Sep 142022
 


Pablo Picasso Composition “Peasants” 1906

 

Is War What You Asked For? (Kunstler)
Civilisation Or Barbarism – Western Dusk, Eastern Dawn (Hoppe)
Medvedev Issues Apocalyptic Warning To West Over Ukraine (RT)
Kiev Publishes Security Guarantee Proposal (RT)
West Considers Arming Ukraine With More Potent Weapons – FT (RT)
Kremlin Denies Plans For War Declaration & National Draft (ZH)
Leaked Paper Reveals EU Is Unlikely To Cap Price Of Russian Gas (G.)
Why The EU Is Struggling To Bring Its Energy Crisis Under Control (OP)
Berlin Prepares Massive Energy Bailout (RT)
Elegy for a Disappearing Empire (PL)
What’s Behind The Mystery Of Thousands Of Excess Deaths This Summer? (G.)
Liz Truss Energy, Tax Plan ‘Will Give Richest Families 2x As Much Support’ (G.)
Big Banks Making a Killing Off Global Hunger, Energy Crises (CD)
The Fed Is Going To Pivot In 3 Stages – Nomi Prins (CNBC)
New Durham Bombshell: Steele Primary Source Was Paid FBI Informant (JTN)
Charles Will Not Cool On Climate Action, Say Friends (BBC)

 

 

“I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I think, is the secret of the Universe.”
– Isaac Asimov, I Asimov, 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderna: The Art of the Steal

 

 

The Mediterranean in Australia

 

 

Tucker books

 

 

 

 

“Will Germany, France, Italy, and the rest now leap into a war against Russia on the plains of Ukraine in winter? I think they will sooner overthrow their own WEF-directed governments.”

Is War What You Asked For? (Kunstler)

The New York Times today is ballyhooing the Ukraine military’s “lightning advance” east of Kharkov. I’d argue that what The Times wants you to see is not exactly what is happening. Rather the Russians appear to have made an orderly, tactical retreat from the outskirts of Kharkov, inducing the NATO-trained Ukraine forces eastward across the Siverskyi Donets River and out into the flat, open country where they will be cut off, cauldroned, and slaughtered. Everything that NATO and the US have done in this conflict has been a stupid move. Why should this one be an exception?

At the same time, Russia has hit a number of power generation plants around Ukraine, leaving many Ukrainians without lights, hot water, communications — in short, what’s needed to remain civilized. This was exactly what Russia had hoped to avoid the past eight months, but the obdurate pathological idiocy of our country’s leaders has forced Russia to send a harsher message to provoke some rational thought here about ending this conflict. There is even chatter on the web that Russia is about to declare that the special military operation is now a war, with all that implies about targets.

The US may be crazed beyond redemption, but the people of the NATO member countries might have had a clarifying experience lately watching their governments barter away the natural gas they desperately need to run industry and heat their homes this winter — in the foolish gesture of jumping on America’s sanctions bandwagon. Will Germany, France, Italy, and the rest now leap into a war against Russia on the plains of Ukraine in winter? I think they will sooner overthrow their own WEF-directed governments. This appears to be just what has happened in Sweden’s election on Sunday where a bloc of center-right parties has ousted the left government led by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

The question for now is this: Will the US jump stupidly into World War Three over Ukraine? If not, how much does Russia have to disrupt life in the rest of Ukraine outside the Donbas to drive the US and NATO into serious peace talks? It better happen soon because otherwise the West will be completely preoccupied with the collapse of its financial markets, currencies, and economies — and probably before the November elections here.

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“The proverbial ‘cancel culture’ has become a cancellation of culture,” as President Putin said.”

Civilisation Or Barbarism – Western Dusk, Eastern Dawn (Hoppe)

For some time, the festering unipolar power – the Anglo-American empire – has been the self-appointed magistrate claiming jurisdiction over the planet, as it became the accepted ‘”moral authority of interpretation” in (at least) the western world and was able to exert its influence on public opinion pretty much everywhere. The transatlantic neo-liberal propaganda machine and its various mechanisms of infiltration have always been a powerful tool – they are in fact the imperialist forces’ greatest weapons… stronger than cluster bombs, because they have a global reach and infect minds, while leaving the outward appearance intact.

A brilliantly devious tactic was its appropriation and abuse of symbols, slogans and terminology of the once authentic “left” and “progressive” movements. One of its noxious characteristics is the brazen attempt to rewrite history for its own benefit. With this appropriation, Nazis are seen as freedom fighters, the Russians as Fascists, kleptocracies as democracies, conservatives as right-wingers… and neo-liberals as left-wingers and rebels, with this last group attracting incalculable adulators of the “progressive mindset” in culture and academia, who, in turn, promote the ideas of the neo-liberals. Pasolini clearly expected this back in 1975: “I prophesy the era in which the new power will use your libertarian words to create a new homogenised power, to create a new Inquisition, to create a new conformism. And your clerics will be left-wing clerics.”

Unfortunately, many literary scholars, analysts and journalists have underestimated the imperialist and colonialist infiltration into other cultures around the world… which is why many now seem stupefied at the extent to which postmodern neo-liberal “culture” has overshadowed the local cultures of non-Western countries… Unfortunately the youth of these countries, thanks to global consumerism, have little to no other orientation and roots for their own culture… and they face many identity crises. If one does not conform to the hegemonic narrative, one is erased from the mainstream press, from social media and, in many cases, from society… (And some journalists even end up in prison or are blacklisted.) And this increasingly applies to cultures, as well.

In addition to the fashionable trend today of tearing down statues of those repudiated by the ‘woke magistrates’, artists and thinkers from “territories seen as hostile” by the hegemony and NATO are being erased – for example: Russian artists past and present (e.g. Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, Chekhov, conductor Valery Gergiev, soprano Anna Netrebko)… Even the letter “Z” is seen as a hostile character of the alphabet in many western countries… “The proverbial ‘cancel culture’ has become a cancellation of culture,” as President Putin said.

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“Their people will harvest their grief in full. The land will be on fire and the concrete will melt..”

Medvedev Issues Apocalyptic Warning To West Over Ukraine (RT)

Western “half-wits” from “stupid think tanks” are leading their countries down the road of nuclear armageddon with their hybrid war against Moscow, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. Endlessly funneling weapons and support to Ukraine while pretending not to be directly involved in the conflict will not work, added the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council. The “security guarantees” proposal unveiled by Kiev on Tuesday was “really a prologue to the Third World War,” said Medvedev, calling it a “hysterical appeal” to Western countries engaged in a proxy war against Russia.

If the West continues its “unrestrained pumping of the Kiev regime with the most dangerous types of weapons,” Russia’s military campaign will move to the next level, where “visible boundaries and potential predictability of actions by the parties to the conflict” will be erased and the conflict will take on a life of its own, as wars always do, Medvedev argued. “And then the Western nations will not be able to sit in their clean homes, laughing at how they carefully weaken Russia by proxy. Everything will be on fire around them. Their people will harvest their grief in full. The land will be on fire and the concrete will melt,” Medvedev wrote, before citing a Bible verse from Revelations 9:18.

“Yet still the narrow-minded politicians and their stupid think tanks, thoughtfully twirling a glass of wine in their hands, talk about how they can deal with us without entering into a direct war. Dull idiots with a classical education,”Medvedev wrote. His comments were prompted by Kiev’s publication of a “security treaty” proposal, developed under the tutelage of former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The draft envisions the US and its allies guaranteeing Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders with weapons, ammunition, financial assistance and training, as well as committing to maintain sanctions against Russia for as long as Kiev wants, and handing over any confiscated Russian property to Ukraine.

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Delusion galore.

Kiev Publishes Security Guarantee Proposal (RT)

Ukraine has presented a proposal of recommendations for security guarantees, which would politically and legally bind the country and its guarantor states in a strategic partnership known as the ‘Kiev Security Treaty.’ The proposals, developed at the request of President Vladimir Zelensky and published on Tuesday, were drawn up by an advisory group headed by former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Kiev suggests countries including the US, UK, Australia and Turkey could act as security guarantors for Ukraine. The “multi-level”approach would see a “core” group of allies making clear commitments to support Ukraine’s military, while a broader group would provide non-military guarantees based on sanctions.

“We need a military force strong enough to repel the Russians’ desire for revenge. And one capable of causing irreparable damage to the aggressor if this desire turns out to be irresistible,” Zelensky’s chief of staff Andrey Yermak said. He said the agreement would not be a substitute for joining NATO, but a means of ensuring security until Ukraine officially joins the US-led military bloc. Former NATO secretary general Rasmussen said the “immediate priority” was to achieve victory for Kiev and stressed that Ukraine would require decades of support from its Western partners. Security guarantees for Ukraine was a main sticking point in talks with Russia in Istanbul in March.

Moscow argued that if Ukraine promised not to seek NATO membership, it would be provided with guarantees from a number of countries, including Russia. Talks eventually came to a halt after Ukraine’s negotiators insisted on sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula, which seceded from Kiev’s rule in 2014 and joined the Russian Federation following a public referendum. The ‘Kiev Security Treaty’ proposal has been in the works for months. Russia has previously insisted that the only promises of security for Ukraine can be provided by Moscow. “No one will accept Ukraine into NATO now. The alliance consists of Russophobes, but it is not suicidal,” he said, arguing that the US will cease to care about Ukraine when it is convenient.

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What a great idea.

West Considers Arming Ukraine With More Potent Weapons – FT (RT)

The US and its allies are in talks over whether to send Ukraine more advanced weapons in the future, including fighter aircraft, a US defense official has said, according to the Financial Times. Some of Kiev’s Western allies were emboldened by last week’s successful offensive against Russia in Kharkov Region, the British newspaper reported on Tuesday. They are now discussing “Ukraine’s longer-term needs,”according to the anonymous US source. Some believe it would be appropriate to send warplanes to Ukraine in the “medium to longer term,” the source said, according to the publication. Western nations previously refused to provide fighter jets to Ukraine, citing the time it would take to train Ukrainian pilots, issues with servicing advanced weapon systems on the ground, and a risk of escalation in the conflict with Russia.


Kiev made some progress in talks with Slovakia, a former Warsaw Pact member, which said it could provide its older Soviet-made jets to bolster the Ukrainian legacy fleet. The Slovakian military retired its MiG-29s in late August. The offensive in Kharkov Region was touted by US officials as a major success for the Ukrainian military, which in previous months had suffered a number of defeats on the battlefield against Russian and Moscow-allied forces. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed on Monday that Kiev’s forces had made “significant progress” after benefiting from Western support “in terms of making sure that Ukraine has in its hands the equipment it needs to prosecute this counteroffensive.” Western intelligence agencies played a key part in preparing the Ukrainian operation, according to Mark Warner, the chair of the US Senate Intelligence Committee.

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They had 50,000 troops in the recent war games in the east. Why would they need a draft?

Kremlin Denies Plans For War Declaration & National Draft (ZH)

On Tuesday the Kremlin addressed widespread speculation and rumors that President Vladimir Putin is planning to issue a full declaration of war as Russian forces pull back from Kharkiv, in a Ukraine counteroffensive that Kiev leaders and their Western allies are hailing as a major success. A war declaration would trigger mass mobilization and a draft. “Russia is not planning to declare a mass national draft for the war in Ukraine,” the Kremlin stated, amid reports its forces are suffering fatigue, low moral and manpower shortages. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized this is not under discussion at this point: “Not at this point. No, we are not discussing that,” he said when asked about widespread reports, as quoted in TASS news.

Peskov was then pressed about the degree to which Ukrainian forces had advanced into Russian lines in the northeast, amid ongoing heavy fighting, but he declined to address the ground situation. “This [question] is for the Defense Ministry. I simply do not have accurate information,” he said. There does appear to be growing pressure from inside Russia to act, according to The Moscow Times: Lawmaker Mikhail Sheremet, a member of the State Duma’s Security Committee and the ruling United Russia party, spoke out in favor of general mobilization on Monday, according to the URA.ru news agency. “Without full mobilization, [without] switching to the war mode, including the economy, we will not achieve the desired results,” the agency quoted Sheremet as saying.

“I am talking about the fact that today society should be consolidated as much as possible and aim for victory,” said the deputy. There have meanwhile also been signs in Russian domestic media and among popular pundits of a narrative shift that is increasingly recognizing recent Russian losses and setbacks, and the need for a strategy overhaul, as well as growing criticism of how the “special operation” is being managed. Very likely there’s under-the-surface ratcheting tensions across the population due to mounting casualties among the country’s young men who’ve been thrust into battle these past seven months.

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Reality 1, Von der Leyen 0.

Leaked Paper Reveals EU Is Unlikely To Cap Price Of Russian Gas (G.)

The EU executive is retreating from imposing a price cap on Russian gas, but pushing ahead with windfall taxes on energy company “surplus” profits, according to a leaked document. A draft regulation on the “electricity emergency tool” seen by the Guardian contains neither a price cap on Russian gas nor on imported gas, after member states were unable to agree on restrictions last week. The EU is expected to levy windfall taxes on the high profits of fossil fuel companies, with a separate cap on revenues of low-carbon electricity producers. The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, is expected to publish Europe’s plan on dealing with surging electricity prices when she makes her annual state of the union speech on Wednesday.

The final text could still change, but the draft reveals the Commission’s doubts over gaining enough support from EU member states for its preferred option of putting a cap on Russian gas in response to what it has called the Kremlin’s weaponisation of supply. EU member states that import large amounts of gas from Russia, including Hungary, Slovakia and Austria, have spoken out against a cap on Russian gas because they fear the Kremlin would halt all gas flows, plunging their countries into recession. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has already threatened to halt energy exports to Europe if such a plan is agreed.

About a dozen countries, including France and Poland, would like to impose a price cap on all imported gas, which they see as a better way to curb surging prices. The Commission is unenthusiastic about this idea, because it fears the EU would lose out to countries prepared to pay more in the highly competitive market for liquefied natural gas. The Netherlands and Denmark are wary of any price cap, while Germany fears a price cap on Russian gas would be divisive. With member states divided, the Commission, which is responsible for drafting EU legal proposals, is pursuing measures that unite the 27-member club. EU governments are largely supportive of capping the price of electricity from low carbon sources, such as renewables or nuclear, and recycling these funds to vulnerable households and businesses.

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“A few weeks like this and the European economy will just go into a full stop. Recovering from that is going to be much more complicated than intervening in gas markets today..”

Why The EU Is Struggling To Bring Its Energy Crisis Under Control (OP)

Last Friday, the energy ministers of the 27 EU members met for an emergency discussion of the energy supply situation in the bloc. The one thing they agreed on was implementing a ceiling on the revenues of power utilities that do not use gas to generate power. What they did not agree on was everything else the Commission suggested last week, including a price cap on Russian gas, a cap on final energy prices, and a direct intervention in EU electricity markets. It’s hard to get 27 countries to agree on so many things without any compromise. This is why the EU’s survival plans for the winter may never work as intended.

Last week, the European Commission, headed by Ursula von der Leyen, proposed that EU member states impose a price cap on Russian natural gas imports, a mandatory cut in energy consumption across the bloc, and a cap on the revenues of power utilities that do not use gas. The Russian gas price cap was one of the items that divided the EU at the Friday discussions after Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, warned that any country imposing a price cap on Russian oil or gas would stop receiving them. Some EU members argued in favor of a gas price cap for all gas imports into the bloc, following a similar suggestion made by Poland earlier this month. Some 15 members of the EU were in favor of such a move, but others were skeptical. And they were right to be skeptical: Norway, the EU’s gas savior, has signaled it would not accept a cap on the price it gets for its gas.

“That’s not a solution we’d propose, we don’t think it answers the EU’s challenges,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said, adding, “I tell my European colleagues that I’m not the one who sells the gas.”The problem is that the European Union does not have all the time in the world to discuss how to go about saving its economy and its citizens from blackouts this winter. And as Bloomberg pointed out in a recent analysis of the situation ahead of the energy ministers’ meeting, speed is not among the things the European Union is known for. Belgium’s Prime Minister put it bluntly. “A few weeks like this and the European economy will just go into a full stop. Recovering from that is going to be much more complicated than intervening in gas markets today,” he told Bloomberg last week. “The risk of that is de-industrialization and severe risk of fundamental social unrest.”

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So you pay 4x more for energy, and then you pay another $1,000 per capita to bail out your energy company.

Berlin Prepares Massive Energy Bailout (RT)

Germany is planning to allocate €67 billion ($67 billion) to provide financial aid to domestic energy companies hit by supply shortages resulting from the sharp decrease in natural gas imports from Russia, the business daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to the federal government.The massive financial package is expected to help KfW, the German state-owned investment and development bank, to provide guarantees and liquidity assistance to local energy firms. The funds will reportedly be transferred from the WSF (Economic Stabilization Fund), which was created during the Covid-19 pandemic. “In view of the price increases, forward-looking action by the federal government and KfW is required,” government sources told the media.


Gas prices throughout the EU have surged in recent months as a result of sanctions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, and the reduction of Russian supplies. EU leaders had previously announced plans to reduce gas consumption by 15% from August 1 until the end of March 2023. Member states have discretion over the specific measures adopted to achieve the goal. “The Federal Ministry of Economics has received various applications for liquidity bridging from companies in the gas and energy supply sector, they are currently being examined,” an internal government paper seen by Handelsblatt reads. “The volume of applications is in the low double-digit billions.” Earlier this month, Germany’s largest gas importer, Uniper, asked for extra government aid due to financial losses from its attempts to replace Russian natural gas by buying gas on the spot market.

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“In the grip of a terrible crisis, probably in its last gasps, the US empire can’t even remotely conceive a new Marhall plan. On the contrary, it is behaving like the old Soviet Empire.”

Elegy for a Disappearing Empire (PL)

[..] the Soviet Union just could not afford costs equivalent to the Marshall plan. So, the behavior of the US empire was, and remains, dictated by practical factors rather than ideological ones. When the US had a considerable surplus, it could afford an extravaganza such as the Marshall plan. Not just an extravaganza, though. It was also a good investment since the European states were a much better barrier against a possible Soviet attack if they were economically strong. Note also that the economic aid of the Marshall plan didn’t come without strings attached. To have the money, the Western European states had to cut all ties with the Soviet Union and with the states of the Warsaw Pact. And the local communist parties, at that time still relatively strong, were to be kept outside government coalitions.

Now, of course, things have changed a lot. In the grip of a terrible crisis, probably in its last gasps, the US empire can’t even remotely conceive a new Marhall plan. On the contrary, it is behaving like the old Soviet Empire. The whole West is turning into a police state, where the government controls all the media and criminalizes dissent . Then, it is not surprising that the imperial center is extracting resources from its client states in Western Europe to the point of beggaring them. The discussion could be long and detailed but I think that, as usual, we can find much food for thought in the behavior of past empires. In particular, I think that a good illustration of the behavior of empires is given by how the Romans dealt with the Britons during the period that goes from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD.

We see how the annexation of the Britons was only in part obtained by a military invasion. Mostly, it was a question of assimilation. The Romans “romanized” the Britons, making them appreciate such things as the Roman money and the luxury items that money could buy. Then, they tricked them into borrowing money from Rome and, finally, when they could not repay the debt, they used that as an excuse to seize their assets and their lands. The similarities between the behavior of the US empire with Western Europe are evident. First, they offered money to the Europeans to rebuild their economy, and now they are squeezing Europe dry.

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From the chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh: “The real reason is as mundane, and tragic, as an underfunded NHS still struggling with the terrible effects of Covid..”

NHS, extreme heat, and Covid. What vaccines?

What’s Behind The Mystery Of Thousands Of Excess Deaths This Summer? (G.)

Over the past couple of months, deaths in England and Wales have been higher than would be expected for a typical summer. In July and August, there were several weeks with deaths 10% to 13% above the five-year average, meaning that in England about 900 extra people a week were dying compared with the past few years. The leading causes of death are within the typical range (the five-year average): heart and lung diseases, cancers, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Covid-19 deaths could account for half of the excess mortality, but the other half is puzzling, as there’s no one clear reason that jumps out.

It’s likely to be a mix of factors: Covid is making us sicker and more vulnerable to other diseases (research suggests it may contribute to delayed heart attacks, strokes, and dementia); an ageing population; an extremely hot summer; and an overloaded health service meaning that people are dying from lack of timely medical care. This winter, the cost of living crisis and concerns about fuel poverty will add to these contributory factors, given the links between deprivation and ill health. So we may see these excess death numbers continue.

The excess mortality puzzle has been weaponised by some to argue that this is a delayed consequence of lockdown. In essence, this is to say that mandatory restrictions on mixing and stay-at-home legal orders, as well as turning the NHS into a Covid health service during the first and second waves of infection, prevented people from being diagnosed or treated for other conditions such as cancer, heart disease, or even depression – and that those long-hidden conditions are now killing people. Of course, some medical care suffered during the pandemic, and delayed diagnosis leads to poor health outcomes. But to say that not having restrictions would have solved this problem is naive. Restrictions ultimately limited the number of people hospitalised for Covid-19 at any one time, so that the health services could cope with these numbers. Healthcare is finite: the best way to preserve resources for non-Covid conditions was to keep Covid infections as low as possible.

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Quelle surprise.

Liz Truss Energy, Tax Plan ‘Will Give Richest Families 2x As Much Support’ (G.)

Liz Truss’s plans for an energy price freeze and sweeping tax cuts will give Britain’s richest households twice as much financial support with living costs as the poorest households, according to a leading thinktank. The Resolution Foundation said the prime minister’s energy package, announced hours before news of the death of the Queen last week, would come with a “colossal” price tag for taxpayers that was poorly targeted to help those most in need when combined with tax cuts promised in her leadership campaign. It said the richest tenth of UK households would receive £4,700 in support, on average, from the government’s “energy price guarantee” and cuts to national insurance – far in excess of the £2,200 support for a typical household in the poorest tenth.


The intervention comes as details of the new prime minister’s plan to support struggling households remain unclear, after she chose to hold back from publishing the costings for her proposal until a mini-budget, expected to take place next week. The Resolution Foundation said the plan to limit an increase in the cost of a typical household energy bill to £2,500 for two years from October would cost about £120bn. It warned that Truss’s plan to avoid a fresh windfall tax on energy producers would mean heaping the cost on taxpayers, with as little as £1 in every £12 spent on energy support for households recouped directly from higher taxes on energy firms.

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Follow the money, not the science.

Big Banks Making a Killing Off Global Hunger, Energy Crises (CD)

Russia’s war on Ukraine has wreaked havoc on global commodity markets, driving up energy and food prices and exacerbating hunger emergencies around the world. But while disastrous for the global poor — millions of whom are living on the brink of famine — the chaos has been a major boon for Wall Street giants, according to new data showing that the world’s 100 largest banks are on pace to smash commodity trading profit records this year. “The 100 biggest banks by revenue are set to make $18 billion from commodities trading in 2022,” Bloomberg reported last week, citing figures from the London-based firm Vali Analytics. “That would be the highest in the data, which goes back 14 years, and exceed the previous high watermark in 2009.”

“The prediction is the latest evidence that the wild swings in energy prices triggered by the war in Ukraine are delivering a boon to commodity traders, even as they push European nations into crisis,” Bloomberg added. “Vali, an analytics firm that tracks trading business, compiled data that includes the leading five banks in commodity trading: Macquarie Group Ltd., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Morgan Stanley.” Though the prices of wheat and other food staples have fallen from their peak in recent months, they remain significantly elevated compared to last year, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, leaving millions vulnerable to hunger and starvation.

The World Food Program estimates that “as many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night” and “the number of those facing acute food insecurity has soared — from 135 million to 345 million — since 2019.” Energy prices have also eased but remain high, contributing to cost-of-living crises throughout Europe and other parts of the globe. “People’s misery makes capitalists’ superprofit,” Salvatore De Rosa, a researcher at the Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies, tweeted in response to Bloomberg’s reporting. “How do you reform this?” Wall Street banks have not just benefited from the commodity price increases — they’ve actively helped fuel them, experts say.

“We’re in a market where speculators are driving prices up,” Michael Greenberger, former head of the Division of Trading and Markets at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told Mongabay in July. “Commodity markets are supposed to be hedging markets for people who are dealing with the commodity involved,” Greenberger said. “In the case of wheat, it would be farmers and people buying wheat. But if we looked at it, there would be banks in there with no interest in what the price of wheat is, writing swaps and controlling this price.”

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“..the Fed’s book still remains just a touch under $9 trillion, which is double what it was going into the pandemic period, and since the financial crisis of 2008.”

The Fed Is Going To Pivot In 3 Stages – Nomi Prins (CNBC)

The U.S. Federal Reserve could be forced to pivot away from its path of aggressive interest rate hikes in three stages, according to author Nomi Prins. Markets expect the central bank to enact a third consecutive 75 basis point hike at its monetary policy meeting later this month, the fastest pace of monetary tightening since policymakers began using the benchmark Fed funds rate as the principal policy tool in the early 1990s. Various Fed officials have reiterated the Federal Open Market Committee’s commitment in recent weeks to reining in inflation, but Prins told CNBC Tuesday that the acceleration of interest rate hikes to soothe the markets was disconnected from the economic reality faced by many.

“This period of accelerating the rate hikes that we’ve seen so far has impacted the real economy because it has squeezed the borrowing costs … for real people, real consumers,” she said. “Whereas for the Street in general, historically money still remains cheap and leverage still remains high in the system, and the Fed’s book still remains just a touch under $9 trillion, which is double what it was going into the pandemic period, and since the financial crisis of 2008.” Despite the broad market expectation for further 75 basis point hikes, Prins – a global economist and outspoken advocate for economic reform – said the Fed would likely pivot away from its hawkish trajectory in three stages as the disconnect between wealthy investors and institutions and the “real economy” widens.

Having firstly reduced the pace of rate hikes to 50 basis points and then neutralized policy, Prins expects the Fed to begin reversing course and becoming “accommodative,” with the U.S. already having recorded two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. “Whether that’s to cut rates or to increase the size of its book again, that still remains to be seen,” Prins added.

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The swamp stinks.

New Durham Bombshell: Steele Primary Source Was Paid FBI Informant (JTN)

In a bombshell revelation, Special Prosecutor John Durham revealed Tuesday in court filings that the FBI paid a Russian businessman as a confidential human source in the investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign even though it had prior concerns that businessman was tied to Moscow’s intelligence services. Durham persuaded the federal judge in the upcoming trial of Igor Danchenko to unseal a motion revealing that Danchenko, the primary source of the now-discredited Steele dossier, was paid by the FBI as a confidential human source for more than three years until the fall of 2020 when he was terminated for lying to agents. Danchenko is charged with five counts of lying to the bureau during that relationship and faces trial next month in federal court in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C.

“In March 2017, the FBI signed the defendant up as a paid confidential human source of the FBI,” Durham’s unsealed court filing disclosed for the first time. “The FBI terminated its source relationship with the defendant in October 2020. As alleged in further detail below, the defendant lied to FBI agents during several of these interviews.” The revelation means that the FBI first fired former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the Hillary Clinton-funded dossier, as a human source in November 2016 for having unauthorized contacts with the news media. And it then turned around a few months later and hired Steele’s primary informer to work with the bureau even after determining some of Danchenko’s statements in the Steele dossier were uncorroborated or exaggerated.

Even more stunning, Durham confirmed that the FBI had concerns about Danchenko’s ties to Russian intelligence a decade earlier, opening up a counterintelligence probe on him after learning he was trying to buy classified information from the Obama administration. “As has been publicly reported, the defendant was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011,” Durham wrote. “In late 2008, while the defendant was employed by a prominent think tank in Washington, D.C., the defendant engaged two fellow employees about whether one of the employees might be willing or able in the future to provide classified information in exchange for money.

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“Chairman of Natural England and a long-term adviser to Charles, Mr Juniper has spoken of the “incredible depth” of his knowledge and the “absolutely enormous” impact he has had.”

Oh sweet Jesus…

Charles Will Not Cool On Climate Action, Say Friends (BBC)

Will King Charles III turn his back on a lifetime of environmental campaigning? As Prince of Wales he spent decades campaigning, cajoling, and convening meetings to drive action on environmental issues. As king he is subject to different rules – the monarch is obliged to remain politically neutral. But his friends and advisers say he will not cool on the issue of global warming. Might urging action on key global issues like climate change or biodiversity loss be part of what a modern monarchy looks like? King Charles’ interests have ranged from tropical forests to the ocean depths, from sustainable farming practices to water security. They began long before such concerns became mainstream. Within months of his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, the 20-year-old Prince Charles wrote to Prime Minister Harold Wilson worried about the decline of salmon stocks in Scottish rivers.

“People are notoriously short-sighted when it comes to questions of wildlife,” he complained. Increasingly he has focused on tackling global warming, which he regards as one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. He was a major presence at the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow last year, urging world leaders to work together to save the planet during a speech at the opening ceremony. When I interviewed him ahead of COP26 he told me “It has taken far too long” for the world to respond to the risks of climate change. I pointed out world leaders would soon be gathering to talk about the climate crisis, he responded: “But they just talk, the problem is to get action.”

He even said he understood why some people felt motivated to take to the streets with organisations like Extinction Rebellion, noting “people should really notice how despairing so many young people are”. As for the risk of not taking action, he was very clear: “It will be a disaster. It will be catastrophic. It is already beginning to be catastrophic because nothing in nature can survive the stress that is created by these extremes of weather.” The veteran green campaigner Tony Juniper rates the new king as “possibly the most significant environmental figure of all time”. Chairman of Natural England and a long-term adviser to Charles, Mr Juniper has spoken of the “incredible depth” of his knowledge and the “absolutely enormous” impact he has had.

Charles net zero

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Andrew Marr

 

 

 

 

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Aug 112022
 
 August 11, 2022  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  38 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Kingfisher by the Waterside 1887

 

FBI Trump Raid Exposes Washington’s Secrecy Shams (Bovard)
An Informer Told the FBI What Docs Trump Was Hiding, and Where (NW)
Mar-a-Lago Search Shows the Swamp’s Trump Obsession (WSJ)
Trump Got Grand Jury Subpoena In Spring, Voluntarily Cooperated (JTN)
Trump Raid Deathblow to Democracy – Martin Armstrong (USAW)
Millions Will Freeze This Winter; Or Fall Into Debt To Avoid Doing So (Every)
Energy Costs Pushing Europeans Into Food Poverty – Bloomberg (RT)
Only NATO Could De-Militarise Itself! (Tweedie)
Why Have I Stopped Posting Maps Of The Situation In The Ukraine (Saker)
West Would Love To Fight Russia ‘To The Last Ukrainian’ – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine, West Must Be Held Accountable For Nuclear Powerplant Attack (Ritter)
Russia Summons UN Security Council Over Nuclear Emergency (RT)
Zelensky Makes Prediction On Conflict’s End (RT)
Contenders For Boris Johnson’s Crown Stress Fealty To Israel (Cook)
UK Excess Non-Covid Deaths Top 12,500 in 14 Weeks (DS)
Cumulative Number of Case Reports Reported to Pfizer for BNT162B2 (Smalley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kash Patel

 

 

 

 

Seagal

 

 

 

 

“President George W. Bush in 2001 issued an executive order that “effectively rewrote the Presidential Records Act, converting it from a measure guaranteeing public access to one that blocks it..”

FBI Trump Raid Exposes Washington’s Secrecy Shams (Bovard)

FBI agents raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday reportedly looking for boxes of classified material that Trump allegedly removed from the White House when his presidency ended in January 2021. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the raid showed the Justice Department’s “intolerable state of weaponized politicization.” Trump is accused of violating the Presidential Records Act. Congress enacted this law in 1978 after former President Richard Nixon claimed his secret Oval Office tapes and other records were his personal property. The law asserted, “The United States shall reserve and retain complete ownership, possession, and control of Presidential records.” “The Presidential Records Act is critical to our democracy, in which the government is held accountable by the people,” Archivist of the United States David Ferriero declared earlier this year.

In reality, the Presidential Records Act is the Presidential Damn-Near-Perpetual-Secrecy Act. Former presidents pocket multimillion-dollar advances for their memoirs while their records are mostly quarantined for decades from the citizens they often misgoverned. The Nixon Library did not release the final batch of his secret tapes until 2013 — 39 years after Nixon was driven from office. The Lyndon B. Johnson Library delayed releasing the final batch of his secret tapes of presidential conversations until 2016 — 47 years after he left office. President George W. Bush in 2001 issued an executive order that “effectively rewrote the Presidential Records Act, converting it from a measure guaranteeing public access to one that blocks it,” as law professor Jonathan Turley noted. Congress overturned parts of that order in 2014.

Obama White House lawyers repeatedly invoked the Presidential Records Act to “delay the release of thousands of pages of records from President Bill Clinton’s White House,” Politico reported. At the end of his presidency, Barack Obama trucked 30 million pages of his administration’s records to Chicago, promising to digitize them and eventually put them online — a move that outraged historians. More than five years after Obama’s presidency ended, the National Archives webpage reveals that zero pages have been digitized and disclosed. People can file requests via the Freedom of Information Act (a law Obama helped wreck) to access Obama records, but responses from presidential libraries can be delayed for years, even more than a decade, if the information is classified.

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But what were they looking for? And did they get it?

An Informer Told the FBI What Docs Trump Was Hiding, and Where (NW)

The raid on Mar-a-Lago was based largely on information from an FBI confidential human source, one who was able to identify what classified documents former President Trump was still hiding and even the location of those documents, two senior government officials told Newsweek. The officials, who have direct knowledge of the FBI’s deliberations and were granted anonymity in order to discuss sensitive matters, said the raid of Donald Trump’s Florida residence was deliberately timed to occur when the former president was away. FBI decision-makers in Washington and Miami thought that denying the former president a photo opportunity or a platform from which to grandstand (or to attempt to thwart the raid) would lower the profile of the event, says one of the sources, a senior Justice Department official who is a 30-year veteran of the FBI.

The effort to keep the raid low-key failed: instead, it prompted a furious response from GOP leaders and Trump supporters. “What a spectacular backfire,” says the Justice official. “I know that there is much speculation out there that this is political persecution, but it is really the best and the worst of the bureaucracy in action,” the official says. “They wanted to punctuate the fact that this was a routine law enforcement action, stripped of any political overtones, and yet [they] got exactly the opposite.” FBI decision-makers in Washington and Miami thought that denying the former president a photo opportunity or a platform from which to grandstand (or to attempt to thwart the raid) would lower the profile of the event, says one of the sources, a senior Justice Department official who is a 30-year veteran of the FBI.

The effort to keep the raid low-key failed: instead, it prompted a furious response from GOP leaders and Trump supporters. “What a spectacular backfire,” says the Justice official. “I know that there is much speculation out there that this is political persecution, but it is really the best and the worst of the bureaucracy in action,” the official says. “They wanted to punctuate the fact that this was a routine law enforcement action, stripped of any political overtones, and yet [they] got exactly the opposite.”

Hanson

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“That is how they see us—destabilized and vulnerable. Our opponents are redoing their global risk-reward ratios. Incredibly, we are doing this to ourselves.”

“Trump II would be a four-year civil war. The Swamp wouldn’t drain. It would deepen. The rancor could drown us all.”

Mar-a-Lago Search Shows the Swamp’s Trump Obsession (WSJ)

Let us assume that for 99.99% of the U.S. population in early August 2022, the last thing on their mind was Mar-a-Lago. Instead, a short list of real things preoccupying Americans would include inflation, crime, battles in Congress over spending, Ukraine fighting World War III for us in Europe, and China conducting massive live-fire military exercises around Taiwan. So it came as a surprise to discover Monday evening that the Justice Department and FBI decided the most important thing in the world just now was raiding former President Donald Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, Fla. Among other thoughts, a three-letter acronym starting with W comes to mind. Forgive me for not spending more than a moment on the legal niceties of this event—the applicability of the Presidential Records Act, that it had be about “something big” involving classified documents, or that no one, including a former president, is above the law. They are all beside the point.

You can hate Donald Trump until your eyes pop out, but let us be clear: He was elected the 45th president of the U.S. He served four years in office. No former president who was disliked by many—not Clinton, Reagan nor FDR—had his home invaded by a squad of FBI agents. This should never happen in the U.S. End of discussion. But it did happen. The Trump raid is now a wall-to-wall political disaster for the United States, doing more damage, if that’s possible, to the country’s internal divisions and even creating external risks. Consider the current spectacle the U.S. is presenting to foreign adversaries. Multiple members of the sitting president’s own party in the past week—such as Joe Manchin and Jerry Nadler—have openly abandoned Joe Biden for an election that is two years off. Days later, the previous president comes under explicit attack from the FBI.

Imagine what we would think of the stability of China or Russia if events like this were happening to Xi Jinping or Vladimir Putin. That is how they see us—destabilized and vulnerable. Our opponents are redoing their global risk-reward ratios. Incredibly, we are doing this to ourselves. Correction: They are doing it to us. Who are “they”? They, as of Monday, are who much of the political right says they are—the Swamp, the Deep State, the Regime, the Establishment. [..] A second Trump term isn’t the last thing this country needs. But it’s about second to last. The raid on Mar-a-Lago proves that Trump Derangement Syndrome won’t go away until Mr. Trump is out of elective politics. Trump II would not be a replay of Trump I, a more substantive, policy-driven presidency than his critics will admit. Trump II would be a four-year civil war. The Swamp wouldn’t drain. It would deepen. The rancor could drown us all.

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“I mean, if the subpoena worked the first time, then presumably a second subpoena would work the second time if there were remaining documents.”

Trump Got Grand Jury Subpoena In Spring, Voluntarily Cooperated (JTN)

Two months before his Florida home was raided by the FBI, former President Donald Trump secretly received a grand jury subpoena for classified documents belonging to the National Archives, and voluntarily cooperated by turning over responsive evidence, surrendering security surveillance footage and allowing federal agents and a senior Justice Department lawyer to tour his private storage locker, according to a half dozen people familiar with the incident. While the cooperation was mostly arranged by his lawyers, Trump personally surprised the DOJ National Security Division prosecutor and three FBI agents who came to his Mar-a-Lago compound on June 3, greeting them as they came to pick up a small number of documents compliant with the subpoena, the sources told Just the News, speaking only on condition of anonymity because the visit was covered by grand jury secrecy.

The subpoena requested any remaining documents Trump possessed with any classification markings, even if they involved photos of foreign leaders, correspondence or mementos from his presidency. Secret Service agents were also present and facilitated the visit, officials said. Trump signaled his full cooperation, telling the agents and prosecutor, “Look, whatever you need let us know,” according to two eyewitnesses. The federal team was surprised by the president’s invitation and asked for an immediate favor: to see the 6-foot-by-10-foot storage locker where his clothes, shoes, documents and mementos from his presidency were stored at the compound. Given Trump’s instruction, the president’s lawyers complied and allowed the search by the FBI before the entourage left cordially.

Five days later, DOJ officials sent a letter to Trump’s lawyers asking them to secure the storage locker with more than the lock they had seen. The Secret Service installed a more robust security lock to comply. Around the same time, the Trump Organization, which owns Mar-a-Lago, received a request for surveillance video footage covering the locker and volunteered the footage to federal authorities, sources disclosed. The disclosure Wednesday to Just the News raised immediate new questions in legal and congressional circles about the necessity for the subsequent raid, including whether the judge who approved the warrant new of the earlier cooperation.

“The more we learn, the more confusing this gets,” George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley told Fox News program Hannity. “….Did they relay this history to the magistrate? That, according to these sources, that the president had cooperated. ”I mean, the idea that he was subject to a subpoena, complied with a subpoena, didn’t challenge it, voluntarily showed the storage room to the agents, followed their advice, secured it to meet their demands. All of that is hardly a basis for saying now we need to send in 40 FBI agents on a on a raid,” he added. “I mean, if the subpoena worked the first time, then presumably a second subpoena would work the second time if there were remaining documents.”

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“worried about civil war or extreme civil unrest in 2023 in America.” Armstrong is seeing a “world war coming in 2024 or after.”

Trump Raid Deathblow to Democracy – Martin Armstrong (USAW)

Armstrong says the Democrats are in “dire straits” at the polls–and they know it. Armstrong thinks the Trump raid by the FBI is an act of desperation, and it will “backfire,” but that’s not the only play in the Democrat playbook for the midterms in November. Armstrong says, “I have been warned that the Democrats have been maneuvering, and the reason they are allowing all the illegal aliens to come in is they intend to allow them to vote. You already had the Justice Department go after one state that said you had to prove you are an American to vote, and they filed a suit against them saying that they violated their civil rights. At that stage of the game, hey, all of Europe, Australia, everybody should just send in a vote.”

Armstrong’s says forget what the mainstream polls are saying about voter support for Democrats and Joe Biden because the real numbers are much lower than the public is told. Armstrong’s “Socrates” computer program shows Joe Biden has just 12% of support in America. Maybe this is why Democrats are desperate and realize they have to cheat and break the law to stay in power. It’s not going to get any better, and the entire world is in the same sinking boat. Armstrong says, “We basically are sitting here in the middle of the collapse of Western civilization. It’s socialism that is collapsing because these people have done nothing but borrow money to bribe them to vote for them . . . There is no way to pay it back, and they had no intention of paying it back. . . . Europe is, just forget it.

You have emerging markets collapsing around the world because to sell their debt, they had to put it into dollars. Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Pakistan, Argentina are falling apart on a global scale.” Armstrong thinks the dollar will be strong for now and not to expect a collapse in the USA anytime soon because America will be the last man standing. That said, Armstrong does see the possibility of a “stock market collapse in September.” Armstrong is also “worried about civil war or extreme civil unrest in 2023 in America.” Armstrong is seeing a “world war coming in 2024 or after.” Armstrong also said, “My computer warns that there may not even be an election in America in 2024. It’s reaching that critical period. So, this raid on Trump is like throwing down the gauntlet. Everything is gone.”

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“Yet the declassification of such documents is the president’s prerogative, in which case the issue may not be as it appears.”

Millions Will Freeze This Winter; Or Fall Into Debt To Avoid Doing So (Every)

UK household power bills are now likely to soar to as much as £4,200 from January, a staggering increase. Indeed, the government, which is not going to do anything about it until a new PM is chosen, holds a “reasonable worst case scenario” (that is “highly unlikely to materialise”) for losing a sixth of the electricity grid, meaning enforced blackouts that will close down rail networks and public buildings. What is highly likely is that millions will freeze this winter; or fall into debts to avoid doing so; and the result will be deflationary demand for everything else, along with cost-push price increases for everything; and yet government help will just mean the latter inflation and less of the former.

(Relatedly, yesterday on Twitter I saw more bitter political satire speaking to how inflation is being handled in the UK, ostensibly through the eyes of a media correspondent from Papua New Guinea. It begins: “To the island of Shakespeare, where energy companies ring 400% profits, and energy consumers are reduced to ringing Jeremy Vine. In the home of blank verse, nobody can afford to use a meter.” It only gets better from there.) But don’t worry: headline inflation is slightly lower this month. Meanwhile, other headlines are about the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s home. It would appear the potential crime is the removal of classified documents from the White House, a serious, albeit obscure, charge. Yet the declassification of such documents is the president’s prerogative, in which case the issue may not be as it appears.

Clearly, the raid has implications for 2024 because if found guilty, Trump could be barred from seeking federal office. At the same time, the (social) media coverage is again exposing deep polarisation. We have the *very* valid argument that all are equal before the law (even Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton); on the other, muttering that “If they can go after the former president, they can go after anyone.” Even neutral (and some anti-Trump) observers say that unless concrete charges emerge, all the raid will likely do is cement Trump’s base. The parallel with the inflation print is that what we see right now is not necessarily what we are going to be seeing in the medium-term.

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“We’re not running a casino. We’re making food, which gives us a big responsibility to get it right.”

Energy Costs Pushing Europeans Into Food Poverty – Bloomberg (RT)

Food producers across Europe are contending with soaring energy prices, with that increase quickly felt in the pockets of consumers grappling with a cost-of-living crisis, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. According to the report, citing a Bank of England forecast, a third of UK households are set to spend more than 10% of incomes on energy, and now surging grocery costs are driving up food poverty. “It is the domino effect that has happened with us having to take a huge increase on energy,”Ryan Peters, managing director of Brioche Pasquier UK, told the outlet. “We have to try and raise our prices to retailers a little bit, and unfortunately that goes on to consumers,” he said. Kona Haque, head of research for commodities trader ED&F Man, warned: “I think the worst is still to come as energy prices rise. This winter will be a game changer and processing costs will likely go up.”


Europe’s largest sugar beet producer Suedzucker AG has reported its first quarter revenues had been hit by a “substantial rise” in raw material, energy and packaging costs. Companies turning soybeans, rapeseed and sunflower seeds into cooking oils have reportedly been slowing output in the UK and Europe and shifting production to other regions with lower energy prices. Meanwhile, energy-intensive food factories across the continent could be forced to shut down if natural gas shortages spark rationing, Bloomberg warned. “Just like people are grappling with their home budgets, we’re having to manage highly volatile energy and input costs, making sure every penny our business spends and gets as income is actively managed in real time,” Tate & Lyle Sugars senior vice president Gerald Mason was quoted as saying by the outlet. “We’re not running a casino. We’re making food, which gives us a big responsibility to get it right.”

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“..the stream of announced (if not yet delivered) “packages” of military aid is really starting to scrape the barrel of NATO inventories..”

Only NATO Could De-Militarise Itself! (Tweedie)

In their rush to arm the Ukraine since before the start of Russia’s ‘demilitarisation’ operation there, several eastern member-states have managed to demilitarise themselves without Moscow having to lift a finger. Poland has sent 232 T-72 main battle tanks, almost half its entire tank fleet, over the border into the Ukraine. The Donbass militias have already captured some examples with almost no miles on the clock. Warsaw has ordered 1,000 K2 ‘Black Panther’ tanks from South Korea and 366 M1 Abrams from the US as replacements, but deliveries won’t be completed until 2026. The Czech Republic has reportedly handed over all 15 of its Mi-24 helicopter gunships — one of the types Russia is using to pound the Ukrainian army — along with 56 infantry fighting vehicles, 40 self-propelled artillery vehicles and 20 Grad-style 122mm multi-launch rocket system (MLRS) trucks.

After donating an S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, neighbouring Slovakia is weighing up sending its one squadron of 11 MiG-29 fighter jets. The government is seeking guarantees from neighbouring countries that their air forces will defend its airspace until it can find replacements if it decides to give up its entire fixed-wing combat capability. Meanwhile the defence ministry has ordered 14 F-16 multi-role fighters from the US — an aircraft from the 1970s that the MiG-29 was built to outfly — but the first aircraft won’t arrive until 2024. At least the Slovaks had the sense not to give up 30 T-72s after Germany only offered them 15 Leopard-2 tanks to replace them.

And just last week it emerged that North Macedonia, one of the newest balkanised statelets in the Balkans, transferred four Su-25 ground attack jets it bought from the Ukraine in 2001 back there, along with 31 Russian T-72s — disbanding its army’s only armoured battalion in the process. In return, the US will give the country’s army some Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, an oversized four-seat jeep with just enough armour to stop a rifle bullet. If Russia really did decide to roll the tanks into the former Warsaw Treaty countries, like their increasingly-hysterical politicians claim Moscow is planning, they would likely face little more opposition than infantrymen armed with rifles and machine-guns. The battalion-sized ‘tactical groups’ of troops from the US, UK and other ‘big boy’ NATO members stationed in eastern Europe would make no difference. They’re only there to provide the pretext for ‘escalation to the nuclear threshold’, as Andrei Martyanov says.

In fact the stream of announced (if not yet delivered) “packages” of military aid is really starting to scrape the barrel of NATO inventories. The UK announced on July 21 it was sending 20 155mm self-propelled guns — although those had already been accounted for months earlier when they were bought from Belgium’s reserves. The Ministry of Defence also pledged 36 105mm (four-inch) artillery pieces, not even more the much-vaunted six-inch (155mm) M777s partly made in the UK. The 105mm shells hold about a quarter as much high explosive as the 155s, and can reach a maximum 12 miles compared to 19 for the bigger guns. The US has promised four more of the holy HIMARS, plus another 72,000 155mm shells for guns which have mostly been bombed already. Russia also claims to have hit six out of the 12 HIMARS launchers the US has already sent — and which have failed to turn the tide of the war.

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“..Russia is not engaged in a war against the Ukraine, but against the entire united and consolidated West…”

Why Have I Stopped Posting Maps Of The Situation In The Ukraine (Saker)

Did the Russians expect such a massive reaction from the West? The term “expect” is very misleading. That is not how these things work. Operational and strategic plans are not based on a single scenario which you “hope” will materialize. Here are also two things which we should always remember: • It is the job of the intelligence agencies and the operations planning departments to prepare and model for as many possible scenarios (or scenarii?) as reasonable imaginable. • Operational and strategic plans do not deal with tactical issues and they CONSTANTLY change depending on a feedback and decision making loop.

One example: Putin admitted during a TV interview that when the Russians moved into Crimea he had placed Russian nuclear forces on maximal alert. Does that meant that anybody in the Kremlin or the General Staff “expected” the US to nuke Russia? Of course not! But they DID consider that possibility and took the needed action to try to prevent it. Same here. I am very confident that the Russians were fully prepared for the West’s insane and, frankly, suicidal reaction to the SMO. In fact, that “maximal” response was one of the MANY contingencies which the Russians must have prepared for. As a former intelligence analyst, I can tell you that military analysis does look at as many options as possible and then the operational planning folks make their own preparations for any contingency.

It is now abundantly clear that the West is determined to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian. Hence the truly idiotic order given to the best and most capable Ukrainian forces to not engage in a mobile defense but to hold their ground in the Donbass until they are totally destroyed. Furthermore, it is also abundantly clear that the western countries are willing to destroy not only its own economies, but the entire international financial system to try to hurt Russia (and China) as much as possible. In other words, Russia is not engaged in a war against the Ukraine, but against the entire united and consolidated West.

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“We understand very well that we are not fighting against Ukraine in the Ukrainian territory, and certainly not against the Ukrainian people…”

West Would Love To Fight Russia ‘To The Last Ukrainian’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukraine’s leadership has sold out its own people to fight on behalf of NATO against Russia, Sergey Kirienko, the deputy head of the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said. He added that Western nations are happy to see Ukrainians die as long as it serves their interests. “We understand very well that we are not fighting against Ukraine in the Ukrainian territory, and certainly not against the Ukrainian people. The entire NATO bloc is at war with Russia in Ukraine with Ukrainians’ hands,” Kirienko said in a speech on Wednesday. He blamed the government in Kiev for the violence, accusing it of offering the country and its people to be sacrificed in a “fundamental confrontation of the Western community against Russia.”

“NATO will gladly fight against Russia ‘to the last Ukrainian’ as they say themselves without hesitance. Why not? They don’t feel sorry about it.” Kirienko was addressing a forum for young Russian political scientists, which launched this week in the Moscow Region. Speaking via video link, he told attendees that it will be up to them to find new ideas and narratives to help the country take a prominent place in the future world, the shape of which is being determined by the ongoing conflict. The Russia-West stand-off goes far beyond the kinetic conflict in Ukraine, the official said. Unprecedented economic sanctions imposed by the US and its allies on Moscow and “info-psychological attacks” directed at it are essential parts of the conflict too, he noted.

Moscow’s opponents had miscalculated when they decided on their response to Russian military action in Ukraine, Kirienko said, citing classified Western documents. “They seriously debated in early March whether they needed five million people protesting in the streets in Russia or should better go for ten million and when to expect that: by the end of March or in mid-April at the latest,” he said. The planners believed that Russia “would be too busy to defend its geostrategic interests” when facing the anticipated protests, he added. Despite this, Kirienko advised against relaxing, saying that the pressure on Russia will remain high and may become more efficient. Moscow’s opponents “are pretty smart and competent people, who can learn from their mistakes,” he said.

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“..Russia has extended its own invitation to IAEA monitors to visit the powerplant and summoned a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation..”

Ukraine, West Must Be Held Accountable For Nuclear Powerplant Attack (Ritter)

The Ukrainian attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility was, in typical Orwellian fashion, forecasted by the United States four days before it took place. During an August 1 news conference at the United Nations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of using the nuclear facility as a base from which it conducted artillery strikes against Ukraine. Blinken declared that the act of firing artillery rockets from proximity to the nuclear power plant was “the height of irresponsibility,”implying that these rockets could land on the power plant itself. Blinken also added that the Russians were using the nuclear facility as a “nuclear shield” which prevented any Ukrainian attack out of fear of striking the nuclear reactors.

Blinken’s brazen parroting of Ukrainian government talking points was made more absurd by the absolute dearth of evidence to back up his powerful pronouncements. Normally, when someone of the stature of the Secretary of State speaks in such a public manner about issues of this importance, there is some intelligence information that is released – for instance, overhead imagery showing Russian troop locations near the Zaporozhye nuclear plant – to sustain the allegation. No such data was provided, however, because Blinken had ceased functioning as the head of the American diplomatic service, and instead was functioning as little more than a Ukrainian propagandist. For its part, Russia has made it clear that there were no Russian forces located in the vicinity of the Zaporozhye nuclear facility save for a small contingent of troops for security purposes (it is, after all, an active nuclear power plant.)

Again, while Russia can clearly provide overhead imagery of its force disposition in the vicinity of the plant, operational security precludes it from doing so. It is, after all, the job of the accuser to provide the evidence of a crime, not the accused. Blinken’s August 1 statement served as the initiation of a public relations campaign which culminated in the Ukrainian artillery attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility. The goal of this campaign appears to be twofold – first, to put Russia in a bad light, and second, to allow Ukraine to accomplish that which it could not achieve through military force – the eviction of Russian troops from Zaporozhye. The calls for international intervention emanating from the West point to a concerted effort in promoting a pro-Ukrainian narrative even when all parties know the underlying facts sustaining this narrative are not true. To counteract that, Russia has extended its own invitation to IAEA monitors to visit the powerplant and summoned a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation.

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When’s the last time Ukraine said anything true?

Russia Summons UN Security Council Over Nuclear Emergency (RT)

Russia has summoned an emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which has been the subject of regular shelling attacks. Moscow wants the chief of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to brief the council on the situation. The move, which was reported by Russian media on Tuesday, was confirmed by the deputy head of Russia’s mission to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, who said the public needed to learn about “Ukrainian provocations.” The meeting is expected to take place on Thursday. Russia says Ukraine has been responsible for a series of drone attacks and artillery strikes at the nuclear site. The latest shelling was reported last weekend.

Kiev denies the allegations and claims that Russia has shelled the facility itself to discredit Ukraine. Kiev’s National Security Council has also alleged that Moscow was using the power plant as a military base, keeping heavy weapons and personnel there. The IAEA has not had access to the site since before the Russian-Ukrainian conflict escalated in late February and relies on reports from Ukraine to assess the situation on the ground. The Zaporozhye plant is manned by Ukrainian nuclear workers despite being under Russian control. On Saturday, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi expressed the IAEA’s concern over the artillery strikes, stating that they underlined “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond.”

“I condemn any violent acts carried out at or near the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant or against its staff,” he stressed. Grossi is expected to lead an inspection of the facility for an independent assessment of the situation and verification that non-proliferation safeguards remain in place. The Zaporozhye plant is the largest in Europe and stores tens of tons of enriched uranium and plutonium in its reactor cores and spent fuel storage, according to the IAEA. The watchdog chief earlier said he was alarmed that the security of the radioactive materials may be compromised amid Russian-Ukrainian hostilities.

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“..if the leadership in Kiev really decided to use force against the peninsula “the Day of Judgment will come to them all simultaneously – a swift and hard one.”

Zelensky Makes Prediction On Conflict’s End (RT)

Ukraine will keep fighting against Russia until it regains control over the Crimean Peninsula, President Vladimir Zelensky has promised. “This Russian war against Ukraine, against the whole of free Europe, began with Crimea and it should end with Crimea – with its liberation,”Zelensky said in a video address on Tuesday. “Crimea is Ukrainian, and we’ll never give up on it,” the president vowed, insisting that the peninsula, which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a 2014 referendum in response to a coup in Kiev, has been “occupied” by Moscow all those years. There will be no peace in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean regions “as long as Russia is able to use our peninsula as a military base,” he claimed.

However, Zelensky acknowledged that it was currently “impossible to say” when exactly will Ukraine be able to reclaim Crimea. “But we’re constantly adding new components to the formula of liberating” the peninsula, he added. Last month, Ukrainian deputy defense minister Vladimir Gavrilov claimed that Kiev is going to use Western-supplied weapons to destroy the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, and take the peninsula back. Such an operation is going to be carried out “sooner or later,” he told the UK media.

Other Ukrainian officials also came up with threats against Crimea recently, one of them being Zelensky’s top aide Alexey Arestovich, who said that Kiev could strike the 19-kilometer-long Kerch Bridge connecting Crimea to Russia’s Krasnodar Region as soon as it gains technical capability to do so. Moscow has been insisting that Crimea is well-protected from any attack by the Ukrainian side. However, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now deputy chair of the country’s National Security Council, warned that if the leadership in Kiev really decided to use force against the peninsula “the Day of Judgment will come to them all simultaneously – a swift and hard one.”

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“If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza.” That hell is entirely manmade – by Israel.”

Contenders For Boris Johnson’s Crown Stress Fealty To Israel (Cook)

Israel unleashed a surprise wave of air strikes on Gaza last Friday, the two remaining Conservative politicians vying to replace disgraced Prime Minister Boris Johnson publicised letters vowing fealty to Israel. Their timing underscored the degree to which British politicians on both sides of the aisle have now joined their American counterparts in making commitment to Israel a defining issue in their campaigns for highest office. Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, trumpeted their pro-Israel credentials over the weekend, as Israel killed 45 Palestinians, including 16 children, and injured hundreds more. Israel said several Islamic Jihad leaders – the intended targets – were among the dead. A ceasefire went into effect late on Sunday night.

As expected, western leaders came out solidly in support of Israel, even though on this occasion there was not even the pretence that Israel was “retaliating” for rockets fired out of Gaza. Israel initiated the hostilities, claiming its strikes were meant to prevent an alleged attack by the Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad with an anti-tank missile. One can imagine how politicians in the United States and Europe would have reacted had a Palestinian faction justified firing rockets into Israel unprovoked on the basis that it wished to deter future Israeli air strikes. But in any case, if deterrence really was Israel’s aim, its attack had precisely the opposite effect. Entirely predictably, Islamic Jihad responded by firing hundreds of rockets into Israel.

In fact, though it is never mentioned by western politicians or media, Palestinians, unlike Israel, actually have a right in international law to resist Israel militarily – and not only because Israel has been belligerently occupying their lands for decades. Israel has additionally subjected Gaza to a 15-year blockade that has tightly controlled who and what is allowed in and out of the tiny, heavily overcrowded coastal enclave. Gaza has been left in ruins by a series of Israeli attacks over more than a decade – what the Israeli army calls “mowing the lawn”. Gaza’s trapped 2.1 million inhabitants suffer serious shortages of food, clean water, medicines and electricity. Malnutrition and poverty are endemic. Last year, the head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, observed: “If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza.” That hell is entirely manmade – by Israel.

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Where’s the research into the vaccines?

UK Excess Non-Covid Deaths Top 12,500 in 14 Weeks (DS)

There have now been 12,517 excess non-Covid deaths registered in England and Wales in the 14 weeks since April 23rd, according to the latest official data from the Office for National Statistics, released on Tuesday. In the week ending July 29th, the most recent week for which data are available, 11,013 deaths were registered in England and Wales, which is 1,678 (18%) above the five-year average for the week. Of these, 810 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate as a contributory cause and 531 mentioned COVID-19 as underlying cause, leaving 1,147 deaths from a different underlying cause. Note that this was the week following the brief but intense heatwave (with recorded temperatures topping 40°C for the first time in some areas), so some of these will be heatwave deaths, as will many of the additional Covid deaths (being people who happened to have Covid at the time).

At the Daily Sceptic we have been following what appears to be a correlation between the spring fourth dose booster rollout among over-75s in England and a wave of now over 12,500 non-Covid excess deaths that are currently unexplained. If all of these deaths were a result of the spring boosters (of which 4,201,990 have been delivered up to July 29th) it would be a rate of one every 336 doses. That figure is likely an upper bound, as not all the additional deaths may be due to the boosters (some may be due to the pressures on hospitals and emergency services, for example). We saw last week that these U.K. data are broadly in line with data from the Netherlands, as highlighted by leading vaccine scientist Dr. Theo Schetters.

Deaths by date of occurrence spiked even further in the week ending July 22nd, which is likely to be connected with the heatwave of July 18-19th. One oddity is that the spike began in the previous week, before the heatwave occurred, the reason for which is not immediately obvious. More generally, excess non-Covid deaths have remained at a high level as the spring vaccination campaign has wound down, meaning the close correlation has not continued. This may be an indication of ongoing vaccine injury, perhaps in conjunction with injury from previous Covid infection, or of the operation of another cause which has not yet been identified.

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Here is some research. From Pfizer itself.

Cumulative Number of Case Reports Reported to Pfizer for BNT162B2 (Smalley)

Obtained by Freedom of Information request from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration because that’s the only way to get public data nowadays. I manually converted the PDF to a datafile so anyone can analyse the data for themselves. This is the data that Pfizer has. If you were responsible for reviewing this, what action would you take?


Through 15th April 2022 (around 16 months):
• Total cases reported 1,348,078.
• 75% of cases reported are under the age of 65.
• Over 68% of cases are female.
• 387,675 (29%) of cases are described as “serious”.
• 17,156 reported cases for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
• 45,523 paediatric cases.
• 4,563,768 adverse events (average 3.4 per case).
• 646,837 nervous system disorders.
• 503,108 musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders.
• 299,486 gastrointestinal disorders.
• 209,213 skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders.
• 176,907 respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders.
• 162,086 reproductive system and breast disorders.
• 114,375 cardiac disorders.
• 93,097 blood and lymphatic system disorders.

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Syria oil

 

 

 

 

 

Ode to Joy

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 112022
 


Robert Campin Portrait of a woman 1430-35

 

The Goal Is Not To Help Ukraine, But To Fight Putin – Jacques Baud (TP)
Biden Tries Blaming Russia for White House Energy Policy and Inflation (CTH)
Ukraine Is Blackmailing The Global South By Demanding Weapons For Wheat (Kol.)
Traitors and Patriots (Batiushka)
UK: 5,000 Non-Covid Excess Deaths in the Last Five Weeks (DS)
Funding of Promising COVID-19 Treatment Withdrawn Without Explanation (DS)
Get Your Monkeypox On (Jim Kunstler)
Primetime Jan. 6 Hearings Air To Dismal TV Ratings (JTN)
Liz Cheney Said Trump Had A ‘Seven-part Plan’ To Overturn The Election (CNN)
Trump Pentagon First Offered National Guard to Capitol on Jan 2 (JTN)
Perry to Cheney: Your Pardon Story Is An Absolute Shameless, Soulless Lie (JTN)
Erdogan Threatens Greece Over ‘Militarizing’ Aegean Islands (ZH)
Agreement In The Dispute Over Spying Attacks On Julian Assange’s Lawyer (Zeit)

 

 

 

 

Ryan Cole
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535169325610553344

 

 

 

 

Kerseboom

 

 

Original from Swiss journal, Zeitgeschehen im Fokus.

Baud is a former strategic intelligence officer in the Swiss Department of Defense.

“This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration.”

The Goal Is Not To Help Ukraine, But To Fight Putin -Jacques Baud (TP)

JB: It is also interesting that if one takes some distance to assess the conflict and does not immediately side with Ukraine, one is declared a ” Putin-Empathizer.” This is unbelievable. What I think about Putin has nothing to do with the assessment of the situation. That is the business of the Ukrainians. I have said this several times: if I were Ukrainian, I probably would have taken up arms. But that is not the point. I, as Swiss, will not give up my Swissness. In order to help Ukraine, I don’t have to become a Ukrainian; but I have to look at the big picture I have as Swiss to bring a less passionate but more constructive point of view. The journalists who criticize me are more Russia-haters than Ukraine-lovers.

JB: When an onlooker sees an old lady being attacked by a thug on the street, he does not encourage her to fight back, but tries to separate the two. We are in the situation of this onlooker; but our response is to give weapons so that Ukraine fights. For a Ukrainian it is legitimate to want to fight. But for a Swiss or another European, our role is to try to limit the damage. But no one is even attempting to do that in the West. When Zelensky was looking for a mediator, he turned to Turkey, China, and Israel. He did not choose a European Union country or even Switzerland. He understood that Switzerland is no longer an independent partner.

[..] JB: Paradoxically, everything we give to Ukraine today only highlights the help and compassion we have not given to those who have been unjustly attacked by the West in the Middle East and elsewhere. This will have consequences in the future. Many have noticed this with the refugees. The “blond, blue-eyed” refugees are gladly helped; the others are not. Maybe we can understand this, even if we cannot approve of it. But what is incomprehensible, remains the fact that we keep silent about one attacker, while another is punished with more than 6 000 sanctions.

[..] It also doesn’t mean that you have to be in favor of Russia; that has nothing to do with it. If you look at Justitia, she is blind and holds a scale in her hand. That is exactly what is missing today. Western countries are partial and biased. The same applies to the European Union. A modern state should not be guided by passion, but by reason. These principles were established by Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau in the 18th century. Our “woke” culture has forgotten them. We let our feelings guide us and we follow them. That is the problem.

[..] The rule of law means that decisions are not based on feelings or intuitions, but on the basis of facts. That is why modern states have intelligence services. This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration. This is a fundamental difference between enlightened governance and despotic obscurantism. Fighting a dictatorship does not entitle us to forget the principles of the rule of law. Since the Balkan War, the West seems to believe that the end justifies the means. It is irrelevant what individual ministers think as persons, they are allowed to hate Putin, that is their right as citizens —but not as ministers. Feelings cannot be the basis of their policy.

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Kissinger in 2014: “Demonizing Vladimir Putin is not politics; it is an alibi for not having politics.”

Biden Tries Blaming Russia for White House Energy Policy and Inflation (CTH)

It’s worth paying attention to where and when Joe Biden is standing when he makes his ridiculous economic claims today about Russia being the cause of the energy policy from the White House. Do not let it go unnoticed that it’s June, the last month of the second quarter for economic data. Do not let it pass your reference that Joe Biden is speaking from the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) as he spins his nonsense about the inflation, he alone is responsible for. And do not overlook the attendee mentioned in this subtle statement, “And, John, I can’t thank you. You’re — you’re the real deal. Anybody — well, I won’t get into — get you in trouble, but thanks for sticking up for me.”

“John” is the White House Port Envoy John D Porcari. A severely partisan former Obama official who was selected by Joe Biden to lead the fraudulent effort to improve supply chains when the White House was under assault in the fall of 2021. Porcari was the person who designed “operation hide the ships” to give the illusion of port efficiency improvement, and it is almost a certainty that it was Porcari who leveraged his influence with the POLA to hold back the December 2021 import data in order to try and improve the GDP statistics. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters with negative GDP growth. The first quarter of 2022 was -1.5% as detailed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That means if April, May and June 2022 are also negative GDP then we are factually in an economic recession.

That makes this month, June 2022, critical for Joe Biden. The White House will do anything to avoid that label appearing on their economic policy when the reporting is released at the end of July. So it’s June, the last month of the second quarter…. and Joe Biden is giving a speech from the Port of Los Angeles….. and the White House will do anything and everything to avoid that “economic recession” label. What does that mean? That means it’s time for John Porcari to work his magic influence again and get the POLA import data held back and delayed so that it is not deducted from the GDP.

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Not how we prefer to see it.

Ukraine Is Blackmailing The Global South By Demanding Weapons For Wheat (Kol.)

Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasily Bodnar officially demanded weapons in exchange for resuming wheat exports by sea in what amounts to the blatant blackmailing of the Global South in the midst of the artificially manufactured food crisis. He said that “Effective security guarantees are required for maritime shipments to resume. These guarantees must be provided through the supply of appropriate weapons to Ukraine to protect its coasts from maritime threats and the involvement of the navies of third countries in protecting the relevant part of the Black Sea.” This comprehensively debunks the US-led Western Mainstream Media’s (MSM) fake news that Russia is the one that’s supposedly holding the Global South hostage by allegedly blockading Ukrainian ports.

The background context is that Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya already explained the artificially manufactured origins of the global food crisis late last month. In short, he blamed it on the economic consequences caused by the West’s response to COVID (particularly with respect to spiking inflation and influencing food demand); Ukraine’s mining of its own ports; and the anti-Russian sanctions. President Putin later reiterated these causes in a TV interview that he gave a little over a week later on the same day that he met with Macky Sall, the Chairman of the African Union. His guest extended credence to the Kremlin’s explanation by declaring that “Anti-Russia sanctions have made this situation worse and now we do not have access to grain from Russia, primarily to wheat.”

All the while and in spite of the artificially manufactured origins of the food crisis that lie entirely beyond Russia’s control, Moscow has been doing its utmost to encourage Kiev to at the very least resume its wheat exports to the Global South. To that end, it proposed four potential corridors: the Azov Sea; the Black Sea; overland through Belarus en route to Baltic ports; and across Western Europe. Suffice to say, Kiev has flat-out refused to employ any of these means, though it’s also worth noting that Nebenzya mentioned in his speech late last month that Russia has “reasonable suspicions” to believe that Kiev is exporting wheat to those Western European countries that already have copious reserves of this commodity in exchange for arms exactly as happened with the Central Powers near the end of WWI.

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“..Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery.”

Traitors and Patriots (Batiushka)

The prolific Russian nationalist author of 91 books, Oleg Platonov (born 1950), relates in his work on the fall of the Soviet Union how in the 1980s, on the eve of the country’s collapse, Westerners, whom The Saker rightly calls ‘Euro-Atlanticists’, betrayed the USSR. These ‘Euro-Atlanticists’ were the ‘Communists’ who in the 1990s overnight became super Capitalists, bought shares for almost nothing in valuable, about-to-be privatised national companies and so became ‘oligarchs’. Their shameful acts, in fact thefts of national property by those with insider knowledge, created an underclass of homeless. They reveal how these money-launderers sold out their own country and people and souls, often then going to live in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Nice, Marbella, Nicosia etc.

The Traitors were opposed by the Patriots, some of whom worked in the national intelligence services, where some of the best brains met. One of these Patriots, the future President Putin, was then a lowly colonel in Dresden in East Germany, working in the Soviet intelligence services (not a head of it, like so many US Presidents, heads of the CIA). When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, his office sought answers from Moscow as to what to do. And there was no answer. ‘Moscow is silent’. I believe the story is related in many places, among them in ‘The Putin Interviews’ by Oliver Stone. It was that paralysis and silence of the Centre in Moscow that was among the most decisive events in the future President’s life. He realised that Moscow was betraying the Soviet Union, that it had been taken over by the Traitors, the ‘Nomenklatura’. They believed in nothing, except in their own disgraceful gain. They were anti-Patriots.

Since coming to power in 2000, V. V. Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery. In 19th century Russian history people like him were known as ‘Slavophiles’ and they were opposed by ‘Westerners’. These are very vague and rather crude terms, for there are many types of Slavophiles, from primitive and bigoted nationalists to genuine Patriots, who are well-educated realists and seek only the well-being of their people. Similarly, the term ‘Westerners’ can describe outright Traitors and murderers, like Litvinenko and Skripal, but also those who realise that if Russia is to defend itself against the West, it must fight obscurantism and make use of, and then improve on, Western technology. President Putin would probably not identify with either of these historical tags, but rather perhaps with aspects of both of them.

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We see this in lots of places. I added the New Brunswick chart.

Still, when Justin Bieber gets facial paralysis, it is reportedly from Covid….

UK: 5,000 Non-Covid Excess Deaths in the Last Five Weeks (DS)

New official data from the ONS released today add a further 730 non-Covid excess deaths in England and Wales to the total of the last five weeks, bringing the figure to 4,964. This means nearly 5,000 more people than usual have died in England and Wales in the last five weeks of causes other than COVID-19. The total deaths in the most recent week were 10.1% above the five-year average, as depicted in the chart below. The chart shows in blue that Covid deaths account for less than half of the excess deaths this week, though note that the chart over-counts Covid deaths as it includes any death with Covid. The 4,964 figure for non-Covid excess deaths quoted above is calculated using deaths due to Covid, i.e., where Covid is recorded as the underlying cause on the death certificate.

Private homes, care homes and hospitals are all experiencing excess deaths at present: 23.4%, 6.5% and 5.3% respectively in the most recent week. The ONS report does not comment on what might lie behind these worrying trends. The fact that it coincides with the spring vaccine booster campaign among older folk has raised worries for many, particularly in light of the ONS data showing hospitalisation rates for non-Covid reasons many times higher in the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated, and the vaccine safety concerns raised by clinical practitioners who believe their vaccinated patients are at greater risk of disease and death.

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“..there did not seem to be enough support from the scientific community for a study on the benefits of fish liver oil against viral infections..”

Funding of Promising COVID-19 Treatment Withdrawn Without Explanation (DS)

In 2020 a cell culture lab-study performed by a group of Icelandic scientists led by Dr. Einar Stefánsson, Professor of Medicine at the University of Iceland, showed that free fatty acids found in fish liver oil can quickly destroy viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The study was conducted in collaboration with U.S. partners. Laboratory results showed fish liver oil with 1% and 2% free fatty agents destroyed 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 within 10 minutes. According to an article in Vidskiptabbladid in November 2020, the research, in collaboration with fish liver oil producer Lysi hf. had been approved by the Scientific Ethics Committee and the first phase of the study was being planned with the participation of 30 infected individuals.


Icelandic daily Fréttin recently contacted Professor Stefánsson for news of the project, but he said the research project had to be discontinued due to lack of funds. According to Dr. Stefánsson, the Icelandic Centre for Research, RANNÍS, had approved a “substantial grant” to finance the study, but later the grant was withdrawn without explanation. He said there did not seem to be enough support from the scientific community for a study on the benefits of fish liver oil against viral infections, so unfortunately the project had to be cancelled. Related to this, it might be noted that in April 2020 the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority banned an advertisement from Lysi hf. which claimed the consumption of fish liver oil might be beneficial against viruses such as herpes, RS and coronaviruses, preventing infection. The authority had shortly before warned consumers of advertisements for products that might strengthen the immune system, for example against SARS-CoV-2 infection, since information or claims of such product characteristics was “wrong and misleading” for consumers.

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“And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm..”

Get Your Monkeypox On (Jim Kunstler)

If the January 6th Committee show is short-and-sweet, say a few weeks, it will be quickly forgotten in the welling summertime heat as the great masses of America groan under $5… $7… maybe $10-a-gallon gasoline prices (or maybe no gas at all) while diesel prices at $6.50 today are already destroying the trucking industry — and thus the entire system for delivering all goods around the country. The zeitgeist is quivering with intimations of food shortages and the philosopher reminds us that any given body politic is just nine missed meals away from bloody rebellion. Have another look at that motley January 6th committee group photo and consider the lampposts along Pennsylvania Avenue.

It’s a dangerous game trying to beat down the population this way, and to what end, exactly? I doubt that even the Blue Team could articulate it… or would dare to… because at this point their sole aim, really, is to hide their many acts of criminality over a span of the past six years and escape prosecution, a compelling motive. And it’s getting harder and harder to conceal all that, especially their campaign to physically harm over 200-million people with mRNA “vaccines.” The body-count is rising — way higher even than deaths from the hypothetical “pandemic” that the “vaccines” were supposedly concocted to vanquish, and spectacularly failed to.

And was this Covid-19 “pandemic” itself cooked up tacitly to disorder the 2020 election with mail-in ballots so easily replicated, harvested, and stuffed by the bale into drop-boxes under cover of night? Kind of looks like it, more and more. And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm, which is otherwise quite certain to sweep them ignominiously off the game board like so many misplayed quoits.

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Outdone by a rerun of Young Sheldon.

Primetime Jan. 6 Hearings Air To Dismal TV Ratings (JTN)

The primetime hearings for the Jan. 6 commission’s investigation into the 2021 Capitol riot were broadcast live on almost every major station, yet failed to capture national interest and produced ratings far below other comparable national televised political events. Almost 20 million viewers tuned in for the hearings on Thursday night, according to The Hill. By contrast, President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in March pulled in 38 million viewers. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union attracted over 45 million, per the New York Post. The 20 million figure did stand above a typical congressional hearing, The Hill noted, citing the roughly 9 million viewers for Trump’s first impeachment trial.


Members of the Jan. 6 Commission have sought to present a case blaming Trump for the violence that occurred at the Capitol amid congressional efforts to certify the presidential election results. Their narrative stands in contrast to growing sentiment among the American public who increasingly do not blame the former president for the incident. An NBC poll released Monday, showed that only 45% of Americans blamed Trump for the riot which, while still a plurality, marked a seven-point decline in that sentiment from January of 2021. Republicans have largely denounced the hearings as a “kangaroo court” and slammed the commission’s Republican members for their participation in it.

Tucker J 6

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Trump is certainly not squeaky clean, but this is ridiculous.

Liz Cheney Said Trump Had A ‘Seven-part Plan’ To Overturn The Election (CNN)

Former President Donald Trump had a “sophisticated seven-point plan” to overturn the 2020 presidential election over the course of several months, January 6 committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said, detailing how the panel plans to use its future hearings to tackle each part of the scheme. “On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain president of the United States, despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power,” Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said in her opening statement at Thursday’s prime-time hearing.

Cheney did not detail the specific points of the plan in her opening statement. She said that the rioters who breached the Capitol and fought with police were motivated by Trump’s actions falsely claiming that the election was stolen from him. “President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said, echoing the statement she made in 2021 when she voted to impeach Trump. A committee source later provided CNN the following description of the “sophisticated seven-part plan”: “President Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 election and prevent the transition of presidential power.

  1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
  2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
  3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law.
  4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
  5. President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
  6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol.
  7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

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Trump himself said this too. But it was refused.

Trump Pentagon First Offered National Guard to Capitol on Jan 2 (JTN)

The Pentagon first raised the possibility of sending National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol four days before the Jan. 6 riots, setting in motion a series of rejections by Capitol Police and Democrats that left Congress vulnerable as threats of violence were rising, according to government memos that validate Trump administration officials’ long-held claims. An official timeline of the Jan. 6 tragedy assembled by Capitol Police shows that a Defense Department official reached out to a Capitol Police deputy chief, Sean Gallagher, on Jan. 2, 2021 to see if a request for troops was forthcoming, but the offer was quickly rejected after a consultation with then-Chief Steve Sund.

“Carol Corbin (DOD) texts USCP Deputy Chief Sean Gallagher, Protective Service Bureau, to determine whether USCP is considering a request for National Guard soldiers for January 6, 2021 event,” the timeline reads in the lone entry listed for Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. The following morning, the timeline states, “Gallagher replies to DOD via text that a request for National Guard support not forthcoming at this time after consultation with COP Sund.” The rejection came as the Capitol Police department was beginning to change its assessment, recognizing that the massive Trump rally to protest the November 2020 election results planned for Jan. 6, 2021 had the potential for violence.

Earlier analyses suggested such violence was unlikely and the Jan. 6 event was likely to be “similar to the previous Million MAGA March rallies in November and December,” police records show For instance, Capitol Police had determined that as of Dec. 16, 2020 there was “no information regarding specific disruptions or acts of civil disobedience targeting this function.” But by late December, Capitol Police internal emails and documents show, information began flowing in that some groups expected to attend were talking on social media or fringe websites about tactics like blocking tunnels leading to the Capitol. On Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, just hours after Gallagher rejected the Pentagon’s initial offer, the Capitol Police issued a new and darker security assessment to its commanders and executives and to the two political appointees in Congress responsible for security, the House and Senate sergeants at arms, the timeline shows.

“Due to the tense political environment following the 2020 election, the threat of disruptive actions or violence cannot be ruled out,” the new assessment declared. “Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021 as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election. This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.” Within 24 hours, Sund had changed his mind and began seeking permission from the political powers surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to deploy the National Guard as a preventive measure on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

[..] “The Capitol Police timeline shows what we have been saying for the last year — that DOD support via the National Guard was refused by the House and Senate sergeant at arms, who report to Pelosi,” Patel said. “Now we have it in their own writing, days before Jan. 6. And despite the FBI warning of potential for serious disturbance, no perimeter was established, no agents put on the street, and no fence put up.”

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“..shameless and soulless..”

Perry to Cheney: Your Pardon Story Is An Absolute Shameless, Soulless Lie (JTN)

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) blasted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for claiming he sought a presidential pardon because he thought he may have done something wrong on Jan. 6. On the John Solomon Reports podcast Friday, when asked if he did anything wrong on Jan. 6, Perry said, “No, of course not. I was in the Capitol doing my legislative duties on January 6.” Rep. Scott Perry: Liz Cheney’s claim that I sought a presidential pardon for Jan 6, ‘an absolute shameless and soulless lie’ “[T]he notion that I ever sought a presidential pardon for myself, or other members of Congress, is an absolute shameless and soulless lie,” he added.

“It’s just simply no surprise, considering this latest fabrications come from a sham committee using a breathtaking abuse of power to conjure up political theater to destroy their opponents and … distract the American people from the economic and national security nightmare. This is a nightmare created by their one-party rule and quite honestly, rogue Republicans — and you know, Republicans in name only — and their compatriots on the radical left. “This is a kangaroo court. And it’s more fitting to be aired with the filth of scripted reality TV than masquerading as a newsworthy item, which is why I’m using all my time as a member of Congress to try to address the fact that Americans can’t literally afford gasoline, groceries, their food, and … to suffer under the policies of those who control the sham committee.”

Perry asked where the primetime committee hearing was for the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and the inflation, border, and drug crises. “[T]hat’s what I’m working on and that’s exactly what the American people demand Congress work on, not producing political theater to the tune of $8 million to destroy their opponents.” During the Jan. 6 committee hearing aired on TV Thursday, Cheney said, “As you will see, Rep. Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a Presidential Pardon.” She added, “Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

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A senior Turkish diplomat says Erdogan is full of it. The 1923 Lausanne Treaty simply states that all islands more than 3 km from Turkey are Greek. No more, no less. There are over 2,400 islands. No-one tried to name them all for the Treaty. No need.

Erdogan Threatens Greece Over ‘Militarizing’ Aegean Islands (ZH)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday accused Greece of militarizing its islands in the Aegean Sea with an eye toward threatening Turkey, in but the latest salvo in a series of tit-for-tat accusations between the two NATO members. Erdogan urged immediate demilitarization of the islands, stressing Turkey will never relinquish its “rights” in the Aegean Sea, statements which come weeks after he condemned Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for lobbying the White House to block impending US F-16 sales to Ankara. The fresh words also came on the final day of Turkey’s multi-national “Efes-2022” military drill, centered on the coastal city of Izmir. “We invite Greece to stop arming the islands that have non-military status and to act in accordance with international agreements,” Erdogan said.

“I’m not joking, I’m speaking seriously. This nation is determined.” “I warn Greece to avoid dreams, acts and statements that will result in regret. Come to your senses,” he said in a televised speech related to the drills. “Turkey will not renounce its rights in the Aegean and will not back down from using rights that are established by international agreements when it comes to arming islands,” he added. Erdogan further vowed that Turkey would continue its controversial hydrocarbons exploration of the region, which Greece, Cyprus, and some EU countries like France have condemned as violating Greek and Cypriot territorial waters. Erdogan claimed that Greece is violating the1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Paris Treaty. He declared that Greece was previously given the islands on condition that they’d remain demilitarized.

“The agreements are there but Greece is violating them. It’s arming them. If Greece does not stop this violation, the sovereignty of the islands will be brought up for discussion,” he said. “It’s that clear. You will abide by the agreements.” In questioning the “sovereignty of the islands,” Erdogan appeared to suggest Turkish military intervention is on the table, also given he uttered the veiled threat on the occasion of major Turkish-led military exercises. Greece responded by saying Turkey has long deliberately misinterpreted and misrepresented the content of the historic treaties, and further that Ankara’s standing threat of war justifies that Greece take steps to defend itself. As The Associated Press reports: In Athens, Greek government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said Greece was dealing with Turkish “provocations” with “calm and determination.””It is clear to everyone that our country has upgraded its geostrategic and geopolitical footprint as well as its deterrent capacity to be able at any time to defend its national sovereignty and sovereign rights,” he said.

Turkish ambassador
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535217612917026818

Read more …

Translation from Die Zeit.

Agreement In The Dispute Over Spying Attacks On Julian Assange’s Lawyer (Zeit)

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in prison in the UK, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the UK government over allegations of spying. As the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg announced, the government in London recognized that the rights of lawyer Jennifer Robinson had been violated by spying attacks. Confidential journalistic material was also affected. Robinson received a payment of 1,000 pounds (around 1,170 euros), the statement said. The lawsuit before the Human Rights Court, which has now been dropped, was also about the disclosure of information to the United States, which wants to obtain Assange’s extradition.


How exactly the lawyer from the law firm Doughty Street Chambers is said to have been spied on is not known. The government is keeping it under wraps for national security reasons, Robinson said in an interview with the dpa news agency. “I’d really like to know that too, because it raises important questions about what information was shared.” After a court in London approved Assange’s extradition, Home Secretary Priti Patel is eagerly awaiting the decision. The US judiciary wants to put Assange on trial for allegations of espionage. He faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted. He is accused of having stolen and published secret material from US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan together with whistleblower Chelsea Manning, thereby endangering the lives of US informants.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo blame game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Gallery
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535209164376576000

 

 

kid+dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1534956581321850880

 

 

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Mar 152022
 
 March 15, 2022  Posted by at 9:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Salvador Dali Memory of the child woman 1932

 

China Has Already Decided To Send Economic Aid To Russia, US Fears (G.)
White House Threatens China Will Pay for Support for Russia (Antiwar)
Biden Blames Putin, Covid For Record-high Inflation In US (Fox)
Stop Putin’s War! (CP)
Stocks Give Up Gains Following Kremlin Comments (ZH)
Germany To Buy Dozens Of US Stealth Jets (Y!)
Orwell Was Right (Taibbi)
Playing Dumb (Kunstler)
France Lifts Covid-19 Rules On Unvaccinated, Mask Wearing (AP)
Ed Dowd: 25 To 44 yo Experienced An 84% Increase In Excess Mortality (Kirsch)
Triple Vaccinated Just Weeks Away From Developing AIDS (DE)
UK Supreme Court Slams Door On Assange Appeal (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Tulsi

 

 

 

 

Majewski

 

 

The Guardian is the ideal voice of empire. But that means a lot of things must be igored. China doesn’t see the world through US/NATO eyes. It doesn’t think the Ukraine conflict started 3 weeks ago (but 30 years). And it doesn’t think not parroting the US means turning its back on Washington. China is its own nation.

China Has Already Decided To Send Economic Aid To Russia, US Fears (G.)

China has already decided to provide Russia with economic and financial support during its war on Ukraine and is contemplating sending military supplies such as armed drones, US officials fear. The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, laid out the US case against Russia’s invasion in an “intense” seven-hour meeting in Rome with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, pointing out that Moscow had feigned interest in diplomacy while preparing for invasion, and also that the Russian military was clearly showing signs of frailty. The US delegation in Rome had not expected the Chinese diplomats to negotiate, seeing them as message deliverers to Beijing.

“It was an intense seven-hour session, reflecting the gravity of the moment, as well as our commitment to maintaining open lines of communication,” a senior administration official said. “This meeting was not about negotiating specific issues or outcomes, but about a candid, direct exchange of views.” Asked if it had been successful, the official replied: “I suppose it depends on how you define success, but we believe that it is important to keep open lines of communication between the United States and China, especially on areas where we disagree.” However, the Americans walked away from the Rome meeting pessimistic that the Chinese government would change its minds about backing Moscow.

“The key here is first to get China to recalculate and re-evaluate their position. We see no sign of that re-evaluation,” said another US official familiar with the discussions. “They’ve already decided that they’re going to provide economic and financial support, and they underscored that today. The question really is whether they will go further.” [..] Russia needs economic and financial aid most urgently, in the face of devastating sanctions imposed by the US and its allies since the 24 February invasion. The country is danger of default on its debt payments, with two interest payments due on Wednesday, though it will have a 30-day grace period.

Moscow is unable to access nearly all of its $640bn in gold and foreign exchange reserves, but still holds part of those reserves in yuan, so Beijing will be able to step in to provide immediate assistance. There is pessimism in Washington about the possibility of steering China away from throwing in its lot with Russia, largely because it sees the partnership as being driven from the top. “It really is a project of Xi Jinping. He is totally, fundamentally behind this closer partnership with Russia,” the US official said. There is more scepticism lower down the ranks, but Xi and Putin have bonded over their shared view of the US as being heavy- and high-handed, and determined to end the period of US global dominance.

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Yes, China has called for an investigation into the biolabs.

White House Threatens China Will Pay for Support for Russia (Antiwar)

China will face major “consequences” should it help Russia evade an ever-growing raft of American sanctions, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has warned, just a day before he’s set to meet with Beijing’s top diplomat in Rome. Sullivan’s warning on Sunday came soon after unnamed Western officials told the New York Times and Washington Post that Russia is seeking weapons and economic relief from China amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Chinese government said they were unaware of such a request, while Moscow has yet to confirm the reports.

In response to the attack on Ukraine launched in late February, the Joe Biden administration has imposed countless layers of new sanctions explicitly aiming to cripple and isolate the Russian economy. China, however, is one among several nations refusing to condemn the invasion or sever its economic ties with Russia. Despite American pressure to join in on the sanctions spree, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stated that Beijing’s relationship with Russia “even exceeds an alliance” in its “closeness and effectiveness,” suggesting the country is unlikely to bow to Western demands anytime soon.

As President Biden has ruled out direct military action in Ukraine, the administration has instead focused on arming the country’s military while attempting to make Russia an international pariah in the diplomatic and economic spheres. China has so far been able to obstruct Biden on both counts. Beijing’s UN delegation is supporting Russia’s claim that US-funded labs in Ukraine were working on chemical and biological weapons – a charge rejected by Washington as a “conspiracy theory” – and is now calling for an international investigation. Chinese financial support could also help Russia to weather the storm as its economy struggles to adapt to punishing Western sanctions.

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To which I can add this graph from yesterday. And then you can make your own mind up.

Biden Blames Putin, Covid For Record-high Inflation In US (Fox)

President Biden on Monday said Russian President Vladimir Putin and the COVID-19 pandemic are to blame for record-high inflation in the United States and maintained that rising prices have “nothing to do” with his administration’s policies. The president spoke Monday at the National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference and addressed the increase in U.S. gas prices, as well as every day household items. “We know that families are still struggling with higher prices,” Biden said. “Let’s be absolutely clear about why prices are high now or high for two reasons.” The first, Biden said, is due to “the way the global economy works.”

“A factory in Taiwan that makes computer chips shuts down to a COVID outbreak. It causes a ripple effect to slow down auto-manufacturing,” Biden said. “So, because of the pandemic, we had significant disruption disruptions in the supply chain, and our supply chain is so important with so many materials that come from other places.” “And now, a second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin,” Biden said. “We’ve seen the price of gas go up over a dollar just since he put his troops on the border on the border of Ukraine — they went up a dollar and five cents,” Biden said.

“Big part of that reason is Putin began amassing troops along the border and then crossed. And guess what? The world took notice,” Biden said. “The market anticipated, prices went up, and then Putin invaded.” He added: “Make no mistake, the current spike in gas prices is largely the fault of Vladimir Putin — it has nothing to do with the American Rescue Plan.” Biden said that “rescuing our economy didn’t cause this problem,” but he vowed to “fix it.”

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Strange article at Counterpunch. Lots of weird points. But it has this right: the IMF, World Bank and US have Ukraine in a death grip. What else is new?

Stop Putin’s War! (CP)

Washington’s NATO alliance is part of that imperial history. The United States set it up, as its first Secretary General Lord Ismay famously said, to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down” in Europe. In other words, it is a vehicle of U.S. imperial domination of European capitalism. Most of the other NATO and EU states have a sordid history of colonialism of their own. And many have been accomplices to Washington’s wars, most recently in Afghanistan, where NATO played a large role in “pacifying” the country, committing numerous war crimes in the process. Moreover, the decision by the United States and European powers to expand NATO and the EU into Eastern Europe is one of the causes of the war in Ukraine.

It triggered Putin’s growing determination over the last decade to reclaim Russia’s lost sphere of influence. The United States and the EU offer no alternative to Ukraine but subjection to its imperial interests and neoliberal economics. In fact, through the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the United States is one of the oppressors of Ukraine.These international financial institutions have locked Ukraine in debt that now exceeds $129 billion. The country’s workers and oppressed have paid an enormous price to service these loans. Like they have throughout the Global South, the international financial institutions have required Ukraine to cut social programs, privatize state industry, layoff state workers, and cut workers’ wages and benefits in return for further loans.

Ukraine’s annual payments siphon off billions of dollars that would otherwise go to much needed social reforms to improve the majority’s abysmally low standards of living. The United States and NATO aim to defend and in fact expand their military rule over Eastern Europe and enforcement of neoliberal economics. They have no solution to the plight of the majority of Ukrainians fighting for their liberation. Despite all of this, many people horrified by Putin’s war are mistakenly demanding that Washington and Brussels intervene directly or set up a no-fly zone. That would lead to military confrontations between the United States/NATO and Russia, risking World War III between nuclear powers.

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“Peskov went on to confirm that Russia “did not request China military aid..”

Stocks Give Up Gains Following Kremlin Comments (ZH)

US equity futures surged overnight – again – on hopes of an ‘imminent’ peace deal between Russia and Ukraine; and now – once again – equities are reverting lower following comments from the Kremlin that do not sound very ‘peace-deal-like… Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call that “Russia will realize all its plans in Ukraine operation,” adding that the “operation would be complete on schedule,” and would not rule out taking “full control” of major Ukraine cities. We don’t think this is the ‘hope’ that Zelensky and the market was looking for.


Peskov went on to confirm that Russia “did not request China military aid,” adding that “Russia had the resources to complete the Ukraine operation alone.” And he could not resist a jab the puppetmasters, commenting that “it appears that the bosses of Ukraine across the ocean are giving orders to the Ukrainian army.” And given the recent modest bounce in Biden’s approval, do we really think his administrations wants this war over already… this far from the Midterms?

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Cui bono? Follow the money.

Germany To Buy Dozens Of US Stealth Jets (Y!)

Germany on Monday unveiled plans to buy dozens of US-made F-35 fighter jets, as part of a multi-billion-euro push to modernise its armed forces in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Berlin intends to buy 35 F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin to replace Germany’s decades-old Tornado fleet, as well as purchasing an additional 15 Eurofighter jets. Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht called the purchase agreement “a good step forwards” for Germany’s Bundeswehr armed forces. “There can only be one answer to Putin’s aggression, and that is unity in NATO and credible deterrence,” Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, commander of the German Air Force, told reporters.

Germany’s Tornados are the only Luftwaffe planes certified to carry US nuclear bombs stationed in Germany that are a key part of NATO deterrence. Lockheed’s fifth-generation F-35 stealth jets are considered the most modern combat aircraft in the world, and their unique shape and coating make them harder to detect by enemy radar. The additional Eurofighter jets Germany plans to purchase, made by a consortium that includes Airbus, would be used for other operations, including electronic warfare like jamming enemy air defence systems. In a landmark speech late last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to invest an extra 100 billion euros ($112 billion) to bring the nation’s chronically underfunded Bundeswehr into the modern age.

The spending boost marks a major reversal for Europe’s top economy, upending its policy of keeping a low military profile in part out of guilt over World War II. After years of criticism that the country wasn’t shouldering enough of the financial burden in the NATO military alliance, Scholz vowed to spend “more than two percent” of Germany’s gross domestic product annually on defence, surpassing NATO’s own two-percent target.

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War victims or cancel culture?

Orwell Was Right (Taibbi)

In the last weeks, Russia took an already exacting speech environment to new extremes. A law was passed that would impose 15-year prison sentences for anyone spreading “fake news” about the Ukraine invasion; access was cut to Facebook and Twitter; stations like Echo Moskvi and TV Rain as well as BBC Russia, Radio Liberty, the New Times, Deutsche Welle, Doxa, and Latvia-based Meduza were effectively shut down; Wikipedia was threatened with a block over its invasion page; and national authorities have appeared to step in to prevent coverage of soldiers killed in the war, requiring local outlets to use terms like “special operation” instead. The latter development is connected to the state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, issuing a remarkably desperate dictum requiring news outlets to “use information and data received by them only from official Russian sources.”

Russia also appears in the middle of a general crackdown on local media, not so much because those outlets are dissenting, but because they’re more likely to provide indirect evidence of war failures or the effect of sanctions. The desperation to control news has grown to the point where Russian diplomats in foreign countries are pressuring state outlets in countries like Iran to stop using the term “war” to describe what’s going on in Ukraine. On the flip side, a slew of actions have been taken to crack down on “fake news” and “misinformation” in the West. The big one was the European Union banning RT and Sputnik. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube also cut access to all Russian state media, because the EU sanctions also required that internet platforms delist any RT or Sputnik content, even from individuals.

The statute reads, “As regards the posts made by individuals that reproduce the content of RT and Sputnik, those posts shall not be published, and if published, shall be deleted.” Other governments across the West, from Australia to Canada, have taken similar actions. In the U.S., Google and YouTube disallowed Russian state media ads (following a request by Senator Mark Warner) and demonetized “a number of Russian channels,” including RT but also many non-Russian individuals, before proceeding to demonetize all individual Russian content creators, even the individuals opposing the invasion. Even DuckDuckGo, the speechier, more pro-privacy alternative to Google, announced it was de-ranking “sites associated with Russian disinformation.” A growing list of Westerners have seen accounts frozen for supposed parroting of Russian talking points or “abusive” commentary.

YouTube banned Oliver Stone’s documentary Ukraine on Fire, while Netflix is going so far as to shelve a production of Anna Karenina. In what might have been the craziest move of all, Meta reportedly followed up a decision to un-ban the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion with a mind-blowing decision to alter its hate speech policies to “allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion,” according to internal emails seen by Reuters.

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“The member nations of NATO have even less desire to join the battle, and are doing a poor job of pretending they oppose Russia’s disagreeable but necessary work there..”

Playing Dumb (Kunstler)

Threatened by losing the war against its own citizens, the US government now seeks a wider kinetic war over its would-be client state, Ukraine. The stakes must be pretty high for “Joe Biden” and Company to risk starting World War Three. Why else inflame a dangerous situation by sending more weapons there? I’ll tell you why: to prolong Russia’s operations to neutralize Ukraine so it won’t cause further trouble to them or anybody else in the world. The longer the US can keep that going, the longer we can put off the various reckonings at home.

America has no intention of actually defending Ukraine. It’s really just a global version of the interpersonal game “Let’s You and Him Fight,” as described by pioneering psychologist Eric Berne (1910 -1970), father of transactional analysis. The member nations of NATO have even less desire to join the battle, and are doing a poor job of pretending they oppose Russia’s disagreeable but necessary work there. So far, they have had to sacrifice desperately needed natural gas supplies from Russia. You can be sure they will find a way to sneak around US sanctions and reverse the blunder. They have no choice really, unless they want to go forward without any industries. Google-up the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and you’ll catch a glimpse of that possible European future. Of course, they’ll also have to answer to their own citizens for the awful mistakes Covid-19.

The best outcome, as others have pointed out, will be the disassembly of Ukraine into an eastern Russian zone — perhaps annexed into Russia — and a rump western Ukraine state that will be as quiet and inoffensive as Moldova and Slovakia next door (When was the last time they caused any trouble in the world?) It would be best for everyone, and especially the Third World, if the Russian operation is concluded as quickly as possible with a structured peace settlement, leaving a chance to get a Ukrainian grain crop planted, because otherwise a lot of innocent people will go hungry. Is the USA interested in a peace settlement? Or do we want to drive events further toward tragedy and our own national suicide?

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Now do this everywhere.

And also: Macron has an election coming up.

France Lifts Covid-19 Rules On Unvaccinated, Mask Wearing (AP)

France lifted most COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, abolishing the need to wear face masks in most settings and allowing people who aren’t vaccinated back into restaurants, sports arenas and other venues. The move had been announced earlier this month by the French government based on assessments of the improving situation in hospitals and following weeks of a steady decline in infections. It comes less than a month before the first round of the presidential election scheduled on April 10. But in recent days, the number of new infections has started increasing again, raising concerns from some scientists it may be too soon to lift restrictions. The number of new infections have reached more than 60,000 based on a seven-day average, up from about 50,000 a week before.


Starting from Monday, people aren’t required anymore to show proof of vaccination to enter places like restaurants and bars, cinemas, theaters, fairs and to use interregional transport. The so-called vaccine pass had taken effect at the end of January. A restaurant owner in Paris, Laurent Negre, praised a “return to normal.” “We got used to these restrictions and complicated protocols so we will enjoy work more now … So it’s good news,” he said. Parisian Bartholome Laisi, 23, said “it’s a good thing because people will be able to get more freedom of movement. But we need to be careful and monitor it, to avoid another (virus) wave right after.” In hospitals and nursing homes, unvaccinated people must provide a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery to enter. Wearing masks are no longer required in schools, businesses and offices. They remain mandatory on public transportation and at hospitals and other health facilities.

Read more …

What’s the consequence for life insurance?

Ed Dowd: 25 To 44 yo Experienced An 84% Increase In Excess Mortality (Kirsch)

Someone sent me this article: Edward Dowd on Future Recession, Shocking Findings in the CDC Covid Data and Democide which describes his appearance on War Room. That article says: “And the money chart is really Chart 4, which shows that the Millennial age group, 25 to 44 experienced an 84% increase in excess mortality into the fall. It’s the worst-ever excess mortality, I think, in history. I called Ed to clarify where he got the chart and then looked for verification of this. I found the verification. Then I verified that the deaths couldn’t be explained by the COVID delta variant. OK, so what caused all the deaths? The only explanation is the vaccine because the deaths are so massive.


[..] Now let’s go over some of the details of what Ed Dowd found and explain why there is no other explanation. Ed’s friend (who I know but doesn’t want to be disclosed publicly) spent about a week analyzing the CDC data. The graph in the article is from the CDC data, but is plotted by Ed’s friend. He didn’t make anything up. The work was replicated independently (see also the graphs). US mortality graphs show a spike in the same time period (Aug to Oct). These graphs of excess mortality in Europe show things got worse, not better after the vaccine rollout:

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Maybe a bit too scary?

Triple Vaccinated Just Weeks Away From Developing AIDS (DE)

The following chart shows the Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness among the triple vaccinated population in England in 4 week periods between Week 51 of 2021 and Week 9 of 2022 – As you can see the vaccine effectiveness has been falling month and month, with the lowest effectiveness recorded among 40-49-year-olds at minus-248.92%. But the sharpest decline in jab effectivness has been recorded among 18-29-year-olds, falling to minus-201.52% by Week 9 of 2022 from +10.19 in Week 51 to Week 2. However, vaccine effectiveness isn’t really a measure of a vaccine, it is a measure of a vaccine recipients immune system performance compared to the immune system performance of an unvaccinated person.

The following chart shows the immune system performance of the triple vaccinated population in England by age group in four week periods, compared to the natural immune system of the unvaccinated population – As you can see the lowest immune system performance is currently among 60-69-year-olds at minus-72.35%, but all triple vaccinated people aged 30 to 59 are not far begind, with an immune system performance ranging from minus-70.83% to minus-71.34%. Even the 18 to 29-year-olds are within this region at minus-66.84%, falling from an immune system performance of +11.35% between week 51 and week 2, meaning they have suffered the fastest decline in immune system performance.

AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged. People with acquired immune deficiency syndrome are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system. If that immune system performance was to hit around the -95% mark then this would strongly suggest the triple vaccinated population have developed some new form of Covid-19 vaccine induced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and unfortunately based on the current trend seen over the past 3 months, the youngest age groups do not have long to wait.

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The day his marriage is announced.

UK Supreme Court Slams Door On Assange Appeal (Gosztola)

Without any explanation, the British Supreme Court denied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange “permission to appeal” a decision by the British High Court. The Supreme Court maintained the appeal did not “raise an arguable point of law” and sent the case back to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the district court which initially blocked the United States government’s extradition request on January 4, 2021. By refusing to grant Assange a hearing, the U.S. government effectively won their appeal. Prosecutors convinced the British courts to disregard concerns that he may be subject to treatment in a U.S. jail or prison that would be oppressive to his mental health.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court may now refer the extradition to the British Home Office for Home Secretary Priti Patel to review. According to Birnberg Peirce, the law firm representing Assange, they are entitled to make submissions to the Home Secretary for consideration before the extradition request is approved. If Patel approves the extradition, Assange’s defense may submit an appeal on the issues of freedom of the press that were not addressed before the High Court yet. That would likely prevent Assange from extradition. However, if the High Court and Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal because they did not believe it raised “arguable points of law,” he could potentially be transferred to the U.S. before the year is over.

[..] An application for appeal released by Assange’s legal team reflects the arguments they were blocked from presenting to the Supreme Court. “The manner in which assurances were permitted to be introduced in this case for the first time on appeal totally undermines the primacy of the extradition hearing and deprives the defendant of an opportunity to test them and their implications before the district judge,” attorneys argued. “It is generally regarded as unfair, wrong, and abusive for a party to elect—for a perceived or actual tactical advantage—to conduct litigation in one way and then, when met with an adverse judicial decision on that, to attempt to re-litigate or appeal on a new and different basis.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

@BrianRoemmele
To manufacture each EV battery, you must process
25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium
30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt
5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, 25,000 pounds of ore for copper
Diging up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust
For just – one – battery.

A typical electric car battery has:
25 pounds of lithium
60 pounds of nickel
44 pounds of manganese
30 pounds cobalt
200 pounds of copper
400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic
The first 4 ingredients are from limited sources and will continue to rise in cost.

 

 

Lindsey Graham

 

 

 

Russell Brand Credit Suisse

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 082021
 


Vincent van Gogh Roofs of Paris 1886

 

No Booster… No Hassle-Free Foreign Travel (DM)
The Mandate on Business Intensifies the Crisis (Tucker)
Experts Rip CDC Study Claiming Vax Protection Beats Natural Immunity (JTN)
UK Excess Deaths At Home Soar Past 65,000 In Just 18 Months (Exp.)
When Will The CDC Correct Its Covid Death Counts, As Italy Just Did? (AT)
Doctors And Researchers Demand That Vaccination In Sweden Be Suspended (LRP)
World Record Freediver Diagnosed With Myopericarditis After Pfizer Vaccine (CW)
Jen Psaki , Gavin Newsom Not Been Seen in Public for Eleven Days (BN)
How Low Will He Go? Biden Approval Rating Now At 38% (JTN)
Stop Looking at Danchenko, Start Looking at Weissmann and Robert Mueller (CTH)
The Biggest Loser Of The Durham Indictments: James Comey’s FBI (JTN)

 

 

 

 

McCullough Spike Protein
https://twitter.com/i/status/1457322772439486464

 

 

“Ministers are drawing up plans to bring back tests and quarantine for those who refuse third Covid jab.”

No Booster… No Hassle-Free Foreign Travel (DM)

British travellers who fail to take their booster jabs face renewed restrictions, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Plans to reimpose quarantine and testing for those who have refused their third vaccine are currently being drawn up by Ministers to protect the UK against the spread of new coronavirus variants. But they are likely to prove controversial if introduced before most of those eligible for their booster have received it. So far, only 60 per cent have done so. The move would change the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ from having had two jabs to three. Officials are divided over how soon to implement the measure and are discussing a grace period that would allow people to travel without quarantine if they had sought a booster six months after their second jab but had not yet been offered an appointment.

Under the plans, modelled on the Israeli system, travellers would not be able to avoid the need for a third jab by producing evidence of a negative Covid-19 test. Last night a Government source said: ‘This is not going to happen immediately – but happen it will.’ The news came as Health Secretary Sajid Javid said almost 10 million people have now received their booster jab, but encouraged people to urge their elderly relatives to come forward. Boosters are currently available to over-50s, health workers and the clinically vulnerable, although the scheme is expected to be extended to the over-40s early next year.

Seven out of ten of those over 80 and three in five of the over-50s in England have had their third injection, which can be administered six months after the second. As at present, those who have not been fully vaccinated will have to self-isolate for ten full days on returning to the UK and pay for four expensive PCR tests, two before departure and two back on British soil. It is the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ that will be extended to include only those who have accepted the booster.

Read more …

Overreach.

Opposition To New Biden Vaccine Mandate Explodes As 27 States Join Fight (JTN)

A total of 27 states so far have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private businesses of 100 or more employees. The mandate, which is being enforced by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will require employers to ensure all their employees are either vaccinated by Jan. 4 or are tested weekly and wearing masks. If the businesses do not follow the mandate, they could face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. All but one of the states that filed lawsuits, Iowa, have Republican attorneys general. Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana are the only three of the 27 states that have Democratic governors, and Iowa’s governor is a Republican.

Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly criticized President Biden’s vaccine mandate on private businesses on Friday, saying, “While I appreciate the intention to keep people safe, a goal I share, I don’t believe this directive is the correct, or the most effective, solution for Kansas.” Kelly is up for reelection next year, and her GOP challenger is the state attorney general, whose campaign called her out for waiting until the mandate went into effect to criticize it. As for Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, he said he’s unsure if the state lawsuits against the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate have merit, WDRB reported. “I don’t know the nuances of this lawsuit, but in the end, we have to follow the law as a state, so we will prepare to comply,” Beshear said.

According to Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ spokeswoman, he is reviewing the “directive” and “will continue to ensure that all state resources are available to assist those employers affected by the requirements,” The Advocate reported. Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds released a statement on the lawsuit that reads: “I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19, but I also firmly believe in Iowans’ right to make healthcare decisions based on what’s best for themselves and their families, and I remain committed to protecting those freedoms. President Biden should do the same.”

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“..the mandate is a masking and testing one, with an exemption permitted for the vaccinated. That little trick is designed to survive the flurries of inevitable court challenges.”

The Mandate on Business Intensifies the Crisis (Tucker)

It’s hard to imagine that public confidence in everything could fall further, but it surely will. This past week was emblematic. We saw Biden’s party face an electoral rout on Tuesday due mostly to pandemic policy – even the education controversies in Virginia trace to disastrous school closures – followed two days later by an intensification of those very policies with a vaccine mandate on companies with 100 or more employees. That was followed by an announcement from Pfizer the very next day that they have a new therapeutic pill that is 89% effective, in which case, why the vaccine mandate? That’s more than enough to make one’s head spin. But then it got worse: on the same day, the head of the CDC claimed on Twitter that masks reduce “your chance of Covid-19 infection by 80%,” a claim without a shred of evidence in the scientific literature.

At this point, it seems like they will say anything, knowing full well that the fact checkers will leave alone any high official in the federal government. Let’s focus on the mandate on business. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has thankfully issued a stay on the entire order pending a closer review, citing grave constitutional problems with the OSHA order. The Biden administration is being asked to respond by tomorrow evening as of this writing. The edict itself relies most fundamentally on the claim that “immunity acquired through infection appears to be less protective than vaccination,” which is unproven and likely false. It is imposed in the midst of evidence all around us that the previous public-sector and contractor mandate has led to sickouts, resignations, and unpaid leave announcements hitting industrial sectors and cities all over the country, from airlines to fire departments to hospitals and academia.

In Senate testimony, Anthony Fauci cited the fantastic success of mandates at United Airlines while failing to mention the hundreds of firings and the pilot and staff revolt at every other airline. One would suppose that this mess would be enough to forestall more mandates but no: now all companies with 100 employees must force vaccines on its employees, or else pay fines of $13,600 per violation. More precisely, the mandate is a masking and testing one, with an exemption permitted for the vaccinated. That little trick is designed to survive the flurries of inevitable court challenges. Yes, it overtly creates a segregated caste system based on one’s willingness to submit to an injection via a government mandate. The rules come into effect on January 4, 2022, which means that businesses all over the country will spend the next two months trying to figure out what to do.

Same with workers, many millions of whom do not believe that they need, and thus do not want this vaccine that neither stops infection, nor transmission and is also associated with unusually high adverse effects for which the vaccine makers bear no liability. Buried in the gigantic text is a request for public comment on expanding this to all businesses of any size. So there is no real escape in the long run. It’s truly hard to imagine how this could happen in the U.S. But the same could be said about nearly everything that has happened in the last 21 months. Citizens are desperately struggling to get out from under the yoke of this despotism, and using every opportunity available to do so. Politicians who back these policies are being swept out of office. And yet they carry on. It appears that the sadistic state is quickly becoming a masochistic one.

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“It’s not even clear enough naturally immune people were hospitalized to reach statistical significance..”

Experts Rip CDC Study Claiming Vax Protection Beats Natural Immunity (JTN)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an “early release” study last week that uses a highly curated population to purportedly show that mRNA-vaccinated people have a much lower rate of reinfection by COVID-19 than naturally immune people, contradicting a much larger Israeli study this summer. The CDC study concludes: “All eligible persons should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, including unvaccinated persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.” The study analyzed “COVID-19–like illness hospitalizations among adults” across nine states from January through Sept. 2. Because public health authorities portrayed vaccination as the best way to avoid hospitalization, it’s less likely that vaccinated people would seek hospitalization, thus hiding their breakthrough infections relative to the naturally immune.

Attorney Jenin Younes, whose New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) files legal challenges against COVID vaccine mandates, tweeted that the study contradicts a meta-analysis touted by the CDC, which found “no significant difference” in protection between vaccination and natural immunity. Immunologist Hooman Noorchashm, the medical expert for multiple NCLA challenges, called the study “another teleological piece of propaganda” by the CDC because it excludes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and likely includes recovered people in the vaccinated group.

Harvard Medical School epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff tweeted that the study has a “major statistical flaw” — falsely portraying hospitalized respiratory patients as “representative of the population” — which renders the odds ratio “wrong.” Former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson argued the study “is meaningless gibberish that would never have been published if the agency did not face huge political pressure to get people vaccinated.” It’s not even clear enough naturally immune people were hospitalized to reach statistical significance, he said, noting there’s no unadjusted odds ratio.

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Nope, not a word about vaccines. It’s all very mysterious. What could it be?

UK Excess Deaths At Home Soar Past 65,000 In Just 18 Months (Exp.)

Figures from the Office of National Statistics for England and Wales show over the past eighteen months there have been at least 74,745 excess deaths – deaths above the five-year average – in private homes. Only 8,759 (12 percent) involved COVID-19. The deaths at home figures from 7 March, 2020 to 17 September, 2021 are 37 percent higher than the 2015 – 2019 average and the numbers are continuing to climb. Last week was the 16th week in a row where the ONS reported extra or “excess” deaths. The disturbing trend includes 15-19-year-old boys. Deaths in this group have risen by 30 percent between January and October this year compared to the same period in 2020 – from 355 to 462. This is 20 percent higher than the five-year average for this period which was 386.


Last night Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, called for an urgent inquiry into the circumstances behind the deaths to find out whether they could have been prevented. He said: “More people are dying of non-covid causes and we continue to see a considerable and continuing rise in excess deaths this year not caused by Covid-19 and occurring mostly in the home. This is extremely concerning. It is urgent we now launch a proper inquiry to find out whether these deaths could have been prevented. The death certificates only give a snapshot of what is actually going on. “We need to go beyond these and look at those deaths which may not have been covered by coroners. To understand the true cause and what can be done to reduce the high number of excess deaths, particularly those in the home setting.”

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Don’t worry, the first fact checks deriding the Italian Higher Institute of Health are already out.

When Will The CDC Correct Its Covid Death Counts, As Italy Just Did? (AT)

The Summit caught a fascinating story out of Italy: the Italian Higher Institute of Health decided it had miscounted COVID deaths. Instead of looking at people who died with COVID, as it once did, it looked only at people who died from COVID — leading to a 97% decrease in Italy’s COVID death count. So far, the CDC shows no signs of following suit. According to The Summit: “The Italian Higher Institute of Health has drastically reduced the country’s official COVID death toll number by over 97 per cent after changing the definition of a fatality to someone who died from COVID rather than with COVID. Italian newspaper Il Tempo reports that the Institute has revised downward the number of people who have died from COVID rather than with COVID from 130,000 to under 4,000. “Yes, you read that right. Turns out 97.1% of deaths hitherto attributed to Covid were not due directly to Covid,” writes Toby Young.

Of the of the 130,468 deaths registered as official COVID deaths since the start of the pandemic, only 3,783 are directly attributable to the virus alone. “All the other Italians who lost their lives had from between one and five pre-existing diseases. Of those aged over 67 who died, 7% had more than three co-morbidities, and 18% at least two,” writes Young. “According to the Institute, 65.8% of Italians who died after being infected with Covid were ill with arterial hypertension (high blood pressure), 23.5% had dementia, 29.3% had diabetes, and 24.8% atrial fibrillation. Add to that, 17.4% had lung problems, 16.3% had had cancer in the last five years and 15.7% suffered from previous heart failures.”

There’s more interesting material here, for the article discusses the ethics of overcounting to induce panic. Reading between the lines, the problem in Italy was that the socialized medicine system was unable to cope with an influx of patients during a bad flu season. (And it was a bad flu season.) The actual data match closely what those who are not panicking have observed in America. As with every flu season, there are unlucky young (and youngish) people who die from the flu. Overall, though, the ones who die are either very elderly or have comorbidities of the type described in the quoted material above. In America, however, counting COVID deaths is more of an art than it is a science (and that’s not even getting into the way the government incentivized hospitals to count COVID deaths).

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Google translate.

“..the vaccine had a good effect for about two months..”

Doctors And Researchers Demand That Vaccination In Sweden Be Suspended (LRP)

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) revealed on November 2, 2021 that a subcontractor to Pfizer was likely to conduct extensive research fraud during the Phase III study of Pfizer’s covid vaccine in the fall of 2020. The article’s main witness is Brook Jackson, in September 2020 , who worked on Pfizer’s vaccine studies. Jackson’s testimony shows that the company falsified data, blinded patients, hired insufficiently trained vaccinators and was slow to follow up on side effects reported in the Phase III study. The staff who performed quality checks were overwhelmed by the amount of problems they discovered. After repeatedly informing Ventavia of the shortcomings, Brook Jackson sent a complaint via email to the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) on September 25, 2020.

Ventavia fired her later that day. In support of his criticism, Jackson has provided BMJ with dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings and emails. BMJ substantiates her testimony with statements from many former employees at Ventavia. The article also states that the FDA never did any review of the business where Brook Jackson worked. The article describes that the FDA has too few resources to review clinical trials. In the years 2000 to 2005, only about 1 percent of all studies were reviewed, since then the number of reviews has decreased. In August 2021, the FDA published a summary of the number of reviews of Pfizer’s covid vaccine studies. A total of 9 of 153 study places had been examined, which corresponds to 6 percent of the study’s research centers.

We believe that what BMJ reported is extremely serious. This overturns confidence in Pfizer, which is responsible for testing the vaccine and for the safety of the vaccine currently used by Swedes, of whom hundreds of thousands are children. The extent of the number of reported suspected side effects of the covid vaccine is also gigantic, for example in Sweden during the ten months that vaccination has taken place 83,744 suspected side effects have been reported , which is more than 10 times more than all side effects reported per year during the most recent years for all drugs and vaccines, a total of about 25,000 substances. About twenty studies have shown that the effect of the vaccine is very weak. One of these studies, which is Swedish, showed that the vaccine had a good effect for about two months, that AstraZeneca’s vaccine had no effect against the delta variant after four months and that the same applied to Pfizer’s vaccine after seven months.

The strong suspicion that parts of the clinical trial of Pfizer’s vaccine have not been performed in a scientifically acceptable manner and where the study results can not be considered reliable, combined with the large extent of reported suspected side effects after vaccination, many of a serious nature, make us doctors , researchers and immunologists are deeply concerned. Not least for children who are at extremely low risk of serious illness with covid-19, but who are at risk of serious side effects. The fact that the vaccine’s effect has already subsided sharply after a few months and is weak against the delta variant of the virus contributes to our conclusion that covid vaccination in Sweden should be paused until risk / benefit calculations are made for all age groups. Our position is taken in the light of the revelation in BMJ and what we know today about the risks for the patient.

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End of career.

World Record Freediver Diagnosed With Myopericarditis After Pfizer Vaccine (CW)

Florian Dagoury, currently the world’s top static breath-hold free diver, has been diagnosed with myocarditis and pericarditis 40 days following his second dose with the Pfizer vaccine. He is known for the fact he officially held his breath for 10 minutes and 30 seconds. The elite Freediver, of French origin and based in Thailand, experienced a significant decrease in his breath-hold ability and went to a cardiologist who told him that it’s a common side effect of the Pfizer vaccine. Florian shared his experience on Instagram:

“Myocarditis, Pericarditis and Trivial Mitral regurgitation! Thank you Pfizer. Just want to share my annoying experience after vaccination and perhaps have some testimonials and similar stories around Freedivers. Did you get better? After my 2nd dose I noticed that my heart rate was way higher than normal and my breath hold capacities went down significantly. During sleep, I’m at 65-70bpm instead of 37-45bpm. During the day I’m now always over 100bpm instead of 65bpm, even when I sit down and relax. I once even reached 177bpm while having dinner with friends !!!! 10 days after my 2nd jab, I went to see a cardiologist and he told me it’s a common side effect of Pfizer vaccin, nothing to worry about, just rest it will pass. 40days after 2nd jab, I had no progress so I went to see another cardiologist and got diagnosed with Myocarditis, Pericarditis and Trivial Mitral regurgitation!

Which is basically an inflammation of the heart muscles caused by the immune system and some tiny leaks of blood from the valves that no longer close properly. I’m now struggling to reach 8min breath hold, 150m dyn and I even have a strong urge to breathe doing 40m dives. 30% decrease on my diving performance roughly. My first thought and recommendation to Freedivers around the world is to choose a vaccine which is done the old fashion way like Sputnik, Sinovac, Sinopharm etc…instead of those new mRNA vaccines.”

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Both have sudden family emergencies.

Jen Psaki , Gavin Newsom Not Been Seen in Public for Eleven Days (BN)

Ever since White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that she had a case of Covid-19, despite being fully vaccinated, she has been absent from the public spotlight. This week her role was taken by Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who just might be the least credible person on the planet. Psaki disclosed on October 31 that she had a “breatkthrough case” of Covid-19 in what she characterized as an abundance of transparency. “Psaki, who is fully vaccinated, said she has experienced only mild symptoms,” NPR reported. “In a statement, she said she had not had contact with senior White House officials since Wednesday — four days before she tested positive — and last saw Biden on Tuesday, when they were wearing masks and were more than six feet apart from each other, outdoors.”

“The White House had announced early on Thursday morning that Psaki would not be traveling with Biden to the G-20 summit in Rome due to a family emergency,” she said. “That emergency, she said on Sunday, was that members of her household had tested positive for COVID-19.” “Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, today, I tested positive for COVID,” Psaki said. The last press conference given by Jen Psaki was on October 27. Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had multiple myeloma, was reported to have died from “complications of Covid,” despite the 84-year-old being “fully vaccinated.” Powell’s passing caused a spike in searches on breakthrough infections.

As of October 18, 2021, the CDC reports that 41,127 patients have been hospitalized or died as a result of breakthrough COVID infections. The CDC saays that there were 10,857 deaths resulting from breakthrough COVID infections. The CDC claims that there are 189 million fully vaccinated people in the U.S. If mortality rates for these vaccinated Americans were reported the same way ‘Covid-related deaths’ have been since 2020, we would be reading about tens of thousands of “vaccine-related deaths.” Jen Psaki’s disappearance since news of her ‘breakthrough infection’ accompanies another mysterious shrinking from public view: California Govenor Gavin Newsom. As reported earlier today, Gavin Newsom hasn’t been seen in public for eleven days, since he received a ‘mix-and-match’ booster shot. Newsom also explained his cancelation of his trip to Rome as a sudden family emergency.

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Don’t worry, Kamala is still lower..

How Low Will He Go? Biden Approval Rating Now At 38% (JTN)

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has sunk to its lowest point thus far at 38%, according to a new poll released Sunday. USA Today and Suffolk University conducted the poll between Wednesday and Friday last week, following the Democratic party’s loss in the Virginia state elections and as Biden’s legislative agenda was in flux on Capitol Hill, but prior to the passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, The Hill reported. Biden’s approval rating has continued declining in recent months, after the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, as a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll at the end of last month found it to be at 43%, a five-point reduction from the previous September poll, according to the news outlet.


According to the USA Today/Suffolk University poll, 46% of respondents said Biden’s job as president is worse than expected, including 16% who voted for him last year. A total of 44% of Independents said Biden’s performance is worse than expected. The poll also found that 64% of those surveyed, including 28% of Democrats, didn’t want to see Biden run for reelection in 2024. In comparison, 58% didn’t want to see former President Trump as the GOP presidential nominee for 2024, including 24% of Republicans. Last week, Biden responded to his declining poll numbers, saying “that’s not why I ran,” according to The Hill. He remarked on the volatility of polls, adding that he “didn’t run to determine how well I’m going to do in the polls.”

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FISA applications based on material they knew was false.

Stop Looking at Danchenko, Start Looking at Weissmann and Robert Mueller (CTH)

When Andrew Weissmann and crew entered the DOJ to effectively run the Trump-Russia investigation, their purpose was to: (1) continue what was ongoing; and (2) coverup all that came before. AG Jeff Sessions recused himself, and DAG Rod Rosenstein became the co-dependent enabler for the Weissmann crew’s needs. During a June 2020 Senate hearing, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein openly admitted to being nothing more than the rubber stamp for every request. Rosenstein approved every request, signed every authorization and agreed to every scope expansion Andrew Weissmann put in front of him. There was nothing Rosenstein ever denied the Weissmann crew. Team Weissmann, under the authorities of a blank-check special counsel, effectively ran Main Justice top to bottom for two years.

When you accept the framework Rosenstein later admitted was in place, then you understand that anything blocked from DOJ/FBI release (see Nunes pleas) was blocked by Weissmann Inc; and everything that ever came out of the DOJ/FBI was released by Weissmann Inc. Reread that as many times as needed until it sinks in. Back to the question about why the DOJ/FBI were protecting Danchenko by not exposing the lies that John Durham is now making public in his indictments. To wit, I would reference you THAT specific moment in July of 2018 when Team Weissmann wrote a letter to the FISA Court that was increasingly distrusting of what they were seeing and hearing within the justice system: Look at how the FISA was used by the Mueller investigation to continue its weaponization throughout 2017 and even into 2018. In July of 2018, long after the source material was debunked, the special counsel office was still telling the FISA court the predication for the FISA application and subsequent renewals was valid.

Drive this point home. This is a key to understanding the scope of how weaponized the Mueller team was. In July of 2018 the special counsel resistance group was lying to the FISA court in order to protect the cornerstone document that permitted them to weaponize the intelligence apparatus. This letter was written July 12, 2018. It is NOT accidental that only a week later, July 21st, the special counsel released the FISA application under the guise of FOIA fulfillment. Aside from the date, the important part of the first page is the motive for sending it. The Mueller team running the DOJ is telling the court in July 2018: based on what they know the FISA application still contains “sufficient predication for the Court to have found probable cause” to approve the application. The resistance unit running the DOJ is defending the Carter Page FISA application as still valid.

On page #8 [Source Document Here] when discussing Christopher Steele’s sub-source, Igor Danchenko, the special counsel group notes the FBI found Danchenko to be truthful and cooperative. This is an incredibly misleading statement to the FISA court, because what the letter doesn’t say is that 18-months earlier Danchenko, also known in the IG report as the “primary sub-source”, disavowed the content and informed the FBI that the material attributed to him in the dossier was essentially junk. By July 2018, the DOJ clearly knew the dossier was full of fabrications, yet they withheld that information from the court and said the predicate was still valid. Why? It doesn’t take a deep-weeds-walker to identify the DOJ motive. In July 2018 Robert Mueller’s investigation was at its apex.

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Wait till Obama’s involvement comes to light.

The Biggest Loser Of The Durham Indictments: James Comey’s FBI (JTN)

Special Counsel John Durham’s latest criminal case is as much an indictment of James Comey’s FBI as it is of the primary source of the Steele dossier, whom Durham accuses of repeatedly lying to agents. The Steele dossier was the central evidence used by the FBI to win four consecutive FISA warrants targeting Trump’s campaign — and in 39 pages of painstaking detail the indictment lays out just how flawed and fake central elements of the dossier were. Those FISA warrants allowed the bureau to spy on former Trump adviser Carter Page and his many contacts in Trump world for nearly a year.

Igor Danchenko, Steele’s primary source for the dossier, contrived an entire source for key allegations in the dossier and relied on a longtime Hillary Clinton-supporting public relations executive for other intelligence without telling the FBI, the indictment charges. That PR executive had extensive ties to Russian government officials, even as he provided Danchenko information that landed in the dossier. For some reason, Comey’s FBI couldn’t detect these serious flaws even though a group of civil lawyers was able to locate several Russians suspected of being Danchenko’s sub-sources, interviewing each of them and securing declarations that the information attributed to them in the dossier was wrong or contrived.

“I believe that Mr. Danchenko framed me as Sub-Source 4 to add credibility to his low-quality work, which is not based on real information or in-depth analysis,” said the witness declaration from Alexey Sergeyevich Dundich. “My impression is that Mr. Danchenko fabricated the information published in the Dossier to make quick money,” he added. “It is apparent to me that the Dossier is a deliberate fraud and a collection of idle rumors.” [..] In the meantime, experts see in Durham’s indictment serious red flags for an FBI counterintelligence probe on Comey’s and deputy Andrew McCabe’s watch before they were fired, an investigation that stretched more than two years without finding any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

“The fact pattern that John Durham is methodically establishing shows what James Comey and Andrew McCabe likely knew from day one, that the Steele Dossier was politically-driven nonsense created at the behest of the Clinton campaign,” said Kevin Brock, the FBI’s former intelligence chief and one of the bureau’s most respected retirees. “And yet they knowingly ran with its false information to obtain legal process against an American citizen,” he said. “They defrauded not just a federal court, they defrauded the FBI and the American people.”

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Nov 052021
 
 November 5, 2021  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Ernst Haas Greece 1952

 

OSHA Vaccine Mandate Released, 84 Million Workers Face Jan. 4 Deadline (ET)
OSHA Signals to Employers to Hide Vaccine Side Effects Reporting (BN)
Rand Paul Decries Firing of Frontline Workers Over Vaccine Mandates (ET)
A Credibility Blow To Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine (Demasi)
Report of Problems With Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Being Investigated (ET)
Are You ****ed? Maybe. But.. How Bad? (Denninger)
Are Vaccines Driving Excess Deaths in Scotland ? (DS)
Here’s The Real Reason Comirnaty Is Not Available (Kirsch)
How Covid Can Render You Indecisive For The Rest Of Your Life (RT)
Arrest Of Steele Dossier Source A “Seismic Development” (ZH)

 

 

Peter Doshi, BMJ
https://twitter.com/i/status/1455976583009873928

 

 

 

 

CO2
https://twitter.com/i/status/1456172131067125760

 

 

The continued and escalating litigation can start only after the “mandate” is officially part of the Federal Register. It will be torn to shreds before Jan 4. Merry Christmas.

“Texas Attorney General @TXAG: Biden just announced his plan to wield OSHA to mandate vaccines on private businesses. And I’m announcing my plan to sue him once this illegal, unconstitutional regulation hits the Federal Register.

OSHA Vaccine Mandate Released, 84 Million Workers Face Jan. 4 Deadline (ET)

The Biden administration has released the new rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requiring 84 million private sector workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The administration has also announced its rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Assistance (CMS) requiring 17 million healthcare workers participating in federal health programs to be vaccinated. The White House is also pushing back the deadline for workers in those sectors, as well as federal contractors, to get fully vaccinated to Jan. 4, 2022, according to a senior administration official. “We wanted to do this because we’re really aligning it to make it easier—to make it as easy as possible for businesses to implement these requirements and for workers to comply,” said the official, when asked about pushing back the deadline.

The Biden administration had received multiple letters from industries requesting the deadline for vaccination be moved back until after the holiday season. The OSHA rule requires employers with 100 or more employees to put vaccine requirements in place for all staff, or face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. The agency is allowed to put into place an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) when it determines workers are at “grave risk.” Under the rule, workers who are not vaccinated are required to submit a weekly negative COVID test at no expense to their employer. Unvaccinated workers are also required to wear masks when on the job. Health care workers do not have the testing option. The ETS requires employers to determine and keep record of the vaccination status of each employee and report all COVID deaths and hospitalizations to OSHA.

The rule takes effect immediately upon publication, scheduled for Oct. 5, in the federal register. White House officials say the new ETS is well within OSHA’s authority under the law and consistent with OSHA’s requirements to protect workers from health and safety hazards, including infectious diseases. Officials claim there is well-established legal precedent for OSHA’s authority to evaluate existing scientific evidence and apply data to develop safety and health standards. The ETS says it preempts state and local laws that ban or limit an employer from requiring vaccination, face covering, or testing. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Oct. 11 banning Texas businesses from requiring vaccines for employees, or customers.

And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis filed suit Oct. 28 against the Biden Administration’s order requiring employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated. Several Republican governors and attorneys general have vowed to fight the new OSHA rule in court.

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JUST IN – “OSHA will consider expanding the vaccine mandate to smaller businesses with fewer than 100 employees during a 30-day comment period, according to the U.S. Labor Department.”

OSHA Signals to Employers to Hide Vaccine Side Effects Reporting (BN)

While President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate was announced in September, the OSHA regulation actually compelling qualifying federal contractors and business with over 100 employees to force workers to be vaccinated for Covid-19 has not been formally issued. But OSHA is making it clear that it does not want to know about vaccine side effects, because it has suspended employer reporting requirements. “DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations,” the health agency says on its official website. “OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination at least through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward.”

However, employees who have claimed injury from vaccines can still file a report with their employer under OSHA’s whistleblower regulations. “Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 USC 660(c)) prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for exercising a variety of rights guaranteed under the law, such as filing a safety or health complaint with OSHA, raising a health and safety concern with their employers, participating in an OSHA inspection, or reporting a work-related injury or illness,” OSHA notes. “Additionally, OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the provisions of more than 20 industry-specific federal laws protecting employees from retaliation for raising or reporting concerns about hazards or violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health insurance reform, motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities, tax, antitrust, and anti-money laundering laws. Also see the anti-retaliation provisions in the Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare.”

“If you believe you have suffered such retaliation, submit a whistleblower complaint to OSHA as soon as possible in order to ensure that you file the complaint within the legal time limits, some of which may be as short as 30 days from the date you learned of or experienced retaliation,” OSHA adds. “An employee can file a complaint with OSHA by visiting or calling his or her local OSHA office; sending a written complaint via fax, mail, or email to the closest OSHA office; or filing a complaint online. No particular form is required and complaints may be submitted in any language.” “OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation, 29 CFR 1904.35, also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses,” it adds.

“The purpose of this provision is to improve the completeness and accuracy of injury and illness data by allowing OSHA to issue citations to employers who retaliate against their employees for reporting an injury or illness and thereby discourage or deter accurate reporting of work-related injuries or illnesses.” While OSHA is seeking to bury vaccine side effects reporting in relation to the still-unissued federal mandate, the Biden administration has quietly authorized damages to be settled with coerced vaccine takers if they suffer serious side effects. The clause was buried deep in documents in a Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation bulletin issued earlier in October.

“On September 9, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccination for most Federal employees,” the document states. “The order directed each agency to implement a program to require COVID-19 vaccination for all of its employees, with exceptions only as required by law.” “The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) covers injuries that occur in the performance of duty,” the bulletin goes on. “The FECA does not generally authorize provision of preventive measures such as vaccines and inoculations, and in general, preventive treatment is a responsibility of the employing agency under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 7901. However, care can be authorized by OWCP for complications of preventive measures which are provided or sponsored by the agency, such as adverse reaction to prophylactic immunization.”

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“It’s a great disservice to fire people—nurses, doctors, firemen, policemen—who put their life at risk when there was no vaccine at all..”

Rand Paul Decries Firing of Frontline Workers Over Vaccine Mandates (ET)

Firefighters, nurses, and other so-called frontline workers are being fired or facing termination across the country for not complying with COVID-19 vaccine mandates. That’s wrong, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says. “It’s a great disservice to fire people—nurses, doctors, firemen, policemen—who put their life at risk when there was no vaccine at all,” he told NTD’s “The Beau Show.” Officials in New York City and other locales that have imposed vaccine requirements say they will help decrease community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, though the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines against infection has dropped sharply in recent months. “In terms of COVID, we are one of the safest places in America, because we have one of the highest levels of vaccination,” Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, told reporters on Wednesday.

Paul disagrees, particularly because many mandates lack opt-outs for those who have had COVID-19 and recovered. That means they have some level of protection against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, many studies have shown. “Many of them got COVID while taking care of people. The doctors and nurses caught COVID from their patients. Most of them survived, fortunately. They now have immunity and all the science—102 studies—show that you have immunity if you’ve had the disease naturally,” he told NTD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges natural immunity, or protection bestowed by having COVID-19, but asserts even those with it should get a vaccine for an extra boost.

“We do know that after nearly all infectious diseases, you have some protection from getting that infection again, but we don’t really know how long that lasts or how robust it is,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s head, told reporters on Wednesday. Critics argue those points are largely the same for vaccines and note that many of the studies suggest the level of protection is similar to or even superior to vaccination. “What kind of discriminatory policies do we have in place that are excluding someone like me from the workplace when I’m 99.8 percent protected against reinfection, whereas someone who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, by the company’s own data that they submitted to the FDA, is 67 percent protective against COVID infection?” Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, who was suspended by the University of California, Irvine for not getting a vaccine, told The Epoch Times last month.

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The BMJ report is rattling some windows.

A Credibility Blow To Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine (Demasi)

When the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine arrived on Australian shores, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt proudly announced that we could all be confident the vaccines had undergone “rigorous, independent testing” to ensure they were “ safe, effective, and manufactured to a high standard.” As of 24 October 2021, approximately 21 million doses of Comirnaty (Pfizer) have been administered to Australians aged >16 years, with the understanding that drug regulators and public health officials have done their due diligence on the data. Pfizer has promised that “every clinical trial is planned, conducted and reviewed according to the highest scientific, ethical and clinical standards.” This week, however, a whistle-blower has lifted the lid on breaches in research integrity and safety involving one of Pfizer’s most pivotal mRNA vaccine trials.

An investigation by the BMJ has reported that a company called Ventavia, tasked with running a trial site for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine study, “falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events”. The whistle-blower has revealed that she was fired after complaining about the company’s poor research practices, evidenced by dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings, and emails. The trial in question was Pfizer’s phase 3 study, involving around 44,000 participants in three groups aged 12-15yrs, 16-55yrs and >55yrs. The complaints included the mislabelling of laboratory specimens, vaccines not being stored at proper temperatures and a lack of timely follow-up of patients with adverse events, all of which were verified by two former colleagues.

Where was the regulatory oversight? The FDA was notified of a complaint filed by the whistle-blower but failed to action any audit of the company. One of the former employees characterised the data that had been generated for Pfizer’s mRNA trial as “a crazy mess”. Paul Thacker, the investigative journalist who broke the story for the BMJ, is incredulous that these types of violations are allowed to occur. “There were credible allegations of problems at this research site, the FDA did nothing and Pfizer hired the company [Ventavia] again,” said Thacker. “Why is the FDA not inspecting clinical research sites when they are getting credible allegations about corruption? Where is the FDA office of criminal investigations? Where is the FBI healthcare fraud unit? They’re nowhere to be seen.”

“Instead, we just get told it’s science, science, science. If you say it enough times, it must be true,” he joked. In what should have been international news, this latest whistle-blower case has barely registered in the mainstream media. “We have a lot of science-cheerleading reporters,” Thacker said, “Pfizer has such a huge PR machine, they have basically captured the media, they’ve hypnotised the media”. Pfizer has a history of deceptive practices, including illegal marketing, covering up drug harms and more recently, the company was accused of “bullying” governments in COVID-19 vaccine negotiations. Pfizer announced that it expects to earn US$36 billion in revenue from its vaccine this year, the same week the Centres for Disease Control Prevention signed off on emergency use authorisation of the vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds.

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“Jackson said she alerted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the problems she witnessed and was fired within hours of doing so.”

Report of Problems With Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Being Investigated (ET)

The alleged problems with a major clinical trial examining Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial are being probed, a contract company involved in the research has confirmed. Ventavia Research Group operated several of the trial sites in the fall of 2020. Brook Jackson worked for the company during this time. She told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that the trial was riddled with issues, including the falsification of data. Jackson said she alerted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the problems she witnessed and was fired within hours of doing so. Ventavia confirmed to The Epoch Times that it employed Jackson for two weeks last year. Lauren Foreman, director of business development and communications, said in an email that Ventavia is investigating the allegations from Jackson.

“Ventavia takes research compliance, data integrity, and participant safety very seriously and stands behind its important work supporting the development of lifesaving vaccines and is conducting its investigation accordingly,” she said. The FDA appeared to confirm it was aware of the matter. “Although the agency cannot comment further at this time in this ongoing matter, FDA has full confidence in the data that were used to support the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine authorization and the Comirnaty approval,” a spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email. Ventavia worked on the trial that led to emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s jab. The FDA later approved the shot, though many or all of the doses being administered in the United States continue to be the EUA-version.

Jackson, who worked with clinical trials for over 15 years, told the BMJ she repeatedly raised concerns with her superiors about what she was witnessing, including patient safety concerns. She began to feel her reports were being ignored and began taking photographs using her phone. One photograph apparently showed that needles were discarded in a plastic bag instead of a box, while another was said to have showed packaging materials that revealed trial participants’ identification numbers, signaling they may have been unblinded. Jackson listed 12 concerns she had in a Sept. 25 message to the FDA, including participants not being monitored after receiving an injection and vaccines not being stored at proper temperatures. She also alleged that Ventavia staff members were targeted by higher-ups for reporting problems. Jackson said the FDA sent her an email acknowledging receipt of the list and she received a call from an FDA inspector, but has heard nothing from the agency since then.

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“So to “evade” the risk of Covid-19’s serious outcomes you deliberately damage the immune response for at least some period of time against all manner of other things, some of which are at least as dangerous as Covid-19 is.”

Are You ****ed? Maybe. But.. How Bad? (Denninger)

“Here, we report, besides generation of neutralizing antibodies, consistent alterations in hemoglobin A1c, serum sodium and potassium levels, coagulation profiles, and renal functions in healthy volunteers after vaccination with an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Similar changes had also been reported in COVID-19 patients, suggesting that vaccination mimicked an infection.” That is very bad. In fact its catastrophically bad. Vaccination is supposed to trick your immune system into thinking your body is being attacked without producing the bad outcomes that the actual disease can produce. You get the protection, but not the potential bad outcomes from infection itself. That is the entire point of vaccination; to evade the possible bad outcomes from infection.

Since a traditional vaccine (which this is; inactivated whole virus) cannot replicate it should never produce the bad impacts from disease itself. That is, the only “dose” your body gets from an inactivated vaccine is what is in the syringe; no more, no less. Unfortunately what this study shows is that a material number of these bad effects from infection come from vaccination as well. That’s unexpected and hideous, especially some of the markers that showed up — including most-specifically A1c. It is of particular note that A1c did not return to baseline over 90 days post jab. In fact, it remained elevated with some formerly-healthy people now being in the “pre-diabetic” category. This cannot be understated in terms of what it means: Diabetes is arguably the most-serious morbid condition you can contract. To take a person with a healthy A1c level and turn them into a pre-diabetic by telling them to take the jab is criminally insane.

If you are healthy and thus not at any special risk from Covid-19 you’d be out of your damned mind to accept that risk with certainty by taking the shot and if you are coerced into it the proper response is to be placed right between the coercing party’s eyes. Diabetes is that serious folks. Additional durable deterioration was found in both potassium (electrolyte balance) and creatinine, which is a kidney damage marker. I remind you that unlike your liver which can regenerate you only have two kidneys and if they fail you’re ****ed. What’s particularly ugly is that if you get hammered with a so-called “breakthrough” infection later on these deteriorations, which appear to be durable, may well screw you down the road. Both are serious co-morbid factors that radically increase the risk of getting screwed if you get Covid-19.

Now to be fair this study is on a whole, inactivated vaccine. It therefore may — or may not — generalize to the mRNA jabs. We do not know. But don’t you think we should know? Indeed since the jabs used in the US (and Europe) all “program” the body to produce the spike protein, and we know the spike is pathogenic, it is entirely reasonable to believe that these impacts not only exist with mRNA and viral vector jabs they may in fact be materially worse than those from whole, inactivated virus. More to the point shouldn’t we have run this sort of testing and thus known, by published studies, before we jabbed 200 million Americans and threatened the rest? If this sort of durable damage does happen how often does it happen and how-severe is it?= Folks, the change in immune markers along with creatine and A1c is flat-out nasty. Let me quote from the study itself:

“This is a comprehensive investigation of the pathophysiological changes, including detailed immunological alterations in people after COVID-19 vaccination. Results indicated that vaccination, in addition to stimulating the generation of neutralizing antibodies, also influenced various health indicators including those related to diabetes, renal dysfunction, cholesterol metabolism, coagulation problems, electrolyte imbalance, in a way as if the volunteers experienced an infection.” And while some of those returned to baseline over the subsequent 90 days renal dysfunction and diabetes markers DID NOT. “Together, these data suggested that after vaccination, at least by day 28, other than generation of neutralizing antibodies, people’s immune systems, including those of lymphocytes and monocytes, were perhaps in a more vulnerable state. “So to “evade” the risk of Covid-19’s serious outcomes you deliberately damage the immune response for at least some period of time against all manner of other things, some of which are at least as dangerous as Covid-19 is.

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What differs between the two years? The glaringly obvious answer is the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination.

Are Vaccines Driving Excess Deaths in Scotland ? (DS)

Your first explanation is that the summer excess deaths recorded as non-Covid are actually due to Covid, but have not been certified as such. I see that you yourself are not convinced by this explanation given the level of testing that has taken place. However, let us suppose this to be true. In that case the Scottish Government’s public health measures that have been put in place in summer 2021 to prevent Covid have been far worse than those put in place in summer 2020 – indeed they have been disastrous.

Your second explanation is that the non-clinical responses to COVID-19 put in place by the Scottish Government (mask-wearing, social isolation etc.) have had unintended deleterious consequences on public health and have dramatically increased the rates of death in the Scottish population. This is an admission of abject failure of the Scottish Government’s public health response to Covid. Public health policy is all about balancing the benefits and risks of interventions to achieve the lowest possible impact during a health emergency. It is pertinent to remember that no benefit-risk assessment of non-clinical interventions on the physical and mental health of the Scottish population was conducted before these interventions were enforced.

Your third explanation is that there has been a problem with access to health and social care services, and patients have not received the care they required from the NHS. Access to these services over the past 20 months has been under the control of the Scottish Government, so if this explanation is correct, then the Scottish Government is culpable for increasing the death rate in Scotland. Numerous policies have been deliberately pursued to dramatically reduce GP face-to-face consultation, to cancel appointments and operations in hospitals etc., so the evidence to support this, as at least a partial explanation, is overwhelming.

Your fourth explanation is that individuals who are in poor health have not referred themselves to health and social care services as they would at other times. To some extent this would be confounded with Scottish Government policies of restricting health care provision discussed above. However there has also been a concerted and relentless media campaign by the Scottish Government to increase fear in the public, particularly fear of hospitals where they may catch Covid. This has meant that they have not gone for treatment when it was necessary. Whatever the proximal cause of failure to seek medical attention, the ultimate cause and responsibility lies in Scottish Government policy.

Your final explanation for the dramatic rise in excess deaths in summer 2021 is that there is some other cause that has not yet been identified. As noted earlier the phenomenon of excess deaths in the presence of a Covid epidemic was not seen in summer 2020, but is seen in summer 2021. What differs between the two years? The glaringly obvious answer is the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination. There was no COVID-19 vaccination programme in 2020, but there was rollout of Covid vaccinations in a sequential way to increasingly younger age groups in 2021, a pattern that we see in the manifestation of excess deaths. All of the COVID-19 vaccines are novel and experimental with no long-term safety data. They are now associated with a wide range of serious side-effects (blood clotting, myocarditis, Guillain-Barre syndrome) whose likely frequency in the wider population was not assessed in the small-scale phase one and two trials that included only a subset of healthy volunteers. The Yellow Card adverse events reporting system, that capture only a fraction of events, has already recorded over 1,700 deaths in the U.K. population associated with the COVID-19 vaccines. There is therefore a prima facie case for COVID-19 vaccination being a contributing factor to the dramatic rise in summer excess deaths in Scotland in 2021.

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“..they used a more effective vaccine to show efficacy (in the trials they completed), then they get the FDA to approve the drug but with a change in formulation, then the product with the new buffer will go out to the public with the lower efficacy, but better safety.”

Here’s The Real Reason Comirnaty Is Not Available (Kirsch)

The reason Comirnaty isn’t available is because those shots would expose the company to liability since the fully-licensed product doesn’t have the liability waiver of the EUA product. But once the Pfizer vaccine is fully approved in kids, then Pfizer gets liability waiver on all age groups due to a “feature” in federal law for child vaccines (NCVIA). At that time, they are done. They can market the COVID vaccine products under full approval for all age groups and face no liability when it kills or disables you. This is why they are focused on the kids. This is why there is a reformulation at a 1/3 dose and they changed the buffer and the storage conditions (low temperatures not required). All of these will weaken the protection, but result in a safer vaccine (since it is ineffective).

But for the clinical trials on the 5-11 year olds, they did not use the formulation they approved in the meeting. This is known as bait and switch. So they used a more effective vaccine to show efficacy (in the trials they completed), then they get the FDA to approve the drug but with a change in formulation, then the product with the new buffer will go out to the public with the lower efficacy, but better safety. This is because they don’t want to jeopardize any adverse events happening until they are fully approved. So they basically use formula 1 for safety, get approval for formula 2 (safer, less effective), then roll out formula 2 under EUA.

They also arrange with the FDA and CDC to make sure no early treatment drugs get approved or recommended. This is why there is no movement on fluvoxamine, ivermectin, etc. since that would blow the EUA. Fluvoxamine is the best drug ever for COVID with a mortality reduction of 12X when taken early. It’s the best drug to date for COVID, but the CDC and NIH are deliberately burying it until the vaccines are fully approved. Then they’ll say, “ok, we have all the data.” So at the end, Pfizer gets a fully approved vaccine with full liability protection. At that time, then the NIH can recognize other treatments. This is how it is wired to go. Let’s be honest about it. This is why nobody wants to debate our team about what is going on.

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Don’t know what to wear? Blame it on Covid!

How Covid Can Render You Indecisive For The Rest Of Your Life (RT)

A new study has found that one unlikely result of the pandemic for many has been Panic Disorder – an increased inability to make inconsequential decisions due to the constant need for risk assessment in everyday life. If you’ve found yourself struggling with making minor decisions recently, you’re not the only one. A new study conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association found that nearly one-third of US adults (32%) are having difficulty making basic daily decisions, such as what to wear or eat. The survey also showed that, while 70% of respondents were confident that everything would work out fine once the coronavirus pandemic ended, and 77% felt like they were doing well overall, more than one-third (35%) said it has been more stressful to make major life decisions, around half (49%) said the pandemic has made planning for the future seem impossible, and 61% said the last 18 months have made them rethink how they live their lives.

Those results are not surprising in and of themselves. We’ve all read the headlines about the general anxiety and feelings of dread that people have experienced throughout the pandemic, as well as the stories about people completely re-evaluating their lives thanks to all of the free time for self-reflection. Deciding whether or not to quit your job and move to Missouri is always stressful, even when there isn’t a global pandemic going on. But the statistics about anxiety over minor daily decisions struck me as new and interesting, not least because I’ve been experiencing this myself. sI’ve always been a relatively antsy overthinker, but I have never been reduced to beads of sweat over whether or not to do a yoga class, as has recently been the case. I can spend an entire afternoon debating whether or not to go to a party. My boyfriend has taken to simply ordering for me at restaurants, like I’m a baby. I know, on a rational level, that none of these decisions are A Big Deal, but they feel like The Biggest Deal Ever in the moment, and knowing that they’re not simply makes me annoyed at myself on top of everything else.

This type of anxiety – in which you can have a panic attack over something relatively small – is known as a Panic Disorder. You might even recognize that debating whether to go to the gym or straight to work is not worth the agony it’s causing you, but you still feel like you’re in an airplane that’s about to crash into the ocean. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 4.7% of US adults experience panic disorders. Based on this new survey, it seems like quite a few more of us are suffering from them now. The survey blames this new surge of anxiety almost entirely on the pandemic. “For many, the pandemic has imposed the need for constant risk assessment, with routines upended and once trivial tasks recast in light of the pandemic. Many people ask, ‘What is the community transmission in my area today and how will this affect my choices? What is the vaccination rate? Is there a mask mandate here?’ When the factors influencing a person’s decisions are constantly changing, no decision is routine.”

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Recap: Steele promised to get the goods on Trump from Russia. But Steele hadn’t been to Russia in at least a decade. He needed an inside source. That became Danchenko, but he too was in the US (Brookings Institution). Danchenko asked some buddies to deliver the hot info, and they got him stories and -later- admitted they had made it all up under the influence of copious amounts of booze. He also apppears to have been fed fat tales by Dem associates. By then the Steele Dossier had become a important political tool in DC.

Arrest Of Steele Dossier Source A “Seismic Development” (ZH)

Shining further light on today’s arrest of Igor Danchenko – the primary source for the debunked Steele dossier – is constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who calls it a “seismic development.” The office of Special Counsel John Durham has confirmed that Igor Danchenko, a key source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele, has been arrested. This is the third arrest by Durham who is moving toward the prosecution stage of his investigation into the origins of the Russian collusion scandal. Durham is variously described as either painfully methodical or positively glacial as a prosecutor. But he is widely credited with being a dogged and absolutely apolitical prosecutor. Danchenko’s arrest is a seismic development and confirmed Durham is far from done with his investigation.

Washington was recently rocked by the indictment of Michael Sussman, former counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, for his alleged role in spreading a false Russia conspiracy theory. Now Danchenko is being charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Danchenko is widely referenced as the sub-source for former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele for his controversial dossier. That dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign, served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Danchenko told the FBI that the dossier was “unsubstantiated” and said that Steele asked him to look for any “compromising” information on Trump.

Mr. Danchenko worked for the Brookings Institution, a liberal Washington think-tank that often produced reports critical of Trump. Danchenko is not someone who immediately comes across as an apex defendant — the highest target in an investigation. He was a key source used by others to advance false or unsubstantiated claims against Trump. He is the type of defendant that prosecutors pressure to flip against those who retained him or used him in this effort. In other words, he strikes me as someone who can be used as a building block to apex defendants. Potential apex targets above him in investigation range from Steele himself to Clinton general counsel Marc Elias to Clinton campaign officials. There is no indication if Durham has possible evidence of criminal acts by those figures but there is every indication that he is not done by a long shot with this investigation.

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Betrayal – Mario Sánchez Nevado

 

 

Grewal

 

 

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

 

Oct 122021
 


Pablo Picasso Two naked figures 1908

 

Covid Response ‘One Of UK’s Worst Ever Public Health Failures’ (G.)
Down To Only One Question Now.. (Denninger)
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part (Kunstler)
Seattle PD May Lose 40% Of Officers Over Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate (ZH)
Southwest Says Staffing Shortages Contributed To Flight Snarls (Y!)
Texas Gov. Abbott Issues Order Banning Covid Vaccination Mandates (NBC)
Ivermectin as Covid Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Method in Healthcare Workers (NIH)
Russian Drug To Calm Cytokine Storm (RT)
FDA Responds To Nordic Countries Suspending Moderna COVID Vaccine Usage (ET)
Thousands More People Than Usual Are Dying … But It’s Not From Covid (Tel.)
Live Free Or Die: Why Medical Autonomy Matters (Miele)
Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? (Turley)
Southwest Offers Free Flights To Anyone Vaccinated Who Can Fly A Plane (BBee)

 

 

 

 

The report itself is as big a failure. What went wrong? Lockdowns came too late.. But the vaccines are a resounding success. Yeah, sure. Just look at all the new cases. Oh, and in the 2nd graph, what are all those recent excess deaths? Where do they come from? Couldn’t be the vaccines, could it?

Not one word on early treatment or prophylaxis. Not one.

Covid Response ‘One Of UK’s Worst Ever Public Health Failures’ (G.)

Britain’s early handling of the coronavirus pandemic was one of the worst public health failures in UK history, with ministers and scientists taking a “fatalistic” approach that exacerbated the death toll, a landmark inquiry has found. “Groupthink”, evidence of British exceptionalism and a deliberately “slow and gradualist” approach meant the UK fared “significantly worse” than other countries, according to the 151-page “Coronavirus: lessons learned to date” report led by two former Conservative ministers. The crisis exposed “major deficiencies in the machinery of government”, with public bodies unable to share vital information and scientific advice impaired by a lack of transparency, input from international experts and meaningful challenge.

Despite being one of the first countries to develop a test for Covid in January 2020, the UK “squandered” its lead and “converted it into one of permanent crisis”. The consequences were profound, the report says. “For a country with a world-class expertise in data analysis, to face the biggest health crisis in 100 years with virtually no data to analyse was an almost unimaginable setback.” Boris Johnson did not order a complete lockdown until 23 March 2020, two months after the government’s Sage committee of scientific advisers first met to discuss the crisis. “This slow and gradualist approach was not inadvertent, nor did it reflect bureaucratic delay or disagreement between ministers and their advisers. It was a deliberate policy – proposed by official scientific advisers and adopted by the governments of all of the nations of the UK,” the report says.


“It is now clear that this was the wrong policy, and that it led to a higher initial death toll than would have resulted from a more emphatic early policy. In a pandemic spreading rapidly and exponentially, every week counted.”

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“.. that the vaccine makes you more likely to both get and give to others the virus is now established.”

Down To Only One Question Now.. (Denninger)

Unfortunately what this means is that now for anyone over 30 you are more likely to get infected, yes, adjusted for the population that is vaccinated, if you are vaccinated. Indeed in the 40-49 age group you’re close to double as probable on a per-population basis. This means that if your employer mandates the jabs he or she can be sued for putting those who can’t get vaccinated at double the risk, on purpose, by enforcing the mandate. Since there are people who can’t (due to immune compromise, such as cancer patients) be vaccinated this is now intentional risk. In other words this is hard, scientific evidence that these mandates by employers have increased the risk of customers (and other employees) contracting Covid-19. This isn’t a natural risk, it’s a man-made one created by the employer.

That’s actionable. So far this is not translating into higher risk of Covid hospitalization and death on a per-100,000 basis. But that the vaccine makes you more likely to both get and give to others the virus is now established. It is fact. It is in fact true for everyone who is over 30. I have pointed out that preventing infection was never in the cards; it was not part of the EUA, it was not part of the studies, it was never demonstrated. But this is much worse because now we are talking about a direct threat to others The CDC, NIH and Biden almost-certainly know this. This is why the mad rush to demand you get jabbed; they know damn well what this means and that while the manufacturer is immune the employers are not and in fact any such mandate leaves them wide open legally as soon as an unvaccinated person gets infected after being at said firm either as an employee or customer and sues the company on the basis of intentionally and maliciously increasing their risk by forcing their employees to get the jab, which is exactly what they did.

The data from England is conclusive in that regard. I bet that they’ve known this was happening right here in the US for months now. I expected no effective protection. What I did not expect was negative protection, but that’s what we got. This portends the potential for very, very bad things. Specifically, if the impairment is only toward Covid-19; that is, this is some sort of VEI specific to Covid, then the issue ends there. For those with natural (recovered) immunity they don’t care and absolutely should not get the jab; indeed, if you’re recovered and take them you may destroy your protection in part or whole and wind up susceptible to repeat infection you would otherwise not be hit with! If you do that you’re stupid and may well win a stupid prize.

But the 900lb Gorilla is that the impairment may not Covid-19 specific. In other words the impairment may be immune system generalized, in which case those who took the jabs are screwed because that immune damage could be long-lasting or even permanent, yet the protection against serious outcomes is specific to Covid. So yes, you’re “safer” against a serious outcome even while screwing everyone else, but at the same time you are wildly more-susceptible to a severe or fatal outcome due to, for example, influenza.

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“If you were paranoid, you might suspect that something was up in this attempt to roadblock cheap, safe, and effective treatments..”

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part (Kunstler)

Meanwhile, we have the arrival on-the-scene of another joker: Merck’s new anti-Covid-19 drug molnupiravir, said to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid by 50 percent. Merck and its partner, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, have applied for an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDC for this new drug, the same legal loophole that Pfizer and Moderna got for their mRNA vaxes. “Joe Biden” promised to spend $1.2 billion procuring a big batch of the new drug, so bringing it on must be a done deal. The catch is, molnupiravir is in the same order of nucleoside analogue drugs as remdesivir, a clinically-proven failure in the treatment of Covid 19. The stuff killed patients left and right. Molnupiravir’s mutagenic mechanism is supposed to mess with the DNA of Covid-19 viruses, incrementally disabling them and killing them off.


The trouble is, mutagenic drugs are notorious for broad spectrum action, so Molnupiravir might do the same thing to the various cells in your body, too: instant cancer. I guess we’ll have to stand-by and see how that works out. It pays to remember, though, that the EUA didn’t work out so well for the Covid-19 vaccines, did it? The waiting is the hardest part. Molnupiravir was shoved out onstage after two years of the public health authorities (Drs. Fauci, Collins, et al.) and the corporate news media casting curses on the existing suite of cheap drugs that proved clinically effective in the early treatment of Covid-19, namely ivermectin (a.k.a. “horse paste”), hydroxychloroquine, fluvoxamine, prednisone, etc. If you were paranoid, you might suspect that something was up in this attempt to roadblock cheap, safe, and effective treatments in favor of untested novelties that would just happen to be another multibillion-dollar boon for drug companies.

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How many of these “leaders” will give in before Christmas?

Seattle PD May Lose 40% Of Officers Over Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate (ZH)

It was inevitable – as vaccine mandates across the country approach their deadlines, vast swaths of American workers, service members and atheletes face termination or disciplinary action for refusing to take the Covid-19 jab. In Los Angeles, nearly 1,000 firefighters are about to sue the city over the mandate. Southwest Airlines’ pilot union sued the company last week, before staffing shortages led to the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights over the weekend (and more on Monday). Meanwhile, doctors and nurses across the country have begun suing their employers. Interestingly, after a group of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department sued over the mandate, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that he would not ‘force anyone’ to take the jab.


But not Seattle – which stands to lose 40% of its 1,000 person force for failing to get vaccinated as an Oct. 18 deadline approaches. “The environment has been pretty toxic and negative,” one officer anonymously told Fox 13. “Not just from this whole mandate, but prior to that as well. I’m not sure this would be a good place for me to work long-term for my mental health. It has been very stressful.” Recall that this is on the heels of the city losing around 300 officers amid Black Lives Matter riots and the “defund the police” movement. By the numbers, as of Oct. 6, 292 sworn personnel had yet to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination per the report, down from 354 on Tuesday. An additional 111 officers are awaiting the results of exemption requests, meaning the total number of potentially fired Seattle cops is as high as 403.

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The hide and seek game continues.

Southwest Says Staffing Shortages Contributed To Flight Snarls (Y!)

After initially blaming air traffic control issues and weather for thousands of flight cancelations, Southwest Airlines on Monday acknowledged that staffing shortages also played a role in the service disruption. The carrier cancelled 1,124 flights on Sunday — by far the highest rate of any airline — 800 the day before and another 326 on Monday, according to airline tracker FlightAware. “On Friday evening, the airline ended the day with numerous cancellations, primarily created by weather and other external constraints, which left aircraft and crews out of pre-planned positions to operate our schedule on Saturday,” the low-cost carrier said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the out-of-place aircraft and continued strain on our crew resources created additional cancelations across our point-to-point network that cascaded throughout the weekend and into Monday.”


CNBC reported Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven acknowledged to employees that the company “is still not where we need to be on staffing, and in particular with flight crews.” Like most airlines, Southwest let employees go when air traffic collapsed as the Covid-19 pandemic began, but has seen business surge this year as vaccinations spur people to travel again. The weekend’s snarls caused speculation that some pilots or other Southwest staff were participating in a work slowdown as a way to express opposition to the company’s decision to require its employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19. In their statement, Southwest said “the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest employee demonstrations” and they hope to restore normal operations “as soon as possible.”

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The value of freedom.

Texas Gov. Abbott Issues Order Banning Covid Vaccination Mandates (NBC)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday prohibiting any entity, including private businesses, from imposing Covid-19 vaccination requirements on employees or customers. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement. Abbott, a Republican, said in his order that it was prompted by the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate, which he said was federal overreach. President Joe Biden announced a mandate last month requiring companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforces are vaccinated or regularly tested. The Labor Department has yet to release details of the emergency rule, but Biden last week called on companies to act now and not to wait for the requirement to go into effect.


Abbott, who tested positive for Covid in August, has also resisted mask mandates and requiring proof of vaccination. Texas has continued to experience a rise in cases and crowded hospitals, prompting Abbott to invest in monoclonal antibody infusion centers. Abbott issued executive orders over the summer banning local governments and school districts from requiring either masks or vaccinations, issuing $1,000 fines to those who failed to comply. School districts in San Antonio and Dallas have challenged the order in court. The Legislature also passed a bill in June banning private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from customers.

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From the NIH: ” Ivermectin is a drug that has been shown to be active against coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in previous studies”.

Any further questions?

Ivermectin as Covid Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Method in Healthcare Workers (NIH)

Background: Ivermectin is a drug that has been shown to be active against coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in previous studies. Healthcare personnel are highly exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Therefore, we decided to offer them ivermectin as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) method.

Purpose: Primary outcome was to measure the number of healthcare workers with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and a positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test in the ivermectin group and in the control group. Secondary outcome was to measure the number of sick healthcare workers with a positive RT-PCR COVID-19 test whose condition deteriorated and required hospitalization and/or an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or who died, in the ivermectin group and in the control group.

Material and methods: This observational and retrospective cohort study was carried out in two medical centers, Centro Medico Bournigal (CMBO) in Puerto Plata and Centro Medico Punta Cana (CMPC) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The study began on June 29, 2020, and ended on July 26, 2020. A Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Propensity Score Matching procedure was applied in a 1:1 ratio to homogeneously evaluate 271 healthcare personnel that adhered to a PrEP program with ivermectin at a weekly oral (PO) dose of 0.2 mg/kg, and 271 healthcare personnel who did not adhere to the program were assigned as a control group.

Results: In 28 days of follow-up, significant protection of ivermectin preventing the infection from SARS-CoV-2 was observed: 1.8% compared to those who did not take it (6.6%; p-value = 0.006), with a risk reduction of 74% (HR 0.26, 95% CI [0.10,0.71]). Conclusions: These results suggest that compassionate use of weekly ivermectin could be an option as a preventive method in healthcare workers and as an adjunct to immunizations, while further well-designed randomized controlled trials are developed to facilitate scientific consensus.

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Promising, but…

Russian Drug To Calm Cytokine Storm (RT)

A group of Russian scientists have created a drug that may potentially revolutionize the treatment of Covid-19 by defusing the most catastrophic reaction the disease causes in patients, while not destroying their immune response. The drug, called Leitragin, was developed by the Biomedical Technology Research Center of the Russian Federal Medical and Biology Agency (FMBA), and is currently undergoing clinical trials in Russia. Although its base substance was previously known and used in ulcer treatment medicine by Soviet and Russian doctors, it was the FMBA team that discovered how to apply it for the treatment of severe cases of Covid-19 and, potentially, other deadly diseases that cause life-threatening lung inflammation.


The Russian scientists had tasked themselves with finding a substance that would act as an ‘off switch’ for the chain reaction that, after being triggered by the invading SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually causes potential organ failure and death. This reaction of the immune system, dubbed the “cytokine storm,” has been variously described as our body’s overreaction to the virus or a “suicide attack” against the invading pathogen, and even as an evolutionary mechanism to stop the spread of deadly infections with the death of the host. Trying to stop this uncontrolled immune response while still preserving the body’s ability to fight the virus without causing more damage is what scientists and medics in intensive care units across the world have been wrestling with during the Covid-19 pandemic. In that regard, Leitragin is being touted as a game-changer, since its novel mechanism acts in a targeted way, and is said to be completely safe for one’s health.

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Wait, so Iceland ditches Moderna because it has enough Pfizer… which it says has the same effects as Moderna.

FDA Responds To Nordic Countries Suspending Moderna COVID Vaccine Usage (ET)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded to Nordic countries limiting the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine last week, saying the shot’s benefits outweigh the risks. Health officials in Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for younger people due to a risk of side effects including myocarditis. Sweden said it would pause the vaccine for people under the age of 30, and Denmark did the same for those under 18. Finland said that males under the age 30 shouldn’t receive the jab, while Icelandic officials added over the weekend that they would suspend use of the shot.

“The FDA is aware of these data. At this time, FDA continues to find that the known and potential benefits of vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks for the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine,” an FDA official said in a statement to news outlets over the weekend in response to the Nordic nations’ decision to suspend the vaccine for certain age groups. Moderna, meanwhile, said in a statement after the countries’ decision that it was “aware of the very rare occurrence of myocarditis and/or pericarditis following administration of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.” “These are typically mild cases and individuals tend to recover within a short time following standard treatment and rest. The risk of myocarditis is substantially increased for those who contract COVID-19, and vaccination is the best way to protect against this,” the company’s statement continued.

Moderna’s vaccine is still being administered under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization. The company’s application for full approval is still pending. On Oct. 10, Iceland’s Health Directorate said the Moderna vaccine would be entirely suspended due to the risk of cardiac inflammation. “As the supply of Pfizer vaccine is sufficient in the territory … the chief epidemiologist has decided not to use the Moderna vaccine in Iceland,” according to a statement published on the Health Directorate website. The move was handed down due to “the increased incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination with the Moderna vaccine, as well as with vaccination using Pfizer/BioNTech,” its statement continued.

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Sep 24. yeah, we have no idea what kills all those people…

Thousands More People Than Usual Are Dying … But It’s Not From Covid (Tel.)

While focus remains firmly fixed on Covid-19, a second health crisis is quietly emerging in Britain. Since the beginning of July, there have been thousands of excess deaths that were not caused by coronavirus. According to health experts, this is highly unusual for the summer. Although excess deaths are expected during the winter months, when cold weather and seasonal infections combine to place pressure on the NHS, summer generally sees a lull. This year is a worrying outlier. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), since July 2 there have been 9,619 excess deaths in England and Wales, of which 48 per cent (4,635) were not caused by Covid-19. So if all these extra people are not dying from coronavirus, what is killing them?

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that during that period there were 2,103 extra death registrations with ischemic heart disease, 1,552 with heart failure, as well as an extra 760 deaths with cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke and aneurysm and 3,915 with other circulatory diseases. Acute and chronic respiratory infections were also up with 3,416 more mentions on death certificates than expected since the start of July, while there have been 1,234 extra urinary system disease deaths, 324 with cirrhosis and liver disease and 1,905 with diabetes. Alarmingly, many of these conditions saw the biggest drops in diagnosis in 2020, as the NHS struggled to cope with the pandemic.

A report released last week by the Government detailing the direct and indirect health impacts of the pandemic reported that there were an estimated 23 million fewer GP consultations – both in-person and online, in 2020 compared with 2019. Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) fell by 51 per cent, atrial fibrillation 26 per cent, heart failure 20 per cent, diabetes 19 per cent, coronary heart disease, 17 per cent and stroke and transient ischemic attack by 16 per cent.

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“I make my choices, and you make yours. Except with COVID. Then Joe Biden makes my choices, trying to protect me from myself.”

Live Free Or Die: Why Medical Autonomy Matters (Miele)

I think vaccines have done the world a world of good. I remember getting my smallpox vaccine and waiting eagerly to get the scar on my arm that my mother’s arm showed off like a badge of courage, but it never appeared for me. Then when the oral polio vaccine was developed, I remember lining up in the gym at North Garnerville Elementary School in New York to get my first dose on a sugar cube. Yum. So yes, I’m pro-vaccine. I also generally get the flu vaccine every year. I even got a shot last year, although for some peculiar reason, influenza vanished last winter while COVID was enjoying its greatest reign of terror. And naturally, my three children have all been vaccinated against the usual childhood diseases and taken whatever was recommended to keep them safe.

But one thing I never thought of doing was forcing my neighbors to get vaccinated against the flu. Did you know that influenza kills as many as 50,000 Americans a year? That’s approaching the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the entire length of the Vietnam War. On average, flu kills as many Americans every year as car crashes. Yet did anyone — even St. Anthony Fauci — ever dare to suggest that vaccination for flu should be mandatory because it would save lives? Hell, no, and even though many vaccinations are required of school children for good reasons, we also have allowed religious and medical exemptions for families that needed them. Because we aren’t supposed to be a nation of slaves, but a nation of citizens. If someone had a personal reason why they rejected vaccines, we didn’t put them through an inquisition or try to burn them at the stake of public opinion. This was America — land of the free.

I also never thought of celebrating when a person who opted not to get the flu vaccine died of influenza. But vaccine mandate supporters seem to get giddy when a vaccine refusenik falls ill from COVID and dies on a ventilator or worse. This isn’t science; it’s scientific imperialism — and the CDC centurions are ruthless in their application of power to the masses. Obey or die. So why might a reasonable person decide not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in such a hysterical climate? Maybe because it’s an experimental and untested drug using a technology (mRNA) that has the power to tamper with the very genetic makeup of the cells in my body. Maybe because I’m more worried about herd instinct than herd immunity. Maybe because I’ve heard wonky scientists gloating about the power they wield over everyday Americans.

Maybe because Big Pharma’s getting rich by inventing reasons why you just might need to get a new shot every year. Maybe because I want to decide for myself what’s best for me. Think of it this way. You are afraid of dying of COVID-19. So am I. But that doesn’t mean I am going to die from COVID. In fact, there is what I would characterize as an acceptably small chance I will die of COVID, and I’m 66 years old, right smack in the realm of the supposedly at-risk elderly population. According to data from the CDC reported at RationalGround.com, from Jan. 1, 2020 until Sept. 11, 2021, there were 12,702 U.S. deaths from COVID for my age cohort out of an estimated population of 3,618,069. That’s a death rate of 0.365%.

Meanwhile, 100,449 people my age died during the same period of all causes, suggesting I have about a 12% chance of dying of something this year, a much scarier possibility than dying of COVID-19. Think of it! If I’m going to die this year, I’m 33 times more likely to die of anything else besides COVID. Based on the propaganda we are inundated with every day about the virus, I should be terrified! There are way worse things out there trying to kill me than COVID. But I’m not terrified, not even slightly, because life is always a risk. I can temper my risks by avoiding downhill skiing, ATVs, booze, surfing, and motorsports. Those are my choices, but heaven forbid I should dictate that you have to avoid those activities because they are not 100% safe. Your behavior is none of my business. I make my choices, and you make yours. Except with COVID. Then Joe Biden makes my choices, trying to protect me from myself.

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Wouldn’t he be circling Biden then?

Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? (Turley)

As soon as the conspiracy theory was packaged and delivered the FBI and the media by Sussman, the indictment recounts an exchange between some of those “VIPs”: “… on or about September 15, 2016, Campaign Lawyer-1 exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign’s campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy advisor concerning the Russian Bank-1 allegations that SUSSMANN had recently shared with Reporter-1.” The campaign lawyer reportedly was Elias, and the “foreign policy advisor” reportedly was Sullivan. Sullivan was quoted in an official campaign press statement as stating that the Alfa Bank allegation “could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.”

In the statement, Sullivan said: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia … This line of communication may help explain Trump’s bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin.” The U.S. intelligence community ultimately rejected the Alfa Bank conspiracy. It also concluded that the Steele dossier not only relied on a suspected Russian agent but likely was used by Russian intelligence to spread disinformation through the Clinton campaign. Yet, when Sullivan was later questioned by Congress, he went full Sergeant Schultz, claiming he basically did not have a clue about the basis or origins of the Alfa Bank controversy or other campaign-orchestrated scandals.

Sullivan was adept at laying qualifiers upon qualifiers to render statements useless: “broadly speaking, at some point in the summer, and I don’t remember exactly when it was, around the convention, I learned that there was an effort to do some research into the ties between Trump and Russia.” That will make any false statement claim difficult absent direct involvement in the planning of these “campaign efforts.” Sullivan denied knowing that Elias or Sussman were working for the Clinton campaign, despite numerous news articles identifying Elias as the campaign’s general counsel. Sullivan just shrugged and said: “To be honest with you, Marc wears a tremendous number of hats, so I wasn’t sure who he was representing. I sort of thought he was, you know, just talking to us as, you know, a fellow traveler in this — in this campaign effort.”

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“..other skills that were not required, but beneficial: Experience calming herds of rabid, sleepless passengers, expertise in flying through mysterious, invisible weather events, and the ability to land the plane.”

Southwest Offers Free Flights To Anyone Vaccinated Who Can Fly A Plane (BBee)

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines has announced delays in flights due to strange weather that seems to pass over competitors’ planes, only affecting their own signature blue and orange aircraft. The airline has stated these delays have no connection to their pilots protesting vaccine mandates. The spokesperson then announced a new Southwest Airlines incentive program for potential passengers: All flights, domestic or international, are free to any passenger who is vaccinated and can also fly a plane.


“The requirements to take advantage of these incredible savings are simple,” said Southwest CEO Bob Southwest to a crowd of customers who have been stuck at the airport all weekend and were frothing at the mouth in anger. “Show us proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and promise us you know how fly commercial airliners, and your flight is on us.” The CEO then mentioned other skills that were not required, but beneficial: Experience calming herds of rabid, sleepless passengers, expertise in flying through mysterious, invisible weather events, and the ability to land the plane.

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

 

Mar 252021
 


Mayfair Theater, Broadway, New York 1954

 

India Discovers First “Double-Mutant” COVID Strain (ZH)
“Follow The Science,” They Said… (Hanson)
Cuomo’s Relatives Prioritized For COVID Testing (TU)
Why Were More People Dying In The UK Even Before Covid-19? (NS)
Boris Johnson Green Lights Pubs to Mandate Vaccine Passports (SN)
British Gov’t Plans to Shape Public Opinion Fundamentally ‘Undemocratic’ (Sp.)
Guidance On Policing Protests May Breach Human Rights (G.)
Bernie Sanders Comes Out Against Trump Twitter Ban (Turley)
Bellingcaught (Maté)
Unnamed Western Officials Spread Dubious Claims About Iran (Antiwar)
Saudi-Led Coalition Intensifies Yemen Air Raids, Hits Grains Port (AlJ)
Trouble With The Ghislaine Maxwell Case? (TF)
Authorities ‘Working To Refloat’ Ever Given Blocking Suez Channel (Sky)

 

 

Today is the 200th anniversary of the start of the fight for Greek independence from the Ottoman empire.

 

 

Ron Paul on Lockdown

 

 

These will keep appearing. The virus is endemic.

India Discovers First “Double-Mutant” COVID Strain (ZH)

Following a series of reports warning about mutated COVID strains first identified in Brazil, the US and elsewhere spreading across Latin America, the US and Europe, scientists in India are one-upping them by identifying what they described as “a double-mutant” strain of the ubiquitous virus. The ‘double-mutant’ was identified, along with 770 other strains, gleaned from samples collected across 18 Indian states. Of the 10,787 samples collected, 736 tested positive for the UK variant, 34 for the South African variant and one for the Brazilian variant. The report comes as COVID cases in India are climbing once again after the nation managed to bring numbers close to zero. The country has reported a total of 11.7MM cases, and 160.4K deaths.


While the Indian government insists there’s no link between the variants and the surge in cases (India rolled back most of its virus-inspired restrictions on business and movement months ago). India became the fifth country in the world to sequence the COVID virus’s genome last January. Still, a consortium of 10 national laboratories working with India’s government said this week they would monitor the new double-variant, which was traced to Mahahrashtra state. Although scientists said none of the variants appeared to be circulating widely enough yet to be causing the surge in cases, they called on authorities to ramp up testing and ensure new cases caused by the variant are swiftly isolated. In response, the government is ramping up certain restrictions, along with its vaccination drive.

As far as the remaining COVID restrictions are concerned, hundreds of thousands of Indians ignored them last week when they came out to celebrate Holi, a week-long affair commemorating the advent of spring. But what, exactly, is a “double-mutant”? A scientist who spoke with the BBC explained why the double-mutation could make the strain more infectious, and more virulent. “A double mutation, virologist Shahid Jameel explains, is “two mutations coming together in the same virus” “A double mutation in the key areas of the virus’s spike protein may increase these risks and allow the virus to escape the immune system and make it more infectious,” he adds. Spike protein is the part of the virus that it uses to penetrate human cells.


The government said that an analysis of the samples collected from India’s western Maharashtra state shows “an increase in the fraction of samples with the E484Q and L452R mutations” compared with December last year. “Such [double] mutations confer immune escape and increased infectivity,” the Health Ministry said in a statement. Dr Jameel added that “there may be a separate lineage developing in India with the L452R and E484Q mutations coming together”. But the government denied that the rise in case numbers was linked to the mutations. “Though VOCs [variants of concern] and a new double mutant variant have been found in India, these have not been detected in numbers sufficient to either establish a direct relationship or explain the rapid increase in cases in some states.”

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“Little need be said of Cuomo other than the applicable Roman dictum he created a desert and called it peace.”

“Follow The Science,” They Said… (Hanson)

The medical pandemic godhead of the Left has been octogenarian Dr. Anthony Fauci. His twin chief public relations explainer has been liberal darling New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Both were always supposed to be on top of “the science.” Dr. Fauci has not just been flat-out wrong on the science of COVID – in his assessments of the origins and possible dangers of COVID-19, of when we can get back to normal, of when the vaccinations would appear, and of which particular governors have been doing the most or least effective management of the disease. He has also, by his own admission, deliberately lied. That is, Fauci has rejected science, as he knew it, to mislead the public. For our own interests, he adopted the Platonic “noble lie” on occasion.

So, for example, he conceded that he had downplayed the value of masks (he now seems to approve of wearing one on top of another) in order to prevent too many wearing them, and thus the public shorting the supply available to more important health care workers. Fauci also proverbially moved the goal posts on herd immunity, from the high 60s to the low 90s as a percent of the population, either vaccinated or with antibodies, necessary to achieve a de facto end of the pandemic. Again, Fauci defied the science on the theory he knew better, in assuming that the childish public would become too lax when and if it believed herd immunity was on the horizon. Unspoken, is that Fauci usually errs on the side of what is deemed progressive orthodoxy. In contrast, Dr. Scott Atlas warned us that extended and complete lockdowns in any cost-benefit analyses might well inflict more human and economic damage than the virus.

And he added that an opened-up Florida and Texas might do no worse virally than a locked-down California or New York, while avoiding the severe recessionary collateral damage. Yet Atlas was damned for “not following the science” for the crime of working for Trump and for following the science: while targeted wearing of masks and social distancing and quarantining of vulnerable populations are necessary, complete quarantines of the entire population and extended closing schools are counterproductive. Little need be said of Cuomo other than the applicable Roman dictum he created a desert and called it peace. When the federal government delivered a tent-hospital and a huge hospital ship, they went unused. When it sent ventilators, Cuomo raged that they were too little, too late.

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Drip.

Cuomo’s Relatives Prioritized For COVID Testing (TU)

High-level members of the state Department of Health were directed last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to conduct prioritized coronavirus testing on the governor’s relatives as well as influential people with ties to the administration, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter. Members of Cuomo’s family including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters were also tested by top health department officials — some several times, the sources said. The medical officials enlisted to do the testing, which often took place at private residences, included Dr. Eleanor Adams, an epidemiologist who graduated from Harvard Medical School and in August became a special adviser to Zucker.


Adams conducted testing on Cuomo’s brother Chris at his residence on Long Island, according to the two people. “If their job was to go test an old lady down in New Rochelle, that’s one thing — that’s actually good,” one of the people with knowledge of the matter said. “This was not that.” Others who were given priority testing include Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and his wife, as well as Patrick J. Foye, head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Members of the media, state legislators and their staff also were tested in similar fashion, although there is no indication those tests were done by high-level health department officials. Foye and Cotton both announced last March they had tested positive for coronavirus. Foye was tested after exhibiting symptoms, according to a spokesman for the MTA.

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Austerity killed the cat.

Why Were More People Dying In The UK Even Before Covid-19? (NS)

On 12 January, one of the grimmest findings of the Covid-19 pandemic was published: “excess deaths” in England and Wales were reported to have risen to their highest level since the Second World War. In 2020, 608,002 deaths were registered, the largest number since the 1918 Spanish flu and 75,925 more deaths than occurred on average over the preceding five years (the technical definition of excess deaths). But few noticed another disquieting trend on the viral graphs: even before the pandemic, excess deaths were rising – by 2,911 in 2012, 11,314 in 2013, 6,408 in 2014, 32,624 in 2015, 20,735 in 2016, 20,803 in 2017, 22,355 in 2018 and 4,647 in 2019. By contrast, over the preceding 20 years, excess deaths fell in all but two years (1993 and 1995).


The pandemic and the UK’s Covid death toll of 126,284 – one of the highest in the world – have raised the salience of mortality. Rarely have the political choices that influence who lives and who dies been clearer. The UK’s prodigious death toll was not inevitable or an act of God. But this thought prompts another: why were more people dying in the years before the pandemic, and how many lives could have been saved? In May 2010, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government embarked on a radical experiment that still reverberates today: austerity. Over the New Labour years spending on public services had risen, but it would now be cut in an attempt to reduce the budget deficit and to reshape the state.

After David Cameron assumed office, more than £20bn of welfare cuts were imposed, departmental budgets were reduced by an average of more than 20 per cent and local government funding was cut by 49 per cent (with baleful consequences for social care). When George Osborne delivered his first austerity budget in 2010, he declared: “When we say that we are all in this together, we mean it.” But the reality was otherwise. In February 2020, before Covid-19 monopolised attention, the landmark Marmot Review found that, for the first time in more than 100 years, life expectancy in England had stalled and even declined for women in the poorest 10 per cent of areas.

“England has lost a decade,” lamented Michael Marmot, the University College London professor who led the review. “If you ask me if [austerity] is the reason for the worsening health picture, I’d say it is highly likely.” Marmot was not alone in concluding that the UK government had presided over avoidable deaths or, more radically, what Friedrich Engels called “social murder”. In his book The Condition of the Working-Class in England (1845), Engels wrote of how “the class which at present holds social and political control” places “hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet”.

[..] During the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK has suffered one of the highest excess death rates in Europe. But at the close of our conversation, Dorling explained why the picture is even grimmer than it appears: “All these excess death calculations that are being made, we’re comparing ourselves in 2020 with five truly awful years, whereas other countries are comparing themselves with the best years they’ve ever had.” The social ills that Covid-19 has newly exposed – entrenched poverty, loneliness, dilapidated housing and inadequate welfare support – preceded the pandemic and will likely outlast it. As Richard Horton, the editor of the Lancet medical journal, has argued, the UK is enduring a “syndemic” – a synthesis of epidemics. Coronavirus interacted with pre-existing inequalities to lethal effect.

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“Pubs can’t open with any sort of normality until June. So on top of having to take on extra staff to serve people at tables, the idea pubs can take on staff to act as door staff for vaccine passports is absurd.”

Boris Johnson Green Lights Pubs to Mandate Vaccine Passports (SN)

Despite repeatedly assuring the public that domestic vaccine passports to enter pubs would be discouraged, Prime Minister Boris Johnson today signaled that landlords could mandate them when pubs begin to open next month. While speaking to MPs on the Commons’ liaison committee, Johnson indicated that the government wouldn’t stand in the way of pub owners demanding customers show proof they’ve taken the COVID-19 jab before entering the premises. Asked if such a certificate would be required, Johnson responded, “I think that that’s the kind of thing – it may be up to individual publicans, it may be up to the landlord.” “I do think that the basic concept of vaccine certification should not be totally alien to us,” he added.

Outdoor areas and beer gardens are set to re-open on April 17th, with indoor spaces to follow on May 17th. Johnson’s attitude to the issue represents a change from previous government rhetoric, which assured the public that there would be no domestic vaccine passport. Back in December, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi declared that any form of vaccine passport would be ‘discriminatory’. Although many pub owners won’t insist on proof of having had the vaccine, polls in the UK routinely show high support for lockdown measures and restrictions. Creating such a system, where people have to show digital proof of vaccination to engage in normal everyday activities, would also virtually guarantee they’ll be introduced at other venues.

Greg Mulholland, chairman of the British Pub Confederation, blasted the move, telling the Sun, “Pubs can’t open with any sort of normality until June. So on top of having to take on extra staff to serve people at tables, the idea pubs can take on staff to act as door staff for vaccine passports is absurd.”

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1984.

British Gov’t Plans to Shape Public Opinion Fundamentally ‘Undemocratic’ (Sp.)

The British state considers there to now be a “grey zone between peace and war” which justifies, they believe, engagement in covert manipulation of public opinion on matters both foreign and domestic, albeit in the name of combating “disinformation”. Dr Piers Robinson researches and writes about propaganda, conflict and war. He is co-director of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies and convenor of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. Robinson, who completed his PhD on the role of media and foreign policy — the so-called CNN effect — at the University of Bristol, examined revelations contained within the UK government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, which appears to promote the idea of using propaganda to shape British public opinion.

Robinson warns that increasing hostility being directed towards countries like Russia and China threatens “super-power conflict” which would affect current and future generations profoundly. “Now is not the time for propaganda”, he insists, but rather, “it is time for greater transparency and scrutiny”.

Dr Piers Robinson: From what is being reported it appears that the British government is openly stating that it intends to employ propaganda within the UK public sphere. Reference to the use of ‘social science expertise, horizon-scanning and strategic communications’ are all euphemisms for propaganda. Propaganda is primarily about organising conduct and beliefs through means that are ‘non-consensual’. By non-consensual I mean influence techniques that might use a variety of strategies aimed at getting people to act and think in ways that are not freely chosen. For example, the technique of deception, where information is manipulated, can lead to people thinking something is true but that belief is not freely chosen precisely because deception has been involved.

Other propaganda techniques involve incentivisation and coercion: here it is more obvious that behaviour and beliefs are not freely chosen as people are being either tempted or forced. The bottom line is that all these propaganda techniques are undemocratic. They run roughshod over notions of freedom, free choice and freedom of speech. Ultimately, widespread uses of such techniques means that a democratic public sphere is increasingly replaced by a propagandised public sphere.

Dr Piers Robinson: The rational for the use of propaganda against the domestic population appears to be based on ideas that there are now grey areas between ‘foreign’ and ‘domestic’ and between ‘war’ and ‘peace’. Underlying these ideas is the claim that people’s opinions are now part of the ’21st century battlefield’. As such, the government appears to be claiming that the British public are now involved in a war and that the only way that war can be fought is through attempts to influence, even control, their thoughts and behaviour. The assumption underpinning this rational for domestic propaganda is that Britain faces significant military (and other) threats.

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All your base are belong to us.

Guidance On Policing Protests May Breach Human Rights (G.)

Guidance on policing protests circulated to all forces in England and Wales may breach human rights obligations, according to campaigners. The guidance, produced by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (the NPCC) and the College of Policing (COP), also appears to use a definition of unlawful protest activity that could include boycotting a shop or silently taking a knee. In a joint letter seen by the Guardian, the Good Law Project and Stop Funding Hate have urged the guidance to be made public amid “serious concerns” regarding the extent it considers and protects the human rights of protesters. According to a recent report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) on how the police respond to protest, police chiefs have produced a “comprehensive and detailed document giving operational advice”.

It criticised some of the legal explanations in the document, which is used to train public order commanders and advisers, highlighting a “material risk of commanders failing to fulfil their obligations under human rights law”. The report noted that the NPCC and CoP were revising the document in response to these concerns. The report also revealed that police chiefs use a definition of “aggravated activism” as “activity that seeks to bring about political or social change but does so in a way that involves unlawful behaviour or criminality, has a negative impact upon community tensions, or causes an adverse economic impact to businesses”.

The letter by campaigners raises concerns that this definition could include a wide array of activity that is not criminal, such as campaigning for advertisers to withdraw their products from media outlets that have divisive content or calling for a boycott of a shop that sells products made from animal fur. “What’s really worrying here is the embedded value judgment that it’s wrong to target economic activity”, said Jolyon Maugham, director of the legal campaigning organisation, Good Law Project.

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“Tomorrow It Could Be Somebody Else”

Bernie Sanders Comes Out Against Trump Twitter Ban (Turley)

Sen Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) came out against the Twitter ban of former president Donald Trump yesterday. Sanders expressed his discomfort with the role of Big Tech in censorship viewpoints, a sharp departure from his Democratic colleagues who have demanded more such corporate censorship. In an interview on Tuesday with New York Times columnist Ezra Klein, Sanders stated that he didn’t feel “particularly comfortable” with the ban despite his view that Trump is “a racist, sexist, xenophobe, pathological liar, an authoritarian … a bad news guy.” He stated “if you’re asking me do I feel particularly comfortable that the then president of the United States could not express his views on Twitter? I don’t feel comfortable about that.”

I would hope that Sanders would take the same view of a non-sitting president or an average citizen. They should all be able to speak freely. Sanders does not go as far as that “Internet originalist” position, but he at least is recognizing the danger of such censorship. He noted that “we have got to be thinking about, because if anybody who thinks yesterday it was Donald Trump who was banned and tomorrow it could be somebody else who has a very different point of view.” He stated that it is a danger to have a “handful of high tech people” controlling speech in America. I have long praised Sanders for his principled take on many issues and this dissenting view is most welcomed by those in the free speech community. It is in sharp contrast to his Democratic colleagues who celebrated the ban and called for more censorship.

One of the leading voices of censorship in the Senate is Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) chastised Big Tech for waiting so long to issue such bans: “The question isn’t why Facebook & Twitter acted, it’s what took so long & why haven’t others?” As we have previously discussed, Democrats have abandoned long-held free speech values in favor of corporate censorship. They clearly has a different “comfort zone” than Sanders. What discomforts many Democratic members is the ability of people to speak freely on these platforms and spread what they view as “disinformation.” When Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey came before the Senate to apologize for blocking the Hunter Biden story before the election as a mistake, senators pressed him and other Big Tech executive for more censorship.

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Bellingcat is evil.

Bellingcaught (Maté)

The website Bellingcat promotes itself as a collective of digital sleuths who “pledge allegiance to truth and evidence and abide by the principles of transparency and accountability.” Its self-described “groundbreaking investigations,” especially those aimed at Russia and Syria, have led to fawning Western media endorsements of its claim to be an “intelligence agency for the people.” But Bellingcat’s carefully crafted public image as an “open source” outlet is belied by its extensive NATO government ties and a conspicuous pattern of conduct in line with its state sponsors’ interests. Bellingcat has hauled in grants from the National Endowment for Democracy, a US government-funded CIA cutout. Leaked documents reported by The Grayzone revealed that Bellingcat has collaborated with a UK Foreign Office operation that aims to “weaken Russia.”

Bellingcat has also been a regular source of interventionist material on Syria, the target of a decade-long, multi-billion dollar proxy war waged by the US, UK, and their allies. This includes participating in a nearly two-year campaign to whitewash a scandal at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) — one of the most shocking and well-documented pro-war deceptions since the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A series of leaks has exposed how top OPCW officials censored findings which undermined US-led allegations of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Together with its NATO state sponsors, Bellingcat has worked to bury the cover-up and denigrate two OPCW whistleblowers who challenged it from the inside.

Bellingcat’s disinformation efforts resulted in an embarrassing debacle late last year, when the outlet was caught publishing fraudulent material about one of the dissenting OPCW scientists. Now, emails obtained by The Grayzone reveal that Bellingcat has engaged in more subterfuge than was previously known. Messages sent months before the “Bellingcat Investigation Team” released its bogus article show that Bellingcat was not the sole author of the now-discredited piece published in its name. It also was not the first one. The communications show that someone outside the Bellingcat organization composed portions of the fraudulent material that ultimately appeared on Bellingcat’s website. An external author even drafted questions that Bellingcat sent to multiple recipients.

Bellingcat’s duplicitous conduct took place in the midst of a poorly coordinated effort involving HuffPost UK and the BBC – two outlets that also enjoy close ties to the British state. The target of the Bellingcat-led smear campaign is Dr. Brendan Whelan, a 16-year OPCW veteran and member of the mission that deployed to Syria in April 2018 to investigate the alleged chemical attack in Douma.

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“I have a security clearance. And they have yet to show me any classified evidence.”

Unnamed Western Officials Spread Dubious Claims About Iran (Antiwar)

With a possible revival of the Iran nuclear deal on the table, there are many forces at work opposing a US return to the accord, known as the JCPOA. One form this opposition takes is through anonymous leaks to Western media outlets that are happy to publish whatever intelligence officials tell them to. This week, two dubiously-sourced reports came out that accused Iran of plotting an attack in Washington and operating a secret nuclear program. Missing from the stories was any evidence to back up the claims. On Sunday, The Associated Press published a story that cited “two senior US intelligence officials” who claimed that Iran made threats against Fort McNair, a waterfront Army base in Washington DC.

The officials said the NSA intercepted communications of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps discussing possible “USS Cole-style attacks” on Fort McNair, referring to the 2000 attack on a US Navy destroyer off Yemen that was launched using a small explosive-laden boat. The AP story offers no other evidence to back up the claim besides the word of the unnamed officials. Iran hawks benefit from such stories since it gives the US more reasons not to return to the JCPOA. But another reason to hype a threat to Fort McNair was explained in the AP story. The US Army wants to create a security buffer zone extending 250 to 500 feet into the water of the Washington Channel, the busy waterway that Fort McNair sits on.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s representative to Congress, has been fighting this buffer zone and said the military has shown her no evidence that constitutes a threat big enough to justify it. “I have asked the Department of Defense to withdraw the rule because I’ve seen no evidence of a credible threat that would support the proposed restriction,” Norton said. “I have a security clearance. And they have yet to show me any classified evidence.” The AP doesn’t explain these doubts until a few paragraphs into the story, so most readers with faith in the outlet that read the headline and skimmed a few paragraphs are left believing Iran is considering attacking Washington.

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Bombing grains facilities where millions are starving. This is our coalition.

Saudi-Led Coalition Intensifies Yemen Air Raids, Hits Grains Port (AlJ)

The Saudi-led military coalition has carried out dozens of air raids against what it said were Houthi military targets in Yemen’s north, including the capital Sanaa and the port of Salif on the Red Sea coast. The coalition, which intervened militarily in 2015 months after the Iran-aligned Houthi group captured large parts of northern Yemen including Sanaa, said it struck a missile and drone assembly plant in the Yemeni capital. The United Nations said air raids also hit the Houthi-controlled Salif grains port, north of Hodeidah, and two projectiles hit a warehouse and the living quarters of a food production company.


“Local authorities and company management stated that six injured workers were transferred to local medical facilities for treatment,” the UN mission in Hodeidah, UNMHA, said in a statement on Monday. The port of Salif is part of a UN-brokered neutral zone on the Red Sea, according to an agreement signed in 2018 in Stockholm between Yemen’s warring parties. Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s nearly 30 million people depend on foreign aid as large parts of the country have been devastated by the six years of violence that have resulted in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. The Houthi-controlled ministry of commerce and industry said attacks on the port were part of the “economic warfare against the Yemeni people”.

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Whitney Webb: “The government case against Ghislaine was set up to fail from the beginning. I said that right after the arrest and got shit for it, but here we are. The government is trying to cover the Epstein scandal up, not investigate it.”

Trouble With The Ghislaine Maxwell Case? (TF)

Today a motion was unsealed in the Ghislaine Maxwell case that give us serious concerns about the government’s case against Maxwell. I’ll make this brief. The unsealed motion had to do with Maxwell’s recently rejected motion for release on bail. It had been sealed because it references documents that are still under seal. You can read the full motion for release on bail here. I won’t go through the whole motion – only the parts that stand out. First, Maxwell makes the accusation that “the government concedes it cannot establish that either Ms. Maxwell or Epstein ever caused, or sought to cause, Accuser-3 to travel while she was a minor or that she was underage when she allegedly engaged in sex acts with Epstein.”


In support of this claim, Maxwell’s lawyers cite to the still-sealed filing by the government. Maxwell’s attorneys explain that this matters because victim’s “allegations cannot support the conspiracies charged in the Indictment, leaving the government with only two witnesses to prove the charges against Ms. Maxwell.” Second, Maxwell alleges that the government “produced documents indicating that government prosecutors misled a federal judge to obtain evidence against Ms. Maxwell.” This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York get into trouble. Recently, they were found to have failed to disclose evidence against a criminal defendant and then lying about their failure to disclose the evidence.

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Perfect.

Authorities ‘Working To Refloat’ Ever Given Blocking Suez Channel (Sky)

Authorities are still “working to refloat” a container ship which ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking the Egyptian waterway, officials have said. Ten tug boats have been helping with the operation to free one of the world’s largest container ships from the vital waterway. Photos showed a digger removing earth and rock from the bank of the canal around the ship’s bow, while satellite images showed its diagonal position across the channel. Professor Jasper Graham-Jones, a mechanical marine engineer from Plymouth University said: “They would try to be removing anything that is easy to remove, but the location where they are stuck is not near a port, it’s actually quite a distance away from anything.


the Ever Given stranded in the Suez Canal. Pic: Planet Labs Inc via Reuters

“This is where the clear option is lots and lots of tug boats and digging around the sides.” Reports earlier on Wednesday from marine agent GAC that the Ever Given had been partially refloated were inaccurate, Ahmed Mekawy, an assistant manager at GAC’s Egypt office, said. Mr Mekawy blamed it on “inaccurate information” that the Dubai-based agent had received. It could take up to two days to move it, an official reportedly told local news outlet Cairo24, but Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman Osama Rabie was more optimistic. He said: “Once we get this boat out, then that’s it, things will go back to normal. God willing, we’ll be done today.”


A southbound convoy was on the move, he told local media, adding that the authority was trying to keep traffic flowing between waiting areas as best it could, while salvage efforts continued. Dr Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University, said: “A prolonged closure would mean that there would be ships stacking up in both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, riding at anchor, waiting for the canal to open.” Dozens of ships carrying crude, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and retail goods were unable to sail through the canal on Wednesday. At least 30 ships were blocked to the north of the Ever Given, and three to the south, local sources said. Several dozen ships could also be seen grouped around the northern and southern entrances to the canal.

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Nov 062020
 


W. Eugene Smith Orson Welles 1942

 

Death by Lockdown (AIER)
China: Life After COVID Is Back To Normal (marc)
Vladimir Putin ‘Will Quit In January Amid Fears of Parkinson’s Disease’ (DM)
Which is the Real “Working Class Party” Now? (Taibbi)
President Trump Delivers Remarks About The Election From White House
Trump Gets ‘Big Legal Win In Pennsylvania,’ Setback In Michigan, Georgia (RT)
Dems Melt Down On Conference Call Over Losing House Seats (RT)
EHRC Antisemitism Report Added Fire To Labour’s Simmering Civil War (Cook)
Australian Property Bubble Hasn’t Yet Burst Amid The Pandemic (Abc.au)
Experts Want 15 Days Of Counting To Flatten The Curve Of Votes For Trump (BBee)

 

 

Election fatigue is setting in. Good thing I’m not a lawyer.

 

 

 

 

Bob Hope Democrats
https://twitter.com/i/status/1324577385153470464

 

 

“The most startling data concerns the age group 25-44. This is a group with a Covid-related infection fatality rate of 0.0092%, which is to say barely a disease at all for nearly everyone in this group. And yet they are dying at a rate far above what is expected..”

Death by Lockdown (AIER)

On March 28 – very early in the pandemic – AIER published an article that I felt at the time received far too little attention. “Drugs, Suicide, and Crime: Empirical Estimates of the Human Toll of the Shutdown” by economists Audrey and Thomas Duncan cited empirical literature on the human toll of economic devastation. This article forecasted more than 100,000 excess deaths due to drug overdoses, suicide, alcoholism, homicide, and untreated depression – all a result not of the virus but of policies of mandatory human separation, economic downturn, business and school closures, closed medical services, and general depression that comes with a loss of freedom and choice.

These two economists demonstrated that as bad as a virus is, policies that wreck normal social functioning will cause massive and completely unnecessary suffering and death. Because the article was so well-cited, with references to all the available literature, I thought it would make a difference. But after it appeared, it was crickets. I was amazed. Here you have a beautiful piece of research that perfectly forecasted the nightmare being created by politicians and their advisers and it made no dent in the national narrative. Here we are seven months later and the worst has come true. These two economists should be considered prophets. Sure enough, the Centers for Disease Control has documented a shocking number of excess deaths not from Covid.

Scott Atlas summarizes:
• Hispanic: 40% excess deaths NOT Covid related
• Black: 46% NOT Covid related
• White: 38% NOT Covid related
• 25-44: 77% excess deaths NOT Covid related
• 65+: 39% NOT Covid related

The most startling data concerns the age group 25-44. This is a group with a Covid-related infection fatality rate of 0.0092%, which is to say barely a disease at all for nearly everyone in this group. And yet they are dying at a rate far above what is expected, and mostly from issues not related to Covid. There should not be any excess deaths. Instead we find people dropping dead in ways that are shocking.

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“The science is clear, but politicians are clearly no scientists.”

China: Life After COVID Is Back To Normal (marc)

A few months ago I was lucky to get a visa to China so I could visit the country during the middle of the global pandemic. After 2 weeks in quarantine in Xiamen in late September and a total of 5 COVID tests I was finally allowed to fly to Beijing. When I landed there I had literally arrived in a different world, a world without COVID. Of course I knew that there is no COVID in China anymore, but seeing it for yourself is different. Everything is open again, even bars and clubs. Social distancing is a thing of the past, but when I arrived in Beijing most people still wore face masks, even outside. When I visited Xiamen again last week a lot less people wore them, but maybe that was also because of the much higher temperatures there. Everybody needs to have a health app installed on their phones, without it you can’t enter many public places (the app proves you have no COVID or have not been in contact with COVID-positive people) and you can’t fly without a green QR code on your app (not even if you just want to leave China).

Life is back to normal in China. Interesting is that people work from their offices again: The work-from-home phase did not last here, maybe because people only worked from home for a few weeks instead of a few months. I wonder if that will also happen in the Western world or if people will keep working remotely. Everything is open and there are hardly any restrictions left, although you still need to wear face masks in among others taxis and in school. What dit China do to get here? It’s actually quite simple, they had a complete lockdown of the whole country for a couple of weeks, and for some hotspots like Wuhan for a few months. After that they opened up again, but they did that with ubiquitous testing and obligatory face masks everywhere. Each time a new outbreak occurred they would lock (part of) a city down and test everybody. In that way China got the virus completely under control.

It may be hard to believe if you live in Europe or the US, but it is really not that hard to do. The partial lockdown in many other countries is simply not enough. It turns out that it is much better to have a shorter but very strict lockdown than to have a much longer partial lockdown that just tries to ‘flatten the curve’. I think Europe and the US are shooting themselves in the foot by trying to remain open for business. The long term effect in the Western world will simply be much worse than the short term effect in China.I am actually flabbergasted that the Western economies don’t see this and don’t copy the China playbook. I have argued for a short but full lockdown on Twitter since March, but most people did not take it serious. Of course it’s not the full story, China also had face masks from day one, while many other countries still don’t seem to ‘believe’ in them (although that finally started to change after the summer). The science is clear, but politicians are clearly no scientists.

And of course you need testing capacity, something that seems impossible to scale up in many Western countries. The virus started in January and soon after that it became clear to me that this could be a global danger. As I noted on Twitter, face masks were sold out in Vancouver on January 25 already, simply because most Chinese in Vancouver also saw the risk and started buying them. But governments took a full 6-7 weeks before they started to take it more serious. They lost so much precious time, instead of getting face masks ready and prepare test facilities they downplayed the risk. It was hard to believe for me, but I realized (once again…) that you should never rely on politicians for information but do your own research.

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No idea what to make of this, can’t trust western media to say one true thing about Putin, but I do like Scott Adams’ take.

Vladimir Putin ‘Will Quit In January Amid Fears of Parkinson’s Disease’ (DM)

Vladimir Putin will quit in January amid fears he has Parkinson’s disease, Moscow sources have claimed. The 68-year-old strongman president of Russia is being urged to retire by his former gymnast lover Alina Kabaeva, 37, insiders say. Recent footage of Putin’s legs moving around as he gripped onto the armrest of a chair have raised eyebrows. Eyes are also drawn to a twitching pen in the former KGB operative’s fingers and a cup which analysts told The Sun was filled with painkillers. Earlier this week it emerged that unexpected legislation was being rushed through to ensure that Putin could be made a senator-for-life. The new draft legislation was introduced by Putin himself, and would guarantee him legal immunity and state perks until he dies.


State-run RT media forecast the move will be seen ‘as a sign that the groundwork is being laid for an eventual transition of power in Russia’. It is not the first time that people have speculated that Putin may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Others have previously noted his ‘gunslinger’s gait’ – a clearly reduced right arm swing compared to his left, giving him a lilting swagger. An asymmetrically reduced arm swing is a classic feature of Parkinson’s and can manifest in ‘clinically intact subjects with a predisposition to later develop’ the disease, according to the British Medical Journal.

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“There were so many serious analyses wondering what could be done to convince Homer Simpson not to vote Trump that it soon became clear Bart’s donut-loving Dad was the closest thing to a Trump voter most educated people could relate to, or knew even.”

Which is the Real “Working Class Party” Now? (Taibbi)

In an irony he is humorously ill-equipped to appreciate, Donald Trump by losing this week may have gained something for the Republican Party bureaucracy he took such pleasure in humiliating four years ago: a future. Defying years of muddle-headed media analyses, Trump underperformed with white men, but made gains with every other demographic. Some 26 percent of his votes came from nonwhite Americans, the highest percentage for a Republican since 1960. The politician who became instantly famous — and infamous — by saying of Mexican immigrants, “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” performed stunningly well with Latino voters.

Exit polls, which can be unreliable, pegged his national support at 32%-35% of the Latino vote. More tellingly were results in certain counties. Starr County, Texas, the county with the highest percentage of Hispanic or Latino voters – above 95% – voted for Hillary Clinton by a 60-point margin in 2016, but went for Biden by just five points in 2020. Even more amazing was Trump’s performance among Black voters. The man whose 2016 message to “the blacks” was very nearly a parody of long-ago New York mayoral candidate Mario Procaccino’s pledge that “My heart is as black as yours” must have found a new way to connect. Trump doubled his support with Black women, moving from 4% in 2016 to 8%, while upping his support among Black men from 13% to 18%. Remember, this was after four years of near-constant denunciations of Trump as not just a racist, but the leader of a literal white supremacist movement.

Trump’s numbers with the LGBTQ community were a stunner also, jumping from 14% to 28%. In September, a dating app for queer men called Hornet ran a survey that showed 45% support for Trump among gay men. Ever since Trump jumped into politics, media observers have rushed to denounce any Trump-related data that conflicts with conventional wisdom, and the Hornet survey was no different. Out magazine quoted a communications professor from Cal Poly Pomona as saying, “To tout a Hornet poll as evidence of LGBTQ support for Trump is clickbaity, sloppy journalism.” Even the Hornet editor scoffed at his own poll, before it all turned out to be true in the election.

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“If you count the legal votes, I easily win..”

President Trump Delivers Remarks About The Election From White House

As the nation continues waiting to find out who will win the 2020 presidential contest, President Trump on Thursday delivered remarks from the White House. “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes they can try to steal the election from us, if you count the votes that came in late,” he said. The president said that election polling was weaponized to harm his candidacy. “As everyone now recognizes media polling was election interference, in the truest sense of that word,” Trump said. “By powerful special interests, these really phony polls…were designed to keep our voters at home, create the illusion of momentum for Mr. Biden and diminish Republicans’ ability to raise funds. They were what’s called suppression polls, everyone knows that now.”


“So it will be hopefully cleared up, maybe soon, I hope soon,” he said. “But it’ll probably go through a process, a legal process and as you know I’ve claimed certain states and he’s claiming states…but ultimately I have a feeling judges are gonna have to rule. But there’s been a lotta shenanigans and we can’t stand for that in our country.”


Jo Jorgenson losing half her support in the space of 12 minutes

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Georgia count just flipped to Biden.

Trump Gets ‘Big Legal Win In Pennsylvania,’ Setback In Michigan, Georgia (RT)

As Donald Trump continues to accuse Democrats behind Joe Biden of trying to “steal” the presidential election, he celebrated a “big legal” win in his Pennsylvania lawsuit. “Big legal win in Pennsylvania!” the president tweeted on Thursday, following orders mandating certain mail-in ballots to be placed aside for the time being and allowing Republican poll watchers to observe more closely as votes are counted. It remains to be seen how this “big legal win” will benefit Trump, but it does ensure that it could be even longer before people know who has won the presidential race. Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, a key swing state that remains up for grabs, that lack identifying information from their voter will be placed aside and not counted until the court gives further guidance on what to do.

Once ballots are “segregated,” those with information that cannot be confirmed by November 9 will “not be counted until further notice” from the court. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has also ordered that Republican poll watchers will be able to observe ballots being counted in Philadelphia from a distance of six feet following complaints that they were being kept too far away from the actual counting. In Michigan, the president has faced a setback with a judge scoffing at Trump’s lawsuit to stop the count in the state due to allegations voter fraud. Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens said on Thursday she will deny Trump’s request as the accusations of voter fraud are “hearsay” and contain no “firsthand knowledge.”

Michigan has been called in Joe Biden’s favor by multiple US outlets, but Trump has claimed victory in the state, blaming last minute “ballot dumps” on the former vice president’s surge on the night of the election. Earlier, a judge in Georgia also dismissed lawsuit by Trump campaign that requested to ensure that state laws were followed in regards to absentee ballots. Trump’s campaign has also said they will be demanding a recount in Wisconsin, which Biden reportedly won by around 20,000 votes. The incumbent president has also alleged in another lawsuit that thousands of people voted in Nevada who are not residents there.

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Will they oust Pelosi?

Dems Melt Down On Conference Call Over Losing House Seats (RT)

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia), who is leading her congressional race by a thread, has reportedly blamed the Democrat Party for losing elections “we shouldn’t have lost” due to embracing radical ideas like Defund the Police. During a conference call between Democrats discussing the results of various 2020 elections, Spanberger claimed she nearly lost her race (she’s won by a few thousand votes) because of an attack ad connecting her to the Defund the Police movement. “Don’t say socialism ever again,” the congresswoman said on the call, according to Washington Post reporter Erica Werner.


“We need to be pretty clear … it was a failure. It was not a success,” she added about election night. While the results of the presidential race remain unclear, Democrats had a disappointing election night regardless, as they failed to gain control of the Senate and actually ended up losing seats in the House, where they still remain the majority party. Werner reported that Spanberger did not find a lot of support on the call, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) openly disagreeing with the assessment, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) pushing back and saying former President Barack Obama was called a Muslim and socialist without being connected to movements like Black Lives Matter or Defund the Police.

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The totally insane idea that Corbyn is an anti-semite has been as hard to kill by evidence in the UK as Russiagate is in the US and UK. And several lies about Assange. The media has become toxic.

EHRC Antisemitism Report Added Fire To Labour’s Simmering Civil War (Cook)

It was easy to miss the true significance of last week’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on the British Labour Party and antisemitism amid the furore over the party suspending its former leader, Jeremy Corbyn. The impression left on the public – aided by yet more frantic media spin – was that the EHRC’s 130-page report had confirmed the claims of Corbyn’s critics that on his watch the party had become “institutionally antisemitic”. In fact, the watchdog body reached no such conclusion. Its report was far more ambiguous. And its findings – deeply flawed, intentionally vague and glaringly inconsistent as they were – were nowhere near as dramatic as the headlines suggested.

The commission concluded that “there were unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination for which the Labour Party is responsible”. Those failings, according to the commission, related to the handling of antisemitism complaints, interference by the leader’s office in the disciplinary procedure, and “unlawful harassment” by two Labour Party “agents”. None of that seemed to amount to anything like the supposed claims of a “plague” and “tidal wave” of antisemitism that have dominated headlines for five years. Paradoxically, the equalities commission’s conclusions sounded a lot like Corbyn’s statement that the scale of Labour’s antisemitism problem had been “dramatically overstated”. That remark quickly became grounds for the party suspending him.

So sustained has the furore about “institutional antisemitism” been in Labour that, according to a recent survey by academics Greg Philo and Mike Berry, the British public estimated that on average a third of Labour members had been disciplined for antisemitism – more than 300 times the real figure. But in the end, the commission could identify only two cases of unlawful antisemitism the party was responsible for. According to the report, there were 18 “borderline” cases, however, “there was not enough evidence to conclude that the Labour Party was legally responsible for the conduct of the individual.”

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“The Government also has to consider the political consequences of continuing to throw stimulus at construction over other sectors that are in pain..”

Sorry, but that government is stuck in a corner.

Australian Property Bubble Hasn’t Yet Burst Amid The Pandemic (Abc.au)

After years of dire predictions that Australia’s property bubble could burst, national house prices continue to withstand the otherwise devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and once again the doomsayers have been proven wrong. Data released this week from CoreLogic shows the national average rose 0.4 per cent in October, following five months of national declines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every state across Australia (except for Melbourne which suffered the impact of a second COVID lockdown) experienced gains. But how long will the good run last? It’s a question I asked AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver, who in late March at the onset of the pandemic in Australia, had warned that house prices could plummet by 20 per cent in a worst-case scenario.

In response to my question, Dr Oliver jokes that when people get their Australian citizenship, it should come with a written warranty saying, ‘Congratulations, you are now guaranteed to live in a country where house prices will continue to rise’. He says over the years regulators and government have always stepped in and introduced measures that stopped the bubble bursting. These range from interest rate cuts, tax incentives for property investors and other measures aimed at propping up construction. During the early 1990s recession, the level of household debt in Australia was around 40 per cent of income, he says, whereas now it is close to 200 per cent — one of the highest levels in the world.

“Each time there’s a downturn people get worried about debt and pay some of it back, but before things go too far [into the positive], the Reserve Bank cuts rates and people start borrowing again — we go back to a new level of debt and it starts the cycle again.” [..] But Dr Oliver and other economists also warn that in the current environment there are limits to how fiercely regulators and governments can fuel house prices. Interest rates are near zero, and tax incentives aimed at housing are already generous (with calls to wind them back as part of a wider tax reform package). The Government also has to consider the political consequences of continuing to throw stimulus at construction over other sectors that are in pain. In short, the pandemic has created several reasons to maintain a level of cynicism about the future of house prices.

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“..the CDC quickly reversed its support for the decision, then went back and supported it again, then did it again, etc.”

Experts Want 15 Days Of Counting To Flatten The Curve Of Votes For Trump (BBee)

After a concerning spike in votes for Trump occurred on election night, experts are calling for 15 days of counting to flatten the curve of votes for the “wrong candidate.” While some scientists recommended just letting the votes for Trump be counted fairly until we all achieve herd immunity to Trump, others said we need to lock down the vote-counting places, and make sure no one can get inside, in order to kill off the virus of Trump. “If we all band together and allow just 15 days of counting, we can flatten the curve of votes for Trump,” said Dr. Fauci. “And we also advise Trump supporters to wear airtight masks. For, you know, science.”


The CDC, WHO, and China are all backing the plan, saying it is “SCIENCE!” and anyone who is opposed to it is “ANTI-SCIENCE!” However, the CDC quickly reversed its support for the decision, then went back and supported it again, then did it again, etc. At publishing time, the experts had revised their recommendation to at least 8 months of counting to flatten the curve.

Read more …

 

 

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Bill Barr in September on mail-in ballots
https://twitter.com/i/status/1324438683336929281

 

 

 

 

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Jun 012020
 


Christo & Jeanne Claude The Gates, Central Park NYC 2005 (Christo died yesterday at 84)

 

 

New Coronavirus Losing Potency, Top Italian Doctor Says (R.)
Russia To Roll Out ‘Game Changer’ COVID19 Drug Next Week (R.)
UK Has One Of Highest COVID19-Related Excess Deaths Levels In Europe (G.)
Health Officials Make Last-Minute Plea To Stop Lockdown Easing In England (G.)
It’s The Virus, Stupid! (AHEB)
Australia’s Stalled Migrant Boom Derails Golden Economic Run (R.)
Asia Stocks Hit 3-Month Peaks, Resilient To US Rioting (R.)
Asia’s Factory Pain Worsens As China’s Recovery Fails To Lift Demand (R.)
The Stunning Chart That Blows Up All Of Modern Central Banking (ZH)
FBI’s Top Lawyer Resigns As Agency Faces Pressure From Trump (R.)

 

 

The riots have completely taken over the -US- news cycle from COVID19, to such an extent that I don’t really know what to add to it. Only perhaps to say there is an enormous amount of brutal videos circling around, more than on any topic ever before, and there’s no way that doesn’t influence people on all sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counted from Saturday, since there was no Debt Rattle yesterday:

Cases 6,288,176 (+ 233,399 from Saturday’s 6,054,777)

Deaths 374,327(+ 7,039 from Saturday’s 367,288)

 

 

 

Note: I dropped the SCMP graph, it doesn’t appear very useful anymore.

From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close-:

 

 

From Worldometer:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

Would be good news, but this sounds a little goal-seeked.

New Coronavirus Losing Potency, Top Italian Doctor Says (R.)

The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday. “In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy’s coronavirus contagion. “The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” he told RAI television. Italy has the third highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with 33,415 people dying since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21. It has the sixth highest global tally of cases at 233,019.

However new infections and fatalities have fallen steadily in May and the country is unwinding some of the most rigid lockdown restrictions introduced anywhere on the continent. Zangrillo said some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality. “We’ve got to get back to being a normal country,” he said. “Someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country.” The government urged caution, saying it was far too soon to claim victory. “Pending scientific evidence to support the thesis that the virus has disappeared … I would invite those who say they are sure of it not to confuse Italians,” Sandra Zampa, an undersecretary at the health ministry, said in a statement.


“We should instead invite Italians to maintain the maximum caution, maintain physical distancing, avoid large groups, to frequently wash their hands and to wear masks.” A second doctor from northern Italy told the national ANSA news agency that he was also seeing the coronavirus weaken. “The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today,” said Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in the city of Genoa. “It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different.”

Read more …

A bit better than remdesivir (which is not hard), and worse than HCQ?! What game is it that will be changed?

Russia To Roll Out ‘Game Changer’ COVID19 Drug Next Week (R.)

Russia will start administering its first approved antiviral drug to treat coronavirus patients next week, its state financial backer told Reuters, a move it described as “a game changer” that should speed a return to normal economic life. Russian hospitals can begin giving the drug to patients from June 11, with enough to treat around 60,000 people per month, the head of Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund told Reuters in an interview. There is currently no approved vaccine for the highly contagious and sometimes fatal illness and no consensus within the global scientific community about the efficacy of medication such as the Russian modified antiviral drug.

Registered under the name Avifavir, it is the first potential coronavirus treatment to be approved by Russia’s health ministry, however. It appeared on a government list of approved drugs on Saturday after clinical trials. RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said clinical trials involved 330 people and showed that the drug successfully treated the virus in most cases within four days. Trials were due to be concluded in around a week, he said, and more would be conducted. The health ministry had given its approval for the drug’s use under a special accelerated process and manufacturing had begun in March, he added. “We believe this is a game changer. It will reduce strain on the healthcare system, we’ll have fewer people getting into a critical condition, and for 90% of people it eliminates the virus within 10 days,” he said.

“We believe that the drug is key to resuming full economic activity in Russia. People need to follow social distancing rules, and of course we need to have a vaccine, but it’s a combination of those three levers.” With 405,843 cases, Russia has the third highest number of infections in the world after Brazil and the United States, though with 4,693 official deaths, a much lower fatality rate, something that has been the focus of debate. Dmitriev said the new drug, which comes in tablet form, would allow people to spend less time in hospital and reduce the time they are contagious, saying the drug had few side-effects but was not suitable for pregnant women. It was particularly effective, he said, for patients suffering from mild or mid-level symptoms.

[..] Avifavir, known generically as favipiravir, was first developed in the late 1990s by a Japanese company later bought by Fujifilm as it moved into healthcare. The drug works by short-circuiting the reproduction mechanism of certain RNA viruses such as influenza. Russian specialists modified the generic drug to enhance its efficacy for treating COVID-19 [..]

Read more …

Excess deaths may be the best, if not only, way to get an accurate fatality number for COVID19.

UK Has One Of Highest COVID19-Related Excess Deaths Levels In Europe (G.)

Britain’s excess death toll at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic was the highest among 11 countries analysed by the Guardian. The UK had the biggest spike among countries including Sweden, France, Germany and Spain. At its peak the UK death toll was more than double that of an average week, at 109%, compared with Spain’s peak in week 14 where the death toll was double the average at 100%. By week 20 of 2020 the UK death toll – inclusive of both Covid-related and non-Covid deaths – was 21% higher than the average of recent years meaning, for every five deaths that occur in the UK in a normal year, six people have died this year to date.

Excess deaths are those above what we might expect to see in normal circumstances. The figure is the difference in the number of people who have died in a given week compared with the average number of deaths that occurred in the same period in the previous five years. Italy and the Netherlands also have excess deaths of 10% or more so far this year according to the latest data, although the data for those countries is not as up to date as that for the UK. Patterns in the data show countries that locked down earlier tended to have fewer deaths. Austria, which imposed strict containment measures on 16 March, when there was just one death attributed to Covid-19 in the country, recorded a peak in excess deaths of 14%.


By contrast, the Netherlands waited until its excess deaths were already 17% higher than usual before locking down, and at its peak the death toll was 74% above average. The data also shows that in Sweden, which has adopted a different approach with no lockdown in place, excess deaths peaked at 46%. The figures come from mortality statistics gathered by the Guardian. Not all of the deaths are directly attributable to Covid-19 but the figures indicate how many people have died directly and indirectly as a result of the virus in different countries.

Read more …

That cat’s out of the bag. Too late.

Health Officials Make Last-Minute Plea To Stop Lockdown Easing In England (G.)

Senior public health officials have made a last-minute plea for ministers to scrap Monday’s easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England, warning the country is unprepared to deal with any surge in infection and that public resolve to take steps to limit transmisson has been eroded. The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) said new rules, including allowing groups of up to six people to meet outdoors and in private gardens, were “not supported by the science” and that pictures of crowded beaches and beauty spots over the weekend showed “the public is not keeping to social distancing as it was”.

On Saturday and Sunday, parks and seafronts were packed as people anticipated the lifting of restrictions on what has been dubbed “happy Monday”. Car showrooms and outdoor markets will also be reopened, millions of children will return to primary schools and the most vulnerable “shielded” people will be allowed out for the first time since lockdown began in March, all as long as physical distancing is maintained. But Jeanelle de Gruchy, president of the ADPH, said her colleagues across England were “increasingly concerned that the government is misjudging the balance of risk between more social interaction and the risk of a resurgence of the virus, and is easing too many restrictions too quickly”.


They have called on ministers to postpone the easing of restrictions until more is known about the infection rate, the test-and-trace system is better established and public resolve to maintain physical distancing and hygiene can be reinforced. “We have not spoken out in this way before,” De Gruchy said, “but we are concerned that if there is a spike it will be in our communities. We need to be confident we can get on top of it, and we are not confident yet.”

Read more …

Awful headline for a reasonable piece.

It’s The Virus, Stupid! (AHEB)

Many economists expressed disbelief after glancing at recent economic statistics. Since the arrival of the virus and the subsequent lockdowns we have observed a never-before-seen decline in production and consumption. In the UK alone, millions of jobs are at risk immediately. The IMF estimated that, for the UK, the expected economic growth this year will turn into a contraction of 6.5%. It was only the day after the presentation of this forecast when Kristalina Georgieva, the director of the IMF, said that the predictions had been overly positive. Globally, it is predicted that many hundreds of millions of people will fall back below the poverty line. The bad news just doesn’t seem to stop. And what for? To keep a virus in check.

A virus that will cause more death than a serious flu, but that does much less damage to health compared to other diseases like cancer or cardiovascular disease. Assuming an infection mortality risk of 1%, group immunity at 70% and 10 years of life lost per death, we arrive at an average loss of life expectancy of one month for the average UK person. This is in sharp contrast to, for example, the 2 to 3 years with which cancer shortens the life of the average UK person. Some economists read these numbers and conclude that the lockdown has to end immediately. That is understandable at first. The costs per year of life saved are higher than we are willing to spend on regular care. The difference is at least a factor 2, and probably much more. If we weren’t prepared to make such sacrifices for an extra year of life before, why now?


The comparison is flawed. While we can lift the lockdown, we cannot return to normality. If we assume 25% of the UK population is at risk, then 17 million people belong to one of the risk groups. For them, the virus is usually not fatal, but not safe either. Many of these people are likely to adopt a risk-averse position. The risks for the rest of the population are limited. However, they too will likely be cautious, as almost all of them are in direct contact with people from the risk groups. This raises the question to what extent the economic damage is caused by the lockdown or by the virus itself. The way to find out is to lift the lockdown in some regions and continue in others. Obviously, such an experiment will not be allowed because of the ethical aspects.

Read more …

We import oil and rich people.

Australia’s Stalled Migrant Boom Derails Golden Economic Run (R.)

Australia’s three decades of uninterrupted prosperity are coming to an abrupt end as the global coronavirus pandemic crashes one of its most lucrative sources of income – immigration. The country has been successful in managing the outbreak and reopening its A$2 trillion ($1.33 trillion) economy, thanks in part to an early closure of its borders. But the policy has led to a halt in mass immigration – a key source of consumer demand, labour and growth – in an economy which is facing its first recession since the early 1990s. Net immigration, including international students and those on skilled worker visas, is expected to fall 85% in the fiscal year to June 2021, curbing demand for everything from cars and property to education and wedding rings.


Gurmeet Tuli, who owns a jewellery store in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, said his business is already hurting in a neighbourhood which is home to tens of thousands of migrants. “My main clientele is young people who come here to study, they find work here and settle down, fall in love and want to get married,” Tuli said. “I have not sold a single diamond ring in the past two months,” he added, noting business is down about 40% so far this year. So critical is migration to Australia that analysts reckon the economy would have slipped into a recession last year without new arrivals to boost population growth.

Read more …

That’s not terribly interesting…

Asia Stocks Hit 3-Month Peaks, Resilient To US Rioting (R.)

Asian shares pushed to three-month highs on Monday as progress on opening up economies helped offset jitters over riots in U.S. cities and unease over Washington’s power struggle with Beijing. There was also relief that while President Donald Trump began the process of ending special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong to punish China, he left their trade deal intact. “With specific and verifiable measures against China appearing to be weak, markets may draw hollow consolation that the U.S. is treading carefully,” said analysts at Mizuho in a note.

After a cautious start Asian markets were led higher by China on signs parts of the domestic economy were picking up. Hong Kong .HSI managed to rally 3.6%, while Chinese blue chips put on 2.4%. An official business survey from China showed its factory activity grew at a slower pace in May but momentum in the services and construction sectors quickened. A private survey showed a return to growth in May, though exports remained depressed. That helped lift MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan 2.1% to its highest since early March. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.7% to also reach a three-month peak.


[..] The resilience was notable given major U.S. cities were cleaning up streets strewn with broken glass and burned out cars as curfews failed to stop confrontations between activists and law enforcement. The turmoil was a fresh setback for the economy which was only just emerging from a downturn akin to the Great Depression. Following poor data on spending and trade out on Friday, the Atlanta Federal Reserve estimated economic output could drop a staggering 51% annualised in the second quarter. The May jobs report due out on Friday is forecast to show the unemployment rate surged to 19.8%, smashing April’s record 14.7%. Payrolls are expected to drop by 7.4 million, on top of the 20.5 million jobs lost the previous month.

Read more …

… this is far more interesting. Why are stocks “resilient” and hitting peaks as economies plunge?

Asia’s Factory Pain Worsens As China’s Recovery Fails To Lift Demand (R.)

Asia’s factory pain deepened in May as the slump in global trade caused by the coronavirus pandemic worsened, with export powerhouses Japan and South Korea suffering the sharpest declines in business activity in more than a decade. A series of manufacturing surveys released on Monday suggest any rebound in businesses will be some time off, even though China’s factory activity unexpectedly returned to growth in May. China’s Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) hit 50.7 last month, marking the highest reading since January as easing of lockdowns allowed companies to get back to work and clear outstanding orders.


But with many of China’s trading partners still restricted, its new export orders remained in contraction, the private business survey showed on Monday. China’s official PMI survey on Sunday showed the recovery in the world’s second-largest economy intact but fragile. Japan’s factory activity shrank at the fastest pace since 2009 in May, a separate private sector survey showed while South Korea also saw manufacturing slump at the sharpest pace in more than a decade. [..] Taiwan’s manufacturing activity also fell in May. Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines saw PMIs rebound from April, though the indices all remained below the 50-mark threshold that separates contraction from expansion. Official data on Monday showed South Korea extending its exports plunge for a third straight month.

Read more …

Japan’s policy for years now hs been to force people to spend. The more -and longer- you do that, the more afraid they get and the less they spend.

Also, as mentioned 1000 times, talking about inflation means zilch unless velocity of money is included. The Deutsche bank graph down below gives that point a lot more perspective.

The Stunning Chart That Blows Up All Of Modern Central Banking (ZH)

[..] amusingly it was all the way back in 2015 that we predicted – correctly in retrospect – just what the monetary endgame is: “fear not: when even “moar” QE and NIRP do not work, and the economists of the ECB admit the “monetary twilight zone” was a disaster, there is one last “tool” they can and will use – helicopters. Because when it comes to printing money, whether in digital reserve format, or physical paper format, there is literally no limit how much can and will be created to achieve what is the endgame of the current monetary dead end: the total destruction of fiat as a store of wealth in order to preserve the global equity tranche while wiping away a few hundred trillion in debt.”


Thanks to covid-19, we have now moved beyond merely the “twilight” and are now in the “helicopter” zone. But what about the relationship between rates and savings, and by extension inflation? After all that is the topic of this post. Well, we can now confirm that our intuition from 2015 that negative rates are not only not inflationary but outright deflationary, and encourage consumers to save even more, was correct all along. Below we post a chart from the latest Research Investment Committee report by BofA titled “Stagnation, stagflation or elevation”, which with just one image blows up everything that is flawed with monetary policy. It shows that while lower rates indeed stimulate spending and lead to lower savings, this effect peaks at around 4% and then goes negative. In fact, the lower yields – and rates – drop below 4% – not to mention to 0% or below – the lower the propensity to spend and the higher the savings rate!

There is another reason why this chart of such epic importance: it confirms what so many have known but were afraid to voice as it ran against decades of flawed economic theory: it demonstrates without a shadow of doubt, that hyper-easy monetary policy is not inflationary but is deflationary. Which is catastrophic for central banks, who publicly state that the only reason they are pursuing ultra easy monetary policy which includes QE and negative rates, is not to goose the market higher (even though by now we all know that’s the real reason) but to stimulate inflation. This is how Bank of America summarizes this stunning observation: As low growth & inflation make low-risk-asset income scarce (e.g. from government bonds), households are forced to reduce consumption and increase savings in order to meet retirement goals. Forced saving further depresses demand in a vicious cycle.


This means that the lower (and more negative) central banks push rates, the lower (not higher) the spending, the higher (not lower) the savings rate, the lower the inflation, the higher the disinflation (or outright deflation), which in turn forces central banks to cut rates even more, to add QE, yield curve control, buy junk bonds, buy ETFs, or pursue any of a host of other monetary policies that are even more devastating to consumer psychology, forcing even more savings, resulting in even more disinflation, causing even more intervention by central banks in what is without doubt the most diabolical feedback loop of modern monetary policy and economics. Said otherwise, monetary easing is deflationary. Let that sink in.

Read more …

Not entirely sure what this is. The DOJ supposedly tells the FBI’s top lawyer to leave. And there’s no protest, he just does.

Impossible to see this as something wholly separate from the entire developing issue, for which Susan Rice is an appropriate symbol.

FBI’s Top Lawyer Resigns As Agency Faces Pressure From Trump (R.)

The FBI said on Saturday that its top lawyer, Dana Boente, had announced his resignation as the agency faces scrutiny over its investigations of former staffers and supporters of President Donald Trump. As a senior Justice Department official, Boente was involved in the investigation of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. The Justice Department has since asked a judge to drop those charges, arguing that prosecutors should not have brought them in the first place. Trump has repeatedly criticized the FBI for investigating Flynn and other allies.


NBC News, citing two sources, said Boente was asked to resign. Boente held several senior roles at the Justice Department and the FBI over the course of a 38-year career. He briefly served as acting Attorney General in 2017 after Trump fired Sally Yates, who held the job during the first weeks of his presidency. “Few people have served so well in so many critical, high-level roles at the Department,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a prepared statement.

Read more …

 

 

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