Mar 042022
 
 March 4, 2022  Posted by at 9:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1906

 

Echoes of 2003 (Sam)
Putin: Crazy Like a Fox (Scott Ritter)
Ukraine & Nukes (Starr)
Ukraine Has A “Nazi” Problem That NATO And USA Do Not Talk About (Jain)
Russia, Ukraine, Nato, the EU – and a Few Good Men (Maajid Nawaz)
“The Fascist Ukrainians Would Kill Me, They Don’t Let Us Leave The City” (GCT)
Ban on Russian Cats (Lauria)
Senator Lindsey Graham Calls for the Assassination of Vladimir Putin (CTH)
Reporter Leaves After Outlet ‘Corrects’ Her Chrystia Freeland Story (PM)
The Convoy Donor Witch Hunt Is Un-Canadian (TSun)
Systematic Undercounting Of Deaths Within First 2 Weeks Of Vaccination (RG)
Pfizer Feb. 2021 “Post Marketing” Vaccine Side Effects Tally Raises Alarms (NC)
NIH Orders Sweeping Review Of Experiments On Viruses And Other Pathogens (WaPo)
White House Wants To Waste $22.5 Billion Fighting Long Gone Pandemic (WT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

US former military
https://twitter.com/i/status/1499137628456763392

 

 

 

 

Black sea shipping

 

 

History rhymes. Expect “A congressional or UN testimony from a vaguely eastern European female child about the horrors of war.”

Echoes of 2003 (Sam)

I’m old enough to remember the build up to the second invasion of Iraq in 2003, and those memories have been in the back of my mind all week. The powers that be (I always liked the term “board of directors” when referring to the elites) seem to have learned nothing since 2016. When beltway zealots were pulling their hair out in 2016, trying to understand how Donald Trump won the election I was not confused at all. The internet. We have an alternative to legacy media. While not a perfect window into the world and not immune from abuse, the internet has given people multiple on-ramps to begin questioning the narrative. The board of directors is yet to catch on and seem to be using the same media strategies that went out of style in the late 90’s.

They continue to use orthodox, anointed new outlets to push a selected narrative. This time around anyone straying off script is being labeled a “tankie” rather than a Baathist. Some of my favorite talk show hosts have even started sounding more like Glenn Beck circa 2003. When every news channel, newspaper, radio station, and mainstream blog is going full MOCKINGBIRD, I get worried, so here are some of my short term predictions:
• Expect some cyber attack or major homeland event that will cover for the stock market’s inevitable crash while simultaneously providing a stand in for the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
• A shift in messaging from “Ukraine is holding them back!” to “Ukraine is F’d unless we do something.”
• A congressional or UN testimony from a vaguely eastern European female child about the horrors of war.

History may not repeat itself, but it definitely rhymes.

Anne -Laure Bonnell
https://twitter.com/i/status/1499569308153880576

French truth

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“..the likelihood that Europe balks at a resumption of the Cold War is high..”

Putin: Crazy Like a Fox (Scott Ritter)

Whereas Russia has had the luxury of having consistent leadership for the past two decades, and can look to another decade or more of the same, Western leadership is transient in nature. One need only reflect on the fact that Putin has, in his time in office, dealt with five U.S. presidents who, because of the alternating nature of the political parties occupying the White House, have produced policies of an inconsistent and contradictory nature. The White House is held hostage to the political constraints imposed by the reality of domestic partisan politics. “It’s the economy, stupid” resonates far more than any fact-based discussion about the relevance of post-Cold War NATO. What passes for a national discussion on the important issues of foreign and national security are, more often than not, reduced to pithy phrases.

The complexities of a balanced dialogue are replaced by a good-versus-evil simplicity more readily digested by an electorate where potholes and tax rates matter more than geopolitics. Rather than try to explain to the American people the historical roots of Putin’s concerns with an expanding NATO membership, or the impracticalities associated with any theoretical reconstitution of the former Soviet Union, the U.S. political elite instead define Putin as an autocratic dictator (he is not) possessing grandiose dreams of a Russian-led global empire (no such dreams exist). It is impossible to reason with a political counterpart whose policy formulations need to conform with ignorance-based narratives.

Russia, confronted with the reality that neither the U.S. nor NATO were willing to engage in a responsible discussion about the need for a European security framework which transcended the inherent instability of an expansive NATO seeking to encroach directly on Russia’s borders, took measures to change the framework in which such discussions would take place. Russia had been seeking to create a neutral buffer between it and NATO through agreements which would preclude NATO membership for Ukraine and distance NATO combat power from its borders by insisting the alliance’s military-technical capabilities be withdrawn behind NATO’s boundaries as they existed in 1997. The U.S. and NATO rejected the very premise of such a dialogue.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine must be evaluated within this context. By invading Ukraine, Russia is creating a new geopolitical reality which revolves around the creation of a buffer of allied Slavic states (Belarus and Ukraine) that abuts NATO in a manner like the Cold War-era frontier represented by the border separating East and West Germany. Russia has, by redeploying the 1st Guards Tank Army onto the territory of Belarus, militarized this buffer, creating the conditions for the kind of standoff that existed during the Cold War. The U.S. and NATO will have to adjust to this new reality, spending billions to resurrect a military capability that has atrophied since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Here’s the punchline — the likelihood that Europe balks at a resumption of the Cold War is high. And when it does, Russia will be able to exchange the withdrawal of its forces from Belarus and Ukraine in return for its demands regarding NATO’s return to the 1997 boundaries. Vladimir Putin may, in fact, be crazy — crazy like a fox.

Putin

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“In his Feb. 21 televised address, Putin said Ukraine still has the infrastructure leftover from Soviet days to build a bomb..”

Ukraine & Nukes (Starr)

The importance of neo-Nazi Right Sektor politicians in the Ukraine government and neo-Nazi militias (such as the Azov Battalion) to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, also goes unreported in the mainstream corporate media. The Azov battalion flies Nazi flags; they have been trained by teams of U.S. military advisers and praised on Facebook these days. In 2014, Azov was incorporated in the Ukrainian National Guard under the direction of the Interior Ministry. The Nazis killed something on the order of 27 million Soviets/Russians during World War II (the U.S. lost 404,000). Russia has not forgotten and is extremely sensitive to any threats and violence coming from neo-Nazis. Americans generally do not understand what this means to Russians as the United States has never been invaded.

So, when the leader of Ukraine essentially threatens to obtain nuclear weapons, this is most certainly considered to be an existential threat to Russia. That is why Putin focused on this during his speech preceding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Sanger and The New York Times must discount a Ukrainian nuclear threat; they can get away with doing so because they have systematically omitted news pertaining to this for many years. Sanger makes a very misleading statement when he writes, “Today Ukraine does not even have the basic infrastructure to produce nuclear fuel.” Ukraine is not interested in making nuclear fuel — which Ukraine already purchases from the U.S.

Ukraine has plenty of plutonium, which is commonly used to make nuclear weapons today; eight years ago Ukraine held more than 50 tons of plutonium in its spent fuel assemblies stored at its many nuclear power plants (probably considerably more today, as the reactors have continued to run and produce spent fuel). Once plutonium is reprocessed/separated from spent nuclear fuel, it becomes weapons usable. Putin noted that Ukraine already has missiles that could carry nuclear warheads, and they certainly have scientists capable of developing reprocessing facilities and building nuclear weapons. In his Feb. 21 televised address, Putin said Ukraine still has the infrastructure leftover from Soviet days to build a bomb. He said:

“As we know, it has already been stated today that Ukraine intends to create its own nuclear weapons, and this is not just bragging. Ukraine has the nuclear technologies created back in the Soviet times and delivery vehicles for such weapons, including aircraft, as well as the Soviet-designed Tochka-U precision tactical missiles with a range of over 100 kilometers. But they can do more; it is only a matter of time. They have had the groundwork for this since the Soviet era. In other words, acquiring tactical nuclear weapons will be much easier for Ukraine than for some other states I am not going to mention here, which are conducting such research, especially if Kiev receives foreign technological support. We cannot rule this out either.

If Ukraine acquires weapons of mass destruction, the situation in the world and in Europe will drastically change, especially for us, for Russia. We cannot but react to this real danger, all the more so since let me repeat, Ukraine’s Western patrons may help it acquire these weapons to create yet another threat to our country.”

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“Another North American country, Canada, is too being accused of fostering neo-Nazis and war criminals in Ukraine..”

Ukraine Has A “Nazi” Problem That NATO And USA Do Not Talk About (Jain)

While the Ukrainian government nurtures extremist organisations like Azov Batallion, it is their European neighbours who have to bear the brunt of this neo-Nazi ideology that is rapidly spreading its claws across the globe. According to Lower Class Magazine, a leftist German publication, Azov has a semi-underground corps called the “Misanthropic Division” that draws fresh blood among the ranks of neo-Nazi youth in France, Germany and Scandinavia. The new recruits are promised training with heavy and modern weaponry, including tanks, at Ukrainian camps alongside fascist fellow inductees. Reportedly, foreign Azov volunteers are motivated by the call of the “Reconquista”—a pursuit to place the eastern European nations under the rule of a white supremacist dictatorship, drawing inspiration from the Nazi Reichskommissariat rule that controlled Ukraine at the time of World War II.

A raft of Azov volunteers in Ukraine harbour this dream of reestablishing Ukraine as a white supremacist nation that has under its control large tracts of land from neighbouring European nations. Even so, the United States government is partly to be blamed for the ominous rise of the neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine. Over the years, the cooperation between the Azov Battalion and the American Military has only grown deeper. In 2018, it was reported that Azov Battalion had received teams of American military advisors and high powered US-made weapons. In November 2017, a US military inspection team had also visited the Azov Battalion on the frontlines to deliberate on strengthening cooperation and providing logistical support in their military operations.

Recently, Democrat Senate member in the United States, Bob Menendez, introduced legislation that sought to grant Ukraine $500 million for the purchase of arms and impose what he called “mother of all sanctions” on Russia should it dare to attack. However, what was striking was the absence of any mechanism to oversee if the weapons bought from the US aid would be used by white supremacist organisations like the Azov Battalion. The US legislators had no qualms with the arms they donated to Kyiv going into the hands of anti-semitic outfits like the Azov Battalion so long as they helped them in discouraging Russia from launching an attack into eastern Ukraine.

Another North American country, Canada, is too being accused of fostering neo-Nazis and war criminals in Ukraine. Earlier last year, many Jewish groups raised concerns regarding the involvement of Canadian troops in training neo-Nazis and war criminals from Ukraine. They pointed to a video that highlighted Ukrainian paratroopers singing a song to praise Stepan Bandera, an anti-Semite and Nazi collaborator whose organisation was linked to the murder of more than 100,000 Jews and Poles during the second world war.

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More Azov.

Russia, Ukraine, Nato, the EU – and a Few Good Men (Maajid Nawaz)

I should not have to repeat the following, but we are where we are in history and so I find myself having to: I have long been a critic of Putin. I have probably opposed Putin before a wider audience than most of my critics. My animas against Putin is visible online for all to see. It started because I stood firmly with the Syrian Arab uprising against the dictator Assad in Syria, who Putin supported. I stood with the Syrian people then as I stand with all of the people in Ukraine today. Our opposition to Putin in Syria by no means meant that any of us supported ISIS in Syria either. My opposition to ISIS-style extremism is too well documented even to need hyperlinked references. Most of us were able to oppose both Assad and his ally Putin, as well as oppose ISIS.

This is because most of us were able to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. This is just like in history, where most of us can see that the Soviet Union and the Third Reich were two sides of the same totalitarian coin. So why has it become so hard for most of us to condemn both Putin’s attack on Ukraine while also condemning our and our ally Ukraine’s state-funding, training and arming of the armed Nazi battalion Azov in Ukraine? Again, to be clear, this is not to deny Ukraine’s right to defend itself. This is also not to ignore Putin’s authoritarianism. This is a critique of the Ukrainian state’s decision to do so by raising and formally incorporating specifically neo-Nazi armed battalions into its armed forces. And the focus is on Ukraine here because they are our ally, we are sending them arms, and so we are culpable.

Formal, insignia raising Neo-Nazi battalions in the Ukrainian armed forces and police, surely not? Read on. The truth is far worse than that I’m afraid.

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And still more. “Mariupol, in which 120,000+ ethnic Greeks live..”

“The Fascist Ukrainians Would Kill Me, They Don’t Let Us Leave The City” (GCT)

With Russian forces besieging Mariupol, in which 120,000+ ethnic Greeks live, SKAI news spoke with a Mr Kiouranas who lives in the city and exposed that Ukrainian “fascists” are killing people for trying to leave the city. When asked by SKAI news if he planned to leave the city, Kiouranas responded “how can I leave? When you try to leave you run the risk of running into a patrol of the Ukrainian fascists, the Azov Battalion.” “They would kill me and are responsible for everything,” he added. Azov Special Operations Detachment , or Azov Battalion, is a right-wing extremist and neo-Nazi unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, based in Mariupol, in the Azov Sea coastal region.

In 2014, the regiment gained notoriety after allegations emerged of torture and war crimes, as well as neo-Nazi sympathies and usage of associated symbols by the regiment itself, as seen in their logo featuring the Wolfsangel, one of the original symbols used by the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. In 2014, a spokesman for the regiment said around 10–20% of the unit were neo-Nazis. In 2018, a provision in an appropriations bill passed by the U.S. Congress blocked military aid to Azov on the grounds of its white supremacist ideology; in 2015, a similar ban on aid to the group was overturned by the Congress. Members of the regiment come from 22 countries and are of various backgrounds. More than half of the regiment’s members speak Russian and come from eastern Ukraine, including cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The unit’s first commander was far-right nationalist Andriy Biletsky, who led the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly and Patriot of Ukraine. In its early days, Azov was a special police company of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, led by Volodymyr Shpara, the leader of the Vasylkiv, Kyiv, branch of Patriot of Ukraine and Right Sector. In 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives also passed a provision blocking any training of Azov members by American forces, citing its neo-Nazi connections. The House had previously passed amendments banning support of Azov between 2014 and 2017, but due to pressure from The Pentagon, the amendments were quietly lifted. This was protested by the Simon Wiesenthal Center which stated that lifting the ban highlighted the danger of Holocaust distortion in Ukraine.

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“A university in Italy even tried to ban a course on Fyodor Dostoevsky, but reversed itself after an outcry.”

Ban on Russian Cats (Lauria)

The International Federation of Felines (FIFe) on Tuesday ordered a ban on the importation of Russian-bred cats, presumably anywhere in the world. “No cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside Russia, regardless of, which organization issued its pedigree,” the FIFe board said in a statement. The board said the ban was imposed because of events in Ukraine: “The FIFe Executive Board is shocked and horrified that the army of the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Ukraine and started a war. Many innocent people died, many more are wounded and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are forced to flee their homes to save their lives. We can all witness the destruction and chaos caused by this unprecedented act of aggression.

On top of that our Ukrainian fellow feline fanciers are desperately trying to take care of their cats and other animals in these trying circumstances. We are extremely happy that many members of FIFe clubs bordering Ukraine, such as Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova, are lending a helping hand to their Ukrainian breeder friends. The Board of FIFe feels it cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing, so it decided that as of 01.03.2022: No cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside Russia, regardless of, which organization issued its pedigree. No cat belonging to exhibitors living in Russia may be entered at any FIFe show outside Russia, regardless of, which organization these exhibitors hold their membership in.”

So far the International Canine Association has said nothing about Russian dogs. Russian birds cannot be stopped from flying over the border. Apparently taking no public position on Ukraine — no matter one’s walk in life — is making oneself an accomplice to Russia’s actions. It demonstrate the kind of pressure felt by ordinary people to not be seen as siding with Russia, even if that means not importing Russian cats. It also highlights U.S. impunity for massive, unprovoked attacks on other nations, such as Iraq in 2003, that provoked no such public outcry in the West. On the contrary, dumping French wine and renaming French fries “Freedom Fries” was the outcry against France trying to stop that disastrous invasion.

The cat ban follows voluntary actions against Russian cultural and sporting organizations and individuals that fall outside the scope of U.S. and European sanctions. On Monday Russian orchestra conductor Valery Gergiev was fired from his job at the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also been banned by orchestras in Rotterdam, Vienna and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Warner Brothers has delayed releases of its films in Russia; Spotify has closed its office in Russia; the Glasgow Film Festival has dropped two Russian films and the Venice Biennale has removed Russia’s pavilion among other cultural bans. A university in Italy even tried to ban a course on Fyodor Dostoevsky, but reversed itself after an outcry.

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“We are in very tenuous place, because no one is thinking about an off ramp…. it’s full speed ahead..”

Senator Lindsey Graham Calls for the Assassination of Vladimir Putin (CTH)

In a public tweet tonight, Senator Lindsey Graham calls for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The propaganda push from the U.S. government is actually quite remarkable to watch unfold. I mean seriously, there’s a point when you don’t go all-in because there has to be an exit option. We are in very tenuous place, because no one is thinking about an off ramp…. it’s full speed ahead. If Lindsey Graham, Joe Biden, NATO, the EU, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Word Economic Forum and the multinational corporations in this alliance of Public/Private geopolitical partnerships, succeed in the fight against Vladimir Putin – I promise you, we are not going to like the world on the other side of their victory.

A few weeks ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a clear and specific message to citizens in Canada when he sanctioned the trucker’s bank accounts. Joe Biden, NATO and EU are right now sending a clear message to the citizens of the world, as they sanction Putin’s bank accounts and the Russian economy. If you can’t see the connection, you are not thinking carefully enough about it. Everything will be different now. Reverse the scenario a little. How would Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Tim Cook or Jeff Bezos feel if another country, perhaps China, decided to confiscate their wealth and yachts or whatever else they deemed to be wealth – including their business operation inside China, or India or any nation that wanted to curry favor with China – because we invaded Iraq, or Syria, or (fill_in_blank)?


Previously, these geopolitical sanctions would target government, not people, regardless of how rich they are or who they agreed with politically. What we are seeing is a full-blown alignment of interests between globalist government and their partnered multinational corporations and financial institutions. This is not a good thing to witness regardless of the outcome in Ukraine. Think about the direct message and the implications here. Think about the world of multinational corporate compliance and how they will kneel to the dictates of political power in the aftermath of this current enterprise. If this collective group of multinationals and government interests succeed in this approach, everything will change. If you think corporations, Big Tech and Big Banks, et al, are controlling and politically motivated now? Good grief, just wait.

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Freeland posing with the Bandera banner is no different from posing with a swastika. And she knows that.

Reporter Leaves After Outlet ‘Corrects’ Her Chrystia Freeland Story (PM)

An iPolitics reporter walked off the job after the outlet corrected her story regarding Trudeau’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and photos that were taken of her holding a red and black banner associated with a far-right Ukrainian Nationalist movement linked to neo-Nazis. A now-deleted Twitter post from iPolitics originally said that the banner was connected with “far-right Ukrainian nationalists who have links to neo-Nazis.”The outlet later issued a new tweet stating: “CORRECTION: Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freehand was photographed holding up a scarf in colours associated with far-right Ukrainian nationalists,” omitting the neo-Nazi portion. The article itself was edited to soften the language originally used and to eliminate the use of “neo-Nazis”.

Despite numerous alterations, the article’s correction note read: CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to state that Freeland was pictured with a scarf, not a banner or a sign. Comments by Jars Balan on the scarf’s political context have also been clarified to better reflect his views. True North’s Candice Malcolm was first to report that Freeland posted, then deleted, the photo of her posing with the banner on her own official social media accounts. The photo also showed Toronto Mayor John Tory and said, “We stand united. We stand with Ukraine. Nous sommes unis. Nous sommes debout aux côtés de l’Ukraine. Slava Ukraini!”Malcolm later tweeted: “I hear from a source in the loop that Chrystia Freeland’s office ‘lost their s**t that this is even being reported.'”

The colors are associated with the Bandera movement. Stepan Bandera was a Nationalist Ukrainian politician during World War II and has been accused of war crimes against Jews and Poles. Bandera helped form the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (UPA) which media have called “far-right” and “Neo-Nazis.” In fact, many Bandera flags were spotted during the Toronto demonstration that Freeland participated in. Both Trudeau and Freeland had smeared the freedom protesters who participated in the Freedom Convoy demonstrations as racists and Nazis after a confederate flag and a Nazi flag were spotted in Ottawa.Following the photo, a number of outlets have attempted to debunk the photo op, questioning whether she really posed with “extremist symbols.”

In a National Post article titled: “Did Chrystia Freeland pose with extremist symbols or is it Russian disinformation?” Freeland’s office responded that the criticisms of the photo were “disinformation.”Speaking with Politico’s Ottawa Playbook, Freeland’s press secretary Adrienne Vaupshas said: “A classic KGB disinformation smear is accusing Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Canadians of being far right extremists or fascists or Nazis. Indeed, President Putin’s express goal is the ‘denazification’ of a country led by a Jewish-Ukrainian president.” The Post Millennial reached out to Emmanuel who said, “I can’t speak to specifics due to confidentiality reasons. The evidence speaks for itself.”

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Well, it’s starting to feel like there’s a new Canada.

The Convoy Donor Witch Hunt Is Un-Canadian (TSun)

The past couple of weeks we have seen a disturbing and frenzied response to the release of names of people who donated to the trucker convoy that recently entrenched itself in Ottawa. In some cases, people may even be losing their jobs. As a London Free Press article explains: “Andrew Adamyk, executive director of the Mount Hope Centre for Long-term Care, is no longer with St. Joseph’s Health Care London that runs the 394-bed facility, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday. “The departure comes after a man named Andrew Adamyk of London, Ont., donated $100 to the so-called Freedom Convoy on Feb. 7, according to a list of donors from the hacked GiveSendGo fundraising site.”

Neither the hospital nor the individual involved responded to repeated media requests for clarification, so it’s unclear why the person is no longer in their job. But the mere possibility that someone could lose their job for donating to the convoy is troubling. There were tens of thousands of Canadians who felt inspired to donate to the convoy. Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s attempts to smear all supporters as people with “unacceptable views”, it’s obvious that a lot of people donated for inoffensive reasons. The online comments that came with donations revealed that people were frustrated with ongoing restrictions and were upset by the societal damages caused by lockdowns.

“It wasn’t cash that funded terrorism,” a senior bureaucrat told the Commons finance committee. “These were people who supported the cause.” That’s fine if people want to disagree with donors or be strongly opposed to the polarizing convoy, but the harassment that donors have endured is unacceptable.On social media, online sleuths went out of their way to expose and attack donors. One person made a Google Map — later removed for violation of terms of service — that showed where every donor in the country lived. This was a clear provocation to encourage people to harass their neighbours. In one case, someone even posted a notice to an apartment lobby denouncing the several residents who had donated. People need to relax. This has become a witch hunt, and it’s very un-Canadian.

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“..the ONS should publicly withdraw their dataset and call for the retraction of any claims made by others that are based upon it.”

Systematic Undercounting Of Deaths Within First 2 Weeks Of Vaccination (RG)

The accuracy of any data purporting to show covid 19 vaccine effectiveness or safety is critically dependent on the accuracy of four measurements: (1) people classified as having the disease; (2) vaccination status; (3) reported deaths; and (4) the population of vaccinated and unvaccinated (the so called ‘denominators’). Errors in any of these could undermine claims of vaccine effectiveness or safety. We have previously identified anomalies in the UK Government’s ONS deaths by vaccination status data (ONS dataset)-specifically that some deaths occurring shortly after vaccination are being wrongly classified as unvaccinated deaths.

In this paper we identify a further problem that appears to explain anomalies in the ONS data: the total deaths reported by ONS are significantly lower than we would expect compared to other government datasets, even allowing for the fact that the ONS use only a subset of the population. For both non-covid and covid deaths respectively the number of deaths reported for the within 21 days of first dose vaccination category tally almost perfectly with the number of deaths that would be expected should they have occurred in the third week alone. Thus, for both covid and non-covid deaths, the two weeks of post first vaccination deaths appear to have been omitted from the ONS dataset.

This pattern is repeated in all age groups over 60. A variety of factors could have led to deaths in the first 14 days being omitted in the ONS dataset, including miscategorisation, reporting lags and data handling or transcription errors. The dataset is therefore corrupted, making any inferences about vaccine efficacy or safety that are reliant on the data, moot. Accordingly, the ONS should publicly withdraw their dataset and call for the retraction of any claims made by others that are based upon it.

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Commenter IM Doc at Naked Capitalism.

Pfizer Feb. 2021 “Post Marketing” Vaccine Side Effects Tally Raises Alarms (NC)

It is a comprehensive list of the ASE (Adverse side effects) that are especially attuned in the study. In general, it is a list of all the things that came up in the animal studies and the Phase 1-3 trials in humans. It is an index of the things that they were to keep a close eye on. In general, this list in most documents like this I have ever seen is 2-3 maybe 4 pages long – NOT 10. That is what so bowled me over this AM. I can think of 2 possible things going on here – 1) The list of ASE from the previous phases of research really are this overwhelming. 2) Pfizer knew they had lots of side effects and just wanted “to put it all out there” in an attempt to cover their ass. They may have done this because of the warp speed emergency manner in which this was done – ie – we have not had time to fully assess risk – therefore we are going to just be a sponge and take in everything.


There may be other reasons I have not thought of. Whatever the case – I have never seen anything like this in my life. But the really damning parts are these tables – where very elevated numbers of patients are having these problems. I have seen any number of CHEMOTHERAPY agents with less problems than this in my life. And we have to weigh risk and benefits even in these trials. If for example a novel CHEMO agent was saving 30% but killing 5% – it would likely be approved with LARGE BLACK BOX WARNINGS. This agent – however – is not chemotherapy. It is a vaccine to be given out to everyone. It has been screamed from the rooftops for the people to hear that it was 100% safe. Any and all discussion in the media and social media of any problems has been squelched and those stating these things called quacks. It had a benefit of an absolute risk reduction of infection of 0.2%. And here we are with all these side effects. In huge numbers. Even more concerning – is two-six months of benefit worth all of these risks? I think not.

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This headline should be over 2 years old. It’s not.

NIH Orders Sweeping Review Of Experiments On Viruses And Other Pathogens (WaPo)

On Monday, NIH convened a virtual meeting of the biosecurity advisory board, which will review two categories of experiments. One is known as “gain of function” research. Such experiments study pathogens with the potential to become more capable of infecting humans or more transmissible among people. NIH calls this “research with enhanced potential pandemic pathogens.” The advisory panel will also look at dual use research, which could provide useful knowledge but also pose a threat if misapplied. For example, an effort to understand a pathogen could be exploited to create a bioweapon. NIH in January 2020 asked the biosecurity panel to start a review of policies, but that effort was postponed because of the pandemic, when members of the advisory board were needed at their home institutions, according to the agency.


“Research involving pathogens is vital for ensuring the United States is prepared to rapidly detect, respond to, and recover from future infectious-disease threats. Such research can be inherently high risk given the possibility of biosafety lapses or deliberate misuse,” NIH acting director Lawrence A. Tabak said in a statement announcing the review. “However, not doing this type of research could impair our ability to prepare for and/or respond to future consequential biological threats.” Several scientists who study viruses and emergent diseases said they welcome the review of biosafety policies. “I think it’s really important to review this stuff and to regulate it, and make sure that it’s regulated in the right way,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan.

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To be fair, it’s nothing compared to what’s already been wasted before.

White House Wants To Waste $22.5 Billion Fighting Long Gone Pandemic (WT)

The White House has requested Congress approve $22.5 billion in new funding for COVID-19, fully $5 billion of which would be sent overseas, to help other nations and other governments and other peoples fight off the coronavirus. Ain’t U.S. taxpayer dollars grand? “Without additional resources,” wrote Shalanda Young, the acting Office of Management and Budget director, in a letter to Congress reported by The Hill, “we won’t be able to secure the treatments, vaccines and tests Americans need in coming months and fight future variants. And critical COVID response efforts — such as free community testing sites and testing, treatment and vaccination coverage for uninsured individuals — will end this spring.” So? So what? The coronavirus hasn’t been much of a health threat in a very long time.


It’s got a recovery rate of nearly 99%. It doesn’t impact kids — and it doesn’t really impact those under the age of say, doddering, either. In fact, we all know who’s most at risk of catching a bad case of the coronavirus, of being hospitalized from it, of dying from it — and it ain’t the general public at-large. It’s the elderly. It’s the obese. It’s the elderly and obese and those with a handful of other health issues they’re already fighting and that already compromise their immune systems. Acknowledging this — admitting that — acknowledging and admitting that COVID-19 is not the epic danger it once was, or at least that it once presented, would go far toward moving America, moving the world, past the phase of panic and into the light of normal living. But that’s exactly why Democrats, Big Pharma, Big Government and global elites won’t acknowledge these data-backed truths: the pandemic, to these arrogant people, has become a massive and massively successful tool of control. Control — and money.

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Tucker Iowa Farmer: grocery bill 1000$ a month

 

 

 

 

 

 

MK Ultra
https://twitter.com/i/status/1499460873643040792

 

 

 

 

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Mar 262019
 
 March 26, 2019  Posted by at 10:48 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  7 Responses »


Jan van Eijk The Arnolfini portrait 1434

 

 

I first asked Dr. D. a few years ago if I could turn one one his comments at the Automatic Earth into an essay. The following illustrates why I asked. Not sure he understands why some of his rants stand out while others do not, but they certainly do. Go to the Automatic Earth comments section to figure that one out. He’s there every day.

And you’re free to disagree of course. And I myself am good, have an essay on the same topic waiting but love the view from over there. Nothing not to like.

 

 

It USED to be that when a newspaper catastrophically screwed the pooch as we Yanks say, people would cancel their subscription to such a piece of pure, useless, misleading garbage.

Dr. D.: Legally, the path is pretty clear and incredibly old. It’s always been illegal to slander (in voice) or libel (in print) someone. The Covington kids are following this right now. It’s illegal everywhere, including Britain and New Zealand, and the legal threshold has a couple of bullet points. There has to be provable damage, the facts provided have to wrong, they have to be specific, and so on. Then you sue civilly for compensation in measure with the damage caused. Pretty simple. But if it’s actual libel of the sort anyone actually means, not just “I disagree with you”, then all these elements are absolutely in play. No false accusations, no just getting the facts wrong on accident.

What’s more, the government is never the plaintiff. Although in theory I suppose they could get standing, in practice slander and libel are prosecuted BY private people AGAINST private people, which eliminates a major element of government censorship and repression. …The problem is, now that the entire force of media is resident in 5 corporations the size of most countries, no one has been suing anyone, much less challenging them to pistols at dawn.

That and the marketplace is adjusting to the new reality: It USED to be that when a newspaper catastrophically screwed the pooch as we Yanks say, people would cancel their subscription to such a piece of pure, useless, misleading garbage. …But no one ever pays for news anymore; there’s nothing to cancel. Clicks are free. So even when it’s completely wrong, knowingly, provably wrong in 10 minutes of google, if it gets clicks you get paid, so there is a new OPPOSITE incentive to lie, so long as the lies are salacious. It’s literally impossible to be discredited under this model. Look at Brian Williams on NBC and Donna Brazile on Fox.

However, you can still be sued to penury and be unable to pay your click-bills, and I expect this is a new growth industry, perhaps led by Nunes. Certainly Buzzfeed and Vox haven’t waited, they’re collapsing under their blizzard of nonsense and poor reputation, while so many bloggers who got it right continue to rise despite every repression the algos can throw at them. And that’s the market adjusting, note: without the government.

So that’s how Americans and legal nations with free speech do it and always have. Because legally, there is no such thing as ‘hate speech’. If there were, it would be thought crime, a tyranny so diabolical that even the existence of opinions is illegal. You are allowed to hate. Why? Because you are human, we don’t lock people up for thinking and feeling things, and thank our ever-loving God for that.

You are also allowed to SAY you hate someone. Why? Because it’s both a fact and your opinion. What would be the alternative, universal love enacted by perpetual violent force? If people don’t know you don’t like them, you can’t be forewarned, you can’t work things out, we don’t have an open debate in the marketplace of ideas.

What you CAN’T do – and again, this is the law everywhere and always – is ACTUALLY HARM someone. ‘Cause words are just cheap air, sound and fury, signifying nothing. A world where people are terrified of words alone is a world the weakest man who ever lived could conquer. But that’s the western world now, apparently having never seen or felt violence, actually believes that ‘words are violence.’ …That is until being so weak, such violets, such snowflakes, their total weakness attracts REAL violence which devours their nation in hours, as they see with decadent, falling empires throughout history.

There are a few other things: you are generally liable if your words cause physical or monetary harm. Further, you can’t therefore call for specific harm to a specific person, as is called on my people every day, because being more dangerous, the law wishes to prevent murder rather than punish it. But any rational person can follow these without even knowing the law exists, although, like all laws in the U.S. presently, it isn’t enforced, or only enforced on people they don’t like.

But that’s all terribly simple. The media legally CAN’T tell lies like this without consequences. Thankfully, however, the government isn’t the plaintiff and repressor. We legally can have open discussions where bad ideas, bad beliefs are able to be read openly and refuted, like Jim Jones, like Mein Kampf; as they must be, for the only alternative is to control and erase history, and then we could never learn, never recognize it. To punish people for ideas in their heads and feelings in their hearts, making their very existence a prison.

The media will soon wish they could erase history, and perhaps they will already. I mean, they just erased Patrick Moore from founding Greenpeace yesterday. But without the authorization of legal propaganda against the people and the government cash payments that’s soon going to be revealed — as long-used but signed into law by Obama — CNN, MSNBC and the boys are going to go broke on a business plan that has been totally discredited.

So under market capitalism – and now lacking monetary and legal protection of their lies by government, and under attack for monopoly bias and with executive orders reminding everyone that speech is always free – the liars are about to be sued, go broke, and disappear. Which is a pity, since I doubt they have the competence to clean toilets instead. So that’s what free nations do, and are doing right now, instead of making all news, all facts, and all history verboten.

 

 

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
– George Orwell, 1984

 

 

Mar 052019
 


Vincent van Gogh Weaver 1884

 

China Warns Of ‘Tough Struggle’, Cuts Growth Target To Lowest Since 1990 (G.)
China’s Largest Property Developer To Sell All Homes At A 10% Discount (ZH)
Relying On Central Banks For Growth Is A Bad Idea (Das)
Theresa May ‘Did Not Understand EU When She Triggered Brexit’ (G.)
Dear Europe, Brexit Is A Lesson For All Of Us: It’s Time For Renewal (Macron)
EU Must Learn From Brexit And Reform – Macron (G.)
The Prisoner Says No To Big Brother (John Pilger)
White House Lambasts Trump Probe (BBC)
Fox News’s Propaganda Isn’t Just Unethical, It’s Enormously Influential (Vox)
Manafort Asks Judge to Revisit Order on Lies to Special Counsel (CN)
Britain Puts New Roof On Skripal House of Horrors (Galloway)
Sunset Boulevard with Chimp (Kunstler)
Heatwaves Sweeping Oceans ‘Like Wildfires’ (G.)
World’s Rarest Orangutan Under Threat In Indonesia From Dam Project (G.)

 

 

To reiterate from yesterday, Xiang Songzuo, professor at Renmin University in Beijing, former deputy director at the People’s Bank of China and chief economist at the Agricultural Bank of China, said in a speech in December that real GDP growth was 1.67%, and now says: “I think this year, regulators will encourage more shadow banking financing, particularly to the private sector.”

Perhaps the biggest takeaway today is that China is failing to increase domestic demand, long predicted to be the country’s saving grace.

China Warns Of ‘Tough Struggle’, Cuts Growth Target To Lowest Since 1990 (G.)

China has set its lowest growth target in nearly three decades as premier Li Keqiang warned of “tough” challenges facing the world’s second-largest economy. He set the country’s growth at 6.0 to 6.5%, down from a target of 6.5% last year. In 1990, growth sank to 3.9% because of international sanctions sparked by the Tiananmen square protests. Growth in 2018 was 6.6%, the slowest rate since 1990. Speaking at the opening of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislative body, on Tuesday, Li said: “We will face a graver and more complicated environment as well as risks and challenges … We must be fully prepared for a tough struggle.”

Li’s state-of-the-nation-style address comes as the ruling Chinese Communist Party faces a difficult year amid a slowing economy, a trade war with the US, and diplomatic tensions over Huawei, the Chinese tech giant. Domestically, China has been hit by public health scandals as well as protests by workers, students, and small pockets of activists. Striking a sombre tone, Li stressed the “severe challenges” China is faced last year, including trade frictions, “mounting protectionism and unilateralism” and slowing domestic demand. “Downward pressure on the Chinese economy continues to increase, growth in consumption is slowing, and growth in effective investment lacks momentum. The real economy faces many difficulties,” Li said.

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The people who gave you empty cities.

China’s Largest Property Developer To Sell All Homes At A 10% Discount (ZH)

“Property accounts for roughly 70 per cent of urban Chinese families’ total assets – a home is both wealth and status. People don’t want prices to increase too fast, but they don’t want them to fall too quickly either,” said Shao Yu, chief economist at Oriental Securities. “People are so used to rising prices that it never occurred to them that they can fall too. We shouldn’t add to this illusion,” Shao added, echoing Ben Bernanke circa 2005. The bottom line is that just like true price discovery for US capital markets is prohibited (and sees Fed intervention any time there is an even modest, 10-20% drop in asset prices) or else the risk of an all out panic is all too real, in China true price discovery is also not permitted, however when it comes to the country’s all important, and wealth effect boosting, real estate.

Which is a problem, because whereas China suddenly appears to be suffering from all the conventional signs of deflation in the auto retail sector, where as we noted previously, neither lower prices nor easier loans have managed to put a dent the ongoing demand plunge the same ominous price cuts – which are clearly meant to boost flagging demand – are starting to emerge in China’s housing sector. Case in point, according to China’s Paper, Hui Ka Yan, the Chairman of Evergrande, China’s biggest property developer, and China’s second richest person announced it must ramp up home sales and to do that it would sell all its properties at a 10% discount after its home sales tumbled in January amid a cooling market.

[..] In November, Evergrande, which carries the industry’s largest debt pile of any Chinese housing developer, was caught in a vicious funding squeeze and raised eyebrows with a $1.8BN, 5-year bond deal, which it had to pay a whopping 13.75% coupon, prompting analysts to say the move “carried a whiff of desperation.” The fact that chairman Hui Ka Yan, China’s second-richest person, bought $1bn of it himself, added to a sense that outside investors were shunning the company. In many ways, Evergrande had no choice: after the property market boomed for the past three years, helping to power the economy through Xi Jinping’s crucial political transition year of 2017, in 2018 the market slowed sharply, after local governments shifted focus to controlling frothy prices and China Development Bank, the policy lender, phased out a $1 trillion subsidy program for homebuyers in smaller cities, where Evergrande’s projects are concentrated, the FT reported.

Even the official China News Service, usually a cheerleader for the economy, acknowledged recently that the property market “was a bit chilly”. Nomura chief China economist Ting Lu put it more starkly, forecasting a “frigid winter”. The bigger problem for Evergrande, which had $208 billion in total liabilities at the end of June 2018 — the most of any Chinese developer — including $43bn maturing in 2019, is that should China’s housing market suffer a steep downturn, it will likely be the company to suffer the most, if for no other reason than its massive leverage which stood at a net debt to equity ratio of 400%.

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I like and appreciate Satiayit Das, but the Fed doesn’t make grand policy errors, it simply protects its clients with public money. Since it does that by killing off price discovery, let’s stop talking about ‘markets’.

Relying On Central Banks For Growth Is A Bad Idea (Das)

Just since December 2018, central banks have collectively injected as much as $500 billion of liquidity to stabilize economic conditions. The U.S. Federal Reserve has put interest rate increases on hold and is contemplating a halt to its balance-sheet reduction plan. Other central banks have taken similar actions, fueling a new phase of the “everything bubble” as markets careen from December’s indiscriminate selling to January’s indiscriminate buying. The monetary onslaught appears a reaction to financial factors – falling equity markets, rising credit spreads, increased volatility – and a perceived weakening of economic activity, primarily in Europe and China.

If they heeded Walter Bagehot’s oft-cited rule, central banks would act only as lenders of last resort in times of financial crisis, lending without limit to solvent firms against good collateral at high rates. Instead, they’ve become lenders of first resort, expected to step in at any sign of problems. U.S. central bankers are currently debating whether quantitative-easing programs should be used purely in emergency situations or more routinely. Since 2008, the global economy has grown far too dependent on huge central bank balance sheets and accommodative monetary policy. The U.S. economic boom President Donald Trump loves to tout is largely fake, engineered by artificial policy settings.

Such dependence is dangerous and, for various reasons, could well backfire. For one thing, central banks are poor forecasters. GDP growth, inflation and labor markets may prove more resilient than feared, remaining at or above trend. Key risks, such as the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, may recede. Financial markets and asset prices have already recovered substantially. It’s possible that central banks may be forced to make another U-turn to reduce the risk of reflating asset price bubbles and overheating economies. This flip-flop would be destabilizing and affect decisionmakers’ credibility.

Printing money was always going to be easier than withdrawing it later. In effect, central banks are boxed into a situation where they can’t normalize policy and must maintain low rates and abundant liquidity, lest they destabilize fragile asset markets and spur low growth and disinflation. This state of “infinite QE” risks miscalculations and major policy errors. If central banks are, as is now fashionable to state, the only game in town, then the game is lost.

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The Tories thought they could get deals done with separate EU countries.

Theresa May ‘Did Not Understand EU When She Triggered Brexit’ (G.)

Theresa May and her circle of advisers did not understand how the European Union works, and consequently followed a negotiating strategy in 2016 that was doomed to fail, the former UK ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers has said. Speaking to the Institute for Government on Monday, Rogers said the people around the prime minister at the start of the article 50 process “didn’t know very much about European councils or that much about the EU”. Rogers, who resigned a year ago and has developed a reputation for producing some of the most caustic assessments of the misunderstandings between the UK and the EU, said the UK lived under the illusion that it could circumvent Brussels by making direct deals with the major capitals.

He said: “Capitals obviously matter, but I think having lived through this with a number of prime ministers, a number of different negotiations … that reflex in the British system always to think that we can deal direct with the organ grinders and not the monkeys: it never works like that. “It didn’t work like that in the Cameron renegotiation either. That stuff is not done in the way British politics works, leader to leader. It’s done via the bureaucrats, and the sherpas, and the people at the top of the institutions.” Rogers also warned that the chances of a no-deal Brexit sticking for long were close to zero. “The UK and EU know there is no chance of no-deal Brexit being the long-term end state, as the UK would quickly come back to the negotiating table,” he said. “There is not a world where we are going to end up with no deal.”

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A 25% approval rating won’t keep Little Napoleon from designing grande plans. More Europe!

Dear Europe, Brexit Is A Lesson For All Of Us: It’s Time For Renewal (Macron)

Never since the second world war has Europe been so essential. Yet never has Europe been in such danger. Brexit stands as the symbol of that. It symbolises the crisis of a Europe that has failed to respond to its peoples’ need for protection from the major shocks of the modern world. It also symbolises the European trap. The trap lies not in being part of the European Union; the trap is in the lie and the irresponsibility that can destroy it. Who told the British people the truth about their post-Brexit future? Who spoke to them about losing access to the EU market? Who mentioned the risks to peace in Ireland of restoring the border? Retreating into nationalism offers nothing; it is rejection without an alternative. And this is the trap that threatens the whole of Europe: the anger mongers, backed by fake news, promise anything and everything.

Europe is not a second-tier power. Europe in its entirety is a vanguard: it has always defined the standards of progress. In this, it needs to drive forward a project of convergence rather than competition: Europe, where social security was created, needs to introduce a social shield for all workers, guaranteeing the same pay for the same work, and an EU minimum wage, appropriate to each country, negotiated collectively every year. Getting back on track also means spearheading the environmental cause. Will we be able to look our children in the eye if we do not also clear our climate debt?

The EU needs to set its target – zero carbon by 2050 and pesticides halved by 2025 – and adapt its policies accordingly with such measures as a European Climate Bank to finance the ecological transition, a European food safety force to improve our food controls and, to counter the lobby threat, independent scientific assessment of substances hazardous to the environment and health. This imperative needs to guide all our action: from the Central Bank to the European commission, from the European budget to the Investment Plan for Europe, all our institutions need to have the climate as their mandate.

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Not the Onion. The man who has his police maim his own citizens now says “the people will really take back control of their future”.

EU Must Learn From Brexit And Reform – Macron (G.)

Macron later said: “The Brexit impasse is a lesson for us all”. In a nod to the Brexiters’ campaign slogan “take back control”, he said that in a changed Europe “the people will really take back control of their future”. In a suggestion the UK would deepen its future relationship with the EU, he said that “in this new Europe, the UK, I am sure, will find its true place”. The call for a Europe-wide agency “for the protection of democracies” to shield against electoral interference from outside powers comes as campaigning for May’s European parliament elections gets underway. Security officials are preparing for potential attempts by Russia-linked hackers to sway the vote and potentially deepen divisions in the bloc.

“There’s a strong likelihood that people will try to manipulate the debates and falsify the European election results,” the EU’s security commissioner, Julian King, told France’s Alsace newspaper last week. The May vote is shaping up as a continental clash between populist and Eurosceptic movements on the one hand, and pro-European internationalists on the other. Macron, who has faced months of gilets jaunes or yellow vest anti-government protests, has sought to style himself as a progressive voice against nationalism. His centrist party La République En Marche is narrowly ahead of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally in French polls – a re-run of his face-off with Le Pen in the 2017 presidential election.

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John Pilger gave this speech at a rally in Sydney for Julian Assange recently, organised by the Socialist Equality Party. Unfortunate name.

The Prisoner Says No To Big Brother (John Pilger)

Whenever I visit Julian Assange, we meet in a room he knows too well. There is a bare table and pictures of Ecuador on the walls. There is a bookcase where the books never change. The curtains are always drawn and there is no natural light. The air is still and fetid. This is Room 101. Before I enter Room 101, I must surrender my passport and phone. My pockets and possessions are examined. The food I bring is inspected. The man who guards Room 101 sits in what looks like an old-fashioned telephone box. He watches a screen, watching Julian. There are others unseen, agents of the state, watching and listening. Cameras are everywhere in Room 101. To avoid them, Julian manoeuvres us both into a corner, side by side, flat up against the wall.

[..] Julian is a distinguished Australian, who has changed the way many people think about duplicitous governments. For this, he is a political refugee subjected to what the United Nations calls “arbitrary detention”. The UN says he has the right of free passage to freedom, but this is denied. He has the right to medical treatment without fear of arrest, but this is denied. He has the right to compensation, but this is denied. As founder and editor of WikiLeaks, his crime has been to make sense of dark times. WikiLeaks has an impeccable record of accuracy and authenticity which no newspaper, no TV channel, no radio station, no BBC, no New York Times, no Washington Post, no Guardian can equal. Indeed, it shames them. That explains why he is being punished.

For example: Last week, the International Court of Justice ruled that the British Government had no legal powers over the Chagos Islanders, who in the 1960s and 70s, were expelled in secret from their homeland on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and sent into exile and poverty. Countless children died, many of them, from sadness. It was an epic crime few knew about. For almost 50 years, the British have denied the islanders’ the right to return to their homeland, which they had given to the Americans for a major military base. In 2009, the British Foreign Office concocted a “marine reserve” around the Chagos archipelago. This touching concern for the environment was exposed as a fraud when WikiLeaks published a secret cable from the British Government reassuring the Americans that “the former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve.”

The truth of the conspiracy clearly influenced the momentous decision of the International Court of Justice. WikiLeaks has also revealed how the United States spies on its allies; how the CIA can watch you through your iPhone; how Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took vast sums of money from Wall Street for secret speeches that reassured the bankers that if she was elected, she would be their friend. In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed a direct connection between Clinton and organised jihadism in the Middle East: terrorists, in other words. One email disclosed that when Clinton was US Secretary of State, she knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Islamic State, yet she accepted huge donations for her foundation from both governments. She then approved the world’s biggest ever arms sale to her Saudi benefactors: arms that are currently being used against the stricken people of Yemen. That explains why he is being punished.

Read more …

Nadler et al sent Julian Assange a request for documents. Imagine the brain damage required for that. Other than that, from what I get, there’s nothing new. All 81 requests concern people who’s already sent docs before, to Mueller and elsewhere.

White House Lambasts Trump Probe (BBC)

House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, said it was the “obligation” of Congress to “provide a check on abuses of power” by the White House. Mr Nadler, whose committee has the power to conduct impeachment hearings, also said it was “very clear” that the president had obstructed justice. But Mr Nadler told ABC News it was too early to discuss removing the president from office. President Trump dismissed Mr Nadler’s probe as a “political hoax”, but added: “I co-operate all the time with everybody.” Democrats, who took control of the House of Representatives in January, have vowed to open investigations into the president and White House.

More than five House committees are now investigating alleged attempts by Russia to meddle in the 2016 election campaign, the president’s tax returns and potential conflicts of interest involving Mr Trump’s family. Those inquiries are in addition to the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is expected to file his report soon. In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: “Today, Chairman Nadler opened up a disgraceful and abusive investigation into tired, false allegations already investigated by the special counsel and committees in both chambers of Congress. “Chairman Nadler and his fellow Democrats have embarked on this fishing expedition because they are terrified that their two-year false narrative of ‘Russia collusion’ is crumbling.

[..] Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, longtime Trump personal assistant Rhona Graff and ex-White House counsel Don McGahn are also on the list of names released by the House Judiciary Committee. Donald Trump Jr has previously been forced by members of Congress to answer questions about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, in which he sat down with a Kremlin-linked lawyer who had offered dirt on Mr Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton. Wikileaks, and its founder Julian Assange, have also been sent documents requests by the committee. Wikileaks published emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and released them during the 2016 campaign, causing political embarrassment to Mrs Clinton and her campaign team.

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Yes, Trump has Fox. The other side has just about everything else: CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, ABC, Politico, etc etc etc. Doesn’t someone who writes pieces like this one see the irony?

Fox News’s Propaganda Isn’t Just Unethical, It’s Enormously Influential (Vox)

Jane Mayer, the New Yorker’s longtime star investigative reporter, has a fantastic new longform piece out detailing the extent to which the Fox News Channel has become propaganda television for the Trump administration. Many of the basic points — like Fox’s bending of ethical standards to accommodate Sean Hannity, the collaborative relationship between Fox and Trump in shaping the news agenda, and the extent to which Trump at times seems to take his policy cues from Fox & Friends – will be familiar to Vox readers. But Mayer adds critical new insights into the arc of change at the network during a period when CEO Roger Ailes was deposed and then died, vice president Bill Shine left to become White House communications director, and the company’s owner Rupert Murdoch has restructured his media holdings and prepared to pass the baton to his son.

She also adds a couple of key scoops, including: • A Fox reporter named Diana Falzone had pieced together the entire Stormy Daniels story before the election, but network executives killed the story, demoted her, and then, after she sued them, reached a settlement with her that included a nondisclosure agreement. • “Trump ordered Gary Cohn, then the director of the National Economic Council, to pressure the Justice Department to intervene” and sue to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of Time Warner. (The DOJ did sue, though they denied this was due to improper interference from the White House, and ended up losing in court.) • “During the Bush Administration’s disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina, Fox’s ratings slumped so badly, a former Fox producer told me, that he was told to stop covering it.”

Fox’s propaganda broadcasting matters. It’s a somewhat underexplored topic in political science research, but the information that’s available suggests that right-wing propaganda broadcasting — led by Fox but also including Sinclair Broadcast Group — has a decisive influence on American politics. [..] A study by Emory University political scientist Gregory Martin and Stanford economist Ali Yurukoglu estimates that watching Fox News translates into a significantly greater willingness to vote for Republican candidates. Specifically, by exploiting semi-random variation in Fox viewership driven by changes in the assignment of channel numbers, they find that if Fox News hadn’t existed, the Republican presidential candidate’s share of the two-party vote would have been 3.59 points lower in 2004 and 6.34 points lower in 2008. Without Fox, in other words, the GOP’s only popular vote win since the 1980s would have been reversed and the 2008 election would have been an extinction-level landslide.

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Interesting twist. But under wraps.

Manafort Asks Judge to Revisit Order on Lies to Special Counsel (CN)

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort asked a federal judge Monday to reconsider her earlier ruling that Manafort violated his plea agreement by lying about his contacts with suspected Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik. The details of the request remain under seal for now, but a short order from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson entered into the docket in the case shows it is a request to reconsider her earlier decision based on new evidence. The docket entry specifically references a supplemental filing last month from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that informed Jackson of new information relevant to Manafort’s plea deal that came up in an interview with longtime Manafort associate Rick Gates.

Jackson said in the short order Monday she will “deem [Manafort’s] filing as a motion for reconsideration” of her earlier decision. The motion is under seal for now, but Manafort and Mueller’s office will discuss whether portions of the filing may become public, according to the order. Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced in Washington, D.C., on March 13. He pleaded guilty to head off a second criminal trial after a federal jury in Virginia found him guilty last year of various financial crimes. In Washington, Manafort pleaded to conspiring to defraud the United States, obstruction of justice and violations of lobbying laws in relation to work he did on behalf of a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

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Britain would fall apart if it could no longer unite vs Russia.

Britain Puts New Roof On Skripal House of Horrors (Galloway)

In 12 months of shifting sands, one thing remains as its original foundations: the British state narrative on Salisbury stands as a castle in the air. One year from the dastardly fate of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, no one is a step forward on what happened to them, how, why, or of course where they are. One year ago, a nerve agent was allegedly sprayed onto their front doorknob. One year later, their house needs a new roof as a result. And why the roof? And why only the roof? I don’t know what happened to the stricken pair but then, neither do you, however much you’ve followed the story in Britain’s mass media. In fact, the more you’ve read, the more confused you’re likely now to be. There are some things I do know, however. The first is that the Russian state had as little to gain from attacking this pair in broad daylight on a Salisbury street with a signature Soviet-developed weapon, ‘novichok,’ as I said at the time.

It was exactly 100 days before the World Cup, just days before President Putin’s re-election. If – and it’s a big if – the Russian state wanted to kill the Skripals, many things would’ve been different. Firstly, they would’ve been dead. Yulia would’ve been dead in Russia where she lived. And Sergei would’ve been dispatched at a less sensitive time by rather more reliable, less identifiable means, and by rather less comical killers. The killers would not have flown directly from and back to Moscow. They would not have entrusted their egress to the Sunday service of Wiltshire public transport. They would not have smiled up at every CCTV camera they could find. They would not have stayed at a downscale small hotel in East London, they would not have smoked drugs there, and they would not have noisily entertained a prostitute in their room. They would not have left traces of their nerve agent in their hotel room.

They would not have spent a mere hour scoping Salisbury the day before the alleged poisoning of the Skripals. Nor would they have returned by public transport to London for their sex and drug party, only to retrace their steps by public transport the next day. If they were going to kill a man and his daughter, they would not have trusted nerve agent on a doorknob when there was no conceivable way of knowing who’s hand would touch it. Yulia? Sergei? The milkman? Any Tom, Dick or Harry in the street (or any of their children)? If they were going to smear nerve agent on a doorknob, they would’ve done it in the dark – not at noon the next day, when anyone or any camera could watch them doing so, yet no one did. Quite apart from the salient fact that by noon the victims had already left the house never to return to it.

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Very sorry to see what Jacko was up to.

Sunset Boulevard with Chimp (Kunstler)

If you want some insight into how deep the collective public psychosis of this land runs, check out Dan Reed’s four-hour documentary about the late Michael Jackson streaming on the HBO cable network. The film apparently provoked outrage when it premiered at the Sundance Festival recently, as if it were in bad taste to disclose the icon’s peccadillos in these days of Progressive intersectional triumph. Mr. Jackson methodically assembled a harem of catamites as his show business fame exploded and he struggled with the personal horror of developing into a full-grown man. He solved that problem by restricting his social consort to little boys while surgically metamorphosing into a schematic approximation of a woman — interesting, since he repeatedly referred to women as “evil,” but then his greatest hit was the self-revealing song, Bad.

Everybody and his uncle’s-second-cousin in Hollywood at the time must have known what the deal was with him but they went along with the gag that he was the reincarnation of Peter Pan, just a harmless character out of Show Biz’s own catalog of manufactured mythology, something they could understand, a framing device to spin cotton candy out of the truth that Mr. Jackson was simply a child-molester. [..] perhaps, Leaving Neverland signals an interesting turning point in the madness that has gripped this country for years, and especially the bewitched, bothered, and bewildered thinking class, lost in its labyrinth of sacred monsters. This year 2019 — and especially the coming springtime — promises to be a time of spectacular reversals in politics, manners, and markets.

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Most of you will be eating yellyfish in your lifetime, it’s not just your kids anymore.

Heatwaves Sweeping Oceans ‘Like Wildfires’ (G.)

The number of heatwaves affecting the planet’s oceans has increased sharply, scientists have revealed, killing swathes of sea-life like “wildfires that take out huge areas of forest”. The damage caused in these hotspots is also harmful for humanity, which relies on the oceans for oxygen, food, storm protection and the removal of climate-warming carbon dioxide the atmosphere, they say. Global warming is gradually increasing the average temperature of the oceans, but the new research is the first systematic global analysis of ocean heatwaves, when temperatures reach extremes for five days or more. The research found heatwaves are becoming more frequent, prolonged and severe, with the number of heatwave days tripling in the last couple of years studied.

In the longer term, the number of heatwave days jumped by more than 50% in the 30 years to 2016, compared with the period of 1925 to 1954. As heatwaves have increased, kelp forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs have been lost. These foundation species are critical to life in the ocean. They provide shelter and food to many others, but have been hit on coasts from California to Australia to Spain. “You have heatwave-induced wildfires that take out huge areas of forest, but this is happening underwater as well,” said Dan Smale at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK, who led the research published in Nature Climate Change. “You see the kelp and seagrasses dying in front of you. Within weeks or months they are just gone, along hundreds of kilometres of coastline.”

The damage global warming is causing to the oceans has also been shown in a series of other scientific papers published in the last week. Ocean warming has cut sustainable fish catches by 15% to 35% in five regions, including the North Sea and the East China Sea, and 4% globally, according to work published by Pinsky and colleagues.

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More victims of European fossil fuel replacements. This is so easy to solve: pay them to NOT build that dam. Demand phasing out of palm oil, in fuel and food.

World’s Rarest Orangutan Under Threat In Indonesia From Dam Project (G.)

Environmentalists in Indonesia have lost a court challenge to a Chinese-backed dam project in Indonesia that will rip through the habitat of the most critically endangered orangutan species. On Monday, the state administrative court in North Sumatra’s capital, Medan, ruled that construction can continue despite critics of the 510-megawatt hydro dam providing evidence that its environmental impact assessment was deeply flawed. Experts said the dam would flood and in other ways alter the habitat of the orangutan species, which numbers only about 800 primates, and was likely to make it impossible to ensure the species survived.

Scientists announced the discovery of the species, Pongo tapanuliensis, in November after DNA analysis and field study revealed unique characteristics. The population, with frizzier hair and distinctively long calls, was previously believed to be Sumatran orangutans, also critically endangered. Without special protection, it is in danger of rapid extinction, according to scientists. The species is found only in the Batang Toru forest, where the dam will be built. Announcing the decision of a three-judge panel, presiding Judge Jimmy C Pardede said the witnesses and facts presented by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, the country’s largest environmental group, in its case against the North Sumatra provincial government were irrelevant.


A newly-discovered species of orangutan, the Pongo tapanuliensis, is only found in the forest where the dam will be built. Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

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