Mar 142022
 


Alfred Eisenstaedt The kiss (V-J Day in Times Square) 1945

 

US Farmers Hit Hard By Price Increases, Fertilizer Costs (JTN)
“Media Isn’t Warning You” That US Careening Towards Food Crisis (ZH)
Russian Default On Debts No Longer ‘Improbable’, Says IMF Head (G.)
India Is Mulling Rupee-Ruble Payments System for Trade with Russia (Scofield)
The US Is Still Not Trying Diplomacy With Putin Over Ukraine (Antiwar)
Russia Seeking China’s Military Help In Ukraine, US “Sources” Say (ZH)
The West’s Cancel Culture Targets All Things Russian (JTN)
Responses to the Invasion of Ukraine (Pankaj Mishra)
Deaths Represent 1.3% Of Side Effects Reported For Covid Vaccines (JTN)
How Does It Feel To Be Vindicated? (Malone)
Drs. Walensky and Offit: It’s All in Good Fun (Harrington)
Julian Assange To Marry Fiancee Stella Moris In Belmarsh Prison March 23 (DM)

 

 

 

 

Some day we’ll assess this moment with clear heads
https://twitter.com/i/status/1503265313474977793

 

 

 

 

Veritas FDA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1503264527642775553

 

 

“The cost of fertilizer is up as much as 500% in some areas..”

“..we are not really going to see those impacts until this coming summer.”

US Farmers Hit Hard By Price Increases, Fertilizer Costs (JTN)

Goods and services around the country are becoming increasingly more expensive, but farmers may be among the hardest hit as inflation, supply chain issues, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are expected to send food prices soaring even higher. That impact is being felt by farmers around the country. “The cost of fertilizer is up as much as 500% in some areas,” said Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron. “It would be unbelievable if I hadn’t seen it for myself as I priced fertilizer for our farm in southern Indiana. Fertilizer is a global commodity and can be influenced by multiple market factors, including the situation in Ukraine, and all of these are helping to drive up costs.” Ukraine is a significant supplier of both crops and fertilizer materials, adding to the concern that the invasion will likely lead to shortages and price increases.

Fertilizer prices for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, called NPK, have exploded since December 2020. “Because of the seasonal aspects of … this agriculture industry, it takes about six to nine months for the impacts felt in the impact market to really work its way through the supply chain and reach the consumer,” said Nathon Carson, head of supply chain operations for Chemical Dynamics, a multi-million dollar fertilizer supplier based in Florida servicing 12 states. “The crazy thing is, fertilizer prices for NPK, especially nitrogen, the most important nutrient, went up by about … doubled essentially in Q4 of 2021, which means we are not really going to see those impacts until this coming summer.” That fertilizer price increase is one of several factors expected to push food prices up even higher this year.

“Food prices are going to continue to go up dramatically,” Carson said. “I was expecting food prices to go up about 10% in the U.S. before midterms, so around August, another 5 or so percent to follow by the end of the year … You could see 20% food price inflation by the end of the year in the U.S. That is a possibility. You won’t see famine in the U.S. Our food system is very, very resilient, but you will see shortages. You won’t have the same product selection that you’re used to.” These food price issues have only been egged on by runaway federal spending, which has helped send inflation soaring in the past year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that the Consumer Price index, a leading marker of inflation, rose 7.9% in the past 12 months. BLS said that the food price index rose 8.6% over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month spike since April 1981.

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”Buy a 2nd freezer, and stock it. Soon.”

“Media Isn’t Warning You” That US Careening Towards Food Crisis (ZH)

Two weeks after the Russia-Ukraine crisis began, the world is quickly moving toward a food crisis that could affect millions of people. A spillover of the crisis could soon spark agricultural mayhem in the US. The curtailment of agricultural exports from Russia and Ukraine will have dramatic knock-on effects on global food supplies. Both countries are known as the ‘breadbasket of the world’ and are responsible for a quarter of the international wheat trade, about a fifth of corn, and 12% of all calories traded globally. Another major problem is access to fertilizers, as Russia has banned exports of the nutrients. It’s not whether or not there will be a food crisis. It’s how big that crisis will be.

We’ve already noted a handful of emerging market countries to monitor as the Russian invasion is choking off grain exports to them and causing prices to rise, which may result in social unrest. Even in the Western world, agricultural markets have not been immune, and higher prices have stung consumers. A tweet from Douglas Karr, the founder of the businesses blog Martech Zone, made the point the “media isn’t even warning you” a food crisis in America is emerging. Karr said he spoke with numerous folks in the food industry who said farmers in the South and Midwest are having trouble procuring fertilizer to grow crops ahead of planting season. He said farmers in the “Midwest are switching,” likely referring to crops that need fewer nutrients because they “can’t get nitrogen nor fertilizer.”

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, the global food system was strained. Snarled supply chains and adverse weather conditions in top growing regions of the world resulted in low crop yields and rising prices. The supply shock of Ukraine will amplify the crisis as the UN warned global food prices could jump 8%-20% from here (prices are already at record highs). Responding to Karr’s viral tweet, some people said they were buying a freezer to panic hoard food supplies as the worst food crisis has yet to come. “Likely getting a 2nd chest freezer soon and stuffing it with meats/frozen vegetables/etc. Also, it looks like “preppers” who were dismissed or made fun of last decade are about to be set on being right,” one person said. Another person said, “Read this and then understand why in the last 6 months several publications have been grooming us to accept eating bugs. All of this was planned. Buy a 2nd freezer, and stock it. Soon.”

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“Siluanov said on Sunday that it would be “absolutely fair” for Russia to make sovereign debt payments in roubles until its foreign exchange reserves were unfrozen..”

Russian Default On Debts No Longer ‘Improbable’, Says IMF Head (G.)

A Russian default on its debts after western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine is no longer “improbable”, but would not trigger a global financial crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday. The Washington-based fund’s managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, said the sanctions imposed by the United States and other nations were already having a “severe” impact on the Russian economy and would trigger a deep recession there this year. The war in Ukraine will also drive up food and energy prices, leading to hunger in Africa, she added. Georgieva told CBS’s Face the Nation programme: “In terms of servicing debt obligations, I can say that we no longer think of Russian default as an improbable event. Russia has the money to service its debt, but cannot access it.

“What I’m more concerned about is that there are consequences that go beyond Ukraine and Russia.” Last week, the World Bank’s chief economist, Carmen Reinhart, warned that Russia and its ally Belarus were “mightily close” to default. Asked whether a Russian default could trigger a financial crisis around the world, Georgieva said: “For now, no.” The total exposure of banks to Russia amounted to around $120bn, an amount that while not insignificant, was “not systematically relevant”, she said. Last week, she said the IMF would downgrade its previous forecast for 4.4% global economic growth in 2022 as a result of the war. Separately, Russia said on Sunday that it was counting on China to help it withstand the blow to its economy from sanctions, but the US has warned Beijing not to provide that support.

The Russian finance minister, Anton Siluanov, said Moscow was unable to access $300bn of its $640bn in gold and foreign exchange reserves, but still held part of its reserves in the Chinese currency, the yuan. “And we see what pressure is being exerted by western countries on China in order to limit mutual trade with China. Of course, there is pressure to limit access to those reserves,” he said. “But our partnership with China will still allow us to maintain the cooperation that we have achieved, and not only maintain, but also increase it in an environment where western markets are closing.” Russia is due to make two interest payments on 16 March. However, it will have a 30-day grace period to make the coupon payments. Siluanov said on Sunday that it would be “absolutely fair” for Russia to make sovereign debt payments in roubles until its foreign exchange reserves were unfrozen, according to Interfax.

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Can’t pay in rubles, IMF? Not so fast…

India Is Mulling Rupee-Ruble Payments System for Trade with Russia (Scofield)

India is discussing how to set up a rupee-ruble payment mechanism to enable it to trade with Russia, to circumvent the U.S. sanctions regime. India abstained from voting on the March United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution demanding an end to Russian offensive in Ukraine (General Assembly resolution demands end to Russian offensive in Ukraine). Since its Independence, India has tried to steer a neutral course between the U.S. and Russia (and previously, the USSR). During the 1950s, India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a prime architect behind the Non-Aligned Movement, under which developing countries tried to pursue their national interests without binding themselves to either the U.S. or Soviet bloc. India, Indonesia, and Yugoslavia were mainstays of that movement, which today includes 120 member states, 18 observer states, and 10 international organisations.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, India developed closer relations with the United States. Most recently, under prime minister Narendra Modi, India’s policy tilted even more decisively in a pro-U.S. direction. Modi and Trump shared a strong affinity, and Modi even travelled to the U.S, to host massive rallies intended to galvanize Indian Americans in support of Trump. See this BBC account for further details, What did the Trump-Modi ‘bromance’ achieve? During the last several months, several considerations have prompted the Modi government to rethink the wisdom of putting all its eggs in the U.S. basket. Instead, India is returning to a more balanced approach, assessing its national interests vis-a-vis those of other countries and acting accordingly.

Two developments this summer caused India to question the reliability and integrity of the U.S. as an ally. The first was the manner of the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, which had External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar wondering about the value of U.S. security guarantees. Washington’s Ukraine policy is only increasing those misgivings. The United States was willing to push Ukraine to take actions that many – including Henry Kissinger, George Kennan, and Noam Chomsky – warned Russia couldn’t abide. But then when the shooting started, the United States wasn’t willing to get in line of fire. And in the second, in September, the U.S. stunned many when it announced a new Australia/United Kingdom/United States security grouping (AUKUS), as part of which Australia would receive American nuclear submarines.

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They must be enjoying the situation…

The US Is Still Not Trying Diplomacy With Putin Over Ukraine (Antiwar)

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, there is still no sign that the Biden administration is attempting high-level diplomacy with Moscow as a way to possibly end the fighting. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the Biden administration doesn’t see the conflict ending anytime soon and that its current strategy is to impose economic pain on Russia and support Ukraine’s military “in its effort to inflict as many defeats on Russia as possible.” It’s clear at this point that the Western sanctions were factored into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine as they haven’t done anything to deter him. But US officials still say they are in no rush to engage directly with Putin.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that in the months leading up to the invasion, the US gave Putin “possible off-ramps.” But during the negotiations, the US ignored Putin’s key demands. Putin wanted a guarantee that Ukraine wouldn’t ever join NATO, and even though President Biden said Kyiv wouldn’t be joining the military alliance anytime soon, the US refused to make the promise. Now, Russia has said it will stop its assault if Ukraine declares neutrality, recognizes Crimea as Russian territory, and recognizes the independence of the breakaway Donbas republics. Instead of supporting negotiations on these terms that could lead to a potential ceasefire, the US is working with its NATO allies to flood weapons into Ukraine.

Blinken said on Wednesday that the Biden administration expects “a strategic defeat” of Russia in Ukraine despite Moscow’s “short-term” gains. “We’ll accomplish this by backing Ukrainians in their fight, by remaining united in holding Russia accountable through the devastating sanctions, the diplomatic isolation and other measures,” Blinken said. While Blinken says the US expects a Russian defeat in Ukraine, Biden officials told the Post that they don’t see a “clear end to the military phase of this conflict,” meaning the US expects a long, bloody insurgency in Ukraine, and is willing to support it.

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Russia attacks Yavoriv because of weapons deliveries. There are no US miilitary left there.

Russia Seeking China’s Military Help In Ukraine, US “Sources” Say (ZH)

According to Reuters, when asked about claims that Russia is requesting military help from China, the spokesperson for China’s embassy in Washington responded “I’ve never heard of that.” The spokesperson, Liu Pengyu, said China’s priority was to prevent the tense situation in Ukraine from getting out of control. “The current situation in Ukraine is indeed disconcerting,” he said in an emailed response to a query from Reuters, adding that “the high priority now is to prevent the tense situation from escalating or even getting out of control.” Earlier when commenting on what’s been reported as “significant progress” made in Russia-Ukraine talks, we noted that “It remains to be seen if this is the start of a peaceful resolution to the war or just another false dawn.”

Well, just a few hours later the false dawn has arrived via a bombshell FT report citing anonymous Biden administration officials who say that Russia has issued a formal request from China for military support in its invasion of Ukraine. This was followed minutes later with similar Washington Post and New York Times stories in what looks like a US “coordinated leak” effort to send a message and warning to China. “Russia has asked China for military equipment to support its invasion of Ukraine, according to [anonymous] US officials, sparking concern in the White House that Beijing may undermine western efforts to help Ukrainian forces defend their country,” FT writes.

[..] The fresh attack on Yavoriv is being taken also as a clear warning to Washington, again given it was a well-known site which previously housed US military trainers engaged in short-term missions to support Ukrainian national forces prior to the invasion began. Training was going on up until earlier in February. Setting the stage for a potential major escalation with Western and NATO powers, the Kremlin warned on Saturday that the Russian military is prepared to target Western arms shipments that are continuing to pour into Ukraine. Russia’s Deputy FM Sergei Ryabkov said on state TV that Washington had been informed in the last days that Moscow will see weapons supply convoys entering Ukraine as “legitimate targets”.

“We warned the United States that the orchestrated pumping of weapons from a number of countries is not just a dangerous move, it is a move that turns these convoys into legitimate targets,” Ryabkov said in the remarks, which served as a severe warning to the West.

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“There tends to be a lot of virtue signaling in how people behave these days, and to take it out on a business like this is unfortunate.”

The West’s Cancel Culture Targets All Things Russian (JTN)

In New York City, despite many owners of Russian restaurants opposing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — or even being Ukrainian themselves — they have experienced canceled reservations, bad reviews and social media campaigns, unusually low turnout, and vandalism, The New York Times reported. Even as some restaurants have plastered signs in support of Ukraine on their doors, they are still dealing with backlash from customers. Some patrons, however, are showing support for the restaurants as they struggle to cope with the commercial fallout from the invasion, according to the Times. “We just thought Russian businesses are probably being unfairly treated, and it would be the right thing to do to have dinner here,” a customer at Russian Samovar told the Times last week. “There tends to be a lot of virtue signaling in how people behave these days, and to take it out on a business like this is unfortunate.”

[..] Daily Wire podcast host and bestselling author Matt Walsh compared the treatment of Russians to other forms of bigotry, tweeting on Monday: “There was so much concern about potential ‘Islamophobia’ after 9/11, and ‘anti-Asian’ backlash after China unleashed covid on the world, and yet it seems to be open season on Russians right now. It’s almost like bigotry is okay as long as the targets are perceived to be white.” [..] On Thursday, a Meta spokesperson confirmed that Facebook and Instagram would allow users in some countries to violate the company’s rules and call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers with regard to the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported. “As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement, “we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.”

Author and columnist Larry Taunton retweeted an article on the Meta announcement, saying, “And people wonder how we ended up with Japanese internment camps.” [..] American grocery stores Kroger, Publix, and Food Lion have all said they removed Russian vodka from their shelves, according to Business Insider. Some bar owners are also dumping out their Russian vodka. However, “[l]ess than 1% of vodka consumed in the United States is produced in Russia,” CNN reported, noting that more than half of all vodka in the U.S. is American-made. “If you’re posting the Ukrainian flag and boycotting Russian vodka but you’re still going to vote for Democrats and you still won’t support oil production in the United States,” Walsh tweeted, “kindly shut the hell up you ridiculous virtue signaling phony.”

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From London Review of Books. Many authors, Mishra is one.

“..while an infotainment media works up citizens into a state of paranoid patriotism, a service class of intellectuals talks up the American Revolution and the international liberal order.”

Responses to the Invasion of Ukraine (Pankaj Mishra)

Foreigners have long envied the way the American system, built by and for slave-owners and programmed to boost oligarchies and dynasties, secures mass consent: while an infotainment media works up citizens into a state of paranoid patriotism, a service class of intellectuals talks up the American Revolution and the international liberal order.

Hyper-patriotic media have emerged in India, China and Russia over the last decade, together with pseudo-thinkers who have upgraded national self-images by hailing the glories of Hindu civilisation, Russian empire and Confucian harmony. As the hacks, trolls and conspiracy theorists of digital media cemented these ideological ecosystems in place, dissent was condemned to impotence. Today, the news and analysis received by the vast majority of people in India and China as well as Russia is – in the words of the head of the Levada Centre, Russia’s independent public opinion research organisation – a compendium of ‘lies and hatred on a fantastical scale’. And so Modi’s brutalising of Kashmir, Putin’s annexation of Crimea and Xi’s herding of Uighur Muslims into concentration camps faced as little domestic challenge as America’s endless wars and killings in Asia and Africa.

Humiliation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at home by Trump, demoralised the exporters of democracy and capitalism. But Putin’s atrocities in Ukraine have now given them an opportunity to make America seem great again. The Russian bear has long guaranteed, more reliably than ‘Islamofascism’ or China, income and identity to many in the military-industrial and intellectual-industrial complex. An ageing centrist establishment – battered by the far right, harangued by post-Occupy and post-BLM young leftists, frustrated by legislative stalemate in Washington – seems suddenly galvanised by the prospect of defining themselves through a new cold war.

As Russian troops attacked a nuclear reactor, George Packer wrote in the Atlantic that ‘for the first time in decades, an American president is showing that he, and only he, can lead the free world.’ The New York Times exulted over the new-found resolve of the free world: ‘Nato has been revitalised, the United States has reclaimed a mantle of leadership that some feared had vanished in Iraq and Afghanistan.’ Boris Johnson claimed that he had never seen such a stark ‘dividing line between right and wrong’. More remarkably, Hillary Clinton called on MSNBC for a rerun in Ukraine of the ‘very motivated’ and ‘armed insurgency’ that ‘basically drove the Russians out of Afghanistan’.

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CDC numbers.

Deaths Represent 1.3% Of Side Effects Reported For Covid Vaccines (JTN)

Deaths following mRNA vaccination against COVID-19 represented 13 out of every 1,000 reports (1.3%) to the federal government’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), the CDC’s Atlanta-based researchers said Monday. Another 66 reports out of every 1,000 (6.6%) were categorized as “serious,” resulting in “inpatient hospitalisation, prolongation of hospitalisation, permanent disability, life-threatening illness, congenital anomaly or birth defect,” according to their study published in The Lancet, the U.K-based medical journal. VAERS is often dubbed a passive surveillance system because it accepts reports from anyone. The CDC previously told Just the News that most reports come from manufacturers or healthcare providers, who have mandatory reporting requirements.

But the researchers said they also consulted an “active” smartphone-based voluntary monitoring system, v-safe, created in 2020. The data show that “most reported adverse events were mild and short in duration,” with 18-49 year-olds representing a plurality (45%) and females a supermajority (75%). Mainstream media uncritically ran with the CDC’s framing, with USA Today touting researcher David Shay’s assurance that the death rate was expected given the elderly population studied. About a quarter of reports were from ages 65 and up. A large subset of young people was almost entirely excluded, however: minors. The study only reviewed the first six months of emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, covering 340,000 reports and 299 million doses.

That time period ends just a month after Pfizer’s vaccine was authorized for 12-15 year-olds and predates its EUA for children 5-11, while Moderna’s vaccine remains unauthorized for anyone under 18. The study’s youngest age range is 16-17, representing 2% of all reports. “Why the cut-off at six months? There are now data that extend for 14 months, and those data include children,” Robert Malone, the mRNA vaccine pioneer-turned-critic, wrote in his newsletter. Health authorities worldwide have recognized young people, particularly males, as having a higher risk for heart inflammation following mRNA vaccination, especially after the second dose. That was the FDA’s rationale to indefinitely pause consideration of Moderna’s vaccine for adolescents.

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The biomedical world that I thought I was living in has been revealed to be a sham.”

How Does It Feel To Be Vindicated? (Malone)

I have been getting the question “How does it feel to be vindicated?” Dr. Jill (Glasspool-Malone) keeps noodling me to write a piece describing my feelings on this topic. Personally, I dislike focusing on the psychology of how these last two years have impacted on me (and us). Much as I am very wary of the “cult of personality” aspect of my newfound fame. I have not spoken out because I sought attention, I have done this because it was the right thing to do, and I seemed to have a unique widow of opportunity to speak for those whose voices were so actively suppressed. But I certainly have had to take hits for it. The slander, defamation, gaslighting, and globally coordinated character assassination have been non-stop. But as time has gone by, and more and more has been revealed about the hidden hands that seek to manage what we are allowed to hear, see, and think, I have been transformed.


The biomedical world that I thought I was living in has been revealed to be a sham. The legitimacy of the industry and discipline that I have committed my entire professional life to is in shambles. I am now embarrassed to call myself a vaccines and biodefense expert, because the fundamental corruption inherent in those domains has been so clearly revealed. I cannot unsee what I have seen. I cannot recapture all of those years spent in a profoundly corrupt academic system, spent supporting a deeply compromised discipline which appears primarily driven by financial interests rather than by what I had naively believed was a commitment to saving lives. I chose to not pursue the careers of my father and father in law, which were spent building weapons of war. Only to find that I had inadvertently played a significant role in enabling one of the most tragic medical follies in the history of man.

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“And while she was exonerating herself, she made time to give the masses a little bitty sermon on the nature of science itself. Remember science?”

Drs. Walensky and Offit: It’s All in Good Fun (Harrington)

A few days back Rochelle Walensky was invited to give an interview at her alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. The first part of the discussion pivoted around softball questions which allowed her to pontificate on her decidedly race-infused views of public health. It was more than halfway into the interview before her interlocutor finally got around to asking her about where she and the CDC might have gone wrong in their management of the Covid epidemic. Here is what followed. First, she told of how pleased she was when she heard (from a “CNN feed” no less) about the “95% effectiveness” of the vaccines because, like all of us, she just wanted to get the pandemic behind us. And then she expresses, between chuckles, her shock upon learning that the vaccines might diminish in effectiveness over time “Nobody said waning…Nobody said what if the next variant…what if it’s not as potent against the next variant?”

You see, even though a humanities professor like me with no scientific training knew —thanks to my readings of the Moderna, Pfizer and Janssen EUAs and from reading numerous scientific papers on vaccine effectiveness and safety and listening to people like Sucharit Bkahdi, Geert Vande Bossche and Michael Yeadon— by very early 2021 that the vaccines probably would not prevent transmission and might actually promote new resistant varieties of the virus, none of this was conceivable or knowable to the Director of the CDC. Like the human hologram she apparently is, we are led to believe that she was there, but she was not really there. She was responsible, but really someone else was. “No one could have known,” she exclaims, except, of course, the hundreds of thousands of us amateurs who did, in fact, know, and were censored and called science-hating anti-vaxxers for our troubles.

And of course, holograms don’t do guilt or responsibility. Did she express any sympathy for the people that were forced out of jobs over their refusal to take what we now know, and she admits, were largely ineffective vaccines? Nope, again even though she was in the chair, it was, of course, all beyond her control. And as a powerless spectator—cue the folksy music—just like you and me, she was disappointed and surprised. Mistakes were made. She meant well. Her only real faults, as she said in the same talk, were the clearly well-intentioned ones of having “too little caution and too much optimism.” And while she was exonerating herself, she made time to give the masses a little bitty sermon on the nature of science itself. Remember science?

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How happy can we afford to be for them?

Julian Assange To Marry Fiancee Stella Moris In Belmarsh Prison March 23 (DM)

Julian Assange’s fiancée has spoken of her joy at being allowed to marry the WikiLeaks founder despite restrictions being placed on their wedding. Stella Moris, 38, will marry the 50-year-old in Belmarsh Prison, south east London on March 23, just weeks before the third anniversary of his dramatic arrest when he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in the capital in April 2019. He has been held in the high-security jail ever since as he fights extradition to the United States, where he is wanted over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. He has always denied wrongdoing and has won support for his case from human rights organisations and journalist groups across the world.


Ms Moris said that just four guests and two witnesses will be allowed to attend the ceremony, as well as two security guards. Dame Vivienne Westwood is designing Ms Moris’s wedding dress, and a kilt for Assange, whose parents are of Scottish extraction. The guests will have to leave immediately after the event, even though it is being held during normal visiting hours. The couple are still waiting to hear if they will be allowed a photographer. Ms Moris said: ‘Obviously we are very excited, even though the circumstances are very restrictive. ‘There continues to be unjustified interference in our plans. Having a photographer for an hour is not an unreasonable request. [..] Julian is looking forward to the wedding because it is finally happening, many months after we first made the request.’

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Guardiola is a Catalan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1503007813873848333

 

 

Pelosi

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t me
https://twitter.com/i/status/1502234046809657355

 

 

22 years

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 112022
 


Pablo Picasso Three women at the edge of the beach 1924

 

The Sanction Backlash Will Push The ‘West’ To Accept Russia’s Demands (MoA)
Who Will Denazify The Ukraine? (Dmitry Orlov)
The Opinion Of A Professional About The Special Operation In Ukraine (Dubrovsky)
Ukraine Biolab Watchtower (Malone)
WHO Told Ukraine To Destroy ‘High-Threat Pathogens’ In Labs (ZH)
Moscow Retaliates Against Western Sanctions With Export Bans (R.)
Russia To Ban Fertilizer Exports To ‘Not Friendly’ Countries (ZH)
Russia Denies Bombing Maternity Hospital in Mariupol: ‘Fake News’ (ET)
Ukraine Worked With Democrats Against Trump in 2016 to Stop Putin (Sperry)
How Poland Avoided Hot Potato Of Being Dragged By US Into War With Russia (PM)
Germany Reactivates Coal Power Plants Amid Russian Gas Supply Threats (EuA)
Congress Inserts over 4,000 Pork Earmarks in Spending Bill (Turley)
Who Changed the Conclusions of a Paper that Could Have Saved Millions? (FLCCC)
US Dollar Being Used as “Instrument of War,” It’s the Endgame – Jim Rogers (SR)

 

 

 

 

WHO
https://twitter.com/i/status/1501879258079244289

 

 

Tulsi on Nuland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hubris.

The Sanction Backlash Will Push The ‘West’ To Accept Russia’s Demands (MoA)

President Biden has blamed Russia for the price increase that will inevitably follow. I don’t believe that mid-term voters will accept that reasoning. European countries can not follow that step as their economies depend of imports of oil and gas from Russia and will continue to do so for years to come. In a move that must have been quite humiliating for the White House the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the UAE declined to take calls from the U.S. president. They want the U.S. to designate the Houthi movement in Yemen, which they have been unsuccessful to suppress, a terrorist group: One hopes that the Biden administration does not fall for these disgusting bribery schemes but he has backed himself into a corner, cutting off Russian oil to punish Putin for a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, with no alternative but to horsetrade with autocrats over the fate of Yemenis a half a world away.

If this is geopolitics, heaven forgive us. I don’t think that the above is the only request the Saudis and UAE leaders will have. They are now in a situation in which they can demand ever more. Likewise humiliating is the administration’s opening of talks with Venezuela which it had sanctioned all around in its attempt to regime change the country. Caracas has released two U.S. nationals from prison. It is willing to talk. But before providing oil to the U.S. market it will demand the lifting of all sanctions and the return of all its assets the U.S. and UK have confiscated. Biden will have difficulties to find a Congress majority in support of such steps. The return of the nuclear deal with Iran, which would enable more oil output, hangs in balance as Russia demands sanction exemptions for its trade with Iran.

The U.S. had attempted to press Poland to deliver its old Mig-29 fighter jets to the Ukraine. In Russia’s eyes that would have been a direct Polish aggression against it. Warsaw found a smart way to avoid that. It offered to deliver the jets to a U.S. airbase in Germany. The tar baby would thereby stick to the U.S. itself. The Pentagon declined to accept that. The jet transfer is now most likely dead. The U.S. and Europe are only starting to feel the secondary consequences of the all out economic war they hastily initiated against Russia. The war will cause recessions not only in Russia but also all over the ‘west’. This while Russia has yet to announce its counter sanctions. There are many steps Russia could take to hurt the ‘west’ by withholding this or that resource. It is likely to start slowly to then increase the pressure step by step.


Cable from 2008 written by #CIA director William J. Burns, then US ambassador to Moscow

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“..the Ukrainian regime blithely trod across a very well established Russian red line that was guaranteed to trigger a military response.”

Who Will Denazify The Ukraine? (Dmitry Orlov)

Short answer: the Ukrainians will. Long answer: let me walk you down a very short memory lane, merely 16 days long, starting from February 22, 2022. On that day, the majority of Ukrainian forces were massed deep inside the territories of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics—the two statelets populated by Russians, many of them Russian passport-holders. The Ukrainian forces were within striking range of their capital cities and (as recently obtained official documents prove) were planning an all-out attack on them. That would have been an act of genocide which Russia would have had no choice but to try to stop.

Since the Ukrainian regime does not dare to do anything major without first receiving an “all clear” signal from Washington, this attack would have been on strategy with Washington’s goals, which, perfectly clearly, were to mire Russia in a Ukrainian civil war. This war would in turn provide the rationale for international isolation which would crush Russia’s economy and force it to once again provide its natural resources to the West for almost nothing. Were this plan to fail, the West would collapse. The way it looks now, this plan is failing. I will return to this subject in a little while; by then the situation will have become clearer to a few more people. As people go through the inevitable denial-anger-bargaining sequence, it is best to hang back until the bargaining part is reached; only then does reasoned discussion become possible.

While the Ukrainian regime was frustrated in its efforts to join NATO by the fact that it does not control its own territory, it in fact surrendered the Ukraine to NATO forces, allowing NATO to order its military around and turning itself over to NATO’s use, thus bringing NATO within striking range of Moscow and driving NATO’s expansion east along the same route used by previous Western invaders—Napoleon and Hitler. Thus, the Ukrainian regime blithely trod across a very well established Russian red line that was guaranteed to trigger a military response. Given the vast disproportion in military strength, this was a delusional, suicidal move. To top all of this off, at the Munich security conference held this February the (former?) Ukrainian president Zelensky professed his desire to develop nuclear weapons with which to attack Russia.

Note that the Ukraine had sufficient nuclear materials, technologies and knowhow, inherited from the USSR, to rush through such a development program, especially if with US help. Although this would directly violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (“non-nuclear-weapon states agree never to acquire nuclear weapons”), he did not get any pushback from the assorted Western luminaries assembled there. Thus the Ukrainian regime thus did everything necessary to fashion itself into an immediate existential threat to Russia, sealing its fate.

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Via the Saker.

.. the honorable duty to drown Donbass in blood at the beginning of March. We beat them to it by a week or two

The Opinion Of A Professional About The Special Operation In Ukraine (Dubrovsky)

This is a war unfamiliar to us veterans. Especially when the sky is under your full control, airfields are packed with attack aircraft and bombers, operational and tactical missile systems are in service, there is a lot of heavy artillery. Now it has become clear even to civilians: the correct name for what is happening truly is “a special military operation for denazification.” And the demilitarization of Nezalezhnaya was completed by the end of the third day. The APU, as a single, manageable and effective structure, has ceased to exist. Today, there are dozens of groups of different numbers isolated from each other, hiding in cities and towns. No centralized supply, no air support, no approach of reinforcements. They are not able to act within the framework of any plans of the Ukrainian General Staff. Just crowds of armed men with orders to stand to the death.

The main groups “North” and “East” were beheaded and deprived of command — these are 22 brigades, which had been entrusted with the honorable duty to drown Donbass in blood at the beginning of March. We beat them to it by a week or two, starting our own special operation. Now 150 thousand people (together with national soldiers) are marinated in “cauldrons”, cut off from each other. For a second — this was done by smaller Russian forces… and in five days. There is no organized resistance in other operational areas. Separate parts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), national battalions, sabotage groups. Everyone acts at their discretion, with varying degrees of activity. There is no way to move in columns, regroup, replenish ammunition, fuel, equipment even in local warehouses, everything is systematically destroyed by high-precision weapons and aircraft.

In a week or two, 80% of the AFU will turn into detachments completely devoid of ammunition, fuel, medicines, and food. Mentally and physically exhausted, without a unified command, goals and objectives. For the army, this is a terrible thing – despondency and decay. Especially for the Ukrainian, which is held by fear, propped up by Bandera detachments. Servicemen fear for the fate of their families in the rear.

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“I believe that there is a significant risk that the Russian government has obtained documents or other evidence that (at a minimum) one or more of these laboratories have had biological materials the existence of which is likely to prove embarrassing to the United States. ”

Ukraine Biolab Watchtower (Malone)

Here’s my “assuming best intention” current “working hypothesis”: USA DoD/DTRA partnered with the government of Ukraine to (at a minimum) support collection, storage and monitoring of infectious biological agents and toxins by researchers in Ukraine, and there seems to have been some component of personnel training and facilities engineering involved with this. US State Department via the Embassy in Ukraine announced this DoD/DTRA effort in a transparent manner via a readily available web page. If I were working as an analyst for the Russian government, paid to perform and enable risk assessment, I would be skeptical that the US DoD/DTRA effort was limited to just collecting and archiving biological samples, and I would have to conclude that there is significant risk that these facilities were involved in (at a minimum) “dual purpose” research.

“Dual purpose” is a euphemism for “could be used to develop defensive capabilities or could be used to develop offensive capabilities”. Clearly, whether in sincerity or for propaganda purposes (time will tell if they provide the documentation and receipts), the Russian government is stating that the activities of these laboratories included bioweapon research which was coordinated with US DoD/DTRA. Prior to invasion of Ukraine, the government of Russia signaled that the presence of these DTRA-sponsored “biolabs” in this region was perceived as a threat to Russian national security and biosecurity. Again, if I were a Russian analyst, I would likely conclude that these laboratories represent a threat to national security. Based on information available to me, the US Government does not seem to have made any attempt to assure the government of Russia that these laboratories were performing benign activities.

One action which might have mitigated Russian concerns would have been to allow unannounced inspections, much as US and NATO have insisted on in the case of foreign nuclear enrichment or reactor programs. In my professional opinion, based on the language employed by Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, I believe that there is a significant risk that the Russian government has obtained documents or other evidence that (at a minimum) one or more of these laboratories have had biological materials the existence of which is likely to prove embarrassing to the United States. The language used appears to my ear to imply that there are biological materials the existence of which could damage US strategic and tactical geopolitical interests.

It is likely that the “chain of custody” or veracity of any evidence which the Russian government may present to support their case will not be clean, and that there will be a strong effort by western media and information sources (social media, tech) to delegitimize any communication by Russia (as a government) and by any persons (Russian or otherwise) who present or attempt to discuss such communication. Including myself. It is highly likely that management of any information concerning this topic is already being globally handled by the Trusted News Initiative organization, and that obtaining or discussing unfiltered and unprocessed “raw” information will soon not be possible. In other words, in my opinion, this is another topic that we will never be able to get to the bottom of, and we will never be able to discern something akin to objective “truth”. Best we can hope for is some sort of approximation of truth that is sort of like a kalidescope image viewed in a hall of mirrors.

Soviet bioweapons

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Why are there ‘High-Threat Pathogens’ inn one of the world’s most corrupt and instable nations, and how did they get them?

WHO Told Ukraine To Destroy ‘High-Threat Pathogens’ In Labs (ZH)

The World Health Organization advised Ukraine to destroy ‘high-threat pathogens’ in the country’s public health laboratories in order to prevent “any potential spills” that might infect the population during the Russian invasion, Reuters reports. “As part of this work, WHO has strongly recommended to the Ministry of Health in Ukraine and other responsible bodies to destroy high-threat pathogens to prevent any potential spills,” said the UN agency. The report comes after a tense back-and-forth between US and Russian officials over “dangerous” biolabs in the country – with Russia, and then China, accusing the US military of involvement in Ukraine’s biolabs.

On Wednesday, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova repeated a longstanding claim that the United States operates a biowarfare lab in Ukraine, an accusation that has been repeatedly denied by Washington and Kyiv. Zakharova said that documents unearthed by Russian forces in Ukraine showed “an emergency attempt to erase evidence of military biological programmes” by destroying lab samples. -Reuters The US has denied the allegations – issuing (among other things) a Thursday statement that “The United States does not have chemical or biological weapons labs in Ukraine,” adding that America “does not develop or possess chemical and biological weapons anywhere.”

On Tuesday, US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland acknowledged that Ukraine “has biological research facilities, which, in fact, we are now quite concerned Russian troops, Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of. So we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.” Nuland’s answer made clear that whatever is inside Ukraine’s biolabs is a serious concern, however it should be noted that there’s no public evidence of bioweapons, nor did the WHO statement make reference to biowarfare – which is a separate issue from whether the laboratories contained, or contain, dangerous pathogens which could be used in a bioweapon.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1502094871217287169

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“..telecom, medical, auto, agricultural, electrical and tech equipment, as well as some forestry products..”

Moscow Retaliates Against Western Sanctions With Export Bans (R.)

Russia sought on Thursday to retaliate against Western sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine by banning exports of certain goods and agricultural commodities. Exporting telecom, medical, auto, agricultural, electrical and tech equipment, as well as some forestry products, will be banned until the end of 2022. “These measures are a logical response to those imposed against Russia and are aimed at ensuring uninterrupted functioning of key sectors of the economy,” the economy ministry said. Further measures could include restricting foreign ships from entering Russian ports and allowing Russian airlines to register jets leased from Western firms as their own property, the government said.

Interfax news agency cited a source familiar with legislation being prepared as saying Russia may temporarily ban grain exports to a group of ex-Soviet countries forming part of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) from March 15 to August 31, as well as sugar exports outside the EEU area. The measures come after Western sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that threaten to cripple Russia’s energy-dependent economy. Western companies have pulled out of Russia en masse as the United States, European Union and Britain imposed sanctions aimed at curbing Moscow’s access to funding. In response, a government commission on Wednesday approved the first step towards nationalising assets of foreign firms that leave the country.

The proposal to restrict foreign ships’ entry into Russian ports comes after Britain last week banned from its ports all Russian-operated ships. The European Union has yet to provide clarity on the prospect of a similar ban by the bloc.

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There are no replacements. Not for the combined wheat exports of Russia and Ukraine, and not for fertilizer.

Russia To Ban Fertilizer Exports To ‘Not Friendly’ Countries (ZH)

Russia’s war on Ukraine is continuing to boost food prices. While the US and European countries are engaged in economic warfare against Moscow, it appears Russia’s turn to strike back has emerged. On Thursday, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said Russia decided to suspend fertilizer exports. This comes when global food prices are at record highs, and European fertilizer makers are struggling to produce nutrients ahead of the spring growing season, increasing global food inflation risks. President Vladimir Putin said the fertilizer export ban was a move to ensure stable domestic food prices. This is another sign of growing protectionism worldwide as countries grapple with soaring food prices. Putin said fertilizer markets are deteriorating, making food a lot more expensive.

Making matters worse, Interfax, an independent Russian news agency, reported earlier that Moscow is considering retaliatory economic measures to ban exports of certain agricultural products to countries outside the Eurasian Economic Union. Interfax said Moscow could temporarily ban grain exports to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and ban sugar exports beyond the EEU. This may result in declining food supplies for those countries and soaring food costs. Add this to the fertilizer ban and Europe and maybe the West is headed for a major food crisis. Possible Russian retaliatory measures follow a series of Western sanctions on Russia, which have collapsed the ruble, locked the central bank out of a large chunk of its foreign-currency savings, and crushed its ability to trade with the outside world by removing certain Russian banks from SWIFT.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been quoted well before the invasion of Ukraine of the need to strengthen an emerging multipolar world order. “It is important to maintain and boost mutually respectful, constructive and effective cooperation globally, as well as to strengthen the emerging multipolar world order that consists of independent centers of economic growth and political influence, which certainly includes BRICS,” Putin emphasized.

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The combo of “War” and “children” (let alone babies) is only fake news 99.9% of the time.

Russia Denies Bombing Maternity Hospital in Mariupol: ‘Fake News’ (ET)

Russia asserted Thursday that the claim from Ukraine that Moscow forces were responsible for the bombing of a maternity hospital in the port city of Mariupol was “fake news.” “That’s how fake news is born,” Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Twitter. He said that Russia had said in a statement on March 7 that the hospital in Mariupol “has been turned into a military object” from which Ukrainian radicals were firing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia shared Polyanskiy’s statement on its Twitter page. The March 7 statement was delivered by Russian Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the U.N. Security Council.

“Ukrainian radicals show their true face more distinctly by the day,” Nebenzia said. “Locals reports [sic] that Ukraine’s Armed Forces kicked out personnel of natal hospital #1 of the city of Mariupol and set up a firing site within the facility.” Russia has also previously denied targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure as part of its campaign in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials claimed that Russian aircraft bombed the children’s hospital on Wednesday, after which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of carrying out genocide. “Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror?”

After the strike, the Mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko, called for a no-fly zone to be imposed over Ukraine. “Today I am asking the global community for help. Close the sky over Ukraine. Our will has not been broken, we will fight to the end,” Boichenko said in a video message posted to Telegram. “We have motivated soldiers and officers who defend our homeland. But today we need support.”

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Good deep digging.

Ukraine Worked With Democrats Against Trump in 2016 to Stop Putin (Sperry)

Six years ago, before Russia’s full-scale invasion of their country, the Ukrainians bet that a Hillary Clinton presidency would offer better protection from Russian President Vladimir Putin, even though he had invaded Crimea during the Obama-Biden administration, whose Russian policies Clinton vowed to continue. Working with both the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign, Ukrainian government officials intervened in the 2016 race to help Clinton and hurt Donald Trump in a sweeping and systematic foreign influence operation that’s been largely ignored by the press. The improper, if not illegal, operation was run chiefly out of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, where officials worked hand-in-glove with a Ukrainian-American activist and Clinton campaign operative to attack the Trump campaign.

The Obama White House was also deeply involved in an effort to groom their own favored leader in Ukraine and then work with his government to dig up dirt on – and even investigate — their political rival. Ukrainian and Democratic operatives also huddled with American journalists to spread damaging information on Trump and his advisers – including allegations of illicit Russian-tied payments that, though later proved false, forced the resignation of his campaign manager Paul Manafort. The embassy actually weighed a plan to get Congress to investigate Manafort and Trump and stage hearings in the run-up to the election. As it worked behind the scenes to undermine Trump, Ukraine also tried to kneecap him publicly. Ukraine’s ambassador took the extraordinary step of attacking Trump in an Op-Ed article published in The Hill, an influential U.S. Capitol newspaper, while other top Ukrainian officials slammed the GOP candidate on social media.

At first glance, it was a bad bet as Trump upset Clinton. But by the end of his first year in office, Trump had supplied Ukrainians what the Obama administration refused to give them: tank-busting Javelin missiles and other lethal weapons to defend themselves against Russian incursions. Putin never invaded on Trump’s watch. Instead, he launched an all-out invasion during another Democratic administration – one now led by President Biden, Barack Obama’s former Vice President, whose Secretary of State last year alarmed Putin by testifying, “We support Ukraine’s membership in NATO.” Biden boasted he’d go “toe to toe” with Putin, but that didn’t happen as the autocrat amassed tanks along Ukraine’s border in response to the NATO overtures.

The Ukrainian mischief is part of Special Counsel John Durham’s broader inquiry – now a full-blown criminal investigation with grand jury indictments – into efforts to falsely target Trump as a Kremlin conspirator in 2016 and beyond. Sources say Durham has interviewed several Ukrainians, but it’s not likely the public will find out exactly what he’s learned about the extent of Ukraine’s meddling in the election until he releases his final report, which sources say could be several months away.

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Well played Poland. Now Kamala’s there. WIll they change their stance?

How Poland Avoided Hot Potato Of Being Dragged By US Into War With Russia (PM)

The US’ attempt to get Poland to enter into war against Russia on their behalf has stalled, as Poland played, and won, a game of hot potato with Russian MiG fighter planes. On Human Events Daily, Jack Posobiec discussed how Poland managed to avoid being used as a pawn of war between the US and Russia. “We talk about the NATO hot potato when it comes to the Russian MiG, the Russian made MiGs from Poland. Poland said oh, we’re going to give them to the US,” Posobiec said. The US asked Poland to send fighter jets to Ukraine per Ukraine’s request for MiG fighters, which their pilots are trained to use. Poland said they would turn over the jets to the US at the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, the US could do whatever they want with them. The US then would have to take those jets from Ramstein to Germany, piloted by US military personnel.


“The US said ‘no, no, no. Just give them to Ukraine.’ And [Poland] said ‘no we’ll give them to you, you can paint the US flag on them.’ And [the US] said ‘no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, that’s too risky. We can’t do that.’ “And Poland said, ‘Well, if you can’t do that, if it’s too risky for you. Why isn’t it too risky for us to do it?'” This would have been a distinct escalation to the war in Ukraine, as it would mean that the US was flying fighter jets into Ukraine. The US wanted Poland to bear that burden of escalation. The US rejected the offer of the planes, though on Sunday Biden’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had said that yes, the planes transfer from Poland to Ukraine was given the “green light” by the US. But Blinken would not “green light” those same planes being given by the US to Ukraine. [..] “The United States government is trying to frame Poland for starting World War Three and we cannot overlook this,” Posobiec said.

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Cui bono?

Germany Reactivates Coal Power Plants Amid Russian Gas Supply Threats (EuA)

As Germany closes its last nuclear reactors, it is also reactivating old coal power plants to ensure electricity supply security amid Russian threats to turn off the gas tap. Germany’s attempt to simultaneously phase out nuclear and coal power just got significantly more complicated. Once envisaged as a transition fuel on the way to renewables, fossil gas is being reconsidered in Germany after Russia invaded Ukraine. “Coal will play a crucial role,” said Olaf Lies, the energy minister of Lower Saxony. “That we choose this phrase once again is certainly not entirely self-evident given the country’s plan to phase out coal by 2030,” he said during a press conference on Tuesday (8 March).

As Russia wages war in Ukraine and threatens to stop pumping gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Germany is experiencing a rude awakening. “We know, and we have to admit it, that in the last 20 years, we have manoeuvred ourselves into ever greater dependence on fossil energy imports from Russia,” said Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, who was speaking alongside Lies. “This is not a good state of affairs. All the efforts of the federal government, indeed of the country, are aimed at reducing this dependency as quickly as possible,” he added. In effect, that will imply firing Germany’s coal power plants back up. “If we want to be more independent, we will have to operate with coal,” Lies said, putting in clear terms what Habeck was reluctant to say outright.

Lies was speaking at a conference bringing together the energy ministers of Germany’s 17 states, who were meeting with federal minister Robert Habeck during an extraordinary consultation session. Germany currently has around 45 GW of coal power capacity in place. While some has been turned off, part of it is being held in reserve to ensure the country’s security of supply.

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“It is a familiar tactic on pork spending. You can hide an entire drove of pigs behind a single redeeming budget item.”

Congress Inserts over 4,000 Pork Earmarks in Spending Bill (Turley)

For years, Congress has dispensed with the pretense of informed legislative process when it comes to major bills and appropriations. The new $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill, however, took the notion of blind legislating to a disgraceful degree. Democratic leadership dumped the almost 3,000 page bill on the members (and the public) on Wednesday with only a couple days to review the massive spending. That includes over 4,000 pork projects in earmarks. According to the Hill, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) alone has a long list of earmarks for his state ahead of his reelection bid. That includes 59 earmarks totaling nearly $80 million in the transportation and housing and urban development (HUD) section alone.

While Congress disavowed earmarks, the pork-ridden bill shows that both parties have abandoned the pledge. Spending trillions in the last couple years appears to have removed any sense of fiscal responsibility or accountability. We are now over $30 trillion in debt so what are a few pork items — or in Schumer’s case 142 such items. (Some argue that debt is really only $22 trillion and that debt does not matter). It was a clever move at a perfect time. With Ukraine raging and people traumatized over the war, leadership like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Cal.) kept bringing questions back to $14 billion in aid for Ukraine. Members stressed that there was no time to waste — or in this case to read — before voting. It is a familiar tactic on pork spending. You can hide an entire drove of pigs behind a single redeeming budget item.

What is most alarming is the level of duplicity. The bill was withheld by leadership to guarantee little time for the members, let alone the public, from seriously considering the specific expenditures. It shows utter contempt for the concept of public deliberation and debate in the legislation. One must accept the word of the leadership and vote in the blind. In the meantime, even before this package, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget predicted that the debt-to-GDP ratio is at 101% and the total federal debt, including intragovernmental debt, may exceed 120%. Even if debt does not matter (as some have claimed) most citizens oppose pork barrel spending.

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Now we know who.

Who Changed the Conclusions of a Paper that Could Have Saved Millions? (FLCCC)

First, let’s set the stage: — Over one year ago, there were ample peer-reviewed, randomized controlled trials that provided strong evidence on ivermectin’s efficacy as a treatment for COVID in every disease phase. — A paper considering these many studies was written by lead author Dr. Andrew Hill at the University of Liverpool for the World Health Organization’s COVID Guideline Development Group. Hill was an early and vigorous proponent for ivermectin. His paper showed that ivermectin could reduce deaths by 75% if used throughout the world. — Inexplicably, just days before its publication, the paper appeared on a pre-print server, with its conclusions changed. Instead of concluding that ivermectin—one of the world’s safest and most inexpensive drugs— should be rolled out globally, it now concluded that more studies on ivermectin were needed before it could be recommended worldwide.


Given the totality of scientific evidence for ivermectin, it was a stunning—actually shocking—reversal by Dr. Hill. —In an urgent Zoom call to Dr. Hill initiated by Dr. Tess Lawrie, Director of the Evidence-based Medicine Consultancy, Dr. Hill admitted to her that one of his study’s sponsors, Unitaid, had a say in the conclusions of his paper. But he would not divulge the name(s) of those who altered the paper’s conclusions. But now, “The Digger” on Substack (aka producer/director Phil Harper) has revealed the name of the person who could have edited the paper’s conclusions—which led to the WHO’s non-recommendation of the use of ivermectin. That decision could have led to the unnecessary deaths of millions across the world.

Mr. Harper studied the PDF of the paper, wanting to learn the identity of its “ghost” author. “The hope was that some artifact on the PDF would reveal something, maybe a font was different, maybe there was a hidden comment, maybe some tracked changes had been saved to the document,” said Harper. “None of those lines of inquiry came to anything.” Then it came to him. Was it in the PDF’s metadata? “Sometimes it’s the most obvious of things,” Harper writes. “The ‘v1_stamped’ version of the paper did indeed have metadata. It even had author information inside the metadata. Expecting to see Andrew Hill listed as the author, instead, I saw a name I recognized. Andrew Owen. “Unless someone used his computer, Andrew Owen has his digital fingerprint on the Andrew Hill paper.”


As it turns out, Andrew Owen is a Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics and co-Director of the Centre of Excellence in Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT) at the University of Liverpool. He is also scientific advisor to the WHO’s COVID-19 Guideline Development Group. Just days before Dr. Hill’s paper was to be published, a $40M grant from Unitaid, the paper’s sponsor, was given to CELT —of which Owen is the project lead. “The $40 million contract was actually a commercial agreement between Unitaid, the University of Liverpool and Tandem Nano Ltd (a start-up company that commercializes ‘Solid Lipid Nanoparticle’ delivery mechanisms)— for which Andrew Owen is a top shareholder,” says Harper.

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He blames it all on Victoria Nuland.

US Dollar Being Used as “Instrument of War,” It’s the Endgame – Jim Rogers (SR)

“The U.S. dollar will die,” and it will fall from its position as the world’s reserve currency sooner than expected, says Jim Rogers, best-selling author of “Hot Commodities.” In his first video appearance since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Rogers tells our Daniela Cambone that Ukraine being inducted into NATO is the underlying cause of Russia’s actions. “Now we’re paying a gigantic price,” for the actions taken by U.S. elected officials, he says, and when the war is over, Russian stocks will be an undervalued opportunity. Other sovereign nations are frantically “coming up with something to compete with the U.S. dollar” due to economic sanctions being ramped up in recent years, Rogers asserts. “I cannot see the world having 100% computer money,” he concludes, saying governments will use it to control the masses.

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Psaki oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kharkiv

 

 

Rockefeller

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 052022
 


Vincent van Gogh On the outskirts of Paris 1887

 

Russia “Recommends” Fertilizer Makers To Halt All Exports (ZH)
No More Russian Dressing For You! (Jim Kunstler)
Ukraine’s NATO Membership ‘Will Not Take Place’: German Chancellor (ET)
Zelensky Slams NATO Over Refusing To Implement No-fly Zone Over Ukraine (Hill)
How Ukraine’s Jewish President Zelensky Made Peace With Neo-Nazis (GZ)
Zelenskyy Losing Ground (CTH)
Zelenskyy Is Tied To Klaus Schwab, Justin Trudeau, And Other Global Elites (LSN)
Bill Clinton Relaunching Clinton Global Initiative (Fox)
Western Media Are Acting As Cheerleaders For War (Cook)
War-Profiteering Gangsters Will Kill Us All Unless We Unite (Roger Waters)
Grave New World: The Soft Tyranny of Tomorrow (Charles)

 

 

Really?

 

 

Ukrainian family
https://twitter.com/i/status/1499915842477248515

 

 

Where’s Tony Fauci?

 

 

@RT_com’s account has been withheld in Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Germany, Greece, Romania, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Austria, Luxembourg, Latvia, Denmark, Lithuania, Croatia, Estonia, Cyprus, France, Spain, Belgium in response to a legal demand.

 

 

Here’s our real problem. $1,000 monthly grocery bills.

“Complete food cycle collapse”.

Watch the bottom video.

Russia “Recommends” Fertilizer Makers To Halt All Exports (ZH)

Those who have it, are no longer giving it away, and those that don’t will soon find themselves in the middle of an epic food crisis. Just hours after we reported that Russia effectively banned exports of fertilizers, moments ago Hungary – one of Europe’s most grain rich nations – has circled the wagons and realizing which way the wind is blowing, just announced that it will banning all grain exports effective immediately, in a statement . Expect wheat prices, already at record highs, to promptly double from here in the next few weeks as the world realizes the extent of the global food crisis that is coming. Our suggestion: buy flour, rice, barley and any other grains you can now, rather than waiting one month to buy them because you have to.

This morning we listed some of the countries that are dangerously (and almost exclusively) reliant on Russia and Ukraine for their wheat imports, highlighting Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and others… which are facing an “Arab Spring” style food crisis (and potential uprising) in the coming weeks unless the Ukraine conflict is resolved. And unfortunately, we can now confidently predict that the coming food crisis will strike every country that is using food fertilizer – which is all – because moments ago, Russian Interfax reported that as part of Moscow’s countersanctions, Russia has recommended fertilizer makers to halt exports, a move which will sent not only fertilizer prices orbitally higher, but all food prices will soon follow.


*RUSSIA RECOMMENDS FERTILIZER MAKERS TO HALT EXPORTS: IFX *RUSSIAN MINISTRY CITES LOGISTICS ISSUES ON FERTILIZERS: IFX. Worse still, natural gas is required in the manufacturing process for most nitrogen/fertilizer products and so the recent surge in European NatGas prices to record highs will only exacerbate the cost of fertilizer from any halt from Russia… all hell is about to break loose not only among food producers, but soon, in your local grocery store once US consumers realize that food prices are about to double, triple and x-ple more

 

 

Complete food cycle collapse

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“Covid-19? A mega-crime of mass homicide spawned by a matrix of pharmaceutical racketeers, corrupt government officials, and accomplice news organizations.”

No More Russian Dressing For You! (Jim Kunstler)

Who in the US government, from our founding in 1789 to 1991 — while Ukraine was part of Russia in one way or another — gave a passing thought to Ukraine? Answer: nobody. And then, after the crack-up of the USSR, Ukraine was “in play,” culminating in the 2014 CIA-sponsored “color revolution” that ousted then-president Viktor Yanukovych, who was inclined to join Russia’s Eurasian Customs Union of trade relations rather than the US wished-for NATO or EU. And ever since then it has been one American intrigue after another — including a brisk trade in grift and bribery by the Biden family, the Clinton syndicate, the next-gen of Kerrys, and other entitled elites from over here selling their influence.

And now the economic sanctions on Russia, which are sure to blow back on the countries issuing them. Europe has to pretend that it doesn’t need Russian oil and gas, that it doesn’t need cheap uranium to run their nuke power plants, that they don’t need the Baikonur Cosmodrome to launch their satellites, and so on. More likely, these moves will accelerate the collapse of Western Civ’s banking system, stock and bond markets, and erode the US dollar’s role as the global reserve currency — a longstanding “exorbitant privilege” for getting stuff from all over the world in exchange for promises to pay some Tuesday in the distant future. The reader may ask: why does this blog appear to take Russia’s side in the current conflict against the US and our supposed allies?

Answer: Why would you trust a government (ours) and its captive news media after years of their blatant lying and tyrannical over-reach? These parties appear to be at war against their own people, that is, against us — certainly more than Russia is. Especially in the historic moment when all our mendacious “narratives” are being exposed as false? Russian Collusion? Indictments underway and more to follow. Covid-19? A mega-crime of mass homicide spawned by a matrix of pharmaceutical racketeers, corrupt government officials, and accomplice news organizations. Stolen elections? Don’t, for Gawd’s sake, even try looking at the slime trail of evidence. I won’t bother listing the many transgressions of Wokery against our culture and history. And all of sudden, it appears a lot of American citizens have had enough of being fucked around. I’m with them.

Now consider this: What if it turns out that Russia can complete its Cleanup-in-Aisle-Four operation relatively quickly, with a minimized loss of life and damage to the everyday infrastructure of Ukraine, and arrange things there afterward so that Ukraine is not a menace to anyone, either Russia or the West? I sincerely believe this is their intention — just as I sincerely believe that their leadership is actually sane, and ours appears not to be. Perhaps Russia will even offer Ukraine (or its re-arranged regions) assistance in recovering from the foolishness it played along with to its own sorrow? What if Russia actually has no intention of starting World War Three? Will we keep trying to start it anyway?

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Or EU.

Ukraine’s NATO Membership ‘Will Not Take Place’: German Chancellor (ET)

Ukraine’s membership is not on The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s agenda, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Friday. “I also made it clear in Moscow and in my visit that this option [Ukraine’s membership of NATO] is not on the table and will not take place,” he said during an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF. “I said publicly that we all know that Ukraine’s NATO membership is not on the alliance’s agenda today,” he added. “That was understood by the American president, that [was] also understood by the French president.” Scholz said he shares Russian President Vladimir Putin’s security concern and clarified to Putin that Ukraine will not be allowed to join NATO.

“The Russians were worried about the control issue of their security. [Putin was worried] that NATO has a military setup and rockets in Ukraine targeting Russian territory. That is why we tried to make it clear that this will not occur,” he elaborated. Ukraine’s pursuit of NATO membership appeared to be one of the core disputes that caused the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. In February 2019, then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a constitutional amendment committing the country to becoming a member of NATO and the European Union after the parliament passed the bill. Poroshenko told the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine days after he signed the amendment that joining NATO was a guarantee of security for Ukraine.

On the Russian side, Putin says Russia needs to lay down “red lines” to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO saying that Ukraine’s growing ties with the alliance could make it a launchpad for NATO missiles targeted at Russia. The United States and other Ukraine alliances have tried to avoid war by deescalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. However, the Kremlin criticized the United States and NATO for failing to address the fundamental security concerns of Moscow, demanding that NATO stop its eastward expansion and that strike weapons not be deployed near Russia’s borders.

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No-fly zone equals WWIII. Someone would have to shoot down Russian planes. Ukraine has no planes to do it with.

Zelensky Slams NATO Over Refusing To Implement No-fly Zone Over Ukraine (Hill)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday slammed NATO as being “weak” and “underconfident” for refusing to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine as his country fights in “the worst invasion since World War II.” In a Facebook video shared and translated by Axios on Friday, Zelensky said Ukrainians have fought fearlessly against Russians invading their country — and will continue to — but have been thrown into “nine days of darkness” without assistance from NATO. “Knowing that new strikes and casualties are inevitable, NATO deliberately decided not to close the sky over Ukraine,” Zelensky said in an emotional video address. The president urged NATO to think about “all those people who will die because of you.”

“Because of your weakness, because of your disunity, all the alliance has managed to do so far is to carry fifty tons of diesel fuel for Ukraine,” he said. “Is this the alliance you were building?” A no-fly zone, implemented to prohibit enemy aircraft from flying into a region and attacking, would cut off Russian air support and blunt the advance of Russian troops toward Kyiv. The Biden administration, along with the NATO security alliance, has so far rebuffed Ukrainian calls to establish a no-fly zone over fears that it could spark a direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Russia. “It would require, essentially, the U.S. military shooting down Russian planes and prompting a potential direct war with Russia, the exact step that we want to avoid,” press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday.

In his video address, Zelensky disputed the fact that it would result in a direct confrontation between NATO countries and Russia, calling it “self-hypnosis.” “I do not know how you can protect and whether you can protect NATO countries,” Zelensky said. “You will not be able to buy us off with liters of fuel for liters of our blood.” NATO is adamantly opposed to dragging out a large-scale war in Europe. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said “the only way to implement a no-fly zone is to send NATO fighter planes into Ukrainian airspace, and then impose that no-fly zone by shooting down Russian planes.” “We understand the desperation, but we also believe that if we did that, we would end up with something that could end in a full-fledged war in Europe,” the NATO chief continued.

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“..Russian troops bear down on cities like Mariupol, which is effectively under the control of the Azov Battalion..”

How Ukraine’s Jewish President Zelensky Made Peace With Neo-Nazis (GZ)

Back in October 2019, as the war in eastern Ukraine dragged on, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Zolote, a town situated firmly in the “gray zone” of Donbas, where over 14,000 had been killed, mostly on the pro-Russian side. There, the president encountered the hardened veterans of extreme right paramilitary units keeping up the fight against separatists just a few miles away. Elected on a platform of de-escalation of hostilities with Russia, Zelensky was determined to enforce the so-called Steinmeier Formula conceived by then-German Foreign Minister Walter Steinmeier which called for elections in the Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. In a face-to-face confrontation with militants from the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion who had launched a campaign to sabotage the peace initiative called “No to Capitulation,” Zelensky encountered a wall of obstinacy.

With appeals for disengagement from the frontlines firmly rejected, Zelensky melted down on camera. “I’m the president of this country. I’m 41 years old. I’m not a loser. I came to you and told you: remove the weapons,” Zelensky implored the fighters. Once video of the stormy confrontation spread across Ukrainian social media channels, Zelensky became the target of an angry backlash. Andriy Biletsky, the proudly fascist Azov Battalion leader who once pledged to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led Untermenschen,” vowed to bring thousands of fighters to Zolote if Zelensky pressed any further. Meanwhile, a parliamentarian from the party of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko openly fantasized about Zelensky being blown to bits by a militant’s grenade.

Though Zelensky achieved a minor disengagement, the neo-Nazi paramilitaries escalated their “No Capitulation” campaign. And within months, fighting began to heat up again in Zolote, sparking a new cycle of violations of the Minsk Agreement. By this point, Azov had been formally incorporated into the Ukrainian military and its street vigilante wing, known as the National Corps, was deployed across the country under the watch of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, and alongside the National Police. In December 2021, Zelensky would be seen delivering a “Hero of Ukraine” award to a leader of the fascistic Right Sector in a ceremony in Ukraine’s parliament. A full-scale conflict with Russia was approaching, and the distance between Zelensky and the extremist paramilitaries was closing fast.

[..] Hours before President Putin’s February 24 speech declaring denazification as the goal of Russian operations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “asked how a people who lost eight million of its citizens fighting Nazis could support Nazism,” according to the BBC. Raised in a non-religious Jewish family in the Soviet Union during the 1980’s, Zelensky has downplayed his heritage in the past. “The fact that I am Jewish barely makes 20 in my long list of faults,” he joked during a 2019 interview in which he declined to go into further detail about his religious background. Today, as Russian troops bear down on cities like Mariupol, which is effectively under the control of the Azov Battalion, Zelensky is no longer ashamed to broadcast his Jewishness. “How could I be a Nazi?” he wondered aloud during a public address. For a US media engaged in an all-out information war against Russia, the president’s Jewish background has become an essential public relations tool.

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“..two attempts may have involved anvils dropping from cliffs, though one of them could have been a piano.”

Zelenskyy Losing Ground (CTH)

Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reportedly survived three, yes three, assassination attempts in the past 48 hours, per Fox News and Lindsey Graham’s BFF, Sean Hannity. According to U.S. officials, a shadowy Kremlin-linked squad known as the Wagner Group, were behind the objective. While details from the U.S. intelligence community are sketchy, two attempts may have involved anvils dropping from cliffs, though one of them could have been a piano. The third attempt appears loosely connected to the notorious Acme TNT gang who have been directly linked to Wile E Coyote; a dubious conspirator currently being investigated by Interpol.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration, along with the NATO security alliance, has rejected Zelenskyy’s demands to establish a no-fly zone over fears that it could spark a direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Russia. This has angered the modern Churchill in a T-shirt, who railed against NATO after the last refusal: WASHINGTON DC – […] “Knowing that new strikes and casualties are inevitable, NATO deliberately decided not to close the sky over Ukraine,” Zelensky said in an emotional video address. The president urged NATO to think about “all those people who will die because of you.”


“Because of your weakness, because of your disunity, all the alliance has managed to do so far is to carry fifty tons of diesel fuel for Ukraine,” he said. “Is this the alliance you were building?” (read more) Meanwhile, the 20-mile-long Russian convoy of heavy equipment that was a few miles outside of Kyiv a week ago, is still a 20-mile-long Russian convoy of heavy equipment that is still a few miles outside of Kyiv. The Washington Post is now reporting, tomorrow a 20-mile-long Russian convoy of heavy equipment will be located just a few miles outside of Kyiv.

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“..Kaleniuk is not just a journalist, but a member of the WEF and runs initiatives backed by Soros throughout Eastern Europe.”

Zelenskyy Is Tied To Klaus Schwab, Justin Trudeau, And Other Global Elites (LSN)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stated that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of the reasons he got into politics. After leaving his career as a comedian and entertainer and becoming Ukraine’s president in April 2019, Zelenskyy hailed Trudeau as “one of those leaders who inspired” him “to join politics,” when he became Ukraine’s president in 2019. While Zelenskyy has shot to stardom from relative obscurity from the perspective of the West since the Russo-Ukrainian conflict became international news last week, his admiration for Trudeau comes as less of a surprise when looking into his background.

Like Trudeau, Zelenskyy is an acolyte of Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, the globalist organization behind the now-infamous “Great Reset” agenda, which tells the world that by the year 2030, “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy.” The ubiquitous support for Zelenskyy by the elite, including support from “defund the police” and Black Lives Matter leftist mega-donor George Soros, Trudeau, American President Joe Biden, and all sides of mainstream media, has led many to question the true motivation behind the West’s condemnation of Russia and a concern that a push for yet another foreign war involving the West is underfoot.

On Tuesday, for example, Ukrainian journalist Daria Kaleniuk made an emotional demand to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, asking him to instruct NATO to enter the war in Ukraine. After the event was praised in Western media, reports surfaced showing that Kaleniuk is not just a journalist, but a member of the WEF and runs initiatives backed by Soros throughout Eastern Europe. While many are skeptical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his former ties to the KGB, scrutiny of the other side of the conflict seems absent in mainstream outlets which has worried many considering the radical nature of the WEF and their Great Reset goals.

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The zenith of cynicism?

Bill Clinton Relaunching Clinton Global Initiative (Fox)

Amid the Russian war on Ukraine and the coronavirus, former President Bill Clinton announced Friday that the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is resuming full operations after largely shuttering in early 2017. Clinton made the announcement in an open letter in which he also announced a meeting in New York City in September for members of the “CGI community.” He said the pandemic and the Russian war on Ukraine are the two major events that spurred him to bring back the initiative that’s been effectively dormant for years. “The COVID-19 pandemic has ripped the cover off of longstanding inequities and vulnerabilities across our global community,” Clinton said.


“The existential threat of climate change grows every day. Democracy is under assault around the world, most glaringly in Ukraine where Russia has launched an unjustified and unprovoked invasion that has put millions of lives in grave danger.” The CGI faced scrutiny during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign for its significant international donations – which some said could create conflicts of interest. Clinton lost the 2016 election, but the Clintons still followed through on mass layoffs of their foundation’s employees in January 2017. “A new chapter of the Clinton Global Initiative is beginning,” a video teasing the restart of the charitable effort said Friday. “And the need for cooperation and coordination has never been more urgent.”

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Well, that’s news…

Western Media Are Acting As Cheerleaders For War (Cook)

Britain and other European states have chosen to fuel the fires of resistance in Ukraine by sending it weapons that can only lead to greater loss of life, especially of civilians caught in the crossfire. One might have expected the British media to examine the ethical implications of such a policy, and the hypocrisy. But not a bit of it. In fact, much of the media have not only been acting as lobbyists for more weapons to be sent to the Ukrainian army, they have whipped up support for civilians in the UK to get more involved in the fighting. That has been the case even after No 10 distanced itself from comments by Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, that Britons should be encouraged to volunteer for Ukraine’s so-called “international legions”, supposedly to defend Europe.

Her position was in conflict with usual government practice, which has treated those heading off to fight in war zones in the Middle East as terrorists. Shamima Begum, who went to Syria aged 15, has been stripped of her British citizenship and denied the right to return for doing what Truss has proposed in Ukraine. Nonetheless, that did not dissuade the BBC from travelling to Essex to meet “Wozza”, a supplier of surplus British army kit he has been selling cheaply to Ukrainians in Britain so they can head off to the battlefront. Wozza was shown tearing off Union Jack insignia from uniforms so Ukrainian militiamen could use them.

Compare that with the treatment of an entirely peaceful form of resistance by westerners in solidarity with the Palestinians, the international Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement. It has been treated as barely better than terrorism, with bans on support for BDS across Europe and the US. It is hard to remember in all the media agitation over Ukraine that this sympathetic coverage flies in the face of its reporting conventions. It is inconceivable, of course, that Britain would ever send arms to help, for example, Gaza liberate itself. For that reason, the media will never have the opportunity to exercise their vocal chords in outrage at such a development.

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“That, of course means standing with the Russian people and the Ukrainian people, the Palestinian people, the Syrian people, the Lebanese people, the Kurds, African Americans, Mexicans, Ecuadorian rainforest dwellers, South African miners, Armenians, Greeks, the Inuit, the Mapuche and my neighbors the Shinnecock, to name but a few.”

War-Profiteering Gangsters Will Kill Us All Unless We Unite (Roger Waters)

I figured something out after tossing and turning all night. We on the left often make the mistake of still looking upon Russia as a somewhat socialist enterprise. Of course, it isn’t. The Soviet Union ended in 1991. Russia is an unadulterated neoliberal capitalist gangster’s paradise, modelled during the time of its horrific restructuring under Boris Yeltsin (1991-1999) on the United States of America. It should come as no surprise that its autocratic, and possibly unhinged leader, Vladimir Putin, has no more respect for the UN Charter and international law than recent presidents of the United States or prime ministers of England have had. (For example, remember George W. Bush and Tony Blair during the Iraq invasion.) I, on the other hand, do care about international law and the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and can unequivocally state that if I had been eligible to vote in the General Assembly on March 2, I would have voted with the 141 ambassadors who supported the resolution condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and demanding that it withdraw its armed forces.


Would that mean the General Assembly had a mandate to govern, sadly it doesn’t, which means it’s even more beholden on all us freedom-loving, law-abiding anti-war activists to stand shoulder to shoulder with all our brothers and sisters all over the world, irrespective of race, religion, or nationality, in pursuit of elusive peace. That, of course means standing with the Russian people and the Ukrainian people, the Palestinian people, the Syrian people, the Lebanese people, the Kurds, African Americans, Mexicans, Ecuadorian rainforest dwellers, South African miners, Armenians, Greeks, the Inuit, the Mapuche and my neighbors the Shinnecock, to name but a few.

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Hmmm. Moderna’s 70% shareprice loss is real. Their realm looks over. Same with Pfizer. See: Thomas Renz, Edward Dowd.

Grave New World: The Soft Tyranny of Tomorrow (Charles)

The Frankfurt School predecessor and Marxist author Walter Benjamin was fascinated by the curious transformations of capitalism from the mid-to-late 1800s, when Marx wrote, to the early 20th century of Benjamin’s day. In the industrial era Marx observed, commodities were primarily viewed as raw materials and basic goods. Marx focused on production. By Benjamin’s time commodities had been transformed into “objects of consumption.” Objects of desire, in other words. Benjamin had discovered something: consumerism had been born as a primary driver of capitalist production. Commodity fetishism had fundamentally changed, coming to resemble the consumption-driven manias we see today. Benjamin’s biographer called the evolving commodity fetishism, “a delusional expression of collective utopian fantasies and longings.”

With the advent of advertising, consumer packaged goods lifted capitalism to new heights. Benjamin witnessed a sea-change. And yet what has happened since Benjamin’s death in 1940 has been nearly as convulsive as that which the German philosopher saw. The pandemic has illustrated the value of two very basic functions of modern consumer capitalism that evolved after Benjamin: one is planned obsolescence and the other is artificial need. The former is most evident in the cycle of vaccinations that have descended on the population. First, it was two doses of a single vaccine. Once it was shown that protection waned quickly, and the vaccine neither prevented infection nor provided enduring immunity–both promised by authorities in the run-up to the rollout–a further booster shot was introduced.

In some cases, Israel for example, two boosters were recommended, the final one belatedly shown to be barely effective. Big Pharma likely knew this was going to happen. The other vaccine targeting a respiratory virus, the flu shot, provides only modest protection. Non-sterilizing vaccines are said to wane rapidly in their efficacy for a variety of reasons. Some would also argue that these vaccines have created an artificial need as well, for healthy people. The overall Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is less than one percent, raising the question of why there has been such a push to immunize the world against such a mild respiratory virus. Big Pharma was well aware of this, too, but happily sponsored mainstream media stories that ratcheted up popular fears to the level of hysteria and mass hypochondria.

It is no surprise that a rolling calendar of immunizations is being introduced for the global population. Pfizer has noted profits of $18 billion in 2021 and projects $34 billion in 2022. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are likewise in the pink. Some 37 vaccinations are already on the books for healthy children. Endless upgrades and novel technologies are introduced that obsolete previous versions. Payments to biddable media outlets ensure artificial needs are generated to provide a large consumer market.

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Feb 062019
 


Salvador Dali Portrait of Gala with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on Her Shoulder 1933

 

 

Ilargi: It’s been quite a while since we last heard from Dr. D. He was probably busy growing stuff. But he’s back now, and with something dear to my heart: the craziness of our food production systems. Answers to which are not always what most people think, to put it mildly.

 

 

Dr. D:

Eat less meat to save the planet – report (1)
The new diet that could save the planet (2)
What to eat to save the planet: Report urges ‘radical changes’ to world’s diet – less meat, more veggies (3)

 

These headlines, likely sourced from a recent article from “The Lancet” (4) are a regular feature of our time, in diet, in environmentalism, and in global warming. They are well-researched, sourced by the world’s experts, and put forward with the highest intentions. However, they are also completely wrong – dangerously, ignorantly wrong.

Like most industries, agriculture and food production is a specialty, with its own language and details. I don’t attempt to tell the Lancet how to perform heart surgery, for to do so would be ridiculous, dangerous, outside of my expertise. I wouldn’t tell a geologist how to interpret the magnetic layers of rock, or how oceanographers should properly interpret sea water samples to guide us on fishing or pollution. Yet this is what they do for farmers.

The primary drive of most such articles is that, with so many people, and so much hunger, we find that it takes “2,500 gallons of water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of feedlot beef.” that “64% of US cropland produces livestock feed.” (5) That it takes “20 pounds corn [to make] 1 pound beef.” (6) Or that you can get 15lbs of beef per acre, but 263lbs of soybeans. (7) Also that cattle are the primary reason for deforestation, and a major cause of methane.

From these numbers, it’s simple to see that meat, particularly cattle, is anti-environmental, and even anti-human, and it would be the pinnacle of irresponsibility to encourage or even allow them to be eaten. It is a direct affront to the poor, the hungry, and even other citizens in developed countries like ourselves, even though we may be able to afford such things. Simple. A lock. Slam-dunk. No further research required.

Setting aside that we waste half our food, the food we do have is maldistributed, and that we haven’t tapped a fraction of the land we did in say, WWII Britain, setting aside that the water doesn’t vanish, but returns to the water table to be used again, setting aside that the methane released does not contribute to global warming since it is exclusively carbon captured by the grass earlier that year, setting aside that the argument is the same one Malthus had, 250 years wrong, or that removing cattle would amount to the permanent extinction of more than a thousand breeds of animals with a lineage thousands of years old … even all that aside, their argument shows they don’t know anything about land, food, or the process of creating it.

Some other major concerns of economists and environmentalists are 1) environmental destruction from drilling 2) peak oil, 3) production of toxic waste, 4) plastics packaging, 5) dependence on imported energy, 6) CO2 from cars and transportation, and 7) BTUs per calorie of food eaten, as popularized in Kunstler’s “3,000 mile Caesar salad” (8) and this is where our story starts.

 


Deck Family Farm

 

On a farm, one of the major input costs every year is fertilizer, nitrogen, and this is presently produced almost exclusively from a feedstock of natural gas. That is to say, food in the modern agricultural system is literally the eating of unsustainable oil wells. And it’s even worse than that: agriculture is so dependent on synthesized, centralized petroleum fertilizer that it’s no exaggeration to say that without massive, uninterrupted supplies of cheap oil and gas there would be no food. Yields could easily drop by 30%, causing an unprecedented human catastrophe.

What’s more, another of the environmentalists’ grave concerns, topsoil loss and soil depletion would immediately come to the fore, as the only thing keeping today’s depleted fields in production are the artificial inputs directly from oil fields, mostly imported. –And that’s ABOVE the oil needed for the tractors, for the harvesters, for the delivery, for the centralized plant, for the parts, the buildings, food wrapping, for the creation of pesticides, herbicides, the centralized seed production, centralized grain mills…no. For the purposes of this article, we are only talking about cows.

Of course, mankind didn’t start this way, unable to eat a lettuce leaf without a 10,000-mile chain of energy use from foreign, occupied nations and the unwavering support of the worldwide industrial society that supports it. Originally the cows stood on the very grass they ate, eating contentedly, and were butchered and sent to market locally, using not a drop of oil. They did not disturb the fields but indeed enriched them with their foot-traffic and manure. So how did we go from a 0 mile, 0 grain, 0 cost, 0 oil food source to a food that reportedly starves continents and will destroy the world? That is, if cows were good and worked before, maybe the problem lies not with the meat or the cow, but with rabid industrialism?

If petroleum-based fertilizer is our major weakness, the single import that can be shut off to kill billions, surely it’s our duty — a national security emergency even — to close this weakness and find ecological alternatives. And for fertilizer, we have two: one, you can rotate crops to keep fields fallow in rotation, or two, you can replace synthetic fertilizer with animal manure. In fact, synthetic fertilizer is but a poor, harmful replacement for the manure farmers have used for 5,000 years – it has only nitrogen, potassium and potash, and nothing of the thousand other nutrients required of healthy soil.

 

It has no biosphere, no heat, no water, and no organic matter. The resulting soil depletion is a prime cause of desertification and topsoil loss, to say nothing of constantly lower yields. Its very use destroys the soil in the way steroids destroy health while giving the illusion of strength. They should probably be banned not for environmental reasons, but for long-term efficiency and national security. And there is only one replacement for this toxic, destructive, unreliable, expensive input: animal manure.

Worse, this cannot be chicken, sheep, or pig, adequate as they are. Pig and chicken are too concentrated and toxic and require other petroleum processes to dilute and deliver. Sheep is too mild and not in quantity, for sheep do not favor containment. Home composting could never produce a fraction of the volume needed for the world’s fields without the same massive petroleum inputs in tractors, trucks, chippers, conveyors, and all the factories, railways, and steel mills that create them. That leaves largely one source: cattle.

So in this new ecological world we imagine, we would have to grow cattle simply for the required fertilizer. And these cattle cannot be far! Unlike synthetic fertilizer, manure is wet, heavy, and dilute. It cannot be centralized into today’s poisonous sewage ponds, nor shipped coast to coast: it must be created near the fields that require it. As the world is enormously varied, you must also have breeds attuned to each locality’s weather and needs, perhaps creating a thousand unique varieties.

Tiny Kerry cattle for the bogs of Ireland, bony Longhorns for the deserts of Texas, Alpine Braunvieh for the steep mountains of Switzerland, or a hearty Fjäll for the frozen lands of Sweden. Nor can the farms be concentrated or specialized: without mass inputs of machinery or petroleum, and lacking harmful dry fertilizer, the farms must be small, dispersed, and varied, local in scope, diverse in production, specializing in their region and feeding only people nearby. Once you can’t ship mass quantities virtually for free, from reliable, nearly free energy, there is no other way.

 


Earth Repair Corps

 

Now you can’t get that fertilizer for nothing, and we don’t get it for nothing now. You have to have input costs for our fertilizer factory. And for cattle that input is grass; fields and fields of it, probably near 1-2 acres per cow. Is that bad? Irresponsible? How does that compare to drilling in ANWAR, and delivering via the Exxon Valdez? How is the sourcing from Iraq, transported via Syria, or the digging of tar with a payloader in the freshwater swamps of Alberta?

Now you can get 1, 2, even 3 cuttings a year of hay in temperate climates, and the cow is happily producing this valuable fertilizer all the time, without embargoes, financial disruptions, or delivery costs. But nevertheless, 25% of your fields will be put out of service in order to environmentally, sustainably source this necessary input for next year’s grain.

But not to fear! You know what? You can EAT the components of this essential, life sustaining fertilizer production factory! Yes, you can! Even better, you can eat butter, cheese, yogurt and yes, even ice cream! These very things you would NOT have without running this fertilizer mill that you would be forced to run even if they did nothing at all. Even more, you can down-stream the whey from your milk-preservative process to feed pigs! I’m not making this up!

Yes, by the very fact of creating fertilizer you had to produce in any case, you can also eat bacon! And you essentially have to, because otherwise this valuable milk-byproduct will go to waste. Nor can the pigs be far. You must have farms that are small in scale, varied in production, and local to the community. This will, of course, make them especially resilient to every challenge: financial, ecological, or human, be it from global warming or global warring.

The diverse, smaller-scale of these farms unfortunately require smaller business units to run them, such as the millions of local families presently unemployed, and sadly force cattle and other animals to free-range on the fields in the sunshine, as their ancestors did. But we all make sacrifices.

 

More, this small, diverse, decentralized food production system cannot aggregate mass quantities for mass market. Cows are not all the same, arriving by tens of thousands in the same 100-acre slaughterhouse, but because dissimilarity hampers assembly-line processes, the food would be produced in smaller batches, closer to home, more directly, without the wasting fuel and CO2 to ship them worldwide, and without the 31 flavors of plastics packaging which don’t make economic sense at this scale. –The French market model, as it were, local in the streets of your own town, fresh and unique.

You see, what they didn’t ask and forgot to research is that in order to grow those 263lbs of soybeans, you have no alternative but to have 1:4 of your fields fallow, resting, doing nothing. That’s now 197lbs per acre. Neither can you do that every year without input, so using another field to add this fertilizer, you have 131lbs/acre, really. The fallow land required of a world without oil inputs means 1/2 of the world’s production is offline at any given time, starving people.

What a drag! But you COULD, if you’re very clever, plant a wild, nitrogen-fixing plant on that fallow ground, creating both green manure for next year’s soybeans, AND running your cattle-driven fertilizer factory at no additional cost! Not only do you get the ONE field green-manured, and ANOTHER field cow-manured, but you could, if you’re very smart, get that otherwise useless, fallow field to grow ANOTHER crop of milk and beef, and downstream, chickens and pigs, absolutely FREE! THREE fields for the price of one.

What would you expect to pay for this richness, this agricultural, ecological magic trick? $1 trillion? $5 trillion for our green-energy, planet-saving, CO2-reducing “Green New Deal”? One that’s proven and can actually work because it follows the laws of thermodynamics? Surely it’s worth any cost if it saves the planet and takes a huge chunk off oil drilling, oil wars, and global warming.

Answer is: nothing. What I’ve just described is western agriculture, as developed since the 1500s. Anyone who’s ever looked at a farm, read a wikipedia entry, or took a history class knows this. Every medieval peasant knows this. Every hillbilly farmer from Iowa knows this. Except for all the modern journalists and The Lancet, all of whom all eat these very foods every day without the slightest spark of where they come from.

 


Night Owl Farm

 

You see, it doesn’t matter if cows are less efficient than soybeans, they exist in a SYSTEM, and that system has many inputs and many parameters. Reading a statistic doesn’t grow a plant to market any more than my reading about scalpels makes me a surgeon. There are many other possibilities, requirements, inputs: they speak of overgrazing, such as dry lands in Africa, when in fact, rotational OVERgrazing replenishes the soil and INCREASES the yields.

What’s more, a very great deal of the reported “arable” land on earth is not productive. It is too dry, such as Texas; too steep, such as Colorado; too variable cold, like Montana; or too far from market, like Afghanistan. You can’t grow soybeans or corn there even if you wanted, and you couldn’t ship kale from Kabul to London at cost, so their “statistics” about arable land and production mean nothing. …Worse than nothing, as they are so misleading as to be completely wrong.

Wrong in the way that enormous, world-changing decisions, subsidies, and wars are made, wrong in the way Stalin thought to modernize and mechanize agriculture in the Ukraine to get it out of the 1500s, and killed 7 million people in a single year. Wrong because not every square mile of land is equivalent, and only the crop that grows and has enough value to ship can be produced there. That’s why they make whiskey in the Appalachians and cheese in the Alps: the value to market has to be so much higher, high enough to transport, or no food will be produced at all.

 

That’s why they grow wild pigs in the Dehesa of Spain: because otherwise those forests would feed no one. But scientists and journalists don’t know this, even though it’s on the Food Channel each night.

What’s more, their scientific white-room system is orders of magnitude less efficient than the medieval method. Hundreds of random foods are wasted on the farm. Should they be dropped, as the labor cost/hour is too high to economically recover them? Should we waste the time and petrol to compost them into biogas? No. Farm waste, and waste through every warehouse, rail car, grocer, and restaurant can be eaten by chickens. Then not only do you get the compost anyway, in manure, not only do you also get a lifetime of eggs, for free, YOU GET A CHICKEN. All from the grass, the seeds, the bugs…and the food waste they already abandon.

But this doesn’t come without a cost. Brace yourself for this, people, because in order to achieve this level of bounty and efficiency, you will have to EAT these animals rather than let them die of old age and disease and be eaten by dogs and beetles. You, yes you, if you want an ecological, happy-animal, local-economy, sustainable, anti-CO2, food-producing world, not only CAN eat meat, but you are REQUIRED to. …As did a thousand generations of your ancestors, back to the very first day of man, slashing and clearing a field so the deer would come.

So try to be at least as smart as an illiterate medieval peasant and grow your food the natural way: locally, seasonally, independently, with happy animals in a rich green world of fields, trees and farms enriched with thousands of subvarieties of biodiversity in hedgerows so rich they have yet to be fully cataloged. A far cry from the hardened, drilled, paved, expensive, destructive, unsustainable, dangerous, lethal, impoverished way promoted by the scientific experts and the journalists who cover them.