturing Jewish extremists, including Avigdor Lieberman, Gideon Sa’ar, Naftali Bennett, and Ayelet Shaked. His father, Benzion — who worked as an assistant to the Zionist pioneer Vladimir Jabotinsky, who Benito Mussolini referred to as “a good fascist” — was a leader in the Herut Party that called on the Jewish state to seize all the land of historic Palestine. Many of those who formed the Herut Party carried out terrorist attacks during the 1948 war that established the state of Israel. Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook and other Jewish intellectuals, described the Herut Party in a statement published in The New York Times as a “political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to Nazi and Fascist parties.”

There has always been a strain of Jewish fascism within the Zionist project. Now it has taken control of the Israeli state. “The left is no longer capable of overcoming the toxic ultra-nationalism that has evolved here,” Zeev Sternhell, a Holocaust survivor and Israel’s foremost authority on fascism, warned in 2018, “the kind whose European strain almost wiped out a majority of the Jewish people.” Sternhell added, “[W]e see not just a growing Israeli fascism but racism akin to Nazism in its early stages.” The decision to obliterate Gaza has long been the dream of Israel’s crypto-fascists, heirs of Kahane’s movement. These Jewish extremists, which make up the ruling coaltion government, are orchestrating the genocide in Gaza, where hundreds of Palestinians are dying daily. They champion the iconography and language of their homegrown fascism.

Jewish identity and Jewish nationalism are the Zionist versions of blood and soil. Jewish supremacy is sanctified by God, as is the slaughter of the Palestinians, who Netanyahu compared to the Biblical Ammonites, massacred by the Israelites. Enemies — usually Muslims — slated for extinction are subhuman who embody evil. Violence and the threat of violence are the only forms of communication those outside the magical circle of Jewish nationalism understand. Millions of Muslims and Christians, including those with Israeli citizenship, are to be purged. A leaked 10-page document from the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence dated Oct. 13, 2023 recommends the forcible and permanent transfer of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million Palestinian residents to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

It is a grave mistake not to take the blood curdling calls for the wholesale eradication and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians seriously. This rhetoric is not hyperbolic. It is a literal prescription. Netanyahu in a tweet, later removed, described the battle with Hamas as a “struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness, between humanity and the law of the jungle.”

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Kucinich is a longtime anti-war voice.

‘We’re a War Machine as a Nation’ (Hedges/Kucinich)

Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza has stirred worldwide calls for a ceasefire to stop the genocide unfolding. The United States has been no exception, which countless demonstrators taking to the streets in recent weeks. That hasn’t stopped the US government from backing Israel’s horrific campaign in Gaza to the hilt. The White House has refused to heed calls for a ceasefire and even deployed two aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean—not to defend Palestinians, but to dissuade regional powers from joining the fray to defend Palestine. As the possibility of a regional war looms with the entry of Yemen into the conflict, many wonder how the US might respond to such a scenario. Former US Congressperson Dennis Kucinich joins The Chris Hedges Report for a discussion on the US war machine—what it is, how it works, and how it might respond should the war in Palestine spiral into a wider conflagration.

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“..the revolutionary spark lighting a transformation in the Middle Eastern and the Global South’s consciousness..”

The Great Schism – Will It Be Quietly Ignored? (Alastair Crooke)

Dominique De Villepin, former Prime Minister of France, who famously led France’s opposition to the Iraq war, recently described the term ‘Occidentalism’ (currently the prevalent sentiment in much of Europe) as being the notion that “the West, which for five centuries managed the world’s affairs, will be able to quietly continue to do so”. He continues: “There is this idea that, faced with what is currently happening in the Middle East, we must continue the fight even more, towards what might resemble a religious or a civilizational war”. “That is to say, to isolate ourselves even more on the international stage”. “They’ve gone “all in” on a certain moral and ethical framework of the world, and faced with a situation where the West’s moral fabric has been openly exposed and refuted, they find it extremely difficult—and perhaps fatally impossible—to withdraw”.

It is ditto for an Israel (which is umbilically linked to the West): Were Israel to imagine that its former Arab allies might look the other way, whilst the Jewish state attempts to annihilate resistance in Gaza,- and then expect these allies to help police and pay for a Gaza security apparatus to rule there, they would be guilty of wishfull thinking. And, if either Washington or Israel assume this ‘after-Gaza’ plan can unfold in the same moment that militant settlers on the other side of the terrain build their settlement kingdom with the express goal of founding Israel on the Land of Israel (thus expunging Palestine altogether), that notion too would constitute a fantasy, both strategically and morally incoherent. It won’t work. Israel will not be able to generate either the Palestinian partners, nor the global allies, it needs to co-operate in such a scheme. The situation in the Middle East has radically transformed. Whereas Palestine was about national liberation, today Palestine is the symbol of a wider civilisational re-awakening – the ‘end to centuries of Regional humiliation’.

Equally, whilst Zionism in Israel was largely a secular political project (Greater Israel), today it has become messianic and prophetic. The point here is that we continue to think about the Gaza issue in the ‘old way’ – through the prism of secular material rationalism. This leads to conclusions such as ‘Hamas objectively is weaker than Israel’s IDF’, and therefore rationally the latter must prevail as being the stronger party. In this way of thinking, though, there is only ‘one single reality’ with only the descriptions and interpretations of this ‘reality’ differing. Yet there is demonstrably more than ‘one reality’ as collectively, we progress from one consciousness to another. In one consciousness, for example, ‘Hamas is destined to fail’, and the discussion turns to US and Israeli notions of ‘what follows in Gaza’.

In another state of consciousness however – one becoming ever more prevalent in the region – the ‘reality’ is that any ‘rationally’ negotiated compromise between two clashing eschatological structures is impossible. The more so should the conflict escalate horizontally – overflowing the boundaries of Gaza. Other ‘fronts’ likely might open, as Gaza is seen – whether or not Hamas is crushed – as the revolutionary spark lighting a transformation in the Middle Eastern and the Global South’s consciousness (note the list of Global South states now cutting diplomatic ties with Israel). The West however, has opted to back itself in a silo of its own making – as defined by its demand for a singularity of messaging that all of Europe ‘stand with Israel’; refusing any ceasefire; and saying ‘no limit’ to Israeli action (subject to law).

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“.. Americans and Europeans are getting no help from their governments or media in understanding that Putin is doing his best to save them from a world war..”

Will the Hamas-Israel Conflict Spin Out of Control? (Paul Craig Roberts)

According to Iran’s PressTV, the Iranian defense minister announced that the US “will be hit hard” it Israel’s war on Gaza does not halt. It is unclear why the defense minister’s target is the US and not Israel. By US he probably means US bases in Syria and Iraq. Add this puzzle to the growing collection. For example, if Iran and Hezbollah are behind Hamas’ October 7 attack, why wasn’t Hamas provided with air defense capability against what everyone had to know would be massive Israeli bombing of Gaza? Why did Russia provide Syria with the S-300 air defense system and prevent Syria from using it against Israeli and US aircraft that attack Syrian territory? I explained that the October 7 attack on Israel has the Biden regime’s neoconservatives and Netanyahu’s fingers all over it.

It is not only Palestine that is Netanhayu’s goal, but also Greater Israel which runs according to Zionists from the Nile to the Euphrates. The intent is to draw into the conflict Iran and Syria so that the neoconservatives can reopen the wars in the Middle East against Hezbollah’s suppliers. Without weapons and money from Iran and Syria, Hezbollah would not be able to prevent Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon. I doubt that Biden understands this. Most likely the neoconservatives in the government told him that having a strong US military presence on the scene would keep things from getting out of hand. Many Americans think that the president knows everything and is in control, but the fact is that he only knows what his officials tell him, and the neoconservatives have their own agenda.

That the intent is to widen the conflict is supported by the enormous quantities of weapons, troops and air power that the US is assembling in the area. This concentration supplemented with German and French troops, according to media reports, go far beyond what is needed to subdue Hamas. The official explanation for this concentration of Western military resources is to protect Israel from Hezbollah and Iran. Adding to the collection of puzzles, if Israel is so vulnerable from attacking Gaza, why would Israel risk it. It makes no sense to risk defeat for the sake of revenge. Israel must have known in advance that US forces would instantly be on the scene. How did Israel know that if October 7 was a surprise?

Putin and it seems Biden have realized that if Iran and Hezbollah are enticed into the conflict a wider regional conflict will emerge that could result in World War III. Putin has been restraining the Muslims and Biden has tried to restrain Netanyahu. If Putin succeeds, the neoconservatives and Netanyahu will likely initiate a false flag attack on Israel and blame Hezbollah, and the neoconservatives who run the Biden regime will use the false flag attack to widen the war. Certainly Americans and Europeans are getting no help from their governments or media in understanding that Putin is doing his best to save them from a world war. Instead, hate continues to pour out against Putin.

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And why not…

Israel Wants To Dump Palestinian Refugees On Canada (Marsden)

Israel’s Intelligence Ministry has come up with a creative solution for dealing with those displaced by the Gaza conflict, of which there are an estimated 1.4 million and counting: Go west — all the way to Canada. As Gaza residents were being directed by Israel to clear out and move towards the southern border with Egypt – while the IDF pelted the northern part of the enclave, where most Hamas forces are reportedly concentrated, with missiles – one of the big questions some of us asked was where over 2 million Palestinians would possibly go. Thanks to a leaked Israeli government document, dated October 13 and published by Israeli news site Sicha Mekomit, there’s now some insight into what at least some Israeli government officials have been floating. This paper, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says presents “initial thoughts” that won’t be considered until the war is over, envisions the refugees heading to Egypt first.

But, because Egypt has previously refused to absorb Gaza residents, it may ultimately just end up being used as a staging ground for their mass relocation to other countries. The proposal is for Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to at least provide financial support for this mass displacement, if not offer to take in some refugees themselves, either in the short or long term. But the real kicker is that one particular Western country – way over on the other side of the world from the conflict – is singled out for its “lenient” immigration policy, making it a place where Israeli officials figure the displaced Palestinians could feasibly be resettled. And that country is Canada. Because despite its strict points-based immigration system that selects for potential newcomers based on their skills and education, Canada still clearly has a reputation for being a refugee welcome mat – even though today’s reality is a far cry from this perception.

Not that our big-mouthed Canadian officials have helped. “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted in January 2017, in reaction to then-US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees from a list of Muslim countries. But it wasn’t long before Trudeau had to send out members of his own administration to explain to these same migrant communities that his tweets were a bit more obtuse than official policy. Nor does the image of Canada as a freeloader’s paradise jibe with real life upon arrival in the country. By 2019, Canada had welcomed nearly 60,000 Syrian refugees amid the US-backed regime change war against President Bashar Assad.

Images abound of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau handing out winter jackets to arriving families at Toronto’s Pearson airport. “You’re safe at home now,” Trudeau told them. That was back in 2015. Just four years later, some provinces had ditched all aid for immigration and refugee programs and just 24% of male and 8% of female refugees from Syria had found employment, according to government data.

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“.. the ultimate result being the loss or weakening of statehood in these countries..”

Lavrov: West Pushing Middle East Towards Major War (Sp.)

Western politicians are provoking a major conflict in the Middle East, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a marathon event at the Znanie Society within the framework of the Russia International Exhibition-Forum. Russia’s foreign minister has asserted that Western nations are actively steering Middle Eastern countries toward a potential large-scale conflict. Lavrov pointed out that historically, such “Anglo-Saxon strategies” have precipitated waves of terrorism and forced the migration of countless refugees. “Right now, we are witnessing how the Anglo-Saxons are literally pushing the Middle East to the brink of a major war,” he said. The consequences of this Western approach are evident in Ukraine, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, with the ultimate result being the loss or weakening of statehood in these countries, the top diplomat emphasized.

“Other consequences include a surge in terrorism and extremism, shattered human destinies, broken families and the massive influx of refugees,” Lavrov noted in his speech at the “Znanie” (lit. “Knowledge”) Society event. The methods used by the United States and its allies are sowing chaos in various regions of the world, fueling conflicts between countries and peoples, exacerbating inter-religious and inter-ethnic tensions. The West has grown accustomed to solving its own problems at the expense of others and exploiting other people’s resources and, contrary to global processes, hopes to rule the world by interfering in the internal affairs of states, Lavrov concluded.

In a recent flare-up, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict reignited on October 7 after a major rocket attack on Israel from Gaza. Subsequently, Hamas infiltrated the southern border areas, attacking military and civilian targets in Israel and taking hostages. In response, Israel launched Operation Swords of Iron in the Gaza Strip, taking control of border settlements, conducting airstrikes, including on civilian targets, and imposing a complete blockade, cutting off supplies of essential goods. Moscow has called on both sides to cease hostilities. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Middle East crisis can only be resolved on the basis of the United Nations Security Council’s “two-state” formula, which calls for an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem.

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“..anyone waving a Palestinian or Hamas flag “shouldn’t continue living on the face of the earth.”

‘Nuke Gaza’ Comment From Israeli Minister Raises Eyebrows In Moscow (Cradle)

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on 7 November said that recent remarks by Israeli Minister of Heritage Amihai Eliyahu, in which he said dropping a nuclear bomb in the Gaza Strip is “a possibility,” raised a multitude of questions. “It raised a great number of questions. Question number one: Does this mean we are hearing an official statement acknowledging [Israel’s] possession of nuclear weapons? Accordingly, the next set of questions that everyone has is: Where are the international organizations, including the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]; where are the inspectors?” Zakharova said during a televised interview. Estimates of Israel’s nuclear stockpile range between 80 and 400 warheads, which can be delivered via aircraft, submarine-launched cruise missiles, and the Jericho series of intermediate to intercontinental-range ballistic missiles.

Its first deliverable nuclear weapon is thought to have been completed in late 1966 or early 1967, making it the sixth country in the world to have developed them. Israel has never openly tested its nuclear weapons nor signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), making it the world’s only unacknowledged atomic power. The country has also never been subjected to an inspection from the UN nuclear watchdog. Asked in an interview with Radio Kol Berama last week whether an atomic bomb should be dropped on Gaza, Israeli minister Eliyahu answered: “This is one of the possibilities.” Eliyahu, from the Jewish supremacist Religious Zionist party, stated further that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza” and that, therefore, no humanitarian aid should be allowed into the besieged enclave.

He also expressed his support for depopulating Gaza and reconquering it to reestablish Jewish settlements there. Regarding the Palestinian population, he said: “They can go to Ireland or deserts; the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.” Eliyahu added that anyone waving a Palestinian or Hamas flag “shouldn’t continue living on the face of the earth.” In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended Eliyahu from participating in cabinet meetings and dismissed his statement, calling it “not based in reality.” Russia’s UN envoy has previously stated that, as an occupying state, Israel has “no right” to self-defense.

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Which is why the US is destabilizing it.

Stable Eurasia Important To Multipolar World – Putin (RT)

Russia and Kazakhstan have a true strategic partnership and are working together to advance a more just and multi-faceted world order, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview on Tuesday. Putin spoke with the outlet Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, ahead of the planned visit to Astana later this week for talks with his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. “Development of a new and fairer world order based on the primacy of international law has been a prevailing trend,” Putin told the outlet. “Russia believes that establishment of a common peaceful, stable and prosperous Eurasian space is an integral part of this process.” He noted that Russia and Kazakhstan share the world’s longest land border – almost 7,600 kilometers – and that some 6,000 Russian companies have invested around $17 billion in the Central Asian neighbor.

The two countries’ partnership is “forward-looking, extensive and multifaceted, time-tested and developing in an upward direction,” the Russian president said. In addition to oil and natural gas exploration, Russia and Kazakhstan are also collaborating on uranium mining and nuclear power projects. Astana is currently considering the construction of an atomic power plant on Kazakh territory and should it decide to proceed, Russia’s state corporation Rosatom stands ready to develop it using “the most advanced technologies,” Putin noted. The Russian leader specifically addressed Kazakhstan’s presidency over the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). At the organization’s summit in July, Tokayev had introduced the Initiative on World Unity for Just Peace and Harmony.

“The SCO attracts with its focus on creation and multifaceted cooperation, mutual consideration of interests, equality, openness, and respect for cultural and civilizational diversity,” Putin said, which makes it superior to Western-promoted initiatives with but a handful of handpicked participants. He described cooperation within the SCO as “one of the key pillars for strategic relations of friendship and alliance” between Russia and Kazakhstan. “As for economic stability, the Eurasian Economic Union no doubt has a crucial role to play in this area,” Putin added. The Kremlin has confirmed that Putin will travel to Kazakhstan on Thursday, adding that his agenda will include talks with Tokayev, signing a number of agreements, and attending the 19th Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum.

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Lost cause.

US Senate Blocks Aid For Israel Over Ukraine (RT)

Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a House bill that would have provided emergency aid to Israel without funding to Ukraine, demanding the Republicans agree to President Joe Biden’s $106 bundle request instead. The White House proposal has sought to combine the aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and migration policy – presented as “border security” – in order to overcome opposition by some Republicans to continued funding of Kiev. The Republican-majority House of Representatives, however, passed a $14 billion standalone package for Israel last week, to be offset by cuts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). “Time is of the essence and it’s imperative that the Senate not delay delivering this crucial aid to Israel another day,” Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas said on Tuesday, urging the Democrats to agree to the House bill.

“Our allies in Ukraine can no more afford a delay than our allies in Israel,” replied Patty Murray of Washington, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Biden has already said he would veto the House bill were it somehow to be approved in the Senate, where Democrats control 51 out of the 100 seats. Unlike the simple-majority rules of the House, a bill requires 60 votes to pass in the Senate, meaning at least nine Republicans would need to cross the aisle. According to the Pentagon, the US has sent Ukraine over $44 billion in military aid since February 2022, including weapons, equipment and ammunition. The US has insisted this does not make it a party to the conflict with Russia, however. American taxpayers have also coughed up around $4 billion in humanitarian aid and almost $27 billion in “economic assistance,”including paying the salaries of Ukrainian government employees.

A secret deal with the White House to fund Ukraine cost the former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy his job in early October, leading to a three-week deadlock in the lower house of Congress. The new speaker, Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson, has voted against continued funding of Kiev and expressed support for single-item bills. The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which the Pentagon has used to buy new equipment for Kiev from the US military industry, ran out earlier this week, according to the White House. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has told the Senate that Ukraine would lose the conflict with Russia without continued US assistance. Senate Democrats are reportedly working on their own funding proposal and hope to introduce it later this week, according to Reuters.

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Erdogan gets serious.

Türkiye Warns US About ‘Tarnished Reputation’ – Media (RT)

Türkiye has told the US that its stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict has both tarnished its reputation and put the entire world community in a tough spot, Hurriyet reported on Tuesday. According to the Turkish daily, Ankara conveyed that message during a meeting between Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, which concerned the current crisis in the Middle East. The sit-down came amid heightened tensions between Türkiye and Israel, Washington’s key ally in the region, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently accusing the Jewish state of “war crimes” in Gaza and denouncing its ground assault as “an open, vicious massacre.” Israel maintains that it has no intention of harming the civilian population in the Palestinian enclave, stressing that its main objective is to defeat Hamas, which launched a surprise attack on the country on October 7.

Hurriyet claimed that Fidan and his delegation “clearly explained” to Blinken what was happening in Gaza, and that the US vow to stand by Israel while refusing to call for a ceasefire, was “putting everyone in trouble.” “You are also putting your own image in trouble because you are seen as the patron of the crimes committed by Israel,” the delegation reportedly said. Following the meeting, the two sides did not issue a joint statement or hold a joint press conference. Speaking to reporters, however, Blinken said that he had a very “productive” conversation with Fidan, including about the need to “significantly expand humanitarian assistance” to Gaza and avoid escalating the conflict.

His remarks came after US President Joe Biden called for a humanitarian “pause” in hostilities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later signaled that his government was open to “little pauses” in the fighting. After Hamas attacked Israel last month, the latter responded with air and missile strikes on Gaza while announcing a “complete siege” of the enclave. To date, the fighting has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 Palestinians, and more than 1,400 Israelis. Meanwhile, Politico reported on Monday that a group of low- and mid-level US diplomats had urged the Biden administration to condemn Israel’s bombing of civilians and demand a ceasefire. They reportedly argued that failure to do so “contributes to regional public perceptions that the United States is a biased and dishonest actor.”

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“pro-Russian conspiracy narratives..”

Europe ‘Powerless Against Kremlin Propaganda’ – Media (RT)

Despite the EU’s best efforts to sanction and ban Russian news outlets, Europeans can still read RT and Sputnik, and “pro-Russian conspiracy narratives” are becoming more popular, the editor-in-chief of Luxembourg’s Tageblatt complained in a recent op-ed. Less than a week after Russian troops entered Ukraine last year, the European Commission announced sanctions on RT and Sputnik, suspending their TV broadcasting licenses and blocking both websites for readers across the EU. Just as 11 rounds of sanctions failed to crater the Russian economy, the crackdown on RT and Sputnik “promised a lot and delivered little,” Tageblatt editor-in-chief Tobias Senzig wrote in an editorial on Monday.

“With just a few tricks – a simple change in the network settings of your computer is enough – you can easily access the RT and Sputnik websites,” he griped, referring to the fact that RT remains accessible to readers using a VPN, the Tor browser, or the Psiphon censorship-bypass tool. Although Senzig argued that free access to information is one of the “grassroots democratic principles that the internet rightly upholds,”he called the EU’s sanctions “long overdue.” RT and Sputnik are not “public broadcasters,” he claimed, but “pure offshoots of the Kremlin’s propaganda department.”

“Not only are they trying to represent the ‘Moscow view’ to the rest of the world, but they are also aggressively interfering in intra-European affairs,” he elaborated.“Our democracies are portrayed as broken and dysfunctional, and Moscow’s antagonists are constantly being attacked: Social Democrats, Greens, ‘do-gooders’, Brussels, Ukraine.” Moscow argues that the Western media outlets are working in lockstep with Western governments against Russia. These outlets “receive instructions and manuals from their special services, they get leaks of information – which are mostly, very often, specially and professionally prepared falsehoods – and do this round the clock,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in August.

Russia has set out to compete with them “very gingerly, but quite successfully,” he added. RT is “laughing up its sleeve,”Senzig declared, noting that according to a study published by German think tank Cemas last November, “approval ratings for pro-Russian conspiracy narratives surrounding the Ukraine war have increased ‘significantly’ among the overall German population since April 2022.” “In other words,” he explained, “more people in Germany believed Putin’s lies after the attack than before the war.” Senzig is not the first pundit or official to decry the apparent power of RT. The commander of United States Southern Command Gen. Laura Richardson, complained last month that the US is losing the “conflict in the information domain” to RT, Sputnik, and TeleSUR in Latin America.

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Malone ventures away from vaccines.

PsyWar & Washington DC’s Bureaucracy (Robert Malone)

In many ways the modern American Administrative and Deep State, with its “public-private partnerships”, has come to resemble the 17th through 19th century British monarchy, with an entrenched bureaucracy (the permanent administrative state) functionally managed by a largely hereditary elite, surrounded by the concentric status rings of courtiers which comprise the Deep State (in the current embodiment). Within the growing hereditary ruling American oligarchy there is some degree of turnover and palace intrigue, as the fortunes of some wane while others rise. As with the rise of the British bourgeoisie and mixing of gentry with financially successful upper middle castes, this often reflects broader financial and technological trends within the overall geo-political and geo-economic context in which a globalized oligarchy competes.

The obvious irony being that this type of system was precisely what the American Revolution was intended to overturn, and precisely what the US Constitution was written to prevent. And above all of this, we have now added a transcendently powerful new capability to the Leviathan of old. The rise of the CIA and its “Mockingbird/Mighty Wurlitzer” infiltration of both media and academia, the FBI and its politically weaponized COINTELPRO-type surveillance, infiltration and disruption capabilities, the DoD and its PsyOps/PsyWar capabilities designed for offshore conflicts but turned against domestic citizenry to support executive branch-defined “crisis” management, and the explosive growth of a new censorship-industrial complex has yielded a “Leviathan” with reality-bending information control capabilities the likes of which the historic British monarchy could only dream of. Propaganda has come a long way from the days of Edward Bernays’ seminal 1928 book by the same name.

The Washington DC-based Administrative/Deep State has emerged as a separate entity unto itself, with its own culture, purpose, privileges and prerogatives. A key characteristic of this separate cultural phenomenon and mindset- often geographically referred to as the “inside the beltway” set (referring to the I 495 freeway loop encircling DC and environs)- is a focus on self-preservation and personal advancement, rather than on achieving a mission, producing a deliverable, or serving the needs of outside-the-beltway flyover state serfdom. Imperial DC beltway denizens form an incestuous culture, much like any historic imperial court. Passive-aggressive “slow walking” of initiatives has been refined to a fine art. Sexual favors are routinely exchanged to seal short-term alliances, both within agencies and between contractors and “Govies”.

Nuances of administrative regulations are weaponized to enable petty counterproductive one-upmanship. “Beltway Bandit” corporations, lobbyists (registered and unregistered) and “think tanks” cultivate, collect and support Deep State “swamp monsters” when the political wing they are allied with is out of power for a period, anticipating that these courtiers will be rotated back in with the next political shift or Executive branch “change” in leadership. And all are tied together in a revolving maypole dance. Together, they collectively weave a Uniparty in which the commonalities of shared commitment to advancing the interests of the Administrative/Deep State court are far more important and lasting than any inconvenient superficial narrative about serving the interests of the general electorate and citizenry. In this beltway culture, actually solving national problems takes a back bench to the pageantry and Machiavellian machinations of the elite courtiers and their allies.

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Letitia

 

 

 

 

Grok is Elon’s new AI toy.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 202023
 
 September 20, 2023  Posted by at 8:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Femme 1930

 

We Can No Longer Hide the Truth About the Russia-Ukraine War (Newsweek)
NYT Exposes Zelensky Lie About Donbass Missile Strike (RT)
NYT Spreading ‘Conspiracy Theories’ On Ukrainian Missile Strike – Podoliak (RT)
Zelensky’s US Visit a ‘Dog & Pony Show’ to Plug Cracks in Ukraine Support (Sp.)
EU Seeking Something Russian To Sanction – Bloomberg (RT)
Russia, North Korea Stage ‘Strategic Coup’ Against Western Hegemony (Pepe Escobar)
Biden Repeats ‘Unforgivable’ Remark About Putin (RT)
Putin Behind EU Migrant Crisis – Polish Diplomat (RT)
Kremlin Calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to Adhere to Trilateral Agreements (Sp.)
The West Destroyed Africa, Eurasia Will Revive It (Ehret)
California Lawmakers Push for Ruling on Booting Trump From State Primary Ballot (Sp.)
House Republicans Set Date for 1st Biden Impeachment Hearing (ET)
McCarthy Delays Vote on 30-Day Funding Resolution as Gov’t Shutdown Nears (Sp.)
COVID-19 Vaccines Revealed as ‘Neither Safe, Nor Effective’: Watchdog (ET)

 

 

 

 

RFK The Wages of War

 

 

ComicDaveSmith
https://twitter.com/i/status/1703848329111654622

 

 

 

 

Brand voting machines

Russell

 

 

 

 

Aaron Siri

 

 

 

 

In the same day, two US MSM publications, Newsweek and NYT, go against what has so far been the official view on Ukraine. As Zelensky is in Washington/NYC. That can’t be a coincidence.

First, a Newsweek piece authored by “Daniel L. Davis , Senior Fellow, Defense Priorities”. Apart from admitting that Ukraine is screwed, he has some numbers that made me think:

“Ukraine was reported to have lost 17,500 troops in the first year of the war..”

That appears to be a official US number. Col. Macgregor estimated some 20x more for the first year. Then came the “spring offensive”:

“.. it is presently assessed to have lost a breathtakingly high 50,000 additional deaths, for a total of 70,000 dead and 120,000 wounded..”

So in 3 months, they had 3 times more deaths than in the entire first year, which included the Bakhmut meat grinder. And you think: maybe he just doesn’t know, this “senior fellow”. But then he comes with:

“Rather than repeating over the next year and a half what has already not worked—potentially costing Ukraine yet additional hundreds of thousands of losses..”

And I thought: he does know. He goes from “breathtakingly high 50,000 additional deaths” to “additional hundreds of thousands of losses”. It’s in the way he phrases it.

We Can No Longer Hide the Truth About the Russia-Ukraine War (Newsweek)

As leading American politicians, generals, and pundits continue advocating for open-ended support to Kyiv in their war against Russia, a sober, accurate analysis of Ukraine’s nearly completed summer offensive reveals that the heroic sacrifice Ukraine continues to make is producing little to no meaningful progress toward the objective of evicting Russia from Ukraine’s territory. Washington should instead employ a necessary course correction and form a new policy, based on the harsh, ground-truth combat realities in Ukraine. Revising the objectives would give Washington and Kyiv a chance to preserve Ukrainian lives and American interests. Washington’s current policies do neither. Despite great hopes for a rapid success, Ukraine’s months-in-the-making offensive has sputtered from the outset.

That shouldn’t have surprised anyone in the White House. On April 5, two months before the start of the offensive, I wrote that “Zelensky’s troops—with little to no air power and a dearth in artillery ammunition—could suffer egregious casualties while gaining little.” Five days later, The Washington Post revealed the contents of a leaked Top Secret U.S. intelligence assessment which likewise predicted the Ukrainian offensive would probably fall “well short” of expectations, and that “enduring Ukrainian deficiencies in training and munitions supplies probably will strain progress and exacerbate casualties during the offensive.” Total Ukrainian deaths in the war at that point were estimated to be as low as 17,500. About a month before the start of the offensive, I again warned that the odds were stacked heavily against Kyiv.

To succeed, I explained, Ukraine would “have to conduct the most difficult task in modern land warfare: a combined arms operation into the teeth of a dug-in enemy force that is prepared for an attack,” complicated by the shortage of artillery ammunition along with “limited airpower and minimal air defense.” Nevertheless, on the eve of battle, some Western analysts remained optimistic. Once the offensive began on June 5, however, that optimism quickly evaporated. In the first two weeks of the fighting, Ukraine’s spearhead brigades suffered massive losses in armor and personnel while capturing virtually no territory. By the end of the third week, they had lost an estimated fifth of their strike force, requiring Ukraine to dramatically change tactics. Instead of leading with tanks and other armored vehicles (which were predictably getting chewed up in minefields and by Russian anti-tank missiles and artillery shells), Ukraine moved to an infantry-centric attack system.

While this change did result in producing incremental gains, the cost was exorbitant. On Aug. 29, the BBC reported that new leaked reports suggested Ukrainian battle deaths exploded since the offensive started. Whereas Ukraine was reported to have lost 17,500 troops in the first year of the war, it is presently assessed to have lost a breathtakingly high 50,000 additional deaths, for a total of 70,000 dead and 120,000 wounded. If it wasn’t clear to Washington before the offensive started that the fundamentals of combat operations and principles of war indicated Ukraine would likely fail, it should now be crystal clear. Although Ukraine appears to have finally penetrated the first line of Russia’s main defense, the most difficult part of Russia’s defensive system has yet to be overcome: the hundreds of kilometers of dragon’s teeth, tank ditches, and yet more vast minefields.

It is unclear at this point whether Ukraine has enough striking power remaining in its offensive forces to reach, much less penetrate, Russia’s second main line—beyond which is a third main line followed by a fortress-defense at Tokmak, which is still 75 road kilometers from the Azov coast. Given these realities, the best Ukraine can likely do for the rest of the year is to hold what they have and prevent the possibility of losing more territory to a potential Russian counteroffensive this fall. [..] Rather than repeating over the next year and a half what has already not worked—potentially costing Ukraine yet additional hundreds of thousands of losses—it’s time to try something that has a chance to succeed. In other words, it’s time to acknowledge objective reality and employ policies that can work.

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Here’s the New York Times welcoming gift to Zelensky. While he’s at the United Nations, the paper calls him a liar, to his face.

I’ve seen quite a few comments on this, and not one ponders that perhaps this was a deliberate Ukraine attack. Would that be so far-fetched?

NYT Exposes Zelensky Lie About Donbass Missile Strike (RT)

A New York Times investigation revealed on Monday that Ukrainian forces were mostly likely responsible for a deadly missile strike at a market, which happened the same day US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the country. The incident on September 6 in the Kiev-controlled Donbass city of Konstantinovka killed at least 15 civilians and injured scores of others. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky immediately accused Russia of launching the strike and claimed that any “attempts to deal with anything Russian” meant turning a blind eye to “the audacity of evil.” Many Western media outlets and some governments endorsed his statement.

The NYT said evidence pointed to a “tragic mishap” involving a Ukrainian anti-air Buk missile that apparently veered off course. The newspaper analyzed missile fragments, satellite imagery, witness accounts, and social media posts to come to the conclusion. It noted that Ukrainian authorities tried to prevent journalists from accessing the impact site. Some people unsympathetic to the Russian cause, including Bild journalist Julian Ropcke and the open-source intelligence analysis group CIT suggested Kiev’s responsibility shortly after the incident. The Ukrainian government indicated that it considered Russian guilt to be beyond any doubt.

“What would an investigation be needed for, if all is obvious for us?” Zelensky’s senior aide Mikhail Podoliak told the media at the time. He called any other scenario, including a Ukrainian error, “ridiculous.” The missile was apparently one of the two fired by Ukrainian forces from the outskirts of the town of Druzhkovka some 15 km to the northwest of Konstantinovka, NYT reported. The projectile was likely a 9M38 model used by the Buk system, the newspaper concluded based on forensic evidence. Considering the short distance from the presumed launch point, it probably crashed with much of its fuel unspent, and the subsequent explosion left scorch marks at the scene.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia mentioned the incident in a speech last week, suggesting that Kiev may have orchestrated it deliberately to coincide with Blinken’s visit. He added that as the evidence clearly contradicts Zelensky’s accusation, “the Kiev regime and its sponsors are trying to hush up this story and keep it off radar.” At least one Kiev official has been forced to resign after attributing a strike to Ukrainian forces that his government had pinned on Russia. Aleksey Arestovich quit his post as an advisor to the president in January, amid pressure over an interview in which he suggested that an apartment block in the city of Dnepr was hit by a Ukrainian interceptor rather than a Russian cruise missile. The Russian military has maintained since the start of the conflict that it only targets military objectives in its operations.

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“What would an investigation be needed for, if all is obvious for us?”

NYT Spreading ‘Conspiracy Theories’ On Ukrainian Missile Strike – Podoliak (RT)

Claims that Ukraine was responsible for killing at least 15 civilians in a missile strike on a Donbass market are “conspiracy theories,” Mikhail Podoliak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has declared. The New York Times has suggested that the missile involved was Ukrainian, not Russian. “No doubt, the appearance of articles in foreign media with doubts about Russia’s involvement in the attack on Konstantinovka entail the growth of conspiracy theories,” Podoliak wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday. Promising that the incident would be investigated by Ukrainian authorities, Podoliak added that “society will surely receive an answer to the question of what exactly happened in Kostiantynivka, as in the thousands of other instances of Russian strikes on our country as part of an unprovoked war.”

The strike took place on September 6, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was visiting Kiev. A missile struck a market in the Kiev-controlled Donbass city of Konstantinovka, killing 15 civilians and injuring scores of others. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky immediately accused Russia of launching the strike and claimed that any “attempts to deal with anything Russian” meant turning a blind eye to “the audacity of evil.” Although many Western media outlets and some governments endorsed his statement, doubt soon crept in. The New York Times reported on Monday that evidence from the scene pointed to a “tragic mishap”involving a Ukrainian anti-air Buk missile.

The newspaper analyzed missile fragments, satellite imagery, witness accounts, and social media posts to come to the conclusion, and noted that Ukrainian authorities tried to prevent journalists from accessing the impact site. At the time, Podoliak ridiculed the notion of investigating the strike.“What would an investigation be needed for, if all is obvious for us?” he said. In his post on Monday, the official insisted that Ukraine “exclusively conducts defensive actions, defending itself and its territories.”

However, Ukrainian forces have fired missiles at civilian targets before. In addition to its regular shelling of the Donetsk People’s Republic since 2014, Ukrainian forces have used Western-provided missiles to strike the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk, and repeatedly struck Donetsk with cluster munitions and aerially-dispersed landmines. Last March, a Ukrainian Tochka-Umissile was allegedly fired at a residential area of Donetsk, killing at least 20 people after it was downed by Russian air defense systems. Despite evidence from the ground showing the missile was Ukrainian in origin, Zelensky nevertheless blamed Russia for attacking its own people, insisting it was “unmistakably a Russian rocket” and that “there’s no point talking about it.”

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“..you have this guy Zelensky, who’s billed as Mother Theresa… or reincarnation of Winston Churchill…And we’re learning more and more that this guy is a corrupt autocrat… He basically brought his own country to ruin, and he’s continuously begging for more and more weapons..”

Zelensky’s US Visit a ‘Dog & Pony Show’ to Plug Cracks in Ukraine Support (Sp.)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is foraying to the United States for the second time since Russia’s special operation began, having last been there in December 2022. Zelensky was offered a hero’s welcome at the time, as he addressed Congress touting Kiev’s battlefield “successes” while angling for continued Western aid. But roll the clock forward, and “take two” of the Zelensky “show” now comes against a much-changed backdrop: the overly heralded Ukraine counteroffensive “debacle,” huge losses in manpower and destroyed NATO-gifted weaponry, and an ever-stronger chorus of voices among Republican lawmakers against sending more money down the Ukraine sinkhole. What kind of change in tone and rhetoric can we expect from the leader of the Kiev regime as he attends the UN General Assembly in New York, and meets with congressional leaders and President Joe Biden in Washington?

“It’s going to be an extremely difficult visit for Zelensky,” Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, told Sputnik. “He [Zelensky] was hailed as the conquering hero… He was lionized in Congress… He gave a speech… He handed a flag to the vice president and then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” recalled Daniel McAdams, adding that the Ukrainian president had vowed “Bakhmut [Artemovsk] would be a turning point in the war.” “He was right about that, but not in the way he expected. No, it’s a very, very different world now,” said the pundit. “Antony Blinken was just out there [and] he gave him a heads up as to what to expect. And I think you can tell by his [Ukrainian president’s] subsequent interview in The Economist, where Zelensky was very glum and very dark, and he said something like, ‘Well, all of these leaders say that they support us, but when I look in their eyes, I can tell they’re not telling the truth…’ So it’s going to be an extremely difficult visit from Zelensky to New York in Washington,” Daniel McAdams said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a two-day surprise visit to Ukraine in early September, to announce more than $1 billion in aid for Kiev. However, the visit came as the third month of Ukraine’s botched counteroffensive ended with the Kiev regime unable to boast of any military gains. “Well, I think this dog and pony show is going to air. So, you know, you have this guy Zelensky, who’s billed as Mother Theresa… or reincarnation of Winston Churchill…And we’re learning more and more that this guy is a corrupt autocrat… He basically brought his own country to ruin, and he’s continuously begging for more and more weapons. You know, our societies are fraying, state legislatures are constantly saying they have no money for social programs, and yet they pull billions of dollars out of the hat for Ukraine,” Jeremy Kuzmarov, managing editor of the Covert Action magazine and the author of several books on US foreign policy, told Sputnik.

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“..the EU has implemented 11 sets of sanctions against Russia..” And not learned a single thing.

EU Seeking Something Russian To Sanction – Bloomberg (RT)

The European Union is in the final stages of crafting its 12th set of Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia, as reported by Bloomberg on Monday, citing sources familiar with the ongoing discussions. According to the news outlet, this forthcoming package of sanctions is expected to concentrate on further measures to hinder Russia’s capacity to circumvent previously imposed restrictions, particularly its efforts to import sanctioned goods through intermediary countries, such as Türkiye and the UAE. Sources claim that the EU’s sanctions list may be expanded to align with the upcoming G7 ban on purchasing Russian diamonds, anticipated to be announced in the coming weeks. It envisions direct and indirect prohibitions on acquiring Russian diamonds starting from January 1.

Additionally, the new EU package is said to include a proposal regarding the potential utilization of profits generated by frozen assets belonging to the Central Bank of Russia. Discussions concerning the legality of seizing these assets to support Ukraine have been ongoing for months, with sources indicating that they may be nearing a resolution. Furthermore, the European Commission is expected to propose implementing a windfall tax on the earnings generated by Russian central bank assets within EU clearing houses. Certain member states, including Poland and the Baltic nations, have reportedly proposed additional restrictions on Russia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and IT services. Specific details regarding these proposals remain undisclosed.

This group of states has also advocated for sanctions targeting Russia’s nuclear industry. However, past efforts to sanction this sector have been waived, primarily because many countries, including many within the EU, depend on Russian atomic fuels. The announcement of this new sanctions package is anticipated in either the first half of October or during an EU-US summit slated for the next month. Since the commencement of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in February of the previous year, the EU has implemented 11 sets of sanctions against Russia, targeting various sectors of the Russian economy and its financial institutions. Some member states have reportedly expressed concerns that there is not much left to sanction while urging Brussels to enforce existing restrictions effectively.

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“..The categorical imperative was simple: as long as Pyongyang did not start any trouble, Moscow and Beijing would be by its side..”

Russia, North Korea Stage ‘Strategic Coup’ Against Western Hegemony (Pepe Escobar)

The genesis of Kim Jong Un’s train journey to the Russian Far East – coinciding with the Forum, no less – is a masterful strategic coup that was in the works since 2014, at the time of the Maidan. Xi Jinping was still in the beginning of his first mandate; he had announced the New Silk Road exactly ten years ago, first in Astana and then in Jakarta. The DPRK was not supposed to be integrated into this vast pan-Eurasian project that would soon become China’s overarching foreign policy concept. The DPRK then was on a roll against the Hegemon, under Obama, and Beijing was no more than a worried spectator. Moscow, of course, was always focused on peace in the Korean Peninsula, especially because its geopolitical priorities in 2014 were Donbass and Syria/Iran. The last thing Moscow could afford was a war in Asia-Pacific.

Putin’s strategy was to send Defense Minister Shoigu to Beijing and Islamabad to calm it all down. Pakistan at the time was helping Pyongyang to weaponize their nuclear arsenal. Simultaneously, Putin himself approached Kim, offering serious guarantees: we’ve got your back if ever there is an attack by the Hegemon supported by Seoul. Even better: Putin got Xi himself to double down on the guarantees. The categorical imperative was simple: as long as Pyongyang did not start any trouble, Moscow and Beijing would be by its side. A sort of calm before any possible storm then set in – even if Pyongyang continued to test their missiles. So over the years, Kim’s mindset changed; he became convinced that Russia and China were his allies. The DPRK’s geoeconomic integration into Eurasia was seriously discussed in previous, pre-Covid editions of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

That included the tantalizing possibility of a Trans-Korean Railway linking both North and South to the Far East, Siberia and the wider Eurasia. So Kim started to see the Big Eurasia Picture, and how Pyongyang could finally start to benefit geoeconomically from a closer association with the EAEU, SCO and BRI. This is how strategic diplomacy works: you invest during a decade, and then all the pieces fall into place when an armored train keeps-a-rollin’ across Primorsky Krai. From the perspective of a Russia-China-DPRK triangle, it’s no wonder the collective West has been reduced to the status of crying toddlers in a sandbox. The Hegemon’s puny US-Japan-South Korea axis to counter, simultaneously, China and the DPRK, is a joke compared to the DPRK’s brand-new role as a sort of Asia-Pacific Military District, adjacent to their immediate neighbor, the Russian Far East.

There will be military integration, of course, in missile defense, radars, ports, airfields. But the key vector, along the way, will be geoeconomic integration. Sanctions from now on are meaningless. No one in 2014 was seeing this all play out, except for a very sharp analyst who coined the precious Double Helix concept to define the still evolving, at the time, Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership. The Double Helix perfectly explains the full-spectrum geostrategic symbiosis between two civilization-states which happen to be former empires but since the middle of the previous decade willfully decided to accelerate their mutual drive to lead the Global Majority in the path towards multipolarity.

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Criminal, dictator,…

Biden Repeats ‘Unforgivable’ Remark About Putin (RT)

US President Joe Biden has described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “dictator,” claiming that his main political opponent, former President Donald Trump, would “bow down to” him if elected in 2024. The Democrat also touted himself as a defender of US democracy. Speaking to supporters during a fundraiser at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater in New York City on Monday, Biden said, “I will not side with dictators like Putin. Maybe Trump and his MAGA friends can bow down, but I won’t.” The incumbent president claimed that “Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy,” whereas he would always “protect and fight” for it. This recent comment made by the US head of state about President Putin is not the first instance of him referring to another foreign leader as a dictator.

Last March, Biden told attendees of the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon that the US and its allies were standing together against a “murderous dictator, a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine.” A day prior, the US president said he considered Putin a “war criminal.” Commenting on Biden’s remarks at the time, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency that Moscow deemed “unacceptable and unforgivable such rhetoric from a head of state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world.” He noted that the US leader had resorted to “personal insults,” a level that President Putin, a “thoughtful and wise leader,” would never stoop to. sLast month, several US media outlets also quoted President Biden as alleging that China is run by “bad folks.” In June, he described Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator,” which Beijing characterized as a “political provocation.”

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The EU needs no help creating crises.

Putin Behind EU Migrant Crisis – Polish Diplomat (RT)

A senior Polish diplomat has suggested that the recent surge in illegal immigrants arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa might be a component of a Russian hybrid operation designed to erode the European Union’s support for Ukraine. This concern comes in light of a recent report from the Italian Interior Ministry, which indicates that over 89,000 people have entered Italy illegally this year. Lampedusa, an overcrowded Mediterranean island, remains a prominent destination for these arrivals. “Someone is helping these people walk hundreds if not thousands of kilometers from Nigeria and Central African countries to the Mediterranean Sea,” Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk speculated in an interview with Polish Radio on Tuesday. “Someone who has an interest in it. And Russia undoubtedly has an interest in it,” he added.

He asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s objective is to “destabilize the situation in Western Europe.” Mularczyk suggested that the current state of confusion and unrest brought on by illegal immigration serves as a means to divert attention away from the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. According to him, Putin is believed to be exerting influence “behind the scenes” in smuggling individuals into the EU, often facilitated by criminal groups. “And it was successful because today, the war in Ukraine is fading into the background, and the entire EU is talking about what is happening in Lampedusa,” the diplomat stated. Claims of Russia’s alleged involvement in facilitating illegal immigration into Europe have circulated for years. In November 2021, this issue gained prominence when certain EU member states, including Poland, accused Russia’s ally, Belarus – and, by extension, Russia – of exploiting migrants seeking asylum in the EU for political purposes.

At that time, President Putin addressed this ongoing challenge, stating that the “key link” of migrant smuggling networks was located within the EU. He argued that European officials were attempting to blame Russia for their own policy shortcomings. According to him, the root causes of the influx of migrants are Western military interventions abroad and the attractive welfare benefits EU nations offer asylum seekers. “Deal with your internal problems and don’t lay on other people [your domestic] issues,” the Russian leader suggested. The ruling conservative Polish government has been openly criticizing Brussels and Western European countries, particularly Germany, for their perceived inadequacies in addressing illegal migration issues and for imposing the burden of hosting migrants on other EU member states.

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US/NATO poking the bear some more.

Zakharova: Russia hopes Armenia will realize full danger of adventure started by Westerners.

Erdogan, in his address at the UN General Assembly: “Karabakh is Azerbaijan”.

Kremlin Calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to Adhere to Trilateral Agreements (Sp.)

Russia calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to adhere to trilateral agreements on Nagorno-Karabakh, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday after Baku launched a military operation in the breakaway region. “The only substantive basis is the trilateral documents of two and three years ago, which were signed between Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, so we urge everyone to follow the provisions of these documents and, naturally, taking into account those new realities, this means the fact of recognition by the Armenian side of the territory of Azerbaijan as of 1991,” Peskov told reporters. The spokesman added that the opportunity to reach a political and diplomatic solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still “exists.” “The main thing is to convince both Yerevan and Baku to abandon use of force and sit down at the negotiating table,” Peskov said.

Earlier in September, Putin said that he received a letter from Pashinyan, and that Russia has no problems with Armenia.Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan did not have any contacts after Pashinyan’s letter, Peskov stated.”Indeed, there was a detailed letter stating the point of view of the Armenian side to what is happening. At that time, there was actually… work on resuming the delivery of humanitarian aid to Karabakh. And to our satisfaction, as of yesterday, this work was successful. The first batch went in two directions through the Aghdam and Lachin roads, but unfortunately this did not prevent the resumption of hostilities. There have been no other contacts since then,” the spokesman said in response to a question about whether there were any other contacts between Putin and Pashinyan besides the letter sent earlier by the Armenian politician.

The Russian military is in contact with the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides, and contacts at the highest level are also possible, Peskov stressed. “First of all, contacts are now being carried out through our military, through other departments. Communication at a higher level is also consistent. As soon as final agreements are reached, we will inform you immediately, including about possible contacts at the highest level,” the spokesman told reporters, commenting on whether contacts with Baku and Yerevan are planned in the coming hours. The Russian military is trying to return the process in Nagorno-Karabakh to a political and diplomatic track, Peskov emphasized.

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“..a much healthier security paradigm has emerged in recent years from Eurasia..”

The West Destroyed Africa, Eurasia Will Revive It (Ehret)

In Africa, injustice looms large, marked by poverty, warfare, and famine. Despite post-WWII political gains, economic independence, a vital component of true freedom as envisioned by Pan African leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, and Haile Selassie, remains elusive. After decades of restrictive IMF and World Bank loans, poverty, hunger, and conflict persist throughout the continent. While many attribute this to Africa’s governance challenges, in reality, a deliberate imperial agenda has hindered the continent’s development in all political, economic, and security sectors. But much has changed in the past few years. The growing clout of Eurasian institutions that fully embrace Global South countries as valuable, integral, and equal members – the BRICS+ and Greater Eurasian Partnership are examples – offer hope that old neo-colonial shackles will be broken and that Africa can enjoy an unfettered renaissance.

The rise of a new global pole to challenge the old unipolar order has had a notable impact across sub-Saharan West Africa which, in recent years, has seen a surge in military coups shifting power away from regimes that had long prioritized the interests of western corporations. These coups occurred in Chad (April 2021), Mali (May 2021), Guinea (September 2021), Sudan (October 2021), Burkina Faso (January 2022), Niger (July 2023), and Gabon (August 2023) – all resource-rich countries with abnormally poor living conditions. In Gabon, over 30 percent of its people live on less than $1 per day, while 60 percent of its regions have no healthcare or clean drinking water despite the abundance of gold, diamonds, manganese, uranium, iron ore, natural gas, and oil – mostly monopolized by French corporations like Eramat, Total and Ariva.

Despite its abundance of rare earths, copper, uranium, and Gold, 70 percent of Malians still live in abject poverty. SImilarly, Sudan, with its riches in oil, fertile soil, and water, has 77 percent of the population living below the poverty line. In uranium-rich Niger, which provides over 35 percent of the fuel for France’s nuclear industry (accounting for 70 percent of France’s energy basket), mainly under the control of France’s Orano, only 3 percent of Nigerians have access to electricity. In the “former” French colony of Chad, that number is only a little higher at 9 percent, and a still-unacceptable 20 percent in Burkina Faso. While Altanticists desperately seek ways to keep their talons embedded into the African continent and its abundant riches, a much healthier security paradigm has emerged in recent years from Eurasia.

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“..to again steal an Election that their candidate, the WORST, MOST INCOMPETENT, & MOST CORRUPT President in U.S. history, is incapable of winning in a Free and Fair Election.”

California Lawmakers Push for Ruling on Booting Trump From State Primary Ballot (Sp.)

The movement to block former President Donald Trump’s 2024 election bid gained steam on Monday as California Democrats urged his removal from the state’s primary ballot. Nine lawmakers penned a letter to the state’s Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta advocating for Trump’s disqualification from the March 5 primary, arguing his ineligibility on grounds of inciting an uprising during the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The effort is one of several state-level initiatives arguing against Trump’s candidacy on constitutional grounds, citing the Fourteenth Amendment’s barring of candidates “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States from holding office. The California effort is notable in its attempt to resolve the question via the state’s attorney general, an approach which may lead to a faster resolution of the question.

“We all watched in horror Mr. Trump’s insurrection against the United States when he ordered a mob of his supporters to the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 to intimidate [then] Vice President [Mike] Pence and the United States Congress,” reads the letter, spearheaded by Silicon Valley assemblymember Evan Low. “There is no denying that Donald Trump has engaged in behavior that is unacceptable and unbecoming of any leader,” stated a spokesperson for Bonta, appearing to sympathize with some of the lawmakers’ claims. sHowever, whether Bonta intends to fully weigh in on the matter in his position as the state’s attorney general remains an open question. Various other state-level officials throughout the country have determined the matter would clearly violate precedent, if not their own jurisdiction. Others claim the issue would ultimately need to be resolved by the Supreme Court regardless.

“We have a constitutional republic of laws,” argued Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling after a similar petition was lodged in Minnesota. “Anybody using an electoral scheme or a constitutional interpretation to remove anybody from the ballot is going to be a dangerous precedent.” Trump weighed in on the issue in a post on Truth Social, writing, “Almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election.” “Like Election Interference, it is just another ‘trick’ being used by the Radical Left Communists, Marxists, and Fascists, to again steal an Election that their candidate, the WORST, MOST INCOMPETENT, & MOST CORRUPT President in U.S. history, is incapable of winning in a Free and Fair Election.”

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Mr. Biden here is Hunter.

House Republicans Set Date for 1st Biden Impeachment Hearing (ET)

The U.S. House of Representatives will hold its first impeachment inquiry hearing this month, the House Oversight Committee confirmed on Sept. 19. The first hearing will take place on Sept. 28, a spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee told The Epoch Times. “The hearing will focus on constitutional and legal questions surrounding the president’s involvement in corruption and abuse of public office,” the spokesperson said. “The Committee also intends to subpoena Hunter and James Biden’s personal and business bank records as early as this week. The Oversight Committee will continue to follow the evidence and money trail to provide the transparency and accountability that Americans demand from their government.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) recently announced that the lower chamber would be investigating President Joe Biden, with a focus on his involvement in the business dealings of his son Hunter Biden and brother James Biden. “House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct. Taken together, these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption,” Mr. McCarthy said. He said that the inquiry would help lawmakers obtain more evidence, including bank records. Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is helping lead the probe. Ian Sams, a White House spokesman, said that Republicans have already been investigating the president and have “turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.”

President Biden recently told reporters, “The best I can tell, they want to impeach me because they want to shut down the government.” Mr. Comer and other Republicans have found that the president spoke repeatedly to business partners of Mr. Biden, including at dinners at Washington’s Cafe Milano. They also confirmed that President Biden sent emails under pseudonyms while vice president, including accounts that corresponded with Mr. Biden. Mr. Biden, other Biden family members, and associates received more than $21 million, primarily from foreigners, while President Biden was vice president. Mr. Biden was charged with tax violations, but those charges were withdrawn after a plea deal fell apart. He was also charged with several felony gun crimes this month. Mr. Biden sued the IRS on Sept. 18 for allegedly breaching his right to privacy by speaking publicly about the agency’s probe into him.

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“Speaker McCarthy needs to find a way to do his job, which is to pass a continuing resolution,” Yellen added.”

McCarthy Delays Vote on 30-Day Funding Resolution as Gov’t Shutdown Nears (Sp.)

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has postponed a vote on a stopgap spending bill amid his attempts to appease a small but powerful right-wing faction of the Republican Party as a government shutdown looms. The procedural vote originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon would have approved a 30-day government funding bill, moving it to the Senate and opening the door for wider talks. Some sort of funding bill must be passed by September 26 to avert a shutdown on September 30, but in lieu of agreement on larger appropriations bills, lawmakers have focused on passing a short-term funding bill to give them more time to negotiate. Reports in US media did not indicate when the vote would be held.

But even that has so far evaded federal lawmakers as a small faction of one dozen Republican Representatives aligned with former US President Donald Trump have used the GOP’s extremely narrow majority to position themselves as legislative kingmakers in the lower chamber since the new Congress was sworn in in January. Without their approval, McCarthy’s leadership over Republicans and the House of Representatives as a whole is effectively impossible. The most recent legislation, proposed by Republicans over the weekend, would fund the government until October 31 and includes a 1% cut in current spending levels across the entire federal government for that time, with some departments suffering worse than others. However, the dissident Republicans want to press for even deeper cuts, and are demanding more precise numbers on top-line budget items.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took aim at McCarthy on Monday, telling US media the speaker “needs to find a way to do his job.” “There’s absolutely no reason why we should have a government shutdown,” she said. “Democrats in both the House and the Senate and Republicans in the Senate are ready to pass appropriations bills or a continuing resolution to keep the government open and operating for the American people.” “Speaker McCarthy needs to find a way to do his job, which is to pass a continuing resolution,” Yellen added.

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From Canada, land of vaccines. The mandates will just continue everywhere.

COVID-19 Vaccines Revealed as ‘Neither Safe, Nor Effective’: Watchdog (ET)

COVID-19 vaccines were authorized in Canada during 2020 and 2021 without being subjected to the country’s safety tests as required under established drug regulations, an accountability watchdog revealed. An investigation into COVID-19 vaccines found that they were “neither safe nor effective,” according to the nonprofit organization National Citizens Inquiry (NCI). The organization published a report on Sept. 14 detailing the flawed mechanism through which the vaccines were granted “approval” in Canada. “It is important to understand that the COVID-19 vaccines were never approved under the traditional approval process for drugs in Canada,” the report states. Instead, Health Canada, the federal agency responsible for national health policy, approved the vaccines through an alternative authorization process—an interim order.

“Under the alternative authorization process, the necessity to establish the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines through an objective manner appears to have been set aside,” the report states. Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations require that a drug can only be approved in the country after its safety and effectiveness are demonstrated to the minister of health. Then, the minister considers whether the benefits outweigh the risks, following which, approval is granted. Instead of following regulations, the minister of health sanctioned an interim order on Sept. 16, 2021, which exempted all COVID-19 vaccines from normal review and approval. This provision usually allows the minister to override normal regulations in situations of “significant risk” to health, safety, or the environment.

Desmet

In Canada, four COVID-19 vaccines were authorized by the health agency under an interim order—Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen, and AstraZeneca. The report notes that under the order, vaccines were authorized under a “subjective test.” In this situation, authorization is granted by simply proving that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. “This cannot be an appropriate standard for approving a drug that the Government intends to administer to the entire population. It is difficult to conceive of a less-scientific test for drug authorization than that found in the Interim Order,” the report states. Moreover, the order made sure that the vaccine authorizations couldn’t be revoked even under evidence that they were unsafe and ineffective.

Once an interim order is issued, the typical Food and Drug Regulations don’t apply. The order thus exempted manufacturers from having to effectively demonstrate “objective evidence of safety and effectiveness” of their COVID-19 vaccines. “The result was that while chief medical officers across the country repeatedly assured Canadians that the COVID-19 vaccines were ‘safe and effective’—the general Canadian population had no understanding that their authorization process had not required objective proof of safety nor efficacy,” the report states. The NCI report was supported by cardiologist Dr. Peter A. McCullough. “Excellent work @Inquiry_Canada with exhaustive testimony and evidence review.

Conclusion: all COVID-19 vaccines unsafe for human use and must be removed from the Canadian market immediately to protect the public,” he wrote in a Sept. 16 post on X. Dr. McCullough recently asked European lawmakers to take COVID-19 vaccines off the market due to concerns about illnesses such as heart inflammation, blood clots, and neurological diseases. s“COVID-19 vaccines and all of their progeny and future boosters are not safe for human use. I implore you, as a governing body, European Medicines Agency, to apply all pressure and due urgency to remove the COVID-19 vaccines from market,” Dr. McCullough said in Sept. 13 testimony to the European Parliament.

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Peppers

 

 

 

 

Zeihan

 

 

Monastery

 

 


Guttation is the exudation of drops of xylem sap on the tips or edges of leaves of some vascular plants, such as grasses. It’s not dew ..

 

 

Baby bara
https://twitter.com/i/status/1704255369302716642

 

 

Fun with dogs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1704369705232842913

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 232023
 


John Atkinson Grimshaw Battersea Bridge 1885

 

Russian Army Gets Enough Recruits To Form Regiment Per Day – Shoigu (RT)
Ukraine Expands General Mobilization (RT)
‘No Way to Recruit People’: GOP Seeks to Codify Pentagon Drag Show Ban (Sp.)
Putin Says Western Countries Seem to Be Ready to Fight to Last Ukrainian (Sp.)
NATO Trainers Knowingly Sent Ukrainian Troops To Their Deaths (Scott Ritter)
Demilitarization, Denazification: A Sanitary Zone For Ukraine (Helmer)
US/NATO Are Playing ‘Russian Roulette’. Do They Want A Nuclear War? (Trenin)
Zelensky Bans Russian Books (RT)
On Horseradish & Nuclear War (Scott Ritter)
New Catastrophe Looms In Kosovo As West ‘Toys’ With International Law (TASS)
Global Financial System Exhausted, Not Up to New Challenges – Macron (Sp.)
Biden Sends Sullivan, Nuland To Turn BRICS War Skeptics Against Russia (ZH)
The Greater Eurasia Project: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (Pepe Escobar)
CIA Vet Warns US Intel ‘Will Do Everything’ to Help Dems in 2024 Race (Sp.)
New Bombshell Evidence Against Bidens, DOJ, AG Garland (ZH)
US Justice is Blind – Unless Your Name is Hunter Biden (Tweedie)
Tucker Calls Out ‘Media Hysteria Typhoon’ Over RFK Jr. (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK Who we are

 

 

 

 

While Modi is in Washington, Obama, visiting Athens, tells Modi what to do at home.

Obama

 

 

The submersible imploded on Sunday, killing all on board. We were not allowed to know until now.

 

 

 

 

“On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours..”

Russian Army Gets Enough Recruits To Form Regiment Per Day – Shoigu (RT)

The Russian Army is recruiting enough new personnel to complete the formation of its reserve force, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday. Enough applicants are signing formal contracts with the ministry to form a new regiment every day, he added. A total of 114,000 people have joined the Russian Armed Forces as contract servicemen to date, Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin at a Russian National Security Council session. An additional 52,000 people have joined the military ranks as volunteers, he said. “On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours,” Shoigu said, adding that “we de facto get a [new] regiment every day.” Russia is now actively forming a reserve force that will include a new corps, a field army and five new regiments for the existing field armies, the defense minister said.

A field army in Russia includes several army corps and accounts for more than 40,000 servicemen on average. A Russian army corps has an established strength of between 20,000 and 40,000 servicemen and includes several brigades and regiments depending on its composition. “We are about to finish the formation of a reserve army by late June,” the minister said, adding that almost 3,800 military equipment pieces have already been supplied to the troops and will be used to outfit the newly formed units. According to Shoigu, the volunteers are “eager to join the fight” on the frontlines, where the Russian troops are currently repelling a Ukrainian offensive, which was launched earlier in June. The minister said that Moscow has no plans to send them into the fray right now. “There is no urgent need for that,”he said, adding that the fresh recruits should “undergo serious training first and that is what they do.” He still praised the “highest motivation” of the Russian troops.

In mid-June, Putin told military correspondents and bloggers that Russia sees no need for another military draft campaign right now. At that time, he also said that over 150,000 people had signed a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry since January. Shoigu’s report comes as Ukrainian officials in some regions take drastic steps to ensure the inflow of recruits to the Ukrainian army. Kiev declared general mobilization back in February 2022, when Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine. This week, several Ukrainian media outlets reported that authorities in western Ivano-Frankovsk Region barred local healthcare providers from carrying out planned hospital treatments of any patients eligible for conscription without prior coordination with the local enlistment office. Putin has also stated that Kiev should not be able to replenish its manpower indefinitely even with the West’s military aid. “It seems Ukraine’s Western allies are indeed prepared to wage the war to the last Ukrainian,” according to the president.

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What a difference. It’s now everyone. Want to become a doctor? Too bad.

Ukraine Expands General Mobilization (RT)

Residents of the Obolonsky district in the Ukrainian capital who are eligible for mobilization must report to the military recruitment offices within ten days, even if they do not receive a personal notice, the local draft commissariat said on Thursday. The document, signed by commissar Alexey Privala, was posted on social media, as well as reprinted by the Ukrainian newspaper Strana. Responding to the outlet’s inquiry, Privala’s office claimed the order was nothing new and that such notices were being posted regularly. What is a precedent in the district, however, is the blanket call-up of all draftees. The western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankovsk has already enacted the same measure. Their orders, dated June 13, also refer to the mobilization of vehicles and forbid residents from moving without the explicit permission of the draft commissariat.

The Ivano-Frankovsk notice set a ten-day deadline for all men subject to the draft notice to report for service. The Obolonsky district commissariat has also referred to the same ten-day deadline. Its orders apply not only to the men registered in the district, but even those residing there temporarily, according to Strana. Ukraine’s Chernigov Region reported on Wednesday that it was struggling to meet its mobilization quota. More than 20,000 people have not reported following their summons, regional draft commissar Oleg Goncharuk has admitted. The expanded mobilization measures come as the long-heralded “counteroffensive” on the Zaporozhye front fails to dislodge Russian forces after more than two weeks of fighting.

The attack was “not meeting expectations on any front,”Western officials told CNN on Thursday, while President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged on Wednesday that progress had been “slower than desired.” According to Russian officials, Ukraine has suffered up to 13,000 casualties since June 4, and is in the process of regrouping its brigades to try again. National Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu briefed President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that many Western-supplied vehicles were among the 246 tanks, 152 infantry fighting vehicles, and 443 armored vehicles Ukraine lost during the attempted attacks.

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Should Ukraine follow US example in mobilization? Zelensky would be an excellent drag queen.

‘No Way to Recruit People’: GOP Seeks to Codify Pentagon Drag Show Ban (Sp.)

After a drag show advertised as a “family-friendly” event was canceled at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in early June, at the start of Pride Month, the Defense Department issued a statement to say that such events were “not a suitable use” of resources. After a de-facto Pentagon ban on drag shows in the military went into effect at the start of June, Republicans at the US House Armed Services Committee have urged seeing this codified in law. An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was put forward by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to bar funding for such performances. “I think it’s time for us to do something to make our voice known that we will not let this happen in the US military – woke ideology and the drag queen shows have no place in our military, zero, bupkis. That is not the way to recruit people,” Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) said about the provision, which was passed 33-26.

The NDAA, the annual defense policy bill, passed the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday night after a session that considered over 800 amendments. The Committee also passed a provision put forward by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) to suspend a contentious initiative called the Navy Digital Ambassador Program. After the Navy had opted to select sailor Joshua Kelley, a TikTok drag queen known as Harpy Daniels, to reach out to potential recruits on social media, it had triggered a flurry of criticism. The current move by the House Armed Services Committee comes as Matt Gaetz wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and “demanded answers” on “why these drag shows are still occurring” despite the two officials having testified in March that the Department of Defense did not endorse them.

Both Austin and Milley had claimed that they were not aware of such performances on military bases. According to US reports, drag shows have been hosted at Nellis Air Force Base both in 2021 and 2022. The event cancelled by the Pentagon at the military base in Nevada had been advertised ahead of the scheduled performance as a “family-friendly” one, involving three artists, including a former contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” “As Secretary Austin has said, the DoD will not host drag events at US military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DoD resources,” Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary for the department, had stated in early June.

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“[Military] equipment, of course, can be supplied additionally. But the mobilization reserve is not unlimited..”

Putin Says Western Countries Seem to Be Ready to Fight to Last Ukrainian (Sp.)

Ukrainian troops launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the South Donetsk direction on June 4 but failed to achieve their goals, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. It looks like Western countries are ready to fight until the last Ukrainian, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “[Military] equipment, of course, can be supplied additionally. But the mobilization reserve is not unlimited. And it seems that Ukraine’s Western allies really decided to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian,” Putin said at a meeting of the Security Council. Kiev has already lost over 13,000 people during its counteroffensive, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said. “As for the personnel … it [Kiev’s loss] is more than 13,000 [persons],” Patrushev said at a meeting with members of the Russian Security Council held by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Moreover, Russian forces have already destroyed 246 Ukrainian tanks, including 13 of the Western type, as well as 42 multiple launch rocket systems, two anti-aircraft missile systems, 10 tactical fighters, four helicopters, 264 unmanned aerial vehicles and 424 units of motor vehicles, which Kiev has used during its counteroffensive, Patrushev added. The figures are based on the generalized data for the period from June 4-21, provided by various departments, the Russian official noted. Ukrainian troops have slowed down their activity after 16 days of hostilities and are regrouping, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. “After 16 days of active hostilities, having suffered significant losses, [the enemy] is regrouping and re-equipping, gathering parts of battalions at the moment,” Shoigu said during a meeting of the Russian Security Council.

The Russian armed forces will complete the creation of a reserve army by the end of June and of an army corps in the near future, with the formations scheduled to receive over 3,700 pieces of equipment, Sergei Shoigu added. “We are forming reserves as part of the army corps, the army, plus five regiments of the 20th tank army. Everything is going according to plan. In fact, we will complete the formation of the reserve army by the end of June and finalize the formation of the army corps there soon,” Shoigu said at a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council. As for now, these five regiments, both in terms of personnel and equipment, are already formed by 60%, the Russian defense chief added.

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This is what “cannon fodder” means.

NATO Trainers Knowingly Sent Ukrainian Troops To Their Deaths (Scott Ritter)

Ukraine sent one of its best brigades into combat earlier this month as part of its long-awaited counteroffensive aimed at retaking areas controlled by Russian forces. Leading the charge near the town of Orekhov, in Zaporozhye Region, was the 47th Mechanized Brigade, armed with NATO equipment and – most importantly – employing it using the US-led bloc’s combined arms doctrine and tactics. Prior to the operation, this brigade spent months at a base in Germany learning “Western know-how” in combined-arms warfare. Helping them prepare for the fighting to come was KORA, the German-made NATO computer simulation system, designed to allow officers and non-commissioned officers to closely replicate battlefield conditions and, in doing so, better develop ideal courses of action against a designated enemy – in this case, Russia.


If there was ever an example of how a purpose-built Ukrainian NATO proxy force would perform against a Russian enemy, the 47th Brigade was the ideal case study. However, within days of initiating its attack, the group was close to literally decimated, with more than 10% of the over 100 US-made M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles destroyed or abandoned on the field of battle, and hundreds of the brigade’s 2,000-strong complement dead or wounded. German-made Leopard 2 tanks and mine-clearing vehicles joined the Bradleys as wrecks in the fields west of Orekhov, having failed to breach the first line of Russian defenses. The reasons for this defeat can be boiled down to the role played by KORA in creating a false sense of confidence on the part of the officers and men of the 47th Brigade. Unfortunately, as the Ukrainians and their NATO masters found out, what works in a computer simulation does not automatically equate to battlefield success.

[..] One of the things I’m most proud of in my military career is the fact that the Marine assault breaching operations done during Desert Storm unfolded almost exactly as my team and I had predicted in the JANUS simulation. After the war, General Caulfield credited my team and I with playing a major role in designing the successful Marine attack and, in the process, saving hundreds of Marine lives. We achieved this result by adhering to basic principles of professionalism and integrity, refusing to cut corners for the sake of expediency and being realistic about the amount of military combat power that would be needed to be applied over time to achieve the desired result.


If only the NATO trainers, who knowingly sent the men of the Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade and scores of other Ukrainian brigades to their deaths, adhered to such standards. Instead, they sent those troops in a futile attempt to breach defenses that were impossible to overcome, given the disparity in training and force composition between the Ukrainian and Russian forces. Had they been diligent, there would be far fewer Ukrainian widows and orphaned children mourning the loss of their husbands and fathers. This, more than anything, is the primary lesson to be derived from the Ballad of KORA and JANUS – neither NATO nor the United States cares about the lives of the Ukrainians they have undertaken to train in the horrific art of war.

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”..that leaves nothing of the Ukraine except the territory which the Poles and Hungarians might not be bold enough to take.”

Demilitarization, Denazification: A Sanitary Zone For Ukraine (Helmer)

What follows is the first detailed discussion in the open in Moscow of how the map of this territory should be drawn when the Ukrainian offensive reaches its end, and the Russian advance begins. Left out of mention is who in Moscow will be drawing the new map. This is because Putin has annonced he is delegating to the General Staff. “Russia’s military leadership,” he said on June 9, “is realistic in its assessments of the situation and will proceed from these realities as it continues to plan up our actions in the short term.” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had already said the same a year ago. “Now the geography is different,” he concluded an interview in Moscow on July 20, 2022. “Take the HIMARS. [Ukrainian] Defence Minister Alexei Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition.

This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.” “[Question:] How can this be arranged, technically? This is our territory. Then there are the republics that will accede to us. In fact they already have – the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. … Further west, there is the territory controlled by Vladimir Zelensky. They have a common border. So either there should be a 300 kilometre buffer zone or something between them, or we need to march all the way to Lvov inclusive.” “[Lavrov:] There is a solution to this problem. The military know this.”

“Comrade servicemen,” Lavrov added last week on a visit to the 201st Russian Military Base in Tajikistan, “they are getting ready, in earnest, to supply the F-16 jets. Some say they will make two squadrons available, others say eight. They are gearing up to continue the escalation of the war against us. There’s an ongoing debate about where these planes will take off from. Our armed forces and the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces are well aware of ongoing developments and report to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. We must keep in mind that one version of the F-16 can carry nuclear weapons. If they do not understand this, they are worthless military strategists and planners.” The General Staff have no reason to speak publicly on this point.

Privately, a source in a position to know says: “the General Staff are not satisfied with the Dnieper [line of defence]. It will run from a small town on the border with Belarus to Transnistria. They will solve that problem as well. But mainly, Belarus has to be protected from the south. And most importantly, that leaves nothing of the Ukraine except the territory which the Poles and Hungarians might not be bold enough to take.”

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“The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation.”

US/NATO Are Playing ‘Russian Roulette’. Do They Want A Nuclear War? (Trenin)

In principle, nuclear weapons have been “on the table” for Russia from the very beginning of the Ukrainian conflict precisely as a means of deterring the US and its allies from becoming directly involved. Nevertheless, repeated public reminders from Putin and other officials about Russia’s nuclear status have so far not prevented a growing escalation of NATO’s participation. As a result, it has become clear that nuclear deterrence, on which many in Moscow have relied as a credible means of securing the country’s vital interests, has proven to be a much more limited tool than they expected. In fact, the US has now set itself the task – unthinkable during the Cold War – of trying to defeat another nuclear superpower in a strategically important region, without resorting to atomic weapons, but instead by arming and controlling a third country.

The Americans are proceeding cautiously, testing Moscow’s responses and consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of arms supplied to Kiev, as well as the choice of targets for them. From starting with anti-tank ‘Javelins,’ to eventually cajoling allies to send actual tanks, the US is now apparently pondering transferring F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles. It is likely that this US strategy is based on the belief that the Russian leadership would not dare use nuclear weapons in the current conflict, and that its references to the nuclear arsenal at its disposal are nothing more than a bluff. The Americans have even been calm – at least outwardly about the deployment of Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus. Such “fearlessness” is a direct result of the geopolitical changes of the last three decades and the change of generations in power in the US and the West in general.

The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation. The practical conclusion is clear: there is no need to be afraid of such a Russian response. This is an extremely dangerous misconception. The trajectory of the Ukrainian war points to an escalation of the conflict both horizontally (by expanding the theater of military action) and vertically (by increasing the power of the weapons used and the intensity of their use). It must be soberly acknowledged that this momentum is heading towards a direct armed confrontation between Russia and NATO. If the accumulated inertia is not stopped, such a clash will take place, and in this case the war, having spread to Western Europe, will almost inevitably become nuclear. And after some time, a nuclear war in Europe will most likely lead to an exchange of blows between Russia and the US.

The Americans and their allies are truly playing Russian roulette. Yes, so far the Russian response to the bombing of Nord Stream, the drone attack on the strategic Engels airbase, the entry of Western-armed saboteurs into the Belgorod region and many other actions by the Washington-backed and controlled side has been relatively restrained. As Putin recently made clear, there are good reasons for this restraint. Russia, the president said, is capable of destroying any building in Kiev, but will not stoop to the methods of terror used by the enemy. But Putin added that Russia was considering various options for destroying Western warplanes if they are based in NATO countries and directly take part in the war in Ukraine.

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Trying to think of another “leader” who wanted to ban his mother tongue.

Zelensky Bans Russian Books (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky announced on Thursday that he had a signed a law making it illegal to import and distribute Russian and Belarusian publishing products in Ukraine. However, some Ukrainian officials have pointed out that the step could hinder Kiev’s plans to join the EU. The move comes after Ukrainian citizens registered an online petition on the official presidential website asking for the ban back in May. The petition reached the 25,000-vote threshold required for it to be formally considered by the head of state. The author of the petition noted that the Ukrainian parliament had already approved the law on June 19, 2022, but that Zelensky had never signed the bill. As a result, Russian books continued to be sold in Ukraine, which undermines “the information security of the state and the economic foundations of Ukrainian book publishing,” according to the petition.

“I consider the law to be correct,” Zelensky stated in a Telegram post announcing that he had finally signed the legislation. He noted, however, that the text of the legislation had been sent to EU institutions for an “additional assessment” of whether it could breach Kiev’s obligations to protect minority rights, particularly linguistic ones, in the context of Ukraine’s application for EU membership. In a written response to the petition last month, Zelensky explained that there had been a “number of reservations” that prevented the law from being adopted.

The president stated that Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice had proposed applying the right of veto to the bill, arguing that completely banning the import and distribution of Russian publications would contradict several articles of Ukraine’s constitution. Additionally, Zelensky said that despite agreeing with the nature of the law, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had also advised vetoing the bill. The ministry had warned that its current version “does not meet the norms and standards of the EU in the field of human rights, including freedom of opinion, protection of the rights of national minorities, prohibition of discrimination on the basis of language, and therefore may complicate the process of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.”

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“Khren Im”

On Horseradish & Nuclear War (Scott Ritter)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for a lot of things — his “in your face” speeches, his marathon unscripted press conferences and his stoic impassiveness in the face of adversity come to mind. One thing that doesn’t jump out at the average observer is his earthy sense of humor. Long-time Putin watchers know that the Russian leader on occasion spices up his formal presentations with off-color quips which, unless one is well versed in colloquial Russian of the back-alley variety, can get missed by the casual listener. During the June 16 discussion period of the plenary session of the 2023 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian leader was asked about his views on the potential use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict. “This use of nuclear weapons is certainly theoretically possible,” Putin bluntly answered.

“For Russia, this is possible if a threat is created to our territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, the existence of the Russian state. Nuclear weapons are created in order to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state.” Putin’s answer reflected long-standing Russian nuclear doctrine, which postulates the use of nuclear weapons in the case of an existential threat, nuclear or otherwise, to the survival of Russia. Putin then sought to put the audience at ease. “But we, firstly, do not have such a need,” Putin noted, “and secondly, the very factor of reasoning on this topic already lowers the possibility of lowering the threshold for the use of weapons. This is the first part.” What came next was classic Putin. “The second is that we have more such weapons [i.e., tactical nuclear weapons] than the NATO countries. They know about it and all the time they persuade us to start talks on reductions.”

Putin paused, before shrugging and, with a half-smile, saying “Khren Im”. Khren Im is a Russian slang term derived from the word “horseradish” (khren), thus a literal translation of the phrase used by Putin would be “horseradish them.” But khren closely resembles a more salty term used to describe male genitalia, and when used in this manner, khren Im is understood to mean “F*ck them.” “F*ck them, you know?” Putin said, to the obvious mirth of the audience. “As our people say. Because, in the clumsy terms of economics, this is our competitive advantage.”

The “them” in the horseradish reference made by the Russian president is the United States. Two weeks prior to Putin’s man-in-the-street reaction, on June 2, U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, addressed a conference hosted by the Arms Control Association, in Washington, D.C. The topic, not surprisingly, was the administration’s approach to U.S.-Russian arms control.

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Another way to poke the bear.

New Catastrophe Looms In Kosovo As West ‘Toys’ With International Law (TASS)

The West is toying with international law in an attempt to create alternative ways to resolve the Kosovo problem, and this may lead the region down a path to calamity, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing Wednesday. The diplomat underscored that the US and the EU continue to turn a blind eye towards Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s subversive actions and deliberately bring the settlement to a deadlock in order to “force the Serbs to surrender their vital interests.”


“Since April 2013, Pritstina has been shirking its commitments to Serb municipalities in Kosovo. Instead of pressing the Kosovars, US mediators are laying the groundwork to radically decrease the community’s authority, and, of course, its replacement with some mechanism on protection of language rights, supporting Kurti’s claim about, as he put it, the non-territorial nature of this structure,” she noted. “Amid these circumstances, there is a growing risk that the West will toy with international law in an aim to create alternative options for resolution of the Kosovo problem, taking the region to a new catastrophe, yet another one.” The diplomat noted that there is a reliable foundation for settling the situation, which remains fully in effect. “That being the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 – the basis for negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, for any mediation efforts of the international community – the foundation is the same,” she added.

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Mr. Banker should know?!

Global Financial System Exhausted, Not Up to New Challenges – Macron (Sp.)

The existing global financial system is outdated and does not meet the new challenges, while the new system must be adopted and aligned with the world’s goals, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.
“Our world is undergoing ever greater upheaval… We have a financial system which is the product of a previous consensus, which has shown its effectiveness, and bailed us out in past decades, but is probably not evolving fast enough. It is no longer adapted, and needs to be realigned with our goals,” Macron said at the opening of a New Global Financial Pact summit in Paris, which was streamed on the official website of the event.

Macron noted that no country had to choose whether to fight poverty or protect the planet and each country should be free to choose its own way, hence the new financial pact had to respect the sovereignty of the countries of the South much more. “We will take a major step, as we will start by establishing a new consensus. The fight against poverty, the decarbonization of our economy in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and the protection of biodiversity, are closely intertwined. We therefore need to agree together on the best means to address these challenges in the poor and emerging countries of the developing world, when it comes to the amount of investment, to comprehensive reform of infrastructure like the World Bank, the IMF, and public and private funds, and how to set a new process in motion,” Macron said.

Macron also said that the private sector had a big role to play, but it needed to receive credible guarantees. The president added that the summit should result in concrete solutions that would change the lives of countries struggling with climate challenges and suggested setting up a follow-up mechanism. The summit in Paris, which runs from June 22-23, aims to establish new agreements between the countries of the Global North and the Global South and to combat climate change and the global crisis.

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Too late.

Biden Sends Sullivan, Nuland To Turn BRICS War Skeptics Against Russia (ZH)

At a moment President Zelensky has confessed that Ukraine’s counteroffensive which was launched this month has been “slower than desired”, President Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan is mounting a big push to convince “skeptics” from developing nations to become more firmly supportive of Kiev’s war effort. “Joe Biden’s top national security aide will fly to Denmark this weekend at the behest of Kyiv’s government for an unannounced meeting with representatives of several developing countries that have not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Financial Times has reported. A planned Copenhagen meeting is expected to include large but ‘neutral’ countries like Brazil, India, and South Africa – the latter which has of late been accused of actively supporting Moscow.

Sullivan’s initiative came at the request of the Ukrainian government, also as Russia’s economy has been successfully weathering the storm of US/EU-led sanctions, in particular upping its energy exports to BRICS countries. As for the as yet unannounced list of likely attendees in Denmark, FT details based on its sources: “Officials from Turkey and possibly China could also attend. One of the people familiar with the plans said that, following the Ukrainian request, Washington has been encouraging China, India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa to attend. Sullivan will travel with Victoria Nuland, the number-three official at the US state department. A senior EU official will also participate.” BRICS countries have by and large been so quiet about the Russian invasion that they’ve even been accused of outright aiding and abetting Moscow’s offensive.

When discussing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Washington this week, Sullivan told reporters, “We think this actually sends a message to the coalition and Ukraine that we’re working to advocate on their behalf with a broader range of countries than just those that show up around the table either in Nato…or at the G7.” It remains that the major economies of India, Brazil, China and South Africa have persisted in their refusal to cooperate with Western sanctions on Russia. In Beijing’s case, it has actually directed more criticism at both NATO and the United States for “arrogance” and “imperialism”.

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Every day, there are new developments. Step by step. And unstoppable.

The Greater Eurasia Project: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (Pepe Escobar)

On July 4, at a New Delhi summit, Iran will finally become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That will be one of the key decisions of the summit, held via video-conference, along with the signing of a memorandum on the path by Belarus to also become a member state. In parallel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk has confirmed that Iran and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) should sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of 2023. The FTA will expand an interim deal that already lowers customs duties on hundreds of categories of goods. Russia and Iran – two key poles of Eurasia integration – have been getting closer and closer geoeconomically since the west’s sanctions tsunami that followed Russia’s February 2022 Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine.

The EAEU – as much as the SCO and BRICS – is on a roll: FTAs are expected to be clinched, from middle to long term, with Egypt, India, Indonesia, and the UAE. Overchuck admits negotiations may be “very difficult” and “take years,” considering “the interests of all five EAEU member states, their businesses, and their consumers.” Yet despite the obvious complexities, this high-speed rail geoeconomic train has already left the station. In a parallel track, the members of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), during a recent summit in Iran, decided to launch a new cross-border financial messaging system this month as a rival to the western-centric SWIFT. The ACU comprises the Central Banks of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Iran: a healthy mix of West Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

It was the Central Bank of Iran – still under harsh sanctions – that developed the new bank messaging system, so new it’s not yet known by its own acronym. Crucially, the Governor of Russia’s Central Bank took part in the ACU summit as an observer, along with officials from Belarus, which applied for ACU membership two weeks ago. Iranian Central Bank Governor Mohammad Reza Farzin confirmed not only the interest of potential members to join the ACU, but also the drive to set up a basket of currencies for payment of bilateral trade deals. Call it a de-dollarization fast track. As Iran’s first Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber summed it up: “De-dollarization is not a voluntary choice by countries anymore; it is an inevitable response to the weaponization of the dollar.”

Iran is now at the heart of all things multipolar. The recent discovery of a massive lithium field holding roughly 10 percent of the world’s reserves, coupled with the quite possible admission of Iran into the expanded BRICS – or BRICS+ – as early as this year, has bolstered scenarios of an upcoming BRICS currency backed by commodities: gold, oil, gas and – inevitably – lithium. All this frantic Global South-led activity stands in sharp contrast to the sputtering deceleration of the Empire of Sanctions. The Global South has had enough of the US sanctioning and banning whoever, whatever, and whenever they like, in defense of a hazy, arbitrary “rules-based international order.”

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“..the agencies will do everything they can to help Biden or whoever replaces him from the Democratic Party but they will be a lot more careful about how they do it..”

CIA Vet Warns US Intel ‘Will Do Everything’ to Help Dems in 2024 Race (Sp.)

Former Special Counsel John Durham offered his first public testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday regarding the details of his report into the FBI’s handling of allegations of collusion between ex-President Donald Trump and Russia. The day before, Durham testified behind closed doors to the US House Intelligence Committee. While it is not completely clear whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation knew from the outset that dug-up “information on Trump” had been paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, there is “no excuse for their having learned that and, nevertheless, proceeded with the investigation,” former CIA station chief Philip Giraldi told Sputnik. “There might have been personal malice involved in going after Trump, but that has not been clearly demonstrated,” the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest added, referencing the FBI’s investigation into the alleged Trump-Russia “collusion”.

Former Special Counsel John Durham paid his second visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to face the House Judiciary Committee over the details of his May report, released after almost a four-year-long investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation codenamed, Crossfire Hurricane. Durham had found that the agency had been “seriously deficient,” relying on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence,” when probing the 2016 Donald Trump campaign’s alleged ties to “Russia.” “One has to assume that the Bureau felt it had a great deal invested in maintaining Democratic Party control of the presidency and that there were concerns that Trump would upset the arrangements made under [Barack] Obama,” Giraldi said.

The Durham report had also exposed the Democratic establishment’s anti-Trump narrative, and the role of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in spawning and then pushing the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. During his probe, the special counsel charged and convicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to doctoring an email to state that Trump aide Carter Page had never been a CIA asset (which was not true) in order to push ahead with surveilling the former Trump campaign adviser. Durham also brought charges against Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and Brookings Institution scholar Igor Danchenko for lying to the FBI. Danchenko has served as the main ‘subsource’ for ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the now infamous Steele dossier. It had been funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through the law firm Perkins Coie, which Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann worked for at the time.

[..] Ahead of John Durham’s testimony on June 21, Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) underscored in his opening statement that the hearing was tasked to provide more “detail and add more color” to the findings of the May report. “Seven years of attacking Trump is scary enough… What’s more frightening is that any one of us could be next,” Jordan emphasized. A number of Republicans echoed John Durham’s calls for reforming the FBI, underscoring that the agency, had become “politicized” and “weaponized”, and had carried out a “politically motivated” investigation of Donald Trump. Looking ahead at the next election cycle, where both Biden and Trump are gearing up to vie for another Oval Office stint, Philip Giraldi concluded: “For 2024, I expect that the agencies will do everything they can to help Biden or whoever replaces him from the Democratic Party but they will be a lot more careful about how they do it than they were in 2020.”

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I see the word bombshell too much.

New Bombshell Evidence Against Bidens, DOJ, AG Garland (ZH)

Several bombshells dropped by two IRS whistleblowers on Thursday reveal, among other things, that Joe Biden’s DOJ buried evidence of Hunter Biden’s tax crimes – and stopped US Attorney David Weiss from bringing charges against Hunter in two different jurisdictions last year. According to Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), Weiss sought to be appointed as a special counsel in the case last year but was denied as well. What’s more, the IRS sought felony charges against Hunter, send their recommendations to the Biden DOJ, and they ‘came out as two misdemeanors,’ Byron York tweets. According to the whistleblowers, one of whom is Gary Shipley – who came forward weeks ago to reveal his identity, the IRS was notified of potential evidence “in the guest house of former Vice President Biden,” but were rebuffed by US Attorney Lesley Wolf, who said there was “no way,” as search warrant “would ever get approved.”

“Whistleblowers describe how the Biden Justice Department intervened and overstepped in a campaign to protect the son of Joe Biden by delaying, divulging, and denying an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes,” said Smith in a statement. “The testimony shows tactics used by the Justice Department to delay the investigation long enough to reach the statute of limitations, evidence they divulged sensitive actions by the investigative team to Biden’s attorneys, and denied requests by the U.S. Attorney to bring charges against Biden.” During seven hours of testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, Shipley and the other whistleblower’s testimony implicates both AG Merrick Garland and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel for lying to Congress about political interference in the Biden probe.

“Whistleblower One’s story was corroborated by Whistleblower Two,” said Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK). “One individual came forward and laid out the full case of what’s going on. The second individual, through his attorney, asked Ways and Means to contact him and ask for testimony. So we didn’t seek these, they sought us,” added Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC).

As Techno Fog notes via The Reactionary; “With the rejection from the DC US Attorney, the team sought the approval to bring tax charges for years 2016-2019 in the Central District of California. Shapley concluded that “the Central District of California declined to allow charges to be brought there.” The rejection to bring charges in DC and California stands in stark contrast to the testimony of Attorney General Garland, who in March of 2023 stated that US Attorney Weiss had the full authority to “bring cases in other jurisdictions.” Garland also said that he personally would ensure that Weiss could “carry out his investigation and that he [would] be able to run it.” Both those statements now appear to be false. (Your humble author thinks the Republicans knew Garland was making misrepresentations at the time.)”

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“..you have to be impressed with the fact that they just continue to shove this nonsense in our face knowing that they could get away with it.”

US Justice is Blind – Unless Your Name is Hunter Biden (Tweedie)

US President Joe Biden’s son was brazenly let off scot-free in a “sweetheart deal,” say two media commentators. Hunter Biden had been under investigation by the FBI for soliciting millions in bribes from foreign businesspeople in return for influence over the then-vice president. That includes an alleged $5 million from Mykola Zlochevsky, co-owner of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings which employed Hunter as a company director and which was investigated for corruption by Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin until Joe Biden pressured Kiev to sack him. Hunter is also suspected of owning a handgun unlawfully, which reportedly ended up being thrown in a dumpster. Furthermore, a trove of photos on his abandoned “Laptop from Hell” appeared to show him using crack cocaine and sleeping with underage prostitutes.

But on Tuesday, it was reported that he had struck a deal with prosecutors — pending approval by a federal judge — to plead guilty to tax evasion and illegal possession of a firearm in return for avoiding jail time. Former US diplomat Jim Jatras told Sputnik that Hunter Biden’s plea bargain was a “sweetheart deal.” “I don’t know how a plea on two charges automatically extends to, say ‘Oh, yeah, and all that other stuff. We’re going to give you a guarantee that there will be no charges,'” he said. The foreign policy expert said that was “an outrageous miscarriage of justice.” “I know the rich and powerful and the politically well-connected and treated differently from everybody else, but this is really just unprecedented,” Jatras stressed. The pundit said the plea bargain deal would play into the hands of the Republican Party.

“It’s what Republicans love best. They could win and jump up and down and scream in outrage without actually having to do anything,” Jatras said. “It completely absolves them of any responsibility to actually see that justice is done.” Journalist Jim Hoft told Sputnik that he was not surprised that the president’s wayward son got off scot-free. “After what we’ve seen the past few years, not really,” he said. “But it is quite galling. And you have to be impressed with the fact that they just continue to shove this nonsense in our face knowing that they could get away with it.” The editor said Hunter Biden was “one of the most crooked people in the country.” “And he gets a pass and a little slap on the wrist, if that,” Hoft observed. “It’s really it’s stunning what’s happening to our country. We’re all witnessing it.”

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“Peter Hotez – who he says will “never debate Bobby Kennedy Jr., but it doesn’t matter. Kennedy has already won.”

Tucker Calls Out ‘Media Hysteria Typhoon’ Over RFK Jr. (ZH)

In his latest episode, Tucker Carlson discussed the media’s absolute hatred for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was immediately attacked by the press upon his announcement that he would run against President Joe Biden in 2024. “CBS News viewers likely were appalled in its coverage of Kennedy’s announcement. CBS denounced the candidate’s views as ‘misleading’ and ‘dangerous,'” noted Carlson, adding “The LA Times called him a threat to democracy.” “At the offices of National Public Radio in Washington, a full-blown category-5 hysteria typhoon broke out. NPR devoted an entire segment to savaging Kennedy – not just as a candidate, but as a human being,” Carlson continued. “NPR described him as someone who, for his own perverse reasons, has made “debunked and false and misleading claims that undermine trust in vaccines.

And who, in his spare time, provides moral support to crazed extremists who “rally under the banner of what they call liberty, or freedom.”” “People Magazine didn’t even bother to report a single word of anything Kennedy said!” Carlson exclaimed, “and instead wrote an entire story about his relatives hate him.” “Kennedy Jr. faced censorship on Instagram and YouTube for expressing his views,” he continued, adding that RFK Jr. raised questions about “the rise in allergies, asthma, autism, and other conditions related to vaccines,” while “the media and medical establishment vilified Kennedy Jr. for his views, calling him a lunatic, Nazi, and extremist supporter.”


Carlson then goes into a defense of Kennedy’s right to raise questions over vaccines, and the response one gets for doing so. “Bobby Kennedy won’t stop asking, and that’s why they hate him,” Carlson said. Carlson then went after debate-dodging doctor, Peter Hotez – who he says will “never debate Bobby Kennedy Jr., but it doesn’t matter. Kennedy has already won.” “Hotez attacked Kennedy Jr. and called for vaccine mandates, accusing those who disagree of being white nationalists and Russian agents,” said Carlson, who then noted how Hotez chickened out of a debate with RFK Jr.

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Wow art

 

 


This breathtaking photo by Jessica Blacklow shows a dozen dolphins spotted enjoying a remarkable synchronised surf off the coast of Sydney

 

 

Evil

 

 

Cobra moth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671853300835143681

 

 

Soggy bottom

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 


John Atkinson Grimshaw Battersea Bridge 1885

 

Russian Army Gets Enough Recruits To Form Regiment Per Day – Shoigu (RT)
Ukraine Expands General Mobilization (RT)
‘No Way to Recruit People’: GOP Seeks to Codify Pentagon Drag Show Ban (Sp.)
Putin Says Western Countries Seem to Be Ready to Fight to Last Ukrainian (Sp.)
NATO Trainers Knowingly Sent Ukrainian Troops To Their Deaths (Scott Ritter)
Demilitarization, Denazification: A Sanitary Zone For Ukraine (Helmer)
US/NATO Are Playing ‘Russian Roulette’. Do They Want A Nuclear War? (Trenin)
Zelensky Bans Russian Books (RT)
On Horseradish & Nuclear War (Scott Ritter)
New Catastrophe Looms In Kosovo As West ‘Toys’ With International Law (TASS)
Global Financial System Exhausted, Not Up to New Challenges – Macron (Sp.)
Biden Sends Sullivan, Nuland To Turn BRICS War Skeptics Against Russia (ZH)
The Greater Eurasia Project: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (Pepe Escobar)
CIA Vet Warns US Intel ‘Will Do Everything’ to Help Dems in 2024 Race (Sp.)
New Bombshell Evidence Against Bidens, DOJ, AG Garland (ZH)
US Justice is Blind – Unless Your Name is Hunter Biden (Tweedie)
Tucker Calls Out ‘Media Hysteria Typhoon’ Over RFK Jr. (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK Who we are

 

 

 

 

While Modi is in Washington, Obama, visiting Athens, tells Modi what to do at home.

Obama

 

 

The submersible imploded on Sunday, killing all on board. We were not allowed to know until now.

 

 

 

 

“On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours..”

Russian Army Gets Enough Recruits To Form Regiment Per Day – Shoigu (RT)

The Russian Army is recruiting enough new personnel to complete the formation of its reserve force, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday. Enough applicants are signing formal contracts with the ministry to form a new regiment every day, he added. A total of 114,000 people have joined the Russian Armed Forces as contract servicemen to date, Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin at a Russian National Security Council session. An additional 52,000 people have joined the military ranks as volunteers, he said. “On average, 1,336 people enter service under a contract with the Russian Armed Forces per 24 hours,” Shoigu said, adding that “we de facto get a [new] regiment every day.” Russia is now actively forming a reserve force that will include a new corps, a field army and five new regiments for the existing field armies, the defense minister said.

A field army in Russia includes several army corps and accounts for more than 40,000 servicemen on average. A Russian army corps has an established strength of between 20,000 and 40,000 servicemen and includes several brigades and regiments depending on its composition. “We are about to finish the formation of a reserve army by late June,” the minister said, adding that almost 3,800 military equipment pieces have already been supplied to the troops and will be used to outfit the newly formed units. According to Shoigu, the volunteers are “eager to join the fight” on the frontlines, where the Russian troops are currently repelling a Ukrainian offensive, which was launched earlier in June. The minister said that Moscow has no plans to send them into the fray right now. “There is no urgent need for that,”he said, adding that the fresh recruits should “undergo serious training first and that is what they do.” He still praised the “highest motivation” of the Russian troops.

In mid-June, Putin told military correspondents and bloggers that Russia sees no need for another military draft campaign right now. At that time, he also said that over 150,000 people had signed a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry since January. Shoigu’s report comes as Ukrainian officials in some regions take drastic steps to ensure the inflow of recruits to the Ukrainian army. Kiev declared general mobilization back in February 2022, when Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine. This week, several Ukrainian media outlets reported that authorities in western Ivano-Frankovsk Region barred local healthcare providers from carrying out planned hospital treatments of any patients eligible for conscription without prior coordination with the local enlistment office. Putin has also stated that Kiev should not be able to replenish its manpower indefinitely even with the West’s military aid. “It seems Ukraine’s Western allies are indeed prepared to wage the war to the last Ukrainian,” according to the president.

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What a difference. It’s now everyone. Want to become a doctor? Too bad.

Ukraine Expands General Mobilization (RT)

Residents of the Obolonsky district in the Ukrainian capital who are eligible for mobilization must report to the military recruitment offices within ten days, even if they do not receive a personal notice, the local draft commissariat said on Thursday. The document, signed by commissar Alexey Privala, was posted on social media, as well as reprinted by the Ukrainian newspaper Strana. Responding to the outlet’s inquiry, Privala’s office claimed the order was nothing new and that such notices were being posted regularly. What is a precedent in the district, however, is the blanket call-up of all draftees. The western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankovsk has already enacted the same measure. Their orders, dated June 13, also refer to the mobilization of vehicles and forbid residents from moving without the explicit permission of the draft commissariat.

The Ivano-Frankovsk notice set a ten-day deadline for all men subject to the draft notice to report for service. The Obolonsky district commissariat has also referred to the same ten-day deadline. Its orders apply not only to the men registered in the district, but even those residing there temporarily, according to Strana. Ukraine’s Chernigov Region reported on Wednesday that it was struggling to meet its mobilization quota. More than 20,000 people have not reported following their summons, regional draft commissar Oleg Goncharuk has admitted. The expanded mobilization measures come as the long-heralded “counteroffensive” on the Zaporozhye front fails to dislodge Russian forces after more than two weeks of fighting.

The attack was “not meeting expectations on any front,”Western officials told CNN on Thursday, while President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged on Wednesday that progress had been “slower than desired.” According to Russian officials, Ukraine has suffered up to 13,000 casualties since June 4, and is in the process of regrouping its brigades to try again. National Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu briefed President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that many Western-supplied vehicles were among the 246 tanks, 152 infantry fighting vehicles, and 443 armored vehicles Ukraine lost during the attempted attacks.

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Should Ukraine follow US example in mobilization? Zelensky would be an excellent drag queen.

‘No Way to Recruit People’: GOP Seeks to Codify Pentagon Drag Show Ban (Sp.)

After a drag show advertised as a “family-friendly” event was canceled at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in early June, at the start of Pride Month, the Defense Department issued a statement to say that such events were “not a suitable use” of resources. After a de-facto Pentagon ban on drag shows in the military went into effect at the start of June, Republicans at the US House Armed Services Committee have urged seeing this codified in law. An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was put forward by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to bar funding for such performances. “I think it’s time for us to do something to make our voice known that we will not let this happen in the US military – woke ideology and the drag queen shows have no place in our military, zero, bupkis. That is not the way to recruit people,” Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) said about the provision, which was passed 33-26.

The NDAA, the annual defense policy bill, passed the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday night after a session that considered over 800 amendments. The Committee also passed a provision put forward by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) to suspend a contentious initiative called the Navy Digital Ambassador Program. After the Navy had opted to select sailor Joshua Kelley, a TikTok drag queen known as Harpy Daniels, to reach out to potential recruits on social media, it had triggered a flurry of criticism. The current move by the House Armed Services Committee comes as Matt Gaetz wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and “demanded answers” on “why these drag shows are still occurring” despite the two officials having testified in March that the Department of Defense did not endorse them.

Both Austin and Milley had claimed that they were not aware of such performances on military bases. According to US reports, drag shows have been hosted at Nellis Air Force Base both in 2021 and 2022. The event cancelled by the Pentagon at the military base in Nevada had been advertised ahead of the scheduled performance as a “family-friendly” one, involving three artists, including a former contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” “As Secretary Austin has said, the DoD will not host drag events at US military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DoD resources,” Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary for the department, had stated in early June.

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“[Military] equipment, of course, can be supplied additionally. But the mobilization reserve is not unlimited..”

Putin Says Western Countries Seem to Be Ready to Fight to Last Ukrainian (Sp.)

Ukrainian troops launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the South Donetsk direction on June 4 but failed to achieve their goals, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. It looks like Western countries are ready to fight until the last Ukrainian, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “[Military] equipment, of course, can be supplied additionally. But the mobilization reserve is not unlimited. And it seems that Ukraine’s Western allies really decided to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian,” Putin said at a meeting of the Security Council. Kiev has already lost over 13,000 people during its counteroffensive, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said. “As for the personnel … it [Kiev’s loss] is more than 13,000 [persons],” Patrushev said at a meeting with members of the Russian Security Council held by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Moreover, Russian forces have already destroyed 246 Ukrainian tanks, including 13 of the Western type, as well as 42 multiple launch rocket systems, two anti-aircraft missile systems, 10 tactical fighters, four helicopters, 264 unmanned aerial vehicles and 424 units of motor vehicles, which Kiev has used during its counteroffensive, Patrushev added. The figures are based on the generalized data for the period from June 4-21, provided by various departments, the Russian official noted. Ukrainian troops have slowed down their activity after 16 days of hostilities and are regrouping, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. “After 16 days of active hostilities, having suffered significant losses, [the enemy] is regrouping and re-equipping, gathering parts of battalions at the moment,” Shoigu said during a meeting of the Russian Security Council.

The Russian armed forces will complete the creation of a reserve army by the end of June and of an army corps in the near future, with the formations scheduled to receive over 3,700 pieces of equipment, Sergei Shoigu added. “We are forming reserves as part of the army corps, the army, plus five regiments of the 20th tank army. Everything is going according to plan. In fact, we will complete the formation of the reserve army by the end of June and finalize the formation of the army corps there soon,” Shoigu said at a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council. As for now, these five regiments, both in terms of personnel and equipment, are already formed by 60%, the Russian defense chief added.

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This is what “cannon fodder” means.

NATO Trainers Knowingly Sent Ukrainian Troops To Their Deaths (Scott Ritter)

Ukraine sent one of its best brigades into combat earlier this month as part of its long-awaited counteroffensive aimed at retaking areas controlled by Russian forces. Leading the charge near the town of Orekhov, in Zaporozhye Region, was the 47th Mechanized Brigade, armed with NATO equipment and – most importantly – employing it using the US-led bloc’s combined arms doctrine and tactics. Prior to the operation, this brigade spent months at a base in Germany learning “Western know-how” in combined-arms warfare. Helping them prepare for the fighting to come was KORA, the German-made NATO computer simulation system, designed to allow officers and non-commissioned officers to closely replicate battlefield conditions and, in doing so, better develop ideal courses of action against a designated enemy – in this case, Russia.


If there was ever an example of how a purpose-built Ukrainian NATO proxy force would perform against a Russian enemy, the 47th Brigade was the ideal case study. However, within days of initiating its attack, the group was close to literally decimated, with more than 10% of the over 100 US-made M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles destroyed or abandoned on the field of battle, and hundreds of the brigade’s 2,000-strong complement dead or wounded. German-made Leopard 2 tanks and mine-clearing vehicles joined the Bradleys as wrecks in the fields west of Orekhov, having failed to breach the first line of Russian defenses. The reasons for this defeat can be boiled down to the role played by KORA in creating a false sense of confidence on the part of the officers and men of the 47th Brigade. Unfortunately, as the Ukrainians and their NATO masters found out, what works in a computer simulation does not automatically equate to battlefield success.

[..] One of the things I’m most proud of in my military career is the fact that the Marine assault breaching operations done during Desert Storm unfolded almost exactly as my team and I had predicted in the JANUS simulation. After the war, General Caulfield credited my team and I with playing a major role in designing the successful Marine attack and, in the process, saving hundreds of Marine lives. We achieved this result by adhering to basic principles of professionalism and integrity, refusing to cut corners for the sake of expediency and being realistic about the amount of military combat power that would be needed to be applied over time to achieve the desired result.


If only the NATO trainers, who knowingly sent the men of the Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade and scores of other Ukrainian brigades to their deaths, adhered to such standards. Instead, they sent those troops in a futile attempt to breach defenses that were impossible to overcome, given the disparity in training and force composition between the Ukrainian and Russian forces. Had they been diligent, there would be far fewer Ukrainian widows and orphaned children mourning the loss of their husbands and fathers. This, more than anything, is the primary lesson to be derived from the Ballad of KORA and JANUS – neither NATO nor the United States cares about the lives of the Ukrainians they have undertaken to train in the horrific art of war.

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”..that leaves nothing of the Ukraine except the territory which the Poles and Hungarians might not be bold enough to take.”

Demilitarization, Denazification: A Sanitary Zone For Ukraine (Helmer)

What follows is the first detailed discussion in the open in Moscow of how the map of this territory should be drawn when the Ukrainian offensive reaches its end, and the Russian advance begins. Left out of mention is who in Moscow will be drawing the new map. This is because Putin has annonced he is delegating to the General Staff. “Russia’s military leadership,” he said on June 9, “is realistic in its assessments of the situation and will proceed from these realities as it continues to plan up our actions in the short term.” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had already said the same a year ago. “Now the geography is different,” he concluded an interview in Moscow on July 20, 2022. “Take the HIMARS. [Ukrainian] Defence Minister Alexei Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition.

This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.” “[Question:] How can this be arranged, technically? This is our territory. Then there are the republics that will accede to us. In fact they already have – the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. … Further west, there is the territory controlled by Vladimir Zelensky. They have a common border. So either there should be a 300 kilometre buffer zone or something between them, or we need to march all the way to Lvov inclusive.” “[Lavrov:] There is a solution to this problem. The military know this.”

“Comrade servicemen,” Lavrov added last week on a visit to the 201st Russian Military Base in Tajikistan, “they are getting ready, in earnest, to supply the F-16 jets. Some say they will make two squadrons available, others say eight. They are gearing up to continue the escalation of the war against us. There’s an ongoing debate about where these planes will take off from. Our armed forces and the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces are well aware of ongoing developments and report to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. We must keep in mind that one version of the F-16 can carry nuclear weapons. If they do not understand this, they are worthless military strategists and planners.” The General Staff have no reason to speak publicly on this point.

Privately, a source in a position to know says: “the General Staff are not satisfied with the Dnieper [line of defence]. It will run from a small town on the border with Belarus to Transnistria. They will solve that problem as well. But mainly, Belarus has to be protected from the south. And most importantly, that leaves nothing of the Ukraine except the territory which the Poles and Hungarians might not be bold enough to take.”

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“The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation.”

US/NATO Are Playing ‘Russian Roulette’. Do They Want A Nuclear War? (Trenin)

In principle, nuclear weapons have been “on the table” for Russia from the very beginning of the Ukrainian conflict precisely as a means of deterring the US and its allies from becoming directly involved. Nevertheless, repeated public reminders from Putin and other officials about Russia’s nuclear status have so far not prevented a growing escalation of NATO’s participation. As a result, it has become clear that nuclear deterrence, on which many in Moscow have relied as a credible means of securing the country’s vital interests, has proven to be a much more limited tool than they expected. In fact, the US has now set itself the task – unthinkable during the Cold War – of trying to defeat another nuclear superpower in a strategically important region, without resorting to atomic weapons, but instead by arming and controlling a third country.

The Americans are proceeding cautiously, testing Moscow’s responses and consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of arms supplied to Kiev, as well as the choice of targets for them. From starting with anti-tank ‘Javelins,’ to eventually cajoling allies to send actual tanks, the US is now apparently pondering transferring F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles. It is likely that this US strategy is based on the belief that the Russian leadership would not dare use nuclear weapons in the current conflict, and that its references to the nuclear arsenal at its disposal are nothing more than a bluff. The Americans have even been calm – at least outwardly about the deployment of Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus. Such “fearlessness” is a direct result of the geopolitical changes of the last three decades and the change of generations in power in the US and the West in general.

The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation. The practical conclusion is clear: there is no need to be afraid of such a Russian response. This is an extremely dangerous misconception. The trajectory of the Ukrainian war points to an escalation of the conflict both horizontally (by expanding the theater of military action) and vertically (by increasing the power of the weapons used and the intensity of their use). It must be soberly acknowledged that this momentum is heading towards a direct armed confrontation between Russia and NATO. If the accumulated inertia is not stopped, such a clash will take place, and in this case the war, having spread to Western Europe, will almost inevitably become nuclear. And after some time, a nuclear war in Europe will most likely lead to an exchange of blows between Russia and the US.

The Americans and their allies are truly playing Russian roulette. Yes, so far the Russian response to the bombing of Nord Stream, the drone attack on the strategic Engels airbase, the entry of Western-armed saboteurs into the Belgorod region and many other actions by the Washington-backed and controlled side has been relatively restrained. As Putin recently made clear, there are good reasons for this restraint. Russia, the president said, is capable of destroying any building in Kiev, but will not stoop to the methods of terror used by the enemy. But Putin added that Russia was considering various options for destroying Western warplanes if they are based in NATO countries and directly take part in the war in Ukraine.

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Trying to think of another “leader” who wanted to ban his mother tongue.

Zelensky Bans Russian Books (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky announced on Thursday that he had a signed a law making it illegal to import and distribute Russian and Belarusian publishing products in Ukraine. However, some Ukrainian officials have pointed out that the step could hinder Kiev’s plans to join the EU. The move comes after Ukrainian citizens registered an online petition on the official presidential website asking for the ban back in May. The petition reached the 25,000-vote threshold required for it to be formally considered by the head of state. The author of the petition noted that the Ukrainian parliament had already approved the law on June 19, 2022, but that Zelensky had never signed the bill. As a result, Russian books continued to be sold in Ukraine, which undermines “the information security of the state and the economic foundations of Ukrainian book publishing,” according to the petition.

“I consider the law to be correct,” Zelensky stated in a Telegram post announcing that he had finally signed the legislation. He noted, however, that the text of the legislation had been sent to EU institutions for an “additional assessment” of whether it could breach Kiev’s obligations to protect minority rights, particularly linguistic ones, in the context of Ukraine’s application for EU membership. In a written response to the petition last month, Zelensky explained that there had been a “number of reservations” that prevented the law from being adopted.

The president stated that Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice had proposed applying the right of veto to the bill, arguing that completely banning the import and distribution of Russian publications would contradict several articles of Ukraine’s constitution. Additionally, Zelensky said that despite agreeing with the nature of the law, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had also advised vetoing the bill. The ministry had warned that its current version “does not meet the norms and standards of the EU in the field of human rights, including freedom of opinion, protection of the rights of national minorities, prohibition of discrimination on the basis of language, and therefore may complicate the process of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.”

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“Khren Im”

On Horseradish & Nuclear War (Scott Ritter)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for a lot of things — his “in your face” speeches, his marathon unscripted press conferences and his stoic impassiveness in the face of adversity come to mind. One thing that doesn’t jump out at the average observer is his earthy sense of humor. Long-time Putin watchers know that the Russian leader on occasion spices up his formal presentations with off-color quips which, unless one is well versed in colloquial Russian of the back-alley variety, can get missed by the casual listener. During the June 16 discussion period of the plenary session of the 2023 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian leader was asked about his views on the potential use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict. “This use of nuclear weapons is certainly theoretically possible,” Putin bluntly answered.

“For Russia, this is possible if a threat is created to our territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, the existence of the Russian state. Nuclear weapons are created in order to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state.” Putin’s answer reflected long-standing Russian nuclear doctrine, which postulates the use of nuclear weapons in the case of an existential threat, nuclear or otherwise, to the survival of Russia. Putin then sought to put the audience at ease. “But we, firstly, do not have such a need,” Putin noted, “and secondly, the very factor of reasoning on this topic already lowers the possibility of lowering the threshold for the use of weapons. This is the first part.” What came next was classic Putin. “The second is that we have more such weapons [i.e., tactical nuclear weapons] than the NATO countries. They know about it and all the time they persuade us to start talks on reductions.”

Putin paused, before shrugging and, with a half-smile, saying “Khren Im”. Khren Im is a Russian slang term derived from the word “horseradish” (khren), thus a literal translation of the phrase used by Putin would be “horseradish them.” But khren closely resembles a more salty term used to describe male genitalia, and when used in this manner, khren Im is understood to mean “F*ck them.” “F*ck them, you know?” Putin said, to the obvious mirth of the audience. “As our people say. Because, in the clumsy terms of economics, this is our competitive advantage.”

The “them” in the horseradish reference made by the Russian president is the United States. Two weeks prior to Putin’s man-in-the-street reaction, on June 2, U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, addressed a conference hosted by the Arms Control Association, in Washington, D.C. The topic, not surprisingly, was the administration’s approach to U.S.-Russian arms control.

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Another way to poke the bear.

New Catastrophe Looms In Kosovo As West ‘Toys’ With International Law (TASS)

The West is toying with international law in an attempt to create alternative ways to resolve the Kosovo problem, and this may lead the region down a path to calamity, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing Wednesday. The diplomat underscored that the US and the EU continue to turn a blind eye towards Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s subversive actions and deliberately bring the settlement to a deadlock in order to “force the Serbs to surrender their vital interests.”


“Since April 2013, Pritstina has been shirking its commitments to Serb municipalities in Kosovo. Instead of pressing the Kosovars, US mediators are laying the groundwork to radically decrease the community’s authority, and, of course, its replacement with some mechanism on protection of language rights, supporting Kurti’s claim about, as he put it, the non-territorial nature of this structure,” she noted. “Amid these circumstances, there is a growing risk that the West will toy with international law in an aim to create alternative options for resolution of the Kosovo problem, taking the region to a new catastrophe, yet another one.” The diplomat noted that there is a reliable foundation for settling the situation, which remains fully in effect. “That being the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 – the basis for negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, for any mediation efforts of the international community – the foundation is the same,” she added.

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Mr. Banker should know?!

Global Financial System Exhausted, Not Up to New Challenges – Macron (Sp.)

The existing global financial system is outdated and does not meet the new challenges, while the new system must be adopted and aligned with the world’s goals, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.
“Our world is undergoing ever greater upheaval… We have a financial system which is the product of a previous consensus, which has shown its effectiveness, and bailed us out in past decades, but is probably not evolving fast enough. It is no longer adapted, and needs to be realigned with our goals,” Macron said at the opening of a New Global Financial Pact summit in Paris, which was streamed on the official website of the event.

Macron noted that no country had to choose whether to fight poverty or protect the planet and each country should be free to choose its own way, hence the new financial pact had to respect the sovereignty of the countries of the South much more. “We will take a major step, as we will start by establishing a new consensus. The fight against poverty, the decarbonization of our economy in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and the protection of biodiversity, are closely intertwined. We therefore need to agree together on the best means to address these challenges in the poor and emerging countries of the developing world, when it comes to the amount of investment, to comprehensive reform of infrastructure like the World Bank, the IMF, and public and private funds, and how to set a new process in motion,” Macron said.

Macron also said that the private sector had a big role to play, but it needed to receive credible guarantees. The president added that the summit should result in concrete solutions that would change the lives of countries struggling with climate challenges and suggested setting up a follow-up mechanism. The summit in Paris, which runs from June 22-23, aims to establish new agreements between the countries of the Global North and the Global South and to combat climate change and the global crisis.

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Too late.

Biden Sends Sullivan, Nuland To Turn BRICS War Skeptics Against Russia (ZH)

At a moment President Zelensky has confessed that Ukraine’s counteroffensive which was launched this month has been “slower than desired”, President Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan is mounting a big push to convince “skeptics” from developing nations to become more firmly supportive of Kiev’s war effort. “Joe Biden’s top national security aide will fly to Denmark this weekend at the behest of Kyiv’s government for an unannounced meeting with representatives of several developing countries that have not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Financial Times has reported. A planned Copenhagen meeting is expected to include large but ‘neutral’ countries like Brazil, India, and South Africa – the latter which has of late been accused of actively supporting Moscow.

Sullivan’s initiative came at the request of the Ukrainian government, also as Russia’s economy has been successfully weathering the storm of US/EU-led sanctions, in particular upping its energy exports to BRICS countries. As for the as yet unannounced list of likely attendees in Denmark, FT details based on its sources: “Officials from Turkey and possibly China could also attend. One of the people familiar with the plans said that, following the Ukrainian request, Washington has been encouraging China, India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa to attend. Sullivan will travel with Victoria Nuland, the number-three official at the US state department. A senior EU official will also participate.” BRICS countries have by and large been so quiet about the Russian invasion that they’ve even been accused of outright aiding and abetting Moscow’s offensive.

When discussing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Washington this week, Sullivan told reporters, “We think this actually sends a message to the coalition and Ukraine that we’re working to advocate on their behalf with a broader range of countries than just those that show up around the table either in Nato…or at the G7.” It remains that the major economies of India, Brazil, China and South Africa have persisted in their refusal to cooperate with Western sanctions on Russia. In Beijing’s case, it has actually directed more criticism at both NATO and the United States for “arrogance” and “imperialism”.

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Every day, there are new developments. Step by step. And unstoppable.

The Greater Eurasia Project: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (Pepe Escobar)

On July 4, at a New Delhi summit, Iran will finally become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That will be one of the key decisions of the summit, held via video-conference, along with the signing of a memorandum on the path by Belarus to also become a member state. In parallel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk has confirmed that Iran and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) should sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of 2023. The FTA will expand an interim deal that already lowers customs duties on hundreds of categories of goods. Russia and Iran – two key poles of Eurasia integration – have been getting closer and closer geoeconomically since the west’s sanctions tsunami that followed Russia’s February 2022 Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine.

The EAEU – as much as the SCO and BRICS – is on a roll: FTAs are expected to be clinched, from middle to long term, with Egypt, India, Indonesia, and the UAE. Overchuck admits negotiations may be “very difficult” and “take years,” considering “the interests of all five EAEU member states, their businesses, and their consumers.” Yet despite the obvious complexities, this high-speed rail geoeconomic train has already left the station. In a parallel track, the members of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), during a recent summit in Iran, decided to launch a new cross-border financial messaging system this month as a rival to the western-centric SWIFT. The ACU comprises the Central Banks of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Iran: a healthy mix of West Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

It was the Central Bank of Iran – still under harsh sanctions – that developed the new bank messaging system, so new it’s not yet known by its own acronym. Crucially, the Governor of Russia’s Central Bank took part in the ACU summit as an observer, along with officials from Belarus, which applied for ACU membership two weeks ago. Iranian Central Bank Governor Mohammad Reza Farzin confirmed not only the interest of potential members to join the ACU, but also the drive to set up a basket of currencies for payment of bilateral trade deals. Call it a de-dollarization fast track. As Iran’s first Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber summed it up: “De-dollarization is not a voluntary choice by countries anymore; it is an inevitable response to the weaponization of the dollar.”

Iran is now at the heart of all things multipolar. The recent discovery of a massive lithium field holding roughly 10 percent of the world’s reserves, coupled with the quite possible admission of Iran into the expanded BRICS – or BRICS+ – as early as this year, has bolstered scenarios of an upcoming BRICS currency backed by commodities: gold, oil, gas and – inevitably – lithium. All this frantic Global South-led activity stands in sharp contrast to the sputtering deceleration of the Empire of Sanctions. The Global South has had enough of the US sanctioning and banning whoever, whatever, and whenever they like, in defense of a hazy, arbitrary “rules-based international order.”

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“..the agencies will do everything they can to help Biden or whoever replaces him from the Democratic Party but they will be a lot more careful about how they do it..”

CIA Vet Warns US Intel ‘Will Do Everything’ to Help Dems in 2024 Race (Sp.)

Former Special Counsel John Durham offered his first public testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday regarding the details of his report into the FBI’s handling of allegations of collusion between ex-President Donald Trump and Russia. The day before, Durham testified behind closed doors to the US House Intelligence Committee. While it is not completely clear whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation knew from the outset that dug-up “information on Trump” had been paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, there is “no excuse for their having learned that and, nevertheless, proceeded with the investigation,” former CIA station chief Philip Giraldi told Sputnik. “There might have been personal malice involved in going after Trump, but that has not been clearly demonstrated,” the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest added, referencing the FBI’s investigation into the alleged Trump-Russia “collusion”.

Former Special Counsel John Durham paid his second visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to face the House Judiciary Committee over the details of his May report, released after almost a four-year-long investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation codenamed, Crossfire Hurricane. Durham had found that the agency had been “seriously deficient,” relying on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence,” when probing the 2016 Donald Trump campaign’s alleged ties to “Russia.” “One has to assume that the Bureau felt it had a great deal invested in maintaining Democratic Party control of the presidency and that there were concerns that Trump would upset the arrangements made under [Barack] Obama,” Giraldi said.

The Durham report had also exposed the Democratic establishment’s anti-Trump narrative, and the role of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in spawning and then pushing the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. During his probe, the special counsel charged and convicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to doctoring an email to state that Trump aide Carter Page had never been a CIA asset (which was not true) in order to push ahead with surveilling the former Trump campaign adviser. Durham also brought charges against Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and Brookings Institution scholar Igor Danchenko for lying to the FBI. Danchenko has served as the main ‘subsource’ for ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the now infamous Steele dossier. It had been funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through the law firm Perkins Coie, which Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann worked for at the time.

[..] Ahead of John Durham’s testimony on June 21, Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) underscored in his opening statement that the hearing was tasked to provide more “detail and add more color” to the findings of the May report. “Seven years of attacking Trump is scary enough… What’s more frightening is that any one of us could be next,” Jordan emphasized. A number of Republicans echoed John Durham’s calls for reforming the FBI, underscoring that the agency, had become “politicized” and “weaponized”, and had carried out a “politically motivated” investigation of Donald Trump. Looking ahead at the next election cycle, where both Biden and Trump are gearing up to vie for another Oval Office stint, Philip Giraldi concluded: “For 2024, I expect that the agencies will do everything they can to help Biden or whoever replaces him from the Democratic Party but they will be a lot more careful about how they do it than they were in 2020.”

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I see the word bombshell too much.

New Bombshell Evidence Against Bidens, DOJ, AG Garland (ZH)

Several bombshells dropped by two IRS whistleblowers on Thursday reveal, among other things, that Joe Biden’s DOJ buried evidence of Hunter Biden’s tax crimes – and stopped US Attorney David Weiss from bringing charges against Hunter in two different jurisdictions last year. According to Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), Weiss sought to be appointed as a special counsel in the case last year but was denied as well. What’s more, the IRS sought felony charges against Hunter, send their recommendations to the Biden DOJ, and they ‘came out as two misdemeanors,’ Byron York tweets. According to the whistleblowers, one of whom is Gary Shipley – who came forward weeks ago to reveal his identity, the IRS was notified of potential evidence “in the guest house of former Vice President Biden,” but were rebuffed by US Attorney Lesley Wolf, who said there was “no way,” as search warrant “would ever get approved.”

“Whistleblowers describe how the Biden Justice Department intervened and overstepped in a campaign to protect the son of Joe Biden by delaying, divulging, and denying an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes,” said Smith in a statement. “The testimony shows tactics used by the Justice Department to delay the investigation long enough to reach the statute of limitations, evidence they divulged sensitive actions by the investigative team to Biden’s attorneys, and denied requests by the U.S. Attorney to bring charges against Biden.” During seven hours of testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, Shipley and the other whistleblower’s testimony implicates both AG Merrick Garland and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel for lying to Congress about political interference in the Biden probe.

“Whistleblower One’s story was corroborated by Whistleblower Two,” said Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK). “One individual came forward and laid out the full case of what’s going on. The second individual, through his attorney, asked Ways and Means to contact him and ask for testimony. So we didn’t seek these, they sought us,” added Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC).

As Techno Fog notes via The Reactionary; “With the rejection from the DC US Attorney, the team sought the approval to bring tax charges for years 2016-2019 in the Central District of California. Shapley concluded that “the Central District of California declined to allow charges to be brought there.” The rejection to bring charges in DC and California stands in stark contrast to the testimony of Attorney General Garland, who in March of 2023 stated that US Attorney Weiss had the full authority to “bring cases in other jurisdictions.” Garland also said that he personally would ensure that Weiss could “carry out his investigation and that he [would] be able to run it.” Both those statements now appear to be false. (Your humble author thinks the Republicans knew Garland was making misrepresentations at the time.)”

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“..you have to be impressed with the fact that they just continue to shove this nonsense in our face knowing that they could get away with it.”

US Justice is Blind – Unless Your Name is Hunter Biden (Tweedie)

US President Joe Biden’s son was brazenly let off scot-free in a “sweetheart deal,” say two media commentators. Hunter Biden had been under investigation by the FBI for soliciting millions in bribes from foreign businesspeople in return for influence over the then-vice president. That includes an alleged $5 million from Mykola Zlochevsky, co-owner of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings which employed Hunter as a company director and which was investigated for corruption by Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin until Joe Biden pressured Kiev to sack him. Hunter is also suspected of owning a handgun unlawfully, which reportedly ended up being thrown in a dumpster. Furthermore, a trove of photos on his abandoned “Laptop from Hell” appeared to show him using crack cocaine and sleeping with underage prostitutes.

But on Tuesday, it was reported that he had struck a deal with prosecutors — pending approval by a federal judge — to plead guilty to tax evasion and illegal possession of a firearm in return for avoiding jail time. Former US diplomat Jim Jatras told Sputnik that Hunter Biden’s plea bargain was a “sweetheart deal.” “I don’t know how a plea on two charges automatically extends to, say ‘Oh, yeah, and all that other stuff. We’re going to give you a guarantee that there will be no charges,'” he said. The foreign policy expert said that was “an outrageous miscarriage of justice.” “I know the rich and powerful and the politically well-connected and treated differently from everybody else, but this is really just unprecedented,” Jatras stressed. The pundit said the plea bargain deal would play into the hands of the Republican Party.

“It’s what Republicans love best. They could win and jump up and down and scream in outrage without actually having to do anything,” Jatras said. “It completely absolves them of any responsibility to actually see that justice is done.” Journalist Jim Hoft told Sputnik that he was not surprised that the president’s wayward son got off scot-free. “After what we’ve seen the past few years, not really,” he said. “But it is quite galling. And you have to be impressed with the fact that they just continue to shove this nonsense in our face knowing that they could get away with it.” The editor said Hunter Biden was “one of the most crooked people in the country.” “And he gets a pass and a little slap on the wrist, if that,” Hoft observed. “It’s really it’s stunning what’s happening to our country. We’re all witnessing it.”

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“Peter Hotez – who he says will “never debate Bobby Kennedy Jr., but it doesn’t matter. Kennedy has already won.”

Tucker Calls Out ‘Media Hysteria Typhoon’ Over RFK Jr. (ZH)

In his latest episode, Tucker Carlson discussed the media’s absolute hatred for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was immediately attacked by the press upon his announcement that he would run against President Joe Biden in 2024. “CBS News viewers likely were appalled in its coverage of Kennedy’s announcement. CBS denounced the candidate’s views as ‘misleading’ and ‘dangerous,'” noted Carlson, adding “The LA Times called him a threat to democracy.” “At the offices of National Public Radio in Washington, a full-blown category-5 hysteria typhoon broke out. NPR devoted an entire segment to savaging Kennedy – not just as a candidate, but as a human being,” Carlson continued. “NPR described him as someone who, for his own perverse reasons, has made “debunked and false and misleading claims that undermine trust in vaccines.

And who, in his spare time, provides moral support to crazed extremists who “rally under the banner of what they call liberty, or freedom.”” “People Magazine didn’t even bother to report a single word of anything Kennedy said!” Carlson exclaimed, “and instead wrote an entire story about his relatives hate him.” “Kennedy Jr. faced censorship on Instagram and YouTube for expressing his views,” he continued, adding that RFK Jr. raised questions about “the rise in allergies, asthma, autism, and other conditions related to vaccines,” while “the media and medical establishment vilified Kennedy Jr. for his views, calling him a lunatic, Nazi, and extremist supporter.”


Carlson then goes into a defense of Kennedy’s right to raise questions over vaccines, and the response one gets for doing so. “Bobby Kennedy won’t stop asking, and that’s why they hate him,” Carlson said. Carlson then went after debate-dodging doctor, Peter Hotez – who he says will “never debate Bobby Kennedy Jr., but it doesn’t matter. Kennedy has already won.” “Hotez attacked Kennedy Jr. and called for vaccine mandates, accusing those who disagree of being white nationalists and Russian agents,” said Carlson, who then noted how Hotez chickened out of a debate with RFK Jr.

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Wow art

 

 


This breathtaking photo by Jessica Blacklow shows a dozen dolphins spotted enjoying a remarkable synchronised surf off the coast of Sydney

 

 

Evil

 

 

Cobra moth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671853300835143681

 

 

Soggy bottom

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 282023
 


Vincent van Gogh The garden of the asylum at Saint-Rémy 1889

 

No Truce With the Heartland (Luongo)
Eurasian Heartland Rises to Challenge the West (Pepe Escobar)
After Bakhmut (Douglas Macgregor)
Counteroffensive Can Start At Any Moment – Ukrainian Official (RT)
Ukraine Demands German Missiles Capable Of Striking Moscow (RT)
Africa Foresees End Of Unipolar World – Russian Envoy (RT)
Credit Rating Agency Downgrades US (RT)
Debt Ceiling Deal Between White House And GOP Reached In Principle (ZH)
EU Sanctions Talks Hit Roadblock – Politico (RT)
China Rebuffing All Contact With US Military: Pentagon (ZH)
John Durham and the Burying of American History (Patrick Lawrence)
Roger Waters Under Criminal Probe Over Anti-Nazi Satire (RT)
Fisher-Price Introduces ‘My First Gender Transition’ Playset (BBee)

 

 


The winner from the Texas Sand Sculpture Festival.

 

 

Eli Crane

 

 

Anthony Bourdain

 

 

Rogan Smith

 

 

 

 

Veritas

 

 

Carrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps it’s time to see Mackinder from a Chinese perspective. In 1904 that may not have seemed important, but today?!

No Truce With the Heartland (Luongo)

Ukraine has always represented the apotheosis of the Neocon/Neoliberal world order. As Crooke points out, they are facing a very unpleasant choice: “The war is now, in this way, being projected as a binary choice: ‘End the war’ versus ‘Win the war’. Europe is tergiversating –standing at the cross-roads; hesitantly starting down one road, only to reverse, and indecisively take a few cautious steps down the other. The EU will both train Ukrainians to fly F-16s; and yet is coy about providing the planes. It smacks of tokenism; but tokenism is often the father to mission-creep.” Indeed it is. Because of the closed-mindedness of those in power in the West — their biases, racism, and arrogance — they will not stop in Ukraine until they are forced to by circumstances.


Those circumstances will likely be dictated by the revamped Russian military now configured to fight a longer and different kind of war than the one that began in February 2022. Every day we see signs that Russia’s military-industrial capacity is increasing rapidly while the EU languishes. The US is rapidly trying to bring back onshore manufacturing lost to the ZIRP and Greenspan Eras, but this is a slow and painful process especially since it has run out of room on the balance sheet to deficit spend to accelerate things. “Biden” and his merry band of vandals in D.C. are more than happy to burn the place to the ground more thoroughly than the British did in the War of 1812 if they can’t get their way on unlimited taxing and spending.

So, here we are. Bakhmut has fallen. The Ukrainian counter-offensive is non-existent. If anything it was already absorbed by Putin and Prigozhin. Zelenskyy will now get F-16s to attack Crimea and use that as some moral high ground for justifying NATO’s official involvement after Russia’s inevitable counter-attack. Then the air will be thick with the smell of thermobarics in the morning. But, regardless of any of that, there will be no truce in the Heartland. Russia will not back down. China will back them to the end, as will OPEC+ and the rest of Central Asia. But they will not escalate one inch further than they need to. Allowing the West to keep thinking they can win is the ultimate form of grinding out a superior opponent.


[..] While the West fights desperately to stave off defeat of the Heartland, it’s clear the rest of the World Island is making plans to leave them behind. At some point there are simply too many people and too much pressure to keep pushing the world towards a conclusion it doesn’t want to go. And that’s when everything changes, literally overnight. Until then, it will be another day, another escalation, another pointless political knife fight and thousands of people dying needlessly. When he published that paper in 1904 all Mackinder did was formalize British imperial thinking into an easily-digested thesis for morons. Today we are being gaslit by these morons into believing our lives depend on fighting for ‘freedom’ in central Ukraine. It was written as the British empire’s grip on power was beginning to wane. World War I would put the capper on that.

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More heartland. BRICS + Central Asia.

Eurasian Heartland Rises to Challenge the West (Pepe Escobar)

President Xi Jinping telling President Putin at the end of their summit last March in Moscow that we’re now facing “great changes not seen in a century” directly applies to the new spirit reigning across the Heartland. Cue to the China-Central Asia summit last week in Xian, the former imperial capital, where Xi solidified the expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from Western China in Xinjiang to its western neighbors and then all the way to Iran, Turkey and Eastern Europe. Xi in Xian particularly stressed the complementing aspects between BRI and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), once again showing that all five Central Asian “stans”, acting together, should counter-act the proverbial external interference via “terrorism, separatism and extremism”.

The message was stark: these hybrid war strategies are all integrated with the attempt by the Hegemon to continue fostering serial color revolutions. The purveyors of the “rules-based international order”, Xi implied, will go no holds barred to prevent ongoing Heartland integration. The usual suspects in fact are already spinning that Central Asia is falling into a potential trap, fully captured by Beijing. Yet this is something Kazakhstan’s “multi-vector diplomacy”, coined way back in the Nazarbayev years, would never allow. What Beijing is developing, instead, is an integrated approach via a C+C5 secretariat with no less than 19 separate channels of communication. The heart of the matter is to turbo-charge Heartland connectivity via the BRI’s Middle Corridor.

And that, crucially, includes technology transfer. As it stands, there are dozens of industrial transfer programs with Kazakhstan, a dozen in Uzbekistan, and several in discussion with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. These are extolled by Beijing as part of “harmonious Silk Roads”. Xi himself, as a post-modern pilgrim, detailed the connectivity in his keynote speech in Xian: “The China-Kyrgystan-Uzbekistan highway that runs across the Tian shan Mountains, the China-Tajikistan expressway that defies the Pamir Plateau, and the China-Kazakhstan crude oil pipeline and the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline that traverse the vast desert – they are the present-day Silk Road.”

[..] Moscow is very much aware of the high stakes. For instance, for a year and a half virtually every month a Russian delegation arrives in Tajikistan to implement, in practice, the “pivot to the East”, developing projects in agriculture, health care, education, science and tourism. Central Asia should have a leading role in BRICS+ expansion – something supported by both BRICS leaders Russia and China. The idea of a BRICS + Central Asia is being seriously floated from Tashkent to Almaty. That would imply establishing a strategic continuum from Russia and China to Central Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Africa and Latin America – spanning the logistics of connectivity trade, energy, manufacture production, investment, technological breakthroughs and cultural interaction.

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“Zelensky’s supporters no longer believe in the myth of Ukrainian victory..”

After Bakhmut (Douglas Macgregor)

Until the fighting begins, national military strategy developed in peacetime shapes thinking about warfare and its objectives. Then the fighting creates a new logic of its own. Strategy is adjusted. Objectives change. The battle for Bakhmut illustrates this point very well. When General Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin, commander of Russian aerospace forces, assumed command of the Russian military in the Ukrainian theater last year, President Vladimir Putin and his senior military advisors concluded that their original assumptions about the war were wrong. Washington had proved incurably hostile to Moscow’s offers to negotiate, and the ground force Moscow had committed to compel Kiev to negotiate had proved too small. Surovikin was given wide latitude to streamline command relationships and reorganize the theater.

Most importantly, Surovikin was also given the freedom of action to implement a defensive strategy that maximized the use of stand-off attack or strike systems while Russian ground forces expanded in size and striking power. The Bakhmut “Meatgrinder” was the result. When it became clear that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and his government regarded Bakhmut as a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to Russian military power, Surovikin turned Bakhmut into the graveyard of Ukrainian military power. From the fall of 2022 onward, Surovikin exploited Zalenskiy’s obsession with Bakhmut to engage in a bloody tug-of-war for control of the city. As a result, thousands of Ukrainian soldiers died in Bakhmut and many more were wounded. Surovkin’s performance is reminiscent of another Russian military officer: General Aleksei Antonov.

As the first deputy chief of the Soviet general staff, Surovikin was, in Western parlance, the director of strategic planning. When Stalin demanded a new summer offensive in a May 1943 meeting, Antonov, the son and grandson of imperial Russian army officers, argued for a defensive strategy. Antonov insisted that Hitler, if allowed, would inevitably attack the Soviet defenses in the Kursk salient and waste German resources doing so. Stalin, like Hitler, believed that wars were won with offensive action, not defensive operations. Stalin was unmoved by Soviet losses. Antonov presented his arguments for the defensive strategy in a climate of fear, knowing that contradicting Stalin could cost him his life. To the surprise of Marshals Aleksandr Vasilevsky and Georgy Zhukov, who were present at the meeting, Stalin relented and approved Antonov’s operational concept. The rest, as historians say, is history.

Macgregor

If President Putin and his senior military leaders wanted outside evidence for Surovikin’s strategic success in Bakhmut, a Western admission appears to provide it: Washington and her European allies seem to think that a frozen conflict—in which fighting pauses but neither side is victorious, nor does either side agree that the war is officially over—could be the most politically palatable long-term outcome for NATO. In other words, Zelensky’s supporters no longer believe in the myth of Ukrainian victory. The question on everyone’s mind is, what’s next? In Washington, conventional wisdom dictates that Ukrainian forces launch a counteroffensive to retake Southern Ukraine. Of course, conventional wisdom is frequently high on convention and low on wisdom.

On the assumption that Ukraine’s black earth will dry sufficiently to support ground maneuver forces before mid-June, Ukrainian forces will strike Russian defenses on multiple axes and win back control of Southern Ukraine in late May or June. Roughly 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers training in Great Britain, Germany, and other NATO member states are expected to return to Ukraine and provide the foundation for the Ukrainian counterattack force. General Valery Gerasimov, who now commands the Russian forces in the Ukrainian theater, knows what to expect, and he is undoubtedly preparing for the Ukrainian offensive. The partial mobilization of Russian forces means that Russian ground forces are now much larger than they have been since the mid-1980s.

Given the paucity of ammunition available to adequately supply one operational axis, it seems unlikely that a Ukrainian offensive involving two or more axes could succeed in penetrating Russian defenses. Persistent overhead surveillance makes it nearly impossible for Ukrainian forces to move through the twenty- to twenty-five-kilometer security zone and close with Russian forces before Ukrainian formations take significant losses. Once Ukraine’s offensive resources are exhausted Russia will likely take the offense. There is no incentive to delay Russian offensive operations. As Ukrainian forces repeatedly demonstrate, paralysis is always temporary. Infrastructure and equipment are repaired. Manpower is conscripted to rebuild destroyed formations. If Russia is to achieve its aim of demilitarizing Ukraine, Gerasimov surely knows he must still close with and complete the destruction of the Ukrainian ground forces that remain.

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Repeat every day.

Counteroffensive Can Start At Any Moment – Ukrainian Official (RT)

Ukrainian forces are “ready” to launch their much-touted counteroffensive, the head of the National Security and Defense Council told the BBC in an interview on Saturday. Aleksey Danilov said the military top brass are now waiting for the right moment to launch the attack. “It could happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week,” Danilov answered when pressed about a potential start of the counteroffensive, which Kiev has been talking about for months. A major assault was initially expected to start in spring or even late winter, but Kiev repeatedly postponed it, citing adverse weather conditions and the need to obtain all necessary weapons and equipment from western backers. Danilov said it would have been “weird” for him to reveal the exact date, as “that cannot be done.”

He described the planned attack as a “historic opportunity” that his nation “cannot lose” if it wants to become a “big European country.” “We understand that we have no right to make a mistake,” he added. In April, The New York Times reported that Ukraine’s Western supporters might start to pressure Kiev into launching talks with Moscow should the much-anticipated offensive fail to yield any major gains. Kiev has been sending mixed signals on the counteroffensive. Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak, told Italy’s Rai TV channel that it “has been going on for several days”. However, on Thursday, another presidential advisor, Igor Zhovkva, contradicted that statement, saying Ukrainian forces were still preparing for the operation.

Danilov denied the offensive had already begun, claiming that Ukrainian strikes against Russian “control centers” and “military equipment” were just routine operations. Danilov’s remarks came as Russia outlined its conditions for ending the conflict with Ukraine. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin told TASS on Saturday that Kiev should abandon the idea of joining NATO and the EU, guarantee the rights of minorities, and declare Russian a state language. Ukraine must also recognize the “new territorial realities,” the high-ranking diplomat said, referring to four former Ukrainian territories that joined Russia following referendums in autumn 2022, as well as Crimea, which reunited with Russia in 2014 following another referendum. However, Danilov stated earlier in May that there could be no peace talks “on Russia’s terms.”

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Does Germany wish to be a target?

Ukraine Demands German Missiles Capable Of Striking Moscow (RT)

Ukraine has asked Berlin to provide it with long-range air-launched missiles that could potentially reach Moscow, a spokesperson for Germany’s Defense Ministry confirmed on Saturday. On Friday, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported, citing two unnamed “insiders” within the German military, that Ukraine “urgently wants” Swedish-German Taurus missiles. These munitions could be allegedly placed on US-made F-16 fighters, which are now being considered for delivery to Kiev by several Western countries. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is said to have asked for the missiles during his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin earlier this month.

For now, it is unclear whether Berlin, which earlier said it did not have any F-16s to send to Kiev, will grant this request. The report said the demand presents Berlin with a dilemma, as some in the German government doubt whether Ukraine would sensibly use such a weapon – which can travel 500km (310 miles) and is armed with a 500kg warhead. As Kiev may use the Taurus to strike Moscow from the border, “some fear that in a situation of dire need, Kiev could allow the war to escalate uncontrollably,” the paper added. According to the outlet, another problem is that the Taurus needs extremely precise and up-to-date information to stage attacks, raising questions as to whether Berlin would be willing to share such data with Kiev.

Earlier this month, the UK decided to supply Ukraine with Storm Shadow missiles with a range of over 250km (155 miles), with Moscow’s Foreign Ministry condemning the move as another step towards a “serious escalation.” Later, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Kiev used the weapon to conduct a strike on civilians in the Donbass city of Lugansk, resulting in six children injured, according to local authorities. Even without long-range missiles, earlier this month Kiev unsuccessfully attempted to conduct a strike on the Kremlin using two drones, which according to Moscow was an attempt to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kiev has denied any involvement, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claiming that “we fight on our territory” and “we don’t have… enough weapons for this.”

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“..the aggressive imposition of Western ‘new values’ causes growing rejection there and only brings Russia and African countries closer together.”

Africa Foresees End Of Unipolar World – Russian Envoy (RT)

The West’s attempts to pressure Africa to turn on Russia have failed as people on the continent realize the true nature of the conflict in Ukraine and see that the unipolar world order is coming to an end, according to the head of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum. Oleg Ozerov, who is also Russia’s ambassador-at-large, told Newsweek on Friday that the attendance of 40 out of 54 nations of the continent at the Russia-Africa Interparliamentary Conference had “shattered the myth of Russia’s alleged isolation due to the events in Ukraine, persistently promoted in the West.” “People in Africa understand very well that the former Soviet republic has turned into an arena of confrontation between the new and the old world paradigms, between different visions of the future, not just a trivial feud between neighbors,” he said.

According to the diplomat, the well-balanced and neutral approach towards “Russia’s confrontation with the West” by Africa, China, India and Latin American nations “confirms once again that the transition to… multipolar architecture is irreversible.” Those countries clearly understand that the time for “unipolar world-order is running out,” he added. What Africa needs now is promotion of local solutions and national interests, as well as deliverance “from the rigid constraints of globalism promoted by neo-liberalist ideologists,” Ozerov said. “African countries count on Russia’s support” in achieving those goals, he stated. Moscow is backing efforts to complete the decolonization process in a number of African countries, while also working to put together a broad anti-terrorist front on the continent “free from any hidden agenda or double standards,” the diplomat continued.

“The US and EU want Africa to play the role of a mere supplier of raw materials to the ‘civilized world,’” Ozerov said. But Russia has a different approach as its “primary interest is to assist the development of Africa’s domestic energy and electricity markets, where we have considerable expertise, especially as regards nuclear energy,” he explained. Moscow has “no vested interests, such as to preserve its zone of influence or aggressively guard markets from any ‘outsiders,’” and Africans see that, the envoy said. And that’s the reason why “the unprecedented pressure by the West on Russia’s partners in Africa is not that effective in practice.” Ozerov said that, during his trips to the continent, it became obvious to him that “the aggressive imposition of Western ‘new values’ causes growing rejection there and only brings Russia and African countries closer together.” Russia is due to host a high-level Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg in July, with the envoy saying that recent developments indicate that the event is going to be “a success.”

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What’s the influence on Treasury purchases?

Credit Rating Agency Downgrades US (RT)

China Chengxin International Credit Rating (CCXI) slashed its sovereign credit score for the US by one notch earlier this week, becoming the first among top rating firms to make the move. The leading Chinese agency, a joint venture between Beijing Zhixiang Information Management Consulting and US ratings giant Moody’s, lowered the US to AAg+ from AAAg, having placed it on review for a further downgrade, according to a statement released on Thursday. “The intensification of political divisions between the two parties in the United States has increased the difficulty of resolving the debt-ceiling issue,” the statement reads.

“Even if a consensus is reached, the brinkmanship would pose uncertainty to the US government’s policy path and dampen economic confidence, which could trigger further volatility in the US politics and economy,” the agency added. According to CCXI, US debt sustainability is currently being seriously challenged, with the highest level of borrowing among the previously AAAg-rated nations, while the issue is being complicated by hawkish policies of the US Federal Reserve. The regulator has hiked the key interest rate several times over the past few months, raising the risk of asset depreciation on the balance sheets of many financial institutions. The credit rating agency Fitch previously put the US on watch for a potential downgrade, having warned that the nation could soon lose its AAA score due to an inability to pay its bills, within a matter of days.

Meanwhile, Moody’s said a mid-June interest payment on Treasuries will be critical for maintaining its top AAA grade. Republicans and Democrats have struggled to reach an agreement to increase the debt ceiling for weeks, prompting warnings from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the US is “highly likely” to default if Congress does not act soon. The move would be a first in American history, as the government has never defaulted on its debt, which has swelled to more than $31 trillion. Late on Friday, Yellen extended the deadline for a potentially devastating default, saying the government has just a few more days to argue over the debt ceiling before it runs out of cash.

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“The debt ceiling deal “cuts” spending by 0.2% of GDP or about $50 billion. Is that good enough?”

“Of the $80 billion Democrats appropriated to the IRS over ten years, the “deal” rescinds $1.9 billion. You read that right. That’s the kind of “get” that’s so good McCarthy agreed to increase the debt ceiling $4 trillion.”

Debt Ceiling Deal Between White House And GOP Reached In Principle (ZH)

The White House and GOP negotiators have reached an agreement in principle to raise the US debt ceiling, averting a default. The deal raises the debt limit and keeps non-defense spending ‘near flat’ for two years, while cutting and capping various federal programs, the NY Times reports. After 2025, however, there will be no budget caps. It was structured with the aim of enticing votes from both parties, though it would most likely draw the ire not only of conservative Republicans but also Democrats furious at being asked to vote for cuts they oppose with the threat of default looming. If the progressives or the Freedom Caucus don’t blow it up, the plan has a chance of Congressional passage before June 5, the date Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned any deal must be finalized by in order to avoid hitting the “X-date”, when the Treasury can no longer meet its obligations.


“After weeks of negotiations, we have come to an agreement in principle,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, adding that there are “historic reductions in spending” and “consequential reforms.” “There are no new taxes, no new government programs,” McCarthy continued, adding that they would be spending tonight writing the agreement. McCarthy expects a vote on Wednesday. In the House, Republicans hold a narrow majority – meaning unhappy right-wing lawmakers who have demanded significantly larger budget cuts in exchange for raising the ceiling may hold it hostage (lookin’ at you Gaetz). That said, McCarthy can at least say he tried – inking in principle a compromise that would effectively freeze federal spending that had been slated to expand.

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“European diplomats are hesitant to openly name and shame those who stall the negotiations, allegedly out of fear that more EU countries suspected of facilitating sanctions-evasion could also rebel.”

EU Sanctions Talks Hit Roadblock – Politico (RT)

The negotiations over the European Union’s 11th package of sanctions against Russia have been stalled amid opposition from Athens and Budapest, who demand their companies be removed from the Kiev-compiled list of “war sponsors,” according to Politico. Two rounds of talks in Brussels this week ended with no deal in sight, as there was “no pressure” to discuss smaller issues until crucial objections by the member states are addressed, the publication reported on Saturday citing multiple anonymous diplomatic sources. The main roadblock is said to be Kiev’s notorious list of “sanctions-evaders” and “international sponsors of war,” which features multiple European companies because they maintained business ties with Russia.

Compiled by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP), the list includes such giants as German wholesaler Metro, French retailer Auchan, Italian cement company Buzzi Unicem and Austrian banking group Raiffeisen, among others. Hungary was the only EU state to voice objections during a foreign ministers’ meeting on Monday, insisting that Kiev’s baseless accusations against its leading financial institution OTP Bank could be formalized with the bloc’s next round of sanctions. On Wednesday, however, Greece stepped into the forefront of the discussion, saying that allegations of sanction circumvention could be “very damaging” to its economy as well.

“Greece reiterated that, should there be concrete evidence of violation of sanctions, these should be brought to the attention of the member states concerned, at the technical level, so that this be adequately investigated and then due action will be taken,” an unnamed EU diplomat told the publication. Politico claimed that the Ukrainian list and the next sanctions package are “not linked” and the duo was simply holding the talks hostage as “political leverage.” However, European diplomats are hesitant to openly name and shame those who stall the negotiations, allegedly out of fear that more EU countries suspected of facilitating sanctions-evasion could also rebel. In the meantime, two sources said that the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, acknowledged the problem and “it is now up to him to work with the Ukrainians on a solution.”

Budapest has taken a neutral stance in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, as it refused to provide military aid to Ukraine or allow Western aid to pass through its territory. Although Hungary had largely taken part in the existing EU sanctions against Russia, it has repeatedly criticized the restrictions and opposed those that might affect its own economy, including its conventional and nuclear energy sectors. Athens also defied the bloc’s efforts to cut all economic ties with Moscow, with imports of Russian goods by Greece more than doubling to a record €9.33 billion ($10 billion) last year. The trade balance between the two countries in 2022 was negative, however, with the value of Greek exports to Russia last year decreasing to €156.4 million from €206.6 million in 2021.

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They’re arming Taiwan. So what is there to talk about?

China Rebuffing All Contact With US Military: Pentagon (ZH)

Top Pentagon officials have once again said that China is ignoring and rebuffing the US military’s attempts to establish and open line of communication, which is crucial to avoiding inadvertent conflict in regions such as in the South China Sea where both naval powers operate. “Open communication channels between the US and China are important in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Affairs Ely Ratner said on Thursday,” regional media reports. “The Pentagon’s attempts to reach out to China’s military in recent months have been ignored or rebuffed,” Ratner told an audience at the DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He sought to stress that the Pentagon “believes in the importance of open lines of communication with the PRC [People’s Republic of China] and we have sought to build out those open lines of communication. Unfortunately… we’ve had a lot of difficulty when we have proposed phone calls, meetings, dialogues.” “The US and Department of Defense have had an outstretched hand on this question of military to military engagement, but we have yet to have consistently willing partners,” Ratner emphasized further. Earlier this month there was hope that US-China dialogue would be back on track following the meeting between National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and China’s Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi in Vienna on May 10-11.

That meeting was generally reported and regarded as positive, given that before that all such high level diplomatic contacts had been off ever since the ‘spy balloon’ shootdown incident over the American east coast in early February. But even if the rival militaries are struggling to keep open communications, Washington and Beijing are pushing forward with trade talks: “U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo sat down with her Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao in Washington D.C. on Thursday to discuss “concerns” surrounding bilateral trade. Marking the first cabinet-level exchange between the two countries in months, the U.S. talked about American companies operating in China. According to a readout by the Commerce Department, “The two had candid and substantive discussions on issues relating to the U.S.-China commercial relationship, including the overall environment in both countries for trade and investment and areas for potential cooperation.”

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“..part of the effort to bury the Russiagate hoax the way the Warren Commission buried the facts of the Kennedy assassination for many years.”

John Durham and the Burying of American History (Patrick Lawrence)

I appreciate the Durham Report for the chronology of events it indicates. This is now easier to follow than it has been previously. In simple terms, Clinton authorized an operation to frame Trump within days of the leak of emails from Democratic Party servers in July 2016. The FBI’s leadership acted quickly to set this operation in motion. It first considered using the offhand remarks of George Papadopoulos, a minor Trump campaign volunteer, to obtain surveillance warrants against various of Trump’s advisers. When that proved too flimsy, the agency’s top officials turned to the Steele Dossier. The agency knew it was junk, but they punched it up sufficiently to get the warrants needed to proceed against Trump and his people. This was Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s anti–Trump op at the heart of the Russiagate hoax.

“The truth is, we had almost all of the information a long time ago. What we didn’t have was the certification of the information by a government authority, by a legal authority,” Walter Kirn remarks in America This Week. “I think Durham did a job of showing reach to the highest levels of the government. Apparently everyone was briefed on the reality of this thing early on, very early on. All the highest authorities knew it was bullshit.” Perfectly fair comment, an astute summation. Then Kirn continues in a very curious way: “In a way, I guess it became necessary that the system vindicates itself by finding that which could not be found and asserting that which could not be proved, to the point that the moment where it mattered passed away. President Trump’s no longer president. All of the harms that were done by this thing have been done. They changed our history, they changed our media. They changed our sense of information and why it’s important.”

Kirn is right to suggest that “the system” appears to figure that a report such as Durham’s can now be released because it is all water under the bridge—a little in the way the U.S. will acknowledge one or another of its coup operations long after the facts have ceased to matter. Similarly, it looks as if Garland found this an opportune moment to send the Durham Report to Capitol Hill, effectively to remove the entire Russiagate affair from the common American consciousness. With a presidential election 18 months away, Biden’s attorney-general must dispose of Russiagate and Durham’s probe as hastily and as best he can.

But I am not with Kirn when he asserts all the harm has been done. No, it has not. Russiagate changed history all right. And the destruction of this history is to my mind the greatest harm of all. This is the very oddest thing about the Durham Report: It purports to rip off the veil shielding the plot against Donald Trump from view, but it shapes up after a few days’ consideration as part of the effort to bury the Russiagate hoax the way the Warren Commission buried the facts of the Kennedy assassination for many years.

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He’s been doing it for 50 years.

Roger Waters Under Criminal Probe Over Anti-Nazi Satire (RT)

German police have launched a criminal investigation into English rock legend and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters on suspicion of glorifying Nazism during two concerts in Berlin. The musician has insisted the performance was in opposition to fascism. On Friday, in a statement quoted by several media outlets, the Berlin police said that Waters was suspected of inciting hatred, and that the probe was centered on his performances on May 17 and 18 in the German capital. In footage posted on social media, the musician can be seen wearing a leather trench coat resembling a Nazi uniform with two crossed hammers and a red armband. He then proceeds to take a mock gun and shoot into the crowd.

“The context of the clothing worn is deemed capable of approving, glorifying or justifying the violent and arbitrary rule of the Nazi regime in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims and thereby disrupts public peace,” the police said. Nazi-related symbols are outlawed in Germany, with an exception being made for educational or artistic purposes. Waters’ performance was apparently in reference to the film “the Wall,” an adaptation of the eponymous 1979 Pink Floyd album. The rock star appears as the album’s protagonist who hallucinates being a fascist dictator addressing a Nazi rally. Waters’ concerts also featured a pig-shaped balloon floating in the air, with a logo of the Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems and the Star of David.

The show also involved showing the names of people fading in on the screen, including Anne Frank, a Jewish diarist who died in a Nazi concentration camp, and Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed while covering an Israeli military operation in May 2022. The Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon suggested that Waters wanted to compare Israel to the Nazis, describing the musician as “one of the biggest Jew haters of our time.” On Friday, the musician addressed the controversy, writing on Twitter that he had become a target of “bad faith attacks” from those who disagreed with his political views. “The elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice and bigotry in all its forms”, he said, adding that he had spent his entire life speaking out “against authoritarianism and oppression.”

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“Therapist doll that, when squeezed, whispers, “Don’t tell your parents.”

Fisher-Price Introduces ‘My First Gender Transition’ Playset (BBee)

In a show of solidarity with a vocal minority of gender activists who don’t purchase their products, Fisher-Price introduced the “My First Gender Transition” playset for kids ages 2 to 9. “The My First Gender Transition playset helps your child have a fun time playing pretend while in no way being inculcated with an emotionally destructive ideology,” said Product Manager Murthina Spillwig who may soon be updating her resumé. “Parents in our focus groups were excited to force their kids to pretend to enjoy the playset for Instagram.” The playset is bursting with a plethora of features to confuse your toddler, including:

-My First Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Analogue puberty-blocking toy syringe
-Top Surgery For Tykes toy surgical table
-Barnyard and jungle-themed breast binders and packing underwear
-Therapist doll that, when squeezed, whispers, “Don’t tell your parents.”
-A lifesize poster of inspiring role model Dr. Rachel Levine
In anticipation of the success of the gender-affirming playset, Fisher-Price has announced they will soon be releasing the “My First Detransition” playset.

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Perfect job

 

 

Bukele

 

 

Aweeeee

 

 

Iguana
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662395821977894916

 

 

 

 

Deactivate a cat

 

 

 

 

Sea slug
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662378744160440321

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 042023
 


John French Sloan McSorley’s Bar 1912

 

Trump Hit With 34 Felony Counts – No Handcuffs, No Mug Shot, No Jail Cell (GP)
Trump Lawyers Believe Manhattan Judge Will Impose A Gag Order On Monday (DM)
Trump’s Legal “Super Tuesday” (Turley)
How’s That War Going? (Kunstler)
Saudi Arabia Makes Its Eurasian Shift (Cradle)
More Countries May Join Oil Production Cut – Official (RT)
French Streets and American Sofas (Patrick Lawrence)
Why The Battle For Bakhmut May Decide The Ukraine Conflict (Poletaev)
Kiev, Western Puppeteers Do Everything To Prolong Conflict – Lavrov (TASS)
West ‘Not So Eager To Find Out’ Who Bombed Nord Stream – WaPo (RT)
EU Unfriendly To Russia – Lavrov (TASS)
Lavrov Ready To Meet Blinken At UN Headquarters (TASS)
“Türkiye Only NATO Country That Can Hold Discussions With Russia” (RT)
Stoltenberg Announces Finland’s NATO Accession Date Is Today (RT)
You Know (Denninger)

 

 

Update on the bombing in St. Petersburg:
– The package was not allowed in by security
– The bomber, Darja started talking to Vladlen from her seat during the event
– She said “I brought you a figurine as present”
– He asked “Where is it?”
– She said “They said it may be a bomb, so it’s at the entrance with the security”
– He asked for it to be brought forward
-> Couple of minutes later he was dead and dozens of people injured.

 

 

 

 

Putin Gaddafi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642876085070098433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In no time, they went from one misdemeanor count -which had expired- to 34 felony counts.

Trump Hit With 34 Felony Counts – No Handcuffs, No Mug Shot, No Jail Cell (GP)

Another day, another leak. President Trump was hit with 34 FELONY COUNTS for falsification of business records, according to a leak to the Deep State’s favorite actor Michael Isikoff. President Trump will not be handcuffed and there will be no mug shot, according to Yahoo’s Isikoff. Yahoo reported: “Donald Trump will be placed under arrest on Tuesday and informed that he has been charged with 34 felony counts for falsification of business records, according to a source who has been briefed on the procedures for the arraignment of the former president. A New York City Police arrest report summarizing the charges against Trump will then be prepared and entered into the court system before he is led into a courtroom to be formally arraigned on the charges, none of which are misdemeanors.”

“But, the source said, Trump will not be put in handcuffs, placed in a jail cell or subjected to a mug shot — typical procedures even for white-collar defendants until a judge has weighed in on pretrial conditions. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which has been consulting with the Secret Service and New York City court officials, concluded that there was no reason to subject the former president to handcuffs or a mug shot. The stated reason for handcuffing defendants is on the grounds that the suspect might be a flight risk or a threat to the district attorney or court personnel, neither of which were judged to be relevant to the handling of a former president protected at all times by a phalanx of Secret Service agents.”

President Trump landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport in Queens on Monday afternoon. President Trump will spend the night at Trump Tower New York and will show up to court for his arraignment on Tuesday at 2:15 pm ET. Trump’s lawyers will immediately file a motion to dismiss after they have the opportunity to review the indictment. Recall Michael Isikoff was involved in the Deep State’s attempt to oust Trump from office. No one in the media is more accommodating to the deep state than ‘old faithful’ – Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff. In 2017, it was reported that Isikoff’s Yahoo report was used to obtain FISA warrants to spy on President Trump while at the same time Isikoff was working with the DNC.

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Don’t seem to have happened. Maybe today. Still, gagging a presidential candidate?!

Trump Lawyers Believe Manhattan Judge Will Impose A Gag Order On Monday (DM)

Donald Trump’s legal team is preparing for a New York judge to slap a gag order on the former president on Monday, DailyMail.com can reveal, a day before he is due to be arrested in Manhattan. The extraordinary move to potentially silence a candidate for president will likely enflame Trump’s supporters as he prepares to fly out of his Florida home. ‘The Trump legal team now thinks that the Manhattan judge will take the unprecedented step of silencing the presidential frontrunner with an unconstitutional gag order tomorrow,’ said a source. ‘The Trump legal team is considering adding a First Amendment lawyer to the effort to combat this and will fight it all the way.’ Breaking the gag order could trigger a fine of $1000 and a prison sentence of as much as 30 days, under New York law.

On Sunday morning, Trump’s campaign announced that the former president would make a speech at his Mar-a-Lago home on Tuesday evening after returning from New York. That could now be in doubt. But it did not change his Sunday schedule. He headed to his West Palm Beach golf club where he could be seen playing the course accompanied by one of his lawyers, Lindsey Halligan. At the same time it emerged that his legal team will lodge a motion to immediately dismiss the case against him. ‘We will take the indictment. We will dissect it,’ Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina told CNN on Sunday morning. ‘The team will look at every, every potential issue that we will be able to challenge, and we will challenge. ‘And of course, I very much anticipate a motion to dismiss coming because there’s no law that fits this.’

Taken together they mark the latest twists in a fast running story that exploded into life on Thursday when it emerged that a Manhattan jury voted to indict the former president. The charges remain sealed but are believed to relate to a $130,000 hush money payment made to adult movie actress Stormy Daniels in 2016. Trump has repeatedly lashed out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for pursuing a case that had been dropped by federal prosecutors. And he has also turned his fire on Manhattan’s Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who will hear the case and is believed to be preparing a gag order. ‘The campaign is preparing for this scenario,’ said a Trump campaign source.

It will only add to Trump’s anger at Merchan, who previously presided over last year’s tax fraud case when the Trump Organization was found guilty. In a Truth Social post on Friday, Trump said the judge had ‘railroaded’ his former CFO to try to get him to take a plea deal. ‘The judge “assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a “Case” that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME,’ he wrote.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1643059772235677696

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“Elections often raise the politics of crime — but in this election, it may be hard to separate the politics from the crime.”

Trump’s Legal “Super Tuesday” (Turley)

While a newly elected Trump could only pardon himself for the federal crimes, it is the federal case that likely represents the greatest threat to him. Moreover, the two state cases would add to Trump’s narrative of facing ‘political prosecutions’ from a ‘weaponized’ legal system on every level. Trump often campaigns on just such a primal level. He knows that a man chased by a dog can spark public outcry — but a man chased by a pack of dogs can spark public outrage. It is not simply the election that could take a carceral turn, however. What would happen if Trump were elected but convicted in either state case? Such a trial would likely occur after the election. Even if courts extended a trial until after the 2024 election, it would be difficult to delay it for four years.

The last time a president faced the threat of a criminal trial was in 1872, when Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for speeding in his horse-drawn carriage in Washington. I have long maintained that a sitting president can be indicted and tried. Almost 25 years ago, I wrote an academic work, “‘From Pillar to Post’: The Prosecution of Sitting Presidents,” that challenged immunity theories protecting presidents. I do not believe the indictment of a president or former president is a national tragedy. To the contrary, it is the ultimate affirmation that no one is above the law. However, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t get weird if Trump loses in court but wins in the election. If Trump were convicted in a state proceeding, it would not bar him from running — or serving — as president.

A state judge could grant probation or an alternative sentence to avoid imprisonment. Moreover, appeals on the issue of incarceration could take years to address a state order conflicting with the performance of a federal function. Once that time was exhausted, a court could order any incarceration to be delayed until after the end of the presidential term, since Trump could not be elected a third time. We may have to face one of these scenarios. The question is whether voters may not only accept this prospect but some might even invite it. Regardless of how it works out, this election is about to take a carceral turn. Elections often raise the politics of crime — but in this election, it may be hard to separate the politics from the crime.

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“..a judge with any self-respect would toss it in a pre-trial hearing like a six-day-dead carp at the slightest prompting by a defense attorney..”

How’s That War Going? (Kunstler)

Now how about that other war: our government’s war against us? What canny reporters (Taibbi, Schellenberger) are calling the Censorship Industrial Complex has been pretty well outed. Everybody knows that the FBI, CIA, DHS, and many other agencies, via hijacked social media, have worked tirelessly to confound and bamboozle the public debate about, really, everything that matters. The odd part is that roughly half of America doesn’t seem to care. Of course, that is the same half of the country that has fallen in love with surveillance, censorship, political prosecutions, election monkey business, mandated mRNA shots, and other excursions into bad faith. Their auditors in the mainstream news media actually seem to relish their roles as enforcers of unreality.

This degenerate wickedness has been escalating since one Donald Trump stepped onstage years ago. The “Joe Biden” regime affects to have trapped him finally in the lair of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. Now the game gets interesting. Since the charges are the sheerest vapor, the actual aim of this prosecution, as Tom Luongo and Martin Armstrong point out, is to goad Mr. Trump into a civil contempt citation that will allow the New York authorities to lock him up. The judge in the case will impose a gag order on Mr. Trump speaking out about the proceedings against him, and when he opens his yap — as he is certain to do — they’ll throw a net around him and drag him off to the hoosegow, and keep try to keep him there indefinitely, as they kept the Jan 6 suspects in the DC jail. That is, if the Bragg operation in New York City can extract the former president from the state of Florida, which may not be so easy, now that Governor DeSantis has indicated a disinclination to allow it.

As to the case itself, a judge with any self-respect would toss it in a pre-trial hearing like a six-day-dead carp at the slightest prompting by a defense attorney — based, as it is, on multiple specious novelties of criminal law, not to mention being well beyond the statute of limitations. If it can actually get to trial, the prosecution will be a jurisprudential joke for the ages. If they get a Big Apple jury to go along with the joke, it will be short-listed through the appeals process clean up to the Supreme Court in a New York minute.

And if that whole thing falls apart like the janky jenga tower it is, there are two other cases in the wings — the bullshit case in Fulton County, Georgia, where the grand jury process was already compromised by a jury fore-person, self-identified as a “witch,” shooting her mouth off to the press; and the operation out of the DC Federal District run by one Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified papers matter — another loser case, considering all the other high officials currently entangled in similar complaints, as yet unmolested by any official charges.

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Brent: Russia and India abandon Europe-dominated oil price, agree to use Dubai oil price benchmark.

Saudi Arabia Makes Its Eurasian Shift (Cradle)

On 6 March, 2023, Iranian and Saudi officials held a meeting in Beijing where they agreed to restore bilateral relations. The agreement was significant not only for the mutual de-escalation of tensions in West Asia, but also for Saudi Arabia’s growing importance in the process of Eurasian integration led by China and Russia. By welcoming Chinese mediation, the kingdom has positioned itself as an independent actor capable of opening doors for Beijing and Moscow in a region where they have traditionally been overshadowed by a great power rival, the US. This move boosts Saudi Arabia’s importance in the geopolitical landscape and strengthens its ties with Beijing and Moscow.

For much of its history, Saudi Arabia was a staunch ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region. However, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) military quagmire in Yemen – among other things – damaged Washington’s perception of the kingdom as a stable and reliable outpost in the region. The feeling was mutual and forced MbS to seek assistance from other nations to help lower tensions on Saudi frontiers. Between 2021 and 2022, Riyadh engaged in several rounds of an Iraq-hosted dialogue with Iran to negotiate assistance from Tehran in preventing its allies in Yemen and Iraq from attacking Saudi territory. What is particularly noteworthy to China and Russia is that MbS did not use this diplomacy as a means to restore the US’ traditional centrality in the kingdom’s regional and security policies. Instead, he made a point of cooperation with Beijing and Moscow while simultaneously snubbing Washington.

For example, in October 2022, Saudi Arabia partnered with OPEC+ partner Russia to cut oil production, breaking commitments made to US President Joe Biden during his July visit to Jeddah. MbS also overshadowed Biden’s trip with a much grander welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping in December, during which Riyadh also hosted the first China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit to underscore the Saudi view of China as a regional partner rather than just a bilateral one. Against this backdrop, the Saudi decision to sign a Chinese-brokered deal with Iran without Washington’s involvement has been interpreted as a “middle-finger to Biden,” in the words of former US State Department analyst Aaron David Miller. Similarly, Riyadh’s nascent Russian-brokered detente with Syria, whose Iran and Russia-allied government is still opposed by the US, also illustrates Saudi Arabia’s willingness to move away from its traditional pro-American stance.

Rubio
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642872629282340870

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“..as you know, there are 23 members in OPEC+..”

More Countries May Join Oil Production Cut – Official (RT)

More oil-producing nations may slash their crude output, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak warned on Monday. His comments follow the decision on Sunday by several members of the OPEC+ group to introduce voluntary additional cuts to their output starting from May until the end of 2023, in order to stabilize the oil market. Some of the major producers, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, pledged a total of 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) of cuts on top of the ones already introduced in November. The move sent oil prices roughly 6% higher on Monday, with US benchmark WTI Crude surpassing $80 a barrel.

“Since so far nine countries … have said that they would voluntarily cut [their oil output], and as you know, there are 23 members in OPEC+, there were discussions that other countries could also join and announce some additional cuts of their own, if they felt it was necessary in order to stabilize the market,” Novak said in an interview to the Rossiya 24 TV channel. Novak’s comments were echoed by a report from Chief OPEC Correspondent Amena Bakr, who said on Twitter that more OPEC+ states were being encouraged to join the voluntary cuts.

The latest reductions come on top of the 2 million bpd cut introduced last year that’s set to run until the end of 2023. Russia also announced on Sunday that it would synchronize with OPEC+ and extend its own 500,000 bpd cut to the end of this year. According to Novak, the measure is necessary to ensure predictability in the oil market in a period of high volatility due to the ongoing banking crisis in the US and Europe, general global economic uncertainty, and unpredictable and short-sighted energy policy decisions.

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“On March 16 Macron made his wrongest choice. Unwilling to risk a vote in the National Assembly, he resorted to a provision de Gaulle wrote into the Fifth Republic’s Constitution in 1958, which allows the president to pass legislation without parliamentary approval under certain defined and rare circumstances—emergencies..”

French Streets and American Sofas (Patrick Lawrence)

You might be Brazilian or Malian or Singaporean, it is remarkable the world over to watch the French explode into the streets of dozens of cities and towns to protest the imperial president residing in Élysée Palace. It is altogether singular to follow the demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron as an American. The French are still citoyens and take to their streets and public squares. Americans long ago cashed in their citizenship to live as consumers—and take to their sofas no matter how abusively political elites treat them, no matter how many wars they start, no matter how corrupt the financial system, no matter how many people live in poverty, no matter how grotesque the “defense” budget, no matter how poisoned the environment, no matter… let me not go on. Please pass the Fritos and turn on the big game.

They burned city hall in Bordeaux last week. The Place de la Concorde, where the French protested the monarchy in 1789, is again shoulder-to-shoulder every day and night. Video footage records fires, barricades, appalling confrontations with baton-wielding CRS, the French riot police. Uncollected garbage is everywhere in the capital. The luxury shops along the grand boulevards have boarded up their windows. This started, of course, as a protest against Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 as part of a sweeping reform of the pension system. I have heard many Americans ask, “Two years? What’s the big deal?” It is telling enough that Americans would pose this question, missing all the reasons why Macron’s plan is a very big deal. The French work to live, as they like to say, while Americans live to work. Pushing up the retirement age had a semiotic meaning from the first, signaling the creeping incursion of American neoliberalism into French society.

There is the choice Macron had. I don’t think too many people dispute the demographics and fiduciary numbers at issue. More older French are reaching retirement age while fewer younger French are advancing into the workforce. This is a reality in France as in many other developed nations, though not the near-term crisis Macron made it out to be. Macron’s choice lay between raising taxes on the wealthy and the corporations or pushing the problem on the shoulders of the working class. He made the wrong choice. Remember, Macron was a merchant banker before going into politics. Early in his first term he was nicknamed “the president of the rich.” He failed to understand that serving as a national leader meant leaving behind the merchant banking in favor of the common good. So he made himself a sort of comprador, an import agent introducing Anglo–American neoliberal orthodoxies into a society that has long, long stood outside the Anglosphere.

For the French, the English Channel and the Atlantic are wide. On March 16 Macron made his wrongest choice. Unwilling to risk a vote in the National Assembly, he resorted to a provision de Gaulle wrote into the Fifth Republic’s Constitution in 1958, which allows the president to pass legislation without parliamentary approval under certain defined and rare circumstances—emergencies, in a word. So has Macron turned a big deal into a big, big deal and now a big, big, big deal.At this point the pension reform crisis has jumped the levee to become something far broader. Now demonstrators tip over into protesting the war in Ukraine, U.S. hegemony, NATO, and, on the domestic side, de Gaulle’s constitution.

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“..a ‘strategically unimportant’ town..”

Why The Battle For Bakhmut May Decide The Ukraine Conflict (Poletaev)

Since the beginning of the year, the Ukrainian front has been shrouded in a deceptive silence. Various insiders and anonymous sources predicted a looming large-scale offensive by the Russian Armed Forces. First expected around New Year, it was then anticipated in early February, and again around February 24 – the anniversary of Russia’s attack, last year. Days came and went, but nothing happened. With the arrival of spring, there has been talk of an equally imminent offensive – but this time by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in the south. Allegedly, the plan of the AFU is to break through to the Sea of Azov and cut off the land corridor to Crimea. Any success or failure in this direction will make a considerable strategic impact. If the estimates are correct, Kiev is preparing new military units and stocking up on Western weapons –including the widely discussed British tanks and depleted uranium shells to go with them– precisely for this endeavor.


However, in contrast to widespread opinion, Ukraine’s permanently ongoing mobilization is not being conducted to expand the army – the new recruits only make up for the losses. Estimates show that the number of service personnel in the AFU remains stable at about 400,000 active fighters. Considering the importance of the southern direction of the front, the Russian Armed Forces will either hold defense or cut off a possible Ukrainian breakthrough with counterattacks. This requires appropriate forces, shells, and equipment, as well as advance preparation. Russia’s intentions are quite serious. This is evident from its goal of capturing the city of Ugledar [“1” on the map] – a fortress in the area of the AFU’s possible breakthrough. Having Ugledar under Russian control is important since it would create a threat for the advancing units. A similar offensive has been carried out in the western section of the front in the Zaporozhye region, north of Vasilevka [“2” on map]. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation captured several small towns there in January. As is evident from the serious work done on the construction of defensive lines, Russia will not retreat from Melitopol and Berdyansk as easily as it backed out of Izium or Kherson. This time, the stakes are too high.

In recent weeks, the Russian army has been successful in the area of Kremennaya [“3” on the map] and managed to advance six or seven kilometers (a good indicator for a static front line) towards the city of Liman, which it retreated from last October. Liman is located on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, so Russia would need to take it in any case, as it’s claimed as Moscow’s territory. However, the Russian Army’s breakthrough area here is relatively narrow and this makes it vulnerable to flank attacks. Battles for the suburbs of the city of Donetsk, ongoing since the beginning of the military offensive, have finally begun to bear fruit. In recent weeks, the Russian Armed Forces have partially surrounded Avdeevka [“4” on the map].


This place is particularly important since the AFU have been launching attacks on Donetsk from this spot for the past four years. In order to stop the constant shelling of the city from barrel artillery and “Grad” rocket launchers, the front line must be moved at least several dozen kilometers away from Donetsk. Apparently, these advances have become possible due to the battles for Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) [“5” on the map] which have helped to drain Ukraine’s forces. By itself, Artyomovsk holds no strategic importance – it is just one of the many cities in Donbass that still need to be taken. That’s why in a sense, Moscow decided to “outsource” this painstaking, dirty, and bloody work.

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“..We note the West’s unwillingness to engage in an inter-state dialogue based on principles of equality..”

Kiev, Western Puppeteers Do Everything To Prolong Conflict – Lavrov (TASS)

The Kiev regime and its Western puppeteers do everything they can in order to prolong hostilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview for air.ru, published on the Foreign Ministry website Tuesday. Commenting on peace plan for Ukraine, proposed by China, Lavrov noted that it is consonant for key Russian approaches. “Especially regarding the need to ensure equal and indivisible security for all countries in Europe and in the world in general,” the Minister noted. “So far, the peace process has been hindered by Kiev and its Western puppeteers who exert all efforts in order to prolong the hostilities.” Lavrov noted that Russian and Chinese leaders Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping stated “the importance for further close coordination on foreign policy.”


“We see the causes of main challenges in the international security area in a similar way. We note the West’s unwillingness to engage in an inter-state dialogue based on principles of equality. We oppose the use of sanctions pressure methods and other instruments of unscrupulous competition,” the Foreign Minister continued. “Meanwhile, our strategic cooperation is not aimed against third countries. It contributes to balanced development of the entire international system.” The Minister underscored that the Chinese side reaffirmed its “weighted position on the Ukrainian issue.” “We welcome Beijing’s readiness to play a constructive role in political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict,” he concluded.

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Seymour Hersh’s is the only view left standing.

West ‘Not So Eager To Find Out’ Who Bombed Nord Stream – WaPo (RT)

Western officials would rather not know who bombed the Nord Stream pipelines, lest they discover that their allies were responsible, the Washington Post reported on Monday. The report listed Polish and Ukrainian operatives as likely perpetrators, but left out one key suspect. “Don’t talk about Nord Stream” is now an unwritten rule at gatherings of European and NATO policymakers, an unnamed European diplomat told the newspaper. “Leaders see little benefit from digging too deeply and finding an uncomfortable answer,” the Post added, stating that officials “would rather not have to deal with the possibility that Ukraine or its allies were involved.” “It’s like a corpse at a family gathering,” the diplomat continued, explaining that while everyone can see the metaphorical body, they pretend it’s not there. “It’s better not to know,” the source said.

The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines were destroyed in a series of near-simultaneous explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in September. The blasts severed a key conduit of Russian natural gas to Europe, although the flow along Nord Stream 1 had been shut earlier that month, and the German government halted the activation of the newly-constructed Nord Stream 2 immediately after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last February. Multiple European investigations into the explosions are ongoing, and a number of theories about who carried out the attack have emerged. The Post pointed to theories that a Polish company hired a yacht to transport explosives to the blast site on behalf of Kiev; that another “pro-Ukrainian group” was to blame; and that “saboteurs from other countries” committed the attack without the Ukrainian government’s knowledge.

The Post did not, however, entertain the idea that the US government blew up the pipelines. Citing US intelligence sources, American reporter Seymour Hersh claimed in February that the Biden administration ordered the CIA to bomb the lines with the help of the Norwegian Navy. The rented yacht story, Hersh said afterwards, was planted in the US and German media as a red herring by the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that he “fully agrees” with Hersh’s conclusions. Prior to the publication of Hersh’s report, Putin blamed the explosions on “the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK transatlantic alliance. The Russian president argued that the US in particular benefited from the attack due to its position as a supplier of LNG to Europe.

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The EU is committing hara-kiri to please America.

EU Unfriendly To Russia – Lavrov (TASS)

Russia is viewing the European Union as an unfriendly association now, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with aif.ru posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website on Tuesday. “The European Union has ‘lost’ Russia. However, it is its own making. Exactly the EU member-states and leaders of the Union openly state the need of inflicting the strategic defeat to Russia, as they say. They are filling the criminal Kiev regime with weapons and munitions and send instructors and mercenaries to Ukraine. These are the reasons why we consider the EU to be the unfriendly association,” Lavrov said. The Russian side made necessary conclusions from this situation, the minister stressed. Moscow will act in response to hostile steps “decidedly if necessary, being governed by national interests of Russia and the reciprocity principle commonly adopted in the diplomatic practice,” he added.

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April 24-25.

Lavrov Ready To Meet Blinken At UN Headquarters (TASS)

Russia is ready to a possible meeting between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the Minister’s visit to the UN Headquarters on April 24-25 if the US side has the desire to meet, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said at a press conference. “I think that depends on two factors. First, where Secretary Blinken will be at that time, and on his ability and willingness to meet with our Foreign Minister,” the Russian diplomat said. The Russian side has never “run away from whatever meetings with those people who want these meetings,” he noted. “If such a meeting is requested, I presume that Minister Lavrov will be ready to meet Secretary Blinken,” Nebenzya added.

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Probably true, and certainly insane.

“Türkiye Only NATO Country That Can Hold Discussions With Russia” (RT)

Today, Türkiye is the only country within NATO that can hold discussions with Russia and take steps per the interests of the international community, based on a common denominator in certain areas with Russia, Levent Gumrukcu, Turkish representative in NATO, told Anadolu, Report informs. He said that Türkiye is the only country that maintains contact with both sides in the war in Ukraine and tries to create an atmosphere of trust between the parties: “The role we play in matters such as the grain agreement and exchange of prisoners is a manifestation of this. This position of ours is of serious importance not only for Ukraine but also for the Euro-Atlantic area and NATO.” The diplomat added that NATO and Türkiye have common interests in many regions, including the Balkans, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, the Middle East, and North Africa.

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“Prime Minister Sanna Marin loses the Finnish elections. The Finns did not like her handling of the Russia conflict. She sold out Finland to NATO and the Anti-Russia coalition. She put international politics first and her people second.”

She did her job. Finland’s in NATO and she’s no longer needed. NATO can go place weapons along its longest border with Russia.

Stoltenberg Announces Finland’s NATO Accession Date Is Today (RT)

Finland will officially become the 31st member of NATO on Tuesday, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced in a statement on Monday. “This is a historic week,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. “From tomorrow, Finland will be a full member of the alliance,” he said, adding that “it will be a good day for Finland’s security, for Nordic security, and for NATO as a whole.” Finnish president Sauli Niinisto and Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen are expected to attend the accession ceremony in Brussels along with Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, who vowed to emphasize NATO’s support to Ukraine during the meeting.

The move comes just three days after Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed ratification of the Nordic country’s passage into the organization. It ends a protracted accession process that began last summer when Finland and Sweden abandoned their traditional position of neutrality and applied to join NATO, citing concerns of possible Russian aggression. Türkiye had objected to the bids by Helsinki and Stockholm citing their alleged support of “terrorist groups.” Last month, however, Erdogan praised Finland’s “authentic and concrete steps” to address Turkish security concerns. He has yet to give a clear indication as to when Ankara will ratify Sweden’s request to join the bloc.

Moscow, meanwhile, has reacted to Finland’s accession to NATO by stating that Russia will have no choice but to reinforce its military potential on the Western and North Western borders in response. “In the event that forces and assets of other NATO members are deployed in Finland, we will take additional steps to reliably ensure Russia’s military security,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told RIA Novosti on Monday. Last month, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow “regrets” Finland’s and Sweden’s decision to join the US-led bloc, stating that Russia “does not pose any threat to these countries, since it does not have any disputes with them.”

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The crowd called for the death of Christ in the same way it clamored for forced vaccination.

You Know (Denninger)

Palm Sunday. Many Christians share my dread of this Holy Day. It starts out fun, with all of us outside. We grab palm leaves. The kids immediately start sword fighting with them and the older folks fold them into crosses or other shapes like religious balloon animals! Then the mood shifts. We file into our pews in silence and a pall settles over the sanctuary. There is no music to guide our steps. We know what’s coming. Palm Sunday commemorates (because celebrate is not the right term for the second) two events: Jesus returning to Jerusalem and his crucifixion. Some of the disquiet is annoyance. It is the longest Mass most of us attend. But there is no denying the heavy reason we’re here. Palm Sunday’s Gospel reading is Christ’s crucifixion, and even worse, the congregation reads the parts of the crowd out loud.

Each of us demands the murder of an innocent man. Even though we know how it ends, it’s sobering. The silence is appropriate. For me, it was never only the heavy subject matter, it was doubt. What would I have done in the crowd? Scream to let a killer go? Would I participate in murdering the lamb of God? I really wanted to believe, “Of course not! I’m an upstanding person, I would never hand Christ over for execution!” Doubt crept in, no matter how forcefully I repeated the mantra. I am flawed, a sinner, and most importantly, rarely brave. After the past three years, I know the answer. So do all of you. Know, not believe.

I did not cave when “friends” tried to shame me into wearing a tard rag. People drifted out of my life. My blood is still pure, despite the crowd screaming for submission. These two actions mean there are very few left in my life, and almost none I call “friend” sincerely. It’s a reasonable conclusion to assume what held true recently would have in Jerusalem. God didn’t tell me His plan for the last three years, He wouldn’t have told me back then. I state this not out of grandiosity or claiming to hear the Word of God, simply my own actions. This year I will stand with the rest of the congregation, but not speak any of the lines because I would have walked off rather than go along with the crowd.

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Roughnecks

 

 

Bricks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642907102988337156

 

 

Bernoulli

 

 

Chameleon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642859388409978881

 

 

Monkey frog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642896852231020547

 

 

Hitchcock TO CATCH A THIEF (1955)

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1559944313055989761

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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