Jan 222023
 
 January 22, 2023  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Joseph Mallord William Turner The Fifth Plague of Egypt 1800

 

Six More Classified Documents Discovered At Biden House (ZH)
DOJ Seizes More Classified Docs From Biden’s Wilmington Home (Fox)
Joe Biden Took Classified Documents Home When He Was a Senator (CTH)
World Moving Closer To ‘Irreversible’ Disaster – Chomsky (RT)
Ukraine – Russian Army Activates Southern Front (MoA)
Fighting Russia ‘Very, Very Difficult’ For Ukraine – Gen. Milley (RT)
Russian Casualties In Ukraine Have Hit 188,000 – US Intel (Az.)
US Attempts To Seek Latin America’s Russian Arms Supplies To Kiev (TASS)
Duma Speaker Warns Of Powerful Retaliation For Weapons Supplies To Kiev (TASS)
Russians’ Level Of Trust In Putin Exceeds 78% (TASS)
Twitter Lost 80% Of Its Workforce Under Elon Musk (Az.)
Twitter Files Prove America Headed for ‘Totalitarian State Territory’ (ET)
EU Car Sales Collapse – Industry Body (RT)
GMC Blinks First: Regulator Declines to Investigate Dr Aseem Malhotra (DS)
Japan Declares It Will Handle COVID-19 Like a Seasonal Flu (GP)

 

 

 

 

The Year of the Tiger has given way to the Year of the Rabbit.

 

 

German MP

 

 

Dowd

 

 

 

 

Scott Adams
https://twitter.com/i/status/1616949618725781506

 

 

 

 

Well, more docs. And more obfuscation. Whereas Trump’s home was raided, Biden is said to have ”offered access to his home” (after more than 2 months. Lots of write-ups, here are two. I went to the CNN homepage, crickets.

BTW, it’s not “Six More Classified Documents”, but “six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials”. Yes, that could mean 1000 documents.

Six More Classified Documents Discovered At Biden House (ZH)

The Department of Justice found “six items consisting of documents with classification markings” during a Friday search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a Saturday statement by the president’s personal lawyers. Also found were notes from Biden’s time as a Senator, as well as his tenure as Vice President, according to a statement from Biden attorney Bob Bauer, which strategically leads with ‘we’ve fully cooperated!’ The search lasted from 9:45 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Friday, during which members of Biden’s personal legal tam were present along with members from the Office of the White House counsel, according to the statement. The DOJ also took materials “for further review.” The new documents mark the latest development in the scandal involving classified documents found at non-authorized locations used by Biden. The first batch of papers was discovered in early November, the day before midterm elections, at the Penn Biden Center. More documents marked classified were found at his Wilmington, Delaware home in December – and then earlier this month, an additional batch of papers was found at the home. “

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Department officials earlier considered having FBI agents monitor a search by Mr. Biden’s lawyers for classified documents at his homes but decided against it, both to avoid complicating later stages of the investigation and because Mr. Biden’s attorneys had quickly turned over a first batch and were cooperating, the Journal reported this week. Some law enforcement officials had discussed the possibility of asking Mr. Biden’s team for consent to have the FBI search the property themselves. Officials didn’t immediately take that step in part to preserve their freedom to take a tougher line later, including by executing a search warrant, the Journal reported. Instead, the two sides agreed that Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys would inspect the homes, notify the Justice Department as soon as they identified any other potentially classified records, and arrange for law-enforcement authorities to take them. -Wall Street Journal”

So, Biden’s personal attorneys searched the house themselves, said they turned everything over to the DOJ, and yet more were found? When Trump’s lawyers did that he was raided by the FBI.

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13 hour search covered “all working, living and storage spaces in the home.” What are the odds more will be “discovered” next week?

DOJ Seizes More Classified Docs From Biden’s Wilmington Home (Fox)

The Justice Department seized additional classified records from President Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home after an FBI search on Friday, Fox News has learned. “On Jan. 20, 2023, the FBI executed a planned, consensual search of the President’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware,” Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, an assistant U.S. attorney to U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, told Fox News Saturday. Lausch was the DOJ official running the investigation into Biden’s improper retention of classified records ahead of the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Hur. Fox News has learned Lausch is still playing an integral role in the probe as Hur gets up to speed. The FBI search began Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. and concluded Friday night around 10:30 p.m.


Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer said Saturday evening the search covered “all working, living and storage spaces in the home.” “At the outset of this matter, the President directed his personal attorneys to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice,” Bauer said. “Accordingly, having previously identified and reported to DOJ a small number of documents with classification markings at the President’s Wilmington home, and in the interest of moving the process forward as expeditiously as possible, we offered to provide prompt access to his home to allow DOJ to conduct a search of the entire premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material.” Bauer said that by agreement with the Justice Department, representatives of both Biden’s personal legal team and the White House Counsel’s Office were present for the search. Neither the president nor the first lady were present during the search.

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Don’t be fooled by comparisons between Trump and Biden classified docs. Trump was president when he took them home, and the criminal probe will address the legality of that. Biden took them as Senator and VP. 100% illegal.

Ted Cruz: on Twitter “This says some of the docs are from his Senate service. Serious Q: how on earth did he do that? I’ve served in the Senate for 10 years. EVERY single classified doc I’ve read—100%—have been in a secure SCIF in the basement of the Capitol. What the hell??”

Note: chief of staff Ron Klain is leaving, and more Obama insiders are lined up for the job.

Joe Biden Took Classified Documents Home When He Was a Senator (CTH)

According to multiple media report [See Here and See Here] Joe Biden’s attorneys coordinated a friendly FBI search their client’s Delaware residence. Lawyers for Biden were present and overseeing the FBI review of the home, when additional classified documents were discovered. Interestingly, the Biden lawyers seemingly admit their client had been taking classified documents home for quite some time. According to their statement: “DOJ took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President. DOJ also took for further review personally handwritten notes from the vice-presidential years.”

That statement was written by Joe Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer. That’s interesting on many levels, including the fact that Bob Bauer is married to Anita Dunn. Mrs. Anita Dunn is one of the original people who helped put Barack Obama in the White House; and Dunn worked with President Obama throughout his terms. Additionally, Anita Dunn is on the short list to replace Biden’s outgoing Chief of Staff, Ron Klain. Many people have wondered if Joe Biden was being set up for failure over this classified document scandal. In my opinion, the entire operation is being managed – but not to remove Biden, simply to control him and ensure he doesn’t run again.

When it comes to the insurance of their ideological long-term goals, democrats play cutthroat politics much better than most imagine. Ask Bernie Sanders what it’s like to be viewed as an impediment to the ideological quest, and what lengths his party will take to cut you down. Now overlay Joe Biden’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer. Think about who exactly it was discovering these documents and why. If Obama is the silent partner in the background of the Biden administration, then Dunn is the operational manager. If Dunn is the operational manager, then her husband is very useful as the principle’s attorney. From the big picture, it sure looks like Bauer is playing the role of Brutus.

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“the deterioration of an arena of rational serious debate and deliberation”

World Moving Closer To ‘Irreversible’ Disaster – Chomsky (RT)

The world is teetering on the brink of the abyss due to an increased risk of nuclear war, failure to address environmental challenges, and diminished ability to tackle problems rationally, world-renowned philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky told RT on Saturday. During the interview, Chomsky, who is Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona, was asked to expand on his remark that humanity could be pathologically dedicated to self-destruction. The philosopher recalled that in recent years the Doomsday Clock, which reflects how close humanity is to Armageddon, has moved closer to midnight, which symbolizes the extinction of humanity. He suggested that in several days it could be set even closer to this mark.

According to the philosopher, humanity’s main concerns are “an increasing threat of nuclear war” and “a very severe and growing threat of destruction of climate.” The latter problem persists because “states are not doing what they know they must do to solve this crisis,” he said. The third issue, Chomsky continued, is “the deterioration of an arena of rational serious debate and deliberation” combined with “the collapse of democratic forces” around the world. The professor admitted that while it might seem that this point has nothing to do with the threat of nuclear war and climate change, rational debate is “the only hope for dealing with the first two.”

“All three have gotten considerably worse during the past year, and unless there’s a sharp reversal, we’ll simply be heading for a precipice, falling over, irreversible, and not in the long distant future,” he warned. His comments come after earlier this week, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said that those who want to see Moscow defeated in Ukraine, ignore the fact that “a loss by a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger the start of a nuclear war.” Moscow believes the Ukraine conflict to be a proxy war waged against it by the US and its allies. However, Russia has repeatedly said that a nuclear war should never be fought, with its military doctrine allowing the use of atomic weapons only if the very existence of the state is threatened.

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“Russia’s Wagner forces have surrounded Bakhmut, lynchpin of ‘Zelensky Line’ [Ukr deployments in Donbass.] US media has begun backtracking on Bakhmut’s importance, anticipating its imminent fall into Russian hands & preparing opinion. A crushing defeat for US-UK axis in Ukraine.”

“The forces which are currently getting mauled in the Bakhmut area constitute 50% of Ukraine’s battle ready forces..”

Ukraine – Russian Army Activates Southern Front (MoA)

The long expected Russian offensive in Ukraine has begun. The Ukrainian army, egged on by its U.S. controllers, had put most of its resource into the static defense of the Bakhmut (Artyomovsk) – Soledar sector of the eastern front. An insane number of Ukrainian brigades, though many partially depleted, were concentrated on that 50 kilometer long front. This left other sectors nearly empty of Ukrainian troops. I count the equivalent of some 27 brigade size formations in that area. The usual size of a brigade is some 3,000 to 4,000 men with hundreds of all kinds of vehicles. If all brigades had their full strength that force would count as 97,500 men. In a recent interview the Ukrainian military commander Zaluzhny said that his army has 200,000 men trained to fight with 500,000 more having other functions or currently being trained.

The forces which are currently getting mauled in the Bakhmut area constitute 50% of Ukraine’s battle ready forces. On the southern and northern sectors of the battle-line the Ukrainian forces have been thinned out and are only able to defend against minor forces. The Ukrainian forces in the north and south are in the same position Russian troops had been in when the Ukrainian army last year launched a blitz attack in the Kharkiv region. The Russian screening force of some 2,000 boarder guards and federal police retreated and used its artillery to destroy the oncoming Ukrainian forces. The attack ran out of power and came to a halt after progressing some 70 kilometers on a rather large front. But Ukraine no longer has, unlike the Russians at that time, the artillery that is need to stop a larger thrust.


The big Ukrainian concentration in Bakhmut is now in an operational encirclement. The Russian forces have progressed north and south of the city and their artillery can easily control the western exit roads of Bakhmut. This a Verdun like situation. Russian artillery is by far numerical superior and can slaughter the Ukrainian troops at will. Even the U.S. military is now suggesting that Ukraine should give up on that city. Should the government in Kiev agree to that it will be a retreat under fire with likely high casualties. Not retreating though will make things even worse.

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A good cop, bad cop routine.

“Asked in November whether Ukraine stood a chance of retaking its pre-February territory, he said that the probability of this outcome “is not high, militarily.”

Fighting Russia ‘Very, Very Difficult’ For Ukraine – Gen. Milley (RT)

Ukraine will struggle to make good on its promise to drive Russian forces out of its former territory, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley stated on Friday. While civilian officials in Washington insist that Kiev must keep fighting, Milley has repeatedly questioned the chances of success. “President Biden, President Zelensky, and most of the leaders of Europe have said this war is likely to end in a negotiation,” Milley said during a meeting of the US-led Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday. “From a military standpoint, this is a very, very difficult fight,” he added. The US alone has allocated more than $110 billion in military and economic aid to Kiev since last February – supplying Ukraine with progressively heavier armaments, including infantry fighting vehicles, anti-air systems, and more than a million artillery shells.

Although Ukraine’s NATO-trained troops appear on the cusp of receiving Western-designed main battle tanks, Russian forces have inflicted a series of crushing defeats on Kiev’s military in recent weeks. The strategically important Donbass settlements of Soledar and Klescheevka have both fallen to Moscow’s troops, and the key city of Artyomovsk is now facing Russian encirclement. “I still maintain that for this year, it would be very, very difficult to militarily eject the Russian forces from every inch of Russian-occupied Ukraine,” Milley said on Friday, referring to the four former regions of Ukraine that voted to join Russia in September, and Crimea, an historic Russian territory that voted to rejoin the Russian Federation in 2014.

“That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. But it’d be very, very difficult.” Retaking all of this land – including Crimea – is a stated objective of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. To that end, Zelensky has the support of the US, with President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowing to bankroll his military for “as long as it takes,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken declaring in December that “fundamentally, Ukrainians are making the decisions” about whether they want to attempt to capture Crimea or not. However, Milley’s public statements have been more tempered than those of Biden and his cabinet. Asked in November whether Ukraine stood a chance of retaking its pre-February territory, he said that the probability of this outcome “is not high, militarily.”

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These are obviously nonsense numbers.

Gonzalo Lira: “Actual Russian casualties? No one knows for sure. But credible estimates put them at no more than 20,000 KIA, 60,000 WIA.”

Macgregor in the video: 157,000 Ukraine deaths. And we know there are 5-10 times more Ukraine victims than Russian.

Russian Casualties In Ukraine Have Hit 188,000 – US Intel (Az.)

Russian casualties in Ukraine have hit an eye-watering 188,000 according to United States intelligence, Report informs via The Sun. Report informs via The Sun that the massive new figure of those killed or injured in battle was shared with allies at yesterday’s Western summit to drum up support for Ukraine held at Ramstein Air Base in Southern Germany. It is a significant increase on the publicly estimated 100,000 Russian soldiers killed, wounded, or deserted since last February’s invasion that the UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace outlined at the end of last year. Top US General Mark Milley said Russia has suffered a “tremendous amount of casualties” – but stopped short of revealing the exact figure publicly. He said: “They have really suffered a lot.. I would say significantly well over 100,000.” Yesterday ministers and military chiefs from around 50 nations took part in the talks convened by US defence secretary Lloyd Austin at Ramstein – the main US airbase in Europe.

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Old, rusty, in need of repair, but at least Ukrainians know how to use them.

US Attempts To Seek Latin America’s Russian Arms Supplies To Kiev (TASS)

Russia will keep a close eye on the US attempts to urge Latin American countries to hand over weapons to Ukraine, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. The Russian presidential spokesman thus commented on a statement by a Pentagon representative that Washington was working with nine Latin American countries to urge them to hand over available Russian weapons to Ukraine in exchange for the delivery of US equipment. Responding to a question about whether this news came as a surprise for Moscow, the Kremlin spokesman said: “In general, it is hard today to imagine anything that can be a surprise.”


“Here it is very important [to bear in mind] the legal restrictions of any deliveries to third countries. This is because any deliveries are, of course, conditioned by certain commitments of those countries that receive military equipment,” Peskov pointed out. “Of course, we will keep a close eye on this situation,” the Kremlin press secretary said. Commander of the US Southern Command General Laura Richardson announced on Thursday that Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and six other Latin American countries had Russian military equipment and Washington was working “to replace that with US equipment if those countries want to donate it to Ukraine.”

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“Given the technological superiority of Russian weapons, Western politicians who have been making such decisions should realize that this may lead to a global disaster that would wipe out their countries..”

Duma Speaker Warns Of Powerful Retaliation For Weapons Supplies To Kiev (TASS)

Weapons supplies to Ukraine by the United States and NATO for attacks on Russia would lead to retaliatory use of more powerful armaments, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin warned on Sunday. “Supplies of offensive weapons to the Kiev regime would lead to a global disaster. If Washington and NATO countries send arms that will be used for attacks on peaceful cities or attempts at occupying our lands, a threat they have been making, this would provoke retaliatory measures with the use of more powerful weapons,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel. The senior Russian lawmaker slammed as untenable other countries’ arguments that “nuclear powers never used weapons of mass destruction in local conflicts.” “Those powers never faced a situation where the security of their citizens or their territorial integrity was at stake,” he argued.


The State Duma speaker called on members of the US Congress, Germany’s Bundestag, France’s National Assembly and other European parliamentarians to realize their responsibility for humankind. “By their decisions, Washington and Brussels are pushing the world to a disastrous war – to military operations that will be quite different from what they have seen so far, when only military and critical infrastructure being used by the Kiev regime has been attacked. Given the technological superiority of Russian weapons, Western politicians who have been making such decisions should realize that this may lead to a global disaster that would wipe out their countries,” Volodin concluded.

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Try that with your leaders wherever you live.

Russians’ Level Of Trust In Putin Exceeds 78% (TASS)

The Russian public’s level of confidence in President Vladimir Putin fell by 0.3 percentage points to 78.1% on January 9-15, according to a poll released by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center on Friday. “When asked if they trusted Putin, 78.1% of the poll’s participants said ‘yes’ (a 0.3 percentage point drop from a rating referring to December 26-30, 2022). The share of people who approve of the way the president is handling his job rose by 0.3 percentage points to 75.2%,” the pollster said. A total of 50.5% of those polled said they approved of the Russian government’s work (a 0.6 percentage point increase) and 53.2% approved of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s work (a 0.4 percentage point rise). As many as 62.6% of respondents said they trusted Mishustin (a 0.8 percentage point increase).


As for the leaders of the parliamentary parties, 32.5% of those surveyed trust leader of the Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov (a 0.9 percentage point rise), 28.9% trust leader of the A Just Russia – For Truth party Sergey Mironov (a 3.5 percentage point drop), 8.2% said they trusted Chairman of the New People party Alexey Nechayev (1.7 percentage point fall) and 17.2% of the poll’s participants trust leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Leonid Slutsky (a 2.4 percentage point rise). The level of popular support for the United Russia party stood at 38.8% (a 0.4 percentage point rise). The level increased by 0.2 percentage points to 10.6% for the Russian Communist Party and fell by 0.2 percentage points to 3.9% for the New People party.

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“..the trust and safety team includes fewer than 20 full-time employees..”

Twitter Lost 80% Of Its Workforce Under Elon Musk (Az.)

The number of employees at Twitter has decreased by about 80% since US entrepreneur Elon Musk’s multibillion-dollar acquisition. Report informs via foreign media that before Musk finalized the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October, 2022, the San Francisco-based company had about 7,500 employees, but that number has gone down to approximately 1,300 active employees, CNBC said on Friday. Twitter now has fewer than 550 full-time engineers and the trust and safety team includes fewer than 20 full-time employees.

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Yep.

Twitter Files Prove America Headed for ‘Totalitarian State Territory’ (ET)

Thanks to the revelations in the Twitter Files, there’s evidence that the FBI and other agencies worked to suppress “lawful speech,” and if this type of action is allowed to continue, the United States is headed for “totalitarian state territory,” Matthew Peterson, the cofounder of New Founding, said in an interview with Epoch Times–NTD collaborative program “Newsmakers.” New Founding helps people and organizations position themselves to avoid threats from Big Tech and “woke capital,” and Peterson has two decades of experience in digital media and political consulting. When asked what will happen if the country’s current trajectory continues for three to five years, Peterson said, “We’ll be in totalitarian state territory, there’s no question about it.”


“I mean, remember, this went so far as the government saying, ‘You need to find evidence that there are Russians influencing the election on Twitter.’ And Twitter saying, ‘No, that’s not happening.’ “And then [Twitter had] to be quiet about it and not even defend themselves when they knew that there wasn’t Russian interference that they could find,” he added. Peterson further explained that the U.S. government drove a narrative that it knew wasn’t true and was the “antithesis” of America’s founding principles. “[The government’s actions are] the antithesis of America. The American founding is basically contradicted by what’s happening here, over and over again. And if we don’t do something about that, we will not have free speech in this country,” Peterson warned.

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Mostly EU cars.

EU Car Sales Collapse – Industry Body (RT)

The European Union passenger car market contracted by 4.6% last year to just 9.3 million units, which is the region’s lowest level since 1993, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported this week. According to the report, the slump was mainly due to the impact of component shortages in the first half of the year. The market, however, improved from August to December, with new car registrations expanding by 12.8% in the last month of the year. Overall, in 2022 only Germany managed to post growth (+1.1%) among the EU’s four largest markets. It was helped by the strong result in December, the ACEA said. The other three markets all performed worse than in 2021, with Italy posting the steepest decline (-9.7%), followed by France (-7.8%) and Spain (-5.4%).


Data showed that the number of vehicles registered in EU countries (excluding Malta, for which statistics are not available) rose to more than 896,000 units last month from over 795,000 a year earlier. Car sales by the Volkswagen Group (including Skoda, Audi, Seat, Porsche, and others) in the European Union decreased by 5.2% last year, the ACEA said. Automaker Stellantis saw its sales nosedive by 14.1%, while Renault Group sales fell by 4.3%, and BMW sales by 5.1%. Mercedes-Benz sales stood practically at the same level as in 2021, at 549,023 units. Meanwhile, South Korean Hyundai (including Kia) increased its vehicle sales in the EU by 2.6%, Japanese Toyota and Honda sales grew by 7.7% and 4.4%, respectively. Sales by American carmaker Ford decreased by 2.3%.


Most popular cars Europe vs US

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More than blinking.

GMC Blinks First: Regulator Declines to Investigate Dr Aseem Malhotra (DS)

To paraphrase the Sound of Music song, “How do we solve a problem like Malhotra?” After receiving several complaints, the General Medical Council has decided not to investigate cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, who has become a thorn in the side of the medical profession. Professional regulators have been at the forefront of pandemic discipline, contributing to a culture of fear among practitioners. Severe action has been taken against registrants who criticise or do not comply with the official narrative. I know this from my experience as an officer of the Workers of England Union, representing members brought before the Nursing and Midwifery Council on charges of bringing the profession into disrepute. Apparently the public must be protected against nurses who don’t believe that masks stop airborne respiratory viruses, or who believe in informed consent for novel mRNA vaccines.

A significant strike against this censorial tyranny was by general practitioner Sam White last year. Dr. White was ordered, as a condition of maintaining his clinical licence, to delete his social media posts about COVID-19 and to refrain from making similar comments. Dr. White took the GMC to the High Court and won. The condition was overturned as a breach of his rights to freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act 1998. Whereas White was an early critic of COVID-19 policy, Malhotra is a relatively recent convert. Initially he promoted the vaccine, but when his fit and healthy father died shortly after receiving the injections, Malhotra changed his mind and began speaking out against the mass vaccination programme.

His personal loss came alongside his observation in clinical practice of a marked increase in myocarditis cases (as well as blood clots and other cardiac complications). Malhotra had a review paper published on this phenomenon, and his findings of iatrogenic harm are corroborated by other medical scientists. sMalhotra has repeatedly urged suspension of the vaccination programme until the risks are better understood. He became a darling of vaccine sceptics, with his charismatic and compassionate voice doing the rounds of alt media channels and independent-minded broadcasters working for more mainstream channels (such as Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, and Neil Oliver on GB News). However, he was ignored by the legacy media, and it was not until two weeks ago, when he took the opportunity of a BBC interview on statins, that his call was more widely heard.

Malhotra

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Lots of doctors speaking out in Japan.

Japan Declares It Will Handle COVID-19 Like a Seasonal Flu (GP)

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan announced on Friday that he had instructed his cabinet to reclassify COVID-19, placing it in the same category as seasonal flu, rubella, and chickenpox in spring. “Today, we held a press conference on the discussion on revising the new coronavirus infectious disease into category 5,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday. “In order to further advance the efforts of ‘living with Corona’ and restore Japan to a state of normalcy, we will transition the various policies and measures to date in phases,” Kishida said. In Japan, Covid-19 is currently listed as “Category 2: Very Dangerous” together with tuberculosis, avian flu, and diphtheria.


“COVID-19 is currently classified as “equivalent to category 2,” requiring that hospitals and clinics report the names of infected patients and the details of their diagnosis before making recommendations regarding hospitalization. The soaring numbers of people infected in Japan’s seventh coronavirus wave have increased the administrative burden on the medical front line, leading to regional medical associations and the National Governors’ Association to repeatedly call for a review of the system,” Nippon.com reported. The outlet added that experts have proposed that COVID-19 be reclassified as a “Category 5: Diseases for which outbreaks and spread should be prevented,” similar to seasonal flu, which would restrict reporting to only those at high risk of developing severe symptoms or restrict data collection to only patients diagnosed at designated medical facilities.

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Martha Stewart

 

 

Kory treatment

 

 

 

 

WTF

 

 

Great hornbill

 

 

Flycatcher

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 202023
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Portrait of his father 1628-29

 

Russian Orthodox Church Issues Apocalyptic Warning (RT)
Going, Going, Gone: Fiddling While the West Burns (Batiushka)
World Economic Forum Wants You to Trust Them (ET)
‘Russiagate’ Is Dead, But Social Media Control Is Here To Stay (Livshitz)
Global South: Gold-Backed Currencies To Replace The US Dollar (Escobar)
Economist: Turkey Could Be On ‘Brink Of Dictatorship’ (K.)
Over 1 Million Workers Hit French Streets Against Macron’s Pension Reform (ZH)
How A Corrupt FBI Could Save Joe Biden In Classified-Docs Scandal (Bovard)
CDC Knowingly Left Serious Adverse Events Off Post-Vaccination Surveys (ET)
How the CDC Became the Speech Police (Soave)
Safety Signals for Heart, Blood, Reproduction in Yellow Card Vaccine Data (DS)
Fauci Lied; 120,000 US Children Died (Exp.)
Twitter Files Show Authoritarian “Cult Of Identity” Controls The Media (Gurri)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Nixon (Must see)

 

 

 

 

Our Birthright

 

 

Mike Rowe We’re at war with the things we need

 

 

MSM Pfizer

 

 

Watters

 

 

 

 

“We pray to the Lord so that he enlightens those madmen and helps them understand that any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world..”

Russian Orthodox Church Issues Apocalyptic Warning (RT)

Any attempts to destroy Russia could spell disaster for the entire world, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, warned on Thursday. Speaking after a religious service marking the Orthodox Christian holiday of Epiphany, the primate claimed that both the international community and Russia are facing “very huge threats.” According to Patriarch Kirill, the root of the problem is that some “madmen” believe that Russia, which “has powerful weapons and is populated by extremely strong people… who had never given in to an enemy and had always emerged victorious, could be defeated under the current circumstances.” Neither would it be possible to “impose on them certain values that cannot even be called values, so that they would be like everyone else and obey those who have the power to control most of the world,” he noted.


“We pray to the Lord so that he enlightens those madmen and helps them understand that any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world,” he added. The Patriarch’s remarks echo a statement by former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday, who warned the countries that want to see Moscow defeated in Ukraine that nuclear powers such as Russia had “never lost a major conflict on which their fate depended.” Should such a nation lose a conventional war, such an outcome could trigger a nuclear conflict, he added. Earlier this month, the head of the Russian Church appealed to both Moscow and Kiev’s forces to establish a truce in the run-up to and during Orthodox Christmas on January 7 to give the faithful a chance to attend religious services. Hours later, the proposal was supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who ordered Moscow’s troops to stand down for 36 hours. The ceasefire, however, was rejected by Kiev, with Ukrainian officials dismissing the offer as “hypocrisy” and a military ruse.

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“Europeans hate their elites. The spoilt elites may tell their peoples: ‘Let them eat cake’. But they have forgotten that what the people want is bread.”

Going, Going, Gone: Fiddling While the West Burns (Batiushka)

Let us not forget that the conflict in the Ukraine is about the struggle of the United States to maintain its dinosaur’s status as the world’s last superpower. More exactly, it is about America’s attempt to destroy China as a rival. For since China, allied with Russia, is unbeatable, China has to be attacked through Eurasian Russia. In this crazed neocon video-game fantasy, the USA has overlooked Western Europe. In one sense that is understandable, since its leaders are just a pack of mindless Pavlovian dogs, intent on copying their master in Washington – and a pile of dollars greatly helps their salivating capacity for imitation. However, the US mistake is as usual to look only at its puppets. This was the same mistake as in Baghdad and Kabul, or for that matter in Tehran and Saigon, not to mention in Manila and a host of capitals in Latin America. Appoint an English-speaking yes-man, give him a Swiss bank account full of dollars and a US passport, ensure he has control over the capital and its TV and radio station and then you will control the whole country. Only Hamid Karzai didn’t and you won’t either.

Western Europe, the EU and the UK, with a few other bits and pieces, is also inhabited by 500 million people (the other 50 odd million belong to the elite). Some, especially from the elites, live in the capitals. The vast majority do not live there and generally despise those who do live in the capitals. Ask a Frenchman what he thinks of ‘les sales parisiens’ (filthy Parisians), ask a Romanian what he thinks of the elite in Bucharest, a Pole what he thinks of those in Warsaw or an Englishman what he thinks of Londoners. If you don’t believe me, ask Macron in France. Alternatively, ask any Frenchman what he thinks of France’s real rulers – the grossly overpaid super-elite in Brussels. The English hated them so much, they had Brexit. A lot of Germans, who by a huge majority never wanted to give up the Deutschmark, got quite jealous of that, even though the incompetent and perfidious British elite totally mishandled the Brexit negotiation process.

If in Western Europe, the vast majority don’t like their leaders, they will eventually – even the passive British – get rid of them and they will appoint leaders whom Washington does not like, Le Pen, Farage etc. Remember Orban? He is already in power, as is Erdogan (though he is in Turkey). The Ukrainian conflict is already reshaping Europe’s totally outdated (1945) security architecture and forcing a reconfiguration. The realignment will not be in Washington’s favour. Demonstrations against NATO are already starting in various European countries. But what is more likely to topple the US puppet elite is strikes and protests. Europeans hate their elites. The spoilt elites may tell their peoples: ‘Let them eat cake’. But they have forgotten that what the people want is bread.

Once Western Europe, including even the UK, has gone, the end of the short unipolar era will be here. The domino effect, from Kiev to Dublin, is surely only a matter of time. Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989? Within twenty-five months the whole of the Soviet Eastern European Empire fell, one country after another, until in December 1991, the Soviet Union itself fell. Berlin to Vladivostok. Well, the time is now up for the American Empire in its turn. It will also fall, and for the same reasons. The SU (Soviet Union) went. So will its reverse, the US (United States). Red stars, white stars, they have both had their time. Keep your eyes on Western Europe.

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Could have fooled me….

World Economic Forum Wants You to Trust Them (ET)

One of the central themes of the World Economic Forum summit this week is “restoring trust”; this initiative comes at a moment when progressive corporate organizations such as the WEF are being scrutinized for violating U.S. antitrust laws. A WEF panel discussion called “Disrupting Distrust” featured speakers from Mastercard, the United Way, and Consumers International, as well as communications consultant Richard Edelman. It proceeded under the slogan: “Trust is at the heart of meaningful multi-stakeholder cooperation … Yet levels of distrust are higher than ever.” The panel was hosted by Kathleen Kingsbury, an opinion editor at The New York Times.

The discussion opened with a report from Edelman’s Annual Edelman Trust Barometer, which found that trust in government had declined substantially, leaving corporations as the most trusted institutions in society. Edelman also warned of a “growing mass class divide” in public opinion. The divergence of public opinion started in 2013 in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, he said, and it has now “metastasized” to three-quarters of the countries in the world. Helena Leurent, director of Consumers International, said “economic pain” is the top issue causing mistrust. “The consumer is embattled,” she said, citing dramatic increases in food and fuel prices over the past two years. “The cost of living is the body blow.” “I find a lot of irony in this,” Joel Griffith, research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Epoch Times.

“The energy crisis that we’re facing now across the world is a problem that by and large has been caused by the 50-plus world leaders that are gathered there, because almost in lockstep these world leaders, from [President Joe] Biden, to the European Union leaders, to our counterpart in Canada, have declared a long-term war on fossil fuels,” Griffith said. “They’ve created this energy crisis, they’ve created the inflation crisis, created the rising price trajectory, and they are not acknowledging responsibility.” Another topic on the trust agenda was what Edelman called the “battle for truth.” Rather than what had previously been the “Moses model,” in which truth is handed down from higher institutions to the masses, Edelman said, “now trust is local, in my employer and in my company and my CEO.” Speaking for The New York Times, Kingsbury said that “in journalism, we struggle with an issue of a lack of trust … particularly in our expertise.”

Tucker WEF

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“the relationship between the number of posts from Russian foreign influence accounts that users are exposed to and voting for Donald Trump is near zero..”

‘Russiagate’ Is Dead, But Social Media Control Is Here To Stay (Livshitz)

Donald Trump’s time as president was dominated by years of mainstream news headlines declaring that his unexpected victory was attributable to Saint Petersburg’s Internet Research Agency (aka ‘The Russian IRA’). The company reportedly corralled online networks of bots and trolls that perpetuated pro-Trump propaganda in a bid to get the outsider elected at the Kremlin’s request. This narrative quickly became widely accepted among US liberals, and remains entrenched today – but a new study decisively shows it to be false. The paper, published in the respected academic journal Nature, investigates the exposure of Twitter users to alleged activity on the social media platform by the IRA during the 2016 US election, “and its relationship to attitudes and voting behavior.”

The study’s findings speak for themselves. For example, 70% of purported IRA-connected posts during that campaign were seen by just 1% of the network’s users, “who strongly identified as Republicans.” Coverage of these posts was moreover “eclipsed by content from domestic news media and politicians.” The academics also found “no evidence of a meaningful relationship” between exposure to these tweets, and “changes in attitudes, polarization, or voting behavior.” Alleged IRA posts seen on Twitter by users were “overshadowed – by an order of magnitude – by posts from national news media and politicians.” For every four IRA tweets published in the last month of the 2016 election campaign, 106 per day from national news media and 35 per day from US politicians were seen on average. In other words, 25 times and nine times more posts respectively.

The academics also probed whether there was any connection between exposure to alleged IRA posts and “changes in respondents’ positions on salient election issues” and political polarization, surveying them on “eight major policy issues salient during the election, and respondents’ self-reported political ideology.” They bluntly concluded that there were not “statistically significant relationships between exposure on any of the issue-based and polarization outcomes.”
Extensive data-based analyses were also conducted to “examine the relationship between exposure to Russian foreign influence accounts and vote choice.” Again, the conclusion couldn’t be more damning – “the relationship between the number of posts from Russian foreign influence accounts that users are exposed to and voting for Donald Trump is near zero (and not statistically significant).”

RFKjr

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“..India’s purchases of Russian crude have increased year-by-year by a whopping factor of 33..”

Global South: Gold-Backed Currencies To Replace The US Dollar (Escobar)

First: One of the key take aways from the World Economic Forum annual shindig in Davos, Switzerland is when Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan, on a panel on “Saudi Arabia’s Transformation,” made it clear that Riyadh “will consider trading in currencies other than the US dollar.”So is the petroyuan finally at hand? Possibly, but Al-Jadaan wisely opted for careful hedging: “We enjoy a very strategic relationship with China and we enjoy that same strategic relationship with other nations including the US and we want to develop that with Europe and other countries.”

Second: The Central Banks of Iran and Russia are studying the adoption of a “stable coin” for foreign trade settlements, replacing the US dollar, the ruble and the rial. The crypto crowd is already up in arms, mulling the pros and cons of a gold-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC) for trade that will be in fact impervious to the weaponized US dollar. The really attractive issue here is that this gold-backed digital currency would be particularly effective in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Astrakhan, in the Caspian Sea. Astrakhan is the key Russian port participating in the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), with Russia processing cargo travelling across Iran in merchant ships all the way to West Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean and South Asia.

The success of the INSTC – progressively tied to a gold-backed CBDC – will largely hinge on whether scores of Asian, West Asian and African nations refuse to apply US-dictated sanctions on both Russia and Iran. As it stands, exports are mostly energy and agricultural products; Iranian companies are the third largest importer of Russian grain. Next will be turbines, polymers, medical equipment, and car parts. Only the Russia-Iran section of the INSTC represents a $25 billion business. And then there’s the crucial energy angle of INSTC – whose main players are the Russia-Iran-India triad. India’s purchases of Russian crude have increased year-by-year by a whopping factor of 33. India is the world’s third largest importer of oil; in December, it received 1.2 million barrels from Russia, which for several months now is positioned ahead of Iraq and Saudi Arabia as Delhi’s top supplier.

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He’s been in charge for 20 years already.

Economist: Turkey Could Be On ‘Brink Of Dictatorship’ (K.)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, or rather his shadow, has made the cover of this week’s issue of the Economist in a decidedly unflattering way, as a leader that has taken his country “to the brink of disaster.” As the introduction to the financial paper’s report on the state of the country ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections states, “Mr Erdogan’s behavior as the election approaches could push what is today a deeply flawed democracy over the edge into a full-blown dictatorship.” The Economist says Erdogan’s now 20-year-old reign was initially beneficial to Turkey: he mended the economy, neutralized the country’s meddling generals and secured, in 2005, the formal opening of accession talks to the EU, while putting his islamist agenda, which had alarmed the long-dominant secularist heirs to Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish Republic’s founder, mostly to the side.

But, as the paper points out, “the longer Mr Erdogan has been in power, the more autocratic he has grown.” Moving on from Prime Minister to President, he turned that mostly ceremonial post into a really powerful one in the service of an autocracy. “Approaching his third decade in power, he sits in a vast palace snapping orders at courtiers too frightened to tell him when he is wrong. His increasingly eccentric beliefs swiftly become public policy,” the article says. Erdogan once likened democracy to a tram journey: when you reach your destination, you get off. His treatment of mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, whom the Economist calls the “most plausible rival” for the presidency is indicative. A 2-year prison term and a ban from politics for calling election officials who had annulled his first election “idiots” have taken Imamoglu out of the presidential race if the conviction is not annulled or overturned and have cast doubt that the election will be fair or free, the Economist says.


Internationally, Erdogan could cause trouble for Greece and Cyprus by “foment[ing] fiercer territorial quarrels; he could “create further confusion and strife in Syria”; he could “allow the 5m migrants and refugees in Turkey to set sail for southern Europe.” And he could continue to block the accession of Finaland and Sweden into NATO. Yet, the Economist contends, Erdogan cannot afford to make a total break with the West, because he needs investments and he needs armaments. But, the article argues, it is time for a firmer stance by western powers, beginning with the US. “Mr Erdogan is a bully who sees timidity as a reason to press his advantage and toughness as an incentive to mend fences,” the Economist says.

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“On Thursday the walls of the Élysée palace must tremble..”

Over 1 Million Workers Hit French Streets Against Macron’s Pension Reform (ZH)

President Macron’s retirement and pension reform program has unleashed the expected mass demonstrations, strikes, and likely soon to be riots on the streets of France. The much anticipated reform bill headed through parliament will see the official retirement age rise by two years, from the age of 62 to 64. And just like that, it’s popping off… as French authorities brace for more chaos in the coming weeks. Previously, the unions promised the “mother of all battles”. As a result, public transport has seen significant disruptions in service, while many schools are already closed, amid some 200+ well-attended protests all across France on Thursday. Various forms of public transport were brought to a standstill in Paris, Toulouse, Marseille, Nantes and Nice, due to the strikes, and the Eiffel Tower was closed to visitors as well as the protests spread.

Eight major unions had designated Thursday the “first day of strikes and protests” – with promises of many more to come. France’s education ministry said that over 40% of primary school teachers, as well as one-third of high school teachers are participating in the strikes, forcing many to close their doors for the day, and possibly weeks ahead. French rail authority SNCF reported a “severe disruption” across the country, with metro lines in the capital having to implement partial closures. “On some rail lines, as few as one in 10 services were operating, while the Paris metro was running a skeleton service,” BBC reported. A reported over one million people total are believed to have participated in Thursday’s protests and strikes, according to the unions, which plan to keep up the intense pressure until Macron’s bill is defeated.

Likely the demonstrations will get more and more radical and violent, as French protests tend to go… All the country’s unions – including so-called “reformist” unions that the government had hoped to win to its side – have condemned the measure, as have the left-wing and far-right oppositions in the National Assembly. “On Thursday the walls of the Élysée palace must tremble,” Communist Party leader Fabien Roussel said on Tuesday.In many places, crowds clashed with police, who deployed riot control measures including tear gas and batons, as they struggled to clear streets against vastly superior numbers.

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“It looks bad — but the FBI got Hillary out of a worse legal tar pit.”

How A Corrupt FBI Could Save Joe Biden In Classified-Docs Scandal (Bovard)

The White House is being whipsawed by the discovery of secret documents from President Joe Biden’s vice presidency recklessly stored around his garage, his Delaware house and his rented Washington office. The appointment of a special counsel to investigate Biden’s classified-document violations could imperil the president’s survival. But Biden may be saved by the charades the FBI concocted to rescue Hillary Clinton. But breaking news Tuesday night revealed the investigation may already be turning into a farce. Amazingly, the Justice Department is permitting Biden’s personal lawyers to control the evidence — without the FBI. Federal law penalizes the removal or mishandling of classified documents via “gross negligence” by up to 10 years in prison.

The number of clearly marked confidential documents discovered on Biden’s turfs is up to 20 — all of which were supposedly “inadvertently misplaced” (for at least six years), per White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. It looks bad — but the FBI got Hillary out of a worse legal tar pit. Clinton’s presidential campaign was roiled by the disclosure she’d used an insecure private email server to handle top-secret documents while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. In 2015, the FBI Counterintelligence Division opened a criminal investigation of the “potential unauthorized storage of classified information on an unauthorized system.” The FBI treated Clinton and her coterie like royalty worthy of endless deference, according to a 2018 report by the Justice Department inspector general.

The FBI agreed to destroy the laptops of top Clinton aides after a limited examination of their contents (including a promise not to examine any post-Jan. 31, 2015, emails or content). When BleachBit software and hammers were used to destroy email evidence under congressional subpoena, the FBI treated it as a harmless error. The IG criticized federal investigators for relying on “rapport building” with Team Hillary instead of using subpoenas to compel the discovery of key evidence. The IG recommended possible disciplinary penalties for five FBI employees who sent blatant anti-Trump texts (some of those agents later staffed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Donald Trump). FBI investigators shrugged off every brazen deceit they encountered.

The IG report quoted an unnamed FBI agent responding to a fellow agent’s question on how an interview went with a witness who worked with the Clintons at their Chappaqua residence: “Awesome. Lied his ass off. Went from never inside the scif [sensitive compartmented information facility for classified documents] at res [residence], to looked in when it was being constructed, to removed the trash twice, to troubleshot the secure fax with HRC a couple times, to everytime there was a secure fax i did it with HRC. Ridic.” The agency waited until the end of the investigation in July 2016 to question Clinton and refused to videotape that crucial interview. Bizarrely, the FBI planned to absolve her “absent a confession” by Clinton during the interview, the IG report noted.

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“Updated versions of the protocol list the same 15 adverse events. None of the conditions were included in the actual surveys.”

CDC Knowingly Left Serious Adverse Events Off Post-Vaccination Surveys (ET)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) didn’t include serious adverse events like heart inflammation on post-vaccination surveys even though the agency knew the issues could be linked to COVID-19 vaccines, documents show. Even before the surveys were rolled out in December 2020 after the first vaccines were authorized, the CDC knew that myocarditis—a form of heart inflammation since confirmed as being caused by the Pfizer and Moderna shots—and other serious adverse events were of “special interest” when it came to the vaccines, according to a newly disclosed version of the protocol for the survey system. The Nov. 19, 2020, protocol for V-safe, the survey system, lists myocarditis, stroke, death, and a dozen “prespecified medical conditions.”

The protocol was obtained by the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), a nonprofit that seeks transparency around health information. All of the conditions can cause severe symptoms. V-safe is a system of surveys that was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to monitor vaccine safety. It was developed and is managed by the CDC. Updated versions of the protocol list the same 15 adverse events. None of the conditions were included in the actual surveys. Respondents could check boxes if they experienced certain symptoms, but only 10 lower-level problems such as fever and nausea were listed as options.

“It’s deeply troubling that the CDC would construct V-safe in a manner that does not permit it to be able to easily assess the rate of harm from adverse events the CDC had already identified as potentially being caused by these products,” Aaron Siri, a lawyer representing ICAN, told The Epoch Times. “This calls into question what the CDC was really trying to accomplish with V-safe. Was it trying to assess the actual safety of these products? Or was it trying to design a system that would be more likely to affirm its previous public pronouncements regarding the safety of these products?”

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“We’ve never had a situation where the federal government at very high levels is coordinating or coercing social media to do its bidding in terms of censoring people.”

How the CDC Became the Speech Police (Soave)

Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s most prominent authority on COVID-19, had his final White House press conference two days before Thanksgiving 2022. The event served as a send-off for the longserving director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who was finally stepping down after nearly four decades on the job.Ashish Jha, the Biden administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, hailed Fauci as “the most important, consequential public servant in the United States in the last half century.” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described him as a near-constant “source of information and facts” for all Americans throughout the pandemic.

Indeed, the U.S. public’s understanding of COVID-19—its virality, how to prevent its spread, and even where it comes from—was largely controlled by Fauci and bureaucrats like him, to a greater degree than most people realize. The federal government shaped the rules of online discussion in unprecedented and unnerving ways. This has become much more obvious over the past few months, following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. Musk granted several independent journalists access to internal messages between the government and the platform’s moderators, which demonstrate concerted efforts by various federal agencies—including the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and even the White House—to convince Twitter to restrict speech. These disclosures, which have become known as the Twitter Files, are eye-opening.

But Twitter was hardly the only object of federal pressure. According to a trove of confidential documents obtained by Reason, health advisers at the CDC had significant input on pandemic-era social media policies at Facebook as well. They were consulted frequently, at times daily. They were actively involved in the affairs of content moderators, providing constant and ever-evolving guidance. They requested frequent updates about which topics were trending on the platforms, and they recommended what kinds of content should be deemed false or misleading. “Here are two issues we are seeing a great deal of misinfo on that we wanted to flag for you all,” reads one note from a CDC official. Another email with sample Facebook posts attached begins: “BOLO for a small but growing area of misinfo.”

[..] Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, professors of medicine at Stanford University and Harvard University, respectively, have claimed that social media platforms repeatedly muzzled their opposition to lockdowns, mask requirements, and vaccine mandates. The New Civil Liberties Alliance, a public interest law firm that has joined the lawsuit, thinks the federal government’s campaign to squelch contrarian coronavirus content was so vast as to effectively violate the First Amendment. “What’s at stake is the future of free speech in the technological age,” says Jenin Younes, the group’s litigation counsel. “We’ve never had a situation where the federal government at very high levels is coordinating or coercing social media to do its bidding in terms of censoring people.”

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“..many adverse events will go unrecorded, and this becomes more likely the longer the delay between treatment and the associated adverse reaction.”

Safety Signals for Heart, Blood, Reproduction in Yellow Card Vaccine Data (DS)

The strength of the C-19VYC reporting scheme is that it is capable of generating an enormous amount of valuable information about adverse reactions to the experimental COVID-19 vaccines. Reports of suspected adverse reactions can be submitted not only by physicians but also by the recipients of the vaccines themselves, providing valuable feedback to the MHRA based on first-hand experience. This inclusive aspect of the C-19VYC reporting scheme has proved very successful, with nearly half a million adverse event reports submitted, roughly one for every hundred recipients of the COVID-19 vaccines in the U.K. Despite this strength in terms of quantity of data, the C-19VYC reporting scheme has a number of serious weaknesses related to the nature of the data collected.

These weaknesses place limits on the scheme’s ability both to detect and to measure safety signals. The first problem is that the scheme does not identify or include a control group of individuals, who have not taken the vaccine, against which to compare those who have. Other major weaknesses are that reporting is passive rather than planned and takes place at a single point in time. Thus, reporting relies on the sufferer of the adverse reactions or his or her physician making the connection between the vaccine treatment and the adverse reaction. As a consequence, many adverse events will go unrecorded, and this becomes more likely the longer the delay between treatment and the associated adverse reaction. Reporting rates of adverse reactions are also likely to represent only a fraction of actual cases because physicians or recipients may have too little time to fill out the onerous paperwork, may not have knowledge of the Yellow Card scheme, or may be unwilling to countenance the idea of harms resulting from a medication in which they have placed trust.

As well as being low, reporting rates are expected to vary substantially between different sectors of the population. Experience shows that females post roughly three times more adverse event reports than males, and the reporting rate for adverse reactions varies with age, dropping off in the elderly population where adverse reactions may be obscured by multiple forms of pre-existing chronic illnesses. In addition, reporting rates are likely to vary with the severity of the adverse reaction. Individuals are far more likely to have the motivation and tenacity to file a report if their adverse reaction is severe than if it is mild. On the other hand, if the adverse event results in death, grieving friends or relatives may be too preoccupied to file a C-19VYC report.

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“..nearly half a million children and young adults died within a year of his fateful announcement with over 118,000 of those deaths suspected to be due to the Covid-19 vaccine..”

Fauci Lied; 120,000 US Children Died (Exp.)

Time and time again throughout 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci, stood at the podium, the bright lights of the cameras blinding him as he faced the nation. With a steady hand, he held up a vial of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, promising it would be the key to protecting America and its children from the “deadly” Covid-19 disease supposedly ravaging the country. But little did the public know, the truth about the Covid vaccine’s safety had been buried deep within Fauci’s own lies and deceit and confidential U.S. Government and Pfizer documents. Fauci used propaganda, lies and manipulation to coerce parents into getting their children vaccinated.

But the weight of the lives lost has quickly come crashing down on him and the nation, as a secret Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report has revealed that nearly half a million children and young adults died within a year of his fateful announcement with over 118,000 of those deaths suspected to be due to the Covid-19 vaccine’s dangerous side effects. The CDC report should spark widespread outrage and be on the front page of every single major newspaper. But instead, it has been and will continue to be met with a deafening silence. Despite the staggering death toll the report will be buried and swept under the carpet.

The mainstream media, consumed with working overtime to distract the public with propaganda on the war in Ukraine, alleged climate change and the cost of living crisis, has paid and will pay no attention to the devastating consequences of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s deception. The public wil continue to be kept in the dark, and the U.S. Government will move quickly to cover up its own involvement in the tragedy. With Dr Fauci quietly announcing his “retirement” in August 2022. It’s all business as usual and simply just another day at the office. But it is also a shocking failure of transparency and accountability, and the people of the United States should be forever haunted by the lives lost due to the Covid-19 vaccine scandal.

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“If Elon Musk successfully purchases Twitter, it could result in World War 3 and the destruction of our planet..”

Twitter Files Show Authoritarian “Cult Of Identity” Controls The Media (Gurri)

Only yesterday, Elon Musk was a hero to progressives. He had made the electric car sexy and organized a migration to Mars to save humanity from the coming ecological apocalypse. Musk voted for Barack Obama twice and for Biden once. When he offered to purchase Twitter on April 14 of last year, he clearly believed he was reconnecting progressivism to its liberal roots. “For Twitter to deserve public trust it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally,” he said. Famously, Musk characterized himself as “a free speech absolutist.” But elites took that for a declaration of war and changed their tightly synchronized minds about the man. Twitter in the hands of Musk was “dangerous to our democracy,” said Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren.

“If Elon Musk successfully purchases Twitter, it could result in World War 3 and the destruction of our planet,” wrote David Leavitt. The White House expressed newfound concern about “the power of large social media platforms … over our everyday lives … tech platforms must be held accountable for the harm they cause.” Before Musk’s takeover, Twitter management had gone on record stating, “We do not shadow ban [i.e., secretly block users]. And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.” Thanks to Twitter’s internal emails and messages released by Musk, we now know both claims were false. “Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users,” wrote journalist Bari Weiss. The targets were offenders against elite orthodoxy—a conservative activist, a right-wing talk show host, and a Covid-dissenting doctor, among others.

In December, Musk invited Weiss, Matt Taibbi, and Michael Shellenberger to examine the company’s internal Slack messages and emails. Taibbi and Weiss are fierce critics of establishment media; Shellenberger is a strong anti-establishment voice on energy and homeless policy. All are, in Weiss’ phrase, “politically homeless,” neither right nor left, but tend to write about aspects of the struggle between the elites and the public. Taibbi, Weiss, and Shellenberger are clear thinkers and good writers but two traits, in my opinion, separate them from the pack: independence and integrity. Musk could have bought himself a passel of hired hacks who would have churned out whatever spin he wished. With these three authors, he gave up control over the Twitter Files output in exchange for their ironclad credibility.

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Lavrov

 

 

 

 

GoreWEF

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fetch

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 172023
 


Hasui Kawase Mimhae Pavilion, Kyongju, Korea 1940

 

How The Davos Elite Took Back Control (Fazi)
Global Political Elite Skipping Davos (RT)
All Quiet (Panic) on the Western Front (Escobar)
Kiev Coaching EU On Path To Ruin – Exiled Ukrainian Politician (RT)
West Sees Ukraine As Spoils Of Cold War – Medvedchuk (RT)
Croatian President Weighs In On ‘Proxy War’ Against Russia (RT)
Biden Uses His Lawyers To Shield His Classified Docs From The FBI (Turley)
More Documents Marked As Classified Found At Biden’s Home – White House (CBS)
Adam Schiff Admits Biden May Have Endangered National Security (CB)
Did The Deep State Turn on Biden? (Roach)
Turns Out Hillary Clinton, Not Russian Bots, Lost the 2016 Election (Jacobin)
‘Twitter Files’ Expose Big Pharma Bullying (ZH)
China Records First Population Decline In 60 Years (RT)
The Black Album (Trish Wood)
There Is Nothing Green About Green Energy (Pettimore)
The Age of Exterminations: How to Kill a Few Billion People (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

The Woke Mind Virus

 

 

Dowd sudden death epidemic

 

 

Forget about the housing market. It’s done.

 

 

BBC stickers

 

 

Pregnant women are not getting vaxxed.

 

 

Carpe

 

 

 

 

 

 

The business elite.

How The Davos Elite Took Back Control (Fazi)

Founded in 1971 by Schwab himself, the WEF is “committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation”, also known as multistakeholder governance. The idea is that global decision-making should not be left to governments and nation-states — as in the post-war multilateralist framework enshrined in the United Nations — but should involve a whole range of non-government stakeholders: civil society bodies, academic experts, media personalities and, most important, multinational corporations. In its own words, the WEF’s project is “to redefine the international system as constituting a wider, multifaceted system of global cooperation in which intergovernmental legal frameworks and institutions are embedded as a core, but not the sole and sometimes not the most crucial, component”.

While this may sound fairly benign, it neatly encapsulates the basic philosophy of globalism: insulating policy from democracy by transferring the decision-making process from the national and international level, where citizens theoretically are able to exercise some degree of influence over policy, to the supranational level, by placing a self-selected group of unelected, unaccountable “stakeholders” — mainly corporations — in charge of global decisions concerning everything from energy and food production to the media and public health. The underlying undemocratic philosophy is the same one underpinning the philanthrocapitalist approach of people such Bill Gates, himself a long-time partner of the WEF: that non-governmental social and business organisations are best suited to solve the world’s problems than governments and multilateral institutions.

Even though the WEF has increasingly focused its agenda on fashionable topics such as environmental protection and social entrepreneurship, there is little doubt as to which interests Schwab’s brainchild is actually promoting and empowering: the WEF is itself mostly funded by around 1,000 member companies — typically global enterprises with multi-billion dollar turnovers, which include some of the world’s biggest corporations in oil (Saudi Aramco, Shell, Chevron, BP), food (Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé), technology (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple) and pharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna). The composition of the WEF’s board is also very revealing, including Laurence D. Fink, CEO of Blackrock, David M. Rubenstein, co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, and Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. There’s no need to resort to conspiracy theories to posit that the WEF’s agenda is much more likely to be tailored to suit the interests of its funders and board members — the world’s ultra-wealthy and corporate elites — rather than to “improving the state of the world”, as the organisation claims.

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CEOs take over.

Global Political Elite Skipping Davos (RT)

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland has kicked off on Monday with a number of top-tier leaders absent. US President Joe Biden is skipping this year’s gathering, along with French President Emmanuel Macron, and new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also passing on the event, along with the entire Russian business elite, which has been forced off the guest list by Ukraine-related sanctions. Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Chinese businessmen will also miss the forum following the aftershocks of a recent spike in Covid-19 cases and troubles on the domestic stock market, which saw some $224 billion erased last year from the fortunes of China’s wealthiest people.


Of the Group of Seven (G7) leaders, only German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to attend Davos this year, along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Despite the shrinking number of political leaders, this year’s attendance list is rich in top managers. Among 2,700 participants in the official WEF sessions, “we’re likely to surpass the old record from 2020 with 600 global CEOs – including 1,500 C-suite level overall,” according to WEF head of digital and marketing, George Schmitt. According to Bloomberg, a total of 116 billionaires are attending the WEF this year, a 40% rise from ten years ago. Representatives from the US will form the largest group with 33 delegates. Some 18 more billionaires are coming from Europe, and 13 from India, including industrialist Gautam Adani, the world’s fourth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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“Analyst Peter Koenig has developed a convincing thesis that the WEF, the WHO and NATO may be running some sort of sophisticated death cult.”

All Quiet (Panic) on the Western Front (Escobar)

Cynics of all persuasions may be excused for lamenting Mr. Zircon – currently on oceanic patrol encompassing the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and of course “Mare Nostrum” Mediterranean – won’t be presenting his business card at Davos. Analyst Peter Koenig has developed a convincing thesis that the WEF, the WHO and NATO may be running some sort of sophisticated death cult. The Great Reset does mingle merrily with NATO’s agenda as agent provocateur, financer and weaponizer of the proxy Empire vs. Russia war in black hole Ukraine. NAKO – an acronym for North Atlantic Killing Organization – would be more appropriate in this case. As Koenig summarizes it, “NATO enters any territory where the ‘conventional’ media lie-machine, and social engineering are failing or not completing their people-ordaining goals fast enough.”

In parallel, very few people are aware that on June 13, 2019 in New York, a secret deal was clinched between the UN, the WEF, an array of oligarch-weaponized NGOs – with the WHO in the front line – and last but not least, the world’s top corporations, which are all owned by an interlinked maze with Vanguard and BlackRock at the center. The practical result of the deal is the UN Agenda 2030. Virtually every government in the NATOstan area and the “Western Hemisphere” (US establishment definition) has been hijacked by Agenda 2030 – which translates, essentially, as hoarding, privatizing and financializing all the earth’s assets, under the pretext of “protecting” them. Translation: the marketization and monetization of the entire natural world.

Davos superstar shills such as insufferable bore Niall Ferguson are just well rewarded vassals: western intellectuals of the Harvard, Yale and Princeton mould that would never dare bite the hand that feeds them. Ferguson just wrote a column on Bloomberg titled “All is Not Quiet on the Eastern Front” – basically to peddle the risk of WWIII, on behalf of his masters, blaming of course “China as the arsenal of autocracy”. Among serial high-handed inanities, this one stands out. Ferguson writes, “There are two obvious problems with US strategy (…) The first is that if algorithmic weapons systems are the equivalent of tactical nuclear weapons, Putin may eventually be driven to using the latter, as he clearly lacks the former.” Cluelessness here is a euphemism. Ferguson clearly has no idea “algorithmic weapons” mean; if he’s referring to electronic warfare, the US may have been able to maintain superiority for a while in Ukraine, but that’s over.

[..] Nobody with an IQ over room temperature will expect Davos next week to discuss any aspect of the NATO vs. Eurasia existential war seriously – not to mention propose diplomacy. So I’ll leave you with yet another typical tawdry story about how the Empire – who rules over Davos – deals in practice with its vassals. While in Sicily earlier this year I learned that an ultra high-value Pentagon asset had landed in Rome, in haste, as part of an unscheduled visit. A few days later the reason for the visit was printed in La Repubblica, one of the papers of the toxic Agnelli clan. That was a Mafia scam: a face-to-face “suggestion” for the Meloni government to imperatively provide Kiev, as soon as possible, with the costly anti-Samp-T missile system, developed by an European consortium, Eurosam, uniting MBDA Italy, MBDA France and Thales.

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Medvedchuk is the voice of reason in Ukraine politics. So of course he’s in exile.

Kiev Coaching EU On Path To Ruin – Exiled Ukrainian Politician (RT)

Kiev’s adopted policy of hatred and intransigence towards Russia is inevitably driving it into poverty, a former Ukrainian opposition-party leader, who was forced from his home nation, has concluded. Now Kiev is teaching Europe the same approach, leading to the same outcome and to possible nuclear war, he added. Viktor Medvedchuk’s political party had the biggest opposition faction in the current Ukrainian parliament. The government of President Vladimir Zelensky launched a crackdown on the group and on its leader personally. A proponent of reconciliation with Russia, he has written a keynote article published on Monday in Russian newspaper Izvestia, explaining the roots of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Both Zelensky and his predecessor Pyotr Poroshenko had been elected after the 2014 coup in Kiev on a platform of peace, and each made a U-turn after getting into office, Medvedchuk pointed out.

He argued that this shows a pattern of betrayal of the Ukrainian people by its leadership and by what he termed a “party of war.” Being enemies with Russia is against Ukraine’s economic interest, Medvedchuk asserted. Not only is Russia a major market and source of raw materials from which Ukraine can benefit, the country’s industrial sector was mostly in the east and people there, who for historic reasons have emotional ties to Russia, were antagonized by Kiev. Economic ruination is an inevitable consequence of the conflict, the politician wrote. “It is no longer Europe that teaches Ukraine politics, but Ukraine that teaches Europe how to achieve economic decline and poverty with the help of a policy of hatred and intransigence. And if Europe continues to support this policy, it will be dragged into a war, possibly a nuclear one,” he warned.

He accused Western nations of giving the incumbent Ukrainian government “triumph after triumph, while no military breakthrough is observed,” referring to the parades that generals in Ancient Rome were given after major victories. Meanwhile, the “party of peace” gets no voice either at home or in Western nations, Medvedchuk lamented. “Those who stood for peace were slandered, intimidated and repressed on incitement from the West. The Ukrainian party of peace simply did not fit into Western democracy.” “This eloquently suggests that most US and European politicians do not want any peace for Ukraine. But this does not mean at all that Ukrainians do not want peace, and Zelensky’s military triumph is more important to them than their lives and destroyed homes.” he reasoned. Only when pro-peace politicians are allowed to make their case freely can there be hope to resolve the situation, Medvedchuk believes.

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“Western nations must recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine. Otherwise, it will “grow further, spilling over to Europe and other countries..”

West Sees Ukraine As Spoils Of Cold War – Medvedchuk (RT)

The West’s insistence that it won the Cold War and was entitled to the spoils at the expense of Russian interests is at the root of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the country’s exiled opposition leader has said. Viktor Medvedchuk was forced to leave his home nation under the threat of prosecution for alleged treason. His Opposition Bloc – For Life party had the biggest faction in the Ukrainian parliament and advocated reconciliation with Russia. However, the government of President Vladimir Zelensky cracked down on it and ultimately forced many of its members into exile or silence. In an article published by Russian newspaper Izvestia on Monday, Medvedchuk analyzed the causes of the current crisis, arguing that the origin of the conflict lies in the way that the end of the Cold War is perceived by Washington and Moscow.

“The West definitely considers itself as a winner and Russia as a defeated party,” he said. Consequently, it considers ex-Soviet territories as “legitimate prey for the US and NATO” under the “woe to the conquered” principle. From Moscow’s standpoint, it simply relinquished confrontation when it decided against pursuing communism. Since the 1990s, it had sought friendly relations with Western nations, as well as economic and political integration into the EU, Medvedchuk wrote. The US plan, as evidenced by the expansion of NATO in Europe despite the objections of Moscow, was at odds with opening the door to its Cold War opponent. Ultimately, it derailed EU-Russian engagement, he argued. Conflicts like the Balkan wars are further evidence that the West had moved to gobble up the former Eastern Bloc, he continued, since they helped to “make it easier for the winner to take it over.”

The West targeted Ukraine for absorption and saw the country as part of its rightful prize, but a lot of resistance had to be overcome in order to split it from Russia, considering Kiev’s historical ties with Moscow, and the economic interest in maintaining good relations, Medvedchuk explained. Kiev antagonized the eastern part of the country, which was both economically stronger and more pro-Russian than the nationalist lands in the east, he suggested. And even then, both Zelensky and his predecessor, Pyotr Poroshenko, had been elected on a peace platform only to become “war party” politicians after taking office. The current conflict can be resolved only if pro-peace politicians are allowed to make their case, and Western nations must recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine. Otherwise, it will “grow further, spilling over to Europe and other countries,” and has the potential to escalate into a nuclear war, he warned.

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“They go from war to war. And what should I be? An American slave?”

The president and PM have very different views.

Croatian President Weighs In On ‘Proxy War’ Against Russia (RT)

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has claimed NATO, a military bloc of which Zagreb is a member, is waging a “proxy war” against Moscow in Ukraine. He also dismissed sanctions against Moscow as “nonsense,” adding that he does not want to be an “American slave.” Speaking to Croatian reporters in the city of Vukovar on Sunday, Milanovic said, among other things: “Washington and NATO are waging a proxy war against Russia through Ukraine,” as quoted by media outlet Istra24. He went on to argue that “The plan cannot be to remove Putin. The plan cannot be sanctions,” adding that such punitive measures are “nonsense and we will not achieve anything with them.” “They go from war to war. And what should I be? An American slave?” Croatia’s president asked rhetorically.

Milanovic voiced his frustration with the US-led military bloc’s policies in the same interview in which he tore into Croatia’s prime minister, Andrej Plenkovic, over his latest Ukraine-related remark. Speaking to news channel France 24 on Saturday, Plenkovic said the Balkan nation’s lawmakers, who in mid-December didn’t support the EU’s program to train Ukrainian military personnel in member states, have “failed to be on the right side of history.” Commenting on the remark, Milanovic, in turn, slammed the premier for bringing “disgrace” to his country “and to its democratic representatives in front of others.” The Croatian president argued that this kind of behavior reaches a low that is “the bottom of the bottom.”

As for the EU’s mission, the Croatian president warned that it effectively means that “for the first time in its history, the EU is participating in a war.” This, according to Milanovic, is “against the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.” In December 2022, Milanovic argued that having Ukrainian service members train on Croatian soil would “bring war” to the Balkan nation. He also insisted at the time that “Ukraine is not an ally,” criticizing Brussels’ decision last June to grant Kiev candidate status as “cynical.”

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“Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. [..] While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a “crime/fraud exception,” it adds a level of initial protection.”

Biden Uses His Lawyers To Shield His Classified Docs From The FBI (Turley)

The discovery of a fourth set of classified documents, at the Biden residence in Delaware, has further undermined the White House’s virtual mantra that the president “takes classified documents very seriously.” Putting aside the repeated movement of highly classified documents over six years, one curious element has emerged in this scandal: the use of private counsel. Not only did President Joe Biden enlist lawyers to clear out his private Washington office; he then used them — rather than security officers or the FBI — to search for additional classified documents. The initial use of lawyers is notable. While it seems a fairly pricey moving crew, Biden could argue a trove of documents might require a judgment on where they should be sent and whether they belong to Biden, the Penn Biden Center or the government.

But why was a legal team sent in six years after Biden took the documents on leaving as vice president? Were the lawyers specifically selected because they had clearances, an acknowledgment there might be classified material unlawfully housed in the office? After the fourth batch of documents was discovered this week (the third found in Delaware), Richard Sauber, referred to as the “special counsel to the president,” stressed that he has a clearance. Sauber admits the lawyers who found the first batch at the residence didn’t have clearances but says he found the later documents. It remains unclear which lawyers were involved in which discoveries, whether they had clearances and (if so) at what level. In fact, it seems to suggest Biden continued to use uncleared lawyers after his team found highly classified documents Nov. 2 in the Penn Biden office closet in Washington. That itself could be viewed as gross mishandling of classified information.

It’s strange Biden did not use security officers or the FBI to conduct further searches. The president has a host of people who regularly handle classified material. So why use the lawyers? The answer appears the same as in the case of Hillary Clinton’s emails: control. Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. Trump also used counsel, but eventually the FBI raided his home to search and remove not just classified material but documents found in boxes with that material. While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a “crime/fraud exception,” it adds a level of initial protection. It also allowed Biden to control the discovery and initial record of the discovery of classified information. The key to any investigation will be the chain of custody extending back to the documents’ removal in 2017 when Biden left office.

How these documents appeared in their discovered locations is known only to his lawyers. It’s a link in the chain of custody that Biden effectively controls. With Mar-a-Lago, the FBI was criticized for staging documents to be shown in the storage room. The photos were then leaked to an eager media. There will be no staged photos of documents alongside Time magazine covers for Biden. Nor were documents he housed with classified documents removed. Indeed, it’s not clear if the FBI will know what documents were stored in the same boxes. What was potentially lost is significant. Classified documents are generally supposed to be in folders with a thick, colored border and large printed classification warnings. Were some of those folders observable before they were moved? If so, anyone could tell a pile contained classified material, including the president and passersby.

Likewise, the initial discovery could show the context of surrounding material. The FBI at Mar-a-Lago carefully photographed that context and its search. Here, we’re relying on counsel to have kept such a record when most lawyers would be reluctant to do so given the risk to their client. The key is that unlike FBI agents, these lawyers are not acting on behalf of the public interest but for the president’s personal interests. If there are criminal charges, the key witnesses will be lawyers representing the president as an individual. They are more likely to minimize incriminating or embarrassing elements.

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Turley’s comment on this: “Biden counsel continues to make statements seemingly against their client’s interests. Sauber said that the lawyers who discovered the documents on Wednesday night did not have clearances…”

More Documents Marked As Classified Found At Biden’s Home – White House (CBS)

Lawyers for President Biden found more documents marked as classified at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, than previously known, the White House acknowledged in a statement Saturday. White House lawyer Richard Sauber said in a statement that a total of six pages of documents marked as classified were found during a search of Mr. Biden’s private library. The White House had said previously that only a single page was found there. The latest disclosure is in addition to the discovery of documents found in December in Mr. Biden’s garage and in November at his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, from his time as vice president. The apparent mishandling of classified documents and official records from the Obama administration are under investigation by a former U.S. attorney, Robert Hur, who was appointed as a special counsel on Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Sauber said in a statement Saturday that Mr. Biden’s personal lawyers, who did not have security clearances, stopped their search after finding the first page on Wednesday evening. Sauber found the remaining material Thursday, as he was facilitating their retrieval by the Department of Justice. “While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages,” Sauber said. “The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.” The Justice Department declined to comment to CBS News on the newly discovered documents. Sauber has previously said that the White House was “confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake.”

Sauber’s statement did not explain why the White House waited two days to provide an updated accounting of the number of records with classified markings. The White House is already facing scrutiny for waiting more than two months to acknowledge the discovery of the initial group of documents at the Biden office. On Thursday, asked whether Mr. Biden could guarantee that additional classified documents would not turn up in a further search, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “You should assume that it’s been completed, yes.” Sauber reiterated Saturday that the White House would cooperate with Hur’s investigation. Bob Bauer, the president’s personal lawyer, said his legal team has “attempted to balance the importance of public transparency where appropriate with the established norms and limitations necessary to protect the investigation’s integrity.”

Marco Polo

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Shifty turns.

Adam Schiff Admits Biden May Have Endangered National Security (CB)

In what is a stunning admission, California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff has admitted that President Joe Biden may have endangered national security by mishandling classified documents. He spoke to ABC “This Week” host Jonathan Karl on Sunday when the topic of the classified document scandal and Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing a special counsel was talked about. “Congressman Schiff, you were on this show just after Attorney General Garland appointed a special counsel in the case of the Trump documents. You said it was the right move. Do you feel the same way about this special counsel?” the host said. “I do think it’s the right move. The attorney general has to make sure that not only is justice evenly applied, but the appearances of justice are also satisfactory to the public.

And here, I don’t think he had any choice but to appoint a special counsel. And I think that special counsel will do the proper assessment,” the Congressman said. “I still would like to see Congress do its own assessment of — and receive an assessment from the intelligence community of whether there was an exposure to others of these documents, whether there was harm to national security, on the case of either set of documents with either president. But, yes, I think the special counsel was appropriately appointed,” he said. “Jonathan, if I could also, though, because my state is still trying to dig out from these terrible storms, I want to thank the president for making an emergency declaration and let Californians know that in the three most affected counties they can now apply for help in terms of rebuilding their homes and their businesses and that other counties need to report their damage as soon as possible so they can qualify for relief as well,” he said as the host brought the conversation back to the documents.

“You raise the possibility of those national security assessment. Is it possible that national security was jeopardized here as – as many, including you, raised that possibility with the Mar-a-Lago documents?” the host said. “I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts. We have asked for an assessment in the intelligence community of the Mar-a-Lago documents. I think we ought to get that same assessment of the documents found in the – in the think tank, as well as the home of President Biden. I’d like to know what these documents were. I’d like to know what the IC’s assessment is, whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be and whether any mitigation needs to be done. I think that would be appropriate and consistent with what we requested in the case of Mar-a-Lago,” the Congressman said.

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Well, someone did.

Did The Deep State Turn on Biden? (Roach)

In spite of his manifest unpopularity and refusal even to campaign, Biden was installed as president in 2020. Having rarely met an actual Biden supporter, Trump voters were skeptical and angry. The extended recounts, unceremonious dismissal of legal challenges, and videos of disappearing ballots, along with strident denunciations of “election deniers,” did not reassure anyone. Later revelations showed the coordinated way government officials, the media, NGOs, billionaires, and others conspired to “fortify” the 2020 election. Biden governed as he ran: mostly hidden from the public, beholden to donors and party elders, doing as little as possible. This seemed acceptable for a while, since it allowed the various constituent parts of the government to do what they wanted with little interference.

Everyone knows Biden’s never been that sharp and seems more decrepit than ever, that his vice president is even dumber than he is, and that he’s not really running anything. But this is all a feature, not a bug, for the cabal that brought him to office. For them, the more independence they have from oversight, the better. Lately, it seems there’s a disturbance in force. Biden and his allies have continued their vendetta against Trump, exposing his tax returns and raiding his home for possessing documents he supposedly owed the National Archives. This did not go over as well as Attorney General (and all-around hack) Merrick Garland anticipated, and it seems Garland and the January 6 Committee have each decided to scale back their demands. This is why the recent exposure of top secret documents in Biden’s old office, his garage, and a mysterious third location suggests something is afoot.

We went from a Monday disclosure to a special counsel being appointed on Thursday. Nothing like this happens this quickly unless it is by design. There are, of course, ways to deal with this situation that do not involve public exposure. Couldn’t Biden or his staff order some FBI agents or White House people to pick them up and take them to wherever they’re supposed to be stored? It’s in the news because somehow his lawyers found the documents and reported them before the story could go through White House channels. And, lawyers being lawyers, they followed the street-lawyer rule that if someone has to go to jail, make sure it’s your client and not you. Concerned about individual culpability for obstruction or mishandling documents, they made this hot potato someone else’s problem as fast as possible.

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The Jacobin is one of the Dems’ staunchest supporters. Until now.

Turns Out Hillary Clinton, Not Russian Bots, Lost the 2016 Election (Jacobin)

Amid the generalized media crack-up that surrounded the 2016 presidential election, the bogeyman of “Russian bots” quickly became a load-bearing concept. A Russia-based social media campaign, or so it was said, had saturated sites like Twitter with fake accounts and, in doing so, helped to swing the election for Donald Trump. Becoming axiomatic in liberal circles, this story soon took on a life of its own. It’s since played a prominent role in mainstream media narratives of the 2016 election, been the subject of highly publicized congressional hearings, and also loomed large in the wider global discourse about “fake news.” That the Russian government preferred Trump to Hillary Clinton and that Russia-connected actors engaged in digital skulduggery related to the election are not really in dispute.

Much of the mainstream discussion around Russian bots, however, has been premised on unexamined assumptions about the scale and effectiveness of these efforts. Powerful states including the United States, after all, regularly engage in the likes of online propaganda and sock-puppeting campaigns. Whether they have a more than negligible impact on real world events, electoral and otherwise, is another question. It’s notable, then, that a new analysis published by the Center for Social Media and Politics at New York University finds no evidence whatsoever that Russia-based Twitter disinformation had any meaningful impact on voter behavior in 2016. In place of the terrifying bot army menace that’s periodically been invoked, the researchers instead detail an enterprise with minimal reach or influence, and one overwhelmingly concentrated among partisan Republicans already inclined to vote for Trump.

They estimate that as many as thirty-two million US Twitter users may have been “exposed” to tweets from Russia-aligned accounts over the eight-month period preceding the 2016 election.” In numerical terms that may sound like a lot, but it actually isn’t when you factor in the sheer volume of posts and information encountered by social media users on a daily basis. As the report puts it: While, on average, respondents were exposed to roughly 4 posts from Russian foreign influence accounts per day in the last month of the election campaign, they were exposed to an average of 106 posts on average per day from national news media and 35 posts per day from US politicians. In other words, respondents were exposed to 25 times more posts from national news media and 9 times as many posts from politicians than those from Russian foreign influence accounts.

Sheer exposure, of course, doesn’t even necessarily amount to influence. Like advertising, politically motivated content can functionally be background noise if it fails to reach particular audiences or in turn doesn’t have an impact on those that it does. In both respects, the study is quite unequivocal: not only were Russian Twitter efforts dwarfed by posts from media and politicians, but actual exposure to them was highly concentrated within a subset of partisan conservatives: Results . . . show that the amount of exposure depends substantially on users’ self-identified partisanship: those who identify as “Strong Republicans” were exposed to roughly nine times as many posts from Russian foreign influence accounts than were those who identify as Democrats or Independents.

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Musk Says ZeroHedge Did “Nothing Warranting Suspension”

‘Twitter Files’ Expose Big Pharma Bullying (ZH)

Today’s Twitter Files drop contains several notable pieces of evidence. First, that lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry launched a ‘massive lobbying blitz to crush any effort to share patents/IP for new covid-related medicine,” according to The Intercept’s Lee Fang. As part of this effort, lobbying group BIO “wrote to the newly elected Biden admin, demanding the U.S. gov sanction any country attempting to violate patent rights and create generic low cost covid medicine or vaccines.” Of note, Pfizer and BioNTech raked in $37 billion in revenue in 2021 alone from the COVID-19 vaccine, while Moderna made $17.7 billion the same year (and has recently announced a plan to hike the price of the Covid-19 vaccine by approximately 400%). BioNTech, which developed the Pfizer vaccine, “reached out to Twitter to request that Twitter directly censor users tweeting at them to ask for generic low cost vaccines.”

According to Fang, “Twitter’s reps responded quickly to the pharma request,” while “A lobbyist in Europe asked the content moderation team to monitor the accounts of Pfizer, AstraZeneca & of activist hashtags like #peoplesvaccine.” Meanwhile, the “fake accounts” flagged by the pharmaceutical companies for action were real people – one of whom Fang spoke with on the phone. “For more than two years, a global movement has been speaking out against pharmaceutical greed and demanding that everyone, everywhere has the tools to combat pandemics,” said Maaza Seyoum, a campaigner for the People’s Vaccine Alliance. “Whatever nasty tricks companies and governments pull,” she continued, “we cannot and will not be silenced.” Second, ‘Pfizer & Moderna’s lobbying group, BIO, fully funded a special content moderation campaign designed by a contractor called Public Good Projects (PGP), which worked w/Twitter to set content moderation rules around covid “misinformation.”‘ according to Fang.

BIO funded the PGP campaign, “Stronger,” to the tune of $1.275 million. Its focus? Helping Twitter ‘create content moderation bots,’ selecting which public health accounts would be verified, and helping to crowdsource content takedowns. Of note, the Moderna/Pfizer-funded campaign included regular emails to Twitter officals with takedown and verification requests. “Here’s an example of those types of emails that went straight to Twitter’s lobbyists and content moderators. Many focused on @zerohedge, which was suspended.” Fang includes a screencap of an email with two excel spreadsheets containing said requests.

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One child policy fallout. Like trying to turn an oil tanker around. Population to almost halve by 2100.

China Records First Population Decline In 60 Years (RT)

The population declined in 2022 to 1.411 billion, down some 850,000 people from the previous year, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced during a Tuesday briefing on annual data. Analysts said the decline was the first since 1961 during the great famine triggered by former leader Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward. “The population will likely trend down from here in coming years. This is very important, with implications for potential growth and domestic demand,” said Zhiwei Zhang, president and chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. The birth rate also fell to a record low of 6.77 births per 1,000, down from 7.52 a year earlier and the lowest level since the founding of Communist China in 1949. Some 9.56 million babies were born, compared with 10.62 million in 2021 – despite a push from the government to encourage more married couples to have children.


The new data came alongside the announcement of one of China’s worst annual economic performances in nearly half a century, with the economy expanding by just 3% for the year, far below the government’s target, underscoring the steep economic challenges the country faces as its labor force shrinks and its retired demographic grows. The demographic crisis, which is expected to have an increasing impact on Chinese growth in the years to come, has been a key concern for policymakers. Beijing scrapped its decades-long and highly controversial “one child” policy in 2015, after realizing the restrictive policy had contributed to a rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce that could severely distress the country’s economic and social stability. To arrest the falling birth rate, the Chinese government announced in 2015 that it would allow married couples to have two children. But after a brief uptick in 2016, the national birth rate has continued to fall.

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“At least the Manson Murders were covered by corporate media. We all shared a similar experience.”

The Black Album (Trish Wood)

Later I bought the book, Helter Skelter, written by the man who prosecuted Charlie. But as an adult and a true crime reporter it was a story I steered clear of, never once accepting a production role in any of the many retellings. Like Didion, I remained skittish about it. I couldn’t make sense of Sharon Tate’s astonishing beauty being annihilated and the peace and love ethos of rich Hollywood hippies reduced to feral human remains – for nothing. The True Detective-type photos from Cielo Drive are images that still haunt. So, why am I so gripped by the revelations that Big Tech, legacy media and for sure the government actually silenced the voices of experts honestly trying to stop the unfolding disaster of lockdowns? Why does this feel like a moment as significant as those era-ending murders in the pretty house on a quiet SoCal Drive?

A team of independent journos is uncovering irrefutable proof that our well being was not paramount in the minds of those who peddled a fake consensus to invoke lockdowns — in my view — the most ruinous public health mistake in modern history. Government, its public health officials, legacy media, and even the medical journals were more into narrative stitching than truth and actually saving lives. The stories of governmental and scientific fraud and perfidy are all over Substack and Twitter and Elon is being hailed as a hero — as he should be, despite what my friend CJ Hopkins said on the podcast last week. But corporate media are running their usual smear-games — abdicating their responsibility to their audience — in order to hide their own complicity in a policy scandal that dwarfs all others.

In the meantime, we are on our own, facing an ugly truth about the people who govern us and the agencies they exploit to stay in power. Everything we thought was true about this power dynamic is a lie. At least the Manson Murders were covered by corporate media. We all shared a similar experience.

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Trojan Horse.

Twitter thread.

There Is Nothing Green About Green Energy (Pettimore)

As a miner for 40 years I have worked in various mines around the world. Gold, platinum, copper, coal, lead, zinc, oil and salt. I’m going to tell you something, and here it is. We will destroy the earth in the name of “Green Energy” Follow along and I will explain. MiningWatch Canada is estimating that “[Three] billion tons of mined metals and minerals will be needed to power the energy transition” – a “massive” increase especially for six critical minerals: lithium, graphite, copper, cobalt, nickel and rare earth minerals Over the next 30 years 7.5 billion of us, we will consume more minerals than the last 70,000 years or the past 500 generations, which is more than all of the 108 billion humans who have ever walked the Earth.

Mining requires the extraction of solid ores, often after removing vast amounts of overlying rock. Then the ore must be processed, creating an enormous quantity of waste – about 100 billion tonnes a year, more than any other human-made waste stream. Purifying a single tonne of rare earths requires using at least 200 cubic meters of water, which then becomes polluted with acids and heavy metals. On top of that, imagine the destruction and energy required to obtain these essential metals:
18,740 pounds of purified rock to produce 2.2 pounds of vanadium
35,275 pounds of ore for 2.2 pounds of cerium
110,230 pounds of rock for 2.2 pounds of gallium
2,645,550 pounds of ore to get 2.2 pounds of lutecium

Also staggering amounts of ore are needed for other metals. By 2035, demand is expected to double for germanium; quadruple for tantalum; and quintuple for palladium. The scandium market could increase nine-fold, and the cobalt market by a factor of 24. (Marscheider-Wiedemann 2016 ‘raw materials for emerging technologies’. The potential demand for rare metals is exponential. We are already consuming over two billion tonnes of metals every year — the equivalent of more than 500 Eiffel Towers a day. There is nothing refined about mining. It involves crushing rock, and then using a concoction of chemical reagents such as sulphuric and nitric acid, a long and highly repetitive process using many different procedures to obtain a rare-earth concentrate close to 100% purity.

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“The problem is that we don’t have a discussion on population: we have a clash of absolutes.”

The Age of Exterminations: How to Kill a Few Billion People (Ugo Bardi)

With 8 billion people alive on Earth, it may be reasonable to believe that the planet is becoming a little crowded. Nevertheless, we should not neglect the opposite opinion: that we have resources and technologies sufficient to keep 8 billion people alive and reasonably happy, and perhaps even more. Neither position can be proven, nor disproven. The future will tell us who was right but, in the meantime, it is perfectly legitimate to propose that population growth should be slowed down by birth planning. The problem is that we don’t have a discussion on population: we have a clash of absolutes. The position that sees overpopulation as a problem has been thoroughly demonized over the past decades and, still today, you cannot even mention the subject without being immediately branded as a would-be exterminator.

It happened to Bill Gates, to the Club of Rome, and to many others who dared suggest that the world would be a better place if the human population were to stabilize at levels lower than the present one. The demonization trend is, of course, a knee-jerk reaction: the people who propose population planning would be simply horrified at being accused of supporting mass exterminations. But note also that demonization starts from a real problem. Exterminations DID happen in the recent past, and they were carried out largely on the basis of a wrong evaluation of the overpopulation problem. During the Nazi era in Germany, the idea that Europe was overpopulated was common and it was widely believed that the “Lebensraum, “living space” available was insufficient for the German people. The result was a series of exterminations correctly considered the most heinous crimes in human history.

How was that possible? The Germans of that time were the grandfathers of the Germans of today, who are horrified at thinking of what their grandparents did or at least did not oppose. But, for the Germans of those times, killing the Untermenschen, the inferior races, seemed to be the right thing to do, given the vision of the world that was proposed to them and that they had accepted. The Germans fell into a trap called “utilitarianism.” It is one of those principles that are so embedded in our way of thinking that we don’t even realize that it exists. But it does, and it causes enormous damage. In principle, utilitarianism wouldn’t seem to be such a bad idea. It is a rational calculation of the consequences of taking or not taking a certain action based on the principle of generating the maximum good for the maximum number of people. So defined, it looks both sensible and harmless. But that’s the theory. What we have is a good illustration of the age-old principle that “in theory, theory and practice are the same thing. In practice, they are not.”

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Relativity

 

 

Huxley

 

 

This should make a few doctors think.

 

 

Hairdresser

 

 

 

 

Cleaner shrimps

 

 

Blue whale

 

 


A hummingbird lays back and “relaxes” after drinking flower nectar. Source: Rahul Singh

 

 

Skippy

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 272022
 


L.S. Lowry The mill, Pendlebury 1943

 

The Twitter Files: How Twitter Rigged The Covid Debate (Zweig)
How Twitter Rigged the Covid Debate (ZH)
You Need to Start Paying Attention to the ‘Twitter Files’ (PJM)
It’s Time to Reform the Bureau (Turley)
What Will the FBI *Not* Do? (Hanson)
Pandemic Response Gets A Permanent New Home At The White House (STAT)
Ukraine Calls For UN-Brokered ‘Peace Summit’ In February (RT)
Report: The CIA Is Directing Sabotage Attacks Inside Russia (Antiwar)
Medvedev Gives Timeline For Reconciliation With The West (RT)
What Can Happen In 2023 (Dmitry Medvedev)
ECB Governing Council Says Growth Of Key Rate In 2023 Possible (Az.)
Russia Ready To Resume Gas Supplies To EU – Official (RT)
Germany Becoming ‘Dysfunctional’ State – MP (RT)
Return Europe To A Union Of Homelands (RMX)
Republican Senators Turn On Leader Mitch McConnell Over $1.7t Omnibus (DM)
What It’s Really About (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Blood-brain barrier

 

 

 

 

Tom Renz

 

 

 

 

Mozart

 

 

 

 

More Twitter files, this time on Covid response.

Elon Musk @elonmusk: “Much more to The Twitter Files: Covid Editon than this introductory thread. Follow-up piece to come next week, featuring leading doctors & researchers from Harvard, Stanford & other institutions. (Many of whom were, of course, actively suppressed on Twitter).”

Author David Zweig also has a longer article here . I’ll start off with his Twitter thread.

The Twitter Files: How Twitter Rigged The Covid Debate (Zweig)

– By censoring info that was true but inconvenient to U.S. govt. policy
– By discrediting doctors and other experts who disagreed
– By suppressing ordinary users, including some sharing the CDC’s *own data*
2. So far the Twitter Files have focused on evidence of Twitter’s secret blacklists; how the company functioned as a kind of subsidiary of the FBI; and how execs rewrote the platform’s rules to accommodate their own political desires.
3. What we have yet to cover is Covid. This reporting, for The Free Press, @thefp, is one piece of that important story.
4. The United States government pressured Twitter and other social media platforms to elevate certain content and suppress other content about Covid-19.
5. Internal files at Twitter that I viewed while on assignment for @thefp showed that both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes.
6. At the onset of the pandemic, according to meeting notes, the Trump admin was especially concerned about panic buying. They came looking for “help from the tech companies to combat misinformation” about “runs on grocery stores.” But . . . there were runs on grocery stores.
7. It wasn’t just Twitter. The meetings with the Trump White House were also attended by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others.
8. When the Biden admin took over, one of their first meeting requests with Twitter executives was on Covid. The focus was on “anti-vaxxer accounts.” Especially Alex Berenson.
9. In the summer of 2021, president Biden said social media companies were “killing people” for allowing vaccine misinformation. Berenson was suspended hours after Biden’s comments, and kicked off the platform the following month.
10. Berenson sued (and then settled with) Twitter. In the legal process Twitter was compelled to release certain internal communications, which showed direct White House pressure on the company to take action on Berenson.

Read more …

“We are asking them to step up,” Murthy said. “We can’t wait longer for them to take aggressive action.”

How Twitter Rigged the Covid Debate (ZH)

Today’s edition, dropped by journalist David Zweig, focuses on ‘how Twitter rigged the Covid debate’ by taking direction from both the Trump and Biden administrations (while at the same time trying to censor the former president). What’s somewhat notable is how aggressive government (and ex-government) officials were in trying to stifle free speech, while Twitter’s non-government-linked employees would often push back (and then totally fold) – a theme we’ve observed in previous drops. In one such instance, former head of Twitter’s Trust & Safety team Yoel Roth tells former FBI lawyer and then-Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker to calm his tits over a Trump tweet. Of course, in the end the government typically got its way, as you will read below.

Zweig, who was granted access to internal files while on assignment for The Free Press, notes that “both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes.” What’s more, the censorship effort extended to Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others. In July 2021, then-U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released a 22-page advisory concerning what the World Health Organization referred to as an “infodemic,” and called on social media platforms to do more to shut down “misformation.” “We are asking them to step up,” Murthy said. “We can’t wait longer for them to take aggressive action.”

That’s the message the White House had already taken directly to Twitter executives in private channels. One of the Biden administration’s first meeting requests was about Covid, with a focus on “anti-vaxxer accounts,” according to a meeting summary by Lauren Culbertson, Twitter’s Head of U.S. Public Policy. They were especially concerned about Alex Berenson, a journalist skeptical of lockdowns and mRNA vaccines, who had hundreds of thousands of followers on the platform: By the summer of 2021, the day after Murthy’s memo, Biden announced publicly that social media companies were “killing people” by allowing misinformation about vaccines. Just hours later, Twitter locked Berenson out of his account, and then permanently suspended him the next month.

Berenson sued Twitter. He ultimately settled with the company, and is now back on the platform. As part of the lawsuit, Twitter was compelled to provide certain internal communications. They revealed that the White House had directly met with Twitter employees and pressured them to take action on Berenson. The summary of meetings by Culbertson, emailed to colleagues in December 2022, adds new evidence of the White House’s pressure campaign, and illustrates how it tried to directly influence what content was allowed on Twitter. Culbertson wrote that the Biden team was “very angry” that Twitter had not been more aggressive in deplatforming multiple accounts. They wanted Twitter to do more.

Read more …

Yeah, we could use some summaries. Authors so far: Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, Michael Shellenberger, Lee Fang, David Zweig, Leighton Woodhouse, Abigail Shrier. And perhaps others?! I hadn’t even noticed the last two.

You Need to Start Paying Attention to the ‘Twitter Files’ (PJM)

The “Twitter Files” have now officially had more sequels than Planet of the Apes and can be difficult to absorb. Thus, I don’t think they’re getting the attention they deserve. For those of you not following the “Twitter Files” drops, let me catch you up on what I believe are some of the most important parts:
• The FBI paid Twitter $3.5 million to censor conservatives.
• The FBI pressured Twitter to give them information that would legally require warrants, though they did not have warrants.
• Leading up to the 2020 election, the FBI would eventually hold weekly meetings with Twitter and tell them whose tweets to squelch and which accounts they wanted to be suspended. Almost all were those of conservatives.
• The FBI knew the Hunter Biden laptop story was real, they knew it was coming out — weeks before the 2020 election — and they told Big Tech to expect a “Russian disinformation” drop and squelch the story. That means the FBI corrupted the election to help Joe “totally showered with his daughter, Ashley” Biden.
• There are so many former FBI employees at Twitter that they have their own Slack channel.


In response to the “Twitter Files” detailing how the FBI-Twitter circle jerk was real, the bureau called the allegations “conspiracy theories” but never actually denied its relationship with Twitter. Elon Musk provided the world with an early Christmas present on Saturday with Twitter Files Pt. IX. I’ll sum it up so you can avoid the Twitter mess and get to the relevant facts:
• The FBI was a portal, specifically the San Francisco office, for other government agencies to get to Twitter to surveil and censor Americans.
• Hiding under the title of Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), actors from local police departments to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the CIA were watching and censoring Americans — not foreigners.
• Twitter wasn’t the only Big Tech firm hip-deep in spooks. The feds had their fingers in Verizon, Reddit, Facebook, Microsoft, and, for some reason, Pinterest.
• As the 2020 election neared, the FBI-FITF assailed Twitter with hundreds of requests to censor Twitter accounts and tweets. There were so many requests that Twitter execs had to come up with a system to prioritize them.
• FBI employees were tasked with doing word searches on Twitter, looking for violations of Twitter policies — instead of chasing actual criminals.
• The FBI had roughly 80 agents working with Big Tech companies. It is unclear how many members of the DOD, CIA, etc. were involved

Read more …

“Criticizing the FBI is now ‘disinformation’”

It’s Time to Reform the Bureau (Turley)

The “Twitter Files” released by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, show as many as 80 agents targeting social-media posters for censorship on the site. This included alleged briefings that Twitter officials said was the reason they spiked the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election. The FBI sent 150 messages on back channels to just one Twitter official to flag accounts. One Twitter executive expressed unease over the FBI’s pressure, declaring: “They are probing & pushing everywhere they can (including by whispering to congressional staff).” We also have learned that Twitter hired a number of retired FBI agents, including former FBI general counsel James Baker, who was a critical and controversial figure in past bureau scandals over political bias.

It is not clear what is more chilling — the menacing role played by the FBI in Twitter’s censorship program, or its mendacious response to the disclosure of that role. The FBI has issued a series of “nothing-to-see-here” statements regarding the Twitter Files. In its latest statement, the FBI insists it did not command Twitter to take any specific action when flagging accounts to be censored. Of course, it didn’t have to threaten the company — because we now have an effective state media by consent rather than coercion. Moreover, an FBI warning tends to concentrate the minds of most people without the need for a specific threat. Finally, the files show that the FBI paid Twitter millions as part of this censorship system — a windfall favorably reported to Baker before he was fired from Twitter by Musk.

Criticizing the FBI is now ‘disinformation’. Responding to the disclosures and criticism, an FBI spokesperson declared: “The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.” Arguably, “working every day to protect the American public” need not include censoring the public to protect it from errant or misleading ideas. However, it is the attack on its critics that is most striking. While the FBI denounced critics of an earlier era as communists and “fellow travelers,” it now uses the same attack narrative to label its critics as “conspiracy theorists.”

After Watergate, there was bipartisan support for reforming the FBI and intelligence agencies. Today, that cacophony of voices has been replaced by crickets, as much of the media imposes another effective blackout on coverage of the Twitter Files. This media silence suggests that the FBI found the “sweet spot” on censorship, supporting the views of the political and media establishment. As for the rest of us, the FBI now declares us to be part of a disinformation danger which it is committed to stamping out — “conspiracy theorists” misleading the public simply by criticizing the bureau. Clearly, this is the time for a new Church Committee — and time to reform the FBI.

Read more …

“Consider the last four directors, the public faces of the FBI for the last 22 years.”

What Will the FBI *Not* Do? (Hanson)

The FBI is now, tragically, in freefall. The public is at the point, first, of asking what improper or illegal behavior will the bureau not pursue, and what, if anything, must be done to reform or save a once great but now discredited agency. Consider the last four directors, the public faces of the FBI for the last 22 years. Ex-director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that he simply would not or could not talk about the fraudulent Steele dossier. He claimed that it was not the catalyst for his special counsel investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged ties with the Russians when, of course, it was. Mueller also testified that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, although Glenn Simpson’s opposition research firm subsidized the dossier through various cutouts that led back to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. And the skullduggery in the FBI-subsidized dossier helped force the appointment of Mueller himself.

While under congressional oath, Mueller’s successor James Comey on some 245 occasions claimed that he “could not remember,” “could not recall,” or “did not know” when asked simple questions fundamental to his own involvement with the Russian collusion hoax. Comey, remember, memorialized a confidential conversation with President Trump on an FBI device and then used a third party to leak it to the New York Times. In his own words, the purpose was to force a special counsel appointment. The gambit worked, and his friend and predecessor Robert Mueller got the job. Twenty months and $40 million later, Mueller’s investigation tore the country apart but could find no evidence that Trump, as Steele alleged, colluded with the Russians to throw the 2016 election.

Comey also seems to have reassured the president that he was not the target of an ongoing FBI investigation, when in fact, Trump was. Comey was never indicted for either misleading or lying to a congressional committee or leaking a document variously considered either confidential or classified. While under oath, his interim successor, Andrew McCabe, on a number of occasions flat-out lied to federal investigators. Or as the office of the inspector general put it: “As detailed in this report, the OIG found that then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the WSJ, and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6. The OIG also concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”

McCabe purportedly believed Trump was working with the Russians as a veritable spy—a false accusation based entirely on the FBI’s paid, incoherent prevaricator Christopher Steele. And so, McCabe discussed with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein methods to have the president’s conversations wiretapped via a Rosenstein-worn stealthy recording device, presumably without a warrant. Note the FBI ruined the lives of General Michael Flynn and Carter Page with false allegations of criminal conduct or untruthful testimonies. Under current director Christopher Wray, the FBI has surveilled parents at school boards meetings—on the prompt of the National School Boards Association, whose president wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland alleging that bothersome parents upset over critical race indoctrination groups were supposedly violence-prone and veritable terrorists. Under Wray, the FBI staged the psychodramatic Mar-a-Lago raid on an ex-president’s home. The FBI likely leaked the post facto myths that the seized documents contained “nuclear codes” or “nuclear secrets.”

Read more …

What could go wrong?

Pandemic Response Gets A Permanent New Home At The White House (STAT)

The era of the rotating cast of public health czars at the White House may finally be over. Presidents for decades have brought fresh faces to the White House to coordinate federal responses to threats such as Covid-19, mpox, Ebola, AIDS, and the bird flu. Now, Congress aims to give pandemic response a permanent home at the White House.Next year’s government funding package includes a brand-new White House Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy that would have a director appointed by the president and up to 25 staff members. “They’re not simply going to retire the role that [White House Covid-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha] plays when the emergency declaration ends,” said J. Stephen Morrison, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the director of its Global Health Policy Center.


“You can’t just keep piling on coordinators, disease by disease.” The new director’s main responsibilities would be to advise the president on preparing for pandemics and other biological threats, to coordinate response activities across the federal government — including research into new countermeasures and distribution of medical supplies — and to evaluate the government’s readiness. The director would also be a member of the Domestic Policy Council and the National Security Council. “The functions outlined are exactly what is needed at the White House, and what I’ve been calling for for years, to avoid having any single agency take the lead on something that overlaps most departments in the U.S. government,” said Ken Bernard, who worked in biodefense policy in both the Clinton and George W. Bush White Houses.

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Start off with impossible conditions. And then say: hey, we tried!

Ukraine Calls For UN-Brokered ‘Peace Summit’ In February (RT)

Kiev has proposed holding a so-called “peace summit” by the end of February to mark the one-year anniversary since Russia launched its military operation against Ukraine. The initiative was announced by that country’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, who also set out conditions for inviting Moscow to the event. In an interview with AP published on Monday, Kuleba stated that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win its ongoing military conflict with Russia in 2023, but admitted that diplomacy always plays an important role. “Every war ends in a diplomatic way,” Kuleba said, adding that “every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”

The minister noted that the UN was “the best venue for holding this summit, because it is not about making a favor to a certain country” and suggested that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres could act as mediator for the event. “He has proven himself to be an efficient mediator and an efficient negotiator, and most importantly, as a man of principle and integrity. So we would welcome his active participation,” Kuleba said about Guterres. Asked about the matter of inviting Russia to this “peace summit,” Kuleba insisted Moscow must first face an “international court” and be prosecuted for supposed war crimes. He also dismissed Putin’s recent calls for negotiations, stating that everything Russia does on the battlefield “proves” that Moscow does not want to talk.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s addressed G20 leaders in Indonesia and laid out a ten-point “peace formula,” which includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, an “all for all” prisoner swap, and a tribunal for those Kiev accuses of aggression. Russia, meanwhile, has insisted that Kiev must “recognize the reality on the ground” as a prerequisite for any peace negotiations, including the new status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye as parts of Russia.

Read more …

Sleeper cells.

Report: The CIA Is Directing Sabotage Attacks Inside Russia (Antiwar)

The CIA has been using a European NATO country’s intelligence services to conduct sabotage attacks inside Russia since the February invasion of Ukraine, investigative journalist Jack Murphy reported on Saturday, citing unnamed former US intelligence and military officials. The report said that no US personnel are on the ground in Russia but that the operations are being directed by the CIA. The US is using an ally’s intelligence services to add an extra layer of plausible deniability, and a former US special operations official told Murphy that layer was a major factor in President Biden signing off on the attacks. Murphy said he didn’t name the NATO country whose intelligence services were being used in the report because “doing so might endanger the operational security of cells that are still operational inside of Russia.”

The report appeared on Murphy’s personal website, and in a note at the end of the piece, he explained why it wasn’t published by a media outlet. “While working with editors at mainstream publications I was asked to do things that were illegal and unethical in one instance, and in another instance I felt that a senior CIA official was able to edit my article by making off the record statements, before he leaked a story to The New York Times to undermine this piece,” he wrote. According to the report, the covert campaign inside Russia has been years in the making. Two former military officials said that the NATO country’s spy services had hidden a cache of explosives and equipment in Russia more than a decade ago, and some of the gear has been used recently.

A former US special operations official and US person briefed on the campaign said that the CIA didn’t get involved with the NATO country’s operations inside Russia until 2014. The first time sleeper cells entered Russia that were directed by both the CIA and the NATO ally’s spy service was in 2016, and more entered the country in the following years. The NATO ally provided the undercover operatives with stories to explain their presence in Russia and documents to back them up. The report said that around the time Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the NATO ally’s spy service activated its sleeper cells inside Russia using covert communication, and they were ready for orders on what targets to strike.

Read more …

Medvedev becomes more visible. He’s still close to Putin, or so it seems. If anything happens to Putin, he appears to be the go-to guy.

Medvedev Gives Timeline For Reconciliation With The West (RT)

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has accused Western powers of lying, causing a rift that will remain for decades to come, and convincing Moscow that there is no sense in trying to reach an agreement with them. Medevedev, who serves as deputy chair of the national Security Council, wrote in a keynote article on Sunday that the year 2022 has shattered illusions about the West, proving that its promises and principles cannot taken at face value. “Alas, there is nobody in the West we could deal with about anything for any reason,” he wrote. Medvedev went on to say that nations that claim global leadership deceived Russia when they claimed NATO expansion in Europe posed no threat to it.

They again lied when they backed a peace roadmap for Ukraine, which in reality was meant to give Kiev time to prepare for an eventual armed conflict with Russia, he added. The conflict in Ukraine is a war against Russia by a proxy, which was long in the making, Medvedev claimed. The behavior of Washington and others this year “is the last warning to all nations: there can be no business with the Anglo-Saxon world [because] it is a thief, a swindler, a card-sharp that could do anything.” For Russia, there will be no restoration of normal relations with the West for years or even decades to come, Medvedev predicted. “From now on we will do without them until a new generation of sensible politicians comes to power there. We will be careful and alert. We will develop relations with the rest of the world,” he wrote.

However, Medvedev argued that the loss of Western leadership could be a net positive, considering what he called the moral bankruptcy of the US-led neo-colonial order. Elites that caused the financial meltdown of 2008 and the ongoing global crisis are unable to claim global leadership, he wrote. “The West is incapable of offering to the world any new ideas, which would take humanity forward, solve global problems, or provide collective security,” the former president insisted. Medvedev expects that several regional blocs will emerge in the near future, each with its own values and rules, and that Russia will have its place in the new order.

Read more …

A very strange Twitter thread from Medvedev. Elon Musk reacted: “Those are definitely the most absurd predictions I’ve ever heard, while also showing astonishing lack of awareness of the progress of artificial intelligence and sustainable energy..”

What Can Happen In 2023 (Dmitry Medvedev)

On the New Year’s Eve, everybody’s into making predictions Many come up with futuristic hypotheses, as if competing to single out the wildest, and even the most absurd ones. Here’s our humble contribution.


1. Oil price will rise to $150 a barrel, and gas price will top $5.000 per 1.000 cubic meters
2. The UK will rejoin the EU
3. The EU will collapse after the UK’s return; Euro will drop out of use as the former EU currency
4. Poland and Hungary will occupy western regions of the formerly existing Ukraine
5. The Fourth Reich will be created, encompassing the territory of Germany and its satellites, i.e., Poland, the Baltic states, Czechia, Slovakia, the Kiev Republic, and other outcasts
6. War will break out between France and the Fourth Reich. Europe will be divided, Poland repartitioned in the process
7. Northern Ireland will separate from the UK and join the Republic of Ireland
8. Civil war will break out in the US, California. and Texas becoming independent states as a result. Texas and Mexico will form an allied state. Elon Musk’ll win the presidential election in a number of states which, after the new Civil War’s end, will have been given to the GOP
9. All the largest stock markets and financial activity will leave the US and Europe and move to Asia
10. The Bretton Woods system of monetary management will collapse, leading to the IMF and World Bank crash. Euro and Dollar will stop circulating as the global reserve currencies. Digital fiat currencies will be actively used instead
Season greetings to you all, Anglo-Saxon friends, and their happily oinking piglets!

Read more …

“..a delicate balancing act between fighting inflation and exacerbating the slowdown..”

ECB Governing Council Says Growth Of Key Rate In 2023 Possible (Az.)

A veteran member of the European Central Bank’s rate-setting council believes it has only just passed the halfway point of its tightening cycle and needs to be “in there for the long game” to tame high inflation, Report informs referring to Financial Times. After more than a decade of aggressive easing, 2022 was the year when many leading central banks began to raise rates in response to soaring prices. The ECB increased borrowing costs by 2.5 percentage points, capping the year with its fourth rise in a row to leave its benchmark deposit rate at 2 percent.


Klaas Knot, head of the Dutch central bank and one of the governing council’s more hawkish rate-setters, told the Financial Times that, with five policy meetings between now and July 2023, the ECB would achieve “quite a decent pace of tightening” through half percentage point rises in the months ahead before borrowing costs eventually peaked by the summer. In the eurozone, consumer price inflation hit a record high of 10.6 percent in the year to October – more than five times the ECB’s 2 percent target. In the Netherlands, inflation has been higher still, peaking at 17.1 percent in September. However, growth in the bloc is grinding to a halt, leaving central bankers facing a delicate balancing act between fighting inflation and exacerbating the slowdown.

Read more …

“The Polish leg of the route is currently being used to pump stored gas from Germany.”

Russia Ready To Resume Gas Supplies To EU – Official (RT)

Moscow is ready to restart supplies of natural gas to the EU via the Yamal-Europe Pipeline, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Monday. He noted that shipments through the route were halted for political reasons. According to the official, the EU remains a relevant market for Russia, which is able to resume supplies to a region suffering from a gas shortage. “For example, the Yamal-Europe Pipeline, which was shut down for political reasons, remains unused,” Novak said. Gas supplies via the pipeline, which usually flow westward, have been mostly reversed since Poland terminated a supply contract with Russia ahead of its end-2022 expiry date, after rejecting Moscow’s demand for ruble payments. The Polish leg of the route is currently being used to pump stored gas from Germany.


In response to Warsaw’s move, Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom cut off supplies, saying it could no longer send gas via Poland, while Moscow imposed sanctions against the firm that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline. Although Russian gas deliveries to the EU via the Nord Stream and Yamal-Europe pipelines have been halted, Russian gas is still being supplied to certain European buyers via a transit line through Ukraine and the TurkStream pipeline through Türkiye. Despite the persisting problems, Novak says he still sees the EU as a viable market for Russia. “Today we can confidently say that there is a stable demand for our gas. Therefore, we continue to consider Europe as a potential market for our products. It is clear that a large-scale campaign was launched against us, which ended with acts of sabotage against the Nord Stream pipelines,” he said. The market for LNG also remains open, according to Novak, who noted that Russian LNG supplies to the EU are expected to grow to 21 billion cubic meters by the end of the year.

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“We don’t want gas and oil supplies from Russia any more, at the same time our ‘green’ friends are restarting coal-fired power plants..”

Germany Becoming ‘Dysfunctional’ State – MP (RT)

Germany faces a serious risk of going bankrupt due to the government’s inability to find a viable solution to the current energy crisis, the Vice President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Kubicki, said in an interview published in the national Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag. According to the official, Germans now have the impression that their country is on the way to becoming a “dysfunctional state.” “Infrastructure, energy prices and the inability of the Bundeswehr [the country’s armed forces] to protect us are challenges that require immediate action from the German authorities, otherwise things will go wrong,” he said.

Kubicki blasted Economy Minister Robert Habeck over purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the US for “a lot of money” while at the same time refusing to mine cheaper shale gas in Germany “for purely ideological reasons.” He added that the German authorities should revise their approach to nuclear power plants, which should continue operating while the country is facing an energy crisis. “We don’t want gas and oil supplies from Russia any more, at the same time our ‘green’ friends are restarting coal-fired power plants, while preventing a reasonable extension of the life of nuclear power plants,” Kubicki said, commenting on Habeck’s latest decisions.

The MP called for a change in the government’s strategy and the rejection of excessive financial assistance in the face of the energy crisis. “If we continue to pursue the policies of paying out money for years as part of the fight against the energy crisis, then we are at risk of national bankruptcy if not state socialism,” Kubicki warned. According to the Vice Speaker, the funds that Berlin is planning to spend on additional purchases of energy resources amid the crunch were originally destined for investments in other areas. “This money cannot be printed or covered by taxpayers. We cannot exist in a state of financial crisis for a long time due to the risk of shortage of funds to support other areas,” he said.

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Poland seeks more power.

Return Europe To A Union Of Homelands (RMX)

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that “he and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will change Europe.” In an interview for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Morawiecki explained that Europe and power should return to stronger nation states. “We do not believe in a superstate of 27 EU member states. We want a return of a union of homelands,” underlined the Polish prime minister. Morawiecki pointed out that Europe has to choose between an authentic solidarity of equal states, or a model of a single superstate in which “decisions will be made in a couple of the largest capitals, disregarding other countries.” Referring to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Morawiecki pointed out that the Ukraine war will end only with the defeat of Vladimir Putin.


“We have warned that Russia’s colonial ambitions are a threat to eastern European countries and the entire EU,” said Morawiecki, adding that Europe must do everything to aid Ukraine, as the fall of Kyiv would open the way for Russia to conquer Europe. “Together with [Italian] Prime Minister Meloni, we stand to defend Ukraine. We realistically assess the threat posed by the Russian Federation,” the Polish leader added. According to Morawiecki, some European nations are more acutely aware of the Russian threat due to their past experiences. “That is why we all think about armaments and protecting against the threat from the East,” he explained Meloni often refers to policies pursued by Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) government, using them as a model and an example. She often mentions that European conservative parties need to cooperate, previously saying: “We will transform ideas into a government policy, just as our friends from the Czech and Polish republics have done.”

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It’s one big party.

Republican Senators Turn On Leader Mitch McConnell Over $1.7t Omnibus (DM)

Donald Trump tore into his Republican rival, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, on Monday over his role in helping pass a bipartisan $1.7 trillion ‘omnibus’ spending bill to keep federal government agencies and the military funded through September 2023. The former president dusted off an old favorite monicker of his for McConnell, calling him an ‘Old Crow,’ while also claiming that Democrats ‘must have something’ on the Kentucky legislator after he was one of 18 Senate Republicans to vote in favor of the bill. He had stopped using the nickname for a time after McConnell said ‘Old Crow’ was his favorite brand of Kentucky bourbon, and even once gifted bottles in a veiled dismissal of Trump’s taunts. Trump made his thoughts on the spending bill clear, deriding it as ‘ominous’ and claiming it would not have been passed under his administration.

He also hurled a racist insult he previously lodged at McConnell’s wife, his own former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. ‘The Marxist Democrats must have something really big on Mitch McConnell in order to get him and some of his friendly “Republican” Senators to pass the horrendous “All Democrat, All the Way” OMINOUS Bill,’ Trump wrote on his Truth Social app. ‘It gives Border Security to other countries, but ZERO $’s to the U.S., it fully funds the corrupt “Justice” Department, FBI (which RIGGED the Presidential Election!), and even the Trump Hating Special “Prosecutor.” It is also a massive giveaway & capitulation to CHINA, making COCO CHOW so happy!’ He wrote in a follow-up post, ‘If the Old Crow waited just 10 days, the Republican Majority in the House could have made the “Ominous” Bill MUCH, MUCH, MUCH BETTER.’

‘Just another win for the Democrats, Mitch, that wouldn’t have happened if “Trump” were President!’ Trump concluded. A pair of Republican senators loudly denounced McConnell on Sunday over his shepherding through the $1.7 trillion bill. The funding package includes fiscal victories for both parties. Many on the right who voted for it made clear that it was not the fiscal agenda they preferred but believed it was necessary to keep the military and other critical aspects of the government running smoothly. But federal spending priority talks have divided the GOP. Many on the right having opposed working with Democrats on where the government spends dollars next year.

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“..it still doesn’t explain how these outfits became the enemies of truth itself, and by extension, enemies of reality.”

What It’s Really About (Kunstler)

Not so many years ago, the force counter-balancing criminal misconduct in the government was the news media, even if the reporters and editors claimed to be on the political Left. Or, shall we say, especially if they were on the Left, because the Left in those days fervently championed free speech. Reporters of that long-ago day (Seymour Hersh, John Sack, and Michael Herr) would be out digging up the true facts of a big event — say, the US Military’s deadly blunders and scams in Vietnam — and editors would plaster screaming headlines about it on the front page: GENERAL SAYS “WE HAD TO DESTROY THE VILLAGE TO SAVE IT!” When the venerable news-spieler Walter Cronkite of CBS began to hint that the war was a fiasco, public opinion across the country shifted decisively against it.

Of course, those crimes and sins were committed against people in distant lands. Now, the administrative weight of the US is rolling over its own citizens, and over the Constitution — and the news media is uniformly and enthusiastically in favor of suppressing the news about it. How that happened is one of several cosmic mysteries of our time, along with who exactly runs “Joe Biden,” and how did the many nations of Western Civ adopt in lock-step Covid-19 policies aimed at harming their own people? No reporter even of the alt.news division even tried to get inside the head of New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet during the years of RussiaGate. Did he believe all that crap his paper was putting out? Now, you realize, it’s established fact (in the federal court record) that the Steele Dossier and everything spun off of it was a flim-flam confected by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

But even at the time, say 2017 to 2019, independent journalists were reporting the truth about it — for example, the FBI’s long-running fraud in the FISA Court — while The New York Times ardently inveighed against any emerging fact-pattern that broke through its wall of propaganda. The Times was showered with awards for that, including the Pulitzer Prize for its completely fallacious RussiaGate coverage. One easy answer is that The Times and many of its “legacy” cohorts — The WashPo, CBS, NBC, and ABC — have volunteered to be the public relations office of the Democratic Party, covering-up anything and everything the Party does against the public interest. And while that appears to be the case, it still doesn’t explain how these outfits became the enemies of truth itself, and by extension, enemies of reality.

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Julian Claus

 

 

 

 

Montreal 2010

 

 

 

 

Cobalt

 

 

Piano stairs

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 222022
 
 December 22, 2022  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


VIncent van Gogh Weeping woman seated on a basket 1883

 

NATO Could Take Out Russia in 3 Days: Congressman (NW)
Biden Explains Why Zelensky Can’t Get Everything He Wants (RT)
Putin Explains What Russia Faces In Ukraine (RT)
Russia Begins Deployment Of New State-of-Art Sarmat ICBM (RT)
Kremlin Reacts To Patriot Missiles For Ukraine (ZH)
Moscow Comments On NATO Presence In Ukraine (RT)
No Evidence Kremlin Is Behind Nord Stream Blasts – WaPo (RT)
The Harder They Come … (Jotwani)
1st Year Of New German Government: ‘Double-Whammy’ Of Double Standards (Az.)
How Musk Averted A $3 Billion Twitter Crash (ZH)
FBI Accuses ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ Of Weaponizing Twitter Files (RT)
Corruption Scandal Hurts EU ‘Credibility’ – European Council President (RT)
Kari Lake Election Challenge Trial Reveals Major Confession (WJ)
Caroline Ellison Throws SBF Under The Bus (ZH)
Ghost Town: ‘The Song Margaret Thatcher Wishes Was Never Released’ (BBC)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Zel

 

 

 

 

Cheney

 

 

Pres

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Zelenskyin DC, Putin in Belarus and Medvedev delivering Putin’s message to Xi in Beijing, it’s not hard to see why some people think we’re preparing for something big.

If Kinzinger actually believes what he says, he’s dangerously misguided. If he doesn’t but says it anyway, he dangerously misguides many Americans.

If NATO attacks Russia, its capitals would be destroyed. And it wouldn’t take 3 days.

NATO Could Take Out Russia in 3 Days: Kinzinger (NW)

Representative Adam Kinzinger said on Monday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) could take out Russia in only three days. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long taken issue with NATO—a coalition of Western governments including much of Europe and the United States—raising concerns about the West’s expanding sphere of influence in the months leading up to the Ukraine war. Specifically, the Russian leader opposed the possibility of Ukraine joining the organization. Experts have raised concern the Russia-Ukraine war could escalate into a larger conflict with NATO in the nearly 10 months since Putin launched his “special military operation” on the Eastern European country. Should Putin attack a NATO member state, that country can invoke Article 5 of the NATO charter, which states that “an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all allies,” essentially meaning a military response from all members could be initiated.

Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, weighed in on what he believes a NATO-Russia conflict would be like, responding to a tweet questioning why NATO hasn’t defeated Russia yet. “I’m hoping this is a joke. NATO vs Russia would be like a real three day operation,” the GOP lawmaker wrote. Kinzinger has been vocal supporter of Ukraine throughout the conflict. In April, he called out members of his own party for focusing on attacking Disney despite the “genocide going on in Ukraine.””There is a genocide going on in Ukraine and the outrage is over what’s happening at Walt Disney,” Kinzinger said at the time, referring to the battle between Disney and Florida Republicans over the state’s anti-LGBTQ law. “You guys deserve way better.”

While many NATO member states have provided Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid throughout the conflict, they have not become directly involved. The international community largely believes sending their troops into Ukraine would likely lead to an escalation of the war. However, since Ukraine is not a NATO member, Russia’s invasion would not draw a NATO military response.In November, concerns about NATO’s involvement grew after a missile struck a village in Poland—which is part of the coalition—killing two individuals. Reports at first emerged that the missile was produced by Russia, but authorities ultimately ruled that it was accidentally fired by Ukraine in an effort to knock out Russian missile strikes on civilian infrastructure.

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NATO is running out of weapons, as Russia is adding them.

“Doing more would have “the prospect of breaking up NATO, breaking up Europe, and the rest of the world..”

Biden Explains Why Zelensky Can’t Get Everything He Wants (RT)

Giving Kiev all the weapons it wants might break NATO, US President Joe Biden said in a joint appearance with his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky in Washington on Wednesday. Biden added he was not worried the delivery of Patriot missiles to Ukraine might escalate tensions with Russia – as Moscow has warned – because they’re “defensive” weapons. Biden and Zelensky answered the questions of four hand-picked reporters after their meeting at the White House. The last one came from a Ukrainian journalist who asked why the West simply doesn’t give Ukraine “all capabilities it needs to liberate all territories.” “His answer is yes,” the US president deadpanned, pointing to Zelensky, who replied “I agree,” to laughter from the gathered press.


Biden then pointed out that the US “dedicated an enormous amount of security assistance to Ukraine” even before hostilities escalated in February – though in his prepared remarks he called the Russian military operation “unprovoked and unjustified.” “We’ve given Ukraine what they needed when they needed to defend themselves,” the US leader insisted, listing hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, and ammunition that Washington and NATO have handed over to Kiev. Doing more would have “the prospect of breaking up NATO, breaking up Europe, and the rest of the world,” Biden said, noting that he’s spent “hundreds” of hours persuading US partners around the globe to help Ukraine, but “they are not looking for a Third World War” by fighting Russia directly. “But I’ve said too much.”

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“Moscow is well aware of the role that NATO is playing in the Ukraine conflict..”

“Russia is facing the “military potential and capabilities of almost all major NATO countries” in Ukraine..”

Putin Explains What Russia Faces In Ukraine (RT)

Moscow is confronted by the military capabilities of “almost all major NATO countries,” the Russian president has said Moscow is well aware of the role that NATO is playing in the Ukraine conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. He urged senior defense officials to carefully analyze the capabilities provided to Kiev by the US-led military bloc. Speaking at an extended meeting of the Board of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Putin said that Russia is facing the “military potential and capabilities of almost all major NATO countries” in Ukraine, adding that this will not stop Moscow from achieving its objectives. He went on to say that “all information about NATO forces [and] the means which are actively being used against us during the special military operation, are well known,” and that all of this should be “carefully analyzed and used” in order to increase the combat capabilities of Russia’s armed forces and security agencies.


He also said that the Russian forces have acquired a great deal of combat experience during the conflict. He called on senior defense officials to “analyze and systemize it in a timely manner” in order to share what has been learned with military personnel. Earlier this month, Putin blasted the West’s policies of shipping weapons to Ukraine and accused the West of fueling “genocide and terror in the Donbass,” saying it is turning Ukraine into “a colony” and “is cynically using the Ukrainian people as cannon fodder, a battering ram against Russia.” NATO has claimed that while it supports Ukraine militarily, it is not a party to the conflict. In early December, however, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington and NATO of direct involvement in the conflict.

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“..assure guaranteed penetration of any anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, both now and in the future..”

Russia Begins Deployment Of New State-of-Art Sarmat ICBM (RT)

Russia’s first new silo-based Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) will be deployed into service next year, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of Russia’s senior defense officials with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. “Successful launches of the new heavy Sarmat missile system during state-run tests made it possible to begin work on its deployment,” Shoigu said. In total, some 22 new strategic nuclear missile launchers, including the silo-based Sarmat, as well as the Avangard and Yars systems, are set to be deployed to the country’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) next year, the minister revealed. Putin said that efforts would continue to improve the country’s SMF, adding that “the share of modern types of weapons in [Russia’s] strategic nuclear forces has exceeded 91% this year.”


“We will continue to maintain and improve the combat-readiness of our nuclear triad. This is the main guarantee for preserving our sovereignty and territorial integrity, strategic parity, and the general balance of power in the world,” he stated. The liquid-fueled heavy ICBM was first successfully test-launched back in April. The new system is ultimately set to replace the aging silo-based R-36M2 Voevoda missiles, the backbone of Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrence. Speaking with Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), the official newspaper of the Russian military, the head of Russia’s SMF, General Sergey Karakaev, said the new missile boasts vastly larger capabilities than its predecessor.“The missile system Sarmat has a wide range of capabilities for deploying various types of combat payloads and is based on principles that assure guaranteed penetration of any anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, both now and in the future,” Karakaev told the newspaper last week.

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“Weapon supplies (by the U.S.) continue, the assortment of supplied weapons is expanding. All this, of course, leads to an aggravation of the conflict and, in fact, does not bode well for Ukraine..”

Kremlin Reacts To Patriot Missiles For Ukraine (ZH)

In its first reaction to widespread reports that the White House is moving forward with plans to send Patriot anti-air missile defense systems to Ukraine, the Kremlin said the move will only serve to aggravate the conflict and warned against it, while Putin in new remarks teased more advanced Russian weapons to be deployed, including hypersonic missiles. “Weapon supplies (by the U.S.) continue, the assortment of supplied weapons is expanding. All this, of course, leads to an aggravation of the conflict and, in fact, does not bode well for Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. A formal White House announcement confirming that Ukraine will get Patriots is expected Wednesday while Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is meeting with President Biden to discuss the war, and ahead of Zelensky’s expected 7:30pm EST address to Congress.

Ukraine sees the more advanced anti-air defenses as vital if it hopes to survive the now constant barrage of strikes targeting its national energy infrastructure, which has left millions without power amid freezing temperatures. At one point early this week, some 80% of the Kyiv region was without power, as rolling emergency blackouts continue nation-wide. The Patriot missiles could be a game-changer given they have a maximum range of some 100 miles and are capable of downing ballistic missiles. Zelensky has long demanded that the US and NATO help “close the skies” over Ukraine. Putin for his part in Wednesday statements vowed to see the military operation through until all goals are achieved in Ukraine, also pledging to continue giving the military anything it needs.

Just as headlines of the White House approving Patriots for Ukraine spread internationally, he indicated readiness to deploy the hypersonic Sarmat missile to Ukraine: “He also said Russia needed to take special note of the importance of drones in the 10-month conflict and said Russia’s hypersonic Sarmat missile – dubbed “Satan II” would be ready for deployment in the near future.” For Kiev, Putin’s new threats will only underscore the need to keep the anti-air defenses and longer range missiles flowing from the West. As a Wednesday Reuters headlines reads, Mr. Zelensky is coming to Washington seeking “weapons, weapons, and more weapons.” Meanwhile, given Zelensky’s dramatic D.C. visit is happening during the holidays, mainstream journalists and pundits are unironically encouraging more “Christmas presents” for the Ukrainians…

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Escalate.

Moscow Comments On NATO Presence In Ukraine (RT)

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu pointed to the presence of NATO staff officers and other specialists on the front lines in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, on top of almost $100 billion worth of pledged weapons and supplies from the military bloc countries.“Russia’s armed forces are presently facing allied forces of the West,” Shoigu said on Wednesday at a meeting of the top military commanders in Moscow. “The US and its allies supply the Kiev regime with weapons, train its soldiers, provide intelligence, dispatch advisers and mercenaries, and wage an information and sanctions war against us.” Shoigu said NATO countries have so far expended more than $97 billion on weapons deliveries, in order to make up for what he described as “considerable losses” inflicted on the Ukrainian military by Russian forces.

NATO “staff officers, artillery personnel and other specialists are present in the zone of combat operations,” the defense minister added. More than 500 satellites are working to provide intelligence to the Ukrainian military, of which only 70 are purely military and the rest are dual-purpose, according to Shoigu. Multiple Western officials, from US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on down, have said that they are backing Ukraine in order to weaken Russia and that Moscow must not be allowed to win – while insisting they are not a party to the conflict. The US military alone has committed $20 billion in “security assistance” to Kiev since February.

While the initial weapons shipments included small arms and portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, NATO countries have since sent Ukraine tanks, fighter jets, drones, rocket and tube artillery, as well as more complex air defenses. Russia has repeatedly warned the US and its allies that such shipments could lead to a direct confrontation between Moscow and NATO, and accused the West of prolonging the conflict and causing needless deaths in Ukraine.

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Regurgitating old folk tales.

No Evidence Kremlin Is Behind Nord Stream Blasts – WaPo (RT)

Several unnamed European officials have privately acknowledged doubts over whether Russia is to blame for the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, according to the Washington Post. The two gas conduits crossing the Baltic Sea were ruptured by several powerful explosions in late September. In a piece published Wednesday, the paper quoted an anonymous European official as saying, “there is no evidence at this point that Russia was behind the sabotage.” The article said that assessment was shared by 23 diplomatic and intelligence personnel from nine European nations, whom the Post interviewed in recent weeks. Several of the sources expressed the view that Russia was unlikely to be behind the explosions.

Others, however, merely argued that it would likely be impossible to assign responsibility to any one country beyond a reasonable doubt, the paper reported. Some officials cited in the article referred to alleged interceptions of communications between Russian officials and military forces, obtained by US intelligence. According to them, Washington has so far not seen anything indicating Russia’s involvement. Following the attacks on the two pipelines, only one of which was operational, Western governments were quick to point the finger at Moscow. Just four days after the incident, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the BBC that it “seem[ed]” Russia was to blame.German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, in turn, said in early October that “Russia saying ‘It wasn’t us’ is like saying ‘I’m not the thief.’”

The Ukrainian government described the explosions as a “terrorist attack planned by Russia.” On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opined that “no one in the European Union is apparently going to objectively investigate” the blasts.In mid-October, the ministry released a statement saying that German, Swedish and Danish authorities had refused to let Moscow participate in their probes despite the latter’s requests. The statement said the Kremlin would view the refusals as proof that the countries “have something to hide or [that] they are covering up the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks.” It also warned that Moscow would “of course, not recognize any ‘pseudo-results’ of such an investigation, unless Russian experts take part in it.”

At the time of the incident, neither Nord Stream 1, nor Nord Stream 2 were pumping Russian gas to Europe. Exports via the older conduit had been halted by Moscow in early September, citing Western sanctions as the reason. Nord Stream 2, though technically ready, had failed to receive permission from German authorities and had never been in operation. While gas supplies from Russia to Europe have dwindled significantly since February 24, several pipelines crossing Belarus, Ukraine and the Black Sea remain in operation.

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Semantics?

The Harder They Come … (Jotwani)

Alastair Crooke is a sage whose thoughtful writings pack vast breadth and depth of understanding of history and geopolitics. His analysis is free of the slightest hint of bias or narrow partisanship – a fact which seems almost incredible given that he worked for the UK Government for a couple of decades. In fact, the sage and his writings testify to a constant and priceless element of western tradition – namely, independent thought. It was therefore as a surprising and rare slip of the pen, that one read the following paragraph in an article written very recently by him: “But … can the West, which has been so deep in denial about both the incredible economic and military transformation that has occurred in Russia since 1998, and in such vehement denial too, of the capacities of the Russian military, simply slide effortlessly into another narrative? Yes, easily. The neocons never look back; they never apologise. They move to the next project …”

Reference in the first sentence is made to “the West”. One has to assume that the reference is to the ruling dispensation – or shall we say regime? – in certain countries, because clearly not every human being in these countries has been in denial about events in Russia since 1998. Later in the paragraph, however, the phrase used in place of “the West” – rather unconsciously, one must assume – is “the neocons”. Is that substitution not hugely surprising? The two phrases do not – cannot! – represent the same slice of human life! Equation of the two was surely unintentional. William Shakespeare, James Clerk Maxwell, Mark Twain, William James – these are just a few illustrious references from the English speaking regions of “the West”. These and many others – including of course Alastair Crooke himself – have not the remotest connection to “the neocons” view of life.

Possibly, “the neocons” are the newest version of the crazies who have always attempted to lord it over “the West” – as indeed over much of the world. Such people are always at the game of deceptively and cruelly acquiring raw power; but surely such wannabe power grabbers do not equate to “the West”. Indeed, that the two were thus equated – even if unintentionally – also proves that “the West” is no longer a meaningful phrase, if indeed it ever was. Of course “the East” and “the South” have already figured that out – as we sense clearly in the winds of change blowing through global political alignments.

Crooke also writes that the neocons do not look back or apologize. No power hungry crazies ever do that. Never. It is as if they drive a vehicle with faulty brakes, no reverse gear and a cracked and dirty windshield. Their judgement clouded by limitless greed for power, they lack understanding of the progress which in fact happens not only in Russia, but all over the world. Their every “next project” is therefore doomed to end worse than the one before. A crash is therefore inevitable, even though it will be denied by ideologues during – and even after – it occurs. What the rest of mankind see clearly as a crash will be written up as a victory, or a major engineered paradigm shift, or some such nonsense.

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“..Berlin handed its energy companies €15 billion to go on a gas shopping spree – resulting in an unprecedented spike in gas prices..”

1st Year Of New German Government: ‘Double-Whammy’ Of Double Standards (Az.)

Few large countries laud their commitment to liberal values like democracy, human rights and the rule of law as much as the world’s fourth-largest economy does, but the first year of the new German government has been a “double-whammy” of double standards, Report informs via Euractiv. “We want to increase the strategic sovereignty of the European Union by making our foreign, security, development and trade policies value-based and based on common European interests,” reads the founding treaty of the incoming government from November 2021. Ukraine quickly felt what the new value-based German government policy amounted to. As more than 100,000 Russian soldiers amassed at their borders and an invasion was imminent, Berlin saw it fit to equip Ukraine with 5,000 helmets while blocking the Baltic states from sending Soviet-era artillery.


Lest we forget, as Russian soldiers were camped out miles from the border, leading German politicians continued to fiercely defend Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia throughout January 2022 – a pipeline designed to bypass Ukraine, deprive the country of gas transit income and further increase Germany’s dependence on the Kremlin. One “should not drag Nord Stream 2 into this conflict”, explained Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht at the time. Aside from Ukraine, when Russia began turning off the gas tap, Berlin handed its energy companies €15 billion to go on a gas shopping spree – resulting in an unprecedented spike in gas prices. In August, Germany’s panicked buying to fill its gas stores sent the price to a level twenty times higher than in January 2021.

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Which part of that would “the agencies” have furnished?

How Musk Averted A $3 Billion Twitter Crash (ZH)

Elon Musk on Tuesday night said that Twitter was on course for $3 billion of negative cashflow before he stepped in and nuked more than half the company. Twitter itself, meanwhile, is operating better than ever – with a significant reduction in bots, and increases in speed. “That is why I spent the last five weeks cutting costs like crazy,” Musk said during a Twitter Spaces event. “This company is like, basically, you are in a plane that is headed toward the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.” Since Musk acquired Twitter in October for $44 billion – financing the deal in part with nearly $13 billion of debt and interest payments of $1.5 billion per year, he has set out on a mission to cut costs and revamp the social media giant, which he said was losing $4 million per day as of early November, and was at risk of going bankrupt.

Roughly 5,000 of the company’s 7,500 employees have been fired, with the remaining workers agreeing to a “hardcore” work ethic, Bloomberg reports. Over the weekend Musk conducted a straw poll on Twitter asking people if they wanted him to resign as the company’s top executive. About 58% of respondents said yes and Musk has since confirmed he’d step down once an appropriate replacement was found, for a job he’s said anyone would be “foolish” to take. “In the Twitter Spaces event, Musk painted a dire picture of the company’s finances but suggested that he has managed to avert a total meltdown. -Bloomberg”.

In 2021, Twitter’s costs totaled nearly $5.6 billion, while Musk said the company was on track to spend around $5 billion next year. When combined with the acquisition-tied debt repayments, Twitter would be looking at around $6.5 billion in 2023 expenses had costs not been slashed so drastically. According to Musk, Twitter is now on track to bring in around $3 billion in revenue in 2023 – roughly $2 billion less than the $5.1 billion reported at the end of 2021, while the company has $1 billion in cash on its balance sheet. “I now think that Twitter will, in fact, be okay next year,” Musk continued during the Spaces event, adding that he thinks the company will “roughly” break-even, but that “this will be difficult.”

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“..officials from no fewer than 12 government agencies met with representatives of Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech firms weekly..”

FBI Accuses ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ Of Weaponizing Twitter Files (RT)

Correspondence between the FBI and Twitter staff revealing how the agency pressured the platform to suppress certain narratives is not evidence of wrongdoing, the Bureau said in a statement on Wednesday, blaming “conspiracy theorists” for presenting their activities in a nefarious light. The messages turned over to journalists by Twitter CEO Elon Musk over the last two weeks “show nothing more than examples of our tradition, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements,” the FBI statement claims. “It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency,” the statement concludes, reminding its critics that “the men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public.”

Messages appearing to show FBI agents pressuring Twitter staff to censor legitimate stories like the Hunter Biden ‘laptop from hell’ as foreign influence operations were merely innocuous examples of the FBI “provid[ing] critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers,” the Bureau argued. Internal communications among platform employees suggest otherwise.In messages published as part of the Twitter Files, staff repeatedly point out there is “no evidence” to substantiate FBI claims of foreign disinformation and express discomfort with the bureau’s meddling. Twitter’s former policy director observed a “sustained (if uncoordinated) effort by the IC [intelligence community]” to push Twitter to share more information against its own policies, while the FBI ultimately paid Twitter more than $3.5 million in taxpayer dollars to prioritize its censorship requests.

The White House has thus far refused to comment on the Twitter Files, referring reporters to the FBI, and the media establishment have largely ignored them. However, former Republican congressman Ron Paul argued they are proof the FBI colluded with Twitter to deprive Americans of their constitutional right to free speech. A lawsuit filed earlier this year by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana alleges that the FBI was not alone, and that officials from no fewer than 12 government agencies met with representatives of Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech firms weekly to decide which narratives and users to censor, with topics ranging from alleged election interference to Covid-19.

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“As many as 60 current and former MEPs may have been involved in the scheme..”

Corruption Scandal Hurts EU ‘Credibility’ – European Council President (RT)

A corruption scandal that led to the arrest of former European Parliament VP Eva Kaili for allegedly taking bribes from Qatar is wrecking the bloc’s credibility at a time when it is already vulnerable, European Council President Charles Michel told Politico on Wednesday.The revelation that MEPs reportedly engaged in illicit lobbying on behalf of the Qatari government in exchange for millions of euros in cash and gifts is “dramatic and damaging for the credibility of the European Union,” Michel said, lamenting that the scandal was “making it even more difficult for us to focus on the economic and energy crises that impact the lives of European citizens right now.”

Michel suggested the bloc must act in order to prevent a repeat performance. “We first need to learn lessons from this and come up with a package of measures to avoid such things – to prevent corruption in the future,” he told Politico, complaining that the aura of impropriety would make his job more difficult.Kaili and her husband Francesco Giorgi were arrested earlier this month by Belgian law enforcement, along with former Italian MEP Antonio Panzeri, whom Giorgi identified as the leader of the bribery ring, and a fourth individual. All have been charged with “participation in a criminal organization, money laundering, and corruption.”

Belgian authorities seized more than €1.5 million in assets from properties linked to the four suspects. As many as 60 current and former MEPs may have been involved in the scheme, according to Italian media reports, with most hailing from the Socialists & Reformers parliamentary group.The European Parliament has temporarily halted all lobbying work related to Qatar, and recently voted to deny representatives from the Gulf state access to its premises while condemning the alleged “foreign interference” in its business. Doha has denied any wrongdoing and warned that the parliament’s “discriminatory” decision could disrupt the supply of energy to the continent, which has recently ramped up its consumption of Qatari natural gas to replace embargoed supply from Russia.

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“Maricopa County admits they do NOT count ballots at vote centers (which is required by State Law).”

Kari Lake Election Challenge Trial Reveals Major Confession (WJ)

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer testified Wednesday during GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s election challenge trial that the individual polling locations did not tally the total number of votes cast in the midterm elections, a seeming violation of state law. Lake attorney Bryan Blehm asked Richer whether the county knew on Election Day the total number of ballots submitted by voters. One of the allegations in Lake’s lawsuit is that the total number of ballots the county reported in the election increased by nearly 25,000 from Nov. 9, the day after the contest, to Nov. 11. That number is significant because it exceeds Katie Hobbs’ approximately 17,000-vote margin of victory over Lake. “On Election Day it would’ve been easy for you to figure out how many ballots you received,” Blehm said to Richer.

He responded, “Well, we had to get them all in and it was quite a process throughout the night.” Blehm interjected, “You can look at the forms and add the numbers. Correct?” “They’re not counted at the individual loading locations,” Richer said. “They are counted when they get back to MCTEC and then they are recounted at Runbeck.” MCTEC is the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in downtown Phoenix and Runbeck is the company the county uses to process and scan ballots. “Does anybody know when those ballots leave the voting centers how many are in the bins?” Blehm asked. “When the early ballots leave the voting centers, no, they are not counted at the voting centers,” Richer answered.

Blehm followed up, “Nobody knows how many [ballots] are in the bins when they arrive at MCTEC. Correct?” “Correct,” Richer said. The Arizona Republican Party tweeted in response, “Maricopa County admits they do NOT count ballots at vote centers (which is required by State Law).” The 2019 Arizona elections procedures manual, which cites state law, requires an audit at each voting location of the total number of ballots cast. The results must be recorded in an official ballot report.The audit even requires accounting for the total amount of ballot stock paper on-site. The ballots cast must then be placed in sealed boxes.

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Next up: the parents.

Caroline Ellison Throws SBF Under The Bus (ZH)

Two weeks ago, when amid reports that the former CEO of Alameda Capital (which as a reminder was ground zero of the FTX implosion after it blew up $8 billion in FTX client funds on trades gone horribly wrong), Caroline Ellison, was spotted in New York just after retaining Clinton superlawyer, Jamie Gorelick of Wilmer Hale, which as readers may recall was the former No. 2 ranking member in the Clinton Justice Department, and in a recent interview, she referred to current AG Merrick Garland as her “wingman”, we asked if Caroline had rolled on Sam Bankman-Fried, who was also her former lover. Fast forward to today when we just got confirmation that Caroline Ellison has fucked Bankman-Fried one final time by indeed rolling on him, and “turning states” in the criminal prosecution of the corpulent “Hairy Plotter”, who commingled and stole the client money in his FTX exchange to fund a series of terrible crypto bets at his personal hedge fund Alameda, fund tens of millions in donations to democrats and buy up prestigious real estate for himself and his “altruistic” progressive lawyer parents.

According to a Manhattan Federal prosecutor, two of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s closest associates have pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to co-operate with US authorities investigating the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange. In other words, they took a plea deal to avoid even more prison time in exchange for serving SBF on a silver platter to the Feds. Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the guilty pleas and criminal charges against Caroline Ellison and Zixiao “Gary” Wang, the low profile co-founder of FTX, in a short video statement. His office had brought eight charges against Bankman-Fried last week.

Ellison pleaded guilty to seven counts, including wire and securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carry a maximum sentence of 110 years in prison, while Wang pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud, with a maximum 50-year sentence. The documents said prosecutors would not oppose bail requests from both defendants under certain conditions, including posting a bond and handing in their travel documents, as they awaited formal sentencing. Concurrently, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed civil lawsuits against the 28-year-old Ellison and 29-year-old Wang, accusing them of fraud.

“As part of their deception, we allege that Caroline Ellison and Sam Bankman-Fried schemed to manipulate the price of FTT, an exchange crypto security token that was integral to FTX, to prop up the value of their house of cards,” said SEC chair Gary Gensler. Furthermore, as CEO of the FTX trading affiliate, Ellison “used FTX’s customer assets to pay Alameda’s debts” and diverted billions of dollars of depositors’ money to the company to fill a hole caused by a crypto market crash in May, the SEC’s complaint alleges.

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”By the end of the week more than 20 towns and cities including London, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Leeds and Luton had riots of their own. The Specials were providing the soundtrack.”

Ghost Town: ‘The Song Margaret Thatcher Wishes Was Never Released’ (BBC)

July 1981. Riots have broken out around Britain. Charles and Diana are about to marry. And backstage at Top of The Pops, The Specials are falling apart. In a few minutes they will perform their latest hit Ghost Town, which over the years, would come to be regarded as one of the greatest British singles of all time. It was a track which bottled the discord, racial tensions and societal breakdown happening in the UK that summer. There had already been riots in Brixton that April, over the increased use of a new stop-and-search policy, the so-called sus law, which was named Operation Swamp. Police were said to have mounted a campaign of harassment against the black community in south London.

Terry Hall is telling the band that he too has had enough. Worn down by touring, band infighting and struggling to deal with success, he wants out. It is too difficult to be singing about disharmony, while surrounded by it, both inside and outside The Specials. “We knew it was going to end as we were recording it (Ghost Town),” Terry Hall told Front Row in 2019. “It was bizarre. It took about eight months to record. I don’t think there were more than two of us in the studio at any point. Those weren’t good signs really. It finished up with me in a living room in Tottenham singing Ghost Town. It was all over the place. But it was a great way to bow out.” He was 22.

“Talk about zeitgeist. That one song suddenly captured so much,” remembered Specials fan and Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chada in the 2021 BBC Documentary 2 Tone: The Sound of Coventry. “If there is one song Margaret Thatcher wishes never got released, it’s probably Ghost Town,” she added.On 7 July 1981, Radio One announced that Ghost Town had replaced Michael Jackson’s One Day In Your Life at the top of the charts. That same day, newspaper front pages were full of reports about the first ever use of CS gas grenades by the police on mainland Britain, as they struggled to contain the Toxteth Riots. These were sparked by tensions between police and the local community in Liverpool. By the end of the week more than 20 towns and cities including London, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Leeds and Luton had riots of their own. The Specials were providing the soundtrack.

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Xfiles 2016

 

 

 

 

Zel TV

 

 

Ants and cities

 

 

Eel catfish

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 212022
 
 December 21, 2022  Posted by at 9:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


VIncent van Gogh Weeping woman 1883

 

Musk Advocates Modern ‘Church Commission’ To Investigate FBI Corruption (ZH)
FBI Paid Twitter $3.5m ‘To Do Its Bidding’ (DM)
Twitter ‘Directly Assisted’ Pentagon’s Propaganda Campaign (RT)
White House Dodges Question About FBI Interference (RT)
Musk Announces Policy Change For Twitter Polls (RT)
The J6 Referral Falls Short of a Credible Criminal Case (Turley)
Dems Dump Trump Tax Data In Tuesday Night Release (ZH)
The Road from Serfdom (Batiushka)
Zelensky Planning To Visit US Capitol In Person On Wednesday (Hill)
Macron Doubles Down On ‘Security Guarantees’ For Russia (RT)
Nationalization Of German Gas Giant Approved – Reuters (RT)
Germany, Poland Order More Russian Oil – Transneft (RT)
The European Non-Union after Qatargate: Was it Designed to Fail? (Ugo Bardi)
S&D Chief Summons MEP Eva Kaili Over ‘Ghost’ Vote (RT)
The Most Important Dataset of the Pandemic was Just Released (GP)
White House Can’t Mandate COVID Jabs for Federal Contractors: Appeals Court (ET)

 

 

 

 

10 minutes

 

 

 

 

Redfield

 

 

 

 

Stick jump

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new Church Committee. Would it make any sense? It was hard enough to get anywhere investigating US intel in 1975, but now?! Musk has added Lee Fang to his team of journalists, and his contribution is CENTCOM files. They are all involved, all the agencies, and which politician, let alone a whole committee, will stand up to them? Twitter just sold themselves to the agencies; that was their business model.

“Brookings: Watergate shocked the American public and spurred many of its representatives in Congress to demand an investigation into the past activities of [the FBI, CIA,] NSA and others. The result was the creation of two congressional committees in 1975, chaired by Frank Church (D-ID) in the Senate and Otis Pike (D-N.Y.) in the House of Representatives. Their hearings exposed secret, arguably illegal wiretapping, bugging, and harassment of American citizens, including Supreme Court justices, reporters, and government officials, all in the name of collecting intelligence about threats to national security. The most notorious case, first exposed in the 1960s and fully documented by the Church Committee, was the wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr. by the NSA and by the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, who believed him to be part of a Communist conspiracy.”

Musk Advocates Modern ‘Church Commission’ To Investigate FBI Corruption (ZH)

In the wake of the most recent ‘Twitter Files’ release – which showed that the FBI infiltrated the social media giant, then primed its ‘Trust & Safety’ head to interpret things like the Hunter Biden release as foreign influence – CEO Elon Musk asked Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) whether he approved ‘hidden state censorship in direct violation of the Constitution.”

Some have speculated that the speed at which Twitter reacted to the NY Post’s Hunter Biden bombshell was the result of a “powerful Dem” reaching out to the FBI’s operative, Elvis Chan. Musk also advocated for a modern-day Church Commission, responding to a suggestion promoted by investor David Sacks.

“Hear, hear!!” Musk replied. Of note, thought leaders such as Eric Weinstein have been calling for a new Church Commission for years to unravel revelations that the FBI participated in the Russiagate hoax against candidate – and then sitting President, Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in response to the Twitter Files revelation that the FBI was deeply embedded at Twitter, Rep. Jim Jordan said: “I have concerns about whether the government was running a misinformation operation on We the People.” Perhaps Jordan will get behind the new Church Commission idea?

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Why Twitter never needed a viable business model.

FBI Paid Twitter $3.5m ‘To Do Its Bidding’ (DM)

The FBI handed nearly $3.5 million of taxpayers money to Twitter to pay its staff to handle requests from the bureau as it sought to ban accounts. A Twitter employee wrote in a February 2020 email that the company’s Safety, Content & Law Enforcement (SCALE) had ‘collected $3,415,323’ in less than two years from the FBI for ‘law-enforcement related projects.’ The email, which was revealed by journalist Michael Shellenberger, stated that SCALE had instituted a ‘reimbursement program’ in exchange for devoting staff hours to ‘processing requests from the FBI’. The emails was entitled ‘Run the business – We made money!’. The accounts the FBI asked Twitter to ban were largely linked to conservatives and ‘foreign influence operations’.

Twitter initially believed the Hunter Biden laptop story was ‘Russian disinformation’. It was revealed Monday that Jim Baker, Twitter’s top lawyer and ex-FBI general counsel, personally intervened to say it should be banned. Baker told Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security, that the laptop story should be blocked – a day after getting a top secret briefing from his former FBI colleagues. He wrote: ‘There are some facts that indicate the materials may have been hacked. We simply need more information.’ We went on to write: ‘I’m guessing we are going to restrict access to their article as violation of our Hacked Materials policy.’ An investigation into Twitter’s behavior around the 2020 presidential election by the incoming Republican majority in the house has been promised with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy telling Fox News this week: ‘This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.’

Current Twitter CEO Elon Musk said of the emails: ‘Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.’ In a previous dump, journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted: ‘Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.’ In response to the latest developments, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in an appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox News: ‘We’re going to do more than just subpoena them. We’re going to change the course of where the FBI is today.’ He went on: ‘Every day we learn something more.’ The congressman from California continued: ‘Why are they [the FBI] able to do this? Working together, using private businesses to go after individuals right before an election, denying the American public the truth?’

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Lee Fang does the CENTCOM part of the Twitter Files.

Twitter ‘Directly Assisted’ Pentagon’s Propaganda Campaign (RT)

Twitter executives have granted the US Defense Department special privileges to use the social media platform for its covert online influence campaigns for at least five years, newly released internal company communications show. Investigative journalist Lee Fang published the eighth batch of documents on Tuesday, after the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, authorized the release in an effort to provide transparency about Twitter’s past decision-making. “Despite promises to shut down covert state-run propaganda networks, Twitter docs show that the social media giant directly assisted the US military’s influence operations,” wrote Fang. The journalist was allowed to make requests for internal Twitter documents through an attorney, “meaning that the search results may not have been exhaustive.”

The exposed collusion spanned since at least 2017, when Nathaniel Kahler, an official working with the US Central Command, sent an email to Twitter, requesting verification and “whitelisting” of several dozen Arab-language accounts CENTCOM was using “to amplify certain messages.” The very same day, Twitter integrity team members applied a “special exemption tag” that essentially granted the accounts the privileges of verification without a visible blue check mark. While the Pentagon allegedly promised not to conceal their affiliation, at some point profile bios and photos of some of these accounts were changed, and they began posing as ordinary users or “unbiased” sources of opinion and information.

Some accounts on the list were promoting US-backed militants in Syria, and anti-Iran propaganda in Iraq. Another was used to justify US drone strikes as “accurate” and only killing terrorists, not civilians, in Yemen. “It sounds like DOD was doing something shady and definitely not in line with what they had presented to us at the time,” one former Twitter employee told The Intercept. Other emails obtained by The Intercept showed that high-level Twitter officials, including former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, attorney Stacia Cardille, and deputy general counsel Jim Baker, discussed the collusion as “potentially problematic” in the following years, but allowed many of the accounts to remain active.

In one email, Baker speculated that “DoD might want to give us a timetable for shutting them down in a more prolonged way that will not compromise any ongoing operations or reveal their connections to DoD.” However, none of the emails provided to The Intercept shed any light on what exactly was discussed at the classified meetings with the Pentagon officials. The influence campaign appears to be linked to a larger-scale operation that ran beyond those several dozen Twitter accounts and across many other internet platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Telegram, as initially highlighted by researchers at Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory back in August, and corroborated by a Washington Post investigation in September.

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“I’m just going to refer you to the FBI. I’m not going to comment from here about that..”

We ask about the FBI, and you refer us to…..the FBI?!

White House Dodges Question About FBI Interference (RT)

The White House has declined to comment on the latest revelations from the Twitter Files, which appear to show that the FBI was involved in a campaign to preemptively discredit reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop and quash it after publication. “I’m just going to refer you to the FBI. I’m not going to comment from here about that,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a daily briefing on Monday, when asked about the allegations. The son of current president and then-candidate Joe Biden forgot his laptop at a repair shop in Delaware, the owner of which later was subpoenaed by the FBI to relinquish it. However, he made a copy of the information on the device, which was then handed over to the New York Post during the 2020 election campaign. When the Post published a story about Hunter Biden’s possible influence peddling, Twitter briefly banned users from sharing it on its platform.

According to bestselling author Michael Shellenberger, who was given access to internal Twitter communications by its new owner, Elon Musk, the FBI “primed” the company’s executives to treat the legitimate news as a “hack-and-dump” operation by a malicious actor. The federal agency sent warnings to Twitter about threats of foreign influence operations amid the 2020 elections, Shellenberger reported. It also had former FBI employees – “Bu alumni” – working for Twitter, who supported the narrative and later argued that the laptop was what the agency had been warning about. Ex-FBI General Counsel Jim Baker, who was a prominent figure in the ‘Russiagate’ saga, repeatedly insisted that “the Hunter Biden materials were either faked, hacked, or both, and a violation of Twitter policy,” Shellenberger said.

He added that considering how much time the FBI had to verify the authenticity of the laptop, it was “inconceivable” that Baker believed the New York Post reporting was not legitimate. The FBI took possession of the laptop in December 2019, while the Post published the story in October 2020. Other coverage of the Twitter Files by Shellenberger and journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss explained how the US intelligence community worked hand-in-glove with the platform to flag speech for suspension that the US government deemed “misinformation.” It also showed the FBI and Twitter locked horns over the agency’s claims of increased activity by ‘propaganda’ bots, of which Twitter said it found no evidence.

St. Pierre

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Blue checks only.

Musk Announces Policy Change For Twitter Polls (RT)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk stated on Monday that henceforth only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to voice their opinions in polls about policy changes on the platform. The billionaire’s comments came after he ran a poll asking users if he should resign, which the majority voted in favor of. Following the poll, one Twitter user suggested that only Blue subscribers, who pay a monthly fee, should be allowed to vote on such matters, since they “actually have skin in the game.” “Good point. Twitter will make that change,” Musk replied. Another user told the platform’s CEO that it’s “unwise to run a poll like this when you are now deep state enemy #1,” claiming that his adversaries have “the biggest bot army on Twitter.” Echoing this sentiment, the third user asked: “did bots brigade the Elon poll yesterday”?

“Interesting,” Musk noted. Twitter Blue is a paid monthly subscription, which adds a distinguishing blue checkmark to a user’s account and offers early access to some of the platform’s new features. For US users, the price starts at $8 per month. Musk launched the poll on Sunday asking Twitter users “should I step down as head of Twitter?” while promising to abide by its results. More than 17 million users took part in the survey, with 57.5% voting that the billionaire should quit. Before the poll concluded, Musk also warned his audience to “be careful what you wish, as you might get it.” He added that “no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.”

After completing his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, Musk became its majority owner, which means that no one can force him out. However, in recent weeks, the CEO has introduced a number of controversial changes that have caused a massive public backlash. Those have included loosening the Covid-19 misinformation rules and an announcement that the platform would ban users for posting links to rival social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. In an apparent attempt at damage control, Musk later clarified that the new policy regarding other platforms would be “adjusted,” and that suspensions would only be applied “when that account’s primary purpose is promotion of competitors, which essentially falls under the no spam rule.”

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18 months of emptiness.

The J6 Referral Falls Short of a Credible Criminal Case (Turley)

This week the January 6th Committee voted to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, including the proposed indictment of former President Donald Trump. However, the Committee’s splashy finale lacked any substantial new evidence to make a compelling criminal case against former President Donald Trump. The Committee repackaged largely the same evidence that it has previously put forward over the past year. That is not enough. Indeed, the reliance on a new videotape of former Trump aide Hope Hicks seems a case of putting “hope over experience” in the criminal Justice system. While still based largely on the failure to act, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) insisted that “if that’s not criminal, nothing is.” The opposite may be true from a First Amendment perspective. If the failure to act is criminal, it is hard to see what would not be criminal under this standard.

After members like Schiff, again, promised new evidence to support criminal charges, the Committee continued its pattern of rehashing previously known evidence with network-quality videotapes. The failure of the Committee to offer any new and direct evidence of criminal conduct was obvious at the outset. Vice Chair Liz Cheney began her remarks by again detailing what Trump failed to do. It was a repeat of the prior hearings and for some likely left the impression of actors who are refusing to leave the stage long after the audience departed. The one new piece of evidence was largely duplicative. It shows former aide Hope Hicks saying that she also called upon Trump to make a public statement calling for peace and telling him that there is no evidence of systemic fraud.

Nevertheless, the videotape has been heralded by figures like former acting Solicitor General Neil Katyal on MSNBC as “evidence I’ve never seen before from Hope Hicks.” Katyal bizarrely claims “I think that tells you all you need to know about premeditation. Call it criminal intent. The House committees evidence here is very strong.” So all you need for premeditation is the failure to accept the weight of evidence or to act promptly after the start of a riot. Katyal might “call it criminal intent” but many judges would likely call it something else. The fact is that the J6 Committee failed to change many minds largely because of what was on display in the final public meeting. It was the same highly scripted, one-sided account repeated mantra-like for months. There is justifiable anger over these accounts, but this hearing was billed as presenting the case for criminal charges. It missed that mark by a considerable measure.

Of course, to raise obvious legal barriers to prosecution today is to invite an Internet flash mob accusing you for being an insurrectionist or fellow traveler. Major media from the Washington Post to National Public Radio routinely refer to the riot as an insurrection despite a deep disagreement over the characterization of the criminal conduct. The media unrelentingly echoes this one view despite polls showing most citizens view that day as a reprehensible “riot” motivated by loyalty to Trump.

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And as J6 falls flat on its face, here’s some more revenge. The release time indicates more emptiness.

Dems Dump Trump Tax Data In Tuesday Night Release (ZH)

After a Tuesday vote, Democrats on the House and Ways Committee have voted to release six years of President Trump’s tax returns, in what Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top Republican on the Committee, called a ‘new political weapon.’ “This meeting actually sets a terrible precedent that unleashes a dangerous new political weapon that reaches far beyond the former president,” Brady told reporters on Tuesday. “I won’t speculate on what the next Congress and this committee will focus on related to tax returns, but I do know that a major focus will be on the IRS.” The committee voted along party lines, 24-16, to make public the returns – which will span 2015 to 2020. While the returns could be released as soon as hours, per The Hill, Chairman Richard Neal said that ‘sensitive information’ would be redacted, which may take days.

Update: Hours after they voted to release Trump’s tax returns, House Democrats released a report which includes the data from Trump’s taxes. You can read the report below as we are currently doing, however upon first read – and the fact that it was quietly released on a Tuesday night instead of via a Washington Post bombshell detailing specific ‘evil things’ Trump’s done, we are going to – for now, assume this is a giant nothingburger. In a coordinated response to the release, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there is an “urgent need for legislation to ensure the public can trust in real accountability and transparency during the audit of a sitting president’s tax returns – not only in the case of President Trump, but for any president,” adding “we will move swiftly to advance Chairman Richard Neal’s legislation requiring the Internal Revenue Service to conduct an annual audit of the President’s finances.”

In their closing observations, Democrats suggested that the IRS did not sufficiently audit Trump, and that high net worth individuals who use lawyers and accounting firms should be subject to enhanced actions. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top Republican on the Committee, warned in a press conference, “Longstanding privacy protections for all taxpayers have been compromised. Going forward, the majority chairman in the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee will have nearly unlimited power to target or make public the tax returns of private citizens—and not just private citizens: political enemies, business and labor leaders or even the returns of Supreme Court justices themselves.”

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“The whole Western house is now on fire in an act of suicide.”

The Road from Serfdom (Batiushka)

Today, the whole free (= Non-Western) world is looking on and anxiously watching, basically supportive of Russia, but not too visibly – just in case this millennial transformation goes wrong. Fundamentally, the free world knows that if Russia loses, then the cause of freedom and sovereignty in the world is finished, independent China India are finished. Then the Klaus Schwab-style nightmare of the World Dictatorship of Serfs, ceases to be fantasy and is put into practice. There will be no further point in human life and so the world will end in the Apocalypse. Alternatively, others proclaim another, equally catastrophic scenario. This is that the West will not back down in its war in the Ukraine and therefore will make the future nuclear through a false flag nuclear incident in the Ukraine, which it will pin on Russia, like Flight MH17. But the cold and hungry of the West do not want nuclear war and even if some of the elite are so crazy as to want it, not all. Crazy elitists could be replaced. As for the journalists who have continually lied to date, they would simply say that they had previously only reported what they had been told to report.

In other words, a nuclear war is not an inevitable scenario. In any case, how can Russia lose? We all believe that Russia will win, because treasonous regime change in Russia is not going to happen as it did in February 1917, and that was the only reason why, fully armed and ready for victory, Russia lost then (4). Even the arms merchants behind NATO are fearful of any official involvement or of the war spreading and Russia itself is careful to avoid any spread of war to a NATO country. They only want to fill their pockets, not the Apocalypse. It is precisely the loss of the war by the West that could provide the solution to the Western problem. The solution to reverse the situation in the West has to be radical because, as we have said, the Western delusion is millennial, the delusion lies at its very roots (5). Warnings have been given for centuries but nobody has ever listened. It is rather like a child who you tell not to play with matches, but who still insists on playing with matches to see what will happen if he lights a match and then sets fire to the whole house. And that is what has happened. The whole Western house is now on fire in an act of suicide.

The solution is regime change in the EU and the US/UK, that is, the changing of the elites. Now, all the Western countries of the world are run by elites with their many hangers-on. The elites provide bipartisan dictatorships. The ironic fact that it actually dares call these dictatorships, by the rich on behalf of the rich, ‘liberal democracies’ is irrelevant. I doubt if any regime change will come through some sort of armed uprising and I would not encourage that either. Rather governments – together with their fantastical, anti-Russian rhetoric – will collapse through the weight of their own lies, injustices and corruption, of protests, strikes and bankruptcies, of cold, poverty and hunger among people who have never been so cold, poor and hungry before. In other words, Western regimes will collapse under pressure from the grassroots, because they are so rotten on the inside. Which will collapse first, the EU or the US/UK, Eurosodom or Gomerica? We suspect the Eurozionists of the EU because those countries are bearing the brunt of their own elites’ suicide bid on the orders of the US/UK elite, and there are already splits among them.

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“..the perfect ending to two years where President Biden has had some landmark successes..”

Zelensky Planning To Visit US Capitol In Person On Wednesday (Hill)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit the U.S. Capitol in person on Wednesday, sources confirmed to The Hill. The visit is not set stone, but hinges on security, according to a second source familiar with the planning. The media leaks, the source said, are “not helping.” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) confirmed the plans to The Hill. If the visit does materialize, it would likely mark the first time the Ukrainian president has left his country since before Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday encouraging them to “be present for a very special focus on Democracy Wednesday night.” Punchbowl News first reported on the possible historic visit, citing several sources familiar with the plans.


The visit comes as Zelensky, his top military officials and aides have warned that Russia is planning to renew a large-scale ground invasion of Ukraine, and as the country suffers under devastating aerial attacks that have destroyed its energy and electricity infrastructure entering the winter season. Congress on Tuesday proposed to provide Ukraine with $45 billion in military, economic and other assistance related to Russia’s war against the country, as part of the omnibus spending package lawmakers hope to pass by the end of the week. “That President Zelensky is going to make his first trip outside the country since the war began to speak to us, to thank us and to challenge us to continue to support the Ukrainian people I think is the perfect ending to two years where President Biden has had some landmark successes,” he said.

Peskov

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Reason. Short supply.

Macron Doubles Down On ‘Security Guarantees’ For Russia (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has reiterated his belief that the conflict in Ukraine will inevitably be resolved at the negotiations table, and that the West and NATO in particular will have to come up with security guarantees not only for Kiev, but Moscow as well, to secure a lasting peace.“The day of peace will involve discussions. First and foremost for guarantees to Ukraine, for its territorial integrity, its long-term security. But also for Russia, as a party that it will be to an armistice and peace treaty,” Macron said in an interview with the TF1 and LCI channels broadcast on Tuesday.The French leader first voiced the idea of “security guarantees” for Russia earlier this month, arguing that one of the “essential points” NATO had to address is Russia’s concern that the military bloc “comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.”

His comments triggered a barrage of criticism not only from Kiev but also fellow EU leaders from Poland, Slovakia and the Baltic states. French diplomats tried to downplay the comment, insisting that it was taken “out of context,” while Macron himself urged European allies not to “create controversy where there is none.”In the latest interview, Macron urged critics to explain what kind of alternative to eventual talks with Moscow they are proposing. “What the people who refuse to prepare this and work on it are proposing is full war. It will involve the whole continent,” he said.

Last December, Russia presented a list of security demands to the US and NATO, asking the West to impose a ban on Ukraine entering the military bloc, while insisting that NATO should retreat to its borders of 1997, before it began to expand.In January, the US and NATO refused, saying they would only be interested in strategic arms control talks. Since the conflict in Ukraine escalated in February, the bloc has also moved to welcome Sweden and Finland into the military alliance, though the expansion has yet to be finalized.

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“If approval is not granted, we would have to review very critically the so-called going concern forecast for our company..”

Nationalization Of German Gas Giant Approved – Reuters (RT)

Shareholders of struggling German gas importer Uniper on Monday approved the company’s state bailout, which has so far cost the government more than €50 billion ($54 billion), Reuters reports. The company’s investors reportedly voted in favor of the two main measures, an €8 billion ($8.4 billion) capital injection by the state and allowing a further injection of up to €25 billion (nearly $27 billion). Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach reportedly called a virtual extraordinary shareholder meeting earlier on Monday to approve the bailout plan and nationalization, warning that the firm will otherwise have to consider insolvency. The warning followed last week’s approval by the European Commission of the energy giant’s takeover by the German government. “(The measures) are indispensable for this company’s future,” Maubach said, as quoted by Reuters.


“If approval is not granted, we would have to review very critically the so-called going concern forecast for our company. In the Management Board’s view, a possible insolvency could lead to a complete loss for shareholders,” he warned. According to Maubach, Uniper currently has access to around €2.5 billion ($2.6 billion) of funds. The report indicated that as part of the bailout, the German government will end up owning just below 99% of Uniper. The German Finance Ministry will be responsible for the stake. Uniper, Germany’s top gas trader, has suffered one of the biggest financial losses in the nation’s corporate history due to skyrocketing energy prices and halted gas flows from its main supplier, Russia. The government has rushed in to rescue the firm to avoid a domino effect across the country’s energy sector.

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Meanwhile in the real world… (the ban is only for shipped oil..)

Germany, Poland Order More Russian Oil – Transneft (RT)

Russia’s Transneft has received applications from Poland and Germany to pump oil for December, 2023 and the first quarter of next year, respectively, despite reports of unwillingness to continue deliveries, Nikolai Tokarev, president of Transneft, said on the air of the Rossiya-24 TV channel, Report informs referring to TASS. “They announced that they would not take oil from Russia from January 1. Now we have received applications from Polish consumers asking for 3 million tons next year, and 360,000 tons for December, and Germany has already submitted an application for the first quarter, he said.On December 12, the Polish Cabinet called for the introduction of ‘full, comprehensive sanctions without exceptions’ against Russia, including ‘comprehensive sanctions against the northern pipeline (Druzhba).’


“If this does not happen, then we will continue discussions together with the [Orlen] concern, or the concern will decide what to do next with the commitments already made,” Anna Moskva, minister of Climate and Environment of Poland, who is responsible for energy issues, told reporters. Orlen has long-term oil supply contracts with Rosneft and Tatneft. The first provides for the supply of up to 300,000 tons of oil per month and expires in December 2022, the second is concluded for 200,000 tons of oil per month and expires in December 2024. Orlen supplies all these deliveries through pipelines. Russian oil in Poland is planned to be replaced through contracts with Saudi Aramco, supplies from Nigeria, Angola, the North Sea region and from the Norwegian shelf.

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“Maybe the whole European Union is a non-place. A non-union.”

The European Non-Union after Qatargate: Was it Designed to Fail? (Ugo Bardi)

You probably know the concept of “non-places.” The hall of a hotel is a good example. It looks like the living room of a home, but it is not the same thing. It is a place where people stay for brief periods of time, but do not interact with each other. They don’t know each other, they don’t even understand each other’s language. The Babel Tower was a good example of a non-place, but nowadays non-places are common. In addition to hotels, you have airports, train stations, shopping malls, waiting rooms, and many more examples.

Non-places are the ideal kind of places to engage in illegal or hidden operations. For instance, hotels are the typical place where you can meet your secret sexual partner, discuss illegal deals, or give or receive a bribe in cash. That doesn’t mean, of course, that all the customers of a hotel are criminals. It just means that non-places provide the anonymity you need for certain kinds of transactions. Anonymity makes you also vulnerable to attacks that can take the form of “character assassination,” as it happened to Dominique Strauss-Kahn in 2011.

The European Parliament provides a special kind of anonymity owing to its multinational organization. Each national delegation is jealous of its national language and its members would feel offended if they were asked to speak in English (*) which some of them are unable to do, anyway. That’s why the Union has 24 official languages and, consequently, the “Alcide De Gasperi” room in the palace of the European Parliament in Brussels has 24 translation boots, each one with at least two official interpreters. (theoretically, each boot should have 23 translators, but they would not fit inside, and I suppose that the translations are made first into English and then translated into the other 23 languages).

Given this organization, you understand the fragmentation of the European Parliament. A few years ago, I was there, and I noted how it looks mostly like the hall of a large hotel, a typical non-place. Throngs of people moving up and down, but very little interaction among those who don’t speak the same language. Even outside the parliament building, I found that the Italian delegation had a coffee shop that served Italian coffee, where everyone spoke Italian, and where you feel like being in Italy. I had the impression, and some Spanish friends confirmed it, that the whole central area of Brussels is a non-place: each national delegation had its coffee shops, restaurants, etcetera. Maybe the whole European Union is a non-place. A non-union.

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Remember, she said she acted on orders from Borrell and others.

S&D Chief Summons MEP Eva Kaili Over ‘Ghost’ Vote (RT)

The President of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament, Iratxe Garcia Perez, had summoned MEP Eva Kaili for her “ghost” vote at the LIBE committee on Qatar, but the meeting never took place as Kaili was arrested as part of the Qatar scandal investigation, Report informs, citing EURActiv. A vote at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on Qatar’s visa liberalisation exposed Kaili as she was not a member of the committee. During the previous plenary session of the EU House, Kaili participated in the LIBE committee and voted in favour of Qatar’s visa liberalisation. It was the same period when Kaili spoke in the plenary, saying Qatar is a “frontrunner in labour rights”.

An S&D source told EURACTIV that Kaili was not even sitting with her S&D group but in the back seats with her partner Francesco Giorgi and two people who came directly from Doha. When the votes were counted at the end of the voting process, EU lawmakers realised that there was an additional vote, the one of Kaili. Then German S&D MEP Birgit Sippel (SPD), who voted against the Commission’s proposal for Qatar’s visa liberalisation, then filed an internal complaint against Kaili to the S&D chief Garcia. A source from Garcia’s office told EURACTIV that it was the first time that the S&D chief received a complaint against Kaili. “Iratxe Garcia had scheduled a meeting in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg for Kaili to explain why she was present at that vote and, above all, why she participated in the voting process”, a source from Garcia’s office told EURACTIV.

However, the meeting never occurred as Kaili was arrested for the Qatar scandal. The same source explained that Nikos Androulakis, the President of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok – S&D), told Garcia after the summer that Kaili would not be a candidate for the next EU elections without elaborating further. Another incident that surprised socialists, according to the source, was when the Greek MEP broke the S&D line for the selection of the next secretary of the European Parliament and voted in favour of the centre-right EPP candidate, Alessandro Chiocchetti. EURACTIV Greece reported last September that after the vote, a closed-door S&D meeting took place in which socialist lawmakers lashed out at her for her position.

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“..an increase in diagnoses of “sudden death” (R96) of +1,082 percent. With diagnostic key R96.1, the increase is even +1,673 percent..”

The Most Important Dataset of the Pandemic was Just Released (GP)

Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA vaccines, calls this the most important dataset of the Pandemic. Tom Lausen is a data activist. Via A Midwestern Doctor Lausen previously revealed the PEI and the RKI (the German equivalent of the CDC) were concealing concerning vaccine safety data. Lausen estimated that 90% of the suspicious deaths that occur after vaccination are not reported to the PEI, and approximately 90% of those reported come from the patient themselves or their relatives.

The National Association for Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (NASHIP) provided the data covering over 72 million insured Germans. NASHIP or “Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (KBV),” is the coordinating body of all 17 State Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Germany. As of 2018, it represented about 175,000 office-based physicians and psychotherapists. “The association is also actively involved in negotiations on the range of services provided by statutory health insurance companies and the remuneration of doctors. Furthermore, the KBV carries out a “security mandate” in accordance with Section 75 (1) SGB V, which is intended to ensure that all legally insured patients can receive adequate outpatient care.”

Using coded data covering 72 million Germans available from the health insurers, the number of people who died “suddenly and unexpectedly” skyrocketed compared to previous years. “It was found that in 2021 not only were 2,487,526 patients with vaccination side effects seen by the doctor, but that there were also drastic changes in clinical pictures and deaths since the start of the corona vaccination.” The following diagnostic keys were evaluated in order to analyze the rise in sudden deaths:

R96.0 Sudden death
R96.1 Death occurring within less than 24 hours of onset of symptoms, unless otherwise stated
R98 Death without others present
R99 Other imprecise or unspecified causes of death
I46.1 Sudden cardiac death

According to KBV data, in 2021 there was an increase in diagnoses of “sudden death” (R96) of +1,082 percent. With diagnostic key R96.1, the increase is even +1,673 percent.

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“No one should have to fear losing their jobs just because they opt against getting a shot.”

Geez, we’re still discussing this?

White House Can’t Mandate COVID Jabs for Federal Contractors: Appeals Court (ET)

A federal appeals court on Monday struck down a White House rule requiring anyone employed by a federal contractor to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of government contracts. A three-panel judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to affirm a lower court judgment that barred President Joe Biden’s September 2021 executive order in three states after Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi sued to challenge the rule. These three states sued the Biden administration in the Western District of Louisiana in their capacities as federal contractors themselves, winning an injunction and stay by the district court.

In upholding the lower court finding, Judge Kurt Engelhardt, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, said in his majority opinion that a broad interpretation of the law could have given Biden “nearly unlimited authority to introduce requirements into federal contracts.” He illustrated his point by saying that Biden could “hypothetically” mandate that all third-party federal contractors’ employees reduce their BMI (body mass index) below a certain number based “on the theory that obesity is a primary contributor to unhealthiness and absenteeism.” The U.S. government has contracts with hundreds of third-party contractors, and judges have indicated that the issue might affect up to 20 percent of American employees.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita touted the ruling as a legal victory against what he called President Joe Biden’s executive overreach. Rokita, who joined with two other plaintiff states in the legal action, decried Biden’s “truly unprecedented” use of the federal Procurement Act to wield executive power to impose the mandate on third-party contractors. “Hoosiers and all Americans should have the liberty to make their own decisions on whether to get vaccinated,” Rokita said in a statement. “That includes individuals who happen to work as federal contractors. No one should have to fear losing their jobs just because they opt against getting a shot.”

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Camouflage

 

 

Monkey man

 

 

Terry Hall and Sinead O’Connor

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 202022
 
 December 20, 2022  Posted by at 9:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Saul Leiter 463 1956

 

Managing the Ukraine Denial Narrative (Crooke)
News From The NATOstan-Imposed Meat Grinder (Escobar)
Why Time Isn’t Ripe For Ukraine Talks (Bhadrakumar)
How To Avoid Another World War (Kissinger)
Ukraine Blasts ‘Appeaser’ Henry Kissinger For Urging Peace Negotiations (ZH)
Moscow: Delivery Of Greece’s S-300s To Ukraine Would Be ‘Very Provocative’ (K.)
How Lobbyists Captured The EU (Fazi)
A Christmas Parable (Kunstler)
Will Musk Step Down After Twitter Poll? (Turley)
TWITTER FILES: How The FBI Moved To Quash Hunter Laptop Story (ZH)
‘Twitter Files’ Make it Clear: We Must Abolish the FBI (Ron Paul)
FBI Agent Elvis Chan Gave Twitter Execs Top Secret Clearance (Senger)
Canada Health Director Who Lead Vaccine Rollout Dies Suddenly at 35 (GP)

 

 

 

 

#StopTheTreaty

 

 

Greatest athletic achievement

 

 

Gonzalo

 

 

 

 

“The ‘writing is on the wall’, in other words. Ukraine cannot win.”

Managing the Ukraine Denial Narrative (Crooke)

Look around: the tectonic plates of geo-politics and geo-finance are shifting – shifting radically away from an increasingly flailing West.The inflection has begun. It has been messaged by the Financial Times (FT) and The Economist – the two media that so faithfully transmit any ‘replacement narrative’ to the globalist sherpas (those who carry the baggage up the mountain, on behalf of the mounted nabobs). The Economist leads with interviews with Zelensky, General Zaluzhny and Ukraine’s military field commander, General Syrsky. All three are interviewed – interviewed in The Economist, no less. Such a thing does not occur by happenstance. It is messaging intended to convey the Ruling Class’ new narrative to the ‘golden billion’ (who will all read and absorb it).

On the surface, it is possible to read The Economist piece as a plea for more money and many more weapons. But the underlying messaging is clear: “Anyone who underestimates Russia is heading for defeat”. The Russian force mobilisation was a success; there is no problem with Russian morale; and Russia is preparing a huge winter offensive that will start soon. Russia has huge reserve forces (of up to 1.2 million men); whereas Ukraine now has 200,000 who are militarily trained for conflict. The ‘writing is on the wall’, in other words. Ukraine cannot win. It is appended with a huge shopping list of sought-after weapons. But the shopping list is ‘pie in the sky’; the West simply does not have them in inventory. Period.

The FT’s ‘Big Read’, by contrast, is a venting of deep western anger at those Russian ‘reformist’ siloviki technocrats who, instead of breaking with Putin over the SMO, instead shamefully enabled the Russian economy to survive western sanctions. The message uttered – through clenched teeth – is that Russia’s economy has successfully survived western sanctions. Leading US military strategist, Col. Douglas Macgregor, here expands on the messaging: Even the provision of seven or eight Patriot missiles is “no escalation”. It will have at best – ‘marginal impact’ on the Ukraine battlescape; it is mere window dressing. Scott Ritter, in discussion with Judge Neapolitano, believes that The Economist interviews reveal the West pushing aside Zelensky – as Zaluzhny administers his large dose of reality (that will be shocking to many sherpa loyalists). The Economist interview emphasis thus was unmistakably on General Zaluzhny, with Zelensky pointedly de-emphasised – which Ritter suggests indicates that Washington wishes to ‘switch leadership horses’. Another ‘message’?

Judge Nap/Scott Ritter

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“..Russia can conveniently defeat the whole of NATO as there is hardly anything “there”..

News From The NATOstan-Imposed Meat Grinder (Escobar)

The non-stop trashy parade of Western military analysts is now “assessing” that the first targets of an incoming, joint Russia-Belarus attack on the 404 black hole formerly known as Ukraine will be Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Zhytomyr, and why not throw Kiev in the mix straight out of a second axis. The Russian General Staff is attentively monitoring all the action and may even follow the advice of such “analysts”. And then there’s outright panic, as the Ministry of Defense announced that the Strategic Missile Forces have loaded two Yars ICBMs into their intended silos. Cue to widespread shrieks of horror of the “Russia Readies Nuclear Missile Capable Of Striking Deep Into US” variety. Some facts though never change. Number One is NATO as a figment of the collective West’s – extremely impaired – imagination. If push ever came to shove – as Straussian/neo-con armchair warriors hope and pray – Russia can conveniently defeat the whole of NATO as there is hardly anything “there”.

That, of course, would require a massive Russian mobilization. As it stands, Russia may look feeble in a few quarters as they activated at best 100,000 troops against possibly 1 million Ukrainian troops. It’s as if Moscow was not exactly seduced by the idea of “winning” – which may be the case, in a quite twisted way. Even now, Moscow has not mobilized enough troops to occupy Ukraine – which, in theory, would be imperative to completely “denazify” the Kiev racket. The operative concept though is “in theory”. Moscow in fact is busy demonstrating a completely new theory – irrespective of the fact that a few exalted souls have been peddling that Putin should be replaced by the FSB’s Alexander Bortnikov.

With its array of hypersonic missiles, Russia can knock out all NATO bridges, ports, airports as well as power stations, oil and natural gas storage, Rotterdam oil and natural gas installations, in a matter of a few hours. All energy production equipment across NATOstan would be destroyed. Europe would be shut off from natural resources. A dazed and confused Empire would be unable to move troops, any troops, to Europe. And still provocations run unabated. The recent attack by Tu-141 Ukrainian drones against Engels-2 airbase was blamed by Moscow on Kiev – which predictably denied all responsibility. Yet what really mattered was Moscow’s strategic messaging to US/NATO, with Putin flirting with the notion that sooner or later the response may be up a serious notch in case US/NATO weaponry supplied to Kiev is used to strike deep into sensitive Russian Federation territory.

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Drawn in too deep.

Why Time Isn’t Ripe For Ukraine Talks (Bhadrakumar)

A Russian-American “consensus” is forming that the Ukraine conflict is far from a climactic stage leading to peace talks. Russia’s stance is that any settlement will devolve upon Kiev recognising “realities” — namely, acceptance of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions being integral parts of Russian Federation. But wouldn’t Russia know that no government in Kiev can afford to concede a demand that entails loss of over a quarter of the country’s territory? On the other hand, Kiev wants to vacate the Russian occupation and restore Ukraine’s 1991 borders and the Biden Administration is supportive. Wouldn’t they know that is a pipe dream?

Truly, since four of the erstwhile Ukrainian oblasts (excluding Crimea) are far from under Russia’s total control and the Kremlin intends to fully “liberate” them, the fighting continues in Donbass and further Russian moves to gain full control over Zaporozhye and Kherson regions will depend on its outcome. But the big question remains: How could any government in Kiev surrender vast tracts of Ukrainian territory after such sacrifices by the people? That may leave Russia with no choice but to seek total victory. The attitude of the Biden Administration is crucial. The clearest indication that the US is far from in a hurry to negotiate comes from none other than the White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan whose visit to Kiev last month (just before the US midterms) had triggered a flurry of speculations that Washington was pressuring President Zelensky to negotiate.

Now, Sullivan’s remarks at an appearance at the Carnegie last weekend made it clear that the US is in Ukraine for the long haul. He said: “We don’t know when this is going to end up. What we do know is that it is our job to continue to sustain our military support to Ukraine so that they are in their best possible position on the battlefield, that if and when diplomacy is ripe, they will be in the best possible position at the negotiating table. “That moment is not ripe now, and so, as a result, we’ve gone to Congress and asked for a substantial amount of further resources to be able to continue to ensure that Ukraine has the means to fight this war. We’re confident we will get bipartisan support for that…

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“Auto-nomous weapons already exist, capable of defining, assessing and targeting their own perceived threats and thus in a position to start their own war.”

How To Avoid Another World War (Kissinger)

As the world’s leaders strive to end the war in which two nuclear powers contest a conventionally armed country, they should also reflect on the impact on this conflict and on long-term strategy of incipient high–technology and artificial intelligence. Auto-nomous weapons already exist, capable of defining, assessing and targeting their own perceived threats and thus in a position to start their own war. Once the line into this realm is crossed and hi-tech becomes standard weaponry – and computers become the principal executors of strategy – the world will find itself in a condition for which as yet it has no established concept. How can leaders exercise control when computers prescribe strategic instructions on a scale and in a manner that inherently limits and threatens human input?


How can civilisation be preserved amid such a maelstrom of conflicting information, perceptions and destructive capabilities? No theory for this encroaching world yet exists, and consultative efforts on this subject have yet to evolve – perhaps because meaningful negotiations might disclose new discoveries, and that disclosure itself constitutes a risk for the future. Overcoming the disjunction between advanced technology and the concept of strategies for controlling it, or even understanding its full implications, is as important an issue today as climate change, and it requires leaders with a command of both technology and history.The quest for peace and order has two components that are sometimes treated as contradictory: the pursuit of elements of security and the requirement for acts of reconciliation. If we cannot achieve both, we will not be able to reach either. The road of diplomacy may appear complicated and frustrating. But progress to it requires both the vision and the courage to undertake the journey.

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“Previously he’s been on record as saying “It was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.”

Ukraine Blasts ‘Appeaser’ Henry Kissinger For Urging Peace Negotiations (ZH)

It didn’t take long for the Ukrainian government to blast and dismiss former US Secretary of State Kissinger’s peace plan proposal as “appeasing the aggressor”. “Mr. Kissinger still has not understood anything… neither the nature of this war, nor its impact on the world order,” Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said in response to the 99-year old influential US statesman’s Saturday op-ed in The Spectator entitled How to Avoid Another World War. “The prescription that the ex-Secretary of State calls for, but is afraid to say out loud, is simple: appease the aggressor by sacrificing parts of Ukraine with guarantees of non-aggression against the other states of Eastern Europe,” Podolyak stated, expressing a firm rejection of what Kissinger outlined in his piece.

The Ukrainian official added that the proposal was simplistic, saying: “All supporters of simple solutions should remember the obvious: any agreement with the devil – a bad peace at the expense of Ukrainian territories – will be a victory for Putin and a recipe for success for autocrats around the world.” In his weekend op-ed, Kissinger had warned that continued attempts to render Russia “impotent” could result in an uncontrollable and unpredictable spiral. He laid out that along with the sought after “dissolution” of Russia would come a massive power vacuum out of which new threats to the whole world would emerge as bigger powers rush in. “The dissolution of Russia or destroying its ability for strategic policy could turn its territory encompassing 11 time zones into a contested vacuum,” Kissinger wrote.

“Its competing societies might decide to settle their disputes by violence. Other countries might seek to expand their claims by force. All these dangers would be compounded by the presence of thousands of nuclear weapons which make Russia one of the world’s two largest nuclear powers.” Among the more controversial aspects of Kissinger’s plan was his suggesting the possibility of referendums for contested territories now occupied by Russia and still being fought over “which have changed hands repeatedly over the centuries” [i.e.: particularly the Donbas] – according to the essay. Kissinger last May also angered Ukrainian officails for daring to propose that Ukraine be willing to recognize Crimea as under Russia, and in return Russian forces would fall back to their lines before the Feb. 24 invasion. Previously he’s been on record as saying “It was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.”

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Erdogan plays this game a lot smarter.

Moscow: Delivery Of Greece’s S-300s To Ukraine Would Be ‘Very Provocative’ (K.)

The spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova stated on Monday that a potential delivery of Greece’s S-300 PMU1 missile defense system to Ukraine would be considered a very provocative move.“We consider plans to supply the Kyiv regime with S-300s or other Russian/Soviet air defense systems that will be used against Russia very provocative,” stated Zakharova. “The Greek authorities recently underlined their readiness to supply Ukraine with the S-300 PMU1 missile defense system, on condition of receiving additionally American Patriot missile defense systems to replace them,” she added. “There is a complete indifference by Greece on the international limitations on arms trading,” she concluded, stating that the Russian armed forces will locate and destroy all military supplies sent to Ukraine.

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“Bribery and corruption are endemic to the Brussels system — and most of it is perfectly legal.”

How Lobbyists Captured The EU (Fazi)

Addressing a recent European Parliament debate on “human rights in the context of the World Cup”, vice-president Eva Kaili had an unexpected message: “Qatar is a frontrunner in labour rights.” So, perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, last week, she was among six people arrested by Belgian police amid allegations of Qatari corruption and money laundering . Members of the EU establishment have been quick to spin the issue as a problem limited to a few bad apples. Several European Parliament officials told Politico the allegations were limited to a “few individuals” who had gone astray. Others, however, expect more names to be drawn into the widening dragnet. But whether or not the scandal extends to other people is beside the point.

By focusing on “Qatargate”, we risk losing sight of the fact that the scandal is a symptom of a much deeper and more widespread malaise, involving not just the European Parliament but all EU institutions. Bribery and corruption are endemic to the Brussels system — and most of it is perfectly legal. It is estimated that there are more than 30,000 lobbyists working in Brussels, making it the second capital of lobbying in the world after Washington, DC. Most are in the service of corporations and their lobby groups, with huge sums at their disposal: the combined lobbying budget of the 12,400 companies and organisations on the EU lobby register has grown steadily over the years — especially since the pandemic — and today amounts to €1.8 billion.

Topping the list are Big Tech, Big Pharma and Big Energy giants such as Apple, Google, Meta, Bayer and Shell, as well as industry associations such as the European Chemical Industry Council, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and BusinessEurope — all of which declare annual lobbying budgets of €4-6 million. The true figure is likely to be significantly higher, given the long history of businesses under-reporting their spending. Big Pharma and Big Tech, in particular, both significantly boosted their lobbying firepower throughout the pandemic. EFPIA alone — which represents Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson — increased its spending by 20% in 2020. A conservative estimate of total annual EU lobby spending by Big Pharma is now close to €40 million per year, with nearly 300 lobbyists officially working in Brussels to push the industry’s interests (though the actual number is probably higher, since disclosure rules do not capture all the spending on law firms, academic partnerships and activities in individual countries).

It’s safe to say the investment was amply repaid: by the end of 2021, the EU had signed €71 billion worth of confidential contracts, securing up to 4.6 billion doses of vaccines (more than ten doses for each European citizen). EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen negotiated its biggest deal yet with Pfizer — for up to 1.8 billion doses, worth up to €35 billion if fully exercised — via a series of text messages with the company’s chief. The European Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into the matter. Such extreme cases, however, mask the true extent of the structural problem that pervades every aspect of the Brussels system. It goes without saying that this army of well-funded lobbyists, which far outnumbers and outspends public interest groups, gives corporations a massive influence over the European decision-making and legislative process.

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“Up rose a social movement, Wokery, that had the earmarks of a histrionic religious mania, with Satanic overtones. Up rose the demons, the Antifa louts, the BLM arsonists, the drag queens.”

A Christmas Parable (Kunstler)

It started when the women of the professional and managerial class watched their avatar, Hillary Clinton, lose the 2016 election against a man who seemed the quintessence of everything they hated about Daddydom. Donald Trump, flawed to perfection, wrecked the chance of the amalgamated successful women of America to run the national household. Out came the pussy-hats, the Wiccans, and the celebrities threatening to “blow up the White House.” Out came a savage animus against men generally, and a campaign to feminize them in retaliation — and then punish them for objecting to it. Up rose a social movement, Wokery, that had the earmarks of a histrionic religious mania, with Satanic overtones. Up rose the demons, the Antifa louts, the BLM arsonists, the drag queens.

Thus unrolled a national psychodrama that continues to spool out as every system, every business, every institution in our country wobbles and flies apart now. The men embedded in the professional and managerial class tried in 2016 to chivalrously protect their womens’ avatar and her steadfast followers and, failing ignobly that grim November day, then turned to actually attack their adversary, Donald Trump, with the explicit intent to destroy him by all means necessary. In the years-long process, they devolved into criminality, and in so doing they entered a vicious cycle of lying about everything they did to escape the consequences of their ostensible exercise in gallantry. In effect, the people running things went from a war against a particular person to a war against reality and its twin sister, truth.

Now they are deeply invested in unreality and untruth to the point where they have forgotten how this whole thing started and all they can do is desperately patch the dike they had to construct against a deluge of information composed of truth and reality coming at them like a tsunami rolling across the sea. The harder they work at this futile task of defense, the more absurd they make themselves, leading to ridicule, humiliation, and, finally condemnation in whatever remains of the legal arena, where their deeds will finally be judged. The first stage of that outcome for them is pretending that none of it is happening. That’s why The New York Times and Washington Post ignore the news that the gallant knights of the FBI and several other tentacles of the Intel octopus mounted a ferocious, long-running psy-op through the new phenomenon of social media — that happened to rise in importance through this whole period of national discord. In effect, the intel agencies seized the transmitters (as Fidel Castro might put it) and used them very effectively to control their hallowed narratives.

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Did he hold the poll just to expose the bots?

Will Musk Step Down After Twitter Poll? (Turley)

Many of us have supported Elon Musk in his fight to restore free speech protections to Twitter despite concerns over decisions like the use of polls to determine if individuals should be allowed back on the social media site. He has now subjected himself to the same poll judgment in asking if he should step down as CEO. After more than 17.5 million users voted, 57 percent said yes. Unless Musk was looking for an exit, it was a mistake. He handed his critics an easy opportunity to remove him. For the left, Musk has been a nightmare because he cannot be bullied like most corporate executives. He is an eccentric billionaire who has refused to yield despite a full mobilization of the political, media, and business establishment. That could now change.

While many on the left spent weeks dismissing Twitter’s polls as unscientific, they are now demanding that Musk follow through and step down. Some 42.5% of users wanted him to stay. On Twitter Sunday, Musk seemed to say that he would follow the results but expressed pessimism about the prospects for a new CEO. He said that the person “must like pain a lot” to run a company that “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy.” He further noted that “no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.” That is precisely why the left wants Musk out. As shown in companies like Disney, the left can muscle executives to take actions even against the interests of the company or shareholders. The left has strived to make such campaigns personal for executives, who often yield rather than risk being individually tagged and targeted.

That is why it was essential to remove Musk. The political and media establishments generally are unstoppable forces — but they met their first immovable object in Musk. That immovable object has now taken a step to remove himself from the path of the establishment. One can hardly blame him, but, as Democratic members warned Facebook not to even consider following the path of Twitter, the prospect of Musk’s departure will strengthen the efforts to maintain censorship over social media. It is hard to ask anyone to continue to stand against this alliance of political, media, and business forces. Musk has been made a persona non grata for seeking to reduce censorship on the site. He has put billions on the line for the free speech of others. One can certainly understand why he would want this cup to pass from his lips. However, if he stays the course, his work at Twitter could prove to be his greatest legacy in resisting the trend toward censorship and speech controls in social media.

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Do we understand how crazy this is?

TWITTER FILES: How The FBI Moved To Quash Hunter Laptop Story (ZH)

In the latest episode of ‘THE TWITTER FILES,’ journalist Michael Shellenberger reveals “How the FBI & intelligence community discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings both after and *before* The New York Post revealed the contents of his laptop on October 14, 2020.” The story begins in December 2019 when a Delaware computer store owner named John Paul (J.P.) Mac Isaac contacts the FBI about a laptop that Hunter Biden had left with him On Dec 9, 2019, the FBI issues a subpoena for, and takes, Hunter Biden’s laptop. By Aug 2020, Mac Isaac still had not heard back from the FBI, even though he had discovered evidence of criminal activity. And so he emails Rudy Giuliani, who was under FBI surveillance at the time. In early Oct, Giuliani gives it to @nypost.

Shortly before 7 pm ET on October 13, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, emails JP Mac Isaac. Hunter and Mesires had just learned from the New York Post that its story about the laptop would be published the next day. 7. At 9:22 pm ET (6:22 PT), FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan sends 10 documents to Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth, through Teleporter, a one-way communications channel from the FBI to Twitter. 8. The next day, October 14, 2020, The New York Post runs its explosive story revealing the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Every single fact in it was accurate. 9. And yet, within hours, Twitter and other social media companies censor the NY Post article, preventing it from spreading and, more importantly, undermining its credibility in the minds of many Americans. Why is that? What, exactly, happened?

10. On Dec 2, @mtaibbi described the debate inside Twitter over its decision to censor a wholly accurate article. Since then, we have discovered new info that points to an organized effort by the intel community to influence Twitter & other platforms

Berman

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“This should be a massive scandal and likely it would have been had it occurred under a Trump Administration.”

‘Twitter Files’ Make it Clear: We Must Abolish the FBI (Ron Paul)

As we learn more and more from the “Twitter Files,” it is becoming all too obvious that Federal agencies such as the FBI viewed the First Amendment of our Constitution as an annoyance and an impediment. In Friday’s release from the pre-Musk era, journalist Matt Taibbi makes an astute observation: Twitter was essentially an FBI subsidiary.The FBI, we now know, was obsessed with Twitter. We learned that agents sent Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth some 150 emails between 2020 and 2022. Those emails regularly featured demands from US government officials for the “private” social media company to censor comments and ban commenters they did not like.

The Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), a US government entity that included the FBI as well as other US intelligence agencies expressly forbidden from domestic activities, numbered 80 agents engaged regularly in telling Twitter which Tweets to censor and which accounts to ban. The Department of Homeland Security brought in outside government contractors and (government-funded) non-governmental organizations to separately pressure Twitter to suppress speech the US government did not like. US Federal government agencies literally handed Twitter lists of Americans it wanted to see silenced, and Twitter complied. Let that sink in.

This should be a massive scandal and likely it would have been had it occurred under a Trump Administration. Indeed, Congress would be gearing up for Impeachment 3.0 if Trump-allied officials had engaged in such egregious behavior. But since these US government employees were by-and-large acting to suppress pro-Trump sentiment, all we hear are crickets. What is interesting about these Twitter revelations is how obsessed the FBI and its government partners were with satire and humor. Even minor Twitter accounts with small numbers of followers were constantly flagged by the Feds for censorship and deletion. But knowledge of history helps us understand this obsession: in Soviet times the population was always engaged in joking about the ineptitude, corruption, and idiocy of the political class. Underground publications known as samizdat were rich with satire, humor, and ridicule.

Go home

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More insanity.

FBI Agent Elvis Chan Gave Twitter Execs Top Secret Clearance (Senger)

New internal documents from Twitter, revealed today as part of Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files” series, show FBI Agent Elvis Chan arranged for Top Secret security clearance—the highest level of US national security clearance—to be granted to Twitter executives for the purpose of facilitating the censorship of suspected misinformation in advance of the 2020 election. Elvis Chan has long been closely involved in working with social media companies to identify and censor suspected misinformation from sources both foreign and domestic, especially with regard to suspected election interference. This has included regularly sending lists of social media posts to social media companies for them to take down, as well as the suspension of the New York Post and others for what was subsequently borne out to be a true story about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

In his deposition last month, Chan described how the pressure that he and other FBI agents placed on social media companies to censor information about Hunter Biden’s laptop stemmed from a “thesis” that the incriminating content may have been uploaded onto the laptop as part of a Russian “hack-and-leak” operation. But the basis for this Russian hack-and-leak thesis is disputed, in no small part because the FBI took possession of the laptop in December 2019, nearly a year before the story was censored, and because there did not appear to be any new intelligence to suggest that Russia was interfering in the 2020 election. Elvis Chan’s regular emails and weekly meetings with social media executives raise new questions about the level of coordination taking place between the federal government and social media companies for the purpose of censoring suspected misinformation shared by ordinary citizens.

The level of this coordination is currently the subject of lawsuits including my own, Changizi v. Dept. of Health & Human Services, and Missouri v. Biden, in which a damning round of discovery previously revealed that more than 80 federal officials across a dozen agencies had been involved in the censorship of social media content. Upon hearing the news, one FBI agent expressed disgust at what he described as the “gross subservience” that’s been shown by social media companies to the FBI, noting that the “default position” is for private companies to be “totally adversarial” to inquiries by the FBI about their customers.

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Sad.

Canada Health Director Who Lead Vaccine Rollout Dies Suddenly at 35 (GP)

The Director of Parliamentary Affairs at Health Canada, who oversaw the country’s response to Covid-19 and the rollout of the vaccine, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 35. Adam Exton, a long-time Liberal Party organizer, died suddenly on Friday, December 9th, according to his family.“It is with great sadness that the family of Adam Exton announce his passing on December 9th, 2022 at the age of 35 in Ottawa, Ontario. Much loved son of Wendy Exton, brother of Bradley Exton (Ellen Wessel) and son of Allan Exton. He will also be deeply missed by his loving girlfriend, Reesha, as well as his many cousins, aunts, uncles and grandmother, Bette Readman,” his obituary reads. “As a young person, Adam became actively involved in politics and had a passion for public service and volunteering in the community. In 2012, Adam won the Ontario Young Liberal Volunteer of the Year Award.


He received a degree in political science from the University of Toronto. Adam spent many years working at various levels of government, eventually holding the position of Director of Parliamentary Affairs at Health Canada.” Adam Exton was a part of the group that orchestrated the response to Canada’s totalitarian mandates against its own citizens.His obituary stated, “During the challenging times of the pandemic, Adam was part of the leadership team that led Canada’s health response to COVID-19. He was a talented and respected campaign manager that was instrumental in helping to bring cabinet ministers and members to Queens Park and Ottawa. Adam always did and will continue to make his family extremely proud of who he was and his service to his community and country.”

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Smart dogs

 

 

Larry

 

 

It’s a wonderful life

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 182022
 
 December 18, 2022  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Brooding woman 1891

 

Has American Democracy Been a Hallucination for Nearly 60 Years? (Simon)
Xi of Arabia and the Petroyuan Drive (Escobar)
German IC Doctor: Never Seen So Many People Sick (Telegraaf)
US: Ukraine Can Retake Crimea, But May Provoke Nuclear Escalation (Antiwar)
Data Confirm US, Poland’s Involvement In Terror Attacks In Russia (TASS)
Twitter Suppressed Early COVID-19 Treatment Information, Vaccine Concerns (ET)
Musk Makes Decision On Banned Journalists After Poll (RT)
Coordination Between DOJ and FBI Is Not Limited to Twitter: Devin Nunes (ET)
Boston University School of Public Health Stops Using Twitter (Prasad)
EU Threatens Musk With Sanctions Over Suspending Media (Turley)
Musk Wars Part X: Doxxing (Denninger)
EU Branded ‘Fundamentally Corrupt’ (Exp.)
FIFA Rejects Zelensky Request To Address World Cup Final (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Be kind
https://twitter.com/i/status/1604034405764308994

 

 

7,300 over 80

 

 

 

 

Pfizer

 

 

Tulsi Trudy

 

 

 

 

“Oliver Stone’s “JFK”

Has American Democracy Been a Hallucination for Nearly 60 Years? (Simon)

Call it a democracy, call it a democratic republic, call it a constitutional republic, call it anything you want—it doesn’t really matter what America is if there is truth to what Tucker Carlson was reporting the other night via a source who had “direct knowledge” of still-hidden documents concerning the Kennedy assassination, implicating the CIA. If indeed the CIA was in any way involved in the assassination of JFK on Nov. 22, 1963, then anything that has happened in the public sphere in our country since that day has basically been a hallucination created by an intelligence agency far deeper than most of us—certainly me, since I was never much given to conspiracy theories—ever imagined.

The affairs of the day—RNC chief Ronna McDaniel revealed to be a profligate spender on her own luxury travel, not on Republican candidates; Donald Trump releasing self-aggrandizing NFT pseudo-art as a fundraiser (rest in peace, Johannes Vermeer); even Elon Musk’s exposure of the multiple mendacious censoring creeps behind Twitter, although that has an eerie similarity—pale by comparison to CIA involvement and, therefore, massive coverup for decades in the JFK assassination. That former CIA director Mike Pompeo declined to appear on Carlson’s show to discuss this is not insignificant. We all know about 51 intelligence officials—John Brennan and others who fallaciously claimed two years ago the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation. They have to have known otherwise. Now this?

Why are 3 percent of the Warren Commission documents on the assassination still being hidden after those nearly 60 years with all the major players dead, if not to hide something of serious importance from the American public? It’s time to reconsider Oliver Stone’s “JFK” that, though I admired Oliver’s filmmaking, I originally thought to be a crackpot.

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“Xi of Arabia’s announcement was a prodigy of finesse: it was packaged as the internationalization of the yuan.”

Xi of Arabia and the Petroyuan Drive (Escobar)

It would be so tempting to qualify Chinese President Xi Jinping landing in Riyadh a week ago, welcomed with royal pomp and circumstance, as Xi of Arabia proclaiming the dawn of the petroyuan era. But it’s more complicated than that. As much as the seismic shift implied by the petroyuan move applies, Chinese diplomacy is way too sophisticated to engage in direct confrontation, especially with a wounded, ferocious Empire. So there’s way more going here than meets the (Eurasian) eye. Xi of Arabia’s announcement was a prodigy of finesse: it was packaged as the internationalization of the yuan. From now on, Xi said, China will use the yuan for oil trade, through the Shanghai Petroleum and National Gas Exchange, and invited the Persian Gulf monarchies to get on board.

Nearly 80 percent of trade in the global oil market continues to be priced in US dollars. Ostensibly, Xi of Arabia, and his large Chinese delegation of officials and business leaders, met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to promote increased trade. Beijing promised to “import crude oil in a consistent manner and in large quantities from the GCC.” And the same goes for natural gas. China has been the largest importer of crude on the planet for five years now – half of it from the Arabian peninsula, and more than a quarter from Saudi Arabia. So it’s no wonder that the prelude for Xi of Arabia’s lavish welcome in Riyadh was a special op-ed expanding the trading scope, and praising increased strategic/commercial partnerships across the GCC, complete with “5G communications, new energy, space and digital economy.”

Foreign Minister Wang Yi doubled down on the “strategic choice” of China and wider Arabia. Over $30 billion in trade deals were duly signed – quite a few significantly connected to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects. And that brings us to the two key connections established by Xi of Arabia: the BRI and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

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Google translation. Something’s up with immune systems.

German IC Doctor: Never Seen So Many People Sick (Telegraaf)

The number of people in Germany currently suffering from an infection or illness is at a historic high, chairman Christian Karagiannidis of the German Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine told the Rheinische Post. “The disease rate among the population is extremely high at the moment, I have never experienced anything like it.” According to Karagiannidis, almost all IC beds are occupied in many regions. He emphasizes that coronavirus infections are no longer the main problem. “Currently, we are fighting a very wide range of illnesses: flu, RS virus, coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses, plus the usual emergencies.” The IC doctor hopes that the Christmas holidays will provide relief, because the number of admissions often drops then.


In addition to the extremely high number of patients, German hospitals also suffer from absenteeism among staff, high work pressure, attacks aimed at staff and delivery problems of a number of medicines, including antibiotics and heart medication. Pediatrics is also facing shortages of medicines, which could jeopardize the care of young patients with respiratory infections. Karagiannidis calls on local drug manufacturers to produce and stock certain resources in advance so that they are available in sufficient quantities. “I find it worrying for a country like Germany that we have been dealing with such shortages time and time again for a long time and that this shortage has become even more acute due to the many infections.”

Thought leaders

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The nukes are in their imagination.

US: Ukraine Can Retake Crimea, But May Provoke Nuclear Escalation (Antiwar)

The White House believes Ukraine’s military could retake the Crimean Peninsula from Russia. However, officials say the offensive may cross Moscow’s “red lines” and prompt a nuclear strike. The Biden administration has radically changed its view of Kiev’s military since Russia invaded nearly ten months ago. The Ukrainians “continue to shock the world with how well they’re performing on the battlefield,” an unnamed official said. The White House now assesses that the Ukrainian armed forces are capable of retaking Crimea, with NBC News reporting that statements to that effect were made to lawmakers during a Congressional hearing last month.

The administration official was attempting to explain to Congress why Kiev still needs American support. The Crimean Peninsula was a region of Ukraine before it was annexed by Russia in 2014. While a referendum of Crimean citizens backed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision, Kiev and Washington assert the peninsula still belongs to Ukraine. Sources reached by NBC News said the White House believes Putin will respond sharply to a successful Ukrainian offensive in Crimea. “Putin may react more strongly to Crimea,” one official said, while a former administration staffer added “That’s the red line.”

The White House does not believe Ukrainian military operations in Crimea to be imminent. “A lot would have to happen militarily first” before Ukraine could begin a real offensive to retake Crimea, an official stated. However, the Biden administration has been surprised by some of Ukraine’s most advanced military operations. Two US officials and an American defense staffer said the White House was caught off guard and frustrated after Kiev launched a series of three drone attacks strikes deep inside Russian territory.

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“..preparation and implementation of joint terror attacks on the Russian Federation territory.”

Data Confirm US, Poland’s Involvement In Terror Attacks In Russia (TASS)

Data from intercepted drones confirm the involvement of the US and Poland in preparation of terror attacks on the Russian territory, a source in Russian security agencies told TASS Friday. “Relevant agencies of the Russian Federation analyzed electronic components of the intercepted unmanned aerial vehicles, used by Ukraine for attacks on Russian infrastructure objects – in particular, in Sevastopol, in Crimea, in Kursk, Belgorod and Voronezh Regions,” the agency said. According to the specialists’ assessments, a number of facts “confirm the direct involvement of the US and Poland in the massive military-logistical support of the Kiev regime, in preparation and implementation of joint terror attacks on the Russian Federation territory.”


The agency noted that “the avionics and drone control stations were produced by US’ Spektreworks, a company that performed the initial tuning and check of the drones at the Scottsdale airport in Arizona.” In addition, the relevant agencies pointed out that “the final assembly and flight trials of these drones were carried out on the Polish territory, near the Rzeszow airport, used by the US and NATO as the main supply node for Ukrainian armed forces.” “The installation of payload, flight mission and the launch itself were carried out near Odessa and Krivoy Rog,” the statement says.

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“..there needs to be a “complete overhaul” of social media leadership and a “cleansing” of all forms of censorship on social media sites.”

Twitter Suppressed Early COVID-19 Treatment Information, Vaccine Concerns (ET)

Thanks to Elon Musk, the public is now aware that Twitter suppressed early treatment options for COVID-19, and vaccine safety concerns, Dr. Peter McCullough alleged in an interview that aired on Newsmakers by NTD and The Epoch Times on Dec. 14. Further, thanks to the Twitter Files—a collection of internal emails and communications made public by Musk—the cardiologist said there’s proof that government agencies were working against him (McCullough) personally. “I didn’t violate any of Twitter’s rules,” McCullough stated. “And what we’re learning is that secret emails between government agencies and Twitter were working to, in a sense, shadow-ban me, censor me, and inhibit my ability to exercise my rights to free speech and disseminate scientific information.”

McCullough said Musk’s takeover of Twitter is a “welcome change,” especially for healthcare professionals like himself. “Twitter had become an incredibly biased and censored platform, where the public knew they weren’t getting a fair, balanced set of information on a whole variety of developments—including the early treatment of SARS-COV2 infection and a balanced view of safety and efficacy of the vaccines,” McCullough claimed. The cardiologist further claimed that he was censored and finally suspended for sharing scientific “abstracts and manuscripts,” which didn’t fit the accepted political view. Plus, McCullough remarked, he wasn’t the only doctor targeted. Musk lifted the suspensions of McCullough and mRNA vaccine technology contributor Dr. Robert Malone—suspended from Twitter in 2021 after criticizing the effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines—after completing his Twitter purchase.

According to McCullough, when a social media company has a COVID-19 warning or labels a post “misinformation,” that’s a sign of government censorship and control. “Facebook, Instagram, and the other platforms. … Anytime a message is posted, and it says, ‘See the COVID information center,’ or it labels it ‘COVID misinformation,’ that actually indicates that there’s government interference. There’s government censorship going on,” McCullough asserted. He added that when a user witnesses the above, they need to call out that platform. Moreover, McCullough believes there needs to be a “complete overhaul” of social media leadership and a “cleansing” of all forms of censorship on social media sites.

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“If anyone posted real-time locations & addresses of NYT reporters, FBI would be investigating, there’d be hearings on Capitol Hill & Biden would give speeches about end of democracy!”

Musk Makes Decision On Banned Journalists After Poll (RT)

Elon Musk has unblocked the accounts of several journalists who had been suspended from Twitter for allegedly violating the platform’s “doxxing” policies. The social media boss reinstated the accounts, which had been sharing data on the billionaire’s flights, following massive public backlash and an opinion poll he conducted on Twitter. “The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now,” Musk tweeted on Friday. The Twitter CEO had earlier held a poll asking the platform’s users whether they wanted the journalists’ accounts to be reinstated ‘now’ or ‘in seven days.’ A total of 58.7% opted for the former option, with almost 3.7 million people taking part in the vote.


On Thursday, Twitter banned the accounts of several high-profile journalists, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, the New York Times’ Ryan Mac, and the Washington Post’s Drew Harwell. According to Musk, these people reported and shared links to ElonJet, an account that had been tracking the billionaire’s flights in alleged violation of Twitter’s “doxxing” policy. The billionaire also argued that journalists had revealed his “exact real-time” location, which he said amounted to releasing “assassination coordinates.” “If anyone posted real-time locations & addresses of NYT reporters, FBI would be investigating, there’d be hearings on Capitol Hill & Biden would give speeches about end of democracy!” he added.

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“.. they were actively sending information on behalf of the government on who to look into, or who to ban, and that sort of thing.”

Coordination Between DOJ and FBI Is Not Limited to Twitter: Devin Nunes (ET)

The social media coordination between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI isn’t limited to Twitter, former Congressman and current CEO of President Trump’s Truth Social, Devin Nunes, alleged in an interview that aired on Newsmakers by NTD and The Epoch Times on Dec. 14. The Twitter Files, a collection of internal emails and communications made public by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, confirmed what many Conservatives have alleged for years. Namely, Twitter was shadow-banning accounts that didn’t fit a specific ideology and suspending accounts that bucked the chosen political narrative, Nunes claimed. But, the most concerning revelation in the Twitter Files, according to Nunes, is that the DOJ and the FBI had informants—whether paid or volunteers—that put forward a specific directive to Twitter, and that is likely happening on other social media platforms.

“The coordination that the Department of Justice and the FBI clearly had with Twitter? I don’t think it stops there,” Nunes stated. “It seems like they were either running informants, or had paid informants, or had volunteers, where they were actively sending information on behalf of the government on who to look into, or who to ban, and that sort of thing. “The bigger issue is, Twitter is one thing, but what about Facebook? What about Instagram?” According to Nunes, Trump developed Truth Social because, before Musk bought Twitter, Trump recognized that there was absolute control over public discourse in the United States. Furthermore, that control led to shadow banning and suspending social media accounts, so those accounts couldn’t criticize the controlling regime in the proverbial public square.

And while Nunes further stated that he’d recently discussed the Twitter File drops with Trump—and in general, Trump is glad Musk purchased Twitter—Trump still believes Musk needs to release all of the Twitter Files to the public and not go through cherry-picked journalists. “What [do] we really need from Elon Musk and Twitter at this point? Just release all the files. Don’t just have selective journalists look at it. Release all the files so everyone can begin to evaluate them. You never know what you’re going to find [with more people looking at the files].” Nunes said he believes that by releasing all the files, even more will be uncovered by citizen journalists and by Congress. He added he’s not alone in the belief that Musk should release all files and noted that Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s former CEO and founder, also called on Musk to release the Twitter Files to the public.

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You will be so missed. Bye.

Boston University School of Public Health Stops Using Twitter (Prasad)

Boston University School of Public Health’s Dean, Sandro Galea, recently announced that BU has reconsidered its engagement on twitter. Going forward, “we will, as a School, be disengaging from our Twitter account @busph. Relatedly, I will also suspend my personal @sandrogalea account.” Is this decision a rational one— proportionate to challenges on the online platform—or is it performative? The dean himself wonders, “I always worry that decisions like this can seem overly performative. I hope that this is indeed right given the current landscape of Twitter.” Most importantly, does it advance public health’s credibility? Does it help the profession in the eyes of the public? In this essay, I consider these questions. In order to analyze BU’s decision we need to consider two things. First, what platforms will BU remain on, and second, what are the stated reasons for leaving?

BU school of public health has singled out twitter as the social media platform to disengage from, but remains on other platforms, including “email newsletter, SPH This Week, Public Health Post, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, press outreach, our website, as well as other emerging channels.” Scrolling through past stories it is clear that press outreach can include small papers, including the Staten Island Live, and other news outlets that frankly I have never heard of. Thus, there must be something uniquely disqualifying about Twitter that does not apply to all these other venues. Let’s consider those reasons. Dean Galea offers “two key” ones. #1 Dean Galea writes, “First, Twitter has moved from being a publicly held company to being a privately held company, and, in particular, a company controlled by one person who has not been hesitant to impose his personal views on the platform.”

In other words: we are quitting Twitter is because one person makes the decisions. This argument is clearly lacking. Facebook is a publicly traded company, but the desires of the founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have tremendous sway over their decisions. Whether public or private— decisions can always be made by one or two people, without transparency and often in illogical and contradictory fashion. How does Linkedin make decisions? Instagram? Staten Island Live? What about all those news outlets I have never heard of? Who knows! Dean Galea senses the obvious weakness of this argument, and thus offers further clarification, “That may well be acceptable if that person shows themselves to be judicious and thoughtful in both their communication and actions, but that has not been the case with Mr. Musk.”

So it isn’t merely that a single person makes the decisions, but that they are not judicious and thoughtful? Yet, even with this clarification, the argument to quit seems thin. BU School of Public Health remains happy to amplify their content in Staten Island Live. That is owned by a company called Advanced Local Media. Who controls this company? Are they judicious and thoughtful? Does BU have obligation to investigate? Rupert Murdoch owns many US papers including the Wall Street Journal, a place where Dean Galea has authored op-eds. In fact, Galea’s bio lists him as a “regular contributor to media, including” the Wall Street Journal. Is Murdoch judicious and thoughtful? I think many at BU public health would disagree.

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“Doxxing has long been subject to suspension. ”

EU Threatens Musk With Sanctions Over Suspending Media (Turley)

Despite my support for Elon Musk’s continuing efforts to reduce censorship and restore free speech protections on Twitter, I have been critical of some of his moves from his use of polls on restoring certain posters to the suspensions of media figures this week. However, this morning, I was struck by the European Union (EU) rushing into the controversy to threaten, again, sanctions against Musk. The EU is apparently aghast that Twitter could suspend media even temporarily after ignoring the bans on conservative media for years under the old management. I understand Musk’s view of such tracking as a form of doxxing (particularly after a man reportedly used the information to attack the car with one of his children inside). Doxxing has long been subject to suspension.

Indeed, figures connected with mainstream media from CNN to the Washington Post have been previously accused of doxxing. Liberal groups were accused of doxxing conservative justices and others, including dangerously posting information on the children of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. It does not seem to matter when the targets are conservative, Republican, or libertarian. Figures who have long advocated the banning of others with opposing views are some of the loudest objecting in the wake of the doxxing controversy. Washington Post Taylor Lorenz expressed fear that she could be next. It may not be a groundless fear since Lorenz has been previously accused of doxxing others and described the reintroduction of free speech protections for others as the opening of “the gates of hell.”

However, it was the appearance of the EU that was most jarring. We have been discussing efforts by figures like Hillary Clinton to enlist European countries to force Twitter to restore censorship rules. Unable to rely on corporate censorship or convince users to embrace censorship, Clinton and others are resorting to good old-fashioned state censorship, even asking other countries to censor the speech of American citizens. It is an easy case to make given the long criminalization of speech in countries like France, Germany, and England. The EU responded immediately by threatening Musk that restoring free speech could result in immediate sanctions or an entire ban.

Now, EU commissioner Vera Jourova warned that the EU’s Digital Services Act was preparing to act to defend press freedom: “Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon.” Jourova’s self-righteous tirade was almost comical given the EU’s long-standing attacks on free speech and silence of prior media suspensions. Jourova insisted “[The] EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our Media Freedom Act.” Really? Where was Jourova and the EU when Twitter was aggressively suspending media like the New York Post for publishing the true story of Hunter Biden’s laptop? How about the slew of conservative writers and experts barred for questioning official accounts on issues ranging from Covid to climate change?

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“What reasonable and lawful purpose is there in knowing where some particular person is on a mass-distribution basis and by what rubric does that meet the “reasonable public purpose” test?”

Musk Wars Part X: Doxxing (Denninger)

Musk claims to have had an incident in which a vehicle carrying his child was accosted by a stalker. In response to this he put forward a rule on Twitter: Publishing the real-time location of any person is a bannable offense. I can argue both sides of that in terms of reasonableness, particularly when it comes to public records, because the usual exception to them (what in many states is called “publication of private facts”) doesn’t really apply. But the reason I argue its not so clear as it used to be, and there is a clean argument for such a policy and perhaps even a law, is that today it is all too easy to gin up a lynch mob using so-called “social media” and other means of mass distribution. This is a relatively new thing; you could always, for example, post a sign on a telephone pole (or tree, before there were telephone poles) but your reach was at least somewhat limited and local. This is no longer true; now you sit in Washington DC and gin up a lynch mob in California at zero cost and trouble.

This isn’t theoretical; “modern media” has been used for this, almost-exclusively by the left, to do exactly that. A sitting Congressperson who lives on a houseboat was relentlessly targeted to the point they couldn’t go get groceries without being harassed. Their decision to live on a boat where ingress and egress is limited for obvious reasons certainly entered into the problem but there’s nothing wrong with living on a boat — plenty of people do and its a perfectly-legitimate choice. Several justices of the USSC have been similarly targeted at their homes and again, this was ginned up by persons all over the United States using capacity that didn’t used to exist. In the latter case the law was broken, yet the government refused to enforce said law.

It is already illegal, by the way, to communicate threats using interstate means or to travel for such a purpose between states. That’s a violation of federal law as it stands today. States also have “anti-stalker” laws with similar provisions. The exact intersection of all of these laws, basic human decency and the generation of “rage mobs” is a worthy matter for public debate. But what’s not under debate is what happened here. This was a pure bad-faith set of actions taken by a bunch of people. Whether they explicitly coordinated their actions is not known and doesn’t matter; the facts are: Musk announced that any real-time “doxxing” of positions was a banhammer offense. These “journalists” did it anyway, in rapid succession from one another, knowing in advance that it was an offense. Musk banhammered them all immediately and refused to apologize. The left went nuts. Good. Let them go nuts.

Tell me what the lawful and legitimate purpose is for real-time information on someone’s location? Is there a perfectly-legitimate public purpose, for example, in disclosing that “Joe X” travels by private jet on a regular basis while advocating that everyone else should be forced to “de-carbon” (e.g. attending some climate confab)? Absolutely; that has a reasonable and possible purpose of exposing hypocrisy. What reasonable and lawful purpose is there in knowing where some particular person is on a mass-distribution basis and by what rubric does that meet the “reasonable public purpose” test?

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“We are definitely one step further away from the amoral, anti-democratic, ever self-empowering mercantilist EU.”

EU Branded ‘Fundamentally Corrupt’ (Exp.)

The European Union is a “fundamentally corrupt” organisation, and easy prey for people with “deep pockets” looking to exert their influence through the continent, a former MEP has warned. Ben Habib, who was one of 29 Brexit Party candidates elected to the assembly in 2019, was speaking after four people, including former European Parliament vice-president Eva Kaili, were charged after a series of raids by Belgian prosecutors. Authorities have not official identified the country suspected of offering cash or gifts to officials but several members of the assembly and some Belgian media have linked the investigation to World Cup hosts Qatar – although the Gulf state denies the allegations.

The European Union’s parliament yesterday voted to suspend work on all files involving Qatar, and called for security passes for representatives of the Gulf country’s interests to be withdrawn until light can be shed on the scandal rocking the assembly. Mr Habib told Express.co.uk: “This doesn’t surprise me at all. The EP is swarming with lobbyists. “It’s inherent in the structure. The Qatari thing is just the surface of it. “I’m sure the same applies to the Commission. The EU itself is fundamentally corrupt.” As such the bloc was a “natural target” for “anyone with deep pockets wanting a favour”, he stressed. Mr Habib remains deeply concerned about the impact on the integrity of the United Kingdom posed by the Northern Ireland Protocol, the mechanism agreed by the UK and the EU as a way of preventing a post-Brexit hard border on the island of Ireland.

However, in consideration of the ongoing corruption claims, he conceded: “We are definitely one step further away from the amoral, anti-democratic, ever self-empowering mercantilist EU.” Mr Habib’s former party colleague Rupert Lowe, who like him sat alongside leader Nigel Farage in Brussels, made a similar point in a post on Twitter today in which he also took the opportunity to take a swipe at British civil servants. The former Southampton FC chairman said: The European Parliament is oozing corruption, from top to bottom. “Packed full of overpaid and incompetent civil servants. Not that unlike Whitehall!”

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“We have to give them a moment when they can forget about their problems and enjoy football.”

FIFA Rejects Zelensky Request To Address World Cup Final (ZH)

This week Zelensky issued a formal request for FIFA to allow him to share a message of “world peace” just before the kickoff to the World Cup final, scheduled for Sunday, but the world governing soccer body promptly rebuffed the request. The Ukrainian government is angered and disappointed, given Zelensky has frequently been invited to make appeals before major public events, even including at the Grammys and Cannes Film Festival. This is when he’s not already busy addressing the G7 or UN-sponsored events, or European Parliament. It goes without saying that the World Cup final will be the single most televised and watched event across the globe this year. According to CNN, Kiev’s lobbying effort is still underway, but Ukraine officials were “surprised” when FIFA quickly reacted negatively:

“The source said Zelensky’s office is offering to appear in a video link to fans in the stadium in Qatar, ahead of the game and was surprised by the negative response. It’s unclear if Zelensky’s message would be live, or taped. “We thought FIFA wanted to use its platform for the greater good,” the source said. Is the Ukrainian leader’s ‘superstar’ status waning? Likely it has more to do with FIFA walking a tightrope in terms of wanting to avoid political topics and public displays at the Qatar-hosted tournament. So far it’s sought to avoid controversy on everything from the proposed ‘One Love’ armbands that some European teams wanted to wear, to imagery in favor of Iranian anti-government demonstrators.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino in a Friday news conference explained that the organization had put a stop to a number of attempts to make “political statements” in Qatar because it must “take care of everyone.” “We are a global organization and we don’t discriminate against anyone,” Infantino explained. “We are defending values, we are defending human rights and rights of everyone at the World Cup. Those fans and the billions watching on TV, they have their own problems. They just want to watch 90 or 120 minutes without having to think about anything, but just enjoying a little moment of pleasure and joy. We have to give them a moment when they can forget about their problems and enjoy football.” Of course, this very rational, straightforward explanation is unlikely to appease Ukrainian officials… but at least they have the consolation that Zelensky was declared Time’s Person of the Year.

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364 neurons

 

 

Marik

 

 

Reindeer

 

 

Face in the trees

 

 

Shark

 

 

Prince Cream

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 122022
 


Paul Gauguin Landscape with black pigs and a crouching Tahitian 1891

 

Musk Says Fauci Lied, People Died (RT)
Zelensky Was Ready For Neutrality In March – Col. Macgregor (RT)
How the Mainstream Media Misses the Money Quote (Antiwar)
Twitter Files: Corporate Media Ignores The Biggest Story Of The Decade (ZH)
Dupe or Designated Defendant? The Criminal Case Against Jack Dorsey (Turley)
Jack Dorsey Defiantly States He Has Never Heard Of Twitter (BBee)
4 Minutes of Undiluted Truth on Mainstream TV (Mike Whitney)
Merkel’s Ukraine Remarks Show Breach Of Trust – Serbia (RT)
China Wants To Drop Dollar In Oil Trade – Reuters (RT)
Western Price Cap Disrupting Global Oil Markets – Economist (RT)
Sanctions On Russia Are Backfiring – Former Austrian Vice-chancellor (RT)
FBI Reveals It Has More Information on Deceased DNC Staffer Seth Rich (ET)
Are We Finally Reaching Peak Climate Hysteria? (Spiked)
Dutch Gov’t Attempts To Forcibly Close 3,000 Farms For ‘Green’ Agenda (ZH)
Viagra Lowers the Risk of Alzheimer’s By Almost 70% (GR)

 

 

 

 

Back to the future?!

 

 

Douglas Macgregor: Zelensky Has Made A Terrible Mistake By Trying To Pin Missile Strikes On Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter files on censorship of doctors, and promoting Fauci, should be explosive. If they still exist. Musk has promised them.

Musk Says Fauci Lied, People Died (RT)

The billionaire Tesla and Twitter boss, Elon Musk, has triggered a social media firestorm on Sunday after suggesting that US Covid-19 czar, Dr. Anthony Fauci, should be investigated and prosecuted for allegedly lying under oath about the funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab in China. In what initially appeared to be an ironic dig, poised to trigger an avalanche of criticism from the left, Musk also posted a meme showing the retiring White House chief medical adviser whispering “Just one more lockdown my king” in President Biden’s ear. But after Fauci’s name was propelled to the top of Twitter trends with over 600,000 mentions, Musk apparently felt forced to elaborate why he thought the controversial face of America’s response to the pandemic should be investigated.

“As for Fauci, he lied to Congress and funded gain-of-function research that killed millions of people,” Musk said in response to one critic, adding “not awesome imo.” The 81-year-old Fauci, who plans to retire by the of the month, led a disjointed US Covid-19 response marked by his flip-flopping on issues such as the efficacy of masks and herd immunity targets. Shortly after Fauci announced that he would step down as Biden’s chief medical adviser and as director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – Senator Rand Paul demanded that the US administration preserve documents and messages that could become evidence in the potential probe.

“Fauci’s resignation should not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic. He must be required to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the Wuhan lab leak. His policies destroyed lives,” tweeted Paul. The senator previously accused Fauci of directing public funding to gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab and lying about it under oath in congressional testimony, as the two sparred repeatedly in Senate hearings. Gain-of-function is the modification of pathogens to enhance them in various potential ways, including transmissibility. The rationale is that scientists can study new strains and find ways to stop them before similar adaptations emerge naturally.

The ‘lab leak’ theory – that the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab – was popularized by former US President Donald Trump, who made the allegation amid a trade war with China. Major US media organizations and tech platforms initially labeled it as ‘disinformation’ and tried to suppress the theory from public discourse. However, after Musk took over Twitter, the company stopped enforcing its Covid-19 “misleading information policy.”

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“Fiona Hill [..] wrote in September that an “interim settlement” had been agreed in Istanbul. In May, Ukrainian media linked the collapse of these talks to pressure imposed on Kiev by Johnson.”

Zelensky Was Ready For Neutrality In March – Col. Macgregor (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky was ready in March to meet some of Moscow’s conditions for peace, retired US Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor has claimed in a recent interview. He blamed former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for preventing a settlement. As Ukrainian and Russian delegations sat down in Istanbul in March, news surfaced of a potential deal that would have seen Kiev renounce its ambition to join NATO and agree to neutrality, in exchange for Russia’s withdrawal to pre-February battle lines. Days later, Zelensky said he had discovered evidence of war crimes in territory evacuated by Russian forces, and negotiations were called off. In an interview with military historian Michael Vlahos, published on Saturday, MacGregor claimed that the UK was responsible for the abrupt end of the peace talks.

“We have evidence that towards the end of March, Mr. Zelensky said ‘well, we could live with neutrality,’ and when that word reached Washington and London, people became incensed,” he said. “Boris Johnson represented Washington’s interests and said ‘absolutely not, we will support you to the bitter end. You must stand your ground and fight for every inch of Ukraine’.” MacGregor is not the first US official to suggest that Zelensky was ready for peace in March. Fiona Hill, a veteran US diplomat who served as the US National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia in the Trump administration, wrote in September that an “interim settlement” had been agreed in Istanbul. In May, Ukrainian media linked the collapse of these talks to pressure imposed on Kiev by Johnson.

The prime minister visited Kiev on April 9, reportedly without warning, and according to the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper, told officials that “even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they [the West] are not.” Now, almost ten months into the conflict, Zelensky has forbidden negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has promised to retake all of the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – which voted to join the Russian Federation in September. The Ukrainian leader has also vowed to capture Crimea, which has been a part of Russia since a 2014 referendum. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said Russia remains open to talks, but cautioned in October that Western powers must be involved, as an agreement with Ukraine alone could be “instantly canceled upon orders” from the West.

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“..there was a canyon between the leader of the US and the leader of the loyal European opposition. The canyon was so wide that it included disagreement over the causes and solutions of the war.”

How the Mainstream Media Misses the Money Quote (Antiwar)

On December 1, French President Emmanuel Macron went to Washington for the first state visit of the Biden administration. After the pageantry, presents, hand holding and flattering words of fraternity and solidarity, Macron faced the gathered press. “We will never urge Ukrainians to make a compromise that will not be acceptable for them.” “That,” said Helene Cooper of The New York Times, “is the money quote.” But it wasn’t the money quote by several euros. The money quote came days later when Macron was not standing shoulder to shoulder with Biden in front of an American audience, but standing on his own addressing a French audience.

Macron told the French television network TF1, in an interview filmed during his visit to Washington but aired as he left, that “We need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table.” Then Macron made his full meaning clear: “One of the essential points we must address – as President Putin has always said – is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.” The money quote was that, despite the display of solidarity, there was a canyon between the leader of the US and the leader of the loyal European opposition. The canyon was so wide that it included disagreement over the causes and solutions of the war.

Biden and Macron both “strongly condemn Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.” But for Biden, in the beginning, that war was wholly unprovoked, and, in the end, the settlement must reflect that and protect core US values. For Macron, though the war was illegal, Russia had legitimate security concerns that NATO had been pushing, and the settlement must reflect that too. Macron hinted at that crucial separation at the press conference with Biden. Even then, Macron said “We want to build peace and a sustainable peace means full respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” But then, hinting at Russia’s demand to be included in a new European security structure that takes its concerns seriously, he added, “but at the same time [it means] a new architecture to make sure we have a sustainable peace in the long run.” But that didn’t make it into the money quote.

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“Twitter was participating in a form of treason, along with the agencies that they cooperated with. It’s a huge story, and one that should lead to punishment for those involved.”

Twitter Files: Corporate Media Ignores The Biggest Story Of The Decade (ZH)

Twitter has long denied that they “shadow ban” users, but this was a lie. The data shows that small groups within Twitter called “strategic response teams” suppressed up to 200 accounts per day. Usually these were accounts of larger and more influential conservative politicians and celebrities. And, these teams operated in coordination with Democrat officials and agencies like the FBI. In some cases the goal was to mute a particular individual. In other cases the goal was to steer national elections. Internal Twitter communications show that SRT groups spent most of their time fabricating reasons why certain information was subject to TOS. In other words, if Twitter’s rules were not being violated, they made up new rules.

The exposure of Twitter is the biggest story of the decade because it provides proof of a hidden cabal. It shows the ugly mechanics behind the scenes and exposes a network of elites and their errand boys who were involved in direct operations to destroy the 1st Amendment for the sake of ideological supremacy. It’s the classic definition of fascism, a definition that Benito Mussolini reiterated when he argued: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” And, if this brand of Fascism was happening within the halls of Twitter, then there is little doubt it is also happening at companies like Google/YouTube, Apple, Facebook, etc. Before we had evidence, now we have confirmation.

The corporate media argues over relevance instead of morality because they benefited from the censorship. It’s important to remember that one of the first measures Big Tech companies applied after suppressing the alternative media during the pandemic was to then amplify the corporate media. These companies are floundering with dismal audience numbers and dwindling profits. No one listens to them anymore. Yet, as long as they promote the establishment narrative their opinions and disinformation are given priority on nearly every search engine and social media platform. Of course they aren’t interested in the Twitter Files, liars are often “bored” by honest commentary and factual information.

Also, their continued existence relies on the censorship of their competition in the alternative media. The bottom line is this: According to the Bill of Rights, it is illegal for agents of the US government to obstruct the free speech of law abiding American citizens. It does not matter if the action is done by using “private businesses” as middlemen. And, if a private business is colluding with government to implement political policy then it is no longer a private business. Twitter was participating in a form of treason, along with the agencies that they cooperated with. It’s a huge story, and one that should lead to punishment for those involved.

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“..lying in public is generally not a crime. However, when you repeat a lie to federal investigators or Congress or the courts, it becomes a federal offense.”

Dupe or Designated Defendant? The Criminal Case Against Jack Dorsey (Turley)

The latest Twitter disclosures have raised potential legal liability for Twitter and its executives. No one appears more at risk than Twitter’s former CEO Jack Dorsey It is an ironic turn of events since Dorsey supported the takeover by Elon Musk and has called for all files to be released without filtering. Dorsey has the feel of a “designated defendant,” someone who was pushed forward by others to take any legal hit. On its face, Dorsey has vulnerability after the latest release. He was repeatedly asked by members of Congress about censoring and shadow-banning, which has now been confirmed in these files. In September 2018, Dorsey testified under oath and denied what these files appear to now confirm. Rep. Mike Doyle, D., Pa., asked, “Social media is being rigged to censor conservatives. Is that true of Twitter?”

Dorsey responded, “No.” Doyle then asked “Are you censoring people?” “No,” Dorsey said. “Twitter’s shadow-banning prominent Republicans… is that true?” Doyle asked. Dorsey again said no. Dorsey was also asked about my prior testimony on private censorship in circumventing the First Amendment as a type of censorship by surrogate. Dorsey and the other CEOs were asked about my warning of a “‘little brother’ problem, a problem which private entities do for the government that which it cannot legally do for itself.” In response, Dorsey insisted that “we don’t have a censoring department.” It now appears that the entire company was operating as a censoring department. However, there were in fact super-censors.

Dorsey did not mention the Strategic Response Team-Global Escalation Team (SRT-GET), which operated above what journalist Bari Weiss described as “a level beyond official ticketing, beyond the rank-and-file moderators following the company’s policy on paper.” That group reportedly included Vijaya Gadde, head of Legal, Policy and Trust; Yoel Roth, the global head of Trust and Safety; CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others. Notably, others at the company made similar denials as Dorsey but may not have done so under oath. In 2018, Gadde and head of product Kayvon Beykpour expressly declared, “We do not shadow-ban. And we certainly don’t shadow-ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.”

Even if untrue, lying in public is generally not a crime. However, when you repeat a lie to federal investigators or Congress or the courts, it becomes a federal offense. The question is whether Dorsey was left in the dark on these decisions. He was reportedly a member of SRT-GET. However, some of the files indicate that these decisions may have been made without his knowledge. That includes the decision on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, which Dorsey called a “total mistake.”

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“I’m not here talking to you right now. My name is not Jack Dorsey. I vehemently deny my own existence at this time.”

Jack Dorsey Defiantly States He Has Never Heard Of Twitter (BBee)

In the aftermath of the second wave of what have come to be known as the “Twitter Files” — in which documented evidence is presented that Twitter engaged in systematic practices to suppress and “shadowban” conservative or otherwise dissenting accounts, despite previous claims to not do so — co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey has issued a defiant statement that he has, in fact, never heard of Twitter. “I have no comment on, and indeed, no knowledge regarding anything known as a ‘Twitter,'” Dorsey said. “Any claims to the contrary are untrue and a wholesale misrepresentation. The previous statements attributed to me regarding ‘shadowbanning,’ while made by me, were simply not made by me.”


Furor continues to grow in the wake of new Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk authorizing the release of large amounts of internal communications and descriptions of practices under the company’s previous regime. “Twitter and its former brain trust have very serious questions to answer,” said Senator Ted Cruz in comments to the media. “Mr. Dorsey testified before Congress and denied that Twitter had engaged in such practices. The American people demand the truth.” “I never appeared before Congress,” Dorsey said in response. “I’m not here talking to you right now. My name is not Jack Dorsey. I vehemently deny my own existence at this time.” At publishing time, investigations into Dorsey’s knowledge of secret Twitter practices were ongoing, as further questions sent to Dorsey remained unanswered as he denied ever providing his previous answers to the first questions.

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“..the best ‘easy-to-understand’ summary of the Ukraine War you’ll hear anywhere..”

4 Minutes of Undiluted Truth on Mainstream TV (Mike Whitney)

The last thing you’d ever expect to hear on a mainstream news channel, is the truth. But—strange as it might seem—that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday night on the Tucker Carlson Show. Carlson interviewed veteran journalist Glenn Greenwald in a 4-minute segment that provided the best ‘easy-to-understand’ summary of the Ukraine War you’ll hear anywhere. And what was so shocking about the interview, was how casually both men veered onto topics that are essential to grasping “How we got to where we are today” but which are entirely banned on all the other cable news channels. You are not allowed to know, for example, that Russia was “lured into the conflict in Ukraine”.


That does not fit the script that has been passed-along from the Biden State Department to their lapdogs at the cable news stations. You’re also not allowed to know that the US does not fight wars “to spread democracy” or that “the US has no vital interests in Ukraine” or that “Russia is not really our enemy”. All of those topics are verboten. You’re not even allowed to think about these things, which is why– for the most part– they have been completely scrubbed from any-and-all discussion of foreign policy in the corporate media.

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The EU also faces another problem with Serbia, which wants troops in Kosovo. Germany says no way. But there is a UN resolution.

Merkel’s Ukraine Remarks Show Breach Of Trust – Serbia (RT)

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent comments on the 2014-15 Minsk agreements have cast the Ukraine conflict in a new light, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday. Merkel stated that Kiev used the ceasefire to rearm its troops. The peace deals brokered by Germany and France eight years ago laid out a path for the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics’ (DPR and LPR) peaceful reintegration into Ukraine. However, they were never implemented because the government of Ukraine argued over the interpretation of the agreements. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko eventually admitted that Kiev mainly intended to use the ceasefire to rebuild its military and the economy. Merkel seemed to confirm this in an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit on Wednesday, saying that by signing the agreements, Ukraine won “valuable time” to muster a stronger army.

“We have witnessed a historically important statement by Angela Merkel. I am surprised and still checking whether it is possible that she has said such a thing,” Vucic told local media. “She is a woman whom I appreciate greatly, but for me this statement is almost unbelievable.” The former chancellor’s words “shed a completely new light” on the history of the conflict, Vucic said. “It cannot change the fact of who attacked whom, but changes a lot in terms of facts and relations inside what has been going on since 2014 … it is a clear sign for me that [they] cannot be trusted.” “It’s a lesson for us,” Vucic added, as his country now faces heightened tensions in Kosovo, Serbia’s breakaway region that the majority of EU and NATO members recognize as an independent state.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he was disappointed by Merkel’s remarks that “nobody intended to fulfill any part of the Minsk agreements.”Earlier, Putin cited Kiev’s inability to stick to the Minsk agreements as one of the reasons Moscow recognized the independence of the two Donbass republics on February 21, three days before launching its military operation in Ukraine. The DPR and LPR, along with two other former Ukrainian territories, became parts of Russia after referendums in late September.

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Oil markets are global. The yuan is not a global currency. And China won’t make it one.

China Wants To Drop Dollar In Oil Trade – Reuters (RT)

Beijing will work to make energy purchases in yuan instead of US dollar signalling another step towards shifting further away from the greenback, China’s President Xi Jinping told Gulf Arab leaders as cited by Reuters. China’s leader highlighted the necessity of the move while speaking at a Chinese-Arab summit that was hosted by Saudi Arabia earlier this week. Xi had held separate talks with the heads of the Persian Gulf states at the summit that reportedly brought together 30 leaders from across the region. The world’s biggest crude importer, China in November ramped up purchases of oil by 12% year-on-year, marking the 10-month high despite the severe pandemic-related restrictions. Chinese state refiners stepped up purchases of US crude oil, while maintaining high imports of Russian oil prior to the December 5 European embargo and imposition of an oil price cap.


China’s independent refiners also moved a record amount of deeply discounted Iranian crude passed off as oil sourced from Malaysia, which is commonly used as a transfer point for oil originating from the sanction-hit Venezuela and Iran. Saudi Arabia was China’s number one oil supplier in the first ten months of 2022, making up 18% of China’s total crude oil purchases, with imports totaling 73.54 million tons, or 1.77 million barrels per day, Chinese customs data showed. Keen interest in the yuan and other currencies from major oil importers have arisen in the wake of unprecedented sanctions introduced by Washington and the allies against Russia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers and exporters over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

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“43% of EU inflation is related to energy prices, while only 17% of US inflation is due to energy prices..”

Western Price Cap Disrupting Global Oil Markets – Economist (RT)

The latest EU sanctions on Russian oil exports will fail to strip the country of its revenues, but are already causing global oil supply disruptions, a senior energy economist at CER-Centro Europa Ricerche told Sputnik news agency on Wednesday. The EU embargo took effect on Monday and was accompanied by a $60 price cap on Russian crude, supported by G7 countries and Australia. Any transactions over this limit are now barred from receiving brokerage, shipping, or insurance services. Demostenes Floros said that although the price cap has not sparked an immediate surge in oil prices, severe consequences lie ahead. The economist predicts rising demand in China, which will inevitably affect the cost of crude. He added that higher energy prices will deal a blow to the EU at a time of spiraling inflation and an unfolding recession.

Floros explained that “43% of EU inflation is related to energy prices, while only 17% of US inflation is due to energy prices and this is a very big difference between the European Union and the United States,” adding that the price cap will deepen the split within the bloc. The sanctions may also result in serious problems with contracting necessary volumes of diesel in the EU once the ban on Russian refined oil products comes into force on February 5, he warned. “I think that prices will increase, especially if other OPEC+ producers will not compensate Russian output,” the economist said, cautioning that the “politicization” of energy supplies could further destabilize a market which has not yet recovered from the Covid crisis.

EU oil sanctions on Russia are already causing setbacks. Dozens of tankers carrying 23 million barrels of crude are currently stuck in the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, unable to pass, as Turkish authorities demand proper insurance guarantees. Most of the Black Sea crude stuck in the straits was from Kazakhstan, which is not targeted by sanctions, according to EU officials. At the same time, Russian insurance companies have already provided letters of confirmation to Turkish authorities in order to secure passage.

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“If it goes on like this, next year in March and April we will face mass insolvencies and bankruptcies..”

Sanctions On Russia Are Backfiring – Former Austrian Vice-Chancellor (RT)

Western sanctions imposed on Moscow have failed to make a dent in Russia’s economy and ultimately only hurt Europeans, former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache said on Saturday. He also accused European policymakers of turning a blind eye to the deadly fighting in Donbass, which he said served as a prelude to the current conflict for many years. Speaking at a pro-neutrality rally in Vienna, which was also a protest against sanctions on Russia, Strache claimed that Austria’s decision to join the restrictions had turned out to be a self-inflicted wound. “Austria has shown Europe how the sanctions are damaging itself,” he said, telling his audience that the measures have caused soaring electricity and gas prices, with more and more people feeling the impact.

“If it goes on like this, next year in March and April we will face mass insolvencies and bankruptcies,” he warned, calling the possibility “damn dangerous.” If the crisis is exacerbated and more people get desperate, “this could bring a dangerous development in the form of social tensions that we all do not want,” the former vice-chancellor added. At the same time, Strache continued, the restrictions have failed to undermine the Russian economy. According to him, “this year, the Russians have doubled [their] business,” raking in $220 billion in revenue. Strache also stated that Europe had found itself in the current situation because it had been “looking the other way” for many years when it comes to hostilities in Donbass, which started in 2014 after violent riots in Kiev overthrew the democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovich.

After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February, Western nations imposed new severe sanctions on Moscow, freezing half its gold and foreign currency reserves and targeting its energy exports. The restrictions, however, caused energy prices and living costs to surge, prompting numerous protest rallies across Europe. Earlier this month, hundreds of Italian activists gathered in the center of Milan to protest sending weapons to Ukraine and expanding the sanctions. In late November, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova insisted that EU policymakers have only themselves to blame for their ongoing energy crunch.

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”The agent claimed that disclosure of the records would harm an FBI investigation into the allegations that Russians had hacked into U.S. systems.”

FBI Reveals It Has More Information on Deceased DNC Staffer Seth Rich (ET)

The FBI not only has possession of a laptop computer owned by slain Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich, but a report detailing forensic imaging of what’s being described as Rich’s work computer, the bureau revealed in a new filing. The FBI’s records office located the report while searching for the work computer, Michael Seidel, chief of the office, said in a sworn declaration filed with a federal court in Texas on Dec. 9. He described the document as “a three (3) page forensic report detailing the actions performed by an outside entity to image the work laptop.” The report was among four documents that had never been disclosed by the FBI in relation to Rich’s case.

Journalist Sy Hersh said in or around 2017 that he was told by a source about an FBI report on Seth Rich. He said, according to the source, that Seth Rich’s computer showed the DNC staffer had relayed DNC documents to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency group. Hersh talked about the source’s claims during a phone call with Ed Butowsky, an investor who later retracted claims about Rich being a WikiLeaks source, and discussed the call during a deposition. Rich was gunned down in the early morning hours on July 16, 2016, near his home in Washington. The killing of Rich, the DNC’s voter expansion data director, remains unsolved. Authorities have claimed that the killing was a robbery gone wrong. Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, has suggested that Rich passed DNC files to the group, which released the DNC files in 2016. U.S. authorities have alleged that Russians hacked into the DNC systems, but those allegations were made before the FBI received images from the DNC’s server to determine their validity.

The Metropolitan Police Department has said it is the lead investigating agency into the death. It has declined to say whether the FBI was helping with the probe into Rich’s death. The new records were found after the records office contacted an unnamed FBI special agent during its search for Rich’s work computer, according to FBI Records Chief Seidel. The other records are a letter from a third-party that accompanied the work computer and two FBI chain of custody forms. None of the records were indexed to Rich inside of the bureau’s central records system and neither the forensic report nor the custody forms mention Rich’s name, according to the FBI. They were also not included in an electronic file created for Rich’s case. The agent claimed that disclosure of the records would harm an FBI investigation into the allegations that Russians had hacked into U.S. systems.

The FBI now wants the court to agree to keep the new records shielded from Brian Huddleston, a Texas resident who filed a lawsuit against the bureau over its ignoring a Freedom of Information request for records on Rich. Bureau officials initially claimed in sworn statements that the FBI had searched for records on Rich but did not locate any. In 2020, for the first time, the FBI admitted it had files from a computer belonging to Rich. Some of those files were then released to Huddleston and made public, including documents that appear to suggest that someone could have paid for his death. The FBI has said it has images from a second computer owned by Rich, which the bureau described as Rich’s personal laptop. A federal judge in September ordered the bureau to hand the images over to Huddleston, finding that the bureau improperly withheld them.

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No way.

Are We Finally Reaching Peak Climate Hysteria? (Spiked)

The madness of the greens is peaking. This week a leading eco-politician in the UK, Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, referred to the building of a new coalmine as a ‘crime against humanity’. Take that in. Once upon a time it was mass murder, extermination, enslavement and the forced deportation of a people that were considered crimes against humanity. Now the building of a mine in Cumbria in north-west England that will create 500 new jobs and produce 2.8million tonnes of coal a year is referred to in such terms. Perhaps the coalmine bosses should be packed off to The Hague. Maybe the men who’ll dig the coal should be forced alongside the likes of ISIS to account for their genocidal behaviour.

We cannot let Ms Lucas’s crazed comments just slide by. We need to reflect on how we arrived at a situation where a mainstream politician, one feted by the media establishment, can liken digging for coal to crimes of extermination. It was in the Guardian – where else? – that Ms Lucas made her feverish claims. On Wednesday, when the government gave the go-ahead to the Cumbria mine, the first new coalmine in Britain for 30 years, Lucas wrote that the whole thing is ‘truly terrible’. This ‘climate-busting, backward-looking coalmine’ is nothing short of a ‘climate crime against humanity’, she said.

It isn’t though, is it? Sorry to be pedantic but it is not a crime to extract coal from the earth. If it were, the leaders of China – where they produce 13million tonnes of coal a day , rather putting into perspective the Cumbria mine’s 2.8million tonnes a year – would be languishing in the clink. I look forward to Ms Lucas performing a citizen’s arrest on Xi Jinping. It certainly is not a crime against humanity. That term entered popular usage during the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. It refers to an act of evil of such enormity that it can be seen as an assault on all of humankind. Earth to Ms Lucas: extracting coal to make steel – what the Cumbria coal will mostly be used for – is not an affront to humankind. I’ll tell you what is an affront, though: speaking about the burning of coal in the same language that is used to refer to the burning of human beings. That, Caroline, is despicable.

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I still don’t know where the focus on nitrogen came from. Wasn’t it always CO2?

Dutch Gov’t Attempts To Forcibly Close 3,000 Farms For ‘Green’ Agenda (ZH)

Dutch farmers protesting for months over the government’s radical ‘green’ plan to slash nitrogen emissions by 50% – 95% could soon face forced buyouts of their land. “For agricultural entrepreneurs, there will be a stopping scheme that will be as attractive as possible,” Christianne van der Wal, nitrogen minister, recently said in the Dutch parliament. The Dutch government plans to purchase 3,000 “peak polluter” farms via a €24.3 billion ($25.6 billion) fund. Van der Wal said farmers would be offered 100% value for their land, but if voluntary efforts fail, farmers will face forced buyouts. The country is attempting to reduce nitrogen pollution and will make farm purchases if not enough landowners accept buyouts. She added: “There is no better offer coming.”

So, how did this happen? As we explained over the summer, farmers were livid with the Dutch government for following through with their green agenda to reduce nitrogen emissions on farms. Many of these folks took to the streets with their tractors and pitchforks and demanded the government reverse course on crushing the country’s agriculture industry. The Dutch government began implementing new rules on nitrogen activity on farmers and farm buildings as early as 2019. That halted the expansion of dairy, pig, and poultry operations for the last several years, which are significant sources of nitrogen pollution. One Dutch farmer spoke with ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ to discuss the pressure from the government and their move to close down thousands of farms.

“I don’t know what we can expect. For my own family, I hope that one of my sons can continue farming if he wants,” Dutch Farmer Geertjan Kloosterboer said. The Netherlands is trying to reduce emissions and follow through with a green agenda, but it could jeopardize the nation’s food supply and put the world’s supply at risk. Recent data shows the country, which is the size of Maryland, is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products by value behind the US. Their centrality in the global food supply is indisputable, and so-called green politicians want to destroy the industry in the name of climate change. It seems like the protests aren’t going away anytime soon.

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Brain health.

Viagra Lowers the Risk of Alzheimer’s By Almost 70% (GR)

New research published recently suggests that Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction drug Viagra can decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 69%. The research, which was published in Nature, found that the medication has a direct effect on brain health and significantly reduces the toxic proteins that can cause dementia. The study’s findings are so promising that the drug may someday be used to counter dementia. A new team of experts is preparing to conduct another study that builds on this data but tests the generic version of Viagra — sildenafil — in patients suffering from early Alzheimer’s.

The team of researchers arrived at Viagra’s viability as a treatment for dementia after analyzing 1,600 approved drugs hoping to find one that could be repurposed to fight the root causes of dementia. “Sildenafil, which has been shown to significantly improve cognition and memory in preclinical models, presented as the best drug candidate. Sildenafil may have neuroprotective effects and reduce levels of toxic tau proteins,” said Dr. Feixiong Cheng, the lead researcher on the study, which was conducted by the Cleveland Clinic. Despite the excitement surrounding the study’s promising results, some experts are advising people to not get their hopes up quite yet, as clinical trials are still necessary.

Another recent study uncovered another unlikely weapon in the fight against dementia: coffee. Research suggests that coffee consumption may significantly decrease your chances of developing the disease. The study sheds light on the mysterious disease, for which there is no cure as of now. While coffee does not mitigate or fight Alzheimer’s like some medications do, the study found that people with no memory loss who also drank larger than average amounts of coffee were at less of a risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, which is considered a pre-stage of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Bout

 

 

 

 

Weaver

 

 

Blue-footed booby

 

 


Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii)

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 102022
 


Saul Leiter Harlem 1960

 

THE TWITTER FILES: The Removal Of Donald Trump, Part 1 (ZH)
Twitter Files Unveil More FBI Collusion (RT)
Twitter Files Highlight the Mechanics of Controlling Platform Information (CTH)
How “Trust” Executives Misled Congress and the Public (Turley)
The Tool of Tools (Kunstler)
Putin Doesn’t Bluff (Jim Rickards)
Putin: West is Using Ukrainians as ‘Cannon Fodder’ (Celente)
US To Unveil New Military Aid Package For Ukraine – Reuters (RT)
Western Europe Caught In A Strategic Trap, Unclear How It Can Escape (Lukyanov)
The New Russia and a Prophetic Ballad (Batiushka)
Oil Price Cap Will Backfire, Warns Putin (RT)
‘Minsk II Was Agreed On To Arm Ukraine’ – Did Merkel Really Say That? (MoA)
How Big Are the Fed’s Losses and Where Can We Go See Them? (WS)
Dutch Farmers Battle Technocratic Forces Driving Them Into Oblivion (GZ)

 

 

Scott Adams has a hard time updating his list of hoaxes; there are too many.

 

 

Dr. Michael Vlahos & Col. Douglas Macgregor: Is the war in Ukraine entering its decisive phase? Pt.1

 

 

Child exploitation

 

 

 

 

Bhattacharya
https://twitter.com/i/status/1601232328935686145

 

 

 

 

Third batch. Much more to follow. Hard to keep up.

THE TWITTER FILES: The Removal Of Donald Trump, Part 1

The third installment of Elon Musk’s release of internal Twitter communications has been released, once again via veteran journalist Matt Taibbi. In this episode, which is a 3-parter, we learn what happened behind the scenes which led to the banishment of former President Donald Trump from the platform. 2. The world knows much of the story of what happened between riots at the Capitol on January 6th, and the removal of President Donald Trump from Twitter on January 8th… 3. We’ll show you what hasn’t been revealed: the erosion of standards within the company in months before J6, decisions by high-ranking executives to violate their own policies, and more, against the backdrop of ongoing, documented interaction with federal agencies.

4. This first installment covers the period before the election through January 6th. Tomorrow, @ShellenbergerMD will detail the chaos inside Twitter on January 7th. On Sunday, @bariweiss will reveal the secret internal communications from the key date of January 8th. 5. Whatever your opinion on the decision to remove Trump that day, the internal communications at Twitter between January 6th-January 8th have clear historical import. Even Twitter’s employees understood in the moment it was a landmark moment in the annals of speech. 6. As soon as they finished banning Trump, Twitter execs started processing new power. They prepared to ban future presidents and White Houses – perhaps even Joe Biden. The “new administration,” says one exec, “will not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary.”

7. Twitter executives removed Trump in part over what one executive called the “context surrounding”: actions by Trump and supporters “over the course of the election and frankly last 4+ years.” In the end, they looked at a broad picture. But that approach can cut both ways. 8. The bulk of the internal debate leading to Trump’s ban took place in those three January days. However, the intellectual framework was laid in the months preceding the Capitol riots. 9. Before J6, Twitter was a unique mix of automated, rules-based enforcement, and more subjective moderation by senior executives. As reported, the firm had a vast array of tools for manipulating visibility, most all of which were thrown at Trump (and others) pre-J6.

10. As the election approached, senior executives – perhaps under pressure from federal agencies, with whom they met more as time progressed – increasingly struggled with rules, and began to speak of “vios” as pretexts to do what they’d likely have done anyway. 11. After J6, internal Slacks show Twitter executives getting a kick out of intensified relationships with federal agencies. Here’s Trust and Safety head Yoel Roth, lamenting a lack of “generic enough” calendar descriptions to concealing his “very interesting” meeting partners.

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“This “smaller, more powerful cadre” of senior executives made decisions “on the fly, often in minutes and based on guesses, gut calls, even Google searches..”

Twitter Files Unveil More FBI Collusion (RT)

US federal agencies worked closely with Twitter moderators to clamp down on “disinformation” during the 2020 election, while executives went to great lengths to scrub certain content they deemed false and dangerous following increasingly frequent sit-downs with law enforcement and intelligence orgs, according to the third installment of the “Twitter Files.” Shared on Friday by journalist Matt Taibbi, the trove of files includes a set of messages from Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth. The executive reveals he was running out of “generic” names on the company’s internal calendar to hide the increasingly regular meetings with federal officials ahead of the 2020 election. “DEFINITELY NOT meeting with the FBI I SWEAR,” he quipped in response to a colleague who suggested calling it a “Very Boring Business Meeting That Is Definitely Not About Trump.”

Another missive speaks of Roth’s “weekly sync” with officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), suggesting he consulted with three-letter agencies to discuss “election security.” The message also mentions a “monthly meeting” with the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), a unit created to “identify and counteract malign foreign influence operations targeting the United States” in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential win. The FBI even went as far as to flag individual tweets thought to be problematic, in one case urging Twitter to censor a former Republican official – apparently on the basis of a Politifact article alone. The DHS, ODNI and “some NGOs that aren’t academic” were also involved in the process.

A special channel was created on October 8, 2020 for senior executives like Roth, Trust and Policy chief Vijaya Gadde and top lawyer Jim Baker – who previously worked as general counsel for the FBI – to coordinate election-related decisions, given the name “us2020_xfn_enforcement.” This “smaller, more powerful cadre” of senior executives made decisions “on the fly, often in minutes and based on guesses, gut calls, even Google searches,” while also “clearly liaising with federal enforcement and intelligence agencies about moderation of election-related content,” Taibbi wrote, dubbing the group a “high-speed Supreme Court of moderation.” In yet another exchange involving Policy Director Nick Pickles, a staffer asked if the site’s marketing team could say that posts are reviewed in conjunction with “outside experts” in promotional material. However, Pickles raised doubts, saying “not sure we’d describe the FBI/DHS as experts,” instead suggesting the term “partnerships” alone.

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Lawyer sundance has long said he doesn’t trust DeSantis, who he sees as representing larger forces behind the curtain. Since Bari Weiss supports DeSantis’ campaign, while also publishing the Twitter Files with Matt Taibbi, for Elon Musk, he doesn’t trust any of them either.

Twitter Files Highlight the Mechanics of Controlling Platform Information (CTH)

The latest release of information behind the controversial “Twitter Files”, comes from Bari Weiss complete with the strategic promotion of a new website [The Free Press] launching via the booster provided by their access to the internal Twitter documents. Curiously intelligent people will note the Weiss website is structured to support the 2024 presidential bid of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is, not coincidentally, riding atop a multi-staged booster guided by Elon Musk and fueled by Wall Street billionaires. For the moment, just note and I digress – but please do not miss the connections. As noted by the former New York Times journalist, Ms. Weiss states, “the [website] authors have broad and expanding access to Twitter’s files. The only condition we agreed to was that the material would first be published on Twitter.” [..]

Overall, the story as released walks through the process that Twitter used to control users and as a consequence control the flow of information on the platform. Accounts were subject to restrictions, manipulations and other inorganic engagement controls depending on the ideology of the content being provided. [..] To put it in brutally honest terms, The United States Dept of Homeland Security is the operating system running in the background of Twitter. You can debate whether Elon Musk honestly didn’t know all this before purchasing Twitter from his good friend Jack Dorsey, and/or what the scenario of owner/operator motive actually is. Decide for yourself. For me, I feel confident that all of the conflicting and odd datapoints only reconcile in one direction. DHS, via CISA, controls Twitter.

Wittingly or unwittingly (you decide) Elon Musk is now the face of that govt controlled enterprise. If you concur with my researched assessment, then what you see being released by Elon Musk in the Twitter Files is actually a filtered outcome as a result of this new ownership dynamic. And with that intelligence framework solidly in mind, I warn readers not to take a position on the motive of the new ownership. Put simply, DHS stakeholders, to include the DOJ, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), are mitigating public exposure of their domestic surveillance activity by controlling and feeding selected information about their prior Twitter operations.

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“..Dorsey insisted that “we don’t have a censoring department.” Dorsey also expressly denied under oath that there was “shadow banning” based on political ideology.”

How “Trust” Executives Misled Congress and the Public (Turley)

Calling executives the “Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust” (Vijaya Gadde) and the “Global Head of Trust & Safety” (Yoel Roth) doesn’t alter their status as some of the greatest censors in history. Yet the license for this massive system clearly came from Twitter’s very top. Shadow banning and “visibility filtering” are consistent with the policies of ex-CEO Parag Agrawal, who pledged the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the Internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.” So we now know that Twitter was not only banning dissenting voices on subjects ranging from COVID to climate change but was throttling or suppressing the traffic for disfavored writers.

Among those targeted was Stanford professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who wrote about how COVID lockdowns would harm children. He and others have been vindicated in flagging those worries, but Twitter secretly placed him on a “Trends Blacklist” to prevent his tweets from trending. It’s a telling list because it reflects an acknowledgment that such tweets would trend with users if the company didn’t suppress them. Some of us have been raising concerns over Twitter’s massive censorship system for years, including what I called the emergence of a “shadow state” where corporations carry out censorship the Constitution bars the government from doing. What’s striking is leading Democrats have been open about precisely this type of corporate manipulation of political speech on social media.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called upon these companies to use enlightened algorithms to protect users from their own bad reading choices. Even President Joe Biden called for such regulation of speech and discussions by wise editors. Without such censorship and manipulation, Biden asked, “How do people know the truth?” It is still early to determine possible legal implications of these files, but there are some areas likely to be of immediate concern for counsel. First, Elon Musk has suggested that some material may have been intentionally hidden or destroyed despite inquiries from Congress. Twitter was told to expect a congressional investigation into these areas. It’s not clear if this was material allegedly deleted as part of a regular process or a specific effort to destroy evidence of censorship or throttling.

Such obstruction cases, however, can be difficult to bring absent clear evidence. In 2005, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned accounting firm Arthur Andersen’s conviction for its destruction of documents under a standard record-management system. Second, destruction of documents could also prove relevant as part of an investigation into whether false statements were given under oath. Twitter executives denied such secret suppression efforts both in public and before Congress. Indeed, a recent federal filing revealed a 2021 email between Twitter executives and Carol Crawford, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s digital media chief. Crawford wanted to censor “unapproved opinions” on social media; Twitter replied that “with our CEO testifying before Congress this week [it] is tricky.”

At that hearing, social-media companies were asked about my prior testimony on private censorship in circumventing the First Amendment. In response, Dorsey insisted that “we don’t have a censoring department.” Dorsey also expressly denied under oath that there was “shadow banning” based on political ideology.

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“Is it a stretch to imagine Mr. Baker’s former employer, the FBI — which, let’s face it, operates as a sort of blood-brotherhood — purposely installed Mr. Baker in that sensitive job at Twitter..”

The Tool of Tools (Kunstler)

At what point in his arduous take-over of Twitter did Elon Musk realize that the package came with a joker in the deck: James A. Baker, formerly general counsel of the FBI? Did he wonder: what is this guy doing here? Were there any conversations between the two? Or did Mr. Musk just quietly observe his presence at a remove in nervous wonder, as one might, say, upon discovering a scorpion in the corner of his hotel room? Mr. Baker, you understand, was notoriously at the center of the FBI’s FISA court fuckery that got the ball rolling in the Crossfire Hurricane operation, Act One of RussiaGate, as well as the Alfa Bank caper concocted by Hillary Clinton (disclosed this year by special counsel John Durham), and probably every other sedition pie the FBI cooked in its oven in those years, considering Mr. Baker’s position as chief legal advisor to Director Chris Wray.

When the alt-news media caught onto Mr. Baker’s nefarious activities, he became inconvenient to the agency, was re-assigned to some nebulous task (polishing Mr. Wray’s cuff links?), and quit in May, 2018. He landed temporarily — or was he, rather, parked out-of-sight? — at the shadowy R Street Institute, an Intel Community cut-out, one of its countless PR channels in the DC Swamp. But then, mysteriously, Mr. Baker got hired by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in June of 2020 — the heat of a presidential election — to work under Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s general counsel (and chief of “legal, policy, and trust” [ha!]), where he remained until just the other day. Is it a stretch to imagine Mr. Baker’s former employer, the FBI — which, let’s face it, operates as a sort of blood-brotherhood — purposely installed Mr. Baker in that sensitive job at Twitter to help “moderate” the national conversation in the central forum that public debate had moved to in our time?

If so, he apparently did a crackerjack job, and just at the right time, too, after the FBI discovered, in emails they ripped off Rudolph Giuliani’s purloined cloud account, that Donald Trump’s attorney possessed of a copy of the laptop hard-drive of one Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate Joe Biden — said computer (the FBI knew full-well by then) being stuffed not just with pornographic photos of crack orgies and other personal infelicities, but also a trove of emails and deal memos laying out a bribery and money-laundering scheme that the younger Biden was running all over Eurasia as a family business.

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“..the upcoming counteroffensive would give Russia control of the entire coast from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea..”

Putin Doesn’t Bluff (Jim Rickards)

Much has been made of Ukraine’s retaking of Kherson, but Russia regarded it as a city of little strategic value. Rather than waste resources fighting for it, they withdrew. The Russians also let the Ukrainians have the open land, which will later become a killing field for Russian artillery. That’s the reality you’re not being told. In the words of retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor: “The Biden administration repeatedly commits the unpardonable sin in a democratic society of refusing to tell the American people the truth: Contrary to the Western media’s popular “Ukrainian victory” narrative, which blocks any information that contradicts it, Ukraine is not winning and will not win this war. Months of heavy Ukrainian casualties, resulting from an endless series of pointless attacks against Russian defenses in southern Ukraine, have dangerously weakened Ukrainian forces.”

In the meantime, Russia is preparing to launch a massive counteroffensive. It’s completed its 300,000-man mobilization, with over 180,000 of those troops now deployed behind Russian lines in combat formations. The remaining 120,000 troops will arrive soon. This brings total Russian strength up to about 30 divisions. Once again, Col. Macgregor: “The coming offensive phase of the conflict will provide a glimpse of the new Russian force that is emerging and its future capabilities…The numbers continue to grow, but the numbers already include 1,000 rocket artillery systems, thousands of tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones, plus 5,000 armored fighting vehicles, including at least 1,500 tanks, hundreds of manned fixed-wing attack aircraft, helicopters and bombers. This new force has little in common with the Russian army that intervened nine months ago on Feb. 24, 2022.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian strength has been greatly diminished due to high casualty rates and being stretched thin. Then What? If successful, the upcoming counteroffensive would give Russia control of the entire coast from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea. It would also give Russia control of the Dnipro River, which separates the western part of Ukraine from the eastern part and connects Kyiv to the Black Sea. Ukraine would be left as a rump state between Kyiv and Lviv. Almost all the industrial, technological and natural resource capacity of former Ukraine would be under Russian control.

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“If we are talking about a disarming strike, perhaps we should think about using the approaches of our American partners.”

Putin: West is Using Ukrainians as ‘Cannon Fodder’ (Celente)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, once again, accused the West of using Ukrainian troops as cannon fodder as some of the war’s most intense fighting rages in Bakhmut, an eastern city in Donetsk. Putin said the West is fighting for global domination but acknowledged that Russia will have to make a deal vis-a-vis Ukraine at some point. He said he is concerned that countries like Germany and France, which would likely help broker any deals, may not be trust worthy. “The question of trust arises. And trust of course is almost at zero… But nevertheless, in the final analysis we have to come to agreements. I have already said many times that we are ready for these agreements,” Putin said in a video message, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, the fighting playing out in the city has been compared to how forces used to square off in WWI.

The Financial Times described one of the scenes:“Then came the Russian infantry, charging in a first world war-style attack across a no man’s land of shredded trees and artillery craters. The Ukrainians popped up and mowed down many of them with machine guns and grenade launchers. Moments later, the scenes were repeated — although this time the Russian fighters had to navigate their comrades’ bodies. Again many were cut down by Ukrainian bullets. “It’s like a conveyor belt,” Kostyantyn, an exhausted Ukrainian machine-gunner who described the scene to the Financial Times, said of the Russian tactics. “For what? A fucking metre of our land.” The city is considered to be located at a valuable location and has been fortified by Ukrainian troops.

Both Russia and Ukraine have been tight lipped about their casualties in the city, but The Wall Street Journal said hospitals have been inundated with Ukrainian casualties. Ukrainian troops and civilians have taken to social media to post images from the city that show gutted buildings and charred homes. Sky News noted that Bakhumt has been called a meat grinder because of the “huge and growing number of casualties.”Putin also said in the video that Russia may look into updating its nuclear policy and take a new look at the possibility of a preventive nuclear first strike to disarm an opponent to its military doctrine, Bloomberg reported. “We’re thinking about this,” he said. “If we are talking about a disarming strike, perhaps we should think about using the approaches of our American partners.”

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One after another. Never stop.

US To Unveil New Military Aid Package For Ukraine – Reuters (RT)

Washington is about to send another security assistance package to Kiev, which will include anti-drone and air defense systems, Reuters reported, citing sources. The $275 million measure is expected to be officially announced on Friday. According to officials and documents cited by the news agency, the security aid will also include rockets for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm ammunition, Humvee vehicles, and generators. At the same time, there are no details on the air defense equipment, the report says. In addition to this, the contents and the size of the aid package may change before it is approved by US President Joe Biden.

The new measure is expected to be covered by the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows Washington to dispatch military equipment quickly and without congressional approval. Supporting Ukraine with air defense systems has become an “absolute priority” for Western countries since Russia began targeting the country’s energy infrastructure, according to the US Department of Defense. The recurring bombardments picked up steam after Moscow accused Kiev of conducting “terrorist attacks” on Russian structures, including the strategic Crimea Bridge. In early November, the Pentagon announced a $400 million security package for Ukraine, which included ammunition for the HAWK air defense system as well as four Avenger air defense systems and additional Stinger missiles.

The same month, Ukraine received two first National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), with Washington promising to send another six. Since the start of the conflict, the US has committed more than $19 billion in security assistance to Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly warned Western countries that providing heavy weapons to Ukraine risks both crossing Russia’s “red lines,” and could lead to their direct involvement in the conflict. Washington and its allies insist they are not a party to the hostilities, but continue sending arms shipments to Kiev. The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes on Ukraine’s power infrastructure were intended to degrade Kiev’s ability to transport troops, and Western-supplied weapons and equipment to the battlefield by rail.

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“Beijing will be Washington’s strategic rival for decades to come. However, it’s not a threat to Western Europe, and it’s not a challenge. Indeed, cooperation with it is advantageous.”

Western Europe Caught In A Strategic Trap, Unclear How It Can Escape (Lukyanov)

[..] the Democratic administration’s rhetoric was reminiscent of the Clinton era, which was arguably the golden era of US-European symbiosis. Back then, Washington regarded the continent as an important priority and made considerable efforts to beautify it in a pan-Atlantic spirit, which was then in line with the overwhelming European sense of what was beautiful. The current US president, Joe Biden, is an old-school politician, from a time when Europe was the center of American interests. But the old school involves a sober analysis of costs and benefits. And the ability to optimize the former by maximizing the latter.

After the Second World War, and especially the Cold War, Western Europeans abandoned strategic thinking and instead followed policies which ensured a comfortable existence. The US, on the other hand, has retained the ability, if not to think, then, at least, to feel strategically. Hence an understanding (or rather an instinct) of the changing geopolitical realities. Of course, gut feelings don’t guarantee the correctness of policy, but they do imply an alignment with current needs and circumstances. Ironically, Western Europe, historically famed for its rationalism, is now much less correlated with the consequences of its actions.

Whether Washington had a cunning plan to shift the brunt of the confrontation with Russia onto its European allies, we may someday find out. However, the behavior of the United States can perhaps be explained not by scheming, but rather by clever opportunism. The fallout from the Ukrainian crisis is spreading all over the place, with the US making decisions to manage the consequences or even to exploit them for the future. This causes consternation amongst the Western Europeans: the Americans can do it, but they themselves can not. Thus, when the Biden administration passes the Inflation Reduction Act, putting American citizens in a much better position than Europeans, it is perfectly in the interests of the US. So?

Western Europe is caught in a trap and it’s unclear how it can escape. Absolute solidarity with the US on the Russian question implies subordination to a stronger partner. That said, the EU and UK are ready for this, but it means (for objective reasons): 1) that they must bear most of the costs, and 2) they should follow a common strategic position on the other issues of principle for their patron. And the main one here is China. Beijing will be Washington’s strategic rival for decades to come. However, it’s not a threat to Western Europe, and it’s not a challenge. Indeed, cooperation with it is advantageous. But why should the big brother allow his little sidekick to help someone who is at odds with him?

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“..Western companies made a killing inside Russia, tens of millions of people were robbed of their savings and pensions and millions died of poverty, despair, alcoholism and in nationalist wars in the Caucasus..”

The New Russia and a Prophetic Ballad (Batiushka)

Tragically, instead of keeping the best of the old USSR, full employment, housing for all, free education, free health care, free culture and support for the exploited Third World, once the nouveau-riche nomenklatura had taken long-coveted power, they simply put in place a poor-quality imitation of the corrupt West, keeping only all that was worst in the old USSR, alcoholism, abortion and divorce on demand, corruption etc. It was the worst of both worlds. National assets were stolen (‘privatised’) by what were politely called ‘oligarchs’, tens of millions of abandoned Russians found they had become disliked minorities in new countries, Western companies made a killing inside Russia, tens of millions of people were robbed of their savings and pensions and millions died of poverty, despair, alcoholism and in nationalist wars in the Caucasus, which were directly provoked and supported by the West. It was one of the greatest thefts of resources and identity in the history of the world.

It is only since 2000 that Russian patriots have been able to develop something better to put in place of these monstrosities and despite them. This has been a generational project and could not be rushed. Only thirty years later, in 2022, was the project ready. The New Russia, purged of the parasites and traitors, is needed, but there are still institutions, like the Church, where the corrupt and infiltrators are present and so compromise them. These traitors are just like the aristocrats, generals, politicians and professionals who coveted power in 1917 and so brought the system down. Just like today’s aristocrats/oligarchs and bourgeois elite of traitors, they implemented the Western-planned February 1917 palace revolt and, once they had caused chaos, civil war and destruction, they irresponsibly ran away to the West.

Having rejected the corrupt and failed post-Soviet Russia and the bankrupted Soviet Russia (1917-1991), the patriots who wanted to form the New Russia had two past models to consider: the brief Imperial Russia (1721-1917) and the long pre-Imperial Russia (988-1721), whose ideal was ‘Holy Rus’. Interestingly the last Tsar, Nicholas II, seeing the appalling decadence of the upper class in Saint Petersburg, had looked back with nostalgia precisely to that pre-Imperial Russia and especially to one of its last rulers, Tsar Alexis (1645-1676). He named his only son after him, reconciling those who used the Old Ritual with the Church, worked towards the restoration of the Patriarchate, building churches in the national style of the previous age and reforming church singing and iconography according to that age’s standards

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“..specific steps to retaliate against the measure will be outlined in the coming days through a presidential order..”

Oil Price Cap Will Backfire, Warns Putin (RT)

The price ceiling imposed by the West on Russian oil exports will impact the nations adopting the measure rather than Russia itself, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. He noted that the cap is equal to prices at which the country is currently selling its crude. “We won’t sustain losses under any circumstances,” Putin said during a press conference following a summit of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. The price limit on Russian seaborne oil, set at $60 per barrel, was introduced by the EU, the G7 countries and Australia on December 5. It bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian oil, unless the cargo is purchased at or below the indicated price.


Russia is not planning to sell oil to nations supporting the price cap, Putin said, adding that specific steps to retaliate against the measure will be outlined in the coming days through a presidential order. According to Putin, Russia will consider oil production cuts if necessary, although no decisions on the issue have been made so far. “We have an agreement with OPEC + on a known production target, we will think of something additional if necessary,” he said. According to the Russian leader, introducing a price ceiling will inevitably reduce investments into the oil sector, and send global crude prices skyrocketing.

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“It was a serious defeat for her but there was nothing she could do about it. She therefore now comes up, ex post, with a Chamberlain excuse…”

‘Minsk II Was Agreed On To Arm Ukraine’ – Did Merkel Really Say That? (MoA)

Helmholtz Smith, Andrew Korybko and Andrei Martyanov have some thoughts about a recent interview the former German chancellor Angela Merkel gave to the German weekly broadsheet Die Zeit. Smith says it shows that the ‘West’ is not trustworthy. Korybko thinks it the interview will prolong the conflict in Ukraine. Martyanov says that Merkel is stupid. She isn’t. In the interview Merkel seems to claim that the Minsk agreements between the Ukrainian government and the Donbas region, which she negotiated and co-signed as guarantor, was never meant to be fulfilled. It was only meant to give time to build up the Ukrainian military. I however think that such an interpretation is wrong. Merkel is under very harsh critique not only in the U.S. but also in her own conservative party.

She is now out to justify her previous decisions as well as the current bad outcome in Ukraine. My hunch is that she is making things up. Unfortunately she also creates serious damage. The relevant passage of the interview is longer than the one paragraph Helmholtz Smith and other cite. The context is important. Here is my translation of it: “ZEIT: Do you ask yourself if the years of relative calm were also years of omissions and if you were not only a crisis manager, but also partly the cause of crises? Merkel: I would not be a political person if I did not deal with that. […some stuff about climate action …] Let us look at my policy towards Russia and Ukraine. I come to the conclusion that I made the decisions I made back then in a way that I can understand today. It was an attempt to prevent just such a war. The fact that this was not successful does not mean that the attempts were wrong.”

I think the above is genuine. The Minsk agreements were a serious attempt to prevent war by reintegrating Donbas into a federalized Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian president Poroshenko did not have the will and the political backing to fulfill the agreement. There was no chance that, under him, a federalization law would pass the Ukrainian parliament. Moreover the U.S., the only party who could have really pressured him, told him not to follow up on the agreement. But then came Zelensky who was elected by a large majority on the promise to fulfill Minsk II. He even made attempts to do that. But he soon found out that his own life was in serious danger if he continued to try. There was also U.S. pressure as it did not want Minsk fulfilled.

Merkel however can not say that out loud. By late 2019 she must have recognized that Minsk II was blocked forever. It was a serious defeat for her but there was nothing she could do about it. She therefore now comes up, ex post, with a Chamberlain excuse. The 1938 Munich agreement Chamberlain signed prevented Germany from immediately going to war and gave the UK and others time to arm up. The Minsk agreement, Merkel claims now, bought time for Ukraine to get its military into better conditions.

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“This shift from “weekly change” to “cumulative balance” is kind of a funny way of doing something?”

How Big Are the Fed’s Losses and Where Can We Go See Them? (WS)

The chart tracks the line item, “Earnings remittances due to the U.S. Treasury,” on the Fed’s weekly balance sheet (second “Table 6,” Liabilities). This is normally a line that tracks the weekly increase in the amount that the Fed estimates it owes the US Treasury as the year goes on. “Normally” means in times when the Fed is making money. Each week adds up. For example, in 2021, all the 52 weekly amounts, each in the range between $500 million and $4 billion, added up to $106 billion that the Fed would owe the Treasury Department. Close enough for an estimate of the $107.4 billion in remittance for the year. But when the Fed started losing money on a weekly basis in September, the account did a switcheroo. Instead of showing the “weekly change” as during normal times, it shows the “cumulative loss since September 2022.”

In other words, when the Fed started losing money on a weekly basis in September 2022, the account shifted from showing a weekly change of a positive balance, to showing the total cumulative negative balance. It now no longer shows the weekly change but its total loss since September 2022. This shift from “weekly change” to “cumulative balance” is kind of a funny way of doing something? But it sort of makes sense, and here’s why: In theory, if the amount that the Fed owes the US Treasury is negative, it would mean that the US Treasury owes this amount to the Fed and would have to pay the Fed. But that’s not their deal. Their deal is that the remittance is a one-way channel, from the Fed to the Treasury.

And when it turns negative, the Fed will just sit on the negative balance that will grow over the years as long as the Fed is losing money. And when the Fed is making money again, the Fed will not remit its net income to the Treasury Department, but will apply it to this pile of accumulated losses until the pile is gone. When the pile is gone, the Fed starts remitting its profits to the Treasury again. [..] The Fed calls this growing pile of accumulated losses a “deferred asset.” Storing losses on the balance sheet as an asset, rather than showing the loss on the income statement right away, is an old corporate accounting trick, encouraged by GAAP, and includes such infamous accounts as “Goodwill” and “Intangible Assets.” The Fed is sort of just sticking to devious corporate accounting 101 here.

[..] The Fed, which creates & destroys money, cannot run out of money. I mean, we knew this all along. The Fed is not Enron, though the loss-accounting might look similar. The Fed creates its own money. And the Fed’s losses – no matter how large – will not cause the Fed to run out of money because it can always create more. So we can take that off our worry list. For the Fed, a loss is just an accounting entry, not an existential crisis. The Fed won’t print money to pay for its losses — it won’t need to. But it’ll use some of the money from the QT roll-offs that would have been destroyed and pay interest with it. And so that money for interest payments goes out the door, and the balance sheet will shrink on track with QT.

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“..global bodies like the World Bank’s “Climate Smart Agriculture” program, the UN’s “protected area initiatives,” the European Commission and armies of well-funded NGO’s are executing a wholly-comprehensive platform targeting Dutch farmers..”

Dutch Farmers Battle Technocratic Forces Driving Them Into Oblivion (GZ)

Holland exports the most food on earth, behind only America, on a landmass roughly the size of Indiana. Farmers the world over come to study Dutch techniques. The country embraces what’s known as the Mansholt theory—a philosophy of ensuring food security and self-sufficiency that emerged from the second world war as a response to Nazi-imposed famine. To stave-off a similar tragedy, Dutch agriculture embraces the Haber-Bosch process, a method of infusing fertilizer with nitrogen to increase yield efficiency. Invented in the early 1900s by a pair of Nobel Prize-winning chemists, Haber-Bosch is responsible for the existence of half the world’s population today (and is known in Malthusian circles as “the detonator of the population explosion”), thanks to its ability to grow more food on less land.

But now global bodies like the World Bank’s “Climate Smart Agriculture” program, the UN’s “protected area initiatives,” the European Commission and armies of well-funded NGO’s are executing a wholly-comprehensive platform targeting Dutch farmers — restricting both organic and artificial fertilizer use — while asserting “biodiversity protection” as the pretext for snatching land from the productive. Dutch farmers, in protest, have driven tractors to the Hague, tossed flaming trash onto the roads and sprayed manure across government buildings. It’s worth reemphasizing that the Dutch government is carrying out the same radical experiment conducted in Sri Lanka earlier this year — eliminating nitrogen-based fertilizer, the basis of modern survival. In the southeast Asian country, it led to a famine that toppled the government.

The Sri Lankan “disaster” fronted a simple premise: replace something with nothing. And to eliminate Russian gas from the geopolitical scene. The Colombo declaration, signed in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2019, celebrated the end of food security and sovereignty, offering in its place a model for import-dependency and agricultural destruction now being imposed on the Dutch. “They are sweeping the culture from the land,” says Sieta Van Keimpema, a sturdy 6-foot Dutchwoman in her 50s with short, wavy black hair. She is head of the European Milk Board, and leader of the Dutch farmers’ de-facto political arm, Farmer’s Defense Force (FDF). “Our government has made laws and laws that put us in a corner that you cannot come back from,” she says. “If people cannot put food on the table you get riots. You get an unstable society. I don’t see the benefits to this.”

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If Harry Potter had been written by Dostoevsky:

 

 

 

 

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