Dec 092023
 
 December 9, 2023  Posted by at 9:44 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Bernini The Vision of Constantine 1670

 

The Evil Israel Does is the Evil Israel Gets (Chris Hedges)
Iran’s Raisi Asks Putin To Support Gaza Action – Putin Is Evasive (Helmer)
Flooding Gaza Would Be War Crime – Russia (RT)
Dozens of Democrats Could Beat Trump – Biden (RT)
Zelensky Sees the Writing on the Wall – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
White House Touts ‘Year Of Suffering’ For Russian Troops (RT)
Medvedev Warns Of Direct Russia-NATO Clash (RT)
Hunter Indictment Designed Specifically To Avoid Joe Biden (Turley)
Hunter Is In A Lot Of Trouble (@willscharf)
Hunter Biden Claims GOP Is “Trying To Kill” Him (Sp.)
Hunter Biden is a Case Study of the Perils of Legal Gluttony (Turley)
Tucker Carlson Comments On Running As Trump’s VP (RT)
Is Truth Becoming Valueless? (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

 

The day before yesterday, Refaat received a phone call from the Israeli intelligence about locating him in the school where he took refuge. They informed him that they were going to kill him. He left the school not wanting to endanger the others, and at 6 p.m. his sister’s apartment was bombed, where he was killed, his sister and her four children

 

 

Cuomo RFK

 

 

 

 

Vivek

 

 

 

 

“The wars do not end. The suffering continues. The Palestinians die in the tens of thousands. This is by design.”

The Evil Israel Does is the Evil Israel Gets (Chris Hedges)

I knew Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, the co-founder of Hamas, along with Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Yassin. Al-Rantisi’s family were expelled to the Gaza Strip by Zionist militias from historic Palestine during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. He did not fit the demonized image of a Hamas leader. He was a soft spoken, articulate and highly educated pediatrician who had graduated first in his class at Egypt’s Alexandria University. As a nine-year-old boy, he witnessed executions in Khan Younis of 275 Palestinian men and boys, including his uncle, when Israel briefly occupied the Gaza Strip in 1956, the subject of Joe Sacco’s magisterial book Footnotes in Gaza. Scores of Palestinians were also executed by Israeli soldiers in the neighboring town of Rafah, where tens of thousands Palestinians are currently being forced to flee now that Khan Younis has come under attack.

“I still remember the wailing and the tears of my father over his brother,” al-Rantisi told Sacco and me when we visited him at his home. “I couldn’t sleep for many months after that…It left a wound in my heart that can never heal. I’m telling you a story and I’m almost crying. This sort of action can never be forgotten…[T]hey planted hatred in our hearts.” He knew he could never trust the Israelis. He knew that the goal of the Zionist state was the occupation of all of historic Palestine – Israel seized Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 along with Syria’s Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula – and the eternal subjugation or extermination of the Palestinian people. He knew he would avenge the killings.

Al-Rantisi and Yassin were assassinated in 2004 by Israel. Al-Rantisi’s widow, Jamila Abdallah Taha al-Shanti, had a doctorate in English and taught at the Islamic University in Gaza. The couple had six children, one of whom was killed along with his father. The family’s home was bombed and destroyed during the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza known as Operation Protective Edge. Jamila was killed by Israel on Oct. 19 of this year. Israel’s genocide in Gaza is rearing a new generation of enraged, traumatized and dispossessed Palestinians who have lost family members, friends, homes, communities and any hope of living ordinary lives. They, too, will seek retribution. Their small acts of terrorism will counter Israel’s ongoing state terror. They will hate as they have been hated. This lust for vengeance is universal. After World War Two, a clandestine unit of Jews who served in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, called “Gmul,” – Hebrew for “Recompense” – hunted down former Nazis and executed them. “I and the public know/What all schoolchildren learn,” W.H. Auden wrote. “Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return.”

[..] The Biden administration has little to gain from the leveling and depopulation of Gaza, indeed it is alienating huge segments of the Democratic Party, especially as it attacks protestors calling for a ceasefire as “pro-terrorist.” Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer led chants of “We stand with Israel” and “No ceasefire” at a pro-Israel rally on Nov. 4 in Washington D.C., despite a Reuters/Ipsos survey indicating 68 percent of respondents believed that Israel should implement a ceasefire and negotiate an end to the war. That number rises to 77 percent among Democrats. Biden has a dismal approval rating of 37 percent.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council voted 13-1 for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and unconditional release of all hostages. The U.S. voted against the resolution. The U.K. abstained. The draft resolution was not adopted due to the U.S. veto. Biden’s real base is not disenchanted voters but the billionaire class, corporations, such as the weapons industry, which is making huge profits from the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, and groups such as the Israel lobby. They determine policy, even if it means Biden’s defeat in the next presidential election. If Biden loses, the oligarchs get Donald Trump, who serves their interests as doggedly as Biden. The wars do not end. The suffering continues. The Palestinians die in the tens of thousands. This is by design.

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“The war has to be economic and infrastructure suffocation [of Israel],” a Moscow source says. “Yes, that’s the only way to beat the beast.”

Iran’s Raisi Asks Putin To Support Gaza Action – Putin Is Evasive (Helmer)

An Iranian-Russian initiative on the Gaza War was tabled when Iranian President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi met with President Vladimir Putin for several hours on Thursday. For the time being the Kremlin is doing its best to hide it. According to Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, speaking after Raisi had returned home, “a significant part of the negotiations focused on the Palestinian issue and Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza. The two sides stressed the need for an immediate cessation of the war and genocide in Gaza and the West Bank, he said, noting that the presidents of Iran and Russia also called for stopping the forced migration of Gazans and the immediate opening of the Rafah border to deliver massive humanitarian aid to Gazan people.”

There was a one-on-one session between Raisi and Putin at the commencement of the talks; a session of the two presidents with brief public statements; and then closed delegation presentations and a supper. Altogether, the talks lasted five hours. There were no press briefings at the conclusion. There has been a blackout on the talks by Russian Defense Ministry, the military bloggers, and Moscow media like Vzglyad which has been taking a pro-Israel line. No Russian official will clarify what Abdollahian meant by his claim that “Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza” – except to point out that Abdollahian’s wording does not mean that the “initiative” at this stage was initiated by the Russian side. Vedomosti reports that “Iran would like Russia to more actively express the pro-Palestinian position within the framework of public discourse, which would correspond to Iranian rhetoric. From the point of view of the North–South economy, of course, Tehran has a priority, it’s just that against the current background it, like any Muslim country, cannot demonstrate that it can have something more important than the situation in the Gaza Strip.”

According to the Kremlin communiqué, Raisi told Putin “the events unfolding in Gaza” are “surely genocide and a crime against humanity. It is lamentable that more than 6,000 children have been killed by the hands of the Zionist regime. Even sadder is the fact that all these crimes have been supported by the United States and Western countries. What is even more regrettable is that international organisations and the human rights organisations have lost their effectiveness… One of the issues that I would like to discuss with you, Mr Putin, is Palestine, as well as the challenges faced by the oppressed but strong Palestinian people. According to statistics, one child dies every ten minutes. Bombing must be stopped as soon as possible. This is not a regional issue, but a global issue, and a solution should be found promptly.”

Putin replied by changing the subject. “Mr President, I will definitely take you up on your invitation [to visit Iran]. And I should note that we will keep working almost through the end of the year. We have scheduled the signing of an agreement on creating a free trade area between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union in late December. It will create additional opportunities for expanding our interaction.” The Kremlin has published the names of the Russian delegation accompanying Putin at the talks but refuses to disclose the names of their Iranian counterparts. “Wait for additional materials on our website”, the spokesman said. Although Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was the second ranking member of the Russian side, Iranian sources confirm there was no military counterpart on their side.

Privately, Russian sources believe the two sides are discussing the protracted, long war strategy of Hamas and Hezbollah and the parallel engagement from Yemen and Iraq. They are also discussing ideas for breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza with massive humanitarian aid in which the Arab states and China are also engaged in the planning. “The war has to be economic and infrastructure suffocation [of Israel],” a Moscow source says. “Yes, that’s the only way to beat the beast.”

Putin 2024

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I’m afraid they’re crazy enough to try.

Flooding Gaza Would Be War Crime – Russia (RT)

If Israel is truly considering flooding the “Hamas tunnels” under Gaza with seawater, this would be a clear-cut atrocity, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said at the Security Council meeting on Friday. China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates called for the emergency session, given the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian enclave after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) resumed military operations at the start of December. “In recent days, shocking information has spread about Israeli plans to flood underground structures in the Gaza Strip with seawater,” Polyansky told the council. “According to publicly available information, the IDF has already built a system of pipes and pumps designed to pump seawater, and is currently discussing with the United States the practical possibility of such flooding: will there be enough water, will the ‘topography’ of the tunnels allow it, and so on.”

“Such a step, if taken, would constitute a clear war crime”. Polyansky explained that the flooding would be indiscriminate and the equivalent of ordering “take no prisoners,” while the sea water would contaminate the groundwater in Gaza and make the area uninhabitable. Documents published in mid-October suggest that the Israeli authorities would like to displace all of Gaza’s Palestinian population into Egypt. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the Gaza-based militant group raided nearby Israeli settlements on October 7, killing an estimated 1,200 people and taking scores hostage. Since then, more than 16,000 Palestinians have died in Israeli operations in Gaza.

After a week-long “humanitarian pause” at the end of November, Israel has launched a “more brutal and bloody phase” of its operation, Polyansky told the UN, with the scale of destruction indicating “indiscriminate” use of force and striking of targets considered protected by humanitarian law. “The brutal Hamas raid on October 7 cannot justify Israeli crimes against humanity,” the Russian diplomat argued. “Failure to respect humanitarian law by one side does not relieve the other from the same obligations.” Polyansky added that he doubted the International Criminal Court would do anything, as it will not act “against its Western masters.” The ICC is likely to “forgive” Israel just as it turned a blind eye to Western atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, he added.

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But “I just have to run.”

Dozens of Democrats Could Beat Trump – Biden (RT)

President Joe Biden has claimed there are dozens of Democrats who could defeat Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election, but has insisted he must be the one to do so. Some sections of the Democratic Party and the media are already treating Biden as the default nominee for next year’s presidential election. The party’s Florida branch has refused to place any other names on the ballot for its primary vote, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has refused to organize debates with other contenders. Biden was asked by the media on Wednesday whether he thought there were fellow Democrats who could defeat Trump. “Probably 50 of them,” the president responded, declining to offer any names. “I’m not the only one, but I will defeat him.”

Questions about Biden’s willingness to run for a second term were triggered by remarks he made at a campaign fundraiser in Boston on Tuesday. “If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running,” said the incumbent leader. Again citing the challenge from his predecessor, Biden later told journalists outside the White House that “I just have to run.” Biden overcame Trump in the 2020 presidential election, and a likely rematch has been touted by the Democrats as an existential battle against the Republican frontrunner’s supposed authoritarianism. However, Biden’s approval ratings recently reached a low of just 37%, according to a CNN poll published on Wednesday. Last month, a New York Times survey predicted Biden would lose to Trump in five of six battleground states. Critics of the Democrats’ strategy claim that the party would rather risk losing to a man it has branded a unique threat to democracy, rather than make Biden contest the nomination fairly against potentially better candidates.

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“..the counter-counter offensive..”

Zelensky Sees the Writing on the Wall – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky must face the “writing on the wall” after the failure of his summer counter-offensive, says a former UN weapons inspector. In an interview with YouTube host Danny Haiphong, Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, Ritter gave a stark assessment of the notoriously botched Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in early summer of 2023. “The counteroffensive is over. It’s been a strategic defeat for the Ukrainians for the collective West. And what I think we’re going to see now is that the Russians, having absorbed the Ukrainian blow, are going to slowly go on the counter-counter offensive and begin to put pressure on the Ukrainians,” Ritter stressed. “The Russians will be on the initiative from now on. And eventually the Ukrainian line is going to collapse.”

Ukraine’s inability to secure any sort of tangible success on the battlefield will lead to political turmoil in Kiev, the pundit argued. Eventually, Zelensky will face the rage of his soldiers. “They feel betrayed by his incompetence. Especially when it becomes clear how corrupt he is, and how corrupt his government is. Everybody knows it,” Ritter pointed out. “There is a growing resentment over this. There are people who aren’t getting their pensions paid. People who aren’t getting the healthcare they need because of the corruption.” Ritter noted how the US is funding the entire country, paying salaries to civil servants, military personnel and healthcare workers — Washington completely disregards the same needs at home.

“As an American I take umbrage at this. If you’re going to do that there, first, do it here. Let’s take care of the immigration problem. Let’s take care of the dirty water up in Flint, Michigan. Let’s take care of the homeless problem. Let’s take care of all those junkies on the street of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Let’s take care of America before we start taking care of Ukraine,” he concluded. Recently, the Ukrainian media have given substantial coverage to rising tensions between President Zelensky and Ukraine’s top general Valery Zaluzhny. In the interview with British magazine the The Economist, the Commander-in-Chief admitted that the Ukrainian forces had reached an impasse. Zaluzhny came under fire for that statement, with Zelensky rushing to refute it.

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“He said he disagreed with the notion that the operation “not going as far as people wanted reflects some degree of Ukrainian failure.”

White House Touts ‘Year Of Suffering’ For Russian Troops (RT)

The White House wants to keep funding Ukraine in its conflict with Russia because it believes that in a year Moscow may be willing to concede to Kiev’s demands, an aide to Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, said in an interview on Tuesday. Jon Finer, Sullivan’s principal deputy, discussed the White House Ukraine strategy at an event hosted by the Aspen Institute, an influential US think-tank. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s request to allocate over $110 billion in foreign security aid, including for Ukraine, was blocked from a vote in the Senate. Finer made a case for releasing the funds despite Kiev’s inability to secure any major successes on the battlefield during its summer counteroffensive. He said he disagreed with the notion that the operation “not going as far as people wanted reflects some degree of Ukrainian failure.”

If Washington keeps bankrolling Kiev’s war effort for the next year, the Ukrainian government will maintain “a degree of parity” with Russia, he promised. “Another year of funding and another year in which Russia will have to suffer on the battlefield is fundamentally a better position than we are in today without that funding,” Finer said. “I think there is no way to dispute that.” By the end of 2024, Western nations will have ramped up arms production and be helping Ukraine do the same, the White House expects. Then Russia will have to either “come to the negotiating table on terms that would be acceptable to Ukraine” or face a stronger opponent, according to Finer’s expectations.

Kiev’s demands for peace include full control over pre-2014 Ukrainian territory, war reparations and a tribunal for the Russian leadership, as detailed last year by President Vladimir Zelensky. Moscow has dismissed it from the start as detached from reality. Moscow has cited NATO expansion in Europe and the promised inclusion of Ukraine into the US-led military bloc as a threat to its national security. Preventing that outcome is imperative, senior Russian officials have said. In the first weeks of hostilities, Ukraine and Russia came to a preliminary agreement on a truce, which would have seen Kiev drop its NATO aspirations and pledge neutrality. Then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Kiev to “make war instead,” David Arakhamia, who led the Ukrainian delegation at the talks in Istanbul, confirmed in a recent interview.

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“..no American president has ever “extorted so much money for a minor country that is in the process of collapsing..”

Medvedev Warns Of Direct Russia-NATO Clash (RT)

Moscow and Washington are tiptoeing on the precipice of a hot war, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said, adding that the last similar crisis in relations dates back to the height of the Cold War in the early 1960s. Writing on Telegram on Friday, Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, weighed in on what he called US President Joe Biden’s “primitive blackmail” of Congress. He was referring to the American leader’s recent plea to lawmakers to approve a $111 billion security package, which included funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. To convince Republicans – who have been reluctant to support the measure due to a dispute over border security – Biden warned that Russia might not stop at Ukraine and go on to attack NATO countries, leading to a direct clash involving the US. His plea, however, failed to impress the Senate Republicans, who blocked the funding.

Medvedev said the Biden administration’s ploy “is nothing new.” According to the official, many US presidents in the past have said, “Give the money to our guy (fill in the name), or you will have to fight the Russians.” The difference, Medvedev added, is that no American president has ever “extorted so much money for a minor country that is in the process of collapsing,” which is also connected to a corruption controversy involving both the sitting US president and his family members – in reference to allegations that both Biden and his son Hunter accepted bribes from a Ukrainian gas executive. The former Russian president went on: “Never since the Cuban Missile Crisis has the threat of a direct clash between Russia and NATO leading to World War III been so real.”

The 1962 crisis brought the US and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war after Moscow responded to Washington’s deployment of missiles in Türkiye by placing its own atomic assets in allied Cuba. The two superpowers narrowly managed to defuse the tensions by withdrawing their missiles from both countries. Medvedev predicted that despite the gridlock in Congress, both the administration and its “cowering fosterling” in Kiev would get the money sooner or later, allowing all parties involved to continue profiting off the conflict. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against sending arms to Kiev, arguing that doing so will only prolong the conflict while making it a direct participant in the hostilities.

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How do you withdraw $1.6 million from an ATM?

Hunter Indictment Designed Specifically To Avoid Joe Biden (Turley)

The 56-page indictment of Hunter Biden for tax evasion makes for racy reading, with the special counsel describing a four-year criminal pattern directed at maintaining Biden’s “extravagant lifestyle.” That lifestyle included massive expenses for strippers, sex clubs, fast cars and other distractions. The steps taken by Hunter to evade taxes are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the efforts of the Justice Department to evade any direct implications for his father, President Biden. In that sense, the indictment itself is a marvel of evasion. There are three glaring omissions in the indictment that tend to shield critical payments and conduct that implicate the president. First, the special counsel only indicts tax evasion that occurred in recent years. That’s because the long “investigation” into Hunter inexplicably allowed the statute of limitations to expire on the most controversial payments from Ukraine gas company Burisma.

Recent testimony from IRS whistleblowers suggests that wasn’t an accident. Investigators were stonewalled, they claimed, and the Justice Department was previously moving to reject any charges against Hunter Biden. Exploring those earlier Ukrainian payments opens up questions about Hunter’s influence peddling and would have highlighted the conflict in his father’s extraordinary move to force the Ukrainians to fire a prosecutor investigating Burisma by holding back a billion dollars in aid for the country. There is still no explanation why special counsel David Weiss would allow the statute of limitations to run out. But this recent indictment keeps the focus squarely on taxes not paid, not how the money was “earned” in the first place. Also missing in the indictment is any charge against Hunter Biden as an unregistered foreign agent.

Recently, the Justice Department added a charge to the indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that he ran afoul of FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act. FARA also was used to go after Donald Trump associates such as Paul Manafort. The problem with charging Hunter with FARA is obvious. It opens up questions about the millions of dollars going to the Biden family from foreign sources, a topic that Attorney General Merrick Garland has spent years avoiding. In the second indictment, Weiss spends more time detailing the salacious use of this money rather than how and why it was given to the Bidens. He just matter-of-factly describes millions flowing through these accounts from China, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. By focusing on tax evasion alone, Weiss again avoids any direct reference to the focus of the influence-peddling used to raise these millions of dollars.

Even without mentioning the president, the implications of the indictment are devastating for the narrative and denials of Joe Biden. The president has continued to maintain that he had no knowledge or interaction with these dealings. Those statements are clearly and knowingly false. The president also maintained that his son has “never done anything wrong” and never accepted any money from China. That is also untrue, according to the Justice Department and Hunter himself. Yet Weiss continues to avoid any need to address the person who was the selling point of the influence peddling. It was the same person who repeatedly called in to dinners and meetings, repeatedly attended events, and held meetings and photo shots for these clients. Instead, Weiss indicts the failure to pay taxes on the proceeds of these dealings without addressing that underlying corruption. It is akin to arresting a bank robber for speeding away from the crime scene without mentioning the reason for his flight.

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X thread.

Hunter Is In A Lot Of Trouble (@willscharf)

I have reviewed the new Hunter Biden indictment. As a former federal prosecutor, and someone who has followed the Hunter saga quite closely for years, here are my initial reactions:

(1) Hunter is in a lot of trouble. With the sweetheart deal previously offered to him now off the table, Hunter is in an awful lot of trouble. He is facing four counts of willfully failing to pay his taxes for tax years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, and two counts of failing to file a tax return for tax years 2017 and 2018, all in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203. He is also charged with one count of tax evasion and two counts of filing false and fraudulent tax forms for tax year 2018, in violation of § 7201 and § 7206, for chalking up hundreds of thousands of dollars of fake business expenses. These fake expenses included payments for: hotel rooms that he turned into crack dens, payoffs for his girlfriends, strippers, escorts, luxury cars, a sex club membership, porn sites. He also tried to claim his daughter’s law school tuition as business-related legal expenses. He tried to hide income, and made numerous false statements under penalty of perjury. If he were to go to trial and be convicted of all of these counts, based on my calculations, the advisory federal sentencing guidelines range for him could easily reach 4–5 years’ imprisonment. Even if he were to plead guilty to these counts, his guidelines range sentence would likely be around 3 years. That is a lot of prison time for the son of a sitting president.

(2) Weiss appears to be playing this straight. I said after David Weiss’s appointment as special counsel that this was going to go in one of two directions: Either Weiss was going to continue the concerted effort to cover up and clean up Hunter’s long history of criminal activity to protect Joe Biden and the Biden family. Or Weiss was going rogue, and would hammer Hunter with the full force of the law. My assumption was cover up, but based on this indictment and the previous firearms indictment, I can’t find fault with his actions thus far. He is appropriately and vigorously prosecuting the tax and gun crimes that we already knew about. The real test will be what comes next. Will Hunter be offered a new sweetheart plea deal to sweep this all under the rug? Most importantly, will more indictments follow? Foreign money laundering? Failure to register as a foreign agent? Bribery? Only time will tell, but I am hopeful that maybe—just maybe—we will see some justice here.

(3) Joe Biden is a liar. If the facts in the indictment are proven, and based on Hunter’s previous abortive plea deal I believe they can be and will be, this indictment is further proof (as if we needed more) that Joe Biden lied repeatedly to the American people during the 2020 election. “My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.” That was Joe Biden at the presidential debate on October 22, 2020. That was a lie. Biden denied that Hunter had made “a fortune in China, in Moscow and various other places” at the presidential debate on September 29, 2020. That was a lie. I could go on, but the point is made. Joe Biden needs to answer to the American people for his lies. They implicate him in criminal conspiracies abroad involving the shadiest of foreign actors, and cut to the heart of his fitness for office.

(4) More egg on the media’s face. As if mainstream media credibility could fall even lower . . . The mainstream media was an active participant in Joe Biden’s lies in 2020. The media actively ran cover, burying Hunter Biden stories, showing a startling lack of interest in the Biden family’s web of foreign business interests, and insisting — insisting! — that there was nothing to see here. The blackout on reporting about Hunter’s now-validated laptop was the pinnacle of this all hands on deck effort. I want to hear from the journalists who participated in burying these stories, who wrote fake “explainer” pieces on how the Republicans were conspiracy theorists, who lashed out at Trump for attacking Joe over the Hunter scandals. Who decided that getting Joe elected was more important than uncovering the truth. Is that what they taught you in journalism school?

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Playing the victim appears to be Hunter’s second nature.

Hunter Biden Claims GOP Is “Trying To Kill” Him (Sp.)

Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, sat down with the Grammy-nominated musician Moby for a podcast interview that was released on Friday, detailing that the GOP is harassing him as part of an effort to tank his father’s 2024 reelection bid. The 58-year-old musician explained at the beginning of the “Moby Pod” interview that he had previously met Biden at one of his art shows while the two had been recovering from an addiction. During the interview, Biden claimed right-wing attacks against him were not actually “about” him, but are instead part of a broader approach to attack his father’s presidency. “They are trying to, in their most illegitimate, but rational way, they’re trying to destroy a presidency,” Biden said on Friday. “And so it’s not about me, and [in] their most base way, what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to kill me, knowing that it will be a pain greater than my father could be able to handle.”

“They decided that the one way in which they would be able to certainly just undermine my dad’s confidence and ability to continue to campaign and move forward – particularly after the death of my brother – [was] to think that he could lose his son that he just had regained from an almost-death, through addiction,” said Biden. During the interview, Biden also lamented his challenges with drug and alcohol addiction following the death of his mother, sister and his brother, as well as his shame at feeling like the “f***-up” in his family. He acknowledged it’s difficult to maintain sobriety when he’s the focus of “a hatred and an intensity that is both specific and global.”This is the first time Biden has spoken publicly on the topic since his memoir was released in 2021. Since then, he has allowed public statements to come from his attorneys. During the podcast, he said he was speaking out (after being advised to keep a low profile) because he wanted to help others suffering from an addiction.

“One of the reasons why I’m gonna survive this – and I’m gonna survive it clean and sober – is because I am not gonna let these motherf****** use me as just another example of why people in recovery are never gonna be OK, never to be trusted, they’re all degenerates – I’m just not gonna let that happen.” He later described being doxxed by the New York Post, which he said led to Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats, shouting through bullhorns outside his house when his wife was eight months pregnant. During the podcast, Biden also mentioned feeling sorry for Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who he said are “not healthy people.” The two lawmakers have been some of Biden’s toughest credits, with Greene holding up posters displaying him in graphic and sexual photos during an Oversight Committee hearing in July. The photos had come from the infamous scandal-ridden laptop belonging to Biden.

“The second thing that I realized is that these people are just sad, very very sick people that have most likely just faced traumas in their lives that they’ve decided that they are going to turn into an evil that decides that they’re going to inflict on the rest of the world,” Biden said.

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“..why ask for a sweeping immunity deal? The answer was why not. That all came crashing down when Judge Noreika just cleared her throat in court.”

Hunter Biden is a Case Study of the Perils of Legal Gluttony (Turley)

Five months ago, exasperated Biden defense counsel Chris Clark snapped at federal prosecutors to “just rip it up” after a plea bargain hit a snag in a hearing before Judge Maryellen Noreika. They did and, for the first time, Hunter could be facing a real chance for jail time. The six misdemeanor charges and three felonies carry a potential sentence of 17 years for alleged tax evasion and filing a false return. It could have been worse. The Justice Department inexplicably allowed the statute of limitations to run on the most serious allegations involving payments from years going back to 2016. Those are mentioned in the narrative of the indictment but not charged as separate offenses. None of this would have happened if Judge Noreika did not ask a very simple question about the plea agreement and a sweeping immunity provision buried in its language.

Many judges would have likely flagged through the agreement and given Hunter the sweetest of sweetheart deals. Noreika noticed that the deal seemed to give Hunter immunity for any crime going forward and asked the prosecutor if he had ever seen any agreement like this one. He honestly answered “no.” It was later learned that there was a push within the Justice Department to have no charges at all brought against Hunter in an investigation that was heavily laden with special treatment, according to IRS whistleblowers. The investigation by the House has shown how Hunter and his counsel allowed their appetite for special treatment to turn into a raging disorder. The Justice Department reportedly gave Hunter a “heads up” about planned searches and interviews, scuttling those efforts. Even though the Justice Department had an agreement to “toll the statute” to prevent the early charges from expiring, the Special Counsel just let them die without any rational reason.

In this “all-you-can-eat” legal Smorgasbord, it is little surprise that the Biden team would demand an unprecedented immunity deal and just two misdemeanors after years of tax evasion covering millions from insider trading. After all, Attorney General Merrick Garland had refused the calls of many of us to appoint a Special Counsel to look into the corruption scandal. The scandal was capped off legally and the media was running cover for Hunter.The laptop was falsely denounced as Russian disinformation and the media largely dismissed influence peddling claims. Whenever new allegations surfaced, the President and the media would literally run to the nearest ice cream shop to discuss the President’s favorite flavors. In other words, why ask for a sweeping immunity deal? The answer was why not. That all came crashing down when Judge Noreika just cleared her throat in court.

As the prosecutors struggled to explain the absurd immunity provision, the Biden legal team was obviously shocked at the notion that they might have to exercise portion control. After all, the President himself has declared “no one f**ks with a Biden.” That is when they told the prosecutors to “just rip it up.” Those are the four most dangerous words that a criminal defendant could utter in a hearing on a plea deal. They could have immediately narrowed the immunity deal and even added a few misdemeanors to salvage the deal. Instead, they shredded their client. What followed was performative and frankly a tad pathetic. To the thrill of some in the media, the Biden team promised to get aggressive with witnesses and critics. They started to make demands as if they still controlled events, including saying that they would only comply with a congressional subpoena on their own terms.

It won’t work. A bill has come due. While Garland is still protecting President Biden from a Special Counsel, Hunter Biden is going to have to face these alleged crimes and corruption. Even the media is now admitting that he was influence peddling, though maintaining a final line of defense for the president. The last defense is that it was corrupt, but merely illusory because it did not actually influence Joe Biden. In other words, Hunter is rapidly becoming expendable.

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“To go from being, like, a well-paid street corner schizophrenic to, like, a politician – it’s just kind of hard to envision..”

Tucker Carlson Comments On Running As Trump’s VP (RT)

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has stopped short of ruling out becoming former US President Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate in 2024, suggesting that he would need a directive from God to take the job if it’s offered to him. Carlson, who has attracted millions of viewers to his channel on X (formerly Twitter) since being fired by Fox in April, made his comments on Thursday night in response to a media report that he was the potential VP candidate favored by former First Lady Melania Trump. Asked about the report after he gave a speech at an event in Washington, Carlson said, “God would have to yell at me very loud” to accept such an offer. Independent media outlet Semafor was first to report on Carlson’s response. The political commentator noted that he doesn’t really know the first lady.

He has repeatedly insisted that he has no interest in running for elected office. “To go from being, like, a well-paid street corner schizophrenic to, like, a politician – it’s just kind of hard to envision,” he said on Thursday. However, Semafor reported, there were cheers from the audience when he didn’t fully rule out joining Trump’s 2024 ticket. Axios reported on Thursday that the former first lady was advocating for her husband to pick Carlson as his running mate. “She thinks Carlson would make a powerful onstage extension of her husband,” the outlet said, citing an unidentified person close to Trump. Trump is polling as, far and away, the leading Republican candidate to face Democrat incumbent Joe Biden in next year’s presidential election. He also faces 91 felony charges in four separate criminal cases filed by prosecutors in Washington, New York, Florida, and Georgia.

Carlson has said that he became an avid Trump supporter after the FBI raided the former president’s home in Florida last summer. He has vowed to vote for Trump and lead protests if the ex-president is convicted of a crime and jailed: “You cannot allow the regime, the president of the United States, the Justice Department, to knock the frontrunner out of the race. You can’t do that.” Other potential Trump VP candidates include Senator J.D. Vance, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Representative Byron Donalds, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake, according to the Axios report.

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“Many misinterpret 1984 as a warning against Stalinism and Nazism, but George Orwell was predicting the future of the Western world. That future is here.”

Is Truth Becoming Valueless? (Paul Craig Roberts)

In America and its Western puppet states, there is today no greater crime than to be a truth-teller. Despite habeas corpus and due process enshrined in British law and the US Constitution, Julian Assange has been illegally detained for a decade for telling the truth. Reiner Fuellmich, the Germany attorney, who was about to file charges against the pharmaceutical companies for deaths and injuries from the Covid “vaccine,” was kidnapped in Mexico by the German government and placed in solitary confinement in Germany on obviously false charges in order to prevent the lawsuit. Barry Young, the New Zealand Covid database administrator who released the official data showing that the alleged “vaccine” was a deadly killer, has been arrested for revealing the truth. Be sure you understand what I am telling you. Those who tell you the truth are being arrested and treated worst than mass murderers. Murder is not a threat to the corrupt ruling establishment, but Truth is.

All truth-tellers have a target on their backs, including me. For reporting accurately on Putin’s hopes for reconciliation with Washington, I was labeled a “Putin agent/dupe.” This was just the beginning. George Soros, who Elon Musk said “appears to want nothing less than the destruction of Western civilization,” finances “fact checkers” and “verification” sites, the purpose of which is to discredit those who tell the truth. The State Department, the FBI, CIA, Mossad, and any number of government agencies and official organizations in the West work overtime to discredit truth-tellers. Wikipedia labeled me an “anti-semite” for quoting WW II historian David Irving in a book review. A truth-suppression website–NewsGuard–financed by who?–describes my website, which is read in every country in the world, as “A Conspiracy-oriented website that regularly publishes falsehoods about US election, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and other issues.”

It is extraordinary that after describing me as a disinformation artist, NewsGuard accurately describes me as an Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, a presidential appointment which requires confirmation by the US Senate in order to take office, as an editor of the Wall Street Journal, as an author of books published by Harvard University Press and Oxford University Press, highly prestigious publishers who required credibility on the part of their peer-reviewed authors. So here I stand, with numerous top secret security clearances over many years, confirmed in a presidential appointment by the US Senate, a Wall Street Journal editor, a Business Week columnist for a dozen or more years, an academic at Stanford University and occupant for a dozen years of the William E. Simon Chair for Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and all of these front line institutions appointed a “conspiracy theorist.”

I have the French Legion of Honor signed by French President Mitterrand, the US Treasury’s Meritorious Service Award, the US Treasury’s Silver Medal, the International Journalism Award from the Press Club of Mexico. I have been in Who’s Who In America and Who Who’s in the World for decades. I have Who’s Who in America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. I have been on boards of multi-billion dollar financial and manufacturing institutions. I have been an adviser to J.P. Morgan Guaranty Trust and other large money managers. I have endless endorsements from distinguished Americans. And a dismal unverified hired gun organization called NewsGuard declares the entire journalistic, academic, business, and political establishment to have appointed a “conspiracy theorist” to the highest positions in the society.

No, I am not bragging on myself. I am pointing out that NewsGuard has no shame. The organization declares a truth-teller who has the highest honors to be a liar. Every corrupt, evil, material interest has money to demonize the truth. NewsGuard is one of their operatives. These are people devoid of integrity, but these sorts of sites are plentiful online, and given the insouciance of the American people, these sites might have more influence than truth-tellers. It raises the questions: can truth prevail when endless money can shout truth down? Can truth survive when people show scant interest in supporting truth and those who tell it? If you look objectively with open eyes at the news and at the indoctrination that passes for education, you will see that you live in a world of lies constructed by official narratives. Throughout the Western world police powers are being used to enforce the official narratives–every one of which is a lie.

Think about what this means for science and scholarship when Big Pharma-paid shills can shout down and discredit honest independent scientists, when educators can turn fiction into fact and fact into lies, when we live in Orwell’s world where Newspeak and Doublethink prevail: “War is peace,” “Freedom is slavery,” “Ignorance is strength.” Many misinterpret 1984 as a warning against Stalinism and Nazism, but George Orwell was predicting the future of the Western world. That future is here. Stand with me or soon you will find that you cannot stand at all.

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JOHN LENNON was taken from us 43yrs ago today. Every year on the anniversary of his death, the National Trust leave the bedroom light on in John’s childhood home, all night.

 

 

 

 

Bronze doors

 

 

 

 

Dragon

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 142023
 
 November 14, 2023  Posted by at 10:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  57 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan The Flowering Apple Tree 1912

 

State Department Memo Blasts Biden Over ‘Misinformation’ on Gaza War (Sp.)
The Unspoken Elephant in the Room of Netanyahu’s Intent in Gaza (Crooke)
Behind Closed Doors US Calls on Israel to Speed Up Gaza Operation (Sp.)
Pentagon Asks Israel Not to Expand War to Lebanon (Sp.)
Billionaires Are Teaming Up For Pro-Israel, Anti-Hamas Media Drive (AlJ)
The War for Greater Israel and US Hegemony Is About to Begin (PCR)
Zelenskyy Is In Conflict With Ukrainian Military – Arestovych (RT)
Nord Stream ‘Sideshow’ Conceals Zelensky vs Zaluzhny Infighting (Sp.)
The Rise of Evil as the Determinant Force in the Western World (PCR)
Canada Is A Hostage To Nazi Ideology – Moscow (RT)
Light in the Darkness (Kunstler)
Suella Braverman Sacked As Home Secretary After Article Criticising Police (G.)
David Cameron Returns To UK Government As Foreign Secretary (G.)
The Sacking of the Beltway by Good Intentions (Turley)
Whistleblower David McBride Declares ‘Today I Serve My Country’ (G.)

 

 


Two Mothers watching over their sons. Same place in the world, 2,000 years apart

 

 

 

 

Galloway

 

 

 

 

Not Borat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1724175188638511544

 

 

 

 

Gaza gas

 

 

 

 

Shamir

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..accuses the president of being “complicit in genocide..”

State Department Memo Blasts Biden Over ‘Misinformation’ on Gaza War (Sp.)

One hundred State Department and USAID employees have signed a memo accusing the Biden administration of “spreading misinformation” about the war in Gaza and charging Israel with carrying out “war crimes” by cutting off electricity to the enclave, limiting aid deliveries and mounting attacks which have displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.The five-page memo, excerpts of which were obtained by US media, accuses the president of being “complicit in genocide,” attacks him for questioning the number of lives lost in Gaza amid Israel’s campaign, and demands that the US government “advocate for the release of hostages by both Hamas” and by Israel, including “thousands” of Palestinians it says are being held by the Israelis “without charge.”

Accusing the administration of “doubl[ing] down on our unwavering military assistance [to Israel] without clear or actionable redlines,” the memo argues that the White House and members of the National Security Council have “displayed a clear disregard for the lives of Palestinians, a documented unwillingness to de-escalate, and, even prior to October 7, a reckless lack of strategic foresight.” The cutting memo appears to be the second of its kind since the media publication of excerpts from a separate letter by staffers on the Biden administration’s handling of the Gaza crisis last week. “We must publicly criticize Israel’s violations of international norms such as failure to limit offensive operations to legitimate military targets,” the earlier memo, excerpts of which were reported on Saturday, said. “When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity,” it added.

The memos are the latest sign of widespread internal dissent in the State Department over the US handling of the Gaza crisis. Last month, Josh Paul, a director at State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, publicly resigned and warned in a letter that the US is “repeating the same mistakes we have made these past few decades” by “blindly” supporting the Israelis, and saying he would not “be a part of it for longer.” Last week, more than 500 former Biden 2020 campaign staffers signed a letter “imploring” the president to “step up” and “be a leader we can be proud of in the face of injustice” in the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. Expressing “horror” over the October 7 Hamas attacks, the staffers stressed that their violence did not justify what Israel is doing in the Gaza Strip.

Biden Israel

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“For now, the IDF are staying in their tanks. But sooner or later, they will have to engage with Hamas on foot. So, the fight with Hamas has barely begun.”

The Unspoken Elephant in the Room of Netanyahu’s Intent in Gaza (Crooke)

What is the ‘elephant’ (or elephants) in the room? Blinken’s recent regional diplomacy was ‘a bust’. None of the regional leaders that Blinken met would talk further about Gaza beyond demanding stridently, ‘no Palestinian population displacement into Egypt’ a ‘stop to this madness’ – the carpet bombing of Gazans – and the demand for an immediate ceasefire. And Biden’s calls for a ‘pause’ – softly, at first, and the more strident now – is being bluntly ignored by the Israeli government. The spectre of President Carter’s impotence during the Iran hostage crisis hangs ever more soberly in the backdrop. The truth is that the White House cannot force Israel to do its will – the Israeli lobby holds the more clout in Congress than any White House team. Thus, ‘no exit’ from the Israeli crisis is readily to be seen. Biden ‘made his bed’ with the Netanyahu cabinet and must live with consequences.

Impotence then, as the Democratic Party fractures beyond the simplistic division between centrists versus progressives. The polarisation emanating from the ‘no ceasefire stance’ is having stark destabilising effects on politics, both in the U.S. and Europe. Impotence then, as the shape of the Middle East crystallises into sharp antagonism towards the West’s perceived accommodation of the mass slaughter of Palestinian women, children and civilians. The die may be too far ‘cast’ to brake the ongoing tectonic reset already underway. Western double standards are just too inescapably obvious now to the Global Majority. The large ‘elephant’ is this: Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tons of high explosives since 7 October (the 1945 Hiroshima nuke was 15,000 tons equivalent). What exactly is Netanyahu and his war cabinet’s aim here?

Ostensibly, the earlier military operation in Jabalia Camp was about targeting a Hamas leader suspected of lurking under the camp – but six 2,000 lb bombs for one Hamas ‘target’ in a crowded refugee camp? And why too the attacks on water cisterns, hospital solar energy panels and hospital entrances, roads, schools and bakeries? Bread has almost disappeared in Gaza. The UN says all bakeries in northern Gaza have closed following the bombing of the last bakeries. Clean water is desperately short, and thousands of bodies are slowly decomposing under rubble. Disease and epidemic are appearing, whilst humanitarian supplies are being tightly restricted as a bargaining tool toward further hostage releases.. Editor of Haaretz, Aluf Benn, puts the Israeli strategy very plainly:

“The expulsion of the Palestinian residents, transformation of their homes into piles of construction rubble, and the restriction of the entry of supplies and fuel into Gaza are the “tiebreaking move” employed by Israel in the current conflict, unlike all previous rounds of fighting in the Strip”. Of what are we talking here? This clearly is not about avoiding collateral civilian deaths occurring as the IDF battles with Hamas. There have been no street battles in Jabalia, or in and around the hospitals – as one soldier commented: “All we’ve done is ride around in our armored vehicles. The boots on the ground stuff will come later”. The pretext of a ‘humanitarian evacuation’ therefore is bogus. Hamas’ main forces are sitting deep underground, for the right moment to engage the IDF (i.e. when they are on foot amidst the rubble). For now, the IDF are staying in their tanks. But sooner or later, they will have to engage with Hamas on foot. So, the fight with Hamas has barely begun.

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For Sleepy Joe’s re-election.

Behind Closed Doors US Calls on Israel to Speed Up Gaza Operation (Sp.)

The United States is calling on Israel to accelerate its operation in the Gaza Strip behind closed doors as it may negatively affect President Joe Biden’s reelection bid in case of prolongation, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said on Monday. “The truth, however, is that Americans are having very different conversations behind closed doors with Israeli leadership. The Israelis are being encouraged to speed up the operation in order to prevent it from being delayed, as this would negatively affect Biden’s election positions,” the SVR said in a statement. The US has managed to secure the support of the United Kingdom and Germany in promoting the operation to destroy the Palestinian Hamas movement despite the rising death toll among Gaza Strip residents, the SVR added.

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“.. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who wrote on social media late Sunday [..] the “Israeli regime” had “collapsed on October 7 and is now alive” only thanks to “American artificial respiration.”

Pentagon Asks Israel Not to Expand War to Lebanon (Sp.)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah stopped short of opening a second front against Israel in a long-anticipated speech last week, saying that tying up substantial numbers of Israeli troops along the border was sufficient, while warning that “all options are on the table” if Israel continues it provocations. Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin ‘expressed concern’ to his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant about Israeli actions serving to escalate tensions along the Israeli-Lebanese border. That’s according to a report by US media citing three Israeli and American sources briefed on the Austin-Gallant phonecall, which took place Saturday. The unusually blunt request comes amid reports of concerns in Washington that Tel Aviv is deliberately trying to draw Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah militia into the Palestinian-Israeli crisis to drag the United States and other powers into the conflict.

Israel has dismissed such claims. The official readout of the Austin-Gallant call did not mention Lebanon or Hezbollah, paraphrasing Austin as having “reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense,” while emphasizing “the need to contain the conflict to Gaza and avoid regional escalation.” But in private, the report indicated, Austin specifically asked Gallant not to take ‘steps that could lead to an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah,’ and for details on Israeli strikes against Lebanon, which Israeli media have indicated have proven increasingly ineffective against Hezbollah’s fighters. Austin’s remarks come amid concerns expressed Monday by Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, a top commander in Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, that Israel’s continued war in Gaza has already spilled over into Lebanon, and threatens to expand further.

“Today, we can see that the war has expanded and Lebanon is embroiled in it. It’s probable that the extent of clashes will grow even further. The future is uncertain, but Iran is prepared for all circumstances,” Hajizadeh said. The brigadier general, who commands the IRGC’s powerful Aerospace Force, went on to stress that Iran is not afraid of the United States, which has parked two aircraft carriers and at least one cruise missile sub in the Middle East and shored up its bases in the region with thousands of additional troops and warplanes. “The US is not threatening Iran…Iran is not in a position where anybody would seek to threaten it, as we are currently at the peak of our military strength,” Hajizadeh assured. The commander’s remarks were preceded by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who wrote on social media late Sunday that he had informed his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, that the “Israeli regime” had “collapsed on October 7 and is now alive” only thanks to “American artificial respiration.”

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“We must get ahead of the narrative.”

Billionaires Are Teaming Up For Pro-Israel, Anti-Hamas Media Drive (AlJ)

A billionaire real estate tycoon in the United States is rallying support for a high-dollar media crusade to boost Israel’s image and demonise the Hamas armed group amid global pro-Palestinian solidarity protests.The media campaign — called Facts for Peace — is seeking million-dollar donations from dozens of the world’s biggest names in media, finance and technology, according to an email seen by news website Semafor. More than 50 individuals are being courted, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Dell CEO Michael Dell and financier Michael Milken. They have a combined net worth of around $500bn, Semafor said. Some of the individuals, such as investor Bill Ackman, have publicly threatened to blacklist pro-Palestine students who are critical of Israel.

On October 10, Ackman wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that he and other business executives wanted Ivy League universities to disclose the names of students who are part of organisations that signed open letters criticising Israeli policies in Gaza.US billionaire Barry Sternlicht, who started the project, said the campaign would help Israel “get ahead of the narrative” as the world has reacted to the intensive Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip. “Public opinion will surely shift as scenes, real or fabricated by Hamas, of civilian Palestinian suffering will surely erode [Israel’s] current empathy in the world community”, Sternlicht wrote in an email soliciting contributions from the wealthy figures shortly after Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel, according to Semafor. “We must get ahead of the narrative.”

[..] Sternlicht’s media drive aims to brand Hamas as a “terrorist organisation” that is “not just the enemy of Israel, but of the United States”, he wrote. The goal is to draw $50m in private donations, paired with a matching contribution from a Jewish charity. Hamas is already designated as a “terrorist” organisation by the US and the European Union for its armed resistance against Israeli occupation. It is unclear which figures have donated, but the campaign has raised at least a few million dollars already, Semafor reported, citing “people familiar with the matter”. It is being advised by Josh Vlasto, a communications strategist who previously worked for US Senator Chuck Schumer and former Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, Semafor reported.

The US is Israel’s strongest global ally, providing it with billions of dollars of aid annually and staunch diplomatic backing. Despite the mounting humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the US government has continuously rebuffed global calls for a ceasefire and reiterated that Washington will not give Israel “red lines” in the war. On November 2, the US Congress passed a $14.3bn emergency military aid package for Israel. However, public support for the US’s position appears to be ebbing, with nearly half of US Democrats disapproving of how Joe Biden has handled the conflict, according to a recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Social media giants such as Instagram, X, YouTube and TikTok have been accused of censoring pro-Palestine voices by reducing their reach, a practice known as shadowbanning. Axios reported last month that pro-Palestine posts on TikTok were being viewed four times more than pro-Israel posts. This came as people around the world have reacted with horror to the mounting death toll in Gaza where most of the killed are civilians. Facts For Peace, the media campaign launched by Sternlicht, aims to win back public favour for Israel, posting videos on its social media pages blaming Hamas for the plight of Palestinians and denying claims of Israeli rights violations.

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“How can the extraordinary situation be explained that the US, a country that demonizes its own white population, is led by neoconservatives who assert that the American people are exceptional and indispensable?”

The War for Greater Israel and US Hegemony Is About to Begin (PCR)

Putin could have prevented the coming world war by quickly dispatching Ukraine in 2014 and by providing air defense systems for Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza against Israel and Washington’s air strikes.I would be more optimistic that we have a future if Russian media and foreign affairs analysts, such as Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the Russian Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense policy, could dispense with their rose-colored glasses that protect them from reality, and face up to facts. The massive amounts of aircraft, air defense systems, warships, troops and nuclear missile submarines the US is pouring into the vicinity of Israel is not intended for use against Hamas. The intent is to open up the Middle East for Greater Israel and to use Iran as a base from which to cause problems for Russia in Central Asia. If this agenda succeeds, nuclear war is inevitable. An agenda that leads to ashes should be denounced and avoided.

The neoconservatives who control US foreign policy have had their sights on Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah before the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. These countries have been American targets since Norman Podhoretz wrote in Commentary that the US should overthrow the Middle Eastern governments. Prior to the George W. Bush regime’s invasion of Iraq, General Wesley Clark was shown a Pentagon memo that the US intended to overthrow 7 Middle Eastern countries in 5 years. The neoconservatives completely controlled US defense and foreign policy then, as they do today. This project is still the agenda, and it is unfolding before blind Russian and American eyes as I write. I often wonder if Russia, despite its overwhelming nuclear and military superiority over the West, has the ability to survive.

Russian intellectuals, media, and foreign policy analysts seem to be incapable of comprehending that the neoconservatives regard Russia as an enemy to be eliminated. Alienated by the Soviet regime, Russian intellectuals see the West as the touchstone of rationality and freedom. Can Russia survive such a delusion? Fyodor Lukyanov, for example, who is also the director of the Valdai International Discussion Club where Putin always shines, dismisses WW III as “inadmissible” because of nuclear weapons. Perhaps he was influenced by the decades of American propaganda and cannot reconcile his brainwashing with the Wolfowitz doctrine. Indeed, in my many years of being interviewed by Russian media, it is rare to come across a Russian journalist who is even aware of the Wolfowitz doctrine that the principal goal of US foreign policy is to prevent the rise of Russia or any other country capable of constraining US unilateral action.

The entirety of Putin’s travails in Ukraine is due to his inability to comprehend the agenda of the US neoconservatives. He sat there for 8 years while the US built a Ukrainian Army capable of destroying Russian Donbas before he, belatedly, acted. Putin is again sitting on his butt in the Middle East. He does nothing while the US builds up massive military power in the region except aid Washington by preventing Iran and Hezbollah from acting when they had the initiative and would have succeeded. Meanwhile his foreign policy analysts tell him that the Third World War is far off in the future, beyond his life time. How can the extraordinary situation be explained that the US, a country that demonizes its own white population, is led by neoconservatives who assert that the American people are exceptional and indispensable?

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“..the military is not satisfied with the failed counter-offensive, the misuse of Western assistance and the low level of competence in Kyiv..”

Zelenskyy Is In Conflict With Ukrainian Military – Arestovych (RT)

Oleksiy Arestovych, a former adviser to the head of the office of the Ukrainian president, has said that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in conflict with the Ukrainian military due to the failure of the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). “The president’s speech is becoming increasingly emotional because of the criticism he is receiving,” Arestovych said in an interview with El Mundo According to him, the military is not satisfied with the failed counter-offensive, the misuse of Western assistance and the low level of competence in Kyiv. Arestovych said that the position of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi differs from the position of Zelensky. “Now we are faced with a situation where the commander in chief says one thing about the war and the prospects for victory, and the president says something completely different. This is not a normal situation,” the former adviser concluded. Earlier, the head of Zelenskyy’s office, Andrii Yermak, said that the Ukrainian leader and Zaluzhnyi are not in conflict and are united on key issues.

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“..The fact that he was featured in The Economist to me indicates that this is British intelligence signaling that they think this Zaluzhny is their boy..”

Nord Stream ‘Sideshow’ Conceals Zelensky vs Zaluzhny Infighting (Sp.)

US legacy media has added another layer of obfuscation and complexity to the Nord Stream cover story attempting to take the heat off Washington to blame Ukraine for the September 2022 attacks. Building on reports from earlier this year that an enigmatic “pro-Ukrainian group” rented a sailboat to carry out the attacks, released after Sy Hersh’s bombshell reporting implicating the US Navy for the acts of terrorism, the Washington Post story Saturday indicated that Ukrainian special operations forces colonel Roman Chervinsky coordinated the “brazen sabotage operation.” Chervinsky, WaPo’s story goes, “was the coordinator of the Nord Stream operation,” “managing logistics and support for a six-person team that rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on the gas pipelines.”

But in a new twist on an old narrative, the newspaper ‘revealed’ that Chervinsky, who is presently rotting in a Kiev jail on abuse of power charges, “took orders from more senior Ukrainian officials” reporting to Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny. The twist, coming amid the very public spat between Zaluzhny and President Volodymyr Zelensky over the commander’s comments earlier this month that Ukraine’s counteroffensive had reached a “stalemate,” differs radically from previous MSM reporting on the Nord Stream attacks, which stressed that the alleged Ukrainian perpetrators had no affiliation whatsoever to Ukraine’s government or military. Sources cited by WaPo in its Saturday piece similarly stressed that “the Nord Stream operation was designed to keep Zelensky out of the loop.”

Russian officials haven’t bought the new take on the story, with Duma lawmaker Alexey Chepa characterizing the newspaper’s story as an attempt by the United States and NATO to whitewash their own culpability for the Nord Stream attacks. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the report’s suggestion that Zelensky was kept out of the loop should be “a very alarming sign” not only for Russia, but for the collective West as well. “Because if the Kiev regime no longer controls the situation in the country, this is alarming and should also be taken account.” Retired CIA intelligence officer and former State Department official Larry Johnson also dismisses the new take on the ‘Ukraine did Nord Stream’ story, stressing that it must be viewed using a much broader lens.

“Since the Washington Post normally is the preferred mouthpiece of the CIA, you have to take this as an example of CIA propaganda to identify this individual, who has zero experience in underwater demolition operations, as sort of the mastermind of an underwater demolition operation, as just silly beyond belief,” Johnson told Sputnik. “All of this has to be viewed in the context of the growing conflict between General Zaluzhny and President Zelensky,” Johnson emphasized. “He basically has been seen as a competitor to Zelensky. The fact that he was featured in The Economist to me indicates that this is British intelligence signaling that they think this Zaluzhny is their boy. And the CIA is pushing back, saying ‘no, no, no, it’s got to be Zelensky.’ So Chervinsky is just a sideshow. When you look at the picture here, there’s nothing at all about him that would suggest an operative with any kind of competence.”

Attempts by Washington to deflect the blame for the Nord Stream attacks onto Ukraine makes sense in the context of Kiev’s gradual “abandonment” by the Biden administration, Johnson believes. “This has happened to Afghanistan. It happened in Vietnam. It’s going to happen to Kiev. They’re not winning the war. The United States is preoccupied with the war in Israel. And the United States does not have the money nor the weapons to keep Ukraine in the fight. So we’re looking for exit strategies. And right now the question is whether or not Zelensky will survive. Will he be replaced by Zaluzhny? Will there be a military coup? I think that we’re into that territory now because Ukraine has experienced absolutely zero success on the battlefield,” the observer explained.

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“Western civilization has to go,” as the students chanted, and it has. In its place evil has risen.”

The Rise of Evil as the Determinant Force in the Western World (PCR)

Normally when there is a school shooter, the media goes on and on about the right-wing gun nut who killed the kids. We learn all about him and his politically incorrect ideas and associations. No stone in his life is left unturned. But if the shooter is not a rightwing gun nut, we hear nothing about it. Moreover, as Glenn Greenwald points out, the police and the media suppress the information as it doesn’t fit the narrative. This time the shooter, or rather, murderer, was a trans woman, Audrey Hale, who shot and murdered three teachers and three nine-year olds in a Christian school in Tennessee. Her motives were political, her ideology was left/liberal, and her victims were white in a private Christian school. She left a manifesto, interest in which was non-existent among the presstitutes. The FBI and Tennessee police refused to release the manifesto. When a court ordered the manifesto’s release, the FBI and Tennessee police appealed and the appellate court stayed the court’s order.

Greenwald contrasts this behavior with what happens when the shooter is a white male who can be described as rightwing. Not only are conservative beliefs blamed, but also prominent conservative people who are alleged to have inspired the shooter. Greenwald writes: “Rumble host Steven Crowder announced he had obtained several pages of the manifesto. He published them on Twitter and his online show. The Nashville PD acknowledged their authenticity, expressed rage, and ordered an investigation to find the leaker. The pages published by Crowder of Hale’s writings contained vicious and hateful anti-white and anti-Christian sentiments, prompting the question: who in media or politics radicalized Audrey Hale to go murder people in the name of these bigotries? Yet immediately, Big Tech platforms—including Google’s YouTube and Facebook—censored Crowder’s publications. We know about them—and were able to read them—only because Twitter (X) and Rumble refused as usual to censor, highlighting yet again the vital importance of these free speech platforms.”

For many years I have documented that the overriding purpose of media, universities, the public school system, Hollywood, and the Democrat Party has been to demonize white, traditional Americans as racists, white supremacists, gun nuts, anti-semites, Russian agents, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists, and whatever else. It is extraordinary that the backbone of the United States–the white normal citizen–has been demonized, while sexual perverts and anti-Americans prevail in setting the agendas. The qualities, such as integrity, that comprised the virtues of Americans in my lifetime are no longer passed forward by education, literature, and entertainment. “Western civilization has to go,” as the students chanted, and it has. In its place evil has risen.

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“Neo-Nazi ideology or nationalist ideology, unfortunately, has a very strong influence in Canada. I think this is obvious..”

Canada Is A Hostage To Nazi Ideology – Moscow (RT)

The recent honoring of a Waffen-SS veteran in Canada’s House of Commons was hardly surprising, given the country’s history of harboring Nazi collaborators after World War II, a senior Russia diplomat told RIA Novosti on Monday. The descendants of these people lobby the government to have their ancestors whitewashed and celebrated, Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, explained, referring to an incident in September involving an elderly Ukrainian-Canadian man named Yaroslav Hunka. “Neo-Nazi ideology or nationalist ideology, unfortunately, has a very strong influence in Canada. I think this is obvious,” the Russian official said. “The [Justin] Trudeau government is somewhat a hostage [to the situation].”

Polyansky noted that the large number of Nazi war criminals that entered Canada after World War II had children and grandchildren in the country, and so the situation in which Hunka, a 98-year-old veteran of the SS Galicia Division, was honored in the Canadian parliament earlier this year was hardly “surprising.” Last September, a scandal erupted when Hunka, who served with the notorious 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, which is known to have committed atrocities against Jews and Poles during World War II, received a standing ovation in the Canadian parliament with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in attendance. The Waffen SS veteran was introduced as a “hero” who fought “for Ukrainian independence against the Russians” during World War II.

At the time, Canada’s immigration minister, Marc Miller, admitted that the country has “a really dark history with Nazis,” saying that at one point, “it was easier to get in [to Canada] as a Nazi than it was as a Jewish person.” Following backlash from Jewish organizations, House Speaker Anthony Rota, who invited Hunka to the event, accepted full responsibility for the incident and has since resigned. Trudeau offered “unreserved apologies” for applauding the Nazi veteran. In October, Russia’s Investigative Committee charged Hunka in absentia with genocide, claiming that archive documents serve as evidence that he and fellow SS Galicia members killed at least 500 civilians between February 23 and 28, 1944. Russian media outlets later reported that the country’s Interior Ministry placed him on its official database of wanted individuals.

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“..a blatantly corrupt and ignorant attorney general in New York state can get away with bringing a politically-motivated nonsense case against the leading presidential candidate in a courtroom ruled by a judge who acts like a jester in a Shakespeare play..”

Light in the Darkness (Kunstler)

The sun is low on the horizon all day long now, and darkness creeps in like a home invasion of your mind. Demons descend through a red and black sky and no help is on the way. Our country is so mentally hog-tied trying to unravel the twisted events of just a few years past that it has no mojo left for rationally anticipating the events of just a few years ahead. Have you ever felt more alone? This is the end-process that we’ve been softened up for: the inability to think and plan. The gigantic “intel community” evolved from something intended to act as sensitized antennae for detecting threats against our republic into what is now a remorseless mind-fucking operation against our republic. That word, by the way, derives from the Latin res publica: the public thing, a society that literally belongs to the people, who decide its affairs. Now, so much is mysteriously decided for us, and not in any good way.

It’s no wonder more than half the country can’t think straight, and it’s a whopping irony that this group comprises most of our country’s thinking class —the bureaucratic managers, the professors, the curators, the editors, the reporters lost in mis-reporting. This group used to play a critical role in the res publica: to earnestly determine what is true and what is real, and to present us with a way of understanding all that so we can think and plan. They appear to be captured by malign forces. The scribes are hard at work defending every act of official malice. The dishonesty at work is epic. You need a decoder ring to keep your mind right. You are probably desperate to understand why this is happening — how, for instance, a blatantly corrupt and ignorant attorney general in New York state can get away with bringing a politically-motivated nonsense case against the leading presidential candidate in a courtroom ruled by a judge who acts like a jester in a Shakespeare play. New York AG Letitia James gets away with it because the flagship organ of the thinking class, The New York Times, is in on the gambit. But why?

We struggle to sort this out. One explanation is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has infiltrated the management of our country at every level so as to eventually conquer our territory for its resources while eliminating or enslaving the population? Surely, the CCP has made significant inroads, starting with the successful bribery and compromise of “Joe Biden,” probably other elected officials, too, in placing many CCP agents in the vast array of university research departments, NGOs, PACs, and lobbying gangs, and extending to the purchase of vital businesses and farmland to prepare the gameboard for eventual takeover. My opinion is they’ve accomplished a good bit of this, but it’s not the answer you’re seeking.

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In UK politics, incompetence is a job requirement.

Suella Braverman Sacked As Home Secretary After Article Criticising Police (G.)

Rishi Sunak has sacked Suella Braverman as UK home secretary after she was blamed for inflaming tensions over Armistice Day protests, immediately replacing her with James Cleverly, the foreign secretary. A No 10 announcement said Cleverly was becoming home secretary following “the departure from government” of Braverman. A government source earlier said that Sunak “asked Suella Braverman to leave government and she has accepted”. David Cameron, the former prime minister, was later confirmed as replacing Cleverley as foreign secretary. Braverman’s dismissal is being used by Sunak as the trigger for a wider reshuffle, with Thérèse Coffey, the environment secretary, and Steve Barclay, the health secretary, believed to be also likely to go.

Jeremy Hunt, who had been tipped to be moved as chancellor, was also confirmed as staying in post. Two junior ministers, the schools minister Nick Gibb and the health minister Neil O’Brien, announced they were stepping down from their roles. After being sacked, Braverman said “it has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary”, adding: “I will have more to say in due course.” Jess Phillips, part of Labour’s shadow home affair team, called Braverman the “worst home secretary in living memory”, adding: “Putting aside obvious ghoulish divisions, she simply didn’t understand her job.” Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: “Suella Braverman was never fit to be home secretary. Rishi Sunak knew this and he still appointed her. It was the prime minister’s sheer cowardice that kept her in the job even for this long.”

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Blair is back, AND Cameron is back. That’s the best Britain can do.

David Cameron Returns To UK Government As Foreign Secretary (G.)

David Cameron has returned to government as UK foreign secretary, in a stunning comeback for the former prime minister that highlighted Rishi Sunak’s willingness to take risks as he looks to revive his political fortunes. Downing Street announced on Monday that Cameron would join the government, accepting a peerage in order to do so, as part of a wider reshuffle in which Suella Braverman was sacked as home secretary and replaced by the foreign secretary, James Cleverly. A spokesperson also confirmed Jeremy Hunt would remain as chancellor. Cameron posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “We are facing a daunting set of international challenges, including the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East. At this time of profound global change, it has rarely been more important for this country to stand by our allies, strengthen our partnerships and make sure our voice is heard.

“While I have been out of front-line politics for the last seven years, I hope that my experience – as Conservative Leader for eleven years and Prime Minister for six – will assist me in helping the Prime Minister to meet these vital challenges.” Cameron stood down in 2016 after losing the Brexit referendum, but reportedly told friends in 2018 he wanted to return to frontline politics, preferably as foreign secretary. Since then he has maintained a relatively low profile, though he became embroiled in scandal two years ago when he lobbied government ministers to provide financing for the now-insolvent financial services company Greensill Capital.

He returned to the headlines last month when he said Sunak’s decision to cancel the HS2 high-speed train line between Birmingham and Manchester was wrong, adding: “We are heading in the wrong direction.” Cameron has also been a strong supporter of the UK retaining its commitment to spending 0.7% of gross national income on international aid, a commitment Sunak has since junked. Cameron said in his online statement: “Though I may have disagreed with some individual decisions, it is clear to me that Rishi Sunak is a strong and capable Prime Minister, who is showing exemplary leadership at a difficult time. I want to help him to deliver the security and prosperity our country needs and be part of the strongest possible team that serves the United Kingdom and that can be presented to the country when the General Election is held.”

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“..the “newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) does not have a bank account” and apparently “lives paycheck to paycheck.”

The Sacking of the Beltway by Good Intentions (Turley)

There is a palpable level of panic that seems to have taken hold of Washington this week. Establishment figures are raising the alarm over the rise of dangerous figures as if they are the barbarians at the gate before the sacking of Rome in 410. The threat is coming from both parties in the form of the new Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. They may be the worst type of barbarians because they came to this city with the best of intentions. For some in Washington, there may be nothing more unnerving than the best of intentions. This is a one-industry town where fortunes are made the old-fashioned way with influence peddling, special dealing, and pork barreling. In that world, the rise of Johnson and Kennedy are about as welcomed as a priest among the Pirates of Penzance.

Johnson is the ultimate buzz kill. Many were aghast that Johnson used his first speech as speaker to thank God and to say that he believes that God has a plan for him. That is a view shared by millions of religious Americans and it is not the first time that a politician has made such public expressions of devotion. Bill Clinton used to invoke God and salvation continually as he set physical records for debauchery. Even after his Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton would rally liberals to “politics and political involvement dictated by faith.” The problem is not that Johnson said it but he actually seems to mean it. I likely do not share Johnson’s views on legislating morality or the separation of church and state. However, he has always been viewed as a honest man with deep convictions. Of course, this is a city that can more easily forgive actual convictions than religious convictions.

This is a city where professed socialists and populists unapologetically give their husbands or children huge amounts of campaign funds. Rep. Maxine Waters has reportedly given her daughter over a million dollars. Confronted with millions of dollars in alleged influence peddling by the Biden family, the media has continued to maintain a lack of interest, often excusing the practice as common in Washington. Indeed, this month, NBC compared Hunter Biden tapping shady foreign figures for millions to the controversy over Nikki Haley’s daughter using TikTok. The panic over the appearance of an honest man in Congress was evident in an article by the Daily Beast when senior political reporter Roger Sollenberger declared that the “newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) does not have a bank account” and apparently “lives paycheck to paycheck.”

Of course, surveys show that over sixty percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and fewer than half of Americans can cover a $1000 emergency expense. However, those are average Americans, not one of us. In this city, hard-working members of Congress plan for the future with gold bars and cash stuffed in a closet or millions transferred from corrupt foreign figures through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. In this city, the appearance of Johnson left people dumbfounded like seeing a Triceratops strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. The Daily Beast’s Mike Fuller noted: “Mike Johnson doesn’t have any retirement savings, own a single stock, or have any assets at all. He has less than $5,000 in his bank account. He’s got a 250-500K mortgage, a home equity loan, and a personal loan. So what’s his retirement plan? To lobby?”

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“Today I serve my country,” he said. “The question I have for you, Anthony Albanese, is who do you serve?”

Whistleblower David McBride Declares ‘Today I Serve My Country’ (G.)

David McBride has declared “today I serve my country” as he entered an ACT court to face trial for the alleged leaking of material later used to expose Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. McBride faces five charges, including the unauthorised disclosure of information, breaches of the Defence Act and the theft of commonwealth property. His trial started on Monday in the ACT supreme court. The former military lawyer, who is represented by leading criminal law barrister Stephen Odgers SC, has pleaded not guilty. Supporters gathered in front of the court on Monday to hear speeches from the Human Rights Law Centre senior lawyer Kieran Pender, Julian Assange’s Australian lawyer Stephen Kenny and the Medical Association for Prevention of War’s Sue Wareham, among others.

McBride spoke briefly to the crowd as he entered the court with his support dog, Jakey, who will stay beside him during the proceedings. “Today I serve my country,” he said. “The question I have for you, Anthony Albanese, is who do you serve?” McBride allegedly leaked material to the ABC about the investigation of Australian special forces operating in Afghanistan. ABC reporters later used the documents as the basis of a 2017 series on Australian war crimes titled The Afghan Files. The court on Monday was dealing with preliminary legal issues before a jury was to be empanelled later this week. The preliminary arguments related to whether McBride had a duty not to disclose the material. Commonwealth prosecutors, led by Trish McDonald SC, argue McBride’s role within the Australian Defence Force, and the military disciplinary system he was operating within, imposed a duty on him not to disclose the material.

McBride’s defence says he had a separate duty to act in the public interest and that the military disciplinary regime – and any duty it imposed on McBride not to disclose such material – could only be considered by military tribunals, not by courts of criminal law. “If the jury is satisfied that what was done was in the public interest, even though it was in breach of orders, then, in my respectful submission, you’re not in breach of your duty for the purposes of a criminal offence,” Odgers said.

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Spain’s large scale anti-socialism protests are silenced by our media.

 

 

 

 


Capybaras are herbivores, therefore harmless to other animals around them. They’re easy-going semi-aquatic mammals, social, friendly, and gentle, and get along with just about everyone, so it makes sense that other animals would enjoy their company

 

 


A 4-ton orca leaping 4 meters into the air

 

 

Elephants

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 142023
 
 March 14, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  78 Responses »


Louis Anquetin Girl Reading a Newspaper 1890

 

Kremlin Explains Its ‘Only Option’ In Ukraine (RT)
Doubts In Ukraine About Readiness To Mount Offensive -WaPo (RT)
Xi Jinping Plans To Visit Moscow As Early As Next Week (TASS)
Germany Is Not An Independent Nation – Patrushev (RT)
Russia Insists On Objective Investigation Into Nord Stream Attack (TASS)
Hungarian Defense Minister: Europe Can Send Troops To Ukraine (Az.)
‘Yanukovich Case’ Tantamount To Kiev’s Confession Of Coup – Former PM (TASS)
Jan. 6 Attorney Alleges FBI Criminally Altered Evidence (ET)
US Heading For Another Great Depression – Trump (TASS)
Money Troubles (Kunstler)
Sorry, No Empathy, No Bailouts And YES I MEAN IT (Denninger)
Are The Evil Gods Returning? Or Is Evil Is Inside Us? (Ugo Bardi)
House Dems Use Hearing to Attack Both Free Speech and a Free Press (Turley)
mRNA Vaccine Contamination Much Worse Than Thought (DS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1634898813855866881

 

 

 

 

RFK Trump

 

 

TUCKER: Should the United States support regime change in Russia?
TRUMP: No. We should support regime change in the United States, that’s far more important.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ischinger wants a “peace process” led by only one side of the conflict: US, UK, Germany and France. WTF?

Kremlin Explains Its ‘Only Option’ In Ukraine (RT)

There are currently no conditions for a peace settlement in Ukraine, meaning Russia has no other option but to keep fighting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has argued. “The absolute priority for us remains and will always remain reaching the goals that we’ve set for ourselves. At this point in time, they can only be achieved through military means,” the official told journalists on Monday. Peskov was reacting to an article penned by veteran German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, who served as chair of the Munich Security Conference for over a decade. In a piece published by the Der Tagesspiegel daily on Sunday, Ischinger urged Western leaders to “start thinking about a peace process now” and create a special political contact group for the Ukraine conflict.

“In addition to arms deliveries and financial support, we have to offer perspectives to the growing chorus of questions by critics,” he argued. According to Ischinger’s proposal, the contact group would be led by the US, UK, Germany and France, with other nations and international organizations, including NATO, forming an “outer circle” of participants to lend legitimacy to any draft documents. The group’s task would be to prepare a ceasefire agreement and other paperwork to form the backbone for a post-conflict period. It would work alongside the so-called Ramstein Group, which funnels Western military aid to Ukraine. Ischinger stressed that the new initiative would not put pressure on Ukraine to negotiate.

The veteran German diplomat suggested a list of questions that the group would ask themselves, including: “Should a ceasefire agreement be endorsed by the UN Security Council?”, “Will there be a demilitarized buffer zone?”, and “Should the people in Crimea hold a referendum to decide who they belong to?”. Kiev has declared the full return of territories it claims as Ukrainian as a precondition for peace talks. Its national security council has also banned talks with Russia for as long as President Vladimir Putin remains in office. Moscow has argued that the Ukrainian government has effectively made peace talks impossible, and that Kiev has adopted its stance based on orders from the US, which is aiming to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635321905426178058

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“Unfortunately, they are all already dead or wounded..”

Doubts In Ukraine About Readiness To Mount Offensive -WaPo (RT)

Kiev’s forces have been so “degraded” by a year of fighting against Russia that some Ukrainian officials doubt their ability to execute a planned spring offensive, the Washington Post has reported. The conflict has taken many of the most seasoned Ukrainian troops, with the arrival of inexperienced draftees changing the profile of the country’s military, the US paper pointed out on Monday. US and European officials have estimated that up 120,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded since the launch of Russia’s military operation last February, it added. Kiev keeps information abouts losses secret, even from its Western backers. “Unfortunately, they are all already dead or wounded,” a battalion commander in Ukraine’s 46th Air Assault Brigade, identified only by his call sign, Kupol, told the paper about his experienced troops.

And the poorly trained rookies that he’s been getting recently “just drop everything and run” as soon as the battle begins, the commander added. Another problem faced by Ukrainian troops is a shortage of ammunition, including artillery shells and mortar bombs, the Washington Post said, citing those fighting on the ground. “You’re on the front line. They’re coming toward you, and there’s nothing to shoot with,” Kupol said, describing the situation. “We don’t have the people or weapons,” an unnamed senior Ukrainian government official told the paper. He explained that casualties incurred by the side mounting an offensive are usually two or three times higher than on the defending side. “We can’t afford to lose that many people,” the official added.

“If you have more resources, you more actively attack. If you have fewer resources, you defend more. We’re going to defend. That’s why if you ask me personally, I don’t believe in a big counteroffensive for us. I’d like to believe in it, but I’m looking at the resources and asking, ‘With what?’ Maybe we’ll have some localized breakthroughs,” the source said. The official called the number of tanks promised to Kiev by the US and its allies “symbolic,” while some of other officials who talked to the paper didn’t believe that Western weapons would be able to reach the frontline in time. The newspaper also cited a US official, who said that – despite some gains on the battlefield recently – ammunition, manpower and motivation problems were even worse on the Russian side. However, no facts were provided to back this claim. As for Ukraine, the stakes will be “particularly high” in the coming months as Kiev’s Western supporters watch to see if the country can reclaim the initiative, the Washington Post noted.

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Zelensky wants to meet with Xi. He will not like that.

Xi Jinping Plans To Visit Moscow As Early As Next Week (TASS)

Chinese President Xi Jinping intends to visit Moscow as early as next week, Reuters reported on Monday, citing sources. According to its information, the Chinese leader expects to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. No details were given. The Wall Street Journal reported in February that the Chinese president’s trip to Moscow could take place in April or May. Last December, Putin, in talks with Xi Jinping via video conference call, invited him to come to Moscow in the spring of 2023. In February, the Russian president received Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), member of the CCP Politburo Wang Yi in the Kremlin. Putin then expressed the hope that this visit would give an additional impetus to the development of bilateral relations between Moscow and Beijing. The previous face-to-face meeting between the Russian leader and his Chinese counterpart took place in September 2022 in Samarkand during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

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“..this scenario would seem plausible only to people who “cannot think logically.”

Germany Is Not An Independent Nation – Patrushev (RT)

Germany is facing an inevitable economic decline after losing its access to Russian energy, but cannot do anything about it because it is not a sovereign nation, the secretary of the Russian National Security Council has claimed. “Germany tried for many years to build its economy on a combination of cheap Russian energy and advanced German technologies. Like no one else, it realizes that the terrorist attack against the [Nord Stream pipelines] will definitely cause the German economy to decline further,” Nikolay Patrushev said in an interview published in Argumenti i Fakti newspaper on Monday. The advantages that German businesses enjoyed by getting access to Russian fuel has long irritated the governments of the US and the UK, he continued.

But Berlin is not at liberty to continue cooperating with Moscow, “because the German nation is not independent.” “Washington imposes on Berlin its economic and environmental agenda and keeps a 35,000-strong military force on its soil. For years, the White House controlled [former chancellor] Angela Merkel, and now it forces the German leadership to side with the version of the pipeline sabotage that is advantageous to the US authorities,” Patrushev said, describing America’s treatment of Germany as “humiliating.” The remarks were part of Patrushev’s comments on the sabotage of the undersea pipelines, which were built to supply Germany with Russian natural gas. The Nord Stream links were ruptured by powerful explosions last September in what Russia has called a blatant terrorist attack.

A series of articles published by Western media this month claimed that Western intelligence services believe that a “pro-Ukrainian group” not associated with any government was behind the attack. Patrushev argued that, considering the training and equipment that such a complicated operation required, this scenario would seem plausible only to people who “cannot think logically.”

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“Berlin is well aware that close economic cooperation between Germany and Russia has never satisfied Washington and London..”

Russia Insists On Objective Investigation Into Nord Stream Attack (TASS)

Moscow insists that an objective international investigation with its participation should be carried out on the Nord Streams sabotage. The one-sided versions being heard now do little to explain anything, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said. “I emphasize that any accusations that are not supported by the results of an impartial investigation cannot be trusted. Therefore, Moscow insists on an objective investigation with the participation of Russia and other interested countries. Without this, voicing one-sided subjective versions of the terrorist attack does not explain anything,” he told the Argumenty i Fakty weekly on Monday.

According to Patrushev, Russia still did not know for certain who was behind the terrorist attacks at the Nord Stream gas pipelines, and the country has not been included in the investigation of this “unprecedented terrorist act”. He stressed that the situation was also complicated by the planting of a fake leak published without any reference to the real source. “Resolving to cover up the true patrons of the crime, the pro-government Anglo-Saxon media, following orders from above, laid the blame on a certain group of Ukrainian terrorists. In essence, they once again pointed to the terrorist nature of the current Kiev regime. At the same time, the authors of the information campaign thought that no one would object to this version,” the Russian Security Council Secretary stressed.

In his opinion, the idea that the US and the UK were not involved in the terrorist attack “is obviously driven by the calculation that the audience lacks the ability to think logically, including the method of denial.” “Since newspapers are emotionally claiming that the act of sabotage was carried out by a group of Ukrainian terrorists, the question to ask is whether such a group exists at all and if it’s capable of doing such things. It’s no secret that activities like this require special ops units that are properly trained and equipped,” Patrushev noted. According to the security chief, the US and England certainly have such capabilities. Other NATO countries also use combat swimmers for sabotage tasks but only “with the consent and support of the country that determines the main agenda for NATO,” the official explained.

Patrushev also suggested considering who benefited from the attack. “Were the blasts advantageous for Ukraine or Germany? Kiev neither lost nor gained anything from the gas pipeline destruction. Moreover, such an act is not advantageous for the Zelensky regime, which actually begs Berlin to give more military and other aid, and has no use for such an act,” he said. Germany, who for many years has been trying to build its economy based on a combination of cheap energy resources from Russia and advanced German technology, knows better than anyone else that the attack on the pipeline would definitely lead the economy of Germany to a further decline, added the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. “At the same time, Berlin is well aware that close economic cooperation between Germany and Russia has never satisfied Washington and London,” he recalled.

Along with that, Patrushev pointed out that it has long been clear that today’s German state was not independent: Washington imposed its economic and environmental policy on Berlin and kept a 35,000-strong military contingent on its territory. “It is known that for many years the White House controlled [former German Chancellor] Angela Merkel, and today it is forcing the German leadership to go along with the US authorities’ version of the pipeline sabotage. Perhaps that is why [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz was urgently summoned to Washington for a meeting with [US President Joe] Biden. By doing so, the US continues to humiliate Germany, showing it its place,” he concluded.

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We’re working on it. But other than 30,000 Poles, which other country is ready to send troops?

Hungarian Defense Minister: Europe Can Send Troops To Ukraine (Az.)

Europe’s tendency to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons and armored vehicles could lead to the deployment of troops to the conflict zone, Minister of Defense of Hungary Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said, Report informs. “Now we are at the point where we need to participate; we need to get involved, first by voting for sanctions, then with money, then only with defense means; now we already see that they are sending tanks, Leopard, fighter jets are also on the way, and if this continues, soldiers will be needed if Ukrainian human resources run out,” he said.

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“.. In October 2016, Ukraine’s new authorities stripped Yanukovich of the title of president..” That’s 2,5 years after the coup.

‘Yanukovich Case’ Tantamount To Kiev’s Confession Of Coup – Former PM (TASS)

The Kiev regime’s charges against the ex-president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, of illegal border crossing and incitement to desertion are tantamount to a confession a coup d’état was staged in Ukraine in 2014, Ukraine’s former prime minister Nikolay Azarov (2010-2014) said on Monday. “In any unclear situation in Ukraine the Kiev regime blames Yanukovich. It is alleged that on February 23, Yanukovich fled Ukraine and encouraged about 20 of his guards, who were members of the state bodyguard service, to emigrate. What idiot has concocted this case?! First, they themselves were yelling at the top of their lungs that Yanukovich had quit on his own and left the territory of Ukraine on February 21. Now they themselves have admitted that Yanukovich was on the territory of Ukraine on February 21, which means that there was no quitting on his part,” Azarov he wrote on his page on a social network.

The former prime minister urged Ukrainians to independently assess the inconsistency of the Kiev regime’s actions. On March 10, the Office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General announced that a district court in Kiev would hold hearings in absentia on the case of illegal border crossing and incitement to desertion against Yanukovich. The other defendant in this case is Konstantin Kobzar, the former chief of the head of state’s bodyguards. According to investigators, on February 23, 2014, Yanukovich and Kobzar illegally crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border twice and smuggled at least 20 people across it. On the same day, if the Prosecutor General’s Office is to be believed, Yanukovich, while staying on the territory of a military unit of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, was “instigating” his bodyguards commit desertion.

Yanukovich served as Ukraine’s president from 2010 to 2014. During the coup d’état in February 2014, he was essentially ousted from office by force and, faced with a threat to his personal safety, had to flee the country. In October 2016, Ukraine’s new authorities stripped Yanukovich of the title of president, and a month later launched criminal proceedings against him in absentia on charges of treason. In 2019, a court in Kiev sentenced Yanukovich in absentia to 13 years in prison.

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“Miller’s hidden messages reveal casual discussions among the FBI regarding the monitoring of codefendant Rehl’s trial strategy, Rehl’s defenses and ‘interesting’ points, and ways the government can get around Rehl’s defenses..”

Jan. 6 Attorney Alleges FBI Criminally Altered Evidence (ET)

Rogers Roots, an attorney representing Dominic Pezzola, a Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach defendant, alleged on Sunday that the FBI had committed crimes by altering evidence and requested that the court appoint a special master to review the evidence. Roots’s move came days after the testimony of FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller, who was involved in the agency’s investigations of the Jan. 6 defendants. When cross-examining Miller, Nick Smith, an attorney representing Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean (listed as co-defendant on Pezzola’s case), revealed classified FBI emails that were hidden in a tab in an Excel spreadsheet, which included a directive to Miller to “destroy” 338 pieces of evidence and “edit out” an FBI agent from an informant report.

“Destroying evidence is a federal crime. It actually falls under a federal crime under more than one statute. The same goes with altering documents, altering records, that is a federal crime,” the John Pierce Law attorney told The Epoch Times in an interview on Sunday. In a filing on Sunday, Roots requested that Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee presiding over the case, either dismiss the case in its entirety or appoint a special master to independently review the FBI messages that were revealed in court. “The unceremonious and uninhibited nature of Miller’s discussion of committing these serious crimes suggests an FBI culture of corruption and lawlessness that must be immediately stopped, and fully investigated,” Roots said in the filing. A key question about these leaked messages is whether they fall under the scope of evidence in the case.

Roots said in the filing that the messages show a violation of due process, reiterating his argument in an earlier filing that the FBI’s monitoring of communications between a co-defendant, Zachary Rehl, and his attorney violated the Sixth Amendment, which prohibits invasion of the right to counsel (Matter of Fusco v. Moses). “Miller’s hidden messages reveal casual discussions among the FBI regarding the monitoring of codefendant Rehl’s trial strategy, Rehl’s defenses and ‘interesting’ points, and ways the government can get around Rehl’s defenses,” Roots said in the Sunday filing. In the filing, Roots requested the court dismiss Pezzola’s case with prejudice, appoint a special counsel, appoint a special master, schedule extensive evidentiary hearings, and release Pezzola from custody.

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“We will have a great depression far bigger and more powerful than that of 1929. As proof, the banks are already starting to collapse!!!”

US Heading For Another Great Depression – Trump (TASS)

Former US President Donald Trump has blamed the incumbent, Joe Biden, for the economic problems of the United States and predicted a new Great Depression. “With what is happening to our economy, and with the proposals being made on the largest and dumbest tax increase in the history of the USA Joe Biden will go down as the Herbert Hoover (US President in 1929-1933) of the modern age. We will have a great depression far bigger and more powerful than that of 1929. As proof, the banks are already starting to collapse!!!” he wrote on his social network Truth Social on Monday.


On Friday, the California Department of Financial Protection announced the bankruptcy of the 16th largest bank in the US, Silicon Valley Bank. It serviced primarily employees of the high-tech sector workers and venture capital-funded companies, including some of the industry’s most well-established brands. According to CNN, this was the largest bank failure in the United States since the 2008 financial crisis. The Great Depression was a global economic crisis that began on October 24, 1929 with the stock market crash in the United States. It lasted until 1939. Industrial cities were the hardest hit, construction almost stopped, farm produce prices plummeted and mass unemployment ravaged the country.

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“..the interest rate hikes that Mr. Powell spoke of so confidently only days ago just got stashed into his folder labeled “Fuggeddabowdit.”

Money Troubles (Kunstler)

Since banks today exist in a vast matrix of interconnected obligations — promises to pay this-and-that — fear grows that the rot from one bank, such as SVB, will infect many other banks that are no longer able to keep their promises about paying this-and-that, leading to a daisy-chain of things not getting paid. For an economy, that’s about the same as the blood ceasing to circulate in a body. The practice in situations such as this (say, as in 2008-09) is for the governing authorities — who supposedly rule over the banking world like gods — to rush to rescue these outfits with “liquidity,” money (or representations of it) as required to re-balance things, or, maybe provide the impression of re-balancing until something else can be figured out. The Jupiter and Minerva of American banking, Jay Powell and Janet Yellen, were faced with just that sort of call for divine intervention over the weekend as fear seeped into every nook and crevice of the money world that wealth was flaring away in the long-feared-of conflagration out of the dumpster banking had become.

Sunday morning, Ms. Yellen told CBS News “bailouts, no way” but by the afternoon Mr. Powell cried “bailouts, way,” and they had to get their story straight. They offered up $25-billion to bail out depositors for a smoldering system that will arguably require a trillion dollars or more of liquidity to quench the spreading fires. One thing looks for sure: the interest rate hikes that Mr. Powell spoke of so confidently only days ago just got stashed into his folder labeled “Fuggeddabowdit.” So, the campaign to control inflation must now yield to the urgent need to create a whole lot of money to spray over those fires.

You may have noticed that the value of your money has been slip-sliding away the past year or so. Peanut butter at five bucks a jar, and all. The situation at hand kind of guarantees that we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of that. And then the gods of money will have lost control of the interest rate console altogether. No more tweaking the broken knobs. More inflation will prompt US treasury paper holders to dump what they can while there’s still some value to retrieve. But the US has to issue more debt for all the bail-outs and theoretical buyers of new debt will perforce bid up the rates to keep up with inflation… and yet the US can’t possibly bear the burden of paying higher interest on its debt. Looks like the business model for running the USA is breaking down before our eyes.

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“What was featured in the stupidity of 2008? Allowing banks to run with no reserves..”

Sorry, No Empathy, No Bailouts And YES I MEAN IT (Denninger)

The so-called “Chief Risk Officer” at SVB had a masters in….. public administration. Anyone care to bet if she passed any form of advanced mathematics — you know, like for example Calculus or Statistics? Do you think she understood exponents and why this graph made clear that concentration of risk and duration was stupid and likely to blow up in everyone’s face — including hers? How about Bill Ackman and the others on the Internet screaming for a bailout? How about the CFOs of public companies like Roku that stuck several hundred million dollars in said bank? Was it not widespread public knowledge (and available to anyone who took 15 minutes to do research, which you’d think someone would do before putting a hundred million bucks somewhere) that this institution was chock-full of VC-funded startup companies which, historically fail 90% of the time and their debt becomes impaired or even worthless?

Where are the indictments for fiduciary malfeasance among these people? It takes a literal five minutes with Excel to prove to yourself that if debt is rising faster than GDP no matter the interest rate eventually the interest payments on that debt will exceed all of the economy. This of course is impossible because you cannot use over 100% of anything as its not there, but long before you reach that point you’re going to have trouble putting food on the table, fuel in the vehicle and paychecks are going to bounce. It was for this reason that one of the first sections in my book Leverage, written after the 2008 blowup which I chronicled and laid bare upon the table featured exactly this chart.

The last bit of insanity was just 15 years ago by my math. Did we fix it? No. What was featured in the stupidity of 2008? Allowing banks to run with no reserves. Who did that? Ben Bernanke, who got it into the TARP bill that eventually passed and which I reported on at the time. It accelerated that which was already going to happen because Congress is full of people who think trees grow to the moon, leverage is never bad and exponents are a suggestion. Oh by the way, your local Realtor thinks so to as does, apparently, the former SVB “risk officer” who, it is clear, didn’t understand exponents — or didn’t care. The simple reality is that it must always cost to borrow money in real terms.

This means the rate of interest must be positive in said real terms, which means across the curve rates must be higher than inflation — again, in real terms, not in “CPI” which has intentional distortions in it such as “Owner’s Equivalent Rent” when you’re not renting a house, you’re buying it. Had said “CPI” actually had home prices in it then it would have shown a doubling in many markets in that section of the economy over the last three years. In other words housing alone would have resulted in a roughly 10% per year inflation rate, plus all the other increases, which means the Fed Funds rate should have been 300bips or so beyond that all the way back to 2020 — which would put Fed Funds at about 13% for the last three years. It isn’t of course but if it had been then all those “housing price increases” would not have happened at all. Incidentally even today the Fed Funds rate is below inflation and thus the crazy is still on.

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“We were mistreated by dumb bureaucrats, not by the minions of evil deities..”

Are The Evil Gods Returning? Or Is Evil Is Inside Us? (Ugo Bardi)

[..] sometimes you have the sensation that something truly evil is moving in the world. Naomi Wolf expressed the idea most clearly in a recent post of hers. I could not explain the way the Western world simply switched from being based at least overtly on values of human rights and decency, to values of death, exclusion and hatred, overnight, en masse — without reference to some metaphysical evil that goes above and beyond fallible, blundering human agency. … “What we have lived through since 2020 is so sophisticated, so massive, so evil, and executed in such inhumane unison, that it cannot be accounted for without venturing into metaphysics. Something else, something metaphysical, must have done that. And I speak as a devoted rationalist.”

Lately, I’ve been thinking along similar lines. I even argued that worshiping the evil deity Baphomet could be a good idea for really nasty people who want to dominate the world. Overall, though, I think it is not the right explanation. No matter how inexplicable the rise of evil can look, it is still something that comes from inside us, not from the outside. Evil is us, eventually. The recent release of the “Lockdown Files” in Britain supports this idea. These files contain the messages sent and received by Matt Hancock, the British Secretary of State for Health and Social Care during the lockdown period in Britain. In these messages, Hancock doesn’t sound evil. He just writes as if he cared only about himself, and his personal prestige. He wanted to “own the exit,” and he didn’t care about the British people, whom he evidently considered a band of morons. We were mistreated by dumb bureaucrats, not by the minions of evil deities.

Now, I have a stated policy that I call the “Grokking Strategy” that consists in listening to everyone and trusting no one. So, I am perfectly willing to consider the hypothesis that the Hancock files are a psyop designed to divert the public’s attention away from the hidden forces that governed the reaction to the pandemic. On the whole, though, I think these files are genuine. They make sense, and they also match other examples of the same kind. For instance, we recently saw similar leaks of messages sent and received by the Italian equivalent of Hancock, Mr. Roberto Speranza, Minister of Health of the Italian government during the lockdown period. We can’t swear on the authenticity of these leaked messages, but they fit with the personality of Mr. Speranza. Like Hancock, he was clearly trying to “own the exit.” In late 2020, he published an autobiographical book designed to show how he had been valiantly fighting the virus and eventually had succeeded in squashing it. The book was quietly removed from the market when it turned out that the pandemic was not over. Now a printed copy is a rare collector’s item.

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The Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger hearing was unreal.

House Dems Use Hearing to Attack Both Free Speech and a Free Press (Turley)

“At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Those words were first asked by lawyer Joseph Welch in his confrontation with Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) during the Senate’s infamous Army-McCarthy hearings. This week, nearly 70 years later, Welch’s words seem more relevant than ever after House Democrats savaged two journalists who attempted to explain a government effort to censor citizens. It was only the latest of a series of hearings in which FBI agents and other whistleblowers, experts and journalists have been personally attacked for raising free-speech concerns. Last week’s hearing showed definitively that we live in a post-decency era.

The latest attacks came as journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified about breaking the “Twitter Files” story, detailing how the FBI and other agencies secretly sought to censor or ban citizens from social media. In her opening statement, Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands), the ranking member of the House Judiciary subcommittee, attacked them as “so-called journalists” and said they were “a direct threat” to the safety of others by reporting the censorship story. Taibbi pushed back, saying that “I’m not a ‘so-called’ journalist” and giving a brief description of his award-winning career at Rolling Stone magazine and other publications. Yet other committee members also attacked the honesty of the two journalists. And after failed efforts to claim they were Elon Musk’s corrupt “scribes,” or limited by him in their investigations, the committee members attacked their ethics.

The witnesses were attacked on everything but their choice of socks. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) even claimed that “being a Republican witness today certainly casts a cloud over your objectivity.” When Wasserman Schultz impugned the two journalists’ honesty and ethics, she immediately “reclaimed (her) time” to prevent them from defending themselves. When the subcommittee chair gave them a chance to answer her claims, Wasserman Schultz and her Democratic colleagues objected that a witness was allowed to defend himself after being blocked from doing so. In an earlier attack, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) prevented Taibbi from answering a question and dismissed his effort to defend his position, saying: “This is how it works now. I’ll ask the question and you try to provide an answer if you can.”

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“100 times greater than previously reported..” But Pfizer knew…

mRNA Vaccine Contamination Much Worse Than Thought (DS)

The contamination of mRNA vaccines with DNA is far greater than initially thought at up to 35%, and the DNA’s role in inducing human cells to produce the spike protein long term has been confirmed, according to the latest research. Earlier this month, the Daily Sceptic reported on the work of Dr. Kevin McKernan and his team who had subjected the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna to deep sequencing analysis and found alarming levels of DNA contaminants known as plasmids. These are small circular DNA molecules that in principle can self-replicate in bacterial and human cells and induce the cell to produce the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein long term. Each vaccine dose was found to contain billions of these plasmids.

Japan deaths

The Moderna vaccine appeared to contain DNA contamination at around the ‘safe’ level set by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) at the equivalent of one part per 3,000 mRNA molecules, though it’s not clear how safe this level really is. The Pfizer vaccine, on the other hand, was found to contain DNA contamination at 10 times the ‘safe’ level, at one plasmid per 350 mRNA molecules. The DNA is part of the vaccine manufacturing process, providing the blueprint for the mRNA, but it should have been removed to at least the ‘safe’ level, though was not for reasons that are unclear. Now, Dr. McKernan and his team have undertaken further analysis and found that the level of DNA contamination is much greater than originally reported, with up to 35% of the vaccine product being this DNA contamination. They write:


This equates to 20-35% of the nucleic acid in each vaccine being expression vector. This is several orders of magnitude over the the EMAs limit of 330ng/mg. With these levels of contamination, RT activity from LINE-1 is not a prerequisite for genome integration. Molecular biologist Dr. Jessica Rose explains that this means each dose may contain trillions of DNA molecules, 100 times greater than previously reported: “The left-over expression vectors used to manufacture the mRNAs are at contamination levels 100-fold higher than originally proposed and imply trillions of DNA molecules per dose. This has implications for integration into our genome.”

Dowd
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635330030845980673

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Walking oats

 

 

 

 

Frens
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635226717806813185

 

 

Godfather

 

 

Heron

 

 

Shelter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635389575119147009

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 272019
 


Robert Frank Funeral, St. Helena, South Carolina 1955

 

 

Bit unusual, but why not. I was reading British press earlier, trying to figure out what the fcuk is going on in London two days before March 29, and in an article in the Guardian I saw this comment, and thought it should be saved for posterity.

Since the article is/was one of those live updates ones, which tend to get very long, and moreover at the point I read it it already had well over 11,000 other comments, posting it here seemed to be the way to go to achieve that.

It was posted by someone who named themselves Tintenfische (German for squid, octopus?!), and that’s all I know about this person(s), who imagines a speech someone should stand up and deliver in the house. I think it says exactly what needs to be said, what politicians should say, in Britain where civil unrest is much closer than anyone wants to see, in the US where very similar scenarios are playing out, and in many other countries.

The failure of party politics is everywhere to be seen.

 

 

Tintenfische: Speech I wish someone would have the courage to give.

 

As I stand in Parliament today I see the faces of friends and colleagues I’ve worked alongside, struggled alongside, triumphed and lost alongside. Good men and women all from both sides of the house.

We and the parties we represent have fought for our beliefs and battled for our constituents for centuries. We’ve done what we believed to be right, we’ve fought battles we believed should be fought and shown the people across the globe how democracy when at its best is the only route to freedom. In this place too I’m confronted with history. It was here that our predecessors decided to stand up to fascism, where we ended slavery and wrote into law that no man or woman, no matter their race, colour, who they fall in love with or who they pray to is less than any other of us. We declared as a house that injustice must be fought, that evil opposed and democracy triumphed. 

Great things have been done in this place, great things by great men, great women and even greater parties. However my friends that legacy is now at an end.

We have failed.

We have failed and our failure has broken this house and the institution we love. We have failed and with that too comes the failure of party politics.

None of us can run from that reality, none of us can hide, deny or challenge that reality. We have through partisan means on both sides of this house broken government of this once united nation. I could list the decisions, the politics, the loyalties which delivered this rupture. I could name names, point out lies and tell of moments when through advantage, greed or idiocy we decided to do what was best for our parties rather than our country, what was best for us rather than our constituents. I could list all those many many occasions when we as servants of the people failed the people, but what would be the point?

The truth is none of us are innocent, none of us escape blame. We as the leaders of this country could have stopped a collapse but we all chose this place and control over it as being more important than those outside. We chose ourselves and our parties ahead of our people.

But what else could we do? We could have stood up, we could have protested, we could have denied our own leaders but to what end? We all believe that we and the parties we represent are best placed to do what is right for this country. We all think that the shared policies, morals and ethics of ourselves and our parties are the right way for a country to be run. If we didn’t believe we knew best we wouldnt be here. But there’s the problem, circumstance has shown this not to be the case. Now we stand atop of a divided, fractured nation one which may never be able to be reformed and that has happened because of us. It is our fault. By following those certainties of righteousness and rightness both of ourselves and of our parties we have precipitated this collapse. We are now the problem.

 

So what’s to be done? We could just carry on, we could just continue down this same path which every day makes this country more divided, more ungovernable, more leaderless. We certainly could do that and looking around this room it’s easy to see so many of us already resigned to the path of destruction. Resigned to a rapid decline because we’re all too Cowed too timid to say no.

But we could also say no. We could as one house say to the country “I’m sorry but no. We can’t make these decisions, we’re not good enough. We can’t do anything but fail you or your future from here on in”. The people elected us to represent them it is true but we’re no longer capable of that, our parties are no longer capable of that. It is no longer in the national interest that we continue to represent the people when we can’t even govern ourselves.

We need to change ladies and gentlemen, we need to be better. We need to be greater than the sum of our parts. Each and everyone of us needs to decide who and what we our, who we represent. We need to turn away from the saftey and comradeship of party loyalty and act and vote on what we believe to be right, what we believe to be in the best interests of our nation, not what our leaders tell us is best because if we’ve failed then our leaders are double damned by their double failure. 

What I’m asking is extreme, I’m asking you my fellow members to destroy the parties you all represent. I’m asking you for the sake of the nation to walk away from rosette loyalty and remember your oaths. I’m asking you to do the right thing.

We are no longer able to govern, we cannot lead and we cannot decide. We must return the question of our place in the world back to the people and once that’s done we must dissolve this house and our parties and a new slate be mined because right now not one of us is fit to stand in this place and claim leadership of this disunited kingdom.

 

 

Jul 312018
 
 July 31, 2018  Posted by at 8:46 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  4 Responses »


René Magritte The son of man 1946

 

‘Prophet Of Doom’ Predicts Stock Market Will Plunge More Than 50% (MW)
Prepare For Biggest Stock-Market Selloff In Months – Morgan Stanley (MW)
US Treasury Raises 2018 Borrowing Need To $1.33 Trillion (ZH)
QE Turns Ten (Stephen Roach)
Fruits of the Great 2017 GOP Tax Cut Scam (Lendman)
Britain’s Borrowing Binge Continues As Brexit Looms (Ind.)
Brexit: UK Warns EU Of Tit-For-Tat Measures Over Financial Services (G.)
Trump Offer To Meet Iran President Rouhani Dismissed By Both Sides (G.)
The Ubiquity of Evil (Craig Murray)
World’s Largest King Penguin Colony Has Declined By 90% (G.)
Charities Damned For ‘Abject Failure’ In Tackling Sexual Abuse (G.)

 

 

We take John Hussman seriously.

‘Prophet Of Doom’ Predicts Stock Market Will Plunge More Than 50% (MW)

John Hussman, president of Hussman Investment Trust, describes himself as an economist, a philanthropist, and a “realist optimist often viewed as a prophet of doom” on his Twitter profile. That last bit may be the one investors care about on Monday as the stock market shows signs of unraveling on the back of the tech sector’s stumble. Hussman’s claim to fame includes forecasting the market collapses of 2000 and 2007-2008. Since then, however, he’s also become known as a permabear for his repeated calls for sharp stock market declines and his oft-repeated mantra of “overbought, overvalued, overbullish” as the bull market continues into its ninth year by some measures. Hussman says he’s learned from and addressed past errors.

In his most recent call, he argued that measured “from their highs of early-2018, we presently estimate that the completion of the current cycle will result in market losses on the order of -64% for the S&P 500 index, -57% for the Nasdaq-100 Index, -68% for the Russell 2000 index, and nearly -69% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.” He admits the numbers seem extreme but says they are backed up what he refers to as the “Iron Law of Valuation.” “The higher the price investors pay for a given set of expected future cash flows, the lower the long-term investment returns they should expect. As a result, it’s precisely when past investment returns look most glorious that future investment returns are likely to be most dismal, and vice versa,” he writes.

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Tech.

Prepare For Biggest Stock-Market Selloff In Months – Morgan Stanley (MW)

The U.S. stock market has been partying all throughout July, and a hangover is coming. That is according to analysts at Morgan Stanley, who said that Wall Street’s rally is showing signs of “exhaustion,” and that with major positive catalysts for trading now in the rearview mirror, there’s little that could continue to propel equities higher. “With Amazon’s strong quarter out of the way, and a very strong 2Q GDP number on the tape, investors were finally faced with the proverbial question of ’what do I have to look forward to now?’ The selling started slowly, built steadily, and left the biggest winners of the year down the most. The bottom line for us is that we think the selling has just begun and this correction will be biggest since the one we experienced in February,” the investment bank wrote to clients.

The decline “could very well have a greater negative impact on the average portfolio if it’s centered on tech, consumer discretionary and small-caps, as we expect.” A correction is technically defined as a decline of at least 10% from a recent peak. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA and the S&P 500 corrected in early February, on concerns that inflation was returning to markets. While the Dow remains in correction territory—meaning it hasn’t yet risen 10% from its low of the pullback—the S&P exited just last week, following its longest stint in correction territory since 1984. The Nasdaq Composite Index never fell into correction.

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Infinity and beyond.

US Treasury Raises 2018 Borrowing Need To $1.33 Trillion (ZH)

America’s funding needs are starting to grow at a dangerous pace. Even before the NYT reported of Trump’s startling suggestion of a further $100 billion tax cut in the form of an inflation-adjusted capital gains tax cost basis which mostly benefits the wealthy, earlier today the U.S. Treasury said it expects to borrow $56 billion more during the third quarter than previously estimated, while market participants expect shorter-dated Treasuries to absorb the brunt of the new supply as the Trump administration grapples with a mushrooming budget deficit.

In the Treasury’s latest quarterly Sources and Uses table, it revealed that it expects to issue $329 billion in net marketable debt from July through September, and $56 billion more than the $273 billion estimated three months ago, in April. assuming an end-of-September cash balance of $350 billion, matching its previous estimate. It also forecast $440 billion of borrowing in the final three months of the year, with a $390 billion cash balance on December 31. The borrowing estimate for the third quarter is the highest since the same period in 2010 and the fourth largest on record for the July-September quarter, according to Reuters. In the second quarter, net borrowing totaled $72 billion, slightly below the earlier prediction of $75 billion.

The US fiscal picture continues to darken as a result of rising social security costs, military spending and debt service expenses while corporate tax income is declining after last year’s tax reforms. As a result, the federal budget deficit is expected to reach $833 billion this year, up from $666 billion in the budget year ended last September, a number that is well below the net funding demands for the US Treasury. The new projections put total net borrowing at $769 billion for the second half of 2018 and a whopping $1.33 trillion for the whole year.

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The Fed has been granted far too much power. We’re going to regret that.

QE Turns Ten (Stephen Roach)

November 2018 will mark the tenth anniversary of quantitative easing (QE) — undoubtedly the boldest policy experiment in the modern history of central banking. The only thing comparable to QE was the US Federal Reserve’s anti-inflation campaign of 1979-1980, orchestrated by the Fed’s then-chair, Paul Volcker. But that earlier effort entailed a major adjustment in interest rates via conventional monetary policy. By contrast, the Fed’s QE balance-sheet adjustments were unconventional and, therefore, untested from the start.

[..] The most important lesson pertains to traction — the link between Fed policy and its congressionally mandated objectives of maximum employment and price stability. On this count, the verdict on QE is mixed: The first tranche (QE1) was very successful in arresting a wrenching financial crisis in 2009. But the subsequent rounds (QE2 and QE3) were far less effective. The Fed mistakenly believed that what worked during the crisis would work equally well afterwards. An unprecedentedly weak economic recovery – roughly 2% annual growth over the past nine-plus years, versus a 4% norm in earlier cycles – says otherwise. Whatever the reason for the anemic recovery – a Japanese-like post-crisis balance-sheet recession or a 1930s style liquidity trap – the QE payback was disappointing.

From September 2008 to November 2014, successive QE programs added $3.6 trillion to the Fed’s balance sheet, nearly 25% more than the $2.9 trillion expansion of nominal GDP over the same period. A comparable assessment of disappointing interest-rate effects is reflected in recent “event studies” research that calls into question the link between QE and ten-year Treasury yields. A second lesson speaks to addiction – namely, a real economy that became overly reliant on QE’s support of asset markets. The excess liquidity spawned by the Fed’s balance-sheet expansion not only spilled over into equity markets, but also provided support for the bond market. As such, monetary policy, rather than market-based fundamentals, increasingly shaped asset prices.

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QE, tax cuts, it’s all just a great wealth transfer.

Fruits of the Great 2017 GOP Tax Cut Scam (Lendman)

David Stockman estimates the great GOP tax cut heist will increase the federal debt to around $35 trillion by 2028. Most discretionary US spending goes for militarism, war-making, corporate welfare, and police state harshness. According to Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), the fruits of last year’s great GOP tax cut heist were as follows: 4.3% of workers got wage hikes or bonuses – 6.7 million out of 155 million. Only a handful of employers provided them so far – 407 out of 5.9 million. Corporate predators are getting 11-fold as much in tax breaks as they’re giving workers in extra pay and bonuses – $77 billion v. $7 billion.

Corporate predators are spending 88 times the amount on stock buybacks as on worker wage hikes and bonuses – $7 billion v. $617 billion. Trump’s highly touted “middle class miracle” was a colossal Big Lie. It’s been a bonanza for corporate predators, high net-worth households, and real estate tycoons like himself – a scam for ordinary Americans. It’s ballooning the deficit, social benefits being slashed to help pay for it, a clearly transparent wealth transfer scheme. Economists know tax cuts don’t create jobs and stimulate growth unless benefits help workers substantially. When money is in the pockets of ordinary people, they spend it, best accomplished through higher wages, at least keeping pace with inflation.

Post-9/11, America has been thirdworldized to benefit corporate predators and high net-worth individuals at the expense of working households. Ordinary Americans have been scammed to make privileged ones richer. Separately, according to Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), healthcare insurers intend instituting huge premium increases in 2019. They’ll range from around 12% to a whopping 91% requested by a Maryland insurer.

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Credit Cards ‘R’ Us.

Britain’s Borrowing Binge Continues As Brexit Looms (Ind.)

Britain’s credit card fuelled spending binge continues apace, according to the latest figures from the Bank of England. Lending via plastic rose by an annualised 9.5 in June, outpacing other forms of unsecured credit (8.5 per cent). Mortgage lending, by contrast, ticked up by a more modest 3.2 per cent. The release of the figures followed a report by the Office for National Statistics that last week found UK consumers collectively spent more than they earned in 2017, the first time that has happened in almost 30 years. It looks like we’re due a repeat this year. How much of a worry is this? Regulators say most people can afford to repay what they have borrowed.

However, the Prudential Regulatory Authority, that oversees institutions’ financial soundness, last year undertook a review of consumer lending that resulted in what could be read as a shot across the industry’s bows. The Financial Conduct Authority, meanwhile, tweaked its rules in July, making it clear that it wanted lenders to asses not just whether consumers can repay what they have borrowed but whether they can do so “affordably and without this significantly affecting their wider financial situation”. It follows a speech in March by Jonathan Davidson, the watchdog’s director of supervision, in which he said that “a firm whose business model is predicated on selling products to customers who can’t afford to repay them is not acceptable, nor is it a sustainable long-term strategy”.

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Yeah, the UK is really in a position to utter threats.

Brexit: UK Warns EU Of Tit-For-Tat Measures Over Financial Services (G.)

UK negotiators have told their counterparts in Brussels that about 7,000 European-based investment funds that rely on British clients for their cash and profits will be hit by regulators unless the EU changes its position on the City of London after Brexit. As frustration grows within Whitehall at what is seen as a dogmatic position taken by the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, the British side has upped the ante by making an implicit threat to EU interests. A section of a UK presentation made to the European commission’s negotiators last week, and seen by the Guardian, says that unless Brussels allows all UK sectors of the City of London to continue to operate after Brexit as they do today, at least initially, obstacles to European financial interests operating in the UK could also be put in place.

The British government says the EU’s “equivalence regime”, under which UK providers would have the right to offer financial services in the European economic area after Brexit, does not cover enough sectors or provide adequate assurances to UK-based banks and fund managers. The UK also wants equivalence decisions to be made collaboratively between Brussels and Whitehall on whether parts of the financial sector will be able to continue to operate across the Channel as regulations diverge after Brexit. As it stands, a declaration of equivalencecan be easily revoked with only 30 days’ notice under existing EU legislation. The EU is resisting, and insists it will not offer a bespoke deal on financial services. It says that what works for US financial services providers will have to work for the UK.

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Peace with Russia, peace with Iran, that’s not the playbook, Donald.

Trump Offer To Meet Iran President Rouhani Dismissed By Both Sides (G.)

Donald Trump has said he would “certainly meet” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani without preconditions, a move that was later rejected by Trump’s own administration and one of Rouhani’s advisers. Speaking during a joint news conference with Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, Trump said he would meet Iran “anytime they want to”. “I’ll meet with anybody,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with meeting.” Asked whether he would set any preconditions, Trump was clear. “No preconditions, no. If they want to meet, I’ll meet any time they want,” he said. “Good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet.”

Trump’s apparently spontaneous overture marked a significant shift in tone and follows escalating rhetoric in the wake of his dumping in May of the landmark Iran nuclear accord. The administration is set next month to begin reimposing sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 deal and has been ratcheting up a pressure campaign on the Islamic republic that many suspect is aimed at regime change. After the comment, secretary of state Mike Pompeo appeared to contradict Trump, listing preconditions that had to be met first. He told CNBC on Monday: “If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people, reduce their malign behaviour, can agree that it’s worthwhile to enter in a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the president said he’s prepared to sit down and have a conversation with him,” he said.

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Murray on his time as a UK diplomat.

The Ubiquity of Evil (Craig Murray)

I had served as First Secretary in the British Embassy in Poland, and bumped up startlingly against the history of the Holocaust in that time, including through involvement with organising the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What had struck me most forcibly was the sheer scale of the Holocaust operation, the tens of thousands of people who had been complicit in administering it. I could never understand how that could happen – until I saw ordinary, decent people in the FCO facilitate extraordinary rendition and torture. Then I understood, for the first time, the banality of evil or, perhaps more precisely, the ubiquity of evil. Of course, I am not comparing the scale of what happened to the Holocaust – but evil can operate on different scales.

I believe I see it again today. I do not believe that the majority of journalists in the BBC, who pump out a continual stream of “Corbyn is an anti-semite” propaganda, believe in their hearts that Corbyn is a racist at all. They are just doing their job, which is to help the BBC avert the prospect of a radical government in the UK threatening the massive wealth share of the global elite. They would argue that they are just reporting what others say; but it is of course the selection of what they report and how they report it which reflect their agenda.

The truth, of which I am certain, is this. If there genuinely was the claimed existential threat to Jews in Britain, of the type which engulfed Europe’s Jews in the 1930’s, Jeremy Corbyn, Billy Bragg, Roger Waters and I may humbly add myself would be among the few who would die alongside them on the barricades, resisting. Yet these are today loudly called “anti-semites” for supporting the right to oppose the oppression of the Palestinians. The journalists currently promoting those accusations, if it came to the crunch, would be polishing state propaganda and the civil servants writing railway dockets. That is how it works. I have seen it. Close up.

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Bye my friends. I’m going to miss you. Something bad.

World’s Largest King Penguin Colony Has Declined By 90% (G.)

The planet’s largest colony of king penguins has declined by nearly 90% in three decades, researchers have warned. The last time scientists set foot on France’s remote Île aux Cochons – roughly half way between the tip of Africa and Antarctica – the island was blanketed by 2m of the penguins, which stand about a metre tall. But recent satellite images and photos taken from helicopters show the population has collapsed, with barely 200,000 remaining, according to a study published in Antarctic Science. Why the colony on Île aux Cochons has been so decimated remains a mystery.

“It is completely unexpected, and particularly significant since this colony represented nearly one third of the king penguins in the world,” said lead author Henri Weimerskirch, an ecologist at the Centre for Biological Studies in Chize, France, who first set eyes on the colony in 1982. Climate change may play a role. In 1997, a particularly strong El Niño weather event warmed the southern Indian Ocean, temporarily pushing the fish and squid on which king penguins depend south, beyond their foraging range. “This resulted in population decline and poor breeding success for all the king penguin colonies in the region,” Weimerskirch said.

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This goes back to 2002. Nothing has changed.

Charities Damned For ‘Abject Failure’ In Tackling Sexual Abuse (G.)

Charities have shown “complacency verging on complicity” in responding to sexual abuse that is endemic across the sector, according to a damning report by MPs. In the report, the international development committee (IDC) said the aid sector had a record of “abject failure” in dealing with longstanding concerns about exploitation by its own personnel and appeared more concerned for their reputations than for victims. The response to abuse claims has been reactionary and superficial, it added. MPs called for the establishment of an independent aid ombudsman to support survivors and for a global register of aid workers to prevent abusers moving through the system.

Stephen Twigg, the committee chairman, said the sector’s failure to deal with the issue had left victims at the mercy of those who sought to use power to abuse others. The report, published on Tuesday, also criticised the UN, which it said had failed to display sustained leadership in tackling abuse, and said the historical response of the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) was disappointing. The committee launched its inquiry into sexual exploitation and abuse after revelations that Oxfam covered up claims that its staff had used sex workers while working in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The sector has faced intense scrutiny, with further allegations of sexual misconduct emerging at Save the Children.

Twigg said the aid sector was first made aware of concerns in 2002, when a report by the UN agency for refugees (UNHCR) and Save the Children documented cases of abuse. Despite this, and a series of other warnings, little action was taken. “There are so many reports that go back over this period of 16 years and the system has failed to respond anything close to adequately over the period,” the Labour MP said. “This is 16 years of failure by the entire international system of governments, the UN and the aid sector.”

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